I didn't realize that the LateStageCapitalism subreddit loves communism

Discussion in 'EtcetEra' started by Trojita, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

  2. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    This is a very poor argument. It's inherently an argument about history that's ahistorical. An interesting combination that always comes up when lay people try to use history for universalist arguments.

    These sorts of people are foolish, and I highly doubt they are actually well read on Marxism. Marx himself thought the system of the Capitalists was inherently progressive and a good thing, just not the last thing.
  3. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

    No, but pointing out that communist countries have committed atrocities is likewise not a valid critique of communism given the crimes of various capitalist regimes throughout history.
  4. demondance

    demondance Member

    please don't take horseshoe theory this far, it's unbecoming
  5. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    Except it is valid here because this thread, or any conversation on the topic, isn't about communism in the abstract but instead communism as an alternative to capitalism. A comparison of the two is fundamentally what the conversation even is.

    We, and that means almost everyone in this thread, is denying that this is a thing. There might be a couple of people that do it, but it isn't a thing.
  6. Hank Hill

    Hank Hill Member

    So are you telling me that “real” communism has never been tried?
  7. Trojita

    Trojita Member Original Poster

    They combine capitalism and social welfare (through high taxes) that make the people that live in those countries happier. Their systems seem to rein in the biggest flaws with capitalism while still allowing a prosperous private sector and social services that take care of the citizenry. Most Americans live in a "When is the other shoe going to drop" state of life because something completely unexpected like a bad disease or injury can bankrupt a person. Most people live Pay-Check-to-Pay-Check, which is the consequence of unregulated capitalism that has centered all the wealth at the top and is getting worse year by year.
  8. Kthulhu

    Kthulhu Member

    I agree the electoral college is total BS and should be abolished.

    Less than half the states are gerrymandered, and that's declining. Same with voter suppression. Not to mention people voted for them.

    Most of the bad shit in this country is the result of people either not voting at all, or voting for the GOP.
  9. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

    Yes I think everyone is denying that there are alt-right communists
  10. Do you think a state should exist?
  11. I don't think the logic follows through there, but I do believe that the only thing keeping power away from just a few hands is empathy for our fellow man... and wars. I hope we can follow through without more wars however.

    Oh I agree this has all been a shitshow. I don't want to derail the thread, but I wonder if any sort of evolution for functioning socialist and communist societies were burnt during this period.
  12. King Tubby

    King Tubby Member

    American efforts to overthrow Castro do not absolve him of the repressive aspects of his regime or the human rights abuses of his government.
  13. sleepInsom

    sleepInsom Member

    Sure it is. You need to stop deflecting criticism like this. If one believes authoritarian rule coincides with the need to enforce communistic principles, as history has shown, it’s valid to establish that communism inevitably leads to tragedy. If you want to defend communism, argue its merits instead of talking about how bad capitalism is.
  14. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    If Capitalism can be said to have a point it is the use of capital to gain more capital. Therefor the trend would be towards centralization of wealth. Historically this hasn't panned out because the main thing that Marx couldn't foresee was that to some extent bourgeois ideology is actually based on some legitimate feelings towards fellow people and that even the bourgeois controlled state could be used in some ways that don't make material sense under capitalism.

    Again, threads like this are inherently a comparison. This is what the conversation is.

    This whole line of thinking is generally foolish though, and Capitlalism vs Communism shouldn't be reduced to comparing body counts. Such an approach is both ahistorical and atheortical. It's basically nothing but hot air gotchas.

    People are going to do horrible things sometimes. That reality isn't saying much about either as a dinge an sich.
  15. Apocrypha

    Apocrypha Member

    I was considering the math and infinite time lol. Well lets hope for more empathetic rich people and I guess a world agreement to were no matter where they run they can't hoard their wealth. Easier said than done sadly.
  16. Pandaman

    Pandaman Member

    Sure if you ignore the heart attacks every 50 years that require trillions of dollars of public bailout money to prevent the world economy from eating itself.
  17. Baji Boxer

    Baji Boxer Member

    That's not true at all. It's perfectly valid to critique one thing without comparing it to another thing.
  18. The wheel doesn't work, we tried it, it failed, it caused damage. We should never use a wheel. We have legs.
  19. Oneiros

    Oneiros Member

    Thanks, edited.
  20. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

    Sorry what?

    I think that Chile at the very least had a real shot.

    I don't think that's what that conversation was about.

    "It's okay to mention Communist atrocities because it implies that Communism 'inevitably leads to tragedy,' unlike capitalism, which has also had atrocities but somehow does not therefore also 'inevitably' lead 'to tragedy.'"
  21. The_hypocrite

    The_hypocrite Member

    But the USA used to have similarly high taxes, do you think that capital will not erode these barriers for growth there as it has done everywhere else given sufficient time?
  22. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    To be fair, nothing about using the state to continue the system is somehow anti-capitalistic. Capitalism is neither about free trade nor anti-interventionalist states.

    Is that what's going on in this thread or any conversation about the topic?
  23. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

    I feel like people are missing some very basic experiment design fundamentals here.

    "Communism is bad because it kills lots of people." Okay, let's test that hypothesis.

    Have other kinds of system killed lots of people? Yes? Then it would seem that Marxian economics, on their own, are not the common factor in regimes that kill lots of people.
  24. Baji Boxer

    Baji Boxer Member

    Bailouts suck, but it's better than total collapse, imo.
  25. Mezentine

    Mezentine Member

    I mean the bigger criticism of communism so far is that there isn't a single successful example, to my knowledge outside of relatively small communities, of actually realizing the "workers own their labor" thing. Which to me isn't a statement of what is and isn't possible, just an argument that anyone looking to the future has to reckon with why past attempts failed in this fundamental way.

    Like forget the bodycount of the USSR for a second, it also just wasn't what any earnest communist should actually want to emulate

    EDIT: And this is relevant because of the degree to which groups like FullCommunism and even LateStageCapitalism employ USSR iconography etc
  26. Hierophant

    Hierophant Resettlement Advisor Member

    Lmao the complaining reached resetera?

    Though the late stage capitalism mods are way too anal and shitty.
  27. Hank Hill

    Hank Hill Member

    Sure.Except we know for a fact that communists killed millions of people.
  28. Baji Boxer

    Baji Boxer Member

    It was a direct response to what that other person said. Not sure what your point is.
  29. Hierophant

    Hierophant Resettlement Advisor Member

    We know for a fact that capitalists have done so too in the pursuit of profit.
  30. sleepInsom

    sleepInsom Member

    So your only argument for communism is that there exists problems with capitalism? It sounds like you have no defensible premise for why communism should replace communism. Unless you are able to discuss these points, you literally have no arguement, thus you depend on deflection to avoid discussion communism at an intrinsic level.
  31. Communism isn't an ideology. It is a distinct mode of production that operates outside of the confines and mediation of the State.

    Communism is not compatible with any vestiges of Capital or the State in the same way that Capitalism wasn't compatible with the Feudal Manor.
  32. Kthulhu

    Kthulhu Member

    Frankly I feel that painting capitalism, Communism, socialism, or some kind of combination as bad systems that can never work is simplifying things.

    There's no bad ideas, there's bad execution. The question is what system benefits the most people in the best way.

    There are elements from all of them that when used together can create a successful and functioning economy that provides people with what they need and want.
  33. LucidMomentum

    LucidMomentum Member

    But doesn't that indicate that there's a flaw in said system?

  34. Neither the Soviet State nor the Chinese State ever broke from Capitalism.
  35. Emerson

    Emerson Member

    What do you mean by "the state of the world in 2018"? Do you mean "literally the best, most prosperous, and safest time to live in the history of planet earth"?

    You shouldn't let your frustration with what (very real) problems still exist in the world convince you that things are going backwards. They aren't.
  36. aspaceseaman

    aspaceseaman Member

    I would say it's only a valid critique if you can argue why communism implies a violent regime. Otherwise you're just pointing to historical examples, saying "Look that failed! And they called themselves communist!".

    I know that just sounds like "There was never a true communist country" but that's not the argument I'm making. If you analyzed the theory of communism (from the Communist Manifesto) and show how those ideas inherently lead to a violent regime, then that would be a good critique. But just pointing to historical examples without context means nothing. The USSR was not perfect example of communist society anymore than the U.S. is a perfect example of capitalist society. These are just labels for the ideas.

    You're currently saying:

    The USSR was violent.
    The USSR is communism.
    Communism is violent.

    But that doesn't work because the USSR is not a perfect replacement for the word communism. Instead, you should frame your argument as:

    Communism is composed of these ideas.
    The USSR used these ideas.
    These ideas lead to violence in these cases, and the reason for the violence were these ideas.

