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Thread: Socialism

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    social democracy political ideology that advocates a peaceful, evolutionary transition of society from capitalism to socialism using established political processes.
    I believe Red Herring already took a shot at this. There's another definition which talks about a democratic welfare state. After WWII, many Social Democrats abandoned the commitment to socialism and sought to establish welfare policies within a capitalist market system. One variation of this was the "Third Way" promoted by Anthony Giddens, which influenced Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

  2. #62
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    Anyhoooo....how about a nice instructional video!
    [youtube="AWeZ5SKXvj8"]How to spot a Socialist![/youtube]

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    You can spin the definition however you want to but socialism is wrong.

    Your essentially taking something from someone who's earned it and giving it to someone who hasn't, by FORCE.

    Morally, it is nothing more than government sanctioned stealing.

    While socialism may not lead to communism, it is one step from communism. Karl Marx said so himself.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  4. #64
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    Yeah except I'm not a socialist.

  5. #65
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    social democracy political ideology that advocates a peaceful, evolutionary transition of society from capitalism to socialism using established political processes.

    Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are publicly owned, managed and operated for a profit in a market economy.

    How exactly are you NOT seeing these ideas incorporated into a set of political and economic theories based on the belief that everyone has an equal right to a share of a country's wealth and that the government should own and control the main industries....
    When it comes to social democracy, Red Herring already covered this:

    Quote Originally Posted by red herring
    Definition of SOCIAL DEMOCRACY
    1
    : a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means
    2
    : a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices

    God kills a kitten every time somebody confuses the two. What the poor, miserable and oppressed people of Northwestern Europe have (famous for their low standard of living) is social democracy type 2 (number one is early 20th century social democracy, number two is later 20th and 21st century social democracy)


    Or, to quote the first paragraph from the wiki article:

    Social democracy is a political ideology of the left on the classic political spectrum. The contemporary social democratic movement seeks to reform capitalism to align it with the ethical ideals of social justice while maintaining the capitalist mode of production, as opposed to creating an alternative socialist economic system.[1] Practical modern social democratic policies include the promotion of a welfare state, and the creation of economic democracy as a means to secure workers' rights.[2]
    When it comes to market socialism, you have something that is definitely closer to something soviet than social democracy, but still profoundly different and quite a ways away. Market socialism (again, particular these days) is neither authoritarian nor totalitarian, sans strictly planned economics, actually possessing a market or markets, and usually being intended for a society with representative democracy (in earnest). Market socialism may be a vehicle for so-called economic democracy.

    The trick is to recognize that public commerce and centralized commerce are not the same thing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yeah except I'm not a socialist.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    capitalism gets a bad rap for various reasons
    1) people think america is a capitalist nation, absolutely not
    2) people tie monopolies with capitalism. 100% of monopolies always come about as a result of some kind of government intervention
    3) capitalism is associated with corporations, corporations are ILLEGAL in a capitalist society
    4) people associate the traits of capitalism with negative connotations.
    - wanting to benefit yourself
    - having ambition and drive
    - belief in reeping what you sow
    - looking out for yourself first
    none of these things are bad traits.
    5) capitalism is associated with consumerism. consumerism is caused because businesses go overseas to hire workers for production. this comes about because the legal system is so bureaucratic that opening a factory literally costs billions more in the United States than in China
    6) competition is not bad. competition drives inovation, inovation drives increased value, capitalism efficiently distributes value via win/win exchanges (aka purchases), the distribution of this new value drives growth, which leads to more businesses, more innovation and more growth and increases people standard of living at an insanely fast rate.
    7) capitalism gets a bad wrap because it forces people to bear the consequences of their actions. socialist nations crumple because their citizens become like children wanting the government to spoon feed them
    I'm not going to go through this point by point, frankly because I'm too tired to do so, but I don't think your views on why people, or I'll use myself here as an example, critique capitalism. The very premise of capitalism, is that supposedly every individual will be able to compete and have a fair share in the 'market', thus in order to accumulate capital, but the very essence of capitalism destroys itself for two basic reasons. 1. It makes the assumption that the 'market' is fair and that everyone will be able to compete equitably, this isn't the case, and leads to exploitation, Secondly, it assumes the position that resources are infinite, when we live in a world in which resources are not infinite, therefore it is impossible to accumulate capital at-least in it's entirety or until the capitalist becomes a monopoly on a certain commodity, Resources are scarce. Two basic premises, which you haven't addressed, and most capitalist don't address are the two downfalls of capitalism, Even Adam Smith mentioned this in The Wealth of Nations, and his published work before the Wealth of Nations, entitled The Theory of Moral Sentiments. <end of leftist commie rant>

