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Old 2008-10-27, 14:40   Link #1
Anh_Minh
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Communist entreprises

OK, so, I was watching the news, and I heard union representatives complaining about their employer going belly up "They didn't listen to us, if they'd listened to us years ago..." and so on. So I wondered - there ought to be millions of communists just in this country. Some of them at least moderately successful. Why don't they put their money where their mouth is?

Why aren't communists the world over creating enterprises and making all employees shareholders (and I don't mean small change. I'm talking about real decision making authority.)? Are there laws in the way? Are they doing it, and failing? Succeeding?

edit: Of course, I realize, now may not be the best time to start something.
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Old 2008-10-31, 01:05   Link #2
risingstar3110
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My answer for this is rather my own opinion, without much source based or anything.
But first i don't think there are that many "communists" around the world atm. Just like we won't expect so many capitalist during feudal ages. Even if there are, it's still not possible for them to make such a move within a feudal/capitalsit society anyway

I means, during.... say Dark Age, if you have tons of money and without any power or "glory", soon enough you would be robbed over by bandits, by rebels or by "corrupted" government who believe earning money without fighting "glorious" wars are dirty acts (maybe a bit too many "Assassin Creeds" here ). That should be justified in some way during that age

Similar here, you can't expect there are so many people willing to share every penny they earn with the community, if they knows money is "the only thing they can rely on in this society"(which is not entire true through...). Put up an enterprises with everyone have fair share, then one day the "boss"(or elites member: professors, engineers....) who found that they could earn much more money being in a normal company will decide to leave or stop spending so many efforts and the enterprise would soon break down.

Just like the slowly collapse of monarchy regimes(which exists for several thousands years) worldwide, those "socialists" also believe they can't build a socialist/communist society without let the capitalism world conflict and crumble by itself first. Why the capitalism theory will conflict itself and collapse? I don't know myself actually , but they would recommend you to read Marx works.

Certainly there are those who would want to skip the process, by physically destroy the capitalism society instead (i may mistake, but Polpot would be such case). But once again, monarchy regime do not end by killing the king and slaying the royal family.

So once i ask them why they try to spread socialism, if the capitalism will fail and the world becomes socialism anyway. The answer (as i understand) are sort of: you can't prevent the social evolution,, but by your action, you can spread up or slow them down

PS: i bet someone would find a better answer through
Edit1: about if they ever success or fail. They must have tried and got some success. But overall I think they failed in USSR and in its allies. Whether they learn from those experiences and attempted again, i am not sure
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Old 2008-10-31, 01:28   Link #3
Spectacular_Insanity
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Well, the only two countries that I know of that still run on functioning communist systems (of sorts) are Belarus and China. As you might notice, all the former USSR states are not doing so well nowadays thanks to the collapse of all administrative authority. I mean, just look at the area near Transcaucasia (area by Georgia and Azerbaijan). That area alone, in a set of 2 million people has over 30 different ethnic groups and over 80 different spoken languages. Obviously communism didn't work for them, so i doubt it's going to work anywhere else. I mean, it didn't even work for the Russians, who invented it in the first place. Thanks to the rise and subsequent collapse of communism, the country has been a long time recovering economically and socially. Why would communism work for anyone else?
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Old 2008-10-31, 01:46   Link #4
Vexx
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Supposedly communism has never succeeded because the underlying foundations were not in place. Communism is supposed to spring up after a long bout of *industrial capitalism*. Every attempt at communism I can think of sprang directly out of agrarian society. Since that was the case - the government pretty quickly became a fancily dressed form of overly centralized feudalism again.

Obviously, that is terrible shorthand for the complex events but meh. China seems to be trying to backass their way through industrial capitalism while maintaining a strict hierarchy of control.
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Old 2008-10-31, 02:43   Link #5
risingstar3110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectacular_Insanity View Post
Well, the only two countries that I know of that still run on functioning communist systems (of sorts) are Belarus and China. As you might notice, all the former USSR states are not doing so well nowadays thanks to the collapse of all administrative authority. I mean, just look at the area near Transcaucasia (area by Georgia and Azerbaijan). That area alone, in a set of 2 million people has over 30 different ethnic groups and over 80 different spoken languages. Obviously communism didn't work for them, so i doubt it's going to work anywhere else. I mean, it didn't even work for the Russians, who invented it in the first place. Thanks to the rise and subsequent collapse of communism, the country has been a long time recovering economically and socially. Why would communism work for anyone else?
Actually Russia didn't invent communism xD
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Old 2008-10-31, 03:42   Link #6
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
My answer for this is rather my own opinion, without much source based or anything.
But first i don't think there are that many "communists" around the world atm.
Judging by election results, there must be millions of them just in my country (France). Of course, they're not really hardcore revolutionaries.

