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Communism, obsolete or key to uplifting the third world?

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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    I'm still curious if any of the hardline pro-capitalists have anything to say about Republican Spain.

    Interestingly, the only arguments I've heard were that everything "good" was discountable because the republic couldn't defend itself from falling and becoming fascist.

    Also this, known as the "detachment from reality" defense:
    "Pro-capitalist"? Is that kind of like "pro-gravity"?

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

    Interestingly, the only arguments I've heard were that everything "good" was discountable because the republic couldn't defend itself from falling and becoming fascist.

    Also this, known as the "detachment from reality" defense:
    "Pro-capitalist"? Is that kind of like "pro-gravity"?

    Oh? You know of a way to make capitalism go away now too? Well aren't you just brimming with fairy-dust.

    Edit: And actually no, the "republic" doesn't fall into fascism, you have to start with fascism. You can't have communism without it. Exactly because of the above, among other things.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Just because something exists doesn't mean you have to support it! I'm sure you're feeling very liberated now that you don't have to equate the following with gravity:
    • Sexism
    • Racism
    • Slavery
    • Child labor
    • Terrible posting

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Just because something exists doesn't mean you have to support it! I'm sure you're feeling very liberated now that you don't have to equate the following with gravity:
    • Sexism
    • Racism
    • Slavery
    • Child labor
    • Terrible posting

    Of course not. Those aren't natural laws. They're social constructs. Capitalism is the way the world invariably works, really your examples of communism are still capitalist systems, they just try or tried to exclude the majority of the populace from the market. Unless you have secret-police going around disappearing people who try to trade and provide the guy who spends all day in his hovel watching Oprah the same share of resources that you provide the guy who spent 20 years in school becoming a nuclear physicist, your system is still a capitalist system.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Trading isn't "capitalist". Providing everybody the same wage isn't "communist". You really don't know the first thing about socialism.

    By the way, I specifically referred to my examples as authoritarian state-capitalist structures, and if I slipped in a "Communist" it was in reference to the movement.

    Xhero on
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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Just because something exists doesn't mean you have to support it! I'm sure you're feeling very liberated now that you don't have to equate the following with gravity:
    • Sexism
    • Racism
    • Slavery
    • Child labor
    • Terrible posting

    Of course not. Those aren't natural laws. They're social constructs. Capitalism is the way the world invariably works, really your examples of communism are still capitalist systems, they just try or tried to exclude the majority of the populace from the market. Unless you have secret-police going around disappearing people who try to trade and provide the guy who spends all day in his hovel watching Oprah the same share of resources that you provide the guy who spent 20 years in school becoming a nuclear physicist, your system is still a capitalist system.

    You are absurd and insufferable.

    I will answer Mithrandir's criticisms when I have more time.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Trading isn't "capitalist". Providing everybody the same wage isn't "communist". You really don't know the first thing about socialism.

    By the way, I specifically referred to my examples as authoritarian state-capitalist structures, and if I slipped in a "Communist" it was in reference to the movement.

    Communism is where you pretend that everyone owns everything, which is a ridiculous prospect for any species except the Borg, and in practice the government owns everything and the people own nothing, not even themselves. Capitalism is where you get stuff and/or services by giving people who have the stuff and/or services you want some stuff and/or services that they want. Your authoritarian state-capitalist whateverthefuck is just an absurdly high scrabble-value version of "communism". Capitalism is as much a part of nature as emotion.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    Just because something exists doesn't mean you have to support it! I'm sure you're feeling very liberated now that you don't have to equate the following with gravity:
    • Sexism
    • Racism
    • Slavery
    • Child labor
    • Terrible posting

    Of course not. Those aren't natural laws. They're social constructs. Capitalism is the way the world invariably works, really your examples of communism are still capitalist systems, they just try or tried to exclude the majority of the populace from the market. Unless you have secret-police going around disappearing people who try to trade and provide the guy who spends all day in his hovel watching Oprah the same share of resources that you provide the guy who spent 20 years in school becoming a nuclear physicist, your system is still a capitalist system.

    You are absurd and insufferable.

    No, I just haven't smoked way too fucking much weed to maintain contact with the world around me. I also don't sit in a drum-circle and beat my head with a rock until I don't notice all the levels on which every attempted application of communist ideas on a national level has failed miserably.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I am not even arguing for Communist ideas. You are as dumb as the rock you think I'm beating my head on.

