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Right wing Marxist party

A political party for the rich which accepts Marxism
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This is probably going to annoy a lot of people and if it does it'll probably be deleted.

Right. Marxist parties have generally either been seen by some of their members as being on the side of the oppressed and left wing, or in power and claiming to promote the interests of the workers. Whether this is actually so is a political question. However, the general sense seems to be that Marxist parties claim to be in favour of the poor and against the rich. Even so, traditional Marxist analysis has been that there are two economic classes, the proletariat and the bourgeois.

More recently, Marxist analyses of society have talked about "late capitalism" while not actually predicting its demise.

It seems to me that there's a gap in the market here. Marxism is intellectually convincing to many and has in some areas abandoned the hope that a more just order can be created, but it has never been overtly used as a pro-ruling class ideology by a political party. This saddens me, not because i agree that it should be but because my sense of symmetry is offended.

Therefore i propose that there be a right wing Marxist party - a party which is in favour of the ruling class and the rich while acknowledging Marxist theory. So, for example, it doesn't have a religious element because religion is the opiate of the people, but because it believes that, it supports religious institutions to keep down the masses. It doesn't espouse the trickle-down theory of wealth but is simply about keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. It maximises profits for the rich and keeps down the wages of the working class as a deliberate policy by introducing a maximum wage for certain jobs. Marxists now acknowledge that there will be no revolution, so it doesn't matter how oppressive the capitalism gets, a measure will be available, arrived at through a Marxist analysis of the situation, which will perpetuate it.

There is no claim to be libertarian, no social conservatism where it fails to serve the interests of capitalism, no concessions to the poor and oppressed, simply capitalism as understood by Marxists.

Now i don't agree with any of this, i don't agree with the models of society Marxism holds, or anything like that. I just feel there should be a rich person's Marxist party as well as one claiming to be for the poor, because Marxism has traditionally seen itself as being in favour of those who get a worse deal in life. This is simply about symmetry and balance, not morality or real economics, though it would be interesting to see how a society ruled by pro-capitalist Marxists behaved.

nineteenthly, Jul 28 2010

Crisis of Capitalism http://comment.rsab...-crisis-capitalism/
an interesting video that looks at the current financial problems from a marxist perspective [xaviergisz, Jul 28 2010]


       //there's a gap in the market here//   

       Like it.
Jinbish, Jul 28 2010

       I think most ruling class parties have been somewhat Marxist to some degree since Bismark, however not in a revolutionary, but counter-revolutionary sense. It's kind of a hard revolution to keep quiet, not that anyone tried to, and the middle-class was the struggle's synthesis and end.   

       Neomarxism is quite fashionable now amongst the middle-class, who risk descending into the ranks of the proles or who are sentimental about their former social location, or of their parents. Neomarxism appears to be any combination of political beliefs + marxism, just so long as whoever is espousing it sounds revolutionary about keeping society stable.
rcarty, Jul 28 2010

       /it would be interesting to see how a society ruled by pro-capitalist Marxists behaved/   

       I think this is the situation for most pro-capitalist right wing governments. One could interpret the US government as an incarnation of your idea, at least as compared to more Marxist-leaning social/economic policies in Europe and Britain.   

       You observation is that analysis and recommendation are not necessarily linked: an ideal analysis could be policy neutral, and then applied to various ends. An example might be a topographical map.   

       I think it would be counterproductive for a right wing Marxist party to acknowledge Marx because his name connotes his policy recommendations as you state. But there is no reason why the bourgeoise should not apply his ideas to their own ends and I think exactly this routinely takes place.
bungston, Jul 28 2010

       Don't be stupid, Be a smarty, Come on! Join the Marxist Party.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 28 2010

       Marx! Not just for Commies!
bungston, Jul 28 2010

       Hmm, if we create this on the basis of 'symmetry' doesn't that suggest we should also create Nazism for People Espousing Diversity, Christianity for Complete Bastards, and Thatcherism for Trade- Unions?
zen_tom, Jul 28 2010

