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Is a non-hierarchy possible?

Wallstreetatheist
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11/20/2012 8:57:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Yes, it is possible. The larger the group, the less likely. It requires enough people extremely conditioned to the mindset of collectivism who do not act in their own self-interest. Most human beings are not that way, but if you concentrated enough Marxists in a single area, a non-hierarchical society could form.

Main factors acting against Marxian egalitarianism:
1. Self-interest
2. The incentive problem (why work at X level when if I work at lower level Y, I get the same benefits?)
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16kadams
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11/21/2012 12:16:53 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/20/2012 8:57:50 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Yes, it is possible. The larger the group, the less likely. It requires enough people extremely conditioned to the mindset of collectivism who do not act in their own self-interest. Most human beings are not that way, but if you concentrated enough Marxists in a single area, a non-hierarchical society could form.

Main factors acting against Marxian egalitarianism:
1. Self-interest
2. The incentive problem (why work at X level when if I work at lower level Y, I get the same benefits?)

What's funny is that in the video he is capitalist... "For more, see my book"

But yeah, he never exained pay of the executives. I may re-watch it and see.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
16kadams
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11/21/2012 12:17:20 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/21/2012 12:16:53 AM, 16kadams wrote:
At 11/20/2012 8:57:50 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Yes, it is possible. The larger the group, the less likely. It requires enough people extremely conditioned to the mindset of collectivism who do not act in their own self-interest. Most human beings are not that way, but if you concentrated enough Marxists in a single area, a non-hierarchical society could form.

Main factors acting against Marxian egalitarianism:
1. Self-interest
2. The incentive problem (why work at X level when if I work at lower level Y, I get the same benefits?)

What's funny is that in the video he is capitalist... "For more, see my book"

But yeah, he never examined pay of the executives. I may re-watch it and see.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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11/22/2012 12:33:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Basically what WSA said. People act in their self interest only in the absence of other stronger values. I guess it's sort of a default. We can see examples of when other values become stronger as with things like religion and comprehensive political orientations (like Marxism). So if you have a society made predominantly of a homogenous group of people of this bent I'm sure it's possible.
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keepinitreal
Posts: 58
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11/23/2012 8:40:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
In a hierarchy society, the power structure is like a pyramid. As it goes up the hierarchy, fewer have authority or power over the ones one level below them. Obviously, the few on the top has the most power and those one on the top won't let this pyramid collapse. In other words, the ones on the highest on the hierarchy wouldn't want a non-hierarchy.

It's same as the top 1 percent of the wealth wouldn't want another economy system besides capitalism because capitalism maximizes their wealth, power, and influence. This is the classic argument for a class-less society where everyone as individuals with equal rights should be on the same class or level in the hierarchy and money shouldn't determine an individuals higher status than others who lack such things that are precious to a border-state.
16kadams
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11/24/2012 12:14:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/23/2012 8:40:35 PM, keepinitreal wrote:
In a hierarchy society, the power structure is like a pyramid. As it goes up the hierarchy, fewer have authority or power over the ones one level below them. Obviously, the few on the top has the most power and those one on the top won't let this pyramid collapse. In other words, the ones on the highest on the hierarchy wouldn't want a non-hierarchy.

It's same as the top 1 percent of the wealth wouldn't want another economy system besides capitalism because capitalism maximizes their wealth, power, and influence. This is the classic argument for a class-less society where everyone as individuals with equal rights should be on the same class or level in the hierarchy and money shouldn't determine an individuals higher status than others who lack such things that are precious to a border-state.

What is interesting is that you ignore the benefits of a free market. For example, China (in the Medieval times) thrived. Their innovations grew like trees and all they needed was more food production. Europe was in hovels. However things began to change. Chinas oppressive system of control impeded progress. Eventually, Europe grew and became a super power. In the book "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" describes how the free market helped reduce poverty, increase production, and help the poor by increasing innovation.

This website (http://mises.org...) documents how the free market truly works.

Also, if you believe entrepreneurs exploit us most if the time for more money, read the book "freedomnomics".
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
keepinitreal
Posts: 58
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11/24/2012 6:48:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
I am in no means stating that capitalism is a less desirable economic system but just pointing out the negatives aspects of capitalism. In theory or by book, I would say communism is the best system but no society will able to implement and apply the principles of communism. It's an utopia. People are too selfish and corrupted for communism to actually work.

