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The Man
01-28-2006, 11:08 PM
Who doesn't like the word Defunct?Communists dont like it.
Communists hardly count. They hate everything.Hey, I resent that. I don't hate everything :mad2:

Resha
01-28-2006, 11:12 PM
You're a Commie, comrade? :D

Faris
01-28-2006, 11:14 PM
Is this war now, dearest Resha?

The Man
01-28-2006, 11:15 PM
You're a Commie, comrade? :Dwell, Raistlin and Bleys call me one, anyway :monster:

Resha
01-28-2006, 11:17 PM
No, dear Fawis. I'm a believer in democracy! But Communism isn't evil, IMHO.

But what do you think of Communism, Jon Snow? (I'm always going to call you that! :p)

Faris
01-28-2006, 11:19 PM
Who is this Jon Snow? Are you talking to the walls again? It's not good for your health!

The Man
01-28-2006, 11:20 PM
I think Marxist communism is a neat idea, and it would be nice if we had yet seen it implemented; Russia and every other country that has implemented it throughout history did so in a forced, totalitarian manner, whereas in Marx's theories it was supposed to happen naturally, and the only freedom people were supposed to lose was the freedom to exploit other people's labour for their own profit. However, judging from the USSR's economic growth over the first sixty years of its existence as compared to the USA's economic growth over the same time period (and especially during the 1930s), it appears socialism is a more effective economic system than capitalism, especially when you realize that the fall of the USSR happened after the leaders of the Communist Party stopped caring about socialism.

That said, I don't think it's at all likely to happen now, since the media and most of the government is under corporate control, and corporations clearly have a vested interest in not allowing a socialist system to occur, and thus work on subtly influencing people's thoughts away from socialism. Some massive changes would need to occur before such a system was possible.

Faris: He's a character in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series; I referred to him in my user title at one point. :monster:

Faris
01-28-2006, 11:22 PM
Well, *stooopid* :D

Resha
01-28-2006, 11:27 PM
That certainly sounds like a much better form of Communism than the oppressive one. The infringement of Communism rights on people turn the majority of (mainly Socialist, I'd say!) off Communism. Makes them hate.

I for one, believe that there has so far not been any country which has followed true Communism (could this be what you call Marxist Communism?). You have places like China who are Communist, but even they're leaning towards Capitalism, no? I think the harsh, dictator-led style Communism is too idealistic, and not self-sufficient enough to work. In places like DPRK, you have plain suppression of people and their rights, and somehow, I don't think true Communism was intended to do that either.

Time goes by, and even all the small SE asian communist states like Lao PDR and whatnot are leaning towards a more democratic form of Communism; it's good to see. They're now holding elections - albeit, all Communist parties, but still! - and people are not in any way impeded on their rights.

:( What think you?

Jon Snow is a guy from a book, Fawis! -"a game of thrones". It's really good, read it! :D

Lost Number
01-28-2006, 11:29 PM
China was figured out a winning policy. Communist socail structure.
Capitalist economy.

The Man
01-28-2006, 11:32 PM
That certainly sounds like a much better form of Communism than the oppressive one. The infringement of Communism rights on people turn the majority of (mainly Socialist, I'd say!) off Communism. Makes them hate.

I for one, believe that there has so far not been any country which has followed true Communism (could this be what you call Marxist Communism?). You have places like China who are Communist, but even they're leaning towards Capitalism, no? I think the harsh, dictator-led style Communism is too idealistic, and not self-sufficient enough to work. In places like DPRK, you have plain suppression of people and their rights, and somehow, I don't think true Communism was intended to do that either.

Time goes by, and even all the small SE asian communist states like Lao PDR and whatnot are leaning towards a more democratic form of Communism; it's good to see. They're now holding elections - albeit, all Communist parties, but still! - and people are not in any way impeded on their rights.

:( What think you? Yeah, Marxist communism is basically the only implementation that I'd consider "true" communism.


