Newbie question

So I first started getting into marxism (mostly through this place) a few months back, and pretty much the only thing that's holding me back from calling myself a "marxist" or "communist" at this point is that I still don't know how to debunk the "people won't be motivated to work under socialism/communism" argument. I do agree it's way too pessimistic and narrow-minded to think that money is the only factor adequate to motivate people to work, and labour not driven by the need for money would be a lot more fulfilling and authentic. However, while I don't think socialism would result in a society consisting of lazy fucks, I don't see how you can ensure that ENOUGH people will work to keep everything running. Of course a lot of jobs can be automatized (and I'm aware that socialism is far superior to capitalism in that regard because more automatization won't lead to more unemployment). But even then, how can you have sufficient certainty that people will always be where they need to be, if they aren't somehow dependent on the labour the same way they are dependent on money under capitalism? Living under a socialist system will not eradicate the possibility of laziness or make every single citizen eager to work. What if in a given setting/sector at a given time, there simply aren't enough motivated people?
I'm (vaguely) aware of a "labour voucher" system proposed by Marx in Critique of the Gotha Program, which I still need to read. A tl;dr on this would be nice. But if I'm not wrong(?) this labour voucher system is supposed to disappear when "full communism" has been reached - how would it work there then?
If it's too complex to explain in one post you can also just recommend me things to read, or drop PDFs. Where should I start reading to get an answer to this question? Critique of the Gotha Programme? Towards a New Socialism?
tl;dr doubts about how enough people will be motivated under socialism is the one thing keeping me from being full blown commie scum, so convert me

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Please understand I barely understand anything about theory but 'full communism' is supposed to come only when society has so much productive capacity that it is essentially post-scarcity and requires only cursory input from human beings - that is to say that labour vouchers would be abolished only when there is no more need for them because society is so productive that there's no need to compel people to work or to have serious limits on their consumption. Now this seems very far off to me so I kinda think we should let communism take care of itself and just focus on socialism for now.

Tough question to answer but think it boils down to a couple of things.
First is cultural. There used to be a time when people really took pride in their work. Even somewhat menial jobs paid a living wage and people respected the hard work associated with them. Now being a trash man is viewed as unskilled and a job for the dumb or something. In relatity trash men are absolutely critical to our society, they remove waste, keep our streets clean. Society needs them. So we would need to bring back respect for all workers of all stripes, instead of turning up own noses at those perceived “lower” than us.
2nd point is my interpretation of some of kropotkin work. Largely that humans have a desire to work, to feel purpose, to innovate. Without work most people would go crazy with boredom. So I think I think very large amounts of people would seems some sort of work to occupy themselves. Also coupled with another of kropotkins theories, if labor was allocated more efficiently most jobs could be done in much shorter shifts, making them less alienating. Even more so when surplus value extraction is no longer a thing, meaning you no longer have to work longer shifts to generate a capitalists profit.
Last is what you touched on but is automation. For the most monotonous of tasks I think automation in the future will render them obsolete. Think about shit just jobs like telemarketers. There would be no need for them in the future. But other jobs, such as cashiers are already on their way out. The only thing holding back completely abolition of this job is the capitalist system itself, is it profitable? Under socialism the concept of profit is trivial, a non issue. Thus I think even more jobs nobody wants would need to exist if sufficient effort was afforded to automating them.

the capitalist ethic of work is absolute nonsense, slaves worked less than many people in the capitalist system work now

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I don't hate trash collectors, I just think their jobs could already have been automated if it wasn't for capitalist stagnation and the mafia

Understood, thank you

agree with both of you, my point is just that it should be realistically assured that there's enough labour forces to fulfill everything that needs to be done in society (and can't be automated); for example will there be enough doctors who stay in the profession if they don't get a high material reward? Now, thinking about it I realize that in capitalism you can't be absolutely sure of those things either. But the thing is that when you have a money-based system, making labour quantifiable, you seem to have more control over who fulfills what specific tasks in society than if there isn't anything of the kind. Am I overly spooked by capitalism for thinking so?

Really? THAT's your holdup?
Not the mass starvations?
Not the stealing people's private property?
Not the throwing everyone in gulags for wrongthink?
Not the genocides?
Not the literally trying to edit people out of history?

