Were nations better off communist rather than capitalist? | INFJ Forum

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Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by The_Mysterious_Stranger, Jan 13, 2020.

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  1. The_Mysterious_Stranger

    The_Mysterious_Stranger Community Member

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    Was the US and other countries better off communist? Was the USSR and China as bad as western leaders liked people to believe? It seemed like the USSR was doing pretty well until Reagan, Thatcher, and other leaders kept taunting them to disassemble.

    I know the biggest benefit of capitalism is that it's decentralized, more efficient, and gives people incentive. However, it seemed communism might give people more peace of mind as far as opportunity to learn and opportunity for more interesting jobs. The USSR was the first country to make it to space, for instance. So a lot of citizens had the opportunity to take part in contributing to the space program.

    The problem with capitalism is that it increases inequality and most of the wealth goes to the leaders of the largest, profitable corporations. There seems to be evidence that capitalism is rather inefficient by itself. For examples, for-profit education tends not to work well. The companies that tended to do rather well were actually government contractors in Defense and education.
     
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  2. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    I personally prefer capitalism to socialism because it's dog-eat dog and that the rational will see an ROI.
     
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    #2 Pin, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

    The_Mysterious_Stranger Community Member

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    Is that all you've got?
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    And perhaps this discussion is a bit oversimplified just to say capitalism or communism, because today, China, has communist, socialist, and capitalist elements. Capitalism because it is more efficient / decentralized and communism because it unites people, more efficient at helping people, better at communication, etc.
     
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  5. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Don't you enjoy various cigars, escorts (in legal jurisdictions), sports cars, and owning stock? These things aren't possible under communism.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    But what about those Cuban Cigars? muahahha. And there's a reason for the song, "back in the USSR, you don't know how lucky you are." And the modern shitty pop song, Havana blah blah blah.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    I would argue that more people were killed under capitalism than communism. Most capitalist countries, including modern US and Russia, have a poverty rate around 12.5%. China has eliminated poverty in 2015.
     
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  8. Pin

    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Cuban cigars are nice but I should have variety on my shelf, that's what markets and economic freedom are for. If I want cigars from Africa, Asia, Europe, I'll have them on my shelf.

    Anyway, I'm not saying that we shouldn't have public schools, universal healthcare, government intervention, etc. I'm saying that government should be limited to it's proper role and let people be free.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    Yes, I agree. The problem with capitalism, though, is it objectifies people. I would rather have something that doesn't objectify people. I wonder what people think about Noam Chomsky's idea of anarchy socialism. Would people work intrinsically? Do we need currency for people to work? Anarchy socialism seems ideal. Today, people are forced to obey employers and sacrifice a lot of their freedom. Probably why people just decide to live in tents. Work for them, or you're dead.
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    The United States, Russia, and other Western countries aren't as economically free as their eastern neighbors, Hong Kong and Singapore.

    China is not operating under Marxist principles.
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Noam Chomsky is much smarter than I am.

    Anyway, he's an anarcho-syndicalist. This is a point of view I'm sympathetic to. If trade unions want to manage companies, have at it. I won't stop them.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    True, however, the Nordic countries, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Zealand tend to be the most free and they use gov't programs to redistribute wealth, which works efficiently to eliminate poverty. Nothing like Noam Chompky's ideas have yet happened. It seems something like that is the most ideal. Since we have big things like planes, cars, machines, TVs, boats, etc., how do we prevent people form stealing?
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Yes, especially if they want to eat.
    No, it's just a better incentive than barter or slavery.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    It seems though that we need regulation to prevent people from harming the environment.
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Through the legitimate use of force, military and police.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    Also, I would prefer people not to do work at all they don't want to do and everybody just does their own things, somehow. Everyone works on something the individual is passionate about. Maybe when AI arrives to to the tedious things.
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    It will.
     
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    Pin "Magnificent Bastard" / Ren's Counterpart

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    Everyone already can work on what they're passionate about, it doesn't mean that you'll be paid money for it though.

    There has to be demand for the goods or services you supply, otherwise you'll be poor and unemployed.
     
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    The_Mysterious_Stranger

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    I'm not sure about that. If there were a civilization without currency and we just supply people with equal items.

    When AI comes, supply and demand would be automated.
     
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  20. John K

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    I suspect that the dichotomy between capitalism and communism is a bit dodgy - maybe the tension should be between totalitarian v democratic? The big problem trying to evaluate communism is that it is always presented in the form of totalitarian governments that are trying to lay down the foundations of a future utopia that doesn't exist yet. Unfortunately, power corrupts and it's almost inevitable that an aging totalitarian communist regime will be corrupt - but the only ways of getting rid of a corrupt totalitarian government are violent, or otherwise destructive of society. The run up to collapse is preceded by years of gulags, suppression of freedom of expression, religion, and various other choices, and life is as miserable as sin for a large majority of the people. East Germany was a classic example, but you can see the same game being played out in the Middle East, with a variety of types of totalitarian government system.

    I think that democracy is the best compromise we have at the moment, because it acknowledges that all regimes will ulitmately fail, no matter how good their original intent or theoretical foudation - and it allows for a non-traumatic regime change that doesn't result in mass suffering (life-hazarding I mean) for large numbers of people.

    I can't see the USSR as a paragon of good society. Stalin was a disgusting swine who murdered more of his people than Hitler in the 1930s. They were no better off than under Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the Middle Ages - at least he mainly went for the nobles, not the ordinary people. I think China is another non-communist example. I know they fly that flag, but that nation has evolved to run under their own style of emperor over 4000 years and they have reverted to that now - Mao was another typical emperor some decades ago. It seems to work pretty well for them, but I can't see the US ever relaxing gratefully into the arms of Emperor Trump, or Emperor Obama for the next 20 years - different cultures.

    Now there are many different economic models practiced under democracy with various levels of intervention by governments. The US seems to be at the more extreme end of laisser faire. The Scandinavian countries are much more tightly regulated, and very successful economically - but they are pretty small in population size and the people seem well attuned to compliance. The UK has switched between more or less interventionist governments, with the former being pretty unsuccessful economically. We had left wing socialist governments in the 1960s through to the late 1970s, and they nationalised a lot of industry and services. It was desperate - I worked for a few years for the nationalised steel industry, and it was impossible for the government to manage and invest in it. They inherited steel mills built in the 1890s that were competing internationally with modern plant in Germany and Japan that could sell the stuff at half the price it cost us to make it. It was politically impossible for the government to close these old plants for fear of losing votes in those areas, and they couldn't invest in new plant because they'd blown the UK budget badly. Socialism often has no real feel forthe value of money in relation to real assets and capabilities. In the end, they printed money and lost control of inflation, and they ceded power to the trade unions who were only interested in screwing things to their own limited advantage. There was a huge reaction all this because the nation got really, really pissed off with the chaos and economic gloom - so eventually they voted in the Thatcher government which was right wing and capitalist. That went too far in the other direction of course, but it's unfair to blame them in isolation because they wouldn't have ever been necessary if the previous socialist governments had not been so moronically naive, self-serving and dogmatic. We are still even now trying to put our national railway system back into order after those decades of non-investment and commuters are having to pay over the odds to fund it while putting up with poor services. The last people on God's earth who should try and run these sort of services are politicians and civil servants - they are totally incompetant at it and focused on the wrong objectives. Maybe it works in some countries but it was a disaster in ours that has been visited on the sons and gradsons of the instigators lol. At least the voters had the means of changing the government and economic model without a civil war.
     
    #20 John K, Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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