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 VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism

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PostSubject: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:03 pm

There seems to be a natural tendency for people to desire to collectivize (Styxhexenhammer called it a desire on the part of people to organize, which desire basically renders anarchism impossible) and there are various reasons for this. But whenever this tendency reaches an apex and takes over the general political will and thought of a society, that society starts to lose its ontic coherence.

An entity's existence depends on its maintaining ontic coherence. This is also what we call self-valuing.

Collectivism, so called, only has a proper existence as the natural overflow of values from a strong, coherent self-valuing. A self-valuing will share its values with whatever falls within its broader values-sphere, with whatever it values. But obviously those values must exist, and that self-valuing must be free to share or not share those values. Values cannot be compelled from a self-valuing without distorting those values, cutting out their natural existentiality, and also not without seriously harming the self-valuing from which values are taken. Future valuing possibility is seriously undermined by values-theft, even if that theft produces a momentary increase in values-availability and 'work'-effort.

Individualism is the philosophy that implicitly centers itself upon the fact of self-valuing. Collectivism is a name for various ideologies that are based the perversion of self-valuing in one form or another as theft of values.

Marx codified collectivist tendency within political application and sentiment, and attempted to use scientific-analytic/Hegelian methodology to reinvent economics in terms of the controlled and coordinated, "scientific" theft of values, which of course means the grinding down and eventual termination of self-valuing; remember that a self-valuing is always the source of a value, any value.

The economic model of scientific collectivism coupled with the freeing of the psychological constraints upon the natural impulse to desire to collectivize, led to humanity becoming infinitely malleable and able to be manipulated by applying a two-prong approach: 1) control their economic situation to produce values-theft and redefine this as "progress" and "production", and 2) manipulate the public sentiment around moral issues in order to pervert thinking with shallow virtue politics and 'wedge issues', building upon existing cultural differences to produce distinct classes that can be pitted one against the others. The combination of 1 and 2 produces the modern political landscape. Almost no one can think past it.

Machiavelli, Luther, Kant..... Hegel, Marx, Freud... Nietzsche... the analytics, the deconstructionists and post-modernists... this is all one very long progression, or rather regression. But it is possible that this regression is a necessary one, if human/western societies and people are to generally come to understand some basic facts and truths, to become more philosophical. The philosophical mind must at first entertain the worst ideas, in order to discover how and why they are the worst, but in order to do this he often first must believe (in) these ideas. Penetrate them from the inside, see and understand their essence, devote himself, and then come to discover the shame of doing so. Shame is indeed among the first signs of truth.

---

A political philosophy, system and sentiment based on Individualism is very rare, because it centers power away from "the powerful" and upon the average existential valuing, in order to mimic nature and natural selection so that values compete and value-rising or value-falling becomes a natural consequence over time of "what works". If the Individualism is proper this means it creates a closed system where values rise and fall only to the extent they adhere to the existentiality, and even capitalist production is bound to that existentially.. This is also why capitalism is often confused with "social darwinism".

Social darwinism, like cultural relativism, implies a lack of truth, of centering values, and of common valuing. But there are centering values, and there are common valuings. This is precisely what self-valuing means, and the human race has emerged, fractured and different as it is amongst itself, from the same natural-ontological conditions and at the behest of the same universal truth-condition and firmament. Truth cannot be killed or destroyed, it can only be covered over or simulated. The simulation of truth is what much philosophy has tried to do, and what science often does; but simulation of truth is just another form of covering truth over, and if truth is covered over and buried then it eventually starts to live again, as all of the negative side-effects of being covered over like that.

Collectivism used to be an intellectual position, now it is a pure religion. Thus it will not die so easily, or perhaps ever. Christianity, perhaps unknowingly, centered the religious upon the individual, cutting out the self-valuing space from dependency on the status quo of existing social, economic and ideological power-dynamics. Islam reversed this trend and thought that one must submit oneself to Allah only, rather than as Christianity thought we must submit ourselves to each other, and to our personal relationship with the divine. Christianity is Greek, I do not know what Islam is, Arabic perhaps, but I don't really understand Arabic culture enough to know what that means. Greek culture adopted the category of the individual, every God-divine was a manifestation of an individual tendency and will, and individual desiring permeated the mythological structure, thus nature itself was reinterpreted as primarily human, as a self-valuing knowable by the mind and reason. Greeks liked to think; Christianity thought about God, Islam felt about god. Or at least that is my naive reading of history.

Monarchy, theocracy, socialism, communism, and oligarchy are all forms of Collectivism. As far as I can tell the only political equivalent of Individualism is a Constitutional Republic. I simply cannot even imagine another political system aligned with Individualism than a Constitutional Republic. Constitution enshrines individuality as value, as law and right; Republic tempers the tyranny of the majority of pure democracy into a partial system where elected leaders are still trusted to make independent decisions based on their own thinking and values, but who are ultimately accountable to the people whom they represent. And because of that indirect, removed relationship you have a secondary mechanism whereby commonly-held valuing is able to permeate upward into leadership but not, at the same time, defining or over-determining that leadership. A nice middle ground is formed.

For Individualism to be instantiated the people/society must be supremely confident in themselves, full of joy and hope, and possess a very keen strength and underlying existential unity. Otherwise the people/society will prefer collectivist models. Perhaps the early Americans, after winning their independence and coming into possession of vast lands of unlimited resources and beauty, were the only people who could really instantiate a properly Individualist politics.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:16 pm

All values come from individuals. The only rational justification of a society is that it exists to allow its individuals to produce values and to exchange those values freely with others.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:18 pm

There are no exceptions. Even something as simple as water fits this. Water is a value to us, but we must act to acquire that value. And even something as complex as the Internet also fits; nothing is created or used except by individual self-valuings by and for self-valuings.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:03 pm

I agree that individualism doesn't work well in politics.

But it is with individualism where improvements to living standards are found.

And I will agree that societies rely on collectivism in order to function.

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:54 am

After the colonialism period in the 1500s to late 1700s or so, when this started to finally draw back upon itself and the paradigm was shifting, the peoples of the third world in S America, ME, Africa, S Asia all had the chance to seize their destiny and rise up to claim their nation-states and cultures back for themselves, to follow the American example of Independence. And to a degree this did start to happen, even though colonial powers maintained a presence up until WWI.

But what disrupted this process was two things: Marxism came along and co-opted the revolutionary impulse for independence, and then WWI and II further disrupted the local and nation-state economics and societies throughout the non-western world, after which the west was free to redraw the maps and sink its hooks into these other countries, with bribes and threats and military occupation and orchestrated political coups for example.

This is how collectivism won in the non-western world. A subtle and malicious process of values-hacking snuck in, from mid 1800s to post-WWII, and took over these places, altered their future and set up the conditions for what we see in the world today.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:04 am

Note that the Netherlands relinquished Indonesia only in 1949.
About 100 million people were possession of the Dutch Crown, even while the Netherlands were Hitlers bitch.

 

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:54 am

And it's getting worse, not better. Globalization is a joke. Just another power play.

Of course, most of the third world countries can't get their stuff together in order to make an effort to evolve.

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:12 am

A great irony is that the only real "social construct" is socialism itself, the whole edifice of social construction theory. This theory made up the idea of social construction because... that is precisely what it is itself.

So Marx tried to value himself in the shadow of Hegel, and ends upon appropriating Hegel's Absolute Spirit into a false idea that society is entirely separate from biology, earth, and 'hard realities'; that society-history is purely a fictional and arbitrary thing, therefore may partake of Hegelian universality, therefore any and all evasions and selective blindness to facts are justified to that end.

 

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"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:22 am

I won't say anything negative about socialism at this point but I could say many negative things about how it is applied, especially in the USA.

But I still don't like my money being taken by government and given to people who are too lazy to get a job and earn an honest income for themselves.

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:23 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:
A great irony is that the only real "social construct" is socialism itself, the whole edifice of social construction theory. This theory made up the idea of social construction because... that is precisely what it is itself.

So Marx tried to value himself in the shadow of Hegel, and ends upon appropriating Hegel's Absolute Spirit into a false idea that society is entirely separate from biology, earth, and 'hard realities'; that society-history is purely a fictional and arbitrary thing, therefore may partake of Hegelian universality, therefore any and all evasions and selective blindness to facts are justified to that end.

Yes, Socialism replaces the human entity with the entity of "Society", which does not exist save as a kind of Titan who devours his children and ultimately himself.

The idea that all humans would fit in one societal scheme could only be conceived by a mind steeped in slavery, deprivation and the will to extinction.

 

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:30 am

Specifically on communism: I now know exactly what communism is. I mean precisely what it is.

Communism is literally a force of disorder and destruction that arises within a society and culture, and targets that society/culture for disorganization and destruction. You can think of a society and culture as one substance, one 'thing', even though I realize that the concepts of society and culture are each touching on something different, but it is useful to take those differences and combine them into a single sociological-political-historical-psychological substance. That is what these things are, tectonic substances, physical realities that are from our perspective not physical at all but rather intangible, abstract and ideal.

Such a substance as is the society, culture, history, people, traditions, etc. of a region is diverse and subtle, very complex overlapping and interacting values-fields that create multi-dimensional structures. This substance slowly grows over time, per the nature of any living thing, as it expands and interacts with the outside and inner-interacts within and amongst its own elements, creating newer more derivative layers all the time. Eventually a bulk of capital is created that acts as the skeletal structure of this substance, and a hard shell covering it over and protecting it, allowing it to push out against the world in more powerful and decisive ways. This layer of capital growth atop the substance is at first soft, thin, relatively weak, but over time becomes hardened, thicker, stronger, and shields and protects the society/culture substance from which that capital has been generated and to which it belongs.

Now the substance is armored, it is armored by its 'hardened capital'. The danger of hardened capital is that it becomes too rigid and heavy, to the point where the social/cultural substance begins to be strangulated and burdened under that weight; this capital acts like a new substance entirely, and there is a natural push to re-write the existing social/cultural substance in terms of that bulk of capital which happens to exist at the given moment, in accordance with the particular desires, perspectives and pathologies of those people who happen to be the controllers or owners of that capital at that time.

