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Refuting Charleslb/Communism

Objectivity
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10/30/2014 9:27:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Charlesb has reappeared on the forums as of late and I thank him for his thought provoking contributions to our community, but while he is glad to make attacks on capitalism he rarely stands to defend his own ideology, so lets take a look at Communism and some of its primary faults, even Democratic Communism.

1. Communism values equality, and stomps on any other value that impedes it

Communism, in egalitarian and utilitarian forms fails on every philosophical level because its only value is equality and it will stomp on any other value that impedes it. Almost all philosophers in modern times agree that individual rights are a just check on Democracy, that things such as property, life and liberty should be protected with disregard to popular sovereignty or opinion, Communists, just as they tend to believe that no one should own property doesn't believe anyone should own rights. In charlesb's world not only would the government have a monopoly on money and reap all the fruits of your labor but they would have a pure monopoly on force as he's said he would abolish your right to bear arms, lets take a look:

"It's more of a privilege, a privilege that one must earn one's eligibility to enjoy. That is, one ought to be a part of a well-regulated militia or the duly constituted constabulary on one's society to be armed with a dangerous, death-dealing weapon such as a gun."

http://www.debate.org...

As Lord Acton himself once stated "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", according to Charleslb though, in a Democratic society we should trust this benevolent meritocratic government to control all our resources and monopolize lethal force. Charleslb then goes on to use the categorical imperative as an argument for communism, which is rather bizarre because Immanuel Kant was clearly a supporter of capitalism as shown in his concept of an ideal state, The Rechtsstaat. He also explicitly supports property rights stating: "The task of establishing a universal and permanent peaceful life is not only a part of the theory of law within the framework of pure reason, but per se an absolute and ultimate goal. To achieve this goal, a state must become the community of a large number of people, living provided with legislative guarantees of their property rights secured by a common constitution." Indeed, Immanuel Kant believed in very limited government and that Absolute Democracy was despotism. He believed that the State's authority should be limited by constitutional law, and the people should have unalienable rights. Indeed it is rather ignorant and vacuous that charles would use Immanuel Kant in both his gun rights argument and communist argument to justify taking away liberty's.

In fact Communism is the ultimate antithesis to the categorical imperative since Communism's chief value is equality and it will use other individuals labor, talent and intelligence to achieve this concept by giving them disproportionate rewards for their value to the consumer.

In fact communism uses the entire nation as a means to an end as it cheats the consumer out of choice and limits or abolishes competition for the sake of equality and it cheats the individual out of self actualization because it eliminates the motive for individuals to achieve their full potential by depriving them of the rewards they would receive in a market economy for being more valued than another.

Charles claims that capitalism uses individuals as means to an end since they are reduced to nothing but "flesh and blood worker droids for owners", this is entirely irrelevant to Immanuel Kant's imperative. Sure the business owners may see you as the means to an end but alas there is one government and hundreds of thousands of businesses, in a market economy your skills and abilities are given proportionate value to what you have to offer, the producer has to meet the demands of the consumer, this creates a system of ends not means as no one is being used, everyone has an incentive to participate in the system. The consumer wants a product, and there is a producer to meet that demand, the worker wants/needs to make a living so they help produce but in turn become a consumer.

Your distortion of workers being used as means to an end is fatally flawed and incorrect since according to Kant's Imperative, treating individuals as means to an end is depriving them of free will, the only way to treat someone as an end in themself is to give them free will.

"The free will is the source of all rational action. But to treat it as a subjective end is to deny the possibility of freedom in general. Because the autonomous will is the one and only source of moral action, it would contradict the first formulation to claim that a person is merely a means to some other end, rather than always an end in themselves."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

In capitalism we are given free will and all choices are available to us if we are willing to pursue the necessary channels to reach that point, we are given unlimited choices. In communism for the sake of equality our free will is limited and choices eliminated, we are used as means to achieve the end of equality, which Kant never contends is an end in itself.

Basically, any true Kantian is a capitalist and believes in individual rights such as gun rights, not a communist.
Wocambs
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10/30/2014 4:28:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/30/2014 9:27:16 AM, Objectivity wrote:

The kind of equality we want is, I think, 'moral equality'. We don't want a society where everyone is identical, but where everyone treats each other as an equal. A society composed of equals is a society where no one has power over anyone else, and such a society would not only be perfectly equal, but perfectly free. What we have today is a society where everyone has, in a purely abstract sense, 'equal opportunity' to acquire power; that isn't what we want either.

Far from subjugating individual rights, equality is individual rights. Individual rights recognise that, as we are equals, no one has the right to stop someone from expressing their opinions appropriately, and no one has the right to perpetrate violence against others. We recognise that no one has the right to take power over another.

the government have a monopoly on money and reap all the fruits of your labor but they would have a pure monopoly on force

Does this seem like a society composed of equals to you?

in a market economy your skills and abilities are given proportionate value to what you have to offer

This is false, because wealth s not about being skilled or able, but to what extent you control the wealth of society. Obtaining capital has, intrinsically, nothing at all to do with ability or skill or productivity.

the producer has to meet the demands of the consumer

This is not 'false', I suppose, but it's very misleading. People don't interact in some abstract system, but in reality. You don't actually have to meet someone's needs, you just have to convince them that you do. You don't discuss how this system permits exploitation, simply because of the fact that people can openly exploit you, as long as the negative consequences of not accepting their offer outweigh your suffering under their exploitation. The terms on which agreements are made is not equal, and therefore it follows that the agreements themselves will tend to exploit. If I have the advantage, then the system incentivises me to press that advantage and become even more advantaged. This is the point at which we disagree about what equality is, I think. The solution, of course, is to have people work together instead of against each other.
socialpinko
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10/31/2014 12:00:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/30/2014 9:27:16 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charlesb has reappeared on the forums as of late and I thank him for his thought provoking contributions to our community, but while he is glad to make attacks on capitalism he rarely stands to defend his own ideology, so lets take a look at Communism and some of its primary faults, even Democratic Communism.

1. Communism values equality, and stomps on any other value that impedes it

Communism, in egalitarian and utilitarian forms fails on every philosophical level because its only value is equality and it will stomp on any other value that impedes it.

You don't seem very knowledgeable about communist discourse if this is the conclusion you've come to. Not because it's obviously wrong but that you seem ignorant of the terrain upon which much communist philosophy actually operates on. Unlike liberal political theory (including both left wing and libertarian versions), communists tend not to situate political problems in terms of a theoretical or abstract value (such as "freedom", "equality", etc.) which needs to be transposed on to a concrete political structure. So to say that communists only care about enforcing equality in the political sphere (or likewise, the economic, the personal, the erotic) to the detriment of all other values is to ignore the fact that communist thought operates under a different modal heading to begin with.

Almost all philosophers in modern times agree that individual rights are a just check on Democracy, that things such as property, life and liberty should be protected with disregard to popular sovereignty or opinion

That's quite literally false. Not only do you fail to ground yer claim of the universality of liberal opinion amongst modern philosophers, but yer boldly ignoring huge chunks of the philosophical world. If you mean modern philosophers in the sense of "modernism" then you might be right. But if you take modern to signify contemporaneity then yer at the very least not painting a full picture. For instance, if you take Great Britain as yer reference point, you'd probably be right (with some exceptions). The liberal tradition is still strong and political philosophy has less of a stronghold over philosophy there then, say, epistemology or philosophy of mind. France on the other hand is a different story. But more important than geography perhaps, is style. Whereas analytic (mostly Anglo-American) philosophers tend to align with philosophical liberalism (Popper and Russel are two 20th century examples), Continental philosophy tends to inspire anti-liberal radicalism in the political sphere. Yer generalization then, seems to apply more to a type of philosophy then Philosophy proper.

, Communists, just as they tend to believe that no one should own property doesn't believe anyone should own rights. In charlesb's world not only would the government have a monopoly on money and reap all the fruits of your labor but they would have a pure monopoly on force as he's said he would abolish your right to bear arms

*ignoring the strong anti-authoritarian, anti-State tradition in communism*

In fact Communism is the ultimate antithesis to the categorical imperative since Communism's chief value is equality and it will use other individuals labor, talent and intelligence to achieve this concept by giving them disproportionate rewards for their value to the consumer.

See my above comment about yer lack of understanding as to what communism is. Also, not everyone actually cares what the categorical imperative has to say. Moral calculations, after all, are made by people who are themselves situated and constituted by their contemporary situation. A useful ethics should come out of that situation (by and for those involved in struggle), not preclude it.

In fact communism uses the entire nation as a means to an end as it cheats the consumer out of choice and limits or abolishes competition for the sake of equality and it cheats the individual out of self actualization because it eliminates the motive for individuals to achieve their full potential by depriving them of the rewards they would receive in a market economy for being more valued than another.

Ignoring the flipside of capitalist innovation which is the force which goes into making someone perform menial or undignified labor through the threat of starvation.

Charles claims that capitalism uses individuals as means to an end since they are reduced to nothing but "flesh and blood worker droids for owners", this is entirely irrelevant to Immanuel Kant's imperative. Sure the business owners may see you as the means to an end but alas there is one government and hundreds of thousands of businesses, in a market economy your skills and abilities are given proportionate value to what you have to offer, the producer has to meet the demands of the consumer, this creates a system of ends not means as no one is being used, everyone has an incentive to participate in the system. The consumer wants a product, and there is a producer to meet that demand, the worker wants/needs to make a living so they help produce but in turn become a consumer.

Even Adam Smith admitted that the perfect competition which he is accused of describing in Wealth of Nations had a tendency to intensify as economies progress. The perfect balancing of worker and employer interests that you describe is nothing but idealizing fiction.

Your distortion of workers being used as means to an end is fatally flawed and incorrect since according to Kant's Imperative, treating individuals as means to an end is depriving them of free will, the only way to treat someone as an end in themself is to give them free will.

