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WEbook Forums > The Water Cooler > Politics and Current Events > Communism vs. Capitalism: A Question of Morality
Discuss, examine, and rant and rave about the news of the day.
Posted: 8/20/2011 10:28 AM PDT
I agree with you completely. In both systems, there is room for much corruption. We should be open to different ideas of government and fashion one that would benefit the country the most. However, once people even hear the word socialist they freak out. I'm not a socialist, but we should hear what they have to say instead of writing them off as Anti-American
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Posted: 7/12/2010 6:40 PM PDT
I agree with you to some extent. I think we have circumstantial freedom; that is the freedom to make decisions according to our limitations.
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Posted: 7/8/2010 7:56 AM PDT
I wondered if anyone would pick up on that. Freedom is an illusion, I believe. You are never free. People are slaves to their emotions, or their loyalties, even if they don't realise it. No one is really free. People who think they are free are slaves to the illusion of freedom.
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Posted: 7/7/2010 8:38 PM PDT
"Do I have more or less freedom then some child in a small village in a third world country? " I think that yes and no. "Cuba has a fantastic healthcare system". Fantastic is probably the term. It is a myth that they have "great" when in some instances they lack the medicines and the hospital dotations. Their access to technology is even very limited. Freedoms and rights. I don't think that being expressed by a Canadian change its universal value and the foundations for them were expressed long before. Probably the most difficult thing in freedoms and rights is that they are not mutually exclusive. At the same time we have the freedom to travel, we have the right to be secure, and we have the right to life. While the driver's license might limit the freedom to travel, it protects lives and safety from reckless drivers who don't care very much about other people's lives. e.g. the right to information and the right to be secure. when there is an undergoing investigation in a crime, cameras and reports informing while probably the killer is watching TV and getting the latest news. It is very difficult to consider them all as a whole.
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Posted: 7/6/2010 11:40 PM PDT
Cuba has a fantastic healthcare system. And they do appear to be a fairly functional society, despite the whole communism/dictatorship thing. Not a utopia, by any means, but not too bad. Not all the laws are as strictly enforced as the usual communist system, which I think is the main reason why the people are fairly happy with their government. For instance, people often build gardens in the abandoned houses next door to them, regardless of ownership laws. There are some nice ones. There is quite a lot of crime, naturally with lax law enforcement, but probably less than there would be under a democracy. I'm certainly less free than my Third World counterparts. I'm watched night and day by an army of CCTV cameras, any time large groups of my peers gather the police arrive and order dispersement, there are limits on everything I do, from riding a bike to how loud I play music. Cuba is a second world country, by the way. Or would have been. That's an out of date term, and has been for over twenty years.
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Posted: 7/6/2010 8:34 PM PDT

Tkain
"International human rights" that is an interesting concept when those rights were laid out by a Canadian. Does that not alter how they should be looked? Knowing that his own personal point of view on government and religion had to skew his thinking on what should and what should not be included. It is interesting that on the one hand we have a charter or bill that lays out a set of freedoms that everyone on Earth should have and yet every country without exception has some law that curtails freedom for the sake of order. We are free to own land, so long as you pay the taxes. We are free to drive a car, so long as the government gives you a licence. We are free to travel, so long as the government allows you to cross the border or board a plane/boat/train/ect... We are free to gather in large numbers, so long as you do so when and where the government permits. We are free to elect our leaders, so long as you choose from the candidates the government parties select. Do I have more or less freedom then some child in a small village in a third world country?
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Posted: 7/6/2010 7:07 PM PDT
D, No, it is not Venezuela. I don't know how the health system works in non-democratic society. Like Cuba perhaps --or in its way--? If my memory does not betray me, first and third worlds were classified according to having industry. So first world countries have been also called industrialized. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Standards of living as low or high are subjective, I agree. It depends on where and how. However, I think the quality of life is measured by our health, food, housing, education, tranquility, and development; in a society that respects our freedoms and international human rights; a just society and with a certain order.
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Posted: 7/6/2010 4:20 PM PDT
I too. I am interested in the index, I don't yet understand it. Perhaps you can further our knowledge by investigating. I'm too lazy, like the rest of Humanity. That's what scientists are for. I'm not one. Yet.
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Posted: 7/6/2010 2:56 PM PDT
I agree with your assesment, Tkain.