In other words, growing capital is not naturally distributed amongst society/culture in such a way as would reflect how that capital came into being. The bulk of capital came into being by the combined derivative efforts of all aspects of that society/culture, interacting in very complex ways by very complex logics that simply cannot be traced beyond the most salient; the actual onto-epistemo-logical structure of a society/culture is impossible to model but can be understood generally in theory as being a thing of complexity, richness, variety and chaotic-emergent causality on par with the body of any advanced living organism. And these substances are non-teleological, they do not naturally have an end-goal state toward which they are working except to say that each such substance is indeed a self-valuing, and therefore its end-goal state would be to maximize the situation of its own valuing-selfing.

So now we have these substances engaging in conflict and war outside of and within themselves, attempting to create the situation where the bulk of hardened capital becomes organized newly and according to a new principle whereby the "weight" of that capital is no longer strangulating a large portion of the social/cultural substance itself. This natural tendency toward obtaining certain kinds of situations whereby the bulk of existing hardened capital is made to be reorganized in new ways in order to alleviate the pressures and imbalances within the substance itself is the true cause of the 'revolutionary impulse'. In other words, satisfied people do not revolt, which is something that modern capitalism has figured out.

This pressure and the natural tendency to alleviate it create complex dynamics that lead to the obtaining of certain kinds of situations that would prove to be capable of tending to cause reorganizations of existing capital structures, namely the social/cultural substance is always experimenting with its own possible structures to find a better structure, similarly to how genetic reproduction naturally contains gene replication errors in order to allow for the possibility of change and new states obtaining. It is important to note that these new states cannot be envisioned before the fact, this sort of change is entirely ex post facto, "accidental". This is because, again, the social/cultural substance is far too complex, logically intricate and subtle to ever be able to model and trace it in any practical manner. (Attempts to predict and force this substance into new changes will only succeed to the extent that such proposed or desired changes are simple enough to be so crudely enacted, imperfect enough to allow for flexibility of the inevitably imperfect result, and if one does not care about the fact that crudely manipulating the substance in this manner is quite literally closing off whole universes of potential future states and situations that could have and would have naturally obtained by the infinitely greater subtlety and logical intricate complexity of the substance itself when compared to the machinations of those who would wish to steer society in this or that direction.)

Now we have a basic understanding of the situation and the substance, so where does communism fit in?

Communism is a force attempting to release nuclear energy from the substance. Communism pulls apart existing relations within the substance in order to release energy from this destruction. For example, the "structural" relationships at the political or economic level, the "molecular" relationships at the community and family level, and even and eventually also the "atomic" relationships at the level of the individual person/psyche itself. Communism aims to provoke these kinds of pulling-apart nuclear reactions in order to release stored energy; this stored energy had formerly been used for maintaining the onto-epistemo-logical structures and for allowing self-valuing to occur at higher thresholds than it otherwise would be occurring, thanks to the existence and maintenance of those onto-epistemo-logical structures at both the individual, family, local community, and state levels. All of those levels each possess their own being, but are also each only one part in a larger being, namely in the environment in which self-valuing finds itself and by which self-valuing is able to self-value to its highest capacities, translating and interacting with as much truth and as many truths as possible.

The building-up of the social/cultural substance in order to effect that substance as this kind of environment suitable for the highest kinds of self-valuing is a very long historical process, and again is a natural process very much 'geological' in nature, whereby derivative layers grow tectonically and create meta-frameworks allowing for new kinds of relations and objects, and just as the root breaks through the rock so too do these kinds of substances break through the harder realities of the natural world and into the light of the moral universe, into the possibility for responding to and knowing facts, values, reason in a more and more direct manner. This whole building-up process is very slow over time, a gradual accumulation.

What happens with communism is that the imbalances within this substance with respect to the distributions of its bulk of hardened capital atop the social/cultural milieu of the substance itself are taken advantage of to cause seeds of internal disorder and destruction to take root, like cancers, within the substance. The first communists (Marx for example) figured out that if you pull apart existing substance-relations there is a sort of energy that is released from this; this energy is chaotic in nature and tends to have a destructive effect, because it is not integrated into the larger substance and environment but rather represents precisely the destruction of a small part of that substance and environment. The substance is now beginning to attack itself in a very profound way, it is becoming cancerous as the communist idea infects self-valuing with lust for forcing new capital-arrangements into being that would ostensibly be more advantageous to that communist self-valuing itself. But all that is secondary causality, more like catalysts and setting up the situations in the practical sense; the real reality of communism is simply its being this destructive disordering force ripping apart existing relations within the substance. Any number of excuses and justifications can be used to trigger and grow this force within the substance.

Communists will prey on people's disaffections, their desires, their frustrations, their embarrassments, their inabilities, in order to trigger nuclear reactions. The communist hopes that these reactions will cascade in chain reactions causing the communist idea to self-perpetuate and take over the entire society, such as occurred in Russia and China. It is important to see that the communist agitator is really a very careful practitioner of this philosophical/'spiritual' method of attempting to work directly with the substance to provoke a specific outcome; I am not at all convinced that Marx et. al. had no idea what they were doing, I think all of these early communists must have been at least somewhat deliberate in their intentions and methods. But the communist idea is naturally intoxicating for people whose self-valuing has been damaged or limited in some crucial way, because it offers them a religious escape and excuse for these traumas and failures. Communism is indeed a religion, which is why it does not tolerate other religions (it is 'atheist').

