1. Post #1
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    Before every American goes ahead and says Capitalism...

    Think of it as a theoretical battle. Don't bring in "Vietnam was bad" or something.
    See on each system in theoretical way, and not the follows that happens when we brought them to life.

    Prooboo's post on Page 12.

    Why the so-called "Communist" countries of the 20th century failed, and why they ought not be considered as evidence against marxism/communism/socialism.

    No doubt we've all heard people say "the USSR was not communist" in retaliation to opponents decrying communism on the basis of totalitarianism. That's an entire different discussion on its own, but what would Marx have to say about this topic?

    The first thing you need to know about Marx is that he wasn't some anti-capitalist hippie who opposed modern society and owning things. Nobody admired the creations of capitalism more so than Karl Marx. Marx's critique of capitalism (and society in general under that banner of capitalism) was generally scientific, rather than ethical. Marx stated that the cause for a shift in economic mode of production (the various forms of an economy that we know as capitalism, socialism, communism, feudalism, etc.) was a shift in the means of production (the tools used to produce a commodity, such as the steam engine, the spinning jenny, etc.). Each time that the means of production improved, the economy (and consequently, society as a whole) who advance to meet this new way of creating and producing. Generally, when the means of production improved, a more liberal restructuring of society came along with it, or vice-versa. With the improving means of production also came improved means of communication, improved transportation, greater commercial activity, and through this: spreading ideas of democracy. The result of this was the enlightenment, and the result of THIS was widespread political upheaval against the monarchies and religious aristocracies of the previous centuries. The relationship between commerce and liberalism is best illustrated through this map of the salem witch trials:



    We see that the west village did the accusing while the east village played the role of the accused. The west village, which was further away from seaports (and therefore commerce) held more conservative values. Around this time, women had been granted the right to inherit property, church attendence was decreasing (which resulted in lowered standards for membership), and society as it was when salem was first founded was being shaken. The conflict between the older west village and the newer east village resulted in the west village accusing women who came into ownership of their deceased fathers' property of witchcraft (one could draw parallels to this and McCarthyism).

    It stands to reason, then, that improved means of production (which include the means of communication and transportation, as these are used in production) result in the spread of democratic ideas. It was only natural, then that the industrial revolution, urbanization, and the rise of advanced capitalism follow the revolutions and civil wars of the 17th and 18th centuries, carrying into the early 19th century. The ability to produce more of a needed product with less work meant that the individual needed less guidance than before, and the authority of the monarch and the church broke down in favor for the authority of the economy.

    To dive further into this idea of organization vs. appropriation, look to the fall of rome. After the fall of rome, there was a massive loss of organization in europe and the middle east. Commerce skidded to a halt, communication was silenced, and everything stood still. The Library of Alexandria was lost, hundreds of years of civilization erased, and individuals were forced to collect themselves into smaller, feudal groups. With the loss of the means of production of rome came a less centralized, religiously controlled feudal system with very low standards of individual freedom. Upon recovery through economic means, the feudal system of lords and serfs fell to capitalism, and the less centralized lords became the monarchies of europe.

    The common element we see is the ability to appropriate resources efficiently. In pre-historic times, the ability to collect food and other resources was so limited that society had to be organized into tightly-knit hunter-gatherer tribes in which an individual's attempts at personal liberty were met with religious backlash or that individual's failure to gather the required resources for himself. as the ability to appropriate resources became easier, population would increase, tribes would enter into association, nations would be formed, and individual freedom increased ever so gradually. The tribal leader became the king or lord, and the tribal shaman became the priest or pope.

    So how does this connect to capitalism? In the 19th century, the unlimited forces of free market capitalism resulted constantly in overproduction. Overproduction was a result of the means of production being improved to the point where efficiency had overcome necessity, and the market becomes saturated. If, for example, all the farms and farming corporations in the country produce as much food as they possibly can to maximize profit, then the means of production will get to a point where they will produce so much food that, in combination with all other farms and farming corporations, they will produce more food than is needed to be consumed. Even though food is a perishable product, overproduction will repeat itself next harvest because the means of production will only improve. Take a nonperishable product, for example (a widget). There is demand for Widgets, so the factory owner produces them. However, other factory owners also produced widgets to try to compete with one-another, and they produce so many widgets that the supply is now greater than the demand, and the product is now nearly worthless. The factory owner will stop production until he can sell off his stockpile of widgets. To stop production, the factory owner must fire X workers and close X factories. After the factory owner sells his stockpile, he re-opens his factories and starts producing more widgets. The problem is so has every other factory owner, and overproduction happens again. This cycle is described by Marx as "boom and bust", and is the prime characteristic of capitalism outgrowing itself. Just as every other economic mode of production and organization of society was outdone by improved means of production, so will, marx argues, capitalism. Taking the overproduction of food, for example, and applying saturation of the market to it, the value of all economic factors drop with such an overproductive bubble. An unemployed family goes hunry at night, and one child asks his father "Dad, why don't we have anything to eat?", to which the father replies "because there is too much food". At this point, the means of production, and the organization of capitalism have come into conflict and must result in the change of one or the other.

