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Jeff Bezos’ Dystopian Legacy Goes Far Beyond Amazon (thewire.in)
196 points by bryanrasmussen 16 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 264 comments



Reading this, I'm so glad that in all of the EU it is illegal to fire someone purely based on a software decision. There's a minimum level of humanity that we should extend to everyone. Letting a known faulty AI decide if someone will have money for food tomorrow is way across the line.

I'm not surprised that treating humans like cattle on their way to slaughter is hugely profitable. But I'm not sure we want to operate large companies like WW2 prisoner camps. Even if you truly don't care about the poor souls who have to work there, the people who turn insane from this treatment will still live in your country and maybe their kids will meet your kids in school and "educate" them on the cruelty of life.

It's best not to push anyone down the mental abyss in the first place. And yet, here we (software developers) are, developing new monitoring and automation systems and deciding to delete someone's entire online life (Google account) without any oversight (AI) in the name of "efficiency" (higher profits for shareholders that we never met and never will).


>Letting a known faulty AI decide if someone will have money for food tomorrow is way across the line.

So is the implication here that humans are less faulty, or that there's something intrinsically wrong about an AI making this decision rather than a human?

If the former, then this is an issue that the technology will probably eventually solve. If the latter, well... that doesn't seem very justifiable, to say the least.

If Amazon has leaned too far in the direction of automation without oversight, then we'll see other firms fail to adopt these same practices. But it seems pretty inevitable to me that we'll see many more AI-driven hiring/firing decisions in 10 years or so than fewer. And if some sclerotic regulations try to slow this down, that will likely be unfortunate for consumers.


No, the implication is that we believe that these algorithms are non-faulty and therefore throw away all the provisions for recourse and review that exist with human-driven systems.

There is no nuance, no leeway, and no way for you to reason your case with a thinking human on the other side of the decision. The algorithms & systems are also almost always completely opaque in their workings, with neither the person on the receiving end nor the company's staff having any insight into why they made decisions or what data was used.

Using algorithms for life-affecting decisions like this would not be nearly as bad if you had a reasonable ability to appeal and have the decision be taken as final.

It doesn't even have to be AI, or an algorithm. The British Post Office Horizon scandal is an example of lives ruined by an assumption that accounting software could never be wrong.


>No, the implication is that we believe that these algorithms are non-faulty

I think that falls under OC's argument and it seems eventually solvable. Still, what you are pointing is a human bias. Humans have been taking similar unfair decisions without possibility for recourse or review since forever, so it would be interesting to have a review mechanism in general.


>I think that falls under OC's argument and it seems eventually solvable.

Not solvable by purely technical means and the idea that the AI or algorithms will just keep getting better, which is what the OP seemed to be saying.

> Still, what you are pointing is a human bias. Humans have been taking similar unfair decisions without possibility for recourse or review since forever, so it would be interesting to have a review mechanism in general.

Sure. Having systems be human-driven doesn't inherently make them better. But over time the recognition of human fallibility has led legislators to enforce the creation of systems of review and recourse in many cases.


> So is the implication here that humans are less faulty

AI is just humans hiding behind a machine. And everything else being the same, those who have to hide their reasons or themselves are always intrinsically weaker and worth less than those who don't. That needs no explanation for people who own their shit, and no explanation will suffice for those who do.

> that will likely be unfortunate for consumers.

Consumers aren't just consumers. They have jobs, they have friends and family who have jobs.


> AI is just humans hiding behind a machine.

Just because people work on AI algorithms doesn't mean that this is true.


When an AI "decides" that someone should have no food tomorrow, there's always a human who set the AI up to do that, and there's always humans who honor this "decision", often while pretending that they have no choice, that they're mere messengers. No exceptions.


That's a lot of "always"s for a situation you're making up that hasn't happened. I wasn't aware there are AIs taking food out of people's kitchens!


Look at the context of this thread then and the comments upstream of mine. I was responding to someone who defended that, that ship sailed, you don't get to make this into something else now. It would be no use anyway, what I said doesn't just apply to that, it applies to any usage of AI by humans to make decisions on their behalf.


That may be the implication, but the actual problem is that humans will still be involved, still making the decisions and using AI to pretend they didn't.

I actually feel quite comfortable with the idea of AI making the hiring decisions, it seems like it would be as good as a human. But make no mistake, firing people is a miserable thing to do for both sides of the conversation. If managers can palm the responsibility off as "well, gee, the AI told me to so ... y'know, my hands are tied" then they will. Even if the AI algorithm is as blatant as "print out the name the manager entered in to the system".

There is some reasonableness to the argument that when an important decision is made that some human must be empowered as the decision maker. If nobody is responsible, suspicious things can happen.


>So is the implication here that humans are less faulty, or that there's something intrinsically wrong about an AI making this decision rather than a human?

Many people in the world have noticed the difficulty in getting people to change their minds once made up.

>And if some sclerotic regulations try to slow this down, that will likely be unfortunate for consumers.

Maybe not the consumers that have jobs though.


How unfortunate would it really be for customers? The worst I can think of is Amazon Basics cables being six eurocents pricier per foot.


> If Amazon has leaned too far in the direction of automation without oversight, then we'll see other firms fail to adopt these same practices.

By "leaned too far" I feel like you mean they relied on it in a way that made them less profitable than if they had not, in which case I agree. But I think most of us are worried that they leaned too far in a way that ruins peoples lives unfairly, we are more worried about that than Amazons bottom line. As a consumer I'm totally fine with paying 10% more for my coffee machine or whatever if ending such practices prevents even a single person from having their life upended.


Consumers aren’t the only people for whom laws and policies are optimised for. It’s fine to have laws which are unfortunate for consumers and great for the society.


I kinda agree. We also have the mounting pressure for getting unconscious bias out of the hiring process. It would seem if we think people are fired also for bias and unfair reasons that the ai would be the likely only way to save the situation.

Seems here with amazon we are quick to suggest humans are the best way but in nearly all other inclusion/diversity posts we are fighting against the humans being faulty.

Interesting problem for sure


> if we think people are fired also for bias and unfair reasons that the ai would be the likely only way to save the situation.

This assumes that bias and unfair reasons aren't codified or part of the training set, which we've seen previously, simply isn't true.

There's an example of a company using AI to do a first pass on CVs for recruiting throw away female CVs. Another example of a company using AI to identify people in photos identify certain skin tones as being animals instead.

AI isn't a magic bullet, simply because it's still coded by humans who make mistakes, conscious or otherwise.

Or to put it another way, garbage in, garbage out.


But a lot of fateful decisions are already made by computers. Decisions about granting a loan, an entry visa or insurance policy are largely automated today. If there are humans in the chain, they are mostly there to type data into the computer and don't have any decision power.


This comment is an excellent example of "technological manifest destiny"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajGX7odA87k&t=36m46s


> If Amazon has leaned too far in the direction of automation without oversight, then we'll see other firms fail to adopt these same practices.

What utter nonsense. What will happen in reality: business "thought leaders" of all types will say "Amazon does it, Amazon is successful, therefore we should do it" regardless of whether it's actually a good idea. And they'll be praised by their peers for doing so.

Just like Jack Welch's leadership philosophy (and stack ranking) in the 2000s and Google style interviews for every low-level tech job in the 2010s.


People have historically complained a lot about firings not being based on an objective formula. Now the complaint is an objective formula is being used.

> WW2 prisoner camps

For starters, those camps would shoot anyone who tried to leave. Not the same thing at all.


> People have historically complained a lot about firings not being based on an objective formula. Now the complaint is an objective formula is being used.

Cute line, but obviously people have always wanted criteria to be objective and fair.

If the rule was "take the ordinal value of each letter in employee's name, sum mod 365, and if the result matches the day of the year, they're fired!" -- that's completely objective, and also bonkers. Nobody ever thought all objective formulas were good, and it's sophistry to suggest otherwise.


>> objective and fair.

You do understand that the is a logical impossibility, as "fairness" is a subjective standard...

What is "fair" to me, likely will not be what you believe is "fair" thus something can not be objective and "fair"

> "take the ordinal value of each letter in employee's name, sum mod 365, and if the result matches the day of the year, they're fired!"

My Objection to this standard would not be "it is unfair" but rather it makes no logical sense to have employment choices made by that system and would likely cause many objectively valuable employees to be separated from the company.

Objective rules need to make sense in the context for which they are apply, "fairness" would not come into play here


The notion of fairness is contestable, but that does not mean we cannot progress past Perry’s second stage of development [1] (“it’s all subjective”). Fairness can be equated with due process or natural justice, which in a workplace relations context, commonly includes the right to be heard, have your personal circumstances taken into account and be given reasons for decision, and the right of appeal. Automated decision-making threatens these rights.

[1] https://www.jmu.edu/geology/_files/willperry21.pdf


When you introduce the notion of "logical sense", you're already deviating from an objective standard. For example, Amazon's warehouse bathroom policy is logical from a profit-maximizing perspective, but it's illogical from the perspective of the health and wellbeing of its workers.


I'd argue that if a process does not have room for you to explain yourself, and ensure that ALL data is taken into consideration by the other side then such process is authoritarian and not objective. An algorithm only looks at data it was programmed to look at, which is usually too narrow to be able to be without faults in the real world.

There are good reasons why judicial systems have higher instances in them to which you can appeal to if you don't agree with lower instance.


>An algorithm only looks at data it was programmed to look at

Programmed, or even worse trained, which means there’s no general intelligence around that really understands why it does what it does.


Just because there's an algorithm involved doesn't make it objective in any way.

