What if Marx had never been born?

Ok but Lenin's Soviet Union under the NEP was not a communist society, it was at best a transitional state. So by ignoring what Marx said would be required in the transitional state, you could say that Lenin did lots wrong, according to Marx, which is how this conversation started.

Transitional societies are necessary for the finished product, by definition. You can't go from 1 to 3 without passing through 2. Marx gave us a picture of both, though it was never in any way complete. Rather than an N+1, communism is N-1. It's all of this minus its socioeconomic laws, not with more of them.
Marx told us what isn't permanent and, thus, what to abolish, not what to create.
Even without NEP, in a more advanced post-capitalist stage, it would've still been transitional. Please, do learn what basic cause and effect are. It's just basic logic.

What did he ignore?
 
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Transitional societies are necessary for the finished product, by definition. You can't go from 1 to 3 without passing through 2. Marx gave us a picture of both, though it was never in any way complete. Rather than an N+1, communism is N-1. It's all of this minus its socioeconomic laws, not with more of them.
Marx told us what isn't permanent and, thus, what to abolish, not what to create.
Even without NEP, in a more advanced post-capitalist stage, it would've still been transitional. Please, do learn what basic cause and effect are. It's just basic logic.

What did he ignore?
Correct. It was transitional. So why was he opposed to taxation, when Marx and Engels explicitly advocated for a "heavy and progressive graduated income tax" as part of the transition?

I'd suggest you watch your tone if you want others to engage with you on this site. Most of the members here try to keep this respectful and dont generally make personal attacks.
 
Correct. It was transitional. So why was he opposed to taxation, when Marx and Engels explicitly advocated for a "heavy and progressive graduated income tax" as part of the transition?

I'd suggest you watch your tone if you want others to engage with you on this site. Most of the members here try to keep this respectful and dont generally make personal attacks.

I told you, there is no evidence that taxation is part of Marxist theory, you can have it without taxation and it would work just as well, if not better. Gothacritik shows why personal income taxes are unnecessary, by the time it was written many of the programmatic points of the Manifesto were either obsolete or needing recontextualization.
I could also mention the fact that Soviet Russia did have some form of taxation, but this would be a technicality.

I think your point here is that it wasn't what Marx wanted in as far as it was a transitional stage... but Marx did in fact predict a transitional stage before a communist one. The worst you can say is that Russia got stuck in it, but for reasons independent of itself. Like I said... Pilsudski and the cipher. With it, the world revolution could've been called condemned, and from there it was only a matter of progressive regression.
But just because the job was only halfway finished, that doesn't mean that what it did was not at least in part what Marx wanted.

In his lifetime, Marx praised the achievements of the Paris Commune, another transitional society. He never condemned it, to the contrary, whatever critique he had of it was essentially based on the idea that it wasn't assertive enough on both its own society and the rest of France.
With 150 years of hindsight, we could say that Marx's constructive critique of the Paris Commune was that it wasn't Soviet-like enough.
 
I told you, there is no evidence that taxation is part of Marxist theory, you can have it without taxation and it would work just as well, if not better. Gothacritik shows why personal income taxes are unnecessary, by the time it was written many of the programmatic points of the Manifesto were either obsolete or needing recontextualization.
I could also mention the fact that Soviet Russia did have some form of taxation, but this would be a technicality.

I think your point here is that it wasn't what Marx wanted in as far as it was a transitional stage... but Marx did in fact predict a transitional stage before a communist one. The worst you can say is that Russia got stuck in it, but for reasons independent of itself. Like I said... Pilsudski and the cipher. With it, the world revolution could've been called condemned, and from there it was only a matter of progressive regression.
But just because the job was only halfway finished, that doesn't mean that what it did was not at least in part what Marx wanted.

In his lifetime, Marx praised the achievements of the Paris Commune, another transitional society. He never condemned it, to the contrary, whatever critique he had of it was essentially based on the idea that it wasn't assertive enough on both its own society and the rest of France.
With 150 years of hindsight, we could say that Marx's constructive critique of the Paris Commune was that it wasn't Soviet-like enough.
Nah that's completely not that point I'm making. I know Marx predicted a transitional state.

You said according to Marxist theory, Lenin did nothing wrong. According to Marxist theory, Lenin did lots of things wrong. That is my point and has continued to be.

I'm using taxation as an obvious example of a time Lenin was opposed to something Marx advocated for.

Incidentally, Marx also advocated for Parliamentary democracy.

How did Lenin respond to the Duma?
 
Nah that's completely not that point I'm making. I know Marx predicted a transitional state.

You said according to Marxist theory, Lenin did nothing wrong. According to Marxist theory, Lenin did lots of things wrong. That is my point and has continued to be.

I'm using taxation as an obvious example of a time Lenin was opposed to something Marx advocated for.

Incidentally, Marx also advocated for Parliamentary democracy.

How did Lenin respond to the Duma?

And I'm telling you why your point is moot. You're really sticking to a nothingburger, and I'm showing you why even that nothingburger is wrong.


Since you're so obsessed with the Communist Manifesto, here's what it says on the matter:

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow19 of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
Working men of all countries unite!

