[Politics]How long until we eat the rich?

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Agema:

At peak, the USSR had a GDP/capita about about 50% of Western Europe ~1970 (although this declined as it stagnated in the 70s-80s). Contextually, we also might note that before the Bolshevik revolution, Russia had GDP/capita about 35% of the Western Europe: hence that to the 1970s, there really was a credible belief, even fear, that Communism was economically competitive. It's only towards the end of the 70s with stagnation it became clear the USSR was struggling.

Obviously, Soviets were still much poorer than Westerners throughout, but they were comparable to the likes of Spain, Portugal and Greece. Planning mostly worked up until the point the economy became too advanced and complex for the planners to cope ~1970. In absolute terms, Communism significantly improved its citizens' living standards for a long time. It still was improving living standards (albeit at a slow rate) post-1970: just poorly relative to the capitalist West, and had become particularly weak at meeting household desires (cars, white goods, etc.), leading to dissatisfaction. They met the basics pretty well, however: the Soviet system really was actually quite well focused in intent if not always practice at delivering for the masses rather than the elites. Soviet corruption was not gouging by the elites, but bureaucratic fiddling: failing to meet targets led to to falsification of data, which further compounded the difficulties of centralised planning. Soviet economic elites pretty much didn't exist: high ranking jobs came with job perks, but personal income and wealth was more around the senior professional / mid-upper management level.

it's true that most of the party's affiliates didn't have the wealth a lot of wealthy people have in western nations. This said, relative to what locals owned it was often a lot. Take party cars, while in the US around 1/2 of the citizens had a car in the USSR it was more around 1/54. So having a luxury "party" car given to you was clearly a much bigger perk than it would have been in the US. The de-facto priority on goods while others had to wait long delays is also clearly a valuable perk. The main question remains, had the economy of the USSR not been so poor and focused on military investment, would the party have kept the perks at level or only relatively increased them with the economic gain? Or would they have taken an unfairly large amount of the surplus? Knowing they already had unequal and preferential treatment I don't see why one would assume they would have limited their greed.

Satinavian:

- In capitalism the people owning the means of production thing they deserve income from it and the public approves, that they are justified to take a cut and the public is ok with that. In communism you get at best something like what would be a fond manager or an administrator in capitalism. There is no expectation of deserving a lot of money for that and people would not approve of taking more.

Based on what i've seen and heard I can assure you the people who own a lot of wealth realize the public doesn't approve. That's why, unlike idiots like Trump, they don't go around parading about their wealth. At worst there is a minority of people who approve.
People not approving hasn't prevented elites accumulating wealth. And there most certainly is an expectation of deserving a lot among communists. That's why party members have always had higher living standards than the rest of the people. "Everyone is equal but some are more than others". Your entire premise is based on an idealised vision of communists and how humans in power of a communist society behave. The Kim's have no issue whatsoever living in excess luxury while north koreans die of starvation.

- In communism money is less relevant. It doesn't get you social status to be rich. That leads to people persuing wealth for wealths sake far less.

Money is but a tool to acquire things. They may not have a lot of money per se but a priority access to everything the economy produces. Which is essentially what owning a lot of money does in a capitalist society.

- Pretty much every way to enrich yourself significantly beyond a normal person would be illegal. Showing huge wealth would be like showing you have stolen public property and diverted funds because there would not have been an existing legal, socially accepted way to get there.

Why would it be illegal? Because the people who make the laws decided so? So we're expecting for the owners of the means of productions to self regulate? I was under the impression people on the left laugh at that concept while applied to capitalist economies. But somehow in a communist economy it would work?

And you'd be quite asthonished at the ways people can find to hide or justify their "wealth". Putin likes to pretend he isn't rich but owns some fancy estates in other people's name.
On the other hand one could simply find absurd justifications for absurd investments. "I need that palace to perform optimal work and ensure our economy works perfectly and serves all our comrades", "I need that fancy BMW because it is bullet proof and reliable",...

You will find lots of power abuse in communism. But most of that was not about enriching the elite. Which was pretty content to live a relatively modest life for the most part.

Relatively to what? To livelihoods of western elites? Perhaps. To the livelihoods of the local "populace"? No.

generals3:

Why would it be illegal? Because the people who make the laws decided so? So we're expecting for the owners of the means of productions to self regulate? I was under the impression people on the left laugh at that concept while applied to capitalist economies. But somehow in a communist economy it would work?

If you have owners of means of production, you don't have communism anymore.

Relatively to what? To livelihoods of western elites? Perhaps. To the livelihoods of the local "populace"? No.

Yes, compared to the livelihood of the local populace. They had more, but the difference was rather small.

