Are you a communist?

Yes
78% (62 votes)
No
18% (14 votes)
Don't Know
5% (4 votes)
Total votes: 80

Posted By

Lazy Riser
Mar 30 2006 15:07

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Skraeling
Apr 17 2006 03:15
sam_frances wrote:
The individual determines their needs ideally. But in reality this probably has to be negotiated when needs conflict. But I don't think a gift economy would neccessarily lead to huge overconsuimption, any more than people spend all of their lives in the library just because its free.

But couldn't it be socially rather than numerically or economically regualted. For example, workplaces might not "need" to produce a cruise ship for one individual, and if that individual doesn't like this, they can complain through the federation of communes.

i see the discussion has moved on, but i just wanted to reply to something on the previous page

if individuals judge their own needs, wouldn't the fulfilment of the needs of individuals be put before the needs of the community as a whole? Distributing products according to individual need seems a little bit bourgeois, distribution i think should be self-regulated in a collective way -- the fulfilment of one's own needs within the context of others (and also the ecological context).

so if someone needed a luxury cruise liner, it would be socially and ecologically out of the question, because it would require so many resources to build just to fulfil one person's need that it would impinge on the needs of others. But i see no problem with a community as a whole "owning" (by usufruct only) a luxury eco-friendly cruise liner smile

Lazy Riser
Apr 17 2006 12:15

Hi

Quote:
so if someone needed a luxury cruise liner, it would be socially and ecologically out of the question, because it would require so many resources to build just to fulfil one person's need that it would impinge on the needs of others

Only at given present productivity levels. Presumably as these increase the lavishness of objects that communists allow to be privately owned would widen.

Love

LR

sam sanchez
Apr 17 2006 13:09

I hope it would - that is, if people wanted it to, which it's quite possible they would. But I think it should always be conditional, not just on productive effort needed, but on whether exclusive individual ownership of a thing creates hierarchy or exploitation, at which point the other members of their community (if they have any sense) will stop protecting ownership of that thing.

I agree on the community context thing too, but I don't think that all consumption and ordering of goods should be done by the community assemblies, although they should come to agreements and guidelines on what is acceptable. I don't think micro-planning would be a good idea either. If there are shortages of certain things, then communal planning of investment priorities can sort that out, but it would crush the initiative and creativity of workplaces to plan everything. Demand will become clear anyway from what people buy and what people leave on the shelves (and therefore how shops modify their mass orders) especially when federations of similar workplaces will increase communication between workplaces.

Quote:
But i see no problem with a community as a whole "owning" (by usufruct only) a luxury eco-friendly cruise liner

I agree. While I agree with Lazy, there are some things that no individual would be able to use by themselves. Under capitalism its a good idea to own a cruise ship because it helps you make money from other people's work, but in a moneyless, self-managed economy there isn't much use in owning something like that, is there?

Joseph Kay
Apr 17 2006 13:16
sam_frances wrote:
Demand will become clear anyway from what people buy and what people leave on the shelves (and therefore how shops modify their mass orders) especially when federations of similar workplaces will increase communication between workplaces.

basically a communist 'pull' production system where demand is met from safety stocks and stimulates equivalent production, without the price-rationing of markets.

Lazy Riser
Apr 17 2006 18:45

Hi

Quote:
but in a moneyless, self-managed economy there isn't much use in owning something like that, is there?

You could use it as an elaborate ornament. I think there’s a definite anti-materialist slant to communist economics. It tends to come over a bit utilitarian and not really cater for the kind of frivolous consumption that people seem to enjoy.

Love

LR

revolutionrugger
Apr 17 2006 20:00

not me man. Jaccuzzi for all!!!!

sam sanchez
Apr 18 2006 20:22

I don't know if there is neccessarily an anti-materialist slant to the economic theory, or that there would have to be in an actual economy. I will admit to tending that way a bit personally (comes from having guilty charity-giving liberals for parents probably). But hey, I'm only one vote in the community assembly, eh?

cantdocartwheels
Apr 18 2006 23:46
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Quote:
but in a moneyless, self-managed economy there isn't much use in owning something like that, is there?

