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Thread: Common Misconceptions about Communism

  1. #301  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    ... I think you should go back to school and get a refund, above you were of the opinion that 'democracy' is not a theory. It certainly isn't a scientific theory, but that doesn't make it any less useful or plausible now does it?
    It's a form of government. There may be one or more theories about how it works or should work, but it's not a theory in itself.
    Or are you saying democracy is useless because it's not scientific? Besides if you'd actually been familiar with Marx (seriously you're starting to sound like a crank) you'd know that the only reason he even uses the term 'scientific' is to distance himself from those idealists who came before, Marx was concerned with a description of the concrete, and if you'd read anything about Das Kapital (or is economics too much of a pseduoscience for you) you'd actually have some understanding of what you're talking about.
    So because he wanted to distance himself from non-scientists, you feel that means he succeeded? Freud was considered a scientist in his day. Not so much any more. No, I'm not going to read Das Kapital or any other pseudoscience.
    Also are you seriously suggesting that some species aren't less evolved than others?
    Yes, I am seriously suggesting that. Evolutionist don't use those terms any more. They say "derived" if they mean more human like. I'm just an engineer and even I know that.
    You're really just not objective enough to see it for what it is, or more plausible based on your posts you're a pretentious scientist who thinks that just because something isn't scientific it's completely wrong (newsflash you might want to read some Kuhn as you don't even seem all that familiar with the scientific method)
    You're starting to reveal your ignorance about science.
    err what's the distinction between democracy and other forms of government? its theory forms the foundation of it as a form of government. Das Kapital is not pseudoscience lol... (it doesn't even mention communism it's an analysis of capitalism and at that pretty good for the social sciences), 'derived' is just pedantry, it is clear what Engels means in 19th century terminology, as for you suggesting my ignorance of science I was implying you didn't know anything about its boundaries since you seem to be implying anything that isn't scientific is about unicorns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    If evolution was truly "good enough" then animals never would have evolved past the single cell, because a single cell is apparently good enough to live. and just because an organism need not be "perfect" does not mean it doesn't move towards that state.
    There's still plenty of single cell organisms around, so I think it does mean it's good enough. They didn't "move toward" any state that you think is more perfect. There's a pretty good chance they will outlive any more complex organisms.
    If you think that society hasn't evolved/progressed/any other such similar synonym that you may want to use to split hairs, or there is no such thing, I urge you to take a look at the wild west and compare it to today. How about China today versus when the Mongols ruled it.
    Okay, I'm looking at the wild west and comparing it to today. There's lots of unspoiled wilderness. There isn't too much overpopulation. People aren't burning a lot of fossil fuels and worrying about climate change. It's sustainable, because sun and the natural elements provide all the requirements for life. There's a lot of freedom, without too many people bothering you. You can do pretty much whatever you want. For some people it's a perfect situation they can only dream about, that's lost forever. So thing do change, but your view of it as progress is only your perception of the situation.

    Now why does Marx think that economic systems will evolve toward a stateless society. I see no reason to accept that. What is the evidence for it? It just seems to be something Marx thought would be good, and since he though societies improve, then that's where it has to end up. There is certainly no trend toward less government. A stateless society depending on universal voluntary worker participation would be an extremely unstable situation. All it would take is one or a few non-compliant individuals to upset the whole applecart. If evolution teaches us anything, it would be that some predator or parasite will move in to fill that niche. I don't know how anybody can actually believe in such foolishness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post

