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What is Socialism?


BansheeOne

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6 hours ago, Ssnake said:

The socialists' creed might be, in my limited understanding,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the equal distribution of equity, and where possible, life, and liberty.

Fair point, which leads me to a broad definition:

Socialism is one of many human ideologies that attempt to achieve power over others by forcing the ideologue's will on them.  (Forcing one's will on others is one definition of rape, meaning that the ideologues are f#$%^&*( the others.)  One distinguishing characteristic of Socialism is that the ideologue's attempt is welcomed by the others, meaning that they enjoy being f#$%@!.

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If there is socialism, is because of inequalities in society. Yes, even a functioning capitalist system has inequalities, because that is the drive to strive. Yes, Its even a good thing to encourage betterment. But if the system is rigged to deliver rank inequality, its inevitable not only will there be socialism, but some of them will be right at the crackpot end trying to build the next Venezuela. Thats fairly clear I think.

Its worth reflecting on why Socialism started in Britain. It started with miners groups organizing relief for the families of fellow miners that had been killed. They even tried to ban them just doing that. Just think, if employers had thought to provide it, if Government had thought to legislate it, then Socialism in Britain might never have gotten started, or at least in not the same way. So, If Socialism is a Gollum, its one the rich  created for themselves through indifference. Not all of them, its perfectly true, but not enough to make a serious difference.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

If there is socialism, is because of inequalities in society. Yes, even a functioning capitalist system has inequalities, because that is the drive to strive.

Socialism STILL has the same inequalities. You just call them something else. That's why the leadership still drives around in limos, goes to fancy Swiss resorts by air, helicopters from the airport to the resort and then is carted around in Cadillacs and other limos. They won't be eating bugs. They'll be eating steak and shrimp. 

So, frankly, at the point that you start trying to fix those inequalities by cutting one person off at the knees so you can give someone else a leg up, you're giving the person MAKING that cut too much power that noone should ever have. 

41 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Yes, Its even a good thing to encourage betterment. But if the system is rigged to deliver rank inequality, its inevitable not only will there be socialism, but some of them will be right at the crackpot end trying to build the next Venezuela. Thats fairly clear I think.

Can you show me ANY full socialist state that's managed to not have inequality? 

The UK's NHS is it equally good for everyone? What about housing? You had public housing that went up like a bonfire. Was that equal? The Grenfell Tower wasn't owned by some private rich guy, it was the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization running it on behalf of the local Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council. 

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Socialism is a Utopian ideology that the State knows best and therefore can achieve equal outcomes despite knowing that it never will.  But Socialism also teaches that murder on an industrial scale is fine just so long as the State wins in the end.  Murder or Genocide is totally acceptable to make the State the ultimate power.  See Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist China, or Cambodia.  Socialism=murder and genocide.  

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33 minutes ago, rmgill said:

Socialism STILL has the same inequalities. You just call them something else. That's why the leadership still drives around in limos, goes to fancy Swiss resorts by air, helicopters from the airport to the resort and then is carted around in Cadillacs and other limos. They won't be eating bugs. They'll be eating steak and shrimp. 

So, frankly, at the point that you start trying to fix those inequalities by cutting one person off at the knees so you can give someone else a leg up, you're giving the person MAKING that cut too much power that noone should ever have. 

Can you show me ANY full socialist state that's managed to not have inequality? 

The UK's NHS is it equally good for everyone? What about housing? You had public housing that went up like a bonfire. Was that equal? The Grenfell Tower wasn't owned by some private rich guy, it was the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization running it on behalf of the local Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council. 

Ryan, do you actually read anything I said? Note I didn't suggest Socialism was a solution. I said it was an inevitable  result of capitalist systems that show no interest in themselves dealing with the worst inequalities.

Once again, its not the argument,  its the person.

 

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Maybe it would help to differentiate between "socialism" as an ideology and the welfare state. The idea of the welfare state is old (Cura Annonae in Rome was such a measure) and the basic idea was to provide so much social security to he population that they will not rise up against the state. The motivation is to buy civil obedience. 

