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post #31 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 07:31 PM
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OK, at the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, how do you measure 'beneficial'? (I've not come across the term 'beneficial tyranny' before, despite having studied politics for 25 years now, but I am familiar with the term 'enlightened dictatorship'.)
I've already invoked Godwins law against you once today. And no, you can't self invoke it; it's a rule. :p The term is simply me personal interpretation where I would change a word or two. Enlightened dictatorship is close enough.
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Now; were Maoism and Stalinsim enlightened dictatorships? They did hard things, sure, but they revolutionised their countries. In the 1920s, the USSR was ruined by WWI, the invasions by Britain, US, France, Poland, Japan, Canada, Germany, and whoever else was in on the act, the civil war begun by the Whites and supplied by the western powers... Stalin managed to turn that round so that in 10 years the USSR had vastly increased its standard of living for the majority of the population. Industrial production rose something like four-fold, electrification was continuing apace and there were massive strides in the rationalisation of agriculture.
They could be considered it. Progress!
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Now; I'd argue that the 22million dead (or there abouts) severely weigh against any gains in productio, but presumably, that just comes under "You may not like either one of them, nor what tactics they employed to further to own agendas, but by god did they make major impacts on the world and revolutionize many aspects of modern life", does it?
This is where morality mucks up all the waters. At what point do we wage the cost of life against advances in said life? I felt Watchmen did a nice job touching on this subject. Would you kill millions to save billions? Could they have done the same without the sacrifice? Maybe, but I can't really answer it with any certainty. All we can do is see the impact they made against the price others had to pay for it.

In todays world, I see many areas where I personally would gladly remove certain things in the world for the greater good, even if others would choose to disagree with me. One example would be Muslims; when you have a religion that makes no secret of its genocidal beliefs and practices, I say it's best to wipe them out and spare the potential catastrophes they would cause. And yes, they feel the same way about the rest of us, so I do feel a moral justification for saying it, even if I did so with no moral context in the first place.
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Benevolent dictatorship is the most insidious and vile form of government there is. Because 'benevolent' is never defined by the people being dictated to. It can never work, because there is no platonic ideal person who can disinterestedly juggle the conflicting claims of different social groups while floating above it all in a nirvana-bubble.
Hence the problem why noone would go for it. No one will accept greater unity for the sacrifice of their personal positions. I see that absolutely destroying American society. A melting pot is one thing, but not taking appropriatte roads to unity is simply stupid when the only argument against it is that it would cost diversity.

You know what? Make English the fucking official language. How the hell are we supposed to do anything if we can't even talk to each other? But is it fair when Sanchez doesn't speak any? I don't give a shit, his personal problems can be set aside so the rest of us can actually talk to each other and make things happen. I use the same logic on a larger scale when it comes to Benevloent Dictatorships.

Using my previous example, not many people liked a lot of "Tyrants"; Khan, Ceasar, Qin and Vlad, but you can't ignore what they were able to accomplish. Once really has to wonder what we could do if we implore the same tactics in todays world.

All governments use force to assert their positions over those of the individuals that exist within those governments. What makes them any better than a single person doing the same? Aren't we still talking about doing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people? One person running the show will get things done much more than a few hundred squabbling politicians.
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No: fuck all tyrants and the horses they road in on, whether they're Stalin, Ghengis Khan or George II. America in 1776 and France in 1789 had revolutions to depose the tyrants that ruled them (Britain in 1640-60 too, but for some reason we invited his son back). What in my estimation we need is the end of all government, 'enlightened' or honestly tyrannical.
Pure Annarchy? I see that working for about a week at best.

Pondering...
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post #32 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 08:24 PM
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Communism= problem is everyone does same or similar job and gets paid same amount, problem is if ur a lazy ass u still get paid and if you work hard you still get paid the same amount

Capitalism= Problem is this screws over a lot of people, rich stay rich though
I think a completely new system needs to be made, one where people have equal oppurtunities and start at the same point(Like Communism) then you make decisions(such as learning about a particular area to get a better job, Capitalism). If you end up poor you cant blame anyone but yourself for making the wrong decisions

I think thats correct(not sure though, im only 14 so i dont really try to learn a lot about this sort of thing).
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post #33 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 08:32 PM
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Daneel's assertion that it's because "we have the wrong sort of people" is saddening, but not surprising. Also, if it's true, (I don't think it is), but if it is true, it's yet another reason why we should scrap capitalism.
My assertion wasn’t that we have the wrong sort of people, it’s that humans themselves are imperfect, and anything implemented by people will be imperfect.

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"Hey folks! I've got the perfect way of living! Unfortunately, we all have to be 14" tall and have 9 eyes!"; "Oh, yeah, let's try to do that then!"; Doesn't work, does it?
Faulty analogy. How about “Hey, I have the perfect way of living, all you have to do is follow these simple rules”, followed someone else saying, “Hey, I see how I can manipulate these rules to my advantage”.

And if you don't think than a communism can't be manipulated to serve a single person (or group of peoples) ends, and that some person or group won't bend it to their own aims, then you'll show yourself to be a unicorn too

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post #34 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 08:36 PM
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Difficult to understand what you mean here. You seem to be saying "hey, even in the hellish conditions of capitalism, people can work together", which I agree with, and "so, in the better conditions of communism, they wouldn't because it's against human nature", which is obviously tosh.

You may of course be rather confusedly complaining that people abuse the system in capitalism, it's difficult to tell. Of course they do, why not? The system abuses them after all, and it also promotes violence, greed and short-termism as the solutions to problems. Quelle surprise that violence greed and short-termism are regarded as legitimate strategies. Who would have expected that?

The fact is, humans were 'communists' ('primitive communism' to be sure, but a form of communism nevertheless) until approximately 6,000 years ago when class societies started to come about (and in many places for a long time after, there may indeed still be primitive communist societies in the world for all I know). But for 244,000 of its 250,000 years, homo sapiens has been communist. It's only been capitalist for less than 500. So WTF with the appeals to human nature? Are you seriously telling me that for 97.6% of the time that humanity has existed, it was 'against its own nature' and only in the last 0.2% of its existence has it revealed its true nature?

That, quite frankly, is a load of bollocks. It's not even a theory, it's just rubbish.

EDIT: realised my percentages were off, now corrected I hope.
Red Orc, while I agree with what most of what you're saying this argumet right here is flawed. Sure we didn't have a class based society until rather recently in human history, but then again that was in our hunter-gatherer period. Once we saw the rise of agriculture and people specializing in a single job we began to see a class system develop. Now unless you're suggesting we go back to the setup we had before the advent of agriculture (which I don't think you are, but then again I've heard others make those arguments) differnt societal rules will apply. The fact that people acted in a primitive communistic manner could be attributed to it was the easiest, or only way to act, and not as proof of man's inner nature.

Stick to the Labor Theory of Value, it's more convincing and easier to proof then the innate goodness or sense of community in man.
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post #35 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 08:38 PM
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@ Revelations:

Not sure what you mean by 'pure anarchy' in your last answer. What we have is 'pure anarchy' - competing gangs of violent and disruptive lunatics who happen to control large enough armed forces to call themselves 'states'. All government, as you say uses force. The state, said Engels, is an "armed gang organised for the defence of private property". Why do you think I'm advocating that a single person should do that? You're the one who believes in benevolent dictatorship. I don't know who these 'few hundred squabbling politicians' are either; but I am really surprised to hear an American calling for the establishment of a monarchial system in place of your so-called democracy. I thought your country had a revolution against that in 1776. Me, I believe in democracy, rule by the vast majority of the population. Not the false democracy of voting in a new team to mismanage the economy ever 4 or 5 years, but a particiaptive democracy.

The system I'm advocating, the last time it was a serious possibility, lasted approximately 2 years. It died under the guns of 15 other countries that invaded Russia, including the USA and Britain, and the armies of those who wanted to restore the bloody warmongering Csar; the Paris Commune of 1871 lasted a couple of months before the French Government drowned it in blood; the German Revolution (that ended the massacre of WWI in 48 hours, though the generals and politicians couldn't do it in 4 years) was murdered by the 'Socialists' and the Freikorps before it was hardly begun.

So; it may be true that the revolution drowns in blood, but the likelihood is it's the capitalists pulling the trigger. That is no more the fault of communists and anarchists than (all as you've already invoked Godwin's Law) the policies of the Nazis were the fault of the Jews, or the destruction of the World Trade Centre was the fault of American workers.

Still, why should we give in to warmongers, murderers and terrorists? I don't see any reason to accept the status quo when that is so manifestly an anti-human system, even if the threat of murder is obviously very real. But, if in the end we are all murdered by the supporters of capitalism, at least we will have allowed future generations to say that we didn't all surrender to the darkness without a fight.

EDIT: because not even I'm old enough to remember the Paris Commune.

"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"



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post #36 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 08:49 PM
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Me, I believe in democracy, rule by the vast majority of the population.
Interesting idea, true democracy. one problem that i can see with this approach is: what if something needs acting on immediately? if we all have to vote on what happens that cant be done in 5 miniutes. And so by the time some agreement is made chances are whatevers gone on is already been and gones and now its the next crisis needing sorting, we'd never leave the polling stations! I agree we do need more public votes on important issues (fox hunting, Iraq war ect.).

Quisnam praesumo, successio
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post #37 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 08:52 PM
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Red Orc, while I agree with what most of what you're saying this argumet right here is flawed. Sure we didn't have a class based society until rather recently in human history, but then again that was in our hunter-gatherer period. Once we saw the rise of agriculture and people specializing in a single job we began to see a class system develop. Now unless you're suggesting we go back to the setup we had before the advent of agriculture (which I don't think you are, but then again I've heard others make those arguments) differnt societal rules will apply. The fact that people acted in a primitive communistic manner could be attributed to it was the easiest, or only way to act, and not as proof of man's inner nature.

Stick to the Labor Theory of Value, it's more convincing and easier to proof then the innate goodness or sense of community in man.
I don't think there is any proof of humanity's 'inner nature', my contention was that to argue that communism is against human nature, is patently ludicrous.

Of course humans have a sense of goodness and co-operation, it's what allows us to get on without murdering each other. But there are many bad things that happen too. My contention is that if you remove as many possible of the ills of society - poverty, competition for resources, etc - then you'll remove a good chunk of what makes us lazy, stupid and afraid (which are, I believe, what drive most anti-social impulses).

And you're right, I'm not an Anarcho-Primitivist, as those who argue that there should only be 100,000 people left on the planet all hunty-gathering, are known. I think it's a stupid and reactionary position personally.

If there's anything to be said for capitalism, it's that it has, in my opinion, developed the productive capacity of the world to the point where human needs can be met. Not needs for Ferrarris and Colombian prostitutes, but food, shelter, clean water and what not - ie needs not wants.

It has also led to a situation where there is much less necessity for specialisation. We see it in capitalism - people are always being urged or forced to retrain as the labour market changes, people study new things because they're interested in them, people go off on adventure holidays or move to new cities or go and set up on farms because they want new wexperiences. I don't see that changing.

Those - the possibility of fulfilling all the world's material needs, giving us more time to pursue our spiritual needs, instead of just getting more stuff - it seems to me are a gain for humanity, and I want to keep them as a gain if possible. On the other hand, weapons of mass distruction and toxic waste, racism and drug-gangs, and all sorts of other stuff, nah, not so bothered about hanging on to them.

"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"


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post #38 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:07 PM
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My assertion wasn’t that we have the wrong sort of people, it’s that humans themselves are imperfect, and anything implemented by people will be imperfect...
So it seems to me that implementing a system that's harder to screw over and easier to fix is bewtter than a system that is 1 - fragile; 2 - easily corruptable; 3 - based on competion up to and including world war; 4 - unable to even begin to fullfil human needs.

You assertion that 'anything implemented by people will be imperfect' seems to me to contain rather a large dose of fatalism. Even if it can't be 'perfect' (not sure how any social system could ever be perfect), that doesn't mean we should settle for one that's manifestly a pile of shit.

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... How about “Hey, I have the perfect way of living, all you have to do is follow these simple rules”, followed someone else saying, “Hey, I see how I can manipulate these rules to my advantage”.

And if you don't think than a communism can't be manipulated to serve a single person (or group of peoples) ends, and that some person or group won't bend it to their own aims, then you'll show yourself to be a unicorn too
No. I think you have to demonstrate how it can be manipulated. As there's no state to seize control of, no army you can win over, no power structures you can manipulate, I contend that the process of manipulating the whole of the world would be so difficult that most megalomaniacs (which I contend would be far fewer in number any way, once we had managed to remove competition for resources and all the rest from the system) would give up and go off to find some other way of getting recognition, like building Lawrence's disease-curing machine.

"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"



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post #39 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:11 PM
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Interesting idea, true democracy. one problem that i can see with this approach is: what if something needs acting on immediately? if we all have to vote on what happens that cant be done in 5 miniutes. And so by the time some agreement is made chances are whatevers gone on is already been and gones and now its the next crisis needing sorting, we'd never leave the polling stations! I agree we do need more public votes on important issues (fox hunting, Iraq war ect.).
People would still be doctors and drive ambulances and fire engines, and some people would even be given jobs, relative positions of responsibility, by the community, for periods of time... what kind of 'crisis' could blow up in 5 minutes from nothing, that would require that much debate? I don't get it.

"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"


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post #40 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:25 PM
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Communism= problem is everyone does same or similar job and gets paid same amount, problem is if ur a lazy ass u still get paid and if you work hard you still get paid the same amount...
Well, not exactly. No-one gets paid; but you are in theory entitled to your share of the social product.

The idea is "from each, according to their ability; to each, according to their need".

So if you can't work as a lumberjack because you broke your leg, you should still be able to get food. Maybe there's some other sitting-down work you could do - perhaps, preparing leaflets for your workmates on safety at work - but perhaps not.

If anyone decided they couldn't be arsed, and just didn't do anything, would they be working 'according to their ability'? I'd say not. Would in theory the community be able to restrict access to certain priviliges? I'd say yes, because I think that at least for a while some sort of sanction will be necessary. Maybe you don't get your travel card stamped so you can't go to Brighton for you holidays.

I wouldn't be in favour of denying people food because that I think is inhuman. Every human being I'd argue has a right to the necessities of life.

You're right about capitalism though, it does screw over the vast majority of the world's population and that's why I oppose it.

There is by the way an argument that it actually screws over everyone, even the rich, because they live in fear that one day they'll lose their "hard earned" riches and the baying mob will tear them apart; but I'm not so sure myself.

"Well it's Forty-one Thousand Nine Hundred Sixty-nine OK -
Gotta war across the Milky Way - "
Iggius Popiscus and the Stoogii, "41,969"


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