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Forced into switching to Linux
Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

Bob would point out that a snake eating his own tail won't live long.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

axilmar
Member #1,204
April 2001

J-Gamer said:

But socialism wasn't the cause of the poverty, a dictatorship was. This means the resources weren't divided properly like in real socialism. You do have a point that there hasn't been a single large-scale socialistic society yet, due to the selfish nature of man.

First of all, USSR started as socialism. When there was the revolution in October 1917, it was what Marx described, i.e. the workers revolting and getting the power, nationalizing banks etc. You can read it all here.

Secondly, socialism is dictatorship: there is no concept of personal property in it. All means of production are owned by the people. You can also read it here.

Instead of wishing for these unrealistic political systems, why don't we all wish for something simpler: capitalism, free market and high taxation on the rich? USA, in its best years, had 92% max tax rates on the wealthy. Prosperity in USA came from taxing the rich and keeping the jobs in the USA. Now, rich pay minimum taxes and most jobs are exported.

The same thing happened in other prosperous nations: Sweden, for example, as a 55% income tax rate as highest income tax rate.

bamccaig said:

Imagine a world where basic discoveries like fire and cutting tools required an ongoing payment plan and could only be used in ways authorized by the original discoverer... :-X
People make advancements because it betters their lives. You don't need to pay somebody to do that. The betterment is reward enough.

Fire and cutting tools are not the same as the software, movies, video games and songs.

EDIT: fixed the USA tax rate history link.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

axilmar said:

USA, in its best years, had 92% max tax rates on the wealthy.

That link doesn't work for me, but I do remember my withholding going from 25% down to 20% during the beginning of the most prosperous economy in my memory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaganomics#Impact

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

verthex
Member #11,340
September 2009
avatar

axilmar said:

Secondly, socialism is dictatorship: there is no concept of personal property in it.

Nope that's communism. A dictatorship can occur in all governments, just take a look at the current 2 party system in the USA handing power back and forth every 4-8 years!

axilmar
Member #1,204
April 2001

That link doesn't work for me

Fixed it.

verthex said:

Nope that's communism.

Didn't you read the wikipedia article I posted?

Quote:

Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are publicly or commonly owned and controlled co-operatively

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

I thought a dictatorship was run by a... (wait for it) dictator. A tyrant with absolute power who dictates to the people what is or is not allowed/required.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
avatar

axilmar said:

Secondly, socialism is dictatorship: there is no concept of personal property in it.

1. If it's a dictatorship, then who's dictating? And if someone is, how is it still socialism (where everyone rules equally)?
2. Absence of personal property is not the definition of a dictatorship.
3. Denying people of personal property is not the same as having a society where the entire concept doesn't exist.

---
Me make music: Triofobie
---
"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

Polybios
Member #12,293
October 2010

As I read in Wikipedia about value, I found out that the view advanced by axilmar (money==value depends on labour) is Marxist. And, to my surprise, I found this article:

Albert Einstein - Why Socialism?

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
avatar

Polybios said:

I found out that the view advanced by axilmar (money==value depends on labour) is Marxist.

Marx isn't the only one who made this observation. Calling it Marxist is like saying that addition is Gödelian.

The Einstein essay is good reading though - as usual, he pretty much nailed it, but like most visionaries, he was a tad bit too hopeful (expecting actual Socialism to be just around the corner, in 1949...).

More good reading: Erich Fromm's work, especially 'To Have Or To Be' (which is also one of his more digestible books) explains a lot.

---
Me make music: Triofobie
---
"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

Neil Walker
Member #210
April 2000
avatar

If it helps get the thread back on track, I have 100% definitive proof that Windows is better than Linux.

I was running linux but due to youtube only showing a black screen on videos, switched back to windows, and Minecraft got a 15fps boost and is now playable.

Neil.
MAME Cabinet Blog / AXL LIBRARY (a games framework) / AXL Documentation and Tutorial

wii:0356-1384-6687-2022, kart:3308-4806-6002. XBOX:chucklepie

axilmar
Member #1,204
April 2001

I thought a dictatorship was run by a... (wait for it) dictator. A tyrant with absolute power who dictates to the people what is or is not allowed/required.

