Communism vs Capitalism Sticky


#501

[QUOTE=“Joshrune, post: 438450, member: 2313”]Whilst I support capitalism, that was his point. He was saying that income inequality can be tackled within capitalism. He’s referring to different forms of inequalities, specifically those concerning the relations of production. His point is that this inequality breeds alienation and exploitation through the resultant class conflict.[/QUOTE]I see. I wasn’t aware that it was this type of inequality.


#502

[QUOTE=“Modern Gladstone, post: 438449, member: 3622”]Not if the costs are not accounted for. Also, if it’s not possible to account for negative externalities in monetary costs then I would argue that it doesn’t need to be tackled anyway.[/QUOTE]
You’re so narrow-minded that you believe if it cannot be determined in monetary costs then it doesn’t matter? That it doesn’t need to be taken care of? That’s downright stupid and reckless.

Some costs are hard to determine in monetary values (this is in fact a weakness of pigovian taxation), and some are simply less obvious than others, but that [B]does not [/B]mean they should be ignored. Monetary values are, by themselves, just artificial constructs, bestowed their value by the social structure. To see them as the end point of necessary decision-making is thoughtless. Minimal standards of some sort will be required.

And what I’m saying is that competition is better than working together in ‘commons’.

I believe you’ve misunderstood what was meant by “commons”. The section you responded to was about externalities. Here “commons”, as in [I]tragedy of the commons[/I], means the common resources which belong to all.

You can’t rationally privatize the atmosphere, for one. Independent, competing interests, acting in their own self-interest, will damage it to get ahead. Competition exacerbates destruction of the commons. I contrasted this with a democratic planned system based on cooperation, where the shared resources of all are managed in the balanced interests of all.

It’s only through competition where everyone has an incentive to lower costs and outdo one another to survive in the market and to innovate.

Innovation defies the simple explanation of “the greater the power of markets and competition, the more innovation”. Much of R&D happens at public expense. Some of the greatest advances of mankind were made possible, not by the market, but through organized efforts to overcome social challenges (rather than to enhance personal wealth).

The Internet, through which we communicate, was developed from governmental research. The USSR sent the first satellite, dog and man into space. NASA brought men to the moon, and it has also spurred a very large number of spin-off technologies, which have certainly gone on to benefit market forces by virtue of their cooperation with NASA. These things didn’t pop into existence because of some market magic, they were made possible because societies developed institutions and values conducive to innovation, and channelled their efforts through these institutions. People have challenges, and people seek to provide solutions to meet these challenges. Societies, being the aggregate of people, do too. The same applies to innovations in every non-capitalistic epoch of history.

(More on this later in the post).

I’m not saying that it’s the ultimate source of prosperity, but what I am saying is that it proves that the more capitalist nations are the more successful nations.

No, it is exactly what you are saying. To paraphrase: “I’m not saying we’re ultimately prosperous because of economic freedom, but it proves that the most prosperous societies are the most economically free”. The only way this argument has any merit is if you believe it to be the[I] cause [/I]of prosperity. If you don’t, well, please [I]stop[/I].

We already established that capitalism is not the same as “economic freedom”. Whenever I point out things that go against this so called “economic freedom”, you vehemently respond: “But they’re still capitalistic!”. It is a non sequitur. It’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors to draw attention away from points that counteract your previous arguments. Whether it’s consciously or not, intently or not, it is quite annoying and [I]dishonest[/I].

There is a strong correlation between standards of living and economic freedom from what I have pointed out. As a result, it is very important to society.

Yes, here you are saying what I paraphrased: “Strong correlation”, “very important”. You say it like it is [I]the[/I] reason. At least be honest about it.

Your correlation is not equal to a causation. I dislike repeating myself again, but here are some of the basic points:

[B]1.[/B] Measurements of economic freedom include many things that are not even relevant to capitalism (things like time constraints of starting a business, time it takes to pay taxes, lack of corruption, functional rule of law). Duh, if one indicator of “economic freedom” is how little corruption a society has, of course the top scorers will skew (ever so slightly) towards being societies with very little corruption (instead of failed states). Your argument is not helped by such misrepresentations.

They also ignore other things that I would argue constitute real forms of freedom. They substitute those with factors that only concern how “free” capitalists are from responsibility, not the autonomy of most actual people.