    An argument against capitalism should proceed in the same way. What are the ideas inherent to capitalism, what do those ideas lead to? Otherwise you're just taking advantage of the fact that humans like using similar words for very different ideas.
  37. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    We also know for a fact that capitalists killed millions of people. That's why this whole line of thinking gets nowhere.
  38. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

    You're the one who started with the facially illogical premise and then demanded that people engage with it. I'm just participating in the discussion you started.


    The best argument for the French Revolution was that there existed a problem with the monarchy

    The best argument for evidence-based medicine was that there existed a problem with alchemist guesswork

    The best argument for traffic lights was that there existed a problem with unregulated intersections

    The best argument for helium-based airships was that there existed a problem with the Hindenburg

  39. Correct, but in the fact that all economic systems that replace the one before it are inherently progressive as they move history forward.
  40. King Tubby

    King Tubby Member

    I will not deny that unfettered capitalism inevitably eats itself. If the United States does lumber its way towards a more Nordic-ish system over time, it will be a reaction to the erosion of those barriers and the subsequent inequality that has resulted. I would consider such reform to be a preferable result than revolution to an uncertain radical regime. I am certainly willing to discuss any concrete formulations of such, including communism, but many that I've seen do not satisfy me. I think that just as we can effectively check state power in representative democracies, we can find ways to check personal/corporate power within a capitalist framework, perhaps enshrining such checks in novel institutions or constitutional amendments to make them more durable.
  41. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member

    This is Steven Pinker neolib apologia based on some very specious arguments that ignores serious upcoming problems (like climate change) and has a very specific and unintuitive definition of "most prosperous" that most people would not accept.
  42. Reductionist but not incorrect.

    Feudalism collapsed into Capitalism because the Feudal way of life was no longer able to cope with life's requirements. The Feudal state and its reactionary supporters lost the popular ability to govern, it lost the power to enforce its will, and the bourgeoisie replaced the Monarchy as the economic and political power.
  43. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    No, there are absolutely bad ideas. I've never bought into the whole everyone gets a trophy thing making people not know how to deal with competition and not getting your way, but the sentiment that there aren't bad ideas or bad questions absolutely a problematic idea that schools have been pushing for a few decades now.

    As I tell my students, the fact that there isn't a single correct answer doesn't mean there aren't better, worse, and bad answers.

    Sure? Marx is basically inverse Hegel, I don't think what I was saying contradicts that.

    Such a thing does not exist in the abstract.

    History isn't about backwards and forwards.

    Except people have made tons of arguments for communism. This isn't happening in a vacuum. I'm sure everyone here is aware that there have been arguments in favor of both systems. The fact that you disagree with them doesn't mean that much when talking about what is and is not a valid thing to talk about.
  44. Baji Boxer

    Baji Boxer Member

    Obviously humans are the constant factor here, but you still have to look at each system in isolation to see if there is anything about the system that directly leads to such massive body counts. Killing millions of people in each system doesn't mean both have the same cause. Perhaps some systems put a check on the murder better than others.

    Personally, I don't think the whataboutism works out in Communism's favor anyway.
  45. Apath

    Apath Member

    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here.
  46. Baji Boxer

    Baji Boxer Member

    This I agree with.
  47. Hierophant

    Hierophant Resettlement Advisor Member

    If there is any singular reason capitalism doesn't work in the modern age, it's the fact that it's entirely unsuitable to fight climate change, under capitalism we will never see any meaningful progress against it.
  48. SG-17

    SG-17 Community Resettler Member

    And thanks to technology that mode of production is now compatible with a state.

    The state is the collective voice of the people and the state controls the means of production, ergo the people control the means of production in a techno/luxury communist state.
  49. dusteatingbug

    dusteatingbug Member


    Also antibiotic-resistant super diseases. And nuclear proliferation.
  50. Cocaloch

    Cocaloch Member

    Not super relevant to the topic at hand, but it bugs me when people act like alchemy was in opposition to modern science instead of the context in which it emerges. The arch-alchemist himself, Paracelsus, was a key figure in this development. Alchemy had experimentation, it just had too much or, perhaps more honestly, too overt metaphysics in its framework to survive entzauberung.

    I think the comparison is fundamentally a bad one, but if you're going strictly by numbers, which again is stupid and ahistorical, this absolutely does not work out in capitalism's favor.