thenondualtankie

Any other hardcore Marxist-Leninists here?

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Most hardcore Marxist-Leninists are also... hardcore materialists. I'm curious to discuss in what ways spirituality and non-duality can help advance the communist movement in general. Is it worth trying to explain that dialectical materialism, the epistemological foundation of Marxism, is limited? What aspects of the work studied by Actualized.org should be applied to the Marxist movement?

Therefore I'd like to know if there are any other communists, especially Marxist Leninists in this forum that have actually considered philosophies beyond materialism.

Note to moderators: I am not trying to push my communist views here, just looking for a specific kind of person to have discussions with.

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How can you be a hardcore Marxist Leninist? 
 

Rule no.1 is don’t be ideological

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I have socialist biases, I read some socialist writers, I ain't no ML though - didn't read all the THEORY and have limited knowledge and understanding of dialectical materialism and how to apply it in concrete examples - just read some other writers who have that perspective on it.

I mostly use it as a reference and useful though (dialectical materialist perspective on society), not to readily buy into any dominator ideologies that the ruling class here where I live tries to sell and trap people into and use excerpts from Lenin's writing sometimes as a reference point when considering or discussing some political issues.


''society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables'

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@thenondualtankie oh well i think not!

most of us folks do value communist principles (they are better than right wing BS ) but it is better  taken as just another ideology. take the good parts of it and use them rather than creating an entire identity around it! 


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I had a very communist perspective towards the economy at some point, but my opinion changed, because ultimatly the massive concentration of power in Leninism, will attract way too much corruption.

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Marx was a valuable philosopher and economist whose critical perspective on capitalism deserves to be taken seriously.

That doesn't mean he was right about everything though, or that conditions haven't changed in the century and a half since Marx.

Can't say anything positive about the revolutionary vanguard-ism of Leninism, as it's an authoritarian version of Marxism born from brutal survival conditions which led to the deaths of millions of people. 


I'm writing a philosophy book! Check it out at : https://7provtruths.org/

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15 minutes ago, DocWatts said:

brutal survival conditions

Brutal survival conditions produce ideas, ideas implemented change brutal survival conditions


''society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables'

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I flirted with Marxism-Leninism, but it is ultimately a backwards system. First and foremost, it’s un Democratic, and secondly it’s rooted in strict ideology.

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1 hour ago, Fleetinglife said:

Brutal survival conditions produce ideas, ideas implemented change brutal survival conditions

Brutal survival conditions lead to oppressive Red ideologies.

Considering the brutal survival conditions of early 20th century Russia it's no surprise that Lenin's authoritarian Marxism (Red/Blue) ended up winning the power struggle over more humane forms of socialism.

Edited by DocWatts

I'm writing a philosophy book! Check it out at : https://7provtruths.org/

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1 hour ago, DocWatts said:

Lenin's authoritarian Marxism (Red/Blue) ended up winning the power struggle over more humane forms of socialism.

I would suggest you take this article into consideration, it's from 2014 by Zizek, it discusses Lenin's contribution in helping formulate the conditions for achieving Ukrainian nationhood, national self-determination, and sovereignty and also discusses Zizek's POV on the mistake of right and liberal viewing to the Ukraine problem which is now also again circulating in the mainstream news:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/10/ukraine-slavoj-zizek-lenin

The golden era of Ukrainian national identity was not tsarist Russia – where Ukrainian national self-assertion was thwarted – but the first decade of the Soviet Union, when Soviet policy in a Ukraine exhausted by war and famine was "indigenization". Ukrainian culture and language were revived and rights to healthcare, education, and social security were introduced.

Indigenization followed the principles formulated by Lenin in quite unambiguous terms:

''The proletariat cannot but fight against the forcible retention of the oppressed nations within the boundaries of a given state, and this is exactly what the struggle for the right of self-determination means. The proletariat must demand the right of political secession for the colonies and for the nations that ‘its own’ nation oppresses. Unless it does this, proletarian internationalism will remain a meaningless phrase; mutual confidence and class solidarity between the workers of the oppressing and oppressed nations will be impossible.''

Lenin remained faithful to this position to the end: immediately after the October Revolution, when Rosa Luxembourg argued that small nations should be given full sovereignty only if progressive forces would predominate in the new state, Lenin was in favor of an unconditional right to secede.

I fail to see any ounce of stage Red consciousness thought in this policy.

