A less than perfect human nature

A Division by Zer0 explains why he thinks that human nature would not be a stumbling block for proper communism. I think he's viewing human nature with overly rose-colored glasses, and I was going to comment on his post, but my comment was getting a bit too long that I'm writing my remarks here.


Even in ancient times, it seems that humans weren't exemplars of cooperation, even though resources were freely shared. Anthropologists studying primitive cultures were surprised at the extremely high murder rate among males within a tribe, reaching something like 20%, which is a poor indicator of harmonious cooperation. And that's ignoring what they do to other tribes. At least that's what I read in Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn, a book about human evolution, even though I might be incorrectly recalling the statistic. Even chimpanzees, a much more distant relation than our own ancestors, can get violently competitive with each other. (It may have been better if humans were more like bonobos who solve every problem through sex ...)

There's also the experimental fact that I myself have a healthy amount of laziness and a modicum of greed. And considering that I'm one of the less greedy people around me, that bodes ill for a restraint on greed for the average human nature. And of course, there's the depressingly large proportion of the human population that prefers dogma over reason ...

For communism, there are also the problems that not all things are created equal and not all jobs are equally attractive. Better quality products take more resources to build than those with poorer quality. Should there be only one single product line for any class of items? If not, who gets the better products and who gets the worse ones? Who gets to decide, and how will they decide? This sounds suspiciously like economics becoming politics. Then again, politics is a major factor on how money and resources go around, and vice versa.

There are also the essential jobs that must be done, but almost no one wants to do without some compensation. No doubt that for any job there will be people who would love to do it, but I'm pretty sure that there are far too few people who like jobs such as handling human waste. Without private compensation in some form, not enough people might be willing to do many of these essential jobs. It's hardly an insurmountable problem for communism, of course, with workarounds such as mandatory service similar to the two to three years of military service required in some countries. This does run into a converse problem of who gets what job, but it might be better than the exploitation that occurs in many countries, where people do horrible jobs with very little compensation because the other choice would be starvation.

Does this mean that I think human nature will doom any attempt at communism? Hardly. I'm rather uneasy about the vagueness of how allocation should be handled: in capitalism, resource allocation is decentralized and self-organizing, but I'm always confused about how it's supposed to work in communism. But this could be chalked up to my ignorance. Otherwise, I don't have a really strong opinion about communism.

On the other hand, I do have a rather strong opinion that an attempt at communism through violent revolution is doomed to failure. I blame history for this position. It might be arguable whether the Soviet Union or China were really communist, but they're certainly the most visible examples that ended up bad. On yet the third hand, Western nations with more socialistic policies seem to have a higher average standard of living than other Western nations. Admittedly, I'm basing this on the very small sample of the United States and the Scandinavian countries. I might also be confusing cause and effect.

If there were no scarcity of resources and all the unpleasant jobs were mechanized, I could easily see communism working out quite well. But with explosive population growth outstripping the availability of resources and a rate of automation that is still very low, I could also easily see how impractical communism might be as applied to the whole world, although I'm much less sure about it as applied to individual nations. Things might be different with much more advanced technology and population growth back under control: perhaps Karl Marx was just several centuries before his time.

78 Replies to “A less than perfect human nature”

  1. Alright, lets take this one by one.

    Even in ancient times, it seems that humans weren’t exemplars of cooperation,

    I will need to see which place, what century, what kind of culture before I can try to explain why those primitves where infighting. Other anthropologists have discovered that humans used to live in very cooperative gentile communities where there was not cause for male infighting due to the group marriages that happened. There was no male jealousy.

    Cooperation did in fact start dying in ancient times but that happened with the coming of farming, private property and monogamy.

    Furthermore you cannot compare human development with other current primates because human development of societies and nomadic life required them to be cooperative to a much greater degree. The ones you currently see have simply not progressed in the same path.

  2. There’s also the experimental fact that I myself have a healthy amount of laziness and a modicum of greed. And considering that I’m one of the less greedy people around me, that bodes ill for a restraint on greed for the average human nature.

    I'm not arguing that people today are ready for Communism. I know that they aren't. I'm arguing that this is not unchangeable

  3. In the same way that people got the first one, they can get the second or the upgrade. Simply request it.

    To who? They are plenty of things people love to make that there might not be any shortage, but would that be true for everything? If someone wants gasoline, will there be enough people willing to go through the sometimes life-threatening risks of drilling for oil? Some people would undoubtedly enjoy the danger, but will there be enough to satisfy all the demand? Perhaps someone will take the risk to produce oil they need themselves: why would they increase their risk to produce oil for others?