    Edit - In addition, I don't think this thread will serve the OP's purpose, as posters will just respond and make a counter-response; both individuals set in their ways, and no one coming to any definitive answer. I would support capitalism if it were true to it's claim and did not exploit individuals for the sake of avarice, and yes accumulating capital, for the sake of accumulating capital is avaricious in nature, But I don't think anyone here is arguing the latter position either, that of Marx's dictatorship of the proletariat, Marx was very naive in that judgment, hence why I am not a marxist, Personally I prefer his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 as a better critique of kapitalism, than the more economic centric Das Kapital, it is much more through and focuses on the effects of the worker, it also has this really cool Hegelian bent to it , that he slowly drifted away from.

  8. #68
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    You can spin the definition however you want to but socialism is wrong.
    Technically, no, because I could define it as something that is most indubitably right. The definition is very important.

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    Your essentially taking something from someone who's earned it and giving it to someone who hasn't, by FORCE.

    Morally, it is nothing more than government sanctioned stealing.
    And who, exactly, is the one that decided what does or doesn't pass for earning? I look at much of the wealthy people in this country and don't get the sense that they earned their wealth. Not in any way that is justified to my sensibilities. And yes, force is involved, because it has to be. Try to dance around it all you want, civilization will always need some form of legitimate authority and the application or at least the threat of application of force. If everyone could be trusted to do just what is best of their own volition, there'd be no need for any laws at all. But they don't, so we do need laws, hence we do need to enforce them somehow.

    Anyway, you can call it stealing or whatever. The way I see it, you have one human being who has more money than he/she can even appreciate. A big chunk of that money is taken, pitched back into public programs that make a more functional infrastructure for our economy, educate people to skilled and competent citizens, employ personal to maintain order and defend the country, treat the sick and maintain the general health of the nation, and provide support to the down-trodden so that they might not only have a more tolerable life but a better standing point from which to advance. That profoundly effects the lives of vast numbers of people and keeps the entire society in better order. If I have to trample some so-and-so's desire to putz around with a ton of cash, and steal it from them to get it to those programs and profoundly change the lives of those masses of people, I am quite morally comfortable with that. Way better than Robin Hood...

    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    While socialism may not lead to communism, it is one step from communism. Karl Marx said so himself.
    This goes back to what I'm saying about definition. The popular definition of socialism today has oh so little to do with what Marx said that he as ironically become nearly irrelevant on this matter.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Technically, no, because I could define it as something that is most indubitably right. The definition is very important.



    And who, exactly, is the one that decided what does or doesn't pass for earning? I look at much of the wealthy people in this country and don't get the sense that they earned their wealth. Not in any way that is justified to my sensibilities. And yes, force is involved, because it has to be. Try to dance around it all you want, civilization will always need some form of legitimate authority and the application or at least the threat of application of force. If everyone could be trusted to do just what is best of their own volition, there'd be no need for any laws at all. But they don't, so we do need laws, hence we do need to enforce them somehow.

