capitalism/communism/political ideology

Discussion in 'Politics and Society' started by juantoo3, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    Being simplistic, if I may...

    The way I see it, government serves the purpose embodied in the paragraph below:

    By government we can start with the head of a family/home, the father or mother or both together, to the government of a state, all the way to the regional organizations like the European Union or the Association of South East Asian Nations, and to the top which is the United Nations. All these governments serve the purpose of procuring life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all peoples and each single individual in their respective spheres.


    Going back to the original topic of communism, capitalism, and political ideology, may I just suggest to Anzac and Juan to choose maybe two very specific areas of investigation and exchange of facts and aspirations, namely, provision of medicines and provision of foods in a communistic society and in a capitalistic society: which system does a better job.

    To be even more restricted in scope, perhaps Anzac and Juan should just concentrate on the observance of morality from the part of producers and distributors of medicines and foods in a communistic society and in a capitalistic society.

    May I suggest that they might consider the case respectively of healthcare and food sufficiency in the U.S. and in Cuba, from the standpoint of morality in the producers and distributors of these two most basic requirements of man in maintaining life, enjoying liberty, and pursuing happiness.

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Kindest Regards, Susma!

    I am a staunch defender of the US Constitution, and the form of government we have managed to establish. Even so, there is a crucial fallacy in this assumption. All men are not created equal. If the framers of the constitution had truly believed what they wrote, slavery would not have existed in this nation from its inception. The reality is, we fought a civil war over that very thing less than 100 years later, and we still struggle with those issues today.

    People do not have "equal" abilitites in strength, mental capacity, or gender. I do not have a problem with this, these differences make this country, and the world, far more interesting than it would be if everybody was "equal." The trick is in finding ways to deal effectively and equitably with those differences without hog-tying those of exceptional ability. The great things in life, music, art, culture, entrepreneurship, technology, all stem from those of greater ability. And those of lesser ability require assistance from time to time to raise themselves up to a higher level than they would achieve on their own. A lot of this is attitude.

    This has already been done, extensively. I see no need to rehash, or to keep beating what is effectively a dead horse. We are attempting to move on, to try to discover if there is a way to either improve what exists, or to propose a more equitable system of governing and/or economics. You are looking back, we are trying to look forward.
     
  3. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Likes Received:
    1
    Good observations

    Juan, those are very good observations about the Founding Fathers on liberty and equality. Just goes to show that people talk so idealistically but only in reference to themselves.

    I don't seem to have seen any consensus between you and Anzac about the merits of capitalism and communism.

    What do you think, communist Cuba is doing a better job with healthcare than capitalist U.S.? What about food sufficiency and distribution? But North Korea is doing very badly...?

    Correct me if I am wrong, Canada has a government with socialist features, do you think it is doing better in healthcare and in food sufficiency and distribution than the U.S. with its tighter embrace of capitalism?

    Susma Rio Sep
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Kindest Regards, Susma!

    I'll grant you persistence. Either that, or sheer boredom. There is no consensus between Anzac's position and mine because there is no consensus to be had.

    Perspective has a great deal to do with things. Any patriotically minded person is apt to favor the system s/he has been trained in and lives under. No different for myself. A patriotic Cuban will likely disagree with me. A patriotic Canadian will likely disagree with me. "Better" is relative.

    In my opinion, Cuba does the best it can under the circumstances. Since it can no longer rely on the patronage of the former Soviet Union, it has become dependent upon an "underground" economy fed by US dollars, and foreign aid from other sources. And it does relatively well providing for its people with this "bastard" communism. But if it were to allow something closer to genuine capitalism, it would be better able to produce wealth that in turn could provide even better for its people. Democracy there is not likely until Castro dies, but a mutant form of capitalism is alive and well already.

    By contrast, China saw the writing on the wall some time ago. It maintains a communist form of government, but is increasingly opening its attitudes and doors to capitalist economic methods. It has to, it has a population that dwarfs the US, let alone Cuba. Size matters. What nation, or even group of nations, can begin to support a nation the size of China with what amounts to international welfare? North Korea does so poorly because they want to remain aloof from the outside world, yet still demand welfare. They do not want to play nice with anybody else, but expect (even demand) that everybody else play nice with them. That is a very tough row to hoe in today's world. Their government is bringing their problems down on their own heads.

