• Isaac
    8k
    Ah, one styles themselves the arbiter of who needs what. Spoken like a true 'collectivist'.Tzeentch

    You said...

    a successful capitalist has to produce something others want to buyTzeentch

    So you're either suggesting that it is impossible to persuade people to buy stuff they don't want, or you are being no less an arbiter by suggesting that all the stuff capitalists sell actually is what people want.

    If the former, on what grounds?
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    In fact the entire advertising industry operates on the complete opposite goal: create desires for things not needed.
    — Xtrix

    Ah, one styles themselves the arbiter of who needs what. Spoken like a true 'collectivist'.
    Tzeentch

    Lol. Food, water, shelter, family, community. I view these as needs, or at least different than a new gadget every 2 years.

    I guess I’m part of a communist conspiracy. Mea culpa.

    A big mess of repression, surveillance, authoritarianism, genocide, etc.Tzeentch

    Yes, the United States has its problems— but we should evaluate as balanced a way as we can.

    ChinaTzeentch

    Oh — oops. :wink:

    Please don't use China as an example for successful collectivism. It's a powerful state.Tzeentch

    I understand collectivism to be a term to describe state policiesTzeentch

    I agree — I don’t think China is an example of communism at all, as I understand it. But I’m using your meaning, not mine.
  • Tzeentch
    1.7k
    Lol. Food, water, shelter, family, community. I view these as needs, or at least different than a new gadget every 2 years.Xtrix

    Those darned advertisers convincing people they need pointless luxuries!

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could take all of that money and instead use it for useful things?

    I guess I’m part of a communist conspiracy.Xtrix

    Unlikely, but your characterization of advertising as a means to sell people things they don't need suggests you both consider people too stupid to make such choices for themselves and yourself an expert on determining what is best for others.

    You may be a closet authoritarian, I'm afraid. Something which is not at all uncommon among those who harbor collectivist fantasies.

    If you're the hippie commune type I take all of that back, but something tells me you're not.

    I don’t think China is an example of communism at all, as I understand it.Xtrix

    Collectivism isn't the same as communism, and China isn't communist (anymore). However it is collectivist, since the individual has been completely subjugated to the whims of the CCP.

    But I’m using your meaning, not mine.Xtrix

    You're using it poorly.

    Yes, the United States has its problemsXtrix

    If you think I'm a fan of the United States then you are sadly mistaken. But if you want to compare the domestic policies of the US with China and suggest they're similar then that is laughable.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    Those darned advertisers convincing people they need pointless luxuries!Tzeentch

    Yes?

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could take all of that money and instead use it for useful things?Tzeentch

    No.

    your characterization of advertising as a means to sell people things they don't need suggests you both consider people too stupid to make such choices for themselves and yourself an expert on determining what is best for others.Tzeentch

    It’s like arguing people are too stupid to choose between republicans and democrats. That’s really not the point.

    Choices are simply not given. That’s not the fault of the people.

    In terms of creating desires for useless stuff— “fashionable consumption,” etc. — this has a long history, has been studied, documented; not a controversial remark. They admit to it outright.

    The fact that you resist something so obvious has already shown you have no real leg up stand on.

    You may be a closet authoritarian, I'm afraid.Tzeentch

    Whatever you like. Your feelings are irrelevant.

    If you're the hippie commune type I take all of that back,Tzeentch

    You’re free to ask me what I believe directly— this way you don’t have to guess. But you do you. Create whatever fantasy you want.

    Collectivism isn't the same as communism, and China isn't communist (anymore).Tzeentch

    Not the same, but an example.

    And yes, China is communist.

    But if you want to compare the domestic policies of the US with China and suggest they're similar then that is laughable.Tzeentch

    A big mess of repression, surveillance, authoritarianism, genocide, etc.Tzeentch
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    It’s difficult to find a favorable quote about collectivism,NOS4A2

    No bias there
  • Tzeentch
    1.7k
    In terms of creating desires for useless stuff— “fashionable consumption,” etc. — this has a long history, has been studied, documented; not a controversial remark.Xtrix

    Useless by what measure? Obviously they must find some use for it - entertainment or otherwise. Why else would people spend money on it?

    You’re free to ask me what I believe directlyXtrix

    What do you believe?

    And yes, China is communist.Xtrix

    It's definitely not. Communism explicitly aims to socialize the bourgeoisie, that is to say, repress and steal from the upper middle and rich classes and (supposedly) give to the poor working class.

    There's nothing communist about China anymore. Like Russia, China has more in common with a classic dictatorship.
  • Isaac
    8k
    Obviously they must find some use for it - entertainment or otherwise. Why else would people spend money on it?Tzeentch

    You realise that what you're saying here is that it's impossible for people to be wrong about their strategies.

