This is an excerpt from the book Rationalist Liberty Manifesto: The Parasite Theory of History.
Third draft version in 6.5.2021
Robinson and Miss Thursday can agree to adopt the property rules of communism. They can agree that their bodies and the whole island are the common property of both of them. However, soon Robinson and Thursday would notice that they often have disagreements. After all, conflicts over scarce resources are not avoided by hoping that conflicts will not arise. On the contrary. Scarcity is the ultimate problem of society and conflict over physical resources are not only possible but practically inevitable as long as there is interaction between people with different values and opinions.
In practice pure communism is only possible between a mother and her fetus. Their bodies are intertwined. When the child is born and grows the communist relationship gradually turns into a propertarian one especially with regard to their bodies. The mother and child become two distinct individuals with their own rights to their separate bodies. However, this original communist relationship easily makes atavistic individuals try to recreate communist relationships between independent individuals. This may happen often between spouses. Especially the woman would like to establish a communist relationship with her man. First this might sound appealing to the man because seemingly everything is first shared including their bodies in cuddling and sex acts. But now the man has committed to a communist relationship. The rules are simple: From each according to ability, to each according to needs.
The popularity of communist relationships is further increased by the fact that once impregnated the female is less able to produce and thus becomes more dependent on the man. The woman sees that she has given herself completely – body and soul – to the man who must also give himself completely to the woman by helping and protecting the woman for the rest of her life. The woman sees them both as totally intertwined with each other. They are one. There is no individual property but fruits of labor belong ultimately to both. This complementarity is even stronger when both want to raise children. Spouses labor for each other and the child. This leads to higher productivity in the household especially since evolution has shaped males and females complementary so that sex, pregnancy, birth and the division of labor comes naturally. Thus the household becomes a communist production unit.
In communism interaction is defined as giving not only one’s body and property but also one’s labor to the common pool. Attack is defined as not giving to the common pool. Withholding of attention, sex, care and the fruits of one’s labor is exploitation and a serious crime against the community. Even leisure time becomes a source of conflict because it cannot be the result of more hard-working labor. More successful producer cannot have more leisure because that would lead to inequality where the more hard-working would have more leisure than the less hard-working. No one can benefit from his superior skills because that would destroy equality. There can be no competition but only equal cooperation. Naturally this applies also to services. Both can demand from each other not only kindness but also total commitment in serving each other. There can be no withholding of food, sex or psychological support. Everything must be given to the common pool and each must serve each other as well as possible.
Under communism there can be no individual bilateral contracts between independent individuals. There can be no contractual interaction because there is only the common pool of people. There can only be one collective agreement how to share common property. All must agree on every single detail or otherwise communism cannot work. But what to do when some detail of the communist agreement breaks down and aggressive violence is used? From the propertarian perspective aggression violates property rights. The aggressor is held totally responsible and forced to fully compensate the victim. However, in pure communism the concepts of a an individual, contract, aggressor, victim, attack, crime and compensation are all problematic. Since the community is one single collective there can be no individuals and thus contractors, aggressors and victims. Attacking and punishing the other is also attacking and punishing oneself. Neither can the agreement breaker become indebted since all are totally indebted to each other anyway. In fact, there can be no individual crimes nor full responsibility and remorse because these require independent individuals. There can never be individual crimes in communism. After all, a specific need had increased and thus there was a necessary adjustment in the communist collective agreement. The adjustment was too sudden, disorganized and violent but because of increased need there still was a legitimate reason for the violence and breaking the collective agreement. Upholding the communist agreement is difficult in changing circumstances but everybody must do their best.
Even communists admit that at the present state of humanity pure communism is impossible. It cannot maintain a harmonious collective agreement between people. People are not ants. Their values, needs and opinions differ too much. But the situation is even worse. In practice even the attempt to uphold the communist collective agreement only increases scarcity and violence. Robinson and Thursday try to solve their disagreements over production techniques by division of labour. Robinson concentrates in building and hunting while Thursday concentrates in gathering and child rearing. However, there can still be recurring conflicts about risk levels and production and leisure times. For example, after Robinson returns from a surprisingly long hunting trip Thursday is enraged and hits Robinson on the face. From the communist perspective this is not a crime. The hitting only signals her desperation. When she is hitting Robinson she is also hitting herself. In fact, the violence might hurt her more than Robinson. Furthermore, she was driven to violence by circumstances which also include Robinson’s actions. After all, Robinson often goes to his hunting, fishing and leisure trips. Even worse he spends more and more time in them despite increasing danger. Thursday feels more and more lonely and is afraid what will happen to Robinson.