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    I am not even arguing for Communist ideas. You are as dumb as the rock you think I'm beating my head on.

    Calling it "profiling" doesn't make it stop being institutionalized racism.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Calling it "profiling" doesn't make it stop being institutionalized racism.

    All I've been saying was that if you implemented the structure used by the USSR to achieve rapid industrialization into the third world, you would probably see the same rapid industrialization.

    Respond me on this point or don't respond at all.

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Calling it "profiling" doesn't make it stop being institutionalized racism.

    All I've been saying was that if you implemented the structure used by the USSR to achieve rapid industrialization into the third world, you would probably see the same rapid industrialization.

    Respond me on this point or don't respond at all.

    I have. About a dozen times. As have about half a dozen other people. You just keep repeating it over and over until people give up and go do something productive instead of responding to anything.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You went on some moronic tangent about the upper class in Namibia being not as educated as the upper class in Tsarist Russia and then stopped responding to me, actually. But I'll take that as a concession that you really don't know what you're talking about and just want to "win", so, hey, good job. Pull a party cracker.

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    You went on some moronic tangent about the upper class in Namibia being not as educated as the upper class in Tsarist Russia and then stopped responding to me, actually. But I'll take that as a concession that you really don't know what you're talking about and just want to "win", so, hey, good job. Pull a party cracker.

    And now you're just ad-homing instead of responding to anything. Who do you think becomes the government in your magical fairy-land if not people in the top half or higher of the society? And how likely are those people to favor stability over personal gain if their entire education can be transcribed onto a matchbook in 12 pt font? Oh, it doesn't matter, because anyone who disagrees with you is a moron. Good job, you totally have a point or something.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote:
    upper class in Namibia
    their entire education can be transcribed onto a matchbook in 12 pt font

    lol, black people are dumb

    Xhero on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    Xhero wrote:
    upper class in Namibia
    their entire education can be transcribed onto a matchbook in 12 pt font

    lol, black people are dumb

    That's pretty racist of you to say but I don't see how it follows from anything I said. Perhaps I'm not drunk enough.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Ah, Spain, the communist apologist's baseline.

    "Well things worked out well in Spain before the Nationalists defeated them!"

    The thing is that that's the point. No matter how amazing a society that centralized does within the first generation, once the revolutionary generation who hold back their power for the good of society (if you're lucky) die off, the chance of a second generation becoming dictatorial is huge, and this comes to the problem I have with communism-

    It takes just a few ambitious douchebags to control all of society. Because the military, the state, and the economy are all controlled by the same people, this means that all you need is a small cadre of intensely ambitious and power hungry people, and then, bam, they control the whole state. And these power hungry people, as power hungry people do, increase their power over larger and larger portions of society until you get totalitarianism.

    Democratic Capitalism works because it effectively filters out ambitious people into the system. Someone like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet would likely be military officers or planners in a communist society. That there is a (slight) difference between a politician and a businessman is important, mostly because nowadays, the ambitious people move into business, which means that while they're creating powerful corporations, they aren't likely to create a monopoly, and thusly aren't likely to effect much of society in their actions.

    Ethan Smith on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Actually, they're generally totalitarian from the onset, and often were even totalitarian beforehand. Disliking totalitarianism and its tremendous inefficiencies is a legitimate criticism of the Bolshevik/Maoist movements, though. In the USSR, Khrushchev (and maybe Stalin, to an extent) and his successors switched the focus of their state-capitalist power from (arguably) real socialist policy to building up the USSR's power internationally-- fundamentally indistinguishable from fascism, really.

    Xhero on
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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    This is why his political commentary is both interesting and relevant. Class commentary, identification, these are all important ideas. I’m not saying we should just start burning Marx’s books or even ignoring them.

    That's good, because Marx was right about a good number of things.
    Not then, but perhaps now.

    See, I think that the nature of consumerist desires has very little to do with property itself and very much to do with the way in which the state and the mechanism of capital has conditioned consumers to approach material objects. I blame Edward Bernaise and his compatriots for this; the 20th Century saw the development and proliferation of public relations and advertising techniques that quite effectively began to associate emotional feelings of self worth and happiness with material goods where it did not exist previously. The result of all of this is a different collective (and perhaps individual) psychology with regards to decision making by citizens and consumers.