    A lot of Canada's food comes from the US. Not all, but a significant percentage, in exchange for lumber. Canadian healthcare is good in that everybody is guaranteed a certain level of care, if you don't mind waiting in line. If you haven't got time to wait, or you want state of the art treatment, you slip over the border and get your work done in the US. US healthcare is expensive, but those proceeds drive the research that leads to even better medicine. Canada must accept only what it can afford, it is not a regular pioneer in medicine, because it does not generate the resources to be able to. If you have a lifethreatening condition that cannot wait, and you cannot afford to slip over the border, you are SOL. In that way, Canadian medicine is not such a great thing.

    You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Which is more important to you, constant improvement (like genetic research), or doing things the old fashioned way because that's all we can afford? And by the way, the appointment to remove your lifethreatening tumor is scheduled for Monday next, in the year 2006.

    Not to mention, where do the better doctors gravitate too? Where the money is. If you are going to invest 10 years or more into learning to be a doctor, and the high cost of that education, how are you going to pay back your student loans where the pay is so much lower? And if you are really into your specialty, where are you going to learn the cutting edge techniques? Just some things to think about.
     
  5. Anzac

    Anzac Resident Anarchist

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can I add my three pence to the conversation?

    Sorry about the absence, work n'all, however, it does seem to have sparked some pretty thorough debating on the whole issue of political ideology and the way in which we'd all like things done.

    I'll now proceed not to knock capitalism as I could do it not only all day, but pretty much for a year constantly. As requested I shall provide an alternative. First let me answer Susma Rio Sep and his point about communism/capitalism in the words of their former political theorists:

    Communism (Marx): In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

    Capitalism (Mises): Competition on the market aims at assigning to every individual that function in the social system in which he can render to all his fellow men the most valuable of the services he is able to perform.

    In essence neither really opposes one another, one believes in the right of the individual to own and the other believes in state ownership. This isn't opposing it as ownership is moved from the individual to the hands of the commune.

    The obvious answer to me seems to come in one form. To me it seems pretty blatantly the obvious thing to do: do both. You allow people to function to the best of their abilities but at the same time not have ownership altogether, not even the state, for in my idea of society there would be no states, no countries, no nationalists (second most likely cause of war next to religion I might add) and no patriotism. People could sleep peacefully at night knowing they could wake up the next day with a roof, bed, food, job and security. How you ask? The answer? Anarchism.

    Scoffs can be heard, people saying tosh and nonsense, how many of you have actually taken the time to look up anarchism? It isn't beating each other up and abusing and destroying everything, that branch of anarchism is (ironically) called anarcho-capitalism.

    I intend to implement a harmonious anarchism called anarcho-leftism. In this there is no country, no state etc. There is a strong sense of individuality, harnessing the best of everybody without it being at the expense of another as you find in capitalism. If you have $780 million you wouldn't hang onto it all costs, because you wouldn't need it because there would be no money. Then what stops me from taking what I want when I want? Again, that's anarcho-capitalism. Anarcho-leftism can often be called moralism because essentially that's what it is. For instance, under our current system person A has a loaf of bread and a knife, person B had some crumbs. In anarchism the knife would be used to carve the bread so all could eat readily, in capitalism person A stabs person B for their crumbs and then stabs persons C, D and E because they might get the bread from you. To me the system seems to be evidently common sense, one man starves whilst one man lives in excess seems a little anti-ethical to my liking.

    As a result people often say "people are inherently evil" - are we? The only sentient animal in greater respects should be able to stop killing each other food as there is more than enough to go round if people stopped stealing it all for themselves. I put this down to education and nationalism. If you're a patriot you're a nationalist and if you're a nationalist, well, just look at Nazism... What right have I to something because I'm born in a nation? None

    juantoo3 called me a coward and a traitor a while ago for not respecting the right for the nation to exist. I am not a coward as I have the courage to say no and I am a traitor as that implies going against the country - national pride is more often than not the source of violence, how often does the west put it's foot in and start killing people. Everyone has a right to life, no one is inferior or superior, we must each harness our ability to suit ourselves as capitalism dictates, but not at the expense of another.

    Common sense? Seems so.
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Wonderful to hear from you again, Anzac!

    Yours is an intriguing concept, one worth expounding upon. What I noticed initially lacks the address of a few points; creation of wealth, promotion of a positive psychological outlook, and security of society. Can you address these please?
     
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Kindest Regards, Anzac!

