Economic Update: What is Communism?

[S12 E34] New

This program covers the origins, evolution, and current significance of "communism." After a brief history of communism as a utopian ideal of community, we treat Marx's presentation in the Communist Manifesto, and then communism's subordination to "socialism" to World War 1. That War changed everything. It split socialists everywhere into a Socialist Party and a Communist Party with key differences but also commonalities. When most European communist parties collapsed...READ MORE

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  • Anonymous
    commented 2024-03-28 17:07:10 -0400
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  • Nikola Miljevski
    followed this page 2022-09-09 16:40:54 -0400
  • Nikola Miljevski
    commented 2022-09-09 16:40:34 -0400
    I watched the entire video. I noticed one thing that is, according to me, not well addressed.

    The followers of Marx split into a Socialist Party and a Communist Party, according to prof. Wolff. As I understand, what Wolff thinks of socialists are social democrats according to some other definitions and what he thinks of communists are Stalinists or Maoists according to the same definitions.

    Now, there are also other folks that were and are neither socialists, nor communists, in a sense of Wolff’s definition, but claimed and claim to follow Marxist tradition. For example, Trotskyists. There are possibly many others.

    I believe this should be explained in order not to make inaccurate picture of Marxist tradition in the minds of the viewers.

    There is also one other problem. Prof. Wolff claims, as I understand, that democracy at work is a cure for the capitalism evils. But, I have not heard that he or anyone else explains how to achieve that. Probably no one knows. There are also other ideas about making better society, but no one explains how to achieve them.

    As of the democracy at work, there are only two possible paths, according to me.

    1. Constitution and laws to be changed by the Congress, so each worker will get a right to vote on the matters in the company where he or she works, One worker – one vote. Please keep in mind that no owner in his or her sane mind will want to keep the firm under this conditions. So, this would require that firms are seized according to the new law and made public property.

    2. Under some very unusual conditions workers occupy the property of companies where they work and write new laws themselves. The whole police and army will be sent to arrest or kill them, so they would need to be prepared.

    Reorganization of households was also mentioned in the video. The same principle could apply to households, i.e. one adult member – one vote or something more suitable, like requirement of unanimity (because there are only a few people in a household). The opinion of children should also somehow be taken into account.

    But, it is usually the case that only one member of a household owns almost everything in the household. Then, please someone explain, how can a principle of unanimity in a household be implemented, when one owns almost everything? This, obviously, would need to be changed.

    Every adult member would need to own equal amount of everything a household owns and every child also would need to get equal ownership when she or he turns 18 years old. This would need to be made a law.

    So, at the end, we are lead to think that in order to implement prof. Wolff ideas, private property would need to be equally divided among all people. I don’t see any other option. If so, this must be explicitly stated in order people not to get inaccurate hopes, wishes and expectations.

    But how can this be achieved? Probably no one knows and only time will show.