Turn on thread page Beta
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Lord Hysteria)
    I thought you were a member of the socialist party on TSR. I have been speaking to someone on else, and they seem to think you're a libertarian-left though ... So, :dontknow:.
    im assuming you mean he is Left Wing economically but in favor of more social freedom and such?

    if yes, then so do I, the party itself does not take official positions on most issues and as such there is no whip, so people can have there own views, so long as they are still "socialist" then they are free to be in the party
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    im assuming you mean he is Left Wing economically but in favor of more social freedom and such?
    Well yes and no. Left-libertarianism often extends, not just in favour of 'more social freedom', but further to that of Social Anarchism
    if yes, then so do I, the party itself does not take official positions on most issues and as such there is no whip, so people can have there own views, so long as they are still "socialist" then they are free to be in the party
    Well yes and no again. I was under the deep assumption that there were a minor number of types of socialists not endorsed at all within the party. You'll find that with the well known History Boy case (in the HOC and Socialist Party) was a particular example where there were deep conflicts on Libertarianism within the Party for most of the veteran users.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stricof)
    deep conflicts on Libertarianism within the Party for most of the veteran users.
    Of our variety, or the left variety? I wasn't around at the time, and I'm not familiar with the saga, but it seems odd that views on let's call us market Libertarians would cause deep divisions within the party. I ask purely out of curiosity, not to spark some debate.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stricof)
    Well yes and no. Left-libertarianism often extends, not just in favour of 'more social freedom', but further to that of Social Anarchism

    Well yes and no again. I was under the deep assumption that there were a minor number of types of socialists not endorsed at all within the party. You'll find that with the well known History Boy case (in the HOC and Socialist Party) was a particular example where there were deep conflicts on Libertarianism within the Party for most of the veteran users.
    okay, well, I dont think being "libertarian" on social policy need neccesarily bring one into conflict with Socialist economic views.

    I see, that was before my time, but at the monent we dont have any issues that I know of on this front
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by simontinsley)
    Of our variety, or the left variety? I wasn't around at the time, and I'm not familiar with the saga, but it seems odd that views on let's call us market Libertarians would cause deep divisions within the party. I ask purely out of curiosity, not to spark some debate.
    The left variety. Particularly the confused libertarian variety. There are a handful of those whom believe themselves libertarian but cannot pinpoint their economical affiliations. What the Party represents to the electorate are of similar fashion to that of Old Labour - ie. Democratic Socialists and the minor factions of Marxist and Communist sympathisers. In this sense the Party does advocate some balance between state and liberty. But arguably there is a conflict in aspiration between the libertarian/anarchist lefts and the other factions described above. What the party aims to do is a) address b) implement and c) safeguard the rights of citizens/workers//the marginalised/etc from the bi-products of the free market. Essentially Anarchist type leftists favour deeply collectivist (as opposed to individualistic for right-libertarians) approaches. I suppose that is why there was a great conflict between Marx and Bakunin in terms of the Anarchist/Marxist debate. Anarchists accuse Marxists of being overly authoritarian and Marxists would accuse Anarchists as the greatest idealists of all; whilst aiming for a relatively similar goal.

    The debate is also similar for the Right Wing conflicts.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    okay, well, I dont think being "libertarian" on social policy need neccesarily bring one into conflict with Socialist economic views.
    Conflict on the approach to aspiration. Read above.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stricof)
    The left variety. Particularly the confused libertarian variety. There are a handful of those whom believe themselves libertarian but cannot pinpoint their economical affiliations. What the Party represents to the electorate are of similar fashion to that of Old Labour - ie. Democratic Socialists and the minor factions of Marxist and Communist sympathisers. In this sense the Party does advocate some balance between state and liberty. But arguably there is a conflict in aspiration between the libertarian/anarchist lefts and the other factions described above. What the party aims to do is a) address b) implement and c) safeguard the rights of citizens/workers//the marginalised/etc from the bi-products of the free market. Essentially Anarchist type leftists favour deeply collectivist (as opposed to individualistic for right-libertarians) approaches. I suppose that is why there was a great conflict between Marx and Bakunin
    Certainly on the first bit many of us in the party used to be socialists (myself included), be that on TSR or otherwise. Far, far more used to be socialists than have started as your traditional Christian Right types who believe in the market but want to impose social order. It came up in our Chat Thread not so long ago.

