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Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way?

Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way?


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I read somewhere that Amadeo Bordiga, Italian Communist, said something along these lines to Stalin's face:

If the Soviet Union is the homeland of all proletarians and the revolution, then let it be governed by a joint committee of international communist parties!

This is from memory and I'm sure the wording is wrong. I thought I read the quote a few years back in this text by Loren Goldner - "Communism is the Material Human Community", however, all I find is this:

Bordiga was the last Western revolutionary who told off Stalin to his face (in 1926) as the gravedigger of the revolution and lived to tell the tale. He was ousted from the PCI in the same year and took several thousand "Bordigists" with him.

German wikipedia, Bordiga also only mentions that he called Stalin a traitor to the revolution (in 1925).

It is of course possible that the quote I remember was in an earlier version of the text and was removed because it was wrong/inaccurate. The quote is kinda awesome though and I want to know if he really said it, and in what context.


It seems that Bordiga may indeed have expressed that sentiment at the Sixth Enlarged Executive Committee Plenum of the Comintern in Moscow in 1926.

In Loren Goldner's paper, Amadeo Bordiga, the Agrarian Question and the International Revolutionary Movement, published in Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory, 1995 (which may be the paper that you were thinking of) she says:

In his final confrontation with Stalin in Moscow in 1926, Bordiga proposed that all the Communist Parties of the world should jointly rule the Soviet Union, as a demonstration of the supra-national reality of the workers' movement. This proposal was, needless to say, coolly received by Stalin and his friends.

A footnote notes that:

This intervention was made at the Sixth Enlarged Executive Committee Plenum of the Comintern in 1926.


The immediate program of the revolution - Amadeo Bordiga

A short article on revolutionary demands, by Amadeo Bordiga, from 'Sul filo del tempo', May 1953.

With the resurgence of the movement which occurred on a world scale after the First World War and which was expressed in Italy by the founding of the PCI, it became clear that the most pressing question was the seizure of political power, which the proletariat could not accomplish by legal means but through violence, that the best opportunity for reaching that end was the military defeat of one&rsquos own country, and that the political form after victory was to be the dictatorship of the proletariat, which in turn is the first precondition for the following task of socio-economic overthrow.

The &ldquoCommunist Manifesto&rdquo clearly pointed out the different measures are to be grasped as gradually possible and "despotic" - because the road to complete communism is very long - in dependence upon the level of development of the productive forces in the country in which the proletariat first attains victory and in accordance with how quickly this victory spreads to other countries. It designates the measures which in 1848 were the order of the day for the advanced countries and it emphasizes that they are not to be treated as complete socialism but as steps which are to be identified as preliminary, immediate and essentially &ldquocontradictory&rdquo.

Later in some countries many of the measures at that time considered to be those of the proletarian dictatorship were implemented by the bourgeoisie itself: i.e. free public education, a national bank etc.

This was one of the aspects which deceived those who did not follow a fixed theory, but believed it required perpetual further development as a result of historical change.

That the bourgeoisie itself took these specific measures does not mean that the exact laws and predictions on the transition from the capitalist to the socialist mode of production have to be changed in their entire economic, political and social configuration It only means that the first post-revolutionary, the lower and final higher stages of socialism (or total communism) are still antecedent periods, which is to say that the economics of transition will be somewhat easier.

The distinguishing mark of classical opportunism was to make believe that the bourgeois democratic state could accomplish all these measures from first to last if only the proletariat brought enough pressure to bear, and that it was even possible to accomplish this in a legal manner. However these various &ldquocorrections&rdquo - insofar as they were compatible with the capitalist mode of production - were in that case in the interest of the survival of capitalism and their implementation served to postpone its collapse, while those which were not compatible were naturally not applied.

With its formula of an always more widely developed popular democracy within the context of the parliamentary constitution contemporary opportunism has taken up a different and more evil duty.

Not only does it make the proletariat think that a state standing over classes and parties is capable of carrying out some of its own fundamental tasks (which is to say it diffuses defeatism with regards to dictatorship - like social democracy before it), it deploys the masses it organizes in struggles for &ldquodemocratic and progressive&rdquo social arrangements in diametrical opposition to those which proletarian power has set as its goal since 1848 and the &ldquoManifesto&rdquo.

Nothing better illustrates the full magnitude of this retrogression then a listing of the measures to take after the seizure of power in a country of the capitalist West. After a century these &ldquocorrections&rdquo are different from those enumerated in the &ldquoManifesto&rdquo, however their characteristics are the same.

A listing of these demands looks like this:

&ldquoDe-investment of capital&rdquo means of production are assigned a smaller proportion in relation to consumer goods.

&ldquoIncrease of production costs&rdquo - so that as long as wages, money and the market still exist - more remuneration is exchanged for less labor time.

&ldquoDrastic reduction of labor time&rdquo - by at least half as unemployment and socially useless and damaging activities will shortly become things of the past.

A reduction in the mass of what is produced through an &ldquounder-production plan&rdquo which is to say the concentration of production on what is necessary as well as an &ldquoauthoritarian regulation of consumption&rdquo by which the promotion of useless, damaging and luxury consumption goods is combated and activities which propagate a reactionary mentality are violently prohibited.

Rapid &ldquodissolution of the boundaries of the enterprise&rdquo whereby decisions on production are not assigned to the workforce, but the new consumption plan determines what is to be produced.

&ldquoRapid abolition of social services&rdquo whereby the charity hand-outs characteristic of commodity production are replaced by a social (initial minimum) provision for those incapable of work.

&ldquoConstruction freeze&rdquo on the rings of housing and workplaces around major and small cities in order to spread the population more and more equally throughout the land area of the country. With a ban on unnecessary transportation, limitation of traffic and speed of transportation.

&ldquoA decisive struggle against professional specialization&rdquo and the social division of labor though the removal of any possibility of making a career or obtaining a title.

Immediate politically determined measures to put the schools, the press, all means of communication and information, as well as the entire spectrum of culture and entertainment under the control of the communist state.

It is not surprising that the Stalinists and those akin to them, together with their parties in the West today demand precisely the reverse - not only in terms of the &ldquoinstitutional&rdquo and also political-legal objectives, but even in terms of the &ldquostructural&rdquo which is to say socio-economic objectives.

The cause of this is their coordination with the party which presides over the Russian state and its fraternal countries, where the task of social transformation remains that of transition from pre-capitalist forms to capitalism: With all the corresponding ideological, political, social, and economic demands and pretensions in their baggage aiming towards a bourgeois zenith - they turn away with horror only from a medieval nadir.

Their Western cronies remain nauseating renegades insofar as the feudal danger (which is still material and real in insurgent areas of Asia) is non-existent and false with regards to the bloated super-capitalism across the Atlantic and for the proletarians who stagnate under its civilized, liberal and nationalist knout it is a lie.


First Day

By submitting another article, a good two years after his last article, (that infamous text on linguistics1 which we had to deal with only incidentally, but which would be worthy of detailed treatment nevertheless, quod differtur2) about 50 pages long3, Stalin responds to topics that have been presented in the last two years not only in the series "Thread of Time", but also in the workshops on the theory and programme of Marxism conducted by our Movement, and which have been published in summarized or detailed form.

By which we do not mean that Stalin (or his secretariat, whose networks span the globe) would have looked at this material and turned to us. We must not believe that if we are real Marxists, the great historical disputes required personified protagonists presenting themselves to the astounded humanity - as if an angel on his cloud were blowing into the heavenly trumpet, and Dante's demon Barbariccia responds with a sound that comes "de profundis", that is, from the depths, in the realest, known to you, sense of the word4. Or like the Christian Paladin and the Saracen Sultan, who, before they draw their sparkling sabers, introduce themselves in a loud voice, challenge each other with the list of their ancestors and victorious tournaments and swear death to each other.

That’s just what was missing! On the one hand, the highest leader of the world's largest state and the "communist" world proletariat, and on the other hand, a nobody, a nothing.

In reality, the facts and material forces acting in the substructure deterministically take up the discussion among themselves and those who then dictate the text or hack into the keys are, like those who give the lecture, mere mechanisms, loudspeakers that passively convert the waves into voices and it is not said that a loudspeaker with a power of 2000 watts doesn't just produce the greatest nonsense.

It is therefore the same questions that emerge with regard to the importance of both social conditions in today's Russia and international relations at the economic, political and military levels they impose themselves just as much up there as they do down here, and they can only be clarified if they are juxtaposed with the theory that grasps what has already happened and is known, and if these questions are juxtaposed with the history of this theory, which a very long time ago - which remains indelible - was a common one.

So we know very well that Stalin's answer from the upper Kremlin stories does not respond to our words and is not addressed to us. In order to continue the debate, it is not even necessary for him to know our theoretical organs5. The things and forces - whether large or small, past, present or future - remain the same, despite the whims of symbolism. When the ancient philosophy wrote "sunt nomina rerum" (literally: the names belong to things), she wanted to say that things do not belong to the name. Translated into our language, this means: the thing determines the name, not the other way round. You can continue to dedicate 99% of your work to the name, portraits, epithets, lives and graves of the great men: we will continue in the shadows, knowing that soon the generation will come who will only smile at you, you famous men of the great and very small calibre.

But the things between the lines in Stalin's writing are too important for us to deny him the dialogue. For this reason, and not from a “á tout seigneur tout honneur”, we answer and expect the new appeal - even if it takes another two years, because we don't have a hurry (isn’t it true, ex-Marxist?).

Tomorrow and Yesterday

All of the issues dealt with by Stalin are junctions of Marxism and almost all of them are old nails, which we insistently demanded that they be struck firmly before we presume to forge the future.

Of course, the majority of the political "viewers" distributed among the various camps were not impressed by what Stalin had come back to in a suggestive way, but by what he anticipated about an uncertain future. Rushing onto it (because that's what is causing a stir) neither friend nor foe understood a single word and presented strange and exaggerated versions. The perspective - that is their obsession. If the observers are a bunch of fools, the machinist is no better off: He, who starts the machine from his high prison, the highest offices of governmental power, is currently in a position in which he is least likely to be able to see and anticipate himself. So while all of the impressive predictions cause excitement, we are concerned with what came to him as a result of his retrospect (where he is not blocked by kippers and a lot of whirlwind). In accordance with the existentialist credo, everyone obeys the utterly dumb imperative: to talk, and the political press provides entertainment just when it reveals the future and reports about prophecies that a "great name" has lowered itself down to pronounce. This time something unexpected came about: nothing of world revolution, nothing of peace anymore, but also no "holy" war between Russia and the rest of the world, but rather the inevitable war between the capitalist states, which Russia - for the time being - is not counted among. No news for Marxism, but also interesting for us who do not have a particular fondness for political cinema, where the cinema-goer doesn't care much whether what he sees is "really true" or not. And in the dream world of the land of boundless opportunities, luxurious restaurants, white telephones or the embrace of a flawless supervenus made of celluloid, the spectator, the small employee or the wage slave, returns contentedly to his hovel, where he approaches his wife, who is embarrassed by the troubles of work, if he does not replace her with a street beauty.

Well, instead of focusing on the starting point - because that is essential - everyone has rushed to the end. One would have to put a stop to this whole flock of half-idiots, who crumbled their heads over the "after", and repulse the study of the "before" that would be a lot easier, but they can't think of that. Although one does not understand the opened page, one does not resist the temptation to turn the page further, in the hope of becoming wise after all from the previous one so it happens that the fool becomes more and more stupid.

In whatever shape the police commanding public peace, who the West is so disgusted at (where the means of dulling and standardizing the skulls are ten times bigger and more repugnant): The definition of the social stage reached and the running economic wheelwork in Russia is a question that imposes itself - leading to the following dilemma: Should we continue to claim that the Russian economy is socialist, respectively in the first stage of communism, or do we have to admit that despite state industrialism, it is governed by the law of value inherent to capitalism? Stalin seems to be attacking the last thesis and slowing down economists and plant managers who are in a hurry to accept it. In reality, he is preparing the confession6 that will soon follow and be useful in the revolutionary sense as well. But the bullshit organized by the "free world" reads from it the announcement of the transition to the higher stage of full communism!

In order to bring the question to the fore, Stalin makes use of the classical method. It would be easy to bet on a different color that would free him from any obligation to Marx and Lenin's school, but even the bank itself could be blown up at this stage of the game. So instead we start from ovo. Well, that is all right for us, since we have not bet anything in history’s roulette and learned from childhood on: our cause is that of the proletariat, which has nothing to lose. Stalin explains that a "textbook of the Marxist economy" is necessary (we are in 1952), not only for the Soviet youth, but also for comrades in other countries. So watch out, inexperienced and forgetful!

To include a chapter on Lenin and Stalin as the founders of the political economy of socialism in such a book, even Stalin considers superfluous because it would not bring anything new. That's right, if he wants to say what is already known: they both didn't invent it, but learned it - Lenin always emphasized this.

Now that we are moving on to the field of strict terminology and "school" wording, we must say in advance that we have a preprint of Stalin's text, which the Stalinist newspapers themselves have taken from a non-Russian press agency. We will look up in the full text as soon as possible7.

Commodities and Socialism

The reference to the basic elements of Marxist economics serves Stalin to discuss the "system of commodity production in socialism". We have explained in various texts (avoiding to say anything new) that every system of commodity production is a non-socialist system this is exactly what we will reaffirm. If Stalin (Stalin, again and again Stalin we are dealing here with an article that could just as well have come from a commission that could "in 100 years" have replaced or discredited Stalin: for simplicity's sake, however, it is useful to use names as symbols for complex events and contexts) had spoken of a system of commodity production after the conquest of power by the proletariat, this would not have been a monstrosity.

Referring to Engels, it seems that some "comrades" in Russia have said that the maintenance of the system of commodity production (respectively the commodity character of the products) after nationalization of the means of production meant to maintain the capitalist economic system. Stalin is certainly not the man who could theoretically prove them wrong. If, however, they say that, in case they say it, one had been able to eliminate commodity production and had only neglected or forgotten it, then they should be mistaken.

But Stalin wants to prove that in a "socialist country" (a word belonging to a questionable school) commodity production can exist, and he draws upon the Marxist definitions and their clear, albeit perhaps not entirely flawless, synthesis in Lenin's propaganda brochure8.

We have dealt several times with this subject, i. e. commodity production, its emergence and rule, its clearly capitalist character.9 According to Josef Stalin, precise plans can be drawn up within commodity production without fearing that the terrible maelstrom of the commodity world will draw the careless pilot into the middle of the vortex and devour him in the capitalist abyss. However, his article reveals (to whom reading it as a Marxist) that the vortexes are becoming ever tighter and faster - as predicted in theory.

The commodity, as Lenin reminds, is a thing with a double character: it satisfies some human need and is exchangeable for another thing. And the lines just before say simply: “In capitalist society, the production of commodities is predominant, and Marx’s analysis therefore begin with an analysis of commodity.“

The commodity thus possesses these two characteristics, and it does only become a commodity when the second characteristic is added to the first. The first, use value, is comprehendable even for flat materialists like us, even for a child. It can be sensually experienced: once licked on a piece of sugar, we stretch out our hands once more for a sugar cube. But the road is long - Marx flies over it in this great paragraph - until the sugar takes on an exchange value and one comes to the delicate problem of Stalin, who is surprised that one established an equivalence between grain and cotton.

Marx, Lenin, Stalin and we know very well what a hell dance is going on as soon as exchange value appears. What did Lenin say? Where the bourgeois economists saw relationships between things, Marx discovered relationships between people! What do the three volumes of Marx's "Capital" and the nearly 50 pages of Lenin's work prove? Very simple. Where conventional economics sees perfect equivalence in exchange, we no longer see exchangeable things, but people in a social movement, we no longer see equivalence, but a scam. Karl Marx speaks of a spook that gives the goods this strange and at first glance incomprehensible character. Lenin, like any other Marxist, would have grabbed the cold horror at the idea of being able to produce and exchange goods while at the same time expelling their inherent devil through exorcism. Does Stalin believe that? Or does he just want to tell us that the devil is stronger than himself?

Just as the ghosts of medieval knights took revenge on Cromwell's revolution by bourgeoisly haunting the castles left to the Landlords, so the goblin fetish of the commodity runs inexorably through the halls of the Kremlin, and behind the rush of words sounding from the speakers of the nineteenth party convention, one can hear gloating laughter10.

When he wants to establish that commodity production and capitalism are not absolutely identical, Stalin again makes use of our method. Following the historical course backwards, he points out, like Marx, that in certain forms of society (slavekeeper order, feudalism, etc.) commodity production existed but "did not lead to capitalism". This is indeed what Marx says in a passage of his historical summary, but he has developed it quite differently and with a completely different aim. The bourgeois economist claims that the system of commodity production is the only possible mechanism to combine production with consumption - he knows all too well that as long as this mechanism is in place, capital will continue to dominate the world. Marx replies: We will see where the historical trend is heading first of all, I force you to acknowledge the irrefutable facts of the past: it wasn't always commodity production that ensured that the consumer was supplied with the product of labour. As examples, he mentions the primitive societies based on collecting and direct consumption, the ancient forms of the family and the tribe, the feudal system of direct consumption within self-sufficient circles, in which the products did not have to take on a commodity form. With the development and complexity of technology and needs, sectors emerge that are first supplied by barter trade and then by actual trade. Which proves that commodity production, including private property, is neither "natural" nor, as the bourgeois claims, permanent and eternal. The late appearance of commodity production (the system of commodity production, as Stalin says) and its existence on the sidelines of other modes of production serve Marx to show that commodity production, after it has become universal, just after the spread of the capitalist production system, must go down with it.

It would take too long if we wanted to cite the Marxist passages directed against Proudhon, Lassalle, Rodbertus and many others, denouncing any attempt to reconcile commodity production with the socialist emancipation of the proletariat.

For Lenin, this is the cornerstone of Marxism. It would be quite difficult to reconcile it with Stalin's current thesis: “Why then, one asks, cannot commodity production similarly serve our socialist society for a certain period” or “Commodity production leads to capitalism only if there is private ownership of the means of production, if labour power appears in the market as a commodity which can be bought by the capitalist and exploited in the process of production, and if, consequently, the system of exploitation of wageworkers by capitalists exists in the country.” This hypothesis is, of course, absurd in the Marxist analysis, any existence of a mass of commodities suggests that reserveless proletarians had to sell their labour-power. If in the past there was commodity production limited to a few branches, it was not because the labour-power was sold "voluntarily" as it is today, but rather because it was squeezed by force of arms from enslaved prisoners or serfs in personal dependency.

Do we have to quote the first two lines of "Capital" again? “The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as ‘an immense accumulation of commodities’”.

The Russian Economy

After the text has more or less skillfully demonstrated to show respect for the origins of Marxism, it moves on to the question of today’s Russian economy. The task is to silence those who want to have determined that the system of commodity production inevitably leads to the restoration of capitalism – and thus also us, who even more clearly say: commodity production only survives in so far as we are within a totally capitalist system.

In the famous Stalin pamphlet one finds these concessions regarding the Russian economy: even if the large firms are socialized, the small and medium-sized firms however aren’t expropriated: on the contrary, this would “be equal to a crime”. According to the author, they should transition into cooperative firms.

Currently there are two sectors of commodity production in Russia: on the one hand the public, “nationally owned” production. In the state-owned enterprises, the means of production and production itself, thus also the products, are national property. How simplistic: in Italy, the tobacco factories and accordingly their sold cigarettes are owned by the state. Does this already qualify for the assertion that one is in a phase of the “abolishment of the wage labour system” and the respective workers weren’t “forced” to sell their labour power? Surely not.

Let’s move on to the other sector: agriculture. In the kolkhozes, says the brochure, land and machines are state property, but the products of labour don’t belong to the state, but to the kolkhoz. And the kolkhoz sheds only from them because they are commodities, which are exchangeable for other commodities that one needs. There is no link between the rural kolkhoz and the urban regions which is not based on exchange. “Therefore commodity production and commodity circulation are still such a necessity as they have been thirty years ago for example”.

Let’s put aside for a moment the argument about the remote possibility of overcoming this situation. It is to be noted that what Lenin proposed in 1922 is out of the question: “We wield the political power in our hands, and we will persevere militarily, but in the economic domain we need to fall back on the purely capitalist form of commodity production.” Corollary of this statement was: if we interrupt for a certain time the erection of the socialist economy, we will get back at it after the European revolution. Today’s propositions are diametrically opposed to this.

One doesn’t even try anymore to make a case such as the following: in the transition from capitalism to socialism certain sectors of production for a while are still subjected to commodity production.

Instead, one simply says: everything is a commodity there is no other economic framework but that of commodity exchange and accordingly of the buying of labour power, not even in state-owned, large firms. Indeed, from where does the factory worker get his means of subsistence? The kolkhoz sells them to him mediated by private merchants preferably it sells them to the state, from which it obtains tools, fertilizer etc. the worker then must procure the means of subsistence in the state-owned stores for hard-earned rubles. Couldn’t the state distribute the products, of which it can dispose, directly to its workers? Surely not, because the worker (especially the Russian one) doesn’t consume tractors, vehicles, locomotives, not to speak of cannons and machine guns. And clothing and furniture are of course produced in the small- and medium-sized firms untouched by the state.

The state therefore can give the workers which are dependent upon it nothing but a monetary wage, with which they then buy what they want (a bourgeois euphemism for: the little they can buy). That the wage-distributing entrepreneur is the state, which presents itself as the “ideal” or “legitimate” representative of the working class, doesn’t say the slightest, if it wasn’t even able to begin distributing anything quantitatively relevant outside the mechanism of commodity production.

Anarchy and Despotism

Stalin approaches some Marxist goals, which we continuously brought back from the past: lowering of the gap, respectively sublation of the contradiction between town and country overcoming of the social division of labour drastic reduction (to 5 or 6 hours as an immediate measure) of the working day, as the only mean to abolish the separation between manual and mental labour and to erase the leftovers of bourgeois ideology.

At the assembly in July 1952 in Rome, we dealt with the topic of the 12. chapter of “Capital”: “Separation of labour and factory”, for “factory” read “business”. It was shown: to leave capitalism, along with the system of commodity production, the social division of labour – of which Stalin also speaks – and as well the technical, respectively managerial division of labour, which leads to the brutalization of the worker and which is the origin of factory despotism, must be destroyed. The two axes of the bourgeois system are social anarchy and factory despotism. In Stalin, we can at least recognize the struggle to fight against the former, whereas he remains silent about the latter. But nothing in contemporary Russia is moving towards the direction of the programmatical goals, neither those named by Stalin, nor those of which nobody talks anyway.

If a - today as tomorrow insurmountable – barrier is lowered down between state firm and kolkhoz, which only lifts to allow for business “for mutual gain” to be made, what should bring town and country closer together, what should free the worker from the necessity to sell too many working hours for little money, respectively a few means of subsistence and give him therefore the possibility of disputing the scientific and cultural monopoly of capitalist tradition?

We therefore not only haven’t got the first phase of socialism in front of us, but also not even a total state capitalism, that means an economy, in which – even though all products are commodities and circulate for money – the state disposes of every product so, a form in which the state can centrally determine all proportions of equivalence, including labour power. Such a state as well couldn’t be controlled nor conquered economically/politically by the working class and would function in service of the anonymous and hiddenly operating capital. But Russia is far away from that anyways: all that is there, is the after the anti-feudal revolution arisen state industrialism11. Thanks to public investment in extensive public projects, this system allowed for the quick development and dispersion of industry and of capitalism, accelerated the bourgeois transformation of agriculture and agricultural law. But the “collectivist economic” agricultural businesses have nothing public, much less socialist in them: they’re on the level of cooperatives, just as they existed around the turn of the century in the Italian Padan Plain and which produced on leased or (often out of state ownership) bought land. The only difference is that in the kolkhoz without a doubt there’s a hundred times more thefts than in those modest, but honest cooperatives – but Stalin, high up in the Kremlin, is not going to hear of that.

The industrial state must negotiate the buying of the means of consumption on the “free market”, which means that wage and labour time are on the same level as in the capitalist private industry. Concerning the economic development, it is to be said that for example America is closer to complete state capitalism than Russia: after all the Russian worker has to spend three fifths of his wage on agrarian products, whereas the American worker spends the same ratio on industrial products he even gets the food delivered by the industry for the most part in cans – the poor devil.

State and Retreat

At this point, there is another important question to be posed. The relationship between agriculture and industry stays on an entirely bourgeois level, no matter how substantial the inexorable progress of industry. Stalin confesses, that not even future interventions into this relation are to be expected, which would amount to more statism, much less socialism.

This drawback also hides subtly behind the Marxist doctrine. What can we do? Expropriate the kolkhozes brutally? For that we would need to make use of the state power. And precisely here Stalin reintroduces the withering away of the state, which he wanted to do away with on another occasion, whereas he back then put a mask on, as if he wanted to say: “You’re only making fun, right guys?”.

Of course, the assumption, that a worker’s state could make a drawback is indefensible – when the entire agrarian sector is still commodity based and privately organized. Because even if one would for a moment accept the earlier contested thesis of the existence of commodity production under socialism, it would be inseparable from the other thesis: If commodity production isn’t abolished everywhere, the withering away of the state cannot be on the table.

Ultimately, we can only reason that the fundamental relation between town and country (that during the dramatic development of thousands of years freed itself from Asiatic and feudal forms) is solved there exactly as capitalism plans and and what is expressed by the classical, in bourgeois countries used words: To regulate the commodity exchange between industry- and agricultural production rationally. This system “requires thus a gigantic increase” of industrial production [Stalin, p. 95]. Well then! If one disregards for a moment the fantasized correct state – a virtually “liberal” solution.

The question of the relation between agriculture and industry was answered by the confession of the impotence to do anything but to industrialize and to increase production, thus at the expense of the workers. At this point, as already mentioned, there are the other two great questions of the relation between state and business and among businesses to be posed.

For Stalin, it presented itself like this: Does the law of value which applies in capitalist production also exist in Russia? Does it also apply for the state owned, large scale industry? This law determines, that commodity exchange always follows equivalents: the appearance of “freedom, equality and Bentham”12, which Marx destroyed, when he showed that capitalism doesn’t produce for the product, but for profit. Command and control of the economic laws – between those two cliffs Stalin’s “manifesto” maneuvers back and forth and thus confirms our thesis: In its most powerful form, capital subordinates itself to the state, even when the state appears as the judicial sole owner of all businesses.

On the second day, oh Scheherazade13, we will tell you of that, and on the third day of the world market and war.


Part 1

REPRODUCTION OF THE SPECIES AND PRODUCTIVE ECONOMY, INSEPARABLE ASPECTS OF THE MATERIAL FOUNDATION OF THE HISTORICAL PROCESS

Historical materialism loses all its meaning wherever it consents to the introduction of the allegedly individual nature of the sexual urge as a factor that is alien to the domain of the social economy, which would generate derivations and constructions of an extra-economic order until it attains the most evanescent and spiritual levels.

A much greater mobilization of the scientific material would be necessary, always starting from the highest degree of mistrust towards the decadent and venal official science of the current period, if this polemic were to be aimed only at the self-proclaimed total adversaries of Marxism. As always, it is the currents that say that they accept some parts of Marxism, and then address essential collective and human problems claiming that they are beyond its purview, that concern us the most in their capacities as counterrevolutionary factors.

It is clear that idealists and fideists, having established their views upon the explanation of the natural hierarchy of values, tend to situate the problems of sex and love in a sphere and a level that is far above the economy, which is vulgarly understood as the satisfaction of the need to eat and related needs. If the element that elevates and distinguishes the species homo sapiens from the other animals really derives not from the physical effect of a long evolution in a complex environment of material factors, but descends from the penetration of a particle of an immaterial cosmic spirit, it is clear that in the reproduction of one being by another, of one thinking brain by another, we would need a more noble relation that that of the everyday filling of the stomach. If, even without depicting this personal spirit as immaterial, it is admitted that in the dynamic of human thought there is an evident virtue and a force that pre-exists or exists outside the bounds of matter, it is clear that the mechanism that substitutes the generated ego for the generative ego, with its own essential qualities, hypothetically pre-existent to any contact with physical nature and all cognition, must be sought in a more arcane domain.

For the dialectical materialist it is unforgivable to assume that the economic structure, in whose forces and laws the explanation of the political history of humanity is sought, embraces only the production and consumption of the more or less wide range of goods that are necessary to keep the individual alive and that the material relations between individuals are limited to this domain, and that the play of forces that unite these innumerable isolated molecules composes the norms, rules and laws of social reality while a whole series of vital satisfactions are left out of this construction and for many dilettantes these include the ones that extend from sex-appeal to aesthetic and intellectual pleasures. This interpretation of Marxism is terribly false, it is the worst kind of anti-Marxism that is currently popular, and besides relapsing into an implicit but inexorable bourgeois idealism, it also constitutes a return, with no less harmful consequences, to full-blown individualism, which is another essential trait of reactionary thought and this makes both the biological as well as the psychological individual central categories and standards of reference.

The material factor does not “generate” the superstructural factor (juridical, political, philosophical) by means of a process that takes place within an individual, nor by way of a hereditary generative chain of individuals, leaving the “comedies” of the economic base and its cultural culmination to be taken care of later by a social process. The base is a system of palpable physical factors that embraces all individuals and determines their behavior, even at an individual level, a system that comes into existence when these individuals have formed a social species, and the superstructure is a derivative of these conditions of the base, determinable according to the study of these conditions and subject to calculations on that basis, without concerning ourselves with the thousands of particular behaviors and of their petty personal variations.

The error that we are addressing is therefore an error of principle, which, by leading the examination of the causes of historical processes towards ideal factors that are outside of physical nature, on the one hand, and on the other by the leading role it grants to the ridiculous Individual citizen, leaves dialectical materialism no field of operations, so that it is even rendered incapable of balancing the books at a bakery or a delicatessen.

The position that denies the validity of Marxism on the terrain of sex and reproduction along with all its rich derivations is ignorant of the opposition between the bourgeois and communist conceptions of the economy, and therefore turns its back on the powerful conquest achieved by Marx when he demolished the capitalist schools. For the latter the economy is the totality of relations that are based on the exchange between two individuals of objects that are mutually useful for their self-preservation, and they include labor power among these useful objects. From this they deduce that there never was and never will be an economy without exchange, commodities and property. For us, the economy includes the full range of activity engaged in by the species, by the human group, that influences its relations with the physical natural environment economic determinism rules over not only the epoch of private property but over the entire history of the species.

All Marxists consider the following theses to be correct: private property is not eternal there was a time of primitive communism when private property did not exist and we are advancing towards the era of social communism the family is not eternal, much less the monogamous family—it appeared very late and in a more advanced era will have to disappear the state is not eternal—it appears in a quite advanced stage of “civilization” and will disappear along with the division of society into classes.

It is clear that none of these truths can be reconciled with a view of historical praxis that is based on the dynamic of individuals and on a concession, however minimal it may be, to their autonomy and initiative, their liberty, conscience, will and all other such trivialities. The truths enumerated above are only demonstrable after having accepted that the determining element is an exhaustive process of adaptation and organization of the human collectives in the face of the difficulties and obstacles of the time and place in which they live, resolving not the thousands of millions of problems of adaptation faced by the individuals, but that other perspective that tends towards a unitary viewpoint, that of the prolonged adaptation of the species as a whole to the demands imposed on it by external circumstances. This conclusion is unavoidable in view of the increase in the number of members of the species, the toppling of the barriers that separate them from each other, the dizzying multiplication of the available technical means, which can only be managed by way of collective institutions composed of innumerable individuals, etc.

For a primitive people one could very well suppose that sociology is about how to get food, from the very moment when it was no longer obtained by the powers of individual effort, as is the case with animals but public sanitation, obstetrics, eugenics and, tomorrow, the annual birth quota, are also part of sociology.

The individual self-preservation in which the mysterious principal motor force of events is always sought is nothing but a derivative and secondary manifestation of the self-preservation and development of the species, independently of the traditional benefits conferred by a natural or supernatural providence, the play of the instincts or of reason and this is all the more true for a social species and a society with some highly developed and complex aspects.

It might appear to be too obvious to point out that everything could very well be explained by individual self-preservation, as the basis and motor force of all other phenomena, if the individual were immortal. In order to be immortal he would have to be immutable, exempt from aging, but it is precisely the nature of the living organism and especially the animal organism, to undergo an unavoidable and uninterrupted transformation from within itself of every one of its cells, since it hosts within its body an impressive chain of movements, circulation and metabolism. It is absurd to postulate an organism that lives by continuously replacing the elements it has lost and remaining self-identical, as if it were a crystal that, immersed in a solution of its own chemically pure solid substance, diminishes or grows according to a cyclic variation of temperatures or external pressures. Some have even spoken of the life of the crystal (and today of the atom) since they can be born, grow, shrink, disappear and even duplicate and multiply.

This might seem too banal to mention, but it is useful to reflect on the fact that the fetishistic conviction held by many (even many who pass themselves off as Marxists) regarding the primacy of the factor of individual biology is nothing but an atavistic reflection of primeval and crude beliefs concerning the immortality of the personal soul. In no religion has the most vulgar bourgeois egoism, which displays a fierce contempt for the life of the species and for compassion for the species, been implanted more deeply than in those that claim that the soul is immortal, and in this fantastic form considers the fate of the subjective person to be more important than that of all the others.

It is unpleasant to meditate on the fact that the movement of our poor carcass is only transitory, and as a substitute for the afterlife intellectualoid illusions arise—and today, existentialist illusions—concerning the distinctive stigma that every subject possesses, or believes he possesses even when he sheepishly follows the fashionable trends, and passively imitates all the other human puppets. It is at this point that the hymn of praise is intoned for the ineffable virtues of the emotions, of the will, of artistic exaltation, of cerebral ecstasis, which are only attained within the individual unit—precisely where the truth is the exact opposite.

Returning to the material way that events unfold right under our noses, it is obvious that any complete, healthy and adult individual, in the full possession of his faculties, can devote himself—we are referring to an economy of an elementary nature—to the production of what he needs to consume on a daily basis. The instability of this situation, individual by individual, would soon lead to its termination (and of the species if the latter were a senseless conglomeration of individuals connected with each other only by the principle of maximization of personal gain at the expense of the others) if it were to lack the flow of reproduction that characterizes an organic group, in which individuals who just look out for themselves are rare, and in which there are elderly persons who cannot work so hard, and very young children who need to be fed so they can produce in the future. Any economic cycle would be unthinkable, and we would not be able to devise any economic equations, without introducing into the calculation these essential magnitudes: age, abilities, health. We would thus have to elaborate the vulgar economic formula of a parthenogenic and unisexual humanity. This cannot be verified, however. So we have to introduce the sexual factor, since reproduction takes place by means of two heterogeneous genders, and the hiatus in productive activity necessitated by gestation and rearing have to be taken into account, too….

Only after having addressed all these issues can we say we have drawn up the conditional equations that totally describe the “base”, the economic “infrastructure” of society, from which we shall deduce (casting aside once and for all that puppet called the individual which cannot perpetuate or renew itself, and which is less and less capable of doing so as he proceeds along this great road) the whole infinite range of the manifestations of the species which have only in this way been rendered possible, right up to the greatest phenomena of thought.

In a recently-published article, a journalist (Yourgrau, in Johannesburg), in his review of the theory of the general system of Bertalanffy, who sought to synthesize the principles of the two famous rival systems, vitalism and mechanicism, while reluctantly admitting that materialism is gaining ground in biology, recalls the following paradox which is not easy to confute: one rabbit alone is not a rabbit, only two rabbits can be a rabbit. We see how the individual is expelled from his last stronghold, that of Onan. It is therefore absurd to address economics without dealing with the reproduction of the species, which is how it was approached in the classical texts. If we turn to the Preface of The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State this is how Engels approaches one of the basic pillars of Marxism:

“According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the final instance, the production and reproduction of the immediate essentials of life. This, again, is of a twofold character. On the one side, the production of the means of existence, of articles of food and clothing, dwellings, and of the tools necessary for that production on the other side, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social organization under which the people of a particular historical epoch and a particular country live is determined by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labor on the one hand and of the family on the other.”

From its theoretical foundations, the materialist interpretation of history organizes the data concerning the relative degree of development of technology and productive labor and the data regarding the “production of human beings” or the sphere of sexuality. The working class is the greatest productive force, according to Marx. And it is even more important to know how the class that works reproduces, studying how it produces and reproduces the mass of commodities, wealth and capital. The classical dispossessed wage worker of antiquity was not officially defined in Rome as a worker, but as a proletarian. His characteristic function was not that of giving society and the ruling classes the labor of its own body, but that of generating, without controls or limits, in his rustic little apartment, the day laborers of tomorrow.

The modern petty bourgeois, in his vacuity, thinks that the latter function would be much more pleasant for him than the former function, which is much more bitter. But the petty bourgeois, who is just as revolting and as philistine as the big bourgeois, necessarily faces this function, too, with every kind of impotence.

Likewise, the first communities prepared for productive labor with the rudimentary technology that was then available, and prepared to serve the purposes of mating and reproduction, education and the protection of the young. The two forms are in continuous connection and therefore the family in its diverse forms is also a relation of production and changes as the conditions of the environment and the available forces of production change.

In this essay we cannot recapitulate the entire story of the successive stages of savagery and barbarism that the human race has traversed, and which are characterized by their different ways of life and kinship structures, and we refer the reader to the brilliant work of Engels.

After living in the trees feeding on fruit, man first became acquainted with fishing and fire, and learned to navigate the coasts and rivers so that the various tribes came into contact with one another. Then came the hunt with the use of the first weapons, and in the stage of barbarism, first the domestication of animals arose and then agriculture, which signaled the transition from a nomadic to a sedentary lifestyle. The sexual forms did not yet include monogamy or even polygamy the latter was preceded by matriarchy, in which the mother exercised moral and social dominance, and the group family in which the men and the women of the same gens lived together in a fluid succession of pairing relationships as Morgan discovered in the American Indians who, even when they adopted the ways of the white man, even when they had adopted monogamy, called their paternal uncles “father”, and their aunt, “mother”. In these phratries, where no constituted authority ruled, there was no division of property or of the land, either.

One might consider that it is one of the traits of the higher animals to display an embryonic organization for tending to and defending their offspring, but this is due to instinct, and that it is only the rational animal, however, man, that provides himself with organizations with economic purposes, while instinct remains dominant in the sphere of the bonds of sex and family. If this were really true, then the existence of intelligence, which is commonly admitted to be a substitute for instinct and something that neutralizes instinct, would cause the whole field of inquiry to be divided into two. But all of this is metaphysics. A good definition of instinct appeared in a study by Thomas (La Trinitè-Victor, 1952) (if we quote a recent study by a specialist we do so only for the purpose of showing many people that the theories of Engels or Morgan, revolutionaries who were persecuted on the conceited terrain of bourgeois culture, were not “dated” or “superseded” by the latest scientific literature…): Instinct is the hereditary knowledge of a plan of life of the species. Over the course of evolution and of natural selection—which in the animal realm, we can admit that it derives from a clash of the individuals as such against the environment, but only in a physical, biological way—the obedience of the members of the same species to a common behavior is determined, especially in the reproductive realm. This behavior accepted by all is automatic, “unconscious” and “irrational”. It is understandable that this mode of behavior is transmitted via heredity, along with the morphological and structural characteristics of the organism, and the mechanism of transmission should be enclosed (although there is much yet to be discovered by science) in the genes (not in the geniuses, my dear individualists!) and in other particles of the germinative and reproductive liquids and cells.

This mechanism, for which each individual serves as a vehicle, only provides the rudimentary normative minimum of a plan of life that is suitable for confronting environmental difficulties.

In social species collaboration in labor, no matter how primitive, obtained greater results, and transmitted many other customs and guidelines that would serve as rules. For the bourgeois and the idealist the difference lies in the rational and conscious element that determines the will to act, and this is when the free will of the fideist appears, and the personal freedom of the Enlightenment. Nor is this essential point exhausted by these variations. Our position is that we are not adding a new power to the individual, thought and spirit, which would mean reexamining all the data with respect to the physical mechanism from the perspective of this alleged vital principle. To the contrary, we add a new collective power derived completely from the needs of social production, which imposes more complex rules and orders, and just as it displaces instinct, as it applies to guiding individuals through the sphere of technology, so too does it displace instinct from the sexual sphere as well. It is not the individual that caused the species to develop and become ennobled, it is the life of the species that has developed the individual towards new dynamics and towards higher spheres.

What there is of the primordial and bestial, is in the individual. What is developed, complex and ordered, forming a plan of life that is not automatic but organized and organizable, derives from collective life and was first born outside the minds of individuals, in order to become part of them by difficult paths. In the meaning that we, too, can give, outside of all idealism, to the expressions of thought, knowledge, and science, involves products of social life: individuals, without any exceptions, are not the donors, but the recipients and in contemporary society they are also the parasites.

The fact that from the beginning, and ever since, economic and sexual regulation have been interconnected for the purpose of imposing order on the associated life of men, can be read between the lines of all the religious myths, which according to the Marxist evaluation are not gratuitous fantasies or inventions without content in which we must not believe, as the fashionable bourgeois free-thinkers proclaim, but rather the first expressions of collective knowledge in the process of its elaboration.

In the Book of Genesis (Chapter 2, Verses 19 and 20) God, before creating Eve and therefore before the expulsion from the terrestrial paradise (in which Adam and Eve had lived unaccompanied, even physically immortal, on the condition that they could easily gather all the nourishing fruits, but not those of science) creates all the species of animals from the earth, presenting them to Adam, who learned to call them by their names. The text gives the explanation for this incident: Adae vero non inveniebatur adjutor similis ejus . This means that Adam had no helper (cooperator) of his own species. He would be given Eve, but not to put her to work or to impregnate her. It seems to have been stipulated that it would be lawful for them to adapt the animals to their service. After they committed the grave error of beginning with the wise serpent, God altered the fate of humanity. It was only after they had been exiled from Eden that Eve would “know” her companion, bearing him children that she would give birth to in pain, and he would in turn have to earn his living by the sweat of his brow. Thus, even in the ancient but complex wisdom of the myth, production and reproduction are born simultaneously. If Adam domesticated animals, it was with the help, now that he had adjutores , of workers of his own species, similes ejus . Very rapidly the Individual had become nothing, immutable, unmovable, deprived of the bitter bread and the great wisdom, a sacred monster and abortion consecrated to leisure, truly affected by the lack of labor, of love and of science, to which the alleged materialists of the present century still want to sacrifice stupid incense: in its place appears the species that thinks because it labors, among so many adjutores , neighbors and brothers.

Biological Heredity and Social Tradition

Ever since the first human societies, the behavior of the members of the groups had become uniform by way of shared practices and functions that, having become necessary due to the demands of production and even of sexual reproduction, took on the form of ceremonies, festivals and rites of a religious character. This first mechanism of collective life, of unwritten rules that were nonetheless neither imposed nor violated, was made possible not by inspirations or innate ideas of society or of morality that were appropriate for the animal called man, but by the determinist effect of the technical evolution of labor.

The history of the customs and usages of primitive peoples, before the times of written constitutions and coercive law, and the shock produced in the life of the savage tribes when they first came into contact with the white man, can only be explained by utilizing similar investigative criteria. The seasonal periodicity of the festivals related to plowing, sowing and harvesting is obvious. At first the time of love and fertility was also seasonal for the human species which, due to subsequent evolution, would become, unlike any other animal, constantly ready to mate. African writers who have assimilated the culture of the whites have described the festivals relating to sex. Each year the adolescents who have reached puberty have certain ligatures untied that had been attached to their sexual organs since they were born, and this bloody operation carried out by the priests is then followed, amidst the excitation produced by the noise and drinking, by a sexual orgy. Evidently, this type of technique arose to preserve the reproductive capacity of the race under difficult conditions that could lead to degeneration and sterility in the absence of any other controls, and perhaps there are even more nauseating things in the Kinsey report concerning sexual behavior in the capitalist era.

That the capacity for generation and production should be conjointly guaranteed is an old Marxist thesis, as is proven by a lovely quote from Engels about Charlemagne’s attempt to improve agricultural production in the last years of his realm by the establishment of imperial estates (not kolkhozes). These were administered by monasteries, but failed, as was the case throughout the entire course of the Middle Ages: a unisexual and non-reproducing collective did not respond to the demands of continuous production. For example, the Order of Saint Benedict might appear to have ruled by means of a communist code, since it severely prohibited—imposing the obligation to work—any personal appropriation of the smallest product or good, as well as any consumption outside of the collective refectory. But this rule, due to its chastity and sterility, which rendered its members incapable of reproducing, remained outside of life and outside of history. A parallel study of the orders of monks and nuns in their first phase might perhaps be able to shed some light on the problem of the scarcity of production with respect to consumption in the Middle Ages, particularly of some of the surprising conceptions of Saint Francis and Clare of Assisi, who did not conceive of self-mortification to save their souls, but rather of social reform to help feed the starved flesh of the disinherited classes.

All the norms of productive technique in fishing, hunting, the manufacture of weapons, and agriculture, becoming increasingly more complex with the passage of time, coordinated by the activity of the capable adults, the elderly, young people, pregnant and nursing mothers, and couples joined together for reproductive purposes, are transmitted from generation to generation by a double road: organic and social. By the first road the hereditary elements transmit the attitudes and physical adaptations of the generative to the generated individual, and the personal secondary differences come into play by the second road, which is becoming increasingly important, all the resources of the group are transmitted by way of an extra-physiological but no less material method, which is the same for everyone, and which resides in the “equipment” and “tools” of all types that the collectivity has managed to give itself.

In some of the articles in the “Thread of Time” series1 it was shown that up until the discovery of more convenient modes of transmission like writing, monuments, and then the printing press, etc., man had to rely principally on the memory of individuals, elaborating it with collective common forms. From the first maternal admonition we proceed to the conversations about obligatory themes and the litanies of the elderly and collective recitations song and music are the supports of memory and the first science appears in the form of verses rather than in the form of prose, with musical accompaniment. A large part of the modern wisdom of capitalist civilization would not be able to circulate except in the form of horrifying cacophonies!

The course of development of all this impersonal and collective baggage that passes from some humans to others over the passage of time, cannot be explained except by approaching it systematically, but the law that governs it has already been outlined: this process increasingly does without the individual head as the organism is enriched, and everyone approaches a common level the great man, who is almost always a legendary personality, becomes increasingly more useless, just it is more and more useless to wield a larger weapon than anyone else or to be able to multiply figures in your head more quickly than anyone else it will not be long before a robot will be the most intelligent citizen of this incredibly stupid bourgeois world, and if some people are to be believed, the Dictator of great nations.

In any event the social force always prevails over the organic force, which is in any case the platform of the individual spirit.

Here we may refer to an interesting new synthesis: Wallon, L’organique et le social chez l’homme , Collège de France, 1953. Although he criticizes mechanistic materialism (that of the bourgeois epoch, and thus one that is operative on the scale of the individual), the author discusses examples of the systems of communication between men in society and quotes Marx, whose influence we may also discern from the language in this same part of the book. In his conclusion, however, he describes the failure of idealism and of its modern existentialist form with an apt formula: “Idealism was not content with circumscribing the real within the limits of the imaginary (in our minds). It has also circumscribed the image of what it considers to be real!” And after reviewing some recent examples, he draws the sensible conclusion: “Among the organic impressions and imaginary mental constructs, mutual actions and reactions never cease to be exhibited that show just how empty are the distinctions that the various philosophical systems have established between matter and thought, existence and intelligence, the body and the spirit.” From the large number of such contributions one may deduce that the Marxist method has offered science without an adjective (or with the adjective of ‘contraband-’) the opportunity to take advantage of its discoveries, and thus overcome its handicap, for one hundred years.

Natural Factors and Historical Development

Over the course of a long process the living conditions of the first gentile organizations, the communist phratries, continued to develop, and naturally they did not all develop at the same rate, which varied according to the physical conditions of their environments: the nature of the soil and geological phenomena, the geography and altitude, waterways, distance from the sea, the climatology of the various zones, flora, fauna, etc. Over the course of fluctuating cycles the nomadic lifestyles of the wandering hordes gave way to the occupation of a fixed homeland, and to a decreasing availability of unoccupied land as well as more frequent encounters and contacts between tribes of different kin-groups, but also more frequent conflicts, invasions and finally enslavement, one of the origins of the nascent division into classes of the ancient egalitarian societies.

In the first struggles between gentes, as Engels reminds us, because slavery and mixing blood were not allowed, victory meant the merciless annihilation of all the members of the defeated community. This was the effect of the requirement that not too many workers should be admitted into a limited terrain and of the prohibition against breaking sexual and generative discipline, factors that were inseparable from social development. Later relations were more complex and mixing of populations and instances of breeding outside the authorized groups became more frequent, and were more easily accomplished in the fertile temperate regions that hosted the first large, stable population centers. In this first phase humans did not yet want to leave the prehistoric stage. Concerning the influence of geophysical factors in the broadest sense of the term, one may also refer to the comparison made by Engels regarding the great productive advance obtained with the domestication of animals, not only as a source of food but also as a force of labor. While Eurasia possesses almost all of the world’s animal species susceptible to domestication, America had only one, the llama, a large, sheep-like species (all the other species were introduced after the European conquest). This is why the peoples of the Americas were “arrested” in terms of social development compared to the peoples of the old world. The fideists explain this by claiming that in the time of Columbus redemption had not yet reached this part of the planet, and that the light of the eternal spirit had not yet illuminated those heads. Evidently one reasons in another manner if one explains everything not by the absence of the supreme Being, but by the absence of a few quite ordinary animal species.

But this method of reasoning was accepted by the Christian colonists who attempted to exterminate the aboriginal Indians as if they were wild animals, replacing them with African negro slaves, thus unleashing an ethnic revolution whose consequences only time will tell.

The passage from the racial to the national factor may in a very general manner be assimilated to the passage from prehistory to history. For a nation must encompass a whole in which the ethnic aspect is just one among many others and in very few cases is it the dominant one. Thus, before we enter the terrain of the historical scope of the national factor the problem of the other factors that constitute the totality of the racial factor must be addressed and first of all, language. No other explanation can be provided for the origin of language and of dialects than the one that is derived from the material environment and the productive organization. The language of a human group is one of its means of production.

Everything we said above, based on the strict connection between the bonds of blood in the first tribes and the beginning of social production with certain tools, and on the basis of the preponderance of the relation between the human group and the physical environment over the initiative and the orientation of the individual, is found in the central axis of historical materialism. Two texts separated by a half-century are there to confirm this. In the “Theses on Feuerbach” of 1845, Marx said: “the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations.” By social conditions, we Marxists mean blood, the physical environment, tools, and the organization of any particular group.

In a letter from 1894, which we have often employed to combat the prejudice about the function of the individual (the Great Man, the Guignol) in history, Engels responds to the following question: what role is played by the moment (see point three) of race and historical individuals in the materialist conception of history of Marx and Engels? As we recently recalled, Engels, thus pressed to assume a position on the plane of the individual and Napoleon, who was obviously in the back of the questioner’s mind, in order to overthrow the whole question immediately, with respect to the question of race gave us no more than a single tap of the chisel: “But race is itself an economic factor.”

The cretinous representatives of the bourgeois pseudo-culture can laugh when we go back in time to trace the immense line that leads from the beginnings to the final result, as the powerful and deeply entrenched Catholic school does in the renowned trajectory that leads from primitive chaos to the eternal blessedness of creation.

The first groups were based on a strictly pure kinship and are group-families. They are likewise work-groups, which is to say that their “economy” is a reaction on the part of all of them to the physical environment in which each one of them has the same relation: there is no personal property, or social classes or political power or state.

Since we are not metaphysicians or mystics—and we are therefore not under any obligation to pour ashes over our heads and meditate on such stains that have besmirched the human species and which must be cleansed—we have no problem accepting the emergence and further development of a thousand forms of mixture of blood, division of labor, the separation of society into classes, the state and civil war. At the end of the cycle, however, with a generalized and untraceable ethnic amalgamation, with a productive technology that acts upon the environment with such power that it allows for the regulation of events on the planet, we see, with the end of all racial and social discrimination, the new communist economy that is, the worldwide end of individual property, from which transitory cults had grown into monstrous fetishes: the person, the family, the fatherland.

From the very beginning, however, the economy of each people and its degree of productive technological development was just as much of a particular identifying characteristic as was that of the ethnic type.

The latest research into the mists of prehistory has led the science of human origins to acknowledge other starting points in the appearance of the animal man on the earth, and in the evolution of other species. One can no longer speak of a “genealogical tree” of all of humanity or of its branches. A study by Etienne Patte (Faculty of Sciences at Poitiers, 1953) effectively refutes the inadequacy of this traditional image. In the evolutionary tree all the forks between two genuses or species are themselves irrevocable: as a rule the two branches never reconnect. Human generation, on the other hand, is an inextricable net whose spaces are continually being reconnected with each other: if there had not been interbreeding between relatives every one of us would have 8 great-grandfathers in three generations, or every century, but in a thousand years each person would have more than a billion ancestors, and assuming an age for the species of six hundred thousand years, which seems likely, the number of ancestors for each of us would be an astronomical number with thousands of zeroes. It is therefore a net rather than a tree. And besides, in the ethnic statistics of the modern peoples the representatives of ethnically pure types comprise a minuscule percentage. Hence the felicitous definition of humanity as a “ sungameion ”, which is Greek for a complex that is totally mixed in every sense: the verb, gaméo , refers to the sexual act and the marriage rite. And one can refer to the somewhat simplistic rule: the cross between species is sterile, that between races is fertile.

We can understand the Pope’s position when, denying all racial differences, a very advanced point of view in the historical sense, he wants us to speak of races of animals but not of men. Despite the eagerness with which he follows the latest scientific discoveries and their often marvelous correspondence with dogma, he has not been able to abandon the biblical (the Bible is more Jewish than Catholic on the philosophical terrain) genealogical tree that descends from Adam.

Another author of a manifestly anti-materialist tendency, however, cannot resist rejecting the old separation of methods between anthropology and historiography, since the former must seek positive data, while the latter finds the data already available and prepared and above all arranged in a chronological series. No one doubts that Caesar lived before Napoleon but it is a very big problem to know who came first, the Neanderthal or proconsul africanus ….

The power of the materialist method, however, applied to the data supplied by research, easily establishes the synthesis between the two methods, although race was one of the most decisive economic factors in the prehistoric gens, and the nation, a much more complicated entity, in the contemporary world. Only in this manner can one properly situate the function of languages, at first common to a narrowly defined consanguinary and cooperative group without any connections with external groups, or only with warlike connections, which are today shared by populations that inhabit vast territories.

At first those groups that had a common circle of reproduction and productive tools and capacity for all that was necessary for material life also had a common phonetic expression. One may say that the use of sounds for communication purposes between individuals first arose among the animal species. But the modulation of the sound that the vocal organs of any particular species of animal are capable of emitting (a purely physiological inheritance in the structure and in the functional possibilities of these organs) falls far short of the formation of a language with a certain set of vocables. The vocable does not arise to designate the person who speaks or the person to whom the speech is directed, a member of the opposite sex or a part of the body or light, clouds, land, water, food or danger. Language composed of vocables was born when labor based on tools was born, the production of objects of consumption by way of the associated labor of men.

All common human activity for productive purposes demands, for useful collaboration, a system of communication among the workers. Starting from the simple effort involved in raiding or self-defense, for which instinctive incitements such as pushing or animal cries suffice, at the moment when action is necessary at a certain time or place, or with a particular means (primitive tool, weapon, etc.), and through a very long series of failed attempts and corrections, speech arose. This procedure is opposed to that of the idealist illusion: an innovator imagines the new “technological” method in his brain without having ever seen it before, which he explains by telling the others of his kind, and directs them to implement it with his orders. The way we see this process, it is not a series that proceeds from thought, then to speech, and only then to action, but precisely the reverse.

One more demonstration of the real natural process of language is found once again in a biblical myth, that of the Tower of Babel. Here we are already in the presence of an authentic state wielding immense power, with formidable armies that capture prisoners, and in possession of a huge captive labor force. This power engaged in vast construction projects, especially in its capital (the technological abilities of the Babylonians not only with regard to construction, but also hydraulic engineering and similar fields, is a matter of historical record), and according to the legend, the state sought to build a tower so high that its pinnacle would touch heaven: this is the standard myth of human presumption punished by the divinity, the same as the fire stolen by Prometheus, the flight of Daedalus, etc. The innumerable workers, overseers, and architects, are of distinct and scattered origins, they do not speak the same languages, they do not understand one another, the execution of their orders and plans is chaotic and contradictory and the building, once it reached a certain height, due to errors rooted in the linguistic confusion, collapsed into ruins, and the builders either died or else fled in terror from this divine punishment.

The complex meaning of this story is that one cannot build something if there is no common language: stones, hands, planks, hammers, and picks are no good if the tool, the instrument of production, lacks a word in the same language and with the same lexicography and formula, common to all and widely known. Among the savages of central Africa one finds the same legend: the tower was made of wood and was supposed to reach the moon. Now that we all speak “American”, it is child’s play to build skyscrapers, which are much more stupid than the wonderful towers of the barbarians and the savages.

There is thus no doubt about the Marxist definition of language, according to which it is one of the instruments of production. The above-cited article by Wallon does no less than refer, when it examines the most important doctrines, to the one that we follow: “according to Marx language is linked to the human production of tools and of objects that are granted definite attributes”. And the author chooses two magisterial quotations, the first from Marx ( The German Ideology ): “[Men] begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence” and the second from Engels ( The Dialectics of Nature ): “First labour, after it and then with it speech – these were the two most essential stimuli under the influence of which the brain of the ape gradually changed into that of man”. And Engels, when he wrote that, did not know the results that, contrary to their expectations, would later be published by writers from the pure idealist school (Saller, What Is Anthropology? , University of Munich). Today the human brain has a volume of 1,400 cubic centimeters (we know—this goes for geniuses as well as for dummies like us!). A very long time ago, in the time of Sinanthropus-Pithecanthropus with his 1,000 cubic centimeters of brain, it would seem that this ancestor of ours already had the first notions of magic, as is attested by the nature of his burials, although he was frequently a cannibal but besides using fire for some time, he had various tools: drinking bowls made from animal skulls, stone weapons, etc. But the discoveries made in South Africa have provided yet more surprises: about six hundred thousand years ago (the figure is from Wallon), a precocious ancestor of ours, with only 500 cubic centimeters of brain, already used fire, hunted and ate the cooked meat of animals, walked upright like us and—this is the sole rectification that needs to be made with regard to the data provided by Engels (1884)—it seems that he no longer lived in the trees like his close relative “australopithecus” but bravely defended himself from wild beasts on the ground.

It is odd that the writer from whom we take this information, disoriented by this data that serves to more firmly embed the materialist theory on its foundation, should take refuge from anthropology in psychology, in order to express his regrets concerning the decline of the individual who had been elevated by a mysterious extra-organic breath and that in the modern epoch of overpopulation and mechanicism the individual degenerates by becoming the masses, ceasing to be a man. But who is more human: our friendly pithecanthropus with 500 cubic centimeters or the scientist with his 1,400 cubic centimeters, who devotes himself to hunting butterflies under the Arch of Titus in order to erect the pious equation: official science + idealism = despair?

Economic Base and Superstructure

The concept of the “economic base” of a particular human society extends beyond the boundaries of the superficial interpretation that restricts it to the remuneration of labor and to commodity exchange. It embraces the entire domain of the forms of reproduction of the species, or family institutions, and while technical resources and available tools and material apparatus of every kind form an integral part of it, its content is not limited to a simple inventory of materials, but includes all available mechanisms for passing on from one generation to another all social “technological knowledge”. In this sense and as general networks of communication and transmission, after spoken language we must also include under the rubric of means of production, writing, song, music, the graphic arts, and the press, as they appear as means of transmission of the productive legacy. In the Marxist view, literature, poetry and science are also higher and more highly-differentiated forms of productive instruments and were born in response to the same requirement of the immediate life of society.

With regard to this issue questions of interpretation of historical materialism arose in the camp of the workers movement: what social phenomena really constitute the “productive base” or the economic preconditions, which explain the ideological and political superstructures that are characteristic of any particular historical society?

Everyone knows that Marxism opposed to the concept of a long and gradual evolution of human society the concept of sudden turning points between one epoch and another, epochs characterized by different social forms and relations. With these turning points the productive base and the superstructures change. For the purpose of clarifying this concept we have often had resort to the classical texts, both to establish the various formulas and ideas in their correct context as well as to clarify just what it is that suddenly changes when the revolutionary crisis supervenes.

In the letters we quoted above in which Engels responded to the questions sent to him by young students of Marxism, Engels insists on reciprocal reactions between base and superstructure: the political state of a particular class is a perfect example of a superstructure but it in turn acts—by imposing tariffs, collecting taxes, etc.—on the economic base, as Engels recalls, among other things.

Later, during the time of Lenin, it was urgently necessary to clarify the process of the class revolution. The state, political power, is the superstructure that is most completely shattered in a way that we could call instantaneous, in order to give way to another analogous but opposed structure. The relations that govern the productive economy, however, are not changed so rapidly, even if their conflict with the highly developed productive forces was the primary motor force for the revolution. This is why wage labor, commerce, etc., did not disappear overnight. With respect to the other aspects of the superstructure, those that are most enduring and would survive the original economic base itself (that is, capitalism), are the traditional ideologies that had been disseminated, even among the victorious revolutionary working class, over the duration of the long preceding period of serfdom. Thus, for example, the legal superstructure, in its written and practically implemented form, would be rapidly changed—while the other superstructure of religious beliefs would disappear very slowly.

We have on many occasions referred to Marx’s lapidary Preface to his Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy of 1859. It would not be a bad idea to pause and consider this text before continuing with our examination of the question of language.

The productive material forces of society: they are, in particular phases of development, the labor power of human bodies, the tools and instruments that are used in its application, the fertility of the cultivated soil, the machines that add mechanical and physical energy to human labor power all the methods applied to the land and to the materials of those manual and mechanical forces, procedures that a particular society understands and possesses.

Relations of production relative to a particular type of society are the “definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production.” Relations of production include the freedom or the prohibition of occupying land to cultivate it, of using tools, machines, manufactured products, of having the products of labor to consume them, move them from place to place and to assign them to others. This in general. The particular relations of production are slavery, serfdom, wage labor, commerce, landed property, industrial enterprise. The relations of production, with an expression that reflects not the economic but the juridical aspect, can also be called property relations or also in other texts, forms of property over the land, over the slave, over the product of the labor of the serf, over the commodities, over the workshops and machines, etc. This whole set of relations constitutes the base or economic structure of society.

The essential dynamic concept is the determinant clash between the forces of production, in their degree of evolution and development, and the relations of production or of property, the social relations (all equivalent formulas).

The superstructure, that is, what is derived from, what is superimposed on the base economic structure, for Marx is basically the juridical and political framework of any particular society: constitutions, laws, courts, military forces, the central government power. This superstructure nonetheless has a material and concrete aspect. But Marx makes the distinction between the reality in the transformation of the relations of production and in the relations of property and law, that is of power, and this transformation such as it is displayed in the “consciousness” of the time and in that of the victorious class. This is (to this very day) a derivation of a derivation a superstructure of the superstructure, and forms the mutable terrain of common sense, of ideology, of philosophy, and, in a certain way (insofar as it is not transformed into a practical norm), of religion.

Modes of production (it is preferable not to apply to this concept the term, “forms”, which is used for the more restricted concept, forms of property)— Produktionsweisen —are “epochs marking progress in the economic development of society” that Marx summarizes broadly as of the Asiatic, ancient, feudal and modern bourgeois types.

We must illustrate this with an example: the bourgeois revolution in France. Productive forces: agriculture and peasant serfs—the artisans and their workshops in the cities—the great manufacturing centers and factories, armories. Relations of production or forms of traditional property: glebe serfdom of the peasants and feudal authority over the land and those who cultivate it—the corporative bonds in the artisanal crafts. Juridical and political superstructure: power of the nobility and the church hierarchy, absolute monarchy. Ideological superstructure: authority of divine right, Catholicism, etc. Mode of production: feudalism.

The revolutionary transformation assumed the following form: immediately as the transfer of the power of the nobles and the church into the hands of the bourgeoisie the new juridical-political superstructure is elective parliamentary democracy. The relations that have been abolished are: glebe serfdom and the artisanal guilds the new relations that appear are: industrial wage labor (with the survival of independent artisans and small-scale peasant property), and free domestic trade, even with regard to the sale of land.

The productive force of the most important factories is enormously developed with the absorption of the former peasant serfs and artisans. The force of industrial machinery also develops to the same degree. The ideological superstructure undergoes a process of gradual replacement that begins before the revolution, and which has not concluded yet: fideism and legitimism are being replaced by free thought, enlightened values and rationalism.

The new mode of production which is spreading throughout France and even beyond it, replacing feudalism, is capitalism: in it, political power is not of the “people”, as it appears in the “consciousness” that this “period of transformation” has with regard to itself, but of the class of the industrial capitalists and of the bourgeois landowners.

In order to distinguish the two “strata” of the superstructure one may adopt the terms of the superstructure of force (positive law, state) and the superstructure of consciousness (ideology, philosophy, religion, etc.).

Marx says that material force, or violence, is itself an economic agent. Engels, in the passages quoted above, and in his book on Feuerbach, says the same thing when he states that the state (which is force) acts on the economy and influences the economic base.

The state of a new class is therefore a powerful resource for the transformation of productive relations. After 1789 feudal relations in France were dismantled due to the advanced development of the modern productive forces that had been emerging for some time. Even the restoration of 1815, although it did once again hand over power to the landowning aristocracy by reestablishing the legitimist monarchy, was unable to overthrow the relations of production, the forms of property, and neither stifled manufacturing industry nor did it restore the great estates of the nobles. The change in power and the transformation of the forms of production can proceed historically and for limited periods of time in opposite directions.

The burning issue in Russia, in October 1917? Political power, the superstructure of force that in February had passed from the feudal elements to the bourgeoisie, passed into the hands of the workers of the cities, supported in their struggle by the poor peasants. The juridical state superstructure acquired proletarian forms (dictatorship and dissolution of the democratic assembly). The ideological superstructures obtained a powerful impulse among broad layers of the population in favor of the ideological superstructure of the proletariat, despite the desperate resistance of the old ideological superstructures and that of the bourgeois or semi-bourgeois. The productive forces with an anti-feudal nature could proceed unopposed in liberated industry and agriculture. Could one say that the relations of production, in the years immediately following October, were transformed into socialist relations of production? Of course not, and such a transformation would in any case take more than a few months. Were they simply transformed into capitalist relations of production? It is not correct to say that all of them were transformed totally into capitalist relations of production because pre-capitalist forms survived for a long time, as everyone knows. But it would also be inadequate to say that they were moving in the direction of being transformed exclusively into capitalist relations.

Even disregarding the first measures of communism and anti-market policies implemented during the civil war (housing, bread, transport), and in view of the fact that power is an economic agent of the highest order, the transformation of the relations of production under a democratic bourgeois state is one thing and the same process under the proletarian political dictatorship is another.

The mode of production is defined by the totality of relations of production and political and juridical forms. If the entire Russian cycle up until today has led to the full-fledged capitalist mode of production and that today in Russia socialist relations of production do not exist, this is related to the fact that after 1917, after October, the proletarian revolution in the West did not take place, the importance of which did not just lie in its capacity to bolster the soviet political power so that the Russian proletariat would not lose it, which is what happened later, but above all to supply to the Russian economy productive forces that were available in excess in the West, and in this manner assure the transition to socialism of the Russian relations of production.

The relations of production are not immediately transformed at the moment of the political revolution.

Once it was established that the further development of the productive forces in Russia was the other condition, just as important as the consolidation of political power (Lenin), a formulation of the following kind is incorrect: the only historical task of Bolshevik power after October was to pursue the transition from feudal to bourgeois social relations. Until the end of the revolutionary wave that followed the first world war, which lasted until about 1923, the task of the power that had arisen in October consisted in working for the transformation of the feudal social modes and relations into proletarian ones. This work was carried out by the only means possible at the time and therefore it followed the royal road: only later was it possible to formulate the claim that we are confronted by a state that is not socialist, nor does it demonstrate a tendency in that direction. The relations of production after October are actually part capitalist and part pre-capitalist and to a quantitatively minimal extent are post-capitalist the historical form or, more precisely, the historical mode of production, cannot be defined as capitalist, but as potentially proletarian and socialist. This is what matters!

In this way one escapes from the impasse of the formula: bourgeois economic base, proletarian and socialist superstructures. And this is accomplished precisely by not denying the second term, which prevailed for at least six years after the conquest of the dictatorship.

The Stalinist theory that language is not a superstructure with respect to the economic base constitutes a false way of posing the problem that we need to solve, since the result that Stalin seeks to obtain lies elsewhere: at every step of the transition from one historical mode of production to the next we always find a change, both in the superstructure as well as the base or economic structure, a change in the power of the classes and of the position of the classes in society. But the national language does not follow the avatars of either the base or the superstructures since it does not belong to a class but to all the people in a particular country. Therefore, in order to save language and linguistics from the effects of the social revolution, we have to lead them (gradually, together with the national culture and the cult of the fatherland) along the banks of the turbulent river of history, outside of the terrain of the productive base as well as that of its political and ideological derivations.

According to Stalin ( Marxism and Problems of Linguistics ), over the last few years in Russia, “the old, capitalist base has been eliminated in Russia and a new, socialist base has been built. Correspondingly, the superstructure on the capitalist base has been eliminated and a new superstructure created corresponding to the socialist base…. But in spite of this the Russian language has remained basically what it was before the October Revolution”.

The merit of these gentlemen (it is all the same whether this was written by Stalin, or whether it was written by Secretary X or by Department Y) is the fact that they have demonstrated a profound understanding of the art of simple, clear presentation, accessible to all, as has so often been said for the last hundred years in bourgeois cultural propaganda, and above all presented in a brazenly concrete manner. But this presentation that seems so direct and accessible is nothing but a con job, it is a complete relapse into the most vapid sort of bourgeois thinking.

The entire process is supposed to have taken place “correspondingly”. How simple! Not only must we respond by pointing out that this process has not taken place, but also that even if it did, it would not have happened like that. In this formula that might have been drafted by a municipal clerk there is not a trace of dialectical materialism. The base influences the structure and has an active character? And in what sense does the derivative superstructure react in turn so that it is not totally malleable and passive? And with what cycles and in what order and at what historical velocity does the transformation and the process of substitution take place? Bah, these are Byzantine discourses! Enough of this moving the lever to the right and then to the left: Elimination! Creation! By God, out with the creator, out with the eliminator! This kind of materialism does not function without a demiurge, everything is converted into something that is conscious and voluntary, and there is no longer anything that is necessary and determined.

In any case, this argument can be shifted onto real ground: the economic base and the superstructure, by way of complex vicissitudes, had passed from being feudal under the Czar to being fully capitalist at the time of Stalin’s death. Since the Russian language is basically the same, the language is not a part of the superstructure nor does it form part of the base.

It would appear that this entire polemic is directed against a school of linguistics that suddenly fell under suspicion, and that the leading figure of this school is the Soviet university professor, N. Y. Marr, with whose works we are not acquainted. Marr had said that language forms part of the superstructure. Listening to his accuser, we think that Marr is a good Marxist. His accuser says of him: “At one time, N. Y. Marr, seeing that his formula—‘language is a superstructure on the base’—encountered objections, decided to ‘reshape’ it and announced that ‘language is an instrument of production.’ Was N. Y. Marr right in including language in the category of instruments of production? No, he certainly was not.” (Stalin, op. cit .).

And why was he mistaken? According to Stalin there is a certain analogy between language and the instruments of production, because the latter can also have a certain indifference with respect to classes. What Stalin means is that, for example, both the plow and the hoe can be used in the feudal, the bourgeois, and the socialist society. The difference, however, for which Marr was condemned (and Marx and Engels: labor, the production of tools in combination with language) is this: the instruments of production produce material goods, but language does not!

But the instruments of production do not produce material goods, either! The goods are produced by the man who uses the instruments of production! These instruments are employed by men in production. When a child first grabs the hoe by the blade, the father shouts at him: hold it by the handle. This cry, which is later transformed into a regular form of “instruction”, is, like the hoe, employed in production.

Stalin’s dull-witted conclusion reveals that the error is his: if language, as Stalin claims, were to produce material goods, then charlatans would be the richest people on earth! Yet is this not precisely the case? The worker works with his arms, the engineer with language: who earns more? It seems to us that we once recounted the story of that provincial landowner who, sitting in the shade and smoking his pipe, was constantly shouting, ‘swing that pick!’ to the day-laborer he had hired, who was sweating and silently working. The landowner knew that even a brief let-up in the pace of the work would reduce his profits.

Dialectically, it seems to us that Marr had not mended his ways despite the spotlight that was directed on him: dialectically, because we are not familiar with him or his books. We have also said, for example, that poetry, from its very beginnings as a choral song for the transmission of memories, with a magical-mystical-technological character, the first means of transmitting the social patrimony, has the character of a means of production. That is why we included poetry among the superstructures of a particular epoch. The same is true of language. Language in general, and its organization into verses, are instruments of production. But a particular poem, a particular school of poetry, relative to a country or a century, because they are differentiated from the preceding and following poems and schools, form part of the ideological and artistic superstructure of a particular economic form, of a particular mode of production. Engels: the upper stage of barbarism “Begins with the smelting of iron ore, and passes into civilization with the invention of alphabetic writing and its use for literary records.… We find the upper stage of barbarism at its highest in the Homeric poems, particularly in the Iliad .” Using this model we can also seek out other works and show that The Divine Comedy was the swan song of feudalism and that the tragedies of Shakespeare were the prologues to capitalism.

For the last Pontifex Maximus of Marxism the distinctive means of production of an epoch is forged iron but not alphabetic writing, because the latter does not produce material goods! But the human use of alphabetic writing was indispensable, among other things, for the capability to produce the specialty steels of modern metallurgy.

The same thing is true of language. It is a means of production in every epoch, but individual expression by means of language is part of the superstructure, as was the case with Dante Alighieri who did not write his poem in the Latin of the classics or the Church, but in the vulgar Italian, or as was the case of the language reform that marked the definitive abandonment of the old Saxon tongue and its replacement by modern literary German.

The same goes for the plow and the hoe. While it is true that any particular instrument of production can be found that spans two great social epochs separated by a class revolution, it is also true that the entire set of tools of any particular society “defines” it and “compels” it—due to the open conflict between the relations of production—to assume the new, rival form. In barbarism we find the potter’s wheel and in capitalism the modern turntable with a reliable precision motor. And now and then a tool disappears in order to be converted, as in the classic case of the spinning wheel mentioned by Engels, into a museum piece.

Likewise with the plow and the hoe. The society of industrial capitalism cannot eliminate the small-scale, inefficient farming that requires the backbone of pithecanthropus, that was once so proudly erect, to be twisted and bent. But a communist organization with a complete industrial base will undoubtedly only engage in mechanized farming. And in this manner the language of the capitalists will be destroyed, and one will no longer hear those common formulas employed by the Stalinists who try to make us believe that they are marching forward together with that all-too-contradictory hodgepodge: morality, liberty, justice, popular rights, progressive, democratic, constitutional, constructive, productive, humanitarian, etc., which precisely comprise the apparatus thanks to which the most wealth ends up in the pockets of the loudmouths: a function that is identical with that of certain other, material, tools: the foreman’s whistle, the policeman’s handcuffs.

The Idealist Theory of National Language

To deny that human language in general has an origin and a function as a productive instrument, and that the superstructures of class societies include (even among those that are not immediately but gradually replaced) the local and contingent spoken and written language, is equivalent to a complete regression to idealist doctrines, and amounts to politically embracing the bourgeois postulate of the transition to a common language on the part of the literate people of diverse dialects and the erudite persons of an entire politically united country, a real linguistic revolution that heralded the advent of the capitalist epoch.

Since, according to the text that we are examining, language is not a superstructure of the economic base, nor is it a productive instrument, we have to ask: exactly how is it defined?

Let’s see: “Language is a medium, an instrument with the help of which people communicate with one another, exchange thoughts and understand each other. Being directly connected with thinking, language registers and fixes in words, and in words combined into sentences, the results of the process of thinking and achievements of man's cognitive activity, and thus makes possible the exchange of thoughts in human society” (Stalin, op. cit. ). This is therefore supposed to be the Marxist solution of the problem. We do not see how any orthodox traditional ideologist could object to this definition. It is clear that according to this definition humanity prospers by means of a labor of research elaborated in thought and formulated in ideas, passing from this individual phase to a collective one involving its application by way of the use of language, which allows the discoverer to pass on the results of his discovery to other men. And so the materialist development with which we are concerned here (in conformance with the usual quotations from our basic texts) is completely discarded: from action to the word, from the word to the idea, this being understood not as a process that is carried out by an individual, but by society or more correctly: from social labor to language, from language to science, to collective thought. The function of thought in the individual is derivative and passive. Stalin’s definition is thus pure idealism. The presumed exchange of thoughts is the projection of bourgeois commodity exchange into the realm of fantasy.

It is very strange that the accusation of idealism falls upon the disgraced Marr, who, by upholding the thesis of changes in language, apparently reached the point where he could predict a decline in the function of language, which would then give way to other forms. Marr is accused of having thus hypothesized that thought could be transmitted without language, and therefore of having become mired in the swamp of idealism. But in this swamp those who presume they are floating high above Marr are the most pitiful. Marr’s thesis is depicted as in contradiction with this passage from Karl Marx: Language is “the immediate reality of thought…. Ideas do not exist divorced from language.”

But is it not the case that this clear statement of the materialist thesis is totally denied by Stalin’s definition mentioned above, according to which language is reduced to a means for the exchange of thoughts and ideas?

We shall reconstruct Marr’s bold theory in our own way (we may do so thanks to the possession of a theory of the party that transcends generations and borders). Language is—and this is where Stalin stops—an instrument by means of which men communicate with each other. Does communication among men have nothing to do with production? This is what bourgeois economic theory maintains, according to which it appears that each person produces for himself and that he only encounters the other persons by way of the market, to see if he can cheat them. The correct Marxist expression would not be “language is a medium, an instrument with the help of which people communicate with one another, exchange thoughts and understand each other”, but “language is a medium, an instrument with the help of which people communicate with one another and help each other produce”. We therefore recognize that it is correct to consider language as a means of production. And as for that metaphysical “exchange thoughts and understand each other”, six hundred thousand years have passed and it would appear we have all gone to the same school and we still do not understand it!

Language is thus a technological means of communication. It is the first such means. But is it the only one? Certainly not. Over the course of social evolution an increasingly more diverse series of such means has appeared, and Marr’s speculation that other means might someday largely replace the spoken language is not so far-fetched. Marr is by no means saying that thought as an immaterial expression on the part of an individual subject will be transmitted to the other subjects without taking the natural form of language. Marr is evidently suggesting, with the formula that has been translated as a “process of thinking”, that it will develop in forms that will be beyond language, not with reference to the metaphysical individual invention, but to the legacy of technological knowledge typical of a highly developed society. There is nothing eschatological or magical about this.

Let’s take a look at a very simple example. The helmsman on a galley issued his orders “out loud”. Just like the pilot of the sailing vessel and the skippers on the first steamships. “Full Steam Ahead … Full power … Back to half power …” The ships became much bigger and the captain shouted as loud as he could to issue orders to the boiler room, but this soon proved to be unsatisfactory, and after a period when voicepipes (a truly primitive invention) were used, a mechanical telephone with a crank was introduced, and later an electrical telephone, which connected the signaling quarters with the engineer. Finally, the instrument panel of a great airliner is full of displays and readouts that transmit all kinds of information from all parts of the plane. The spoken word is indeed being replaced, but by means that are just as material as it is, although obviously not as natural, just as modern tools are less natural than a cut-off piece of a branch used as a club.

We need not enumerate all the stages in this very long series. The spoken word, the written word, the press, the infinity of algorithms, of symbolic mathematics, which have now become international which is what happens in all the fields of technology and general services which are regulated by conventions of open access for the transmission of precise information concerning meteorology, electronics, astronomy, etc. All electronic applications, radar and other such technologies, all types of signal receivers, are so many more new means of connection among men, which have been rendered necessary due to the complex systems of life and production, and which already in a hundred different ways bypass the word, grammar and syntax, whose immanence and eternity is defended by Stalin, who subjected Marr to such a formidable onslaught.

Is it possible that the capitalist system will cease to consider that the mode of conjugating the verb “to have”, or the verb “to value”, or of declining the possessive adjective and declaring that the personal pronoun must be the basis of any utterance, is eternal? Someday the use of the words “Your Honor” and “Your Lordship”, just like the old “Thou”, will make people laugh, just like the humble servant and the good business deals made by the travelling salesmen.

References and Distortions

In all Marxist analyses the thesis that the demand for a national language is a historical characteristic of all the anti-feudal revolutions is of fundamental importance, since this national language was necessary to unite and establish communication between all the compartments of the emerging national market, in order to facilitate the transfer from one part of the national territory to another of the proletarians that had been liberated from glebe serfdom, and in order to fight against the influence of traditional religious, scholastic, and cultural forms that relied in part on the use of Latin as a common language of the learned, and in part on the diversity of local dialects.

To justify his novel theory of extra-classist language—a theory that is truly novel in the Marxist sense—Stalin strives to overcome the contradiction, evidently invoked from various angles, with texts from Lafargue, Marx, Engels, and even … Stalin. The good example offered by Lafargue is dismissed in summary fashion. In an article entitled, “The French Language Before and After the Revolution”, Lafargue discussed an unforeseen linguistic revolution that took place in France between 1789 and 1794. That is too short a period of time, Stalin says, and if a very small number of words disappeared from the language, they were replaced by new ones. But the words that disappeared were precisely those words that were most closely related to the relations of social life. Some were proscribed by laws passed by the Convention. There is a well-known counterrevolutionary anecdote: “What is your name, citizen?” “Marquise de Saint Roiné.” “ Il n’ya plus de marquis! ” (There are no more Marquis!) “De Saint Roiné!” “ Il n’y a plus de ‘de’! ” (There are no more noble prefixes for names!) “Saint Roiné!” “ Il n’y a plus de Saints! ” “Roiné!” “ Il n’y a plus de rois! ” (There are no more kings [ rois ]!) “ Je suis né! ” (I was born!) shouted the unfortunate. Stalin was right: the verb form “ né ” has not changed.

In a text entitled “Saint Max”, which we confess we have not read, Karl Marx said that the bourgeoisie have their own language, which “itself is a product of the bourgeoisie” and that this language is permeated with the style of commercialism and of buying and selling. In fact, the merchants of Amberes, during the depths of the Middle Ages, were able to understand the merchants of Florence, and this is one of the “glories” of the Italian language, the mother language of capital. Just as in music you see the words “andante”, “allegro”, “pianissimo”, etc. everywhere, so too in every European marketplace one heard the words “firma”, “sconto”, “tratta”, “riporto” and everywhere the pestilential jargon of commercial correspondence was assimilated, “in response to your request…”. So what answer does Stalin provide for this indisputable quotation? He invites us to read another passage from the same text by Marx: “… in every modern developed language, partly as a result of the historical development of the language from pre-existing material, as in the Romance and Germanic languages, partly owing to the crossing and mixing of nations, as in the English language, and partly as a result of the concentration of the dialects within a single nation brought about by economic and political concentration, the spontaneously evolved speech has been turned into a national language.” So? The linguistic superstructure is still subject to the same process as the state superstructure and the economic base. But just as the concentration of capital, the unification of national exchange, and political concentration in the capitalist state are not instantly realized in their final form, since they are historical results linked to bourgeois rule and its cycle, the transition from local dialects to a unitary language constitutes a phenomenon that also proceeds in accordance with all these factors. The market, the state and power are national insofar as they are bourgeois. Language becomes national insofar as it is the language of the bourgeoisie. Engels, who is always cited by Stalin, says, in The Condition of the Working Class in England : the English “working-class has gradually become a race wholly apart from the English bourgeoisie…. The workers speak other dialects, have other thoughts and ideals, other customs and moral principles, a different religion and other politics than those of the bourgeoisie.”

The patch applied here is also threadbare: Engels does not admit, by saying this, that there are class languages, since he is talking about dialects, and dialect is a derivative of the national language. But have we not established that the national language is a synthesis of dialects (or the result of a struggle among dialects) and that this is a class process, linked to the victory of a particular class, the bourgeoisie?

Lenin must therefore be forgiven for having recognized the existence of two cultures in capitalism, one bourgeois and the other proletarian, and that the campaign in favor of a national culture in capitalism is a nationalist campaign. Emasculating Lafargue, that valiant fellow, might be easy, but to then go on and do the same to Marx, Engels and Lenin is a difficult task. The answer to all of this is that language is one thing and culture is another. But which comes first? For the idealist who acknowledges abstract thought, culture is before and above language, but for the materialist, for whom the word comes before the idea, culture can only be formed on the basis of language. The position of Marx and Lenin is therefore as follows: the bourgeoisie will never admit that its culture is a class culture, since it claims that it is the national culture of a particular people, and thus the overvaluation of the national language serves as a major obstacle that stands in the way of the formation of a proletarian and revolutionary class culture, or rather, theory.

The best part is where Stalin, in the manner of Filippo Argenti, engages in self-criticism. At the 16th Congress of the party he said that in the era of world socialism all the national languages would be combined into one. This formula seems to be very radical, and it is not easy to reconcile it with the other one offered some time later concerning the struggle between two languages that ends with the victory of one of them which absorbs the other without the latter leaving a trace. The author then attempts to exculpate himself by saying that his detractors had not understood the fact that it was a matter of two very different historical epochs: the struggle and the merging of languages takes place in the midst of the capitalist epoch, while the formation of the international language will take place in the fully socialist epoch. “To demand that these formulas should not be at variance with each other, that they should not exclude each other, is just as absurd as it would be to demand that the epoch of the domination of capitalism should not be at variance with the epoch of the domination of socialism, that socialism and capitalism should not exclude each other.” This jewel leaves us stupefied. Have not all the propaganda efforts on the part of the Stalinists been devoted to maintaining that the rule of socialism in Russia not only does not exclude the existence of capitalism in the West, but in addition that the two forms can peacefully coexist?

Only one legitimate conclusion can be drawn from this whole shameful display. Russian power can coexist with the capitalist nations of the West because it, too, is a national power, with its national language that is fiercely defended in all its integrity, far removed from the future international language, just as its “culture” is far removed from the revolutionary theory of the world proletariat.

The same author, however, is forced at a certain point to recognize that the national formation of languages strictly reflects that of the national states and national markets. “Later, with the appearance of capitalism, the elimination of feudal division and the formation of national markets, nationalities developed into nations, and the languages of nationalities into national languages.” This is well said. But then he stumbles and says that, “History shows that national languages are not class, but common languages, common to all the members of each nation and constituting the single language of that nation” (Stalin, op. cit. ). History dictated this lesson when it relapsed into capitalism. Just as in Italy, where the nobles, the priests and the educated elites spoke Latin, and the people spoke Tuscan, in England the nobles spoke French and the people spoke English, so too in Russia the revolutionary struggle led to the following result: the aristocrats spoke French, the socialists spoke German and the peasants spoke what we shall not deign to call Russian, but rather a dozen languages and a hundred dialects. Had the movement continued in accordance with Lenin’s revolutionary designs it would soon have had a language of its own: everyone would have spoken a garbled version of “international French”. But Joseph Stalin did not understand any of this French, either: only Georgian and Russian. He was the man of the new situation, a situation in which one language drags ten others along with it and in order to do so employs the weapon of literary tradition the new situation was that of an authentic ruthless nationalism, which, like all the others, followed the law of concentration with regard to language by declaring it to be an intangible cultural patrimony.

It is unusual—or perhaps not so unusual if this movement does not refuse to exploit the sympathies and the support of the foreign proletariat for Marxist traditions—that the text claims to support that decisive passage from Lenin: “Language is the most important means of human intercourse. Unity of language and its unimpeded development form one of the most important conditions for genuinely free and extensive commercial intercourse appropriate to modern capitalism, for a free and broad grouping of the population in all its separate classes.” It is therefore quite clear that the postulate of national language is not immanent but historical: it is linked—usefully—to the appearance of developed capitalism.

It is clear, however, that everything changes and is turned upside down when capitalism falls, and with it commercial society and the division of society into classes. The national languages will perish along with these social institutions. The revolution that fights against them is alien to and an enemy of the demand for a national language, once capitalism has been defeated.

Personal and Economic Dependence

It constitutes a radical departure from historical materialism to limit it to the epochs during which directly commercial relations between possessors of not only products but also of productive instruments, including land, prevailed. For the theory is also applicable to the preceding epochs before the appearance of the distinction between private possessors due to the establishment of the foundations of the first hierarchies in the family and gender relations. This error, that consists in leaving to non-determinist explanations all that relates to generative and family phenomena, is altogether consonant with the restoration of the linguistic element of the class dynamic it always involves toleration of the fact that decisive sectors of social life should be withdrawn from the domain of the laws of dialectical materialism.

In a text expressly intended to criticize the Marxist interpretation of history, and claiming that the latter is reduced (as unfortunately occurs with some unwary and inexperienced followers of the communist movement) to deducing the developments of the political history from the conflict between classes that participate in different ways in economic wealth and its distribution, it is taken for granted that there was a time when there was already a complete organization of the state type and the social contest was not between classes of rich patrician landowners, impoverished plebian peasants and artisans, and slaves, because it was based on the authority of the father of the family.

The author of this text (DeVinscher, Property and Family Power in Ancient Rome , Brussels, 1952) distinguishes two stages in the history of juridical systems: one, the most recent, responsible for the well-known civil law that the modern bourgeoisie has embraced as its own, providing for the free disposal of any object and “fee simple ownership”, whether in real property in land or property in other goods, which we may call the “capitalist” stage, and another, much older stage in which the civil administration and its legal codes were very different, in that they largely prohibited instances of transfer and sale except in cases where they were strictly regulated on the basis of the family order, which was patriarchal. This was supposed to be a “feudal” stage, if we contrast this feudalism and capitalism in the ancient world with respect to the characteristic feature that they contained a social class that was lacking in the Medieval and Modern eras, that of the slaves. The latter were excluded from legal rights because they were considered to be things, rather than persons subject to law: within the circle of free men, the citizens, a constitution based on the family and on personal dependence preceded the later one that was based on the free alienation of goods, in which the seller and the buyer engaged with their mutual consent.

The author attempts to refute the “priority that historical materialism has clearly granted to the notions of patrimonial right in the development of institutions”. This would be true if the base to which historical materialism refers were the pure economic phenomenon of property, to patrimony in the modern sense, and if, moreover, this base did not embrace the entire life of the species and group and all the discipline of its relations that had arisen from environmental difficulties, and above all the discipline of generation and family organization.

As everyone knows and as we shall see in Part 2, in the ancient communities or phratries there was neither private property nor institutions of class power. Labor and production had already appeared and this is the material base, which is much more extensive than the one that is narrowly understood as juridical and economic in Marxist terminology: we shall demonstrate that this base is bound up with the “production of the producers”, that is, the generation of the members of the tribe that is carried out with strict adherence to absolute racial purity.

In this pure gens there is no other dependence or authority than that exercised by the healthy and vigorous adult member of the tribe over the young members who are trained and prepared for a simple and serene life in society. The first authority arose in connection with the first limitations imposed on sexual promiscuity, and this authority was the matriarchy, in which the mother is the leader of the community: but during this era there was not yet any division of the land or anything else. The basis of such a division was created by the patriarchy, which was at first polygamous and later monogamous: the male leader of the family is a real administrative and military leader who regulates the activity of the children and also of the prisoners and that of the conquered peoples who became slaves. We are on the threshold of the formation of a class state.

Once this point is reached it is possible to understand in broad outlines the old Roman legal status, which lasted a millennium (Justinian definitively erased its last traces), the mancipium . People and things were in the power of the pater familias : the wife or wives, the children, who are free, the slaves and their offspring, the cattle, the land and all the tools and provisions produced on it. All of these things were at first only alienable by way of a rare and difficult procedure called emancipatio , or if acquirable without payment, which form of conveyance was called mancipatio . This is the source of the famous distinction between res mancipii , inalienable things, and res nec mancipii , things that can be sold at will, which form part of the normal patrimonium , things that are susceptible to increase or decrease.

Thus, in the second stage, when there was no longer anything that was res mancipii , and everything was an article of unrestricted commerce (between parties who are not slaves), economic value came to prevail and it became obvious to everyone that struggles for political power were based on the interests of opposed social classes, according to the distribution of land and wealth in the first stage, economic value and patrimonial right as a license for free acquisition were replaced by the personal imperium of the leader of the family, whose prevailing form of organization recognized the three categories of mancipium , manus and patria potestas , which were the pivots of the society of that epoch.

For the Marxist it is obviously an elementary error to assert that in the first stage of relations economic determinism does not apply. The mistake is based on the tautology that in the commercial order everything proceeds between “equals” and that personal dependence disappears to give way to the exchange between equivalents, in accordance with the famous law of value. But Marxism precisely proves that the unlimited and “Justinianian” commercial exchange of products and instruments led to a new and heavy yoke of personal dependence for the members of the exploited and working classes.

Thus, many people opt to take the easy way out whenever the question arises of a social relation that pertains to the family, since in their view such a relation is supposed be explained not by way of the productive economy but by so-called “emotional” factors, therefore completely falling prey to idealism. The system of relations based on generation and the family also arises in correspondence with the quest for a better way of life for the group in its physical environment and for its necessary productive labor, and this correspondence is found within the laws of materialism just as when it addresses the later stage of the separate exchanges between individual possessors of products.

But there can be no doubt that the Marxism that is unable to see this succumbs to the idealist resurrection, by admitting if even for only one second that in addition to the factors of economic interest that are crystallized in the possession of private patrimony and in the exchange of private goods (including among these exchangeable goods human labor power), there are also other factors that are foreign to the materialist dynamic, such as sex, family affection, love and above all by falling victim to the insipid banality that these factors at certain moments supersede and radically transform the factor of the economic base by their superior forces.

Instead, it is only on the basis of the cornerstone of the efforts to assure the immediate life of the species, which inseparably combine the production of food and reproduction, subordinating if necessary individual self-preservation to that of the species, that the vast and exhaustive edifice of historical materialism is founded, which embraces all the manifestations of human activity including the latest, most complex and grandiose ones.

We shall conclude this part with Engels ( The Origin of the Family… ) again, in order to show the customary fidelity of our school, and its repugnance towards any kind of novelty. It is always the development of the productive instruments that is found at the basis of the transition from the patriarchal imperium to free private property. In the higher stage of barbarism, the social division of labor between artisans and farmers, and the difference between city and country, had already appeared…. War and slavery had already existed for quite some time:

“The distinction of rich and poor appears beside that of freemen and slaves—with the new division of labor, a new cleavage of society into classes. The inequalities of property among the individual heads of families break up the old communal household communities wherever they had still managed to survive, and with them the common cultivation of the soil by and for these communities. The cultivated land is allotted for use to single families, at first temporarily, later permanently. The transition to full private property is gradually accomplished, parallel with the transition of the pairing marriage into monogamy. The single family is becoming the economic unit of society.”

Once again, the dialectic teaches how the individual family, that presumed fundamental social value so highly praised by fideists and enlightened bourgeoisie, which is linked to society based on private property, is also a transitory institution, and denies that it has any basis outside of its material determination—a basis that the fideists and bourgeoisie, on the other hand, assert must be sought in sex or love—and that the individual family will be destroyed after the victory of communism, now that its dynamic has already been studied and condemned by materialist theory.

    A series of articles published first in Battaglia Comunista and later in Il Programma Comunista during the 1950s and 1960s. “Il Battilocchio nella storia”, no. 7, April 3-17, and “Superuomo ammosciati”, no. 8, April 17-30, 1953, on the function of the celebrity “Fantasime carlailiane”, no. 9, May 7-21, 1953, on the same question as it is reflected in the field of art. [For an English translation of “Il Battilocchio nella storia”, see “The Guignol in History”, available online at: http://libcom.org/library/guignol-history-amadeo-bordiga. American Translator’s Note.] The essay on Stalin and linguistics—which is discussed in part in the article, “Church and Faith, Individual and Reason, Class and Theory”, Battaglia Comunista , no. 17, 1950—was preceded by the following note: “The digression is not inappropriate in this arrangement of the material utilized in the report, since it involves the analysis of the doctrine expounded by Stalin with regard to linguistics, all of which is based on the distinctions, employed in a hardly consistent manner, between base and superstructure”.

What if the French Revolution never happened? | Fraternité en Rébellion

Mapperific

Treaty of Versailles (1768) - Wikipedia

Pls don't ban me

Mapperific

bad english sorry.
i can link an article that explains better pretty recent event . it's in italian but wit the " magic" of google translate.
View attachment 568711

FeR_Sam

Charles XII - Grandfather Alphonse

With the death of his nephew, Alphonse Charles Fernand Joseph Juan Pío, succeeds him as Charles XII. The second son of Jean III, the first of Spanish Bourbons to ascend the French Throne in 1882, Alphonse Charles has lived half of his life in France. A calm, religious and mostly apolitical man, he stayed silent in amidst the anti-corruption crusades of Charles XI, not supporting his brother for what he himself considered to be a witch hunt yet not willing to oppose him due to their family bonds, he instead chose self-imposed exile in order to weather the storm.

During that time, he distinguished himself as leading a campaign against duelling throughout Europe, establishing many anti duelling clubs in the Holy Roman Empire, Austria, Italy, and Spain earning himself the title of a humanitarian gentleman amongst Vienna’s intellectual circles. After the death of his brother, Alphonse Charles came back to prominence, trying to distance the crown from the persecutions and repair the ties between the Bourbons and the rest of the country, acting as the friendly face of the monarchy. For his efforts, he soon gained the nickname “grand père Alphonse”, given by the people to distinguish him from his brutal brother.

Now that his nephew has suddenly passed away (or even assassinated according to some), Alphonse-Charles, choosing the name Charles XII during his coronation, now has the difficult task of mending the French nation. A difficult task considering the recession, the culture of distrust and paranoia, regional separatism, and the ever-secretive club Montesquieu. Yet Charles XII has the charm and the necessary connections to endure this crisis and bring France back into prosperity under his compassionate rule.

Yet while his benevolence is appreciated, his old age is concerning. Should he die, the next in the line of succession is Alfonso XIII the king of Spain. Yet France cannot have a foreign ruler according to its fundamental laws. Agreements are being made, in order to ensure a proper successor, however, both Charles and Alfonso seem to be unhappy with the current solution…

Jacques II - L'étranger

If you ask any man from the province which dynasty sits on the throne of the Kingdom he will answer: “Why Monsieur, it’s the Bourbons!”

Indeed, for more than three centuries, the Bourbons were in power in France. Even after the crown passed to the Spanish Branch of Bourbon-Anjou, nothing really changed. Yes, since the ascension of Jean III, the monarchs had a light accent and a poor taste in wine, but they were or at the very least considered themselves as French. So why after more than 50 years of the ascension of Jean III this new Bourbon is criticised and accused of not being a true French man?

Jacques Léopold Isabelin Henri Alexandre Albert Alphonse Victor Acace Pierre Paul Marie de Bourbon, crowned as Jacques II has lived most of his life in Spain, a fact which demonstrates how he was unprepared for the role. Following King Alfonso’s rejection of the throne due to French fundamental laws, young Jacques found himself a foreign king in a foreign country. His French is palpable, his knowledge of the internal politics is lacking to say the least. Most of his appearances in public are brief, his speeches are wooden and during any social events he is always silent, staring at and observing those around him. Worst of all, much of the populace considers him to be nothing more but a pawn of his father, a perception only reinforced after Alfonso personally attended the coronation and publicly announced a new (and rather inequal) trade agreement between the two Kingdoms.

Nevertheless, the young king now finds himself in a rather precarious position, France once a bastion of stability is now a jigsaw puzzle of social instability. The nobles, the regional separatists, the military, the intellectuals, and the industrialists are all asking the young king seemingly impossible tasks. Fix the economy, restore the social order, implement new progressive reforms, restore old privileges, grant more autonomy to the provinces… If France is to remain united, compromises must be made, agreements with more rebellious elements are imperative and unpopular measures, at least that is what the Cabinet tells the King. The reign ahead seems difficult but as they say:

“L’impossible n'est pas français”

Jean d’Orléan - The Patriot

There are many terms used to describe the controversial figure of the Duke of Orléans. A soldier and a medic, a noble and a progressive, a traitor and a loyalist. He himself prefers the sobriquet of a patriot: a man devoted to France and his countrymen.

Unlike most noble families of France, the Orleans, one of the cadet branches of the Bourbons, prospered throughout the 19th century. Riding on the wave of enlightened rule and Industrial Revolution, the Orleans positioned themselves as a family of progress and the industrial age. Nurturing their connections with the industrials, the intellectuals, and the military the Orleans managed to maintain their status and become one of the most important forces in French politics. While not in opposition to the crown, they were always pushing the boundaries of their influence, always being right behind the Throne. When Jean III started his reforms, it was Robert Orleans who introduced him to the economist Albert de Mun, when Boulanger was sent with the expeditionary forces to help the Canadians in the North American War his second in command was Phillipe Orléans. This is the family that Jean was born into.

As all offspring of the Orleans, Jean was expected to start a career in the military. Joining just after the North American war, Jean’s years of service would occur amidst one of the most important reforms in the modern French military. Amongst the most notable would be a new patriotic and meritocratic esprit de corps introduced by the General Boulanger. The young Jean would be deeply impacted by these reforms and would often cite them as essentials parts of the founding blocks that made his character. His first taste of war would come during the The Gaselee Expedition of 1900, where Captain-Lieutenant Orlean of the Musketeers of the Guard, would personally lead the Grey company during the siege of Pekin. Perhaps growing disillusioned with the art of war, Jean would go into early retirement after the expedition, thinking about starting a career in politics.

Unfortunately for the Duke, the timing could not be worse.

In December of 1901, a corruption scandal of unprecedented scale would hail the end of the Golden Century for France. The Anti-Corruption crusades, coupled with an economic crash and growing tension between France and Britain, a turbulent time indeed. Most people would prefer to lay low during this storm. The Duke of Orleans is not most people. Being one of the first and more virulent opponents of the Charles XI witch hunts, Jean would soon become the prime target of the royal anti-corruption committee, branded as a traitor to the crown, and forced into exile until the death of the king in 1918.

During that time Jean would travel around Europe, marry and settle in the prestigious city of Ulm where he would start his career as a writer, mostly criticizing Charles XI. During his exile he also became a member of the Red Cross and would come back to China during the Sino-Manchu war, this time not as a soldier but a medic.

His popularity never ceased to grow and after the death of Charles XI in 1918, he came back to his motherland, becoming deeply involved in the politics of the Kingdom. Placing himself as a progressive patriot and wanting to transform France into a “modern monarchy” he constantly butted heads with more conservative thinkers. With the ascension of Jacques II on the throne Jean, while initially sympathetic to the young king, has grown more and more irritated with the ineptitude of the latter. Of course, he himself would never try to overthrow the monarch, but on the other hand he cannot ignore the pleas of his countrymen for help.

After all, one is a poor patriot indeed, if he does not listen to the woes of his nation.

FeR_Sam

Meet the Prussian Direktorium as of 1st Jan 1933!

The current 5 representatives holding positions in Prussia’s powerful executive couldn’t be more further apart in terms of their doctrines and aspirations. Institutions, procedures and mechanisms that were originally thought to preserve fair democratic representation and balance now contribute towards increasing deadlock. Coalitions will have to be built and the public opinion will have to be swayed one way or another, for continued disagreement within Berlin’s highest decision-making organ will only harm the Republic!

Oswald Spengler - Der Präsident

Born in 1880 in the Duchy of Braunschweig to a middle class family, little hinted that Oswald Spengler would later come to prominence as a central figure of Prussian republicanism. Oswald's father, Bernhard Spengler, held the position of a postal secretary and was a hard-working man with a marked dislike of intellectualism, who tried to instil the same values and attitudes in his son. However, his son would have none of that. Oswald became interested in history and philosophy from an early age, being particularly interested in the works of Goethe and Nietzsche, and in the developments that led to the Prussian Revolution of 1878. Constant arguments with his father and his rebellious nature led him to leave the family house (and Braunschweig) in 1899, and he moved to Halle, at this point still in Saxony, where he had received a place to study philosophy. After numerous failed attempts at obtaining a PhD he finally graduated in 1906. Sunk into his studies, it would be during these years in a mediocre teaching position that he would develop his disdain for what he perceived as the “morbid stagnation” of European society.

Nevertheless, Spengler would be only an irrelevant schoolteacher in Northern Saxony until the critical year of 1914. Being recruited by a fellow professor that had become involved with Prussian-sponsored republican activities, he immediately joined the Saxon Republican Movement. A convinced pan-Germanist, Spengler thought that Prussia’s Freieism was the best way forward to achieve German unity. During the North Saxon Uprising of 1914, he would be involved as a political agitator, rallying the disgruntled population to the Prussian cause. Embracing his newly-gained Prussian citizenship in earnest, Spengler then became involved in the politics of Berlin with the dominant Freieist Party as early as 1916. It would be from then on that Oswald Spengler would earn his fame.

His first hand experiences of the North Saxon Revolution inspired him to write a book detailing his take on the supposed failings of contemporary European society. In “The Decline of Europe” (1918), he details the perceived shortcomings of “Old Europe”, predicting a century of stagnation, increased abuse and eventual collapse of the “globalized Ancien Regime”, which will in turn lead to the generalized decline of European civilisation as a whole, unless a brand new force finds the resources to “reinvent the spirit of Europe”. In Spengler’s eyes, that force is Freieism.

Slowly but steadily climbing through the ranks, he won a deputy seat for the Saxony Department in the Staatsrat in 1921, and by 1926 he had won the presidency of the Freieist Party, and was subsequently elected into the Direktorium, holding the rotative presidency for 2 sub-terms (2 years). In 1926, his inaugural presidential year, he published his second influential book, “Preußentum und Freieismus”, in which he theorized the main pillars of what he coins as “true Prussian Republicanism”. He has been most controversial for painting Prussia and its republican tradition as antithetic to that of Britain, straining an already cool relationship with Europe’s only other modern republic. Spengler claimed that Prussian republican (Freieist) characteristics existed all across Germany that included creativity, discipline, concern for the greater good, productivity, and self-sacrifice. Spengler described “true republicanism” as being outside of a class conflict perspective and said that

Spengler addressed the need of Germans to accept Freieism to free themselves from foreign forms of government:

Spengler has significantly influenced modern Freieism the rise of Spengler as the de facto leader of the Freieist Party in the 1920s has been the cause of increasing rifts and rivalries in Prussian politics. His openly anti-marxist stance brings him at odds with Karl Liebknecht’s SPP, and Piłudski is not thrilled about the Freieists’ increasing obsession with pan-Germanism to the detriment of the federal identity either. Within the Freieist party itself, his increasingly radical stances have created a rupture, with the “moderate” wing led by Stresemann being increasingly antagonistic towards the Spengler-led mainstream. Spengler has won a Direktorium seat once again in the 1931 elections, and as 1933 dawns, he is currently holding the presidential position. His orthodox Freieist platform may be dominant at the moment, but his political ascendance will surely face challenges in the future.

Joseph Goebbels - Deutschland über alles

In its more than 50 years of existence so far, Prussia has seen its “old guard” generation of Freieist revolutionaries retire in their majority. Karl Shurz, the leader of the 1878 Revolution, died in 1906. Their place has been largely taken by the “2nd generation”, people born shortly before or after the years of the revolution, and their platform has been molded by their de facto leader, Oswald Spengler. However, there is yet another faction rising within the Freieist Party, one led by what some political commentators call the “3rd generation”. They are a loosely defined group, united by their criticism of contemporary Freieism. Unlike Stresemann’s reformists however, the “young generation” believes that Prussia’s republicanism is not radical enough and is as such betraying its roots. Their leader, Joseph Goebbels, is a profound believer in the aggressive pursuit of pan-Germanism and advocates for a synergization of Prussia’s romantic nationalist Freieism with its socialism.

Hailing from the Rhineland Republic, Joseph Goebbels is the youngest of the 5 members of the current Direktorium at 35 years old. Passionate about literature and history, he initially pursued an academic career, and at one point even contemplated the clergy. (Freedom of religion was guaranteed within the Rhineland Republic). However, after failed attempts at launching as an author, he became increasingly involved in politics, and joined the Freieist Party. His interest was sparked by reading Spengler’s “Decline of Europe”, and Spengler’s discourse during the 1921 elections appealed to him. As Spengler was touring Prussia to hold political rallies and present his books in 1926, Goebbels had the chance to stumble upon the Präsident Fast forward 7 years, and Goebbels is the self-styled leader of the youngest “clique” within the Freieist Party, dubbed the “neo-radicals''. With inspiration from actionism, a desire to “return to the roots of republicanism” and willingness to incorporate socialist principles, this new evolution of Freieism is slowly but surely making gains among the electorate of the Prussian Republic. The neo-radicals fully capitalize on the under-siege mentality that is prevalent in Prussia, and openly call for violent territorial expansion. Their discourse of Germanic exceptionalism is also greatly unsettling to the Polish Republicans, who fully oppose Goebbels’ platform. The neo-radical discourse appeals to certain segments of the Prussian franchise who feel that the Republic has been stagnating, and its adoption of socialist tenets threatens to divert some of the SPP’s votes.

In spite of Goebbels’ open praise of the Terror and the call for renewed radicalism (making extensive use of the guillotine’s symbolism), in spite of his aggressive posturing towards the neighbors and towards the monarchies, the popularity of the neo-radicals keeps growing. Only time will tell what will come out of their ideals and their leader’s fanatical pursuit of said ideals.

Józef Piłsudski - The Foreigner

Since 1906, the meetings of the Direktorium are punctuated from time to time by a crisply-accented, yet grammatically correct German. Józef Piłsudski is under no illusion (unlike the generation of Polish revolutionaries before him): He is the odd-one-out whenever the Direktorium convenes. What is a Polish revolutionary, dedicated to the cause of Poland’s freedom and independence, even doing in Berlin, surrounded by German radicals increasingly obsessed with their own nationalist projects? Things seemed different when Ludwik Waryński led the 1878 Warsaw Uprising into an united front with the Freieists: eternal cooperation, equality and prosperity within a federal republic, bound to forge a new federal Prussian identity out of their common struggle. However, 50 years later it seems that all that had been wishful thinking on the part of the Poles.

Sure, the autonomous Warsaw Republic enjoys its promised limited self rule and the Constitution ensures “fair” representation in the federal structures, but in practice the sheer weight of Brandenburg has been eclipsing the de jure equality. The German Freieists are free to dictate national policy with little exception, and there is little that the PPS (Polish Socialist Party) can do to alter that. Warsaw’s autonomy will matter little when Berlin is free to send Polish boys to die for a German cause.

Piłsudski is a unifying figure within the political scene of the Warsaw Republic. While factionalism is rather strong inside the PPS, with two main wings having developed (one advocating for internationalist material socialism and an eventual merger with the SPP (Prussian Socialists) - ”the young faction”, and another for an emphasis on the Polish national struggle - “the old faction”), Piłsudski has managed to keep them united for now. He himself is the de facto leader of the “old faction”, but he has managed to convince the opposing platforms of the necessity of Polish unity in the face of Brandenburg’s domineering politics.

Prussia’s constitution guarantees 1 seat in the Direktorium for the Warsaw Republic, which Piłsudski has occupied continuously since 1906. Now a seasoned veteran, he must also start thinking about the legacy he will leave behind once he retires. However, dark clouds are gathering above Warsaw, Prussia and Europe, and his presence may be required just a little bit longer… No matter what, one thing is certain about Piłsudski: his loyalty is firstly and only to Poland, and no Berlin office will force him to swear an oath to a German cause.

Karl Liebknecht - Revolutionary Roots, Reformist Ideals

While some children end up in opposition to their parents, others follow in their footsteps. Karl Liebknecht is one of the latter cases, with him practically “inheriting” his father’s lifelong project in 1900: the Sozialistische Partei Preußens (SPP-Socialist Party of Prussia). Although his family originally hailed from Hesse, Karl was born and raised in the Prussian Rhineland, where his father (Wilhelm Liebknecht) led the world’s first successful socialist revolution. Nevertheless, due to the situation on the ground, the province’s relative isolation and the threat of HRE retaliation, the Rhineland Republic had to acquiesce to forming an united front with the Brandenburg Freieists, thus being relegated to limited autonomy within the Prussian Republic after the Revolution of 1878.

Karl Liebknecht became an exponent of Marxist ideas early on, during his study of law and political economy in the Humboldt University of Berlin. His early involvement with the movement included the defense in court of some of his socialist colleagues who ended up on a WFaS list the main point of contention between the dominant Freieists and the SPP is the latter’s insistence on pacifism and internationalism. The Freieists see an aggressive foreign policy and pan-German nationalism as necessary for the well-being of Prussia. He won a deputy seat in the Staatsrat for the Rhineland Department in 1901, and in 1906 he was elected into the Direktorium, occupying the guaranteed seat for the Rhineland Republic.

As president of the SPP, he would go on to occupy that position without interruption. However, the ratio set by the constitution for the Direktorium of 1-3-1 (for the Rhineland Republic, Brandenburg Republic and Warsaw Republic respectively) limits any real power that Liebknecht and the SPP can exercise in practice, the Brandenburg-centric Freieists can rule by majority vote even if the Rhineland and Warsaw republics cooperate. An exception to the rule was the 1921-1926 “Reform” Direktorium, when self-avowed Freieist “reformist” Gustav Stresemann cooperated with Liebknecht and Piłudski and passed many reforms, especially pertaining to welfare reform, making it even more comprehensive, a slight reduction in the attributes of the WFaS, and further constitutional commitments to the federal structure and the autonomy of the constituent republics.

This did not bode well with the old guard Freieists however, and Stresemann lost his Direktorium seat in the 1926 elections. Liebknecht would remain however, and since then his main goal has been to keep as many of the reforms in place, while waiting for another opportunity to form a majority in the Direktorium. He also has the task of managing the internal politics of his own party, as cliques are slowly developing there as well.. Since he has assumed the leadership of the party, Liebknecht has sought to appeal to as large a population base as possible, and to make cooperation more attractive for the Freieists. Because of this, the focus of the party switched from an inherently revolutionary discourse to a more reformist one, emphasising the need for social and cross-platform cooperation. A certain hardliner is calling for renewed revolutionary vigour, and for the SPP to truly embrace its role as a “vanguard party”.

Gustav Stresemann - Liberal Republicanism

Gustav Stresemann is truly a child of the revolution. Born in the year of the revolution, 1878, in Berlin to a lower-middle class family, Stresemann grew up in the period of the Terror and its aftermath. His family’s economic standing slowly but steadily improved under the reforms of the republic, and this did not go unnoticed by Gustav. He became a sincere believer in republicanism from an early age. He was an avid learner, and was as such always at the top of his class. In April 1897, Stresemann enrolled in the University of Berlin. During his university years, Stresemann became involved with the Burschenschaften movement (a collective of student fraternities across Germany and the HRE, with their origins dating back to the wave of nationalism instilled by the destruction of the Austro-Prussian War.

In republican Prussia, they had attained a quasi-official status, but elsewhere in the HRE, they were considered illegal organisations due to their promotion of radical ideals). He became editor, in 1898, (and until 1908) of the Allgemeine Preußische Universitäts-Zeitung, a newspaper run by Konrad Kuster, an Anglophile and leader in the liberal portion of the Burschenschaften. Stresemann’s editorials for the paper were often political, and dismissed most of the contemporary political parties of Prussia as broken in one way or another. He was equally critical of the dogmatic Freieists and of the “utopianist” socialists of the SPP. Stresemann also commented negatively on the Polish Socialists, who in his opinion were more concerned with “petty Polish interests” than the common good of the federal republic.

His critical pieces had the WFaS open a file on him, but it was later closed due to the lack of conclusive evidence required to charge him with anything. In his writings for the Universitäts-Zeitung, he set out views that combined British-style liberal republicanism with strident German romantic nationalism, a combination that would dominate his views for the rest of his life. Although not entirely convinced by the Freieist platform, Stresemann decided to enter politics with the main party of Prussia and try to reform it from the inside. He won a deputy seat in 1916, and in the 1921 Elections, a new figure emerged in the Direktorium: none other than Gustav Stresemann. A self-proclaimed “moderate”, he advocated for a reduction in the WFaS’ powers, general amnesty for multiple classes of “enemies of the people'', cooperation with the SPP on welfare expansion, and a general detente with neighbours and the great powers of Ancien Europe. The 1921-1926 mandate came to be known as the "Reform Direktorium'', as Stresemann secured a working majority by working with Liebknecht and Piłudski, and in opposition to his fellow Freieists. These were rather radical tenets to hold, and he barely escaped having a file opened on him by the WFaS.

He lost his seat in 1926, but his fellow “moderate” Walther Rathenau gained a seat in that election, maintaining the “moderate” faction in the Direktorium. That would prove to be a short-lived illusion however, as Rathenau proved unwilling to risk his personal career by opposing the growing influence of Spengler, and chose instead to toe the line. Disaffected with Rathenau, the "reformists'' managed to secure enough votes in the Staatsrat in the 1931 elections to put Stresemann back in the Direktorium. This will be anything but an easy mandate though, as he will have to navigate treacherous waters if he is to succeed in implementing his liberal vision in Prussia and, eventually, all of Germany.

Mapperific

FeR_Sam

The Ottoman Empire stands in 1933, as it has for centuries now, at the gateway between East and West. The Porte is a powerful actor, with its holdings nominally stretching from the Western Balkans to the sand dunes of the Sahara and the mountains of Persia. However, the past 150 years have seen a steady, if slow decline in Ottoman power. No longer do the courts in Vienna and Petersburg tremble at the sound of the janissaries marching. Nevertheless, the Ottoman Empire is still widely recognized as a Great Power, and with proper leadership and a stroke of luck, it could again rise to the preeminence it once had.

