fragmentos (history)

Originally Posted by Guardia Rossa View Post
Is feudalism a backwards movement in the development of an administrative body? I think/know that feudalism usually develops when there is not a market and there is a big autocratic state. (Han?) China, the Islamic Caliphate, the Frankish Empire, Persia, all of this states have been through some kind of feudalism.

Marx/Engels though that feudalism developed when a tribal society conquers a advanced society, but the chinese didn't conquered china, they weren't nomads (Again, I think so?)

Can someone shed me some light here? I don't have time to read an actual book on it, I'm already reading two books and lots of homework right now

I don't think China was ever a feudal society. Japan was, and its feudalism didn't originate from a clash of cultures similar to that between Ancient Rome/Germanic tribes.

A good read on this is Perry Anderson's Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, which deals extensively with the paradox of Japanese feudalism, and with the (in)famous "Asiatic mode of production" and its relations to the real societies of medieval China, Islam, and India.

Also Marx's Formen would be of interest on the issue.

Rome was a big, powerful, mostly centralized state, with a fully-monetized economy, where inter-provincial trade was conducted with ease

I also think you overestimate the extent of the monetisation of Ancient Roman "economy" - which remained largely rural and non-commodified.


Pre-industrial capitalism certainly existed, not in ancient Athens or in the Caliphate, but in manufacturing factories in Europe. Marx even describes this as a different mode-of-production:

Originally Posted by Marx
Nevertheless, in spite of the mass of hands actually displaced and virtually replaced by machinery, we can understand how the factory operatives, through the building of more mills and the extension of old ones in a given industry, may become more numerous than the manufacturing workmen and handicraftsman that have been displaced. Suppose, for example, that in the old mode of production, a capital of £500 is employed weekly, two-fifths being constant and three-fifths variable capital, i.e., £200 being laid out in means of production, and £300, say £1 per man, in labour-power. On the introduction of machinery the composition of this capital becomes altered.

As we see, manufacture is here "the old mode of production", yet the categories of capital, constant capital, and variable capital apply to it as well as to industrial capitalism.

The whole chapters in Das Kapital about manufacture and industry - chapters 14 and 15 respectively - are worth reading, for they make clear distinctions that Marxists generally overlook and confuse.


Originally Posted by DekuScrub View Post
He's a social democrat

Is he?

The social democrats that I know are members of social democratic parties, which are parties with strong ties to unionism. Sanders seems to me to be either a Democrat, ie, a member of a party that is decidedly not a social democratic party, or an independent, that is not a member of any party.

What exactly does he do that makes him a social democrat in your opinion?


It is a matter of independent working class organisation.

An independent working class organisation might call for a vote on a bourgeios politician. What it cannot do is to dissolve itself among a bourgeois political organisation - in which case it would lose its independence.


Originally Posted by Armchair Partisan View Post
Well, with his anti-rich rhetoric I figured the "left-wing populist" label would fit him - I confess that I stuck the label "social democrat" to him for more vague reasons than that. Maybe he could fit in the German CDU,

Just as he couldn't be a socialist, he could obviously not be a left-wing populist, a social democrat, a "Christian democrat", etc. All those things are firmly rooted in capitalism, and could not exist in Jesus times.

yes - in fact, if Jesus was resurrected and thrown into the 20th cenury, it's likely he'd revise his Roman-era populism, rationalizing it with "everyone can get rich if they work hard enough, it's not like the Roman era where birthright decided social status".

If Jesus was resurrected, then the Christians would be right, isn't it?

** ***

Jesus lived in a time whence capitalism didn't exist, and consequently there was no possible "socialism" as a social force. There could be anger against the rich, there could be an uncanny feeling about money as a rising social construct that misled people into "antinatural" lives, there could be angst about the role of the Roman Empire and its oppression of other people, but those things would be rooted in something completely different from "socialism".

Jesus, consequently, was not talking about socialism versus capitalism; his subject was a completely different one. His saga is a story about Jewish particularism, about the failure of Israel as a contender for hegemony in the Mediterranic world, about its military defeat and political subjection to the Romans, about its intellectual displacement by Greek philosophy, etc. It is a tale about a small and excessively proud nation having to give up its supposed direct relation to the One God, and to reshape its vindications as universal vindications of justice and freedom, that its former ideological apparatus could not handle.

Jesus is an attempt by the Abrahamic God to explain its failure to secure the position of Israel, and to flee forward, claiming a universalism that was unheard of of him before. He is an acceptance of political defeat ("to Caesar what is Caesar's"), and a challenge to change the game into something very different. Thence the many conundrums in the Gospels, especially the mysterious confrontation between the political Messiah (Barabbas) and the non-political "King of the Jews", with the many indications that the issues appear inverted (Jesus, whose "kingdom is not of this world" is crucified as Rex Judeorum, while Barabbas, the "leader of the (very much of this world) rebellion" is freed by Pilate).

Those, at least, seem to me the actual questions that Jesus (or rather the people who wrote about him, since he was probably not a real person, or perhaps was an amalgamation of several different real but actually unimportant characters) would have faced, and tried to solve. Questions that were of his time and place, and that a normal human being would be prepared to struggle with.

Supposing that he could transhistorically assess issues that only became relevant in the 19th Century would be to accept that he was indeed more than a mere human being.


Originally Posted by willowtooth View Post
Jesus never lived his existence is a myth

you might as well be debating whether leprechauns are socialists

Yup, Jesus of Nazareth probably never existed, and is merely a fictional character.

But Subienkov never existed, too, and was certainly a Polish nationalist, wasn't he?


Originally Posted by mushroompizza View Post
He was quasi anti-capitalist

Anti-capitalist (even if "quasi"), 1,700 years before capitalism came into existence?


Originally Posted by HanoiJohn View Post
Yeshua bin [presumably] Yoseph

Curiously, the orthodox interpretation is that he was bar Abbas - son of the Father…

Then when I say that Mark was an epic troll, people stare at me like I was some kind of extra-terrestrial.


Originally Posted by Brandon's Impotent Rage View Post

Would that he was… but he was more like "forte".

Now, obviously this is a real stretch of the imagination, as the revolutionaries were exhausted and hopelessly outgunned by the time of the Catalonia Offensive.

Managing to not only keep their territory but actively beat back the Nationalist forces would have taken either sheer luck or an Act of God.

But let's imagine, just for a moment, that they somehow succeeded.

What would have happened? Would the revolution have spread? Would their have been a direct confrontation with Soviet-backed militias? Would Franco and his fascist allies launch a second, even more savage offensive? Would the whole socioeconomic landscape of the world be completely changed?

Or would this have only been a temporary victory that would ultimately do nothing to alleviate Catalonia's inevitable demise?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.//

It seems quite certain to me that it would have been at most a temporary victory. But if the civil war in Spain lasted some time more, it would probably have been fused into the conflict we know as WWII.


Originally Posted by Blake's Baby View Post
The Boss will no doubt be along soon to offer a different interpretation, but capitalism developed the nation-state first in England, France and the Low Countries. I see the Hundred Years War as being crucial to this process.

The Boss will certainly be late on this, but nation states, in Western Europe, were a product of feudal social relations, not of capitalism.

But, none of that explains 'the rise of state societies' which happened from about 6,000BC.

Indeed. "State" and "capitalism" are different entities, that have very different histories, the former being much, much older than the latter.


Originally Posted by tuwix View Post
As history of Switzerland says the rural communes of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden have established a country in 1291 without any king. Tradition until today indicates that decision there were taken by direct democracy. Now Switzerland is undoubtedly capitalist state probably because of emergence of bourgeoisie.
However, due to lack of any feudal institutions which on the Middle Ages were private property, it seems that in early Switzerland there was only personal property.

Then could we describe an early Switzerland as new form of social organization that is free of state and free of private property which means communist?

I think we should describe early Switzerland as a society based on simple commodity production.


Originally Posted by Hagalaz View Post
Britain had to rebuild it's military to include a nuclear deterrent. They also had to pay back the enormous loans floated to them. Yes,the US loaned them money to pay back their loans.

The British economy also had structural problems that dated from well before WWII, and which weren't solved by it. Plus, it had an empire that was unmade by the war, something that Germany and Japan were trying to build, but didn't actually have had for many years before.

Among the structural problems of British economy, the fact that its industries were started at the time of concurrential capitalism, and were consequently smallish or resulted from complicated, unplanned mergers, resulting in much inefficiency.


Originally Posted by Ethics Gradient View Post
Germany and Japan both have fairly large and modern armies. Germany is in NATO…

And military expending often stimulates capital accumulation, instead of hindering it.

For instance, the US, which is even more succesfull economically than Japan or Germany, has built its whole economy around what their last sane president, Eisenhower, first called "military-industrial complex".


Originally Posted by The Fundamental Attribution Error View Post
Why do Germany and Japan have such large economies today despite losing World War II?