The pitch for communism always sounds to me like"Ok so capitalism is bad because the executives in charge are greedy and hoard the profits for themselves rather than distributing it to the other employees of the company. It's also bad because these corporations can use their money to influence the government and make the rules in their favor. So instead of having a bunch of corporations that collectively hold control of most of the resources, we are going to have a single corporation that has control of ALL of the resources and are going to cut out inefficient middlemen like lobbyists and corrupt officials by making that corporation ALSO the government. That way the executives will focus on making life better for all of their employees(citizens) rather than trying to siphon as much resources and power into their own pockets like they did before, because power corrupts but absolute power makes you benevolent."

Silent Protagonist:
The pitch for communism always sounds to me like"Ok so capitalism is bad because the executives in charge are greedy and hoard the profits for themselves rather than distributing it to the other employees of the company. It's also bad because these corporations can use their money to influence the government and make the rules in their favor. So instead of having a bunch of corporations that collectively hold control of most of the resources, we are going to have a single corporation that has control of ALL of the resources and are going to cut out inefficient middlemen like lobbyists and corrupt officials by making that corporation ALSO the government. That way the executives will focus on making life better for all of their employees(citizens) rather than trying to siphon as much resources and power into their own pockets like they did before, because power corrupts but absolute power makes you benevolent."

The second that the officials start taking more of the wealth and resources for themselves, it ceases to be communism. That is what is misconstrued about actual communism, you actually cannot have communism without having equal distribution. Wealth inequality is the opposite of communism as everyone is to get an equal share. The only places I have known of actual communism to exist was in tribes like my own and numerous others. Even according to the historical records of those who came into contact with our tribe, when they gave what the people who were designated to speak to them anything, they shared it equally with everyone not keeping it for themselves (The west called them chiefs, but we have never had chiefs, chiefs are a western invention).

Resources were distrusted by the needs of the whole, not for personal accumulation of wealth. When people start hoarding more for themselves, it is no longer communism, then it becomes a plutocracy, or rule of the wealthy. Both the US and USSR are/ were Plutocracies.

In order to truly have public ownership the public would have to have a say in resource distribution. We are now reaching the technological level to make that possible on a mass scale, where in the past that was extremely difficult to do.

generals3:

it's true that most of the party's affiliates didn't have the wealth a lot of wealthy people have in western nations. This said, relative to what locals owned it was often a lot. Take party cars, while in the US around 1/2 of the citizens had a car in the USSR it was more around 1/54. So having a luxury "party" car given to you was clearly a much bigger perk than it would have been in the US. The de-facto priority on goods while others had to wait long delays is also clearly a valuable perk. The main question remains, had the economy of the USSR not been so poor and focused on military investment, would the party have kept the perks at level or only relatively increased them with the economic gain? Or would they have taken an unfairly large amount of the surplus? Knowing they already had unequal and preferential treatment I don't see why one would assume they would have limited their greed.

The USSR had the second largest economy in the world (perhaps third right at the end, overtaken by Japan). If dictators like Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong Un can stuff stupendous quantities away from their impoverished states, then we can be absolutely sure that the Soviet leaders would have been eye-wateringly wealthy if they'd wanted: and they weren't. The Soviet system and ethos would also have made gross self-enrichment a colossal political liability. Outside Stalin who did manage to maintain a de facto dictatorship, Soviet leaders could be removed if deemed unsatisfactory (e.g. as occurred to Khrushchev).

I think we can underestimate how seriously the Soviets, and their leaders, took many aspects of egalitarianism. Generally I would argue that their restraint in terms of self-enrichment speaks for itself, and speaks louder than mere speculation that the elites might have pursued self-enrichment.

I hate to slightly go off-topic, but let's talk about Joe Biden. You know the rich's preferred democratic candidate.
Joe Biden in an attempt to cater to bipartisanship and centrism over the Green New Deal is going to meet the Republicans halfway.

He is going to sign the Paris Climate Deal, and likely subsidized Solar, and Wind, but also do carbon capture and nuclear power.
3/4s of that is good, but the carbon-capture is complete trash.
It's too expensive and doesn't stop the fact that coal mining is a dangerous, and debilitating job that just so happens to pay well.

He is the Davos democrat, someone who is willing to cater to the rich and like Hillary will lower capital gains taxes but won't tell you till it's too late.

That is if he stops stumbling in his speeches enough to get to elected.

I have never hoped for a left-wing socialist government in any country but hopefully the Swiss get one, and Davos is turned into a large nature preserve, and the Rich can go to Delaware where Joe Biden served the needs of big pharma, large insurance companies, and multi-national corporations.

Now to get back on topic, I don't want to eat the rich mostly because they would taste like crap, but one day Americans will get sick, and tired of their wages not going up enough, and they will vote in a Bernie Sanders, and then the rich will flee to the UK where the conservative party will give them all the tax cuts they want until Corbyn wins. Then they will flee to Ireland, then Australia, and so on, and you get the point.

Which is why we need multiple progressive leaders in multiple countries to force the UN to implement a minimum capital gains tax, minimum tax income tax rate, and a minimum wealth tax, and a minimum estate tax.

