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u/the8thbit · 2 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

> Tribes would compete. We know that. This was universal with tribal societies. It's human nature to compete. Yes, it was advantageous to compete with other humans when you have other people on your side. Now, there are no more tribes. We live in an incredibly complex society, yet we still compete, and we always will.

Competition and trade are not necessarily bad things, they're just inefficient. It is true that tribal societies, when encountering other tribal societies in isolation, would occasionally trade, compete, and fight, however, this is believed to be relatively rare. Not that this really effects much. I recommend this book and the studies contained within, as it significantly altered our understanding of tribal societies, and forms the foundation for a contemporary understanding of prehistoric/protohistoric archeology.

> This competition, capitalism as it called now, will never go away.

That's quite a bold claim... Capitalism is at most 400 years old, starting with the first forceful enclosures of common farmland and intercontinental limited liability corporations which created the earliest capital, and is particularly unstable relative to other historical forms of organization: Before capitalism, massive anarchist societies with millions of members like what I described did not exist. Now they have, (in the form of, at the very least, CNT-FAI Spain, but also Free Territory Ukraine, RFM, etc...) along with a smattering of smaller societies.

> Central planning tries to control that, or in other words, it tries to control people. But that simply cannot work, because people are for the most part unpredictable.

I agree, which is one issue I have with capitalism. Capitalist economies are at least partially centrally planned by capitalists, rather than decentrally planned by workers, or the result of unplanned free exchange. This is why capitalism so commonly has boom and bust cycles, and why an entire capitalist economy can be so negatively impacted by one capitalist enterprise.

> economic terms, that means that a communist government would create, inherently (and this is assuming that it's a 100% righteous, uncorruptable, "for-the-people" government), inefficiency. ... That's what communism inherently creates.

What does centralized planning have to do with communist "governments"?

> nd what do inefficiencies create? Distorted markets - too high/ too low of prices, too high/ too low of wages, too much or too little investment here, too much or too little investment there, unemployment, unfair trading practices, etc.


> which will never work as well as free market capitalism.

I think you might be conflating free markets with capitalism. They are very different, and indeed mutually exclusive concepts. A free market is an organizational model in which actors engage in trade when exchanging properties, and where these exchanges occur without interference from the state. Capitalism is a system of private ownership of the means of production through which firms compete to acquire capital. Capital is value (either in the form of money, commodities, or the means of production) gained through the production and exchange of a commodity which is greater than the value of the commodity being produced. In other words, 'capital' is the profit that a capitalist accumulates through the sale of a commodity. In order for the profit to be greater than the cost of the commodity value has to be derived from some other source. The only source of value, beyond the value of the actual commodities used in production, is the value of labor used in the production of the commodity. This value is what allows the exchange value of the produced commodity to exceed the exchange value of its component commodities. Now, this labor value is derived directly from the labor produced by the worker(s), however, the capitalist also sees profit after the sale of the produced commodity. Therefore, a portion of the labor value generated by the worker is necessarily alienated from him. As this type of relation is clearly to the disadvantage of the worker, this model requires either a state to enforce private property relations (private property is property owned by one actor, but used by another. (This is not to be confused with the private/public dichotomy which denotes an economic sector within capitalism. The philosophical concept of 'private property' is distinct from but related to that dichotomy.)) or it requires working people to be unrealistically altruistic towards the capitalist class. Thus, if we assume that individuals are necessarily self-interested we can conclude that private property can not form without some sort of state to enforce it. (e.g., if I take the cash out of the register at the end of the day, there needs to be some sort of police force to arrest me, or at least prevent me from returning to work in order to maintain private property relations.) As a result, an actual free market society would be much less centralized than capitalism, and would resemble more the society that I previously described, except that it would not necessarily be federated, and that it would primarily engage in trade rather than gift exchange.

> This is illogical. Capitalism in America, has existed for all of American history (in different degrees, granted), yet we are only now seeing a degradation of the family unit?

No. The capitalist destruction of the family unit as an economic actor has been a slow and gradual process marked by increased access to education, (allowing individuals to escape modes of production ingrained within the family structure. (e.g., the cobbler's son is no longer necessarily a cobbler, as he generally would be in a feudalist society)) the consolidation of the class system into two distinct classes, and the introduction of women in the workplace.

> have a great family, and I grew up in capitalist America.

I am not referring to the destruction of "family values" or a "healthy family", but rather, the destruction of an economic structure that locks families into certain classes, modes of organization, and/or modes of production, as fuedalist, slave, and primitive communist societies did.

> Good point. Modern humans (and various humanoids related and even before homo sapiens) have been around for about 10,000 years, living in tribal communities under what was essential communism, as you've said. It was not until the advent of capitalism that we see technology develop, standards of living increase, communication and eventually globalization (which I think we can all agree is a good thing) occur.

Technologies have been developing since well before even humans evolved. (e.g., controlled fire) Permanent settlements were the result of the agricultural revolution which occurred during our primitive communist period, but resulted in both the creation of permanent settlements and the state/the first slave societies. Communications technologies have developed gradually throughout slave, fuedalist, and capitalist society to allow permanent settlements to better communicate, the church bell, for example, allowing for simple communication over relatively large distances, telecommunications allowing for complex international and later global communication.

u/baudrillardismygod · 1 pointr/DebateaCommunist

I don't really know a whole lot about socialism or communism, but I'm going to try to refute you just for fun.

  1. Incentive

    So your first point claimed that people only clean their own house because they benefit from it, not because it benefits society as a whole (or some other reason). Moreover, you claim that no one really cares about cleanliness in public places, or at least no one wants to take responsibility for it.

    Because I'm not really sure if you are critiquing socialism or communism (as they go back and forth between the two in OP's video), I'll just defend both.

    In the case of socialism, your argument doesn't really apply: incentivization is a major part of socialism. In fact, it is essential to it. Under socialism, individuals are motivated to work because the more one works, the more one has access to resources. As Marx put it, to each according to his contribution.

    Under communism, cleanliness is not really an issue. Marx claims that communism can only arise under sufficiently advanced technological conditions. Thus, it isn't a stretch to claim that these conditions include the ability to keep public (or private) places clean with little to no work.

    Finally, it isn't true that the division of labor is eradicated under socialism. Remember, socialism is just like capitalism in terms of work conditions except one is rewarded for their work rather than some arbitrary wage drawn up by a CEO. In the case of communism, division of labor is outmoded because of sufficiently advanced technology.

  2. Automation

    >"Automation" is this magic wand that nowadays is often waved over all the shortcomings of socialism to make them disappear

    This isn't really true. In some ways, socialism is the answer to technological shortcomings of capitalism. Whereas capitalist technological advancements can be driven by fads or trends, socialism promises a strict adherence to what is necessary. E.g. instead of encouraging engineers to develop a Digital 2-in-1 iPotty, they are encouraged to work only on stuff that matters (no, we don't need the iPotty). Given enough time of focused innovation, required labor would reduce, hastening the era of communism.

    >Ironically the degree of automation we are seeing today and on the horizon would never have occurred if Marx had his way.

    Just so you're clear, Marx never really morally criticized capitalism.. Marx merely remarked upon patterns he noticed in capitalism. Thus, Marx is more a historian than a revolutionary. Similarly, Marx never encouraged revolution. He only claimed that revolution is inevitable and that it is in the interest of the proletariat.

  3. Regarding who will do the hard jobs

    Again, the hard jobs argument shouldn't even really be an argument, and I don't really think OP's video really made a good refutation of it. I kind of addressed this earlier: in socialism, incentivization functions in a nearly identical fashion as it does in capitalism, the only difference being that it more directly incentivizes work rather than finding a boss who will you screw you the least.

    Furthermore, the claim that work ethic today has decreased is unfounded (especially considering that you failed to provide any sources.) Even if your example of lazy rich kids is correct, this is just another strike against capitalism: under socialism, the economic chasm between rich and poor shrinks. Spoiled rich children is a symptom of the capitalist inclination for inequality.

    For communism, the hard jobs are not those of physical labor (since these are minimized by technological innovation) but of philosophical antinomies, I claim. People will have to wrestle with the fundamental absurdity of their existence, the inevitability of death (although maybe we can prevent this with advances in medicine), and the indifference of the universe. But that's neither here nor there.

  4. Financial incentive as invention

    I've already addressed this a bunch of times.

  5. "Stupidly efficient machines"

    Unfortunately, I know nothing about this, but I think I understand the point that OP was trying to make. Basically, because capitalism emphasizes selling commodities for the highest price while paying workers the least amount, we get these strange anomalies where companies will actually produce less in order to make a profit. Under socialism and communism, the focus shifts from exploiting the proletariat to maximizing production for the least labor. Only then do these weird capitalist idiosyncrasies disappear.

  6. USSR and historical failures of communism:

    >They just were never able to get past the basic problem that summarizes most of the issues here: the economic calculation problem

    There is no evidence for this. In fact, there's no evidence for this being an observable issue in any economy, ever. Mises, the economist who came up with the economic calculation problem, himself claimed that "its statements and propositions are not derived from experience. They are, like those of logic and mathematics, a priori. They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts." Essentially, the problem is a purely theoretical one and is unscientific because it cannot be tested. Thus, the "problem" only indicates inaccuracies in the neoclassical economic model.

  7. "Just look at the progress we have made in capitalism alone."

    >the above statement... really does reflect the positive trend over time for our capitalist society to make things better for people at the bottom.

