1: Why do away with money/medium of exchange in a communist society when it's an effective way to allow the distribution of goods and services? Without it the distribution of the things people need/want would have to be overseen by some central authority, this is both inefficient and basically creates a "not-government". Obviously things cannot be freely distributed as there would be nothing to prevent people taking more than their share. This also prevents saving.
2: Without a government who exactly is supposed to uphold law and order, fund/maintain public works, and maintain institutions that operate at a loss such as libraries and museums?
3: Isn't the lack of economic classes, which is effectively a complete lack of economic mobility across the board, incompatible with the fact that some people aspire to higher standards of living and wealth?
4: What intrinsic motivation is there for people to participate or aspire to be their best in a communist society where working harder or having specialist skills will not necessarily result in greater rewards?
5: In a capitalist society, efficiency is encouraged as it results in greater net profits (reducing operating costs or increases productivity), what is there to motivate efficiency in production in a communist society?
Not trying to start shit and I should probably just read a fucking book but yeah.
Money is first and foremost a hierarchical tool, secondly a medium of exchange. And it sure as fuck isn't an effective way to allow distribution of goods and services.
It will not be forced out as much as it'll simply become unnecessary and die out from lack of popularity.
People already do these things by their own volition, government only exists to exploit them.
Of course it's going to seem like shit if you assume everything works like capitalism. There is "economic mobility" when scarcity is abolished.
People do what they are passionate about, this is a simple matter of human psychology. Meritocracy in a capitalist market is utterly laughable.
Since when is efficiency encouraged? Have you not seen how the economy works in real life? Ever?
Would you care to explain how it isn't an effective way to distribute goods and services, and perhaps share a better way to do so? I catch a fish, sell it for money and use the cash to buy a pair of shoes some guy in town makes (as an example). This allows for very flexible exchange, and only requires the people involved in the exchange to be involved, how exactly can a system be more efficient than this?
How? If I'm a shoemaker and I decide I want fish, how do I get that fish? In a capitalist society I go to a fishmonger and buy it using money I earned repairing/making shoes. Mob rule is not an effective way to maintain law and order, and if someone decides to create a museum, how would they go about doing it in a communist society? They can hardly just go and tell a bunch of people with the skills to create a museum to help them because reasons. I'm sort of struggling to articulate myself with this one, but I guess I'm trying to say that some people want to reach the point where they have access to goods/services most people cannot afford due to limited supply, short of eliminating these goods entirely how exactly does a communist society deal with these goods and the people who want them? That is true, but what is there to make someone actually produce anything of use, someone interested in electronics could decide to try and invent weird shit instead of actually making anything or providing electrical services. Would you care to give me an example of it not being encouraged? I understand that the modern economic system operates entirely by creating artificial demand through manipulating trends an intentionally producing shitty products that need to be replaced (planned obsolescense) , and is an extremely inefficient and wasteful use of resources. But on the level of an individual company, it makes sense for them to make efficient use of their labour and resources to maximise their profits.
The fish you catch is from water which is privately owned by some nub, The space where you sell this fish is equally privately owned. You have to pay a fee to do both. In return, the money is paid to the owner of the shoe distributor instead of the guy who made them. He receives a "wage" instead, which necessarily less than what his labour has produced.
Yeah, I understand what I said is an extremely simplified version of capitalist exchange. Although it isn't necessarily always as you say it is, both me and the shoemaker could be self-employed.
Regardless of this, how does a fisherman turn the fish he catches into shoes or other things that he needs in a communist society. How exactly is the exchange carried out? How is this method of exchange preferrential to using a medium of exchange?
1. Because that creates disparity. Under communism, a diamond ring is worth as much as a bag of chips. You won't have to earn luxury, you'll live in a post-scarcity economy where luxury is very easily attained.
2. The community. Again, stop thinking of payment for work or funding for operation and construction as necessary. It isn't. Nothing will be paid for because nothing will have to be paid for, because transactional currency will not be necessary to obtain resources.
3. No. The community that builds the best houses gets to live in the best houses, simple as that. Strive for personal greatness, attain the higher class of life you seek.
4. But it will mean greater rewards. Under corporatism all of the profit goes to whoever owns the business. The business then has to pay for things like taxes, rent, utilities, supplies and all sorts of overhead. And then it has to make a monetary profit so it can stay open, so it gives the employees that put in the labor as small of a portion of the profit as possible to ensure its survival. Communism has none of these problems, and so the profit (in a moneyless society, the product of labor) goes directly to the workers.
