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Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
12-29-2016, 06:03 AM (This post was last modified: 12-29-2016 06:26 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #41
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 05:31 AM)Jester Wrote:  
(12-29-2016 05:17 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  Marx never said communism was inevitable, only that it was possible due to the contradictions within the capitalist system, that it was in the objective class interests of the proletariat based on this analysis (which still holds true) and thus historically necessary (but not inevitable).

Can you explain what it means for something to be historically necessary, but not inevitable?

-Jester

"Potentially it has the collective power to overturn the entire social system and establish a new society in which it will simultaneously produce and consciously direct production. It is on this foundation that Marxism transcends idealism and mechanical materialism in dialectical materialism which finds its highest expression in conscious revolutionary practice. Conscious revolutionary practice is activity which makes use of the fullest possible understanding of all the natural and social forces constraining and shaping human behaviour in order to tip the balance in favour of the working class and rescue humanity from the abyss."

This is from the link I posted earlier in this thread, post #30. I think its a good summary of what is meant by 'historical necessity'.

It is simply the understanding that the present social order can only lead to economic and social disaster for the human species, and of the environment as well; and that its (capitalisms) destruction is absolutely necessary to prevent these catastrophies from happening. Of course, it isn't just the end results of capitalism and what it could potentially degenerate into if we let it survive indefinitely that concern us, but also the past and ONGOING attrocities that are intrinsic to it. There is no reforming this system, the decay is way too deep, but even if it wasn't, it hardly deserves to live anyways. So, is communism inevitable? Not by any means. But it is necessary? Yes, and I have absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-29-2016, 06:32 AM
Post: #42
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 06:03 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  So, is communism inevitable? Not by any means. But it is necessary? I have absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.

So, the meaning of "historically necessary" here is not a claim about whether communism will or will not come to pass, but a claim along the lines of "communism is necessary to rescue humanity from the abyss"?

-Jester
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12-29-2016, 06:40 AM
Post: #43
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
Yea, pretty much.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-29-2016, 06:55 AM (This post was last modified: 12-29-2016 06:56 AM by Jester.)
Post: #44
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 06:40 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  Yea, pretty much.

So, when Marx (and Engels) writes, in the preface to the 1882 (Russian) edition of the Communist Manifesto, "The Communist Manifesto had, as its object, the proclamation of the inevitable impending dissolution of modern bourgeois property." ... what do they mean by "inevitable" (or for that matter, "impending")?

It seems clear to me that Marx and Engels intended the first meaning, though perhaps the second as well. The above elaboration about the whole purpose of the Communist Manifesto seems to make that clear. (I assume here that the inevitable impending dissolution of modern bourgeois property refers to revolution by the proletariat, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and so on.)

Do you believe otherwise?

-Jester
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12-29-2016, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 12-29-2016 10:12 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #45
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
I would interpret it to mean both. Although, I'm pretty sure they were referring to communism in the context as an inevitable political movement or force (as they detailed in the opening lines of the Manifesto itself) against bourgeois society, rather than the actual ultimate goal of communism as a mode of production. A proletarian revolution and a DoTP does indicate the eradication of bourgeois property, though the bourgeois itself as a class, at this point, still does exist. The DoTP, or socialism, is a transitional stage that has features of both the old capitalist order and the impending (but still not inevitable) communist society. It would seem to me that it was these two things which they were referencing - the inevitable rising of the proletariat against the bourgeois, and the impending abolishment of bourgeois property thereafter.

Marx himself proposed the outcomes of communism or another, less desirable alternative; this was something that Luxemburg would later go into more detail on when she raised the question of 'socialism or barbarism'. While Marx didn't hold communism to be inevitable, I gather that he was very optimistic about its eventual victory and that he believed it to be the more likely outcome than what Luxemburg would later refer to as 'barbarism'.

While I wholeheartedly agree with Marx's theories in general, that capitalism is entirely unsustainable and that communism is a genuine possibilty for a future society, I am much more cyncial and don't share his optimism. Marx had good reason to feel as he did though, as the socialist movement was very strong during his time compared to today. Capitalism is indeed breaking down and its institutions are failing everywhere, but it wont go quietly, and as a result, the world is in a especially volatile state at the moment - as indicated by a rise in right-wing populist and fascist ideas in many places. While it is still way too early to tell, I fear that 'barbarism' is every bit a possibility as communism is at this point, and I have much uncertainty as to whether humanity will indeed take matters into its own hands and carve out its own revolutionary destiny, or if it will slip into the dreaded abyss of despotism and complete social decay.

The current state of the world, through my lens, is very unsettling and disturbing in general.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-29-2016, 01:38 PM
Post: #46
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 01:12 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  I absolutely deplore the fact that I have to work or face starvation, homelessness and state enforced brutality if I dont.
Hmmmm. This strikes me as odd. If this is so, and the idea behind Communism is that Working isn't tied to the basic utilities of Life (food, shelter, water, internet). . .How do you make sure enough people are working to keep society running? And if you DO have something in place. . .aren't the people being forced to work or face starvation and homelessness?

