ITT: Actually doing something to spread Class Consciousness and theory amongst the masses. Kinda. I made a thread about this ages ago but it died, also the title I gave it was "LEFTISM SOC", too vague. I screenshotted the posts from the old thread, I don't have them on me but I'll post them in here when I get them so that the same points aren't repeated too much. Basically as the title says, I've started a Leftist Society at my school to discuss, debate and present on Left-Wing politics, by which I mean Left of Capitalism. Socialism, Communism, Anarchism, Posadism, whathaveyou. We will have weekly meetings which are about 45 mins long, a mixture of presenting (inc. videos and powerpoints, interactive whiteboard), debating and open floor discussion.
I can upload the posters and shit I made, as well as all of the sessions I have planned and individual plans for each session. The main reason I made this thread and the last, however, is so that I am able to ask questions and get advice from people who have read more theory and history than me and who have more experience organising Leftist societies and clubs, whatever ya wanna call them; i.e. (you). Any questions etc. about what the society will be like I'm happy to answer them whenever I can. And my infinite gratitude to anyone able to help out with advice and answers etc.
The first session, which will be this Thursday, will be a basic introduction session. I thought it was important to lay some material groundwork from which to build off, so I was going to introduce people to concepts of Base and Superstructure, Dialectics and Dialectical Materialism, then some very basic Marxist Econ like Capital Accumulation, theories of surplus value, and the "anarchy" of the market. The rest of the session is probably going to be spent cutting through Capitalist Realist ideology (I recommend the book by Mark Fisher) and accusations of Stalinism. The session are open to everyone from my school so there's gonna be a fair amount of ignorant squiblets, there are only two other people in my school who know anything about theory or the history of socialism.
So to start this thread off before I post the screenshots I mentioned and the session plans poster designs etc., do you guys have any suggestions for how to introduce a roomful of people to Socialist ideas and Marxist critiques of society? What are good ways of explaining the concepts I mentioned and plan to present? What are the most likely counter-arguments I will have to refute (e.g. le Hooman Natur, Communism killed 90% of the world etc.)? Is there any other advice you guys might have for organising Socialist Clubs/Societies/etc.?
Thanks in advance.
Whatever you do don't be an anarchist revisionist. Keep it with solid marxist theory.
I'm not trying to sell an ideology to the attendees, I'm just trying to introduce people to Leftist Theory and unbiased history, and then let people come to their own conclusions. I'm essentially a Socialist-Without-Adjectives personally, I'm still figuring out what ideology I most identify with. The first few sessions will be focused on analyses of Capitalism, Marxism most foremost, then some Critical Theory and Neo-Marxists like David Harvey. It'll all become clearer when I post the list of sessions I had planned, and I'll be able to do it tomorrow because I don't have the pics on me.
Not that I have anything against anarchists. When the time comes I'll probs do a session on the history and theory of anarchism. But I'm def starting the sessions with the faults of Capitalism rather than the solutions of Socialism.
That's not how revisionism works you brainlet.
Shut up, revisionist.
It doesn't matter, I don't want this to turn into a sectarian shit-flinging session.
If you can't think of anything to post, based on what I wrote, then you can just talk about times when you tried to persuade other people to start thinking about Socialism and alternatives to Capitalism. That would be much more helpful.
I've never seen this comic, is there more?
Well It depends..are you a burger? If youre a burger I recommend killing yourself because burgerland is classcucked way to much
Its by Uno Moralez, he has many others like it.
It's an English School (London, Edmonton) that I'm presenting these sessions at. The vast majority of people are Labour supporters, interest in Corbyn is pretty high. A few would even self-describe as socialists, but they think Socialist means SocDem and don't know what actual Marxism is.
Okay my dudes, I'm gonna go do some other shit, I'll be back sometime tomorrow. See you Space Cowboys…
Get used to talking in turns. If you start out with four people, this won't bother you at first; but if you then grow, you'll get into problems, so take turns even if the group is small. Have some item to give around, call it The Talking Stick, or whatever. (This does not apply when a presentation is done.)