Lil devils x:

Silent Protagonist:
The pitch for communism always sounds to me like"Ok so capitalism is bad because the executives in charge are greedy and hoard the profits for themselves rather than distributing it to the other employees of the company. It's also bad because these corporations can use their money to influence the government and make the rules in their favor. So instead of having a bunch of corporations that collectively hold control of most of the resources, we are going to have a single corporation that has control of ALL of the resources and are going to cut out inefficient middlemen like lobbyists and corrupt officials by making that corporation ALSO the government. That way the executives will focus on making life better for all of their employees(citizens) rather than trying to siphon as much resources and power into their own pockets like they did before, because power corrupts but absolute power makes you benevolent."

The second that the officials start taking more of the wealth and resources for themselves, it ceases to be communism. That is what is misconstrued about actual communism, you actually cannot have communism without having equal distribution. Wealth inequality is the opposite of communism as everyone is to get an equal share. The only places I have known of actual communism to exist was in tribes like my own and numerous others. Even according to the historical records of those who came into contact with our tribe, when they gave what the people who were designated to speak to them anything, they shared it equally with everyone not keeping it for themselves (The west called them chiefs, but we have never had chiefs, chiefs are a western invention).

Resources were distrusted by the needs of the whole, not for personal accumulation of wealth. When people start hoarding more for themselves, it is no longer communism, then it becomes a plutocracy, or rule of the wealthy. Both the US and USSR are/ were Plutocracies.

In order to truly have public ownership the public would have to have a say in resource distribution. We are now reaching the technological level to make that possible on a mass scale, where in the past that was extremely difficult to do.

That's why Communism fails so frequently. The administrative structures and powers necessary to impose Communism on a national scale in a modern day economy are incredibly prone to abuse. Greedy and power hungry people will always exist and they will always seek out the positions that will maximize their personal gain no matter the cost to others. These people in those positions under Communism are particularly disasterous because of how powerful and unchecked those positions are. Worst case scenario you have party leader(s) living in lavish palaces while exterminating their opposition and letting their people starve. Best case scenario you get China, which is basically just Capitalism with a far more authoritarian government that allows its citizens fewer personal freedoms and silences all criticism of it and Winnie the Pooh.

You can say it's not true Communism when Communism goes bad all you want but the fact remains that the pursuit of Communism is historically very prone to going spectacularly bad. If I define Everybodyjustgetalongism as a society free of crime because everyone just gets along and therefore no law enforcement or self defense is needed and try to create that society, when some people inevitably don't just get along it rings hollow to say that it was because it wasn't true Everybodyjustgetalongism because if it was true Everybodyjustgetalongism then everybody would just get along. That's not to say pursuit of a fair distribution of resources or an end to crime and conflict are inherently wrong or even impossible on a small scale, but when you get to larger scales then become far less feasible and sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease.

I also disagree that technological advancement is making it more feasible for the entire public to have significant top down input on how resources are distributed because the more advanced we become the more complicated the economy gets. Sure technology has made it easier to have everyone's opinion be known and tracked, but modern day economies are so diverse and supply chains so complex that there is no way the public could have the time to vote on every major decision that needs to be made much less become informed enough of the ins and outs of every major industry to make those decisions well. The public would only be able to have a say in the distribution of resources in the most broad and superficial way, and even then there's no guarantee that their decisions would be particularly good.

capitalism is sacred

Silent Protagonist:

Lil devils x:

Silent Protagonist:
The pitch for communism always sounds to me like"Ok so capitalism is bad because the executives in charge are greedy and hoard the profits for themselves rather than distributing it to the other employees of the company. It's also bad because these corporations can use their money to influence the government and make the rules in their favor. So instead of having a bunch of corporations that collectively hold control of most of the resources, we are going to have a single corporation that has control of ALL of the resources and are going to cut out inefficient middlemen like lobbyists and corrupt officials by making that corporation ALSO the government. That way the executives will focus on making life better for all of their employees(citizens) rather than trying to siphon as much resources and power into their own pockets like they did before, because power corrupts but absolute power makes you benevolent."

The second that the officials start taking more of the wealth and resources for themselves, it ceases to be communism. That is what is misconstrued about actual communism, you actually cannot have communism without having equal distribution. Wealth inequality is the opposite of communism as everyone is to get an equal share. The only places I have known of actual communism to exist was in tribes like my own and numerous others. Even according to the historical records of those who came into contact with our tribe, when they gave what the people who were designated to speak to them anything, they shared it equally with everyone not keeping it for themselves (The west called them chiefs, but we have never had chiefs, chiefs are a western invention).

Resources were distrusted by the needs of the whole, not for personal accumulation of wealth. When people start hoarding more for themselves, it is no longer communism, then it becomes a plutocracy, or rule of the wealthy. Both the US and USSR are/ were Plutocracies.

