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Communism, Capitalism, and Austrians are not the only option

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) writes | about a year and a half ago

User Journal 55

First, a quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen (Ok, you all KNEW I was a Catholic, right?):First, a quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen (Ok, you all KNEW I was a Catholic, right?):

âoeBut the reforms of communism are wrong, because they are inspired by the very errors they combat. Communism begins with the liberal and capitalistic error that man is economic, and, instead of correcting it, merely intensifies it until man becomes a robot in a vast economic machine. There is a closer relation between communism and monopolistic capitalism than most minds suspect. They are agreed on the materialistic basis of civilization; they disagree only on who shall control that basis, capitalists or bureaucrats. . . Capitalistic economy is godless; communism makes economics God. It is Divinity itself. Capitalism denies that economics is subject to a higher moral order. Communism says that economics is morality. The Communist solution of the problem is like the cynical way Oscar Wilde suggested a woman can reform a man: "The only way a woman can reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life."

"I'm going to plead with you therefore, not to be bored in Life. The reason we are bored is because we don't LOVE anything."

+Venerable, Fulton J. Sheen +JMJ+ [1948]

Centralization is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. The Austrians are quite right in the idea centralization sucks, but what they fail to diagnose is WHY centralization sucks.

Allow me to offer a few competing theories:

Centralization sucks because the needs of the few are met by the labor of the many, while the few do nothing. Solution- decentralize ownership and eliminate the concept of an employee- make every man his own business. Allow him to have apprentices to pass on how to run such a business to the next generation, but eliminate all other employees, make everybody independent contractors.

Centralization sucks because anonymous people aren't friends, and centralized economies of any sort have people you don't know making decisions that affect your life. Doesn't matter if it's the party committee (communism), shareholders and upper management (corporatism) or distant supply chain members (Austrian Capitalism), anonymous people making decisions for you sucks. Solution- geographically small markets with strong regulatory and protectionist but still geographically small government; tribalism.

Centralization sucks because when transactions are anonymous, the temptation for fraud becomes greater and advertising is used to spread fraud and create wants that replace needs in an individual's budget. Solution: better schools, more education in the scientific method to allow individuals to detect fraud and make advertising worthless.

There, three methods OTHER than capitalism for fighting centralization; based on different reasons OTHER THAN monopoly/oligarchy on why centralization sucks.

Finally a troll for the conservatives out there: While you were examining government for signs of communist infiltrators, the communists got smart and bought into the stock market. They have infiltrated it so completely that they now control most of the businesses in the United States.

55 comments

Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40949117)

While you were examining government for signs of communist infiltrators, the communists got smart and bought into the stock market. They have infiltrated it so completely that they now control most of the businesses in the United States.

How in the world do you possibly consider that 'Communism'?
Any godless Commie out there buying stock has pretty much departed from Communism.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40950403)

"How in the world do you possibly consider that 'Communism'?"

Centralization of power into an oligarchy or monopoly, like centralization of power into the State, reduces the ability of individuals to own private property. Look again at that quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen way back in 1948. I'm not saying he was prophetic about this, but the free market has indeed become the primary tool for Communists in our time.

"Any godless Commie out there buying stock has pretty much departed from Communism."

Why? Why must Communism be organized by government fiat instead of by an oligarchy of private businesses controlling the means of production? Isn't the important part the ability to control production and fix prices?

Re:Wut? (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about a year and a half ago | (#40951371)

I would say that His Excellency _was_ a prophet, in as much as he was echoing the message promulgated by every Pope since Marx spawned his ugly ideas. The Syllabus of Errors is more relevant today than ever.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#40962825)

Centralization of power into an oligarchy or monopoly, like centralization of power into the State, reduces the ability of individuals to own private property.

This has been untrue so far. We have more stuff now than ever. People can't even park their cars in their garages they have so much junk.

But if the rich continue to avoid hiring Americans, future generations will indeed have less ability to own private property, due to unaffordability.

So I agree that capitalism, if left as unchecked on the macro level* as it's been, would end up with the masses in a similar situation as under communism.

*Public corporations allowed to grow to be "too big to fail".

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40971837)

The thing that checks capitalism is competition.
The government, like the referee of a sporting match, ensures competition is carried out with a modicum of 'fairness'.
Otherwise, you witness our slippery slope through oligarchy toward a government monopoly.

