The whole "to each according to his needs" thing in Critique of the Gotha Program is, i think, a good idea when we are talking about access to healthcare, tools for the disabled, food and water donations, e.t.c. but the idea that we should redistribute actual wealth just seems like retarded nonsense, i have never met anyone intelligent who believes in it
I think the wealth of the earth belongs to its inhabitants. Having your own property so long as you or your families uses it is fine, but owning miles and miles of land that other people work, is just greed.
It's an ideal built upon jealously and envy that put into practice, is a good way to break human rights, kill off people and ruin nature. And yet people keep saying "maybe next time".
How sure are you that we can trust your ability to assess intelligence?
When you say the redistribution of wealth, do you exclusively mean money, or do you include things like businesses and property?
Are the people who say "maybe next time" motivated by the same jealousy and envy?
Because if they're not, I don't see any reason to think they will repeat the same mistakes as the Soviet Union.
that quote is taken far too seriously, its a bit of rhetoric nothing more. What is crucial is not the 'use values' which everyone receives under communism but democratic control of the economy and the end of alienation of labour under manifested in private property.
Are you implying that people without proper incentives would participate in this economy? Are you implying that we wouldn't seek to be top dog, even in the supposed "heiarchy less" world of communism?
So you don't think it's possible that someone could be a communist for moral reasons, and simply be misguided?
It's much easier to argue against people who you define as inherently immoral, isn't it.
As for whether the same mistakes would be repeated again, that would very much depend on how the circumstances play out. If we were to have communism in the future, it's very unlikely to come about amid a large local conflict as it did in the Russian Revolution. That alone makes your claim that "history will repeat itself" mere conjecture.
Communism only comes about through force. Marx thought that nations like Germany and the such would later become communist, but due to prevailing economic prosperity and the sustainably of capatilism, Marx's vision did not come about and instead when a nation goes communist, it is through bloodshed.
You would never go for communism for moral reasons, you would be a horrid liar if you said you did.
Yet there were periods in time when it was thought communist nations would outperform capitalist ones. The fact that they existed in the first place undermines your argument, not to mention the fact that humans are capable of living under conditions that are far more beastly than Communism, as demonstrated by history.
Honestly, rather than trying to persuade yourself that communism was absolute evil you should actually try and understand it. Then you might come up with criticisms that aren't completely generic. Because so far it has been every uninformed cliche about communism under the sun and not one insightful argument.
I repeat my previous comment about assuming people you disagree with are immoral.
The Russian Revolution was violent, a fair observation, but by what other means do you propose overthrowing an autocratic state? Let's ignore what their motivations were for a moment and think about the simple question of "how can we do it?".
Oh no, a saboteur!
It's foolish to deny the importance of the Soviet Union in discussions of communism. It remains a tangible example of communism and no matter how different you suppose a new communist state would be you cannot detach yourself from it.
We need to learn from it: everyone does.
I do not see how you can detach a state which attempted to put the writings of Karl Marx into practice from Karl Marx as a figure.
It's like trying to deny that Islamic terrorists are not Muslims.
so every single person intelligent person you have ever met is against all taxes and government programs, am I getting that right. because you may just be an extremely bad judge of intelligence
Except that he said very clearly that he understands why people might think that state operated healthcare, water and so on was a good idea.
If only they would clarify what it is they mean by wealth, the discussion could progress.
Soviet Russia stayed alive because the natural resources, including large population, that they already had, the history of people being subservient to those in power, and the incredible amount of corruption that forced things to continue on. Theres a reason why the world is mainly capitalist now and the big communist countries, Russia and China, have pretty much become full capitalist by now.
Just a reminder that pretty much anyone
on /lit/ would be on there knees and put against a wall if any of this wealth distribution (communist revolution) took place
What was the incentive of the rich artisan/artistic aristocracy of a while back, who such members like beethoven and davinci belonged to?
Definitely wasnt money you moron and or troll
This is really not accurate. Nationalism and racism has triumphed over class consciousness for now and I see no reason for it to change in the near future. Even the poorest american still profits from the exploitation of the third world and it is not in his interest to change things. Also, thugs would be the ones to carry out the revolution, but I doubt they would be ones to lead it.
Because the attempt was flawed. I can say I am fighting dragons but that doesnt actually change the windmills
I personally believe that in certain well-off countries with a fairly low population a basic income could work to boost innovation and help both culture and business thrive. I don't think it would work in the US just yet, but I think it is in the future for all societies in the long run. We'll see how Finland do with their trial.
I don't know if anybody advocates a complete equal split of all wealth between citizens.
The Soviet Union did not collapse for any single reason, a number of events conspired together to create conditions for it to collapse. In 1986 there was no reason to suppose the Soviet Union wouldn't last another hundred years and yet it fell within five.
Yet reading posts like yours would lead one to believe that Capitalism was ordained by God. As though the USSR was some prolonged lapse in logic which would eventually resolve itself. It's conspiratorial thinking at its worst.
I mean, Russians are naturally subservient... what the fuck are you talking about? They staged a revolution! Apart from that, their present attitude towards the United States or their neighbours could hardly be described as subservient.
Does the fact that United Kingdom has a national health service mean that it has 'failed' as a capitalist country?
Or that it's not a democracy because it uses a parliamentary system instead of direct democracy?
It was certainly a flawed attempt and I can even point to reasons that I think caused it to fail, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an attempt. At the end of the day even if you insist that it wasn't a communist state, the fact is that everyone else thinks it was.
