The ten points of communism

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The ten points of communism

Post by Confusion on Mon May 28, 2012 10:16 am

I found this one at the beginning of a intro-book on communism, wikipedia has it as well:

1:) Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2:) A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3:) Abolition of all right of inheritance.
4:) Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5:) Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6:) Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7:) Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8:) Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9:) Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.
10:) Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form and combination of education with industrial production.[15]

Wikipedia says:
The implementation of these policies would, as believed by Marx and Engels, be a precursor to the stateless and classless society.

I rather like this little manifesto. Specially the idea of combining education with labour, but without making it child-labour as in the "child slavery" meaning of the word.

On point 3) "abolition of all rights of inheritance" I wonder how this will affect the behavior of the capitalists, should it be implemented in a mixed economy (I have still not given up third-way thinking completely).

What do you think? Is it all cool, or are some of the points problematic?
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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by DSN on Mon May 28, 2012 1:35 pm

Confusion wrote:On point 3) "abolition of all rights of inheritance" I wonder how this will affect the behavior of the capitalists, should it be implemented in a mixed economy (I have still not given up third-way thinking completely).

But it won't be under a mixed economy, as the rest of the points tell you; expropriation is a crucial aspect of socialist revolution and the transition towards socialism/communism. I'll assume you haven't heard of, or read much on the dictatorship of the proletariat, and recommend you look into it a bit.

What do you think? Is it all cool, or are some of the points problematic?

The entire concept of doing away with capitalism and replacing it with a socialist system is problematic, my friend! I don't really think we're in any position to try and predict what problems may or may not present themselves at the dawn of revolution. This is why I can't understand why people attach themselves to a strict set of plans long before we're even close to overthrowing capitalism.

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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by Rev Scare on Mon May 28, 2012 5:02 pm

These proposals were enumerated in The Communist Manifesto. Some of them, such as public education and the abolition of child labor, have already come to pass in the industrialized nations.

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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by Confusion on Mon May 28, 2012 6:15 pm

Edit, perhaps I should answer this first:

DSN wrote: But it won't be under a mixed economy, as the rest of the points tell you; expropriation is a crucial aspect of socialist revolution and the transition towards socialism/communism. I'll assume you haven't heard of, or read much on the dictatorship of the proletariat, and recommend you look into it a bit.

I do realize pure planned-economy is different from mixed-economy and third-way policies, democratic or not. What I was wondering about, is how capital-owners will react to a ban on inheritance. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat they will not be allowed to try to stop it, off course. But they might try to hide away their surplus, maybe even destroy it, if it will go to a government they hate when they die (I imagine a lot of angry old men that wanted to pass their wealth over to their children and grandchildren, being hinderer by a government they perceive as greedy) This is only a potential problem if the state that implements it still has certain sectors of the economy under private hands.

Now over to point 9:

9:) Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.

According to some people (like the ones in "the venus project") it is much more efficient to gather everyone in dense cities, and that claim seems very logical. There will be less transport, public transport becomes more feasible, and there are probably savings to be made on the transportation of things like electricity and water as well.

So urbanisation, but well planned, and with lots of greenery within the city. Or that is what the Venus project wants. If things get centralized, then lots of the countryside turns into wilderness, so it will be good for Co2-levels as well (the forests capture it as they grow)

I realize off course that this is 1800th century stuff, and that we can write new manifestoes whenever we like:-)


Last edited by Confusion on Mon May 28, 2012 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I have a bad habit of leaving my posts half-finished, then returning to them later.)
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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by DSN on Mon May 28, 2012 7:55 pm

Confusion wrote:I do realize pure planned-economy is different from mixed-economy and third-way policies, democratic or not. What I was wondering about, is how capital-owners will react to a ban on inheritance. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat they will not be allowed to try to stop it, off course. But they might try to hide away their surplus, maybe even destroy it, if it will go to a government they hate when they die (I imagine a lot of angry old men that wanted to pass their wealth over to their children and grandchildren, being hinderer by a government they perceive as greedy) This is only a potential problem if the state that implements it still has certain sectors of the economy under private hands.

As Kropotkin explains quite nicely in The Conquest of Bread, expropriation cannot happen in some places but not others. From my memory, he was indeed referring to property in different forms (factories, public facilities, housing etc.), but he clearly stresses that an uprising will collapse if expropriation is only a 90% job. The situation we're trying to picture assumes that the capitalist is indeed given the freedom to continue to exploit freely and keep his "earnings", and that workers are willing to sell themselves to him. Another important aspect of the transition will be the introduction of labour tokens, therefore making the $5,000,000 stashed under the capitalist's bed useless. I need to read into this more myself.

Now over to point 9:

9:) Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.

According to some people (like the ones in "the venus project") it is much more efficient to gather everyone in dense cities, and that claim seems very logical. There will be less transport, public transport becomes more feasible, and there are probably savings to be made on the transportation of things like electricity and water as well.

So urbanisation, but well planned, and with lots of greenery within the city. Or that is what the Venus project wants. If things get centralized, then lots of the countryside turns into wilderness, so it will be good for Co2-levels as well (the forests capture it as they grow)

I realize off course that this is 1800th century stuff, and that we can write new manifestoes whenever we like:-)

Well I don't really think Marx was considering CO2 levels when he wrote that. cyclops One thing to bear in mind is where and when he wrote this -- I'm not much of an Einstein on the subject, but I know that agriculture & industry aren't the same as what they were in his time. I would post something better, but my mind is too tired to process leftist literature at the moment.

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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by Celtiberian on Tue May 29, 2012 9:30 am

DSN wrote:The entire concept of doing away with capitalism and replacing it with a socialist system is problematic, my friend! I don't really think we're in any position to try and predict what problems may or may not present themselves at the dawn of revolution. This is why I can't understand why people attach themselves to a strict set of plans long before we're even close to overthrowing capitalism.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point. Your position on this subject has been fairly common on the Left since Karl Marx warned against taking seriously those theorists who involve themselves in concocting "recipes for the cookshops of the future," but I consider this an overly cautious and problematic approach. Among other things, it acts as a hindrance to organizing—since skeptical workers are simply not going to involve themselves in radical movements which fail to offer concrete solutions to their problems—and it leaves open the potential for workers to unwittingly reconstruct capitalism following the revolution.

A sufficient understanding of exploitation should lead to the demand to expropriate the means of production from the bourgeoisie, just as understanding the sources of economic inequality should lead to an advocacy of market abolitionism. However, specific institutions need to be established in order to redress the aforementioned injustices of capitalism, and, fortunately, humanity has acquired a wealth of information from various experiments which have taken place throughout the past two centuries which significantly assist in that process. For example, it has been conclusively proven that firms can be run efficiently on the basis of workers' self-management, and that economic planning is capable of yielding positive rates of economic growth over a prolonged period of time. These facts are of critical importance because they indicate that the operational viability of socialism can no longer be legitimately questioned by critics. They should also matter to revolutionaries because they provide options for the working class to consider when the time arrives to construct a socialist mode of production.

I urge comrades not to underestimate the power of doubt, as it can be dangerously corrosive to movements for social change. Material factors inevitably lead to Gramscian moments within capitalism, where the system's ideological justifications become increasingly hollow and people begin to seriously question the rationality of this method of organizing production and distribution. When these crucial moments arise, radical organizations will be incapable of amassing a revolutionary force if the most they have to offer the working class is the vague hope that the people will somehow figure out what to do after the dictatorship of capital has been overthrow. In short, there are no teleological forces which render socialism an inevitability; they offer a possibility, and that possibility is needlessly weakened if constructive solutions are not offered.

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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by DSN on Tue May 29, 2012 11:46 am

Celtiberian wrote:I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point. Your position on this subject has been fairly common on the Left since Karl Marx warned against taking seriously those theorists who involve themselves in concocting "recipes for the cookshops of the future," but I consider this an overly cautious and problematic approach. Among other things, it acts as a hindrance to organizing—since skeptical workers are simply not going to involve themselves in radical movements which fail to offer concrete solutions to their problems—and it leaves open the potential for workers to unwittingly reconstruct capitalism following the revolution.

I think you misunderstood what I meant by problematic. I didn't mean that we should leave everything until the last moment and hope that a plan will fall from the sky. What I meant was simply that while we can predict a large number of problems we are bound to run into, reading every single word written by Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Kropotkin won't make revolution a walk in the park. As for workers' self-management, I don't doubt that it will work successfully.

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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by Confusion on Tue May 29, 2012 2:26 pm

According to my intro-book on marxism, Gramsci claimed that a revolution is possible as soon as a sufficiently large group of the population share a alternative vision for how society should be organized. It goes almost without saying that this vision has to be detailed and coherent enough to function as a guide for political action, mass-mobilisation and such. But I don't think it has to be completely detailed, and completely coherent. To demand an absolute plan might just lead to sectarianism, a lot of small political cults that are alienated from each other.
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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by DSN on Tue May 29, 2012 4:03 pm

Confusion wrote:To demand an absolute plan might just lead to sectarianism, a lot of small political cults that are alienated from each other.

Well that's basically what we're seeing already, albeit maybe not to the same degree.

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Re: The ten points of communism

Post by Confusion on Wed May 30, 2012 12:32 pm

Well, there are always problems.

In my country, the social democrats thought it was a good idea to bomb Libya, and in the 1 of may rally, they walked first, and then all the angry anti-war protestors came right behind them Smile

The problem might be caused by the social democrats being right-wingers, but it might also be sectarian to try to push them out of the rally - as they are slightly less rightwing than the official rightwing-parties. Rolling Eyes
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