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omen
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Sep 24 2012 21:23
ComradeAppleton wrote:
First off I'd like to say that I find your criticism of today's system rather timid. Basically you are critiquing the phenomenon popularly known as 'consumerism'

No, I wasn't at all. Read that section again. I am familiar with critiques of consumerism, and I find them largely pointless and they have nothing to do with what I wrote. The only reference I made to it was in regards to wasteful production. I was not concerned in the slightest with the consumption of goods, but how much labour is squandered in pointless overproduction. In a libcom society production would be scaled back to what is necessary, giving people more free time, which they could either use personally how they wished, or could spend some of that time, if they so wished, producing things that go beyond the necessary. I also mentioned workers having control over the workplace and there being no bosses. Try agitating for that, and see how timid bosses, government, police, media, etc. think it is. Striking workers have had the shit beat out of them by police, for less than that.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
If I was critiquing the current system I would say that the problem is not consumerism, but exploitation (as I am sure you also know and acknowledge).

*slaps forehead* Yes, I took it as read that capitalism was exploitative, and went into some of the more practical reasons: lack of control over work, working hours, wages, etc. And listed some of the alternatives, control over workplace, etc. I didn't mean to suggest that wages should merely be higher, and bosses nicer, just that there shouldn't be any bosses, wage labour, etc. This has nothing to do with consumerism at all.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
By the way, I am very glad you have moved away from the communist label. Anarchism is not about communism,

No, I didn't move away from it at all, just gave my preferred terminology. And plenty of anarchists regard themselves as communists and vice versa, even if you don't consider them to be the same thing. You don't own words, you know...

ComradeAppleton wrote:
So I was wondering, now that you have explained your ideas on the question of society, if you could elaborate on this question of "adverse effects"? How exactly would you determine where the collectivity can step in and stop an individual (or group) and where the individual should be left to his/her own devices.

This, like most things, is subjective. I would suggest using your noodle. It's doubtful anyone would agree exactly, but that hardly matters. And such limits would be decided democratically in a libcom society (since they potentially affect all people). Where meaningful, evidence would be considered.

Example: we have speed limits on roads, in an attempt to reduce the frequency and severity of road accidents. There is no exact speed where a car goes from being dangerous to safe, but this doesn't mean we just throw up our hands in the air and declare the impossibility of setting speed limits, and just let everyone drive around at as fast as their cars will go in built up areas. We look at evidence (scientists study road accidents and collect data), and make informed decisions about where to draw limits: e.g. 70mph on motorways, 30mph in built up areas, in the UK. In the US they have a 55mph limit on major highways, I believe. It's arbitrary, to an extent, and not everyone agrees with set limits, but it's better than the alternative of no speed limits.

They tried this when the UK motorways were first opened, and the minister for transport freaked out when he stood on a bridge over a newly opened motorway, and watched cars bombing up and down at 120mph. They also had to place other "crazy" restrictions on motorway drivers' freedom, when they found drivers were performing U-turns (there were no central reservations then), and stopping by the roadside -- on a fucking motorway! -- to have picnics.

The penalty for speeding in the UK (which no one even got to vote on), is a fine, points on your licence, maybe a driving ban in serious cases, or at worst a short term in prison in the most extreme cases (e.g. death caused by dangerous driving). Now in a libcom society, I see no reason why anyone would vote for harsher penalties than that, since, as you said, people are mostly decent, and probably they would be a lot less harsh, since people would surely recognize that the laws could be applied to them: e.g. in a worst case scenario (causing death), take away the car and ban them from driving, possibly for life, if they get caught driving then take more serious action to prevent them from doing it again.

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Sep 24 2012 21:26
PartyBucket wrote:
ComradeAppleton wrote:
I am for free human relations and voluntary organization. That's all.

That's what capitalists say.

Communists and anarchists also say that. So who is right, and why? You can't just assert things and act as if you've offered a great proof. Why don't you just be honest and say what you mean, which is: "I am a communist and will not tolerate any non-communist relations anywhere in the world, no matter what manner of relations they are and no matter what the opinion of the people involved is."

Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
After reading all the way to post #329, I still don't think ComradeAppleton has a clue what we're talking about.

Perhaps instead of mouthing off like a 14 year old 'rebel' you could read post #322 and tell me what I got wrong (other than what omen already explained to me in his posts below).

omen
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Sep 24 2012 21:34
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Why don't you just be honest and say what you mean, which is: "I am a communist and will not tolerate any non-communist relations anywhere in the world, no matter what manner of relations they are and no matter what the opinion of the people involved is."

You're putting words in peoples' mouths again, Comrade. That is why people get frustrated with you.

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Sep 25 2012 16:04
ComradeAppleton wrote:
PartyBucket wrote:
ComradeAppleton wrote:
I am for free human relations and voluntary organization. That's all.

That's what capitalists say.

Communists and anarchists also say that. So who is right, and why?

Yeah 'Communists and Anarchists' might not add the "Thats all"....maybe we think theres a little more to it, for example your worst nightmare of everything being held in common?...propertarian twats like you like to pass off a lot of things as "voluntary" and "free" that are of course actually completely exploitative.

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Sep 24 2012 21:56
omen wrote:
No, I wasn't at all. Read that section again. I am familiar with critiques of consumerism, and I find them largely pointless and they have nothing to do with what I wrote. The only reference I made to it was in regards to wasteful production.

This doesn't hold up. If consumerism is not the main problem, ie. if it is perfectly fine for people to want these gizmos and widgets which so fascinate them, then the production of said widgets cannot be called "wasteful production". If people want a service or product, then producing it is not "waste", but satisfying wants and needs. There is nothing "wasteful" about satisfying wants and needs. All of life is about satisfying different wants and needs! The truth of the matter is that if you do not want to buy these consumer goods, you don't have to work nearly as much as most people do. I only work enough to satisfy the needs I feel are necessary and spend the rest of my time enjoying life. Here in the UK it is not necessary to work a 40 hour week or be on benefits in order to live a perfectly normal and satisfying life - I know that from experience. It would be even nicer if I didn't have to pay taxes and could instead pay for public services in some local manner, of course, but I manage even with that theft taken into account. Of course the trade-off is that I don't own any of these fancy widgets that many people can't seem to live without, but that doesn't bother me in the least. So I'd say I have pretty good control of the way I live and work, even though all I do is work in a store for a 'boss'.

As for wages, they are only a system of establishing how productive people are (or they would be if we didn't have the state-corporate monopoly on capital). So any critique of wages can only apply to the current situation, not to a free voluntary market situation. What else would you suggest we do in a stateless society - arrest people who work for wages? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?

omen wrote:
You don't own words, you know...

There is no need to get hostile with me again. But you know you don't own words either - make sure you remember that.

omen wrote:
This, like most things, is subjective. I would suggest using your noodle. It's doubtful anyone would agree exactly, but that hardly matters. And such limits would be decided democratically in a libcom society

I guess the main issue involved here is the way we solve problems. Individualists will never accept democratic solutions as legitimate. Only decisions made in an entirely voluntary manner can be acceptable. Please don't start once again making comments about me not understanding what you mean - we have talked about this for a while and you have specified quite clearly what you mean by democracy, participation, voting, etc. These methods, however, are not acceptable to me except in very, very few narrow cases where the individuals involved share property or access to property. So, for example, if we all live in a village with one access road and some people want everyone to pay to have the road paved (because this decision has an effect on everyone who lives by that road) voting would not be a legitimate way of deciding whether to pave the road unless all the people have some kind of prior agreement that all issues to do with the road will be settled democratically. If no such agreement was made beforehand, then the majority of citizens could not decree that the road will be paved and everyone has to pay for it now (or work to pave the road).
If the majority was allowed to do that, they would inevitably be enslaving the minority. Any democratic processes can only take place in regard to property held in common or when consent was established beforehand.

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Sep 24 2012 21:58

I think there are some things that have not yet received an answer. For example, ComradeAppleton's insistence that the "commune" or "macroeconomic democracy" is oppressive and totalitarian, far worst than Hitler. All he gives us is some lame reasoning that the "workers in one enterprise will make decisions in another enterprise", which is not quite the case. If he can provide another reasoning, that would be great; but he can't, because he doesn't grasp the essence of the system we're proposing. He doesn't understand how it would work or what's its purpose in the first place. Hence, why he asks (and I'm paraphrasing): "when should a collective stop an individual and when should an individual be left to his own devices?"

