Tips for arguing socialism

Let us collect some tips & tricks when discussing with normies.

Here is a useful series for the start:

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Normies don't give a shit about that

Roots are for vegetables. You have veggie brain.

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Never concede on "USSR bad" or "socialism failed", you don't have to go full tankie but it's good to have some facts on hand about the quality of life and scientific advancements in the USSR to show that it wasn't HELL GULAG 100% of the time. Politely but firmly say that while the USSR had mistakes and excesses it had improved the lives of its peoples by a lot. Trying to go "b-but it was state capitalism" or just ignoring Soviet bashing and saying "we'll do it differently this time" generally means you already lost and the other guy thinks you're an "utopian idealist" not worth arguing with.

Also "A Liberal Professor on Equality" never gets old.

Alternatively, accept the state capitalist thesis but argue that doesn't imply much of an argument against it (which is actually what I believe).

I also don't really care much about "winning" a "debate", because you will wrap yourself up into all kinds of arguments that are about one-upping your debate opponent. Kind of a waste of time tbh. If I'm talking Marxism it's usually using Marxist critiques of capitalism, which I think is productive. If a person has dug in their heels about the Soviet Union then there's usually no point in arguing. If they want to discuss it openly and fairly then that's another thing but that's not very common. If someone has dug in their heels and is screaming about bodycounts and I still bother to engage I'll start sounding like an insane Maoist newspaper in the 1960s and start talking about how the first great wave of proletarian revolutions emerged after the capitalist imperialist powers sent millions of their own citizens to their deaths in barbed wire in World War I.

Also to address this ^ in a more serious way, there's this weird temptation (mainly here) that people feel like they need to recruit what are effectively neo-Nazis over to the cause of socialism, instead of organizing ordinary proletarians who exist by the millions. The only reason I think this has much sway here is because most people here are weird incels who exist in the same internet milieu as the Nazis so they seem like the people you need to win over, but I think this is a mistake, and it's not much different from other socialists thinking they need to win over woke libs because they share the same social circles as them. Basically, it's telling the Nazis they're not wrong to want what they want, but they can't get it with Nazism so they should become socialists (which will give it to them). But that's nuts and it comes across as lying to them, basically, although I don't know if you are deliberately lying. Anyways, I don't think Nazis -- or most people for that matter -- actually want what they think they want.

It was state capitalism, but that was good, because it condensed what took generations to do under individualist capitalism into a few short decades.

It took the USSR 44 years to do what the US did in 185 years. Get a man in space.

Before arguing with anyone, why don't you read a fucking book?

Not the one you're replying to but state capitalism should stop being a fucking trigger, most people use it wrong but it can have valid uses.
This can also unscare the normies, especially if they have a mild Ostalgia, I've personally noticed that telling people irl that , at worst, the USSR was like one giant company with the best possible boss around and the best benefits warms them to the idea.
Especially if you start pulling out all those pools and libraries and concert halls and how counterrevolution ruined them.

Regarding Nazis just keep shilling Yugo and DDR, insist that capitalism needs open borders and use the Strasser rift, there's no need to missell or hide anything and the 'market' part of Tito can be easily cured with a history lesson and Cockshottian bullying.

There's something for everyone, Zig Forums just likes white people in uniforms a lot.

But I agree that structural critique, explaining how the shit that's wrong is a feature and not a bug of capitalism, is the best way, better than arguing about the past. And if they say the USSR collapsed there's the late stage capitalism argument and you can play the 'neutral', mapping Soviet collapse to the American one.

I keep using this one with my old man, he always defers to
Is this just US propaganda?
I already know where the answer is

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what's this?

You should read this one.

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I've had liberals who have introduced nuclear-tier arguments like the KPD were allied with the Nazi Party, and since the KPD had ties with the USSR then that means that fascism = communism. This is like the shock and awe strategy but instead of overwhelming arms it's overwhelming stupidity meant to throw you off and argue about weird minutia where both Nazi party members and KPD members participated in an independent strike together or something. This is a twofold counter - trying to assuage the fact that the West openly embraced fascists and to create a moral equivalence between the USSR and Nazi Germany, almost certainty angling to bring up muh kulaks. Simply put, don't let them try to pothole you with weird and minor events, instead counter these stuff with a wider historical narrative of how the USSR defeated and purged Nazism as well as denazified East Germany, whereas the West embraced many fascists and had them actively hold power and make laws in West Germany, serve in NATO armies, and other like activities.

