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Communism

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Communism - the only hope for humanity or a big bag of bollocks?

Yes
42
36%
No
48
41%
I'm not sure
15
13%
If i'm honest i don't really know what it is
12
10%
 
Total votes : 117

Re: Communism

Postby prowler on Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:04 am

i'm unfamiliar with Bernstein too, except for what Rosa cites in her piece. He's basically a figurehead for what today we know as social-democratic politics: the gradual improvement of economic and civil inequalities, to the point where socialism is achieved by peaceful, parliamentary means. As I alluded in my initial post on the topic, I thought the Bernstein quotes in the Luxemburg piece could well be attributed to modern left thinkers, be they Corbyn, Wolff or most Jacobin writers.

the irony being that what Rosa scoffs at as utopian (because non-scientific), is today (and probably in her day as well, though to a smaller extent) mainstream political strategy.
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Re: Communism

Postby addley on Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:59 pm

Not sure of where I should be puttin' this, but I thought this was a fun article!

https://medium.com/@sophia.burns/what-i ... 170b46594c
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Re: Communism

Postby bishopdante on Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:52 pm

Communism in essence is group ownership and management of anything. This can cause problems when "mob rule" sets in: groups are often bad at taking risks or committing, or having clear ideas. There can be a lot of wasted time and energy on diplomatic wrangling, the term "dereliction of the commons" is familiar (and is particularly evident in cultures which do not have a strong public service ethic), and often people in a community will avoid contributing and prefer to be passengers.

However, many communal-ownership and communal-management models have proven successful, with building societies, co-operatives, and open "common law" legal systems being notable example

In the UK the John Lewis partnership is quite familiar, notable for its policy of staff shareholding.

People confuse the property of communal ownership with Leninism: which he himself branded "state monopoly capitalism", intended to be a stepping stone to eventual communist management of society and commerce - which never transpired.

Hence it is in my opinion wise to label Leninism as a strain of totalitarianism or fascism, and it could be argued that there are many far more effective examples of community ownership and management of resources.
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Re: Communism

Postby addley on Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:26 pm

Heyy, you pushed my thing off >:
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Re: Communism

Postby kokorodoko on Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:07 am

Twilight Sparkle wrote:Not sure of where I should be puttin' this, but I thought this was a fun article!

https://medium.com/@sophia.burns/what-i ... 170b46594c

Thanks, it was a good read. However I'm confused as to what the study actually purports to show - simply looking at the categories they used, and how it is laid out in the article, it looks like political sympathies are pretty well lined up with socio-economic status, educational background, and all the rest. So what new things are we learning?
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Re: Communism

Postby bishopdante on Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:44 pm

Twilight Sparkle wrote:Heyy, you pushed my thing off >:


There's no getting around people taking ownership of stuff, right!

(Comrade)
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Re: Communism

Postby oZZma on Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:41 am

I think we are facing the downfall of capitalism.
Unemployment is getting worse and worse, and this trend will not change, technology will replace people, and in a society based on profit, why should I pay someone when I can have a computer/robot do the job?
And when unemployment will be so widespdrad that there will be no one who will be able to afford all the crap we are producing, I really want to see what will be coming next.
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Re: Communism

Postby kokorodoko on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:02 pm

oZZma wrote:I think we are facing the downfall of capitalism.

Well, one thing that has baffled marxists time and again is the ability of capitalism to adapt to any new circumstances that seem to spell its "downfall".

Sure there are unprecedented things like ecological catastrophe, but green energy is already big business - it's not difficult to imagine some kind of green corporatism growing out of it.

Technology replacing people is pretty much how the industrial revolution went. Maybe there will be no way to make use of those made redundant by automation - but in that case just put them on UBI.

It has been a common mistake to imagine that these particlar new circumstances or this particular technological revolution will mean the end of capitalism. Or at least what is usually implied in this - that this end will automatically mean the possibility of something better to replace it (or some variation of this - that people will get so pissed that they eventually revolt, and so on).

Maybe it will end, but I don't want to see what comes next, because it won't be good. Sure there are possibilites opened up in every new development, but they can always go in several directions. Unless there is a force that can take advantage of those changes and push them in the direction you would like, it means nothing.
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Re: Communism

Postby Andrew. on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:34 pm

oZZma wrote:I think we are facing the downfall of capitalism.
Unemployment is getting worse and worse, and this trend will not change, technology will replace people, and in a society based on profit, why should I pay someone when I can have a computer/robot do the job?
And when unemployment will be so widespdrad that there will be no one who will be able to afford all the crap we are producing, I really want to see what will be coming next.