China was figured out a winning policy. Communist socail structure.
Capitalist economy.China is successful right now mainly because it has a massive number of people willing to do back-breaking work for almost zero recompense. As time passes, it will experience the same problems that have plagued every other capitalist country throughout history. Same goes for India.

Resha
01-28-2006, 11:33 PM
China has done extremely well. But it doesn't run on true, hardcore Communism. It can't possibly flourish like it does if it did. Implemented some good policies, cooked up by fine Communist brains - One Child Policy! How I wish India had this! - and whatnot. But not true Communism, I don't think.

The Man
01-28-2006, 11:35 PM
The "one child policy" was prettymuch necessary for a country with such a population problem as China's, but unfortunately it's often led to female daughters being aborted, because they are considered to have an inferior place in their society. This will lead to additional problems in the future. The government really should give parents of daughters an extra cash incentive or something.

I'm honestly not sure what I think about that, because it's a huge restriction on people's freedoms, but then, overpopulation is an incredibly serious problem, and all the world is going to need to deal with it at some point.

eestlinc
01-28-2006, 11:56 PM
ok we can make this a new topic.

Yamaneko
01-28-2006, 11:57 PM
Yeah, Marxist communism is basically the only implementation that I'd consider "true" communism.
Too bad it's impossible.

Shoden
01-28-2006, 11:59 PM
I've been called a commie a few times I call people commies other times, most of the time it's just a word in a jokitive insult manner, Communists cannot hate everything as that's against their communism, they're practically hippies and should love everything if it's a far more exagurated form of socialism, but come on it can be funny seeing Americans faint from the word.

eestlinc
01-28-2006, 11:59 PM
Marxist Communism as opposed to Adam Smith's version?

Psychotic
01-29-2006, 12:00 AM
Communism will never work until human beings become mindless drones. It's human nature to want to be better than someone else, and to feel satisfied at being better than someone else.

Lost Number
01-29-2006, 12:01 AM
Capitalism appeals to the dark side of human nature.

Old Manus
01-29-2006, 12:01 AM
Communism worked in Russia so why not here

Lost Number
01-29-2006, 12:04 AM
Communism worked in Russia so why not here
Is that a joke?

-N-
01-29-2006, 12:04 AM
Marxist Communism as opposed to Adam Smith's version?I thought Adam Smith promoted capitalism. :confused:

I was kinda hoping this thread would degenerate into spam. :\

Levian
01-29-2006, 12:05 AM
Is that a joke?

Yep. A pretty funny one too. :choc2:

Yamaneko
01-29-2006, 12:05 AM
eest was making a point, Neel.

Resha
01-29-2006, 12:06 AM
The "one child policy" was prettymuch necessary for a country with such a population problem as China's, but unfortunately it's often led to female daughters being aborted, because they are considered to have an inferior place in their society. This will lead to additional problems in the future. The government really should give parents of daughters an extra cash incentive or something.

I'm honestly not sure what I think about that, because it's a huge restriction on people's freedoms, but then, overpopulation is an incredibly serious problem, and all the world is going to need to deal with it at some point.
It was necessary, and it worked to some extent. Yes, the thing about the girls was unfortunate; but I think the situation is slowly changing. Hopefully the balance should be restored in a few years/over the next decade. It's always the education factor which leads people to believe that women can't have a job and support her family in this day and age. Because of China's Communism, people are being educated. So hopefully, anti-female attitudes as such should die out. :)

It's not completely a restriction of freedom per say (you are talking about the OC Policy, right?) because it merely offered incentives such as free education and healthcare to people who had only one kid. People from Capitalist/staunchly democratical countries might argue that EVERYONE is entitled to that, but let's not forget that even in places like India - the world's biggest democracy - people don't get free healthcare and education. So the one child policy did pretty much leave it up to people; and those who prioritised so, had only one child. Overpopulation is a huge problem, and who knows how bad it could be now had China not curbed its population growth rate?

Old Manus
01-29-2006, 12:08 AM
Is that a joke?
That is the right question.