    If you honestly believe capitalism helps the lower class, you are sorely misinformed. Read this and this for some quick statistics. It's really, really well documented that capitalism causes excessive economic inequality.

    Your idea of implementing "capitalism-with-a-social-safety-net" is a step in the right direction. Access to food, medicine, homes, etc. should be available to everyone, if not for moral reasons then at least for economic reasons, as you yourself have suggested. But this doesn't solve the problem of inequality, it only allows it to persist, albeit in a less extreme state.

    >"under socialism the rich are poorer, but the poor are poorer too."

    Under capitalism, the poor still get poorer. The rich get richer, but this is hardly a benefit. I don't really see how your statement really motivates any member of the proletariat to embrace capitalism.

  8. "Pressure" on the USSR from the outside:

    >The USSR was actively trying to incite communist revolutions throughout the world. They weren't an innocent bystander being bullied from the outside.

    Honestly, it doesn't matter who bullied who. The fact of the matter is that there was international (and intranational) conflict for Russia at the time. This muddied the waters, making it hard to establish a truly socialist regime without fear of domination from other countries. Like OP said, there were world wars going on at the time. Russia had to make sacrifices, and ultimately they regressed ideologically.

    People who actually know about socialism and communism, please correct where I am wrong. I only have a passing interest in Communism. I'm more of a Baudrillard fan than a Marx fan :)
u/[deleted] · 11 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

Agricultural collectivism as seen in the USSR and PRC and so on has been an enormous failure, but that's not an indictment of "communism" as such as it is an indictment of dogmatic Stalinism. There are other regimes of land ownership that a communist society might employ. The article itself (let's assume it's entirely accurate) points to one:

>They agreed to break the law at the time by signing a secret agreement to divide the land, local People's Commune, into family plots.
Each plot was to be worked by an individual family who would turn over some of what they grew to the government and the collective whilst at the same time agreeing that they could keep the surplus for themselves.

Compare this to a passage from James Scott's Seeing Like A State, quoted in Kevin Carson's Communal Property, a Libertarian Analysis:

>Let us imagine a community in which families have usufruct rights to parcels of cropland during the main growing season. Only certain crops, however, may be planted, and every seven years the usufruct land
is distributed among resident families according to each family's size and its number of able-bodied adults. After the harvest of the main-season crop, all cropland reverts to common land where any family may glean,
graze their fowl and livestock, and even plant quickly maturing, dry-season crops. Rights to graze fowl and livestock on pasture-land held in common by the village is extended to all local families, but the number of animals that can be grazed is restricted according to family size, especially in dry years when forage isscarce.... Everyone has the right to gather firewood for normal family needs, and the village blacksmith and
baker are given larger allotments. No commercial sale from village woodlands is permitted.

>Trees that have been planted and any fruit they may bear are the property of the family who planted them, no matter where they are now growing.... Land is set aside for use or leasing out by widows with
children and dependents of conscripted males.... After a crop failure leading to a food shortage, many of these arrangements are readjusted. Better-off villagers are expected to assume some responsibility for poorer relatives—by sharing their land, by hiring them, or by simply feeding them. Should the shortage persist, a council composed of heads of families may inventory food supplies and begin daily rationing.

Carson goes on to say that:

>The village commune model traced its origins, in the oldest areas of civilization, back to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, when humans first began to raise crops in permanent village settlements. Before that time, the dominant social grouping was the semi-nomadic hunter-gather group. As hunter-gatherers experimented with saving a portion of the grain they'd gathered, they became increasingly tied to permanent settlements.

> In the areas where communal tenure reemerged in Dark Age Europe, after the collapse of Roman power, the village commune had its origin in the settlement of barbarian tribes. (Even in Europe, the village commune was actually the reemergence of a social unit which had previously been partly suppressed, first by the Roman Republic in Italy and later by the Empire in its areas of conquest). In both cases, the hunter-gather group or the clan was a mobile or semi-mobile social unit based on
common kinship relations. So the village commune commonly had its origins in a group of settlers who saw themselves as members of the same clan and sharing a common ancestry, who broke the land
for a new agricultural settlement by their common efforts. It was not, as the modern town, a group of atomized individuals who simply happened to live in the same geographic area and had to negotiate the
organization of basic public services and utilities in some manner or other.

Now, consider the following examples, two real, one hypthetical:

One: I lived for a time in Boulder County, Colorado. In an attempt to keep suburban sprawl (Denver) out, the county owns a lot of farmland, which it leases to local tenants for $100/acre/year (which is enormously cheap). You don't own the land and have to abide by certain restrictions, but you are free to farm it however you like. I worked for an elderly couple who grew organic raspberries on 5 acres, for sale at the farmer's market. Next door there was a five acre plot that was run by a CSA whose members all participated in the working of the land. We can imagine other ways to work farmland of this kind, based on different sorts of collectives-- CSAs, communes, families. But I can't imagine an "individual" trying to be a farmer on more land than a tiny garden.

