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/edu/ - Education

'The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.' - Karl Marx
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 No.19860[Last 50 Posts]

Everytime you visit /edu/, post in this thread. Tell us about what you're thinking about, what you're reading, an interesting thing you have learned today, anything! Just be sure to pop in and say hi.

Previous thread >>>/leftypol_archive/580500
Archive of previous thread

Excuse me coming through
A quick note on the video @ >>>/leftypol/1538283
Also [vid related] for archival purposes

Around the 29 minute mark Peterson criticizes Marx and Engel's for assuming that workers would magically become more productive once they took over.

This actually happened historically, most of the actually effective productivity tricks work places use now were developed by Stakhanovites.


Reality has a Marxist bias


Didn't read anything recently, but watched a movie about revolutionary times in our country. It's not fucking fair how it ended. Can't imagine what it must have been like for people participating in it when a simple re-enactment makes me want to off myself.


I can't seem to focus on any one thing at the moment so I keep switching back between a whole lot of shit. Probably not helpful long-term but oh well. Reading Anti-Oedipus and Massumi's secondary reading. also Ignorant Schoolmaster by Ranciere, and Sacred Conspiracy. For fiction going through the Hainish Cycle. If anyone has tips on building attention span/discipline/focus i would be grateful


Part of it is sheer practice.
Given your current reading list, jumping between them is fine though


Don't mind me just carting some copypasta in for later use
I'm going to very controversially say that, for all intents and purposes, if you are a communist, you have to support Russia.
The only degree to which Russia is now fighting in Ukraine is to a degree that supports Communism. Of course we know that Russia isn't controlled by a communist party, we know communist ideology is not official in Russia, but the question of Russia is the ultimate litmus test of whether or not you take what we call Materialism seriously and develop it to its logical conclusion.
A socialist mode of production is not just defined by whether or not socialist ideology is officially empowered. A socialist mode of production also entails materially socialist relations of production. These are not details about formalities of law or statehood or the ideologies which empower them, but elements of a qualitatively different mode of production. The idea that you can somehow revert back to capitalism from socialism is just as much as an absurdity as the idea that you can revert back to feudalism from capitalism, because a basic laws of history is that a mode of production is not reversible. You cannot regress from a given mode of production, including a from socialist mode of production to a capitalist one. It is, from a materialist of perspective, not possible. The real basis of the mode of production that exists specifically within Russia is all a relic of the communist past. There is no such thing as Russian modernity without the socialist paradigm of communism, and they have never moved past that. Even under Putin, you still have a profusely state-controlled economy, and to the extent that it is not state-owned and state-controlled its downstream from that. You also have an economy that was fundamentally intertwined with western finance capital. We're not talking about Russia transitioning back into a capitalist mode of production here, we're talking about a geopolitical power held by the West over Russia. Since the dissolution of the USSR, foreign capitalists from the West came into Russia and colonized it, colonizing the Russian economy and looted it without fundamentally changing or altering the basic infrastructure or relations of production that existed in the Soviet era. The veneer of a capitalistic economy is there, but, for example, the oil industry is a top-down, centrally-planned and state-owned segment of the economy. The side of Russia's economy that is private and open to the colonialism of the West is exactly that which is diminishing because of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine. Russia does not have a very strong financial capitalist class, and to the extent that it does, its one that is disloyal to Putin and more loyal to the network of City of London offshore banking.
When Russia "abandoned communism", all they did was abandon the line of development of Russian modernity. Russia stopped developed developing of a modern economy. The Putin era has been characterized by a homeostasis of stability and only stability. Russia's future has to be communist in some sense. I have seen no evidence that any "post-communist" can pick off from its previous mode of development, succeed that, and go forward in a non-communist way. The Eastern European countries experience extreme brain drain, migrants fleeing the country causing demographic crises, as the basic meat and potatoes of their economy being neglected when they opened their doors to foreign financial colonialism. They are simply not developing their own economies. That is true for almost all of the ex-communist states. Communism is not just a matter of what ideology is in charge, its a matter for these non-western civilizations to be able to participate in any modern industrial development. Communism is the prerequisite for that capability.
The second largest political party and largest opposition party in Russia is the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, with Zyuganov calling for a study of China in order to redeem and re-examine the Marxism-Leninism of old and return to following Communism while correcting the mistakes of the past. Zyuganov and Communist Party of the Russian Federation are at the vanguard of Russia's intervention into the Donbass in support of the people there, against NATO and against the West.
You're knocking on an open door when you say that communists are not in power in Russia, because what Russia actually needs are those who can critique the shortcomings of the late Soviet Union while, at the same time, staying true to the basic continuity of progress that began in 1917. When you say "Russia is not communist", you're really saying that Russia has not made peace with its past. Russia has not picked off where the Soviet Union left off in terms of development, any future of Russian development will necessarily entail some kind of real reconciliation with the Soviet past, which means continuing the development that started with the Soviet Union which is not simply reversible. Real historical progress is something objective and there's no way to simply regress back into capitalism. So a "return to communism" really means, in the Russian context, an embracing of what worked and improving on what didn't work. The Soviet Union, despite numerous flaws, formed the basic foundations of modern Russia as a civilization as we know it, and its infrastructure and base economy has not fundamentally deviated from the Soviet era. Submitting to western geopolitics at a surface level is not the same as recreating a new capitalist mode of production, to the extent that Russia capitalist is merely to the extent that it has given grants and concessions to foreign financial institutions. What Russia is struggling with right now is a way to basically make sense of its own reality without just having to revert to the flawed and dogmatic form of Soviet Marxism-Leninism.
Of course, there are some Orthodox or Tsarist LARPers who think that Putin is some new Tsar and that Russia returning to its pre-revolutionary state. This is absolutely false, however, there's nothing about modern Russia that bears the markings of its pre-revolutionary days. They simply take it for granted how much the Soviet era fundamentally and irreversibly changed Russian civilization. The Tsarist era was characterized by a handful of Germanized aristocrats and nobles lording over 90% of a country of illiterate and irrelevant peasants. That does not characterize Russia today, which is democratic in the sense that it includes and carries the will of major swaths of the population. Having some kind of political subjectivity or stake in the system wasn't true for the Tsarist era of Russia, which was essentially a form of western colonialism over 90% of the population in all functional intents and purposes. Even under Yeltsin, the structure of said colonialism was starkly different, and the Special Military Operation is fundamentally to the detriment of that.
The SMO is something that was carried out for the sake of the Russian people. Putin did what he did because if he did not act, he would have no political future. Ukraine was planning on going into the Donbass, and for almost a decade Putin and those in the Russian state were trying to find some peaceful solution that would avoid any direct conflict by Russia without success. They had to do it, very few elements wanted to intervene in the Donbass at all. Even Putin did not want to intervene, preferring to maintain stability. Russia is not an expansionist power, their so-called "expansionism" is not something that can be explained in a materialist way, because its mode of production and economy which is based on the oil industry hinge upon stability: stability in oil prices, the flow of oil, revenues, etc. If there is a Russian ruling class that is clearly intelligible and can be correctly described, it can only be one that would be greatly upset by any kind of "expansionism" into the Donbass, with drastic changes to their desired stability.
Right now, what you're seeing with the Special Military Operation is that the drive of Russian history is outpacing the Russian status-quo. This is exactly the type of opportunity that Russian communists have been predicting for a very long time now. To be a communist in the present situation means to unwaveringly support a tripling down on the SMO, fully aligning with the Russian forces liberating the Donbass. Its very simple, if you are a communist, you have an obligation to support Russia.


