Socialism & Communism

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Nemo
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Nemo »

Grigoris wrote: Sat Jun 01, 2019 3:26 pm I recently returned from the United Nations Vesak Day conference where I was representing Greece for the second year running.

I was pretty bloody impressed by Vietnam.

It's GDP has has shown a continuous real growth since 1981 and unemployment has been steadily declining since 1991 (currently around 5.5%).

Buddhism is flourishing in the country. The Ninh Binh and Tam Chuc temples and cultural centers are a testament to that.

And all this under the watchful gaze of the Communist Party of Vietnam. :spy:

I was also impressed by the sensitivity and respect the Vietnamese government shows to it's ethnic minorities. The Ethnology museum and cultural tours to minority districts being the main evidence of this.

Firmly grasp you gun.jpg
Firmly grasp your gun to protect the results of the revolution.
I love how American perspectives always align with what a rich asshole would want. They are all just temporarily embarrassed millionaires looking out for their interests.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Good to see you back Grigoris! :twothumbsup:

Anyway I am reading this book called An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics by Peter Harvey and it quite an interesting study of buddhist ethics from an academical point of view. In a chapter devouted to economics and money he writes this "Robert Thurman sees such advice as outlining 'a welfare state... a rule of compassionate socialism'" (Harvey, p 199). This claim is made with a support of sutra passages and etc. And I wholeheartedly agree that really buddhism would be pro social welfare state.
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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiananmen- ... ars-later/
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
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conebeckham
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by conebeckham »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiananmen- ... ars-later/
I'd say that has nothing to do with communism, but there is no state that truly "practices communism." Oppression exists in capitalist "democracies" as well, and individuals are de-valued to some degree in all political entities.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
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cyril
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by cyril »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

Fun fact: neither USA nor any other capitalist "developed country" can or could afford free healthcare and free education all the way up to university. Communist countries could. I was born and I grew up in one. Also, no capitalist country ever managed to effectively address the issues of poverty and unemployment. The communist countries could. Don't believe me? Check the EU statistics on house ownership. The countries from the former Eastern block have the highest percentage (and by house ownership I mean real ownership, not owning some mortgage); surprise-surprise!

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistic ... 9_YB18.png

In the imortal words of The Donald, that's a fact, folks, that's a fact!
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

conebeckham wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:22 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiananmen- ... ars-later/
I'd say that has nothing to do with communism, but there is no state that truly "practices communism." Oppression exists in capitalist "democracies" as well, and individuals are de-valued to some degree in all political entities.
If the only 'state' that practices communism purely is that special state of mind found in academic salons, then Marxism is worthless and maladapted to the human mind & heart.
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

Another view of 1989 protests across China & Tiananmen massacre:

https://blog.independent.org/2019/06/03 ... -massacre/
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Grigoris »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:50 pm
conebeckham wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:22 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiananmen- ... ars-later/
I'd say that has nothing to do with communism, but there is no state that truly "practices communism." Oppression exists in capitalist "democracies" as well, and individuals are de-valued to some degree in all political entities.
If the only 'state' that practices communism purely is that special state of mind found in academic salons, then Marxism is worthless and maladapted to the human mind & heart.
1. China does not practice communism "purely". Ever heard of the free trade zones?
2. As I stated before: China is not the only country with a ruling communist political party.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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conebeckham
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:50 pm
conebeckham wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:22 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiananmen- ... ars-later/
I'd say that has nothing to do with communism, but there is no state that truly "practices communism." Oppression exists in capitalist "democracies" as well, and individuals are de-valued to some degree in all political entities.
If the only 'state' that practices communism purely is that special state of mind found in academic salons, then Marxism is worthless and maladapted to the human mind & heart.
As is Free Market Capitalism, frankly.
Nonetheless, some of the ideals of communist thought have benefitted those in capitalist economies. No nation-state applies a pure socioeconomic or political theory, Nicholas. Still, there is a great deal to be learned by studying Marx, etc.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")
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PeterC
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.
...
1. There is abundant inhumanity evident in all systems of government. Without wanting to resort to whataboutism, the US and the UK before didn't exactly cover themselves in glory
2. The evil that communist countries do usually has less to do with them being communist and more to do with them being autocratic
3. There are certain social problems that are most effectively solved by central planning. Healthcare; infrastructure; education; protection of the environment; collective defense; etc. These are actually pretty important things. This is in part why there can never be a completely non-communist state, because without these you could not have a functional state at all. And since all states exist on a sliding scale from completely centrally planned through to completely free-market (slightly simplistic, I grant) you could then conclude that "communist" elements are necessary to the functioning of every state.
4. Most people who rail against communism haven't actually read Das Kapital. It's not a bad book. Two often-overlooked points Marx makes in it are that (a) you can't accelerate the arrival of the communist mode of production artificially - it will arrive when it's good and ready; and (b) what really advances us toward it is the development of technology, not the ideological superstructure around that.
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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The main trouble with Communism as it has been practiced by various states (actually it has not been practiced, even in the USSR, the system was always called Socialism moving towards Communism) stems from a very powerful state without proper checks and balances. Such concentration of power is bound to lead to Human Rights violations, graft and other abuses regardless of what ideology the ruling party professes.

When Communism is practiced by small entities, such as the kibbutz movement, that typically has good transprency and accountability, it's an entirely different picture.
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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PeterC wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:43 am
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.
...
1. There is abundant inhumanity evident in all systems of government. Without wanting to resort to whataboutism, the US and the UK before didn't exactly cover themselves in glory
2. The evil that communist countries do usually has less to do with them being communist and more to do with them being autocratic
3. There are certain social problems that are most effectively solved by central planning. Healthcare; infrastructure; education; protection of the environment; collective defense; etc. These are actually pretty important things. This is in part why there can never be a completely non-communist state, because without these you could not have a functional state at all. And since all states exist on a sliding scale from completely centrally planned through to completely free-market (slightly simplistic, I grant) you could then conclude that "communist" elements are necessary to the functioning of every state.
4. Most people who rail against communism haven't actually read Das Kapital. It's not a bad book. Two often-overlooked points Marx makes in it are that (a) you can't accelerate the arrival of the communist mode of production artificially - it will arrive when it's good and ready; and (b) what really advances us toward it is the development of technology, not the ideological superstructure around that.
After I ceased being a socialist (actually had a membership card to the org and everything lol), I realized that most of Marx's contribution is really on understanding capitalism.

I won't pretend to have read all of Das Kapital, some of it was just beyond me. I spent some time with it though, and even Marx's most strident critics (well, the one's who bother actually learning anything) will admit that he was quite prescient in many of his predictions.

P.S. Theoretically a fully Communist state is well, stateless. The state is supposed to wither away.... and there is the pie in the sky bit of the philosophy, the more dreamy, silly, and easily abused bits that made me part ways with them.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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I love those few past comments!

I am really surprised nowadays why is not every single worker a socialist. I mean we are slowly arriving to the age of quite a significant amount of jobs perishing due to mechanization (unless global warming destroys us all that is) and in most countries we have seen enough human greed. It is time for the rich to either be responsible or to be heavily regulated and I do believe in proper regulation of the wealthy for the rich. In ancient Rome wealthy took it as a sign of wealth that they payed their taxes and gave money to charities, etc. Nowadays people skip taxes even when they are not wealthy because they think that social welfare state is stealing from them.

Marx was not perfect but many problems came with Lennin, Stalin and such other idiots who destroyed the ideology. Really revolution is a stupid means to achieve anything. Believing in revolution is like believing that Santa will arrive with gifts as an adult. It is all nice and cute, but in the end nobody gets anything and somebody ends up dead. Plus applying little bit of Marx as an antidote to human suffering under capitalism does not mean you will go full USSR. Americans are too scared of something that does not need to happen. Extremely stupid mentality and full of lies about socialism and capitalism too.
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by shaunc »

cyril wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:43 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

Fun fact: neither USA nor any other capitalist "developed country" can or could afford free healthcare and free education all the way up to university. Communist countries could. I was born and I grew up in one. Also, no capitalist country ever managed to effectively address the issues of poverty and unemployment. The communist countries could. Don't believe me? Check the EU statistics on house ownership. The countries from the former Eastern block have the highest percentage (and by house ownership I mean real ownership, not owning some mortgage); surprise-surprise!

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistic ... 9_YB18.png

In the imortal words of The Donald, that's a fact, folks, that's a fact!
Australia has free/affordable healthcare and education. I'm a homeowner and have worked at blue collar jobs my whole life and although not perfect poverty isn't really a huge problem here. Quite often it's the result of alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness or various combinations of this, which of course can create poverty in any political system.
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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Miroku wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 am

I am really surprised nowadays why is not every single worker a socialist. I mean we are slowly arriving to the age of quite a significant amount of jobs perishing due to mechanization [...]
Maybe that's precisely why. The advent of automation is pushing the proletariat into obsolescence and is making the Marxist economic model less and less relevant. This new paradigm is forcing the "left" to redefine itself; hence, the political left, which once stood for the working class now caters to the "oppressed minorities". What passes as socialism these days is less about jobs and wages and more about transgender toilets & stuff. As a result, John Doe will not identify as socialist because John Doe wants to hear about jobs and wages and generally does not give a hoot about where the transgenders take a crap. Instead, John Doe will support someone at that end of the political specter which is currently referred as "populist" because those guys talk straight (the working class loves straight talk, you know) and mostly about those things he wants to hear about. If in the end, John Doe will get out of this deal screwed yet again, is anyone's guess. But if he does, no one can say he had a lot of options to begin with. As the song goes, "again and again, since I don't know when, the first to die has always been the working man".

"You have to make the good out of the bad because that is all you have got to make it out of."
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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shaunc wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:53 am
cyril wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:43 pm
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:10 pm Communism as practiced was and is inhuman.