5. Mass production really is not going to be a thing. It's wasteful, monopolizing and only benefits the people on the top while working the people on the lines to death. Under communism, since the product of labor goes directly to the workers and not to the profiteering corporatists, there will be a surplus of goods as it is. If, however, there is demand for something from somewhere else (ie a japanese sports car or an italian wine), the community the product is requested from can either make it and arrange to have it transported, give the people requesting it access to the blueprints/recipe/what have you, or arrange to have someone from the requesting community come and learn how to make it themselves.
Not OP here, but how does Communism get into that whole post-scarcity thing? Being thoroughly spook'd by many economics teachers it's always been the one thing underpinning Communism that I felt stopped it from happening, since central planning itself is not inherently worse than letting the market decide, as long as that central planning isn't shit.
Do away with money because it isn't needed as a middle point in exchange. We aren't talking about getting rid of money the day after a socialist gets elected or anything; it disappears when it is no longer useful. Distribution of goods and services is done by people taking part in the running of their lives and the well being of their communities rather than a central authority.
A state withers away when it is no longer needed. Since a socialist government is one run by and for the working class, eventually with everyone taking active part in the 'government' there is no differentiation between a government and a community of people deciding things for themselves.
You say lack of economic mobility as if acquiring meaningless bits of paper or numbers on a banker's computer screen are the sole reason for man to exist. I would rather live my life learning about the world around me and judging my worth and the worth of others on things like knowledge and effort put into bettering those around us. Some people aspire to these things but that is incompatible with capitalist society, the fact that people who aspire to gaining wealth over others will be incompatible in a communist world is too fucking bad for them. Luckily this mindset is borne from a capitalist world, and will be extinct by the time we are living in a communist one. As for living standards, that is partly why I am a communist; I want living standards to improve for myself, my friends, family, and the entire world.
a) working harder will result in greater rewards. You produce for your community rather than the private owners of the corporation that owns all means of production, so you will see the results of effort rather than profit for individuals you have no link to. I would much rather take my specialist skills as a painter to paint buildings and machines that makes the people I live around more productive, happier, safer, etc, than have my specialist skills wasted on making money for my boss. In capitalism I don't do anything unless I get paid, and that is a pretty pathetic reason. I would rather do it for my own and everyone's well being. I would rather not have to worry about a wage and instead worry about doing a good job. b) there is no intrinsic motivator inside a human being to do anything related to capitalism or profiteering, it is all a product of a capitalist superstructure forming our minds a certain way. Pwople will think differently when born in a society without the need to struggle to survive and hurt your fellow human just to gain 'wealth'.
Efficiency is ONLY encouraged IF it provides profit. It is discouraged if it does not provide this, hence why we have to deal with planned obsolescence, and other scams to make more wealth for capitalists in spite of the rest of the world. It is not efficient to have products manufactured in China, then shipped to other countries, when there are plenty of people willing and able to produce in those countries already. The only reason it is done is because it is profitable, plus it hurts the environment, means things take months to be distributed, and is basically just a huge sinkhole for resources that could be best used in other areas. Productivity is a mess under capitalism, with overproduction meaning waste, and underproduction just to gain more products meaning people miss out on needed/wanted items. Producing for need/want rather than exchange and profit is far more productive and efficient.
this meme needs to die already
We live in an age where everything you ever wanted could be produced for you and everyone else on the planet.
The only thing stopping us from living in a post-scarcity world is the method of production and distribution we have that aims to privatize the wealth of the world.
Supply is not regulated to keep demand high for maximum profit, but rather by the amount of resources on hand and the amount of product created. Add that to a general lack of mass shipping of the product, as well as things no longer designed for obsolescence, and you have yourself a lot more of the product than you need.
If you don't want to over-produce, don't work as much. Take a week or month off, wait until the stockpile is running low, then start making it again.
There are a variety of different ways it could be implemented. If you make shoes and need fish, you go to wherever the fishermen store their fresh fish and you ask for some. They give you what you want because you are part of their community, and they caught the fish to improve the lives of their fellow humans. It's not like they catch enough fish for themselves and leave it at that since we live in a time where it is possible to mass farm fish and catch tons of fresh seafood daily. Without being destitute they have no need to horde fish for profit, and with everything provided for them they don't need to blackmail others. What they need is given to them so they give what others need.
This is the purest definition of communism I have ever seen.