Communism is a religion of self-worship of the idealized capacity for working; I say idealized because real work can never be rationalized in that way, real work is work of the earth, work as and within and for the substance of the social/cultural and for setting self-valuing properly in its relations to truth. Communism disregards these relations and removes self-valuing from its contexts, forsakes the earth, and attempts to realize a religious neo-substance directly in reality and without any pretext, precursor or vision. Communist must burn up the existing social/cultural substance, first in nuclear reactions to spread communism to a threshold point of self-sustainability and second in using the existing capital and substance relations and objects as fuels, burning these to produce the life-substances that will satisfy the people from moment to moment. The whole central planning, top-down authority aspect of communist economics is no accident, it is an integral part of what communism does to the existing substances and capital: in communism's 'spiritual' (philosophical) attempt to form a religious kingdom on earth, it must simultaneously reject the earth as such and make direct use and consumption of the earth in strict linear manner in order to satisfy the basic needs of the people who are now communist. Because the earth has been abandoned it can no longer provide for the communists and the communists can no longer truly work with the earth, therefore their only recourse to survival is to seize everything around them and appropriate it into new destructive-consumptive processes, digesting the whole history and capital development of the past and present which becomes their 'new earth' upon which they attempt to found their religious kingdom.

The problem with this, obviously, is that each communist regime starts with only a finite amount of substance for it to destroy and digest in this manner. Eventually that substance is all but gone, and new substances must be found. Because communism deliberately severs man's links to the earth, and to truth, warping his self-valuing in this religious process, any "work" that occurs under communism is going to be bare minimum slavery producing simply the goods needed for the moment, without any natural capitalistic subtlety and certainly without the subtler dynamics and derivative logical complexity of the substance of the society/culture itself, for indeed communism has severed that link to the past and has done everything it can to consume the past entirely. Communist regimes therefore have a very short lifespan of growth as they consume the culture and capital around them, after which a period of increasingly slower growth and eventually stagnation sets in. The USSR only lasted 70 years; communist China has only lasted 68 years so far. And the tyrannical authoritarian methodology of communist regimes is no accident either, this sort of superstructure of state central power and absolute control is needed since, after all, the communist system has forsaken the earth itself as well as the earth of self-valuing as such. It can no longer trust anything to be that which it is; everything must be remade in the religious image of the communist death-idea.


So communism is literally this destructive and 'nuclear' force, and it is also the logical consequences that must follow from such an act occurring en mass within the social/cultural substance. The communist impulse is the impulse of a horde of rats, rats that are starving and who decide rather than improve their situations they would rather tear down their situations and hope that there is enough existing capital for them to steal in order that their lives will be better off in this 'new (religious) world'. But the high is very short-lived, if indeed there is any high at all.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:44 am

It is also important to note that communist Russia began right after WWI, and communist China began right after WWII. What does this mean? It indicates that in the destructions and ravages of war, and in all the poverty and misery that war produces, is found a very fertile ground for laying the seeds of the communist idea within the social/cultural substance of a people. We may yet see this same thing occur in the United States and also in Europe, if there is another large-scale war; indeed, we saw it occur partially in the US and Europe already, after WWII when the ideals of socialism spread far and deep within the US and European people and institutions. But the substances of the US and Europe are far stronger, older, and deeper in truth and self-value than were the substances of the Russians or the Chinese, therefore the communist takeover after WWII was only of limited success in the US and Europe.

If there is a WWIII, we can be sure there will be a further attempt to cause the US and European nations (their social/cultural substances, their histories, their peoples, their traditions, their capital, their ideas, their subjectivities, etc.) to fall to communism just as the Russians and Chinese did.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




“Grow a pair, preferably between your eyes.” -Styxhexenhammer666

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:26 pm

Communism is a potent religious-mystical system that can be very easily used by a small number of people to take over an entire country. In all likelihood communism was designed precisely with this in mind.

This is why it is so important to resist communism, and to resist the temptation of easy power that it offers. Socialism is sort of a "communism lite" that succeeds because it threads the needle of remaining a little bit authentic while also employing a little bit of communist magic for personal gain. This is why we must always uphold principles and reason, philosophy, self-value, over all temptations to easy personal power.

 

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"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Wed May 03, 2017 2:35 am

I realized something tonight... communism is nothing more than entropy. Literally it is entropy.

All of the social, cultural, economic, linguistic-psychological (mental and emotional) constructs and values that are built up during the history of a civilization, a nation, a family, etc. are literally structures, and as structures must be maintained. They are subject to entropic decay if not maintained properly.

Communism is this decay. The burning-up of these structures in order to generate 'heat' energy; that heat is what we see as the revolutionary-chaotic impulse to destruction, the mob. The mob is destructive precisely because the mob qua mob is this burning-up of existing substances, producing heat-fire, and that heat-fire is simply the actions of the mob.

Communism is the psychological attractiveness to entropy. So literally a form of death. Standing upon the edifice of capitalism, of constructed values, we can look down below us and see communism far down there.

 

___________
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"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Wed May 03, 2017 3:14 am

Thrasymachus wrote:
I realized something tonight... communism is nothing more than entropy. Literally it is entropy.

All of the social, cultural, economic, linguistic-psychological (mental and emotional) constructs and values that are built up during the history of a civilization, a nation, a family, etc. are literally structures, and as structures must be maintained. They are subject to entropic decay if not maintained properly.

Communism is this decay. The burning-up of these structures in order to generate 'heat' energy; that heat is what we see as the revolutionary-chaotic impulse to destruction, the mob. The mob is destructive precisely because the mob qua mob is this burning-up of existing substances, producing heat-fire, and that heat-fire is simply the actions of the mob.

Communism is the psychological attractiveness to entropy. So literally a form of death. Standing upon the edifice of capitalism, of constructed values, we can look down below us and see communism far down there.

Actually it isn't even burning up, at first. Once the structures stop being maintained properly there is a kind of release, a short-term respite that makes me think of how Fixed once described the Islamic experience of prayer (submission) to Allah: the projection of one's consciousness into the void, which causes a momentary feeling of uplift at the loss of feeling the burden of oneself, the burden of reality (since the burden of oneself is simply the same thing as the burden of reality (we are precisely as much reality as we are able to know/carry at present)). Similarly, when social/cultural/psychological structures are not being maintained there is an increase of entropy, followed by a slight slipping of these structures into more slackened states; they are still constructed together, they haven't yet fallen apart, but they are lagging, slackening a bit, and because of this there is a feeling of relief, a respite from having to feel the burden of self/reality.

This feeling of relief or respite probably mimics the infant's and child's feeling of infinite comfort when being coddled by the mother; a state of pure pleasure and no pain, but as Parodites has said there is no desire without suffering, no pleasure without a deeper structured pain against which something can be moved to generate the opposite of that pain, namely pleasure. So too for the feeling of slackening of the duties of existence at the hands of failing to properly maintain the social-cultural-psychological strictures, and this happens both individually and collectively: the (temporary) feeling of respite-pleasure is only possible to the degree that there also exists already a corresponding and 'deeper' (more fundament-anchored) plane of suffering and pain, of hard-existing, of responsibility to self and world.

As the structures continue to relax and slacken, and begin to experience small breakdowns here and there, this deeper plane of suffering and pain of the hard-existing of our responsibility to self and world begins to become fractured, and also starts to slacken. This "plane" is purely tectonic, and a kind of metaphysical corollary to the actual structure of the society, culture, psyche, etc. Namely what is now occurring is that our capacity to suffer is itself being broken down, our ability to feel and experience pain is decreasing. This produces a secondary feeling of respite and relief that stacks atop the first one of the original slackening of the overt structures.

I am guessing that in times of crisis of pleasure due to lack of proper suffering, it would be possible to play one of those feelings off of the other, trying to squeeze out a little more pleasure-capacity here or there by bounding one small suffering against another, shifting contexts to create relative illusions of size difference. In any case, this ongoing collapse cannot be maintained forever, and eventually the structures just sag and fall mostly apart, are like a person on their deathbed, and one can no longer feel either suffering or pleasure.

It is between this end point and the initial slackening that communism inserts itself. Communism is a path that attempts to stabilize the subjective death-collapse that is occurring in tandem with the slackening structures, and it does this by mobilizing a certain segment of the meaningful social-cultural-psychic substances in order to light a flame so that all other possible meanings can be pushed into that flame, feeding it. The flame becomes the "void" to which the communist prays and makes his sacrifices, just as for the Muslim the inner image of Allah becomes that same void to which the Muslim prays and offers his own sacrifices. In other words, the communist is trying to forestall the inevitable moment of total structural collapse and subsequent loss of both suffering and pleasure, by positing a small category of meaning (desire) amidst the collapse. What is chosen for this category? Whatever is most entropically conformed to the moment; whatever is easiest and can most easily be translated into something maximally universal. "Kindness", "tolerance", "peace", "save the planet", "cartoons", whatever.

And while it is interesting that communism is sort of an attempt to forestall the inevitable death-collapse, communism is in no way part of a health process but is really a pure disease process. We might, however, say that in otherwise healthy (but naive) people communism is a disease process that takes advantage of the natural healthfulness of naive people by appearing to be part of a health process; this is why so many college students get teary-eyed about social justice causes for example, whereas they don't particularly feel moved by the collapse of the very structures by which their selves and world are actually sustained. This isnt merely because they lack philosophy, and these structures are philosophical -- no, even non-philosophers can experience and feel these philosophical structures, namely as our emotions and our reason, also a certain range of our intuitions. The healthiest communist therefore would be the most naive, the most ignorant of philosophy, but would therefore retain most of his personal healthfulness while also staying true to his communist god, while the slightly more philosophical would quickly lose their healthfulness in the growing need to deny health as such for the sake of the communist god, which continuously demands their blood even as it pretends to smile healthfully while setting them upon the alter.