    err what's the distinction between democracy and other forms of government? its theory forms the foundation of it as a form of government.
    Just saying the word "democracy" does not indicate that you have a theory about democracy. You'd need to describe the different kinds of democracy, the advantages and disadvantages of each, how factions are dealt with, what need to be done to preserve minority rights, and so forth. Then you might be able to call it a theory.
    Das Kapital is not pseudoscience lol... (it doesn't even mention communism it's an analysis of capitalism and at that pretty good for the social sciences),
    If it's not about communism, why did you bring it up in a thread about communism? I won't take your word for it that it's pretty good, considering the judgement you've showed so far.
    'derived' is just pedantry,
    You've just staked out a position against mainstream 21st century thought on evolution and in favor of 19th century thinking. Congratulations.
    it is clear what Engels means in 19th century terminology, as for you suggesting my ignorance of science I was implying you didn't know anything about its boundaries since you seem to be implying anything that isn't scientific is about unicorns.
    I do have respect for time honored traditions that are not necessarily scientific but have proven their value over the centuries. However, anything as preposterous as communism is indeed equivalent to unicorns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    ... I think you should go back to school and get a refund, above you were of the opinion that 'democracy' is not a theory. It certainly isn't a scientific theory, but that doesn't make it any less useful or plausible now does it?
    It's a form of government. There may be one or more theories about how it works or should work, but it's not a theory in itself.
    Or are you saying democracy is useless because it's not scientific? Besides if you'd actually been familiar with Marx (seriously you're starting to sound like a crank) you'd know that the only reason he even uses the term 'scientific' is to distance himself from those idealists who came before, Marx was concerned with a description of the concrete, and if you'd read anything about Das Kapital (or is economics too much of a pseduoscience for you) you'd actually have some understanding of what you're talking about.
    So because he wanted to distance himself from non-scientists, you feel that means he succeeded? Freud was considered a scientist in his day. Not so much any more. No, I'm not going to read Das Kapital or any other pseudoscience.
    Also are you seriously suggesting that some species aren't less evolved than others?
    Yes, I am seriously suggesting that. Evolutionist don't use those terms any more. They say "derived" if they mean more human like. I'm just an engineer and even I know that.
    You're really just not objective enough to see it for what it is, or more plausible based on your posts you're a pretentious scientist who thinks that just because something isn't scientific it's completely wrong (newsflash you might want to read some Kuhn as you don't even seem all that familiar with the scientific method)
    You're starting to reveal your ignorance about science.
    err what's the distinction between democracy and other forms of government? its theory forms the foundation of it as a form of government. Das Kapital is not pseudoscience lol... (it doesn't even mention communism it's an analysis of capitalism and at that pretty good for the social sciences), 'derived' is just pedantry, it is clear what Engels means in 19th century terminology, as for you suggesting my ignorance of science I was implying you didn't know anything about its boundaries since you seem to be implying anything that isn't scientific is about unicorns.
    We're wasting our time. he has no interest in understanding. He obviously thinks understanding the idea means supporting it when there is a clear difference. All He's doing now is trying to save face and reassure himself of what he's "known all along." It's pathetic and unfortunately republican M.O.

    He apparently thinks we're out to "convert" people (as if that were possible) rather than understand the idea.
    He's obviously comfortable in the dark. We're kind of the jerks for trying to turn on the light.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    This website is excellent Index to Misconceptions About Socialism and from my studies of Marx and other philosophers associated with socialism very accurate and objective.
    Before we leave this topic, I'd like to address this "misconception."

    Communism could never work because it goes against human nature. People are naturally more competitive than cooperative.
    This argument is actually dealt with by Marx himself in the Manifesto, where he puts forward his view that there is no such thing as fixed "human nature."
    If there is no fixed human nature, or at least certain predictable patterns, then we can never do any social sciences. Marx and Engels themselves make predictions about how people will change when put into a socialist system. How do they do that if there is no fixed human nature? They just never justified their predictions. When Marx is challenged, he basically says "prove me wrong." He was nothing more than a crackpot.
    Human attitudes and behavior are constantly reshaped by the changing economic systems in which people find themselves. Engels went on to spend a good deal of effort showing that early hunter-gatherer and village societies depended far more on cooperation than on competition.
    The Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin made the classic argument against social Darwinism in his Mutual Aid (1902), and leftist social scientists have developed it further. In many cultures prestige or authority are more highly prized than property, and competition may be expressed by acts of even radical "selflessness" such as giving away almost all one's wealth in the "potlatches" of certain northwest tribes of Native Americans. Capitalism, socialists argue, simply brings these otherwise marginal emotions to the center and exaggerates them, stripping people of the strong ties which unite groups based on tradition, honor, religion, etc.
    This is an argument that cannot be settled. No large socialist or Communist state ever managed to create a population of ideal Communist citizens--though it is worth noting that many contemporary Russians voice regret for the disappearance of old patterns of cooperation in the new capitalist era and are decidedly ambivalent about the virtues of competition.
    Communists may have sounded naive when they foretold the creation of the new "socialist man," but anti-Communists sounded equally naive when they asserted that contemporary attitudes toward property, work and money were universal truths unchanged throughout history.
    No they are not equally naive. This is a straw man argument because anti-communists are not saying attitudes never changed throughout history.
    It was not entirely implausible to argue that if Europeans could change from believing in the divine right of kings, the necessity of permanent feudal ties, and submission to the Church, they could change further to reject individual self-interest, competition and private property as eternal truths which predominate in society.
    These changes involving belief in kings and churches never involved every individual in society. There have always been dissidents or factions kept under control by the state. In order to have a stateless society, everybody has to conform without being forced to. Because for the state to wither away, that's what has to happen. So yes it is entirely implausible.
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    I have learned a lot here.

    Mahalo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    This website is excellent Index to Misconceptions About Socialism and from my studies of Marx and other philosophers associated with socialism very accurate and objective.
    Before we leave this topic, I'd like to address this "misconception."

    Communism could never work because it goes against human nature. People are naturally more competitive than cooperative.
    This argument is actually dealt with by Marx himself in the Manifesto, where he puts forward his view that there is no such thing as fixed "human nature."
    If there is no fixed human nature, or at least certain predictable patterns, then we can never do any social sciences. Marx and Engels themselves make predictions about how people will change when put into a socialist system. How do they do that if there is no fixed human nature? They just never justified their predictions. When Marx is challenged, he basically says "prove me wrong." He was nothing more than a crackpot.
    Human attitudes and behavior are constantly reshaped by the changing economic systems in which people find themselves. Engels went on to spend a good deal of effort showing that early hunter-gatherer and village societies depended far more on cooperation than on competition.
    The Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin made the classic argument against social Darwinism in his Mutual Aid (1902), and leftist social scientists have developed it further. In many cultures prestige or authority are more highly prized than property, and competition may be expressed by acts of even radical "selflessness" such as giving away almost all one's wealth in the "potlatches" of certain northwest tribes of Native Americans. Capitalism, socialists argue, simply brings these otherwise marginal emotions to the center and exaggerates them, stripping people of the strong ties which unite groups based on tradition, honor, religion, etc.
    This is an argument that cannot be settled. No large socialist or Communist state ever managed to create a population of ideal Communist citizens--though it is worth noting that many contemporary Russians voice regret for the disappearance of old patterns of cooperation in the new capitalist era and are decidedly ambivalent about the virtues of competition.
    Communists may have sounded naive when they foretold the creation of the new "socialist man," but anti-Communists sounded equally naive when they asserted that contemporary attitudes toward property, work and money were universal truths unchanged throughout history.
    No they are not equally naive. This is a straw man argument because anti-communists are not saying attitudes never changed throughout history.
    It was not entirely implausible to argue that if Europeans could change from believing in the divine right of kings, the necessity of permanent feudal ties, and submission to the Church, they could change further to reject individual self-interest, competition and private property as eternal truths which predominate in society.
    These changes involving belief in kings and churches never involved every individual in society. There have always been dissidents or factions kept under control by the state. In order to have a stateless society, everybody has to conform without being forced to. Because for the state to wither away, that's what has to happen. So yes it is entirely implausible.
    You have no way of knowing how society will progress. I suppose you could hazard a guess, but I doubt it will be as intriguing as Marx's was/is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I have learned a lot here.

    Mahalo
    Glad somebody got something out of it.
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    Perhaps, an opinion from another person from Eastern Europe might be interesting :-)

    What you, Devon Keogh, are trying to say, is that people shouldn't mix Marxist theory and Soviet practice.

