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World events, politics and whatever (especially whatever)
WARNING: Posts may contain offensive content and red wine
09/11/2001 WE REMEMBER

"Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams

"My family is more important than my party." - Zell Miller


I've been going down this whole socialism/communism/anarchism rabbit hole lately. Fascinating stuff.

Here's a video documenting the times that socialism did actually work, many of which were crushed by foreign powers (including soviet russia, which is extremely surprising):



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There are 18 Replies

The national version has worked before.

Posted February 2nd by #85
#85

While I haven't watched the video, the thumbnail seems to suggest that there are at least 17 "successful" (to the extent that totalitarian regimes would qualify as such for our purposes) socialist entities. A simple question would be: Which of these places would you want to live in?

socialism/communism/anarchism

Anarchism is among the greatest of Marxist lies, and for reasons that should be self evident. There really have been functioning socialist countries and they include Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, and Cuba, but none of them have transcended the notion of the state. Paradoxically they expand the state to a universality unseen before the 20th century, and to greater and lesser degrees has led to more mass graves than any other ideology in the history of human civilization, though as the aforementioned "national version" demonstrates they are not alone in this omnicidal endeavor.

(including soviet russia, which is extremely surprising)

When all you have is a hammer, and besides the Bolsheviks wasted no time in killing the Mensheviks. The Bolsheviks killed a lot of people actually, which is why all of these new age retro Communists try to distance their ideology from the horrors of the USSR, by claiming, among other things, that the USSR was the enemy of more "legitimate" leftist governments.

Posted February 2nd by Famov
Famov

"Anarchism is among the greatest of Marxist lies"

lol

Posted February 2nd by poptart!
poptart!
 

Anarchism is utopianism. It's the land of milk and honey and gay space communism, and it's never going to happen.

The only anarchy we ever have the privilege of witnessing takes the form of failed state conditions, but somehow I don't think Somalia is what the window breakers envision when they refer to anarchism as an ideology.

Posted February 2nd by Famov
Famov

i'm loling because kropotkin and the other anarchists weren't fans of marx

"The only anarchy we ever have the privilege of witnessing takes the form of failed state conditions"

right, that and most of human history

Posted February 2nd by poptart!
poptart!
 

You want anarchy? Go to a stranded desert island and make a living for yourself there. If you want a society, please don't come back. You are an anarchist. You literally do not want any society. That desert island should be your fantasy. Why are you not happy on it? You want electricity? Well, you need to pay taxes for that. You want internet? Well, you need government for that. You want air conditioning? You need businesses to operate, and no business operates on their own outside the regulations of government. You can't escape the need for government, and that should be a good thing.

I like GOOD governments. Any system that works for people is a good system.

Posted February 2nd by mariomguy
mariomguy

Anarchism is utopianism. It's the land of milk and honey and gay space communism, and it's never going to happen.

1. there's absolutely nothing wrong with, or unlikely about, gay space communism but anarchism isn't that and 2. if anarchism is possible it's definitely not through the vanguard state. any state with sufficient power to enforce the reforms necessary for communism unilaterally would never give it up. if anarchism is possible it will be of the syndicalist variety, via mass unionization.

distance their ideology from the horrors of the USSR

to put it simply - the USSR became a single, giant capitalist, and it had absolutely no intention of ever relinquishing its power. again, this is the folly of the vanguard state - it's impossible for any government to achieve both the power and the accountability necessary to facilitate the transition.

Somalia

1. Somalia had such a shitty government that by most metrics, its collapse was an improvement and 2. read The Dispossessed

Posted February 2nd by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

I'm not even a left-anarchist and I have to say PPFB completely owne dy ou here Famov pretty much every arugment you made was based in some form of fallacy or falsehood.

Posted February 3rd by tnu
tnu

there's absolutely nothing wrong with, or unlikely about, gay space communism

Modern communists must be desperate indeed if they're going to hang the newest iteration of this theory entirely on automation. And one wonders how this society is going to defend itself from invasion, or perhaps from the designs of more domestic tyrants, once all of the post gendered men are too busy getting high and having no responsibilities outside of unending instant gratification to do anything about it. Then again, at that point the raiding barbarians will seem like a mercy.

The dispersal of power can only happen through institutions and law, and to that end the ones we have are pretty good. The far left is so beholden to its ahistorical prophecies that it actually has the temerity to hold these institutions, founded as they are on the principle that every individual person has inalienable rights, in open contempt.

if anarchism is possible it will be of the syndicalist variety, via mass unionization.