If it's a dictatorship, then who's dictating?

In case of the USSR, the dictator was the CPSU.

And if someone is, how is it still socialism (where everyone rules equally)?

Everyone ruling equally is one of the types of socialism. There are other types (as per the wikipedia article).

Quote:

Absence of personal property is not the definition of a dictatorship.

Forcing everyone to not have personal property is a form of dictatorship.

Now, if a party was elected with over 50% votes, and this party wanted to bring absence of personal property, then it would be democracy (and it also would mean I would move to another country).

Quote:

Denying people of personal property is not the same as having a society where the entire concept doesn't exist.

But if the entire concept existed before and now it does not, then people would be denied of personal property.

Polybios said:

As I read in Wikipedia about value, I found out that the view advanced by axilmar (money==value depends on labour) is Marxist. And, to my surprise, I found this article:

It is an Economics principle: value is produced through labor. It was Marx who first put this principle in context.

Quote:

Albert Einstein - Why Socialism? [monthlyreview.org]

I agree with that essay. Einstein highlights what is wrong with capitalism. He tells us what needs to be fixed, which is what I said in previous post: capitalism needs to be fixed so as that we can all benefit from it. Which means, higher taxes, bigger salaries, better distribution of wealth.

EDIT:

I am still waiting for Tobias to share his company's project with us, so we can all benefit from it.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

A dictator is one person, not a committee. And the USSR was effectively run by the nomenklatura anyway. The US is getting to be like that, especially what with "energy czars" and other foolishness.

[EDIT]

I'm not sure what the difference between a dictator and a king is then, but probably the king has the population believing he has the right to rule because ghod says so, a dictator just uses raw power to maintain his position.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Trezker
Member #1,739
December 2001
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The difference between a king and a dictator is that all kings are close relatives.

Trent Gamblin
Member #261
April 2000
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People still use Linux? That is so 1997.

Oscar Giner
Member #2,207
April 2002
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A king doesn't necessarily have full power (unlike a dictator). He may even have no power at all, being just a ceremonial figure (like Japan's Emperor). In most (all?) modern European monarchies the King has very low power, mostly just symbolic.

Slartibartfast
Member #8,789
June 2007
avatar

axilmar said:

Forcing everyone to not have personal property is a form of dictatorship.

Yes, in the same way that forcing everyone to give up a percentage of their income is a form of dictatorship.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
avatar

i got 'cher dick tater right here

{"name":"dick-tater.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/e\/c\/eceda3cb5cbedea6aa157c9ccd6e9187.jpg","w":500,"h":375,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/e\/c\/eceda3cb5cbedea6aa157c9ccd6e9187"}dick-tater.jpg

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
avatar

It seems to me that we're talking about the solution and not the problem. Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, etc are all attempts to solve a problem of scarcity. Ideally, there should be an abundance of the things we need (food, water, shelter, energy, safety). Until this problem is fixed then all attempts at a social structure is still going to be a mess, regardless of the ideals.

First of all, if we stop thinking of ideas as 'things' you can 'own', competitors stealing ideas will be a non-issue; the new issue, then, is how do we compensate people who come up with ideas for their efforts?

Exactly.

In my ideal world, all ideas (information) should free for consumption and free to use. The effort required to take on a task of creating new ideas should be rewarded by ______. I don't know what that is, yet, but it shouldn't be something that a person needs to survive. Unfortunately, Humans™ are most strongly motivated when it supports their survival. :-/

Maybe NeoHumans can transcend this weakness. 8-):P

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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I was running linux but due to youtube only showing a black screen on videos, switched back to windows, and Minecraft got a 15fps boost and is now playable.

Did you have compositing on? If so, turn it off, and then start minecraft.

--
Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

Tobias Dammers
Member #2,604
August 2002
avatar

axilmar said:

Forcing everyone to not have personal property is a form of dictatorship. Now, if a party was elected with over 50% votes, and this party wanted to bring absence of personal property, then it would be democracy (and it also would mean I would move to another country).

  • I didn't say anything about forcing

  • Forcing people to pursue personal property is just as restrictive as forcing them to abstain from doing so

  • Neither of these qualifies as a dictatorship per se; the enforcement can be established in perfectly non-dictatorship-like situations - peer pressure, culture, outside circumstances, etc.

  • Majority vote is not the same as democracy. People buy into this fallacy all the time, but democracy is about having the people (all of them!) rule a country. For this to work, compromises have to be made, and the participation of every individual needs to be ensured (or at least, the right to freely participate). Voting and elections are just one way of achieving this, and a pretty weak one at that. Without public discussion, a democratic culture, free education, protection of minorities, independent media, free speech, a guaranteed fulfilment of existential needs, and counter-measures against individuals who abuse their democratic freedoms, a democracy cannot exist in any meaningful way. Again, majority vote alone merely enforces the power of a consenting majority and excludes the remaining minorities from any participation.

It seems to me that we're talking about the solution and not the problem. Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, etc are all attempts to solve a problem of scarcity. Ideally, there should be an abundance of the things we need (food, water, shelter, energy, safety). Until this problem is fixed then all attempts at a social structure is still going to be a mess, regardless of the ideals.

There is an abundance. There's this famous figure that says the richest 20% of the world's population consume 80% of the available resources; which means that, theoretically speaking, if we could get rid of those 20% (which, unfortunately, includes me), we could easily quadruple the resource usage of the rest and still have plenty to spare. It's not a problem of scarcity. It's mostly a problem of distribution - but not one that is easy to solve. Capitalism solves the problem of average scarcity, at least as long as the required overall growth is sustainable; but it fails horribly at solving the distribution problem - as Einstein observes nicely, its core mechanisms have a tendency to bundle capital (and thus resources) in the hands of the lucky few.

---
Me make music: Triofobie
---
"We need Tobias and his awesome trombone, too." - Johan Halmén

Mark Oates
Member #1,146
March 2001
avatar

I heard a rumor that if you have:

  1. indoor plumbing

  2. electricity

  3. refrigerator

then you are in the top richest 20% in the world.

verthex
Member #11,340
September 2009
avatar

I heard a rumor that if you have:

indoor plumbing
electricity
refrigerator
then you are in the top richest 20% in the world.

But if the rotorooter van is parked outside someones house then its obvious their plumbing is bad yet they can fix it?

Jonatan Hedborg
Member #4,886
July 2004
avatar

if we could get rid of those 20%

That's not going to happen, so we should focus on increasing the total amount of resources world-wide (cheap, clean energy would be a good first step).

-------
Sweden: Free from the shackles of Democracy since 2008-06-18!

axilmar
Member #1,204
April 2001

Quote:

Yes, in the same way that ... a form of dictatorship.

A percentage of income is not the same as absolutely no property. In the cause of giving up a percentage of your income, your basic rights are not taken away: they didn't take ALL your income.

It seems to me that we're talking about the solution and not the problem.

Personally, I talked about the solution: raise taxes on the rich, bring back jobs.

Without public discussion ... in any meaningful way.

It's funny that you say that, because these things are established through majority vote.

Quote:

There is an abundance.

There is not.

Quote:

There's this famous figure that says ... it's not a problem of scarcity.

Quadrupling the source usage of the rest will do nothing to raise those people's standard of living to acceptable levels.

According to wikipedia, the poverty line is $1 per day.

If you quadruple that, it's $4 per day.

According to wikipedia, the average income in America is $45000 per year.

The average dollars per day for an American is 45000 / 365 = $123.

So, in order to raise the standard of living of that 80% of the population to the 1/10 of the average American, i.e. to $12, you need to raise the income of those poor people from $1 to $12, i.e. 12 times, not 4.

Quote:

Capitalism solves ... in the hands of the lucky few.

The solution is easy, and it has been applied in the past in America. It was those prosperous times that people with more than $250k income payed 92% tax, and all jobs were in America.

Tobias Dammers, will you give us your project? I am still waiting. You said you wouldn't mind giving your work away for free.



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