Archive for the ‘Ideology’ Category

I was chilling at my very own facebook-profile today, and came over my quotes. And I saw the following:

 

“Anyone with time on their hands can hatch elaborate schemes for a better future, just as anyone can sketch endless plans for a magnificent novel they never get around to writing because they are endlessly sketching plans for it. The point for Marx is not to dream of an ideal future, but to resolve the contradictions in the present which prevent a better future from coming about.” – Terry Eagleton

 

Which reminded me of a book I read a while ago, called “Why Marx was right” by Terry Eagleton.

 

It is a brilliant book. It takes on 10 objections or misconceptions about Marxism which exist today, like how Marxists are historical determinists, how we reduce everything to the economic, how Marxism inevitably leads to political tyranny and such. Terry shows why these views on Marxism are wrong and why Marx was, in fact, correct in many of his analyses and why we should all be Marxists today. You should read it. It looks like this:

 

Hell yeah. Marx!

 

Vegard

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Burnie posted this awesome blogpost, concerning one of the big questions for us revolutionaries. Revolution vs Parlamentarism? If you haven’t read it yet, mozy on over there. I’ll wait for you.

This got me thinking, and rather than writing this in a comment, I feel like putting it into a blog entry.

The revolutionary socialist parties that exist today are small. Well, obviously that differs, but despite how Karl Marx predicted that the socialist movement would be strongest in the countries where capitalism had evolved furtherst (I think it’s safe to say that Norway falls under this category), in the most advanced countries the marxist parties are so small as to barely count for anything. Obviously, Marx was no magician so he couldn’t predict shitdicks like Stalin and Pol Pot messing with his beautiful words, but that’s for another blog entry.

With that in mind, i return to the question I am trying to answer, which Burnie so neatly presented:  why are political movements with the end goal of breaking capitalism and establishing a new, more demoractic system, bothering with parliamentary work on the premises of the very system we want changed?

No one can predict when a revolutionary situation arises. When the october-revolution in Russia 1917 started, Lenin was in Europe. He thought it would happen there, and did not think the revolution would come to his homeland anytime soon. Suddenly he got word that the proletariat was marching in the streets, throwing the Tsar! (really, really simplified version, but this is a blog entry not an article for a history-book)

The point of this nice little story, is that you can never predict when a revolutionary situation arises, it can happen quickly, out of the blue. If the socialist party is so small that no one notices it when the revolution comes, there is a chance that the bourgeoisie might stop the revolution, and cling on to their broken system. Or even worse, the revolution might go the other way, and send fascists and nazis into power (nazism is back in europe, another topic for another blog entry).

We do parliamentary elections in order to gain followers, activists and to make people know who we are. So that when the revolution comes, we are strong enough to pull it through and usher in an eara of peace, freedom and everything for free! (sounds better in Norwegian)

I was going to put something in about elections and remnants of parliamentarism after the revolution, but that is yet another topic for yet another entry. So conclusion: parliamentary work is important, as long as we don’t forget the revolutionary ideology by which we swear by. This happens to most parties, they get eaten by the system and forget about socialism. We fight on in our beautiful party because we believe that we will not.

Thanks for your time! Here is an awesome picture of a unicorn, to lessen the wall of text and because data shows that our readers love politics and unicorns:

Vegard

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The endless paradox, how can so called revolutionaries hoist their colors while at the same time playing the political field, a game clearly tilted in favor of the old system? Indeed, isn’t parliamentarism itself one of the things that need to be torn up by the root when the red revolution comes?

We should all be able to agree that the social democratic project hasn’t exactly played out the way we had hoped it would, and yet the socialist parties of today are so mortified of being compared to the dictatorships of the previous millennium that they end up being softer than the old social democrats were! We, yes we, marginalize ourselves by yielding to the pathetic arguments of the opposition, and this while playing their game! We’re like a team of hunters challenging Manchester United to a game of football, severely outnumbered, more dangerous by far, but ignoring the obvious solution of just shooting the fuckers! Ah, figuratively of course. I love football. Actually, that’s a lie, but I tolerate it. I promise I dont’t plan on killing sir Alex. First. Kidding.

I was planning on a blog explaining the question in the title, but I appear to have made up my mind before I even got halfway through. We vehemently protest when we’re confronted with our past, we even claim to be unrelated to it! And then we wonder why people don’t know who we are, and much less what we believe in. We are revolutionaries, damnit! Of course we have something in common with Lenin, sans the senseless slaughter and dictatoring (I’m making it a word!) of course! But that argument just won’t fly in a debate, and we’re lucky if we’re ever offered a single seat in parliament.

So what should we do instead? The revolution won’t come if we keep doing what we’re doing now, and it won’t help any if no one ever sees a revolutionary again either. How do you make your politics visible to the people without participating in the one game we can’t win?
I don’t know.

Busride ends here.
Sayoonara!
Bjørn

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This is the second post in two days written by me. Why? Because I am supposed to be writing a paper on not being born a woman and another on linguistics, and read two Raymond Chandler-novels. And as you may know by know: I am the queen of procrastination.