"The free will is the source of all rational action. But to treat it as a subjective end is to deny the possibility of freedom in general. Because the autonomous will is the one and only source of moral action, it would contradict the first formulation to claim that a person is merely a means to some other end, rather than always an end in themselves."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

In capitalism we are given free will and all choices are available to us if we are willing to pursue the necessary channels to reach that point, we are given unlimited choices. In communism for the sake of equality our free will is limited and choices eliminated, we are used as means to achieve the end of equality, which Kant never contends is an end in itself.

Yer ignoring the graduated scale of freedom which one experiences under capitalism. That scale is often times pushed one way or another by one's relation to Capital.

Basically, any true Kantian is a capitalist and believes in individual rights such as gun rights, not a communist.

Whatever.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
charleslb
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10/31/2014 2:41:53 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/30/2014 9:27:16 AM, Objectivity wrote:

so lets take a look at Communism and some of its primary faults, even Democratic Communism.

Okay, let's.

1. Communism values equality, and stomps on any other value that impedes it

Rubbish.

Communism, in egalitarian and utilitarian forms fails on every philosophical level because its only value is equality and it will stomp on any other value that impedes it.

Not to be insulting, but this is merely an ignorant and simplistic stereotype popular with anti-communists, one of their hackneyed and intellectually-dishonest talking points. In fact the egalitarian conceptuality of communism (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinist or Maoism here) isn't at all procrustean, doesn't at all require the imposition of rigid uniformity or a leveling down of humanity to a level of meager and leaden ability. Rather, the egalitarianism advocated by communism is simply the equal and universal application of the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need. This is certainly a principle that allows for the recognition and appreciation of the distinctiveness of individuals, the cultivation of their diverse individual talents, and a responsiveness to the different needs of individuals. It's hardly a philosophy that threatens to turn humanity into a monolithic mass of mediocrity.

Almost all philosophers in modern times agree that individual rights are a just check on Democracy, that things such as property, life and liberty should be protected with disregard to popular sovereignty or opinion, Communists, just as they tend to believe that no one should own property doesn't believe anyone should own rights.

This is simply not true in the slightest. Only twentieth-century totalitarians who called themselves communists had a problem with the concept of human and civil rights, there's certainly no logical reason, having to do with being opposed to the concept of the private ownership of the means of production, why a communist would have to oppose something such as a bill of rights being included in the constitution of a communist society.

In charlesb's world not only would the government have a monopoly on money and reap all the fruits of your labor but they would have a pure monopoly on force as he's said he would abolish your right to bear arms, lets take a look:

Oh dear, bringing my opposition to the private ownership of firearms into the discussion seems to be a way of portraying me, and communism, as a stereotypical bogeyman who would first take away your guns and then herd everyone into gulags. Lol! A word of advice, anti-communists, when you take off on your pet peeve of gun rights in the context of a conversation about communism you make yourselves look like paranoid right-wing conspiracists. Calm down, communists are not coming in black helicopters to get gun nuts and their collection of phallic symbols.

"It's more of a privilege, a privilege that one must earn one's eligibility to enjoy. That is, one ought to be a part of a well-regulated militia or the duly constituted constabulary on one's society to be armed with a dangerous, death-dealing weapon such as a gun."

I stand by this, it seems like an eminently sane & sensible point of view to me and to a great many people who aren't communist living outside of the gun-nutty culture of the United States. Also, see my above comments.

As Lord Acton himself once stated "Absolute power corrupts absolutely",

You might learn a good bit from Lord Acton's great grandson, Alex Calinicos, a fellow communist.

according to Charleslb though, in a Democratic society we should trust this benevolent meritocratic ...

Communism is not a meritocratic form of society, capitalist meritocracy is just a cover and rationalization for asymmetrical, undemocratic power relations and plutocracy. Communism, rather, advocates a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, which is far more humane and democratic than a potentially quite heartless meritocracy.

government to control all our resources and monopolize lethal force.

There you go again, trying to make yours truly and contemporary communists out to be throwbacks to the Red Menace of yore.

Charleslb then goes on to use the categorical imperative as an argument for communism, which is rather bizarre because Immanuel Kant was clearly a supporter of capitalism ...

Not all philosophical concepts must remain connected to or circumscribed by the rest of the conceptuality of the thinker who originated them.

In fact communism uses the entire nation as a means to an end as it cheats the consumer out of choice and limits or abolishes competition

Capitalist competition is a cruel and destructive force, therefore its abolition would be a rather positive thing, and no, not having the license to conduct ourselves like cutthroat capitalists at the expense of our neighbors would not constitute a dreadful loss of legitimate liberty. No more so than the illegality of, say, polygamy, means that Mormons are terribly unfree victims of the conventionality of American society.

for the sake of equality and it cheats the individual out of self actualization because it eliminates the motive for individuals to achieve their full potential by depriving them of the rewards they would receive in a market economy for being more valued than another.

It's in fact under capitalism that the worker's labor and the product of his/her labor is objectified & commodified and owned away from him/her, resulting in alienation from one's creative drive and talents, resulting in individuals failing to attain self-actualization and self-fulfillment and leading lives of quiet desperation.

... in a market economy your skills and abilities are given proportionate value to what you have to offer, ...

This is free-market fundamentalism, not empirical reality. In reality First-World workers these days are paid stagnant and declining wages, working multiple jobs to maintain the illusion of being middle-class; and Third-World workers toil for a pittance that they're barely able to subsist on. It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.


Your distortion of workers being used as means to an end is fatally flawed and incorrect since according to Kant's Imperative, treating individuals as means to an end is depriving them of free will,...

Treating human individuals as means to the economic ends and enrichment of their employers and of corporations is precisely what happens and defines the existential lot of the workingperson under capitalism. But for some reason you seem to think that only the "collectivism" of stereotypical communism would reduce people means to an end and deprive them of autonomy, you have a quite pronounced ideological blind spot for the way this happens to working-class human beings in a system in which they're used by private capitalists and capitals. Yes, this is quite telling, i.e. reveals your ideological bias and lack of identification with the real-world plight of workingpeople.


In capitalism we are given free will and all choices

Nope. Under actually-existing capitalism the workingperson's freedom and choices are seriously strictured and coerced by economic circumstances & pressures, and as a result of his/her socioeconomic disempowerment at the hands of capitalists.

Basically, any true Kantian is a capitalist and believes in individual rights such as gun rights, not a communist.

So a Kantian conception of ethics requires that one be both a booster of capitalism and a gun nut. What quaintly American thinking.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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10/31/2014 2:46:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Typo correction.

" ... (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinist or Maoism here) ..."

should of course read:

" ... (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinism or Maoism here) ..."
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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10/31/2014 2:53:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://www.debate.org...
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Objectivity
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10/31/2014 7:45:44 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Replying separately since I ran out of characters, lol.

Charlesb: "Not to be insulting, but this is merely an ignorant and simplistic stereotype popular with anti-communists, one of their hackneyed and intellectually-dishonest talking points. In fact the egalitarian conceptuality of communism (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinist or Maoism here) isn't at all procrustean, doesn't at all require the imposition of rigid uniformity or a leveling down of humanity to a level of meager and leaden ability. Rather, the egalitarianism advocated by communism is simply the equal and universal application of the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need. This is certainly a principle that allows for the recognition and appreciation of the distinctiveness of individuals, the cultivation of their diverse individual talents, and a responsiveness to the different needs of individuals. It's hardly a philosophy that threatens to turn humanity into a monolithic mass of mediocrity."

I think you strawmanned my point here since I never really attacked equality as a value but rather the things Communists are willing to step on and disregard to achieve it so while your point on why equality or egalitarianism is duly noted it's hardly relevant to my other points. The economic issue with communism though isn't that it fails to give individuals just compensation based on their ability but that we now entrust the government to decide the value of certain labor and items rather than the consumer. If you really believed in the concept of "to each according to his own ability" you would let the consumer who purchases the item that the producer produces decide upon the ability of the producer rather than the government. I touch on this more in my argument that Communism deprives the freedom of the consumer to set values for products based on what they think they are worth.

Charlesb:

This is simply not true in the slightest. Only twentieth-century totalitarians who called themselves communists had a problem with the concept of human and civil rights, there's certainly no logical reason, having to do with being opposed to the concept of the private ownership of the means of production, why a communist would have to oppose something such as a bill of rights being included in the constitution of a communist society.

I am not attacking all communists, just you or your brand of Communism, and furthermore most western philosophers would agree that individuals ought to have a right to private property, additionally the issue is that just as Communists don't believe in the concept of private property they don't believe in private, i.e individual rights. When we look at rights which are defined as "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way." Based on that commonly cited definition an argument can easily be made that the right to own your own property is indeed a right and I would debate with you on it if you'd like that we ought to and do have an entitlement to private property. So if charlesb doesn't think private property is a right I'd like for him to either explain how private property isn't a right under my definition or give a different definition of rights. If he concedes that it is a right as most philosophers do then his argument is in serious trouble as he'd have to concede that an individual right is being sacrificed in a communist society at the cost of Democracy and rule of the majority.

Charleslb:

Oh dear, bringing my opposition to the private ownership of firearms into the discussion seems to be a way of portraying me, and communism, as a stereotypical bogeyman who would first take away your guns and then herd everyone into gulags. Lol! A word of advice, anti-communists, when you take off on your pet peeve of gun rights in the context of a conversation about communism you make yourselves look like paranoid right-wing conspiracists. Calm down, communists are not coming in black helicopters to get gun nuts and their collection of phallic symbols.

I stand by this, it seems like an eminently sane & sensible point of view to me and to a great many people who aren't communist living outside of the gun-nutty culture of the United States. Also, see my above comments.

Interesting, not helpful to the debate though. When I go on to explain how absolute power corrupts absolutely you just refer me to Lord Acton's great grandson or something, not really a refutation of my point as you don't deny that giving the government a monopoly on the economy and force is absolute power and then you also don't deny that it corrupts. You don't really take the time or effort to justify a governmental monopoly on force so until you do I'll just assume you concede that taking away gun rights is an unjust monopoly on force.

Charleslb:

Capitalist competition is a cruel and destructive force, therefore its abolition would be a rather positive thing, and no, not having the license to conduct ourselves like cutthroat capitalists at the expense of our neighbors would not constitute a dreadful loss of legitimate liberty. No more so than the illegality of, say, polygamy, means that Mormons are terribly unfree victims of the conventionality of American society.

Why is capitalist competition a cruel and destructive force and even if it is what justifies taking away our free will to compete with others? Free speech is a cruel and destructive force I can drive you to suicide by insulting, does that mean it should also be abolished? As I said, the third formulation of the imperative states one of our perfect duties should be to ensure that when we are carrying out our other duties we don't restrict individuals free will so yes both outlawing polygamy and abolishing capitalism are unjust restrictions and/or losses of legitimate liberty as they unjustly restrict free will.

Charleslb: It's in fact under capitalism that the worker's labor and the product of his/her labor is objectified & commodified and owned away from him/her, resulting in alienation from one's creative drive and talents, resulting in individuals failing to attain self-actualization and self-fulfillment and leading lives of quiet desperation.

More assertions but I'll answer them I suppose. You are just looking at it from a closed and narrow perspective that justifies your narrative of communism, in a capitalist society where the means of production are given to anyone who can offer a product that the consumer deems worthy of spending their money on if someone feels like their talents aren't being justly compensated or valued they can create their own product based on their talents or service, in Communism if you feel like your talents are being unjustly compensated or exploited to achieve the state's end of egalitarianism you don't have the option to let others determine the value of your labor, the government does.

This is free-market fundamentalism, not empirical reality. In reality First-World workers these days are paid stagnant and declining wages, working multiple jobs to maintain the illusion of being middle-class; and Third-World workers toil for a pittance that they're barely able to subsist on. It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.

Once again you are measuring the well being of people in first world country's from an egalitarian perspective when if you looked at the fact that no one dies from medical emergency's in first world nations or starves, pretty much ever we fare pretty well, social welfare programs serve to keep absolute poverty from ever really becoming a factor. You bring up third world country's to rail against capitalism but fail to realize that
Objectivity
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10/31/2014 7:48:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Most of the third world is currently experiencing high growth from liberalizing their economies.

In South Sudan where people only make about $2,000 annually per capita (or 6 dollars per day, roughly), the growth rate is 24.7%.

In Sierra Leone where the average person only makes $613 per day the growth rate is 13.3%.

Liberia $436 annually per capita, 8.10% growth rate.

The list goes on and on

I have to switch classes, I'll finish then, interesting discussion so far.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Objectivity
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10/31/2014 8:18:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Charleslb:
Communism is not a meritocratic form of society, capitalist meritocracy is just a cover and rationalization for asymmetrical, undemocratic power relations and plutocracy. Communism, rather, advocates a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, which is far more humane and democratic than a potentially quite heartless meritocracy.

I think any government that has a monopoly on force and production and all forms of power is meritocratic since we just have to trust that they won't abuse this power on good faith and that as you say since communism is based on "to each according to his ability/needs" we have to just take on faith that we have this omnipotent government is also omniscient and knows what everyone needs and we have to trust them to judge the value of goods and services since apparently the consumer isn't intelligent enough to do so without this omnipotent, omniscient government.

Capitalism is only meritocracy of the individual perhaps because it entrusts the consumer to determine what is worth what and not the government and is inherently skeptic of centralized power which is why it gives everyone the ability to be a producer and consumer and is a system where the consumer determines what the producer produces.

Charleslb: . It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.

(Responded to every part of this except this part)

Once again under Kant's Imperative we are supposed to assume that all individuals are rational beings and ought to have free will so if in the workplace the individual felt exploited for their labor they would presumably take their services to a place where they felt they would be justly compensated. In a market economy not only do workers value their employment since they need to be employed for a wage but the employer values the services of the employee since they are necessary to keep the business running, this is mutualism. If individuals have skills that are valued businesses will compete for their employment, if they have no skills (say a person who dropped out of high school) they would probably have to work a service based job making minimal wages but essentially, it would have to be a living wage yes? I mean, child labor laws are instated in most nations so ideally if your employer doesn't pay a living wage they wouldn't have any employees, they have to pay at least a living wage or what's the point of working? If the wage I am being given is below what I need to survive I might as well not work at all yes? So even jobs on the lowest rung of society or the socioeconomic hierarchy ideally pay living wages (and they do).

Charleslb: Nope. Under actually-existing capitalism the workingperson's freedom and choices are seriously strictured and coerced by economic circumstances & pressures, and as a result of his/her socioeconomic disempowerment at the hands of capitalists.

What freedoms and choices are restricted? What are the circumstances and pressures that restrict them? What disempowerment are you speaking of and what is the source of it?
charleslb
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11/1/2014 3:13:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 7:45:44 AM, Objectivity wrote:

I think you strawmanned my point here since I never really attacked equality as a value but rather the things Communists are willing to step on and disregard to achieve it so while your point on why equality or egalitarianism is duly noted it's hardly relevant to my other points. The economic issue with communism though isn't that it fails to give individuals just compensation based on their ability but that we now entrust the government to decide the value of certain labor and items rather than the consumer. If you really believed in the concept of "to each according to his own ability" you would let the consumer who purchases the item that the producer produces decide upon the ability of the producer rather than the government. I touch on this more in my argument that Communism deprives the freedom of the consumer to set values for products based on what they think they are worth.

Uh, excuse me, but the form of communist life that I envision and advocate would be quite stateless.

I am not attacking all communists, just you or your brand of Communism,

And what, pray tell, do you think my particular brand of communism is? You don't really seem to have the vaguest notion, not if you think that the form of communist society that I advocate would be run by some manner of authoritarian central government!

and furthermore most western philosophers would agree that individuals ought to have a right to private property,

Well, we're all quite aware that most Western philosophers aren't communists.

additionally the issue is that just as Communists don't believe in the concept of private property they don't believe in private, i.e individual rights.

An absurd non sequitur. And, moreover, I don't really think you have a terribly good understanding of the communist's opposition to private property. It's specifically the private ownership of the forces of production that communists wish to abolish. For God's sake, everyone would still be able to own their own toothbrushes and toiletries, TVs and trucks and whatnot!

When we look at rights which are defined as "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way." Based on that commonly cited definition an argument can easily be made that the right to own your own property is indeed a right and I would debate with you on it if you'd like that we ought to and do have an entitlement to private property. So if charlesb doesn't think private property is a right I'd like for him to either explain how private property isn't a right under my definition or give a different definition of rights...

I won't rehash, I'll merely refer you to this, http://www.debate.org...


Interesting, not helpful to the debate though. When I go on to explain how absolute power corrupts absolutely you just refer me to Lord Acton's great grandson or something, not really a refutation of my point

It's all that I thought your point merited. Really, bringing the issue of gun rights into a conversation on communism. What possible legitimacy can such a tack have? Clearly you're trying, a la the Red Scare tactics of the 1950s, to suggest that contemporary communists are still scary and malevolent totalitarians who wish to take everyone's firearms away as a prelude to enslaving them. Sorry, but I'm not about to dignify such nonsense with a substantive refutation.

as you don't deny that giving the government a monopoly on the economy and force is absolute power and then you also don't deny that it corrupts. You don't really take the time or effort to justify a governmental monopoly on force so until you do I'll just assume you concede that taking away gun rights is an unjust monopoly on force.

What government? Again, I look forward to a stateless form of life, as I'm an anarchist-communist, not a bleeping Stalinist. And what gun rights, gun rights are a rightist legal fiction based on an intellectually-dishonest interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. (Watch him go off on a tangent on "gun rights" now! Lol!)

Why is capitalist competition a cruel and destructive force

Take a look at the economic, social, moral, spiritual, and ecological ill-effects of the relentless and overriding drive for profit and expansion, take a good and critical look at actually-existing capitalism.

and even if it is what justifies taking away our free will to compete with others?

Taking away your free will, what hyperbolic rubbish. And sorry, but one doesn't have an inalienable moral right to behave in a socially-harmful egoistic fashion. Freedom is not an absolute that should be applied to all behaviors, that's after all why we have laws against certain forms of human conduct; and why society doesn't let the strong beat on the weak, except of course when it comes to capitalists abusing the dignity of workingpeople, which is all communists seek to prohibit. At any rate, freedom isn't a stand-alone value, it must be balanced with other socioethical consideration, such as the spiritual benefit to working-class human beings of not being subjected to wage slavery and reduced to commodities, or their moral right to economic well-being and social equality. Which alas seems to be something that "libertarian" types are cognitively incapable of grasping.

Free speech is a cruel and destructive force I can drive you to suicide by insulting, does that mean it should also be abolished?

Apples and oranges dear fellow.

As I said, the third formulation of the imperative states one of our perfect duties should be to ensure that when we are carrying out our other duties we don't restrict individuals free will so yes both outlawing polygamy and abolishing capitalism are unjust restrictions and/or losses of legitimate liberty as they unjustly restrict free will.

Oh my, you seem to be attempting to twist Kant to rationalize/legitimize the "libertarian" laissez-faire, egoistic orientation in which everyone should exist and exercise his/her free will in an asocial, atomized fashion, paying no mind to the existential reality that life is a social-relational proposition enjoining limits on personal liberty.

More assertions but I'll answer them I suppose. You are just looking at it from a closed and narrow perspective that justifies your narrative of communism, in a capitalist society where the means of production are given to anyone who can offer a product that the consumer deems worthy of spending their money on if someone feels like their talents aren't being justly compensated or valued they can create their own product based on their talents or service, in Communism if you feel like your talents are being unjustly compensated or exploited to achieve the state's end of egalitarianism you don't have the option to let others determine the value of your labor, the government does.

Again, Fail! I don't advocate a statist form of communism.

Once again you are measuring the well being of people in first world country's from an egalitarian perspective when if you looked at the fact that no one dies from medical emergency's in first world nations or starves, pretty much ever we fare pretty well, social welfare programs serve to keep absolute poverty from ever really becoming a factor. You bring up third world country's to rail against capitalism ...

Blah, blah, everything's rosy with capitalism, blah.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/1/2014 3:18:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Typo correction.

"... it must be balanced with other socioethical consideration, such as ..."

should of course read:

"... it must be balanced with other socioethical considerations, such as ..."
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
fazz
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11/1/2014 3:49:25 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 2:46:41 AM, charleslb wrote:
Typo correction.

" ... (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinist or Maoism here) ..."

should of course read:

" ... (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinism or Maoism here) ..."

At 11/1/2014 3:18:14 AM, charleslb wrote:
Typo correction.

"... it must be balanced with other socioethical consideration, such as ..."

should of course read:

"... it must be balanced with other socioethical considerations, such as ..."

Typos are human.Stop repeating yourself like a robot: *Danger Danger*: https://www.youtube.com...
charleslb
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11/1/2014 2:44:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 3:49:25 AM, fazz wrote:
At 10/31/2014 2:46:41 AM, charleslb wrote:
Typo correction.

" ... (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinist or Maoism here) ..."

should of course read:

" ... (and bear in mind that we're talking communism, not Stalinism or Maoism here) ..."

At 11/1/2014 3:18:14 AM, charleslb wrote:
Typo correction.

"... it must be balanced with other socioethical consideration, such as ..."

should of course read:

"... it must be balanced with other socioethical considerations, such as ..."

Typos are human.Stop repeating yourself like a robot: *Danger Danger*: https://www.youtube.com...

It's not a matter of being repetitive, it's a matter of being averse to sloppiness. But thank you for your constructive suggestion, any on-topic thoughts you'd like to share?
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
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11/1/2014 4:00:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/31/2014 8:18:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charleslb:
Communism is not a meritocratic form of society, capitalist meritocracy is just a cover and rationalization for asymmetrical, undemocratic power relations and plutocracy. Communism, rather, advocates a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, which is far more humane and democratic than a potentially quite heartless meritocracy.

I think any government that has a monopoly on force and production and all forms of power is meritocratic since we just have to trust that they won't abuse this power on good faith and that as you say since communism is based on "to each according to his ability/needs" we have to just take on faith that we have this omnipotent government is also omniscient and knows what everyone needs and we have to trust them to judge the value of goods and services since apparently the consumer isn't intelligent enough to do so without this omnipotent, omniscient government.

Well, of course an anarchist-communist form of society would have certain structures, including a minimal bit of representationism, however there would be no government per se, no government in the sense of a controlling authority above the masses. Rather, the structures of a communist society would be genuinely democratic and participatory (workers councils managing workplaces, neighborhood councils, communities practicing direct democracy, and so on); and "representatives" elected to regional, national, and transnational coordinating organizations would in fact be delegates rather than representatives, i.e. they would have no authorization to vote their own "conscience" but rather would be bound by public opinion and subject to the principle of recall at any time if they deviated from genuinely expressing the will of the people. In other words, authentic communism = authentic and thoroughgoing democracy (but not to worry, such democracy =/= a dangerous majoritarianism or the tyranny of the mob, there could and would also be a bill of rights in a communist constitution, establishing and preserving certain fundamental rights & liberties that could never be overridden), not the potential for statist tyranny and totalitarianism.


Capitalism is only meritocracy ...

Capitalism is the rule of capital and those individuals and firms who aggressively channel its dynamics, not a system that ensures that well-roundedly superior and qualified individuals run society (actually, the range of abilities and aptitudes necessary to be a successful capitalist pig are quite limited and unimpressive, and hardly entitle capitalists to dominate the rest of us), i.e. not a meritocracy. And I would again point out that a meritocracy would not be a terribly desirable system or power structure, as it's just a rationalization of and prescription for aristocracy. Myself, I would prefer authentic democracy.

of the individual perhaps because it entrusts the consumer to determine what is worth what and not the government

What government?! I refer you to my above thoughts on the political structures of an authentically communist society.

and is inherently skeptic of centralized power ...

I share your skepticism of excessively centralized power and planning.

which is why it gives everyone the ability to be a producer and consumer and is a system where the consumer determines what the producer produces.

Sorry, but the market is not actually the lovely mechanism that you and your fellow free-marketeers make it out to be.

Charleslb: . It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.

(Responded to every part of this except this part)

Once again under Kant's Imperative we are supposed to assume that all individuals are rational beings and ought to have free will so if in the workplace the individual felt exploited for their labor they would presumably take their services to a place where they felt they would be justly compensated.

A worker under capitalism is subjected to expropriation, objectification (being treated like a piece of equipment, like a means to someone else's economic ends), and exploitation at any capitalist firm where he might seek employment. That is, his freedom is the freedom to be objectified by capitalist "job creator" A rather than capitalist "job creator" B. Whoopee! What wonderful freedom. Lol!

In a market economy not only do workers value their employment since they need to be employed for a wage but the employer values the services of the employee

Correction, a capitalist employer expropriates most of the value created by workers. This is after all the fat cat's fundamental MO for growing fat.

since they are necessary to keep the business running, this is mutualism.

Correction, the MO practiced by the capitalist is parasitism.

If individuals have skills that are valued businesses will compete for their employment, if they have no skills (say a person who dropped out of high school) they would probably have to work a service based job making minimal wages but essentially, it would have to be a living wage yes? I mean, child labor laws are instated in most nations so ideally if your employer doesn't pay a living wage they wouldn't have any employees, they have to pay at least a living wage or what's the point of working? If the wage I am being given is below what I need to survive I might as well not work at all yes? So even jobs on the lowest rung of society or the socioeconomic hierarchy ideally pay living wages (and they do).

Yes, you've clearly been quite thoroughly inculcated with the rationalizations of free-marketarianism.

Charleslb: Nope. Under actually-existing capitalism the workingperson's freedom and choices are seriously strictured and coerced by economic circumstances & pressures, and as a result of his/her socioeconomic disempowerment at the hands of capitalists.

What freedoms and choices are restricted? What are the circumstances and pressures that restrict them? What disempowerment are you speaking of and what is the source of it?

Now you're just playing obtuse and stonewalling. Please return to arguing in good faith.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Objectivity
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11/10/2014 11:48:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 4:00:09 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 8:18:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charleslb:
Communism is not a meritocratic form of society, capitalist meritocracy is just a cover and rationalization for asymmetrical, undemocratic power relations and plutocracy. Communism, rather, advocates a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, which is far more humane and democratic than a potentially quite heartless meritocracy.

I think any government that has a monopoly on force and production and all forms of power is meritocratic since we just have to trust that they won't abuse this power on good faith and that as you say since communism is based on "to each according to his ability/needs" we have to just take on faith that we have this omnipotent government is also omniscient and knows what everyone needs and we have to trust them to judge the value of goods and services since apparently the consumer isn't intelligent enough to do so without this omnipotent, omniscient government.

Well, of course an anarchist-communist form of society would have certain structures, including a minimal bit of representationism, however there would be no government per se, no government in the sense of a controlling authority above the masses. Rather, the structures of a communist society would be genuinely democratic and participatory (workers councils managing workplaces, neighborhood councils, communities practicing direct democracy, and so on); and "representatives" elected to regional, national, and transnational coordinating organizations would in fact be delegates rather than representatives, i.e. they would have no authorization to vote their own "conscience" but rather would be bound by public opinion and subject to the principle of recall at any time if they deviated from genuinely expressing the will of the people. In other words, authentic communism = authentic and thoroughgoing democracy (but not to worry, such democracy =/= a dangerous majoritarianism or the tyranny of the mob, there could and would also be a bill of rights in a communist constitution, establishing and preserving certain fundamental rights & liberties that could never be overridden), not the potential for statist tyranny and totalitarianism.



Capitalism is only meritocracy ...

Capitalism is the rule of capital and those individuals and firms who aggressively channel its dynamics, not a system that ensures that well-roundedly superior and qualified individuals run society (actually, the range of abilities and aptitudes necessary to be a successful capitalist pig are quite limited and unimpressive, and hardly entitle capitalists to dominate the rest of us), i.e. not a meritocracy. And I would again point out that a meritocracy would not be a terribly desirable system or power structure, as it's just a rationalization of and prescription for aristocracy. Myself, I would prefer authentic democracy.



of the individual perhaps because it entrusts the consumer to determine what is worth what and not the government

What government?! I refer you to my above thoughts on the political structures of an authentically communist society.


and is inherently skeptic of centralized power ...

I share your skepticism of excessively centralized power and planning.

which is why it gives everyone the ability to be a producer and consumer and is a system where the consumer determines what the producer produces.

Sorry, but the market is not actually the lovely mechanism that you and your fellow free-marketeers make it out to be.

Charleslb: . It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.

(Responded to every part of this except this part)

Once again under Kant's Imperative we are supposed to assume that all individuals are rational beings and ought to have free will so if in the workplace the individual felt exploited for their labor they would presumably take their services to a place where they felt they would be justly compensated.

A worker under capitalism is subjected to expropriation, objectification (being treated like a piece of equipment, like a means to someone else's economic ends), and exploitation at any capitalist firm where he might seek employment. That is, his freedom is the freedom to be objectified by capitalist "job creator" A rather than capitalist "job creator" B. Whoopee! What wonderful freedom. Lol!


In a market economy not only do workers value their employment since they need to be employed for a wage but the employer values the services of the employee

Correction, a capitalist employer expropriates most of the value created by workers. This is after all the fat cat's fundamental MO for growing fat.


since they are necessary to keep the business running, this is mutualism.

Correction, the MO practiced by the capitalist is parasitism.


If individuals have skills that are valued businesses will compete for their employment, if they have no skills (say a person who dropped out of high school) they would probably have to work a service based job making minimal wages but essentially, it would have to be a living wage yes? I mean, child labor laws are instated in most nations so ideally if your employer doesn't pay a living wage they wouldn't have any employees, they have to pay at least a living wage or what's the point of working? If the wage I am being given is below what I need to survive I might as well not work at all yes? So even jobs on the lowest rung of society or the socioeconomic hierarchy ideally pay living wages (and they do).