The Beginning of the End: Late 18th Century

Once upon a time, the Sultan’s armies had been at the Gates of Vienna, ready to fight their way into the heart of Europe. They lost the battle however, and seem to have been in a continual retreat ever since. The 2nd half of the 18th century saw the start of the increased Ottoman decline. The Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 (and its associated Austrian conflict) ended in a serious Ottoman defeat, with Russia making gains on the Black Sea Coast and Austria encroaching in Bosnia and Croatia. The Sultan Selim III acknowledged his army’s shortcomings and pushed for a modernized force. Although initially the advisors considered asking France for backing, owing to older military ties between the Kingdom and the Porte, the Ottomans accepted a British offer to train and equip their new force, since by the turn of the century France was committed to an Austrian alliance, and the British had interests in establishing a presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Reign of Mahmud II (1808-1839)

Early Reforms:
Selim III (1789-1807), acting on the experience of the humiliating defeats of the last Russo-Turkish War, pushed for military reform (and to a lesser degree administrative reform). In 1796, he established the Nizam-i-Cedid (New Model Army), with the help of the British mission sent by London to help the Ottomans organize their new force. The Nizam-i-Cedid was a break from Ottoman military tradition and was based on western military principles. The army was met with heavy opposition from entrenched power groups, notably the Janissaries and the Ayan (local governors), who saw it as a threat to the established order of things, as well as from many in the wider public who detested the introduction of conscription, never before used in the empire, and the subsequent tax increases needed to outfit the new force. Many also felt that the new force was un-Ottoman in its nature and constituted a concession to the Western “allies” (namely Britain, which was also requesting increasingly intrusive trade privileges).

Tensions between the traditionalists and reformists mounted until 1807, when a Janissary putsch managed to arrest and kill sultan Selim III. Upon hearing of the uproar in Constantinople, the reform-minded pashas marched on the capital, killed the janissary puppet-sultan Mustafa IV, and installed the last remaining heir of the Osmans, Mahmud II. His reign would prove to be a turning point in Ottoman affairs…

The 9 Years’ War: Attempts at modern warfare the Janissary and Greek revolts:
Mahmud II not only maintained the Nizam-i-Cedid, but also focused most of the state’s army funds into the modernised segment of the Ottoman army, much to the dismay of the traditional Janissaries. However, this neglect, combined with the New Army’s ascendance, significantly weakened the Janissary influence within Ottoman politics. The tax collection system saw reforms as well, and some more conservative-minded administrators from the eyalets, together with the wounded Janissaries, started plotting again. Not much was achieved in terms of civil reforms by the time the 9 Years’ War started in 1821, but the Nizam-i-Cedid became an established force numbering more than 60.000 soldiers, and with a few modern arsenals to supply the needed modern equipment. The Sultan's military jewel was led by none other than Mehmet Ali. An ambitious person and talented politician, Ali had managed to manoeuvre through the Porte's intricate political web to gain command of the army, as governor (Pasha) of the Rumelia Eyalet. The upcoming war would prove that, beyond his political skills, he was also an able commander. Together with fellow reformist Hüsrev Pasha, Pasha of the Caucasus area and grand admiral of the Ottoman fleet, they formed the nucleus of the pro-reform faction at the Ottoman court, and they helped the sultan keep the disgruntled Janissaries and provincial Ayan in check.

In preparation for a potential future conflict with Russia, Mahmud II had ordered the reinforcement and modernisation of the late mediaeval Dniester fortresses in vassal Moldavia, which had become the border of the Empire with Russia after 1792. Any war with the Russians would be hard fought across those lands His strategy was to keep the Russians in check on the Dniester and at the entrance of the Caucasus, while the brunt of the Ottoman forces would swoop in in the Western Balkans and decisively strike Austria in its “soft underbelly”. Mahmud’s intuition proved right in late 1821, when a diplomatic chain reaction triggered by American skirmishes into British Canada led to a generalized war between the two grand alliances of Europe. Less than one year later, spurred by British promises of aid, but also by the prospect of reversing the fortunes of the 1792 peace, the Ottomans declared war on Austria and Russia. Throughout the first 2 years, everything went according to plan: Russian advances were botched by poor commanding skills on part of the Russians and unexpected professionalism on part of the Ottoman new model armies in the east, led by Ali, and only the determined defense of Austrian commander Jomini managed to halt a potential Ottoman reconquest of central Hungary in the first year of campaigning. The Sultan personally campaigned with the core of the Ottoman Army in the west, which consisted of the levy troops, noble sipahis and the dreaded Janissary Corps.

In April 1824, as preparations for a new general offensive were underway, a newly formed New Model division was marching through Thrace, with the purpose of joining the main Ottoman force camping south of the Drava in Croatia. However, as they passed through a small city, they were met with violent opposition. The local Ayan had been instructed by superior Janissary leaders to hinder the New Model division’s advance. Even after the commander of the army division read out the imperial orders, the local Janissary garrison refused to lay down arms and charged the Nizam-i-Cedid troops, resulting in a chaotic melee on the city streets. To further aggravate matters, the city’s administration refused to submit to the central government’s authority and did not turn over those responsible for the mutiny. Subsequently, the central government in Constantinople sent two frigates to blockade the city, to no effect, before finally authorising them to bombard it. All across the Ottoman military structure, the Janissary elements began pursuing a policy of active opposition to the New Model Army. They feared that the centralized nature of this force and its proven efficiency on the battlefield would endanger their special status. Janissary units would directly disobey orders to assist their New Model counterparts, and sometimes even attack them during retreats or redeployments. A status of near-chaos ensued behind the Ottoman main forces, as reinforcements were continuously disrupted and Turkish forces were engaged fighting each other. The main Ottoman force under Sultan Mahmud II in Croatia and the Nizam-i-Cedid Army under Mehmet Ali in Moldavia were both practically cut off from their own rear area due to this instability.

The Austrians capitalized on this and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Ottoman army in Croatia. The Ottoman western front never managed to recover from the losses (upwards of 100k killed and/or captured), and for the remainder of the conflict will be steadily pushed back towards Rumelia. However, on the Russian front, the prowess of the New Model forces and Mehmet Ali’s innovative tactics (from a Turkish perspective) kept taking the Russians by surprise. The advances through the Caucasus Mountains and the Balkan Black Sea coast were both beaten back with heavy casualties by the Ottoman Army. Overconfident in fighting the supposedly inferior Turks, a sentiment grounded in the victories of 1789-92, both Russian forces allowed themselves to be trapped and ambushed. Mehmet Ali successfully defended the fortress of Bender where he had encamped from a numerically superior Russian assault, and managed to turn the assault into into a disorganised rout on the part of the Russians, with many Opolcheniye conscripts drowning in the Dniester as they tried to reach back to the Russian lines. Emboldened by his defensive success, Ali even launched raiding operations into Yedisan. Nevertheless, he was soon afterwards forced to fall back to Moldavia as his supplies were stretched ever thinner, but he managed to keep the Russians on the Dniester up until the near end of the conflict.

In the Caucasus, Ottoman and local allied Circassian forces under Hüsrev Pasha held back the initial Russian advance attempts but their theatre was considered of secondary importance and as such received limited reinforcements from the Porte. However, Husrev Pasha was a reformist who shared many of Mehmet Ali’s goals, and was generally a supporter of the Nizam-i-Cedid. As Admiral of the Empire, he directed the Ottoman fleet in the Black Sea to assist Mehmet Ali’s stranded forces in Moldavia with a naval supply chain, thus bypassing the chaos in Thrace and Rumelia caused by the Janissary mutinies. The Russian Black Sea fleet became aware of this and engaged in aggressive raids against the Ottoman lanes.

In the early months of 1826, with the absence of the Ottoman governor of Morea and many of his troops due to them being required on the frontlines, the situation was favourable for the Greeks to rise against Ottoman occupation. Representatives of the Filiki Eteria agitated for an immediate insurrection, although some more cautious elements of the Greek leadership argued for prudence, and instead suggested to wait for Russian guarantees. Matters did become worse for the Ottomans when a widespread Greek revolt erupted in May 1826. With its focal point in the Pelloponese, the rugged terrain there made it ideal for the protracted warfare of the Greek warbands. The Phanariots of Russia, encouraging the Greek Phanariots and Maniots, finally convinced some groups to rise. The effort would be doomed from the start however, as a united front would never form, and Russian support never materialized. The effort was divided between the committed and the traditionalists, who wanted to wait more, and these differences could not be bridged. Phanariote elements that rose up at the same time in the Danubian Principalities, mainly Moldavia (having previously infiltrated from the Russian lines) were ruthlessly hunted by Mehmet Ali’s troops and local garrisons. A local Romanian revolt in Wallachia led by Tudor Vladimirescu that initially collaborated with the Etereia broke ties as soon as Alexandros Ypsilantis attempted to take direct control of the units Vladimirescu then turned to the Austrians, who started advancing from Transylvania, for support. At first however, the rising appeared successful. With complete surprise, the Greeks crushed many of the Ottoman garrisons. Weakened by years of war and disorganization, the Ottomans frequently surrendered rather than fight the brutal Greek irregulars. Watching the events unfold, the Emperor and Tsar quickly approved a joint offensive against the Ottomans.

The naval supply bridge to Moldavia was finally cut in mid 1826, when the Russian Black Sea fleet managed to catch and decisively destroy its Ottoman equivalent at the Battle of Snake Island. Although not advanced by Austrian standards in drill or technique, the Nizam-i-Cedid was entirely filled with veterans by the late stages of the war. With little to no reinforcement after the last few years of instability, the troops under Mehmet Ali's command were exceptionally loyal to his person. With remarkable tactical genius, he was able to inflict regular stinging defeats without entering pitched battle. Eventually forced to retreat, he delayed the Russians as much as possible. Only the advance of the Austrians toward his own rear, and the massive naval defeat of the Ottoman fleet eventually forced his hand.

Mehmet Ali’s success against all odds on the Russian front brought him significant popularity, both in Constantinople and among the officers of the New Model Army. This, coupled with his increased operational autonomy in collaboration with fellow reformist Husrev Pasha, made the Sultan wary of his gravitas within the Ottoman power structures. While he was initially considering crushing the Janissary mutinies, Sultan Mahmud II reconsidered his decision, seeing these influential, if obsolete forces as a useful tool to contain the growing power of the Nizam-i-Cedid. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Mahmud II did not end up taking action against either of the two rival military factions, and the Ottoman war effort was effectively crippled by the infighting.

In the Caucasus, Husrev Pasha managed to bottle up massed Russians in sequential mountain passes, frustrating the Tsar to no end. His reputation tarnished by the crushing naval defeat, he nonetheless managed a successful but desperate defence against the overwhelming Russians throughout the year. By the first leaves of fall however, the Russians had nonetheless begun to push into Anatolia proper. Things looked dire for the Ottomans - with Prussia distracted, Sweden impotent, and the betrayal of the perfidious Greeks, the Sultan chose to sue for peace. Luckily for his delegates, as fall turned to winter the Prussian King gave command back to his greatest champion, Clausewitz. With Austrian armies threatening to support the Greek revolt, and the Russians threatening to break onto the Anatolian plain from the Caucasus and into Rumelia from the Danube, the Sultan was finally forced to concede peace. Always a cagey negotiator, his stall for time had paid off. Clausewitz’ victory in Hanover had proven to the Two Emperors that the Teutonic Eagle of Prussia was not as weak as it had seemed under the hapless Marshal von Roder. As a result, the previously harsh terms sought by Metternich and his Russian counterpart, Nesselrode, suddenly softened. Now the Sultan merely gave up the Danubian vassals to the north and control of the mouths of the Danube critically avoiding the Russian demand for Greek independence. Signed just before October 1826, the Austrian and Russian armies had already begun to march northward to prepare for the final offensive against Prussia. Along the way, they passed Ottoman Armies heading south to crush the Filiki Eteria in Greece…

After the 9 Years’ War: 1828-1839
Without any sign of outside help coming, the Greek freedom fighters fought a valiant, if doomed battle. They were subdued within the year by Ottoman forces. Mahmud II resumed his Tanzimat process but he critically decided to keep the Janissaries, reforming them into an internal force (“gendarmerie”), to be kept around for a bit by the Sultan to counteract Mehmet Ali’s influence. This greatly antagonized Ali and his staunch reformist allies, and was the final straw that made him go rogue. His 50.000 strong Nizam-i-Cedid was experienced, drilled and equipped in modern fashion, and, most importantly, fiercely loyal to him. The Sultan had no hope of making them yield to the Porte’s supposed authority. As his forces left Moldavia, where they had spent the last 8 years, Ali refused to demobilise and instead went on a rampage to find and destroy Janissary units and purge their leadership, all throughout the Ottoman Balkans. Mahmud II ordered him to stand down at once, but he was otherwise powerless without the Nizam-i-Cedid, his only remaining forces were the decaying Janissaries and the battered and thinned down levies from the 9 Years’ War. Not only that, but old partners of Ali, such as fellow Albanian Husrev Pasha, constantly persuaded the Sultan to not take action against Mehmet Ali, as they saw his undertakings as a step towards the modernization and "cleansing" of the whole Ottoman Empire. However, as time went by, it became more apparent that Ali's loyalties were not with the Porte, but with his own ambitions. By 1835, Mehmet Ali had solidly entrenched himself as undisputed ruler of what he called "The Khedivate of Western Rumelia", with his rugged remnants of the Nizam-i-Cedid as his veritable "Old Guard". His area of control spanned Albania, Epirus, parts of Thessaly, most of Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia. However, this was also the start of a rift within the reformist faction: Ali's erstwhile close ally, Hüsrev Pasha, refused his offer to join him as admiral of his newly created Khedivate, and instead remained loyal to Constantinople. Sultan Mahmud II's final act as sovereign was to secure an uneasy peace by allowing Mehmet Ali to rule his conquered lands as "Khedive", an autonomous viceroy. It was clear however that Mehmet Ali would be aiming for greater things.

Tanzimat-continued, but with a twist:
With the Nizam-i-Cedid defecting en masse to follow their leader Mehmet Ali, Hüsrev Pasha assisted the new Sultan Abdulmecid to reform the armed forces he was instrumental in creating the Mansure Army, modelled on the earlier experiences and successes of the Nizam-i-Cedid. It will serve as the sole standing armed force of the empire. The remnants of what was once the proud and influential Janissary Corps realised their situation was bleak However, their last stand against Mehmet Ali’s rise in the Balkans had earned them just enough respect from the Sultan that they were allowed to survive, albeit in a much reduced form. In an interesting turn of events, the Janissaries realised that the Sultan’s goodwill is the only thing able to keep them in existence in the face of the increasing drive for modernisation. Their autonomy was scrapped, and they were turned into an elite division-sized infantry unit whose main purpose was the defense of Constaninople and of the Sultan, ironically regaining their long-lost original mission. The civilian administration saw the beginning of widespread reforms, modern institutions were brought in place, the archaic Eyalets were replaced with Vilayets, and the law was secularized.

Important leaps forward included: the reorganization of the finance system (1840), further cementing a new age for the Ottoman economy, with streamlined taxes and an European-style ministry to deal with financial issues the reorganization of the Civil and Criminal Code (1840), removing religious influences the abolition of slavery and slave trade - under strong British “recommendation” (1844) The establishment of a State Railway Company which started operating its first regular routes in 1853, these would expand greatly during the next decades, further helping industrialisation and thus economic growth, and the Nationality Law, creating a common Ottoman citizenship irrespective of religious or ethnic divisions, which helped considerably in toning down unrest, especially in the Balkans.

Russian and Austrian Relations the Crimean War:
The geopolitical realities of the post 9 Years’ War Europe meant a sudden change of the diplomatic game: France, Austria and even Britain, their erstwhile enemy, wary of Russia’s explosive growth in power and their potential takeover of the Ottoman Balkans, supported the Ottomans when the Russians attacked them in 1853, citing the need to protect Orthodox Christians within the empire. In a surprising turn of events, barely 20 years after having viciously fought each other, French and British units fought as allies against Russian troops in the Crimean Peninsula. Russia invaded the Ottoman Balkans from Moldavia into Dobruja and Bulgaria. Mehmet Ali saw this as an opportunity to finally strike the death blow to the Osmanli and gain the Sublime Porte for himself he proceeded to attack the Ottoman garrisons on the borders of his “Khedivate”.

Alarmed by this sudden turn of events and the potential radical shift in the balance of power, the western powers intervened. Austria, marching overland from the north, and the French and British, closing in on the Adriatic coast, forced Mehmet Ali to back down from his attempted invasion. To placate him somewhat, the western coalition pressured Sultan Abdulmecid to formally recognize Ali as Khedive of Rumelia, while remaining de jure his suzerain, but in practice relinquishing most powers over the area. The Crimean War ended up being a bloody affair for all parties involved, with the invasion of Crimea claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, while the Austrians intervened militarily in the war, resulting in battles in the Romanian principalities against Russian armies from the Ukraine. In the end, the pro-Ottoman coalition decisively defeated Russia, and Turkey saw its status quo defended in the Balkans and some minor territorial re-gains in the Caucasus.

Reign of Abdulaziz (1861-1876)

A New Naval Power:
Spurred by its decisive naval defeat in the 9 Years’ War, the Ottomans had sought ever since to improve and reform their naval forces. Late reformist Admiral Husrev Pasha, who chose his loyalty to the Sultan over serving former ally and co-national Mehmet Ali, played an important part in the early stages of the reforms. Thankfully for Turkey, the British were willing to aid them in reforming, as they hoped that this would further cement their partnership with the Porte, while keeping French tentatives of influencing “Oriental Affairs” at bay. Ottoman shipyards were upgraded, and new Ottoman capital ships were laid down according to the latest British designs and techniques.

Even though the recent 9 Years’ War had made a dent into the British Navy’s overall prestige, the Ottomans still preferred cooperation with Britain over France, which was a staunch Austrian partner. The Ottoman Navy reform plan called for two main forces: a Black Sea Fleet that could defeat its Russian counterpart, and an Aegean Navy that could be quickly deployed to blockade the Austrians within the Adriatic. The associated costs of such naval prowess were huge though, and it would be decades until the Ottoman navy could actually hope to achieve this goal.

The Surging Economy:
The partnership with Britain became especially lucrative. The Ottoman Empire was an important link to Asia and the Eastern Trade. The British used the Ottoman Empire as a “backdoor” to export their products from the Asian colonies into European markets, as France and Spain imposed blistering tariffs for British usage of their exclusive shipping lanes (Gibraltar, the Suez-after the British withdrawal, etc). The Suez Canal began construction as a joint project in 1859, mainly with (tensioned) French and British investment, but Austrians, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese were also involved. After the British Revolution, the British investors suddenly saw themselves stranded, and some of the more influential individuals involved fled to Hannover, and sold their shares to either France or Austria. Industrialisation also began within the Ottoman Empire, with railroads being built and proper factories appearing at the outskirts of major cities.

Reign of Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909)

Tightening the Grip:
Abdul Hamid II was arguably the first Ottoman Sultan to attempt the implementation of French-inspired enlightened absolutism within the empire it ended up mostly a failure as the backlash from the established powers of society was just too strong. The Ottoman Empire was already in the process of reforming economically, legally and socially, and a political change of such magnitude could not be established overnight. Nevertheless, he did manage to put in check whatever attempts at parliamentarism the radicals proposed.

The Losses of the Russo-Turkish War:
While Russia had been beaten in the Crimean War, the Bear of the East would not renounce its ambitions laid down by Peter the Great so easily. The Russian Empire attacked with a thirst for vengeance in 1878, and unfortunately for the Ottomans, Western help would not come this time. The Russians won, and imposed territorial losses in the Caucasus, even more clauses regarding the Tsar’s role as the “protector” of Orthodox Christians within the Ottoman Empire, and a forceful reorganization of “autonomous” vilayets for the Bulgarians, Serbs and Greeks in essence these became self-governing and their only link to the Ottoman Empire remained in their foreign policy, final command of the armed forces, and a yearly tax. For the Greeks especially, this finally meant a degree of freedom from the Ottoman yoke.

