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View Diary: The "Marxism is coming back" trope (264 comments)

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  •  Collectives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lucid, RabbleON

    can do the same: they can coordinate with other collectives, allowing each to produce what they produce best.

    The difference is the lack of worker exploitation. It doesn't have to one big monolith owned by a central communist state. The Soviet model didn't work. Federations of collectives, with workers in each collective self-managing their own workplaces, can have diversity and a plethora of choices.

    "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

    by ZhenRen on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:08:25 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Like I said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JJ In Illinois, nextstep

      Go nuts, nothing stops you from making a collective today.
      In this nation, people are free to voluntarily form economic relationships in any form they want.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:21:43 PM PDT

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      •  With what resources? (0+ / 0-)

        Most of us live hand to mouth, thanks to you capitalists and your wage slavery.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:03:37 AM PDT

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        •  So there we go.. forced collectivization (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk, nextstep

          "Collectives" have only ever been successful in a coercive society.. and only briefly successful at that.

          Collectives run against human nature, which is why you don't see collectives, even in very small scale, much less at the national level.

          With what resources?
          Workers have the resources of their labor.  As Sparhawk says, nothing stops laborers from collectivizing.  Without labor - i.e. a person's work hours traded for capital - capitalism doesn't work.  Yet, most critiques of capitalism ignore this point.  Those critiques concentrate solely on the top end of capitalism.. those "exploiting" laborers.
          •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lucid, offgrid

            You've made a series of unsubstantiated statements supported only by capitalist conventional wisdom.

            The old human nature canard, which isn't what capitalists claim it is, or wish it to be. We're social animals.

            And apparently, when you speak of coercion, you're referring to your notions of authoritarian socialism, with centralized authority, rather than a society founded on participatory communities based on free association, and direct democracy, where each person has an equal voice.

            People have collectivized without coercion, unlike capitalism which by necessity is based entirely upon coercion and violence to protect the private assets of the owning class, a minority.

            Capitalism is highly coercive, which is why so much effort has been spent on crushing unions and worker uprisings from the onset. The one thing capitalists fear more than anything else is a coming together of the working class (an overwhelming majority) into a unified power, which is why so much effort is placed on pitting the working class against itself, using patriarchy, racism, and nationalism to keep the workers fighting amongst themselves. You tell them over and over that it is their natures to behave as competitive, rugged individualists, rather than the social animals that they are.

            Reciprocity and cooperation is stamped out as much as possible by the ruling class, and after centuries of serving masters, lords, monarchs, and capitalist bosses, who have long ago seized resources as their own property, its no wonder people have forgotten they don't need to be rendered into slaves.

            You speak of socialist coercion? Really? Only a person completely out of touch thinks workers have real choices, and that they aren't completely dominated by their employers for the duration of their lives.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:23:11 AM PDT

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        •  Start small and grow (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          just like most every other human organization that became substantial in size.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:39:39 AM PDT

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          •  You're rather optimistic... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            offgrid

            considering that the reality is that most new business start-ups in capitalism fail. The statistics were, in the past, something like 1 out of 17 attempts to create a new business succeeds, the rest failing. And those failures mean losses of capital (one's life savings) by those who make the attempt. And in today's economy this can't be any better. You do know, certainly, that it is almost impossible for most working people to get business financing? Most refinance their own homes, putting their families at risk of losing everything.

            You just have no real clue. Have you ever tried to start up a business with insufficient funding?

            Forming collectives is not any different. It takes a great deal of money to start a successful business, all of which is at risk of being lost. This is one reason few will donate their savings, or refinance their homes to liquidate the equity, to start a co-op. People tend to hold fast to what they have secured in a competitive, dog-eat-dog market place. Many small enterprises have been run out of business by big corporate players like Wall-Mart.

            My father had small businesses. So have I. It is very difficult to break out of the pack and succeed. For every success there are countless failures.

            Despite this, there are some good examples of co-ops which have done well. But capitalism favors the wealthy, and often it is the very wealthy who succeed in killing off the competition, since they, with more money and assets to draw on, have the enormous staying power required to endure the first years of a start up enterprise while trying to secure a positive cash flow.

            Go visit any main street of a small town and notice the series of empty commercial spaces. The old bicycle shop, the lawnmower repair guy, the stationary store, the appliance store... probably all gone, or just barely getting by. Then seek out the nearest Wall Mart and notice how well they're doing, with the stream of customers. They kill small business. Easier to go work for Wall-Mart than try to make it on your own.

            You really just don't have a clue.

            I agree that more co-ops should be founded. But make no mistake. It is very difficult to start a business.

            "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

            by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:47:33 AM PDT

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            •  I didn't say it would be easy (0+ / 0-)

              And I have started successful businesses and have been in businesses that failed.

              I suspect that the success rate of coops is lower than conventional businesses, as the people with the strong entrepreneurial, organizational, sales and marketing skills are far more likely to go to businesses founded on capitalist principals as they will be better compensated there.

              If cooperatives were a better way to organize economic activity, it would be far more commonly used.  

              You say in your comment that you had started a business, why didn't you choose to form it as a cooperative?

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:38:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is "easier" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                offgrid

                to create a business which exploits workers... that's why capitalists do it. Of course they compensate themselves more than they do their wage slaves. That's the entire point of creating a business in capitalism. When "successful," it results in wealth for the owner(s) at the expense of the workers. It is only due to the class difference (owning vs working) that there is disparity in wealth. And yet without the labor of the workers the business can't succeed. Or do you think only the owning class has the knowledge to successfully manage a business? Many good, well trained managers are working class.

                I have a friend who worked at a liquor store recently. The owner was rather handicapped in intellectual ability, and had inherited her business from her father. She relied on her workers to do everything for her, and her business succeeded despite her ineptitude, since employees quietly ignored her orders and corrected her mistakes when she was absent.

                Newsflash: Many workers can run a business far better than their bosses. Day in and day out, it is the workers who make the world function.

                Its easier to thieve the wealth produced by the working class than to distribute the wealth with more egalitarianism.

                Duh. Reread my comment. It seems you missed my point.

                As Kropotkin wrote in the book, The Conquest of Bread:

                Every machine has had the same history--a long record of sleepless nights and of poverty, of disillusions and of joys, of partial improvements discovered by several generations of nameless workers, who have added to the original invention these little nothings, without which the most fertile idea would remain fruitless. More than that: every new invention is a synthesis, the resultant of innumerable inventions which have preceded it in the vast field of mechanics and industry.

                Science and industry, knowledge and application, discovery and practical realization leading to new discoveries, cunning of brain and of hand, toil of mind and muscle--all work together. Each discovery, each advance, each increase in the sum of human riches, owes its being to the physical and mental travail of the past and the present.

                By what right then can any one whatever appropriate the least morsel of this immense whole and say--This is mine, not yours?

                "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

                by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 03:07:25 PM PDT

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    •  It's a commonplace among economists that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nextstep

      co-ops and collectives have a "horizon problem." People join a co-op for whatever reason, but have different time horizons from other people in the co-op. So co-ops are prone to dissolution as members eventually go their separate ways.
         Corporations solve the horizon problem by making ownership sellable. A shareholder who is no longer interested in the corporation can simply sell her share to someone else.
         Co-ops that have longevity are those that have a large number of incoming members to replace those who leave - co-op bookstores near a university campus, eg.

      •  I was referring (0+ / 0-)

        to a society completely based on collectives, rather than forming collectives in a capitalist society. There would be no private ownership of the means of production.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:55:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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