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Guest wrote:I have been reading the Anarchist FAQ on Infoshop and while much of it sounds quite appealing, I still have many lingering thoughts. The main thing that stands out to me is how close it comes to describing utopia. If one takes the FAQ at its word, an anarchist society would have none of the social problems so familiar to us: unemployment, poverty, blighted neighborhoods, and so forth. Indeed even merely disreputable activities like prostitution and gambling would evaporate in communism since it has no money.
While nothing about this strikes me as strictly impossible, something about it seems rather counterintuitive. It all sounds so pristine and pure, devoid of all the wrinkles that invariably show up in human interaction.
Pretty much every society on earth has suffered from some level of poverty and injustice, no matter what values it held or how its economy worked.
My second concern involves luxuries (things we don't need to survive) in a communist economy. Distributing goods we need to survive without money seems pretty straightforward. We can all agree on what constitutes sufficient food to sustain the body, enough clothes and shelter to avoid the elements, and so forth. But of course, few people would feel content with just the bare necessities. They want all sorts of things they don't strictly need to survive, like alcohol and cheese cake, large houses and comfortable furniture. Without money or markets, though, it doesn't seem obvious how to distribute such goods, except maybe "first come, first serve".
Critique of the Gotha Program wrote:What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society -- after the deductions have been made -- exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.
ibd wrote:In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly -- only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
Guest wrote:PS: What is up with these esoteric quiz questions given by the topic posting page? I know spam can be a pain but who wants to take an exam just to post.
I don't think the AFAQ comes anywhere close to describing utopia. There's no chocolate rivers or ice cream snow and Simon Cowell is still very much alive...
K=x'uksami wrote:Interesting points, though one should not forget how relative "utopia" can be. A thousand years ago, life sucked unimaginably for the vast majority of people. Feudal lords ruled with an iron fist, most children died in infancy, wars and plagues happened on a regular basis, and windmills were considered cutting edge technology. I think most people back then would have found it inconceivable that one could live without feudal lords or rampant disease. They would have taken our descriptions of the present day as impossibly utopian (though of course that word didn't exist yet).
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