Author Topic: Communism for Kids  (Read 15445 times)

Zoltan

  • Posts: 3496
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #200 on: April 25, 2017, 03:59:23 PM »
First, I'd like to remind you how insanely fragile the civilization we take for granted is. You rest easy, knowing if you take the day off, take the week off, hell, take the year off, the wheels keep turning. If 50% of the workforce in America called out for 1 week straight... Holy fuck. There would be chaos.

The private sector ALREADY has an insane maximization of efficiency and resources in order to maximize profits. What you are saying, is for owners of businesses, and their shareholders, to cut their profits so people can have more days off. Not to be rude, but this is silly, and childish.

Literally every job in the trades encourages individuality, in style, creativity, personality, and ethic.

Why does nearly every millennial think hard work is "soul-crushing?"

The classic authoritarian argument rears its head, as expected, in your very first statement. If we don't obey, if we don't do as directed, we will all suffer. Best not to question the status quo. As Riev pointed out, your opposition (and many other people's, you're certainly not the only one) to alternatives to capitalism are more visceral than anything. In any case, the gains we've made in labor rights have been due to exactly those sort of strikes.

Also, I'm not saying cut profits. The goal is to eliminate the concept and reality of personal profit entirely. But why would anyone do anything then? Sounds like a good question to earnestly research.

So people in the trades are allegedly able to unreservedly express themselves in their labor. I'll just grant you that for the sake of argument. How is the trade able to exist at all? The tradesman doesn't necessarily grow and process all of his own food. There is a literal world of labor underlying and holding up these trades. Someone is being exploited to create commodities at a profit so the tradesman can use those commodities. We will always need food, power, and tools. We can obtain these necessities in a more ethical and efficient way.

And it's important to understand that we HAVE made progress along these lines. Capitalism was good for a larger amount of people than manorialism was. Should we have just stopped at manorialism? After all, adopting capitalism meant the potential for less wealth among the nobility and warlords, who earned it via violence or birth. We can and should further refine capitalism and new economic models to reflect new production techniques and the needs of civilization.

I'm not satisfied with the fact that people everywhere are suffering under our current economic systems. People should be free to inquire into new methods and have serious discussions about implementing them. The defense of the status quo is all-too-often less concerned with material reality (well, how WOULD equitable distribution work, really?) and instead half-baked moral judgments on the poor and the fetishization of the exploitation most of us have experienced to some degree. And beyond a question of right and wrong, there's the simple reality that increased automation for improved productivity and profit is at odds with the need for a moneyed consumer base for our economy to keep running. Reform is going to be necessary, one way or the other.
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Dan

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Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #201 on: April 25, 2017, 05:38:34 PM »
If you've ever worked for or with the government you'd know they can find a way to fuck up just about anything and it doesn't just get fixed in a day.  I've waited months for money owed to me for travel expenses I have incurred.  Imagine that being work assignments and whatever else needs to be doled out in this ridiculous system.  The less I need to rely on something outside of my control for success of my family the better.

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I'm not satisfied with the fact that people everywhere are suffering under our current economic systems.

I don't think people everywhere are suffering under our current economic system.  Quite the opposite compared to the rest of the world, and definitely true when compared against every attempt at communism and socialism ever.
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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #202 on: April 25, 2017, 06:06:47 PM »
Zoltan:

Authoritarian? You sure? Read what I wrote and think on that, again.

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How is the trade able to exist at all? The tradesman doesn't necessarily grow and process all of his own food. There is a literal world of labor underlying and holding up these trades. Someone is being exploited to create commodities at a profit so the tradesman can use those commodities. We will always need food, power, and tools. We can obtain these necessities in a more ethical and efficient way.

It is called the division of labor. And guess what? It is consensual.

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how WOULD equitable distribution work, really?

In a few words... It wont, without taking property from some. For example: I own a modest 5 acres of earth. It is impossible to give every American 5 acres of land to live on, end of story.

Dan. Spot-on.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #203 on: April 25, 2017, 06:16:34 PM »
Government doesn't have a monopoly on fucking up. I've seen plenty of it in the private sector, especially at larger firms. An organization's ability to trundle on despite its own ineptitude grows exponentially with its own increasing size. Perhaps not indefinitely, but far longer than a small business or small society could.


I don't think people everywhere are suffering under our current economic system.  Quite the opposite compared to the rest of the world, and definitely true when compared against every attempt at communism and socialism ever.

What are we defining "people" and "Everywhere" as? Americans are almost universally better off than, say, Nigerians, especially in material wealth. But a lot of the wealth that underpins the high standard of living in the Developed world is sourced, whole or in part, out of the developing world. The fact that capitalism does require someone somewhere to make less so that others can make more is a fair critique of it. Personally I've made peace with the fact that if I want chocolate, cheap gasoline, and high quality electronics, I'm subsidizing a lot of bad and dirty behavior elsewhere in the world to get it. As has always been the case historically.

