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Re: [tlug] Introduction to (Tech) Worker Cooperatives, 09:00AM on Sunday, July 12th JST

On Tue, 14 Jul 2020 at 19:25, Josh Glover <> wrote:
If we wish to see the cooperative model spread, the very first thing we have to do is get our terminology right.

Agreed, but the question of what the "right" definitions of these terms is becomes a very thorny issue indeed. Case in point:
By contrast, socialism involves the socialisation of means of production BUT NOT consumption.

This is not a definition of the term "socialism", it's simply a description of how it works. To a communist, "socialism" is defined as the process of transitioning from capitalism to communism, the latter being a classless, stateless society. In practise, this often means starting by socialising the means of production but not the means of consumption, as doing the second is very difficult to accomplish on a national level all at once.

I could not disagree more. The disagreements are all in detail. There has never ever been any self described communist nor self described socialist, nor even any outsider wishing to discredit these two, who has ever denied the basic tenet of ownership in the hands of employees (or in the language of the 19th century, workers and farmers, or simply the working class).

Lenin and Stalin and Mao were unchallenged despots who had the power within their totalitarian states to redefine the sun to be the moon, and the moon to be the sun if they had wished to do so. There was absolutely nothing they could not have determined within their states.

Yet, neither Lenin, nor Stalin, nor Mao ever challenged the tenet that the ownership in the means of production should be in the hands of the employees (or in their lingo, the working class). They could very easily have proclaimed "Marx was a genius, but on this one point he was wrong: ownership in the means of production should not be in the hands of the workers but in the hands of father state, Marx was wrong on this, simply because he could not yet imagine a state like ours."

But they didn't do that. They accepted the tenet. Even the most violent violators of the tenet, officially accepted the tenet.

Instead, they redefined what ownership means. As it stands, the definition of ownership may be in dispute, but the definition of the definiting principle of both communism and socialism is not.

Very simple really.

You can argue that your flavour of communism is nicer than Fred's or Barney's flavour, whatever reasons you may give or won't give, that's all fine.

But nobody can argue with the fact that no matter which flavour, they have thus far all been based on the acceptance of the aforementioned tenet.

As you noted, the world has never seen large-scale communism, and to call the Soviet Union "communist" is a result of willfully propagated ignorance of what communism actually is.

Actually, the soviets never ever claimed to have a communist state. This is again Western propaganda.

The soviets claimed to have a socialist state. Different thing. And that claim was bogus for the reasons I have already given.

They did subscribe to the tenet of means of production ownership, did not even hide the fact, propagated it, simply did not implement it. Ergo, no socialism according to their very own acceptance of the tenet. What more proof should be required? If they didn't like the tenet, why didn't they simply say Marx was wrong and in their flavour of socialism, means of production should not be in the hands of the working class but in the hands of the government?! They didn't.
For as long as our propaganda muddies the waters and continues to successfully make us believe that communism, socialism, collectives and cooperatives are all the same thing, mankind will not make any substantial progress towards sustainability.

On this, we are firmly in agreement.
Look up terminology and use appropriately, thanks.

Look it up where? What do you do in the case of wildly different definitions of terminology?

Well, there is a thing called first principles, and another thing called common denominator.

If a thing that has gazillions of different embodiments, and every embodiment is described with the same first principle while everything else varies, then that is the common denominator of all the embodiments of the thing, and then the thing is defined by that common denominator.

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