Why all the population control hate?

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tastybrain
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Sep 23 2011 01:07

Oh noes my communist cred is being questioned roll eyes

I am not a "green". I have never supported and never will support bourgeois psuedo-solutions to the problems of ecocide.

Quote:
your central, fundamental problem is one of ‘nature’, whereas mine is ‘society’

No, as I have repeatedly stressed, I don't view it as a problem of nature in a vacuum. I view it as an interaction and interplay between society and nature, whereas you seem to view society in a vacuum totally unconstrained by the physical limits and possibilities of its context.

Of course species die out and ecosystems collapse in nature without human interference. Any 5th grade student who has taken a few science classes could tell you that.

What is unique is a single species causing so much destruction in so short a time span. I would challenge you to name another single species that has caused so many (destructive) changes in only a couple million years of existence (only about 200,000 if you just count modern humans).

Even if you can name another species that has done this, it wouldn't make what we're doing any less awful given that we have full consciousness of what we're doing.

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory wrote:
Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes globally to be more intense on average (by 2 to 11% according to model projections for an IPCC A1B scenario). This change would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.
There are better than even odds that anthropogenic warming over the next century will lead to an increase in the numbers of very intense hurricanes in some basins—an increase that would be substantially larger in percentage terms than the 2-11% increase in the average storm intensity. This increase in intense storm numbers is projected despite a likely decrease (or little change) in the global numbers of all tropical storms.
Anthropogenic warming by the end of the 21st century will likely cause hurricanes to have substantially higher rainfall rates than present-day hurricanes, with a model-projected increase of about 20% for rainfall rates averaged within about 100 km of the storm center.

http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes

http://www.edf.org/climate/scientific-consensus

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html

I don't know of any fish, algae, or monkeys that have caused a similar change. Even if there were, that's no justification for us not doing anything.

LBird wrote:
Your analysis shows no separation of bourgeoisie and proletariat, and you indiscriminately lump together all humans as a problem to be solved.

Nope. Thanks for playing though.

Tastybrain wrote:
No one is denying capitalist social relations are a huge part of the problem

people are being a bit glib in the whole "capitalism is the problem" thing. I would broadly agree, but...

The ultimate cause is our social system, capitalism

we are going to expropriate the bourgeoisie and there won't be assholes flying around on private jets

anarchist communism would be the first step

I don't deny the importance or even the "centrality" of poverty and social relations

The problem is natural limits in conjunction with capitalism

"population control" as it rears its ugly head in public discourse is a bourgeois Trojan horse

LBird wrote:
for you the ‘problems of nature’ trump communism; that is, because you see the cause as humanity, it is thus inevitable that, as humans will still exist under Communism, nature will still be under threat.

No, I never said I see it as inevitable. I am attempting to consider concrete solutions which we can implement after the revolution (because until then, as you point out and I wholeheartedly agree with, the bourgeois will continue to destroy both nature and humanity.) I am also considering the idea that a reduction in population, carried out of many generations through peaceful means (the abolition of gender hierarchies, cultural inducement, etc) may be a part of this solution. This idea is, apparently, Communist heresy. You have yet to show why it is not desirable though.

LBird wrote:
For us, on the contrary, Communism will be the flowering of natural consciousness, the attempt by nature to regulate itself.

Well then, as a manifestation of "natural consciousness" perhaps you can tell me how you, as a part of nature, propose to regulate yourself?

LBird wrote:
There will be no separation of ‘natural’ and ‘social’ interests,

How does one do this? Will monkeys, fish, trees, and birds be present at the decision-making organs of the new communist society?

LBird wrote:
The problem for us is our current society, not humans in the abstract.

I don't disagree. The problem is our current society. I am interested in how a future society will avoid the problems of our current society, whereas you are simply asserting it will be so.

LBird wrote:
Bourgeois profit destroys nature; end the bourgeoisie, and end the wanton destruction of nature by humans.

Again, I wholeheartedly agree that "Bourgeois profit destroys nature". I sincerely hope that humans will suddenly gain this profound environmental consciousness you allude to after we abolish class society. (BTW, the abolition of class society is my main interest. I hadn't written on or thought about "environmental" issues for a long, long time before I started participating in this thread.)

I think, however, it won't be as simple as that. Simply asserting axiomatically that communism will end the opposition between humans and nature is all well and good, but it doesn't actually get us to a solution. What are we going to do when millions of newly self-liberated human beings come into possession of the means of production? I would think that most of them are going to want some of the nice things workers in the first world often take for granted. They will want cars, proper houses made of wood instead of miserable shacks and slum dwellings, not to mention more food than they were able to get under capitalism. That's all wonderful; they deserve all these things and more.