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12-29-2016, 05:26 PM
Post: #47
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 01:38 PM)EspyLacopa Wrote:  
(12-29-2016 01:12 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  I absolutely deplore the fact that I have to work or face starvation, homelessness and state enforced brutality if I dont.
Hmmmm. This strikes me as odd. If this is so, and the idea behind Communism is that Working isn't tied to the basic utilities of Life (food, shelter, water, internet). . .How do you make sure enough people are working to keep society running? And if you DO have something in place. . .aren't the people being forced to work or face starvation and homelessness?

Interestingly enough, if you did not work for any semi-serious length of time, like 3 months, in the old USSR, you were deemed to be a state criminal and were sent to work camps... to re-educate yourself. Not as far as giving you skills, but as far as re-familiarizing yourself with the glories of communism, while serving hard time. If you were especially lucky, you got to work on nuclear waste cleanup. This usually commutted your sentence..... and lifespan.
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12-29-2016, 06:21 PM
Post: #48
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 05:26 PM)Ashock Wrote:  
(12-29-2016 01:38 PM)EspyLacopa Wrote:  
(12-29-2016 01:12 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  I absolutely deplore the fact that I have to work or face starvation, homelessness and state enforced brutality if I dont.
Hmmmm. This strikes me as odd. If this is so, and the idea behind Communism is that Working isn't tied to the basic utilities of Life (food, shelter, water, internet). . .How do you make sure enough people are working to keep society running? And if you DO have something in place. . .aren't the people being forced to work or face starvation and homelessness?

Interestingly enough, if you did not work for any semi-serious length of time, like 3 months, in the old USSR, you were deemed to be a state criminal and were sent to work camps... to re-educate yourself. Not as far as giving you skills, but as far as re-familiarizing yourself with the glories of communism, while serving hard time. If you were especially lucky, you got to work on nuclear waste cleanup. This usually commutted your sentence..... and lifespan.

Sure, that's how USSR did it. But I'm curious as to how an actual Communist society would handle such occurances, since according to FIT, places like the old USSR weren't actually Communist.

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12-29-2016, 08:01 PM
Post: #49
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 06:21 PM)EspyLacopa Wrote:  [quote='Ashock' pid='212848' dateline='1483032368']
[quote='EspyLacopa' pid='212845' dateline='1483018688']
[quote='FireIceTalon' pid='212835' dateline='1482973924']



Sure, that's how USSR did it. But I'm curious as to how an actual Communist society would handle such occurances, since according to FIT, places like the old USSR weren't actually Communist.

Hmm well, not sure about hypotheticals. However if you want to look at real, all current red countries are basically the same. Not sure about China though, as they are somewhat of a hybrid, currently. My guess is that they would simply starve to death without help from family/friends.
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12-29-2016, 08:05 PM (This post was last modified: 12-30-2016 12:31 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #50
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 01:38 PM)EspyLacopa Wrote:  
(12-29-2016 01:12 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  I absolutely deplore the fact that I have to work or face starvation, homelessness and state enforced brutality if I dont.
Hmmmm. This strikes me as odd. If this is so, and the idea behind Communism is that Working isn't tied to the basic utilities of Life (food, shelter, water, internet). . .How do you make sure enough people are working to keep society running? And if you DO have something in place. . .aren't the people being forced to work or face starvation and homelessness?

Hi. My statement was made entirely in the context of bourgeois capitalist society.

Generally, most people want to contribute to society to make it better. Work under communism would have an extremely different nature than it presently does. Right now, work is done in the direction of capital accumulation and profit, and not for the improvement of society. In communism, it is done for the latter.

Capitalism creates alot of boring, uninspiring and crappy useless jobs that most people don't really want to do. Take for instance, telemarketing. I don't know about you, but almost every person I've met that has been one, has said its a shit job, including my fiance who said it was the absolute worst job she ever had. This is the type of job that would not even exist under communism, because there would be no longer be a need to call people and swindle them out of money to buy some crap they probably don't need, or even want (that, and you wouldn't be able to anyways since there is no monetary system in communism).

The shitty jobs that DO remain and we can't entirely get rid of, can be solved in a numbers of ways. Automation is one, so that some of these jobs would require minimal human labor to do, and another is simply greatly reduced hours for these sorts of jobs. The necessary work day in general though, would be greatly reduced under communism regardless of what work is being done (though people would also be welcome to work as much as they like if they particularly enjoyed what is was they were doing).