    After further consideration, I cannot help but think your position assumes a paradigm shift in the moral fibre of the masses. Somewhat akin to Marx according to Lenin, only now it is Marx according to Lennon, a la "Imagine."

    I realize in my previous posts I come across as assuming the worst in human nature, the reality being there are good and bad among every group of people. In assuming that only good will exist, a fault inherent in Socialism/Communism, you at this early stage have not allowed for the baser and more corrupt tendencies in human nature. Unless and until such a paradigm shift occurs in human nature, such an assumption is difficult to justify in reality.

    Patriotism and Nationalism are the reflection of culture and society. Am I to understand that eliminating patriotism and nationalism is in effect to eliminate culture and society, or more properly, to whittle all of the different cultures and societies down into one? If so, which culture should dominate at the expense of all of the others? Does this not preclude the different cultural contributions to the world? How does your proposal deal with the cultural differences between different regions of the world?

    What of religion? Is there to be only one culturally acceptable religion, and if so, which? Or no religion? If no religion, how will morality be conveyed and taught to the masses? Morality, especially in the grandest sense, does not evolve in a vacuum.

    I have more to ask, but I have other obligations pending, so I will have to post later. I look forward to your reply.
     
  8. Baud

    Baud Seeker of Knowledge

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would tend to think that Anzac's concept of anarcho-leftism has merit. I don't fear that dilution of the differences that Juan mentions, because if I understand such a system diversity would be tolerated and even encouraged (contrarily to the way communism was implemented un the USSR).

    Actually in my opinion property is just a concept created to give flesh to the principle that everyone is rewarded according it his or her merits and work. If someone harvests grain, saying that that grain is his is an easy way to reward him for his work. Money is just a convenient tool to facilitate exchanges by creating a fungible "stuff" that allows to estimate value.

    Now assuming that everyone would be compensated according to merit, I wouldn't have a problem with the abolition of property. The only thing would be to make sure that nobody can abuse the system, and that the weaker are effectively taken care of.

    However, I don't think we could completely do away with the notion of government. I am not talking about the current system of states and politics, but I think that "someone" should be there to act as a referee and reallocate resources when needed. That would fit the difinition I gave of the prupose of government.

    Baud
     
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Kindest Regards, Baud!
    I agree, I am genuinely intrigued. Posting my thoughts was my way of getting Anzac to expand on his ideas.

    That may well be, but since it was not addressed directly, my reservations were to draw out the specifics. I am much more in favor of cultural tolerance than cultural dilution.

    Just curious, how would one go about rewarding someone according to merit if "property" were abolished?

    I agree, and I believe that will be a core problem in developing any new system.

    I am in agreement here as well.

    I think Anzac may be on to something, but it is much too early to tell. Even if a more equitable means of governance can be put into formulation, finding ways to implement it without revolutionary force of arms would be most difficult indeed.
     
  10. Anzac

    Anzac Resident Anarchist

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alas I have little time to answer for now.

    I'm glad you haven't shunned it so far as ideally (in THEORY and all) it is utopia. However, as juantoo3 states, it is an ideal for now as the transition overnight from our current system to anarcho-leftism would descend into chaos which is why people have to gradually change. Until I can post a full response I have something which may be of use:

    http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm

    It's not complete and does leave out/alter a few of my own personal beliefs but as a guide it's very good reading material as to the problems you have highlighted.
     
  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Kindest Regards, Anzac!

    I hope you do not feel I've given up hope, I am merely patiently awaiting a response.

    I did take an ever so brief look at the website you suggested, and I even printed it out, hoping to get an opportunity to look into it deeper. So far, I haven't been able to find the time. I've been swamped with homework. Finals coming up in a couple of weeks.

    I have had a couple of interesting thoughts cross my bow, but haven't pursued them with any depth of thought; such as Chinese style communism with capitalist economics (seems to me an interesting, and so far for them, workable, solution). There is also the concept espoused by Peter Drucker in "The New Realities" of the coming sovereignty of the individual (which sounds complementary to your position). Another concept still gelling is that of "voting with one's money", explaining how Russian youth culturally adopt something like western blue jeans despite the adamant objection of the traditional culture (this is used in concept to explain how the world economy is gradually melding the various cultures regardless of politics).

    Anyway, I look forward to continuing our discussion at your convenience. Thanks.
     
  12. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    445
    Bump for relevence to another thread.
     

Share This Page