I recommend against using movie clips in presentations whenever possible, especially avoid them if they have music. Sorry for sounding tinfoily, but I have to say when you show a clip that is fifteen or even seven minutes long, it tends to have the effect of making people really passive, and it takes several minutes to get them into a more aware state again. Diagrams can really help make complex issues more clear, especially animated diagrams, but sadly almost nobody uses YT and the like in that way. Maybe have a rule that only silent clips are allowed in presentations, this leads to a more interaction-friendly atmosphere. Just think about how annoying it gets to have to talk back and forth over a movie with sound, stopping it occasionally, maybe even rewind a bit because something was unclear, and the music starts and stops and repeats and so on. People who use sound effects in presentations, such as typewriter sounds for every letter appearing on the screen, should be murdered.
People don't read long texts. It's better to talk about an insanely complex text that is just a page long and that you have to dissect sentence by sentence, than very easy reading that is five pages. Easy texts I can read and understand by myself and I don't need to join a group for that.
turn it into a book club. Now,
Bumping, I'll reply and post images later
Erk. Give me some love guys. These are some screen shots from the original thread, and the list of possible session plans to do. I've added more to the list, I'll post them in a sec.
Way back machine isn't working for me.
Here are the additions to the list.
Added to the reading list:
Here's the logo I designed for it, as well as some posters I made. There's still some text I need to write on them but it'll basically say "An Introduction to Leftism: Marxism and the foundations of Socialism* " or somethin', as well as the date, time and room it will be in.
*when I say foundations of socialism, I mean I'm gonna be presenting on the birth of socialist ideas i.e. Fourier and Saint-Simon, and how these ideas are actually rooted in Abrahamic and Zoronastrian ideals about the poor. Basically why people proposed Socialism in the first place.
Critiques of posters would also be much appreciated
List of everything I've read? Eh, embarrassingly little I guess. I'll mainly listen to academic lectures (a LOT of academic lectures, I don't really listen to music anymore) and read Online Encyclopedia's and articles to learn about this stuff. And then I also download audio-books. I also have philosophy and politic's encyclopedia's on my shelf that I read a lot from.
Combining what I've actually read all the way through and the audio-books I've heard, the list would look something like this: - Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher - Critique of the Gotha Program - Wage Labour and Capital - The Communist Manifesto - Principals of Communism by Engels -Some of Reform or Revolution by Rosa Luxembourg
I know I have a lot to read, but unfortunately I took English Literature so most of my reading energy goes into that.
I'm taking an Art Foundation course next year, so I'll be able to fill up my free time with reading (and building up an art portfolio). But I think it's really important I start this society at my school so that the year below me will be able to take up the mantle when I leave school next year (I'm 17 btw), and the Society will be able to keep going and allow Socialist ideas to become more widespread.
Thanks, this is incredibly helpful. If anyone else has advice similar to this it would be much appreciated.
I would if I could.
Gosh, I want to help you but do you realize how ambitious this is? There is no way you'll do anything of value with a repertory that limited.
I mean I do actually understand Marxian Economics to a respectable level and the things I mentioned in this post. As in I'm not some edgy Liberal who liked Marx's beard, I feel like I understand why Capitalism needs to be subject to abolition, not reform. And I know there is more to Marxist Socialism than "Seize the means of production". As I said, I learn a lot from Academic Lecture series (for example Richard D. Wolff's on Marxian Econ), so I know a lot more than you'd assume from my limited reading might suggest.
To be honest, any suggestions are appreciated. Focus on this post if you want to give advice because I'm presenting that this week. Eurefffghhh
Does anyone have any advice to give based off of Leftist Clubs or Societies they have ran in the past?
I don't even really dislike him, I just think he can be particularly unhelpful when trying to understand capitalism.
you dont know what revisonism means do you
This is good. If you can get a lot of different scattered leftists to come together and discuss things and even get stuff done, then you are comrade of mine.
He isn't radical enough for the types who browse Holla Forums. He can be useful as a gateway drug for socdems that dont know enough about socialism and want to know more
:') Thanks. btw I don't used this flag 'cause I'm a Leftcom, I just thing it looks nice, in case anyone was worried about that. Neither do I have anything against them, I'd want to read the work of actual Leftcoms before coming to a conclusion. Fuck sectarianism.
He's been exactly what I've needed then. I'm trying to educate people on socialism who think "It's when the government does stuff". I've seen his Economic Update vids, those are trash tbh, but then in those he's trying to appeal to Burgers. The stuff I've seen by him that I value were his 'Intro to Marxian Economics' and 'Advanced Applied Marxian Economics' that I've heard all the way through, they're basically lectures on the contents of Marx's Capital. I've also heard talks on the Labor Theory of Value and I've got David Harvey's Capital lecture series downloaded to listen to.