Example two: A friend of mine recently bought into a land trust in the mountains nearby. The trust consists of 380 acres, which is divided into 12 5 acre plots; the remaining 320 acres form a common which is cooperatively managed by the land trust council (consisting of one representative from each of the individual plots). Buying in doesn't buy you ownership of "your" five acres; it buys you a 99 year lease. At the end of this time, the council will decide whether and how to reapportion the land.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Example three, hypothetical: In a given community, all land is understood to be either owned in common or not owned at all, but is under management of the community as a whole. This management takes the form of regular distribution/redistribution of the land between smaller units. These units may be families (of any shape and structure), collectives or communes, religious communities, small businesses, homesteaders, or whatever. They have a right to live on their (however many) acres as they please provided they follow certain environmental guidelines agreed on by the community. Common land, including common buildings, would be managed by the community after a manner of its choosing. Land redistribution and matters of "taxation"-- or what individual units owe to the whole-- can be decided by the community as they see fit.

This is a model of communal land ownership which has nothing to do with that found in Stalinist theory and practice, and much more resembles the "agro-industrial federation" proposed by Proudhon. It also resembles communal land ownership systems found in traditional tribe and village societies throughout the globe, including ancestral European societies. That includes the traditional village mir or obschina in Russia which was destroyed by "collectivization" exactly as and by the same process through which communal land ownership systems practiced by indigenous people in the United States were destroyed and land transferred to enormous land-owning corporations (such as timber, mining, railroad, ranching, and agricultural interests).

Returning to the example of Xiaoging, three things jump out at me:

First, the villagers did not restore "individual ownership" of the means of production. They restored family ownership of agricultural land. What is a family, in this context? A small collective (or commune) of people who share a common identity, a common living space; who work together and regularly participate in "from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs"-type interactions. What if the definition of "family" could be extended beyond the two-parent unit or whatever it actually is in Xiaoging?

Second, the villagers redistributed the land owned by the "collective" themselves, through a basically democratic process. They got together and decided which families got what land. That's great! I wish we could do that with land owned by Weyerhaueser. But I am going to suggest that the villagers descendants 100 years from now may wish that their ancestors had built in a mechanism for regularly reconvening-- every 7, 20, or 50 years; whatever-- to reapportion land based on need. And in fact, without knowing it, they may have-- the next time a land tenure crisis turns up, the precedent set in 1978 may provide a solution.

Third, the villagers continued to supply agricultural products to the state and the collective. Of course, they had no other choice-- and in a similar manner, village communes in Western Europe and Russia supplied regular crops to feudal lords, the church, and the tsarist state. These types of organizations are layered parasitically over the collective, but there may be a way to return their better features-- the feature of a collective which can redistribute the products of agriculture as needed-- while democratizing them and eliminating the element of coercion. I don't have a good example of how this might work. What is needed is a mechanism to distribute the agricultural surplus from the country and to get industrial tools to the farmers. The freed market is one such mechanism; voluntary cooperatives are another; local production of tools via 3D printers is another. My point is that the villagers can, under capitalism, act as atomized individuals, but in a postcapitalist society they will be better served by continuing various projects in common, such as maintaining schools, libraries, and other public buildings on their common land.

u/angrycommie · 1 pointr/DebateaCommunist

Please read this and educate yourself. You are making yourself look like a fool.

Thinking Your Way to Freedom: This is an excellent textbook, and I studied under her.

The Logic Book:

Perhaps after studying and educating yourself, you may see how your statements are in error. I would advise you stop throwing around "logical fallacies" everywhere. It makes you look like a fool, it is elitist and highly cringe-worthy. I used to be like you, but I acquired an education in philosophy (Kant is my main area of research, as is the philosophy of mind), and realized how foolish I had been. You're the embodiment of /r/atheism, grasping at the straws by (wrongly) insinuating the other person has committed logical fallacies by naming fancy ones- is at best cringe worthy. You are like a child who has been proven wrong by a professor who cannot accept his defeat, so he resorts to nit picking fictitious fallacies. It's funny how you must think you are a superb armchair internet intellectual, looking about a list of logical fallacies to use as your main driving point in arguments. I too, felt euphoric whenever I thought someone else committed a logical fallacy by going "ah ha! What you've just stated is a FALLACY! What now?" but I was young and foolish. This is epistemic poverty. I urge you to at least skim through the books I have suggested or any other logic book. They helped me immensely during my undergrad and grad years. I would recommend developing a strong background in logic and epistemology (mainly the JTB account and the Gettier Response to it). After having done that and you no longer want to grasp at the straws and act like a child, I will be more than willing to help.

u/nickik · 0 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

They never where communist. If anything they where socialist. But the are defntily not anymore, the socialist elements start going away more and more.

