Trotsky would of brought "humane communism" to the USSR

Aug 2014
1,170
Portugal
this is nice in theory but have no practical value.
I think we have already put that theory in to practice in a lot of countries.

People who work, who have money, pay taxes so they and other people can have healthcare, housing, transportation, roads, armies, police, schools...

"Each person gives according to ability and receives according to need"
 
Nov 2015
991
Mountains of madness
I think we have already put that theory in to practice in a lot of countries.

People who work, who have money, pay taxes so they and other people can have healthcare, housing, transportation, roads, armies, police, schools...

"Each person gives according to ability and receives according to need"
no,you are payed for your market value not according to your needs except in cases fo artists and others high value people like top scientiests who can set their value on what they think they deserve/theri needs.
many people stikll need money even in west to satify their needs for adeequte housing for family ,giving enough education to children,not to account their need for recreational activities ,voyages...

social security net for some of your basic neeeds doesnt cover all needs.
 
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David Vagamundo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Well, for starters, you won't even find an essay, let alone a book, on communism by Marx. His writings mention communism as a higher form of socialism, and its higher goal, but his work was about socialism. Why we need it, how to get it and how to get it to work.

Socialism evolves from capitalism. Communism evolves from socialism. Communism cannot possibly evolve from capitalism without socialism first. Even the "USSR" refers to "socialism" in its title :)

Socialism is a new society. The economy is planned and an emphasis is placed upon public ownership (but a self employed person plainly owns his own means of production), productivity and, most importantly, a change of mindset. Contrary to popular opinion, socialism does not mean "everyone gets paid the same". Marx stated that each person gives according to ability and receives according to need.

Plainly, one cannot retain the old capitalist state apparatus, since it's primary purpose is capitalistic and also to enforce a system which exploits workers for the benefit of a few.

This is like trying to train a wolf to become a sheep dog. It's very instincts are against it.

There are many social democratic (socialistic) countries which are very successful. Most of the Scandinavian countries, for example.

When I get home, I'll find some material for you. I've read hundreds of books on this subject, but I will have to find online versions to show you :)
Thanks. You don't have to find a source on-line, although that would be helpful. I can go to a library if I need to.
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
The theory was, with greater equality and higher production, plus a change in mindset, people's needs would be met by the economic system. In a capitalist system, like modern Britain, you get immense differences in wealth.

It would be very important to recognise the difference between needs and wants.

I might want a Ferrari, but I don't need one :)

As for the genuine needs, the sick, disabled or old are easy enough to recognise. But the whole thing depends upon people playing reasonably fair, which needs a big change in mindset.
 

zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,711
Texas
The theory was, with greater equality and higher production, plus a change in mindset, people's needs would be met by the economic system. In a capitalist system, like modern Britain, you get immense differences in wealth.

It would be very important to recognise the difference between needs and wants.

I might want a Ferrari, but I don't need one :)

As for the genuine needs, the sick, disabled or old are easy enough to recognise. But the whole thing depends upon people playing reasonably fair, which needs a big change in mindset.
Its not mindset. Its genetic. And thats its fatal weakness.
And its also irrelevant to the topic, which is about Trotsky.
 

Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
. Its not mindset. Its genetic. And thats its fatal weakness.
And its also irrelevant to the topic, which is about Trotsky.
Capitalism encourages greed. It skews people's morality and sets person against person and even country against country. Most wars are capitalistic in nature, because they're often fights over resources and land and other sources of wealth and are often for the real benefit of a few.

The more capitalistic a society is, the more community breaks down. I've seen that here in Britain. Capitalism largely depends upon a false notion of individualism. Why sell a car to a street, when you can sell a car to each family in the street? Why sell a car to each family, when you can sell one to each family member? Etc.

In pre-capitalist societies, society was often stratified, but was also far more cohesive as a whole.

Humans are adaptable. Evidence suggests that early societies were far more equal because they had to be, and opportunities for material greed were far fewer.

Capitalism perpetuates the myth than acquisition of material goods is the only source of happiness. It is currently killing off its own "reason for existence", according to this myth, because more and more people are finding it hard to do much more than subsist, meaning that they're not happy. Therefore, it's not working. Their usual fix is war.

This is pertinent to this thread because Trotsky was an avowed Marxist whose main big idea was to force this necessary change of mindset by what he saw as practical means.

This contradicts Marxist theory, because this mindset cannot be inflicted. Like under capitalism, a society's mindset is the result of often subtle influences.

Personally, I think that this trying to force change would result in the same methods Lenin, and more, Stalin ended up using: "change, or we'll kill you".


Mindsets can, and have, changed. Humans tend to believe in that which benefits them when other falsehoods are eliminated.
 
Jun 2015
249
London UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dog
Well, for starters, you won't even find an essay, let alone a book, on communism by Marx. His writings mention communism as a higher form of socialism, and its higher goal, but his work was about socialism. Why we need it, how to get it and how to get it to work.

Socialism evolves from capitalism. Communism evolves from socialism. Communism cannot possibly evolve from capitalism without socialism first. Even the "USSR" refers to "socialism" in its title :)

Socialism is a new society. The economy is planned and an emphasis is placed upon public ownership (but a self employed person plainly owns his own means of production), productivity and, most importantly, a change of mindset. Contrary to popular opinion, socialism does not mean "everyone gets paid the same". Marx stated that each person gives according to ability and receives according to need.

