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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sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 14:35

Communists are not using words in a different way than the rest of society, its just that most words have various commonly excepted meanings. An exchange of greetings or saliva for example, is different from an economy based on market exchange, not least in effect. To argue from that sort of exchange to market exchange is intellectual subterfuge.

Exchange is not unthinkingly condemned as barabrism, and of course it makes a difference whether it takes place in a mutualist, artisan or other non-capitalist exchange economy. It makes a difference if the majority of income is independent of exchange as you suggest, but its hard to see how you would achieve that in a market economy. And to "tolerate" (as if we have a right not to) these self managed economies does not make one any less of a communist in terms of what type of economy you prefer.

But there are problems with markets that apply universally, such as externalities, the possibility of monopoly through accumulation, their tendency to magnify inequality. Its not mindless demonisation - there are reasons, which may or may not be flawed, but exist none the less. A subject for a different topic perhaps.

I don't see how libertarian communism is fragile on individualism, any more than any other system based on free association, self managne,ent and direct democracy. Its liberal bullshit to suggest that markets encourage individualism in themselves. I think libertarian communism is very individualist in that its aim is to put individuals in direct control of the decisions and conditions that effect them, and to free them from hierarchy. To act collectively and make agreements non-hierarchically does not nullify individualism - or if it does, your only option to live as a hermit in order to avoid cooperation with other human beings. For people to collectively empower themsleves to satisfy their individual needs, to use the gift economy to enable a high degree of individual initiative in starting workplaces - more so than loan investment methods - seems to be highly compatable with individuality, self activity, spontenaity and freedom. On the contrary, one of the main objections to markets is the propensity to attatch the individual to a treadmill, force needless work through competition, and make work into work rather than play.

I don't identify communism with marxism. maybe this a source of your confusion. Neither do I identify it with the ICC, or at least I think they are pretty mad. Marxism and communism are not synonomous, and many libertarian communists are not marxist.

On the needs and abilites thing, I can't see how a society that doesn't supply people's material and social needs, as well as their need for freedom and self-determination, can be called individualist. An economy based on work and exchange just means that those who can't work, are less skilled or less lucky in the market roulette game end up losing out. If individualism is sacred, it must be eqaully sacred to all individuals. Where income relies on market performance, it will inecitably end up with all the individualism for the successful, and constant work for the rest.

Quote:
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?

Yes, I agree. But even then, the overall policy can be made by the general assembly of workers in the hospital - i.e. the decision that certain surgeons have control over procedures during theatre etc. But then its never the surgeons which have the power as such in hospitals anyway - the power to hire, fire, and make policy decisions. In these cases it would be virtually dictated by consumers, as no one would go to a hospital where nurses directed durgical procedures. So yeah, your right, but it doesn't invalidate the general opposition to hierarchy.

OliverTwister
Apr 22 2006 14:39

Lazy Riser you didn't answer my post. I'm just looking for some love...

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 16:11

And I don't see what is ambiguous about the view on private property either. Usufruct or possession is a simple concept. Those who use something, own it (i.e. control it), but may not exclude others from using it if they cease to use it. Therefore hierarchy is removed, because there is never a divide between those who use and those who own/control the means of production.

This applies to housing, land and the means of production. So your house would remain yours whilst you lived in it in a way indistinguishable from how you own it now (but without the mortgage), and workplaces would be self managed.

The exception to this is consumer goods, which would not be expropriated if you ceased to use them, (unless you were simply hording them in order to get a monopoly, which would become obvious when the bad effects of the monopoly were felt) because they are a part of our lives and emotional identities, and it would be a form of tyranny if people came into our houses and stole the teddy bear that we had since we were four, claiming that we weren't using it.

There we go. Simple. Communism doesn't really differ from other forms of anarchism in terms of property. The difference is in the forms of distribution and coordination. If there are mabiguities, they will have to be solved by those involved on a basis of equality.

Lazy Riser
Apr 22 2006 16:23

Hi

Quote:
To argue from that sort of exchange to market exchange is intellectual subterfuge.

On the contrary, I’d propose they have more in common than you say.

Quote:
Exchange is not unthinkingly condemned as barbarism

True. It is condemned as barbarism after a great deal of philosophical investigation.

Quote:
But there are problems with markets that apply universally, such as externalities, the possibility of monopoly through accumulation, their tendency to magnify inequality. Its not mindless demonisation - there are reasons, which may or may not be flawed, but exist none the less. A subject for a different topic perhaps.

Indeed. Here you are…

http://libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6713&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45

Quote:
I don't identify communism with marxism. maybe this a source of your confusion.

You’re taking the Michael. I’m not some political novice you know. I see you’re having to advocate some contemporary and somewhat unconventional hybrid political positions that overturn conventional notions of what constitutes even the most libertarian of “libertarian communisms” in order to out manoeuvre my “confusion”.

Quote:
Neither do I identify it with the ICC, or at least I think they are pretty mad. Marxism and communism are not synonomous, and many libertarian communists are not marxist.

The ICC are definitely communists, they’ve got so much right to use the nomenclature that I’m tempted to grant them exclusive use of the term.

Love

LR

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 16:27

The ICC can use whatever name they like, but that does not change the fact that their views and ideas may be very different from those of other self proclaimed communists, and you cannot discredit differing ideas simply because they use the same name, any more than I can apply all of the problems of capitalist markets to markets in self managed economies without private property.

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 16:30

Explain how my ideas are particularly "contemporary" or unconventional? I didn't make them up, you know. I got most of them from reading other people's ideas and deciding I liked them, so they must be shared by some other self proclaimed anarchist communists. I'm certainly not "having" to resort to some strange hybrids in order to "win the argument", I'm just presenting things as I see them.

Lazy Riser
Apr 22 2006 16:33

Hi

Quote:
Explain how my ideas are particularly "contemporary" or unconventional?

Do I have to? Honestly, I've flattered you enough. You cheeky minx.

Love

LR

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 17:09
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
To argue from that sort of exchange to market exchange is intellectual subterfuge.

On the contrary, I’d propose they have more in common than you say.

These types of exchanges do have something in common, in that when we exchange greetings, I greet you, and you greet me in return etc. In this way, a gift economy is based on a form of exchange - the exchange of an agreement to supply other people's needs in a certain way, in return for which they perform a similar act. However, the effect of this is not the same as quid pro quo exchanges with money on a market, where relative monopoly results in inequalities of bargaining power, and in turn magnifies these inequalities, and renders those unable to produce any physical thing to exchange helpless. In a gift economy, the person who takes your bread gives you nothing at that point - he has already guaranteed you that when you need to you can consume the tables he makes. The exchange has in effect already taken place. The actual amount that you consume is not directly dependent on your productivity or the scarcity of the goods you produce, which will depend on environment, abilities and the actions of others. Furthermore, part of the agreement is that people will continue to supply you with goods if you become unable to work.

So there is a form of exchange in the loose sense, as with every mutual agreement, but it's a more sensible one in that it provides greater cooperation, security and guaranteed material welfare, and is not attatched to individual ability. Rather than magnifiying natural differences of ability with social ones, it socially compensates for them. Rather than leaving one dependent on a bank balance to supply ones needs, it makes the supply of people's differing needs a right, guaranteed only by working when work is socially neccessary, so that no one will find out that they can't have a medical operation because they have not been saving enough, or be left without a means of making a living if their workers coop burns down etc. It provides a level of security and wellbeing that (although inevitably dependent on overall level of production) is independent of personal productivity.

Good work is ensured through social mechanisms and communication, rather than the possibility of starvation or the loss of one's treasured possessions. So rather than your cooperative failing and you being out of work, other workplaces and communities would ask your workplace to work better or provide an explanation, and if you did neither then they might temporarily boycott you, come to a communal decision to stop supplying you with anything but what you needed to survive etc. But if you stopped working because you cooperative burned down, you could consume the same as ever until a work opportunity came up.

So yes, all mutual, reciprocal activity is an exchange of sorts. Families exchange love (or hatred), mutual security, with the parents taking care of the children, partly because they get something out of it but also with the understanding that their children will reciprocate later, by keeping them in their old age. But they are not all identical to market exchange, which is a specific sort with specific social consequences. Mutual agreement and solidarity is a much more sensible exchange than competitive market exchage, which pressures consumers to rip off producers, producers to rip off consumers, and producers to avoid cooperation rather than working together to do a better job, so they can beat the competition.

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 17:29

I suppose you could say its similar to the exchange of ideas. If I have an idea, I just tell you, and if you have one you tell me back, but if you have none then that's OK. I don't say "alright, I'll say twenty words if you say twenty words". Or at a potluck thing, we all exchange an agreement to bring an item of food, but once its all their we don't quarrel about who ate the most, or berrate people because we don't like the pie they made. We just eat what we want to eat. At such things, the competitive pressure is to impress by bringing more rather than less than others. I want to outdo you in this argument (hence the rambling), or to bring the nicest food. In a market, however, it is in my interests to give the least to others, whilst others give the most to me i.e. I want to get the most money for the shittiest merchandise, because my ability to consume is directly linked to how muchmore I gain than I give. Not so with these other "mutual aid" forms of exchange.

Lazy Riser
Apr 22 2006 17:36

Hi

Oh stop going on about it, Sam "peoples' bank" Francis. Bring back the orthodox internationalist Marxists, I want them to explain how to socially plan novelty toothbrush production or allow me to retire early after a short career as a poker player and disco dancer.

Love

LR

sam sanchez
Apr 22 2006 17:40

Oh, go on, I like a good rant. I'm starting to feel quite light headed and utopian grin .

Anyway, aren't autonomists Marxists?

Alf
Apr 22 2006 20:41

Lazy, how could I ignore such a heartfelt plea for the internationalists to pop up again?

Please read (slowly and carefully) this passage from Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, and then let meknow what you think about it. It tries to imagine mankind in the more advanced stages of communism, when the human species no longer needs to treat nature as a mere utility, when we have become truly social beings no longer confined by the need for having, for possessing. Isn't this ultimately the reason why Marx, from the very beginning, tried to look beyond money, value and and private property?

"Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it – when it exists for us as capital, or when it is directly possessed, eaten, drunk, worn, inhabited, etc., – in short, when it is used by us. Although private property itself again conceives all these direct realisations of possession only as means of life, and the life which they serve as means is the life of private property – labour and conversion into capital.

In the place of all physical and mental senses there has therefore come the sheer estrangement of all these senses, the sense of having. The human being had to be reduced to this absolute poverty in order that he might yield his inner wealth to the outer world. [On the category of “having”, see Hess, in the Philosophy of the Deed].

The abolition of private property is therefore the complete emancipation of all human senses and qualities, but it is this emancipation precisely because these senses and attributes have become, subjectively and objectively, human. The eye has become a human eye, just as its object has become a social, human object – an object made by man for man. The senses have therefore become directly in their practice theoreticians. They relate themselves to the thing for the sake of the thing, but the thing itself is an objective human relation to itself and to man, [in practice I can relate myself to a thing humanly only if the thing relates itself humanly to the human being] and vice versa. Need or enjoyment have consequently lost its egotistical nature, and nature has lost its mere utility by use becoming human use.

In the same way, the senses and enjoyment of other men have become my own appropriation. Besides these direct organs, therefore, social organs develop in the form of society; thus, for instance, activity in direct association with others, etc., has become an organ for expressing my own life, and a mode of appropriating human life".

ginger
Apr 23 2006 14:22

(I haven't read this thread through, just LR's initial few posts and some others on the first page)

I voted no as I don't identify myself by that term. I tend to use words by the definition that most of those around me would use them. So I consider the word "communist" as inextricably bound up wit ideas of authoritarianism.

I also consider freedom the basis of my politics, which then requires for a fair sharing of resources and leads on to "From each according to their needs to each according to their ability" rather than some others who seem to come at it from a different way and then say that we need to be against centralisation/hierarchy because thats a more efficient way of making sure everyone gets material equality.

So I know that some others within the anti authoritarian left describe themselves as communists (including my boyfriend), and I don't mind, and still consider them my comrades but I describe myself as an Anarchist.

Joseph Kay
Apr 23 2006 16:51
ginger wrote:
I also consider freedom the basis of my politics, which then requires for a fair sharing of resources and leads on to "From each according to their needs to each according to their ability"

one of the arguments in the thread has been that it is impossible to accurately (or fairly) attribute production to the abilities of individuals where there is a complex division of labour (which is neccessary for large scale production). Also, it could be argued that freedom is impaired rather than enhanced when people have to constantly struggle to meet their needs - if peoples' needs are guranteed to be met people are truly free to explore their interests, whether 'productive' or not ... potentially leading to a blurring of the line between work and play. red n black star

Skraeling
Apr 24 2006 05:39
Lazy Riser wrote:

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.

Sorry to go back to an argument a few pages back, i find it hard to keep up with the debate.

I don't find Lazy Riser's argument that communism = quasi christian collectivism and middle class puritanism convincing. Certainly there is a wee bit of a hint of christian moralism in the communist rejection of money (lots of christains consider money to be evil in itself). Some communist groups like the SPGB (if they can be called communist) and the ICC come across as a wee bit dogmatic (i wont say Jesuitical, that's heading for trubbler) which is kind of Christian i guess.

But otherwise i don't see the connection. I like Alf's quote from Marx. Running throughout Marx's communism and anarchist communism is a sort of ideal of "un homme total", the total person, freed from the alienation and exploitation of the commodity, who is finally free to develop their potential in any which way they choose (so long as it doesn't exploit others). The total person is a well-rounded person who no longer has to do the same thing everyday (as under the division of labour under capitalism).

I dont see this un homme total 'ethic' in Christianity, a Christian would never allow real human potential to develop. Its probably closer the "renaissance man" thingie of renaissance aristocrats if anything.

Communism to me is all about fulfilling and satisfying the varied needs of all human beings, to produce general well-being. So its not just about satisying material needs but also social, cultural and artistic needs. As i said before, this would create not a puritanical society but a vibrant, truly diverse and creative society.

As for there being an overarching Christian communist ethic based on puritanism, i don't think so. Take for example For a world without moral order http://troploin0.free.fr/biblio/moral_uk/

ernie
Apr 24 2006 17:47

Thanks for the developed reply LR, it does help to explain your position. The reference to wikipedia should certainly help develop my understanding of your position. Whilst I may be loath to raise the question, can it be taken that you do not agree with the marxist definition of surplus value? Here is not the place for a discussion on the Labour Theory of Value, but simply for clarity it would be useful to know.

It is good to see that you would like to see more ICCness in the world, so would we.

There is one point about your post you would appear to be mixing up quotes, some are from my post whilst some are not. This is rather confusing. It would be useful if the name of who made the quotes was used.

Lazy Riser
Apr 24 2006 17:57

Hi

I have no serious reply to this post, or indeed OliverTwister’s. I will address it on “+insults”. Which is not as bad as it sounds.

Hugs etc

LR

Lazy Riser
Apr 24 2006 18:09

Hi

Quote:
wee bit of a hint of christian moralism in the communist rejection of money

Understatement. To an objective third party they are indistinguishable.

Quote:
But otherwise i don't see the connection

They frown on promiscuity and gambling as well, plus they think they are “good”, or at least trying their best. Then there’s the sacrifice, the martyrdom, the austerity. The role of salvation, moralist humanism. One can barely enumerate the vastness of the connections.

Quote:
Running throughout Marx's communism and anarchist communism is a sort of ideal of "un homme total", the total person, freed from the alienation and exploitation of the commodity, who is finally free to develop their potential in any which way they choose (so long as it doesn't exploit others).

God, someone pass me a bucket. I want some cocaine and a blow job.

Quote:
I dont see this un homme total 'ethic' in Christianity, a Christian would never allow real human potential to develop

You must retract this before I bring on my Christian, who I hire to refute such statements.

Quote:
As for there being an overarching Christian communist ethic based on puritanism, i don't think so

The only objection Puritan’s have to communism is its godlessness. Interestingly though, you are presumably asserting that a Christian cannot be an authentic communist?

Anyone disagree?

Love

LR

Skraeling
Apr 25 2006 02:42
Lazy Riser wrote:
They frown on promiscuity and gambling as well, plus they think they are “good”, or at least trying their best. Then there’s the sacrifice, the martyrdom, the austerity. The role of salvation, moralist humanism. One can barely enumerate the vastness of the connections.

Aren't you talking about most activists, many Leninist cults and Catholic Worker here? I guess some communists frown on promiscuity and gambling, but not others (including me). I associate sacrifice, martyrdom and austerity more with militant activism and Stalinism rather than communism.

I thinks you are making some rather large generalisations. For example, a lot of modern day communists reject the (protestant) work ethic, and distinguish themselves from the rest of the left's "work ideology" by doing so. Have you ever heard of Ernst Bloch's term "warm communism"?

quote from a book i am just reading:

Quote:
in opposition to the "conformist communism" that considered the words romantic, subjectivity and dreamer to be expletives, the warm communist would refuse to separate bread and violin, and would look for utopia within the everyday.
Quote:
I dont see this un homme total 'ethic' in Christianity, a Christian would never allow real human potential to develop
Lazy Riser wrote:
You must retract this before I bring on my Christian, who I hire to refute such statements.

well, go ahead and hire and exploit the labour of yr Christian for all its worth then. i thinks Christianity generally leads to narrow minded, repressed, warped human beings (with many exceptions of course).

Lazy Riser wrote:
The only objection Puritan’s have to communism is its godlessness. Interestingly though, you are presumably asserting that a Christian cannot be an authentic communist?

Bugger it, i would love to say the two are incompatible, but grudgingly I suppose you can have christian communism, but yuk, no thanks, not for me. I've met some Catholic workers and my gosh, they were intensely scary. I reject christianity i guess more for anarchist reasons. I don't think believing in a supreme authority is compatible with anarchism. I like Bakunin's diatribes on the subject.

i would really, really recommend reading "for a world without moral order" that i posted the link to above. its a bit difficult to get into, but once you're going its very rewarding, very non-PC and naughty. Some see it as quite perverse. methinks anyone who reads that can't possibly believe in puritanical caricatures of communism.

PissedOnceMore
Apr 28 2006 07:10

Many years ago (in my Maoist phase) I had a work-mate ask me the same question. So I said yes, and also took the opportunity to give him the Maoist definition of communism. He nodded his head and made lots of approving noises. I was begining to think that we had a new recruit to the Party, when after about 15 minutes, he interrupted my speil with a question, "er, communism then is when we become the bosses?"

I voted yes in the above poll.

petey
Apr 28 2006 17:43
Skraeling wrote:
I dont see this un homme total 'ethic' in Christianity, a Christian would never allow real human potential to develop.

i think so too, but of course the christian thinks that his philosophy is the only one that leads to true total human potential devleopment, so one has to say more than "they're wrong" in an attempt to say "i'm right". one has to enumerate the reasons why.

Mike Harman
Apr 29 2006 12:46
Skraeling wrote:
newyawka wrote:
Skraeling wrote:
I dont see this un homme total 'ethic' in Christianity, a Christian would never allow real human potential to develop.

i think so too, but of course the christian thinks that his philosophy is the only one that leads to true total human potential devleopment, so one has to say more than "they're wrong" in an attempt to say "i'm right". one has to enumerate the reasons why.

yeah, that's a good point. to be honest, having been brought up in a state of godlessness, i don't know that much about christianity, except i loathe the authoritarianism, puritanism, masochism, sacrifice, righteousness, moralism etc of christianity. i think under communism people would be free to develop in which ever way they choose, so long as they dont oppress others. Wouldn't this be scary to your average christian? don'tcha have to follow a pretty narrow and rigid sinless path as a x-tian or else you go to hell?

Black Flag
Apr 29 2006 13:28

Hi

Tim ere,am new to libcom.It could be argued that i am both a collectivist and a communist(that is of course a libertarian or anarchist communist).However, as we all know Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto,so the way i see it communism is the same as state socialism and cannot really be anything to do with anarchism/libertarianism.I prefer the term anarchist or libertarian.

Black Flag
Apr 29 2006 13:39

i must express that i cannot be a 100% certain,however that i am not a communist as i used to be in the SWP and am ,really ,new to anarchism.But i don't like the word communist as it reminds me of kronstadt and mayday parades of military might and the stasi.

Lazy Riser
Apr 29 2006 20:03

Hi

Skraeling wrote:
i think under communism people would be free to develop in which ever way they choose, so long as they dont oppress others

1.

In what way is that different from social democracy? Where’s your proof that communism is the man for the job.

2.

How would you know someone was being oppressed? Does communism come with a built in oppresometer or is oppression impossible without “exchange”?

Love

LR

admin - quote changed to reflect original post before restoration

Skraeling
Apr 30 2006 04:58
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi
Skraeling wrote:
i think under communism people would be free to develop in which ever way they choose, so long as they dont oppress others

1.

In what way is that different from social democracy? Where’s your proof that communism is the man for the job.

2.

How would you know someone was being oppressed? Does communism come with a built in oppresometer or is oppression impossible without “exchange”?

1. i doubt if i ever could convince you communism is the person for the job. i think it differs a helluva lot from social democracy. Unlike communism, social democracy for a start does not have as far as i know its major goal as the fulfillment and satisfaction of the endless variety of needs of all human beings.

Soc dem's major goal is to seek a trade off between the capitalist and working class. Workers get some benefits in return for working harder and not rocking the boat. Social democracy is a middle class managerialist bureaucratic tradition where ideally middle class people take over things and manage them better than capital itself. So under social democracy, people's needs are determined from the top-down by a bunch of bureaucrats. Social democracy is sort of Kafkaesque nightmare where if you have a need, lets says a health condition, off you go and wander down large corridors in big buildings to find that office or dept you're looking for but you never find it, or if you do you have to wait and wait and wait and finally then you're treated with contempt by some arrogant doctor who is a stooge of huge pharmaceutical corporations, the doctor then gives you nasty but incredibly addictive drugs that make you sicker and you're kicked out the door.

The welfare state is supposed to provide for people's basic material needs but it often falls short, because only people themselves can determine and provide for their own needs, not a bunch of mean spirited nasty old middle class authoritarian technocrats stuck away in some high office.

2. it's not up to me to find some sort of magical formula to say when someone is being oppressed, its up to people themselves. people themselves would determine when they are being oppressed and act against it. Oppression is possible without exchange. In fact it happens all the time. Gender domination, racism, gerontocracy, etc can all occur even if exchange is abolished. Getting rid of exchange is not some universal panacea for abolishing all forms of oppression methinks, but i do think its essential to end class exploitation.

Skraeling
Apr 30 2006 05:35

having thought about it a bit more, i think social democracy tends to focus on fulfilling peoples basic material needs. It is very much a "socialism of the stomach", if it is a form of socialism that is. While communism is more holistic, where people come together to fulfill other's cultural, aesthestic, social, sexual and other needs as well as the basic material ones of food, shelter and clothing.

If they do consider other needs apart from material ones, soc dems still show their managerialist ideas with top-down bureaucratic schemes. So for example, under soc dem, art is not to be produced by anyone and everyone, but an artistic elite funded by the state; under soc dem, art is commodified, while under communism it isnt; under soc dem, art is a separate activity from the rest of life, and play is kept separate from work, while under communism art and life, and work and play is integrated; and under soc dem art is kept safely kept within the confines of museums and art galleries.

Lazy Riser
Apr 30 2006 10:28

Hi

Skraeling wrote:
under communism art and life, and work and play is integrated; and under soc dem art is kept safely kept within the confines of museums and art galleries.

Horrible. I’d prefer most art to be safely kept in museums and galleries, thanks. Art’s rubbish, especially “communist art”. And as for integrating work and play, well it’s an option, but many of us have some extremely heavy duty play habits that are completely at odds with socially useful activity.

I know that’s probably not what you meant, unfortunately the ensuing communist “clarification” is the most reactionary of all possible steps…

Love

LR

Cardinal Tourettes
May 4 2006 20:58
Lazy Riser wrote:
many of us have some extremely heavy duty play habits that are completely at odds with socially useful activity.

I wish I had some heavy duty play habits.

Well, to be honest, I'd only stay at home and read a book instead.

(I'm all for pleasure, but fun is dangerous. Especially in its heavy duty varieties.)

Still its good to see you can tear yourself away from your world of sport to spend so much time posting here wink

Lazy Riser
May 7 2006 12:52

Hi

As promised, I’m picking up on something Skraeling brought up on “mutualism”…

Lazy Riser wrote:
Do I get to keep my own toothbrush or does the fact that I’ve got shinier teeth than everybody else mean that the communist secret police will have to come round and confiscate it?
Skraeling wrote:
But seriously, here we go again, off into one-liner slag off land yet again. Just cos i prefer communism doesn't mean i support totalitarian measures to impose it on people. Thanks for asking anyway.

I’m not sure that having a secret police to confiscate horded property is necessarily totalitarian. I mean, perhaps they’re part of the communist militia accountable to the multitude. It’s common sense to presume someone’s private property will have to confiscated at some point, so I’m suspicious that you’ve dodged the philosophical enquiry by claiming that you’ve been “slagged off” and diverting the discussion into an examination of democracy. In fairness, ”secret police” was bitchy on my part, so I handed the opportunity to you on a plate. Sorry.

Skraeling wrote:
The problem is that because natural resources (including human aptitude) are not spread evenly, some will be more efficient than others, and accumulate profit faster than others, even if everybody starts off just with owning a wee bit of property and their very own stall. Some stalls will get bigger than others, and buy the others out, and then buy their land, and then force them to work for them, and then you're back to square one all again.

Now I’m going to tread very carefully here, because this simple paragraph lies at the philosophical root of Marxist communism and it’s analysis of “capitalism” as a degenerate social relation. I’m not in the business of discrediting communism, a truly useless activity if every there was one, but the idea that autonomous society would allow misery and destitution without communism’s guiding ideology to inhibit selfish competition, truly underestimates the natural equalitarian and progressive tendencies of the working class.

Love

LR