13 comments on “I Am A communist

  1. Lev …thank you for your input……I’m merely referring to some of the severely misguided elements of religious persecution.. No Communism…nor socialism in their true forms stray from their true principles with regards to abuse of power…….unfortunately under the guise of wealth redistribution and policing abuse of power…..much seriously unnecessary persecution of people for simply engaging in spiritual practice and holding allegiances to adepts they regard as spiritual authorities. I would assure you if we spoke at length we have far more in common than different. I’ve worked co-operatively with Communist authorities ( indirectly) In Tibet…….The communists have initiated much good there……there is need for further dialogue and evolution of ideas I promise……..

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  2. I joined The Socialist party 20 years ago with only some rudimentary understanding of differences………I was an Athiest at the time who believed in freedom of worship. This is my primary point of division today. Love some things about the basic ‘Communist ‘ ideology and truth……support the need to dismantle corrupted clerical power structures….even taking a few hits in the process….c’est l’a vie…… Yet even as of late feel dismayed at the advocation of violence toward religious institutions and demand of clergy to resubmit monks vows with no distinction made for valued or antithetical toward Marxist principals. If the Communist world is to find a working and intelligent definition of the elements of organized religion that are contradictory to it’s objectives perhaps many of us Socialists may rejoin. At present this article sidesteps my primary point of contention. Really……no version of Communism has even a latent potential of regarding the community personnel of spiritual master/guide as part of it’s overall system. I’ll work with you until you become us ……but Mao himself And as well Lenin and Marx made no intelligent terms of inclusion. Separating from Capitalist regime is great …….Communism …..by any definition……does get down to the people who blow up churches/monasteries and kill and incarcerate clergy…..categorically…..this is one of those pre-Stalinist issues inherent in the Maoist movement or however ‘Marxists’ ‘Communists ‘ choose to define themselves. I’m a more evolved form of Athiest today called a Buddhist’ as well clergy ….I am a Lama.

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    • Not so, Communism do not “go down” to “people who blow up churches” ant the like. Sure, this happened in Russia just after the 1917 revolution. Just as it happened in France on the aftermath of the 1789 revolution and for the same reason: priests and the clergy had riches and power and flaunted them, they lived far above the common people.
      The communist point of view on religion is twofold. First, religion can not and therefore should not be used to explain the human history and struggle. This one is a general statement about all idealistic philosophies, not only religions: in communism the state of the world and its evolution are explained using dialectic materialisms.
      Second, the religion is frequently abused by some man or groups of man to gain power and domain above the others, to became “more equals” than others. This should not be condoned in a marxist society. No priest, nor any other should adverse the domain of the proletariat.

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  3. When talking to people outside the movement, I tend to use both socialist and communist when talking about my politics, since I don’t really see a functional difference between the two. As a member of the Socialist Party, the term “socialist” might come more intuitively, and occasionally I get confused comments from other SP members when I identify myself as a communist, but for the most part it’s relatively easy to explain.

    That said, I really identify with this rant of yours, am glad that you posted it. It also reminds me of a comment from Isreali-British socialist Moshe Machover, on the term “communist” versus “socialist,” which I think expresses a very similar sentiment:

    “Originally I used the term ‘socialism’ in the title and the body of the article; but I have now changed this to ‘communism’. Let me explain why. The terms ‘communist’ and ‘communism’ have undergone a significant semantic shift since the beginning of the 21st century. For long these terms had been usurped and virtually monopolized by Stalinized ‘official communism’. For this reason, anti-Stalinist communists tended to avoid these terms as self-description and a description of the kind of society they strive for. Instead, they used terms such as ‘revolutionary socialists’ as self-description, and ‘socialism’ for their aim. (The term ‘socialism’ was also usurped by Stalinists, but they never managed to monopolize it.) However, with the collapse of ‘official communism’, there has been a growing tendency to reclaim the former terms and use them in their older sense as in the Communist Manifesto and Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme. I am happy to go along with this semantic shift and actively promote it.”

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    • Thanks Peter. I appreciate what you say, I call myself a socialist a lot as well. As I probably didn’t make clear enough, it’s the ideas (along with their social history) not the collection of constants and vowels that make words important. There are plenty of good reasons to call oneself a socialist as well. Thanks for the Machover quote, one positive consequence of the fall of the USSR is that we can now engage Marx on his own terms with much more ease.

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  4. Pingback: I Am A communist « Black Cat ★ Red Cat

  5. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

    Personally, I often shy from publicly identifying as the communist, for fear of awkward encounters with people from the ex-soviet bloc. I’ve essentially surrendered the word, just like you describe. But your article makes things crystal clear, unambiguous. I will be referring back to it.

    Can I have your permission to republish it on my blog, with attribution to the source, of course?

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