Hey comrades! I have been studying Communism as much as I can, reading forums and searching topics, but balanced and accurate information is getting tough to come by. So here's a few of my questions. 1. I know that Communism is moneyless, but how does that work? Like say I want to buy a house from somebody, what do I give them? 2. I've heard some people argue that we should jump to Communism immediately (skip Socialism) why or why not is this a good idea? 3. How far, in your opinion, was the USSR from attaining Communism? 4. Which country(s) can we speculate will become Socialist in the coming years? 5. In 100 years time, what advances do you think will have been made (or not) for Communism? As in, do you think that there will be a powerful nation (USSR Part II ?) that is Socialist and challenges western Capitalism once again?
I can only help you with my limited knowledge thus far, other members would chime in soon. And i can only help you with your first inquiry.
In a true, moneyless, communist society, there is no private property. Thusly, there is no one to pay in order to buy land, because you do not buy it at all. The USSR, and other socialist nations that were of a more communist goal persuasion, had systems for State Housing. To my understanding, you signed up to a registry and eventually you'd move into a home that was provided by the state.
Again, other more grizzled members should be chiming in soon to answer your questions, and possibly to correct or refine my answer to you.
Why buy a house from "somebody"? You want a house, the community provides you with one.
Communism is based on the high develepmnet of productive forces to fufllfil the social needs. For example, we're not running on shortage of mobile phones, or cars.. In contrary, they are produced much more that consumers can buy. The case that you actually buy them does not mean that you couldn't just order one you like "for free" (it's not "free" actually)
PS: sorry I don't discuss the others too or elaborate more, but I will ..next year
I kind of see what you are saying but I still haven't wrapped my head around it. So I want to buy a cell phone, how do I do that? What's used to determine the value of the cellphone?
Why do we need a value to cellphones? Isn't that you need one value enough? And if we'd reached moneylessness you'd just be given one.
لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله - يا عمال العالم اتحدوا
Dagoth Ur wrote:
I see what you're saying but how do we know that we "need" a cellphone? What would stop people from saying "I need fifty cellphones".
Without money, what are people rewarded with for their work?
Strangely enough, I had a simplified discussion similar to this with my brother (my ultimate nemesis in debate).
Communism, in a nutshell, is were everyone has a job and works according to the needs requested by their fellow comrades. When the need is met, the production is halted, when a new need arises, the industry meets the need by making the appropriate amount of the item in need. This happens for all materials; cars, boats, televisions, binoculars, cell phones, et cetera. There are somethings that are in near constant need; Food (including water), Clothes, and Shelter (not so much since the need for shelter grows smaller and renovation of older shelters grows larger in time, you do need updates and repairs of plumbing from time to time). These three are also the three main essentials to life.
I do not know if the USSR was able to reach a near moneyless society, but I think they came close. Soviet78 might be able to help in that regard. This is all the knowledge I can garner at this time. (New Years party or something happening where I am at.)
Right but what drives innovation? Sure, the need for cell phones is met and production is halted, but what allows for cell phones to be improved upon and continually changed? I don't want to limit this to cell phones, so in a broad sense, in Communism, do we only bare-bones products which are easy to mass produce?
Take a computer game like Battle for Wesnoth. Completely free. Always has been.
Yet it's been perpetually improved and updated for years.
Soviet America is Free America!
Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
Well, the simple fact the same people who enjoy improved phones are the ones who make them. No one benefits from no innovation, or poor quality products. Producers get paid less, and consumers get shitty products. Since the two are mostly indistinguishable in socialism, it doesn't really make any sense to give ourselves less than what we want.
If people want simple, easy to produce products then that is their choice, same with expensive, quality products. We can decide ourselves if we want to use plastic or cast iron, for example.
1. In a Communist world, there is no money. Also, you would not need to 'buy' houses from other people. Private Ownership is against Communism.
