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Thread: Socialism

  1. #1
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    Default Socialism

    Is the ownership of the means of production by the state. Things like factories and airlines. So-called "communist" governments in fact called themselves socialist. "Social democracies" are free market systems where the government taxes the private sector to provide a social safety net. They are not socialist, and they are the best systems we have come up with in 5000 years.

    Socialism has failed every time it was tried because the state is unable to provide incentives for an efficient workforce and is unable to keep corruption out of the system. Most fully socialist governments collapse, and systems that have some socialism, like Brazil where the government used to own steel mills and phone companies, either reform or stagnate.

    We have elections in October and I am about to vote for the socialist candidate, with gusto. It's not the first time I vote for him either. But I know he is just the lesser of two weevils. I've seen socialist experiments up close and understood why they can never work.

    I say all this because there are so many people out there that refuse to admit it, even after a century of failed experiments. The main threat today is on the right, they bay, but they don't understand that part of the reason for the ascendancy of the right is precisely their dogmatic defense of socialism.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Some forms of socialism seem to work in small, wealthy countries where most people are of the same mind-set as far as work and productivity go. Other countries with a more diverse population suffer because some people have a strong work ethic, while others seek to get by doing as little as possible. The workers resent the slackers, and eventually join them until it's hard to get anyone to do anything.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Bored again?
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: Socialism

    It has nothing to do with a "diverse" population. Any group of humans will follow a bell curve from slacker to self-sacrificing. Without the right sticks and carrots, the slacker strategy becomes successful and gains adherents, and the self-sacrificing start to look like suckers.

    No country is blonder and more homogeneous than Russia. Look what socialism did for them.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Problem is many think in extremes.

    Elizabeth Warren was correct when she gave her little speech about how the roads and such we all pay for benefit everyone, private people and businesses themselves. They ship the parts to the factory, the goods to the stores/customers, ambulance drives over, the roads built by private companies paid by TAXES.

    The infrastructure is used by public and private persons/businesses. We should put healthcare under that umbrella.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    A bit broad brush George, and slanderous.
    Nationalization was unsuccessful in the UK because we have a two/three party system.
    Every time the Tories formed a government, they underfunded the nationalized industries with the intention of making them fail.
    Then as soon as they could, they closed them down. Thatcher decimated coal, steel and shipbuilding. The railways were so bad, but as major infrastructure could not be closed down, that they were privatized.
    The rail bed was so badly run by their new owners that it had to be taken back into public ownership, and a couple of the regional operating companies are so flaky that they may go down the same route.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Nationalization was unsuccessful in the UK
    As opposed to where? Where was it successful?

    I am not talking about health care or roads. Contrary to what some Americans believe, that's not socialism.



    Every time the Tories formed a government, they underfunded the nationalized industries with the intention of making them fail.
    And in Brazil the PT "unintentionally" made Petrobras, the national oil company, fail. Another hazard of state ownership of production is that it is at the mercy of whatever regime is in power.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    As opposed to where? Where was it successful?
    My point is that it could have been, but for the Tories, and that it still has a place.

    I am not talking about health care or roads. Contrary to what some Americans believe, that's not socialism.
    Actually, health care is socialism.

    And in Brazil the PT "unintentionally" made Petrobras, the national oil company, fail. Another hazard of state ownership of production is that it is at the mercy of whatever regime is in power.
    That is exactly my point in post#6
    Run state owned businesses using best practice with adequate investment, and it matters not whether it is owned by banks, pension funds or shareholders, or by the state, it can and will thrive.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    Some forms of socialism seem to work in . . .
    Socialism can be distinguished from liberal democracy, or classical liberalism if you prefer, on the one hand, and from Communism, on the other, or it can't; if not, it means nothing; it's merely a new name.

    What is the distinction, that applies to any and all possible forms?

    Socialism is an economic doctrine which is entirely compatible with liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer. Communism is socialism welded to a moral doctrine, thus forming an ideology: that public ownership is not merely expedient, but morally imperative, such that, even if it is inefficient and inexpedient, it is nonetheless morally imperative. This ideology is antithetical to to liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer.