As I understand it, communism will raise the living standard of the vast majority on the planet. Rising living standards-->greater consumption-->greater strain on resources. Am I missing something here? I am hopeful that we can change our infrastructure and develop some sort of super-clean, super-safe, super-efficient fuel source. I don't think all of that will come about overnight, however. Therefore, I am proposing that along with many other changes we try to encourage a gradual decline in population to give us more of a "margin of error" in our interactions with nature.

LBird wrote:
But Communists don’t have a concept of an undifferentiated humanity (which causes problems for ‘nature’), but a social analysis of two fundamentally opposed classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat,

So we couldn't possibly hold two ideas in our head at one time or see any kind of nuance. That just makes you a bad communist, no?

LBird wrote:
the former is the social root of the problems we have (for nature, in both its forms, the Earth and humans). You see humans destroying nature, we see the bourgeoisie destroying nature and humanity.

In my experience living in a first world country, the proletariat is indeed complicit in destroying nature, so in a way yes, humans are destroying nature. Obviously the proletariat has far less power and agency in the process than capitalists do, but as a part of capitalist society, the working class is involved in this process. Of course the bourgeoisie is ultimately responsible but this doesn't change the reality of it. Capitalist society is incapable of solving the problem because of the profit motive, as you point out.

This is why I think it is important as a part of revolutionary and post-revolutionary practice to foster a new set of values which harmonize humanity and nature (which you seem to see as happening automatically) along with concrete projects which can reduce our detrimental impact on it (real despite what you may think). The current value system emphasizes commodity consumption; I am worried that this might carry over into a communist society as an excessive desire for consumption freed from the commodity form. If I'm wrong, great. Things will work out assuming a revolution. But I'm suspicious of the idea everything will just be great automatically, especially since you have still not explained how we will reconcile rising standards of living and the same technology with human/environmental harmony.

I think if you took a poll of most working class neighborhoods (at least in America), explained anarchist communism and that they would collaboratively produce and consume whatever they wanted, many of them would want us to collectively produce lambos, lexus's, hummers, flat-screen tvs, big mansions, and go around digging each others' swimming pools. Of course I still want libertarian communism to come about, but I believe as a part of that movement we will have to educate our fellow workers about the desirability of and necessity for a reconciliation of humans and our earth.

tastybrain
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Sep 23 2011 01:33
CRUD wrote:
Some more anti human/technology fun!

So I take it you used to be a crusty? This is theory, not libcommunity. Stop trolling. But just in case anyone mistakes what CRUD is saying for a valid criticism, I am neither anti-human nor anti-technology. Thinking it might be a good idea to have fewer people on the planet (and explicitly rejecting coercive means for accomplishing this) does not make you anti-human; the reason I'm concerned at all is that I want a better world and a better life for the humans of the future. As for technology, I think a huge part of the solution is developing environmentally friendly technology like alternative fuels.

Auld-bod wrote:
I think it may clarify things a bit if those you were debating with could state where they stood regarding ocelot’s post and conclusion.

Ocelot doesn't deny that reducing the population is a good idea:

ocelot wrote:
Want to reduce fertility rates? Teach the poorest women how to read. The empowerment of women in the lowest classes (whether peasant, or proletarian/slum-dweller) is the route to women being able to stand up to their husbands and refuse to be reduced to perpetual baby-producing machines.
ocelot wrote:
The right have always said that the poor are poor because they have too many children. The alternative viewpoint is that the poor value having many children precisely because they are poor and/or oppressed. My argument would be that any survey of the scientific literature on this question will show that the latter position is more correct than that of the right.

In that context, framing the issue as the "population crisis" rather than the "poverty crisis" is ideologically laden.

To me this implies that the self-emancipation of the poor, especially of poor women, will reduce birth rates and that this is a good thing. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. The last sentence is about how to frame the issue, which is a more of a propaganda consideration than an actual factor in the debate. Calling it a "poverty crisis" is probably a good move, but to me it seems like he or she is not fundamentally disagreeing that it might be desirable (not just from an environmental standpoint but from an economic one, as we all will have to work harder to support more kids) to reduce the fertility rate.

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Tojiah
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Sep 23 2011 02:36
yourmum wrote:
hey if they can build empty golf courses using up the water of 20k people towns to be green all year in the middle of the spanish desert (thats just something ive seen with my own eyes) just to add some value to the empty houses they build around them to store their value - you really shouldnt be concerned about overpopulation and ecology in communism. the stuff you are claiming to be a problem is simply not a problem for this mode of production, it only becomes one where it becomes a nuisance to accumulation itself. so thumbs up for LBird here but you should stop talking in terms of we and them and focus on criticizing the ideas, its attacking peoples identities unnecessarily and without gain.

