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Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

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Otter
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#1

Posted 21 June 2015 - 04:36 PM

Given that a lot of threads, lately, have given way to discussions regarding the dissolution of police, the collapse of the establishment, abolishing class distinctions, etc, etc, I was hoping we can focus discussion on such things in here.
 
I'm bit of a layman when it comes to Poli-sci, having just a few brief years of it back in university. So the conversation, while exciting and interesting, seems to defy a bit of common sense for me, or challenge what I expect. I'd love the conversation to grow in here.
 
Recently in another thread, we'd begun discussing the implications of dissolving the police - I'm interested to know how this would work, theoretically, and what sort of a society would result. Please,
let's start pontificating.

Please read 'Introduction to Anarchism' in the links below (Anarchist FAQ) before jumping into this conversation, or your posts may be hidden to prevent things from going off-rails.


Furthermore, this topic will be heavily moderated to contain or remove adversarial or antagonistic content. Please play nice.



Some reading from MTD:

An Anarchist FAQ
The Principles of Anarchism by Lucy Parsons
Fields, Factories, and Workshops by Pyotr Kropotkin
Anarchy by Errico Malatesta
Libertarian Communism by Issac Puente (PDF)
Let's Destroy Work, Let's Destroy the Economy by Alfredo Bonnano
What is Anarchist Communism? by Wayne Price
Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall (PDF)
The Coming Insurrection by the Invisible Committee



libcom.org
theanarchistlibrary.org
marxists.org
infoshop.org
crimethinc.com/
325.nostate.net/
waronsociety.noblogs.org

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#2

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:01 PM

Can I suggest a better thing to discuss:  Citizen salary.  Dissolving the police or something to that effect seems impractical at best.  A far more fruitful discussion would be to discuss how to make it better and less corrupt.

 

However, citizen salary!  The idea is very simple.  Every citizen gets a monthly salary for being a citizen.  They can still earn more money by working.  But every citizen gets a basic salary that should cover the most basic needs:  Housing and food.

 

Why?  Economics are moving more and more into automation.  And at the same time, our populations are increasing.  Predictions say that by 2050, somewhere between 10% and 30% of people will be unable to find a job through no fault of their own.  The exact numbers depends on the evolution of technology and whatnot.

 

It's not completely far-fetched to think that soon, there simply won't be enough jobs to fill.  Not everyone can be a startup or creative.  Some people will simply be out of a job.  Herein comes citizen salary, this would lighten the load on these people, as they would actually have somewhere to live and something to eat.  Moreover, people who are working sh*tty jobs just to give a roof over the head would be able to quit.  So the quality of life in general would rise.

 

People who are creative, visionary or simply cannot function without a job would still be able to take one.  Or create one.  Moreover, because people who don't really want to work won't have to, people who want jobs could get them.

 

Now you say; ah!  But then maybe too many people won't take jobs, and then companies won't be able to fill all their job openings.  Perhaps, I won't dismiss this problem, but it is not the biggest concern.  Companies are already progressing towards automation, and jobs will mostly be filled by high tech workers.  These are people who want jobs to begin with.  You don't get an education just to slack off afterwards.  Effectively, the people who will be able to fulfil the jobs will also (mostly) be interested in them.

 

Even today, we are employing more people than we need, to ensure most people have jobs.  This solution will not last if our economics change the way it does.

 

It may sound like communism, and the people who work will pay for the rest.  But think about it; it will mean less poor neighbourhoods, less crime and more general safety.  And maybe then we can abandon the police.  I should have promised I would come full circle.

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Fonz
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#3

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:03 PM Edited by Black_MiD, 21 June 2015 - 09:04 PM.

Good thread, Otter! This topic deserves a dedicated discussion.

 

Concerning the dissolution of the State and the police and its impact on criminality:

 

I'd say the collectivization of wealth, the means of production etc and the abolishing of classes would lead to everyone, ideally, getting their fair share. This would circumvent problems like social and economic inequality, and if we could educate everyone decently, then many of the main factors responsible for people falling into criminal activity would be gone. Why? Well, unlike what racist assholes would have us believe there really isn't some inherent factor that leads ethnic minorities like blacks in the US or gypsies in Portugal to commit crimes. They do it because they're in financial dire straits due to years of being segregated and marginalized into living squalidly, not being given a fair chance, being deprived of proper education, because racism is undeniably still a thing. In other words, what makes these people act criminally is not some "evil" gene within, it's their piss-poor socioeconomic status. Not trying to turn this into a race discussion, just pointing out a few groups that are generally thought of as "problematic".

 

It's fair to assume that, with the major causes for involvement in crime gone, criminality as a whole would go down. As for how society would manage without police, a possible alternative would be a group of volunteers, normal citizens, that would be in charge of security in each neighborhood for a set period of time and then rotate through various people to avoid anyone clinging to authority and becoming, well, authoritarian. Sort of a neighborhood watch type of scheme, I guess. I mean, if those citizens were able to work together to overthrow the State, dissolve the police force and all, why shouldn't they be able to simply patrol the streets?

 

Okay, now the forensics people are a great help for when a case of crime does occur, and since they're not exactly part of what many people see as an oppressive tool (the field police force itself), I see no reason why they should be disturbed in any way. These people are scientists and it would still be possible to investigate these cases with their help, i.e the notion that people would be clueless about investigation without a formal police force is bogus. Most people don't conduct unlawful activity anyway, even without coercion, so no, it's not "human nature" to just go around stabbing, shooting, raping, stealing etc.

