Monday, May 29, 2017

Experimenting with Micro-Communism

I had a debate a while ago on Taleeb Starkes show, where he ambushed both me and a veritable communist by getting us to be on his show under false pretenses.  Much like Iraq soldiers would get various insects or spiders to battle each other for entertainment, it was the same thing as natural enemies will attack each other.  There wasn't much to say about the debate except for the fact the communist he had on was a purist, even going so far as to support North Korea (though choosing to live in Canada).

I can't find the video (because I believe it's hidden behind a paypal on Taleeb's site), but with the limited time we had I wanted to clearly understand the point and position the communist was making.  And what it ultimately boiled down to was that he truly believed in Marx's theory about communist and that we had yet (of course) to implement communism correctly and were not yet at that stage.  This prompted me to ask then, "Has a working model of communism ever been successfully implemented in all of human history" to which he said no.  To which I responded "well don't you think you should try to get a small working model first before rolling it out on all 7 billion people?" which promptly won the argument.

However, this got me thinking: what about experimenting with small  "micro-communism" environments?  Not necessarily because I want to implement communism, or that I'm curious to see if it would work.  But because before we upend the entire global system that has naturally evolved over time (that would be "capitalism" for those of you in academia) which would CERTAINLY cause some inefficiencies...or outright millions of deaths due to starvation (if history is any indication)...wouldn't it be prudent, wise, and HUMANE to test it out FIRST on a small group and small scale of people so it could be perfected BEFORE forcing all 7 billion people under a gun to accept it?

Alas, this article sent to me from our good Australian Agent in the Field, Adam Piggott.

Apparently, in an effort to follow marxist maxims "Lentils as Anything's" (they needed to hire Asshole Consulting before naming their company that), would allow people to pay only what they could and not what was necessary to cover the expenses to pay the wages and overhead of the working-class people who supplied the restaurant with food, supplies, labor, and...well...everything.  And as they found out, people, when given the choice, would not pay what was necessary to make the restaurant a viable economic concern and it was forced to close.

This is nothing more than another repeat "micro-communist" experiment where another restaurant, Bartertown Diner, also failed to keep it's doors open.  Unlike "Lentils as Anything's," Bartertown's communist philosophy focused on management and not pricing.  They decided not to have any management, allow employees to show up whenever and do whatever, allowed employees to determine their own wage, and even had such libertine policies as no-official hours.  Once again, this micro-experiment in communism failed and the diner is no longer around.

We can go on, but I do like this concept of experimenting with communism on a micro-level first, before rolling it over out onto for the people.  Despite economic differences between me and communists, I would assume they have the best wishes of the people at heart.  And if you're going to insist on changing the current socio-economic system from what it is to a communist one, then you'd make damn sure you could run a measly restaurant, let alone an entire economy.  It's only the moral and right thing to do.  But if you can't get restaurant to work, then why would you insist on implementing socialist policies nation wide, let alone municipal wide?  It only hurts the people you're claiming to help.

Venezuela is only the most recent nation-wide implementation of this ill-tested prototype political-economic philosophy following such successes as North Korea, the USSR, East Germany and Cuba.

Detroit, Chicago, the black community, and academia are also "municipal" sized experiments that have cost millions of innocent people their livelihoods, futures and, some people, their actual lives).

And Minneapolis just made a huge stride towards nationalizing private property under the guise of section 8 housing, already adding to a huge communist push by their privileged white girl major (if you don't know about Minneapolis, it's fallen under disrepair from their latest Mayor Betsy Hodges).

About the only socialist success story, that unfortunately COMPLETELY depends on capitalism and free markets to provide its participants with the luxury of claiming to be socialists...while the major employers of this economy ship their tax nexus overseas...would be Silicon Valley.  But that took decades worth of K-college brainwashing and (once again) only works within a capitalist economy.

Of course, what sadly is more likely the case in the majority of communists, socialists, democrats, and active politicians is that they care more about free stuff, easy jobs, government positions, and political power than they do the millions of lives their political religion destroys.  They truly don't care how many brown people in Venezuela starve or how many black people in Zimbabwe die or how many black people get shot in Chicago.  It's more important to them that they don't have to work and can live off of western government teats, not to mention feel good when virtue signaling in college as they pursue advanced liberal arts degrees.  ANYTHING to avoid real work and labor, while hypocritically claiming to be the party of the worker.  And so when a logical, obvious, humane, and SAFE option exists to experiment, perfect, and THEN roll out a feasible and practical communist society (which by the way if you can swing it, I'm all ears), it sadly falls on deaf ears because the majority of socialists/communists/democrats don't care about the people.

They just care about themselves.

So much so they have no problems ruining the lives of everybody else on the planet.

You may hate capitalism.  You may think it's cruel and evil.  But at least it's been tested.  Both on a small scale and large scale.

Enjoy the decline!
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Anonymous said...

The road is littered with micro-communism experiments such as hippie communes, kibutzes, religious cults, etc... and it all ends the same. Humans recognize the benefits of parasiting off the production of others and be it through threats of violence, shame, legal structure.. whatever vehicle neccessary to take from others and, all the while stifling the obvious immorality of it all, placing power in the hands of the few who "promise" the most "free" stuff. Human nature does not alter despite the age or culture one finds himself in.

YIH said...

Actually there is small-scale ''communism'', the Kibbutz colonies in what is now Israel (the first ones were founded before WWI). The three biggest problems with ''communism'' is that it requires most of the group to work in some capacity (farming, producing goods, homemaking, child-rearing, mutual defense such as security guards) and be capable of doing useful work. IOW, few or no ''free riders'' (such as small children, the infirm/elderly). The other problem is it doesn't 'scale'; at most 100-200 people, more than that and managing people becomes a problem, think of how a company is structured with departments specializing in various things. Another problem is trust, the collective has to have familial/mutual friendship/religious bonds across the group - ''lone wolf'' types need not apply.
The recent demise of Ringling Bros. comes to mind, I watched the final performance and it was obvious that it had grown too big and bloated to survive. Operating costs had swelled to levels unsustainable by ticket/merch sales.

Anonymous said...

Actually, a large extended family could be a successful "commune" because the residents all know each other, and contribute what they can in production and take what they need in goods and services.
The big difference is that it is SMALL enough so that slackers would be shunned and shamed, while producers would be praised and liked. Even a non-family group of 200 or so people might work for the same reasons.....

Jay Nix said...

I think the counter argument you'd get from most communists is that the small scale experiments won't work while the capitalist option still exists. Which is why I typically ask if such proponents were ever in the US Military. IMO, there is no clearer example of the flaws in communism than the tell someone to imagine if the American economy and general production were run by the Pentagon.

Anonymous said...


Here is a wonderful example of micro-communism (failure) for you to look into:

The Israeli kibbutz's

When originally founded they went so far as to ban family dinner, mandating everyone eat together in a common cafeteria. Families were not to raise their own children.

Kibbutz was a cauldron of all marxist ideas.


Anonymous said...

no prison sentence for this woman captain ?

This is what I call communism.

Jak said...

I've mused on this topic a bit as well and have been thinking of sitting down and writing a short article on my speculations. My thoughts more revolve around the evolution of the different economic systems throughout time. Would love to hear your thoughts on my hypothesis:

When a community is very small and tight knit, a more socialistic/communistic system naturally takes place. The group is too small for each person to have a specialized job, so everyone does what they can and relies on their neighbors to pick up the slack in areas they are lacking. You need some extra food in order to make it through the season? Fine, but you better chop down some more firewood so everyone doesn't freeze during the winter. Think of it as a mix between rudimentary bartering and a communal stockpile. Everyone is expected to provide as much as they can or else they all starve. There's accountability.

As the group gets larger, the once tight-knit group dissolves. Connections aren't as strong so people naturally don't care as much about the well-being of the Johnsons on the other side of the town. As such, the obligation to provide to the communal stockpile breaks down and people fend more for themselves. Bartering becomes more common and the town eventually creates a monetary system. During this time, specializations increase (blacksmiths, farmers, ranchers, etc).

Thoughts? I've only mused on this and haven't really fleshed it out so I could be way off base, but it seems feasible.

tpkeefe said...

1. When I first heard about communism over 25 years ago, in a Russian history course in high school, I couldn't help but think, "Hmmm, but wouldn't that work more on a much smaller scale than it would on a nation-wide scale?" I could never get that nagging thought out of my head in the ensuing years, even after reading about the repeated mistakes of socialist/communist governments (and their atrocities), and after reading many commentaries on Marx and Lenin. Though I still believe that Marx's criticisms of capitalism are still trenchant and relevant to this day, the socialist claptrap that came from his work still falls flat on its face.

2. Why? Because people are inherently lazy, will respond to incentives and punishments instead of rational principles (e.g., the commonweal), and will try to get something for nothing because the human cognitive architecture is present-focused and not future-focused, is influenced by genetics and IQ differences, and gender differences (e.g., women crave security and learn to manipulate men to do things for them).

As Molyneux has pointed out, socialism/communism sure as hell doesn't work in a multicultural, heterogenous, and genetically diverse soceity. It also won't work unless it grows, if the growth paradigm is still predominant.

LBD said...

My husband grew up on a kibbutz in Israel. The kibbutz movement is pretty much dead. They have been converted into villages, the assets have been distributed to the original members and their heirs. My husband's kibbutz was one of the oldest, once being the home of Golda Meir.

It was due to his experience with socialism that dear hubby was fully prepared to join me in my 180 degree turn to the right in the early 1980's. I was a nice liberal like everyone else in the Bay Area until I got my college degree and went to work for a housing authority. Within two weeks I started reading conservative authors and shortly thereafter I became a solid conservative (now I identify as alt-right). My husband and I describe ourselves as " slightly to the right of the Sheriff of Nottingham".

Communism only works on paper, not with real people.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Isn't what you're describing in this article actually more along the line of anarchy than Communism?

A Texan said...

Sadly, only The Onion can sometime educate like nowhere else can:

Marxists' Apartment A Microcosm Of Why Marxism Doesn't Work

Allen said...

Our family has good records and historical accounts of communism in action. When they came from the old country (Finland) to Freeze Your Ass Off, Minnesota in the late 1800's they brought communism with them. They had a homogeneous group which included language, culture, and customs. There was the crop committee, the machinery committee, the education committee, and everyone had their role. It failed relatively quickly. The records were clear, it couldn't survive in a dynamic system.

The interesting thing was that success killed it. With successful farms came increases in standards of living, and more children. This changed the capital requirements within the group, and subsequent competition for resources for each individual family's children. What are you going to do, sacrifice your kids for the neighbor's kids?

Communism always fails because it assumes a static environment.

Black Poison Soul said...

The results of reality will be vehemently denied. Only thought experiments and feelz have any relevance.

Paraphrasing Animal Farm: While all comrades are equal, some comrades are more equal than others.

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, wasn't Jamestown and the Pilgrams essentially a pre-Marx communist experiment? Everything all peachy keen until human nature takes over...

Unknown said...

Communism works only so far as people care about and are invested in each other. Families are a successful form of micro-communism. Tribes are another. Once you get above "Dunbar's number".....100-150's basically impossible for people to keep track of who's contributing what and you need some kind of currency as a substitute.

Max said...

Well, not only lone wolves. Also people who respect general liberties and perhaps equality. Most of those societies are deeply inequal when it comes to the sexes and they prohibit free speech and other liberties.
Also people who want to choose what they want to work or not might find this a no go.
On top of that these kibbutz do not produce higher order jobs like systems engineering and so forth.