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Senate This thread is publicly owned (marxism, socialism, and left-wing ideologies)

Discussion in 'Community' started by 3sm1r, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

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    May 4, 2003
    None of us are economists that I'm aware of and I agree that these things can/should be much better regulated than they are. But I think the other half of Vivec's question for "natural" price rises is scarcity. It may not be that a business would fail if a product were sold it the normal price. But it may also be that people effectively can't get the thing because that price doesn't cover the cost of making any more/faster. I think that's more or less an okay outcome for luxury goods. More basic amenities seem like they would need a more complex solution, though it's beyond my understanding of the discipline to develop what that would look like.
     
  2. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    If as blackmyron is saying, these price increases are happening at times of record profits, then I'd argue that the cost of making any more faster is being covered. An example of a luxury good where that's happening is Magic the Gathering, which is currently bringing in record profits for Hasbro, yet during those record profits, Hasbro announced a price increase on sealed product due to supposedly shipping constraints. But clearly they have been making enough money to cover these increased shipping costs, they choose not to in order to keep having record profits.

    Though being luxury goods, it's low on the priority of handling, I agree. The priority is on necessities, luxuries can follow.
     
  3. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    Jon Stewart owned Larry Summers on this subject on his show last week.

     
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  4. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

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    May 4, 2003
    NIAWYC

    You can't say production costs are impractical and also that profits are record-high.
     
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  5. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    If the production costs are indeed higher, the companies in question could cover them by detracting from their record profits.

    I’m running into this with the company that handles my book fairs, which is no longer pretending to care more about children’s literacy than increasing their bottom line.
     
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  6. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    New SecondThought video: for when you have too little of an attention span to read theory



    Also the next time someone (coughblackmyroncough) posts the smoothbrain takes of "communist" china has markets/money/businesses/etc, please watch video and/or read theory. Businesses and enterprises can exist in socialism. Capitalism =/= markets.
     
  7. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Chosen One star 7

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    Apr 25, 2004
    Read an article a while ago which amusingly stated that hedge fund managers started to own large enough chunks of the economy that it becomes in their interest to ensure all the parts cooperate smoothly, and it starts to look like socialism.
     
  8. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    I assume the author meant oligarchy.
     
  9. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 29, 2016
    Does anyone here have strong feelings about either Trotsky, Luxembourg or Kropotkin as theorists?

    I want to explore branches of leftist thought and socialism outside of Leninist writers (syndicalism, anarchism, etc), though I still have a couple of Lenin’s longer texts I want to get to in the future, as well as Engels’ Origin of the Family and On Authority. I don’t want to completely rule out this school of thought though.

    I know that Kropotkin wrote The Conquest of Bread, and was a part of the anarchist/anarcho-communist tradition, which I would like to explore more. I think Conquest will be a summer project.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2023
  10. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    new theory just dropped

     
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  11. 3sm1r

    3sm1r Force Ghost star 6

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    Dec 27, 2017
    It's a fair point.
    Personally, the feeling I have is that social interactions tend to follow a hierarchy where the format marriage + children is on top, and other kinds of communities are neglected.
    It is a structure we give for granted, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that way.
    So, crossing 30 without a wife, and changing country several times, contributed to make me appreciate this aspect.
    Capitalism does play a role, though it is worth pointing out that this got way worse for recent generations, and capitalism has been around for way longer.
    The toxic relationship people have with social media is due to several things, and yes, the lack of a sense of purpose and the lack of a sense of belonging are part of the causes and they might be due, in part, also to the economic system we have.
     
  12. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

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    Jul 29, 2016
    Has anyone else here read "The Conquest of Bread?" I'm currently on Chapter 2.
     
  13. Darth_Accipiter

    Darth_Accipiter Force Ghost star 6

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    Feb 2, 2015
    Wrong thread. Way off. Oops
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2023
  14. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    Gonna post about global capitalism and the geopolitics around it. I'm aware that the majority of people here are westerners and therefore default to the western foreign policy view on these things, but this is the Marxism thread so this is going to get a Marxist analysis, specifically about global capitalism and imperialism (reminder that imperialism within the scope of leftist politics is defined as an unequal political, economic, and militaristic relationship between countries under global capitalism). I'm also aware that most people aren't Marxists so I will try to answer any questions I can, provided I'm online.