Janitors for instance, have a miserable job under capitalism, toiling 8, 9, or even 10+ hours or more per day cleaning toilets, mopping and doing other types of drudgery. On top of that, their job, despite being a very important one, is viewed and treated as 'lesser than' (or even shamed entirely) compared to more lucrative professions, and they are paid terrible wages - despite it being one of the most important, but yet unfun and difficult jobs to do. In communism, this would either be automated, or people could rotate so that no one has to do this for any extended period of time - and it would be decided democratically by the very people who do it. Whats the motivation you ask? Simple. We wouldn't want shit and trash flooding our streets, just as we don't now. Janitors are paid horribly, yet the work still gets done. But by automating or greatly reducing the work time for these types jobs, not only do they become less dreadful and horrible to do (you would be much more willing to do it, if for instance, you knew you only had to do it for say an hour per day, or every other day, or whatever, instead of 8-10 hours every SINGLE day as you would now), but it also frees up time to put peoples skills and talents to better use, as well as free up more personal time for them.

If anything, it is capitalism that demotivates people to work, because most of the jobs are so useless, boring and crummy, and because they are forced to do it, the same routine of getting up every day to go produce value for someone else because you have to pay bills and living paycheck to paycheck - all violently enforced through a state apparatus, because their survival depends on it. Our work under capitalism, isn't our own, it is someone elses, and we do it mostly for a paycheck (usually, a puny one at that - far less than the value we actually produce) and little else. Sure, there are a few people who genuinely enjoy their jobs, but as a whole, you would have to search far and wide to find someone who truly can say, with a straight face, that they love what they do, day in and day out, and couldn't imagine doing anything else. For the vast majority of us, this isn't the case. Most of the jobs are routine, repetative, uninteresting and soul crushing.

The point is, if people genuinely enjoy what they do, they will do it. If they don't like it, getting them to do it has to be done by force - which is exactly what occurs under capitalism. Jobs that cannot be made fun or interesting but cannot be eliminated, will either be automated or the work time for them will simply be greatly reduced so that they are not unbearable as they are now. One of the points of communism is to make it so that the work we do is also enjoyable, for everyone.

People would not face homelessness or starvation, because everyones basic needs are provided for in communism. Everything is free.

The so-called Soviet model of "communism" wasn't communism at all - it wasn't even socialism, let alone full communism. What is was, was a form of state capitalism. The Soviet Union, especially during the Cold War, devoted almost all its resources into nuclear technology and military to be globally competitive with the United States and its allies, and not to the betterment of its society which is at least partially why Ashock experienced what he did. It was capitalism dressed in a red suit, and nothing more.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-29-2016, 09:05 PM
Post: #51
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 08:05 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  Generally, most people want to contribute to society to make it better.

I'm snipping out most of your reply to make a point here:

Not everyone *wants* to contribute to society, for whatever reasons they may have.

How does Communism deal with these people?

Quote:The point is, if people genuinely enjoy what they do, they will do it.

How do you ensure that the people genuinely enjoy the job that they have?

Remember, I'm an uneducated hick; So explain to me (keep it simple) how a communistic society can enforce these rules without giving people power over others (which WOULD corrupt them and is what has happened in every past attempt)

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12-29-2016, 11:35 PM (This post was last modified: 12-30-2016 10:52 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #52
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 09:05 PM)EspyLacopa Wrote:  I'm snipping out most of your reply to make a point here:

Not everyone *wants* to contribute to society, for whatever reasons they may have.

How does Communism deal with these people?

The question is a bit perplexing, because it seems to be being asked upon a false premise or assumption, albeit unintentionally.

By and large, people want to contribute to society to make it better, this is historically observable or we would still be living in the Dark Ages, or something worse. When people get into a serious car crash, usually within a couple minutes, someone stops to make sure the parties involved are all ok - if they aren't, they call paramedics. These types of things happen now, there is no reason to believe people would cease to do them in a communist society? The same rationale applies to production. Example: we may not care much for doing jury duty, but we do it anyways because we believe, at least in theory, that doing so helps create a more fair and just society - and I am speaking in the context of capitalism. Why would this rationale not exist in communism? Not that we would have jury duty in communism (because we wouldn't), but nevertheless this rationale is applicable to production as a larger concept in general.

I don't think the 'free loader' problem is an issue as many people believe due to what I articulated above. There is far less incentive to work NOW than there would be in communism, yet today, we still make society go - even though its often for piss poor wages, shoddy and sometimes dangerous working conditions, crappy hours, and accomplishing repetative, mundane tasks that we wouldn't be doing otherwise. And afterall, the biggest freeloaders currently are the capitalist class - who produce absolutely NO social value whatsoever - they live entirely off the value produced by the working class, and they enforce this power and privilege violently through their state apparatus, courts, and police force. It's nothing less than legalized, forced robbery.

But hypothetically....If someone wants to influence a decision which will effect them and their conscious output in the labour process, surely it would be in their interest to participate to some degree and show some consideration in helping to advance productivity and society in general. Though alienation is generally a symptom of capitalism, people who refuse to participate in a socialist or communist society may find themselves isolated from others around them and not be taken as seriously. *shrugs*. Thats my thoughts on it. Communism is a very long ways off so its difficult to say for sure exactly how this issue, if it were one, would be dealt with at this time.

Quote:How do you ensure that the people genuinely enjoy the job that they have?