Surely this was the lie I was referring to. How this is any more reasonable than an ancap's insistence that the rule of law will rest on a foundation of exclusively voluntary association is not something I understand.

Syndicalism comes from the same tree as communism. The individual is subsumed before the will of a collective that has (finally!) awakened to its own class consciousness. It's a fantasy, and a uniquely dangerous one that is easily (and has been repeatedly) exploited in pursuit of tyranny.

2. read The Dispossessed

Maybe I will! The paperback is about 4 bucks on amazon and I've been in a sci-fi mood.

Edited February 3rd by Famov
Famov

Modern communists must be desperate indeed if they're going to hang the newest iteration of this theory entirely on automation. And one wonders how this society is going to defend itself from invasion, or perhaps from the designs of more domestic tyrants, once all of the post gendered men are too busy getting high and having no responsibilities outside of unending instant gratification to do anything about it. Then again, at that point the raiding barbarians will seem like a mercy.

If you really believe all ambition and drive will be lost in a post-capitalist (or post-gendered?!?) society, you are surely the guiltiest among us of those two greatest of Puritan sins, hedonism and laziness. People will always seek status, recognition and elevation above their peers, and I don't think that that's a bad thing at all - so long as that is not what their ability to sustain their lives and educate themselves hinges upon.

And to put it simply, I imagine that a *fully* automated society - should we ever get to that point - would deal with any raiding barbarians largely the same way the United States resolves its international disputes now - with some variation on flying killer robots.

The individual is subsumed before the will of a collective that has (finally!) awakened to its own class consciousness. It's a fantasy, and a uniquely dangerous one that is easily (and has been repeatedly) exploited in pursuit of tyranny.

I see no reason to believe your Communo-strawmanism would be any worse than a system in which the individual is subsumed before the will of a collective devoted solely to the pursuit of acquiring capital, often to the point of cutting off its own legs for short-term profit, which is at this very moment exploited in pursuit of tyranny. Communism's moral hazards are merely capitalism's moral hazards, except that capitalism sees absolutely no ideological reason to mitigate them except to prevent the outright collapse of the system.

Posted February 3rd by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

(or post-gendered?!?)

That's what the gay part in "gay space communism" stands for, right? The rejection of traditional gender norms.

you are surely the guiltiest among us of those two greatest of Puritan sins

I'm predicting, not projecting, and I call into evidence the voluntary, able bodied underclass that exists throughout America and is content to get by on the pittance offered by government agencies that seem almost designed (okay, not almost) to manufacture dependency.

so long as that is not what their ability to sustain their lives and educate themselves hinges upon.

Sorry to pick apart your paragraph piece by piece, but I think this is the most important point to address.

So you'd rather their ability to sustain their lives and educate themselves be dependent upon government institutions, and paid for by the wealth forcibly allocated from other people? Given that you're giving lip service to communism, or syndicalism, or whatever (not that I think it's important to distinguish between the two) I'm left with the impression that you're advocating for seizure (or eventual seizure) of the means of production. Given that all attempts to do so have led to the various experiments in human misery that we've already discussed I'm wondering how you think this should be accomplished and how the imagined benefits of doing so outweigh the series of crimes needed to prevent private enterprise.

I see no reason to believe your Communo-strawmanism would be any worse than a system in which the individual is subsumed before the will of a collective devoted solely to the pursuit of acquiring capital, often to the point of cutting off its own legs for short-term profit, which is at this very moment exploited in pursuit of tyranny. Communism's moral hazards are merely capitalism's moral hazards, except that capitalism sees absolutely no ideological reason to mitigate them except to prevent the outright collapse of the system.

Except the United States and other liberal democracies are not collectivist societies, rendering the comparison invalid and a strawman only on your end. The vast majority of people in America depend upon themselves for their livelihood. They can support their lives virtually however they wish, and to the extent that they're not permitted to do so is still the result of limitations set by our government and not private enterprise. Self sufficiency, and the protection of our most fundamental rights under laws that are (ideally) virtually impossible to change, is what freedom looks like. If you're going to dispute that in favor of some derivation of Marxism then that sets you at odds against all of western liberalism.

Edited February 4th by Famov
Famov

That's what the gay part in "gay space communism" stands for, right? The rejection of traditional gender norms.