Factories can pollute with impunity under current social relations, too. That doesn't mean this would be a sensible way to go about things indefinitely, or that there aren't terrible consequences. Same for all the squandering of water into artificially greening the desert in an unsustainable way. I imagine the less well-to-do neighbors are suffering from the drought despite that ostentatious display of water by the rich.

LBird
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Sep 23 2011 05:00
tastybrain wrote:
I am not a "green". I have never supported and never will support bourgeois psuedo-solutions to the problems of ecocide.

Your use of the term 'ecocide' is what identifies you as a 'Green', not a 'Red'.

tastybrain wrote:
What is unique is a single species causing so much destruction in so short a time span.

This 'destruction' caused by 'humans' is as nothing compared to the nature's self-destruction. Humans, as natural consciousness, are part of the solution (a Red position), not part of the problem (a Green position).

tastybrain wrote:
Nope. Thanks for playing though.

You refuse to use social analysis, which is a Red method. Hence, you are a Green.

tastybrain wrote:
I am also considering the idea that a reduction in population, carried out of many generations through peaceful means (the abolition of gender hierarchies, cultural inducement, etc) may be a part of this solution.

Reds don't seek a 'reduction in population'. This is a Green concern. To Reds, more humans simply means more natural consciousness.

tastybrain wrote:
Well then, as a manifestation of "natural consciousness" perhaps you can tell me how you, as a part of nature, propose to regulate yourself?

'Individualising' the issue: another Green trait. Reds discuss democratic social responses.

tastybrain wrote:
The problem is our current society. I am interested in how a future society will avoid the problems of our current society, whereas you are simply asserting it will be so.

If you really agree 'current society' is the 'problem', why keep talking about 'humans', either as individuals or as a species? You are a Green, in Red clothing!

tastybrain wrote:
So we couldn't possibly hold two ideas in our head at one time or see any kind of nuance. That just makes you a bad communist, no?

You don't hold 'two ideas', you hold Green ideas, not Red ideas, as I've sought to show. Red and Green are incompatible.

tastybrain wrote:
...the proletariat is indeed complicit in destroying nature, so in a way yes, humans are destroying nature.

The proletariat has no consciousness yet of its collective actions, so can't be 'complicit'. Another Green 'undifferentiated humanity' argument: 'Humans' are to blame.

tastybrain wrote:
I think if you took a poll of most working class neighborhoods (at least in America), explained anarchist communism and that they would collaboratively produce and consume whatever they wanted, many of them would want us to collectively produce lambos, lexus's, hummers, flat-screen tvs, big mansions, and go around digging each others' swimming pools.

Communists have a theory of the transformative effects of revolution. Greens can't imagine 'humans', being of a fixed 'nature', ever being any different. Reds see revolution as a process of the proletariat liberating itself from bourgeois ideas.

tastybrain, I think your post identifies some important points about 'Communism' which require discussion, but they can only be discussed (and made sense of) from a Red perspective, not a Green one.

Again, sorry about the tone - I'm trying to point out our differences, rather than our similarities, for the purpose of focussing on the nub of the issue.

Perhaps yet another analogy.

Nature is like a group of deaf, dumb and blind children, unwittingly destructive. Humans are a younger child, with hearing, speech and sight, but struggling to act differently to its apparent 'nature', embodied in its group's elders.

Humans are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Shit analogy, but I'm struggling to make clear what I consider your fundamental philosophical errors.

LBird
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Sep 23 2011 08:18

I've thought of another response to what you've already written, tastybrain.

tastybrain, #148, wrote:
Your attitude, LBird, seems entirely consistent with that of the American colonists in the west who would kill Buffalo not simply for food, but for sport or out of boredom (as well as to reduce a natural resource that the Indian tribes relied on).

This, to me, seems erroneously consistent with your identification of 'humans' as the problem.

'Humans' didn't kill Buffalo (or, indeed Bison), but a social system did, capitalism.

If 'humans' just kill Buffalo, why didn't the 'Indian tribes' do the same? Because they were humans in a very different social system.

Your failure to conceptually separate biological 'humans' from social 'humans' is an example of reductionism.

The social world operates at a different (and higher) level from the biological world.

Communism is a different social system, and examining 'humans' in this social system we live in now, and extrapolating their deeds and needs into humans under Communism is a methodological mistake.

