Recent posts by AlextheGreat13 on Kongregate

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Topic: Off-topic / Lately I've been thinking that socialism is a pretty good idea.

Originally posted by LukeMann:

Keep in mind that this can be seen as a benefit of capitalism. By having different companies competing with each other and seeking an edge, it drives innovation. A new iPhone comes out every year but that new iPhone always has improved technology. One problem I rarely see brought up in topics of socialism is how to deal with the issue of stagnation. Without a purpose to innovate, one can envision a society that merely subsists at its current technological level.

Alright, let’s deal with the issue of innovation. I have discussed how technological progress under socialism can benefit people as workers (by lessening the burden of work for them), though I suppose I did not describe how it benefits them as consumers.

First, let us deal with how new technologies come into being. Under socialism, if higher education was treated as one of those “positive rights” that I described to Speardudezor, then higher education would be made available to all who desired it, as opposed to only those who could afford it. This means that there would certainly be no shortage of educated people in society. I also assume that those colleges and universities that undertook educating students would also be the places where research and development could be done. By having all research and development taking place in academic settings, their findings and technological innovations could be treated as public goods available to anyone.

But then, once those innovations are found, how would they be implemented in society? Well, if we remember that the workers are the same people who consume products, and since they control the means of production, that means they can directly choose what they wish to make. Once a college or university finds out how to make some new and fantastic item, if the people want it, they can collectively decide for factories to start producing it.

Thus, innovation can be made without those drawbacks like deceptive marketing or planned obsolescence. It also is done through cooperation instead of competition. Competition, of course, has numerous drawbacks of its own. If one company out-competes another, then the workers of the failing company will go unemployed through no fault of their own, and the employees of the successful company would be pushed to the breaking point so that they could out-produce the workers of the other company.

Another point of your I disagree with is when you say it’s more profitable for drug companies to make temporary treatments instead of permanent cures. Again, the issue of competition arises. If a company were to discover, say, a cure or breast cancer? They would make billions! The amount of money they’d make from distributing a cure instead of just a treatment would be more immense than we could imagine. The only way your argument here holds water is if you believe all of the pharmaceutical companies are in a price-fixing agreement, which frankly seems unlikely and can be dealt with in a capitalistic society via anti-trust agreements and the like.

That is a good point. I suppose I was thinking in terms of a monopoly rather than a system which includes multiple competing companies. Still, price-fixing has occurred in the past under capitalism, and though anti-trust laws can hinder practices such as these, the method does have its limits. Remember in my response to tHErofLwaffLe that money has considerable weight in politics, which means that those who can make the highest campaign contributions (the wealthy business owners) can sway the government to act in their favor.

But also remember that under capitalism, the company that did find a miracle cure to some disease could charge exorbitant amounts of money for it, keeping the cure solely in the hands of the wealthy. You might claim that under capitalism, competition would keep the price low, but patenting the drug would ensure that only one company would be able to produce it. However, once that patent expired, even competition might not make the cure available to the extremely poor.

Under socialism, cures, like all innovations, would be treated as public goods, and distributed to all those who need them.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Thats just scary...

If we knew about everything in the universe (this is called omniscience), I doubt we’d be scared. Much of our fear comes from our uncertainty of the future. We don’t know if our futures will be good or bad, and that brings about feelings of anxiety and fear.

However, if we knew our futures with exact certainty, we would know precisely when we would die and how. And, assuming that our knowledge of the future would be infallibly true, there would be no way of preventing this death. Would that make us scared? Maybe, but it would be a different kind of fear than one born out of uncertainty.

On a scale from 1-10, I’d say √-1, since it wouldn’t be fear as we can currently perceive it. It would be unreal.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Lately I've been thinking that socialism is a pretty good idea.

Originally posted by SpearDudezor:

Alright, I think that works. If I’m not forced to work, I would probably find ways to contribute to society anyway – I don’t want to be a freeloader. Not so if I am forced to work. Kinda like taxes. Libertarianism is my kind of thing too.

What happens if someone wants, for example, more food? Food is generally “public domain”, right? Would he be limited in some way?

If you want more food, I suppose you could just devote more of your earnings towards it. If you had a grocery store where all the food was free for everyone, you’d probably have a “tragedy of the commons” situation where some people would take more than they need and not leave enough for others, so you would probably need some way to portion it out to people. I know that there is a tremendous surplus of food in our society, so I imagine that the amount allotted to each individual would be much more than what they could eat.

Also, you may be interested in libertarian socialism, if that’s your thing. It does seem interesting to me.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Lately I've been thinking that socialism is a pretty good idea.