Re:Wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40973259)

The thing that checks capitalism is competition.

Yeah well, let me know when you see any, outside the mom and pop businesses.

The government, like the referee of a sporting match, ensures competition is carried out with a modicum of 'fairness'.
Otherwise, you witness our slippery slope through oligarchy toward a government monopoly.

I don't think that's the name for it when the ref is always bought off by one of the 'competitors'. Here the ref protecting the team, instead of the integrity of the game. If he doesn't, the team will have him ousted. It is in the government's interest to protect company interests. I can assure you the monopoly is not government. It serves business interests to stay alive. You have it so backwards. The government serves and protects the people it was hired to serve and protect, and that's not you and me.

And all of this really happens because the public is so easily manipulated by big money propaganda campaigns. Here's looking at you, kid :-)

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40974225)

With Communists investing in the stock market- owning shares of previously competing companies and merging them to cooperate instead of compete- there is no useful competition. And since the politicians, thanks to our campaign funding system, are owned by the corporations, which are owned by the Communists- we've got a bigger infiltration than the House UnAmerican Activities Committee ever uncovered.

Forget about military conquering- the real way to conquer is with hostile takeover of corporations!

Re:Wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40974419)

Forget about military conquering- the real way to conquer is with hostile takeover of corporations!

Just what do you think a hostile takeover is?

Nowadays we go to war to expand markets, to overthrow nations that refuse to sign free trade agreements (Either your brains or your signature will be on the contract). What Smitty and the others aren't getting is that government is acting as the servant, not the master. It literally is under the Sword of Damocles. But the sword belongs to big money, as it always has been since the very beginning.

This debate seems almost silly. The simple fact is, might makes right. Any and all restraints on that must come from within each and every one of us. Trying to beat it out of us only perpetuates the situation... to the great benefit to some.

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40976205)

With Communists investing in the stock market- owning shares of previously competing companies and merging them to cooperate instead of compete- there is no useful competition.

Pull the thread on that--the lack of useful competition is that regulation is a noose about the neck of competition. Every. Single. Miserable. Page. of regulation that DC cranks out is a tightening of the noose about that neck.
We've long since passed diminishing returns, and look rather blue in the face.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40978729)

A regulation that they could pass- but won't- that would solve that problem quite quickly- end interstate respect of corporate incorporation for banks or any other industry.

Make them file for incorporation in *every* jurisdiction they do business in, and require 51% of stock ownership be internal to the jurisdiction.

You will quickly see the number of competitors increase. Of course, we'd have to have at least 50 separate SECs to manage it. As in- competition on the government level as well.

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40982829)

And there is a legitimate oversight role for the Federal Government, too, lest the scope of business escape the scope of government capacity to regulate.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40985895)

Unfortunately, I think the horse has already left that particular barn. Business is to the point of regulating the government, rather than the other way around.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#40979899)

The thing that checks capitalism is competition.

Nowhere near enough. Capitalism is about achieving economies of scale and enjoying rising productivity, and winners and losers, so just like a game of Monopoly can take a long time, given enough time a single or few entities will naturally win big in their respective game/industry.

The government, like the referee of a sporting match, ensures competition is carried out with a modicum of 'fairness'.

Just ensuring that the game is played fairly is not enough. In this game the winning NBA teams get their defeated opponents' budgets for the next year. Soon all there'd be in the league are the Bulls or Lakers or whatever (I don't follow basketball) and they'd just be playing exhibition matches against themselves.

The referee must not just ensure a fair game, but be vigilant for and split up the players of dominant teams just before those teams reach the point where the consolidation that's always underway threatens to turn the game into something else entirely.

And I'm normally sympathetic to slippery slope arguments, but not when they're this far apart. Suggesting that govt. shouldn't split up corporations that are on the verge of being "too big to fail" because it could lead to oligarchy is like saying parents shouldn't discipline their kids because it could lead to child abuse. In each the former is so far from the latter, that it's not persuasive. Not to mention the disastrous results if no bounds are placed on a child except those from peer pressure.

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40982955)

The referee must not just ensure a fair game, but be vigilant for and split up the players of dominant teams just before those teams reach the point where the consolidation that's always underway threatens to turn the game into something else entirely.

