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Just what do you people think communism means, anyway?

Discussion in 'Archived - Ethics & Morality' started by The Seeker, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    I'm quite tired of a certain subset of ignoramuses insisting that state run social welfare programs or Keynesian economic intervention by government are "Communism". Usually with no attempt to say why these things are in and of themselves bad, it is considered enough, it seems, within modern Western political discourse merely to call something "Communism" and make no attempt to refute the positive arguments for it.

    There are two meanings of communism, there's Communism, often used to refer to Leninism (the ideology of the Soviet Union) and there's communism, which is a political term meaning a society where property and the means of production are held in common (not this doesn't necessarily imply state control, merely communal ownership). One thing that certainly isn't communism is a few rich, capitalist politicians throwing crumbs to the working class so we don't get hacked off and hang the lot of them.

    Its not a matter of perspective, or opinion, it is a simple matter of objective FACT. Mkay?
     
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  2. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    Communal ownership is state control. If I can't do what I want with my property, then its because someone else has a say in it. In communism it is the rest of the state thus state control.
     
  3. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    How do you jump from "someone else has a say" to "state control"?
     
  4. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    If it is communal property then everyone should have a say in it, i.e. the entire state. The state controls all property.
     
  5. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    Define "everyone", come to that define "state" first.
     
  6. Spherical Time

    Spherical Time Reality has a well known Liberal bias.

    +214
    Atheist
    Single
    UK-Liberal-Democrats
    I almost couldn't find the reps button.

    Anyway, in regards to kedaman's question, aren't all property laws inherently communistic then? We may be capitalistic, but we still impose rules and collect taxes.
     
  7. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    the state consists of its members, and everyone refers to them.
     
  8. WittyBanter

    WittyBanter Regular Member

    219
    +13
    Agnostic
    Married
    What Cuba tried to do with Communism (and I know there are many 'flavors' - I am using the one I have seen) is to Nationalize everything. All business, factories, etc are run by the state. Everyone who works there does so because they wish to make their society better. So a doctor heals, a factory worker works, etc because they WISH to do that job. Money is never an issue as in a 'perfect' communist state everyone has the same standard of living (a house, food allowance and so forth).
    The problem has always been that it takes a truly altrusistic person to see things this way. Most doctors would not be happy making as much as a nurse. Che tried for years to make Cuban's see things the way he did (he worked at factories and such once the revolution was over trying to instill an urge to work) but was never very successful. Then again, I found Cubans to be generally happier then most western people I met. They all had a house, food, cigars/booze, and a much higher family focus. A very different culture. I gotta lay off the brackets in my messages....
     
  9. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    I happen to disagree. The state is controlled by a few individuals in power, it is the tool of capital, truly communal ownership can only exist without state interference.
     
  10. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    If you haven't noticed, I didn't ask any questions. Property laws aren't inherently communistic because everyone does not necessarily have a say in it.
     
  11. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    Yes, Cuba is an interesting example, but the problem with Cuba, IMO, lies in the fact that too much altruism is attributed to the state and not enough to the people, iyswim. Statist communism suffers from the inconsistancy that the rich are not trusted to hold power, but the "vanguard party" are, IMO of course.
     
  12. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    If a few people control the state then its not communism but oligarchy.
    I think thats a contradiction in terms.
     
  13. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    A few people always control the state. You can't have central government without a minority in control.

    I don't. Have you ever visited a social centre? Entirely communal spaces open to the whole local community with absolutely no state control whatsoever.
     
  14. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    Basically that would mean that communism is impossible and that all states are necessarily oligarchies.

    A communal space without no state control is also a contradiction in terms. The state equals its population. If its communal then it belongs to the entire population i.e. the state.
     
  15. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    No it wouldn't as I have repeatedly explained to you.

    Yup.

    Are you being this blinkered and ignorant on purpose? Communal ownership and state ownership are not the same thing. No more are a state and its subjects.

    If your problem is the term "communal ownership" then what I mean is held in common.
     
  16. Moros

    Moros Well-Known Member

    +422
    Buddhist
    Single
    People have a right to be suspicious of any government which could easily lead to Leninism.
     
  17. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    I neither recall you ever explaining it to me, nor that I have made that statement before. Care to refresh my memory?
    Why would I be?
    I disagree.
    I don't have a problem with that.
     
  18. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    When you said that state control is necessary for communism and I explained why it is not. At least three times now.

    Some examples of communal ownership sans state:
    • Social centres (there's lots of them about)
    • Several people sharing one home
    • The volutary agrarian collectives in 1930s Spain (I distinguish between these and the forced collectivisation which occurred in a few isolated cases in Spain and on a mass scale in Russia, this was both economically disastrous and morally wrong)
     
  19. kedaman

    kedaman Well-Known Member

    +4
    Christian
    That's a different issue. As far as I can remember I only once said that If its necessary that only a few people control the state then it follows that communism is impossible, and don't remember you explaining why not.

    Now I wouldn't call this a state but it would be in principle the same thing.
     
  20. The Seeker

    The Seeker Guest

    +0
    The one follows from the other

    By that logic the word "state" becomes meaningless, because it could refer to anything other than total chaos.
     
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