There is no objective answer to "How productive is this employee", it's not something you can measure empirically.


I'd take it a step further and ask if we really want such an extreme in utilitarian ideals guiding such fundamental human needs like employment and its associated income that serves as a generic resource pool for food, housing, healthcare?

I don't know about most people but objectivity can fly out the window when it comes to my essential needs. I want another group of humans involved who have similar needs and may consider things an objective metric likely won't.

Some mixture of a utilitarian performance metric balanced with some empathy, morale, and ethical reasoning seems like a better blend to me. Either extreme leads to undesired outcomes in my opinion.

With pure human involvement you can have extremely biased no justifiable firings based on emotion, hatred, racism, sexism, ageism, whatever and in those cases, a metric is your friend. It can potentially show that undesired bias for what it is to others.

On the other hand, that bias may be a good bias. Perhaps your manager is a reasonable human being, they know data the algorithm doesn't like how many additional hours you put in unclocked or that you helped your coworker through a rough problem a few months back, perhaps that you saved the company at a critical junction. They also know your performance recently dropped because there's a pandemic and subequent emotional distress might be effecting you. Perhaps they also notice your performance dropped just like the metric identified, but they know the cause of this is because you just became a parent and have had to divert focus and time towards your family. Your manager has the ability here to step in and override the metric because they know better, have empathy, and understand the world isn't about constantly working at maximal efficiency. This is, to me, a desirable bias.

If we keep chasing and supporting utilitarianism pushed by corporations full-steam, we're going to create quite the hellscape that no one wants to live in.


Also, if you purely go by productivity, who knows, maybe the data says that people without kids and people who are sterile are just better according to the metric.

While I think you can measure 'how productive is this employee' according to some metrics, the problem is in the metrics. Someone who is mediocre at his job in the quantified sense can be a huge boon to the company due to soft skills or knowledge.

Someone not living for their job could be important to an entire community.

It is a philosophical problem, in addition to finding any kind of metric that actually kinda works.


> For starters, those camps would shoot anyone who tried to leave. Not the same thing at all.

It is an exaggeration, but with the health & social care systems that the US has it isn't a million miles away either.


No, it’s still a pretty stupid comparison. Like so stupid it’s borderline offensive.


Rather, the complaint is that the supposedly "objective" formula is completely obscured to both the victim and the executioner. A judge isn't called "objective" for deciding the outcome of a trial as a black-box call. If it were, we'd have replaced the justice system with the Vegas system long ago. A judge is called "objective" because they clearly articulate the inputs, scope, weightings and broader implications they considered to arrive at their outputs.


>>A judge is called "objective" because they clearly articulate the inputs, scope, weightings and broader implications they considered to arrive at their outputs.

Even a judge has limits on comprehensiveness and objectivity. No human judge has perfect knowledge of every law in the United States. When making law, judges choose to uphold stare decisis in most cases but overturn decisions in others because of a certain gravitation towards certain interpretations that largely remain unarticulated. The latter is not done out of some "special" knowledge unobtainable by AI, but by the very subjectivity an AI is meant to rule out in its own considerations.

In contrast, an AI judge could provide an exact numerical weighting and ranking to the sources it cited or present the conditions under which there would be contradictions between one law and another if one were to rule in a certain way. AI doesn't have to be a black box. If done right, it can be most transparent and revealing legal tool to have ever been created.


People have historically complained a lot about firings not being based on an objective formula. Now the complaint is an objective formula is being used.

If these same people got what they wanted, then realised it didn’t turn out the way they envisioned, and had worse outcomes, then used the new information to change their minds, then I don’t see what the problem is.


My main issue with it is that we don't have complete data to feed into the formula to make a good decision. Some aspects of your job can't be quantified and entered into an algorithm.

It's the same as when project managers track how many commits per week each employee makes and use that as a metric for how much work they're doing - an exceptionally dumb example but it literally happens at a lot of companies. And for an algorithm such as this, I doubt they have much better/more useful data to feed it.

Humans have their own set of issues as well though, as you've mentioned. I feel that the problem stems from the way companies are organized with a single entity having full control over resources and decision making, as opposed to responsibility, resources, and power being divided among the people doing the work, in a self-organized and likely democratic way.


>based on an objective formula Who knows if it's objective, you can easily put any bias into formula. Remember Amazon's application AI that downgraded applications of women just because they were women.


> Now the complaint is an objective formula is being used.

As programmers we really should know better than blindly trusting software.


I'm pretty sure not all HN readers are programmers...


I'm quite sure that Walter Bright is though ;)


I think the point is that to the AI, an employee is just a number. Interchangeable at any moment, with no consideration for the human person and how it affects them.


So if you have 2 Programmers, One is Single has FIRE plan to early retirement, and expense to income ratio of 25%..

Another programmer has 4 kids, lives pay check to paycheck, and has a wife with a medical condition...

The dept has to be downsized by 1 programmer, both programmers have the same income, the single programmer is slightly more productive..

Should the single programmer should be fired over the other because of there personal life situation?


Just be sure people complained about a formula being objective, it doesn’t mean any objective formula should we accepted.


"the software said so" is 2020's way to denying something to someone while also trying to deflect blame.

Not very different from "not financially viable", "your health insurance have expired", "your credit score does not meet the requirements".

The decision of implementing such rules and methods and use such phrasing is entirely done by humans.


I was a bit too ambitious/hard working, and a coworker made it her mission to get rid of me.

After 2 years she succeeded.

I admittedly didn't care because I got a higher paying job in a better field, but I'll take AI over office politics.


Yes - but this isn't an either/or situation...


Why the AI sidesteps responsibility? It's like stabbing someone with a screwdriver and saying screwdriver did it! Are regulators in the US that dumb or corrupt to allow it?


For not working and being their own self they are not hired.The lower level workers were not adopting the e-commerce discipline of promptness.We require JBezos like monitoring and action.


> like WW2 prisoner camps

FWIW I think your comment would've been more powerful without the Godwin.


> Reading this, I'm so glad that in all of the EU it is illegal to fire someone purely based on a software decision.

Why do people treat working for a company as something different from selling any other services or goods? If there was a law that limited your ability to cancel a gym membership or going to a different supermarket, you would rightfully object — it's not a government's business to get involved in your voluntary business transactions. Why treat a company that hires workers differently?


Because a company has tens, hundreds or thousands of employees.

Employees generally have 1 job (at a time) and 1 career.

It's really hard for an employee to screw over a company for good and trivial for companies to completely destroy an employee's career and life.

The asymmetry needs to be counterbalanced actively, especially since companies can have people on their payroll 24/7 to fight for more company rights. Employees can't afford that.


The way it is commonly seen is that workers deserve special protection through the law to make up for the inherent power imbalance between those who employ and those who are employed.


I heard this reasoning a lot. I understand logic and intent behind it — certainly a noble one. But I think that it is incorrect because it ignores unintended consequences, like the story with award for catching cobras in India.

You're shifting the power balance in an artificial way that doesn't fully change it. You're only shifting it in one particular market; this power balance still exists in other countries. Which creates a potential for arbitrage: instead of hiring people in a country which enacts those measures, hire them elsewhere.

You're also not exactly making the employee "more powerful"; you're actually limiting his freedom on the market. You're making his services more expensive to a buyer, and he can do nothing about it. He might have wanted to offer his services at a discount to get an edge above competitors who have more experience, for example; now he's unable to.

Do you really think that limiting someone's freedom is empowering?

That's how you get 2x salaries for engineers in US as compared to Europe, which leads to many brilliant engineers leaving Europe for US (or working remotely), which, with higher commitment requirement, contributes to the difference in startup scene between Europe and US. Of course, engineers are not the type of workers whom do you think about in such a conversation, but this happens in many other industries as well.


This is often repeated, but I don't understand it. What power imbalance? The ability to offer a job is only a power over a worker if the worker has no other options for jobs, which is only the case in a company town or something like that. Then the company gets to decide if the worker starves or not.

The labor market in the US is highly liquid, even for unskilled workers. This described power imbalance simply does not exist.


>The labor market in the US is highly liquid, even for unskilled workers. This described power imbalance simply does not exist.

Yes it does. See Amazon preventing workers from unionising.


I'm not familiar enough with the situation in the US to comment for what's happening on your side of the ocean.

In my country, there are laws to protect both sides. Unless an agreement is negotiated, the employee cannot leave without giving a ~2 months notice, the employer cannot fire/layoff withing giving a ~2 months notice.

In many cases, though, there is a strong power imbalance. If, for some reason, you decide to sue your (former) employer, or if your (former) employer decides to sue you, you most likely cannot afford the same budget for lawyering up as they can. Also, your main power against your employer (besides possibly unions) is, as you mention, the ability to change job, but that only works when changing job is possible. Both for highly skilled positions and unskilled positions, getting a new job is hard and may require you to move to a new place - something that you may not be able to do if you have children or a working spouse.

As anecdotal examples, I know former C*Os of influential companies who have been working make up jobs for several years because they cannot find anything matching their skills, even at much reduced salaries. I know burnt out teachers who do not leave their jobs because nothing matches their skills. I have several friends in IT, or in admin positions, or with lawyer degrees who just cannot find anything or could not find anything for years because they happen to live in the wrong place and cannot leave because that would cost their spouse a job or they would abandon elders, etc.

Having myself changed (HN-style) jobs a few times, I can confirm that it's long and certainly not easy, in particular when you also need, at the same time, to care for a young child, or a sick family member, or when you're burnt out, or depressed by a personal crisis, or by the rejections you encounter from potential employers, or by the institutional bullying on unemployed people. I imagine it's even harder as you get older - I'm not looking forward to be labelled too-old-for-HN-style-jobs.

