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braces for down votes and possible ban

I've been seeing a worrying number of these people on Lemmy lately, sharing enlightened takes including but not limited to "voting for Biden is tantamount to fascism" and "the concept of an assigned gender, or even an assigned name, at birth is transphobic" and none of them seem to be interested in reading more than the first sentence of any of my comments before writing a reply.

More often than not they reply with a concern I addressed in the comment they're replying to, without any explanation of why my argument was invalid. Some of them cannot even state their own position, instead simply repeatedly calling mine oppressive in some way.

It occurred to me just now that these interactions reminded me of nothing so much as an evangelical Christian I got into an argument with on Matrix a while ago, in which I met him 95% of the way, conceded that God might well be real and that being trans was sinful and tried to convince him not to tell that to every trans person he passed, and failed. I am 100% convinced he was trolling -- in retrospect I'm pretty sure I could've built a municipal transport system by letting people ride on top of his goalposts (that's what I get for picking a fight with a Christian at 2AM) -- and the only reason I'm not convinced these leftists on Lemmy are trolls is the sheer fucking number of them.

I made this post and what felt like half the responses fell into this category. Am I going insane?

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  • Generally true, yes. In most cases, the leftists using that sort of terminology are tankies, meaning they are explicitly pro-authoritarian. They just want the dictators to be communists (or claimed communists) rather than capitalists (despite said dictatorial communism usually being about seizing all the money for themselves anyways and often results in full on capitalism regardless, China is a great example).

    So you don't even need the word replacement thought experiment. Tankies are openly authoritarian.

    • People really don't want to acknowledge that politics is more than one axis.

      Like communism is the opposite of capitalism, not democracy. The opposite of democracy is a dictatorship.

      And when a dictator calls their government Communist, it's pretty much a guarantee it's not even a communist economy anymore than when North Korea or Russia claim to be democracies.

      • Very true. Reading a lot of Socialist lit has made me very critical about the regular framework I see regularly posited as Socialism being a direct opposite of capitalism and being some kind of inevitable slippery slope toward Communism.

        Like as a system it is very distinct from Communist ideologically speaking and represents a sliding scale of public ownership versus private ownership but never fully occludes private ownership, currency or the very basics of capitalism systemically and any one person's veiw of where that balance should rest is itself an end point and fully formed political belief. You can believe a mix of liberal / capitalist and socialist things that are not strictly contradictory. Capitalism is a sliding scale we are just currently dealing with it's deep unstable and predatory end. Admitting some capitalism is okay and can be made more ethical doesn't disqualify you from the left nor does it nessisarily make you "centrist". It also doesn't make you automatically a fan of everything capitalist or the status quo.

        The number of "That's not Socialism! Socialism means only (posit one potential facet out of the massive cloud of policies/stances of the ideology) or " That is only the secret aim of Communists to tip the teeter-totter towards our/their goals!" is a very paternalistic view. Socialism is DEEP and diverse. There's not a central author or even a neat handful of authors one can point to. The more you read the more internal variations you find.

        People generally seem to just want an enemy to point and hiss at, they don't want to look at things as a potential series of sliding scales or people of mixed ideological stances as valid in their own right.

        • Socialism requires that the workers own the means of production. So no it's not on a sliding scale with capitalism. Those are called hybrid economies and are a concept in their own right. In fact basically all modern economies are hybrid economies.

          Socialism does include many systems, but none of them are capitalist, they are mutually exclusive. They can have markets, currency, and other things, or they might not. Communism is just a subcategory of socialist society. The reason people think socialism leads to communism is because of the marxists who use one as a platform to achieve the other.

          • Socialism requires no such thing - most of the rhetoric which treats worker owned production as the only definition of Socialism stems from Marxist frameworks and leaves any writing done on the subject since which has fleshed out the philosophic roots untouched. There has been a lot of writing on the subject in the 200 years since . Ownership of the means of production is by no means the only form of public or social property.

            Dismissing mixed and hybrid economic theory as "not Socialist enough" is more or less what I am talking about with the nature of false dichotomies. So often socialists are dismissed on this platform directly because they don't buy into every binary maxim of all Socialism through the lens of Communist philosophy. Socialism works in mixed systems because it is kind of the political overlap of a lot of things. Where it can and does integrate into "hybrid" economies because it is not fully "anti capitalist". It is it's own sphere of political thought and buying in to one specific "hybrid" branch still makes one socialist. While Socialism certainly isn't capitalist in itself and does curtail capitalism somewhat by existing in the same space it's no more "anti" than two roomates sharing an apartment and divvying up responsibilities and resources mutually would be considered "anti-roommate".

            I am quite frankly tired of Marxists or even other Socialists trying to impose their own overly narrow definition to what amounts to a range of different socialism factions or treating hybrid socialist ideologies like liberal socialism or ethical socialism like they aren't socialism.

            Communism is also not strictly socialism. The two ideologies may be related but the definition of Communism leaves no real space for hybrid systems hence the ideological distain for "hybrids" ane why calling Communism "just a subsection" of Socialism is misguided. Marx may have coined and popularized the term but early writers who adopted the label socialist very quickly became something unique and the term essentially became the safe space of at least partial criticism of Marxist/Leninist revolutionary anti-capitalist ideology. The difference between the two that eventually emerged as literally one having a tolerance for mixed systems and one not. Only one of them is strictly anti-capitalist.

