Thread: Socialism is totalitarian; Price control example - Prove me wrong.

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  1. #1
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    Default Socialism is totalitarian; Price control example - Prove me wrong.

    Hello,

    I'd like to start off by thanking ckaihatsu for getting my account up and online.

    Before I start off my argument, I'd like to add a reward for anybody that can convince me otherwise - convince me that Socialism isnot totalitarian by nature. Out of goodwill, I'll donate the remaining $7.50 needed to keep this page afloat.

    -----

    Price controls are a prominent component of socialism.

    Price floors/ceilings, whether manifested in the form of wage controls or 'Fair Price' legislation (to prevent rising prices and reduce profitability), requires totalitarian measures to be invoked for their enforcement.

    This is because socialism is not a positive economic system; rather, it is a negation of free enterprise and the price system.

    Financial self-interest of sellers operating under a regime of price controls is to evade price controls and adjust the price of their product such that it reflects both the true supply and demand of their product.

    Under most circumstances, sellers must raise their prices to reflect the additional risk of operating 'underground'; likewise, buyers must raise their prices as a means of securing goods they want 'under the table'.

    Under a regime of price controls what is to stop a massive black market from developing?

    The answer, whether explicit or covert, is the introduction of severe penalties combined with a greater likelihood of being caught and prosecuted.

    The mere existence of penalties, in most cases comparable to those of a major felony, is not enough. The socialist regime must make people fear conducting such a transaction; after all, they might be discovered by police and actually end up in jail.

    To inspire such fear in the hearts and minds of the public the state must develop an army of spies and secret informers.

    Since now 'black-market' transactions may only be conducted in privacy and secrecy, the government must also make anyone contemplating such a transaction fearful the other party might turn out to be a police agent attempting to entrap him.

    People must fear consoling and confiding in their long-time associates, family, and friends, as even they may turn out to be informers.

    Furthermore, in order to obtain convictions, the government must place the decision about innocence or guilt in the case of black-market transactions in the hands of administrative tribunals or police agents on the spot. It cannot rely on jury trials, because it is unlikely many juries would be willing to convict a man to several years of jail for merely selling a couple of pounds of meat, or a pair of shoes, above the ceiling price.

    In summation, the requirements of enforcing price-control regulation (a pillar of socialism) is the adoption of essential features of a totalitarian state, namely the establishment of "economic crimes" (the peaceful pursuit of self-interest treated as a criminal offence). These "economic crimes" require the establishment of a police apparatus replete with spies, secret police, informers, and the power of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

    Convince me I'm wrong.
    Last edited by FreeEnterprise; 20th August 2017 at 00:10. Reason: Spelling
  2. #2
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    Hello,

    I'd like to start off by thanking ckaihatsu for getting my account up and online.

    Before I start off my argument, I'd like to add a reward for anybody that can convince me otherwise - convince me that Socialism isnot totalitarian by nature. Out of goodwill, I'll donate the remaining $7.50 needed to keep this page afloat.

    FE, this is like saying 'Prove that a *supernatural entity* doesn't exist.' Those who make an assertion are the ones obligated to show proofs to support their position.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden...f_(philosophy)


    That said, though, I'll gladly be the first one to point out that you're conflating historic *Stalinism*, with 'socialism'. I'll remind that socialism is *supposed* to be the workers of the world in control of all social production, so anything that falls short of that definition, like that of a Stalinistic nation-state within a world of capitalism, is *not* socialism.

    And, *that* said, socialism *would* have to be 'totalitarian' in the sense that there would be no 'alternative' to it functioning, because there wouldn't *have* to be an alternative. With the workers of the world in full control of all social production, there would be an inherent collective interest to *reduce work*, and possibly even *eliminate* it altogether, by advancing technological automation to its fullest extents, to replace human (and animal) labor altogether -- something that's not possible under capitalism since private ownership *requires* less-than-full-employment (to keep wages down) and less-than-full-automation (to continue to exploit human labor), or else it would lose control of social production by default.



    Price controls are a prominent component of socialism.

    Yes, some so-called socialists *do* subscribe to a socialism-in-one-country model (Stalinism), unfortunately, with features of commodification and markets retained.

    I vehemently *disagree* with such an approach because it would *not* eliminate exchange values, such as used for bartering, trading, and purchasing. Socialism would not *objectively* require exchange values to exist because the bottom-up centralization of social coordination for production would enable 'free access' and 'direct distribution' -- simply, pre-planning of who-needs-what and mass-production to supply that 'what' to those who have human needs for it (such as for food, shelter, etc.). In this way no 'exchanges' would be necessary at all and the process of distribution would be streamlined, completely eliminating finance and all economic middlemen.



    Price floors/ceilings, whether manifested in the form of wage controls or 'Fair Price' legislation (to prevent rising prices and reduce profitability), requires totalitarian measures to be invoked for their enforcement.

    This is because socialism is not a positive economic system; rather, it is a negation of free enterprise and the price system.

    Socialism *is* a positive economic system, but for *human need*, and not for profits. It *is* a negation of the price system because we obviously already have the *means* for direct-to-consumer social planning (think Amazon, eBay, etc.), given that all labor inputs are collectively determined by the workers themselves / ourselves.



    Financial self-interest of sellers operating under a regime of price controls is to evade price controls and adjust the price of their product such that it reflects both the true supply and demand of their product.

    Under most circumstances, sellers must raise their prices to reflect the additional risk of operating 'underground'; likewise, buyers must raise their prices as a means of securing goods they want 'under the table'.

    Under a regime of price controls what is to stop a massive black market from developing?

    The answer, whether explicit or covert, is the introduction of severe penalties combined with a greater likelihood of being caught and prosecuted.

    The mere existence of penalties, in most cases comparable to those of a major felony, is not enough. The socialist regime must make people fear conducting such a transaction; after all, they might be discovered by police and actually end up in jail.

    To inspire such fear in the hearts and minds of the public the state must develop an army of spies and secret informers.

    Since now 'black-market' transactions may only be conducted in privacy and secrecy, the government must also make anyone contemplating such a transaction fearful the other party might turn out to be a police agent attempting to entrap him.

    People must fear consoling and confiding in their long-time associates, family, and friends, as even they may turn out to be informers.

    Furthermore, in order to obtain convictions, the government must place the decision about innocence or guilt in the case of black-market transactions in the hands of administrative tribunals or police agents on the spot. It cannot rely on jury trials, because it is unlikely many juries would be unwilling to convict a man to several years of jail for merely selling a couple of pounds of meat, or a pair of shoes, above the ceiling price.

    In summation, the requirements of enforcing price-control regulation (a pillar of socialism) is the adoption of essential features of a totalitarian state, namely the establishment of "economic crimes" (the peaceful pursuit of self-interest treated as a criminal offence). These "economic crimes" require the establishment of a police apparatus replete with spies, secret police, informers, and the power of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

    Convince me I'm wrong.

    As long as a market-type system of commodity exchanges is retained it's *not* a system of socialism because workers have no inherent interest in exploiting *themselves* -- self-interest for workers is for a decent and contemporary standard of living, not endless profits through financial manipulations and government favoritism, as for Wall Street and the private sector in general.

    Workers in control of social production would not even *require* a state, once the global revolution over the bourgeoisie is completed, because there would no longer be institutional elitism of any kind, or a class divide. Certainly workers can collectively administrate over productive assets (factories) and natural resources, including their own liberated-labor, once private property is no longer in existence, abolishing its need to be 'fed' with labor-exploitation, profit-making and state violence.
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  4. #3
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    Hello,

    I'd like to start off by thanking ckaihatsu for getting my account up and online.
    what
    "whatever they might make would never be the same as that world of dark streets and bright dreams"

    http://youtu.be/g-PwIDYbDqI
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    Hello,

    I'd like to start off by thanking ckaihatsu for getting my account up and online.

    Before I start off my argument, I'd like to add a reward for anybody that can convince me otherwise - convince me that Socialism isnot totalitarian by nature. Out of goodwill, I'll donate the remaining $7.50 needed to keep this page afloat.

    -----

    Price controls are a prominent component of socialism.

    Price floors/ceilings, whether manifested in the form of wage controls or 'Fair Price' legislation (to prevent rising prices and reduce profitability), requires totalitarian measures to be invoked for their enforcement.

    This is because socialism is not a positive economic system; rather, it is a negation of free enterprise and the price system.

    Financial self-interest of sellers operating under a regime of price controls is to evade price controls and adjust the price of their product such that it reflects both the true supply and demand of their product.

    Under most circumstances, sellers must raise their prices to reflect the additional risk of operating 'underground'; likewise, buyers must raise their prices as a means of securing goods they want 'under the table'.

    Under a regime of price controls what is to stop a massive black market from developing?

    The answer, whether explicit or covert, is the introduction of severe penalties combined with a greater likelihood of being caught and prosecuted.

    The mere existence of penalties, in most cases comparable to those of a major felony, is not enough. The socialist regime must make people fear conducting such a transaction; after all, they might be discovered by police and actually end up in jail.

    To inspire such fear in the hearts and minds of the public the state must develop an army of spies and secret informers.

    Since now 'black-market' transactions may only be conducted in privacy and secrecy, the government must also make anyone contemplating such a transaction fearful the other party might turn out to be a police agent attempting to entrap him.

    People must fear consoling and confiding in their long-time associates, family, and friends, as even they may turn out to be informers.

    Furthermore, in order to obtain convictions, the government must place the decision about innocence or guilt in the case of black-market transactions in the hands of administrative tribunals or police agents on the spot. It cannot rely on jury trials, because it is unlikely many juries would be unwilling to convict a man to several years of jail for merely selling a couple of pounds of meat, or a pair of shoes, above the ceiling price.

    In summation, the requirements of enforcing price-control regulation (a pillar of socialism) is the adoption of essential features of a totalitarian state, namely the establishment of "economic crimes" (the peaceful pursuit of self-interest treated as a criminal offence). These "economic crimes" require the establishment of a police apparatus replete with spies, secret police, informers, and the power of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

    Convince me I'm wrong.
    Well, if that's the case you should keep your money as we will take it away in taxes to build our utopia at your expense. be selfish. enjoy your $7.50 whilst you still can. the revolution is coming.

    How about you say hi, introduce yourself and spend sometime around here. I'm guessing you are an economics student, late teens/early twenties and have probably read Ayn Rand at some point? You may have specifically read Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" or else will be familiar with his arguments.