    Anyway, you can call it stealing or whatever. The way I see it, you have one human being who has more money than he/she can even appreciate. A big chunk of that money is taken, pitched back into public programs that make a more functional infrastructure for our economy, educate people to skilled and competent citizens, employ personal to maintain order and defend the country, treat the sick and maintain the general health of the nation, and provide support to the down-trodden so that they might not only have a more tolerable life but a better standing point from which to advance. That profoundly effects the lives of vast numbers of people and keeps the entire society in better order. If I have to trample some so-and-so's desire to putz around with a ton of cash, and steal it from them to get it to those programs and profoundly change the lives of those masses of people, I am quite morally comfortable with that. Way better than Robin Hood...



    This goes back to what I'm saying about definition. The popular definition of socialism today has oh so little to do with what Marx said that he as ironically become nearly irrelevant on this matter.
    "Those rich people don’t need all that money. They don’t pay their fair share of taxes. And a lot of good can be done if all that money is taken away from those people, who don’t need it anyway, and is given to other less fortunate people so that they can have better opportunities to advance their lives.



    The above paragraph seems to be the essence of liberal economic thought. I realize that many liberals these days object to the notion that what they really want is socialism. However, arguing nomenclature is of no substance. Therefore, I’m just going to say that the philosophy described above falls under the umbrella of socialism, and just call it that.

    We can argue fairness all day long, but for now I want to tell you what happens when socialism or whatever you wish to call it, is deployed in an attempt to correct the perceived economic (or “social”) injustices of the world.

    Many people who support socialism, do so because they want a fair, poverty free world, with justice for all. Therefore, if you support socialism, i.e. wealth redistribution and a large government that deploys a heavy set of social programs to achieve all that, I would just like to let you know of the following:

    The socialist methods deployed to supposedly achieve a better world unleash an AVALANCHE of negative side effects that utterly dwarfs any of their original intentions, and brings more poverty, more inequality, more injustice, less prosperity, and more misery. This is because those methods go against an essence of human nature that cannot be changed even by people with the best of intentions.

    Yes, socialism exacerbates the very problems it claims to solve.

    Disagree? Then read on!

    Unintended Consequences of Socialist Policies

    There are several reasons why socialism, and specifically wealth redistribution by means of taxing the rich, does not work. All of these reasons stem from one important fact of life:

    People have a strong desire to do whatever is in their own perceived self interest!

    The following are detrimental unintended consequences of socialism that stem from the above fact and undermine everything socialism is meant to accomplish:

    Much of the money that goes to the government ends up being wasted, resulting in ineffective government programs, and less wealth for EVERYBODY. Learn more.
    Many are tempted to assume that money collected by the government goes to help the poor and downtrodden. However, much of that money ends up in the hands of the rich and politically connected, those who have the most resources and ability to lobby for it. Learn more
    Socialism concentrates money and power in the hands of the government. When government grows, the greedy and corrupt don’t go away. Conversely, they now have a more powerful tool in their hands, the government itself. Learn more
    The richer you are, the easier it is for you to avoid increasing taxation and leave the bill to the middle class. Learn more.
    A soak-the-rich, high tax strategy inhibits the economy. And who is hurt the most by a slow economy? Not the rich! Learn more
    The transfer of earned wealth that socialist policies mandate are a detriment to entrepreneurship and innovation. Entrepreneurship and innovation are driven by the potential for material rewards. If we take away or reduce the material rewards, we’ll have less innovation. Less innovation means less of all the cool, useful, and life-saving stuff we all love. Learn more
    High taxes and government regulations make it more difficult to start and grow a business, thereby leaving much greater opportunities for those who are already rich and have the resources to overcome those difficulties.Learn more
    Social programs create more demand and need for those very programs in a self perpetuating cycle because given government handouts, people come to expect and rely on them. And therefore, you can never spend enough, because the more you do, the greater the need to do so becomes. Learn more
    Social programs are a disincentive to work and act responsibly. After all, if some or all of your needs are taken care of, and if someone else picks up the tab whenever something goes wrong, why would you worry about such minor details as work ethic, productivity, financial responsibility and family obligations? Consequently, when productivity takes a downturn, leading to a shrinking economy, guess who suffers… everybody! Oh and as always, the rich suffer the least. Learn more
    A combination of the above points causes a vicious cycle of decreasing revenues and increasing demand for social spending that results in a socialist government running out of money and having ‘no choice’ but to perpetuated tax increases to every level of society, rich and poor. Learn more
    Because of the avalanche of problems socialist policies cause, no amount of social spending and taxation will ever overcome the problems it is supposedly set out to solve.

    The Road to Poverty, Inequality, and Injustice

    Socialism causes poverty because it slows economic growth and progress through government waste, taxation on productive economic activity, discouraging innovation and the creation of hurdles for business. In addition, socialism causes poverty because it creates a disincentive to work and act responsibly.
    Socialism causes inequality because much of the money that goes to the government ends up in the hands of the rich and politically connected,it’s easier for wealthy individuals to avoid taxes, and it creates hurdles for business that the wealthy find easier to overcome. Socialism is a way for the rich to shut the door behind them, preventing those who are on their way up from reaching their destination.
    Liberalism tends to liken inequality to injustice, therefore, just by using the standards set by liberal thinking, socialism causes injustice because of the inequality it promotes. But more directly, socialist policies (wealth redistribution, social programs, and regulation) necessitate a larger, more powerful, more meddling, government that becomes a powerful tool for the wealthy, politically connected, and bureaucrats on “power trips” to take advantage of the rest of society.
    The Price of Socialism

    Because of the avalanche of unintended consequences, socialist policies are at best extremely limited in what good they can do. Yet, many politicians represent those as some grand solution to humanity’s problems and completely neglect all the problems socialist policies cause. This is akin to touting a “miracle” cure for cancer, yet failing to mention it causes blindness, brain damage, and eventual cardiac arrest. Socialism’s avalanche of unintended consequences cuts deep into any benefits that society might derive from social programs. And anyone, especially voters and politicians, should be aware and honest about the real price that socialism demands.

    First, there is little chance that, on average, a middle class person would come out ahead with government entitlements he/she receives after subtracting all the extra taxes and economic costs he/she bares for those entitlements. This is because, the government can not raise enough revenue just from those considered rich to cover the cycle of decreasing revenues and increasing demand for social spending brought on by socialist policies. We only need to look at the high level of taxation on the middle class of European social democratic states to see this is indeed the case.

    If you are not a person who is poverty stricken, and you’re not going to run a welfare scam, then do not believe for a second that the government will take from the rich on your behalf. You will pay through income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, inflation etc.

    And then there are the poor. They earn too little for the government to take anything of significance, and can come out ahead in dollar amount given aid from the government. It’s great for them if they’re perfectly happy being perpetually impoverished, living the austere life at a near subsistence level given to them by the government.

    But overall, the poor will also pay a price! And so will everybody else… but as always, not so much those who are very rich. This price is lesser economic opportunity. Yes, the very thing that the socialists supposedly champion for the poor. More specifically, we have greater unemployment and less business opportunity. Western Europe for instance, with all its socialist policies and supposed compassion, has boom-time unemployment rates that are roughly what the United States gets during recessions.

    And to top it all off, there’s the price of slowed innovation, entrepreneurship and technological advancement.

    Conclusion

    The government can either completely help a small number of people, or slightly help a large number of people. What it absolutely can not do is completely help a large number of people. It’s just impossible to expect a small minority, i.e. the rich, to support the rest of the population. It cannot happen! The government can’t solve everybody’s problems. It has never happened, and never will happen."
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

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    People from hardcore communist backgrounds are always very upset by the slightest hint of socialism, I've noticed in my experience.

    It's an emotional response rather than a logical one.

    I mean it's totally understandable, but I don't think it's logical.

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