The democratic facade

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The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Sun May 01, 2011 4:16 am

No matter how Plato put it, democracy has become a facade. Typically, the Americo-British machine uses the veil of democracy to invade and further their geopolitical interests. Why do these countries support democracy? Because, somehow, all non-democratic countries are and should be invaded because their people lack 'freedom'. Sound familiar? Liberalism has used this line to further capitalism, and now democracy is the primary way to spread capitalism into countries who are otherwise closed to conventional trade.

I wonder, what gives the right for anyone to physically take over the resources of a nation? There is no right. The excuse is to pursue freedom; the freedom to be exploited. So then, what else does democracy serve? Exploitation. No matter what formal precautions are imposed, there is no way to prevent outside interests from usurping the democratic process. And, in fact, they are encouraged to do so for financial reasons. So then, the door is openned by force through the facade of spreading democracy and from there the economic is absolute taken over by the international capitalist machine for profit.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Sun May 01, 2011 7:56 am

That sort of speech is what the powers that be want you to spout. They decry "democracy" evertime they can, and you are being a good tool for them decrying it too.

Ever wondered why all those "democratic" wars have the same system of political parties and state organization implemented? That's right, because it's that particular system that better serve the ultimate end of transcending democracy itself.

I don't believe in an authoritarian regime to serve the people. That is nonsense, history proved it time and time again, and if we ever needed more proof, the present day "corporations", with their small dictatorship, or "rule by small ellitist committee", are also a good example of how the ones above always get detached of the ones below.


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Re: The democratic facade

Post by GF on Sun May 01, 2011 10:48 am

I agree with you. In my personal opinion, it is because of Capitalism that democracy is a facade. In a Socialist society, I believe a true democracy could exist.

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Re: The democratic facade

Post by hermeticist on Sun May 01, 2011 1:32 pm

godlessnorth wrote:No matter how Plato put it, democracy has become a facade. Typically, the Americo-British machine uses the veil of democracy to invade and further their geopolitical interests. Why do these countries support democracy? Because, somehow, all non-democratic countries are and should be invaded because their people lack 'freedom'. Sound familiar? Liberalism has used this line to further capitalism, and now democracy is the primary way to spread capitalism into countries who are otherwise closed to conventional trade.

"Democracy" is just the current pretext, since the invading countries are ostensibly "democratic." But it could just as well be some other pretext -- "humanitarian values," or "the white man's burden." The West has been doing this for centuries. Take a look at Wallerstein's slim book, "European Universalism." Imperial actions are always dressed up in altruistic garb. The natives are being invaded, tortured, killed, and dispossessed for their own greater good.

I wonder, what gives the right for anyone to physically take over the resources of a nation? There is no right.

"Rights" simply have no meaning. If you're weak you get trampled over. Might as well ask a crocodile or tiger for justice. The language of rights, morality, and decency is used by the weak to attempt to restrain the strong or at least to act as a mitigating factor, and used by the strong to hypocritically cover the motives for what they do. A bit like La Fontaine's fable of "The Wolf and the Lamb":

http://oaks.nvg.org/fonta1.html#wolam

Not trying to express cheap cynicism here but this is the way the world turns.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Sun May 01, 2011 5:58 pm

Right, but capitalism corrupts democracy because it, fundamentally, it allows itself to be corrupted. In fact, democracy encourages corruption. Think about it. If you have the capacity to influence others, that will be your priority under democracy. One thing leads to another and the whole system in undone. It is unavoidable.

hermeticist wrote:"Rights" simply have no meaning. If you're weak you get trampled over.

Slippery slope.

I'd like to know how well you merge the individualistic "might is right" perspective with ideas of socialism.

Left to their lawless devices, humans inevitably exploit one another. The strong have to keep things in check. But under your model, there is no reason for them to uphold anything than there own personal interests.

So no, that's not how the world works.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Sun May 01, 2011 6:42 pm

People can ALWAYS influence others. It is inevitable, the human being is a social being, and therefore, can be influenced.

What i strive to achieve under a socialist banner is to remove the REASON for corruption.

Corruption only happens because one can get their hands on a lot of UNEARNED capital through it. Remove that possibility, as well as the obvious game of interests that political parties are, and there will be no problem.

It would be useless to empower the workers to take charge of the means of production, and then close the control of their own country from them. That would ironically be a HUGE open door to corruption, because in a society where money no longer means power, leaving that position to a few, or one man only, is like leaving the jackpot there for anybody to take.

No, democracy doesn't work now because it can be corrupted. The truth is ANYTHING can be corrupted in capitalism, when money = power, and you can have absurd amounts of money through exploitation.

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Re: The democratic facade

Post by hermeticist on Sun May 01, 2011 8:04 pm

godlessnorth wrote:Slippery slope.

I'd like to know how well you merge the individualistic "might is right" perspective with ideas of socialism.

Left to their lawless devices, humans inevitably exploit one another. The strong have to keep things in check. But under your model, there is no reason for them to uphold anything than there own personal interests.

So no, that's not how the world works.

I can't reconcile the way I would like things to be with the way they are. It is a bit like Orwell's "Animal Farm": after the revolution, the smartest animals (pigs) form a new ruling elite. Human and animal societies function this way. I myself have lived in a collective for a while and seen how some individuals gravitate towards positions of influence while the majority are content to do no more than the bare minimum of what is asked of them. In this sense I can say it take two to tango: those who drift towards positions of power and the majority who are content to follow orders. What the panacea for this is I do not know. Take a group of a thousand random individuals and put them on a desert island; then go back after ten years. There will be a small ruling elite of maybe twenty or thirty, assisted by maybe another eighty or a hundred in second-tier slots.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Admin on Sun May 01, 2011 8:55 pm

hermeticist wrote:"Democracy" is just the current pretext, since the invading countries are ostensibly "democratic." But it could just as well be some other pretext -- "humanitarian values," or "the white man's burden." The West has been doing this for centuries. Take a look at Wallerstein's slim book, "European Universalism." Imperial actions are always dressed up in altruistic garb. The natives are being invaded, tortured, killed, and dispossessed for their own greater good.

You're 100% correct on this point. Let's not forget that Christianity was also once the preeminent imperial pretext.

"Rights" simply have no meaning. If you're weak you get trampled over. Might as well ask a crocodile or tiger for justice. The language of rights, morality, and decency is used by the weak to attempt to restrain the strong or at least to act as a mitigating factor, and used by the strong to hypocritically cover the motives for what they do. A bit like La Fontaine's fable of "The Wolf and the Lamb":

http://oaks.nvg.org/fonta1.html#wolam

Not trying to express cheap cynicism here but this is the way the world turns.

I am very much opposed to this sort of Nietzschean outlook. It has long served as a means of either justifying the status quo or misrepresenting it. (Of course, I disagree with the overall premise that it does justify the prevailing socio-economic system —which is something that Objectivists and other reactionaries posit. However, I would actively oppose any society structured in accordance to those sorts of Nietzschean values. They merely maintain anachronistic systems of social stratification, whilst depriving them of there respective ethical pretenses.)

That being said, I am occasionally sympathetic to various socialistic critiques of political democracy. However, I am nowhere near ready to simply dispense with the notion all together. Most of us here know that democratic values have been conclusively proven to work (and function at an optimal capacity) within the economic sphere. And though the political arena functions quite differently, I think it's presumptuous and patronizing to assume that popular democratic participation would produce an unsavory scenario for any state. A socialist could only object to such an arrangement if it served to undermine economic democracy (a paradoxical scenario, but nonetheless plausible in certain circumstances) or posed a threat to the environment or the general security of the population.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Admin on Sun May 01, 2011 9:31 pm

hermeticist wrote:I can't reconcile the way I would like things to be with the way they are. It is a bit like Orwell's "Animal Farm": after the revolution, the smartest animals (pigs) form a new ruling elite. Human and animal societies function this way. I myself have lived in a collective for a while and seen how some individuals gravitate towards positions of influence while the majority are content to do no more than the bare minimum of what is asked of them. In this sense I can say it take two to tango: those who drift towards positions of power and the majority who are content to follow orders. What the panacea for this is I do not know. Take a group of a thousand random individuals and put them on a desert island; then go back after ten years. There will be a small ruling elite of maybe twenty or thirty, assisted by maybe another eighty or a hundred in second-tier slots.

Animal Farm was not intended to serve as some sort of exposé on 'human nature'; it was written as a critique of Stalinism. (Orwell, a lifelong socialist, hardly found such a political system to be the 'inevitable' outcome of socialist revolution.)

Now, no one is disputing the fact that a modern functioning society requires leadership roles (depending, of course, on a given context). This, however, is a far cry from suggesting that authoritarian models of social stratification and/or gross levels of inequality have some sort biological mandate. Indeed if that were the case, we'd do well to reject socialism all together and simply supplant the prevailing system of capitalism with a more meritocratic expression thereof. No, democracy has been shown to work at various levels and, in a post revolutionary context, I think its application would only expand.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by hermeticist on Sun May 01, 2011 9:53 pm

[quote="Admin"]
hermeticist wrote:Now, no one is disputing the fact that a modern functioning society requires leadership roles (depending, of course, on a given context). This, however, is a far cry from suggesting that authoritarian models of social stratification and/or gross levels of inequality have some sort biological mandate. Indeed if that were the case, we'd do well to reject socialism all together and simply supplant the prevailing system of capitalism with a more meritocratic expression thereof. No, democracy has been shown to work at various levels and, in a post revolutionary context, I think its application would only expand.

True but also not my contention. What I do contend is that biology encourages hierarchy. There are differences in intelligence, energy, and drive. The more intelligent will drift by default to positions of control; the less will drift to positions of passivity and acquiescence. You are right that Animal Farm is a critique of Stalinism, yet I think more can legitmately be read into it. Besides the pigs, few animals had the capacity to learn to read. Some were so stupid (the sheep) that the revolution had to be reduced to a single slogan '"Four legs good, two legs bad." The pigs drifted by default into managerial positions. Now in saying this, I am not of course advocating some sort of autocracy or oligarchy, nor some form of Nietzscheanism (nor, God forbid, Randism). It just seems to me that all animal societies gravitate towards structure in which hierarchy plays a part -- there are alphas, betas, and so on. Nor am I saying I like it. Yet it seems that is the way we are built. What possible solution there is to this, I do not know.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Sun May 01, 2011 11:03 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:People can ALWAYS influence others. It is inevitable, the human being is a social being, and therefore, can be influenced.

Yes, yes. But what I am saying is that democracy encourages people to influence others to further their own personal interests, i.e. the more people you can convince to support your agenda, the more power to you. And so the cycle of corruption begins, inherent from the democracy process itself.

What i strive to achieve under a socialist banner is to remove the REASON for corruption.

Corruption only happens because one can get their hands on a lot of UNEARNED capital through it. Remove that possibility, as well as the obvious game of interests that political parties are, and there will be no problem.

Say Worker's Collective X has claimed a particularlly rich area of resources, are they corrupt by having produced a relative excess or 'unearned' exaggeration of product? Moreover, am I being exploited by being only able to work on barren land and suffer these conditions?

No, corruption does not fit your definition. Corruption is not produced solely through disparity of immediate 'capital' or whatever the equivolent is under socialism. Corruption is caused by people who influence others for personal gain. It is possible to protect against corruption be removing the possibility of manipulating people around you for personal gain.

For this, democracy is too lame. You need a strong arm to dismantle and punish corrupt people. Oh, but who will police the police? I'll get onto that shortly:

It would be useless to empower the workers to take charge of the means of production, and then close the control of their own country from them. That would ironically be a HUGE open door to corruption, because in a society where money no longer means power, leaving that position to a few, or one man only, is like leaving the jackpot there for anybody to take.

Workers should have control, but not too much. Workers are in charge of the means of production so long as they don't manipulate that control for their own personal gain.

You have jumped the gun in assuming the authority would be open for corruption moreso than any other sector. The role of anti-corruption would be an industry like any other under socialism. It is fair that workers may intervene wherever they see corruption emerge in a rival's collective and vice versa. The overal result is that no group gets ahead of any other. Co-operation will be more productive than suspicion. Corruption would be weeded out and when found all proceeds of corruption would be put back into the system.

Sound good? Oh, and here you were assuming I was about to unleash a campaign for despotism...


Last edited by godlessnorth on Mon May 02, 2011 2:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Rev Scare on Mon May 02, 2011 1:15 am

hermeticist wrote:True but also not my contention. What I do contend is that biology encourages hierarchy. There are differences in intelligence, energy, and drive. The more intelligent will drift by default to positions of control; the less will drift to positions of passivity and acquiescence. You are right that Animal Farm is a critique of Stalinism, yet I think more can legitmately be read into it. Besides the pigs, few animals had the capacity to learn to read. Some were so stupid (the sheep) that the revolution had to be reduced to a single slogan '"Four legs good, two legs bad." The pigs drifted by default into managerial positions. Now in saying this, I am not of course advocating some sort of autocracy or oligarchy, nor some form of Nietzscheanism (nor, God forbid, Randism). It just seems to me that all animal societies gravitate towards structure in which hierarchy plays a part -- there are alphas, betas, and so on. Nor am I saying I like it. Yet it seems that is the way we are built. What possible solution there is to this, I do not know.

I do not believe that anybody here is actually positing that innate biological differences do not exist amongst the general population and that they do not contribute to whatever extent toward establishing human hierarchy (provided, of course, that non-biological factors are accounted). The contention is with the stratification of class by artificial means (such as money or political power). An organic society should structure itself naturally (hence "organic") and allow for maximum social mobility, so as to allow those who truly deserve to be in positions of power the opportunity to do so. A lion pride does not exist in such an order where the elder male lions unite to repeatedly annihilate all opposition, but rather, it naturally progresses from generation to generation through fluid social mobility.

I understand the Admin's apprehension and skepticism regarding the Nietzschean philosophical justifications used to defend the fraudulent status-quo. While I believe that reactionaries misinterpret Nietzsche rather than that any inherent defense of the status-quo stems from Nietzsche's own philosophy, his point is well-taken.

Those of you who are going to invoke the banal "might makes right" argument should strive to understand both the dynamics of democracy and the positions of your own assertions. Not only is asserting "might makes right" without stipulating a rational context logically fallacious (i.e., appeal to nature or the naturalistic fallacy), but it serves absolutely no purpose, as it does not actually address questions of social structure, but instead assumes that whatever validity such arguments contain cannot be reconciled with a non-anachronistic status-quo.

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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Mon May 02, 2011 5:14 am

godlessnorth wrote:Yes, yes. But what I am saying is that democracy encourages people to influence others to further their own personal interests, i.e. the more people you can convince to support your agenda, the more power to you. And so the cycle of corruption begins, inherent from the democracy process itself.

And in a authoritarian regime, it's enough to influence the leader to further your agenda, i don't see how that is better.


Say Worker's Collective X has claimed a particularlly rich area of resources, are they corrupt by having produced a relative excess or 'unearned' exaggeration of product? Moreover, am I being exploited by being only able to work on barren land and suffer these conditions?

No, corruption does not fit your definition. Corruption is not produced solely through disparity of immediate 'capital' or whatever the equivolent is under socialism. Corruption is caused by people who influence others for personal gain. It is possible to protect against corruption be removing the possibility of manipulating people around you for personal gain.

What does that mean? The collective who work that land is working the land, so they have the right to reap what they produce from it. If they produce a lot, the market will take care of the value of their surplus, i don't see how that example even equates any "corruption", unless you mean the state would hand them over that land at the expense of others, for not rational reasons, wich is NOT what i advocate, and would actually be impossible in the DEMOCRATIC LOCAL system i advocated.

For this, democracy is too lame. You need a strong arm to dismantle and punish corrupt people. Oh, but who will police the police? I'll get onto that shortly:


Workers should have control, but not too much. Workers are in charge of the means of production so long as they don't manipulate that control for their own personal gain.


So who would have to gain from that? The "owner"? The "nation"? A cooperative collective won't just grow like a corporation, so i don't see the problem of it functioning for the "personal gain" of it's workers.

You have jumped the gun in assuming the authority would be open for corruption moreso than any other sector. The role of anti-corruption would be an industry like any other under socialism. It is fair that workers may intervene wherever they see corruption emerge in a rival's collective and vice versa. The overal result is that no group gets ahead of any other. Co-operation will be more productive than suspicion. Corruption would be weeded out and when found all proceeds of corruption would be put back into the system.

Sound good? Oh, and here you were assuming I was about to unleash a campaign for despotism...

Yes, sounds good, but that is essentially what i cover in my proposed quasi-direct democratic arrangement. So i don't see where this "strong arm" comes into play, unless it is the strong arm of the majorities ,i.e. , democracy.

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Re: The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Mon May 02, 2011 5:53 pm

I suppose I am just paranoid that things will regress into the same-old same-old.

In doing so I think I have misunderstood what you are really proposing.

Leon Mcnichol wrote: the DEMOCRATIC LOCAL system i advocated.

Well, this hit me for six. Where can I read about this?

Localism works, and philosophically I find it very appealing. However in my experience democracy is the exact opposite to localism.

How is it supposed to work?
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Mon May 02, 2011 6:40 pm

Well, no problem godlessnorth. I am here to express my opinions, just like you.

I gave a brief outline of the system i advocate HERE

I can asnwer to any questions concerning it.

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Re: The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Tue May 03, 2011 12:49 am

Leon Mcnichol wrote:Well, no problem godlessnorth. I am here to express my opinions, just like you.

I gave a brief outline of the system i advocate HERE

I can asnwer to any questions concerning it.

Oh yeah, like a onion. Hmmm...

My understanding of localism is as solely independent, perhaps more anarchist than socialist. Anything resembling a national committee can only represent the people in the abstract. Localism is DIRECT participation only.

Even then, democracy is not needed on such a local level, since participation is direct. To impose somekind of national agenda via democracy or otherwise would diminish the power of each individual.

Anyway, neither of us are in a position to assert either by example. That said, some merit to either position is related to how well it can be implemented. Authoritarism is perhaps the most straightforward to impose, through bloody conflict. Perhaps after in power, socialism can be handed over to the people. But again, I speculate too much.

How else can socialism be brought about? I might have to leave that to another time.

Thanks for your insight. It has been stimulating and rewarding.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Tue May 03, 2011 12:59 am

Leon Mcnichol wrote:
godlessnorth wrote:Yes, yes. But what I am saying is that democracy encourages people to influence others to further their own personal interests, i.e. the more people you can convince to support your agenda, the more power to you. And so the cycle of corruption begins, inherent from the democracy process itself.

And in a authoritarian regime, it's enough to influence the leader to further your agenda, i don't see how that is better.


Say Worker's Collective X has claimed a particularlly rich area of resources, are they corrupt by having produced a relative excess or 'unearned' exaggeration of product? Moreover, am I being exploited by being only able to work on barren land and suffer these conditions?