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Posted: 7/6/2010 10:24 AM PDT

Tkain
I find that in todays world we measure countries by the average standard of living in that country rather then by the intent of its current government. Does this mean that capitalism overshadows government to the point where it doesn't matter what type of government is in place so long as their economy is driving by a capitalist ideology? Is 'standard of living' a purely subjective measuring tool? What makes up the standard? For one family you meet all of their needs and a few wants? For a population to be happy and accepting of the government? A home could just be four walls and a roof, as long as those within are satisfied with it they could be called 'happy'. Sufficient food to keep them healthy might just be three small meals of the same food every day. A group of people in a city being apathetic to its government, neither supporting nor opposing its actions might be conciderd as 'accepting of the government'. Small school houses could be concidered a luxury satisfying a 'want' of the people. Does not your own personal situation create a perspective by which you judge this to be a 'high' or 'low' standard of living?
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Posted: 7/6/2010 9:51 AM PDT
Would this city be in Venezuela, mayhap?
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Posted: 7/6/2010 9:49 AM PDT
The Third World gets a bad name sometimes. It originally meant places that weren't part of the Cold War power blocs. I'd have actually preferred to be Third World, in some respects. Alas, we are roped to America like that unfortunate captain who ferried a certain Count Dracula to England was lashed to his wheel.
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Posted: 7/6/2010 7:56 AM PDT
Planet Earth, and believe it or not, that city belongs to the third world.
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Posted: 7/5/2010 11:07 PM PDT
I agree.
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Posted: 7/5/2010 6:54 PM PDT
I can't imagine efficiency. We are too busy trying not to offend each other, and end up smashing the snot out of each other to get anything done.
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Posted: 7/5/2010 5:53 PM PDT
This city is on what planet again?
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Posted: 6/29/2010 6:54 PM PDT
I don't think that caring about consumers is mutually exclusive with caring about making money. There are companies that don't care for consumers and don't care about making money, they lose money (very frequently). Being honest and caring for the customers might not bring profits in the short term, but in the long term, it does. And that builds brand loyalty. The city I was born has a health system, government, and utilities' companies which are very efficient. They are not perfect, they have faced corruption too across the year; but the general concept works. All people have health insurance; richer people have some priviledges. By law, every one MUST have health insurance. By law, every company pays 2/3 and the employee pays 1/3 of what it is paid for health insurance. Companies that don't provide insurance or don't pay it on time are sanctioned with fines. There are also ranges of payment for health insurance. If you earn more, you pay more but in a way that allows employers and employees live according to their means. You don't lose your house because you have a health problem. In America people who earn the minimum wage and have health insurance (if they do), pay the same that someone that earns 100 times or more their salary. The time when the city has been most prosperous is when it has been governed, managed as a company. They have gotten rid of deficits and majors have left a "superavit" for the upcoming majors to make roads, freeways, build parks, "beautify" the city, and other programs. And those majors (business like, non-for-profit and non-pro-loss) have had experience in the private sector. I like Smuckers. =) Apricot jelly. =)
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Posted: 6/12/2010 2:49 PM PDT
Green Mountain Energy capitalises on the new interest in green energy that is propagated by Nat Geo etcetera. That doesn't mean they care about consumers, that means they care about making money. Smuckers? What about them? They make spread, and have happy employees. Big deal.
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Posted: 6/12/2010 1:37 PM PDT
Dorchy, I can two corporations right off. Smuckers and Green Mountain Energy. Look them up yourself. And if you're so jaded and cynical that you can't accept the truth, then sit on. :)
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Posted: 6/11/2010 5:24 PM PDT

Tkain
Joke or not it exists. In Ontario we now have competing companies for supplying natural gas. Some people went with the cheepest and found themselves recieving bad service or no gas do to malfunctions. When it comes to telephones we have a large number of options, everything from Bell, that has been here since Mr. Bell invented the phone, right up to the newest companies like Koodoo who offer low fees and zero cost phones. Brand loyalty might be foolish but it does exist and companies spend millions to maintain it.
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Posted: 6/11/2010 3:31 PM PDT
I have yet to hear of a corporation that cares about its consumers beyond keeping them alive so they can buy more products.
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Posted: 6/11/2010 2:55 PM PDT
Yes, the best you can get in the nearest place at the best price. Brand loyalty exists when with time and action the companies have proved to the consumers that the products they offer have a good quality and that they care about the safety of the consumers.