Hope this helps, mate.

yourmum
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Sep 23 2011 08:31
Tojiah wrote:
Factories can pollute with impunity under current social relations, too. That doesn't mean this would be a sensible way to go about things indefinitely, or that there aren't terrible consequences. Same for all the squandering of water into artificially greening the desert in an unsustainable way. I imagine the less well-to-do neighbors are suffering from the drought despite that ostentatious display of water by the rich.

the point i was trying to make is you dont give proper credit to the madness of capitalism if you cant see that the impossibilities you are claiming that need to be solved by population reduction are a moment of capitalism alone and that living in a healthy world is not a program of this mode of production. i was trying to show what a waste of resources is the program of exchange value and chose the example. nobody is living there, its just storage space for hopefully rising value. and yes of course the water is needed elsewhere too. but needs dont count in this system, only accumulation of capital does so whenever you extrapolate a problem of this mode of production to a general human problem you are making a fault. i cant disagree with technical limits to a lot of stuff (also double decker busses in london, you can only stack so many of them in a street) but all that has nothing to do with the scarcity and pollution that is produced by this system.

radicalgraffiti
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Sep 23 2011 11:40
tastybrain wrote:

As I understand it, communism will raise the living standard of the vast majority on the planet. Rising living standards-->greater consumption-->greater strain on resources. Am I missing something here?

yes, you are, consumption is not equal to living standards.
For example, although i don't agree with all the factors in this if you compare quality of life indexes with greenhouse gas emissions per capita there is really no correlation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_Index

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita

tastybrain wrote:
I think if you took a poll of most working class neighborhoods (at least in America), explained anarchist communism and that they would collaboratively produce and consume whatever they wanted, many of them would want us to collectively produce lambos, lexus's, hummers, flat-screen tvs, big mansions, and go around digging each others' swimming pools. Of course I still want libertarian communism to come about, but I believe as a part of that movement we will have to educate our fellow workers about the desirability of and necessity for a reconciliation of humans and our earth.

That may be what people would want now, but for a anarchist communism society to come about requires a complete change in the culture of the working class.
Oblivious there would be noting to stop people deciding to use there resources in a stupid way, if that is what they wanted to do, but when people go from being passive consumers to actively making decisions about how the world runs then their priorities will change.
At the current time most people think, rightly, that they can't do anything about most environmental issues so they ignore them, in a libertarian communism society that would no longer be the case.

piter
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Sep 23 2011 12:32
Quote:
LBird wrote :
I think that this prevents you from being a Communist, because ‘Communism’ is about ‘social relations’, and not ‘nature’.I think that this prevents you from being a Communist, because ‘Communism’ is about ‘social relations’, and not ‘nature’.

too simplistic : Humans are part of nature (as you said...) and social relations includes relations between humans and nature, the global metabolism we develop with nature (as being conscious part of it). here it's your turn to separate humans from nature...and that still is idealistic and false...

as I understand it the communist position is not "environmental issues is not the point" but "solving environmental issues implies social revolution".

ps : and plesase stop building artificially maoist like binary rethoric of proletarian thought against bourgeois thought or red/green or whatever for the sake of argument. not the best way to conduce discussions...

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Tojiah
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Sep 23 2011 12:55
yourmum wrote:
Tojiah wrote:
Factories can pollute with impunity under current social relations, too. That doesn't mean this would be a sensible way to go about things indefinitely, or that there aren't terrible consequences. Same for all the squandering of water into artificially greening the desert in an unsustainable way. I imagine the less well-to-do neighbors are suffering from the drought despite that ostentatious display of water by the rich.

the point i was trying to make is you dont give proper credit to the madness of capitalism if you cant see that the impossibilities you are claiming that need to be solved by population reduction are a moment of capitalism alone and that living in a healthy world is not a program of this mode of production. i was trying to show what a waste of resources is the program of exchange value and chose the example. nobody is living there, its just storage space for hopefully rising value. and yes of course the water is needed elsewhere too. but needs dont count in this system, only accumulation of capital does so whenever you extrapolate a problem of this mode of production to a general human problem you are making a fault. i cant disagree with technical limits to a lot of stuff (also double decker busses in london, you can only stack so many of them in a street) but all that has nothing to do with the scarcity and pollution that is produced by this system.

Yes, needs don't count in capitalism. But needs will count in communism, as well. And resources will not be indefinite there, either. There may not be a need for population reduction immediately, but there are material limits on everything that will not yield to mere gumption or realignment of social organization. Right now we are running the Earth at a deficit. I am not sure that communism will make that very real deficit (as opposed to the nonsense capitalists make up now to justify austerity) simply go away without having to make very unpleasant decisions to a particular manifestation of Nature.

piter
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Sep 23 2011 13:15
Quote:
Tojiah wrote :

I am not sure that communism will make that very real deficit (as opposed to the nonsense capitalists make up now to justify austerity) simply go away without having to make very unpleasant decisions to a particular manifestation of Nature.

I understand "population control" as state control.
and that cannot exist with communism.

can people deciding by themselves to make less kids if necessary for them to have better conditions be called "population control"? is it still "population control"?

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Tojiah
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Sep 23 2011 13:52
piter wrote:
Quote:
Tojiah wrote :

I am not sure that communism will make that very real deficit (as opposed to the nonsense capitalists make up now to justify austerity) simply go away without having to make very unpleasant decisions to a particular manifestation of Nature.

I understand "population control" as state control.
and that cannot exist with communism.

can people deciding by themselves to make less kids if necessary for them to have better conditions be called "population control"? is it still "population control"?

Regardless of what it is called, people will need to curtail themselves not only with regards to each other but with regards to external constraints. If that means that they will make an enlightened decision to have less children (although that, in itself, can cause different demographic problems depending on the advance of geriatric technology), then they will have applied population control without the need for state sanctions.

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Picket
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Sep 23 2011 13:58

if people have fewer children because their lives have broader meaning and scope outside of child rearing, that is not population control.

piter
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Sep 23 2011 14:03
Quote:
if people have fewer children because their lives have broader meaning and scope outside of child rearing, that is not population control.

yes!

but also I hope communist people would have a more fulfilling relation to their child, a broader view on child issues, etc...

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Sep 23 2011 14:10
Pikel wrote:
if people have fewer children because their lives have broader meaning and scope outside of child rearing, that is not population control.

Control isn't equivalent to dictatorship. Most systems in nature are self-regulating. Do you "control" your heart? Is it under control?

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Picket
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Sep 23 2011 14:47
Tojiah wrote:
Pikel wrote:
if people have fewer children because their lives have broader meaning and scope outside of child rearing, that is not population control.

Control isn't equivalent to dictatorship. Most systems in nature are self-regulating. Do you "control" your heart? Is it under control?

It's not control, because the goal is not control, it's fulfilled lives.

Absence of population growth, or reduced population growth, is not the same as control of population growth. The difference is intent and the presence or absence of control mechanisms.

Of course my heart is under control, there is a mechanism for controlling the beating of my heart.

Edit: Let me rephrase my first sentence -

Reduction of population growth due to people living more fulfilling lives outside of child rearing, is not population control, because there is no intent to control, and no mechanism for control, only people living fulfilling lives. If population growth did not reduce, this would not be a failure of a control mechanism, it would just be the absence of this particular effect.

And in fact I do expect population to stabilise if/when people get to live better lives in communism.

piter
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Sep 23 2011 14:38
Quote:
Control isn't equivalent to dictatorship. Most systems in nature are self-regulating. Do you "control" your heart? Is it under control?

hum...

"population" is not people and for me "population control" sound statist...
goverment/state controls population, people controls.
talking about "population" is taking an external point of view, implying the "population" don't decide, people deciding are not a "population". (but maybe in english it's different...).
for me talking about "population control" is not talking about self-control but about state policies.
(but that's a discussion on the words, I'm not saying that you are in favour of statism...)

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Tojiah
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Sep 23 2011 14:51
Pikel wrote:
Tojiah wrote:
Pikel wrote:
if people have fewer children because their lives have broader meaning and scope outside of child rearing, that is not population control.

Control isn't equivalent to dictatorship. Most systems in nature are self-regulating. Do you "control" your heart? Is it under control?

It's not control, because the goal is not control, it's fulfilled lives.

Absence of population growth, or reduced population growth, is not the same as control of population growth. The difference is intent and the presence or absence of control mechanisms.

Of course my heart is under control, there is a mechanism for controlling the beating of my heart.

Edit: Let me rephrase my first sentence -

Reduction of population growth due to people living more fulfilling lives outside of child rearing, is not population control, because there is no intent to control, and no mechanism for control, there just is fulfilled people. If population growth did not reduce, this would not be a failure of a control mechanism, it would just be the absence of this particular effect.

And in fact I do expect population to stabilise if/when people get to live better lives in communism.

Do you intend to control your heart? But never mind, that's just becoming a silly semantics argument that I do not want to bore everyone with.