    If plan to be more sporty, an advertiser suggests that buying a pair of their trainers will help, I am convinced and so I buy a pair - you're saying it's impossible that I'm wrong. If I think a pair of trainers will help me become more sporty then I've somehow changed reality such that this will be the case?
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    Communism explicitly aims to socialize the bourgeoisie, that is to say, repress and steal from the upper middle and rich classes and (supposedly) give to the poor working class.Tzeentch

    That has little to do with communism, in my view. So here it really is a matter of meaning.

    What do you believe?Tzeentch

    I believe power should be legitimate. More specifically, at least in the shorter term, I’m in favor of democracy— including democracy at the workplace, where workers have a role in determining what’s produced, how it's produced, where it's produced, and where the profits go.

    As it stands, we're in the Sociopathic Capitalism era where corporate governance has adopted the Friedman doctrine and wealth inequality has soared to heights not seen since the pyramids. That's 40 years of neoliberalism. We see the effects all around us. I'm against that.
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    Collectivism could be said to have its origins in the more primitive state of "communalism" (not communism) typical of societies predating the more modern forms. The concept of societies governed by integrative versus associative bonds is subject of the classical sociological distinction between gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. Since modern society is increasingly characterized by its pluralistic nature, the decline of integrative communalism is not surprising. However this does not mean that it is not still a valid or realistic goal, perhaps attainable under a more enlightened program of global education.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    Good and sober points.
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    Thank you. Temperamentally I am not predisposed to collectivism. I've come to it as a rational, pragmatic, and naturalistic recognition.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    There is a lot to be said about it, but one thing is for certain in my mind: the existence of a “collective” can be seriously questioned. It’s abstract, amorphous, mind-dependant, something like a “natural kind”—a “political kind”. Utilizing it as a subject of evaluation focuses value inwards rather than in a direction that would benefit actual flesh-and-blood people. When it comes to the question “what is more natural”, valuing others above our own ideas seems to me more natural
  • Pie
    561
    It’s abstract, amorphous, mind-dependant, something like a “natural kind”—a “political kind”.NOS4A2

    Not unlike the ego...
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    There is a lot to be said about it, but one thing is for certain in my mind: the existence of a “collective” can be seriously questioned. It’s abstract, amorphous, mind-dependant, something like a “natural kind”—a “political kind”. Utilizing it as a subject of evaluation focuses value inwards rather than in a direction that would benefit actual flesh-and-blood people. When it comes to the question “what is more natural”, valuing others above our own ideas seems to me more naturalNOS4A2

    I'm sure you're not disputing the existence of groups, so I gather you are disputing the existence of an internal or organic solidarity versus an external unity?
  • Tzeentch
    1.7k
    Collectivism may have some merit at the local level, where people cooperate voluntarily and the ties that group them together are tangible.

    However, the larger the scope becomes, the more abstract these supposed ties become, the more imaginary (that is to say, non-existent) the group, the more it must rely on coercion and generally the more problematic the results become.

    At a certain point it seems that collectivism no longer cares about its (supposed) members, and it becomes an exercise in what is essentially slavery - the subjugation of its (supposed) members to the group ideal, regardless of their individual wishes.


    Suppose I find myself in my local recruiter's office, and he intends to draft me for the Vietnam War.
    I look at the Vietnam War and conclude that based on what I see, there's no way I have anything in common with the nation that conducts it - I am not an American.

    How does the recruiter solve this? What tangible link can the recruiter point to that would save his case, that I am indeed an American and have a duty to go to Vietnam and fight there?
  • Pantagruel
    2k
    ↪Pantagruel Collectivism may have some merit at the local level, where people cooperate voluntarily and the ties that group them together are tangible.

    However, the larger the scope becomes, the more abstract these supposed ties become, the more imaginary (that is to say, non-existent) the group, the more it must rely on coercion and generally the more problematic the results become.
    Tzeentch

    So the problem may only be that people lose sight of what is in their common best interest when group size exceeds Dunbar's number. If there can be an organic solidarity in smaller groups then perhaps better education is the key to establishing a more enlightened kind of organic solidarity in larger. Arguably the ruling class presents a unified front under the powerful motivation of maintaining advantage. Whereas the proletariat is united by exploitation, which is more of an external force than an internal motivation. Which helps to explain why mobilization of the working class is more difficult: its members fail to recognize their own solidarity.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    its members fail to recognize their own solidarity.Pantagruel

    We see this in unionization efforts. But it’s fairly easy to overcome: just listen to people. They’ll be much more in common than not.

    As for large numbers — that’s a problem in anyway system. That’s why we subdivide between regions, states, districts, cities and towns.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k

    You present a false dichotomy. We are already put-upon by being born itself. You have to survive. You didn't choose this. You can comply with the dictates necessary for survival or die. This itself is the primordial conflict.

    It is a fact that we need to work to survive in some socio-economic context. YOU are a worker in that context. There is the illusion that because in some societies there are limited market transactions to sell your labor, that this must be just. But the injustice is needing a job in the first place.

    Look at it this way.. If your only retort is, "If you don't like it, you can always kill yourself" then your supposed doctrine of "freedom" has a flaw from it right from the start. The problem with political philosophy is its narrow-mindedness to the defaults of our human condition, as if it can be cut off into something like "free markets vs. collectivist" debates. Politics starts at being born at all.
  • Gnomon
    2.5k
    I am terrible at collectivism, methodologically and in practice. Whether by nature or nurture I lack the necessary neural connections required to see the world as the activity of groups, nations, races, classes, or communities as Stalin did, so giving any priority to these over flesh-and-blood human beings is an impossible task for me.NOS4A2
    Apparently, Stalin saw only the forest, and not the trees. Which is why he could view individuals as expendable for the higher purposes of the collective. I suspect that Kings, Dictators, and Potentates-in-general share that view from on high. So, they have different "priorities" from those of us in the "huddled masses".

    But, philosophers are supposed to be able to see the whole picture, including both general and particular, both classes and instances. So, it's strange that many utopian philosophers, such as Plato, believed that the masses should be governed by philosopher-kings. In practice, such unlimited power corrupts, so it's hard to avoid becoming absolute autocrats. Fortunately, for us in the "democratic" world, some of our political thinkers saw the need to limit the powers of forest-over-seers, with input from the limited perspectives of the single-tree-seers. :smile:
  • baker
    4.8k
    I am terrible at collectivism, methodologically and in practice. Whether by nature or nurture I lack the necessary neural connections required to see the world as the activity of groups, nations, races, classes, or communities as Stalin did, so giving any priority to these over flesh-and-blood human beings is an impossible task for me.NOS4A2

    Yet you use the English language, you are gainfully employed, you participate at this forum. All of these require communal/collectivist/social reasoning.

    Possibly, you don't lack "the necessary neural connections required to see the world as the activity of groups etc.", but, rather, have so internalized communal/collectivist/social reasoning that you don't even realize you have it.
  • baker
    4.8k
    Which helps to explain why mobilization of the working class is more difficult: its members fail to recognize their own solidarity.Pantagruel

    Solidarity is sometimes counterproductive. The weak and the poor being solidary with one another only keeps them weak and poor.
  • baker
    4.8k
    If plan to be more sporty, an advertiser suggests that buying a pair of their trainers will help, I am convinced and so I buy a pair - you're saying it's impossible that I'm wrong. If I think a pair of trainers will help me become more sporty then I've somehow changed reality such that this will be the case?Isaac

    Such is the power of self-actualization.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    All of which I learned from individuals. I have never met the collective, let alone learned anything from it.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    I like working. Like you said, without it I die. I can use my myself to sustain myself. It’s amazing when I think of it.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    I like working. Like you said, without it I die. I can use my myself to sustain myself. It’s amazing when I think of it.NOS4A2

    Some people like state sponsored healthcare. So?Do you see that there is no substantial difference. You arbitrarily start after the forced decision…

    Also some people have a disability and no families.
  • Nils Loc
    1.1k
    Is "collectivism" well defined? It seems like the abject example represents the ideology of failed communist regimes, where private property is outlawed and absorbed by the state, where authoritarian mandates come from an elite governing class. But it seems it's better suited for a democratic experiment.

    We're not allowed to call the modern for profit corporation an example of collectivist enterprise? A group of individuals come together and are constrained in their freedoms to work for stakeholders/shareholders as a group. Every employee is to some extent a stakeholder insofar as they rely on the company for their own individual well being (they rely on some collective for their well being). These companies concentrate the power to influence state policies and to influence the greater collective.

    Wherever the individual goes he/she is embedded in collective enterprises, ideologies that bind men and women in common values, causes. There is always, always, always the tyranny of the majority and the tyranny of life's lottery (the caste/condition of one's individuality). There will never be a kind of state in which these tyrannies disappear entirely.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    No one forces me to work, though, except the state. Some of my time and effort is stolen from me. I’m not sure that is the case with what you’re talking about.
  • schopenhauer1
    7.3k
    No one forces me to work, though, except the state.NOS4A2

    I didn’t say that. Rather the situation of comply (work/survive in X way) or die was forced upon you. That wasn’t the state. And if you retort that you don’t mind this, other people don’t mind state sponsored healthcare and other collectivist ideas.
  • Isaac
    8k
    the situation of comply (work/survive in X way) or die was forced upon youschopenhauer1

    Your bitter fantasy is getting the better of your grammar again.

    The situation is a necessary part of being you, it wasn't forced upon you. There is no 'you' without that requirement. It's like saying "being made of cells" is forced upon you. There is no you without the cells which constitute you.
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