Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

the Stalin essay

Expand Messages
  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    The title of the essay to which I alluded from early in Josef Stalin s career is , and it is dated 1907 (not 1906 as I had believed).
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 17 9:13 PM
      The title of the essay to which I alluded from early in Josef Stalin's
      career is <Anarchism or Socialism?>, and it is dated 1907 (not 1906 as
      I had believed). It is available at:

      www.marx2mao.org//Stalin/AS07.html

      Since Mike Ross has asked me about the distinction between anarchism and
      Libertarianism, I recommend that he also read it, as in the essay
      Comrade Stalin describes what was considered anarchism 95 years ago, and
      you can judge for yourself the difference between that and what now passes
      for anarchism.

      --Kevin
    • auvenj <auvenj@mailcity.com>
      ... Stalin s ... as ... Thanks for posting the link. While nominally a rambling refutation of anarcho-socialist straw men, it was nevertheless interesting
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 18 10:15 PM
        --- In azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com, thekoba@a... wrote:
        > The title of the essay to which I alluded from early in Josef
        Stalin's
        > career is <Anarchism or Socialism?>, and it is dated 1907 (not 1906
        as
        > I had believed). It is available at:
        >
        > www.marx2mao.org//Stalin/AS07.html

        Thanks for posting the link.

        While nominally a rambling refutation of anarcho-socialist straw men,
        it was nevertheless interesting reading. I think the biggest mistake
        is that Stalin (and Marx) grossly underestimate the individualism in
        human beings that has evolved into our species over millions of
        years. This aspect of our nature is rather fixed in my opinion --
        much like our physical size and mode of locomotion. Though it could
        conceivably change naturally in a few million years, or faster
        if "engineered in" by genetic science, it is certainly not fluid like
        our social and economic structures are.

        The following statement from the work is classic and, I believe,
        exemplifies one of the fatal flaws of communism (the other being the
        distributed information/pricing problem): "Lastly, it is obvious
        that free and comradely labour should result in an equally comradely,
        and complete, satisfaction of all needs in the future socialist
        society. This means that if future society demands from each of its
        members as much labour as he can perform, it, in its turn, must
        provide each member with all the products he needs. From each
        according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"

        Human beings are genetically programmed to maximize their own
        satisfaction and minimize their own effort, while also considering
        the survival of their kin. This is biological, because for millions
        of years pre-humans and humans who thought that way stood a better
        chance of passing on their genes than those who didn't. Cooperation
        was beneficial only if it made oneself (or one's kin) better off. So
        we're pretty well programmed to look at individual incentives,
        especially in dealing with individuals who are not kin.

        "From each according to his ability" penalizes ability at the
        individual level. In the individual's calculus, it means that one
        may get away with producing less if one is less able, hence there is
        a strong individual incentive to minimize one's ability in order to
        minimize one's required production.

        "To each according to his needs" rewards need at the individual
        level. In the individual's calculus it means that one may rightfully
        receive more if one can but concoct a way to appear more needy, hence
        there is a strong individual incentive to maximize one's needs.

        I have heard that factory workers in the former Soviet Union had a
        saying, "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." Whether
        this is actually true or not, it is the natural outcome of a system
        designed around "From each according to his ability, to each
        according to his needs!"

        Stalin dismisses this all with some hand-waving about ridding man of
        his "savage desires" and the dawning of a "socialist enlightenment".
        Reality has proven to contradict this prediction. If Socialism
        produced what Stalin says it produces, the Socialist countries would
        have "buried" the Capitalist ones as was predicted.

        The claim that in some primitive times the means of production were
        collectively owned is inconsistent with my understanding of
        anthropology. What were the means of production for early humans?
        Their bodies, mainly. This was supplemented with crude tools that
        individuals or extended families ("tribes", though that term is
        misleading because by historic times tribes were much larger)
        diligently maintained exclusive control over. The land itself was
        not collectively owned, rather it was unowned as no one had the means
        to develop it into anything other than its natural state. However,
        my understanding is that in certain particularly desirable spots
        (accessible caves in temperate climates surrounded by plentiful year-
        round food) territoriality became evident with the occupying family
        driving others away as long as possible.