[B]2.[/B] The top scorers are characterised by things that are counter to your bourgeois conception of “economic freedom”. High taxation, large welfare states, high public spending, collective bargaining, large amounts of state intervention, etc.

[B]3.[/B] The free market is not what brought us our level of wealth. To deny the role that state intervention played in industrialisation and modernisation is completely mistaken. (More on this point in the next section).

[B]4.[/B] Even [I]if [/I]the market was responsible, increasing development does not inherently justify it’s own conditions.

If anything, central planning gets in the way of mobilising society. Many developing nations could become pretty developed if they lowered barriers to trade and if the government didn’t interfere as much.

That has not been the case historically. Great Britain, The United States, The USSR, Japan, The Asian Tigers, and various others – all utilized planning or various protectionist measures to industrialize.

Great Britain industrialized behind a wall of protectionist policies. By the 19th century, when it’s matured industries could export higher quality products and dominate foreign markets, it meant they could remove tariffs. It was suddenly convenient to adopt free trade and all the rhetoric that came with it. Indeed, it was recognized at the time:
[INDENT][I]“For centuries England has relied on protection, has carried it to extremes and has obtained satisfactory results from it. There is no doubt that it is to this system that it owes its present strength. After two centuries, England has found it convenient to adopt free trade because it thinks that protection can no longer offer it anything. Very well then, Gentlemen, my knowledge of our country leads me to believe that within 200 years, when America has gotten out of protection all that it can offer, it too will adopt free trade.”[/I]
– Ulysses S. Grant.[/INDENT]

Throughout the entire 19th century The United States did indeed have it’s own system[/URL] of [URL=‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protectionism_in_the_United_States’]protectionism[/URL] (especially [URL=‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariffs_in_United_States_history#History_and_background’]tariffs) and active state participation in economic development.

The Asian tigers and Japan were (and to an extent still are) what we call developmental states[/URL]. They developed their post-war economies through rigorous state intervention and protectionism. In Japan, the role of the [URL=‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_International_Trade_and_Industry’]Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) cannot be understated: After the American occupation ended in 1952, it was industrial policy (spearheaded by MITI) that spurred the Japanese post-war economic miracle.

There are numerous others, but these were merely to illustrate the point: Currently developed countries did not just get to where they are now because of the free-market or free trade. For many these were only to be adopted [I]after[/I] the state had sowed the seeds of development.

Yes, but as I have proven, markets are by far the most efficient method of allocating the means of production.

You haven’t proven anything. You haven’t even provided any critique of decentralized planning or explained why you consider it inferior to market-systems.

We do that under capitalism. There’s something called a welfare state you know.

B[/B]

[I]Yes, it’s not like I was making a point out of that.[/I]

I advise you to re-consider the [I]non[/I]-point I was [I]not [/I]making.

Yes, you will always have inequality under capitalism. Inequality is a good thing, as it gives people an incentive to work hard and move up in society,

[B]First of all[/B], the idea that people should be remunerated based on their labour is quite a socialist notion. Once you recognize that the relations of production constitute a socialized and interconnected process, it follows that people must be remunerated for their contribution to this process, and that everyone involved should have a say in this process.

In capitalism, people are rewarded based on their ownership of property or their relation those who own property. Private property is exclusionary and because of the subsequent inequality of bargaining power, it allows the appropriation of other’s labour. It necessitates that people enter into subordinate relationships under capitalist norms, and the extent to which they free themselves from this subordination is the extent to which they follow the socialist impulse.
[I][/I]
[B]Second[/B], there are limits to how you can move up relative to everyone else in the social hierarchy. Not everyone can be in a position of authority and responsibility. Logic dictates that most people will end up working for others, and that our social hierarchy will have a smaller top than bottom, regardless of how hard everyone works.

From my point of view, because work is a collaborative social endeavour, the people who [I]do[/I] end up in positions of authority should arise from the same collective interests that constitute this process. They should not exist for their own sake. This would cut away unnecessary steps in the social hierarchy, make it more horizontal, and it would no longer be defined by capitalistic class norms.

and it means that only the smartest,

No. Here’s a fair assumption: It wouldn’t take you 10 seconds to think of someone who is both [I]stupid[/I] and [I]successful[/I]. Underachievement and overachievement are real things. There is a wealth of literature on how intelligent people fail to live up to their potential, and any casual look at the world reveals that plenty of idiots end up in positions of power.

most innovate ideas and people succeed.

