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#14791021
I was going to create several threads with pertinent questions I have for communists on a variety of subjects but then I just thought it would be easier to create one singular thread instead. My questions are very sincere in that I really do have an authentic desire for a dialogue of learning here.

Now for the questions,

1. What is democratic centralism or centrism in a Leninist and Trotsky sense?

2. Concerning labor and production, what is communists reaction to the brave new world we're entering where automation along with artificial intelligence has the possibility of making most human labor obsolete or extinct?

3. What are communists views on foreign or international immigration? Are all communists stern nationalists?
#14791025
The problem you have on here Joka, is you confuse communism with socialism. Or a form of socialism anyway. Socialism has many forms, but Decky will insist on only one... his one. That is why you are arguing with socialists/communists all the time. communism is an economic/domestic approach to work and society. I assume you are aware of the 'Communist Manifesto'? Another problem with communism, is it too has many forms. Do you think Marx's communism is anything like Soviet Russia, Cuba or NK idea of communism?

Anyway, to answer your questions

1. Democratic Centralism is not Leninism or Trotskism. Both are forms of socialism. They were concepts to bring Russia out of famine in the early 20th century.

2. Communism (Marx only) is to make the state and workers united for society. It isn't against technology as long as it doesn't eliminate workers jobs. But when Marx wrote his book, this wasn't a major issue like it is today. His book was a concept in a different era. Hence why communism doesn't work.

3. I can't answer this as I'm not a communist. But it appears communists are nationalists so tend to be against migration.
#14791037
1. I'm specifically talking about Lenin's writing entitled, "What is to be done?" (1902)

It touches upon Lenin's idea of democratic centralism of the communist political apparatus which Trotsky also supported being a follower of his.

2. That's what I'm trying to get at, communists don't seem to have much of an answer concerning societal automation or artificial intelligence. Marx during his time period had no way of knowing the future of human labor.

3. Why does the American Communist Party and affiliates propose that it is racist or unjust being against unlimited foreign immigration into the United States? They've been vocal on that tangent ever since Trump got into office.

From my reading it seems only some communists are nationalists while others are not. Those communists that are not nationalists, what are they exactly?

Is communist nationalism the same or similar to most other kinds socially and politically? Is communist nationalism different from all other kinds of nationalism?
#14791081
Communism and socialsim are inherently anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-colonialist.

The economic problems of the developing world are caused by capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism. Therefore, socialism and communism are about addressing these economic problems and rectifying the inequality. This would, in turn, get rid of those economic problems. And since these economic problems are the main impetus for immigration, a world where socialism and communism are the norm would have far less migration.
#14791121
Joka wrote:1. What is democratic centralism or centrism in a Leninist and Trotsky sense?


This can get deep, so I'll start with the most basic and work my way up.

1. It is freedom of expression, unity in action. That is to say, it is the idea that everybody gets together and decides upon a path and, once it's decided, everybody goes through with it.

1a. This was an expression picked up by the German SDP, who actually picked it up from Charles Stewart Parnell (my avatar) who challenged British politics by having the Irish members all take loyalty oaths to each other to vote in a block no matter what concession could be offered individual constituents.

2. Democratic Centralism is a path for the unity of the proletarian class and the intellectuals. Kautsky, then the "pope of Marxism," had advocated that the development of class struggle was proletarian, whereas science itself then constituted was bourgeois. These grew, in Kautsky's mind, side-by-side and more or less kind of mingled from there.

For Lenin, the things were related. In the most basic contention, class struggle occurred, and thus can be looked at in a scientific way establishing a unity of action.

Lenin wrote:The issue also contained an article entitled “What Are Our Ministers Thinking About?” which dealt with the crushing of the elementary education committees by the police. In addition, there was some correspondence from St. Petersburg, and from other parts of Russia (e.g., a letter on the massacre of the workers in Yaroslavl Gubernia). This, “first effort”, if we are not mistaken, of the Russian Social-Democrats of the nineties was not a purely local, or less still, “Economic”, newspaper, but one that aimed to unite the strike movement with the revolutionary movement against the autocracy, and to win over to the side of Social-Democracy all who were oppressed by the policy of reactionary obscurantism. No one in the slightest degree acquainted with the state of the movement at that [last revolutionary] period could doubt that such a paper would have met with warm response among the workers of the capital and the revolutionary intelligentsia and would have had a wide circulation. The failure of the enterprise merely showed that the Social-Democrats of that period were unable to meet the immediate requirements of the time owing to their lack of revolutionary experience and practical training. This must be said, too, with regard to the S. Peterburgsky Rabochy Listok and particularly with regard to Rabochaya Gazeta and the Manifesto of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, founded in the spring of 1898. Of course, we would not dream of blaming the Social Democrats of that time for this unpreparedness. But in order to profit from the experience of that movement, and to draw practical lessons from it, we must thoroughly understand the causes and significance of this or that shortcoming. It is therefore highly important to establish the fact that a part (perhaps even a majority) of the Social-Democrats, active in the period of 1895-98, justly considered it possible even then, at the very beginning of the “spontaneous” movement, to come forward with a most extensive programme and a militant tactical line.