        --Jason Auvenshine
      • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
        ... Stalin mentioned specific quotes and specific references by those claiming to be anarchists, so in criticizing them, he was criticizing real people, not
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 20 9:26 PM
          >
          >--- In azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com, thekoba@a... wrote:
          >> The title of the essay to which I alluded from early in Josef
          >Stalin's
          >> career is <Anarchism or Socialism?>, and it is dated 1907 (not 1906
          >as
          >> I had believed). It is available at:
          >>
          >> www.marx2mao.org//Stalin/AS07.html
          >
          >Thanks for posting the link.
          >
          >While nominally a rambling refutation of anarcho-socialist straw men,
          >it was nevertheless interesting reading.

          Stalin mentioned specific quotes and specific references by those
          claiming to be anarchists, so in criticizing them, he was criticizing
          real people, not straw people. He also used quite a lot of different
          anarchist sources. An individual anarchist could, of course, claim
          he or she disagreed with that position, but then that was also
          part of Stalin's criticism, that so many people who called themselves
          anarchists said contradictory things. There were, of course, different
          factions of anarchists, and where possible, Stalin specifically named
          those he criticized (e.g. the Narodniks).

          >I think the biggest mistake
          >is that Stalin (and Marx) grossly underestimate the individualism in
          >human beings that has evolved into our species over millions of
          >years. This aspect of our nature is rather fixed in my opinion --
          >much like our physical size and mode of locomotion. Though it could
          >conceivably change naturally in a few million years, or faster
          >if "engineered in" by genetic science, it is certainly not fluid like
          >our social and economic structures are.
          >
          >The following statement from the work is classic and, I believe,
          >exemplifies one of the fatal flaws of communism (the other being the
          >distributed information/pricing problem): "Lastly, it is obvious
          >that free and comradely labour should result in an equally comradely,
          >and complete, satisfaction of all needs in the future socialist
          >society. This means that if future society demands from each of its
          >members as much labour as he can perform, it, in its turn, must
          >provide each member with all the products he needs. From each
          >according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"
          >
          >Human beings are genetically programmed to maximize their own
          >satisfaction and minimize their own effort, while also considering
          >the survival of their kin. This is biological, because for millions
          >of years pre-humans and humans who thought that way stood a better
          >chance of passing on their genes than those who didn't. Cooperation
          >was beneficial only if it made oneself (or one's kin) better off. So
          >we're pretty well programmed to look at individual incentives,
          >especially in dealing with individuals who are not kin.
          >
          >"From each according to his ability" penalizes ability at the
          >individual level. In the individual's calculus, it means that one
          >may get away with producing less if one is less able, hence there is
          >a strong individual incentive to minimize one's ability in order to
          >minimize one's required production.
          >
          >"To each according to his needs" rewards need at the individual
          >level. In the individual's calculus it means that one may rightfully
          >receive more if one can but concoct a way to appear more needy, hence
          >there is a strong individual incentive to maximize one's needs.
          >
          >I have heard that factory workers in the former Soviet Union had a
          >saying, "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us." Whether
          >this is actually true or not, it is the natural outcome of a system
          >designed around "From each according to his ability, to each
          >according to his needs!"
          >
          >Stalin dismisses this all with some hand-waving about ridding man of
          >his "savage desires" and the dawning of a "socialist enlightenment".
          >Reality has proven to contradict this prediction. If Socialism
          >produced what Stalin says it produces, the Socialist countries would
          >have "buried" the Capitalist ones as was predicted.

