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Old 02.15.2012, 10:24 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gast30

make no childeren = the only key to stop the problem


That is simply not true, and not a lot of fun either
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Old 02.15.2012, 10:44 PM   #62
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I am going down tomorrow to sign up for communist brotherhood. I hope to meet sexy communist sister and we make a lot of communist sex. Then maybe I will dump her communist ass and go drown my sorries in communist beer.

Long live the revolution!
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Old 02.15.2012, 11:09 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RanaldoNecro
I think here is your problem. You are presumably American looking out to the world through American eyes. Fine.

Here is where you are wrong, you are judging societies wholly based upon there economic attributes. You make no considerations for the spiritual, artistic, health or academic. The number one priority for Russians might be brotherhood, Family for French, for Tibetans the holistic spiritual well-being.
I am not going to deny the fantastic economic progress and superiority of the USA. It is just not the number priority for all people living on the globe.

I really don't think that you, average American male, has communist brotherhood within you. So don't bother with something you'll never understand. It is beyond my ability to freestyle rap, so I just leave it at that. Maybe you should too.



i think your problem is that you're making straw man arguments. or maybe that was an honest answer and your problem is with reading for comprehension. i mean if you're going to talk to yourself there's no need to quote what i wrote, right?
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Old 02.16.2012, 08:18 AM   #64
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I am happy to see a thread like this when I pop back in for a visit. Makes me happy, so thank you "symbols" for making something interesting. I am also happy that the last two pages of this thread constitute fluff and I don't actually have to read them.

By and large, I consider myself to be Marxist (or Marxian): somewhere in between. I feel like I have some authority to answer this, but it is like Glice said, there isn't going to be a stock Marxist answer for this and so I think if I'm going to take a stab at this, I need to lmake some things clear.

Marxism is NOT TELELOLOGICAL. Marx (the man) made a point of not speculating too heavily on the intricacies of a utopian society. He does lay out ten or so short term demands, and I think if you have a look they're pretty difficult to disagree with. The reason for this is because he is attempting a practical philosophy of materialism relying exclusively on historical evolution, which essentially means you take whatever the situation and try to make it into something better. So my understanding of Marx puts secondary the idea of a utopian society and instead is used precisely as a critical tool. At the same time, it is important to have a general idea in mind of what exactly you are trying to shape from the mess we inherent from history. Thus...

I think a great counterpart to any Marxist analysis is this article here: http://www.eco-action.org/dt/affluent.html. It is by Marshall Sahlins, an economic anthropologist. I have to admit, I haven't read the article I just posted, but I did read it as the first chapter of his book "Stone-Age Economics", so maybe consult that for more info. The two may be different, not sure. This, in essence, brings in I think what RanaldoNecro so carelessly tried to articulate in his post, which is actually rather fundamental to any Marxist analysis; economic activity is culturally relative. If I remember the main thesis of Sahlin's article correctly, by limiting your material wants, it is possible to scale down the means of production toward a more egalitarian system, which (I doubt I need to tell you) is the essence of all Marxist analysis. Sahlins shows that people in hunter-gatherer cultures are able to survive and work less because their needs are relatively few. They have to eat, shit, sleep, and maybe chat for a while. So, what is by and large an assumption of modern economics that people naturally have a tendency for endless material wants which require an endless amount of satisfaction is more or less proved false by the existence of hunter-gatherer cultures and their tendencies to remain within that mode of subsistence

The problem with capitalism is that it is a self-perpetuating system, which is the same as saying that the construction of goods based exclusively on their exchange value (i.e. commodity fetishism - imbueing goods with objective value, via objectified social relations") is something that is "reified" (the process of commodity feitishizing in culture). Communism, would, by definition, reduce the exchange of goods in terms of their use-value, which would in effect undermine this process. So, actually you wouldn't necessarily have "the finest of the fine" of everything because the concept of "fineness" would be irrelevant. Everything is reduced ENTIRELY to use value, not exchange value. The question, under Communism, would be "what wipes my ass? A leaf?" and the answer being "ok then, as long as my ass gets clean."

Private property is similar in this regard. Your comment about beach front property is not actually relevant. The answer, everyone would get to use the beach if they happened to live near the beach. Under communism, there is no private property, so yeah, you can just run along on the beach and no one is going to shoot you. I think by and large, the idea that you can possess things but not own them is crucial to this. It's also important to remember that this system of organization is not ahistorical. In fact, enclosure of the commons is one of Marx's main arguments and is absolutely crucial to his analysis.

I don't advocate the return to a hunter-gatherer economy, but something I have deemed "the noble peasant", which actually mirrors I think other political economists (both capitalist and communist). I firmly believe that ALL Utopian societies are advocating more or less the same thing, which is to say a system of localized producers who can equitably exchange with other localized producers to meet the needs of all. I think people should grow their own food and make their own products and trade them with other people. The greatest freedom that can be achieved is via more self-sufficiency, so I'm also an advocate of the whole "small is beautiful" idea.

In short, I'll sum up and say that this may or may not have helped to answer your questions, but that is largely because the intricacies of a Utopian system cannot be known and so, to some degree, the answers you are seeking are unanswerable. There is, however, a HUGE CORPUS of research relating to the inefficiencies of neo-liberal economics, not to mention the myriad of tragedies which happen on a day to day basis. It is difficult to criticize what are suspiciously perfect theoretical arguments by neo-liberal economists, but it is easy to crticize their practice. As such, we should consider whether a free-market as it is currently practiced serves the total population of humans and I think it's pretty easy to say it doesn't.
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Old 02.16.2012, 08:40 AM   #65
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Look at all them WORDS.

O, hell no.
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Old 02.16.2012, 09:02 AM   #66
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You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to jonathan again.

and !@#$%$, you should read David Harvey's A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism to see why in practice it simply does not work. Albeit he does not necessarily provide in his book a concrete alternative, from what i remember, but he explains neo-liberalism and just how it has come to control everything, and how bad that has been, in a very good way.
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Old 02.16.2012, 10:49 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan

By and large, I consider myself to be Marxist (or Marxian): somewhere in between. I feel like I have some authority to answer this, but it is like Glice said, there isn't going to be a stock Marxist answer for this and so I think if I'm going to take a stab at this, I need to lmake some things clear.


Curious. How much of Marx have you read to feel like you have some authority on the subject? Also, what have you read by Marx? You say that there isn't a stock answer for symbol guy's question, yet you remain vague as to why that is, just like Glice's reply. The typical answer you'll get from a ''party as science'' Marxist is that the more immediate worry for a communist is to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, and as I explained earlier a communist system would be one where production at its maximum potential is active and healthy. Regulations and central/local posts would still need to exist in order to maintain a fine-tuned working/living environment for all. A problem the Bolsheviks found themselves facing the day after the revolution was the distribution of milk. A problem it was, and a solution was found.


Marxism is NOT TELELOLOGICAL. Marx (the man) made a point of not speculating too heavily on the intricacies of a utopian society. He does lay out ten or so short term demands, and I think if you have a look they're pretty difficult to disagree with. The reason for this is because he is attempting a practical philosophy of materialism relying exclusively on historical evolution, which essentially means you take whatever the situation and try to make it into something better. So my understanding of Marx puts secondary the idea of a utopian society and instead is used precisely as a critical tool. At the same time, it is important to have a general idea in mind of what exactly you are trying to shape from the mess we inherent from history. Thus...


Good point. Marxism is not teleological or dogmatic...then what is it? It is science, a science that serves the purpose of emancipating the working class. Marx isn’t ''attempting a practical philosophy of materialism’’, he is offering an effective solution and a clear explanation to a practical problem concerning humans' method of production and distribution. He does it through the dialectics of historical materialism because he believes there lies the answer to the proletariat’s struggle. I agree that Marxism is a critical tool, one that serves the purpose of magnifying the inequality in the distribution of wealth. Not too sure what you mean with ‘’ not speculating too heavily on the intricacies of a utopian society.’’ For a Marxist a communist society is not a utopian one, because a utopian society implies that it’s marred by impracticality and unrealistic organisation, thus negating the very purpose of communism.




I haven't got the time now to read the rest of your post, but will do it later.
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Old 02.16.2012, 10:58 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
but porks, i'm not understanding how this production is organized, what makes it work, or how it deals with scarcities.

- what if one roommate uses too much ass paper and the others have to use crumpled notebooks? how is that regulated?
It's free.


my experience with free things is that people abuse them. what's keeping users of free asspaper from taking so much there isn't enough to go around? also, even without abuse or waste, if people use unrestricted asspaper, there will be corresponding restrictions elsewhere: eg, less wood pulp (or whatever resource) available for other uses like printer paper, or magazines, or postcards. or less transportation available for goods other than asspaper-- say, mattresses have to stay longer in storage because the trucks are busy delivering asspaper. how is the demand for resources regulated between competing demands? who decides how much wood pulp goes into each product? who decides where the trucks will make deliveries today?

A communist society is not one where people stop producing. It just means, again, that everyone owns what's needed and is produced. And it's most definitely not an anarchic system.

okay, let's say that we all own beachfront lodgings collectively.and there's not enough beachfront for everybody who wants it. in a market economy, price determines who gets to have the beachfront (whether it be purchased or rented). how do you decide in communism who gets the beachfront lodgings?

You would be living in a system where the finest of the finest is available to you for free. That's the whole point.

but the finest of the finest always comes at the cost of something else. the finest of asspapers comes at the cost of the finest postcards. the finest steak uses resources that could have produced the finest goat cheese. how can you have the finest of everything all the time?

my question i guess is how you deal with scarcity-- the fact that there's not enough of everything to go around in the amounts that everyone wants. in a market economy, that's regulated by prices--you get premium "tissue", you get the cheap asspaper, you get old newspapers if you can't afford that, and if people start to buy more than there is available the prices go up until demand stabilizes or production goes up to meet demand. what about in this system?

We don't deal well with abundance of product already. I can't see humanity not being able to cope with supply when mass unemployment would be totally inexistent. The proletariat is the most numerous (and ever-growing) class there ever was.

there is an argument that the current abundance of product is due to the efficiencies produced by the incentives of capitalism. previous socialist economies have had to deal with bread lines, lack of soap, lack of toothpaste, etc., not because of lack of natural resources but because of gross inefficiencies in the system.

how does your system guarantee a high level of production? if i already own everything, and have access to all i want, then why would i even want to work? why would anyone want to work in the first place?

i'll get back to you too later. IZZIT?? IZZIT??
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Old 02.16.2012, 04:29 PM   #69
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!@#$%!, I am disappointed that fine young Mexican radical like yourself hasn't brought this into the mix yet

 

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Old 02.16.2012, 04:55 PM   #70
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I haven't got time to read through all the responses in this thread right now. I'm sure it's all very thoughtful and all. But right now I have to consume some of the things I bought today and then later I have to think about how to buy more things.
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Old 02.16.2012, 08:54 PM   #71
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I haven't read most of this thread, so I'll just toss out the term "enterprise-based cooperative ownership and governance". I'm originally from the Upper Midwest, and we have loads of workers' and farmers' and consumers' cooperatives out there.
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Old 02.16.2012, 09:08 PM   #72
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Ultimately, true coops--if they are true coops and not just a business calling itself a coope--fail. Ultimately somebody, a central figure, has to be in control of an organization, or it falls apart. And as soon as somebody takes control, it's no longer truly a cooperative.
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Old 02.16.2012, 09:54 PM   #73
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Mexican? I could have sworn he was from Guyana. Son of an ice cube mogul. You KNOW the poor ones don't have interwebs.
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Old 02.16.2012, 10:08 PM   #74
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Old 02.17.2012, 05:37 PM   #75
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@ jonathan - thanks a lot for the well-thought answer; i've read the article you posted, and while i consider the paleolithic a sort of golden age of humankind, i doubt it was a paradise-- neanderthals got a raw deal out of that era, for example.

i do appreciate that economic activity is culturally relative, yes, but ultimately everyone has to deal with the problem of how to provide for the group/tribe/family/self. when food is abundant, everyone is friends, when there isn't enough to go around, cannibalism just might ensue.

solutions to the problem of providing for life vary a lot-- amazon tribes untouched by western civilization go from sharing everything with everyone to killing people for trespassing one's plot. from the look of it it would seem that private property begins with agriculture (in other places, it's herding that does it-- there is no cattle in the amazon though).

anyway, speaking of property, i purposefully did not mention beachfront property-- i said beachfront housing if i recall. it was my intention to bring up something that is of limited availability but of widespread desirability. if everyone who wanted to stay at the beach could simply show up, we'd have some sort of refugee camps in all coastal areas, and it would probably cease to be desirable, or violence would erupt.

it could be anything else-- say, cars? everyone could get a car in the old east germany, but it would take years and years on a waitlist.

i understand that part of the refutation of capitalism has to do with debunking the notion of scarcity, which the article linked claimed it's inexistent among the !kung, and porky claims would not exist under communism. but scarcity can be very real even in non-human systems-- biological ecosystems go through boom and bust cycles-- humans didn't invent famines, plagues, and natural disasters. we can't just wish that shit away.

even in the case of the noble peasant you propose-- plagues, droughts, floods, frosts, hail and other natural phenomena can kill a local agriculture very fast. trade, which allows goods to move quickly, keep people alive even when crops fail. an economy such as you propose would necessitate trade, and even if it was banned sure a black market would appear somehow. with trade you'd get division of labor-- suddenly i can get a more secure and varied food supply by making pottery than by being a peasant, trading with multiple peasants instead of eating just the local crops. maybe i work in a clay quarry that supplies potters so i can work all year without worrying about local crop failures. and everything begins again, including money when barter doesn't cut it.

we can't really put the cat back in the bag and abolish global trade. i'm looking for viable future models rather than past utopias. when hippie communes sprouted in the 60s, they sought a return to nature, to living off the land, to self-sufficiency, but that life is hard and suddenly walking to the store and buying a twinky seems more desirable than waiting 8 months for your crops to be ready for the harvest (and fingers crossed, and damn those insects).

@fugazifan - thanks for the book link, i'll check it out when i finish this one (which i'm reading very slowly).

@ porks - it IZZZ. waiting!

@ suchfriends: no soy mexicano! i'm not too familiar with the ejidos, but i've spent months in an israeli kibbutz though, and the funny thing is that the socialist ethos has been replaced by a bourgeois one-- nowadays the successful kibbutz will hire "guest workers" from thailand to work the crops while the "communist" owners have it easy.

@ schunk - yea, coops don't count, they still compete in the market.

@ GMKU - no, it's not about "control", the cooperative model is a genuinely successful one, but still, they operate in a market economy where they live or perish by their deeds.

did i forget anyone? sorry.

--

oh yeah, flotto: THE GEORGETOWN ICE EMPORIUM RULES ALL.
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Old 02.17.2012, 06:32 PM   #76
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The issue with any economy can't be the benefits that come from it all working perfectly but what happens if it goes wrong. Both the free market and communism sound fantastic in their ideal state but, as we've seen, prove catastrophic when they fail. Which I suppose is why I support a mixed Keyensian economy not because it's an ideal solution, quite the opposite, but simply because it seems to be the one where the worst excesses of the other 'purer' ones are less likely to get really out of hand. I'm in favour of radicalism in most spheres of life but not the economy. If a radical fucks up a painting it's no big deal but if he fucks up the economy (even with the best of intentions) we're screwed. (I know you said you didn't want the Keynesian alternative, but anyway.)
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Old 02.17.2012, 07:34 PM   #77
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i just stopped in to remind you that if you have political ideals or ideals of any kind you're wrong ideals don't matter nothing matters live for nothing
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Old 02.17.2012, 07:36 PM   #78
floatingslowly
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floatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's asses
my wife had to promise not to be or become a communist (or sexual deviant) as terms of her resident alienship.

Not in MY country, I tell you.

McCarthy smiles from beyond.
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Old 02.17.2012, 07:44 PM   #79
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floatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's assesfloatingslowly kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCadetHayden
i just stopped in to remind you that if you have political ideals or ideals of any kind you're wrong ideals don't matter nothing matters live for nothingr

NO MORE YEARS.
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Old 02.17.2012, 08:34 PM   #80
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gmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's assesgmku kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by floatingslowly
my wife had to promise not to be or become a communist (or sexual deviant) as terms of her resident alienship.

Not in MY country, I tell you.

McCarthy smiles from beyond.

Whatever. Lenin and McCarthy may have been very much unalike but together they wrote some very good songs.
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