Lots of great, innovative ideas may fail because of external factors. For example, competing interests that are willing to suppress technological progress which would put them out of business. Another is lack of funds due to lack of short-term profitability and lack of private benefit. From both of these points, I refer back to what I previously noted: something extraneous to competition and private gain is warranted.

Another argument I feel the need to make here is this:
It’s not like the guys working in an R&D sub-division of a large company are the ones reaping the profits of their ideas. My father, an engineer, is paid in wages for his work on researching new product applications and designs. Such work ends up enriching others, as well. Rather than being a system that takes this interconnectedness into account, it is currently geared towards primarily rewarding whomever[I] owns[/I] the process.

At the technical level, innovation takes place as more-or-less a specialized branch of the division of labour (a smaller part of an overall larger process). It is relatively independent of the dominant economic system (capitalism or socialism, and their respective use of markets and planning). It is other factors that impel innovation. Crudely, they are as follows:

  1. There is a challenge to be overcome, a need for innovative solutions.
  2. There is availability of people specialized/qualified in doing so.
  3. There are resources available to put these people to work, apply their ideas, and to compensate them accordingly.

Basically, the aforementioned people working in R&D do so because there was a recognized need for their function. Because all enterprises plan internally, the necessary resources and workforce were subsequently assigned to meet that need.

Besides, there’s no way you can achieve full equality under a scarcity of resources unless you drastically harm wealth-creation.

“Full equality” in all things does not enter into the equation. Socialism never meant a complete levelling of material or monetary inequality. It means abolishing private ownership in the means of production to socialize the economy and to build a political system complimenting said economy.

As I said before, there is a strong correlation between economic freedom and standards of living.

To which I have raised numerous objections. Feel free to retrace them (not just in this post, but throughout this entire exchange).

I also said before that state planning is a hindrance, not an asset.

Because you are an ignoramus.


#503

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]You’re so narrow-minded that you believe if it cannot be determined in monetary costs then it doesn’t matter? That it doesn’t need to be taken care of? That’s downright stupid and reckless.[/QUOTE]As I have said before, pollution can be tackled by accounting for its costs in monetary terms.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]I believe you’ve misunderstood what was meant by “commons”. The section you responded to was about externalities. Here “commons”, as in [I]tragedy of the commons[/I], means the common resources which belong to all.[/QUOTE]You misquoted me. I meant the ‘common good’.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]Much of R&D happens at public expense.[/QUOTE]Within a capitalist system.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]The Internet, through which we communicate, was developed from governmental research[/QUOTE]Apple wasn’t, the railway wasn’t, and before that neither did agriculture, and so on. As such, most of the inventions we have today we’re not the result of government.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]To paraphrase: “I’m not saying we’re ultimately prosperous because of economic freedom, but it proves that the most prosperous societies are the most economically free”.[/QUOTE]No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that whilst economic freedom isn’t entirely everything, there is a strong correlation between economic freedom and standards of living.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]Whether it’s consciously or not, intently or not, it is quite annoying and [I]dishonest[/I].[/QUOTE]Maybe you search up what dishonest means then.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]Measurements of economic freedom include many things that are not even relevant to capitalism (things like time constraints of starting a business, time it takes to pay taxes, lack of corruption, functional rule of law)[/QUOTE]As well as things such as tax rates and the burden of regulation, which are clearly related to capitalism.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]The top scorers are characterised by things that are counter to your bourgeois conception of “economic freedom”. High taxation, large welfare states, high public spending, collective bargaining, large amounts of state intervention, etc.[/QUOTE]Not really. Besides, all those things exist within a capitalist framework as well.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]The free market is not what brought us our level of wealth. To deny the role that state intervention played in industrialisation and modernisation is completely mistaken. (More on this point in the next section).[/QUOTE]I’m not denying it, I’m saying that it was done within a capitalist framework.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]Even [I]if [/I]the market was responsible, increasing development does not inherently justify it’s own conditions.[/QUOTE]WHAT??? Are you serious?

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]That has not been the case historically. Great Britain, The United States, The USSR, Japan, The Asian Tigers, and various others – all utilized planning or various protectionist measures to industrialize.[/QUOTE]Within much of the 19th century, Great Britain (as well as Europe as a whole for that matter) was mostly a laissez-fairs economy. Most nations in Europe went for a period without borders to the freedom of trade and movement, and the 19th century was one of the most revolutionary times within our society. Today, our move towards the digital industries and technology is also revolutionary, and again also complimented by the trend towards more globalisation in the early 21st century and late 20th century.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]You haven’t proven anything. You haven’t even provided any critique of decentralized planning or explained why you consider it inferior to market-systems.[/QUOTE]
Capitalism already provides a decentralised system of planning anyway, so what’s your point?

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”][B]First of all[/B], the idea that people should be remunerated based on their labour is quite a socialist notion. Once you recognize that the relations of production constitute a socialized and interconnected process, it follows that people must be remunerated for their contribution to this process, and that everyone involved should have a say in this process.

In capitalism, people are rewarded based on their ownership of property or their relation those who own property. Private property is exclusionary and because of the subsequent inequality of bargaining power, it allows the appropriation of other’s labour. It necessitates that people enter into subordinate relationships under capitalist norms, and the extent to which they free themselves from this subordination is the extent to which they follow the socialist impulse.[/QUOTE]What your proposing, that the value of s product should be defined by the labour that goes in to it, is simply ludicrous. We all know that the market functions much more efficiently when it responds to supply and demand, not the interests of labour.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”][B]Second[/B], there are limits to how you can move up relative to everyone else in the social hierarchy[/QUOTE]Proof?

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]Lots of great, innovative ideas may fail because of external factors. For example, competing interests that are willing to suppress technological progress which would put them out of business.[/QUOTE]That’s an example of a monopolistic market. I’m talking about a competitive marketplace here.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]It’s not like the guys working in an R&D sub-division of a large company are the ones reaping the profits of their ideas.[/QUOTE]Well clearly they are, otherwise they wouldn’t be paid for their work.

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 442883, member: 2288”]Because you are an ignoramus.[/QUOTE]Look, if you’re just going to espouse personal attacks towards me, then I will respond to you ten times worse, so don’t even go there. I will refuse to debate with you if you continue to do this.


#504

[QUOTE=“Modern Gladstone, post: 442980, member: 3622”]As I have said before, pollution can be tackled by accounting for its costs in monetary terms.[/QUOTE]
You said something incredibly ridiculous, yet here you are, completely side-stepping the issue.

You misquoted me. I meant the ‘common good’.

No, I did not misquote you. I quoted what you specifically said, thus [I]quoting[/I] you correctly.

If that’s what you meant, then you should have said it.

Within a capitalist system.

Jesus fucking Christ. This complete lack of regard for context is truly marvellous. You just quote one little part of the entire argument and address that with no care for the actual wider point being made.

Ugh.

Yes, it happens under a system that is capitalistic.[B] That’s besides the point[/B]. The point was that it didn’t happen under motives commonly ascribed to markets and competition. That’s what I explicitly made clear:
[I]“Innovation defies the simple explanation of “the greater the power of markets and competition, the more innovation”. Much of R&D happens at public expense. Some of the greatest advances of mankind were made possible, not by the market, but through organized efforts to overcome social challenges (rather than to enhance personal wealth).”[/I]

But your response is just “still capitalism”. Fuck, man. Nuance is seriously warranted.

Apple wasn’t, the railway wasn’t, and before that neither did agriculture, and so on. As such, most of the inventions we have today we’re not the result of government.

“Most”. I’m not even sure how true that is. It’s besides the point, anyway, which is that the market =/= all innovation.

No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that whilst economic freedom isn’t entirely everything, there is a strong correlation between economic freedom and standards of living.

You attribute explanatory power to it, to which I am sceptical. In fact one of the first things you concluded was this, and I quote:
“As a result, capitalism boosts human development as well.”

You also falsely connected this to economic freedom (under your own tacit admission), because as you keep reminding me: [I]it’s still capitalism, ‘economic freedom’ or not.[/I]

As well as things such as tax rates and the burden of regulation, which are clearly related to capitalism.


Yes, want me to ignore the glaring issues with the things that aren’t?

Not really. Besides, all those things exist within a capitalist framework as well.

You’re hopeless.

I’m not denying it, I’m saying that it was done within a capitalist framework.

Hopeless, I tell you.

WHAT??? Are you serious?

Yes, as someone with consistent ethical principles.

