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A few clarifications...

Posted by Dissident on Thursday, October 08 2020 at 02:16:00AM
In reply to Counterpoints posted by Baldur on Tuesday, October 06 2020 at 07:13:56AM

...since you decided to bring up the capitalism thing again. And since you made it clear you did not want to offend me, I will respond with the same degree of respect, while once again clarifying some points. This, again, is to CLARIFY, not start yet another debate about capitalism vs. socialism that eventually gets heated beyond the intensity of a solar flare.

(Dissident, no offense to you, but I am speaking about how communism has always been implemented in practice at a national scale, not how it might be practiced voluntarily at a small scale by people who know and care about each other.)

You again refer to how Leninism and its various offshoots (e.g., Maoism) have been implemented in practice: an all-powerful state controlled by a small bureaucratic class making all the economic decisions "on behalf" of the people while the former takes the lion's share of the wealth produced for themselves and forcing the submission of the workers via command of a professional police force and secret intelligence agency (i.e., the KGB). That does not resemble in any way classical Marxism as formulated by Marx and Engels, i.e., a classless, stateless, and moneyless society with the industries socially owned and controlled entirely by workers for the benefit of each other, with no bureaucrats as "middle men". That system has never been established on this planet, and further, was never intended to be established on a small scale but on a global scale via an international workers' movement. The small scale attempts with mutually caring people you alluded to were "utopian" communities that ultimately failed because they isolated themselves from the advanced technology required to produce an abundance for all, which Marx and Engels were very clear about as a requirement to build a true workers' economy. A small, nearly isolated community in the woods living under largely agrarian conditions cannot realistically accomplish producing an abundance for all, and will eventually get subsumed by the larger society surrounding them.

This, again, is not to say you should agree with this ideology. It's to clarify to those reading what I do support vs. what I do not and never have supported, and what Marx and Engels formulated vs. what Lenin and Stalin actually created in a single nation that did not have advanced productive technology and received no help from the international community. China and the many small Third World nations (e.g., Cuba) that adopted variations of this are other examples.

Third, despite the many problems in our capitalist societies, they have still done far more to improve the human condition than any societies with other economic systems have done. One of the key points is that those seeking profit through voluntary exchange can only succeed if they actually meet the needs of those they seek to profit from, whereas in authoritarian systems those seeking profits do not have to care about the opinions of others.

For the record (again) no classical Marxist ignores what capitalism has accomplished in terms of technological/industrial progress. What we do say, just to be clear, is that now that we have reached that technological point, our belief is that capitalism no longer has a progressive role to play and needs to be replaced by a new, more advanced system that has come of age morally and technologically, much as capitalism replaced feudalism once the latter ceased to be a progressive system and made the former possible by the mid-18th century.

Again, this is not to debate the merits of capitalism, but to make it clear that my qualms with it is not to deny what it has given us; the argument is whether or not it was ever intended to be an eternal system upon its establishment and whether or not it has since become archaic and destructive as a result. You believe it hasn't; I believe it has. Therein lies where we must basically agree to disagree.

Incidentally, if you think that capitalism leads to environmental degradation, you might want to look at the environmental degradation under non-capitalist systems. There's a reason why the most capitalist societies today also tend to have the cleanest and healthiest environments. The only environmental advantage that some other systems have is that once millions of people are dead nature can reclaim some of the places they lived.

My belief, which we have always had to agree to disagree upon, is that all systems in the world today are class-divided systems that are variations of capitalism (with class divisions, the requirement of currency to purchase items and services a wage system, a state designed to enforce property-based laws), not examples of classical Marxism/socialism "in actual operation." You already know how I feel about the profit motive and the environment, so I shan't go there again.

As for social nudity - I have no problem with nudism and think it has many benefits, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary either - especially as an everyday affair.

I concur. I personally have no problem with the concept of nudism, though I also have no conflict with those who wish to refrain from it. Personally, I have nothing against covering my lower depths, so I argue for nudism as a morally neutral concept that is neither good nor bad, but how people in a given place feel comfy with it or not. There are also the environmental factors to take into consideration, of course, but I think that is a no-brainer (or should be).


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