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  1. #41
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    You do realize that capitalism is closer to anarchy than socialism, and MUCH closer to anarchy than communism, right?

    The definition of anarchy is the absence of government. Capitalism favors minimal government intervention (at least in economic affairs), socialism involves partial government intervention, and during communism government controls all means of production and distribution.
    Wrong.

    Communism is more anarchic than capitalism, because it definitively has no precise point of rule. There is no government controlling means of production. An association of people mutually control all things.

    Capitalism on the other hand, requires there to be protection of individual property rights (which has got to come from somewhere), as well as that it allows people to gain infulence by amassing more wealth than others.

    Of the three, socialism is the least anarchic, however it is also the least defined in terms of a model. Some argue for anarcho-socialism, but I honestly don't think the concept makes much sense. Socialism essentially requires and overseeing body to regulate and provide common goods.
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Wrong.

    Communism is more anarchic than capitalism, because it definitively has no precise point of rule. There is no government controlling means of production. An association of people mutually control all things.

    Capitalism on the other hand, requires there to be protection of individual property rights (which has got to come from somewhere), as well as that it allows people to gain infulence by amassing more wealth than others.

    Of the three, socialism is the least anarchic, however it is also the least defined in terms of a model. Some argue for anarcho-socialism, but I honestly don't think the concept makes much sense. Socialism essentially requires and overseeing body to regulate and provide common goods.


    Marxism, in theory, would have no government controlling the means of production. That doesn't (and cannot) happen in practice. The socialist dictatorship never goes away.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Blackmail has largely got this one right, and essentially said most of what I would say if I hadn't read anyone's posts.

    I will say to Blackmail that Marx can't be completely removed from Communism. He did co-write the Communist Manifesto and honestly did hope for a bloody revolution. Marx's exact perscriptions for society were the area in which he was most mistaken (though that's usually the case for social philosophers).

    But indeed, Marx's main field of impact was sociology. Marx invented concepts (like alienation as Blackmail noted) that most of us understand and refer to today. The entire perspective of conflict theory was basically Marx's invention. When people regard Marx as an extreme, narrow, and obsolete thinker, they are demonstrating naivete.

    The cause of the problem here is that the USA wanted to destroy any notion that we had anything to do with anyone iconic in the Soviet Union. It just ignored the fact that we are heavily influenced by Marx, and that the USSR had about as much to do with Marx's ideas as we did.

    Marx did not "invent" the concept of alienation. He certainly did not invent being alienated, either. Also, dialectical materialism is a pretty narrow explanation for all of history, is it not?
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  4. #44
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Marx did not "invent" the concept of alienation. He certainly did not invent being alienated, either.
    He invented the term and basically the sociological theory, even if he did not invent the phenomenon in its general sense (which I did not say). That still does account for a lot. You might not be aware of how relatively recent sociology is, but things that might seem obvious to you were actually not commonly discussed up until recently (and obvious this doesn't merely apply to Marx, and there even more recent examples).

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Also, dialectical materialism is a pretty narrow explanation for all of history, is it not?
    Does that question do anything to cast doubt on the impact of Marx's work on society? I get really tired of responses like these.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Marxism, in theory, would have no government controlling the means of production. That doesn't (and cannot) happen in practice. The socialist dictatorship never goes away.
    Well, if you count extremely simplistic manufacturing as legitimate production, then it already has happened in some tribes. But I know that with a certain population or capacity for production, Communism as Marx would have wanted cannot happen. However, people should just strike Communism out of their vocabulary instead of making erroneous claims about the failure of Communist states that never existed.

    And still, captialism, even in concept, can't be anarchic. Something I've tried to explain to so-called anarcho-capitalists many times, to no avail.
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    He invented the term and basically the sociological theory, even if he did not invent the phenomenon in its general sense (which I did not say). That still does account for a lot. You might not be aware of how relatively recent sociology is, but things that might seem obvious to you were actually not commonly discussed up until recently (and obvious this doesn't merely apply to Marx, and there even more recent examples).
    Didn't Feuerbach discuss alienation in terms of Man's worship of God before Marx ever used it?


    Does that question do anything to cast doubt on the impact of Marx's work on society? I get really tired of responses like these.
    You just answered a question with a question. I would argue that dialectical materialism is a very narrow explanation for the totality of history. Hence, it would not be "naive" to consider Marx a "narrow" thinker in that regard. Do you have a rebuttal to that?


    Well, if you count extremely simplistic manufacturing as legitimate production, then it already has happened in some tribes. But I know that with a certain population or capacity for production, Communism as Marx would have wanted cannot happen. However, people should just strike Communism out of their vocabulary instead of making erroneous claims about the failure of Communist states that never existed.
    Why do you say that? Hasn't every communist revolution failed to reach a stateless workers' society? Are you saying here that Marx's final stage of communism could work, but it can never be reached?


    And still, captialism, even in concept, can't be anarchic. Something I've tried to explain to so-called anarcho-capitalists many times, to no avail.
    I am not for anarcho-capitalism, but I would like to hear your reasoning for this statement. Many would disagree.
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  6. #46
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Does that question do anything to cast doubt on the impact of Marx's work on society?.
    What does societal impact have to do with characterizing Marx as an extreme, obsolete, and narrow thinker? Indeed, Marx has had a huge impact on both history and the modern world...too bad that impact has been predominately negative.

  7. #47
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Didn't Feuerbach discuss alienation in terms of Man's worship of God before Marx ever used it?
    Ummm... Marx was inspired by an idea of Feuerbach's, but pointing that out doesn't really consider how dynamically different the two ideas are. The one merely was a catalyst for the other. Look them up and compare.


    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    You just answered a question with a question. I would argue that dialectical materialism is a very narrow explanation for the totality of history. Hence, it would not be "naive" to consider Marx a "narrow" thinker in that regard. Do you have a rebuttal to that?
    It seemed almost like a nonsequitur, requiring me to instead ask what you were trying to do. What I meant is that Marx is not narrow in so far as his degree of application is not narrow and believing in things he said does not require a subscription to a narrow set of beliefs. I will concede I could have phrased it slightly better, but arguing over that would only be splitting hairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Why do you say that? Hasn't every communist revolution failed to reach a stateless workers' society? Are you saying here that Marx's final stage of communism could work, but it can never be reached?
    Well, things this hypothetical are very hard to work out. Every supposedly Communist revolution has failed, but when revolutions fail, I usually blame the means more than the idea behind it. More rational supporters of Communism knew that things couldn't be forced over night. But let's face it, do you think most of the people that carried these things out sincerely believed in Communism?

    I said in the first post that I wrote in this thread that Marx's exact courses of action were the things he got the most wrong. I do not think a forcible revolution would ever work for that end, and it usually doesn't work for any philosophical or cultural end. Military force is for physical control, changes in laws, and shit like that. It doesn't really work to control politics and culture (a very different example of that right now in Afghanistan).

    As I also pointed out, something at least very close to Communism has existed in a tribal context. My biggest doubts about the ability of Communism to survive is whether or not it can exist when people live outside of secondary relationships and have the means for material excess. I do not know. Ultimately what I am pointing out is that our historical references to Communism are so far removed from what Marx actually talked about, and follow such a mall number of possible routes, that I don't think we can use it to make many guesses about Communism's potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I am not for anarcho-capitalism, but I would like to hear your reasoning for this statement. Many would disagree.
    One of the most inherent functions of government and all its tools is to protect private property and ensure transactions. Doing this to a functional degree of reliability without government is very difficult. And without the ability to rely on these things, you don't really have capitalism. Secondly, currency would be really hard to work out in anarchy, especially if we were trying to apply this lifestyle to a large population that would have to involve many different communities (even Pittsburg would be large in this context). Is there one currency? What is its worth? What are the rates? And so and so fourth. And of course, withouth currency, again capitalism becomes very difficult, if not impossible.

    I often half-jokingly call anarcho-capitalism "neo-Feudalism" as I believe its structure would quickly degenerate into a personality driven, might makes right situation, not unlike feudalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    What does societal impact have to do with characterizing Marx as an extreme, obsolete, and narrow thinker? Indeed, Marx has had a huge impact on both history and the modern world...too bad that impact has been predominately negative.
    Two mistakes. One is that Marx actually did have positive impact. His theories were important in getting us to recognize certain problems within the very new industrialized society, even if he was a bit over the top. So for instance, the birth of child care, disability and age related aid, worker compensation, the banning of child labor, and even the first case of national healthcare (in Bismarck's Germany) all came about in part to reduce pressure from people inspired by Marxist thinking (keep in mind that it's not as noticable with the USA because we were Johnny-come-lately's with most of these, and still don't have one of them). You have to consider how absolutely horrible conditions were for laborers back then. Marx's life became horrible too, and that's part of what drove him so far. It took a bit for his idea to get around, but it did start to happen in his life time, and he inspired people to change these things. And through his influence on sociology, he has kept us more aware of these sorts of injustices forever more.

    The second point I'd like to make is that it's very hard to measure influence anyway. Yeah I could say Marx made the world worse in some ways because of people like Mao. But if I said that, I'd have to say that Jesus Christ is respsonsible for more deaths than anyone else in history. However, I always thought that line of thinking was really stupid, because most of these people (in Marx's or Jesus's case) weren't really doing anything that had to do with his ideas.

    I don't even support Communism. My main point here is that Marx did make good, important contributions. I find the stigmatization of him ridiculous, and helpful to no one. He got things wrong, and he got things right. People did bad things in his name, and they did good things in his name (and we can even debate which is which). I'd challenge you to find one famous thinker of which this isn't true. So instead of ruling him out, let's neutrally and openly discuss him in our society, and take the good, and leave the bad.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Ummm... Marx was inspired by an idea of Feuerbach's, but pointing that out doesn't really consider how dynamically different the two ideas are. The one merely was a catalyst for the other. Look them up and compare.

    To the best of my knowledge, Feuerbach used the term "alienation" before Marx did. I haven't read the text in question.


    It seemed almost like a nonsequitur, requiring me to instead ask what you were trying to do. What I meant is that Marx is not narrow in so far as his degree of application is not narrow and believing in things he said does not require a subscription to a narrow set of beliefs. I will concede I could have phrased it slightly better, but arguing over that would only be splitting hairs.
    So you are saying that Marx's is not narrow because he has influenced a large number of people? That seems flimsy. We are talking about one man's viewpoint, not the number of people who dug what he said.


    Well, things this hypothetical are very hard to work out. Every supposedly Communist revolution has failed, but when revolutions fail, I usually blame the means more than the idea behind it. More rational supporters of Communism knew that things couldn't be forced over night. But let's face it, do you think most of the people that carried these things out sincerely believed in Communism?
    Many of them did, absolutely. You don't get people willing to be slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands in they don't believe in something. Isn't it about time to look at the past 150 years of history and say "Maybe Marxism is inherently flawed, since there is no way to get to the endgame of the stateless workers' society?"


    I said in the first post that I wrote in this thread that Marx's exact courses of action were the things he got the most wrong. I do not think a forcible revolution would ever work for that end, and it usually doesn't work for any philosophical or cultural end. Military force is for physical control, changes in laws, and shit like that. It doesn't really work to control politics and culture (a very different example of that right now in Afghanistan).
    Fair enough.


    As I also pointed out, something at least very close to Communism has existed in a tribal context. My biggest doubts about the ability of Communism to survive is whether or not it can exist when people live outside of secondary relationships and have the means for material excess. I do not know. Ultimately what I am pointing out is that our historical references to Communism are so far removed from what Marx actually talked about, and follow such a mall number of possible routes, that I don't think we can use it to make many guesses about Communism's potential.
    And I think the exact opposite. I think that history has made it quite obvious that communism is impracticable, as seen through the several attempts to create a classless society. It just does not work. CANNOT work.


    One of the most inherent functions of government and all its tools is to protect private property and ensure transactions. Doing this to a functional degree of reliability without government is very difficult. And without the ability to rely on these things, you don't really have capitalism. Secondly, currency would be really hard to work out in anarchy, especially if we were trying to apply this lifestyle to a large population that would have to involve many different communities (even Pittsburg would be large in this context). Is there one currency? What is its worth? What are the rates? And so and so fourth. And of course, withouth currency, again capitalism becomes very difficult, if not impossible.
    In the Soviet Union, one of the inherent functions of its government was to eliminate private property almost entirely.