But no amount of slow or fast feeding of the flame will prevent the total entropic decay that is coming; it is coming because the structures are not being maintained properly, and instead of learning how to maintain the structures and taking care and responsibility for self and world, the communist is literally burning up self and world for the sake of his own little religious idol, the flame of the small category of meaning that acts as a surrogate subjectivity for the short time it will take for him to cease existing.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Sun May 07, 2017 8:59 am

I want to distinguish between some aspects of the Marxist model of economics and my own.

For Marx, commodities come with a socially necessary value, which is tied to the labor hours needed to make that product. This is "socially necessary" in so far as the labor hours needed to make the commodity match the eventual price of the commodity such that the price reflects, in revenues back to the producer, the total cost of that labor which made the product. If the eventual price is too low then the amount of labor expended to make the product is too high, and vice versa if the eventual price is too high. Marx defines the value of commodities as either use value or exchange value, namely we use commodities or we exchange them for other commodities which we can use; each commodity has its corresponding "socially necessary labor time" to be created, and what matters for Marx is that this labor time matches the eventual price of the commodity which it produces, so that there is a 1:1 match between production and consumption.

This is a very strange view. For one thing it assumes that there is an average worker working with average tools and skill making an average commodity, and it uses this supposed average worker and product to construct the idea of the socially necessary labor time, or the measure of productivity for making a commodity into units of "labor hours". This is obviously a myth that any such universal labor hour exists in any economy, especially in an economy as diverse and complex as our capitalist one. But the temptation of this idea is obviously that it sneaks an "egalitarianism" and "equity" principle into economics: that production of goods and services is only "correct" when the cost of labor doing that productivity matches the eventual price of the sold product. Marx therefore defines profit as that the producer (the owner who owns the means of production, the factories that the laborers work in, etc.) is constantly trying to get more price from his products than the labor cost to his workers for making that product, therefore "stealing" value from the society or economy broadly. It really means that producers are trying to make their products with less socially necessary labor time, namely undercutting their workers and forcing them to work harder in less time. This is "surplus value" as I understand it, and this is what Marx thinks profit is.

Now that you can see how Marx conceived it, let's look at what I think.

In my view, each individual in the economy finds a way to produce values, and the more values he produces the more he will be paid. Human beings need to create value and participate in process of creating value, this is central to who and what we are. We do this in economics but also in every other area of our lives. In other areas of our lives we are "paid" for creating value by positive social affection or regard, friendship, love, mastery and knowledge gained in a given subject, etc., whereas in a job we are paid actual money for creating value. The line between creating value in a job versus creating value outside of a job is a somewhat undefined one, but generally consists of the difference between activities that are intended to produce clear products or services with the intent of selling those products/services in the marketplace for money, versus activities that we do by our free choice without any expectation they would produce sellable products and money. I create value by cleaning my house, but I don't do that because I am going to be paid for it, I do it because I personally gain from the value I create; when the value we create is exported away from ourselves, that is when we get paid money for our value-creating.

There is no "average labor time", no average unit of labor making an average commodity; that is pure nonsense. It wouldn't even be possible to define the actual cost of producing a single product, if you want to think about cost as the cost to the workers who made it. So instead we just focus on the financial cost of making the product, which includes the wages of the worker. Then the product is marketed and sold, and the revenue aggregated to other sold products to produce total revenue. You want total revenue to exceed total financial costs of production, obviously. If it does, then we have what is called profit. Profit is not "stealing" "surplus value" from the "average socially necessary labor cost". Rather, profit is simply the fact that selling a product brings in more dollars than the amount of dollars you used to produce that product, and this can happen for a variety of reasons. Most commonly is that the producer has a surplus of products and of the parts to make those products, whereas the consumer has a deficiency of these things. The producer uses his surplus us parts to make a lot of products, and then he sells these products to storeowners; now the storeowner has his own little surplus, his inventory of items, and he then sells these to consumers in his store; now the consumer has one or two of these items as well. The consumer has less than the store owner, and the store owner has less than the producer; therefore you can see that the surplus moves up the chain of production from consumer to producer.

When we have a surplus, this reduces the relative value of that product for which there is a surplus. Namely its value is skewed because to the person with surplus the value of one of those products is much less than is its value for someone who doesn't have a surplus of that same product. If I go into the store and buy a candy bar, that one candy bar has a lot more value to me than to the store owner, because the store owner has hundreds of those candy bars in the back. I have no candy bars, so assuming that I find a candy bar valuable to me, the addition of one candy bar where I had none is going to represent a gain of value for me over and above the gain of value which the store owner experiences by holding onto that candy bar, even if the store owner personally really values candy bars. Therefore, the store owner can get rid of that candy bar and experience relatively less value-loss than I would experience were I to give it away. To be specific on this mechanism, then: store owners hoard a surplus of items, relatively de-valuing each item in the process, and use this de-valuation to sell these products because the consumer finds more value in the product than does the storeowner with his now-de-valueued products; this value differential is part of what produces profit.

