Can someone Lenin me a hand in understanding this?

Cpt_pineapple
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Can someone Lenin me a hand in understanding this?

Okay, what I'm asking is about Communist regimes.

 

My understanding of Communism is 'equality for all' or 'fair share' or  something along those lines right?

 

So then why do Communist leaders such as, say, Kim Jong Il, Hoxha, etc... take so much for themselves? I mean, look at the palaces in North Korea, I wouldn't really call those common among the people.

 

Did I get the view of Communism right or am I off the Marx?

 

And for that matter why are there various types? What did Lenin add to Marxism to make it Marxist-Lenist?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Quote: My understanding of

Quote:
My understanding of Communism is 'equality for all' or 'fair share' or  something along those lines right?

You're risking over simplifying things but that basically it.

Quote:
So then why do Communist leaders such as, say, Kim Jong Il, Hoxha, etc... take so much for themselves? I mean, look at the palaces in North Korea, I wouldn't really call those common among the people.

They're evil and crazy. This is why you'll hear many modern capitalist say things like "There has never been a true communist nation" when people argue that communist doesn't work or is inherently evil.

Quote:
And for that matter why are there various types? What did Lenin add to Marxism to make it Marxist-Lenist?

I'm not really sure. In a course I took on German literature my professor once mentioned that Lenin was the only good (or at least good hearted and well meaning) communist leader. I think it is refered to as Marxist-Leninist because Lenin was actually trying to do what Marx invisioned.


Hambydammit
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 You need Kevin Brown or

 You need Kevin Brown or Iwbiek to jump in.  They're the local communist enthusiasts.  I'm one of those people who think communism is inherently unworkable in any form that could be philosophically called communism, so I haven't bothered learning the intricacies of different forms.

Essentially, communism defies evolution, so I put my money on evolution.

 

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nigelTheBold
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Hambydammit wrote: You need

Hambydammit wrote:

 You need Kevin Brown or Iwbiek to jump in.  They're the local communist enthusiasts.  I'm one of those people who think communism is inherently unworkable in any form that could be philosophically called communism, so I haven't bothered learning the intricacies of different forms.

Essentially, communism defies evolution, so I put my money on evolution.

Although it's been used as a pejorative by Steve Ballmer, the free software development model is essentially communistic. The working of a few goes to benefit many. Well, everyone, really.

The situation is unique, though, as the product of a programmer has a reproduction cost of zero. The reason programmers give away their work is varied, but there's a certain element of reciprocity involved for many of them; witness the popularity of the GPL (which enforces reciprocity) over other licenses that don't.

Scientific research is essentially communistic, as well. Without the sharing of data, science would grind to a halt. In fact, the more freely information flows in science, the faster science can progress. Like source code, the reproduction cost is essentially zero, and reciprocity is important.

The funding of these ultimately-communistic endeavours are rarely rooted in communism, though. Perhaps it's because capitalism is so firmly entrenched in our society.

Anyway, I think a fully-communistic economy is impossible, for the exact same reason: human nature (read: evolution). Too many people willing to game the system for their own advantage. Communism is innately exploitable.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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 Nigel, I don't deny the

 Nigel, I don't deny the ability of humans to do things for the good of the many.  I deny the institutionalization of it in government and society.

Scientific research is essentially communistic, except that everybody in the pharm industry is "contributing to the greater good" in the hopes of getting a patent on the next great Valtrex.  You get what I'm saying.  There's a reason grants aren't equally distributed through the university systems, and why economics professors make more than music professors.

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The funding of these ultimately-communistic endeavours are rarely rooted in communism, though. Perhaps it's because capitalism is so firmly entrenched in our society.

I don't know this to be true, but I think a thorough examination of communist regimes would prove that it's true of all societies.

Quote:
Anyway, I think a fully-communistic economy is impossible, for the exact same reason: human nature (read: evolution). Too many people willing to game the system for their own advantage. Communism is innately exploitable.

Communists ignorantly took one aspect of human nature and sought to elevate it to primacy without considering the whole of human nature.  People's willingness to exploit the system to their advantage is a large part of the reason we developed a complex enough society for people to invent communism.  Oh, the irony.

 

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I read this quite a few years back.  "We are all equal.  Some of us are more equal."  A good book ;  Animal Farm.  It is what always happens in a communist society.

The basic premise of communism is a good one as long as human nature is not taken into account.


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Hambydammit wrote:Nigel, I

Hambydammit wrote:

Nigel, I don't deny the ability of humans to do things for the good of the many.  I deny the institutionalization of it in government and society.

I absolutely agree that it is unworkable as a primary economic model. From what I've seen, the model most resistant to corruption is well-regulated capitalism, with infrastructure supported by socialism. (Roads, education, and other things that some agree on, and some don't.)

I guess I was just attempting to show that communism is extant, in a limited fashion, and so isn't completely worthless.

Quote:

Scientific research is essentially communistic, except that everybody in the pharm industry is "contributing to the greater good" in the hopes of getting a patent on the next great Valtrex.  You get what I'm saying.  There's a reason grants aren't equally distributed through the university systems, and why economics professors make more than music professors.

I definitely agree here, too. I guess I was talking about the ideal of scientific research, rather than the corruption we have right now. It's a mild corruption, certainly, and about to get less corrupt (perhaps we'll have a President who respects science a bit more). But the corruption is noticable, from those who attempt to gain massive profits from publicly-funded research, to those who decide which projects are funded, to the research itself.

Luckily, science works in spite of the flaws of the system.

I was a physics intern for a professor who was researching high-temperature superconductivity. It was cool. I built his lab, which was essentially just cleaning out some old molecular transfer pumps that had suffered from some serious blowback, hooking them up to the vacuum chamber and refrigerator, and turning them on. It was great. The vacuum chamber had some mechanism for doing extremely-thin film deposits already built in, pre-ordered from some very expensive manufacturer. Unfortunately, my internship ended before he acquired the raw materials for his first experiment.

I visited him the next summer to see how he was doing. He said, "I'm doing high-altitude pollution research now."

That experience helped me decide to get out of physics, and ruined my desire to do research. It's probably the only decision I seriously regret.

I guess I'm just rambling now.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:I

nigelTheBold wrote:

I absolutely agree that it is unworkable as a primary economic model. From what I've seen, the model most resistant to corruption is well-regulated capitalism, with infrastructure supported by socialism. (Roads, education, and other things that some agree on, and some don't.)

The democratic mixed economy. Easily the best way to make the maximum number of people not disgruntled. 

nigelTheBold wrote:

I guess I was just attempting to show that communism is extant, in a limited fashion, and so isn't completely worthless.

Communism, like Libertarianism, is a great big thought experiment. It's very valuable to legislators to have these influences so that they can provide a well-rounded approach to things like economic policy. Without Marx, we wouldn't be considering the production value of the common man at all. His writings have had a huge influence. Same with the heavy free-market enthusiasts. But it's in the balance where we get something that works, and while economics is almost everything, it's not everything.

nigelTheBold wrote:
I was a physics intern for a professor who was researching high-temperature superconductivity. It was cool.

So good. I bet that was fun. I used to visit the graduate students just to see the crazy shit they were working on. They always had custom machined metal sphere things bolted to each other and lots of dials. Basically heaven. Dials, buttons, custom machining and bolts. That's heaven.

nigelTheBold wrote:
It's probably the only decision I seriously regret.

You just have one serious regret? Well done.

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