    This is proven by the fact that the Constitution of the Russian Federation (formerly Communist Russia) explicitly declares that the state is not founded on ideology. This, after 80 years' testing of the "experiment":

    Article 13

    1. Ideological plurality is recognized in the Russian Federation.

    2. No ideology may be established as the state or obligatory ideology.

    https://www.vsrf.ru/en/documents/constitution/
    Dig it, fuzz brain lefties and "socialism curious" liberals. Give up "socialism", it's futile, because it cannot distinguish itself from liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer.

    Socialism does not suddenly appear, by the magic of the dialectic, as the antithesis or synthesis of anything,including the resolution of a supposed conflict with capitalism. Liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer, predates capitalism; and it follows, that liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer, has no necessary connection to capitalism, and therefore your reduction of the question to the "systemic" disadvantanges of capitalism is misplaced. You're just going to have to accept this and proceed accordingly.

    Socialism has no moral content apart from that borrowed from liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer. It's mere expediency, which by definition, is non-ideological. In this regard, see the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which is the result of all this S working itself out in reality.
    Last edited by Osborne Russell; 07-24-2022 at 10:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Socialism can be distinguished from liberal democracy, or classical liberalism if you prefer, on the one hand, and from Communism, on the other, or it can't; if not, it means nothing; it's merely a new name.

    What is the distinction, that applies to any and all possible forms?

    Socialism is an economic doctrine which is entirely compatible with liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer. Communism is socialism welded to a moral doctrine, thus forming an ideology: that public ownership is not merely expedient, but morally imperative, such that, even if it is inefficient and inexpedient, it is nonetheless morally imperative. This ideology is antithetical to to liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer.

    This is proven by the fact that the Constitution of the Russian Federation (formerly Communist Russia) explicitly declares that the state is not founded on ideology. This, after 80 years' testing of the "experiment":



    Dig it, fuzz brain lefties and "socialism curious" liberals. Give up "socialism", it's futile, because it cannot distinguish itself from liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer.

    Socialism does not suddenly appear as the antithesis or synthesis of anything,including the resolution of a supposed conflict with capitalism. Liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer, predates capitalism; and it follows, that liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer, has no necessary connection to capitalism. You're just going to have to accept this and proceed accordingly. Socialism has no moral content apart from that borrowed from liberal democracy, or classical liberalism, if you prefer. It's mere expediency, which by definition, is non-ideological. In this regard, see the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
    Osborne, you are wrong.
    This is a definition of Classic Liberalism
    Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market and laissez-faire economics; civil liberties under the rule of law with an emphasis on limited government, economic freedom, and political freedom.
    socialism

    noun: socialism


    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated as a whole.

    Not a lot of laissez fair, or limited government there.
    Which is why, until our Liberal party withered on the vine, we had all three political parties in the UK.
    Tory; Liberal; Labour.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Sigh...
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    Default Re: Socialism

    A man or a woman is born with certain faculties, including the knowing use of those faculties, not just for entertainment, but to answer the needs of life, material and spiritual. "Why should I exhaust myself to turn out more sewing, or cooking, or firewood, sweep the floor, guard the stock, tend the fields, beyond the needs of my family?" Answer this or STFU.

    Cut to the chase, societies are formed, and an inherent, undeniable conflict of interest arises between the interest of the individual, and the interest of society.

    Against this backdrop, Communism asserts the moral primacy of society, to the extent of declaring that the individual interest is not only not innate, but a mere illusion of "systemic" culture. Because it is false, and so goes against nature, Commies must perpetually fight the battle of denial, with ever-increasing force. The honest ones admit it, with such concepts as "the New Socialist Man" and the party-become-the-state training of professional "Engineers of the Soul." They attack human nature frontally, candidly admitting the nature of task -- not a matter of "finding the balance" between society and the individual, but of conquering the enemy -- the reality of the existence of the individual, and the rights arising from the natural situation. Orwell lays it out. Also Christopher Hitchens. Read him on his experience in Cuba. Elated to have finally arrived, eager to join The Revolution, the young Marxist-Leninist thought he would take a walk in the Cuban dusk, to breathe in the promise of man's liberation. Guards stopped him at gunpoint and told him he was forbidden to leave the camp.

