Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 31
  1. #1 Can you be against Big Government and also for Communism? + How Church might Save Us. 
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,414
    Yes.

    For many, Communism and Statism are one in the same. This is because of the history of really existing communism has been one of strong authoritarian state structures with immense control and less individual freedom.

    In today's American political discourse, Communism and Socialism are both used interchangeably with Big Government Statism. I disagree with this.

    I submit that 21st Century Communism can and must be anti-Statist. This is a lesson we must learn from Stalinist regimes. The idea needed could be a strong proletarian state, which functions as a withering-state, a state that's created with the intention that it dies. All of it's actions should be towards facilitating it's own disintegration. Rather than a strong state, individuals can take their lives in their own hands, and form communities that address social needs.

    Originally, it was believed that a communist state would eventually lead to no-state, but with plenty of foreign aggressors, it was considered necessary that communist states maintained an incredibly strong military, and then information specialists, and then strong central economic planning, and so on.

    I submit that communism doesn't require a Big Government, it doesn't require central planning either. Perhaps you wouldn't even call this communism, and that is fine, it doesn't matter what word we used to describe it, it's the actions and goals that matter. Many people consider this Anarchism but communism isn't just a free-balled theory of smash everything, there is very heavy theory, lessons from history, and goals to be realized.

    People often confuse Community with Collectivism. They are not the same, collectivism subordinates and dissolves the individual for the good of the collective, while community strengthens and expands upon the individual through his/her relations with other individuals in the community. The best examples i've seen of this is Church organizations. They tend to treat the church and it's resources as community-owned, it's operated by the members of the church, and everyone contributes while benefiting together and strengthening personal and spiritual bonds. Churches are also responsible for a great deal of charity work, community work, and many other activities that are wholesome and good no matter what your political beliefs.

    Some Christians understand the power of community organization:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iTQd_f3DJ8

    This youtube is a brilliant example of the already-existing potential for church goers to change their communities and even change the government. As the speaker in this video points out: if churches were to come together and exercise their community-oriented spirit, we would have no need for a Big Government.


    He is right, we say we need a Big Government to support people who fall through the cracks, to address social problems, and more, but conservatives do not agree that this is the job of the government, and I agree that such a welfare state breeds dependence on it. If communities could serve their own, it could break the dependence on the Government, and weaken it's grasp.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Engles
    The more the functions of State Power are exercised by all the people, the less this power is necessary
    Whether or not you choose to call it Communism (because it will not be Stalinism), 21st century emancipatory projects must learn from the failures of the 20th century regimes, and create a new sort of community-power, one that isn't simply a function of the state, but that puts the power directly into the hands of the people.

    No to Stalinism, No to Big Government. 21st Century communism is up to us to create, if we only look to the past and hope for an answer we will never find it, we are to create the answer out of the abyssal freedom offered to us in the immanence of the future coming into being.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,414
    The sort of practical communism that I think about is closest to Churches than anything else. No one is forced to contribute, they do it out of love, and they work together, they share the resources, they help the needy, and everyone works to keep it going. Many churches do not need strong organizational administration, and even if they do, it's purely to keep things running in an administrative fashion, not in a political fashion.

    When I speak of communism or socialism, I do not mean what was tried in the 20th century, I mean bringing this style of church community to a larger scale. If it can work in a church, it can work anywhere, it only takes the active loving participation that churches have in spades.

    I'm not proposing any sort of government organization or set of policies or even the future abolition of private property, I'm simply trying to bring the revived idea of communism out of all of the associations and failures from last century. If we can agree on an idea of communism that would be good, then we can face that ever-present criticism that it is impossible. We can face this impossibility and make it possible, but only if we have the will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,414
    Socialism or Communism doesn't have to be a system of Big Government Control, in fact, if we'd learn our lessons from the 20th century we'd see that 21st century Communism should bring down the spectre of Big Government that rules our lives today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,800
    It sounds, in short, like you're arguing for voluntary communes, sort of like the many voluntary communes of the 1960s. I don't see anything wrong with those. It's not a government thing, and if people want to enter into such VOLUNTARILY, let them. The idea of a '60s kind of commune actually sounds rather nice. I'm a city boy but I do kind of have a fashion for the country, for nature, etc.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,414
    Quote Originally Posted by CaughtintheMiddle1990 View Post
    It sounds, in short, like you're arguing for voluntary communes, sort of like the many voluntary communes of the 1960s. I don't see anything wrong with those. It's not a government thing, and if people want to enter into such VOLUNTARILY, let them. The idea of a '60s kind of commune actually sounds rather nice. I'm a city boy but I do kind of have a fashion for the country, for nature, etc.
    This is sort of the idea here. Voluntary Communes are a great example of what I mean here.

    There are still issues of the power of the State to be addressed, issues of property ownership, the brutal fact that an extremely tiny portion of society owns well over half of everything and uses it for their own interests.