Oh, absolutely, but I see no reason why I'd work any less hard at my job just because I no longer felt compelled to wear man-branded Old Spice deodorant and a flannel shirt. The tech industry is chock full of transwomen, neon-haired pronoun-forsakers and even *furries* and considering their explosive growth they appear to be doing just fucking fine (by any capitalist metric, at the least). This is a non-argument and you're just casting vague aspersions of Tumblrism on an entire economic system.

I'm predicting, not projecting, and I call into evidence the voluntary, able bodied underclass that exists throughout America and is content to get by on the pittance offered by government agencies that seem almost designed (okay, not almost) to manufacture dependency.

First of all: able-bodied means fuck all in an economy where physical labor is increasingly undervalued or irrelevant, and many of these people are A. mentally ill/disabled, B. have criminal records, or in some cases C. B because A. Trying to force these people back into the system on pain of starvation will, at best, flood the system with candidates ill-suited to the jobs.

Second of all: economies are ruined at the hands of market forces because industries got up and walked - or just vanished - and these people don't qualify for the handful of jobs that replaced them. Incidentally I'm within walking distance of the new cashless Amazon store, which has absolutely no staff to speak of. You don't think Wal-mart will have adopted the same technology within a decade, emptying out their stores nationwide? Do you suppose those 30 and 40-something Midwest cashiers and stockboys are gonna take sweet programming gigs at Amazon? No - their choices are going to be between enduring your disdainful stares and taking a welfare check, asking the fam for whatever help they can spare (it's probably not much), or else sleeping rough.

Finally: means-testing is a joke propped up by an archaic notion of fairness. Bureaucratic efforts to deter a few lifelong free-riders who are jumping through hoops every week to abuse welfare systems actually cost more than just cutting them the check and letting them live on their minimum-wage payouts, and the costs of watching the proverbial money-grubbing welfare queens like hawks come out of your taxpayer dollars, too. God forbid anyone might get a little more than they deserve, right?

The vast majority of people in America depend upon themselves for their livelihood.

Do we now? I'm employed full-time but I don't write myself a check every two weeks - [REDACTED] does. No one depends solely on themselves but hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers. and I doubt seriously that you're either. If for whatever reason [REDACTED] decided they didn't like me - enough to, say, put my name on some kinda list within the industry - all the Protestant work ethic in the world wouldn't do me a lick of good.

Posted February 4th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear

The national version has worked before.

Yeah. Shame about the dragging-the-whole-developed-world-into-a-war bit. And maybe that genocide part as well.

Posted February 5th by Arch
Arch
 

This is a non-argument and you're just casting vague aspersions of Tumblrism on an entire economic system.

I guess I'll have to concede that my use of the words "post gendered" do not constitute an argument. But as long as we're on this track of fully automated gay space communism it is probably worth saying that one reason why it won't ever happen is because we will never truly discard traditional gender roles. The ways men and women relate to one another are in part based in biological and psychological realities, evolutionarily developed over millennia, that cannot and will not be unlearned at the behest of the collective will of lesbianic rainbow hairs and autist yiffers. This temporary insanity, otherwise known as a fad, will be overcome one way or another because most of these trenders will eventually leave their youth having learned that freakdom is not conducive to human happiness and those that don't will probably never reproduce anyway.

But yeah I really was mostly casting vague aspersions. The ideology/meme brought this on itself by putting "gay" in the title.

First of all: ...

I'm not calling for the abolition of welfare and similar assistance programs, and as such there's no one more deserving of this assistance than the mentally ill. Those with criminal records will have a tough time, but they made their choices so I guess that's what you get. The longer they behave, the easier it'll be to find a better job and/or leave what assistance they're on.

Second of all: ...

Sorry Nostradamus, but we'll have to wait and see on that. There's a reason why I only called the promise of utopian anarchism "one of the greatest" lies of Marxism. The greatest of all is the insistence that the thread of history is moving unerringly towards the revolution. The proletariat were supposed to awaken in Britain first, but they didn't. Then the Marxists moved the goalpost, so to speak, and adapted their theory to answer the uprising in Czarist Russia.

It's a funny thing, the total lack of class consciousness among the "workers" of wealthy western nations. The problem, as I'm sure they came to realize, is that the 20th century saw previously unimaginable improvements in the lives of almost everyone. Someone working for minimum wage today has access to objectively better living than the millionaire of a century ago. Ultimately, the wealth produced by market economies in the freest societies proved that the communists had no idea what they were talking about, and how could they have? Marx was wrong.

