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Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Capitalism, What are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Joij21, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I don't think that's true. Now, any 'pure' communist believer still runs the risk of their nation taxing them or conscripting them for an invasion, but communist systems have to act outside of their borders, it seems. They're motivated to foment communism outside their borders, they need to destabilize nations that will act as vassal states of their enemies. If they didn't have to, they wouldn't.
    This isn't entirely true, except when workers try to take the means of production from an existing owner. We live in a world where a lot of new wealth is being created. There's basically nothing that says that a team cannot form a cooperative and go on to thrive as a sub-entity in a partially capitalist society.

    There's an aside there, since there are a host of people with great ideas who then don't use the property-granting apparatus that the State allows them, and then they fail to patent or just give away their intellectual property for free. Research databases are chock-full of great science that's just free for the taking, and the people generating that science are only doing it for the benefit of its creation
     
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  2. Aleksey_aka_al

    Aleksey_aka_al Smiley

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    Examples, please.
     
  3. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Of times when communist nations put troops or sanctions outside of their borders? I don't know if I see the point, there are so many. You must be thinking of some other point you're trying to make, that I am not seeing.
     
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  4. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Except the logic of monopoly economics. In a practical sense we do observe teams forming cooperatives and being successful in this pursuit; in another practical sense we see how a dynamic, free market economy between many roughly-equal entities seems to highlight the best and most productive enterprises. However, in an even more practical sense, we observe that the tendency is for smaller enterprises to be absorbed or defeated by larger enterprises, which wield lower margins and larger volumes to devastating effect. The lots of new wealth being created is funneled more in one direction than another.

    But as I said we do see that cooperatives can compete. The trouble is that these cooperatives are not actually a counter-indication of capitalism: on the contrary, they are capitalist enterprises of their own, albeit with a different charge of ownership. The reason is because even some hypothetical "cooperative ownership" is, in this context, still private: its ownership of the business, private; the leverage it must take on to acquire operating capital, also private. Within the framework of the larger system, especially the larger financial system, this cooperative is not distinct from any corporation, big or small, most of which through history have actually had dozens if not hundreds or thousands of owners.

    Arguably it is not exploitative, but within this point we find a sort of contradiction: the cooperative may not be exploitative, but the capitalist conditions under which it is forced to compete serve to exploit the entire cooperative. In a sense this is also the case with every small business forced to compete with larger ones; with every locality overtaken by a regionality; with every weak nation conquered by an advanced nation. The logic of capitalism ultimately beggars all to the hierarchy of capital.

    So if we are to ask whether socialism can demonstrate itself and the success of its methods apart from capitalism, we must also stipulate that being a sub-entity in, say, capitalist society, will only prove whether these methods can succeed as capitalist methods. As socialist methods, they would require the support of a structure parallel to and independent from capitalism entirely. In the classical sense we say this structure comes from the people, and is made inevitable by the people being forced to support themselves and each other in the dried-up wells left by capitalism.

    In all we can summarize this point like this: Free clinics are seldom profitable, but they are objectively more effective than no clinics at all.

    We've commented on the tendency for the same ownership class to also accumulate people's intellectual contributions, their intellectual "property," through the apparatus that makes invention possible. Abstractly anyone can create an invention and patent it; realistically, capital investment is necessary to realize such a patent, even the most elementary design, except in the rare cases where the research for a patent is paid for out of the researcher's own pocket. Thus the inventor, even under capitalism, must compromise some part of the ownership of "their" invention.

    Under socialism, at least, we can imagine two things might be different: 1. Would-be inventors have all the time and security of life to invent as they wish, increasing to full time for many whose passion for inventing compels them to invent, and; 2. Public committees would determine which inventions and engineering projects to foster, not private capitalists.
     
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  5. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    You were in academia, yeah? We tend to have a mix-and-match of patenting. I worked in biosci, so we'd regularly patent some application just as it was showing success. The university would provide resources, looking to farm out the technology and we'd look for buyers. Now, the underlying technicians involved in the research inevitably didn't get included on patents, so obviously it was exploitative. But that 'patent' system is a nifty workaround, where the actual researcher can get paid for the fruits of their work. But this wouldn't automatically happen in a corporate settiing, unless it was built into the incentive structure.

    You're right that in the long-run game of capitalistic monopoly, even a socialist co-op would eventually start to death. None of us live in purely capitalistic societies, and it's extremely unlikely that any of us ever will. I was reading that into REDY's question, asking why it couldn't happen in a 'liberal capitalist' society and assuming that meant once with some type of counter-balance to the monopoly pathway.
     
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  6. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Yeah, and I agree under university research you have a good incentive structure for that research and development. You do expect a university to take a bit of a patent for themselves but that's the nature of the arrangement. Even so, the patent system is just as good at rewarding researchers as it is at rewarding large corporations' ownership and development of trade secrets.
     
  7. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    So how does a socialist nation increase prosperity over time?
     
  8. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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  9. stinkubus

    stinkubus Emperor

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    The nations we call "socialist" really just have reasonably generous social safety nets. Egalitarianism as the principle focus of social policy always leads to superior growth as opposed to the alternatives. Since the alternatives almost always require some segment of the population to spend their formative years in deprivation it should be obvious why this is a drag on growth as these persons (and this is not meant in a cruel or demeaning way) will almost out of necessity be at an enormous disadvantage in competitive labor markets and will frequently have no choice but to drop out for lack of skills, transportation, etc.

    Workers are not any closer to the means of production in any of these nations. Workers are not close to the means of production in any globally relevant economy by my reckoning. "Socialism" is more or less a boogey-man almost always used as a term to undermine support for welfare-state measures and the behavior of both our owna nd foreign governments to totalitarian practices.
     
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  10. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Yes collectively. How does a growing population increase prosperity (put more money in everyone's pocket)? How does doing new things do that?
     
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  11. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    How does egalitarianism led to growth? What is your measure of growth?
     
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  12. amadeus

    amadeus The Choice of a New Generation

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    Would you care to provide an example and expand on how you are defining egalitarianism? My question here is for two reasons: the first is that I’m not sure I agree with the premise, and if I did, I’m not sure that it would necessarily work.
     
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  13. stinkubus

    stinkubus Emperor

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    Egalitarianism leads to growth because the poor's marginal propensity to consume is higher than that of those better off and the multiplier effect. My measure of growth would be the annual percentage increase (or decline) of gross domestic product. This data is easily available for the entire globe. Multiple entities release their findings to the public.

    This is basic Keynesian macro. It is completely uncontroversial. The people who pay for the propaganda which claims otherwise know this.

    Even the most "capitalist" economies on Earth have redistribution policies and pursue expansionary policy when needed to prop up the economy. The only real question is who gets the lion's share of that money and what the after effects are of that choice.
     
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  14. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    OK. GDP is a fine measure. If in your socialist nation, you have made the formerly poor better off, then you have reduced the overall propensity to consume (your words). If you reduce consumption, you reduce GDP. We have seen that dramatically in the past few months. What am I missing? I don't see growth.

    What multiplier are you talking about?
     
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  15. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    What do you mean? Society advances, new goods appear, people get them, people benefit from them, thus they prosper. Once you have reached a certain level of industrial development all improvements become marginal: you just need a house or a place to stay, good food, some luxuries, and leisure. Throw in decent public services like health, transportation, sanitation, electricity, and all the other accoutrements of industrial civilization and people are doing quite well. If you aren't providing the population with these things your "growth" is meaningless and actually just reflects an increase in a small elite's personal wealth.
     
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  16. Aleksey_aka_al

    Aleksey_aka_al Smiley

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    Whose prosperity?
     
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  17. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

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    I'm (and I'm suspecting others in the thread) are having trouble answering this question because like, you're asking how people will do something they've always done under a set of circumstances that shouldn't change that. Its like asking "How are people going to breath under Socialism?". They just...will?

    This isn't a gotcha question that I'm about to ask, I am honestly trying to understand what you are asking and I think that your answer to this question will illuminate what you are trying to say.

    How does a Capitalist nation increase prosperity over time?
     
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  18. NinjaCow64

    NinjaCow64 Thought Bubble Thinker Supporter

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    Generally I find critique of "Capitalism in practice" more interesting than critique of "Capitalism in theory". Because it never pans out like people think.

    The problem is that in even in Capitalists states with strong safeguards against the worst excesses of Capitalism, there are perverse incentives to dismantle these systems for further profit. If a corporation bribes (or "lobbies" or whatever word to use for it that makes it legal) a group of politicians $900,000 to reduce the corporation's taxes by $1,000,000, then that's $100,000 profit. Liberal institutions that protect people from the worst excesses of Capitalism were built up to stop people from rising up. But history has shown that time and time again that Capitalists will seek to dismantle these institutions and regulations as soon as they think they can get away with it. And it never ends well for the people those institutions were trying to protect.
     
  19. bobbobbybobbob

    bobbobbybobbob Chieftain

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    It's all ****.
     
  20. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    GDP is far from a perfect measure because all it measure is the value of all services and goods in the country. If two countries create the same product but one it is 10 times more expensive, the goods will increase the GDP of expensive country by 10 times as much as the less expensive country. This mean for example Soviet union who had low GDP per capita was not all that far behind western countries and probably ahead in certain areas given its superpower status.

    Obviously real GDP tries to solve that problem by adjusting for inflation but inflation is more complex than a single value. The GDP and GDP per capita of rich countries should probably be taken with a grain of salt. It is probably better to look at CO2 pollution, life expectancy, happiness index, HDI and so on when comparing effectiveness and life quality of the rich countries.
     
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