    However, I think it's crucial to accept and overcome the failures of 20th century communism, because as fucked up as Stalinist regimes and other like it were, most people can agree, that the stripped down Idea of communism as an emancipatory gesture is a good goal. Most people, however, revert simply into "it can never work" after accepting that such a goal is worthwhile, because they assume that the only way communism can develop is through Authoritarian means.

    This doesn't have to be the case. A true gesture of liberation seeks to break out of the existing order, and to create a brand new space, not to revert back to the failed policies and structures of the Soviet Union.

    There are Communists and Socialists today, but none of them (or almost none) want to re-create the Soviet Union. Revived communism is not about Big Government, it's not about Central Planning or Authoritarian Control. 21st Century Communism must aim at making people actually free so that everyone actively takes control of themselves and their community and participates in running society, not some stupid illusory sense of freedom that you get when you get to choose between 20 brands of sugary cereal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post

    When I speak of communism or socialism, I do not mean what was tried in the 20th century, I mean bringing this style of church community to a larger scale. If it can work in a church, it can work anywhere, it only takes the active loving participation that churches have in spades.
    One of the primary criticisms progressives make against churches is that these types of groups make potential beneficiaries feel uncomfortable or excluded. The same would be true of any secular, non-governmental group because any such group would naturally have positions, standards, expectations, and a mission statement which would be open to disagreement and criticism.

    The other problem is that church groups that extend support and aid to strangers are composed of highly motivated people who see their work as a small part of a much bigger picture. They are working as a part of their spiritual lifestyle and they don't expect to be rewarded or recognized here and now (or ever, in many cases). Their involvement is oddly less emotional and ego-based than their secular equivalents are.

    That would not be true of a collection of do-gooder types who expect visible change as a result of hard work and dedication. Christians don't usually believe that feeding the poor, ministering to the sick and the imprisoned, and other forms of charity will solve those problems. They aren't problem-solving as much as they are ameliorating an on-going situation. Secular people are more likely to burn out when they realize that no amount of work will actually change the nature of human beings.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,800
    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    This is sort of the idea here. Voluntary Communes are a great example of what I mean here.

    There are still issues of the power of the State to be addressed, issues of property ownership, the brutal fact that an extremely tiny portion of society owns well over half of everything and uses it for their own interests.

    However, I think it's crucial to accept and overcome the failures of 20th century communism, because as fucked up as Stalinist regimes and other like it were, most people can agree, that the stripped down Idea of communism as an emancipatory gesture is a good goal. Most people, however, revert simply into "it can never work" after accepting that such a goal is worthwhile, because they assume that the only way communism can develop is through Authoritarian means.

    This doesn't have to be the case. A true gesture of liberation seeks to break out of the existing order, and to create a brand new space, not to revert back to the failed policies and structures of the Soviet Union.

    There are Communists and Socialists today, but none of them (or almost none) want to re-create the Soviet Union. Revived communism is not about Big Government, it's not about Central Planning or Authoritarian Control. 21st Century Communism must aim at making people actually free so that everyone actively takes control of themselves and their community and participates in running society, not some stupid illusory sense of freedom that you get when you get to choose between 20 brands of sugary cereal.
    Yeah but what about someone like Van Jones? He seems to want to re-create an old fashioned Socialist regime....

    Like I said: I don't mind what people do voluntarily, and I don't think the '60s communes violated any laws (I could be wrong though); As long as those two conditions be met, I have no problem with it.

    You see...I'm 20. I'm a thinker. I'm kind of open to every idea or every hybrid of idea. I'm a little lost politically; One day, I see the merits of the New Deal Liberalism; the next I say "Hell, let's try utter free market capitalism and see if it works." Our founders did see our nation as an experiment of sorts. I don't see why every idea can't be tried once. I'm open to everything at this point, because I'm coming to I guess what could be termed a Buddhist (not sure if I got that right) point of view--That everything is everything. I'm coming to a point where, at the end of the day, partisan politics doesn't matter; Just living, interacting, and BEING matters more than politics or ideologies.

    So thus, I'm very open at this point--My political identity is blowing in the wind.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,414
    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    One of the primary criticisms progressives make against churches is that these types of groups make potential beneficiaries feel uncomfortable or excluded. The same would be true of any secular, non-governmental group because any such group would naturally have positions, standards, expectations, and a mission statement which would be open to disagreement and criticism.
    In my experience, Churches are fairly willing to help people and church-goers are normally good at putting aside their differences when they see a calling. True not everyone is going to feel welcome (adamant atheists or members of other religions perhaps), but I personally don't critique Churches for excluding people.

    I see a collection of churches banding together, as well as other secular organizations, sharing the same goal. They can be separate for their different members, but serving the community and bringing a sense of fellowship is important for everyone regardless of religion.

