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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

7 Comments

  1. Neil C
    July 22, 2018 @ 6:44 pm

    I really enjoyed this post Jack. Very well-articulated. Very interested and invested in the sort of thoughts that swirl around over defining yourself as communist in this day and age, so I’m really eagerly looking forward to any follow-up posts.

    Reply

  2. Lambda
    July 22, 2018 @ 10:48 pm

    I’m currently confused about how a ‘socialist’ and a ‘communist’ can possibly be different, on the basis that I understand communism to be something socialism just might eventually turn into if it wins for long enough (and a subset of socialism), so trying to bring about socialism and trying to bring about communism should always mean taking precisely the same actions, and a “thing-ist” to just be someone who is trying to bring about “thing” (or defend it if it already exists).

    (I assume we’ll be getting to this.)

    Reply

    • Phuzz
      July 23, 2018 @ 2:55 pm

      I suspect everyone has their own definitions, which probably say more about ones politics than anything else, but my understanding of the two was that Communism is a subset of socialism, where the original idea was that various industries would be formed into ‘communes’ (hence the name), so that they could all support each other. Think along the lines of several farms being grouped with a flour mill and a bakery (for example). It would be socialist in that the workers would all own their farms/mills etc (ie the ‘means of production’), and all would benefit from it.
      Of course, as we all know, that’s not the way that it ended up playing out in reality, (Stalin in the USSR was basically a dictator, which isn’t exactly socialist).
      Socialism on the other hand is closer to being a philosophy than an easily defined set of rules, that everyone should stand to gain from common resources. It is a word that could be used to cover everything from the USSR, to Britain’s NHS, or even a community garden.

      There’s probably ‘correct’ philosophical definition that are nothing like what I just wrote, but I’ve never found actually useful in the real world.

      Reply

    • Devin
      July 24, 2018 @ 1:44 am

      Phuzz is on it, but there’s a historical perspective too: when you say “I understand communism to be something socialism just might eventually turn into,” you’re describing a specific Marxist view. Non-Marxists (and also many Marxists who don’t agree with that interpretation or who think that’s what Marx meant but he was wrong about that bit) may well think that socialism will NOT turn into communism, but is a desirable end-state on its own.

      (If you want to take it a step farther, Marx also says CAPITALISM is just a stage on the road to communism, right? So isn’t a “capitalist” just someone who wants to bring about communism? Well, no, some misguided fools think it’s an endpoint.)

      So Fabian socialists are real socialists even though they’re not communists, for instance. Some kinds of syndicalism would fit this bucket, I’m sure you could find social-democratic strains of thought that go beyond just a welfare state, etc.

      Reply

  3. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 23, 2018 @ 12:40 am

    On the subject of American money infesting your politics, that looks to be exactly what your recent TERF outbreak has been. https://twitter.com/caseyexplosion/status/1016681053333983232?s=21 (also see link to previous thread at the end of that, and links at the ends of those)

    Reply

    • Tom
      July 25, 2018 @ 10:09 am

      Oh dear. I’ll never be able to enjoy Father Ted in quite the same way ever again.

      Reply

  4. fourthings
    July 24, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

    Ah, that old slogan, “Communism or Piers-Morganism.” Or I think that’s how it went.

    Reply

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