 

Sorry for the long-winded post :p

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#4

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:10 PM

Your premise misses that the same racist assholes you mention will still be in your new society.  Moreover, if we are simply dissolving the state and police, surely big corporations and rich tycoons will be able to pay guards to protect them.  And then people certainly won't get their fair share.  Moreover, without a state to protect the people against large corporations, won't they simple try to extract as much out of the people and ground as possible?  You may argue that not all corporations are inherently greedy, but some certainly are.  We all know plenty of examples in our current society with corporations working on the edge of the law when it comes to exploitation.

 

In addition, what if I live in a neighbourhood without that crime watch?  Because no one in the neighbourhood had the time (I'm assuming people are still going to have jobs to keep some sh*t functioning) or dared to watch crime?  I'm certainly not keen on going toe to toe with a criminal.

 

And what about roads?  Who will pave them?  Ad-hoc organisations funded by people?  You know as well as I people are too lazy to get that done.  Soon we'll have Toyota only roads and what have you, when they start to build the roads.

 

A country without a state will be taken over by corporations, because they already have the money and the power.  I'd rather have a state than a corporation running our countries.

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#5

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:21 PM

Quick question for you MiD, let's say that your idea goes into full effect without any problems.  You say that criminality would decrease because everyone is on an equal footing.  What happens when an individual wants more than his neighbor?  Would black markets not be a factor?  For example in North Korea.  

 

(Apologies if I mis-quoted or mis-understood your post)  

 

Just wanted to understand that a bit better.  Glad you guys got a section, and I'll try to keep my constitutional thoughts in other pages.   :^:

 

Regards


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#6

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:30 PM Edited by Black_MiD, 21 June 2015 - 09:52 PM.

Your premise misses that the same racist assholes you mention will still be in your new society.

No, they won't. I mentioned education for a reason—if it does its job properly, and let's assume it does, for the sake of argument, bigotry will probably be a thing of the past rather soon. Even if it didn't work out that way, that mentality would be held only by a small group and would have little to no projection. Rich tycoons will be goners too, as a logical consequence of collectivization—boss would be a non-existent position.

 

 Moreover, without a state to protect the people against large corporations

You're missing the point when it comes to socialist principles. Oh, and the state protects large corporations. Furthermore, if the economy and the means of production were collectivized, there would be no such thing as large corporate empires because factories, or rather, firms (let's call them that) would be democratically run by workers. This, by the way, is something that already happens in the world today. Look up employee-managed companies.

 

 

In addition, what if I live in a neighbourhood without that crime watch?  Because no one in the neighbourhood had the time (I'm assuming people are still going to have jobs to keep some sh*t functioning) or dared to watch crime?  I'm certainly not keen on going toe to toe with a criminal.

This is pretty wrong. Look, doesn't your town have a volunteer fire department? Well, it's pretty much the same thing. And people work at different times, many people hold two jobs, one full-time and one part-time. This could be planned to accommodate people, it's a non-issue.

 

And what about roads?  Who will pave them?  Ad-hoc organisations funded by people?

Yes? How do you think people got their stuff done before there was a state? Human beings build things according to their needs; we adapt and our technology evolves. What makes you think people who worked their whole career so far in a specific activity (paving roads, for instance) would just abandon it, say "f*ck it lol" and do nothing for the rest of their lives? It's supposed to be a voluntary exchange of services, different sectors tie in and work together. You really didn't give my post much thought.

 

A country without a state will be taken over by corporations, because they already have the money and the power.  I'd rather have a state than a corporation running our countries.

Again, if their means of production were to be collectivized, bosses got rid of and so on, how exactly would a large corporation seize power? There wouldn't even be large corporations, because it would be pointless.

 

@Spaghetti Cat

That's a good question, actually. Well, if there were an equal distribution of wealth, with everyone getting a fair slice and services being exchanged voluntarily, there would be no point in setting up black markets. Why try to clandestinely trade goods you have a right to? Individuals wanting more than their neighbors is not, in my opinion, a part of human nature. It's simply a byproduct of a culture that has set up the image of a greedy corporate boss as a desirable model. Our culture advocates consumerism, social distinction, inequality, entitlement, which leads to people feeling it's only natural that they should strive to be above others on social and economic terms. Sure, some people's greed might persist, but it would exist on a much smaller scale. That's the fundamental issue here and it can be addressed.

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#7

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:50 PM

No, they won't. I mentioned education for a reason


Who will pay for the education if there is no state? Homeschooling isn't really a prime example of a success of avoiding bigotry.

—if it does its job properly, and let's assume it does, for the sake of argument, bigotry will probably be a thing of the past rather soon. Even if it didn't work out that way, that mentality would be held only by a small group and would have little to no projection.


Why not? Even if racism and bigotry is declining at present, there is still a lot of it left. And it certainly won't decline faster without a state. People interested in violence against other races won't have a law system preventing them.

You're missing the point when it comes to socialist principles.


Hold on a second, I thought we were talking about dissolving the state, not socialist principles. Socialism and communism both requires a state, a strong state in fact. Moreover, in a society with as deverse opinions as ours, surely not everyone will be keen on your anarchist utopia?

Oh, and the state protects large corporations. Furthermore, if the economy and the means of production were collectivized, there would be no such thing as corporations because factories, or rather, firms (let's call them that) would be democratically run by workers.