    hopefully I haven't lost you because here is the central point: Communism/socialism rely on the ability for the market to overproduce. The fact that there is plenty of food to go around result, logically, in questioning why we have to appropriate our resources by the direction of the capitalist. If there is more food than we know what to do with, why do we need direction in appropriating it like we did when there WASNT enough food to go around back in feudalism, or the tribal days? Why do we recognize the authority of money when there is so much food that it's literally worthless, and we could just give it away and there would still be too much? in fact, why DONT we just give it away?

    Because of the bourgeois, thats why. The only thing keeping us from feeding every person in the country is these aristocratic fucks who only want more money for themselves, just like the monarchs that we overthrew a hundred years ago, just like the pope who we stopped listening to a while ago, just like everybody else who told us what to do years before.

    Here's where we tie it all together: Russia was nowhere near the point of over-production in 1917. Russia was made up of a lot of rural peasantry, and serfdom was abolished in russian only about 50 years prior, whereas serfdom had died out in england in the 15th-16th centuries (Philip Iv, Louis X, and Philip V had de facto ended serfdom in the very early 14th century, and had ceased to exist in france by the 15th century. serfdom was rare in western europe but grew in eastern europe after the renaissance). Russia was nowhere near the ability to, as an entire empire, overproduce products to the point of saturation. As for 3rd world/colonial countries like China, Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, and the rest of eastern europe, africa, latin america, and the middle east, it needs little explaination as to the state of economics in each region and how close they were to surplus manufacturing.

    The result of forced collectivization in countries that aren't economically "ripe" for communism/socialism results in either a semi-democratically run, but completely innefficient beauracracy (Lenin's USSR) or a totalitarian hellhole which appropriates resources at a very high death rate (Stalin's Russia, Mao's China, Kim's North Korea, and above all other examples: Pol Pot's Cambodia.)

    Marx envisioned the revolution to take place in western europe in countries like France, Germany, or England. The failures thereof are an entirely different matter which I can go into at a later date.
    Examples

    Communism gave workers free jobs,school and medicines = Good
    The work routines might be bad because of low investment = Bad

    Capitalism takes money for medical help and schools = Bad
    The schools and medical help is much better since they earn money by people using them = Good

    Go ahead and don't flame. See both in perspectives.

  2. Post #2
    Is, in fact, a real hedgehog.
    Ezhik's Avatar
    April 2009
    14,441 Posts
    You know, communism in its true definition:
    a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, stateless and revolutionary socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production.
    is good. But it is an utopia, which means it's impossible.

    However if you think of communism as what the Soviet Union had (aka wrong), it's terrible, doomed from the start. In the end, the working class that made the Red Revolution happen got nothing, many great people were lost, so much culture destroyed.

  3. Post #3
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    You know, communism in its true definition:

    is good. But it is an utopia, which means it's impossible.

    However if you think of communism as what the Soviet Union had (aka wrong), it's terrible, doomed from the start. In the end, the working class that made the Red Revolution happen got nothing, many great people were lost, so much culture destroyed.
    I agree, but I also find the way capitalism is, it's makes you doomed unless you have something to give like money or something priced. In Soviet mostly people were classless, except for the president of the country and his staff, which makes the communism concept fail in general.

    That mainly means if you are born into a poor family and got a talent, you might fail to reach your goal and end up working to stay alive when you could change the world culture-wise.

  4. Post #4
    Is, in fact, a real hedgehog.
    Ezhik's Avatar
    April 2009
    14,441 Posts
    Well, I don't think it exactly makes you doomed. Now, I don't know how exactly is right now in the US, but if you have a good head on your shoulders, you will always find a way.