If the crises demonstrate the incapacity of the bourgeoisie for managing any longer modern productive forces, the transformation of the great establishments for production and distribution into joint-stock companies and state property shows how unnecessary the bourgeoisie are for that purpose. All the social functions of the capitalist are now performed by salaried employees. The capitalist has no further social function than that of pocketing dividends, tearing off coupons, and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists despoil one another of their capital. At first the capitalist mode of production forces out the workers. Now it forces out the capitalists, and reduces them, just as it reduced the workers, to the ranks of the surplus population, although not immediately into those of the industrial reserve army.

But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital.

thanks for the pdf.

Like Istvan Meszaros books where he argues that USSR was a state capitalism because while they free themselves from capitalism, they could not free themselves from the capital?

I always compare it with nuclear energy: just because Chernobyl and Fukushima happened doesn't mean you should stop pursuing its efficient energy source. Same applies with socialism. You should learn from its mistakes and improve your theory and practise.
Just like Athenas wasn't the end of democracy, the USSR won't be the end of socialism.

I'm going to read those when I have time, but is there any credible theory of state capitalist operating in USSR after the NEP? Most of the time those theories resort to either extreme grasping at straws by which point everything might be capitalist in some way or form, or either name things which aren't socialist, but aren't inherently capitalist either (money, wage labor, markets).

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Most of the times theorists of state capitalism take it to the extreme and will claim that even factory per se is somehow capitalist. If you read Marx thoroughly, I don't think you can make the argument that the USSR was state-capiralist from a Marxist perspective. Marx didn't think co-ops are the capitalist mode of production (Capital Vol. III), he thought co-ops + planned economy is socialism (Civil War in France) and that the same metrics that rule commodity exchange rule distribution in socialism, namely labour time (Critique of the Gotha Program) as long as their is no exchange-value based exchange between individual producers (so even if the USSR was just "one giant firm" it's not capitalist because exchanges within a firm aren't commodity exchanges [Capital Vol. I]). These extremist views like that "the law value" still existed isn't really supported in Marx, especially since Marx barely used that term. Clearly the observable capitalist laws the labour theory of value describes can't be observed in the USSR.

Hey guys, I'm a normie. The thing I find the dumbest about your worldview is that everything is supposed to be so bad when it really isn't, especially in Northern Europe. I don't get why the rest of the world isn't like us. The meme answer I get is "muh imperialism", but most of what we consume comes from other rich countries (minerals from Chile/Australia, wood from Sweden/Canada/Finland, corn from USA and so on) the exceptions are sugar/fruit from Brazil which doesn't exactly make up the backbone of our society. The reason I see that the third world is so impoverished is because we just got the head start and they still suffer the effects of colonialism, but eventually they'll get on our level. So the whole "revolution!" calling is pure cringe to me as a comfortably living european.

I hope that's a bait

I've been working on this recently:

Questions non-Marxists are unable to answer:

1.Do we live in history or after it–that is, has humanity completed its development or is it still developing?
a. If it has completed its development, why do we find such serious yet easily resolvable flaws as homelessness, hunger, and war?
b. If it has not completed its development, why would we not expect humanity to develop past capitalism, a system which has only been dominant for a few hundred years, and in that time has suffered numerous crises?

2. If capitalism is capable of resolving homelessness, why have we not seen it happen/what is preventing it from happening?

3. What is the driving force behind historical development?

4. If there is no such thing as class conflict, and all of the people's interests are reconciliable, then what is the point of government?
a. If there are irreconciliable differences between groups of people, is this not a tacit admission of the existence of conflicting material interests?

5. Why has the rise in productivity not been accompanied by a decline in working hours?

6. In a world where all labor is automated, under our current system, would we have universal wealth or universal unemployment?
a. Does this problem of unemployment under advanced technology not imply a limitation imposed by our current social organization?
b. Under what form of organization would there not be a problem of “robots taking all the jobs”?


The purpose of it is to force people to draw out the contradictions in their worldview. Obviously some people, particularly right wingers, will just maintain insane levels of dissonance, but they will look dumb in front of other people.

1b) Does this mean we will make up new political systems even after communism? And secondly, all of large-scale society has always been based around property rights, ever since the agricultural revolution. Communism won't work with societies with millions of inhabitants.
5. Because products have gotten cheaper, like PCs, washing machines, fruit and all else, which is a result of the productivity. So our purchasing power has skyrocketed.
6. Not all labour will be replaced with automation, that is a silly notion. Ask anyone working in the automation industry and they'll tell you that.

