Why communism cannot work

In nature, in all animal societies, there exists a balance between altruists (those who sacrifice themselves for the good of the collective), and cheaters or freeloaders (those who take advantage of the benefits of the collective without endangering themselves in return). These opposing forces stay in effect because in different circumstances, the gain to be had from a given strategy has different values.
Take a specific example: A pack of wolves in hunting some large horned game. To function effectively, these wolves must work together. However, one wolf must innevitably be the first to strike. Call this wolf the altruist. It takes the biggest risk because it strikes the quarry when it is most able to fight back, thus the altruist is most likely to be injured.
Conversely, certain wolves are able to hang back, to appear useful, but actually avoid nearly all personal risk. Call this wolf the cheater. It still reaps the same rewards as the rest, but contributes less to the common good.
There is a tendency for the strategies to balance. The reasons are as follows. If all wolves are cheaters, the quarry is never caught and no wolf eats. Everyone starves to death. Even if a few wolves are altruists and the rest are cheaters, the pack will likely starve because soon enough the altruists will be injured and no other wolf will fill their role, and everyone will starve to death.
The need for altruists is obvious. But what preserves cheaters? Why do they persist? Consider a group of all altruists. It will be enormously successful. If all members contribute greatly to the common good, everyone will prosper. However, the better the group does, the more incentive there is to cheat: the cheater eats the same as everyone else, but risks far less.
Communism requires a society of altruists. If such a society existed, it would prosper enormously. And the closer we come to such a society, the more there is to be gained from subverting it. And ultimately it reaches a point where the rewards are functionally infinite (if everyone is equal, even a small leg up puts you above everyone), and it becomes impossible to maintain. And communism fails.

But we are animals with guns.

One need not be altruistic, just a good shot. The shooter may even revel in the kill. But he probably can’t eat all the meat.

Should he let it rot?

Advanced methods of communicating information and technology often make comparisons to animals somewhat pointless when extolling or denigrating a chosen course (or method) of human action.

THe first statement is assuming that your gusee is correct, however in that same example there are far more variables than you realise.

the wolf who strikes first is most often the Alpha male and the one who hangs back is often the omega wolf.

The alpha takes the greatest risk to himself but also has first choice in all the packs resources, food, territory, Breeding and so he is in a very favorable position.

Meanwhile the Wolf who contributes least has the least access to these resources, and so this is a very unfavorable position for the omega.

when the Alpha leads the pack well these resources are abundant and so there is little or no need to fight for power, Even the omega’s last pick is sufficent for survival.

However when the alpha leads the pack poorly they become scarce and the omega suffers immensely. at Which point the rest of the pack will fight over control.

This system in itself is Tribal by our perspectives, but it is no less effective because of this, and when you compare this to any real social system It holds a great deal of truth.

Just a thought for you to digest.

questions for carleas -

why does a human, or wolf, or whatever in a group of altruistic society all of the sudden want to cheat to get a leg up? i guess it doesn’t make sense to me. if they are all altruistic, they want whats best for everyone else (thus getting back whats best for themselves but this is not the reason for the action, just the inherent result).

so why the sudden change? why all of the sudden give up whats best for everyone else, and whats best for you, for a personal goal of being above everyone else?

why communism is on its way-is america a true capitalist country? f no, we hav a ton of socialist mix (necessity). eventually (this is theorized by marx himself), the classes inevitably made by capitalism will rebel and crash, thus marking a communist revolution.

maybe you percieve individual want over societal need because thats how your mind has been warped by a capitalist society. but times change, people’s mindset change, and personal greed isn’t natural (greed is different from survival). society produces artificial individualistic needs and desires…but it can also produce artificial humanisic desire.

capitalism and communism are one in the same - both would work perfectly if the mindset of the people under them would be in sync with the ideals of the system itself. analyzing how people wants, society, nature, nurture, and all that sociology/psychology affects one another is a tremendous task only worth spectulating.

the real answer, of course, will lie in the future. we will probably never see a communist revolution, and there may never be one, but communism can just as easily work as anything else. (look at your point of view of how it cant work - that is the reason why it wont. think about if you flipped ur viewpoint to “capitalism cannot work” - then your viewpoint spread across millions of others would spell the end of it)

Communism cannot presently work because it proposes an ideal meant for a creature other than the present human being.

It could work if it could isolate and breed such a human being – slowly eradicating or suppressing all the instincts that prevent this realization.
It is the ultimate fight of reason over instinct.

But then we must ask if the control of reason will lead, in this particular case, to a desired result.
It’s easy to focus on the benefits but what of the costs?

yopele:

We are animals with guns, yes, but that isn’t the point. The point is competition. Whether with teeth or guns or computers or cash, we compete against the elements and we compete against each other. We require certain things to survive, and we desire certain things to pass the time. It is not as simple as a hunter with a gun providing food for everyone simply because s/he can’t eat it all him/herself. There are those that make the gun, who will not supply the hunter without guarantee of their portion of the meat.
All this means is that human society is more complex than wolf society. My example was more to make the point that there are evolutionary forces that preclude the communist altruistic ideal.

onlyhuman:

I think that this is another angle on the same point. The sorts of innequality that a competitive system, such as life, engenders doesn’t allow for the peaceful equality of communism. The point you raise is that there are forces that pull in both directions: there are reasons to try either strategy. The problem for communism is that the forces carry different weights at different times. When the tribe does well, the omega wolf makes out like a bandit: it risks the least and still enjoys plenty of resources. In rough times, the omega wolf starves. Conversely, in bumper times, the alfa wolf has it the worst: it’s life is on the line for every meal, but it gets as much as everyone else; during a dry spell, the alfa wolf still eats.
Clearly, there is no such thing as the stasis required by communism. The forces do not balance out in a state of communism, so they will always pull away from that ideal.

loose_goose:

I don’t mean to say that capitalism, pure capitalism, is the ideal either. The pack mentality is slightly communal, and as pack animals we have adopted systems far more altruistic than laissez-faire capitalism. The United States is a strictly regulated capitalist nation, and eventually capitalism seems to spawn such regulation. Whether through private monopolies or public regulation, market freedom is limited in time.
Communism and capitalism are similar in that they both simplify humanity to an innane degree, really only function in theory.

My point is that the natural, biological mechanism of life limits our ability for altruism. The genes are clearly not supported by altruism. The real question is whether the altruistic memes are selected for in society, and again the clear answer seems to be the negative. The people that are admired are those who are successful, and they are by and large not altruistic. Sure, people talk a big game of Gandhi, but when it comes to their lives they tend to emulate those they see succeeding around them, the ruthless lawyers and dubious businesspeople who thrive in the modern world.

Exactly.

unfortunatly for communism due to our compedative natures there will allways be those who seek the peak of status, and because of those who would settle for less there will always be non-contributers, so the concept of absolute equality cannot exsist unless these diffrinces disolve over time.

However the fundimental equality that is seen in Idealist socialism seems far more likely because it does not stress conformity as an absolute, communism may not work on a practical level, but socialism can, and has many times before. I feel thet Marxist ideas of scientific socialism were flawed because it held too close to the Ideals of absolutes.

In human nature, there is a balance of bullshit and more bullshit.

If the ratio of applie pie out-weighs the ratio of red-stars, it starts to rain cats outside, and the cats scratch out the eyes of the socialists, because they are so bad and stuff.

…Thanks for reasoning.

That’s a bullshit.

Communism can’t exist because of the people at the top of the inequalitarian finantial food-chain being able to overpower and root out anyone whome is against exploitation and inequality itself.

No, this is about education and ownership, not instinct.

Capitalism isn’t nature’s perfect way.

Tell me, do you personally want about 1% of the population on earth to own most of the world’s resources? If you say no, then your own human nature is against inequalitarian corporate capitalist shit.

Unfortunately due to the degenorate cancers and cannibals of society… Capitalism is rather hip.

Imagine “exploitation” and unfairness being part of natural selection…
Imagine that!
:confused:
Imagine nature being about inequality and “people at the top” wanting to stay there….
Imagine that!

I, personally, am shocked and ….dismayed.

No, it’s nature’s only way.

But capitalism isn’t pure capitalism.
Every human system contains “corrections” to natural law.

What I want and what is, are two different topics.

I thought we were describing ‘reality’ and not proposing which ‘reality’ we prefer or wish.

I don’t like watching baby gazelles being eaten alive by lions but……there it is….nature.
Either face it and master it or forever hide from it and remain a victim of it.

Your own or my own utopian ideals and sense of justice are separate matters.

I went through that young-communist phase.
I even joined the party when I was 18. I dropped out 3 months later.
A bunch of closed-minded naïve idealists trying to avoid work and avenge their forefathers, they were.

