Is communism really bad? Watch

Oswy
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#181
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#181
(Original post by borismor)
If I'm smaller and weaker and work just as hard as you do that means I'm less productive than you are.

The problem with your reasoning is that it arbitrarily assumes that advantages should be earned somehow. I can equally assume that disadvantages should be earned in the same manner - after all you you get your reward for being disadvantaged (which causes more effort on your side), not for being productive.

The difference between us is that I reject both assumptions - advantages or disadvantages should not be rewarded. I don't care how much effort you put into solving a math problem, as long as it's solved.

But of course, you can't accept the principle and reject the implications. For example, as a professor, would you reward a failing student for trying really hard?

I don't believe so. In essence that means you have rejected the entire principle.
My example was one in which I identified you as less productive because you were smaller and weaker, I wasn't making any claim that smaller and weaker people are automatically less productive. I could just as easily have posited that you were born with one leg, or that you suffered poor diet as a child and had less developed muscles and bones, and so on. The details don't really matter, only that we could work together and for some reason outside of your control you might be less productive and yet work with equal effort.

I'm not sure about your second point. let me try and put it a different way. It might be argued that we should be rewarded only if we 'deserve' those rewards. That's reasonable enough. The issue now rests on what we think is 'deserved'. If I have some advantage, or disadvantage, which I have had no control over then this at least problematises the idea that I 'deserve' the consequences of such advantages or disadvantages. If I'm born without legs, would you argue that I 'deserve' to starve in a world where only those who have legs can find work? An extreme example, but the principle is the same; if I am not in control then the extent to which I 'deserve' is, I believe, seriously questionable. I can see that you take a different philosophical position, so maybe I'll just leave it at that.
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Fusilero
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(Original post by Camlon)
That's horrible and cruel and not even Hong Kong is as extreme as you. There are lots of people who can't work, because they are disabled. So it's not as easy to say that if you don't work you will starve. Secondly, if you don't want to give the same to everyone, then you have to put in a regulative system. But you have to give them full wage if they have a proper case. Secondly, a lot of people will still not work hard enough, because their effort at work won't matter.

And you will have problems getting enough workers in many industries. If you don't get enough workers, then important jobs won't be done and the country will decline.
Cruel? I mentioned we should have a form of social security, but it shouldn't be so lax as it is in Modern Britain - if anything I'm agreeing, to an extent, with Mr Cameron here. It shouldn't be possible, for example, for generations of capable people to rely solely on the state, or the commune, for their living (without a serious extenuating circumstance).
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Oswy
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(Original post by borismor)
Of course there is. Just think about a man that got stuck on an isolated island.

By writing these things - do you behave in a way which suits capitalism?
I don't mean to be unkind but I can only assume that you have no background in, or at least familiarity with, the disciplines which touch on the idea of 'human nature', such as anthropology, sociology, or even human psychology and philosophy.

Humans have evolved as social animals, our sociability is hard-wired into us. It is thus just as problematic to try and observe 'human nature' in terms of a man stuck on an isolated island as it is in the whole variety of behaviour shaping social contexts humans live in. If anything, given what I have said about humans having evolved as social animals hard-wired to behave in the context of other humans, observing a human in artificial isolation is possibly the least methodologically sound approach.
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Camlon
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(Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
Well that's a personal opinion, and again you're thinking along the lines of what you've been spoon fed from a very young age i.e government and the free market is the way forward, and no other system works.

It's all about mindset. If you were brought up under an anarchist system (or lack of it, I suppose) and the way of thinking was that acting out is irrational, you wouldn't because that's the way you'd have been taught to think from a young age. In theory, it is very hard to fault anarchism and marxism because whilst they revolve around a very positive view of human nature, they believe that that view is absolutely achievable because they believe human nature can be moulded.
My family are socialists/social democrats and do not trust in the free market. So you're way off! I have a different opinion than them and started changing my opinions in the end of high school.

I'm sure communist propaganda would cause people to believe that communism is the greatest system that exsist. Just look at North Korea. That does not mean people will work hard for nothing.

They are different. Social pressure implies a negative want to work i.e doing it because they feel they have to, whereas working for the common good implies that people are doing it for positive reasons, i.e they want to because they know it helps everybody around them, as well as themselves.

Either way you cannot definitively say that that pressure isn't strong enough. There are no solid cases where we've had true communism so we can't definitively say anything. Marx would certainly deem it strong enough, or he wouldn't necessarily see it as a pressure but as a want.
We had systems close enough to know that humans are not like ants under any system. They need a reason to work and social pressure is not enough. And it's social pressure we are talking about. Think about this, you are sent of to a lonely island with just yourself. How many people would send of half of their resources to another island if he does not know the other people on the island and he never met them. Most people would not do it, because they wouldnt bother to work more for no results. What if there was 10 people on the island and social status was determined by how much you gave away, then I think he would give a lot more.


Well you say that we're humans, not ants, which is obviously correct, but how do you think that humans evolved to the state that we are today? We certainly didn't survive from all acting as self-interested individuals, otherwise we would have been destroyed by nature all too quickly.
Wrong! In nature punishment and reward has been an essential part of our life. If someone causes trouble to the clan, the others might kill him or leave him in the woods. Look at kids, how do you raise them? Do they do everything right just to please the family? No, the parents have to punish and give them rewards. Just then they will learn.

As for the point about specialization, you have a point in that communism is less relevant to a service based, specialist country such as the UK. However communists would argue that once all of our needs are met, the need for this is greatly diminished as people don't need to specialize to get ahead of their opponents as everybody is equal, so happiness is massively increased anyway.

Again, the trouble is that you're thinking along the capitalist lines of "We need specialization and economic growth", forgetting that these aren't the primary aims of Marxism.
Making people equal doesn't make people happy. People will be unhappy because they have nothing to stive for. People will also be unhappy because they will be poor compared to other countries in the world and get terrible customer service.

Which countries are the happiest? Let me list one list and include the economic freedom.
Denmark (78.6)
Finland (74.0)
Norway (70.3)
Netherlands (74.7)
Sweden (71.9)
New Zealand (82.3)
Costa Rica (67.3)
Israel (68.5)
Switzerland (81.5)
Australia (82.5)
Canada (80.8)

None of this countries score low on economic freedom and many of these countries are not equal at all. For instance, Israel, Costa Rica, and New Zealand. Among the most equal countries we find.

Slovakia: (73)
Belarus (54)
Hungary (103)
Denmark (1)
Japan (81)
Sweden (5)
Czech Republic (40)

Hence, equal does not mean happy, but in general economical free countries are happier than countries that are not economical free.
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borismor
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#185
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#185
(Original post by Oswy)
My example was one in which I identified you as less productive because you were smaller and weaker, I wasn't making any claim that smaller and weaker people are automatically less productive. I could just as easily have posited that you were born with one leg, or that you suffered poor diet as a child and had less developed muscles and bones, and so on. The details don't really matter, only that we could work together and for some reason outside of your control you might be less productive and yet work with equal effort.
It doesn't change the fact that rewarding the effort is equivalent to rewarding incompetence. The implications to this are very clear - complete destruction of human society.

I'm not sure about your second point. let me try and put it a different way. It might be argued that we should be rewarded only if we 'deserve' those rewards. That's reasonable enough. The issue now rests on what we think is 'deserved'. If I have some advantage, or disadvantage, which I have had no control over then this at least problematises the idea that I 'deserve' the consequences of such advantages or disadvantages. If I'm born without legs, would you argue that I 'deserve' to starve in a world where only those who have legs can find work? An extreme example, but the principle is the same; if I am not in control then the extent to which I 'deserve' is, I believe, seriously questionable. I can see that you take a different philosophical position, so maybe I'll just leave it at that.
Physical nature is simply inconsistent with your ideas of fairness. If you get stuck on a lonely island and you can't find any food because you're no good at climbing coconut trees - you die. Nature doesn't care if you think this is unfair. It won't do you any good to explain to the tree how unfair this situation is.