    And even in socialist countries. Sure, they will all claim that they give everyone a job and etc.
    But in the end, you would be stuck on that job for the rest of your life. Is it worth it?

  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    February 2006
    3,001 Posts
    Communism...but it's like asking if capitalism is better than feudalism. It works differently and for different people.

    I'd still prefer soviet-style state capitalism over liberal capitalism, though.

  6. Post #6

    October 2011
    63 Posts
    Alittle bit of both. It's called Socialism.

  7. Post #7

    August 2011
    296 Posts
    Why do we need to consider which one is best? What does that achieve?

    There is no 'best' solution - each system is completely different. Its a bit like saying 'Yellow or Cyan which is best'?

    Also I would like to point out that since neither Capitalism nor Communism have been implemented in their theoretical forms we cannot say which is 'best'.

    Another point, 'best' for whom? Are we talking the majority of people or best for a country or what?

  8. Post #8
    Sixer's Avatar
    February 2010
    555 Posts
    **Capitalism.

  9. Post #9
    ♥ Futashy is best pone ♥
    Futashy's Avatar
    April 2010
    747 Posts
    "COMMUNISM IS A TEMPORARY SETBACK ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM." -Liberty Prime

  10. Post #10
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    January 2012
    1,310 Posts
    I believe a little bit of both is, kind of like when choosing between green jelly and orange jelly.

  11. Post #11
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    February 2006
    3,001 Posts
    Why do we need to consider which one is best? What does that achieve?

    There is no 'best' solution - each system is completely different. Its a bit like saying 'Yellow or Cyan which is best'?

    Also I would like to point out that since neither Capitalism nor Communism have been implemented in their theoretical forms we cannot say which is 'best'.

    Another point, 'best' for whom? Are we talking the majority of people or best for a country or what?
    This, for the most part.

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Performula's Avatar
    April 2008
    1,520 Posts
    HEY OP:

    *Capitalism

  13. Post #13
    DeveloperConsol's Avatar
    August 2009
    802 Posts
    Hey OP, if you want to make a debate thread about capitalism and communism then it's preferred that you actually know what these things are. It's obvious that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about judging by your post and don't tell us to compare an economical policy to an ideology.

  14. Post #14
    Gold Member
    [Seed Eater]'s Avatar
    July 2011
    5,701 Posts


    For reference, before this kicks off too far.

  15. Post #15
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    Hey OP, if you want to make a debate thread about capitalism and communism then it's preferred that you actually know what these things are. It's obvious that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about judging by your post and don't tell us to compare an economical policy to an ideology.
    I might be wrong, but in Norwegian, we learned that communism and capitalism was ideologies.

  16. Post #16
    Cree8ive's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,526 Posts
    Hey OP, if you want to make a debate thread about capitalism and communism then it's preferred that you actually know what these things are. It's obvious that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about judging by your post and don't tell us to compare an economical policy to an ideology.
    Pretty much this. Comparing an ideology and economical policy is downright impossible.

    I think you mixed up capitalism and democracy in your train of thought.

  17. Post #17
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    Why do we need to consider which one is best? What does that achieve?

    There is no 'best' solution - each system is completely different. Its a bit like saying 'Yellow or Cyan which is best'?

    Also I would like to point out that since neither Capitalism nor Communism have been implemented in their theoretical forms we cannot say which is 'best'.

    Another point, 'best' for whom? Are we talking the majority of people or best for a country or what?
    Many people are for only one of these. I personal think both are good and bad in both ways. I just want people to have something discuss. I wanna see what other people thinks about each systems

    Edited:

    Pretty much this. Comparing an ideology and economical policy is downright impossible.

    I think you mixed up capitalism and democracy in your train of thought.
    USSR opened before it was ended. It was still communism, but they could be more open and not killed for their freedom of speech. This made the union split in 1991 though.

  18. Post #18
    Cree8ive's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,526 Posts
    I might be wrong, but in Norwegian, we learned that communism and capitalism was ideologies.
    Sorry, but this is not true. You are asking us to compare capitalism which is the belief of a free market based on supply and demand, to communism, a social ideology which is at its basic level the belief that everyone are equal.

  19. Post #19
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    Sorry, but this is not true. You are asking us to compare capitalism which is the belief of a free market based on supply and demand, to communism, a social ideology which is at its basic level the belief that everyone are equal.
    Then I'm sorry for ruining this thread then. But that's what we learned over here in school.

  20. Post #20
    DeveloperConsol's Avatar
    August 2009
    802 Posts
    USSR opened before it was ended. It was still communism, but they could be more open and not killed for their freedom of speech. This made the union split in 1991 though.
    wh
    What?

  21. Post #21
    Cree8ive's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,526 Posts
    USSR opened before it was ended. It was still communism, but they could be more open and not killed for their freedom of speech. This made the union split in 1991 though.
    I don't see how this is relevant... Could you elaborate on what you meant here?

  22. Post #22
    Vengeful Falcon's Avatar
    April 2010
    396 Posts
    If people weren't stupid and easily corrupted by power then communism would be ideal in a (as said above) utopian society but that'll not happen within the next hundreds of years if ever.

  23. Post #23
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    Could you elaborate on what you meant here?
    By bringing reforms to the table, Gorbachev made the Soviet Union more open for people to say their meanings and why the Union had problems so they maybe could fix those problems. Still, It was communism, and by opening for debates, the union led to people saying they don't want the communism, then leading the union to fail.

  24. Post #24
    Cree8ive's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,526 Posts
    If people weren't stupid and easily corrupted by power then communism would be ideal in a (as said above) utopian society but that'll not happen within the next hundreds of years if ever.
    The only factor that hinders communism from working is because of a simple natural human attribute called greed.

  25. Post #25
    Gold Member
    carcarcargo's Avatar
    October 2007
    15,087 Posts
    Capitalism since communism is virtually impossible. although I'd say capitalism with socialist elements is probably best.

    Edited:

    The only factor that hinders communism from working is because of a simple natural human attribute called greed.
    I don't think expecting something in return for your work is greed.

  26. Post #26
    Gold Member
    elowin's Avatar
    December 2009
    7,812 Posts
    They are both too extreme, go for the middle.

  27. Post #27
    Torjuz's Avatar
    January 2011
    3,815 Posts
    Capitalism since communism is virtually impossible. although I'd say capitalism with socialist elements is probably best.

    Edited:



    I don't think expecting something in return for your work is greed.
    I think he is referring to some of the leaders, like the Kim Jong family

  28. Post #28
    Cree8ive's Avatar
    February 2011
    4,526 Posts
    I don't think expecting something in return for your work is greed.
    There will always be someone in charge and as long as the position of being in charge exists there will be a greed/lust for power.

    And the greed for power leads to malicious actions that ruins the foundation of communism as an ideology that'll work besides being an idea.

  29. Post #29
    Gold Member
    Someoneuduno's Avatar
    November 2006
    1,788 Posts
    They are both too extreme, go for the middle.
    This. Both in their extremities are massively flawed. If everyone was equal no-one would work because there would be nothing to strive for. But in capitalist societies the poor often stay poor because it's all they can do. An ideal would be a balance between egalitarianism and meritocracy, but that might be too much to hope for.

  30. Post #30
    Gold Member
    a203xi's Avatar
    January 2005
    396 Posts
    You know, communism in its true definition:

    is good. But it is an utopia
    No.

  31. Post #31
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    February 2006
    3,001 Posts
    They are both too extreme, go for the middle.
    Bah, golden mean. There isn't any middle anyway.

  32. Post #32
    Gold Member
    carcarcargo's Avatar
    October 2007
    15,087 Posts
    There will always be someone in charge and as long as the position of being in charge exists there will be a greed/lust for power.

    And the greed for power leads to malicious actions that ruins the foundation of communism as an ideology that'll work besides being an idea.
    I do believe it did work quite well in some small communities, however on a large scale it tends to get corrupted.

  33. Post #33
    Gold Member
    [Seed Eater]'s Avatar
    July 2011
    5,701 Posts
    USSR opened before it was ended. It was still communism, but they could be more open and not killed for their freedom of speech. This made the union split in 1991 though.
    Ok, are we talking communism, or Marxist-Leninism, which was the state ideology of the USSR? Because communism is a stateless for of government. Marxism-Leninism was a form of Marxist Socialism. Are we arguing that, or are we arguing about actual communism?

