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nate96b10 asked this question on 9/30/2000:

Have the principle theories of communism and socialism been proven false or have the circumstances and improper practice of those theories been the cause of failure in governments of that type? I hope that is stated clearly.

JasonSmith gave this response on 10/2/2000:

Dear nate96b10:

(1) Actually, all of the predictions of Marxist theory have come true exactly as we expected that they would. As far as the collapse of the Soviet Union and East Europe is concerned the imperialist propagandists have been having a field day announcing the fall of communism and other assorted crap.

(2) Those of us who watched what was happening in the post-Stalin period concluded in and or about 1959-65 that Mao was right and that capitalism had been restored in the Soviet Union and East Europe already! So, even though the New Czars weren't ready to throw off their sheeps clothing for another 25 years or so didn't change the fact that Socialism as a transitional stage had suffered severe losses in that part of the world.

(3) When one compares the growth of capitalism as a stage in both the West and the East do we see something similar in terms of the ebb and flow of the political power of the bourgeoisie?

Yes we do. Absolutely. Particularly in Europe where the Feudal overburden hangs on - virtually until the end of World War II. Britain was the first modernized capitalist country to feature the bourgeoisie in political power - but even they were in alliance with the old landed Feudalist elements. -And, that was some 150 years after the death of the Lord Protector (Oliver Cromwell 1858)who had fought to put them in power successfully during the two English Civil Wars. The fact that he was unsuccessful in maintaining them in power was due to the fact that they (the English capitalists) did not yet have the technological prerequisites to make machinofacture the solid basis for the manufacture of profits that it would be by 1765 when all five elements were in place (i - steam engines; ii - blast furnaces for wrought and pig iron; iii - machine tools to cut iron and steel and make machinery; iv - machinery; v - factories in which to install machinery and apply purchased labor-power.)

(4) In much the same way the first working class government in the world - that of VI Lenin confronted an extremely backward situation which mitigated against success from Day One of the Bolshevik Revolution in October [os] 1917. The fact that they did succeed and in the end although Russia has fallen out of the camp for the moment that Socialism as a Stage has survived on the global scale (in China, Cuba, etc.) is reminiscent of the success of the bourgeoisie in North America following the death of Cromwell and fall of bourgeois rule in England in 1858. In fact, capitalism was here to stay even if the Feudalists in Europe didn't know it - but, in the backwater of New England where the bourgeoisie didn't have a Feudal overburden (Dukes, Earls, Counts, etc.) to have to deal with.

(5) The 21st century will see the internalization of all of these lessons and the continuing advance of workers to take state power into their own hands. For one thing we have not yet seen what will happen when workers take power in a modern capitalist country (West Europe; North America; Japan.)

(6) There are always propagandist for the ruling classes around to tell you lies about Marxism and about its "failures" - keep your eyes and ears open for the rapid development of the Socialist Camp in the 21st century for the struggle has just begun and will last at least one more if not several more centuries.

Best wishes, Jason W. Smith, Ph.D.

 

natashagarza7 asked this question on 9/29/2000:

Can you please tell me what socialism is?

JasonSmith gave this response on 10/2/2000:

Dear Natasha: Yes, I will be happy to explain socialism to you. However, we need to define our frame of reference first. Which is to say the word "socialism" means different things to different people.

(1) First of all let us define "socialism" within the context of Marxism rather than some other context.

(2) Within Marxism from the very early days of Karl Marx writing (1843-44 in this case) socialism also had consistently two different meanings. In fact, a kind of "sloppiness" existed everywhere with regard to the way the term was used.

Marx at some times used the term "socialism" to refer to the "end" goal of working class struggle; at other times he spoke of the "end" goal as being as "human power" a higher than "socialism" stage of social evolution.

- And, at still other times (later - mainly after the Bolshevik Revolution of October [os] 1917) socialism came to be used as a term for the TRANSITIONAL PERIOD OF PROLETARIAN DICTATORSHIP.

(3) In general in a socialist society which is transitional "socialism" refers to the public ownership of the means of production - or at least of the commanding heights of the economy (finance capital, the banks, the basic heavy industries such as steel, etc.)

(4) In practice, however, Socialism as a transitional stage as in the USSR, China, Cuba and other socialist countries was characterized by public ownership of everything (in the area of means of production) in the cities and eventually collectivization of agriculture.

(5) In sociocultural evolutionary terms the correct way to view socialism is as follows:

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2nd Egalitarian Epoch

STAR TREK level of society

Communism

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2nd Intermediate Period

Modern Socialism (a la China, Cuba) Stage

Stalinist Socialism Stage

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Servitude Epoch

Capitalism

Feudalism

Slavery

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1st Intermediate Period

Advanced Theocratic Chiefdoms

Simple Chiefdoms

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1st Egalitarian Epoch

Tribal Agricultural Stage

Hunting and Gathering Bands 3 Stage

Hunting and Gathering Bands 2 Stage

Hunting and Gathering Bands 1 Stage

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The primitive horde of people-like apes

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Hopefully, this answer will assist you in your work.

Best wishes,

Jason W. Smith, Ph.D.

 

Anonymous asked this question on 10/31/2000:

Can you give me a brief history of religion? When did organized religions first appear? Was religion something invented by man? No websites references please.

JasonSmith gave this response on 11/1/2000:

Dear Anonymous: Let's begin by defining some terms. (1)Religion is a system within the Superstructure of society - a worldview - a philosophy - which belongs to the "idealist" half of philosophy in that it allows for the existence of supernatural forces and causation.

(2) In this sense there are two fundamental kinds of religion. Those that belong to primitive communist societies (hunting and gathering Bands and Agricultural Tribes) which are animistic and animatistic. The first features the things of nature (wind, water, animals, etc.) as having the supernatural factors within them; the second includes these plus the things of humans (mana, surplus, beads, etc.) as having supernatural powers. the latter comes into existence in First Intermediate Period type of society (which is to say the Chiefdoms - either Simple ones or Advanced and Theocratic ones.)

(3) Organized religion is created by humans when society approaches division into classes with different rights over the means of production and distribution. That is, religion with written, systematized dogma, professional practitioners (e.g., priests and priestesses, temple harlots, monks and nuns, etc.)monumental architecture (churches) and the like is all a product of The most Advanced Theocratic Chiefdom Stage and of Slavery. It never existed before, and of course, could not, for there was no concentrated surplus to support such a caste (now class) of specialists.

(4) Hopefully, this is a brief enough explanation to your questions.

Best wishes, Jason W. Smith, Ph.D.

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