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Communism, Democracy, and Anarchy

  1. Mar 26, 2003 #1
    Communism is for the intellegent dreamer,
    Anarchy is for the ignorant dreamer,
    Democracy is for the realistic.

    Democracy, unlike the other two, is compatable with human nature. The problem with the other two is that it does not take into account that human nature is greed and power. Survival of the fitest. Unfortuantly Survival of the fitest is not mostly beneficial as it seems in society. So what we get is a dull, unmoralistic working democracy. Anarchy cannot work simply because of the nature of it. No government. The problem is that someone somewhere will start to gain authority (human nature) and eventually a dictatorship will rise (not anarchy). Of course there is no way for anarchy to defend itself simply because there is no government in which to enforce non-government. I think we've all seen the problems with Communism, it doesn't work because man will seek out more power than he is alloted in Communism and corrupt it. Democracy, while working the best of the three, still has its potential of coruption. However since the power is dispursed to many instead of just a few or one, the coruption isn't as severe and it can be held.

    Question: Is there a better way we have not yet used? Another form of government that we have not come up with.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2003 #2
    How would we know?
     
  4. Mar 26, 2003 #3
    Exactly, this is nothing short of pure propoganda and has no place on the philosophy bulletin board. For your information, communism and democracy are not mutually exclusive terms. Fascism is the word you are hunting for, and ignorant statements such as this contribute to the spread of fascism.
     
  5. Mar 27, 2003 #4
    zk4586, i was asking for some ideas in coming up with one, not that there is one and we just don't know it. Sorry, should have made it more clear I suppose.

    wuliheron, where did all that come from? If it doesn't belong on the board then it will be moved, its not your decission. For your information communism, democracy, and anarchy are philosophies so yes they belong on a philosophy forum. And no, I do not mean facism. I said communism, I meant communism. How dare you call my statement ignorant and say that they lead to facism! You don't know me. Propaganda defined by Websters Dictionary is: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause I have no cause here. Only wishing intellegent conversation of new ideas in government. There's no need to viciously attack someones thread like that. You seem to acuse me of having agendas every time we are on the same thread. No one else reads these. Nothing will change and I will not become ruler of the world someday because I wrote something on some forum. If you have nothing intellegent to put forth do not say anything at all. Stop upping the count of your posts by ridiculing every thread I start or post in.
     
  6. Mar 27, 2003 #5
    This is absurd. We have seen communism is the same sense that we have seen democracy. Both have been patterns of human behavior. Communism failed in Russia not because it was battling against human nature but because it was poorly economically managed. Cuba is still in "communism" (again, in the same sense that I can use "democracy') and still better off than it was under American set-up dictatorships before Castro. I am not a communist. I am definitely not a Communist. Our "democracy" is better in most ways than any modern "communism" anyone has seen or thought of (in the industrial world).

    This brings me to my next point: Both Democracy and Communism ideally are forms of anarchy. Anarchy is simply a system of free association. The perfect (but overly idealistic and mystical) example of pure democracy is Locke's natural world populated by natural man. Here government is simply a system of reciprocal trust to protect rights - it is constituted by men who freely associate. In pure Communism the revolution ends and the proletariat shares both in communal resources and political rights. So, anarchy can be seen as simply an idealized liberal government based upon free association. It should be mentioned that "pure democracy" (at least in any Englightenment driven post-Roman philosophical sense) must also have shared resources. Property has to be seperated from from resources. This is because property is created by an individual out of the communally owned "world". If Locke wrote 150 years later, he would have had to stuipulate, like Marx, some type of distribuation of wealth (distribuation of wealth in Marxism is philosophically arrived at to harmonize the dialect of prodoction and the means of production - in order for Locke to keep his core premise of "natural rights" he would have been forced to say the same in an industrial context).

