Hence the systemic violence of Mafia life. Violence, in The Godfather films, is never engaged in for the h e l l of it, or for random kicks; the point is that since the government police and courts will not enforce contracts they deem to be illegal, debts incurred in the Mafia world have to be enforced by violence, by the secular arm. But the violence simply enforces the Mafia equivalent of the law: the codes of honor and loyalty without which the whole enterprise would simply be random and pointless violence. [...]
.*., I'm kinda baffled as to why you wanted to explain to us that Mafia doesn't kill people for the hell of it? It's pretty much common knowledge that Mafia is in the "business of killing" and noone doubts it. And there's nothing good about it, yanno.
Well, from the Mafia's perspective, there are no absolute moral truths. As a result, ethical standards must be created, [...]
Doing nothing would just make things better. You know, leaving the system to proceed in the way it is going, so that its rotten character becomes fully manifest. Capitalism is smart enough to actually make small concessions in order to save its whole "configuration" ... is not, then, that the more ruthless and corrupt the capitalist system becomes, the more likely it'll be that largely impoverished working masses will revolt? It may just be that the more curruption and distrust results from the system, the more the indignation on part of the masses will grow -- an indignation and resentment towards the ruling class that will help spark the revolution, a violent act that will change for good the order of things of an incorrigible system like capitalism. The rationale continues that in this radical culture of disappearance certain "Elements of Refusal", partly unconsciously and partly consciously, are to be employed. Simply not voting -- "apathy" keeps over half the nation from the polls; anarchism never accomplished as much! There are positive parallels: "networking" as an alternative to politics is practiced at many levels of society, and non-hierarchic organization has attained popularity even outside the anarchist movement, simply because it works. Refusal of Work can take the forms of absenteeism, on-job drunkenness, sabotage, and sheer inattention -- but it can also give rise to new modes of rebellion: more self- employment, participation in the "black" economy -- all more or less "invisible" activities compared to traditional leftist confrontational tactics such as the general strike. Embracing all sorts of non-authoritarian forms of spirituality, from "unchurched" Christianity to neo-paganism. Or the "free religions" -- small, self-created, half-serious/half-fun cults influenced by such currents as Discordianism and anarcho-Taoism -- that can be found all over marginal America providing a growing "fourth way" outside the mainstream churches, the televangelical bigots, and New Age vapidity and consumerism. And of course, construction of "private moralities" in the Nietzschean sense: the spirituality of "free spirits." Refusal of Home as well: "homelessness," which most consider a form of victimization, not wishing to be forced into nomadology. But "homelessness" can in a sense be a virtue, an adventure. And finally refusal of the Family, which is clearly expressed through divorce, or some other "breakdown." Life can be happier without the nuclear family, whereupon a hundred flowers bloom -- from single parentage to group marriage to erotic affinity group.
Quote from: zen on September 30, 2006, 10:04:02 PMThe capitalist army, the capitalist state, the capitalist bureaucracy, cannot be seized by the revolutionary proletariat and used for its own purposes. It had to be smashed completely and a new state organized, based upon the organization of the working class. In 1905, and later in 1917, the Russian working class, by the formation of Soviets, or workers councils, laid the basis of a new type of social organization. It was by his studies of Marx's analysis of the Commune that Lenin able to recognize so quickly the significance of the Soviets and to establish them as the basis of the new workers' state. Today the advanced American worker needs to know the history of the international struggles of the proletariat. From these he will most quickly learn to understand his own.Any serious discussion of the prospects for socialism — and, therefore, of the future of mankind — must involve an examination of the October Revolution. This Revolution can be supported or opposed, but it cannot be ignored. The answers one gives to the problems of the present day are inseparably linked to one's assessment of the October Revolution, its aftermath, fate, and legacy. If the October Revolution was doomed to failure; if the Bolshevik seizure of power was, virtually from the start, a fatal enterprise; if Stalinism was the unavoidable outcome of Bolshevism; if the crimes of the Stalinist era flowed from the very concept of the "dictatorship of the proletariat"; and if the final breakdown of the Soviet Union testifies to the bankruptcy of socialist economics, then Marxism, it must be confessed, has suffered a devastating political, intellectual and moral shipwreck. This is, at the present time, the dominant view among university academicians.If, on the other hand, the October Revolution realistically contained within it other possibilities; if Stalinism was not the outcome of Bolshevism, but its antithesis; and if the rise of Stalinism was, in fact, opposed by Marxists, then the historical situation of revolutionary socialism is very different. The International Committee of the Fourth International upholds the second position, and this necessarily brings us into conflict not only with the outright and unabashed defenders of reaction, but also with the mood of skepticism, demoralization and political renunciation that is commonly found among so many who, at least until recently, considered themselves socialists.
The capitalist army, the capitalist state, the capitalist bureaucracy, cannot be seized by the revolutionary proletariat and used for its own purposes. It had to be smashed completely and a new state organized, based upon the organization of the working class. In 1905, and later in 1917, the Russian working class, by the formation of Soviets, or workers councils, laid the basis of a new type of social organization. It was by his studies of Marx's analysis of the Commune that Lenin able to recognize so quickly the significance of the Soviets and to establish them as the basis of the new workers' state. Today the advanced American worker needs to know the history of the international struggles of the proletariat. From these he will most quickly learn to understand his own.
Stalin was a piece of *&^%, Lenin not so much. Marx and Engels were geniuses.
How it is possible that most geniuses are either German or French? No Russian genius philosophers, for instance, let alone American ones!
[...] It was said of Plato that he "never touched a woman," and the same is probably true of Pascal, Kant, Kierkegaard, Mill, Carlyle, Thoreau and Nietzsche. [...]