my blog will probably consist of a lot of musings on certain sociological texts and ideas, since i have to review a lot of them this semester and next for the literature review portion of my thesis. there might be some personal stuff intermingled in here, too!

  • Table of Contents
  • personal
    • on the spasming corpse of 10s-style otherkinity

      just as a preface, i know otherkin/kinnies/therians are still out there and that the subculture is extant. it would take a lot more than an extinction event brought out by the blinding cringe of the teens of the mid-late 2010s to blast something that started on the elfenkind digest all those decades ago, and it seems now that the subculture has gone back to its roots: yesterday werelist, today alterhumanity forums and people who still use tumblr like wordpress or facebook. you know, the out-of-touch nerds among the out-of-touch nerds.

      but that's just the point! the old has eclipsed the fiery ball of gas that was kinblr, and probably kinstagram or...kinterest? that was probably a thing. as someone who passively observed it without ever really getting into the drama, it's been so weird to see the old vitriol fade out of memory. i know that minors still kin; i see it on here a lot, but it's not even an echo of the old days of "dni if you kin juuzou suzuya because my mutual does" sort of hyperonline webring bullshit. people used to fake their races in order to kin animeboys without being called out to the point where it was a serious fucking problem! i sound like a fucking geezer here, but it's got less to do with nostalgia (of which i have absolutely none) and more to do with my sheer fucking amazement that kinning for fun got blasted out of the terminally online teen's toolbelt almost as soon as "kinning for fun" or "kff" got coined.

      the life stages of the online kin community seemed to have a relationship linked directly to the legitimacy of the claim of selfhood, exempting the comparatively more mature (as in, aged) and grounded therian community. first it was the spiritual "i identify as this because i was it in a past life," then the psychological "i identify as this because of unknown non-spiritual reasons," then the otherhearted "i identify WITH this," then the loop around back to psychological (but more specific) "i identify as this because of a delusional attachment, i know it's not real," then the kff "i kin for fun" thing, at which point what i know of the serious-lifestyle, late-20s mid-30s otherkin really started decrying the tweens for identifying as "kinnies," at which point it seemed everyone had gotten tired of the whole thing and either quit the kin stuff wholecloth or set it all side in a carrd link instead of right there in the about page.

      i don't mean to condescend. obviously if i did this would be a "girl what were YOU doing at the devil's sacrament" sort of thing, to which i have to attest, i was also doing the bidding of satan. or just watching. again, i wasn't super active because the adult therians and the tween kinnies who checked selfies for photoshop noise both scared me. i was just some white bitch with autism, unsurprisingly, and the reason i was in the kin community in the first place was basically just because i have brain problems that fuck with my identity and ability to connect with people and because i love escapism and fiction.

      in the spirit of being one more nervous system fire in the old cadaver, though, and sincerely using the kinning framework at face value, i think i'd be a psychological robot/AI kinnie. and the judge from off, just because he's the first guy i ever kinned and i think he's like 15% responsible for how pretentious i was/am. fuck, and chara dreemurr from undertale because i have problems and for playing chronological runner-up to judge.

      doubles allowed.

    • on the old internet

      first of all, i feel more full of hot air than a fucking tea kettle talking about this when i barely witnessed it. i only started my internet addiction at 2008; i admit it; i'm a poser! a fraud! i even preferred the imac g3 to the musty commodores at the time! "but crt," you might say, "your whole shit is windows." and first i'd say that's not my name but it works, and second of all, it was because it was colorful! it was bright and inviting, like the rest of the internet at the time.

      i'm not going to say that the eye-searing advertisements plastered everywhere now aren't, but at least as a kid it was funny to see some business hucking cash at some artist to make a spinning 3d advert so you could order a hunk of junk for $19.99 i didn't have. now what is there for the little bastards who don't have adblock? skinny white women on banner bars advertising keto, probably?

      everyone and their dog has bitched about the death of flash, and i'm preaching to the choir, i know, but i do feel like it's worth lamenting over and over again. even sites that survived, like coolmathgames, are bloated with mandatory advertisements and wait-to-play pre-game videos like it was fucking easybib. the kids of today are getting beamed in the skull by ads on kids' sites, then beamed in the skull when they inevitably get funneled into instagram or tik tok.

      by the way, i don't hate tik tok because i'm a sinophobe, but because it's an engineered commercial juggernaut. personally, the decision of the state to ban it on state wifi or whatever is just a perfect example of how politics makes strange bedfellows -- anticapitalists who fear overcommercialization and the erosion of privacy, and state legislatures. naturally, as a bedfellow would, they've just only taken a break to stop fucking us in the ass to do this.

      digressions charged up by this whole stupid weather balloon business aside, though, i really do feel sorry for the weird kids of today. i guess they have roblox -- which i seldom used, literally because i was too afraid of how many people were in it -- but flash games and small advertisement-free community zones like animal jam absolutely formed my person.

      when i was shafted by my friends for being unable to play sports, it devastated my confidence. finding a virtual space to talk and write and roleplay back then probably saved whatever scraps of social skill and inner personality i had, considering that a difficult childhood made it similarly impossible to express myself outwardly.

      if roblox, youtube, tik tok, and instagram were all i had at the time, i have no idea what would have become of me. maybe it's a little myopic to only consider the ways in which the changing times would retroactively impact my development, but i can't really think of any other situations a kid might be in -- i don't know what the club penguin or pixie hollow scenes were like, and i can't find out anymore. everything was terminated because it wasn't generating profit anymore. the social good it provided to millions of children like me or not wasn't taken into account, because why would it be?

      just like the loss of advertisement-free browsing and the loss of quirky consumer computers, it's capitalism's fault. god you guys better be prepared for how many of these are gonna end with that

    • on neocities

      ough ough i gotta stop just writing bullshit and actually work on adding buttons...but i don't want to. i guess that's a decent segue though, since my time generating "bullshit" is like, a huge chunk of what sets neocities apart from social media for me. i don't know how normal this is, but on any other website, i just...don't generate content. i can't bring myself to. i can probably count the number of youtube comments i've made on both hands, and i can remember individual ones i've made. the last time i did was probably in middle school.

      and for someone who's used tumblr for almost a decade now, when it was known as the website for people who can't get enough of airing out opinions, i've probably made only a dozen or so original posts. i've only got two on my current blog, i think, and i'd only kind of realized how strange that was when the site started rolling out those features to recap your stats, or, like, when people started talking about posting their spotify wrappeds.

      as for me, i've just never been able to do it. i thought, well, if i post this, it implies that i think it's worth reading. me putting my opinion out there on something, from ace discourse to my review or takeaway from some animated cartoon, implied that on some level, i thought that it was worth taking time out of someone's life to force them to read what i thought. what if those three seconds would be better spent on a funnier tumblr post below, and because i took free time away from the reader, maybe they'd never see a cool image a little further on their feed?

      jesus christ, right? that's probably weird, now, i think. if anything proves it, it's looking at youtube comments most recent first. the fuck is even going on there? people take time out of their day just to type "lol at 4:37" on a video from 2014. and you're like, oh, this is probably a kid, and the account was made in 2009. like, who the hell are you?

      anyway, with neocities, i like that there's not really any expectation like that. if someone clicks "weblog," and opens one of these folders, they kind of had to bust ass to get here. that doesn't mean that i assume that what i write is worth anything, but it does mean that it's not in anyone's way. that might sound really mentally ill, still, but it's really liberating for me. it means that i can write whatever i want without feeling as though i'm being "presumptuous" or self-centered, which has always been a deep fear of mine. not even just because it can hurt other people, but because it's so embarrassing! i think about someone looking at some sort of opinion or art or something of mine and going, "wow, it really thinks THIS is worth posting? lmfao!!" honestly, that's probably why i'll never go to a bar, or a social club, and before i met my qpp, that's why i was never going to date. i hate the idea of publicly presenting myself, because it presumes that no one's offended by it, and it implies that i think that this presentation of me is good. or, like, to be real because i literally can't get that sentence's end to not look like horseshit lying on my own blog,, it implies that i think i'm not a -8 charisma having ugly ass queer. hell no! you'll never catch me being both that vulnerable and that self-assured at the same time!

