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/leftypol/ - Leftist Politically Incorrect

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File: 4d897b33412dba0⋯.png (254.13 KB, 1725x940, 345:188, 777567657567.PNG)

 No.2833184

What are you reading?

Why are you reading it and what did you read last.

Currently reading pic.

Last read Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela. George Ciccariello-Maher

 No.2833188

last book i read was Philip Pullman narration of the Grimm's fairy tales


 No.2833194

File: da2c362cbb6783e⋯.png (909.95 KB, 553x789, 553:789, nl.PNG)

been reading a lot of nick land recently


 No.2833217

Current reading:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/

>>2833184

>Currently reading pic.

I pirated this and intend to read it, but the introduction was fucking insipid. I can't stand the way these bourgeois Jacobin hipsters write. I basically want to see how bad they plagiarize/fuck up Cockshott.

>Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela. George Ciccariello-Maher

Please tell me you're only reading this dreck after finishing your curriculum of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, etc.


 No.2833325

File: 03988124834a6d6⋯.jpg (13.85 KB, 330x499, 330:499, 315Tvf4-FoL._SX328_BO1,204….jpg)

>>2833184

I'm at the half of this book right now.

I wanted to get an idea of "Xi JInping thought", so I've decided to get this book. What I get so far, is that Xi is veeery pragmatic. Occasionly he mentions Mao and Marxism, but he doesn't say anything too specific.

Maybe because it is mostly a selection of speeches, he never gets more into detail and keeps scratching on the surface.

In the end, this book is better than nothing. But mostly it is empty talk without any substance.


 No.2833340

>>2833325

> mostly it is empty talk without any substance.

exactly what I took away from it


 No.2833614

>>2833217

>insipid

not sure why you're being so hostile, what exactly is the problem with George Ciccariello-Maher


 No.2833616

>>2833614

these people are all chomskian radlibs.


 No.2833621


 No.2833668


 No.2833674

File: 1449f6873641cd0⋯.png (477.67 KB, 598x700, 299:350, WeLiveInATheocracy.png)

>>2833621

>juche year 108

>communist

>not knowing what library genesis is


 No.2833676

I tend to juggle a lot of books at once but the physical works I’m reading current are:

>A Certain Amount of Madness: The Life Politics and Legacies of Thomas Sankara

>History of the USSR, The Era of Socialism

>The Anatomy of Fascism

>sections of Lenin’s collected works volumes 1–3


 No.2833711

File: dde2f44ab6631cb⋯.jpg (29.84 KB, 329x499, 329:499, current.jpg)

Right now, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Previous, Anti-Dühring.


 No.2833719

>>2833325

>>2833340

Same, pretty much confirmed Xi as an opportunist in my mind


 No.2833817

File: ef2a07b7343e64d⋯.pdf (282.3 KB, early human kinship was ma….pdf)

>>2833711

>>2833217

Here's a nice companion piece from a modern Marxist anthropologist, Chris Knight. Engels was actually very correct in that book. To the point where bourgeois """anthropologists" made it their mission to portray patriarchy and patrilineal heritage as the eternal truth of humans. Actually, anti-Marxism has even caused the science of EVOLUTION to be falsified in order to make it seem like male chimps were the dominant sex the entire time they were evolving into humans.

A very good talk from him about this, absolutely mindblowing shit:

https://vimeo.com/292893544

More here:

https://vimeo.com/user33365184

and here:

http://radicalanthropologygroup.org/journal

radicalanthropologygroup.org/reading/all


 No.2833826

File: c1cf9bec8347b93⋯.pdf (652.79 KB, philosophy-and-real-politi….pdf)

>>2833184

Reading Raymond Geuss - Philosophy and real politics. Just got started really but it seems pretty neat. It seems to aim to tear down idealizing notions of politics and is supposedly pretty compatible with a Marxian framework. Cuck Philosophy recommended it.

I started reading the philosophy of poverty a while back, but Proudhon is a boring and stupid idealist, so I stopped reading. Decided to cut to the chase and read Poverty of Philosophy, but mostly it just seems that it's Marx agreeing with me that Proudhon is a boring and stupid idealist.