Western Europe's also implemented "socialism" to varying degrees and generally enjoys equal or higher standards of living than Americans. Their homes might not be as large, but they live longer and have happier citizens. Some of them even somehow manage to achieve this nightmare state with lower corporate tax rates than America has.

I'd say the key difference between Socialism and "Communism" (i.e. Soviet Union, not the theoretically utopian state) is that Communists believe in a Command Economy. That has irrefutably been proven to be completely ineffectual. A free economy can exist in socialism, and indeed is required for socialism to exist so that private incentives remain and wealth is generated to be redistributed.

A lot of what people rail against as Socialist in the West or America is regulation. If you don't think regulation is necessary, please read The Jungle. America went with a deregulated economy in the late 19th century and while it generated wealth, it also had periodic and serious market crashes and abysmally low quality standards of products.

Interestingly, regulations are more burdensome on small businesses than large, as a large business can better shoulder the costs of meeting those regulations. I wonder if things would be better if instead of prescribing behavior ("You must conform to Code X.Y.Z of the Clean Water and Happy Fishes Act in your operations") we just legislated "Do not allow toxins from your production to enter the water supply." And then if toxins are found and traced back to a company, we randomly execute 20% of the stockholders and their immediate family.
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Sayyadina

  • Posts: 391
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #204 on: April 25, 2017, 06:23:15 PM »
For example: I own a modest 5 acres of earth. It is impossible to give every American 5 acres of land to live on, end of story.

Actually, there's more than enough land in the continental US to give every American 5 acres of land.
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BadSkeelz

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Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #205 on: April 25, 2017, 06:26:51 PM »
640 acres a piece, by my calculations. The natural rebuttal is that those might not be 640 acres capable of living on... but I wonder.
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Melkor

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Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #206 on: April 25, 2017, 07:13:05 PM »
Okay. Now I KNOW I am dealing with trolls who just spout shit out without looking anything up.

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The numbers do not change appreciably from year to year. Overview of Land Use in the United States-The U.S. has 2.3 billion acres of land. However, 375 million acres are in Alaska and not suitable for agricultural production. The land area of the lower 48 states is approximately 1.9 billion acres.

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...changed little, declining from 922 million acres in 2007 to 915 million acres in 2012 (or 40.8 percent of U.S. land to 40.5 percent). The average size of U.S. farms in 2012 was 434 acres, 4 percent larger than five years earlier.

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The total land area of the contiguous 48 states is 2,959,067 square miles. (This excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska has 17 percent of the land area of the U.S., but few roads. Adding Alaska would significantly reduce the percentage of land covered by roads.)
There are currently 8,614,790 lane miles of road in the lower 48 states. The average width of a highway lane is 11 feet. This means roads cover 17,947 square miles of land, or just six-tenths of 1 percent of the total land area of the contiguous 48 states.
17,947 sq-miles is 11,486,080 acres.

321.4 million people in the united states.

5 acres each for 321,400,000 is 1,607,000,000 or 1.6 billion acres needed.

Now to subtract farm-land and roads which are uninhabitable from the total US land..

2,300,000,000-915,000,000-11,486,080= 1,373,513,920.

Looks like, even if you portioned off every uninhabitable mountain range, every uninhabitable island in alaska. every inch of City. Every NATIONAL PARK, you would still be 226,486,080 acres short.

Learn to research.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 07:22:42 PM by Melkor »
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #207 on: April 25, 2017, 07:19:56 PM »
Okay. Now I KNOW I am dealing with trolls who just spout shit out without looking anything up.

Quote
The numbers do not change appreciably from year to year. Overview of Land Use in the United States-The U.S. has 2.3 billion acres of land. However, 375 million acres are in Alaska and not suitable for agricultural production. The land area of the lower 48 states is approximately 1.9 billion acres.

Quote
...changed little, declining from 922 million acres in 2007 to 915 million acres in 2012 (or 40.8 percent of U.S. land to 40.5 percent). The average size of U.S. farms in 2012 was 434 acres, 4 percent larger than five years earlier.

Quote
The total land area of the contiguous 48 states is 2,959,067 square miles. (This excludes Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska has 17 percent of the land area of the U.S., but few roads. Adding Alaska would significantly reduce the percentage of land covered by roads.)
There are currently 8,614,790 lane miles of road in the lower 48 states. The average width of a highway lane is 11 feet. This means roads cover 17,947 square miles of land, or just six-tenths of 1 percent of the total land area of the contiguous 48 states.
17,947 sq-miles is 11,486,080 acres.

321.4 million people in the united states.