With the intellectuals meeting the workers, then the workers can meet the intellectuals:

Lenin wrote:This does not mean, of course, that the workers have no part in creating such an ideology. They take part, however, not as workers, but as socialist theoreticians, as Proudhons and Weitlings; in other words, they take part only when they are able, and to the extent that they are able, more or less, to acquire the knowledge of their age and develop that knowledge. But in order that working men may succeed in this more often, every effort must be made to raise the level of the consciousness of the workers in general; it is necessary that the workers do not confine themselves to the artificially restricted limits of “literature for workers” but that they learn to an increasing degree to master general literature. It would be even truer to say “are not confined”, instead of “do not confine themselves”, because the workers themselves wish to read and do read all that is written for the intelligentsia, and only a few (bad) intellectuals believe that it is enough “for workers” to be told a few things about factory conditions and to have repeated to them over and over again what has long been known.


The mechanism in which these sides meet and interact is Democratic Centralism. The best ideas, the best experiences form the praxis that the party then follows.

I'm simplifying, but close enough. If you want to get further, then you look at how Marx wanted to understand Germany's workers' representatives and their radicalism compared to the French, who had the revolutionary experience. In doing this, Marx proposed many things and Lenin was (in theory at least) tying this knot.

In short, it's a way to coordinate and use revolutionaries.

Joka wrote:2. Concerning labor and production, what is communists reaction to the brave new world we're entering where automation along with artificial intelligence has the possibility of making most human labor obsolete or extinct?


I touched upon this in a previous post. I'm short on time, so I'll simply say that this is not necessarily the "brave new world" in which it has been painted. Marx himself was a product of a similar, "brave new world," where the automation of heavy machines made a single individual a million times more productive than he had been before the industrial revolution.

In theory, the work load should have gotten less for the individual. However, instead of spending six months out of the year eating reserves and waiting for the field to harvest, the majority of people had to work nearly every single day to keep the machines going and production moving. The labour saving devices, in short, meant greater labour.

And I was working before the internet was prolific; and the same change occurred. Before cell phones, computers, etc, one was free from work at the end of the shift. That was it. These labour saving devices that could (in favorable circumstances) free the working class from labour, enslaves them to more of it. It means that there is more work to be done in longer, unofficial, and often unpaid work. That is the best scenario. The worst is that jobs are fracturing further and we are reduced to being the unskilled tradesmen of capitalism's past. You use your car as an Uber driver to supplement your part-time wages from an unskilled minimum wage at a restaurant, while you are taking loans to goto school, and maybe getting paid to help your friends move coordinated by phone...

...We are, in short, seeing machines that should save us the labour (as you suggest) but are working more as a result and from less scarcity. This is precisely the condition that Marx was working in during the 19th century as he watched the fruits of the industrial revolution and its consequences. We are not getting further from Marxist thought, but back into its origins.

Joka wrote:3. What are communists views on foreign or international immigration? Are all communists stern nationalists?


Marxists are all internationalists. When Decky (whom you've mentioned by name) flies a national flag it is within the context of a world that is not socialist.

The trouble with immigration is capitalism, it is the most basic part of capitalism, it is supply and demand and ruins every possible solution because reality exists. Historically the issues and problems associated with immigration are caused by capitalism, and solutions to stem the problems are exasperated by capitalism.

In the United States, the furthest this went was the Chinese Exclusion Act, which followed a pattern not unlike this:

1. Organize white labour as a counter to the Chinese immigrants.
--historically this means that non-white labour becomes even cheaper and even more willing to do dangerous work out of desperation, undercutting the white unions

2. Boycott goods made with illegal labour
--this makes them cheaper, making it nearly impossible to continue the boycott

3. Ban immigrant labour entirely
--again, even with recent Tyson chicken and historic models, this means a labour force can be brought in to do cheaper and more dangerous work, undercutting legal labour.

4. An exclusionary act.
--The Chinese Exclusion Act ultimately resulted in a bunch of American companies having stuff previously made in the US made in China and shipped back.

None of these work, or can work, and people keep trying them again. An international solution is needed, and that is called socialism.
#14796634
B0ycey wrote:The problem you have on here Joka, is you confuse communism with socialism. Or a form of socialism anyway. Socialism has many forms, but Decky will insist on only one... his one. That is why you are arguing with socialists/communists all the time. communism is an economic/domestic approach to work and society. I assume you are aware of the 'Communist Manifesto'? Another problem with communism, is it too has many forms. Do you think Marx's communism is anything like Soviet Russia, Cuba or NK idea of communism?

........

2. Communism (Marx only) is to make the state and workers united for society. It isn't against technology as long as it doesn't eliminate workers jobs. But when Marx wrote his book, this wasn't a major issue like it is today. His book was a concept in a different era. Hence why communism doesn't work.

3. I can't answer this as I'm not a communist. But it appears communists are nationalists so tend to be against migration.

Communism, according to Marx, is a classless society in which the state machinery has "withered away". Hence in communist society there is no state and no division of classes.

By that we should be able to see that while there have been communist parties ruling nations and attempting to establish a lasting, functional, effective socialist economy, there have been no communist societies ever in existence. It should also be obvious that classless society cannot be imposed because class interests cannot be eliminated by legislation.
#14827261
TIG, you've mentioned The Chinese Exclusion act a few times so I looked up an old post since I have some questions. If you'll indulge me...

The Immortal Goon wrote:2. Boycott goods made with illegal labour
--this makes them cheaper, making it nearly impossible to continue the boycott

Sometimes the capitalists draw the conclusion that it is better to play along with consumers like when they decided it was more profitable/ economical to use wage labour rather than slave labour.

3. Ban immigrant labour entirely
--again, even with recent Tyson chicken and historic models, this means a labour force can be brought in to do cheaper and more dangerous work, undercutting legal labour.

I'm not familiar with Tyson Chicken's situation but my impression is that the US does almost nothing to prevent the employment of illegal immigrants. If managers and executives were regularly prosecuted and imprisoned for employing illegals then demand for illegal migrant labour would fall significantly.

4. An exclusionary act.
--The Chinese Exclusion Act ultimately resulted in a bunch of American companies having stuff previously made in the US made in China and shipped back.

It was fully successful in its explicit goal of keeping Chinese immigrants out of America and succeeded in its implicit goal of keeping them out of the labour market for decades. This act was passed in 1882 and failed to anticipate technological developments such as container shipping and the internet and political developments such as China's ascension to the WTO and granting of market economy status. Furthermore, many people consider the economic development of poor countries to be a good thing and the importation of millions of 3rd world workers and their housing in vast inner city slums to be a bad thing. By that standard the exclusion act was a great success.

If you're still convinced that, "None of these work, or can work," then why are you promoting Socialism? An ideology that has failed more spectacularly and definitively than immigration control.
#14827277
AFAIK wrote:Sometimes the capitalists draw the conclusion that it is better to play along with consumers like when they decided it was more profitable/ economical to use wage labour rather than slave labour.


There were plenty of consumers that didn't care. The Corn Laws in Britain were largely debated, in part, knowing that it would be cheaper to pull in bread from American slaves and Russian serfs than to perpetuate the problematic half feudal economy that was kept in places like in Ireland.

There is also a commercial element to it. When you get to a certain level of production, slavery no longer becomes profitable if you want to be able to grow. Eventually you're producing as much to feed and house your slaves as you are to get more labour and produce extra.

I guess, in short, I reject the premise that capitalists simply accepted the will of the consumers in these cases.

Case in point, if you asked a consumer how he or she felt about child labour, you'd almost certainly get people saying they're against it. Yet, here we both are wearing clothes and using machines that we know were made with children's hands. That's the market.

AFAIK wrote:my impression is that the US does almost nothing to prevent the employment of illegal immigrants. If managers and executives were regularly prosecuted and imprisoned for employing illegals then demand for illegal migrant labour would fall significantly.


You'd be right that the action for employing illegals would fall. The demand would still exist, however.

When people stopped buying baby carrots, or lettuce, or whatever else was produced by illegal immigrants because now wages were $15 an hour—demand would raise significantly for a cheaper alternative from customers; and a cheaper labour source from the companies. It is likely that freeze-dried products from countries that still used more exploitive labour would begin to sell much faster and better than a $3 apple.

AFAIK wrote:It was fully successful in its explicit goal of keeping Chinese immigrants out of America and succeeded in its implicit goal of keeping them out of the labour market for decades. This act was passed in 1882 and failed to anticipate technological developments such as container shipping and the internet and political developments such as China's ascension to the WTO and granting of market economy status. Furthermore, many people consider the economic development of poor countries to be a good thing and the importation of millions of 3rd world workers and their housing in vast inner city slums to be a bad thing. By that standard the exclusion act was a great success.