    Hitchens later became a powerful champion of the Enlightenment. I know you know what that means, liberals. You cheered him when he went up against MEM. Rah, rah. What about when he went up against Communism, liberal sob sister? Do you have even a clue as to what he was talking about? I'll tell you: it was a defense of liberal democracy against all of its enemies. His English intellectual and moral heritage speaking up, yo.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Is the ownership of the means of production by the state. Things like factories and airlines. So-called "communist" governments in fact called themselves socialist. "Social democracies" are free market systems where the government taxes the private sector to provide a social safety net. They are not socialist, and they are the best systems we have come up with in 5000 years.

    Socialism has failed every time it was tried because the state is unable to provide incentives for an efficient workforce and is unable to keep corruption out of the system. Most fully socialist governments collapse, and systems that have some socialism, like Brazil where the government used to own steel mills and phone companies, either reform or stagnate.

    We have elections in October and I am about to vote for the socialist candidate, with gusto. It's not the first time I vote for him either. But I know he is just the lesser of two weevils. I've seen socialist experiments up close and understood why they can never work.

    I say all this because there are so many people out there that refuse to admit it, even after a century of failed experiments. The main threat today is on the right, they bay, but they don't understand that part of the reason for the ascendancy of the right is precisely their dogmatic defense of socialism.
    Your first 2 paragraphs are correct, every democratic country has a left and a right, your decision based on not liking one of them is short sighted, be careful what you wish for.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Cut to the chase, societies are formed, and an inherent, undeniable conflict of interest arises between the interest of the individual, and the interest of society.
    I do not grant your premise.

    You have an extremely limited U.S.-individualist conception of the issues involved. And an apparent inability to recognize that your view is not the only way to characterize the relationship between individuals and the society they are a part of.

    And since your starting premise has no credibility, neither does your argument. Perhaps you learned something about that while constructing geometric proofs in 10th grade?

    Tom
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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I do not grant your premise.

    You have an extremely limited U.S.-individualist conception of the issues involved. And an apparent inability to recognize that your view is not the only way to characterize the relationship between individuals and the society they are a part of.
    You wish it were US-centric. Then you could deploy your cheap anti-Americanism, along with your cheap ad hominem. Human rights are human, take a clue from the words.

    The issues involved are simple. Address them if you can.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    You wish it were US-centric. Then you could deploy your cheap anti-Americanism, along with your cheap ad hominem.

    The issues involved are simple. Address them if you can.
    I think that you have just admitted that you have lost the argument.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    None of it has any direct connection to economics and all the little squiggly utilitarian efficiency arguments. Like Roe v. Wade, it's about liberty, it's a moral question, not to be resolved by "data", involving as it does competing concepts of the moral meaning of human existence, given human nature. Both sides take man as revealed by history and experience. These are the "data". One side insists that man has an undeniable right to be what he was created as, meaning, a right as against anyone who claims the right to make him what he is not. The other side claims both the right and the ability to change human nature. Unavoidably, such claims produce tyranny. There is no possibility of it being any other way. Society either contains the conflict, or fights until the battle is won.

    Communists claiming that ideology can not just influence but actually change the organism are the same as people who claim that there is no such thing as overpopulation because the sea is an infinite resource, animal, vegetable, and mineral, to support an infinite population. That's why they promote a dystopian hell of fungoid granny flats.

    Whatever the superstructure, the foundation is denial. Communism is the Bad Seed poison child of the Enlightenment, along with its timid sob sister, MEM "liberalism". To Commies and denialist MEM sob sisters alike, the Enlightenment is a proof and justification of human hubris, i.e. homocentrism. "Behold our railroads and factories! Our powers know no limits!" -- "Shining city on a hill", either way. "Social justice."

