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Politics Episode 8: WWF Edition


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hah, even you can see through it, noice
"The government has softened the legislation by excluding email and messenger providers"

THAT WAS ON THE TABLE?

Hah, and you want to have communism. Did you ever heard about KGB? they done same stuff with news. Only approved news were allowed.
neither surveillance nor corruption is inherent to communism but rather to hierarchies, wouldn't you agree?
Well I don't like surveillance too much now, but its difference if its because of breaking the law or if its because you are anti establishment/political opposition
that's really a matter of when... Mc Carthy didn't see it that way, and I believe Trump did ask for voter's personal information.

 

Now, obviously the US is still very strong on such things as freedom of speech, but I don't see why that would be an inherent feat of capitalism. Capitalism dies after all exists in dictatorships, and historically always has. The amount of suffering caused by the big empires of the past, especially the British, are unparalleled (if we go by pure numbers). Now, does that mean that capitalism must lead to such tragedies? No, but it means that capitalism certainly doesn't prevent them. Communism certainly also has an impressive death toll, no doubt. But again, I do see neither inherent necessity nor prevention.

 

And besides, it's not like countries like the Soviet Union were always a Stalinist hell. Take a look at the USSR between the civil war and Stalins "Revolution from above" (what might be considered his grasp on power), so around 1921-1928; in other words the time of the NEP.

The 1925 elections, so those which fell into this time frame, were the freest in the Soviet Unions history. For example, communists lost their majority in large pars of the rural areas where local farmers elected them out of their soviets, causing the Bolsheviks much worry. Political opposition was also very open. This isn't to say that there was no censorship-a socialists call for "freedom of thought for anything from anarchism to monarchism" wasn't exactly followed on. But political discussions within a certain frame were vivid and controversial. Yes, also the communists had a left and right wing; the left advocating for a more quick industrialisation and more decentralised power, while the right seeked a more authoritarian form of government and much more economic adaption to the peasants, i.e. The farmers. Stalin Fell more on the right (and usually allying with them), but also supported shock industrialisation much more radically than the left. Lenin was also more to the right, Trotzki the most prominent left communist. The populance and their options was very diverse and difficult to generalise, but they can, very roughly, be divided into three fairly equal groups: those opposed to the new order, those in support of its ideals but sceptical of specific policies

 

Due to the NEP, economic liberty was surprisingly high. Though state enterprise continued to dominate, basic markets were installed and private ownership brought back (though still treated with extreme suspicion). This introduction of capitalist elements did result in a strong economic growth, however, there were some who felt that the revolution was betrayed. Indeed, inequality did rise, but it was still nowhere near anything in the west.

 

Social liberty also peaked. Women were made equal legally in every way, and the Soviets became the first worldwide to introduce equal pay legislation. Due to a high degree of sexism in the populace however, progress was slow in this field, but many politicians were burning feminists (though theft probably wouldn't have called themselves that), insisting that women must have an equal position in the working world . Homosexuality was also legalised.

Welfare programs were supposed to increase living conditions, but sometimes failed due to the people's mindset or still had severe Problems. For example, the numbers of people per doctor fell from around 4000ppl/1d to around 2500ppl/1d, which is an obvious improvement but still very bad. The number of children attending school also rose from around 30 to 80 percent. However, most parents, especially in the rural areas took their children out of school after two or two and a half years. The regime also tried to raise awareness for health issues, for example through large and continuous campaigns against alcohol (schoolchildren carrying signs saying "don't buy vodka buy us school books" for example). The Soviets also connected the country, for example through bringing electricity to the villages ("Lenins Lamp").

Of course, one must also remember the regimes aggression against religion and purging of many churches. On the contrary, the arts were at an all time high. In the 20s, the Soviet Union was the leading artists country. Cinema, literature, photography and the classic arts all experienced a spirit of revolution and departure.

 

While there is no doubt that the horrors of the Soviet regime must be remembered, it would also be wrong to simply ignore its best times.

Edited by Ben No.3

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

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yeah sure these 6 years of 80 of soviet union were the 'best' (if you were not anyone else than proletariat ofcourse...)