The success, even in decades after, was very much in dispute. It was frequently said that the Chinese were able to still sneak ashore:

North American Review wrote:From the passage of the first Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 to the present time, there have been in the matter of hearings on habeas corpus in Chinese cases serious and radical conflicts of opinion between the judges of the Federal courts and the executive officers of the government, which have been the cause of a great many admissions. The very fact of the existence of such a wide difference of opinion as to the construction and administration of existing law is the most effective argument that could possibly be adduced to show the imbecility of the Chinese Exclusion Acts, and of the absolute impotency of such measures to meet and cope in an efficient and effective manner with this great evil. Then the careless and absolutely inefficient manner in which the question of Chinese immigration has been treated by Congress has been the cause of the admission of thousands. This is clearly demonstrated by the admission of 502 Chinese persons for the Chicago Worlds Exposition, 350 for the San Francisco Mid-Winter Fair, 206 for the Atlanta Exposition, and about 600 for the Nashville Exposition under joint resolutions of Congress permitting alien laborers to be imported in connection with the foreign exhibits. All of the above 1,656 Chinese laborers obtained admission into the United States by the payment of about $225 each to the holders of the concession for Chinese exhibits at the above expositions. In most cases the women who were brought in at the same time were sold in San Francisco for immoral purposes.

The official statistics of the government purporting to show the yearly admission of Chinese into the United States in no way approximate the truth. They fall far short of the actual facts and cannot be relied on. For example, they do not include the 16,000 who crossed the boundary into the United States after their discharge upon the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. In these figures no account whatever is taken of the thousands that have been smuggled across the waters of Puget Sound and along the Canadian boundary line, nor the carloads passed in over the Mexican border. No account has been taken of the vessel loads of Chinese smuggled into the country along the Gulf coast. And still another fact must be taken into account, and that is that vessels on the route between San Francisco and Chinese ports are as a rule manned by Chinese crews, many of whom are constantly deserting and remaining in this country. No account has been taken of the 1,500 alleged merchants landed at Portland, Ore., by a corrupt collector of customs at $50 per head; or the hundreds who were admitted into Idaho and Montana upon forged certificates with counterfeit seals attached.

The census returns of the number of Chinese in the United States are equally defective. The census of 1860 placed it at 34,933, 1870 at 63,199, 1880 at 105,165, and 1890 at 107,475. Any one familiar with the Chinese understands the improbability of obtaining exact statistics concerning them. The Chinese Six Companies have always endeavored to prove as small a number of Chinese in this country as possible, and it is well known that when the census takers were taking the census the Chinese avoided them. As evidence of the unreliability of the census, in 1869 II. C. Bennett, Secretary of the San Francisco Chinese Protective Society, with the aid of the Chinese Six Companies, made a careful estimate of the number of Chinese in the United States, and gave 90,000 as the number.

One year later the census only gave 63,199. The testimony of Hon. F. A. Bee, the Chinese Consul at San Francisco, ought to have weight on this question. He was reported in a San Francisco journal in 1888 as having testified in a Chinese investigation in that city that “within the last six months more Chinese women had arrived, and been landed by the courts as previous residents, than ever departed between 1849 and 1887,” and, furthermore, “that all the women brought into this country were brought here for immoral purposes.”

The folly and inefficiency of the restriction acts are further demonstrated by Special Treasury Employee T. Aubrey Byrne, in his report to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated March 29, 1897. He says: “Of the total admissions of Chinese into the United States during the fiscal year 1896, over 35 percent were affected through the Vermont district. The Chinese inhabitants in Boston in 1895, compared with 1885, show an increase of 192 percent. In the State of Massachusetts the increase in 1895 over the number in 1885 is shown to be 273 per cent. It must be borne in mind that the majority of the Chinese entering Massachusetts through the Vermont district do not remain in this State, but pass into other States to take up their laundry work. For arrival of Chinese laborers in this special agency district 1896 was the banner year, and, judging from the inflow during the first two months of 1897, it is quite probable that the current year (1897) will outrank any preceding twelve months.”

Taking the Custom House record of Chinese coming into the United States through the district of Vermont from June 1, 1895, to February 23, 1897, and adding to them 581 alleged boys, etc., who were admitted into the country by the United States Commissioner at St. Albans, Mr. Byrne shows that the total admissions for the period in Vermont stood 2,947, or more than were admitted into the remainder of the United States.

