What do YOU  think?

poll results the most recent posts
the top 10 posts (as voted by readers)

Is communism a monstrous system of slavery --or--
the inevitable peaceful and abundant future of humankind?
Does the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc. represent
communism? Or has genuine communism ever existed?

All questions below are optional--leave them blank if you want
Communism is:

a monstrous system of slavery
the inevitable peaceful and
      abundant future of humankind
not sure
The Soviet Union was:
socialist or communist
an oppressive, exploitative,
      class-divided society that
      pretended to be socialist
      or communist
not sure               other

socialism exists (or existed) in:
the former Soviet Union
the PDRK (ie: North Korea)
the former Yugoslavia
has never existed
not sure               other
Genuine socialism is:

the rule of society
      by the working class

the rule of society
      by a corrupt bureaucracy

not sure               other

modern capitalist societies are ruled by:
the rich (ie: the wealthy class, the bourgeoisie)
everybody, in a democratic way
not sure               other
The FAQ:
I have read the FAQ
I don't need to read
      no stinkin' FAQ

All the info below is optional. Leave it blank if you want.

first name   city   country
age   occupation

title for your comments
comments     (sorry, no html, but you can use <p> to separate paragraphs)
your web site

Please: no more than one post per hour ...
To keep the signal-to-noise ratio useful I will delete:
  • racist ravings -- or anything sympathetic to neo-nazi groups
  • threats of any kind (even joking)
  • personal insults of any kind (ie: keep it political)
  • anything obviously insincere (ie: excessively stupid,
        obscene, pretending to be someone you are not,
        having an age, occupation or city that is not realistic, etc)
        (Note: it's ok to keep any of the fields blank)
  • keep it clean: posts using obscene language will be deleted
    (but the word "bullshit" is ok)
  • To those of you who are pissed off about communism,
    I challenge you to make your case using intelligent arguments
  • Want to argue that communism is impossible because of "human nature"?
    You may want to read this first--and reply to the arguments there
    ( Ben Seattle • December 2003 )
    Ben's theoretical work

    A survey of Ben Seattle's theoretical work
    -- in the form of 29 political ads used in the communism forum --

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    Communism and human nature

    The self-organizing moneyless economy of the future will unleash
    the full potential of human initiative and the striving for happiness

        Many who post here argue that communism will never be possible because of "human nature". The essence of this false argument is the belief that a communist society would consist of an all-powerful central government that would tell everybody what to do--and would therefore undermine the creative initiative of individuals and the search for happiness.
        This argument is based on two false assumptions: (1) It assumes that a communist society will look like the former Soviet Union, or the current China, North Korea, etc (ie: corrupt police states with a feudal-style ruling class) (2) It assumes that people will only work in order to own bigger and bigger piles of commodities.
        The truth is that: (1) There will be no government in communist society--people will do what they want without being pushed around by anyone. The development of a corrupt police state or a new ruling class will be prevented by the struggles of the masses who will be armed with the weapon of transparency. (2) In a world of abundance for all no one will have to struggle (or even work) for the necessities of life (which will be a birthright--just like the air we all breathe). People will work on projects of their own choosing because (a) they find the work fun and interesting; (b) they enjoy the work relationships with talented and dedicated co-workers; (c) they want to make the world a better place; or (d) they want social status and recognition. A world of abundance for all where work is fun (and voluntary) will be made possible by a much higher productivity of human labor.
        An example of communist work relationships is provided by the Linux computer operating system--the core of which was created by many thousands of people--all working for free. A 2nd example is the "work" involved when people post to this board. No one gets paid to post here--but people do so--because it is an expression of their principles and convictions.
        Who is in control? Under capitalism (and previous economic systems such as feudalism and slavery) only a small fraction of the population has control over their conditions of work--and the life of society as a whole. Only under genuine communism will the masses control their conditions of work--and the culture, economy and politics of society. • (Ben Seattle • Dec 2003)

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    The Self-Organizing Moneyless Economy
        The first scientific speculation on how a communist economy and political system will function in the 21st century. Featuring brief sketches of the organization of political, cultural and economic life in a future where all authority flows from principles that have been distributed universally and are part of everyone's internal compass rather than institutions which are external to the individual and which use one or another form of carrot or stick.
        The future communist economy, based on the principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to his need, will not be based on the market, money, capital, commodities or wages (ie: the economy will not be based on exchange or trade of any kind) nor will there exist any kind of supreme central authority telling everyone what to do.
        All work and all economic actions will be voluntary (ie: gifts freely given without strings attached--nor expectations of reciprocity). The communist economy will consist of myriad self-organizing assemblies of economic units in competition with one another to most efficiently transform skilled labor and other resources into forms of social wealth serving the the material and cultural needs of the masses. (1995)
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    Politics, Economics and the Mass Media
    when the working class runs the show

    After the overthrow of bourgeois rule, during the
    period of transition to a communist economy ...
        Will there be elections?
        The three economic sectors
          (private capitalist, state capitalist, gift economy)
        The evolution of the mass media
          (commercial media, state media, free media)
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    A scenario for the overthrow of bourgeois rule
    in the U.S. in the middle of the 21st century

    Here is one way events may unfold ...
    1. The digital fire • 2. Electoral victory • 3. Economic retaliation
    4. Workers stand firm • 5. Attempted decapitation • 6. Workers' movement resilient
    7. Bourgeoisie paralyzed • 8. Workers' victorious • 9. Stable workers' state
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    The Future Transparent Workers' State
    Will a workers' state be a brutal police state
    or a machine controlled by workers?

    Are we paralyzed by fear of violent and brutal repression?
    Or defiant, courageous and determined to win victory with mass-based information war?