What you're suggesting is merely a temporary illusion of fairness. The very second that something happens which makes advantages and disadvantages make the difference between life and death (or more commonly - success and failure) - that illusion disappears, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Does a student deserve to fail a test simply because he's not bright enough to understand what the professor is teaching?

I don't know, perhaps not, but it's a fact of life that he will, and you won't try to prevent that if you know what's good for you, him, and human kind in general.
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Emaemmaemily
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#186
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Camlon I give up. I've already answered all of those questions but you continue to either twist my words, or ask the same questions.
I can't be bothred.
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borismor
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#187
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#187
(Original post by Oswy)
I don't mean to be unkind but I can only assume that you have no background in, or at least familiarity with, the disciplines which touch on the idea of 'human nature', such as anthropology, sociology, or even human psychology and philosophy.
I can only assume you say that because I give you short and clear answers.

Humans have evolved as social animals, our sociability is hard-wired into us. It is thus just as problematic to try and observe 'human nature' in terms of a man stuck on an isolated island as it is in the whole variety of behaviour shaping social contexts humans live in. If anything, given what I have said about humans having evolved as social animals hard-wired to behave in the context of other humans, observing a human in artificial isolation is possibly the least methodologically sound approach.
I don't agree.

Humans can choose to become isolated, and many throughout history have.

This proves that humans are not social animals, they interact voluntarily (or under compulsion), if and when it suits their interests, not because they must. Many humans have even decided they prefer to die than to be forced to live in a society they don't want to be part of.

Contrast that with ants, which are clearly social animals.
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Camlon
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#188
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#188
(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
Camlon I give up. I've already answered all of those questions but you continue to either twist my words, or ask the same questions.
I can't be bothred.
Really, when did you list the economical factors that doesn't make old China communist, apart from the ones I listed.

Did you talk about what would make your welfare system so radically different and answer my question if politicans want their welfare system to be misused?

Did you say anything about the ones who can not work long hours and will under your system not get a wage. You said specifically that the ones who don't work hard enough will not get a wage. I don't twist your words, but I take what you say litteraly. If you mean something else, then you need to express yourself differently.

You can stop. That is simple, don't answer me, but don't lie.
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EffDee
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#189
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Nope.
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Oswy
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(Original post by borismor)
...

This proves that humans are not social animals...
Ok, dude, lol, I'm out.
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Rascacielos
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#191
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#191
I agree with the thread starter. Communism would, in an ideal world, work well and might constitute the happiness of many. However, in practice, it can never work. A society can never be equal.
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tieyourmotherdown
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(Original post by Camlon)
My family are socialists/social democrats and do not trust in the free market. So you're way off! I have a different opinion than them and started changing my opinions in the end of high school.

I'm sure communist propaganda would cause people to believe that communism is the greatest system that exsist. Just look at North Korea. That does not mean people will work hard for nothing.
But regardless of the opinions of your family you've been raised in a capitalist system, and surrounded by it from birth. Everything in your house your parents will have bought, and you're surrounded by competition from day one whether it be personally at school, or seeing adverts on the TV constantly. Plus if your parents are social democrats they still believe in a free market. Social democrats don't reject the free market, they accept it as a necessity, they just believe in more government intervention, for example positive freedom to mildly address inequalities.

As for your example, it's useless. North Korea isn't really communist in any way whatsoever.

We had systems close enough to know that humans are not like ants under any system. They need a reason to work and social pressure is not enough. And it's social pressure we are talking about. Think about this, you are sent of to a lonely island with just yourself. How many people would send of half of their resources to another island if he does not know the other people on the island and he never met them. Most people would not do it, because they wouldnt bother to work more for no results. What if there was 10 people on the island and social status was determined by how much you gave away, then I think he would give a lot more.
Please stop stating that working for the common good isn't enough of an incentive like it's a fact. As for your example, again it's based around the premise that you've been brought up in a capitalism system. Had you been brought up under absolute Marxism, Marxists would argue that you would think differently i.e you would give some of your resources away because you value the needs of humans as a species above that of your own personal needs.

