Victims of Communism

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events and politics.
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practitioner
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by practitioner » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:32 am

Modus Ponens,

Of course, the republic established in 1789 in America is the best, though imperfect. I would rather be in America than any where else.

The key phrase is that all men are created equal, not all men are equal. The first phrase gives equal rights to all to create wealth in accordance to their own industry, talent, and merit.

The second part says that lazy men can have the same wealth of the industrious men. Former Russia, China, Vietnam and the current North Korea are good examples of that.

Look at Greenwich Village in NY city. Artists tried communism in NY then disbanded because it didnt work. That was pure communism because there was no government, just people believing in it and trying it out.

Human nature is not conducive to communism.

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:06 am

That's pretty much my opinion too, Practicioner.

Binocular,

I agree that character assassination is awful and can be devastating, But I'd rather being alive and jobless, than dead, tortured or enslaved.

I think you're not comparing like with like. The fair comparison is between 20th century communist regimes and 20th century liberal democracies. Your point about modern slavery or child work, is something I also oppose. I think the West should require adequate standards of humane treatment of workers in China, Indonesia, etc., in order for the products of these countries to be exported to the West. This protectionism is required to the extent that it ensures that people, especially children, don't get enslaved, or abused. But on the other hand the spread of capitalism has lifted up hundreds of millions of people from abject poverty. If we are too protectionist we can unintentionally hurt this process of lifting people from poverty. So I think the equilibrium resides in demanding humane treatment of workers, especially children.

If you compare like with like, such as 20th century communist regimes and 20th century democracies, you will find a lot more horror on the communist side.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:13 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:But I'd rather being alive and jobless, than dead, tortured or enslaved.
Have you actually tried both options?
But on the other hand the spread of capitalism has lifted up hundreds of millions of people from abject poverty.
It's not clear how this is the case.
The example of "helping" Africa shows how Western capitalist influence has actually made things a lot worse, created that abject poverty, that they are now trying to fix with taking on dirty and cheap work outsourced from the US.
If we are too protectionist we can unintentionally hurt this process of lifting people from poverty.
The question is what kind of living standard is actually realistically possible and optimal. A standard that by capitalist measures would be "abject poverty" may actually be the only realistic one, especially in some regions.
If you compare like with like, such as 20th century communist regimes and 20th century democracies, you will find a lot more horror on the communist side.
Depends what you consider to be "horror."
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Bundokji » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:18 pm

Maybe discussing communism or capitalism as ideologies or theories is missing the point. Why not to look at both systems (and everything in between) as a continuous movement or a mere reflection of the inherent imperfection of samsara?

If i remember correctly, Marx declared that a successful communist society should be preceded by a mature capitalist one, which should be preceded by feudalism.

Each system of the above can be suitable if the conditions for its success are available, but only for a while. In America (which is a capitalist society) people started to get fed up with the drawbacks of income inequality and democracy (this current election and the emergence of Sanders and Trump proves that).

The proponents and opponents of each system make a big mistake when they discuss it in isolation of the conditions and the point in time and space in which it is applied, all in my opinion.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by chownah » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:22 pm

Bundokji wrote:Maybe discussing communism or capitalism as ideologies or theories is missing the point. Why not to look at both systems (and everything in between) as a continuous movement or a mere reflection of the inherent imperfection of samsara?

If i remember correctly, Marx declared that a successful communist society should be preceded by a mature capitalist one, which should be preceded by feudalism.

Each system of the above can be suitable if the conditions for its success are available, but only for a while. In America (which is a capitalist society) people started to get fed up with the drawbacks of income inequality and democracy (this current election and the emergence of Sanders and Trump proves that).

The proponents and opponents of each system make a big mistake when they discuss it in isolation of the conditions and the point in time and space in which it is applied, all in my opinion.
Have you forgotten that for those who ascribe to the victims of communism ideology there is no appropriate time or place or scale and in that ideology communism is evil, degenerate, inhuman, degrading, malevalent, etc. and it even seems to me , though I may be wrong, that even to think about communism without coming to these conclusions is wrong thought. I think that one of the dangers of the victims of communism ideology is that if children buy into it when they are too young and impressionable then they might very well develop an internalised belief in thought crime....that thinking certain things is immoral.
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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by The Thinker » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:20 pm

In my lifetime capitalism has and does control the world order, Communism at least had the decency to die, the broken mathematics and corrupt nature of the capitalist system refuses even the mildest of changes. (power to the few)

Billionaire Chinese businessmen taking over football clubs in the UK, suggest to me that modern day communism is a myth. (The few controlling the many)
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:30 pm

chownah wrote:Have you forgotten that for those who ascribe to the victims of communism ideology there is no appropriate time or place or scale and in that ideology communism is evil, degenerate, inhuman, degrading, malevalent, etc. and it even seems to me , though I may be wrong, that even to think about communism without coming to these conclusions is wrong thought. I think that one of the dangers of the victims of communism ideology is that if children buy into it when they are too young and impressionable then they might very well develop an internalised belief in thought crime....that thinking certain things is immoral.
Sure. In Europe, this is called "American paranoia." Many American films and tv shows have this particular kind of paranoia as a theme; it's a meme even and if one doesn't understand it, those films and tv shows become incomprehensible.
Although it's becoming more and more common among Europeans as well.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:51 pm

Binocular,

Yes, I've been alive, jobless and without reasons to believe my life would get better. I haven't experienced torture, slavery and, obviously, murder. But, jumping to your last sentence, if you claim to be uncertain about which situation is worse, and claim that horror can be equal, or similar, in both situations, I suspect you are not being entirely honest.

It's not by accident that torture, slavery and political executions are regarded as horrific by most people and on a different level of suffering than unemployment.

For example, the precepts have a lot more to say about killing, stealing and cruelty than unemployment, or comparable situations.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:04 pm

Chownah, I was guilty of the communist thought crime until my late 20s. Now I'm guilty of wrong think, but that's a whole other story. ;)

But all jokes aside and speaking quite honestly, I think calling the victims of communism an "ideology" is morally obscene.

And you haven't replied to my main question yet. So I'll ask it again, perhaps for the 10th time. How would you implement a communist system without mass violence? And now please define communism as you want, so you don't evade the question by criticising my definition of communism, and then set out a plan for its implementation by peaceful means.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:27 pm

Modus.Ponens wrote:Yes, I've been alive, jobless and without reasons to believe my life would get better. I haven't experienced torture, slavery and, obviously, murder. But, jumping to your last sentence, if you claim to be uncertain about which situation is worse, and claim that horror can be equal, or similar, in both situations, I suspect you are not being entirely honest.
Many people will attest that psychological abuse can in some ways be worse than physical abuse. After a person reaches their breaking point, it doesn't matter anymore which is which and how much more of either is heaped onto them.
It's not by accident that torture, slavery and political executions are regarded as horrific by most people and on a different level of suffering than unemployment.
For many people -- although not all -- unemployment tends to be accompanied by severe social stigma, descent into abject poverty and disease, and death in misery.
For many people, unemployment is basically a death sentence. And in a capitalist system, such a death sentence can be earned with a minor transgression of a tenet of political correctness.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Modus.Ponens » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:49 am

Binocular,

I have you in higher regard than that. Would you say that what happened in Awschwitz to jews, blacks and roma, is comparable to the suffering of unemployment?

It's not as if torturers, enslavers and mass murderers, wether nazis or communists, treated their victims psychologically well apart from this explicit physical violence.

Do you really think this is a reasonable comparison?! Are you actually thinking this through?
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by chownah » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:28 am

For many people, unemployment is basically a death sentence
Only for those with psychological problems.....or perhaps in some really really really represive regime. This is not a valid concept for a serious discussion in this thread in my opinion.
chownah

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by Dan74 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:07 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Binocular,

I have you in higher regard than that. Would you say that what happened in Awschwitz to jews, blacks and roma, is comparable to the suffering of unemployment?

It's not as if torturers, enslavers and mass murderers, wether nazis or communists, treated their victims psychologically well apart from this explicit physical violence.

Do you really think this is a reasonable comparison?! Are you actually thinking this through?
MP, you started with a broadbrush claim that under Communism you are seemingly bound to be tortured. The nuance that there has been a broad spectrum of so-called Communist regimes seems to escape you and Will. You will happily equate Communism with Nazism and Totalitarianism and juxtapose our current so-called democracies as the wonderful alternative. A deplorably intellectually sloppy position, in my view.
_/|\_

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by binocular » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:43 am

chownah wrote:
For many people, unemployment is basically a death sentence
Only for those with psychological problems.....or perhaps in some really really really represive regime. This is not a valid concept for a serious discussion in this thread in my opinion.
Look at all the homeless people who had lost their jobs, whom nobody wants, who end up on the street and die in abject poverty. Some of them are no better off than the people in WWII concentration camps.

Modus.Ponens wrote:Would you say that what happened in Awschwitz to jews, blacks and roma, is comparable to the suffering of unemployment?
For some of the unemployed, of course.

Some people seem to have really romantic ideas about what it means to be unemployed (and unemployable), homeless, and living and dying in homelessness.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Victims of Communism

Post by binocular » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:07 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:So I'll ask it again, perhaps for the 10th time. How would you implement a communist system without mass violence?
Bear in mind that is some European countries that had some variation of socialism or communism, this system was introduced after the end of WWII, as a measure of recovery from the war.

How things worked out seems to depend a lot on how much damage a country suffered during WWII -- what percentage of the population was gone, how much of the industrial and agricultural assets were destroyed, how much of the infrastructure was destroyed.
In some countries, the majority of railroads, bridges, roads and other infrastructure was destroyed and had to be build anew. Fields for growing crops were often neglected during the war so they had to be renewed. Farm animals were decimated during the war, so after the war, they were scarce. War profiteering was rampant. The situation was very similar to that of an all-encompassing natural catastrophe. Different countries were experiencing these consequences of war to different extents.

Governments then acted in a similar way as they still do nowadays in cases of natural catastrophes: impose solidarity and equality among people, impose centralized government and funding to rebuild the industry and infrastructure and prevent war profiteering, impose a variation of martial law.
They still do the same when there is a flood or an earthquake etc. nowadays, except on a much smaller area and for a much shorter time, of course. And this isn't socialism or communism, it's crisis management.

As measures of recovery after the war, variations of socialism or communism seemed to do well. Of course, once the countries recovered, those variations of socialism or communism had become counterproductive.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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