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Dunenewt

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Just wondering what people think of this quotation:

Communism will never work with human nature. It would only work if we were angels or ants, at which point we wouldn't be human anyway.

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Just wondering what people think of this quotation:

Communism will never work with human nature. It would only work if we were angels or ants, at which point we wouldn't be human anyway.

well....according to Nema....being human isnt a big deal anyways.... we are quote "bags of excited chemicals"

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Well if you think about it, there is something that makes us human and sometimes you might have thought, are we even mammals?

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Well if you think about it, there is something that makes us human and sometimes you might have thought, are we even mammals?

we dont lay eggs and we breastfeed and we are warm blooded... so yes i think we qualify as mammals.

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But we have so many differences from mammals as well.

I mean look how much we have developed and we are in a group with shrews and cows.

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Just wondering what people think of this quotation:

Looking at (so far) the only real replies to this thread, it's nice to get a little away from Politics and Religion and into more pure Philosophy... there should be more on this board, only I can't think of much at the moment.  Anyway, regarding the quote:

I only agree if you're referring to the so-called communism of the USSR and China et al, which isn't really communism at all (as debated to death in other threads).  However, I think that a move towards a more communist/socialist world should be possible... it's not an unachievable goal although PURE theoretical socialism might be, but getting halfway between there and here might not be... so maybe it's not so silly after all.  I just think that people ought not to be so paranoid about each other.  It's this lack of trust which is the single greatest weapon working against the EU and similar ventures.

However, I think that the day will come when we finally either have a damned war or agree on something.  Like the heat before a big storm, it's unavoidable.  I just wonder which way we will go when the storm finally arrives...

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But we have so many differences from mammals as well.

I mean look how much we have developed and we are in a group with shrews and cows.

well its just a biological group ... not an intellectual group.

meaning the group mammals means we have biological similarities... not that we have the same intelligence.

And as for us having something special.. i read somewhere that animals have many of the capacities that we have.... even primates.. they can be jealous , sad, happy, confused, angry, aroused, and primates can be taught around 400 different sign language

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It's unachievable because humans will always want it. If you have power, it is better for you to lead the socialism to blind street as our commies did. Also, what would be at end? Our material needs from bread to sex would be fulfilled, live like pigs in crop, we will declare ourselves to gods and all we'll do would be maintaince of the order. Nonconformists will be erased for good of society, science will solve any problem. Antiutopy. But quoting another wise man, I would rather try to rule in hell than be a servant of such "heaven"...

Gott sei dank, we are humans.

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Hang on, hang on. Be careful how you use thet quote of mine. It has relevance only to the question of the meaning of life (answeing the title of the thread from which it was exhumed).

Yes, we are indeed just bags of chemicals in the grander scheme of things, but when looking at it from a political scale, bags we be, but complicated bags.

Idealistic Communism has little chance of working (staying in place nor being much use) with humans. Rotten Communism, for example Stalinism, can maintain power for some time, but it will not be much good for anyone living there. I think a more cynical communism can exist, one that takes account of human nature and one that is designed to apply restriction and freedom in the right places.

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Yes, perfect idea. Sacrifice your individuality, share your soul with others. Why should human have a right for such valuable thing? I think I will really turn to red ones...

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If that was a reply to my post, you've misunderstood me. What I mean is that communism might work if it is politically structured to prevent individuals abusing power, but nevertheless gives them as much freedom as possible over their own lives.

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Communism is made specially to not only prevent from abusing, but even from normally handling the power. Even if someone is really talented, if someone has good overview and wisdom to create good laws, communism would rather stay in the old than to give him power. That would only encourage such persons to overthrow the system.

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Well, if you're talking about what I've called rotten communism, then you're correct. But otherwise, that doesn't necessarily have to result from communism.

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Now you've missed my point. I mean it is necessary to have a legal possibility for an individual to gain political power. Otherwise, people with enough will would try to gain it by force. However, communist antiutopy expects absolute equality of political influence of all people.

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Communism will never work with human nature. It would only work if we were angels or ants, at which point we wouldn't be human anyway.