Wrong! In nature punishment and reward has been an essential part of our life. If someone causes trouble to the clan, the others might kill him or leave him in the woods. Look at kids, how do you raise them? Do they do everything right just to please the family? No, the parents have to punish and give them rewards. Just then they will learn.
I don't really understand how rearing children comes into this, but whatever. You seem to think that Marxism is just being constantly fed positive signals, being given always what you need regardless of other factors, but obviously if you are raising children you would use withdrawing things from them for negative/positive reinforcement. That isn't prohibited under Marxism, and I don't understand why it would be.

Making people equal doesn't make people happy. People will be unhappy because they have nothing to stive for. People will also be unhappy because they will be poor compared to other countries in the world and get terrible customer service.
You're spouting capitalism again. You need to comprehend the fact that (possibly) the reason why people need something to strive for is because that's what the world dictates at the moment, as the world is almost exclusively capitalist. What if the world was entirely communist? You seem to think that human nature is set in stone, but perhaps it isn't.

Which countries are the happiest? Let me list one list and include the economic freedom.
Denmark (78.6)
Finland (74.0)
Norway (70.3)
Netherlands (74.7)
Sweden (71.9)
New Zealand (82.3)
Costa Rica (67.3)
Israel (68.5)
Switzerland (81.5)
Australia (82.5)
Canada (80.8)

None of this countries score low on economic freedom and many of these countries are not equal at all. For instance, Israel, Costa Rica, and New Zealand. Among the most equal countries we find.

Slovakia: (73)
Belarus (54)
Hungary (103)
Denmark (1)
Japan (81)
Sweden (5)
Czech Republic (40)

Hence, equal does not mean happy, but in general economical free countries are happier than countries that are not economical free.
So in essence all you've really proved is that countries which have little corruption tend to be happier, and that there isn't a definitive correlation between happiness and equality .... so? There also isn't a definitive correlation between free market liberalism and happiness.

In essence you've proved that there is no correlation between happiness and the way the economy is run, but more between happiness and quality of life/standard of living as a whole, and funnily enough traditionally social democratic countries have the highest standard of living around the world, proven by your chart which ranks them as the happiest countries.

Also the highest countries enjoy the most political freedom worldwide, so in reality all the evidence points towards the fact that happiness is defined by overall standards of living and personal freedom, which doesn't really validate or invalidate Marxism.
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Fusilero
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#193
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#193
(Original post by Camlon)

Which countries are the happiest? Let me list one list and include the economic freedom.
Denmark (78.6)
Finland (74.0)
Norway (70.3)
Netherlands (74.7)
Sweden (71.9)
New Zealand (82.3)
Costa Rica (67.3)
Israel (68.5)
Switzerland (81.5)
Australia (82.5)
Canada (80.8)


None of this countries score low on economic freedom and many of these countries are not equal at all. For instance, Israel, Costa Rica, and New Zealand. Among the most equal countries we find.

Slovakia: (73)
Belarus (54)
Hungary (103)
Denmark (1)
Japan (81)
Sweden (5)
Czech Republic (40)

Hence, equal does not mean happy, but in general economical free countries are happier than countries that are not economical free.

Looking at those countries... the top five all have strong, reliable welfare systems and good progessive taxation with low income disparity. If anything those are better Socialist states than North Korea and China, as I see it. I'm not too sure about the rest, although I do know that Canada and Australia also have a pretty robust welfare system and public services. You seem to think that a lack of economic freedom is what defines a socialist state - if anything in socialist states the workers will have more economic freedom as they will be able to negotiate better and for more fair terms than between various holders of capital, who may hold many companies and then have them supply each other without giving any of them a fair cut with profit returning to the holders of capital rather than the producers.
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Camlon
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#194
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#194
(Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
As for your example, it's useless. North Korea isn't really communist in any way whatsoever.
Economically, it's pretty close. There are of course factors that are different. For instance the leadership get extra goods, but it's much closer than any western country is. You seem to define communism after how good welfare their citizens have. That is not correct. I definine communism as a classless and stateless society with common ownership of the means of production. A society where they follow the expression "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" North Korea is not stateless, but it's pretty much classless and it's close to that expresssion.

Please stop stating that working for the common good isn't enough of an incentive like it's a fact. As for your example, again it's based around the premise that you've been brought up in a capitalism system. Had you been brought up under absolute Marxism, Marxists would argue that you would think differently i.e you would give some of your resources away because you value the needs of humans as a species above that of your own personal needs.
Well, I gave you an example. If a normal person get placed alone on a small island. Will he give a lot of his resources to another island if he get nothing for it and never see them. Probably not! Why do you think students are so lazy when schools force students to clean up the garbage outside. How hard would they work if it affected their grades? How hard do you think students will work if we abolish grades? There is no way you can remove selfishness.

Those kind of values are imposed on you in North Korea and old China. So according to your beliefs they should only work for the society, but that is not the case at all in those countries. Don't forget that propaganda is limited, and families will affect the child.


I don't really understand how rearing children comes into this, but whatever. You seem to think that Marxism is just being constantly fed positive signals, being given always what you need regardless of other factors, but obviously if you are raising children you would use withdrawing things from them for negative/positive reinforcement. That isn't prohibited under Marxism, and I don't understand why it would be.
I'm not saying that in a communist society, you can not raise your children with punishment and reqard. But I don't think children are that different from adults. If kids needs punishment and reward, what makes you think adults don't? I must remind you, that you think adults will work hard for the society because they want to help the community. And they don't need any punishments.

You're spouting capitalism again. You need to comprehend the fact that (possibly) the reason why people need something to strive for is because that's what the world dictates at the moment, as the world is almost exclusively capitalist. What if the world was entirely communist? You seem to think that human nature is set in stone, but perhaps it isn't.
This has nothing to do with capitalism. This is the case in many other areas as well. For instance look at dating. If you strive to get a guy, you will feel much happier than if he just gives it to you. If you stive to win a football competition, you will feel much happier than if you can easily win.

A life where you can not strive for anything (apart from dating) is going to make people unhappy. Especially the ones who can not succeed socially.



So in essence all you've really proved is that countries which have little corruption tend to be happier, and that there isn't a definitive correlation between happiness and equality .... so? There also isn't a definitive correlation between free market liberalism and happiness, so in essence you've proved that there is no correlation between happiness and the way the economy is run, but more between happiness and quality of life/standard of living as a whole, and funnily enough traditionally social democratic countries have the highest standard of living around the world, proven by your chart.

Also the highest countries enjoy the most political freedom worldwide, so in reality all the evidence points towards the fact that happiness is defined by overall standards of living and personal freedom, which doesn't really validate or invalidate Marxism.
I'm not a liberalist, so that doesn't make me very sad. No countries with low economic freedom got high up on the list. Hence, there is a correlation between economic freedom and happiness.

No! Classical social democratic countries didn't do any better than anglo-saxon system. Some of the social democratic countries did quite terrible. Look at France and Germany. And some of the anglo-saxon countries did quite well. Like Swizerland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

My main point is. There is no correlation between equalness and happiness. Hence making people really equal, will not make people really happy, like you said.
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Steevee
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#195
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(Original post by Oswy)
I suspect that you didn't spend much time thinking about what 'human needs' might include.
Do tell then. I have a fairly good idea of the 'needs' of humanity. And they are all provided by our system. If you're talking of intellectual and phillosophical stimulation, or some such other 'need', then I maintain that is not the job of the State to provide.
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Camlon
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(Original post by Fusilero)
Looking at those countries... the top five all have strong, reliable welfare systems and good progessive taxation with low income disparity. If anything those are better Socialist states than North Korea and China, as I see it. I'm not too sure about the rest, although I do know that Canada and Australia also have a pretty robust welfare system and public services. You seem to think that a lack of economic freedom is what defines a socialist state - if anything in socialist states the workers will have more economic freedom as they will be able to negotiate better and for more fair terms than between various holders of capital, who may hold many companies and then have them supply each other without giving any of them a fair cut with profit returning to the holders of capital rather than the producers.
You seem to also define socialism after how well the system takes care of its workers. That is not socialism. Socialism is the system where government runs the economy and people don't have very much money to spend. The government consumes most of the money. Also, it's important that people are equal.

Thats why I'm using economic freedom rankings. Australia comes on the top and beats every single country in the world apart from Singapore and Hong Kong. Canada and New Zealand is also in the top. Take a look at Australia. Governmenal consumption is 35% of the economy, which is low and they have low taxes. It's very easy to fire workers, and the amount of regulation is low. Also, trade unions are weak, especially in New Zealand. You will also find that income inequality is pretty high in Australia compared to what it should be in a socialist state and in New Zealand it's even higher. They are in no way socialist states! And yes I support the aussie/kiwi system.

If you take a look at scandinavian countries, then you will find they are not as left wing as you may think. GDP spending is lower or the same as other European countries like Italy, Belgum and France. In Denmark it is easy to fire workers. It's much harder in France/Spain/Greece/Italy, etc. And you will really see differences when you compare them to poor countries. In generall scandinavians are very left wing when we talk about values, but not so much when we talk about economy.
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CyclopsRock
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#197
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I don't understand why people say it's "good on paper" - why, because your immediate physical requirements are met as a matter of course? Lovely. But your choice and freedom is simultaneously ripped from you. You have no ability to better yourself. Scarce ability to choose your own future. And it all hangs on the spurious hope that all people will have a social revolution that makes them care more about bettering their society than anything else. That sounds both very convenient and very dangerous. But yeah, it's great "on paper" ...
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borismor
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(Original post by CyclopsRock)
I don't understand why people say it's "good on paper" - why, because your immediate physical requirements are met as a matter of course? Lovely. But your choice and freedom is simultaneously ripped from you. You have no ability to better yourself. Scarce ability to choose your own future. And it all hangs on the spurious hope that all people will have a social revolution that makes them care more about bettering their society than anything else. That sounds both very convenient and very dangerous. But yeah, it's great "on paper" ...
As some people on this thread argue, under communism you wouldn't even want to better yourself. Wanting to better yourself is a capitalist conspiracy to make you feel unhappy. In this case, what do you need freedom of choice for? Nothing. Your entire existence becomes dedicated to the group you belong to, and you essentially become a mindless, selfless ant.

Pretty much like a Borg drone.
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Brandmon
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#199
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#199
The ordeal with communism is that too much emphasis these days is given on it's shortcomings, even though its shortcomings are attributed towards the bad attempts at it rather than the merit of the theory itself and this lack of mercy towards arguing against Communism might be attributed towards the Cold War.

It would only require the least sincere interest in getting to know what communism is about to see that the communism that Karl Marx pioneered is a far-cry from what the USSR achieved in this regard, especially under Stalin.

Indeed, Communism in the end is impractical and doesn't achieve the desired result but then again I find Ayn Rand's theories equally so.

So it is clear that we shouldn't consider a theory of 150 years ago as a solution to the problems of today but also we shouldn't simply ignore it as it has some good insight on the possible problems of capitalism.
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imperial maniac
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#200
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(Original post by Lewis :D)
I mean, the idea looks really good, but it isn't viable at all.
People naturally take charge, therefore a higher class is automatically formed.
Plus my geography teacher said communists knew how to look after their own.
Slap your geography teacher round the face and point out the human rights abominations in China.

Some people are so retarded.
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