Sure, you can flog my analogy all you like.
You must grasp that the power to split up opposing teams quickly becomes the Highlander power.
There is some Pareto Optimal point where there is enough competition for honesty, without chaotic fragmentation.
Maintaining that operating point is The Trick.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40985887)

Why exclude the chaotic fragmentation? In fact, doesn't the value of subsidiarity almost insist upon chaotic fragmentation down to the bare minimum of organization needed to accomplish a given task?

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40987109)

I think that 'chaotic fragmentation' == libertarianism, and 'bare minimum of organization' == conservative.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40991103)

Trouble is, with libertarianism, you don't get chaotic fragmentation. You get collectivism. The reason why is because John Galts do exist- and once they're allowed to earn large amounts of wealth, they keep buying wealth makers until their companies either might as well be governments, or form governments to keep others out of the market.

A crony capitalist is just a libertarian with bribe money.

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#40998171)

What you say has some empirical merit.
However, proper libertarianism is about refusing bonds, both on the receiving end of a collar on oneself, and placing a collar on the neck of another.
Thus, Libertarianism shouldn't swerve into the crony capitalist hypocrisy you cite.
Barack Obama has proven a typical politician/serious crony capitalist, but I don't think he has a libertarian bone in his collectivist carcass. Maybe a hedonistic bone, if some scurrilous rumors have merit.
This is why I think that the conservative hand, which doesn't mind admitting to measured amounts of government, ends up sucking less than a purely libertarian hand.
Stability, man: it's what's for breakfast.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41006075)

"You must grasp that the power to split up opposing teams quickly becomes the Highlander power."

I must not, because it's wrong; the power to split up opposing teams *slowly* becomes... whatever it is you said there.

"Maintaining that operating point is The Trick."

And it doesn't just maintain itself. As a fan of the free market, I want it protected, from both those who would dissolve it willfully and those for whom it would be a side effect of their plans.

Re:Wut? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41009691)

Highlander=="There can be only one!"
Darn right it's not self-maintaining; those who'd collapse it work 24/7, typically winding up somewhere around oligarchy/aristocracy. Then it gets bloody.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40974195)

We have more stuff, bought on credit, and therefore owned by our banks.

The rich WILL continue to avoid hiring Americans, because the American Standard of living of $108 spent for every $100 earned, is not sustainable- we've priced ourselves out of the world labor market.

And yes, I agree with you the real problem is public corporations grown so large as to exceed the size of many world governments.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#40980199)

We have more stuff, bought on credit, and therefore owned by our banks.

No, typically only our houses and cars are bought on credit. Like they've always been. The only thing of significance that is now widespreadly attained thru credit that wasn't so widespreadly before is higher education.

But the crap in people's homes and garages, our gadgets and tools and toys, and our expensive wireless plans and access to media. We have more stuff that we own that clutters our lives than ever before. Trickle-down works, our std. of living is phenomenal, it just can't continue on the course we're on, eventually it will begin to reverse.

The rich in America need an attitude adjustment and to stand up for America and Americans. I believe there are still plenty of us willing to work hard to achieve some measure of the American dream (as much as each of our own levels of intelligence, ambition, and luck permit). But business people see American workers cluster in unions so that they don't have to work, and they see us vote more Leftists in who want everyone on the public dole anyways.

We've got a very business-unfriendly administration right now, but it partially reflects the overall culture. People need to stop listening to the Left and wake up and get back to keeping things real.

I long for a return to the dot-com years, in a sense. When I was looking for a job this time, all I got from everyone except the place that hired me was bad attitudes. Ten years ago the business owners were eager and hopeful and positive, and assumed you were ready to do great things. Certainly there was plenty of irrational exuberance back then, but there's nothing wrong with a "can do" attitude in approaching things. It seems like that American spirit is largely dead.

And yes, I agree with you the real problem is public corporations grown so large as to exceed the size of many world governments.

That's hardly a metric that makes any sense. No need for arbitrary comparisons when the all-too-familiar "too big to fail" is one that more than suffices.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40986077)

"No, typically only our houses and cars are bought on credit. Like they've always been."

The distributive idea is that they shouldn't be- that such items should be subsidized to the point that you don't need credit to buy them, and that by owning shelter, dwelling, and tools you can then proceed to engage in some useful activity which will allow you to actually go and make a living for yourself.

