View Poll Results: Does communism cause most of the population to live in poverty?

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Thread: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

  1. #191
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Yes and no. Most people are going to respond to this thread from the perspective that the Soviet Union was some kind of communist state, and abstract a definition out from that (see Tashah's post as a great example of this). So there are other reasons than what I was referring to.

    But we can't have a discussion on anything that will happen in the future outside of abstractions based on an investigation of the development of history. There is a reason that whenever Marx (or any other serious Marxist theoretician) spoke of a future communist society he always spoke in abstractions. He wasn't interested in painting a picture of how he thought it would work in a concrete way but rather made conclusions on its general development based on historical investigation.

    So to say that "these would cause some issues" leads into a discussion based on what kind of various laws or systems would be set up to deal with such issues, which would lead us into the realm of blind speculation.
    Of course it’s speculation…But I don’t think it’s completely blind.

    If I’m right as to the basic idea behind communism, then it seems to follow that some people are NOT going to fit in, outside an ingrained and well-established indoctrination system that trains out any anti-establishment thought early on.

    And even then, a slight few are going to resist somehow.

    At least as far as I can tell, this seems a logical progression.

    But meh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    "But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor. It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal) are measurable only by an equal standard insofar as they are brought under an equal point of view, are taken from one definite side only -- for instance, in the present case, are regarded only as workers and nothing more is seen in them, everything else being ignored. Further, one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal.

    But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.

    In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly -- only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs! "
    Critique of the Gotha Programme
    Despite all that, there is going to be at least one person (depending on the size of the community, at least) who contrives to do nothing – despite his/her ability. Without a system to prevent such, there would be some people not contributing – and yet, drawing on the system.

    It appears that the quote you posted relies on an over-time indoctrination (albeit presented as self-inflicted in the generalized example) of sorts to get all the people working more-or-less together after a time – at least, in that they all hold working as their “prime want” in life.

    My contention is that, without enforcement of some kind of rules or expulsion from the society as a recourse, someone or a group of someone’s are going to violate the ideals behind the society and, unless prevented by something, hinder the progression towards that place in time and thought where everyone agrees with the ideals and follows them without enforcement – a place in time and thought that I, personally, do not believe will ever happen.

    In short, this discussion ties back into a past discussion in this thread – namely, that communism is not possible unless there is some method to remove/reeducate people who disagree with the ideals and goals.

    Which, if I understand things, is not communism at all.

    But, again, meh.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  2. #192
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    It's also common knowledge the people regularly look beyond themselves as individuals and will help out people for no benefit to themselves, if a person you cared about was in trouble, you would help them, you wouldn't sit back and think "what's in it for me?", the argument can be made that as of this dual nature of humanity, a balance of altruism and greed, that communism and capitalism seek to promote one with the exception of the other, communism promotes altruism, capitalism promotes greed, but to say people are naturally greedy, without saying they are naturally altruistic as well is disingenuous, and ignorant of understanding of human emotion.
    It's called charity.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

  3. #193
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    Communism, the philosophy, not the failed implementation thereof, does encourage altruism, it is the epitome of societal selflessness, regardless of how crap it turns out in actuality.

    But on this point.



    It is only if you look at it in purely dollars and cents, however, as a percentage of GNI, America gives **** all compared to what it could give, if it was as generous as the rest of the developed world.

    You know very well that all these charts are bull****, and don't account for most of the private giving, and church, charities and the like. It doesn't account for the ability of the US to bring aid like no other country can. We have the infrastructure that allows other countries to participate.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

  4. #194
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark
    If I’m right as to the basic idea behind communism, then it seems to follow that some people are NOT going to fit in, outside an ingrained and well-established indoctrination system that trains out any anti-establishment thought early on.
    This is the krux of your entire post, and I don't really know where you even came up with it. Why would there need to be an "ingrained and well-established indoctrination system that etc..."?
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  5. #195
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    This is the krux of your entire post, and I don't really know where you even came up with it. Why would there need to be an "ingrained and well-established indoctrination system that etc..."?
    Because humans, in my experience, do not naturally all think alike on anything and the only way to get them to do so is train the young ones so that, over time, they do.

    *Queue Evil Alien Overlord laugh*

    But seriously, that was my thinking.

    Unless you set up a separated communist society that only accepts people who voluntarily join it, you're going to have some percentage of your population who resist the idea - And need to be dealt with somehow.

    And unless you have some form of instruction/indoctrination on how the system works, be it structured and official, non-structured and personalized (as in, "you know, son, that Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, etc".), or some combo of the two, at some point the original society members are going to have offspring that disagree and try to bypass/work around the system.

    Unless you have no reproduction, which would cause other issues.

    I could even use the apparent slight anti-communist bent that many people in the USA have as an example of an at least partially successful indoctrination/instruction process.

    But meh.

    It's possible that I'm misinformed in some areas and this is basically just me talking out my ass - but based on what info I'm aware of, these is the conclusions I've reached.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  6. #196
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Because humans, in my experience, do not naturally all think alike on anything and the only way to get them to do so is train the young ones so that, over time, they do.
    I don't find this to be a credible argument. There are people that don't work in capitalism as well, yet the system doesn't collapse. So this really isn't an argument IMO. It just seems like a dismissive cop out to me.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  7. #197
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    I don't find this to be a credible argument. There are people that don't work in capitalism as well, yet the system doesn't collapse. So this really isn't an argument IMO. It just seems like a dismissive cop out to me.
    As I understand things, the USA's (somewhat, by no means totally) capitalistic system works (for certain values of the term "works") because it has allowances for those who disagree. However, if enough people disagreed, it seems likely that it would change somewhat (as, indeed, US history would indicate).

    I applied the same standard to an imagined communist society - namely, that some people are going to disagree with the ideal, and measures to prevent such from growing beyond a certain point would need to be taken.

    I doubt a communist society would collapse either, at least if the numbers of people who disagreed with the system was kept below a certain point through some means.

    The best way would be if the parents taught their children the system – but that’s still a form of indoctrination.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  8. #198
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    The best way would be if the parents taught their children the system – but that’s still a form of indoctrination.
    Did your parents sit down and "teach you capitalism" and then convinced you to "agree with it"? Of course they didn't.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  9. #199
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Did your parents sit down and "teach you capitalism" and then convinced you to "agree with it"? Of course they didn't.
    True.

    But through their actions and teachings (they homeschooled me, so even more so in my case than those who attended public school), and my own limited studies, I gained a general positive view towards some or most aspects of capitalism and a general negative view towards some or most aspects of communism and socialism.

    Of course, I consider myself to be only very partially informed on anything, let along the intricacies of socio/economic governing systems, so I make no claim to being conclusively correct.

    I consider my position/views on the matter to be similar to that of a sadly-more-than-average informed citizen of the US.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  10. #200
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    Re: Does communism force a portion of the population to live in poverty?

    My point is that human consciousness develops in such a way based on the environment in which it exists. The idea that people would need to be "indoctrinated" implies that communist society is "unnatural" and therefore that people need to be tricked into "believing" it. So again we are back at the silly "human nature" argument.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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