Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

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Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by elysium on Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:24 am

This article address the tenets of Collectivism, and address two arguments against it; that Collectivism isn't sufficient...what about the sick, elderly, and disabled, and one from Karl Marx that an oveproduction of industry will lead to each taking "according to their need," negating the point of how much one gives.

Karl Marx has a point, from the perspective of the amount of wealth and power the technocracy are amassing, at the expense of others (although, this would be communism via capitalism). However these arguments are well refuted in the article.

..."A Collectivist society will naturally include its own social service programs, which will provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. And since people are rewarded according to contribution, we will see more ambitious tasks and greater productions. Society will have much more leftover to distribute, because of the productivity of its workers. And the idea of keeping so much, when there are people who have so little, will is repugnant in general."

"This prediction, about the development of industry, may very well be true. In fact, we know that machinery and technology are constantly improving every year, and how much each laborer can make increases as well. However, to match technology's progress, there are equal leaps in a human's desires. The new technology has not simply meant more efficient ways of solving past problems. It has also meant creating and satisfying wants that previously did not exist."

"The invention of the printing press, for instance, didn't just solve the problem of hand-writing books; people were then capable of developing a desire for and ability to read books. Yes, because of technology, we can produce far more, but also because of technology, we have the sight of luxuries and wants that were previously denied to us. While there is going to be abundance, the scope of human experience of future generations will be expanding. Their lives will consist in more passion, experience, thinking, and self-reflection... if we are capable of leaving them a culture that they can genuinely connect with."

"This outlook about new desires seems to be confirmed by our present technological situation. Computers and electronics have become the new desire, the new form of gratification for the individual -- at least, in countries wealthy enough to have that sort of economy. Even in the United States, where technological advancement is reached such unexpected heights, there is no abundance of food and shelter. And, the idea of a society where its overproductions bring about Communism seems especially impossible here."

http://www.punkerslut.com/articles/two_methods_for_distribution_of_wealth_in_a_socialist_society.html

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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:52 am

Thank you for sharing that thought-provoking article, elysium.

The debate among socialists regarding the issue of remunerating according to need vs. contribution is a very old one indeed. Most orthodox Marxists readily concede that the notion of remunerating solely on the basis of need is impractical—though they're of the unwavering opinion that after a transitional period of socialism, such a method of distribution can be achieved. Frankly, I believe that anything short of outright genetic engineering will prevent the communist ideal of remunerating according to need from being achievable. Remunerating according to contribution, on the other hand, is certainly a viable option. Socialist theoreticians have articulated a plurality of ideas which could create such an economy, the major theories being: a system of labor vouchers (Cockshott & Cottrell, Kotz, Albert & Hahnel, et al.) or worker self-management (Schweickart, Howard, Miller, Weisskopf, Melman, Vanek, Horvat, et al.) Personally, I favor the latter method, as it's been empirically verified to work in practice.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Coach on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:12 am

The only way to achieve the "...to each according to need" society would be to have a material foundation of perpetual abundance where there is always more than enough for renumeration according to the 'needs' standard.

The argument about contribution standards versus needs standards (I should point out for clarity that even "...to each according to needs" is NOT a vulgar absolute egalitarianism where "everyone gets the same") really comes down to whether one believes that such a material foundation of perpetual abundance in a human society could be achieved in the future or not.

As Celtiberian stated, very few serious socialists expect to go to the "needs" renumeration standard on Day 1 of a brand-new worker-ruled society. The vast majority of socialists know that renumeration based upon one's contribution will necessarily be the standard of our socialist societies initially and for at least quite some time. Thus, I don't think that it's a fundamental deal-breaker between us if some of our comrades do think that someday in the future that our society's material foundation may enable actualizing "from each according to their ability, to each according to needs" standards.



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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by elysium on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:27 pm

Focusing, for instance, on disability rights as part of the ideology of revolutionary socialism will give clarification as to how the current relationship between capitalism and disabled persons, will be in stark contrast to that of a socialist economy. Recognizing these persons as relevant actors in a socialist political economy is vital in connecting with people in differing situations, and in encouraging mobilization, and effecting a solidarity in class consciousness.

Currently, many of these individuals' identity may be wrapped up in wheelchairs and limitations.

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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by GF on Thu May 26, 2011 10:47 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Thank you for sharing that thought-provoking article, elysium.

The debate among socialists regarding the issue of remunerating according to need vs. contribution is a very old one indeed. Most orthodox Marxists readily concede that the notion of remunerating solely on the basis of need is impractical—though they're of the unwavering opinion that after a transitional period of socialism, such a method of distribution can be achieved. Frankly, I believe that anything short of outright genetic engineering will prevent the communist ideal of remunerating according to need from being achievable. Remunerating according to contribution, on the other hand, is certainly a viable option. Socialist theoreticians have articulated a plurality of ideas which could create such an economy, the major theories being: a system of labor vouchers (Cockshott & Cottrell, Kotz, Albert & Hahnel, et al.) or worker self-management (Schweickart, Howard, Miller, Weisskopf, Melman, Vanek, Horvat, et al.) Personally, I favor the latter method, as it's been empirically verified to work in practice.

By workers' self management, do you mean as in a market socialist economy?

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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Celtiberian on Fri May 27, 2011 12:58 am

Godfaesten wrote:By workers' self management, do you mean as in a market socialist economy?

Correct. I think that market socialism is the most feasible successor system to capitalism, though by no means should it be viewed as being the final goal of the revolution. A system of rational (computer assisted), participatory planning may well be within our grasp—which could preserve labor-managed enterprises, while nevertheless transcending the need to rely on market relations. Whether or not such a system of planning can be successfully constructed within our lifetime (should a socialist revolution occur) is debatable, but I tend to see market abolitionism as something that will need to be phased-in over the course of a few generations. In the mean time, ending capitalist economic exploitation via worker-control of the means of production (albeit within a market setting) is what we should strive to achieve economically.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Fri May 27, 2011 2:47 am; edited 4 times in total

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Celtiberian on Fri May 27, 2011 1:01 am

elysium wrote:Focusing, for instance, on disability rights as part of the ideology of revolutionary socialism will give clarification as to how the current relationship between capitalism and disabled persons, will be in stark contrast to that of a socialist economy. Recognizing these persons as relevant actors in a socialist political economy is vital in connecting with people in differing situations, and in encouraging mobilization, and effecting a solidarity in class consciousness.

Currently, many of these individuals' identity may be wrapped up in wheelchairs and limitations.

Very good point. The struggle for the rights of the disabled should certainly be a feature of any revolutionary socialist program. Reaching out to relatively apolitical and marginalized groups, like the physically disabled, is certainly advisable.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Fri May 27, 2011 2:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Metal Gear on Fri May 27, 2011 2:25 am

In my view, communism cannot be achieved without technocracy or a Socialist Party government that makes technology of paramount importance . Market Socialism I do see as the logical successor to capitalism. Have government members officially involved in the management of businesses, after a Revolutionary Party takes power.

Lenin on Communism. He admits outright that it is not (in the conditions of his time or our time) achievable and that he is looking at socialism, not communism, as the system he wants to implement by aggravating class antagonisms through a centralized group of professional revolutionaries. The part of the class of centralized professional revolutionaries is one of Lenin's contribution to Marxist-Leninist theory.
http://www.economictheories.org/2009/05/full-communism-ultimate-goal.html
However, the transition from socialism to full communism is not inevitable in the same way that the internal contradictions of the capitalist system lead to its inevitable destruction. Referring to critics who held full communism to be an unobtainable Utopia, Lenin pointed out that their position was one of "ignorance—for it has never entered the head of any socialist to 'promise' that the highest phase of communism will arrive. . . ," He further pointed out that full communism cannot be "introduced" and that "by what stages, by means of what practical measures humanity will proceed to this higher aim—this we do not and cannot know."


Marx had a "scientific" view on socialism, and how it would occur, but saw Communism as something that was more distant. The details were not as clearly laid out. You can call it "Utopian." Marx did attack Utopian Socialism but did not develop a scientific method for Communism, which is a different mode of productions than Socialism.

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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Celtiberian on Fri May 27, 2011 2:40 am

Metal Gear wrote:Market Socialism I do see as the logical successor to capitalism. Have government members officially involved in the management of businesses, after a Revolutionary Party takes power.

I agree with most of your post, but I disagree with the idea that party functionaries are required for the economic management of enterprises within the context of market socialism. Labor-managed firms must be governed democratically in order to be efficient—the empirical evidence bears this out. There's simply no guarantee that a party official assigned to a given enterprise will possess the necessary skills to ensure s/he manages successfully (the case of Tito's Yugoslavia proved that), and workers need to have the ability to recall inefficient and/or distasteful managers.

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Re: Re: Collective Management as Opposed to Communal Distribution

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Fri May 27, 2011 10:29 am

Celtiberian wrote:I agree with most of your post, but I disagree with the idea that party functionaries are required for the economic management of enterprises within the context of market socialism. Labor-managed firms must be governed democratically in order to be efficient—the empirical evidence bears this out. There's simply no guarantee that a party official assigned to a given enterprise will possess the necessary skills to ensure s/he manages successfully (the case of Tito's Yugoslavia proved that), and workers need to have the ability to recall inefficient and/or distasteful managers.

I fully agree.

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