A question for socialists/communists

I have a few questions for the socialists and communists in the escapist(A very left wing site)
1. How do you legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity?
2. How do you account for the fact that what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving?
3. Is it true that the government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else?
4. Do you realise you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it?
5. What are your opinions on the phenomenon that occurs in communist countries, when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, it is the beginning of the end of a nation?
6. Do you think it greed to keep money you have earned for yourself, but altruistic to take that money away from everybody?

Oh, look, a thread full of vaguely-antagonistic leading questions!

Let's be honest, here. You don't want to learn about Communism. You just dislike it and want to call it out. That's fine. But I find the rhetorical question format really grating (and I'm not even a Communist). You'll get a lot more respect if you just say what you mean.

Eshay Adlay:
I have a few questions for the socialists and communists in the escapist(A very left wing site)

Well, partially.

1. How do you legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity?

More or less; the position of 'wealthy' is abolished by taking over the rich's capital to be used collectively. This also means that poverty is abolished.

2. How do you account for the fact that what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving?

In a socialist society: everyone who can, works. Unemployment is an artificial thing; if you know what work needs to be done, you can divide it amongst everyone.

3. Is it true that the government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else?

There is no government in a socialist society, i.e. no separate class of 'rulers' who 'govern' the masses. The masses are self-organized via a method of layered direct representation. If you want to give something, first you must acquire it. However, you can work to earn it first, hence it becomes a trade.

4. Do you realise you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it?

This is an empty statement; wealth does not create more wealth; work creates wealth.

5. What are your opinions on the phenomenon that occurs in communist countries, when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, it is the beginning of the end of a nation?

This is a sad phenomenon, and a result of a setup where revolution has come to a grinding halt either due to scarcity, war or the usurping of power by a bureaucratic elite. Socialist societies would most likely not even make use of wages, instead simply distributing goods as is deemed desirable by collective voting after an extensive democratic process. If a person or group of persons decides they don't want to work (and why would they, work is the way you actuate your worth in a society), they should be socially coerced to return to work or replaced. In socialism each job serves a necessary purpose, it is not an option to simply nót do that work.

6. Do you think it greed to keep money you have earned for yourself, but altruistic to take that money away from everybody?

No, and the question is clearly meant as a rhetorical jab. Altruism is the realization that helping each other is beneficial to yourself as well, for a host of reasons.

Does that clear things up for you?

I'd just like to point out that Socialism and Communism are different socio-economic states so the answers to the questions differ depending on which one is being talked about and differ even further when you delve into the specific schools of thought of each. I'll try to answer as generally as possible.

Eshay Adlay:

1. How do you legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity?

Morally or literally?

Putting legislation through which gets rid of inheritence, stops wealth flight and gives the workers ownership of the places they work are the core methods.

The exact circumstances will depend on the situation, a single country which still has to deal with the rest of the Capitalist world will have to act differently than a country which suddenly turns Marxist.

The suggestions Marx made in the Communist Manifesto are still as true as ever, although everyone will have their different take on what is the exact best thing to do:

Communist Manifesto:
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Morally, Socialism which is the first step towards full on Communism directly equates the work you do to the benefit you gain. In terms of what you get individually without a greater analysis of society as a whole, it's pretty much completely fair. When you get to Communism everyone gets their needs fulfilled regardless of how much they work, which might not be fair in terms of 1 unit of labour = 1 unit of need but is a better for the overall good.

2. How do you account for the fact that what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving?

I'd say this is something that has been happening all throughout recorded history, even since we first built what could be called a civilisation. Kings, lords, wealthy investors, etc. There have always been people who receive without working except in the earliest days of tribal society. In that regard it isn't something that especially needs to be accounted for.

However if you did feel the need to, you could point out that the basis of Socialism is that people don't receive without working. There would be welfare for the elderly, sick, etc but the very basis of Socialism is that you receive what you work for.

Critique of the Gotha Programme:
What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society -- after the deductions have been made -- exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.

Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. But as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labor in another form.

The entire basis of Socialism is that, basic moral duties like caring for the sick, elderly, etc aside, people DO receive what they work for.

It's only when we come to full Communism that people no longer receive in equal proportion to their labour and this is because everyone has their needs met regardless of the work they do - not that some people are stiffed. However even in a communist society there would still be the expectation of labouring, it's just that the nature of it will have changed as the Capitalist system withers.

3. Is it true that the government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else?

Not really, but this is just a point of personal opinion rather than Marxist philosophy or dogma because this doesn't really concern the economic basis of Marxism as far as I can see.

The government has a variety of powers and abilities, which vary from nation to nation as we talk about different governments.

One of the basic ones and the one I think you're focusing all your attention on is taxes. In that regard, yes, money is taken from everyone and distributed back to everyone but not in equal portions.

However there are various other things that governments have the ability to do that are only taking from others going by a wider definition of taking that I don't think you're referring to.

One is their ability to invest and create value. If they take £10M from people in taxes, invest it in some particular nationalised industry or government programme and that £10M be £13M, where did that extra £3M come from? Was it taken from others? Was it taken from others even if this was done faster than the rate of inflation so it is a true gain? Possibly so - you can after all argue that the proceeds should belong to the people who had their money taxed in the first place rather than society as a whole.

However another is their ability to put people in productive work and provide the means of production. Now many people will be essentially wage slaves regardless of whether they're public or private sector, providing socially beneficial labour only because they need a paycheque rather than because they want to be there - which can very easily be construed as taking their labour. However among the workforce there will be some who DO want to do their jobs. The doctor who wants to be an NHS doctor and help people, but would be pretty rubbish at it without the medicine, support staff, equipment, etc provided by the government.

People can willingly give their labour to the government, producing value through services or commodities. Indeed it's not just limited to labour - governments are not just kept afloat by taxes. Bonds are another vital part of their income and financial management; bonds of course being the financial instruments which people and organisations voluntarily choose to buy and thereby enter into a financial arrangement with the government. This gives the government money which will eventually have to be repaid, but at the time time can be used on any kind of government service and wouldn't be money which is taken from others.

So to sum up: No it's not inherent to every aspect of government and the extent to how much it is there will depend on your conception of property rights. However, so what?

4. Do you realise you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it?

No, that's a meaningless catchphrase.

For one, it depends on comparisons of how the money is utilised. For instance over the last few years there have been a lot of investors who have willingly bought bonds at rates that once inflation is factored in are essentially negative. This means they're taking a guaranteed loss on their wealth. The reason for this is that the markets are so chaotic at the moment, that some investors prefer a guaranteed minor loss to investing in a company and loosing massive amounts.

This means that their wealth is actually decreasing. By taking that wealth, dividing it amongst working class people and stimulating consumer demand (Highlighted as a major reason for the continuing downturn), the overall level of wealth can be increased. that's just if you subscribe to that particular theory, but pretty much any economic theory allows for some kind of division of wealth. The Central Bank initiating quantitive easing and dividing extra funds between major banks. The wealthy investor who rather than just owning his own business and pumping his money into it, divides his money and gives it to numerous entrepreneurs.

Taken on it's own, that statement is clearly and obviously wrong.

However I think I know what you were trying to say, which was basically "Spreading the wealth among lots of people in a Communist fashion instead of the standard Capitalist spread doesn't actually increase the amount of wealth."

There are a few obvious holes in this theory, like that by spreading wealth we can pay for essential services which would otherwise inhibit productivity, damage goods, etc. So by paying for healthcare for everyone we keep people who would otherwise die alive and increase productivity (if for some reason the morality of wanting to keep people alive isn't enough). By paying for firefighters, we are able to stop fires from damaging building and decreasing wealth. Some forms of 'spreading' work to stop the decrease of wealth. Other

Others can just as easily work to increase it, like various governments which have basically created industries wholesale like South Korea's steelworks.

However aside from the obvious, there's a more in depth reason.

We have 100 piece of commodity X. We have 10 people, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J.