In his last struggle against Stalin’s project for the centralized Soviet Union, Lenin again advocated the unconditional right of small nations to secede (in this case, Georgia was at stake), insisting on the full sovereignty of the national entities that composed the Soviet state – no wonder that, on 27 September 1922, in a letter to the Politburo, Stalin accused Lenin of "national liberalism".

''But the Leninist undercurrent, though repressed, persisted in the Communist underground opposition to Stalin. Long before Solzhenitsyn, as Christopher Hitchens wrote in 2011:

The crucial questions about the Gulag were being asked by left oppositionists, from Boris Souvarine to Victor Serge to CLR. James, in real-time and at great peril. Those courageous and prescient heretics have been somewhat written out of history (they expected far worse than that, and often received it).

This internal dissent was a natural part of the Communist movement, in clear contrast to fascism. "There were no dissidents in the Nazi party," Hitchens went on, "risking their lives on the proposition that the Führer had betrayed the true essence of National Socialism."

''The resurgence of Russian nationalism has caused certain historical events to be rewritten. A recent biopic, Andrei Kravchuk’s Admiral, celebrates the life of Aleksandr Kolchak, the White commander who governed Siberia between 1918 and 1920. But it’s worth remembering the totalitarian potential, as well as the outright brutality, of the White counter-revolutionary forces during this period:

Had the Whites won the civil war, Hitchens writes, "the common word for fascism would have been a Russian one, not an Italian one … Major General William Graves, who commanded the American expeditionary force during the 1918 invasion of Siberia (an event thoroughly airbrushed from all American textbooks), wrote in his memoirs about the pervasive, lethal anti-Semitism that dominated the Russian right-wing and added: 'I doubt if history will show any country in the world during the last 50 years where murder could be committed so safely, and with less danger of punishment, than in Siberia during the reign of Admiral Kolchak.'"

Should we, then, simply support the Ukrainian side in the conflict? There is a "Leninist" reason to do so. In Lenin’s very last writings, long after he renounced the utopia of State and Revolution, he explored the idea of a modest, "realistic" project for Bolshevism.

Because of the economic under-development and cultural backwardness of the Russian masses, he argues, there is no way for Russia to "pass directly to socialism": all that Soviet power can do is to combine the moderate politics of "state capitalism" with the intense cultural education of the peasant masses – not the brainwashing of propaganda, but a patient, gradual imposition of civilized standards.

Facts and figures revealed "what a vast amount of urgent spadework we still have to do to reach the standard of an ordinary west European civilized country … We must bear in mind the semi-Asiatic ignorance from which we have not yet extricated ourselves," he wrote.

Can we think of the Ukrainian protesters’ reference to Europe as a sign that their goal, too, is "to reach the standard of an ordinary western European civilized country"?

Edited by Fleetinglife

''society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables'

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If you're serious into spiritual work and epistemology then it should be obvious to you how limited Marxism is as an ideology.

Governance and economics is extremely complicated and counter-intuitive. It should be obvious that no one knows what the right answers are or what the best system is.

The fundamental problem is that no human knows how to create the best governance system. And yet, everyone acts like they have it figured out.

There are some decent ideas within Marxism, but they don't warrant becoming a Marxist.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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@thenondualtankie I am a pretty left-leaning person, but I wouldn't call myself an ML.

May I ask you a question though? In your opinion, was the Soviet Union a democracy?

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1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

epistemology then it should be obvious to you how limited Marxism is as an ideology.

Except when it goes deep epistemically and dabbles in duality to prove how limited, transient, illusory, and dangerous strong identification are with a certain ''collective identity'' is.

''In this regard, considering why the difference is important in the construction of "otherness", British-Jamaican sociologist, Marxist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall makes several key arguments: 1. According to him, the difference is essential for the meaning because without it the meaning does not exist (the meaning is relational, and the difference between "us" and "them" is what carries the meaning). 2. Also, emphasizing the difference in relation to the Other is at the core of culture because it creates binary oppositions that are crucial for all classifications within culture, which further determines the symbolic boundaries that keep certain categories of culture "pure". 3. In addition to all that, the Other is fundamental for the constitution of the self, ie us as subjects, but at the same time, it can be added, "us" as a collective.

nationalism [is] legitimized [...] by the difference in relation to the ‘other’. But not by any difference. The difference that is discriminatory, which "answers" the question: What is characteristic of "us"? How are we different from ‘others’? Self-identity is defined on the basis of characteristics that cannot (or cannot be) shared with ‘others’. If it were not so, then there would be no 'other', and no 'us', as different. More precisely, the absolute condition for the existence of "us" is the existence of "the other".