Rising Radicals - the Young Turks:
It was not only Western-inspired enlightened absolutism that became increasingly popular within the political discussion circles of the Ottoman Empire. Indeed, the opposite trend exported by Europe, radical republicanism, has been growing strong especially after the turn of the century they condemn the perceived “weakness” of the previous rulers, who have let the “usurper” Ali carve a personal fiefdom in Western Rumelia and the Russians force the empire to grant wide autonomy to its Christian subjects. They also propose the rejection of “Ottomanist” models and the embracement of openly-declared Turkish nationalism within the empire. They also want to eliminate the influence of Islam in Ottoman society. In terms of their specific politics, many currents are represented within this opposition movement that is only united by their common hatred of Hamid II’s attempts at creating absolutism in the Empire on the French and Austrian model. Some are inspired by Prussia’s Freieism, but many others prefer the more temperate British liberalism.

Reign of Mehmed V (1909-1918)

The Young Turks’ Influence Grows:
What once seemed a mere fantasy was slowly becoming a reality: republican thought being entrenched in the Ottoman Empire. The Young Turks’ internal split over Freieism and English Liberalism would come to dominate the debate of the anti-Sultan forces. The most moderate factions (a minority) advocate for a constitutional monarchy and the continuation of Ottomanism within a federal model, helping for a possible chance to save the Ottoman Empire’s many Balkan and Arab holdings.

New Reforms and a Weak Sultan:
With the Young Turks growing in their power and influence in the administration, they pushed forward the introduction of limited parliamentarism and suffrage (with census voting): wealthy and landed male individuals could now elect a Parliament, although it was still advisory in nature. Mehmed V was a poor leader and a weak Sultan, and all his predecessor’s progress towards enlightened absolutist rule was lost. The Young Turks seemed on the track to a total takeover of the Empire’s affairs. With their increased power, they also attempted to clamp down on the Christian autonomous vilayets’ growing autonomy, causing grave unrest and a major loss of support among the population of said vilayets radicalism has been growing ever since in Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece but also in the Arab lands.

Reign of Mehmed VI (1918-1926)

Rising European Tensions, nationalism grows in the Balkan vilayets:
With the republican-monarchist divide growing and with the wave of paranoia created by the 1914 North Saxon Revolution, Prussia and Austria became increasingly aggressive in their posturing towards each other within the HRE: Ottoman diplomats have become interested in securing a potential Prussian partnership. More close to home, Austria and Russia are no longer the allies they were in the 9 Years’ War gone is the Two Emperors’ Alliance. This presents a chance for divide and conquer through playing the ambitions of the two in the Balkans. On the global stage, the perennial Anglo-French rivalry continues and the Porte is no exception: France and Britain compete for influence in the affairs of the Ottoman Empire. France has the dominant position in the Suez, but Britain has its own share of influence thanks to its longstanding military missions to Turkey and its help granted to modernise the Ottoman armies and navies. Besides that, there are also Britain’s long standing economic links to the Empire. Whoever of the two shall manage to sway the Porte to its side, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, nationalist factions start to arise in the Balkan vilayets, openly challenging their Ottoman overlord street clashes between the Janissary Gendarmerie and nationalist paramilitaries have become commonplace in Belgrade, Athens and Sofia.

The Pashas attempt to Modernize the Military:
The Mansure Army had been created to the latest standards of the European forces of the 1850’s, and its tradition based on the lessons of the Crimean War. However, in the many decades since then, military science and tactics had evolved a lot. The Great North American War taught valuable lessons about the usage of modern technology on the battlefield. The most pre-eminent Pashas of the Empire, with support from the Young Turks, attempt to implement reforms in the military. They are partly successful, in that they procure new, modern artillery and establish an armored car corps under the guidance of the British Constantinople Military Mission, but they do not manage to thoroughly reform tactics or fully re-equip the Ottoman armed forces with modern equipment many secondary-importance divisions remain equipped with antiquated equipment.

Reign of Abdulmecid II (1926-present day)

The Ottoman Empire of the Modern Age:
The Sublime Ottoman Porte has weathered the storm of the Long 19th Century, and in 1933 it is still a great power, although a severely weakened one. Its grip on the Balkan territories is weak at best: The autonomous Christian vilayets of Bulgaria, Serbia and Hellas are widely self-governing and a cesspool for radicalisms of all sorts the infamous “Khedivate” of the Ali Dynasty still rules in Western Rumelia, and it is likely that only common enemies keep the Khedive somewhat loyal to Constaninople in the case of war with Austria or Russia, the Empire can probably count on the Khedive’s armies to help it. However, winds of change are approaching: both the Khedivate and the Sublime Porte consider this relationship abnormal, and the next decade is likely to see a final resolution to this continued state of limbo.

Internal (and less “internal”) Divisions:
The Young Turks’ republicanism is slowly but steadily increasing in popular support. However, Abdulmecid II, unlike his weak predecessors, wants to reform into a European-style absolutist monarchy. On the background of the political battle in Constantinople, the problem of the Khedivate remains: the Ali dynasty and its ambitions are likely to cause problems to the Ottoman Empire, unless they will be dealt with.

Political Climate:
The Young Turks are a loose grouping: wide-spanning opposition platform, loosely united, but most of them are republicans/anti-monarchists. It is split among radical Freieist republicans, who are also Turkish romantic nationalists (the Three Pashas Clique), the British-oriented liberal republicans and a smaller faction advocating for constitutional monarchy and Ottomanist federalism. Fringe groups within the Young Turks include materialist socialist elements and even some Luxist thought. In the event that the grand coalition succeeds in its goal of deposing the Sultan, it is likely that they will splinter almost immediately.

Conclusion:
It is Sultan Abdulmecid II's wish to reform the Ottoman Empire into a European-style enlightened absolutist monarchy, modelled upon the likes of France and Austria. Yet, the path onwards is riddled with obstacles, and forces are working against him to change the fate of the Turks. But fret not, he has the fiercely loyal, if a bit outdated in mentality Janissary Corps on his side, in a rather ironic twist of fate. Regardless, the fate of the Ottoman Empire looks uncertain, and only time will tell, the fate of the Sublime Porte.


Why did Bukharinism disappear?

Anyone who knows a bit about Soviet history, especially the late-30s-to-early-50s, so-called “Stalinist” era, is probably familiar with Communist Party rhetoric of the time period urging party members and citizens to be on the lookout for both “Trotskyist” and “Bukharinist” forces that would seek to destabilize the country. Although Trotskyism remains somewhat relevant to the modern era, with a notoriously large number of parties all around the world, Bukharinism - that is, parties following the allegiance of Nikolai Bukharin and his 1920s Right Opposition, which did see a fair deal of support within Germany, the United States, and others - has seemingly vanished completely. What were the circumstances that led to this total disappearance?

First of all, "Bukharinism" was never as big as Trotskyism to begin with. Trotsky led the Left Opposition since 1923 while Bukharin supported Stalin till 1928. And even after their break and Stalin's about-face, Bukharin never attempted to to form a consistent opposition to Stalin, famously stating "you won't get a new opposition from us!". As Marcel Liebman put it:

In its struggle against Stalinism, Trotskyism – whether in the strictly organisational form or in its widest ideological scope – has undoubtedly committed mistakes. But it continues to figure in history, and has set its mark upon Marxism, because, unlike Bukharinism, it has fought, and has not made compromise a principle and capitulation a habit. It has not achieved proletarian democracy, but at least it has, against wind and weather, continued to affirm that without this there can be no socialism. Its internationalism has remained on the plane of principle, without having had to undergo the harsh test of political constraints. But it was important that insistence on internationalism be maintained as one of the foundations of Marxist theory and practice. And, finally, in face of the crimes of Stalinism, and of the silences of a Bukharinism which was first a semi-accessory and then a semi-consenting party and in the end was itself utterly crushed, it was vital that Marxist criticism and socialism – weakened, but still living – should be able to cling to these members of the Left minority who, without ever reaping the harvest, kept up their struggle and preserved, through one of the saddest periods in the history of socialism, the latter’s revolutionary and liberating appeal. The victory they won by so doing was not only a moral one, it was also political. For, without it, official Marxism, dogmatised and degenerate, would have remained unchallenged and imposed an undisputed and grave-like dominion.

Marcel Liebman, Bukharinism, Revolution & Social Development

Moreover, there just isn't much felsh in "Bukharinism". He never contributed anything fundamentally important to Marxism. His best work that he wrote together with Preobrazhensky (The ABC of Communism) that was essentially just an extended commentary of the party program - a very good commentary for sure but nothing really innovative. His work on imperialism had a certain influence on Lenin's thoughts on this subject but it was flawed. His economic policies were discredited by events, and represented a kulak deviation within the party on top of that. I could keep going on but my point is that while Trotsky is the author of the theory of permanent revolution, the degenerate workers' state theory, an elaborated analysis of fascism, the transitional program etc. pp. we have little of equal value in Bukharin.


Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way? - History

WWII Alternate History: Axis Victory

by The Granadan Republic » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:52 pm

Ideology
Marxist-Leninist-Maoist
Official Religion
None, Secularist. Atheistic-Agnostic view point
Idealistic Philosophies
Dialectical Materialism, Buddhism, Nietzsche, Descartes, Sartre, Hume, Existentialism.

Better than: IM PRO AND ANTI JLAFKQQSPATICOBAMAIZACOMIEPRPAERTYTHEFT

by Maurepas » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:04 am

Russians, French, British, and Americans all fund and supply massive guerrilla resistance in both their own countries as well as the ones under the Nazi boot. Germany loses tons of money and lives a month fighting a war entirely worthless to its people, who revolt and the Nazi Government collapses. Japan, loses the same way it did in the real time line.

You just can't piss off all the richest countries on the planet and expect to win.

by Norstal » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:07 am

I don't care since I would've been executed by the Japanese for being Chinese.

Alternatively, the Japanese stopped being assholes by realizing they were being assholes and all of Asia can enjoy the full glory of their most precious resource: anime.

by Maurepas » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:11 am

Norstal wrote: I don't care since I would've been executed by the Japanese for being Chinese.

Alternatively, the Japanese stopped being assholes by realizing they were being assholes and all of Asia can enjoy the full glory of their most precious resource: anime.

by Forster Keys » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:13 am

Norstal wrote: I don't care since I would've been executed by the Japanese for being Chinese.

Alternatively, the Japanese stopped being assholes by realizing they were being assholes and all of Asia can enjoy the full glory of their most precious resource: anime.

But when has religiously inspired racism ever been logical?

by Maurepas » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:16 am

But when has religiously inspired racism ever been logical?

by Norstal » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:19 am

But when has religiously inspired racism ever been logical?

by Forster Keys » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:25 am

The story of the Indian National Army is a particularly interesting, if not somewhat depressing, chapter of history in that regard.


Laerod Postmaster of the Fleet Posts: 26183 Founded: Jul 17, 2004 Iron Fist Socialists

by Laerod » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:27 am

by Trotskylvania » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:15 am

They did prevail in decisive battles, capturing key objectives in the early days of the war. Overwhelmingly. Most often, they won only due to dumb luck and the incompetence of their opponents. Once the wheat had been separated from the chaff, they began to lose hard.

  • Nearly twice the population of Japan.
  • Seventeen time's Japan's national income.
  • Five times more steel production.
  • Seven times more coal production.
  • Eighty (80) times the automobile production.

The grim reality of production assures an Axis defeat. The Japanese could put up a credible invastion threat against Australia, nor could they conquer China even before America became involved. And they had four years of trying on China. Their expeditions into Siberia were handily crushed by superior Soviet forces. And even at the worst of Barbarossa, Soviet Far Eastern Forces were sufficient to deter any aggressive move by Japan.

You know what happens if Britain loses El-Alamean? They evacuate the Mediteranean, but they keep on fightinng. They'll move across the Sinai, and bunker down in Palestine. Then they'll torch every dock in the Levant. And if they lose their, they'll fall back to Iraq. How is Hitler gonna resupply forces all that distance? And eventually, American troops will get involved, but even if they won't, the Lend-Lease will be enough to push the Axis back.

Me262s were a waste of resources. They wouldn't have made a dent in the war. Germay also isn't going to not invade the Soviet Union. And every second they wait, Stalin marshals and modernizes his forces. By 1943, he'll be the one attacking and he'll have the upper hand.

by Sedikal » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:57 am

“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.”
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Yet human intelligence has another force, too: the sense of urgency that gives human smarts their drive. Perhaps our intelligence is not just ended by our mortality to a great degree, it is our mortality.
-Adam Gopnik

Fighting for peace, is like fucking for chastity
-Stephen King

Proud Member of the New Democrats in the NSG Senate


Baltenstein Postmaster-General Posts: 10907 Founded: Jan 25, 2010 Capitalist Paradise

by Baltenstein » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:32 am

Norstal wrote: I don't care since I would've been executed by the Japanese for being Chinese.

Alternatively, the Japanese stopped being assholes by realizing they were being assholes and all of Asia can enjoy the full glory of their most precious resource: anime.

You can also argue that trying to conquer the largest country on earth while at the same time commiting large-scale genocide against its native people, thereby ensuring their fierce resistance, was maybe not the smartest idea. That kind of logic was not the Axis powers' strong point.

O'er the hills and o'er the main.
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain.
King George commands and we obey.
Over the hills and far away.

by The Huskar Social Union » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:38 am

They did prevail in decisive battles, capturing key objectives in the early days of the war. Overwhelmingly. Most often, they won only due to dumb luck and the incompetence of their opponents. Once the wheat had been separated from the chaff, they began to lose hard.

  • Nearly twice the population of Japan.
  • Seventeen time's Japan's national income.
  • Five times more steel production.
  • Seven times more coal production.
  • Eighty (80) times the automobile production.

The grim reality of production assures an Axis defeat. The Japanese could put up a credible invastion threat against Australia, nor could they conquer China even before America became involved. And they had four years of trying on China. Their expeditions into Siberia were handily crushed by superior Soviet forces. And even at the worst of Barbarossa, Soviet Far Eastern Forces were sufficient to deter any aggressive move by Japan.

You know what happens if Britain loses El-Alamean? They evacuate the Mediteranean, but they keep on fightinng. They'll move across the Sinai, and bunker down in Palestine. Then they'll torch every dock in the Levant. And if they lose their, they'll fall back to Iraq. How is Hitler gonna resupply forces all that distance? And eventually, American troops will get involved, but even if they won't, the Lend-Lease will be enough to push the Axis back.

Me262s were a waste of resources. They wouldn't have made a dent in the war. Germay also isn't going to not invade the Soviet Union. And every second they wait, Stalin marshals and modernizes his forces. By 1943, he'll be the one attacking and he'll have the upper hand.

This pretty much, WIth the US aid, the british maneuvering all of the damn place and the increasing chance of a MASSIVE modernised soviet Army breaking through into Poland, Romania, Hungary and Finland would mean in europe alone the axis couldnt win the way he describes it, The japanese would simply fall the same way, half their military was tied down fighting the nationalist and communists in China and the Commonwealth forces supported by the US would push them back and they wouldnt try the USSR again. They would suffer another Khalkhin Gol and Operation August Storm when the soviets could do it. Is just not feasible the way you are describing it.


Anarchism

Lenin, in his April Theses, denounced the war as an imperialist conflict, and urged workers worldwide to use it as an occasion for proletarian revolution. The Second International dissolved during the war, while Lenin, Trotsky, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, together with a small number of other Marxists opposed to the war, came together in the Zimmerwald Conference in September 1915.

When World War I began in 1914, many European socialist leaders supported their respective governments' war aims. The social democratic parties in the UK, France, Belgium and Germany supported their respective state's wartime military and economic planning, discarding their commitment to internationalism and solidarity.

World War I

The Federation of the Socialist Workers of France was termed "possibilist" because it advocated gradual reforms, whereas the French Workers' Party promoted Marxism. In 1905 these two trends merged to form the French Section Française de l'Internationale Ouvrière (SFIO), led by Jean Jaurès and later Léon Blum. In 1906 it won 56 seats in Parliament. The SFIO adhered to Marxist ideas but became, in practice, a reformist party. By 1914 it had more than 100 members in the Chamber of Deputies.

French socialism was beheaded by the suppression of the Paris commune (1871), its leaders killed or exiled. But in 1879, at the Marseille Congress, workers' associations created the Federation of the Socialist Workers of France. Three years later, Jules Guesde and Paul Lafargue, the son-in-law of Karl Marx, left the federation and founded the French Workers' Party.

France

In 1877, the [57] Around that time these American anarcho-communist sectors entered in debate with the individualist anarchist group around Benjamin Tucker. [58]

United States

In 1903, the [56] Assyrian nationalist Freydun Atturaya tried to create regional self-government for the Assyrian people with the socialism ideology. He even wrote the Urmia Manifesto of the United Free Assyria. However, his attempt was put to an end by Russia.

Bernstein coined the aphorism: "The movement is everything, the final goal nothing". But the path of reform appeared blocked to the Russian Marxists while Russia remained the bulwark of reaction. In the preface to the 1882 Russian edition to the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels had saluted the Russian Marxists who, they said, "formed the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe". But the working class, although many were organised in vast modern western-owned enterprises, comprised no more than a small percentage of the population and "more than half the land is owned in common by the peasants". Marx and Engels posed the question: How was Russia to progress to socialism? Could Russia "pass directly" to socialism or "must it first pass through the same process" of capitalist development as the West? They replied: "If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development." [55]

Russia

Beginning in 1896, in a series of articles published under the title "Problems of socialism", Eduard Bernstein argued that an evolutionary transition to socialism was both possible and more desirable than revolutionary change. Bernstein and his supporters came to be identified as "revisionists" because they sought to revise the classic tenets of Marxism. Although the orthodox Marxists in the party, led by Karl Kautsky, retained the Marxist theory of revolution as the official doctrine of the party, and it was repeatedly endorsed by SPD conferences, in practice the SPD leadership became increasingly reformist.

The SPD was by far the most powerful of the social democratic parties. Its votes reached 4.5 million, it had 90 daily newspapers, together with trade unions and co-ops, sports clubs, a youth organization, a women's organization and hundreds of full-time officials. Under the pressure of this growing party, Bismarck introduced limited welfare provision and working hours were reduced. Germany experienced sustained economic growth for more than forty years. Commentators suggest that this expansion, together with the concessions won, gave rise to illusions amongst the leadership of the SPD that capitalism would evolve into socialism gradually.

Germany

Marx believed that it was possible to have a peaceful socialist transformation in England, although the British ruling class would then revolt against such a victory. [53] America and the Netherlands might also have a peaceful transformation, but not in France, where Marx believed there had been "perfected. an enormous bureaucratic and military organisation, with its ingenious state machinery" which must be forcibly overthrown. However, eight years after Marx's death, Engels argued that it was possible to achieve a peaceful socialist revolution in France, too. [54]

Just before his death in 1895, Engels argued that there was now a "single generally recognised, crystal clear theory of Marx" and a "single great international army of socialists". Despite its illegality due to the Anti-Socialist Laws of 1878, the Social Democratic Party of Germany's use of the limited universal male suffrage were "potent" new methods of struggle which demonstrated their growing strength and forced the dropping of the Anti-Socialist legislation in 1890, Engels argued. [51] In 1893, the German SPD obtained 1,787,000 votes, a quarter of votes cast. However, before the leadership of the SPD published Engels' 1895 Introduction to Marx's Class Struggles in France 1848–1850, they removed certain phrases they felt were too revolutionary. [52]

[50] were ejected and not allowed in mainly because of the pressure from marxists.Anarchists [49] As the ideas of Marx and Engels took on flesh, particularly in central Europe, socialists sought to unite in an international organisation. In 1889, on the centennial of the French Revolution of 1789, the


Watch the video: Amadeo Bordiga - Beyond the Myth and the Rhetoric by Onorato Damen (May 2022).