Finished the audio books of ten days that shook the world and homage to Catalonia. They were much like when I read Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War by Che. I'm really digging the at-the-time type of reporting/writing/history. If anyone has any other suggestions I'd like to hear them. China or Mexico maybe?


Well done


I really need to stop collecting pdfs and buckle down, so I think what I'll do is see if I can finish off Cadillac Desert within a few days, then a choice between Melksins' the Origin of Capitalism a Longer View, Michael Beaud's a History of Capitalism, or another rec if any of you have one. I'm also looking for a good history of Mexico from the war of independence to the end of the 19th century (or porfiriato).


My favorite nonfiction I’ve read over the past few years was Graeber’s book 5000 years of debt. It’s my number one rec. I’ve started just buying it for peoples birthdays.


Reading "Towards a New Understanding of Sraffa" (2014) edited by Scott Carter & Riccardo Bellofiore. Piero Sraffa had very little output, but left behind a massive archive of notes, which these essays make use of.


Anyone have any articles/books on "whiteness" as a political category? Especially when relating to the US




<Z-Library Rolls Out Browser Extensions in Anticipation of Domain Name Troubles
>Pirate eBook repository Z-Library has launched browser extensions that should make it easier for users to find the site if its current domains are seized in the future. While the site doesn't explicitly mention the U.S. Government crackdown, it likely plays a key role in the decision to make these extensions available.

>Z-Library has become the go-to site for many readers in recent years by providing access to nearly 14 million books, without charging a penny.

>The site’s continued ability to do so was put to the test late last year when U.S. law enforcement seized over 200 domain names connected to the platform. Two alleged Z-Library operators were arrested in Argentina and currently face extradition to the States.

The extensions in question for both firefox and chrome in the second tab, along with other apps etc.


Saffra sounds like a nice read. How's it going?



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>>20127 (me)
>>20128 (me)


Been thinkin' bout plants. Also, I listened to series 3 of Blowback not too long ago, and it made me quite sad. S. Korea had their soverignity stolen from them by the USA, and they have now been browbeaten into thinking that the North is their mortal enemy.
I also read this article about the history of Taekwondo, and learned that it is intrinsically linked with the politics of the South and the North. I also learned that the version we're taught in the West is the sanitised version, and that the "original" version is still taught in the DPRK.
>Today in North Korea you can still see army commandos practicing “the original form of Taekwondo.” You might even see them practice the final form Choi Hong Hee ever designed, Juche.



Excellent news everybody
>Walton shows how Russia’s intelligence war on the West began with Lenin’s establishment of the Bolshevik’s secret police (Cheka) – and has never really ended. Despite the name changes, Russian intelligence has operated as a remarkably continuous state-within-a-state for more than a century. In that time, it has honed the “active measures” that many of us only recently became aware of – disinformation, election meddling, poisonings, agents provocateur and long-term sleeper agents (“illegals”). Anti-Western operations intensified even when relations with Russia seemed to be improving, during the Second World War, during the Cold War’s détente, and after the Soviet Union collapsed.


Requesting details of the time/s when Stalin didn't want to continue being a leader and was voted in anyways.


I haven't forgotten this, you're asking about Stalin's resignation attempts.
As a related sidenote, Stalin's attempts to cancel his birthday celebrations were met with a firm "it is not about you" for a sense of it.

In regards to the yootoob video attached; I have no words.


Reading Adolfo Gilly's book about the Mexican Revolution he wrote while in prison. Can't help but crack a smile when he uses "hue and cry" when describing the Mexican bourgeois press shitting its pants over the two revolutionary armies and the peasants seizing hacienda land in general



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I actually have a physical copy


Tankyoo! :)
I hope we all read it soon!

I am currently rereading Rosa and Stalin on the national question.



Gracias, comrade!



