Well, in some ways cabbage, you're re-inforcing my contention that a reduction in the environmental stress will lead to a reduction in the competitive urges in society; and I've seen no evidence presented that humans have to compete even if there's no need.
I agree that in class society, the rules of class society tend to (but don't inevitably) replicate themselves. That says nothing about societies without classes. All the argument boils down to is "we have competition now so we can't ever have communism", which I think you'll agree is a poor argument.
But I disagree that leaders and heirarchy inevitably (which is what I take it you mean by 'naturally') emerge. When my mates and I want to go to the pub we don't start little faction fights, set up armies or command structures, elect a president or anything; a couple of people make suggestions, and we all talk about it for a few minutes, until we decide. It's pretty strightforward really, and almost never involves death or even temporary dictatorship.
Decisions can be arrived at by debate, even under capitalism. So it's not 'inevitable' that groups are riven by competition or the establishment of heirarchical leadership structures, even under these circumstances.
But even if it were inevitable that some people would seek to dominate, then communism is still a better system, because it makes it harder to do that. Instead of setting up a society where 'the scum rises to the top' - and you can look at Stalin or Hitler or Mao or Churchill or Kennedy or any other mass-murdering capitalist warmonger - it's surely better to have a system where the power-hungry are not rewarded for their Machiavellianism.
You (I think it was you anyway, apologies if not) mentioned classical Athens earlier; while I don't accept that classical Athens was really all that democratic (what with women, slaves, and other categories of non-citizens it wasn't actually much more democratic than Sparta say), for the citizen body at least it was democratic; and the times that Athens lost its way were precisely when that democracy was subborned. It was political machinations against democracy that led to farcical and tragic episodes like the Sicilian expedition.
But under communism, which must be a worldwide system, that couldn't really happen. Athens was a class state, competing with other class states; communism will be universal, and I can't see the Glorious 1st May Bakery voting to invade the Internationalist Bicycle Factory next door, or even the Internazionalist Bicycle Fabrikwerken in the former territory of Germany. It doesn't make much sense.
Cafel, Lenin, the Bolsheviks, and the Social-Revolutionaries and Anarchists who all let's not forget collaborated in the October revolution in Russia weren't seeking to establish Socialism (or even 'take power' as such) in one country. They thought that they were just the first. They expected the revolution to break out in Germany (which it did, but was crushed), France and Britain, and then America (which it didn't).
On 'taking power', the Bolsheviks' conception was that the workers' party (ie the Bolsheviks) could somehow 'stand for' the working class; it 'represented' the working class in the state/government. This is the same conception that any political party has in any bourgeois-democratic setting, and was a hangover from the earlier history of the workers' movement when socialists tried to get elected to parliament. No workers' revoltion had ever succeeded in taking power for more than a few weeks in a single city before (Paris Commune, 1871), and no-one knew what to expect taking power in a whole country. But the conception was not that the 'Soviet Republic' was it; it was all provisional until the German revolution 'rescued' Russia from its isolation. "Socialism in one country", the idea that the USSR should attempt to move towards communism alone, wasn't formulated until Lenin had been dead 3 years.
So for me the 'split' wasn't between Lenin and Marx, but between Stalin and Lenin. That's not to unequivocally defend Lenin however. I think Lenin mad a lot of mistakes; but Stalin didn't. Lenin tried, and failed (because the task was actually impossible), to preserve the Soviet Republic as a 'proletarian bastion' should the revolution catch hold in Germany. Stalin, however, tried and succeeded, to make the Soviet Union an imperialist power, through brutal exploitation and militarism.
"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"
Last edited by Red Orc; 04-20-09 at 09:50 AM.