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Soviet Communism vs Capitalism: FIGHT! [split]

2»

Posts

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »

    Eastern Europe was part of the U.S.S.R and would be considered along with the rest.

    What? No.

    Poland was not part of the USSR, Bulgaria was not part of the USSR, East Germany was not part of the USSR.

    And the USSR plundered and crushed any opposition within those countries.

    They were, for all intents and purposes at the time, a singular unit. Technically they were seperate, but for the purposes of the comparison they would not be.

    Nonsense. Yugoslavia was definately independent of the USSR and worked with the USSR to slowly release it's chokehold on Eastern Europe, with only a minor distruption during the rebellion in Hungary. It was one of Khruschev's main foreign policy aims.

    Shinto on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    Here's a question for everyone: Do you think Soviet-style Communism would have worked if it used elected officials rather than whoever seized power? With more competent leaders, disasters like the Virgin Lands project and enormous human rights violations regarding slave-labor camps would probably have been avoided, and the Russian economy and people would probably have simply been run more efficiently because fucking up had consequences.

    I understand that the Soviet constitution as originally laid out, and maybe it was never formally amended rather than just ignored, laid out a pretty comprehensive liberal representative democracy with some strong civil rights as its foundation. Throughout the cold war, their propaganda compared the rights of the Soviet citizen favorably to an American's (frequently incorporating American Klan imagery).

    In reality, Lenin ended up cracking down on some of the intellegentsia purists and dissidents, and then Stalin just took the boot to everyone, and the government never really recovered from this. It probably progressed under the "state of emergency" trope and just dragged out into straight-up authoritarianism, which seems to have been the standard procedure for pre-industrial countries with communist revolutions. I suspect there's a strong lesson in governmental checks and balances here, but I don't think it had much to do with a lack of a capitalist class. After all, in other contexts, strong capitalist classes actually empowered the authoritarians.

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There are a good number of people who really want old style communism back. They currently live in capitalist Russia[with less GPD and less per capita income than they had in old style capitalism, let alone with reasonable real income growth assumed]. I am not one of them. I am illustrating a point. That the system does not necessarily produce lower aggregate welfare.

    You're comparing communism as run by a corrupt and dispicable dictatorship to psuedo-capitalism as run by a corrupt and dispicable fake democracy. This is only for useful in illustrating how a corrupt and dispicable government can fuck up just about anything. I'm sure they could find a way to ruin blowjobs.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There are a good number of people who really want old style communism back. They currently live in capitalist Russia[with less GPD and less per capita income than they had in old style capitalism, let alone with reasonable real income growth assumed]. I am not one of them. I am illustrating a point. That the system does not necessarily produce lower aggregate welfare.

    You're comparing communism as run by a corrupt and dispicable dictatorship to psuedo-capitalism as run by a corrupt and dispicable fake democracy. This is only for useful in illustrating how a corrupt and dispicable government can fuck up just about anything. I'm sure they could find a way to ruin blowjobs.

    That's what I've been trying to say! But that's the thing, we've never had democratically-run communism, so saying maybe it could work under the right circumstances.

    FirstComradeStalin on
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  • ryuprechtryuprecht Registered User
    edited June 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There are a good number of people who really want old style communism back. They currently live in capitalist Russia[with less GPD and less per capita income than they had in old style capitalism, let alone with reasonable real income growth assumed]. I am not one of them. I am illustrating a point. That the system does not necessarily produce lower aggregate welfare.

    You're comparing communism as run by a corrupt and dispicable dictatorship to psuedo-capitalism as run by a corrupt and dispicable fake democracy. This is only for useful in illustrating how a corrupt and dispicable government can fuck up just about anything. I'm sure they could find a way to ruin blowjobs.

    That's what I've been trying to say! But that's the thing, we've never had democratically-run communism, so saying maybe it could work under the right circumstances.

    Democratically-run communism? That's a new oxymoron.

    But to be honest, I can see what you mean. The problem is, there really is no way to have a functional communist government without authoritarian leanings. Every major communist group curtails individual freedom in order to enforce an ideal. Democracy requires individual freedom. The two are functionally at odds with other, never to be resolved on a scale larger than a small commune.

    And therein lies the rub, communism may look good on paper, but to work it must demand an altruism from its participants, and all participants must be willing to partake. That could work at the level of a family, or a villiage, or maybe a small town (like Davis, Ca), but as it grows, there exists less incentive for an individual to participate to the same degree.

    And to ElJeffe...well, I have one word for you: teeth.

    ryuprecht on
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited June 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There are a good number of people who really want old style communism back. They currently live in capitalist Russia[with less GPD and less per capita income than they had in old style capitalism, let alone with reasonable real income growth assumed]. I am not one of them. I am illustrating a point. That the system does not necessarily produce lower aggregate welfare.

    You're comparing communism as run by a corrupt and dispicable dictatorship to psuedo-capitalism as run by a corrupt and dispicable fake democracy. This is only for useful in illustrating how a corrupt and dispicable government can fuck up just about anything. I'm sure they could find a way to ruin blowjobs.

    That's what I've been trying to say! But that's the thing, we've never had democratically-run communism, so saying maybe it could work under the right circumstances.

    Wouldn't "democratically-run communism" pretty much just be a socialist democracy?

    Or are you talking about ditching all private business?

    Gorak on
  • Low KeyLow Key Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    OMG I so want to reply to this and go off on how wrong this is and all that stuff but damn it's off-topic times 5 and so I won't.

    Damn.

    What the hell is wrong with you? If you think its wrong, just say "its wrong" and give a short explanation if not, then don't. When you do this it makes me think "he has no argument and is a douche"


    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    No, its pretty much true.

    aw shit, i can't argue with your inescapable logic
    Sorry, i just don't really want to go into it here. Its enough of a pain as it is.


    Hahaha, oh man if you did this deliberately Goum that is fucking hilarious. I mean it's hilarious either way, but benefit of the doubt and all.

