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Communism, obsolete or key to uplifting the third world?

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    The Fourth EstateThe Fourth Estate Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Money is a great incentive for some, and a useful motivational tool to get people working more efficiently.

    Well there you go.

    BTW, Crowing One, I also support a shorter workweek.

    I agree with you, I'm just playing devil's advocate a little. Communism might be less efficient but it still has systems and incentives, just not controlled by the market or the state; a surprisingly difficult concept for some people in modern capitalist societies to get their heads round.

    I don't think the people in this thread are having difficulty getting their heads around the system of incentives. I think people are saying that the system of incentives is pretty anemic compared to those in a capitalist system, even if we assume that every person winds up in a job he likes. Which is, in itself, a pretty retarded assumption unless we're talking about a universe in which inherently unpleasant jobs don't exist.

    You apparently agree with this, so unless you'd like to devil up a different tack of advocacy, I'm not sure where there is to go.
    ^ This.

    People who think it's some sort of huge deal to insist that people work for reasons other then money, I take pretty clearly as being either ideologues or idiots. Capitalism has absolutely nothing to say about how you should spend your money, how much money you should work for, and how you alot your time. You can give things away if you want, you can have a small town economy based on reciprocity etc. What capitalism does do however is assign value to all of these activities in an efficient way which, with proper correction of externalities, keeps things operating efficiently and fairly.

    I never said people should work for other reasons, simply that many people can and do. A common point brought up in communism threads is that society would grind to a halt as incentives to work would somehow disappear, which I was addressing. I happen to agree that capitalism provides a superior system of incentives.

    On the point of money, I can't see what function it could really fulfill in a communist society. It would rather defeat the point of a classless society if money were allowed to accrue in one place. Most communist theorists have generally been of the consensus that a system of barter would emerge to supercede money. In addition, as the monetary values of things currently is a value of the market, how would goods be valued in a communist society without then creating a market?

    The Fourth Estate on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    People who think it's some sort of huge deal to insist that people work for reasons other then money, I take pretty clearly as being either ideologues or idiots. Capitalism has absolutely nothing to say about how you should spend your money, how much money you should work for, and how you alot your time. You can give things away if you want, you can have a small town economy based on reciprocity etc. What capitalism does do however is assign value to all of these activities in an efficient way which, with proper correction of externalities, keeps things operating efficiently and fairly.

    I never said people should work for other reasons, simply that many people can and do. A common point brought up in communism threads is that society would grind to a halt as incentives to work would somehow disappear, which I was addressing. I happen to agree that capitalism provides a superior system of incentives.
    I guess to an extent my rant wasn't really directed at you, but more at the deficiencies people tend to ascribe capitalism. There is a striking tendency to try and extent small group social dynamics to economies of millions or billions as actual, valid models, when it's easily demonstrated that even small groups can become pretty poisoned quite easily.

    electricitylikesme on
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    lazegamerlazegamer The magnanimous cyberspaceRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    On the point of money, I can't see what function it could really fulfill in a communist society. It would rather defeat the point of a classless society if money were allowed to accrue in one place. Most communist theorists have generally been of the consensus that a system of barter would emerge to supercede money. In addition, as the monetary values of things currently is a value of the market, how would goods be valued in a communist society without then creating a market?

    Removing currency and replacing it with barter seems silly? Currency justs make transactions go more smoothly. If there is a problem with people buying and selling with money, then there should be a problem with people bartering goods?

    How would it be better that I have to carry my two pigs across the state in order to buy a cow, when I could just sell the pigs to my neighbor for currency and use that to buy the cow?

    lazegamer on
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    XheroXhero la contr'une Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    So how do you explain that almost all social animals exist in a state of laissez faire, wherein the strongest gets the most food, mates, etc?

    The point I'm making is not that dictatorships or that laissez faire are natural, but that in a society which does not have structures in place in order to avoid it (IE, seperation of powers), that rule by a strong man is inevitable. The seperation of powers does not exist in any portion of communist ideology, even in the ideal sense of having seperate towns govern themselves. That the proletariat control all parts of society in Marxist communism means that, in the end, it's going to be all controlled by a small assortment of men and women.

    Trying to explain human social behavior by pointing to other mammalian social habits is probably the silliest argument someone can make, unless you forgot what sets us apart from other animals: our intelligence and social interactions. Saying that "the strongest" animals are the ones who get the majority of the resources is a way, way oversimplified observation and in most situations it doesn't mean much of anything at all, especially if we're choosing to observe primates.

    In any case, I agree that humans tend to throw way too much power on individuals for our own good, and that the formation of our modern states is meant to try and reduce the influence of that aspect of our social structure. The Roman republic fell because it couldn't maintain rule of law; the big men, the emperors, took over when they were given the opportunity.
    zeeny wrote: »
    By the same fucking model it happened on the continent? In some cases slowly following supply and demand in labour markets with the labour force shifting towards urbanization?
    I'll say it again, Industrial revolution was happening. Scientific progress made it inevitable, in England it was a lightening fast process enabled in big part because of the enclosure act. That's it. It was a bill facilitating an inevitable event.
    If you're going to quote another Marxist argument instead of taking the time to think, don't bother. I'm honestly done with this thread.

    This isn't even a Marxist argument. A massive amount of unemployed labor being available for nearly free is one of the most commonly accepted causes of the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Afterward, Britain's large, highly developed pool of industrial capital being traded with and being established by British private enterprise on the continent are what led to labor markets even being available in Europe. Most people wouldn't (except under physical threat) want to leave their subsistence farm to go live in a city where they very often had wages which were below living levels, which is why the industrialization in Europe was so slow to develop as compared to Britain's instance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju3h7yk4Hcg

    Xhero on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2009
    lazegamer wrote: »
    On the point of money, I can't see what function it could really fulfill in a communist society. It would rather defeat the point of a classless society if money were allowed to accrue in one place. Most communist theorists have generally been of the consensus that a system of barter would emerge to supercede money. In addition, as the monetary values of things currently is a value of the market, how would goods be valued in a communist society without then creating a market?

    Removing currency and replacing it with barter seems silly? Currency justs make transactions go more smoothly. If there is a problem with people buying and selling with money, then there should be a problem with people bartering goods?

    How would it be better that I have to carry my two pigs across the state in order to buy a cow, when I could just sell the pigs to my neighbor for currency and use that to buy the cow?

    I suppose one could argue that it's harder to amass obscene wealth when wealth consists of cows and pigs and not tiny bits of value-by-proxy. If you think amassing wealth is eeeevil, then barter would have an advantage.

    ElJeffe on
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