Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Pinko commie pity fuckers

I have a friend who has a theory. It's a self-serving and utterly ridiculous theory but an interesting one nonetheless. You see, my friend believes in communism. Not Stalinist style purge and splurge, but the more gentle theoretical 'we could all get along and have plenty if not for those damned capitalist' kind of communism.

This is not particularly unusual. There are lots of these cock-eyed idealists around, especially when you're young. Plus he's Russian, and many of them have a complicated relationship with the country's communist past. The thing that makes my friend's particular theory so, interesting, is that he believes it should apply to realms generally not discussed in communist theory. Specifically, he believes that sex should be distributed according to communist principals.

This might strike you as a little bit odd. Perhaps that you think that sex isn't a fungible resource like money or oil. I'm inclined to agree, but he doesn't seem to see that as an issue. In truth it's not an entirely original idea. John Rawls suggested distribution of social goods as well as income, meaning that things like accolades and respect would not be distributed according to merit but rather according to "to each according to his needs" principles. Respect is a lot like sex in some ways, specifically that there's not a limited amount of it and that it can be pleasant to bestow upon someone who is worthy and a huge mistake to bestow upon someone who doesn't. It's not like sex in that it's not nearly as intimate (some would argue the reverse) and it has a different set of repurcussions. Still, I think respect is more like sex than it is like money, and I think that the idea of distributing it according to communist principles is interesting.

The first issue in distributing sex is figuring out who has the resource and who needs it. Now one could take an old school sexist approach and just say that women have it and men want it, but I don't think that's a functional viewpoint in this day and age. For one thing we've come to accept that women have sexual appetites too, and they'd probably want to be recievers as well as resources. For another there's the homosexuals, who would just gay the whole process with their deviant desires. I suppose there would have to be some sort of desireability rating done by the government, based on looks, age, and sexual skills. This would be a mess but I don't think there's any way out of it. Those in the top half of the population would possess the resource and those in the bottom half would apply for distribution of it. Perhaps we could factor sexual desire, or horniness, into the matter but then I think we run the risk of having too many women in the giving group and too many men in the recieving group.

The next question would be whether we would factor in the desires and needs of those we've marked as 'resource' in the distribution. This is a complicated question. On the one hand it might be unfair to make the most desireable people have sex with the least desireable (or most horney) members of the population. On the other hand it is against communist or rawlsian principles to worry about the feelings of the contributors. Just as we shouldn't be concerned with someone's desire for self expression or vocation it is silly to consider their sexual interests. As for moral or religious objections, those are just laughable.

Of course the way my friend thinks about this system is a bit idealistically. He imagines that as someone who is extremely horny and hard up for sex he would have his pick of beautiful women to have sex with. He hasn't thought about the lines, shortages, or any of the rest of it. The truth of the matter is that bureaucratized sex would probably work in a way quite similar to other bureaucratic governmental functions. There would be red-tape and confusion and, of course, corruption. Right now the only thing a winning candidate can promise to a supporter is a patronage job or maybe a fat municipal contract. Imagine if he could serve up Ms. Ilinois.

Okay, this is a silly thought exercise for obvious reasons, but what I think is so interesting about it is how it shows so many of the problems with both communism and social legislation. When you legislate redistribution or limited distribution of resources you objectify not only those resources (Fine in the case of something like money, which needs to be objectified, not so fine with something like marriage gay or otherwise) but the people from whom those resources were confiscated. Taxing a religious man to pay for an abortion isn't THAT different from requiring a woman to lie down for a man she loathes. It's a matter of degrees, or to mutilate a Winston Churchill quote, we're just haggling over the price now. That doesn't mean that we catagorically shouldn't do it, just that it's a grim thing that needs to be carefully thought through. This is why I'm not a conventional liberal, because I don't believe that confiscation doesn't carry a real and serious cost. The guys I really hate are the dishonest rich, and a majority of the rich are dishonest when it comes to taxes or business practices, that's how they got rich. There are, however, some honest people who've accrued a fortune and I'm very conflicted about confiscating their money to pay for programs they don't believe in or agree with. I almost wish there were a flat tax, and then beyond that there were a progressive charitable contribution requirement. In other words everyone above a certain threshold would pay 15% of their income in general taxes that would be used for non-controversial programs (if there are such programs, but I imagine that most people who have money don't object to law enforcement or road maintenance) and then above that line people would get a menu of things they could choose to put their tax money towards, at rates going up to, say, 50% of income. This system would be far too abuseable to be functional, but I think if it could be made to work it would be a lot more fair (I recognize that we already have tax deductions for charitable contributions, but unless you donate virtually all your money to charitable causes you are still going to be paying into the general fund).

It's a difficult topic and I'm not sure that there's a solution that balances on that tightrope between needs and desires. None of the solutions being offered comes close enough for comfort though, and that's not a good thing.

As for my friend, well he is operating entirely on selfishness and readily admits it. His current strategy to get a woman is not to worry about self improvement but rather to attempt saturation bombing by hitting on every potentially available beautiful woman (yep, no fatties or uglies need apply) until he finds one with low enough standards or enough desperation to go out with a guy who has no job, a GED but no completed college courses, a growing belly, and pretty much nothing going for him other than a ton of potential and smarts. Part of me admires his chutzpah, part of me is amused, and part of me is both angry at him for being brazen enough to declare to the world "I'm a taker, not a giver, and I'm hoping to date above my station while I'm unwilling to date below or at." Part of me is worried that he'll succeed and thus make me more cynical than I already am, no mean feat.

Of course this is an incredibly common attitude among men in our society. We all want to attain women (Or just things in general, because this kind of attitude is totally objectifying to the XXers) better than us in some way, and we are unwilling to put in the necessary work to improve ourselves and rise to their level. We aspire to do what it takes to get them and keep them, but not deserve them. I'd like to exempt myself from that "we" but I can't really claim that because I can't disentangle those feelings from defense mechanisms. I think it's a really sucky attitude, though, and I'd like to try and avoid it if possible.

Getting things that you don't deserve is what communism is all about. It's also the current prevalent attitude in American capitalism and the reason our society is starting to collapse in every measurable way.
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