Doesn't Diversity Presume Inequality? - Page 5 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15007199
Pants-of-dog wrote:I just gave examples of where the proposed solutions have worked.


Socialism can work locally in different segments of society. It can work economically for very backwards peasant societies. But on average and as a whole it doesn't work properly for half-developed or developed societies. Socialism is not exactly incorrect in its moral basis that wage slavery is a problem and that it chains the workers etc. But it does not provide a concrete way to get out of the situation that works. This is especially relevant in the modern world. There is no high-tech developed socialist country. The closest one got to that was the USSR but the problem is that everything developed in the USSR was for the military. Rockets that flew to space were ICBMs etc And it was done by investing 25-35% of the budget. This is very inefficient and left other areas underfunded.

Situation is even worse now for pure socialism. I do not think Apple, Huawei, Samsung, Facebook, Google could exist in a socialist society properly. Now having said that, Socialism is not a full failure in itself. It showed that it is possible to provide state funded healthcare and state funded education with that as efficient or actually more efficient than the capitalist model did before it.

So this legacy of Communism/Socialism still lives on. Same goes for regulations to improve working conditions for example or insurance.

As an economic model it fails because it:
1) Destroys motivation to improve. If everyone gets more or less the same then what is the reason to do more than the minimum required?
2) Destroys investment possibilities. If the profit is taken away and given to somebody else then it is almost impossible to invest in to something that is not mandated by the state.
3) State is usually less efficient compared to private enterprise. The same way large enterprises are less efficient compared to small and medium enterprises. I would argue that larger enterprises usually either don't compete(Because product is very complicated and it competes against other large enterprises) or simply have large advantage due to their resources, lobbying etc.

So its not a model that a half-developed or very developed society can maintain long term.
#15007204
Pants-of-dog wrote:I understand why capitalists have all these theoretical criticisms of socialism.

As a Marxist, I was taught that I should verify my theoretical criticisms by using historical examples.


As a capitalist I can see why socialism is so compelling. It seems that in every new generation there is a resurgence of socialism. No one can deny that Marx analysis on capitalism was correct and that this analysis is extremely attractive and logical for many. And it must be said that working for someone else is a form of slavery. Furthermore, capitalism preserves the natural hierarchy among humans.

The problem is not the analysis of capitalism. The problem lies on the methods to implement socialism. How to turn people into socialists if they do not want to be socialists? The only solution is authoritarianism and oppression. That is why is called the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is why socialism does not work.

My socialists friends tell me they just want businesses that are owned by the workers. Hmm, that is freely available in capitalist countries. No one is preventing a group of friends to open a business and to give equal ownership to ALL employees. That is 100% available in all western capitalist nations.
#15007208
Julian658 wrote:The problem is not the analysis of capitalism. The problem lies on the methods to implement socialism. How to turn people into socialists if they do not want to be socialists? The only solution is authoritarianism and oppression. That is why is called the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is why socialism does not work.


No, authoritarianism and oppression are not the only solution.

And the reason why it is called the dictatorship of the proletariat is because it would stand in contrast to the current situation which is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

My socialists friends tell me they just want businesses that are owned by the workers. Hmm, that is freely available in capitalist countries. No one is preventing a group of friends to open a business and to give equal ownership to ALL employees. That is 100% available in all western capitalist nations.


Your socialist friends are also unclear what is meant by “the dictatorship of the proletariat”. This means that all the means of production would be owned by the working class. It does not mean that working class people would get a chance to own a tiny bit of it.
#15007209
Pants-of-dog wrote:No, authoritarianism and oppression are not the only solution.


What if a person that wants to be a capitalist lives in East germany? He or she cannot open a business? That is a authoritarian and highly oppressive. Why not follow the Nordic model? Allow capitalism and used the wealth generated by capitalism to set up a welfare state.

And the reason why it is called the dictatorship of the proletariat is because it would stand in contrast to the current situation which is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.


Two wrongs do not make a right. I acknowledge that it would seem just to bring down those on top of the hierarchy to achieve equality, but this is futile as there is no such thing as equality.