You could use it as an elaborate ornament. I think there’s a definite anti-materialist slant to communist economics. It tends to come over a bit utilitarian and not really cater for the kind of frivolous consumption that people seem to enjoy.

Love

LR

Communism clearly isn't anti-materialist, afterall the monetary constraints would be removed from supply and demand, so demand would naturally increase no? The only limits to supply and demand would be humanities ingenuity and ability to manufacture what they desire.

ps Na don't worry mate i just felt you were derailing the thread a bit earlier.

WillsWilde
Apr 19 2006 00:11
Quote:
The only reason the situationists do not call themselves “communists” is so as not to be confused with the cadres of pro-Soviet or pro-Chinese antiworker bureaucracies, leftovers from the great revolutionary failure that ultimately extended the universal dictatorship of the economy and the state.

- Situ 'short' intro in the Libcom thought section.

In America the connotations of the "communist' tag are null/anachronistic to most, anathema to right wingers (especially the nut jobs), scary to (neo)liberals, cool to 'militant'/follower-types because it sounds "tough minded", and to me something that can only be preceded by the qualifier 'libertarian' or read in its pre-Marxian (or post-Marxian, councilist) sense, which is actually what they call in literary analysis a 'close read' or almost etymological sense.

Best illustrated by my dull detournement of the liberal bumper-sticker slogans "The Moral Majority is neither" and "the Radical right is Neither":

"THE 'REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST PARTY' IS NEITHER."

But yeah, I want any communist society that acknowledges the soveriegnty of the individual's right to autonomy, which bears the (hopfeully happy) burden of an atleast relative measure of self-sufficiency.

red star embarrassed

circle A circle A circle A circle A circle A red n black star red n black star red n black star grin

sam sanchez
Apr 19 2006 00:14
Quote:
TThe only limits to supply and demand would be humanities ingenuity and ability to manufacture what they desire

Unless people wanted to work less, and automation didn't live up to expectations. I would agree with Lazy when s/he said somewhere else that one shouldn't automatically identify communism with abundance. But I don't think it needs abundance neccessarily, if people choose to prioritise other things such as leisure.

WillsWilde
Apr 19 2006 00:59

..,can anyone nail down the qualitative/subjective difference between abundance and surplus?

... i think it has something to do with precluding the possiblity of waste..and generosity (not charity)...[/i][/b]

Skraeling
Apr 19 2006 02:21
Lazy Riser wrote:
I think there’s a definite anti-materialist slant to communist economics. It tends to come over a bit utilitarian and not really cater for the kind of frivolous consumption that people seem to enjoy.

with some communists maybe. i think communism is all about fulfilling peoples needs and desires. communist economics would satisfy all sorts of wacky weird and wonderful needs and desires, so long as they didn't impinge too much on others i guess. it certainly wouldn't reduce everyone to a monastery type existence, tho if some wanna live that way, that's OK with me, so long as they don't try and impose their self-sacrificial lifestyle on others

communism to me means a cultural and creative flourishing the likes of what we have only glimpsed before.

ernie
Apr 20 2006 18:39

Hi

I agree with Skraeling

Quote:
communism to me means a cultural and creative flourishing the likes of what we have only glimpsed before.

To back a bit, but in relation to this point. Lazy riser posed the following question on page 7 re a quote from the ICC

Quote:
Communism knows neither exchange nor the law of value. Its production is socialised in the fullest-sense of the term. It is universally planned according to the needs of the members of society and for their satisfaction. Such production knows only use values whose direct and socialised distribution excludes exchange, the market and money.

The implication is that proletarians, left to their own devices, will regress into barbarism through simple acts of exchange, setting out stalls and budgeting for their consumption

.

Why?

The quote is about communism where there will be no proletariat or any class. For this situation to be reached, as the quote show, the law of value will have had to be replaced by production for human need. This means, as several interventions have underlined, a situation of abundence. The idea of exchange, batter etc will be alien because generations will have been raised in a situation where all their needs are meet and are able to develop freely.

I think lazy riser may be confusing the period of transition with communism.

It is not possible here to answer lr's questions about the ICC's analysis of communism, but perhaps the following article from the series communism is not just a good idea might provide some food for reflection [http://en.internationalism.org/ir/123_communism]

Quote:

Lazy Riser
Apr 20 2006 19:08

Hi

Quote:
The implication is that proletarians, left to their own devices, will regress into barbarism through simple acts of exchange, setting out stalls and budgeting for their consumption

.

Quote:
Why?

Proletarians really love exchange, and for good reason. Exchanging money, exchanging fluids, exchanging ideas. The whole of the universe is made up of tiny acts of sub atomic exchange. Why, even the dialectical method of philosophical investigation is based on the synthesis of an exchange, which in itself becomes a new engine of tension and change.

And yet, exchange, even exchange to mutual advantage, is exploitation. Is exploitation not barbaric?

Do you not agree that the choice is between barbarism and an economy “planned according to the needs of the members of society”? Well, I choose barbarism, and so do the rest of the working class because your promises of abundance are empty, they offer only bureaucracy and likely starvation.

Say humankind achieves abundance. What would be the point of adopting communist ideology? If we cannot achieve communism without abundance, and we cannot achieve abundance without communism, then you are stuck comrade.

Ah. But then the voice of reason chirps in again with its “capacity for abundance” line. Which sets us all straight, but that was some pages ago…

If we achieve the capacity for abundance, then the mere act of releasing those resources into a free market will ensure they are distributed according to need, without recourse to the planners and the ideologues to ensure it’s shared out according to communist ethics.

Why can’t we share stuff out depending on how popular people are? A human being's subjective needs are at best irrelevant to me, it’s how much I like them that’s important.

Love

LR

ernie
Apr 20 2006 19:44

Thanks for the prompt reply.

I am not sure if I fully follow your argument, but to try and reply.

The capacity for abudence is contained with the means of productioin of capitalism. The point is that this potential cannot be fully utilised until capitalist relations have been overcome.

If you want to choice barbarism that it is up to you, but the workers' movement has been seeking to free the potential of humanity for 200 years. The most advanced sectors of the working class have seen the need to get rid of capitalism and to replace it with a system based on human need not profit.

Your position appears to be an updating of Proudhon and a vision of the working class as not being able to go beyond capitalist relations.

Do you agree that there is a need to replace profit with human needs, which has to included the subjective, which you say is irrelivant?

jef costello
Apr 20 2006 22:10
Lazy Riser wrote:
If we achieve the capacity for abundance, then the mere act of releasing those resources into a free market will ensure they are distributed according to need, without recourse to the planners and the ideologues to ensure it’s shared out according to communist ethics.

This is a touch naive for you Lazy, those resources will never be released into a free market as you well know.

Lazy Riser
Apr 20 2006 23:18

Hi

Quote:
I am not sure if I fully follow your argument

I am not making one.

Quote:
The capacity for abudence is contained with the means of productioin of capitalism.

I doubt capitalism is technically capable of fulfilling my own material desires let alone the entire working class’s. For the sake of argument though, I’ll entertain this mystic axiom.

Quote:
The point is that this potential cannot be fully utilised until capitalist relations have been overcome.

I suppose this is more or less true regardless. However capitalist relations are expressed through deference to this or that bourgeois faction, not the ratio between what something is worth to one person over another.

Quote:
If you want to choice barbarism that it is up to you

Would you vote Socialist to keep a Barbarian out?

Quote:
but the workers' movement has been seeking to free the potential of humanity for 200 years

True, but the leftist notion of potential is very clearly biased towards a quasi-Christian collectivism. It’s based on a the middle class platonic ethic which is ideal only for those who think that gambling is morally questionable and ascribe special value to work. Certainly the sort to be seen overturning the tables of the moneychangers in the temple.

Quote:
The most advanced sectors of the working class have seen the need to get rid of capitalism and to replace it with a system based on human need not profit.

You’re not paying attention to the most developed factions of the advanced sectors who are motivated purely by mutual self interest, their needs, their profit. Their enormous profit at the expense of bourgeois society and all prior ideological constraint.

Quote:
Your position appears to be an updating of Proudhon and a vision of the working class as not being able to go beyond capitalist relations.

It is well able to go beyond both capitalist and communist relations in a single bound.

Quote:
Do you agree that there is a need to replace profit with human needs, which has to included the subjective, which you say is irrelivant?

No I don’t. Profit and human needs are not interchangeable parts. You can only replace Profit with loss and you can’t replace human need, you can only satisfy it. We all need to make a profit in the long run comrade, otherwise you’ll simply starve as each year you end up with slightly less than before.

Love

LR

Joseph Kay
Apr 21 2006 05:03
Quote:
You can only replace Profit with loss

if you're stuck with a monetary economy yeah. the point of a social economy is that 'unprofitable' activities which a market would not provide (those which require more inputs than they produse returns, strictly speaking) can be sustained via inputs from elsewhere in society, i.e. drugs provided to those who need them not those who can afford them.

Lazy Riser
Apr 21 2006 09:28

Hi

Quote:
drugs provided to those who need them not those who can afford them.

It’s hierarchal power that stands in the way of their affordability, not the method by which their production is planned. The drug business is an example of how capitalism provides a “free market” in name only.

Love

LR

Steven.
Apr 21 2006 10:29

[aside]

Has anyone else noticed this poll has surpassed the previously insurmountable barrier of 40 voters? By quite a long shot as well...

[/aside]

ernie
Apr 21 2006 11:03

I agree wth Joseph K that lazy riser is stuck in the money economy, but is meant by social economy? Is this the same as the idea of an anti-capitalist area within capitalism i.e., an alternative to capitalism within capitalism. The occupied factories in Argentina have been presented as such.

To return to LR's argument (if you are not developing an argument or defending a position, what are you doing: passing a few idle minutes at your keyboard!) for LR the proletariat is motivated by mutual self-interest, their needs, their profit. It is certainly true that the struggle to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a society free from class, nation, religion etc is motivated by the desire to free itself and humanity from exploitation. But then this is not what lr means. In fact it is hard to see what he means, apart from some form of cooperative movement that can challenge capitalism. History has shown that this is an illusion.

LR your 'non' arguement would appear not to see the proletariat as a revolutionary class that it is able to develop its class consciousness and to pose an alternative to capitalism, rather for you the alternative to capitalism is to undermine it from wihtin via mutualist self-interest and by producing more profit than the capitalists: is that a correct summary.

I ask this because it is very difficult to really grasp what you are saying and in order to develop the discussion we need to be clear about what is really being said, not what we think is being said.

LR's argument or idea of what the alternative to capitalism is, appears to be firmly locked into the ideological concepts of capitalism: profit, individualism, exhange, etc. LR does not think it is possible to get rid of exchange and profit (though it is not clear what he means by profit, some times it appears to be surplus value others a material surplus perhaps LR you could clarify this point), this vision is not only locked into the prison of capitalism but does not even approach the 'dream of humanity' that has found expression through various movements of the oppressed throughout the history of class society. This 'dreams' may have been clothed in a dream of a return to a golden age such as aspects of the slave war led by Spartacus, or in the religious vision of the diggers, Ananbabtists, but these movements rejected the indignity of the subjection of humanity to exchange, profit, the money economy and put forwards a vision of a society freed from exploitation. For LR this is probably simply some form of 'middle class' moralism and mysticism, but for the workers' movement the bravery, human dignity and audacity of these movements have been an inspiration. One of the fundamental aims of communism is to make this dream a reality;

Quote:
The EPM (the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts), as we have seen, would make it clear that communism must be based on the recovering the entire wealth of the human past; by the same token it argued that “the entire movement of history, as simply communism’s actual act of genesis – the birth act of its empirical existence – is, therefore, for its thinking consciousness the comprehended and known process of its becoming”. Communism is therefore the labour of history, and the communism of the proletariat is the clarification and synthesis of all previous struggles against misery and exploitation. This is why Marx, for one, named Spartacus as the historical figure he admired the most. Looking even further back, the communism of the future will rediscover on a higher level the unity of the tribal communities in which mankind lived for the greater part of its historical existence, prior to the advent of class divisions and the exploitation of man by man

http://en.internationalism.org/ir/123_communism.