    Only in the west do people continue to deny that to organize and employ those powers to their fullest, an organizing power must be established and applied to the specific task. State powers. Only western liberals persist in believing that that power cannot, or at any rate, should not arise, because people can be persuaded into communism. Communists know it takes force. See, Lenin, Trotsky . . . Stalin. Ask them in Poland whether they're over that S. They know down to the granular, neighborhood, personal friendship level, what Communism requires, and how it works.

    What does Acton say about that, Grandma? All of society organized in the effort to change the individual by force? What could go wrong?
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    A man or a woman is born with certain faculties, including the knowing use of those faculties, not just for entertainment, but to answer the needs of life, material and spiritual. "Why should I exhaust myself to turn out more sewing, or cooking, or firewood, sweep the floor, guard the stock, tend the fields, beyond the needs of my family?" Answer this or STFU.

    Cut to the chase, societies are formed, and an inherent, undeniable conflict of interest arises between the interest of the individual, and the interest of society.

    Against this backdrop, Communism asserts the moral primacy of society, to the extent of declaring that the individual interest is not only not innate, but a mere illusion of "systemic" culture. Because it is false, and so goes against nature, Commies must perpetually fight the battle of denial, with ever-increasing force. The honest ones admit it, with such concepts as "the New Socialist Man" and the party-become-the-state training of professional "Engineers of the Soul." They attack human nature frontally, candidly admitting the nature of task -- not a matter of "finding the balance" between society and the individual, but of conquering the enemy -- the reality of the existence of the individual, and the rights arising from the natural situation. Orwell lays it out. Also Christopher Hitchens. Read him on his experience in Cuba. Elated to have finally arrived, eager to join The Revolution, the young Marxist-Leninist thought he would take a walk in the Cuban dusk, to breathe in the promise of man's liberation. Guards stopped him at gunpoint and told him he was forbidden to leave the camp.

    Hitchens later became a powerful champion of the Enlightenment. I know you know what that means, liberals. You cheered him when he went up against MEM. Rah, rah. What about when he went up against Communism, liberal sob sister? Do you have even a clue as to what he was talking about? I'll tell you: it was a defense of liberal democracy against all of its enemies. His English intellectual and moral heritage speaking up, yo.
    Well stated... for the most part.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    None of it has any direct connection to economics and all the little squiggly utilitarian efficiency arguments. Like Roe v. Wade, it's about liberty, it's a moral question, not to be resolved by "data", involving as it does competing concepts of the moral meaning of human existence, given human nature. Both sides take man as revealed by history and experience. These are the "data". One side insists that man has an undeniable right to be what he was created as, meaning, a right as against anyone who claims the right to make him what he is not. The other side claims both the right and the ability to change human nature. Unavoidably, such claims produce tyranny. There is no possibility of it being any other way. Society either contains the conflict, or fights until the battle is won.

    Communists claiming that ideology can not just influence but actually change the organism are the same as people who claim that there is no such thing as overpopulation because the sea is an infinite resource, animal, vegetable, and mineral, to support an infinite population. That's why they promote a dystopian hell of fungoid granny flats.

    Whatever the superstructure, the foundation is denial. Communism is the Bad Seed poison child of the Enlightenment, along with its timid sob sister, MEM "liberalism". To Commies and denialist MEM sob sisters alike, the Enlightenment is a proof and justification of human hubris, i.e. homocentrism. "Behold our railroads and factories! Our powers know no limits!" -- "Shining city on a hill", either way. "Social justice."

    Only in the west do people continue to deny that to organize and employ those powers to their fullest, an organizing power must be established and applied to the specific task. State powers. Only western liberals persist in believing that that power cannot, or at any rate, should not arise, because people can be persuaded into communism. Communists know it takes force. See, Lenin, Trotsky . . . Stalin. Ask them in Poland whether they're over that S. They know down to the granular, neighborhood, personal friendship level, what Communism requires, and how it works.

    What does Acton say about that, Grandma? All of society organized in the effort to change the individual by force? What could go wrong?
    Back to muddled, broad-brush, black & white thinking. I'm sorry to see it.