5 acres each for 321,400,000 is 1,607,000,000 or 1.6 billion acres needed.

Now to subtract farm-land and roads which are uninhabitable from the total US land..

2,300,000,000-922,000,000-11,486,080= 1,366,513,920.

Looks like, even if you portioned off every uninhabitable mountain range, every uninhabitable island in alaska. every inch of City. Every NATIONAL PARK, you would still be 233,486,080 acres short.

Learn to research.

Um, isnt that 17,947 square miles of land you start your math with 17,947 square miles of roads?

Surely we could tear up the interstate, along with a lot of the land currently occupied by buildings in the urban cores (high density residential, wareshouses, business, etc) and reclaim that arabale land.

I think we could give people "five acres of land that they could live on." We'd just have to completely restructure our current way of life to do it.
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BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #208 on: April 25, 2017, 07:23:07 PM »
I mean, from Farmlandinfo.com in 1997-2002 there were 937,815,600 acres of agricultural land. God knows how much we'd already converted before then. Just by that number we could get up to 2.89 acres, easy.

http://www.farmlandinfo.org/statistics

Worth pointing out that "live on" is not the same as "live off of," as well. Words matter!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 07:25:41 PM by BadSkeelz »
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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #209 on: April 25, 2017, 07:25:06 PM »
So, do I give up my 5 acres so everybody can have some?
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

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Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #210 on: April 25, 2017, 07:26:19 PM »
It'd probably be more efficient to give it to a big corporate farm who could get better food yields out of it. That's what happened to most of the open land in the United States.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #211 on: April 25, 2017, 07:27:22 PM »
Um, isnt that 17,947 square miles of land you start your math with 17,947 square miles of roads?
Yes. What is your point?

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Surely we could tear up the interstate, along with a lot of the land currently occupied by buildings in the urban cores (high density residential, wareshouses, business, etc) and reclaim that arabale land.

Stop trolling.

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I think we could give people "five acres of land that they could live on." We'd just have to completely restructure our current way of life to do it.
And people would inevitably wind up starving. Yay, socialism!
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #212 on: April 25, 2017, 07:42:29 PM »
Quote
I think we could give people "five acres of land that they could live on." We'd just have to completely restructure our current way of life to do it.
And people would inevitably wind up starving. Yay, socialism!

*Communism. Which as we both can agree doesn't work. You saw some agrarian-Communist movements in east Asia (Democratic Kampuchea [also known as the Cambodian Genocide], the Great Leap Forward) and they were pretty much unmitigated disasters. The Soviets didn't do too well in their collectivization (really forced industrialization) pushes of agriculture either. I think Khrushchev also tried to force Soviet adoption of corn after a trip to the US, despite it not really growing well at all anywhere he wanted to grow it. They all highlight the bad decision making that seems to be compounded in command economies.

Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism are all philosophies designed for industrial societies that are able to get better land yields thanks to technology, while also concentrating populations in cities for non-farming work.

It's a whole other social philosophy entirely that thinks we (as a species) all need to go back to subsistence levels of living and thereby be able to support a much larger population - at a much lower standard of living- indefinitely. The name escapes me. It's not one I subscribe too because I like having internet and supermarkets.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #213 on: April 25, 2017, 07:57:21 PM »
*Communism.

Before communism can occur, the restructure of the current way of life's first stage is into socialism, where people would die. Take your smug asterisk away. :)

I like internet and supermarkets too. Wal-mart is the shit. Where else can I buy a Flat-screen tv, pineapples, socks, an electric fence, carbon-fiber arrows, power-steering fluid, AND RETURN IT ALL THE NEXT DAY EVEN IF I USED THE SHIT???

I also like working toward being self-sufficient. So I work hard, acquire land, work hard to grow an orchard, hunt, etc.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #214 on: April 25, 2017, 08:18:22 PM »
Soviet Socialism (what most Americans would call Communism) is still a world apart from the socialism you see in Western Europe. As I've said, the real distinguishing trait is the Command Economy. Communist states tended to make practical decisions based on political ideology, and that never works out whoever tries it. Believing "the market will correct for everything" is no practically different than "running agriculture on Marxist principles will keep us from starving."

I think it's cool you have your little acreage out there. Part of the reason you can enjoy it is because society made a decision a couple centuries ago to clear out the natives and centralize power in the State, so you don't have much to worry about on security but the odd outlaw. You've found a relatively harmless bubble within the larger American capitalist civilization.