    There's been a coup in Niger. The president was overthrown by the guard, and the military has joined up with the coup. Niger is part of Africa that was colonized by France, and France maintains a heavy hand within its former colonies. And France has been the quickest to denounce the coup. Now the base level news analysis within the western world of this situation is that France is a democracy, Niger did something undemocratic, so France denouncing it makes sense because Democracy Good and anything else is Bad. But let's go a little deeper. Niger provides France with a bunch of Uranium for France's nuclear plants. 63% of Niger's Uranium is owned by a French company. The Uranium goes to France and the nuclear power improves the standards of living for French citizens. Meanwhile, Nigerans don't get that standard of living. But Nigerans do the work. They work the dangerous work to provide France with a higher standard of living. This is colonialism with the veneer of legitimacy, because lanyard wearing dorks with globe emojis after their names will just point to how this is a legitimate transaction and if the Nigerans want more, they should just negotiate for more. Except who does the negotiating? The Nigeran government. And France has been having a hand in as much of the Francafrique's governments' business as it can. Learn about France uses the CFA Franc (African money systems tied to France) to restrict their sovereignty.

    These transactions have never been legitimate. There is no legitimacy when once side has its hand in shifting the governments of the other side. There is no legitimacy when core countries use their power to push unfair trade agreements to the global south. This is why France is condemning the coup. Not because the junta leader is bad. But because the junta leader is most likely going to stop the uranium gravy train. And so France is using its influence with the rest of ECOWAS to threaten Niger with war. Western governments don't care about democracy in the global south. They care about their own interests. They are perfectly fine with working with undemocratic governments who further their interests. So you're going to see a lot of things on the news meant to manufacture consent for conflict against Niger. And these things are targeted, by the way, to every part of the western political spectrum. Front page news about how one city in Niger doesn't like gay people, to get the progressives of the west on board with the conflict. We'll ignore the fact that a lot of places that used to be colonies had laws against queer folk from their colonial masters. We're going to hear about how the junta leader is some kind of villain for being undemocratic and that's why it's justified to go to war against Niger. Even though Macron has been doing undemocratic things but nobody's going to war against France.

    So, to summarize. France has a heavy hand within its former colonial holdings. France has no issue with them being undemocratic as long as they help France's geopolitical interests. But in this case they don't because they're threaten France's Uranium holdings there. So France wants this undone, and ECOWAS is going to do it for them, using war if necessary. And you're going to see propaganda from western news sources meant to make this war palatable to you. This is what imperialism looks like. This is how global capitalism works. This is why people like me don't support western foreign policy. Our economy is built on the suffering of people of the global south, bartered in deals that are not fair, because we have a hand in choosing who gets to do the negotiating for the other side. And western foreign policy exists to defend western power under global capitalism.
     
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  15. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

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    Jun 28, 2006
    Vivec, here's a bit for you from anti-Communist propaganda film The Red Danube (1949):
    "When your western democracies fight wars, they say they are fighting to make the world safe for other people. But all the time it is about oil. Oil. And imports and exports."
    "And what do you fight wars about?"
    "Perhaps the same, but when we are fighting about oil, we say we are fighting about oil. We speak the truth"
     
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  16. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 8

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    Oct 13, 2003
    Can you elaborate more on how France conducts its neo-imperialism in its former colonies, particularly in Africa? It's not the first I've heard of it, but curious what you can elaborate on.
    I'm hoping we can get enough pushback against any prospect of war, from both within and beyond France. Macron hasn't exactly been the most popular, and not all leaders in Western governments take the same heavy-handed approach of realpolitik. Even practically speaking, the war in Ukraine has probably been draining a lot of potential European military resources and preventing their use elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2023
  17. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Chosen One star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    Despite being true, a Marxist analysis fails to really explain how this is not also something which would exist without capitalism. People form states, and those states have a power structure, which seeks to preserve both its own security and the security of the state it is the pinnacle of. Self proclaimed communist states exploited less powerful states, and even in a world where there is one government following Marxist ideals, people would be exploited for the benefit of those in a better position. To use an example the powerful people in Moscow and St Petersburg routinely exploited those outside of those centres.

    To solve this issue you need to solve the issue of the powerful exploiting the less powerful. In a world with scarcity I have seen no system conceived or tried that would solve this. The morally correct thing is to support the Nigerian people who want a fairer deal with France and other states. I don’t this requires a Marxist analysis though.
     
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  18. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    @Ghost this is a good summary https://jacobin.com/2020/01/franc-zone-french-neocolonialism-africa and yes I know it's a "biased source" but the truth is biased sometimes (actually, a lot of the time).