What in God's name do you think it's actually like living in a communist country? Have you considered why places like Soviet Russia had to literally build walls to keep the few people that they hadn't yet sent to gulags from fleeing the country in?

You can do better than this, user

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Except everything I just said is objectively true.
Seriously, is there a single commie country that makes you go "Wow, I really want to live there!"

Cuba has an extremely high doctor per capita even though they're not paid that much, much more per capita than the US. Money has been empirically proven to be a bad motivator and statistically is not the reason people are in their profession.
Wages do not actually represent the extent of labor, nor can they even theoretically.
Humans have survived thousands of years living in organized collectives without money. Markets are not only very recent, but very artificial, typically requiring to be violently imposed.

Countless famines have happened under Capitalism. Even now 9 million people die of starvation every year under Capitalism, even though there's more than enough food produced now to feed them.
Saying "theft is bad because its violating private property" is circular reasoning. Property is a societal construct, if it or one of its forms does not serve society then society has no reason to recognize it.
The authoritarianism of Leninism is not inherent to socialism.
Name one genocide done by a socialist.
The authoritarianism of Leninism is not inherent to socialism.

West Germany sounded pretty nice. Regardless, Marxism-Leninism is not the only type of socialism.

That's extremely disingenuous. The "famines" that happen under communism are because the state seized the farms from actual farmers, and gave it to "the people", who suck at farming, causing mass starvations. This happens every single time they do this. Or are you seriously going to call what's going on in Zimbabwe a "natural famine"?
It's not. You sound like a bikecuck.
Mass murders have been in integral part of every communist movement.
Now you're just being idiotic.
Strange how there's a 1:1 correlation with it.


That absolutely never happened. Are you seriously using the crony capitalism of Zimbabwe as an example of Communism? The famines that happened under the SU, for instance, were a mix of natural causes exacerbated by collectivization. Whereas under Capitalism, famines happen because it's more profitable to not feed people and to keep taxing them and forcing them to grow indigo.
What is it then, some scientific law written in the fabric of reality?
I don't know what that is.
Where are the mass murders in the Paris Commune, the Free Territory, the Shinmin Prefecture, or in Rojava?
Genocides imply a religious or ethnic group. All revolutions have executed supposed opponents.
Most socialist countries have been Marxist-Leninist because of the influence of the Soviet Union.

No matter if you're baiting or actually this dumb, please go back to /p*l/ instead of hijacking my thread kthx

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There was that time Zig Forums got an antifa imprisoned who was using a bikelock as a weapon, apparently him defending his landlord's right to extract rent out of him isn't cuckoldry but associating yourself with people who wish to abolish servitude makes you a cuck in his eyes.

Also he's an ideologue, he doesn't understand what capital is, he doesn't understand that the material world is the driver of events.

He can identify all the violence occurred under socialist experiments and struggles, but he can not and will not attribute any violence to capitalism. He probably even thinks that capitalism is the "private sector" and the "free market" and that socialism is the "state".

He doesn't care that capital incites violence in the Congo over scare rare earth minerals, or that it continues to cause mass starvation and malnutrition around the world.

Because for him, bourgeois democracy and its ideals are the altar at which he worships, when the system he avows conveniently allows capital in his nation to suppress and instigate murder in others, it's not the fault of capitalism or "democracy".

For him the blame lies in foreign "statists" in abusing the power that capital has afforded them (ergo the state has too much power), and if it isn't that, it's the age old "dem dumb niggers" excuse even as his own country had to break the shackles of the robber barons and is right now sliding back into a nation of dilapidation and poverty.

You started off being wrong, and just kept going downhill from there.

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Learn how to paragraph, is this American education at work?

I've never had a reddit account and I never will, stop projecting.

That's a bloody obscure reference isn't it?

Sage for substanceless post

Says the guy who just made an entire blog post strawmanning things that nobody said.