It is not that Robinson has broken his word to be careful and return as fast as possible from his trips though Thursday does suspect he likes the trips too much. The problem is not the actions of Robinson but the need of Thursday to have a companion by her side. When the need of some member of the collective increases it is the duty of all able to fully respond to that need. Robinson is thus not doing his communist duty for the common good. Maybe Robinson has not done anything wrong but he is still guilty because there is a huge unfilled need in Thursday. Her problem is also his problem. The collective suffers from a great imbalance. Robinson must somehow try to better serve Thursday’s needs. Even if he cannot return earlier from the hunting trips he can at least be more emphatic towards Thursday’s suffering. For example, he can growl when he returns to Thursday and cry together with her about the injustice of the island. Scarcity is undermining the love collective for no reason. However, it is not only Robinson who must shape up. Thursday admits that she too has not done her communist duty. She must control her temper better even when she is being exploited by Robinson’s relative inability to serve the common good.
Both Thursday and Robinson must try to serve the common good better. Both are guilty and both must improve themselves. No one is never at fault alone. All are guilty. In fact, not only is the stingy island guilty but also the love collective itself in the sense that there is still no total agreement and sharing of feelings on everything. The unfortunate fact is that people are too selfish. No one is perfect. Disagreements and fights are inevitable between selfish people. The only thing we can do to decrease conflicts and violence is that we all together try to love each other and become less selfish people.
Robinson accepts this communist logic. He also realizes that decisions over production are problematic. Hunting and fishing trips are getting longer and more dangerous. This is also one reason why he would like to sometimes spend more leisure time by himself. On the other hand, Robinson realizes that the combination of increasing risk and absence is difficult for Thursday to accept. Robinson does still think that Thursday is exaggerating problems but still again accepts his own guilt. He decides to show more empathy towards Thursday’s suffering. Robinson also accepts Thursday’s use of violence even if he knows she is not going to stop venting her frustrations through violence. After all, Thursday just loves him so much.
Thursday promises to try to better control her temper but there is no punishment because she is not truly guilty of hitting Robinson on the face. Thursday, Robinson, their family collective and the island all have their share of the guilt. This is also why there is not even a remorseful pledge from Thursday to permanently change her accusatory and violent habits. After all, she cannot control Robinson, their collective and the island. She cannot even totally control herself. Nobody can totally control themselves. We are all children of mother nature. We are all one. Guilt is a mirage. Instead of individual responsibility, accountability, punishments, compensation and forgiveness we need understanding of the total circumstances and how we can together support each other by sharing both the failures and successes of the collective.
Communism decreases individual responsibility. No one has to rule out violence and all can distribute blame and responsibility for their actions. The risk of violent conflicts is thereby greatly increased. However, that is the point! Robinson and Thursday deserve the violence if they cannot together overcome their disagreements. They must learn to share their thoughts and their very essence. If violent conflicts help in this that is only good. Violence inside the collective is not real violence anyway. Members of the collective are just learning to know each other and share their feelings more deeply. Even rape is not violence. If there is an unfilled urgent need that must be somehow satisfied. The fault belongs to the collective that has failed to sufficiently take this account. The guilt belongs to the collective not to the rapist who must pitied. The collective failed him.
Communism does not remove violent conflicts but only increases them by decreasing the incentives to produce and keep one’s word. However, small scale household communism can still work in a limited fashion especially between a man and a woman who have a biological desire to share a life together. Evolution has shaped man and woman into a production unit just like it has shaped many animal species such as lions and wolfs. However, even on this most animalistic and simple level communism still creates serious problems especially in the production of services. Unlike physical products it is more difficult to divide psychological services since it is more difficult to delineate and quantify them. It is more easy to disagree about the quantity of services such as empathy, care and kindness. This problem becomes even greater if one of the spouses if highly emotional and needs constant psychological support. Communism then exacerbates the problems involved in the production of psychological services.
Evolution has made the female more communist in average. The female has a greater tendency to apply communist rules not only to the child but also to the man. If a woman has strong communist tendencies then all her needs becomes man’s needs and vice versa. Thus the woman is relatively more eager to serve the man and fulfill his every desire as well as she can. Woman gives not only her body and labor but also her soul, or more precisely she tries to adapt psychologically to the man in order to create a more psychologically complementary unit. At the same time the woman demands the same from the man. If the woman feels down for some reason then the man must cheer her up. If the man does not do this well enough then he is guilty of a withholding attack just like if he would withhold food from the woman.
A lack of psychological commitment and support threatens the very foundations of a communist relationship. It is not the quantity and quality of the act (cheering up) which determines the severity of the imbalance but the relationship between the man’s will to contribute and the woman’s need to be served. Even if the man does his best he can still become criminal if the needs of the woman keeps increasing. This might sound unreasonable but from the communist perspective it is not. After all, unlike with scarce physical commodities there is much less scarcity in psychological services. If the man really would want to help the woman to cheer up then he probably could invest much more qualitative and even quantitative effort to it. Naturally this would decrease the amount of leisure for the man but that is irrelevant in the sense that personal leisure is also withholding of services to the common pool. If the woman and man have different amounts of personal leisure that automatically causes a conflict in the provision of services and undermines the communist order. After all, both are part of the whole and must equally serve each other.
The woman might become convinced that without sufficient cheering up services her life becomes so meaningless that she will loose her mind and whither away. This then makes the man’s relative withholding of cheering up services even more serious. Even if the man understands the seriousness of the situation and does his absolute best to cheer up the woman it is to no avail if woman’s needs are not fulfilled. The seriousness of withholding is more dependent on the need than on the ability. Scarcity creates practically unlimited needs and especially in psychological relations the demander can always feel totally left out. Especially for children and females the demand is usually greater in psychological services than in physical products because the scarcity of the latter is more evident. Demanding others to change their attitude is much more realistic than demanding that other produce more physical products.
The problem with communism is thus not only that people are different but also that there is an almost unlimited demand for both physical products and especially psychological services. Communism is in a constant state of psychological famine. It is not only that people do not offer enough physical labor to the common pool but that they do not offer enough psychological labor services. The latter is even more serious since obviously their production can be increased more than physical production. Thus there is not only a psychological famine but also criminal atmosphere where people are all the time trying to avoid their psychological duties. This can easily lead to violence where it is just to kill others for their criminal indifference. For example, if the woman feels strongly enough about man’s psychological “betrayal” in the production of cheering up services then it is even just to kill the man. After all, the man is exploiting the woman by not offering enough psychological support. The man has killed the communist unit and become a capitalist exploiter who puts his own leisure time above her needs. Killing them both would do them a service by liberating them from evil capitalism. Better to die than live in an unjust loveless universe. Or the woman decides to kill only herself. Better to die than live an unjust life without love.
The ultimate problem for Thursday is not Robinson’s perceived indifference but scarcity. Thursday realizes that there is something fundamentally wrong in both the island and Robinson. She realizes that the problem of scarcity must be solved by increasing supply either by changing the laws of nature or the nature of the people. She dreams of reaching the utopian final stage of communism where scarcity is overcome with new technology and superior methods of communist production. However, there is only three people and hardly any technology on the island. But Thursday has an idea. She tries to change the laws of nature with magical invocations. Thursday uses many days to prepare complicated magical rituals but the spirits of the land fail to increase production. Food becomes even more scarce. This also sours the relationship with Robinson who becomes frustrated with her useless attempts at magic.
Thursday realizes that the magical spirits are not helping her. Perhaps she has offended them somehow. But there is another alternative. She has to save the communist relationship by changing the nature of Robinson. First she tries love magic and secret love potions. However, Robinson just becomes sick and almost dies of poisoning. She then tries to convince Robinson that love conquers all. If they just loved each other and the baby enough then they all would become more happy and Robinson would not need so much personal leisure time. Thursday emphasizes her love and Robinson agrees to stay together more. They now concentrate in loving each other more. After a few months food becomes even more scarce and Robinson starts to turn ever more hostile. There are more fights which often turn violent. Thursday is shocked that Robinson does not love her anymore.
Thursday now realizes that there is only one communist alternative left. If supply cannot be increased then demand must be decreased. But Thursday cannot stop loving. She must receive a lot of love or otherwise life has no meaning. Moreover, they all still need food. Thursday starts to hate the stingy evil island and considers mass suicide as an escape from scarcity. That would teach the island a lesson. In heaven there is no scarcity so she considers poisoning them all. That would do good for Robinson who obviously has stopped loving her. But the child is still full of love and thus must not be killed. Soon Thursday realizes that there is only one alternative left: Decrease the number of people so that there would be enough free fruits of land for all. Red communism becomes green communism. Thursday decides to kill herself since then there is more food left for the child and Robinson. Gaining Robinson’s total love was hopeless anyway. Better to die than live without love.
Robinson is distraught by Thursday’s suicide. Soon their child becomes ill and dies. Robinson is again all alone.