Is communism really bad? Watch

Oswy
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#161
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#161
(Original post by borismor)
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?
I dunno, you just came across all aggressive and conceited and I deliberately added 'kid' to respond in like terms. If you were to approach the subject again with a little more consideration I might respond - if you're interested enough in what I have to say that is - but for the time being you've given me the impression that you're really not worth the energy [shrug].
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borismor
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#162
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#162
"Communism is perfect, but human nature is flawed" = "8th century science is perfect, it's newton's laws that are flawed".
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Oswy
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#163
(Original post by borismor)
"Communism is perfect, but human nature is flawed" = "8th century science is perfect, it's newton's laws that are flawed".
What constitutes 'human nature' is the subject of much debate, not least because it is difficult to disentangle human behaviour from the conditions (material, economic, social, cultural and so on) it emerges within.

Also, Newton's 'laws' are flawed, ask anyone who studies QM or relativity theory.
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tieyourmotherdown
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#164
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#164
(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
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.
Exactly. But I do wonder if, even after educating people about the pitfalls of capitalism, whether you would truly get rid of the concept of competition and self interest from people. I think to truly assess whether it works you have to bring people up from scratch under communism, which obviously will prove to be a problem given that nearly the whole world is capitalist to a degree

Either way, I think it is possible, but highly unlikely due to the fact that capitalism satisfies our needs in the Western world. I think realistically, social democracy is the way forward, which has been proven by the higher standards of living in Scandinavia, where social democracy was more widely embraced.
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borismor
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(Original post by Oswy)
I dunno, you just came across all aggressive and conceited and I deliberately added 'kid' to respond in like terms. If you were to approach the subject again with a little more consideration I might respond - if you're interested enough in what I have to say that is - but for the time being you've given me the impression that you're really not worth the energy [shrug].
I really have no idea what offended you, my post contained no insults or personal remarks whatsoever.

But never mind, I believe you understood my point - rewarding the effort is a very bad idea because the effort you put into something is primarily a function of your abilities (i.e when you're bad at something it's going to be harder for you to do it), so when you reward someone for his effort, you essentially reward him for being incompetent.

I've seen so many failing students asking to be rewarded for the effort - the idea of them actually getting that just gives me the shivers. It would be the end of science.
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Emaemmaemily
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#166
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#166
(Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
Exactly. But I do wonder if, even after educating people about the pitfalls of capitalism, whether you would truly get rid of the concept of competition and self interest from people. I think to truly assess whether it works you have to bring people up from scratch under communism, which obviously will prove to be a problem given that nearly the whole world is capitalist to a degree

Either way, I think it is possible, but highly unlikely due to the fact that capitalism satisfies our needs in the Western world. I think realistically, social democracy is the way forward, which has been proven by the higher standards of living in Scandinavia, where social democracy was more widely embraced.
Well, I have to disagree with your point that capitalism satisfies our needs here. They really don't. It only satisfy SOME people's needs, and even then a lot of them are unhappy to some degree with the system.
I think there's a lot more unfairness then people realise, and a lot more unhappiness with the system.

It's something that could happen, it just depends on what happens now to be honest, which way people go.
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Camlon
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#167
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#167
(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
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.
Really? Say that to the people in North Korea, and the people that lived in communist China. Of course those countries are not communist, but they are pretty close economically.

And as I said before, to make disabled people starve because they can't work is cruel. Do you support starving disabled people? No? If not, then you will need a regulative system. Problem is, this system is going to be heavily misused because you have to get 100% of your wage if you get accepted, else you don't have a classless society.

And seconldy, you can't control if people are doing a good job or not. Some people may just be terrible workers and can't work very hard. Are you going to let them starve? In capitalism they don't! The ones who can work hard, can put their effort at a lower level and if they do lower their effort, the economy is going to be hurt. For instance, if someone working at a hotel. The government may require the boss to require the staff to do certain jobs. But why should they put the extra effort to get more customers. Why can't they just drink coffee instead and play card games. You see what this means. In communism, costumer service will be terrible.

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.
Really? So the statement "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is not valid?


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).
No, they won't. They didn't in previous communist China and they are not doing that in North Korea either. I can promise you there is a lot of propaganda in these countries.

I'm not saying that people won't want to work, but their efforts will be low and misplaced. People are not going to work long days just because of community spirit. And if they don't like their job very much, then they are not going to put much effort into their job. Some people will also classifiy themselves as too sick to work and others don't want to work because they don't support the system. In essence, community spirit is not strong enough to make people work hard enough. Another problems is, when people start slacking off then other people will follow. think about cleaning the school. If the other students do nothing, then you don't feel like doing anything yourself. If the other students work hard, then you may do the same. School cleaning is a good example of how communism is failing, such cleaning is extremly inefficient compared to what it would be if it was paid job.
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borismor
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#168
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#168
(Original post by Oswy)
What constitutes 'human nature' is the subject of much debate, not least because it is difficult to disentangle human behaviour from the conditions (material, economic, social, cultural and so on) it emerges within.

Also, Newton's 'laws' are flawed, ask anyone who studies QM or relativity theory.
It makes more sense to create a theory which fits human nature, which is a given, than to do it the other way around.

I have studied QM and relativity theory, so I know they are flawed. But they describe phenomena that we encounter in our day to day life almost flawlessly. I used Newton's laws because it's something most people know.
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Emaemmaemily
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#169
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#169
Camlon
Stop bringing up Korea and China. They are not examples because they were not communist to ANY degree.
Seeing as all of your arguments there were based on that, I have nothing left to argue.

Apart from the disabled thing. I said nothing about disabilities. Of course is someone is unable to work, they should still be able to live, and they could. You can't abuse that system, because you'll have to prove that you can't work... (not like now, the current system for this is bull****).

People WILL work long days, because failing to do so means no wage. THIS will make those who lack the community spirit to work hard...
And you still seem to not understand the power of people being brought up completely differently. SO much of our views and values are determined by this.

I really can't stay on here any more today, so I'm gonna have to leave it there.
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tieyourmotherdown
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#170
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#170
(Original post by Camlon)
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.
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.

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.
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.

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.
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.

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.
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tieyourmotherdown
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#171
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#171
(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
Well, I have to disagree with your point that capitalism satisfies our needs here. They really don't.
Yes, no I worded it badly. What I mean is that it satisfies enough needs to the point where the demand for communism isn't there because it's established itself as a dominant system. It certainly doesn't satisfy everybody's needs, but it satisfies enough to sustain itself, which is why capitalism is so difficult to get rid of, because it's a ruling class ideology.

It's something that could happen, it just depends on what happens now to be honest, which way people go.
I think if communism ever comes about, it'll be through gradualism i.e a socialist party getting into power and things progressing from there. I really can't see it coming about through revolution because the class system is so blurred now that that consciousness isn't there in the same way it used to be.
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Oswy
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#172
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#172
(Original post by borismor)
I really have no idea what offended you, my post contained no insults or personal remarks whatsoever.

But never mind, I believe you understood my point - rewarding the effort is a very bad idea because the effort you put into something is primarily a function of your abilities (i.e when you're bad at something it's going to be harder for you to do it), so when you reward someone for his effort, you essentially reward him for being incompetent.

I've seen so many failing students asking to be rewarded for the effort - the idea of them actually getting that just gives me the shivers. It would be the end of science.
Well, I think it depends on your philosophical orientation. I'd argue that rewarding people for their effort is the most equitable approach on the basis that our abilities, that is to say our abilities outside of effort, are not very obviously under our control and are easily recognised as definately not under our control. The liberal maxim is, of course, that reward should reflect actual productivity, but if we are looking to include the concept of 'fairness' in such considerations, it is questionable how 'fair' it is that my reward be determined by my abilities (or lack of abilities) if I have had no control over them.

You and I might work together digging ditches. You might, for the sake of argument, be physically smaller and weaker than me, but nonetheless pursue your work with the exact same level of effort as I do. My argument would be that it is only fair that we share our reward equally on that basis, the advantages I have in being more productive being, essentially, 'unearned' advantages.

I'm not saying that you have to agree with this position but its logic is just as sound and legitimate as any alternative approach to the issue of work and reward. Like I said, I think it ultimately rests on your philosophical orientation.

Yes, there are some practical implications, but if the principle is accepted (and that should come first anyway) we can move on to the practical.
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OllieS
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#173
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#173
I love how people think the 'communism' of the USSR and other countries was genuine communism (or a genuine attempt at it).
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Oswy
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#174
(Original post by borismor)
It makes more sense to create a theory which fits human nature, which is a given, than to do it the other way around.

I have studied QM and relativity theory, so I know they are flawed. But they describe phenomena that we encounter in our day to day life almost flawlessly. I used Newton's laws because it's something most people know.
Ok, but my point is that as far as the scholarly debate is concerned it's not easy to identify what constitutes 'human nature' beyond some very basic biological functions. Because humans always exist in some economic, social and cultural context then study of their apparent 'human nature' is hard to establish as if separate from that context. I argue, for example, that under capitalism we are from early in our lives encouraged to take up behaviour which fits the workings of capitalism and discouraged from behaviour which does not fit. The consequence is that we can't easily talk about what 'human nature' is under capitalism because what we think it might be, might really be what capitalism is generating.
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Camlon
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#175
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#175
(Original post by Emaemmaemily)
Camlon
Stop bringing up Korea and China. They are not examples because they were not communist to ANY degree.
Seeing as all of your arguments there were based on that, I have nothing left to argue.
Here you are wrong. I said economically they are the closest to communism we have had. In for instance communist China you didn't get a higher wage if you did a different job. They solved the problem by allocating people random jobs after school and imprison the people who didn't work.

Can you tell me any spesific points about communist China that makes it not communist economically. I can mention some for you so you don't have to
- Leadersip had benefits workers didn't have
- Some jobs were given extra benefits
- the government weren't gone

Ok, now you keep going

Apart from the disabled thing. I said nothing about disabilities. Of course is someone is unable to work, they should still be able to live, and they could. You can't abuse that system, because you'll have to prove that you can't work... (not like now, the current system for this is bull****).
Obviously you made your statement "if you don't work, then you get no food invalid.".

Not like now? That is the system you have now. Do you think politicans want the system to be misused, and there are lots of people who are sick and should get benefits. But there is going to be a major difference. In communism the ones who are seen unfit for work, need to get 100% benefits.

People WILL work long days, because failing to do so means no wage. THIS will make those who lack the community spirit to work hard...
And you still seem to not understand the power of people being brought up completely differently. SO much of our views and values are determined by this.

I really can't stay on here any more today, so I'm gonna have to leave it there.
So what about those who can not work that long hours or hard enough. Shall they get no wage and die of starvation? That just sounds cruel and I would never support such a system.

And I know that people can get different ideas from different upbringing. But there are some factors you are forgetting. This will not override human nature, humans are not like ants and need punishment and rewards. Kids do not work for the spirit of the family, and neither will adults do for the government. As I said previously people will make excuses for not working hard enough. People im China are working much harder now than for 40 years ago.

Secondly, it's the family that raise the kids, not the government. Many families will not raise the kids in the "correct" way.
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Mizukii
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#176
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#176
yes communism is bad, very very very bad.
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borismor
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#177
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#177
(Original post by Oswy)
Ok, but my point is that as far as the scholarly debate is concerned it's not easy to identify what constitutes 'human nature' beyond some very basic biological functions. Because humans always exist in some economic, social and cultural context then study of their apparent 'human nature' is hard to establish as if separate from that context.
One thing is very easy to identify about human nature - it's in human nature to think and to live on the products of his thinking. This is essential to his existence and is common to all cultures and races.

There's a great deal to conclude from that simple fact.

I argue, for example, that under capitalism we are from early in our lives encouraged to take up behaviour which fits the workings of capitalism and discouraged from behaviour which does not fit. The consequence is that we can't easily talk about what 'human nature' is under capitalism because what we think it might be, might really be what capitalism is generating.
This argument is inconsistent. Are you not saying these things while being under capitalism yourself?
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Oswy
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#178
(Original post by borismor)
One thing is very easy to identify about human nature - it's in human nature to think and to live on the products of his thinking. This is essential to his existence and is common to all cultures and races.

There's a great deal to conclude from that simple fact.

This argument is inconsistent. Are you not saying these things while being under capitalism yourself?
Well, yes, we can say that it is human nature to be a thinker, but beyond that and given that the actual evidence which shows humans to have adopted all kinds of attitudes and behavioural routines, from child sacrifice to dictator-worship, and everything in between, there's no easy opportunity to find, or even confirm the existence of, 'human nature' outside of a specific societal context.

I can live under capitalism and recognise that if I do not behave in ways which suit its demands I will suffer for it, I don't see what you mean by 'inconsistent' here.
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borismor
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#179
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(Original post by Oswy)
You and I might work together digging ditches. You might, for the sake of argument, be physically smaller and weaker than me, but nonetheless pursue your work with the exact same level of effort as I do. My argument would be that it is only fair that we share our reward equally on that basis, the advantages I have in being more productive being, essentially, 'unearned' advantages.
If I'm smaller and weaker and work just as hard as you do that means I'm less productive than you are.

I'm not saying that you have to agree with this position but its logic is just as sound and legitimate as any alternative approach to the issue of work and reward. Like I said, I think it ultimately rests on your philosophical orientation.
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.

Yes, there are some practical implications, but if the principle is accepted (and that should come first anyway) we can move on to the practical.
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.
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borismor
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(Original post by Oswy)
Well, yes, we can say that it is human nature to be a thinker, but beyond that and given that the actual evidence which shows humans to have adopted all kinds of attitudes and behavioural routines, from child sacrifice to dictator-worship, and everything in between, there's no easy opportunity to find, or even confirm the existence of, 'human nature' outside of a specific societal context.
Of course there is. Just think about a man that got stuck on an isolated island.

I can live under capitalism and recognise that if I do not behave in ways which suit its demands I will suffer for it, I don't see what you mean by 'inconsistent' here.
By writing these things - do you behave in a way which suits capitalism?
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