I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiene"

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In the 20's, yeah, before Stalin clamped down with Communism, also before the Great Depression, which certainly didn't help things.

 

Also, are the politics thread meant to be just American politics or just politics anywhere in general? Just wondering here.

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Posts can be from any politics in general. Its just mostly dominated by US politics because of our great new president. And the press just cant get right over it. :biggrin:

 

Because he's like, the best at what he does? He has all the bestest words and best ideas, and totally has the best concept of diplomacy and statecraft? And knows how to make America great again like it fondly imagines itself to have been in that waxy, nostalgic, view of the 50's when the economy was booming before desegregation and when birth control was illegal? ;)

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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yeah sure these 6 years of 80 of soviet union were the 'best' (if you were not anyone else than proletariat ofcourse...)

As I said, you could own businesses...

 

It's kinda like with Weimar Germany

Edited by Ben No.3

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hah, even you can see through it, noice
"The government has softened the legislation by excluding email and messenger providers"

THAT WAS ON THE TABLE?

Hah, and you want to have communism. Did you ever heard about KGB? they done same stuff with news. Only approved news were allowed.
neither surveillance nor corruption is inherent to communism but rather to hierarchies, wouldn't you agree?
Well I don't like surveillance too much now, but its difference if its because of breaking the law or if its because you are anti establishment/political opposition
that's really a matter of when... Mc Carthy didn't see it that way, and I believe Trump did ask for voter's personal information.

 

Now, obviously the US is still very strong on such things as freedom of speech, but I don't see why that would be an inherent feat of capitalism. Capitalism dies after all exists in dictatorships, and historically always has. The amount of suffering caused by the big empires of the past, especially the British, are unparalleled (if we go by pure numbers). Now, does that mean that capitalism must lead to such tragedies? No, but it means that capitalism certainly doesn't prevent them. Communism certainly also has an impressive death toll, no doubt. But again, I do see neither inherent necessity nor prevention.

 

And besides, it's not like countries like the Soviet Union were always a Stalinist hell. Take a look at the USSR between the civil war and Stalins "Revolution from above" (what might be considered his grasp on power), so around 1921-1928; in other words the time of the NEP.

The 1925 elections, so those which fell into this time frame, were the freest in the Soviet Unions history. For example, communists lost their majority in large pars of the rural areas where local farmers elected them out of their soviets, causing the Bolsheviks much worry. Political opposition was also very open. This isn't to say that there was no censorship-a socialists call for "freedom of thought for anything from anarchism to monarchism" wasn't exactly followed on. But political discussions within a certain frame were vivid and controversial. Yes, also the communists had a left and right wing; the left advocating for a more quick industrialisation and more decentralised power, while the right seeked a more authoritarian form of government and much more economic adaption to the peasants, i.e. The farmers. Stalin Fell more on the right (and usually allying with them), but also supported shock industrialisation much more radically than the left. Lenin was also more to the right, Trotzki the most prominent left communist. The populance and their options was very diverse and difficult to generalise, but they can, very roughly, be divided into three fairly equal groups: those opposed to the new order, those in support of its ideals but sceptical of specific policies

 

Due to the NEP, economic liberty was surprisingly high. Though state enterprise continued to dominate, basic markets were installed and private ownership brought back (though still treated with extreme suspicion). This introduction of capitalist elements did result in a strong economic growth, however, there were some who felt that the revolution was betrayed. Indeed, inequality did rise, but it was still nowhere near anything in the west.

 

Social liberty also peaked. Women were made equal legally in every way, and the Soviets became the first worldwide to introduce equal pay legislation. Due to a high degree of sexism in the populace however, progress was slow in this field, but many politicians were burning feminists (though theft probably wouldn't have called themselves that), insisting that women must have an equal position in the working world . Homosexuality was also legalised.