    This is, I believe, the most significant difference of 20th Century capitalism versus 19th Century capitalism. I'm not a Marx scholar by any stretch, but I do not believe he anticipated anything like this in his writings -- aside from false consciousness, which I do not think is able to fully deal with the whole new metric by which the working class make decisions regarding their material condition.
    More people in the United States, for example, own their house than rent. Even with a mortgage, the distinction the real and important. Credit has allowed normal people to own more things than they ever had before.

    I'm not sure the availability of credit for people who cannot pay back any such loans is a triumph of the market. In fact, I would assert that it is a market failure.
    When the general public, rather than an elite, own meaningful property

    Two things: what do you mean by "meaningful" property? The primary residence of an individual? Or something like the Astrodome?

    Second, I'm not sure it's really meaningful to say the general public "owns" meaningful property, when, at least in terms of home ownership, a plurality of home owners actually only possess their houses via bad mortgages which are now not being paid back.
    especially when the proletariat (those who own only their labour) becomes a minority (in the West)

    Once again, this is a general deficiency of Marxist theory. Marx did not forsee the way in which the West's economies have gone; rather than an ever increasing amount of workers, the coming of globalization has removed, as you rightly said, large portions of the labour force from the developed, industrial economies and replaced them with cheap labour from non-capitalist, or non-industrialized countries, with the workers in the West becoming technocrats more than proletariat. I think this is a very valid criticism, and one that can only be defended by three means: first, the status of the proletariat remains fundamentally unchanged in places where proletariat still exist in meaningful numbers (such as China). Second, the definition of "proletariat" used by Marx needlessly excludes the disenfranchised "knowledge" workers of modern, post-industrial economies. If we allowed, say, computer programmers to be included in a new definition of proletariat, we would see workers who had their "labour" exploited once again in the same class position as the proles of 19th London were.

    That is, the labour being undertaken by workers such as computer programmers is subject to the same sorts of class and economic considerations as coal miners, even though the labour on the one hand is being undertaken primarily by the arms and back versus brain and fingers.

    Finally, the majority of what constitutes the "middle class" simply suffer from false consciousness and therefore betray their class interests in the errant belief that they are in fact not proletariat, but bourgeois or capitalists themselves.
    The concept of public property is not conducive to responsible private usage.

    No. The concept of public or private property has nothing to do with this. The rational decision making model is the essence of the problem. What the tragedy of the commons illustrates is the shortcomings of what Rawls calls the maximax model of decision making, a sort of base instrumental reason best illustrated by the character of Kallikles in Plato's Gorgias. That is, one will make a decision based only on the calculations of immediate, short-term, selfish interest, without taking into account other actors or interests, such as environmental or societal. In Rawls' theory of justice, he calls this decision making model untenable and puts forward the alternative maximin strategy, and attempts to make it so that by agreeing to the social contract in the first place, you are bound to this method of decision making.

    I don't necessarily agree with Rawls, but he hits the nail right on the head: it is the model of decision making that is supremely important when dealing with societies and polities.
    Thus, Marx trades labour-theft, a social injustice, for economic failure. This is hardly preferable.

    Once again, you are predicating this statement on an assumption that only one sort of extreme decision making model will be used, and, in fact, supported and encouraged by society. Rawls, amongst others, would disagree with you; I would be amongst them. I do not think that any society, with or without a state, will tolerate decision making models that serve to undermine the foundations or institutions of that society.
    Assuming a long-term scenario, how are you to make sure that there are enough of a given profession except through imposition of quotas or other requirements?

    First, in a communist society, there would be no quotas because there would be no state. Second, professions have been filled for centuries before the advent of capitalism, and there are many mechanisms for doing so. Personal need, general societal need, altruism, inheritence, all of these are possibilities with a number of variations themselves. I can't give you an exhaustive list, as I've never observed a communist society. To be honest, I think this would be an excellent problem to have -- already living in a communist society where the workers control the means of production, with the material goods being equitably divided amongst all according to need? We'll have to talk again when we get to that point.
    Specialization is required for efficiency, and it takes time and resources to train someone. At the very least a real opportunity cost.

    The goal of communism is not wealth generation. Marx is very explicit about this: communism is a social and economic order that will disperse the wealth generated by capitalism in an equal and equitable manner.
    Well, what I attempted to argue a few posts ago was that the abolition of money does not erase capitalism.

    No, but neither does the existence of money mean there is capitalism.
    There is a reason we use money, and it predates the notions of capital enterprise, and has more to do the efficiency of exchange than a political ideal.

    See, this is where we start walking into questions of value, in a general sense. We use money to assign value to objects so that they can be bought and sold in the market place, according to capitalism. What happens when monetary value is replaced with something else? Say, utility, or desire, or religious significance - we can still assess the value of objects in terms of these things using whatever metric we want. We could assign a dollar value, but that would not be reflective of the market cost, it would be reflective of its utility or its desirability, or whatever.

    It would look weird, sure, but assigning value in terms of the market place is already rather arbitrary. We could develop a monetary system based on this new metric without too much trouble, it would just mean that the assignment of value would have to come at a different point than the market -- perhaps, since we're talking Marx, something involving the amount of labour put into an object?

    (and this is where we devolve into an argument re: labour theory of value vs. margin theory of value)
    I also reject the idea that free trade is de facto imperialism

    My issue with free trade has to do with the disparity in mobility between capital and labour. I don't think it would be much of an issue if labour could flow as freely as capital, but this just doesn't, and, can't, for a number of structural reasons, happen.
    Also, I reject a few of the other notions of Marxism implied there – the inherent injustice of a free exchange does not exist between well-informed, non-coerced parties.

    I'm not sure I see where you are going with this (why I answered the free trade bit first). Could you explain?

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
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    saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    Just because something exists doesn't mean you have to support it! I'm sure you're feeling very liberated now that you don't have to equate the following with gravity:
    • Sexism
    • Racism
    • Slavery
    • Child labor
    • Terrible posting

    Of course not. Those aren't natural laws. They're social constructs. Capitalism is the way the world invariably works, really your examples of communism are still capitalist systems, they just try or tried to exclude the majority of the populace from the market. Unless you have secret-police going around disappearing people who try to trade and provide the guy who spends all day in his hovel watching Oprah the same share of resources that you provide the guy who spent 20 years in school becoming a nuclear physicist, your system is still a capitalist system.

    You are absurd and insufferable.

    No, I just haven't smoked way too fucking much weed to maintain contact with the world around me. I also don't sit in a drum-circle and beat my head with a rock until I don't notice all the levels on which every attempted application of communist ideas on a national level has failed miserably.

    Look, man, you are making baseless assertions based on an obvious misunderstanding of Marxism. It seems like you are getting really passionate about this, and that's cool, but what you've been ascribing to Marx is just simply not true and the sort of stuff that you'd find reading Ayn Rand novels.
    Capitalism is the way the world invariably works

    No. Just, no.

    Tell me: what is capitalism?

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, I'm confused as to where you're getting that capitalism, even a very wide definition of capitalism, is the natural state of things VC.

    durandal4532 on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, I'm confused as to where you're getting that capitalism, even a very wide definition of capitalism, is the natural state of things VC.

    Because we have to teach children to share.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Yeah, I'm confused as to where you're getting that capitalism, even a very wide definition of capitalism, is the natural state of things VC.

    Because we have to teach children to share.

    Believe it or not, greed isn't synonymous with capitalism. Capitalism requires a state with the power to enforce contracts and protect property rights, for starters.

    Hachface on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm confused as to where you're getting that capitalism, even a very wide definition of capitalism, is the natural state of things VC.

    Because we have to teach children to share.

    Believe it or not, greed isn't synonymous with capitalism. Capitalism requires a state with the power to enforce contracts and protect property rights, for starters.

    Not a state, necessarily, just someone. Greed isn't the point though. You need some stuff. Like some pants. So you get some pants, but here comes this other guy without pants. He asks you for your pants. Are you going to just give him your pants? Oh I just called them your pants. There is definitely an instinct of "this is mine because I found it/made it/have it", there is an instinct of "ooh I want that". Simply taking it isn't a reliable way of getting it. Even if you really need it. Expecting people to just share isn't a terribly reliable way of getting it either. Giving people something they want for it is.

