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Marxism failed because of the conditions they were started in

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dadmonson
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... Russia is among the biggest oil-producers today ... Russia has 17 years to go at current levels... the new mafia-type bosses of Russia are just as short-term in their thinking as were the old Soviet bosses

It could be that the short-term is much shorter then 17 years, because the essential factor here is the oil price. Russia still has little else to sell abroad...

Alex

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I think that the original question points to some complications not addressed. The OP spoke for voluntary socialism. Ceteris paribus when people agree to do a thing of their own free will, it usually works better.

A family unit, even if both parents are Objectivists, must operate in some communal ways, though, I know from experience myself that narrowly defining those seems best for all concerned.

Over the years, we belonged to several food co-operatives and I served on the board of one. They are broadly no different from corporations. One difference however is the culture of the organization. Co-operatives attract communists and communists hate their bosses, their jobs, work for hire, and the customers who make them work. It is not always that way and when we were at ELFCO, most of the workers were mostly motivated to doing well. That said, the co-op ran ahead of its costs and eventually faced closure for insolvency. Founded in 1970-something, it continues today and the problems are in the past. Here in Ann Arbor, we gird our loins to do battle with the clerks. That said, one day, my "Enjoy Capitalism" t-shirt got a favorable nod from another right-libertarian stocking shelves. Ourselves, our viewpoint is that as members, we own the co-op and here the AAPF pays dividends in years when they clear a profit.

But co-ops here in America compete in the market for customers and for workers and for members. People can come and go as they please. Voluntarism works.

That said, having served on the Board and the Finance Committee of one, it was an uphill struggle to argue for the need to make a profit in order that we might "serve the community." Putting service to others ahead of profit to self is the short road to doom. But the arguments went from economics to ethics to metaphysics -- how can you be sure? -- in a heartbeat... every time...

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No actually, the OP does not pose any “complications” and has not “not been addressed” by the economists and philosophers alike. Firstly, one can see that the assertion put forth in the subject is just plain false: Russia was an industrial nation. Next, we can observe other industrialized socialist regimes throughout history, including Nazi Germany, to notice the general result is economic chaos and capital consumption. Finally, economics tells us exactly why this must necessarily be regardless of how industrial a country already is when it turns to socialism (lack of private property prevents rational economic calculation.)

Now let us look at the case of Korea. Like the Civil War era US, Northern Korea was its populous industrial center, and the South was its undeveloped peasantry and fishermen. Now years later, we can observe the effects of socialism and capitalism on these two sections of the country to find exactly as the economists tell us. The South went from near zero to now roughly twice the population and 40 times the economy.

And in anyway, the OP doesn't even square away with Marx's own theory. Marx stated that socialism is inevitable not because the class consciousness will be raised due to the socialist intellectuals agitating for socialism and teaching the masses, or because the masses would wake up one day and decide to be socialists. No, ideas play absolutely no part in the transition to socialism whatsoever. It is the material productive forces which raise the class consciousness of the proletariat and only the material productive forces. All the socialist parties, unions, and intellectuals can do absolutely nothing to hasten the inevitable coming of socialism, which necessary occurs following capitalism. So we can hardly say “Hey, the conditions just weren't right for socialism yet!”

The OP is just an example of typical Chomskyite ignorance and prattling on about how “We're not statists! That wasn't 'real' socialism! Socialism isn't like that! Honest! Our gang would do it better!” They are not for “voluntary” anything, any more than Chomsky's own favorites, the syndicalists of Spain, who formed Nazi-like death committees, silenced dissenters and committed mass murder in the name of anarchy and communism. They like to pretend as if by some miracle they can preserve some “democratic panning” of society (as if everyone will agree to this voluntarily) and ignore the necessary coercion involved in the submission of the individual to the collective God-Society and try to pretend the result will be any different from “obey or starve.”

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