The constant search for difference.

That's why every nationalist discourse pays special attention to nurturing the image of the Other because it largely self-determines itself against that image. Thus, "That 'other' is a constant, it is often considered threatening, but, most importantly, it is constitutive of one's own idea of identity. That ‘other’ is the favorite That ‘other’ is the dearest enemy. The nationalist can most easily determine himself by listing the properties that are not "his", which determine "the other". Without that ‘other’, neither ‘we’ nor we would know ‘who we are. The difference, which the nationalist is tirelessly searching for, is what ‘determines’ us in relation to the ‘other’ - what ‘gives us’ identity

The relational character of the image of the Other in terms of the collective national identity became especially problematic in the post-Yugoslav space because the "fraternal peoples" had to be presented as others. This is exactly one of the specifics of the post-Yugoslav space in which is an ideological concept of brotherhood and unity (which implied international tolerance and cooperation) for a relatively short period of time replaced by the concept of national exclusivism, in which the newly formed non-negative Other became one of the key categories.''

source: Ideological Contents of Media in Post-Yugoslav Space, a doctoral thesis by Nemanja Zvijer

Edited by Fleetinglife

''society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables'

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7 minutes ago, Fleetinglife said:

Except when it goes deep epistemically and dabbles in duality to prove how limited, transient, illusory, and dangerous strong identification are with a certain ''collective identity'' is.

''In this regard, considering why the difference is important in the construction of "otherness", British-Jamaican sociologist, Marxist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall makes several key arguments: 1. According to him, the difference is essential for the meaning because without it the meaning does not exist (the meaning is relational, and the difference between "us" and "them" is what carries the meaning). 2. Also, emphasizing the difference in relation to the Other is at the core of culture because it creates binary oppositions that are crucial for all classifications within culture, which further determines the symbolic boundaries that keep certain categories of culture "pure". 3. In addition to all that, the Other is fundamental for the constitution of the self, ie us as subjects, but at the same time, it can be added, "us" as a collective.

nationalism [is] legitimized [...] by the difference in relation to the ‘other’. But not by any difference. The difference that is discriminatory, which "answers" the question: What is characteristic of "us"? How are we different from ‘others’? Self-identity is defined on the basis of characteristics that cannot (or cannot be) shared with ‘others’. If it were not so, then there would be no 'other', and no 'us', as different. More precisely, the absolute condition for the existence of "us" is the existence of "the other".

That's why every nationalist discourse pays special attention to nurturing the image of the Other because it largely self-determines itself against that image. Thus, "That 'other' is a constant, it is often considered threatening, but, most importantly, it is constitutive of one's own idea of identity. That ‘other’ is the favorite That ‘other’ is the dearest enemy. The nationalist can most easily determine himself by listing the properties that are not "his", which determine "the other". Without that ‘other’, neither ‘we’ nor we would know ‘who we are. The difference, which the nationalist is tirelessly searching for, is what ‘determines’ us in relation to the ‘other’ - what ‘gives us’ identity

The relational character of the image of the Other in terms of the collective national identity became especially problematic in the post-Yugoslav space because the "fraternal peoples" had to be presented as others. This is exactly one of the specifics of the post-Yugoslav space in which is an ideological concept of brotherhood and unity (which implied international tolerance and cooperation) for a relatively short period of time replaced by the concept of national exclusivism, in which the newly formed non-negative Other became one of the key categories.''

source: Ideological Contents of Media in Post-Yugoslav Space, a doctoral thesis by Nemanja Zvijer

That is some impressive analysis.

However, in practice, the Marxist does a lot of "othering". So this theory is nice, but this is not how Marxists actually behave in the real world. Marxism has a ton of collective identity.

To stop this othering dynamic would require some profound awakening, which Marxists don't even believe in.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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6 hours ago, thenondualtankie said:

What aspects of the work studied by Actualized.org should be applied to the Marxist movement?

Holistic thinking.


Everyone is waiting for eternity but the Shaman asks: "how about today?"

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46 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

That is some impressive analysis.

However, in practice, the Marxist does a lot of "othering". So this theory is nice, but this is not how Marxists actually behave in the real world.

Stop this othering dynamic would require some profound awakening, which Marxists don't even believe in.