            • Anarchists are anti-capitalist and have little to do with Marx.

              Why would you want any form of a destructive and exploitative system like capitalism to remain? I think you just aren't happy people are calling out your pro-capitalist and reformist bullshit.

              • Capitalism isn't always a destructive system, we are just living the deep end of unfettered capitalism which is. At its absolute basic having a business owner who forks over the initial investment and pays for both materials and labourers while profiting a modest amount isn't automatically exploitation. Investment capital isn't just big hedgefunds and megacorps. It's literally just having any form of private ownership of a business regardless of size.

                What makes capitalism exploitative and terrible is not combatting its worst aspects. Things like people being incentivized or at very least not being punished for allowing profit to be king instead of looking at business success as a many spoked wheel including a duty to worker welfare, a responsibility to the community, ethical sourcing and so on. When you have a culture of milking everything dry to appease shareholders being normalized and routine grabbing of public resources for pennies considered legitimate then yes Capitalism is exploitative but there's plenty that can be done to literally disincentivize that system. The way the stock market works is not on its own an integral part of capitalism. It's an option. Laws and oversight can do a lot to bring the system of exploitation into check. Inventivizing co-op and worker owned labor is great but so is expanding tax structures, government public services and safety nets and strengthening environment protections or increasing indigenous repatriation and sovereignty. A lot of that is making Government more airtight against private sector tampering.

                End of the day if a business is playing by the rules and doing their bit to what they owe society then who owns it becomes much less relevant.

                • People love to talk about protections and safety nets enforced by governments and committees but you find in most countries with capitalism the government is corrupt including in the US and UK. They essentially do what businesses tell them to do because they spend money on lobbying and line politicians pockets. There isn't really a way to fix this under capitalism to my knowledge.

                  The media too is bought and paid for by the big business players. That's the nature of capitalism as a system. It corrupts everything.

                  • There are ways to combat it we just aren't doing it. First past the post voting systems are in both currently used in the US and the UK and those are systems that both benefit high capitalist control over democratic governance.

                    Media protection and legislation has also been eroded so it is understandable that you cannot conceive of a non-corrupt media but again those are options. Anti-trust legislation, federal communication standards, standards regarding ethical reporting and consumer protections are all individual steps which have existed in the past and could be updated.

                    Also currently speaking there isn't really a lot of options for countries that have zero capitalism. By that metric we start talking about places where it's illegal to have a strictly private business. Iceland for instance still is a capitalist country even as it is a highly socialist country. Highly socialist countries aren't capital free. They still have private business.

                    If You are looking at this issue in black and white terms where only exploitative capitalism counts as capitalism then of course "capitalism bad" is your easy take away. Things exist by degrees and shades of grey and the system of token trading has both benefits and drawbacks. But again I don't need communists telling me that I am socialist-ing wrong. You can either appreciate the things we agree on or have this discussion in terms of individual policy changes and acts or we can disagree and move on.

                    • There are ways to combat it we just aren't doing it. First past the post voting systems are in both currently used in the US and the UK and those are systems that both benefit high capitalist control over democratic governance.

                      Media protection and legislation has also been eroded so it is understandable that you cannot conceive of a non-corrupt media but again those are options. Anti-trust legislation, federal communication standards, standards regarding ethical reporting and consumer protections are all individual steps which have existed in the past and could be updated.

                      Yes there are. Doing any of those requires a non-corrupt government, an informed public or both. All of the forces in modern society are against that. It's a chicken and egg problem. How can you overcome that problem without resorting to a revolution or other form of regime change?

                      Also currently speaking there isn't really a lot of options for countries that have zero capitalism. By that metric we start talking about places where it's illegal to have a strictly private business. Iceland for instance still is a capitalist country even as it is a highly socialist country. Highly socialist countries aren't capital free. They still have private business.

                      So why don't we build some? There are many socialist (as in the original definition, the one I use) systems ready to be tried. Many have never been tried before.

                      Things exist by degrees and shades of grey and the system of token trading has both benefits and drawbacks.

                      Not everything that uses token trading is capitalism. You realize feudalism and slave societies also have currency, right? It's a much older concept than capitalism.

                      As I said you can have markets under socialism, and even businesses provided they are owned by the workers or by the state. You can also earn money and so on. Lookup things like socialist market economy or Anarcho-syndicalism. You don't have to be a communist to meet the criteria that the working class own the means of production. Worker co-ops are not a communist concept and even exist in modern society.

                      I am not sure you actually know what capitalism even is or why it leads to exploitation.

                      I acknowledge those shades of gray. They are called hybrid economies. What you are doing is pointing at gray and calling it black.

                      But again I don't need communists telling me that I am socialist-ing wrong.

                      I am not even really a communist. I probably support socialist market economy as much as I do Anarcho-communism, and leninists can frankly suck my dick.

                      What would you even call someone who believes in "working class owns the means of production" if not a socialist? Not everyone who believes that is a communist as I have demonstrated. In fact that cannot be in a communist society as there are no classes (unless you say everyone is working class?). What would you even call someone like me?

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