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6

________deleted wrote

  1. "The problem is plutocracy"

The problem isn't that a small percentage of people have the vast majority of wealth, the problem is they exclusively control society's production which gives them that wealth in the first place. It's not so much about money, you see, as it is about the antagonisms between two opposing classes: the owning class and the working class. The owning class (an incredible minority) has control (ownership) over the means of production - means of production meaning the land/materials used to produce the goods and services we all need; factories, for example.

The working class must then sell their labor to the owning class in order to survive. So even though the owner of a factory does not work in that factory and does not produce goods themselves, they are entitled to all of the product of that factory and make the decisions regarding it. In the capitalist mode of production the workers are essentially paying for the owners to get rich; workers are always paid less than what they're worth. Let's say you make $10 an hour. The only way you'd get that deal is if you produced more than $10 worth of goods/services in that hour - or else the owner breaks even. Suppose you make $50 worth of goods in that hour, for which you are paid $10. Where does the other $40 go? It automatically becomes the property of the owner.

The owner makes all the decisions about how it's used and uses this surplus to buy more means of production/workers to keep the cycle going and pockets the rest. The continuation of this cycle makes the wealthy owners exponentially richer at the expense of the working class. Not only does the worker have to work/produce enough to keep him/herself alive, he/she must work/produce even more to keep the owner alive and happy.

This creates a natural and irreconcilable struggle between the owning class (who want to pay the workers the least they can) and the working class (who want to be paid more), as well as alienating the workers from the product of their labor, from themselves as producers, from their fellow workers, among other forms of alienation until the worker just feels like a machine. And since the owning class essentially control all the productive property, they control society through their decisions and wealth - effectively becoming the ruling class. The workers become a plaything of democracy instead of a participant.

Communism (and all socialist ideologies) is not so much about redistribution of wealth, but redistribution of the means of production to the workers for the benefit of society instead of for the profit of an extreme minority. In other words "the owner of the land is the one who works it"; the workers in a factory should own that factory together, and democratically make the decisions. Essentially it's about economic democracy.

1

sudo wrote

"Communism wouldn't work, because humans are lazy by nature. Without an incentive to work, nobody would."

"Human nature" is not static and unchanging. Philosophical materialism states that humans are shaped by their surroundings. So, if people are "lazy" under capitalism, that won't necessarily be the case under communism. Plus, there are plenty of people who do work under capitalism without pay (meaning they don't do it just to stay alive). Think of all the people with labor-intensive hobbies. There are people who build and fly model airplanes as a hobby, but they don't get paid for it (in fact, it costs them a lot of money). Why do they perform this labour? Because they enjoy it. There are other people who write computer programs and distribute them for free, for the same reason.

Let's say tomorrow you wake up to find that you've won the lottery, or received some large inheritance, so you no longer need to do any work to survive. What would you do? You'd probably quit your job, and take a few vacations. But, after a while, you'd get bored of vacationing, and you'd probably want to do something productive. Maybe there's a book you've always wanted to write - now you can. Or, maybe you've always wanted to make your own beer - now you can. We all have some inner desire to do some sort of productive labour, but we're alienated from that by the conditions of capitalism. Under communism, we'd all be able to do the labour we want to.