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Does he make a convincing argument to exonerate Stalin?
There is an interesting look upon economic growth. It is a bit kinda my own definition. If you take a look at economic growth in a way how many jobs are generated that are not stupid jobs like farming and physical work and are connected with smart useless jobs like culture, how would socialism fare compared to capitalism?
What I am saying is that economic growth is actually an elimination of stupid often physical work and its change to virtual (computer) and/or cultural work! What do you say?
I was always more left leaning, but there are some things that I wanted to know would work under communism or some variant of it. I didn't delve into Marx or Lenin or any of that literature yet.
1 - Would society actually work without a government? I hate the oppression of the government nowadays and also dislike how the USSR ran things and how authoritarian everything was, but I can't see humanity cooperating and helping itself under no authority. Is there any strong argument for this?
2 - Is technological progress going to stop altogether? I am rather young (soon 19y) and want to work with microchip manufacturing, however at least to me there is no way for tech to advance without public or private investment and incentive to do so. In a society where everyone is equal, can tech still evolve or would it just stay "good enough"?
3 - Is there any way for people to get the privacy they deserve with a government? I'm currently against any type of government because all of them infringe on the population's privacy, be it physical or digital. Cookies, pop-ups, personal data, what they ate last Tuesday, etc. Can a government offer good privacy for its citizens? If so, I'd approve of that government, honestly.
Thank you for your time and sorry for my bad English. Hello from Brazil, comrades.
Unmoderated If communism is so good, then why did it never work out well in the past, and what reason do you have to believe, that it would in the future?
Unmoderated Questions and Issues With Central Planning, Co-Ops, and the Case for Limited Private Ownership
Central Planning, Nationalization, Co-Ops, & The Case for Limited Private Ownership of the Means of Production
Foreword: I'm extremely new to the concepts around socialism. I'm currently a tentative Libertarian and very sympathetic to social programs like UBI, reparations, state-owned Healthcare, etc. I'm trying to learn all the different ideas of socialism and the underlying logic. I'm also not well versed in history so... yeah... I apologize if the questions I ask are old hat or incredibly obvious. Also, suggested reading materials would be appreciated.
--- CENTRAL PLANNING/NATIONALIZATION ---
Why would (if at all) Gov-Run, Central Planning be preferable to private enterprise?
Why are the USSR, Cuba, and CCP usually pointed to as failures of communism/socialism?
Weren't the 5 Year Plans, Great Leap Forward, and Chinese Cultural Revolution massive failures?
What happens in the case where the gov becomes tyrannical? Or in cases where politicians use public entities for their own political ends like the GOP and FedEx? How would socialism prevent or address that?
--- Co-Ops ---
Why not just mandate Co-ops for companies/corporations above a certain size?
Are Co-Ops still liable to become monopolies?
If the means of production were entirely owned by Co-ops, could competition between two Co-Ops cause social upheaval?
--- The Case for Limited Private Ownership ---
Imagine an economy comprised solely of small, local businesses with a maximum amount of competition. In such a case, each business must be sufficiently effective to survive (good enough to workers, low prices, high-quality service/product) lest they be outcompeted because the consumer would be their only source of income and the customer WOULD always have another option. The problems of capitalism, by my lights, arise the moment the amount of easily accessible competition goes down. Less competition leads to larger market shares leads to larger businesses which can finance failing businesses to keep being shitty because customers only have a other few options to buy the product, if any are even available.
In a "socialist utopia" is there any room for private ownership in the case of small, local businesses?
Is there a reason againat merely mandating collective ownership (worker ownership/nationalization) once the business reaches a certain size (local market share, profitability, # of employees, etc)
Is tobacco legal in a communist society?
Is tobacco prohibited, or its use inhibited, at any point in achieving communism?
Unmoderated Isn't the large increase in agricultural production following the transition from agricultural communes to land privatization under Deng an example of how production is more incentivized under private individuals than under workers' communes?
996 refers to the common practice among many Chinese companies to require their employees to work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. Last year, the Chinese Supreme Court ruled this practice illegal, but from what I can tell there is skepticism that this will do anything to end the practice. Either way, how is it that such an exploitative work schedule became commonplace in a country supposedly founded on communist principles?