I think the main problem is that your idea of work or labour is too limited, due to influences of the capitalist societies we live in. Work is not something you do to get money, it isn't even "something you have to do to survive". It includes both, but is a much larger, holistic concept in marxist paradigm:
Think of the gentleman scientist or artist: they had all the wealth they needed and often made little to no returns off their pursuits. And yet they made seminal contributions to the sciences. A right-essentialist will say that it was precisely their elite status that enabled them to contribute to society, but I think otherwise. Even liberalism of modernity does tap into the masses for the majority of its scientists and artists, now imagine the potential of socialism when the next potential artists and scientists who would bring the next revolutionary advances won't have to struggle in McJobs, child poverty and alienation.
If material need and monetary compensation is the only reason people work, why do super-wealthy CEOs work? You can either say they don't really work and are thus unnecessary parasites, or that there is a motivation beyond simple wealth: a couple of millions gained by working aren't going to change the CEO's life in any way. The first argument is fine if lacking in nuance, but hardly one a right-liberal can make.

both provide an of answer to your question
according to Marx in CotGP, in transitionary initial-phase communism (later defined by Lenin as socialism) people get access to resources according to their work, with a part of the total value of that labour taken to sustain unproductive members of society (the young and the old, mostly) and to maintain society. As productive forces develop and alienation is lessened or eliminated, coercion becomes less and less necessary. Eventually in higher-stage communism society will operate according to the famous credo: "From each according to ability, to each according to need". The initial transitionary phase is needed to change both 'ability' and 'need'.

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lurk more, or do whatever you need to do so you learn to format your posts on imageboards

A little bit but it’s understandable why.
I’m not an MD but I’m close, PhD level biomedical scientist at a uni hospital . Do scientific research. I can only provide anecdotes but can tell you many scientists would do thus shit for free if I could survive otherwise. Shits incredibly interesting. Not as flashy or fun as the movies but I still love it.

But if they still have a currency, is that even what Marx envisioned as "socialism"? Or is the idea that money is only abolished after the transition to actual communism? (sorry for being an illiterate pleb)

Great explanation, thanks for this. Gonna read TANS and a few works by Marx soon (I only read wage labour & capital so far)

Hearing things like this genuinely makes me feel happy and more optimistic than I tend to be. I'm still studying but sure hope to find a job to be equally passionate about

I’m sure this exists across the board too. Certain aspects of work suck but a lot of that is driven by the capitalist system. More push from the bosses to increase revenue, drama related to wages or raises. You get the idea
I used to work as a welder under my grandfather to help pay the rent during school. The way I scheduled my classes I had days off where I could go work for the day, building shit for local companies. Local lumber company where I used to work full time during the summers during high school would give my jobs while I worked for my grandfather. For instance they would need speciality racks for processed lumber that can be stacked by forklift, shit you can’t buy in stores so I’d custom design and build them. Heavy machine repair company would need a custom workbench for heavy duty repairs, so I’d build them one. Dumpster guys need a rusted up dumpster gutted and repaired so I’d replate it. Shit like that.
Was hard work. It’s tough having a 3000 degree arc flame 6 inches from your hands in the dead of summer’s heat. Banging metal with hammers, burning yourself with molten metal splatter, cutting and grinding steel with blades that would cut your arm clean off. But the kicker is: I FUCKING LOVED IT. Miss it actually. I enjoyed the challenge, the problem solving aspect of it, the feeling of accomplishing a difficult task.

And I write all this because I think many people out there have this passion as well. It may not be for this specific job, that specific line of thinking, whatever. Some people enjoy simple tasks and routine and that is fine. It’s calming. Others enjoy slightly stressful situations, the thrill of managing crisis. Others may enjoy using intellect to solve challenges, while others prefer brute force. The great thing about humanity is that we are so varied in our personalities. This I think there is a job out there for everybody, the issue of motivation in a socialist system could totally be eradicated by a change in outlook over the nature of work. Currently it is done to enrich somebody else, thus it’s easy to see why it is alienating and dreary. Whereas if it is done for the greater good it can give you purpose, give you a feeling of accomplishment. It’s like the feeling you get from volunteering, say for the homeless. It’s a great feeling of doing the right thing and helping people. Highly recommend volunteering for a soup kitchen or something similar to feel this first hand, it’s amazing





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The left's fetishisation of work is one it's biggest flaws. Work is shit. Sure it would be less shit under communism, but it would still be shit. Here's a pdf because I'm not as good at articulating my ides as this guy.

Will read it but disagree. Depends on the framework. Wage slavery is shit yes. But as an example I don’t need to grow food, supermarkets have plenty of vegetables. But i still labor in a garden as a hobby because I find enjoyment in it. Some jobs I’ve worked in the past were fun and I enjoyed them. My current job as a research scientist is great too.
I don’t think work is inherently the problem, I think it’s wage slavery and the pressures of survival that come with it, the impediment of freedom and exploration, and of a lack of control over your labor and decisions of how best to implement it

I would argue that what makes work work is that it isn't voluntary. If you chose to grow your own food because you enjoy doing that then it's in my eyes essentially play. It's not that labor is the problem, anyone who's ever worked hard on something they enjoy knows how good it feels. The problem is the forced, structured version of labor that we call work. If you enjoyed work you did in the past, think about how much more you would enjoy it if it weren't "work", if you were allowed just have fun! It would be great! It's not just an emotional argument either, people are more productive when they enjoy what they're doing. Imagine if instead of choosing to tend your garden, someone else was forcing you to do it, and forcing you to do it how they wanted you to do it. That's work. No matter if the state owns the garden, or if porky does, it's ruining this activity that used to be fun.

Good post user. I was actually thinking of doing a WWOOF or something in that vein (this summer or later) because I feel too much like a spoilt city boy with an internet addiction. I mean I do study, read and sport and recently joined of a lefty organization but still I'd like to experience a "simple" lifestyle of outdoors labor. Maybe that's just me romanticizing things, but the feeling of accomplishment you describe suits my view of it.
My fantasy was doing a wwoof-style thing in Cuba if that's realistically possible

Will check it out but like other user I completely disagree with the statement "work is shit". It's like, just your opinion man. The "fetishisation" of work as I view it is something that happens under capitalism, not socialism, because working hard becomes a societal code of life you have to conform to instead of something you genuinely do out of your own desires.

I feel like this would be already be less of a problem under socialism because you'll have more freedom to find something that suits you and "bullshit jobs" don't need to be created anymore because unemployment isn't a problem. And if we can believe marx, under the final stage of communism this problem will basically be abolished alltogether (quote related).

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I would define work as "forced labor". If it's possible to survive under communism without ever participating in this forced labor I would be quite happy to live under such a system. However we see in practice that these people who would rather labor without the force are called lumpenproles and are regarded as counter-revolutionaries. Now I don't know your personal views, if your brand of communism is more welcoming to this ludic way of life I'd be happy to fight along side you as comrade against this capitalist system. In fact I think Marx would agree with me. I'm not saying "no one should ever work", I'm saying "no one should ever have to work". To me anyone who would force their fellow man to labor against his or her will is exactly what I want to fight against.

I agree that work should be as liberated as possible, ideally speaking. Wouldn't the automation of jobs already contribute to this cause? Not sure if labour can be 100% "free" as long as a post scarcity society hasn't been reached like the first post pointed out

You people have zero self awareness.

Reply that to the other guy, not me. This is exactly why I said it's not yet realistically possible if the society isn't post-scarcity. Wasted trips

the only thing that's holding me back from calling myself a "marxist" or "communist" at this point is that I still don't know how to debunk the "people won't be motivated to work under socialism/communism" argument

What about the fact the labor theory of value isn't true?

Hi Esoteric Entity

Most office work is 1 hour of checking emails 1 hour of forms and filing and 6 hours of reddit and gossip.

If these people were given a 25% raise to only come in 2 hours a day or one day a week for 8 hours I bet they would suddenly become twice as productive.

Even construction is like this. Show up to the site and dick around unloading for 3 hours do one hour of work, smoke break then 30 minutes of work and then go to lunch at 10 AM.

Min/maxing your breaks, taking a shit on company time, reading the same article on the front page of the newspaper 500 times while you alternately stare at the wall.

repetitive work is meditative

autistic stuff like tool sharpening, model building, and paper craft really get my jimmies flowing

ooo and mathematics

This, also pic related.

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You should consider yourself lucky if you have a job like that. My shifts are more like

30 minutes searching for the basic equipment to do my job

30 minutes getting talked down to by middle managers

30 minutes dealing with pointless procedure busywork

5 hours actual work loading/unloading/carrying boxes

45 mins unpaid breaks

45 mins resting on company time in the back room, on my phone, etc