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Communism

  1. Mar 7, 2005 #1
    "To give what one can give, to be given what one requires" that is the basic tenant of communism. Why do people think this is an evil institution? The communist manifesto maybe?

    commune/sharing/give onto others and you would like them to give onto you?
     
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  3. Mar 7, 2005 #2

    Integral

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    The ideals of communism are not bad, it is the implementation that suxs. Unfortunately the ideals of communism seem to neglect human nature, so it may be impossible to find an implementation that works.
     
  4. Mar 7, 2005 #3

    loseyourname

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    Communism is inherently unfair and it rewards lack of accomplishment by bringing every person down to the same level.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    I think it falls apart at the "to give what one can give" side of things.
     
  6. Mar 7, 2005 #5

    russ_watters

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    Both sides are unfair, Moonbear:
    If you give someone what they "require" without them earning it, is that really good for society? That teaches people that regardless of how badly they screw up, they'll always get a freebie. If you reward failure (and punish for success as below), people will not ever attempt to succeed.

    The other side is more obvious: If you take from people who earn more, what incentive do they have to try to earn more?

    Communism rewards mediocrity. (failure, even)

    One need only a brief stay in a former communist country to understand. You can't escape the stifiling stench of government subsidized mediocrity.
     
  7. Mar 7, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    I guess I see both parts of the argument as still falling apart at not giving what you can give. That's what makes it inequitable. If one person is the only one doing any work and giving handouts to everyone else who is doing nothing, those who are doing nothing aren't giving all they can give. And, likewise, who decides what it is you have to give? Are you really giving all you can give, or just giving what you're willing to part with, or doesn't cause you too much trouble to provide?

    Well, it really does spin into an out of control cycle, where people are rewarded for being lazy, then those who are working hard realize this and choose to be lazy too, so nobody can get what they need, so don't bother putting in any effort if they're not getting anything out of the system, etc.

    I'm actually not arguing against your points, I just failed to elaborate in my first post, so have done so now.
     
  8. Mar 7, 2005 #7
    Look at Chinese "Communism".

    Actually, it's not really communism is it?
     
  9. Mar 7, 2005 #8
    how about "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need"?

    there was a poll done where a majority of americans thought that statement was in the US constitution somewhere, but really it's something marx wrote. basically it says people shouldn't be forced to do more work than they can handle comfortably, and that people should take/use only what they need, in order to save some for others.

    re: "human nature" here's a response from left-wing guru chomsky in his interview with tom morello:
     
  10. Mar 7, 2005 #9

    loseyourname

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    In the rare circumstance that a person is completely incapable of doing the work necessary to provide for himself, he has family to help him out, as Chomsky adroitly noted below. In the rarer still circumstance that he has no family, we do have safety nets. As long as these aren't abused, so be it.

    The idea that people should take/use only what they need in order to save some for others is inherently unfair, as has been pointed out. Humans have wants in addition to their needs, and when they work hard to fill these wants, they deserve to be able to fill them. They don't deserve to have to sacrifice in order to make up for the lack of work done by someone else.

    Chomsky displays a glaring ignorance of the origins of human behavior in that little snippet there. Of course humans are cooperative within their own family. Any social animal is, as doing so will promote the propogation of one's own genes. Once you get beyond family, the feeling dies quickly, and it should be rather obvious to anyone that has observed any human behavior whatsoever that most people are not going to be willing to just voluntarily give up whatever they don't absolutely need to help a complete stranger that has done little to demonstrate that he deserves that help. Cooperative behavior within a community and sacrifice of any luxury to the good of an entire state system are two completely different things. The latter is found absolutely nowhere in nature.

    Since when do guitarists conduct interviews?
     
  11. Mar 8, 2005 #10
    Then why are there so many homeless, especially families?

    So are you opposed to all forms of social welfare? I though t you just said you weren't opposed to these "safety nets".

    So I suppose we should believe your little snippet instead of Chomsky's.

    Yeah, no one would do anything like put their nation ahead of familiy, or volunteer to fight in a war occuring in a distant place. Ain't gonna happen. Oh wait...

    There are several counterexamples to this, which should be apparent to anyone who has studied history. Males aged 18-35 have often been asked to sacrifice their safety, much less their luxuries, for the "good of the state". Some have even volunteered.

    Probably for as long as rock guitarists have been going to Harvard :-)
     
  12. Mar 8, 2005 #11

    loseyourname

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    For one, the existing safety nets aren't good enough. Offering people money when what they really need is mental healthcare and job training isn't going to do the trick.

    When did I say that I was opposed to all forms of social welfare?

    I'm no expert, but I've certainly studied as much behavioral biology as the average linguist.

    Getting people caught up in the often mythical notion that they are fighting heroicly for something bigger than themselves is a little different than working your ass off only to give away half your check to someone working half as hard, no?

    I wasn't aware that a degree in Social Sciences qualified one as a journalist. Then again, it's hard to see what exactly "qualifies" a person as a journalist.
     
  13. Mar 8, 2005 #12

    russ_watters

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    Ya know, ignorance just plain doesn't cut it anymore. Chomsky is smart enough (and I'm getting tired of people telling me how good a writer he is - as if that has any effect on how good his ideas are :rolleyes: ) to know the flaws in his ideas. I'm sure everyone who has ever disagreed with him has pointed them out - they are the same obvious flaws that have been well understood since soon after Marx did his work. Choosing to ignore and/or mislead about these flaws just makes Chomsky appear dishonest. I'm not a big fan.
    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: I keep forgetting Chomsky is a linguist. He's not even a real political scientist. Are people simply blinded by his writing skill? Is that why people continue to pay attention? Don't people see the danger (and rediculousness) in following someone just because he's charismatic and well spoken?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  14. Mar 8, 2005 #13
    here's chomsky's response to that:
     
  15. Mar 8, 2005 #14
    If Chomsky is right about human nature and communisim, how come it keeps failing? It's like aether, it ought to be there, but it ain't.
     
