Venezuela's new decree: Forced farm work for citizens


#1

Venezuela’s new decree: Forced farm work for citizens
money.cnn.com/2016/07/29/news/economy/venezuela-decree-farm-labor/

The ugly side of socialism, giving away free stuff also requires free labor.


#2

There’s another word for this: slavery…its unpaid, right?


#3

Venezuela isn’t socialist. The article even mentions the existence of a private sector. If capitalist property relations exist in Venezuela, which they do, it can’t be socialist. Hell, most of the issues with food shortages are the result of the fact that private businesses can’t operate under the price controls. That is, capitalist property relations prevent people from getting the food they need.


#4

Actually when the state does it they call it conscription. Lots of Americans are all for that. At least they are if the work you are being forced to do is to make war. They seem to really recoil in horror if the work is actually productive and not destructive. Personally I’m against all forms of conscription.


#5

That “effectively amounts to forced labor,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

I wouldn’t listen to Amnesty International, anyhow. They consider gay marriage, abortion, and euthanasia to some extent “human rights.” Not at all! If I heard it from the US Department of State, however, I would listen more closely. The only reason I believe this is because it comes from an article, not AI directly.

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

More or less feudalism, not slavery. One can still flee from Venezuela, presumably, in the meantime if they can afford to. Feudalism is still not compatible with the modern world, and it is not inhumane…

I assumed that this would be good, but after what I read, it is not. It’s true, if you don’t work, you don’t eat, and St. Paul invented that maxim, but this is not for those purposes.


#6

And watch the food shortages there get even worse.

Feudalism worked because 99% of human life already “worked the land.” They knew what they were doing and already lived near the fields.

Bringing in people from outside agriculture is just going to waste resources and lead to more spoilage. Ergo, the situation will get worse.

ICXC NIKA


#7

m.youtube.com/watch?v=jFxWXbdqGIg

Here’s a video about Marxism which got a boost due to Bernie Sanders being in the Presidential race. Contains a critique of the glowing promotion of socialist ideology which ALWAYS leads to forced labor.


#8

price controls are the opposite of capitalistic free markets you know.


#9

And forced confiscation of the fruits of their forced labour. :mad:
If you think that the USA is immune from this, please research NDAA 2011 and its provisions for forced labour from US citizens and the confiscation of all food and textiles.


#10

Venezuela is just the latest example of a socialist demagogue coming into power and promising the proletariat the world, with the greedy rich bourgoise finally having to own up to paying their share, and delivering oppression and slavery instead.

It is always the same old story.

Socialism is the bait. The frying pan is the result of anyone naive enough to actually bite.


#11

That video is terrible. Please read Marx if you want to understand Marxism, and don’t go to videos like this. Just to show you how bad the guy’s understanding of Marxism is, I’ll define a few Marxist concepts for you that this guy completely misrepresents. I’d also like to note that Sanders is not a Marxist at all, how could you believe he is? Even if the description of Marxism in that video was good (which it isn’t), Sander’s views do not at all align with it.

Private property is distinct from personal property, and so would not include things like a personal computer as this guy claims. Personal property includes those things you own for your own immediate consumption/use, like clothes, food, your TV or computer, your house, etc. Private property refers to privately owned means of production or capital, so things that are used to produce more value. A factory is private property as it is used to produce more value and contains a particular relationship between owner (capitalist) and the workers who ensures it can produce more value (wage laborer), and isn’t something that exists just for the use of the owner.

The crisis of overproduction doesn’t refer to things like obesity. It’s an economic crisis. Marxism claims that since the wages of the laborer do not amount to the value that the laborer produces, then eventually a crisis of overproduction will develop where the purchasing power of the market does not meet the amount of products that need to be sold. The market becomes over-saturated with goods that cannot be sold, and as a result the capitalist starts making a loss, and so has to cut back on wages, has to close factories, has to fire workers, and this leads to an economic crisis/ a recession.

That isn’t true. Capitalism is defined by the relationship between capital and wage labour. While some people own the means of production and can live off of the profits produced by them, while others have no choice but to work to ensure that the means of production continue producing, then you have capitalism. Capitalist economics don’t have to have a free market, modes of production are defined by their property relations.


#12

This distinction does not make any sense to me. If I use my computer for posting on these forums, that is personal property according to your definition. If I use the same computer to do someone’s tax returns, that would be private property. How do you stop people using personal property as private property?


#13

Using a computer to do someone’s tax returns wouldn’t make it private property. If it was in an office or a factory and was involved in the workplace, then it would be private property. No value is actually produced when doing someone’s tax returns.

Capital is a set of commodities that produce more value. If I have a factory that lies dormant, and does not produce anything, it is not capital. It is just a building that has a certain value relative to other objects, and could be exchanged for other objects, but does not produce anymore value than the value it holds itself. However, as soon as the factory starts to produce commodities, it is creating value, and becomes capital. In the first case, if I owned that factory but just lived in it or used it for parties with my friends or whatever, it would be personal property. In the second case, where it is producing economic value, it is private property.

A simple way to think about it is just that private property refers to what you might call the means of production when they are privately owned.


#14

Noplace is immune from anything. We are about to almost-elect a nightmare demagogue to rule us, who highjacked a major party for his benefit. Echoes of the European 1900s.

The parents and GPs of current young Venezolanos probably never thought their nation would hit such a low.

ICXC NIKA


#15

:thumbsup:


#16

Of course it can, and is. Even if there is the facade of an allowance of private ownership of the means of production, dictatorial control on what a company may produce, the price it may sell it at, etc. is socialist. Shortages of necessities not caused by natural occurrence almost always happen under socialist governments.
Venezuela is the textbook version of a democratic Socialist state
Jon


#17

Five year plans have always been about two steps forward, one step back.:slight_smile:
That is why progressives call themselves progressives.

One only needs to know just exactly where they are planning to progress us all to to understand what it is that motivates them.

“And eventually big government won’t be need as the thesis/antithesis/synthesis progresses to the harmony and naturally good order of Socialist Heaven”.


#18

I don’t understand the distinction.

Does it have to be real property? What if I own a horse and use it both for farming land and for going to town for goods? Or if I own a loom to make textiles to sell and for home use. Is that private or personal property? Or is it private property only when being used to produce, but personal property otherwise? Can I convert private property to personal property, and vice versa?

What if I own an office for factory, but rent it out? Does it cease to be personal property when the tenant starts to use it for production, and I lose my ownership to the state?

Communism is incoherent if such a distinction, as you’ve described it, really exists.


#19

Well the property relations you’re describing aren’t really the property relations that exist under capitalism. Of course the farmer who tends his field should be able to own his field and keep everything that he produces from the field. However, generally capitalists do not work the property that makes them a profit. This is the private property we want to abolish, and as such it describes more of a social relationship. Capitalists own property, whether that be a factory, an office, or whatever, and employ other people to work in that property. They don’t produce any of the value from the property, they get others to do that for them, and then take the value from those who produce it and pay them a wage that is a fraction of what they produced. I might produce £100 worth of goods in a day, but I only get paid £30. There is £70 left unaccounted for, £20 of which will cover the cost of the materials needed to produce those goods, with the extra £50 going to the capitalist as surplus value. That is, this extra £50 is taken from me through this abstract concept of “private property.” Because the capitalist “owns” the workplace, he gets to take value that I produced from me. The abolition of private property essentially refers to the abolition of this social relation, which obviously does not exist when it comes to me using my own house or my own toothbrush.

Essentially, it is private property when you own the property and take all of the value produced from the property but do not produce all of the value that comes from the property. Under capitalism individuals own property even though it requires socialized labour to keep property productive. A factory requires many, many people to run it, but the revenue tends to only go to a few people who “own” the factory.

It would be private property from the moment you rent it out. I should clarify that when it comes to socialism, most socialists don’t advocate for direct state ownership of property. Anarchists are socialists and obviously oppose the use of a state, but there are many ways a workplace can be socially owned by everyone who works there and controlled directly by them. Workers councils, for example, can be used to run a workplace, with workers democratically choosing representatives for their workplace.


#20

All of the insistence on hair-splitting just makes the situation worse and worse and worse.


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