    Misconception No. 1:

    The people of a communism country have no incentive to work as there is no extra money to be gained:

    In a communist system, if people do not bother to work for the betterment of the country, sanctions are imposed on them for their idleness. This excludes people unable to work. Therefore no person can drag down the others of society.
    What about Soviet practice, unqualified workers were paid exceptionally well, while salary of engineers, doctors etc. was relatively low. Salary of a cleaner was higher than one of junior engineer. This resulted in a lack of initiative - Why should anyone take additional responsibilities for lower salary? This had mass alcoholism as one of the consequences, for example.

    On farms, farmers and Marx.

    What Marxism says, is that anyone should be prohibited to use capital (means of production) to hire workforce. That is, according to Marx, a farmer can own land and tractor, but he cannot hire anybody to work on his land. (I've heard an unorthodox opinion, that he can, but than he must share dividends with his employees.) Industrial production is a way more effective than individual production. I suppose, agriculture is now industrialized in the developed world. So individual farmers should just bankrupt, because they cannot compete with industrial enterprises (whether these are capitalist industrial agriculture or Soviet kolkhozs/sovkhozs).

    This was not the case in the Eastern Block, because of incompetent management. So to hide the fact that individuals are (proportionally) more productive than the industry, they have settled artificial limitations, like taxes for example. (I've recently found out that it was possible to become an "individual entrepreneur" in the USSR, but haven't studied details yet.)

    An illegal, non-controlled by the state production of goods was widespread already in the 1960-ties. Many interesting sources about that are in Russian, I'll dare to insert two links on Wikipedia articles (corresponding articles in English are either irrelevant or non-existent):
    Фарцовщик — Википедия
    Цеховик — Википедия

    Criminals of the USSR and their relations with the regime is a too complex topic to cover in this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Pure capitalism would be horrible. I like to hope that most capitalists know that.

    Capitalism only works if you DON'T try and apply it completely.
    Do you live in America? That's all the right wing talk about. "the free market will sort it out" and any mention of regulation is "punishing success" and "evidence of socialism" and it's not just morons like bachman and palin, it's lindsay graham, it's Boehner, It's Ryan, It's rubio, etc etc.
    True. And if those people have their way, the entire system will eventually collapse.

    America got to where it is today by NOT applying capitalism completely, and by NOT leaving all of its markets unregulated. I don't know why those people seem to think we'll get to the next step by changing a system that was already working.


    [quote]




    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Of course, if you had a population like that, then you wouldn't need a government of any kind. You wouldn't need communism either.

    So... basically communism only works if it isn't needed.
    Not necessarily. there are always problems that will come up within society, you have to have a way to deal with them. In communism the group works out the problem looking for the most beneficial good... In Anarchy the individual solves the problem however they fit with no repercussions from the group... because there is no group.
    In anarchy, if you get too many people mad at you, they will band together to destroy you.

    But both systems mostly rely on voluntary good behavior.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Also... it hasn't bolstered the minimum wage. And that's the only way to un-concentrate wealth.
    Well I would argue that it has bolstered minimum wage somewhat in that our leaders seem to actually be discussing it seriously at this point. I'm sure you're aware that if Minimum wage had adjusted accordingly to inflation over the years it would be something like 23 Dollars now?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Expanding the welfare state won't fix anything at all. It will make the poor more comfortable, but it won't make them less poor. (You can't get rich while you're on welfare.)
    Here's where the the waiting game comes in. I disagree, I think the "welfare state" currently will fix things and here is why:
    Right now, the rich are busting unions and moving companies over seas, that is if they are not dismantling companies and stealing retirements... That puts people out of work. If people are out work they are more likely to become desperate for income which means they may enter into a job or a contract that doesn't help them in the least. by doing this the rich continue to return a ridiculous amount of profit which means they can continue to stock pile resources.