Plainly, one cannot retain the old capitalist state apparatus, since it's primary purpose is capitalistic and also to enforce a system which exploits workers for the benefit of a few.

This is like trying to train a wolf to become a sheep dog. It's very instincts are against it.

There are many social democratic (socialistic) countries which are very successful. Most of the Scandinavian countries, for example.

When I get home, I'll find some material for you. I've read hundreds of books on this subject, but I will have to find online versions to show you :)


==============================================

I do recall reading in text books where some Marxist writers described hunter/gatherer societies as 'Primitive Communism': They did not use money. No private land ownership. no exploitation. no hunger or starvation everyone was fed and cared for. They even disproved that other well known cliche by Marx: 'Religion is the opiate of the people'. The religion held people and society together without ignoring the exploitation of Capitalism. Aborigines in Australia, San Bushmen in South Africa, Amazonian Indians in Brazil rainforests and Native Americans for example all practiced this, and they were considered backward and primitive pagans by the 'advanced' European colonisers who invaded and ruled over theim. The notion was that 'communism' could be achieved without 'capitalism' or 'sociailism' and that unlike what the bourgiousie would have you believe, it was the natural way humans did things as those so called 'primitive' hunter gatherers have showed.
So if Marx did not describe Communism in depth, did other Socialist workers give an example of how it would work, and of course the answer to the standard rebuttal of Communism: 'who would empty the bins out under communism'?
 
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Black Dog

Ad Honorem
Mar 2008
9,990
Damned England
Yes, that's right. Marx and others have described ancient or "primitive" cultures "primitive communism".

Probably the best example of this I can think of would be Neolithic culture. Or at least, what we know of it.

Neolithic culture is distinct from earlier prehistoric cultures because Neolithic people gradually became settled farmers rather than hunter gatherers. Obviously, they initially weren't much good at this: studies have often shown that early Neolithic people had poorer nutrition than hunter gatherers. It seems highly likely that theirs was a very precarious life. Therefore, cooperation within the group was vital, and "wealth" was probably having enough to eat.

Archaeologists have a saying about Neolithic people: "they died, but they never lived". This is because there is relatively an abundance of Neolithic burials but relatively sparse evidence of their daily lives. We find their settlements and evidence of their farming and their stone tools. But not much else.

Their burials are also suggestive of an egalitarian society. There are almost never any grave goods or indicators of status. In the high Neolithic period, they built barrows, often simple but sometimes incredible, like Newgrange in Ireland. In those which have not been disturbed, bodies are all stacked together, or bones are stacked according to type. Plainly this strongly suggests two things: no high status individuals, at least in death, (and no grave goods), and strong evidence of religious beliefs.

Even evidence of warfare is very sparse, although not entirely absent. Logically, it must have happened out of desperation, when one group's food source failed and they decided to take food from another group.

By the mid bronze age, cremations were far more common, and grave goods and evidence of varying status are found, as well as artifacts of ordinary life, leading to the archeological adage that bronze age people "lived but never died".

Indeed, most societies during an intensive war tend to become more socialistic, whether they admit it or not. Rationing, price and wage controls, labour regulations and far greater government control over the economy and even daily life.
 

zincwarrior

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,711
Texas
Capitalism encourages greed. It skews people's morality and sets person against person and even country against country. Most wars are capitalistic in nature, because they're often fights over resources and land and other sources of wealth and are often for the real benefit of a few.

The more capitalistic a society is, the more community breaks down. I've seen that here in Britain. Capitalism largely depends upon a false notion of individualism. Why sell a car to a street, when you can sell a car to each family in the street? Why sell a car to each family, when you can sell one to each family member? Etc.

In pre-capitalist societies, society was often stratified, but was also far more cohesive as a whole.

Humans are adaptable. Evidence suggests that early societies were far more equal because they had to be, and opportunities for material greed were far fewer.

Capitalism perpetuates the myth than acquisition of material goods is the only source of happiness. It is currently killing off its own "reason for existence", according to this myth, because more and more people are finding it hard to do much more than subsist, meaning that they're not happy. Therefore, it's not working. Their usual fix is war.

This is pertinent to this thread because Trotsky was an avowed Marxist whose main big idea was to force this necessary change of mindset by what he saw as practical means.

This contradicts Marxist theory, because this mindset cannot be inflicted. Like under capitalism, a society's mindset is the result of often subtle influences.

Personally, I think that this trying to force change would result in the same methods Lenin, and more, Stalin ended up using: "change, or we'll kill you".


Mindsets can, and have, changed. Humans tend to believe in that which benefits them when other falsehoods are eliminated.
Humans are adaptable but "greed" is a genetic trait. You calll it greed. Its more correctly the genetic desire to obtain more resources and comforts for yourself and your family. Our bodies are literally designed around the concept (fat cells). There has never been a situation where "greed" was not a factor, even in small tribal communist societies. There was always the better hunter/warrior with more resources than others.

Communism couldn't hide it despite the murder, the gulags, the forced re-education, the extermination of millions. There were always some more equal than others.

AGAIN has jack to do with Trotsky.