Porting in .pdf from >>>/leftypol/1582290


<However, traditional Marxism was often satisfied with Marx’s theory of surplus value and exploitation in Capital, volume I. This served as ‘proof’ of the illegitimate domination of the bourgeoisie and the legitimacy of proletarian revolution. His theory of crisis in volumes II and III were likewise understood as a ‘proof ’ of the inevitability of capitalism’s collapse. Capital was celebrated as a socialist ‘bible’ to ground both the legitimacy and the necessity of socialism, but such a reading is not compelling today and the failure of traditional Marxism is not necessarily a negative thing to lament. The end of the Cold War also opened up new possibilities for rereading Marx. What characterizes this ‘new reading of Marx’ (neue Marx-Lektüre) compared with traditional Marxism is an honest acknowledgement of the incompleteness of his system of political economy. Scholars started to investigate his economic manuscripts, letters, and even notebooks more carefully (Dellheim and Otto Wolf 2018). They demonstrate that although volumes II and III of Capital were not completed during Marx’s lifetime, his critique of capitalism did deepen after the publication of volume I. However, the unfinished character of Marx’s critique of political economy has been underestimated in the past because it became invisible in Engels’s edition of Capital. Engels, editing Marx’s manuscripts after his death, strove to establish ‘Marxism’ as a doctrine to mobilize the working class. He tended to overemphasize the systematic character of Capital so that it could provide a universal ‘worldview’ for the working class.
From Marx in the Anthropocene(2022) by Kohei Sato, page 175. It is the follow-up to Karl Marx's Ecosocialism. While critical of western chauvinism, Sato is himself ultra-dismissive of the experience in the eastern block, a few negative remarks here and there (following western lefty academic "common sense") and that's it. Lenin is not a source for anything, but some anglo/burger academic randos are. Sato argues against pro-growth types, and he does that by equating economic growth with growth in a raw physical sense (think so many tons of steel produced etc.) and that he equates with more pollution. Is more pollution actually necessary for growth? Suppose person-miles traveled increase by 10 % while there is a per-mile reduction of pollution in personal travel of 20 %, that would be a counter-example (I admit a fictional example is not the best, read on please, a better one is coming up soon). Mainstream GDP measures take inflation into account and inflation measures do take quality of consumer goods into account (the increased processing power of computer chips for example, which certainly is not a development coupled with proportional increase in energy usage by computers). The fans of growth, whether radical or mainstream, are not quite as dim as Sato makes them appear.


does anyone have any sources on the idealogy of imperial japan? like, anything equivalent to the doctrine of fascism or mein kampf?


Slavoj Zizek - The Empty Gesture, The Mobius Strip, And The Pointe De Capiton
alt: https://piped.video/watch?v=qKlIfax5Te0


Michael Hudson a brief autobiography.


Finished Sleep: A Very Short Introduction by Steven W. Lockley and Russell G. Foster (2012). Most interesting bits:
<In a large prospective Dutch study, dementia patients in care homes where the indoor lighting was simply increased to about 1,000 lux from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (compared to standard lighting at about 300 lux) exhibited a significant slowing in the rate of cognitive decline, improved day-to-day functioning, less depression, and better sleep. These improvements were equivalent to those obtained with prescription medication therapy.

<In the US, studies have shown that delaying school start times by as little as 30–90 minutes can improve student sleep duration and quality, academic performance, absenteeism and lateness rates, mood, alertness, and health. A one-hour change was also shown to reduce the rate of automobile crashes in 17–18-year-olds by 17%. Contrary to many expectations, later school start times do not lead to later bedtimes – bedtime remains constant and sleep duration increases – reflecting the biological basis of the problem.

<About three-quarters of the population have a circadian clock that naturally delays (has a period slightly longer than 24 hours), which means that they have to advance their clock each day to become synchronized (…) In 1995, US researchers analysed baseball results based on the direction of travel of the visiting teams. They hypothesized that teams travelling west, whose players would on average be shifting in the same direction as their body clock, would be more successful than teams travelling east, the majority of whom would be going against their natural clock time.Their theory was confirmed. When the visiting team travelled west, ‘with’ their body clock, they won 44% of the games. When the visiting team travelled east, ‘against’ their body clock, they won only 37% of their games. Not travelling was best– the visiting team won 46% of games when they did not cross time zones (gamblers take note!).


Got a copy of The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World at my school's library!! probably should have at least finished Capital I lol but I've read a few of the lectures/pamphlets along with 18th Brumaire


this guy is great, he's spent much of the second section going after the social analysis of people he disagrees with while laying out the one that he's going to be using


I'm looking for new stuff for read and usually used that old thread that listed some materials for beginners, I already looked at the manifesto and other must read stuff, thinking about going through state and revolution, or maybe capital or even German ideology


Could I get some recommendations on how the idea of queer rights have been co-opted to justify imperialism? I hear the "America is fighting for our right to exist" argument very frequently in my day-to-day life now for some reason.


I just read the first chapter of Value, Price and Profit.

I understand what he's saying on a simple level but I can't explain it to myself.

Anyone know how to understand this type of thing more effectively?


Print it out if you have to, then annotate with pen.


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sorry if I'm posting too much, but this book is just too good


Apart from the obvious choices of our main man Roberts and some Capital(though I would appreciate specific chapter recommendations), what resources can be read to understand the growing inflation that plagues our working class?

The current mass immigration and inflation, along with the failures of revisionist socialists are the major factors pushing the potential progressive forces in the American working class towards fascism, and yet I couldn't say I understand any of them. I would like to keep this thread focused on one issue, but side-notes on those wouldn't hurt as well.


Has anyone else ever been faced with the "America commits less oppression over time with power remaining constant" argument? It's easily debunkable by showing that what was previously done through military force is now done financially(I can't thank John Smith and Michael Hudson enough sometimes) but even then, this myth that America was ever somehow the benevolent empire not built among oppression(all of its history being "happy accidents" that could have been avoided with a similar economic result) seems prevalent, even among liberals.