 No.2834618

>>2833184

>>2833217

>The People’s Republic of Walmart by Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski

3 stars out of 5. This short book is an OK introduction, very easy to read and superficial. All their sources seem to be in English and the pirated ebook doesn't list them at the end. They don't walk you through any algorithms. If you are already familiar with the works of Paul Cockshott (he gets positive mention) and the discussion about the book Red Plenty that happened a couple years ago on Crooked Timber (liberal blog) and elsewhere and you have heard about Chile's Cybersyn as well, there isn't anything new to learn.

I think they still have left in them some rest of a belief in the cult of entrepreneur genius. Does Amazon actually use particularly clever "algorithm marvels"? I don't believe that. I think it's all about the scale effects and optimizing taxes. It looks like there's already adequate free software out there for anything Amazon does, like Easyrec for recommendations.

Minor annoyances: Some of the plebbest pop culture references, and they write of "OLED displays" and say "horizontal integration" when they mean vertical. They refer to the "neoclassical Austrian School", despite themselves pointing out that Austrians don't assume perfect knowledge and equilibrium everywhere.

The bit about Sears is funny:

>The company has certainly suffered in the way that many other brick-and-mortar outlets have in the face of the challenge from discounters such as Walmart and from online retailers like Amazon. But the consensus among the business press and dozens of very bitter former executives is that the overriding cause of Sears’s malaise is the disastrous decision by the company’s chairman and CEO, Edward Lampert, to disaggregate the company’s different divisions into competing units: to create an internal market (…)

>Lampert, libertarian and fan of the laissez-faire egotism of Russian American novelist Ayn Rand, had made his way from working in warehouses as a teenager, via a spell with Goldman Sachs, to managing a $15 billion hedge fund by the age of 41. The wunderkind was hailed as the Steve Jobs of the investment world (…) An eye-popping 2013 series of interviews by Bloomberg Businessweek investigative journalist Mina Kimes with some forty former executives described Lampert’s Randian calculus: “If the company’s leaders were told to act selfishly, he argued, they would run their divisions in a rational manner, boosting overall performance.”

He also believed that the new structure, called Sears Holdings Organization, Actions, and Responsibilities, or SOAR, would improve the quality of internal data, and in so doing that it would give the company an edge akin to statistician Paul Podesta’s use of unconventional metrics at the Oakland Athletics baseball team (made famous by the book, and later film starring Brad Pitt, Moneyball). Lampert would go on to place Podesta on Sears’s board of directors and hire Steven Levitt, coauthor of the pop neoliberal economics bestseller Freakonomics, as a consultant (…)

>And so if the apparel division wanted to use the services of IT or human resources, they had to sign contracts with them, or alternately to use outside contractors if it would improve the financial performance of the unit—regardless of whether it would improve the performance of the company as a whole.

What could possibly go wrong? This is why Sears beat Amazon and Walmart and now rules the world!

>Executives would attach screen protectors to their laptops at meetings to prevent their colleagues from finding out what they were up to. Units would scrap over floor and shelf space for their products. Screaming matches between the chief marketing officers of the different divisions were common at meetings intended to agree on the content of the crucial weekly circular advertising specials. They would fight over key positioning, aiming to optimize their own unit’s profits, even at another unit’s expense, sometimes with grimly hilarious result. Kimes describes screwdrivers being advertised next to lingerie, and how the sporting goods division succeeded in getting the Doodle Bug mini-bike for young boys placed on the cover of the Mothers’ Day edition of the circular. As for different divisions swallowing lower profits, or losses, on discounted goods in order to attract customers for other items, forget about it. One executive quoted in the Bloomberg investigation described the situation as “dysfunctionality at the highest level.”


 No.2834620

>>2834618

Sorry for the formatting, the paragraph with the baseball guy Paul Podesta is also a quote from the book.


 No.2834654

>>2834618

If the book is supposed to be an introduction, does it discuss Marxian/Ricardian econ at all?


 No.2834691


 No.2834716

>>2834691

Wow. I suspect the book will not really help much then.


 No.2834739

File: 65cac2c2dc2ef96⋯.jpg (309.4 KB, 1442x2200, 721:1100, cover.jpg)


 No.2834766

>>2834739

Hudis misrepresents what Marx wrote in Critique of the Gotha Programme and he waffles on and on. Shit book.


 No.2834849

I am in the bad habit of reading various books at the same time, but:

What is Sex? by Alenka Zupancic, so far really good psychoanalytic text

The Total Art of Stalinism by Boris Groys, which compares the avant-garde of the 20’s to the socialist realist era to argue that the totalitarianism and the union between party and artists were already present in the former.

The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility and other writings on media by Walter Benjamin, a collection of short (2-30 pages) essays split into Art, Image, Painting, Photography, Film and Radio. Just resumed it by reading *Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century*

Also in the midst of reading Jameson’s Postmodernism

Other reccs:

Althusser’s on the reproduction of capitalism

Zizek’s Did somebody say totalitarianism

Ilyenkov’s Cosmology of spirit

Jameson’s An american utopia

Xenofeminism

Joan Copjec’s The Sexual Compact


 No.2834864

File: 0e3b0419784f054⋯.pdf (683.08 KB, 0e3b0419784f054cdc82546a34….pdf)

Probably gonna read .pdf related after I finish Parenti's Blackshirts and Reds as I'm going to Berlin for a few days this week. Anybody know if it's any good?


 No.2834919

Currently reading through A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Freud and trying to work my way up to Lacan

I'm also planning to check out The Origin of the Family by Engels afterwards


 No.2835150

>>2834766

How so?


 No.2835152

>>2834849

“The extension of Freudian hypotheses seems ‘educated’, even scientific, but it is ignorant, bungling. Freudian theory is the modern fashion. I mistrust the sexual theories of the articles, dissertations, pamphlets, etc., in short, of that particular kind of literature which flourishes luxuriantly in the dirty soil of bourgeois society. I mistrust those who are always contemplating the several questions, like the Indian saint his navel. It seems to me that these flourishing sexual theories which are mainly hypothetical, and often quite arbitrary hypotheses, arise from the personal need to justify personal abnormality or hypertrophy in sexual life before bourgeois morality, and to entreat its patience. This masked respect for bourgeois morality seems to me just as repulsive as poking about in sexual matters. However wild and revolutionary the behaviour may be, it is still really quite bourgeois. It is, mainly, a hobby of the intellectuals and of the sections nearest them. There is no place for it in the Party, in the class-conscious, fighting proletariat.”

-t. Lenin

https://www.marxists.org/archive/zetkin/1920/lenin/zetkin1.htm


 No.2835237

>>2834864

It is very good. Read it. Speak of coincidence: I finished Blackshirts and Reds about a month ago and read that book right after, are you me timeshifted?


 No.2835273

>>2834864

Berlin? No, Hamburg is by far the better city (sorry)


 No.2835321

>>2835150

Here's Hudis:

>The difference between labour and labour-time is a critical analytical distinction, and conflating the two readily leads to misconstruing Marx’s position. He is not suggesting that the operative principle of the lower phase of socialism or communism is ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their work’.

Marx on the lower phase of communism (in CotGP):

>But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege.

So not only did Marx expect that in the lower phase of communism people will get higher remuneration for working longer, but also that they will get more for more intensive work. His expectation for the lower phase was that only the part of income differences that stems from owning natural resources or means of production will be removed.


 No.2835356

>>2835152

Notice that Lenin is writing here in 1920 when most of the new developments in psychoanalysis (i.e Lacan, Zizek, Zupancic, Dolar etc now) were nonexistent. Theoretical engangement with Communism is outright impossible without the tools offered by it.

Just remember that as much as gendered or sexual vocabulary is used in it, psychoanalysis operates at the level of the unconscious, irreducible to whether one has a father or a penis.


 No.2835432

Assgoblins of auschwitz.


 No.2835440

>>2833325

Dengism is a cancer and should be a ban-worthy offense


 No.2835640

File: 311c4caf56288d7⋯.jpg (26.2 KB, 266x400, 133:200, 512-TwZIjvL._AC_SY400_.jpg)


 No.2835888

>>2835321

thanks


 No.2842551

>>2833184

Your post.


 No.2842581

>>2835640

>a failed empire

I'm sure this is not gonna be chock-full of stale anti-communist memes.

>>2842551

kek


 No.2842653

>>2835321

>but also that they will get more for more intensive work

that's absolutely wrong but I guess you didn't bother to read past that paragraph:

> But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.


 No.2842655

File: 1d4252a110240fb⋯.jpg (375.53 KB, 1080x1832, 135:229, Screenshot_20190317-085206….jpg)

This


 No.2842672

Capital vol. 2. Had to restart a few times so far because I'm really good at putting a book down and forgetting about it. Tried keeping notes this time around. Dunno if it's helping.


 No.2842676

>>2842672

Nice. You can do it anon. Took me three or four months, but I was able to get through it. Some of Vol 2 is tough but necessary reading, but I found Part 3 to be much lighter than Part 1 and 2.