    Edit: And the fact that no one has ever successfully stamped out a free market anywhere. I can buy all kinds of things no one's allowed to sell, and I can do it in Hong Kong too.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    I'm still curious if any of the hardline pro-capitalists have anything to say about Republican Spain.

    Don't know a whole lot about it but I was of the understanding that Spain went fascist in the late thirties and stayed that way until 1975.

    So I don't believe "Republican Spain" lasted all that long yes? Or was "Republican Spain" this fascist regime since they nationalized a number of industries as well?

    KevinNash on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm confused as to where you're getting that capitalism, even a very wide definition of capitalism, is the natural state of things VC.

    Because we have to teach children to share.

    Believe it or not, greed isn't synonymous with capitalism. Capitalism requires a state with the power to enforce contracts and protect property rights, for starters.
    The point is that capitalism is an organized system to take a fairly basic human nature behavior and redirect it into a productive and cooperative system.

    Communism is both impossible to implement and completely impossible to maintain.

    electricitylikesme on
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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    saggio wrote: »
    saggio wrote: »
    Xhero wrote: »
    Just because something exists doesn't mean you have to support it! I'm sure you're feeling very liberated now that you don't have to equate the following with gravity:
    • Sexism
    • Racism
    • Slavery
    • Child labor
    • Terrible posting

    Of course not. Those aren't natural laws. They're social constructs. Capitalism is the way the world invariably works, really your examples of communism are still capitalist systems, they just try or tried to exclude the majority of the populace from the market. Unless you have secret-police going around disappearing people who try to trade and provide the guy who spends all day in his hovel watching Oprah the same share of resources that you provide the guy who spent 20 years in school becoming a nuclear physicist, your system is still a capitalist system.

    You are absurd and insufferable.

    No, I just haven't smoked way too fucking much weed to maintain contact with the world around me. I also don't sit in a drum-circle and beat my head with a rock until I don't notice all the levels on which every attempted application of communist ideas on a national level has failed miserably.

    Look, man, you are making baseless assertions based on an obvious misunderstanding of Marxism. It seems like you are getting really passionate about this, and that's cool, but what you've been ascribing to Marx is just simply not true and the sort of stuff that you'd find reading Ayn Rand novels.

    And how would you describe Marxism?(oh god, what am I doing.....)
    The economic foundations of Marxism have been shot down to pieces from the labor theory straight to the democratic planned economy. The only "issue" left with Marxist theory is that the moment you see somebody use the word "exploitation", you're better of taking a break from the discussion as the person is either:
    a) With a complete disregard of actual economics, say, a social philosopher.
    or
    b) Ignoring facts on purpose.

    Capitalism is the way the world invariably works

    No. Just, no.

    Tell me: what is capitalism?

    You're right. It doesn't go as far as that.
    It's just the most advanced form of society/production we've achieved and our understanding of it keeps evolving.
    You can always hope that the revolution is the next stage. Just don't hold your breath.

    Edit: Fixed quote.

    zeeny 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
    KevinNash wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    I'm still curious if any of the hardline pro-capitalists have anything to say about Republican Spain.

    Don't know a whole lot about it but I was of the understanding that Spain went fascist in the late thirties and stayed that way until 1975.

    So I don't believe "Republican Spain" lasted all that long yes? Or was "Republican Spain" this fascist regime since they nationalized a number of industries as well?
    Wiki wrote:
    The Second Spanish Republic was the system of government in Spain between April 14, 1931, when King Alfonso XIII left the country following a period of social unrest after the collapse of General Primo de Rivera's dictatorship a year earlier, and April 1, 1939, when the last of the Republican (republicanas) forces surrendered to Nationalist (nacionales) forces led by Francisco Franco, at the end of the Spanish Civil War.

    The Spanish government was taken over by anarchists, communists, ethnic minorities, and other left-wing forces in the early 1930s. Dissatisfied Conservative forces, such as the church and the large land owners, eventually launched a coup under Francisco Franco. The conservatives won the resultant civil war, but before they did there was a period in which Spain was ruled by the far-left, along with attendant land-redistribution and worker-owned industry.

    I don't know that much about it, but it seems like the sort of go-to example someone would use if they were interested in functional large-scale communistic and anarchistic organizations.

    MrMister 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
    Ah, Spain, the communist apologist's baseline.

    "Well things worked out well in Spain before the Nationalists defeated them!"

    The thing is that that's the point. No matter how amazing a society that centralized does within the first generation, once the revolutionary generation who hold back their power for the good of society (if you're lucky) die off, the chance of a second generation becoming dictatorial is huge, and this comes to the problem I have with communism-

    It takes just a few ambitious douchebags to control all of society.

    You're talking out your ass here. First off, the coup plotters represented the Conservative establishment that had existed in Spain since before the left-wing takeover--they were the predecessors of, not the product of, the Republican government. Second, the defeat of the Republican government had a lot to do with the fact that the only countries in the world willing to sell the (legitimate, elected) government of Spain arms were Mexico and the USSR.

    MrMister on
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    SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    Ah, Spain, the communist apologist's baseline.

    "Well things worked out well in Spain before the Nationalists defeated them!"

    The thing is that that's the point. No matter how amazing a society that centralized does within the first generation, once the revolutionary generation who hold back their power for the good of society (if you're lucky) die off, the chance of a second generation becoming dictatorial is huge, and this comes to the problem I have with communism-

    It takes just a few ambitious douchebags to control all of society.

    You're talking out your ass here. First off, the coup plotters represented the Conservative establishment that had existed in Spain since before the left-wing takeover--they were the predecessors of, not the product of, the Republican government. Second, the defeat of the Republican government had a lot to do with the fact that the only countries in the world willing to sell the (legitimate, elected) government of Spain arms were Mexico and the USSR.

    I don't think he was arguing that Nationalist Spain was the product of Republican Spain, but rather that Republican Spain was only around for a short period of time, too short to be held up as proof of communism being successfully implemented.

    Smurph on
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    Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    Ah, Spain, the communist apologist's baseline.

    "Well things worked out well in Spain before the Nationalists defeated them!"

    The thing is that that's the point. No matter how amazing a society that centralized does within the first generation, once the revolutionary generation who hold back their power for the good of society (if you're lucky) die off, the chance of a second generation becoming dictatorial is huge, and this comes to the problem I have with communism-

    It takes just a few ambitious douchebags to control all of society.

    You're talking out your ass here. First off, the coup plotters represented the Conservative establishment that had existed in Spain since before the left-wing takeover--they were the predecessors of, not the product of, the Republican government. Second, the defeat of the Republican government had a lot to do with the fact that the only countries in the world willing to sell the (legitimate, elected) government of Spain arms were Mexico and the USSR.

    The point I'm making isn't that the Nationalist government came out of the Republican one, it's that the Republican one didn't exist long enough for the problems of any centralized governmental structure to become clear. Communism faces the same problem as dictatorships and monarchies in that you're putting all your eggs in one basket, hoping desperately that the ruling elite (which is a far smaller number in a centralized government than in capitalist democracies) is not corrupt and power hungry.

    Ethan Smith on
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm confused as to where you're getting that capitalism, even a very wide definition of capitalism, is the natural state of things VC.

    Because we have to teach children to share.

    Believe it or not, greed isn't synonymous with capitalism. Capitalism requires a state with the power to enforce contracts and protect property rights, for starters.

    Not a state, necessarily, just someone. Greed isn't the point though. You need some stuff. Like some pants. So you get some pants, but here comes this other guy without pants. He asks you for your pants. Are you going to just give him your pants? Oh I just called them your pants. There is definitely an instinct of "this is mine because I found it/made it/have it", there is an instinct of "ooh I want that". Simply taking it isn't a reliable way of getting it. Even if you really need it. Expecting people to just share isn't a terribly reliable way of getting it either. Giving people something they want for it is.

    Edit: And the fact that no one has ever successfully stamped out a free market anywhere. I can buy all kinds of things no one's allowed to sell, and I can do it in Hong Kong too.

    How do you explain the fact that the sort of capitalism we enjoy today is actually a relatively recent phenomenon?

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    zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    How do you explain the fact that the sort of capitalism we enjoy today is actually a relatively recent phenomenon?

    You've lost me. You're asking why we aren't serfs anymore?
    Blame the scientific revolution, the accumulation of enough capital and resources for the start of industrialization, anything you like.

    zeeny on
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    The Fourth EstateThe Fourth Estate Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    MrMister wrote: »
    Ah, Spain, the communist apologist's baseline.

