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Communism, obsolete or key to uplifting the third world?

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The basic problem with Marx's idea of the exploitation (or in his word, "theft" of labor) is the assumption that the capitalist does not add value to the transaction.

    If a seamster at a sewing machine making a pair of jeans got paid $retail for the jeans, then I'd expect him to handle the packaging, shipping, marketing, inspection, stocking, and retail sale of those jeans. Perhaps the capitalist does not perform any of those tasks; perhaps the capitalist simply organizes those who do and takes a cut for himself in profit. However, human beings are limited in their capacity for self-organization, and a manager who can successfully keep the disparate workers organized is adding value, even if only in the abstract.

    I am highly sympathetic towards Marx; I do believe that his ideas have value and I also believe that most of the popular criticisms towards him are without merit. However, his ideas assume a level of self-organization that I think humans fall short of. It takes a lot of different skills and a lot of different tasks to take raw natural resources and produce a pair of jeans, or a car, or a house, or a DVD player, and somebody needs to be at the top pulling those strings. The managers and executives ("capitalists" in Marxist parlance) aren't leeches, they're providing a service like everybody else. Unfortunately, it happens to be a service that lends easily to corruption because it involves giving a small number of educated people disproportionate power over a less-educated multitude. (I happen to believe that there are plenty of "capitalists" - CEOs, etc. - who are taking an altogether excessive cut of revenues... their salaries do not accurately reflect the value they add. CEO pay is a tangent for a different thread, however.)

    Ultimately, the job of the "capitalist" is very similar in principle to the job of the statesman: give somebody just enough power to keep the plebes ("proletariat") organized and working together towards a common goal. And like the stateman, the job of the capitalist attracts those who want to accumulate power at the expense of their underlings. And also like the statesman, most people who want to live in a civilized society need to give a certain amount of their power to entrepeneurs - if you have a boss, a landlord, business partners, a board of executives, etc. then some businessman somewhere has as much control over your life as your local city councilman does. Consequently, it seems that the best way to organize a society is to ensure that the power of the "capitalists" is tempered by the rule of law in much the same way we temper the power of politicians by a constitution.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    And how do we get these things when they don't occur within our borders because our borders encircle an area of land that is utterly useless for at least the time being?

    Nothing like this exists. Sorry.

    That's almost true, there's always diamond-mining. Though I wouldn't call that useful.

    Edit: In order to create the infrastructure needed to support millions of people in a country that has no infrastructure and in most cases minimal arable land and a shortage of water, you need to trade. So your dictator sends you into the mountains to look for diamonds or what-have-you. Communism is a fairy-tale that only works in a system with unlimited resources, the opposite kind of system from a third-world country.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    TheCrumblyCrackerTheCrumblyCracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    And how do we get these things when they don't occur within our borders because our borders encircle an area of land that is utterly useless for at least the time being?

    Nothing like this exists. Sorry.
    Map of Arable Land within.
    Arable_land_percent_world.png
    Namibia. Arable land - .97%

    "The mining sector employs only about 3% of the population while about half of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for its livelihood. Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years food shortages are a major problem in rural areas."

    CIA World Factbook.


    Sure the labour is there, but the land is obviously pretty shitty if 50% of the population relies on subsistence farming. Maybe they just don't have the right tools or are growing the wrong crops, or the transportation networks to transport their goods to market, or the power (animal or otherwise) to get them to market. Lets just sell them GM seeds DDT and petroleum based fertilizers, get them to grow cash crop, then have them completely dependent on us for their livelihood!

    TheCrumblyCracker on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    All you're saying is that nations have trouble developing in autarky, which is something that's been true for thousands of years and is true today in places like North Korea! Obviously you won't be able to industrialize without the resources necessary to do it, which was a driving force behind the creation of the Soviet second-world. Theoretically, trading for those resources with richer countries would be fine, too, but you have "free-trade"organizations like the IMF (which countries like Namibia rely upon and cannot deny because there is no alternative) heavily slanting the benefits of trade away from third-world countries.

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    You also have to come up with a resource worth trading for (labor sure except that it's the worst labor on the planet so no one's going to pay enough for living wages for it) and convince millions of people that they don't want to own anything ever, and guarantee that the fascist dictatorship in charge is always a benevolent one. Oh and also tear down and rebuild the entirety of international commerce as it stands. Yeah, no I'm pretty sure all I'm saying is that this plan is absurd.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Communism doesn't work for large countries nor small. Even the smallest communist countries suffer under it's inherent oppression.

    Communism, works in theory. LOL!!!

    Emanon on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Communism doesn't work for large countries nor small. Even the smallest communist countries suffer under it's inherent oppression.

    Communism, works in theory. LOL!!!

    There are plenty of small tribal agrarian and pre-agrarian cultures that basically live in what Marx might have called primitive communism, and they do just fine.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Feral wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Communism doesn't work for large countries nor small. Even the smallest communist countries suffer under it's inherent oppression.

    Communism, works in theory. LOL!!!

    There are plenty of small tribal agrarian and pre-agrarian cultures that basically live in what Marx might have called primitive communism, and they do just fine.

    That's debatable. One - whether they are truly Communist and Two - whether they are 'fine'.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Feral wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Communism doesn't work for large countries nor small. Even the smallest communist countries suffer under it's inherent oppression.

    Communism, works in theory. LOL!!!

    There are plenty of small tribal agrarian and pre-agrarian cultures that basically live in what Marx might have called primitive communism, and they do just fine.

    Unless a tribe gets too big. Then they start to have some problems.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Feral wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Communism doesn't work for large countries nor small. Even the smallest communist countries suffer under it's inherent oppression.

    Communism, works in theory. LOL!!!

    There are plenty of small tribal agrarian and pre-agrarian cultures that basically live in what Marx might have called primitive communism, and they do just fine.

    That's debatable. One - whether they are truly Communist and Two - whether they are 'fine'.

    They're not suffering from the problems widely associated with communism, is the point. They don't have massive exploitation of a worker class by a fascist government.

    They're not necessarily fine in regards to lack of technology, medicine, written language, stored food resources, live expectancy, etc. but that's not the fault of primitive communism.

    As for whether they're "truly communist," hunter-gatherer cultures like, for example, the Piraha, often qualify quite easily as primitive communism.

    It's pretty easy to understand why this is the case. People turn to Marxism when they're frustrated with the trappings of civilization. Civilization requires us to sacrifice some base desires for a greater quality of life, and the result is a feeling of disconnection, or "alienation." Marx would say that we're alienated from our work, but I'd argue that we are alienated from a part of ourselves and necessarily so. A desire for communism is rooted in the same basic instinct that makes us want to occasionally tell the world "fuck it!" and go camping. It's a desire to return to the primitive - which is a fundamental human need, IMO, as long as we come back to civilization before our lives become nasty, brutish, and short.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You also have to come up with a resource worth trading for (labor sure except that it's the worst labor on the planet so no one's going to pay enough for living wages for it) and convince millions of people that they don't want to own anything ever, and guarantee that the fascist dictatorship in charge is always a benevolent one. Oh and also tear down and rebuild the entirety of international commerce as it stands. Yeah, no I'm pretty sure all I'm saying is that this plan is absurd.

    8% of Namibia's GDP is mining/manufacturing and they have a 30-40% unemployment rate. I'm not sure what you mean by "worst labor on the planet", either. I'm beginning to think you don't know exactly what I'm even arguing in favor of! Authoritarian state-capitalism is by no means a perfect system for anybody, but it has very documented, historic effects (see industrial growth and quality of life increases in the USSR and China over 50 year periods) and if it were implemented in the third world broadly to create a loose confederation of states that could effectively exist in autarky, you would see the same massive increases in quality of living over the same period of time, or maybe quicker. People had personal property under both Bolshevism and Maoism, by the way, but that's irrelevant to the main point of, you know, making sure people have enough food to eat and making sure they don't die to easily preventable diseases by building factories and hospitals.

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    You also have to come up with a resource worth trading for (labor sure except that it's the worst labor on the planet so no one's going to pay enough for living wages for it) and convince millions of people that they don't want to own anything ever, and guarantee that the fascist dictatorship in charge is always a benevolent one. Oh and also tear down and rebuild the entirety of international commerce as it stands. Yeah, no I'm pretty sure all I'm saying is that this plan is absurd.

    8% of Namibia's GDP is mining/manufacturing and they have a 30-40% unemployment rate. I'm not sure what you mean by "worst labor on the planet", either. I'm beginning to think you don't know exactly what I'm even arguing in favor of! Authoritarian state-capitalism is by no means a perfect system for anybody, but it has very documented, historic effects (see industrial growth and quality of life increases in the USSR and China over 50 year periods) and if it were implemented in the third world broadly to create a loose confederation of states that could effectively exist in autarky, you would see the same massive increases in quality of living over the same period of time, or maybe quicker. People had personal property under both Bolshevism and Maoism, by the way, but that's irrelevant to the main point of, you know, making sure people have enough food to eat and making sure they don't die to easily preventable diseases by building factories and hospitals.

    And you prevent one of your generals from putting a bullet in your brain and taking over because he wants more than a dirt-farmer gets, how?

    ViolentChemistry on
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    TheCrumblyCrackerTheCrumblyCracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    You also have to come up with a resource worth trading for (labor sure except that it's the worst labor on the planet so no one's going to pay enough for living wages for it) and convince millions of people that they don't want to own anything ever, and guarantee that the fascist dictatorship in charge is always a benevolent one. Oh and also tear down and rebuild the entirety of international commerce as it stands. Yeah, no I'm pretty sure all I'm saying is that this plan is absurd.

    8% of Namibia's GDP is mining/manufacturing and they have a 30-40% unemployment rate. I'm not sure what you mean by "worst labor on the planet", either. I'm beginning to think you don't know exactly what I'm even arguing in favor of! Authoritarian state-capitalism is by no means a perfect system for anybody, but it has very documented, historic effects (see industrial growth and quality of life increases in the USSR and China over 50 year periods) and if it were implemented in the third world broadly to create a loose confederation of states that could effectively exist in autarky, you would see the same massive increases in quality of living over the same period of time, or maybe quicker. People had personal property under both Bolshevism and Maoism, by the way, but that's irrelevant to the main point of, you know, making sure people have enough food to eat and making sure they don't die to easily preventable diseases by building factories and hospitals.

    And you prevent one of your generals from putting a bullet in your brain and taking over because he wants more than a dirt-farmer gets, how?

    Don't worry a random rebel group or a tribe that the former government did not favor will kill him. Or start a revolution. Or genocide. Which there are very well documented accounts of.

    TheCrumblyCracker on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Ah, you've got me there. That kind of thing happened in the USSR and China all the time!

    Xhero on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    You also have to come up with a resource worth trading for (labor sure except that it's the worst labor on the planet so no one's going to pay enough for living wages for it) and convince millions of people that they don't want to own anything ever, and guarantee that the fascist dictatorship in charge is always a benevolent one. Oh and also tear down and rebuild the entirety of international commerce as it stands. Yeah, no I'm pretty sure all I'm saying is that this plan is absurd.

    8% of Namibia's GDP is mining/manufacturing and they have a 30-40% unemployment rate. I'm not sure what you mean by "worst labor on the planet", either. I'm beginning to think you don't know exactly what I'm even arguing in favor of! Authoritarian state-capitalism is by no means a perfect system for anybody, but it has very documented, historic effects (see industrial growth and quality of life increases in the USSR and China over 50 year periods) and if it were implemented in the third world broadly to create a loose confederation of states that could effectively exist in autarky, you would see the same massive increases in quality of living over the same period of time, or maybe quicker. People had personal property under both Bolshevism and Maoism, by the way, but that's irrelevant to the main point of, you know, making sure people have enough food to eat and making sure they don't die to easily preventable diseases by building factories and hospitals.