Production in communism gives your labor (and your labor power!) a purpose, and work, in turn, gives meaning to you and your family's lives. It (your work) also improves society, which in turn, also improves you and your family's lives, and collectively gives all of our lives more existential meaning. Presently, work doesn't do this. Instead: we are simply viewed as instruments of production by those who purchase our labor power, to be cogs in a never-ending, revolving profit machine - to be chewed up, spit out, thrown away when we are no longer useful; to be replaced by another cog that will go through the same mundane process (see Marx's concept of alienation)....or, in less colorful terms, communism doesn't objectify you, your labor, or your existence as a whole as capitalist society does. The key to understanding why this is so lies in an observation of how production is carried out under communisn and capitalism respectively: products manufactured under communism are done so for their practical application and use; under capitalism they are done so on the market for exchange value as a commodity.

Enjoying your work in a communist society isn't a "rule" per se (it can be and often is a rule under capitalism though, since many places can discipline or even fire you for simply not providing service with a smile, which needless to say is undemocratic to the extreme), its just the logical outcome of us being able to own, use and/or consume what we produce. This in itself would make a world of difference, quite literally, on how we consciously view not only our work, but the resulting products as well. Also bear in mind, that communism would allow you to pursue multiple endeavors if you chose to do so. This would be helpful in circumventing 'burn out' or boredom, since many people eventually do get tired of doing the things even that they like.

Remember, there is no state in communism, so all decisions on production are democratically decided and carried out by the given community per its needs. To have any input in these decisions, some participation is likely required - that's how democracy works (and by democracy, I mean in the realest sense of the word, and not the meaningless empty sham that is bourgeois democracy because capitalism and democracy are absolutely incompatible with one another - you can't have it both ways).

This turned out a bit longer than I intended, but thats about as simple as I can explain it.

*Btw, there is no need to insult yourself - I think you have the intelligence, capacity and rationale to understand this stuff.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-30-2016, 05:25 PM (This post was last modified: 12-30-2016 05:30 PM by EspyLacopa.)
Post: #53
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 11:35 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  When people get into a serious car crash, usually within a couple minutes, someone stops to make sure the parties involved are all ok - if they aren't, they call paramedics.

Actually, there's this thing known as the Bystander Effect. It's actually quite possible (and more likely) that noone does such a thing as more and more people are witness to such a thing.

Quote:its just the logical outcome of us being able to own, use and/or consume what we produce.

But I thought in a communistic society, noone owns anything? And in a that pure democracy. . .do you really trust the rest of your comrades to know what's best for you at all times? Do you know what's truly best for everyone else? Pure Democracy has another, rather unflattering name: Rule of the Mob.

Personally, I don't think a Communist Society would be nearly as perfect as it seems you perceive it as for one very simple reason. It was created by imperfect people, and they won't be able to create a perfect thing. We never have. A Utopia sounds wonderful, but there are so many different types of people in the world, that one man's Utopia is another man's Hell.

Thus, I don't think it's possible to create a single society that could make everyone satisfied, unless you also make everyone the same (including how they think). . .and that sounds terrifying. Becuase who (or what) would decide what that singular standard should be, and why should it be forced upon everyone regardless of how they like it?

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12-30-2016, 05:51 PM
Post: #54
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-30-2016 05:25 PM)EspyLacopa Wrote:  
(12-29-2016 11:35 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  When people get into a serious car crash, usually within a couple minutes, someone stops to make sure the parties involved are all ok - if they aren't, they call paramedics.

Personally, I don't think a Communist Society would be nearly as perfect as it seems you perceive it as for one very simple reason. It was created by imperfect people, and they won't be able to create a perfect thing. We never have. A Utopia sounds wonderful, but there are so many different types of people in the world, that one man's Utopia is another man's Hell.

Thus, I don't think it's possible to create a single society that could make everyone satisfied, unless you also make everyone the same (including how they think). . .and that sounds terrifying. Becuase who (or what) would decide what that singular standard should be, and why should it be forced upon everyone regardless of how they like it?

It's even more than that. Let's say hypothetically, that you could somehow, just for the sake of argument, have a society that did NOT have people at the top who are tyrants and everyone really was equal. Not gonna happen, but just for argument's sake.
The problem with that society is that it would become stagnant and never move forward at all. With no incentive to do more and better work, there would be no reason for people to strive for advancement. People generally need incentive to create, to invent and to even do anything above average.

It would be a dead end. That's the best case scenario even under unrealistic conditions.
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12-30-2016, 06:28 PM (This post was last modified: 12-30-2016 07:46 PM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #55
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
Quote:Actually, there's this thing known as the Bystander Effect. It's actually quite possible (and more likely) that noone does such a thing as more and more people are witness to such a thing.

Idk most of the time I see an accident, I see people helping (if I'm not doing so already). It might not have been the best example to use, but my larger point that people generally want to make society better still stands: We do it in our workplaces all the time - whether its delivering mail and packages, serving people food, fixing things, providing people with medicine if they get sick, cleaning toilets, or whatever. And we usually do it, as I said before, for very little incentive.