Welfare programs were supposed to increase living conditions, but sometimes failed due to the people's mindset or still had severe Problems. For example, the numbers of people per doctor fell from around 4000ppl/1d to around 2500ppl/1d, which is an obvious improvement but still very bad. The number of children attending school also rose from around 30 to 80 percent. However, most parents, especially in the rural areas took their children out of school after two or two and a half years. The regime also tried to raise awareness for health issues, for example through large and continuous campaigns against alcohol (schoolchildren carrying signs saying "don't buy vodka buy us school books" for example). The Soviets also connected the country, for example through bringing electricity to the villages ("Lenins Lamp").

Of course, one must also remember the regimes aggression against religion and purging of many churches. On the contrary, the arts were at an all time high. In the 20s, the Soviet Union was the leading artists country. Cinema, literature, photography and the classic arts all experienced a spirit of revolution and departure.

 

While there is no doubt that the horrors of the Soviet regime must be remembered, it would also be wrong to simply ignore its best times.

 

Communism is an economic system. Just because about all of the "communist" countries have been brutal and repressive tyrannies that murdered their own people and others by the hundreds of thousands does not necessarily reflect on communism as a system. It's more about the evil bastards that ran those countries.

The problem is communism is by it's nature it suppresses the biggest safeguard against the evil bastards: individual freedom. Communism does not permit individual ownership of anything up to and including the self. If you don't own your own labor, the work of your own hands you don't own anything. I get that Marx meant for the "dictatorship of the proletariat" to only wield power long enough to dismantle the things that are bad for the working class, then give up power and go hoe vegetables on some farm somewhere. But he was an idiot. That is not how humans work. When you get a bunch of them with absolute power the only way to remove them is to wait for them to die or at gunpoint.

 

It's a pipe dream. The only way it could ever work is if you change the nature of man. Good luck with that.

.

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Get off my lawn!

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Really should cull the quote pyramid...

 

Anyways, communism in the sense of pooled and shared resources really only works in small groups where everybody knows each other and tends to be more accountable to and for each other.

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Did people really plan this headline out well?

 

19884080_10155529690310746_1248044230077

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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My oh my Guard Dog...

Crash Course

 

Where to start. Communism is NOT an economic system, communism is a political ideology. Heavily influenced by the USSR, all notable communist countries up to date did have centrally planned economies, however, this is by no means necessary. Wether it was necessary specifically in Russia is a whole other discussion, but communism as such doesn't propagate it. The only "necessities" for an economic system to be a communist one is some way of ensuring workers ownership of the means of production, transportation and distribution. Now this could be through state run enterprises, but other forms are also imaginable, for example through such things as workers cooperatives with management structures similar to Buutzorg, which works (and was founded and build with) a complete absence of hierarchy.

Communists are very opinionated on economics, but the options they have are political ones, they seek political change. Furthermore, certain political positions that have nothing to do with economics are almost inherent to communism; for example a certain radical sense of egalitarianism.

Communism (and it's comrade socialism) is also not a confined dogma, but more of a term for a collective of opinions.

 

The dictatorship of the proletariat. That doesn't imply dictatorship as we understand it today. French revolutionaries also sometimes referred to democracy as "the tyranny of the masses". "Dictatorship" simply implies that the new proletarian government will have to stomp certain rights of the bourgeoisie, namely of course property. But that doesn't mean it is necessarily undemocratic. So far Marx.

 

To cast the man aside for being stupid seems a by premature... He did have flaws, certainly. I already wrote this once somewhere else but oh well: Adopted from Hegel, he viewed history as a determined process. “Dialectical materialism” describes the idea that history is a determined process whichs underlying dynamic is the distribution of ownership within societies. Determined is important, it implies that history will develop a very certain way: Supposedly, the capitalist society will develop after a proletarian revolution into a socialist and then a communist one. This has been proven wrong by history: Capitalism still very much exists and the only countries with a communist revolution were not capitalist industrial countries (like Marx predicted), but rather agrarian countries (Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam,…). However, while the idea of historical determinism is clearly wrong, the notion that a society is highly influenced by the distribution of ownership is right, as still excellently observable today.

 

Labour theory of value. The idea is that human labour is the only good that can create value and that prices are representative of the work that went into a product is simply wrong and has been proven to be wrong over and over. However, the dynamic of exploitation described by Marx is still right: the captilsit/bourgeois gains profit through the labour of his workers/proletarians. This is why the poor work so much but gain so little, and why the rich get richer simply by owning.