Originally posted by tHErofLwaffLe:

So basically, the whole world would be better off under socialism?
Do you think there is any possibility that America will simply switch from capitalism to socialism?

Well that’s the trouble.

There are some socialists who believe that socialism can be achieved through reform, and others who believe it must be achieved through revolution.

Knowing the grim outcomes of various revolutions through history (the Russian Revolution, the French Revolution, etc), I sincerely hope that reform is an option. But, as I’m sure we’re all aware, money has considerable weight in politics, which tilts the political system in capitalism’s favor. I’m a bit on the fence regarding that issue, and I need to think about it more.

Originally posted by SpearDudezor:
Under socialism, you would have to work less than you would under capitalism

That’s the thing – I don’t want to work at all. Not in the sense that I don’t want to make an effort, but I don’t want to have a “job”. Since I wouldn’t work, I wouldn’t be entitled to what socialism has to offer. I would either be a freeloader, or I wouldn’t have things.
Maybe a socialist-capitalist hybrid Frankenstein’s monster borg stitching would suit me.

Well socialists tend to believe in what are called positive rights (as well as negative rights).

Negative rights are those that the libertarians strongly support. They include the freedom of speech and religion, and could be described as “rights of non-interference.” As in, you can say what you want and believe what you want and no one will come to arrest you.

Positive rights are concerned with providing people with their basic necessities, like food, water, shelter, etc. Socialists would be the last people to deprive you of these, even if you didn’t work. Would you be forced to work in a socialist society? I would hope not. Oscar Wilde made a good point that if people were forced to work under socialism, it would make it worse than capitalism.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Lately I've been thinking that socialism is a pretty good idea.

Originally posted by SpearDudezor:

But I don’t want to work like a pleb
I want to go on adventures and pay if I want something

Under socialism, you would have to work less than you would under capitalism. When the workers are in charge, they’d be willing to provide longer vacations and shorter workdays. Overtime, as technology improves, the amount of work any individual would have to put in would be negligible.

About the “pay if you want something,” assuming it was like a movie or game, it would be provided to you for free since all art would be in the public domain. If it’s a material object, those would be more affordable to you, since there’s no capitalist taking a chunk out of your wage.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / I was going to write a riveting and intellectual post that would show an interesting viewpoint on politics that would rival the works of Ayn Rand and Karl Marx, but then I remembered that you all are dullards that wouldn't understand the first word.

Of course the first step of convincing others that you’re right is to insult their intelligence, right?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Lately I've been thinking that socialism is a pretty good idea.

First, to clear up any misconceptions, I will describe, as simply as I can, what socialism is:

Socialism is the collective control of the means of production by the working class.


By collective control, this could be considered to be democratic control, in that the the means of production would be treated as public property. Of course, in order for there to be actual “collective control,” this means that there must be a way for the general public to decide what is done with the means of production. The simplest means to allow the general public to have this control is through a democratic government, so it could be said that democracy is essential to socialism. To make that clear, socialism is not antidemocratic.

By means of production, this refers to factories, large scale farms, airports, studios, roads, power plants, and generally everything that is used to make, move, and do things on a large scale. It does not include the clothes you wear or the house you live in. In other words, socialism is not about making your personal belongings public property.

By the working class, that means basically everyone in society. Socialists divide society into two groups, those who work for a living (the proletariat), and those who exploit the labor of others so that they do not need to work (the bourgeoisie). Under socialism, everyone would share the burden of work equally, so everyone would fall under the category of working class. Basically, if you are not a huge business owner raking in millions (or billions) every year, then you are part of the proletariat and stand to benefit from socialism.

On a related note, you may be familiar with the word “communism,” which is certainly related to socialism. Communism, as Karl Marx described it, was a Utopian stateless, classless, moneyless society where everything was fine and dandy for everyone. Marx believed that the way to achieve communism is by going through socialism (as in, having the workers take control of the means of production). Essentially, you can be a socialist without necessarily being a communist, but you can’t really be a communist without being a socialist, since, as Marx believed, socialism was a necessary stepping stone to communism.


Now that I’ve handled the basic definitions of socialist terms, I guess I’ll get into the meat of how socialism is actually beneficial to society. While there are numerous topics I could choose from, I’ll stick to topics relating to the mechanization of labor, the environment, consumerism, and the distribution of art.

In regards to the mechanization of labor, I am referring to the various technological methods (robotics, computers, etc.) that can replace workers. Under capitalism, this is very bad for workers, but under socialism, it is highly beneficial. Under capitalism, when a factory owner buys some new robotic arms to assemble his products, that means he can lay off his workers, which is good for himself, since he no longer has to pay wages, but bad for his workers, since they lose their jobs and thus their means of survival. However, under socialism, since everyones needs would be provided for unconditionally, when the robotic arms come in to replace the workers, that means the workers get more free time!

But let’s think of this same topic in more abstract terms. If, through technology or some other means, a factory is able to be made twice as productive. This means that the workers can either (a) work just as much and produce twice of what they did before, or they can (b) work half as much and produce the same as they had before. Under capitalism, the business owner would be the one to decide what to do with this increased productivity. He would undoubtedly choose the first option since that means he could potentially double his profits, but also because he would be afraid of any of his competitors gaining an advantage over him. Under socialism, the workers would be the ones to decide what to do with the extra productivity, and they may very well choose the latter, which means that they can have more time for leisure and enjoying life. Essentially, under capitalism, increasing productivity almost never benefits the workers, but under socialism, it is a force for liberation.

Moving on to environmental issues, I believe that a socialist society would be better equipped to prevent environmental catastrophes and respond to resource shortages than a capitalist one. I saw a documentary a while ago titled Pandora’s Promise which made the case that nuclear energy is not as dangerous or environmentally harmful as people claim and would be a suitable replacement for fossil fuels. However, even if you find nuclear energy to not be the solution to the energy crisis, let’s say that, hypothetically, a miracle source of energy was found that was plentiful, cheap, and environmentally safe. How would it make an entry into a capitalist society that already relied on fossil fuels? Those who own the oil and coal companies would fight it until every last person on Earth choked from smog, but they could also use their leverage to turn the general public away from it too. Living in the Appalachian region, I am all too familiar with the roadsigns that read, “Stop the war on coal; fire Obama!” Under the capitalist system, the workers have a reason to be opposed to new forms of energy, since it means that they would be unemployed during the transition to it. However, under socialism, since everyones needs would be provided for unconditionally, no one would suffer from the transition to new forms of energy. It also means that there would be no business owners worried about their own profits to be opposed to the transition.

Moving on to the issue of consumerism, I’m sure you’re all familiar with obtrusiveness of advertising in our modern day lives. Advertisements are there to constantly remind us that we should not be satisfied with what we currently have. They tell us to buy more and more, and if you give into their little spell, you’ll find that there is always more to be bought and that you will never be satisfied with what you have. This is because the goal of consumerism under capitalism is not to satisfy customers, but to pull as much profit from them as possible. This leads to such wonderful things like planned obsolescence. It’s why a new iPhone comes out every year. It’s because those who sell the products don’t want customers to be eternally satisfied, but are kept perpetually hungry for more. This also leads to some moral issues when you consider fields such as medicine, where drug companies have more of an incentive to provide temporary treatments instead of permanent cures. Under socialism, the goal would be to provide for people’s needs instead of supplying someone with profit, so products could actually be satisfying to consumers.

Finally, I will discuss the issue of art. Under capitalism, there is a concept of copyright law, which exists solely for the creator of some kind of art (or whoever the artist sold the rights to) to profit from it. Under socialism, there would be no such thing as copyright law. Instead, all art would be released into the public domain. While a capitalist might argue that since an artist cannot profit from his work, this would remove the incentive to produce art. However, I argue that those who produce art solely for profit likely produce shallow pieces at best. There are plenty of reasons for someone to produce art: to entertain, to provide social commentary, to stretch the imagination, and so on. If the profit was removed, people would still produce art, but for art’s sake, which would mean the art would be much more meaningful and of a higher quality. Not only that, but going with that point I keep hammering about everyones needs being unconditionally met, socialism would also dispel the stereotype of the “starving artist.”

Continuing with the topic of art, some of you may be familiar with the so-called “crime” of internet piracy, which is declared a crime because of copyright law. However, under socialism, what we call piracy would just simply be a way for music, films, games, and other media to be freely distributed in society.What this means is that all those forms of art you know and love—from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to Pokemon—would be free and accessible to everyone. It would enrich society so that no one would be deprived from the fruits of our culture due to the misery of poverty.


If you’re curious and would like to know more, Here are some relevant videos:

Against Capitalism – Jerry Cohen
Introduction to Marxism – Richard D. Wolfe


I wish I could have been more brief with this, but when it comes to explaining and arguing for an entire ideology, it’s difficult to be brief.

Any questions, comments, or rebuttals?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / The plot of Harry Potter

Magic in the Harry Potter series is not a crutch, it is the heart of the story.

Nearly all of speculative fiction can be summed up as “Suppose ______.” For example, in George Romero’s films, it’s “Suppose everyone who died came back as mindless, flesh-eating monsters.” Or, in the Fallout series, it’s “Suppose in the not-to-distant future, nuclear war destroys society as we know it” In the case of the Harry Potter universe, it is “Suppose magic is real and is secretly practiced by certain people in society.”