    Interesting, what were TSR Labour like at the time? Since they now have an Old Labour style stance, it would seem that those Democratic Socialists would be more at home there with the other factions more at home in this party.

    Certainly from what I have found, the key to socialism is the ownership of the factors of production, that they should be collectivised. There seems to be two ways of doing this (and this is the fundamental tension), that of the state owning the means of production; or that there being no property rights, and thus no individual person or entity owning the means of production. Would that be a fair analysis?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by simontinsley)
    Certainly on the first bit many of us in the party used to be socialists (myself included), be that on TSR or otherwise. Far, far more used to be socialists than have started as your traditional Christian Right types who believe in the market but want to impose social order. It came up in our Chat Thread not so long ago.

    Interesting, what were TSR Labour like at the time? Since they now have an Old Labour style stance, it would seem that those Democratic Socialists would be more at home there with the other factions more at home in this party.

    Certainly from what I have found, the key to socialism is the ownership of the factors of production, that they should be collectivised. There seems to be two ways of doing this (and this is the fundamental tension), that of the state owning the means of production; or that there being no property rights, and thus no individual person or entity owning the means of production. Would that be a fair analysis?
    Yes. That last part you pointed out; I edited that in my post to you (after Marx vs) but it seems I was too late

    TSR Labour weren't as left as before. Prominently Paperclip and Adorno used to be in the Socialists. So the latter in particular can tell you how much more potential became of the Labour Party (and lost within the Socialists).

    Well left anarchists/libertarians would approach collectivism from a more 'communalist' perspective whilst other socialists would do so in the form of nationalisation. The difference being what you said that about "no individual person or entity owning the means of production" for Democratic socialists and the lot (so in theory, the 'people' or state own it)....whilst Anarchists/Libertarians see this form of colelctivism as an entity of the state being 'pervasive' and 'evil' (or controlling, rather)
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aeolus)
    I was speaking in a purely historical context. Lets call it 'really existing capitalism' if you will, and its cyclical nature. That way there is no need for anybody to come galloping gallantly to the defence of perceived insults to abstract Austrian theories. :fan:
    With obfuscation of this calibre, you're already well on your way to becoming a second Oswy. Though he prefers the phrase "actually existing capitalism".
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aeolus)
    This isn't about what I think and it never was. Do you seriously think that the manifesto is Marx's only piece of work? :confused:
    What started it all:

    "There was hardly a prescription. Marx was notorious for his lack of guidance on alternatives and general ambiguity. For instance he says nothing at all about planning despite the command economies that would later become synonymous with his name. (They were actually based upon the German war economy)"

    Whether or not he later recanted (if he did, I'd be interested in quotes), Marx did write in support of planning under an extreme command economy.

    Rubbish. So far it hasn't been affected due to the creation of new industry to absorb those made redundant by the decline jobs in other industry; wether through technological advance or the international division of labour. But like i keep saying and you keep ignoring. It all rests on a continued supply of new industry.

    Well at least we agree on one thing and the ambiguity is noted.
    Do we agree that markets always clear, or do you think that involuntary non-frictional unemployment is possible in a free market? These are incompatible views. If you accept that markets clear, you should see how technological and division of labour increases in productivity are only a good thing, and that technology is irrelevant to unemployment.

    Ahh, the predictable descent into asininity, and here I was thinking you were a user with some substance.

    Unfortunately for you I have not once stated what my ideology is or what exactly I believe in, a fact that renders your above post all the more absurd.

    I think I will just leave this one right here, I foresee this becoming a massive waste of my time.
    The comparison was with the 20th century socialist experiments. I posted a picture of the results of one of them.