Yes, you've clearly been quite thoroughly inculcated with the rationalizations of free-marketarianism.

Charleslb: Nope. Under actually-existing capitalism the workingperson's freedom and choices are seriously strictured and coerced by economic circumstances & pressures, and as a result of his/her socioeconomic disempowerment at the hands of capitalists.

What freedoms and choices are restricted? What are the circumstances and pressures that restrict them? What disempowerment are you speaking of and what is the source of it?

Now you're just playing obtuse and stonewalling. Please return to arguing in good faith.

Sorry for my absence.

http://www.debate.org...

Care to debate the topic formally?
charleslb
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11/10/2014 5:30:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/10/2014 11:48:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
At 11/1/2014 4:00:09 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 8:18:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charleslb:
Communism is not a meritocratic form of society, capitalist meritocracy is just a cover and rationalization for asymmetrical, undemocratic power relations and plutocracy. Communism, rather, advocates a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, which is far more humane and democratic than a potentially quite heartless meritocracy.

I think any government that has a monopoly on force and production and all forms of power is meritocratic since we just have to trust that they won't abuse this power on good faith and that as you say since communism is based on "to each according to his ability/needs" we have to just take on faith that we have this omnipotent government is also omniscient and knows what everyone needs and we have to trust them to judge the value of goods and services since apparently the consumer isn't intelligent enough to do so without this omnipotent, omniscient government.

Well, of course an anarchist-communist form of society would have certain structures, including a minimal bit of representationism, however there would be no government per se, no government in the sense of a controlling authority above the masses. Rather, the structures of a communist society would be genuinely democratic and participatory (workers councils managing workplaces, neighborhood councils, communities practicing direct democracy, and so on); and "representatives" elected to regional, national, and transnational coordinating organizations would in fact be delegates rather than representatives, i.e. they would have no authorization to vote their own "conscience" but rather would be bound by public opinion and subject to the principle of recall at any time if they deviated from genuinely expressing the will of the people. In other words, authentic communism = authentic and thoroughgoing democracy (but not to worry, such democracy =/= a dangerous majoritarianism or the tyranny of the mob, there could and would also be a bill of rights in a communist constitution, establishing and preserving certain fundamental rights & liberties that could never be overridden), not the potential for statist tyranny and totalitarianism.



Capitalism is only meritocracy ...

Capitalism is the rule of capital and those individuals and firms who aggressively channel its dynamics, not a system that ensures that well-roundedly superior and qualified individuals run society (actually, the range of abilities and aptitudes necessary to be a successful capitalist pig are quite limited and unimpressive, and hardly entitle capitalists to dominate the rest of us), i.e. not a meritocracy. And I would again point out that a meritocracy would not be a terribly desirable system or power structure, as it's just a rationalization of and prescription for aristocracy. Myself, I would prefer authentic democracy.



of the individual perhaps because it entrusts the consumer to determine what is worth what and not the government

What government?! I refer you to my above thoughts on the political structures of an authentically communist society.


and is inherently skeptic of centralized power ...

I share your skepticism of excessively centralized power and planning.

which is why it gives everyone the ability to be a producer and consumer and is a system where the consumer determines what the producer produces.

Sorry, but the market is not actually the lovely mechanism that you and your fellow free-marketeers make it out to be.

Charleslb: . It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.

(Responded to every part of this except this part)

Once again under Kant's Imperative we are supposed to assume that all individuals are rational beings and ought to have free will so if in the workplace the individual felt exploited for their labor they would presumably take their services to a place where they felt they would be justly compensated.

A worker under capitalism is subjected to expropriation, objectification (being treated like a piece of equipment, like a means to someone else's economic ends), and exploitation at any capitalist firm where he might seek employment. That is, his freedom is the freedom to be objectified by capitalist "job creator" A rather than capitalist "job creator" B. Whoopee! What wonderful freedom. Lol!


In a market economy not only do workers value their employment since they need to be employed for a wage but the employer values the services of the employee

Correction, a capitalist employer expropriates most of the value created by workers. This is after all the fat cat's fundamental MO for growing fat.


since they are necessary to keep the business running, this is mutualism.

Correction, the MO practiced by the capitalist is parasitism.


If individuals have skills that are valued businesses will compete for their employment, if they have no skills (say a person who dropped out of high school) they would probably have to work a service based job making minimal wages but essentially, it would have to be a living wage yes? I mean, child labor laws are instated in most nations so ideally if your employer doesn't pay a living wage they wouldn't have any employees, they have to pay at least a living wage or what's the point of working? If the wage I am being given is below what I need to survive I might as well not work at all yes? So even jobs on the lowest rung of society or the socioeconomic hierarchy ideally pay living wages (and they do).

Yes, you've clearly been quite thoroughly inculcated with the rationalizations of free-marketarianism.

Charleslb: Nope. Under actually-existing capitalism the workingperson's freedom and choices are seriously strictured and coerced by economic circumstances & pressures, and as a result of his/her socioeconomic disempowerment at the hands of capitalists.

What freedoms and choices are restricted? What are the circumstances and pressures that restrict them? What disempowerment are you speaking of and what is the source of it?

Now you're just playing obtuse and stonewalling. Please return to arguing in good faith.

Sorry for my absence.

http://www.debate.org...

Care to debate the topic formally?

I'm an informal fellow.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
HououinKyouma
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11/10/2014 6:22:27 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/30/2014 9:27:16 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charlesb has reappeared on the forums as of late and I thank him for his thought provoking contributions to our community, but while he is glad to make attacks on capitalism he rarely stands to defend his own ideology, so lets take a look at Communism and some of its primary faults, even Democratic Communism.

1. Communism values equality, and stomps on any other value that impedes it

Communism, in egalitarian and utilitarian forms fails on every philosophical level because its only value is equality and it will stomp on any other value that impedes it. Almost all philosophers in modern times agree that individual rights are a just check on Democracy, that things such as property, life and liberty should be protected with disregard to popular sovereignty or opinion, Communists, just as they tend to believe that no one should own property doesn't believe anyone should own rights. In charlesb's world not only would the government have a monopoly on money and reap all the fruits of your labor but they would have a pure monopoly on force as he's said he would abolish your right to bear arms, lets take a look:

"It's more of a privilege, a privilege that one must earn one's eligibility to enjoy. That is, one ought to be a part of a well-regulated militia or the duly constituted constabulary on one's society to be armed with a dangerous, death-dealing weapon such as a gun."

http://www.debate.org...

As Lord Acton himself once stated "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", according to Charleslb though, in a Democratic society we should trust this benevolent meritocratic government to control all our resources and monopolize lethal force. Charleslb then goes on to use the categorical imperative as an argument for communism, which is rather bizarre because Immanuel Kant was clearly a supporter of capitalism as shown in his concept of an ideal state, The Rechtsstaat. He also explicitly supports property rights stating: "The task of establishing a universal and permanent peaceful life is not only a part of the theory of law within the framework of pure reason, but per se an absolute and ultimate goal. To achieve this goal, a state must become the community of a large number of people, living provided with legislative guarantees of their property rights secured by a common constitution." Indeed, Immanuel Kant believed in very limited government and that Absolute Democracy was despotism. He believed that the State's authority should be limited by constitutional law, and the people should have unalienable rights. Indeed it is rather ignorant and vacuous that charles would use Immanuel Kant in both his gun rights argument and communist argument to justify taking away liberty's.

In fact Communism is the ultimate antithesis to the categorical imperative since Communism's chief value is equality and it will use other individuals labor, talent and intelligence to achieve this concept by giving them disproportionate rewards for their value to the consumer.

In fact communism uses the entire nation as a means to an end as it cheats the consumer out of choice and limits or abolishes competition for the sake of equality and it cheats the individual out of self actualization because it eliminates the motive for individuals to achieve their full potential by depriving them of the rewards they would receive in a market economy for being more valued than another.

Charles claims that capitalism uses individuals as means to an end since they are reduced to nothing but "flesh and blood worker droids for owners", this is entirely irrelevant to Immanuel Kant's imperative. Sure the business owners may see you as the means to an end but alas there is one government and hundreds of thousands of businesses, in a market economy your skills and abilities are given proportionate value to what you have to offer, the producer has to meet the demands of the consumer, this creates a system of ends not means as no one is being used, everyone has an incentive to participate in the system. The consumer wants a product, and there is a producer to meet that demand, the worker wants/needs to make a living so they help produce but in turn become a consumer.

Your distortion of workers being used as means to an end is fatally flawed and incorrect since according to Kant's Imperative, treating individuals as means to an end is depriving them of free will, the only way to treat someone as an end in themself is to give them free will.

"The free will is the source of all rational action. But to treat it as a subjective end is to deny the possibility of freedom in general. Because the autonomous will is the one and only source of moral action, it would contradict the first formulation to claim that a person is merely a means to some other end, rather than always an end in themselves."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

In capitalism we are given free will and all choices are available to us if we are willing to pursue the necessary channels to reach that point, we are given unlimited choices. In communism for the sake of equality our free will is limited and choices eliminated, we are used as means to achieve the end of equality, which Kant never contends is an end in itself.

Basically, any true Kantian is a capitalist and believes in individual rights such as gun rights, not a communist.

All right, I largely agree with the first part of your post--your critique of communism--but seriously, your picture of life in a capitalist society, is too idealized.