This, by the way, is something that already happens in the world today. Look up employee-managed companies.


So it's not a dissolving of the state at all, it's just smaller proto-states that someone needs to be running?

I work in a employee-managed company, but they don't work on large scales. And assuming that every company could be an employee-managed company is naïve at best.

This is pretty wrong. Look, doesn't your town have a fire department? Well, it's pretty much the same thing. And people work at different times, many people hold two jobs, one full-time and one part-time. This could be planned to accommodate people, it's a non-issue.


Who pays for the fire department? My taxes. I am not about to devulge myself into getting a fire department up and running, because I probably won't have the time.

It's hardly a non-issue. I like to be able to have some spare time, in your society, I will be working full time and part time, that seems worse than what I get now. And if I don't work part time, someone might rub my place. Since we clearly still have private possessions (which makes sense in a state-less society).

Yes? How do you think people got their stuff done before there was a state? Human beings build things according to their needs; we adapt and our technology evolves.


The concept of a state goes way back, long before a society was as complicated as ours. It's wasn't example the free spirit of the people that paved the Roman roads, but the Republic and later the Empire itself. Back when we were mere tribes, we still had a social structure, and things were hardly complex back then.

Which is why we developed the concept of a state. So that some people can do one job and other people can do other jobs. In a state-less society, it's every man for himself, and suddenly I need to participate far more in neighbourhood groups to keep basic stuff running. Like say eletricity and water.

What makes you think people who worked their whole career so far in a specific occupation (paving roads, for instance) would just abandon it, say "f*ck it lol" and do nothing for the rest of their lives.


If they don't get paid, sure. These jobs are paid for by the states at present, now they have to rely on the man on the street to pay for them. It will certainly make any current state bureaucracy seem efficient, when we need to start getting people together to agree on building a road.

It's supposed to be a voluntary exchange of services, different sectors tie in and work together. You really didn't give my post much thought.


You really don't understand humans. You dismiss crime because there is no incentive (because for some reason we are all magically equal), but there are other forms of crime that aren't violent. Hell, that's most crime in practical terms. Greed will not disappear in this new society. And the lack of regulations and laws will be easily exploited by anyone wishing to gain more.

Again, if their means of production were to be collectivized, bosses got rid of and so on, how exactly would a large corporation seize power.


Who will oversee the production? You cannot have a collective decision making, then nothing will get done. You need a boss in charge to make the final decision. This is why we have decision makers. Even if they make wrong decisions half of the time, they still make decisions. The chances of a collective agreeing on production will be very slim. Particularly when the size and scope of a production increases. Like ship building.

Unless, of course, you plan on linking us like the Borg.

There wouldn't even be large corporations, because it would be pointless.


No, it would be the opposite of pointless, it would be the only remaining effect you'd have to maintain your power, if you are already a large corporation. And like I said, you can hire guards, if not armies to protect yourself. All that military hardware won't suddenly disappear. And then the corporations will become proto-states.

Unless you imagine a transition period, where everything is disolved rather than simply abandoning the state.
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Otter
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#8

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:51 PM

I was being 10% cheeky when I added "community gardens" to the thread title, but my recent experience as a member of one has really opened my eyes to the inability to control, homogenize, or otherwise regulate human behavior. I'm sure most strata councils are the same - human pettiness is nothing to be dismissed lightly.

 

I've got lots of reading to do before I can add anything more substantial than that to the conversation though. ;)


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#9

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:54 PM

Thanks for the response.  Obviously I disagree, and you pretty much nailed it with regards to human nature.  Let me just say that wanting more (and not in a greed sense) is part of human nature.  It seems to me that Utopians (if I can use that term) genuinely have good will, but getting to that point is the rub.  In making everyone equal, sure you'll lift people out of poverty, but you also pulling certain sections of society down to a certain level.  And I'm not sure that people would voluntarily be down with that.  Unless we just have this massive change in the human condition.  Possible, but I just don't know.  

 

Anyways, just wanted to clarify that.  Try to leave you guys alone, but hope you all don't mind if ask a question or two now and again.  

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#10

Posted 21 June 2015 - 09:55 PM

Just gonna leave some useful links here, some introductory texts, websites, etc.. I don't expect anyone to go through all of these links, but hopefully some of y'all will take time to at least read the FAQ.

 

An Anarchist FAQ

The Principles of Anarchism by Lucy Parsons

Fields, Factories, and Workshops by Pyotr Kropotkin

Anarchy by Errico Malatesta

Libertarian Communism by Issac Puente (PDF)

Let's Destroy Work, Let's Destroy the Economy by Alfredo Bonnano

What is Anarchist Communism? by Wayne Price

Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall (PDF)

The Coming Insurrection by the Invisible Committee

 

 

 

libcom.org

theanarchistlibrary.org

marxists.org

infoshop.org

crimethinc.com/

325.nostate.net/

waronsociety.noblogs.org

 

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#11

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:18 PM

Capitalism makes me violently ill. Every time I hear the expression "invisible hand of the free market" my blood gets a little more red. Its continued survival through adaption is comparable to that of a particularly effective strain of bacteria. I would love to see it crushed in my life time, but based on how quickly people want to defend the structures they are trapped in, I am not hopeful.

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#12

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:21 PM

We need a 'love' button tbh


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#13

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:25 PM Edited by Black_MiD, 21 June 2015 - 10:52 PM.


Who will pay for the education if there is no state? Homeschooling isn't really a prime example of a success of avoiding bigotry.

Again, nobody will pay for it. It's a voluntary exchange of services. People with academic formation who have taught all their lives will continue teaching, that is their skill and it will be their contribution to society. What's so hard to understand about that? Why do you keep hammering on the money point?

 

Why not? Even if racism and bigotry is declining at present, there is still a lot of it left. And it certainly won't decline faster without a state. People interested in violence against other races won't have a law system preventing them.
 

Yeah, because the current law system is doing such a great job at it that sh*t like Stormfront, the KKK and others still exists! Education is supposed to instruct and change mentalities in the process. That's where the elimination of racism part comes in. Simple concept here.

 

Hold on a second, I thought we were talking about dissolving the state, not socialist principles. Socialism and communism both requires a state, a strong state in fact. Moreover, in a society with as deverse opinions as ours, surely not everyone will be keen on your anarchist utopia?

You've clearly never read Marx or Engels. The very definition of communism is a stateless, classless society. The state is a tool for one class to oppress another, so there's no state in communism (which, by the way, can only exist on a worldwide scale by definition). If you're not clear on what it is, why are you so quick to attack it?

 

I work in a employee-managed company, but they don't work on large scales. And assuming that every company could be an employee-managed company is naïve at best.

 

Why would you need to work on large scales? Large scale corporations are mostly designed for competitiveness. There's no need for firms to compete, they're supposed to cooperate. If this is not what you meant by "large scale", please clarify.

 

Who pays for the fire department? My taxes. I am not about to devulge myself into getting a fire department up and running, because I probably won't have the time.

It's hardly a non-issue. I like to be able to have some spare time, in your society, I will be working full time and part time, that seems worse than what I get now. And if I don't work part time, someone might rub my place..
 

See? You're capitalist-minded and that is what is keeping you from understanding me. Again, money isn't supposed to rule. It's a voluntary exchange of services. You most certainly won't be working full-time, because as I've said before, this stuff can be easily planned to accommodate people. It's not like only 5 individuals live in a town... or even a village. It really is a non-issue.

 

If they don't get paid, sure. These jobs are paid for by the states at present, now they have to rely on the man on the street to pay for them. It will certainly make any current state bureaucracy seem efficient, when we need to start getting people together to agree on building a road.

Or, you know, they can just abandon the obsession with money and realize that their job is a contribution to the whole and that they will be rewarded by other people in an exchange of services, goods etc. Seriously, all you're doing is asking how capitalist premises would work in a society that is supposed to be the opposite of capitalism. It doesn't make sense because you refuse to think outside the box of capitalism, where the "vile metal" rules.

 

You really don't understand humans. You dismiss crime because there is no incentive (because for some reason we are all magically equal), but there are other forms of crime that aren't violent. Hell, that's most crime in practical terms. Greed will not disappear in this new society. And the lack of regulations and laws will be easily exploited by anyone wishing to gain more.

We're not "magically equal", we're naturally equal. It is the capitalist, consumerist, greedy culture that perpetuates the idea that we're not. It does such a good job that people actually believe it's "human nature". It's disgusting. And again, what would be the point of being greedy when you've already got a right to all you need to live comfortably? It's completely pointless.

 

No, it would be the opposite of pointless, it would be the only remaining effect you'd have to maintain your power, if you are already a large corporation. And like I said, you can hire guards, if not armies to protect yourself. All that military hardware won't suddenly disappear. And then the corporations will become proto-states.

Unless you imagine a transition period, where everything is disolved rather than simply abandoning the state.

 

Yeah, there is a transition period. And corporate empires, once again, will be dissolved through the processes that I've repeatedly described.

 

Collective decision-making can most definitely exist. It already does, in fact... you know, democracy and all that jazz. Democracy literally means that the people hold the power. Why do you need a state to follow that model?

 

You keep bringing situations that are only applicable to capitalism and then wondering how they can't work in a communist/socialist society. Well, that's because they're opposites. You should read more on socialism, communism and anarchism, dude (I don't say this in a hostile tone at all, by the way).

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#14

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:30 PM

Svip, didn't you say you used to be a communist? It certainly doesn't appear that way.


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#15

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:31 PM

dissolving the police is a terrible idea.

MiD's experiment seems equally faulty.

 

I'm much more interested in Svip's citizen salary.

I've been advocating "homes for the homeless" for a long time. and in parts of the world where they've actually managed to attempt it, it's completely working. the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum only really exists because of the abject greed at the other end. it's not because the poors are lazy or because the rich are hard[er] working. it's because there are literally 2 different sets of laws and rules that govern the upper and lower classes of people.

 

give the homeless money.

give the homeless a home.

we have PLENTY of resources to accomplish this. it's not akin to the redistribution of wealth. what the rich seem to have forgotten is that they will be richer still if they allow a rising tide to lift all boats. they don't have to deliberately oppress the lower classes just to make bank.

 

a fundamental and radical shift in our financial sector is long overdue.

and it's not a problem unique to the US; we just happen to have the worst case of it.

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#16

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:41 PM

lucyparsons.png

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#17

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:48 PM

right, and no one is asking them to forfeit any wealth.

citizen salary would make the rich richer than they are now and begin to dissolve a lot of the social issues we see at the lowest rungs of the ladder.

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#18

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:50 PM

right, and no one is asking them to forfeit any wealth.

 

Uhh

give the homeless money.

give the homeless a home.

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#19

Posted 21 June 2015 - 10:52 PM

 what the rich seem to have forgotten is that they will be richer still if they allow a rising tide to lift all boats. they don't have to deliberately oppress the lower classes just to make bank.

 

Those with power have not forgotten anything. There is deliberation in a continued status quo that is exploitative and oppressive. Capitalism works on a premise of unbridled resource acquisition and labor commodification: those in power thanks to the system as it is have a stake in maintaining the order that allows them to live above those who sell their labor and maintain valuable resources. This is why colonialism was so successful: this is why the Industrial Revolutions were so successful: this is why in the modern age where resources are reaching a finite limit there is a struggle in class consciousness w/r/t exploitation and regard for power structures. As a result, "the rich" as you call them are not forgetting anything-- their actions reflect the nature of preservation that they have always taken. The difference now is that we do not live in a world of frontiers and colonies. This world is becoming post-industrial, and there are existential concerns in a number of departments thanks to innovation in technology and the consequences of modern society.

 

The conclusion drawn from our current situation is that there needs to be a radical shift in how things are managed. You agree with that in a few ways, but you cling to the idea that you can win over all sides-- that you can have both the workers and owners under your banner. I'm afraid that the world is more polarized, and people are more willing to die for their power than community in many cases.

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#20

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:15 PM Edited by El Diablo, 21 June 2015 - 11:18 PM.

ugh

give the homeless money.

give the homeless a home.

 

this isn't a zero-sum game.

national economies are more complex than you seem to want to acknowledge...

 

As a result, "the rich" as you call them are not forgetting anything-- their actions reflect the nature of preservation that they have always taken.

I don't entirely agree.

 

you believe the rich are a monolith?

that their money was always personally handled and accounted for? that many of them haven't gradually ceded power to their lawyers; that their corporations haven't gradually ceded power to their lobbyists? that there don't exist men like Warren Buffet who - cliched as it may be - seem to have the right idea about charity versus hoarding.

 

the rich in general are so far removed from the means of production that has afforded them the silver platters onto which they're born, save for the young rich who always come and go through technology/pop success. so many of them live off of dividends while providing no real input to the economy itself, meanwhile consuming mass luxuries from the market, manipulating consumer price levels, and evading as much tax liability as possible thanks to a hidden set of rules employed by their financial wizards. the people who work for their money are the only real jobs they provide anymore.

 

but you act as though there isn't a real fear and clash of consciences within the executive class. a lot of them do understand what the wealth gap has done to the nation and to their own security. a lot of people understand that the status quo is unsustainable. it isn't just a pipe-dream of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, flawed as their approach may have been.

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#21

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:16 PM Edited by Irviding, 21 June 2015 - 11:18 PM.

dissolving the police is a terrible idea.

MiD's experiment seems equally faulty.

 

I'm much more interested in Svip's citizen salary.

I've been advocating "homes for the homeless" for a long time. and in parts of the world where they've actually managed to attempt it, it's completely working. the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum only really exists because of the abject greed at the other end. it's not because the poors are lazy or because the rich are hard[er] working. it's because there are literally 2 different sets of laws and rules that govern the upper and lower classes of people.

 

give the homeless money.

give the homeless a home.

we have PLENTY of resources to accomplish this. it's not akin to the redistribution of wealth. what the rich seem to have forgotten is that they will be richer still if they allow a rising tide to lift all boats. they don't have to deliberately oppress the lower classes just to make bank.

 

a fundamental and radical shift in our financial sector is long overdue.

and it's not a problem unique to the US; we just happen to have the worst case of it.

I would like to see an argument in opposition to any of this stuff. And for those of you who think the people at the top rungs of society will balk at this idea, I'll bet you can find a sizable portion of top earners who would be in support of this type of program wherein homeless people are guaranteed money. What are they going to do with the money? Buy the products of the top earners... A citizen's salary type thing is really a great idea... for everybody, and truthfully if you get rid of welfare and reform medicare and medicaid to work differently, it can be done with minimal tax increases. The amount of societal ills you can fix by giving people at the low rungs a nice home and community to live in that isn't a drug ridden tower are enormous. 

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#22

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:28 PM

I thought this thread was about revolutionary politics, not petty-bourgeois reformism?

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#23

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:30 PM Edited by Irviding, 21 June 2015 - 11:31 PM.

I thought this thread was about revolutionary politics, not petty-bourgeois reformism?

Well, diablo can correct me if 'm wrong but I believe he's proposing a realistic strategy that could, you know, work... so that's why it was brought up. Can you tell me why his ideas are bad in your opinion? I can understand you're an anarchist but if somebody said to you, hey make total destroy, we're going to put into place diablo's reforms, you would be agains that?

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#24

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:42 PM

I thought this thread was about revolutionary politics, not petty-bourgeois reformism?

 

I'd say that something like BUI which effectively ends poverty and gives everybody the means to support their needs, is everything but petty and pretty damn revolutionary. And unlike ideas like for example abolishing money, actually feasible.

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#25

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:43 PM Edited by make total destroy, 21 June 2015 - 11:47 PM.

 

Can you tell me why his ideas are bad in your opinion? I can understand you're an anarchist but if somebody said to you, hey make total destroy, we're going to put into place diablo's reforms, you would be agains that?

Because I don't want a kinder, gentler capitalism with bigger cages, and longer chains. Because I don't want to spend the rest of my life making useless commodities, or performing monotonous tasks to line the pockets of capitalists. Because his analysis--if you could even call it that--ignores that capitalism is premised on exploitation, violence, and alienation. Because he ignores that class antagonisms will always generate tension. Because you can't build a home on a rotten foundation, you have to tear it all down and start over.

 

That, and it has nothing to do with revolutionary politics. This isn't the 'describe your idealistic, weak-ass reformism thread'.

 

 


 

I'd say that something like BUI which effectively ends poverty and gives everybody the means to support their needs, is everything but petty and pretty damn revolutionary.

 

It's not revolutionary, it's reformist. No amount of reforms will change the fundamental nature of capitalism.

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#26

Posted 21 June 2015 - 11:49 PM

The amount of societal ills you can fix by giving people at the low rungs a nice home and community to live in that isn't a drug ridden tower are enormous. 

 

Thankfully we're coming to a point where this is agreed upon by all sides. Those most in favor of Reaganomics and pulling oneself up by their bootstraps, and all other manner of that political swing, are becoming less and less relevant. At least to the degree that they can no longer speak about how everyone should just earn their homes and healthcare without raising eyebrows.

 

 

you believe the rich are a monolith?

 

Nope. The rich are as multi-faceted as any other demographic, and it was also the term you used-- hence why I responded with it. I think that there are common trends through any demographic, however: the poor will on average be shown to struggle with health issues and making financial plans that work in the long-term; the wealthy will on average be shown to have better access and capability w/r/t health standards, and an ability to secure long-term financial prospects. It is not a matter of finding them monolithic: it is a matter of defining specific class attributes to better understand what separates any given wealthy person from any given poor person.

 

 

the rich in general are so far removed from the means of production that has afforded them the silver platters onto which they're born, save for the young rich who always come and go through technology/pop success. so many of them live off of dividends while providing no real input to the economy itself, meanwhile consuming mass luxuries from the market, manipulating consumer price levels, and evading as much tax liability as possible thanks to a hidden set of rules employed by their financial wizards.

 

Yeah, this is why you see justified contempt for their continued luxury. The problem is addressing said issue in a manner that is conducive and substantial for society. This is also why the rich are more generally keen to support and preserve the status quo through things like politicians that espouse certain conservative rhetoric, increased power in the hands of domestic police forces, stronger and solidified holds on business and provincial income, and overall preservation of wealth through those various financial wizards-- as well as the plethora of others they utilize to keep them as high as they are (a height which, as you say, is generally given to them through the luck of inheritance and chance).

 

 

a lot of them do understand what the wealth gap has done to the nation and to their own security. a lot of people understand that the status quo is unsustainable.

 

That is well and good. I will hold my trust until every single one of them understands, though. Until the power structures that allow for things like our current predicament are gone, there is no point in trying to exonerate those who happen to hold positions high up in the system. There is a conscious decision by all involved to maintain and extend the power structure. I understand that you do not think that everyone and anyone who holds power is at fault, but that is not my argument in the first place: my argument is that the current positions of power and wealth are exploitative and threatening to the livelihoods of enough people that they should be abruptly changed.

 

To address an earlier point: you mentioned that giving the homeless and poverty-stricken money to secure their livelihoods was not a redistribution of wealth. The thing is, that is the definition of redistribution of wealth. Your proposition to give a means of livelihood to those in need is backed by precisely the same justification that mine is: both of our arguments hinge on an understanding that every person should be afforded certain needs, and that income as it stands now is being utilized in a manner that is actively harmful. The difference is that I am not as quick to defend positions of power.

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#27

Posted 22 June 2015 - 12:36 AM

It's not revolutionary, it's reformist. No amount of reforms will change the fundamental nature of capitalism.

 

Realistically there won't be a lot of choice. Unparalleled change in the economical landscape is in the offing. Low-skilled, low-paying, menial labour will in the not too distant future be completely automated and become entirely redundant, more skilled labour will soon follow. We're talking decades, not centuries here. People need an income in order to be a consumer, and no one benefits from throwing 60-70% of the consumer base into poverty. Something along the lines of a Basic Universal Income will be inevitable.

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#28

Posted 22 June 2015 - 12:42 AM Edited by SagaciousKJB, 22 June 2015 - 12:43 AM.

Do you think when they opened those high-rise project buildings under low-incoming housing programs with like-minded social benefits in mind, that they just said "Oh, and come smoke and sell all the crack you want too."  The idea of creating a low-income housing project of any sort and then just keeping it "drug free" is kind of like saying "Hey isn't it great if we could eat all the food we wanted and not get fat."  The irony is that this sort of associated crime became so predictable, that it's now been demonstrable in various systems of gentrification.  Land developers know the best way to buy and flip a piece of land, is to lobby for a housing project to drive property  and real-estate values down.  Then--using the justification of these projects being centers of crime--they use that as an excuse to open up "new and better" housing centers acting like the same thing won't happen again, and land owners and developers play along because it just means a lot of cheap land to flip for them.  You repeat this process and you can basically divide and conquer the real-estate market by lobbying for low-income housing projects to open up.

 

I think the problem is people just still want to hold on to the idea that things like drug prohibition will ever work.  Here's a better argument...  In addition to offering housing, offer drug treatment programs.  In Vancouver, BC they opened a clinic where the local heroin addicts  come in and use free clean needles and mirrors with sterilized water to shoot up with.  Overdoses dropped like 1000% and the spread of social diseases particularly associated with IV use like Hep C and HIV virtually stopped.  Beyond that, most users sought treatment and what was found that the success rate of users who voluntarily entered treatment versus those who participated through court-ordered programs was basically 100%--every single person that sought that treatment out for themselves got clean and stayed clean for longer than if they were ordered to by a court.

What you need is a total shift in public opinion.  if you single-handled acknowledge that feeding a person stealing food is better than throwing them in jail, then how on the other hand can we still entertain an idea of throwing someone in jail for succumbing to their addiction  To be honest I think drug prohibition laws in general probably drive at least 50% (and that's conservative) of what our justice system processes and it's really not helping anyone.  If you dissolved prohibition, that would go along way toward "dissolving the police" or at least a good amount of what the police state has evolved to be.  People forget we still had police forces before prohibition laws were ever really enforced, and if you look at history it wasn't until we tried to implement alcohol prohibition that our numbers of law enforcement officers skyrocketed.

 

I think any society will naturally tend to form some kind of police force.  The fact is people do not want vigilantism so they will want people who supposedly have some type of code of conduct to follow and who they presume will have the integrity to follow it, and as these niche groups started small and unofficial it would quickly grow into a more standardized and regulatory thing such as what we have today.  The problem is what it will grow into when you throw in laws that are designed to be civil suppressants, and the police then become not the agents of justice in which they started out naturally but the mechanism of an authoritative state.  If you think about it, police officers before and after prohibition participated in much different roles so I think to say we could dissolve the police is kind of ignoring a fundamental facet of our society to need some kind of organization like that.  The real thing I think to be looked at is dissolving the "police state".

 

I watched a documentary about Pablo Escobar today and it kind of made me think a lot about this subject because the police and government in Colombia basically became ineffective at doing anything to stop this guy because of all the money he had.  This persisted until two things happened 1. The people themselves got fed up and formed their own vigilante groups and 2. The U.S. ( who had as much money as Pablo ) backed them with the technology and resources they needed.  It's a two-sided thing because on the one hand, the people themselves came forward to fill the void that the government was unable or unwilling to fill, but you have to concede that they probably would not have been helpful if not for the support of the U.S. and their immense resources.  So one has to kind of ask, if we're going to suggest "equalizing" wealth, to where there are no rich men...  What happens when a rich man gains his wealth through ill means, and we as the people have no power to stop him?  I think Svip brings up a very good point, because if we do not even have or own centralized police forces, what's to stop a multi-billionaire from hiring mercenaries to be their own personal police force?  Pablo Escobar is a more historical example, but this is also happen in Mexico in the current day.  The difference is that in so many cases they didn't need to fire one bullet to dissolve the police force, but rather bought them off--or rather assimilated them into their own ranks.

 

The weird thing is how it's all so inter-connected.  If we didn't have the "War on Drugs", and Wall Street and this insatiable lust for materialism and to "make more money" would there have been such a drive for cocaine to have ever flung men like Pablo Escobar into such heights of wealth?  To be honest I think we could practically make a whole thread just on how the global cocaine market has fueled change across the globe.  In some ways people I think don't realize that capitalism is driven by stepping on the backs of the poor because we do not truly see it in the U.S.  Someone said to me and I think it's true, "In the U.S. even your poor are rich," meaning they get fed, they get welfare, so on and so forth.  If you go down to Peru where they work day and night to harvest the coca some wall-street exec puts up his nose it's a much more contrasting example of the wealth disparity that exists in this world and I think that's why it's so hard to see.  Frankly, most people in this country just don't give a crap what's going on past our own borders, and don't realize our "lower class" is really the middle class if you back up and look at it.

 

Then when you think of all this I've said...  And it's all based on this illicit substance cocaine.  Pepsi and Coca Cola make billiiiiiions doing the same sh*t with soda pop.  I mean, cotton is still enslaving people in sweatshops instead of cotton fields because we haven't automated how to stitch up a Nike--or even if we had it's cheaper to get someone to make 500 of them for a cup of rice than to pay for the electricity of a machine to do it, and then they sell state-side for a 10,000% profit because it has some basketball stars name on it, so they can use these immense profits to grease the right wheels and ally themselves with the right lobbyists and politicians to make obscene amounts of money on exploitation.  Basically you name a commodity, you can point with one finger to the slave that produced it, and to another finger to the idiot who paid a substantial amount of his wage to buy it.  However we refuse to accept that it is really this way...  People want to act like "Well there's trickle-down economics, because if I buy this, then it pays the employees wage and he goes to the butcher to buy some steak and he makes money too," except that the product is produced in China, the employee that filled your order is in India and all the money the company makes is going to off shore banks to hide it from taxes.

 

I think the most obvious way to differentiate between what should be a law, and what should be enforced by law officers for the good of a society...  Versus just superfluous laws that might be there to be "feel good" measures, or maybe more nefarious reasons...  is to really examine what effects the law has.