ComradeAppleton is yet to explain his insistence on having 'markets' and 'competition', division of labor, eight hour workdays, money, uneven development, police states and/or private security forces (to protect property), imaginary cakes (but no real cakes), gadgets and stuff stored in basements, rapists, Atlas Shrugged, and a whole bunch of other questionable stuff. Can't he see that his market-based vision of "everyone owning their own plot of land and producing stuff, and having a say exclusively on their self-produced stuff, where Jimmy produces hot dogs, and Billy makes pairs of shoes, and Billy trades 40 pairs of shoes with Jimmy in exchange for 50 hot dogs, and stores it all in his basement, and stuff, and where time stands still" is going to lead us nowhere? Can't he see that it might in fact lead us to what we have today? Support (you don't really support; you just allow) for workers controlling their own enterprises doesn't let you off the hook.

And why doesn't ComradeAppleton leave (not the thread, even though he said he would) capitalist society; step outside the system and live free in isolated wilderness. After all, he said he doesn't care about what relations other people have. His first concern is himself. He's indifferent to the (and I'm paraphrasing) "systems or structures (capitalism, socialism, communism, mutualism, etc.) people live under". Who's stopping him now from becoming a "truly, liberated individual". It's very contradictory for someone who says he has the right to leave a structure he doesn't want to be part of, yet remains.

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Sep 24 2012 21:59
omen wrote:
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Why don't you just be honest and say what you mean, which is: "I am a communist and will not tolerate any non-communist relations anywhere in the world, no matter what manner of relations they are and no matter what the opinion of the people involved is."

You're putting words in peoples' mouths again, Comrade. That is why people get frustrated with you.

Well PartyBucket can at any moment tell me what kind of relations he would find acceptable aside from communist relations. I think if you ask him yourself you will find that my statement is true and that he does not consider any type of relations (however voluntary) to be acceptable except communist ones. I do not care if totalitarian types are 'frustrated with me'. These people are my enemies and if the only emotion I arouse in them is frustration then something is clearly out of place...

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Sep 24 2012 22:09

Its not really a matter of whats 'acceptable' to me .
However I certainly dont accept your premise that there could be a situation where wage labour can be 'free' or 'voluntary'. Only capitalists try to make out it can ever be so.
I am most certainly the 'enemy' of conservative propertarians, you are right there.

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Sep 24 2012 22:16
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
ComradeAppleton is yet to explain his insistence on having 'markets' and 'competition', division of labor, eight hour workdays, money, uneven development, police states and/or private security forces (to protect property), imaginary cakes (but no real cakes), gadgets and stuff stored in basements, rapists, Atlas Shrugged, and a whole bunch of other questionable stuff.

And let us not forget about wage slavery and the so-called "free" and "independent" media companies.

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Sep 24 2012 22:19

As to you wanting me to read post #322, I don't think it was an honest attempt to explain our position. There was just more distortions as usual.

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Sep 24 2012 22:39
ComradeAppleton wrote:
This is very simple really. People are mostly decent and outside of war or Africa gang rape is not on anyone's to-do list. Neither are murder or theft. People with such desires will always exist, of course, but they are really a marginal minority.

I have no idea what you have against Africans. If rapists and murderers are a "marginal minority" outside of Africa, then they must be a majority in Africa. Is that how it is? You make me sick; you and your fascistic idealism.

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Sep 24 2012 23:00
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
As to you wanting me to read post #322, I don't think it was an honest attempt to explain our position. There was just more distortions as usual.

If you don't think anything I say or do is honest, why are you still reading this and commenting on this thread? Just to be a busybody? Don't have anything better to do? Feeling lonely? Or maybe you just need a scapegoat to mouth off at? I have seen many pathetic people like you... You probably have a very unsatisfactory personal life, so you take your frustration out on others. Classic example of a name-calling bully.

As for PhotoBucket, who we have clearly established is not my comrade smile I don't really care what you think or find acceptable. Luckily you do not have the power to come between me and the people I interact with and determine my relation for me. I just love clowns who pretend to establish what is and isn't voluntary for other people. Must be a mystical mind reading ability. Perhaps you spend too much time with the tarot/crystal ball new age crowd...

As for the comments about Africa, I am very surprised nobody here knows that most gang rapes and other stone-age tactics still take place there. Forced marriages, cutting off people's hands, enlisting children in armies, compulsory circumcisions... things like that. Look for things like that in the Middle-East and Africa. In most other places such things are now treated as unacceptable.

omen
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Sep 24 2012 23:00
ComradeAppleton wrote:
omen wrote:
No, I wasn't at all. Read that section again. I am familiar with critiques of consumerism, and I find them largely pointless and they have nothing to do with what I wrote. The only reference I made to it was in regards to wasteful production.

This doesn't hold up. If consumerism is not the main problem

Critiques of consumerism focus almost entirely on the consumption of goods, and almost never on the production of goods. At their worst, they tend to regard consumption of goods as being something akin to religion, and focus on on things like culture-jamming, drop out lifestyles, dumpster diving, recycling, and the like. About the only time they recognize the workplace as being exploitative is in third world sweatshops, and then their solution to this is a consumerist one: ethical consumerism. Their solution is to buy AdBusters Red Spot Clown sneakers instead of nasty Nike trainers. They consider this revolutionary. It isn't.

The communist solution is for workers to take over the workplace and run it themselves, and for this to be done all across society and across the globe. At least that is the ultimate goal.

Stop focusing on consumerism, I don't give a damn about it, and it has nothing to do with my argument.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
There is nothing "wasteful" about satisfying wants and needs. All of life is about satisfying different wants and needs!

Goods aren't made to last: that is wasteful. Electronic devices are often obsolete long before their life is over: that is wasteful. Most of the wants are created, that is why capitalists usually spend way more on advertising that on research and development. Most workers can't even afford the goods they make, so their wants are hardly satisfied, and in most of the world their needs are barely satisfied at best. Etc.

Quite why you are arguing this point, I don't know since, most of these things wouldn't even exist in your utopia, as they require large scale production in specialist collectively run factories. Unless you are expecting artisans to handcraft iPhones in their workshops? In which case, they will be in short supply, if they even exist at all. If you go with the factory idea, then we're back to the long working days and drudgery, etc.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
The truth of the matter is that if you do not want to buy these consumer goods, you don't have to work nearly as much as most people do.

And again you totally miss my point. The point is not that workers work to buy shit, it is that they work to get paid, so they can pay rent, bills, for medical insurance (in some countries, like the US), debts accrued when they desperately needed to borrow money they didn't have, etc. Only a relatively small number of better paid workers buy the bulk of the luxury consumer goods. Most people on the planet don't even own a phone, let alone the latest model iPhone. It is capitalists that primarily benefit from wasteful overproduction, not workers (as consumers), as you assume.

[*** If you respond to only one point in this post, make it this one above -- it is my key point.]

ComradeAppleton wrote:
There is no need to get hostile with me again. But you know you don't own words either - make sure you remember that..

I'm not getting hostile. You've repeatedly told anarchists what the word means and that they are not anarchists. (And most people here consider themselves anarchists, I think. I know it looks like I only just joined, but I was a regular here a few years back under a different name.) And I never said there was only one definition, so don't turn this back on me!

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Please don't start once again making comments about me not understanding what you mean - we have talked about this for a while and you have specified quite clearly what you mean by democracy, participation, voting, etc.

Yep, and you're still not getting it. See particularly the section I marked above with ***.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
These methods, however, are not acceptable to me...

Yeah, well you started this thread to ask us what our views were, we've told you, you're still misunderstanding, and we don't much care about your views as we've all heard this before (and I don't just mean from you). To be honest, I'm not really sure what you are getting out of it.

omen
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Sep 24 2012 23:11
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Well PartyBucket can at any moment tell me[...]

"Well he started!" is not an argument that should be used by anyone over the age of five. Six tops.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
I do not care if totalitarian types are 'frustrated with me'.