All of that is in a G7 country whose unemployment rate is decreasing. Testimonies from friends in neighbouring countries make me feel that it's even worse in many places. Testimonies from friends in the US make me feel it's not as rosy as you describe, at least not in all fields/regions.

So... yeah, I believe that there is a power imbalance. You may be in a field and/or location in which you do not witness it, and if this is your case, I'm happy for you. But for many people, it exists.


This:

> the employer cannot fire/layoff withing giving a ~2 months notice.

Leads to this:

> Both for highly skilled positions and unskilled positions, getting a new job is hard


That is a theory I've heard. I see how it may be true but I'm not convinced.

In particular

> Testimonies from friends in the US make me feel it's not as rosy as you describe, at least not in all fields/regions.


I personally don't care, but for all the people living from paycheck to paycheck in a low wage job this is the bare minimum of security they would want from their job.

It's important to note that the company gets help from the state shouldn't they be able to pay their workers. So it's not only enforced on the employers but backed by the state


What a weird question. I could similarly ask, why do people treat employing workers as something different from animal husbandry? If there was a law that limited your ability to ship, cage or breed your workers like you do cattle, you would rightfully object -- it's not a government's business to get involved in your voluntary business transactions. Why treat a company that employs workers differently from a company that employs cattle?

Your question has as much relevance to the question at hand as mine.


To be fair, livestock do not consent to being livestock.


Because humans deserve the right to freedom to accept or deny any voluntary contract. Which legislation that we're talking about is directly infringing on. Just as people should be able to not accept having being treated like cattle, they should be able to accept any form of employment contract if they so choose: it is exactly the same issue.


In many EU jurisdictions being employed means you owe the employer the willingness to accomplish a result not the actual result.

Germany is known that once you are in an active work relationship its difficult to get fired.

So yes, there is a difference as it is generally frowned upon these days to call people a resource which implies an interchangeable unit of work force.


You can't compare selling goods to employing people in that way. Consider the fact that there are humans on both sides. Businesses can use their power to abuse employees in a way that can't be done to goods. If you are the main source of income for a person, you have massive influence over them. Government creates laws to balance the power. There are countless cases of abuse by employers including physical and sexual. Very different from selling goods or having a gym membership.


Your limited ability to cancel a gym membership is an important part of any gym's business model, at least where I live: it bets on people's impulse decision (say, at the beginning of a new year) to get in shape, a desire which often tapers off after a few weeks or months. But if your gym contract has a minimum duration of, say, two years, whether you go there or not, you pay.


A gym deciding to cancel someones membership is a minor nuisance for them, a company deciding to fire someone has potentially life-changing consequences.

Remember that for you as - I am assuming - an IT professional getting a new job is easy, for lots of professions not so much.


First of all, have an upvote, which is both the agree and disagree button, as long as a person contributes to the conversation.

Next, I think you are contributing, because companies really, truly operate as if people were flesh robots and your perspective, rather than being trolling, is actually dominant in corporations.

Thirdly, that you could potentially have accepted the narrative that we are fleshbots, ready for exploitation, no different than any other raw material and not needing any more care or consideration than cattle or cotton says something deeply disturbing things about the state of humanism.


> First of all, have an upvote, which is both the agree and disagree button, as long as a person contributes to the conversation.

It's a shame that HN makes no difference between "what you're writing has no place here" and "I disagree with you" I remember discussing with people who were experimenting with this kind of mechanism for comments on newspaper websites, but I believe that this hasn't had much success.


Humans are humans. Companies are not humans.


Probably because people's livelihoods depend on employment and they have much less power on the markets as individuals than companies.


Reading articles like this makes me appreciate living in the EU. It's not always great, but clearly it could be worse.

Article 1 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights states "Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected." I feel like that would be broken were we to allow this behaviour towards workers.


Article 1 seems like a feel good statement that isn’t objectively measurable thus can mean whatever you want it to mean. Which is clear when you look at the living conditions of refugees in some EU countries.


After Brexit human rights are no longer guaranteed in the UK as witnessed in the way the Home Office operates. Boris is also hell bent on making London a haven for big tech free from EU Tax regulations.


[flagged]


The EU did not exist when the member states were expanding their empires. The UK joined the predecessor to the EU as a result of losing much of its empire.

Indeed, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights both happened in the gap between WW2 and the Treaty of Rome.

Though all this is a somewhat of an apples-to-vodka comparison, given the monarchs in Europe who are the same age as Bezos (e.g. Felipe VI) have a fairly different power dynamic than the founder, executive chairman, and 10% owner of a conglomerate valued at a trillion dollars even in those cases where they’re still getting their faces on all the money (Felipe doesn’t).

This is all tangential to how well the article characterises the working environment at Amazon — Gell-Mann applies at the best of times, and Big Tech is big enough for capital-P-Politics to be important, but likewise none of that makes it wrong, and if it’s right, Amazon has no excuse for repeating well-trodden mistakes.


As much as I agree with you, this should only give us more reasons to not let this happen. And more importantly people like Bezos should not be made idols. People should vocally complain what is wrong with this like many colonial nations complain (and I wholeheartedly support that).

But I agree, learning takes time.


Everything could be worse, but let's not be blind to the problems we face here in the EU.

First of which, if your rights are being infringed, then you have to wait for years and years to be able to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, only after all of your national appeals have been depleted. Which, when you know how national governments can destroy you trough legal proceedings (eg. Aaron Swartz, physical/psychological torture by police/prison, etc) is a HUGE problem.

The truth is there's no place for human dignity anywhere in the industrial capitalist civilization, because it's all about profits. Remember the Aquarius? European governments were competing in cruelty, refusing to welcome these refugees. At one point, a french-colonized island (Corsica) proposed to receive them... which the national government denied.

Or take a look at police abuse cases. How many people have to die or lose an eye before we acknowledge the police is a terrorist organization and needs to be treated as such? TRIGGER WARNING: this is just from the gilets jaunes protests, there's a lot more injuries/deaths due to "non-lethal weapons" -> http://lemurjaune.fr/

Lately, the French government has renewed its tradition to persecute anarchists (in the 19th century, anarchism became illegal and the ancestor of Interpol was founded to repress anarchism) and keeps on rounding up more people for "criminal organizations with a terrorist purpose" (association de malfaiteurs à caractère terroriste). This happened in anti-nuclear struggles in Bure as well as for spraypaint in Toulouse (though not with the terrorist label), in anti-GSM struggles in the plateau des Mille-Vaches, but also against activists who are not accused of anything beyond thought crimes (the 8th of december arrestees), one of which is being held in solitary confinement since early december as psychological torture in an attempt to break him down before trial.

No, human rights are never compatible with a Nation State. Because a Nation State is a construct based on violence and exploitation. In my humble opinion, we should burn all States and corporations if we want a tiny chance to live free. But since today is french national day, let's take a minute to remember that this day celebrates July 14th 1789 when armed peasants took the Bastille prison by force and liberating everyone, marking the start of the revolution. Kissing the arse of the french army's défilé is an insult to the french revolution. Admittedly, all of France is an insult to the french revolution and its ideals of freedom, equality and siblinghood. Nique la France! Feu aux prisons!


That is the whole point of the state: that it is permitted to conduct violence for its preservation. In republics/representative democracies, the people endow the state with this power via elections. It's not a utopia, but at the end of the day the ownership of the state remains with the people, that is, a collective of individually thinking voting persons. This is in utter contrast to the monarchies and despotisms that preceded modern representative democracies.


> the ownership of the state remains with the people (...) in utter contrast to the monarchies and despotisms

Let me strongly disagree here. Modern republics like France/USA were explicitly built against democratic ideals which were seen as dangerous "rule of the mob". Also, the executive branch has so much power that it is in fact a monarchic republic where the people at the top are entirely unaccountable both to the people and to the rest of the State apparatus (neither Sarkozy nor Bush spent a single day in prison despite their many well-known crimes against the people).

Finally, since they exist these "democratic republic" have strongly fought off any popular movement. These same republic were endorsing slavery and fought off slaves rebelling, just like they were endorsing women being properties of men and fought off women rebelling, etc... When you dare to protest established power structures, you're faced with an army of robocop psychopaths (recruited for their fascist tendencies) who are grinning about hurting people like us.

A proper democracy requires a few properties: no political parties or elections because every body gets to decide on EVERYTHING (delegating power to a parliament is the INVERSE of democracy), the lower scale can always override decisions from the top because higher-up structures are only there to coordinate not to impose, and people are not bound to a single nation-wide identity (a principle imposed by the nazis in France, which the proto-fascist government of De Gaulle was happy to retain), or to quote from 1981:

`If we look back at the history of the past 40 years, police has hunted in the name of Republican or National order freemasons, communists, jews, resistant fighters, collaborators, Indochine's independance partisans, Algeria's independance partisans, members of the OAS, leftists, terrorists. Just imagine: if that police had done their job right every time, what would be left today in France? Democracy mandates this irreducible minimum that one can forge fake identity papers.`


You are correct that the republic is designed to balance against a tyranny of the majority and for good reason: the rights of minority factions are threatened in such a state.

>The executive branch has so much power that it is in fact a monarchic republic

That is not true. The executive does not hold power for life, rule is not hereditary. Also, the executive branch is not a republic. What would that even mean? The executive branch is more like a dictatorship within government that is held accountable by congress, the judiciary, and the people. And the executive is ultimately held accountable by the people via the election of representatives.

To your point that democratic republics fight popular movements such as the protesting of slavery, every state has the capability to do bad. This is not surprising in the least. This is about as surprising as saying ‘humans are capable of doing bad’. The good news to my mind is that the democratic republic is the least bad option and has performed fairly well over time in response to changing social mores.


Particularly countries like Poland and Hungary, they are very respectful of Article 1. Or Germany making so much business with China and Russia.

Don't kid yourself thinking that the EU is a special place that is somewhat exempt of any of this.


There are certainly scales, it's not all uniform. But the EU is a big place and people are free to pick which country they live in. It's disingenuous to suggest it's all the same thing.

The larger point of EU workers having more rights is, on average, very true. The US (and China and Russia) treats their workers very poorly by comparison.


> But the EU is a big place and people are free to pick which country they live in.

There are limits though.

You have a 3 months period where you can stay in another UE country then the national authorities can ask for your leaving. There are statuses that allows you to stay longer (work, studies, retirement, etc.) but those statuses have requirements and obligations. You can't take your tent, set it up somewhere in another country and declare you live there without some fiscal authorities coming for you at some point.

If I understand correctly you are free to move from and to any states (notwithstanding court orders) in the US .


> You can't take your tent, set it up somewhere in another country and declare you live there without some fiscal authorities coming for you at some point.

The only 'requirement' is that the government (may) want to see you can provide for yourself in the form of capital, a job, a retirement pension, etc. This is because most countries in the EU have a social safety net, and some have a very strong one. Without this rule the countries with the most generous social security would see mass immigration from rent seekers with no recourse.

The USA doesn't need this rule because it lacks the strong social security.


I think it doesn't need the rule more because it's a single federal republic and its citizens are citizens of the entire nation not just a single state.

Whilst it's great to make generic EU vs. US statements the EU(/EEA) is still ~30 different sovereign nations with their own citizenships.


What the hell ! I moved from France to Ireland and there was no question asked at any point, I just booked a ferry and rented a flat, no paperwork at all and I could live there as long as I wanted to.

I'm not so much saying you're wrong as afraid you're right, do you have sources ?


https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=460&langId=en

> People who are employed in another EU country are entitled to live there. Jobseekers are also allowed to stay in another country while they are looking for a job. (See the right to look for a job)

> The host country may require them, as "EU migrant workers", to register with the authorities as residents. (See Directive 2004/38/EC)

> Other legal and administrative formalities depend on the length of stay – up to 3 months, more than 3 months, or permanent.

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/residence-ri...

> Still looking for a job after 6 months

> […]

> Can you be deported or asked to leave?

> Your host country can ask you to leave if you can't prove that you have a realistic chance of finding work there.

> In exceptional cases, your host country can deport you on grounds of public policy, public security, or public health - but only if it can prove you pose a serious threat.

> The deportation decision or request to leave must be given to you in writing. It must state all the reasons for your deportation and specify how you can appeal and by when.


It varies. Ironically the UK never seemed to bother with any formal registration[1], apart from getting a NI number for work (like everyone has to do).

I couldn’t register in Finland as an EU citizen (when I was one) without an employment contract or proof of self sufficiency. You have three months from arriving to register. It's true that if you don’t you're unlikely to be actively tracked down - but good luck trying to achieve anything here without that registration.

[1] I.e. with a government body responsible for enforcing immigration. It is likely that you would be asked to register to be on the electoral register at the house you are living in. This is not really the equivalent, I am talking about going to the Immigration authority of the country with your passport and papers.


> I'm not so much saying you're wrong as afraid you're right, do you have sources ?

Yes, in addition to alibarber reporting their experiences in Finland, the same is true for EU citizens in Denmark: https://www.nyidanmark.dk/en-GB/You-want-to-apply/Residence-...

Where you see that you can stay in Denmark provided you're a worker at a Danish company, a student, a self-employed person, have sufficient funds or are from another Nordic country.

So this is very much up to the EU country and Denmark really doesn't want to have people moving there (and the rules for non-EU citizens are even more restrictive).

So in general the EU freedom of movement is "freedom of movement of workers", not just anyone.


> So in general the EU freedom of movement is "freedom of movement of workers", not just anyone.

Exactly. For Americans (and other) readers there are four freedoms in the single EU market: free movement of goods, capital, services, and workers, known collectively as the "four freedoms".

People and workers may/are often used interchangeably but in laws it is about worker's freedom to move between borders, not people.

I think it's an interesting difference with the united states which is older than the EU but younger than Europe. It also highlights that in law, in modern Europe, capital goods, services and workers have rights to cross borders while the US American citizens are free to cross state borders.

Strangely those laws are all about workers and the market but nevertheless and contrary to the US most EU countries still have a much better social security net (for people) than "neoliberalcapitalisticmoneyhungryonly" US which has freedom at its core.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Single_Market#People

> Since its foundation, the Treaties sought to enable people to pursue their life goals in any country through free movement.[122] Reflecting the economic nature of the project, the European Community originally focused upon free movement of workers: as a "factor of production".[123] However, from the 1970s, this focus shifted towards developing a more "social" Europe.[124] Free movement was increasingly based on "citizenship", so that people had rights to empower them to become economically and socially active, rather than economic activity being a precondition for rights. This means the basic "worker" rights in TFEU article 45 function as a specific expression of the general rights of citizens in TFEU articles 18 to 21. According to the Court of Justice, a "worker" is anybody who is economically active, which includes everyone in an employment relationship, "under the direction of another person" for "remuneration".[125] A job, however, need not be paid in money for someone to be protected as a worker. For example, in Steymann v Staatssecretaris van Justitie, a German man claimed the right to residence in the Netherlands, while he volunteered plumbing and household duties in the Bhagwan community, which provided for everyone's material needs irrespective of their contributions.[126] The Court of Justice held that Mr Steymann was entitled to stay, so long as there was at least an "indirect quid pro quo" for the work he did. Having "worker" status means protection against all forms of discrimination by governments, and employers, in access to employment, tax, and social security rights. By contrast a citizen, who is "any person having the nationality of a Member State" (TFEU article 20(1)), has rights to seek work, vote in local and European elections, but more restricted rights to claim social security.[127] In practice, free movement has become politically contentious as nationalist political parties appear to have utilised concerns about immigrants taking jobs and benefits.


Yes, I have googled it before posting my reply (to confirm the details of what I was sure of: there are limits).

https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/residence-ri...

This is part of the FAQ/information forms when asking for information about moving in a EU country for EU citizens.

As an EU citizen, you have the right to move to any EU country for a period of up to 3 months as long as you have a valid identity card or passport. If you want to settle in another EU country but you have no intention to take up any work or education there, you need to prove that you:

    have sufficient resources for you and your family during the time you want to stay in your new country

    have comprehensive health insurance
Reporting your presence and registering your residence

During the first 3 months of your stay in your new country, as an EU citizen, you cannot be required to apply for a residence document confirming your right to live there - although in some countries you may have to report your presence upon arrival.

After 3 months in your new country, you may be required to register your residence with the relevant authority (often the town hall or local police station), and to be issued with a registration certificate.

You will need a valid identity card or passport and:

    proof of comprehensive health insurance

    proof you can support yourself without needing social assistance benefits: resources may come from any source, including from a third person.
Can you be requested to leave or be deported?

You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer do so, the national authorities may require you to leave.


I don't know if you broke the law or not, but I'm guessing you didn't do anything to make the authorities think you did.

There's probably not a great incentive chasing down and expelling other EU nationals unless they are actually causing trouble or breaking other laws.


> You have a 3 months period where you can stay in another UE country then the national authorities can ask for your leaving.

Maybe on paper. I wonder how much this is used.

The only time I remember this being used in practice, is when Sarkozy ordered the deportation of ~100 Romanian Romanies back to Romania, as part of his attempt to siphon far right votes.[1]

Apart from these few political stunts, I doubt this is often used.

[1] https://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/toute-l-actu-en-bref/la-france-...


> Maybe on paper. I wonder how much this is used.

I think as general rule of thumb for all intents and purposes it becomes a problem when you don't have money (or do criminal stuff).

> You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer do so, the national authorities may require you to leave.

> In exceptional cases, your host country can deport you on grounds of public policy or public security - but only if it can prove you represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.

> The deportation decision or the request to leave must be given to you in writing. It must state all the reasons for your deportation and specify how you can appeal and by when.


> You can't take your tent, set it up somewhere in another country and declare you live there without some fiscal authorities coming for you at some point.

Can you do that within any one single country? In Germany I have to register within 4 weeks of moving anywhere, it has to be a place that is registered as residential zone and you need an owner-ship or rental agreement certificate (even when living with your parents). Nothing of that is about your citizenship, so what does it have to do with another country?


> Can you do that within any one single country?

I don't think so, this would be surprising.

> Nothing of that is about your citizenship, so what does it have to do with another country?

I am sorry I don't understand this point.

> In Germany I have to register within 4 weeks of moving anywhere, it has to be a place that is registered as residential zone and you need an owner-ship or rental agreement certificate (even when living with your parents).

For the record, in Belgium, when moving to a different administrative territory (for lack of a better word, think cities, small territories) you have to register to your new town hall and a police officer will check you actually moved in.

But if you are homeless and still have a social net the social worker can register a public place as your contact address so you keep your rights and their benefits.


In Germany you have to have an address and submit it to the Bürgerbüro, that's all. But you can be unemployed and move from place to place in Germany, no problem, even to Flensburg. But you can't just (legally) move to up the border to Padborg in Denmark, since you need a residence permit and you only get that as a worker (or a person with sufficient funds).


As far as I'm aware any EU citizen can live/work/study in any other EU country for as long as they want. Even includes Norway and Switzerland.

Obviously you would have to pay taxes. Or I miss the point about fiscal authorities finding you.


As someone who has worked in the US and other countries with more worker rights (EU), no the US doesn’t treat it’s worker very poorly by comparison.

And the US is a big country. You can work in CA which has unemployment insurance, cheap healthcare coverage, plenty of worker protections, etc.


I was gonna say that... but I guess having that in the charter is better than nothing.

It is rather laughable looking at the lives of many citizens even in richer countries, though.


Are you suggesting that the EU would be identical without Article 1 in place?


How people are treated in practice is a matter of power balance between the people/workers and the exploiters. What is written in a book of law matters very little. The rule of law is a cynical joke reserved to people who can pay million-dollar lawyers. For the rest of us, only raw force and humiliation by police/tribunals exist and the law is a farce.

Those in power who commit crimes will usually never spend a single day in prison, and when they exceptionally do they get built a special-purpose luxury cell which has nothing to do with prison. The rest of us get tortured and imprisoned because of fake police testimonies.

The situation is not as bad here in France as it is in Belarus/China/USA/Colombia, but it's certainly not as good as human rights declaration imply. If only human rights declarations were respected, then we would have a decent life and nobody would struggle for basic survival (food & housing). Unfortunately, we all know how it goes in the 5th richest nation in the world with 10% of the population living under the poverty line.


Considering many states outright ignore Article 1, yes


Which are these "many states" other than Poland and Hungary?

It's not like Poland and Hungary are doing so without any kind of repercussions from EU.


Poland and Hungary are in violation of many articles of EU.

The grievance is that the US lacks many of those articles.

Principles of EU > Principles of US >>>> Principles of China.


the Poland/Hungary point relates to the recent issues with abortions and gay rights respectively. The rules in these cases may be more progressive at least in parts of the US. But if you take labor rights, these are a lot more humane in the EU


Poland is also sabotaging independence of the courts in attacks on democratic principles.


right, now that you mention it. They also ban research on polish collaboration with the Nazis in WWII. Come on, if you occupy a country with millions of people, of course there will be some a-holes willing to collaborate, what's the big surprise there?


To each to their own. I'm glad I don't live in the EU as I know I would get too stressed out by the restrictions placed upon individuals living there.


If you are a business owner, you may have a point, otherwise, there may be more restrictions, but most of them are so that you can actually enjoy your individual freedoms.

In the US you may be free in theory but if your job requires you to work 14 hours a day and you can't afford to quit, then, in practice, you are a slave. In many parts of Europe, you have laws that simply don't allow people to work 14 hours a day, and the remaining hours are under a minimum wage. So yes, it is a restriction on the individual, but in the end, employees have more freedom.

It is far from perfect, but in general most of the EU is less stressed than the US. But as you said, to each their own, to a minority of people, the US is the best. Many software devs are part of that minority.


Which are those? I'm not really noticing here.


Not going to lie but the 90 day UK notice period when you quit is a massive hassle. Yeah I get that it’s tit for tat - your company can’t fire you tomorrow.

But man, compared to the US where I can give notice, take my left over vacation and start at a new company all in 2 weeks, it does a lot for worker mobility.


> does a lot for worker mobility

[Surprise or downwards] mobility is what people want to avoid in permanent employment.

Such contracts are meant to give people the peace of mind that they focus on life and work and not think constantly about searching for the next job.

If you want mobility and higher pay, contracting is very popular in the UK.


I would have preferred EU to have stayed purely economic bloc without Brussels ideology and bureaucracy. Make sure that capital, people and goods move without too much friction and the rest will sort itself out in couple of generations.


Yeah, the invisible hand. Economy is inherently tied to politics. Economy is *politics*.


Isn't Amazon's fear of running out of people a sign of the market correcting this?


They're in no danger of running out of people to employ. Social safety nets are too weak and economic conditions for the poor are too precarious that there are plenty of people willing to endure abusive conditions for a paycheck. The high turnover rate only ensures that they end up employing the most desperate and vulnerable.


I mean, they've literally been discussing this as a risk themselves internally, so I'm not sure how you can be so sure of that.


It helps that a minimum wage and absurd regulation conspire to eliminate a good size of firms that would otherwise be competing in a fair labour market. And let's not get started on the taxes that small and medium sized businesses have to pay, and that Amazon is exempt from.

Raising social safety nets would only lead to inflation, and so now you need to put a price ceiling on essential goods&services, which leads to a shortage, and now you're in a bigger mess than when you started. Inflation and shortages in the long term does not lead to growth, it leads too stagflation.

In this instance, where there is a failure in the labour market, you don't actually have to 'fix' it, you just have to give a fair labour market a chance.


Do you actually think small and medium sized businesses can really compete with Amazon at this point? Their advantage at this point, technologically and operationally, is far more than simply lower tax burden.


The name of the game is positive-sum. Amazon can be a behemoth and also face competition in the labour market and others. It isn't Amazon or Mom&Pop, in a fair market there's space for both surely.



Not if the alternative to working for Amazon is, well, death by starvation. People say communism falls apart once subjects stop having reasonably similar goals. Market economy is certainly more resistant to this, but is it infinitely more resistant? How far can we push inequality before that becomes an issue?

Edit: That was meant as a response to the parent comment.


A radical thought: If i have the alternative to work for an dystopian megacorp or starve to death... why then not choose the third option: Go to jail while causing as much damage as possible?

(Disclaimer: Only a philosophical thought)


Well you don't need a Joker-style nihilistic attitude to cause as much damage as possible to everyone without distinction. This can also be achieved in a meaningful way following the workers tradition of sabotage and direct action.

Hurt or destroy those people/structures making our lives hell. That makes sense. Just don't drag random people into it.


Yeah, this is what i have thought... in german there is the saying "Mach kaputt was euch kaputt macht" (more or less "destroy what destroys you").


I like it even though i don't speak german. Thanks for sharing!


Your third option is likely to only reinforce the sociopolitical conditions that lead to corporatism and starvation in the first place.


I have thought about this: We know that pressure produces counterpressure, the more you knock down a populous the more likely they are to rise up and burn everything down regardless the consequeces (see the various slave revolts in history)... it might not IMPROVE the situation directly, but with every burning down of a society there is a new chance that what rises out of the ruins may be better.


Hegelian dialectics


Because your actions will then give mega corps and the governments they control a reason to reduce your freedom even more.


Considering the shortage of minimum wage workers your hypothesis is clearly wrong?


Not quite a sign of the market correcting this, but rather a possibility of the market correcting it. It all depends on whether Amazon's fears motivate them to improve their behaviour, or whether market forces make said improvements unnecessary or they find alternative solutions that are better aligned with their own interests but do not actually improve the wellbeing of their workers.


Isn't the existence of Amazon's current practices a sign of the market not correcting anything ?


I suspect their logistics competitors are even worse.


I am curious about this. Are Amazon's practices uniquely brutal or is it just brutal at scale while nobody can name Joe's Logistics and thus if they pee in bottles, nobody knows?


If people are still working at Amazon, the problem isn't Amazon, the problem is everyone else who isn't offering anything better. Seriously. The workers are working at Amazon because that was the best option they had. And the bright idea is to set Amazon on fire?


There's nothing about market forces correcting for bad behavior that says it has to happen quickly. It just says it will, eventually. Eventually they'll need to either raise pay or change practices to keep people employed, but that may take a while.


Do you seriously and honestly believe that the market will by itself create better conditions for workers?


No, if Amazon was afraid they would have changed things.

Amazon will have run the numbers, they'll have an elastic pay scale to respond with if things go downhill.


I am a fan of Amazon's digital products and devices (the Kindle e-reader, Fire TV), but have noticed I buy fewer and fewer physical products from Amazon.

This is in part, because of ideological reasons, but also because other online shops offer a better service than Amazon, and are also reasonably priced.

In particular, I dislike that it seems to me more and more products are sold by third party sellers. I don't mind paying a bit extra from a retailer with a good reputation in my own country. I don't want to have to deal with a seller who is based in the other side of the world.

Recently I made a large order of cycling gear from a specialist shop. I couldn't imagine buying it from Amazon, as I would be concerned some would be counterfeit, or only be available if it came from about 5 different sellers, all dispatching at different times.


I think Stripe is disturbing Amazon.

I used to order a lot of stuff from Amazon, because it was very convenient.

Now it's a mess of 3rd party resellers, when I search an item I drown in indistinguishable copies of copies.

In the other hand, there is small online shops or companies who have their own shops and sell directly. These sites just look better and you buy a specific brand or product.

Stripe (and similar providers and other developments) made ordering from random Webshops as convenient to me than going to Amazon.

It's like going to Apple, Bose, Levi's store instead of Walmart.


I've read similar articles so many times but they all lack one thing - solutions. Seriously, what should we do about it?

Yeah, I agree that workers shouldn't be working so hard that they can't even go to the bathroom.

Would we have a better world if Amazon didn't exist? I personally doubt it. So, it's not Amazon per se, it is the system, isn't?

So, what are the solutions? How do we make it better? How do we minimize the suffering of these people? Or is it actually working pretty well and we should accept that some people will struggle badly no matter what the system is?


Honestly, I think the only solution is, to make it easier to start a small business, and help and encourage people to start them, and then fix the tax policy, so companies as amazon would pay the same effective tax rates as a mom-and-pop bakery.

Amazon needs workers, workers need jobs. If you increase the number of jobs and decrease the number of unemployed, people can say "no" to shitty jobs. This is currently happening in parts of USA, due to people moving around, some illegals leaving and new standards, where shitty employers are forced to close down, because they cannot get workers, and competent workers moving "up". And getting workers is easy... just offer a better working enviroment for more money than their current workplace is offering, and you've got one.


I like your reply. I have a question though, how do we fix the tax policy and how do we make it easier to start a small business?


Tax policy, i have no idea... there was a newsstory here about a globally minimum 15% income tax here, that would probably solve many things. I'm not a tax lawyer, but "there surely has to be a way" (hopefully) to collect tax where the money is earned, and not where it's "moved".

I'm not sure about US laws, but here in slovenia, there are a bunch of bureaucratic requirements, things that need to be paid, taxes that have to be paid, even if you just started a business and literally earned zero money. Taxes, pension and health insurance are theoretically defined as percentages of earned money, but have hard minimum set in, so if you earn very little money the first few months, they can be higher than the money earned. Just to start a business, you have to register it's location, and if you live in an apartment building, you need permission from all your neighbours (even if you're a programmer, or even a construction worker (= don't work at home)), and one grumpy neighbour means you need to rent out a place. Permits for regulated businesses are also expensive.

There is also no "soft-start" for going to unemployment to a business owner... if you're unemployed, you get some money (social benefits). Want to start a business.. let's say translation (just need a laptop), you immediately lose all benefits, and have to pay ~400eur per month minimum for health and pension insurance, even if you earned zero money that month. Fail, and want to close the business? You might not even get unemployment/social benefits, because you didn't get fired but closed it yourself. Want to do a one-time job (eg. unemployed and someone wants to pay you to paint their house)... impossible to do here.

I've been watching louis rossman a lot, and he has more us-specifc complaints: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oDjSoic9Zk


Maybe zero corporate tax and ordinary income tax on dividends and capital gains. That would put mom and pop [on][near] the same footing as shareholders of public companies.


The solution is to go beyond a competition based society. No matter how good the people running these companies are or want to be, competition will force their hand to create things like this. If it's not them, it'll be someone else. I'm sure we could find a way to encourage innovation without this competitive system.


Do you have any examples of societies that have successfully abolishing competition (and continued being somewhat functional)?

It seems impossible to me but I would love to be surprised.


Smaller communes can successfully operate non-competitively. It seems the key is limiting membership to people seriously invested in the concept. With open societies that have large membership, competitive and power seeking forces from members uninterested in the vision seem to eventually dominate.


Didn't a lot of 'hippy' communities built like this end up falling apart from various squabbles like some people not pitching in enough etc?



> I'm sure we could find a way to encourage innovation without this competitive system.

It sounds perfect. But how would we achieve it? Rewrite laws that prohibits private property and free enterprise?


Is ownership the thing that motivates people to innovate? I don't think so. People don't innovate because they may get to own a company, they innovate because they get an idea and implementing that idea successfully may get them a big reward. I don't think ownership or competition is necessary for this process. There's plenty of innovation without competition or ownership inside companies already. Workers innovate to get a reward in the form of a promotion and/or raise, not because they're expecting to own something or because they're competing against someone.

One idea could be to collectively pool money to give as rewards to anyone who improves society in a way that people think is worth rewarding. To prevent corruption this process should be transparent and democratic (preferably direct democracy).


Would Bill Gates try so hard with Microsoft if his biggest possible reward would have been what citizens decide to collectively reward him with?


Why not? He would have another idea and try to get another reward for that. If it's the biggest possible reward that you can get, and you have an idea, why wouldn't you try to implement it? The rewards for a successful business 50 years ago were much smaller than they are today, yet people still created businesses, because it was the best reward you could get. They didn't have an idea and abandon it because the biggest possible reward was 1 million instead of 100. Biggest possible rewards 50 years from now could be much bigger, so why do people innovate now?


> If it's the biggest possible reward that you can get, and you have an idea, why wouldn't you try to implement it?

Because it takes lots of work, risk, and sacrifice. If rewards are small (which, obviously, they would be in your scenario where people pool their money together to reward someone), then why take on such difficult task? I know I wouldn't be trying to do any business in your system. Many wouldn't.


The rewards don't have to be small if everyone in the country participates in the pool through taxes. Maybe not in the billions like in the current system, but plenty big enough to encourage people that have ideas.

The risk part is a problem, I agree. If the risk is larger than the potential reward, it isn't worth it. The risk should somehow be collectively handled as well.


> The solution is to go beyond a competition based society.

I'd frame the problem as follows:

"Capitalism is a powerful tool, but fails as the sole guiding principles of a society's values. Christianity, a former enabler of pro-social norms on a massive scale, is dead.

Wat do."


Are you suggesting that the problem lies in people losing faith in a god and in a church? Were people happier when they were more religious and when a church told them what's good and bad? And now we don't have that? And we should seek to replace it and the problems will lessen?


I don't feel qualified to answer that. All I know is that something will fill the god-shaped hole. Pray it won't be communism or Critical Race Theory.


but who should I pray to then?


Since we're on HN, the local wojak's ersatz-god is the computer.

"SCIENCE says we're all living in a simulation, and probability suggests it was created by a COMPUTER."


> Seriously, what should we do about it?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worker_cooperative

Perhaps one can replace the legal contracts involved in this with algorithms to achieve the necessary scale.


So, make it a law that if you hire a person they'd have a stake in a company automatically?

No one is stopping anyone to create worker cooperatives.


Indeed. Worker cooperatives don't often take off because they're a bad idea. A company going under can be devastating for your career. If you have a significant stake in your company, you'll be broke as well as unemployed. People should diversify whenever they can and forcing people to hold a stake in their companies is a terrible idea.


The growth-based system did quite well on average and it might be only the effects we have to address. One way to see it is that there is a mismatch between human capabilities and the systems requirements. We're already working on enhancing humans and creating better human replacements. Humans should be able to work on robots instead of working as robots. Until we made the transition, the system needs careful adjustment via i.e regulations and massive educational investments to minimize the pains for humans.


> So, what are the solutions? How do we make it better?

One of the interesting solutions I have heard: Board-level representation of workers. Currently all board members represent shareholders, and unsurprisingly the company is willing to sacrifice workers to satisfy shareholders. Make it so a third, or half the board has to be elected by workers.


How quickly we forget. This is not the first time workers have faced inhumane working conditions. Unions worked as a solution before - why wouldn't they work again?


Can't they already organize and associate with unions but choose not to?


Some of them do not want to know anything about unions, this is a common opinion among the American public.

Other would like, or even try. But Amazon management, an enormous American corporations, are determined to not allow to do so. Amazon warehouse workers are, generally, not a particularly wealthy or powerful segment of the society.


What is the solution? Make unions mandatory?


The solution is winning hearts and minds to convince workers to organize. In the past, corporate propaganda and improving living conditions convinced many that unions were a net negative. As conditions change, so too can those convictions.

But I don't think mandatory unions are a solution. Unions would have to be very popular for such legislation to pass. But if they were so popular, they would no longer need compulsory membership.

In general it is unions and organized labor that push legislation meant to help workers, so starting with legislation instead is putting the cart before the horse.


Here's my suggestion: change from an 8 hour work day into a 6 hour work day. Pretty simple really, I don't think we need to uproot society here...


So make it illegal to work for more than 6 hours? What if I actually want to work more and agree with a company to do so and get paid for it?


Whatever rules exist at the moment, just decrease the time by 25%. Not sure exactly how to make such a change though, probably hard, just suggesting a solution like was asked for


> Not sure exactly how to make such a change though, probably hard, just suggesting a solution like was asked for

Might I gently point out that the difficulty of the problem is all political. The easiest "solution" is of course to take all the wealth that exists in the world and fairly distribute it while keeping everyone working as effectively as they are now.

Now obviously that idea isn't anywhere near being a solution. Neither is your idea.


I don't understand what you're trying to say, the work day has already been successfully shortened to 8 hours, so why couldn't it be further shortened? Seems like a natural progression as technology improves, and this solution is extremely simple and also fair.

What you are suggesting I can't even understand because of how vague and impossible complex it is to even start to define what it would mean to fairly distribute all wealth the wealth in the world.


> How do we make it better?

You could, for example, offer these workers better jobs. Can you?


Who should? And why should they (what incentives they'd have to do it)?


simply, make the workers the owners of the company


If I have a company that hires software developers, we should abolish the signed contracts, and all of them should get an equal stake in the company? And we should make it a law so that happens for all companies?


Link should be updated to https://progressive.international/wire/2021-07-09-bezos-dyst... (The current article mentions that is where it was originally published)


If you consider America to be a corporatocracy, it’s hard not to consider it to be an authoritarian state at this point.

The company I work at recently had everyone install some advanced monitoring software on every company’s laptop. Being fully remote, this effectively gives root access to someone in my home 8 hours a day. Sure, it’s a “company laptop” and all of that, but something feels extremely invasive about it and I don’t like it one bit.


I think there is a great business opportunity there: software that fool surveillance software.


This seems to be an advertorial for a union; it is based on a report by UNI Global Union, and also authored by someone from there.


The overarching theme goes wider.

For one it is about workers having some say in their lives outside of voting with their feet. Collective bargaining is one proven way to achieve that.

The other is about the dehumanization of work environments with the help of "AI" AKA software. Similarly there are companies that force you to install spyware on your working device.


> force you to install spyware on your working device.

If it’s their device, what’s wrong with that? Use your own device when you want privacy.


There are many problems with that. For one there are security issues. There was an article just recently on HN that reported a large attack, exploiting the invasive nature of these tools. Secondly they are useless. Third, they are inhumane and show that there is a severe lack of human connection trust in these work environments.

Also, it is not strictly "their" device in every case. There are firms that require freelancers/contractors to do the same on their device.

This kind of behavior is a huge red flag, but too many juniors otherwise naive or desperate workers tolerate it.


Which network do you connect it to? Do you connect it to your home network which all your other devices are connected to and through which all your internet traffic is sent?

Do you use it in your house? Does it then record everything it can see and hear within your house?


You know that decades of anti-union propaganda is still in effect when individuals are convinced that working together with other individuals and pooling their resources to improve their working conditions is a bad thing.

Of course when companies do it - through trade associations or lobbying - it's seen as natural and necessary for their survival.


I find that most propaganda comes from unions as they increasingly seek a political relationship with workers rather than the economic relationship that workers want.

On any union site - there are terms like "solidarity" with images of fists raised rather than actual data about improvement of wages or working conditions.

This is why unions get trounced in votes by real workers, things like Prop 22 pass with easy margins, etc.


> This is why unions get trounced in votes by real workers, things like Prop 22 pass with easy margins, etc.

I think it also has to do with the massive discrepancy in resources pro and anti-union advocates are able to put towards those races. Uber and Lyft invested massively in defeating prop 22, even advertising in their app directly.


While I don't like the economic resource discrepancy in that case, there was mutually dirty fighting.. the ballot language on Prop 22 by the AG was what I would consider literal propaganda. What they lack in economic resources, they make up for in political power via bureaucratic control.


I don't know how anyone could seriously hold the position that labor and corporate interests are on equal footing in any way. The history of the last 40 years in US labor relations has been a very consistent trend towards the consolidation of corporate power, alongside the erosion of labor's power.


So 2 things:

1) I do not believe they are in equal footing generally and never stated that - I was pointing out the nuances with respect to Prop 22. Gig cos. didn't win just because they had more money - they won because AB5 is a despised policy.

2) Unions != Labor. Workers == Labor. This is the key point I'm trying to make.


> What they lack in economic resources, they make up for in political power via bureaucratic control.

This would seem to imply equal footing, wouldn't it?

> Unions != Labor. Workers == Labor. This is the key point I'm trying to make.

So I'm not sure how this is relevant to the prop 22 discussion - did the legislation have anything to do with unionization? As far as I know it was only about extending existing labor protections to gig workers.

And there's a distinction there, to be sure, albeit a pedantic one. Outside of organized labour, how exactly do these "workers" exert any power in the work place or politics?


On point 1 - I think unions have dramatic political power in America. Corporations have both political power and economic resources. I generally think unions don't lose to corporations because of lack of power. I don't think that corporations vs. workers is currently a fair fight. To your point, my phrasing doesn't make that clear.

Prop 22 is strongly linked with AB5 - the entire push was by union leaders and the leaders of both AB5 and No on 22 (e.g. Lorena Gonzalez) regularly tweet things like "#AB5IntoAUnion."

I actually think there is no currently effective system. I believe in collective bargaining, but I just think that unions as a tool have become increasingly concerned with political representation and political power rather than worker representation. Using AB5 as a case study, there are virtually n=0 freelancers in California (incl. myself) that are happy with the law. It's a universally despised policy by workers and businesses alike, loved by unions...


> the ballot language on Prop 22 by the AG was what I would consider literal propaganda.

What does this mean and why aren't you being specific about what you're saying was dirty fighting? You're omitting your argument and just leaving the FUD.


I'm beginning to think working conditions will have to get worse, if possible, in order for the average worker to accept unions?

I find it sad.

Every job I didn't despise secretly had union affiliation.

Uber did buy prop 22. They used simple psychological ployes to pass their prop. (Yes--I know prop 22 was just about Independant Contrators. They will use similar tactics if we ever see an uptick in unions.)

More start-ups/companys will use it in the future.

Uber knew they could get desperate guys to go out and buy a late model 4 door car, pay all expenses, and be at the mercy of Uber.

America The Great is not so great anymore. An idiot became president exploiting the obvious. Yes--he went to race, but it's of his flock only went to working conditions.

We have a lot of lousy jobs.

Calling it a Side Hussle, or your ouwn boss, was just a beautiful ploy. I hope the fresh faced immoral corporate MBA stooge who brought that up in the meeting was well compensated.

I don't know very many people (Americans) who don't believe they will make it someday. They liked the little bit of autonomy Uber provided, even if that meant working for under minimum wage, after computing the car, insurance, maintance, and gas.

Driving for Uber was just going to be temporary.

The psychology is I'm an entrepreneur, and this Uber gig is just a stepping stone until I get a better gig. (Rap music playing in the backround)

The truth is most will never get a better gig, or worse--might go bankrupt, be fired over email, or just become Judgement proof after they ruin their credit.

Uber played into this mind puck beautifully.

They actually got those desperate guys fearful they would not be successful if they were just employees.


+1.The fact that most current tech unions are more about $POLITICAL_ISSUE_OF_THE_DAY (e.g. forcing the company to stop working with organization X) instead of just workers' rights and compensation is what turns me off of them. I believe they would be more successful if they split into goal-specific unions: most workers would have no issues joining the "real" union, and those who have specific opinions on political issues could join unions for related issues.


> I find that most propaganda comes from unions as they increasingly seek a political relationship with workers rather than the economic relationship that workers want.

This is probably the purest, and most direct example of the insane propaganda trying to separate economics and politics as if they weren’t inherently and inseparably tied together.

“Oh, I’m so sorry that we can’t spend money on health care, or pay a living wage, or provide elder care, unfortunately, due to ECONOMICS.

Ah, you need some corporate pork, and a bailout..? Of course! Let’s shower private enterprise with tax payer money, it’s the best course of action due to ECONOMICS”

None of this shit is apolitical, and the suggestion that it is, is deeply political, no matter how much people try to define themselves out of reality.

The fact that you have already have been convinced that unions are the big problem, while corporations are stealing tax payer-money (while utilizing “tax avoidance” to not even contribute in the US), says it all doesn’t it?


No.


No, you!

How do you disentangle politics and economics here? Or, are you just claiming that unions are focusing on the wrong side of the equation?


I think the disentanglement is fairly simple.

If you want to improve conditions for workers, just say that you want to improve pay / $hr, increase break time by x min, and define xyz working conditions and have a detailed plan to support that. I've personally seen 0 unions pursue this approach... but have seen plenty advocate support for completely unrelated, purely political topics (e.g. voicing support for Palestine)


How are unions not inherently political? I also don't consider that a bad thing. If labour laws are going to be improved (in favor of the worker) you need to organise and negotiate and vote together and unions are an excellent way to do that. What exactly would a strictly "economic relationship" look like?


Messaging and planning that focuses more on pay / hr., PTO / break time, better working conditions rather than voicing support for an ambiguous notion of "solidarity" and purely political things like support for Palestine


As a German I don't understand what you mean? Unions are always political, and leftist/socialist by nature. You can't separate politics and economics. And of course they are about solidarity, what else would give them the strength to strike for better working conditions?


Speaking from practice in a country where unions are a traditional thing, strong unions can and will screw over a workplace. It's usually about a show of power and abusing veto ability to stay in power until the place stagnates, loses competitive status and disintegrates.


Speaking from practice in a country where unions were strong for many decades, the German economy was doing pretty well all the time and if Germany loses out at some point it is hardly the union's fault (for example, the pressure to remain such a high net exporter seems hard to maintain forever).

What kind of reasoning is it to look for one or a few examples of individuals screwing up and then claiming it as a property of the species? I think we found more than one criminal company or CEO, but you would not use that as an example for how useless or even bad companies and CEOs are.

I would also have preferred that OP instead of pointing to the name of the source (and nothing else!) would at least have added something about the actual content of the linked article. It seems to me to be rarely justified to argue by just pointing at the source of the argument as if that is a counter argument to the actual argument that was made (which at that point remains unexplored and unknown, implying it's not even worth looking at it - but it was still worth formulating a comment?).


There are several countries with strong unions and a tradition of unions taking part in company matters, a good example would be my place, Germany. I have never seen a union "screwing over" a company, but many times have I seen complains that the unions screwed the company over from people that directly or indirectly profit from weak or no unions.


Its amazing how people endlessly talk about Germany but ignore all the other cases where Union are far less positive. How about we talk about how Venezuela Union bosses. How about the US car workers union being an endless pit of corruption.

Switzerland is next to Germany, and has almost no union and there is not so much difference in overall standard of living and how workers are treated.

The idea that Unions are this universal good and talking negative about them is simply being anti-worker pro-capitalist exploitation is a tiered talking point.


In Switzerland many professions have a GAV (initiated by unions) with strong worker protection.


AFAIK, Denmark doesn't even have a minimum wage, it's just that pretty much every sector and niche of the economy has unions so it is de facto enforced via union <-> sector negotiations. Unions are great, and people who are against them fall in one of three categories:

- business owner

- absolute free market fetishists

- one bad experience cherry pickers


My current workplace is one such case of union killing a theoretically profitable company so I really am speaking from experience - the only reason the workplace still exists today is because after it went bankrupt it was bought out by an outsider who discarded the union part. Ironically it turned out to be for the best for both the company as a whole and the actual workers.