>I might be posting too many things on education in /edu/
Not possible, post more please


Is there a historical work that goes into detail on the trade-union work of the bolsheviks in the same vein that Hofheinz's The Broken Wave or Fanshen does for the Chinese Communists? I've found a book called Lenin and The Revolutionary Party that seems to touch upon the topic, along with The Young Lenin, and forgive me if I'm being impatient but I haven't seen any such material in the relevant chapters yet. Do I just need to read on, or should I go to other works that focus in deeper?



Lawyer anon, I'm back.

I'll be starting a new job with the county soon where, instead of helping 100 appointed defendants, I'd be helping the 200 attorneys that all get 100 appointed defendants. I hope I don't get lost in the bureaucratic nightmare and can actually help people.

Does anyone have any books on how to git gud at working within bureaucracy? I know it's all incrementalism, but I feel like I can actually help so much more in this position than me just on my own.

Also I haven't finished a book in months. I keep reading the first 30 pages of everything. Half finished audio books. I suppose it's about the journey rather than the completionism.


That's good anon. Something is better than nothing too.

What type of books or advice are you looking for? I'm not sure such a thing exists tbh.


Thanks, anon. I dunno, maybe something like the prince or Graeber's essays on bureaucracy to get into the mindset of working in local government?


Honestly, a lot of working in big institutions is getting good at noticing how things operate. Just learn and talk to as much people as you can without impeding your work. Ask for a shit ton of help. Never stop asking for help, even from people "below" you. Always be keen on helping people and listening. Avoid drama or getting into fights. Always try to be in good graces with everyone. Avoid getting forced to choose a team in a petty squabble. Give credit to others. Appreciate your coworkers.

Everything else you'll learn on the job.

Another thing, "rules" and processes can always be overruled. Of course don't do illegal shit but I mean a lot of "rigid" processes are actually not rigid at all and pulling the right strings means you can override it or avoid it.


I don't think those are good to prepare you for your work. Being depressive in your job, a la bullshit jobs can be counter productive. Have you ever read "how to win friends and influence people"?


I suppose that's reassuring. I'm pretty good at the awkwardly charming and sharing glory routine, it's part of the reason I got the job. The courts' staff like me. I guess I've just gone a little feral working on my own for the past year. Haven't worked in an office with more than 2 people in almost 7 years. It'll be strange to work along side other people and be part of a bigger whole.

Also I meant Graeber's The Utopia of Rules, not BS jobs. But BS jobs is a fun one. RIP. Miss that lil' guy like you wouldn't believe.


i listened to an audio book of bartleby the scrivener by herman melville, and honestly…. it was kinda boring :/


Currently reading Taxation: A Very Short Introduction (2015) by Stephen Smith.
<Over the OECD area as a whole, taxation accounted for 25 per cent of GDP in 1965, and 34 per cent in 2012, a growth of nine percentage points.
Looks like the "neoliberal era" is a figment of imagination.



I would like to learn more about anarchism but I am currently a right winger so I don't know wear to start and 98% of right wingers are as dumb as pigeons and asking them is getting me nowhere so I lurk leftypol now.


About eleventy gorrillion pages.


Been reading this.


I wish I was patient enough to sit down and read this giant book. I have always wondered why nobody talks more about what unique class factors led to the creation of democracy in Greece.


no recs, but don't they do this for everything, not just lgbt?
>point at country you installed right wing movement in or bombed into oblivion or forced religious nationalists to be the only political alternative to colonial rule
>point to what rights exist in the US as propaganda for why further benevolent paternal control (financial, military, or governmental) is needed
>never talk about how late we got our rights, or how weak they are, or how the same people who are doing imperialism on these cynical excuses are also trying to roll back our civil rights - and NEVER mention how socialist countries gave equality, reparations, or at least freedom from terror to various historically oppressed groups before the US did (and only after liberation movements in the US forced it to happen)


Militancy: highest stage
of Alienation


getting book recommendations from dead authors feels magical


Almost teared up thinking about this excerpt from Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World again
>There have, needless to say, been a few striking individual exceptions within the churches who have broken right away from their official policy, from John Ball in 1381 to Camilo Torres in our own time.


read the jewish state by herzl and some random papers on zionism and hamas during my breaks at work. may take a break from palestine and do some reading on the ussr since ive only really been flirting with commie stuff the past couple years. makes me a little sad that there is so much to learn even from the post ww2 era


Yeah I read theory…
<I was right in the middle of purging when a little hand poked out from under the stall next to me with her Mickey & Friends autograph book, asking me to sign it.
From I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy.


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Recently read the iliad and it was overhyped mediocrity. Gore porn mostly. Homer was an edgelord.
Not that i dislike the classics, but i think people just use them as "trad" aesthetic without really engaging with the works as a form of consumption
A lot of people do this with old movies, where they think anything "old" is good or more "authentic"
Lets be honest, if the printing press was invented in homer's time, we would still have the type of trashy, popular fiction we see nowadays back then


I think Homer should have considered putting in more funny scenes and witty banter and one-liners between the characters. All that stuff about portraying the horrifying reality of senseless war, man's finitude and powerlessness against the universe etc is, like, just so old and boring, who even cares? I think the only reason it's survived for 3000 years is because people didn't yet find out about better Greek mythology media like Hades.


I am reading Eumeswil and Neither Vertical nor Horizontal.
The latter is by Rodrigo Nunes and I cannot recommend it enough to any leftist who is genuinely motivated in participating in political change. I cannot believe this slipped under my radar when it was released but seriously - read this fucking book.


New word acquired:
<Since 1990 over 1,200 vultures in American airspace have become snarge, pilot lingo for the smeary remains of a bird.
From Crossings (2023) by Ben Goldfarb, a book about road ecology. Visible roadkill on your drive isn't a proper measure of damage to nature caused by roads, and not just because you fail to notice some tiny victims there, but also because they get quickly removed, sometimes by themselves (they hobble away and die a few hours later). Many animals are too afraid to cross a road with a few cars per minute, to them it's a moving wall, and perish of hunger. Just the road noise fucks them up bit time. (An experiment with speakers blasting road sounds where there is no road is described in the book.). Particles from tires get into the rivers and oceans:
<Scientists would eventually pin decades of coho salmon die-offs on 6PPD-quinone,a chemical that manufacturers apply to tires to protect them from ozone.
Shit is bleak.


As I finish the last page of 31 Steps to a Learn a New Language – Fun, Fast & Easy Steps Learn Any New & Foreign Language You Want. This Ultimate Guide Will Help You to Become Fluent With Joy an Strategy – 31 Steps to Learn Smarter – Smart Steps to Get Your Brain Up to Speed. Improve Your Life by Mastering Your Mind and Impress Everybody – Master Learning Box (2015) by Philip Vang I realize that the whole thing was written like email spam ☹

Why even read this? I saw an intriguing disclaimer at the beginning:
<The authors, editors, and publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that any drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accordance with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research blahblahblah
Sadly, no advice about mind doping is to be found in this work, which is made of two parts as you might have guessed from the title, though the order is the other way around.

This is a typical sentence:
<Paranormal and spiritual teachings aside, meditation is a very basic way to unleash the best function of your brain in a very scientific way.
The book got some science in it. If a claim doesn't convince you, the book got sources like "an ongoing British study".

So, what are the most important steps for an strategy to a learn a new language? The author knows many: meditating, breathing techniques, yoga (yes, these are three separate steps), jogging, laughing exercises, playing video games, masturbation, having breakfast just to name a few. I'm sure most people are already doing some of these, but if you want to do them all, this will take several hours of your day; and that's just the 31 steps to get ready for language learning without doing it yet. My favorite steps from the other set directly related to language learning are "Step 27: Be Willing to Ask Questions" and "Step 28: Be Willing to Ask Questions".


Finished two books by authors from the now defunct International Socialist Organization (IS0). Both works target people who have potential to become socialists, so they are almost entirely about how capitalism is bad and how the US Democrats suck. The ISO line about the USSR and countries like Cuba is that Stalin betrayed socialism and that no socialist country exists atm. The line about the socialist future is there will be lots of committees voting on stuff, money accounting will be slowly phased out and things and services will be increasingly provided for free.

One book is The Case for Socialism by Alan Maass. Long, preachy, tedious. It was the third edition from 2010, the first came out in 2001 under the title "Why You Should Be a Socialist" and much shorter (if only I had known this…). It ends with obnoxious shilling for ISO books by the author, followed up with obnoxious shilling for ISO books by the publisher.

The other book is Socialism … Seriously by Danny Katch (2015). Much better writing with plenty of jokes thrown in. Whatever you think of the specific positions, you should steal the writing style.


Probably not the right place to ask, but has anyone read picrel? Seems intersting


Filling out the Common App, came across the question "what works were important in your intellectual development" and wondering how Marxist I can go before it becomes a negative. Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century could go for or against me but putting Lenin would be suicidal, I assume. I actually have to consider this because everything I read outside of hard science is with the purpose of studying historical materialism or theory of political organization. If there's a better thread for this post just tell me.


>wondering how Marxist I can go before it becomes a negative
Zero. I'm not American and had to look up what Common App even is, but anyway: I would either mention urbanist libs like Jane Jacobs or stay clear of politics and history altogether. Maybe some inoffensive works about how fascinating math and physics can be (Martin Gardner, Feynman, Hawking)?


who published Neither Vertical nor Horizontal? Was it with Historical Materialism journal? Or is it a book? i cant find it


It’s on Verso books iirc but I found it at my local library. Found it: https://www.versobooks.com/products/772-neither-vertical-nor-horizontal


It’s also on libgen


Finished The Knowledge Corruptors by Colin Crouch (2016). Timid criticism of privatizing and treating citizens as customers. Crouch writes like a robot.


The Knowledge Corrupters



Looking through OneFile for various names the Mercator Institute might go under, but coverage of the founding of the Mercator Institute for China Studies is markedly absent. Likewise, for their current director(Nis Grünberg) I can't find any google results prior to 2015, which immediately susses me out. Looking for connections he may have made in his schooling years will be difficult.


Started to look into the outsourcing and Google Books is producing very little in the way of history and more so in the way of management babble. Frustrating, but necessary background.


Transferring the pdf of this piece of writing https://thetricontinental.org/studies-on-contemporary-dilemmas-4-hyper-imperialism/ to the reader for later.


Thumbing through books on pre-A.F.L. steel labor and organizing(Brody's Steelworkers in America, Mackaman's New Immigrants and the Radicalization of American Labor, along with Bonnell's Roots of Rebellion.) I like Brody the best because there's little parts where you can clearly pick out oh, just according to [composition of capital/centralization/etc] and it makes Capital feel a lot more real, the same way organic chemistry doesn't feel real until you understand orbitals. I'm an NYCanon so I obviously have an interest in local labor but haven't found much better than this bourgeois source.


Zizek it not a Marxist. He is an Hegelian.


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Belated self-(You): Bonnell's Roots of Rebellion seems to be the closest source I could find to this topic so far. If anyone has any further reading recs, do tell.