Managing to build a world around that supposition and then tell a story from it is part of the writer’s craft. It does not make the writing worse, but instead fuels the imagination.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / OT is pretty shit today, not in general but today.

Sorry guys, I’ve just been playing on my N64 emulator trying to beat Banjo-Tooie all day.

Originally posted by GREGTHEBUILDER69:

Idk why my posts are getting removed but niceman555’s arent.

The spam filter works in mysterious ways.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / ITT: OT is on a bus together

Though at first glance, this thread looked like it could have been oodles of fun, it seems that its nothing more than a bickering exchange of colorful slurs.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / A Regular.

Are you suggesting that there ever was any doubt that Madjedi’s a regular?

The very thought of it is heresy!

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Is it possible to have too many games?

I mostly play games on my computer nowadays, and a while ago, my C: drive started to get filled up, so I had to transfer most of my games to a portable hard drive.

So yes, you can have too many games.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / The Hulk is now the main character of your favorite movie. How would that change it?

Originally posted by AlextheGreat13:

Does he still wear a mask like V?

I was such a dork two years ago.

My tastes have become much more refined since then.

Since I doubt the Hulk is very accurate with guns, Tuco would have been hanged at the beginning of the movie, thus they never would have found the dying Confederate soldier who would lead them to the treasure, and the whole plot would have been subverted.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Hmmm, so the world is on the verge of heading for World War III.

The verge of heading for?

So it’s a long way off then, right?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Rate the song above you. V.2

11/10

My mind was absolutely blown away by this song. Like, I don’t think I can come up with a song to top that. Truly a song for the ages.


And now for a fine example of the totally underrated genre of ambient folk:

Panted Skies by Indigolab

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Who's That OTer?!

Originally posted by TheAznSensation:


Who’s that OTer? @ __ @


This particular individual has graced Kongregate with their presence for a slightly shorter time span than mine.


Their average post count, since their kongbirth, per day is 6.24.
(This is equivalent to their [Posts]/[Days on Kongregate].)

(Only accurate for the exact moment I posted it.)


Their posting style generally consists of sarcasm, dark humor, or blunt vulgarity.


They’ve stayed consistently popular during their lifespan.


Several of this person’s notable alternate accounts made use of alliteration.


TerribleToaster?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / A giant pangolin is attacking your place of residence!

It’s a fifty-foot tall version of this:

And here’s a video about Pangolins.

Basically, it’s got huge claws that can dig into tough ground, durable protective plates all over its body, and a long sticky prehensile tongue that can fit into just about any crevice or hole.

And it’s fifty feet tall, attacking whatever type of place you live in.

Also, your neighbors, police, and military are not there to help for whatever reason.

Do you survive?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Nueva Sala de chat Español

I’m sorry, but as Gabidou has pointed out, OT only accepts posts in English.

OT is meant to be a place where everyone can participate in meaningful discussion, and if a thread is in a language that most users do not understand, then it stifles conversation and clutters the forum.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Should we get more active staff (post wise) on OT?

Sorry guys, I know I should be more active than I am, but I often find myself distracted by other things.

Perhaps I should give myself a minimum of 1 post every day. That’ll keep me coming back regularly. It might be tough to do once school starts up for me again.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Social Attitude Test

Interesting.

Anyone wanna start the glorious workers’ revolution with me?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / rate my battlestation

How do you read what’s on the screen when you’re across the room on your bed?

Do you have the eyes of an eagle?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Do you like raisins in your cookies?

Raisins are pretty terrible in cookies, though I suppose they are preferable to chunks of metal or cyanide tablets.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / What's this forum about?

Originally posted by ItsabirditsaZHS0:

Ok DementedPizza is a fake stereotypical noob alt.
Nobody talks about the thing you just mentioned or anything related to that.

I understand that the OP is probably someone’s alternate account, but just in case it is a legitimately new user, I might as well answer the question.

Also, I was giving examples of the kinds of threads OT was intended for. I wasn’t suggesting that OT is only about raisins and movies, but only that those topics are fair game for discussion here (as opposed to Serious Discussion or General Gaming, for example).

 
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Topic: Off-topic / What's this forum about?

OT is really a place to shove all the miscellaneous stuff that doesn’t fit into the other forums. You wanna talk about how you don’t like raisins in your cookies? OT’s the best place for that. Do you want to talk about your favorite movie? OT is good for that too.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / How to get Points??

You people care about points?

I’ve been here since 2008 and I’m still level 16. The points and levels are mostly meaningless, sort of like post count.