    Seems to be a lot of ignorance, pre-conceived notions, and incomplete knowledge being bandied about on this thread. One example (just one of several): the definition of socialism.

    Socialism is, strictly speaking, the public ownership of the means of production. Period. Some would argue that it also should include public regulation of the privately owned means of production. That would be a very expansive definition, and more properly describes Social Democracy... which allows for hybrid structures. And some would include as 'socialism', any collective effort toward a better world. Like publicly-funded fire departments, highways, school systems, low-income housing projects, etc. Not unless ALL the systems and the means of production are publicly owned. As far as its relation to Communism... it's envisioned not as an end state, but as a transition on the way from Capitalism to Communism. A path, not a destination. Some of the confusion, I believe, comes from the fluidity of the imagined process. Early on in the transition, it's not purely socialism, but a blending with capitalism trending toward socialism. Late in the process, a blending of socialism trending toward communism.

    In casual cracker-barrel conversation, I can work with a looser sort of language - interpreting on the fly, and only correcting when necessary. But when it comes down to brass tacks and written essays - imprecise language and incomplete or overly broad definitions tend to derail productive discourse. Which is a chunk of why people are talking past each other here.
    Last edited by David G; 07-24-2022 at 11:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    You wish it were US-centric. Then you could deploy your cheap anti-Americanism, along with your cheap ad hominem. Human rights are human, take a clue from the words.

    The issues involved are simple. Address them if you can.
    The issue I'm addressing is the fundamental premise you proposed: that there is necessarily an inherent conflict of interest between the individual and society.

    As I said, that's an extremely biased view that ignores reality as lived elsewhere. Many cultures define the relationship between individual and society very differently, resulting in a complete lack of the adversarial relationship you hypothesize as an inevitable part of human nature.

    When the premise fails, the argument fails. Back to step 1 of your proof.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 07-24-2022 at 11:43 AM.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Osborne, you're making some good points, but you're being a jerk about it.

    Tom, if you know of any society more complicated than bands of hunter-gatherers that exists without conflict between individuals and the group, I'd be interested in hearing about it. The conflicts may be about different things, and greater or lesser, but AFAIK it's pretty universal.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    The issue I'm addressing is the fundamental premise you proposed: that there is necessarily an inherent conflict of interest between the individual and society.

    As I said, that's an extremely biased view that ignores reality as lived elsewhere. Many cultures define the relationship between individual and society very differently, resulting in a complete lack of the adversarial relationship you hypothesize is an inevitable part of human nature.

    When the premise fails, the argument fails. Back to step 1 of your proof.

    Tom
    I disagree. That conflict is, indeed, baked in. Just because some places/systems come to a reasonably easy-going compromise between the conflicting interests doesn't mean the conflict is imaginary.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Tom, if you know of any society more complicated than bands of hunter-gatherers...
    This looks like an acknowledgement that I'm correct--even you admit there are societies that are not based on an adversarial relationship between the individual and the group.

    Now, if you want to apply a qualifier to my statement, you can. And then the discussion changes. But if we're arguing a fundamental principle, as OR likes to attempt--if you are hypothesizing that there is something inherent in human nature that makes an adversarial relationship between the individual and society inevitable in all cases--then it better apply to all cases, without qualifiers. If not, your entire argument collapses.

    But is small scale the only way to create a functional collectivist society in which the relationship between individual and society is non-adversarial? Not at all.

    Many African, Asian, and indigenous cultures are highly collectivist in nature. In such societies, the individual derives identity and function through membership in the society, not apart from it. Society is seen as the opportunity to achieve a meaningful existence, rather than a necessary evil for which individual freedoms must be traded away.

    Is there an inherent "conflict" in this scenario?

    I see a $100 bill in the middle of a busy interstate highway. Individual desire says "I want the money! Grab it!" But there's a constant rush of traffic, and you're certain to get crushed if you go for the money. So, you don't.

