Why don't we have a communist society yet? I mean we could.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Crni Vuk, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Before someone gets an aneurism, I am talking about 'utopian' communism and not socialism here. You know, actually what Marx talked about and not what individuals like Lenin or the Paris Commune made out of it.



    What I am thinking about in particular, is this part of communism:

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

    >>In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs![1][3][4]<<

    It's an interesting idea, at the very least. One that was never as close to becoming a reality, than today.

    I am thinking here for the most part about two technological evolutions that we can see on the horizon, namely digitalisation and automatition. In the 1920s certain economists claimed that we would have today a 20 hour work week, based on how producivity has increased just in their life time and how mass production and the modern industry made it possible to pretty much manufacture every day goods and products at a very cheap and affordable price. Going from this, some thought that in the distant future, with better technology and productivty, pretty much everyone would have everything they need for almost nothing and pretty much everyone will only work a few hours at most per day. It didn't make sense for them, to produce more, than you really needed.

    Well, what's the reality today? Most people have 40-50 hour jobs and we're living in a society of abundance, yet the inequality has never been greater in human history as it is today. So what happend? It seems like the development of wages was at some point not in relation with productivty anymore, while productivity has gone up, wages havn't. The wages in totall have incresed, but in relation to productivity. The reason is relatively simple, most of the profit that is earned, is not shared among those that actually generate it. Our current generation is facing a serious issue of wealth distribution. I am not bitching about 'The Rich' here, as they are just a part of a larger global economic system that's simply rewarding the accumulation of wealth trough interests for example, effect of compound interest in particular as it has an accelerating impact. More products have to be sold in a shorter time frame for smaller costs, to generate the profit in order to cover the increasing interests. And this, effects everyone, even if you're not working for a large company, but you're still feeling the increase in living expenses for example.

    However, I believe that we're right now on the verge of a 4th industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution, was kick started by the steam engine and the following development, a society that created an entirely new class, the labouring class. The second revolution, was about mass production and the petrochemical industries, which found its peak in the gruesome trenches of the first world war. The third revolution, was the electronical age, which gave birth to computers, semi-conductors and complex machinery. All those revolutions had, sometimes more sometimess less, severe impacts on our societies. But in the end, even trough all the troubles that might have been caused, it meant an improvement in the long run.

    Now, the 4th revolution which is happening right now, has the same potential to really shake up our societies, the digitalisation and new wave of automatition. Not only does it seem to increase productivity again, but it might also mean that human labour will become needless in many areas, areas where automatition was deemed impossible and we can actually see this already happening today. There are whole computer progams developed by high tech companies like IBM, with the intention to replace lawyers, doctors and the like. But some programms are already in use today, programms that write articles, songs and more. Pretty much every work that can be replaced by some kind of algorithm, is very likey to be effected by this evolution. The difference this time however seems to be, that we're not experiencing the creation of new markets, not in the same way as it happend with the first industrial revoltion for example. The whole point of this revolution, is to replace human labour, when ever possible. Particularly in blue collour jobs, and those industries, where labour is very expensive and expendable. In some industries, labour makes up between 30 and 40% of the costs. The middle class, could be hit the hardest from this, as their wages are high enough to actually make their replacement a real goal.

    So what does this mean for society? It might forces us to actually tackle the issue of wealth, how it's generated and how it's distributed within our societies. We might actually see the end of the meritocracy, as society might have to re-define the idea of labour, labour as a need to cover your expenses. Maybe there will be a need to revaluate cases where people do not work, work in the sense where they peform a job, that's yielding an income. There are many positions in our society that have no salary or wage. Beeing a mother, caring for your siblings, for sick family members, doing charity work, or simply following your hobbies. People will have to find new ways to define themself, that is not tied to a job.

    I am not saying this has to lead to a communist society, but I wouldn't be surprised if it actually was really the closest it could come to. In terms of labour at least, governance is a whole different topic!
     