Just because you don't hear of it - or don't want to hear of it - doesn't mean it doesn't happen.


Just because you saw it is no reason to state that unions will become bad actors.


It's interesting that when this topic rears its head a common attitude comes out (although is never outright stated):

* Governments are frequently corrupt and when they are they should be reformed.

* Businesses are frequently corrupt and when they are they should be reformed.

* Unions are frequently corrupt. They should therefore not exist.

Realistically corruption is a feature of all human institutions. Unions are special only insofar as they are institutions that threaten rather than defend the wealth of the American ruling classes.


You can't realistically abolish your government. Or at the least stop being governed by one. Other internal organisations will take its place or a foreign government will gobble you up.

You can't realistically abolish businesses. An economy of just individual tradesmen all working independently cant come close to the efficiency gains a large business has and just straight up lack the capacity for large scale projects and R&D. It's going to lead to the same outcome as your government being abolished and then businesses being reinstated.

Listed alongside the other two, the special thing about unions is they don't have this "you just straight up cant get rid of them and keep them gone" factor. So I think its completely reasonable for a person very concerned with corruption to take reform, reform, get rid of them stances respectively. Remove the institutions you can and fight corruption in the ones you cant.


You can abolish government. The results arent pleasant (see 90s mogadishu) but you can. This is the goal of so called "ancaps". It's great if you enjoy being a warlord.

You can abolish businesses too. The 2nd largest economy from 1950-1970 did precisely that, TINA propaganda notwithstanding. Chinese SOEs also serve as a model for a business that isnt really a business. It's great if you're on the central committee.

You can abolish unions as well. The results also arent exactly pleasant for the 90% of people who rely on selling their labor to survive.

But it's fucking great for that top 10% if they dont exist.


Speaking from practice in a country where unions are also a traditional thing (Denmark), in fact so traditional our whole way of working and negotiating salary is based on it - I think strong unions are a wonderful thing that benefits the workers a lot.


Unions have no general and inherent self-defense against corruption, so the larger, more powerful and more hierarchical they become, the more these kinds of problems can (and will) arise. Similar things can happen to worker coops, foundations and other organizations that emerge from the need of having a counterbalance to corrupted institutions and corporations.

The only solution is to maintain and expand democratic decision making from within. An organization that claims to be about the people, its members, absolutely has to be run by those people directly.


Bad unions are bad and the sky is blue. It should be pretty self-explanatory that nobody is gonna defend unions which "screw over the workplace", it's a straw-man. But some people still defend unions.. so, a more honest question would be: what do they think is a good union then? What should a union strive to do? What are the critics they agree with?


The people who are happy with the union will be people who are underperforming and/or belong to the mainstream majority of the people in the workplace. Just like always, the majority will benefit at the expense of the minority, so it will never be good for everyone, and push for conformity and restricting people's freedom, and in the end will probably be mostly arbitrary depending on what the majority in that workplace happens to be (mostly younger, singles, or older with kids etc).

And even such general things such as negotiating pay will only be good for the lower performers, anyone who is a high performer will be better off negotiating their own salary.


This is exactly what happened in the recession in the 70s in Europe which caused a crisis in the industry in for example Sweden, and the reason why Thatcher had to push through the unpopular neoliberal reforms in the UK. Unions caused stagnation and the industry could not compete with the recovering global competition, from Japan etc.


Decades of anti-union propaganda, sure, but also decades of self-serving, power-hungry, and occasionally outright corrupt organizations that do not serve the interests of workers.

Workers are not dumb, do not lack agency nor are as influenceable by propaganda as one might think - this a myth perpetuated by the paternalistic left, which has actually served it terribly - and in many cases have freely chosen to ignore or root out these organizations.


>nor are as influenceable by propaganda as one might think

People don't notice the propaganda that works on them. Indeed, many go as far as to unknowingly make it part of their identity.

People only notice the propaganda that doesn't work on them.

>paternalistic left

Realistically there is no organized left left - paternalistic or otherwise. There are two competing corporate factions, each as paternalistic as the other.


>Decades of anti-union propaganda, sure, but also decades of self-serving, power-hungry, and occasionally outright corrupt organizations that do not serve the interests of workers.

in the USA unions are pretty shit IMO. Over here in austria, they bargain for ALL workers in that field. And that bargaining sets a minimum per law, which means that no matter if you are union or not, you can still bargain yourself into a better deal.


> decades of self-serving, power-hungry, and occasionally outright corrupt organizations that do not serve the interests of workers.

Are you talking about unions, or companies?


I'd agree with you if joining the union is voluntary. But it isn't. It's determined by a vote, which is not the same thing as individual choice.

It's also not voluntary when there's a law that says one cannot work in a particular profession without joining the union.


I remember reading stories in the late 90's/early 00's of workers in the Amazon warehouse becoming millionaires thanks to stock options and big jumps in the stock price. It sounds like that does not happen anymore except for employees in the offices. Perhaps employees in the offices know recognise that Amazon has overstepped its bounds but stick around waiting for vesting and/or (smaller) increases in stock price.


Massive success is rare and being there early is even more rare. It still happens. An artist who painted murals for Facebook's office got paid in shares that were worth $200M after IPO. Any current employees have no expectation in similar stock gains any time soon, that kind of explosive growth happens before IPO.


Dystopia is an imagined state, whereas Amazon's doing is quite real and tangible.


Your point? I think everyone reading the article understands quite well what is meant by "dystopian legacy".


Yes, it's a clickbait title.


Nobody in their right mind would want to employ humans in a megacorp machine like Amazon.

The goal isn’t to mistreat humans or even to provide them with jobs. The goal is to gather data, build models, and replace the human components over time.


> Workers are voting with their feet. Turnover is high at both Teleperformance, the largest call centre employer (around 80% annually) and Amazon, 150%.

This is... a mistake. What did they mean by this?


I take it to mean that if you employ an average of 10 workers, each year 15 instances will have happened of a worker quitting and being replaced.


Or phrased another way, employees stay for an average of 8 months at Amazon, 15 months at Teleperformance.


[flagged]


And what's wrong with "If you don't like Amazon or what they are doing to their workers, write an article about it"?


I don't know if the person who wrote the article has ever shopped on Amazon. But in case they have/do they should stop shopping on amazon first and stop being a hypocrite.


I don't know either. Why does it matter?


> If you don't like Amazon or what they are doing to their workers, don't shop on Amazon. If you think working for Amazon is bad, don't work for Amazon.

Isn't warning people part of that?


Haven't we been warned enough by now?


And if you don't want to depend on an Amazon logistics job, don't neglect your education and self-motivation.

But this certainly is an unpopular opinion mostly due to survivor's guilt here.


And how would people know about these things if it weren't for these communist articles?


There have been hundreds such articles.


A real communist society spans the globe.


"If you don't like what Hitler is doing, just ignore he's murdering millions of people".

No thanks, i'd rather organize to have this guy killed to restore just a tiny little bit of justice on earth.

You obviously have a very privileged position where you don't NEED TO work for Amazon. Lots of people are in a different position and i hope you appreciate that.

Also, you obviously have no idea about the rich history of communism. Cuba and Venezuela can hardly be described as communist ; i'll refer to Emma Goldman on describing what is or isn't communism beyond the labels: https://infokiosques.net/IMG/pdf/there_is_no_communism_in_ru...


No true Scotsman


If you read the ideologies of those "communist" countries, they'll tell you communism is a stateless/classless society based on freedom as it was envisioned by Marx. I'm not using a personal definition to say they're not communist, i'm using their own.

According to their vocabulary, such states are dictatorships of the proletariat, which is supposedly a step towards communism, but is NOT communism.


So how many large scale experiments with communism have we had during the last 100 years, and how many of them have ended in success? It's starting to get pretty ridiculous to argue against that kind of body of evidence. I have full respect for anyone trying to question and improve our society and economic system, but to just wind back the clock to 1968, pretend like nothing happened and start ranting about communism? Sorry, that's just a bit too much


> So how many large scale experiments with communism have we had during the last 100 years

To my knowledge, only a handful. Workers self-organization in Catalonia during the Spanish revolution (1936-1937) is one, Community-oriented democracy in Chiapas (since 1994) and Rojava (since 2011) is another.

The other examples you think of (unless i'm mistaken) are precisely dictatorships of the proletariat that have nothing to do with communism and never intended to build power for the people.

> wind back the clock to 1968, pretend like nothing happened and start ranting about communism?

In 1968, the situation in regards to communism was already as it is today. The counter-revolutionary crimes of marxist-leninists and their State capitalism date from 1917, not after 1968. In 1917, the revolution was one aiming for people's liberation until Lenin, Trotsky and their cliques made a coup d'État and murdered everyone who disagreed with them.

> Sorry, that's just a bit too much

What is? Do you think free food, free housing, free education and free healthcare is too much? Do you think power to the people (not parliaments) is too much? What about libertarian communism (anarchism) disgusts you?


> What is? Do you think free food, free housing, free education and free healthcare is too much? Do you think power to the people (not parliaments) is too much? What about libertarian communism (anarchism) disgusts you?

Haha, no comment..


Because no argmuent?

Because it’s stupid to respond to someone that assumes the conclusion.

There is no such thing as “free food, free healthcare, and free education” until we have robots that literally do all of those things for us without us needing to work. Speaking like communism provides free things without discussing the real cost of that (forced labor, poor quality, etc) is like pitching a religion touting the benefits of heaven. Big shocker when nobody cares to engage in an argument.


I grew up in communism.


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