    If people are able to stave off entering into exploitative situations it forces the rich to entice a people back to work with more of their income/resources which means minimum wage goes up and perks show up in order to get people to go back to work for them. Welfare state right now means 2 things. number one nobody has to work for an exploitative company which means jobs at companies go unfilled. those unfilled jobs mean a higher burden on the rich to sell their product. if people aren't in those job positions then chances are they aren't spending their money on what ever it is that those companies are selling. in the end the rich are losing money, or more aptly, not earning as much as they could be/or have been.

    here's the specifics of the waiting game. If there was currently no welfare the rich would continue to make money hand over fist by making the populace bid for the lowest starting wage and continue to stock pile their resources off of that wage. because there is welfare the people have a choice whether to be exploited or subsist until they can get a higher wage. So, the game comes in... Who has the patience to out wait the other? there's no doubt the wealthy have a lot of resources to wait this out but the government has the power to tax, so the rich can get taxed at a higher rate and still basically have to pay for those "moochers" anyway... So how long will it be before the rich decide they can offer something other than minimum wage (which is about 5 dollars less than what welfare pays) They can match the government welfare (or pay a little more) and actually get something for their dollar rather than paying those same people not to work?

    12 dollars from the government and have a bare minimum life or 20 dollars minimum wage for working for Mickey D's? If people are greedy they want more money and welfare is out.

    I guess we'll wait and see.
    I am forced to admit that you are right in saying that Welfare provides an alternative to working, and the presence of an alternative gives the workers increased bargaining power. I suppose that does make it a good counterbalance, so long as people still prefer to work when they can find good jobs.

    However, employers also have an alternative to hiring workers from their own country, so it's a waiting game on both sides. The employers can fill most roles using workers from a country that has no welfare system in place. Only service roles like house cleaning and burger flipping, or constrution, or a few others are immune to being shipped overseas. And even those can be filled by importing immigrants and denying those immigrants access to welfare (in order to force them to take the job.)




    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Bolstering the minimum wage, however, would require turning back the clock on globalization. We would need tariffs to protect against competition from workers in other countries who were not subject to a minimum wage. And of course that's anathema both in Washington DC, and in pretty much everywhere in the press. (Go figure. The 1% controls both.)
    I'd agree with this assessment as well. "free" trade does not help our situation.
    Yeah. It basically ties the hands of government so it can't regulate anything.

    It can regulate domestic production, but then the domestic producers will have to compete against unregulated competitors, and that puts them at such a disadvantage that they have no realistic chance of staying in business. (They do, of course, have an unrealistic, make-believe-superhero chance of staying in business. They just need Spider Man, or Wolverine or somebody to come work for them to offset their disadvantages.)



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Ok. This confirms it. Your definition of "communism" requires that nobody be greedy. That in turn requires unanimous agreement by a large population.
    Again, not my definition. It's the definition of communism. and yeah, it requires nobody be greedy, again, hard to fathom in a society that is built on that greed.
    It's hard to fathom in a society composed of human beings.



    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Therefore, your definition of communism is utterly impossible to achieve with a human population.
    well, yes and no. with a large populations such as states and countries...probably not. with smaller pockets of populations where everybody is reachable, there may be a shot.
    Yes. It can work in small communities. The trouble is that then the small community becomes greedy when it deals with neighboring small communities.

    So, the individual's greed is replaced by small groups' greed - which ends up just as badly. A lot of African countries are still very tribal, and the tribalists tend to play favorites, giving roles and jobs and other business to members of their own tribe, while denying those things to members of other competing tribes. It often results in genocidal wars.

    But if you were a member of one of those tribes, you might see something close to Communism happening inside of your particular tribe. Perhaps you might be able to think of a way to get those tribes to get along and realize the communist dream that way?


    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    Marx never sets a time period,
    You sound like a Christian fundamentalist who says God never set a date for the return of the Messiah, so it didn't happen this year but nobody can prove it isn't going to happen next year. So we're going to keep on believing.
    Is this veiled understanding? that you understand Communism has never happened... yet? (or will ever)
    It is what it is, and it doesn't mean it's never going to happen just because it's not happening fast enough for you. You're right, it may never happen, but as others have pointed out, you don't get to recreate definitions and assign angles that don't exist to the model of communism.

    Back to your Christian example.
    Every day that Jesus doesn't come back is a point for you, but the moment he does you just lost the game. you can't just pick a date and say today is the day. It has to fit the prescribed requisites.

    Communism has never existed that does not mean that anything short of the definition of communism = communism. Which is, in short, what you're trying to argue.
    As a general rule, if a hypothesis is immune to experimental verification, it is considered to fall outside the purview of science.

    For example, ghosts. There's no clear way to prove they exist or don't exist.

    It seems that communism has the same problem. Every attempt to create it has failed. That doesn't prove it can't be created, but it makes it a lot like trying to verify the existence or non-existence of ghosts.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    "Salary of a cleaner was higher than one of junior engineer. This resulted in a lack of initiative - Why should anyone take additional responsibilities for lower salary?"
    Yes, its well documented that in the USSR people all wanted to clean toilets and had little regard for mere engineers. Who in there right mind would want to contribute to space exploration when you can make an extra buck as a cleaner? Its not like Sputnik was the first human satellite launched in orbit, or anything like that. The Capitalist/monetary-dogma mindset dictates that the souless human tv-sedated consumer drones are motivated by the extra buck. wonderful.

    (this is not a backing of the hierarchy/money/secrecy using USSR regime, just a different view about human growth/motivation/happiness)


    "Commun*ism* has never " "It seems that communism" Communism this, and communism that

    Btw, does anyone else find that discussions about isms often end up sounding like two people arguing about the number that they see on (their side of) a die?
    Last edited by icewendigo; February 20th, 2014 at 11:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Salary of a cleaner was higher than one of junior engineer. This resulted in a lack of initiative - Why should anyone take additional responsibilities for lower salary?"
    Yes, its well documented that in the USSR people all wanted to clean toilets and had little regard for mere engineers. Who in there right mind would want to contribute to space exploration when you can make an extra buck as a cleaner? The Capitalist/monetary-dogma mindset dictates that the souless human tv-sedated consumer drones are motivated by the extra buck. wonderful.
    BlasW lived through it and saw it happen, so he or she can actually speak about it with some knowledge and experience. All you have is your ideology that tells you what you think should have happened.
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    "All you have is"
    So you know the countries in which I have lived, where I lived in the 80s, where I have lived in the 90s, the countries where my parents have lived in, who I have talk to directly in person and whether or not I am hearing someone speaking Russian right next to me right now? Thats quite impressive insight, you need to apply for a job at the NSA

    One persons view, in the US or the USSR is worth learning about, but it is not automatically representative, so lets hear it, lets have 5 people with random political views that lived in the USSR tell us, how being an engineer was not sought as a profession at any time in the USSR because a cleaner job offered more money, I want to hear that. Maybe its my sample that is not representative? If its the case I will be both surprised and happy to learn something new.
    Last edited by icewendigo; February 20th, 2014 at 12:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "All you have is"
    So you know the countries in which I have lived, where I lived in the 80s, where I have lived in the 90s, the countries where my parents have lived in, who I have talk to directly in person and whether or not I am hearing someone speaking Russian right next to me right now? Thats quite impressive insight, you need to apply for a job at the NSA

    One persons view, in the US or the USSR is worth learning about, but it is not automatically representative, so lets hear it, lets have 5 people with random political views that lived in the USSR tell us, how being an engineer was not sought as a profession at any time in the USSR because a cleaner job offered more money, I want to hear that. If its the case I will be both surprised and happy to learn something new.
    If you have first hand knowledge of the USSR or its satellites, why not tell us about it? Don't hide your light under a bushel.

    Obviously, there were engineers in the Soviet Union. That doesn't mean there weren't people who preferred to remain cleaners. Everybody is different and is motivated by different things. What does appear obvious is that there were lots of people who were not producing up to their potential. The store shelves were empty.
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    Ok, I stand corrected, about the engineers vs regular worker money issue , I have multiple/conflicting accounts/viewpoints about this from people from Russia, but it looks like the version that BlasW mentions is prevalent at this time (and understandable in the context) although there were people/families that had a high regard for engineers that apparently was not shared by all/most/many. Thank you Harold14370 and BlasW.
    Last edited by icewendigo; February 20th, 2014 at 02:38 PM.
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  16. #316  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Salary of a cleaner was higher than one of junior engineer. This resulted in a lack of initiative - Why should anyone take additional responsibilities for lower salary?"
    Yes, its well documented that in the USSR people all wanted to clean toilets and had little regard for mere engineers. Who in there right mind would want to contribute to space exploration when you can make an extra buck as a cleaner? Its not like Sputnik was the first human satellite launched in orbit, or anything like that. The Capitalist/monetary-dogma mindset dictates that the souless human tv-sedated consumer drones are motivated by the extra buck. wonderful.

    (this is not a backing of the hierarchy/money/secrecy using USSR regime, just a different view about human growth/motivation/happiness)
    This has started with Khrushchev's era. Sputnik was launched in 1957. Gagarin's flight happened in 1961. This all was made by the generation of engineers who started their careers in '30s. There was a mass excitement in Russia after the fall of tsarism, spread of education etc. And high salaries. Stalin's purges of 1936-1938 had a very negative effect on initiative and overall atmosphere in the country. Though Stalin probably understood significance of technical advancement. More of that, though without political analysis you may find in Boris Chertok's book 'Rockets and People'. This book is translated into English and is freely available, you can find a link to it on Wikipedia's article about Chertok. This book (the first in the series) also briefly covers living conditions of Soviet engineers.

    The USSR was unable to launch probes to outer planets and Mercury. (There was a project to launch a probe to Jupiter in early '90s.) Americans did it in '70s. Buran was a strange copy of an even stranger American design. USSR lost in a Moon race. USSR was poorer that the US due to objective reasons, namely devastating wars and less convenient geography. So the right decision was to avoid Moon race and copying of the Space Shuttle. But Soviet government preferred to explode four N-1 rockets without any clear result. Such"short-minded" decisions are countless.

    What about motivation, have you ever heard about Maslow's pyramid? You should satisfy you basic needs before thinking about more 'spiritual'.

    Here is a link to official sources: http://istmat.info/node/20550 (Sorry, it's in Russian)

    Average salaries, 1988, in rubles/month:
    Workers of sovkhozs: 212,4 another table suggests 210,6
    Telecommunications: 196,4
    /Информационно-вычислительное обслуживание/ From what I understand it means computers: 183,8
    Peoples' education (School teachers?): 171,4
    Science: 248,4
    Last edited by BlasW; February 20th, 2014 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Some official sources added
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  17. #317  
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    you 3 are NOT discussing communism. so your musings don't belong in this thread
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  18. #318  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    you 3 are NOT discussing communism. so your musings don't belong in this thread
    They are discussing attempts at communism.

    It is a strong criticism of Communism to point out how badly things have gone the last few times it was attempted. It seems like an all or nothing gamble. Either you'll succeed and get a utopia, or you'll fail and get Stalinism/Maoism/Pol Pot/Kim Jong Il. Or the dice might land in the middle somewhere and you end up with Castro's Cuba - which isn't so bad by third world standards.

    Or I guess you can hedge your bet, and aim for socialism instead of communism, and then maybe you'll end up with France.
    dan hunter likes this.
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  19. #319  
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    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 06:56 PM.
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  20. #320  
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    Also if I may, while the conditions under Lenin were extremely brutal due to the civil war, he did introduce free education and healthcare, improve women's rights and allow for ethnic nationalism among the soverign nations repressed under the process of russification pursued by the tsars, not to mention the tsar and government were extremely anti-semitic and the Jewish people had suffered (look at the Black Hundred), he also introduced a new economic policy after socialism started to prove disastorous due to the conditions of peasants, and condemned Stalin's oppurtunism (look at Lenin's Testament) and brutality. Also Lenin did not have absolute power (he pursued a policy of democratic centralism) and his government never would have survived without the help of the workers (and the Kronstadt sailors who he had killed in 1921, BUT he introduced the NEP shortly after to tackle the rising discontent)

    Not to mention the provisional government had failed and already packed up and left.
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