Basiclly you have this. China isn't doing well economly mao dies. The Communist Party kind of figure out that he have to do something about the problems in china. Some of them are more open to change and trying diffrent thing.

So part of what they do is giving the diffrent parts of china more freedom, as long as they still pay there taxes to the federal goverment. So these subparts of china for multible reasons throw away concepts, or maybe its more accurate to say the where withering away.

This allowed the Communist Party to keep beeing in power (and they still are) but it has nothing to do with socialism or commisum or any of there original ideas (when mao and five other guys where planning this hole revolution somewhere in a small boat).

So now you have a china that is pretty free market in some places, the big citys are pretty simular to citys like HongKong, while on the inside of china you have still a lot of the old 'socilaist' rules.

So china today is a mixed bag of oldschool socilaism in some places, relativle free markets in other combined with a goverment that can be discribed as technocratic. Meaning let 'experts' figure things out.

Check out 'How China Became Capitalist' by the nobel price winning economist Ronald Coase. Its really goes step by step threw the diffrent changes in china.


u/59179 · 2 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

> By definition, it wouldn't be a free market if their wealth was being confiscated by the use of force and then redistributed in a way that doesn't benefit themselves.

Not socialism, not even remotely. Stop debating and learn what socialism is, from socialists, not propaganda socialists from your owners.

>Everything from durable shoes and TVs to softer tissue paper and creamier peanut butter.

Unsustainable, tool of the capitalist - we should be given TVs for free as much as advertising profits them and controls us, wasteful, unhealthy sickening.

Get real.

>No one is putting a gun to their heads and telling them to waste their money.

Yes, they are. These manipulations are more controlling than the fear of a gunshot.

>I wonder if we could possibly create a society void of such cultural influences.

Deliberately so, yes, get rid of the profit motive.

>Having resources, easy access to clean water, unmatched medicine, an average length of life double that of parts of Africa...

Who do you think destroyed Africa? Capitalism's wealth is built off the backs of the third world.

And you can't mention clean water and capitalists in the same sentence, are you daft?

>Can you give me an example of exploitation in your opinion?

Do you know nothing of communism and Marx? You need r/communism101 for such questions.

>The fact that we have a "hierarchy" or a range of incomes does not mean anything.

Wat? We live in a plutocracy, fyi.

>What means something is the standard of living of the people.

As long as the people do not control the economy, the "standard of living" will always be unacceptable for many.

>And it's ironic that you'd say "theft" when advocating for socialism.


>A free market is essential for freedom.

So stop supporting capitalism. It is not free in any sense of the word.

>people are free to choose what they want to do with their lives, but if that involves taking other people's freedom away, then they need to be stopped.


>Explain to me how a support in a free market is also a support of our current government's actions.

Again, capitalism is not a free market. That's socialism, if you knew your terms.

Capitalists own things. They crave power, they buy governments, that's a plutocracy.

>Supporting a free market is the same as supporting violations of freedom? How?

Again, capitalism is not a free market.

>So if I don't believe that 320 million people can all work together and function as one community, I'm subjecting myself to slavery?

Small and local is all that is needed.

>I may need to move on and speak to someone who's willing to have an honest conversation. A conversation shouldn't resemble a speech by a demagogue.

You are truly delusional.

>How is standard of living going to get rid of people's ridiculous religious beliefs

Economics is about power. Until you get that, you will always be willing to be bought off by the next shiney bauble.

These religions as practiced today is about power.

>Do fat capitalists with top hats meet in a large room and discuss their next plans on how to divide the masses and to keep them blind to the reality of the world?

Not anymore. It is ingrained in you, your public or religious education.

Read this

> They didn't care what color your skin was, as long as your money was green.

Until the white workers and black workers formed unions and challenged the capitalists for more equitable pay.

>The [PLUTOCRACY]] created segregation, NOT the free market.

FTFY. Of course an actual free market, socialism, would not.

>What people mean by natural rights is the right for a person not to be subject to force.

You don't even know what the term means...

You are extremely ignorant. You need to understand what you read, not just be able to parrot what sounds good.

u/veldurak · 2 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

You seem to ignore the fact that the capitalist literally does nothing. You act as though he runs the company - managers run the company, which he hires. All the capitalist does is risk money and hire workers. From the lowest grunt to the managers to the CEO, all of these are considered as workers. Have you ever seen the show Shark Tank? Those are capitalists. All they do is throw money at businesses and take a cut of 15%-40% of the company's profits.

>The anarcho-capitalist society would not fetish risk.

How? It's impossible for there to be capitalists without this.

>The average laborer cannot be asked to manage a powerplant.The average laborer cannot be asked to manage a powerplant.