I wanted to change the world, back then, through education and systemic reform.
I thought people were the way they were because they were ignorant or not educated.
Now I know better. Education means “training”. I can train a dog not to shit on the carpet and it might follow my rules out of fear, but, in the end, the dog doesn’t understand why it should not shit on the carpet.
I misinterpret my training, based on reward/punishment to indicate an understanding….when it doesn’t.

I woke up to the fact that it wasn’t the system itself that was to blame – since a system is a reflection of the participants comprising it – but that it was human nature or….nature in general.

Natural selection works on the principles of inequality and unfairness and competition.
This has resulted in us.
Cooperation and socialization is but another method where the individuals sacrifice individual possibility for the sake of communal harmony.
This presupposes a more ant-like, bee-like human being - feminization.

I’m not averse to the Christian ideals either.
I just think them naïve and far too costly.

A human that turns the other cheek isn’t, for me, something to be emulated, nor is he even possible.

But communism was never and can never be fully implemented. In the end human greed and egotism will creep through to placate human instinct.
Nor can pure capitalism be fully realized. In the end some social elements will creep through to placate the masses.

Capitalism endures because it most closely emulates natural selection. Man feels comfortable within it.
The only problem with it is due to the abstracting qualities of money (money being the abstraction of value).

In nature the offspring inherits the parent’s weaknesses and strengths but it isn’t guaranteed its social status.
It too must earn it.
In capitalism the offspring inherits both, having to earn nothing.
This, as a consequence, results in decadence.

In nature the alpha male ensures his dominance and his genetic continuance by controlling resources – ownership.
Same happens in capitalism.
Why do you think women are attracted to rich men?

Imagine “natural-selection” is that which favors favor. A blind statistical side-effect.

What a progressive and evolving thought: stagnant adamance.

“Nature” is everything. “Nature” was never “about” “inequality” OR “equality”.

Try prozzakkkKK. :sunglasses:

Hahahaha… gimme a penny.

All of a sudden, man swiftly was caught by surprise, as is ever-enlightened comformity saw banality itself as the gage of both naturality, normality and correctness.

You speek of your own mimetic nature, not of the whole of nature, or the whole of potentiality, or to prove yourself superior by defeating the progression which lay as an newly born child does, easily decapitated or aborted. Yes, much easier it is to use all of the deep rooted suction of blooded oils, when burning the flags of any whome say: “This monger is incorrect.”

Natural law? What “natural law”? What “correction”? What “incorrection”?
I thought that the supposed “unnatural” was simply a new manifestation of nature’s own potentiality… And oh, let’s not forget those sickening, law-breaking air-planes in the sky.

Oh goody, a multiple-choice question.
A or B?
What stunning variety.

Yes, oh yes, that “phase”, that little process, but soon the baby stops shitting his pants, grows up, and defends his true nature.

I commend your outstanding maturity.

Since when does being a closed-minded, naïve idealists, trying to avoid work and avenge forefothers, suddenly, almost miraculusly, transform this capitalistic toad into a communist tadpol…?

I didn’t once say that you must “change the world”, or “blame”, or whatever else you’re talking about now.

Oh does it? Does it really?

Take a second look at love itself. Cooperation IS individual possibility.

Ah yes, now the horisontal collectivists are merely insects… How, fair…

What do you mean by: “fully implemented”?

What a fulfilling prophecy… I don’t need a night-light anymore, now that I know for certain that greed and egotism are unstoppable forces. Wait, who says so?

“Man feels comfortable with it”?

Competition, greed, egotism, exploitation, inequality, seporation, these are “comforting”? Before I sleep each night, maybe I should drink a cup full of inequality, to help calm me down, so I can rest-easy. And lest I have a terrible night-mare of a classless, less forceful harmony, I think I’ll get 7 hours of ritches and meaning each night…

Strange how “less is more”, quite literally, to your invisioned civilian of capitalistic “freedom”, as an equal distribution would mean more resource for the average person, and thus, less lacking in the average person.

“To each according to his need.”
What a crazy idea…

Huh? :astonished:

Nature is “stagnate”?

Really?!
I wonder how evolution happens then.

Perhaps the genes get together and compassionately and democratically decide which ones will be reproduced and which ones will not.

What is competition anyways?
A clash of equalities trying to prove how equal they both are?

I prefer alcohol.

