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"Ants, they made communism work."

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TronCat Posted: Fri, Sep 28 2012 10:18 AM

Are ants communists? What do you say to those that defend communism byway of ant appreciation? 

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eliotn replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 11:07 AM

I found an article that may be relevant to this discussion:  http://thethinkerblog.com/?p=11907

Basically, the defense is invalid because an ant colony is not a top-down "planned" system.  Rather, the apparent complex system is a result of emergence, from each ant adhering to behavioral systems.  It is definitely an example of how spontaneous order can work.

Anyways, welcome to the forums.  One longtime member posts a link to a list of links that are useful for anyone who wants to study here for new forum posters.  If I find it I will show you.

Schools are labour camps.

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TronCat replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 11:47 AM

"Rather, the apparent complex system is a result of emergence, from each ant adhering to behavioral systems."

I wonder what the Venus Project nuts think about this.

 

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Anenome replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 11:52 AM
 
 

TronCat:

Are ants communists? What do you say to those that defend communism byway of ant appreciation?

The comparison is silly on its face. Ants don't have law, much less coercion.

Rather it is in the nature of ants to follow and respond to chemical information signals as they do.

In contrast, it is in the nature of man to decide, to make choices, based on his reason and to live by his reason.

It would cause ants to fail as a species if you removed their ability to take cues from chem-trails. Similarly, mankind as a species would fail if you remove the individual ability to make choices based on reason.

You could do a whole article on why what ants do is nothing and in no way akin to communism. But that point seems already to have escaped anyone who's made the claim.

You could actually make a very good claim that ants following strength of chemtrails are analogous to people following price signals in a free market! It's those signals that allow mass coordination in the absence of a central planner! In the same way that entire economies are coordinated by price signals. Ants are not communists! They're capitalists! lol.

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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John Ess replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:10 PM

I think EO Wilson said that communism would work, but only if people were like ants instead of humans.

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I think any argument based on the concept of ants' social systems would only support the concepts of naturally occurring hierarchies and spontaneous order, although there are so many problems with drawing parallels between the two that it would probably be pyrrhic to even try to establish them.

Also, assuming your name is based on the song, OFWGKTADGAF

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TronCat replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:35 PM

This is awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A042J0IDQK4

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One finds sympathetic references to ant hills and also beehives scattered throughout collectivist writings going back to Plato. And who benefits from bee-communism, the bees or the beekeepers?

apiarius delendus est, ursus esuriens continendus est
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TronCat replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:42 PM

"And who benefits from bee-communism, the bees or the beekeepers?"

 

HUZZAH!

 

 

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Wheylous replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:43 PM

Ants are quite visibly not an example of communism at work, and this is in fact an insult to communist to compare them to ants. In communism, you're still supposed to have some sort of division of labor and some sort of innovation and choice for people to do different things. In ant colonies, this doesn't exist. Everyone does the same thing day it and day out without the opportunity to change jobs or to find some new way to combine capital.

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:45 PM

There is some semblance of a division of labor in eusocial insects. First there's a division of labor between reproductive (queens and drones) and non-reproductive (workers) tasks. Next there's a division of labor among different non-reproductive tasks, such as foraging, defense, and caring for larvae. In at least some eusocial insect species, furthermore, a worker will move from one non-reproductive task to another during her lifetime.

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I can already hear the pseudo-wisdom of an aging hippie, possibly in the form of a lazily strummed folk song: "It's like, In all that Western Civilization thinks that it has figured it all out, it still has so much less to show for it than even the humble ant."

Seriously though, ants are pretty awesome. http://www.cracked.com/article_19651_7-reasons-ants-will-inherit-earth.html

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TronCat replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 1:59 PM

"It's like, In all that Western Civilization thinks that it has figured it all out, it still has so much less to show for it than even the humble ant."

I love this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDEzzFtrCTs

 

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Wheylous replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 2:02 PM

Autolykos - that is why I added the bit about changing jobs and new capital.

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Wheylous replied on Fri, Sep 28 2012 2:02 PM

Also, who the heck is to say that ants do well?

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Human Action

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Marko replied on Tue, Oct 2 2012 1:35 AM

If ants jumped off a cliff, would you?

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excel replied on Tue, Oct 2 2012 1:58 AM

The ants may not be communist yet, since they 'work for' a queen, however they will soon evolve into a new socialist ant where any ant may be worker in the morning, drone in the midday, and queen in the evening!

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Ants do not have to solve the calculation problem. If they find cookie crumbs at a picnic, they know exactly one thing to do with them

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Luminar replied on Tue, Oct 2 2012 1:10 PM

"Anyways, welcome to the forums.  One longtime member posts a link to a list of links that are useful for anyone who wants to study here for new forum posters.  If I find it I will show you."

That would be John James?

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eliotn replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 1:23 PM

yes

Schools are labour camps.

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Are ants killed when they refuse to work?

This doesn't happen because every ant has the exact same "mindset." It's in their nature to keep a highly structured labor colony. It's not in ours.

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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Oct 14 2012 2:25 PM

Ants could certainly be defined as socialists of a type, although necessarily in a decentralized manner. No one thinks that socialism, if people are willing to listen to their leaders, is impossible, merely that it cannot create prosperity... So if you want men to live like ants, then go straight ahead.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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They're essentially programmed biological machines that behave a certain way. Using ant social dynamics to lend credence to communism is desperate and feeble-minded at best. It's painfully obvious from the annals of history that communism, with actual people, is dangerous, immoral, and foolish.

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Don't see ants lining up for iphones do you?

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Anenome replied on Mon, Oct 15 2012 7:54 PM

shackleford:

They're essentially programmed biological machines that behave a certain way. Using ant social dynamics to lend credence to communism is desperate and feeble-minded at best. It's painfully obvious from the annals of history that communism, with actual people, is dangerous, immoral, and foolish.

It's excellent propaganda tho.

Good propaganda makes your point immediately understood and placed in a positive light, and makes seeing through the propaganda to how the comparison is not apt at all difficult and laborious.

Most people also are not systematic thinkers. This is a big problem libertarians face trying to implement the education-means of moving society towards libertarianism. Most libertarians probably became libertarian at least in some part because of systematically applying the principle of liberty to all aspects of political life and following the conclusion where it irrevocably led.

The trick of the leftist liberal mindset is to discount any sort of deep thinking at all. Liberals create policy and consensus based on the first impulse. It's all about the first impulse. Murder on the news? Need to ban guns. Wages down? Raise the minimum wage.

We'll never overcome those thought habits by education. And what's worse, even negative results of policies does not cause them to question the original policy. Test scores down? Need to raise taxes and give more money to schools!

We may have solved the great political question of what political theory is best suited for man, but we have a long way to go on the sociological question of how to produce change. The socialists are actually way ahead of us on this one, having thought about how to produce change for a long time. Some of their findings are interesting at least.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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