The fact we have never been more technologically advanced and yet the average work week isn't declining, Amazon pays no federal income tax, and people's living standards in many cases are declining is the result of the capitalist mode of production. We've long since surpassed the state of technological innovation and logistical coordination where everyone's basic and advanced needs could be met with a 20-hour work week.

Michael Roberts is good on this topic of robotics, employment, and capitalism.

Robots do not do away with the contradictions within capitalist accumulation. The essence of capitalist accumulation is that to increase profits and accumulate more capital, capitalists want to introduce machines that can boost the productivity of each employee and reduce costs compared to competitors. This is the great revolutionary role of capitalism in developing the productive forces available to society.

But there is a contradiction. In trying to raise the productivity of labour with the introduction of technology, there is process of labour shedding. New technology replaces labour. Yes, increased productivity might lead to increased production and open up new sectors for employment to compensate. But over time, a capital-bias or labour shedding means less new value is created (as labour is the only form of value) relative to the cost of invested capital. There is a tendency for profitability to fall as productivity rises. In turn, that leads eventually to a crisis in production that halts or even reverses the gain in production from the new technology. This is solely because investment and production depend on the profitability of capital in our modern mode of production.

So an economy increasingly dominated by the internet of things and robots under capitalism will mean more intense crises and greater inequality rather than super-abundance and prosperity.


https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/ ... -part-one/
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Re: Communism

Postby oZZma on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:45 pm

kokorodoko wrote:
Technology replacing people is pretty much how the industrial revolution went. Maybe there will be no way to make use of those made redundant by automation - but in that case just put them on UBI.


True, but technology was not nearly as competitive with human as it is now, and population was way lower.
And you need someone's taxes for UBI.
I can't imagine society as it is organized now to find a new point of balance. I think the worse is yet to come. You still see clerks, drivers, cashiers, etc etc but how long will they last? Any job that doesn't require some problem solving on unpredictable conditions is at risk. We have the technology to replace them all.
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Re: Communism

Postby bishopdante on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:48 pm

kokorodoko wrote:
oZZma wrote:I think we are facing the downfall of capitalism.

Well, one thing that has baffled marxists time and again is the ability of capitalism to adapt to any new circumstances that seem to spell its "downfall".

Sure there are unprecedented things like ecological catastrophe, but green energy is already big business - it's not difficult to imagine some kind of green corporatism growing out of it.

Technology replacing people is pretty much how the industrial revolution went. Maybe there will be no way to make use of those made redundant by automation - but in that case just put them on UBI.

It has been a common mistake to imagine that these particlar new circumstances or this particular technological revolution will mean the end of capitalism. Or at least what is usually implied in this - that this end will automatically mean the possibility of something better to replace it (or some variation of this - that people will get so pissed that they eventually revolt, and so on).

Maybe it will end, but I don't want to see what comes next, because it won't be good. Sure there are possibilites opened up in every new development, but they can always go in several directions. Unless there is a force that can take advantage of those changes and push them in the direction you would like, it means nothing.


Mechanisation replaced slavery and drudgery. The problem is that the antiquated social structure of stratified ownership took to this like a duck to water, and today on planet earth we have growing wealth inequality. The failure of the industrial revolution is not greater productivity, it is the use of the new technology to economically subjugate and further impoverish/disempower what were the peasant / slave classes, while producing lavish and hedonistic wealth for the "owners", a financial class who are typically clueless about what happens in industry or society.
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Re: Communism

Postby oZZma on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:48 pm

Andrew. wrote:
So an economy increasingly dominated by the internet of things and robots under capitalism will mean more intense crises and greater inequality rather than super-abundance and prosperity.

https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/ ... -part-one/

True, totally agree with the article.
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Re: Communism

Postby bishopdante on Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:09 pm

oZZma wrote:I can't imagine society as it is organized now to find a new point of balance. I think the worse is yet to come. You still see clerks, drivers, cashiers, etc etc but how long will they last? Any job that doesn't require some problem solving on unpredictable conditions is at risk. We have the technology to replace them all.


Menial data-processing or machine-operating work 8hrs a day seated is not something anybody should be spending time doing, whether quill-pen or IBM golfball, from a physical health and psychological health perspective, it's really bad news.

However, there is currently a lot of fever about algorithmic learning, and the fact that programmability can be delegated to an automated process. This is not remotely a simple matter, and will lead to many unexpected phenomena, and cyber-warfare is already a huge force today. The more we let chips control everything the more people will screw with that process, not only for rationally-driven profit and benefit, but also for crazy, neurotic, psychotic reasons, as the world's systems head deeper and deeper into ruthless materialism and away from humanism and aesthetics, and people get crazier and crazier, munching pharmaceutical medicines for the burgeoning epidemic of anxiety and depression while the corporate and financial leaders binge on cocaine, NOS balloons, ketamine and vodka, with a bunch of trafficked teenagers on some yacht.

We really do need to take a spiritually (or psychologically) aware and considerate perspective on what we're doing, as well as considering the material domain. On that basis a lot of industrialisation has been perceived to be a destruction of human life and livelihood, but it's not the technology that is at fault... it's an issue with the philosophy and real-world psychological consequences, and consideration of how that translates into human behaviour.

Particularly toxic is the phenomenon of the geriatric bureaucrat with a serious male dominance complex, and the intuitive knowledge that the sort of power they wield could not be enforced physically by their own actions, and that any of their office juniors could beat them in a physical fight - it's a highly unnatural sort of unnatural and amplified dominance. Hence there is a strong trend towards a psychological need to cripple and suppress youthful competitors, particularly those with leadership qualities and new ideas.

Certainly with novel realtime global data driven systems and infrastructure, we have the capability to create new decision making and organisation systems which do not require central "boss-man" authority, and that's the light at the end of the tunnel with the industrial revolution, what Marx termed a genuinely re-tribalised or societal method of organisation and distribution of resources. However, that is *not* in my opinion to be achieved by absolute forcible denigration of the individual for the benefit of the group - that is called imprisonment. Nor can egalitarianism be achieved by mass-enslavement by bureaucracy and industrial warfare technology, as was demonstrated by the Soviet republic system.

It should also be noted that industrialisation and liberalism are *not* necessarily capitalistic, where a small central group or social class of patrician financiers have monopolised all the material features and seats of power, and have corrupted all of the protective institutions such as government, the military, law enforcement & policing, judicial system, and public infrastructure, and manipulate it to their own exploitative benefit, maintaining a level of power that is tyrannical and oppressive in nature.
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Re: Communism

Postby TomTheBum on Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:14 am

bishopdante wrote:
oZZma wrote:I can't imagine society as it is organized now to find a new point of balance. I think the worse is yet to come. You still see clerks, drivers, cashiers, etc etc but how long will they last? Any job that doesn't require some problem solving on unpredictable conditions is at risk. We have the technology to replace them all.


Menial data-processing or machine-operating work 8hrs a day seated is not something anybody should be spending time doing, whether quill-pen or IBM golfball, from a physical health and psychological health perspective, it's really bad news.

However, there is currently a lot of fever about algorithmic learning, and the fact that programmability can be delegated to an automated process. This is not remotely a simple matter, and will lead to many unexpected phenomena, and cyber-warfare is already a huge force today. The more we let chips control everything the more people will screw with that process, not only for rationally-driven profit and benefit, but also for crazy, neurotic, psychotic reasons, as the world's systems head deeper and deeper into ruthless materialism and away from humanism and aesthetics, and people get crazier and crazier, munching pharmaceutical medicines for the burgeoning epidemic of anxiety and depression while the corporate and financial leaders binge on cocaine, NOS balloons, ketamine and vodka, with a bunch of trafficked teenagers on some yacht.

We really do need to take a spiritually (or psychologically) aware and considerate perspective on what we're doing, as well as considering the material domain. On that basis a lot of industrialisation has been perceived to be a destruction of human life and livelihood, but it's not the technology that is at fault... it's an issue with the philosophy and real-world psychological consequences, and consideration of how that translates into human behaviour.

