Communism is not a religion

One argument that I tend not to hear very often but occasionally stumble onto, is the accusation that Communism or Marxism is akin to a religion, that is, something based on faith.

The reason this is used strikes me more like a way to hit a soft spot on an Atheist or skeptic, rather than an attempt at true argumentation. Indeed, such a claim does not tackle any of the core tenets of Communism such as the labour theory of value, the explanation of capitalist shortcomings etc, but rather takes a generic shallow look at the history of attempted Communism and draws conclusions from that.

So let’s see what the arguments might be.

It is not based on science

Communism as any other socioeconomic system is not based on the scientific method. The scientific method requires an observation to happen before it can create a theory but you cannot observe a system that does not exist yet.

Capitalism is not based on the scientific method either. It did not come about because some scientists sat down and observed the current feudal system and found out that capitalism is a more optimal choice. No. It first came about and then the pseudo-science of economics set out to find out the rules that control it.

If anything else, Marxism is a absolutely materialistic philosophy and considers that only science can discover the truth about the world. In this regard, it is diametrically opposed to any other religion.

It is based on faith

As a completely faithless person, such an accusation seems absurd to me. For something to be based on faith, it needs to be believed regardless of conflicting evidence. But no such evidence exist against Communism.

This is doubtly untrue since things based on faith tend to be hammered onto the minds of children in order to stick. The enemy of faith is reason. Certainly it is possible that someone is brainwashed as a child to be a Communist, but such a person would be a very poor example of one as for Communism to work, it requires conscious, skeptical, critical and active people who can take action into their own hands and be willing to cooperate with others democratically. A passive, brainwashed follower might be fitting for a Stalinist regime but can never be considered a Communist unless he starts accepting the theory based on reason instead of faith.

Personally, I was always very critical of Communism for the same reason everyone else in the world is. Misunderstanding of what it really is. I only started accepting it once I dug a bit deeper and started criticizing my own preconceptions.

It is evangelising

This is the accusation that, like any religion, Communism requires people to spread the knowledge of it to others before they can accept it.

Like any idea before it, there is no way to spread it except through discussion with people who know about it. The idea of Capitalism, markets and merchants did not spread itself. Humanity did not begin with a part of it being merchants or capitalists. These classes of people were created when someone thought of the concept and then started spreading it to others, thought words and actions.

If this is a definition of a religion, then any idea is a religion.

It has a holy book, prophets and apostles.

This is absolutely untrue by the common definition of those terms. The Communist Manifesto is simply the expression of the part of an idea and as such it is subject to improvement as any other idea. It is not a dogma. The people who accepted Communism and spreaded the word can no more be called Prophets than Adam Smith who spread the idea of Capitalism. Nor can leaders who accept one idea over another make that idea a religion.

Finally

It is very easy to stretch the meaning of words in order to make a term less positive to the people who might embrace it. But this is a dishonest tactic. If one wishes to tackle Communism, the best way to do so is through rational dialogue on the actual points it proposes. Like any philosophy and idea, there will certainly be people who are dogmatic about it, but that does not describe the philosophy as a whole.

Series Navigation<< Was the USSR Communist?Does communism stiffle individualism? >>

161 thoughts on “Communism is not a religion

  1. Quibbles…

    Communism is best described, I think, as a philosophical system, which embeds empirical science as its epistemology and embeds a purely materialistic ontology.

    The labor theory of value is, as I recall, Adam Smith's idea. Marx's contribution to economics is the theory of surplus value.

  2. The labor theory of value is, as I recall, Adam Smith's idea. Marx's contribution to economics is the theory of surplus value

    Correct. My mistake.

  3. i liked both of these posts. will there be more?

    it's a mistake to call communism a religion. i do think, however, that the way it was expressed specifically in the ussr and in china has quite a few elements of religiosity… and i do think that this is accounted for by the points you made about both societies not having had a capitalist basis.

    ευχαριστώ for these and hope to see more.

  4. i liked both of these posts. will there be more?

    Certainly. I'm writing the next one now.

    i do think, however, that the way it was expressed specifically in the ussr and in china has quite a few elements of religiosity

    True but this had a lot to do with the cult of personality such regimes create in order to breed obedience.

  5. I do not disagree but as I said in my previous article, the regimes under which this "state religion" appeared are not communism. You have to remember thought that the places which did get this kind of political dogma had a total absolutist monarchy before. The peasants were conditioned for thousands of years to unquestionably follow orders so it was party societal natural selection that brought a leader to the forefront who could use this power most optimally.

    Furthemore, this kind of political dogma is not necessarily a problem of these regimes. I could very well argue that the state religion of the western societies is the blind trust in the powers of Capitalism and lately of the "free markets". Not only is it accepted unquestionably by most that Capitalism is the best system but any criticism is swiftly silenced or ridiculed. It might be more liberal, in the sense that one can express criticism without fearing for his life, but this is mostly because people in the western world have had enough time to develop a degree of critical thinking and tolerance.

  6. You made some good points here. But I think the metaphor of "state religion" largely holds. Under historical communism, people had no choice but to accept state decisions. The writings of the leaders have been often carried around and studied like religious texts. Questioning core "faith" in the system could get you arrested and imprisoned. Large pictures of the leaders are posted and worshiped. In the case of Kim Jong Il, it's definitely a quasi-religion. At the very least like toomanytribbles said, a cult of personality.

    I have used this argument successfully to confront false accusations that the concentration camps operated and murders often committed under communism are the end result of atheism. I say they should be laid at the feet of a "state religion." A rational humanistic society would guarantee high levels of freedom of expression and self-determination. It would never allow such atrocities to occur. Only dogma could justify the systematic taking away of human rights. Political dogma is just as guilty as the religious kind.

