Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

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Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by RedSun on Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:04 pm

Though I agree in principle with the idea of sufficiently educating the masses that they become competent to govern their own affairs directly (a process which can and should start at the revolutionary stage, continuing right up to the establishment of a democratically planned economy), I have an ingrained cynicism (based on past & present experience) about the ability of the masses to make good decisions, especially while they are still learning to do so. It seems to me that a certain amount of, for lack of a better word, authoritarian control will need to be exercised in the earlier stages of socialist government.
For example:
-Prevention of voting rights for remaining bourgeoisie while they are being incorporated into the proletariat
-Banning of anticommunist parties
-Retainment of a relatively strong army (an inherently authoritarian system in itself) in order to defend against capitalist imperialism without and counterrevolutionary forces within
-Government influence on school curriculum (or a political youth league) to teach youth about socialism and help train them to govern their own affairs

Of course, there would need to be sufficient restraint on such power that the proletariat could take power when the time was right, as well as a clear definition of when that time was; I have read 1984. I'm just not sure how to correctly reconcile sufficient government authority with sufficient popular freedom.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas for other things that should be under gov't control? Angry responses?

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Re: Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:30 pm

RedSun wrote:Though I agree in principle with the idea of sufficiently educating the masses that they become competent to govern their own affairs directly (a process which can and should start at the revolutionary stage, continuing right up to the establishment of a democratically planned economy), I have an ingrained cynicism (based on past & present experience) about the ability of the masses to make good decisions, especially while they are still learning to do so. It seems to me that a certain amount of, for lack of a better word, authoritarian control will need to be exercised in the earlier stages of socialist government.
For example:
-Prevention of voting rights for remaining bourgeoisie while they are being incorporated into the proletariat
-Banning of anticommunist parties
-Retainment of a relatively strong army (an inherently authoritarian system in itself) in order to defend against capitalist imperialism without and counterrevolutionary forces within
-Government influence on school curriculum (or a political youth league) to teach youth about socialism and help train them to govern their own affairs

Of course, there would need to be sufficient restraint on such power that the proletariat could take power when the time was right, as well as a clear definition of when that time was; I have read 1984. I'm just not sure how to correctly reconcile sufficient government authority with sufficient popular freedom.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas for other things that should be under gov't control? Angry responses?

I disagree with the banning of other parties, as the people should have developed enough class consciousness to realize who is their real enemy. I also support the seizing of what should be public property and assets, ie: factories, capitalist bank accounts, ect. Without their assets, the bourgeoisie are no different from the proletarians. How this seizure would take place is a matter of debate for me, but I do not favor the branding of the bourgeoisie as traitors to society when their environmental and cultural pressures drove them to compete. Throwing them into the same socio-economic situation as the proletarians would be better than sending them to gulags. They are simply indoctrinated to do what they do.

On a similar note I should address your idea of a government indoctrination program (at least that's what it sounds like). What we want are informed, critically thinking citizens, not religiously fervent followers of an ideology. Socialism doesn't need that kind of sponsorship, in fact, I think that it could cause even more resistance from reactionary parties. I do; however, think that civics and political science should be incorporated into public school curriculums. Politics should be learned objectively and without bias, as should everything else.

I also have problems reconciling the fact that not everyone has the same views of politics as I, leading me to be tempted by authoritarian urges. You're not the only one.

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Re: Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by RedSun on Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:32 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I disagree with the banning of other parties, as the people should have developed enough class consciousness to realize who is their real enemy.

I just want to prevent the chance of a counterrevolutionary faction arising when material conditions don't immediately get better, which they won't. In general, though, I agree that a successful revolution will of necessity mean a class-conscious people.

I also support the seizing of what should be public property and assets, ie: factories, capitalist bank accounts, ect. Without their assets, the bourgeoisie are no different from the proletarians. How this seizure would take place is a matter of debate for me, but I do not favor the branding of the bourgeoisie as traitors to society when their environmental and cultural pressures drove them to compete. Throwing them into the same socio-economic situation as the proletarians would be better than sending them to gulags. They are simply indoctrinated to do what they do.