LR you may think this is nonesence, but you would have to agree it contains a vision of humanity and communism that starkly contrasts with the narrow vision of a reformed capitalism 'non' argument that you put forwards.

LR the whole article is well worth the read, because it answers many of the distorted visions of communism that you appear to hold.

Joseph Kay
Apr 21 2006 11:23

LR, even the most free of markets can only ever equilibriate profitable supply with effective demand. And theres still the problem of 'externalities' since competitive market exchange neccessarily externalises as many costs as posssible onto third parties. Plus your 'high universal income' is a pretty fucking big distortion of free markets if i ever saw one wink

petey
Apr 21 2006 11:50
Lazy Riser wrote:
And yet, exchange, even exchange to mutual advantage, is exploitation.

only if you use meaning A instead of B in the dictionary. if i stop eating quarter-pounders with lard-boiled potato chips and a quart of coke, it will profit me. is it then a bad thing?

Lazy Riser
Apr 21 2006 12:31

Hi

Quote:
if you are not developing an argument or defending a position, what are you doing: passing a few idle minutes at your keyboard!

I am investigating the meaning and content of contemporary communism.

Quote:
History has shown that this is an illusion.

The only illusion here is capitalism itself. The imaginary institution that is merely the aggregated behaviour of proletarians versus bourgeois.

Quote:
LR your 'non' arguement would appear not to see the proletariat as a revolutionary class that it is able to develop its class consciousness and to pose an alternative to capitalism, rather for you the alternative to capitalism is to undermine it from wihtin via mutualist self-interest and by producing more profit than the capitalists: is that a correct summary.

Nope. More like the opposite, apart from “producing more profit than the capitalists” which autonomous society will obviously do before, during and after its transcendence.

Quote:
I ask this because it is very difficult to really grasp what you are saying and in order to develop the discussion we need to be clear about what is really being said, not what we think is being said.

Sorry about that. It’s because I’m more interested in teasing out the underlying communist ethic than I am in proffering my own position.

Quote:
LR's argument or idea of what the alternative to capitalism is, appears to be firmly locked into the ideological concepts of capitalism: profit, individualism, exhange, etc.

Capitalism has no “ideological concepts”. The everyday proletarian experience of capitalism is the antithesis of profit, individualism and exchange. More like loss, conformity and isolation.

Quote:
LR does not think it is possible to get rid of exchange and profit

I think it’s possible, I just don’t see it as desirable.

Quote:
it contains a vision of humanity and communism that starkly contrasts with the narrow vision of a reformed capitalism 'non' argument that you put forwards.

Ho ho. Well it’s a lot wider than the narrow vision of reformed quasi-Christian collectivism put forward by “communists”.

Quote:
LR the whole article is well worth the read, because it answers many of the distorted visions of communism that you appear to hold.

The working class owes communism nothing, whatever “distorted vision” I hold of it is its problem, not mine.

Quote:
LR, even the most free of markets…

Now we're talking, we can take this up on “Markets and Money” if you like.

Quote:
only if you use meaning A instead of B in the dictionary…

I know, I know. But isn’t that just the trouble with communist jargon. It loads up “commodity”, “exchange” and “exploitation” with all this extra moral baggage that reeks of traditional middle class disdain for those operating at capitalism’s coal-face. It would seem the homes of the Victorian bourgeois and the communist milieu share a love of the notion of a separate tradesman’s entrance.

Love

LR

petey
Apr 21 2006 12:55
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
LR does not think it is possible to get rid of exchange and profit

I think it’s possible, I just don’t see it as desirable.

amen

Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
only if you use meaning A instead of B in the dictionary…

I know, I know. But isn’t that just the trouble with communist jargon. It loads up “commodity”, “exchange” and “exploitation” with all this extra moral baggage that reeks of traditional middle class disdain for those operating at capitalism’s coal-face. It would seem the homes of the Victorian bourgeois and the communist milieu share a love of the notion of a separate tradesman’s entrance.

spot-on, but it wasn't possible to know you thought that from your post

OliverTwister
Apr 21 2006 17:49
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi

Are you a communist? Am I? How does one tell?