Nor does the average capitalist.
>if the society 200 years ago had become completely communist, would it be as technologically advanced and as great living conditions

I believe capitalism is very good at what it claims to do - be efficient. But at what cost? Workers being treated better with a slower rate of technologic advancement is a worthy tradeoff. Remember though that socialism is only possible after capitalism has already created the productive capacities to provide for everyone. This was not the case 200 years ago. Do I feel like technology wouldn't advance under a socialist society? No. Why wouldn't it?

>where "poor" people often have access to TV and other recently extremely rare commodities?

You are making the assumption from a Western prospective, ignoring living conditions in the countries that have been imperialized. You could argue that the US as a whole has become a sort of global bourgeois through it's exploitation of the Third World. From a global prospective, the situation is bunk for the poor. That's besides the fact social services are what provides the quality of life the poor currently have. If conservatives had their way, that wouldn't exist at all.

>If the progress of the USSR and the US are any reason to compare, I'd say that there is almost no improvement in the living conditions of those in the communist society

The USSR was definitely not communist, and never really even socialism. It was state capitalism, which is were the state takes of the worker's surplus value in a similar way that the capitalist does today. I don't understand why AnCaps can understand state exploitation here, but can't understand it when a capitalist does it. A number of historical circumstances pushed the USSR into doing this. I could explain if you need me to.

>he/she might expect to get fired soon.

I'd agree people shouldn't rely solely on their partner. I was talking more about this - sometimes people get laid off without warning and aren't able to get another job. This isn't a matter of them not "working" hard enough, sometimes the economy is just shit. That's how the business cycle works. Whoever says equal opportunty is possible in a capitalist society is a joke. People are shaped by their circumstances, if you were born in Palestine you'd probably be finishing up noon prayer right now. Steve Jobs wouldn't of invented the iPhone if he was broken in a broken family in an inner-city neighborhood. Or if he was born 1000 years ago, for that matter. Have you read Outliers? It goes through the lives of several famous people and how they managed to succeed. The most common trend is that they all were in the right place, at the right time. Don't tell me anyone can become a millionarie if they work hard enough, or to pull myself up by my bootstraps.

> The machinery, maintenance, and other fixed/variable costs are necessary and therefore subtracted.

Did the capitalist build these things? Did the capitalist who owns the company who made these things produce them? If you go back to it, the raw materials were probably taken from a Third-World countries by capitalists who bought the land from a government okay with "free trade" (it doesn't particularly matter what type of government to the First World as long as they'll cooperate economically, dictators are pretty chill - but a socialist who might mess something up? Oh no you didn't!) I repeat - a capitalist does nothing besides have money and profit off the labor of others.

> If pay is determined by need, then only the worthless beggars are rewarded; the more worthless the better.

The principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" will be implemented only in communism. There would be no money - I'm not sure what you mean by "paid". If you're a contributing member of society, you'll have access to what you require. Similarly, someone physically handicapped would have access to what they needed - sure, they might need a bit more (wheelchair, etc) but would you really want to be handicapped? Your example seems to be confusing socialism and communism together.

>capitalists have been shown to be the largest givers to charity

Capitalists also have the most money, and past a certain point, wealth doesn't increase your quality of life. The difference between 20k and 100k a year is tremendous, but the difference between 1m and 5m is negligible. Why wouldn't they donate it?

u/gliberty · 1 pointr/DebateaCommunist

I'm curious to hear more of your thoughts on it if you keep reading!

I think "utopian collectivist" is fair because it truly was a utopian ideology in the general sense - it was a blueprint for a system that was not just better but ideal, the "end of history", this is in Marx not just Lenin and was agreed by all those (Bolshevik and otherwise) who supported the Soviet experiment - and it was collectivist rather than individualist, which no Bolshevik would deny. It's not judgmental. I think it's a fair term.

I do have a background in Austrian economics although by the time of writing the dissertation, and now, I find it extremely flawed and wanting in it's current form. I have also always been emotionally connected to socialism in various forms, and was raised in a socialist family.

I do think the "fault" is in the ideas, but it is true that the particular outcome might have been very different under different circumstances, as must always be the case. You'll see more about my thoughts on this if you keep reading.

I have read plenty by Lenin and other Bolsheviks against reformism, along with some of their contemporaries, and also some more recent/modern Marxist writers on the subject, writing in the 1940s, 1960s, and later. (Some post-Lenin writers I have read, aside from Stalin and Soviet writers, include Mattick, Eastman, Shachtman, Draper).

(Yes, I've read Hal Draper and have read that article before.)

You might find it interesting to read what those outside Russia who were in favor of the Bolsheviks before the revolution wrote as it happened - a few saw right away that it would end as it did, many supported it for a long time and closed their eyes to any problems.

You might enjoy [this] ( by Eastman, and as for utopianism, you might enjoy several things which you can find quoted in my dissertation including
‘Proletarian Poetry,’ The Labour Monthly, Bogdanov, pp. 357-362; Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.

von James Geldern and Richard Sites, Mass Culture in Soviet Russia, (Indiana, 1995), including Kirillov, Vladimir. “The Iron Messiah,” and
Innokenty Zhukov, ‘Voyage of the Red Star Pioneer Troop to Wonderland’

And from a couple of famous Bolsheviks:

Leon Trotsky, ‘What Is Proletarian Culture, and Is It Possible?’, available at:

E.A. Preobrazhensky, From N.E.P. to Socialism: A Glance Into the Future of Russia and Europe, (London, 1973)

u/egalitarianusa · 1 pointr/DebateaCommunist

>Only the products that work sell, because they work.

How does one know they don't work until they are already sold? I realize defenders of capitalism, such as yourself, have such a low standard of quality. If it's shiny it works for me! Both Brian and Dave know that they can both exploit the customers, so the choice is really which product looks like it will last longer and looks like it will do what it claims.

>You should have the freedom to choose your purchases, ignorance is not a valid excuse.

How about the truth being manipulated by the seller? And the not-so-independent reviewers? I'm sure you think you are above these things, but how would you know?

>There is no debating that competition drives innovation.

First, it's not the best or only way. Second it leads to false innovation: things that are not needed or wanted until the consumer is manipulated by commercialism, and things that don't solve the problem they claim to. Kinda of changes the rate in communism's favor, I'd say.

>And the fact of the matter is the system IS working for me,

You don't sound like a person who feels good about himself, just my perception.

> I've seen first hand how the free market expands the middle class more than socialism ever can, and how socialist policies mixed with a free market economy keep the poor on the bottom.

I'm not familiar with any of these circumstances. Has the free market ever existed? Where has socialism existed long enough(before being suppressed by those capitalists) to gather any data? And I am not advocating "socialist policies", that is a misnomer.

> You completely skipped over my comment about the Clinton era leading to the house bubble.

If you think anything any US president has ever done has anything to do with communism or socialism, you should educate yourself what these things are.

>You can not compete with the World economy under communism. You can not save the poor under socialism. You can not multiply, by division.
We will never evolve to your ideal because it is an impossible one.

These are opinions, not backed by anything but old scare tactics to keep you feeding the 1%.

>Then one day, everyone's house was getting foreclosed.

That's a capitalist problem, with cooperation from a government owned by these same capitalists. Why do you think this has anything to do with communism?

> As I looked further into why, it was apparent I was being fed bull shit my entire life,...

What the hell did FOX tell you?

I hope you are reading other posts in this subreddit and can get your misconceptions cleared up. Here's a thin book that can help you understand, as well.

Good wishes!

u/blazingtruth · 4 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

I agree with you on all accounts. Please keep posting here more often.


u/StarTrackFan · 3 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

I suppose I'd be up for it but I don't really know if I'm the most qualified. I have certainly been reading a lot by and about Lenin but I still think my understanding of his concept of the vanguard is imperfect, though I could still at least point out plenty of popular misconceptions. Perhaps we could find some other people who have been studying for longer than myself in r/communism who could work with me (weren't people here discussing "tag team" debates?).

To improve my own understanding of the vanguard idea I've really been wanting to read this book which is apparently an important work that demolishes misconceptions about Lenin's vanguard and puts it in historical context but I can't seem to find it anywhere for less than infinity dollars. I am currently reading Mr. Lih's biography of Lenin which I quite like, although he has a kooky framing structure.

Anyway, I think debates about Lenin and between Marxists/anarchists in general would be a great idea and I'd participate in any way that I felt I could add something.

u/yourfaceyourass · 5 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

Its not about preference. That's like saying the difference between slavery, feudalism and capitalism is whichever someone prefers living under. Its mutually exclusive.

Communism is not your "life your life to the fullest" type of philosophy akin to Buddhism. Its not a way of life or a way of thought, its a set of viewpoints and conceptions about the nature of society, and of its respective institutions, with private property being its main focus. Communism is about viewing the contemporary world as a result of its logical, material precedents, known as historical materialism. Its about gaining an understanding into the nature of property relations and essentially of capitalism.

Marx's viewpoint in looking at history essentially centered these principles

>1. The basis of human society is how humans work on nature to produce the means of subsistence.

>2. There is a division of labour into social classes (relations of production) based on property ownership where some people live from the labour of others.

>3. The system of class division is dependent on the mode of production.

>4. The mode of production is based on the level of the productive forces.

>5. Society moves from stage to stage when the dominant class is displaced by a new emerging class, by overthrowing the "political shell" that enforces the old relations of production no longer corresponding to the new productive forces. This takes place in the superstructure of society, the political arena in the form of revolution, whereby the underclass "liberates" the productive forces with new relations of production, and social relations, corresponding to it.