What was the comment about?

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I'm going to play the devil advocate too.
Maybe. I don't like this kind of speculation since it's so much in the future, thinking about it won't do much.
Communism doesn't mean everyone has a say in everything and can enter everyone house at his will. That's a stawman which didn't exist even at times of primitivism.
Wages don't follow the rise of productive for something like 30 years. I can post the source if you don't believe me.
Call me a revisionist but if anything of Marx has to be rejected or interpreted differently, it's the phase "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". I think a society in which necessary labour would be an hour or so is communism.

The truth is that we live before history proper: in proto-history

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My impression is that Marx thought socialism was the free and spontaneous exchange of producers without a state, without commodity production, and without wage labor. The Soviet Union had commodities, wage labor and well… the spontaneity is more contested but it probably doesn't matter if you're producing commodities (and exchanged these commodities between state-owned enterprises). The Soviets rebooted the theory of what socialism "is" by saying it's a workers' state which owns the means of production but that's a distinctly Soviet theory. But this also doesn't mean in my view that this is a "bad" thing as Trotskyists or leftcoms will argue.

What does your country export? Basically, you live in a "nice" imperialist country.

The point here is that the American state is "bad cop" of imperialism for many reasons that smashes other countries that get in the way. Your country is the "good cop" and you're a good cop bootlicker. This is because after World War II other Western countries were primarily directed to control their own populations, with a few other rich countries offering support in projects like defense against the Soviets. Other countries first focused on destroying their socialist movements (which were often very large and sometimes threatened to take power) and then, when conditions allowed, shifted towards projecting an image of cooperation (the carrot) to poorer countries.

A part of this was that the U.S. had no mass worker's party or labor party. The reasons for this are complex, but basically the early communist movement merged with social liberalism in the interwar period around FDR's presidency. This was in part because the Democrats positioned themselves as the labor party and won deep control of the labor movement. Communism was then sharply repressed and devolved into revisionism. Then as the anti-colonial movement won significant victories abroad, this called into question the basis of racial subjugation in the United States, and forced the U.S. to try to destroy Vietnam and other countries as part of a strategy of securing imperialism. Revisionism and capitalist war created the conditions for a massive global counteroffensive by the capitalist powers which then swept from victory to victory.

Of course, there are also structural / class elements as well inside U.S. society. There is a material basis to ideology, and I doubt people would buy into bourgeois ideology if there weren't endless commodities to be consumed that back it up, combined with the fact that the producers of these goods and the conditions they produce in are geographically divorced from consumers. The U.S., as the dominant imperialist country, bribes its working class with superprofits from capital exports to the periphery (industrial machines, commercial aircraft, semiconductors, telecom equipment, medical equipment, etc.). Many consumer goods are made cheaply overseas for dirt-poor wages and then imported. But this is not a unique phenomenon to the U.S. in the first world, other imperialist nations are very nearly the same in this regard, arguably with small differences (slightly higher or lower wages, the presence welfare states, different consumption habits).

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what do you say if someone says something like "But the commies sent millions to die in ww2 too"

Those millions died in an existential war to defend the Soviet Union against Nazi imperialism

I tend go incredibly unironic when arguing people in this manner, though. A libertarian once told me "you would make a great communist propagandist" with acid in his tone. I replied that I took that as a compliment. Like, go full Losurdo counter-history on your enemies. It's the truth.

Don't let this thread die, I really like these and would like to see more.

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Honestly logic is for dweebs just tell people stories about evil rich people like how Bezos has a fleet of yachts and sails around the world stealing little girls to be his sex slaves it doesnt even have to be true lmao just incite outrage

Dont acknowledge mistakes, there were none - point the outside influence that made the problems.

When arguing against the 100 million meme never concede a thing. There are two angles to take. 1) Even if 100 million is true (which it is not) capitalism and capitalist regimes have been responsible for much more death and mayhem. Just counting WWI and WWII we are talking about 120 million+ victims. Adding shit like the Irish potatoe famine, The north american indian genocide, along with the millions of easily preventable deaths from lack of medicine and food every year.
2) The 100 million not being true should come next. Stalin the murdinator is easily debunked by the total number of executions during the whole Stalin era numbering like 700 000, the Central Commitee orders that are preserved shipping thousands of tons of grain to the Ukraine under the supposed genocide, Gulag death rates being pretty close to civilian rates up until the war smashed the infrastructure, and so on. Maos death toll can be debunked by looking at the massive increase in life expectancy under mao and comparisons between China's and India's death rates during that period. Also hit home that nazi collaborators and the like actually deserve to be executed so don't appologize for that.

When people go all horseshoe just point out the vast difference between the DDR and FDR in purging old nazis from positions of importance, from the state administration all the way down to teachers.

When people cry about development and innovation point out that socialists won the space race and that large portions of the old Eastern Bloc have been lying rotting since the return of Capitalism, only surviving by the grace of old Soviet era infrastructure gifted to them from their socialist past.

Honestly Mao was retarted when it comes to food.

no he wasn't.

Normies are retards, fuck em, society will collapse and they will die and they’ll wish they listened as they do. Fuck em, just fuck em, they deserve it.


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The policies were pursued because there already were problems with food production, but I wouldn't say Mao did anything to help that in the end. Probably even the opposite.

That won’t work, I just wasted an hour arguing with one of these retards, no amount of facts or evidence will change their minds, this isn’t about facts or evidence, it’s just their insane moronic beliefs. They worship capitalism and it’s superstructure the way Christians worship god.

Nobody cares about facts and logic

The only way to get this ball rolling is to Make Communism Cool Again

This is some really good shit, man.

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Bump, some good stuff in this thread

why did USSR lose the cold war?

Because it fell apart.

"Stalin OnlY killed 700k instead of several millions"
I'm sure that'll convince the normies…

Normies that can't even be convinced that a bit of violence is good are too braindead to ever contribute anything politically besides votes for the status quo, they're the sort that think responding to the government treating everyone like shit with violence makes you just as bad as them.

Big oof at 0:57

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slightly off topic question; Why use the terms "Capitalist" and "Socialist" when "Market based economy" and "Command based economy" are less confusing and abused terms?

blocked in my country

The denazification of East Germany has proven to have been a failure. Fascism is returning to all of Germany, but the modern east is certainly where it's the strongest.

In my view it's worse since command based economy or market based economy says nothing about who's owning the means of production. Yugoslavia was something that I would consider socialist (I know it wasn't in Marxist sense) but wasn't commanded. Likewise every large company can be considered a command economy, but i'll prefer """""socialist" """"" markets compared to that.

When the BRD annexed it they purged the socialists and replaced them with the worst western reactionaries so that they can fight the remains, that is how we got Sachsensumpf.

Can you give me some sources on that? I'm not doubting you, it's pretty clear that agencies like the Vefassungsschutz are pretty much entirely infested with rightists but I'd like to have some more comprehensive information on that.

Capitalism has two aspects, the class structure – capitalists/rentiers ruling over the rest – and the market encompassing almost anything. Saying "market-based economy" for capitalism will offend the mutualists (though I do believe the long-term tendency of cooperatives interacting through markets is to recreate the capitalist classes). A capitalist factory is usually a very hierarchical thing and almost everybody in it constantly follows commands somebody is barking at them, so command economy is not a term I would use for communism in contrast to capitalism specifically. How about calling the two systems private profits versus classless planning?

There is a strong neonazi problem specifically in the East. But what the other poster means is the historical denazification in the GDR. West Germany of the 50s and 60s ratained lots of nazi judges, even those who had been involved in sentencing people to death. The GDR made sure not to have former high-ranking nazis in important public-sector positions. The GDR fell apart 30 years ago. Most neonazis in the East have spent the majority or even the entirety of their lives in post-GDR society.

Well the BND was literally founded by nazis and legitimized by the CIA and the primary purpose of the Verfassungschutz was to spy on the KPD, this is even on wikipedia. I remember some statistic about how the Ministerpräsidenten are from the east, but the majority of the less visible leading positions are occupied by westerners. Just found these quickly:

The trots have some good stuff on these gladio-networks

actual materials and resources > useless paper with numbers

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This was posted on another thread.

Are you from France too ? I use an US proxy and it works.

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Come on, this website is bullshit, they also have stupid fake quotes for socialist leaders.
I don't think she could be dumb enough to have really said that, she was an evil bitch sure, but she was far from being stupid.

without the industrial and scientific base constructed by the soviets, those german rocketeers wouldnt have done squat

she actually said that
and that website is somewhat reliable

any good resources for the "I don't care about politics" or more generally nihilism and hiperindividualism in late stage capitalism?


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I heard conflicting things since I seen leftists from Germany say their pull is strongest there too. IIRC this is technically true ans Die Linke I think does have strong support there. West Germany is mostly CDU shills.

Cockshott published a book called Arguments for Socialism, help yourself with his arguments.