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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    He's yet to be proven wrong about that, its part of what makes him popular with Wall St.
    Proletariat v. Bourgeois, it's that simple. And it's not my job to prove Marx wrong, it's your job to prove him right. There is no procedure for proving a negative. His statement "the nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production" is left unproven, and even if true, he doesn't state what that nature will be under various material conditions. For example, one could say that "capitalism makes men greedy," but even if true, the postulate is not predictable of individuals, and "men" is best left in the general, collective sense of "some or most men."

    Perhaps Marx should have been speaking for himself, since the only individual nature he could really know was himself.

    Human nature is too complex to be that predictable, especially where he refers to individuals. It HAS been proven that group behavior is predictable.

    I read an interesting but sad report from Communist Russia. It said that an experiment - an evil, immoral experiment, by the way - was conducted on a group of children. From the time they were born, they were taught to live the collective lifestyle. The result - a classroom full of kids that did nothing but rock back and forth in perfect unison all day long.

    The Commies got what they wanted: perfect human beings or perfect little robots; either way, they were perfectly adapted to the material conditions of their upbringing. Not that it's what they literally wanted, but they got out exactly what they put into the experiment, only they couldn't predict it until it happened.

    Communists don't understand human nature. Marx didn't understand human nature. They think they do. Thus they conducted immoral experiments on little human lives, and a generation of children was destroyed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'd also say that your representation of Marx and Marxism was totally mistaken, for one there were concepts about earning wealth and creation of wealth, they had been around for some time and had been tested, Marx's criticism of economics, which is fair and still stands, was that it had ceased to be any kind of scientific investigation and had become an ideology to serve special interests, which it is.
    I don't believe there is a perfect socio-economic system. The problem I have with both Marx and Rand is that they presented their ideas as absolutes. That's a problem with most philosophers.

    Marx, unlike Rand, focused on alienation (this was a tactic favorable to Existentialists). Neither Marx nor Rand were in favor of alienation, but both of their philosophies produced it nonetheless. Marx focused on science, but he had no science or experimental evidence to prove that capitalist economics produced alienated individuals. His focus on science was therefore a sham. But when experiments are introduced, somehow the result is always failure. And there's never any reason to judge Marxism itself a failure, they simply try again, and again, and again, producing more and more failures, destroying more and more generations of human beings in the process.

    If alienation of individuals is bad, then how does focusing on collectives reduce alienation? How does forcing millions of peasant farmers into communal farms reduce alienation? How does taking away a people's independence reduce alienation? Marxism cannot answer these questions. It dogmatically asserts that it can happen, because human nature is infinitely malleable to its purposes. But what if human nature is not infinitely malleable?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Objectivism is not the alternative to both socialism and corporatism, whatever its theoretical underpinnings may be any objectivist policy or reform or change begins frim the here and now and consequently will only ever serve to strengthen actual existing corporatism and financial power.
    Objectivism promotes laissez-faire capitalism with limited government - what is now technically termed "minarchism." The minarchist mentality suppresses powers of state in an effort to unleash human intellectual capacity and achievement. What you are seeing today is not laissez-faire capitalism, but a collusion between powers, both corporate and political. It's not always a friendly alliance, but it is a destructive one, and quite anti-Objectivist, hardly a product of Objectivist rationale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont believe that American people or emigrees to the states, or anyone at all pretty much in the world today, wants socialism or is voting for it, socialism has become nothing what so ever besides a prejorative term used by conservatives and capitalists.

    What people want, I believe, are specific fixes to market failures, such as those associated with the delivery of health services, they also are not pleased by the power of finance or monopolists, that's what's wrong with corporations to most people in welfare-capitalism BTW as most companies or agencies public or private are run and structured the same way (ie managerialism prevails), to make a lie of popular sovereignty or democratic will. That's not socialism, not by a country mile. Its not even necessarily a mixed economy in any sense of that idea, ie either mixed industries and limited financial sector or mixed public and private market share in the economy, and a mixed economy is not socialism either, not by a country mile.

    GDH Cole attacked the idea of creeping nationalisation/state ownership of firms in the economy and welfare were anything remotely like socialism a long, long time ago but no one was listening, certainly not free marketeers like Hayek whose ignorance of socialism was so great that he was capable of dedicating the road to serfdom to "socialists of all parties".
    I didn't say that socialism was the predominant system in today's America. But I agree that emigrees don't "want" socialism, they want a free 'meal ticket.' If that's allegedly what socialism provides to the majority, and a meal ticket is what they want, then democracy determines that socialism will eventually be the prevailing doctrine.
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  2. #102
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    Against my better judgement...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Proletariat v. Bourgeois, it's that simple. And it's not my job to prove Marx wrong, it's your job to prove him right. There is no procedure for proving a negative. His statement "the nature of individuals depends on the material conditions determining their production" is left unproven, and even if true, he doesn't state what that nature will be under various material conditions. For example, one could say that "capitalism makes men greedy," but even if true, the postulate is not predictable of individuals, and "men" is best left in the general, collective sense of "some or most men."
    You know the safest position would be to say that Marx was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, like any other theorist, I'm not interested in defending his views in their entirety because I'm convinced he hadnt them worked out and know for a fact that they did change on a number of occasions, particularly in response to the Paris Commune.

    Now in relation to class struggles, he said that in his present age the industrial system had simplified the class struggles which he believed had always been present in history, sometimes involving more than one class, and the seperation into two great classes was that simplification. His theory wasnt ahistorical so obviously he wouldnt have made any perrenial pronouncements, its also part of the reason he didnt get too defininte about what future societies would be structured like.

    So far as mens natures being determined by the means and mode of production I've actually not much of a problem with that, Weber made some good counter claims about the nature of culture which I also accept but its without question that those things, the means and mode of production, are pretty significant. If they werent any hierarchy of needs wouldnt progress from the basic/material to the cultural/spiritual.

    Perhaps Marx should have been speaking for himself, since the only individual nature he could really know was himself.

    Human nature is too complex to be that predictable, especially where he refers to individuals. It HAS been proven that group behavior is predictable.
    Really? Well, I suppose someone should inform the universities that the humanities and medicine are a waste of time.

    I read an interesting but sad report from Communist Russia. It said that an experiment - an evil, immoral experiment, by the way - was conducted on a group of children. From the time they were born, they were taught to live the collective lifestyle. The result - a classroom full of kids that did nothing but rock back and forth in perfect unison all day long.

    The Commies got what they wanted: perfect human beings or perfect little robots; either way, they were perfectly adapted to the material conditions of their upbringing. Not that it's what they literally wanted, but they got out exactly what they put into the experiment, only they couldn't predict it until it happened.
    I dont really have much of an interest in defending or discussing Russia, I also dont know enough about your vague experiment upon children to discuss it either.

    With respect of co-operation and gift economy and all the other things which I suspect you could or would typify as communistic there's a lot of it in existence already, in fact a lot of it is requisite in order for the "normal" work a day competition and selfish striving, which are corner stones of capitalism in theory and practice, to take place.

    I suspect your point about "the commies getting what they wanted" is borne of anger, which does not augur well for the rest of this discussion but its a plain point of fact that this was never what Marx wanted, the reduction of persons to things, automatons, machines or resources in production was what was involved in industrial capitalism and what he objected to, being basically a humanist, and the best representatives of his thinking since, like Erich Fromm, have thought likewise about automaton conformity and robot like behaviour.

    Communists don't understand human nature. Marx didn't understand human nature. They think they do. Thus they conducted immoral experiments on little human lives, and a generation of children was destroyed.
    OK, what's a communist theory of human nature? What is Marx's theory of human nature?

    I don't believe there is a perfect socio-economic system. The problem I have with both Marx and Rand is that they presented their ideas as absolutes. That's a problem with most philosophers.
    I dont believe Marx did that you know. I'm not sure its "the problem with most philosophers" either.

    Marx, unlike Rand, focused on alienation (this was a tactic favorable to Existentialists). Neither Marx nor Rand were in favor of alienation, but both of their philosophies produced it nonetheless. Marx focused on science, but he had no science or experimental evidence to prove that capitalist economics produced alienated individuals. His focus on science was therefore a sham. But when experiments are introduced, somehow the result is always failure. And there's never any reason to judge Marxism itself a failure, they simply try again, and again, and again, producing more and more failures, destroying more and more generations of human beings in the process.
    OK, I'm not sure why you threw in the random aside about existentialism, which makes me suspect that you're cutting and pasting this or making reference to some text book. Given your asides about science too I think you've got a weak understanding of Popper maybe and move from there.

    Do you understand what is meant by alienation in Marx's theory? Its not having a bad day and feeling angsty about it, you know that right? Its the product of your labour is not your own and it is appropriated by someone else who profits from it. You would be correct to say that Marxism in Russia invovled alienation too because a managerial class performed exactly how the capitalist industrialists had before it.

    What experiments are you talking about btw?

    If alienation of individuals is bad, then how does focusing on collectives reduce alienation? How does forcing millions of peasant farmers into communal farms reduce alienation? How does taking away a people's independence reduce alienation? Marxism cannot answer these questions. It dogmatically asserts that it can happen, because human nature is infinitely malleable to its purposes. But what if human nature is not infinitely malleable?
    No it doesnt. It doesnt assert anything of the kind I'm afraid. I'm sure that's what you've read it does in some other source but you should perhaps read what Marx had to say instead.

    Objectivism promotes laissez-faire capitalism with limited government - what is now technically termed "minarchism." The minarchist mentality suppresses powers of state in an effort to unleash human intellectual capacity and achievement. What you are seeing today is not laissez-faire capitalism, but a collusion between powers, both corporate and political. It's not always a friendly alliance, but it is a destructive one, and quite anti-Objectivist, hardly a product of Objectivist rationale.
    I've highlighted this bit here because I'm waiting for you to evidence that the one is at all contingent upon the other. This theory is precisely what is in practice in the UK at present and it hasnt gotten results.

    I've no problem with the idea that what exists presently is not perfect capitalism, as theorised by capitalists, its not socialism though, perfect or otherwise, however the policies and political ideology of objectivism would only increase the powers of corporations, I see no way in fact that it wouldnt, and the financial sector in practice. Perhaps you could explain how it could possibly be otherwise. I'd surely love to know how deregulation of the supposedly self-regulating financial markets did not contribute to the present crisis and recession.

    In both theory and practice capitalism fails, now, because of a mental block about communism and the ideological appeal of objectivism and its kin no one is prepared to provide any real analysis which is what Marx aimed to do and not a lot has changed from his day from what I can tell.

    I didn't say that socialism was the predominant system in today's America. But I agree that emigrees don't "want" socialism, they want a free 'meal ticket.' If that's allegedly what socialism provides to the majority, and a meal ticket is what they want, then democracy determines that socialism will eventually be the prevailing doctrine.
    Socialism isnt about free loading and free meals, I know its how it is protrayed in objectivist propaganda.

    NB I dont believe that your countrymen want a free meal either, shame on you for suggesting so.

  3. #103
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Against my better judgement...



    You know the safest position would be to say that Marx was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, like any other theorist, I'm not interested in defending his views in their entirety because I'm convinced he hadnt them worked out and know for a fact that they did change on a number of occasions, particularly in response to the Paris Commune.

    Now in relation to class struggles, he said that in his present age the industrial system had simplified the class struggles which he believed had always been present in history, sometimes involving more than one class, and the seperation into two great classes was that simplification. His theory wasnt ahistorical so obviously he wouldnt have made any perrenial pronouncements, its also part of the reason he didnt get too defininte about what future societies would be structured like.

    So far as mens natures being determined by the means and mode of production I've actually not much of a problem with that, Weber made some good counter claims about the nature of culture which I also accept but its without question that those things, the means and mode of production, are pretty significant. If they werent any hierarchy of needs wouldnt progress from the basic/material to the cultural/spiritual.



    Really? Well, I suppose someone should inform the universities that the humanities and medicine are a waste of time.



    I dont really have much of an interest in defending or discussing Russia, I also dont know enough about your vague experiment upon children to discuss it either.

    With respect of co-operation and gift economy and all the other things which I suspect you could or would typify as communistic there's a lot of it in existence already, in fact a lot of it is requisite in order for the "normal" work a day competition and selfish striving, which are corner stones of capitalism in theory and practice, to take place.

    I suspect your point about "the commies getting what they wanted" is borne of anger, which does not augur well for the rest of this discussion but its a plain point of fact that this was never what Marx wanted, the reduction of persons to things, automatons, machines or resources in production was what was involved in industrial capitalism and what he objected to, being basically a humanist, and the best representatives of his thinking since, like Erich Fromm, have thought likewise about automaton conformity and robot like behaviour.



    OK, what's a communist theory of human nature? What is Marx's theory of human nature?



    I dont believe Marx did that you know. I'm not sure its "the problem with most philosophers" either.



    OK, I'm not sure why you threw in the random aside about existentialism, which makes me suspect that you're cutting and pasting this or making reference to some text book. Given your asides about science too I think you've got a weak understanding of Popper maybe and move from there.

    Do you understand what is meant by alienation in Marx's theory? Its not having a bad day and feeling angsty about it, you know that right? Its the product of your labour is not your own and it is appropriated by someone else who profits from it. You would be correct to say that Marxism in Russia invovled alienation too because a managerial class performed exactly how the capitalist industrialists had before it.

    What experiments are you talking about btw?



    No it doesnt. It doesnt assert anything of the kind I'm afraid. I'm sure that's what you've read it does in some other source but you should perhaps read what Marx had to say instead.



    I've highlighted this bit here because I'm waiting for you to evidence that the one is at all contingent upon the other. This theory is precisely what is in practice in the UK at present and it hasnt gotten results.

    I've no problem with the idea that what exists presently is not perfect capitalism, as theorised by capitalists, its not socialism though, perfect or otherwise, however the policies and political ideology of objectivism would only increase the powers of corporations, I see no way in fact that it wouldnt, and the financial sector in practice. Perhaps you could explain how it could possibly be otherwise. I'd surely love to know how deregulation of the supposedly self-regulating financial markets did not contribute to the present crisis and recession.

    In both theory and practice capitalism fails, now, because of a mental block about communism and the ideological appeal of objectivism and its kin no one is prepared to provide any real analysis which is what Marx aimed to do and not a lot has changed from his day from what I can tell.



    Socialism isnt about free loading and free meals, I know its how it is protrayed in objectivist propaganda.

    NB I dont believe that your countrymen want a free meal either, shame on you for suggesting so.
    It depends on which countrymen you're referring to.

    I don't know why you say I copy and paste (plagiarizing) or that I am angry.

    "I've highlighted this bit here because I'm waiting for you to evidence that the one is at all contingent upon the other. This theory is precisely what is in practice in the UK at present and it hasnt gotten results."

    Minarchism is in practice in the UK? Really?

    "the policies and political ideology of objectivism would only increase the powers of corporations, I see no way in fact that it wouldnt, and the financial sector in practice. Perhaps you could explain how it could possibly be otherwise. I'd surely love to know how deregulation of the supposedly self-regulating financial markets did not contribute to the present crisis and recession."

    All-out deregulation would lead to serious problems, perhaps even the collapse of the American or even world economy. Greed, in the positive sense, cannot co-exist with altruism or self-sacrifice, any more than slavery can co-exist with freedom. Suddenly reducing the size of government would leave millions of government employees starving in the streets, especially if welfare programs were cut off at the same time.

    The present economic situation was created by the co-existence of greed and altruism: greed in the financial markets and altruism in government institutions (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). Altruistic politicians left the "cheese" out in the open and during the night the greedy "mice" grabbed it up, taking advantage of housing market conditions produced by the altruists. My bank folded and was absorbed by another bank (but I didn't lose anything in the deal unlike some other people), and inflation went crazy until government controls kicked in.

    "OK, I'm not sure why you threw in the random aside about existentialism." It was merely parenthetical. Consider that Marx was in Paris at a time when Existentialism was a popular theory. Now where do you think Marx learned about alienation?

    Also consider that alienation was a popular idea because it was true of Paris at the time. But that doesn't mean alienation was or is true of the rest of the world. Thus the psychological basis of Marxism is limited to a very small place and time, and then projected onto the rest of civilization.

    No, I didn't copy and paste that. And if I read it in some book 30 years ago, what is it to you? Don't you read books, or do you watch some version of CNN in your country?

    "Do you understand what is meant by alienation in Marx's theory? Its not having a bad day and feeling angsty about it." That's true, it's not existential angst, but it is related to existential angst. "Its the product of your labour is not your own and it is appropriated by someone else who profits from it." And what is that? Some kind of airy-fairy theoretical alienation in which the workers feel nothing at all? I don't even think you stated the theory correctly.

    "What experiments are you talking about btw?" Every Marxist attempt to create a utopian society is a 'grand social experiment.'

    "OK, what's a communist theory of human nature? What is Marx's theory of human nature?" This was already stated. Individual identity is a product of material conditions.

    'I dont believe Marx did that you know. I'm not sure its "the problem with most philosophers" either.'

    Sir James Jeans - "Are we humans endowed with free will, or are we mere cogs in a vast machine which must follow its predestined course until it finally runs down?" That is the sort of question posed by philosophers, and Jeans rejects it as unscientific. Marx would answer with the latter: that human nature is determined by its material conditions. Rand would answer with the former, that "man is a being of self-made soul." (No, I didn't copy and paste the Jeans quote, I transcribed it from the book itself.) The scientific answer is: man is a little of both.

    That's another reason why it is preposterous for Marx to claim he is doing science.

    "Really? Well, I suppose someone should inform the universities that the humanities and medicine are a waste of time." I'm not talking about the humanities and medicine, I'm talking about Marxism which is neither scientific nor humane.

    "You know the safest position would be to say that Marx was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, like any other theorist..." Of course. But I'm saying that, at heart, he's wrong for reasons I've already stated. His praxis was stronger than his theory.

    "So far as mens natures being determined by the means and mode of production I've actually not much of a problem with that, Weber made some good counter claims about the nature of culture which I also accept but its without question that those things, the means and mode of production, are pretty significant. If they werent any hierarchy of needs wouldnt progress from the basic/material to the cultural/spiritual."

    That's certainly not identical with Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The means and mode of production are only as significant as you let them be. It is only a general rule of thumb, not something upon which I would base an entire social theory.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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  4. #104
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    Did you forget how to use the quote function?

    Yes, minarchism is being pragmatically practiced in the UK by a coalition of liberals and conservatives who could not win enough votes by themselves for their programme, they call it the big society because small government or shrinking the state or any of the other synomyns are recognised as Thatcherism which was a dark episode of UK history from which the country never recovered if you ask me.

    Your views are very confused, you also are mistaken about altruism and selfishness, although its been interesting to see how someone who hasnt read much besides Rand thinks about things. In time I'd hope that you'd choose to read something else, maybe your curiousity will get the better of you or something will happen to disillusion you about Rand but in any case the sources are out there and I'd encourage you to read them.

    It'd serve you better than posting a lot of confused and mistaken stuff on an internet forum and then becoming angry and defensive about it.

  5. #105
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Did you forget how to use the quote function?

    Yes, minarchism is being pragmatically practiced in the UK by a coalition of liberals and conservatives who could not win enough votes by themselves for their programme, they call it the big society because small government or shrinking the state or any of the other synomyns are recognised as Thatcherism which was a dark episode of UK history from which the country never recovered if you ask me.

    Your views are very confused, you also are mistaken about altruism and selfishness, although its been interesting to see how someone who hasnt read much besides Rand thinks about things. In time I'd hope that you'd choose to read something else, maybe your curiousity will get the better of you or something will happen to disillusion you about Rand but in any case the sources are out there and I'd encourage you to read them.

    It'd serve you better than posting a lot of confused and mistaken stuff on an internet forum and then becoming angry and defensive about it.
    "Did you forget how to use the quote function?"

    Yes.

    "although its been interesting to see how someone who hasnt read much besides Rand thinks about things."

    You don't know what I've read or haven't read. Seriously. But those who haven't read much beside Rand are out there, believe me. I've talked to them hundreds of times. I can tell you that those who haven't read much beside Rand don't think like I do. EVERYTHING to them is about Rand, Rand, Rand. I am intellectually well-rounded in comparison to them. I can't give you a list of authors I've read because it would take too long to list them all.

    Don't let my ability to give you the Randian perspective fool you into thinking I know nothing beyond Rand. I know there is a strong distinction between Rand's definition of certain concepts and the general definition of those same concepts. I know how she portrayed altruism vs. the common view. I know how she portrayed selfishness vs. the common view. Rand placed her own peculiar spin on these concepts. I've read many critiques of Objectivism and I know many of the ways it has been found wanting. I am prepared to discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of her epistemology, her ethical theory, her politico-economic theory, and her very peculiar views on psychology, aesthetics, and romantic love.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    "Did you forget how to use the quote function?"

    Yes.

    "although its been interesting to see how someone who hasnt read much besides Rand thinks about things."

    You don't know what I've read or haven't read. Seriously. But those who haven't read much beside Rand are out there, believe me. I've talked to them hundreds of times. I can tell you that those who haven't read much beside Rand don't think like I do. EVERYTHING to them is about Rand, Rand, Rand. I am intellectually well-rounded in comparison to them. I can't give you a list of authors I've read because it would take too long to list them all.

    Don't let my ability to give you the Randian perspective fool you into thinking I know nothing beyond Rand. I know there is a strong distinction between Rand's definition of certain concepts and the general definition of those same concepts. I know how she portrayed altruism vs. the common view. I know how she portrayed selfishness vs. the common view. Rand placed her own peculiar spin on these concepts. I've read many critiques of Objectivism and I know many of the ways it has been found wanting. I am prepared to discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of her epistemology, her ethical theory, her politico-economic theory, and her very peculiar views on psychology, aesthetics, and romantic love.
    Yeah, well, I hope that you choose to read beyond objectivism one of these days, its an impoverished world view and its bad for America and the world.

  7. #107
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yeah, well, I hope that you choose to read beyond objectivism one of these days, its an impoverished world view and its bad for America and the world.
    Try reading what I wrote next time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Try reading what I wrote next time.
    Why do you think I did not read it this time?

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    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    "Capitalist society is and has always been horror without end." Vladimir Lenin (1919)

    How would he know?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    "Capitalist society is and has always been horror without end." Vladimir Lenin (1919)

    How would he know?
    You're hilarious man, are you employing the logic, same as the trotskyists about communism that "it hasnt been tried?"

    Anyway, Lenin travelled across Europe, was in Germany at the time of the revolution in Russia and thought that he'd seen it all in terms of class struggles and industrialisation related woes, he probably wasnt that mistaken really.

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