Here’s a little thought experiment I came up with: let’s say the population of a large city under a communist government was suddenly transported back to prehistoric times. None of their technology came with them, only the knowledge in their brains. Let’s assume they survive, would they be able to keep living under some sort of Marxist-leninist/communist ideology? In the complete absence of technology, do you think a large scale communist society can be maintained, or would it necessarily have to dissolve into something more akin to “tribal communism”? Would the tribes they revert into start warring with each other for resources like actual prehistoric tribes did? Do you think the people in this situation would be able to hold on to communist ideals from a mental perspective, or would people start wanting a capitalist or other system?

@Whom
54M

More than likely we’d see a progression through the stages of history roughly the same as what happened the first time. Knowledge of communism and general egalitarian principles may soften things a bit at first on the small scale, but history is not shaped by ideas. What they know and believe is not nearly as relevant as the conditions of the world they live in, and assuming those conditions are the same as they were in reality, things will basically happen the same. The most I can say is that the movement through history would be accelerated since things like writing exist right off the bat, letting various forms of organization progress quicker.

To say continuing communism would be possible in this scenario would be a rejection of the core of historical materialism, so I’m not sure how much room for debate there is on this within a Marxist framework.

@PorkrollPosadist
4
edit-2
4M

This is a pretty fun thought experiment. There are a lot of angles you can approach this from. One of the first things that pops into my mind is the “base and superstructure” metaphor. If we accept the idea that the superstructural realm of culture, politics and social mores is primarily determined by the material base (with some feedback and wiggle room of course), and you completely change the material base which that superstructure is built upon, it will have profound implications. On one hand, you’d have an absolute crisis on your hands, but on the other (at least, in contrast to the present day) you at least wouldn’t have an entrenched capitalist mode of production or the dominance of its ideology to contend with.

The second thing that occurs to me is that no city exists in a vacuum. You could not sustain the 8.3 million population of New York City using primitive agricultural techniques within the geographical confines of the city proper. The population would immediately need to disperse to take up agriculture, hunting and gathering to provide for the basic necessities of social reproduction. If the time-travel were truly sudden and unanticipated, it would be an absolute calamity - the end result could very well be barbarism instead of socialism. If there were some preparation involved, things could potentially go much more smoothly.

Assuming we get past the initial calamity and a sustainable agricultural society is established, I think the socioeconomic theory carried in our time-traveling society’s heads would put them in a better position than if you were to simply take a time machine and select a random agricultural society from history. Marxist-Leninism in particular would probably be rendered largely irrelevant due to the fact that the society is no longer contending with a burgeoning capitalist-imperialist global economic system, but its dialectical-materialist roots would still prove incredibly useful in organizing society as well as predicting/preempting destructive social fissures.

History is not shaped by ideas, but by people. However, people are also shaped by ideas. So they would probably organize themselves in a similar way to their society of reference.

Most of our pre-written history was not based on private property, so there’s also that. In the end, communism absolutely requires a certain level of technology to efficiently satisfy each person’s needs. After all, socialism is born from a capitalist society, which has its technological prowess, and communism is born from socialist societies, so there’s a lot of space for technological advancement.

There is not, however, a correct answer for a wrong question. We do not have “thought experiments” when it comes to history, we can only deal with history as it is. Thought experiments in social sciences is idealism.

Discussion Community for fellow Marxist-Leninists and other Marxists.

Rules for /c/communism

Rules that visitors must follow to participate. May be used as reasons to report or ban.

  1. No non-marxists

This subreddit is here to facilitate discussion between marxists.

There are other communities aimed at helping along new communists. This community isn’t here to convert naysayers to marxism.

If you are a member of the police, armed forces, or any other part of the repressive state apparatus of capitalist nations, you will be banned.

  1. No oppressive language

Do not attempt to justify your use of oppressive language.

Doing this will almost assuredly result in a ban. Accept the criticism in a principled manner, edit your post or comment accordingly, and move on, learning from your mistake.

We believe that speech, like everything else, has a class character, and that some speech can be oppressive. This is why speech that is patriarchal, white supremacist, cissupremacist, homophobic, ableist, or otherwise oppressive is banned.

TERF is not a slur.

  1. No low quality or off-topic posts

Posts that are low-effort or otherwise irrelevant will be removed.

This is not a place to engage in meta-drama or discuss random reactionaries on lemmy or anywhere else.

This includes memes and circlejerking.

This includes most images, such as random books or memorabilia you found.

We ask that amerikan posters refrain from posting about US bourgeois politics. The rest of the world really doesn’t care that much.

  1. No basic questions about marxism

Posts asking entry-level questions will be removed.

Questions like “What is Maoism?” or “Why do Stalinists believe what they do?” will be removed, as they are not the focus on this forum.

  1. No sectarianism

Marxists of all tendencies are welcome here.

Refrain from sectarianism, defined here as unprincipled criticism. Posts trash-talking a certain tendency or marxist figure will be removed. Circlejerking, throwing insults around, and other pettiness is unacceptable.

If criticisms must be made, make them in a principled manner, applying Marxist analysis.

The goal of this subreddit is the accretion of theory and knowledge and the promotion of quality discussion and criticism.

Check out ProleWiki for a communist wikipedia.

bottombanner

  • 0 users online
  • 12 users / day
  • 28 users / week
  • 53 users / month
  • 199 users / 6 months
  • 172 subscribers
  • 607 Posts
  • 1799 Comments
  • Modlog