Is communism really bad? Watch

faber niger
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#141
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#141
(Original post by Aeolus)
This question alone proves my point. I get the impression you have not really read much involving the philosophy and especially the history of communism and/or socialism. Advancing such a simplistic premise is rather revealing on your part.
I don't see how it could prove your point, maybe you could elucidate. Rather than a blind appeal to authority, you may as well use your authority to educate me.

I accept that the extent to which practical polities subscribe to theoretical doctrines is inevitably going to be spectral rather than binary, but people don't seem to give this same courtesy when discussing capitalism -- i.e. China is quickly written off a capitalist country etc. etc. I'd imagine that it's an inevitable rhetorical technique to define a country by what one sees as its worst traits though, and one which none of us are immune to.

More importantly, our welfare state, wonderful as it is, is funded by our mammoth GDP (to which, whether we like it or not, the financial services industry contributes significantly). Hugo Chavez' social programmes, wonderful as they are, are funded almost wholly by the oil industry. Again, Norway's great social welfare system, which you rightly laud, is funded largely by the exploitation of the country's natural resources, in its case largely oil and natural gas (Norway incidentally "ranks as the second wealthiest country in the world in monetary value." [Wikipedia]). In terms of the history of socialism that you mention, Robert Owen's great socialist experiments were funded by the fact that it made his workers more efficient and induced them to produce higher quality goods -- whilst he may have had high ideals, he directly benefited from all this in the most capitalist of senses. All of us still have the same old rusty machinery behind the scenes that we've always had. No country has significant social programmes without the capitalist infrastructure to make them possible.
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Fusilero
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(Original post by Welsh_insomniac)
Well, some people are saying it is the perfect system that hasn't been tested but will work when it's implemented correctly. But where does it end, if we implement this how it should do and it doesn't come out with the desired effect then we have something that cannot really work, but I'm certain that people will keep saying that it's not a communist state and it's something different.
Well, one of the things is that a communist society assumes the entire world's proletariat will act cooperatively. Hence the "Workers of the World, Unite!", so far the modus operandi for forming "Socialist" states has been a vanguard party leading the revolution and then using coercion to maintain their position. We've seen overly bureacratic state capitalist societies such as the Soviet Union. We've struggled to move onto a Socialist State that operates without coercion as it's main modus operandi, one of the goals of a communist society. You must remember that in the grand scheme of the Russian Revolution the Bolsheviks weren't the majority, even on the left. They were just the best organised, most ruthless and had the backing of key segments of society required for a coup d'etat. They were also willing to sell their speeches down the river for power. How much of this statement, said boldly by Trotsky during the pre-parliament, remained true or was implemented after the Bolshevik seizure of power?

We appeal to the people. Long live immediate, honest, democratic peace! All power to the Soviets! All land to the people! Long live the Constituent Assembly!
I am, as mentioned, not actually that good at this entire thing. My knowledge of Marxism is shaky at best, and therefore I apologise for inaccuracies (and any false assumptions) against both sides of the fence.
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Emaemmaemily
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#143
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#143
(Original post by Lerandomness)
My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have. The Stalin era was the worst; my great-grandparents were so afraid of the purges that they apparently had a suitcase ready in case they had to flee.

My parents lived through the time where Communism was really failing. The shops were empty, the shop keepers always had first dibs on any food (plus their friends, relatives, etc), so there was hardly anything left. The whole economy at this time had stagnated, which is why eventually Gorbachev was overthrown.

I think that the problem with Communism is what George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm: "Everybody is equal, but some are more equal than others".
No they haven't, that wasn't TRUE communism. We are talking about true communism, like in Karl Marx's theory... Not what has been put into action in some countries, and given the name "communism" even though it goes completely against most of the rules of true communism.

Do you understand? What your family experienced wasn't true communism at all... The governments tricked people into thinking it would be fair (like communism should be), but then didn't follow any of the rules.


