4

Picking up on a question that was posted here, it said that in Communism

a home that one built could be reapportioned to someone by the vote of a majority

It seems to me that this isn't a fair state of affairs, to give a new use for some one else's hard labor of building a home.

What kind of justice system is there if private property can just be seized? What is the proposed model?

  • 7
    I would note something very similar is possible in most western countries. The majority criteria looks to imply democracy, and be unrelated to communism. – user9389 Jul 25 '17 at 12:58
  • 1
    What @notstoreboughtdirt said. In communism, either you don't have any property rights (house or handkerchief, doesn't matter); or you don't have property rights to specific property, namely "tools of production", whatever that means; but have rights to other things. If you do not have rights to something, "reapportioning" it isn't an option as it already belongs to community, not to you. if you DO have rights to it, then it has nothing to do with communism, but with whatever legal/political system you have which is orthogonal to economic system of communism vs. not. – user4012 Jul 25 '17 at 16:19
  • 3
    And yes, in a straight up democracy, a majority can vote to do anything at all; which is why most "democratic" countries aren't actual straight up democracies but democratic republics - this was discussed earlier on Politics.SE – user4012 Jul 25 '17 at 16:20
12

The basis of Scientific Socialism, as described by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in Communist Manifesto, talks about the abolition of bourgeois' private property (factories, corporations, etc), which in turn will become public. This derives from Marx's Theory of Value, which proposes that the earnings of the capitalist come from the surplass value, extracted by the worker (i.e. the capitalist uses labor-power but pays not for the full amount and thats how he gains profit).

All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property. The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few. In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence. Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily. Or do you mean the modern bourgeois private property?

Source: Communist Manifesto Chapter II

Btw, I would suggest editing to "What happens with private property in Communism" in order not to be marked as opinion-based.

Edit (motivated by user4012's comment):

the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it

Marx's insight here concerned the (violent) expropriation of peasants from their lands by the people who formed the capitalist class afterwards, during the transition from feudal to capitalistic model of economy. The peasants turned into factory workers during industrialization. (Source: Marx's Das Capital, Vol I, On Primitive Accumulation).

and is still destroying it daily.

Even the recent crisis originated from house loans and resulted in millions of homeless people around the globe.

Homeless Children in US

Source: Wiki

  • 1
    Te last paragraph seems like a logical fallacy. "There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it" - it omits an answer of what to do if it does NOT get destroyed (as it clearly hasn't been, so Marx was wrong). I'm torn on upvoting this because this is indeed Marx's answer, and downvoting because his asnwer is meaningless vacuous non-answer evasion, in its content. – user4012 Jul 25 '17 at 16:24
  • I edited my answer, to make it more clear – koita_pisw_sou Jul 26 '17 at 6:27
6

"It isn't fair to give a new use for some one else's hard labor" is the capitalist idea of fairness. The communist idea of fairness is "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" (Karl Marx: Critique of the Gotha Program).

In Communist theory, the communist worker wouldn't build a home for themselves. They would build a home for the community. All products of labor are distributed by the community following the Marxist doctrine of "to each according to his needs". So the community would then give that house to the person in most need of a new home.

Most forms of communism differentiate between private property and personal property. Ownership of personal property is protected while private property is to be abolished. Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx wrote in Chapter II of the Communist Manifesto: "The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property". Andreas Berkmann clarified what exactly that means in Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism: "The revolution abolishes private ownership of the means of production and distribution, and with it goes capitalistic business. Personal possession remains only in the things you use, Thus, your watch is your own, but the watch factory belongs to the people". However, that line can be blurry. Different interpretations of communism have different ideas where the separation between personal property and communal property should happen.

Depending on how your branch of communism interprets personal property, the house would then either become personal property of that citizen or just considered a temporary lend by the community.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .