Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Problems & Solutions: 1.1 – Communism, Socialism or Capitalism

Problems & Solutions: 1.1 – Communism, Socialism or Capitalism

People similar to myself, raised in the shadows of the cold war, products of the 60s & 70s, were led to believe that in the global scope of things the battle was between communism and capitalism. Which is better? Who really won that battle? Was that really the case? Is it still an issue? I do not have the answers to these questions. I can tell you the bigger problem and/ or part of this problem was and still is ignorance.

Webster makes the following definitions:

1 a : a theory advocating elimination of private property
  b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

2 capitalized a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
c : a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
   b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The most obvious deterrent from communism to any capitalist (American) would be the very first definition. Who wants to not have their own stuff? And, they say there is no bias in the media. Both of these systems (according to these definitions) require a controlling party (state) to distribute/ control the goods. Therein lays the next problem.  It is may come to no surprise that many of the other online references describe communism and socialism in such a fashion that there is very little distinction between the two. We (humans) typically avoid things we do not understand.

Karl Marx gave birth to the principle of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". There is nothing wrong with this principle itself. I think fault would, however, arise in the implementation. Everybody would have to be onboard…at once. Furthermore, there would have to be a clear distinction between wants and needs, two things that get confused quite frequently in the capitalist society. I rather like the saying “All the work must be done by all the people”. Problem – not everyone wants to work or is able to work. The term I prefer for what I believe to be a great solution is: “tribal living”.

I am all for a global solution to the controversy. And yes, I said global. I believe in the saying “One world. One people”. The argument between systems is easily solved by one system for the whole planet. The question is which one. The flaws in capitalism are far too many to go into in this article, so keep your eyes open for related articles.

Humble Beginnings

Commūnist Manifestation, OH WOW

Humble Beginnings

I have been overwhelmed with the number of people who, upon hearing my future plans to live on a commune, have asked me if I was a communist. I then have to go into a lengthy explanation of what exactly that means today. A variety of names are used: communes, eco-villages, and co-ops. It seams communes still have the stigma of being hippy hang outs or cults. Few realize that current descriptions of this style of living include buzz words like sustainable, off the grid, and green living. These words give this lifestyle a higher level of acceptability.

These people then want to know why I want to live in such a way. This has compelled me to give the subject a lot of thought and research. The main reason would be that I feel we, as a society, have lost something (if not a multitude of things). We have gotten spoiled on our technology, our processed (packaged) foods and goods, and our ability to (at least in our capitalist society) get what we want when we want it with little to no effort (and surely no thought going into the consequences of any of our actions). As an example (and I will use myself for this one), if I had all of the components of a computer placed in front of me, I could put it together, but I don’t know how to make butter from cow milk. Sure, I have the general concept: churning. I have, however, never done it. I don’t know how long to do it or which by-products are good for what. You get the idea.

I would like to say early on that I am not a communist (per se). The articles herein will be both fact and opinion. When I say fact, of course, I mean in the liberal sense of the word. Definitions will all be supplied by Webster and most other data by Wikipedia (two of my most used sites [excluding porn]). You can expect to see articles here that present what I believe to problems with our system and viable and perhaps sometime ludicrous solutions to those problems. Another thing to keep in mind (and I don’t need to tell those of you coming here through links on social networks, who know me) I don’t follow politics, watch the news, support any political party or formal organized governmental or religious group. I am a sovereign citizen of Earth.