The next generation

mixed_biscuits

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Romania now is hardly utopia. There were people who did better under communism there than they would have otherwise. I imagine those are the types who are nostalgic for it.

It's a damn sight better than it was.

Life is harder for some now, but not by much - inevitably tough transition period.
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
If you're not interested in making decisions that are based on the mutual good of the "commune", and disagree with the form of government proposed by others within the organization, then you can always leave. Why should you continue to benefit from the organization if you fundamentally disagree with its precepts?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

My hypothetical specified that I had something to offer to the commune that could not be ignored.

The problem is that people do decide to leave - in their droves. So communist governments put up big walls to stop them going = authoritarianism.

I've got no problem with people setting up their own little communes, provided that they don't expect to be allowed to force other people to join them.
 
N

nomadologist

Guest
My hypothetical specified that I had something to offer to the commune that could not be ignored.

The problem is that people do decide to leave - in their droves. So communist governments put up big walls to stop them going = authoritarianism.

I've got no problem with people setting up their own little communes, provided that they don't expect to be allowed to force other people to join them.

Yes and what would you be offering? This hypothetical makes no sense unless it has content--i.e., do you have a couple of trillion dollars? A cheaper way to run public transit? What exactly could you possibly have that would be this important?
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
Yes and what would you be offering? This hypothetical makes no sense unless it has content--i.e., do you have a couple of trillion dollars? A cheaper way to run public transit? What exactly could you possibly have that would be this important?

Scale the size of the commune down if you're having problems with the hypothetical.

In any case, your solution is either to tell me to sling my hook or just ignore me. If you have 100,000s of dissenters in your large commune (which, of course, is inevitable), you would be wasting a lot of human resources.
 
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nomadologist

Guest
I'm not having "problems" with the hypothetical, it simply doesn't make sense to "hypothetically" have something so wonderful that an entire group of people would have to throw off any principles they would use to structure their government. Either you have something you can name that is this wonderful, or it's just a bullshit argument.

What do you have? A couple of cars? Some drums of crude oil?

It doesn't matter how many people we're talking about.
 
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nomadologist

Guest
Scale the size of the commune down if you're having problems with the hypothetical.

In any case, your solution is either to tell me to sling my hook or just ignore me. If you have 100,000s of dissenters in your large commune (which, of course, is inevitable), you would be wasting a lot of human resources.

Well that depends on quite a few factors. Not all people are "human resources" as such, many are drains on an economy, on a country's resources, on its ability to thrive.
 
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nomadologist

Guest
of course not. people shouldn't be reduced to their "profit value" to society. some people simply will never be able to make as much money than others, but this does not mean they don't deserve to live as well as others can and do.
 

vimothy

yurp
If you're not interested in making decisions that are based on the mutual good of the "commune", and disagree with the form of government proposed by others within the organization, then you can always leave. Why should you continue to benefit from the organization if you fundamentally disagree with its precepts?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

Yeah, right.

Didn't the communists have rather different ideas about the freedom of their slave-populations? If you disagree with the with the policies meant to acheive the "mutual good" of the commune (as decided by your unelected leaders), go straight to the gulag.
 

vimothy

yurp
of course not. people shouldn't be reduced to their "profit value" to society. some people simply will never be able to make as much money than others, but this does not mean they don't deserve to live as well as others can and do.

It's not a question of "deserving" anything. You live in a world of scarcity, you are not in the position to decide who deserves what and you are not in a position to redistribute gains.

mixed_biscuits hypothetical is easy: imagine he is a fantastically clever mathematician/economist who has solved the socialist calculation problem and can show you how to correctly distribute resourses such that you are producing at an optimal level that would only be possible under a market economy otherwise. Without him your economy is in ruins. Do you let him leave? What happened historically in similar cases?

But there is no essential link between a form of social organisation based around the commune, in one way or another, and authritarianism.

Given that, don't you think it's strange that all communist countries have been authoritarian hell-holes? Why is that?

Just as there is no essential link between capitalism and freedom or democracy (as contempoary China and Russia are showing us, and to a lesser extent the revocation of human rights in the UK and US).

Perhaps -- but there does appear to be a link between capitalism and freedom or democracy. Why is that?

[The "sustainable autocracy" angle is interesting, but I'd like to hear your views on these other correlations first.]
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Romania now is hardly utopia. There were people who did better under communism there than they would have otherwise. I imagine those are the types who are nostalgic for it.

Oh, I'm sure - the Party elite, military leaders and police chiefs, to name a few.
 

vimothy

yurp
195px-Nicolae_Ceausescu.png



Hard not to feel a little nostalgic before the visage of the "Genius of the Carpathians", eh?
 

turtles

in the sea
So I've always wondered this, and it's probably something very obvious covered in Communism 101, but what exactly is the stopping point of having a democratically elected communist government?

(I once almost started a "Questions you are dying to ask but are too scared to because of Philosophy/Politics nerd cred" thread just to ask this question...)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
So I've always wondered this, and it's probably something very obvious covered in Communism 101, but what exactly is the stopping point of having a democratically elected communist government?

Do you mean, why aren't there any? Well there could be, I mean the UK has a Communist Party and so do most countries - it's just that no-one votes for them.
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
I think what he means is would it necessarily be nonsensical to talk about a communist constitution with democratically elected representatives/ executives?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Well in a true democracy you can vote not just for your favourite communist, but also for politicians who aren't communists at all, and if enough of these get elected then the System (meaning the government, the State, the economy...) will no longer be communist.
You can of course argue that in a country like the UK at present the only real choice is between a few not-terribly-different flavours of capitalist, but the fact remains that there are candidates for fart-left parties and one of them could form a government if it polled enough votes.
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
Except in most democracies with constitutions there are limits imposed, mostly that a government can not abolish the democratic process etc.

So I guess the question is why can't you have a similar situation for a form of communism where certain principles are protected in the constitution while elections are still held.

LOL at fart-left ;)
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Except in most democracies with constitutions there are limits imposed, mostly that a government can not abolish the democratic process etc.

So I guess the question is why can't you have a similar situation for a form of communism where certain principles are protected in the constitution while elections are still held.

I guess because maybe communism is a form of government unlike most others, in that it involves total state ownership of and control over many aspects of the economic and social life of a country that would otherwise be left to NGOs, private corporations or members of the public to run for themselves. It seems to me that some of those 'certain principles' that a communist government would seek to uphold might not necessarily be compatible with a constitution that allows free democratic elections and the possibility of a government that would undo the collectivisation necessary for a communist regime.

LOL at fart-left ;)

Haha, think I'll leave it as it is. :)
 

turtles

in the sea
Yeah basically I was wondering if you could have a communist economy without any of the authoritarian garbage, and instead have regular elections, freedom of the press and things like that. This is, of course, assuming broad based support for communism, but if a communist economy could function properly and efficiently and keep people happy, you would assume that they would keep electing communists to the government.

Basically I don't really see why this would be a contradictory approach. If a state-run enterprise is being run poorly, elect some different people that will run it better!
 
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