Another controversial discussion! (Capitalism vs Communism) - Page 5 - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #41 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:26 PM
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Red Orc, how do you see this coming about? With attitudes very anti-communist, thank in large part to the USSR, do you really see the workers rising up as one around the world, or capitalist goverments letting a single country turn towards true communism? What path do you see, especially since these recent economic crisises haven't really caused a large backlash against capitalism in developed countries, and third world countries are too destabilized to enact this sort of society.
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post #42 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:39 PM
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There are some very good posts in this thread and a plethora of good points. The problem with arguing this kind of topic is that everyone thinks they're right, and unless they say something extremely stupid, there's no way to prove them wrong. You run into the same problem when arguing about fluff, which is, let's be honest, mostly based on WMG; much like this particular topic. The shining example of communism that most people cite is the USSR, or sometimes, North Korea; whereas the pinnacle of the free market everyone flocks to is the USA. Such arguments as "Since it failed in Russia, it can't work!" and "The USA is doing fine! Capitalism works!" abound, and neither really has any relevance to them. Communism failed in the USSR because of how few resources they were trying to distribute amongst such a large population in addition to Stalin and others thinking they were above the laws their own government dictated. Capitalism doesn't really exist in as pure a form as many people think; the USA is much closer to socialism than true capitalism with all our government regulations and retarded work unions, etc.

The two opposing philosophies can be summed up thusly:
Capitalism: Bust your ass to make someone else a profit.
Communism: Bust your ass for no reason.

Communism assumes that everyone is a direct descendant of Superman and will work simply for the betterment of his fellow man with no incentive needed. Capitalism assumes that everyone has been lobotomized and will work for a disproportionately sized reward. Of course, neither is true, but capitalism is much closer to being true (albeit still very, very far from it) and that's why we can put some form of it into operation, as opposed to communism.

Any system of resource redistribution is going to piss a lot of people off, be it the rich minority or poor majority. Capitalism pisses off the poor majority because they have to work, usually at jobs they don't like, for a small paycheck. Communism pisses off the rich minority because they wouldn't have their cheap labor force.

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Originally Posted by Red Orc View Post
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'.
And we always will. That's in every animal's nature, my friend; no matter how sophisticated our society becomes, we will always keep trying to screw each other over.

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Still, why should we give in to warmongers
Because they are willing to kill you and you aren't willing to kill them. That, Red Orc, is power, something that every single human being craves. Some of us are willing to kill for it, and others aren't. In the end, it's the warmongers who win. That's human nature, neigh, animal nature and anyone who denies it needs to take Anthropology 101. War and violence have been in our history much longer than "love" and "equality," and everyone's existence is concrete proof. I'm not going into too much detail about it, but do you think there were rape laws back in the caveman days? Your biological great (to the power of four thousand) grandfather probably wasn't a "law abiding citizen."

Wow, a whole post without Godwin's Law! Lololololololol!

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post #43 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:49 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?

No, not at all what I'm stating. People, in a capitolistic society, work together because of the, "what's in it for me" idea.

As for this, "people abuse the system because the system abuses them," is garbage. People abuse the system because they can. Again, if given the opportunity for the same outcome, people will take the path of least resistance, as that has been proven over the years.

Again, I (as I am the only one I can speak for) am going to be beyond pissed if I'm working the type of job I currently do, while some asshole is putting in the least amount of effort and recieving the same benefits I do. Now, I know I can't be alone in that thought, so if there is even a small percentage of the population that feels as such, then communism fails. Again, what incentive does a person have to put in the effort to go beyond what is expected? Why would anyone ever become a doctor or a lawyer if they are going to recieve the exact same social benefits as the guy who pumps their gas? Sure, you can say, "the warm and fuzzies they get from the job they do," which, for some, is fine. But, what we'll see is a serious shortage of professional employees. Which, in itself, is a detrement to society.

Communism is a great idea--but, I understand that people are not quite as shining and pure of, "oh, I'm doing this to benefit all," and know that people, when it comes down to it, will do what benefits *them* the most.

Communism fails. Communism has failed. Communism will continue to fail.

Level me up! I, too, wish to storm the lands of mortals reaping what is truly mine...but for now, I am but a wee spot of energy...