    Also, currency in the sense of circa-2009 government fiat paper money may not be viable under anarcho-capitalism, but other methods have been used throughout history. Precious metals, labor notes, e-money all could be employed (conceivably). I am playing devil's advocate here, but there are possibilities. And private security forces and legal mediation organizations could handle the property transactions, torts, even criminal law. I would imagine that restitution would be a bedrock principle of anarcho-capitalist criminal law.
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  9. #49
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    Oh, I would just like to add: Christianity has not been responsible for more deaths than has government. If you add up just the deaths from World Wars I and II and Chinese rebellions from 1 AD to the time of Mao, you have over 200 million dead. It's a tremendous stretch to say that Jesus has been responsible for more than deaths than anyone else in history. He would probably even be behind Muhammad at this point. The death tolls of "Conversion by the Sword" in India alone from the 11th Century to the 17th Century are estimated in the tens of millions, then you have the Armenian Holocaust by the Turks circa-WWI and massacres of Greeks in Morea in the 19th Century.
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  10. #50
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    So you are saying that Marx's is not narrow because he has influenced a large number of people? That seems flimsy. We are talking about one man's viewpoint, not the number of people who dug what he said.
    Only half of my point was about what other people believe. The first part was that there's a wide range of applicability to ideas he came up with. See conflict theory in sociology.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Many of them did, absolutely. You don't get people willing to be slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands in they don't believe in something. Isn't it about time to look at the past 150 years of history and say "Maybe Marxism is inherently flawed, since there is no way to get to the endgame of the stateless workers' society?"
    Actually, this paragraph sort of encapsulates your biggest mistake. You're going from point A: We haven't achieved Marx's
    ideal concept of society in 150 years. To point B: Marxism as a whole and its components must be rejected. Talk about all or nothing. Marx's collection of theories has flaws in it, obviously, but it would be irrational to reject it all on the basis of things like Bolshevik revolutions and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And I think the exact opposite. I think that history has made it quite obvious that communism is impracticable, as seen through the several attempts to create a classless society. It just does not work. CANNOT work.
    We might make debates about women compared to men, but other than that, I think some tribes basically did have classless society. Again, with a large, complex civilization, it seems like a tall order, but never say never. I still don't think history has made it clear that Communism is impracticable, for the reasons I already mentioned. The attempts are too limited. But I personally wouldn't aim for practicing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    In the Soviet Union, one of the inherent functions of its government was to eliminate private property almost entirely.
    What is your point? I was talking about why capitalism can't work as anarchy, because it needs a function of the government. The fact that Communism doesn't have private property is one of the reasons it would would work as anarchy, and would probably have to be anarchic, not using or needing the functions of the government.

    That being said, the Soviet Union never really banned private property, and it never got rid of government, it just came up with different names and rules for tossing it around. Marx would never have endorsed the USSR. It was not Communist at all. It even called itself Socialist (and most socialist academics agree, it was a piss-poor socialist state, too).

    Also, we should probably stop resting everything on the success of the Soviet Union, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Also, currency in the sense of circa-2009 government fiat paper money may not be viable under anarcho-capitalism, but other methods have been used throughout history. Precious metals, labor notes, e-money all could be employed (conceivably). I am playing devil's advocate here, but there are possibilities.
    In the early days of mercantilism, things got seriously bogged down by kings and lords making different and totally arbitrary decisions about what they accepted as currency and how much it was worth. I suspect that would happen again.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    And private security forces and legal mediation organizations could handle the property transactions, torts, even criminal law. I would imagine that restitution would be a bedrock principle of anarcho-capitalist criminal law.
    Private security forces might also be referred to as "goons". Why have restitutive law when you could just say "Do it, because I employ more force than you, and you don't want to find out what I can do with these guys."? Like I said, it would seem more likely to follow the rather capricious model of law that feudalism followed, which yes, was restitutive on the face of it, but in practice, well you know... Another comparison would be the mafia. In other words, anarcho-capitalism just winds back the clock to a more primitive form of law that our current form eventually grew out of.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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