 

The theory of alienation is, frankly, right. It puts forward the idea that humans can gain happiness through work because they can express themselves in the product they make. Thing of an artist making a painting, a worker making a chair and so on. However, at an industrial level, with the vast number of highly specialised jobs at a low level, this satisfaction is lost. The worker now does one tiny step in the creation process and has often no idea what exactly he is even doing; he is therefore alienated from his work.

 

In short, while many of his conclusions are wrong, Marx was and is still one of the best observers and critics of capitalism, and his observations are still all highly accurate. It is why Marx has lost much of his relevance in economics, because his conclusion are often wrong, but still remains a towering figure in sociology, because his observations are right. We should not simply cast him aside, rather we should find the parts where he was right and use these.

 

I don't know how much of these things you already knew but oh well.

 

Human nature. Inherently selfish and therefore capitalism is the only system that works, right? What you refer to as human nature is human nature under capitalism, and it exists for merely 200 years out of 12000 years of human civilisation. I'd say it's a pretty bold claim to say that these 200 years have brought about the true nature of humans; especially considering that our oldest ancestors, the ones where you'd actually assume they act on little but human nature (since they lacked significant culture, history of society) actually often had shared property. So the argument doesn't really hold up.

 

I think that's it? Did I miss anything?

 

I missed the evil bastard. In short, in the end communism seeks an abolition of both state and private property should leave the evil bastard very powerless. On a less utopian side note, if there's a big mans boot in your neck, does it really matter if he's a Red Army soldier or a private security force?

Edited by Ben No.3

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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Human nature. Inherently selfish and therefore capitalism is the only system that works, right? What you refer to as human nature is human nature under capitalism, and it exists for merely 200 years out of 12000 years of human civilisation. I'd say it's a pretty bold claim to say that these 200 years have brought about the true nature of humans; especially considering that our oldest ancestors, the ones where you'd actually assume they act on little but human nature (since they lacked significant culture, history of society) actually often had shared property. So the argument doesn't really hold up.

 

Pfft, saying that the earliest lacked significant cultures or history is wrong. In fact, pinpointing the time where culture and oral traditioins (history of society before writing) truly became something identifiable as culture is very difficult. Heck, even our closest relatives show signs that one could call proto-cultural and are very much like a culture as it's learned. The earliest known examples of cultural artifacts for modern homo have been dated to 82,000 years ago. Simpler forms are certainly far older.

 

That aside, while capitalism in it's modern form hasn't been around for all that long, you can still find elements of capitalism for a long time, all the way back into the medieval period.

Edited by smjjames
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Human nature. Inherently selfish and therefore capitalism is the only system that works, right? What you refer to as human nature is human nature under capitalism, and it exists for merely 200 years out of 12000 years of human civilisation. I'd say it's a pretty bold claim to say that these 200 years have brought about the true nature of humans; especially considering that our oldest ancestors, the ones where you'd actually assume they act on little but human nature (since they lacked significant culture, history of society) actually often had shared property. So the argument doesn't really hold up.

Pfft, saying that the earliest lacked significant cultures or history is wrong. In fact, pinpointing the time where culture and oral traditioins (history of society before writing) truly became something identifiable as culture is impossible. Heck, even our closest relatives show signs that one could call proto-cultural and are very much like a culture as it's learned.
But if we are looking for the test of pure human nature, thus with the least cultural influence, I'd say this is the best we got?

 

That aside, while capitalism in it's modern form hasn't been around for all that long, you can still find elements of capitalism for a long time, all the way back into the medieval period.

ah, we're going for trade Venice-style? Arguably, the origin of capitalism, but albeit influential on politics not all too influential on the mindset of the masses, at least not to the degree of (post) industrial capitalism.

 

But even if we count from there, that's still just around 600, maybe 700 years. Which isn't a lot of time, humanity is significantly older. So saying that it resembles human nature seems a bit premature.