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post #44 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Galus View Post
... Communism failed in the USSR because of how few resources they were trying to distribute amongst such a large population in addition to Stalin and others thinking they were above the laws their own government dictated. Capitalism doesn't really exist in as pure a form as many people think; the USA is much closer to socialism than true capitalism with all our government regulations and retarded work unions, etc....
Bullshit.

Communism can't exist in one country, it's impossible. Communism failed because the revolution didn't spread - in part, because the German communists were murdered in droves (see also the murders of Hungarian, Turkish and Chinese communists, all of whom were massacred by capitalism in their hundreds or thousands); and also, because the western governemts were so petrified of their own working class that they bent over backwards to make deals with 'responsible leaders'.

Regulation is not socialism. What you have in America is capitalism. Socialism is the opposite of capitalism, it is the establishment of a classless communal society that is worldwide in scope, without money or a working class. If you tell me there's no money and no working class in America, you're either a liar or a fool.

"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 #45 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cafel View Post
Red Orc, how do you see this coming about? With attitudes very anti-communist, thank in large part to the USSR, do you really see the workers rising up as one around the world, or capitalist goverments letting a single country turn towards true communism? What path do you see, especially since these recent economic crisises haven't really caused a large backlash against capitalism in developed countries, and third world countries are too destabilized to enact this sort of society.
Reasonable question, though I think your info is a little off. There have been massive mobilisations - a 'backlash' if you will - in Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Ireland and a lot of other places. In Latvia the protestors forced the government to resign a few weeks ago. These ones listed are all EU member countries. There is a lot of anger and resentment. But whether it goes anywhere, or capitalism alternately gives some concessions and breaks some heads until it 'all dies down' (until the next crisis...) remains to be seen.

I do think that there is a problem with 'anti-communist attitudes' because most people don't even know what communism is. They hate Stalinist Russia, generally, which is a very healthy rection I think. Stalinist Russia was a vile and oppressive place, I'm pretty sure we mostly agree on that. But, it had nothing to do with communism. So to oppose communism because you think the USSR was a prison-camp, is nonsensical. I think probably those who hate Stalinism the most, after the 3 generations of Russians and their neightbours who suffered under it, are communists. Stalin killed more communists than any other world leader.

How do I see it happening? Protest mainly. Strikes and demonstrations. There's no coup, no secret army poised to take over. Just working people, fed up with the waste and blight and corruption, and prepared to take things into their - our - own hands.

If it could be bloodless, I'll be happy. I suspect it won't be. But, if it rescues us from the shit we're in now, it might be worth 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 #46 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 10:15 PM
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No, not at all what I'm stating. People, in a capitolistic society, work together because of the, "what's in it for me" idea...
And they will under communism too.

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Originally Posted by Wraithian View Post
... People abuse the system because they can. Again, if given the opportunity for the same outcome, people will take the path of least resistance, as that has been proven over the years.

Again, I (as I am the only one I can speak for) ...
Funny, you seem to be speaking for everyone there, all those people you have such a high opinion of.

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Communism is a great idea--but, I understand that people are not quite as shining and pure of, "oh, I'm doing this to benefit all," and know that people, when it comes down to it, will do what benefits *them* the most...
Again with the judging-everyone-by-your-own-standards thing. Really. There are lots of good people in the world. Maybe you've never met any, in which case, I pity you, and all the people you've ever met. But I'm damn sure it's not just me bieng lucky.

And, of course, the ultimate guarantor of what is 'best for you' is, quite frankly, what is 'best for everybody', because we are social beings. Our system tells us to ba atomised and frightened, but I refuse to be, and there are other people who also refuse to be.

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Communism fails. Communism has failed. Communism will continue to fail.
Meaningless (except for the last one, which is a bit messianic for my taste).

I make no real predictions. Communism may fail in the future. But it has never 'failed' in the past because it has never been implemented.

"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 #47 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 10:31 PM
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@ Revelations:
How is having a conversation with 14 people in one thread working out for you buddy? :p
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Originally Posted by Red Orc View Post
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 abolishment of all government would lead to pure anarchy. I thought that was what you were suggesting in your statement. I can see by your clarification you are not. Misunderstanding my good man.