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Posted: 6/11/2010 2:17 PM PDT
Perhaps for the kind of goods that you buy out of a catalogue, but not for telephone, electricity, gas, heating oil, internet, water or heating oil. Who really thinks, I won't pay for this electricity because it's not expensive enough, and therefore won't be of high enough quality. Brand loyalty is a bit of a joke anyway. Who would be loyal to a brand? That just seems silly to me. You pay for what you want, and you pay as little as you can to get it. That's what makes sense to me.
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Posted: 6/11/2010 1:55 PM PDT

Tkain
One factor that your overlooking, Dorchadas, is the end consumer. Many of us have been conditioned to balance quality over cost, thus we are willing to pay a higher price in the belief that we are getting a better product. When this is combined with "brand loyalty" it becomes very hard for a crown company to do what you are proposing. The other option, that has been tried in several provinces in respect to the cost of gas, is state regulation of the product. The state, or in this case province, calculates a set price range for the product. The range gives companies room to compete with each other while ensuring they can make a profit without gouging the public. So far nobody is happy with it in the provinces where it has been implimented.
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Posted: 6/11/2010 1:23 PM PDT
T, It is very interesting to hear about what happens in Canada. I think it is not only a matter of the companies being private or public or mixed; but that the people who work there from the top to the bottom have ethics and concern for the well-being of the society, that they uphold integrity not only with words but with concrete and specific facts. D, Yes, that's what I said, protecting the cocoons. The big companies coexist with the small companies but since the last ones are at a disadvantage in many occassions in regards to competitivity, they are protected whether they grow or not.
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Posted: 6/11/2010 7:24 AM PDT
*Evened *Conglomerates *Business
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Posted: 6/11/2010 7:23 AM PDT
But in a sufficiently rich state, these 'Crown' companies could afford to make losses, while still satisfying demand, keeping the prices down. They wouldn't be popular, because they would drain money away from the other areas of public spending, probably increasing taxes, but if they kept the prices of goods, especially key commodities, down, the loss made by the people would be even out by lower prices, keeping the money out of the pockets of huge corporations. Most big companies would have to split into smaller conglomeraties, allowing small buisness to grow. If they came into direct competition with the nationalised giant company, they could be subsidised by the govenment, to allow them to keep their prices lower than the nationally owned company.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 6:45 PM PDT

Tkain
I know people hate my going on about Canada but its where I live and what I know. In Canada we have had several Crown corporations that are government controled and compete fairly on the open market. These companies were meant as a check against corporate greed. Petro-Canada was one example, a nation wide chain of gas stations. However as the public continued to cry about price gouging at the pumps the government found that owning its own chain was having no effect. They had to raise their prices at the same time as the others in order to stay competative. Supply and demand drive the price at the pumps far more then can be seen by the public because of the delay between what happens to the price of oil and the stockpile of fuel already purchased. After spending many years observing and competing in this market the government started to sell of its interest in the company, now Suncor owns Petro-Canada. The same has been hapening to other crown companies. Some people believe that the government should sell off all crown companies and just monitor the markets to ensure fairness. In the end it might be fair to say that any government model will work so long as the correct people are in the right positions at the right time. Change that and any system will suffer corruption or incompetence and fail.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 6:25 PM PDT
I agree. Some of their strategies failed. But... Protecting the cocoons was a good tactic.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 4:15 PM PDT
Yes, but the Japanese economy isn't exactly the best model either. They had a great many flaws, and continue to pay for them even now.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 3:50 PM PDT
I think all the systems have their pros and cons and those affect individuals according to their position in society. The promises at freedom in the rule of the land on paper are very well-thought, what we need is to take them more into action so they are not just mere words. In general terms, I like the government in the U.S.A. They make mistakes, of course, as every human being does. I think that despite the corruption and lack of ethics of some, there are still many good people who work hard, who are very intelligent and well educated and have made their life project to serve and help others. What kills us in every society is to think inside the boxs of your own condition. For example, people who are healthy and don't care about others' health until a serious or terminal illness strikes them. On the other hand, there are other people who can have the best health in their lives and still are concerned about the ones who suffer. And they are those who make the difference. And the same applies for businesses, education, etc. In regards to companies, I like what the government of Japan did after the Second World War --a measure that might be considered socialist-- when they protected the "cocoons", the new and small companies that were being born. It was not very much a free market for them and there were high arancelary rights for those which were competing against them but it did help their economy to thrive and grow.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 2:25 PM PDT
