Trotsky is a tricky topic. Just as is the case with Stalin, neither would be accurately considered the successor to Leninism, really. Frankly, The-Necromancer tends to keep His Communist ideals to Marx, Engels, and Lenin respectively. Less complications, less sectarian arguments. Of course, as is often stated, Marxism is a living science that should continue to evolve with the Capitalist system. But certainly Marx, Engels, and Lenin are the three great pillars of our movement. In regards to Trotsky, Stalin, Mao and so many others, one must remain critical. Open minded, but critical. Obviously, it is impossible to say where Trotsky's theories could have led if put into full practice, and we all know where Stalin and Mao's practical efforts have brought us.
As The-Necromancer has told others: We must always be mindful of the past, learn from what worked well, and never forget what failed. Nor should we discard the ideas that have never been tested in practical conditions if they are still solidly applicable in relation to modern Capitalism. Our foe has adapted, changed, and increased it's ability for exploit. So must we adapt, change, and increase our ability to combat it.
Stand up victims of oppression ,may the tyrants fear your might, don't cling so hard to your possessions for you have nothing if you have no rights, let racist ignorance be ended for respect marks the empires fall, freedom is merly privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all! So brothers and sisters for the struggle carries on, the Internationale unites the world in song, so comrades come rally for this is the time and day, the Internationale unites the human race!
Yeah starve those peasants for the greater good, because as long as everyone starves it's ok. Except for the party members they need food and mansions and limousines and nuclear missiles and ...........
...actually, well-known unpleasantries aside, the many of the nations were Socialism has been implemented in has lead to a marked improvement of living conditions and general well-being for the populace.
No, what you take issue with is not the material advancements, but the arguable social differences.
I consider socialism and communism to be two different things as that is what I have always been taught.
There is no doubt that Socialism increases living conditions, but it also seems to cut into overall production. Done in moderation with countries like Denmark that is a fair trade off to make, but overdone it leads to crushing debt like Greece and Spain.
I am in doubt that it can be applied to a large country like the United States or Russia without bankrupting said country, but I could be wrong. The European Union is still in it's infancy, so I am watching to see if it works as it could show if a large system can or cannot adapt socialism without collapsing.
What most people refer to as Communist nations are not really Communist in societal development. Of course, that is going by the stage theory put forth by Marx and Engels. As any Communist Party led nation would abide by this definition, all such nations have thus far been in the Socialist or "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" phase. It is only in Western terms that they are described as Communist.
As to your second paragraph: The aims of Socialist philosophy are not to maximize production, but to sustain it. Maximization of production is largely driven by profit motive. In Marxist economic models especially, profit motive is not seen as the driving force of production, rather the needs of the individual and society at large are seen as the driving force.
Indeed, the European Union is still young. I believe it will survive it's current troubles, but to consider it a wholly Socialist system is being drastically simple. The nations of Europe may have some Socialist or semi-Socialist policies in place, but their economic models are all solidly Capitalist.
Hmm phases of capitalism you learn something new everyday.
I am not sure the European union will make it the next years are gonna be make it or break it for them. It's also an experiment in poltical alliances. Some Asian countries have also been looking into forming an alliance style government, but full on collapse of the EU would probably doom those plans.
Marx and Engels postulated that human development would go through necessary phases of development: Feudal/Monarchical, Capitalist, Socialist, and ultimately Communist. So, you see, according to Marxist theory Capitalism is a necessary, if not completely agreeable, stage. Capitalism is to provide the foundation to develop Socialism. Capitalism is inherently exploitative and unsustainable, thus Marx dictated it would eventually have to give way to the Socialist stage of sustainability and limited growth.
Mind you, the different schools of thought between Socialism and Communism have argued for nearly two hundred years about when and how the Socialist phase is to be implemented. Communists like myself have sometimes been referred to as "Liberals in a hurry"...
As for the Asian version of the EU, it technically already exists in the form of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, although it is not as tightly binding as the EU. Vladimir Putin has also recently put forward a proposal to unite many of the former Soviet republics under a new union, but I imagine the Russians are carefully watching what happens in the EU as they plan this.
I agree, Germany will be the key to the continued existence of the European Union. While France is fighting very hard to hold the EU together, it is still Germany that oddly (for the third time) finds itself at the center of Europe's fate. At least this time it isn't due to military force...
The spelling "Internationale" is acceptable, as it was originally from the French. "International" would be the more modern (and apparently popular) spelling. "Comintern", as you may know, is usually applied specifically to the Third International (Communist International).
All three can be used to describe the same thing, which we are sorely in need of.
I guess it just strikes me as a herculean effort to unite the extant communist tendencies. We'd need Western college campus Trotskyites cooperating with Maoists, cats giving birth to dogs, SWAG.MOV ever actually coming out, etc.
When one considers that the entire movement wasn't truly united in the previous four Internationals, I doubt complete unity is possible.
It cannot be denied that our movement needs a central direction for coordination and international cooperation. We are so very divided, and it hasn't done a bit of good for us. It is truly a monumental task, and one that I don't think can be achieved easily without another nation of the caliber of the USSR to help guide the way. That was, perhaps, the most redeeming quality of the Third International, and it was foolish to have disbanded it in the 1940s...
I'm not a big fan of the direction China's taken, to say nothing of other arguably socialist countries, but it looks like Castro, Chavez, Hu, and Kim are our best bets for organization an actual Comintern. That being the case, we need to look at the history of international communism critically and refuse to accept neoliberal political hegemony, being the keystone of modern imperialism. While many comrades are willing to argue whether Cuba is "truly" socialist or whether Stalin's Union would have been "as Marx intended" (like he's fucking Jesus Christ or something), we need to bear down and analyze these revolutions. Rather than create reasons for them to have not achieved socialism, we need to understand where they are in the process of the socialist endeavor. Rather than to assign capitalism to them, we need to understand the nuanced dialectic between state and ownership, to keep in mind that, while the state's persistence is inherently oppressive, that it has yet to be abolished is a poor excuse to dismiss the effort to achieve proletarian power and the ultimate abolition of property.
I could not agree more. Too often, critical examination of current and former Socialist states tends to lean towards condemnation. However, when it comes to showing their achievements within the Socialist framework, many achieved continuous levels of success in several areas. By framing things up in the argument of "They became state capitalists", we ignore the very real Socialist policies and large-scale efforts to genuinely implement Marxian ideology.
"State capitalism" is just a way to shut down discussion. The state is an inherently oppressive institution, and only socialist revolution will see its ultimate abolition. That said, strides have been made in expanding the rights and consciousness of working people. Universal condemnation of historical communism is a hindrance, even where criticism is justified. Racial oppression is far from abolished, but Black people are no longer considered chattel; this is a victory. Institutionalized sexism persists, but women may vote; this is a (far too recent) victory. We can't judge revolution by a socialist/non-socialist dichotomy. We need to assess what it is we expect, what we desire for the world, how the world will resist these changes, and what we can do implement them. The question isn't "are we there yet?" but "where are we?"
That is a mindset and perspective that I have been fond of in my own studies of Marxism. We must, as Marx taught us, be critical of the past. But that doesn't mean we damn it. On the contrary, we realize the achievements and learn from the failures. All will teach us how to better construct the Socialist society.