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  2. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    So basically, the upper middle class people involved with automation and computers and shit still get to work 50 hours a week until they're 75, but they get to keep a lot less of their money so others can live in a utopia of boredom.
    Yeah, that's gonna work out totally fine.
     
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  3. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Knight Rider oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    I knew Crni was a Commie.
     
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  4. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Мутанты не допускаются

    Nov 22, 2009
    Ha haa, that's m'boy! *communist fist bump*

     
  5. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Knight Rider oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    Why can't you just be Socialists like decent human beings?
     
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  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    First, I am not sure from where you got that idea. Productivity effects all people, including the uper-middle class or who ever gets to end up in the high paying (!) jobs. Besides, if we look at our current elite of our society, they voluntarily work in their positions. I mean, do you see managers complaining about their work hours? Or politicans? I don't think so. They are in their positions, because they enjoy their positions. I have no clue why you think that society is going to 'force' people in to those jobs. Jobs that will give you a very high income and actually a lot of power. Besides, that's not even the point. The point is, that we might be facing a situation where millions of people might loose their jobs. What's your solution here? Giving everyone social security? Would that yield better results? Considering the fact, how our society sees people without jobs. Let us say, just for the sake of the argument, you loose your job because a machine could do it better and faster and you end up in Hartz IV, would you feel happy about it and content with your current situation?

    There is an undeniable fact, that captalism - for the lack of better words, our current global economic system, is failing us. The middle class all over Europe and the US is shrinking while the inequality in income is increasing. How long is this supposd to continue? Till the new middle class is defined by those that receive the smallest number of food stamps?

    The kind of society we might end up with, if we're not looking for solutions, could very well be one that's similar to third world countries.

    With some concepts, yes. The idea that people chose their work freely, based on their preferences and skills and not out of necessity. Which is also not so far away from what some libertarians actually believe. Would you not agree, that this is at least a nice idea?

    More and more people, particularly young people seem to at least go in that direction. Some call it entitlement, but I don't so. I think they just are in a situation, where they actually want to do something, that has a form of sense, they look at the parents and grand parents see that this is not the live they want for them self. People are born with the desire to do something meaningfull and not just work.
     
  7. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    In order to have a true communist utopia, you would need to remove greed. Or there would people that would want more, think they deserve more, and be obsessed with that.
     
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  8. MutantScalper

    MutantScalper Мутанты не допускаются

    Nov 22, 2009
    Well I'm, like, totally positive that the Christian church will get rid of greed. I mean, all they need is a little more time, they have only had like, two thousand years to do it, I'm sure they'll get around to it eventually when they run out of kids to rape or something.
     
  9. Millim

    Millim The Big Straight Orderite

    Oct 13, 2010
    Comrade, you've done me proud.
     
  10. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Crni, we already ARE in the high paying jobs. Relatively speaking, we're not top managers, but decent upper middle class. And we can't reduce our work time, any sort of automation bollocks won't really affect our productivity. So who's going to pay for UBI and all the people studying social sciences to then fullfill themselves by making scented penis candles? Guess what, we don't have enough managers to tax to death to pay for that, so it's gonna be those who are always taxed because they can't defend themselves. Oh, you're thinking the companies will pay a "robot tax" to pay for it? Haha, good one. Prepare for the big companies to leave the country, and for the small companies to die.
     
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  11. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Oct 27, 2003
    Pure communism is STILL antithetical to human nature. People would still want more and unless coercive measures are used, that will not change.

    Arguably, the Star Trek universe is not communist BECAUSE it ISN'T each to their own needs and abilities.

    Replicator technology is the primary reason as each can have whatever amount they want. You want to eat 20 chickens a day? The replicator will magically pop it out of thin air.

    You need spare parts? Replicator.

    But again, we can have some sort of weird amalgamation of the different government types, not unlike the Chinese with their communism/capitalism bent.

