A Point of View

Database

The purpose of this page is to serve as a comprehensive, accessible-to-all database of facts and figures having some bearing on the argument in favour of a world society of free access and common ownership. It is intended that this will become an extensive resource over time, and that  new categories of information will be created as the project progresses. To this end, you are invited to send me any items of information deemed relevant -  via the guestbook facility - so that they can be incorporated. When doing so, the source of the information, the author, and date of publication should be noted, along with anything else that might enable me to verify its validity.

Please note that, apart from overt references to links (prefaced by http:// or something similar), there are many covert links in some of the excerpts presented, which  are revealed by a change in cursor.

This page currently has three subpages, which may be accessed by clicking on the database link above.

The empirical case: a factual database

The case for communism can probably be made on empirical grounds alone by looking at economic facts/statistics arising out of current economic circumstances, contrasting the latter with the circumstances  one would encounter in an ideal world-wide society based on common ownership of the means of production (and all this entails, viz. no money or other means of exchange, no competing states  etc),  and then positing that as the current circumstances giving rise to these facts/statistics would not obtain in a communist society then neither could similar sorts of facts/statistics characterise this society.

The empirical argument has three modalities:

The first is to demonstrate the feasibility (that is to say, practicability or plausibility) of communism by:

(a) Showing that capitalism is so inherently wasteful of resources that communism - which would operate on an entirely different basis and one that could not lead to products or the means of production being squandered or needlessly destroyed - has to be more rational, or prudent, or   'economic’ in it’s use of resources, and thus feasible.    

(b) Showing that vast amounts of resources - particularly human resources - are required simply in order to keep the capitalist system going or to minimize/ contain  destructive forces  (‘contradictions’) inherent in it’s make-up. As communism would not have these ‘system requirements’, this would enhance its feasibility. Economic decision-making would, in a sense, be greatly simplified under communism as the vagaries of the market would not feature in such a system.    

(c) Showing that capitalism thwarts possibilities, technological and other, that might radically transform the quality and nature of human existence. Communism would liberate technology and thus open up all sorts of possibilities for making human existence more pleasant and less arduous. Crucially, it would drastically reduce the need for  unpleasant/dirty/unsafe work and in that respect would be feasible as it is often contended by critics of communism that no one would be prepared to do such work if there was no financial imperative for them to do so.

(d) Showing that capitalism underproduces when the market dictates that this has to happen whereas under communism that would not occur; thus underlining its feasibility.

The second modality has to do with desirability of communism, by demonstrating that capitalism by its very nature creates situations inimical to human welfare and happiness, or has proved itself to be inefficient and/or negligent in dealing with natural calamities. Communism would not be encumbered by restraints in ensuring that natural calamities were adequately addressed, and there would be no reason not to produce goods and services of the highest standard with due regard being paid to the consequences of every production process, in particular, its impact upon the environment.

The final modality centres on the so-called human nature debate. The case for communism here would be to demonstrate that human beings - far from being inherently selfish, greedy, amoral, work-shy individuals who would thus make unbearable demands on a system of free access to everything produced perhaps causing it to implode - are in fact social, altruistic, and cooperative ‘by nature’, and that it is capitalist society that fosters the development of the aforementioned ‘anti-social’ traits, directly or indirectly. What is often overlooked by the critics of communism is that because it would need to be implemented on the basis of majority consent, the process whereby this consent emerges would have a radical and transformative impact on the very nature of human behaviour itself.

It needs to be borne in mind that these three modalities are bound to interrelate: A fact purportedly exemplifying the feasibility of communism could also highlight it’s desirability or lend weight to the notion that human beings have it in them to live co-operatively and in harmony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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