    As for your personal views, I'm beginning to think that even you don't know what they are.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    imo Socialism is about making a better, fairer world for all humans, rather than other ideologies that are about personal gain, wealth or dogma's, our ideology should be one of peace, humanity and working for each other and the betterment of our species.

    money is a human construct, as is economy, look where its got us, poverty is a human construct, inequalities of oppurtunity and outcome are human constructs, we create such arbirtrary dividing lines, yet we always miss the bigger picture, money, wealth mean nothing compared to what unites us, the air we breathe, the blood coursiung through our viens, when all is said and done we are all part of the same species, together we could acheive so much good, divided we create only pain and suffering.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    imo Socialism is about making a better, fairer world for all humans, rather than other ideologies that are about personal gain, wealth or dogma's, our ideology should be one of peace, humanity and working for each other and the betterment of our species.

    money is a human construct, as is economy, look where its got us, poverty is a human construct, inequalities of oppurtunity and outcome are human constructs, we create such arbirtrary dividing lines, yet we always miss the bigger picture, money, wealth mean nothing compared to what unites us, the air we breathe, the blood coursiung through our viens, when all is said and done we are all part of the same species, together we could acheive so much good, divided we create only pain and suffering.
    So true.

    Capitalism has pretty much destroyed the world. It's a place filled with crime, hate and greed. It doesn't have to be like this...
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xXedixXx)
    So true.

    Capitalism has pretty much destroyed the world. It's a place filled with crime, hate and greed. It doesn't have to be like this...
    Crime and hate and greed are all related, in a way. If a person unlawfully takes the property of another, then it is because they are trying to satisfy a preference of some sort (a preference for material possessions). Likewise with hate and greed. Now if you destroy capitalism and voluntary trade somehow (I don't know how you would other than through use of State force), you're not really going to destroy our desire to eat, to live extravagantly and so forth.

    Capitalism accommodates greed (the idea that we are all pain-avoiding and preference-fulfilling individuals, which is trivially true) and directs it into something mutually productive for both the seller and the buyer (there's an actual greed-based incentive to work and produce which outweighs our preference not to do anything for society). Sure, sometimes it does fail insofar as I think that State intervention can produce what I perceive to be fairer results and reduce the suffering to the least well-off in society; but I think you're making a rather unwarranted assumption if you think that you can magically wish away greed as a base human instinct; and most certainly so if you think that you're not going to have to use a hell of a lot of (unjustified, imo) State-coercion in order to do so. I think that the Left ought to embrace predominantly market-driven systems, if they care about the well-being of the poor.
    Offline

    13
    (Original post by Melancholy)
    Crime and hate and greed are all related, in a way. If a person unlawfully takes the property of another, then it is because they are trying to satisfy a preference of some sort (a preference for material possessions). Likewise with hate and greed. Now if you destroy capitalism and voluntary trade somehow (I don't know how you would other than through use of State force), you're not really going to destroy our desire to eat, to live extravagantly and so forth.

    Capitalism accommodates greed (the idea that we are all pain-avoiding and preference-fulfilling individuals, which is trivially true) and directs it into something mutually productive for both the seller and the buyer (there's an actual greed-based incentive to work and produce which outweighs our preference not to do anything for society). Sure, sometimes it does fail insofar as I think that State intervention can produce what I perceive to be fairer results and reduce the suffering to the least well-off in society; but I think you're making a rather unwarranted assumption if you think that you can magically wish away greed as a base human instinct; and most certainly so if you think that you're not going to have to use a hell of a lot of (unjustified, imo) State-coercion in order to do so. I think that the Left ought to embrace predominantly market-driven systems, if they care about the well-being of the poor.
    Ok, but I would challenge the idea of "greed as a base human instinct" of itself.

    Humans have evolved over millions of years as social animals, that is to say as animals who live collectively and cooperatively, that much is hardwired into us. Beyond that starting point we all seek to satisfy our needs. Our needs include food, clothing, shelter, safety, companionship, among some others. I would accept that you can initiate an argument which challenges the line between what is a basic or 'real' need and what is just greed, but this doesn't mean we can't make a distinction. We need water to live, we don't really need that water to flow from gold taps, that could be our starting point. My argument would be that greed, like, say, sloth, is heavily determined by circumstance; how you've been raised and socialised, what kind of societal forms might shape or limit your responses, what kind of immediate circumstance you're in and how you are encouraged to understand your needs. Capitalism's success is in no small part reliant upon greed and we shouldn't be blind to the fact that it makes a lot of effort to cultivate greed as if a normative human expression, even though we all know, if we think about it, that it's possible to live a happy life without being greedy. Indeed people who get drawn into the greed mentality are invariably unhappy, because for greedy people there is never enough. So, yes, humans instinctively seek to satisfy their needs but, no, this doesn't mean the same thing as being 'greedy', greed is to irrationally pursue something beyond need, to chase false needs, often endlessly. At the same time, going back to my first point, humans are at least as instinctively primed to support those with whom they share their life, ensuring that your family, friends, neighbours and community have their needs met is also likely to be a propensity hardwired into us.

    A fair society is surely one which seeks to satisfy everyone's real needs, i.e. that everyone has food, clothing, shelter and so on, and a society where everyone has participatory power over the way those needs are orgainsed and distributed. Capitalism is a system not built on fairness, nor does it generate fairness, it consistently accumulates wealth, and the power to expand that accumulation of wealth, into the hands of a small minority in society. At the same time capitalism alienates the great mass of the people from any power to provide for their own needs, or those about whom they care, and provides only an opportunity to wage-labour for another's benefit (the capitalist). Even worse, because capitalism generates structural unemployment it routinely takes away even that 'opportunity'. Capitalism is not sustainable environmentally nor socially, nor, as we've seen recently, is it economically stable, even setting aside its unfairness.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by xXedixXx)
    So true.

    Capitalism has pretty much destroyed the world. It's a place filled with crime, hate and greed. It doesn't have to be like this...
    It doesn't have to be like this:




    It could be like this...



    Why has capitalism taken this beautiful future from us!
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    It doesn't have to be like this:




    It could be like this...



    Why has capitalism taken this beautiful future from us!
    um, both of those are because of Capitalism, the first probably was built by people who live in the second or something like that, way to over simplify...

    also, asthetics are not the be all and end all of human prosperity.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    um, both of those are because of Capitalism, the first probably was built by people who live in the second or something like that, way to over simplify...

    also, asthetics are not the be all and end all of human prosperity.
    The first pic is Hong Kong, a free market enclave in Communist China. The second pic is Kowloon City, a Communist Chinese enclave in Hong Kong.

    A common pattern:



    Now while you don't need to be poor to be miserable, it does help.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Collingwood)
    The first pic is Hong Kong, a free market enclave in Communist China. The second pic is Kowloon City, a Communist Chinese enclave in Hong Kong.

    A common pattern:



    Now while you don't need to be poor to be miserable, it does help.
    er, its a lot more complicated than that, but whatever, also you kinda ignored my points entirely.

    um, I dont recall saying anything about making poeple poor or miserable
    Offline

    15
    There's a simple fact that most people seem to be missing here. That undermines the "Capitalism has made the world a terrible place" mantra.

    Capitalism has been the only thing that has worked fairly consistently over the last 200-odd years. Communism has come and gone just like fascism and we've seen the horrors inflicted on societies by these ideologies. There is no proof that Socialism would make life better only proof it would make it worse.

    Now this seems like an very anti-progressive point to make and I rather suppose it is, I'm not suggesting we will never improve (of course we will) but we haven't had a better system yet and that includes Communism and Socialism who have been tried and have failed.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Oswy)
    Ok, but I would challenge the idea of "greed as a base human instinct" of itself.