    What does this all mean? Nothing other than you are really, really wrong. Theory is nice but it hardly ever gets one anywhere - this is because there is no nice little box to conceptualize human political and economic interaction. There will always be problems. As a liberal who believes that democracy has the most promise for the future I can only say this: We will never be done. We have no map to go by. All we can do is try to learn more and see what works in certain circumstances. Circumstances will never be the same so solutions will never be the same. Sometimes it takes imagination and experimentation. What we should do (here is the ethnocentric liberalism) is try to expand the benefits we, the lucky few, have recieved (regretably, often times by exploiting others). We have to learn about different types of people we normally wouldn't associate with. Litterature and ethnography are great for this. This does not mean we have to accept or respect what we find, often times we won't and can't. But by creating dialague, by creating conversation, we find the only hope for progress (progress in, I admit, a very ethnocentric context),
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2003
  7. Mar 27, 2003 #6
    There does seems to be this common misconception that communism has actually developed in some countries. If one is talking about true communism, the way Karl Marx envisioned it, then one must concede that no country has ever gotten past the socialist revolution.
     
  8. Mar 27, 2003 #7
    For your information I Live on an Anarchistic Commune which practices Democracy.

    http://www.ic.org/acorn/

    Again, these are not mutually exclusive terms by any stretch of the imagination. Nor are they philosophies, they are lifestyles. There exists a great deal of philosophy that supports each lifestyle, but ideas are not the reality. There is no single philosophy anyone wrote called "democracy" because it is not a philosophy any more than "matriarchy", "patriarchy", "mob rule", etc. are philosophies.

    Sorry, but this thread is personally insulting. I'm not accusing you of having any private agenda here, just of ignorantly regurgitating rather insulting propoganda.

    In general more communistic countries claim that without financial equality democracy is impossible while more capitalistic countries stress the right to vote. They are both correct as far as I am concerned. Without equality democracy is impossible.

    What distinguishes a wild mob from a democratic group is equality and considered decission making. The ancient Athenian motto was, "Strike if you must! But hear me first!" Modern democracies all have constitutional rights to protect the minorities against the majority which can and will take care of itself, sometimes at the expense of the minorities.
     
  9. Mar 27, 2003 #8

    FZ+

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    I would step in and say that what matter is not how well a government fits the amorphous entity of human nature to decide which is better, but how well it fits in with the culture of the nation in which it is conducted. In many early, militaristic civilisations, dictatorships were in fact best, prizing the values of individual strength, stability and vigor that these civilisations found important. There is no one holy "best" way.
     
  10. Mar 27, 2003 #9

    arivero

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    ok, lets speak of it

    I do not like to enter this kind of question because of the propaganda war and all that. But well, lets go. I'll try to get attached to science and physics, by the way :)

    The question of survival of the fittest was addressed by Kropotkin in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution". http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/mutaidcontents.html. One of his motivations to write the book was to counterweight the political use of Evolution Theory. Kropotkin was naturalist and geologist (compare with E. Reclus, another famous anarchist thinker). So he agreed with Darwin from the point of view of Natural Selection, but strongly disagreed with Huxley, Thomas Henry, because of the so-called Social Darwinism, which was interested reinterpretation of the Theory. TH Huxley was indeed the author of the 1888 article "The Struggle for Existence and Its Bearing upon Man".

    Say that, the real papers converting me towards anarchism where the Conquest of Bread, http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/toc.html, (specially chapter 9, http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/conquest/ch9.html) as well as its companion volume, Fields, Factories and WorkShops, http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/fields.html and in a minor way an small booklet titled "Science and Anarchy", http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/science/toc.html.

    These works pointed to the possibility of a model where capital flows without restrictions, increasing productivity over the limits of capitalist models. I sketched this point in my pamphlet "Overproduction goal, or Why property is thief",
    http://www.algonet.se/~rsm/actual/archive/overprod.htm. Also, from the point of view of econophysics, or Physics of Ownership one can interpret Kropotkin's economies as a kind of scale-invariant economy from were capitalism comes as a perturbation, exactly the same way that a first-order transition comes from a second-order transition... if market had a renormalization group, Anarchist economies would be the fixed points from which the renormalized lines outflow.

    Yours,

    Alejandro


    PS: The Cynosure pointers are mirrored in http://ispp.org/Anarchist_Archives/index.html
     
  11. Mar 27, 2003 #10
    wuliheron, I could care less what your response is. Your first post was not warranted and you are not talking on the subject this thread was meant for. You said:
    Hold on, let me go tell the professors in the Humanities department to stop teaching Marx in their philosophy classes lol.
    You also said:
    Then you live in a democratic commune. Most probably you are simplifying the arrangement of authority where you live so I will not argue about where you live since you live there and I do not. However a commune is not a government. It is a commune. ANd this thread is about governments. Most likely your form of authority on this commune would not work with millions or billions. Try going to the hood and telling them "okay, no more cops, we're just going to agree to be equal and work together" BANG!

    FZ, interesting outlook. Don't you think that a change of government can change that culture though?

    zk4586, exactly. I am talking about the philosophy of communism, not the actual misused practice of it. The communism being practiced today and in the past is not the perfect model of communism. Niether is the democracy in America. No government will ever be practiced with perfection because of coruption. The idea of communism is actually a superior form of government than democracy. However the practice of it by humans makes it fall a great deal short of democracy which is created more constructivley for reality.

    RageSk8, of course there is working communism, I did not mean to say that there wasn't. However you do bring up the economic problems of Russia and to be honest Cuba itslef is not a rich country. China is also having problem economicaly. Not that America isn't but come on, obviously we are the richest nation in the world. Capitalism seem to be a better part of the arguement here. China considering capitalism nationwide, much like Hong Kong already practices showed that capitalism is the best working economic status right now. I could see communism working economicly only if the entire world was communist.
     
  12. Mar 27, 2003 #11
    Your original post is promoting social darwinism using capitalism disguised as democracy. If you don't like the fact that I and others are protesting this and offering counter arguments, perhaps your vision of "democracy" doesn't include free speach.

    To govern is to limit or steer as in steer a ship of state. Size is not an issue. Virtually every organization from the red cross to the co-op bakery has their own internal government.

    Maybe where you live in your ivory towers they can be depended for the protection of lilly white heterosexual conservative americans, but not where I live and there are countless millions like me across the US. The increasing popularity of handguns, school shootings, race riots, and rap music among other things provide graphic proof of how highly regarded your cops, laws, state, and federal governments are as protectors and promoters of the peace.

    You can depend upon the cops, but I'll go out and buy a gun of my own before ever calling those pigs again. Been there, done that. My daughter was mollested twice and all the cops did was ask the person who molested her if we were growing pot. Then the person who molested her shot our van full of nine mm holes and, again, nothing from the pigs but trouble. Of course, they also threatened to lock me up if I don't report any future problems.

    My sista Nell just got bit by a rat, and whities on the moon playing golf. They aren't interested in justice or protecting people, that's not what they get paid for no matter what their motto is.

    As for democracy vs communism, I still say the two are not mutually exclusive terms. However, I will admit that no large scale communist government has yet become democratic. However, many democracies have increasingly become more socialistic. Just as laze fare capitalism is no longer viable, neither is communism.

    However, socialism leaning towards communism has proven viable and, in fact, England during WWII is often cited to have been the most communistic country during the last hundred years. When survival is threatened, not to mentional the money and assets of capitalists, they'll cough up the goods and share like good little boys and girls.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2003
  13. Mar 27, 2003 #12
    There are really two different concepts here that must be parsed out. There are systems of GOVERNMENT and systems of ECONOMICS.

    Communism is more a system of government than of economics, and so belongs on the same spectrum with democracy, oligarchy, monarchy, anarchy, etc.

    But Communism is usually thought of as administering an ECONOMIC system of SOCIALISM, which belongs on the spectrum with capitalism. However, it's possible for there to be other combinations of economic and governmental systems than we've seen in application.

    For instance, the communist party is merely a political party, like any other. If we voted in a communist president, and then voted in a bunch of communist laws, we'd have a communistic democracy. What we had in russia was basically a tyrany (tyranical oligarchy that is) enforcing a one-party system, which happened to be the communist party.

    Now, the communists like socialism, or really a variant of it, and it is really more often this ECONOMIC system that people talk about when they bring in the subject of human nature.

    I myself am convinced that capitalism is not only superior to socialism in the sense of practicality, but also morally superior to it. Those who would advocate a socialistic democracy do not realize that the ability to own property it intrinsically linked to liberty. Socialism therefore inevitably leads to corruption and state-dominated systems of oppression.

    It's true that Marx's version of communism has never been realized - and that is because it can only take place in a fantasy world, where human motivation is completely ignored. Therefore, Ishop is onto a real point when he brings up "human nature" although some of our definitions and categories may be a little unclear.

    Capitalism may not be perfect, and it may require a "plugging up" of its holes, such as help for the needy, equal education opportunities, minimum wages, and basic medical care for all). Nevertheless, it IS a far cry better than socialism - An ideology (and YES - both a philosophy and a lifestyle) which denies basic human motivation and the ethical imperative of ownership and reward for work.
     
  14. Mar 27, 2003 #13
    If communism is a form of government than capitalism and socialism are also forms of government. Money and ownership are no doubt central issues any government must deal with, but bottom line what distinguishes different types of government is how the government itself is organized and functions.

    As for the superiority of capitalism over socialism, you couldn't tell that from studying the demographics. The US, that bastion of capitalism, has consistently refused to sign any of the UN human rights charters for over thirty years now. Both Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch groups are actively campaining against the US. Among other things, some eighty or ninty percent of all children in the US live around the poverty line.

    You can, of course, call these merely "cracks" in the system, but they are systemic cracks involving large percentages of the population. Less capitalistic and more democratic governments exist that do not have these kinds of systemic problems. I'll take results over moral superiority any day of the week.
     
  15. Mar 27, 2003 #14
    wuliheron said:
    What "High Times" magazine did you get that from? LOL.
    No its not. It's not promoting anything, just asking for new ideas in government. If you have a problem with my ideas on government then respond like an intellegent adult. Not like:
    Why am I reminded of high school kids?

    Your personal experiences with police have no bearing on the subject of government. Your views are extreme and I seriously doubt your numbers are in the "countless millions". Show me a million man anarchist walk and I'll agree lol. I'm tired of listening to these childish remarks. You do nothing but pick arguements with anyone you can. People either ignore you or you kill any chance of real thought with your useless and unwarranted bickering. You damage these boards more than anyone else. I'm tired of dealing with idiots like yourself. I'm finished with this board.

    PS: Maybe you could count on police for your families protection better if you didn't choose to live in a anarchist commune. Why did you call the police if you live in an anarchist commune? Seems hypocritical. Don't bother answering. I'm deleting the link to here. Dealing with you only lowers everyones IQ and NO ONE agrees with you.
     
  16. Mar 27, 2003 #15
    Laugh all you want, that particular figure comes from Utne magazine, the largest and most respected alternative publication in the US. If you like, here is a website dedicated to collecting such statistics. The US consistently has had two and three times the childhood poverty rates of any modern western nation.

    http://www.nccp.org/main4.html

    The figures are dismal and have always been dismal. The richest country in the world has the worst human rights record for children of any country in the developed world and refuses to sign the UN charter for children's human rights. One in three girls is molested, one in five boys. One quarter of all women are raped and one third of all rapes involve children under 11 years old.

    I maintain it is ignorant regurgitation of right wing capitalist propoganda with serious darwinian socialism overtones.

    Oh, so I should be making derogatory remarks about your sources such as referring to them as "High Times" magazine and laughing about the plight of children. Much more mature.


    What ivory tower were you hiding in during the Rodney King riots. Million man marches are not the only way to protest. Columbine and other forms of protest have become more popular since the love-in days of the sixties. The politicians and majority have clearly demonstrated since Reagan was elected they couldn't care less, so people are taking matters into their own hands when desperation sets in.

    What comes around goes around. Call it extreme if you want, but it is the majority and the politicians who have created this extreme situation. If they hadn't spent a ton of money creating the largest prison population in history it'd be even worse.
     
  17. Mar 27, 2003 #16
    Seems we have a breakdown in definitions here. I'd like to take the time to point out that capitalism is NOT A FORM OF GOVERNMENT, it is an economic system.

    From Dictionary.com:

    Communism is both:

    And socialism, in a way:

    Democracy is split up into several definitions:

    And:

    A common mistake is to consider the United States of America as a democracy rather than a republic.

    The United States of America were originally designed to follow definition 2a of a republic. People forget this.

    That aside, one must determine the proper role of a government before they can decide the ideal form of same. So, what do you want your government to do? I expect my government to respect and protect my rights and the rights of others. I expect my government to deal with foreign nations in such a way as to serve to protect and respect my rights and the rights of my fellow citizens. I expect my government to protect my interests and the interests of my fellow citizens - preemtively when possible, vengefully if necessary - through whatever means are appropriate - preferrably diplomatic, but by force if necessary. While the republic that stands in the United States is not perfect, it does an acceptable job at performing these tasks to suit my tastes, though I do not argue that it has its flaws.

    I do not expect my government to provide charity to those who are too lazy to work. I will tolerate my government supporting those who are unable to work. I do not expect my government to deal with foreign nations who deny people their rights with the same degree of diplomacy as they would a nation who protects and respects the rights of their own citizens. I expect my government to recognize my sovereignty and to not try to forfeit it to some foreign body.

    Last, but not least, I expect my government to leave me alone when it comes to matters that do not concern them. If my actions do not interfere with the rights of others, then my actions do not concern them. But then, that's just me. What do you want from your government?

    PS. >Sorry my post is so long, just had to get that off my chest.<
     
  18. Mar 27, 2003 #17
    Just as the Soviet Union regulated its economy, the US regulates its economy. With a rather complex system I might add in which one quarter of the population's income goes to the federal government. Although the Soviet Union theoretically owned everything, that just wasn't the reality. Half their economy was the black market and individuals still had to buy their own washers and dryers, etc.

    Thus, such dictionary definitions of communism as a form of government are meaningless propoganda to me. They simply do not reflect the reality of what we call communism much less capitalism.

    As for socialism, that definition is yet another gross oversimplification of the reality as well. There are literally hundreds of definitions of socialism, but essentially they break down to the idea of property being owned and regulated for the public good rather than just for the necessity of the government to continue functioning. Most socialist countries just own the more basic economic engines of their economies such as the chemical industries, power, etc.

    The US government owned and operated the postal service for the common good, but could easily make a case it is not a socialist country because it only did so out of necessity. Eventually it did actually farm that particular business out to private business, but notably it still owns such things as the national park system in the name of the public good. And, yes, the US is a republic, but it is a representative democratic republic. We elect officals who elect and appoint other officals.

    I hope that isn't too confusing, but that's politics. I'm no political expert, but I do know enough to recognize gross over simplifications and political rhetoric.
     
  19. Mar 28, 2003 #18
    The United States are hardly perfect, far from it, in fact. That said, I cannot think of another governmental system that has been tried that I would prefer to live under. That is not the point of the original poster's question, though. The question was: "can we think of a better form of government than any that has been tried?".

    I've already given a list of what I expect from my government, so find me one that can do that. That would be better than what the United States currently have. Until then, while the US government isn't perfect, it's close enough for jazz.
     
  20. Mar 28, 2003 #19

    drag

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    Greetings !
    This is superb Ishop !

    Your first paragraph is extremely accurate
    and your question is something I've often wodered
    about but never found an alternative (so far).
    I think this is a very important and intresting
    subject to discuss.

    You're central paragraph is also very general but
    accurate nevertheless. I'd like to though, if I may,
    offer a small change in the sentence - "Democracy...
    is compatable with human nature." What you say after
    that already shows this not to be the case.
    A more appropriate claim would probably be -
    "Democracy... is the best currently known
    way to allow a large human society to
    exist and prosper despite human nature."

    So, any ideas people ?

    Live long and prosper.
     
  21. Mar 28, 2003 #20

    drag

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    Greetings !

    I can think of "limmited" democracies like
    vote and rule rights for military/high education
    people, but they all seem to lead to
    disadvantages like uneven rule.

    Maybe increasing the vote age a bit.
    Or, maybe choosing presidents for
    shorter/longer periods.

    Any other ideas ?

    Live long and prosper.
     
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