Basic Income Economics (Part 1)
1) The material universe is collectively owned by all humans. All non-democratically distributed property is theft. Global direct democracy has highest say. These stipulations are important otherwise a small faction of people will declare they own all wealth and resources and leave everybody else destitute.
2) The people can vote for different economic models. (People could also democratically decide that property does not exist. However, this still implies that people have control over the natural environment which more closely resembles collective ownership rather than true dissolution of property.)
3) Marxism is democratically approved worker ownership over the means of production.
a) “Dictatorship” of the proletariat refers to an intermediate system between capitalism and full communism where workers democratically control the means of production.
We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.
-Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto1
b) Socialism/communism describes a final phase of classless, stateless, egalitarian, democratic worker ownership.
Finally, when all capital, all production, all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will so expand and man so change that society will be able to slough off whatever of its old economic habits may remain.
-Friedrich Engels, The Principles of Communism2
5) The Soviet Union was inverse-communist.
Imagine a scenario where an authoritarian regime holds an election and unsurprisingly wins with 99% of the vote. Does anybody refer to this as 'democracy' or even 'Democracy' (with a capital D)? Of course not. Does anybody use Democratic Kampuchea or The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as examples of democracy? Of course not. Every single human being is intelligent enough to figure out that authoritarian regimes lie about being democratic. Everybody is smart enough to know that dictators will stage phoney elections to create the illusion of democracy while having absolutely no intent of implementing true democracy.
Now imagine a scenario where an authoritarian regime says they will implement socialism and redistribute wealth equally. Does that instantly mean they are telling the truth? Of course not. It’s very clear that there was no wealth equality in the USSR. Some people were three hundred pounds while others starved to death. It’s also very clear that workers did not own the means of production. Thus, there was no socialism in the USSR. The same is true for Democratic Kampuchea where the elites were fed, but many common people died of starvation. People were forced to move from urban centres to the countryside where they were forced to work on farms they did not own and where the output of their labour was controlled by an authoritarian regime rather than the workers themselves.
Just because an authoritarian regime forces people to work on farms does not mean there is socialism or collectivism the same way an authoritarian regime holding an election does not mean there is democracy. People were forced to work on those farms to create the illusion of socialism the way phoney elections are used to create the illusion of democracy. Thus, new terminology must be introduced. Referring to Democratic Kampuchea as socialist is as ridiculous as referring to it as democratic. However, one could use the terms inverse-socialism and inverse-democracy to describe Democratic Kampuchea.
Inverse-democracy describes a situation where an authoritarian regime poses as democratic and tries to create the illusion of democracy (by holding phoney elections or putting the word 'Democracy' in the official title). (Note: The term inverse-democracy would not apply to authoritarian regimes that outright declare they are authoritarian such as Nazi Germany. The term inverse-democracy only applies to authoritarian regimes that go out of their way to create the illusion of democracy while maintaining authoritarian rule.) Likewise, inverse-socialism describes a scenario where the exact opposite of socialism exists, but where those in power work to create the illusion of socialism (by forcing people to work on non–worker-controlled farms, for example.)
The prefix inverse- is better than the prefix anti- because the prefix anti- sets up an ambiguity. Anti-democracy could refer to inverse-democracy (an authoritarian regime pretending to be democratic) or open opposition to democracy. Anti-socialism could refer to inverse-socialism (non-socialist regimes pretending to be socialist) or opposition to true socialist principles. Thus, inverse- is the best prefix, in my opinion.
Many people use the term democratic socialism to refer to constitutional republics and constitutional monarchies with higher taxation and welfare (relative to other constitutional republics and constitutional monarchies). Firstly, constitutional republics and constitutional monarchies are not democratic. Democracy means majority rule has highest say—higher say than the constitution. Additionally, socialism requires democratic worker ownership over the means of production which is not the case in a non-democratic welfare state. Capitalism with high relative taxation is not socialism. Welfare capitalism would be the more accurate term.
Furthermore, it is more than possible to use evidence to determine whether an attempt is being made. Courts use evidence to determine intent daily.
I think you tried to scam her and I think you’re trying to scam me.
-Judge Judy Sheindlin to defendant 4
As another example, one can use photo evidence to conclude that the gentleman in the image is not making an attempt to lose weight: http://i.imgur.com/yHHxyfP.jpg
Thus, one can determine from the photo evidence that there was no attempt at communism or equality in the Soviet Union. The photo evidence supports Noam Chomsky’s assertion that Lenin, Trotsky, the other Bolsheviks and subsequent Soviet elites were trying to suppress real socialism while professing to support socialism.
The Leninist antagonism to the most essential features of socialism was evident from the very start. In revolutionary Russia, Soviets and factory committees developed as instruments of struggle and liberation, with many flaws, but with a rich potential. Lenin and Trotsky, upon assuming power, immediately devoted themselves to destroying the liberatory potential of these instruments, establishing the rule of the Party, in practice its Central Committee and its Maximal Leaders — exactly as Trotsky had predicted years earlier, as Rosa Luxembourg and other left Marxists warned at the time, and as the anarchists had always understood. Not only the masses, but even the Party must be subject to “vigilant control from above,” so Trotsky held as he made the transition from revolutionary intellectual to State priest. Before seizing State power, the Bolshevik leadership adopted much of the rhetoric of people who were engaged in the revolutionary struggle from below, but their true commitments were quite different. This was evident before and became crystal clear as they assumed State power in October 1917.5
- 1. Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Selected Works. Vol. 1, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1969. p. 98-137; Manifesto of the Communist Party. marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.
- 2. Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels: Selected Works. Vol. 1, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1969. p. 81-97; The Principles of Communism. marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.
- 3. The first image is from the Volga famine of 1921, not the Holodomor. The second image is of Soviet weightlifter Vasily Alekseyev. Though these photos were taken decades apart, people within these weight classes existed every decade of the USSR’s existence.
- 4. Defendant: Jaime Denesha
Spreckman, Sandi and Kaye Switzer, creators. Judge Judy. CBS Television Productions. 2017. youtu.be/uajr3AgTrhM Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.
- 5. Chomsky, Noam. “The Soviet Union Versus Socialism”. Our Generation. 1986. chomsky.info/1986____/ Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.