This produced profit is not simply appropriated by the producer or storeowner, rather it is split between producer/storeowner and consumer in the following way: the consumer was required to pay a sum of cash to buy the product, meaning that the value of that cash to the consumer was less than the value of the product he gained by using that cash to obtain the product, therefore the consumer has just experienced a value-increase; the producer or storeowner valued the product they sold less because they happen to have a surplus of that product, therefore they are happy to exchange away the product for some cash, and due to the relative de-valuing of the products of his own surplus of inventory the gain of cash represents a value-increase for the producer or storeowner. Therefore the profit is distributed in part to the consumer and in part to the producer/storeowner. The very fact that the consumer voluntarily exchanges his cash for the product, and the producer/storeowner voluntary exchanges his product for the cash, demonstrates that value-increase is taking place on both sides of the transaction.

How exactly does this occur? The mechanism here is the price of the product. If the storeowner or producer sets the price too high, they are trying to take as much of the profit from the sale to themselves, because the consumer will be expending greater value to purchase the product, but by doing that the producer/storeowner also makes it less likely that the consumer will voluntarily choose to exchange his cash for that product. Therefore the producer/storeowner wants to find a sweet spot in the middle, where the price of the product is high enough to maximize the amount of profit that goes back to the producer/storeowner himself while also maximizing the likelihood that the consumer will voluntarily choose to exchange his cash for the product. This latter half of the equation is the fact that the producer/storeowner is choosing to share the profits with the consumer. He chooses to do so by setting his prices reasonably rather than too high, and of course he 'chooses' to do this because if he did not, then he himself would lose overall value.

For me, there is no "socially necessary" aspect to a commodity, and there is no "unit of average labor hours" involved in creating commodities. Also there is no 1:1 match between the "social cost" and the "social gain" of making and selling a product, in part because it doesn't balance out like that in some kind of universal way, but also because the idea of social cost and social gain is meaningless; there is only direct individual cost and gain, the cost and gain of both the producer and the consumer. Every value-transaction involves a cost and a gain, and the whole point of value is that in this transaction there is more gain than cost. This is how economics works in so far as economic transactions are voluntary. But as soon as economic transactions become obligatory and coerced, it no longer becomes possible to say that each transaction is producing net value increase.

The idea of balancing total social cost of production with total social gain is just insane. Individuals balance this for themselves in their own value estimations, there is no "society itself" which is balancing anything, rather society is simply the emergent effect of the sum-total of all those individual valuing estimations and value-transactions. it doesn't need to be "balanced" at all, as if profit were somehow evil, as Marx thought; Marx also thought that ownership of capital was evil, in so far as the owner was not the one laboring with that capital to make products. This is also idiotic, because ownership is an individual responsibility and requires the capacity to make coherent values estimations on behalf of maintaining and using that property which is owned, and if you split ownership too much among too many people you lose this coherence and cohesion of maintaining-using the property, as the individual perspectives and decisions of too many people cloud the decision-making process; also, when you divide out profit from capital use among too many people the relative value-gain for each person becomes too small to actually matter that much, which means you actually dilute the value-gain by having a communist model of ownership of capital ("workers communes", "co-ops", etc.). So naturally in such communist arrangements what matters becomes maintaining the "balance" rather than focusing on the value-gain.

Ownership is just an ontological extension of the self, of the category of the individual. What we own is what we bless with the virtue of our own valuing, and force into the sphere of our valuations. This also represents a natural value-increase, since the individual self-valuing will make use of his property according to his own values and will naturally try to maximize value by doing this. The more property someone has, the more they are able to transact economically for products, and also the more they are able to produce new products. This translates into a direct increase of value on both the consumer and producer side. And so long as transactions are still voluntary, this also necessarily translates into total value-gain on both sides of any economic transaction, again because as I explained above the profit from any such transaction has to be shared between producer and consumer.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




“Grow a pair, preferably between your eyes.” -Styxhexenhammer666

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Sun May 07, 2017 9:12 am

I also want to experiment with another thought here; I wonder if in a society where for most people the value they create is exported away from them, there develops a psychological tendency to under-value activities and effort that would produce only immediate value for oneself... in other words, do people become lazy and stop caring for themselves and that which they own/have responsibility for simply because they have been psychological reformulated to only care about values that are cash-exchangeable?

The psychological motive-force behind going to work is different than is the psychological motive-force behind doing activities freely on our own. It is true that in either case we are motivated by values and by increasing values, but the way in which this occurs in either case seems different to me. People often "drudge" through a job in order to get the paycheck, and they often do the minimum necessary to get the job done or be considered a good worker by their boss; some people have intrinsic motivation to do a great job regardless of the pay, and these people end up producing more value for the company and therefore over time are more likely to get promoted into a position where they can be more effective at gaining value for the company (assuming that the means by which this worker is over-performing are transferrable into a new position somewhere higher up the corporate ladder; sometimes this isn't the case, and you just have a really good and motivated worker in a warehouse or production floor doing a lot more work than everyone else, but not really getting the benefit from that personally since his motivation/skill isn't seen as transferrable into a new position, such as supervisor for example).