  16. Mar 8, 2005 #15
    :rofl: Great Post.
     
  17. Mar 8, 2005 #16
    Foolishness, Communism doesn't keep failing. It's never been tried in the first place, so it couldn't have failed could it!

    Or if you insist that it has and is being tried, are you not aware that china is considered a rising superpower and it could possibly eclipse or surpass US power?

    Perhapse you believe that Communism has been tried but China isn't one of the states that is Communist? Perhapse you need to examine history a little closer and re-read some of the works about communism in the first place, such as the communist manifesto for example. Communism is not a form of government, it is not a kind of state or a different structure for ruling order, it is the end result of a long process that keeps getting interupted by the upper classes afraid they're not going to be better off than everyone else one of these days.
     
  18. Mar 8, 2005 #17
    Maybe we should all shut up about this then untill we get our masters in political science yes? We all should be ashamed for having opinions in the first place when we havn't even been given a peice of paper by a recognised reeducation establishment endorsed by the state for the state... Hey, would that include you by any chance?
     
  19. Mar 8, 2005 #18
    You contradicted yourself several times in this post. So communisim has been successfully implemented? Where? It keeps getting interrupted because of human nature. In other words it fails.
     
  20. Mar 8, 2005 #19

    russ_watters

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    Interesting response, but he disproves his own point: "Mathematical linguistics" would appear to be right up his alley. He's not making speechs about Relativity or dark matter. If he were, those physicists and mathematicians would damn-sure care about his expertise on the subject. His characterization of the openness is quite simply wrong (consider some current discussions in the Relativity forum on the importance of credentials and working within the scientific mainstream).

    Remember, people are citing him as an expert, so he'd better be one. Otherwise, citing him is a double-edged sword (at best): he's not an expert and neither am I, so therefore, my opinion is just as valid as his is. Therefore, citing him in a discussion does not help your argument - there is no reason why he should be right and I should be wrong.
    I'm not sure if that's sarcasm, but if it is, I agree. While Chomsky's writing style is good, his arguments are just awful and that should be easy to see to anyone who isn't blinded by his eloquence. I'll say it again, more forcefully:

    He's a hack. A fraud.
    That is the common cop-out, but it quite simply isn't true (and we've had this discussion recently in the politics forum). It has been tried, most noteably by Lenin, but the problem is that conspicuously absent from Marx's theory is a method for and structure of a communist government. Therefore, it is left to people like Lenin and Stalin and Mao, and Ho to do their best to turn Marx's underdeveloped vision into a real system of government. And try as they might, they could not get it to function stable-ly.
    I'm not sure what you mean - are you now saying that China is communist? Aren't you arguing against yourself (Artman noted other contradictions...)?

    In fact, China has been attempting comunism for decades. And it doesn't work. In the past 10 years, China has made vast reforms away from communism, which are responsible for its current level of growth. Yes, China is another good example of the failure of communism and the triumph of capitalism.
    Its been a while, but I have read it.
    See above: that is the key structural flaw in Marx's work: he didn't make a theory that could easily be applied to a real government.

    Combine that with the theoretical flaw that it doesn't take into account human nature, and that's a big, big problem. It shouldn't be at all surprising that despite the dozens of countries that have identified themselves as communist, none have succeeded in realizing Marx's vision.

    edit: and with these two major flaws, it makes me wonder about Marx's credentials too. Its tough to see how he could miss them.
    You utterly misunderstand the issue. I made a post on this very subject last night, but I'll explain it again:

    A professor of mine (poly sci, as a matter of fact) once told my class that we were not allowed to have an original thought in his class and your first original thought could be expressed in your phd thesis. Imagine that!?!? Well here's what that means for those who feel like they just got slapped: it means that until you have studied a subject (any subject) for 8 years or so, you don't know enough about it to be an expert and as a result, you don't have the knowledge necessary to form new conclusions.
    Of course! When have I ever claimed otherwise? In fact, if there is anything you should notice about my posts, its that when I make a new/unusual argument, I cite the source. In politics, it is, admittedly, more difficult since everyone thinks they are an expert (ie, Chomsky), but it is no different than the demands we make in the Relativity forum that arguments be supported with citations from certifiable experts.

    Now, I do, occasionally have an original (I think) thought. But I'll quite openly admit that I don't have the expertise to vouch for their veracity. When I cite Locke, that's an expert opinon and should be taken as such. When I argue, as I did recently, that Stalin was a faithful Marxist, that's a product of my own head and you can take it or leave it.

    I think a lot of people are afraid of their own ignorance. I'm not really sure why - no one can be an expert at everything. I quite freely admit that my half-dozen political science classes don't qualify me as an expert on the subject and I would never suggest that I was qualified to write a book or make speeches on the subject. I don't know why Chomsky is so arrogant to think he's different.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2005
  21. Mar 8, 2005 #20
    Political opinions are vastly unlike scientific opinions in that politics is not a science. Common sense, independent reasoning is sufficient for political opinions, since they deal with common sense situations. There is no need for groupthink.
     
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