    The other problem is that church groups that extend support and aid to strangers are composed of highly motivated people who see their work as a small part of a much bigger picture. They are working as a part of their spiritual lifestyle and they don't expect to be rewarded or recognized here and now (or ever, in many cases). Their involvement is oddly less emotional and ego-based than their secular equivalents are.
    That is the absolute best kind. People who feel driven to help and don't expect reward purify their own souls, they slowly diminish the power of the ego which our society works so hard to reinforce because of it's corrupting nature. I don't see this as a problem at all.

    Regardless of the motivation too, community-organized groups that pool their resources for shared goals are simply smart. They benefit everyone, so even people who are not as spiritually aware will understand that community-strength improves the lives of everyone involved.




    That would not be true of a collection of do-gooder types who expect visible change as a result of hard work and dedication. Christians don't usually believe that feeding the poor, ministering to the sick and the imprisoned, and other forms of charity will solve those problems. They aren't problem-solving as much as they are ameliorating an on-going situation. Secular people are more likely to burn out when they realize that no amount of work will actually change the nature of human beings.
    I don't think so. I know plenty of strong atheists who are totally up for taking on the Sisyphean task of changing the world against all of the forces that act against it. They know they'll never complete their goal but they will still work.

    Also, I reject the notion that human nature is unchangeable, I think human nature is as malleable as the environment which humans live in. Change the environment, change the nature. Advertisers know this better than anyone (the compulsive desire to shop for things one doesn't need doesn't come from cavemen).
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    Senior Betwixt Member Bubba Dawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In my own private Alamo on The Mountain in Georgia
    Posts
    13,556
    We (our church) have a large food ministry of over 350 families that we help. Our volunteers work hard to be sensitive to the feelings of the people we offer assistance.

    But we still have to ask questions to make sure the neediest people are receiving the assistance. This involves at least a minimal screening process. With limited resources to offer to people we have to ask questions about resources and income and circumstances.

    We do find some people who abuse the system. It is a shame for any truly needy person to feel uncomfortable for receiving assistance, but we have to have some mechanism for deciding who gets the limited food we have to offer.
    Hey careful man! There's a beverage here!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    Our widdle friend. Wei Wu Wei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,414
    Quote Originally Posted by CaughtintheMiddle1990 View Post
    Yeah but what about someone like Van Jones? He seems to want to re-create an old fashioned Socialist regime....
    Does he? I haven't heard much about the guy except from Glenn Beck. Like I said, [i]almost[i] no socialists or communists today want to bring back Soviet Style Socialism.

    Like I said: I don't mind what people do voluntarily, and I don't think the '60s communes violated any laws (I could be wrong though); As long as those two conditions be met, I have no problem with it.
    Well, good ideas. However, sometimes it's important to break laws for Justice, ie: civil rights marches, sit-ins, underground railroad, ect.


    You see...I'm 20. I'm a thinker. I'm kind of open to every idea or every hybrid of idea.
    No offense, but you still seem extremely reactionairy. It appears, from my perspective, that you still have many ideas that were just told to you and reinforced through popular media which you have yet to question. STill, yous eem pretty intelligent and you're clearly not a wingnut.

    There are plenty of resources out there for somoene who wants to learn more and isn't afraid to ask the really basic questions about the current system.

    I'm a little lost politically
    We all are ;)

    ; One day, I see the merits of the New Deal Liberalism; the next I say "Hell, let's try utter free market capitalism and see if it works."
    These are both pro Capitalism. Liberal Capitalism simply attempts to be the bandaid for the problems caused by Free Market Capitalism. Neither of them even begin to question "how does capitalism work?" "is capitalism the best?" "why do we fight so hard to defend capitalism"?

    Read a little bit of Marx, and not just some intro page-skimming in high school, but actually try to study it.

    Our founders did see our nation as an experiment of sorts. I don't see why every idea can't be tried once. I'm open to everything at this point, because I'm coming to I guess what could be termed a Buddhist (not sure if I got that right) point of view--That everything is everything. I'm coming to a point where, at the end of the day, partisan politics doesn't matter; Just living, interacting, and BEING matters more than politics or ideologies.

    So thus, I'm very open at this point--My political identity is blowing in the wind.
    I think you might have the best position out there. In some sense your position is better than a "more educated" position because the more 'facts and references' that people have, the less they are willing to accept new ideas because they believe they are right.

    It's refreshing to hear someone being willfully open to the "i don't know" of reality.

    I've thought about buddhism, I've meditated for a few years sometimes casually sometimes with extreme effort for extended periods. It's interesting stuff, and it can bring us the an interesting place within ourselves where things do float freely.

    In my opinion, it's best for someone in your position to simply keep trying to deconstruct everything, whether they are liberal conservative fascist or socialist, don't accept anything as 'obvious' or 'given', look directly at your own line of thinking and you'll find that most of it is groundless. It's quite a sublime experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •