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Otter

Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

Recommended Posts

GTA36362355

f*ckin anarchists can't coordinate anything

anarchists cant organize sh*t tho

Rebellion is action without planned issue-it is spontaneous protestation. -Albert Camus

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make total destroy

happy holidays

 

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Fonz

Happy holidays, comrades!

t0hjex.jpg

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Fonz

Oh, look: http://inter.kke.gr/en/articles/To-clarify-certain-issues/

Turns out the anti-communist, Stalinist clowns at the KKE are also homophobes. Who woulda thunk? Just a bunch of opportunistic, counterrevolutionary social democrats on crack, as all Stalinists are.

Edited by Black_MiD

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make total destroy

The crazy part is, this is nothing new. Up until the 90s, they literally used to consider homosexuality as a product of capitalism, like so many other M-L parties.

 

Trust me tho dude, they do some totally r-r-r-revolutionary stuff, like evicting an anarchist squat housing refugees and claiming 'ownership' over the building, or helping police defend parliament from a few thousand anarchists.

Edited by make total destroy

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Fonz

The crazy part is, this is nothing new. Up until the 90s, they literally used to consider homosexuality as a product of capitalism, like so many other M-L parties.

 

Trust me tho dude, they do some totally r-r-r-revolutionary stuff, like evicting an anarchist squat housing refugees and claiming 'ownership' over the building, or helping police defend parliament from a few thousand anarchists.

Oh, dang. I was reading that last article earlier today, but didn't know about the refugee squat. It's bad enough that they literally prevented a revolution, but claiming ownership over a refugee shelter is something only the tankiest of tankies could think of. Maybe they felt the building was a revisionist-capitalist-imperialist-Trotskyite invention?

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CBH

The KKE's reasoning on that civil partnerships vote is pretty brocialist, yeah. They're going for the old "after the revolution it doesn't matter anyway" copout routine which is hardly consistent with their usual positions. I'm still not surprised by it, they're more than a little ossified.

 

Accusing them of "literally preventing a revolution" is a bit of a reach, though. Occupying or burning down a parliament building on it's own does nothing to overthrow a state. It's just a gesture; even if the greek anarchists dismantled it brick by brick and threw it in the sea all that'd happen is MPs would meet somewhere else the next day. Though this doesn't justify or even explain why the KKE would bother to send it's people to defend it, if they did.

Edited by CBH

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Fonz

Accusing them of "literally preventing a revolution" is a bit of a reach, though. Occupying or burning down a parliament building on it's own does nothing to overthrow a state. It's just a gesture; even if the greek anarchists dismantled it brick by brick and threw it in the sea all that'd happen is MPs would meet somewhere else the next day.

Come on, that's not what this is about. You know these things don't work out over a single issue. Dismantling the Greek parliament is a direct attack on the state, and it was a strong uprising anyhow, which surely would have been followed by other forms of revolt. The KKE, as a party of capital, wanted to maintain their position. Keep in mind it wasn't just anarchists revolting, there were quite a few libertarian Marxists around. I am one and I would have been with the anarchists that day. The sight of self-described communists protecting bourgie institutions against those who should be their comrades (leftcoms, lib Marxists, anarchists) is as depressing as it is ironic.

Edited by Black_MiD

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CBH

Yes, I pretty much agree with you that they shouldn't have protected parliament.

 

Wouldn't call the KKE a party of capital though. Just naff.

Edited by CBH

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Ukeman5

You guys seem like just the right lot to ask. I'm Ukeman btw. Scottish so I'm naturally a child of the left! I am currently studying social sciences at uni and my history essay can either be on the extent to which Lenin contributed to the October revolution or if leninism laid the foundations of stalinism (the second one we haven't actually studied fully but it's a choice) it's due relatively soon so if I could have tour opinions on which would probably be the easiest to do roughly you would all be a tremendous help!

 

Keep plotting the revolution!