  7. Excellent post again. I got inspired and will be posting a little myself on the matter, explaining what exactly Communism is and clearing up some misunderstandings, and linking over here. I really wish there were more posts like this on the internet, and more people could be educated. Can't wait to read more and will point as many people as possible over here. 😉

  8. It depends how you look at it … Communism is actually the end result. A utopia type society where there are no classes where produces to their capability and to each depending on their need. That is no different to a paradise. Desperate people where sold that to fight for the cause. Also the holy book is considered infallible, and debating with a communist is like debating with a fundamentalist Christian. The "book" is infallible, and there is no need for any new knowledge. Adam smith proposed a theory, and it has endlessly been revised an updated. Nobody goes to Adam Smith and argues from authority much like nobody reads the origin of the species for any other reason than history.

    1. Depends on what kind of Communism you speak of. Leninists do have a similar (and borderline schizophrenic) mentality with Lenin's (and by extension Trotsky's or Stalin's or Mao's) writings sure, but there's hardly any "holy book" that every communist accepts as a guide. Especially not Anarcho-Communists such as myself.

      In fact, if you look into Anarchist ideology, they have the exact same relation to the writings that came before them as you explain about Adam smith. We take what works and dismiss what doesn't.

      1. Giorgis, your argument still fails to separate "capitalists" from "communists", in that what you imply all communists do (you're committing your own logical fallacies here, and yet you feel obliged to cite an imaginary "argument from authority"), is not only NOT what all communists do, but that those who do actually do these things are no different from many self-described capitalists who do the same (defending their chosen icons with complete disregard for alternative notions/facts/propositions, "spreading the faith", as well as "preaching" that their system, if adhered to perfectly and to the letter, will bring about a "perfect" society). "Perfect", of course, being a subjective descriptor in this sense.

        You say only Adam Smith's theory has been endlessly revised and updated. Patently false. Both socioeconomic philosophies have gone through their fair share of revisions and updates, though neither by the original authors' hands. Both have also been endlessly reinterpreted by other notable scholars, politicians, etc., either to the parent idea's fortune, or misfortune. (It should also be noted here that anyone who has deeply delved into Marx's writings know that he abhorred the idea of people mindlessly following anyone or anything, including himself).

        This attempt to label Communists and Communism with the most objectionable terms within the "skeptic" community , as the OP suggests, is little more than fallacy piled on logical fallacy, and yet more and more these days those who have dubbed themselves "skeptics" and voices of "reason" and "critical thinking" fall into this trap. It's absolute bunk.

  9. “Capitalism is not based on the scientific method either.”

    Capitalism is not an ideology or theory. It does not make predictions and does not require any faith.

    “Capitalism first came about and then the pseudo-science of economics set out to find out the rules that control it.”

    Except
    that it’s not a psuedo-science, yes. Problem here is of course that
    communism did not first come about. It hasn’t happened (because it can’t
    because it’s impossible). So comparing capitalism and communism
    completely fails, as they are not in any way alike.

    “Marxism is a absolutely materialistic philosophy and considers that only science can discover the truth about the world.”

    Like Scientology, then? Right, just like scientology, Marxism *claims* to be scientific, but then ignores all science.

    “For
    something to be based on faith, it needs to be believed regardless of
    conflicting evidence. But no such evidence exist against Communism.”

    The
    evidence against communism is brutally overwhelming. Your claim here is
    akin to a creationist claiming creationism is a science and that there
    is no evidence against it.

    “It is not a dogma.”

    If you
    stop being dogmatic about Marxism, and start adopting it so it actually
    fits reality, it quickly crumbles to dust. Just look at how Communists
    still cling to the labour theory of value, well over a 100 years after
    it was supplanted by the marginal theory of value. No serious
    non-marxist economist still clings to the labour theory of value,
    because it does not work and does not fit with observations. It’s been
    thrown own the trash heap. Except by Marxists, who cling to it,
    dogmatically, because without it Marx theoretical card house simply
    collapses.

    So yeah, it’s a dogma alright.

    Also, what ideology has the story that Humanity first lived in a primitive life of
    happy ignorance with no private possessions, and then when this life
    gets destroyed for no adequately explained reason they have to live in
    misery until there is a great war between good and evil, and humanity
    will again live in a sort of paradise on earth?

    Right. Christianity. And Marxism.

    1. It does not make predictions and does not require any faith.

      Don’t be daft, Capitalism predicts that making the capitalist mode of production the dominant form of production will maximize human utility/happiness/whatever

      1. No, you confuse it with Liberalism (in its original sense, not in the sense where it’s used as an insult against the Democratic party).

        Capitalism is a thing. It’s a badly defined economic mode. It is no more an ideology than an anthill is an ideology. It makes no more predictions than an anthill makes predictions.

        Modern economic theories are mostly about describing how capitalism (and other economic modes) work. These theories do make predictions about economy, but nothing else. But these theories are also not capitalism. Capitalism is what they describe.

        Communism, however, is both a theoretical economic mode, and the ideology and theory wanting to implement this economic mode. When someone says that communism is a religion, it is the ideology/theory that is meant. Capitalism is not an ideology or theory and can therefore not be compared with communism in that sense.

        1. Capitalism is a thing. It’s a badly defined economic mode. It is no more
          an ideology than an anthill is an ideology. It makes no more
          predictions than an anthill makes predictions.

          This why sensible humans arrive at an understanding about the concept they’re debating. If not why are you defending some vaguely defined “thing”?

          I define Capitalism as the socioeconomic system where the capitalist form of production (i.e. wage slavery and markers) is dominant. It’s easy enough.

          1. I am not defending a “vaguely defined thing”. I’m pointing out mistakes in your argumentation in this post. You can take this as an opportunity to learn and better yourself and your argumentation, or you can take it as an opportunity to close yourself and make straw men so you don’t have to learn. This is entirely up to you.

          2. You defined capitalism as a “vaguely defined thing” not a few minutes ago!

            Spare me the rest of the bullshit.

          3. No, I pointed out that the word “Capitalism” is a vague word which is badly defined. I did not *defend* it.

          4. No. I have pointed out in a couple of comments, maybe 4-5, that not everything in the world is capitalism fault. Perhaps this can be seen as defending of you think everything IS capitalism fault, and you clearly do. But you seem to think that everything I say is defending capitalism, and that can only mean that you have a dogmatic world view where it’s “us” vs “them” and I become “them” because I disagree with you, so I can’t be “us”.

            That’s not religion at least. It’s just stupidity.

        2. These theories do make predictions about economy, but nothing else. But
          these theories are also not capitalism. Capitalism is what they
          describe.

          They are theories making predictions about economy based on what? Natural Laws? Because it sure as fuck ain’t anything empirical. How do they descibe something undefined? You’re making no sense.

          1. Sorry, that’s complete nonsense. Economical theories ARE based on empirical studies.

        3. Communism, however, is both a theoretical economic mode, and the ideology and theory wanting to implement this economic mode

          Nope. Try again. Communism is itself a socioeconomic system. Marxism-Leninism is ONE theory of attempting to implement communism. (some forms of) Anarchism describe another. You should try to better understand what you’re arguing against, before you do so.

          1. Communism, however, is both a theoretical economic mode, and the
            ideology and theory wanting to implement this economic mode. When
            someone says that communism is a religion, it is the ideology/theory
            that is meant.

            I’m fine with agreeing on, for the purposes of this discussion, to call the ideology “Marxism-Leninism” if you so wish. But it has then to be recognized that the statement under debate is “Marxism-Leninism is a religion”.

          2. Eh, Marxism-Leninism is bullshit anyway. If you want to argue Anarchism I can easily point out it has nothing religious about it.

          3. It tends to be dogmatic and unrealistic, but I agree this is not enough to call it religious, no.

          4. “Dogmatic”. You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

            Also lol @ unrealistic. Because modern economic theories are “realistic” when they can’t predict themselves out of a wet paper bag. Oh, but they’re “science”!

    2. Except that it’s not a psuedo-science, yes

      Except that it totally is.

      So comparing capitalism and communism completely fails, as they are not in any way alike.

      Since capitalism is praised based on its ideal results (even though it’s actual practice bring miserable results) then it makes sense to compare it with theoretical communism.

      1. It does not in practice “bring miserable results”. Capitalism is praised on one thing only: That it is more economically efficient, and hence brings greater wealth, than the alternatives. This is a fact. When capitalism is blamed for bringing misery, it is in fact blamed for things that has nothing to do with capitalism, and things that can not be fixed by way of economical systems.

        1. It does not in practice “bring miserable results”. Capitalism is praised
          on one thing only: That it is more economically efficient, and hence
          brings greater wealth, than the alternatives

          I.e. billions of the world starving while food is thrown away etc.

          I also love the fact that everything that goes wrong in capitalist systems is not the fault of capitalist systems. But everything that goes wrong with “systems that called themselves socialist” is the fault of “Communism”. It’s the ultimate “I can’t lose” argument.

          1. “I.e. billions of the world starving while food is thrown away etc.”

            Yes, indeed, not the fault of capitalism.

            “I also love the fact that everything that goes wrong in capitalist
            systems is not the fault of capitalist systems.”

            Do you blame the foundations of your hose when then TV breaks? If somebody murders someone in a house, it is the fault of the foundations of the house? It it the fault of the foundations when the roof leaks?

            Of course not. Yet, everything bad that happens in the world somehow must be capitalism fault. Why?

            “But everything that goes wrong with “systems that called themselves socialist” is the fault of
            “Communism”.”

            You actually made a very important distinction. I suspect you made it completely by mistake, but the distinction is correct and important.

            You said “everything that goes wrong in capitalist systems” but you said ” everything that goes wrong with systems that called themselves socialist”.

            “in” vs “with”.

            Nobody claims everything that goes wrong *in* socialist systems are the fault of socialism. But there are a lot of things that goes wrong *with* socialist systems. And those are the fault of socialism. Simply speaking (and we can expand on this later if you like) socialism does not work. It is sad, but true. Socialism, in the meaning of common ownership of the means of production, which is the minimal definition of socialism, does not work.

            Those countries who have called themselves communist have been non-democratic. They have tried to *force* a non-working system on the workers. This has always led to disaster. This is, at at least some levels, the fault of communism.

          2. Yes, indeed, not the fault of capitalism.

            It is precicely the fault of capitalism. It is like the perfect example of capitalist flaw.

          3. Can you explain how? Maybe then I can explain your misunderstanding.

          4. There is no such thing as “actual demand”. Effective demand is contrasted with *notional* demand. I suspect your “actual demand” is an invention of yours meaning “what I think people *should* want”.

            In any case, this does not in any way answer why you think that capitalism causes starvation. Especially not since starvation existed before capitalism.

            Although, come to think of it, your statement that “I.e. billions of the world starving while food is thrown away etc.” is the fault of capitalism should really be interpreted as that the fault is that there is so much food that it is thrown away. Which indeed is a fault of capitalism. Get rid of capitalism, and we’ll soon *all* starve.

            It’s just that people don’t generally think that is a Good Thing, which is why I suspect that you are trying to say that starvation is the fault of capitalism. Was I wrong?

          5. There is no such thing as “actual demand”.

            *Spits out coffee*

            Pfffwhat?

            Dear gawd how much more clear can I be. Actual Demand is the Demand a starving person has for food, or a sick person has for medicine. It’s not *effective* demand because they cannot afford it, so Capitalism lets them starve or die.

            This is the reason why even though we still have so many untreated diseases or sick people, most companies research luxury drugs. It’s the reason why people are starving or homeless, while our actual resources are distributed to random shit that rich people want.

            Cheezus you’re fucking ignorant…

          6. “Dear gawd how much more clear can I be. Actual Demand is the Demand a
            starving person has for food, or a sick person has for medicine.”

            So as I said, actual demand is the demand YOU think a person should have. It is only the demands and requirements YOU allow as being “actual”. Other demands you do not see as “real”.

            “It’s
            not *effective* demand because they cannot afford it, so Capitalism lets
            them starve or die.”

            Yes. In the same way as a road lets the starve or die. Or the sun. Or a bathtub.

            Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production. It does not have as a goal to prevent people from starving, and it can not prevent people from starving any more than your computer can. If you blame capitalism for starvation, you should equally blame your computer, your shoe and your bumhole. Because none of these prevent starvation either.