In a Capitalist society there would be a tendency for a clear disproportionate ownership of X. A would own 50X, B would own 45X, C would own 3X, D and E would own 1X and F, G, H, I and J would have 0X. There are still 100X. The mean ownership of X is 10. The mode ownership is 0X. The median ownership is 0.5X. The lowest level of ownership is 0X. The highest level of ownership is 50.

Now let's look at a Communist society. Comrades A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J each have 10X. There are still 100X. The mean ownership of X is 10X. The mode ownership is 10X. The median ownership is 10X. The lowest level of ownership is 10X. The highest level of ownership is 10X.

The only criteria by which property has been maximised under Capitalism is the maximum possible value that someone has. By every other criteria it is worse.

So is the ability for a minority of individuals to maximise their amount of property that important that it overwhelms all the other criteria Capitalism failed by?

If anything, the opposite! For those that reject Marx's Labour Theory of Value, the theory of value that is traditionally held to in Western Capitalist countries is the Utility Theory of Calue.

Here's the wiki link if you need it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_theory_of_value#Marginalist_theory) but basically it says that the utility of your possessions increases detrimentally to the number of possessions. A man on a desert island will find immense value in a handaxe that allows him to craft shelter, hunt for food, etc. Two axes? Well, he can have an axe in both hands and maybe do some stuff quicker. Three axes? Well he's got a couple of spares now. Then thousand axes? He could probably make a weird shelter out of them, but by this point the actual usefulness of each axe has dropped.

Or to put it another way, £100 matters more to a working class person than a millionaire.

This theory has been the intellectual wind in the sails of many Liberal laws and policies, and by Liberal I mean it in the classic sense encompassing most conservatives too. For instance it provided the morality behind greater taxation on the rich - that the benefits are greater if the wealth is given to those who lack it. It's utility is thereby increased because whatever your ideology is, wealth itself is never an end unto itself. If you could double the amount of wealth in the world but it was all put in fort knox and everyone would starve to death, would that be better - No, wealth is merely a means of appropriated goods and services and helping grease the wheels for the continuation of modern society.

Now if we apply this to the Capitalist/Communist situation, we can clearly see that the utility is being minimised by the disproportionate ownersip of X by A and B. Sure, they get just as much use out of that first X as C, D and E do out of their first X, but the last few dozens? There's almost no utility there. The useful benefit of the property in Capitalism, the heart of it's very value, is being diminished in comparison to the Communist split.

That's of course even before we look at especially rare commodities. Imagine if X is a one off piece of art by a great renaissance master. In Capitalism, A owns it and no-one else can claim it or is allowed to appreciate it in any way. In Communism they all own it and it would be in a museum where they could all make use of it and be allowed to see it.

This is of course all by a Capitalist conception of wealth and value. By the Marxism Labour theory of value, the reasoning is even more in favour of not allowing disproportionate wealth.

5. What are your opinions on the phenomenon that occurs in communist countries, when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, it is the beginning of the end of a nation?

Not a phenomenon I'm aware of. Also, you'll be thinking of socialist rather than communist.

6. Do you think it greed to keep money you have earned for yourself, but altruistic to take that money away from everybody?

No, just dispute the notion that this is what is happening in Capitalist. Profit in capitalism relies on taking money from everybody who works for you (The surplus value) and keeping their money even though you didn't earn it for yourself.

That's why under Socialism you keep what you earn for yourself and under Communism this 'taking' only happens because it's to the benefit of everyone.

Communism is more extreme and socialism doesn't have to be communism.

So first of all,lets see what communism is:

* Everything belongs to the state.
* Everyone gets the same quantity and quality of whatever.

That my friend is something that I don't like. I remember I watched a documentary once about a South American country, I don't remember which. So in this country the government gives a car in every family/person who lives alone.
So even if you don't have the money to buy a car,you will get one. But everyone gets the same type of car. All cars are Lada. No fiat,no ford,no audi. That's communism.

Now on the other hand,socialism is more general and doesn't have as much concrete measures. It is more flexible than communism. There have been socialist states that succeeded,and others that failed. Usually in socialist countries you find:

*Free public education. So poor people can be educated too.
*Job finder service established by the government,so you can find a job without having to pay.
*Many of them have some kind of market law,that restricts the prices stores can sell stuff. For example let's say that for grocery stuff,the grocery store might be able to choose a price for the goods up to 2x times more than the price it paid grocery producers to buy them from them. That way of maximum gain percentage for each piece of product sold is a kind of way to limit inflation and make sure that the basic needs for living are accessible to most people. But it's far away from communism,as products of any quality are available for everyone,and at any quantity,if he has the amount of money needed. Communism restricts the kind of products that are available,and the quantity.
*Fixed prices are allowed. Traditionally in socialistic countries it is allowed to producers to decide which will be the price of something at a store,so the one producing the goods decides the costumer price,and not the retailer. But that is founded also in some countries that aren't socialist. For example Nintendo can decide which will be the price of WiiU for America,and America isn't a socialist country.But it can't do that in the European Union,because if it did that,the EU would sue Nintendo. As such the price for WiiU in European Union countries is free to be set from retailers,and thus the price varies from 250 euros up to 380 euros.
*Minimum salary/wage standard.In most socialist countries,the country has decided a price which will be the less a business can pay a worker. For example if you are working a full time job,then your month's salary should be at least as much as the government has decided. The goal of this measure is to make sure that people who are working,are getting at least enough money to live a life with some basic standards.It's to avoid phenomena like those kids that you see working in China for like 16 hours a day,and their payment isn't enough to rent an apartment,neither to go watch a movie,but they end up living in short overcrowded rooms with barely enough food to eat. But really,the lowest legal salary isn't that much high to seriously be a hurdle to any healthy business. Actually it has been noticed that usually in countries with lowest legal salaries,the bulk of businesses tend to pay their employees just that,the legal lowest salary. My country is one of those countries that have this rule. And the lowest legal salary is 500 euros. So the average employee gets paid 500 euros a month.
In the USA though there is not such a rule,and while business could pay even lower salaries than that,from what I read on Wikipedia the average American is paid 2000 dollars per month, which is much better. So some times it might backfire.

Socialism's dogma is supposed to be to give all people equal opportunities,no matter their background. Of course many governments who call themselves socialist doesn't really do that,or go to very extreme measures and loose the objective.
Normally socialism understands and respects private property unlike communism,but it makes it so there are governmental / public services as good as private ones,so poor people have a chance to use such services. It's a situation where governmental/public services compete with private services.Communism doesn't even allow private services.

Is anyone even here a full fledged communist? I don't think so.

Friendly Lich:
Is anyone even here a full fledged communist? I don't think so.

Yes, I am.

Overhead:

Friendly Lich:
Is anyone even here a full fledged communist? I don't think so.

Yes, I am.

Interesting where do you live?

Friendly Lich:

Overhead:

Friendly Lich:
Is anyone even here a full fledged communist? I don't think so.

Yes, I am.

Interesting where do you live?

The UK. Since the first half of the 20th century we had a nominally Socialist political party that alternated between being in power and being in opposition, although over time it's shed all it's socialist aspects and become fully Capitalist.

We've got a long history of kind of flirting with Marxist concepts but never fully committing to it, like the once militant trade union movement which has now largely disappeared.

Overhead:

Friendly Lich:

Overhead:

Yes, I am.

Interesting where do you live?

The UK. Since the first half of the 20th century we had a nominally Socialist political party that alternated between being in power and being in opposition, although over time it's shed all it's socialist aspects and become fully Capitalist.

We've got a long history of kind of flirting with Marxist concepts but never fully committing to it, like the once militant trade union movement which has now largely disappeared.

But I said communist, are you telling me you are a Communist or a socialist?

Friendly Lich:

Overhead:

Friendly Lich:

Interesting where do you live?

The UK. Since the first half of the 20th century we had a nominally Socialist political party that alternated between being in power and being in opposition, although over time it's shed all it's socialist aspects and become fully Capitalist.

We've got a long history of kind of flirting with Marxist concepts but never fully committing to it, like the once militant trade union movement which has now largely disappeared.

But I said communist, are you telling me you are a Communist or a socialist?

I expect there to be a transitional Socialist stage, but the end goal is always Communism.

Eshay Adlay:
I have a few questions for the socialists and communists in the escapist(A very left wing site)

Now my country (the netherlands) has two kinds of socialist party's. The PvdA A social democratic or labour party (the more pragmatic of the two) and the SP a democratic socialist party (more ideological with Maoist roots though not that mao anymore). Now I consider myself to be a Social Democrat. These two ideologies also represent the fast majority of modern western socialist party's. So id strongly suggest you'd read up on their respective ideologies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism

No since your questions werent really questions let my explain to you why I am a social democrat. Im going to do this from the viewpoint of my country and what, among others, Socialism has achieved in it. Firstly in my opinion it only makes sense for the rich to pay a little more taxes and for poor people to receive more governmental support (since hey they need it more). Secondly I take pride in what social democratic politics have achieved in the Netherlands since their formation in the 1890s greatly improving the quality of life for the common labourer in the previous century. And in the fact that the little man cant be screwed over by his boss anymore, the fact that the netherlands is a country with low relative poverty and even nr 1 in Child well being (or we were at least 5 years ago http://www.unicef.org/media/files/ChildPovertyReport.pdf).

Thanks to our equality we're also one of the happiest places on earth. (though you often wouldnt know it when you listen to the news) http://www.searchofficespace.com/blog/where-is-the-happiest-place-on-earth/

I especially take pride in the fact that our public schooling is so good that even our future monarchs attend it and that there is little need for private education, as opposed to country's where the private few are educated privately while children of less fortuitousness parents have to go to less than great schools. Imagine that the children of kings and ketchup makers going to the same school . (it should be noted however that socialism technically doesnt like kings very much, but hey weve got a bit of a soft spot there;)(a socialist leader likely even saved the monarchy once :P))

But most importantly I take pride in the more philosophical understanding that materialism on its own really doesn't help anyone, politics is about the people not just about money.

Now as a sceptic you might think being happy en equal would hurt our economy, yet it's still the fifth most competetive economy in the world. (even two places higher than the gooldold usofa)just after Switzerland, Singapore, Finland and Sweden. The last two ofc being very equal country s with a healthy dose of socialism as well. http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-competitiveness

It should be noted however that none are these things that I mentioned are victory's that can only be attributed to socialism, but it diffidently was one of the driving forces behind it and continues to push the agenda for greater equality.

Now thats why im proud to call myself a socialist and why I'd suggest you'd do the same.

Proletariat of the world unite!
image

I do vote Communist but only because I dislike every actual party and I always feel like the Communists are the last ones that can really appreciate and savour every vote they get.
So my answers are probably not at all helpful or logical. Fortunately, I don't care!

1. How do you legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity?

If there's no wealth in prosperity there's space for more poor in there. Like if you take all the red Skittles out of a bag there's more space for those delicious, delicious green ones.

3. Is it true that the government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else?

They can give me a thank you for being a good citizen. Unless there is only a limited amount of cards and they have to be retaken forcefully.

4. Do you realise you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it?

If I divide 10 by 0,5 I get 20. Your move!

5. What are your opinions on the phenomenon that occurs in communist countries, when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, it is the beginning of the end of a nation?

It always baffled me why people try to establish communistic ideals in any existing country instead of taking an island and creating a whole new communist country with open borders where those that actually want in can do that and those that don't like the system stay out.

CAPTCHA: grumpy cat
so that's it, grumpy cat is now officially everywhere

Quaxar:
I do vote Communist but only because I dislike every actual party

I checked your profile to see what country you live in. Great picture you've got there. ;)

I'm not a socialist/communist, I'm a social democrat. Still, I'd be inclined to answer those questions if I didn't get this nefarious nagging feeling at the back of my skull that the main purpose of this thread is antagonizing every left-leaning political orientation.

Also, isn't it interesting how when a few right-wingers get banned after being too rude and uncivil, soon a few new users join that are similarly right-wing and negatively disposed? Possibly I'm reading into things too much here, but, food for thought.

Stavros Dimou:
Communism is more extreme and socialism doesn't have to be communism.