There were rising living standards under Stalin’s rule of the Soviet Union (not for all, obviously), there were rising standards of living in slave-societies, and there were rising standards of living under the dismal conditions of 19th century capitalism. That won’t prevent me from condemning such systems.

Capitalism already provides a decentralised system of planning anyway, so what’s your point?

Oh my fucking God. We even had this discussion already, but now you’re bringing it up again.

There are no words, ladies and gentlemen.

What your proposing, that the value of s product should be defined by the labour that goes in to it, is simply ludicrous. We all know that the market functions much more efficiently when it responds to supply and demand, not the interests of labour.

What I was actually saying, is that ideas of remuneration based on contribution are socialist by nature, as opposed to capitalistic. This is not about products being defined by their labour values (per the LVT).

Proof?

It was right there. Use your reading faculties.

Not everyone can hold a position of authority over others… because that’s a logical contradiction. There is no “authority over others” if everyone has authority. You can’t have [I]everyone[/I] increase their status relative to [I]everyone else[/I], for that is precisely what makes it relative.

Well clearly they are, otherwise they wouldn’t be paid for their work.

No. Wages are not the same as the [I]profits[/I] of a company. They are returns to labour and are actually a cost from the perspective of the employer.

Again, completely looking past any sort of point being made and responding with zero comprehension.

Look, if you’re just going to espouse personal attacks towards me, then I will respond to you ten times worse, so don’t even go there. I will refuse to debate with you if you continue to do this.

You make my fucking blood boil. Me calling you an ignoramus is totally warranted, because that’s exactly what you are.

Rest assured. I don’t want to continue. Fuck this, it’s terrible. I can’t believe I actually put effort into it.


#505

[QUOTE=“Duvniask, post: 443018, member: 2288”]You said something incredibly ridiculous, yet here you are, completely side-stepping the issue.
[I]Much of R&D happens at public expense. Some of the greatest advances of mankind were made possible, not by the market, but through organized efforts to overcome social challenges (rather than to enhance personal wealth)."[/I][/QUOTE]
A couple of points to this:

  • Economists widely recognise that basic R&D funding by the government is good for the economy. This doesn’t, at all, discount the value of the market is bringing general prosperity and increases in standards of living for individuals.

  • Governments and markets are both very good at [I]invention[/I], but the former not so much as [I]innovation[/I]. The government certainly played a ridiculously important role in the development of things like the internet, GPS and other technologies, but it is the market which has employed them in ways which the government doesn’t have an incentive to even think up.

  • The fact that significant social challenges have been overcome by organised effort and significant government involvement is largely irrelevant. At the far end of the spectrum, we know that central planning doesn’t work. At the close end of the spectrum, it may be appropriate for government to involve itself [I]significantly [/I]in the economy, but only situationally. The fact that the government put a man on the moon isn’t a justification for applying government to as many social problems as we can think of; usually, government is effective at organising incredibly large-scale efforts only in certain circumstances, where they have both the impetus and the political capital.


#506

I’m still waiting for another alternative, social democracy of plutocracy perhaps? Both capitalism and communism will have their flaws. Until we find a perfect political system I’m sticking to liberal capitalist politics though as I don’t think I can live without fast food without withdrawal symptoms.


#507

Well the simple way of looking at this is; one system works and one doesn’t, one system requires genocide to implement and one doesn’t.

In all ways capitalism is superior. We can all debate on free trade and the such but for all of us who believe in free enterprise and having the government out of your way there’s only one choice.


#508

Capitalism won’t work for many people due to lack of education. Without an education too many people are in a situation where they have to compete for low wage jobs where there is too much competition. For instance, there might be a thousand people fighting for a McDonalds job, and few of those people have any real advantage over the other applicants. In the end, it simply becomes a lot of people rushing through a gate until the employer decides to close the gate.


#509

Depends on the type of Communism. Council Communism allows for a greater degree of worker-based decision making and democratic organization than Marxist-Leninism. If it came down to council communism vs capitalism, then I would pick the former.


#510

Major necro but nice response.


#511

I was wanting to make a thread on capitalism & socialism, but since I was browsing for an old post of mine and came across this, decided might as well make use of it in @Allegrif’s memory.


#512

fite me


#513

Yeh but maybe we should change the title to be more accurate @Flavia , ie socialism vs capitalism


#514

This thread has been around for years, you noob. I doubt anyone will change it now.


#515

i dunno, what are your thoughts @Flavia?