Edited by Ben No.3

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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Human nature. Inherently selfish and therefore capitalism is the only system that works, right? What you refer to as human nature is human nature under capitalism, and it exists for merely 200 years out of 12000 years of human civilisation. I'd say it's a pretty bold claim to say that these 200 years have brought about the true nature of humans; especially considering that our oldest ancestors, the ones where you'd actually assume they act on little but human nature (since they lacked significant culture, history of society) actually often had shared property. So the argument doesn't really hold up.

Pfft, saying that the earliest lacked significant cultures or history is wrong. In fact, pinpointing the time where culture and oral traditioins (history of society before writing) truly became something identifiable as culture is impossible. Heck, even our closest relatives show signs that one could call proto-cultural and are very much like a culture as it's learned.
But if we are looking for the test of pure human nature, thus with the least cultural influence, I'd say this is the best we got?

 

I'd probably go back another million years, close to the origin of modern homo if you want to get to that.

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I think that's it? Did I miss anything?

Quite a bit. So much so I think you need a crash course of your own.

Here is a place you can read up: https://www.marxists.org/txtindex.htm

Here is another: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/special/index

It's all free, full of nice pdfs. Please read them before posting.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

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I think that's it? Did I miss anything?

Quite a bit. So much so I think you need a crash course of your own.

Here is a place you can read up: https://www.marxists.org/txtindex.htm

Here is another: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/special/index

It's all free, full of nice pdfs. Please read them before posting.

I meant on what GD said, but thanks for your constructive and useful feedback

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Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

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And everybody knows

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Human nature. Inherently selfish and therefore capitalism is the only system that works, right? What you refer to as human nature is human nature under capitalism, and it exists for merely 200 years out of 12000 years of human civilisation. I'd say it's a pretty bold claim to say that these 200 years have brought about the true nature of humans; especially considering that our oldest ancestors, the ones where you'd actually assume they act on little but human nature (since they lacked significant culture, history of society) actually often had shared property. So the argument doesn't really hold up.

Pfft, saying that the earliest lacked significant cultures or history is wrong. In fact, pinpointing the time where culture and oral traditioins (history of society before writing) truly became something identifiable as culture is impossible. Heck, even our closest relatives show signs that one could call proto-cultural and are very much like a culture as it's learned.
But if we are looking for the test of pure human nature, thus with the least cultural influence, I'd say this is the best we got?

I'd probably go back another million years, close to the origin of modern homo if you want to get to that.

Ha! Well, at this point research probably gets blurry on the question of ownership ;)

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Why would anyone seriously try to separate communism from it's primary economic motives? The distinction between systems of government and economics is a moot one when the two systems need to be brought together to manifest at all.

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Why would anyone seriously try to separate communism from it's primary economic motives? The distinction between systems of government and economics is a moot one when the two systems need to be brought together to manifest at all.

as a response for Guard Dog. If he portrays "communism" solely as an economic system in reference to USSR, it becomes synonymous with "centrally planned economy", which I feel isn't particularly right. And it isn't an economic system in the sense that it's a specific plan or science on how economics works. Edited by Ben No.3

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@Ben no.3: Misquote? You seem to have quoted without replying.

 

Why would anyone seriously try to separate communism from it's primary economic motives? The distinction between systems of government and economics is a moot one when the two systems need to be brought together to manifest at all.

 

China? Their economy was definetly fully communist at first, but it's now a mix of communist government and capitalist economy,

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@Ben no.3: Misquote? You seem to have quoted without replying.

 

Why would anyone seriously try to separate communism from it's primary economic motives? The distinction between systems of government and economics is a moot one when the two systems need to be brought together to manifest at all.

China? Their economy was definetly fully communist at first, but it's now a mix of communist government and capitalist economy,
dunno if China is a great example for communism, name and origin aside.

 

Better example might be the Bolsheviks during NEP, which introduced many capitalist elements

Edited by Ben No.3

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Well, to be fair, Russian communism, which is the example you have been using, is itself a bit of a take on Marxism with Leninism added. Every other 'communist' has been some variant off of Marxism/Socialism.

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