Would it be worthwhile to do a thread comparing and contrasting the political forces of the American, Russian, and German labor movements of the 1910s? I've recently finished Brody's book, am starting this one, and would love further discussion on the topic.


Seething about the fact that I have an academic interest in explosives but I'm too spergy to hide my power level when questioned, at least by their standards


Finally picked up The Organizational Weapon, if only because it was the only book I could find of its type and focus apart from Roots of Rebellion.


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Finished the Alan Turing biography by Andrew Hodges. A harrowing tale of the dangers of modern technology, because I got an e-ink device and I usually don't display the page number to have more screen real-estate. I only bothered to check after many hours in already and to my horror realized it's over a thousand e-ink pages (in paper form it's below that, but still). It is easily five times longer than it needs to be. If only I had so much as glanced at the dead-tree version, I would have immediately decided against reading it. I just can't abandon a book in the middle and this took me forever.

So you have an interest in computing history and fighting Nazis? Would you like poetry with that, poetry by some dude who was fascinated by the smell of his own armpits? Well, guess what, every chapter has that stuff as an introduction. The author took any opportunity to insert a reference to Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz and fucking Gödel and never asked himself if he should. Was he paid by volume of output? This thing is chronological and it will shock you how many pages still lie ahead after World War II.

Here is a representative section, paraphrased from memory:
<Alan Turing was sitting at his desk in Britain while being homosexual and he (Alan, not Alice in Wonderland) was frustrated by the complex signals of society he had to decrypt like the Nazi codes (remember those!) and he had to hide his homosexuality (he was gay), so to his colleagues he was a, ahem… 🤔 one could even say: an ENIGMA (I am very smart) blahblahblah


To stride anew?

Anyways it turns out the glowies might've killed Paul Robeson, and you mayyyyybe want to reconsider the efficacy of the "meds".


Read On the Abolition of All Political Parties by Simone Weil (1943). There just was an episode about that text on the "You Can't Win" podcast and since it was a PREMIUM episode for paypigs and the hosts are much dumber than I am, I figured why not read it myself instead of listening to these dweebs yappering about it.
It also got a preface by the translator and another essay at the end about how great Simone Weil was, which I guess got added because you certainly don't get that impression of greatness from her essay. Here is a sentence from it:
<How many times, in Germany in 1932, might a Communist and a Nazi conversing in the street have been struck by a sort of mental vertigo on discovering that they were in complete agreement on all issues!
Her and her two fanboys are in the anti-"totalitarian" camp, you see. It's a shame how anemic this piece is because there is certainly something to the idea that a party apparatus suppresses debate and honesty. When it comes to how to do away with parties she has nothing else than this:
<At election time, if contributors to a journal are political candidates, it should be forbidden for them to invoke their connection with the journal, and it should be forbidden for the journal to endorse their candidacy, to support it directly or indirectly, or even to mention it. Any ‘Association of the friends’ of this sort of journal should be forbidden. If any journal were ever to prevent its contributors from writing for other publications, it should be forced to close.
<All this would require a complete set of press regulations, making it impossible for dishonourable publications to carry on with their activity, since none would wish to be associated with them.
<Whenever a circle of ideas and debate would be tempted to crystallise and create a formal membership, the attempt should be repressed by law and punished.
Well then, how to conduct elections without parties? She got nothing, but there are several ways.
1. We could take the concept of term limits to the next level: Instead of parties, there could be election groups with registered members and there could be regulations for
-how long you can be a member of an election group and then you have to take a time-out for a couple decades
-expiration dates for election groups themselves
-a limit on the proportion of members of the new election group who are from the same old election group (say 1/10)
-a minimum proportion of people with no prior membership in any election group for a new election group (say 2/3)
2. We could use voting systems without party lists like STV or approval with reweighting.
3. We could do away with elections and use sortition.


Just read catcher in the rye
Its crazy that it was written in 1951 by a ww2 vet. Its so youthful and modern. It really captures the aloofness of later generations that i guess was always there.


Davies and Wheatcroft make the following claim:
<while some peasants were richer than others, and in certain areas had formed a social group which in marxist terms exploited the majority of villagers, the kulaks had never been an easily recognis- able socio-economic group or cohesive political class. By the end of 1932 a million families or more of the richer or less obedient peasants had been expelled from their villages or had fled to the towns. The ‘kulak’ class in the villages no longer existed as a social or political group – though many peasants were disaffected because of the way their ‘kulak’ relatives and acquaintances had been treated.
(Years of Hunger, pg. 191)

I have not researched the topic, so I have no other references on this argument. Anyone here who has?


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I just finished picrel and like it alot and was wondering what other anons thought of the book? I enjoyed it and the concepts of print-capitalism and official-nationalism are cool and useful. I particularly thought the parts about how national identity developed in southeast Asia to be interesting. The way peruvian national identity was created by creoles "inviting" in the natives also kinda reminds me in some ways of how US national identity is viewed by some now where anyone can become a "true american" via assimilating into culture.


I cannot see exploitation ceasing to exist under communism completely. Sure, it will get diminished, but still present, as exploitation is not limited to class. What's the solution to eradicate all forms of exploitation completely?


>What's the solution to eradicate all forms of exploitation completely?
It is necessery, to overcome all kinds of differences between individuals. Not only sex, age, nationality, intelligence etc. We must also overcome the species barrier. In order to truly eradicate all forms of exploitation, all differences must be sublated. Where differences are, there are strong and weak. As long strong and weak exists, there will be oppression/exploitation. Also the contradiction between the individual and the collective. Thinking this consequently to the end, we will only achieve the eradication of oppression, through the sublation of existence itself.In other words: The world must stop to exist. Or in the words of Kaneko Fumiko: "The goal of my activities is the destruction of all living things."


