G’Day World #321 – Communism, The Four Hour Work Week and more.

I’m back this week with my first show from Brisbane!! Today it’s just me talking about TPN’s recent technology woes, my decision not to take venture capital, communism, the origins of the concept of family, an up date on my personal coach, Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week, The Spider And The Starfish, and more!

Today’s music is:

These Are The Good Times PeoplePresidents Of The United States Of America
“Sharpen Up Those Fangs” (mp3)
from “These Are The Good Times People”
(Cooking Vinyl)
More On This Album

12 thoughts on “G’Day World #321 – Communism, The Four Hour Work Week and more.

  1. Hi Cam

    The scare of communism boils down to one major thing. To allow the poorer masses rob the middle class of what they have because of envy and misunderstanding that you have to actually work and be smart to have more. Socialism is the so-called ‘way to communism’, which is equally crazy.

    Communism is great in theory until you have it implemented by one party that has a file on everyone to prosecute whenever they wish, without any civic rights. What socialism created in eastern Europe is years of poverty, economic slowdown and the countries being lead by people of no education. The only thing you had to be is a member of the party that had drunk a lot with the other members. The dumber and more devoted you were to the dream of communism and propaganda, the better you ranked in the party. There were directors of state companies that had no formal background to run them and all they did was to rob the state resources of what they could. There was no ownership, only the state. Everyone was working by the norm, meaning that if you had 100% of some artificial norm worked out, you were a great worker. Everything was of low quality because the norm was the most important thing together with finishing on time. Wasted hours of keeping up the diaries who was the best at the conveyor belt. You still have this thing in North Korea.

    Centrally established party that controlled the whole state were planning how many plumbers, hunters, drivers etc. the state would need. You had no choice of who you would become because the state needed certain people.
    No one really gave a damn about anything cause when you wanted an apartment you had to apply and wait 30 years to get one and that was the only thing to receive it. Unless you of course bribed the clerk who didn’t care because it was the property of the state. Party members were the favored ones in queue.

    Coming back to the files and the security services that were part of socialism. You had a separate service listening, spying and recording anyone they could. It’s like in the movie ‘V for Vendetta’. Watch ‘The lives of others’ – ‘Das Leben der Anderen’. A movie about spying on the citizens in eastern Germany under socialism. No one was independent and the party could prosecute under false proof if they wanted. Everyone was scared to speak out.

    The only was to sustain this ineffective and thievery-prone system was to loan the money from countries that actually encouraged people to work through giving them the ownership of they companies. Their children would have better conditions through their work and that motivated them.

    If Australia had communism for any number of years, you would have Australians migrating anywhere else, just to pick up on the number of years of economic slow-down. This is what happens in the EU right now. Many migrants from East going West because their economies are 50 years behind.

    I would recommend reading on the security services, propaganda, central planning, poverty, no individualism. Anyone who wanted to have a business was the enemy of the system and a parasite on the healthy state of the working (and mostly uneducated) class.

    Belonging to everybody means belonging to no one. No one cares and corruption gets in the way of the business. If the state owns it, you can very well steal it for personal gain. Please read more into the practical application of communism in the Soviet Union. Everyone was talking that socialism is great in theory but was afraid to speak out loud in fear of prosecution. Innovation was forced by the fear of death upon the scientists and a slave is never a good worker.

    If some things I wrote may appear sad it’s because they were so.

  2. Raf, here’s the problem with that argument (which is a common one you hear in the West about communism) – democracy and capitalism’s track records aren’t perfect either.

    Instead of the poorer classes “robbing” the middle class, as you put it, you have the wealthy classes robbing the poor. Is that a better situation? You have the wealthy classes controlling 95% of the assets of the country, controlling the media, the government, the health care system, the legal system. You have them rigging elections (George Bush 2000), falsifying reasons to invade other countries, spending hundreds of billions of dollars, which could be spent on healthcare, etc, on weapons to kill innocent people in already-poverished countries, to steal their natural assets (oil).

    Is this a better system? Is this a track record to be proud of?

    Perhaps some of the early experiments in communism in the 20th century had problems – but look at capitalism and democracy over the same century. Look at the wars fought, the economic manipulation of markets and entire countries, the destruction of the planet in the name of profit – are these the sign of a successful system?

    Dismissing the values of communism and socialism because of corruption in some of the places it’s been tried is like dismissing capitalism because of Enron.

  3. The problem is the world has never seen any form of communism that lead to prosperity of the people.
    Instead of the few controlling 95% of the world’s resources in capitalism you had the party controlling everyone’s life to the extend unheard of in the West.

    If you are telling me that capitalism as it is right now in the West is bad because the poorer part of the society doesn’t control 95% of the resources and at the same time I see cars in the streets 5 times more expensive than the annual income in the post-communism countries, I choose the West.

    In capitalism somebody has to falsify some proof or reason to invade other countries. In socialism they just come at night because the party decided that you have too much in comparison to somebody who didn’t want to work and they take it away from you. They label you the enemy of the people because you wanted to run a shop and work by the conveyor belt.
    Enron was just one example. The security services was all over the place and every citizen had to be controlled, monitored and told what to do.

    Should socialism be proud of millions of people under the regime of the Soviet Union when you had people dying of hunger because the party though that you could sew in winter and the crops died?

    I would like to read about the history of socialism and why millions have escaped from the paradise of equality like the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, East Germany.

    My point is that capitalism put in practice has brought a lot to the common people that want to work, start companies, compete and proper.

    Socialism put in practice makes people lazy, ignorant and corrupt. No responsibility by the party. Society without its logical structure. An up side down system.

    The values of communism are very nice. It’s like saying the faith in God is good because it makes you a good person but do you want the Church telling you how you to live? The Church is the party.

    I know what socialism is first hand. Millions have died because of starvation and wrong decision of the ruling party. See what is happening in China. One party, one nation and a lot of victims.

    You can live by the socialistic values, but just imagine that somebody comes to your home telling you that your children won’t go to the university because the party needs to spend that money more wisely?

    Cheers for the reply Cam, but I live in the real world and I know that individualism drives prosperity and not false sense of equality. If we are all equal why don’t we buy the same things and clothes like it was in socialism. Everyone had the same furniture,the same 4 sweaters, the same bike and the useless TV with the propaganda (the TV were rather exclusive items).

  4. “The problem is the world has never seen any form of communism that lead to prosperity of the people.”

    As I understand it, the goal of communism isn’t prosperity of the people. The goal of communism is the fair and equal distribution of the wealth and assets of the country amongst all of the people.

    But let’s think about how you define “prosperity” for a second. Is it… flashy cars? Big TVs? Or is it making sure kids get access to an education and access to health care? If we agree the latter is more important, let’s compare Cuba under capitalism (pre-1959) and under communism. Thanks to America’s economic warfare against the country, they don’t have the latest cars or TVs. But their literacy rates, infant mortality rates and quality of health care, per capita, has gone from quite low in 1958 to among the highest in the world. Can communism, with good leadership, lead to prosperity? There is just one example.

    “Socialism put in practice makes people lazy, ignorant and corrupt. No responsibility by the party.”

    I think you make a good point about accountability and I think even communist parties need a structure of checks and balances. There is no reason why you can’t have democracy (fair and free elections) and a communist system operating together. There doesn’t have to be just “THE” party. There is no reason I know of why a country couldn’t have a communist economy but still hav multiple parties and regular elections.

    “Millions have died because of starvation and wrong decision of the ruling party.”

    I think a strong argument can be made that capitalism has lead to more deaths and starvation around the world than communism. Just look at the deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq over the last 18 years as a result of America’s economic and military warfare as one example. Then we can talk about Vietnam.

    “Everyone had the same furniture,the same 4 sweaters, the same bike and the useless TV with the propaganda (the TV were rather exclusive items).”

    Again, I don’t think the wide range of choice we have of consumer items has made us any happier or successful in the West. We have record rates of suicide, depression and crime.

    If you are going to argue for capitalism, you need to take an honest stocktake of where it has brought us.

  5. I am starting to understand your point of view in merging the two system and coming up with a compromise. My point was that when you have a wealthy family of 5 generations and every generation has worked hard for its success, you cannot have the communists take everything away from them and put it all into one big pile of money to distribute. It is unfair.

    In eastern Europe:
    The roads couldn’t be finished because the materials were stolen to build houses. The factories didn’t prosper cause the trucks were used to roll out all the goods to the director’s villa. The coal was missing because Russia stole most of it from the other soviet countries and called it ‘the friendly treaty’.

    I think what you are proposing is the capitalism that favors the weak. This was tested in eastern Europe after the fall of communism. It ended up with high taxes to help the poor and a lot of bureaucracy to protect them stopping the country from any growth. This is similar to what France has right now. 1700 pages of the manual of employment to account for any possibility of misbehaviour in the work place. It ended up with a deficit, slow-down, high taxes, employers fleeing the country etc.

    The bottom line is I think I agree with you in the sense that the socialistic values are good but I would like to see a country that can be rich with the citizens helping each other as the same time. Unfortunately, it’s either one. Rich USA or civic Cuba. Money put into weapons or money put into education and health care.

    Depression and suicide in the West is driven by the unfulfilled ambitions. Depression in the Soviet Union was caused by poverty, political prosecution and taking away the normal system of the society. The upper class, the middle class and the working class. You cannot have an architect work at a factory because he is a parasite. This doesn’t make sense and this is what I have been referring to all the time here. The working class taking over the country and taking a revenge on the others.

    When you are saying about the war in Iraq, we also need to remember how many people died there before the war. Sadam tortured even the sport figures to perform better.
    As for the war in Iraq I am a little bit on the fence.

    It all boils down to the place you live. For the people of the West the war is good cause it will bring oil etc. For the people of Iraq it is an invasion. The greedy capitalistic mentality of the West has again lead to enriching the invading country.

    I also think that even if the leaders lie about certain things the majority of the population silently disagrees with it cause they see their benefit (f.e. colonies). With communism the lies are used to cover up the near end of the economy.

    There is no point in comparing the number of victims in both of the political systems because the number of years both systems were in place differ significantly.

    Cheers,
    Raf

  6. William Burroughs once said that the old line of living in a patriarchal society is completely false. In previous times, boys were removed from their mothers at a certain age to stop them from passing down their sorrow to their children. The modern translation would be that this was a way of stopping a woman from passing here mental garbage on to them. The boys were then brought up by the tribes men. And by 12 you were considered a man through some sort of ritual.

    We live in a matriarchal society simply because we are primarily brought up by our mothers. Our actions in later life are conditioned by women, either in ways drawn to them or in our attempts to pull away from this female conditioning.

    This also results in our constant attempts at trying to please our fathers.

    The ultimate tug of war.

    On the note of families, as someone pointed out to me sometime ago – countries are extended families. The only way we’ll have a planet without borders is once the concept of families is looked at honestly.
    Families are emphasized because it creates a us and them mentality. A profound sense of seperation. “I will do anything to defend my family” anything? like invade Iraq? like ignore the homeless? would you kill?
    We do this all the time.

    Conflict will always occur, thats the nature of things. But these natural conflicts are usually resolved with minor results. Today, with this – us and them – mentality, conflict can mean the end of mankind.

    I have humble goals for this century – I’d like to see the end of hypocrisy by the time I hit 60…

    Should I dare bring up the concepts of heterosexuality and homosexuality? And how I don’t think either exists?

  7. Adam, I think you’re mistaking communism for autocratism. I don’t consider the Soviet Union or China good examples of communism. They may have been communist by name, but not at their heart. They were taken over by autocrats and ruled by megalomaniacs. They were also, I have to say, goaded into much of their behaviour by the USA, but that’s no excuse. I think I’ve said a few times that neither communism nor capitalism has been truly successful in the 20th / 21st centuries. I’m suggesting we re-examine them and how we want to live together on this tiny, dying planet.

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