(Original post by Welsh_insomniac)
Well, some people are saying it is the perfect system that hasn't been tested but will work when it's implemented correctly. But where does it end, if we implement this how it should do and it doesn't come out with the desired effect then we have something that cannot really work, but I'm certain that people will keep saying that it's not a communist state and it's something different.
Well no, if it was implemented properlly then we will know because it will have ALL of the features of communism as set out by Marx.
If people try, but actually it ends up completely different (there is still a government or dictator for example), then it clearly isn't true communism yet.

If we achieve true communism, but people don't actually like it, then that's a different story. If it worked, but turned out that people preferred earlier systems, THEN we can say it doesn't work.
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tieyourmotherdown
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#144
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(Original post by Camlon)
True marxisism is not possible, because no government means pretty much anarchy. But we don't need to see true communism to know that another attempt at communism will have disastrous effects.
Not necessarily. Communists believe that, because we're rational and it's not in our interests, anarchy won't happen (They share similar beliefs to anarchists in this respect).

We do know something about human nature. For instance, one thing we know is that humans are not like ants. Humans need a reason to do something. In small societies (like a familiy) people work, because of social pressure and that their actions have effect on other people's morale. They also may be punished for not working.
Under communism the incentive (Which is essentially what you're getting at) would be to do something for the good of the community.

In capitalism, people work to earn money. But in communism there is no incentive to work. Sure, some people are going to work anyway due to social pressure, but a lot of people are going to work very inefficient or not at all.
There absolutely is an incentive. As I just said, the incentive to work for the common good, for the good of the community. It may sound like an alien concept to you, but you've been brought up in capitalism, so you've always been told that you work for personal gain, not for the common good.

Secondly, how are you going to allocate jobs in communism without force? There are a lot of unpopular jobs out there. In capitalism they are rewarded with a higher wage. For instance, the ones who pick up garbage earn quite a bit without any education. The ones who do dirty work with education earn a lot of money and so do the ones who have boring high educated jobs. Now my question is, how many would educate themselves to become accountants if accountants earned just as much, as a journalist or someone who didn't work at all? We don't have to put true communism in practice to know that it is not going to work. We don't have to try anarchy either.
Jobs aren't allocated. Under communism people would naturally form small communes which work along side each other, and within each commune people will do what needs doing in order to help everybody as a whole. Your argument that people wouldn't do the low-end jobs doesn't hold up as, once again, under a true communist system people would strive to help the community, which involves doing the jobs that people don't necessarily want to do but they would accept that anyway.

The trouble is that you're assessing whether communism works according to capitalism principles i.e your whole argument revolves around the idea that "People need personal and material incentives work", however communists don't believe this is the case, so your whole argument doesn't really make any sense.

(To clarify, I'm not a marxist or any form of socialist, I'm just playing devils advocate and floating the idea that in the right conditions, according to Marx's theory, it is perfectly plausible that it would work)
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Emaemmaemily
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#145
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#145
(Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
Not necessarily. Communists believe that, because we're rational and it's not in our interests, anarchy won't happen (They share similar beliefs to anarchists in this respect).



Under communism the incentive (Which is essentially what you're getting at) would be to do something for the good of the community.



There absolutely is an incentive. As I just said, the incentive to work for the common good, for the good of the community. It may sound like an alien concept to you, but you've been brought up in capitalism, so you've always been told that you work for personal gain, not for the common good.



Jobs aren't allocated. Under communism people would naturally form small communes which work along side each other, and within each commune people will do what needs doing in order to help everybody as a whole. Your argument that people wouldn't do the low-end jobs doesn't hold up as, once again, under a true communist system people would strive to help the community, which involves doing the jobs that people don't necessarily want to do but they would accept that anyway.

The trouble is that you're assessing whether communism works according to capitalism principles i.e your whole argument revolves around the idea that "People need personal and material incentives work", however communists don't believe this is the case, so your whole argument doesn't really make any sense.

(To clarify, I'm not a marxist or any form of socialist, I'm just playing devils advocate and floating the idea that in the right conditions, according to Marx's theory, it is perfectly plausible that it would work)
Yes, this is what I've been trying to say too.
Being brought up in a capitalist society AND believing that it's right means that we can't see how this would work in the different mind set.
We couldn't introduce communism tomorrow because everyone has been brought up this way. But if people became more and more aware of the pit-falls of this way of living, and so grew up questioning this way of life more often, this would be the beginnings of people having the right frame of mind to make communism work.
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Camlon
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#146
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#146
(Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
Not necessarily. Communists believe that, because we're rational and it's not in our interests, anarchy won't happen (They share similar beliefs to anarchists in this respect).
Which is bull, because there is no way that everyone act in a perfect manner. Without a government, then some people will do crimes and cause the system to become anarchy.


[QUOTE]
Under communism the incentive (Which is essentially what you're getting at) would be to do something for the good of the community.

There absolutely is an incentive. As I just said, the incentive to work for the common good, for the good of the community. It may sound like an alien concept to you, but you've been brought up in capitalism, so you've always been told that you work for personal gain, not for the common good.
And I mentioned it. When I talk about social pressure, that is what you call "the incentive to work for the common good". But fact is, this is not a strong enough incentive to make people work. Some people are going to disagree with the system, and are not going to work. Some people will feel they are too sick to work for the system. Some people will say that they are going to work for the system if they get the job they want. Many people who work, are not going to put very much effort into their job, because it doesn't matter. Just look at the regimes that has been close to communism.

You can not raise kids by never punishing them and never rewarding them. If you do that, you will get the worsts kids you can ever imagine. What makes you think that adults are so different from kids.

Jobs aren't allocated. Under communism people would naturally form small communes which work along side each other, and within each commune people will do what needs doing in order to help everybody as a whole. Your argument that people wouldn't do the low-end jobs doesn't hold up as, once again, under a true communist system people would strive to help the community, which involves doing the jobs that people don't necessarily want to do but they would accept that anyway.

The trouble is that you're assessing whether communism works according to capitalism principles i.e your whole argument revolves around the idea that "People need personal and material incentives work", however communists don't believe this is the case, so your whole argument doesn't really make any sense.
No, I'm using only one thing. And that is, we are talking about humans, not ants. Seconldy you are only talking about one type of communism. If you start jobsharing all jobs among a community, you will send the country straight back to misery and poverty. The reason we are rich today, is due to specialication and mass production. If we live in small communes and they are self sufficient, then the country is going to become extremly poor.
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Emaemmaemily
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#147
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Raising kids without punishment and rewards? This is not like communism at all.
There IS room for punishment and reward within communism, perhaps you should read up on this specific part? If, however, you are raised to do what's best for the community as a whole, and to help others, etc, of course you will continue to do this because it is what you believe.
The only reason people wouldn't, as in your view, is if they were brought up under the current capitalist societies, because THAT promotes working for yourself and being selfish in that manner.

I really don't think you understand.
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Beneb
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#148
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#148
I touched on this briefly in a previous post: this century will witness the almost total replacement of menial human labour by robotic labour. What happens then? Business owners will begin to monopolise outrageously huge surpluses through the free labour of robotic workers, as there will no longer be any necessity to satisfy the needs of human labourers. What then, for the billions of unemployed? Without a means of income they would no longer purchase goods, and the economy would collapse. The role of the common worker within the capitalist system would be utterly destroyed, seemingly leaving communism as the only viable option.

With post-scarcity the attractiveness of the communist model becomes even clearer.
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Lerandomness
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#149
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#149
(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
No they haven't, that wasn't TRUE communism. We are talking about true communism, like in Karl Marx's theory... Not what has been put into action in some countries, and given the name "communism" even though it goes completely against most of the rules of true communism.

Do you understand? What your family experienced wasn't true communism at all... The governments tricked people into thinking it would be fair (like communism should be), but then didn't follow any of the rules.
Yeah I understand what you mean, I agree it wasn't true communism like Marx's theory, especially under Stalin. That's the problem though, the fact that communism in reality is never like it is on paper, as other people have already mentioned.
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Camlon
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#150
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#150
(Original post by Fusilero)
And on the incentive to work, of course there is an incentive to work. You don't work, you don't get anything to eat. The idea is to bring the value of your labour back to you as you need and any excess to provide greater resources for all, rather than to the holders of capital. The Welfare State. as it is in Britain, is not the ultimate goal of communism, all the welfare state does is encourage the lumpenproletariat to engage in unproductive activities. There should perhaps be a form of social security in order to prevent the destitute and deserving poor who are unable to work, but a "Welfare State" shouldn't be a goal.
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.
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Oswy
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#151
I think motivation is sometimes misunderstood under capitalism. When someone buys a Rolex watch, what are they doing? I can buy a watch for less that £10 which, for all practical purposes, will be just as accurate and reliable as a Rolex that costs £1200 or whatever. What people are mostly looking for under capitalism when they strive to get richer and richer, and show off their richness, is societal approval. It's a basic human psychological need to feel like you are considered an important and valued member of society. That's why people buy Rolex watches, but it doesn't often work, because most of us just think such people are superficial arses.

Some bang on about how capitalism allows us to compete and strive for ever greater piles of stuff, but piles of stuff don't make you happy as such. Having your human needs satisfied is what will make you happy. So why not organise society in a way that ensures everyone's human needs are satisfied? Why wouldn't we want everyone to be, more-or-less, happy? What we have under capitalism is lots of unhappiness, most obviously among the poor, who don't have their human needs satisfied, but also among the rich, who while in principle they do have their human needs satisfied are often fixated with things which are an obstacle to their being happy despite that.
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borismor
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#152
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(Original post by Oswy)
The problem with this kind of reasoning is that it tends to mix up productivity and effort. Rewarding us for our effort, regardles of how productive we were, would be a radical step in the direction of communism. More radical still would be to question the extent to which we have control over our 'effort' itself, but that's a big philosophical discussion.

What we have under capitalism is, primarily, reward according to how much capital you have (whether monetary, political, social, cultural or human). Working hard is only a small aspect of how likely you are to be rewarded and plenty of people work hard all their lives and cannot escape poverty and disadvantage under capitalism.
If I study real hard but fail all my exams, will I still get a degree under communism, for the effort? No. I don't deserve a degree, no matter how hard I tried.

Or if I put a hole in a bucket and try to fill it with water, it will take a lot of effort.
Will I get a big reward for it under communism? No, because it's stupid and useless.

Or better yet, take someone that's physically weak and give him a very hard physical job.
It's going to take a lot of effort - will he be compensated for it accordingly? Or will he get the same salary as the strong guy next to him that does the same job at half the time? He'll get the exact same salary, because his effort is a result of his own incompetence for the job.

Rewarding for the effort is a certain recipe for complete failure on all levels of society. It's something which is suitable for small children, in order to motivate them to keep trying, not for adults. Adults have to face the facts of life - trying does not count.
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Emaemmaemily
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#153
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(Original post by Lerandomness)
Yeah I understand what you mean, I agree it wasn't true communism like Marx's theory, especially under Stalin. That's the problem though, the fact that communism in reality is never like it is on paper, as other people have already mentioned.
As I've said before, this is because the conditions haven't been right to implement it properly.
In the past it's been forced upon people, or they have been tricked, only to have a corrupt government or dictator take over...
If you see what I've written previously, with the right incentives in place the people will make this happen properly when the time is right. It CAN work, things just have to be right, and people have to have been brought up with the right beliefs, values and in the right frame of mind for it to do so.
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Camlon
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#154
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(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
Raising kids without punishment and rewards? This is not like communism at all.
There IS room for punishment and reward within communism, perhaps you should read up on this specific part? If, however, you are raised to do what's best for the community as a whole, and to help others, etc, of course you will continue to do this because it is what you believe.
The only reason people wouldn't, as in your view, is if they were brought up under the current capitalist societies, because THAT promotes working for yourself and being selfish in that manner.

I really don't think you understand.
I understand quite well. I just don't come to the same conclusions as you.

If there is punishments and rewards in communism other than social pressure, then tell me. What kind of punishment do I get if I don't bother to work. I don't support communism anyway, so I don't see ay reason to work. If you decide to starve the ones who don't work. What is the punishment if I only give minimal effort in my job?

And how do people that get unpopular jobs get rewarded?
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Oswy
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#155
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(Original post by borismor)
...I don't deserve...
When you want to be civil and enter into a dialogue over the topic, you just let me know kid.
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Camlon
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#156
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(Original post by Oswy)
Some bang on about how capitalism allows us to compete and strive for ever greater piles of stuff, but piles of stuff don't make you happy as such. Having your human needs satisfied is what will make you happy. So why not organise society in a way that ensures everyone's human needs are satisfied? Why wouldn't we want everyone to be, more-or-less, happy? What we have under capitalism is lots of unahappiness, most obviously among the poor, who don't have their human needs satisfied, but also among the rich, who while in principle they do have their human needs satisfied are often fixated with things which are an obstacle to their being happy despite that.
Two reasons, 1. such a society would not be able to ensure that everyones human needs are satisfied.

Secondly, the strive to become richer is making people happier. Materially, I could probably just get myself a low paid job and not bother to find myself a life partner. I could still eat pretty much anything and I would be able to afford an apartment. But I would be extremly unhappy if I did that, because I'm not stiving for anything anymore.
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Steevee
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(Original post by Oswy)
I think motivation is sometimes misunderstood under capitalism. When someone buys a Rolex watch, what are they doing? I can buy a watch for less that £10 which, for all practical purposes, will be just as accurate and reliable as a Rolex that costs £1200 or whatever. What people are mostly looking for under capitalism when they strive to get richer and richer, and show off their richness, is societal approval. It's a basic human psychological need to feel like you are considered an important and valued member of society. That's why people buy Rolex watches, but it doesn't often work, because most of us just think such people are superficial arses.

Some bang on about how capitalism allows us to compete and strive for ever greater piles of stuff, but piles of stuff don't make you happy as such. Having your human needs satisfied is what will make you happy. So why not organise society in a way that ensures everyone's human needs are satisfied? Why wouldn't we want everyone to be, more-or-less, happy? What we have under capitalism is lots of unhappiness, most obviously among the poor, who don't have their human needs satisfied, but also among the rich, who while in principle they do have their human needs satisfied are often fixated with things which are an obstacle to their being happy despite that.
Now feel free to correct me here, but does anyone starve to death in Britain? Does anyone go without Healthcare, or education? Does the British government so infringe the Human Rights of it's people that you would say the citizens of Britain do not have all their basic needs for life covered?
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borismor
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(Original post by Oswy)
When you want to be civil and enter into a dialogue over the topic, you just let me know kid.
What exactly was uncivilized about my post?

And why do you refer to me as "kid", while complaining about me being uncivilized at the same time?
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Emaemmaemily
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Camlon.
Everyone will receive their basic needs. They will get a good salary if they work (which they will have to. If they don't, they don't get money and therefore starve). They will each have a home, the size that they need.
Minimal effort in a job is fine, as long as you get the job done. People do that all the time NOW. If you go to work but get sod all done, you will not be paid.

Now communism isn't completely precise, the exact details would be determined when put into practise. For example, the exact reward to doing a job everyone hates. But communism as a theory allows it, it just depends.

What I don't think you understand is how being brought up in a completely different way will affect how people think... Because you keep saying people won't want to work, or something.
Being brought up in this way, people WILL value working for the community, helping others, etc. There are always the odd ones out, but even if those few don't enjoy it like the others, they have to work else they won't live (like now-a-days).
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Oswy
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#160
(Original post by Steevee)
Now feel free to correct me here, but does anyone starve to death in Britain? Does anyone go without Healthcare, or education? Does the British government so infringe the Human Rights of it's people that you would say the citizens of Britain do not have all their basic needs for life covered?
I suspect that you didn't spend much time thinking about what 'human needs' might include.
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