The difference between the two is Anarchy has no one controlling any power beyond personal control whereas Benevolent Dictatorships give all the power to one person who happens to have the power to enforce his will.

The few hundred squabbling politicians I am refering to are the people who currently run my country; Senate, Congress and others. To quote Braveheart; "A mess of scheming bastards! They couldn't agree on the color of shit!"

America is also not a democracy, regardless of what people will say. It's more along the lines of a Constitutionally Mandated Federal Republic. America has never been, nor is, nor ever will be a democracy. That's majority rule, and we have far to many minority rights and capitalist interests groups to ever allow that to happen. Plus, mob mentality in government? No thanks.
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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 we agree that history has both proved and disproved our respective positions then? All governments rise and fall by the whims of man; something I said at the begining of this thread.
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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.
I didn't invoke it! At least not in this thread. Besides, revolution happens for all sorts of reasons; but I'll always put the blame on those ones who start it because they disagree with the government their in. The likelihood of the starters depends on entirely who they are, what they believe and what government they disagree with.
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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.
I feel like you went on a tangent like I did. I'm not even sure I could take any of this as a direct response to anything I said. Now that I'm rather confused, I'm going to back away slowly while nodding my head and smile...

Pondering...
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post #48 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-24-09, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Why? They are and were capitalist. They were class societies based on the brutal exploitation of working people; they were imperialist countries who invaded and de-stabilised their nightbours; in the case of the USSR (and China), they were nuclear-armed militaristic dictatorships; and in the case of the USSR they were the head of an armed bloc that prepared for WWIII. In other words, apart from the severity of the brutality they extended to their populations, the same as the rest of the world.

Now, for the purposes of this argument, if you want to call that "communism" then you can do so, but, for the purposes of this argument, I'm calling you a unicorn. You're not, but so what? We're playing a game where we just make up new meanings for words, aren't we?

And the reason it isn't controversial is that you've already defined the frames of reference as "capitalism v capitalism", while pretending that you're talking about communism, which you aren't. Maybe that's how unicorns argue. Maybe that's why unicorn arguments never get on the news (because, in the end, "A or A?" isn't much of a debate).
red orc:

You seem to either be amused at my blunder or angry at my stupidity in this post (its hard to tell without a voice inflection) but at the time I intended for a discussion of govornments like cuba and the USSR vs govornments like the US, I really didnt know that much about it, and what little I did know has been pretty much proved to be non-fact by reading this thread since then. I didnt really know that they were fairly simaler, and as it was stated that what I thaught was comunism was not comunism, I came under the belief that a discusable definition of comunism was to be a bit dificult to pin down without an example, so I tried to asign a name to somthing, that if it wasent what I had been taught to call it had no name to my knowlage, so that it could be discused in this thread.

I think that I beleived that the USSR and cuba were what I now know based on this thread is called socialism, and I now know that even that is not true.

I now have a verry basic understanding of what actual comunism is now, based your description of it in your posts on this thread.

useing your unicorn analogy, I didnt know what my name was, but I was under the impression that unicorm ment somthing simaler to what I now know to b e Col. Schafer, so I decided to call myself a unicorm for lack of somthing better.

You seem to be verry passonet about comunism, and I'm sorry if I offended you by calling the USSR comunist.

The reason I didnt think it was as controvercial as I thaught it would be origonaly, was that the debate was a bit slow up to the point where I made the post, and had in fact wandered a bit off topic with the coment on tyranys. The discussion that has gone on since has develeoped a much more heated debate, and I now know that it is just as controvercial if not more so than I expected.

---

I would like to say that this thread has gone far beyond my ability to debate the topic, so I'm going to pull out, as I dont really have anything to add to the discusion at this time. I know that its kind of lame of me as the thread starter, but I dont want to waste anyones time with my un-informed opinions.

Finaly I apologise for my probably horible spelling as the MS word program on the computer I'm curently useing has no spell check for some reason.

"A true king is never alone, his will is equal to the will of all of his followers."
-Alexander the Great, kind of
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post #49 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-25-09, 09:50 AM
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I'm sorry too that my defence of my beliefs has led to a situation where you feel you have to apologise for what seems to be a genuine misunderstanding.

It's true that the governmental forms that existed in the USSR and its satelites, and still exist in China and Cuba and a few other places, are labelled as 'communism', mostly by lazy journalists. But, as I hope I've demonstrated, that label is untterly innaccurate. Incidently, it's not one that was ever used by the rulers of the USSR, or to my knowlege by the rulers of China or Cuba either, who claim they are 'working towards communism'.

Lenin did muddy the waters somewhat by defining "socialism" as the stage of transition to communism, but he was coining a new usage which has not generally been accepted by communists or socialists. In general, the split is between those who supported the Russian revolution ("communists") and those who didn't, for various reasons ("socialists"). But that split isn't hard and fast, and there are few in the socialist movement who would go along with Lenin's definition. It's certainly not one found in Marx and Engels, or any of the Anarchist writers, or really any others of the thinkers of the movement in the early 20th century (possibly Trotsky did, but he worked closely with Lenin). In general, it's politicians and journalists who refer to the Soviet Union as 'communism' or 'socialism', but as I say, it was niether.

The ruling party of the USSR was the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, but to claim that Russia was communist because of this is the same logic that would 'democracy is the same as whatever Barak Obama does (because he's a member of the Democratic Party)'. It's a false logic, I think we'd both agree.

So; when you said that you wanted to treat "communism" as equal to "what happened in the USSR" I (and I suppose the pun is intended) "saw red". Because it seemed to me that you set up the debate, then changed the meaning of the words to fit your own agenda.

Unfortunately, I don't think a debate about 'the west v the Soviet Union' would generate much actual debate; I certainly regard the Soviet Union as being a horrific and brutal prison-camp of a society, and I don't think there's many people, right or left, who'd disagree. But as you can see, the debate about capitalism v real communism has at least generated a lot of posts (a good half of them from me, to be sure... but then there's a lot of misconceptions I felt it necessary to correct).

Anyway; as a result of all this, I am quite willing to withdraw my accusation that you are a unicorn, I can only think that you must have been wearing some kind of pointed hat and bending to pick up something from the floor, and I got confused in the dim light; I can confidently state that I believe you are a biped, without a horn on your head.

Good debate, by the way, thanks for asking the question!

"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 #50 of 144 (permalink) Old 03-25-09, 10:10 AM
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... revolution happens for all sorts of reasons; but I'll always put the blame on those ones who start it because they disagree with the government their in...
OK, I think I can accept (or at least pass over without further comment) a good deal of what you have said... but this is the bit that sticks in my throat.

I believe that American colonists were right to rebel against the tyranny of George II, I believe that the French people were right to overthrow the monarchy in 1789, I believe that the Russian people were right to overthrow their warmongering governments (two of them!) in World War I in order to have "peace, bread and land", I believe that the German workers were right to overthrow their government to end World War I, I believe that the workers and sailors at Kronstadt in 1921 were right to oppose the Bolshevik dictatorship, I believe that the Hungarians were right in 1956 to launch their attempt at revolution... because I believe we have to resist tyranny.

Not to establish new tyranny - I think, to drag the debate in a slightly surreal direction, that The Who's "here comes the new boss, same as the old boss" sums this up pretty well - but in order to establish something better. I don't think that's an impossible task. We have seen the beneficial results of revolutions before. To everyone that says that revolutions inevitably result in bloodletting - see, France and Russia - there is of course the counter-example of the American Revolution (or War of Independence, depending on which side of the Atlantic one is).

Now, you may 'blame' the revolutionaries, in that you say that it is their actions that make the revolution happen; but I would say that actions of the tyrants make the revolution necessary - and so I'd blame them, as in, assign moral culpability.

But then of course, I don't believe in property. I believe it is right to steal from someone hoarding food if you are starving. Not, "hmm, well, I can see the point, OK we'll let it go", but right. Because, to me, people are always more important than things.

And governments and law codes and power structures are just things. Once they get in the way of people living their lives, they deserve to be swept away. And if the powerful few try to hang on to them, then unfortunately revolution becomes innevitable.

Don't get me wrong - I'd love the transition to communism to be peaceful, as the whole world realises the sense of it and the propertied few decide that on the whole they're better of in a world where they're materially a bit less well off, but spiritually far richer. But I really can't see it happening like that I'm afraid.

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



Last edited by Red Orc; 03-25-09 at 10:13 AM.
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