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Was Communism meant to be a telos, for Marx, or for Lenin etc.? By that, I mean to ask whether Communism is already contained in anything that creates Communism? My apologies if my jargon is off, I read e.g. that

teleology assumes that the end is already contained in the beginning


I have no idea what the answer is.

I'm interested, because then maybe Lenin's international (Communist) nature means that he should advocate principles which are extant after a Communist world revolution.

It seems to me that e.g. 'red terror' is the wrong word when the international proletariat has already seized its dictatorship and is transitionining toward a "classless" society.

Obviously, Lenin did advoate a "red terror".


There's a fun pamphlet I scanned most of, in which he talks about "compromise" as something one has to do to survive, and how different that is to doing so in order to profit with those who you're compromising with. He seems to be linking that to merely proletarian parties, those that aren't international ("always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole").

I was wondering how that would look with 'telos'?

  • just wanted to add, what about the idea that lenin was not a communist because his revolution failed to achieve its international goals. historical necessity and all that? – user28660 Oct 8 '17 at 23:50
  • Maximilien Rubel may give us some clue as to what Marx himself envisioned. Very little to no government, and the formation of what we would call co-ops. marxists.org/archive/rubel/1973/marx-anarchism.htm – Gordon Oct 9 '17 at 3:41
  • @Gordon ah i can't stand anarchist theories. another intereting question, though, is "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?". find some truly hard people, right?? – user28660 Oct 11 '17 at 5:02
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FULL COMMUNISM is the teleos of the proletariat’s historical dismantling of itself as its negation of its position of selling its labour power to capital to consume the products of its labour as the needs of living and be consumed by the products of its labour as new capital and capital goods and production goods.

Within the relationship of M—lp and M—C…P…C’—M’… is necessarily contained the abolition of these relationships. In addition to mere negation transcendence is possible as commodities lose their use-values and exchange-values during Production: they become mere uses, not use-values. In this sense capitalism is unnecessary for production. Additionally the declining rate of profit as a result of the declining fraction of living labour in the circuit of capital produces a premonition of the possibility of reducing labour power to zero and thus abolishing the sale of labour power.

In the sense that capital is self-abolishing and that the proletariat engages in loving solidarity as a prefigurative form of communist relations of being, communism is the teleos of the proletariat’s struggle in capitalism. These forms of loving solidarity exist in the struggle to survive on wages, in the struggle to maximise wages, and in the struggle to abolish wages. Marx and Engels are being propagandistic rather than scientific in this call to action:

Workers ought not to be exclusively absorbed in these unavoidable guerilla fights incessantly springing up from the never ceasing encroachments of capital or changes of the market. They ought to understand that, with all the miseries it imposes upon them, the present system simultaneously engenders the material conditions and the social forms necessary for an economical reconstruction of society. Instead of the conservative motto, ‘A fair day's wage for a fair day's work!’ they ought to inscribe on their banner the revolutionary watchword, ‘Abolition of the wages system!’ (Value Price and Profit 1865)

This transcending self abolition isn’t a historical necessity. Collapse into material social relations which order fewer things and people is possible. Thus the occasional slogan, “Socialism or barbarism.”

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