    Low Key on
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »

    Eastern Europe was part of the U.S.S.R and would be considered along with the rest.

    What? No.

    Poland was not part of the USSR, Bulgaria was not part of the USSR, East Germany was not part of the USSR.

    And the USSR plundered and crushed any opposition within those countries.

    They were, for all intents and purposes at the time, a singular unit. Technically they were seperate, but for the purposes of the comparison they would not be.

    Nonsense. Yugoslavia was definately independent of the USSR and worked with the USSR to slowly release it's chokehold on Eastern Europe, with only a minor distruption during the rebellion in Hungary. It was one of Khruschev's main foreign policy aims.
    Yugoslavia was the exception, considering it had a strong leader independant of the USSR in Tito, while the other Eastern European countries had puppet, pro-russia governments.

    Picardathon on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    I can't get behind that USSR>western world thing, though. No way. If nothing else, they hamstrung themselves by subsuming science to ideology, ruining their environment/agricultural base. Remember the breadlines? The wrong rules can be as bad, if not worse, than no rules.

    Not western world. Entire world. The western world has been extracting wealth from the third world for ages. It does this through imbalanced power.

    You cannot say "capitalism is great, look at how successful it is" without factoring in the externalized costs such as resource extraction[Oil/diamonds, etc]

    Its like saying "Corporate America is great, look at Enron!"

    If anything is telling, its that Russia after the U.S.S.R. collapsed LOST GDP, and LOST per capita income, and is just barely getting back to where it was, and that only because of vast oil reserves and leftover power from the communist era.

    This is true, I can't. I didn't think that was what you were saying, though.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Here's a question for everyone: Do you think Soviet-style Communism would have worked if it used elected officials rather than whoever seized power? With more competent leaders, disasters like the Virgin Lands project and enormous human rights violations regarding slave-labor camps would probably have been avoided, and the Russian economy and people would probably have simply been run more efficiently because fucking up had consequences.

    Also, does anyone know about some historical theory about all revolutions, how they really just are a cycle? I think it's interesting because the cycle appears to hold true for all revolutions, including the one that put the Bolsheviks in power, except for the American Revolution. At least, not yet
    I think command economies in general lend themselves to authoritarianism and corruption. I mean, if one group is making all the decisions about the economy, then that group holds a disproportionate amount of power in general. Said power usually extends to other spheres.
    Or, if a group has total control over the economy, without any dissent, then they usually can take power without extra fuss.

    Picardathon on
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    There are a good number of people who really want old style communism back. They currently live in capitalist Russia[with less GPD and less per capita income than they had in old style capitalism, let alone with reasonable real income growth assumed]. I am not one of them. I am illustrating a point. That the system does not necessarily produce lower aggregate welfare.

    You're comparing communism as run by a corrupt and dispicable dictatorship to psuedo-capitalism as run by a corrupt and dispicable fake democracy. This is only for useful in illustrating how a corrupt and dispicable government can fuck up just about anything. I'm sure they could find a way to ruin blowjobs.

    That's what I've been trying to say! But that's the thing, we've never had democratically-run communism, so saying maybe it could work under the right circumstances.
    Though, isn't that what Russian style communism is? A "Dictatorship of the Left?"
    You have to have a massive bureaucracy in order to implement the command economy, and either you intend for that bureaucracy to be entirely replaced after an election, causing serious slowdown and disorder, or you want them to stay in place throughout, where they become a festering point for anti-democratic feeling.

    Picardathon on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited June 2007
    Here's a question for everyone: Do you think Soviet-style Communism would have worked if it used elected officials rather than whoever seized power? With more competent leaders, disasters like the Virgin Lands project and enormous human rights violations regarding slave-labor camps would probably have been avoided, and the Russian economy and people would probably have simply been run more efficiently because fucking up had consequences.

    Also, does anyone know about some historical theory about all revolutions, how they really just are a cycle? I think it's interesting because the cycle appears to hold true for all revolutions, including the one that put the Bolsheviks in power, except for the American Revolution. At least, not yet
    I think command economies in general lend themselves to authoritarianism and corruption. I mean, if one group is making all the decisions about the economy, then that group holds a disproportionate amount of power in general. Said power usually extends to other spheres.
    Or, if a group has total control over the economy, without any dissent, then they usually can take power without extra fuss.
    I think people would just keep voting and lobbying for the ability to do what they want, like any other democracy. A command economy would be pretty quickly nibbled to crumbs. Hell, that's happening in China without elections. All you need to do is wave around fat sacks of cash and oh hey, the rules are changing!

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited June 2007
    That's what I've been trying to say! But that's the thing, we've never had democratically-run communism, so saying maybe it could work under the right circumstances.
    Though, isn't that what Russian style communism is? A "Dictatorship of the Left?"

    Democratically-run communism would not be a "Dictatorship of the Left". The clue is in it being democratically-run and not a dictatorship.

    Gorak on
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Here's a question for everyone: Do you think Soviet-style Communism would have worked if it used elected officials rather than whoever seized power? With more competent leaders, disasters like the Virgin Lands project and enormous human rights violations regarding slave-labor camps would probably have been avoided, and the Russian economy and people would probably have simply been run more efficiently because fucking up had consequences.

    Also, does anyone know about some historical theory about all revolutions, how they really just are a cycle? I think it's interesting because the cycle appears to hold true for all revolutions, including the one that put the Bolsheviks in power, except for the American Revolution. At least, not yet
    I think command economies in general lend themselves to authoritarianism and corruption. I mean, if one group is making all the decisions about the economy, then that group holds a disproportionate amount of power in general. Said power usually extends to other spheres.
    Or, if a group has total control over the economy, without any dissent, then they usually can take power without extra fuss.
    I think people would just keep voting and lobbying for the ability to do what they want, like any other democracy. A command economy would be pretty quickly nibbled to crumbs. Hell, that's happening in China without elections. All you need to do is wave around fat sacks of cash and oh hey, the rules are changing!
    So essentially it either goes towards capitalist democracy as we know it, or it goes towards autocratic communism as we know it.
    If democratic communism would work then we need to figure out a way for it not to just transform into either capitalist democracy or autocratic communism.

    Picardathon on
  • RoanthRoanth Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »

    Eastern Europe was part of the U.S.S.R and would be considered along with the rest.

    What? No.

    Poland was not part of the USSR, Bulgaria was not part of the USSR, East Germany was not part of the USSR.

    And the USSR plundered and crushed any opposition within those countries.

    They were, for all intents and purposes at the time, a singular unit. Technically they were seperate, but for the purposes of the comparison they would not be.

    You are aware that the USSR literally tore down factories and heavy industry throughout Eastern Europe and shipped the pieces back to Russia at the end of WWII? They literally stripped the land like a pack of locusts and never did much to replace the capital they took. I believe in a mixed system as well but your attempt to portray the Soviet rule of Eastern Europe as anything other than a classic exploitation of an area by an imperialist power is just fucking retarded.

    EDIT: Under your logic, Germany's occupation and economic exploitation of areas under its control during WWII would also qualify for this "singular" unit treatment

    Roanth on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Democratically-run communism? That's a new oxymoron.

    But to be honest, I can see what you mean. The problem is, there really is no way to have a functional communist government without authoritarian leanings. Every major communist group curtails individual freedom in order to enforce an ideal. Democracy requires individual freedom. The two are functionally at odds with other, never to be resolved on a scale larger than a small commune.

    And therein lies the rub, communism may look good on paper, but to work it must demand an altruism from its participants, and all participants must be willing to partake. That could work at the level of a family, or a villiage, or maybe a small town (like Davis, Ca), but as it grows, there exists less incentive for an individual to participate to the same degree.

    And to ElJeffe...well, I have one word for you: teeth.

    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    There's no more reason to imagine that workers in a communist system are necessarily any more or less likely to slack off at work than workers in a capitalist system - accountability and enforcement and oversight are not unique to one or the other, and people in a socialist system can be fired and reprimanded and reassigned the same as any other system. The Soviet Union's lack of oversight on employees is clearly a function of a complete lack of oversight and accountability of the entire government, and this will be a simple fact in any autocracy or unaccountable business structure (as many American deregulation experiments have proven).

    Now, you might notice that I'm not being too careful to parse the difference between "socialist" and "communist." This is because I don't see the two as categorically distinct in terms of their economic structure, though I guess classical Marxian Communism has a lot of revolutionary baggage, fuzzy reasoning, and ill-fated sweeping pronouncements that I'd be hard-pressed to justify.

    Irond Will on
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  • ryuprechtryuprecht Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Democratically-run communism? That's a new oxymoron.

    But to be honest, I can see what you mean. The problem is, there really is no way to have a functional communist government without authoritarian leanings. Every major communist group curtails individual freedom in order to enforce an ideal. Democracy requires individual freedom. The two are functionally at odds with other, never to be resolved on a scale larger than a small commune.

    And therein lies the rub, communism may look good on paper, but to work it must demand an altruism from its participants, and all participants must be willing to partake. That could work at the level of a family, or a villiage, or maybe a small town (like Davis, Ca), but as it grows, there exists less incentive for an individual to participate to the same degree.

    And to ElJeffe...well, I have one word for you: teeth.

    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    There's no more reason to imagine that workers in a communist system are necessarily any more or less likely to slack off at work than workers in a capitalist system - accountability and enforcement and oversight are not unique to one or the other, and people in a socialist system can be fired and reprimanded and reassigned the same as any other system. The Soviet Union's lack of oversight on employees is clearly a function of a complete lack of oversight and accountability of the entire government, and this will be a simple fact in any autocracy or unaccountable business structure (as many American deregulation experiments have proven).

    Now, you might notice that I'm not being too careful to parse the difference between "socialist" and "communist." This is because I don't see the two as categorically distinct in terms of their economic structure, though I guess classical Marxian Communism has a lot of revolutionary baggage, fuzzy reasoning, and ill-fated sweeping pronouncements that I'd be hard-pressed to justify.

    If I had to fashion an argument, I would say that, on average, in a free-market economy, you are more likely to find an individual worker who is motivated, dedicated and with less a propensity to slack off. There may be many reasons for this, including wanting to move up in life, pride in getting to work where you are happy, etc etc. I think that since that is more likely, you raise the average overall productivity of group as a whole.

    I think not of the educated, who can work and move more freely in a command economy, but those who are assigned to remedial jobs. They have no real incentive to push harder, to do better. We see a lot of that with current government workers even in a free-market economy. There's a reason government workers get a bad rap -- they are more likely to be unmotivated as workers. Their jobs being, in a sense, protected.

    Now, imagine if everyone is a government worker. The apathy will spread far and wide, affecting all sectors of the economy.

    If you take it a bit farther, you can see how this affects the entire economy. Imagine I'm an engineer, and I have a great idea. I have to convince a beaurocracy to support it, rather than take the personal risk to develop it on my free time, or to find venture capitalists to help fund. Almost everything in a command economy becomes decision by committee.

    Finally, when you are faced with that decision making process, you have to attend a lot of meetings. Meetings suck. Meetings kill your desire to work. They kill everything about you, eating away your soul and leaving a skukling husk of what you used to be.

    The entire economy is run in meetings. I shudder at those poor poor people.

    ryuprecht on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    I think people would just keep voting and lobbying for the ability to do what they want, like any other democracy. A command economy would be pretty quickly nibbled to crumbs. Hell, that's happening in China without elections. All you need to do is wave around fat sacks of cash and oh hey, the rules are changing!
    This assumes that there aren't internal and structural checks on people doing this, which there should be. I shouldn't need to point out that our Western capitalist democracies have fairly clumsy checks on these same things within our governments. This is partially due to limited oversight, partially due to powerful interested parties (especially wealthy ones) having disproportionate influence, partly due to the sense of the general citizen that he or she has no real ability to affect change, and partly due to a broad sense of fatalism that government is just going to suck full stop.

    The real strength, and possibly the only central strength, of capitalism is the built-in checks that result from every person theoretically fighting maximally for their own piece of the pie, and even this breaks where you have powerful actors, disempowered actors, and incomplete information. I see no real reason why similar pragmatic checks couldn't be emulated in a governmental system.

    Irond Will on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    If I had to fashion an argument, I would say that, on average, in a free-market economy, you are more likely to find an individual worker who is motivated, dedicated and with less a propensity to slack off. There may be many reasons for this, including wanting to move up in life, pride in getting to work where you are happy, etc etc. I think that since that is more likely, you raise the average overall productivity of group as a whole.

    I think not of the educated, who can work and move more freely in a command economy, but those who are assigned to remedial jobs. They have no real incentive to push harder, to do better. We see a lot of that with current government workers even in a free-market economy. There's a reason government workers get a bad rap -- they are more likely to be unmotivated as workers. Their jobs being, in a sense, protected.

    Now, imagine if everyone is a government worker. The apathy will spread far and wide, affecting all sectors of the economy.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the low-level government jobs you're talking about have lousy incentive structures and low mobility. There are plenty of government fields where high mobility and strong incentive structures are the norm - the military being among them. People are extremely driven to excel at work at these, and I don't really see why similar structures can't be emulated across the field of government employ.
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    If you take it a bit farther, you can see how this affects the entire economy. Imagine I'm an engineer, and I have a great idea. I have to convince a beaurocracy to support it, rather than take the personal risk to develop it on my free time, or to find venture capitalists to help fund. Almost everything in a command economy becomes decision by committee.

    But you've laid out a system in which the capitalist and socialist roads lead to the same point - you are forced to work within byzantine self-interested bureaucracies, whether they be government bureaus or corporate boards in order to garner support for your idea or project. You see this all the time within university research structures as well as within the wild world of venture capital - if you want institutional support, you have to sell your idea on some group.

    Irond Will on
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  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Finally, when you are faced with that decision making process, you have to attend a lot of meetings. Meetings suck. Meetings kill your desire to work. They kill everything about you, eating away your soul and leaving a skukling husk of what you used to be.

    The entire economy is run in meetings. I shudder at those poor poor people.
    I read this as I prepare to go at my mandatory unpaid lunch meeting in which nothing useful will be addressed or done. Having worked on both sides of the private/ public fence I've actually noticed a whole lot more useless meetings and absurdly time-consuming and wasteful paperwork and busywork as a result of faddish management techniques within private companies.

    Irond Will on
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  • ryuprechtryuprecht Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    If I had to fashion an argument, I would say that, on average, in a free-market economy, you are more likely to find an individual worker who is motivated, dedicated and with less a propensity to slack off. There may be many reasons for this, including wanting to move up in life, pride in getting to work where you are happy, etc etc. I think that since that is more likely, you raise the average overall productivity of group as a whole.

    I think not of the educated, who can work and move more freely in a command economy, but those who are assigned to remedial jobs. They have no real incentive to push harder, to do better. We see a lot of that with current government workers even in a free-market economy. There's a reason government workers get a bad rap -- they are more likely to be unmotivated as workers. Their jobs being, in a sense, protected.

    Now, imagine if everyone is a government worker. The apathy will spread far and wide, affecting all sectors of the economy.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the low-level government jobs you're talking about have lousy incentive structures and low mobility. There are plenty of government fields where high mobility and strong incentive structures are the norm - the military being among them. People are extremely driven to excel at work at these, and I don't really see why similar structures can't be emulated across the field of government employ.

    Very correct. There are areas where this will work, but there are many many areas where it couldn't. The military is a good example. So is NASA. So is the FBI. There are many more. My argument is that you can't grow this past a certain set of idustries without lowing the overall production to horrific lows.
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    If you take it a bit farther, you can see how this affects the entire economy. Imagine I'm an engineer, and I have a great idea. I have to convince a beaurocracy to support it, rather than take the personal risk to develop it on my free time, or to find venture capitalists to help fund. Almost everything in a command economy becomes decision by committee.

    But you've laid out a system in which the capitalist and socialist roads lead to the same point - you are forced to work within byzantine self-interested bureaucracies, whether they be government bureaus or corporate boards in order to garner support for your idea or project. You see this all the time within university research structures as well as within the wild world of venture capital - if you want institutional support, you have to sell your idea on some group.

    They lead to the same point, you are correct, but they diverge again. If I feel I can do better than my employer and I've reached that point of having to work against the corporate board, I start a new company. In most cases, there are low barriers to entry. In a command economy, I am barred from doing that. It's not that it's harder to do, it is illegal to do so.

    I may need investors, correct, but that gets easier to acquire if my idea is good. I worked for a man who did this once. He had a good idea. The company we both worked for didn't bite on it, because the corporate people didn't get it. He quit, sold his stock, took out a loan, mortgaged his house and started a company. He recruited me and I worked for him for two years. Six years after he began it, he sold the company for 8 million dollars and now spends half his year on a beach, drinking margaritas.

    God Bless America.

    ryuprecht on
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited June 2007
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Democratically-run communism? That's a new oxymoron.

    But to be honest, I can see what you mean. The problem is, there really is no way to have a functional communist government without authoritarian leanings. Every major communist group curtails individual freedom in order to enforce an ideal. Democracy requires individual freedom. The two are functionally at odds with other, never to be resolved on a scale larger than a small commune.

    And therein lies the rub, communism may look good on paper, but to work it must demand an altruism from its participants, and all participants must be willing to partake. That could work at the level of a family, or a villiage, or maybe a small town (like Davis, Ca), but as it grows, there exists less incentive for an individual to participate to the same degree.

    And to ElJeffe...well, I have one word for you: teeth.

    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    There's no more reason to imagine that workers in a communist system are necessarily any more or less likely to slack off at work than workers in a capitalist system - accountability and enforcement and oversight are not unique to one or the other, and people in a socialist system can be fired and reprimanded and reassigned the same as any other system. The Soviet Union's lack of oversight on employees is clearly a function of a complete lack of oversight and accountability of the entire government, and this will be a simple fact in any autocracy or unaccountable business structure (as many American deregulation experiments have proven).

    Now, you might notice that I'm not being too careful to parse the difference between "socialist" and "communist." This is because I don't see the two as categorically distinct in terms of their economic structure, though I guess classical Marxian Communism has a lot of revolutionary baggage, fuzzy reasoning, and ill-fated sweeping pronouncements that I'd be hard-pressed to justify.

    If I had to fashion an argument, I would say that, on average, in a free-market economy, you are more likely to find an individual worker who is motivated, dedicated and with less a propensity to slack off. There may be many reasons for this, including wanting to move up in life, pride in getting to work where you are happy, etc etc. I think that since that is more likely, you raise the average overall productivity of group as a whole.

    I think not of the educated, who can work and move more freely in a command economy, but those who are assigned to remedial jobs. They have no real incentive to push harder, to do better. We see a lot of that with current government workers even in a free-market economy. There's a reason government workers get a bad rap -- they are more likely to be unmotivated as workers. Their jobs being, in a sense, protected.

    There are also plenty of people who are motivated by being a public servant. They take pride in their work because they are doing something for the communal good. Saying that they are unmotivated because they have a safe jobs seems like your suggesting that the threat of redundancy should be used as an incentive.

    The problem is that leads to a situation where people who've been hired as remedial workers, often having no position to progress to, are told "you must push harder and do better." This is equivalent to saying, "We hired you to perform a set task for a set wage, but now we've decided we want more money. So, work harder or you're sacked."

    That's not an incentive, that's a threat to take away somebody's livelihood.

    There are also a hell of a lot of unmotivated remedial workers in a capitalist society. Where's the motivation to work hard when you get an annual pay rise below inflation rates while watching the CEO give himself a Christmas bonus that's orders of magnitude higher than what you can earn in your entire life?

    A lot of this also presupposes that every person should be continually striving to produce more. However, that's only really important if you have an economy based on continual expansion.
    Now, imagine if everyone is a government worker. The apathy will spread far and wide, affecting all sectors of the economy.

    If you take it a bit farther, you can see how this affects the entire economy. Imagine I'm an engineer, and I have a great idea. I have to convince a beaurocracy to support it, rather than take the personal risk to develop it on my free time, or to find venture capitalists to help fund. Almost everything in a command economy becomes decision by committee.

    Finally, when you are faced with that decision making process, you have to attend a lot of meetings. Meetings suck. Meetings kill your desire to work. They kill everything about you, eating away your soul and leaving a skukling husk of what you used to be.

    The entire economy is run in meetings. I shudder at those poor poor people.

    Most of the problems you describe are just as prevalent in a capitalist democracy. And those that aren't are replaced by others.

    I think you're making some fairly big assumptions, or you're just projecting your own requirements of external threats/incentives.

    Gorak on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Finally, when you are faced with that decision making process, you have to attend a lot of meetings. Meetings suck. Meetings kill your desire to work. They kill everything about you, eating away your soul and leaving a skukling husk of what you used to be.

    The entire economy is run in meetings. I shudder at those poor poor people.
    I read this as I prepare to go at my mandatory unpaid lunch meeting in which nothing useful will be addressed or done. Having worked on both sides of the private/ public fence I've actually noticed a whole lot more useless meetings and absurdly time-consuming and wasteful paperwork and busywork as a result of faddish management techniques within private companies.

    Personality tests, Deming system, re-engineering, most knowledge management related stuff, and a ton of other shit that does little but consumes resources.

    Has anything done by a company to increase a spirit of teamwork ever actually done well?

    Couscous on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    Unless you have a group of people who are all fundamentally on-board with the communist ideal, it's just really not possible to keep the system stable without a whole lot of authoritarianism.

    I mean, communism is all about share-and-share-alike, right? Everyone contributes what they can, everyone gets what they need, and all that rot. Okay, so what if someone sort of hordes his "needed" goods until he has a surplus? What if he then starts, I dunno, trading them with others for goods or services? Suddenly, oh shit, you've got your capitalism in my communism, and the system starts to break down.

    There are two ways to combat this: Give everyone so little of everything that they can't possibly have enough to stockpile, or develop an extremely expansive authoritarian government that keeps an eye on everyone and makes sure that nobody is rocking the boat. Or, more likely, both. You know what you have now? You have the USSR. Of course, the handy thing is that your command economy will be so horribly inefficient that you won't have to arbitrarily limit how much stuff everyone gets. The famine and poverty will just happen automagically! How cool is that?

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • ryuprechtryuprecht Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Democratically-run communism? That's a new oxymoron.

    But to be honest, I can see what you mean. The problem is, there really is no way to have a functional communist government without authoritarian leanings. Every major communist group curtails individual freedom in order to enforce an ideal. Democracy requires individual freedom. The two are functionally at odds with other, never to be resolved on a scale larger than a small commune.

    And therein lies the rub, communism may look good on paper, but to work it must demand an altruism from its participants, and all participants must be willing to partake. That could work at the level of a family, or a villiage, or maybe a small town (like Davis, Ca), but as it grows, there exists less incentive for an individual to participate to the same degree.

    And to ElJeffe...well, I have one word for you: teeth.

    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    There's no more reason to imagine that workers in a communist system are necessarily any more or less likely to slack off at work than workers in a capitalist system - accountability and enforcement and oversight are not unique to one or the other, and people in a socialist system can be fired and reprimanded and reassigned the same as any other system. The Soviet Union's lack of oversight on employees is clearly a function of a complete lack of oversight and accountability of the entire government, and this will be a simple fact in any autocracy or unaccountable business structure (as many American deregulation experiments have proven).

    Now, you might notice that I'm not being too careful to parse the difference between "socialist" and "communist." This is because I don't see the two as categorically distinct in terms of their economic structure, though I guess classical Marxian Communism has a lot of revolutionary baggage, fuzzy reasoning, and ill-fated sweeping pronouncements that I'd be hard-pressed to justify.

    If I had to fashion an argument, I would say that, on average, in a free-market economy, you are more likely to find an individual worker who is motivated, dedicated and with less a propensity to slack off. There may be many reasons for this, including wanting to move up in life, pride in getting to work where you are happy, etc etc. I think that since that is more likely, you raise the average overall productivity of group as a whole.

    I think not of the educated, who can work and move more freely in a command economy, but those who are assigned to remedial jobs. They have no real incentive to push harder, to do better. We see a lot of that with current government workers even in a free-market economy. There's a reason government workers get a bad rap -- they are more likely to be unmotivated as workers. Their jobs being, in a sense, protected.

    There are also plenty of people who are motivated by being a public servant. They take pride in their work because they are doing something for the communal good. Saying that they are unmotivated because they have a safe jobs seems like your suggesting that the threat of redundancy should be used as an incentive.

    The problem is that leads to a situation where people who've been hired as remedial workers, often having no position to progress to, are told "you must push harder and do better." This is equivalent to saying, "We hired you to perform a set task for a set wage, but now we've decided we want more money. So, work harder or you're sacked."

    That's not an incentive, that's a threat to take away somebody's livelihood.

    There are also a hell of a lot of unmotivated remedial workers in a capitalist society. Where's the motivation to work hard when you get an annual pay rise below inflation rates while watching the CEO give himself a Christmas bonus that's orders of magnitude higher than what you can earn in your entire life?

    A lot of this also presupposes that every person should be continually striving to produce more. However, that's only really important if you have an economy based on continual expansion.

    That's why I said "more likely" and I spoke of averages. I'm not trying to sound rude (though it may come out that way) but your argument strikes me more as whining than anything. Don't like your remedial job in a capitalist society? Change jobs. The want ads are filled with open positions. People who know me personally know that I've changed jobs a lot in my life, and with one exception, it was all by choice because I wanted a better job.

    You are correct that some, maybe even a good deal of government workers work hard for the common good. That doesn't change the fact that there are a metric ton of them who don't. Now, in private business I can and do fire them. There are hundreds of people banging on the doors to take their jobs. That's not the always the case for the government, you can't fire them at all. They're like a broken shotgun: don't work, can't fire.
    Gorak wrote: »
    Now, imagine if everyone is a government worker. The apathy will spread far and wide, affecting all sectors of the economy.

    If you take it a bit farther, you can see how this affects the entire economy. Imagine I'm an engineer, and I have a great idea. I have to convince a beaurocracy to support it, rather than take the personal risk to develop it on my free time, or to find venture capitalists to help fund. Almost everything in a command economy becomes decision by committee.

    Finally, when you are faced with that decision making process, you have to attend a lot of meetings. Meetings suck. Meetings kill your desire to work. They kill everything about you, eating away your soul and leaving a skukling husk of what you used to be.

    The entire economy is run in meetings. I shudder at those poor poor people.

    Most of the problems you describe are just as prevalent in a capitalist democracy. And those that aren't are replaced by others.

    I think you're making some fairly big assumptions, or you're just projecting your own requirements of external threats/incentives.

    Sorry, I don't follow what you are arguing here.

    ryuprecht on
  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited June 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    Unless you have a group of people who are all fundamentally on-board with the communist ideal, it's just really not possible to keep the system stable without a whole lot of authoritarianism.

    I mean, communism is all about share-and-share-alike, right? Everyone contributes what they can, everyone gets what they need, and all that rot. Okay, so what if someone sort of hordes his "needed" goods until he has a surplus? What if he then starts, I dunno, trading them with others for goods or services? Suddenly, oh shit, you've got your capitalism in my communism, and the system starts to break down.

    There are two ways to combat this: Give everyone so little of everything that they can't possibly have enough to stockpile, or develop an extremely expansive authoritarian government that keeps an eye on everyone and makes sure that nobody is rocking the boat. Or, more likely, both. You know what you have now? You have the USSR. Of course, the handy thing is that your command economy will be so horribly inefficient that you won't have to arbitrarily limit how much stuff everyone gets. The famine and poverty will just happen automagically! How cool is that?

    Well, like I said before, I'm not all that enamored of authoritarianism, and I'm not convinced that command and market economies can't simultaneously coexist. We don't have a very apt public sphere at the moment, but it's also true that we don't try very hard and often elect to office buffoons who intentionally undermine the system.

    Socialism might be simply premised in an idea of sharing, but that's not a complete summation of what makes any socialized system work, and socialist systems no more ensure that all their participants are specifically abiding by the narrow ideals of socialism than capitalist systems ensure that all their participants are working in such a way as to maximize their utility and that everyone has wages proportional to their value and that every contract is specifically made with no power imbalance and with full knowledge on each side.

    Irond Will on
    Wqdwp8l.png
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited June 2007
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    There are also a hell of a lot of unmotivated remedial workers in a capitalist society. Where's the motivation to work hard when you get an annual pay rise below inflation rates while watching the CEO give himself a Christmas bonus that's orders of magnitude higher than what you can earn in your entire life?

    I'm not trying to sound rude (though it may come out that way) but your argument strikes me more as whining than anything. Don't like your remedial job in a capitalist society? Change jobs. The want ads are filled with open positions. People who know me personally know that I've changed jobs a lot in my life, and with one exception, it was all by choice because I wanted a better job.

    So what you're saying is, you've moved through a string of jobs you didn't like. Well done. And what makes you think that I work a remedial job? As it happens, I'm one of those educated people you mentioned.

    If you paid a little more attention to my post, you'd have noticed that I specifically stated that people who are hired for remedial jobs often have little chance of progression. That applies to their ability to find better jobs externally as well as internally. For the vast majority, the only alternate employment they stand a chance of securing is a similairly remedial job at another company.

    Also, prefacing a statement with "I'm not trying to sound rude," is a clear indication that you are, but you're trying to cover it by implying that what you are about to state is factual/obvious and therefore it's not your fault if someone takes offence.

    Gorak on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Socialism might be simply premised in an idea of sharing, but that's not a complete summation of what makes any socialized system work, and socialist systems no more ensure that all their participants are specifically abiding by the narrow ideals of socialism than capitalist systems ensure that all their participants are working in such a way as to maximize their utility and that everyone has wages proportional to their value and that every contract is specifically made with no power imbalance and with full knowledge on each side.

    itt: Will summarizes why purely capitalist and purely communist economies suck nuts.

    I don't think that one can have pure capitalism and pure communism and have it remain stable. In either situation, you're going to have a pissed-off underclass that's going to rise up one way or another and demand changes, and ignoring them will be politically untenable without an authoritarian government. Stable systems, I think, exist along a spectrum that has the US near one end, and someplace like Sweden near the other. You can get a little further right than the US, and you can get a little further left than Sweden, but if you go too much further, people are going to start getting pissed off.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • ryuprechtryuprecht Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    Gorak wrote: »
    There are also a hell of a lot of unmotivated remedial workers in a capitalist society. Where's the motivation to work hard when you get an annual pay rise below inflation rates while watching the CEO give himself a Christmas bonus that's orders of magnitude higher than what you can earn in your entire life?

    I'm not trying to sound rude (though it may come out that way) but your argument strikes me more as whining than anything. Don't like your remedial job in a capitalist society? Change jobs. The want ads are filled with open positions. People who know me personally know that I've changed jobs a lot in my life, and with one exception, it was all by choice because I wanted a better job.

    So what you're saying is, you've moved through a string of jobs you didn't like. Well done. And what makes you think that I work a remedial job? As it happens, I'm one of those educated people you mentioned.

    If you paid a little more attention to my post, you'd have noticed that I specifically stated that people who are hired for remedial jobs often have little chance of progression. That applies to their ability to find better jobs externally as well as internally. For the vast majority, the only alternate employment they stand a chance of securing is a similairly remedial job at another company.

    Also, prefacing a statement with "I'm not trying to sound rude," is a clear indication that you are, but you're trying to cover it by implying that what you are about to state is factual/obvious and therefore it's not your fault if someone takes offence.

    I was actually being genuine. I really didn't mean it as a rude comment, I just hear that argument used as whining on a near daily basis. There are near unlimited options to grow and get better in employment. And if you've peaked and are happy, then that's great. I'm serious.

    For the record, I made no assumptions on your job. I don't think my post was clear in that regard.

    ryuprecht on
  • PicardathonPicardathon Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Irond Will wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    I don't think that what you say is necessarily true, ryuprecht. While it's true that the large Communist countries uniquely devolved into authoritarianism, an easy argument could be made that this was a result of their shared histories - simultaneously fomenting revolution in pre-industrial feudal societies and performing rapid modernization and industrialization. Western Europe gives us a good picture of gradualist socialism in functioning democracies.

    Unless you have a group of people who are all fundamentally on-board with the communist ideal, it's just really not possible to keep the system stable without a whole lot of authoritarianism.

    I mean, communism is all about share-and-share-alike, right? Everyone contributes what they can, everyone gets what they need, and all that rot. Okay, so what if someone sort of hordes his "needed" goods until he has a surplus? What if he then starts, I dunno, trading them with others for goods or services? Suddenly, oh shit, you've got your capitalism in my communism, and the system starts to break down.

    There are two ways to combat this: Give everyone so little of everything that they can't possibly have enough to stockpile, or develop an extremely expansive authoritarian government that keeps an eye on everyone and makes sure that nobody is rocking the boat. Or, more likely, both. You know what you have now? You have the USSR. Of course, the handy thing is that your command economy will be so horribly inefficient that you won't have to arbitrarily limit how much stuff everyone gets. The famine and poverty will just happen automagically! How cool is that?

    Well, like I said before, I'm not all that enamored of authoritarianism, and I'm not convinced that command and market economies can't simultaneously coexist. We don't have a very apt public sphere at the moment, but it's also true that we don't try very hard and often elect to office buffoons who intentionally undermine the system.

    Socialism might be simply premised in an idea of sharing, but that's not a complete summation of what makes any socialized system work, and socialist systems no more ensure that all their participants are specifically abiding by the narrow ideals of socialism than capitalist systems ensure that all their participants are working in such a way as to maximize their utility and that everyone has wages proportional to their value and that every contract is specifically made with no power imbalance and with full knowledge on each side.
    So you insult the politicians and the voters who put them in office while stating that a democracy is the only solution?
    In a perfect world everyone would be smart enough that they wouldn't vote buffoons and psychos into office.
    In a perfect world communism would work perfectly, and a mixture would work as well.
    We do not live in a perfect world.

    Picardathon on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Low Key wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    ryuprecht wrote: »
    OMG I so want to reply to this and go off on how wrong this is and all that stuff but damn it's off-topic times 5 and so I won't.

    Damn.

    What the hell is wrong with you? If you think its wrong, just say "its wrong" and give a short explanation if not, then don't. When you do this it makes me think "he has no argument and is a douche"


    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    No, its pretty much true.

    aw shit, i can't argue with your inescapable logic
    Sorry, i just don't really want to go into it here. Its enough of a pain as it is.


