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Can we please discuss communism properly? watch

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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    How do you determine a "fair" wage?
    By evaluating the time and rigour the labour requires.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    By evaluating the time and rigour the labour requires.
    The same work can require different amounts of time and effort depending on who carries it out. Additionally, some useless work (carrying heavy stones back and forth between two places) takes a long time and a lot of effort. Do you think that should be highly payed? What about work like inventing new medicinal drugs that might be very enjoyable and easy for some people, but is also very important? Also, who gets to do this evaluation, and who evaluates their pay?
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    Firstly, you're right - people respond well to incentives of personal gain, that is undeniable. However, the suggestion that this is an unavoidable facet of humanity (or even that it is a favourable one) is baseless; any study will have been conducted on people already conditioned to capitalism and thus will be invalid.

    Just as you might claim capitalism represents evolution in a modern form - so might I argue that communism represents the next step in a social evolution chain towards a world where some humans aren't starving while others lie around on yachts.

    Primitive man would think nothing of dashing another human's head against a rock until they died - nowadays that is unacceptable.
    Primitive man would think nothing of exploiting another human for his own gain - nowadays that is perfectly acceptable because it's in our nature!
    Capitalists like to pick and choose which aspects of humanity are truly in our nature and which can be removed through regulation and criminalisation - funnily enough the aspects of humanity which might favour capitalism have become the ones that are perfectly acceptable!

    Capitalist and communist economics differ by this issue of incentive entirely. One assumes we have to compete to achieve, the other assumes we have to unite to achieve. Sure they're both just assumptions but only one of them eradicates poverty.

    As for my 'laughable' comment on malnutrition, read this:
    http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0262e/x0262e05.htm

    'the world can produce enough food to provide every person with more than 2 700 Calories per day'
    It isn't exactly difficult to think of how the infrastructure to distribute these calories might come about - there are plenty of resources available to make it happen that are currently wasted by capitalists.

    You are correct in that I am getting my GCSE results next week, but my age in no way undermines my argument. If anything it allows me to step back and look at the world without the pressures that might force someone to just accept capitalism because otherwise they can't afford not to. I can assure you that from my position of relative affluence in a highly developed country I would not stand to benefit from communism - rather I have the maturity and independence to consider that, despite the absence of personal gain for myself, communism is the only just way forward.
    This argument is pointless. If you are going to disregard all evidence available as "contaminated with capitalism" and therefore useless then why did you start this thread? A political argument must be based on empirical evidence.
    Your arguments boil down to: Communism will work because it will and it's nicer.

    You cannot say that "we have to compete to achieve" and "we have to unite to achieve" are both equally valid assumptions. The statement "Father Christmas exists" and "Father Christmas does not exist" are both just assumptions, but it is clear that there is more evidence is favour of one. But of course you disregard all evidence.....

    I did not dispute that there was not enough food for everyone. I was disputing the means of how these people would get the food and how such a system would be sustainable without incentive.

    And mature people understand that being ideological gets us nowhere. We must be pragmatic and communism is not at all pragmatic, even if you refuse to believe it because it has "never been tried before" (even though it arguably has been).

    And as a side note, it shocks me how many double standards that edgy communist teenagers hold (trust me, I go to school with A LOT of them). I highly doubt that all the money and presents that you get go straight to charity. And I'm sure you're typing your response on an expensive laptop or phone that could be easily sold or downgraded and that money could go to someone who needs it far more than you do. However, of course you will attempt to rationalize and justify your actions to make what you are doing OK and not actually do anything about it.
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    The same work can require different amounts of time and effort depending on who carries it out. Additionally, some useless work (carrying heavy stones back and forth between two places) takes a long time and a lot of effort. Do you think that should be highly payed? What about work like inventing new medicinal drugs that might be very enjoyable and easy for some people, but is also very important? Also, who gets to do this evaluation, and who evaluates their pay?
    If someone is bad at performing a role then they should cease to perform it and instead seek to perform one that they are better at. At any rate they will be paid the same amount for the same work because their abilities at birth are out of their control. If work is useless then no one will be assigned to it. Medical research is certainly not easy and, as with everything else, anybody performing it should be offered the same compensation for their time as anyone else. A central committee could easily be established to determine the compensation for time and effort.
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    Whilst I agree that many people who support capitalism fail to properly understand communism before discussing it (clue: Not everyone gets the same pay), communists are the absolute worst when it comes to changing the goal posts and introducing semi-reasonable statements everyone agrees upon, before doing a massive zinger of a bait and switch to reach the most absurd conclusion.

    (Original post by Mathematising)
    'the world can produce enough food to provide every person with more than 2 700 Calories per day'It isn't exactly difficult to think of how the infrastructure to distribute these calories might come about - there are plenty of resources available to make it happen that are currently wasted by capitalists.You are correct in that I am getting my GCSE results next week, but my age in no way undermines my argument. If anything it allows me to step back and look at the world without the pressures that might force someone to just accept capitalism because otherwise they can't afford not to. I can assure you that from my position of relative affluence in a highly developed country I would not stand to benefit from communism - rather I have the maturity and independence to consider that, despite the absence of personal gain for myself, communism is the only just way forward.
    The world doesn't produce enough food to give every >2,700 calories per day, capitalism does and if you abolished capitalism suddenly you would find that less resources are being produced, communists always seem to treat the world as if it's a steady state with a finite amount of resources which is clearly untrue.

    (Original post by Mathematising)
    The holocaust killed 6,000,000 - 11,000,000 people and the world sees it as one of the worst atrocities in recent history. More people die due to poverty EACH YEAR than were killed in the holocaust - if the Nazis are seen as having committed crimes against humanity then surely by logical extension every person who stands by and watches capitalism kill millions each year is complicit in the most abhorrent attrocity known to man?
    The Holocaust was so evil and so shocking because someone decided to kill entire groups of people on an industrial scale. If you're going to be this childish I could say, woah we really do need to find a cure for old age, because if we don't in the next 100 years, over 7 billion people could die


    Gee whiz boyo
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    Communism is the correct way forward for humanity. Few would agree with me, at least not to this extremity, but I can assure you that it is. Please feel free to discuss this - it is very close to my heart.
    I certainly disagree. We have tried to create the system dozens of times and It has never succeeded, usually ending in an authoritarian dictatorship. Believing that the proletariat can just seize the means of production is like allowing the livestock to run the farm.

    The best system is the one which gives the most personal and financial freedom to the individual while maintaining a level of order.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    A central committee could easily be established to determine the compensation for time and effort.
    So people will be paid according to their time and effort? How do you distinguish between natural ability and effort? Sounds a lot like a personal incentive. I thought the point was that everyone gets the same?
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    (Original post by jdizzle12345)
    This argument is pointless. If you are going to disregard all evidence available as "contaminated with capitalism" and therefore useless then why did you start this thread? A political argument must be based on empirical evidence.
    Your arguments boil down to: Communism will work because it will and it's nicer.

    You cannot say that "we have to compete to achieve" and "we have to unite to achieve" are both equally valid assumptions. The statement "Father Christmas exists" and "Father Christmas does not exist" are both just assumptions, but it is clear that there is more evidence is favour of one. But of course you disregard all evidence.....
    Firstly, I disregarded one piece of evidence... If evidence wasn't 'contaminated with capitalism' then I wouldn't claim it to be so - but that one cited article has clear flaws due to its being carried out in a capitalist society. The suggestion that 'all political argument must be based on empirical evidence' is an adorably conservative thing to say - all that really means is that no new ideologies can be successful because there's obviously not going to be any empirical evidence for them.

    It's bordering on offensive for you to suggest I haven't in any way justified why communism is better than capitalism. If you can't analyse my argument any further than what you stated then I think you should should probably stay away from politics in future.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    If someone is bad at performing a role then they should cease to perform it and instead seek to perform one that they are better at. At any rate they will be paid the same amount for the same work because their abilities at birth are out of their control. If work is useless then no one will be assigned to it. Medical research is certainly not easy and, as with everything else, anybody performing it should be offered the same compensation for their time as anyone else. A central committee could easily be established to determine the compensation for time and effort.
    How would a central committee compare e.g. physical effort and mental effort? How could they determine whether or not people were telling the truth about how much time something required? How would you decide how much they should be paid? Perhaps most importantly, how on earth would they be able to work out which jobs are "useless"? Scientific research can seem useless for years before it produces a breakthrough. Art and music are seen as useless by some people, are they banned? I might want to hire someone to clean my car, but you might think that it is already clean enough. How could anyone possibly decide which one of us is right?

    Also, wouldn't it be unfair for your central committee to mandate a maximum wage for a job? What if I want to pay someone more than the central committee allows?
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    (Original post by jdizzle12345)
    So people will be paid according to their time and effort? How do you distinguish between natural ability and effort? Sounds a lot like a personal incentive. I thought the point was that everyone gets the same?
    People will be paid according to the time and effort their labour should require. Also, natural ability and tendency toward apathy are both genetic so neither should be punished or rewarded, although of course apathy should be discouraged.
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    How would a central committee compare e.g. physical effort and mental effort? How could they determine whether or not people were telling the truth about how much time something required? How would you decide how much they should be paid? Perhaps most importantly, how on earth would they be able to work out which jobs are "useless"? Scientific research can seem useless for years before it produces a breakthrough. Art and music are seen as useless by some people, are they banned? I might want to hire someone to clean my car, but you might think that it is already clean enough. How could anyone possibly decide which one of us is right?

    Also, wouldn't it be unfair for your central committee to mandate a maximum wage for a job? What if I want to pay someone more than the central committee allows?
    You have taken the payment point wrong. The payment isn't an absolute incentive to work - it is simply a way by which resources can be allocated. Thus your long and convoluted list of possibilities is answered by the following:

    Work is only performed if it is needed and requested.
    The worker is paid according to the exertion of the labour.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    Firstly, I disregarded one piece of evidence... If evidence wasn't 'contaminated with capitalism' then I wouldn't claim it to be so - but that one cited article has clear flaws due to its being carried out in a capitalist society. The suggestion that 'all political argument must be based on empirical evidence' is an adorably conservative thing to say - all that really means is that no new ideologies can be successful because there's obviously not going to be any empirical evidence for them.

    It's bordering on offensive for you to suggest I haven't in any way justified why communism is better than capitalism. If you can't analyse my argument any further than what you stated then I think you should should probably stay away from politics in future.
    How is it "adorably conservative" to suggest that a political argument should come from empirical evidence? How else are you supposed to back a political position?

    Using your method, which is to say that it will work just cus. I struggle to see any justification as to why communism (in reality) would be better than capitalism.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    You have taken the payment point wrong. The payment isn't an absolute incentive to work - it is simply a way by which resources can be allocated. Thus your long and convoluted list of possibilities is answered by the following:

    Work is only performed if it is needed and requested.
    The worker is paid according to the exertion of the labour.
    But who decides if it is needed? Do you just mean if someone asks for it (as in capitalism)? Who decides what the "exertion of the labour" is? The magical communist god?
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    You have taken the payment point wrong. The payment isn't an absolute incentive to work - it is simply a way by which resources can be allocated. Thus your long and convoluted list of possibilities is answered by the following:

    Work is only performed if it is needed and requested.
    The worker is paid according to the exertion of the labour.
    This sounds a hell of a lot like capitalism. Resources are allocated according to someone's exertion of labour? Only natural ability is magically calculated out of the equation.

    Only this time a central committee is in charge of everything which obviously would NOT be prone to corruption or a misallocation of resources (sarcasm).
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    Go Pol-Pot yo.
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    (Original post by jdizzle12345)
    How is it "adorably conservative" to suggest that a political argument should come from empirical evidence? How else are you supposed to back a political position?

    Using your method, which is to say that it will work just cus. I struggle to see any justification as to why communism (in reality) would be better than capitalism.
    Empirical evidence means observable evidence. That means the evidence has to be obtainable from the world we leave in and that in turn means it has to be taken from a world which is geared towards communism. Another way to back a political position is to use theoretical reason, that is how I am going about it.

    Are you honestly suggesting that I haven't provided any reasons for why communism would be superior?
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    (Original post by jdizzle12345)
    This sounds a hell of a lot like capitalism. Resources are allocated according to someone's exertion of labour? Only natural ability is magically calculated out of the equation.

    Only this time a central committee is in charge of everything which obviously would NOT be prone to corruption or a misallocation of resources (sarcasm).
    The key difference is the absence of profit. Profit is the defining feature of capitalism.
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    (Original post by sweeneyrod)
    But who decides if it is needed? Do you just mean if someone asks for it (as in capitalism)? Who decides what the "exertion of the labour" is? The magical communist god?
    Currently demand defines market trends and subsequently market trends define demand. Someone asking for a service isn't capitalism - having a market where people offer competitive prices for a service or where agencies rent out labourers is capitalism. The latter is where issues of exploitation arise.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    Empirical evidence means observable evidence. That means the evidence has to be obtainable from the world we leave in and that in turn means it has to be taken from a world which is geared towards communism. Another way to back a political position is to use theoretical reason, that is how I am going about it.

    Are you honestly suggesting that I haven't provided any reasons for why communism would be superior?
    I know what empirical evidence is. Reason and evidence are two separate things. Reason requires evidence to become rational. Some evidence is not empirical, yes, but that would refer to more abstract concepts like numbers.

    I do not believe that you have provided any good reason for why communism would be superior. Or at least, one backed with a plan as to how it would work.

    I could come up with my own political ideology called mommonism, in which everyone has loads of money and everyone is happy. This is a useless ideology unless you back it up with a method or evidence as to how this can come about.

    In our argument, you haven't actually presented a solution. You simply identified some problems of capitalism and explained that it is possible that communism can work because no one has tried it properly.

    I see that you have presented some system in some other posts in the thread. However, I find many flaws in these, also. I will elaborate by replying to those.
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    (Original post by Mathematising)
    Currently demand defines market trends and subsequently market trends define demand. Someone asking for a service isn't capitalism - having a market where people offer competitive prices for a service or where agencies rent out labourers is capitalism. The latter is where issues of exploitation arise.
    True, some people will gain more in capitalism than others by working harder and being smarter, but doesn't mean that everyone is unhappy.

    Furthermore, in your system, some people would gain more than others by working harder and longer. And sometimes it is impossible to ascertain how "hard" people work. Paying people according to their performance is far more objective and pragmatic. Your system is perhaps fairer in some ways (as it takes natural ability out of the equation... somehow) but it is also unfair in some ways as someone who produces 10 items should surely be paid more than someone than 5 items and shouldn't be paid proportionally less even if they are more talented.
 
 
 
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