Baudrillard calls himself a nihilist, yet he assumes, that there is reality otherwise he wouldn't be able to conceptualize his idea of hyperreality. Another thing: If Baudrillard is an actual nihilist, why does he differentiate between reality and fiction at all? Is he fucking retarded?? There is no lie, when there is no truth. At the same time, Baudrillard gives in his writings the impression, that hyperreality is somehow "bad" (of course, real intellectuals like Baudriboi never boil it down to good/bad). Shouldn't we actually embrace the lie, the fake, the hyperreality like all real/fake nihilists do? So why did you wrote this book mr. nihilist?


So basically, enshrine certain forms of exploitation and do nothing about them. Very cool.
Sass aside, which forms of exploitation would you consider unavoidable and therefore acceptable?


Been reading about the Second Seminole War and specifically Andrew Jackson's thoughts about it. Jackson lamented how badly the war was going for the United States, and he pejoratively called the war a "Punic War". But the Romans won the Punic Wars and the US would identify more with Rome than Carthage, so why would he call it a Punic War in a negative way? I don't get it


Sure Rome won the Punic war due to having a much larger economy/population than Carthage but they famously suffered multiple embarrassing defeats that killed over a hundred thousand legionnaires and only won by attrition, that's probably what he saw happening to the US.


>enshrine certain forms of exploitation and do nothing about them

Where did I said this?


Finished Science Secrets by Alberto A. Martinez (2011) about pop-culture myths around Newton, Darwin, Galileo, and a lot about Einstein. I got it after the title was thrown at me in an online debate together with some ad hominem nonsense. The poster claimed that Galileo made up the story of dropping weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa (I hadn't even said anything about Galileo?) and this books supposedly debunks that. Turns out there are no writings by Galileo claiming that, so says this book. Hah!

Some readers may find frustrating that chapters don't end with pass or fail. It's a meticulous work of tracking how the stories have evolved and how they shrink the closer you get to the supposed origin. At the end, Martinez confesses how he too had spread some myths to students before doing the research that lead to the book…

Actually now I'm not 100 % sure anymore whether that poster was arguing with me or somebody else and whether that poster really said the wrong stuff about Galileo as I remember it.


Here is what I've learned today: The inventor of the metaverse also coined the term anglosphere.


Been reading this.
Burgers are so fucked, I’m sorry.


I don't care for the EU institutions, yet I am required to know them by heart


Honestly, not much.
I've been feeling pretty shit recently and I've been trying to focus on things I enjoy, rather than slogging through theory. Not that I don't necessarily enjoy reading Marxist/Leftist literature (I'm currently reading Blackshirts and Reds), but I just don't feel like I've really learned anything after I finish a book. I finished Socialism, Utopian and Scientific not too long ago, but I couldn't tell you much about what Engels was getting at if I was asked.

I did learn about the Bessemer process though, which is cool :)


<Marx Saw Capitalisms Doom With Unerring Accuracy
Marx identified the tendency of capitalism to try and cut out the actual production of commodities in Volume 2 of Capital. In that work he (with a supplementary note by Engels) stated the following on page 137 of that work.

>‘It is precisely because the money form of value is its independent and palpable form of appearance that the circulation for <…<M which starts and finished with actual money expresses money making, the driving motive of capitalist production, most palpably. The production process appears simply as an unavoidable middle term, a necessary evil for the purpose of money making. This explains why all nations characterised by the capitalist mode of production are periodically seized by fits of giddiness in which they try to accomplish he money making without the mediation of the production process.’

>What this tells us is that even in its earliest stages, in fact at its height in terms of British industrial capitalism, the tendency to look to cut out the production process and just simply move from money to money is already an integral feature of the system. Combine this with the tendency of the rate of profit to fall and you have the explanation of why it is that the race for a division of the world between the European colonial powers kicks off in the 1880s. By that stage Britain was losing ground badly to both the USA and the unified Germany. In fact Britain was being out innovated by US industrial capitalism by the 1850s. Why is this? There have been a myriad of explanations of this given by bourgeois academics over the last 150 years but the biggest two reasons are the two factors Marx outlined. To actually compete with US and German industrial capitalism would have taken a giant investment in updating the means of production and an even greater one into research and development. The British ruling class of course went for another option which is seize as many areas of the world as possible in order that they could hyper exploit the labour and natural resources there. Hence why the scramble for Africa hits at the end of the 19th century when the British hit the imperialist stage along with the (industrially weaker) French with the Germans rapidly joining the struggle.

>What does this mean for our modern imperialism in the form of the US and its block of vassals? In practical terms it means that the US imperialists followed the exact same path as their British predecessors in terms of responding to a crisis of profitability by deindustrialising and increasing the export of capital. I admit that I underestimated how far gone the US ruling class truly are and also how strong the tendency towards cutting out production, minimising actual investment, corrupt short term practices such as stock buy backs really is. The fact that they are unable, even when faced with losing the war in Ukraine and getting overpowered by China, to actually change course is surprising in some ways. These tendencies that were identified by Marx now absolutely dominate the ruling classes of all the US block nations. To reverse them would take a drastic, genuinely Bonapartist system being introduced if capitalism is to stand a chance of surviving. As things stand it looks like the dominant tendency within the US ruling class will remain that of “cashing out”, in other words squeezing out as much profit as they can while they can and not caring about much else. This is why all decisions taken in the US political system appear to be ridiculously short term because they are reflecting the underlying tendency of the ruling class to grab a quick profit, even by means of getting bailed out by the central bank, then cashing out.

>To actually turn this around, to really get meaningful investment and updated means of production put in place the US would have to put in place a system that borrows from the Chinese. They’d have to put in place a system where the capitalist class is, effectively, removed from political power and is told “use it or lose” it in terms of its capital. This won’t work though as the only reason the Chinese are able to exercise political control over the domestic capitalist class is because they have already had a revolution that removed the power of the old, comprador bourgeoisie. The US is at the apex of the imperialist system and if they tried to do such a thing it’d cause all kinds of rebellion from the bourgeois which will happily fund destructive, reactionary political tendencies in order to hang onto its loot.

>It is of course possible that a new balance of class forces will emerge inside the USA that will compel the more far sighted bourgeois to actually make some changes. At this stage though I cannot see this happening what seems to be favoured is just finding a way to keep the looting going for another few years. These tendencies are what will doom imperialism. Here then we must return to the “socialism or barbarism” question because the bourgeoisie will happily embrace barbarism to defend their parasitism. In order to overcome this rotting system the communists will have to develop an understanding of how truly far gone it is.



Michael hudson talks about this problem in regards to a rentier class, but the criticism marx makes of the money-capitalist goes further, especially in volume 3


Try writing out notes to what you read, then simplify them into concepts and shorthand. Most stuff is just filler anyway, so skimming is allowed.
Also, most people in the west dont even read any non-fiction, so you are already more educated than the majority who just listen to podcasts.


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Found this book through my searches, and it proclaims to be a more balanced take on the AFL-CIO compared to Buhle's account(it mentions Taking Care of Business directly). Will read for a more domestic perspective on the union, but don't expect much more than additional rabbit holes to go through.


Skimming through Beyond Dispute by Stafford Beer and colleagues (1994). Beer is as pompous as Stephen Wolfram without having the math chops. This is about organizing people into discussion groups using the geometry of an icosahedron (20-sided die) as THE GOLD STANDARD and then there is a lot of babbling about psychology, Condorcet cycles (without calling them that), world citizenship, a (dumb) proposal for package sizes, and uuh Chakras.

So what's the deal with the icosahedron: The idea is to organize people into groups with discussion topics (one group got one topic, an individual is in more than one group) and to avoid hierarchy of people and hierarchy of topics. What logically follows from the hierarchy avoidance is that the organizational chart for this must be highly symmetric, which is true of this particular geometric shape, but also others.

A person is represented by an edge, a group & and its topic is represented by a corner, so a person is in two groups. Why not instead picture a 12-sided die as a mini planet of office dorks sitting at hexagonal tables, each table being a discussion group and at each corner sits a person in a chair rotating between three tables? Well, then two of the same dorks would be meeting in two discussion groups. In Beer's scheme, you meet completely different sets of people in your discussion groups, which is a good thing if you want many direct connections to other people in the org. A person actually visits more than two groups, by also being assigned the role of critic for two other groups (these are far away points from the two groups you are a "proper member" of).

Some voting procedures are presented that are crummy, but not really the core of the proposal, which is that beautiful shape. Am I really sold on that shape? Not quite, but I strongly agree with the emphasis on making links to many other people direct or short (one person between).


>>21742 (me)
>Why not instead picture a 12-sided die as a mini planet of office dorks sitting at hexagonal tables
*pentagonal tables


Finished What Tech Calls Thinking by Adrian Daub (2020), about Silicon Valley BS like disruption & failing better. Exactly the sort of book that the people who need the most won't read and that the people who do read already agree with.


omg she criticizes anti-factionalism of parties and her solution is to ban people to form factions… but for all society. Is this dialectics?

Is this where Zizek gets his joke about the vague soviet definition of kulaks? lol

As far as the claim (well, which claim? I'm going with the last, that many other peasants were disaffected), with no knowledge of this specifically it does seem right when looking at feudal/rural-patriarchal relations in general. Social views are not only formed by class but also familial ties and tradition, especially in an especially traditional and family oriented social structure.

Plants. I think it's okay to determine where a plant lives, and control some of the conditions of its life, and then harvest it. It's not like this is any different from its natural condition, so it's not like we have made its potential lot worse. jk, i don't care about exploitation in general, i care about exploitation that is harmful to me and my loved ones [expansive], or which cause diffuse harm to all of society or the environment and can be assumed to impact us all. Otherwise, why care? To me communism is a deeply particular philosophy, rather than universal. Its universalism is imo a caricature given of it by conservatives who just don't see how materially connected all of our struggles are


Started reading this guy's book, Chinese Power. I already distilled the first points in /prc/. It seems to basically support my already existing position with facts: China is revisionist and its economy is capitalist, but it does have a socialist tendency, which reflects on the country's development and political situation. It is kinda heavy with material you can't use, like specific biographies, and the author is more than likely wrong on many points, but any actual compilation and analysis of data on the country is still precious. There is probably a better book on the subject, but I'm too dumb to find it.



I'm new to theory but my untreated ADHD is a big obstacle. I read The Principles of Communism which was recommended to me as a beginner text but it felt more like reference material. I feel like I digest information much better when it's presented in conversation.


Do you mean that someone talks to you about it, or is written down like this good:


I'm just new here and trying to figure out how to use this website. I've never used 4chan or such (actually, i thought this site was a board on 4chan, and i spent few minutes there to find here).


I was referring to the argument that the kulaks were never rigidly defined or easily identified.


There's an article in City & State New York that attempts to summarize relevant data up to 2018 that I found later, if nothing else.


I've started theory as history by banaji, main thrust seems to be that a mode of production isn't necessarily equal to one form of exploitation. In that vein he kinda attacks "stageism". Honestly the only "theory" I've read is a bit of Capital 1, some Marx pamphlets/speeches about commodity productions and what G. E. M. de Ste. Croix and Perry Andersen say about modes of production and commodity production in their two big books about the classical Mediterranean so some things are going over my head but I'm liking it. Feel like I might want to buy it for myself one day since this is just a copy I asked my library to get me

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