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Communism... opinions?
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Communism... opinions?:

[up] It's a useful tool, yeah, but still just a tool. What's important is what's being done with it.

Democracy is useful as a peaceful transfer of power, but it is by no means infallible. The people running the system make it a good or bad one, not the system itself. Now, when there are problems that are inherent to the system, that would make it less desirable, but not necessarily unworkable.

edited 20th Dec '11 8:18:10 PM by tropetown

 228 Black Humor, Wed, 21st Dec '11 8:28:45 AM from Zombie City
Pfft. That's disappointing, Black Humor. You're merely referring to economic "rationality" as Rand or Friedman would define it, and there's nothing rational about their economics.

Are you familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma?

If you are, are you aware that the universally agreed rational solution is "always betray"?
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 229 Qeise, Wed, 21st Dec '11 11:03:32 AM from sqrt(-inf)/0 Relationship Status: Waiting for you *wink*
Professional Smartass
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=irnw398dh35iem4tlszto86x&page=2#30 You'd be wrong. Commodities fetishism is indeed a strong incentive: you are promised more commodities if you work harder. There being no limits to how many commodities you may acquire but there being a hard limit on how much work you can put out. However, you may have noticed that not everyone is motivated by such a thing: many are content with material poverty, and find solace in other things (religious people, artists, academics, and even scientists: the latter do seek expensive toys, but not for themselves). Many, past a threshold of comfort and security (which is lower the more the community can guarrantee their health and welfare), do not seek to get any richer or accumulate more posessions, while they keep working hard. Why is that? Because people work for work's sake. As long as they are assured that, were anything to happen, the community would take care of them and their loved ones, they are free to go all out and dedicate themselves body and soul to their practice. Work can and must be a game, gratuitous and free. The lust for commodities is mostly social: you want more than your neighbhour, and from a certain income onwards most of your income is spent purely on demonstrating the existence and size of such an income. Work is set up as an indirect way to get to the commodities and rise on the social scale, get status, and the respect, love and deference of your neighbor. The lust for work is spurned by emulation: you compete with your peers, and each trying to one-up the other is what drives you to give it your best. If the competition is healthy enough, the competitors may even help each other occasionally, for their goal is to excel, and they need strong opponents to keep them sharp. Material compensation for additional work is a nice bonus, but it isn't the be-all and end-all of social retribution. Status and power are. Communist societies can distribute that equally, for a meritocracy is to the benefit of all.
Couldn't have said it better. People think it's impossible because all they have ever known is appreciation being shown with money.

edited 21st Dec '11 11:03:48 AM by Qeise

Laws are made to be broken. You're next, thermodynamics.
 230 USAF713, Wed, 21st Dec '11 11:06:57 AM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Are you familiar with the Prisoner's Dilemma?

If you are, are you aware that the universally agreed rational solution is "always betray"?

I am familiar with it, and it's only "rational" if one takes selfishness as a rational feeling. I do not. tongue
I am now known as Flyboy.
 231 Fighteer, Wed, 21st Dec '11 11:12:37 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
People think it's impossible because all they have ever known is appreciation being shown with money.
Call it money, call it barter, call it woozigroops, there's always some medium of exchange or method of comparing the value of goods and services and/or the merit of individual people, and those with more have greater power than those without. Further, there will always be people who will game the system to give themselves a greater share of the woozigroops, and unless the system is set up in such a way that those people can be excised from the society, they'll "win" eventually.

In short, the selfish actors will always beat the unselfish actors given a lack of means to regulate behavior. Said means requires a hierarchical structure of some kind, and that inevitably leads to governance. The trick is to make the government composed of unselfish people, which is nice on paper but impossible in practice.

Then the whole society gets wiped out by another more aggressive one. We have evidence; those few "idyllic" tribes that we encounter in unspoiled wilderness... they're dead ends, culturally speaking. The only reason they still exist is sociological curiosity.

edited 21st Dec '11 11:15:52 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 232 lord Gacek, Wed, 21st Dec '11 12:00:16 PM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
...wow, early pages of this thread were quite the crazy.

I could end now, but it's On-Topic, so I'll say my view of Communism is pretty much akin to my view on drugs. Just Say No. cool
"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
 233 The Gloomer, Wed, 21st Dec '11 1:34:02 PM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
I'm not sure what to make of communism. I suppose my knowledge of Marx's writings or those of more recent communist theorists isn't as complete as I would like, but I guess one of my first impressions is that I can't really get to grips with the whole Young Hegelian influence; I'm honestly not sure that I agree with historical materialism, but as I say I think I need to read up on it a bit more.

@Fighteer

"In short, the selfish actors will always beat the unselfish actors given a lack of means to regulate behavior. Said means requires a hierarchical structure of some kind, and that inevitably leads to governance. The trick is to make the government composed of unselfish people, which is nice on paper but impossible in practice. "

Read what I posted. The socialist ideology takes this into account. The governance you speak of is the state of socialism, when it progresses to a lack of governance, that is communism. And what exactly is wrong with a government that serves the people it has been elected to serve, instead of making those people serve it? It strikes me as very unfortunate that you think servitude is acceptable, and I wonder if you would still think it's acceptable if you suffered at the hands of capitalists.

@USAF Then you do not think rational economics are rational. (And they aren't)

edited 21st Dec '11 2:48:33 PM by stripesthezebra

 235 Fighteer, Wed, 21st Dec '11 2:49:33 PM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
And what exactly is wrong with a government that serves the people it has been elected to serve, instead of making those people serve it?
Well, gee, the fact that such governments have never actually occurred in all of human history? Certainly no "socialist" country has ever had one. The closest we get to it is representative democracy, but I'd argue that it always devolves into an authoritarian government of some kind. The United States has a plutocracy masquerading as a representative democracy.

edited 21st Dec '11 2:54:20 PM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
 236 USAF713, Wed, 21st Dec '11 2:54:53 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Then you do not think rational economics are rational. (And they aren't)

That's what I've been saying. wink
I am now known as Flyboy.
I'm not sure how "why is this a bad idea" and "it hasn't happened" are connected events, sorry.

A government that cares for it's people is a superior government to one which caters to the small minority with money.
 
@Fighteer

Allan is right, first off.

Second, there are several governments that truely serve the will of their people, the challenge is making one that helps the people, and even then, we're coming pretty close, if not already there. Many democracies have made massive leaps towards this goal, such as the nordic countries, and even some young ones with many problems have made astounding progress, like Brasil, Argentina and South Africa.

[up][up] wink

edited 21st Dec '11 3:21:10 PM by stripesthezebra

@USAF: Well, you can't exactly redefine words like that.

Rational economics totally predicts acting like a supervillain, so I wasn't wrong. Whether that's actually rational is a different debate.
I'm convinced that our modern day analogues to ancient scholars are comedians. -0dd1
 240 USAF713, Wed, 21st Dec '11 10:04:07 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I prefer to call them Friedman/Randian Economics, "rational" economics, or "bullshit."

The last one is most appropriate. cool
I am now known as Flyboy.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 240
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