Ukeman

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Fonz

Ukeman, Lenin and Trotsky were the main militarily architects of the October Revolution. The Bolsheviks also had the support of the anarchist Black Army and other socialist parties. The Red and Black armies later fought each other in the Civil War, ending in 1922, with the formation of the USSR.

They were genuine socialists, yes, and one of Lenin's main concerns was "All Power to the Soviets!", the soviets being workers' councils. The problem was that, since the Russian Empire was a particularly reactionary monarchy and capitalism hadn't quite developed there, Lenin felt (wrongly IMO) that it was necessary to get an artificial market going on to let capitalism develop--this was the NEP. Although he did undermine the power of the soviets, he saw this as a temporary measure and wanted to restore it, at least in principle. Another reason for the degeneration of the USSR was the failure of the German Revolution, with Rosa Luxemburg and Liebknecht being murdered and the Sparts being put down by the imperialists and the traitorous SPD. Rosa Luxemburg was also pretty critical of the authoritarian turn that the October Revolution was taking.

 

Did Lenin lay out the foundations of Stalinism? I don't think so. Obviously he wasn't a saint, and I feel that his treatment of the Black Army was in error and policies like War Communism were a disgrace. Trotsky, as much as I like him, also made terrible decisions (crushing the Kronstadt sailors' uprising). Both were still great thinkers, though. Lenin's main mistakes were taking and not restoring soviet power as well not purging Stalin soon enough (although he did call for Stalin's removal in his testament). Stalinism was built on historical revisionism and purging communists, suppressing socialist revolutions and intense state capitalism. There's this idea that it would have been fine and dandy had Trotsky taken power, but I don't buy it. First of all, it borders on Great Man theory, and more importantly, it was Trotsky's exile that led him to analyse the USSR clearly and to criticize it in terms of authoritarianism and also some nationalism that had emerged. So, if Trotsky hadn't been exiled, he might not have come to the more libertarian Marxist vision he later developed.

 

Stalinism is really unlike anything else. Sure, Lenin, Trotsky, Kamenev etc. made mistakes, but, even though some of their actions were misguided, they never purged the other original revolutionaries to try to erase them from history, as Stalin did. They didn't internationally suppress communist revolutions, which both the Stalinist and the post-Stalinist USSR did. Besides, Lenin was extremely opposed to cults of personality and pretty libertarian. The Bolsheviks were originally part of the council communist movement and it was only when Lenin undermined the soviets that he denounced left communism as an "infantile disorder", and that whole essay was more of a propaganda tool than serious criticism anyway. The main problem, of course, was the removal of workers from political power, so, in that sense, he was partly responsible for Stalinism and the destruction of socialism. Rosa Luxemburg outlined some problems with the Russian Revolution, even though she supported the revolution itself. You can read that here, it's a short one.

 

I suggest taking the second theme, Lenin's responsibility for Stalinism, since it's an easier thing to write about. Lenin's contribution to the October Revolution is a huge topic, as is the entire Russian Revolution, but if you want to read about it when you have more time, check out Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution and John Reed's Ten Days that Shook the World.

 

Hope that helps. Good luck with the essay!

 

edit: It might be worth looking into the Bavarian Soviet Republic that was established after Rosa Luxemburg's death, but it was put down quickly. Still a pretty nice bit of history for council communism.

Edited by Black_MiD

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Ukeman5

Wow the first time I venture out of the gta forum gta bit and I get this sort of response! Honestly I can't tell you how thankful I am! You even went through the effort to include some sources so honestly thanks!

 

 

1. How important was Lenin's role to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution?

 

2. "stalinism was the natural consequence of Leninism " how accurate is this statement?

 

I have a first world war one but I'm saving that for my exam as I've looked at it for years now and know it better.

 

Those are my two essay question options. The only thing that puts me off two is the fact that I've barely studied it and stalinism. Touched upon the NEP and such and "war Communism " but that's about it. If it's relatively straightforward as you say though I'm pretty much on board to do that one.

 

As for now I need to study American history from just after the civil war until the civil rights movement in post war America. Shouldn't be to bad. Just a shame my American imperialism topic won't come up!

