Saturday, November 5, 2011

What happened to socialism?

One of the best ways to understand where you're going(or being pushed to) is to look back and see what has already occurred. John Rae wrote a book titled "Contemporary Socialism" in which he notes some things about how the old forms of communitarian socialism gave way and the only type of socialism left standing was revolutionary socialism. I find this type of commentary/study to be very instructive in understanding old progressivism from a century ago, contrasted with current revolutionary progressivism, which started in the 60's. The Cloward/Piven strategy(completely collapsing the system) came to life in the 60's wheras in previous generations the progressives followed a more Fabian model and subverted from the inside. Here's what Rae writes in the introduction:(page 2)

Now the present movement is, before all, political and revolutionary. The philanthropic and experimental forms of socialism, which played a conspicuous role before 1848, perished then in the wreck of the Revolution, and have never risen to. life again. The old schools have dispersed. Their doctrines, their works, their very hopes have gone. The theories of man's entire dependence on circumstances, of the rehabilitation of the flesh, of the passional attraction, once in everybody's mouth, have sunk into oblivion. The communities of Owenites, St. Simonians, Fourierists, Icarians, which multiplied for a time on both sides of the Atlantic, are extinct. The socialists of the present day have discarded all belief in the possibility of effecting any social regeneration except by means of political authority, and the first object of their endeavours is therefore the conquest of the powers of the State. There are some exceptions, but these are very unimportant. The communistic societies of the United States, for instance, are mostly organizations of eccentric religious sects which have no part or influence in the life of the century. The Colinsian Collectivists, followers of the Belgian socialist Colins, are a mere handful; and the Familistere of Guise in France—a remarkable institution, founded since 1848 by an old disciple of Fourier, though not on Fourier's plan—stands quite alone, and has no imitators. Non-political socialism may accordingly be said to have practically disappeared.

Not only so, but out of the several sorts and varieties of political socialism, only one has revived in any strength, and that is the extremest and most revolutionary. It is the democratic communism of the Young Hegelians, and it scouts the very suggestion of State-help, and will content itself 'with nothing short of State-transformation. Schemes such as -were popular and noisy thirty years ago—schemes, involving indeed organic changes, but organic changes of only a partial character—have gone to their rest.

So in their day, the socialists gave up on their little communities and turned to the state. In a way, this loosely mirrors what we see today. If you look at the USA as a community, Europe's nations as communities, they are all failing just like the small communities did back then. So what's their solution? Kick it higher. A century ago, they wanted to push it up to the nation, in today's world they want to build one single global governance body.(Search for Agenda 21, for starters) He continues:

This is the form in which socialism has reappeared, and it may be described in three words as Revolutionary Socialist Democracy. The movement is divided into two main branches —socialism proper, or collectivism, as it is sometimes called, and anarchism. There are anarchists who are not socialists, but hold strongly by an individualist constitution of property. They are very few, however, and the great mass of the party known by that name in our day, including the Russian Nihilists, are as ardent believers in the economic socialism of Karl Marx as the Social Democrats of Germany themselves. They diverge from the latter on a question of future government; but the differences between the two are only such as the same movement might be expected to exhibit in passing through different media, personal or national. Modern democrats have been long divided into Centralists and Federalists—the one party seeking to give to the democratic republic they contemplate a strongly centralized form of government, and the other preferring to leave the local communes comparatively independent and sovereign, and free, if they choose, to unite themselves in convenient federations. The federal republic has always been the favourite ideal of the Democrats of Spain and of the Communards of Paris, and there is generally a tendency among Federalists, in their impatience of all central authority, to drop the element of federation out of their ideal altogether, and to advocate the form of opinion known as "anarchy"— that is, the abolition of all superior government. It was very natural that this ancient feud among the democrats should appear in the ranks of socialist democracy, and it was equally natural that the Russian Radicals, hating the autocracy of their country and idealizing its rural communes, should become the chief adherents of the federalist and even the anarchic tradition.

This is the only point of principle that separates anarchism from socialism. In other respects anarchism may be said to be but an extremer phase of socialism.

This too sheds a lot of light on what we see today. Have you ever asked yourself why it is that the anarchists throw in with the socialists? May I suggest you read Rae's book for some of your answers? We see this today, Anarchist groups wearing the Guy Fawkes mask at Occupy Wall Street and other socialist-inspired protests. Read the STORM handbook, or listen to the audio book version of it that I'm currently recording, it's in there too. Various anarchist groups that the STORM marxists are working with, and STORM even had anarchists in it's ranks. There's one more thing in this book I'd like to highlight and see people openly discuss. We didn't learn about this in our public school history lessons:(Page 77)

The United States of America have done more for experimental socialism than any other country. Owenites, Fourierists, Icarians have all established communities there, but these communities have failed long ago, except one of the Icarian, and the only other socialist experiments now existing in America are seventy or eighty religious communities, Shakers and Eappists, whose success has been due to their religious discipline and their celibacy, and whose members amount to no more than 5,000 souls all told. There is indeed a Russian Commune in California, but it remains a solitary Russian Commune still, the "new formula of civilization," as Russian reformers used to call it, showing no sign of further adoption. Nor has the new or political socialism found any better success in the States.

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