    Humans have evolved over millions of years as social animals, that is to say as animals who live collectively and cooperatively, that much is hardwired into us. Beyond that starting point we all seek to satisfy our needs. Our needs include food, clothing, shelter, safety, companionship, among some others. I would accept that you can initiate an argument which challenges the line between what is a basic or 'real' need and what is just greed, but this doesn't mean we can't make a distinction. We need water to live, we don't really need that water to flow from gold taps, that could be our starting point. My argument would be that greed, like, say, sloth, is heavily determined by circumstance; how you've been raised and socialised, what kind of societal forms might shape or limit your responses, what kind of immediate circumstance you're in and how you are encouraged to understand your needs. Capitalism's success is in no small part reliant upon greed and we shouldn't be blind to the fact that it makes a lot of effort to cultivate greed as if a normative human expression, even though we all know, if we think about it, that it's possible to live a happy life without being greedy. Indeed people who get drawn into the greed mentality are invariably unhappy, because for greedy people there is never enough. So, yes, humans instinctively seek to satisfy their needs but, no, this doesn't mean the same thing as being 'greedy', greed is to irrationally pursue something beyond need, to chase false needs, often endlessly. At the same time, going back to my first point, humans are at least as instinctively primed to support those with whom they share their life, ensuring that your family, friends, neighbours and community have their needs met is also likely to be a propensity hardwired into us.
    I think you've been smoking ganja. Is that really hard-wired into us? Given the opportunity, I'd prefer to NOT have to work at all, be it collectively or individually, and do my own leisure activities - writing, reading, TSR-ing, chatting to friends, playing tennis. I do these things, with or without people, because they benefit me, specifically because they satisfy my own preferences. I feel that you've highlighted only a consequence of human nature, not human nature itself. Sure, we may have hunted in packs in this distant historical period. And sure, it may have been necessary to be social beings. Likewise, today, it may be necessary to be sociable at times (having friends satisfies a preference for companionship and enjoyment) and equally necessary to work independently (I could not live in constant company of friends). I don't see why you don't reduce or generalise your observation into the simple claim that we are primarily preference-satisfiers (i.e. we're greedy). What you've highlighted isn't really a counter-example.

    (I'm also not one of these people who would challenge distinctions between basic necessities/needs and superfluous wants - I'm just saying that they're both based upon greed [or self-preference-satisfying, if you prefer that term], and that the market provides, at times, a great way of directing, marshalling and transforming these motivations into productive use).

    That was my argument.

    However, I do find myself agreeing with your argument regarding social circumstance determining what our preferences are. In a highly developed society where everyone has ipods, NOT having an ipod makes you realise that you have preference which hasn't been fulfilled - and I so I accept your implied point about consumerism and greed and their effects on happiness.

    But coming back to my argument, you simply don't eradicate greed, crime and such things by "eradicating" capitalism (no doubt through use of State-force). Greed, at its heart, is just preference-pursuing, albeit at a fast, unnecessary or even unsustainable rate. And, lest we forget, it is that practice (trade) which incentivises the production of wealth (how else would you motivate people?) which can, then, be taxed to aid the people who have less preferences satisfied.

    A fair society is surely one which seeks to satisfy everyone's real needs, i.e. that everyone has food, clothing, shelter and so on, and a society where everyone has participatory power over the way those needs are orgainsed and distributed. Capitalism is a system not built on fairness, nor does it generate fairness, it consistently accumulates wealth, and the power to expand that accumulation of wealth, into the hands of a small minority in society. At the same time capitalism alienates the great mass of the people from any power to provide for their own needs, or those about whom they care, and provides only an opportunity to wage-labour for another's benefit (the capitalist). Even worse, because capitalism generates structural unemployment it routinely takes away even that 'opportunity'. Capitalism is not sustainable environmentally nor socially, nor, as we've seen recently, is it economically stable, even setting aside its unfairness.
    Indeed, but there are far more sophisticated forms of Leftism which seek that goal of a fair society (as you define it) through the use of market forces, exploiting the benefits of the market system. Gung-ho capitalism is, I'd agree, not conscience and thus not guided by any principle of fairness; but then our difference would then seem to be due to our definition of 'capitalism', for I'd consider the UK to be a capitalist country - it uses a market-economy over which the government corrects for perceived unfairness.

    As for your criticism of structural unemployment, it seems that you're committing a nirvana fallacy - one choice is clearly advantageous (no unemployment) but highly unrealistic and implausible. Sure, ideally there would be no unemployment, but unless you advocate full state-planned economies whereby each person is given some allegedly 'productive' work to be doing, then full employment is highly unrealistic. A state-planned economy is liable to simply implode (we're both history students, we know that this theory is historically vindicated, but it is theoretically backed by the likes of Hayek who notes the obvious information problem that results from wiping out all price indicators). It's far better to allow a market-system and provide a safety-net/welfare system/benefit/jobseekers' allowance system to people who honestly can't find work, than it is to bring down a whole economy. That wouldn't benefit the worst-off.

    I do agree that capitalism is not sustainable. Neither is any system. To be fair to capitalism, there is an incentive to use less resources in order to drive down costs (i.e. there is an immense incentive to be efficient with the earth's resources), but quite clearly the earth's resources will be run out and damaged, sooner or later. I cannot think of a single reason why we owe rights to future unborn generations. Do non-entities deserve rights to life?

    I recommend this article: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2381100

    (Original post by SciFiBoy)
    imo Socialism is about making a better, fairer world for all humans, rather than other ideologies that are about personal gain, wealth or dogma's, our ideology should be one of peace, humanity and working for each other and the betterment of our species.

    money is a human construct, as is economy, look where its got us, poverty is a human construct, inequalities of oppurtunity and outcome are human constructs, we create such arbirtrary dividing lines, yet we always miss the bigger picture, money, wealth mean nothing compared to what unites us, the air we breathe, the blood coursiung through our viens, when all is said and done we are all part of the same species, together we could acheive so much good, divided we create only pain and suffering.
    Poetic. The bit in bold is a really interesting idea.

    I think we need to think about this. Scarcity is not a human construct. It exists in reality, independently of human subjectivity (we're assuming that we can trust our senses and perception, etc.). Scarcity is therefore not a human construct - it is a conception which concretely and visually exists, and humans have put this image into language. When we say that a finite number of apples is a scarce resource, this is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion or human creation. I hope this can be agreed and permitted.

    Now it's true to say that rights are normative and human constructs. To say that X has an entitlement to a resource (or call it his property - something which he alone can both possess and, more crucially, control) is to impose a value judgement. So to say that people are able to own money/property and do what they want with it, is an entirely human construct.

    I don't know, immediately, what it actually means to say that money is a human construct. Money (and how we use it), I think, is the consequence of scarcity of a resource (thus money gives it a monetary value based on supply and demand) and rights to that resource/money (I'm typing "out loud" atm). Now, if we can show that the necessity of 'rights' (rights to control resources) is not a human construct, then the necessity of money is not really a human construct at all, but a necessary reality.

    Unless you're saying that nobody ever has the 'right' to control/own a resource (in which case, how is anyone ever entitled to eat other than through survival of the fittest), then rights must exist. You may not believe in rights to property, but you do at least believe in some element of ownership; even if those rights aren't the ones currently employed by our society. Now if somebody owns something which is scarce, and another person owns another thing which is scarce, and they voluntary trade them because they want to satisfy both of their preferences, then that process actually exists, and is not a mere figment of the human imagination, tarred by subjectivity. As a concept, it exists independently of human construction (though, admittedly, the rules which dictate who ought to own X at time t, may be human constructs ... but even without any rules about entitlement [a free-for-all], people could still trade).

    So then we make the transition from trading tangible goods to trading with money. Money is, indeed, a human construct in the sense that we put faith in the idea that people will accept the piece of paper which is supposed to represent a value of a tangible good. But it nevertheless represents an actually-existing good (just in paper form because it's easier to divide quantities and transport value in such a way ... I don't want to simply trade a collection of massive goods for a car when I can give him a small cheque which can pay for the same collection of massive goods for himself). Even in socialist societies, money would still exist (kind of) whenever you need to distribute a resource.

    It’s hard to articulate what I'm trying to say without starting again, so this might all just be nonsense.
 
 
 
Poll
Brexit: Given the chance now, would you vote leave or remain?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.