ERE VS communism

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
User avatar
niemand
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

ERE VS communism

Post by niemand » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:02 pm

Are they the same?

Before y’all shout No! let me define communism as the academic, theoretical one à la Karl Marx, not the totalitarian socialist regimes we have seen so far. Marx says:
in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.
Now let’s read this again, just replacing a few words:
ERE allows me to become accomplished in any branch I wish . . . thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have in mind . . .
ERE, communism: different means, same outcome in terms of freedom of the individual?

User avatar
daylen
Posts: 684
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by daylen » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:41 pm

No!

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3693
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by BRUTE » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:23 pm


User avatar
niemand
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by niemand » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:46 pm

@Brute:
niemand wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:02 pm
not the totalitarian socialist regimes we have seen so far.

User avatar
Hobbes
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:35 pm

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by Hobbes » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:05 am

Well, in theory, it may actually make you freeier - because you don't need to go through the accumulation phase of ERE to acquire that degree of freedom. You just start out with that degree of freedom. Being able to switch roles to the degree imagined in the OP is something that's quite difficult to achieve in the current economy without being FIRE first.

Jean
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by Jean » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:50 am

All idéologies have similar goal (everyone is happy and has enough).

classical_Liberal
Posts: 488
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:41 am

One of these philosophies has proven an utter failure in practice to provide the promised results, the other has proved successful. It's impossible to separate theory from practice when evidence exists regarding practice.

IOW, one theory was able to make good predictions, the other has not.

User avatar
niemand
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by niemand » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:41 am

I think we all agree that Marx’s vision of communism has never been put into practice, and that most attempts kind of achieved the opposite of the original idea in the end.

User avatar
niemand
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by niemand » Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:48 am

@classical_Liberal: I hope I don’t mince your words when I rephrase your post by saying that the philosophy of ERE allows us as individuals to live the kind of life that Marx’s philosophy of communism envisioned for overall society (but couldn’t deliver)?

Is ERE then the way to put the Marx’s vision of life into practice (e.g. if everybody ERE’d)?

classical_Liberal
Posts: 488
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:07 am

I'm ok with the rephrase, however, I'm far from an expert on Marxist vision. I've never been interested enough in his work to read it, in the same way I'm just not that interested in learning the intricacies of Ptolemaic model. Comprehending the basic idea is helpful to understand how theories have evolved, but once a theory has been proven wrong, why study it?

That being said, I would think mass scale ERE is not a solution, and I'm not talking the economic practicalities regarding an entire society living off of capital. Rather that ERE seems individualist in nature, not cooperative or forced. Put another way, ERE abides by natural law and allows some to find a natural niche in the environment to thrive, whereas communism attempts to unnaturally change the environment itself.

ThisDinosaur
Posts: 989
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:31 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:07 am

Communism depends on common ownership of the means of production.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communism

ERE is based on individualism, anticonsumerism, and rentier capitalism.
https://wiki.earlyretirementextreme.com ... _is_ERE%3F

Hypothetically, one could apply some ERE principles while living in a communist government, but it would be considerably harder.

If the goal is freedom to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, etc, Marx thinks the best way to accomplish that is implementation of common ownership of productive capital. ERE suggests that an individual can accomplish this without forcing all their countrymen to give up all private property. Seems self evident to me that the second one is correct.

Jean
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by Jean » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:14 am

It wouldn't fulfill marxists' control lust.

Jason
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by Jason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:44 am

It is generally agreed that the purest expression of communism, and what I could consider the template for a communal ERE setting, is the Israeli kibbutz movement which peaked in the late 1980's. It disbanded as people wanted to live in a more traditional i.e. capitalistic manner. Which is telling, as the goal and ultimate expression of Marxism is capitalism.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 4151
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:07 am

Maybe ERE is capitalist in the streets and communist in the sheets? :lol:

Anyways, I would note once again for the record, that solution set for ERE (reference the book according to Jacob) does not require living off of passive investment income. The first branching of solution sets is Intermittent Employment vs. Retirement. IOW, the term Semi-ERE as used on this forum could more accurately be referred to as Semi-FI. ERE is more about achieving frugality. FI is just a likely result or carrot, given capitalist environment.

So, is frugality more in alignment with capitalism or communism? I think this depends on many factors, including the resource in question. For instance, I prefer to carry my own Leatherman, but I don't need my own bed. MMV.

ThisDinosaur
Posts: 989
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:31 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by ThisDinosaur » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:17 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:07 am
Maybe ERE is capitalist in the streets and communist in the sheets? :lol:

Anyways, I would note once again for the record, that solution set for ERE (reference the book according to Jacob) does not require living off of passive investment income.
ERE is not dependent on rentier capitalism, but it is dependent on individualist solutions. As opposed to dependence on the community.
Harry Browne's "How I found Freedom..." and Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations" are in the bibliography.
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/furth ... books.html

Furthermore, the author is a self described INTJ. Which is a subset of humans that tend not to trust the community to act in their own [the INTJ's] best interest.

Sure, you could like both Fisker and Marx, but it would take a very selective reading of both to do so.

User avatar
Jin+Guice
Posts: 187
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by Jin+Guice » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:24 am

Anarcho-capitalism is all the rage these days amongst the youths. This philosophy might be more in line with ERE. ERE is sufficiently robust to endure capitalism or communism, provided that you aren't forced to work by either. Few communists I know dream of death camps and forced labor just as few capitalists I know pontificate on the pleasures of good little consumers stomping on each other at the mall on Black Friday or wage slavery.

ERE harnesses the power of both. Are you a communist or a capitalist if you derive your income passively from investments but the income needed is extremely low due to participation in several community activities such as gardening, cooking, house repair, tool sharing and childcare?

User avatar
daylen
Posts: 684
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by daylen » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:51 am

This is like comparing chess strategies to the rules of checkers.

Jason
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by Jason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:52 am

I'm confused. I thought the way to determine if a girl was a capitalist or a communist was whether she slept on sheets.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 4151
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:58 am

@ThisDinosaur:

"Shopcraft as Soulcraft" is also on the Fiskar reading list.

Let us not forget that the self-described journey of Fiskar was from the Labor ladder to the Gentry ladder to the Elite Ladder. I would therefore suggest that the Renaissance Man Ideal or the upper left quadrant of the graph indicative of minimized coupling and maximized non-linearity OR minimized job/business dependence and minimized asset/debt dependence would be constituted of positive aspects of each of these social ladder structures combined into unique multi-dimensional lifestyle designs or projects.

Did Henry Ford choose to pay his workers $5/day so they could afford to consume the product they were producing OR did he have to pay his workers $5/day because such work was regarded as degrading by members of a populace that were already mostly in possession of their own land and/or tools of production? One of the most comical things I have recently read was in the first chapter of Greenspan's "Capitalism in America", where he notes that the American Revolution took place when the average inflation adjusted per capita income of a colonist was only around $4/day. What insanity! How could they not know that they needed at least $20/day to declare themselves independent? Duh.

Anyways, it seems to me that a commune is just a bloated version of human kin shared cooking pot structure and a corporation is just a bloated version of human hunting/gathering troop structure. Scale is relevant. The third-graders and I just read an article on the topic of intelligence in wolves vs. dogs. Apparently, wolves will snarl and nip at each other, but they do share the eating of prey, while OTOH dogs are generally more individualistic (less sharing) in their bowl-guarding behaviors BECAUSE they are dependent on humans for food. Which animal is more like a salary man in a capitalistic society?

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10523
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: ERE VS communism

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:23 pm

In the spirit of the OP, it might be more relevant to compare ERE to UBI (universal basic income).

FI is just a side-effect of the hyper [systems designed] frugality of ERE as 7wb5 observed. Thus FI is typically dialed in as a "personal basic income" with emphasis on basic and personal. From an individual perspective, there should be no difference between the two except in ERE you have to work for a handful of years and in an UBI scheme you don't.

However, both would require a redevelopment of self-reliant skills at least to the level of our grandparents in order to live well and not like last 2-3 skill-deserted generations for whom UBI would correspond to multi-dimensional poverty. Of course, it's the idea and hope of UBI promoters that people will voluntarily use their liberation to create a wonderful new world. It is implicitly assumed that most people are internally motivated rather than externally motivated. This makes sense insofar that people raving about UBI are probably internally motivated (otherwise they'd just eat cheesypops and watch TV like everybody else) but I think the human genotype is mostly externally motivated and thus attempt to contribute as little as possible unless some other value-system evolved.

As for whether either would work if widely adopted that's the question. We currently have pretty solid evidence that ERE works if adopted at the current penetration levels and maybe quite a bit more. If more people keep adopting it, the economic system will have to change along. However, keep in mind that people still provide value to "the market" for 5-10 years and they still provide value to the community and themselves as a whole all along. It's just that this doesn't register as GDP or money. Basically ERE is deemphasizing financial capital in favor of other capital.

With UBI one would have to make an immediate top-down consensus driven installation. This "pulse" would break a lot of promises and expectations. This is similar to how calling for debt jubilees is impractical---it would take a long time for people to trust anyone to borrow anything from them again. It's not that it's economically unphysical. It's just not how people are culturally wired.

Soviet communism failed for the same reason. Essentially there are too many ways for too many people (basically everybody) to legally extract value. Whereas with capitalism it's restricted to lobbyism and cronyism and so it's only for the few who are connected.

Key difference is that with ERE you only get to be FI if you're capable of developing alternative capital because that's a prerequisite for saving the money. With UBI everybody gets FI. For this to work well the culture HAS to shift away from consumerism.

Post Reply