Kollectivisation: Could it work??

Kollectivisation can and will work but I need critisism, dissection of how it works and why it can and can’t work. So please give me your opinions and ideas!

:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

Collectivism ‘almost worked’ in the same sense that the Holocaust ‘almost worked’. The main difference is that the Soviet collectivization of agriculture killed about 4 times as many people.

No, it can never work. For the same reason that it didn’t work when your buddy ‘uncle’ Joe Stalin tried it - because the kind of people who are willing to use force to take property from others are rarely the kind of people that are capable of managing the resources they ‘liberate’. Because the people who currently own the assets are the ones who have the best knowledge of how to use and manage them. Because people work harder and better when they are working to better their own families rather than strangers. Because people do not work creatively and well at gunpoint. Because centralized control of a complex economy is inherently inefficient.

In short, it’s an evil, discredited idea, and you should be ashamed to suggest it.

Oh, and let me add that anyone who would quote Tom Clancy and Joseph Stalin in the same sig clearly has some learning to do. My guess is that you’re a young idealist who doesn’t really understand what you’re talking about. So I’ll cut you some slack for that.

Tom Clancy? I don’t think so. More like Babylon 5. Why are you so opposed to Communism? Did you live in russia? If you did then please tell me your experiencesas I would like to eventually have a broader opinion on communism.

You seem to try and stop me on every turn, WHY?

Because Communism is a wonderful theory which hasn’t been approved for use on humans.

How about I introduce you to one of my professors, a man from Russia. He can tell you all about the glories of communism…

BTW, do your own homework.


This sounds just like a request from someone asking for us to do their homework assignment. If it’s not, I appologize.

Let me help out our poor, beleaguered communist here. There are many examples of collective communities. The one I’m thinking of, of which I have direct experience, are the Hutterite colonies that dot the prairies. True, they have a religious foundation, but they are tremendously successful at communal living.

The problem seems to be that collectivism doesn’t scale past the point where the peer pressure of the entire community serves as the social enforcement mechanism. In a community of less than a couple hundred people, there are no free riders because they stand out too easily, and are too easily subjected to social pressures to conform sufficiently.

Thus, any communist state larger than a village necessarily tends towards totalitarianism to enforce the social order.

It isn’t…I assure you. How many industries are owned by the Government in France?

Can we stipulate that there is a difference between collective ownership and government ownership? After all, I’m one of the collective owners of Microsoft, and I have the stock certificates to prove it. Collective <> State owned.

Wanna know about life in Soviet Russia?

Try reading the “Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Anyway, collectivization worked thusway under communism:

  1. Private property is made illegal.
  2. Everyone must give up property to live in guarded communes.
  3. Anyone who resists is to die.

Collectivization resulted in the murder of 7 million and starvation of 20 million+ in the USSR alone. Another million died when it was implemented in Cambodia.

I just want to point out how appropriate Daoloth’s sig is for this topic.

There is a difference between a collective, which is simply a description of a communal living arrangement, and collectivization which is a government policy which involves forcibly taking assets away from the people who own them.

I suggest you read up on the history of the collectivization in the Soviet Union. The result was a famine that killed millions, at a time when the weather was almost perfect for agriculture. In addition, the only way to make collectivization politically expedient was to demonize the Kulaks and encourage uprisings against them. This resulted in the further murders of millions of people.

Finally, once these farms were taken over by party apparatchiks, it turned out that they didn’t really know what to do with them. The result was farms that were horribly mismanaged. Industrial and agricultural output dropped to a fraction of its pre-collectivization levels.

So it doesn’t work, it’s based on an evil philosophy, and in practice it leads to widespread bloodshed and inefficiency.

It’s disturbing that there are people in the U.S. and elsewhere who still consider it a valid exercise of political power.

I agree, but IMHO, in the future, technology will progress to the point where global communism can work. Specifically, everyone will be able to keep an eye on everyone else.

And my, doesn’t a future where “everyone will be able to keep an eye on everyone else” sound like one worth living in? :rolleyes:

Perhaps in principle, but not in fact. The idea behind small communes working well is that every member is constantly in touch with every other member–it’s not just surveillance, it’s interaction that reinforces the social order. How many people can you interact with every day? It’s not enough to be seen; every person and their habits, views, ethics, etc., are known to everyone else, and excessive deviation is punished socially, rather than legally.

What you’re suggesting is a totalitarian state where widespread surveillance (e.g., Orwell’s 1984) replaces a portion of the police and the informants.

Oh dear, I thought exactly the same thing as Dewey Cheatem Undhow … I hear the devil was wearing a parka and a touque this morning! :wink:

Well, my father’s family is from Russia. Some of them had immigrated to the United States in the early 20th Century, but several branches still lived in Russia at the time of the Revolution. They just didn’t live for very long. That’s the problem.

My mother’s family is from Germany, from the area that used to be East Germany. They were forced to flee to the West in 1948 after my grandfather criticized the government. I went back to visit with my parents several times prior to the fall of the wall, though I was only a child then, so most of what I know about that society comes from my parents.

In a collectivist society, there’s no motivation for anybody to do any work. This translates directly into an inability to get anything done. In East Germany, when there was a road that needed to be repaired, a local official needed to submit a work order to a federal agency. After that happened, in all probability, there would be no response. It was impossible to get any road work done because there was no motivation for anybody in Berlin to care about repairing roads hundreds of miles away. Same thing happened when you tried to get telephone service, indoor plumbing, or electricity in remote villages. The same problem occurred at the local level. Take a store, for example. There were people who had the job of working in stores, but they never bothered to do any work. When you walked into a store, there was almost nothing on the shelf. Which makes sense, because why would anybody care whether or not the products got to the customers? It didn’t matter to them.

It seems to me that you’re making two points here:

First, that technology will not allow global communism to work; and second that such a system would be freakin’ miserable.

I’ll take them one at a time.

With respect to your first point, I agree that universal surveillance would be insufficient. The problem is that you end up with many more hours of tape than you can possibly watch and make sense of. You don’t have enough time to interact with, interview, watch, or do whatever with other people.

But, IMHO, technology will solve this problem. In addition to universal surveillance, I expect that we will have powerful computers to analyze all the data. Then it will be a matter of telling your computer to “look out for free-loaders” or whatever.

With respect to your second point, I agree that a 1984-type situation would be pretty miserable. But the problem with that situation, IMHO, is that the surveillance is a one-way street. You don’t know who is watching, or if anyone is watching at all. You don’t know what is being done with the information, etc.

I think that this is an often overlooked aspect to privacy debates. Consider that invaders of your privacy always do so behind a cloak of anonymity. The examples are numerous, and you can imagine what would happen if that cloak were stripped away.

In the scenario I am proposing, law enforcement, the military, corporate CEO’s etc, would be subject to the same surveillance as any other citizens. If anyone listened to your phone call, you would know who they were, their name, address, etc., and you would be able to find out whatever you wanted about them. I believe this would curb any abuses such as those that would exist in a 1984-type situation.