What is the meaning and content of communism, and will the working class ever support it with that name?

Love and peace etc

LR

Yes. Yes. Through subjectively-informed guesses?

To me communism is short-hand for the movement of workers against work. Or to load it up with jargon, Communism is the present movement for "dictatorship of the proletariat for the abolition of wage labour."

The working class will never "support it with that name" - because first of all the majority of workers don't speak English. But secondly its nothing for them to support, it is an entirely arbitrary word used to describe the trends in their actions. We could discuss the question of whether its a real phenomenon within their actions or whether communists are seeing ghosts, but that's an entirely different question.

Edit: Lazy Rizer is far more intelligent than I. I'm sure he'll rip what I said apart with love. So let me add that I think another definition for the entirely arbitrary word "communism" would be the struggle of those who own nothing but their ability to be exploited against that situation.

ernie
Apr 21 2006 22:16

Thanks for the reply LR, I think that I understand your postion better now, but I am still not clear and it would be very helpful if you could summarise what you see as the alternative to the present system is. What do you mean by mutualism. Also it is still not clear what you mean by profit: it would be helpful if we all could be clear about what is being said.

You say that

Quote:
I am investigating the meaning and content of contemporary communism.

, but is not understanding the history of communism part of the comprehension of comtemporary communism?

Quote:
Quote:

it contains a vision of humanity and communism that starkly contrasts with the narrow vision of a reformed capitalism 'non' argument that you put forwards.

Ho ho. Well it’s a lot wider than the narrow vision of reformed quasi-Christian collectivism put forward by “communists”.

Where does the article or the ICC claim that the

How?

Quote:
The working class owes communism nothing, whatever “distorted vision” I hold of it is its problem, not mine.

Where does the article or marxism claim that the proletariat owes communism anything?

Could you explain what you mean by

Quote:
Ho ho. Well it’s a lot wider than the narrow vision of reformed quasi-Christian collectivism put forward by “communists”

.

You say you are

Quote:
I’m more interested in teasing out the underlying communist ethic than I am in proffering my own position.

OK, what do you see as or what have you teased out about the communist ethic. May be this would help to establish a firmer basis to discuss on.

And perphaps tease out what the fundamentals of your alternative are.

as a point of interest have you read the article and what do you think? If you have not I think you will find much to stimulate your reflection on communism. This is not a shameless plug, but a serious concern to help you in your investigation. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 10:44

Lazy Rizer, you seem to be playing with words. Of course we think that everyone will "profit" from communism (at least the libertarian sort), that is that everyone will benefit. Exchange is not removed, but takes place in a different way - by the exchange of commitments to give your product away for free according to a mutually agreed gift economy, in return for which all others do the same. And of course you are right about profit and loss, i.e. if we produce less than we use up, we will gradually end up with less and less. OK, how's that relevant to anything? You are constantly arguing from loose uses of these terms to applying them in the sense of markets and money, relying on the fact that two words are being used in a different sense, rather than actually arguing that profit and exchange are neccessary and advantageous in their current form of markets and money.

You keep on referring to "quasi-religious collectivism", but saying this over and over again does not make this true. Indeed, libertarian communism is not collectivist in the normal sense of the term, whereby the individual is subordinated to the group, but the group is only seen as beneficial to the extent that it benefits the individuals that make it up. Surely it to cooperate so that we can take what we need is not puritan i the way you imply, rather it is less so than any money system, which imposes rationing by another name and outside of people's control.

And its rather obtuse to talk about beurocracy and central planning when you know that libertarian communists are universally against this and all forms of centralised, hierarchical decision making, and want to replace it with directly democratic forms.

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 11:52

You also say that most working class people love exchange. OK. Most working class people agree with capitalism. What's your point? We're aloud to disagree aren't we?