I just hope the people who live in even better bubbles - the political and economic elites, the 1-5% that's accumulating 95% of the wealth in society - become cognizant of it too. That's where the "Capitalism is the best and can do no wrong" gospel is not only irritating to hear, but truly dangerous if believed. Like any socio-economic system, Capitalism is voluntary. If enough people decide they're not getting what they want out of it and decide to just take, we're all in trouble. Even if I think it could be fun to run with a revolutionary death squad.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #215 on: April 25, 2017, 08:28:45 PM »
I am in the middle of nowhere, so if a revolution does rise up, I'm going to sit tight on my land, coordinate with my honest neighbors on the other side of the woods, bring my family and my woman's family to my home with all weapons and ammunition they have, and protect our lives from anybody who thinks what is ours is theirs.

That is the true danger in the type of rebellion/revolution you speak of. Once people start killing to take what they feel they deserve, where will they stop? Billionaires? Multi-millionaires? What about people who have a nice house and cars, but only make 500k? What about 300k? 100k? It will never stop. If you have what someone wants, in that type of climate, you are fair game.

You'll see farmhouses surrounded by heads on pikes, man.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #216 on: April 25, 2017, 08:31:02 PM »
Yeah, I'm sure the Kulaks and Chinese Landlords and Junkers all thought they could ride out their revolutions too. It's just a matter of bringing enough firepower to bear, and there's always more firepower to be raised out of the urban and industrial centers than the farmsteads. Holding out in such places is a fantasy not borne out historically.

janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #217 on: April 25, 2017, 08:43:13 PM »
Yeah, I should just follow the murderers and kill rich people.

Thats fucking retarded.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #218 on: April 25, 2017, 08:46:58 PM »
I'd prefer you apply electoral pressure to try and divert us away from the cliff, myself. I like talking about social upheaval and chaos much more than being in it.

Sadly neither party really has viable solutions so we're all kind of boned.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #219 on: April 25, 2017, 08:56:39 PM »
I prefer this snapshot in time, however hard, however unfair, than a revolution which would destabilize our nation and potentially allow foreign nations to take over in land ownership/influence/etc.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8371
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #220 on: April 25, 2017, 09:23:59 PM »
Of course you do, so do I.

But I don't think this snapshot is sustainable. Pretending it is will, in fact, hasten its own destruction. Everything is getting more expensive and, unless you're on a company board, we're all making less money. Wealth's getting more and more concentrated at the very top of society. For those of us in the middle, maybe we can deal. But when the majority of the country has nothing to lose but abstract notions of "liberty" and "sovereignty" and decides to tear the rest down? What happens then?

In a way it would be the capitalist ideal - all against all, owning only what you can secure by the strength of your own arm. Except historically that state of nature doesn't last very long, as people tend to rally together for mutual protection which soon becomes force projection. Even Somali, the joke example of perfect anarchism, actually has a lot of local structure provided by tribal courts. God knows what form of warlordism would take hold in America. I'd prefer not to see it. If that means some people have to make a few millions less so we can have productive schools and infrastructure and a job market that isn't divided between "CEO" and "burgerflipper" so be it.

I think that might be the fundamental difference between "Capitalist" and "Socialist" - a Capitalist would want to maximize profit, while a Socialist wants to maximize social stability.
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #221 on: April 25, 2017, 10:04:12 PM »
Quote
If that means some people have to make a few millions less so we can have productive schools and infrastructure and a job market that isn't divided between "CEO" and "burgerflipper" so be it.

You mean our massively-funded public schools that provide shit educations to students who dont want it to the detriment of the students who do?

More money will not fix our schools. The free market will. This has been seen through charter-schools in Harlem.

Let us say we harvested one trillion dollars in liquid assets from the top 1 percent. To put that in perspective, that is 1,000,000 million dollars. Congratulations, each American gets 3 thousand dollars. Whoopty-fuckin-do. Give a man a fish.

I know you are being facetious when you say "A job market divided between CEO and Burgerflipper," but it does not help the conversation. 

« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 10:20:19 PM by Melkor »
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

boog

  • Posts: 10712
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #222 on: April 25, 2017, 10:34:40 PM »
I dunno. I just don't see the need for some fancy pants bigwig to get a $30 mil bonus to then immediately quit his job and send everyone else in his corporation scrambling because he took a payday. One might even say he took the easy way out and screwed people who ... funded him. ;)
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
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Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #223 on: April 25, 2017, 10:41:11 PM »
Oh for sure it is a shitty situation for everyone involved, though I do not think it is immoral to do so, or should be illegal.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

boog

  • Posts: 10712
Re: Communism for Kids
« Reply #224 on: April 25, 2017, 10:43:42 PM »
It's kinda the same concept as government handouts, though, except on a more finely tuned, corporate level.

I didn't get the same raises I had in years past to make up for the money sink this doucher left behind. I didn't get the same benefits. I had to work harder to pay for his $30 mil break.

I would've much rather had that funneled to people in actual need.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
Kismet: didn't see you in GQ homey
BadSkeelz: Whatever you say, Kim Jong Boog
Quote from: Tuannon
There is only one boog.