Quote:
Just like we won't expect so many capitalist during feudal ages. Even if there are, it's still not possible for them to make such a move within a feudal/capitalsit society anyway
What move? Start a company? I'll point out, a lot of companies start exactly the way I described it: a couple of guys sharing the work and the benefits. The difference is, they don't stay that way. Soon they hire a secretary or something, drawing a difference between owners and employees.

Quote:
I means, during.... say Dark Age, if you have tons of money and without any power or "glory", soon enough you would be robbed over by bandits, by rebels or by "corrupted" government who believe earning money without fighting "glorious" wars are dirty acts (maybe a bit too many "Assassin Creeds" here ). That should be justified in some way during that age
How are you going to get a lot of money without the power to keep it?

Quote:
Similar here, you can't expect there are so many people willing to share every penny they earn with the community, if they knows money is "the only thing they can rely on in this society"(which is not entire true through...). Put up an enterprises with everyone have fair share, then one day the "boss"(or elites member: professors, engineers....) who found that they could earn much more money being in a normal company will decide to leave or stop spending so many efforts and the enterprise would soon break down.
Not "the community". The other workers. That's the only realistic way they're going to "seize the means of production" in the present political context. And that's what they claim they want to do, and will make things so much better.

And even if they may have trouble getting "elites", how many such elites do you need to run a pizza shop? There are plenty of activities which don't need so-called elites. And more to the point, if they can't do anything with a communist outlook, why do they bother being communist at all?

Quote:
Just like the slowly collapse of monarchy regimes(which exists for several thousands years) worldwide, those "socialists" also believe they can't build a socialist/communist society without let the capitalism world conflict and crumble by itself first. Why the capitalism theory will conflict itself and collapse? I don't know myself actually , but they would recommend you to read Marx works.
Marx failed to predict the rise of communism in agrarian societies and its lack of success in industrial ones. How good at predicting the fall of capitalism can he be?

Quote:
Certainly there are those who would want to skip the process, by physically destroy the capitalism society instead (i may mistake, but Polpot would be such case). But once again, monarchy regime do not end by killing the king and slaying the royal family.
It did the trick for us... (OK, so it didn't work immediately... We had to try several times.)

Quote:
So once i ask them why they try to spread socialism, if the capitalism will fail and the world becomes socialism anyway. The answer (as i understand) are sort of: you can't prevent the social evolution,, but by your action, you can spread up or slow them down
Why would socialism inevitably follow capitalism? What does it mean for capitalism to fall? Why does it have to fall at all? (Other than the sun going nova and killing us all or something, I mean.)

And my point wasn't to replace capitalism with socialism. It's to apply communist ideals within a capitalist society. They're always there, telling us that the companies would work much better if they were run by the workers. So... why don't they show the rest of us? Why don't they, as I said, put their money where their mouth is?
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Old 2008-10-31, 03:49   Link #7
Spectacular_Insanity
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Originally Posted by risingstar3110 View Post
Actually Russia didn't invent communism xD
No, it did.

Ultra-simplistic breakdown:
Karl Marx spawned Marxism, which was taken up by the Bolshevik Marxists. This later evolved into what most people recognize as communism.
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Old 2008-10-31, 03:59   Link #8
Solace
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Read up on the Green Bay Packers sometime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bay_Packers
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Old 2008-10-31, 04:07   Link #9
Sides
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The only thing that jumps into my mind is tower colliery, that coal mine in Wales. But i think it was closed down earlier this year, at least colliery was stopped.