 

Laws against murder: Pretty self-explanatory right, we need to deter/discourage it, and punish it when it happens
Laws against theft: Well people shouldn't have to deal with their stuff being stolen, that sucks, obvious it's good to have a society where people feel their "property" is safe and this imparts a sense of security and fairness
Laws against speeding: Well, maybe it keeps people from speeding but could be better addressed through other means and tends to be abused as a way to generate revenue and/or other reasons to make an arrest for unrelated crimes, sometimes resulting in erroneous arrests and instances of abuse
Laws against drugs: Needlessly criminalizes people, adversely effects society by creating black markets while not actually stemming the flow of drugs, and creates a larger public health problem than it aims to cure through these side effects

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#29

Posted 22 June 2015 - 03:19 AM

Because his analysis--if you could even call it that--ignores that capitalism is premised on exploitation, violence, and alienation. Because he ignores that class antagonisms will always generate tension. Because you can't build a home on a rotten foundation, you have to tear it all down and start over.

I haven't really ignored the inherent problems with capitalism, I just didn't explicitly decide to list them off. we've been over them at length in other threads. what I decided to do was talk about potential ways to begin addressing real and positive change within the current system. if you wanted this thread to be about radical revolution and societal upheaval, then I guess you should have started your own thread and dictated the terms.

 

you also simply ignore the fact that radical change can start with smaller steps working alongside the current infrastructure. it doesn't always have to be a complete implosion and rebuild. the foundation is surely rotten in certain pockets but you can't rush to collapse it without a serious plan for what to do next. so far I don't know what your plan is aside from angrily disagreeing with others.

 

It is not a matter of finding them monolithic: it is a matter of defining specific class attributes to better understand what separates any given wealthy person from any given poor person.

fair enough.

although you did begin to imply that 'the rich' operate under their own sort of invisible hand. but I see what you're saying.

 

can we agree that the primary degree of separation between rich and poor is usually just opportunity and accident of birth? because where and who you're born to accounts for the vast majority of one's own prospects long before societal influences begin to intervene.

it sounds like that's exactly where you were going in your next paragraph. moving on.

 

That is well and good. I will hold my trust until every single one of them understands, though. Until the power structures that allow for things like our current predicament are gone, there is no point in trying to exonerate those who happen to hold positions high up in the system. 

...so you won't give credence to a few wealthy families or corporations for doing the right thing, until they're all unanimously doing the right thing??

 

I mean dude we gotta' start somewhere, right?

I enjoy the passion that Make Total Destroy brings to the table and the avatar is super cute and all, but you guys aren't presenting ideas, just disagreements. I mean, I hear you and everything, f/ck the system man, let it burn bro, but reality still lies outside of our computer rooms for the time being.

 

where do you actually wish to begin?

this is going to become a theme...


There is a conscious decision by all involved to maintain and extend the power structure. I understand that you do not think that everyone and anyone who holds power is at fault, but that is not my argument in the first place: my argument is that the current positions of power and wealth are exploitative and threatening to the livelihoods of enough people that they should be abruptly changed.

look, you keep using words like "all" and I just have a small problem with "all" because it doesn't leave any room for... well anything. because it's all inclusive. obviously.

 

even those within the 'current positions of power and wealth' are not the relative monolith you paint them as. and I'm not defending them or their corruption so much as our common humanity; at least when we can still find it. because there are those in power who are actively trying to erode the current structure, they're just hopelessly outnumbered. and it certainly doesn't help that our mainstream news media will not give the issue of economic inequalities the fair treatment it deserves.

 

we can agree all day long that most of our power structure is exploitative. we'll never stop agreeing that most of them are threatening the livelihoods of the general public. I'll go even further and to remind that their corruption not only threatens livelihoods but countless other species and the planet Earth itself. you want abrupt change, I want abrupt change. but short of running the streets red, I'd like to hear some alternative ideas...

 

To address an earlier point: you mentioned that giving the homeless and poverty-stricken money to secure their livelihoods was not a redistribution of wealth. The thing is, that is the definition of redistribution of wealth. Your proposition to give a means of livelihood to those in need is backed by precisely the same justification that mine is: both of our arguments hinge on an understanding that every person should be afforded certain needs, and that income as it stands now is being utilized in a manner that is actively harmful. The difference is that I am not as quick to defend positions of power.

if we're in principle agreement why does it not feel like it?

 

perhaps the supposition is flawed somewhere.

I don't like the phrase 'redistribution of wealth' as it stands because you and MTD seem to be employing it through a zero-sum principle. I don't agree to those terms. national economies are not zero-sum games.

 

the current system is a house of cards already.

profits are created from manipulation and outright falsehoods every day. I don't know where I've defended the current power structure, perhaps you could quote it for me. what I feel like I've done is more along the lines of attempting to strike a balance between watering the Liberty tree with blood and a somewhat less destructive transition.

 

deep down I'd love for a good ole fashioned revolution but I also realize that in reality it would be an extremely ugly situation. and there's no guarantee anything would result in our favor on the other side if not simply turn out worse for everyone.

_____

 

back to our theme of the night, eh?

I've tried to put down a piece of track. if you don't like the direction it's facing then by all means lemme hear your suggestions.

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#30

Posted 22 June 2015 - 03:38 AM Edited by make total destroy, 22 June 2015 - 03:42 AM.

 

if you wanted this thread to be about radical revolution and societal upheaval, then I guess you should have started your own thread and dictated the terms.

 

m8, read the title.


 

you also simply ignore the fact that radical change can start with smaller steps working alongside the current infrastructure. it doesn't always have to be a complete implosion and rebuild. the foundation is surely rotten in certain pockets but you can't rush to collapse it without a serious plan for what to do next. so far I don't know what your plan is aside from angrily disagreeing with others.

Maybe you should consult some of the links I posted?





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