Let's forget population control, then. Humanity/the conscious expression of nature will have to eventually end up choosing not to have as many children, whether or not they find things other things than child rearing more fulfilling. What if they do not choose in that manner? Then everyone's life will become more and more miserable. Let us hope that social relations will be such that people will make the wiser, non-individualistic decision. Or, rather, let us be clear that these things will be necessary in a communist society. And not just ignore any limitations because that is an ideological error.

piter
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Sep 23 2011 14:56
Quote:
Reduction of population growth due to people living more fulfilling lives outside of child rearing, is not population control, because there is no intent to control, and no mechanism for control, only people living fulfilling lives. If population growth did not reduce, this would not be a failure of a control mechanism, it would just be the absence of this particular effect.

agree

Quote:
And in fact I do expect population to stabilise if/when people get to live better lives in communism.

hum...maybe...maybe not...people can have fulfilled lives with 3 kids, maybe especially with communism...not sure about that, I don't really know...

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Tojiah
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Sep 23 2011 15:00
piter wrote:
Quote:
And in fact I do expect population to stabilise if/when people get to live better lives in communism.

hum...maybe...maybe not...people can have fulfilled lives with 3 kids, maybe especially with communism...not sure about that, I don't really know...

And that would be a problem, wouldn't it? A population problem, if you will. wink

piter
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Sep 23 2011 15:12
Quote:
And that would be a problem, wouldn't it? A population problem, if you will. wink

no, I'm not sure it would be a problem (or maybe in the long long term...and that if we dont colonize other planets, but let's not get in sci-fi...), because with other social rlations and other relations with the rest of nature, consumption and production will change radically, and maybe even the "nature" of consumption and production will change, in some way.
production would be far less destructive, productive activities would be potentially far more productive. we'll cease consume useless things, waste far less than we do now, etc...
so more people on earth, with another social system and another relation with the rest of nature will be less a "burden" for the planet and would also mean being more able to create good conditions for people to live in, even for more people.
so maybe no "population" problem...

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Sep 23 2011 19:00
Tojiah wrote:
Humanity/the conscious expression of nature will have to eventually end up choosing not to have as many children, whether or not they find things other things than child rearing more fulfilling. What if they do not choose in that manner?

If the conscious expression of nature doesn't find stuff to do that's more fulfilling than having children, I would be very surprised, but so be it, if that's the most fulfilling thing then the more of it the better.

If, as I believe, there is more fulfilling activity than rearing children (and don't get me wrong, I think rearing children can be wonderfully fulfilling! However, I think what makes it so fulfilling is all the other fulfilling things about life that we have in store! I would find child-rearing in a cultural vacuum pointless and depressing.) - if there is more fulfilling activity than rearing children, and people do not choose to enjoy it and express themselves through it, then while I am alive I will continue to try to persuade people to engage in more fulfilling activities. Because I don't think people are so stupid that they won't. Do you think they are stupid?

Tojiah then wrote:
Then everyone's life will become more and more miserable. Let us hope that social relations will be such that people will make the wiser, non-individualistic decision. Or, rather, let us be clear that these things will be necessary in a communist society. And not just ignore any limitations because that is an ideological error.

I think you think people are stupid. Hmm. Let's see...

Tojiah's profile wrote:
What do your politics mean to you?
Unmitigated rage at other people's political superficiality and rank stupidity.

Confirmed!

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Khawaga
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Sep 23 2011 18:37

From reading this discussion, I must say that LBird, you are not discussing in good faith at all. You've made up your mind about what you believe Tastybrain's (or for that matter Tojijah) views to be, neglect to see that he in large part agree with you about the social relations and thus construct him to be onsidedly obsessed with Malthus.

tastybrain
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Sep 23 2011 19:09
LBird wrote:
Your use of the term 'ecocide' is what identifies you as a 'Green', not a 'Red'.

If the term is ideologically offensive to you, simply replace it in your mind with "un-necessary damage…done to the environment by humans." I like “ecocide” because it helps convey the seriousness of what we're doing.

LBird wrote:
You refuse to use social analysis, which is a Red method. Hence, you are a Green.

I’ve been consistently analyzing society as a whole. You, on the other hand, have been serving up a bunch of idealism about how

Quote:
more humans simply means more natural consciousness.

Maybe you can find fault with my social analysis, but you have failed to do so thus far. I think in your rush to try to discredit my ideas you aren’t reading my posts very carefully or aren’t considering what I mean. As I have said over and over again, the social system does matter, indeed, is the primary factor, but every society has a finite range of possibilities determined by nature.

LBird wrote:
Communists have a theory of the transformative effects of revolution. Greens can't imagine 'humans', being of a fixed 'nature', ever being any different.

...why keep talking about 'humans', either as individuals or as a species?