The logic is the opposite. Those countries fought and lost WWII because their economies needed space to grow, space that was denied them by the existing imperialist arrangement.

WWII destroyed that imperialist arrangement, and in the post-war order the restraints that marred the growth of Japanese and German economies - and prompted them into war - no longer exist.


Originally Posted by rednoise View Post
Newton had some personal beliefs that bordered on misogynistic, but I don't ever recall him "ordering" the beating of female members. That would've been a pretty difficult thing for him to do considering women accounted for about 40%, probably more, of the Panthers' membership. If you've got a link to this, I'd be interested in reading it.

We recently had a few cases of rape involving leftist organisations, such as the Swedish RS. It seems to me that the atmosphere of secrecy and conspiracy that so often plagues leftist organisations has to do with that, as well as what another poster called "nepotism" (which isn't actual nepotism, but is a system of clique-esque domination over organisations, that isn't actually better).

I venture that the climate in the BPP was way worse than in the RS in such respect, which, given we don't live in a vacuum, but within a patriarchal society, cannot fail to lead to mysoginistic events.

I don't know if there were beatings of female members, much less if Newton would condone those things if he knew of them, much less ordering it.

The closest thing is that Betty van Patter was assassinated, and it looks quite unlikely that the BPP leadership didn't at the very least know about the murder and opted not do prevent it.

If that was just because she had found evidence of embezzlement, or whether her being female has some relation to it, I can't know.

Anyway, such "revolutionary" cliques can't fail to produce some kind of horror, and then couple it with (usually not very competent) attempt to deny the thing and destroy evidence.


Originally Posted by 870 View Post
Well, some of them. Others coalesced into, for example, the Stahlhelm organisation. Which eventually merged with the paramilitary organisation of the SPD.

Hm, no.

The Stalhelm merged with the SA. Though it would be fairer to say that they were merged into the SA.


Originally Posted by 870 View Post
Alright? How does this negate the counter-revolutionary role played by the SPD, and their connection to the extreme right?

It doesn't.

It was another user who suggested that the SPD opposed "structural anti-semitism". That is not the case, the SPD did not oppose any sort of antu-Semitism and in fact used anti-Semitism liberally. As for the anti-Semitism of the Weimar regime, calling it the result of Christian prejudice ignores the key role of the October Revolution and the anti-communist struggle in fanning the flames of anti-Semitism.

Which eventually coalesced in Hitler's party.


Originally Posted by 870 View Post
Without the backing of the SPD government, the Freikorps would have remained isolated and insignificant groups.

That, probably.

But then without using the Freikorps, the SPD government wouldn't have lasted long either, and the Freikorps would have been probably backed by whatever other counter-revolutionary government replaced Ebert's.

We can debate whether the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt was really formed when Ehrhard proclaimed himself the leader of a unit that existed to a good degree on paper, or when Noske supplied the unit with materiel and official backing,

We could, I suppose. I don't think Noske had the adequate contacts in the military to put up such a unit.

but the fact remains that the SPD never opposed "structural anti-Semitism".

If I attributed any precise meaning to the phrase "structural anti-semitism", it would be easier to agree or disagree.

Anti-semitism was widespread within Weimar Republic. It was more common in the political right, but it was certainly not absent in the political left. That includes the KPD (some of whose leaders seemed to think that "opposing Jewish capital" only needed to be complemented by "opposing non-Jewish capital" to become a complete and coherent opposition to capital as such)* and the SPD.

Without such widespread level of anti-semitism, Hitler et caterva would have been unable to grab power first place, and to implement their "final solution".

Now, if such widespread anti-semitism was "structural", I have no idea.

Hitler and his party's anti-semitism was certainly quite different from it, though. Traditional widespread German (or, more properly, European) anti-semitism was mostly based on old Christian superstitions about the Jews, not on racial pseudo-science, which was what distinguished Hitler's and Nazi anti-semitism (is that the difference between "structural" and "non-structural" anti-semitism?) In any case, it was certainly easy for many people to slide from one kind of anti-semitism to the other (and back again, after the war was lost), and it is quite possible that many didn't even notice the difference.


Originally Posted by 870 View Post
The SPD didn't oppose antisemitism, structural or otherwise. The SPD were the main organisers and backers of the murderously antisemitic Freikorps.

That is false.

The main backers and organisers of the Freikorps where Army officials and local businessmen.

What the SPD did was quite different, though not less treasonous: they used the already existent Freikorps to suppress the revolution.


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