Yes. There is a lot of dichotomies in Marxist circles between theory versus praxis. The ''othering'' is done for the sake of the unenlightened masses to point out some of the external causes of the perpetuation of their suffering since it is assumed implicitly that they can't awaken and realize that it is ultimately caused by themselves or circumstances currently beyond their reach of power, my interpretation at least.

But this is not the only point of this text, it is just to show how much people's identity has become limited and weakened and degraded to a lower state of consciousness that they need ''others'' to form their own limited sense of identity with no individuality or personal stories to tell and more easily employed for tolerating severe exploitation and violence by their ''own'' in the post-Yugoslav space by the media contents they unconsciously digest through osmosis that is distributed to them by media oligarchs with close ties to political power and post-Yugoslav Serbian elite nationalist nomenclature who protect them from lawful regulation of their private media empires by existing institutional regulatory agencies since they propagate their own political exclusionary ideology which they use to control the minds of the masses and divert their self-loathing of themselves (paradoxically created by adopting uncritically that limited sense of tying directly their own identity to a collective ethnic one in a mentally rigid and reductionist way), bitterness with themselves and anger with themselves and their lives to the ''others'' and how that has weakened their sense of becoming unique and autonomous individuals free of any sense of ties to a primordial assumption of ethnic identity.

Prime example: One of the more famous of the three media oligarchs with close ties to the ruling regime here is called out on a social media platform how does he not have any dignity in being a past war profiteer in the wartime when he built his media empire with the help of the ties of the then ruling regime and then proceeded to be a ''diaper fly'' (Serbian term used) to any political power change within the country in order to maintain the privileges and monopolies of his media empire?

He answers bluntly without seemingly any sense of guilt, self-consciousness, or remorse: "Of course I am profiteer who builds his profits on your retardedness. If you weren't so retarded I wouldn't be making record profits now!'' referring to the ordinary folk consuming his entertainment content packed in propagandistic language to the ruling regime and the dominator ethnonationalist ideology here.

 

 

Profiteer.jpg

Edited by Fleetinglife

''society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables'

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Marxism-Leninism was never intedned to be the Unieversal form of Communism that all Communist parties and mass workers movements must follow. Marxism-Leninism is Communism adapted to the conditions of the late Russian Empire and early Soviet Union. Communists in the first world have their own material conditions and should strive a Communism adapted to those conditions, not copy what was intended for a pre industrial peasant society. 

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@Fleetinglife Interesting write up and analysis. One of the upcoming books on my reading list is Zizek's Less Than Nothing : Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism, which I'm looking forward to.

My contention wasn't that Marxism itself was Red (indeed it was a thoroughly Orange, modernist ideology). Just that the conditions of early 20th century Russia where Leninism emerged led quite naturally to a Red/Blue version of Marxism being in the best position to win that power struggle (just in case that wasn't clear from my previous post).

My own perspective is that the possibility of internal dissent isn't something unknown to Red, for example the Roman republic had plenty of internal dissent yet was pretty good example of a Red (or a Red/Blue) society.

And support for secession by itself doesn't necessarily indicate higher levels of the Spiral. The US civil war is a good demonstration of this, as the sect lower on the spiral was the one pushing for secession so that the institution of slavery could continue to exist.

To add to this, from my perspective it seems that Rosa Luxemburg's reservations about secession come from concerns that emerge higher up the Spiral (Orange / Green), rather than allowing allowing secession regardless of the cost it may have on the people living in the seceding territory 

It was also my understanding that the toleration of national liberation movements had more to do with the view at the time that the Soviet experiment was seen more as a holding action, whose security depended on revolutions toppling capitalist governments in other countries. And that a single Marxist country couldn't survive on its own because the capitalist counties would band together to destroy it (which was true as evidenced by the Civil War, but also a self fulfilling prophesy due to an ideology that was antagonistic towards every other major government in the world).

Also, I'm curious if you're familiar with Noam Chomsky's critique of Marx-Leninism, and if so what your thoughts on his critique are? For my own part I agree with his assessment, but if you disagree I'd be curious to hear why.

 

Edited by DocWatts

I'm writing a philosophy book! Check it out at : https://7provtruths.org/

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@DocWatts

I watched and heard this perspective from Chomsky before right around the time I started learning and finding of libertarian socialism and socialism, in general, a few years ago.

1. I admit I feel a slight anti-white Western liberal cringe and bias when I hear this seemingly urbanite liberal white girl who just got into revolutionary theory and politics pose a question to Chomsky about Lenin's legacy in such a hyperactive and excited tone and voice. It's cute but I get LARPy vibes from her, though better that than nothing for her and other young people there starting to independently to learn on their own about the history of marxism and socialism to start deprogramming themselves and forming their own autonomous interpretative worldviews and more critical thought patterns based on their own reading, insights, and literature from the biases, prejudices, and assumptions that the mainstream western corporate media ingrains in its audiences.

2. I am not defending now or advocating in my understanding for the centralized version of the Soviet Union under Stalin and later others, though I think at the time it performed despite its many terrors and horrors that it committed on its population an overall modernization and civilizational uplifting of the people of Eastern Europe free from becoming victims of external exploitation, stagnation and the inability to develop and grow on their own under the international system of capitalist unequal exchange (Zizek quotes in the text I posted above that the Soviet leaders including Stalin viewed it this way, though Stalin performed it in a more autocratic, centralized and imperialist way towards other nations).

3. Much of the autocratization and centralization of the Soviet Union happened under Stalin:

''The direction in which Stalin was already heading is clear from his proposal that the government of Soviet Russia should also be the government of the other five republics (Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia):

If the present decision is confirmed by the Central Committee of the RCP, it will not be made public, but communicated to the Central Committees of the Republics for circulation among the Soviet organs, the Central Executive Committees, or the Congresses of the Soviets of the said Republics before the convocation of the All-Russian Congress of the Soviets, where it will be declared to be the wish of these Republics.

The interaction of the higher authority, the Central Committee, with its base was thus abolished: the higher authority now simply imposed its will. To add insult to injury, the Central Committee decided what the base would ask the higher authority to enact as if it were its own wish.''

4. Zizek already addressed in the article where Lenin diverged from Rosa on the question of none necessity of progressive forces to lead the new states of some undeveloped countries and the inability of people to become libertarian right away without first:

the idea of a modest, "realistic" project for Bolshevism.

Because of the economic under-development and cultural backwardness of the Russian masses, he argues, there is no way for Russia to "pass directly to socialism": all that Soviet power can do is to combine the moderate politics of "state capitalism" with the intense cultural education of the peasant masses – not the brainwashing of propaganda, but a patient, gradual imposition of civilized standards.

Facts and figures revealed "what a vast amount of urgent spadework we still have to do to reach the standard of an ordinary west European civilized country … We must bear in mind the semi-Asiatic ignorance from which we have not yet extricated ourselves," he wrote.

5. On this note that he said we should agree with the fascists that it wasn't socialism but the destruction of it to avoid their strawman's and projections, but I would remind him of this quote from Zizek what disservice that does for the progressive and humanistic legacy it did for some nations of Eastern Europe and what opportunism that supplies for the right-wing reactionary movements:

''One of the signs of this regression is a request often heard on the new European right for a more "balanced" view of the two "extremisms", the right and the left. We are repeatedly told that one should treat the extreme left (communism) the same way that Europe after the second world war treated the extreme right (the defeated fascists).

But in reality, there is no balance here: the equation of fascism and communism secretly privileges fascism. Thus the right is hard to argue that fascism copied communism: before becoming a fascist, Mussolini was a socialist; Hitler, too, was a National Socialist; concentration camps and genocidal violence were features of the Soviet Union a decade before Nazis resorted to them; the annihilation of the Jews has a clear precedent in the annihilation of the class enemy, etc.

The point of these arguments is to assert that moderate fascism was a justified response to the communist threat (a point made long ago by Ernst Nolte in his defense of Heidegger’s involvement with Nazism). In Slovenia, the right is advocating the rehabilitation of the anti-communist Home Guard which fought the partisans during the second world war: they made the difficult choice to collaborate with the Nazis in order to thwart the much greater evil of communism.''

I plan to read starting from the basics using Wolff as a reference in Understanding Marxism and Understanding Socialism when I get to it in my free time.

6. Also on the final note it was in then developed industrialized civilized countries such as Germany seen ripe for socialist transformation according to orthodox Marxists that the destruction of socialism also took place that the German Social Democrats voted on the war credits to send the German proletariat into an imperialist war on behalf of the German ruling class and arranged for the assassination of the leaders of the Spartacist Socialist Movement Liebknecht and Luxemburg.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Fleetinglife

''society is culpable in not providing free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables'

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I do think of Communism as the ultimate ideal, spiritual system. It just has to be implemented in the right places of the world. I also see Communism, or at least the end of Capitalism, as an inevitability.

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