Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pinterest: Creative Communism by Jonathan Russell

Allow me to take you back 150 years, to the life and times of Karl Marx. Marx was a Prussian-German philosopher who played a large part in the development of socialism. Not only is he considered one of the greatest economists of all time, but liberals and socialists alike agree that Marx was primarily responsible for the furthering of social science, and for creating many of the political positions held by modern political figures. In his formative years, Marx was a Protestant; although he later reverted to atheism. But that’s an entirely different, entirely sadder blog post; I’m here to talk to you about Marx’ theories on communism.

Communism, as defined by Marx was the original hunter-gatherer human mindset. This is a simple enough concept. The hunter-gatherer economy is based off of universal reliability and respect. Hunters and gatherers would go out to respectively hunt and gather, and in the process, accumulate different amounts of food. One hunter might catch four rabbits, while another could barely get his hands on one. This would not be a problem, however, in the hunter-gatherer society. Because at the end of the day, all of the hunters and all of the gatherers would surrender their daily spoils to the community, and the large communal food source would be distributed evenly throughout the population.
This seems like a perfectly acceptable way to run a society, right? Wrong.
The downfall of communism lies in the original downfall of man: sin. Because hunting and gathering requires work, and eating the food doesn’t, one of the two is clearly less appealing than the other. Eventually, the lazier hunter and gatherers will realise that they don’t actually have to do any work at all! They get an equal portion of the food, whether or not they do any work. Therefore, they cease their share of the workload, and commence a schedule of no labour, and much reward. As you can imagine, this would not go over well with the more diligent members of the community. Deeming this lack of effort from some to be unfair, the painstaking and usually dependable hunters/gatherers no longer see the point of working. If all of their hard work is just going to be used as a reward for those not doing anything, why work at all? And before you know it, you have no workers, and no food.

I suppose, by now, you’re wondering what any of this has to do with Pinterest? Well, take the story I just gave you, replace the hunters and gatherers with artists and bakers, replace the food with recipes, arts, and crafts, and then tell me what you get.  Does that sound familiar? Doesn’t that sound like a certain online database of arts, recipes, crafts, household tips, homemade decorations, etc.?
Pinterest is nothing but creative communism. Artists, bakers, and interior decorators post all of their ideas on Pinterest for the world to see, which in and of itself, is not a bad idea! Why not share these creative exploits with less artistic minds? Because eventually, these people posting all of these brilliant ideas will realise that they’re not getting anything in return. Everyone who was once a poster will become a surfer.
“Why spend time thinking up original craft ideas, when I can find one on Pinterest?”
You see, ladies and gentlemen? 

Although I'm not the biggest fan of Pinterest, I'm not trying to persuade you not to use it. Do as you wish. I simply wished to point out the similarities between this popular website, and certain aspects of communism.

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