 

Once again you have my deepest thanks!

Edited by Ukeman5

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Fonz

No problem, and feel free to ask anything else. I'm sure all the comrades here would be glad to help. That's a pretty cool period, by the way! There were a lot of pro-labor movements popping up at the time and even the Republican Party with Lincoln was a leftist group, at least in part. The First International had some correspondence with him. Good luck both with the essay and the exam, comrade!

Edited by Black_MiD

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Ukeman5

Aye thanks! I feel more than welcomed. Yes it's more interesting than I thought it would be when I started. Indeed there was. It's very interesting how the two parties have totally shifted and even how the voting pattern (north vs south) for republicans and Democrats has changed. The refreshing thing about it though with regards to the labour aspect is that things sort of happened. I'm from the UK so it's by in large reform and minor arrests but with us history you have events such as the Homestead strike. Anyway yeah I digress, history has always been very much my thing. Thanks very much for the luck I will very much need it!

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make total destroy

 

2. "stalinism was the natural consequence of Leninism " how accurate is this statement?

 

 

'Stalinism' is generally just a less-than-friendly term for Marxism-Leninism. It's typically not self-applied.

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Fonz

Some of Lenin's stuff like The State and Revolution was pretty great and in line with libsoc, though. Kind of depressing that he took an authoritarian stance later on. I doubt tankies read any Marx, Engels or even Lenin, though. They probably just read whatever Stalin said they wrote. A devoted tankie linked Stalin's essay "Anarchism vs Socialism" as a legitimate critique the other day. It's so dishonest it hurts.

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Ukeman5

 

 

'Stalinism' is generally just a less-than-friendly term for Marxism-Leninism. It's typically not self-applied.

From what I've gathered that tends to be the case but actually they do merit separation (particularly if you compare early leninist thought and Russia immediately after the revolution). Regardless the essay I believe does require me to distinguish between the two and debate if they are of exactly the same ilk, if leninism (particularly war Communism and such) laid the foundations for stalinism. In essence did such policies enable Stalin to create his authoritarian state.

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Clem Fandango

In essence did such policies enable Stalin to create his authoritarian state.

 

You'd have a hard time arguing anything else.

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CBH

Some of Lenin's stuff like The State and Revolution was pretty great and in line with libsoc, though. Kind of depressing that he took an authoritarian stance later on.

A revolution is an authoritarian act, it's the will of one segment of society being imposed on the rest using force. If you're a revolutionary who wants to win, then you're going to increase your use of force to overwhelm those who resist.

___

 

As for "Stalinism":

 

What shows up in Bourgeois history again and again has been called Great Man Theory, the idea that history happens by An Important Person showing up and Doing It. It's always hyperfocused on individuals who credit and blame can be assigned. Truthfully, the masses make history. Stalin was a figurehead and doubtless made a lot of important decisions, but he couldn't be in every office in every town doing every job.

 

It's better to think about the decisions and actions of everyone, rather than just one. If you replace one person out of a hundred the overall difference is slight. People come in and out of important activity all the time, already, because they are born at different times and die at different times. The world doesn't stop for any of them.

 

The Great Man style worldview is for this reason anti-Marxist. It was very useful for the CPSU leadership though; the same incompetent arsekissers and suck-ups who sat on Stalin's cabinet during his life stayed there after his death. They just pinned their collective actions on the dead man and kept on ruling the country until they died of old age.

 

What you call "Stalinism" is a natural continuation of history, there is no real dividing line between what came before and what came after except that which you imagine. The era Leninism was created in lead to "Stalinism", which lead to "Kruchchevism", etc etc until you get to "Putinism", and whoever comes after that. It says nothing about Leninism as theory, Leninism has been applied plenty of times without a guy called Joe materializing from the ether.

 

___

 

As an aside the annoying thing about the term "Stalinism" is that it's used to describe people as if it was an ideology. It's rather weird, because Stalin's works of Political Theory are relatively minor and mostly happened contemporary with Lenin's work, they are Leninism in the same way that Engels' work is Marxism.

 

(Or is someone gonna come in here and denounce 1913's Marxism and the national question as un-Leninist, because lol)

 

What you get left with as being "Stalinism" is the actions unique to the Soviet Government during his life, whatever you believe those are. "Stalinist" used to describe someone comes with that baggage and makes no sense whatsoever. The mechanization of agriculture was a task the USSR needed to do, but I've never seen anyone in described as a "Stalinist" in the modern day hold up a sign saying "More Tractors NOW!"

Edited by CBH

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Fonz

Yeah, no. A revolution is an authoritarian act in the sense that it is supposed to establish the working class's authority, not to get a party elite in power. In other words, it's supposed to be a dictatorship of the proletariat, not over the proletariat. His removal of workers from power and the dissolution of the soviets which Stalin later consolidated makes any talk of socialism in the USSR kind of a joke.

 

I'm not much of a fan of ML, but I wouldn't call all MLs Stalinists. Just the really obsessed and dogmatic ones... the ones who take scumbags like Grover Furr seriously, for instance. Some just follow Marx and Lenin without paying attention to Stalin's useless, intellectually dishonest musings, but most get caught up in apologia and worship of state capitalism. Besides, tankie is a much better term because it covers those who support every single action of the USSR, including post-Stalin.

 

The fact that seem to you realize that Great Man theory is bullsh*t makes me wonder why you have a Stalin avatar anyway. You know, the usual defense of Stalin seems to be that "he" industrialized the USSR/"he" defeated Hitler etc., but that kind of cult of personality is not only un-Marxist and also frankly insulting to the millions who actually modernized the country through hard work under the state capitalist machine. To the worker, it doesn't matter much whether they're being exploited by a private capitalist or by state bureaucrats. If it owns property like a capitalist, sells for profit like a capitalist and extracts surplus value like a capitalist... well, it's probably capitalism you're dealing with.

 

I won't deny that it is pretty hilarious to see how tankies bring up some out of context quotes from Critique of the Gotha Program to say that the Soviet Union had socialist™ wages but then cut it off right before the distinction between money and labor certificates is made.

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CBH

I don't buy into the "State capitalism" theory. The Soviet economy was planned one that suppressed the law of value, there was no profit motivation and no market, any similarity with capitalism begins and ends with wage labour - I call this a socialist economy. To me what's important when defining if a state is socialist beyond pure economics is the class character of the vanguard party, and therefore what purpose the products of human labour are put to. if that vanguard fills with capitalist roadsters then socialism in an economic sense will be dismantled one way or another.

 

This is all a digression, but the State cap/Socialist slapfight boils down to if you want the way worker's control of the means of production to be exercised directly or though an organization. In a purely moral stance the former is preferable, but out of feasibility I choose the latter. Both have extremely significant risks. "State capitalism", as a term, just says "If it doesn't fit my criteria of socialism, then it must be capitalism" which makes no sense.

 

As for my Stalin avatar, I don't buy into the cult of personality, but I also don't dislike the guy either. He was another one of the team, and if they didn't find him useful they wouldn't have kept him around.

Edited by CBH

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Fonz

You seem to think that abolishing a market=socialism for some reason. No, in fact there are socialist economic views that incorporate markets, such as market socialism or mutualism. The similarities with capitalism are: wage labor, classes, a state, extraction of surplus value and capital. It doesn't matter what the products or the profit is used for, it's not socialism unless workers own and control the means of production. Otherwise what you have is not socialism, but social democracy on crack.

 

This is all a digression, but the State cap/Socialist slapfight boils down to if you want the way worker's control of the means of production to be exercised directly or though an organization. In a purely moral stance the former is preferable, but out of feasibility I choose the latter.

Actual worker control is the main distinctive feature of socialism. "Controlling it through an organization" is such a vague phrase that it can even regular wage labor in a capitalist society.

As for feasibility,

 

 

Workers can manage themselves just fine, thank you very much.

 

"State capitalism", as a term, just says "If it doesn't fit my criteria of socialism, then it must be capitalism" which makes no sense.

I'm not sectarian. Although I have my theoretical preferences, I'm not going to oppose a society that abolishes capitalism through a different form of socialism. The only requirement is meeting the basic definition of socialism, i.e. social/worker ownership of the means of production.

 

As for my Stalin avatar, I don't buy into the cult of personality, but I also don't dislike the guy either. He was another one of the team, and if they didn't find him useful they wouldn't have kept him around.

Yes. I too like to purge my teammates and then try to erase them from history. Perfectly reasonable!

Edited by Black_MiD

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CBH

You seem to think that abolishing a market=socialism for some reason. No, in fact there are socialist economic views that incorporate markets, such as market socialism or mutualism.

"Market socialism" isn't socialism, it is market.

 

 

The similarities with capitalism are: wage labor, classes, a state, extraction of surplus value and capital. It doesn't matter what the products or the profit is used for, it's not socialism unless workers own and control the means of production. Otherwise what you have is not socialism, but social democracy on crack.

This is where you're going to get very mad:

 

A state is not a unique feature of capitalism. Any form of governing organization over a defined territory is a state, even if you forbid calling it that. "Statism" as a concept reminds me of when little kids say "supposably".

 

Classes in the socialist countries (my definition, not yours) were being abolished - clearly this was unsuccessful. I do not subscribe to the idea that being a communist party member of any importance automatically makes a person bourgeois.

 

With that in mind, for the time the communist parties were still lead by the working classes, for the working classes, then the workers did own and control the means of production. That this manifested as an organization does not make it untrue.

 

 

 

This is all a digression, but the State cap/Socialist slapfight boils down to if you want the way worker's control of the means of production to be exercised directly or though an organization. In a purely moral stance the former is preferable, but out of feasibility I choose the latter.

Actual worker control is the main distinctive feature of socialism. "Controlling it through an organization" is such a vague phrase that it can even regular wage labor in a capitalist society.

As for feasibility,

 

 

Workers can manage themselves just fine, thank you very much.

 

This is where we part ways completely. The your idea of socialism is simply to give every employee of a firm a direct vote on it's management, and then... that's it. None of the problems of society would be solved, the capitalist economy would be kept, the only difference is that private firms would have a flat hierarchy instead of a boss.

 

Because these firms still operate as market entities, they still have to obey market rules. They still have to generate profit. You're still going to get underemployment and unemployment. You're still going to get them selling harmful things because it is profitable, or not selling useful things because they're unprofitable.

 

What makes it even worse is that you've got a huge anti-state boner. So now market and industry regulations don't exist. Neither does the welfare system. Everyone lucky enough to have a job is fine but the unlucky are screwed.

 

This is an-cap nonsense but with "captains of industry" replaced by the co-op. Count me out.

 

 

Yes. I too like to purge my teammates and then try to erase them from history. Perfectly reasonable!

laffs

Edited by CBH

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Fonz
"Market socialism" isn't socialism, it is market.

LOL. Look, I have my own critiques and disagreements with market socialism (esp. because it can't resolve the surplus value issue), but to say it isn't socialism is a bit of a joke.

 

This is where you're going to get very mad:

 

A state is not a unique feature of capitalism. Any form of governing organization over a defined territory is a state, even if you forbid calling it that. "Statism" as a concept reminds me of when little kids say "supposably".

Obviously the state isn't a unique feature of capitalism. it is, however, antithetical to communism. Might want to brush up on that Marxism, eh? And no, a form of governing a defined territory isn't a state. Recommended reading: The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

 

"The society which organizes production anew on the basis of free and equal association of the producers will put the whole state machinery where it will then belong—into the museum of antiquities, next to the spinning wheel and the bronze ax."—Engels

 

And check out this cool thing by Marx himself:

"Let us finally imagine, for a change, an association of free men, working with the means of production held in common, and expending their many different forms of labour-power in full self-awareness as one single social labour force. All the characteristics of Robinson's labour are represented, but with the difference that they are social instead of individual."

 

With that in mind, for the time the communist parties were still lead by the working classes, for the working classes, then the workers did own and control the means of production. That this manifested as an organization does not make it untrue.

Absolutely. Too bad that was only a pretty short period. With that in mind, you might want to look into the concept of a soviet.

 

Also, here's a bonus: James Connolly putting down the USSR's "socialism" before it was even born:

 

"State ownership and control is not necessarily Socialism - if it were, then the Army, the Navy, the Police, the Judges, the Jailers, the Informers, and the Hangmen, all would all be Socialist functionaries, as they are State officials - but the ownership by the State of all the land and materials for labour, combined with the co-operative control by the workers of such land and materials, would be Socialism." (1899)

 

"All differences of class must be abolished by transferring the ownership of the means of production and of life, which is to-day a power of exploitation and oppression in the hands of a single class, from that class to the whole body of citizens, the organised community. For the disorderly and abusive rule of the minority must be substituted the universal co-operation of citizens associated in the joint ownership of the means of labour and liberty. And that is why the essential aim of Socialism, whether collectivist or communist, is to transform capitalist property into social property."—Jean Jaurès

 

This is where we part ways completely. The your idea of socialism is simply to give every employee of a firm a direct vote on it's management, and then... that's it. None of the problems of society would be solved, the capitalist economy would be kept, the only difference is that private firms would have a flat hierarchy instead of a boss.

Holy sh*t, this is like reading Stalin's "polemics". If you could spare the misrepresentation of my views, that would be great. I'm not a market socialist, bud, I'm against the idea of a market (for legitimate economic reasons, though, not because of paternalism towards the working class, like you) and I defend its replacement by a decentralized, planned economy through workers' councils—a sort of soviet republic (kind of what the USSR was supposed to be, except actually socialist)—and work from there. My "anti-state boner" is the same as every other Marxist's.

 

I brought up those examples to counter your assertion that workers' self-management was unfeasible and that they needed some charitable state capitalist to look after them. I'm fully aware that they exist within a market economy. My point was about the form of management, not the overall economic framework. Stop being intellectually dishonest. As far as can I see, the only people who want to preserve capital are tankies.

Edited by Black_MiD

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Clem Fandango
Because these firms still operate as market entities, they still have to obey market rules. They still have to generate profit. You're still going to get underemployment and unemployment. You're still going to get them selling harmful things because it is profitable, or not selling useful things because they're unprofitable.

 

What makes it even worse is that you've got a huge anti-state boner. So now market and industry regulations don't exist. Neither does the welfare system. Everyone lucky enough to have a job is fine but the unlucky are screwed.

That's not a social revolution though, it's an economic restructuring. The idea is to have people behave differently without a bludgeon over their heads.

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Ukeman5

Hello comrades! It is me again. Pestering you with my essay problems.

 

2. How important was Lenin's role to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution? (my phone has remembered this sentence. Wasn't aware it shared my political alignment!)

 

3." stalinism was the natural consequence of Leninism". How accurate is this statement?

 

Those are my options. 3. Requires a little more Reading on the early Stalin era as we didn't cover that. So in your opinion which would you say is easier? Not that it is in any way an easy Subject area!

 

Currently I am gravitating towards 3. Just because it seems slightly more interesting, a little different and would give me extra Marks as we haven't covered the subject area fully. I have until the 28th and it's a relatively small small essay.

 

Your help is, as always, very much appreciated!

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El Dildo

I'll just leave this here...

 

 

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sivispacem

His Kafkaesque collapse has been f*cking hilarious. From wealthy tosspot to most hated man on the internet to probably 20 years in prison.

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Niobium

i'm surprised he hasn't been assassinated yet

 

also i'm not sure if he actually thinks he is doing good things and is delusional, or if he is just a manipulative sociopath who doesn't give a fu*k. i think he's both

Edited by Niobium

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