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Author Topic: Communism  (Read 2085 times)

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Offline Vekseid

Re: Communism
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2012, 09:56:51 AM »
I am  one of the younger ones speaking their minds. However I was born in a socialist heavy nation (Canada) Despised how hard they made it to excel, or even crawl out of poverty and moved to America for the dream. I did everything legally, worked my ass off and am succeeding more now then I ever did back in that country thats considered "fair". I plan to be part of the 1% everyone hates in this country and so dont like anything presented by communism or socialism I feel even in its purist form it lacks the ability to dream.

Really? The US has many of the same poverty traps and they're sponsored by the Republicans as much as the Democrats here. It feels very much intentional.

Hell the entire 'Fairtax' proposal is yet another poverty trap.

At least you're open about your reasons for disliking socialist ideology.

Just don't pretend that a free, unregulated capitalist system is in any way "fair". It simply isn't true that, through hard work, anyone can be wealthy and successful. Even a cursory glance at lists of rich people will reveal that not a single one of them got to that position through hard work - that is to say through labor - and they're only wealthy because there's an underclass for them to exploit. To say that a system like this is "fair" is simple, and simplistic, and it ignores the unfairness that's built into the system. It seems fair on the surface, because everyone theoretically has the same opportunities, but it doesn't account for the reality, which is that people are not on equal footing and are not rewarded equally for equal work.

Is it "fair" to tax the rich more heavily in order that the poor may have a higher standard of living, and don't have to worry about what will happen if they suddenly have to go to hospital? I certainly think there's a stronger case for that being fairer than the alternative. There are far more poor people, for one thing.

Well rentier income isn't income worked for, by definition. So stopping rent-seeking practices where feasible, taxing it heavier where it should be allowed, etc. is certainly fair. History provides many examples of what happens when you don't curtail this behavior. People set up their own self-sufficient little fiefdoms and start tearing their nation apart from the inside. The wars that ensued pretty much define Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and European history. Large plantation owners sure did help their cause when they refused to help supply the Rebel army during the Civil War. "It's MY money." But only if you have 20 or more slaves...

For earned income, though, it's tied to the savings rate. Poor people have their money move through the economy faster, so taxing them places a heavier burden on the economy than taxing those who would otherwise stick it in a bank. When the banks stop lending (as they have), that creates a liquidity crisis. Austrians claim that the ultimate cause is in fact a currency crisis, but for the purposes of monetary flow here, we want to get money moving faster in either case. If the banks are that horrifically bankrupt, the solution is not to encourage stuffing more money into failed banks!

Ultimately, 5% of the population is earning 25% of the income and contributing 20% to the economy. That extra 5% just accumulates, and is reflected in things such as the insanely low interest rate on treasury yields.

Eventually, though, the bottom 90% of the population is going to run out of wealth to contribute to the top 5%, and, one way or another, it will stop.


Offline ArmandTopic starter

Re: Communism
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2012, 11:18:52 AM »
 :o didn't know I'd get so much feedback, thank you though. Are you an only child also? Again further harmless questions, it seems that people who dislike communism have a sharing problem. "Why should I have to give up the sports car my parents gave me and my $500 phone so everyone can have a standard car and $100 phone?" it just puzzles me why people are so against the idea of everyone being the same or having the same but then again, I more than likely grew up differently than most of you. Inner city, united states, predominantly black neighborhood with a single mother and five siblings.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Communism
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2012, 01:21:44 PM »
At least you're open about your reasons for disliking socialist ideology.

Just don't pretend that a free, unregulated capitalist system is in any way "fair". It simply isn't true that, through hard work, anyone can be wealthy and successful. Even a cursory glance at lists of rich people will reveal that not a single one of them got to that position through hard work - that is to say through labor - and they're only wealthy because there's an underclass for them to exploit. To say that a system like this is "fair" is simple, and simplistic, and it ignores the unfairness that's built into the system. It seems fair on the surface, because everyone theoretically has the same opportunities, but it doesn't account for the reality, which is that people are not on equal footing and are not rewarded equally for equal work.

Is it "fair" to tax the rich more heavily in order that the poor may have a higher standard of living, and don't have to worry about what will happen if they suddenly have to go to hospital? I certainly think there's a stronger case for that being fairer than the alternative. There are far more poor people, for one thing.

We did an exercise in class. We all started out drawing the same number of chips from the same bag, and added up who got what. Then we divided up into groups by our total points. Then we did it again with the addition of bonuses and the ability to 'vote down' people from one class to the next lower. Then the last round.. the top group got to make the 3rd round of rules. With no input from the others.

So suddenly everyone who wasn't the top 3 got to pull 1 chip and that made any trade undoable. Because you have to have a chip in your hand in addition to the one you're trading.

I took away this.. when you let the business owners set the rules.. you don't get much mobility outside their circles. 'Self-regulating' businesses wind up being closed industries and it is ASTONISHINGLY difficult to get into that group once they start changing the rules.

So, yeah.. I'm for governmental oversight or coordination. And in areas like the EPA and OSHA.. I don't think 'downsizing' it is in the interests of anyone but the folks who have to pay for the safety gear and compliance. Which would you do.. if you were a business to make money and didn't have rules and regs to follow.. A process that costs 10 cents on application to produce a widget or one that takes $1.10 to produce.

Oh yeah..the 10 cent one produces sixty times the toxic waste of the $1.10 one. If you don't worry about hazmat or safety issues.. its' a no brainer. Rapid derregulation is going to screw us if we keep it up.

Offline Elias

Re: Communism
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2012, 02:49:34 PM »
:o didn't know I'd get so much feedback, thank you though. Are you an only child also? Again further harmless questions, it seems that people who dislike communism have a sharing problem. "Why should I have to give up the sports car my parents gave me and my $500 phone so everyone can have a standard car and $100 phone?" it just puzzles me why people are so against the idea of everyone being the same or having the same but then again, I more than likely grew up differently than most of you. Inner city, united states, predominantly black neighborhood with a single mother and five siblings.

I assume you're speaking to me? I have 2 sisters. My life started on something called mothers allowance, my Mom was a single mother she thought it would help, it did the opposite, we lived in a horrible neighborhood. Lived a horrible life. My Mom learned she couldn't rely on the government started a business we didnt get loans because the banks are government owned, they didn't care about your ideas they didn't take risks, Years of struggle in Canada. My mother married an American we moved.

I came here and I realized the differences. We got a loan in 6 months, because they gambled on our idea. No major assets in either location. They believed in us we went from a garage to factory (Now I admit its just a quarter of the building not the whole thing) but in 9 months our hard work finally paying off and it continues too. Thats American Capitalism at work, most American Millionaires and Billionaires are first or second generation. Liberalism stifles that. My company (As I now run my own working alongside my family) will eventually employ dozens of people if you dont tax me I will grow my company and employ more so I can become wealthier every tax is someone not employed, I dont grow and in the long run less money will flow. That's why I dont want to share.


Offline Avis habilis

Re: Communism
« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 03:18:51 PM »
... we didnt get loans because the banks are government owned...

They may not care about you, but they aren't government owned either. They're just amazingly hostile toward their customers. (Or at least they were last time I checked. When I left in '98 the people were up in figurative arms over extortionate fees.)

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Communism
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2012, 07:59:17 PM »
I assume you're speaking to me? I have 2 sisters. My life started on something called mothers allowance, my Mom was a single mother she thought it would help, it did the opposite, we lived in a horrible neighborhood. Lived a horrible life. My Mom learned she couldn't rely on the government started a business we didnt get loans because the banks are government owned, they didn't care about your ideas they didn't take risks, Years of struggle in Canada. My mother married an American we moved.

I came here and I realized the differences. We got a loan in 6 months, because they gambled on our idea. No major assets in either location. They believed in us we went from a garage to factory (Now I admit its just a quarter of the building not the whole thing) but in 9 months our hard work finally paying off and it continues too. Thats American Capitalism at work, most American Millionaires and Billionaires are first or second generation. Liberalism stifles that. My company (As I now run my own working alongside my family) will eventually employ dozens of people if you dont tax me I will grow my company and employ more so I can become wealthier every tax is someone not employed, I dont grow and in the long run less money will flow. That's why I dont want to share.

Right, the problem here is not your start up company, it is when your company goes public or changes hands to your grandson who never felt the sting of that starvation, and never knew how hard it is struggling in poverity, even government paid for poverity.

There are some investors (not all mind you) who, were you to go public, would buy up the stock, chop your company up for parts, sell them, lay off many of your loyal or lifelong employees, then when the company's profit margen for that quarter goes up, they sell the company stock for a large amount. The ones who buy it will then be unable to prevent it from failing, and your factory that you invested so much in becomes another addition to the rust belt. Though you'd get to walk away rich...

I live near the rustbelt and people have been on the recieving end of this method of making fast money durng the 80's and 90's. While they might believe communisim is a moronic system, many do engage in a form of grass roots style socialisim by nessicity.
IE: "I can't afford my $500 a month apartment with my minimum wage job... they just cut our hours again..." so you wind up with four roommates living togeather, paying rent togeather, and propping each other up.

I think Marx is kinda looming out there in the fog of history, because the idea of "American Captialsim" rings hollow when you are pushing towards 40, eating ramen for dinner for the third night in a row, and can't afford the $200 to get your cough looked at, let alone the meds. Then you see somthing like "Homes of the Rich and Famious" or "The 500 Club" where rich people basicly wag their dicks around saying how rich they are.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Communism
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2012, 08:57:00 PM »
I assume you're speaking to me? I have 2 sisters. My life started on something called mothers allowance, my Mom was a single mother she thought it would help, it did the opposite, we lived in a horrible neighborhood. Lived a horrible life. My Mom learned she couldn't rely on the government started a business we didnt get loans because the banks are government owned, they didn't care about your ideas they didn't take risks, Years of struggle in Canada. My mother married an American we moved.

None of Canada's Big Five are government owned.

Quote
I came here and I realized the differences. We got a loan in 6 months, because they gambled on our idea. No major assets in either location. They believed in us we went from a garage to factory

No major assets but you were able to afford a home with a garage that had productive capacity. Something about this claim smells.

Quote
(Now I admit its just a quarter of the building not the whole thing) but in 9 months our hard work finally paying off and it continues too. Thats American Capitalism at work, most American Millionaires and Billionaires are first or second generation.

This was because of inheritance tax. Even with it, the families as a whole - Dow, Rockefeller, etc. are still extremely wealthy and powerful. Families such as the Waltons merely join these ranks and grow - but the old money is still here.

Quote
Liberalism stifles that. My company (As I now run my own working alongside my family) will eventually employ dozens of people if you dont tax me I will grow my company and employ more so I can become wealthier every tax is someone not employed, I dont grow and in the long run less money will flow. That's why I dont want to share.

And this makes your story simply smell.

As one of several small business owners on Elliquiy, I know how the tax system works. The IRS bends over backwards to help you get your business started here.

1) You are not taxed on your business expenses, such as employees. These get deducted from your income before taxes get applied. That's why the 1099 exists. If you actually ran a small business, you would know this.
2) Your need for employees is based on demand for your services and product. How much money you actually have is irrelevant - if you're struggling to actually make money while the Government is taxing you at an effective rate of 'close to zero', and you don't have serious plans for growth, then perhaps you should consider some.

I've certainly met my fair share of hardcore conservative small business owners. Most of them Payday loan operators. But none of them even came close to saying what you just said.

Offline doodasaurus

Re: Communism
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2012, 10:41:24 PM »
I looked about this thread a bit and I've got a touch to say about communism.  It's really a variant on the idea that it has never worked, but . . .

Every successful communist revolution has ended in a military dictatorship predicated on a cult of personality.  *Every one*.  I think this is because of a particular weakness in Marxism -- the "withering away of the state".  No Marxist or communist writer I've read has been able to describe the mechanism of action by which a population is transformed from a communist state to a stateless entity.  None.  At all.  They all seem to expect it just to *happen* naturally.  Therefore, they get stuck.  They get to the communist stage of things but have no way to get past that -- the only thing left is for a military dictatorship to form.

That, in turn, is caused (I believe) by Hegelian philosophy, where thesis and antithesis lead naturally to synthesis -- like human society is a chemical reaction and all you need do is put elements proximate to each other for them to form new compounds.  This, clearly, does not happen (or, at least, without a substantial plan, it does not happen in predictable ways), so communism along the Hegelian-Marxist model is flawed from the onset.

Offline Serephino

Re: Communism
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2012, 12:32:52 AM »
I admittedly don't know that much about Communism, so I can't say much.  I just know it didn't work in Russia.  I'm 27 and an only child, but grew up with a father on disability and a mother working minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.  Then my father died, and it was just my mom.  And you know, Social Security death benefits are what allowed her to go to college and get her business accounting degree so she didn't have to work dead end minimum wage jobs anymore.  We lived off those benefits, and my mom got government and state grants to pay for her schooling.  Now she's working and giving back, which doesn't sound so horrible to me.   

Anything can work in the right environment if implemented correctly.  From what I do know about Communism, I don't think it would work on a large scale no matter what you do, but I don't think it's a dirty word.  I guess maybe that does have a lot to do with not being alive, or too young to remember, during all the Cold War nonsense.

I really don't believe that any one ideal works for everyone all the time either.  I mean, being able to adapt is important.  Capitalism isn't entirely evil either, but the American system clearly isn't working anymore.  If it was our economy wouldn't be in the toilet.     

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Communism
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2012, 12:58:46 AM »
it's the "oh don't worry the system can regulate itself" idea combined with "the wealth will trickle down" that has caused this Lazzie fare crash we now face.
It's hard to sell the captialist system to the third world when all they see it meaning is "explotation by rich people."

Offline doodasaurus

Re: Communism
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2012, 08:57:06 AM »
I admittedly don't know that much about Communism, so I can't say much.  I just know it didn't work in Russia.  I'm 27 and an only child, but grew up with a father on disability and a mother working minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.  Then my father died, and it was just my mom.  And you know, Social Security death benefits are what allowed her to go to college and get her business accounting degree so she didn't have to work dead end minimum wage jobs anymore.  We lived off those benefits, and my mom got government and state grants to pay for her schooling.  Now she's working and giving back, which doesn't sound so horrible to me.   

Anything can work in the right environment if implemented correctly.  From what I do know about Communism, I don't think it would work on a large scale no matter what you do, but I don't think it's a dirty word.  I guess maybe that does have a lot to do with not being alive, or too young to remember, during all the Cold War nonsense.

I really don't believe that any one ideal works for everyone all the time either.  I mean, being able to adapt is important.  Capitalism isn't entirely evil either, but the American system clearly isn't working anymore.  If it was our economy wouldn't be in the toilet.     


Depends on what you mean by "worked".  Since the fall of communism in Russia, the average life expectancy has gone down by 13 years or so.  They have more things in the stores, but most people still can't afford them, and the health care and quality education that were hallmarks of Soviet Russia have vanished.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Communism
« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2012, 08:58:40 AM »
I looked about this thread a bit and I've got a touch to say about communism.  It's really a variant on the idea that it has never worked, but . . .

Every successful communist revolution has ended in a military dictatorship predicated on a cult of personality.  *Every one*.  I think this is because of a particular weakness in Marxism -- the "withering away of the state".  No Marxist or communist writer I've read has been able to describe the mechanism of action by which a population is transformed from a communist state to a stateless entity.  None.  At all.  They all seem to expect it just to *happen* naturally.  Therefore, they get stuck.  They get to the communist stage of things but have no way to get past that -- the only thing left is for a military dictatorship to form.

That, in turn, is caused (I believe) by Hegelian philosophy, where thesis and antithesis lead naturally to synthesis -- like human society is a chemical reaction and all you need do is put elements proximate to each other for them to form new compounds.  This, clearly, does not happen (or, at least, without a substantial plan, it does not happen in predictable ways), so communism along the Hegelian-Marxist model is flawed from the onset.

You can say the same about any stateless movement. Libertarianism is a new word on a very old idea. What happened to Japan, China, Europe, the Confederacy when individuals managed to gain enough personal power to avoid taxation?

It's transparency, limitations on the frontier class, and a solid constitution that stop this. We need more of each.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Communism
« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2012, 09:13:43 AM »
Want to see a perfect communist state. Study an anthill. The only creatures capable of true communism. Human's are by definition to geocentrically for it the really work.

Basically, both extremes have failed in the past again and again. Communism failed with the soviets, Vietnam, china. China just managed to change it's policies in time.

Free market failed in the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the French kingdom, and it is failing in Europe and the US as we speak. Now I'm not saying there shouldn't be incentives for hard work. There most definitely should, but they should be based on hard work, not on who your daddy was, or which side of the tracks you were born on.

A meritocracy, that'll help all of us move forward. Oh, and more population control, but that's a whole other can of cockroaches.

Offline doodasaurus

Re: Communism
« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2012, 09:19:06 AM »
You can say the same about any stateless movement. Libertarianism is a new word on a very old idea. What happened to Japan, China, Europe, the Confederacy when individuals managed to gain enough personal power to avoid taxation?

It's transparency, limitations on the frontier class, and a solid constitution that stop this. We need more of each.

Yeah, but without specifics . . . I agree that all those things are good, but how do we get to there from here?  I suspect that democracy is too prone to capture by the monied classes get there and we'll need to develop some sort of consensus model of government to achieve governmental transparency and control the concentration of wealth and the subsequent capture of democratic society.

Offline Tamhansen

Re: Communism
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2012, 09:23:50 AM »
Mandatory lie detectors for politicians. One that gives an increasingly painful shock with each lie.
/ jest

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Re: Communism
« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2012, 05:44:50 PM »
Saw this and was reminded of this thread.  Just remember, folks, no matter which side of the political die you are on, know the meaning of a word before you use it.  Otherwise, this could be you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2E87gciwebw

Offline Serephino

Re: Communism
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2012, 07:55:53 PM »
That is too funny.  That's what happens when you just repeat what you've been told without asking any questions. 

Offline Skynet

Re: Communism
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2012, 01:28:33 PM »
I think that Josef Stalin, more than anybody, ruined Communism's chances of being a good ideology.  Karl Marx had several good ideas and intentions, but many would not work due to human nature.

The Soviet Union under Stalin's reign turned into an inegalitarian, highly nationalistic regime centered around a cult of personality of the man.  Other Communist governments, such as China, Cuba, and North Korea, followed in Stalin's footsteps.

I can see why many Trotskyists loathe Stalin for turning their ideology into one associated with tyrannical governments and the deaths of millions.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Communism
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2012, 02:44:33 PM »
If I remember reading something right, even Marx realized that when he was writing his works, socialism and communism weren't technologically feasible, but something that would in his eyes be the inevitable step once technology had developed to the point where labor was rendered irrelevant. It wasn't something that could be forced, since capitalism drove innovation and technical progress, but an eventual result of the future. He would have loved Star Trek.

Offline Skynet

Re: Communism
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2012, 03:09:16 PM »
I do recall Gene Roddenberry describing the Star Trek setting as post-capitalist, where the government eagerly serves the people's needs.  And that organized religion was on the decline (and society was better for it).

Not necessarily Communist, but it does have elements of left-wing ideals.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Communism
« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2012, 01:38:23 AM »
Star Trek is the model goal of communism, actually. All work is pretty much volunteered.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Communism
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2012, 02:10:11 PM »
I wouldn't say the federation is communist.
It's a classless socity that takes resposibility for it's people. With technology so advanced that it's not a problem to provide a decent standard of living for everyone. Which was marx's goal, and the goal of thousands of others. For example by Jean luke's day you have a food synthiziser that could simply make food or fabricate materals out of base elements.

I think The Federation was an enevitable coming togeather of many of mankind's ideals to acheve a moral and near-utopian socity. Likely a communal style economy was part of that synthisis.

When the average guy can create anything he wants with the press of a button, the trade of base goods is pointless, and this lack of need to trade goods, eliminates the need for a currency medium to help extange it.
I'd say that when the federation had to adapt to that leap forward in technology. Being the moral group they are, embraced it instead of banning it.

But i think if you said "you guys are communist right?" to a federation officer he'd respond with the same "wha?" moment that Kirk had when confronted with paper money.


http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/United_Federation_of_Planets
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 02:27:28 PM by Ironwolf85 »

Offline Dashenka

Re: Communism
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2012, 05:27:41 PM »
Greatest idea ever on paper.

Worst idea ever in reality.


Having lived in a communism and still having family in the ruins of what once was a communism I fully agree with this. However...


Back in the Soviet time, people had food (except in Ukraine in which Stalin caused the Holodomor, the biggest famine and holocaust ever) and a house and a job. With people in this case I mean my grandparents and my parents. When Gorbatchov ended it he made so many errors that the countries ended up bankrupt and with leaders as slow and dimwitted as Boris Yeltsin. Many people lost their jobs and thus their income and food. Some people dealt with this better than others but still to this day my grandparents are wishing they could go back to Communism.


Also I think that humanity by nature is made for communism. Modern society however is not. Not anymore.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Communism
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2012, 05:38:44 PM »
I looked things up on The Federation, they have what is called "New World Economy" so there's high quality stuff and entertainment that is traded much like cards are, or occasionally purchased via Fed Cred, but basic needs are free because technology has advanced to that point.

Their government is largely based on the US system prior to 1980, with three branches, federal republic style of government, with a lot more focus on planetary automony except in dire situations.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Communism
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2012, 05:48:57 PM »
I don't know that much about Star Trek, but the way you describe the Federation it certainly sounds like an anarcho-communist utopia. I suppose it would depend on the state of private property. You can still have personal property - you know, stuff - under communism.