In the State of New York the census of 1890 gave 2,935 Chinese. At the time of the passage of the Geary Act of May 5, 1892, requiring all Chinese laborers to register, Internal Revenue Collector Keriom of the Southern District of New York made a canvass of the Chinese in his district and found that there were only 500 Chinese who would have to register. When the amended act was approved November 3, 1893, and before the Chinese registration began, the collector made another canvass and, much to his astonishment, found 1,200 Chinese. When the registration was completed it was found that over seven thousand had registered in New York City. According to the best estimates there are today (1897) all told in New York and Brooklyn and within a radius of ten miles about 12,000 Chinese. There are, it is believed, notwithstanding reports to the contrary, as many as 700,000 Chinese, perhaps more, in the United State. It is estimated that there are as many as 150,000 in California, 20,000 in Oregon, 10,000 in the State of Washington, 10,000 in Montana and Idaho, 4,000 in Nevada, 3,000 in Arizona, 3,000 in Colorado, 3,000 in Wyoming and Utah, to say nothing of those scattered over all portions of the country. Gradually, and almost imperceptibly, like the coming of a cold wave or the rising of the tide, the “Little Brownies” have crossed the Great American Desert, the Rocky Mountains, the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, and the Alleghany Mountains, and to-day there is scarcely a city, town, or hamlet, either large or small, not excepting the capital of the nation, in which there are not more or less, and in many of them a very considerable number of Chinese persons.

That the present Chinese restriction acts, as at present administered, are worse than pretence is conceded by all familiar with their operations. Judge Hagar, while Collector of the Port of San Francisco, a few years ago, stated “that the restriction act, as now administered, is an utter failure,” which assertion has been verified in a thousand ways in the past few years. John II. Seuter, U. S. Attorney in the Vermont District, on December 30,1896, said that in his district the “Chinese hearings are in a certain sense farcical,” and Leigh Chalmers, Examiner of the Attorney-Generals office, in a report dated July 1, 1896, said “that nine out of ten of these (Chinese) cases do not amount to the dignity of a farce,” and that the “U. S. Attorney and Commissioner both agree to this conclusion, but say there is no remedy.” Win. A. Poucher, U. S. Attorney at Buffalo, in a letter to the U. S. Attorney-General, dated April 30, 1897, said that his assistant had “attended examinations at Malone and at Plattsburg, . . . and has reported that it was absolutely useless, under the present condition of affairs, to attend any further examinations, as it was a waste of time and money,” and that he was “powerless.”

These law officers of the government are charged with the enforcement of the exclusion laws, but they practically admit that owing to the loose interpretation of the laws by sympathetic U. S. Commissioners, and ~the radical diversity of opinion between the judges of the Federal Courts, the crafty practices and fraudulent devices of the Mongolians themselves, the ready aid of well-paid allies on the border line, perjured witnesses, and the oath-breaking and bribe-taking public officials, the exclusion laws have become more honored in the breach than in the observance. From Tampa Bay at one corner, from Puget Sound at the other, from El Paso at the south, from San Francisco at the west, to New York at the east, to the Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine line on the north comes the same narrative of betrayed trusts on the part of debauched customs and judicial officials, and of hordes of these barred and branded Mongolians pouring into the United States, each with his bribe-money in one hand, his fraudulent papers in the other, and perjury on his lips. With several years experience in attempting to enforce this supreme law of the land, our faith in effective legislation upon this subject is much impaired. Laws deemed apparently faultless have proven but legislative makeshifts. They do not meet the evil, but rather aggravate it by offering opportunities for their evasion through perjury, chicanery, and frauds. The entire customs service of the country, the Federal judiciary, and those appointed specially to enforce these laws, all admit that the Chinese Exclusion Act is a pretence and fraud in that it assumes to be legislation in pursuance of treaty stipulations, when in fact it is in violation of them; that it pretends to correct the evil complained of by offering opportunities for its evasion through the crafty practices, fraudulent devices, and bold perjury of the criminal Chinese; that it has opened a door to the perjurer, who is too ready to swear himself within the pale of our laws, and thus whole legions of these people are flocking to the United States who are not entitled to come. Thus with every precaution under existing laws, and in the face of every effort, we have fi1ed so far to arrest the incursions already effected over the border lines of the neighboring territory; as we have seen, well-known routes are established by trails and by water ways, along which they come. When once here they mingle and merge with ad become an unrecognizable portion of the “former residents.”

J. Thomas Scharf


If, however, we are to dismiss a good amount of the people at the time reviewing the laws, then even then we see that partially as a result of said laws, the moment the technological developments were put into place, China was ushered into the WTO and the companies all went over there.

In short, again, the demand for cheap labour by companies and customers created a demand for more Chinese labour.

The argument that I'm making, and it seems to be proven more or less true, is that:

1. Quality aside, people would prefer to pay less.
2. Businesses would prefer to pay their employees less.
3. These two truths provide an opportunity for cheaper labour to exploit.
4. Attempting to crack down on cheaper labour makes it more rare, and thus more valuable, to the employers.

This is all basic capitalist economics. And I don't know that, so long as we adhere to capitalist economics, we're going to really come to a point where everybody wants to pay more for labour to get more expensive goods—just because some people are brown in the wrong place or whatever.

AFAIK wrote:If you're still convinced that, "None of these work, or can work," then why are you promoting Socialism? An ideology that has failed more spectacularly and definitively than immigration control.


This isn't particularly relevant, but to go in to it, let me use an analogy.

Let us say that the American Civil War was occurring. Britain and France, in this scenario, immediately join the Confederacy and start deploying troops into the United States as support.

Then Canada joins, and starts streaming troops into the United States to stop the Union.

Then the Japanese invade the Pacific Coast, nominally joining with the Confederacy.

Then New England declares independent Republics against the United States.

Mexico then invades to take back its old land in California, New Mexico, and Arizona territories.

Germany, seeing an opportunity, begins scuttling all trade against the Union.

Throughout this, the Union survives. It has so many more people, it pushes everyone off and eventually wins.

If we were to add a World War on US soil right before this happened, we'd have some approximation of what the Soviet Union looked like.

Do you think that the Union emerging from such an apocalyptic war would look anything like Lincoln had hoped?

Do you imagine that it would be a functioning republic set to achieve all of its ideals? Or would it, as Lenin said many times, be compromised in such a way that it did not fit what they were hoping to create?

If, after this war, the US was isolated, the foreign opponents demanded a Stalin like figure to take charge (the West, at the time, greatly distrusted Trotsky and would only deal with the Soviet Union should Stalin be in charge in the immediate aftermath of Lenin's death), and the US was never really able to get back on its feet—would that mean that the institution of the capitalist republic could never work? That everyone should always be a constitutional monarchy?

I suspect that you would be fair in saying it was hardly a promising start and a testament to Lincoln and his system that he won against such odds to begin with.

But more than that, dialectic-materialism is based upon verifiable facts. We can (and do) quibble about how the systems they represent work, but the base idea is to see how change happens and apply that reality to what actions we take. This is, in my view, far more scientific than glossing it over as a magic, "invisible hand," that will fix everything. Further, it acknowledges limitations in the capitalist mode of production instead of falling back on, "This works right now, so it will work forever."

The early experiments in a bourgeois government, Cromwell, the French Revolution, even to some extent some of the American experiments, all ended in dictatorship and failure. Why extend one set of standards to one system and not the other?
#14827302
The Immortal Goon wrote:I guess, in short, I reject the premise that capitalists simply accepted the will of the consumers in these cases.

I could point to various environmental and animal welfare improvements that have been made thanks to activists and consumers nudging companies in that direction. And I'm sure child labour would be much worse if it weren't for the efforts of activists, journalists and consumers pushing companies to avoid the worst abuses.

Weren't children and women labourers originally stamped out by men who wanted to maximise their pay leaving them financially dependent on the family patriarch? That's hardly altruistic is it.

In regards to capitalists chasing cheaper labour we've already seen them country hop across east Asia in order to continue to make cheap clothes and they have now run out of road. There's now growing interest in increasing automation to replace the heavily unionised workforces in Cambodia and Bangladesh. As I argued before the development of 3rd world countries is better than the importation of millions of peasants from alien cultures into 1st world slums.

I didn't read that wall of text you posted since many countries had racist immigration policies and I'm not that focused on the details of any particular policy. Obviously capitalist are going to use their influence to undermine immigration restrictions and will happily employ illegals if the gov't allows them to and no doubt paid the gov't to weaken its efforts to enforce the law.

The Immortal Goon wrote:1. Quality aside, people would prefer to pay less.
2. Businesses would prefer to pay their employees less.
3. These two truths provide an opportunity for cheaper labour to exploit.
4. Attempting to crack down on cheaper labour makes it more rare, and thus more valuable, to the employers.

Could you expand on those last 2 points? Consumer activism doesn't occur in a market vacuum, they also push the gov't to introduce regulation. Sometimes big business lobbies in favour of these regulations because they don't want their competitors to undercut their prices by say buying caged eggs after protests have pushed them to use barn eggs.

This isn't particularly relevant, but to go in to it, let me use an analogy.

Thanks for the alternate history lesson. My main argument against communism is that you already killed millions of people and imprisoned millions more during you're revolutions and dictatorships and it all collapsed and reverted to capitalism. If you're arguing that we shouldn't have strict immigration laws because capitalists will undermine aspects of it in 100 years so why bother, than my response is why unleash an orgy of violence and oppression if capitalists will undermine it in 80 years?
#14827308
AFAIK wrote:I could point to various environmental and animal welfare improvements that have been made thanks to activists and consumers nudging companies in that direction. And I'm sure child labour would be much worse if it weren't for the efforts of activists, journalists and consumers pushing companies to avoid the worst abuses.


Sure. But it still won't eliminate the problems. You couldn't say, "McDonalds, could you stop using plastic?" Though you could ask it to stop using styrofoam for its Big Macs and use paper instead. The price was negligible for the company, made things easier, whatever. And, sure, Trump allows coal mines to dump their wastes in waterways which is cheaper than the Obama restrictions against that. But these are, ultimately, little concessions. The price incentive is still the main determining factor when it comes down to it. The only reason mines want to dump their waste into drinking water is because it's cheaper—it's clearly a bad idea in every other way.

AFAIK wrote:Weren't children and women labourers originally stamped out by men who wanted to maximise their pay leaving them financially dependent on the family patriarch? That's hardly altruistic is it.


I haven't seen evidence specifically based upon that, but I'll buy it. I never argued that the market was altruistic, so I'm not sure what this was trying to prove.

Child labour is a little more akin to slavery where people don't like to see it, but like the products. The Europeans foisted slavery onto the Americas, the Americas hoisted child labour onto Asia.

AFAIK wrote:In regards to capitalists chasing cheaper labour we've already seen them country hop across east Asia in order to continue to make cheap clothes and they have now run out of road.


From what I hear, there are several being built in Africa—specifically from the Chinese who are eager to foist their shit onto it.

AFAIK wrote:There's now growing interest in increasing automation to replace the heavily unionised workforces in Cambodia and Bangladesh. As I argued before the development of 3rd world countries is better than the importation of millions of peasants from alien cultures into 1st world slums.


I don't argue any differently, not really. Nor do any Marxists:

Marx and Engels wrote:The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.

The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.

The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.


AFAIK wrote:I didn't read that wall of text you posted since many countries had racist immigration policies and I'm not that focused on the details of any particular policy. Obviously capitalist are going to use their influence to undermine immigration restrictions and will happily employ illegals if the gov't allows them to and no doubt paid the gov't to weaken its efforts to enforce the law.


And I'm sure you'll agree that companies will do this because of the profit motive.

AFAIK wrote:Could you expand on those last 2 points?


That people like to pay less for products and companies prefer to pay their employees less?

I'm not sure how to proceed. Here's Smith.

AFAIK wrote:Consumer activism doesn't occur in a market vacuum, they also push the gov't to introduce regulation.


Consumer activism is, at best, only going to go so far. The profit motive is still going to exist.

AFAIK wrote:Sometimes big business lobbies in favour of these regulations because they don't want their competitors to undercut their prices by say buying caged eggs after protests have pushed them to use barn eggs.


This is correct. And the reason for this, "sometimes," has to often do with international trade and how it exists.

Engels wrote:No wonder England’s industrial progress was colossal and unparalleled, and such that the status of 1844 now appears to us as comparatively primitive and insignificant. And in proportion as this increase took place, in the same proportion did manufacturing industry become apparently moralised. The competition of manufacturer against manufacturer by means of petty thefts upon the workpeople did no longer pay. Trade had outgrown such low means of making money; they were not worth while practising for the manufacturing millionaire, and served merely to keep alive the competition of smaller traders, thankful to pick up a penny wherever they could. Thus the truck system was suppressed, the Ten Hours’ Bill [2] was enacted, and a number of other secondary reforms introduced — much against the spirit of Free Trade and unbridled competition, but quite as much in favour of the giant-capitalist in his competition with his less favoured brother. Moreover, the larger the concern, and with it the number of hands, the greater the loss and inconvenience caused by every conflict between master and men; and thus a new spirit came over the masters, especially the large ones, which taught them to avoid unnecessary squabbles, to acquiesce in the existence and power of Trades’ Unions, and finally even to discover in strikes — at opportune times — a powerful means to serve their own ends. The largest manufacturers, formerly the leaders of the war against the working-class, were now the foremost to preach peace and harmony. And for a very good reason. The fact is that all these concessions to justice and philanthropy were nothing else but means to accelerate the concentration of capital in the hands of the few, for whom the niggardly extra extortions of former years had lost all importance and had become actual nuisances; and to crush all the quicker and all the safer their smaller competitors, who could not make both ends meet without such perquisites. Thus the development of production on the basis of the capitalistic system has of itself sufficed — at least in the leading industries, for in the more unimportant branches this is far from being the case — to do away with all those minor grievances which aggravated the workman’s fate during its earlier stages. And thus it renders more and more evident the great central fact that the cause of the miserable condition of the working-class is to be sought, not in these minor grievances, but in the capitalistic system itself.


The profit motive still exists.

AFAIK wrote:Thanks for the alternate history lesson.


I find people have difficulty in understanding just how chaotic Russia was when the Bolsheviks took charge. It was hardly some fair competition between equals to see which system was better than the other.

AFAIK wrote:My main argument against communism is that you already killed millions of people and imprisoned millions more during you're revolutions and dictatorships and it all collapsed and reverted to capitalism.


And capitalism has killed millions of people and imprisoned millions to ruthlessly suppress any dissent, going so far as to deliberately starving out people and pulling the military in to shoot people's families.

Further, for a thousand years that was true for any form of democracy or republic always collapsing and reverting to monarchy or tyranny. Does that mean it is impossible for democracy or a republic to work?

I'm also going to quibble with you saying something, "reverted to capitalism." Nobody in Russia, not even Stalin or Khruschev, or Gorby, or anyone else, said that Russia was communist.

Granted Stalin went further than Lenin, but Lenin was extremely clear that the Soviet Union wasn't even a true workers' state; or even socialist—let along communist—but a workers’ state with a bureacratic twist to it.

Again, this is hardly some completely equal competition of forces here. And nobody said it was, except for the capitalists the day after the USSR fell.

AFAIK wrote:If you're arguing that we shouldn't have strict immigration laws because capitalists will undermine aspects of it in 100 years so why bother,


My argument is that it's a pointless fight without a good solution. I'm positive people will keep trying, but you're pissing into the wind. The most radical form of it, the Chinese Exclusion Act, was considered by many at the time and decades after as an utter fiasco. A century later, we lost all the jobs to China anyway. It's possible to say that white children got some extra jobs out of it, and that it legitimized torturing Chinese people—making it less desirable to sneak in (I just went through an article in The Oregonian cheering on whites taking Chinese people to be tortured during a fire in the 1890s). So some symptoms were possibly partially relieved in part by spreading race-terrorism.

But here's the rub: it didn't really even come close to addressing the actual problem—the profit motive. Which still existed, which still eventually snatched up the jobs anyway (assuming we're not looking at primary sources like my "wall of text," that argued it didn't do anything).

AFAIK wrote:than my response is why unleash an orgy of violence and oppression if capitalists will undermine it in 80 years?


If you want to solve the problem, I have the solution.

And the orgy of blood and violence I propose is simply to put an end to the orgy of violence and oppression that already exists.

James Connolly wrote:One great source of the strength of the ruling class has ever been their willingness to kill in defence of their power and privileges. Let their power be once attacked either by foreign foes, or domestic revolutionists, and at once we see the rulers prepared to kill, and kill, and kill. The readiness of the ruling class to order killing, the small value the ruling class has ever set upon human life, is in marked contrast to the reluctance of all revolutionists to shed blood.

The French Reign of Terror is spoken of with horror and execration by the people who talk in joyful praise about the mad adventure of the Dardanelles. And yet in any one day of battle at the Dardanelles there were more lives lost than in all the nine months of the Reign of Terror.

Should the day ever come when revolutionary leaders are prepared to sacrifice the lives of those under them as recklessly as the ruling class do in every war, there will not be a throne or despotic government left in the world. Our rulers reign by virtue of their readiness to destroy human life in order to reign; their reign will end on the day their discontented subjects care as little for the destruction of human life as they do.


Regardless, the problem is the profit motive is always going to win out. It always has. And people saying, "but capitalists always murder everyone that wants to get rid of the system, and thus it can get violent," doesn't really change the problem.
#14827311
3. These two truths provide an opportunity for cheaper labour to exploit.
4. Attempting to crack down on cheaper labour makes it more rare, and thus more valuable, to the employers.

Maybe I'm just tired but I don't get what you mean in point 3.
Point 4 appears to contradict the law of supply and demand. Supply goes down, demand stays the same so the price should rise. Or am I misreading you?

I broadly agree with your other points.
#14827316
AFAIK wrote:Maybe I'm just tired but I don't get what you mean in point 3.


If I were building a house on a sand cliff and looking for labour, there is incentive for me to choose the Mexicans waiting outside of Home Depot for cheaper and more dangerous work than for me to go to a unionized carpentry firm and find people there to work for me.

When I lived on the rural coast, it was common knowledge that migrant Latino labour was used to gut fish; not just because it was cheaper, but because they wouldn't be in a position to report health code violations like feeding the discarded guts to rats to avoid paying for proper sanitation.

The more regulations are put in place (sanitation, safety, etc) the more valuable an employee that can't report him or herself and will work for cheap becomes for the boss.

4. Attempting to crack down on cheaper labour makes it more rare, and thus more valuable, to the employers.


Let us presume that all workers from Mexico were stopped and I owned the fish plant or building unsound houses. The illegal workers that remain are now twice as valuable to me and will work half the price they once would have.
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