          I did indeed notice that the anarchist prediction of "state capitalism"
          in which a state would persist complete with police, gendarmes, spies,
          etc., does indeed bear a closer resemblance to the reality of the former
          Soviet Union than Comrade Stalin's prediction of future socialism.
          Stalin's prediction, however, was for world socialism, not socialism in
          one area and capitalism in others. Obviously most of the 20th Century
          consisted in a struggle for socialism that was fought across international
          borders, not socialism realised on a world scale. Obviously if the
          capitalist world is trying to bribe and threaten people to betray
          socialism, a state continues to be necessary. Trotsky brought this up,
          and it was indeed a valid point, though Trotsky's idea of having Russia
          immediately attack western Europe to bring socialism there was obviously
          unworkable. Further, Marx did indeed realise that during the struggle
          a period known as the "dictatorship of the proletariat" in which the state
          would need to exist to suppress capitalist remnants would be needed.

          In any case, socialism was a very productive period for the USSR. The
          success of the Five Year Plans proves that. If resources wasted in
          defending the country against German invaders and in matching an
          American ICBM force put huge dents into that and eventually allowed
          the system to be overwhelmed, that's not an internal flaw of socialism
          or the dictatorship of the proletariat.

          >The claim that in some primitive times the means of production were
          >collectively owned is inconsistent with my understanding of
          >anthropology. What were the means of production for early humans?
          >Their bodies, mainly. This was supplemented with crude tools that
          >individuals or extended families ("tribes", though that term is
          >misleading because by historic times tribes were much larger)
          >diligently maintained exclusive control over. The land itself was
          >not collectively owned, rather it was unowned as no one had the means
          >to develop it into anything other than its natural state. However,
          >my understanding is that in certain particularly desirable spots
          >(accessible caves in temperate climates surrounded by plentiful year-
          >round food) territoriality became evident with the occupying family
          >driving others away as long as possible.
          >
          >--Jason Auvenshine

          The fact of the matter is that during that period which we Marxists
          know as primitive Communism, everything was shared, the land, the
          food, skins, crude tools, etc. Do we advocate returning to that? No.
          Obviously that system was necessitated by scarcity, and to the extent
          that it was the result of improved methods of production that made
          private property possible, it was an improvement. The point Stalin
          was making is that human beings have historically functioned in the
          absence of any concept of private property, and that for most of our
          history (or rather, prehistory). There is no reason we cannot function
          that way again on the basis of a rationally planned modern industrial
          society. It will take some getting used to, perhaps several generations.
          Then again I expect private property took some getting used to, probably
          millenia.

          --Kevin
        • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
          ================= Begin forwarded message ================= Dear Kevin, The idea that people are programmed to be individualistically selfish -- to the
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 21 8:06 AM
            ================= Begin forwarded message =================

            Dear Kevin,

            The idea that people are "programmed" to be
            individualistically selfish -- to the extent that they
            will generally ignore the interests of the community
            (however that may be defined) is incorrect.

            Social values have historically undergone many
            changes, and are still doing so from culture to
            culture.

            We accept that in a nuclear family parents take care
            of and spend money on children. Why? Surely it would
            be more individualistically fun for parents to ignore
            their needs and tend to their own.

            Is this for survival? Possibly. But the nuclear
            family as such, is a product of history, not nature.
            People are also known to sacrifice for an extended
            family, tribe, and in more modern times for nation,
            class, etc. None of those acts would be intelligible
            if we were all "programmed" to do only what is in our
            individual and most narrow best interest.

            I don't know how many of the combatants on either side
            during the Crusades would have responded to a call to
            die for their nation. The Muslim leader Salah al-Din
            al-Ayyubi, known in the west as Saladin, was
            ethnically a Kurd, yet he never fought for Kurdistan
            but for Islam, because in his epoch and part of the
            world, for various social reasons, loyalties were
            primarily defined along religious not ethno-linguistic
            lines.

            On the other hand, how many Germans fought on the
            eastern front in World War II in the name of
            Lutheranism? Few, I would imagine. How many
            Americans fought Japanese with the main idea in their
            heads that they were fighting for Christianity. Those
            soldiers defined their struggles in national terms.
            This is all historically determined, to a very large
            degree.

            World War II was fought in an age of developed
            capitalism and strong nation-states. The crusades
            reflected the preoccupations of a feudal age where
            values were supposedly fixed for all eternity just
            like the nobility and commoners were social castes
            that did not rise and fall the way merchant's fortunes
            do.

            As a result, loyalties and solidarity groups were
            different.

            So we cannot speak of an eternal set of values that
            carries on and on for ever unaffected by social
            change.
            There is plenty of evidence from other times and
            places of other sets of values being prevalent.

            Tribal loyalty, is another example of a kind of
            loyalty hard for a modern, urban person to understand.
            Why, for example, will Pakistani peasant always vote
            for their tribesmen, regardless of political
            platforms, etc., thereby rendering "democratic
            elections" merely a reflection of which tribe has more
            members of voting age? Why do Europeans and North
            Americans -- products of centuries of capitalist
            atomization -- consider it nepotism for a government
            to favour kinsman, while in a tribal context that is
            the only possible form of rule?

            No, it's true, people looked out for their own
            personal interests, but they did so while adhering to
            forms of loyalty that are now pretty much
            unintelligible. Unintelligible because the social
            structure has totally changed.

            Even in the last 150 years in North America there have
            been changes. Many southern officers in the US army
            joined the Confederacy because they felt their loyalty
            first to their state and only after that to the US.
            Today, because of mobility, etc., such a perspective
            seems strange to many of us, and nearly
            unintelligible. It was different when few people
            ventured out of their home town much less their state
            more than once or twice in a lifetime.

            So, to claim that people are eternally selfish and
            individualistic is to take the bourgeois values of the
            "dog-eats-dog" market and claim that they are some
            universal and unvarying human trait. But this is a
            falacy.

            In fact the period of socialism in the USSR, I think
            did produce a different psychology in many (not all)
            people. As a result one finds many in the former
            Soviet Union who are unable to cope with the present
            day world dominated by get-rich-quick schemes and the
            classic "spiv" type who has an "angle" for making
            money here and there off of everyone. Such people
            have emerged but they are the exception and the rest
            of the population often strikes the western observer
            as being rather naive at least as far as the vaguaries
            of the market are concerned.

            Although without doubt the transition to socialism
            will take longer than Marx, Engels, Lenin, or even
            Stalin thought, I have seen repeated confirmations of
            the Marxist teaching that social begin determines
            consciousness, and that therefore a new social
            arrangement will change consciousness and values that
            people have. Of couse such a change can be expected
            to take several generations, once a socialist system
            is firmly established, and with part of the world
            capitalist and other parts socialist, this process of
            transforming thought patterns can't really get
            established.

            Comradely,

            Eric
            -------------


            Captain of DPRK trading cargo ship interviewed.

            Pyongyang, December 20 (KCNA) -- We have never
            seen such piracy as that committed against a peaceful
            trading vessel with the involvement of huge troops.
            This was robbery which could be committed only by the
            U.S. and its followers keen on isolating and stifling
            the DPRK. The captain of the DPRK-flagged trading
            cargo ship Sosan said this at a press conference held
            aboard the ship on Dec. 17 after entering Mukalla Port
            in Yemen.
            He continued:
            When the ship was on its voyage in the open sea on
            Dec. 9, Spanish battleships and planes encircled the
            ship all of a sudden at the U.S. instigation. They
            indiscriminately fired guns at equipment of the ship,
            severely destroying them. Then, two helicopters and a
            speedboat brought more than 60 commandos on board.
            After occupying an engine room and a steering
            house, they fired thousands of large and small-caliber
            bullets, thus seriously threatening the lives of
            crewmen and putting the ship under their complete
            control. They even kicked sailors and beat them with
            butts.
            On that afternoon 18 crewmen of the ship were
            taken to a Spanish warship and transferred to the U.S.
            warship later.
            The pirates committed such unimaginable inhuman
            acts as inhibiting the Koreans from talking and
            allowing them to go to toilets only under armed
            pirates' escort.
            They searched the cabins several times and robbed
            them of valuables and money.
            The U.S. mobilized a destroyer, a cruiser, an
            escort ship, a carrier and huge troops to carry out
            the piracy.
            The U.S. must apologize for such brazen-faced
            piracy, own full responsibility for it and make a
            compensation for the mental and material damage done
            to the ship and its crewmen.
            The participants in the press conference looked
            round the ship to learn about the damage.

            -------------------------------------------------

            Rodong Sinmun on DPRK's legitimate right to
            self-defence.

            Pyongyang, December 20 (KCNA) -- The U.S.
            imperialists should clearly understand that if the
            U.S. has a right to use nuclear weapons, the DPRK is
            entitled to counter it, Rodong Sinmun today says in a
            signed commentary. A war against Iraq, to be ignited
            amid the escalating U.S. nuclear threat to the DPRK,
            may be a preliminary war and a test war for a new
            Korean War, the commentary says, and goes on:
            The Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s brought a
            nuclear crisis to the Korean Peninsula.
            The Bush administration has not implemented the
            DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework deliberately but breached
            it systematically. The Bush bellicose forces have led
            nuclear pressure upon the DPRK to a high pitch,
            bringing the "nuclear development" of the DPRK to the
            international arena.
            Meanwhile, they are escalating nuclear threat to
            the DPRK. The U.S. talking about "biological and
            chemical attack" by "enemy states" is sophism to
            justify its moves to start a nuclear war against the
            DPRK.
            The DPRK has already put forward a proposal for
            concluding a non-aggression treaty between the DPRK
            and the U.S. if the U.S. has no willingness to launch
            a war against the DPRK, there is no reason why the
            U.S. should not accede to the proposal.
            If the U.S. imperialists ignite a nuclear war on
            the Korean Peninsula, they themselves will be burnt to
            death in their flame.
          • auvenj <auvenj@mailcity.com>
            ... capitalism ... spies, ... former ... socialism in ... Has there ever been a successful social system that required worldwide adoption to succeed? It
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 21 11:19 AM
              --- In azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com, thekoba@a... wrote:
              > I did indeed notice that the anarchist prediction of "state
              capitalism"
              > in which a state would persist complete with police, gendarmes,
              spies,
              > etc., does indeed bear a closer resemblance to the reality of the
              former
              > Soviet Union than Comrade Stalin's prediction of future socialism.
              > Stalin's prediction, however, was for world socialism, not
              socialism in
              > one area and capitalism in others.

              Has there ever been a successful social system that required
              worldwide adoption to succeed? It strikes me as inconsistent to on
              the one hand describe the socialist system as "inevitable" and on the
              other hand say that the whole world must adopt it before it can be
              realized. Even if socialism were otherwise a wonderful, productive
              system it seems to me that the need for worldwide adoption itself
              constitutes a fatal flaw.

              > Obviously most of the 20th Century
              > consisted in a struggle for socialism that was fought across
              international
              > borders, not socialism realised on a world scale. Obviously if the
              > capitalist world is trying to bribe and threaten people to betray
              > socialism, a state continues to be necessary. Trotsky brought this
              up,
              > and it was indeed a valid point, though Trotsky's idea of having
              Russia
              > immediately attack western Europe to bring socialism there was
              obviously
              > unworkable. Further, Marx did indeed realise that during the
              struggle
              > a period known as the "dictatorship of the proletariat" in which
              the state
              > would need to exist to suppress capitalist remnants would be needed.
              >
              > In any case, socialism was a very productive period for the USSR.
              The
              > success of the Five Year Plans proves that. If resources wasted in
              > defending the country against German invaders and in matching an
              > American ICBM force put huge dents into that and eventually allowed
              > the system to be overwhelmed, that's not an internal flaw of
              socialism
              > or the dictatorship of the proletariat.

              The West also fought WWII, built ICBMs, AND (according to you) spent
              resources "bribing and threatening people to betray socialism", AND
              (according to you) suffered the effects of inefficient competition,
              exploitation, unemployment, and duplication. Yet somehow, the West
              still ended up "overwhelming" socialism. It seems to me that you're
              missing something in your analysis. :-)

              It seems to me that the dictatorship of the proletariat has but one
              advantage over capitalism: The ability to enforce very high capital
              formation rates upon the population. Where the people determine
              individually whether to save or to consume, consumption will tend to
              be higher than where the individual is forced to consume only what
              the state determines is "needed" and the rest is available for
              capital formation. Thus, the early gains of the socialist
              dictatorships were, in my opinion, due to high rates of capital
              formation imposed on individuals in those societies.

              The problem is that individuals eventually recognize, as they always
              do, how to play this game to their maximum individual advantage.
              Inflating one's "needs" while reducing one's "ability" improves
              individual satisfaction. So that's what is done, with the inevitable
              toll upon the ability of the society to produce and generate capital
              in excess of "needs".

              > The fact of the matter is that during that period which we Marxists
              > know as primitive Communism, everything was shared, the land, the
              > food, skins, crude tools, etc.

              Within an extended family? Perhaps, but not among non-kin, with the
              exception of land. Land must be considered separately from food,
              skins, and crude tools because in primitive times there was no way to
              effectively improve land -- within a geographic region accessible to
              a primitive human family any area of land of significant size was
              generally as good as any other area of land of similar size. In
              other words, there was nothing to be gained by defending one area of
              land as opposed to simply moving on to another area of land. On the
              other hand food, skins, and crude tools were worth defending because
              they could not be replaced simply by moving on. My understanding is
              that these items were shared, if at all, only among genetically
              related individuals.

              > Do we advocate returning to that? No.
              > Obviously that system was necessitated by scarcity, and to the
              extent
              > that it was the result of improved methods of production that made
              > private property possible, it was an improvement. The point Stalin
              > was making is that human beings have historically functioned in the
              > absence of any concept of private property, and that for most of our
              > history (or rather, prehistory). There is no reason we cannot
              function
              > that way again on the basis of a rationally planned modern
              industrial
              > society. It will take some getting used to, perhaps several
              generations.
              > Then again I expect private property took some getting used to,
              probably
              > millenia.

              Observing my kids, I think not. Shortly after the word "mama"
              and "dada" are mastered, "mine" makes its grand entrance into the
              child's vocabulary. :-) Sharing objects is a behavior that must be
              taught; private property is not. Not coincidentally, however,
              sharing seems to be innate in terms of location/land with private
              property concepts needing to be taught. In other words, a young
              child will rarely if ever object to another child, even a stranger,
              entering the area he's currently occupying. But if the new child
              attempts to pick up a toy the current child has played with in the
              past, more often than not the result is an attempt to grab it back
              while shouting "MIIIINE" at the top of his lungs. This is quite
              consistent with what I understand about our evolutionary history.

              --Jason Auvenshine
            • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
              ... Capitalism likewise had reversals in its early days and had to overcome feudalism in a series of struggles. The collapse of Cromwell s government after
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 21 4:44 PM
                >Has there ever been a successful social system that required
                >worldwide adoption to succeed? It strikes me as inconsistent to on
                >the one hand describe the socialist system as "inevitable" and on the
                >other hand say that the whole world must adopt it before it can be
                >realized. Even if socialism were otherwise a wonderful, productive
                >system it seems to me that the need for worldwide adoption itself
                >constitutes a fatal flaw.

                Capitalism likewise had reversals in its early days and had to overcome
                feudalism in a series of struggles. The collapse of Cromwell's
                government after his death and the defeat of Napoleon did not spell
                the defeat of capitalism for all time. Socialism was first defeated
                in Paris in 1871, but it rose from the ashes in 1917. It has again
                been defeated, but there is again a global struggle to raise it from
                the ashes.

                >The West also fought WWII, built ICBMs, AND (according to you) spent
                >resources "bribing and threatening people to betray socialism", AND
                >(according to you) suffered the effects of inefficient competition,
                >exploitation, unemployment, and duplication. Yet somehow, the West
                >still ended up "overwhelming" socialism. It seems to me that you're
                >missing something in your analysis. :-)

                You are right. I left out the advantage the West had in the resources
                of the Third World and the exploitation of Third World labour.

                >It seems to me that the dictatorship of the proletariat has but one
                >advantage over capitalism: The ability to enforce very high capital
                >formation rates upon the population. Where the people determine
                >individually whether to save or to consume, consumption will tend to
                >be higher than where the individual is forced to consume only what
                >the state determines is "needed" and the rest is available for
                >capital formation. Thus, the early gains of the socialist
                >dictatorships were, in my opinion, due to high rates of capital
                >formation imposed on individuals in those societies.

                Doubtful given how little was being spent on savings or consumption
                by the typical Russian worker or Chinese peasant before the revolutions.
                It did help, particularly in the case of China, stop the net flow of
                resources out of the country to benefit imperialism.

                >The problem is that individuals eventually recognize, as they always
                >do, how to play this game to their maximum individual advantage.
                >Inflating one's "needs" while reducing one's "ability" improves
                >individual satisfaction. So that's what is done, with the inevitable
                >toll upon the ability of the society to produce and generate capital
                >in excess of "needs".

                Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, people were paid based on
                their work, so this wouldn't apply.

                >> The fact of the matter is that during that period which we Marxists
                >> know as primitive Communism, everything was shared, the land, the
                >> food, skins, crude tools, etc.
                >
                >Within an extended family? Perhaps, but not among non-kin, with the
                >exception of land. Land must be considered separately from food,
                >skins, and crude tools because in primitive times there was no way to
                >effectively improve land -- within a geographic region accessible to
                >a primitive human family any area of land of significant size was
                >generally as good as any other area of land of similar size. In
                >other words, there was nothing to be gained by defending one area of
                >land as opposed to simply moving on to another area of land. On the
                >other hand food, skins, and crude tools were worth defending because
                >they could not be replaced simply by moving on. My understanding is
                >that these items were shared, if at all, only among genetically
                >related individuals.

                That is not what anthropologists have found. In any case Friedrich
                Engels addresses the knowledge known to him in the late 19th Century
                (in part from studies of people who still were then in the state
                of Primitive Communism, particularly among the Native Americans and
                Polynesians) in <The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the
                State>.

                >Observing my kids, I think not. Shortly after the word "mama"
                >and "dada" are mastered, "mine" makes its grand entrance into the
                >child's vocabulary. :-) Sharing objects is a behavior that must be
                >taught; private property is not. Not coincidentally, however,
                >sharing seems to be innate in terms of location/land with private
                >property concepts needing to be taught. In other words, a young
                >child will rarely if ever object to another child, even a stranger,
                >entering the area he's currently occupying. But if the new child
                >attempts to pick up a toy the current child has played with in the
                >past, more often than not the result is an attempt to grab it back
                >while shouting "MIIIINE" at the top of his lungs. This is quite
                >consistent with what I understand about our evolutionary history.
                >
                >--Jason Auvenshine

                With your children being reared in a society in which private property
                is the norm, naturally they are quickly socialized to it. For society
                overall to adjust, however, took millenia. The retention of communal
                forms of property long after primitive communism itself ended is proof
                of that.

                --Kevin
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.