I absolutely agree. There are a few couple of people whom I would dearly like to see held to account for their actions, both in business and government, however, but I don't intend to prosecute anyone simply for having been a capitalist.

On a similar note I should address your idea of a government indoctrination program (at least that's what it sounds like). What we want are informed, critically thinking citizens, not religiously fervent followers of an ideology. Socialism doesn't need that kind of sponsorship, in fact, I think that it could cause even more resistance from reactionary parties. I do; however, think that civics and political science should be incorporated into public school curriculums. Politics should be learned objectively and without bias, as should everything else.

Ideally, this would be less indoctrination than teaching, but I agree. That's why I prefer the youth league to the socialist school curriculum, which should be impartial. I'm trying to create a new generation of socialists and prevent reactionary parents from raising their children to be counterrevolutionaries. Youth groups have the advantage of peer influence. I think that this can be done reasonably and not religiously as it has been done before, in order to facilitate the aforementioned ideological commitment and training in self-management.

I also have problems reconciling the fact that not everyone has the same views of politics as I, leading me to be tempted by authoritarian urges. You're not the only one.

This is the reason I arrived at this site, actually: I was trying to find a non-racist group of neofascists, having come to the conclusion that people couldn't be trusted, and the closest I could find was National Bolshevism, which through links brought me here. Piling on the irony, I didn't find Iron March till I was searching for a good avatar to use here, by which point I'd already realised that educating the masses is the better alternative.

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Re: Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:29 pm

I admire your adherence to logical discussion, and, as usual, we agree nearly entirely.

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Re: Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by RedSun on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:18 pm

Despite my preference for education over authoritarian rule, I remain somewhat unsure as to how one is educated in self-government. Do we just teach them socialism, class-consciousness, and a bit of poli sci and hope they can make good decisions? How do we know when they're sufficiently educated?

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Re: Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by 4thsupporter on Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:12 pm

I would say that education, like the economy its self would be planned by the masses, but the subjects you pointed out would most likely be taught. after the revolution in Russia Lenin planned not only to teach these things but remove false consciousness and religion as well. i believe in the case of testing there wit, exams and all the such would be fine. But it is all dependent on the way masses at the time would choose to organize education so a prediction to exactly how it would be done is quite hard to make in my opinion.

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Re: Socialist Governance, the Sequel: Democracy & Authoritarianism

Post by GF on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:59 pm

RedSun wrote:Though I agree in principle with the idea of sufficiently educating the masses that they become competent to govern their own affairs directly (a process which can and should start at the revolutionary stage, continuing right up to the establishment of a democratically planned economy), I have an ingrained cynicism (based on past & present experience) about the ability of the masses to make good decisions, especially while they are still learning to do so. It seems to me that a certain amount of, for lack of a better word, authoritarian control will need to be exercised in the earlier stages of socialist government.
For example:
-Prevention of voting rights for remaining bourgeoisie while they are being incorporated into the proletariat
-Banning of anticommunist parties
-Retainment of a relatively strong army (an inherently authoritarian system in itself) in order to defend against capitalist imperialism without and counterrevolutionary forces within
-Government influence on school curriculum (or a political youth league) to teach youth about socialism and help train them to govern their own affairs

Of course, there would need to be sufficient restraint on such power that the proletariat could take power when the time was right, as well as a clear definition of when that time was; I have read 1984. I'm just not sure how to correctly reconcile sufficient government authority with sufficient popular freedom.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Ideas for other things that should be under gov't control? Angry responses?

I pretty much agree, except I think the party, while it shouldn't hold all the power (I believe it ought to have to balance the power with the democratically elected and instantly recallable representatives of the proletariat), ought to have some power, as I explained in the statement in parantheses.

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