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

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

  1. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    The "capitalist" economies are constituted by economic planning as much as the "socialist" ones. The issue with planning of any kind is that it requires political freedom, including, crucially, freedom of speech, to ensure accurate information from which to plan, and accurate feedback as to the results of plans.

    In the capitalist countries, the vast majority of information that must be known to plan the economy is proprietary, ie, secret as far as the public is concerned. And the institutions which are most concerned with planning are banks. In theory banks are supposed to finance the capital development of the economy. They mostly do and it is this function which constitutes most of the ground-level economic planning in capitalist countries, as bankers are basically (again, in theory) engaged in a constant exercise of reading the future to determine where to put money most profitably.

    The finance bubble in the 2000s could be seen as a failure of planning in this respect. The ability of the planners (banks) to gather and respond to accurate information and feedback was crippled by the fact that the people running the banks were criminals.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  2. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    Broadly speaking yes.

    When it comes to food production band distribution it's lots of little dogs really. Someone knows how to grow it, they send it to a warehouse from there it goes to the supermarket distribution centers. Some deliver directly to the supermarket from the factory or even farm.

    That's the "invisible hand" government's don't really get it. Any attempt to directly interfer tends to F it up.

    Note they should regulate and tax things. Most bureaucrats don't know what's involved to grow said food let alone distribute it.

    I've worked in the farm, line, warehouse and serving the customer but have no clue for example at running a DC or driving a forklift etc.
     
  3. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    But heaven forbid somebody make a generalised, yet negative, assumption about a different demographic :D
     
  4. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    In USSR, the state provided supplies and issued demands :)
     
  5. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    this reads like you're having a stroke while writing it
     
  6. Zardnaar

    Zardnaar Deity

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    In a hurry on the phone derp. My bad.
     
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  7. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    No need to apologize, I figured this was the phone at fault. Happens to me all the time, which is why I never write e-mails, forum posts, or anything longer than a short text with my phone :D
     
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  8. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

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    I've started to write on the phone a lot and the result is that even my pc texts turn into word salad.
     
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  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Your disagreement is with Owen, not with the people who notice the discrepancy
     
  10. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Either that or they are arguing in bad faith all along, like the example below:

    A rather ironic thing is I find it impossible to discuss Marxist ideas with people with poor knowledge of economics. To think people often assume the opposite.
     
  11. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Does it, though? All socialism stipulates is that the people making the decisions be electable and accountable to the public good. You may as well say “Odd, you say you want to do away with kings, yet you have elected a head of government.”

    I don’t think it underperformed. There was a period of time in the end where the economy went bad but for the most part Soviets lived well off of the industrial base laid down in the 30’s. The west was much more developed in that time. Ultimately the Soviet industrial base, entirely created under socialism, crushed the deflated, capitalist, smash-and-grab German one.

    We could maybe compare the USSR to countries in similar positions, like Japan or South Korea or China or India or various nations in Southeast Asia. A different picture sort of begins to emerge in terms of policy and development. I know you are a big fan of Japan. But you also think MITI was irrelevant and the government policy was pointless because a bureaucrat was wrong about microchips one time? So I think you may have a somewhat rosy and naïve view of the Japanese postwar boom.

    Cuba is also prevented from trading by an imperialist hegemony that breathes down its neck. If some Cubans forsake Cuba to try to “make it big” in America I guess you’d call that the siren’s call of opportunity. America is a wealthy place and anywhere there is wealth there’s some hope you can trade up. By this what is meant is becoming powerful enough to own your own slaves. In reality it’s a honey trap and most of them will end up wallowing in debt and scraping by. Meanwhile their government will continue torturing political prisoners in secret offshore jails and sending millions to slave labor camps and spreading propaganda about how much better it is to live in America.

    As a random person in the world, do you do more good paying the US state department their war tax, or teaching children in the forcibly isolated country of Cuba?

    As a side note I find it somewhat telling you didn’t say “teacher in America” as though you didn’t want to draw attention they are being sent to die in droves in a pandemic by their capitalist masters. Hell even the cashiers are.

    Not familiar with the FBI?

    It’s the scientific basis of socialism. In its latter modes capitalism cannibalizes the gains it’s made and destroys the productive forces it once cultivated. More or less that is America today.

    As for the means to achieve them, that is why people read Lenin.

    Shall we count tiddlywinks? You can point out famine in the Ukraine, I’ll point it out in Bengal, you’ll point out the liquidation of the kulaks, I’ll point out the Belgian Congo, you’ll point out Stalinism, I’ll point out slavery, it’ll be great.
     
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  12. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Well, there's a question. How was World War II Germany more capitalist than the Soviet Union? And was it capitalist enough to call it capitalist?
     
  13. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    Industry remained in private hands.
    There was state direction to ensure German industry (not particularly efficient) served the war machine but this was true of Allied nations once the war started too.
     
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  14. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    That doesn't actually explain anything. How many State Committees will you need? Do they have regional production authority or national authority by industry? Can anyone be on the committee? Currently, clothing companies struggle with how many of each size, style and pattern/color to make. And that is for a single line by a single company. How in the world is a committee going to make the decisions for a nation? The past tells us that when State committees produce clothing, they go with few or no sizing and few or no design choices. Uniforms.
     
  15. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    It has already been explained to you, in another threat, that this is false. Which makes you repeating it here a liar. The USSR was usually a net exporter of food. Only in some years, or for some products, did it had to import. And as everyone knows, agriculture is not deterministic, there are good and bad years, good and bad places for each crop. What they lacked, they traded for, same as any other country, capitalist or communist. Every nation trades. But you keep harping about the USSR "not feeding itself", that a strawman. You're arguing in bad faith.

    If you want countries that consistently are unable to feed themselves, I can name a few. All capitalist. England for a start, it doesn't have a huge area but the land it does have is very productive. They simply will rather let much of it be part of underutilized large estates, or parkland, rather that do intensive agriculture. It's an option they have because they can trade for food.

    And if you want an example contemporaneous to some of the USSR real problems with food, there's the US during the great depression era. The great plains were simply destroyed, the largest dust storms ever recorded took away the land itself. Millions were forced to migrate internally else they'd starve, because they had been farming too much on marginal lands. Some probably did but fell through the statistics. And the eventual "solution" to this problem was an expedient or resorting to fossil aquifers, that will some day, probably close now, be exhausted.
    Agricultural mismanagement does not seem to be an exclusive of any political system.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  16. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    For discussion Marx, maybe, but much of this thread has been about socialism and how it might actually be implemented.
     
  17. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    That seems like a super-low burden to call it 'capitalist'. Couldn't we use a different heuristic and not call 'WWII fascist Germany' a 'capitalist' system, as if it's binary?

    How different would it be compared to something that we have pseudo-socialised, like the NHS or the military? The NHS delivers reasonable care, but does so within the framework of a pseudo-capitalist society. Not so sure how many industries can be ported over to the same system.
     
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  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Certainly the military is a "socialist" system in that it is government run. It's very limited purpose helps it stay on task, but it is certainly not exempt from mismanagement, wasteful spending and taking on useless projects. I'm all for government run healthcare. I do not know how well NHS serves its customers. Medicare does a pretty good job in spite of both waste and fraud. Both Medicare and the Military rely on private companies to provide most of their innovation and progress and to supply them with the things they need.
     
  19. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    Why? Capitalist is capitalist is capitalist.
     
  20. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    It was definitely capitalist. It's a lot to go into but there was basically nothing socialist about the "National Socialist" program; even the social programs (what few there were) were no more radical than bourgeois welfare. The short of it is that the Nazi economy was a smash-and-grab operation led by the remaining Junkers and the business elites who allied themselves with the Nazis. The groups meshed rather nicely and you had Nazis who became rich and rich men who became Nazis.

    One of the misconceptions is the government oversaw the war production. Three things. Firstly, this effort as we know it did not really begin in earnest until 1942, when Speer became Minister of Armaments. Secondly, the actual effects of this phase are controversial: before Speer, Fritz Todt had overseen the war production effort. The track Todt had placed them on was mostly support: providing slave labor to industry, doing public works like the Autobahn, and overseeing big-ticket research projects like von Braun's rockets. They also did work in the conquered territories e.g. building railroads. Armaments production was on the rise before Todt died in a plane crash, and though Speer made a lot of hay about the "miracle" (which lasted less than a year) he was also known to be ambitious by everyone around him, so the actual mileage of the policy and the results he took credit for may vary. This is not just my opinion: this is a matter of considerable interest in analyzing the Nazi history and the myths of the "super efficient" Nazi economy.

    Third, even during this enterprise of expanding direct control over the armaments production, large sections of German industry still remained in private hands. The most famous example of this is I.G. Farben, which created the Zyklon B.

    At least if we are discussing government ownership of the economy, the Nazis came nowhere close the Soviets nor even the Italian fascists. And Italy and the Soviet Union were managed very differently and arose through much different conditions; a conversation for another time.

    It sounds like you've already got answers for a lot of these.

    Here's why I don't understand why you're hung up on this: Committees already make all of these decisions: they make them privately, and for the purpose of earning profits. Other than that the decision process is exactly the same. How many shirts do we make? This is a decision undertaken by many a factory owner in history. The only difference is that under capitalism, the profits (and, to be fair, the risk) are also privatized. But the essential logic of overseeing production is changed not one whit.

    So all that is necessary is to gain access to information about who needs what. And I know I've told you about my view for this before. You could have a supply-and-demand system, a controlled currency system, where enterprise and its profits are publicly arranged and managed by public servants. I can't explain it beyond that without charging you some money to sign up for my business management class ;).

    The only difference is the lack of the so-called "profit motive," of private profit, but I do not believe the profit motive alone can account for people doing work. Indeed, most work that has ever been done has been done with the promise of the smallest amount of profit: the merest privilege to live. I see no reason why foremen and managers can't work for workers' wages. I assure you even if I was being paid the same as a "lowly" worker I'd rather be sitting at a desk tabulating spreadsheets than carrying around I-beams, so there's clearly an incentive to do well.
     
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