In order to truly have public ownership the public would have to have a say in resource distribution. We are now reaching the technological level to make that possible on a mass scale, where in the past that was extremely difficult to do.

That's why Communism fails so frequently. The administrative structures and powers necessary to impose Communism on a national scale in a modern day economy are incredibly prone to abuse. Greedy and power hungry people will always exist and they will always seek out the positions that will maximize their personal gain no matter the cost to others. These people in those positions under Communism are particularly disasterous because of how powerful and unchecked those positions are. Worst case scenario you have party leader(s) living in lavish palaces while exterminating their opposition and letting their people starve. Best case scenario you get China, which is basically just Capitalism with a far more authoritarian government that allows its citizens fewer personal freedoms and silences all criticism of it and Winnie the Pooh.

You can say it's not true Communism when Communism goes bad all you want but the fact remains that the pursuit of Communism is historically very prone to going spectacularly bad. If I define Everybodyjustgetalongism as a society free of crime because everyone just gets along and therefore no law enforcement or self defense is needed and try to create that society, when some people inevitably don't just get along it rings hollow to say that it was because it wasn't true Everybodyjustgetalongism because if it was true Everybodyjustgetalongism then everybody would just get along. That's not to say pursuit of a fair distribution of resources or an end to crime and conflict are inherently wrong or even impossible on a small scale, but when you get to larger scales then become far less feasible and sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease.

I also disagree that technological advancement is making it more feasible for the entire public to have significant top down input on how resources are distributed because the more advanced we become the more complicated the economy gets. Sure technology has made it easier to have everyone's opinion be known and tracked, but modern day economies are so diverse and supply chains so complex that there is no way the public could have the time to vote on every major decision that needs to be made much less become informed enough of the ins and outs of every major industry to make those decisions well. The public would only be able to have a say in the distribution of resources in the most broad and superficial way, and even then there's no guarantee that their decisions would be particularly good.

There is only one constant in this world and that is change. Just as the industrial revolution changed everything, the automation revolution that we are now in will do so was well. Technology is going to change the way we do everything, it already has, but will do so much more very soon and our governments are falling far behind and the way they have worked will become obsolete. How things have been done historically does not matter because they have different tools to do the job that never existed.

I am not saying the public will vote on everything all the time, I am saying we are advancing to the point we should be able to elect experts in the fields to make the decisions for those fields and who those experts are should be done by peer review from those fields. Instead of having a small group making decisions about fields they are not experts in ( what our congress currently does), We can manage much larger voting bodies to represent each field and collaborate together to find the answers needed to accomplish our goals and have the people making those decisions knowledgeable enough to be able to explain to the public exactly what is being done and why. Having complete transparency via the internet so that corrupting and lying is going to be far more difficult to get away with. With the advancement of society, we need a new system of government that will be able to better meet the needs of the people. We fall behind and people suffer because we are using outdated means to govern. Electing unknowledgeable representatives to make decisions on matters they do not even understand is a bad system. Currently we choose representatives by where they are from, this can change and instead we should be electing people to positions by what they are capable of. Why do we have lawyers and politicians making decisions about the environment and science? Many of them do not even remotely understand what they are voting on. The current system makes no sense to continue, and is holding us back. Currently we elect a person from a region to speak for us and make decisions on all fields. Instead, we should elect the people from those fields to make decisions about those fields. and their work should be available online for it to be peer reviewed and viewed by the public. The entire system we have right now is out of date and is long overdue for a rework.

Of course we have to start by electing the right people to pass transparency and corruption laws to be able to get to that point because yes, corruption is rampant, especially in the US at all levels and people have to seriously get their shit together enough to stop electing idiots and con artists and start actually trying to put people who genuinely are working towards the betterment of humankind and actually know what they are doing in charge.

If we design the system to prevent abuse and make it extremely difficult to hide their actions, we can better address corruption, as there are already other nations that make many of the things that are rampant in the US illegal, we just have to take elections much more seriously. The very fact that a single person in the US would vote for Trump shows that the US is nowhere near ready for that however. That does not mean it cannot work well on large scale, it just means the US has to grow up first to be able to do anything good for the people or anyone else for that matter. The US is falling behind already and will just fall further the longer they allow this to continue. The ignorant American stereotype exists for a reason, the education system is failing the people, and we have to start there, of course after we figure out how to get the disinformed people to stop electing people like Trump and listening to people like Alex Jones. There are however, nations this could work well in already, it is just the US isn't one of them yet, but that should be of no surprise, the US hasn't even figured out they have to take care of their people yet.