Last edited by Sides; 2008-10-31 at 08:34.
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Old 2008-10-31, 04:18   Link #10
mg1942
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Man this thread confused me

But I immediately thought of CNOOC and the "red chips" when I saw the thread title.
CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) is one of successful state-owned enterprise operating under the communist goverment (CCP). This oil giant came close to buying UNOCAL, but US congress blocked the purchase. CNOOC plans to drill oil at Caribbean, gulf of Mexico, and Africa (I think CNOOC plans may be out of date and they're also competing with other state enterprises, such as SINOPEC and CNPC)

Here's the list of other red chip enterprises...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_chip

Last edited by mg1942; 2008-10-31 at 04:41.
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Old 2008-10-31, 05:40   Link #11
risingstar3110
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Once again, these are based on my understanding only. A communist can come here and bash me through the ground with theory at any time.
Spoiler for Anh_Minh:

Spoiler for Spectacular_Insanity:
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Old 2008-10-31, 07:02   Link #12
ato
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I know that this is probably futile, but those interested in debating the merits or faults of communism aught at least have some little knowledge about the subject.

For a light introduction, try the Wikipedia entry about communism. If you want to claim some credibility, also read The communist manifesto (don't be intimidated, it's quite short).

The OP actually questions where all workers' council type enterprises are, so it might be fruitful to read up on that before continuing the debate

Of course, this won't stop the ill informed from posting, but hopefully it'll allow those with a cursory interest an easy introduction
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Old 2008-10-31, 08:45   Link #13
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
And my point wasn't to replace capitalism with socialism. It's to apply communist ideals within a capitalist society. They're always there, telling us that the companies would work much better if they were run by the workers. So... why don't they show the rest of us? Why don't they, as I said, put their money where their mouth is?
There are actually a fair number of completely worker-owned companies (mostly small/medium size). Then there are a lot of companies that encourage substantial employee-ownership of stock; that then claim their company is "employee-owned" but scamper around that part where the employees actually get input.

My grandfather's last job was an specialty refining company in which all the employees (20 of them) were part-owners. After working for Big Oil for so long, he loved that last job.
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Old 2008-10-31, 08:51   Link #14
Sides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Why aren't communists the world over creating enterprises and making all employees shareholders (and I don't mean small change. I'm talking about real decision making authority.)? Are there laws in the way? Are they doing it, and failing? Succeeding?

edit: Of course, I realize, now may not be the best time to start something.
Actually i think it is the best time to start such kind of projects. If you can get couple dozen people together, they could all put some hard cash on the table to start a business. At the current situation, only agricultural kind of project would work, since food is always required. But the important factor is that all members must be 100% commited to the project. The problem could occur if the company chooses to expand in major scale in the future, which is likely to end in tears.
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Old 2008-10-31, 09:10   Link #15
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
There are actually a fair number of completely worker-owned companies (mostly small/medium size). Then there are a lot of companies that encourage substantial employee-ownership of stock; that then claim their company is "employee-owned" but scamper around that part where the employees actually get input.

My grandfather's last job was an specialty refining company in which all the employees (20 of them) were part-owners. After working for Big Oil for so long, he loved that last job.
I can imagine.

So, I guess, the next question is, why can't it scale up? Is there some kind of critical mass after which you can't have employee-owned companies?

On a semi-related subject, a lot of giants started small. When and why did they become evil corporate monsters?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sides View Post
Actually i think it is the best time to start such kind of projects. If you can get couple dozen people together, they could all put some hard cash on the table to start a business. At the current situation, only agricultural kind of project would work, since food is always required. But the important factor is that all members must be 100% commited to the project. The problem could occur if the company chooses to expand in major scale in the future, which is likely to end in tears.

Getting the cash is a problem. Getting the customers is a problem. Even for food. There's a reason there's a rural exodus.
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Old 2008-10-31, 11:00   Link #16
Shadow Kira01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
And my point wasn't to replace capitalism with socialism. It's to apply communist ideals within a capitalist society. They're always there, telling us that the companies would work much better if they were run by the workers. So... why don't they show the rest of us? Why don't they, as I said, put their money where their mouth is?
Actually, it is already happening in the United States. Under the Bush Administration, the capitalist society is already having communist ideals, otherwise many of the Republican supporter corporates and large companies wouldn't even bother to invest in Communist nations, yet they did. If capitalists and communists are sworn enemies, then investments of any type would be prohibited and unmentionable, yet this kind of attitude cease to exist in this era.

Perhaps, it is just that some people tend to misunderstand the purpose and objective of communists. Or rather, should I put it that socialism and communism are two different types of politics with totally different, yet similar policies. Socialism can be applied to a democratic society, wheras communism cannot. Perhaps, you should try to study the concepts between the two different forms of politics. Its not the same thing.
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Old 2008-10-31, 11:10   Link #17
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Shadow Minato View Post
Actually, it is already happening in the United States. Under the Bush Administration, the capitalist society is already having communist ideals, otherwise many of the Republican supporter corporates and large companies wouldn't even bother to invest in Communist nations, yet they did. If capitalists and communists are sworn enemies, then investments of any type would be prohibited and unmentionable, yet this kind of attitude cease to exist in this era.
That's daft. A capitalist should invest in anything that'll make him a buck. It's about pragmatism, not ideology.

As for the so-called communists, I suppose that letting the means of production fall under the control of the hedge funds managers does run contrary to their ideals, but there again, it's about pragmatism - if you need capital, you need capital. And then, there's also the problem of "communist in name only".

Quote:
Perhaps, it is just that some people tend to misunderstand the purpose and objective of communists. Or rather, should I put it that socialism and communism are two different types of politics with totally different, yet similar policies. Socialism can be applied to a democratic society, wheras communism cannot. Perhaps, you should try to study the concepts between the two different forms of politics. Its not the same thing.
*shrug* In the context of my post, I use "communist" to describe the anti-capitalist movement that's been gaining momentum for a few years, as well as the traditional unionists who, as I said, always loudly demand input in the way the company is run. I also use only a subset of the communist ideals, which is that the workers should control the means of production. Because it's something that ought to be easy enough to put in place, if you really believe in it, and are willing to take some risks. Instead of just going on strike to demand this or that benefit.
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Old 2008-11-01, 06:06   Link #18
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Like a few have already pointed out, comunism, socialism, capitalism are used here without people actually understanding what they mean. There can't be any meaningful discussion when people don't know what they're talking about.
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Old 2008-11-01, 13:21   Link #19
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by Spectacular_Insanity View Post
No, it did.
Karl Marx was German. And a socialist.

Moreover, there were radical socialistic parties in existence throughout 19th century Europe long before the Bolsheviks. They just didn't call themselves communists because, well, socialism is a realm where the People's Front of Judea is always at war with the Judean People's Front who's also at war with the Judean Popular Front and so on and so forth, with differences between them ranging from who *bleeping* cares you idiots just rebel to hey, it actually matters.

The reason communism became a separate ideology rather than a radical subset of socialism was because Lenin and his ilk won the Russian Civil War and became the new Russian state. If one look at the ideological core of such an influential ideology, it proves curiously sketchy with the badly written Communist Manifesto at the heart and contradictory propaganda among the rest.



I don't think Anh_Minh is necessary talking about communism the ideology as much as worker-run business enterprises though, and those do exist though not in great numbers. I admit I know little of them but I would indeed assume that there is a critical mass whereby a completely faithful worker's paradise will break down, and that this breaking point will vary greatly depending on the type of the enterprise involved, the individuals involved, and indeed the culture that the enterprise is based in.

It's like Democracy. The Athenian system is insanity in any modern nation today, except maybe Andorra or some such. We use Representative Democracy instead.

P.S. And to the link about workers' councils above, there are a number of interesting studies on the rise and fall of workers' councils during the Russian Revolution; from the sudden outburst of enthusiasm, almost spontaneously, to the need to address practical issues and finally to large-scale Bolshevik subversion, it's all quite interesting.
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Old 2008-11-01, 13:38   Link #20
Zu Ra
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I have nothing to say then Hail and support CCCP . just kidding : )

Communism has decayed from its original values . Most communist countries practice neo capitalism . Also sharing assets among employees is a noble cause in any system may it be capitalism or communism . But none practise it trade unions everywhere are joke , the management always ends up having the trade unions leaders in there pockets .

After the fall of USSR this theory could very well have come in practise it was a golden opportunity . But companies and there assets were squandered by foreman i.e. management some of whom went on to become to oligarchs .

Business ethics have pretty much become a joke and will be till, a example is made out of the CEOs .
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