Fun fact: neither USA nor any other capitalist "developed country" can or could afford free healthcare and free education all the way up to university. Communist countries could. I was born and I grew up in one. Also, no capitalist country ever managed to effectively address the issues of poverty and unemployment. The communist countries could. Don't believe me? Check the EU statistics on house ownership. The countries from the former Eastern block have the highest percentage (and by house ownership I mean real ownership, not owning some mortgage); surprise-surprise!

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistic ... 9_YB18.png

In the imortal words of The Donald, that's a fact, folks, that's a fact!
Australia has free/affordable healthcare and education. I'm a homeowner and have worked at blue collar jobs my whole life and although not perfect poverty isn't really a huge problem here. Quite often it's the result of alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness or various combinations of this, which of course can create poverty in any political system.
If that is the case, I stand corrected. Never been to Australia. Still, from what I can read online, the Australian housing market is described as being severely unaffordable.

http://demographia.com/dhi.pdf
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Re: Socialism & Communism

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Dan74 wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:11 am The main trouble with Communism as it has been practiced by various states (actually it has not been practiced, even in the USSR, the system was always called Socialism moving towards Communism) stems from a very powerful state without proper checks and balances.
I think you will find that the exact same problem is currently being played out in the U$ too, and the U$ state is not a communist state.

Maybe it is, as the anarchists say, that the problem is not what sort of state, but the state itself.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

cyril wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:45 am
Miroku wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 am

I am really surprised nowadays why is not every single worker a socialist. I mean we are slowly arriving to the age of quite a significant amount of jobs perishing due to mechanization [...]
Maybe that's precisely why. The advent of automation is pushing the proletariat into obsolescence and is making the Marxist economic model less and less relevant. This new paradigm is forcing the "left" to redefine itself; hence, the political left, which once stood for the working class now caters to the "oppressed minorities". What passes as socialism these days is less about jobs and wages and more about transgender toilets & stuff. As a result, John Doe will not identify as socialist because John Doe wants to hear about jobs and wages and generally does not give a hoot about where the transgenders take a crap. Instead, John Doe will support someone at that end of the political specter which is currently referred as "populist" because those guys talk straight (the working class loves straight talk, you know) and mostly about those things he wants to hear about. If in the end, John Doe will get out of this deal screwed yet again, is anyone's guess. But if he does, no one can say he had a lot of options to begin with. As the song goes, "again and again, since I don't know when, the first to die has always been the working man".

That could be true, but at the moment there is a "white collar" proletariat. People working in offices doing the paper work and keeping the companies running. Those are the new addition to proletariat in many ways.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: Socialism & Communism

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cyril wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:45 am
Miroku wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:26 am

I am really surprised nowadays why is not every single worker a socialist. I mean we are slowly arriving to the age of quite a significant amount of jobs perishing due to mechanization [...]
Maybe that's precisely why. The advent of automation is pushing the proletariat into obsolescence and is making the Marxist economic model less and less relevant. This new paradigm is forcing the "left" to redefine itself; hence, the political left, which once stood for the working class now caters to the "oppressed minorities". What passes as socialism these days is less about jobs and wages and more about transgender toilets & stuff. As a result, John Doe will not identify as socialist because John Doe wants to hear about jobs and wages and generally does not give a hoot about where the transgenders take a crap. Instead, John Doe will support someone at that end of the political specter which is currently referred as "populist" because those guys talk straight (the working class loves straight talk, you know) and mostly about those things he wants to hear about. If in the end, John Doe will get out of this deal screwed yet again, is anyone's guess. But if he does, no one can say he had a lot of options to begin with. As the song goes, "again and again, since I don't know when, the first to die has always been the working man".

"Advent of automation". I always love how automation in the workplace is talked about like some automatic thing itself... as if it isn't companies purposefully saving on labor costs, often to the detriment of consumers and workers. The paradigm has certainly shifted, but firstly there is climate change, the solution for which will likely take huge jobs programs, everywhere, to actually be feasibly addressed. Beyond that, there are a on of low wage earning young people with no real economic future in "developed" countries who prop up the economy, automation or no.

The paradigm shifting away from socialism is more about the advent of neoliberalism, and the adoption of pro-capitalism "diversity" and inclusiveness as political tools by the folks with money and power, because surprise surprise, it benefits them more. Diversity and inclusiveness fit into the current economic paradigm just fine, any notion of economic equality or shared economic power does not.
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Re: Socialism & Communism

Post by cyril »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:11 pm

The paradigm has certainly shifted, but firstly there is climate change, the solution for which will likely take huge jobs programs, everywhere, to actually be feasibly addressed.
I would not put my money on that. If the environmental issue will ever be addressed seriously, I’m afraid it is the public money that will pay for fixing the damage. Because externalizing the costs while internalizing the profits is what the capitalist system is good at. And, if it’s the 99 percenters who ultimately pay the bill, jobs programs such as those are but zero-sum game. Robbing Peter to pay Paul sort of thing. In the end, the working class is as poor as before if not even poorer.
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