There are an uncounted number of things that can happen, and I don't accept for a moment that the market system will just collapse in on itself. If I'm wrong on and you're there to remind me then I will try to accept that reminder with grace as I'm brutally murdering some bourgeoisie in an act of love.

Finally: means-testing is a joke propped up by an archaic notion of fairness.

Fairness is timeless, and I'd continue to stand by means testing if it was five times as expensive as the welfare program. Shoot, I'm in favor of drug testing welfare candidates, and the lab and paper work for that alone probably really is a multiple of the current welfare cost. But I don't care. Indeed, the point really is to keep the money out of the hands of those that don't deserve it, because otherwise the system is compromised and the government is permitting an injustice to be committed on the taxpayer.

Do we now?

Yes, you and I and most Americans are in a voluntary and mutually beneficial relationship with either another person or a company and receive payment for services rendered. You agreed to your wage the same as I did, and you can leave at any time for something else the same as I can.

put my name on some kinda list within the industry - all the Protestant work ethic in the world wouldn't do me a lick of good.

You're in IT and living on the west coast, right? Just don't give them the impression that you hold any political opinions to the right of Che "I'm an unrepentant murderer. Buy my t-shirt, you filthy capitalist pig-dog." Guevara and you should be fine.

Edited February 5th by Famov
Famov

No offense Famov, but you seem completely naive and out of touch with average Americans; the ones who come from working class families, who make <$30K per year, who die from lack of healthcare, who work 40+ hours a week and still can’t make ends meet. Those whose poverty you might dismiss by calling them “lazy” or “stupid” or “criminal”.

I’ll elaborate and respond to some of your specific points if I get access to a laptop before this thread reaches the second page.

Posted February 5th by pacman
pacman
 

He is extremely out of touch.



Posted February 5th by S.O.H.
S.O.H.
 

"that cannot and will not be unlearned at the behest of the collective will of lesbianic rainbow hairs and autist yiffers. This temporary insanity, otherwise known as a fad, will be overcome one way or another, because most of these trenders will eventually leave their youth having learned that freakdom is not conducive to human happiness and those that don't will probably never reproduce anyway."

i think you've confused bitter, barely contained hate for wit, bud

Posted February 5th by poptart!
poptart!
 

we will never truly discard traditional gender roles

I agree, but we don't have to. We also don't have to enforce them with an iron fist. I don't believe men and women will become amorphous eloi in the absence of social programming but toxic masculinity (and toxic femininity!) are real things that compel people to be miserable in the service of ideals that serve little social function and don't really impress anyone.

The problem, as I'm sure they came to realize, is that the 20th century saw previously unimaginable improvements in the lives of almost everyone. Someone working for minimum wage today has access to objectively better living than the millionaire of a century ago.

Certainly not out of the goodness of the millionaire's heart! As technology allows us to do five times the work, we replace four of our coworkers and take two-thirds the pay. When billionaires get a tax break they put that shit in the stock market, but if they DO create jobs, it's to build something that will replace four more of us, or else take another public resource we've been entitled to for decades and sell it back to us.

Behold, the latest greatwork from Silicon Valley's renaissance men: DLC for your goddamn water fountain.



Fairness is timeless, and I'd continue to stand by means testing if it was five times as expensive as the welfare program. Shoot, I'm in favor of drug testing welfare candidates, and the lab and paper work for that alone probably really is a multiple of the current welfare cost

My dude, that is actually, literally monstrous. Fiscal conservatism, even fiscal austerity I can at least grok, but you're in the Cult of the Bootstrap.

You agreed to your wage the same as I did, and you can leave at any time for something else the same as I can.

I sure fucking did, and I have the luxury of being well-off enough that if I did leave I wouldn't be sleeping under the sweet Seattle smog next month. I haven't *always* had that luxury, and I know a lot of people my age and a decade older who still don't.

You're in IT and living on the west coast, right? Just don't give them the impression that you hold any political opinions to the right of Che "I'm an unrepentant murderer. Buy my t-shirt, you filthy capitalist pig-dog." Guevara and you should be fine.

Seattle is ancap hell, Famov; if you could get over your allergy to neon hair I think you'd honestly love it here.

Edited February 6th by Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Pink Peruvian Flying Bear
Reply to: Socialism has actually worked before

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