Literally the closing words.
In the footnotes, we find another citation that best represents Marx's approach to the matter of political power:

We know that one has to take into consideration the institutions, mores, and traditions of the different countries and we do not deny that there are countries like England and America and if I am familiar with your institution, Holland, where labour may attain its ends by peaceful means.”

In other words, electoral takeover when possible, revolution when impossible.
And, by the way the sentence is framed, electoral takeovers such as in America, Britain and the Netherlands appeared to Marx as exceptions to the rule of revolution. Needless to say, America, Britain and the Netherlands had no such events.
History shows that electoral takeovers are essentially impossible, successive analyses have shown them to be undesirable as well. That leaves revolution as the ideal praxis, from the pov of the communist.
I'd like to remind you that, remaining within the argument, the Paris Commune wasn't brought about by electoral games, but by revolution.

Lenin's stance was that electoral games were allowed but for the sake of rallying the class around the party, he never denied their utility in principle, in fact an entire chapter of Left Wing Communism. An Infantile Disorder, addresses the Italian Communist Left's abstentionist positions. Revolution was still the point, but he never excluded participation to bourgeoise parliaments to build up support to them.
I believe this is an acceptable and still orthodox position, in light of what had happened since Marx's demise.
Neither option excludes the other, though one can see which one would be more preferable.
 
And I'm telling you why your point is moot. You're really sticking to a nothingburger, and I'm showing you why even that nothingburger is wrong.
Suffice it to say you have literally no idea what my point is. Take care, comrade.
 
The state of the working class in 19th century Europe was horrible - to a level hard to imagine today. Look at the laws they first made - they indicate that what they forbid was practiced before. Moreover the number of the working class was huge and growing fastly, they were also uprooted - a lot of then having freshly left the countryside, failed by the church and society. That problem undeniably demanded an answer - a worker movement. It likely would have been slightly different without Marx but even without him a worker's movement would have existed and would not have been weaker.
 
Well, have found the time to give the paper a quick read. Barely mentions or explores the question of Marx not being born, to my disappointment, I think this probably reflects the mainstream Historians dislike of counterfactual*.
It's an articulate criticism of Marx (and Freud but I think we're all here less interested in him) and that thankfully doesn't degenerate into an impenetrable thicket of jargon. But that isn't new and overall I didn't get anything from the paper that I didn't find in the Unherd article.

What do folks here think about the paper, or indeed the article? I'd hoped someone would pick up the ball and run with it...

Myself I think, or hope that, in Britain at least, Moral Force Chartists or their heirs would have reached an accommodation or balance with The Establishment. The trouble with that is/was that the infuriatingly hesitant pace of reform makes violent extremism more likely. If not from Marx then who?
On the Continent I'm even less sure, maybe some fusion of anarchism, pre Marxian communism and christianity?

*Which is understandable, if the study of History is not based on facts we are at risk of falling prey to a sort of Romantic 19thC view or other sorts of delusion.
 
If I remember correct didn’t max sterner almost convince engals to colaberate is his manifesto if marx had been a stain Maybe egoism would have taken its place
 
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If I remember correct didn’t max sterner almost convince engals to colaberate is his manifesto if marx had been a stain Maybe egoism would have taken its place
That would be hilarious, there was already an egoist anarchist school in the US IOTL even with Marx existing so expect boom times for them and for the Russian Nihilists. Assuming that no Marx still means you get "scientific" socialists of one type or another they'd still face competition from the anarchists, utopian socialists and the yellow socialists, and without Marx summing everything up that opposition might see one of those currents take the reigns. In the advanced societies Georgism was also quite popular (and accused of being radical and socialist), so off the top of my head that's at least five different ideological trends that would still exist without Marx.
 
That would be hilarious, there was already an egoist anarchist school in the US IOTL even with Marx existing so expect boom times for them and for the Russian Nihilists. Assuming that no Marx still means you get "scientific" socialists of one type or another they'd still face competition from the anarchists, utopian socialists and the yellow socialists, and without Marx summing everything up that opposition might see one of those currents take the reigns. In the advanced societies Georgism was also quite popular (and accused of being radical and socialist), so off the top of my head that's at least five different ideological trends that would still exist without Marx.
Why not a form of egoism takeing it place after all If Marx and and engles helped to formalize socialist ideology could not max and Engels do the same maybe even turning the United States instead of russia
 
Marx' analysis is an analysis of reality, him not existing doesn't mean the reality of class struggle would cease to exist. Most likely, some other thinker reaches the same conclusions he did.
 
If there is no Communism, there is likely no Fascism. and no Nazism. There will still be racism, Objectivism, and other such ideas, but it would be a better world. Either Russia goes democratic or at worst stays Tsarist.
 
If there is no Communism, there is likely no Fascism. and no Nazism. There will still be racism, Objectivism, and other such ideas, but it would be a better world. Either Russia goes democratic or at worst stays Tsarist.
I don't think there'd be Objectivism, since it's basically inverse Leninism
 
If there is no Communism, there is likely no Fascism. and no Nazism. There will still be racism, Objectivism, and other such ideas, but it would be a better world. Either Russia goes democratic or at worst stays Tsarist.
Communism and socialism predate Marx, though they'll probably evolve in different directions without him.
 
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