So first of all,lets see what communism is:

* Everything belongs to the state.

There is no state in communism.

This is a common misconception, along with things somehow belonging to the state. Private property is abolished, how can anything belong to the state? (Assuming there was one) As a state is not a person it cannot own personal property.

Well, I'm not a socialist or a communist, but since I'm probably what the OP considers to be a socialist or a communist, let's answer.

Eshay Adlay:
1. How do you legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity?

Obviously, by counteracting some of the systemic intergenerational imbalances in society to give everyone a more equal chance of achieving. For example, by using taxes to provide high quality public education to everyone and so reduce the advantages which the already wealthy get by having the money to attend better schools and being able to afford other forms of support.

You could outright eliminate income inequality and redistribute wealth, but only one state has tried it as far as I'm aware and it didn't go well.

Eshay Adlay:
2. How do you account for the fact that what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving?

Obviously, you haven't heard about this thing called "capitalism".

Let's say I want to set up a business. Obviously, I'm going to need labour, so I'll hire workers. But I'm also going to need capital, which I'll get by asking rich people to invest in my new business. In return, those people can expect a return on their investment despite contributing absolutely nothing in labor. Today, the average worker only receives a fraction of their own productivity in wages, the rest goes (effectively) to those who contributed capital. i.e. people who did not produce anything.

Eshay Adlay:
3. Is it true that the government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else?

Only if you assume an antagonistic relationship between people and government.

Firstly, some basic theory. For Marx, Socialism was a transitional state between Capitalism and Communism. Communism, to Marx, was the final state of human social evolution, a society with no government and where no government was required. For this reason, countries like the USSR were not communist and never claimed to be communist, the tendency in the US and other countries to view any country ruled by a communist party as "communist" is simply a misapplication of terminology.

Since a communist country would have no government. The idea that "the government" would take things from you is defunct. In a communist country, wealth and commodities would be shared according to need as society was built on the recognition of mutual interdependence, because we all need to share resources in order to survive. Capitalism itself is simply a way of allocating resources, not a very efficient way I might add because, left unchecked, it naturally concentrates wealth within a ruling class who don't actually do very much beyond use their money to make more money.

A socialist country does still have a government, but there is nothing to say that the government cannot be representative or accountable, a position known as "social democracy" to which I generally subscribe on most issues. By contrast, a ruling class which maintains its influence purely through ownership of capital is not accountable in any sense. In this sense, I think you are misrepresenting the most important political conflicts in our society. This obsession with "people" versus "government" is a bizarre American preoccupation which is simply symptomatic that you're being governed by the wrong people.

Ask yourself seriously, do you live in a society where anyone can be elected to office. If "no", then why not.

Eshay Adlay:
4. Do you realise you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it?

..because puns are a great indicator of sounds reasoning.

Eshay Adlay:
5. What are your opinions on the phenomenon that occurs in communist countries, when half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them; and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, it is the beginning of the end of a nation?

As mentioned, the idea of "communist" countries is a misnomer, but regarding the USSR.. Theoretically at least, the USSR guaranteed 100% employment to its citizens, so there was not seen to be any reason (beyond incapacitation or giving birth) not to work. Because of this, the soviet union didn't really have a system of unemployment compensation until well into the 1950s, and when it did it was incredibly harsh by our standards.

Weirdly, rhetoric in the USSR's political system was quite similar to yours. Politicians were so obsessed with the idea that people were being lazy or refusing to work that they didn't cotton on to the fact that their country had serious economic problems until it was much too late.

Eshay Adlay:
6. Do you think it greed to keep money you have earned for yourself, but altruistic to take that money away from everybody?

If I did, I wouldn't be a "socialist" or a social liberal. I'd be a one-nation conservative.

Socialists generally stress the mutual codependency of different strata of human society. None of us acquires wealth completely on our own merits, we are supported by a society which provides us with goods, services and things that we need at artificially low cost (and often at no cost at all). To socialists, the fact that we pay for this through taxes, and the fact that doing so is proportionate to our earnings is not a compassionate act, it's a responsibility of being a part of a society which provides for us and allows us to succeed.

