By - Todorlija
Money during the transition. Automation to decommodify sectors. Once everything is free, personal fullfilment, clout, extra "stuff". The main job would be "system engineer", to rethink methods, automate things, improve the democratic platform we use to run society.
You, uh, pay them with money. The difference is that surplus value produced by their labor goes to two places:
The worker, in the form of increased wages.
Society - social profit used to expand the economy and improve living conditions and maintain societal institutions like schools and security forces.
This is during the long transitional period in a state-socialist model.
That makes sense, thanks Comrade.
hey, no problem! I think at one time Albania may have actually abolished personal taxation this way: the “profit” from one’s labor was their contribution!
Damn, if that really was the case, then it's a major success.
People like to work. People like to be useful and be productive.
The motive capitalism gives you to work is not to starve or go homeless.
The motive socialism gives you to work is personal happiness.
People like to do SOME work... but not all work. there's a lot of really shitty work out there that needs doing. How do those jobs get done?
I am not going to give you the usual “automate it”, but I will say if you incentivize it it will get done. I told another poster in this thread if I was guaranteed time to play video games, good hours, and just a decent life with the expected amenities from a socialist society I would clean gutters or shovel shit or whatever you want me to do.
If you also provide some kind of incentive i.e you’ll be given vouchers for luxury goods or perhaps get a living permit to live in a heavily desired area like Hawaii or Brooklyn I would no doubt be down to clear the clogs in our sewer system with a protective suit and a shovel.
But there are ways to spread the privileges of today’s life and really use them as incentives to do society’s tougher work instead of just put them into the hands of rich people. The same things would be given to extremely difficult jobs like doctors and surgeons, who also deserve more because their profession calls for so much training/time/dedication. Anyone who knows socialism knows that wealth is not just going to be spread evenly like butter on toast, but that people need and should be rewarded for hazardous or difficult work.
Lastly, there are people who choose to be janitors or trash collectors, and there are also folks who WOULD choose these jobs. I am currently a soulless white collar who actually plans on that when I’m done with this career.
You will find people willing to do work that you consider shitty and be happy to do it. I actually enjoy janitorial work/mopping and riding on those little floor cleaners. I could not get paid enough to do that and survive and even I can't keep it up 8 hours a day 50 weeks a year, but if I was paid enough to support myself and family AND I only had to do it 4 to 6 hours a week 40 weeks a year? Then, fuck yeah, I'd do it.
You also don't need a motivator like being paid to do stuff like clean your own toilet, right? You do it because it has to be done.
Between finding people who want to do that work and making sure they have enough to live - and the fact that when the chips are down people *will* do shitty work when it has to be done, there's not a concern that we must threaten a class of people with starvation and homelessness in order to ensure the sewers work, the bathrooms are clean, etc etc.
Jobs like janitorial work aren’t what I’m worried about. Easy, low responsibility, kind of zen. What I’m worried about is things that require a lot of responsibility and are high pressure. I’m a nurse, and it is brutal on your back and your soul. Sure, there are some people who just “love doing it!” (Fuck those people, I don’t believe them either) but for most of us, it’s a living. In order for it to suck less, there have to be a lot more nurses. But who would want to do it? I’m ICU and the moral injury you endure daily is just... fucking terrible. I would not stay if I didn’t need to, and I am definitely not alone in thinking this. I just can’t see the necessary numbers of people doing this unless they had to.
In the long run, pretty much all the shitty jobs will be automated or unnecessary. Capitalism holds this back, while socialism encourages this
Mm not sure how capitalism holds this back?
Companies (investors and CEOs) are desperate to automate their workforces and thereby lower their costs. The real risk is what all those people will do afterwards.
For which capitalism doesn't provide a vision as far as I know.
Capitalism only automates if they can’t exploit labor enough to make labor cheaper than automation. The default is using people for slave wages. There’s also huge societal pushback against automation. In socialism the default would be to automate if possible. And there would be no danger of people being screwed after their job is automated away.