We're anarchists, so we don't think we have the right to force others to do what we say (although we and everyone else has a right to fight for freedom against hierarchy). In any case, if a society was truly libertarian - based on direct democracy and devoid of hierarchy - then if people believed in capitalism, hierarchy and private property they would just recreate it. But just because we don't want to boss people around, doesn't mean we have to agree with them, or that we can't try to convince them of the validity of our ideas. We're working class too, and our ideas are as valid as anyone else's, and to suggest that we have to agree with the rest of the working class on everything is obtuse to say the least.

Lazy Riser
Apr 22 2006 14:10

Hi

Quote:
I think that I understand your postion better now, but I am still not clear and it would be very helpful if you could summarise what you see as the alternative to the present system is

Maybe some other time. I don’t want to derail this thread by venturing one of my famous recipes for tomorrow’s cooks.

Quote:
What do you mean by mutualism?

I’m sort of mildly anti-mutualist in the conventional sense, because I’d prefer the bulk of individual income to be untied from either exchange or labour. There are other reasons, but I’m not in the business of critiquing this or that ideological position today. I’m quite fond of Tucker though. Anyway, I think this Wiki entry does mutualism pretty well…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_%28economic_theory%29

Quote:
Also it is still not clear what you mean by profit
Dictionary.com wrote:
An advantageous gain or return; benefit.

The return received on a business undertaking after all operating expenses have been met.

The return received on an investment after all charges have been paid. Often used in the plural.

The rate of increase in the net worth of a business enterprise in a given accounting period.

Income received from investments or property.

The amount received for a commodity or service in excess of the original cost.

There.

Quote:
what have you teased out about the communist ethic

1.

communists remain fragile on questions of private property and individualism in general, and rely on occasional, unconvincing, rescues by the semi-communists who would so graciously tolerate mutualist communes.

2.

In order to make common sense of it’s central principle of “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”, you either need to adopt the value system of the American Temperance Society or accept it as a piece of vacant moralism on Marx’s part.

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as a point of interest have you read the article and what do you think?

Only the most senior inner sanctum of the ICC have gazed upon more of their holy works than I. Overall, I think I could stand marginally more ICC’ness in the world before I’d consider actively persecuting them.

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Lazy Rizer, you seem to be playing with words.

Enforcing the separation between work and play is reactionary. It’s good to see the mutualist cavalry arriving to save the day.

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OK, how's that relevant to anything?

Central economic questions are always relevant to everything.

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You are constantly arguing from loose uses of these terms to applying them in the sense of markets and money, relying on the fact that two words are being used in a different sense

My terms are not “loose”, merely conventional. If communist advocates use terms in a different sense from the rest of society, then you have a very serious problem. I know communists aren’t oblivious to the conundrum, but they behave as if they are. As if it’s up to the rest of the world to understand or care about Marxism’s special elaboration of the concepts of money, markets, exchange and profit. I sure many communists, libertarian or otherwise, see such things as inherently “evil” even in their every day definitions. Commodity exchange is barbarism in the communist lexicon, regardless of whether the coffee bean comes with or without added capitalist social relations. I’m sure communists are more likely to emit sentiments such as “it’s not the winning, but the taking part, that’s important” and frown upon aggressive competition for individual material gain.

Quote:
You keep on referring to "quasi-religious collectivism", but saying this over and over again does not make this true.

Does not make what true? Even the ICC suggest that Christianity’s communist content is a consequence of Roman exploitation. Highly plausible.

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Indeed, libertarian communism is not collectivist in the normal sense of the term

Even I advocate “more collectivism” in the normal sense of term, but then you’re the one who said that “libertarian communists don’t wish to suppress markets”.

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And its rather obtuse to talk about beurocracy and central planning when you know that libertarian communists are universally against this and all forms of centralised, hierarchical decision making, and want to replace it with directly democratic forms.

Would it be pedantic to point out that I’d prefer some decision making (such as proper surgical procedures or aircraft piloting techniques) be made hierarchically in some sense of the word? To be fair, I’m sure there are plenty of authentic libertarian communists who wish production to be directed solely by mass assemblies of workers rather than measuring the popularity of goods produced on a speculative whim.

Love

LR