            But none of them CREATES starvation, and therefore they should IMO not be blamed.

            Capitalism is a type of ownership. It is the type of ownership that works most efficiently and creates the most wealth. It does not distribute that wealth. This has to be done in other ways.

            Capitalism actually helps against poverty and starvation by creating wealth that can be redistributed. Socialism does not, which is why many attempts of socialism has cause mass starvation. But capitalism does not by itself prevent starvation.

            The fault here is then not capitalisms, but yours. The fault is that you insist in blaming your headphones on not saving the world from starvation. And that blame is of course completely laid on the wrong thing.

          7. So as I said, actual demand is the demand YOU think a person should
            have. It is only the demands and requirements YOU allow as being
            “actual”. Other demands you do not see as “real”.

            A starving person does not have a demand for food? A sick person does not have a demand for medicine?

            And then you call me religious, when you’d gladly ignore obvious reality because it doesn’t fit your economic assumptions…

          8. Yes, of course they have a demand for this. What I object to is that you think that you have the right to say which demands are proper and which demands are not. You are not a god, you do not have that right. Each person decides his demands by himself. You have no say in this. You decide what you want, I decide what I want.

            There is no such thing as “actual” demand. That is just conservative moralism.

          9. Ah there we go, now we get to the classic capitalist apologia. You have no right to food etc etc.

            Really, just die in a fire…

          10. Nothing I said is even close to resembling anything that in it’s wildest dreams could even be remotely resembling how you interpreted it. Try again:

            “Yes, of course they have a demand for this. What I object to is that
            you think that you have the right to say which demands are proper and
            which demands are not. You are not a god, you do not have that right.
            Each person decides his demands by himself. You have no say in this. You
            decide what you want, I decide what I want.

            There is no such thing as “actual” demand. That is just conservative moralism.”

            This is, if anything, the exact opposite of what you claimed I said. Try to use your brain. I know you have one, or you would not be an anarchist.

          11. I say the right to food and the right to shelter (and other basic necessities of life) always trounces all other demands. Always. Those other demands “are not proper” as long as they trounce someone’s access to food and shelter.

            You, obviously disagree. So die in a fire.

          12. “I say the right to food and the right to shelter always trounces all
            other demands. Always.”

            I agree.

            “Those other demands “are not proper” in this
            situation as long as they trounce someone’s access to food and shelter.”

            The word “proper” is complete nonsense in that situation. And the word you used was “actual”. You claimed they were not “actual” demands. That’s of course completely incorrect. They *are* actual demands. All demands are actual demands. If you want something, then you want something. I do not have the right to tell you that you don’t *actually* want it.

            But saying that the right to food and shelter (note that even you do not use the word demand) and in fact other human rights, are indeed fundamental. This is why they are called a human right.

            So now stop trying to pain me as some heartless rich person. You don’t know anything about me, and I do not fit your preconceptions. So drop them, and listen to what I say instead. Then you will actually learn something.

          13. The word “proper” is complete nonsense in that situation. And the word
            you used was “actual”. You claimed they were not “actual” demands.
            That’s of course completely incorrect. They *are* actual demands. All
            demands are actual demands. If you want something, then you want
            something. I do not have the right to tell you that you don’t *actually*
            want it.

            Y U Make up your own definitions of what I’m talking about when you have no idea what I’m talking about?

            Actual demand: The demand that _Actually_ exists in the world.

            This demand is not met under capitalism.

            Effective demand: The demand that can be effectively fulfilled through available money from the demanding person.

            This is the only kind of demand met under capitalism.

            Capitalist flaw: The actual demand for food is trounced by the effective demand for luxuries.

            Can’t wait to see how you’ll say “nuh-uh, not capitalism’s fault, it’s the universe that’s at fault”

          14. You still do not get to decide what demand is “actual”.

            But I agree that not all demand is fulfilled, in fact, most demand is not fulfilled as humanity’s desire for things is infinite.

            “Capitalist flaw: The actual demand for food is trounced by the effective demand for luxuries.”

            No it’s not. This is still not a flaw with capitalism any more than it’s a flaw with your table. Capitalism does not deal with distribution of food or income any more than your ear deals with distribution of food and income.

            You are complaining that the hammer is not good for sawing. Stop complaining about the hammer, AND USE THE SAW!

            One major problem here is that you think that capitalism and socialism is the only tool in existence. It isn’t. Starvation is not caused by nor solved by capitalism. Starvation however is pretty damn easy to fix. But capitalism is neither cause, nor solution.

            Now, show that you have a brain and ask how to solve poverty.

          15. But I agree that not all demand is fulfilled, in fact, most demand is not fulfilled as humanity’s desire for things is infinite.

            There you go again, equating food and shelter with everything else. This is why you are an apologist scumfuck.

          16. No, I don’t “equate it”. I’m just saying that it’s *not up to you* to make those decisions. You are no fucking god, you have no right to decide over what I want. That is not “equating” it is saying “you are barking up the wrong tree and asking the wrong questions”.

            You trying to oppress others with your moralistic opinions, that’s being a fascist scumfuck. So drop it, and start to listen, because I don’t believe you are a scumfuck, because I’m not as close minded and ignorant as you.

            I know you WANT good things to happen for all people. You just don’t know what those good things are or how to make them happen. So try to ask the right questions, instead of spending all your energy on insulting those who are trying to enlighten you.

          17. Irony? So you are saying I’m wrong? You do NOT want to eradicate poverty? You WANT people to starve?

          18. If you don’t understand who I’m talking to or what I’m saying, then I’m wrong, and you aren’t ignorant, you are retarded.

          19. No it’s not. This is still not a flaw with capitalism any more than it’s
            a flaw with your table. Capitalism does not deal with distribution of
            food or income any more than your ear deals with distribution of food
            and income.