Is just just the online text version of David Harvey's Companion to Capital? 'Cause I've got the pdf. I actually have fucktonnes of pdfs, my problem is finding the time to read between the texts I have to read for school. I listen to lectures cause I have a long af commute.
it's a critique.
I'm presenting this stuff this Thursday. I can film it and show you guys how it goes unless it goes completely to shit . Most urgent help I need is with the things I mentioned in this post.
Fucking bump, bless this mess. Also I moved the first session to next week Thursday cause I'm underprepared.
Okay here's something I need help with. How the fuck do I explain Dialectics or Dialectical Materialism to a bunch of Troglodytes who know (more or less) fack all about philosophy?
Also has anyone here read Fourier, Saint-Simon and any of the other Utopian Socialists? Is there anything Christian Socialists could tell me about how Utopian Socialism evolved out of the ideals of the New Testament, sermon on the mount etc.
Basically the first session will be about the origins of Socialist philosophy (i.e. the French Utopian Socialists) and then that basics of Marxist philosophy and economics, as I describe in this post .
Any help on this much appreciated.
Bump I need help dudes
Have you tried reading short introductory articles or watching short videos about the things you want to quickly explain? To see how others have condensed the subjects.
I mean I've done that for quite a few things, but that was like half a year ago. If I got all my political opinions from YT then I'd be a moron. I have actually read quite a few articles etc., but they've mainly been on history and not all of them on Communism/Socialism.
But thanks anyway.
Could anyone link a good article or short pamphlet on Dialectical Materialism? It seems impossible to describe without giving laborious examples. Thanks.
I've written out a session plan for the first session next week. It'll be on Thursday and last from 12:45 to 1:30pm.
It'll go something like this:
**This is mainly to sow the seeds of these ideas for the session after this, where we will be looking more in depth at Marx's critique of Capitalism. —————- Whatdya guys think? Could any of you relate it to your experiences being a part of other Leftist Societies? Any suggestions?
All me btw
Looks good to me.
It sounds to me like you need more time to do all that tbh or it will feel rushed
Then I have an advice for you. Just make a regular philosophical literature club. Thats all you need.
Most philosophers are lefties & the best philosophers are those of 1800ish so… There you go.
you don't need an ideology either btw just be yourself. whatever pleases your ego.
and discuss the Young Hegelians & Die Freien, etc, etc. You have to make your bookclub like "Die Freien". But well with less people because now people have better things to entertain themselves with than to listen to philosophers debate while drinking their wine in a bar.
I don't think you know what you're talking about. Read theory first, and then teach.
I'm not a Leftcom
I'm not a Leftcom. You're post was so ridiculously unhelpful and smug that I'm gonna have to give you a Hanging Gardens of Babylon pic.
The fucking point of this society is to get people interested in the subjects so that they can do there own research based upon it; the earlier people start reading theory the better. Your elitism lacks praxis and would have made Marx barf.
Edmonton? Do you go to Latymer?
Yeah I kinda do. I mean I'm basically doxxing myself by wgaf.
yES i DO in short.
Read Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. The first chapter is about utopian socialists.
How detailed is it? Is it just Engels calling them gay or something
should i just let this thread die
anime was a mistake
It's definetely more than just bantz. You should read it. The other two chapters are also good reading material for what you are planning for the first session because they cover "dialectical materalism" this was a term invented by Stalin, use historical materialism instead if you aren't planning to tankpill everyone. It's also not too long.
Yo I've started S:U&S and it's good so far. On Historical/Dialectical Materialism, I checked out Trotsky's "ABC's of Materialist Dialectics", which was really helpful for better understanding the basics. Does anyone here have an opinion on it?
I've also been reading Socialism: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Newman and Marx for Beginners by Rius which were both very helpful. Does anyone else have similar articles or short introductions to recommend on the topics I mentioned?
I'll let my little brother know about it.
Anyone here ever been involved in their own LeftSoc?
Like Leftist organisation of any kind whatsoever
It's tomorrow bois
Don't mention Stalin in the first meeting, for Christ's sake. You may like his theory, but most ppl will think you're weird for liking, or worse, defending him. Start by explaining the LTV, then work your way from normie-friendly theory like Kropotkin and Goldman to actually good theory like Stirner and Mao.