      guhhh i probably shouldn't be so personal on here but i can never take actually decent diary entries. this is probably the most success i've had. i suppose another thing i like about neocities is that it hits the impossible sweet spot of prompting me to make a social space without requiring that i a) produce worthwhile content and b) socialize. i can't handle social networks in any capacity, and i really love that neocities just kind of...omits the hard social part of social networks. if someone has something to say, they can comment it. otherwise, your followers and the people you follow can be familiar "strangers," but without the sort of apprehension of sharing a space with someone you don't know, because you do know enough about their aesthetic sensibilities and what they value from following their page. being able to personally examine someone to such a deep extent without being forced into a small-talk stage and a constant guessing game of how much attention you should or shouldn't be paying to them fucking rules for turboautists like me.

      fuck i probably sound so shitty right now. listen if you follow me and you read this i want you to know that this isn't like a creepy voyeur thing it's just that i struggle to such an extent with socializing that in my four-person apartment i just survive off sandwiches and rice cooker junk so i don't have to run into any of my very nice roommates on account of the whole "oh god they're going to think i deserve to be seen" thing. in my apartment. my apartment i pay rent to live in.

      anyway neocities will fix my antisocial agoraphobia bullshit love wins i am so tired thanks for reading if you did. lichen subscribe

    lit review
    • on the managed heart by arlie hochschild

      >reads 50 articles for thesis

      >reviews none of them

      >reviews book it read for class

      well, maybe review is the wrong word. i'm more just informally jotting down thoughts. anyway, have you heard the term 'emotional labor' before, probably in the context of a vent tweet or something? well, this is where the term was coined -- and to no one's surprise, 'emotional labor' has nothing to do with listening to your friend complain about their shift at work and everything to do with your friend being required to smile in the face of a customer who just splashed their uniform with a latte.

      the context the narrative makes most use of is the plight of the flight attendant, where the job expectations require her to undergo training to dissociate her emotional responses at maltreatment, to imagine the customer as a child whose opinions ought not to hurt her, to keep her "true self" separate from her "false self," or, in the terms preferable to the service industry, her customer service self. in this, she risks dissolving her ego as the lines between how she should feel and how she does feel are forcibly blurred under the demand that she come across as "sincere." furthermore, the performance of femininity as a nurturing motherly figure (waitress, soothing presence) and a sexual feminine "far from home" exotic (object of desire, doting but temporary presence) is called into play, as her gender and her body get pulled into the job description. did you know, like hooters servers, that flight attendants have to have certain weights and facial structures, down to their teeth? i didn't. i could've guessed, though.

      anyway, though hochschild discusses male flight attendants, the more exuberant discussion of women and my use of "her" as the default pronoun here is intentional. you'd have to be insane not to see that service roles are gendered, particularly when there's no shortage of evidence. to cite braverman's labor and monopoly capital, "...the median usual weekly wage for full-time clerical work was lower than that in every type of so-called blue-collar work. In fact, it was lower than the median in all urban occupational classifications except service employment."

      people shit-talk the trades, but always highlight what the wages come out to in the end, and for good reason. it's of obvious note that women aren't socialized to go into trade school, and i hypothesize that that's the very reason we're seeing women succeed men in terms of university enrollment these days. i mean, i say "hypothesize" in credence to the nomenclature of the social sciences, but fucking come on.

      if you feel too isolated from the metaphorical world of the flight attendant to really take in her analysis, hochschild also discusses this should-be 'false' self that one acts as in more broad situations not necessarily charged by misogyny. have you ever felt like you aren't 'sad enough' at a family member's passing? have you ever drifted away from a friend and felt like you aren't as deeply hurt as you 'should be' by the distance? if you're amab, have you ever felt aggrieved, but felt like you couldn't cry because you 'shouldn't need to'? now, that's not emotional labor, which is inherently tied to the professional world, but it does call into question how socialization can prompt you to believe that you need to perform your self, that your 'self' as it should be, the self desired by social convention, is not endemic to you.

      i could talk about gender performance and the suggested possibility that one can fail at being their gender when gender is literally supposed to be considered an immutable quality of the sex at length here. i really could take the idea that somehow something like an emotional state or gender presentation can be 'wrong' and run with it because queer theory can be threaded into this like butter down a fucking hallway, but this is already pretty big for a first post.

      still, the wedding of gender roles to emotional labor is pretty clear -- if you're a woman, wear makeup to work and be patient with your coworkers and clientele, if you're a man...uh, don't...cry, i guess? i'm not going to lie, you're allowed to fly off the handle even if you're fucking kissinger, so the interconnection is less glaring with you guys as a class. i won't lie and say it's not there, though, because gender roles do really worm their way into anything even to the deficit of dudes, as meninists so love to say.

      i don't really have a conclusion in mind. look into marx's theory of alienation if you want to get really depressed about how the lacuna in his seminal work on how his idea that labor alienated the assembly line worker from their product and their own identity can be extrapolated into the service industry here in modern times.

    • on the state and the revolution, chapter 1, by vladimir lenin

      our first actually communist text! and it's not exactly beginner-friendly; i'm sorry. but i am linking it here, for free, so you could read along with me if you like. in the meantime, i'll try to fill you in on some background on the book and why i chose it.

      to start, i think i'm more trotskyist/leninist than anything else, though i haven't fully thrown away anarchism. to be a trotskyist is to be a leninist (is to be a marxist) that critiques stalinism, which, to my crumb of knowledge, is pretty much most people with some exceptions. i might be wrong -- i admit, i haven't looked too much into stalin because everybody fuckin' hates the guy because of the gulags, and, like, yeah. i think he's a little too authoritarian and proletarian-murder-happy for my tastes.

      this was recommended in a trotskyist reading list, and again, to cut out all the details: a trotskyist is an anti-stalinist leninist, and a leninist is a marxist who's putting marxism into motion. now, there are of course things about leninism i disagree with, and admittedly leninism comes with a few russia-specific goals attached, like promoting industrialization (remember this was the 1900-1920s), but on the whole i think it defines me better as a person who wants change rather than someone who is like, a "marxist" menshevik or a "marxist" democratic socialist or something -- "marxist" here is completely legitimate, because his theory was so elastic that it can be applied to these bozos.

      a menshevik is someone who, during the age of the russian revolution, believed that cooperation with liberals and working within the framework of the pre-existing government structure was feasible for the production of a communist state. "kautskyist" is sort of a synonym (roughly) for menshevik, just so if you read it here, you know what's up -- they at least both had beef with the bolsheviks, which were the leninist group that, uh, y'know, kind of governed stuff until the ussr tanked with stalin. this isn't to suck bolshevik dick too much, though; i dunno. i used to be in (THEORETICAL...) strong favor of a revolutionary vanguard, but if you're asking me to trust any of these infighting redditor yahoos with a gun and a sense of heroism, you've got another thing coming. put me down as undecided on its virtues if closely investigated, but as a rule of thumb, bolshie-leaning by FAR.

      a democratic socialist is a socialist who believes that full socialism can be achieved by working with the system's skeleton and discarding capitalism in the process. bonus round: a social democrat is someone who wants to keep capitalism with some socialist stuff, bernie sanders "free college but at&t please keep sponsoring me" style.

      got all that shit? good. just kidding; if you want anything in depth not tainted by my hideous bias, get your silly ass onto, because i definitely am sacrificing a TON of nuance. get your leftist infighting goofs out here, though, because now we're about to start talking about the actual fucking text.

      1.1 - the state: a product of the irreconcilability of class antagonism

      admittedly, this was an interesting read for me. as someone who used to describe itself as possessing a fairly authoritarian lean (although my political compass tests always put me in the middle of red and green), i'd never questioned the requirements of a state body's existence. of course, my public education's reading lists of locke and hobbes would see to that. but seriously!

      i'd never really considered that the state does function primarily as a mediator between the classes, which, of course, are always acting in opposition to one another -- i alluded to this in my previous reading, but to try to make this quick: the goal of the boss is to make money by extracting as much profit as possible by keeping wages low, making work competitive, producing more items, and so on. the goal of the laborer is to get as much pay as possible, work as little as possible, and to produce a reasonable amount of items; enough to keep in business (or, to be more honest: keep surviving).

      what do you see when the bosses are the people funding the campaigns of the statesmen? what patterns arise when elections depend on disbursing information, and the information-disbursement machines (for lack of better term) like tv and webpages belong to the bosses (the people with the capital to invest in them to an extent that provides meaningful self-benefit)?

      i'm kind of getting ahead of the text here, but you get where i'm going later. it continues on to describe engels' take -- essentially, because the interests of the classes are impossibly, fundamentally contraposed, the state exists. therefore, the state manufactures "order," in the form of a (buyable) electorate class and a police force, and keeps down the baser class so that the bourgeoisie can keep doing what it does: exploiting the laborer. for more on this, i cannot stress ENOUGH how much you should check out marx's alienated/estranged labor. like most commie stuff, it can look pretty daunting, but it's so fundamental i even reread it for my sociological theory class a few weeks back. give it a look!

      just to wrap up here, lenin spends some time shit-talking the mensheviks and the social democrats for pretending the state "reconciles" classes, when that's...still just keeping down the lower class by force. he also dunks on kautsky, who came to the same misguided conclusion -- sort of. for some reason, he agreed with the concept that the capitalist state is oppressive, but didn't take it any further (like dismantling it). apparently the guy used to be a great mentor to lenin, but after wwi, he basically became a passive menshevik. when i was trying to find more answers on the guy (since i'd forgotten who he was), one of the comments to a post asking for an explanation called him a "fucking turncoat," so i guess there's that. oh the bitterness of leftist infighting.

      1.2 - special bodies of armed men, prisons, etc...

      well, look! it's everybody's favorite topic: the police.

      it reviews what engels has to say about why most people think we need them: to keep the peace. but why is the peace disrupted? you guessed it: class struggle. the guy shoplifting coats? the girl embezzling cash from the register? the secretary who's been funneling bankroll into his offshore account? the homeless guy sleeping on state property? hell, even the petty bitch with disposable income pilfering lingerie she doesn't really need to live out of the dressing room because she's got some hangup about letting go of her dough? oppressed people in need of correction by the state.

      "gee, keeping poor people poor doesn't sound like keeping the peace between the factions at all," you say, correctly and well-endowedly. because it isn't real 'mediation' to 'keep us safe,' it's evidence of how the state essentially morphs into the ruling class' guard dog. the police imprison, fine, and murder anyone who stands contraposed against the state of things, and as you know, takes great pleasure in exerting the state's anglosaxon lean on people of color, too; but that's besides this literature review. i just find it in good exercise to pin old theory on new contexts.

      to step in time with the text, though, the reason we have an armed body that's supposed to be "in the middle" of our competing groups is because it would create great social unrest if both groups (which are in such close quarters by necessity of function) were able to muster coups whenever the scales tipped out of their favor (not that the proles get to do that much, and you know why). you saw this kind of anarchy way back when clans and shit were roaming the place and would have political battles over territory and all -- since the death of feudalism (to speak only and embarrassingly of europe) and the swapping of lord and serf to boss and wagie, that whole system's been launched into antiquity (kind of but not really globally you get it).

      to cover my ass a little, this section is also referring to the military, and the ways the military is used as an arm of the ruling class to serve itself through imperialism. invasion of iraq, vietnam, korea, fuckin' all of latin america, anybody?

      1.3 - the state: an instrument for the exploitation of the oppressed class

      in this part, lenin discusses the actual rationale for the claim that the state stands "above" society: it can tax! plus, like, socially, you can just kind of intuit that even the lowliest policeman stands above the civilian. it's just how it is: money and one's relationship to it defines power relations. in the context of a democratic republic, "wealth exercises its power indirectly, but all the more surely", first, by means of the "direct corruption of officials" (America); secondly, by means of an "alliance of the government and the Stock Exchange" (France and America)." ohoho, if only the guy knew.

      he spends a bit talking about russia-specific shit and airing his grievances with domestic politics, which i won't go into the tedium of. basically: a camp of tsarist-era socialists and mensheviks, upon usurping tsarist russia, sat their asses comfortably with the bourgeoisie and the foreign capitalists at the expense of the ideology of marxism by signing war contracts and shit. moving on.

      i'll just put this quote here: "A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell (through the Palchinskys, Chernovs, Tseretelis and Co.), it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it." magnifique. mwah! no notes.

      it also shit-talks the idea that universal suffrage is the real actualization of the working class' ideology and decries its position as this much-lauded funnel that channels the will of the noble citizen into civic action and political change. a novel piece of information to read, but not a difficult idea to intuitively understand with the knowledge that senators are bought by lobbyists and even lovely people like aoc get trapped into opportunism and cooperation with her fellows, the republicans.

      1.4 - the "withering away" of the state, and violent revolution

      [chuckles] i'm in danger.

      the point of this bit is to decry the idea that engels says that the state "withers away" after being robbed of power, rather than being outright abolished, as was the idea of anarchists. apparently, people (mensheviks, social democrats, etc.) took the part of the book where he says this to mean that the state shouldn't be abolished (as in, ah..."forcibly withered," ahem) when literally in the same part he said that the state was abolished as the state.

      he also suggested that the state's armed people would need to be replaced by a proletarian armed people, which is also fundamentally irreconcilable with the passivity most people presume by the phrase "withering away." engels also, i shit you not, followed his little "state should wither away" bit by telling anarchists and opportunists (basically anyone less revolutionary-minded than him) to piss off.

      and yet, according to the incensed tone of this chapter, people took him to mean that the state shouldn't be actively abolished.

      i don't actually claim to know if that is what he meant or not -- regardless of if lenin is just being too defensive of one of his theoryblorbos who has just managed to pull some menshie theory out of his ass even if he immediately shit-talked mensheviks after, this is why leftist theory should be as fleetingly magniloquent as possible. i know we love to jack our own hogs about intellectualism (on god this piece of text uses the word 'philistine' so loosely i had to check the definition to make sure i hadn't forgotten what it meant), but let's all be serious.

      the last bit of this section is just lenin giving a rundown on the revolution process, which i will neither explicate or expand on, just 'cause.

      i find a lot of theory to be a mixed of intoxicatingly stimulating keys to a greater understanding of society and frustratingly fustian nothingburger politics, so some sections i might only cover briefly or skip entirely. we'll see when i get around to it...

    • on the state and the revolution, chapter 2, by vladimir lenin

      been a little while! funny, because i assumed i'd blow through this before getting saddled with a ton of midterms. anyway, same as last time; here it is for free.

      2.1 - the eve of revolution

      more defending marx's intended statism against the misinterpretations of kautskyists, social democrats, and similar, who believe that the existence of the state as the framework it currently is in is compatible with marxism, when marx himself stated that the state would be "the proletariat organized as the ruling class." in other words, all vestiges of the elitism of the old state would need to be removed for whatever transition of power to truly be marxist.

      to the point of lenin, here, he admits that this sounds oppressive...because it is. yes, the state will exist as it always has: as a means of one class to keep another out of power. in the marxist instance, though, the state is now in the hands of the proletariat, who will henceforth be using it to keep the bourgeoisie and capitalists out of state power to prevent the re-establishment of capitalism. if you ask me, this inherent point of marxist communism kind of illustrates why i personally consider china a failed communist state; or at the very least, a communist state so opportunist it can no longer be considered the paragon of its own endemic brand of communism (marxism-leninism-maoism, aka the second-most interesting type of mlm out of three).

      "The petty-bourgeois democrats, those sham socialists who replaced the class struggle by dreams of class harmony, even pictured the socialist transformation in a dreamy fashion -- not as the overthrow of the rule of the exploiting class, but as the peaceful submission of the minority to the majority which has become aware of its aims. This petty-bourgeois utopia, which is inseparable from the idea of the state being above classes, led in practice to the betrayal of the interests of the working classes, as was shown, for example, by the history of the French revolutions of 1848 and 1871, and by the experience of "socialist" participation in bourgeois Cabinets in Britain, France, Italy and other countries at the turn of the century."