            Can’t wait to see how you’ll say “nuh-uh, not capitalism’s fault, it’s the universe that’s at fault”

            Lawl

            Capitalism is indeed the cause of all of these I’m afraid. Capitalism requires wage-slavery which leads to and requires poverty to exist. You cannot fix poverty under capitalism because the system would collapse immediately.

            All your random analogies with random tools won’t change the fact that Capitalism is an abject failure given the result for the crushing majority of the population under it.

          20. “Capitalism is indeed the cause of all of these I’m afraid.”

            “Capitalism requires wage-slavery”

            No it doesn’t. Marx was wrong, and have been proven completely wrong and you yourself claim Marfxism is bullshit. So why do you repeat the Marxist bullshit?

            “which leads to and requires poverty to exist. You cannot
            fix poverty under capitalism because the system would collapse
            immediately.”

            Luckily, that is complete and utter nonsense, which is why capitalist market economies have more or less eradicated poverty. And now you will come with some excuse. So then it’s the question if you are willing to look at empirical facts. Are you?

            “All your random analogies with random tools won’t change the fact
            that Capitalism is an abject failure given the result for the crushing
            majority of the population under it.”

            That statement has no relation to reality whatsoever. So now it’s back to the question of reality again. Are you willing to look at reality and see facts, or are you so religiously dogmatic that you will continue to claim that facts and evidence simply does not exist?

          21. Again, you refuse to even contemplate the existence of evidence. That is religion, not politics. So once again: QED.

          22. Yes. In the same way as a road lets the starve or die. Or the sun. Or a bathtub.

            Haha capitalism is not a natural state….

          23. Capitalism is a type of ownership. It is the type of ownership that
            works most efficiently and creates the most wealth. It does not
            distribute that wealth. This has to be done in other ways.

            Holy fucking shit, you’ve been here so long and you don’t even care to use the same kind of definitions leftists use.

            Honestly, this is like the most useless fucking discussion ever and it pretty much devolves to arguing definitions with you.

            “The type of ownership that works most efficiently and creates the most wealth”. A “type of ownership” creates wealth! Oh lordy! What else will I hear today…

          24. Again with the dogma. You don’t want to learn at all, do you? You really WANT to stay ignorant?

            “Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits in a market economy.”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

            I’ve discussed with communists for 30 years. There are only two definitions of Capitalism amongst leftists. The above one, and “Capitalism is all things evil” which is the religious definition. You are welcome to provide a third definition, but I doubt it will be useful.

          25. I’ve provided a definition that accurately describes all forms of capitalism already. You ignored it so I don’t give a shit anymore.

            Lol @ Dogma from the guy who presumes Capitalism is efficient before proving it.

          26. I can not see that you have defined capitalism.

            “Lol @ Dogma from the guy who presumes Capitalism is efficient before proving it.”

            Why do you think I presume it? Unlike you, I actually do care about empirics.

          27. Of course not. Yet, everything bad that happens in the world somehow must be capitalism fault. Why?

            Everything? No, but distribution issues certainly. Imperialist motivations certainly. I could go on…

          28. Exactly. Imperialists will be imperialists no matter the economic model. Capitalism does indeed not have anything to do with distribution.

          29. Socialism, in the meaning of common ownership of the means of
            production, which is the minimal definition of socialism, does not work.

            I’m getting tired of hearing you sayng what effects to “Capitalism, good. Socialism, bad!”

            Once you have any argument more than “Socialism is bad because what they told me about USSR” and “Capitalism good because I can’t imagine anything better” we can discuss. Until then you’re wasting both our times.

          30. If that is all you hear (or well, read), then you are so religiously blinded that you are even unable to hear what I say because I disagree with you.

            You are very good at proving me right. Although obviously, you will never admit that.

    3. Like Scientology, then? Right, just like scientology, Marxism *claims* to be scientific, but then ignores all science.

      You’re joking? Scientology is based on science fiction. Where does Marxism “ignore all science”? Oh wait, you think economics is science, now I get it…

      1. You can’t have it both ways. Either economics is not a science, in which case Marxism is not scientific, or economics is a science. Which Marxism has ignored all post-Marx development of. In either case, Marxism ends up unscientific.

        1. There is different forms of economics? Marxist economics, LTV economics, Austrian school, Chicago school, Keynesian school etc. Normal bollocks that takes us back to the time when Alchemy was thought to be as valid as Chemistry.

          Just because most of these schools are bullshit, doesn’t mean all of them are.

          1. Yes, there are different theories. This is how it is in science, you observe, and you make theories that try to explain the observations, and then you look to see which of those theories work best, and you adopt those that work best, and you then make new theories or modify those that exist, etc.

            In physics we currently have Relativity, quantum physics and string theory as the main forms of theories. This is no different.

            This is not how Marxism-Leninism works, though. Which is why it’s not scientific.

          2. Modern Economics and “observe” in the same sentence? Does not compute. I have to wonder if you know that modern economics is based on a-priori statements and assumptions rather than any empirical evidence.

          3. I’m sorry, you clearly know nothing about economics. I can’t really do anything abut that.

          4. No, sorry, you are clearly highly under-educated on both topics. I admit that when it comes to communism I know more about Marx than the anarchist theorists. But I know enough. But you on the other hand know exactly nothing about Marx, but still declare it bullshit.

            You should probably start out with actually reading a textbook on fundamental economics. I don’t have any good ones to recommend in English, sorry. This one is pretty good, but it’s not just economics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_to_Choose

          5. Haha dude you still think communism is pretty much what the USSR did. You are just woefully ignorant. You also think economics is a science and empirical, when nothing could be further from the truth. Economics starts from pure assumptions about perfect working markets. You should really do some reading.

          6. No, I don’t “still think communism is pretty much what the USSR did”. Just as information, to speed this discussion up: I know a lot more about economics, communism, Marxism, USSR and Russian history, than you do.

            You can’t get away with pretending that I’m stupid or don’t know what I’m talking about.

            “Economics starts from pure assumptions about perfect working markets.”

            1. It did in the 19th century. Today it does not.
            2. So does all socialist economics. It’s called a “model” and it is a simplification. In fact *all* science is simplifications of reality, to be able to deal with it in a theoretical way.

          7. 1. It did in the 19th century. Today it does not.

            Really? Show me one economic theory that is not based on assumptions about how markets work, how they are supposed to behave in an idea scenario, and that don’t make suggestions about policy that try to bring reality closer to the ideal scenario, rather than fitting theory to reality…

          8. None of them are “based on assumptions”. They are based on observing, then making hypothetical models, and then seeing how those models compare with reality. This is how ALL science is done.

            What you claimed before is that modern economics assume that markets are *perfect*. And this was true for the theories in the 19th century, but not now. A lot of modern economic theory is in fact concerned with exactly how and why markets are NOT perfect. Both the 2002, 2010 and 2013 Nobel economics price was given to such areas, for example. Maybe more of them, I don’t really keep track.

            “and that don’t make suggestions about policy that try to bring reality
            closer to the ideal scenario, rather than fitting theory to reality…”

            *facepalm* They make suggestions about policy that try to bring POLICY closer to an EFFICIENT solution. They ALSO fit theory to reality. These are two completely different things, and they are not in opposition to each other.

          9. None of them are “based on assumptions”. They are based on observing,
            then making hypothetical models, and then seeing how those models
            compare with reality. This is how ALL science is done.

            Which economic theory is built from observing how capitalist economy works and making a theory of it? One: Marx’s theory of Capital.

            There is no way to “make hypothetical models and seeing how those models compare with reality” because reality is a chaotic system and the one doing the observation and the experiment is part of the experiment. This is NOT how science is done, but an ignoramus as you might easily mistake it as such.

          10. “Which economic theory is built from observing how capitalist economy
            works and making a theory of it?”

            All of them.

            “One: Marx’s theory of Capital.”

            That one as well, yes.

            “There is no way to “make hypothetical models and seeing how those models
            compare with reality” because reality is a chaotic system and the one
            doing the observation and the experiment is part of the experiment.”

            So Marx did not do it then? You just said he did, above.

          11. *facepalm* They make suggestions about policy that try to bring POLICY
            closer to an EFFICIENT solution. They ALSO fit theory to reality. These
            are two completely different things, and they are not in opposition to
            each other.

            How was an efficient solution discovered? Which experiment proved it? None, it’s all fucking hypothesis based on assumptions pulled out of their ass. I.e. not science, but pure bullshit.

          12. The efficient solutions have been discovered by looking at efficient and inefficient situations, making a guess of what the cause is, and then making the prediction that if you make X it will be efficient, and then looking at people making X and not making X and seeing if the prediction pans out.

            This is the same process as any science: Observation, hypothesis, confirmation/rejection.

            You continue to claim that economics is based on assumptions, and you continue to be wrong. It’s based on observation.

          13. Under which assumption is a situation “efficient” or “inefficient”? Q.E.D.

            Now die in a fire.

          14. You make the assumption that it is an assumption. It is not.

            You constantly do exactly what you accuse capitalism of doing. It’s quite ironic really. Also interesting that facts and arguments can make you hate. What are you so afraid of? Why is reality so scary to you?

          15. You talked about “efficient” and “inefficient”. We both know these are based on assumptions and hypothetical models of market/distribution efficiency. So suck it.

          16. No, I certainly do not know that.

            Have you thought about seeking help for your agressions and hatefulness?

          17. So does all socialist economics. It’s called a “model” and it is a
            simplification. In fact *all* science is simplifications of reality, to
            be able to deal with it in a theoretical way.

            Comparing economics to actual science is insulting to science. And no, science is not a “simplification of reality”, but this flaw in thinking is not surprising given how much you want to believe economics is scientific and not religious.

          18. You don’t know anything about science either, I see. Everything I have said here is correct. If there is something you do not agree with I would expect from somebody with brain and knowledge to get arguments. Not just contrariwise statements.

          19. Everything I have said here is correct.

            .

            I would expect from somebody with brain and knowledge to get arguments.

            lol

            Seriously, you’re wasting my time and it’s obvious you have no intention of arguing in good faith. I’m tired of this “nuh-uh, you’re wrong, economic is too science” nonsense.

            look, if you want to discuss this with someone who doesn’t think you’re full of shit, go here: http://www.reddit.com/r/debatecommunism

          20. So, you refuse to argue. Fair enough, that’s up to you, but all you do is prove that you have no arguments.

            You have come with a few attempts of argumentation here, it would be better if you continues that instead of just saying “Nuuh you are wrong!”, but that’s your choice.

          21. That book, btw, attempts to criticize neoclassical economics for being
            too theoretical and not empirical enough. And then it concludes that
            none of the alternative theories fit the empirics as well as
            neoclassical theories does. Embarrasing…

            Embarrassing to whom? Are you embarrassed that you support wholly wrong “science”?

          22. I am embarrased on the behalf of the author. And you, who did not see through this.

    4. The evidence against communism is brutally overwhelming. Your claim here is akin to a creationist claiming creationism is a science and that there is no evidence against it.

      Just stating something does not make it true. Try again.

      1. No, this is true regardless of whether I state it or not. You ignoring the evidence does also not make it go away, you know.

        1. There is, literally, no “evidence against communism”. It’s like a totally ridiculous statement. I mean, like, stupefyingly bad…

          1. Oh boy…

            Your attitude is not exactly promising for future debate, when you are so dogmatically against even the possibility of evidence before you even start.

          2. It’s not that I’m against evidence. It’s like your claim of evidence is absurd! It’s like saying you have evidence against fucking Epicurism! The only “evidence” you could possibly present is research on human nature (i.e. human sociology/psychology and shit) and I already know that those stuff *support* socialism

          3. No, it’s you. Just look at how you react. You don’t ask for evidence, you just, very emotionally, exclaim that the mere idea of evidence is a complete impossibility. So yes, it’s you. You are against evidence. Religiously.

          4. I react as reasonable as possible as when someone claims to have evidence against a theoretical social end-state. It’s patently absurd.

          5. Once again “communism” as normally defined is an ideology. What you call “Marxism-Leninism”. The social end-state also known as communism is an impossibility. The empirical evidence that exists against it is therefore only the failed attempts at implementing it. Personally I count that as empirical evidence, as you should in science.

            If the LHC had failed in creating the Higgs boson, most theoretical physicist would have declared that it did not exist, since physicists had been looking for it since the 70’s. The LHC was created specifically to look in the last most energetic ranges that the Higgs particle could exist.

            If you have a theory, and it doesn’t work out in practice, then this is evidence against that theory. Only religion continues to claim that they are correct after being proven wrong.

            Doomsday sects claim the doomsday will be a certain date. And when it’s not, they generally just declare that they were correct ANYWAY. That’s not science, it’s religion.

          6. Once again “communism” as normally defined is an ideology. What you call “Marxism-Leninism”.

            If you’re going to argue against Marxism-Leninism, I don’t care. I don’t subscribe to their theories and I find the State-Capitalist system they devolved into a failure. But it was at least convenient for the western nations to call “Communist” in order to propagandise people from learning what communism actually is.

          7. Once again, I’m explaining to you that the normal use of the word “Communism” means “Marxist-Leninist ideology”. This is how it is mostly used, YES EVEN WITHIN THE LEFT.

            Hence, the statement “Communism is a religion” is talking about Marxism-Leninism. If you did not know that when you wrote this blog post, then I suggest you simply delete it, as you were fundamentally mistaken.

            But it seems to me from the post that you DID know this, as you say in the blog post “the accusation that Communism or Marxism is akin to a religion”. There you clearly show an understanding that what is meant is the Marxist ideology. Not the social end-state.

            So your attempts to now pretend that you don’t understand what I say is falling rather flat.

          8. Once again, I’m explaining to you that the normal use of the word
            “Communism” means “Marxist-Leninist ideology”. This is how it is mostly
            used, YES EVEN WITHIN THE LEFT.

            Newp.

          9. You again ignore the existence of people calling themselves “communists”.

          10. “Communist support communism.” Making it an ideology.

            But yet again, Capitalism is not an ideology. The ideologies are, as you pointed out, liberalism and libertarianism etc. There is no capitalist ideology. Nobody “supports capitalism”. Capitalism is too limited and to small a thing to become an ideology.

            I really don’t see why this is so hard to grasp for you.

          11. No, that capitalism is a part of liberalism does not make capitalism an ideology. That’s really the most pathetic thing you have said so far. You are really running out of even bad argument now. Which is of course why you resort to hate.

            How do you think socialism or anarchism can work with hateful people? That boggles my mind.

          12. Yeah we anarchists hating fascist and racists as well as apologist scumfucks like you are really horrible…

          13. And you claim this is not a religion? You call me a “scumfuck” just because I have the horrible, horrible bottle to claim that economics actually is a science. Because honestly, that’s pretty much all I’ve said so far.

            You have no idea what my opinions are. You don’t know anything about me. But you declare me a “scumfuck” because I disagree with you about how scientific economics is.

            That’s not religion? What is it then?

          14. No, I call you a scumfuck because you support a system of exploitation and promote the idea that all market demand is equal. And mostly because I’m tired of you and want you to fuck off and bother someone else.

            That’s not religion? What is it then?

            Insulting you is a religion? I think I’m a believer…

          15. No, that capitalism is a part of liberalism does not make capitalism an ideology.

            Repeat after me. “Communism is a socioeconomic system. Communism is a socioeconomic system. I need to die in a fire. I need to die in a fire.”

          16. Newp.

            Maybe I can put it in words you can grasp

            Marxism-Leninism is to Communism what Liberalism is to Capitalism.

            Got it?

          17. Now if you would just be consistent in that usage of the words, then that would be an improvement.

            It’s not correct, but it’s an improvement.

          18. But it seems to me from the post that you DID know this, as you say in
            the blog post “the accusation that Communism or Marxism is akin to a
            religion”. There you clearly show an understanding that what is meant is
            the Marxist ideology. Not the social end-state.

            I wasn’t as knowledgeable then as I am now. Nevertheless Communism is mentioned as distinct from Marxism.

          19. No, it’s not. “that Communism or Marxism is akin to a religion”. This equates them. If they were separate you would say that Communism AND Marxism is akin to a religion. But you don’t.

            You are of course right in that equating them is strictly speaking wrong, and now, with more knowledge, you do not do that anymore. But when you wrote the post, you knew very well that it was Communism in the sense of Marxist ideology that was being called a religion.

            And now you pretend that you are unable to understand this, even after I pointed it out.

          20. Well, yes, possibly. But it still stands. You pretended that you did not know that it’s the ideology that is meant, when you clearly did understand this.

            But sure, there is no point in rubbing it in again. Just stop the excuses and attempts of avoiding the issues. It doesn’t work with me, I have way to much experience with debating.

          21. If you have a theory, and it doesn’t work out in practice, then this is
            evidence against that theory. Only religion continues to claim that they
            are correct after being proven wrong.

            Only problem is…Anarcho-communist social movements DO work in practice….

          22. I think a scale of the size of a country is good enough, but not to mention that there’s no evidence that they don’t scale.

          23. With small scale I’m talking less than a hundred people. And there is plenty of evidence it doesn’t scale, the first and foremost of them being that no country size anarcho-communist social movements exist. If the scaled, why don’t the small ones simple then scale up? If anarcho-communism is better, you could simply just out-compete everything else.

    5. Just look at how Communists still cling to the labour theory of value, well over a 100 years after it was supplanted by the marginal theory of value.

      Only it hasn’t been supplanted because the LTV already took subjective value into account. It’s just that some people insist that marginalism defeated it. Repeat a lie often enough etc etc.

      1. It has been supplanted. Marginalism defeated it. You are being dogmatic. QED.

          1. No, the situation here is that of someone with their fingers in their ears screaming “I can’t hear you”. There is no economist in actual work (that is working with economic issues, not teaching economics at a university) that is using LTV. None. It’s dead, and marginalism supplanted it. This is the facts. You can ignore them all you want, but they will not change.

          2. Just because modern bullshit economics don’t use LTV doesn’t make it wrong. Argument from popularity etc etc. Try again…

          3. Indeed, it is an argument from popularity, because that’s the type of arguments that can be posed in a comment section. Actually proving it wrong requires you to read a book about economics. Which you obviously will not do, as you claim it’s not a science, since your religion is proven wrong if you claim it is a science.

          4. The only types of arguments for a comment section is a logical fallacy? lolwut.

            It seems the only religion being talked here is economics.

          5. I’m telling you that economists have thrown out LTV. You seem to think that they have not, but they have. This is an argument from authority, if taken as evidence, yes. But so don’t take it as evidence then? It’s a piece of information: No one who knows what they are talking about takes LTV seriously anymore.

            The question then becomes *why* they don’t do that. And to understand that, you would have to actually learn some basic economics. And I can’t teach you that in a comments section. So I won’t try.

            Besides you do not want to learn economics, because you want to keep your religious conviction that economics is bullshit, and that you can just sit in your teenage room and decide how the world works without actually looking at it empirically.

          6. I’m telling you that economists have thrown out LTV. You seem to think that they have not, but they have.

            I didn’t say that they haven’t. I said that most modern economics are bullshit.

            It’s a piece of information: No one who knows what they are talking about takes LTV seriously anymore.

            Argument from authority. And a false authority at that.

            The question then becomes *why* they don’t do that. And to understand
            that, you would have to actually learn some basic economics

            I know basic economics and I know enough advanced economics to know that they’re bullshit. I also know you probably have no idea about economics yourself since you insist in thinking that they have anything to do with empiricism.

          7. It is not an argument, it is a piece of information. I do not say “Therefore you are wrong.” I’m just telling you that anyone who knows what they are talking about has rejected LTV. What this *should* do is to get you to look into economics theories and try to learn about them to see if you are wrong.

            But instead you start whining about logical fallacies. They are not logical fallacies, because they do not attempt to make any conclusion. It is factual information. You are just sticking your fingers into your ears and singing “Lalalalalalalidon’twanttoknow!”

          8. I’m just telling you that anyone who knows what they are talking about has rejected LTV

            And I’m telling you that they do not know what they’re talking about.

            What this *should* do is to get you to look into economics theories and try to learn about them to see if you are wrong.

            I have. They are wrong.

          9. I don’t believe you. You have shown nothing but a complete ignorance of any part of economics. I do not believe that anyone who have studied economics can be as ignorant about the topic as you are.

    6. Also, what ideology has the story that Humanity first lived in a primitive life of
      happy ignorance with no private possessions, and then when this life
      gets destroyed for no adequately explained reason they have to live in
      misery until there is a great war between good and evil, and humanity
      will again live in a sort of paradise on earth?

      I think you need to stay off the drugs before debating on the internet.

      1. Have you in your studies of Marx completely missed out on historical determinism and the various stages of development? Read up!

          1. Oh, you haven’t? Well, that explains how you know so little about Marxism.

          2. One of the problems here is your insistence in using words in different meanings than what is common, but not stating this. This is one example. In 99.9% of all usage, communism is Marxist. You, as an anarchist, don’t want that definition, but you still do not clearly state that you disagree with pretty much everyone else on what “communism” means. Leading to nonsense discussions.

          3. One thing one should be certain when in a leftist blog, is that we’re not going to be using the same bullshit propaganda terms everyone else does.

          4. Oh, it’s propaganda now.

            Most leftists use the terms “communism” exactly like the right uses it. Many for example call themselves “communists” indicating that they are subscribers to the communist ideology.

            Note that no one calls themselves “Capitalists” because it is not an ideology. 😉

            So sorry, that’s just a bad excuse from your side. When you are using a word in a non-common definition, you should be explicit about that. This is just plain intellectual honesty.

          5. Nobody calls themselves a capitalist because that’s someone who owns capital. People call themselves liberals, libertarians or all the time, and those are forms of capitalist support.

            And no, most leftists do not use “communism” in the same way the right uses it.

          6. Exactly. Capitalism is not an ideology. Liberalism and libertarianism is. Capitalism is not.

            And yes, most leftists do not use “communism” in the same way the right uses it, ie as an ideology, as well as the “final state” of society. Many for example call themselves “communists” indicating that they are subscribers to the communist ideology.

          7. Y U So thick?

            Capitalism is a socioeconomic system. As a social
            system it has not been constructed using the scientific method. Nobody
            gives a fuck if it’s an ideology or not. Cheezus…

          8. Of course capitalism has not been constructed using the scientific method. It hasn’t been constructed at all. Nobody sat down and said “now we will create an economic system”. Capitalism happened. Science comes in in trying to describe how economics, including capitalism, works.

            Nobody constructed the solar system either. But astronomy still is the science that describes how it (and many other things) works.

            “Nobody gives a fuck if it’s an ideology or not.”

            Well, you did, because you claimed it was an ideology, and that is was just as unscientific and religious as Marxism.
            I see that you now have realized that you were wrong, and now you want to claim that “nobody cares!”. That’s fine, I don’t expect you to actually admit that you were wrong.

          9. How can you be so unbelievable fucking thick?

            Communism, the SOCIOECONOMIC SYSTEM, is not based on the scientific method, very much like capitalism, the SOCIOECONOMIC SYSTEM, is not based on the scientific method.

            This is all right there on the OP!

            Can you stop fucking wasting my time here? Or are you just completely lacking in reading comprehension?

          10. Yes, so you say, but I have explained to you why you are wrong. Your response is to state your original position again. You really have to arguments beyond insults?

            It’s hardly ME who is wasting YOUR time in that case…

          11. You’re in my blog trying to get the last word in. You are literally wasting my time…

            Yes, so you say, but I have explained to you why you are wrong.

            Yes, so you say, but I have explained to you why you are wrong.

          12. No, I am spending time on trying to teach you something, because I’m a nice guy.

            You are trying to get the last word in, clearly no matter how fucking stupid that last word is.

Comments are closed.