Particularly toxic is the phenomenon of the geriatric bureaucrat with a serious male dominance complex, and the intuitive knowledge that the sort of power they wield could not be enforced physically by their own actions, and that any of their office juniors could beat them in a physical fight - it's a highly unnatural sort of unnatural and amplified dominance. Hence there is a strong trend towards a psychological need to cripple and suppress youthful competitors, particularly those with leadership qualities and new ideas.

Certainly with novel realtime global data driven systems and infrastructure, we have the capability to create new decision making and organisation systems which do not require central "boss-man" authority, and that's the light at the end of the tunnel with the industrial revolution, what Marx termed a genuinely re-tribalised or societal method of organisation and distribution of resources. However, that is *not* in my opinion to be achieved by absolute forcible denigration of the individual for the benefit of the group - that is called imprisonment. Nor can egalitarianism be achieved by mass-enslavement by bureaucracy and industrial warfare technology, as was demonstrated by the Soviet republic system.

It should also be noted that industrialisation and liberalism are *not* necessarily capitalistic, where a small central group or social class of patrician financiers have monopolised all the material features and seats of power, and have corrupted all of the protective institutions such as government, the military, law enforcement & policing, judicial system, and public infrastructure, and manipulate it to their own exploitative benefit, maintaining a level of power that is tyrannical and oppressive in nature.



So you're saying we're fucked one way or another. What was the max weber term - ''the iron prison of efficiency'' or something like that? Maybe the anarcho-primitivist luddites are right after all.
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Re: Communism

Postby bishopdante on Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:10 pm

I dunno, if you look at most people's living space or taste in garden design, it isn't the iron prison of efficiency.

There are these diabolically horrible garden ornaments that you usually find in the Chinese discount import store, wherever you are in the world. These plastic gargoyles are a disaster, and while they come from an iron prison factory environment, their destination and purpose is not understood by the prison managers. Market research is an unnecessary expense...

...or is it.
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Re: Communism

Postby TomTheBum on Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:39 am

franco berardi said something about there being a great split in europe between germanic/anglo-saxon work ethic and drive towards efficiency and southern baroque understanding that, because of technological developments, that kind of mode of thinking is atavistic and life-destroying. but where is the politician who will come out and say ''fuck work'', it won't happen because the slave mentality that clings to these notions of sacredness of work is still endemic. bullshit jobs, that was a great book. back in the day all the economists thought that by this point we will hardly have to work, and not even some crazy marxists, just your average keynesian economists, but because of this mad neoliberal nightmare people are working more than ever. it's just the polar opposite of what should happen, fucking magic. deleuze warned that societies of control will be much more messed up than societies of discipline, because the enemy will be everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
and yeah, all the consumer products are made by slave workers in china or vietnam, but no one seems to give a good fuck that almost everything they consume in they everyday life is made by some poor kid shackled to a giant rock or something. i mean how messed up we exactly are as a humanity?
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Re: Communism

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:09 am

Boris Johnson said "fuck business", does that count?
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Re: Communism

Postby TomTheBum on Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:33 am

Anthony Flack wrote:Boris Johnson said "fuck business", does that count?


yeah but he probably mean it in a fascist way. that's another thing berardi said, that this anti-work, anti-efficiency thing can take a negative fascist form if it's not applied in the right context. it's actually really interesting how fight club is every alt-righters favorite movie and most of the shit richard spencer or jim goad says could as well be said by jello biafra or noam chomsky or you name it (of course with a ''little'' twist added). because fascism always had this aspect of fake liberation and higher heroic values. and when there is no functional left to channel those sentiments these fuckers will. it was actually the funniest thing when stefan molyneux interviewed chomsky. funny in a scary way of course. i kind of like to listen to alt-righters sometimes, you learn a lot. if i was much younger and dumber, considering that i'm somewhat of a malcontent, i could see myself possibly getting caught up in that shit.
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Re: Communism

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:43 am

Oh, if you don't know the context, then I should say yes, he meant it in a fascist way.
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Re: Communism

Postby TomTheBum on Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:43 am

Anthony Flack wrote:Oh, if you don't know the context, then I should say yes, he meant it in a fascist way.


the most threatening thing about bojo is the fact that there is something so seemingly nonthreatening. it's when david cameron said that his favorite song is eton rifles by the jam. i would be surprised if england wouldn't turn into some POMO fascism, although someone more articulated than me could probably argue that it's already there. but it's not that england's any different than most western countries these days.
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