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Why We Need Communism: Tent City University Lunchtime Meeting, 11 April

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Alfredo, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Alfredo

    Alfredo Well-Known Member

    Why we need communism


    Lunchtime meeting at Tent City University, Finsbury Square, London EC2

    Wednesday 11 April, 2012, 1pm -3pm
    Introduced by Alan Ward, author of the book Communism is not just a nice idea, published by the International Communist Current

    We need communism - not the state capitalist nightmare of Stalinism but a global human community without states, markets or money – because:
    -capitalism, as a world-wide system of production, can offer us no future except crisis, war and ecological catastrophe

    -this system cannot be reformed or made more ‘democratic’

    -at the same time, the possibility of producing and living for our real needs already exists

    Come and discuss why we need a completely new society and how we can get there
     
  2. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    I often wonder why meetings regarding a better future for the working class tend to happen when a lot of the working class are at work.
     
  3. Alfredo

    Alfredo Well-Known Member

    The reason I agreed to give this talk at lunchtime was that the organisers of Tent City told me that these sessions are often attended by people who work in neighbouring banks and such. Actually the person I spoke to called them 'bankers' when we first spoke but she really meant bank workers.
     
    frogwoman likes this.
  4. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    Sorry, wasn't having a pop at you, more a general point. Same as protests. I know the best time to protest is to dispute things in business hours, but it does kind of isolate people who would like to get involved but are working those hours.
     
  5. Greebo

    Greebo Does my bum look big in this paradigm shift?

    Word.
     
  6. Alfredo

    Alfredo Well-Known Member

    this is tomorrow
     
  7. Alfredo

    Alfredo Well-Known Member

    Non-event. Perhaps most of the energy of the occupation is being directed towards the protest at Leyton Marsh against the planned building of another Olympic facility, but Finsbury Square felt like a spiritless place, a far cry from the heady days of the occupation in the summer. I had agreed to do this talk because the organisers had contacted me and said they were having a series of lively lunchtime meetings. But I should have been warned by the fact that on the occupation website there was no evidence of any publicity for the event, or anything else on the Calendar except 'general assemblies'. When I got to the site with a couple of other comrades, there were very few people about and no one seemed to know what was going on, and when I said the meeting was about communism I got the reply, more than once, that 'not many here would be up for that'. So after waiting for a while we left for the anarchist bookshop in Whitechapel. Should have checked the website - that was closed. So to avoid a total washout, we went to the Kusama exhibition at the Tate Modern for a bit of semi-surrealist art appreciation, carefully avoiding the Damien Hirst show.
     
    Spanky Longhorn likes this.
  8. camouflage

    camouflage that's right, space pirate.

    You may as well say we should do away with human beings having conversations or using words.:rolleyes:
     
  9. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    Yes. In a world where 'money' means 'talking' and 'markets' means 'human interaction'. You might live in such a word, but most of us don't.

    To the OP:

    I can't help but think of this as being deliberately provocative rather than a genuine attempt to address the problems of wealth distribution and the inherently absurd nature of fiat currency. Communism? Really? You willingly identify with a term associated with torture, genocide, mass-starvation and naked imperialism? I know that these things are not necessarily implied by communism, but you must surely be able to see the inference that most will draw?

    Stop showboating and do some thinking. Then, when you've thought of some good ideas, go and make them happen.

    EDIT: Clarified to whom the second part of the post is addressed
     
  10. camouflage

    camouflage that's right, space pirate.

    A market is an exchange space, money is a means by which values are symbolized, compared, stored and swapped. Human beings have many ways of doing such things, money and markets are just part of that.

    Doesn't mean to lie, cheat, bullshit and steal is the point of life though.
     
  11. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    Are you saying that fiat currency and the nation state are intrinsic human functions and values, like language?
     
  12. camouflage

    camouflage that's right, space pirate.

    Humans live in social groups and these organize themselves in different ways that tend toward the same general form. If you can think of a way to organize populations of millions (or even billions) of inter-dependent humans in a way that doesn't look like a 'nation state', then please present it to the group.

    And yes, as humans we exchange all sorts of things (and non-things) in all sorts of different ways. We have words and symbols and protocols and traditions to negotiate with each other as to the various values we wish to exchange, both as individuals or as groups. Is this aspect of human behavior in your view inherently bad and wrong?

    By the way all this 'fiat' stuff is bollocks, to my mind it adds nothing to the conversation, so I don't buy it.
     
  13. love detective

    love detective secret pint

    I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with markets or money. There's nothing inherently capitalist about them although obviously within a system of capitalist social relations they become disciplined by, and subordinate to, the logic of capital. And therefore become vehicles for the inner tendencies of capital to manifest and express themselves in - but this comes from the capital relation, not money or markets in and off themselves.

    i'd rather keep the 'state, markets and money' and get rid of wage labour/exploitation of labour, as it's the later that enables the former to be so destructively corrosive of humanity. Without the ability for capital to extract surplus value from labour and to create the inequalities that it does then things like money & markets would become relatively benign and lose the power that they have within capitalist social relations

    I'd also go as far as to say that there could even be a positive role to play by some form of market mechanisms in relation to a system of economic democracy
     
    Spanky Longhorn likes this.
  14. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Fiat currency :hmm:
     
  15. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman WAWAW?

    But we do have fiat currency :confused:
     
  16. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    I was raising my eyebrows cos IME, people who go on about fiat currency are either conspiraloons or free market "libertarian" types.
     
  17. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    You don't see the difference between a thing that has intrinsic value and a thing that has value only because we are told that it does? Or are you saying that you're ignoring the bits of my posts that you don't understand or can't be bothered to reply to?

    Shall we just give up now? I'm actually serious about this. If you're going to pull that shit, I can't be bothered with you.
     
    Phil Aychio likes this.
  18. love detective

    love detective secret pint

    nothing has intrinsic value - both use values and exchange values are relational concepts and without that relation they are not off value

    the essence of the use value or exchange value of an item is to be found in human beings, rather than actually in the item/thing in and off itself
     
  19. SpineyNorman

    SpineyNorman WAWAW?

    But the poster was also criticising the view of markets part of natural human social relations so I doubt it's the latter. I think it was just a way of responding to, and criticising, the idea that markets and money are somehow part of nature (fiat currency being just another word for modern money). There's a danger that we could become left wing McCarthyites with this kind of stuff, with secret conspiraloons and right wingers replacing reds under the bed.
     
  20. camouflage

    camouflage that's right, space pirate.

    'intrinsic value'... really?

    Like this stuff I suppose...

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    Potatoes have intrinsic value. Beef has intrinsic value. Gold does not.

    Do you understand now?
     
  22. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    No, like beef, potatoes and oil. Do you really not understand this?
     
  23. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    And no, I would never describe myself as a libertarian. It is important, however, to have an understanding of value.
     
  24. love detective

    love detective secret pint

    potatoes (or any other food or any other object of 'utility') don't have intrinsic value - if human's (or other potato eating animals) didn't exist and weren't around to eat them - would potatoes have value? Does a mobile phone have intrinsic value in a society with no electricity and no communications network? Does gruel have intrinsic value in a world that can feed its population more nourishing things? Does a car have intrinsic value in a world without the means to power it?

    No of course they don't because they only have value when brought into relation with something else - hence the simple statement that nothing has intrinsic value off and in itself - value is relational, the essence of that value is not to be found in the object, but in the relation between the object and something else - hence nothing intrinsically has value other than relations between things or relations people people

    Do you understand now?
     
    xenon and SpineyNorman like this.
  25. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Not if you have a surfeit of beef and potatoes.
     
  26. camouflage

    camouflage that's right, space pirate.

    And Pork... Pork has intrinsic value provided you don't live in Riyadh, at which time it becomes un-intinsicated of value. Er... yeah, must be.
     
  27. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    I'm sorry, I didn't realise we had to explicitly state to which species potatoes have intrinsic value. Just to be sure: if I don't say otherwise, assume I'm talking about humans.

    Have you constructed a system of economics that excludes humans and other mammals?
     
  28. love detective

    love detective secret pint

    Does a mobile phone have intrinsic value in a society with no electricity and no communications network?

    Does gruel have intrinsic value in a world that can feed its population more nourishing things and therefore no need for it?

    Does a car have intrinsic value in a world without the means to power it?

    Can you see a pattern developing here around relations between people & things that makes a nonsense out of your claim that things have intrinsic value in and off themselves?
     
  29. magneze

    magneze mnemonic beef

    intrinsic

    [in-trin-sik, -zik] Origin
    in·trin·sic

       [in-trin-sik, -zik] Show IPA

    adjective
    1.
    belonging to a thing by its very nature: the intrinsic value of agold ring.

    2.
    Anatomy . (of certain muscles, nerves, etc.) belonging to orlying within a given part.​
     
  30. Rogue_Leader

    Rogue_Leader Almost not completely ignorant.

    A dictionary definition. How...quaint.

    If you actually want to understand this, I recommend that you read When Money Dies.
     

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