Communism clearly advances human flourishing, in Marx’s view.

“Karl Marx,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This is central. We believe that what capitalism began, in its finding a way to produce so many means of production–the construction of material abundance–must now be completed through socialism. That capitalism did create good in some ways / from some perspectives. But that something else has been trying to break through just as bourgeois democratic republics and capitalism broke through monarchy and feudalism. The communist movement is a trans-historic phenomenon, of the same if not greater world-historical significance than capitalism. The drama between capitalism and communism is probably built into nature in that it probably (in my opinion) occurs in many if not most intelligent species that evolve in the universe.

Liberals would be communists if they realized that we can be most liberal under communism.

Libertarians would be communists if they realized how much freer each soul is and all souls are collectively under communism.

Conservatives would be communists if they realized that the morality they’re trying to preserve can be most fully and beautifully realized under communism.

This reddit comment got me thinking about video games. I spent SO MUCH TIME playing video games. If we ever get to socialism, I kind of think/hope they might disappear.

It occurs to me that things like video games and TV emerge in history when large parts of people’s being (and by that I mean their, like, whole set of natural motivations) are just totally useless. There’s nothing for most kids and teenagers to do that’s of any productive or real value in our society. They are useless. If children and teenagers could instead participate in some productive way in our society, some way that would lead in to fuller and more competent participation, they wouldn’t get used to living in La-La Land, completely maladapted to the real world.

There’s an argument that video games are fun–of course. But fun is not some simple thing, fun is not just pure euphoria. Here’s an illustrative graphic.

Image

The point is that video games are engaging. They provide meaningful stimulation. In a world where children and teenagers could get in in some way on the running of the community and society, we could wouldn’t have near-complete atomization as our current society does.

Well, not to worry. As the resources run out–if they run out slowly enough that we don’t have a massive war and all die–we’ll have to go back to doing a lot more things with manual labor. That should provide plenty of real opportunities for the young to be meaningfully involved.

The tension/philosophical problem of “altruism versus self-interest” is resolved by coming to a place (one of some kind of humility) from which one sincerely appreciates and respects and identifies with the strivings of other people and sincerely wishes them well. If your sincere desire is that another do well, you can be completely “selfish” while at the same time in an open emotional state, not cut-off, not tight-and-miserly-with-one’s-concern. The “contradiction” evaporates and is gone.

“Altruistic” often seems to connote a state of reluctant self-sacrifice. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m just saying it is possible to get to a place where you sincerely wish other human beings well. Think about your relationship with your friends or possibly your family: in such cases, there is often no conflict at all between your will and theirs–in fact, your wills mutually reinforce and bolster and love one another.

Also, this is what we’re talking about when we talk about communism. We’re talking about creating a whole world where economics and politics are set up so that this kind of mutual well-wishing is fostered. Not at all in a brainwashy type of way but in the same way that capitalism, in its material (economic and political) set-up alone, encourages the opposite. The set-up of communism would make it natural and reasonable and prudent–and each individual could easily come to this realization by themselves without any pushing or trickery–and see that, indeed, no miracle and no trick: we have just achieved a situation where it makes complete rational sense to love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself.

The ideology of mutual well-wishing is strongly antagonized by our society’s current material arrangement and STILL it pops up. This strongly suggests that we would have much more of it in circumstances in which the material conditions actually fostered it.