The problem is that both systems are riddled with innaccuracies. The capitalist system claims to allow freedom, but instead only ensures minimum interferance of the state. That doesn't equate freedom, that just allows people who are far more unsavoury than any politican to take over. Crime explodes under capitalism, and corporate responsiblity becomes more and more dimished with the passing of time. Capitalism didn't win the Cold War, it lasted it out. Communism is just as flawed, only it died quicker. Capitalism has a longer half-life, but it decays into an anarcho-capitalist society over a sufficient period of time. What would have combatted stagnation in the communist system would be to create a government controlled company for every major industry, to compete with the commercial companies, so there is still competiton, but the government can still offer a viable alternative to companies if they raise their prices too high. They could have simply nationalised one of every type of company. Universal healthcare really shouldn't be an area of debate. We have to have it. No question. To put out health in the hands of corporations is madness. The mistrust of the government that is widespread in America is something I find difficult to understand. It's not the government that should be attacked, but the corruption in the government, to make a better system, which works. In all honesty, I believe that the punishment for corruption, bribery, and the like should always be death.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 1:07 PM PDT
What do you think about "The Post-Capitalist Society" by Peter Drucker? I like Capitalism despite of all its flaws. As per Pareto's Law, an 80% Capitalist and 20% Socialist system works. Being this 20% for Security, Regulation and Control, Health and Education. As for the monopolistic holdings that extend its branches like an octopus, there is the risk of becoming myopic on what is really going on. A head too tall to see its own feet. Many companies have beautiful Strategic Plans and goals on paper whose intentions get diluted at the bottom of their structures. Free market, laissez faire, Adam Smith. I think they are good and they promote innovation which has made America one of the World's leaders. .... Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are thought provoking.
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Posted: 6/10/2010 9:43 AM PDT
You wouldn't have to justify it, because anyone who disagreed would get patted on the face with a shovel.
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Posted: 6/9/2010 4:42 PM PDT

Tkain
We are just tossing out ideas for what could be a better government given that we have accepted that the largest flaw in the current systems out there are all based on human weaknesses. I would love to hear your ideas on the subject? As for subsidies balancing things, they do to a small degree. One problem we currently have is the wide gap between purchasing an efficient new vehicle and buying an old, inefficient used car. However as time passes and the more environment friendly vehicles start to make it onto the used car market things should start to balance out a bit. One could say that is a large benifit of Capitalism. With a market base mentality companies know that building large numbers reduces cost and eventually the selling price. Even with the rarest of items there is a market, among the rich, so they can justify building them and selling more each year till the prices drop down enough for the average person to afford. In another type of system how would it be justified building something with high cost and limited demand?
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Posted: 6/9/2010 11:45 AM PDT
Yep.
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Posted: 6/9/2010 9:39 AM PDT
Mavbe not.
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Posted: 6/9/2010 9:34 AM PDT
Those problems with the rich buying better machines could all be dealt with using subsidys. Partially paid for from the extra tax intake.
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Posted: 6/8/2010 1:48 PM PDT
If it weren't for the fact that computers are hackible and subject to viruses. I think you'd find the problems worse. When techology replaces humanity you just get a more rigid system unable to deal with atypical problems. After all, an AI is a program and not a computer, which is just hardware. And as far as the shopping mall is concerned, I'd either fry the computer or reprogram it. Get a little common sense and humanity here. Technology doesn't make things work better, it just makes life easier. (When it does work.)
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Posted: 6/8/2010 1:25 PM PDT

Tkain
I'm not putting computer in charge of peoples lives, just replacing the current level of civil servents with a more impartial and reliable tool. Think of it like this. Currently if I wish to build a shopping mall in the middle of your town all I need to do it convince the local government to zone the area for it and away I go. If the local populace are against the idea I can still move forward just by paying off an official. Replace the process with computers that can't be corrupted and things should work out a little better and far more equitable then they currently do.
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Posted: 6/8/2010 1:10 PM PDT
You would want a computer to tell you what to do the rest of your life, Tkain? Isn't your Momma good enough for you?