    As science and technology improves, so will we. We are naturals at adaptation and our society and government will do the same. When we hit 100 percent automation, and productivity is magnified, things like UBI will not sound so far fetched.

    As 3d printing and better food cultivation techniques improve, we will one day create the replicator, and that ladies and gentleman, will finally get us there.

    Haas

    One place where we disagree is the science and technology. After all, in a weird way, the decadent lifestyle imagined in the Animatrix is what we, as a species, is striving for. Robot slave labor WILL increase productivity by leaps and bounds to a point where a 'robot tax', really isn't that far fetched.

    It is really a two step approach.

    100 automation will send productivity sky high. The savings to the consumer can be redirected to things that robots cannot do (like rent for example). This will decrease the strain on UBI, which will essentially function as a catch all emergency fund, making it much more affordable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  12. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Knight Rider oTO Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
  13. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    Thread, please. :lol: Forget about it, communism/socialism/oppposition-of-western-individualism/whateveryouwannacallitism is strictly eastern thing.

    Specifically a russian thing, mainly the idea of collective ownership of production means; Convocation existed in ancient rus' as veche and reintroduced and reformed as actual convocation (soviet) during the 1905 revolution.

    Chinks in general value collectivism over individualism.

    Without this base you have no solid ground to stand on in argument.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  14. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    Communism was invented by a german.
     
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  15. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    Issued, hitched scientific basis and rolled into a nice brochure and called it communism. The germans. There were two of them. Same story with socialism but the term belongs to Lenin.
     
  16. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    First things first, I didn't even mention the UBI, what I talked about are changes due to automatition and digitalsation on the current job market, which will happen one way or another. What it will mean to a society like ours once Artificial Intelligence has been perfected, and will be a tool in our lives, the same way like house hold computers or cars are today? To think that this, has no effect on our civilisation would be rather naive I believe. And if you think "we" are in already high paying jobs, then I would say you're living in a bubble, 3/4 of the people out there, do not enjoy your life style. They are not engineers nor academics.

    Believe it or not, there is a large number of jobs that can and very likely will be automatized :

    I am not saying I would know with absolute certainity in what kind of society we will end up with, but one thing is very obvious, it will be a society vastly different from the one we have today, if we look at what AI, digitalisation and machines can already do now and what they could do in 10, 20 or 50 years.

    Changes will happen, what ever if we like them or not.

    Yes it can. Don't be obtuse man, you're the closest thing here that comes to a scientist, where is your creativity and imagination? Every task can benefit from automatition and become thus more productive, even those that can't or won't be replaced entirely by machines. Hell, I could even see applications of AI/digitalisation in education, fostering and even research. If you have a machine, that's helping your job, like taking of elderly people, taking them out of their bed, cleaning them, guiding them from room to room, then it is a form of increased productivity.



    Those things, are already on their way, they are happening now. What ever if we actually WANT those things to happen and more importantly HOW they should happen, is a whole different discussion, but sadly society and politics in partuclar, are always several steps behind technological evolutions. I mean, did anyone ever asked if we wanted Social Media or Smartphones? They just happen and became a part of our lives. With all the benefits, but also all the downsides.

    Just because you can not remove every human labour, doesn't mean you can't make it more productive. A few decades ago, they thought playing chess, painting pictures or making music would be impossible for a computer/algorithym to recreate, as they are seen as traits no machine could ever do. Turns out, it really is possible.

    Today at Christie's New York, the first AI-generated painting sold for $432,500 - it was expected to sell for $10,000. A type of AI algorithm known as Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) and trained by a group called Obvious art generated the work.

    Not only possible, but the machines today, can beat the best chess players in the world. Recently, Google even managed to develop an AI which beat Go-masters, a game that's even more complex than chess in terms of debth and long term strategy.

    AlphaGo’s success comes at a time when researchers are exploring the potential of artificial intelligence to do everything from drive cars to draft legal documents — a trend that has some serious thinkers pondering what to do when computers routinely replace humans in the workplace.