Thats an interesting point although one might counter that your silicon valley type tech companies are pretty religious about automation and pursuing it aggressively. Many of these companies will also run at a loss for years and years funded by people who are so wealthy that they can afford to pursue it religiously.
Theoretically I take your point that socialism could provide automation faster as it would have mass appeal and be cheered on instead of feared. It's the complete incentivisation picture that you can't be sure about until you try to implement something.
i work as an ICU nurse. I promise you, it is a SHITTY shitty job. I also promise you that you don't want this being automated. Whats the answer to stuff like that? Soul crushing, but necessary jobs?
So you have no answer on how the shitty jobs get done. You can’t chalk it up to “we’ll automate that” and make it an argument of the platform when it doesn’t currently exist. That’s a cop out.
They become automated. Easy
Because automation isn't already happening under capitalism.
I didn't say it wasn't?
If your starting point for making socialism work is an automated post-scarcity world, why not just go with capitalism for now.
Your line of thought is a bit odd. Pop off tho
Really?! That’s your reason?! You really think people would put in the same effort if there know no matter how hard they work, they’ll get paid the same amount as people who puts in the least?!
>they’ll get paid the same amount as people who puts in the least?!
Nowhere does it say that socialism and communism means everyone is paid the same.
It's about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.
Are you sure about that lmao
Sure, a plumber cleans shit pipes for his own happiness.
I am a plumber. I'm also a marxist-leninist. I would be much happier to do my work in a socialist society where I know I am helping my community be a better place rather than knowing my work is lining the pockets of a capitalist business owner. We also do more than clean old waste pipes, you sound so judging.
From which part of my comment did you get the impression that I was judging you?
The shit pipes part. You probably didn't mean it as such, but there's a bit of 'those untouchables' vibe I'm feeling.
> You probably didn't mean it as such
Right, but I am letting you know how your language about plumbers might be interpreted by, you know, an actual plumber.
Yeah, sorry about that man.
It's all good. I just wanted to help you or anyone reading this thread have a little bit of insight from an actual tradesman.
If I could have reasonable hours, free time to fuck of and read/play games/cook, health care taken care of, and everything else I expect from a *reasonable* life I would clean shit from sewer pipes all day. I don’t mind it.
The reason, or at least half the reason you say that is not just because you think it’s terrible work but socially we look down on labor like this today. Whether it’s customer service, farming, stacking bricks or something I am sure someone would volunteer if they could also lead a decent life too. Right now you’ve got people manning the register at Walmart in pure misery, you don’t think human beings would work with so much else in terms of life benefits behind it?
The *only* reason I say that is because it is terrible work. And no, you wouldn't bust your ass in college for five years or clean the sewers if it meant earning just as much as a taxi driver/doorman/peasant. A million high school seniors give a national engineering entrance exam in my country every year, and maybe fourteen of them for the love of science.
You’re coming at this with a lot of pre-developed viewpoints.
>bust your ass in college for five years
Since you’re asking about a socialist society, in a socialist society college wouldn’t just be for work. It would most likely be a mandatory add on to high school, without the “job training” aspect people currently attach to college.
And since you somehow don’t believe the actual plumber that replied to you, no idea why you’re here except to argue. You asked a question, you got your answer. In socialism plumbers and anyone else doing “tough or undesirable work” would most likely be given material incentives with the recognition most people want to live and be active like the pandemic has shown.
If I wanted to ask a question, I'd head to r/communism101. This is r/DebateCommunism. Saying "no idea why you're here except to argue" makes zero sense on this sub. As for
> plumbers and anyone else doing “tough or undesirable work” would most likely be given material incentives
Did you just... discover capitalism?
EDIT: Your college-for-all is idiotic. You think that making medical school free will somehow produce enough doctors. I wouldn't *go* to medical school if doctors had as much wages as a taxi driver, I'd party my way through a liberal arts college then join the taxicab fleet or something.
You think capitalism is the only system that provides incentives?
Again, you're not even really debating in good faith if your scope of knowledge is that limited as the above. That's why I said it seems like you're just here to argue, which itself is not really debating.
>You think that making medical school free will somehow produce enough doctors.
Lots of people want to be doctors, yeah. Imagine thinking people are just lazy, what a miserable existence you have to have to start on that premise.
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" rules out material incentives completely. The Leninist "to each according to his *labour*" is significantly different from a faithful interpretation of Marx. Non-monetary incentives like more holidays are against the rules, too, and for the same reason that monetary incentives are banned: in a communist society *all* work must be motivated by proletarian fellow-feeling.
> Imagine thinking that people are just lazy
But I didn't say that, did I? I just don't think the number of people who get into medicine for the love of it is more than the number of people who become doctors because it's a high-paying job. If people took upon jobs purely (or even slightly) to help the society, why would we have so many corporate lawyers, finance analysts and hedge fund managers?
Man, you need to read man. Stalin, Lenin, they all talked about the propaganda that reduces socialism to "everyone is equal paid, everyone is grey, there is nothing except leveling".
Like dude, we're not even on the same page.
> The motive socialism gives you to work is personal happiness.
what if i don't derive personal happiness from any kind of productive labour, or none of the necessary productive labour in my area is sufficient for me to derive personal happiness from?
perhaps, a musician who does not wish to share their music with anyone, but none-the-less wishes to dedicate his waking life to the pursuit of music
can I chase personal happiness without being useful and productive in some form or another towards society at large, or is the personal happiness simply a guarantee of 'being a worker in the socialist utopia with all those boons'?
> or is the personal happiness simply a guarantee of 'being a worker in the socialist utopia with all those boons'?
Socialism is not utopian.
a pedantic quibble that doesn't affect the question
It's really not, you're just mad you got told you're wrong, I could disseminate and shit all over the stupid shit you posted but I chose that one thing because it was so obviously wrong, go be mad somewhere else.
\>I could disseminate and shit all over the stupid shit you posted
e: open question to any good faith posters
Not worth my time, your mind is already made up.
If there's one thing I learnt from lockdown it's that people like to be active and productive. So many people were looking forward to going back to work, not for the money, but to have something to do.
I also think it's sad that money is some people's only motivator. Personally, I feel motivated by the idea that I'm doing something to help other people or animals. It's why I work for a charity and not a corporation. I make minimum wage, just like my whole family does. If I wanted to quit my job at work at Tesco full time for some extra money I would, but that wouldn't make me happy.
I recognise I'm in a very privileged position to even be able to choose to earn less money right now. But I know that in order to move out I'm gonna have to quit this job and find a slightly higher paying, yet most likely mind numbing job. Makes me super sad tbh.
To people that think money is people's only motivator, how do you explain my shop having multiple volunteers, most of whom come in multiple days a week, for 3-4 hours at a time? They're obviously not motivated by money, so what is it that makes them want to come and work with us?
I do believe that if education is free, everyone would find themselves in a particular place of society. If you're good at mathematics and science, you could be a mechanical engineer etc. Privatizing education limits the capability of human ingenuity, only for the sole existence of the profit motive. I can't imagine how people wouldn't be fulfilled or happy when others come into contact with their creations. If that's not supposed to motivate you then I don't know what else is.
In addition, when colleagues of mine have trouble with a certain subject, I do my best to help them, free of charge. That isn't utopian, that is the reality of my life and it makes me happy when I explain something to them. And that works vice versa as well. I find it difficult how right-wingers consider this a utopian characteristic of human nature.
Many people want to be active, to do meaningful work that makes difference to society and to build connections between each other. I guess the greatest issue with the Soviet labor system is that they didn’t pay attention to these non-income related issues (I guess it might have sounded like bourgeois idealism back then). Many times they just reproduced those dreaded “dead-end” jobs from the capitalist societies, with lots of mechanised and unfulfilling labor.
"To each according to his contribution"
In the early stages of communism, workers are paid in a similar way to how things work now (and so motivated).
The theory is that in the later stages it won't be necessary as people will have the freedom to pursue the things they enjoy.
In today's society AI and automation seems to neatly fit into this vision if it can be achieved.
Feeding people seems to work
I think in early stages of socialism some sort of wage is insensitive works best. Obviously no one will be allowed to starve or go extremely without but harder workers should get a slightly bigger slice of the pie.
Motivation is complex and not neatly correlated to any one thing, like money for example. From each, according to each etc...
In what circumstances does a street cleaner who moves to a new location far from their home have more necessity than one who becomes a street sweeper in their own home city/village/town? How is that measured and how should pay be decided based on needs that are separate from the generic value of a job?
This is just one thing that's difficult to implement on an individual level. It also needs to be scaled out nationwide. So my answer is you motivate people by giving them what they need in exchange for them giving what they can work to provide. How exactly you do that is an enormous question.
have you ever taken the time to realize that money has no intrinsic value (this goes for crypto too)
Job rotation or balanced job complexes like in parecon, an understanding that contributing to society helps everyone get a better quality of life which includes you, pay them more for harder less desirable jobs, ban people from more than basic necessities if they just don't wanna work, automate and lower working hours as much as possible and a sense of purpose.
Lot of good answers here, but let me add this:
The superstructure of society, the laws & culture & social norms etc, are all dependent on the economic basis - i.e. on the relations between people and the means of production.
In our society we have a wage relation and an owner relation. So for your average person, they must be pushed to produce even though they do not own in the full value of their work. Therefore, they must be *motivated* to do work. They are motivated by threats of homelessness or starvation but also by luxury time or vacations or a new TV or car. This relation has made us aliens compared to the feudal subject.
For medieval peasants, they would find our technology really strange and different. But the most different would be our culture and social norms. For them, the fact that you go out of your house and are *surrounded* by strangers and that you can go to a new job and work alongside people from different towns, countries, ethnicity, even speaking different languages would be completely baffling. For you, it's typical and normal. How could it be any other way? Well, this is normal because the economic base of capitalism demands workers be interchangable and atomized and have no connection to land - so all those possible frictions had to be destroyed in service of profit.
The socialist subject won't *need* to be motivated to work. It sounds alien to you, because how could they not? Well for them, they'd scratch their heads at why it was so important to have a motivator to produce things for their local community and for all humanity and to give all that they could according to their ability, and to take only what they needed. They will grow up and be socialized this way because that is what the economic base of socialist production will be like.
The middle period just around the revolution will be difficult for a lot of people and perhaps they will need some external motivation or occasional reeducation/correction. But I suspect that most people will be happy to go to work, work less than 40 hours a week (less than 20 hours by my own estimate), work in a job where they have full democratic ownership of the process, management and product, and then get everything they need given to them *for free.* Motivation will not be necessary for most people because their needs will finally have been met and they no longer have to produce for profit, but only for social need = way less onerous work needs to be done.
An exceptional reply, well done Comrade. ✊🏻
you don't'. they motivate themselves.
1. Maoist way: Connenct food rations to their job. No job, no food ration. Although this is kinda pointless. Probably why Communist China sucked so much.
2. Marxist-Leninist way: Make them feel as if they are working for the good of all others give working people a chance to participate in politics by letting establish Soviets. Far from perfect but better than what you can find in capitalist nations.
I fully support the Marxist-Leninist way, recently however, there was an attempt to convince me that people won't work out of good faith, because they are selfish by nature, another capitalist argument indeed, one which i strongly disagree with and from personal experience i can also confirm that it isn't the case.
If you look at a lot of indigenous societies they were basically communist as the whole idea was working as a team. I know their society was very different from ours today but the point i’m trying to bring is they as humans worked to better their community and themselves.
like said by other users people like to be active and productive and not sitting around on their ass, so working, as well as working for their community would most likely be what people would like to do.
The argument of human selfishness confirms how sick our society is. It's easier to see people as lazy/selfish and not the system as the failure it is.
Believing that people wouldn't "work" if their basic needs were cared for only makes sense in our capitalist society, where the social division of labour defines that the production and reproduction of life will only be possible for most people if they spend most of their time in jobs that offer neither fulfilment nor adequate payment.
The work required from each individual in a communist society will not carry the contradiction of the ownership of the means of production. We'd be able to organize, divide and share in a way to give meaning to the activities required to build our existence.
This is a stinking crock of shit. Sad to see this is the top comment in this shithole sub.
If you know what socialism is you know why people work in a socialist society. If you don't know why, you don't know what socialism is in the first place. This is a debate sub, why debate things you don't understand?
The answer to this question is literally one of the core tenets of socialism, and any clueless fuck who gives an answer like the one above has no clue what they're talking about.
[In a socialist economy, each worker is paid the value of what they produce. This is literally the point and purpose of socialism.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_each_according_to_his_contribution#:~:text=To%20each%20according%20to%20his%20contribution%20was%20a%20concept%20espoused,the%20socialist%20and%20labor%20movement.&text=The%20term%20means%20simply%20that,that%20he%20or%20she%20contributed.)
The very simple, very obvious answer to this question is one of the main reasons socialists want change in the first place. The most basic, cursory knowledge of the subject at hand precipitates familiarity with this fact.
Take this shit to a 101 sub. It doesn't belong in a debate sub populated by clueless liberal fuckwits and bad faith actors.
Jeez, it was only a question, it wouldn't let me post on the 101 subs.
Really? They let any old jackass post in socialism_101. Although there are plenty of bad faith actors there, too.
The problem with asking questions in a debate sub is subs like this are set up with the express purpose of fostering a combative attitude. There are a lot of bad faith actors in subs like this who are more than happy to misinform anyone who asks a good faith question because they consider it part of "debating". Basically they'll just take the opportunity to either shit on an idea they don't like or try to scare you away from it, and that's true for either side.
This just isn't the place to get an honest answer.
On the flip side of that, most people who ask questions in subs like this are just concern trolling. This really is just one of the most basic questions, not even covered in any kind of extensive theory, it's literally part of the literal definition of socialism, and one of the whole purposes for implementing it in the first place.
Sorry I ragged on you. I was much more angry at the shitty answers you got, and the reason you got them, than the question itself.
> But what does the word “transition” mean? Does it not mean, as applied to an economy, that the present system contains elements, particles, fragments of both capitalism and socialism? Everyone will admit that it does.
I certainly believe that at one point a society can form that does not operate on monetary incentives, but I do not think that can be formed immediately.
A lot of people have brought up some really great points, but something that I'd like to add is luxuries. Obviously the credo "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" means that the essentials of life (Food, housing, healthcare, etc) should be provided for if possible. However, there's still plenty of room for monetary working incentives. To quote comrade Britney: "You wanna live fancy? Live in a big mansion? Party in France? You better work, bitch."
"A need is a need, whether it's of the stomach or of the fancy" it's right there in capital, like first page [link](https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/commodity.htm). Luxuries are a social need too that get covered under to each according to needs.
I do agree that scarce luxuries like what you listed probably could be distributed according to helping out with society in jobs that others consider unpalatable as a way to incentivize them though. Just heads up that communism doesn't mean everyone lives in grey jumpsuits under a grey sky and no one is happy or gets nice things except the janitors and miners, lol. Luxury and comfort are social needs that need to be fulfilled too.
Oh I absolutely agree, hence why I listed the things I did as luxuries. I guess I should have included something like a luxury allowance in there. Thanks for pointing that out!
Yes, I would assume that if all our primary needs, such as food, housing, healthcare and education, are met, workers would have plenty of time to strive towards more ambitious needs.