From this viewpoint he went on to conclude that capitalism inherently was a class system, based on an economic and political hierarchy, which give rise to many phenomenon that is harmful to humanity. Marx for example explained Imperialism as being the result of such a construct. This is a widely documented study and something you can find so easily.

Michael Parenti gives a good talk here which encompasses these ideas. I highly recommend watching it.

If you never heard of the book "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn, I also highly suggest it. Its a great and popular book that tells the history of the US through the perspective the American proletariat, and clearly explains how dominant role economic hierarchy plays in history.

You see, communism is not just an opposition to commercialized lifestyle, and what not, its an explanation as to very contemporary problems within society itself. Problems that are very much deeply rooted within the system. For example, the mass media and its operation as a business. Noam Chomsky, considered US's best intellectual, along with Edward Herman wrote a great book called Manufacturing Consent that
deals with this topic.

You're operating on a huge straw man. You see, communism is more about understanding society from a logical, scientific perspective, rather than creating some utopia. I can point you to a few more sources that you might find of interest. Or at least start with Wikipedia articles. But I do recommend at least watching the Michael Parenti clip. Chomsky has good talks to but I don't like hes style as much. You don't even have to call yourself a "communist" to accept that world view and knowledge.

u/cruyff8 · 7 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

There was a book, If Voting Changed Anything, They'd Abolish It, by Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London. The thesis of this book, is pretty much given in the title. I'll summarise my own thesis below and let the rest of you lot comment on it.

In every election, you can either vote for the existing policies or against them. You have to compromise. And the parties know this. So, there's a consolidation about the centre of politics. Because, the right wing voters won't be voting for the left wing parties, and vice versa. The more extreme elements of the body politic are taken for granted.

So, you have a choice between two cheeks of the same backside. The extremes on either side are taken for granted. The only way to achieve a massive amount of change (e.g. what turning a country communist entails) is not achievable through the ballot box, because if it was, the powers-that-be (e.g. those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo) would be to have a massive revolution and ensure the right people come to power in its aftermath.

However, history has shown several times that what follows the fall of a dictator is a period of chaos, followed by an extreme reaction to the old guard, followed by a return to the old guard, eventually it slowly creeps to a happier medium.

What came before communism dictates whether communists can come to power peacefully or not. In most places that communism did come to rule, there were no free elections. Therefore, you had to have a revolution and I'm not aware of any exceptions.

u/zeldornious · 1 pointr/DebateaCommunist

Cavell argues that Wittgenstein's final work, Philosophical Investigations, is a confession. The passage that starts the work refers to Augstine's Confessions. However, this is only one part of the "New Wittgenstein" The part that is most striking is the "method of reading" used by Cavell. I would advise, if you are interested, reading The Cavell Reader which is edited by Stephen Mullhall. It has a collection of Cavell's essays. Most important to this discussion are the essays "Declining Decline", "Being odd, Getting even", and "Words and Sentences."

I am now required to call upon another philosopher from the Modernist period, Ernest Bloch. He predated Benjamin and thinks of Benjamin as an upstart who isn't really in the Frankfurt school. (Oh how wrong one man can be) I am thinking of his work Heritage of Our Times. In this he presents something similar to, and more relatable than, Cavell's method of reading.

A montage is a collection of things that have a different meaning by themselves. When put together they have some sort of new meaning that may not relate at all to any of its parts. It is something greater than its parts. Here is Hitchcock explaining this in terms of film with the Kuloshuv Effect. Bloch sees montage as a way foreword in communism as it allows for "propaganda" to be disseminated to the public efficiently. I would go so far as to say any movie's point/ emotional impact is made through montage. Not just the scenes in eighties movies where people get stuff done, but the entire movie.

Now to tie this all back to your original question. What in blue blazes does this have to do with psychoanalysis? One the one hand we have an American philosopher from the 1970's who is talking about some method of reading. On the other we have a Jew from the 1920's who is talking about communist propaganda. Let us step back. Both the method of reading and montage both use some form of psychoanalysis. Namely, that of free association. Put to use in one way, it allows for a new reading of Wittgenstein. In another, it allows a complex idea to be portrayed in a short amount of time without the audience knowing what hit them. In the end both of these different things use psychoanalysis in a dialectical way to achieve something greater than a traditional route.


u/ideletedgod · 2 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

This video pretty much says everything in Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism by Richard Wolff. It's a really good book.

u/criticalnegation · 3 pointsr/DebateaCommunist

the guy in the video jist put out a book called democracy at work: a cure for capitalism and a website with videos on the matter as well as tons of material on his personal website.

hes not the only source, but its on topic for this thread.

wolff is one of the best we have rn, dudes on fire!