    But that's still just childs play, compared to what IBM and other companies, like google actually really aim at, where they want to have programms that can perform a medical diagnosis. The idea, that there will be jobs, which will completely work without AI in the future, seems a bit strange to me, when we consider what kind of tools we already use today, without even thinking about it. Tools which have been seen as impossible, just two decades ago. If you truly believe, that your job which is basically the job of an engineer, today, isn't more productive compared to similar positions people had 50 or 100 years ago, then I think you're wrong. Pretty much every area today, saw an increase in productivity. Alone the fact, that you have access to devices and machinery, that's better by factor of 100 compared to 50 years ago, speeds up your work by a lot. I mean certain technology, like let us say fusion, has only become possible today, because we actually have only now access to computers and algorythims powerfull enough, that scientists can calculate the required mathematical solutions and research the materials to make such a highly complex machine possible, that can actually create the necessary magnetic fields to keep the plasma with several million of degrees heat away from the walls of the reactor. Our whole human history, in that department, is nothing more but a constant try of making things more efficient and faster to build. From the first time someone used a leaver to lift something heavy, to building the pyramids, skyscrapers or as such complex objects like the Large Hadron Collider and Fusion Power. Those kind of things wouldn't be possible if engineers and scientists today couldn't achieve in 8 or 12 hours of work, what would have taken months if not years in the past. And which is also one example, of why some place so much hope in quantum computing, which could very well be another immense boost in calculation, particularly data management.

    To get back to the topic. AI in combination with digitalisation in particular, has a very high chance of increasing the productivity of high paying jobs today.

    The real qeustion now is, what kind of effect it will have on jobs in the future? There can be no doubt, that new forms of work will come out of it just as with every technological evolution. But I somehow have a very hard time to see 45 year old bus drivers, secretaries or bank clerks becoming big data analysists, virtual reality designers, AI programmers and the like, once their jobs have become automatized.

    So here again, what IS your solution after all? Hartz IV for everyone?

    The quesiton of money. Oh pelase. If money would be an issue, then we wouldn't see wealth inequality. A hand full of people have an income that's as large like half of the worlds population. Don't insult mine and your intelligence by "Who's going to pay for it!". THis is not a question of who's going to pay, but how we're going to pay for it. In other words, it's about the distribution of wealth. Yes, you simply tax the shit out of the rich. It really is that simple. And no, it's not robbery to have an income tax of 90% and no, people won't stop to accumulate wealth if you have such high taxes on someone who's earning several millions per year because even with such high taxes, they would still be millionairs.


    I have to agree with Hass on that one. A so called Robot-Tax, would be stupid. The idea of robots, so to speak, is to make labour cheaper. By taxing them, you basically take away one of the reasons to use them. All you're doing, is trying to slow down a technological progress. I don't think something like that, is going to happen. But to be honest, I find this discussion of 'Who's going to pay for it?' rather meaningless anyway. As I said. The money is already there. It never was, and never will be a question of money but only one of distribution. If there ever is a real need and preasure to get the money, then we will get the money one way or another.

    One issue, that's much more crucial, is actually if we have enough resources on the planet. And if we take our lifestyle as the norm, then we have to say, no there isn't. There are not enough resources to give every human the lifestyle of the average american or european.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  17. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    Because communism doesn't work.
     
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  18. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    The most likely to happen once that bots had replaced most workers is that humans beings become expendables assets that could be removed en-masse to free up some space and leave more ressources for the elites and those they deem useful. (Enclave style)

    Best case scenario would be a skynet-like entity assuming leadership and enforcing its will on everyone equally. But the patent owners would most-likely set up measures to remains on top of the pyramid. AI controlling the masses, and elites controlling the AI.
     
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  19. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
     
  20. naossano

    naossano So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 19, 2006
    It would have been better if the music was lower than the dialogs...