    Do collectivist societies impose constraints on individual behavior? Sure. Is that conflict? Or is it a simple matter of prioritization. Just as it is unthinkable for me to jump in front of the traffic to grab the money--consequences are too severe for this to be a real "conflict"--it is unthinkable for an individual member of a collectivist society to engage in behaviors that would damage the group. Because, the individual sees themselves as being the group.

    OR makes "good points" only if you accept his biases and premises that acknowledge no other values but his own, and attempts to make us believe that his personal beliefs, based on the traditions from which his education comes, are somehow THE one undeniable truth. "Undeniable" is his word, by the way.

    He might do well to review Plato's allegory of the cave. He's living it.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 07-24-2022 at 12:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post

    Socialism is, strictly speaking, the public ownership of the means of production. Period.
    Read the Wiki, there are more forms of socialism that you can wave a stick at
    Considering economics, we find:
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Read the Wiki, there are more forms of socialism that you can wave a stick at
    Considering economics, we find:
    1. I said 'strictly speaking'

    2. I allowed for variations that aren't pure socialism

    But if you're going to reference one of those variations, please be clear and specific about which flavor you're dishing up. Otherwise, confusion rules and discourse muddies.
    David G
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    A man or a woman is born with certain faculties, including the knowing use of those faculties, not just for entertainment, but to answer the needs of life, material and spiritual. "Why should I exhaust myself to turn out more sewing, or cooking, or firewood, sweep the floor, guard the stock, tend the fields, beyond the needs of my family?" Answer this or STFU.
    Answer: We are where we are because we can help avoid an untimely death for both ourselves and our loved ones if we create a society of more families, working together, drawing on a wider range of resources and skills, for a common good. Basic evolutionary pressure, geared towards (the very) why we're social apes and (hey!) survivors.

    "Ugg's myopia is appalling, he's useless on a hunt, but his sewing is exquisite, we can trade clothes and keep warm this Winter."

    "Ogg's as barren as the tundra, but her memory of the old Hard Times allows us to survive and her knowledge of midwifery are the best for hundreds of miles. We can trade her information for precious flints."

    Supplementary answer: There are examples of injured, maimed Neanderthals and, indeed, our recent footprints-in-the-English-mud, Homo antecessor, surviving near-death events that would have killed them, had they not the support and care of a wider community. Why did they survive? ...because they were loved, needed and valuable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Cut to the chase, societies are formed, and an inherent, undeniable conflict of interest arises between the interest of the individual, and the interest of society.
    We, in the UK at least, have seemingly forgotten the whole freakin' point of government.

    An individual human can place a few hundred people into a tribal network that works. This is the way we've evolved.

    But if I want a ten-year-old Nissan parked on my driveway, that I can pay for, insure, fuel, and (very rarely) polish, I need to live in a wider society. I'm never going to find 'a few hundred' that can provide all my wants (from roads to car-radio stations), so I have to rely on a bigger society.

    We achieve this by voting for representatives to represent us in a representative government, working for the wider, common, good. Sure, some of that common good may transgress my personal beliefs, but we're all in it together.

    Thing is, by buying into the practice of representative government, we should constantly be reminded that we own the government. The elected representatives need to be reminded that they owe it to us to make the right choices. Not treat the whole exercise as if they're somehow privileged by mere wealth, birth or schooling to keep everyone in their place. We chose to be represented, as it can work for our general good. They are there as our employees, and nothing more.

    A long time ago, I, as a British citizen, owned (on, at least, some level), the infrastructure: British Gas, British Railways, British Telecom, Social Housing, etc.

    They were 'ours'. Individuals sharing common ownership.

    And then a cadre of mean-spirited, right wing fanatics stole the lot, for their own benefit.

    Andy, Socialist
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Run state owned businesses using best practice with adequate investment, and it matters not whether it is owned by banks, pension funds or shareholders, or by the state, it can and will thrive.
    You are missing the point.

    Business cannot use best practices when run by the state, because the state is run by the government, and there is a conflict of interest between what's best for the business and what's best for the government.