Instead I would suggest taking a different path, and trying to remind people that the realities of communism were far less disastrous than most people have been led to believe, and the worst of its excesses can be avoided by changes in the structure and its implementation. There is no reason we would need to have round up Kulaks, or to censor the general public in a new communist state. Yet these are what put most people off. I doubt there are many opposed to communism because they've got a hard on for the free market or think taxation is immoral.
I'm not sure what your implication is supposed to be, because the answer to your question is, subject to a few caveats, obviously "yes".
It would have been difficult for Gorbachev to have done this in Russia after he allowed all the other former communists states to leave the Eastern block, but had that not happened then I have no doubt such tactics would have prevented the Communists from being overthrown. It would not even be the first instance of it.
I suppose my follow up question would have to be, do you think that the economy is more important for holding on to power than monopolising force?
Welcome to the real world.
>Does the fact that United Kingdom has a national health service mean that it has 'failed' as a capitalist country?
Yes, or at least severely compromised.
Democracy is a sham anyway.
I looked up the wikipedia page on the USSR and it manages to dodge the whole issue by calling it a M-L state. I guess I will concede the issue as my misunderstanding.
I am not sure what your implication is, as I did not mean to imply anything than a desire for your opinion. Of course, the economy collapsed far enough to disgruntle the populace than it would erode political power. The question is what degree of compromise would have been viable. Is anyone really happy with the way it did turn out?
Well at least you are consistent. But what you are saying resembles a "no true scotsman" argument and as I said before, it's not useful because the only people who believe it are already communists.
The issue with capitalism isn't an unequal distribution of wealth, it's that labour time functions as a measure of exchangeable values and that therefore all outcomes are based on these variate exchangeable values which are constantly being devalued... the accumulation of wealth in its abstract form of exchangeable value is the cause of all economic crisis. Sismondi was really the first to grasp the contradiction between use value and value in exchange but like all other Utopian Socialists he thought that a mere change in the distribution of wealth could fix this which it can't.
"Redistributing wealth" around would literally accomplish noting. You clearly don't understand Critique of the Gotha Program
The only "redistribution of wealth" that ever occurred is when the rich cordoned off for themselves a portion of wealth that society produces, anon. They didn't make anything; they just parasitized the functioning of society, and the fact that they contributed to society's function in the process doesn't detract from that.
Property is theft amigo.
I'm sorry, the way you phrased your question led me to think it was intended as sarcasm.
Towards the end of the USSR the economy did erode, but it did so for an extended period and the effect of it was probably negligible.
More significant would be the lack of viable successors in the high ranks of the Communist party (the old bolsheviks were dropping like flies) and Gorbachev underestimating the effect of policies like Glasnost would have on the general population. Rather than making the Soviet Union seem like a more open place the main consequence was to lead people to question their legitimacy and moral authority.
It's entirely possible to run a state into the ground and maintain power, as North Korea demonstrates. There is no reason the same policies would not have a similar effect if they were applied to the Soviet Union.
As for what degree of compromise would be viable, it's hard to say. I think if they had intervened in the Eastern Block, that would probably have made them less likely to protest in Petrograd and Moscow. Perhaps then the USSR could have been preserved even with Glasnost. Difficult to make that work though.
The oligarchs of Russia and the western governments at the time were pretty satisfied. Everyone else? Not really.
What about the referendum. I never really hear anything about it, despite the results being so in favor of a new union (except those few who boycotted) only for the whole process to fall apart. Were the results faked or just inconsequential?
>hear anything about it, despite the results being so in favor of a new union (except those few who boycotted) only for the whole process to fall apart. Were the results faked or just inconsequential?
I'm not sure what you're referring to, though I'm fairly sure that most Russians look back on the USSR with nostalgia.
I know the second article claims the August coup stopped the treaty, I don't see what it would
to be honest I think I actually misread OP more than you judge me to have done - I assumed he was saying that non-redistribuative, market-based solutions (even conducted through the state) are inherently preferable to those funded through any sort of progressive tax
The interesting thing about Gorbachev is that the economic decline didn't begin until *after* he'd started his market reforms. Prior to that there was stagnation, corruption, and inefficiency, but it was by no means unsustainable. The main failure of the USSR was political, not econonomic; the stagnation of ideology and the failure of the Soviet system to produce any actual worthwhile young political talent. Instead the country was landed with an idiot like Gorbachev and a CPSU and bureaucracy too inert, dogmatic and corrupt to resist his ass-backwards reforms (look at Deng in China to see how to actually marketize a planned economy without fucking it up).
Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, are stashed in offshore tax havens. This money could be used to drastically improve the lives of every single person in developing nations to the point that they would not feel the need to try to immigrate to other countries. Often, a lot of this money is made through questionable, legally grey or outright illegal means. My problem is not with the medical doctor who earns 300k a year, lives in a nice house and sends his kid to a private school, or with the successful small business owner, or even the professional athlete who might earn millions. It's with the ultra, ultra wealthy, corrupt people who carve up the world for themselves over expensive scotch, bribe/lobby politicians, finance wars, and when things go tits up, run away and let others take the fall. If you unironically support a class of oligarchs who only have the interests of themselves in mind, then you truly are a fool.
>I can't be bothered reading this thread, but I take the time to respond to it by making the most banal criticism of communism possible and still act like I'm some kind of fucking genius.