Anyway, I notice that a lot of people are not very good at caring for what they own/have responsibility for. Their homes, their families, their cars, their relationships, their computers, their bank accounts... whatever it might be, there is often a lack of motivation for maintaining these things in good condition. I wonder if this is partly because the "drudgery" aspect of going to a job has been transferred to the other valuing activities in our lives which are not our job: when we psychologically adapt to working a hellish job that we only tolerate because we want the paycheck, does this also psychologically impinge upon our motivation to value and upkeep things in other areas of our lives? Does the resignation and drudgery spread? Probably it does.

The opposite would be that if a person has a job they really like and get a lot of value out of, and does not feel like resignation and drudgery at all, then the effect of de-motivating in one's personal life would not be the case.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

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PostSubject: Re: VO Studies: Collectivism vs Individualism    Sun May 07, 2017 9:32 am

It should also be noted that this same principle of splitting profit between producer and consumer is also at work between producer and laborer when the products are being made. The worker or laborer is engaged in a process of creating values, of making something, of applying his personal work-effort and skill in the construction of something, and he is using the tools and capital of the producer to achieve this; the producer in turn must supply those tools and capital as well as an environment for using them, and of course must also supply the wages to the worker. There is the same logic at work here as with selling the product, namely that the profit is split between producer and worker, again because of the voluntary nature of the transactions: the worker chooses to give some of his time and energy to make the products, and the producer chooses how much to pay the worker; if the producer does not pay the worker enough, the worker will leave, but if the producer pays the worker too much then the viability of the company will falter, screwing both worker and producer in the process. So the total value-gain from the worker using the producer's capital to make new products is naturally split as profit for both the worker and the producer, in the form of the wages paid to the worker by the producer.

This mechanism around how prices of products or wages are set is really where the 'magic' of profit comes from. There is no "theft" going on here, unless someone is conscripted into working against their will. Of course people need money to live, so there is a natural pressure of necessity to have some kind of job. Marx thought this meant that workers were de facto enslaved, whereas capital owners could sit back without working and just charge rent on their properties, either physical land to live or farm, or factories and tools for the workers to use in their jobs. This is true to a certain extent that capital ownership does work like this, but it isn't so black and white as Marx thought. The fact is that whatever we own becomes our responsibility and task to manage and maintain as best as possible to increase production of new values, and we all do this to whatever extent we are able based on the amount of things we own. The owner of a factory also does this, and needs to maintain and manage his factory and all of his associated capital; he does this by hiring managers and maintenance staff, in other words he needs to use some of his own profit to inject back into the economic enterprise to make sure it remains viable in the future. The worker has no responsibility for the maintenance of the factory or associated tools/capital, therefore does not need to use any of his profit (wages) on that.

If a person acquires enough wealth to be able to "rent" it out as work or land to farm/live on, this simply means that one person is valuing a large segment of social and economic reality. This is good in so far as having something fall within the value sphere of a self-valuing is better than leaving it out, all things being equal. A tree in the forest is fine, but it is better if that tree is part of the land which someone owns; this is because ownership means inclusion within a valuing sphere of a self-valuing, which represents a net increase of value in total throughout the entire system or world, and means that now the tree is able to be maintained or cared for (valued) by a self-valuing in a way that formerly it could not have been. Even if some self-valuings will end up making bad choices with what they own, which happens of course, and squandering value, it is still the case that having this system is better than not having it, and instances of bad choices serve to inform self-valuing the next time around, teaching us about how better to value.

Ownership isn't evil, and having an owner of the factory you work for doesn't mean you are a slave, or that the owner isn't working or expending any personal work-effort in the task of maintaining and caring for that which he owns. In fact, it is a huge benefit to the worker that the owner is willing to share his property with the worker, so that the worker can engage in a process of creating values which he otherwise would not have been able to engage in, and of course (due to the voluntary nature of this transacting) the worker also gains the wages from doing that. Any profits made by a company are necessarily shared with the workers, otherwise there would be no workers working there. And the fact that a company or owner makes billions of dollars in profit is only an illusion, because that billion you see is concentrated into a single person or small group of people at the ownership level or at the level of the company itself as single entity, whereas the rest of the profits have already been distributed amongst each of the workers in that company as well as in the costs of maintaining and caring for the capital of the company itself. Saying "well this company made a billion dollars in profit last year but only pays its workers $12 an hour!" doesn't factor in how the total profits of the company are being shared amongst the however many workers there are, plus going back into investing in the business and capital itself. Again, if the worker was not receiving any value from working there, any share of the profit, then that worker would not be working there.

And if a job does end up paying its workers so low that they are really not sharing in the profits of that company, then those workers can always find new jobs which treat them better. This is because there is a natural incentive for companies to not abuse their workers like that, since a company with better workers is going to make more profits, all things being equal. Therefore the more companies that are abusing their workers with artificially low wages, the more a natural incentive for other companies to share more of the profits with workers in order to attract more and better workers to their own companies.

 

___________
"Since the old God has abdicated, I shall rule the world from now on." --Nietzsche

"It would be wise to exercise caution with one's wishes." --Penny Royal AI

Odinwar <---[truth]---> Jeraz

Peace. War. Love. Wordz




“Grow a pair, preferably between your eyes.” -Styxhexenhammer666

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