No need for shoddy in socialism.

March 2024 Forums General discussion No need for shoddy in socialism.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #244817
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    In socialism money will no longer exist, so there will be no need for shoddy books or shoddy anything to cut costs.

    The ugly print on demand phenomenon may today get text to people who will never know, if new on the scene of life, the beauty of well-produced books. But this phenomenon of shoddy in produced goods, books being the most obvious, is part and parcel of the money system that is capitalism polarising more of us into rich and poor. The rich never have to make do with it.
    In fact, no one should have to make do in life. We should all have access to good things and the things we love, without “market forces” restricting any one of us to the shabby and shoddy.

    Another reason (me being a bibliophile) for being a socialist.

    #244821
    chelmsford
    Participant

    You have not heard the economic calculation argument I take it.
    What if people want the shabby and shoddy?

    #244823
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Then those people can have the shoddy.

    #244825
    robbo203
    Participant

    You have not heard the economic calculation argument I take it.
    What if people want the shabby and shoddy?
    ……………………

    Not quite sure what the ECA has to do with this. Sure there are opportunity costs involved in producing durable high-quality stuff (just as there are costs involved in planned obsolescence and producing crap) but that’s a different subject….

    #244827
    davecoggan
    Participant

    Here in Yorkshire, Victorian factories with signage declaring them to be ‘shoddy manufacturers’ aren’t uncommon. These signs look rather odd – why would anyone draw attention to the poor quality of their work?

    It isn’t the case that these factories produced inferior goods. They were erected before the middle of the 19th century, before ‘shoddy’ took on its ‘second-rate’ meaning. At that time the word ‘shoddy’ was only used as the name of a type of woollen yarn produced by tearing old woollen rags into shreds and weaving the strands, sometimes with the addition of some new wool, to make a cloth, also known as shoddy.

    The manufacturing process was by no means shoddy; in fact these days the businesses would be applauded as models of recycling and, back in the reign of Victoria, they had a reputation for the production of quality woollen cloth. The social reformer Henry Mayhew, in London labour and the London poor, 1851, even made a distinction between the genuine woollen shoddy of the north and the ersatz southern copy made from waste cotton:

    To this stuff [cotton rags ground up] the name of ‘shoddy’ is given, but the real and orthodox ‘shoddy’ is a production of the woollen districts.

    It was in the latter half of the 19th century that ‘shoddy’ began to move from the top to the bottom in our estimation.

    Shoddy’s Achilles’ heel was that, as its raw material was effectively free, it was cheaper than cloth newly made from the fleeces of sheep. Some unscrupulous cloth manufacturers began adding shoddy to the weave of their woollen cloth to bulk it up.

    https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/shoddy.html

    #244828
    ALB
    Keymaster

    William Morris wrote somewhere that adulteration would be inconceivable in socialism as a society where production was directly for people to use, and asked why on Earth in such a society would substandard stuff be produced?

    This also means that there would be no need for Trading Standards officers either.

    #244829
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Some P.O.D. publishers must be taking the mick.

    Someone bought me (not cheap) a book listed as a work by Mark Twain billed as “Good quality book.”
    When it arrived, it was thinner than a brochure, was a few photocopies badly glued together (bad photocopies too: illustrations and text barely visible), no pagination, text disappearing off the pages, and every alternate leaf completely blank. And, on the flimsy cover glaring at me in large letters: GOOD QUALITY BOOK.

    This has to be the worst of the worst, and the damned thing cost £14.95, and the description was obviously mocking the buyer.

    P.O.Ds are now the first items which appear on book-buying sites. They are obviously considered good enough for the likes of us who don’t want E-books, almost as though to discourage us from print editions of books (but I won’t go that far because i’m not a conspiraloon).

    However, I now never buy a book unless i’m sure it’s a book and not a “book.”

    P.S. I have also seen some for sale online which have the wrong author pictured on the cover and the ‘blurb’ full of misspellings.

    And so I felt sick when told that a closing-down bookseller in this town was throwing piles of good hardback books in a rubbish skip for destruction.

    #244831
    Almamater
    Participant

    Many socialists do not understand that socialism is going to be a society totally different to capitalism. In a society based on social production, the concept itself implies that the needs of human beings is going to be the priority, human above everything, even more, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos would live a much better life under a socialist society

    PS There is a good article on the WSM website about the Economic Calculation and Anarchist capitalism, bu this topic has not nothing with the economic calculation argument

    #244832
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    “Human above everything.” I challenge that. I want fellow animals to live free, plentifully and satisfyingly for themselves too.
    But that’s for other threads, and my views are well known.
    If humans are to still be speciesist, then they will still not have grown up and recognised that they are in nature, not above it. And while still in thrall to the master principle, they’ll be unable to make socialism work.

    #244868
    Almamater
    Participant

    Thomas_More
    Participant
    “Human above everything.” I challenge that. I want fellow animals to live free, plentifully and satisfyingly for themselves too.
    But that’s for other threads, and my views are well known.
    If humans are to still be speciesist, then they will still not have grown up and recognised that they are in nature, not above it. And while still in thrall to the master principle, they’ll be unable to make socialism work.
    =======================================================
    Thomas More

    I know you love animal, I do that too, but we are talking about humans, and animal would be another topic, probably, our aptitude toward animals will be different in a socialist society

    Right now capitalism is killing animals, they are killing pigs using shotguns, they are killing a lot of elephants in Africa, fish are being poisoned by chemicals, they are destroying eagles and hawks nests

    I breed small birds, doves, quails and pigeons and when they are adults I let them fly away, or I take them to a park, and some might be killed by predators because they were living in a different environmental where everything is provided for them.

    I am also involved in the agronomist movement to produce our own organic food and that is another topic

    I am getting all kind of birds in my backyard because I have bird feeders, and that is another topic

    #244875
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    That is all good. You have my respect.

    #244959
    rodshaw
    Participant

    Another aspect to production in socialism is that it wouldn’t be a throwaway society. Things would be built to last so there wouldn’t be the mountains of waste we see now. The impetus to maximise profits by making ever newer models wouldn’t be there, so nor would the manufactured desire to trade in or chuck your old stuff away simply because it’s old hat. I would think that anything that was produced intentionally with a short lifecycle – medical packaging, for example – would be recyclable or easily and safely broken down.

    #244960
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    And, agreeing with William Morris, with things being made to last, so they could be beautiful too.

    #244991
    rodshaw
    Participant

    Indeed they could but, as now, one person’s beautiful could be another person’s hideous.

    #244992
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    And everyone would have access to the means of production, and could learn how to make what he or she considered useful and beautiful.

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