    And if we are arguing over the state ideologies in Vietnam, USSR, China, etc, etc, then we're arguing Marxist Socialism and not communism, and if we're trying to argue about both or assuming Marxism-Leninism is a legitimate form of Marxist Socialism, then we need to be arguing Marxism, not communism.

    So I'm confused as to what theory or ideology we're actually arguing here, because from that statement right there, it appears that you're trying to argue about Marxism-Leninism.

    Also, the Union split because Gorbachev gave more liberty and rights at a fast pace to the people, who were too eager to use them right away and did so, causing a lot of instability in government and economy, on top of an already unstable economy, due to a weakened government that couldn't oversee state enterprises or businesses and that lost alot of governmental power. Had Gorbachev applied Perestroika, followed by a 5 to 7 year gap, and then Glasnost, then it likely would have worked out for the better. The policies were great, and would have been amazing for the Union, but the timing and the way things worked out just caused a collapse and a dissolution.

    Edited:

    I do believe it did work quite well in some small communities, however on a large scale it tends to get corrupted.
    Not true. The Paris Commune, the Free Territory, parts of Spain during the Civil War, and arguably Soviet Hungary (pre-WWII) all applied communism or Marxist Socialism on a 'large scale'. The statement that it fails on a large scale is a fallacy and completely baseless, assumed by people who take one look at a series of failed pseudo-Marxist ideologies in power and take the entire 70-year history of that ideology and chalk it all up to the inability of that ideology to work on a large scale.

  34. Post #34
    Flash's Avatar
    July 2008
    491 Posts
    None of them are good or better

  35. Post #35
    The Kakistocrat's Avatar
    November 2011
    1,353 Posts
    Alittle bit of both. It's called Socialism.
    Actually, it isn't. A mix of both is called a mixed market.

  36. Post #36
    Gold Member
    Medevila's Avatar
    December 2008
    4,304 Posts
    Hey OP, if you want to make a debate thread about capitalism and communism then it's preferred that you actually know what these things are. It's obvious that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about judging by your post and don't tell us to compare an economical policy to an ideology.
    This.

    Wish I could manage to find a debate thread as it's starting so I can whip out the big guns right from the start. I can't bring myself to trudge through the junk most people post.

    Not sure if you were attempting a definition through an analogy or not but it wasn't very good either way.

    OP is supposed to spur discussion, not just toss "Coke vs. Pepsi" at us and expect meaningful discussion to ensue.

    Also, lack of ratings makes the debate threads devoid of emotion since I can't toss boxes at people.

  37. Post #37
    Antdawg's Avatar
    July 2010
    5,133 Posts
    Ideally I'd want something in the middle of the two, a mixed economy (well, to be specific I would prefer an open market economy with decent social policy, such as free education and universal healthcare). However if the choice were to be made between either of the extremes, I'd go with Capitalism. I can't help but appreciate an economy so dynamic, so interesting and full of life, and have room for success if you're willing to push yourself to achieve it.

    ^ Mentioning that, I'm making an assumption that the Capitalist society is also leaning towards libertarianism, more of a proper opposite to communism. Capitalism by definition would be an opposite to socialism, not communism. Also, I'm additionally making an assumption that the capitalist society is in a state whereas there is at least a moderate amount of competition, rather than anywhere else towards the extreme of an oligopolic economy.

  38. Post #38
    Gold Member
    Robbobin's Avatar
    June 2007
    8,042 Posts
    This. Both in their extremities are massively flawed. If everyone was equal no-one would work because there would be nothing to strive for. But in capitalist societies the poor often stay poor because it's all they can do. An ideal would be a balance between egalitarianism and meritocracy, but that might be too much to hope for.
    why does everyone in the whole world seem to have this silly idea that socialism/communism entails wage equality, etc.

    there's literally nothing in any good communist literature about that.

    nothing.

  39. Post #39
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    February 2006
    3,001 Posts
    A lie told often enough becomes truth. I've been arguing marx was against wage equality (as he was in critique of the gotha programme) for years. It makes no difference.

  40. Post #40
    imasillypiggy's Avatar
    December 2009
    8,851 Posts
    Capitalism takes money for medical help and schools = Bad
    The schools and medical help is much better since they earn money by people using them = Good
    Well if we are saying someone actually managed to make a good communist country this really wouldn't be an issue. If they managed to get people actually willing to be doctors and teachers they would probably work far harder then someone who is simply doing it for money (and probably wont get you to take an operation simply because the doctor makes more money).