       //it would be counterproductive for a right wing Marxist party to acknowledge Marx//   

       I wouldn't be so sure. Groucho was always popular, and clearly an entrepreneurial capitalist at heart.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 28 2010

       The motto would be "Down with false consciousness!"
mouseposture, Jul 29 2010

       Wouldn't it be about raising false consciousness? Surely false consciousness would need to be encouraged?
nineteenthly, Jul 29 2010

       [19thly] This would be an "esoteric" party: that motto would be for party members, or potential members. For hoi polloi, I suppose the motto'd be "Trust us: we know what's best."
mouseposture, Jul 29 2010

       Being serious for a moment, do not existing communist states (at least those we might - rightly or wrongly - categorise as 'Orwellian') follow this model? Centralised power, a recognisable intellectual elite who work to remain in power, common explanations of state acts being 'in the public good', and bits of Marxist retoric used to hold the whole thing together? Or is that the point you were making?
zen_tom, Jul 29 2010

       //Centralised power, a recognisable intellectual elite who work to remain in power//   

       Isn't that Fascism?
Jinbish, Jul 29 2010

       Fascism was generally a bit short of intellectuals, except Ezra Pound.
pertinax, Jul 29 2010

       Even though it was i who thought of this, it's a bit of a slippery notion. I think there are at least two ways in which an outwardly Marxist party could appear to be right wing. It could be quasi-fascistic like the former Albanian communist party, to choose an uncontroversial example - North Korea doesn't work as well since it doesn't now seem to call itself communist - being totalitarian and emphasising duty to the "People", i.e. the state. Another option would be to slide into the free market right from the left, which is what the Revolutionary Communist Party and Frank Furedi appear to have done, ignoring conspiracy theories about that. Finally, it could simply adopt the strategy of the ruling class as described by Marx and his successors.   

       I do like the idea of a left-wing "Nazi" party and presumably also atheist Christian democrats and authoritarian liberals. For all we know, these might all exist in practice, but it would probably depend on the observer.
nineteenthly, Jul 29 2010

       //authoritarian liberals//   

       I believe some Russian neo-nazis under someone called Zhirinovsky used to call themselves Liberal. Many Russians seem to have rather a dark sense of humour.
pertinax, Jul 29 2010

       //Isn't that Fascism?// Hmmm, I know where you're coming from, but no, I think Fascism is more about clearly identifying 'in' and 'out' members of the community and rigorously excluding those who aren't identified by the right labels - a sort of anti-diversity where the 'baddies' are blamed for everything bad and solutions are routed in sorting out the 'bads'. Once that is achieved, the good-guys are all together, marching in the same direction, and can benefit from their strength in unity. Thinking about it, I'm not so sure now - but I think the 'identity' thing is a strong factor.   

       There's Totalitarianism which might be defined as having a strong autocratic government who seeks to exert 'total' control over the populace. You could have a Facist Totalitarian state, or I suppose you *could* have a Facist Laissez-Faire state where the out groups are still clearly identified, but not much is done about them by the state - a kind of vigilante justice meeted out by locals.   

       Marxism is just the following of Marxist tenets, or using ideology from Marx's writing to inform and underwrite other policies - personally, I think that should already be 'neutral' rather than favouring one side or the other.   

       Communism is a lurch towards (or depending on your point of view, away from) the ideal of a Marxist utopia where everyone is equal and nobody wants to burn anything down. You could have totalitarian or laissez-faire versions of this as well, depending on the level of authority being exerted by the state.   

       Marx outlined a utopian "Republic" where everyone was equal, and did what they could to help everyone else - a bit like Jesus, only Marx laid out in more Socio/Economic terminology. The problem (as far as I'm aware) is that Marx suggested that in order to get there, the proletariat need to rise up and seize the means of production - which are normally already monopolised by the bourgoise. The bourgoise get a bit annoyed about that. Interestingly, Jesus' thing about camels, rich men, and the eyes of needles kind of follows this formula as well - just without the incitement to violence part.   

