This is the second of two essays I submitted for university this week. For this one the question prompt I chose was “Does socialism always tend towards authoritarianism?” Short answer was no, but I had to write about 1799 more words so this is the long answer talking about the State, Russia, Spain, and anarchism and a bit of democratic confederalism. Title is iffy and unimaginative because screw putting effort into that. All references are down the bottom. Enjoy
Socialism is a school of thought most simply defined by its opposition to capitalism (Heywood 2021: 75). This is, however, an extremely broad range of ideas and there has been much conflict within and between nations, parties and movements about what, and who, constitutes true socialist ideals. Perhaps the greatest of these is the antagonism between democratic and authoritarian visions of socialism. The Twentieth Century saw the rise of authoritarian socialism, manifested primarily through the Russian Revolution in October 1917 and the horrors of the Stalinist regime, and in China under Mao’s Communist Party.
Continue reading “Authoritarian Socialism and the Anarchist Alternative”
I am reading Globalization and Its Discontents (damn Americanisation’s), the updated version with the advent of Donald Trump, written by Joseph E. Stiglitz. In it he describes how globalisation has seemingly failed the world, producing discontents with the system. In the 2002 edition, it was mostly the developing world that suffered, but more recently developed countries have increasingly opposed globalisation. Stiglitz argued this is due to gross mismanagement, but as he admits later, even well managed globalisation results in “losers” in the system.
Continue reading “Globalisation Conveniently Works When People Lose”
There is a contradiction in the way the proponents of capitalism approach the concept of the “zero-sum game”, the notion that wealth created or owned in one place must come at the expense of others. This conversation has taken many different forms, from the power of the British Empire on a global scale to national debates over the merits of immigration and welfare. But one on side of the debate, there appears to be a glaring inconsistency in their logic.
Continue reading “The Contradiction of the Zero-Sum Game”
I am once more late to the party of outrage and debate on this topic, but recently there was social upheaval over the name of a cheese brand. With or without prior context, you can probably guess who took which side and what arguments were used for or against the pending change. But I just want to make a quick point, mostly to call out a frequently recurring criticism about the motives of corporations to instead smack them back down with an entirely separate criticism. Sorry to upset some people, but Coon cheese – the cheese of contention – is capitalist.
Continue reading “The Cheese Is Capitalist”
I am currently reading Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway about how a number of global issues have been corrupted by a small number of “experts” and powerful special interests. The topics covered are quite varied, from smoking, to environmental concerns like acid rain, to Reagan’s Star Wars plans, etc. Probably the most important one is climate change, which I have not reached yet, but it’s an obvious one. But why? The free market loving capitalists should be flocking to support renewable energy, not because they give a shit about the planet, but because it could be the freest market ever created.
Continue reading “Is Renewable Energy Not the Capitalist Dream?”
I have recently stumbled into a few videos online with pro-capitalist arguments, decrying socialist ideas and encouraging free markets to take full form. The one thing I have found listening to them, whether their arguments have any legitimate points within, is their selective examples and, at times, complete disfiguration of facts. One such video was an argument about why socialism did not work by a man (who I know nothing about beyond this) called Daniel Hannan. I haven’t written in a while, so what better way to get back into it than by questioning this random guy’s points?
Continue reading “Daniel Hannan’s Arguments Against Socialism”
I have slowly been reading through Alexander Berkman’s The ABC of Anarchism and it’s been quite interesting thus far. Reading the chapter on the reformer and politician, however, I come across one of the few disagreements with his ideas. It’s a relatively small point, but he condemns the reformer for essentially not being radical enough, suggesting that only major movements or revolution could make the necessary changes. I do agree, to an extent, but reforms shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.
Continue reading “In Defence of Reforms”
I’ve recently started reading The ABC of Anarchism (originally Now and After and What Is Communist Anarchism) by Alexander Berkman, and while a lot of the references made do show the age of the book, published in 1929, there are still many relevant observations and similarities to the modern age. The main one, with its many facets, is that capitalism hasn’t really changed much over the years, other than finding more efficient methods of concentrating even more wealth into fewer hands.
Continue reading “Capitalism Hasn’t Changed”
As a massive fan of World of Warcraft and the Warcraft universe in general, it was incredibly disappointing – but not exactly surprising – when Blizzard took a kneejerk reaction after Hearthstone champion Blitzchung voiced solidarity with Hong Kong. The fallout of this event has hit Blizzard hard, but there are some important things to keep in mind while this continues to play out.
Continue reading “The Fate of Blizzard”
A year ago, I started this website, almost gave up on it immediately, and was pretty sure I didn’t want anyone except a close friend or two to know about it. Now, it’s been a whole year, I’ve obviously kept going with it, and while I hate doing so out of fear of pushing my own writing, I have no real issues telling people about it if the topic is relevant. Recently I was asked a simple question: why anarchism? The answer seems just as simple: it makes sense.
Continue reading “Why Anarchism?”