    If you hang around, get to know us a bit better you'll realise its a little more complicated than price controls and there isn't a single conception of "socialism" but quite a few different ones. Alot of what you've said relies on various economic models and assumptions that are fairly conventional amongst different schools of libertarians but may not necessarily be the most accurate reflection of reality. it works well enough to run build formulas to run a stock market based on computers, but it's not so good at anticipating longer terms trends which is where the limits to Capitalism's development may become more obvious.

    Spend some time with the enemy. we'll only purge you when we're finished.
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    I'm guessing you are an economics student
    No
    late teens/early twenties
    Yes
    and have probably read Ayn Rand at some point?
    No, I don't like her. Especially her views on intellectual property.

    You may have specifically read Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" or else will be familiar with his arguments.
    Yep
    Spend some time with the enemy. we'll only purge you when we're finished.
    Talking about murdering people you disagree with on a post that claims Socialism is totalitarian is a little counterintuitive, don't you think?
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    Yes, some so-called socialists *do* subscribe to a socialism-in-one-country model (Stalinism), unfortunately, with features of commodification and markets retained.

    I vehemently *disagree* with such an approach because it would *not* eliminate exchange values, such as used for bartering, trading, and purchasing. Socialism would not *objectively* require exchange values to exist because the bottom-up centralization of social coordination for production would enable 'free access' and 'direct distribution' -- simply, pre-planning of who-needs-what and mass-production to supply that 'what' to those who have human needs for it (such as for food, shelter, etc.). In this way no 'exchanges' would be necessary at all and the process of distribution would be streamlined, completely eliminating finance and all economic middlemen.
    Removing all vestiges of prices and exchange value would require more severe totalitarian measures.

    In the absence of market signals, price, and consumption based off propensity to produce, one must always end up deferring to a central authority for his aliquot share of produced goods.

    Since all food is "free", how does one resolve conflict over the provision of food?

    For instance, under "free access" auspices, what is preventing someone from claiming "too much" food? What is "too much" food? How much shelter is "just enough" shelter? Is it possible for everyone to agree on a given portion of "too much" or "too little" food? How much of a good is one entitled to? What is "not enough" shelter? What quantifies someone's "need"? Should someone who chooses not to work be distributed the same amount of food as someone else who does work? After all, they both have a need.

    Unanimous agreement is impossible.


    In order to answer these questions, and in the absence of the institute of property (a natural conflict resolution mechanism), a central body must decide. It is here where we see that Stalinism wasn't "socialism" in the literal sense, but a reaction to the impossibilities of socialism. [/QUOTE]



    Socialism *is* a positive economic system, but for *human need*, and not for profits.
    Profit = Value Creation.

    Profits occur when revenue exceeds costs, and losses when costs exceed revenue.

    One's productivity in the Free Market is reflected by his degree of profits or losses. Profits and losses are only able to measure productivity because they reflect the purchasing preferences of consumers.

    If one is profitable, this means he is generally satisfying consumer preferences; if he is, on the other hand, making losses, this means he is transforming the goods at his disposal in such a way that their resulting configuration is worth less to the consumer than the sum value of the individual goods used in the process.

    Thus, profits equate to a production of wealth, and losses equate to a destruction of wealth.

    Fortunately, in a Free Market those who destroy wealth or generate losses tend to lose command over ever more resources, freeing them up for more productive use in the market place by more capable market participants.

    However, no such regulating mechanism exists under socialism. Since there is no exchange value (or money/medium of exchange) revenue generated is un-quantifiable.

    In the case of Stalinism, the reactionary effect of socialism, revenue is derived from violent confiscation, its resulting profits or losses do not necessarily correspond with the creation or destruction of wealth.

    Certainly workers can collectively administrate over productive assets (factories) and natural resources, including their own liberated-labor (...)
    As mentioned before, without private, and excludable, property, there is no mechanism by which anyone is able to unanimously agree on the provision and administration of resources (including the fruits of production).

    Unresolved disagreement leads to conflict, the opposite of social cohesion. This inevitably results in the 'strongest' making decisions ("might is right").

    Socialism always selects and rewards the worst amongst us. Stalinism is a predictable result of attempts to implement and carryout socialism.
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    Removing all vestiges of prices and exchange value would require more severe totalitarian measures.

    No, I categorically disagree....



    In the absence of market signals, price, and consumption based off propensity to produce, one must always end up deferring to a central authority for his aliquot share of produced goods.

    There's *nothing wrong* with having a central authority -- what's more-to-the-point is *how* that central authority is *constituted*.

    A centralized authority over how productive efforts are coordinated can be formulated in a *bottom-up* way so that it's never dictatorial. I myself happen to have developed a *model* for this kind of bottom-up generalization that doesn't even use political *representatives* or fixed-role institutional-type *personnel positions* whatsoever. Here are relevant excerpts from that model:



    communist administration -- All assets and resources will be collectivized as communist property in common -- their use must be determined through a regular political process of prioritized demands from a locality or larger population -- any unused assets or resources may be used by individuals in a personal capacity only

    labor [supply] -- Only active workers may control communist property -- no private accumulations are allowed and any proceeds from work that cannot be used or consumed by persons themselves will revert to collectivized communist property

    consumption [demand] -- Individuals may possess and consume as much material as they want, with the proviso that the material is being actively used in a personal capacity only -- after a certain period of disuse all personal possessions not in active use will revert to collectivized communist property

    consumption [demand] -- Every person in a locality has a standard, one-through-infinity ranking system of political demands available to them, updated daily

    consumption [demand] -- Basic human needs will be assigned a higher political priority by individuals and will emerge as mass demands at the cumulative scale -- desires will benefit from political organizing efforts and coordination

    And, the main *benefit* of centralization is avoiding 'duplication of effort', so that farming, for example, doesn't have to be done by each and every person when *large-scale*, industrialized methods can be used by just a *few* workers to produce food for millions in a single regional area.



    Since all food is "free", how does one resolve conflict over the provision of food?

    I'll argue the same way -- any goods that are more-*specialty* / luxury, as with rarer or more-labor-intensive food, would have to be higher-requested, over a greater number of days, than others, to enjoy social priority for consumption. And, if it really came down to the wire, I have an approach called 'Additive Prioritizations':



    Better, I think, would be an approach that is more routine and less time-sensitive in prioritizing among responders -- the thing that would differentiate demand would be people's *own* prioritizations, in relation to *all other* possibilities for demands. This means that only those most focused on Product 'X' or Event 'Y', to the abandonment of all else (relatively speaking), over several iterations (days), would be seen as 'most-wanting' of it, for ultimate receipt.

    My 'communist supply and demand' model, fortunately, uses this approach as a matter of course:

    consumption [demand] -- Every person in a locality has a standard, one-through-infinity ranking system of political demands available to them, updated daily

    consumption [demand] -- Basic human needs will be assigned a higher political priority by individuals and will emerge as mass demands at the cumulative scale -- desires will benefit from political organizing efforts and coordination

    consumption [demand] -- A regular, routine system of mass individual political demand pooling -- as with spreadsheet templates and email -- must be in continuous operation so as to aggregate cumulative demands into the political process

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/blog.php?b=1174


    I'm also realizing that this model / method of demand-prioritization can be used in such a way as to lend relative *weight* to a person's bid for any given product or calendar event, if there happens to be a limited supply and a more-intensive prioritization ('rationing') is called-for by the objective situation:

    Since everyone has a standard one-through-infinity template to use on a daily basis for all political and/or economic demands, this template lends itself to consumer-political-type *organizing* in the case that such is necessary -- someone's 'passion' for a particular demand could be formally demonstrated by their recruiting of *others* to direct one or several of *their* ranking slots, for as many days / iterations as they like, to the person who is trying to beat-out others for the limited quantity.

    Recall:

    [A]ggregating these lists, by ranking (#1, #2, #3, etc.), is *no big deal* for any given computer. What we would want to see is what the rankings are for milk and steel, by rank position. So how many people put 'milk' for #1 -- ? How many people put 'steel' for #1 -- ? How many people put 'milk' for #2 -- ? And how many people put 'steel' for #2 -- ? (Etc.)

    *This* would be socially useful information that could be the whole basis for a socialist political economy.

    So, by extension, if someone was particularly interested in 'Event Y', they might undertake efforts to convince others to *donate* their ranking slots to them, forgoing 'milk' and 'steel' (for example) for positions #1 and/or #2. Formally these others would put 'Person Z for Event Y' for positions 1 and/or 2, etc., for as many days / iterations as they might want to donate. This, in effect, would be a populist-political-type campaign, of whatever magnitude, for the sake of a person's own particularly favored consumption preferences, given an unavoidably limited supply of it, whatever it may be.


    tinyurl.com/additive-prioritizations


    Food, in general, *wouldn't* be 'scarce', as you're suggesting, because we already have the technologies / capacities for mass-industrial agricultural *production* of it, for those with less-picky palates. Yes, food *would* be 'free', as long as there's sufficient uncoerced liberated-labor to do the work for the production of it.



    For instance, under "free access" auspices, what is preventing someone from claiming "too much" food? What is "too much" food? How much shelter is "just enough" shelter? Is it possible for everyone to agree on a given portion of "too much" or "too little" food? How much of a good is one entitled to? What is "not enough" shelter? What quantifies someone's "need"? Should someone who chooses not to work be distributed the same amount of food as someone else who does work? After all, they both have a need.

    No prob -- *all* demand, post-capitalism, would be considered 'socially necessary', by definition. (Here's from a past thread, as an aside -- a 'thought experiment', for illustration: )



    My favorite illustrative scenario for this -- if you'll entertain it -- is that of a landscape artist in such a post-commodity world.

    They make public their artistic endeavor to drape a prominent extended length of cliffs with their creation, and they'll require a custom-made fabric that is enormous and must be made with a blending of precious and rare metals formed as long threads.

    Who is to deny them? (Or, how exactly would be this treated, politically?)

    So whether it's access to food, shelter, land resources for artistry, or any other 'good', the same basic approach would apply: Who could demonstrate 'wanting' it more than others -- ? (See above about 'daily personal prioritization lists'.)

    Yes, a post-capitalist society would be about providing for human need, *not* about quantitative rewards on the basis of work efforts / inputs. Full automation of machinery will provide the 'material leveraging' and output of quantities sufficient to meet mass demands for any common, basic goods like food and shelter, etc.




    Unanimous agreement is impossible.


    In order to answer these questions, and in the absence of the institute of property (a natural conflict resolution mechanism), a central body must decide. It is here where we see that Stalinism wasn't "socialism" in the literal sense, but a reaction to the impossibilities of socialism.