       The problem with the uprising is that post revolutionary governments need to be a bit iron fisted (purge-wise) in order to explain away all the murdering of those who used to benefit from the old system.   

       So what's really required is a method of getting to the Marxist/Christian utopia, without all the slitting of throats. Ironically, it may just be that capitalism is the most natural method for having that goal emerge.
zen_tom, Jul 29 2010

       //what's really required is a method //

Ah, details, details! How annoying they can be! How to get to there from here has been puzzling politicians & philosophers since the dawn of time.

As an almost complete aside, I've been reading a history of Ancient Mesopotamia ("A History of the Ancient Near East" by Marc Van De Mieroop, in case anyone is interested) and came across a rather shockingly familiar scenario for the period around 1800BC.

Apparently the Babylonian heirarchy of the period decided that it would be a jolly good idea if, instead of directly controlling things like access to the grain supply, responsibility for taxation etc, that they would franchise these things out, what we might call privatising their assets and reducing the size of the state. Consequently the new class of middlemen jacked up the prices in order to maximise their investment and the less well off were plunged into an endless cycle of debt in order to pay their bills. End result? Financial collapse & revolution. Some days you really do think that there is nothing new under the sun!
DrBob, Aug 02 2010


       Look up how many companies Bush, Bush, Reagan, & Nixon took a government stake in.   

       Is it 17 or 18, I can't remember. Look up how many the center-right took a stake in - IT'S ONE (Chrysler under Carter).
Zimmy, Aug 08 2010

       [DrBob], sorry i missed that before. As it happens, i'm developing an interest in Mesopotamia for entirely unrelated reasons and someone asked me why i wanted this laptop to display cuneiform properly. Now i can answer them with a pretty convincing reason!
nineteenthly, Aug 08 2010

       We are closer now than we've ever been to genuine individual control over the means of production, largely as a result of capitalism. If in doubt, check how many YouTube videos are posted by individuals, versus say, movie studios. For that matter, any one of us, today, is much more able to start anything -- be it a farm or a spaceship company or a Slanket manufacturer -- than at any time in history.   

       Marxism is for insects. We're rats, Marxism is not for us -- face it, and get on with it.
theircompetitor, Aug 08 2010

       [theircompetitor] //Marxism is for insects. We're rats.// If we choose. Unlike rats and insects, we choose.
mouseposture, Aug 08 2010

       Choice is antagonistic to marxism, mouseposture. Proletariat control over the means of production implies the absence of choice. All marxist societies to date (granted their failure and deviation from ideals) attempt to dictate life in its minutae (i.e. testing of kids and forcing them into olympic programs) , to a much larger degree than plain authoritarian or even fascist regimes ever did. And it makes sense that they would, because the philosophy requires that the state channel resources, and human capital is a key resource.   

       The very fact that we make choices guarantees that we cannot endure a marxist society for long.
theircompetitor, Aug 08 2010

       But you could be a masochist and have a huge wankfest of pain. It would work for some people that way, provided they had a popular range of sexy oppressive measures on offer. Everyone else could just be put in mental hospitals, and it's all very, very good.
nineteenthly, Aug 08 2010

       [theircompetitor] What you're saying isn't altogether news to me. I was really only disagreeing with the biological determinism I thought to detect in your comment, and which, perhaps, wasn't really there at all.   

       At any rate, I agree that if people choose to be insects, then before long they'll be miserable enough to prefer a rodentine existence.
mouseposture, Aug 08 2010

       // Unlike rats and insects, we choose //   

       A message from our sponsor: "Strength is irrelevant. Resistance is futile. We wish to improve ourselves. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service ours. Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply."   

       Any questions ?
8th of 7, Aug 08 2010

       Good call, [ of ].
nineteenthly, Aug 08 2010

       Why are people attributing micromanagement to marx?   