    Hahaha, oh man if you did this deliberately Goum that is fucking hilarious. I mean it's hilarious either way, but benefit of the doubt and all.

    No, the first was an an attack on the statement "I want to argue against this, but i cant" and the second is the statement "Im to lazy to go into this here". I dont want to go into it, so im letting the matter drop. Especially since in this case it really doesnt deal with the topic under discussion, which is specifically for all you guys who keep dragging this off topic. The comparison between general welfare in the U.S.S.R./Warsaw pact to the rest of the world.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Roanth wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »

    Eastern Europe was part of the U.S.S.R and would be considered along with the rest.

    What? No.

    Poland was not part of the USSR, Bulgaria was not part of the USSR, East Germany was not part of the USSR.

    And the USSR plundered and crushed any opposition within those countries.

    They were, for all intents and purposes at the time, a singular unit. Technically they were seperate, but for the purposes of the comparison they would not be.

    You are aware that the USSR literally tore down factories and heavy industry throughout Eastern Europe and shipped the pieces back to Russia at the end of WWII? They literally stripped the land like a pack of locusts and never did much to replace the capital they took. I believe in a mixed system as well but your attempt to portray the Soviet rule of Eastern Europe as anything other than a classic exploitation of an area by an imperialist power is just fucking retarded.

    EDIT: Under your logic, Germany's occupation and economic exploitation of areas under its control during WWII would also qualify for this "singular" unit treatment

    Yea, for the purposes of the comparison, this makes sense. Then again, since no one is actually arguing about the comparison and everyone is overlooking the context due to the split, it doesn't really matter anymore.

    Hell, the original comment that spawned this isnt even contained in this thread.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • SavantSavant Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Ah the OP is such a silly goose. While I don't doubt that there is a fair amount of exploitation of third worlders, the ignorance of international economics to think that trade is largely exploitation is silly. And to suggest that that type of exploitation is limited to capitalistic societies is completely absurd. Exploitation requires coercion or confederates on the inside prepared to exploit their countrymen.
    The Cat wrote: »
    Here's a question for everyone: Do you think Soviet-style Communism would have worked if it used elected officials rather than whoever seized power? With more competent leaders, disasters like the Virgin Lands project and enormous human rights violations regarding slave-labor camps would probably have been avoided, and the Russian economy and people would probably have simply been run more efficiently because fucking up had consequences.

    Also, does anyone know about some historical theory about all revolutions, how they really just are a cycle? I think it's interesting because the cycle appears to hold true for all revolutions, including the one that put the Bolsheviks in power, except for the American Revolution. At least, not yet
    I think command economies in general lend themselves to authoritarianism and corruption. I mean, if one group is making all the decisions about the economy, then that group holds a disproportionate amount of power in general. Said power usually extends to other spheres.
    Or, if a group has total control over the economy, without any dissent, then they usually can take power without extra fuss.
    I think people would just keep voting and lobbying for the ability to do what they want, like any other democracy. A command economy would be pretty quickly nibbled to crumbs. Hell, that's happening in China without elections. All you need to do is wave around fat sacks of cash and oh hey, the rules are changing!
    So essentially it either goes towards capitalist democracy as we know it, or it goes towards autocratic communism as we know it.
    If democratic communism would work then we need to figure out a way for it not to just transform into either capitalist democracy or autocratic communism.

    The situation where communism has a chance to flurish and not necessarily be riddled with authoritarianism is in a very small, homogenous nation or community. There people have incentives to do their best for their fellow men because they know a lot of each other and try to keep "from each according to his means to each according to his needs" from spreading too far apart.

    Once you get into the situation with a large, diverse nation then you pretty much need an authoritarian government to keep it from falling apart. Even then, a lot of times the people will only be motivated to put out minimal effort not to get in trouble, and will have incentives to extract as much as they can for short term gain. Add into the inefficiencies of a central government micromanaging almost every aspect of the economy and you have problems.

    Savant on
  • RoanthRoanth Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Roanth wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »
    Goumindong wrote: »

    Eastern Europe was part of the U.S.S.R and would be considered along with the rest.

    What? No.

    Poland was not part of the USSR, Bulgaria was not part of the USSR, East Germany was not part of the USSR.

    And the USSR plundered and crushed any opposition within those countries.

    They were, for all intents and purposes at the time, a singular unit. Technically they were seperate, but for the purposes of the comparison they would not be.

    You are aware that the USSR literally tore down factories and heavy industry throughout Eastern Europe and shipped the pieces back to Russia at the end of WWII? They literally stripped the land like a pack of locusts and never did much to replace the capital they took. I believe in a mixed system as well but your attempt to portray the Soviet rule of Eastern Europe as anything other than a classic exploitation of an area by an imperialist power is just fucking retarded.

    EDIT: Under your logic, Germany's occupation and economic exploitation of areas under its control during WWII would also qualify for this "singular" unit treatment

    Yea, for the purposes of the comparison, this makes sense. Then again, since no one is actually arguing about the comparison and everyone is overlooking the context due to the split, it doesn't really matter anymore.

    Hell, the original comment that spawned this isnt even contained in this thread.

    Fair enough. The thread has moved on to bigger and better things so I will just drop this point

    Roanth on
  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Savant wrote: »
    Ah the OP is such a silly goose. While I don't doubt that there is a fair amount of exploitation of third worlders, the ignorance of international economics to think that trade is largely exploitation is silly. And to suggest that that type of exploitation is limited to capitalistic societies is completely absurd. Exploitation requires coercion or confederates on the inside prepared to exploit their countrymen.

    There is no OP. You are 13 pages or so behind. There is no assumption that trade is largely exploitation. There is no suggestion that exploitation is limited to capitalistic societies.

    As well, it does not require coercion, but that is a manner in which tribute can be extracted.

    Goumindong on
    wbBv3fj.png
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Just jumping in to say GO CAPITALISM against the red menace.

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

    Path of Exile: themightypuck
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