 No.2842678

Reading a lot of Walter Benjamin and Benjaminian studies for my thesis. I'll be returning to Mark Fisher soon though.


 No.2842679

>>2842653

Read that post again. It's not an endorsement of pay differential based on contribution as some platonic ideal. It's about having that during the lower phase of communism. Which is what Marx said in CotGP (and which is backed up by the very paragraph that you are quoting from at the end of your post).


 No.2842701

>>2842676

I've heard 3 is way easier to read than 2, yeah. Mostly I just have an attention span measured in the negatives. Went for a walk a week or so ago and took my copy out there and it was kinda amazing how readily I found myself understanding what I was reading when there weren't a bunch of things I could distract myself with.


 No.2842712

>>2833184

The Power Elite by Wright Mills


 No.2842723

Starting The Gay Science today!

>>2842655

Stop what you're doing anon. Please read The Unique and it's Property translation instead


 No.2842879

File: 915d89167e9ea47⋯.jpg (126.96 KB, 1200x900, 4:3, kavanaugh.jpg)

>>2833184

>>2834618

Reading this too. Almost finished, on chapter 9. It's ok, but is a very simple overview of planning. Cockshott was mentioned at the end of the last chapter as a modern theorist of how economic planning would work.

However, I had a big problem with some of their core arguments that got worse the further the book went, and is really culminating in this chapter covering Allende. It is clear this book is about informing a normie of the entire problem around economic planning (presumably they are unaware of this historical argument since it really is rather esoteric compared to the normal "muh human nature" kind of argument), but also to then convince them why for one planning is possible, but secondly why prior attempts failed, and how this is not only because of lack of technology but also due to authoritarian approaches. To start talking about how I think they fucked this up, I'll indulge my inner ☭TANKIE☭. They spent the initial chapters talking about how marvelous the logistics and planning of corporate behemoths like Walmart and Amazon is, but then when they get into the USSR their history is basically:

>Lenin good, but nobody knew how to organize the economy in a socialist way.

>After war communism they liberalized in order to better incentivize industrialization through light industry, rewarding industrial workers with urban consumption. The conflict is basically represented as between gradual, humanitarian development and rapid, authoritarian development.

>Stalin appears, believes all this light industry trash is bullshit, wants to make STEEL and DAMS, QUICKLY. Uses oppression to coerce workers into faster development.

>Khrushchev the savior comes in, denounces Stalin and begins democratizing the economy again.

>Stalinist faction led by Brezhnev overthrows The Corn Man and reinstates or reinvigorates the top-down, authoritarian bureaucracy.

That is the rough outline. What bothers me about it isn't just a sketchy historical inaccuracy/bias or anything, but that the tale is used to suggest that what was flawed about Soviet planning was that it was authoritarian, and this authoritarian nature led to bad flows of information from the bottom to the top. This created huge gaps in supply and demand of needed goods, and supposedly while Khrushchev's period was prosperous because it was relatively democratic, Brezhnev was the beginning of the end because he was a Stalinist.

However, the writers outright state towards the start of this sequence that after the civil war there was a fear of invasion. It seems as though they do the typical condemnation of Stalin's administration as being almost needlessly authoritarian, an unfortunate result of a justly paranoid Leninist government that built the apparatus which Stalin commandeered to create his terror. Despite spending many pages describing how Stalinist terror resulted in inefficiency, fear to accurately report economic activity or suggest rational solutions (with great flourish, referencing millions dead, seeming to suggest the entire government was extinguished, using the word "chaos"at least once a page), the authors simply admit that development occurred and production did increase, and that the Stalinist USSR defeated the Nazis. They literally handwave this away by saying "I suppose other tyrannies like Walmart and Amazon also function well enough".

This seems very lazy to me because the whole point of this segment was to demonstrate that "authoritarian Stalinists" weren't effectively doing planning BECAUSE they were being too authoritarian. Additionally, this was implied at several points to be due to a mistrust of democracy or something. Prior chapters on the NHS had talked about the technocratic bureaucrats who thought they knew what was best as opposed to actually doing democratic planning with the common people, and this theme had been carried into the Soviet chapters. So it's kind of suggested that the Stalinists thought they could impose an efficient socialist economy from above, rather than being good like Lenin and supporting gradualism that integrated the needs and desires of the people.

1/2


 No.2842882

File: 589a7c26a25c8da⋯.jpg (17.86 KB, 404x426, 202:213, REEEEEEE.jpg)

>>2842879

Yet just to reiterate, we started this whole affair with an acknowledgement that there was a great fear of invasion, and we also acknowledge that the major achievement of Stalin's administration was to defeat the Nazis through rejection of gradualism. So before going onto how this plays into the Allende chapter I ask, how is it possible the authors didn't recognize that Stalin's strategy was literally justified in their own pages? How could they even pretend to not see that their thesis on authoritarianism ruining Soviet planning is directly challenged by the story they themselves accidentally displayed, that under Lenin the Bolsheviks outlawed factionalism in anticipation of sabotage and invasion, that Stalin carried this centralization on logically to a rapid industrialization through massive top-down state mobilization which had a huge death toll that also SAVED THE SOVIET UNION AND EUROPE ITSELF FROM FALLING TO THE NAZIS.

So now to continue to the Allende chapter (which I'll note I haven't completed), the authors introduce Allende as the world's first democratically elected Marxist who was committed to building socialism while respecting civil liberties etc. They very quickly state that Allende was overthrown by a military coup under Pinochet that was very brutal, and that the promise of Allende and his humanitarian cyber-socialism is much lamented by true leftists everywhere. While I'd say all of that is very true, we just got through the fucking chapters about how Stalinists fucked up the Soviet Union with their shitty ideology and jumped into the martyrdom of Allende by saying "here is the civil liberties man we can all get behind, he was swiftly eliminated by a foreign backed military junta".

HOW DO THEY IGNORE THIS? I mean, maybe they don't, but this is what material analysis is about. It wasn't just that the Stalinists had the bad ideas, and it wasn't just that Allende had the good ideas but unfortunately got defeated by evil foreign capitalists. Stalin saved the USSR from the very foreign aggression that saw Allende get assassinated through his flawed but effective policy. The whole "authoritarian bad, democracy good" thesis is revealed as AHISTORICAL liberalism. At one point they actually seem to denigrate the term "political economy" as being used in a dogmatic way against the "mathematical economism" of Kantorovich (or some term like that) by Stalinists, but I'd say that while there was plenty of fear and dogmatism in the Soviet Union that led to suspicion of cybernetics, their own failures in this book to account for the reason behind the authoritarianism of the Stalin period are the same kind of faulty reason why they would consider it absurd that Marxists in the USSR would claim someone like Kantorovich was being "undialectical" or "economistic" or something. The more holistic theoretical approach of "political economy" and historical materialism makes it easier to conceptualize why you can't just be alternatively dogmatically committed to civil liberties or common law institutions or whatever. If you are, you can end up coup'd like Allende, or fuck even a social democrat like Lula getting jailed for total bullshit.

But anyways, I think the book has some value, I just think this is a kind of trite misrepresentation of the history of actually existing socialism through this scale of authoritarian vs. democratic planning in order to make a point that just feels like a weird Frankenstein monster, kind of just ignoring how none of this seems helpful in describing how the Soviet Union developed and what this may or may not have to do with a future cybernetic socialism. Unfortunately, since this was clearly written for normies I figure the actual goal here was somewhat separated from the book's subject of planning, and more like jamming in some sort of explanation for why the common wisdom of the USSR sucking is true but has nothing to do with ideal, cybernetic socialism. Instead of just doing the normal bullshit, they could have easily told the same story and expressed how the rocky development of the Soviet Union unfortunately built momentum behind this perpetually mobilized, bureaucratic, paranoid state that was difficult to change and so wasn't ever able to implement computerized socialist planning. There you go, now the normie knows you aren't suggesting we do the USSR again, and they also have some vague concept of historical materialism that explains why the failures of actually existing socialism aren't just due to "bad ideas".

2/2


 No.2843088

File: 2f6ec00bb6b300f⋯.jpg (30.12 KB, 333x499, 333:499, 51K 8RZeq4L._SX331_BO1,204….jpg)

I'd rec it


 No.2843100

>>2842701

>Mostly I just have an attention span measured in the negatives.

Leaving your shitposting den helps, but nicotine can also help.


 No.2843101

>>2842879

>>2842882

Wow, thank you for this review comrade. I guess this PRWalmart book is really kind of insidious. It's about what you would expect from a bunch of Jacobin writers, which is what the authors are.




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