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Offlinedanelectro
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Registered: 07/01/02
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Stoned Questions about Communism
    #1914195 - 09/14/03 12:36 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I wouldn't call myself versed in the idea but I have a good understanding of the principles. So I sit here smoking a bowl and listening to Pink Floyd and these are what come up:
1.I heard quite a few rants about capitalism (I.E. capitalism in the sense of America not in the actual concept of pure capitalism) creating mass consumerism, but then how does socialism survive without mass consumerism? Is it possible to get to a point in which the economy can survive without people buying newer and newer things over and over again? How?

2.Why have all the countries that attempted socialism wind up as dictatorships? Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro all were in for life. Now I know how difficult a democracy would be to run, but then can a republic such as American style republic (Okay not really a good example of good leadership) work. Why were communist leaders in for life? Did that affect the success of thier nations?

Okay I'm done for a bit, I have more but they exist in other stoned moments, I'll drum them up soon.


--------------------
We should really love each other, in peace and harmony. Instead we're fussing and fighting, like we ain't supposed to be.-Bob Marley
The people, the still sleeping mass which it was necessary to mobilize and its vanguard, the guerrillas.
-Che


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: danelectro]
    #1914200 - 09/14/03 12:39 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

2.Why have all the countries that attempted socialism wind up as dictatorships? Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro all were in for life. Now I know how difficult a democracy would be to run, but then can a republic such as American style republic (Okay not really a good example of good leadership) work. Why were communist leaders in for life? Did that affect the success of thier nations?



Don't confuse socialism and communism. There are several "Social Democracies" in Europe, including Scandinavia and the Netherlands. PURE Socialism doesn't exist anywhere, but neither do pure communism or pure capitalism.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinedanelectro
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Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: silversoul7]
    #1914224 - 09/14/03 12:51 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Okay the way I read it socialism is the stage before communism (and the dictatorship of the proletariat before that, which I guess answers my second question.)


--------------------
We should really love each other, in peace and harmony. Instead we're fussing and fighting, like we ain't supposed to be.-Bob Marley
The people, the still sleeping mass which it was necessary to mobilize and its vanguard, the guerrillas.
-Che


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: danelectro]
    #1914229 - 09/14/03 12:52 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Socialism can be(and usually is) completely independent of communism.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: danelectro]
    #1914694 - 09/14/03 05:52 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

1. I don't know what you mean by mass consumerism. Do you mean the fact that individuals buy industrially produced things instead of making them by themselves?

2. In order for socialism to survive, the socialist society needs either slave labor or a non-socialist economy that it can feed itself from. Social Democrats use the latter strategy: they allow private property and a market economy and then they tax this economy heavily. This causes a dilemma of course: the more thriving and free the market economy is, the more taxes can be extracted from it. Social Democracy acknowledges the failure of socialist economy from the very start, so to speak.

The other type of socialism tries to replace market economy with total government control. Marxism belongs to this category. Communism is often used as a synonym for marxism, but in a philosophical context communism sometimes means the final stage of the deterministic marxist evolution process, where the government and the state have "withered away", and people use some kind of paranormal psychic powers when they decide how to price things for trading. No one has ever explained how or why this withering away of the state would happen, though.

Anyway, this total government control of the economy means that most jobs and products will be mis-priced. Correct pricing will only occur when the government guesses exactly right on how much every individual values one thing compared to every other thing.

Among all the problems that are created by this strategy, there will be lots of people who are unwilling to do their previous work for lower pay. These people will prefer to take other jobs instead, or emigrate to a capitalist country. Since both of these choices disrupt the economy even more, any socialist government quickly needs to decide whether to abandon total control, or to introduce totalitarian measures: slave labor, walls and armed guards and booby-trapped borders to stop their citizens from emigrating, and of course always a total ban on any opposition that might explain to the population how stupid socialist economy is.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: danelectro]
    #1914918 - 09/14/03 10:19 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)


1.
but then how does socialism survive without mass consumerism?


A long time ago, "socialism" was the introductory phase of
the communist philosophy(before full-blown communism could be
implemented). The meaning of the word has kind of changed over
time.

Nowadays, socialism has several incarnations. One is where free
markets are allowed and only the majorly important industries are
state-controlled(utility companies, health care, etc..). The other
popular one is where they allow free-markets to exist, but they tax
the hell out of the people to pay for social programs designed to
benefit the general public. Since modern day socialism as we know
it seems to involve some elements of the free-market, then the
people need to buy stuff in order for the economy to keep moving.
So, "socialism" nowadays needs mass-consumption.



Is it possible to get to a point in which the economy can survive without people buying newer and newer things over and over again? How?


People can survive without buying new things. But if the
economy is barely moving, the technological progress of the nation
will lag behind the rest of the world.


2.Why have all the countries that attempted socialism wind up as dictatorships? Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro all were in for life.


Because when you attempt to control the economic output and
consumption of people, you need to control their behavior. In
order to consistently control their behavior and make sure no
dissent occurs which jeopardizes the system, you must allow
very little freedom. You must control their talents, efforts,
and dreams.



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Anonymous

Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: danelectro]
    #1915080 - 09/14/03 12:27 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

1. capitalism does not create mass consumerism. it merely permits it.

2. a socialist dictatorship is a part of marxist theory. the governing bodies of these countries knew\know full well that if they were to allow democratic elections, they'd be out of office as soon as they counted the ballots. people won't vote for such a shitty system, so it must be maintained by force.


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Registered: 06/30/03
Posts: 8,451
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Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: ]
    #1915149 - 09/14/03 01:03 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

1. capitalism does not create mass consumerism. it merely permits it.




I'll tell my friend to use that defense when the feds bust in his door.

"I wasnt growing mushrooms, officer, I was just permitting them to grow."

Wonder if it will work?


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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Anonymous

Re: Stoned Questions about Communism [Re: DoctorJ]
    #1915164 - 09/14/03 01:11 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

i think if you take a minute to think about it, you'll realize that that was a rather weak analogy. if you can't figure out why on your own though, i'll be happy to help.


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