And there you go again. This site is called libcom and not totcom, for a reason.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
These people are my enemies

And you wonder why no one here takes you seriously! This is just people talking shit on the internet, not the fucking Stalinist purges. I'm getting a whiff of teary-eyed Goth again...

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Sep 24 2012 23:11
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
As to you wanting me to read post #322, I don't think it was an honest attempt to explain our position. There was just more distortions as usual.

If you don't think anything I say or do is honest, why are you still reading this and commenting on this thread? Just to be a busybody? Don't have anything better to do? Feeling lonely? Or maybe you just need a scapegoat to mouth off at? I have seen many pathetic people like you... You probably have a very unsatisfactory personal life, so you take your frustration out on others. Classic example of a name-calling bully.

And making derogatory aspertions about the state of another posters personal life makes you what?
Cunt.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
As for PhotoBucket, who we have clearly established is not my comrade smile I don't really care what you think or find acceptable.

Why then did you muse upon it directly in post 338?

omen
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Sep 24 2012 23:19
ComradeAppleton wrote:
As for the comments about Africa, I am very surprised nobody here knows that most gang rapes and other stone-age tactics still take place there. Forced marriages, cutting off people's hands, enlisting children in armies, compulsory circumcisions... things like that. Look for things like that in the Middle-East and Africa. In most other places such things are now treated as unacceptable.

I assume this is some kind of tactic to turn the whole world against you continent by continent, until you have achieved some sort of solipsistic critical mass, and you really do achieve total independence, as literally no one on Earth will give you the time of day.

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Sep 25 2012 00:04
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
ComradeAppleton is yet to explain his insistence on having 'markets' and 'competition', division of labor, eight hour workdays, money, uneven development, police states and/or private security forces (to protect property), imaginary cakes (but no real cakes), gadgets and stuff stored in basements, rapists, Atlas Shrugged, and a whole bunch of other questionable stuff. Can't he see that his market-based vision of "everyone owning their own plot of land and producing stuff, and having a say exclusively on their self-produced stuff, where Jimmy produces hot dogs, and Billy makes pairs of shoes, and Billy trades 40 pairs of shoes with Jimmy in exchange for 50 hot dogs, and stores it all in his basement, and stuff, and where time stands still" is going to lead us nowhere? Can't he see that it might in fact lead us to what we have today?

Best explanation for why this thread needs more value theory.

All deviations from the true communist path™ and revisionisms™ including but not limited to market socialism, Parecon, social democracy and GDR style centrally planned markets (which was in itself social democracy taken to its logical conclusion) can be traced to a faulty reading of Marxian value theory.

Oh if people would just read moar Kapital! And of course would adopt the one and only true interpretation (© Karl Marx 1867).

omen
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Sep 25 2012 00:12
Railyon wrote:
Best explanation for why this thread needs more value theory.

He's not figured out the difference between property and possessions yet, so I think you will be fighting a losing battle with that one.

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Sep 25 2012 09:32
omen wrote:
He's not figured out the difference between property and possessions yet, so I think you will be fighting a losing battle with that one.

First of all, you are again insulting my judgement. I was a Proudhonian through and through before I realized that economics is not a question of primary importance, and who would know more about property vs possession than the one who cried 'property is theft'? It is you who have redefined possession along Marxist lines, I only use the original meaning of the word. Although it is my failing, perhaps, that I picked up from English speaking individualists the word 'property'. But to accuse me of not understanding the distinction is just meant as a pure insult because it is not at all true.

As for the point you wanted me to respond to above, I agree that the exploitation by capitalists is taking place all across the world. But this exploitation is not due to "wasteful overproduction". This is because, as I explained before, there is no such thing. Demand is always higher than production precisely for the reason you stated above - most people do not yet have iphones (and a large proportion of those who don't have them, want them). The reason these phones and other gizmos (luxury goods) are so expensive is usually because certain people have usurped a monopoly on producing them and can therefore hold the prices at whatever level they like.
You also wrote that people want longer lasting goods and things like that. Of course. People want goods which are longer lasting, more fun, make them stand out more from the crowd, are more versatile in their uses, etc, etc. People have lots of demands, and producers try to meet these demands in order of importance. If everyone cared only about goods being long lasting, then that would be what was sold. Unfortunately most people have a different ranking of values (they prefer things to be 'cool' and multifunctional rather than long lasting).

I also fail to see why libertarian communism would change the goods being produced - the people are people, why would their wants and needs change just because the production system is different?

Exploitation happens for a simple reason: monopoly. The ruling classes (through the state) have accumulated monopolies in land, capital, and patents. They also burden the working people with taxes and tariffs, which further raise the prices of all goods. Break the monopolies and the only way to exploit people that will remain will be outright violence.

And your insinuations that individualism leads to a complete dissolution of industrial production are just silly. There is no reason to suppose cooperation and large factories will disappear if people become individualists...

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Sep 25 2012 09:57
ComradeAppleton wrote:
But to accuse me of not understanding the distinction is just meant as a pure insult because it is not at all true.

Look, mate, it's not an 'insult' to accuse you of 'not understanding' the Communist perspective. Put simply, you don't. That's why this thread has interminably gone round in circles, with many posters trying their best to explain to you answers to the questions that you've asked by initiating the thread.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that if you continue to explain to us from your individualist perspective you'll have some success. You won't.

If you want to hold onto that perspective, then fine; but you've had your answer, and at great length, from a Communist perspective, so why continue to ask for answers for which you clearly have no intention of putting into their own perspective?

We're Commies, ffs, and you're not. Simples!

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Sep 25 2012 10:02

This thread went to shit when the cartoons stopped.

omen
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Sep 25 2012 10:35
ComradeAppleton wrote:
omen wrote:
He's not figured out the difference between property and possessions yet, so I think you will be fighting a losing battle with that one.

First of all, you are again insulting my judgement.

No, A simple observation. As you tacitly admit here:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
It is you who have redefined possession along Marxist lines, I only use the original meaning of the word..

There are many definitions of property, neither the Marxist nor your version are the "original". But you came here asking us to explain our point of view to you, which we did, and which means using our definitions. You then persisted in falling back to using your definitions when talking about our views which is why you fail to understand our views. Hence your repeated and nonsensical (using our definition) assertions that communists want to take your property (they don't), or have a say in how you use your property (they don't), etc. And hence my rhetorical question from earlier in the thread "Do you own a huge fuck'n factory?" I'm guessing not.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
But to accuse me of not understanding the distinction is just meant as a pure insult because it is not at all true.

No one here wants to take your damn "property" (possessions), and your repeated assertions that they do is based entirely on your misunderstanding of the distinction between property (factories, industrial machinery, etc) and possessions (underpants, toothbrush, hammer, shovel, house, car, etc). You don't own a cement works, car manufacturing plant, etc. so it is a moot point.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
As for the point you wanted me to respond to above, I agree that the exploitation by capitalists is taking place all across the world. But this exploitation is not due to "wasteful overproduction".

I never said that it was. Read what I wrote. That is a large part of your problem.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
This is because, as I explained before, there is no such thing.

I already dealt with that. It's not my fault you don't get it...

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Demand is always higher than production precisely for the reason you stated above - most people do not yet have iphones (and a large proportion of those who don't have them, want them).

Yes, people sitting around in your favourite continent of Africa in tin shacks, with no clean running water, no sewage system, electricity, jobs, little food, etc. are constantly fretting over not having the latest iPhone. roll eyes

As I said demand for luxury goods is largely manufactured, hence the immense amounts of money spent on advertising.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
If everyone cared only about goods being long lasting, then that would be what was sold.

Cobblers! No one has any say in how long goods last but capitalists. If a capitalist was stupid enough to make TVs that lasted forty years, they'd soon put themselves out of business.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
I also fail to see why libertarian communism would change the goods being produced - the people are people, why would their wants and needs change just because the production system is different?

People don't like to spend 8+ hours a day 5+ days a week toiling to make stuff they then don't have the time or energy to use and enjoy. And as I said earlier, make the necessaries first, then worry about the luxuries second. It should be entirely voluntary. Do you seriously think that people who work in a shitty iPhone factory in China actually enjoy toiling away there (there were an alarming number of worker suicides reported not so long ago in factories making iPhones), and that if they had a say they would be likely to continue working there of their own free wills?

Also, their wants would change as they wouldn't have advertisers endlessly convincing them to want shit they most likely wouldn't want otherwise. And their wants have changed considerably over the centuries. Consumerism is a relatively recent phenomenon, and is tied closely to the rise of the advertising industry.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Exploitation happens for a simple reason: monopoly.

No it doesn't. All it needs is a class of owners and a class of people that have no choice but to work for them in order to live even a modest existence. Small business versions of capitalism are every bit is exploitative as monopoly capitalism, and there is every reason to believe they are worse. I'm pretty sure many people here, with experience of these things, have reported working for a small business is often worse than working for a large company, because smaller companies have to squeeze workers more in order to turn a profit.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
And your insinuations that individualism leads to a complete dissolution of industrial production are just silly. There is no reason to suppose cooperation and large factories will disappear if people become individualists...

You need organization to operate a large factory. You reject all organization. Ergo, no factories.

omen
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Sep 25 2012 10:49
ocelot wrote:
This thread went to shit when the cartoons stopped.

Yes, I agree entirely. I'll see what I can do about that...

ETA: I'll take requests for a general plot, 'cause I'm drawing a blank for the moment.

ETA2: Never mind, I'm going to plagiarize and old Steptoe and Son episode instead...

omen
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Sep 25 2012 12:24

As promised:

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
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Sep 25 2012 15:04
ComradeAppleton wrote:
This is very simple really. People are mostly decent and outside of war or Africa gang rape is not on anyone's to-do list. Neither are murder or theft. People with such desires will always exist, of course, but they are really a marginal minority.

First of all, the way you phrase this seems as though you’re blaming people or “individuals”. In your reasoning, these people aren’t “civilized” enough. Perhaps, we should colonize them again.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
As for the comments about Africa, I am very surprised nobody here knows that most gang rapes and other stone-age tactics still take place there. Forced marriages, cutting off people's hands, enlisting children in armies, compulsory circumcisions... things like that. Look for things like that in the Middle-East and Africa. In most other places such things are now treated as unacceptable.

The reasoning you put forth that these things are allowed or “treated as acceptable” doesn’t make your racist opinion justifiable. Here, you make an observation based on present appearances, and ignore the historical and social conditions that makes these unfortunate things possible. But, what else could we have expected from you? You are, after all, a reactionary idealist. You believe people’s actions are driven purely by ideas, rather than under certain circumstances. That’s why you pulled out the following bullshit earlier in our thread:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
The world is based on ideas (or as you say "abstract philosophical concepts") and people have to accept and agree with ideas before any of them can be implemented……

……When slavery was being abolished, it was not a matter of one man having one idea. It was a matter of a few men living on a mission of propagating those ideas until they reached more and more people.

I guess capitalism was, at one point in history, a good idea! Everyone, by a consensus-based agreement, decided to implement it. That’s very nice! And what about slavery? In your opinion, the abolishment of slavery was the work of one or a few men; who gives a damn about the millions of people who suffered under slavery; who cares what they think or feel.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Furthermore any objections that we are indebted to the past or owe something to the future are mere assertions which make no sense. I don't owe anything to anyone who is dead because they can't have a claim on me anymore - they are dead. Dead people don't deserve anything from me. The same is true of future people. Future people don't exist therefore they have no claim on anything of mine or anything I do. The individual can only live in the present, not in some "historical continuum".

I guess you don’t mind leaving your grandchildren with a whole load of shit to swallow. Well, after all, it’s “your” utopian system, and you don’t want to be responsible for whatever mess it makes. And it says a good deal about how “great” your system is. Sustainable? Efficient? The answer to those is whatever pleases “me”.

omen wrote:
I assume this is some kind of tactic to turn the whole world against you continent by continent, until you have achieved some sort of solipsistic critical mass, and you really do achieve total independence, as literally no one on Earth will give you the time of day.

Yes. The whole world is against you. People in the Middle East and Africa are driven by profound hatred for Mr. ComradeAppleton. You must hide!

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Sep 25 2012 15:29

Your thinking is very primitive Mr. ComradeAppleton. More backwards than monkeys. After all, monkeys and human beings evolved from the same ancestors. Your evolution seems to have been disrupted in the early process. Oh, wait! I forgot. You don’t believe in evolution. You think it’s some “abstract idea” whipped up by communists in a plot to take over the world. My bad.

As for your claim that we don’t tolerate non-communist relations; that’s completely false. But you wouldn’t tolerate communist relations. You insist on everything being determined by markets. You definitely won’t allow democratic planning and coordination across different or similar industries, or worker’s controlled productive enterprises within the same geographical location. Because democracy beyond the individual workplace would be “totalitarian”. But whether or not it is totalitarian (based on your fixed, timeless, iron-like laws), you have to agree that it would be more beneficial if workplaces were able to act in union (say under the democratic planning of the democratically-controlled “commune”) than having these workplaces compete amongst each other within a so-called “free” and “fair” market economy.

omen
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Sep 25 2012 15:48

More fun and frolics:

(Click to read.)

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ComradeAppleton
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Sep 25 2012 17:42
omen wrote:
No one here wants to take your damn "property" (possessions), and your repeated assertions that they do is based entirely on your misunderstanding of the distinction between property (factories, industrial machinery, etc) and possessions (underpants, toothbrush, hammer, shovel, house, car, etc). You don't own a cement works, car manufacturing plant, etc. so it is a moot point.

Then maybe you could give me an exact definition of property and an exact definition of possession. That way I won't be confused anymore. It seems that you chose to say that property is the means of production, while possessions are consumer goods. But correct me if I'm wrong.
And on that point, did you ever think that you are making an absolutely baseless division there between product and capital? After all, one person's product is another's capital, and vice versa. You can't really definitively say that something is only product or only capital.

omen wrote:
And as I said earlier, make the necessaries first, then worry about the luxuries second. It should be entirely voluntary.

Can you please clarify this a little: how would you decide what the 'necessaries' are and what the 'luxuries' are? Is that totally voluntary - everyone picks for himself/herself what is 'necessary' and what is a 'luxury'? Because it seems to me that many people can have very different answers to this question.

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Railyon
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Sep 25 2012 17:46

"To the extent that commodity production, in accordance with its own inherent laws, develops further, into capitalist production, the property laws of commodity production change into the laws of capitalist appropriation."
K. Marx, Capital Vol 1 Ch 24

Last comic instantly reminded me of this quote.

omen
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Sep 25 2012 19:42
ComradeAppleton wrote:
omen wrote:
No one here wants to take your damn "property" (possessions), and your repeated assertions that they do is based entirely on your misunderstanding of the distinction between property (factories, industrial machinery, etc) and possessions (underpants, toothbrush, hammer, shovel, house, car, etc). You don't own a cement works, car manufacturing plant, etc. so it is a moot point.

Then maybe you could give me an exact definition of property and an exact definition of possession. That way I won't be confused anymore. It seems that you chose to say that property is the means of production, while possessions are consumer goods. But correct me if I'm wrong.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
And on that point, did you ever think that you are making an absolutely baseless division there between product and capital?

It's a fucking definition! You could define "property" as "things found on the moon", if you so wished, but it would be pointless. Communists choose to define property and possessions in the way they do, because it makes a clear distinction between things used to exploit workers (only capitalists own factories, so workers have to work for capitalists, and under conditions set by the capitalists), and things that aren't used to exploit anyone (things owned by the workers, and in a personal capacity by capitalists).

I guess the main reason for this definition is 160 or so years of pro-capitalist idiots accusing communists of stupid baseless things along the lines of: "Workers, don't support communism, because the nasty communists want to steal from you!" When in fact they really mean is the communists want to steal from them (the capitalists).

ComradeAppleton wrote:
After all, one person's product is another's capital, and vice versa.

And now you've redefined, capital! Honestly, reading anything written by you is like being this bloke:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Can you please clarify this a little

What is the point of asking yet more questions about new things when you are still stuck on the basics?

ETA:

(Click for biggy.)