Quote:But I thought in a communistic society, noone owns anything


Communism abolishes private property, but respects personal property. There is a huge difference between these two things.

Quote:And in a that pure democracy. . .do you really trust the rest of your comrades to know what's best for you at all times? Do you know what's truly best for everyone else?


I think you are mixing up personal lifestyle with actual production process here. Regarding the former, so long as you dont partake in activities that would endanger or harm the community as a whole or any individual within, no one is going to care how you live your life - thats entirely up to you. Communism is a mode of production, not a set of lifestyles. It doesn't care what you do in your spare time because production is not for profit. Capitalism on the other hand, is very hostile towards certain types of lifestyles, and your lifestyle has to be lived in such a way that your goals and activities are dictated by the needs of the bourgeois.

The latter is a bit different, because yes, planning an economy and the production of goods does indeed require decision making. This happens NOW, but the difference is, you don't get to have ANY input on what is produced, when it is produced, how it is produced, or how much of it. Right now, you have ZERO decision on these things - as does just about every other worker. Your boss decides all that, in addition to when you can work and go home, how many hours your work, when you can take a break, and he/she can fire you for any reason (or no reason at all) at any time. In communism, everyone has input to all these things.

If you disagree with something, speak up, plead your case as to why you think a different course of action should be taken, and the community will consider it and decide if you are right or not. Yes, there will be times where we don't get our way. Thats just LIFE, and happens under ANY system. To think otherwise is completely a pipe dream. But at least in communism, you get to have input in the process.

Pure democracy is not "rule by the mob". It is a system combined with what is commonly known as direct democracy and Free Association. Not the same thing as "rule of the mob" at all. Just because there is no state, classes or hierarchy doesn't mean society is literally a 'free for all' and there is absolutely no structure whatsoever.

Quote:Personally, I don't think a Communist Society would be nearly as perfect as it seems you perceive it as for one very simple reason. It was created by imperfect people, and they won't be able to create a perfect thing. We never have. A Utopia sounds wonderful, but there are so many different types of people in the world, that one man's Utopia is another man's Hell.

Strawman. No one said it will be perfect (nor does it need to be) - just better (much better) than what we have now.

Quote:Thus, I don't think it's possible to create a single society that could make everyone satisfied

Why not? Everyones basic needs are provided for, which relieves the burden of working to survive and now they can partake in and direct production and activities in the direction of social improvement, instead of working for crumbs and worrying/hoping if they can pay the rent next month as they do now.

Quote:unless you also make everyone the same (including how they think

They won't always think the same, and they don't need to. Many people don't think the same now, yet we coexist and we make society run.

Quote:. . .and that sounds terrifying.

The world we live in now is far, far, far more terrifying if you ask me - the fact you can have your livlihood snatched from under you at any given moment if you show up 2 minutes late to work and your boss doesn't like you. That's pretty terrifying.

Quote:Becuase who (or what) would decide what that singular standard should be, and why should it be forced upon everyone regardless of how they like it?

These are problems we have now. Your boss decides what the "singular standard" (whatever that means exactly) is, and it IS indeed forced upon you, and all your co-workers - whether we like it or not. You are a cog in a profit making machine with utterly zero self-determination.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-30-2016, 07:32 PM (This post was last modified: 12-30-2016 08:50 PM by kandrathe.)
Post: #56
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 11:35 PM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  By and large, people want to contribute to society to make it better, this is historically observable or we would still be living in the Dark Ages, or something worse.
You believe altruism is an inherent trait of homo sapiens.

Quote:When people get into a serious car crash, usually within a couple minutes, someone stops to make sure the parties involved are all ok - if they aren't, they call paramedics. These types of things happen now, there is no reason to believe people would cease to do them in a communist society? The same rationale applies to production. Example: we may not care much for doing jury duty, but we do it anyways because we believe, at least in theory, that doing so helps create a more fair and just society - and I am speaking in the context of capitalism. Why would this rationale not exist in communism? Not that we would have jury duty in communism (because we wouldn't), but nevertheless this rationale is applicable to production as a larger concept in general.
So... This social altruism exists already in all societies, not just communist ones. There is no need for communism therefore to engender an increase in social altruism.

Quote:I don't think the 'free loader' problem is an issue as many people believe due to what I articulated above. There is far less incentive to work NOW than there would be in communism, yet today, we still make society go - even though its often for piss poor wages, shoddy and sometimes dangerous working conditions, crappy hours, and accomplishing repetitive, mundane tasks that we wouldn't be doing otherwise.
Or, otherwise known as the free rider problem. Anything that is provided as a "public good" will likely suffer from free riders. This includes "the tragedy of the commons" type of benefits as well. A very hard working fisherman will catch more fish from the common pond, depriving other communcal fishermen of the fish, and even in a fairly distributed "communist" society, he would be rewarded for his above average work production. Unless, there are rules, which require police, which are provided for the common good and taxed against the production of the community. You see where this goes... from altruistic fantasy, to despotic police state...

Quote:And after all, the biggest freeloaders currently are the capitalist class - who produce absolutely NO social value whatsoever - they live entirely off the value produced by the working class, and they enforce this power and privilege violently through their state apparatus, courts, and police force. It's nothing less than legalized, forced robbery.
A claim without any evidence to support it. The one service Capitalists provide is the risk of capital to create new ventures, with the hope for lucrative rewards for their risks.

No one here is disputing that wealth distribution in the US (elsewhere) needs correction, which can be done by placing the burden of the "public good" more fairly through fair taxation. Marx correctly pointed out a problem with "surplus value" and exploitation, and IMHO, one "labor law" that makes sense to me would be that every worker should be informed of there annual production value as a part of negotiating their annual salary, or wage.

Quote:Though alienation is generally a symptom of capitalism, people who refuse to participate in a socialist or communist society may find themselves isolated from others around them and not be taken as seriously. *shrugs*. That's my thoughts on it. Communism is a very long ways off so its difficult to say for sure exactly how this issue, if it were one, would be dealt with at this time.
Generally, the solution to the Free Rider problem is;
  • place a nominal charge for the good or service requiring the minimal amount of labor participation
  • Appeal to altruism, fairness, social cohesiveness (rather than shaming, ostracism, exclusion)
  • Make the public good private requiring a fee to access
  • Legislate, which of course thn requires police and consequences for violations.

Quote:
Quote:How do you ensure that the people genuinely enjoy the job that they have?

Production in communism gives your labor (and your labor power!) a purpose, and work, in turn, gives meaning to you and your family's lives. It (your work) also improves society, which in turn, also improves you and your family's lives, and collectively gives all of our lives more existential meaning.

Presently, work doesn't do this. Instead: we are simply viewed as instruments of production by those who purchase our labor power, to be cogs in a never-ending, revolving profit machine - to be chewed up, spit out, thrown away when we are no longer useful; to be replaced by another cog that will go through the same mundane process (see Marx's concept of alienation)....or, in less colorful terms, communism doesn't objectify you, your labor, or your existence as a whole as capitalist society does.

The key to understanding why this is so lies in an observation of how production is carried out under communism and capitalism respectively: products manufactured under communism are done so for their practical application and use; under capitalism they are done so on the market for exchange value as a commodity.
Why couldn't a person in our current "regulated" capitalist society enjoy their work? I like my work. I feel I'm fairly compensated. I believe most people are mostly content with their jobs. My bigger concern is the declining need for humans in the production process.


Quote:Enjoying your work in a communist society isn't a "rule" per se (it can be and often is a rule under capitalism though, since many places can discipline or even fire you for simply not providing service with a smile, which needless to say is undemocratic to the extreme), its just the logical outcome of us being able to own, use and/or consume what we produce. This in itself would make a world of difference, quite literally, on how we consciously view not only our work, but the resulting products as well. Also bear in mind, that communism would allow you to pursue multiple endeavors if you chose to do so. This would be helpful in circumventing 'burn out' or boredom, since many people eventually do get tired of doing the things even that they like.
Again, with some attention to wealth equity and perhaps my earlier suggestion of a UBI thus eliminating the "neccesity" of working for survival.

Quote:Remember, there is no state in communism, so all decisions on production are democratically decided and carried out by the given community per its needs. To have any input in these decisions, some participation is likely required - that's how democracy works (and by democracy, I mean in the realest sense of the word, and not the meaningless empty sham that is bourgeois democracy because capitalism and democracy are absolutely incompatible with one another - you can't have it both ways).
If there is now only capitalism, then your claim is that there exist no democracies. Um, like Switzerland.

But, let us consider some thinking on "factions" in a pure democracy, such as James Madison in Federalist No. 10.

Consequently, the democracy of Switzerland held a referendum on a UBI this year. It gained a 23% yes, vote. Not passing this time.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O’Rourke

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12-30-2016, 10:16 PM (This post was last modified: 12-31-2016 05:16 AM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #57
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
I was going to respond to all you said, but this here needs special attention.

Quote:A claim without any evidence to support it.

You know, its one thing to be skeptical of communism and put forth arguments or evidence in an attempt to support your position of doubt.

However, it is ANOTHER thing altogether to deny how capitalism objectively operates and how it is structured in the face of irrefutable real world workings and observation. Your denial of this is entirely untenable.

Not only is what I described easily obervable and verifiable as existing in the real world, it is in fact the defining characteristic that capitalist social relations and institutions are structured upon. The capitalists own private property - the state exists to violently protect and uphold private property relations. This is absolutely indisputable, beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt. Saying otherwise would be like bouncing a rubber ball off the ground, watching it go up, then come back down and then still denying the existence of gravity. Like it or not, these things do objectively exist.