       I don't get that.
Zimmy, Dec 10 2011

       I understand Marxism to be a political and economic theory based on Hegelian philosophy which makes claims, some of which seem to be well-corroborated but not all, about the nature of human history and power relationships within the species. I don't see a connection with micromanagement myself, although i also believe it's more often used as a rhetorical device by governments and political parties than taken at face value by them. However, the communitarian tendency in parties and other groups labelling themselves as progressive do seem to me to practice micromanagement. I wouldn't say that has anything to do with Marxism at the moment, as far as they're concerned, since they tacitly imply that it's discredited.
nineteenthly, Dec 10 2011

       Micromanagement, scientific managemen, Taylorism could be considered right-wing marxism because it is an extreme example of reducing the worker to commodity, and alienating the worker. Thats what i would think right wing marxism would be, a purer form of capitalism that perfects exploitation and alienation by accepting that marx was right about most things.
rcarty, Dec 11 2011

       Yes, sounds about right. Something which unfortunately rather strongly influenced my father. Which is food for thought.
nineteenthly, Dec 11 2011

       Clarification of father comments required. If it's of any significance my father often says contentious things at times.   

       To clarify my thoughts on right-wing marxism: my simple definition of right wing is to be in favor of social stratification. Left wing is to favor social equality. All other confounding variables I usually ignore. Now, to say right-wing marxist would usually be taken as a contradiction in terms, but I think marxists could just as easily be right-wing. Certainly marx has provided very clear terms for understanding the essence of capitalism and the money system that any capitalist could benefit from. In fact it's necessary (or was) that capitalists continue on their trajectory to bring about social revolution. What happened, as I mentioned in my first anno, is that capitalists changed their trajectory in most of Western europe starting with Bismark (for example). These type of reforms were actually anti-marxist, because they were steps towards mending social disparity and stratification. Ronald Reagan and Thatcher in the same line of reasoning could actually be considered right-wing marxists. Maybe the biggest problem with Marx (or maybe me) is he really didn't understand Feurbach's materialism and as a result of alienating essence from object and telling everyone about it really fucked up an important historical process.
rcarty, Dec 12 2011

       I'm not sure where you're getting the social stratification part. Feels like you're crossing axis.   

       What would you consider to be the opposite end of dictatorship of the proletariat? I view it as the liberation of the means of production. Stratification only follows in a Darwinian sense -- i.e. the same reason different Galapagos finches have different beak sizes. Stratification obviously occurs within Marxism or any other philosophy of government/capital management.
theircompetitor, Dec 12 2011

       Not mixing up axis, the original meaning of left wing and right wing was the side of king louis 14 of france. On right side if you were for monarchy, nobility aristocracy, on left side if you were for equality and liberty. The objective end of historical materialism was supposed to be a classless society, one without stratification. Bringing another theory in such as Darwinian evolution complicates things, but doesn't really add anything. Just because variation is a natural occurance doesn't mean stratification is. Variation allows various important social roles to be filled whether economic or otherwise. Variation doesn't determine one is better or more powerful than another. Marx presented a theory to explain that. He said the capitalist is more powerful than the worker because the worker's involvement in production alienates him in various ways. Therefore marx concluded, the worker must take control of the means of production to overcome alienation. That's where the message is kind of "lost in translation" because most people focus on the means of production and who owns it when the really important thing is the alienation. So the idea is not so much that workers steal from the rich and then run the alienating factories with proletarian dictatorships, but rather become whole human beings again, in a real human society.
rcarty, Dec 12 2011

       All occurrences are natural, rcarty, and stratification is certainly driven by evolution, primates, pun intended, being a prime example.
theircompetitor, Dec 12 2011

       // Any questions? //   

Alterother, Dec 12 2011

       All occurances occur within the natural world that's sort of a truism to say all occurances are natural. However there are natural systems and social systems and economic systems. Just as there are processes in each. If you want to equate ntaural with occrance than you have said something meaningless.
rcarty, Dec 12 2011

       which we sometimes struggle with, I know :)   

       Look -- to claim that stratification is unnatural is absurd -- it absolutely does result directly out of primate behavior in ways that are in fact a hell of a lot more obvious than any Hegelian or Marxist mambo jumbo. Have you ever seen strutting birds? It's a built in mechanism of life.   

       The real promise of worker liberation comes out not of contorted systems of thought, but of continuing elimination of middlemen -- i.e. more people were liberated by eBay and even more recent companies like Etsy than Marxism, of any stripe, could ever hope to match.
theircompetitor, Dec 12 2011

       Seems like the internet was developed as a result of a tax-supported state defense development project, as I recall.
RayfordSteele, Dec 12 2011

       Ok lets not mince words here. Some stratification is natural like in sedementary stone. Social stratification is not in the realm of natural, it's a social phenomenon. We know that it is not natural because it does not follow natural laws, it does not have a real form or structure in physical space. If someone is in the upper class they are not physically up anywhere. It's'only statisical stratification. It follows whatever socially constructed laws have been created maintain that purely statistical stratification. Again ,nobody is actually stratified.
rcarty, Dec 12 2011

       Tell that to the ram with the headache who lost the fight.
RayfordSteele, Dec 12 2011

       rcarty -- stratification, even when inherited, is a result of competitive behavior (albeit occasionally removed from current form). I.e. hard to argue that Charles or say, Paris Hilton did much to accomplish being them -- but someone in the past did, sufficiently so. That forms of government evolved to protect those that are in power (and their offspring) is no more surprising than any other selecting mechanism -- what is unnatural about it?   

       [Ray] -- not sure what ax you're grinding there -- but since we're having fun, let me challenge, for a bit, the notion you present:   

       The government is a customer, like any other. We live in a world that was created through the steam engine, the telegraph, radio, telephone, internet, etc.   

       All these things were incredibly useful to governments -- so they were created.   

       But none of that would have happened had those creating them not had a motive for doing so. In some rare cases, that motive might largely be recognition, or even some form of pure altruism.   

       Most of the freaking time, however, they were created because you can make a lot of money selling stuff to governments.
theircompetitor, Dec 12 2011

       Natural laws dont govern any of that.
rcarty, Dec 12 2011

       Not really grinding any axe, just throwing out thoughts as they occur.   

       The government is a customer, but an active one these days in defining what it wants and how it wants it, which takes an organizing body to decide. I've worked defense contractual development, I know. It is also an organizing force for the creation of large infrastructural change where the public or private benefit isn't immediately obvious.   

       My point I guess is that all organizational ideologies are interdependent upon eachother for their support and that ideologically purist systems fail without exception. No governmental type or political ideology exists in a vacuum to where it doesn't gain some benefit from the practices of its polar opposite at some level. Atlas Shrugged in the real world can't possibly exist, as since you conveniently point out, people aren't altrustic enough to inhibit themselves from encroaching on doing public harm when their own interests are at stake. That's why we have laws.   

       My subtle point to both of you was that you were getting lost in the semantics of what is meant by 'natural law.'
RayfordSteele, Dec 12 2011

       I don't think I was getting lost. Arguably, many human efforts considered quite worth while in the abstract -- say the war on drugs -- are doomed exactly because they are against "natural law", and Marxism fits nicely into that niche.   

       I must admit I find the idea title irritating, if simply because all Marxism is "right wing".   

       The scale I would use from left to right is not a typical progressive to conservative scale. I would scale things as individual freedom versus government power over individual's life. On that scale Marxism is pretty far to the right.
theircompetitor, Dec 12 2011

       Explain in one sentence ten words or less what natural law is. Is natural law "a theoretical perspective that explains why something happens" or is it "a damn well law that tells you that something will damn well happen". If the former lets call a spade a spade, and accept that it's your opinion. If it's the latter then prove your so called natural laws by predicting something will happen.
rcarty, Dec 12 2011

       rcarty, that's easy.   

       There never was, and there never will be, a human society without the haves and have nots. Further, the more equitable the distribution of wealth & power in a society appears to be, the larger the concentration of wealth & power in a smaller percentage of the population. So for instance, while we hear a lot about 1%, most people were "equal" in Communist Russia -- but that was easy since they didn't have anything. The immense concentration of power and wealth within the top echelons of the Communist party was far in advance of anything we experience in the West. Plenty of stratification existed, with party members being above the "proles", and various constituencies up the chain. The head of a local union chapter was a god, a local mayor could do anything he wanted .   

       Nor would this be unexpected -- in practice, nothing happens by committee -- everything happens due to the will of atlases shrugging. These atlases are not necessarily captains of industry --they could also be the local party bosses -- in fact, in that system, they likely are. Their domination power is in fact amplified in such regimes. No doubt most North Koreans are equal.   

       The spontaneous emergence of societal systems that are neither anarchic nor "utopian", but rather concentrate power and wealth, is clear evidence that such stratification is a continuation of a natural alpha pair process, not very different from a baboon trying to win and protect his females and offspring, or a strutting bird of paradise.
theircompetitor, Dec 12 2011

       //There never was, and there never will be, a human society without the haves and have nots.// Are you including Australian aboriginal, Eskimo, Hudza, etc. societies, where there is (or at least was) essentially no concept of private ownership, and strict limits on privilege?
spidermother, Dec 13 2011

       I keep expecting this thread to spawn a 'liberal nationalist party' post.
Alterother, Dec 13 2011

       Regarding the title, i find that much of what i write and say tends to be provocative without that being my intention. It might have been called something else, but titles on here are intended to provoke further reading. The nuances are going to be lost and that's not necessarily a bad thing if it makes someone want to disagree with it.   

       Regarding the question of natural stratification, are we talking about power, the availability of resources, freedom or something else? I see everyone as trapped by their circumstances in any kind of society, and a tendency to blame others in any position where those others are socially distant from one in some way. In a feudal society and probably even today, the monarchy has very little freedom because, for example, they often had to marry for political reasons and were the pawns of the people who raised them as children, for instance because of the power of the Church and being made into puppets of others. I think there's a general tendency to think the responsibility, and therefore the power, lies elsewhere than oneself, which might be to do with defining oneself in opposition to an Other.   

       That's not why i'm posting though. I was really just going to say that i'm not sure the idea of the natural is valid. The problem being that we are the products of nature through evolution, environment and so on, and therefore what we do, including our social structures, is always going to be natural. It's no less natural to treat tumours using radiotherapy, cancer chemotherapy and surgery than it would be for me to violate my ethical code and pretend to treat it using my approach (though obviously it would also be unforgivable and result in deaths).
nineteenthly, Dec 13 2011

       yes, I am including those [spidermother]. First, as I mentioned, such societies do concentrate what they value (think shaman, top hunter, etc). Second, as noted in my post earlier, I didn't say that there are no societies where a vast majority is not "equal" -- simply that in those societies, those that are equal do not have much -- and these examples qualify.   

       And finally, I did not render judgement on any lifestyle, merely indicated where the "natural" law is leading us. 7 billion people on the planet -- the rat strategy is a winning one.   

       So yes, back to the Australopithecus that picked up the bone not to smash a deer's head, but the head of the guy who was the previous alpha male, there never was, nor will there be, such a society
theircompetitor, Dec 13 2011

       A big cat might end up eating any one of those Australopithecines without regard to the pecking order. Then again, maybe that hierarchy would lead to underlings defending the individual at the top.
nineteenthly, Dec 13 2011

       The most important lesson of evolution is the propagation of genes
theircompetitor, Dec 13 2011

       Fair enough, [theircompetitor]; I wasn't really challenging you (hides bone behind back). I just wanted to make sure that when you use words like "law" and "never", you've really thought it through.
spidermother, Dec 13 2011


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