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Thread: Communism: 100 Years of Failure

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    Captdon's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by midcan5 View Post
    It's weird but the other day I am reading a far left site and they claimed Communism didn't fail as it never existed. In a sense I agree with them as most isms don't work or are dreamy nonsense. Think libertarianism or Socialism, then look at what the Pauls and Sanders have accomplished. Not a heck of a lot. Capitalism is a failure too if we consider poverty in America or the lack of healthcare or fair wages. But who's counting.



    "'Practical' politics, it is held, calls for policies that appeal to the fortunate. The poor do not vote; the alert politician bids for the comfortable and the rich. This would be politically foolish for the Democratic Party; those whose primary concern is to protect their income, their capital and their business interest will always vote for the party that most strongly affirms its service to their pecuniary well-being. This is and has always been the republicans. The Democrats have no future as a low grade substitute.." John Kenneth Galbraith 'The Good Society'


    "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite." John Kenneth Galbraith
    Capitalism is the only workable economic system. I'm not working to give it to someone else. It's either capitalism or communism. That's it. Don't know any system that isn't one of them or a derivative. If there is, I'm willing to hear it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    There's a communist town in Spain, Marinaleda. A gaming company, Valve. There are farmer's coops and farmer's markets. On that scale, there's nothing wrong with people pooling resources and cooperating. It's not the idea that's so bad, just the implementation on a larger, state level.
    Is it from each according to his ability and to each according to his need?. Co-ops are usually capitalism with a few wrinkles. Curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captdon View Post
    Is it from each according to his ability and to each according to his need?. Co-ops are usually capitalism with a few wrinkles. Curious.
    I think coops are basic in shared ownership of the means of production. Valve is run more on the socialist principle of 'to each according to his contribution". Marinaleda follows "from each according to his ability and to each according to his need" as far as I know.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    It wasn't communism per se that failed, but the immense scale at which it was tried.
    Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.
    --Immanuel Kant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    It wasn't communism per se that failed, but the immense scale at which it was tried.
    I think it's inherent in communism that it just doesn't scale. Even Marinaleda is run by one person, the mayor. Common ownership of the means of production by a small group can be managed democratically, and if you disagree you can pull up stakes and walk away. But as it scales up the need for central planning becomes stronger.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    ^^The but that wasn't true communism argument.
    And you can attach that to most isms and ideology. Excuses excuses.


    "What seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it. That is why those who are in ideology believe themselves by definition outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the practical denegation of the ideological character of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, 'I am ideological.'" Louis Althusser
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    Quote Originally Posted by midcan5 View Post
    And you can attach that to most isms and ideology. Excuses excuses.


    "What seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it. That is why those who are in ideology believe themselves by definition outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the practical denegation of the ideological character of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, 'I am ideological.'" Louis Althusser
    I attached it to communism. So often when presented with the realities of communism people respond but that not true ideal communism.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by midcan5 View Post
    And you can attach that to most isms and ideology. Excuses excuses.


    "What seems to take place outside ideology (to be precise, in the street), in reality takes place in ideology. What really takes place in ideology seems therefore to take place outside it. That is why those who are in ideology believe themselves by definition outside ideology: one of the effects of ideology is the practical denegation of the ideological character of ideology by ideology: ideology never says, 'I am ideological.'" Louis Althusser
    Really? Which ones? Capitalism is still going strong and it largely dominates the contemporary imagination. Nationalism? Still with us. Fascism? Bombed out of existence. The only abject failure that comes to mind is communism. There is certainly a difference between between theory and its historical manifestations but it's quite another to suggest that communism has never been tried. It's tantamount to saying that communism cannot be tried because it is pure theory.
    Whoever criticizes capitalism, while approving immigration, whose working class is its first victim, had better shut up. Whoever criticizes immigration, while remaining silent about capitalism, should do the same.


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    And capitalism as the free market of Adam Smith and Hayek and Mises is a descriptive theory of how things work. It's not till you get to the neoliberals that it becomes a prescriptive theiry like Marxism.


    Communism had originally two strands, one authoritarian and statist, founded by Henri de Saint-Simon, and the other libertarian and communal, founded by the likes of Robert Owen. It was the former that won out under Marx, Lenin, Stalin on to Castro.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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    Was reading the other day, in George Hawley's Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism, how the European New Right considers socialism just another emanation of Enlightened individualism.

    To me though socialism arose in opposition to individualism and its private ownership of property and free markets. Both promote reason over faith, but individualism is Aristotelian in its adherence to the logical law of non-contradiction, while socialism accepts contradiction in it's reliance on the Hegelian dialectic.
    Edmund Burke: "In vain you tell me that Artificial Government is good, but that I fall out only with the Abuse. The Thing! the Thing itself is the Abuse!"

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