    "Well things worked out well in Spain before the Nationalists defeated them!"

    The thing is that that's the point. No matter how amazing a society that centralized does within the first generation, once the revolutionary generation who hold back their power for the good of society (if you're lucky) die off, the chance of a second generation becoming dictatorial is huge, and this comes to the problem I have with communism-

    It takes just a few ambitious douchebags to control all of society.

    You're talking out your ass here. First off, the coup plotters represented the Conservative establishment that had existed in Spain since before the left-wing takeover--they were the predecessors of, not the product of, the Republican government. Second, the defeat of the Republican government had a lot to do with the fact that the only countries in the world willing to sell the (legitimate, elected) government of Spain arms were Mexico and the USSR.

    The point I'm making isn't that the Nationalist government came out of the Republican one, it's that the Republican one didn't exist long enough for the problems of any centralized governmental structure to become clear. Communism faces the same problem as dictatorships and monarchies in that you're putting all your eggs in one basket, hoping desperately that the ruling elite (which is a far smaller number in a centralized government than in capitalist democracies) is not corrupt and power hungry.

    This is an interesting point, especially as one of the hallmarks of Republican Spain was decentralisation, realised most clearly in regionalism. The closer you get to true communism the more power is devolved to workers' collectives and workers themselves and the less is in the hands of the state (this, incidentally is how economic power can bleed out of the state without it returning to the market. Communism represents the theoretical end-point of this process). The fact that the most famous examples of 'communist' regimes are/were heavily centralised is symptomatic of the way in which they came to power (i.e. non-democratically), where small groups of revolutionary leaders taking executive decisions for their whole party became small groups of revolutionary leaders taking executive decisions for their whole party (and then country). When (and if) communists come to power democratically you necessarily see less centralisation of power.

    The point I'm trying to make is centralisation is by no means tied up with communism.

    The Fourth Estate on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The problem there is that fairly, democratically elected nations...generally don't have the sort of problems the OP was proposing to fix with communism. (Zimbabwe did, but they went for democratically-elected dictator, and things went...well, like dictators normally do)

    Phoenix-D on
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    LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Philosopher King The AcademyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    This was brought up earlier by VC, and is something that I find questionable, but seems to be common consensus.

    Human beings are inherently selfish creatures, or alternatively, it is human nature to behave selfishly. This is generally touted as the reason why communism "can't work." Why is this the case? It seems like you are just resorting to psychological egoism, a claim that can't really be defended.

    Part of the reason I ask this question is that it seems to me that from a very young age we teach children the idea of property, of "mine." It's one of the first words that a child learns, and I think that the very fact that it is taught first causes us to have to teach children to share later. We have to teach them how to use the concept "mine" beneficially.

    Am I smoking crack here? I haven't raised any children, but I've been around toddlers who say that everything belongs to them that they can get there hands on.

    Would the problem of selfishness be gone if we were to raise our children without a concept of private property, without the idea that something belongs to them exclusively?

    LoserForHireX on
    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    How do you explain the fact that the sort of capitalism we enjoy today is actually a relatively recent phenomenon?

    You've lost me. You're asking why we aren't serfs anymore?
    Blame the scientific revolution, the accumulation of enough capital and resources for the start of industrialization, anything you like.

    Do you think the Enclosure Acts of England were a natural process?

    Xhero on
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Xhero wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    How do you explain the fact that the sort of capitalism we enjoy today is actually a relatively recent phenomenon?

    You've lost me. You're asking why we aren't serfs anymore?
    Blame the scientific revolution, the accumulation of enough capital and resources for the start of industrialization, anything you like.

    Do you think the Enclosure Acts of England were a natural process?

    If most human societies were originally "communistic" in the sense of property not having much if any meaning, is our current society unnatural, or were our earlier ones?

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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    If most human societies were originally "communistic" in the sense of property not having much if any meaning, is our current society unnatural, or were our earlier ones?

    The neolithic revolution and its immediate aftereffect of dividing people into an aristocracy and a working underclass are about as far as I take the word "natural" in regards to our social development.

    Xhero on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Wait are we assuming that our species naturally lacked a habit of domination and subordination?

    Incenjucar on
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