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Posted: 6/8/2010 1:10 PM PDT

Tkain
In regards to our nukes, I would much prefer a computer that isn't swayed by emotions and person self gain having control of them. When it comes to healthcare though it might be hard for a computer to fully understand what is required since we need to combine the health of the body with that of the human mind. While I do love your take on taxes one problem we have with such things here, in Canada we have implimented a system similar though on a much smaller scale, is that the rich tend to purchase the more expensive and efficient systems. The poor are forced to live with cheeper, more inefficient homes and cars and other items.
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Posted: 6/8/2010 8:58 AM PDT
I doubt people will go for giving an AI control of all our nuclear weapons, or our healthcare. It could work as a management system to replace local councils, or State government in America. All the menial tasks, like coordinating the refuse disposal, collecting taxes, and, for that matter setting the tax tariff. It could work out all of an induvidual's input and output, measure their productivity against their pay, their intake of goods against their output of waste, etcetera, and set those against a bill. You do good things, you get taxed less, you do bad things you get taxed more. Produce lots of waste, waste water, drive an inefficient car, whatever is a bad thing in the governmental books, equates a punishement in the form of higher tax, appropriated exactly to the penny by the computator thingy. Reverse those, and it will equate for little breaks for the good fellow, perks, if you will. Incorruptable, efficient, doesn't need to be paid, never sleeps. Far better than the burocratic minefield we have currently.
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Posted: 6/8/2010 7:09 AM PDT

Tkain
So, to jump back on topic, the best government might be, and I stress MIGHT, be this... A comunist/socialist computer managed beurocricy with a democratically elected government that only delt with matters outside of healthcare/welfare/security or the economy. Those item would fall strictly under the control of the computers AI, built around the best ideals of communism and socialism. Not very likely to happen in our lifetimes but would this work? Would it be good? What would be the magor flaws if we exclude computer hacking and poor programing of the AI?
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Posted: 6/8/2010 6:31 AM PDT
It does? Cool. Dapper means well dressed amongst cockneys, but it means something... quite different here.
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Posted: 6/7/2010 6:05 PM PDT
Just like daft meaning "crazy" in England and "well-dressed" in Scotland.
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Posted: 6/7/2010 12:41 PM PDT
There are quite a few differences between the North and the South. We have very different accents. In fact, my accent doesn't sound anything like the stereotypical Irish accent (I think that's a sort of Tipp/Cork amalgamation. Generally Irish imitations on TV are quite alien to anything even remotely Irish. Not really sure where it comes from.). The Irish language itself isn't the same between North and far south. But they are pretty indistinguishable. We have different sayings. For instance, in the West of Ireland, to describe something as good, people say "savage", whereas in the North West, they say "lethal" - pronounced leful in most cases. Neither of which have any particularly good connotations, but hey, I didn't make it up.
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Posted: 6/7/2010 1:16 AM PDT
I'm surprised your grandparents never used it. Maybe it fell out of favor in the north long ago. You can still hear it muttered now and again by the elderly in the southern counties of Ireland.
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Posted: 6/6/2010 4:39 AM PDT
Communism puts a small amount of bread on all the tables. Capitalism heaps bread on a few tables, spreads the crumbs around most of the tables, and leaves many tables completely bare. My grandparents have never used that expression. I've heard it used on TV though. American TV. I wasn't confused by it, I was confused by the subject.
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Posted: 6/5/2010 10:26 PM PDT
Politial systems. Especially Socialism and Communism. It's a common Irish saying. You should know it. Unless you don't listen to your grandparents. It's probably not part of the current generations. My bad. It's probably gone out of favor in Northern Ireland during the last two or three generations.
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Posted: 6/4/2010 1:42 PM PDT
Does what put bread on the table? What are you talking about?
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Posted: 6/4/2010 1:32 PM PDT
When it's all said and done at the end of the day, does it put bread on the table? Or keep you safe from the wicked ones?