Lost Number
01-29-2006, 12:09 AM
Communism was a complete flop in Russia.

-N-
01-29-2006, 12:09 AM
eest was making a point, Neel.Got it. I was never good at critical reading. :\

Shoeberto
01-29-2006, 12:11 AM
Communism will never work until human beings become mindless drones. It's human nature to want to be better than someone else, and to feel satisfied at being better than someone else.
Yep.

Though now, I think some of the usual upstart members are contractually obligated to crack a joke at me about power abuse etc. Meh.

Resha
01-29-2006, 12:14 AM
Communism was a complete flop in Russia.
I wouldn't say that. It made them a super-power after WW2. Before WW2, during the Tsar's rule, they were suffering. The majority of the population were peasants, while the royal familuy and few others were really rich; who's to say that Russia would even remotely be where it is today without Communism? These rich-poor number numbers were small and huge; the gap was unreal.

It did make them a super-power, and something, somehow mucked up in there. It could be anti-Communist attitudes (Containment)...any number of factors. I haven't studied this bit of Soviet history, so I haven't identified what just yet; but I wouldn't say it was a complete flop.

Lost Number
01-29-2006, 12:16 AM
I am currently studying it, and the gist is that despite hiding behing weapons, the economy suffered terribly. Mostly, it is however due to the battering Russia took in WW2, which wreaked its economy.

Resha
01-29-2006, 12:19 AM
It did; it was a tremendous war effort. But after that, Stalin went the wrong way about bringing the USSR's economy up; he tried to mess Germany up, and people like Truman were very anti-Communist. Perhaps they can't completely be blamed; however, the USSR was a superpower along with the USa after WW2.

The Man
01-29-2006, 12:20 AM
It's not completely a restriction of freedom per say (you are talking about the OC Policy, right?) because it merely offered incentives such as free education and healthcare to people who had only one kid.Ah yeah, I'd forgotten about that. Makes sense.


People from Capitalist/staunchly democratical countries might argue that EVERYONE is entitled to that, but let's not forget that even in places like India - the world's biggest democracy - people don't get free healthcare and education. So the one child policy did pretty much leave it up to people; and those who prioritised so, had only one child. Overpopulation is a huge problem, and who knows how bad it could be now had China not curbed its population growth rate?well, America doesn't have free healthcare/education at all. Expecting free healthcare and education is actually more of a socialist tendency than a capitalist one.


Communism worked in Russia so why not hereActually, for quite some time, communism did work on an economic level. Saying that the fall of the USSR demonstrates the failure of communism is inaccurate at the very least, because before the fall, the Nomenklatura of the Communist Party had decided that they no longer cared about socialism, and only about obtaining more money and power for themselves. Indeed, you will note that many of the premier capitalists in Russia are former leaders of the Communist Party there. Revolution from Above: The Demise of the Soviet System, by Kotz and Weir, details this; Weir is a journalist who works in Russia, and Kotz is an American economist.

http://william-king.www.drexel.edu/top/prin/txt/comsysf/compsys7.gif

In this graph (taken from here (http://william-king.www.drexel.edu/top/prin/txt/comsysf/cs20.html)), the pink line represents four third-world countries, the blue line four advanced capitalist countries, the red line four socialist countries, and the green line the four so-called Asian Tiger economies, which as the link explains are anything but examples of unrestrained capitalism and were the beneficiaries of massive amounts of aid during this time period. As we can see, the socialist economies were significantly stronger than the capitalist economies over this time period, and the link provides a fairly detailed analysis of why communism failed after that time.

The abandonment of Communism in Russia resulted in the worst economic collapse in history that was not caused by losing a devastating war - yes, it is worse than the Great Depression (incidentally, while America was going through the Great Depression, the Soviet economy doubled in size). The economy literally shrank in half. Suicide rates grew by a massive amount. AIDS growth rates in Russia are as high as they are in Africa, due to the massive amount of prostitution, and the mob has its hands in everything. There is a joke in Russia that goes something along the lines of this:
What did capitalism do in one year that communism couldn't do in seventy? Make communism look good.

Yamaneko
01-29-2006, 12:22 AM
The problem was there was a huge misappropriation of resources. When Khrushchev visited the U.S. during the '60's, one of the things he wanted to see was an ordinary American farm. Why were a handful of hard-working farmers out-producing hundreds of Soviet farmers? The Soviet state owned everything. Tractors, equipment, seeds, etc. And since everything came from the top sometimes resources didn't make it in time and planting or harvest season was over.

Resha
01-29-2006, 12:23 AM
well, America doesn't have free healthcare/education at all. Expecting free healthcare and education is actually more of a socialist tendency than a capitalist one.

I didn't know that! I know the UK does, though. My mistake. :)

The Man
01-29-2006, 12:25 AM
The problem was there was a huge misappropriation of resources. When Khrushchev visited the U.S. during the '60's, one of the things he wanted to see was an ordinary American farm. Why were a handful of hard-working farmers out-producing hundreds of Soviet farmers? The Soviet state owned everything. Tractors, equipment, seeds, etc. And since everything came from the top sometimes resources didn't make it in time and planting or harvest season was over.I'll certainly agree that the bureaucracy of the Soviet government definitely didn't help things at all. But the U.S. government is ridiculously bureaucratic, as well. Both countries could have benefitted from a severe downsizing of government.


well, America doesn't have free healthcare/education at all. Expecting free healthcare and education is actually more of a socialist tendency than a capitalist one.

I didn't know that! I know the UK does, though. My mistake. :)We do have free education through the twelfth grade, but after that you're on your own. Sometimes you can get scholarships or financial aid, and sometimes you can qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, but it's difficult.

escobert
01-29-2006, 12:58 AM
Hey, I resent that. I don't hate everything :mad2:
but we do hate you

Madame Adequate
01-29-2006, 02:04 AM
Capitalist nations are currently the ones with power, with prosperity, and with well-fed populations.

Interpret it how you will, and blame it on whatever exploitation of the third world that you like, but the fact is Capitalism has essentially won. Of course, high school theories seem to be coming into the fore throughout Europe and America these days, so Socialism might yet make a comback.

I'd really rather it didn't. Certainly, Soviet Russia went from a nation of farmers to one of nukes in the space of fifty years, but look at the rapid buildup of military power America did in a similar time period - and without the loss of anywhere up to fifty million of her own people.

China was even worse. Mao was an effective, beloved, revered leader, who truly did believe in Socialism, and who adopted Communism but was quite prepared to make improvements where he saw fit. His purges pale in comparison, and you'd be hard-pressed to find more than a couple of million deaths caused directly by Mao.

Yet he remains one of the greatest murderers in Human history. Only Ghengis Khan is responsible for more. Why? Not because he was particularly evil or malevolent. Simply because the system did not work.

Yes, you can make the argument that Communism has never been properly implemented, and therefore it is unfair to pass judgement on it. By that logic, however, Capitalism has never been properly implemented either, and so examples of current inequalities must be disregarded.

My own view of the matter is that every single attempt at Communism has slid into, at best, corruption and repression. Aside from that, I object vociferously to the base principles of Communism - everyone is an individual, and the only responsibilities that one person has to another (Excepting cases such as dependants.) are to not step on anyone's toes, and to adhere to any agreements made.

The Man
01-29-2006, 02:34 AM
Well, democratic communism has never been implemented; indeed, neither has there ever been an implementation of communism wherein such things as free speech were a guaranteed right. Most of the complaints you raise are with the method of government, not with the economic system.

My problem with capitalism is that, in its purest form, it makes no concessions as to how the poorest of society are to be fed, housed, educated and kept in a decent state of health, apart from the unreliable act of charity (which seems exceedingly unlikely in a society that values selfishness). While many implementations of capitalism in the world do indeed include such concessions, these are ideas which were taken directly from socialist systems.

And it is quite an exaggeration to say that everyone in a capitalist society is well fed. While Europe does exceedingly well, that is because it has adopted a mix of socialism and capitalism as its primary economic system; the United States has yet to adopt such things as free health care and free post-secondary education as standards, and as a result we still have a rather large homeless problem. (Incidentally, we are regarded by many as still having the best post-secondary schools in the world, but this status is being increasingly threatened by our government's reactionary stances on such things as stem cell research).

At any rate, the United States may be the closest first-world country to an "ideal" capitalist society in the world (although the market system is tightly controlled, which goes directly against classical economical beliefs), and people still starve on the streets and beg for cash. However, by-and-large the majority of capitalist countries in the world are third-world countries. Capitalism has been failing South America ever since it existed there. The exceptions are countries, like most of Europe, that have adopted a mixture of capitalism and socialism, and countries that are imperial states, like the United States.

Incidentally, the implementation of neoclassical principles in modern economic systems is something I strongly disagree with. Neoclassical economics holds that the free market is a magical device that will bring about the best possible distribution of resources, resulting in a perfect equilibrium. Efficiency, in a Neoclassical sense, means allocative efficiency (everything that everyone wants is magically done by free market in the best possible way, which is of course run by the great supermen known as entrepreneurs) and productive efficiency (which we can ignore).

According to neoclassical economics, consumers maximize their utility when they buy products. Supposedly, everyone sits down, considers all the possible ways they could conceivably spend their money, and then ranks these nearly infinite possibilities by assigning the possibilities various amounts of utility. These perfectly rational creatures do some complicated algebra to decide what it is they want most, and then they do some more calculated algebra to calculate which alternative will best offer it to them in the magical free market paradise known as the Kingdom of Libertarian Capitalism. Everyone negotiates in a perfect way that maximizes everyone’s utility to the highest possible degree, and anything that deviates from Magical Fairy Land Free Market Capitalism is necessarily interfering with this beautiful process, and hence is “inefficient.”

Barring the fact in the real world, that no one actually cares enough to sit down and does all tedious calculation, or indeed actually puts any thought into which brand names they buy, I fail to see how this system has anything to do with freedom or individuality for the average member of society. The consumer is just another cog in the wheel. I certainly agree that everyone is an individual, but I also think every human being has an obligation to look out for his fellow man. Socialism is not based on the ideal that people have no individual identity; rather, it is based on the ideal that people should not have to toil endlessly to earn their daily bread, nor should they have to fight like dogs in order to earn food. It is based not on the ideal that people should acquire as much wealth as possible throughout the course of their lieftimes, but that they should look out for each other and ask what they can do to improve society as a whole.

What most people have right now in America is the freedom to choose between brand names, in between the time that they're working two jobs just so they can support their family. In an ideal capitalist society, all products of the same type are inherently equal, because any company that produces an inferior product will go out of business. This is not freedom; it is corporations creating the illusion of choice. A socialist society realizes that things like clothing and shoes are trivial, base concerns, and that people are best left to pursue other, more enjoyable ventures in their free time when they are relieved of the burden of unnecessary labour.

A true socialist society has no bearing on what people do with their lives, public or private. Without the need for cultural cultivation in order to sell products and advertisements, the public is inherently more free to pursue its own ends; free to write, free to think, free to express, free to create.

Madame Adequate
01-29-2006, 02:45 AM
You see, the reason we have differing beliefs is because we have differing values. Yes, I can honestly say that I value freedom above anything else. Above even life. Other people take the stance that life is the most important thing there is, and that it is worth certain sacrifices to preserve that.

That is a perfectly reasonable and understandable viewpoint.

The problem I have is that I cannot opt out of it. Ideally, the world would be a whole spectrum of economic and social methods, say America would be completely anarcho-communist, whilst perhaps France would be anarcho-socialist, whereas Britain maintains a mix of free marketeering and social measures.

The ultimate destination, in the future, hopefully holds closer to your idea than to mine. If we can develop a system where everybody is provided for WITHOUT the need for anybody to put effort in, then MI fully support a system of free distribution and whatnot. (See Iain M. Banks' novels regarding the Culture for a near-perfect example of it.) But for now, while effort is required, I cannot in good conscience commit to a system which forces that effort from people - even if that means others suffer. (The exception is when it comes to children and teenagers - there should be a 'base level' which is provided to all, no matter what circumstances you are born and raised in, otherwise my concept of equality is a sham.)

Rye
01-29-2006, 02:48 AM
I have nothing to contribute to this conversation except: Commie, Commie, Commieeeee! [/Destroy All Humans]

It's times like these that I almost wish Cloud No. 9 was back for a day. xD

The Man
01-29-2006, 02:48 AM
well, most people are forced into effort by their economic circumstances. I certainly think that if a person manages to be frugal enough to acquire enough wealth to take time off from work, they should be allowed that right. However, I object to a system in which anyone is forced, by their economic circumstances, to work for anything more than, say, eight hours a day.

That said, it looks like we mostly agree, except for what we think the most important aspect of society is. I recommend reading Heinlein's For Us, the Living - it's an interesting mixture of libertarianism and socialism, and introduces a number of economic ideas I'd never even heard of before. It's not much of a novel though. xD

Madame Adequate
01-29-2006, 02:56 AM
well, most people are forced into effort by their economic circumstances. I certainly think that if a person manages to be frugal enough to acquire enough wealth to take time off from work, they should be allowed that right. However, I object to a system in which anyone is forced, by their economic circumstances, to work for anything more than, say, eight hours a day.

Mmm, I can agree to that, and I have no objection at all to things such as maximum working day laws, and minimum wage laws (Mainly because so few people are actually brave enough to say "I'm not going to ork 14 hours a day for $3 an hour.", though you could argue it's still their own preorogative to make that effort.).


That said, it looks like we mostly agree, except for what we think the most important aspect of society is. I recommend reading Heinlein's For Us, the Living - it's an interesting mixture of libertarianism and socialism, and introduces a number of economic ideas I'd never even heard of before. It's not much of a novel though. xD

Heinlein's a strange one. I don't think I've actually read that one, but I know most of his work is A) Love and B) Random in quality. I still love it all though, he's one of my fave authors.

Oh, as an addenda to my aforementioned suggestion of different places having different systems, the one universal right would of course be the need to move freely between them all.

The Man
01-29-2006, 03:02 AM
Well, yes, of course. That's pretty much the most essential freedom of all: the freedom to leave.

And Heinlein can be strange indeed; it's difficult to believe that Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land were actually written by the same person. For Us, the Living was his first novel and, in some ways, is extremely different from his later work, but it has a lot of neat ideas, including the theory that half the reason the economy's so screwed up is because of the gap between production and consumption. You can also see the seeds of a lot of his later ideas in it, and it presents an interesting alternate history for the Earth.

Madame Adequate
01-29-2006, 03:04 AM
Well, yes, of course. That's pretty much the most essential freedom of all: the freedom to leave.

The problem with that tends not these days to be leaving, but rather getting into somewhere else. :(

Chimp
01-29-2006, 04:58 AM
Those capitalist pigs, causing an unbalance of wealth. How I loathe them.

In Soviet Russia, means of production operates the government!

The Man
01-29-2006, 05:04 AM
The problem with that tends not these days to be leaving, but rather getting into somewhere else. :(A fair point. I've always felt that immigration laws here need to be relaxed significantly (or rather, the process needs to be significantly reduced so that the restrictions we have can actually be enforced), and I'm sure it's similar elsewhere. Unless you can marry a citizen, it's pretty much impossible most places :monster:


Those capitalist pigs, causing an unbalance of wealth. How I loathe them.

In Soviet Russia, means of production operates the government!haha :-[