1) In a capitalist society it is not always the most skilled, the most able--those who deserve the positions of power--who are rewarded by the system.
2) Because the value of what people produce is determined by the demands of the consumers, there are certain things that have less value in a capitalist society--such as artistic creativity.
3) Our choices in the market are not always free, they are restricted to what is available and to our resources.
4) Further, because of the capitalist tendency to reduce costs, without strict regulations--from the government--the product offered to the consumer can often be subpar.
5) (Related to the above point) Without regulation, certain corporations will damage the environment and thus harm the consumers, the consumers will have no choice between clean air and polluted air.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
Objectivity
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11/11/2014 7:53:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/10/2014 5:30:23 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 11/10/2014 11:48:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
At 11/1/2014 4:00:09 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 8:18:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charleslb:
Communism is not a meritocratic form of society, capitalist meritocracy is just a cover and rationalization for asymmetrical, undemocratic power relations and plutocracy. Communism, rather, advocates a socioeconomic form of life based on the principle of from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, which is far more humane and democratic than a potentially quite heartless meritocracy.

I think any government that has a monopoly on force and production and all forms of power is meritocratic since we just have to trust that they won't abuse this power on good faith and that as you say since communism is based on "to each according to his ability/needs" we have to just take on faith that we have this omnipotent government is also omniscient and knows what everyone needs and we have to trust them to judge the value of goods and services since apparently the consumer isn't intelligent enough to do so without this omnipotent, omniscient government.

Well, of course an anarchist-communist form of society would have certain structures, including a minimal bit of representationism, however there would be no government per se, no government in the sense of a controlling authority above the masses. Rather, the structures of a communist society would be genuinely democratic and participatory (workers councils managing workplaces, neighborhood councils, communities practicing direct democracy, and so on); and "representatives" elected to regional, national, and transnational coordinating organizations would in fact be delegates rather than representatives, i.e. they would have no authorization to vote their own "conscience" but rather would be bound by public opinion and subject to the principle of recall at any time if they deviated from genuinely expressing the will of the people. In other words, authentic communism = authentic and thoroughgoing democracy (but not to worry, such democracy =/= a dangerous majoritarianism or the tyranny of the mob, there could and would also be a bill of rights in a communist constitution, establishing and preserving certain fundamental rights & liberties that could never be overridden), not the potential for statist tyranny and totalitarianism.



Capitalism is only meritocracy ...

Capitalism is the rule of capital and those individuals and firms who aggressively channel its dynamics, not a system that ensures that well-roundedly superior and qualified individuals run society (actually, the range of abilities and aptitudes necessary to be a successful capitalist pig are quite limited and unimpressive, and hardly entitle capitalists to dominate the rest of us), i.e. not a meritocracy. And I would again point out that a meritocracy would not be a terribly desirable system or power structure, as it's just a rationalization of and prescription for aristocracy. Myself, I would prefer authentic democracy.



of the individual perhaps because it entrusts the consumer to determine what is worth what and not the government

What government?! I refer you to my above thoughts on the political structures of an authentically communist society.


and is inherently skeptic of centralized power ...

I share your skepticism of excessively centralized power and planning.

which is why it gives everyone the ability to be a producer and consumer and is a system where the consumer determines what the producer produces.

Sorry, but the market is not actually the lovely mechanism that you and your fellow free-marketeers make it out to be.

Charleslb: . It's the lot of workers under capitalism to be subjected to expropriation, exploitation, and wage slavery, and to be valued as a commodity, not as a human person with talents and creativity.

(Responded to every part of this except this part)

Once again under Kant's Imperative we are supposed to assume that all individuals are rational beings and ought to have free will so if in the workplace the individual felt exploited for their labor they would presumably take their services to a place where they felt they would be justly compensated.

A worker under capitalism is subjected to expropriation, objectification (being treated like a piece of equipment, like a means to someone else's economic ends), and exploitation at any capitalist firm where he might seek employment. That is, his freedom is the freedom to be objectified by capitalist "job creator" A rather than capitalist "job creator" B. Whoopee! What wonderful freedom. Lol!


In a market economy not only do workers value their employment since they need to be employed for a wage but the employer values the services of the employee

Correction, a capitalist employer expropriates most of the value created by workers. This is after all the fat cat's fundamental MO for growing fat.


since they are necessary to keep the business running, this is mutualism.

Correction, the MO practiced by the capitalist is parasitism.


If individuals have skills that are valued businesses will compete for their employment, if they have no skills (say a person who dropped out of high school) they would probably have to work a service based job making minimal wages but essentially, it would have to be a living wage yes? I mean, child labor laws are instated in most nations so ideally if your employer doesn't pay a living wage they wouldn't have any employees, they have to pay at least a living wage or what's the point of working? If the wage I am being given is below what I need to survive I might as well not work at all yes? So even jobs on the lowest rung of society or the socioeconomic hierarchy ideally pay living wages (and they do).

Yes, you've clearly been quite thoroughly inculcated with the rationalizations of free-marketarianism.

Charleslb: Nope. Under actually-existing capitalism the workingperson's freedom and choices are seriously strictured and coerced by economic circumstances & pressures, and as a result of his/her socioeconomic disempowerment at the hands of capitalists.

What freedoms and choices are restricted? What are the circumstances and pressures that restrict them? What disempowerment are you speaking of and what is the source of it?

Now you're just playing obtuse and stonewalling. Please return to arguing in good faith.

Sorry for my absence.

http://www.debate.org...

Care to debate the topic formally?

I'm an informal fellow.

Well then, despite the fact that I love rational discourse as much as the next guy, unfortunately I don't have the time to have prolonged, informal debates on the forums nowadays. If I find the time this week or the next I'll try to bring the thread back with a constructive reply to your reply, sorry for the delay.
Objectivity
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11/11/2014 8:05:01 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

1. Communism values equality, and stomps on any other value that impedes it

Communism, in egalitarian and utilitarian forms fails on every philosophical level because its only value is equality and it will stomp on any other value that impedes it. Almost all philosophers in modern times agree that individual rights are a just check on Democracy, that things such as property, life and liberty should be protected with disregard to popular sovereignty or opinion, Communists, just as they tend to believe that no one should own property doesn't believe anyone should own rights. In charlesb's world not only would the government have a monopoly on money and reap all the fruits of your labor but they would have a pure monopoly on force as he's said he would abolish your right to bear arms, lets take a look:



http://www.debate.org...

As Lord Acton himself once stated "Absolute power corrupts absolutely", according to Charleslb though, in a Democratic society we should trust this benevolent meritocratic government to control all our resources and monopolize lethal force. Charleslb then goes on to use the categorical imperative as an argument for communism, which is rather bizarre because Immanuel Kant was clearly a supporter of capitalism as shown in his concept of an ideal state, The Rechtsstaat. He also explicitly supports property rights stating: "The task of establishing a universal and permanent peaceful life is not only a part of the theory of law within the framework of pure reason, but per se an absolute and ultimate goal. To achieve this goal, a state must become the community of a large number of people, living provided with legislative guarantees of their property rights secured by a common constitution." Indeed, Immanuel Kant believed in very limited government and that Absolute Democracy was despotism. He believed that the State's authority should be limited by constitutional law, and the people should have unalienable rights. Indeed it is rather ignorant and vacuous that charles would use Immanuel Kant in both his gun rights argument and communist argument to justify taking away liberty's.

In fact Communism is the ultimate antithesis to the categorical imperative since Communism's chief value is equality and it will use other individuals labor, talent and intelligence to achieve this concept by giving them disproportionate rewards for their value to the consumer.

In fact communism uses the entire nation as a means to an end as it cheats the consumer out of choice and limits or abolishes competition for the sake of equality and it cheats the individual out of self actualization because it eliminates the motive for individuals to achieve their full potential by depriving them of the rewards they would receive in a market economy for being more valued than another.

Charles claims that capitalism uses individuals as means to an end since they are reduced to nothing but "flesh and blood worker droids for owners", this is entirely irrelevant to Immanuel Kant's imperative. Sure the business owners may see you as the means to an end but alas there is one government and hundreds of thousands of businesses, in a market economy your skills and abilities are given proportionate value to what you have to offer, the producer has to meet the demands of the consumer, this creates a system of ends not means as no one is being used, everyone has an incentive to participate in the system. The consumer wants a product, and there is a producer to meet that demand, the worker wants/needs to make a living so they help produce but in turn become a consumer.

Your distortion of workers being used as means to an end is fatally flawed and incorrect since according to Kant's Imperative, treating individuals as means to an end is depriving them of free will, the only way to treat someone as an end in themself is to give them free will.

"The free will is the source of all rational action. But to treat it as a subjective end is to deny the possibility of freedom in general. Because the autonomous will is the one and only source of moral action, it would contradict the first formulation to claim that a person is merely a means to some other end, rather than always an end in themselves."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

In capitalism we are given free will and all choices are available to us if we are willing to pursue the necessary channels to reach that point, we are given unlimited choices. In communism for the sake of equality our free will is limited and choices eliminated, we are used as means to achieve the end of equality, which Kant never contends is an end in itself.

Basically, any true Kantian is a capitalist and believes in individual rights such as gun rights, not a communist.

All right, I largely agree with the first part of your post--your critique of communism--but seriously, your picture of life in a capitalist society, is too idealized.

1) In a capitalist society it is not always the most skilled, the most able--those who deserve the positions of power--who are rewarded by the system.

Maybe to you, and even myself this is true but ideally that is why we shouldn't entrust the government to determine the value of skills and labor but the consumer, even if what the consumer values is at times questionable, as Kant himself stated in his imperative, we have a perfect duty to treat all humans as rational beings and not restrict their free will, so the idea that capitalism is more kantian than communism still prevails.

2) Because the value of what people produce is determined by the demands of the consumers, there are certain things that have less value in a capitalist society--such as artistic creativity.

Once again, the value of skills is subjective and based on the value of what the skills produce, middle class people who can't afford to buy fancy artwork are going to value the skills of a factory worker that produces cars that they want and need more than the skills of an artist who produces artwork that not everyone can afford, and that not everyone that can afford it likes it.

3) Our choices in the market are not always free, they are restricted to what is available and to our resources.

True but this problem isn't remedied by government intervention or can be remedied by more than just government intervention so you're indirectly begging the question.

4) Further, because of the capitalist tendency to reduce costs, without strict regulations--from the government--the product offered to the consumer can often be subpar.