2. Going straight to Communism (in my eyes) is not the best decision to make. Going straight to Communism would fuel people's anger and possibly lead to a counter-revolution. Becoming Socialist first gives you more options. Socialism is the half-way point between the Left and Right and gives you more options. You could begin reforms which would eventually lead to Communism, or if you don't feel like the populace would agree to Communism, you could just remain Socialist.
3. Again, in my opinion, I feel that the USSR was at it most Communisty(?) when Lenin was in power. Lenin seemed to respect human life more than Stalin. Also, it seemed to me that Lenin genuinely wanted to improve the lives of the people. Stalin, to an extent, did industrialize Russia into the 20th Century, but beyond that, I think that Stalin remained a Communist because it gave him power. Khruschev and Gorbachev were not really Communist in the least bit. I guess you could say that the USSR endured a period of degeneration where with each new leader, the Communist ideals created by Lenin became further and further away.
4. Already today, there are many Socialist countries. Especially in Europe: Italy, France, Spain...etc. I was hoping that an outcome of the Arab revolutions would perhaps lead to Socialism but evidently not. In truth, I see it as a stalemate. I don't see many countries adding to the Socialist agenda, but then again, I don't see many countries becoming Capitalist/Imperialist either.
5. I guess our best hope for this would be North Korea or perhaps China. In terms of opposing Western Capitalism again - I don't think we can rely on any of these states. Kim-Jong-Un is rumoured to be a fan of NBA Basketball, which probably means he won't be as active as his Father in opposing Imperialism. The Chinese Communist party has said that they want to return to Communism once their economy has fully developed. But, I doubt this will happen. Now that they have tasted what Capitalism is like, there will be many who will oppose changing to Communism. In general, no. I think we will have to wait a very long time for someone who will oppose Western Capitalism.
"Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem."
And by value you mean the exchange value. The measure unit of echange value is time. That means that a product needed a total amount og 1h to be producued (you also calculate the hours on its material, constructive parts etc, but let's keep it simple) can be exchganged with any other product that also needs 1h to be produced. THe mean for the exchange is money.. Socialist money are "evidence" of the hours worked ie 1$ represents 1h of work and with that you can get whatever product needed 1h to be produced.
However in immature socialism not all time worths the same.. For example a cashier's hour worths less than a rocket scientist's hour, so the scientist gets more money ie access to more products. The same on the time of specialises vs non-specialised work etc..
As socialism matures the diference between physical and intelectual work, specialised vs non specialised etc tends to be equalised, based on the ground of the great production rates acheived.. For example in the 1950's only those who had a "good job" could afford to own a car or a house.. Now everybody can.. The development of the productive forces are grown to the level to be able to satisfy the social needs in housing and cars.. (even for those who don't even have a job!!)
In full communism, there is no exchange value.. Since there is no scarcity, in the majority of products, everybody can get what they need..
Will there be money? It deepends on the maturity level. So example everybody can get a house, internet, telephony, food, car(s), health care, for free (without money), but for some products, there maybe a need for money.. The whole point is what "money" represent, and not "money" it self.
So to answer the practical question, you can go to the store, order a mobile phone and get it.. Ofcourse practically a control mechanism is needed so you can't for example, get a 100 phones in a month(whithout a good reason) (since there is a given production capacity of about 4 mobs on each person), but this not really has to do with money, in essence, at this stage.
Comrade Whiggon wrote:
I know, but what if somebody wanted to move? You "sell" your house, somehow, right?
How do we determine what is the "value" of a rocket scientist's hour compared to that of a cashier's? How do we judge what has the value of the labour? Say we take an artist who creates paintings, he has created a painting that took him however many hours to create. Whether it is a good painting is up for debate, so how do we know what to value his labour at?
Secondly, how could the enviroment ever provide a car, house, whatever it is for everybody on the planet? Wouldn't major comprimises have to be made in order to preserve the planet's well being?
The idea of the end of the exchange value just seems very unrealistic. How do we verify that we aren't just giving a bunch of freeloaders free phones? I could understand possibly the end of exchange value if there were so many products and supply that we wouldn't ever run out, but that's assuming that the planet can take the hit.
How do you calculate it in capitalism? I mean a painting has not a real "use value" how do you calculate the "exchange value of it"?
The outcome of a scientifc research is based on what use value has on certain fields. On "how bad" you need it and how vital is for your economy this research.
Going beyond that we can say that an artist or a writer or a scientist (intelectual work) should enjoy the same amount of products and services as everybody else. Up to the point that you achieve such a level, you regulate the payment according to what need you have in this. A nuclear physisist that is about to create a nuclear bomb the time you need it the most, gets more, since there are not many physistists able to produce the same outcome.. It is also a βbid and demand issue on sources you have achieved on this sector too.
Yes.. but how is capitalism is solving these issues? For example in a planned economy at a point we could see that "gas fueled cars" is bad for the environment, we decide to promote research on a different type of engine. In capitalism those researches are sabotaged and deliberately consealed just because a different typ of engine not based on gas, is agianst the profits of the oil cartels and all powers based on these cartels, including states like the US (with petrodollars etc).
As for the housing, there are more houses and housing facilities than the acruall population of the US. However many US people live on the streets why?
Certainly, we can say that resources of earth can stand a certain amount of population.. For example it is a crime to have 1billion people in India at the same time that there are no resources to house, feed and employ them. Shouldn't there be a policy for popoulation growth control?
again the same, as far as it conernes the planet. What do you mean "freeloaders"? Those who dont work? I guess you don't include the investors that live out of investing capitals around and make a living out of it.
The fact that there are "freeloaders" and still there are many products for everybody means that there is not such a need for work. There is unenmployment at the same time that workers in many cases are demanded to work 10 or 12 hours without being payed for it. Where all this excessive wealth goes to? And what if all this unemplyed people joined the production? Won't the whole production skyrocket at the same time that the average needed time of work decreases?
Beyond that, capitalism always come with assymetricall development. For example you move the factories to china, you increase production, but at the same time you have unenmployment at home and low productive capacities.. not to mention the underdeveloped south america. Capital goes where there are profits, not where there are needs. Central planning overcomes that. Imagine that all the world manages to full grow each country's productive forces.
That seems to make sense, but are you not saying that money still exists, except for the fact that you are paid differently?
But again, this notion that everybody can have access to new products while fufilling their basic needs just seems like pipe-dream. I understand that we can look into creating new, more ecologically friendly technologies (such as finding alternatives to oil) but there is an impact on the planet no matter what. I read some type of study a long time ago that stated that if the entire world were to live in such a state of consumerism as the USA we would need more planet Earths to meet this demand.
What prevents somebody who hasn't worked a day in his or her life from getting a mansion? If the Earth had unlimited resources, then definitely I would see the end of exchange value as inevitable. But it doesn't and everything produced has some value, so how does society function without exchange value?
Das_ALoveStory wrote:That type of insane consumerism is neither sustainable nor desirable. People don't actually need a new mobile phone ever six months and once the advertising stops telling people that they do they will be content with slightly more modest demands.
Das_ALoveStory wrote:Communism isn't some free-for-all. Able-bodied people will be required to work. Unless there are enough mansions for everyone, you will need very special reasons to have one.
So what, in your opinion, type of consumerism is sustainable and desirbale?
The source of my confusion is the concept that ckkomel mentioned about exchange value not existing in communism. How is there never a scarcity? Food, shelter, clothing are all things he mentioned are constantly needed for basic survival and require work to be met. Likewise, people will always want new products, new technologies and innovations that all require work to create. There will always be a demand for labour, and there will always be a need to evaluate the labour. I don't believe that we can reach a point were no more labour is needed, because that just doesn't make sense. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't we need exchange value in order to tell whether or not somebody deserves something according to their hours, money whatever it really is to represent value, as ckkomel had mentioned?
No, I said that some products can be communist while other socialist. There is a need for controlling the distribution in some cases, and maybe "credits" is a good technik. maybe not. I cannot answer this question, nor it is that important.
Why? Not at all.
Make a material analysis on this. I think it is possible. If it not "physically" possible then we must work around it.
But in the case of consumerism you must include some extra things. For example changing you phone every 3 months.. Every 3 months a new "better" phone is released.. The actual policy behind it is that by this they keep constant consume. They have the technology that they will release in 5 years from now. They don;t do it yet, because it is more profitable this way. This is a waste, ofcourse.
Your i-phone has a production cost of 120$, they sell it to you 800$.. The chinese workers that produce it are jumping off of the high storys in apple labor camps in china.. Is there money for them or not?
Planned economy means there is a plan.. If you haven't worked for a single day, then somebody will know it, the same way that it knows now, and won't give a pension or health insurance. Don't make this complicated..
World poverty has not to do with the resources. That's for sure. See an example.. (I;m witing from memory, but I can check if you like)
In ethiopia about 3-4 milion people are mulnutririoned. some die. In neighboring countries we also have starvation.
Ethiopian governemet decided to "lease" it's lands.. In 300.000 acres purchased by a saudi arabian. He used Dutch technology and belgian engineers that can grow vegetables under lack of water. THe hole plantation employees about 1000 ethiooian women that are payed about 1$ a month, and the whole plantation produces/packs about 1 tone of vegetables/day, that are sent to the midlle east markets...
THe ethipian governent possese 7milion acres that wants to offer for use to private investors. and the same policy are the naboughring states are promoting
IS there food for africa or not?
That which is environmentally sustainable for starters. Obviating the need for companies to make record profits each year will do much to reduce resource waste.
If a society cannot afford to provide a particular product for everyone who wants that product, then it is not made just for the few. New consumer goods are certainly nice, but often they are simply wasteful. To take an example from my own country: due to the introduction of digital television, the streets and rubbish dumps of Australia are literally covered with older analogue televisions. Most of them probably still work and would be quite useful for a good number of years, but the government under the direction of certain business interests has decided that it would be better for them if we simply dumped the older sets so that they can sell more units. The wastage is obscene and completely unnecessary.
Demand for much of the goods in the modern consumerist economy is driven by advertising, status and envy. Actual need plays a distinctly secondary role.
Many people these days have known no other way of living, but live can be lived (quite happily) with much lower levels of new crap. The evidence tends to point the other way, if anything.
Das_ALoveStory wrote:I'm not sure if he's suggesting that "no labour" would be required. Perhaps one day robots might take care of it all, but for the time being "some labour" will be required to produce the goods which make live possible - part of the Communist contention (as I understand it) is that the actual work required will be considerably reduced once the wasteful duplication of competition and other capitalist business practices is eliminated.
Das_ALoveStory wrote:I agree that it's hard to imagine a functioning society without some basis of exchange, though I can readily conceive that such an exchange would not be as central to the function of Communist society as it is in a capitalist one.
Dear cckomel: What do you mean "some products can be socialist while others can be communist"? How is pure communism attainable if some products are still "socialist"? What products would remain socialist? Secondly, do you honestly believe that seven billion people can all have houses, cars, food, shelter and some luxuries? Thirdly, you mentioned that "somebody" would know that yu haven't worked a day in your life. So does not that mean that exchange value still exists? It is still determined whther or not you can own something.
Dear Shigalyov: My main question, in all honesty, is how does a moneyless society function? I liked cckomel's explaination of time taking the place of money, but when he said that in a pure communist society that exchange value wouldn't even exist, it made no sense to me. I guess robots make sense, but I highly doubt Marx was relying on science fiction to come up with his predictions of a communist society.
So, in order to be a communist, do I have to believe that exchange value will eventually die? To be considered a truely communist society, does exchange value have to somehow disappear? Or is achieving this society completely impossible?
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