No, corruption does not fit your definition. Corruption is not produced solely through disparity of immediate 'capital' or whatever the equivolent is under socialism. Corruption is caused by people who influence others for personal gain. It is possible to protect against corruption be removing the possibility of manipulating people around you for personal gain.

What does that mean? The collective who work that land is working the land, so they have the right to reap what they produce from it. If they produce a lot, the market will take care of the value of their surplus, i don't see how that example even equates any "corruption", unless you mean the state would hand them over that land at the expense of others, for not rational reasons, wich is NOT what i advocate, and would actually be impossible in the DEMOCRATIC LOCAL system i advocated.

For this, democracy is too lame. You need a strong arm to dismantle and punish corrupt people. Oh, but who will police the police? I'll get onto that shortly:


Workers should have control, but not too much. Workers are in charge of the means of production so long as they don't manipulate that control for their own personal gain.


So who would have to gain from that? The "owner"? The "nation"? A cooperative collective won't just grow like a corporation, so i don't see the problem of it functioning for the "personal gain" of it's workers.

You have jumped the gun in assuming the authority would be open for corruption moreso than any other sector. The role of anti-corruption would be an industry like any other under socialism. It is fair that workers may intervene wherever they see corruption emerge in a rival's collective and vice versa. The overal result is that no group gets ahead of any other. Co-operation will be more productive than suspicion. Corruption would be weeded out and when found all proceeds of corruption would be put back into the system.

Sound good? Oh, and here you were assuming I was about to unleash a campaign for despotism...

Yes, sounds good, but that is essentially what i cover in my proposed quasi-direct democratic arrangement. So i don't see where this "strong arm" comes into play, unless it is the strong arm of the majorities ,i.e. , democracy.

I will have to retract my little stab in the dark regarding this. I wanted to avoid the issue of authority becoming corrupt, but apparently it is unavoidable.

This is not to say I think democracy is any substitute, but that I have to expand my thought process before responding in new discorse.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Coach on Tue May 03, 2011 2:53 am

GodlessNorth, I really don't even understand what you're arguing for, or arguing against. You seem to take a position, and then soon seem to take the opposite position.
Where do you stand? Do you know?
It is impossible to even respond to your posts because you seem all over the place.
I'll bet I'm not only one here who reads you this way.
Why is that?

You're not being clear. At all. It is painful trying to read your posts. Why all this dancing around and juggling? What exactly are you talking about?! I can't tell whether you are talking past, present or future; I can't tell whether you are talking about BOURGEOIS democracy under capitalism or about DIFFERENT workers' democracy under socialism, because you aren't clearly making a class distinction.

How about this: what do you think is the main source motivating corruption?
You can't end corruption if you really don't understand what the main factors motivating it are. You can try to say "power corrupts" as a simplistic common answer, but then I respond "scarcity and thus the inevitable competition for far too limited resources corrupts, but common abundance and real power held in the hands of the working masses makes corruption unnecessary and minimal."
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by godlessnorth on Tue May 03, 2011 5:24 am

Just trying to get some discussion going on here and learn a few things.

I'll take what you said on board.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Rebel Redneck 59 on Tue May 03, 2011 5:39 am

I must admit that I am an Anti Democrat. It would take a separate thread of my own to explain my reasons for being so. At any rate I am willing to work with and tolerate Democrats in order to achieve the goals of Socialist Nationalism. Just my two cents.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Rebel Redneck 59 on Tue May 03, 2011 5:41 am

godlessnorth, I hate to get off topic but may I ask why do you use a Bolshevik symbol as your avatar? I dont want to sound like your typical Cold Warrior but using such a symbol is counterproductive for a Socialist Nationalist.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Isakenaz on Tue May 03, 2011 8:52 am

In his defence (and like you I dan't want to stray off topic), I would argue it is no more counterproductive than the use of the Swastika which some of our members use.
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Admin on Tue May 03, 2011 8:52 am

Rebel Warrior 59 wrote: godlessnorth, I hate to get off topic but may I ask why do you use a Bolshevik symbol as your avatar? I dont want to sound like your typical Cold Warrior but using such a symbol is counterproductive for a Socialist Nationalist.