Quote:The one service Capitalists provide is the risk of capital to create new ventures, with the hope for lucrative rewards for their risks.


RolleyesRolleyes

A terribly weak justification for capitalist power and privilege. There are so many objections against this, its not even funny. Even the human nature argument, as lousy and irrational as it is, is still better than this.

Capital itself was and is built by the working class in the first place - who built/builds all the factories, tools, technology and instruments of production in general? The working class. Who dug up and cultivated all the natural resources required to do this? The working class. The capitalist has the luxury to take such a "risk" because they have unjustly profited in relation to the means of production - hardly a risk at all. Nor is it a risk in a broader sense, since they have already ended up with far more wealth than they will ever need to survive, and they did so at the expense of workers. So it begs the question, what gives capitalists the right to own that which they did not produce? The answer is, they have no legitimate claim to it. "Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks" - Marx

Aside from that, workers take far more and greater risks than capitalists do - a construction worker for instance takes a FAR bigger risk walking across I-beams to build a sky scraper than the capitalist who borrowed the money to build it. Hell, we take more risks than any capitalist simply by being forced to enter into a 'at will' contract where we can lose our livlihood at the drop of a hat - for any reason or no reason at all. Is that not a risk that workers must face every single day? Indeed it is, and we don't get any kind of permenant reward for it like capitalists do, which leads me to...

It seems like the whole "risk" argument is based on some strange belief that "temporary risk entitles permenant compensation". If the start-up origin is bad, it doesn't say much too good about the system itself now, does it?

Lastly, the outrageous notion that capitalists somehow deserve to expropriate surplus value from workers because they took a "risk" is red-herring idealism. It is done regardless because they own the means of production - the result would be the same whether they took a risk or not. "Risk" is completely irrelevant to production for profit.

So once again, I hereby state that capitalists are free-loaders and welfare kings/queens.

Quote:No one here is disputing that wealth distribution in the US (elsewhere) needs correction, which can be done by placing the burden of the "public good" more fairly through fair taxation.


While I abhor the wealth and income equality that capitalism has generated, it isn't the crux of the problem - it is merely a symptom of it. The crux lies in ownership of the means of production.

Fair taxation? We know that works wonders, since the capitalists can't easily rollback such policies in the future now can they? Except, we've seen this happennow constantly the last several decades after the so-called 'New Deal'.

Quote:Marx correctly pointed out a problem with "surplus value" and exploitation, and IMHO, one "labor law" that makes sense to me would be that every worker should be informed of there annual production value as a part of negotiating their annual salary, or wage.

Inconsistent. To propose a negotiation of salary and wages would be to reject Marx's analysis of surplus value and exploitation, because this has implications that surplus value is not being expropriated (or very little is) from the worker, and therefore the capitalist/worker relationship is not an exploitative or antagonistic one, would it not? But to accept Marx's position as correct, as you did here, would have the logical conclusion that capitalists do indeed expropriate the overwhelming majority of the value produced by workers for themselves (minus the paid wages/salary), thereby nullifying their ability to negotiate said salary or wage; since if they did, this would have the radical implication of workers receiving the full value of what they produce (in other words, the capitalist would get ZERO)! LOL. Big Grin

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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12-31-2016, 05:15 AM
Post: #58
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
(12-29-2016 09:15 AM)FireIceTalon Wrote:  Marx himself proposed the outcomes of communism or another, less desirable alternative; this was something that Luxemburg would later go into more detail on when she raised the question of 'socialism or barbarism'. While Marx didn't hold communism to be inevitable, I gather that he was very optimistic about its eventual victory and that he believed it to be the more likely outcome than what Luxemburg would later refer to as 'barbarism'.

I have only ever heard the other story, that the inevitability produced by the natural processes of class antagonism led inexorably towards the conclusion - the collapse of the capitalist system, the revolution by the proletariat (and dictatorship thereof), and the arrival at history's final stage, Communism. I would be curious to know where Marx describes any alternatives, however apocalyptic.

-Jester
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12-31-2016, 03:28 PM (This post was last modified: 12-31-2016 04:05 PM by kandrathe.)
Post: #59
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in The Great Leap
You absurdly, without any supporting proof claim;
Quote:And after all, the biggest freeloaders currently are the capitalist class - who produce absolutely NO social value whatsoever

Then, try to equate this observable phenomena to gravity. Sorry, I understand Capital, and its value so I observe a different reference state. In the other non-communist view of reality, Capitalists add value by risking it for future rewards. Those future rewards are the result of negotiated contracts. There is no lifetime guarantee, unless the owner retains the majority share.

High Steel workers get a premium for their risk, contrary to your false assumptions. The steel worker can refuse to take the job as well. Each of us has the right to quit the work, and not be compelled to do it against our will. If you or your fiancé hate your jobs, get the hell out of Wyoming. Move to civilization, where workers have opportunity.

Similarly, if the capitalist doesn't like the risk, they can choose to not use the excess wealth to build the economy. This is the stagnation we've been in under Obama. Fed monetary policy made it more lucrative to just leave the money in the bank. The Feds paid them to just leave it alone with zero risks.