    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    Phoenix-D on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Ah, you've got me there. That kind of thing happened in the USSR and China all the time!

    Stalin and Mao both participated in genocides, and some of their OTHER policies amount to genocide through neglect.

    Phoenix-D on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    From what I understand, the best example of a successful large-scale communitarian state is Republican Spain. They're not necessarily an example of Marxist success, having consisted in a large alliance of leftists ideologies and movements, however, they did manage to simultaneously maintain a non-totalitarian government and manage the re-appropriation of private property, something people here seem to think is impossible.

    And yes, they were short-lived, so perhaps their policies would have run disastrously aground in another few decades. I don't really know enough about them to make a good guess on that front.

    MrMister on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    The alternative appears to be millions dying from starvation and genocide anyway, so yes. It's an ugly solution, but it does lead to very positive improvements in the long term.

    Xhero on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    The alternative appears to be millions dying from starvation and genocide anyway, so yes. It's an ugly solution, but it does lead to very positive improvements in the long term.

    Russia doesn't strike me as improved, and China is a bit better...but not all that much.

    I mean, sure, you can fix starvation problems by killing everyone so they don't eat all the food, but that's not a terribly moral solution.

    Phoenix-D on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    The alternative appears to be millions dying from starvation and genocide anyway, so yes. It's an ugly solution, but it does lead to very positive improvements in the long term.

    Russia doesn't strike me as improved, and China is a bit better...but not all that much.

    I mean, sure, you can fix starvation problems by killing everyone so they don't eat all the food, but that's not a terribly moral solution.

    ...Russia going from a backwater agrarian state to the second largest industrial economy in the world isn't an improvement. Good point.

    Xhero on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    The alternative appears to be millions dying from starvation and genocide anyway, so yes. It's an ugly solution, but it does lead to very positive improvements in the long term.

    Another way of looking at it is that the communist regimes were detours in the road to prosperity and these countries recent limited freedoms and success are in spite of communism and not because of it.

    KevinNash on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    The alternative appears to be millions dying from starvation and genocide anyway, so yes. It's an ugly solution, but it does lead to very positive improvements in the long term.

    Russia doesn't strike me as improved, and China is a bit better...but not all that much.

    I mean, sure, you can fix starvation problems by killing everyone so they don't eat all the food, but that's not a terribly moral solution.

    ...Russia going from a backwater agrarian state to the second largest industrial economy in the world isn't an improvement. Good point.

    Many countries went through an industrial revolution, they didn't necessarily have to be accompanied with genocide.

    KevinNash on
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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Feral wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Communism doesn't work for large countries nor small. Even the smallest communist countries suffer under it's inherent oppression.

    Communism, works in theory. LOL!!!

    There are plenty of small tribal agrarian and pre-agrarian cultures that basically live in what Marx might have called primitive communism, and they do just fine.

    Also works in your house too!! As a child you could get an allowance and everything is provided to you by Mom & Dad. Hmmm, must be why communism is so appealing to young folk. But hey, that's my theory ;)

    Emanon on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Ah, you've got me there. That kind of thing happened in the USSR and China all the time!

    Which started from a totally comparable state. Especially in terms of education of the upper echelons of their society and prior stability.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The first action of the provisional government was to call for new elections, whose representatives would work on a new, Republican Constitution. This was approved on December 9, 1931. Among other constitutional freedoms, the new constitution was to establish freedom of speech and freedom of association, Separation of Church and State and a right to divorce as well as extending universal suffrage to women. It also stripped the Spanish nobility of any juridicial status, simplified the Legislative branch to a single chamber called the Congreso de los Diputados, and established legal procedures for the nationalisation of public services such as land, banks and railways...

    Under the new Constitution, all of Spain's regions had the right to Autonomy for the first time in history. Catalonia (1932) and the Basque Country (1936) exercised this right, with Andalucia, Aragón and Galicia in talks before the breakout of the Civil War.

    Doesn't sound so bad, really.

    MrMister on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    I think both your examples missed the "make sure people don't die" part, given that they both caused millions of deaths. Oh, and some of the worst pollution the world has ever seen. And shortages. And rationing. And... This is improvement?

    The alternative appears to be millions dying from starvation and genocide anyway, so yes. It's an ugly solution, but it does lead to very positive improvements in the long term.

    Russia doesn't strike me as improved, and China is a bit better...but not all that much.

    I mean, sure, you can fix starvation problems by killing everyone so they don't eat all the food, but that's not a terribly moral solution.

    ...Russia going from a backwater agrarian state to the second largest industrial economy in the world isn't an improvement. Good point.

    Russia is actually something like #11 on the list right now. And I was speaking less of a "how many widgets produced" improvement and "Is your country still a hellhole" improvement.

    Going from agrarian to industrial doesn't do you much good if the people are still suffering.

    Phoenix-D on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    I also wouldn't exactly point to the Chinese public when talking about how much better life is when people switch to communism.

    Edit: Leaving aside that the Chinese dictatorship isn't in any way benevolent, making it not a real counterexample in the first place.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I also wouldn't exactly point to the Chinese public when talking about how much better life is when people switch to communism.

    If we want to talk about whether Russia or China was better off before/after the Communist takeovers, then I recommend that we do so by reference to some sort of actual quantifiable measures, such as income, mobility, life expectancy, and so on. Because we all know that life under the Czar was shitty, and life under the Premier was shitty, but the question in each case here appears to be: just how shitty?

    MrMister on
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    SavantSavant Simply Barbaric Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    I also wouldn't exactly point to the Chinese public when talking about how much better life is when people switch to communism.

    If we want to talk about whether Russia or China was better off before/after the Communist takeovers, then I recommend that we do so by reference to some sort of actual quantifiable measures, such as income, mobility, life expectancy, and so on. Because we all know that life under the Czar was shitty, and life under the Premier was shitty, but the question in each case here appears to be: just how shitty?

    Alright, I think it is going to be hard to beat a conservative estimate of at least 15 million people dying to famine over the course of 3 years largely as a result of the Maoist government fucking up. As in, those are the lowball numbers from the Chinese government.

    Savant on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    KevinNash wrote: »
    Many countries went through an industrial revolution, they didn't necessarily have to be accompanied with genocide.

    I can't foresee an industrial revolution naturally occurring in the third world any time soon, since the necessary components aren't there. Not to mention that the Industrial Revolution of the West wasn't without its own share of famine, death, and generally poor living.
    Which started from a totally comparable state. Especially in terms of education of the upper echelons of their society and prior stability.

    The upper echelons of any two societies are generally comparable in terms of standard of living and education? They were both unindustrialized, which is the primary factor determining quality of life.
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Russia is actually something like #11 on the list right now. And I was speaking less of a "how many widgets produced" improvement and "Is your country still a hellhole" improvement.

    Going from agrarian to industrial doesn't do you much good if the people are still suffering.

    People suffer less under industrialized nations. They don't die from breaking their legs or from unlucky scratches. They produce more food; famine under Communist dictatorships was a result of agricultural incompetence (again, the centralization of decision making has very big, bad effects) by Lenin/Stalin and Mao, rather than largely uncontrollable factors.

    Xhero on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Savant wrote: »
    at least 15 million people dying to famine over the course of 3 years largely as a result of the Maoist government fucking up. As in, those are the lowball numbers from the Chinese government.

    Fair enough.

    MrMister on
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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    ...Russia going from a backwater agrarian state to the second largest industrial economy in the world isn't an improvement. Good point.

    Comparing a country to its status from a 100 years ago and saying "Hey, well done to the guys in charge in the past century!" is fucking retarded if you don't keep account for the progress the outside world has made for the same period and the internal cost for the country in question. Yes, despite the already started industrialization, the country was an agrarian state with an economy trailing the other major powers. It also was/is the biggest, richest piece of land on the planet. It's entirely possible(read likely) that almost any other democratic society would have seen Russia in a lot better shape than the current, which is, a mix of poor as fuck people and oligarchs.

    zeeny on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    ...Russia going from a backwater agrarian state to the second largest industrial economy in the world isn't an improvement. Good point.

    Comparing a country to its status from a 100 years ago and saying "Hey, well done to the guys in charge in the past century!" is fucking retarded if you don't keep account for the progress the outside world has made for the same period and the internal cost for the country in question. Yes, despite the already started industrialization, the country was an agrarian state with an economy trailing the other major powers. It also was/is the biggest, richest piece of land on the planet. It's entirely possible(read likely) that almost any other democratic society would have seen Russia in a lot better shape than the current, which is, a mix of poor as fuck people and oligarchs.

    I'm inclined to disagree, seeing as the modern Western systems of Liberal Democracy came primarily from a newly economically-empowered underclass, which wasn't showing any signs of happening in Tsarist Russia. It's also no coincidence that the revolution established Autocracy after dismantling the former Autocratic state; Russia is an incredibly disparate place demographically and geographically, and a remarkably strong central power is necessary to keep it from falling apart. This was also the case of China for nearly all of its history after political unification.

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Which started from a totally comparable state. Especially in terms of education of the upper echelons of their society and prior stability.

    The upper echelons of any two societies are generally comparable in terms of standard of living and education? They were both unindustrialized, which is the primary factor determining quality of life.

    Any two? Of course not. Specific pairs sure. Russia before the USSR and Namibia aren't one.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I don't think you have to be pro-Soviet in order to be a leftist or in favor of worker-owned industry. That's pretty simplistic.

    Furthermore, the leadership among the Soviets changed hands multiple times. You could simultaneously think that Stalin was a dick but that also the slash-and-burn sale of state industries after the Union's collapse gutted the country's economy.

    MrMister on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Any two? Of course not. Specific pairs sure. Russia before the USSR and Namibia aren't one.

    Are you saying that the upper class in modern-day Namibia somehow has less educational opportunities and has a lessened standard of living than the rich in Tsarist Russia? How so?
    MrMister wrote: »
    I don't think you have to be pro-Soviet in order to be a leftist or in favor of worker-owned industry. That's pretty simplistic.

    You could simultaneously think that Stalin was a dick but that also the slash-and-burn sale of state industries after the Union's collapse gutted the country's economy.

    I'm an anarchist, and nobody is as disgusted with the USSR or Stalin as the anarchists are/were. I still recognize that he was in a unique position of power and used it to profound effect with the industrialization of the USSR, and that was a positive thing for most people.

    Xhero on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm still curious if any of the hardline pro-capitalists have anything to say about Republican Spain.

    MrMister on
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    TheCrumblyCrackerTheCrumblyCracker Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Ah, you've got me there. That kind of thing happened in the USSR and China all the time!

    So you agree the only solution is to let them all die.

    TheCrumblyCracker on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    I don't think you have to be pro-Soviet in order to be a leftist or in favor of worker-owned industry. That's pretty simplistic.

    Furthermore, the leadership among the Soviets changed hands multiple times. You could simultaneously think that Stalin was a dick but that also the slash-and-burn sale of state industries after the Union's collapse gutted the country's economy.

    Oh, of course not. But Xhero keeps bringing it up as an example, so its a fair point to be saying "...that didn't really go that well." in response.

    As for Spain: Didn't last long enough, so insufficient data.

    Phoenix-D on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    I'm still curious if any of the hardline pro-capitalists have anything to say about Republican Spain.

    "Pro-capitalist"? Is that kind of like "pro-gravity"?

    ViolentChemistry on
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