I personally see no problem with it. What's important is what those symbols are intended to represent (the proletariat and peasantry), as opposed to their conventional affiliations with the Soviets and other Marxist-Leninist movements. Really, it's a little early to worry about perceptions of the general public. (Its adoption by some Socialist Nationalists is likely to bode well with sections of the left, which we would do well to attract to our ranks.)

In any case, 'godlessnorth' would hardly be the first nationalist to utilize the symbol. Let's recall the the Russian National Bolsheviks.





Ultimately, we cannot afford to be antagonistic towards any socialists this group may attract, for our goal is to build up Socialist Nationalism with as many revolutionary socialists and progressive nationalists as possible. As such, whenever we do attract members with orthodox Marxist, traditional Anarchist, etc. tendencies, our task should be to expose them to our way of thinking, in the hope that our views resonate enough with them to cause those comrades to embrace them.


Last edited by Admin on Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Tue May 03, 2011 9:22 am

godlessnorth wrote:
Oh yeah, like a onion. Hmmm...

Thanks for your insight. It has been stimulating and rewarding.

That's an interesting comparison yes.

I'm glad i could be of assist comrade, that's what we are all here for.

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Re: The democratic facade

Post by Celtiberian on Tue May 03, 2011 1:49 pm

hermeticist wrote:"Democracy" is just the current pretext, since the invading countries are ostensibly "democratic." But it could just as well be some other pretext -- "humanitarian values," or "the white man's burden." The West has been doing this for centuries. Take a look at Wallerstein's slim book, "European Universalism." Imperial actions are always dressed up in altruistic garb. The natives are being invaded, tortured, killed, and dispossessed for their own greater good.

Indeed. Many of the most atrocious crimes against humanity throughout history have been committed using altruistic justifications; not only as a means by which to ensure the compliance of the masses, but the perpetrators themselves often truly believe that they were acting on behalf of the "greater good" of society, as opposed to merely unenlightened self-interest—which should tell us something about human nature.

As for whether or not war or imperialism is unavoidable, I suggest Swanson's War is a Lie to everyone on this thread. The fact of the matter is, most people don't want to be shipped off to fight wars which benefit the opulent minority, they have to be psychologically manipulated into believing they're fighting in defense of their families and/or nation in some capacity.

"Rights" simply have no meaning.


Rights mean whatever we say they mean. While I agree that there is no objective foundation to any particular set of rights (thereby rendering concepts such as "Natural Law" to be utter nonsense), that doesn't mean that rights are a meaningless concept altogether.

The laws any given society enacts can only properly function provided the majority of society offers its explicit or implicit consent. That isn't to say that the masses can't be made to comply to laws and/or institutions they don't necessarily believe in, they can obviously be coerced into doing so, but that is often a hindrance to governance.

Hierarchy is an unavoidable feature of any feasible society, but the question remains: Do we want an unaccountable hierarchy, or do we want people who are in positions of authority to be accountable to those they govern? Democracy is the only method that ensures leaders aren't allowed free reign to act however they please. I think Noam Chomsky summarizes the important of democracy quite well:



Obviously our contemporary bourgeois "democracies" are a sham, but democratic institutions can be constructed which actually function—requisite conditions to a functioning democracy being: abolishing ones ability to accumulate vast sums of wealth (which enables people to effectively buy political power), ensuring appropriate levels of civilian oversight and institutional transparency, etc. Democracy isn't a panacea, neither is socialism for that matter, but democracy and socialism represent a step forward for our people; they're both superior to what preceded them. Society will never be perfect, and we shouldn't expect perfection considering the innate flaws we possess as a species—or as Immanuel Kant wrote: "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made."


Last edited by Celtiberian on Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:47 am; edited 9 times in total

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Re: The democratic facade

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