    • Who's afraid of "red fascism"? • The solution to the crisis of theory • Thermador vs. Transparency
    • Mass-based information war • Why "censorship by filter" is doomed to fail
    • Productivity of labor inseparable from revolution in communications
    • How the bourgeois political machine undermines the independence of the mass oppositional movements
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    Want to see the overthrow of bourgeois rule?

      Do you have what it takes to be part of the pof-200 discussion list

    Determination  •  Humility  •  Militancy  •  Maturity
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    The cyberLeninist Manifesto
    The principle that "information wants to be free" fits Leninism like a bullet does a rifle
    in what turns out to be the ultimate nightmare for the bourgeoisie.

    Leninism, as a continuation of the practical and theoretical work of Karl Marx, had two stages in the period that Lenin was alive. The period from Lenin's death to approximately the present time has represented the third stage of Leninism. Now, as the coming revolution in digital communications promises to link-up class-conscious workers in every country, we are entering the fourth stage.
    • Leninism I • (1896-1917) • Building a party that withstood repression and fought emergent social-democracy
    • Leninism II • (1917-1923) • State power under harsh conditions
    • Leninism III • (1924 -- approximately today) • Leninism in the hands of its enemies
    • Leninism IV • (after the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the internet) • Classical Leninism plus "information wants to be free"     (Oct 1996)
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    How to Build the Party of the Future
    By continuing our political development and harnessing the power of
    the coming revolution in communications--we can help to
    lay the foundation for a communist "trend of trends"
    with the ability to eradicate sectarianism from our ranks,
    puncture the influence of reformism over a vast audience,
    capture the imagination of workers in their millions
    and mobilize our class to ignite a fire that cannot be extinguished
        The coming revolution in communications, now in its earliest stages, is already beginning to demonstrate its potential to influence the development and interaction of Marxist (and would-be Marxist) organizations. In the next decade or so, the communications revolution holds promise to completely transform the "left ecosystem" at present consisting predominantly of squabbling sectarian grouplets, craven reformists and the just-plain confused. In place of this will likely emerge a dynamic and powerful system of communist organizations which will both compete and cooperate with one another ...
    (May 1997, unfinished, deals with principles and history of international communist movement)
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    1917 was the beta version
    What are the decisive tasks today to rebuild
    a communist movement worthy of the name ?
    1. working to create a web-based news service
    without copyright that would be open to all trends
    2. focusing discussion on the system of workers' rule
    as it will exist in modern conditions     (Nov 1997)
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    Determination  •  Humility  •  Militancy  •  Maturity
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    How will economics, politics and culture work
    when the working class runs modern society?
    Working class rule has never existed in a modern, stable society.
    However it will emerge triumphant in the 21st century.
    How will a workers' state suppress the former ruling bourgeoisie
    without also suppressing the independent political life of workers?
    (Apr 2001)
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    Seventeen Theses
    • Includes 9 theses on the Emerging Revolution in Communications and its
    Significance for the Awakening of Proletarian Political life and Consciousness

    (a fairly concentrated summary of Ben's views on our tasks in the coming period
    of transparency and information war) • Includes poll and bulletin board   (July 2001)
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    =================================== 16 ===================================
    Finding the Confidence to Build the Future
    How will the working class keep supply chains running
    and bourgeois apologists from flooding the airwaves
    on the morning after bourgeois rule is broken?
    The crisis of theory is that
    we don't have a goal
    that makes any sense.
    The alternative to resolving
    the crisis of theory
    is to restrict our vision to
    rolling a heavy stone up a hill
    until the end of time.
    {Excerpt}   ...   But if we seek a fundamental change to the status quo--we soon run into a formidable obstacle: fundamental change to the status quo is unthinkable.
        The progressive movement (even the most serious, militant sections of it) is totally incapable of coming up with any serious alternative to the present system of bourgeois rule. The alternatives we are offered are only fit for people with the mentality of children. The militant "marxists" offer us an alternative that consists, essentially, of a police state. The militant anarchists offer us only childish daydreams. This failure of the progressive movement to offer a serious alternative to the rule of the rich is called the "crisis of theory".
        It is because of this crisis of theory that fundamental change to the status quo is unthinkable. No one can imagine it, picture it, visualize it, or explain it in terms that are remotely realistic--in terms that take into account the specific features of modern, economically developed societies. This is why such an alternative is unthinkable. It is impossible to think about.    
    (January 2003)
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    Which way forward for the development of a powerful anti-war movement?
    The decisive step forward for the anti-war movement is to develop in depth
    so that it can give tens and hundreds of thousands a clear understanding
    of the class nature of our society and the need to end the rule of the bourgeoisie.
    • Hit them where it hurts • How to move the Democrats to the left
    • The need for revolutionary organizations that are
    deserving of the respect of the masses.   (March 2003)
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    Want to see the overthrow of bourgeois rule?

      Do you have what it takes to be part of the pof-200 discussion list

    Determination  •  Humility  •  Militancy  •  Maturity
    =================================== 19 ===================================
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    Frequently Asked Questions
    What is communism? • What is socialism? • Where has communism or socialism existed?
    Communism and human nature • What happened to Lenin's 1917 revolution?
    • What democratic rights will workers have after the overthrow of bourgeois rule?
    • How will workers prevent the former bourgeoisie (or a new ruling class) from coming back
    to power? • What will a genuine classless, communist society look like?
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    The History of the Universe
    The self-organization of matter from
    the big bang to the future ...
    From the dawn of life to
    the self-organizing moneyless economy
    =================================== 24 ===================================
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    Get email updates twice a year

      No spam--just an email sent to you twice a year  
    =================================== 25 ===================================
    Want to see the overthrow of bourgeois rule?

      Do you have what it takes to be part of the pof-200 discussion list

    Determination  •  Humility  •  Militancy  •  Maturity
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