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Posted: 6/3/2010 7:23 AM PDT
National "SOCIALISM" is only so called because Hitler was a bit of a Socie when he joined the NSDAP, and Drexler (The founder of NSDAP) was a bit of a socie too. When Hitler began to realise that he needed the support of the Industrialists, the Junkers and the upper crust Army High Command, much of the Socialist parts of the 25 point programme mysteriously disappeared, along with 400 members of the more socialist SA leadership. The Nazis that ruled Germany were certainly not Socialists, and in fact were about as right wing as they come. Just because there were a few Socialist ideals that happened to coincide with Hitler's plan to oust all opposition by nationalising just about anything he could get his hands on doesn't mean the Nazis were in any way Left wing. In fact, Hitler detested Communists. When he first realised he would have to stand in the Reichstag he noted that he would have to "Hold his nose around the Communist deputies." Therefore I contest your claim that the Nazis ever claimed to be Socialist. I think is was more that Nazi was a scary name, and a bit better than National German Workers Party, which it would have been called if Socialism was not the aim of it's original founders (Although those guys wanted to separate Bavaria into a new country, the Reddest part of Germany, and still claimed to be right wing -_-)
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Posted: 4/15/2010 8:04 AM PDT

Beruthiel
It's ice to see a debate that is properly focussed on the ideologies, rather than simply using the defects of regimes claiming a certain label to denegrate the system that they *claim* to follow [it's worth remembering that 'Nazi' stands for 'National SOCIALISM' - yet no unbiased observer would call them a socialist government!] However, I agree with Dorchadas here. Any evaluation of political theory based purely on how a system *should* work, is dangerously incomplete. Many systems would be admirable forms of society, if everyone worked for the common good. But humanity is not like that. There are, and always will be, people who will attempt to manipulate a system for their own ends, and at the expense of others. The true measure of s system lies in assessing not only how it would function ideally, but also its capability of being perverted. The more authoritarian the system, the greater its capacity for evil if successfully subverted. Therefore, it is wise to be wary of over-arching political philosophies, however ethical their intentions.
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Posted: 3/24/2010 5:40 PM PST
The problem isn't Communism and Capitalism, it's man. We are the weak link that makes them both bad systems. The more extreme the system, the more magnified human flaws are. We are best to hang around the centre, where our flaws are only multipled by a facter of three or four, instead of Stalinism, or Nazism, where they are multiplied by millions, as evidenced by the death tolls that followed their rise to power.
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Posted: 3/19/2010 10:41 AM PST
taswegan all the vs where kinda aimed at the same grand ideas ... the true left and right . not the bs we have for politics ....
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Posted: 3/19/2010 12:26 AM PST
We in Australia enjoy a universal health scheme where every resident be he or she an infant or an aged pensioner, a pauper or a millionaire is guaranteed free hospital and medical treatment in any public hospital anywhere in the country. We are a little amused at the debate being carried out in the United States at the moment, that is promising nothing like we have but is still finding considerable opposition. We can still take out private insurance if we like that covers us if we wish to visit doctors in a private practice or go to a private hospital, but pensioners, aged or disabled, can still attend private doctors and have their bill sent to the government for payment. By the way our public hospitals are the best in the land. We are a much more 'socialised' country than is the USA. I feel we have a good mix of socialism and capitalism. For instance governments run our railways. Some city lines can be contracted out but the government remains the owner. The government runs our suburban busses, our primary schools and secondary schools are government owned and free to attend. There are private schools but you have to pay to attend them. Our biggest and best university's are publicly owned Our roads are all government built and owned, as is our power stations, water supply, police forces etc. Pretty well anything that is deemed needed for the 'public good'. We feel our average standard of living is up there with the best of them but we still have poverty problems especially among our inland aboriginal communities. But that is another story.
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Posted: 3/18/2010 5:15 AM PST

Tkain
Communism, taken at its base form, doesn't promote people to "better" themselves. People are place in the position best suited to their abilities. This is also applied to the division of labor, the best possible outcome of this is that each worker does what they do best creating a better, more efficient work force. Socialism is not what most people think it is. Socialism is based on morality, the morality that everyone should be treated equally, receive equal benefit of the power held by the state as a whole. Standard of living - this is a strange term when you really look at it. This term implies that there is a base level that is equal the world over, such is not the case. Judging by comparison could leave a family with a house, two cars and a healthy income in one country to be considered living below the standard of living as set in another country. There is no concept of infinite resources in communism. In fact it is a better understanding of what resources exist in communism because the state controls it. In capitalism those with the resources hide and hoard them skewing the total amount available to the public at large. Keep in mind this is all based upon the system working free of corruption and flaws that exist in any system run by humans. I can't give an example of communism working but I do have one for Socialism. Look at the Canadian health care system. Every person in the country is provided with free medical attention when needed. Despite what some US politicians might be saying it does work, and work well.