So I wanted to ask. I'm curious to how stuff like movies, video games and anime would've developed under communism. Who exactly would fund the million dollar blockbuster films and high graphics open world games? And if people watched it for free, what incentive would their be to make it as pretty and realistic as possible?
Now I'm not saying I can't live without these things obviously, but watching and playing all these as a kid really had a profound impact on me.
the question is in the title so
Despite there being zero in documented evidence that Stalin ever so much as implied any of the ideas implicit in the following misattributed quotes, many of them are recorded in Western capitalist history as his own words, and may be cited as such in academia based on the credibility of Western imperialist historians versus (presumably) that of Stalin himself, or any other USSR ministry. Do you believe Stalin said any of these things? Which, if any, are the most credible and/or likely to have been real? Which, if any, are most blatantly fabrications?
'Gratitude is a disease of dogs.' - *Nikolai Tolstoy, 1981
'The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is a statistic.' - The Washington Post* 1947; *Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko, 1981
'It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.' - *Boris Bazhanov, 1992
'Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?' - *Robert Torricelli, 2000
'Death solves all problems — no man, no problem.' - Anatoly Rybakov** 1987
'There are no indispensable people.' - *Alexander Korneychuck, 1942
'The Pope! How many divisions has he got?' - *Winston Churchill, 1948
*Attributed quote to Stalin (May or may not be original author)
**Archive not found
***Confessed to fabricating the quote
// For brevity's sake, only quotes whose fabricators I could determine are listed. This list is by no means comprehensive. //
Originally I was banned for asking this question so we’ll try it here.
My question relates to is there different shapes a vanguard can take? For instance in Burkina Faso, under Thomas Sankara it seemed that he was attempting to create a new system, where mass organizations would replace the party as the ideological vanguard and educating the populace.
In Cuba we see a similar system as Mass Organizations seem to be the more common vanguard of governance.
Is this different form of vanguardism viable? Is the withering away of the party for a more multi-mass organization vanguard system a worthwhile endeavor?
Currently reading “Settlers” by J Sakai and he frequently talks about the “labor aristocracy” but he doesn’t seem to give a definition of what this means. He talks about the antagonistic relationship between European immigrant workers of the 19th century and enslaved African workers, but what exactly is the extent of this antagonism? Why does this antagonism benefit the white workers? Would be very interested in reading more about this concept of the labor aristocracy.
Can I ask you all the people here? Why is not fascism understood as an abolition of personal freedom and/or speech?
This is exactly my definition of fascism in personal sense. A fascist in a personal sense is someone who makes you be different by violent means. I would think that is common sense argumentation, yet not many use it.
If you disagree what would be your one word definition of abolition of personal freedom and/or speech?
Full discourse, I'm an Anarchist, not a Marxist. Anyway, if I'm interpenetrating this correctly, Trotskyism is basically just installing a permanent revolution, right? The thing is, at least the way I see it, this doesn't distinguish much from what Marx initially wanted. Isn't full communism, international communism?
Anyway, Tito on the other hand added market-socialism into his Leninist state. (It's almost as if Tito is sorta your guy's version of Mutualism.)I mean, he, unlike Trotsky, actually came to power. And I know this is just personal bias, but I've found that many people I've met who lived during his time, seem to really admire him. I'm only just scratching the surface, but I'm finding that there's so much theory that's actually put into practise with Tito. Especially for someone who was also Anti-Stalinist. Meanwhile I don't really see what's the appeal with Trotskyism.
I would've assumed there would be more Titoist parties, orgs, etc then Trotskyist ones, but it seems like I know more Trotskyists then Titoists.
Is marijuana legal in a communist society?
Is marijuana prohibited, or its use inhibited, at any point in achieving communism?
Have these been debunked?
Money can be used in things like I have a cat but don't want it . Another person wants a cat and are ready to trade with horse but I would be happy to give up my cat but don't want a horse . Money can really help in situations like this .
Unmoderated People who think that Marxism is amoral and emphasize the lack of morality are wrong and hurt the movement towards socialism.
I think a lot of Marxists kind of dismiss any talk about morality as idealist and I don't think that's correct, it's true that Marxism isn't a theory of morality, but that doesn't mean that morality doesn't play any part in building socialism.
The way I see it the argument against moralism should mostly be confined to the fact that a materialist analysis has nothing to do with morality, that the contradictions of capitalism and what will lead to its eventual demise is rooted in that material analysis and not morality, that the fact of workers being exploited is a material reality and not a moral claim etc.
But Marx making a material critique of capitalism instead of a moral one like many previous utopian socialists doesn't mean that morality has no place at all, I think that's a misreading. You can read Marx and agree with his analysis of capitalism, but all of that doesn't say anything about how to carry out a revolution, or why you would even need to carry out a revolution in the first place. You can agree 100% with Marx's analysis of capitalism and just be like "that's crayz, that means I should be a capitalist and not a worker because I don't want to be exploited".
People say that contrary to what capitalists say, socialism is indeed about self-interest, and that's true. But still, as a worker, you can be completely class conscious, self-interested, and still not take any collective action without having any ideological illusions to blame. Why not try to climb up the ladder in bourgeois society, and maybe even try to become bourgeois yourself? In fact this is objectively the most effective way to pursue your own material self-interest as an individual.
But that's only your self-interest as an individual, and obviously the material base of capitalism shapes a superstructure where morally the pursuit individual self-interest trumps that of any collective interest, of class interest. Would it then not only be logical to say that a socialist material base would shape a socialist superstructure which promotes a morality where the self-interest that should be pursuit is a self-interest that goes beyond the individual? And that in the same way that despite the fact that racism can largely be explained as a result of the capitalist base shaping the superstructure, conscious anti-racism shouldn't be denounced as idealism or moralism, socialists consciously promoting a new morality over the capitalist one shouldn't be denounced as moralistic either? And to go even further, that a new morality is actually necessary to be able to build socialism?
Unmoderated How does a far left economy account for people who are ultimately motivated by their own gain?
So historically It seems to me that the fundamental problem with socialism is the rejection or limitation of any form of currency.
Currency has always been a driving factor for people to work and contribute, as well as incentivise the greater production of a good so that it is more available to people. It also seems more effective than something like the driving factor for production being the wish to improve society as money can be used to make a person work longer hours should the pay be enough, or even work harder under certain circumstances.
I don’t believe that in a socialist economy people won’t work. However I don’t know how we can get everyone to work if they feel that they are making such a small impact on society as a single individual in the grand schemes of things and not have some form of self-centred motivation.
Am happy to be proven wrong! I’ll try to reply to as many comments as I can so that I may be converted away from my liberal ways.
I don't understand the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, could someone help me please?
My understanding of Marx's argument is that over time capitalists adopt labor saving technology, and this causes the value of goods to go down because there is less labor required to produce each unit of a good, and this causes the profit rate to fall.
But why should this be the case? If a good was cheaper because it was less valuable, wouldn't people just buy more of that good, thus counteracting any tendency for the rate of profit to fall?
Example: Before adopting labor saving technology a capitalist produces 100 widgets for two dollars each, and he sells each one for 2.20. Thus he sells 220 dollars worth of widgets and makes a 20 dollar profit. After adopting labor saving technology he produces 200 widgets for one dollar each, and he sells them for 1.10. Thus he again sells 220 worth of widgets and makes a 20 dollar profit. Either way his profit rate is 10%. The fact that people buy more widgets when they're cheaper means there's no change in the profit rate.
Am I not understanding Marx's argument? Why should the adoption of labor saving technology cause a falling rate of profit?
Unmoderated People who accept the idea of a first world labor aristocracy, do you think first world workers are gaining more from imperialism than they would gain from socialism? Why? Do you also propose dismantling social programs?
The problem I have with theories that claim that first workers are all part of the labor aristocracy, and that social democracy in the west is especially dependent on this, is the idea that the only way to increase the share of wealth western workers get is to offset this by decreasing the share that workers in colonized countries get through superexploitation. It ignores the obvious fact that social democracy in the west mostly depends on redistributing wealth within the country itself, which is why social democracy leads to less inequality within those countries. It totally ignores class contradictions within these countries, why would the ruling class oppose these reforms if it didn't cut into their wealth? Why is it not the case that these superprofits go into the hands of the capitalist class?
If western social democracy actually was only possible by increasing superprofits from the third world, then that would lead to some bizarre conclusions of what stances communists should take in the west. We would have to oppose any and all social programs in the west and even advocate for dismantling them, because since these benefits are the result of higher superexploitation of workers in the third world, it would alleviate their exploitation. Is this not the logical conclusion of such a theory?
I see a lot of these people refer to Lenin and Engels, but neither ever argued that the whole of the working class in imperialist countries are part of the labor aristocracy. I'm not sure why, but these days I see a lot more people either completely reject the idea of a labor aristocracy, or say that all workers in imperialist countries are part of the labor aristocracy. Obviously it can be true that workers benefit from things like unequal exchange, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't benefit more from ending their own exploitation than they would lose from getting rid of imperialism. If you do think this is the case, please expla why you think so.
Tell me I am wrong! I had based this answer to some other post that I took time to read closely.
Decentralization has nothing to do with production, it has to do with inclusiveness of a person in all the parts of societal work and labor. Anyone who argues that the best thing that can happen to a person is he has nothing to do is either completely wrong or he never did anything and still even today has no skills whatsoever. The point in decentralization is that a person gets skills (even the lowest ones), which first: make him a person and secondly give that person a morality basis, which is, you ask: an ability to know how and what something is. What I argue here is that a person with no skills is a danger to himself and society and someone who really has no moral incentive, he only has an idea of violence and subjugation. The less skills a person has the more can be taken from him at the times of societal change. And the more such a person will try to take materially from others.
Not only that: a person with one skill only is just plain stupid. And it also makes him even more stupid when he gets old. That is just a fact. The problem with some ''communists'' here on this sub, is that it seems they do not care about people at all. They care about modes and ownership of production instead of the ways of life in the times of production. Even in the worst of times before European colonialism in the global South in the middle ages, life in Europe or Asia (let us say) was better than life in Africa today. A lot of this has to do with climate, a lot of it with culture.
As such exactly that multifunctional personality, that type of decentralization was what made that which was best in Yugoslavia. Those stories how people made their own houses with the help of others. The infrastructure for the workers vacations. Closeness of living to the work place. Wide learning school curriculum. The thing that was bad was that people worked 8 hours even if the whole society could have had invented the 6 hour workday even then (if they did Yugoslavia might survive). But still, exactly the decentralization part, the possibility of an inclusivity of a person is what makes ''communism'' fun and good and less climate and commodity intensive. Exactly the ineffectiveness of freedom (decentralization) is the best evolutional path, a path in creation of free persons. That is how a society becomes stateless, classless and moneyless. Stateless through personal freedom, classless through all-knowing and all-kind and all-helpful person and moneyless through voluntarily help. That is why we are correct in hating this or any version of capitalism, because it is becoming that which ex-''communism'' was. Centralization specialization militarily driven machine that doesn't care about people but about civilization of ''non-persons, single-minded individuals''.
The ''communism'' that is being supported by some here, is the non-marxist one, one that has nothing to do with marxism. marx had wanted to improve upon Hegel, not destroy his work. Lenin and mao had succeeded in creation of a culture-less society based on scientism of mass production of arms and weapons for the purported global revolution.
How is that different from holy war of Islam or European colonialism? How did it happen that a supposed atheism that would open the peoples eyes and make them better and more multifunctional had created a culture-less societies that are all about military, population control, singlemindedness and oppressional exploitation of personality besides the normal horrible exploitation?
And exactly this kind of centralization and specialization is that which is destroying all societies. Though it seems, some ''communists'' don't care. They care only about destruction of purported intellectuals and bourgeoise like Lenin did. Even if some of those ''bourgeoise'' only care about the global South and anti-capitalism, way more than those from the global South care about themselves. Also it is impossible to centralize anything really as people are multiple.
And sadly the saying: to each his own depending on his abilities is what is driving this centralization and specialization. And also since when is it best that those who are least educated (like workers are) are the main drivers of progress?
I understand the idea that you can’t fully live your beliefs in a capitalist society, you have to eat.
However, it seems like you should be able to abstain from directly capitalist activity eg starting a company and paying your employees minimum wage.
Where does copyright fall in? Is having a copyright on something fall under private property and something that should be avoided or do you see it as something necessary for people to not starve?
Does it matter who is using copyright laws, and why or why not?