    This is nonsense, no offence intended. This is basically a rephrasing of the "human nature" argument without saying the phrase explicitly. I've also said this before, I am not going to answer for people who are dead. They're dead. Stalin is dead. Mao is dead. I answer only for what I propose. If you want to dispute my views, dispute what I propose or what I have done, not what other people have proposed or done. If you have an issue, with for example, my belief that the workers of an endeavor should be the ones who have ownership of the endeavor, then take issue with that. I'm not interested in hearing about how someone who died in 1950 did that that but also wanted to kill the children of factory owners while their parents watched or whatever. They're dead; I suffer today.
     
  19. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Chosen One star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    I’m not asking for you to answer for them, but both the Soviet Union, PRC and other professed Marxist states have attempted to implement the ideas of Marxism-Leniniism in practice. As you’re coming at this from a Marxist perspective then it’s fair to bring up how that ideology has been implemented when attempted at scale. Marxism professes to have answers, not just criticism, which is why I’m not a Maarxist, although I sympathise with many of its analysis of capitalism. It has not worked in practice when tired, and I can’t see any reason why it would in the foreseeable future. I believe capitalism is a problem with no present solution, as disheartening as that may be. People suffer in the West, they suffer in China and they suffered in the Soviet Union. I have seen no solution apart in the medium term.

    It’s also not the human nature argument. I specifically said whilst there is scarcity and states in the world people will exploit the less powerful. It’s about the material conditions. If new technology radically changed human material conditions to such an extent that it changes what people ‘gain’ from the exploiting of others, and the powerful protecting each other in any system, then I can’t see the dynamic changing. Until then all we can do is try to alleviate the worst elements of our system, to support peoples against imperialism in all its forms, support the development of democratic and fairer workplaces, to try and to push as much benefit as we can towards the working classes and support respect for human dignity. One day I hope that people can live a life completely free of want and exploitation. That is not going to be brought about by any Marxist revolution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2023
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  20. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    There was nothing in my initial post of this particular conversation you disagreed with. I never claimed anything about socialist states in that post. You had no actual criticism of a single comment I made in that post. Instead you jumped down a completely different avenue. Do you understand why I'm upset with you? This isn't a case of a pumas "I'm secretly holding X opinions." I had directly professed particular opinions in that post and you didn't even criticize those opinions. You instead opted to criticize me for stuff I hadn't said.
     
  21. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

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    Mar 4, 2011
    My question is—and this is not specific to the situation in Niger, I don’t know the math on how much uranium is needed to supply those who use it—

    —is there actually scarcity, or is the scarcity an artificial creation by rich people who hoard resources? Every time I hear about austerity measures from governments, it has seemed to be the latter.
     
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  22. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    the answer is yes and no. Yes, resources are limited. But not limited enough that there isn't enough for everyone.
     
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  23. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 10

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    May 4, 2003
    To ask a specific question, can anyone comment in detail on the coup leaders and their beliefs/governance style?

    The 1950s-70s already happened. We are already well familiar with leaders who were both genuine in their desire to break away from colonial/neocolonial influence, and whom were simultaneously terrible leaders. This doesn’t need to be a binary choice. Someone can be well-meaning in one way and terrible in another.
     
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  24. DarthPhilosopher

    DarthPhilosopher Chosen One star 6

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    Jan 23, 2011
    I don’t disagree with the analysis of the geopolitical situation. Implied in your post is that global capitalism is uniquely responsible and (since this post isn’t in a vacuum, and I know your other points of view) the dynamic would be resolved by a Marxist revolution. I don’t disagree with the analysis that strong exploit weaker countries fro their own benefit, exert their influence, and that this is partly motivated by their financial and economic interests. I disagree with the proposed solution which you have stated that you hold previously. My post could have asked ‘how would you solve the issue,’ but since I already know your outlook, I thought it was easier to cut to the chase.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2023
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  25. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 9

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    Apr 17, 2006
    I didn't mean to imply that. What I'm trying to say is that this particular relationship within global capitalism is called Imperialism. I do think that socialist countries need to actively work to not maintain a standard of living based on the suffering of those in the global south or elsewhere.

    If you thought so because I posted this in the leftism thread, I did so because I was coming at this from a leftist position and I also didn't want to make a new thread for this topic. This could just as easily have been my OP in a poorly punned titled Niger coup thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2023