[QUOTE=“lake avenue, post: 391213, member: 3521”]First, lets look at the reasons that ‘Communist’ governments (I know they weren’t really communist, just bear with me here) [I]in the past[/I] did not work.[/QUOTE]
That’s the first problem, right here. You are taking as an example state-capitalist countries, which not only didn’t employ socialization of the workplace, they were also very restrictive, thus I deduce that most of the points will be a straw man. Socialism itself, or at least most of its branches, accepts [B][I]democracy on the workplace[/I][/B]. Neither capitalism nor state-capitalism accept that. Not to mention Communism, which is completely different and has never been achieved. None of the Soviet-type countries reflect what the full form of Socialism or Communism are, and they instead employed state-capitalism as a form to achieve Socialism on the future [U](on their own words)[/U], but they never managed to do it.
As I am aware of, the USSR didn’t expropiate animals from the people, they only expropiated the seeds of grain.
Practicing religion [I]wasn’t[/I] forbidden, that’s a completely ridiculous statement. They had a feud with the Church as an [I]institution[/I], because of the power it had, but they didn’t abolish ‘belief’ properly speaking. It was completely okay to be religious even in Stalin’s USSR, but you couldn’t use it as an excuse for not doing something.
Stalin outlawed the church because of the power it had inside his country, but I am not sure of the procediments of all the other Soviet-type countries. Cuba, Albania and the ex-Yugoslavia are still religious, despite one of them still having a Sovet-type government and the other two having had one.
One of the most common mistakes is to consider money as the only motivator behind human affairs. It surely plays an important role in the Western society, but it’s far from being the only one.
The problem with [I]centralized planning[/I] is that, while they destroyed the capitalist system of private property, they created another system based on the supremacy of the government and the property of the boureaucracy. Socialism itself advocates [I]decentralized planning[/I]. Several famous socialists like George Orwell, Leon Trotsky, and socialist economists like Oskar Lange and Otto Neurath talked about the importance of leaving the boureaucracy out of economic plans in a socialist society.
This is obviously an extreme exaggeration, I would be glad if you could give a good source for this. There were, indeed, some problems with bribes in the USSR, especially after the 60’s, but these were due mostly to the low payments. You are also making this argument while conviniently ignoring the existance of bribes in modern capitalist countries as well.
And that’s a common case of State-terrorism, in almost any country that employs it. The core behind the issue was the stalinist idea of “Socialism in One Country” and “Left-Wing Nationalism”, by which they combined the already degenerated system they had with a form of nationalism and militarism that easily matches that of the fascist states. This is not inherent to Socialism. Quite the contrary, most forms of Socialism stand [I]against[/I] it.
The Marxist though defines two different forms of property: [I]private property over the means of production[/I] (factories, real estate, etc), and [I]personal property[/I], otherwise known as consumer goods. Expropiation of consumer goods is something Marx himself stood against, and it can be seen in the first pages of [I]The Communist Manifesto.[/I]
While the USSR did have a problem with understaffed hospitals, other countries, and Cuba above all, never had this problem…
And that is their problem. They didn’t have to do it, but it could be argued that they didn’t want their countries to be turned into comsumer societies too. In any case, freedom of speech is a common subject inside Socialism, and Marx himself stood for it.
This is another exaggeration. Guess whom is also receiving propaganda, given that you have so many disinformation?
The case is obvious for countries like North Korea, but it was less so in Eastern European countries, with the great exception of Belarus and Russia. The Western countries also had lots of anti-communist propaganda everywhere as well.
And this is because of their [I]centralized system[/I]. Trotsky wrote about the problems of a centralized economy, mentioning that the boureaucracy could never be powerful enough to manage an economy due to their limitations and their inability to calculate every economic process everywhere. An actual decentralized economy wouldn’t suffer from this. However, Russia didn’t have the problem of bread lines well generalized until the 80’s.
Which are your sources? It wouldn’t surprise me from Cambodia or Vietnam, but as far as I am aware of, the USSR never followed such a policy.
[QUOTE=“lake avenue, post: 391213, member: 3521”]People were openly spied on. Spoke up against the government? Kiss your ass goodbye.[/QUOTE]
State-terrorism. Common in the Soviet-type countries supporting nationalism, but non Soviet-type socialist countries, like Yugoslavia, didn’t accept this. You are somehow implying that any country following any type of Socialism would follow such policies.
[QUOTE=“lake avenue, post: 391213, member: 3521”]If you didn’t instantly get thrown in a gulag you were put on every single fucking ‘list’ that existed.[/QUOTE]
Those “death lists” were implemented by Stalin and signed by himself during the purges, but Lenin never did such a thing. This is due to Stalin being the dangerous sociopath he consistently showed he was. Had Trotsky taken the control of the USSR as it was originally planned by Lenin, this obviously wouldn’t have happened.
That right there came out of someone’s ass. From where the heck in this crazy world did you pull that stuff from?
This assumes that what caused the USSR’s demise was an economic crash; it could as well keep existing until today if it received some reforms. Gorbachev himself states that what caused the crisis was the increasing fragmentation between the countries of the Union. Perestroika was made by Gorbachev in order to allow better political manageament of the Union, but it only exacerbated the existing conflicts between its members. The desintegration of the Union created a disaster that the CPSU could no longer hold on, thus causing the failure of the whole system.
Let’s take a look at the other part.
1.Socialism never advocated [I][B]equality of outcome[/B][/I], instead it advocates [I][B]equality of opportunity[/B][/I]. The very definition of Socialism given by Marx specifically states that retribution would be based [B][I]according to each one’s contribution[/I][/B], thus there would be no reason to repay everyone equally. [U]Socialism would not destroy inequality, it would simply make it far less influent. [/U]Communism is different in the sense that the advances in the productive forces would allow for distribution based on need rather than for contribution, but this is only possible after the limitations of the productive forces are solved by society. Read the definitions below.
This is bullocks. In a real socialist society, these would be owned collectively by the people who work on them. Collectives are uncommon in modern society, but they usually work very well; here in Argentina we have the case of the[I] “recovered factories”[/I], which are factories in which there are no bosses and the workers have all the control. These workers argue that production has actually gone up and accidents went down now that no one puts pressure on them to work and they have a reason to care about production, since now it has an [I]inherent value[/I] to them.
Socialism itself never advocated central planning; Marxist-Leninists, Stalinists and Maoists usually do. Non-Market Socialism uses calculation methods different to that of Capitalism, normally based on natural units or [I]calculation-in-kind[/I], but the form of these differ according to different branches. Market Socialism uses similar methods to those of Capitalism, but with horizontal collectives.
[QUOTE=“lake avenue, post: 391213, member: 3521”]Price mechanism in a free market maximizes the productive output of a given good because it maximizes how many people are participating in the market. At the “sweet spot” of prices, the most people will buy, and the most people will sell a given item. Communism breaks this price mechanism. This causes stunted output. All else being equal, mass price control in an economy will simply lower the output of an industry significantly. This lowers the per capita output significantly. This results in lower quality of life.
All that we and everyone that knows what they’re talking about knows is that, in practice, not just on paper, price controls and other similar policies fail to achieve prosperity, and instead, diminish output.
The less-crazies on the communist side, in my opinion, are the anarchists. Communists believe the fastest way to achieve equality is to have the state seize all private property and forcibly redistribute it. Anarchists believe that once the state seizes all property, those in power won’t want to redistribute it, which seems the much more likely case. The best chance of a communist government actually achieving prosperity would be in a post-scarcity world, so that everyone can [I]actually[/I] have everything they want, and be equal. This can’t happen any earlier because that would mean that a government is forcibly attempting to change the stage of a society, in the case of Maoist China, forcibly change from a feudal society to a capitalist society, and then to a socialist society, and in the case of the USSR, change the stage of society immediately to a socialist society. This can’t work, simply because states naturally produce classes as much as classes produce states, so a socialist state can’t whither away and die for a communist society.[/QUOTE]
I can’t tell the size of the straw man in this whole part :eek:. Since you obviously don’t have a clear distinction between Socialism and Communism, nor how they are connected, here it is:
Socialism: social and economic system characterised by [I]social ownership[/I] and control of the means of production as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system. Socialism can be divided into both non-market and market form. Non-market Socialism involves the use of engineering and technical criteria centered on [I]calculation performed in-kind[/I], functioning [U]under different economic laws[/U] than those of Capitalism, rather than relying on factor markets, money and financial decisions. The goal is to produce an economic mechanism that circumvents the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets, and, in some cases, the profit motive with respect to the operation of [I]socially-owned enterprises[/I] and the allocation of capital goods between them.
Communism: social and economic system and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of a Ccommunist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the [I]common ownership[/I] of the means of production and the [B]absence of social classes, money, and the state.[/B] Communism is a specific stage of socioeconomic development [U]predicated upon a superabundance of material wealth, which is postulated to arise from technological advances in the productive forces[/U]. This would allow for [I]distribution based on need[/I] and social relations based on [U][I]freely-associated individuals[/I][/U]. In this respect Communism is differentiated from Socialism, which, out of economic necessity, restricts access to articles of consumption and services[I] based on one’s contribution.[/I]
According to Marxist theory, the superabundance of wealth created by society would allow for a communist society to exist, where there is no money, no social classes, nor a state. This, according to Marx, would be the stage of higher development of human society (upper-stage communism), identical to the concept of [B][I]post-scarcity[/I][/B].
As a result, Anarchism, with its collectivization and stateless form, is close of being a hybrid between Socialism and Communism; a society which still does not have enough productive forces to allow distribution based on need, but one in which there is no state. This is the reason for why it is possible for socialists and anarchists to work together many times; the major difference being that anarchists want to destroy the state because they see the idea of a government as inherently oppresive while Marxism sees it as the manifestation of the class struggle, in which the State serves as the defender of the interests of the bourgeoisie class and to defend their private property, and consider that the State at its present form would cease to exist once the class system is done away even if a central system of organization remains, which anarchists are against.
@A341 You said you had some doubts about Communism. I hope this would clear some of them.
With all due respect, I won’t defend another straw man; this was lame. Better luck next time.