Your socialist friends are also unclear what is meant by “the dictatorship of the proletariat”. This means that all the means of production would be owned by the working class. It does not mean that working class people would get a chance to own a tiny bit of it.[/quote]
#15007239
Julian658 wrote:What if a person that wants to be a capitalist lives in East germany? He or she cannot open a business? That is a authoritarian and highly oppressive. Why not follow the Nordic model? Allow capitalism and used the wealth generated by capitalism to set up a welfare state.


No. Not being allowed to own your own business is not oppression.

Oppression is, for example, being herded into prison for being a trade unionist by cops who are unaccountable to anyone.

Two wrongs do not make a right. I acknowledge that it would seem just to bring down those on top of the hierarchy to achieve equality, but this is futile as there is no such thing as equality.


No, you do not get it.

It is a dictatorship just as much as the present is a dictatorship. Do you consider the present a dictatorship?
#15007245
Pants-of-dog wrote:This means that all the means of production would be owned by the working class. It does not mean that working class people would get a chance to own a tiny bit of it.


In practice it means all the "means of production" is owned by the highest ranks of the communist party not the "working class". As a working class person I'd rather have a chance of owning a tiny bit of the "means of production" than be the enslaved minion of frothy mouthed murdering ideologists. Just my 2 cents.
#15007257
Pants-of-dog wrote:No. Not being allowed to own your own business is not oppression.


Sure for a communist that is not oppression. However, for a libertarian like me that is lack of freedom and maximum control by the state.



So you think society is a dictator? How is that dictatorship affecting you?
#15007262
Equality of outcome is not the same of equality of opportunity. You can have diversity and equality of opportunity.

It's really that simple.
#15007266
Julian658 wrote:Sure for a communist that is not oppression. However, for a libertarian like me that is lack of freedom and maximum control by the state.


You do see how the two examples of oppression are significantly different, right?

On the one hand, you cannot simply start a business selling crappy plastic salad tongs from China to poor North Americans, and on the other hand, you have an actual police state killing leftists.

So you think society is a dictator? How is that dictatorship affecting you?


I think I live in an economic dictatorship where only one paradigm is allowed, and that paradigm is enforced at gunpoint. It would not affect me negatively if this sole economic paradigm was changed to one that benefited all of humanity instead of just the owners of businesses.
#15007282
Pants-of-dog wrote:You do see how the two examples of oppression are significantly different, right?
On the one hand, you cannot simply start a business selling crappy plastic salad tongs from China to poor North Americans, and on the other hand, you have an actual police state killing leftists.


I do agree, that oppression can be more or less severe, but nevertheless oppression by the state is oppression. As a libertarian I cannot understand why you are willing to accept mild oppression by the state. You are the first person i have ever seen that defends mild oppression.

Are you a nationalist that opposes the importation of foreign goods? What if the salad the salad tongs are unavailable in your country or are incredibly expensive? I would say it makes sense to buy cheap foreign salad tongs. Do you agree? How would you prevent people from selling imported goods at a lower price. Do you see how socialism is always authoritarian and controlling?

I think I live in an economic dictatorship where only one paradigm is allowed, and that paradigm is enforced at gunpoint. It would not affect me negatively if this sole economic paradigm was changed to one that benefited all of humanity instead of just the owners of businesses.


Which is the economic paradigm that is enforced at gunpoint? I am very curious. Do you live in a western nation? You seem to imply you are anti-capitalist. Can you tell me how are you oppress by the owner of these businesses? I have to assume the gun was a metaphor, is that right? Tell me how a private business owner is oppressing you.
#15007293
Julian658 wrote:I do agree, that oppression can be more or less severe, but nevertheless oppression by the state is oppression. As a libertarian I cannot understand why you are willing to accept mild oppression by the state. You are the first person i have ever seen that defends mild oppression.


I am not defending oppression because the example you gave is not oppression.

Being able to open a business with all the capitalism that entails is not a human right.

Are you a nationalist that opposes the importation of foreign goods? What if the salad the salad tongs are unavailable in your country or are incredibly expensive? I would say it makes sense to buy cheap foreign salad tongs. Do you agree? How would you prevent people from selling imported goods at a lower price. Do you see how socialism is always authoritarian and controlling?


Why do you need to sell salad tongs that break after being used for two weeks? Designed obsolescence makes it so that poor people are forced to buy crappy salad tongs more often and then end up spending even more money on salad tongs than rich people do. It is a way of intentionally selling low quality goods in high volume in order to make a lot of money off the people who can least afford it.

Why do you need to sell salad tongs that were made in developing countries? To get around workplace and environmental regulations? To benefit from global inequality so that the wages paid for the crappy salad tongs are the lowest possible?

Salad tongs can be made locally and inexpensively. The externalised cost of shipping them overseas in containers is being felt in terms of climate change and other pollution from the transoceanic shipping involved.

Which is the economic paradigm that is enforced at gunpoint? I am very curious. Do you live in a western nation? You seem to imply you are anti-capitalist. Can you tell me how are you oppress by the owner of these businesses? I have to assume the gun was a metaphor, is that right? Tell me how a private business owner is oppressing you.


I did not claim that I was being oppressed.

The only way in which I cannot exercise and choice or freedom is when I choose an economic order other than capitalism. When that happens, the cops and/or soldiers come.

So, no. I am not being metaphorical when I say capitalism is enforced at gunpoint. It literally is.
#15007309
Another thing that crossed my mind the other day is that in non-western countries with a lot of diversity (such as India, or to a lesser degree, China) they don't describe what they are as "diverse". Indians just describe themselves as Indians, no matter if they're a Hindu, a Jain, a Sikh, a Buddhist or sometimes even a Muslim. Chinese just describe themselves as Chinese, although the cultural revolution had a hand in that. Only in the west are people hyphenated versions of their country, along with a discussion of diversity. I think I've touched on this idea before but I suspect that as soon as the term "diversity" is being used there has been a failure of some kind.
#15007357
Pants-of-dog wrote:I am not defending oppression because the example you gave is not oppression.

Being able to open a business with all the capitalism that entails is not a human right.


I guess the state can impose laws that curtail freedom. And that happens in most democracies. For example the state can appropriate part of your income and if you do not comply you end up in jail. Basic human rights do not include owning a business.

Why do you need to sell salad tongs that break after being used for two weeks? Designed obsolescence makes it so that poor people are forced to buy crappy salad tongs more often and then end up spending even more money on salad tongs than rich people do. It is a way of intentionally selling low quality goods in high volume in order to make a lot of money off the people who can least afford it.


I am agreement here. Part of capitalism includes marketing where people are influenced by trends, TV adds, etc. And not everybody is an educated consumer, particularly the poor who are desperately looking for "feel-good" purchases. I am reminded of welfare mothers that buy expensive brand name clothing to create the illusion they are not that poor. But, let's not forget that all forms of government use propaganda. For example I have a Korean friend that tells me people in North Korea truly believe they live in the most prosperous nation on Earth. This is what they have been fed 24/7 since birth.

Why do you need to sell salad tongs that were made in developing countries? To get around workplace and environmental regulations? To benefit from global inequality so that the wages paid for the crappy salad tongs are the lowest possible?
Salad tongs can be made locally and inexpensively. The externalised cost of shipping them overseas in containers is being felt in terms of climate change and other pollution from the transoceanic shipping involved.


Not so easy. Workers in a capitalist society would command a much higher salary. Local laws would impose a high overhead, and at the end the day the locally produced tongues would be incredibly expensive. True capitalists are not like Donald Trump who thinks everything should be made in the USA. A true capitalist will favor foreign made goods if they are less expensive. So to demands that things be made locally is a bit nationalistic and unrealistic.

I did not claim that I was being oppressed.


Who knows you seem to accept low level oppression as nothing.

The only way in which I cannot exercise and choice or freedom is when I choose an economic order other than capitalism. When that happens, the cops and/or soldiers come.

So, no. I am not being metaphorical when I say capitalism is enforced at gunpoint. It literally is.


If you live in a western democracy you can choose to be a socialist. You and fiends could choose to live off the grid and practice socialism where everything is shared. YOu and friends could create a COOP and make all employees owners. You could also join a 100% socialist commune where everything is provided for free as long as you agree to work for the good of the commune and not yourself. Twin Oaks Community, Virginia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Oaks ... ,_Virginia

Regarding capitalism: I agree, it is a terrible system that does nothing to alter the hierarchy among humans. And Marx was 100% correct in his analysis of capitalism, IN this system employees are basically slaves as they have to work for someone else to make a living. Yes, capitalism is a form of slavery.

Socialism is EXTREMELY compelling and no wonder so many people in every generation are attracted to socialism The problem with socialism are the solutions to dismantle capitalism. So far no one has come up with a true socialist nation that works well. But, don't get me wrong, socialism works well in very small groups such as the Amish or other very small religious groups (see above).

In summary, the diagnosis of the imperfections of capitalism is correct, but so far the treatment has not worked. The Nordic countries have worked around this by accepting capitalism as the engine that produces wealth ang by using that wealth to create massive free benefits to their citizens. It is called a mixed economy. However, in many aspects the Nordic countries are more capitalist than the USA, but they have a much better welfare state. Note, how the Nordic countries are small and monocultural. It is not clear if their system would work in huge multicultural nation. By the way Sweden went as far as to privatize their social security system, that is quite capitalist.
#15007365
Julian658 wrote:I guess the state can impose laws that curtail freedom. And that happens in most democracies. For example the state can appropriate part of your income and if you do not comply you end up in jail. Basic human rights do not include owning a business.


No, human rights do not include being able to open a business where you can make money off exploiting others.

If you believe that “not being able to exploit others” is oppression, then we will have a difficult discussion.

I am agreement here. Part of capitalism includes marketing where people are influenced by trends, TV adds, etc. And not everybody is an educated consumer, particularly the poor who are desperately looking for "feel-good" purchases. I am reminded of welfare mothers that buy expensive brand name clothing to create the illusion they are not that poor. But, let's not forget that all forms of government use propaganda. For example I have a Korean friend that tells me people in North Korea truly believe they live in the most prosperous nation on Earth. This is what they have been fed 24/7 since birth.


My point had nothing to do with propaganda.

My point was that modern business models are often exploitative of the working poor, such as planned obsolescence.

Not so easy. Workers in a capitalist society would command a much higher salary. Local laws would impose a high overhead, and at the end the day the locally produced tongues would be incredibly expensive. True capitalists are not like Donald Trump who thinks everything should be made in the USA. A true capitalist will favor foreign made goods if they are less expensive. So to demands that things be made locally is a bit nationalistic and unrealistic.


And that is exactly my point. Modern capitalism expects to be able to exploit workers abroad by getting them to work for pennies an hour in unsafe conditions, just so some North American can make lots of money.

And this would end with socialism.

Who knows you seem to accept low level oppression as nothing.


Only if you think that exploiting other people for profit is a right.

If you live in a western democracy you can choose to be a socialist. You and fiends could choose to live off the grid and practice socialism where everything is shared. YOu and friends could create a COOP and make all employees owners. You could also join a 100% socialist commune where everything is provided for free as long as you agree to work for the good of the commune and not yourself. Twin Oaks Community, Virginia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Oaks ... ,_Virginia


This is not socialism. Socialism is when the state passes laws and creates the necessary economic infrastructure so that the workers own the means of production. This is a communally owned housing community living in a capitalist society.

Regarding capitalism: I agree, it is a terrible system that does nothing to alter the hierarchy among humans. And Marx was 100% correct in his analysis of capitalism, IN this system employees are basically slaves as they have to work for someone else to make a living. Yes, capitalism is a form of slavery.

Socialism is EXTREMELY compelling and no wonder so many people in every generation are attracted to socialism The problem with socialism are the solutions to dismantle capitalism. So far no one has come up with a true socialist nation that works well. But, don't get me wrong, socialism works well in very small groups such as the Amish or other very small religious groups (see above).


I have already given examples of socialism working. Please address them.

In summary, the diagnosis of the imperfections of capitalism is correct, but so far the treatment has not worked. The Nordic countries have worked around this by accepting capitalism as the engine that produces wealth ang by using that wealth to create massive free benefits to their citizens. It is called a mixed economy. However, in many aspects the Nordic countries are more capitalist than the USA, but they have a much better welfare state. Note, how the Nordic countries are small and monocultural. It is not clear if their system would work in huge multicultural nation. By the way Sweden went as far as to privatize their social security system, that is quite capitalist.


Many mixed economies exist and do quite well.

They still support and use the inherently exploitative system of capitalism.
#15007370
Pants-of-dog wrote:No, human rights do not include being able to open a business where you can make money off exploiting others.

If you believe that “not being able to exploit others” is oppression, then we will have a difficult discussion.



OK, I think I get your point. You believe people are exploited in a capitalist society. You are correct, in that regards. I work for a small business and the owner keeps a part of the wealth I create with my work and that is called profit. I was able to keep all the wealth created by my work the owner would not have a profit.

This brings up a very interesting point: If the owner cannot make a profit them why set up a business? Why would anyone take the huge risk of opening a business with 80% failure rate if there is no chance of making a profit? Why would anyone with a great idea or invention try to promote his ideas if there is NO profit? History tells us that when people have no incentives they create very little. The East German engineers built one of the worst gas powered automobiles in world history because the East German government had a monopoly and was socialist. AT the same time West German engineers designed the best automobiles in the world because they had incentives.

The Trabant from East germany
Image

The Porsche from West Germany
Image

The Trabant was known to immediately breakdown after leaving the factory.

Being a state monopoly, it took ten years to acquire a Trabant, East German buyers were placed on a waiting-list of up to thirteen years. The waiting time depended on their proximity to Berlin, the capital. Official state price was 7,450 GDR marks and the demand to production ratio was forty three to one (1989).

This brings up a very difficult question that I believe is your central issue. To accept that the business owner will exploit you or to seek a system with no exploitation such as the socialist Utopia. And the question remains the same: Will you be less exploited in a socialist Utopia if the employer is the state? Will you receive 100% of the wealth you create with your work? I suspect probably NO.

I agree, workers are exploited, but at this time in history humans have not come up with a better system. Socialism has not worked and at most it produces a mediocre lifestyle. I say mediocre from my perspective since I am mid to upper class. I was very poor, it would be a different story.

BTW, my employer pays for six weeks of vacation, health care, retirement, etc. There are times when we are not that busy. ON those days there is no profit and I create little wealth; not enough to generate a profit. if those days were to become the norm then the business would close.
#15007372
Julian658 wrote:OK, I think I get your point. You believe people are exploited in a capitalist society. You are correct, in that regards. I work for a small business and the owner keeps a part of the wealth I create with my work and that is called profit. I was able to keep all the wealth created by my work the owner would not have a profit.


No, that was not my point at all.

This brings up a very interesting point: If the owner cannot make a profit them why set up a business? Why would anyone take the huge risk of opening a business with 80% failure rate if there is no chance of making a profit? Why would anyone with a great idea or invention try to promote his ideas if there is NO profit? History tells us that when people have no incentives they create very little. The East German engineers built one of the worst gas powered automobiles in world history because the East German government had a monopoly and was socialist. AT the same time West German engineers designed the best automobiles in the world because they had incentives.

The Trabant from East germany
...

The Porsche from West Germany
....

The Trabant was known to immediately breakdown after leaving the factory.

Being a state monopoly, it took ten years to acquire a Trabant, East German buyers were placed on a waiting-list of up to thirteen years. The waiting time depended on their proximity to Berlin, the capital. Official state price was 7,450 GDR marks and the demand to production ratio was forty three to one (1989).


People would invest time and energy in projects because those projects are necessary and useful. Making sports cars would not be one of those things.

This brings up a very difficult question that I believe is your central issue. To accept that the business owner will exploit you or to seek a system with no exploitation such as the socialist Utopia. And the question remains the same: Will you be less exploited in a socialist Utopia if the employer is the state? Will you receive 100% of the wealth you create with your work? I suspect probably NO.


No, I would not receive 100% of the wealth I created. That is not how socialism works.

Instead, I would hand over to the community all that I was able to give, and the community would in turn provide me with everything that I need.

I agree, workers are exploited, but at this time in history humans have not come up with a better system. Socialism has not worked and at most it produces a mediocre lifestyle. I say mediocre from my perspective since I am mid to upper class. I was very poor, it would be a different story.

BTW, my employer pays for six weeks of vacation, health care, retirement, etc. There are times when we are not that busy. ON those days there is no profit and I create little wealth; not enough to generate a profit. if those days were to become the norm then the business would close.


I have given examples of successful socialism. Feel free to address them.
#15007380
Pants-of-dog wrote:


People would invest time and energy in projects because those projects are necessary and useful. Making sports cars would not be one of those things.


OK, will you give up your smart phone, Internet, air conditioning etc in exchange for the Utopia? The list of things we can do away with is rather long. We could go all the way back to a hunter and gather existence. You may like that, but I prefer the comfortable life that is provided by capitalism even if I am exploited by the system. IN other words as you said in earlier posts oppression can be mild or severe.



No, I would not receive 100% of the wealth I created. That is not how socialism works.

Instead, I would hand over to the community all that I was able to give, and the community would in turn provide me with everything that I need.



Your view is the Utopia, but i give you credit. I think we will live like that in about 200 years. There will come a time when robots will do all the work and humans will be taken care of by the state. And there will also be universal income to avoid a revolution by the masses. Personally, I don't look forward to such a system. I don't mind the struggle to survive and make a living. I believe it makes me a better person and gives a lot of meaning to my life.

I have given examples of successful socialism. Feel free to address them.


Successful in comparison to what? I agree with you! If I was at the bottom of the hierarchy living in the gutter I would accept Cuba in a heartbeat because my standard of living would immediately go up. But, not to worry, the Utopia will be a reality once there are no more jobs for humans to do. The system will set up a welfare state with UBI and leisure for all. The question is: Will this change the Utopia into a dystopic worl. Have you seen skid row in Los Angeles california?
#15007383
Julian658 wrote:OK, will you give up your smart phone, Internet, air conditioning etc in exchange for the Utopia? The list of things we can do away with is rather long. We could go all the way back to a hunter and gather existence. You may like that, but I prefer the comfortable life that is provided by capitalism even if I am exploited by the system. IN other words as you said in earlier posts oppression can be mild or severe.


The average Cuban has a smart phone, Internet, and air conditioning. If a developing country can do it, so can we.

Your view is the Utopia, but i give you credit. I think we will live like that in about 200 years. There will come a time when robots will do all the work and humans will be taken care of by the state. And there will also be universal income to avoid a revolution by the masses. Personally, I don't look forward to such a system. I don't mind the struggle to survive and make a living. I believe it makes me a better person and gives a lot of meaning to my life.


I have no problem with using technology to make capitalism obsolete. And if this means I get to spend more time hanging out with my kids, that is not a bad thing at all.

Successful in comparison to what? I agree with you! If I was at the bottom of the hierarchy living in the gutter I would accept Cuba in a heartbeat because my standard of living would immediately go up. But, not to worry, the Utopia will be a reality once there are no more jobs for humans to do. The system will set up a welfare state with UBI and leisure for all. The question is: Will this change the Utopia into a dystopic worl. Have you seen skid row in Los Angeles california?


Since you are the one saying they are unsuccessful, I would love some clarification on that.

For me, success would include public health care, medical outcomes comparable to the developed world, high levels of education, civil rights, and a host of other things.

Also, please note that the dystopian conditions you describe, that already exist in urban areas in the USA, are a product of capitalism.
#15007385
Julian658 wrote:You may like that, but I prefer the comfortable life that is provided by capitalism even if I am exploited by the system. IN other words as you said in earlier posts oppression can be mild or severe.


You think you're happy? You're a rat in a race.

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