But, let's use a real world simple investment. If I buy a tractor, and rent it out to farmers, then I get to earn profits so long as it is in good working condition and useful, and at a price reasonable farmers would pay. For farmers who do not, or can not buy a whole tractor outright, leasing one during planting, and harvest seems a good deal. Laws exist to ensure legal contracts are upheld, and that no one absconds with the tractor.

Quote:Not only is what I described easily obervable and verifiable as existing in the real world, it is in fact the defining characteristic that capitalist social relations and institutions are structured upon. The capitalists own private property - the state exists to violently protect and uphold private property relations. This is absolutely indisputable, beyond any shadow of a reasonable doubt. Saying otherwise would be like bouncing a rubber ball off the ground, watching it go up, then come back down and then still denying the existence of gravity. Like it or not, these things do objectively exist.
This is a lame attempt to hand wave at your absurd assertion. "It is readily observable" and therefore according to you, who I don't consider an authority, indisputable. Sorry, I and all the non-communists in the US dispute your claims.

One only needs to research the origin of big corporations to see they start as somebody with a novel idea. Look at John Deere, a blacksmith from Vermont who in 1837 thought steel, even though more costly, would be better than the wooden, or iron plows being used. Now #97 in the Fortune 500. He put his efforts, and savings into making steel implements for farmers. In the communist version of the John Deere story, he would only ever be the blacksmith, and we'd still be using wooden plows behind mules.

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12-31-2016, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 12-31-2016 08:06 PM by FireIceTalon.)
Post: #60
RE: Article discreditng the thesis that Mao "killed millions of people" in T...
Quote:Sorry, I and all the non-communists in the US dispute your claims.

*shrugs* You and your non-communist buddies can dispute till you are blue in the face, and you will still be wrong. Just as holocaust continue to deny the holocaust, but are still wrong everytime they do.

Indeed, I'm not the authority on the subject, but I would say Marx and Engels, who made this same *correct* observation some 150 years ago through scientific research and inquiry on capitalisms structure and workings, WERE authorites on the subject - and the same observation can be and still is, *correctly* made today by those who compare the hypothesis to real-world conditions and logically come to the same conclusion.

Quote:the origin of big corporations to see they start as somebody with a novel idea.

Nope. Your capitalist fairytale is incorrect here as well.

(12-31-2016 03:28 PM)kandrathe Wrote:  You absurdly, without any supporting proof claim followed by a boatload of red herrings

I like how you conveniently glossed over this, lol:

Quote:Capital itself was and is built by the working class in the first place - who built/builds all the factories, tools, technology and instruments of production in general? The working class. Who dug up and cultivated all the natural resources required to do this? The working class. The capitalist has the luxury to take such a "risk" because they have unjustly profited in relation to the means of production - hardly a risk at all. Nor is it a risk in a broader sense, since they have already ended up with far more wealth than they will ever need to survive, and they did so at the expense of workers. So it begs the question, what gives capitalists the right to own that which they did not produce? The answer is, they have no legitimate claim to it. "Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks" - Marx

Aside from that, workers take far more and greater risks than capitalists do - a construction worker for instance takes a FAR bigger risk walking across I-beams to build a sky scraper than the capitalist who borrowed the money to build it. Hell, we take more risks than any capitalist simply by being forced to enter into a 'at will' contract where we can lose our livlihood at the drop of a hat - for any reason or no reason at all. Is that not a risk that workers must face every single day? Indeed it is, and we don't get any kind of permenant reward for it like capitalists do, which leads me to...

It seems like the whole "risk" argument is based on some strange belief that "temporary risk entitles permenant compensation". If the start-up origin is bad, it doesn't say much too good about the system itself now, does it?

Lastly, the outrageous notion that capitalists somehow deserve to expropriate surplus value from workers because they took a "risk" is red-herring idealism. It is done regardless because they own the means of production - the result would be the same whether they took a risk or not. "Risk" is completely irrelevant to production for profit.

So once again, I hereby state that capitalists are free-loaders and welfare kings/queens.

Look. You can try to justify capitalist theft, violence, power and privilege all you like - its still remains an untenable position.

Everything in the above quoted text still stands - you have absolutely no refutation to it cause you know damn well its correct. Especially the first point justifying "risk" even though capital was made by workers - trying to defend that would be impossible to do without doing so under nihilistic or sociopathic pretenses.

I guess by capitalist logic, if we show up to the corporate headquarters one day, armed to the teeth, shatter the bosses kneecaps with a baseball bat and tell them this place doesn't belong to them anymore, that they will be ok with it. Since according to capitalist logic, "we are inherently greedy and that its ok to be so". In such a position, I wonder quickly that logic would change to something more rational. I predict almost instantly.

Im' done here. You lost - BIG time.

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"Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class, made into law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economic conditions of the existence of your class." - Marx (addressing the bourgeois)
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