:astonished:
This is either an attempt to sound like you are saying something without saying anything or ….I just had an aneurism.
Damn!!! And it’s too early for a drink….

WOW! =D>
I actually almost thought I understood something there….for a second.

But if I understood anything then:

I am not trying to prove anything.
I’m describing the world as I perceive it.

I am not stating my political preferences.
I am describing the world as I perceive it.

I, personally, would like the whole world to play games, drink alcohol and have orgies, from daybreak to nightfall.
Unfortunately my wishes will only exists as daydreams on dreary fall, rainy days.

Jesus was such a naïve idealist, himself.
He paid the price for not seeing man as he is or for wanting to change man into something that goes against every fiber of his being.
We admire his sacrifice. Very few have the balls to die for their beliefs.

Anyways.

Communism has been used and abused over t this past century.
It was the refuge of the wronged and abused – just as Christianity originally was – and the vengeance of the masses upon their oppressors.
It attracted the lazy (those who thought they would eat and drink and play and not have to work much for either), the vengeful (those who had lost a loved one to a regional political circumstance or a civil war or those that felt oppressed and wronged by the system; wrongly assuming that another system would correct this when all systems oppress and repress), and the naïve idealists (those that had no clear idea what “justice” means but only through the myth of equality and hypothetical human dignity).

The Russian experiment (and the China one) only proved that you cannot change man through “education” and forced indoctrination (capitalism uses a more subtle and sophisticated coercive tactic) and that to create this idealized socialist man (Christian man) you had to isolate and quarantine him from every external temptation.

How do you convince a man to be selfless when selflessness is a myth based on ignorance and a lack of introspection and clarity?
Communism and Christianity fail when they assume that man is a fallen angel trying to return to his past purity, when he is a clawing devil trying to climb sainthood.

Exactly.
Any alteration or mutation bears a cost or a risk.

In the case of Christianity and communism the cost is human individuality and free-will.
I would say this is the cost in any social unity but in these cases the ideal goes so against human instinctive inclinations that it attempts to change man through extreme repression and self-denial.

I repeat:
The purest form of communism cannot be practiced by man, as man is today, but is best practiced by creatures such as ants and wasps and termites.
Their mindless, lack of identity and free-thought makes them ideal for communal living and harmonious cooperation.

Now, watch old films and see how Communism attempted to create just such men.

Here’s another choice:

Forever dream about a utopian world where we all love each other and work together; a world without injustice or strife or…interest; a world where you can stop projecting your own sense of victimization and insecurity upon the anonymous masses, towards which you feel a strange empathy because they remind you of yourself; a world where you can stop trying to get-back on all those bullies who have wronged you or made you feel lesser-than, a world where you will not have to prove yourself, but be accepted as you are.

Let us dream about paradise.
Let us pretend that it’s the “general good” that lies behind our altruistic façade, wanting to gain an advantage through association and participation because it fears it cannot successfully compete otherwise.

Let us dream……

Maturity is when a child stops expecting mommy and daddy to help it survive and when the mind stops blaming others for its own predicaments.
Maturity is taking responsibility for one’s self.

Who said I was a capitalist?
I only said that capitalisms success and endurance is owed to the fact that it emulates nature’s ways.
Where it doesn’t it fails.

No…I made that up my self.
:^o
I dream of the day when women will be fair and procreate with all males that ask them to.
You know: equal access in an equalitarian world.

Then perhaps we can stop debating, trying o prove whose opinions are superior or inferior, and simply agree to disagree.
Then we can say that everyone’s opinion is equally valid.
How wonderful.

At what cost?
Maybe you should reconsider what emotions are and how they act upon the brain and for what purpose.

When reason cannot find a reason to act, then emotion forces the matter – irrationality.

I know. Nature sucks.
Let’s correct it.

Let’s …intervene.
Then, when the consequences of our human intervention become painfully apparent, let us scramble to correct the corrections.
Technology.

Evolution….again.
This time memetic.

I’m saying communism wasn’t fully practiced.

Sorry for disturbing your sleep.
The child-like always sleep better when they remain ….’innocent’ and in the dark.

Here’s something more disturbing:

Human beings exploit their environment.
Other human beings are part of this environment.
Therefore human beings exploit other human beings, even when they pretend they are friends or lovers or family.

Did you read my ‘User’s Guide’?

ilovephilosophy.com/phpbb/vi … ight=guide

I suggest you don’t.
It’ll make you cry.

I know.
Next time I have a delicious piece of rib steak I’ll think:
"The cow really needed this more than I did. "
I’ll assuage any Christian sense of guilt that might linger behind my pseudo-altruistic idealism, in this way.

It’s too bad the world is so vicious and cruel and cold.
How will the ones incapable of coping with it ….survive?

“exploitation” like “justice” is a human construct. People make the mistake of attributing it to Natural Selection because, alas, Natural Selection is a human construct as well.

I wonder what is not a human construct.

river dams ala beaver

-Imp

We don’t need to go all theoretical. We can look at societies where communism actually has worked: precivilized human forager-hunter societies. In those societies, all of the means of production (hunting grounds, fishing streams, foraging grounds, flint quarries, etc.) were communally owned. Individuals might own their own tools, clothing, weapons, space in the housing, and so on but the tribe owned everything from which wealth was produced. There was status within the society but it was not measured by wealth, and nobody went hungry unless everyone did.

Communism has however never worked well in any civilized setting, and although societies in transition from precivilized to civilized life have often hung onto vestiges of communism for as long as they could, the tendency has been to adopt private capital property somewhere along the road.

This suggests that the prerequisites for communism working are a small society, in which everyone knows everyone else, and in which social pressures can work to persuade everyone to cooperate for the good of the whole.

It also suggests that it is in our blood to want such a situation. Small communal societies represent the type of culture for which humans are adapted by evolution, since our ancestors lived that way for at least ten times as long as we have been civilized. This can help explain why communism is regarded as paradisal, and why (for example) it is the final, dream-like state of progression in the Marxist paradigm.

A civilized society can perhaps be socialist, but it cannot be communist.

However, that does not mean that capitalism is natural, either. It is not. It is entirely an artifact of civilization, and not necessarily a good one. If we are to replace it, though, we need to do so with a view to what is practical and workable, which communism is not.

People are deeply brainwashed by Capitalist Ideology:

Examples:

  1. you are poor because you are not “risk loving”. So if you have a small amount of cash on the side and you don’t play poker with it to and decide to try you fortune out by creating your own company - activity, you are guilty of your low income. You didn’t want to risk it all. Only thing is 9 out of 10 of these endeavors usually fail because it is hard to guess the right niche and acquire enough clients, and the ones blaming you for being puny and not “risk loving” are those who have alot of cash and can spare alot of money anyways; they still have alot left even though they may fail. Then there are those who did risk their money, opened some activity (like a chinese restaurant) and did get well off. That is good for them, and we all appreciate that, but then some of these right wingers start saying see I did it, you can do it too, you are just too lazy. How many of the same activity can you really open in one town ?

  2. you are too lazy. Now this is the typical right wing capitalist mantra for eveything. It is actually very hard to be lazy. Most people want to do things, want to be active and as active and involved as possible. But the laziness capitalists talk about is the fact that if they want to command you to work 12 or 14 hours a day for the same money, and you feel hosed, then there you go; you are lazy. And did you know that those that really work the most, 3rd world sweat shops, child labor, etc. may work 14 hours a day and just get some water to drink ? They are poor because they are lazy. You know all the skyscrapers built in “communist” china are built by people getting 100 dollars a month ? they are poor and lazy. Bill gates works alot.

  3. you don’t have the right skills. Now what if people are not all the same ? some people are simply too stupid and can’t learn the right skills ( or are they lazy?). And then notice how the hot skills are always changing. So even when alot of people do learn the right skills, you can be sure that it will change and the competition between them will get harder and harder. So even with the right skills, but you are not as good as the other guy, you get hosed.

What I want to say is that there is no alternative to capitalism, but we need a right mix between socialism and capitalism. It is true there are peole who suck and are lazy or just stupid, but we must provide a minimum for them even though they may not “deserve” it. After all there are millions of others who are hard workers and smart and they should be so productive as to be able to give a few dimes more to support those other people who are failures.

What is incredible is the black - white debate, you are either a communist or a capitalist fascist. Why is there no middle ground ? why can’t we try to get the best of both ? why can’t we be not emotional and ideological about it and try to find a right mix ?

Some people are brainwashed by Capitalist Ideology. Some are brainwashed by Communist Ideology. Some are brainwashed by Religion. Still others have studied these things and formed their own opinions.

Which thing are you brainwashed by, old6598? Or are one of the rare blessed few who considers his opinions to be Great Truths? :wink: