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Thread: Big Data and Super-Computers: foundations of Cyber Communism

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  1. #1
    Join Date Apr 2007
    Location Eisenach, Gotha, & Erfurt
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    Default Big Data and Super-Computers: foundations of Cyber Communism

    Comrade Paul Cockshott posted a blog:

    Substantively, it is the same as what he wrote years ago:

    The significant differences are that the Soviets identified the first stage of communism with something much less radical : socialism. They forget that Socialism was a much wider trend than communism, and that in the Communist Manifesto a whole chapter was devoted to explaining how the Communists were different from socialists. The socialism of the USSR was essentially the 1902 socialism of the still revolutionary Karl Kautsky[17,10]. All the key elements were in that work by Kautsky. The pretence that a socialist monetary economy was the same thing as a non monetary communist one, was a misrepresentation.
    Nevertheless, in most socialist countries, the following communist measures will be pretty generally applicable.
    Immediate measures

    Monetary unit converted to the labour hour set at the average value created per hour.
    Move from state funding from profits of state enterprises to state entirely funded by progressive income tax.
    Legislation to give employees right -before tax to full value created in enterprise
    Conversion of remaining private firms to cooperatives
    Develop centralised internet system to track all purchases and sales.
    Withdraw all paper money and coins, replace with electronic cards
    I was intrigued by that last point, as the comrade has incorporated one of my directional / genuinely transitional measures into his own directional / genuinely transitional program (i.e., not cheap "transitional" sloganeering): mandatory move from paper-and-coin money to electronic money.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)
  2. #2
    Join Date Mar 2008
    Location traveling (U.S.)
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    Overall I'm glad to see the inclusion of current technology into a transitional-type socialist practice / proposal.

    That said, though, I'm something of a 'purist' when it comes to the sound implementation of a socialist transitional political economy, and beyond -- the more 'rough' the calculations / procedures, the more *administrative* efforts will be empirically required, and such an administration may be called-on to be more-*separate* and *specialized* (not desirable), so as to be efficient with a runaway workload of manual-type valuating tasks, albeit *off* the market system.

    For example:

    Monetary unit converted to the labour hour set at the average value created per hour.

    I wouldn't be outright *dismissive* of this approach, just as I wouldn't *prescribe* it, either, since *both* ways are necessarily dogmatic absent a real-world context of actual conditions to analyze, for the then-appropriate 'strategic' approach and implementation of a post-capitalist political economy.

    Under *some* conditions -- strong international class struggle and a corresponding realistic timely call for socialist administration -- this rough-estimate of socialist wages *could* work, but more to the point would be how such 'values' would be calculated correctly in the first place, without backsliding to markets, and without too much societal dependence on specialized administrative efforts in such a material-economy.

    Withdraw all paper money and coins, replace with electronic cards

    Likewise, this *technical* change is certainly unobjectionable at face-value, but it also serves to gloss-over the more fundamental issue of *how* values are to be arrived-at, especially for any arbitrary socialist-wage work roles, all while staying consistent / correlated to the total *sum* of all discrete values in usage.

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