An interesting thought I read today- a minimum wage is a set number. But a living wage, which takes into account human dignity and responsibilities such as children and families, can NEVER be a set number. It is going to be different for each worker, because responsibilities are different for each worker.

Our standard of living is already reversing though, because we've bought on credit instead of using taxes to subsidize the poor. The servant, business, is now the master of our government.

There is no reason for the rich to ever have an attitude adjustment- because they are international communists and have purchased America. America is now just another resource in their stable of assets. There are fewer union workers today than there were in 1945. Unions are going the way of the dodo, and NOTHING is replacing their power.

I don't see the current administration as being business unfriendly at all- I see the current administration as being the puppet of the banks, the health insurance industry, and the military-industrial complex. Why do you think most of his cabinet came from Wall Street? Why do you think his Obamacare asked them to give up a paltry 5% of their profit in exchange for a 15% increase in customers? Why do you think the Drone War has begun, if not to support Drone Manufacturing in China?

The reason businesses are too big to fail- is because they've bought and paid for the government to insure that they will not fail. Obama-Biden, or Romney-Ryan, does not matter. All government is now bought and paid for.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41006045)

"Why do you think most of his cabinet came from Wall Street?"

Because those who are desperate for power will align themselves with anyone they think can help them get it.

"Why do you think his Obamacare asked them to give up a paltry 5% of their profit in exchange for a 15% increase in customers?"

It was designed as a trap, to eventually put them all out of business so the govt. can come in with single-payer and save the day and claim that they didn't want to have to do that but they were left no choice by the ins. co.'s who just somehow imploded all by theyselves.

"Why do you think the Drone War has begun, if not to support Drone Manufacturing in China?"

Our U.S. military is flying Chinese-made drones about as much as communists are taking over corporate board rooms.

"The reason businesses are too big to fail- is because they've bought and paid for the government to insure that they will not fail."

Wrong, but close. They bribe govt. to stifle competition in their industries. This helps them to consolidate and grow too big to fail.

And it does matter; the Obama-Biden administration stopped the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, thankfully. I bet a Romney-Ryan administration wouldn't have done shit about collapsing choices in the market (where, without choices it is no market at all).

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41009413)

"It was designed as a trap, to eventually put them all out of business so the govt. can come in with single-payer and save the day and claim that they didn't want to have to do that but they were left no choice by the ins. co.'s who just somehow imploded all by theyselves."

Quite a trap that- "I'm going to guarantee you 20% profit and a captive consumer base that is required by law to buy your products, and we can even poison those consumers to remove their fertility and save you money in the long run, by having to service fewer customers". Exactly how is this supposed to make the insurance industry implode again? I think most industries would LOVE to have such a sweetheart deal.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41019105)

Exactly how is this supposed to make the insurance industry implode again?

Unaffordable mandates.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41024605)

So far, there aren't any. The HHS mandate bills have already started coming, and there was a rise in premiums to cover them.

Re:Wut? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41041769)

Wow, you're like the frog in the pot saying if you're really being boiled, how come you can't feel the heat coming on faster. Because that's the whole point.

The pre-existing condition mandate doesn't kick until 1/1/2014. This will set up in effect an on-demand subsidy. And hence more of the privatization of gains and socialization of losses stuff. Premiums will be so high, to cover everyone, no matter what, that it'll be cheaper to pay the govt. penalty, and only temporarily acquire coverage when you actually need it. It will cease to work like insurance (pooled risk) at all, and collapse.

Which is the ultimate goal anyways. To you guys, for-profit health care systems are immoral, so Obamacare and Hillarycare before that and any other Progressive health care reform plan is about eventually making private health insurance go belly up and then have a better excuse to take over that function.

Re:Wut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40951317)

It seems to me that MH is saying the Communists are leveraging the stock market in order to consolidate power. Given the incredibly close ties of Wall Street to the oligarchs in the U.S. government and the coincidence of that with the federal government's slide towards socialism/communism (it's not really far along that path, but it's definitely heading that way), I'd say he might have a point.

I think the biggest factor right now is that the whole idea of collectivism is becoming incredibly appealing to the average U.S. citizen, who is too ignorant and too deluded by the MSM and the folks in power to realize exactly what that means and what inevitably results of it. It doesn't help that there are countries like those in Scandinavia that aren't too bad (at least at this time) with a heavily socialist society, however, unlike the U.S., they are very homogenous, probably more urban, and better educated. Also, their success so far doesn't mean their ideas will continue to work.

You have to remember infiltration is just that. In order to accomplish it, you have to become, at least in part, those with whom you are infiltrating.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40951935)

Happened about 50 years ago when we finished the bank consolidation under the FDIC. The backlash against that consolidation is just beginning, but it's pretty damn clear from Obama's and Bush's Cabinet picks what is going on.

Re:Wut? (1)

JOrgePeixoto (853808) | about a year and a half ago | (#40966795)

It doesn't help that there are countries like those in Scandinavia that aren't too bad (at least at this time) with a heavily socialist society, however, unlike the U.S., they are very homogenous, probably more urban, and better educated. Also, their success so far doesn't mean their ideas will continue to work.

Europe has a dark demographic future though. Its TFR (Total Fertility Rate) is only 1.6 children per woman. In the long term, this will cause the population to shrink, ossify and age.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40974243)

All of the first world is in the same boat as Europe on that one. The Contraceptive Mentality Has Taken Hold, and Pregnancy is now a Disease to Be Avoided.

Re:Wut? (1)

JOrgePeixoto (853808) | about a year and a half ago | (#40979557)

But Israel and USA are less bad than Europe.
Both have significantly more fertility than other countries with similar income per capita.

Re:Wut? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40985869)

Yeah, but it's kind of like voting for the lesser of two evils- you never get any good, just slower evil.

2/3rds of the first world populations are over the age of 60. You think we have a bad housing market NOW for sellers? Wait until 2050, when the grand majority of people now owning houses will be owning graves instead.

I suspect that about the time I get my 3 bedroom 1400 sq foot ranch house paid off, 3600 sq foot houses will be selling for less than $10,000.

What's the best thing about communism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40949709)

It ends in anarchy. The real kind. Where people are respectful and kind without being told to be. Well, that's what the book says anyway.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40950327)

Unfortunately, in practice, all revolutions end with the worst qualities of what they are revolting against.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40950425)

Precisely... And this is why, outside the laboratory, none of these systems have any advantage over each other. They're all the same show with different actors.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40951907)

Distributism would respond to that by saying "fine, let's have laboratories instead". Plural, and protected from outside influences.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40968171)

If humans are in charge, it is doomed to fail. We're just not evolved to that point. We must have self discipline and self rule

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40974629)

That's the whole point with distributism- once the ownership is distributed, humans aren't directly in charge of other humans. Each man in effect becomes an independent contractor, with his own natural resources and tools of production. The hard to deal with part (but given how our world is trending towards a labor surplus anyway due to the perfect storm of efficiency of scale combined with mechanical labor force multiplication, probably a good thing) is the fact that distributism WILL result in a lower efficiency of labor- and thus, more jobs available.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40976969)

...once the ownership is distributed...

But how is that going to happen? This is the million dollar question. Either people have to give up their power volutarily, or by force. And if it's by force, then no progress possibly come of it. The natural desire in all of us for advantage over others has to be overcome first. I think this is what religion argues. And various processes to that end are offered to us in their books. Even if they are worded a bit weirdly.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40978769)

Subsidiarity. The smallest geographical or population unit of government or corporation possible to accomplish the task- and NO government higher is allowed to interfere in that task.

It is of course coupled with solidarity.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#40980295)

The natural desire in all of us for advantage over others has to be overcome first. I think this is what religion argues.

And the Left continues to misunderstand the Right. You guys can't seem to get anything right. The natural desire in human beings is not to attain a std. relative to others, but relative to oneself. I don't want to have five bucks more than my stupid neighbor, I want five bucks more than I had last month. Religion argues that we have this self-centered nature, not that we're nosy Marxist busybody control freaks always prying into others' business and wanting to divide people into groups and compare them and imagine and invoke them pitted against each other. That's Satan's delight. And his cluess, duped followers the Left.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40985927)

But religion also argues that your "natural desire" is in fact a part of Original Sin- and that to have a civilization worth actually living in, we need to band together and fight sin *wherever* it appears, rather than encouraging it.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41005865)

But religion also argues that your "natural desire" is in fact a part of Original Sin- and that to have a civilization worth actually living in, we need to band together and fight sin *wherever* it appears, rather than encouraging it.

"Original sin[1] is, according to a Christian theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man." [wikipedia.org]

Luckily, not every part of Original Sin is a sin. Ambition in one's work, sexual relations with one's wife, such as these came as a result of the Fall (i.e. not existing before it).

And my religion talks nothing of striving towards a civilization worth living in; mine talks about keeping your eyes squarely on the prize, what's really important, the afterlife and being accepted to the good place in it. And not to live your life like the heathens do and talk so much about. In my Bible Jesus didn't tell the adulterer to band together and fight sin wherever it happens, He told her to go and sin no more.

God is neither a collectivist (we're saved on an individual basis) nor an authoritarian (He gives us Free Will, even to do the wrong thing), so He's then definitely not a Leftist, and wouldn't be arguing from your stated position.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41009349)

Ambition for Ambition's Sake is a sin. Even Ambition in the Service of God can become Sinful. [natcath.org]. Ambition becomes a sin when you hurt others on your way to the top.

If you're going to actually reach the prize of the afterlife, one of the lessons you need to learn is *how to exist in Heaven*. You learn that lesson by striving to create heaven in this life- right here on Earth. Heaven isn't individualistic- you need to learn to sing with the choirs of angels.

In Heaven His Will Is Done- and the Church Triumphant is a collective. Read some CS Lewis. _The Great Divorce_ or even just _Mere Christianity_.

If your church isn't a collective, then I have to wonder if it is fulfilling Christ's commandment to see other men as our brothers rather than our competitors.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41019019)

Ambition becomes a sin when you hurt others on your way to the top.

Also or when you hurt yourself (your body is the Lord's temple). These are when greed becomes a sin as well.

If you're going to actually reach the prize of the afterlife, one of the lessons you need to learn is *how to exist in Heaven*. You learn that lesson by striving to create heaven in this life- right here on Earth.

Absolute heretical pagan poppycock. You should think of a name for your custom religion.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41024593)

It's got a name- Roman Catholicism. Also known by the Anglican CS Lewis as Mere Christianity, he wrote a book on it. But personally, I prefer John Paul II's version:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2heavn.htm [ewtn.com]

Though for those of us who like science fiction, CS Lewis's _The Great Divorce_ is another good option.

What these all have in common though- is Heaven is Egalitarian- there are no divisions.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | about a year and a half ago | (#41041063)

So the difference seems to be that, as a non-Catholic, I don't believe in Purgatory, and I guess all the things that you guys attach to that concept. I don't believe we have to practice socialism here on earth to prepare ourselves for heaven. To Protestants, the journey in life is one of building faith, not skills in Leftism and greater acceptance and adoption of its principles. It's "believe and be saved", not "become a communist and be saved", to me.

And that heaven is egalitarian (between the humans, that is) of course has no bearing on what we should be doing here. Christ didn't exactly say "get your societies more egalitarian" when He was here. And a form of slavery was commonplace then.

Re:What's the best thing about communism? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#41055183)

I find it hard to separate faith in one's fellow man from caritas. And I for one don't find anything wrong with slavery, as long as the slave owners treat their slaves like family (See St. Paul's letter to Philemon in the Bible). In fact, it is precisely because capitalists *do not* treat their employees like family that is my ONLY objection to capitalism.

Small Business (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about a year and a half ago | (#40951407)

MH, I had a bit of an epiphany the other day that small companies in the U.S. and other free market economies are probably the closest you see to Distributism in action. I've only ever felt a real sense of ownership, which is more than just loyalty deserved the people you work for (deserved as long as its earned) when working for very small companies. They are also the only places I've ever really had any job satisfaction. Some of the bigger companies have treated me pretty well, but it's never been the same thing. I think there's a connection here...

Re:Small Business (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about a year and a half ago | (#40951983)

Yep, and the smaller the better. My trick is getting my brain to believe in the product in a small company, but yes, the best company I ever worked for was TWO PEOPLE- an idea man and myself. Second best was just myself, but I'm a horrible marketer. Third best is as a contractor with onsite customers and offsite management.

See the idea above of solving the cog-in-a-machine issue by having *everybody* as independent contractors.

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