Once again, it's all about what the consumer values, that is why most industries/products in a capitalist society have products with varying degrees of quality and cost, there are cheap, basic cars for those that can't afford anything more and fancy luxury cars for those that have money to blow, the honda v. the mercedes, we are given choice.

5) (Related to the above point) Without regulation, certain corporations will damage the environment and thus harm the consumers, the consumers will have no choice between clean air and polluted air.

If the consumer doesn't like the polluted air enough you can be certain a product will come out that minimalizes air pollution in its production and if the consumer doesn't want pollution they will buy that product. If the consumer values clean air they will buy the product that is produced with minimal solution. A lot of 'negative externalities' that economists speak of can be corrected by the market.

Side note: I had to cut some parts out to leave room for more characters
Objectivity
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11/11/2014 10:26:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 3:13:12 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 7:45:44 AM, Objectivity wrote:



Uh, excuse me, but the form of communist life that I envision and advocate would be quite stateless.

Would you care to elaborate as to how we could maintain an economic system that involves the forfeit of property and wealth without some sort of governmental intervention? I mean obviously not everyone is going to hand you the their property and wealth on a silver platter if they aren't forced to.

I am not attacking all communists, just you or your brand of Communism,

And what, pray tell, do you think my particular brand of communism is? You don't really seem to have the vaguest notion, not if you think that the form of communist society that I advocate would be run by some manner of authoritarian central government!

Do tell me what it is, despite the fact that stateless communism is an oxymoron I'd love to hear about your system.

and furthermore most western philosophers would agree that individuals ought to have a right to private property,

Well, we're all quite aware that most Western philosophers aren't communists.

Like Kant?


additionally the issue is that just as Communists don't believe in the concept of private property they don't believe in private, i.e individual rights.

An absurd non sequitur. And, moreover, I don't really think you have a terribly good understanding of the communist's opposition to private property. It's specifically the private ownership of the forces of production that communists wish to abolish. For God's sake, everyone would still be able to own their own toothbrushes and toiletries, TVs and trucks and whatnot!

communism: a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.

If you are advocating socialism you should have just said so, since that is more along the lines of what you just described.

I won't rehash, I'll merely refer you to this, http://www.debate.org...

A bunch of assertions based on premises backed by more assertions, which is, with all due respect, the jist of 90% of your rants.



It's all that I thought your point merited. Really, bringing the issue of gun rights into a conversation on communism. What possible legitimacy can such a tack have? Clearly you're trying, a la the Red Scare tactics of the 1950s, to suggest that contemporary communists are still scary and malevolent totalitarians who wish to take everyone's firearms away as a prelude to enslaving them. Sorry, but I'm not about to dignify such nonsense with a substantive refutation.

Two things here.

A. How can we have a stateless society that controls both the means of production and has a monopoly on lethal force? Once again, seems rather oxymoronic to me

B. There is no refutation here, just as there wasn't before, just an attempt to turn my argument in to something it is not, attempting to rebuff my supposed logical dishonesty with your own.

as you don't deny that giving the government a monopoly on the economy and force is absolute power and then you also don't deny that it corrupts. You don't really take the time or effort to justify a governmental monopoly on force so until you do I'll just assume you concede that taking away gun rights is an unjust monopoly on force.

What government? Again, I look forward to a stateless form of life, as I'm an anarchist-communist, not a bleeping Stalinist. And what gun rights, gun rights are a rightist legal fiction based on an intellectually-dishonest interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. (Watch him go off on a tangent on "gun rights" now! Lol!)

I refer you to the above, unless in your "stateless" society everyone voluntarily forfeits their weaponry you are contradicting yourself in the claim that you believe in statelessness.

Take a look at the economic, social, moral, spiritual, and ecological ill-effects of the relentless and overriding drive for profit and expansion, take a good and critical look at actually-existing capitalism.

Interesting tangent that was supposed to prompt critical thinking but instead shed further light on your fundamental misunderstanding of the mechanics of debate, where you have the burden of proof when making an assertion, not me.

and even if it is what justifies taking away our free will to compete with others?

Taking away your free will, what hyperbolic rubbish. And sorry, but one doesn't have an inalienable moral right to behave in a socially-harmful egoistic fashion. Freedom is not an absolute that should be applied to all behaviors, that's after all why we have laws against certain forms of human conduct; and why society doesn't let the strong beat on the weak, except of course when it comes to capitalists abusing the dignity of workingpeople, which is all communists seek to prohibit. At any rate, freedom isn't a stand-alone value, it must be balanced with other socioethical consideration, such as the spiritual benefit to working-class human beings of not being subjected to wage slavery and reduced to commodities, or their moral right to economic well-being and social equality. Which alas seems to be something that "libertarian" types are cognitively incapable of grasping.

Interesting analysis, although it is more assertions backed by assertions. The fact of the matter is if we applied your logic to every situation it would set an ugly precedent since most basic freedoms we have that even you claim to agree with might conflict with these socioethical considerations you speak of. Furthermore, you beg the question that restriction of freedom and confiscation of property is the only remedy to the current state of affairs which you don't even properly justify as needing to be changed except by talking about the spiritual, social, and moral effects of capitalism, making you sound like a cookie cutout of the conservative you are so inclined to rail against, since apparently if freedom leads to subjective moral spiritual and social degradation we ought to restrict it. You also beg the question yet again that the only remedy to environmental issues is confiscating property.

Apples and oranges dear fellow

Above



Oh my, you seem to be attempting to twist Kant to rationalize/legitimize the "libertarian" laissez-faire, egoistic orientation in which everyone should exist and exercise his/her free will in an asocial, atomized fashion, paying no mind to the existential reality that life is a social-relational proposition enjoining limits on personal liberty.

More jargon without justification. Why is life a social-relational proposition? Where does my obligation to my fellow man derive from? Is it duty , social contract? Give me something to work with.

More assertions but I'll answer them I suppose. You are just looking at it from a closed and narrow perspective that justifies your narrative of communism, in a capitalist society where the means of production are given to anyone who can offer a product that the consumer deems worthy of spending their money on if someone feels like their talents aren't being justly compensated or valued they can create their own product based on their talents or service, in Communism if you feel like your talents are being unjustly compensated or exploited to achieve the state's end of egalitarianism you don't have the option to let others determine the value of your labor, the government does.

Again, Fail! I don't advocate a statist form of communism.

Stateless communism is oxymoronic but whatever, I'll let you talk more on that





Blah, blah, everything's rosy with capitalism, blah.

Not what I set out to prove
EndarkenedRationalist
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11/11/2014 10:32:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I do have to say, Objectivity, if you don't understand stateless communism, then you don't understand "true" communism (ie Marxism) at all. Marx's entire vision was a stateless, classless society.
Objectivity
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11/11/2014 10:47:49 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/1/2014 4:00:09 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/31/2014 8:18:14 AM, Objectivity wrote:
Charleslb:

I think any government that has a monopoly on force and production and all forms of power is meritocratic since we just have to trust that they won't abuse this power on good faith and that as you say since communism is based on "to each according to his ability/needs" we have to just take on faith that we have this omnipotent government is also omniscient and knows what everyone needs and we have to trust them to judge the value of goods and services since apparently the consumer isn't intelligent enough to do so without this omnipotent, omniscient government.

Well, of course an anarchist-communist form of society would have certain structures, including a minimal bit of representationism, however there would be no government per se, no government in the sense of a controlling authority above the masses. Rather, the structures of a communist society would be genuinely democratic and participatory (workers councils managing workplaces, neighborhood councils, communities practicing direct democracy, and so on); and "representatives" elected to regional, national, and transnational coordinating organizations would in fact be delegates rather than representatives, i.e. they would have no authorization to vote their own "conscience" but rather would be bound by public opinion and subject to the principle of recall at any time if they deviated from genuinely expressing the will of the people. In other words, authentic communism = authentic and thoroughgoing democracy (but not to worry, such democracy =/= a dangerous majoritarianism or the tyranny of the mob, there could and would also be a bill of rights in a communist constitution, establishing and preserving certain fundamental rights & liberties that could never be overridden), not the potential for statist tyranny and totalitarianism.

So essentially a direct democracy? Okay great, now we have something to work with, although at the end of the day what we are working with is still a government. At the end of the day even if the democracy is very transparent and adheres to the will of the people, someone still has to execute the will of the people or the will of the people wills nothing, who does this? The government. Now that we have that premise established we can move on.



Capitalism is only meritocracy ...

Capitalism is the rule of capital and those individuals and firms who aggressively channel its dynamics, not a system that ensures that well-roundedly superior and qualified individuals run society (actually, the range of abilities and aptitudes necessary to be a successful capitalist pig are quite limited and unimpressive, and hardly entitle capitalists to dominate the rest of us), i.e. not a meritocracy. And I would again point out that a meritocracy would not be a terribly desirable system or power structure, as it's just a rationalization of and prescription for aristocracy. Myself, I would prefer authentic democracy.

You would prefer a meritocracy of the 51% to decide what 49% of the people want. Your meritocracy poses a lot of issues such as apathy and what would happen when 25% of the people turn out in elections and only 51% of the 25% vote on something, meaning 12.5% of the people are controlling the appropriation of resources for the other 87.5%, creating an elite ruling class in and of itself that is highly abusable. Considering only 36% of the people turned out in our recent congressional elections that only happen every two years, what would happen if in your system people had to turn out to vote even more often? Probably an even lower turnout. Should the other 75% have voted in my hypothetical? Yes. Does the fact that they didn't justify the 12.6% confiscating their property? No. That is why democracy should be extremely limited and the government should be small in scope and size even when the people want it to be large.



of the individual perhaps because it entrusts the consumer to determine what is worth what and not the government

What government?! I refer you to my above thoughts on the political structures of an authentically communist society.

Addressed this in my previous post and here. Direct democracy or democracy that holds politicians extremely accountable is still a form of government.


and is inherently skeptic of centralized power ...

I share your skepticism of excessively centralized power and planning.

I find it unfortunate to say that I don't think we are on the same page as to what being skeptic of centralized power truly means.

which is why it gives everyone the ability to be a producer and consumer and is a system where the consumer determines what the producer produces.

Sorry, but the market is not actually the lovely mechanism that you and your fellow free-marketeers make it out to be.

It has issues like any other system, but they have more than one solution, something I think you refuse to accept.



(Responded to every part of this except this part)



A worker under capitalism is subjected to expropriation, objectification (being treated like a piece of equipment, like a means to someone else's economic ends), and exploitation at any capitalist firm where he might seek employment. That is, his freedom is the freedom to be objectified by capitalist "job creator" A rather than capitalist "job creator" B. Whoopee! What wonderful freedom. Lol!

When Kant say we should treat people as ends in themselves rather than means to an end he goes on to further state that treating individuals as means to an end is restricting their free will. He doesn't state that we have an obligation to give people the means to execute their will, just because I want to be a painter and be rewarded so much for doing it doesn't mean others have an obligation to fulfill that desire, I just have the right to pursue that desire without restriction. That is the essence of the imperative, not your version of it.



Correction, a capitalist employer expropriates most of the value created by workers. This is after all the fat cat's fundamental MO for growing fat.

Answered this above, free will=/=being entitled to the means to execute your will.


since they are necessary to keep the business running, this is mutualism.

Correction, the MO practiced by the capitalist is parasitism.


If individuals have skills that are valued businesses will compete for their employment, if they have no skills (say a person who dropped out of high school) they would probably have to work a service based job making minimal wages but essentially, it would have to be a living wage yes? I mean, child labor laws are instated in most nations so ideally if your employer doesn't pay a living wage they wouldn't have any employees, they have to pay at least a living wage or what's the point of working? If the wage I am being given is below what I need to survive I might as well not work at all yes? So even jobs on the lowest rung of society or the socioeconomic hierarchy ideally pay living wages (and they do).

Yes, you've clearly been quite thoroughly inculcated with the rationalizations of free-marketarianism.




What freedoms and choices are restricted? What are the circumstances and pressures that restrict them? What disempowerment are you speaking of and what is the source of it?

Now you're just playing obtuse and stonewalling. Please return to arguing in good faith.

I am asking a legitimate question which ought to be given an answer, and was instead answered with accusations of stonewalling via my opponent's own brand of stonewalling.
Objectivity
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11/11/2014 10:51:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/11/2014 10:32:31 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
I do have to say, Objectivity, if you don't understand stateless communism, then you don't understand "true" communism (ie Marxism) at all. Marx's entire vision was a stateless, classless society.

I do understand it, but the premise being argued here is a few different things:

A. Charlesb doesn't advocate for stateless communism

B. Stateless communism is oxymoronic unless everyone in a community volunteers to loss of property and wealth, or to leave the place where they currently reside. If the people have a will someone has to execute it, that actor is the state.
Wocambs
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11/11/2014 11:58:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/11/2014 10:51:18 AM, Objectivity wrote:
B. Stateless communism is oxymoronic unless everyone in a community volunteers to loss of property and wealth, or to leave the place where they currently reside. If the people have a will someone has to execute it, that actor is the state.

The idea is that 'the right to private property' is unjust, so what you're saying is about as meaningful as saying that modern democracy is oxymoronic unless the royal family renounces their divine right to rule. 'The will of people' is executed by the people, not by their rulers, i.e. the state.
EndarkenedRationalist
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11/11/2014 12:00:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/11/2014 10:51:18 AM, Objectivity wrote:
At 11/11/2014 10:32:31 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
I do have to say, Objectivity, if you don't understand stateless communism, then you don't understand "true" communism (ie Marxism) at all. Marx's entire vision was a stateless, classless society.

I do understand it, but the premise being argued here is a few different things:

A. Charlesb doesn't advocate for stateless communism

Yes, he does.

B. Stateless communism is oxymoronic unless everyone in a community volunteers to loss of property and wealth, or to leave the place where they currently reside. If the people have a will someone has to execute it, that actor is the state.


The essential concept, as I understand it, is that the state is an essential actor is seizing private property. After that, it is done away with.

It seems silly to me - as a socialist, I'd rather the state kept it - but that's Marxism for you.
HououinKyouma
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11/11/2014 12:33:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/11/2014 8:05:01 AM, Objectivity wrote:
All right, I largely agree with the first part of your post--your critique of communism--but seriously, your picture of life in a capitalist society, is too idealized.

1) In a capitalist society it is not always the most skilled, the most able--those who deserve the positions of power--who are rewarded by the system.

Maybe to you, and even myself this is true but ideally that is why we shouldn't entrust the government to determine the value of skills and labor but the consumer, even if what the consumer values is at times questionable, as Kant himself stated in his imperative, we have a perfect duty to treat all humans as rational beings and not restrict their free will, so the idea that capitalism is more kantian than communism still prevails.

Granted, it is better than the opposite, but that is not the point I was making. And the government can try to ensure that the people who are most qualified reach the highest positions.--by outlawing nepotism, for example

2) Because the value of what people produce is determined by the demands of the consumers, there are certain things that have less value in a capitalist society--such as artistic creativity.

Once again, the value of skills is subjective and based on the value of what the skills produce, middle class people who can't afford to buy fancy artwork are going to value the skills of a factory worker that produces cars that they want and need more than the skills of an artist who produces artwork that not everyone can afford, and that not everyone that can afford it likes it.

Again, I agree. But what you said does not in any case refute my criticism, that in capitalism certain skills are devalued while others might become overvalued. And the consumer is not the causal agent here, it is the supplier, and the socioeconomic system generally.

3) Our choices in the market are not always free, they are restricted to what is available and to our resources.

True but this problem isn't remedied by government intervention or can be remedied by more than just government intervention so you're indirectly begging the question.

The government can--through redistribution by taxation and government programs--increase the resources available to the general population, through free trade agreements increase the amount of products available, and finally it can limit the ability of corporations to form monopolies. And I was not begging the question, I was stating a fact.

4) Further, because of the capitalist tendency to reduce costs, without strict regulations--from the government--the product offered to the consumer can often be subpar.

Once again, it's all about what the consumer values, that is why most industries/products in a capitalist society have products with varying degrees of quality and cost, there are cheap, basic cars for those that can't afford anything more and fancy luxury cars for those that have money to blow, the honda v. the mercedes, we are given choice.

This reply smacks me of the ahistorical. Suppliers can create the demand, and--without government regulation--will form monopolies that will provide only cheap products, leaving the consumer with no choice between a quality product and a cheap one (like in the 19th Century). It was only through government intervention that 1) businesses were forced to ensure that their products adhered to basic standards of quality, and 2) that the general population had more wealth, making luxury items (hitherto limited to only a few) available to a larger segment of the population.

5) (Related to the above point) Without regulation, certain corporations will damage the environment and thus harm the consumers, the consumers will have no choice between clean air and polluted air.

If the consumer doesn't like the polluted air enough you can be certain a product will come out that minimalizes air pollution in its production and if the consumer doesn't want pollution they will buy that product. If the consumer values clean air they will buy the product that is produced with minimal solution. A lot of 'negative externalities' that economists speak of can be corrected by the market.

Once again we have the ahistorical. Without a government that can regulate the corporations that cause pollution, most corporations will not even bother to check the levels of pollutants that are the outcome of the production process--people will not have a choice in the matter.

Side note: I had to cut some parts out to leave room for more characters

I did the same, your OP was at charleslbsian levels when it comes to length.
"Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire." F. Nietzsche.

"Freedom is always freedom for the one who thinks differently." R. Luxemburg.

"The principle of the masochistic left is that, in general, two blacks make a white, half a loaf is the same as no bread." G. Orwell, paraphrase.

"Islamophobia is a word created by fascists, used by cowards, to manipulate morons". Andrew Cummins.
socialpinko
Posts: 10,458
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11/11/2014 10:01:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/11/2014 10:51:18 AM, Objectivity wrote:
At 11/11/2014 10:32:31 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
I do have to say, Objectivity, if you don't understand stateless communism, then you don't understand "true" communism (ie Marxism) at all. Marx's entire vision was a stateless, classless society.

I do understand it, but the premise being argued here is a few different things:

A. Charlesb doesn't advocate for stateless communism

Yeah he does.

B. Stateless communism is oxymoronic unless everyone in a community volunteers to loss of property and wealth, or to leave the place where they currently reside. If the people have a will someone has to execute it, that actor is the state.

1) Problematic "voluntaristic" premises i.e., juxtaposing an idealized version of freedom under capitalism to hold in distinction to that which would supposedly obtain under communism.
2) Propping up a strawmann of stateless communism.
3) Ambiguous definition of the state which clings to long-since refuted notions of ontological stability.
4) Problematic (presumably not actually thought out) notions of subjectivity and the role of actors in relation to structural shifts/maintenance.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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11/12/2014 1:29:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/11/2014 10:01:43 PM, socialpinko wrote:
At 11/11/2014 10:51:18 AM, Objectivity wrote:
At 11/11/2014 10:32:31 AM, EndarkenedRationalist wrote:
I do have to say, Objectivity, if you don't understand stateless communism, then you don't understand "true" communism (ie Marxism) at all. Marx's entire vision was a stateless, classless society.

I do understand it, but the premise being argued here is a few different things:

A. Charlesb doesn't advocate for stateless communism

Yeah he does.

B. Stateless communism is oxymoronic unless everyone in a community volunteers to loss of property and wealth, or to leave the place where they currently reside. If the people have a will someone has to execute it, that actor is the state.

1) Problematic "voluntaristic" premises i.e., juxtaposing an idealized version of freedom under capitalism to hold in distinction to that which would supposedly obtain under communism.
2) Propping up a strawmann of stateless communism.
3) Ambiguous definition of the state which clings to long-since refuted notions of ontological stability.
4) Problematic (presumably not actually thought out) notions of subjectivity and the role of actors in relation to structural shifts/maintenance.

Thank you.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.