Alright that works, people contribute to the community because the community helps them, people who don't contribute can be ousted from the community. This works well for primary industries that trade directly with individuals. However how can this work for larger industries, or industries that provide equipment/resources only used in production?
For example, its fair enough giving fish to people in your little community because you know they're the shoemaker and they provide your family and friends with shoes. That totally works, a pre-industrial society is completely compatible with this. But when you move up to large co-ordinated projects that require thousands of man hours or resources that have very high intrinsic value it becomes a bit more difficult to pull this off. For example, imagine a communist society wants to build something like the Large Hadron Collider.
This required millions of man hours, huge amounts of expensive resources, and experts from all around the world. How can a communist society effectively organise a project like this when it doesn't necessarily result in any apparent benefit to most communities. What is there to motivate the society to create superstructures such as this? How can the participation of the many communities within the nation(s) wanting to construct this be ensured?
we think it is possible for a society to exist, called communism, wherein: Imagine you were delivered as much bread as you wanted every day. At first you might hoard it, but as time goes on you realize you don't need that much bread and you can't sell it to your neighbors as they also receive as much bread as they want. So you'd only take what you need. (how much you could be given of a good upon request would be within bounds of reason anyway, as a distribution center would only have so much of a particular good at any time, and no one is compelled by force to help you procure 10,000 gold bricks for example if they don't want to) This sounds ridiculous in the context of our society, who would work without pay? Well, consider that in our society, to work a job without pay would mean you have to work a second job for pay in order to live. It's irrational because of opportunity cost. Also consider the trend of automation, the same amount of goods requires less and less human labor over time to produce. If this trend continues indefinitely, it makes a post-labor society more and more possible/likely given a long enough time-span. The development of strong AI would make a post-labor society almost a guarantee. Also consider there are many examples of people performing labor without extrinsic motivation: Programmers who make free software, online forum moderators, game modders, all the people who do volunteer work, everyone who helps an elderly/disabled neighbor or friends, academics with passion for their field, amateur artists, youtube channels (small ones anyway), athletes motivated by the praise and adoration of others, skilled people who like competing with others, neighbors helping eachother raise barns or find a lost farm animal etc etc etc Those are all examples of people doing difficult or skilled jobs without material gain as motivation, they can all be done by people freely choosing to do it for the sake of fun or the satisfaction of helping others. Throughout much of humanities existence, I (an average hunter gatherer) would go out with my friends, hunt down and kill some large game, and then bring it back to share with the tribe. No quid pro quo needed. Maybe a very informal gift economy (my friends/tribe would share food they got with me, or give me a spear they made), but I wouldn't divy up the meat and barter with anyone in exchange for other goods. That only happened between tribes. Also, communism wouldn't exclude informal gift economies. A true story about me, is that at my old home I would help my elderly neighbor (sweet old cuban lady) with moving furniture occasionally and talking to her and being nice to her. She brought me food every week, usually pork stew with beans, which I enjoyed. No competitive barter was needed and we bother were happy to help each-other.
Now, I don't 100% believe this society is guaranteed to exist and may not work on a large scale without lots of advanced labor saving technology or 100 years of socialism first to develop jobs that are productive but not onerous(work that isn't enjoyable). But I think it's an ethical position to want to get as close as possible to a society like that. And I think it's inevitable that we have a post-labor and post scarcity (in the sense of requiring labor, I know there isn't a literally infinite amount of platinum or diamonds or whatever) if technology is allowed to advance continuously.
So that's communism. Socialism (as most of us define it), on the other hand, has scarcity and remuneration (payment in scarce goods or services, in labor vouchers or in subscriptions to goods and services produced by the community).
Why don't you add to what I said rather than be vague, then? The fishermen don't own the fish, they don't own the ocean, they merely own their labour power that gets the fish out of the ocean. It's not that hard. It's another reason why they have no 'right' to keep the fish, but it doesn't contradict what I said either.
The worldwide community is motivated to increase knowledge, technology and our understandings of the universe more so as a "natural" or inherent instinct than it is to hoard money at the expense of our fellow man. People are able to organise themselves to create without the motivation of profit, and without responsibility being given to a state. Worldwide projects into art, science and infrastructure are not possible under capitalism since they do not profit individuals who control production, when production is run democratically for the good of all then there is no reason people and communities from around the globe are not able to build anything they need.