      he sure is ruled up, eh? i think i would be too if people kept getting a little too optimistic about the nature of man and completely janking my and my inspirations' theories by just completely misconstruing ideas and redacting essential components of meaningful social change -- especially when it made people take my entire movement less seriously. glad the poor fuck never lived to see gorbachev.

      he goes on to talk a little bit about how the proletarians are the only people who have the motive and means to revolt, but i'm less anxious to dissect this given that this is an entirely regional philosophy. mao zedong, for example, is credited with the maoist sect particularly because he adjusted this leninist idea to the chinese peasant class. if i may be shallow, a lot of the fun of this is interpreting these classic ideas with a modern lens, and to blunt, i would love an answer on how exactly to do that here. proletariat exceptionalism seems less and less realistic by the day in the new age of automated assembly.

      2.2 - the revolution summed up

      a rousing title, to be certain. lenin gives quotes from a lesser-known piece by marx that actually talks a bit more about the state rather than leaving it alone in abstraction as was done before. he claims that during prior revolutions, including the french revolution, it only served to strengthen and perfect the state. and i can see that!

      lots of revolts end up in suffrage for a group or what-have-you, something i refuse to even refer to as incrementalism. the state loves nothing more to placate revolutionaries and naysayers through incidental and meaningless wins at the eleventh hour, and you can see it here at home with things like the civil rights act we all love so much. pres. johnson only made that choice because the black ex-soldiers realized they almost died for a state that treats them like shit and were getting irate, and because the ussr was kicking their ass on the global stage in regards to claiming the moral high ground. arguments of this kind are related to derrick bell's theory of interest convergence, and can be used to interpret events like brown v. board and even obergefell v. hodges (which is partially what my thesis is on! yahoo!)

      back to commie shit. while we were gone, lenin was cursing karl kautsky and socdems again, so we didn't miss much. some more political drama from the immediate post-revolution: the mensheviks and socdems went right for the cushy ministerial positions after the revolt, not even considering changing them or their roles. under their rule, the smashing of the state wouldn't've occurred. this was apparently replicated in a great many number of countries the world across -- not the revolt bit, just how bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie fight for powerful state positions in a rapidly-strengthening state.

      2.3 - the presentation of the question by marx in 1852

      perhaps less rousing, but we're already mostly through the second part! already, it presents a sort of novel idea, at least to me as a uni student: the identifying and unique thing about marx's theory is not the class struggle. it predates him and he admits as much, and was indeed written on by bourgeoisie scholars before he elaborated. lenin extrapolates a bit to say that, therefore, one who puts stock into the idea of class struggle is not necessarily a marxist, for better or for worse. it can be made acceptable to the bourgeoisie, and it is by this that we see bourgeoisie people, sympathetic to the plight of the working class, attempt to make things a bit more equitable by retaining the state power but using it in ways that could appear to benefit proles a little. that's a more generous description of sympathetic bourgeoisie than i think most people would really be, but hey.

      of course, then, upon hearing of this sad sad struggle, pearl-clutching bourgeoisie people, petty-bourgeoisie people, and even class-unawares proletarians hear about this 'dictatorship' of the proletariat and say well fucking hold on now! that's just more conflict and more oppression and by that i will just not abide or hope for. to their credit, i understand that as a knee-jerk response, but beyond any instinctive revulsion to conflict, it betrays a lack of nuanced understanding of both the present class structure and the true intent of the new state.

      this sympathy to class struggle but disdain for revolution in the form which marx prescribed thus marks the philistine (to use lenin's favorite word) an opportunist; or, one who betrays the tenets of marx in any context, but typically for some sort of advantage to themself or their ends.

      "opportunism does not extend recognition of the class struggle to the cardinal point, to the period of transition from capitalism to communism, of the overthrow and the complete abolition of the bourgeoisie."

      in the end, lenin claims, the goal is for the proletarians to overthrow the bourgeoisie in violent struggle, eradicate the state as it is, recreate the state in the image of the proletarians' needs and demands while keeping bourgeoisie out until it is such that there ARE no proletarians and no bourgeoisie, just a classless, equal society, where the state is controlled by the people in an equitable manner of whatever flavor of your choosing.