Yes communism historically among the tribes worked for a very long time and was extremely successful, many forget that the Americas were populated with millions of people prior to colonization, with trade routes expanding from North, Central and South Americas and the Island and the vast majority of the tribes were in fact communist. It just a matter of finding better ways to address corruption, there are other nations that have very little corruption and could likely pull it off well. Then of course there are nations, such as the US, where corruption is to such absurd levels other nations just look on with disbelief and awe that people here would be so stupid and idle enough to just allow it to happen and not do anything to stop it. My Tribe, for example, lived( and still live) in densely populated apartment buildings with limited resources in the desert and pretty much have been preparing for thousands of years for a time when the world would become very populated. It is pretty much at the core of our belief system of what our ancestors understood about our world and decided long ago that we would live this way always so that we would be able to survive through anything. The primary developments of my tribe focused on progressing society itself with how we interact with one another and the environment. We were at the center of trade between North and Central America, so we focused on using diplomacy and trade to interact with others rather than war. Even the tribes known to be the most hostile were actually our friends. This can be done on a large scale, it is just a matter of method. Western History and understanding of how these things work is not the only history that exists. There is entirely too much missing from it, and it is terribly inaccurate tbh.

Silent Protagonist:
That's why Communism fails so frequently. The administrative structures and powers necessary to impose Communism on a national scale in a modern day economy are incredibly prone to abuse. Greedy and power hungry people will always exist and they will always seek out the positions that will maximize their personal gain no matter the cost to others. These people in those positions under Communism are particularly disasterous because of how powerful and unchecked those positions are.

There is nothing about communism that makes the power of those im inportant positions particularly unchecked. In fact, the same methods used to impose Communism on the public (= on the formerly wealthy and educated elite that you still need afterwards) are perfectly useful to also control party members. It was in no way easier to get away with corruption in communism than it was in capitalism. Quite the opposite in fact. Personally i think there was even way too much surveilance but it is not as if party members or even members of the various secret polices were not controlled themself.

Problems were elsewhere.

You can say it's not true Communism when Communism goes bad all you want but the fact remains that the pursuit of Communism is historically very prone to going spectacularly bad.

That self-enrichment was not a problem is true for most of the real, historic versions of trying communism we actually had. We are not discussing a fantasy here, but those failed experiments.

I also disagree that technological advancement is making it more feasible for the entire public to have significant top down input on how resources are distributed because the more advanced we become the more complicated the economy gets. Sure technology has made it easier to have everyone's opinion be known and tracked, but modern day economies are so diverse and supply chains so complex that there is no way the public could have the time to vote on every major decision that needs to be made much less become informed enough of the ins and outs of every major industry to make those decisions well. The public would only be able to have a say in the distribution of resources in the most broad and superficial way, and even then there's no guarantee that their decisions would be particularly good.

AI already does handle most of the stock market transaction and most of the market for ressources.

So far it is only guessing demand and supply and habits of other market participents, moving money around and trying to maximize profit. But it is already better than humans doing that. This gap will only get bigger and the markets that are mostly AI controlled will become more and more.

The AI does not know why people want to have product X, or why the production cost of X will depend on price and availability of widget Y or why product Z is an alternative to X that does not depend on Y. But AI can make good purchase/investment and procurement decisions if those relations are put in. And this is all that the market forces of capitalism give us.
Sure, everything gets more complex. There will be mistakes. And "garbage in, garbage out". But all those complications also are true for humans. Humans will even be worse at guiding an ever more complex economy. They will still be replaced as decision makers for investment and procurement. And then we can say "Good bye, capitalism."

Silent Protagonist:
The pitch for communism always sounds to me like"Ok so capitalism is bad because the executives in charge are greedy and hoard the profits for themselves rather than distributing it to the other employees of the company. It's also bad because these corporations can use their money to influence the government and make the rules in their favor. So instead of having a bunch of corporations that collectively hold control of most of the resources, we are going to have a single corporation that has control of ALL of the resources and are going to cut out inefficient middlemen like lobbyists and corrupt officials by making that corporation ALSO the government.

The comparison between a few large corporations with no democratic accountability whatsoever and one with some is, indeed, not clear cut. But that doesn't have to be the comparison; central planning is neither necessary nor sufficient to achieve communism.

Silent Protagonist:
That way the executives will focus on making life better for all of their employees(citizens) rather than trying to siphon as much resources and power into their own pockets like they did before, because power corrupts but absolute power makes you benevolent."

The problem with liberal democracy is that the various ways in which it has been corrupted make people think that a democratic society must necessarily resemble in its power structure an autocratic one. No; we don't live in a democratic society. It can be much, much better and more accountable than it is here. In capitalist countries the people do not rule, nor have they ever. They are managed. The closest liberal democracies come to actually being democratic is when forces that work outside of politics (labor unions and so on) force elites to capitulate to some of their demands through collective action.

Marik2:
capitalism is sacred

That seriously has to be one of the most ignorant things I have ever listened to. People really believe this nonsense? The guy is completely talking out of his arse. "people being different is why we need inequality" Like somehow people are not different and are able to do what they enjoy when we reduce inequality? I have a hard time believing anyone would be gullible to believe anything this idiot says. LOL

Hell, even in my communistic tribe the primary focus was on celebrating our differences and helping provide the people with the resources to succeed doing what they enjoyed most. Inequality is the opposite of having access to what people need to succeed, instead the wealthy have access and they try to control everyone else by controlling resources and NO trickle down economics do not work.
No, the poor are not getting richer, they are getting poorer. The number of poor are increasing as the middle class is shrinking.
image
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-middle-class-is-shrinking-2019-04-12
Extreme Poverty is increasing in the US:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/12/21/extreme-poverty-returns-to-america/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a2c66d243dc5
I deal with poor people every day at work. Some of them do not even own a phone, they cannot afford it, some live without access to water, electricity, garbage pickup because they cannot pay the bills. That is why we have people who die from extreme heat or freeze to death in the US because even access to basic necessities to survive goes only to those who can afford it. That should never be happening in a nation where the wealthy have hoarded enough wealth to make every single man woman and child, citizen or not residing within the US a millionaire.

In an equal society, the flat screen TV's are never just owned by the wealthy, they are shared by the community until they have enough of them for everyone to have one of their own. That is why equality is so much better, nothing is ever reserved "just for the elite" everyone has equal access at the same time. They create more in abundance because demand is not measured simply by those who can afford it.

Agema:

The Soviet system and ethos would also have made gross self-enrichment a colossal political liability. Outside Stalin who did manage to maintain a de facto dictatorship, Soviet leaders could be removed if deemed unsatisfactory (e.g. as occurred to Khrushchev).

Well that's point isn't it? It was a political liability for various reasons. But as historical events and the current situation have shown as long as the masses are somewhat satisfied the excess of some will cause minimal disorder. In Venezuela people didn't rise up because Maduro and his military cronies suddenly enriched themselves more but because the masses reached a critical point of poverty. The same could be said about the French revolution. And the gilet jaune movement is also wearing down as the goal is no longer deemed worth the effort and Macron has decided to take some measures to help the lower social classes. It most certainly won't solve inequality but it will give sufficient bread to keep the masses calm. I have little doubt a communist system could survive that way as well.

And let's not forget an obvious elephant in the room. As private media would no longer exist the state would own information and make its opinion the "mainstream" truth.

generals3:

Agema:

The Soviet system and ethos would also have made gross self-enrichment a colossal political liability. Outside Stalin who did manage to maintain a de facto dictatorship, Soviet leaders could be removed if deemed unsatisfactory (e.g. as occurred to Khrushchev).

Well that's point isn't it? It was a political liability for various reasons. But as historical events and the current situation have shown as long as the masses are somewhat satisfied the excess of some will cause minimal disorder. In Venezuela people didn't rise up because Maduro and his military cronies suddenly enriched themselves more but because the masses reached a critical point of poverty.

That's pretty trivial, as Maduro wasn't president in the 1990s when the people rose up--

Oh, but you're talking about the affluent lighter skinned folk who don't like labor regulations, social spending, and black people who have been repackaged as the impoverished sufferers of "socialist" mismanagement by Western media.

Poverty has very little to do with any current unrest in Venezuela. The unrest is in the wealthy communities.

generals3:
The same could be said about the French revolution. And the gilet jaune movement is also wearing down as the goal is no longer deemed worth the effort and Macron has decided to take some measures to help the lower social classes. It most certainly won't solve inequality but it will give sufficient bread to keep the masses calm. I have little doubt a communist system could survive that way as well.

Which is why you make the society a democratic economy rather than replacing the capitalist class (and its associated private bureaucracies) with a state bureaucracy.

edit: regarding Gilets Jaune, is that actually dying down? Or is it just not getting as much press attention?

generals3:
And let's not forget an obvious elephant in the room. As private media would no longer exist the state would own information and make its opinion the "mainstream" truth.

Yeah, it's not like you could organize a media company as a worker co-op or anything.

Marik2:
snip

It's funny how capitalists almost never argue "if the poor get richer, the rich get richer". I wonder why that is?[1]

[1] rhetorical question, obviously

generals3:

And let's not forget an obvious elephant in the room. As private media would no longer exist the state would own information and make its opinion the "mainstream" truth.

Depends what we mean by "private". We can have media companies that aren't run by the state or capitalist media barons: essentially, co-operatives. There can also be non-governmental state media agencies; arguably their independence may be nominal more than actual, but then if the state wants it can usually shackle private media as well anyway.

Personnally I would be "happy" to see the concept of "economy" fall and crumble, at this point it's getting ridiculous, very rich foreigner are now investing in big city and making the rent of a normal appartment clearly unlivable if you are alone, not even 10 years ago I was able to afford a single room appartment with near minimum wage, but now the rent went through the roof because of the foreign investor and I'm barely even able to have a shared appartment, unless i go in very far district or poor/bad ones. Even just regular foreigner being "richier" make everyday cost more by being able to spend more.
I can't even live in my own city anymore...

Siyano:
Personnally I would be "happy" to see the concept of "economy" fall and crumble, at this point it's getting ridiculous, very rich foreigner are now investing in big city and making the rent of a normal appartment clearly unlivable if you are alone, not even 10 years ago I was able to afford a single room appartment with near minimum wage, but now the rent went through the roof because of the foreign investor and I'm barely even able to have a shared appartment, unless i go in very far district or poor/bad ones. Even just regular foreigner being "richier" make everyday cost more by being able to spend more.
I can't even live in my own city anymore...

It isn't just "foreign investors" What you just described is Trump's business model for real estate. If you had listened to what he has said over the years, he encourages people to buy up foreclosures and affordable housing and try to sell it or rent it out as luxury housing often to foreign tenants who are often not aware of it's former "affordable housing" status.

Donald Trump in 2006: I 'sort of hope' real estate market tanks

Two years before the housing market collapsed in 2008 and millions of Americans lost their homes, Donald Trump said he was hoping for a crash.

"I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy," Trump said in a 2006 audiobook from Trump University, answering a question about "gloomy predictions that the real estate market is heading for a spectacular crash."

https://www.cnn.com/2016/05/19/politics/donald-trump-2006-hopes-real-estate-market-crashes/

The biggest issue in housing is investors, both local and foreign who buy up all the property and then rent it out causing an affordable housing crisis all across the US. We have a crisis of all of the homes being bought up by the same entities, the same companies are buying them all, further funneling wealth into fewer hands. Some of these companies are already the biggest property owner in cities and regions and the only way I see to stop this is to either make it illegal or cap and tax them.

One way I see to solve this is to heavily tax all rental properties that are not in the affordable housing market and cap the amount of rent that can be charged and use that money to build/buy more affordable housing. Give people a tax break on their first home, whether they rent or own, but their primary residence gets a tax break up to a certain amount. Anyone or company who owns any other property after that, second home, vacation property, apartment buildings, whatever... tax it and absurdly tax it if it is not providing affordable housing for others and this tax should increase the more they own, reducing the number that one entity will want to own. This would make it better for them to sell the property than to rent it unless it is affordable housing and put more houses on the market to bring the prices down since it would be better for them to sell the property than to keep it.

https://urbaninstitute.group.shef.ac.uk/wall-street-landlords-are-chasing-the-american-dream-heres-what-it-means-for-families/
https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/rent-wall-street-is-my-landlord
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/27/us/politics/hud-affordable-housing-crisis.html

im sorry, I dont live in US

Siyano:
im sorry, I dont live in US

Neither do I.

Edit: Nvm. I thought that was a general response to the OP since you didn't quote.

Siyano:
im sorry, I dont live in US

What nation do you live in?

I don't think its going to happen. The socialist revolution isn't coming because, even if you could convince them that its in their interest to do so, there is simply no way for the proletariat to overthrow their masters now with modern surveillance and military technology. Those in power will know your intentions before you even begin, and they will quash any resistance before it gets off the ground.

Being the cynic I am, I tend to think that things will get worse rather than better. I suspect we are moving away from the grand democratic experiment and returning to a form of feudalism, where corporations are the feudal lords instead of landed nobles. Noble ideas like workers rights, holiday entitlements, retirement funds, and the like will be a thing of the past; you will compete with workers from all over the world just to have a job (assuming they can't automate your role), and if you can't or won't, you will be replaced by someone who will.

In my view, the future will be like the past; a small number of inconceivably wealthy and powerful individuals and families running everything, and a vast swathe of poor working themselves to death just to keep food on the table and make it through the winter. Economic systems and technologies may change, but human nature does not, and human nature is always driven by self interest and opportunism.

Bilious Green:
I don't think its going to happen. The socialist revolution isn't coming because, even if you could convince them that its in their interest to do so, there is simply no way for the proletariat to overthrow their masters now with modern surveillance and military technology. Those in power will know your intentions before you even begin, and they will quash any resistance before it gets off the ground.

Bear in mind that surveillance and military technology still requires people to run it. We all know that when push comes to shove, it can turn out that enough of the people running it support the proletariat.

Bilious Green:
Being the cynic I am, I tend to think that things will get worse rather than better. I suspect we are moving away from the grand democratic experiment and returning to a form of feudalism, where corporations are the feudal lords instead of landed nobles.

This is a possibility - particularly as automation decreases the need of people to make key products and services. There then becomes a big question about what new jobs can exist to replace it.

I might suggest that in the very long run that the world becomes more equal - i.e. the developing world develops to rough parity - at which point it's likely to be much harder to exploit workers by moving production to poorer places. Without this, it might shift some balance of power back to workers.

Agema:

Bilious Green:
I don't think its going to happen. The socialist revolution isn't coming because, even if you could convince them that its in their interest to do so, there is simply no way for the proletariat to overthrow their masters now with modern surveillance and military technology. Those in power will know your intentions before you even begin, and they will quash any resistance before it gets off the ground.

Bear in mind that surveillance and military technology still requires people to run it. We all know that when push comes to shove, it can turn out that enough of the people running it support the proletariat.

That's possible, but I tend to think that if the people who are running these technologies and performing the security roles are among the better paid and more securely employed, they will be likely to see their interests best served by continuing to serve their current masters. People are self-serving after all, so if the status quo is working for them, they aren't likely to join the revolution.

Agema:

Bilious Green:
Being the cynic I am, I tend to think that things will get worse rather than better. I suspect we are moving away from the grand democratic experiment and returning to a form of feudalism, where corporations are the feudal lords instead of landed nobles.

This is a possibility - particularly as automation decreases the need of people to make key products and services. There then becomes a big question about what new jobs can exist to replace it.

I think its safe to assume that manufacturing, farming, and transportation will be fully automated, so the kinds of work that will still exist would logically be roles based in services, maintenance, and the like. I tend to think that some sort of universal basic income is going to be required in the future, because its hard to see where there are going to be enough jobs for everyone, though the darkest part of my mind wonders if those in power might not manufacture some wars to cull the surplus population.

Agema:
I might suggest that in the very long run that the world becomes more equal - i.e. the developing world develops to rough parity - at which point it's likely to be much harder to exploit workers by moving production to poorer places. Without this, it might shift some balance of power back to workers.

I hope you're right, but I have a lot less faith in humanity than you do.

Frankly I am suprised that in the US, CEOs of major corporations do not get shot dead by former employees on a regular basis.

Nielas:
Frankly I am surprised that in the US, CEOs of major corporations do not get shot dead by former employees on a regular basis.

Dude people who sue companies for X, Y and Z can't even get hired. And if you commit a felony/crime in the US you can't even get unemployment benefits which means you basically starved to death or have to go back to doing crime like selling drugs, you're going to want to have a life sentence in prison, and American Prisons while not being as bad as Japanese ones are brutal.

However, the good news is that if you want to be a millionaire the best place to do it is in the US, the bad news is it only mostly works if you come from a high-performing school district/gated community like I did, and I am no millionaire.

In all seriousness, there is a myth in the US that anyone can be a millionaire, but here's what you would need

Connections
Parent's having Money
Good schools/neighborhood

(I am in all likelihood missing lots of this)

I had one of those(the third one), and I got invited to the University of Chicago the school for Washington Elites, and that was with a low 3.0-3.5 GPA.
Imagine how hard it would be for a person of color in an underperforming school district like the local urban school district where I was from.

Yeah, welcome to America.

I didn't accept it because I didn't want to be in debt as I came from a working-class family so I pulled an Elizabeth Warren and went to the local community college, and then the local public university.

Agema:

generals3:

And let's not forget an obvious elephant in the room. As private media would no longer exist the state would own information and make its opinion the "mainstream" truth.

Depends what we mean by "private". We can have media companies that aren't run by the state or capitalist media barons: essentially, co-operatives. There can also be non-governmental state media agencies; arguably their independence may be nominal more than actual, but then if the state wants it can usually shackle private media as well anyway.

NPR is a good example of a government-funded media agency doing well. Hell if every major media company in the US was run with the same ethical and professional standards as NPR, I'd argue we'd actually be a lot better off as a country.

Avnger:

Agema:

generals3:

And let's not forget an obvious elephant in the room. As private media would no longer exist the state would own information and make its opinion the "mainstream" truth.

Depends what we mean by "private". We can have media companies that aren't run by the state or capitalist media barons: essentially, co-operatives. There can also be non-governmental state media agencies; arguably their independence may be nominal more than actual, but then if the state wants it can usually shackle private media as well anyway.

NPR is a good example of a government-funded media agency doing well. Hell if every major media company in the US was run with the same ethical and professional standards as NPR, I'd argue we'd actually be a lot better off as a country.

Too often NPR is centrist pro-war or pro-austerity garbage. But it's better than some radio stations.

Avnger:

NPR is a good example of a government-funded media agency doing well. Hell if every major media company in the US was run with the same ethical and professional standards as NPR, I'd argue we'd actually be a lot better off as a country.

Government funded/chartered media tends to be quite establishment; unless there's a very solid commitment from government to its editorial independence, it lives under constant threat of being scrapped / privatised.

The other problem it can have is how it pursues "neutrality". This can mean setting two opposing talking heads at each other with the journalist standing back from opinion. This has turned out to be fraught with problems, because it means one talking head can talk utter bollocks, and lacking a third party to step in and challenge can give the appearance of equal objective validity.

Another problem of course is that in these days of the internet, it's laughably easy for sides to selectively cut bits of the interview to portray their own in a completely unrealistic fashion as if they'd done far better, and the internet is where lots of people are viewing the material. But then, this is a wider problem that the internet has mostly given us ghettoised echo chambers.

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