But they must own the productive forces in order to engage in trade, as they own their labour
Say I want a vehicle of some sorts, now I have to get a lot of fucking fish as a car takes more labour and resources to make, and turns out the engineers and builders dont like fish, so I cant engage in bartering
They absolutely have the right to keep the fish as its the result of their labour finishing a production cycle, sure you can go there after they finished fishing and fish your own
You are making an argument for bartering economies with no property rights
Forgot my special snowflake flag
They aren't engaging in trade. I'm not talking about a barter economy, I'm talking about a society where people provide for each other.
That user didn't mention bartering at all. He talked about a gift economy, or an economy i described in There's no contradiction in someone owning their own labor (I can't use violence to force them to work), and then not owning the product of that labor (they can't use violence to stop me from taking the fish). If I'm a dick about it and take all there fish, no one's forcing them to make more fish. But I better describe the dynamic in that other post
But labour clearly has some form of exchange value in this economy, otherwise just fuk it, ill pick some flowers, give them to you and demand basic goos and services back
If I fish, that fish is mine, is the product of my labour
The entire problem with your argument is that you want communism to be a better capitalism when how society works would be restructured entirely.
Mind you that communism is a distant end goal.
Your vision of this society is nice but seems a bit simplified. While labour and resources will be less scarce a project this large requires resources that are naturally scarce, and a large enough investment of manpower that it's worth considering whether or not society would be better off investing it elsewhere. If some commitee comes forward saying they need tens of thousands of workers, millions of tonnes of steel and many difficult to produce resources and apparatus, what guarantee is there that all the pieces of the jigsaw will fall in place and everyone with a piece of it is willing to co-operate? Additionally what motivation is there for your average worker to contribute to this project? If they have to travel thousands of miles, and become separated from their families and communities, why would they do it? People are willing to work away from their families and communities in a capitalist society because they can potentially earn a larger income, without this motivator why would anyone do it in a Communist society?
Another thing, clearly a superproject like this would use up or change a large area of the land that is owned by everyone. How can disagreements about how this land should be used be settled? It makes sense that in this society everyone might want to better the society (although some might not care) but how can you deal with the fact people will have different views on how to go about doing this?
At this point you are bringing up problems that are entirely practical. Labor and resources can be tracked and managed technologically.
You are also begging another question: why would these superprojects happen to begin with when they are so extremely wasteful?
Fine go and pick flowers while everyone else contributes to society. You can receive basic goods and services for nothing because there is enough for everyone and no reason to prevent you from having it. In the meantime enjoy wasting your life with no accomplishments or satisfaction.
I think you are asking questions that you could answer with common sense. How do people decide if they want to undergo a massive project of science or whatever? They talk about it's pros and cons and debate whether it would be a good idea.
Why will people undergo work on this? If they want to they will. Why do people buy things like TVs and sporting equipment?
It sounds dumb, but think outside a capitalist system where money is required to survive and be happy, and money is the only reason to do anything. By the time a communist world is here all difficult, dangerous or unpleasant work will be automated, and anything technical can be handled by truly skilled people that take pride in their achievements and abilities.
everything in this threaod is utopian magical thinking. if this is what communism has to offer, then i might as well wait for elon musk, peter thiel, and eliezer yudkowsky to build a friendly AI god to make life great again
You can do nothing and demand basic goods and services, it's communism.
Except the fact it's worked before. b-b-but that doesn't count for [x] mental gymnastics. A gift economy has existed, socialism has existed, primitive communism has existed.
Which parts, and why?
Why is it 'utopian' to say that people can manage their own lives and the lives of their communities, and that people will provide for each other for their own well being and the well being of those they help?
because pol can't imagine not having someone to boss them around
examples and sources?
How does communism handle land ownership, law enforcement, foreign relations, & law creation in this case?
You're imagining communism as our world. It isn't. It's the end of the state and civil society. Human antagonisms, as well as land, are managed in common. Laws, their enforcement and creation, the very concept of "foreign" relations: they're obsolete.
country a is communist, country b isn't, how does country a handle foreign relations? available space isn't infinite, so if I want to build a house on a nice hill and so do 20 other people how does that get resolved? how does communism handle a serial killer or explosives/dangerous material regulation, basically anything that can cause widespread harm to a mass amount of people?
You mean state capitalism
I mean a large population area that practices communism, how do they interact with the people and nations that dont
Then country a isn't communist.
The transition to communism can't start before socialism has spread to every corner of the globe. If there's a distinction between a "communist" society and "non-communist" society, then there is no communist society to begin with.
Obviously if you had a stateless society existing next to a class society, the former wouldn't last very long.
We can only live in a communist world where there are no countries. Relations between people and communities are handled between those people. You want to build a house on the hill? Well let's discuss whether it's needed. Do you already have a house, is the hill a good spot? You share the land with everyone around you. So you want to live in a massive mansion away from everyone else? That way of thinking is borne from a capitalist mindset, and in a communist society people are raised to live in a communal planet where mansions aren't a measure of worth. If you really want to live on that hill and nobody has any objections then let's all get together and make it happen. If someone else wants the same idea then perhaps we could build an apartment block or large house for more than one family. If that's an issue then we will figure something else out. We are humans and we can organise to live without a representative state dictating in the interests of capitalists, and in our name.
A serial killer or terrorist or whatever, I can't see it as being as major issue as it is today, since terrorism has a root cause that we can eliminate. If someone is really set on being a danger then any society would organise plans to eliminate them subjectively. Insane people get help, people classed as beyond help get segregated at the whim of the community.
Again, we would all live in a communist world, but if there was a pocket of people set on not interacting with the rest of the planet - not sharing the wealth of the rest of the world, and enjoying all the pleasures of life that post scarcity can bring - and this community wants to shut itself off and live where the means of production are owned privately, then I personally think that that is fine and they should be left alone. I can't see it happening anyway, since why would I want to go to work everyday 9-6 earning money for a private individual when I could join the world community of communism and get everything for free? Depending on the size of the separatist state I'm sure there could be many outcomes. We could set up a group whose job is to deal with these people and communicate the wishes of the rest of society to them.
We can't have communism unless the overwhelming majority of the planet is communist, though. Remember that there is a big difference between a socialist state before communism, and a communist society. Just like a communist political party is different from actual communism existing, or the Democratic Republic of Korea is different from North Korea being democratic.
thanks for the well written answers, "We can't have communism unless the overwhelming majority of the planet is communist" this part right here is something I''ve never heard of or seen before. I'm pretty sure a large majority of people haven't either, even people pushing communism don't seem to know of or push global communism. Just from the way most people talk about communism they're not aware of this. It's always communism in relation to current society.
the answers in this thread paint a very clear picture and don't really leave room for a lot of confusion which is great.
How can they practice communism when the rest of the world isnt
Communism isnt right click>install .exe dummy
are there any current similiar examples of this working on a smaller scale in current society? moneyless, classless community based society of maybe 1k people?
Maybe primitive communism,, but that sounds more like mutualism
You have to understand that 95% of what you hear about communism is filtered through a media that is run by capitalists, and their best interest is to show communism as a stalinist monstrosity. Another 4% of what you hear is from stalinist monstrosities trying to sell themselves as worker's utopias like DPRK.
It's difficult to learn the truth through the words of bias.
Not currently. There are plenty of worker co ops out there where a workplace is run democratically, and even in a capitalist society they can survive. Also, humans have lived for hundreds of thousands of years without money or a state body, so whenever you hear the idea that it's 'human nature' to live in a state and exchange and produce for profit, then you know it's grasping at straws.
Despite what stalinists will tell you, Spain during the civil war is a good example of people coming together to organise things for themselves, with various communities running things locally.
It's not that simple.
This illustrates a problem with communism which is the first-come-first-serve model of distribution also known as networking. People who are unfortunate enough to not be the good friends or family relations of the fisherman get bad fish. It's not like the fisherman's son is going to make a fishhead stew and leave the rest of the fish in a bucket.
But there is enough good fish for everyone.
We already live in an industrious world where there is the ability to provide everything at a top quality for everyone. Communism works on a large scale and not on the small. The fishing industry would provide more than enough for everyone and with efficient farming and management of resources there would easily be 'good fish' for everyone, or enough clothes, enough houses, enough electricity. The scarcity of today is partly manufactured with the aim to increase profit, and partly lack of caring about consequences with the aim to not lose profit.
Also, the providing of goods isn't based around you taking what you make and deciding who to gift it to, really, it's you deciding whether or not you will take part in the supply of humanity with what it needs, or not taking part. Less about choosing who of your friends will benefit from your work, and choosing whether you want to take part in a society that makes everyone benefit.
Another point, machines can and will make everything, so there is no need for you to labour away making a shoe to trade for a fish unless you enjoy doing so, or if you wanted to produce something more personalised.