Right now I’m in the library with a friend, and I must say: I love Tromsø! This is the best library I’ve ever been in, and the view is amazing. But do you know what isn’t amazing? Writing essays.

I wish I could write this paper in a more humoristic way. Seeing as it is a paper on philosophy, and I am supposed to show my own opinions and views in the writing of it, I guess I could write it like that, but it is supposed to be in preparation for my exam, and I most certainly can’t do that when writing my exam, so I guess I should just get used to it right away.

My last post did actually get comments, so I guess I should write about radical faminism more often. So now I will write about it some more.

The Simone de Beauvoir quote that I ended last blog-post with is the quote I am writing an essay on. And it is found in her most famous book: The Second Sex. This is actually two books, published as one, with many parts and chapter. It’s huge!

I haven’t read all of it yet, and maybe I never will, but I am reading the chapters on gender vs. sex, and how girls are treated differently than boys, this resulting in the different qualities that are associated with the different genders. It is an evil circle of girls being made submissive by the society, and therefore the society continues to expect girls to be submissive.

I was never brought up to be like that. My mother, being the strong and wonderful woman that she is, thought me to stand up for what I believe in, and she allowed me to dress in the way I wanted to and play with the toys I liked. There was no question of forcing me to wear dresses and pink, I got Legos and toy-cars when that was what I wanted, and I climbed trees and had playfights without anyone telling me that it wasn’t “suitable for a girl”. For this I am thankfull.

This doesn’t seem like a very radical up-bringing, I am sure, but I am also sure that my mother and fathers liberal gender-views were important for me to become the woman I have become. No-one ever told me I couldn’t do something just because of my sex, and so I never believed it to be impossible for me to do anything. And yet many girls and women react to my way of being, and even become biased towards me because of it. Do I view myself as any less of a woman for it? No. I know that I’m a woman, I even want to be a mother someday, I just don’t believe that women are naturally more “soft and fuzzy” than what men are. Men are just as capable of love, wimsiness and care-giving as women, and women are just as capable of entrepeneurship, intelligence and sexuality as men. And yet these qualities are still by many linked to one gender alone.

I say to hell with genders, we are all humans. The only thing different between women and men are reproductive organs, hormone-levels and muscle strength. Doesn’t seem quite as important as the human qualities of feelings, intelligence and sexuality, does it?

-Frida

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There are two significant causes leading to me writing this particular entry on this particular evening:
1) In less then two weeks it will be the 8th of March, also known as the International [Working] Women’s Day.
2) I am currently writing my first essay in Feminist Philosophy.

The past years I have been active in the planning and celebration of the International Women’s Day in Bodø, so it felt natural for me to be active in the group planning the celebration “Ladyfest” in Tromsø. (That’s right: Tromsø have enough people to actually have an entire festival… In Bodø we had a march for women’s rights and hardly anything else…) I’m glad that I joined the group to plan it, especially because the other women in the group are incredibly nice and supportive.

So, why do we demonstrate for women’s rights? A lot of people ask me about it, and especially in Norway where women are supposedly equal to men. And yet they make lower wages, work more part-time, are the victims of nearly all sexual assaults, have higher rates of eating disorders, and the list goes on. These are some of the reasons why I feel it’s important to keep working for women’s rights, and what’s more: It isn’t all about the norwegian women. It’s called the International Women’s Day.

Let’s face it: This is a man’s world. The dictators in Egypt, Libya and the rest of the world are men. The people who will get the power when these dictators are gone are also men. And they will decide the faith of women in their countries.
In South-American lands such as Nicaragua and Venezuela women are denied abortions. Even if they were raped, or victims of incest. In U.S.America Justin Bieber says to Rolling Stones-magazine that abortion is murder, while rape happens for a reason. Chavez [Venezuela] and Ortega [Nicaragua] are men. Justin Bieber is supposedly male. And they still get the right to speak about and rule over women’s bodies, rights and reproduction, when the women themselves aren’t granted the same chance.

Simone de Beauvoir, one of the best known feminist philosophers, critiqued psychoanalytics (such as Freud), scientists and biologists for using the male as the rule and the women as the exception. Freud even went as far as to say that all women at some point in their life feels like a mutilated man, and that something is missing about them. This is the well-known theory of “penis envy”. [Oh my god, she said penis, right?]

One would think that more than 50 years later this will be better. That the woman is an equal, and not just seen as a secondary creature with a secondary nature, but no. Today, if a woman chooses not to give birth (like Simone de Beauvoir did herself) she is often spoken down to for it. And if a woman, or a girl, chooses to speak up for her beliefs she is automatically labeled a tomboy or a problem child.

The problem I see with the world, and that Simone de Beauvoir also saw, is that women are confined to a certain way of life and thought that people try explaining with science, but that really is nothing more than a social construct. And men uses this social construct to keep their power. This is gender, not sex, and women who don’t fit in are pushed out and away. No wonder it’s hard being a teen-age girl, right?

-“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”
-Simone de Beauvoir
And now I’ll return to my writing.

-Frida

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