    Plus an efficient market requires competition, but the state must creates monopolies because otherwise it can't compete.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Socialism

    We've got enough experience of nationalized industry to know what works and what doesn't. There are areas where markets don't work very well, and those areas are easy enough to identify. If people can buy or not buy the product or service and society is generally fine with it, it works best for that enterprise to be private and the market economy works fine (as long as the market is properly regulated against moral hazards like fraud and monopoly power.)

    If you cannot, for practical or moral reasons, exclude people from the use of the enterprise, it is by its nature a public good. If you build a lighthouse, you can't exclude people within visible range from using it, so you can't market your service. If you build a barber shop, you can refuse to cut people's hair unless they pay you, and if they can't or won't pay you, their hair gets a little longer, which is not fatal, or they cut their own hair, which is seldom fatal.

    The Fabian socialists in Britain nationalized both the coal industry and the healthcare industry. In the coal industry, this proved to be a bad idea. The National Health Service has its shortcomings, but privatizing it would be extremely unpopular, because excluding the impecunious is immoral.

    More here: http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blog...ghthouses.html

    We know plenty about what works and what doesn't. The labels have ceased to be helpful, and are now simply used as cudgels.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    You are missing the point.

    Business cannot use best practices when run by the state, because the state is run by the government, and there is a conflict of interest between what's best for the business and what's best for the government.

    Plus an efficient market requires competition, but the state must creates monopolies because otherwise it can't compete.
    Lobbyists for the American health insurance industry were scared out of their pants by the possibility of a public option for health insurance being included in the Affordable Care Act because they feared it would be more efficient, and put them out of business. The American healthcare system is the world's least efficient. One of the most efficient is Britain's NHS.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    1. I said 'strictly speaking'

    2. I allowed for variations that aren't pure socialism

    But if you're going to reference one of those variations, please be clear and specific about which flavor you're dishing up. Otherwise, confusion rules and discourse muddies.
    Socialism is a moving feast. It has developed and evolved.

    It is easier to say what it is not.
    It is not conservatism or liberalism or libertarianism, all of which want minimum government/regulation, and want laissez fair finance.
    It is not communism either.
    Our labourparty is still socialist, even after re writing the Public Ownership clause
    "The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that, by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create, for each of us, the means to realise our true potential, and, for all of us, a community in which power, wealth, and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few."[
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    It has nothing to do with a "diverse" population. Any group of humans will follow a bell curve from slacker to self-sacrificing. Without the right sticks and carrots, the slacker strategy becomes successful and gains adherents, and the self-sacrificing start to look like suckers.

    No country is blonder and more homogeneous than Russia. Look what socialism did for them.
    You're talking about the white Russian Cossacks, or whatever the call themselves? Not the Asian and arctic people from the 'stans and northern parts - the ones putin is harvesting for cannon fodder. Blonde and homogeneous my azz.

    Pete
    The Ignore feature, lowering blood pressure since 1862. Ahhhhhhh.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    You are missing the point.

    Business cannot use best practices when run by the state, because the state is run by the government, and there is a conflict of interest between what's best for the business and what's best for the government.

    Plus an efficient market requires competition, but the state must creates monopolies because otherwise it can't compete.
    Bollocks, of course it can, and examples of where it did are on record..
    Although I cannot remember the exact context, British Rail middle management are remembered for doing particularly well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post

    The Fabian socialists in Britain nationalized both the coal industry and the healthcare industry. In the coal industry, this proved to be a bad idea. The National Health Service has its shortcomings, but privatizing it would be extremely unpopular, because excluding the impecunious is immoral.
    Erm no. Coal, steel and shipbuilding fell victim to Thatchers hatred of the Unions. Supported by a government that wanted them to succeed, they may well have been working now.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  34. #34
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    Default Re: Socialism

    British Rail?

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    As opposed to where? Where was it successful?

    I am not talking about health care or roads. Contrary to what some Americans believe, that's not socialism. .
    Pretty cheeky of you to claim the exclusive right to define words. . .

    Humpty Dumpty alert !!!

    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”



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