Bump. First session went well
tell us more, man
I'll do it in a bit if I get the chance
I er explained the five modes of production Marc identifies and showed how Slavery Feudalism and Capitalism were all exploitative because everyone who produces the surplus doesn't get to decide what happens with it and why the Primitive Communist model shows that worked control was at the centre of Marx's conception of socialism. I didn't get on to talking about Labor Vouchers or the State withering away so I'll have to save that for another session. I compared Marx to Jesus, they both wanted to make the world a better place but many horrible things happened in Jesus' name, e.g. Crusades Inquisition Witch Trials Antisemitism, and how we don't abandon Jesus' ideals because of the amount of deaths caused in his name. I know there's nuance to the USSR and Mao and muh gorillions is dumb but it's more important to defend Marx than Stalin especially in the first ession. Also the Jesus comparison was more nuanced than that it probs sounds dumb from now I described it. I also talked about negative induction for some reason and the end of history by Francis ffukiyamaa and how shut it is and Ptolemys system of Navigation which was founded on the idea that the earth revolved around the sun which was useful for navigation to show that just because something is useful doesn't mean it's correct, a la capitalism. Then near the end I talked about the people and ideas Marx has influenced including ones on one of the posters I made the one with all the faces. Then I linked it all to the massive wealth disparity we see in the world and how useless than ever and how imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. I also talked about simulation and the postmodern condition briefly to show how you can basically convince yourself of anything if u want to, e.g. Capitalism is working. Buh. There was some other shir but I've forgotten. Also there were some comrades there to help back up my points and who helped clear up some shot with Marx's analysis in Capital. Seemed to go well people seemed convinced I kinda wished more people had turned up but eh can't have everything roughly ten people showed including some comrades. So yeah that's how that went
Next session will be basically a debate session / open floor discussion. Capitalism vs. Socialism are markets efficient what does Communism mean etc. Any suggestions based upon how these kinds of pretty public debates tend to go is appreciated.
God, that's one UGLY logo. I take it you are new to graphic design?
I'm planning to go into some form of fine art or art history Feels bad man
Do you have any suggestions for improving it?
No cockhead we're actively inviting capitalist speakers
Why don't you discuss critiques of Bookchin by McQuinn, Landstricher, Black, etc.
Wat It's the second session and my school is full of Liberals and Corbynites. SocDems basically. They don't know who Bookchin Black or any of the other peeps are. So that's probably not productive but thanks anyway
Have any of you on had a something like a formal public debate with a capitalist? Cause that would be a useful experience to relate
And I mean someone who advocates for Capitalism, not a literal Capitalist by a Marxist definition
Lol, it's Wolfi Landstreicher, meaning a vagrant. A stricher is a male prostitute. Bob Black's writing is idiotic (see pdf, and that is only about how illogical the structure of an article by Black is, i doesn't even mention the supposed anarchist Bob Black quotes slavers with approval), no idea why he ever was popular. Don't know who you mean by Quinn. Daniel Quinn? Jason McQuinn?
Cool, a big echo chamber filled with retarded school kids
For any debate between people who aren't best friends, it's a good idea to have a timer for how long either person speaks (in total, and there is also a limit per speaking turn), and to visualize that in a way that the speakers see the timer (visualizing is also a good idea for giving presentations, it should be a crime to not have a visible timer). Perhaps the audience should be asked not to clap during the debate, especially if the debate happens on the turf of one side of the debate.
It's obnoxious when people interrupt each other all the time, on the other hand the exchange feels sterile if they never do that, especially if one person starts on a simply wrong premise, and then talks forever, using rock-solid logic to arrive at a conclusion that is still wrong because of the wrong premise. I think a good middle ground would be to have a formal rule for a limited amount of allowed interruptions. Suppose it's a two-hour debate and both sides have six cards each. They can raise a card and then interrupt the other side to talk for up to a minute (this move cannot be interrupted). Now, if the debate happens in a big hall and you use mics, it is easy to enforce this rule by technology, activating and deactivating mics. But if you have the debate in a small room, you have to rely on people be the right kind of autistic gentlemen to just follow the rule.
For a debate about capitalism vs socialism specifically, I think it would be great if you could get to an agreement beforehand about certain definitions, and this agreement should be restated in front of the audience before the debate starts. I think about the terms, socialism, capitalism, market, money, and value. I'm thinking about the atrocious "debate" between Jack Angstreich and "Academic Agent". Maybe you could reach an agreement before the debate that nobody gets to use the term value without putting a modifier in front of it. If you mean subjective value, just say subjective evaluation. If you mean value in the sense Marx used the term, let's call that Marx value.