  4. If there is any disagreement in a commune, it can easily be decided democratically.

    How can this be done without bogging everything down in red tape? Disagreements are not going to be uncommon at all. Should a city council meeting be held for every single issue? What about disagreements between communes (however large they might be)? What about possible tyranny by majority? Do we want all the politics and drama that goes on in democracies all around the world for every issue that arises? Turnout is low enough as it is: should every disagreement be handled by those few who bother to participate in the decision process?

  5. There are also the essential jobs that must be done, but almost no one wants to do without some compensation. No doubt that for any job there will be people who would love to do it, but I’m pretty sure that there are far too few people who like jobs such as handling human waste.

    Don't you clean your own house? Don't you cook for yourself? Don't you do chores already? Well, in a similar way, there are "societal chores". But I tackled all of these in my previous articles about misunderstanding communism. Did you read those?

  6. Can I get a reference? In "Before the Dawn", Nicholas Wade specifically cites an African tribe that appears to be the closest to ancient humans genetically with almost no contact with the modern world, and anthropologists who went there fully expecting a harmonious culture were shocked at the casual manner the tribe thought of murder. I haven't heard of a concrete case of anthropologists doing a proper study and finding ancient humans to be as noble as you claim, albeit I haven't looked very hard, either.

    Ancient bloodthirsty stories and actual behaviors in animals do not give me much credence in the concept of ancient humans being particularly more cooperative than modern man. It could be argued that the converse is actually the case, that otherwise modern humans would not have been able to form the large scale societies we have today.

  7. I'm not arguing for that, either. It's just that you talked as if human nature is always so accommodating to reason and cooperation, which I'm doubtful about having been the case in the past but much more hopeful about for the future.

  8. Should there be only one single product line for any class of items? If not, who gets the better products and who gets the worse ones?

    In the same way that people got the first one, they can get the second or the upgrade. Simply request it. And since there is not intellectual property or other such nonsense, there is no point in having an inferior product. Any factory can upgrade itself to make the same quality as any other. It does not need to be the same if they do not want it but nobody is forcing people to choose either way anyway.

    Who gets to decide, and how will they decide?

    If there is any disagreement in a commune, it can easily be decided democratically.

  9. I don't go through the manufacture process that goes into my clothes. I don't dig up sand and put it through a complex process to create bricks and build my own home. I don't collect the seeds, till land, and harvest plants to produce my own food. I don't handle my own shit except for the very beginning. I don't go through all of the work that goes into networking computers and generating electricity to power them. Etc., etc. There are far more many things I rely upon others than I do myself.

    I did go through your series thinking that I may have been missing something, but I didn't see anything about societal chores nobody wants to do. I may have missed it somehow ...

  10. Once again it depends on what you want to achieve. If everyone wants a super-cool car (and this is relevant for the super-cool cars of yesteryear are sucky today) then they can pool resources and focus on making more factories and better machines for making cool cars. Then slowly super-cool cars can be given out as they come, say from a queue people joined to get one.

    But you're getting in very hypothetical questions I believe in order to find cracks. Communism does not have everything foreseen for this is simply impossible. However under communism you have the capability to find the solutions in the problems that occur. Think of Wikipedia. It started out without almost any rules but it has now created the rules to fix the problems it has faced when they came up.

    The same will happen to Communism. The people faced with the problem will sit together and think of the solution. To throw scenarios at my single brain and expect that I can always give you the best answer to your satisfaction is simply impossible.

  11. I don't go through the manufacture process that goes into my clothes.[...]I rely upon others than I do myself.

    I never said you didn't, and these are all jobs that people will choose to to. The ones that nobody wants to do (say, sewer duty) can easily be assigned by agreed shifts or any other way, similar to how a household does its chores. Also do not forget that because of the dissolution of the state and the army, there will be a huge amount of extra people who will be contributing to the work.

    The "chores" of the society would be quite minimal in time.

    but I didn't see anything about societal chores nobody wants to do. I may have missed it somehow ...

