Why I Am A Communist

Why I Am A Communist

An informal post on communism, currency, and why I stand behind communism
840
views

I've found myself defending communism very often this week. In one class I was tasked with designing a utopia and discerned early on that the only trouble I'd have in designing my utopia would be doing so without rewriting the Communist Manifesto. In another class, the professor asked about the implications of capitalism, and before I realized it I was preaching the tenets and the necessity of communism to a roomful of bored and confused college students. Only the professor seemed impressed with my claim that the goal of the current capitalist economy is to self-sustain and propagate. The market isn't interested in how to improve the lives of consumers unless they are concerned with how to make the process of commodity consumption simpler to take part in. However, even that concern falls second to profit. If the options for a capitalist are between employing more blue collar workers at a relatively high minimum wage so as to promote increased commodity consumption by the middle class (aka galvanizing the market so that all can take part while lessening overall profits through increased spending) and outsourcing in a different nation so as to lessen wages and increase profit overall while, as a consequence, decreasing the buying power of the middle class in US, outsourcing as an option always wins out because capitalists, whom Marx referred to as bourgeoisie, are interested how they can best make money. Best in this instance refers efficiency (the least effort and spending on the side of the capitalist).

The average working class citizen who bears the weight of this decision is not a capitalist in real life because capitalists are those running the market, the ones who own/manage the companies and corporations, those at the forefront of the industry. The capitalists are those who employ average working class citizens and provide them with wages for their work. To use Marxist vocabulary the working class citizen is a member of the proletariat, the group exclusively exploited by capitalists. However, if one wasn't born and raised in a world so heavily entrenched in the idea of capitalism, and, in my opinion, the idea of currency in general, one could easily see the failures of the current system and beyond it. One would be able to look past the monetary value of time, work, products, and services, and see that there is a deeper, more salient human value being ignored.

The reason we want to be paid is because we want to feel like the work we do, whatever work it is, is valuable. But, on the more practical side of things, we want to be paid because the amount of money one has determined their station in life and their standard of living. But, if we abolished the notion of currency if we completely wiped it off the table, what would be the point of working? And what would that work be worth?

Think about it this way: if tomorrow, every nation across the work announced they were switching from a capitalist system to a communist one, people would still work. Why? Because someone has to produce the goods and services we've come to depend on. Someone has to keep the lights on. Someone has to keep the water running. Someone has to keep the sewage out of the streets. Someone has to keep producing iPods and keep up the servers that sustain the mighty internet. We would still need hospitals and nurses. We would still need teachers. We would still garbage-men, firefighters, couriers. With currency, we think about work as something we need to do so we can afford a certain standard of life, no matter how low or high it is. Without currency, work evolves into something that allows us to maintain a certain standard of life, one that is not luxurious but also not plagued by need.

It's easy to assume that once people stop getting paid, they won't want to work anymore, that there'll be no practical incentive to get people off their couches, but that assumes that without working, they would still get to live the way they had been, that all of our social institutions run on magic and fairies, not human labor. Without currency, work still exists because need still exists. All that changes is one's attitude towards work. Work is no longer something that is detached from need. Work becomes the satisfaction of a need. One works so that his/her needs can be fulfilled, not to earn a paycheck that may or may not cover the bills. One works, whatever the job is, so as to do their part to keep the nation running, and as a result, their lights stay one, their phones stay on, they can share in the food produced, they can enjoy all the luxuries of what we in a capitalist society call “middle-class” life, but there would be no class, no rulers or CEOs, who occupy the highest economic strata and call the shots while others can't even carve out a spot on the totem pole.

I am a communist because I believe that without currency, the world would still run. In fact, it would run better because there would be real value in the work one does, value not dependent on a certain amount of gold or sheets of paper. We would work to sustain ourselves, not to attempt some ersatz imitation of the luxurious lives those higher on the social strata take part in. I'm a communist because without currency, a community is forced to persist for the good of itself instead of for the good of currency. Currency is something we constructed, something we gave value and something we try to protect, but it is not a necessity, and our constant pursuit of currency is what has created world-wide instability and inequality. Communism counteracts this because it is an ideology based on the understanding that working towards the good of the community necessarily provides for the good of the individual.

Cover Image Credit: TheOdysseyonline.com

Popular Right Now

Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

26364
views

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

How The Democratic Party basically Handed Donald Trump The Presidency

The rise of Donald Trump was propelled in part by the far left's efforts to undermine him.

63
views

Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 Presidential Election was a shock to many across the country, myself included. It seemed impossible that someone so unapologetically crass, rude, and idiotic could even hope to achieve the position of the most powerful person in the world (have I mentioned that he literally admitted to sexually assaulting women?). I mean sure, it certainly didn't help that Hillary Clinton was probably the worst candidate that the Democratic Party could have run against him... actually she was definitely the worst, but she still should have won. As she tries to explain in her new book, what happened?

In order for a bigoted, fear-mongering, and an arguably uneducated man like Donald Trump to become president, there needs to be a perfect storm. We've already established that Hillary was a bad candidate on the Democratic side, but none of the other Republican candidates were very good either. Their best guy other than Trump was Ted Cruz, a man who can be described as unsettling on his best days. There was also a large number of people that resonated with Trump. Granted, they were mostly uneducated, blue-collar, religious, second amendment nuts, but Trump's "forgotten man" schtick stuck with them, as these were people who felt like they were being left behind. I would argue that they were and should have been, but that's beside the point.

However, the one thing that I think influenced Donald Trump's meteoric rise to the presidency the most were the ridiculous ways that some of his opponents would try to undermine his legitimacy as a candidate. As someone who identifies as a Democrat myself (not as my gender, but as my political affiliation), I certainly was not a fan of Donald Trump. I think that his election has brought us one step closer to the dystopian future laid out in the cinematic masterpiece that is Idiocracy, but it's not like my party didn't have opportunities to bring him down a peg. It's also not like we didn't completely fail in doing so.

Every time Donald Trump would say something that could be construed as racist, xenophobic, or sexist, Democrats would pounce on it and use it as proof that he was all of these things. This is a good method, but many Democrats got too overzealous in using it, calling him these things even when what he said was probably not racist, or even not racist at all. The baseless attacks vastly outnumbered the legitimate ones, and Trump supporters used it as a way to rally around their guy and to validate the ideas of "fake news" and their "us against the world" mentality.

The day the Donald Trump won the election, in my opinion at least, was the day that Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters a "basket of deplorables." Are you kidding me?! You're going to take tens of millions of American voters, essentially call them racist, sexist idiots, and flat-out dismiss them? All she did was verify to the Trump supporter all the things that he already believed: that he was being disrespected, left behind, and forgotten about by the democratic party. Regardless, how do you think people are going to vote if you just insult their intelligence and character for months on end? That's not the way to build bridges; it only creates the divisiveness that Trump thrives in.

This is why people think of Democrats as elitist: because Democrats act really elitist. If you always act like you know better than everyone else and sit in your ivory tower expecting everyone to realize how stupid they are, you're not going to win elections. In fact, you'll do so bad in elections that you'll lose to an unqualified, idiotic, racist Cheeto that wears a toupee that looks like it was made from hairs scooped out of the bathroom sink. Anyway, that's why Trump won the election: because Hillary and the Democrats had their heads so far up their asses that they couldn't smell his spray tan coming.

Cover Image Credit:

upload.wikimedia.org

Related Content

Facebook Comments