>Jason McQuinn? By begorrah, tis loike 'nother potato famine!
Thanks this is all really useful. I don't really know how formal it should be, but I'm afraid if it's too informal then it will turn into a big shouting match that will turn everyone away.
I'm pretty tired and I have other shit to do so I might come back later.
*sigh* you all just don't understand my leftism is perfect
also i am a faggot
Jesus Christ, it was a Hibernian Conspiracy joke ya joyless cunt
Actually the Mc suffix is Scottish my bad I'm a retard
Don't worry user, that applies to pretty much everyone.
Guys please stop bullying me or I'll tell my mom
Did you know everyone in there personally or did some randos appear?
How enthusiastic was the group?
Majority randos, but it went much more than ten people. They seemed moved emotionally I basically explained the link between Capitalist exploitation in the world as described by Marx and the vast in equality in the world we live in: trillionaires and starving nations.
have any of you ever won a debate against a capitalist who wasn't a complete dumbass?
I wish I could debate a right-winger who can argue through means other than logical fallacies, especially straw men. I've always been curious to hear what they would say.
Read Leo Strauss
Argh fuck Why am I doing this
What kinda things would they say by way of argument, logical fallacy or not?
have a bump and a beksinski
there's an extra chupchik that makes it look like there are two I's in the "Leftism" part (When you could've made the S bigger and kept the rectangle by the T as an I), there's a whole lot of text, and it doesn't have a good form, you have to extend whatever poster you put it on, or cover part of it up, it's too big vertically and horizontally, and the curvy SOC bit seems like an afterthought and doesn't really fit next to the LEFTISM bit, IMO. I'd say to ditch the SOC bit, or ditch the LEFTISM bit, and get rid of the text that just outright says "Leftism Society," right underneath the logo. It's like admitting you thought it was illegible, or that you weren't confident in it representing the idea it's about.
lmao true true. I'll try and work on it over the holidays and post the improved version here when I finish it. Thanks.
Second session went well. It was kind of a QnA, I missed the first fifteen mins but maybe the guy who led the session can fill those in
Just to clarify, a Labour voucher society (lower stage communism) would be centrally planned right?
Yes. I don't see how you would measure effort in a meaningful way otherwise. The same type of product gets produced in places with different technology, and it would be unfair to judge workers as if they all had tools of the same quality when they don't. Since the same product only has one price at a moment no matter whether it's from the cyber factory or the one where Fred Flintstone works, and we consider Mr Flintstone a decent worker if he does well given the outdated tools he has and pay him accordingly, the factory Flintstone works in would run a deficit if worker income had to be financed in a decentralized way. What matters is that the price of the product covers the production-cost average of the factories producing it. Of course, when we consider changes in the production process we also look at how the factories do in the familiar separated fashion, but the income of workers in this or that factory is protected against these differences.
How about this? Just made it.
Just realized my browser applies a shit blur to that, so it doesn't look like how it does when opened in an image editor. For those with the same blur issue, here is what it actually looks like.
I think it's the board software. It does it to the flags people submit and never get added too
Well, the blurry version also has its charm.
The logo chuckled and said: "This isn't even my final form!"
just a simple font would work. someone passing by right now wouldnt be able to make sense of what that was
The old one, the new one, both?
other user here, the second session went really well. we managed to avoid the screaming match and in general everyone was insanely cooperative. we went over a list of common misconceptions at the beginning as well as the definitions of a few words which sped things along and for the most part prevented any dictionary warfare. anyone who was at all hostile to the concepts we were proposing were quickly shut down (we're all accustomed to swiftly dealing with the most basic and common grievances with "socialism" ie: Hitler was a socialist, noone would work if everyone was paid the same etc etc) but for the most part it was corbynites who wanted to learn more about actual radical socialism. we explained the shortcomings of social democracy to them and they generally accepted that analysis relatively easily once it was fleshed out and explained more. the next session (we've got a week's break) will be a collaboration with the schools afro-caribbean society about Angela Davis, the panthers, Malcolm, etc, and the importance of violent resistance as well as the place of racial oppression within the system of capitalism.
It's unfortunately unreadably small and in the wrong dimensions. I'll give it a shot, made a few of the board flags.