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View Diary: The "Marxism is coming back" trope (264 comments)

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  •  Capitalism is the most efficient system (8+ / 0-)

    for getting the most goods to the families at the top of the economic pyramid.

    "Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust" -- Karl Marx

    by Cassiodorus on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:21:04 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So if Medicare served more people (55 up) (0+ / 0-)

      but were privately administered to reduce cost you would oppose it?

      "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

      by shrike on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:27:16 PM PDT

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      •  Huh? (11+ / 0-)
        "...privately administered to reduce cost..."
        Privitization never reduces cost, at least not without reducing quality.

        "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

        by offgrid on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:47:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And yet... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JJ In Illinois

          ...major companies outsource ("privatize") various functions all the time. It must be because they like throwing away money.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:35:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Collectives (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lucid, RabbleON

            can do the same: they can coordinate with other collectives, allowing each to produce what they produce best.

            The difference is the lack of worker exploitation. It doesn't have to one big monolith owned by a central communist state. The Soviet model didn't work. Federations of collectives, with workers in each collective self-managing their own workplaces, can have diversity and a plethora of choices.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:08:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like I said (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JJ In Illinois, nextstep

              Go nuts, nothing stops you from making a collective today.
              In this nation, people are free to voluntarily form economic relationships in any form they want.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:21:43 PM PDT

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              •  With what resources? (0+ / 0-)

                Most of us live hand to mouth, thanks to you capitalists and your wage slavery.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:03:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So there we go.. forced collectivization (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk, nextstep

                  "Collectives" have only ever been successful in a coercive society.. and only briefly successful at that.

                  Collectives run against human nature, which is why you don't see collectives, even in very small scale, much less at the national level.

                  With what resources?
                  Workers have the resources of their labor.  As Sparhawk says, nothing stops laborers from collectivizing.  Without labor - i.e. a person's work hours traded for capital - capitalism doesn't work.  Yet, most critiques of capitalism ignore this point.  Those critiques concentrate solely on the top end of capitalism.. those "exploiting" laborers.
                  •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lucid, offgrid

                    You've made a series of unsubstantiated statements supported only by capitalist conventional wisdom.

                    The old human nature canard, which isn't what capitalists claim it is, or wish it to be. We're social animals.

                    And apparently, when you speak of coercion, you're referring to your notions of authoritarian socialism, with centralized authority, rather than a society founded on participatory communities based on free association, and direct democracy, where each person has an equal voice.

                    People have collectivized without coercion, unlike capitalism which by necessity is based entirely upon coercion and violence to protect the private assets of the owning class, a minority.

                    Capitalism is highly coercive, which is why so much effort has been spent on crushing unions and worker uprisings from the onset. The one thing capitalists fear more than anything else is a coming together of the working class (an overwhelming majority) into a unified power, which is why so much effort is placed on pitting the working class against itself, using patriarchy, racism, and nationalism to keep the workers fighting amongst themselves. You tell them over and over that it is their natures to behave as competitive, rugged individualists, rather than the social animals that they are.

                    Reciprocity and cooperation is stamped out as much as possible by the ruling class, and after centuries of serving masters, lords, monarchs, and capitalist bosses, who have long ago seized resources as their own property, its no wonder people have forgotten they don't need to be rendered into slaves.

                    You speak of socialist coercion? Really? Only a person completely out of touch thinks workers have real choices, and that they aren't completely dominated by their employers for the duration of their lives.

                    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                    by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:23:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Start small and grow (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  just like most every other human organization that became substantial in size.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

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                  •  You're rather optimistic... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    offgrid

                    considering that the reality is that most new business start-ups in capitalism fail. The statistics were, in the past, something like 1 out of 17 attempts to create a new business succeeds, the rest failing. And those failures mean losses of capital (one's life savings) by those who make the attempt. And in today's economy this can't be any better. You do know, certainly, that it is almost impossible for most working people to get business financing? Most refinance their own homes, putting their families at risk of losing everything.

                    You just have no real clue. Have you ever tried to start up a business with insufficient funding?

                    Forming collectives is not any different. It takes a great deal of money to start a successful business, all of which is at risk of being lost. This is one reason few will donate their savings, or refinance their homes to liquidate the equity, to start a co-op. People tend to hold fast to what they have secured in a competitive, dog-eat-dog market place. Many small enterprises have been run out of business by big corporate players like Wall-Mart.

                    My father had small businesses. So have I. It is very difficult to break out of the pack and succeed. For every success there are countless failures.

                    Despite this, there are some good examples of co-ops which have done well. But capitalism favors the wealthy, and often it is the very wealthy who succeed in killing off the competition, since they, with more money and assets to draw on, have the enormous staying power required to endure the first years of a start up enterprise while trying to secure a positive cash flow.

                    Go visit any main street of a small town and notice the series of empty commercial spaces. The old bicycle shop, the lawnmower repair guy, the stationary store, the appliance store... probably all gone, or just barely getting by. Then seek out the nearest Wall Mart and notice how well they're doing, with the stream of customers. They kill small business. Easier to go work for Wall-Mart than try to make it on your own.

                    You really just don't have a clue.

                    I agree that more co-ops should be founded. But make no mistake. It is very difficult to start a business.

                    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                    by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:47:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I didn't say it would be easy (0+ / 0-)

                      And I have started successful businesses and have been in businesses that failed.

                      I suspect that the success rate of coops is lower than conventional businesses, as the people with the strong entrepreneurial, organizational, sales and marketing skills are far more likely to go to businesses founded on capitalist principals as they will be better compensated there.

                      If cooperatives were a better way to organize economic activity, it would be far more commonly used.  

                      You say in your comment that you had started a business, why didn't you choose to form it as a cooperative?

                      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                      by nextstep on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:38:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It is "easier" (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        offgrid

                        to create a business which exploits workers... that's why capitalists do it. Of course they compensate themselves more than they do their wage slaves. That's the entire point of creating a business in capitalism. When "successful," it results in wealth for the owner(s) at the expense of the workers. It is only due to the class difference (owning vs working) that there is disparity in wealth. And yet without the labor of the workers the business can't succeed. Or do you think only the owning class has the knowledge to successfully manage a business? Many good, well trained managers are working class.

                        I have a friend who worked at a liquor store recently. The owner was rather handicapped in intellectual ability, and had inherited her business from her father. She relied on her workers to do everything for her, and her business succeeded despite her ineptitude, since employees quietly ignored her orders and corrected her mistakes when she was absent.

                        Newsflash: Many workers can run a business far better than their bosses. Day in and day out, it is the workers who make the world function.

                        Its easier to thieve the wealth produced by the working class than to distribute the wealth with more egalitarianism.

                        Duh. Reread my comment. It seems you missed my point.

                        As Kropotkin wrote in the book, The Conquest of Bread:

                        Every machine has had the same history--a long record of sleepless nights and of poverty, of disillusions and of joys, of partial improvements discovered by several generations of nameless workers, who have added to the original invention these little nothings, without which the most fertile idea would remain fruitless. More than that: every new invention is a synthesis, the resultant of innumerable inventions which have preceded it in the vast field of mechanics and industry.

                        Science and industry, knowledge and application, discovery and practical realization leading to new discoveries, cunning of brain and of hand, toil of mind and muscle--all work together. Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present.

                        By what right then can any one whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say--This is mine, not yours?

                        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                        by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 03:07:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  It's a commonplace among economists that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep

              co-ops and collectives have a "horizon problem." People join a co-op for whatever reason, but have different time horizons from other people in the co-op. So co-ops are prone to dissolution as members eventually go their separate ways.
                 Corporations solve the horizon problem by making ownership sellable. A shareholder who is no longer interested in the corporation can simply sell her share to someone else.
                 Co-ops that have longevity are those that have a large number of incoming members to replace those who leave - co-op bookstores near a university campus, eg.

              •  I was referring (0+ / 0-)

                to a society completely based on collectives, rather than forming collectives in a capitalist society. There would be no private ownership of the means of production.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:55:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody said privatization was bad -- (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt, RabbleON, offgrid

            for the privatizers.  It doesn't raise costs for those who are making a profit from it.  Duh.

            "Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust" -- Karl Marx

            by Cassiodorus on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:16:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Companies outsource... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JJ In Illinois, nextstep

              ...because it saves money.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:19:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually (2+ / 0-)

                One practice of large corporations is to get a small company to produce a needed item (a part for a machine, for example), and then coercing the small business into a contract which requires them to sell the item for tiny percentage above cost, over a period of years.

                These small companies, meanwhile, must pay for all of their operating costs, even if they are struggling. They become essentially owned by the larger business, without the larger business risking its own capital.

                That is why they outsource.

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 11:00:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  So if we were to save the world (6+ / 0-)

        from runaway global warming mass death, saving billions of human lives, but we got rid of the capitalist system and redistributed the investment wealth of the richest 1% to the people as a whole, would you oppose it?

        "Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust" -- Karl Marx

        by Cassiodorus on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:50:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I never ever shy away from a good question. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassiodorus, WB Reeves, claude

          And yours is a good one.

          I think AGW is our gravest concern so I would accept your proposal.  I don't think we could achieve consensus on it but in theory - yes.  I agree to it.   I would not oppose.

          "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

          by shrike on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:48:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Privately administering Medicare would (10+ / 0-)

        not reduce cost. Adding a profit-seeking entity in the middle would never reduce cost in a million years without drastically reducing the quality of service to the end-user.

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:00:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ever heard of Medicare Advantage? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus, kurt, IreGyre

        We already have a private option for Medicare and it's been a disaster.  The costs of Medicare Advantage are far higher than traditional Medicare plans.  Anything you privatize is going to just end up costing more with the parasites we have running private corporations.  Health insurance companies are the worst of the scum.

    •  Awesome, I see the troops have finally arrived. (0+ / 0-)

      Sound the trumpets, cavalry!

      Half a league, half a league,
       Half a league onward,
      All in the valley of Death
       Rode the six hundred.
      "Forward, the Light Brigade!
      "Charge for the guns!" he said:
      Into the valley of Death
       Rode the six hundred.
      Or is it more like this:

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:50:14 AM PDT

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    •  It's also the most efficient system (0+ / 0-)

      for destroying the planet's potable water and arable land in short order.

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:51:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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