    Sixth and Seventh Paragraph

  12. This wasn't because reason was in shorter supply in the past. Humans have not changed biologically at all in the civilization years. The reason why reason seems not to have been used to much is because of the way these societies were build, what their production was and how they competed with each other. The enemy of reason is not faith, it is starvation and pain. When people have to struggle daily for life, they do not have time for intellectualism or knowledge and this was the standard situation in the ancient world. This is why the intellectual people were always the rich or well-off. The only bright example to this was Epicurus who managed to find the way to be intellectual even while poor.

    We become more reasonable the more easy our life is, and communism makes life easy for everyone.

    1. I've got to agree that communism probably would make things much easier in a rich society. Although being the way I am, I have a great reluctance to talk in absolutes or certainties. ^_^;;

  13. To who?

    The people who make it of course :)

    If someone wants gasoline, will there be enough people willing to go through the sometimes life-threatening risks of drilling for oil?

    You're confusing the product with the method. The product in the case is energy, and the method is gasoline (which comes through drilling). If the risk of getting the product is too high, people will either decide it's not worth it (ie, if the risk of making teddy bears was life-threatening, people would probably learn to live without teddy bears), or simply find other ways to make it.

    In your scenario, because the risk of drilling is too large, not only for the drillers but also because of the effects of oil burning, people would have the incentive to work towards alternative energy sources.

  14. Even running my little computer right in front of me involved an awfully lot of people. A gazillion people all clamor for their share of electricity from a very small number of groups. Sending information packets across the sea involves a lot of groups and geographies as they have to negotiate who is going to create the infrastructure and how bandwidth is allocated. And that doesn't even go into the mining of raw resources and manufacturing effort to build all that infrastructure. The space occupied by my computer has to be negotiated by a lot of people; everyone wants to be able to use more land, but there's far too little of it. And I can go on.

    How is this democracy supposed to work? How are we supposed to know exactly which people are directly affected? Even agreeing on this might have to go through bitter politics. Have you really thought out how things would work from start to finish to get even a single networked computer?

  15. Why would it mean "no" of any of those things. Communism means simply that the workers of each of those industries start reaping the rewards of their own labour. It does not mean to built it by scratch.
    These industries would continue working as before, each supplying the material for the next.

    If there isn't enough copper to go around there will be a demand and more people will join in copper extraction or create better machines to extract more. If your argument is that people might not want to go and work in the copper mine and thus we will have less production than necessarily, you admit that the only reason people work in a copper mine now is because they will starve. Thus you are OK with them being coerced with starvation so that you may have a computer.

    Do not misunderstand your current position for the position of the rest of the world. Yes you have a lot of comfort in your life but for this, a lot of others have none. Realise that the only reason you have this computer is because others have only a bed.

  16. Not all products are equal. What if the people making cars can only make one super-efficient, super-beautiful, super-quiet car a year, but can make a hundred sucky cars in the same time? Who gets the super-cool car? Or why shouldn't he make a hundred more sucky cars instead? Or what if he doesn't want to make sucky cars at all? (Or "transport method for single person" in lieu of "car" if you want.)

  17. Mentioning that it was in the last portions of the book would have been nice, considering that the first chapter on prehistoric culture says nothing of the sort. Reading the chapter on "Barbarism and Civilization" gives me the impression of it being written by an armchair anthropologist, though, especially since there's no mention of him actually studying and living among American Indians (his given example).

    And given how violent supposedly peaceful societies turned out to be (Aztec, Maya, primitive tribes, ...), I would like something more than just the more than a hundred years old writings of an armchair anthropologist. Some searching suggests that even the American native people may not have been so harmonious in ancient times, although I'm hardly qualified to make a judgement.

  18. First, a reference from 1884 is awfully outdated, especially in light of all the new knowledge gained since then (e.g., anthropologists actually talking to members of some primitive tribes to learn how prevalent murder is, completely contrary to what they thought they had known).

    Second, can you be more specific? I can't find anything of the sort you mention from a brief skimming of the first chapter on prehistoric culture, and I don't have the time to read the entire book.

  19. I cannot know how outdated it is. I am not an anthropologist. However I believe you can only judge how outdated it is once you read it and compare it with new evidence that has come up lately.

    Second, can you be more specific?

    You asked me for a reference, not a specific quote. I do not know what I can be specific about. Nevertheless the whole book deals with this issue and if you don't have time to read it I certainly do not have time to type it ;)

  20. That it is accommodating to reason, we already know. The question is if cooperation is stronger than competition and is reason can help the former in favour of the later. I think that is the case.

  21. You keep throwing question after question at me mate. For every answer I give you, you think of another question. We can keep this up forever.

    The people who already produce the EV1, will keep producing the EV1. They will have an incentive to make the production of the EV1 quicker. The people providing the raw materials have the incentive to do so in order to get an EV1 themselves. You will have an incentive to do what you do in order to help those people producing the EV1 be happier and thus more productive. If not enough EV1s are coming out, people can learn how to make an EV1 factory and then gather enough EV1 enthusiasts and start working on it.

  22. The book was not written by an athropologist. It was written based on the writing of Anthropologists who especially went and studied Native Americans and lived with them. I can't remember the name but this anthropologist managed to provide evidence of how previous understanding of barbaric cultures was horribly wrong.

    it is also based on historic writings and knowledge about the Germans, the Greeks and the Romans.

    it is those boring first chapters that explain who and how provided the data and information

  23. Like I said, even accommodation of reason is questionable, considering that far more people indulge in a bewildering variety of religions and superstitions than not. And it was even worse in the past. On the other hand, this later point is conversely a ray of hope that things will get better. :)

  24. Democracy does not mean gathering everyone and the kitchen sink for every little issue. The only people who need to go through the democratic process as the ones who are affected by it. If there is an issue that affects the whole community, a council meeting can be adjourned. But how often does this happen? How often do you have issues that affect a whole city, a whole nation or the whole world?

    The tyranny of the majority is generally not an issue as communism is based on egalitarianism. You cannot have equality when you split people into classes.But further than that I'll need a concrete example to analyze.

    Again, do not confuse the democracy that will happen under communism with the mockery of democracy we have under capitalism. People do not care about democracy now because they know they do not have any effect and all the candidates are the same.

  25. You either start making it yourself (it's your own desire after all) or you join the people who make it in order to make more.

  26. OK, I get what you said. But I find it a highly unsatisfactory answer: if people were that way, even pure unbridled capitalism would be the same way. Or to say it in another way: it won't matter what the economic system is.

  27. For me, that means no silicon, no copper, no oil, no iron, no plastics, no glass, no lead, no industrial chemical, no lithographing, no electricity, no magnets, no integrated circuits, no integrated circuit designs, no RAM, no LED, no CPU, and on and on, and ultimately, no computer. Unless these multitude of industries operated by a multitude of groups of people can somehow come together harmoniously to work together. And each industry is unlikely to be specialized into producing materials to be consumed by just one other industry.

    However, I like having a computer ...

    Perhaps my point is that there is a huge gap between saying "joining" and what it actually might mean to "join a group of people".

  28. No, this is not the point for me to think of everything before I decide that Communism is superior. I would simply never decide. What you're asking is absurd.

    I undertsand that a societal superstructure involves a lot of specialized people doing very specialized work. Certainly when problems occur we can try to deal with them. Not enough electricity, build more plants or better technology. Not enough infrastructure? Build it.

    All of these work in the same way that I explained everything else. People do it because they get to reap the benefits of their own work. If I help build the infrastructure for internet in my area, it means I can have internet and so on.

    This is far better of never having things done in areas because there's no profit in it.

    Do not take democracy and put it in front of everything. Democracy is for when there is disagreement that cannot be dealt any other way. It is not inconceivable for two areas who do not have internet to arrange between them who is going to get it first, or perhaps cooperate so that both get it sooner.

    Democracy is for dealing with disagreements, not for dealing with everything.

  29. It can't happen under capitalism because capitalism requires competition. It requires people to do what the capitalist tells them or starve. What I describe can only happen if there is free food and shelter for everyone at the least and this cannot happen because
    1) the landlords won't allow it
    2) there's no profit in free food

  30. I don't find it particularly hypothetical. I want an EV1 or something similar: how do I even start? Who is even going to start? And I don't even have to go that far: nearly every single thing I use has a multitude of such cracks from their beginnings as raw resources to ending up in front of me.

    I hate to say it, but you're sounding like the "capitalism will solve everything" crowd. They also say that under capitalism people will work together and think of a solution for any problem ...

  31. Unfortunately, this contradicts all of the things I've been hearing from more recent anthropologists: ancient people were neither horribly barbaric brutes compared to us, nor were they saintly noble spirits compared to us, they were just a variation of us (a bit more violent at times, a bit more noble at times, but not extremely so).

    Mark Steyn wrote an article that talks about the issue better than I can. Nicholas Wade's book had a real good quote that stuck with me, poorly paraphrased as "when living with them gave anthropologists an impression of a peaceful society, that impression rapidly changed when they actually talked with them".

  32. About people gathering to increase production to satisfy demand: this reminds me of my experience with Wikipedia. While plenty of people were quite willing to work heavily writing and editing articles, there were far fewer people working on boring administration duties such as discussions for deletions and other administrative discussions, despite the steadily increasing need for such administrative tasks.

    And now that I've quit writing and editing articles and participating in the administration side of Wikipedia, I've been getting far more out of Wikipedia than I've given back. But even though I sometimes feel that I should be doing something more for the encyclopedia, I just can't after being burned out with my experience there. Bummer. :( Maybe I'm one the people that would make communism impractical ...

    At least capitalism allowed me another way to give back: I made a donation. :P

    (This story has no bearing on the practicality of communism: it's just a tangent that I wanted to write about.)

  33. Comments: tldr. So I'll just throw in my two cents.

    Communism does not require perfection, or even much improvement, in human social psychology.

    db0 is very explicit and clear that the phrase "human nature" is equivocal; it is often used -- especially when rebutting communism -- to refer to that which cannot change, what is ineluctable about being human. The capitalist view of human nature borrows very deeply from the Abrahmic (and especially Christian) belief of the ineluctable depravity of human beings.

    It is in that sense that the argument for capitalism from human nature fails, because our competitiveness is definitely present, but it is not in fact ineluctable. Furthermore, communism does not mean we must absolutely eliminate competition, it mere means we must be intentional about channeling it, so that competition does not lead to exploitation and oppression.

    Capitalism forces people to be hyper-competitive and exploitative -- you're either the hammer or the nail -- and then points to the result of this compulsion as evidence that people are ineluctably competitive and exploitative.

  34. So if the whole world was a communistic society, what should we do? Does everyone forgo the use of computers and other comforts? Or does communism "magically" ensures that everything is produced in sufficient quantities for everyone? (It might be so, but all the vagueness and lack of actual implementation on a large scale is always going to have me point out that, yes, it might be possible, but it can just as easily be the case that it isn't.)

    And I'm under no illusion. The same applies to you, remember ...

  35. Crud, now I'm talking vaguely, too.

    I should point out that while it's possible that proper communism can somehow mitigate the effects of blackhearts, it's also not too hard to think of plausible scenarios where it doesn't. (The classic argument of one lazy person getting more than his share, other people noticing and getting lazy, too, and soon it spreads throughout the entire society like a plague. A less classic argument that a power-hungry individual could gather people as a powerbase and steadily increase power, subverting communism from within.)

    I'm not sure whether such scenarios are actually possible (in fact, I think the first example is kind of cartoony and cliche), but neither am I convinced that proper communism is impervious to any potential weaknesses.

  36. Well said. You actually have me an idea for a future post. I think it's time for me to smack Plato around a bit for his ridiculous teachings

  37. It's the certainty despite the vagueness that gets to me. Yeah, you might be absolutely right, but it's equally possible that you might be absolutely wrong.

    The problem I'm seeing with this particular problem the exact same argument can be used for capitalism. And yet there has not been an EV1 on the road for five years despite the demand.

  38. No offense mate, but you're asking me to pre-chew everything for you. My articles were mostly to be an introduction to communism for people raised in anti-communist propaganda. Of course my arguments are vague, They're supposed to be elementary. And I've had socialists accuse me of the same thing (presenting a cartoony version of communism).

    Of course the system has much more depth than this but there has been hundreds of books and thousands of conversations on this aspect. You can't be really expecting me to type them all here!

    Perhaps if we could meet face to face, we would be able to actually have a discussion that won't take 10 times as much for the need of typing. But in this case I really cannot continue with this. I've presented a simplified version which, of course, is not complete. If the simplified version does look promising, then it's up to you to investigate further when you have time. I've linked to quite a few material you can start with.

  39. Well, my issue was more of db0's rose-colored view of human nature, that reason and cooperation will prevail, which is something that I also hope for but am doubtful about in one of my more pessimistic moods, especially with all the actual evidence against humans as a whole ever having such an ideal nature despite db0's claims. Basically my issue was on what was described as what was, rather than what could be.

    I really don't have much of an opinion on the superiority between capitalism or communism, which is why I didn't participate in db0's series of posts introducing communism. The most I went for is roll my eyes at anyone claiming that the free market will solve everything or that failure of communism is inevitable. Especially since there's a plausible case that can be made that if the true costs of goods were reflected in the market costs (which means including the cost from pollution, emotional harm, health costs, long-term consequences, ...) and everyone indeed has perfect information and rationality, capitalism might actually be able to achieve a reasonable balance. Not entirely convincing, but the fact that such a free market is totally impractical makes the point moot.

    The same point applies to communism. The fact that there have been no large-scale and free communistic society means that I can't entirely put aside the thought that some little detail might make pure communism entirely impractical. On the other hand, the lack also means that I don't think that pure communism must be impractical.

    Most of the thread has been nitpicking between db0 and myself about communism, with myself saying "hey, communism might have this problem" and db0 saying "no, it won't", and with all the hand-waving done by us, I'd say most people could safely ignore most of the comments. ;) It's the first thread that's really related to what I wanted to talk about in this post.

  40. I'm not asking you not to be critical of Communism and Marxism, indeed you should be.

    Yes communism is supposed to keep everyone equal, but that's a very complex subject. I can give you of course the simplified version which would be full of holes which you'll point out and we'll end up in another endless discussion. It's just impractical for me to explain it, and it's unfair of you to ask it of me when it's much easier for both of us to simply read about it (nowadays you can simply search youtube as well for such vids)

  41. Just to restate my position in a nutshell:

    Past and present humans don't paint an especially rosy picture of human nature, so they're not convincing as the basis for an argument for a better human nature tomorrow.

    I have some qualms about communism.

    I don't think my qualms are fatal for communism and accept that there could be satisfactory answers. Emphasis on could, since I don't know.

    I have a dim view of violent revolution as a starting point for a free society.

    Maybe the time is not yet right for communism due to scarce resources and low level of technology, or maybe it's getting even further as population growth is currently outstripping everything else. Maybe.

  42. Interesting post Yoo, though I agree with Barefoot Bum on this. There's no need for perfection. We already cooperate and compete in capitalism, however in capitalism the competition results in the starvation or shortened lifespan of one person while cooperation is often done on smaller levels.

    I think it is worth remembering that tribes aren't exactly the best indicators of modern cooperation. We need only look at modern day communes and anarchist societies like Christiania, Catalonia, and the Christian and secular communes (I myself am involved in starting one with a few others in Iowa) scattered across the US and other countries. Tribes had the problem that they did not have enough to eat and thus aren't really a good model. However, even small religious towns during the dawn of America worked together.

    I rambled and didn't put that together well. Maybe I need sleep...

  43. Of course it's not your job to think of everything. But it is your job if you want to convince others. Being science-oriented, I need a whole lot more than vague pronouncements to be convinced. Otherwise, my thoughts never go beyond "Huh, he may have a point."

    On this particular problem, I have a sneaky suspicion that "any other ways" will turn out to be suspiciously like capitalist methods.

  44. First of all, Communism ensures that everyone is equal. If everyone being equal means that people must forgo the use of computers until we can get things running, so be it. I'd rather live without computers for a year rather than know that 5 thousands kids must die of starvation so that I may have internet.

    Communism does not "magically" ensure everything. It's simple supply and demand (which I hope to write about soon) but without exploitation in the middle.

    1. And the question that a whole lot of people have doubts about is how communism is supposed to keep everyone equal. The devils are in the details, and without a large-scale real-world free and happy communistic society to point to, along with the lack of all the nitty gritty details being fleshed out, there's always going to be qualms. Yet on the other hand, it also means that I'd be willing to give changes towards communism a chance.

      Part of it is that I'm much more of a pragmatist than any sort of economical philosophy purist, so I much prefer detailed plans that show how they can actually work over vague hand-waving. That's why I roll my eyes at people decrying a $700 billion bailout bill with accusations of it being socialist. Who cares if it is, what matters is whether it works! (Although I do have a problem with it in that I fear it may cause more problems than it solves ...)

  45. Which one? He had a lot of odd ideas. ;)

    (I give him credit for being among the long line of philosophers who tried to think rationally rather than rely on dogma. The ideas themselves? Not so much.)

  46. The problem with your scenario is you go from people getting lazy to someone taking power without there really being anything to connect the two.

    People can only get so lazy before they starve to death. Under Communism there is less work to do and it is more free, so it's not like it'd be as hard as under capitalism. The goal is the same, to survive. Also, if one person stops doing their fair share, more likely than not the community won't give them their full share.

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