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Posted: 3/18/2010 2:27 AM PST
A point of contention here Tom regarding 'lowering the standard of living considerably to ensure equality.' This would depend on whose standard of living you are concerned with. The people on the lower end of the scale would no doubt have their standard of living raised ( this would have to be regarded as positive). The people at the higher end of the scale would have to have their standard of living lowered, ( I would deem that a positive also). What good is the accumulation of personal wealth individually at the expense of others. Surely a comfortable living without debt or hunger for all is better than a small percentage at the top of the ladder having so much wealth that they could never spend it in 100 lifetimes.
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Posted: 3/18/2010 12:40 AM PST
In response to Tkain: Communism absolutely shares a larger responsibility in morality, because it is a reactionary thought system promoting revolution and the removal of the status quo. Capitalism, by contrast, is essentially the cultural output of a society through market forces that has the end result of a specific division of labor. It's an evolutionary development of mercantilism, and it is not responsible morally because it has no doctrine on the correct or incorrect way to live. Socialism as a whole, including communism, has a set agenda of social and economic preferences that force it to have moral responsibility. This is a negative responsibility because communism is based on the faulty premise of infinite resources, leading to two outcomes. On the one hand you can make do with an entity's resources and have to lower the standard of living considerably in order to ensure equality. Taking the other course of action, becoming belligerent in order to ensure a steady flow of large volumes of resources is also morally reprehensible. Either way, communism is clearly more morally responsible in a negative way than capitalism.
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Posted: 3/17/2010 9:50 PM PST
Very true indeed. But why wouldn't a true communist society evolve to better the individual if he or she so wished? Take members of the armed services for example. They are trained, housed, fed and looked after in every way, their wives and families included. But they are still encouraged to become involved in bettering themselves by attaining higher rank or specializing in carrying out certain tasks throughout their service. Those who don't wish to take part in chasing promotion don't have to but they are still entitled to all the benevolency that goes with the job. Surely this is true communism.
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Posted: 3/17/2010 9:03 PM PST

Tkain
There is a problem with picking exactly which model of communism you are talking about. If you look at it in the most basic of principles then it is a good method of government, moral and efficient. The basic principles are that the State, the people and everything within the boarders are treated as a single entity. Money, food, land and wealth are all equally distributed. The true problem with communism isn't morality, its stagnation. A communist society will not evolve, there is no incentive for change of any kind. Corruption and morality in communism are no different than in capitalism and have nothing to do with the model itself.
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Posted: 3/17/2010 3:34 AM PST
Which one master?
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Posted: 3/16/2010 6:58 AM PST
personally i think thee whole idea of the left right paradime has been invented . they both suck . communisum is stupid . capitalisum is greedy . if not evil . they are both as bad as each other , thats the problem with basing your existance around a work ethos or model , you live life to live not to work or make mhoney , i have a beter sugestion on hand that has alot more thought than . lets make greed good :D or lets make everyone equal :D (under dyspotic souless opressors) pure and utter foolishness , or evil which ever way you see it ...... i prefere the topic of dark vs light . sith vs jedi . decadence vs purity . the jungle vs civilizaton . chaos vs order . molevolence vs benevolence . id LOVE to discuss this topic ...
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Posted: 3/14/2010 9:10 PM PST
Thanks TomSaia. I was thinking of doing the same myself. I think you have outlined our differing opinions on this subject rather fairly and I will sit back for the moment to see what comments are forthcoming.
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Posted: 3/14/2010 6:22 PM PST
I found the discussion that Taswegan and I had in private messages warranted an open forum for opinion. Posted below are the messages, and the original post in the topic that prompted my message can be found here: http://www.webook.com/forums/messageIndex.aspx?topic=2422e405437b4e04a54365ae7f74347e&fview=true -------- Original Message ------------- From: TomSaia Sent: 3/13/2010 11:10 PM PST Subject: Post You Made in "Torture" Discussion Hello there, I just read the post you maid regarding defian16's post in the topic about torture in the forums. While I do believe you were right in pointing out his bad history (though there were quite a few things in your version of history I am in contention with), I did have reservations about what you said regarding the battle of ideologies. You said that communism isn't evil, and that it is equivalent in morality to capitalism. Taken both as just concepts and not applications, communism is considerably worse on a moral spectrum than capitalism. Capitalism is essential a division of labor spawned from a similar doctrine, mercantilism, while communism is a division of labor and total restructuring of society spawned from the Industrial Revolution, which was not doctrinal. This split alone guarantees significant divisions in moral responsibility, and because communism was founded on a revolutionary mindset, as opposed to the evolutionary growth of capitalism, it takes on more of the burden. The goal of communist movements remains to be the removal of the class division, and by extension, capitalism—certainly a violent endeavor. Granted, in practical application both communism and capitalism fall prey to abuses in their agenda, but on the whole communism remains far more conceptually biased in terms of morality, and does so in a negative way. From: Taswegan Sent: 3/14/2010 4:01 AM PDT Subject: Post You Made in "Torture" Discussion Thanks Tom for your interest. We do have a different take on communism, I see capitalism far more conceptually biased in terms of morality in a negative manner too if you take its general attitude toward ordinary people under its control. Communism is based on the ideal of sharing wealth. Capitalism is based on the ideal of accumulating wealth. Capitalism will grow and appear fair while it has room to grow. But if that growth were to be stopped it would not stop at eating itself. It is after all based on greed and accumulation. We are witnessing much of that behavior at the present time. Communism on the other hand, if we disregard mans apparent inability to handle power properly, has the ability to share the earning of a country among all, where all will ultimately benefit and prosper. I am presently studying the growth of China in this regard. China appears to be flirting with capitalism and capitalism is sucking up to China because it wants to be part of the growth taking place there. There is a profit to be made. I seem to think that what is happening is totally unbelievable and that it will end up creating a new type of economy altogether. The worlds largest companies are almost like a totalitarian state in their own right and they talk a similar language as does a communist organization in this manner. What is happening now is cooperation between communism and capitalism without conflict even being contemplated. Both are concentrating on trade and growth and this must be good. Thanks again. END MESSAGES First I'd like to summarize the arguments made by both sides in the above messages. A major component of this discussion is that we weren't arguing the application of communism or capitalism, but rather the degree of moral bias that the concept of either has. I believe we were in agreement on the point that communism and capitalism share different amounts of moral burden, and that capitalism is a passive force, while communism is a more proactive ideology. The major differences in our argument stemmed from, on my side: that communism is a reactionary movement, that capitalism is an evolutionary development, and that communism seeks to use force to remove the class division/capitalism; on Taswegan's side: that capitalism is only sustainable so long as it can grow, and that communism has the ability to share earnings to ultimately benefit everyone. I'm certain there are countless other arguments, which is why I've made this topic. To reinforce the points I made about capitalism, I find it necessary to analyze the origin of both systems. Mercantilism was the natural development of a declining feudal system in Europe, and essentially held that members of a state, especially colonies, need to amass as much wealth for their home territory as possible. Capitalism came from this system naturally, because as the wealth gained by colonization grew and increased technological capacities, the government simply could not regulate business efficiently. Private businesses were able to get capital for their venture much more easily and their successes began the system of economic deregulation that would eventually become the lasseiz faire market. Adam Smith's economic insights weren't the origin of capitalism, but rather the first description of an existing system. This sort of development, one that was not a reaction, but rather an extension and eventual separation from the originating ideology, makes capitalism a passive system. Market forces spawned capitalism, and market forces dominate capitalist doctrine. The way that applies in argument to its level of moral bias is simple; market forces represent society's wants and needs, and therefore its determination of what would be considered right and wrong, so capitalism is not a determining factor in those wants and needs but rather a result. Communism by contrast is a system trying to produce a revolutionary outcome in its followers, with a clear bias against the existing system. By assaulting the status quo, communism becomes more morally biased, it already made up its mind about what way to live was right, and what way to live was wrong. Taswegan's main argument against capitalism was that it is only fair and healthy so long as it has room to grow. Any system of thought, however, falls prey to this kind of growth trap. There are limited resources available to mankind, and the distribution of those resources is a point central to the difference between communism and capitalism. Communism seeks to share economic output equally, but in order to do that and ensure any decent quality of life, you need a fairly large amount of resources. Perhaps this is the largest flaw of communism, that its equality relies on the premise of boundless exploitable resources—something that doesn't exist anywhere. Personal ambitions must be stifled in order to maintain this system of equality, but since that equality will never be able to match the opportunity available under a capitalist ideology, the revolutionary actions required to achieve a communist state of government cannot be justified. Morally, then, communism simply can't be on even ground with capitalism, because it already has to work to reach justification before actual policy can be implemented. Of course this is just the starting point, so I'd love to see more analysis and discussion on the topic of whether communism or capitalism (conceptually) has more bias towards evil.
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