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Luxury in communism - Redefining luxury

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Lucky Black Cat's picture
Lucky Black Cat
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Feb 27 2020 11:35
Luxury in communism - Redefining luxury

In a communist society, where everything is free, continuing to experience luxury primarily through material possessions is not feasible (due to limited resources) and not sustainable (due to environmental impact).

Luxury through material possessions can be part of it, but our desires for luxury will have to be primarily oriented in other ways.

What other ways? I made a list which covers a lot but would like others to add to it. Will likely put this in a video one day, so I want to make the list nice and thorough. smile

> Luxury through abundance of free time. In a society where work is voluntary, all time is free, to spend as you choose.

> Luxury through satisfying productive activity. Cue Marx quote where he talks about how in communism, where people are free to do whatever type of productive activity they choose (so long as they're qualified/competent), labor can become one of the primary ways we satisfy ourselves.

> Luxury through friendship, socializing. More time for this.

> Luxury through beautiful, clean environments in our neighborhoods and cities. Imagine being constantly surrounded by beauty, art, trees, gardens, beautiful homes and buildings.

> Luxury through access to all sorts of recreation, arts, and cultural experiences.

> Luxury through the joy of learning, of creativity.

> Luxury of being free of any form of money stress, free of worries about losing what you have, of getting sick and no longer being able to afford your home, of not having enough to make it through old age.

Other ideas? Or can you expand on any of the ideas I already mentioned?

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Feb 27 2020 19:57

If you've not already, I would strongly recommend reading Communal Luxury by Kristin Ross (sure there's free PDFs around somewhere if you want). He's covered in the Luxury book, but William Morris is also worth looking at here, I think.

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Lucky Black Cat
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Feb 27 2020 22:40

This seems perfect! Its only flaw is that its book length. Lol. Actually, I'm sure that's a good thing, as there's a lot of important things to say on the topic, but I don't know when I'll find time to read it. Still, thanks for the recommendation, I'm making note of it.

Still looking for fellow libcommies to contribute to the list, though. smile

zugzwang
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Feb 27 2020 23:12

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zugzwang
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Feb 28 2020 00:06

Was gonna make a borg joke but my finger slipped before I was finished writing it... I think I prefer using the word pleasure more than luxury because (besides it being what social democrats like Novara like using) the latter conveys a sense of imitating the bourgeois lifestyle (not all that important but Marx talks of luxury commodities in volume 2 of capital in the presentation of his departments of production; luxury items and means of production are mostly only in the reach of the capitalist class whereas workers receive only enough for their means of subsistence), with their luxury cars, jewelry etc. What people find to be a luxury or find pleasure in can be largely subjective in a communist society where everyone has their needs met.

R Totale's picture
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Feb 28 2020 19:51

Unfortunately, I'm not enough of a William Morris scholar (William Morrisette? William Morrissey?) to be able to recommend exactly what article-length texts you're best off reading, but from a quick search I reckon Art, Wealth, and Riches, Art and Socialism and How We Live and How We Might Live all seem like they might potentially have some relevance, and they're like long article/essay length rather than book length, so you could try skim-reading them and see if they seem any use? Art, Wealth and Riches looks the shortest, and maybe the most directly relevant? I guess there's also this: https://theoutline.com/post/7950/gold-toilet-luxury-communism

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Lucky Black Cat
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Feb 28 2020 20:53

R Totale - thank you, that's helpful. I will have a look.

zugzwang wrote:
Was gonna make a borg joke but my finger slipped before I was finished writing it...

Was gonna make a resistance is futile joke but can't figure out how to relate it to your finger slipping. We both get points for effort, though.

Quote:
What people find to be a luxury or find pleasure in can be largely subjective

For sure. I was just hoping to get some more examples of ways of experiencing this beyond material objects.