Pretend to pay them and, generally, they fall into line and pretend to work. Alternatively, form a writers’ union devoted entirely to socialist realism and they will churn out interminably dreary paens to the dignity of labour and the brotherhood of man which will obviously inspire them to knock themselves out for a loaf and a spoonful of borsch.
If you’ve never read The Iron Flood, please give it a try. Then pass it on. There is simply no greater insight to the reality of socialist societies than the soul destroying trudge through the imagination of a fully committed partisan and highly regarded literary propagandist.
Thank you for the book recommendation. While we're on the topic of socialist realism, I remember back in high school when we discussed realism as an art form in general. We concluded that socialist realism isn't considered an art form by many because of it's utopian depictions of society.
If a form of art is made to incite emotions, especially positive ones, I would argue that socialist realism is the best literary genre that could be used for motivational speaking and encouragement, since everyone who reads would have something bigger to look forward to. And not just that, multiply the readers by a thousand, or even a million and you would get an armada of motivated workers.
I'm not sure if this is supposed to be satire or not. Either way it was pretty funny
I do believe that this is satire, however, I see the opportunity to quote Comrade Carlin on this one: "The American Dream: You have to be asleep to believe it."
You have to understand that a "hard life" in America is considered child's play to the conditions many immigrants come from. To them the American dream is amazing and frankly that's why many STILL immigrate here.
All of my immigrant family is very successful and they came here with nothing in their pockets.
I'm personally more of a socdem but my family would just live on the bare minimum and work hard without much complaining.
So clearly the dude we are replying to isn't being satirical, frankly you people just live in an extremely prentious bubble. You do not understand the world, at all.
Your family’s experience doesn’t match the OP’s political orthodoxy, so it must be irrelevant.
That’s what a society is. When we talk about society, we’re talking about people that are living together in order to create an easier existence for all. Then we got caught up in how to run that society, and we ended up with capitalism.
My answer is, for the same reason societies formed in the first place. People recognize jobs that need to be done in order to create a peaceful society. For instance, a garbage man would 1. Feel more control in their workplace which leads to happiness. 2. It’s valuable to society if there’s not mountains of trash. It makes people’s lives more efficient without trash. Not to mention it’ll get less and less unattractive as technology advances, making it hopefully cleaner and more palatable.
An excellent reply, thank you.
Imo the best way is just community. You hand out food to people? Cool! I'll grow the garden. You build houses? I'll hunt. We all help each other in ways that we can :) the motivation is having all our needs met. Its definitely hard to imagine, but communes really show what it would be like!
This definitely sounds like a worker-run society where everyone contributes. Unfortunately, it's hard to imagine that this may seem like a utopia to some people. :(
It's hard to imagine that a commune, where everyone personally knows each other and holds each other socially accountable, can translate to a country of hundreds of millions.
It's not just hard to imagine.. you must just be honest and admit that alot of bueracracy would be required to even organise a system of who does what and where on that scale.
It would not resemble a local commune at all.
Countries would not exist under communism.
Well in the 80s the USSR had near 0 unemployment rate while Reagan had 7.5%, the second worst for any president in history. Capitalism's peek during the 1920s gave America a 25% unemployment rate during the Great Depression, and since the private sector was wothless at solving the problem FDR guaranteed every family a job and achieved full employment by 1942. Capitalism is incredibly inefficent at jobs and in fact depends on a stable of a mass of unemployed, to keep competition for jobs up and wages down, and even then won't waste a second shipping your job overseas to hire someone cheaper. This has always been a complete BS take based on zero actual evidence. People are automatically motivated to do meaningful work in any system, but which one actually provides the jobs (much less meaningful ones) they need?
I guess that "the market will decide" or "the invisible hand will save us", are in fact bullshit arguments that get recycled by capitalists that don't want to wake up from their dreams.
Educate, wait for a moment when they go on a mass strike, support the strike til they get violent and takeover the government.
Mostly just convincing them that the government is neither gonna change and we have to do it ourselves.
Could make it illegal to not work if you are capable. I think they did this in the Soviet Union?
Capitalism is the best