In fact, in practice, I am a strong supporter of a true free market but I will not neglect the negative aspects of it. Capitalism is obviously the best system for the rich and those with a lot of wealth and power. It can be the best system for the poor but the poor are too lazy or at a disadvantage to take advantage over the opportunities that capitalism offers. This economic system justifies greed and if you can't compete up on par or better with your competition in the market, you will fail. Those on the top with the power have less competition and more resources to thrive in the market. They want to stay on the top and wouldn't want any other economic system to replace capitalism. I am just saying that those on the top want to remain on the top and wouldn't want to support a non-hierarchy or a class-less economic/political system. Since they have the power and influence, they can make it difficult for a non-hierarchy or a non-class system to be possible.
CarefulNow
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12/15/2012 9:38:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2012 6:48:42 AM, keepinitreal wrote:
I am in no means stating that capitalism is a less desirable economic system but just pointing out the negatives aspects of capitalism. In theory or by book, I would say communism is the best system but no society will able to implement and apply the principles of communism. It's an utopia. People are too selfish and corrupted for communism to actually work.

You're bifurcating. Even Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto, recognized that an immediate transition to communism would be impossible. The intermediate stage is "to each according to his labor". The greater task is to create situations in which people acting anarchistically will be acting efficiently.
malcolmxy
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12/15/2012 10:14:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
When either Capitalism or Socialism are enacted in their purest forms (meaning they are completely devoid of any hint of the other), they are BOTH destined to fail, and fail spectacularly.

It is only when used in conjunction with one another, with each accounting for the weaknesses and pitfalls of the other, that they are sustainable.

One can observe this in the poorer, predominantly Capitalist nations of the Americas. In most of these nations, because there is no social-security-like income, nor pensions available for the elderly or infirmed, the large, extended family becomes the predominant social safety net, and The Church is the foundation that keeps these social practices, and thus social structures, in place.

Just like markets will appear when markets are suppressed, so will social safety nets when they are suppressed. Socialism is just as natural, and just as unnatural, depending on the application, as Capitalism is.

They are the Yin to each others Yang.
War is over, if you want it.

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CarefulNow
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12/15/2012 10:40:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/15/2012 10:14:48 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
They are the Yin to each others Yang.

It seems you're conflating markets and capitalism. But there's such a thing as market socialism. The unilateral imposition of permanent property isn't a prerequisite for consensual exchange.
malcolmxy
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12/16/2012 12:50:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/15/2012 10:40:30 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/15/2012 10:14:48 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
They are the Yin to each others Yang.

It seems you're conflating markets and capitalism. But there's such a thing as market socialism. The unilateral imposition of permanent property isn't a prerequisite for consensual exchange.

No, I'm talking about natural Socialistic Markets. These are markets which aren't meant to build capital or grow profit, but to benefit the life and liberty of citizens. A public police force (since laws aren't meant to be for sale, even though they are, to a certain degree) is one example of a natural socialist market. The goal of the police is to protect and serve the public, not to sell a product to the public, nor to sell them a service, but to provide that service to any who need it, when they need it.
War is over, if you want it.

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CarefulNow
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12/16/2012 9:04:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/24/2012 12:14:49 AM, 16kadams wrote:
What is interesting is that you ignore the benefits of a free market. For example, China (in the Medieval times) thrived. Their innovations grew like trees and all they needed was more food production. Europe was in hovels. However things began to change. Chinas oppressive system of control impeded progress. Eventually, Europe grew and became a super power.

So, for millenia, China inexplicably outperformed Europe. Then, around the time of Columbus stumbling upon America (if it weren't in the way of his intended target, he and his whole crew would have died at sea) and the subsequent European monopolization of the Columbian Exchange, the inevitable results of free markets finally began to materialize. Or did I miss something?

In the book "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations" describes how the free market helped reduce poverty, increase production, and help the poor by increasing innovation.

This website (http://mises.org...) documents how the free market truly works.

Also, if you believe entrepreneurs exploit us most if the time for more money, read the book "freedomnomics".

That's a lot of homework. At least Jehovah's Witnesses pick out the important parts instead of just telling you to read the Bible.
CarefulNow
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12/16/2012 4:52:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 12:50:18 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
No, I'm talking about natural Socialistic Markets. These are markets which aren't meant to build capital or grow profit, but to benefit the life and liberty of citizens. A public police force (since laws aren't meant to be for sale, even though they are, to a certain degree) is one example of a natural socialist market. The goal of the police is to protect and serve the public, not to sell a product to the public, nor to sell them a service, but to provide that service to any who need it, when they need it.

Again, it seems you're conflating markets and capitalism. If you prefer your mixed economy to be arbitrary, that's fine, but what I'm talking about is markets in primaries: markets for restriction of access, as opposed to markets for the property rights it defines.
Wallstreetatheist
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12/16/2012 7:37:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 2:55:31 PM, FREEDO wrote:
Non-hierarchy does not require collectivism or altruism.

Yes, it does. Every society requires collectivism and altruism, albeit to varying degrees. I think it's more a question of finding what works best. I argue that dropping the illusion of authority given to states, seeing everyone as sovereign human beings, and allowing the free exchange of ideas, goods, and services is the best mix. That achieves a massive step toward eliminating illegitimate and coercive hierarchies in society; voluntary hierarchies would still be allowed, yet given that there are few restrictions in the labor market, it is likely that self-employment, business ownership, and free lancing would increase greatly. What are your thoughts?
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malcolmxy
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12/16/2012 9:17:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 4:52:52 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/16/2012 12:50:18 AM, malcolmxy wrote:
No, I'm talking about natural Socialistic Markets. These are markets which aren't meant to build capital or grow profit, but to benefit the life and liberty of citizens. A public police force (since laws aren't meant to be for sale, even though they are, to a certain degree) is one example of a natural socialist market. The goal of the police is to protect and serve the public, not to sell a product to the public, nor to sell them a service, but to provide that service to any who need it, when they need it.

Again, it seems you're conflating markets and capitalism. If you prefer your mixed economy to be arbitrary, that's fine, but what I'm talking about is markets in primaries: markets for restriction of access, as opposed to markets for the property rights it defines.

1st of all, it's not arbitrary. We do it now. Fire and Police are socialist organizations. They work better that way.

As far as the rest goes, I majored in economics (many, many years ago, but still...) and what you said made absolutely no sense to me. You've mixed and misused your terms so much, I can't even guess at what you're talking about, and that's saying something.

Markets don't define property rights. Markets are a means of the exchange of goods and services, and access to markets can be restricted, and often times is, in a Capitalist society, so what the heck are you talking about?
War is over, if you want it.

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CarefulNow
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12/16/2012 10:43:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 9:17:38 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
Markets don't define property rights. Markets are a means of the exchange of goods and services, and access to markets can be restricted, and often times is, in a Capitalist society, so what the heck are you talking about?

Easy does it. "Goods and services", that's very specific. What about the capital markets that precede them? Markets are a means of exchange of illegitimate production relations.
malcolmxy
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12/16/2012 11:26:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 10:43:19 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/16/2012 9:17:38 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
Markets don't define property rights. Markets are a means of the exchange of goods and services, and access to markets can be restricted, and often times is, in a Capitalist society, so what the heck are you talking about?

Easy does it. "Goods and services", that's very specific. What about the capital markets that precede them? Markets are a means of exchange of illegitimate production relations.

It's relationship, and that would be an example of a service.

"Goods and services" is the broadest available term.
War is over, if you want it.

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malcolmxy
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12/16/2012 11:30:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't know a lot about Engels, though I think he and Marx, from a fundamental sociological perspective, were right about a lot of thigs, but Marx was a sh!tty economist, and if there's one person who knows that, it's Marx.
War is over, if you want it.

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CarefulNow
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12/17/2012 6:25:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/16/2012 11:26:07 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
"Goods and services" is the broadest available term.

Then use two terms. I suppose the restriction of access that defines property could be counted as a kind of service; however, you said goods and services are freely exchanged, and that certainly isn't the case for property acquisition.
malcolmxy
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12/17/2012 1:20:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 6:25:41 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/16/2012 11:26:07 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
"Goods and services" is the broadest available term.

Then use two terms. I suppose the restriction of access that defines property could be counted as a kind of service; however, you said goods and services are freely exchanged, and that certainly isn't the case for property acquisition.

why not?
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CarefulNow
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12/17/2012 2:19:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 1:20:05 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
why not?

The property owner gives nothing in return.
malcolmxy
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12/17/2012 5:10:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 2:19:03 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/17/2012 1:20:05 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
why not?

The property owner gives nothing in return.

You said property acquisition. In order to acquire property, the would-be property owner must give some sort of consideration (currency, in our current world) to the current property owner in exchange for that property in order to acquire it.

If you're actually talking about capitalist vs. labor, I direct your attention to Hostess Baking Company for further information.
War is over, if you want it.

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CarefulNow
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12/17/2012 7:52:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 5:10:50 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
You said property acquisition. In order to acquire property, the would-be property owner must give some sort of consideration (currency, in our current world) to the current property owner in exchange for that property in order to acquire it.

That's transfer. I'm talking about the introduction of such property, including that from which said currency descends.

If you're actually talking about capitalist vs. labor, I direct your attention to Hostess Baking Company for further information.

That a company that pays its workers something more like a fair wage is destined to lose to competitors who better leverage the property relation is an excellent argument, and I'm glad you made it.
malcolmxy
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12/20/2012 7:19:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/17/2012 7:52:05 PM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/17/2012 5:10:50 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
You said property acquisition. In order to acquire property, the would-be property owner must give some sort of consideration (currency, in our current world) to the current property owner in exchange for that property in order to acquire it.

That's transfer. I'm talking about the introduction of such property, including that from which said currency descends.

currency descends from man's desire to travel unencumbered by hundreds of pounds of precious metals, as well as other goods needed to trade when one is not in ones own environment where one can exchange freely and secure property with other property (a home, a safe, etc)


If you're actually talking about capitalist vs. labor, I direct your attention to Hostess Baking Company for further information.

That a company that pays its workers something more like a fair wage is destined to lose to competitors who better leverage the property relation is an excellent argument, and I'm glad you made it.

In the case of Hostess, the management, in exchange for 30% company ownership and a seat on the board of directors (i.e. a true voice in the direction of the company at all points in the future), needed labor to do two things - take temporary wage cuts so the company could be competitive, long-term, and end their strike.

It was the right thing to do on both ends, and labor spat in the face of this sweetheart deal and destroyed what could have been the model for labor/capitalist partnerships for generations t come.

Sometimes the owners of capital do the right thing and have their capital destroyed by labor, anyway. Usually not (though, these examples are increasing in frequency), but sometimes.

Labor without direction is Sisyphean. Application of capital provides direction. The applier of capital takes on risk to do so. Without sufficient reward, this would not exist.

two-way street. property doesn't arise out of thin air, nor labor, nor idea...it takes both. You can chop at a tree all day, but unless you do so in some sort of pattern, you're left with a big pile of sawdust which, in the end, the fuel of which would create less energy than the energy expended to create it in the first place - there is no property in that.
War is over, if you want it.

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CarefulNow
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12/21/2012 8:06:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 7:19:31 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
currency descends from man's desire to travel unencumbered by hundreds of pounds of precious metals, as well as other goods needed to trade when one is not in ones own environment where one can exchange freely and secure property with other property (a home, a safe, etc)

Now you're talking about "currency" (fiat money, to be precise; precious metal money is itself a currency descending from man's desire to travel unencumbered by hundreds of heads of cattle) as an institution, but before you were talking about currency as wealth. That's what I'm talking about, at any rate, and it's the relevant thing.

In the case of Hostess, the management, in exchange for 30% company ownership and a seat on the board of directors (i.e. a true voice in the direction of the company at all points in the future), needed labor to do two things - take temporary wage cuts so the company could be competitive, long-term, and end their strike.

The working class hasn't the luxury of being able to make such tradeoffs. Their wages pay their room and board. Cut too deeply into that, and they won't make it to the long term. On the other hand, unemployment regresses to the mean after such layoffs. It may be in the workers' interest not to subsidize an obsolete product, but rather wait for a more viable one to expand.

It was the right thing to do on both ends, and labor spat in the face of this sweetheart deal and destroyed what could have been the model for labor/capitalist partnerships for generations t come.

That may be so, but, again, it doesn't mean the workers would be getting a fair deal. It just means Hostess' competitors may have leveraged the property relation well enough to make even more one-sided deals.
CarefulNow
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12/21/2012 9:09:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/20/2012 7:19:31 PM, malcolmxy wrote:
Labor without direction is Sisyphean. Application of capital provides direction. The applier of capital takes on risk to do so. Without sufficient reward, this would not exist.

Sufficient reward is the value of the capitalist's labor, which property obscures. Embodied in that capital is not only the capitalist's labor, but also natural resources and the labor of past wage-workers exploited by forced alienation from said resources.
malcolmxy
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12/21/2012 1:30:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/21/2012 8:06:23 AM, CarefulNow wrote:
At 12/20/2012 7:19:31 PM, malcolmxy wrote:


That may be so, but, again, it doesn't mean the workers would be getting a fair deal. It just means Hostess' competitors may have leveraged the property relation well enough to make even more one-sided deals.

How, if the worker becomes an owner, and the largest single ownership interest in the company, with full representation on the board of directors, and voting power to pretty much control the board in one year, could the workers possibly NOT have gotten a fair deal?

That's like saying that if you own your home free and clear and the foundation rots because you forgot to inspect it from time to time, that the lack of maintenance is the bank's fault, even though they have no role in ownership of the home.
War is over, if you want it.

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