    I actually have a standing *critique* of this conventional, personnel-designating / 'representatives' approach, because it would inherently cause a *schism* between those who only do general-administrative tasks, and those who do regular socially-*productive* tasks, like farming, manufacturing, or whatever. During the time of a proletarian revolution, when the open class struggle is still ongoing, such a 'vanguard', or 'vanguard party', may very well be *worth* the accompanying risk of specialization, substitutionism, and elitism, but, *post*-capitalism, I can't see how it would be warranted to make administrative tasks *specialized*, as into fixed, professional-type work roles.

    *Historically*, the emergence of Stalinism was inevitable / necessary under conditions of a non-spreading of the revolution from Russia to Germany, and consequential political isolation:



    The revolution and the world

    Main article: Revolutions of 1917–23

    Leon Trotsky said that the goal of socialism in Russia would not be realized without the success of the world revolution. Indeed, a revolutionary wave caused by the Russian Revolution lasted until 1923. Despite initial hopes for success in the German Revolution of 1918–19, in the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic and others like it, no other Marxist movement at the time succeeded in keeping power in its hands.

    This issue is subject to conflicting views on the communist history by various Marxist groups and parties. Joseph Stalin later rejected this idea, stating that socialism was possible in one country.

    ---



    Profit = Value Creation.

    Profits occur when revenue exceeds costs, and losses when costs exceed revenue.

    One's productivity in the Free Market is reflected by his degree of profits or losses. Profits and losses are only able to measure productivity because they reflect the purchasing preferences of consumers.

    If one is profitable, this means he is generally satisfying consumer preferences; if he is, on the other hand, making losses, this means he is transforming the goods at his disposal in such a way that their resulting configuration is worth less to the consumer than the sum value of the individual goods used in the process.

    Thus, profits equate to a production of wealth, and losses equate to a destruction of wealth.

    Fortunately, in a Free Market those who destroy wealth or generate losses tend to lose command over ever more resources, freeing them up for more productive use in the market place by more capable market participants.

    However, no such regulating mechanism exists under socialism. Since there is no exchange value (or money/medium of exchange) revenue generated is un-quantifiable.

    The entire premise of currency has no place whatsoever in a post-capitalist society of egalitarianism regarding the social means of mass industrial production. Currency implies exchange values being dominant in determining resource allocation, instead of hands-on, socialist-type *planning* over the same.

    Since there's no exchange value under socialism, there's no revenue. There's no commodification. Human need becomes the dominant determinant for social production, and nothing else. Productivity can be described *quantitatively*, in the numbers of goods, per-item, produced, and *qualitatively* in the numbers of liberated-labor labor-hours required on-average to produce any given good or service. (Note that, post-capitalism, there would no longer be exchange-value-valued 'goods' because there would no longer be any commodity-production -- the amount of productivity possible for any given good *could* be measured in terms of labor-hours, and, I would argue, with an indexed and/or floating hazard/difficulty/distastefulness *multiplier* onto those labor hours, as for the practice of using circulating 'labor credits'. A basic, sheerly voluntary communistic 'gift economy' could be the basis of that society's production, where *only* 'services' exist -- not 'goods' -- as for the production of freely-given goods / products, for the common good (unmet human demand).

    Here's a rundown of what I advocate:


    A post-capitalist political economy using labor credits



    To clarify and simplify, the labor credits system is like a cash-only economy that only works for *services* (labor), while the world of material implements, resources, and products is open-access and non-abstractable. (No financial valuations.) Given the world's current capacity for an abundance of productivity for the most essential items, there should be no doubt about producing a ready surplus of anything that's important, to satisfy every single person's basic humane needs.

    [I]t would only be fair that those who put in the actual (liberated) labor to produce anything should also be able to get 'first dibs' of anything they produce.

    In practice [...] everything would be pre-planned, so the workers would just factor in their own personal requirements as part of the project or production run. (Nothing would be done on a speculative or open-ended basis, the way it's done now, so all recipients and orders would be pre-determined -- it would make for minimal waste.)

    We can do better than the market system, obviously, since it is zombie-like and continuously, automatically, calls for endless profit-making -- even past the point of primitive accumulation, through to overproduction and world wars, not to mention its intrinsic exploitation and oppression.

    Labor vouchers imply a political economy that *consciously* determines valuations, but there's nothing to guarantee that such oversight -- regardless of its composition -- would properly take material realities into account. Such a system would be open to the systemic problems of groupthink and elitism.

    What's called-for is a system that can match liberated-labor organizing ability, over mass-collectivized assets and resources, to the mass demand from below for collective production. If *liberated-labor* is too empowered it would probably lead to materialistic factionalism -- like a bad syndicalism -- and back into separatist claims of private property.

    If *mass demand* is too empowered it would probably lead back to a clever system of exploitation, wherein labor would cease to retain control over the implements of mass production.

    And, if the *administration* of it all is too specialized and detached we would have the phenomenon of Stalinism, or bureaucratic elitism and party favoritism.

    I'll contend that I have developed a model that addresses all of these concerns in an even-handed way, and uses a system of *circulating* labor credits that are *not* exchangeable for material items of any kind. In accordance with communism being synonymous with 'free-access', all material implements, resources, and products would be freely available and *not* quantifiable according to any abstract valuations. The labor credits would represent past labor hours completed, multiplied by the difficulty or hazard of the work role performed. The difficulty/hazard multiplier would be determined by a mass survey of all work roles, compiled into an index.

    In this way all concerns for labor, large and small, could be reduced to the ready transfer of labor-hour credits. The fulfillment of work roles would bring labor credits into the liberated-laborer's possession, and would empower them with a labor-organizing and labor-utilizing ability directly proportionate to the labor credits from past work completed.

    This method would both *empower* and *limit* the position of liberated labor since a snapshot of labor performed -- more-or-less the same quantity of labor-power available continuously, going forward -- would be certain, known, and *finite*, and not subject to any kinds of abstraction- (financial-) based extrapolations or stretching. Since all resources would be in the public domain no one would be at a loss for the basics of life, or at least for free access to providing for the basics of life for themselves. And, no political power or status, other than that represented by possession of actual labor credits, could be enjoyed by liberated labor. It would be free to represent itself on an individual basis or could associate and organize on its own political terms, within the confines of its empowerment by the sum of pooled labor credits in possession.

    Mass demand, then as now, would be a matter of public discourse, but in a societal context of open access to all means of mass communication for all, with collectivized implements of mass production at its disposal. It would have no special claim over any liberated labor and would have no means by which to coerce it.

    The administration of all of this would be dependent on the conscious political mass struggle, on a continuous, ongoing basis, to keep it running smoothly and accountably.

    http://www.revleft.com/vb/blog.php?bt=14673



    ---



    In the case of Stalinism, the reactionary effect of socialism, revenue is derived from violent confiscation, its resulting profits or losses do not necessarily correspond with the creation or destruction of wealth.

    Right -- Stalinism is a *negative example* since it retained exchange values and had to be competitive with the rest of the capitalist world over such exchange values.



    As mentioned before, without private, and excludable, property, there is no mechanism by which anyone is able to unanimously agree on the provision and administration of resources (including the fruits of production).

    The social standard *doesn't have to be* 'unanimity' -- it only has to be 'socially possible', for whatever the material issue may happen to be. You're erroneously thinking that a complete 'blueprint' has to be the prerequisite before a single gear can move.

    So, instead, we can think 'bottom-up', and look at what actual expressed formal mass demand *is* (daily personally prioritized demand lists, aggregated over a locality or greater), and then see where any conflicts arise over specific, discrete resources (like over a particular plot of land, or scheduling for use of a factory, etc.). People can *continually* express their preferences for one or another (competing) project proposal, through their daily prioritization lists, for clear, unambiguous aggregated information over the same. And, ultimately, there would have to be sufficient available-and-willing liberated labor for the *actualization* of this-or-that proposal, anyway.



    Unresolved disagreement leads to conflict, the opposite of social cohesion. This inevitably results in the 'strongest' making decisions ("might is right").

    Socialism always selects and rewards the worst amongst us. Stalinism is a predictable result of attempts to implement and carryout socialism.

    We can certainly do far better than 'might is right' -- that's why we're socialists (not you).

    Stalinism is *not* inevitable -- it occurred under certain specific world-historical conditions, and our current world is much more materially developed, for much better prospects for a global post-capitalist political economy.
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    I don't want to convince you that you're wrong. I just want to take all your shit from you and give to people I deem worthy. Satisfied?

    Under a regime of price controls what is to stop a massive black market from developing?
    This:



    Satisfied now?
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    People like this guy come here for one reason and that's to reinforce their own bias.
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    People like this guy come here for one reason and that's to reinforce their own bias.
    I concede. I am biased against killing people
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    Price controls are a prominent component of socialism.
    Price controls were a fundamental component of the US economy during WWII and the economy worked great. Now, unless you can present evidence that the US was a giant gulag between 1941-1945, you owe RL $7.50. Pay up. Unless you are the typical capitalist and want to weasel out of the deal.

    WWII too far back? Every day in Washington, DC, hundreds of bureacrats and economists figure out what the most basic price in the economy should be: Money. The price of money too high? The Federal Reserve System lowers it, too low, the Fed raises it. Of course, they also use the age old method of throwing chicken guts into a fire to decide what to do. You yourself probably have some idea of what the Fed should do about the price of money. You want to disband the Fed? Hey, go right ahead. The socialists will be ready to pick up the pieces after a 20 yr economic melt down.

    Free market? Six banks control the entire banking system in the US. One retailer, Amazon, is on the verge of controlling all of the retail market. Microsoft, one company, controls 85% of the WORLD COMPUTER OPERATING SYSTEM MARKET.

    The only free market left in the US is the neighborhood garage sale market.
    Last edited by RedMaterialist; 21st August 2017 at 05:39.
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    Did we ever get our €7.50?
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    Did we ever get our €7.50?
    I don't think so, but he said it was in dollars. Maybe he thinks euros are a socialist currency.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Did we ever get our €7.50?
    I don't think so, but he said it was in dollars. Maybe he thinks euros are a socialist currency.
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    Every day in Washington, DC, hundreds of bureacrats and economists figure out what the most basic price in the economy should be: Money. The price of money too high? The Federal Reserve System lowers it, too low, the Fed raises it. Of course, they also use the age old method of throwing chicken guts into a fire to decide what to do. You yourself probably have some idea of what the Fed should do about the price of money. You want to disband the Fed? Hey, go right ahead. The socialists will be ready to pick up the pieces after a 20 yr economic melt down.

    We're seeing the contradictions of capitalism increasingly building up and accelerating -- recent monetary policy ('quantitative easing') has essentially been another try at Keynesianism (government deficit spending), even though we already know, from the '70s, that such efforts at jumpstarting a laggard economy *do not work*. If investors aren't enthused enough by the investment landscape to put their dust-collecting capital to work, *and* they then get free money from the government, guess what happens -- ? Yeah, more dust has fancy digs to enjoy in offshore tax havens while nothing changes fundamentally in the economy.

    So if more good money is thrown in after bad (nonperforming loans) with no economic velocity resulting, it simply adds its exchange value to existing assets like corporate bonds, artificially inflating their face values but with no trajectory of market activity, much less actual economic growth through commodity production and real sales activity.

    A glut in the money supply, as we're seeing now, means that such capital injections lose their desired effect of priming-the-pump for real economic activity to take its place, and instead has to either sit still or else chase after riskier bets as we saw with the subprime housing crisis in 2008-2009. *Or*, it can stay with relatively 'safe' assets like U.S. Treasuries and corporate bonds, but then there's simply a resulting glut in *those* financial assets / commodities as well -- more commonly known as 'bubbles', meaning overinvestment (from an overproduction / overavailability of capital goods), raising the 'floor' of participation ever-higher, which winds up looking like past historical scenarios of 'junk bonds', anyway. (The real productive economy could never properly return on all of the inflated investments, so the rise in junk-asset prices is only from the pure financial *speculation*, or 'arbitrage', and is not from real economic activity, for growth. And bubbles can only expand in this way for so long before they have to *pop*, still leaving the original problem of lack of productive investments unaddressed, in a fundamentally unchanged economic environment.)


    US Fed confronts dilemmas over monetary policy

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017.../usfr-s07.html


    Despite the massive injections of money into global financial markets by the Fed and other central banks, almost a decade on there is no sign of the US and global economy returning to anything resembling pre-crisis conditions and relationships.

    However, the persistence of low levels of inflation, well below the Fed’s target rate of 2 percent, and evidence that prices are falling, points to deciding to keep the base rate at its present historically low level.

    The combination of low official unemployment levels coupled with low, and even falling inflation, contradicts the predictions of the so-called Philipps curve, on which the Fed has based its policies in the past. According to this model, as unemployment falls, the inflation rate should start to rise as workers seek and obtain higher wages. But this is not taking place.

    The recession warnings are also based on indications that US corporations are on the edge of a profit downturn. In an interview with Bloomberg last month, Oxford Economics macro strategist Gaurav Saroliya said the gross value-added of non-financial corporations—a measure of the value of goods after adjusting for the costs of production—was now negative on a year-on-year basis.

    Apart from deciding whether to increase rates, the next Fed meeting will be confronted with the issue of when to start to reduce its assets holdings. There is a fear that too rapid a divestment of bonds could lower their price and thereby cause a spike in interest rates (the two move in an inverse relationship). This could create turbulence in equity and bond markets where there are concerns that asset prices, inflated by low interest rates, are already significantly over-valued.

    This empirical situation plays right into a textbook 'dilemma' for the Fed (damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't), because the moribund economy, in order to be *conceivably* productive, needs economic support from the government as it's been getting with U.S. purchases of financial assets, artificially adding to the overall economic pie in hopes of seeing real growth. If this kind of support is *ended* and *rolled-back*, with the government *selling* those new purchases, it would be moving in the *opposite* direction of what the capitalist economy objectively needs, effectively leading a major *sell-off* that *adds to* the glut of financial assets / commodities on the open market, pulling prices down even *further* in an already-prevailing *deflationary* economy. This, again, would move it in the direction of becoming like typical junk bonds since the risk of holding these assets skyrockets while their fundamental values stay low -- unless speculation takes hold and sends the prices of particular assets upward in a frenzied betting cycle of hoping to buy low and sell high on just price alone. (It's the classic situation of the colonized Third World, skewing prices in the real economy for human-necessary goods, like food, to *unbuyable* price levels.
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    Socialism *is* a positive economic system, but for *human need*, and not for profits. It *is* a negation of the price system because we obviously already have the *means* for direct-to-consumer social planning (think Amazon, eBay, etc.), given that all labor inputs are collectively determined by the workers themselves / ourselves.
    It is still a market ckhatsu. Labor credits remain another word for 'money.'
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    It is still a market ckhatsu. Labor credits remain another word for 'money.'

    No, there's a whole thread mostly on this issue itself:

    https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads...-credits/page2


    In brief, there is *no* commodity-production in the underlying communistic gift-economy -- all social production is pre-planned, with resulting material productivity prioritized-for and going directly to those persons who formally gave high rankings to those particular types of items, on their individual, daily 1-through-infinity ranked listings of political and/or material-economic demands (or requests).

    The reason for potentially using this labor credits system, post-capitalism, is because socially-necessary liberated labor *could* conceivably be in short supply, depending on what people there decide to do with their time (consumption vs. production, for mass-type items, particularly). The labor credits would apply *only* to liberated labor itself, as a benchmark standard for work-role labor-hour interchanges, paid-forward, and *not* to conventionally 'purchase' goods or services themselves, because that would be commodity-production. The labor credits would effectively be a *catalyst* for free-association-based, productivity-oriented social planning and organization.

    These circulating labor credits would also cut against any tendency for de-facto *exploitation* via the underlying communistic gift economy, where a subgroup of the population could very well be more-enthusiastic in voluntarily taking up work roles over years and decades, while the remainder of the population could mostly simply *benefit* from that voluntary liberated-work. The dynamic is illustrated in this sample scenario:



    [If] simple basics like ham and yogurt couldn't be readily produced by the communistic gift economy, and were 'scarce' in relation to actual mass demand, they *would* be considered 'luxury goods' in economic terms, and would be *discretionary* in terms of public consumption.

    Such a situation would *encourage* liberated-labor -- such as it would be -- to 'step up' to supply its labor for the production of ham and yogurt, because the scarcity and mass demand would encourage others to put in their own labor to earn labor credits, to provide increasing rates of labor credits to those who would be able to produce the much-demanded ham and yogurt. (Note that the ham and yogurt goods themselves would never be 'bought' or 'sold', because the labor credits are only used in regard to labor-*hours* worked, and *not* for exchangeability with any goods, because that would be commodity production.)

    This kind of liberated-production assumes that the means of production have been *liberated* and collectivized, so there wouldn't be any need for any kind of finance or capital-based 'ownership' there.

    (See post #8.)
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    Tbh, this is better than muh human nature, or muh utopia type arguments, but this is still a pretty non objective right wing free market way of analyzing socialism. As you clearly don't understand the democratic process in the USSR, the process that approved central planning. It isn't totalitarian because first off, totalitarianism is a buzz word without any definition, and second off there is democracy within central planning in true socialist countries such as the USSR and the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.

    "Central planning, like all of socialist society, isbased an democratic centralism, i.e., central leadership aswell as the conscious, general and direct participation ofthe working rnasses. A Central Planning Commissionworks out a draft five year plan. The draft is thenthoroughly discussed at mass meetings in every workplace. During the popular discussion of the five yearplan for 1981-86, 69,000 concrete proposals were made bythe masses of working people. Of these, 40,000 wereadopted in the plan and 20,000 were held for furtherdiscussion.The trade unions in Albania play an important rolein the planning and carrying out of production. Insocialist society the workers' trade unions not onlyconcern thernselves with defending the workers' rights,welfare and working conditions, but also take an activepart in the management of production and the politicaland economic life of the country. In the trade unionmeetings the workers discuss and criticize the drafteconomic plan and control the implementation of the planin their plant." - New Albania
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    Another problem is that the Fed "assets" were mostly junk when they were bought. Instead of pricing them as "mark to market" the assets were purchased at the price the banks set, resulting in a massive cash infusion to the banks. Now, does Yellen or her successor think they can sell $1,000 bonds for $100,000? They will use some creative accounting to balance the books.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It is still a market ckhatsu. Labor credits remain another word for 'money.'
    It doesn't matter. What counts is who owns the market, labor credits and money. Capitalists own those now, under socialism the international working class owns them.
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    It is still a market ckhatsu. Labor credits remain another word for 'money.'


    It doesn't matter. What counts is who owns the market, labor credits and money. Capitalists own those now, under socialism the international working class owns them.

    As I said at post #17, there is *no* market for the proposed labor credits. They can only be implemented in a larger 'communistic gift economy', and not in any capitalist-type market-based political economy, as exists today.

    A communist-type gift economy would not have any commodities or exchange values because all social production would be done by liberated labor, on collectivized implements, to fulfill unmet human need (formalized from cumulative, aggregated mass demands with all mass production pre-planned in advance) -- and the potential inclusion of the labor credits system would not introduce any markets or exchange values because all they would represent is discrete amounts of already-accomplished, varying liberated-labor-efforts, based on liberated labor hours, with a multiplier that accounts for varying hazard / difficulty / distastefulness, per work role, per situation. (Labor credits are initially introduced through locality-or-greater planning, and may or may not be debt-based.)

    If / when a post-revolution international working class finally tipped-the-scales away from existing bourgeois class rule, any kind of conventional money / vouchers / tokens system would be the *wrong* approach to the issue of a post-commodity material-economy, because there would no longer be *scarcity* in tending to human need. The post-capitalist / post-commodity political economy would be dealing with a situation of collective *abundance* and *surplus production* for meeting human need, and would have to *organize* such in a collectively hands-on way, yet the approach would have to be *flexible* enough for minute-by-minute dynamics within it (no static 'blueprint' approaches). This is exactly what the 'labor credits' system addresses directly.

    In brief, one post-capitalism issue that the labor credits framework addresses is the potential for a scarcity of *liberated-labor*, for any given complex item / product, or service. Another issue is the potential problematic of a certain subset of the population always ready to do the voluntary work necessary for the society, while *most* of the overall population *doesn't* volunteer -- such would be de-facto *exploitation* of that always-willing subset.

    Finally, whenever the supply of circulating labor credits may tend towards being too insular and localized, the framework allows for *any* localities to issue *new* labor credits -- possibly debt-based -- as a way to rejuvenate and expand the total pool of circulating labor credits, and thus the overall material-economy as a result, most-likely for the sake of a new large-scale mass project that inherently requires the coordination of large numbers of liberated-laborers.

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