Wow. Yeah I totally said humans have a fixed nature. That is definitely a position that can, in good faith, be ascribed to me. roll eyes

You said

Quote:
Humans, as natural consciousness, are part of the solution

and also

Quote:
more humans simply means more natural consciousness.

So you too talk about humans as individuals and as a species.

LBird wrote:
This, to me, seems erroneously consistent with your identification of 'humans' as the problem.

'Humans' didn't kill Buffalo (or, indeed Bison), but a social system did, capitalism.

If 'humans' just kill Buffalo, why didn't the 'Indian tribes' do the same? Because they were humans in a very different social system.

Your failure to conceptually separate biological 'humans' from social 'humans' is an example of reductionism.

You have misunderstood what I mean by the Bison analogy. I never said all humans were the same or any of the other ahistorical nonsense you are trying to attribute to me. My point is in fact rooted in history; that you seem to be reproducing an important part of Enlightenment-era capitalist ideology by claiming natural limits are not worth taking into account. If this attitude carries over from the old social system we will make the mistakes of the past.

By the way, I think part of the reason the Indians did not hunt the buffalo into extinction is their smaller population size, as well as their different social system. Both factors can and do come into play. According to Wikipedia, the estimates of the overall size of the Indian population before European contact range from 1 million to 18 million. By 1880 there were almost 50 million people in America.

LBird wrote:
Greens seek to reduce population; reds do not

This is not an argument. Instead of saying that why don’t you say why you think non-coercive population reduction is a bad idea.

LBird wrote:
tastybrain wrote:
Well then, as a manifestation of "natural consciousness" perhaps you can tell me how you, as a part of nature, propose to regulate yourself?

'Individualising' the issue: another Green trait. Reds discuss democratic social responses.

That part was phrased poorly. What I meant was what collective democratic social responses do you propose?

LBird wrote:
more humans simply means more natural consciousness.

It seems to me more humans does not correlate with “more natural consciousness”, except in the strict, literal sense that humans are a part of nature and are conscious. If you believe that “natural consciousness” has anything to do with preventing environmental destruction than it cannot strictly correlate to the raw number of humans. If we accept your statement as having something to do with the future, we must also apply it to the past. We have more humans now than we did a couple of centuries ago and we are destroying the environment far more; when we had a lower population we were more in harmony with nature. Therefore “natural consciousness” as you describe it has nothing to do with preventing ecocide.

You are right, we are animals, part of nature. Other animals do not care about their impact on the environment, they simply follow genetically mandated imperatives. Any effective response to the destruction of the earth will be a rational, conscious response, not something arising from our essential nature. We are the only animals capable of understanding our connection with the whole, therefore we have a responsibility to regulate ourselves. Part of this responsibility, I am proposing, is to halt and perhaps reverse our unchecked population growth.

LBird wrote:
tastybrain, I think your post identifies some important points about 'Communism' which require discussion, but they can only be discussed (and made sense of) from a Red perspective, not a Green one.

Why don't you engage with these points. Perhaps my feeble 'green' brain will be able to comprehend them, despite my lack of a correct philosophy in line with True Communism beardiest

It seems you are ignoring the substance of my posts and attributing all kinds of positions to me that I don't hold and never even hinted at.

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Sep 23 2011 21:05
Pikel wrote:
Tojiah wrote:
Humanity/the conscious expression of nature will have to eventually end up choosing not to have as many children, whether or not they find things other things than child rearing more fulfilling. What if they do not choose in that manner?

If the conscious expression of nature doesn't find stuff to do that's more fulfilling than having children, I would be very surprised, but so be it, if that's the most fulfilling thing then the more of it the better.

If, as I believe, there is more fulfilling activity than rearing children (and don't get me wrong, I think rearing children can be wonderfully fulfilling! However, I think what makes it so fulfilling is all the other fulfilling things about life that we have in store! I would find child-rearing in a cultural vacuum pointless and depressing.) - if there is more fulfilling activity than rearing children, and people do not choose to enjoy it and express themselves through it, then while I am alive I will continue to try to persuade people to engage in more fulfilling activities. Because I don't think people are so stupid that they won't. Do you think they are stupid?

Tojiah then wrote:
Then everyone's life will become more and more miserable. Let us hope that social relations will be such that people will make the wiser, non-individualistic decision. Or, rather, let us be clear that these things will be necessary in a communist society. And not just ignore any limitations because that is an ideological error.

I think you think people are stupid. Hmm. Let's see...

Tojiah's profile wrote:
What do your politics mean to you?
Unmitigated rage at other people's political superficiality and rank stupidity.

Confirmed!

That's really cute. Quoting from my profile like that. Great discussion tactic there. roll eyes

More to the point, it would be stupid of them to follow the so-called True Communist guideline of "let's ignore Nature because we're Nature and we're awesome and we will defeat any limit ever". But I imagine that after a while rearing more children (and under a communist society, it is likely that this, in itself, will become less of a burden and more of a joy due to the fact that production would not be as precluding of child-rearing as it is now), but they would end up having to deal with the fact that there is a finite space and there are finite resources, so more and more people will mean less and less for everyone. That will be a form of self-adjustment with accordance to nature.

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Sep 23 2011 21:08
Tojiah wrote:
That's really cute. Quoting from my profile like that. Great discussion tactic there. roll eyes

I was just teasing, don't get your knickers in a twist.

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Sep 24 2011 05:38
Khawaga wrote:
From reading this discussion, I must say that LBird, you are not discussing in good faith at all. You've made up your mind about what you believe Tastybrain's (or for that matter Tojijah) views to be, neglect to see that he in large part agree with you about the social relations and thus construct him to be onsidedly obsessed with Malthus.

Your post has shocked me, Khawaga.

I thought I was discussing with tastybrain, entirely in good faith on my part, about 'population', and why they are methodologically mistaken about it being a problem.

tastybrain wrote:
Part of this responsibility, I am proposing, is to halt and perhaps reverse our unchecked population growth.

I'm going around in circles here, mate. I've done my best to have a discussion about why 'population' numbers are not a problem. I've tried to point out that the root of the problem is in philosophy and method, but I don't seem to have made any impression on you, and more worryingly have made a bad impression on other Communists.

I hope someone has learnt from my posts on this thread, but it sounds like the effects have been entirely negative.

I apologise to those who think I been arguing in bad faith.

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Sep 24 2011 09:19

lbird, for what it's worth, i have enjoyed your argument in this thread and learnt from it, but you do tend to take the ideological sectarianism (for want of a better word) to an absurd extreme! the reds/greens stuff makes little sense, I can oppose the building of a motorway through rare meadowland for nominally "green" reasons in the morning, and strike for "red" reasons in the afternoon, i don't think it is necessarily contradictory. if i work for tarmac then it might even be complementary!

Don't think you were arguing in bad faith though, were you?

LBird
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Sep 24 2011 10:09
Pikel wrote:
lbird, for what it's worth, i have enjoyed your argument in this thread and learnt from it, but you do tend to take the ideological sectarianism (for want of a better word) to an absurd extreme! the reds/greens stuff makes little sense

Pikel, thanks for your much needed praise, but once more I find myself astounded that Communists should regard philosophical and methodological debate to be 'ideological sectarianism'.

Whilst this might be explainable for tastybrain, with his ignorant jibe about "despite my lack of a correct philosophy in line with True Communism", I was truly shocked that Khawaga should adopt this line.

Pikel wrote:
Don't think you were arguing in bad faith though, were you?

Frankly, I'm amazed that you even need to seek my reassurance on this point.

I'm deadly serious about the discussion about the philosophical roots of tastybrain's mistaken position on the need for reduction in human population.

I surely can be criticised for my argumentative method of posing it in terms of 'Red Versus Green', but this is only a didactive device to simplify the issues for those readers who are clearly unused to digging into the philosophical foundations (or ideologies) of various positions. I think Auld-bod, for one, has benefitted from this thread, though they might correct me on that.

But truly, I'm shocked that you, Khawaga and others haven't come to my aid in this debate with tastybrain, et al., if only to smooth-over some of my admittedly rough positions.

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Sep 24 2011 12:04

Did you not like my tarmac joke? You've redacted it!

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Sep 24 2011 12:26

I don't want to take this thread too far from its central theme, but I think Khawaga has a point. I have been following this thread for a while and I feel a little bit like it is a plague on both your houses. Though I am more inclined to your line of argument LBird, in the theater of philosophy, you have donned the mask of the sort of leftist that most of us (I hope) are trying to get away from. Denouncing people from not being Communist (with a capital C) enough. Throwing concepts out of a debate (ecocide) because they are not 'communist' enough. Now I know you may consider yourself a an unqualified Communist with a capital C, but I don't think TastyBrain does, so it is a little bit of a non-sequitur to keep condemning him to the pits of counter-revolutionary hell. It is exactly the rhetorical devices mode of argumentation you have used here (True proletarian science Vs. Bourgeois revisionism) and the Kafka-esque debates that ensue, that has made most of us run a mile from the 'true communist' milieu.

Once again, I am more inclined to your position, but (as Khawaga has pointed out) I don't think TastyBrain is really as Malthusian as your making him out to be here.