 

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2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Ryan, do you actually read anything I said? Note I didn't suggest Socialism was a solution. I said it was an inevitable  result of capitalist systems that show no interest in themselves dealing with the worst inequalities.

You presume something that's not demonstrated. First off, I think it's more safe to say that where you have contrived regulation, rent seeking in regulation, anti-competitive practices, corruption and greed with government and business either preying upon each other or worse in bed with each other, you'll have people who use the precepts of socialism to get themselves into positions of power so they can use that power to self aggrandize and enrich themselves and their cronies. 

I think the Grenfell tower disaster demonstrates that handily. That was the local council's property. That wasn't capitalism. That was your version of inevitable socialism using people as fuel for their self enrichment. 

Do you actually read any of the world events and formulate materials that Marx wrote? If it was an inevitable result then we'd have had as world wide socialist revolusions that in fact did not occur. That's why we have critical theory stuff trying to sneak socialism in under the auspices of a race conflict instead of the presumptive class conflict that did not occur. 

Where you have successful economic progress, free markets, modest regulation to punish malfeasance and otherwise healthy economy, you in fact do NOT have socialism as an inevitable result. You have growth of economies, new businesses to take advantage of new technologies and all manner of progress. 

2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Once again, its not the argument,  its the person.

Quite right. At last for you I guess. 

Edited by rmgill
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28 minutes ago, rmgill said:

You presume something that's not demonstrated. First off, I think it's more safe to say that where you have contrived regulation, rent seeking in regulation, anti-competitive practices, corruption and greed with government and business either preying upon each other or worse in bed with each other, you'll have people who use the precepts of socialism to get themselves into positions of power so they can use that power to self aggrandize and enrich themselves and their cronies. 

I think the Grenfell tower disaster demonstrates that handily. That was the local council's property. That wasn't capitalism. That was your version of inevitable socialism using people as fuel for their self enrichment. 

Do you actually read any of the world events and formulate materials that Marx wrote? If it was an inevitable result then we'd have had as world wide socialist revolusions that in fact did not occur. That's why we have critical theory stuff trying to sneak socialism in under the auspices of a race conflict instead of the presumptive class conflict that did not occur. 

Where you have successful economic progress, free markets, modest regulation to punish malfeasance and otherwise healthy economy, you in fact do NOT have socialism as an inevitable result. You have growth of economies, new businesses to take advantage of new technologies and all manner of progress. 

Quite right. At last for you I guess. 

You are aware the local council was Kensington, one of the richest in London and run by a Conservative  administration,  right?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensington_and_Chelsea_London_Borough_Council

No, guess not.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

You are aware the local council was Kensington, one of the richest in London and run by a Conservative  administration,  right?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensington_and_Chelsea_London_Borough_Council

No, guess not.

Why does that matter if even conservatives in the UK do socialism because "it's inevitable." Were the Soviets who hid the problems of RBMK reactors "Conservatives"? 

When the 'inevitable socialism' itself fails because the people running the systems aren't doing what they are supposed to, because government itself is the bad actor and no longer the impartial arbiter, what do you do? 

The problem you have with socialism is that it's like a game where the referee and a team conspire. So your fix is to make the referee the same as one of the teams and a specifically interested party in winning the game. Which means that you STILL don't have equality AND the party that should be making impartial sportsball calls is itself the one committing the fouls. 

Edited by rmgill
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equality isn't going to happen

fair isn't going to happen

there will always be a top and bottom 10%.

The closest thing to equality is when everyone is equally miserable.

The "safety net" isn't supposed to be covering a flatscreen TV and unlimited internet.  The scope of the discussion is flawed.

I mentioned Bismarck because to the best of my understanding he was of two minds on this very subject.  Whatever his faults he was a capable statesman.  If he could see the pitfalls and the rewards then his views are surely worth merit.

As far as Socialism in Britain you'll have to forgive me for not using Britain as a leading light on the subject.  While I am very much an Anglophile I am of the opinion that the French were quite correct about the English character who as Tolkien said "desire power above all else".  The fate of the British Auto industry is plenty of proof that the only equality is equally bad.

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10 hours ago, rmgill said:

Why does that matter if even conservatives in the UK do socialism because "it's inevitable." Were the Soviets who hid the problems of RBMK reactors "Conservatives"? 

When the 'inevitable socialism' itself fails because the people running the systems aren't doing what they are supposed to, because government itself is the bad actor and no longer the impartial arbiter, what do you do? 

The problem you have with socialism is that it's like a game where the referee and a team conspire. So your fix is to make the referee the same as one of the teams and a specifically interested party in winning the game. Which means that you STILL don't have equality AND the party that should be making impartial sportsball calls is itself the one committing the fouls. 

Because self evidently you cant use it as an article AGAINST socialism, when its well heeled, self obsessed twats running the council are not Socialist.  Its why they put the sodding cladding on the damn thing in the first place, to hide it from sensitive eyes.

If you are going to take my comments to task, why dont you actually try and equip yourself to try and understand what the hell it is Im saying? I wasnt DEFENDING Socialism. Im saying that if the free market doesnt take note of the poorest members of society, at least throw them a bone, you inevitably GET Socialism.

Jesus Christ. You fire your perception of what im going to say at me like a firehose. Actually try fucking reading it for once, can you do that please?

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12 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Sweden? France? Israel?

Actually Israel even introduced a form of collectivisation, and successfully  sold it to American tourists as Kibutz.

 

How do you come to the idea they are socialist? They are welfare states. Which is a totally different thing than being socialist.

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9 hours ago, Tim the Tank Nut said:

equality isn't going to happen

fair isn't going to happen

there will always be a top and bottom 10%.

The closest thing to equality is when everyone is equally miserable.

The "safety net" isn't supposed to be covering a flatscreen TV and unlimited internet.  The scope of the discussion is flawed.

I mentioned Bismarck because to the best of my understanding he was of two minds on this very subject.  Whatever his faults he was a capable statesman.  If he could see the pitfalls and the rewards then his views are surely worth merit.

As far as Socialism in Britain you'll have to forgive me for not using Britain as a leading light on the subject.  While I am very much an Anglophile I am of the opinion that the French were quite correct about the English character who as Tolkien said "desire power above all else".  The fate of the British Auto industry is plenty of proof that the only equality is equally bad.

You won get equality. There is a good case for saying you CAN work against the worst effects of market economies. You will always get a bottom 10 percent. It doesnt need to be quite so bottom or quite so hopeless to advance from. Those are modest aims, and I fail to see why they cant be met.

If we cant do that, we really are saying Capitalism cant do very much at all except gorge itself stupid, and I refuse to believe that. It would mean Marx was right, and I dont accept that.

Once again, Im not defending Socialism. You quite misunderstand what Im saying. Socialism only exists in the UK because the two other parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, are so hopelessly inept at finding methods of dealing with the concerns of the working class. Yes, the British Auto Industry is a really good example of the worst effects of Socialism. OTOH, nobody that I know of has ever applied themselves to reading up what it was like to work in Ford in the 60's and 70's. It was a hellhole. And a profitable hellhole too, which is what made it worse. Ford UK was actually keeping Ford US Solvent, from what my late father told me.

There is a very good documentary in 4 parts on youtube I would encourage people to try and understand where the labour disputes arose from.  Nissan or Honda never had this problem.

When you see what a problem Detroit has become, I have to ask the question if the blame was less the Unions than the Management of Ford.

As for British Leyland, which I do not defend in any part, at least half of it, including Jaguar, Mini, Leyland Daf, Unipart, still survives as private companies. Which begs the question whether the problem was really the Unions, or Management. Half and half Id say. And again, if you work people in a hellhole, you cant really expect them to be very civil. Again, not a problem the Japanese Car industry had working in the UK.

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Just now, seahawk said:

How do you come to the idea they are socialist? They are welfare states. Which is a totally different thing than being socialist.

I didnt say they are Socialist now, just that they were for a time. Im suggesting that you can have Socialist states which seemed to function without large amounts of bloodshed. Well, in Israels case, the bloodshed was due to other factors.

And yes, I agree welfare states are not necessarily Socialist. They seemingly are in the British and American mindset, which I think is part of the perception problem we have here.

 

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The secular horror of Socialism was foretold about 1,100 years B.C.

 

1 Samuel 8 10-18

Samuel's Warning Against Kings

10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men[a] and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

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I repeat myself...

Maybe the 5 best responsibility/economic sentences you’ll read.

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of the economy of any nation.

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15 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Sweden? France? Israel?

Actually Israel even introduced a form of collectivisation, and successfully  sold it to American tourists as Kibutz.

In fact the first kibbutzim could be described as Zionist socialist (which truely sounds like something out of a QAnon rant today ...), founded by secular Jews immigrating to Palestine in the early 20th century. By the time of the British Mandate, there were different political associations, mostly with left-wing socialist groups within the Zionist Labour movement, but also some right-wing like Betar which was affiliated with the Irgun.

The 1927 United Kibbutz Movement as the biggest organization of its kind was awowedly secular-to-atheist (calling their kibbutzim "monasteries without God") and frontline progressive, maintaining strict gender equality, quartering children separately from parents in their own common houses, etc. The Socialist League of Palestine founded in 1936 as their urban political representation through a series of mergers eventually formed the pro-Soviet Mapat party. Until the 50s show trials against mostly Jewish communist leaders in Czechoslovakia which accused their local envoy of being part of a Zionist conspiracy, that is; but IIRC, Israeli satiric Ephraim Kishon later still referred to the UKM and Mapat as "smartly marching three steps to the right of Soviet communism". :D

The first religious kibbutz was established in 1946; I guess you could call this kind Jewish monasteries with God then. Several different ideologies using the same basic form of organization probably shows again that socialism can be left-wing, right-wing, or religious. It probably also shows that it only works at the level of small communities with at most a couple hundred members joining on their own accord, and you can at best use bits and pieces at the national level, like the Israeli welfare state.

Edited by BansheeOne
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3 minutes ago, BansheeOne said:

In fact the first Kibbutzim could be described as Zionist socialist (which truely sounds like something out of a QAnon rant today ...), founded by secular Jews immigrating to Palestine in the early 20th century. By the time of the British Mandate, there were different political associations, mostly with left-wing socialist groups within the Zionist Labour movement, but also some right-wing like Betar which was affiliated with the Irgun.

The 1927 United Kibbutz Movement as the biggest organization of its kind was awowedly secular-to-atheist (calling their kibbutzim "monasteries without God") and frontline progressive, maintaining strict gender equality, quartering children separately from parents in their own common houses, etc. The Socialist League of Palestine founded in 1936 as their urban political representation through a series of mergers eventually formed the pro-Soviet Mapat party. Until the 50s show trials against mostly Jewish communist leaders in Czechoslovakia which accused their local envoy of being part of a Zionist conspiracy, that is; but IIRC, Israeli satiric Ephraim Kishon later still referred to the UKM and Mapatz as "smartly marching three steps to the right of Soviet communism". :D

The first religious kibbutz was established in 1946; I guess you could call this kind Jewish monasteries with God then. Several different ideologies using the same basic form of organization probably shows again that socialism can be left-wing, right-wing, or religious. It probably also shows that it only works at the level of small communities with at most a couple hundred members joining on their own accord, and you can at best use bits and pieces at the national level, like the Israeli welfare state.

Thats interesting, so it actually predated the large influx of Jews from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of WW2? I assumed it was a 'lets do the Kolkhoz right' kind of thing.

Zionist Communists, yeah sounds like a Qanon wet dream to me....

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