That quote is typical of the kind of idiotic myths that just won't go away, no matter how irrational and baseless they are proven to be. It's really nothing more than a dogmatic statement which completely lacks any kind of substance. In order to compose a reasonable argument, you would have to go through the following steps:

a) Define "human nature".

b) Prove that your idea of "human nature" really is a characteristic inherent to all human beings.

c) Prove that human beings cannot escape the restrictions of this "human nature".

d) Explain why this "human nature" comes into conflict with communism.

I have yet to meet any capitalist capable of accomplishing points B and C. Also, when they get to point D, most capitalists show that they do not understand how communism works. You see, communism does NOT rely on people sharing their possessions out of the kindness of their hearts. It relies on people sharing their possessions because they know that they will all benefit from it.

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Edric, what if not every member of society feels they will benefit of sharing their possessions? Is it up to society to force them to do so?

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No. In communism, he would be free to leave society any time he wishes, and go live as a hermit. Or, if there are more people who share his views, they could get together and establish their own society, organized according to their own principles.

You can expect a few of these "renegade societies" to exist alongside any communist system. But they will never grow much, due to the fact that the poor and dissatisfied will leave them and go join the communist system.

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Awesome. I think those exist with any sort of society, though. Look at American militias.

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a) Define "human nature".

b) Prove that your idea of "human nature" really is a characteristic inherent to all human beings.

c) Prove that human beings cannot escape the restrictions of this "human nature".

d) Explain why this "human nature" comes into conflict with communism.

a) Human nature - the spectrum of all behaviours identifiable as inherant or instinctive in humans due to thousands of years of evolution.  *Note: different aspects of human nature may contradict one another (eg sacrificing one's self for one's children)

b) Uhh...all humans behave...

c) No matter what behaviour, it can be identified as an extension of a more primitive behaviour.

d) I didn't say that it always does.  Communism relies on the human social tendency - working as a group, for the whole.  Like I said before, different instincts can conflict with each other, and in the case of communism, the most obvious conflict is in the human utilitarian tendency to do the smallest possible amount of work for the biggest gain.  It's what makes us inventors.  Why would the caveman make several trips dragging heaps of fresh meat back to his cave and risk losing his food (his livelyhood) to scavengers when he can carry it in a wheelbarrow?  It's why cavemen invented the wheel, why Jetrho Tull invented the seed drill, etc.  My argument has always been that in some individuals, the instinct to do the least (nothing) for the most (whatever society will give them) is stronger than the instinct to help the group and work towards a whole, and stronger than the shame of being "deadweight."

I'll use an extreme example.  I saw a man interviewed once who described himself as the cheapest man in America (I can't remember his real name, so lets call him Jon).  Jon is in his thirties and has no job.  He lives on welfare in a government housing project.  He was explaining why he is the cheapest man in America.  He talked at great lengths about some of the things he does to save money.  They included buying bulk, re-using paper towels (yes...paper towels), and peeling two-ply toilet paper in half so you get twice as much.  Now Jon is not an employment statistic since he isn't even looking for work.  According to him, he is content to remain in his current state for the rest of his life until he is old enough to live in a senoirs home.  When asked why he doesn't just pool all the energy he spends at being cheap into working a job he just said, "Why would you do that?  Why would you work when you don't need to?"  Apparently Jon feels no guilt for being deadweight to the taxpayers whose work is supporting him.

You are not the reason communism will never work, Edric.  Neither am I or most people for that matter.  JON is the reason communism will never work.  Laziness is a disease that can infect normal, healthy people.  Nothing is more enraging than working your ass off just to have your taxdollars go to lazy, ungrateful scuz like Jon.  Either the symptoms of the disease must be treated in some way, and people like Jon have to be bullied into working (eg the KGB) or the disease becomes infectious and spreads to the point where it consumes the productivity of society.  After all, why should you be expected to work when there are moochie schlubs that do nothing and can live a life similar to yours?  I'm not saying YOU will stop working or even that most people will, but there will always be enough deadweight on the backs of the workers to slow their pace and give them arthritis.

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No. In communism, he would be free to leave society any time he wishes, and go live as a hermit. Or, if there are more people who share his views, they could get together and establish their own society, organized according to their own principles.

You can expect a few of these "renegade societies" to exist alongside any communist system. But they will never grow much, due to the fact that the poor and dissatisfied will leave them and go join the communist system.

"renegade societies"..... if that isn't discrimination, what is it?.

Taking your own example as if it would be a valid one, I could point out that those "separate societies" ended up being the only ones who actually remains, given the fact that there are not a single communist society actually. People have wisely choosen the system they want to live in.

The fact that they are poor, has very little to do with the political organization.

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Jon is not only lazy, Ace. Jon is utterly, irrevocably stupid. He puts more effort into being cheap and lazy than the effort he would need to put into working for a living:

When asked why he doesn't just pool all the energy he spends at being cheap into working a job he just said, "Why would you do that?  Why would you work when you don't need to?"

There will always be people like Jon. But will there be enough of them to pose any serious threat to the stability of a communist system? No, never.

Jon is costing each American a tiny fraction of a fraction of a cent. You would need at least a thousand Jon clones just to create an effect that is a little above irrelevance. And you would need millions of Jon clones if you want to have the slightest chance of causing serious damage to the system.

You will never have those numbers. Laziness may be contagious, but suicidal stupidity isn't. If reasonable people start acting like Jon, they will soon feel the decline in their own living standards, and, being reasonable, they will immediately go back to work.

Nothing is more enraging than working your ass off just to have your taxdollars go to lazy, ungrateful scuz like Jon.

If that's the way people thought, capitalism would have collapsed a long time ago. Keep in mind that capitalism is a system in which great wealth is accumulated by the rich at the expense of the poor. Essentially, the employer extracts a "tax" from his employees, and every employer is (at least partially) a "freeloader" living off other people's labour. So, by your logic, every employee should have stopped working a long time ago, because "nothing is more enraging than working your ass off just to have the fruits of your labour go to lazy, ungrateful scuz like your boss".

Of course, you may argue that not every boss is a lazy, ungrateful scuz. But I gave you an extreme example, just like Jon is an extreme example.

Jon may scrape a meager living off other people's money, but that is NOTHING compared to the millions upon millions of dollars of other people's money that goes to super-rich capitalist billionaires. And capitalism certainly doesn't seem to be driven on the brink of destruction by this...

a) Human nature - the spectrum of all behaviours identifiable as inherant or instinctive in humans due to thousands of years of evolution.  *Note: different aspects of human nature may contradict one another (eg sacrificing one's self for one's children)

Oh, so human nature is composed of anything humans do. Thank you, that was very clear and precise. ::)

b) Uhh...all humans behave...

c) No matter what behaviour, it can be identified as an extension of a more primitive behaviour.

Your definition says that anything done by humans is part of human nature, and you're using it as "proof" that... anything done by humans is part of human nature.

Can any argument get more circular than that?

d) I didn't say that it always does.  Communism relies on the human social tendency - working as a group, for the whole.  Like I said before, different instincts can conflict with each other, and in the case of communism, the most obvious conflict is in the human utilitarian tendency to do the smallest possible amount of work for the biggest gain.  It's what makes us inventors.  Why would the caveman make several trips dragging heaps of fresh meat back to his cave and risk losing his food (his livelyhood) to scavengers when he can carry it in a wheelbarrow?  It's why cavemen invented the wheel, why Jetrho Tull invented the seed drill, etc.  My argument has always been that in some individuals, the instinct to do the least (nothing) for the most (whatever society will give them) is stronger than the instinct to help the group and work towards a whole, and stronger than the shame of being "deadweight."

First of all, those individuals are usually rare, and there aren't enough of them to upset the system too much.

Second of all, you completely ignored the existence of human intelligence. Granted, some humans aren't extremely intelligent, but I've never met anyone who lets himself be driven 100% by instinct. And you don't have to be particularly intelligent to make the connection between the lack of work and the drop in living standards.

You see, communism is a self-regulating system. If laziness spreads, it will result in a drop in living standards that will prompt everyone to go back to work. Eventually a balance will be reached between work and leisure.

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"renegade societies"..... if that isn't discrimination, what is it?

It was a figure of speech. You can call them whatever you want.

Taking your own example as if it would be a valid one, I could point out that those "separate societies" ended up being the only ones who actually remains, given the fact that there are not a single communist society actually.

I was talking about a communist world (or a communist country, if you want to use a less ambitious example), which would of course allow anyone who is dissatisfied with communism to leave and establish a new society with other like-minded people.

When was there in history any situation remotely similar to this? I must remind you that no communist country ever existed. The largest communist systems so far have been the size of a small city.

DO NOT confuse communism with socialism, and DO NOT confuse either of them with stalinism (the system of the Soviet Union & co.)

The fact that they are poor, has very little to do with the political organization.

They are poor and exploited, so they will want to move to a system where they are no longer poor and exploited. Namely communism.

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"There will always be people like Jon. But will there be enough of them to pose any serious threat to the stability of a communist system? No, never"

The question is whether or not the system allows people like Jon to get away with it. If he is not actively seeking a job, and has no reason other than laziness, he should receive no benefits from the state. Jon is therefore no longer a drain on anyone's money.

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^That was the point I was trying to make.^

Jon is not only lazy, Ace. Jon is utterly, irrevocably stupid. He puts more effort into being cheap and lazy than the effort he would need to put into working for a living:
Obviously not, or he would just get a job.  People who work are the ones who are stupid to Jon.
There will always be people like Jon. But will there be enough of them to pose any serious threat to the stability of a communist system? No, never.
In what you dub Stalinism there wouldn't be, because the KGB or equivalent would either bully him into working or just make him "disappear."  But in a democratic system where people have rights, which is what you have always preached, if there is no money and everybody is supposed to take what they "need," Jon can take as much as he wants and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it if he never gets cut off.
You will never have those numbers. Laziness may be contagious, but suicidal stupidity isn't. If reasonable people start acting like Jon, they will soon feel the decline in their own living standards, and, being reasonable, they will immediately go back to work.
HOW?  How in the world can their standard of living decrease if it's there's a baseline guaranteed by the state?
If that's the way people thought, capitalism would have collapsed a long time ago. Keep in mind that capitalism is a system in which great wealth is accumulated by the rich at the expense of the poor. Essentially, the employer extracts a "tax" from his employees, and every employer is (at least partially) a "freeloader" living off other people's labour. So, by your logic, every employee should have stopped working a long time ago, because "nothing is more enraging than working your ass off just to have the fruits of your labour go to lazy, ungrateful scuz like your boss".
If it was his capital investment that gave me my job, I'll have to live with it.  And if I feel I'm not being payed what I deserve, I can seek a job elsewhere.
Jon may scrape a meager living off other people's money, but that is NOTHING compared to the millions upon millions of dollars of other people's money that goes to super-rich capitalist billionaires. And capitalism certainly doesn't seem to be driven on the brink of destruction by this...
That's because in any good mixed economy there are penalties, direct or through inflation, on any money that isn't reinvested into the market.
Oh, so human nature is composed of anything humans do. Thank you, that was very clear and precise. ::)

Your definition says that anything done by humans is part of human nature, and you're using it as "proof" that... anything done by humans is part of human nature.

Can any argument get more circular than that?

Don't pull an emprworm on me.  I'm not shortsighted enough to believe in a universal or even general human condition.  Just because that doesn't fit your cookie-cutter questions doesn't make it invalid.
First of all, those individuals are usually rare, and there aren't enough of them to upset the system too much.
It doesn't matter what impact they make.  The fact that lazy individuals even have  the ability to lower the standard of living for all of society is what I have a problem with.
Second of all, you completely ignored the existence of human intelligence. Granted, some humans aren't extremely intelligent, but I've never met anyone who lets himself be driven 100% by instinct. And you don't have to be particularly intelligent to make the connection between the lack of work and the drop in living standards.
Hardly.  It's like what you said about Jon; he's costing every American a tiny fraction of a cent.  The work that he doesn't do deprives himself of ONE tiny fraction of a cent, because there are over 200 million people each giving him a tiny fraction of a cent.  If my productivity drops by a factor of X, my standard of living should also drop by a factor of X (limited by a basic minimum), NOT by a factor of (X/Population).

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The question is whether or not the system allows people like Jon to get away with it. If he is not actively seeking a job, and has no reason other than laziness, he should receive no benefits from the state. Jon is therefore no longer a drain on anyone's money.

That may sound good in theory, but it's practically impossible in reality. How do you know when someone is "not actively seeking a job, and has no reason other than laziness"? You would have to set up some sort of committe to judge each unemployed person and determine whether he's being "lazy" or not. And this invites enourmous corruption and abuse (since the committe would practically have power of life and death over people, so they could for example ask for bribes and cut the unemployment benefits to whoever refuses to bribe them, while giving lots of benefits to Jon because he gave them the biggest bribe). Not to mention the fact that the criteria for judging "laziness" would have to be extremely subjective...

You can't punish Jon without punishing a lot of innocent people along with him. So I'm afraid you have to let Jon get away with it...

Obviously not, or he would just get a job.  People who work are the ones who are stupid to Jon.

I was pointing to the irony of the fact that Jon is working, actually. You said he puts a lot of effort (thus work) into being cheap and lazy.

In what you dub Stalinism there wouldn't be, because the KGB or equivalent would either bully him into working or just make him "disappear."  But in a democratic system where people have rights, which is what you have always preached, if there is no money and everybody is supposed to take what they "need," Jon can take as much as he wants and there's not a damn thing anyone can do about it if he never gets cut off.

True. But first of all, people like Jon are very rare (and that's why they will never be a significant drain on the system). Second of all, as I explained in my reply to Nema, trying to separate Jon from the rest of the unemployed would be extremely difficult and almost impossible; it would invite corruption and abuse, and it would have to be based on subjective criteria, which means that a lot of innocent people would be hurt. You can't cut off Jon without also cutting off a lot of other people who don't deserve it. So you have no choice but to tolerate Jon.

HOW?  How in the world can their standard of living decrease if it's there's a baseline guaranteed by the state?

What state? We're talking about communism here, not socialism. Communism is the system in which there is no money, all property is put in common and people take what they need. Socialism still uses money and limited forms of private property. In socialism, people DO NOT take what they need - they are rewarded according to their work (while a bare minimum is guaranteed to everyone by the state). So the problem we're talking about doesn't exist in socialism.

Communism doesn't have only a baseline guaranteed by the state (since the state doesn't exist, anyway). Communism goes further than that. It's based on the principle "from each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need". Or, in other words, people share their work and the products of their work, so everyone can take what he/she needs. Now, if too many people don't work (or if they are lazy), then there won't be enough to satisfy everyone's basic needs. So they will have to get back to work.

If it was his capital investment that gave me my job, I'll have to live with it.

Why? What's so special about capital investment? Essentially, your employer is loaning you a finite sum of money, and he expects you to pay him back an infinite interest for it. If I gave you $50 and asked you to pay me $1 every day for the rest of your life in return for it, would that be fair and just? Of course not. So then why is it any more acceptable when you call it "capital investment"?

And if I feel I'm not being payed what I deserve, I can seek a job elsewhere.

ALL employers must pay you less than you deserve, in order to make a profit.

And besides, the fact that you can choose who gets to rob you is not an excuse for theft.

Don't pull an emprworm on me.  I'm not shortsighted enough to believe in a universal or even general human condition.  Just because that doesn't fit your cookie-cutter questions doesn't make it invalid.

The cookie-cutter questions were shaped according to the cookie-cutter statement quoted by DuneNewt in the first post of this topic. They are meant for someone who DOES believe in a universal human condition. If you're not such a person, then the questions are not addressed to you...

It doesn't matter what impact they make.  The fact that lazy individuals even have  the ability to lower the standard of living for all of society is what I have a problem with.

Again, see my reply to Nema at the top of this post.

Hardly.  It's like what you said about Jon; he's costing every American a tiny fraction of a cent.  The work that he doesn't do deprives himself of ONE tiny fraction of a cent, because there are over 200 million people each giving him a tiny fraction of a cent.  If my productivity drops by a factor of X, my standard of living should also drop by a factor of X (limited by a basic minimum), NOT by a factor of (X/Population).

And how exactly do you plan to measure your productivity, in order to calculate how much your standard of living should drop?

Your idea is good and just, but it doesn't work in practice. You would need a central authority who calculates people's productivity and decides how much they deserve to be paid - a situation that would create EXTREME corruption and abuse, leading to incredible injustice. "Productivity" is a vague, subjective concept.

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