The idea that the wealthy giving money towards social improvement and infrastructure is a "compassionate" or "altrustic" act on the part of the rich towards the poor is a very longstanding branch of Conservative philosophy which certainly predates your neoliberal preoccupations. Same outcome, very different reasoning.

Eshay Adlay:
4. Do you realise you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it?

Well, bacteria seem to do a pretty good job of multiplying by division, so why shouldn't wealth be able to?
Since, most of you question deal with the problem of why someone would work in a communist country, the answer would have to be 'you have a very capitalist perspective on the situation'.
In capitalism, a wealthy person owns a factory, and pays many workers just enough to live on to work their, keeping the rest of the profit for themselves. Elderly, sick or orphaned people have no source of income and starve to death. When the revolution comes, the wealthy person is removed from the system, and the wealth of the labour is divided up with each person getting all that they need, the workers and sick alike, and the excess being used to improve general quality of life like building roads.
To a capitalist observer, it seems like any individual worker should fake having a cold or something and stay home all day, but this does not fit the system. Communist countries survive on the memory of how harsh life was before the revolution, and that choosing to be lazy ruins it for everyone. Nobody wants to be the guy who ruins the utopian society. This is generally reinforced by propaganda, showing the industrious workers importance in the society, and encouraging putting the interests of the nations above the self. You know how every Russian person calls each other comrade? It's to remind everyone that they are on the same team and need to work together to maintain the high standard of living in communist countries.
You might think I just lied, and that communist countries have very low standards of living, with everyone in small apartment blocks, but consider that Russia is a very infertile place and that a lot of labour is needed to produce food, but despite this the government managed to feed its people and stay the economic equal of America for decades. If all of its limited budget was to keep the people in luxury, it would have had a standard of living better then modern America.

"Socialists/Communists"? Immediate failure there, those aren't interchangeable.
Anyway, we have very few actual Socialists or Communists on here, but maybe you'll get a few answers from them. Not that it matters because you clearly aren't looking for an actual discussion, you're just trying to antagonize people with loaded questions.
Social Democrat out.

Actually socialism and communism are BOTH similar idealogies, socialism is defined by Karl Marx when the government takes property and redistributes it, he says it's the process just before communism. However there are different definitions people use, but this is the original.

Communism sucks, it is a failed system that only leads to tyranny and despair. The world would be better off if communism just died off entirely, and most of the people that support communism are usually dumb kids who think that it makes them "cool" because they are "rebelling" against that status quo. They will grow out of this eventually.

"Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings, Communism is the equal sharing of miseries."-Winston Churchill

TheLycanKing144:
Actually socialism and communism are BOTH similar idealogies, socialism is defined by Karl Marx when the government takes property and redistributes it, he says it's the process just before communism. However there are different definitions people use, but this is the original.

No, you've got the definition wrong. Many non-Marxist ideologies are perfectly capable of taking property and redistributing it, to wit; every government currently in existence on Earth.

The distinction comes in regards to the relationship between the means of production (The factories, shops, offices etc) and their. In Socialism and Communism, the owners are the labourers.

Communism sucks, it is a failed system that only leads to tyranny and despair.

I would level the same claims at Capitalism.

Also plenty of Marxist leaders, governments and nations tried to produce fruitful, peaceful and democratic societies. Unfortunately countries like the USA had an awful habit of killing them and installing military dictatorships in their place.

The world would be better off if communism just died off entirely, and most of the people that support communism are usually dumb kids who think that it makes them "cool" because they are "rebelling" against that status quo. They will grow out of this eventually.

I'm mid 20's and I can tell you that the Marxist group I'm in is a complete split of ages, with a variety of genders and ethnic groups also represented. The average age probably evens out at around late 20's/early 30's/.

There are a fair few younger people who get into it for a few years and then drop out, but "Teenagers do unorthodox stuff for a few years before reverting back to normalcy" is pretty much par for people of that age for any activity or ideology that is at all out of the ordinary.

"Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings, Communism is the equal sharing of miseries."-Winston Churchill

"Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks." - Karl Marx

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked