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Old February 21st, 2018, 10:41 AM   #1
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Socialism is taking a new direction due to past experience.

All capitalist dictionaries "define" socialism in terms that only reflect what we have seen, historically, and expressed in terms that are "acceptable" to capitalism.

Capitalism struggled to get to a sustainable form for about 100 years. Today, socialism is still in its developmental stage and so it is evolving. Hence, dictionary definitions are almost all incorrect.

The efforts of the past all led to government in control and trying to establish a socialist economy, and most of them have failed.

If we want to know what socialism is and how to define it, we have to look to what Marx said about it.

Marx said that socialism would be workers in control of the means of production. Is that what has happened under those governments? Or has the government been in control?

Marx said that the working class would cast off the chains of oppression by taking over the means of production and owning and running it. Is that what has happened?

Marx said the economy is the foundation of any system and the political system (along with everything else) springs from that foundation and rises in service to the economic base.

But when the government is seized by force or by vote, and then sets about to create a socialist economy, it is backward since it is a claim that the foundation is the political system and the economy rises from it.

So since we have never seen a country in which the working class owns and runs production, we have never seen a socialist economy and seizing state power cannot lead to it.

What's needed is to create the economy first, much as it was done in the beginning of capitalism in the 1500s. And that is beginning to happen today, and it is developing quite fast due to the obvious need.

More and more, workers are taking ownership of businesses and forming co-ops in which workers are in control.

Some of the characteristics:

1. Workers' Self Directed Enterprises (WSDEs) are corporations in which only member-workers may own shares of stock, one share per worker.

2. Shares may not be sold on the public market. They can only be bought from, and sold to, the co-op.

3. Workers hire and fire the CEO and the Board of Directors.

4. Workers must comprise half of the Board members.

5. Workers determine the pay scale. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation, for example, requires that the highest-paid executive be paid no more than 8 times what the lowest paid worker is paid.

6. Workers decide what to produce, how to produce it, where to produce it, and what is to be done with the profits.

For WSDEs, layoffs of member workers during economic downturns are almost non-existent. And a Rutgers University study found that WSDEs are on average 4% more productive than their capitalist equivalent corporations, and 14% more profitable.

This approach is proving to be enormously advantageous in many ways.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 10:49 AM   #2
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And how and where will the workers get the capital to buy or build these corporations?

Again, you, like most on the right seem to treat the capitalist - socialist debate as being an all or nothing situation whereas as has often been said, some combination is going to be the best.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RNG View Post
And how and where will the workers get the capital to buy or build these corporations?

Again, you, like most on the right seem to treat the capitalist - socialist debate as being an all or nothing situation whereas as has often been said, some combination is going to be the best.
Ya know, you might actually look into it to find out how they get the money. Don't take my word for it, but there are several sources:
1. funding provided by other WSDEs and their support organizations.
2. Banks established for the purpose of funding them since traditional banks have objections to it.
3. The Marcora Law in Italy says that if a company declares bankruptcy it must give the workers the right of first refusal, and the government will pay the full 2 years of unemployment benefits up front, lump sum, if they can get 10 workers to agree to buy the business with no benefits left if they fail, and meanwhile the govt. helps with loans.
4. Some "baby boomer" business owners are beginning to want to retire but they don't want to sell their business to another business just to see it either become something objectionable or run into the ground, and since they have a good relationship with the employees that stood by them for years and are concerned for those employees' futures, they are happy to sell the business to their employees.

There are other possibilities too.

Regarding "all or nothing" and "combinations", that is what exists in some Scandinavian countries and they are now experiencing problems with right wing efforts to subvert the workers' interests and gain dominance. That is what some right wing politicians in those countries are all about, and they get the funding of businesses. Capitalist will never stop trying. For them it truly is a struggle of "all or nothing". And so the the constant struggle funded by businesses and the difficulty of citizens competing with that power, the pendulum swings, and as we have seen here in the U.S., the right keeps gaining a little more and a little more with each swing until they have the power to take it all and undermine the people. That is what we're seeing today.

A little study into these things will confirm everything I've said.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kode View Post
Ya know, you might actually look into it to find out how they get the money. Don't take my word for it, but there are several sources:
1. funding provided by other WSDEs and their support organizations.
2. Banks established for the purpose of funding them since traditional banks have objections to it.
3. The Marcora Law in Italy says that if a company declares bankruptcy it must give the workers the right of first refusal, and the government will pay the full 2 years of unemployment benefits up front, lump sum, if they can get 10 workers to agree to buy the business with no benefits left if they fail, and meanwhile the govt. helps with loans.
4. Some "baby boomer" business owners are beginning to want to retire but they don't want to sell their business to another business just to see it either become something objectionable or run into the ground, and since they have a good relationship with the employees that stood by them for years and are concerned for those employees' futures, they are happy to sell the business to their employees.

There are other possibilities too.

Regarding "all or nothing" and "combinations", that is what exists in some Scandinavian countries and they are now experiencing problems with right wing efforts to subvert the workers' interests and gain dominance. That is what some right wing politicians in those countries are all about, and they get the funding of businesses. Capitalist will never stop trying. For them it truly is a struggle of "all or nothing". And so the the constant struggle funded by businesses and the difficulty of citizens competing with that power, the pendulum swings, and as we have seen here in the U.S., the right keeps gaining a little more and a little more with each swing until they have the power to take it all and undermine the people. That is what we're seeing today.

A little study into these things will confirm everything I've said.
Pretty well all your financial solutions either require what I consider unfair public support, essentially charity or capital which they wouldn't have.

As to the comments on the Scandinavian countries, I haven't seen that in print anywhere. But I have seen countries in bad financial shape where the overly socialist governments gave too much to the people without having the revenue base to support it. I seriously fear the US is heading that way, not so much giving to the people but giving to the MIC and the rest of the corporatocracy.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:32 AM   #5
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So when do we seize private owned business and give it to the "employees"?
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:51 AM   #6
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Pretty well all your financial solutions either require what I consider unfair public support, essentially charity or capital which they wouldn't have.
Really? Please list my solutions that require such support AND the specific support I've indicated or is required. Good luck.


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As to the comments on the Scandinavian countries, I haven't seen that in print anywhere. But I have seen countries in bad financial shape where the overly socialist governments gave too much to the people without having the revenue base to support it. I seriously fear the US is heading that way, not so much giving to the people but giving to the MIC and the rest of the corporatocracy.
Any shortage of funding I've seen in those countries resulted from austerity measures that cut supports or increased dependency on funds without commensurately increasing the funding. The difference may be due to the sources you've consulted. But what does this have to do with WSDEs?
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Old February 21st, 2018, 11:53 AM   #7
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Kode

I appreciate the fresh perspective.

First, according to Marx wasn't socialism just a step on the way to true communism which is in fact the abolition of the state? Would this be the ultimate goal?

Two. Would this be compulsory?
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Old February 21st, 2018, 12:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kode View Post
Really? Please list my solutions that require such support AND the specific support I've indicated or is required. Good luck.

"funding provided by other WSDEs and their support organizations." -Where do they get the money, how did they start?

"Banks established for the purpose of funding them since traditional banks have objections to it." -Where do these banks get their money?

"The Marcora Law in Italy says that if a company declares bankruptcy it must give the workers the right of first refusal, and the government will pay the full 2 years of unemployment benefits up front, lump sum, if they can get 10 workers to agree to buy the business with no benefits left if they fail, and meanwhile the govt. helps with loans." Self explanatory.

"Some "baby boomer" business owners ... are happy to sell the business to their employees." -Back to where would these employees get the capital.



Any shortage of funding I've seen in those countries resulted from austerity measures that cut supports or increased dependency on funds without commensurately increasing the funding. The difference may be due to the sources you've consulted. But what does this have to do with WSDEs?
As to the austerity, correct, but revenue isn't infinite. That is what many socialists seem to totally forget.

That belief is the left's stupidity equal of the right's belief in trickle-down.,
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Old February 21st, 2018, 02:11 PM   #9
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Kode

I appreciate the fresh perspective.

First, according to Marx wasn't socialism just a step on the way to true communism which is in fact the abolition of the state? Would this be the ultimate goal?

Two. Would this be compulsory?
No, absolutely no compulsion. Freedom of choice.

According to Marx socialism would be the next economic system to follow capitalism. Grasp the Marxian logic and sequence (ALL of the following is indispensable for any answer to your question. Please read ALL of it.): The slave society gave rise to an exploited laboring class that tended to growing crops mostly (I'm not referring to the U.S. slavery system). Those exploited laborers eventually found a way to raise crops for themselves as their own bosses. Over time, the feudal society developed with more advanced agricultural methods as it gave rise to a population of exploited serf class and a system that was able to feed the population to a large extent.

Eventually, as farming became capable of producing enough food, those exploited serfs began to be assigned jobs manually producing things. There were blacksmiths, wheelwrights, shoemakers, silversmiths, carpenters, etc, etc. And as time passed, those still-exploited serfs sometimes ran away to the city. Often the landlords would send their armies out in search of the runaways and bring them back to fulfill their sworn oath to serve the landlord. But many operated small businesses in the cities, avoided capture, and formed guilds and manufactories. Capitalism was born, created again by the exploited serf class of the former economy.

Capitalism developed and in its turn produced a population of another exploited class, -the modern working class. And according to Marx, this exploited class, too, will one day break away from capitalism and become their own bosses in the system that has come to be called "socialism".

Socialism does not create a new exploited class, so socialism is the end of all historic exploitation.

Now, communism. ... According to Marx, socialism will persist for a long time as it works out all problems associated with the working class smoothly running the economy and society. (According to Marx, the economy is the foundation from which everything else springs in service to the economy, including politics, the political structure, the culture, laws, education, etc.) And as the running of socialism smoothes out and becomes ingrained in the culture and the people, lingering capitalist-roader hopefuls will give up and the whole of society will operate with less and less oversight and management by state agencies. The state machine will "wither away" in Marx's terms. Eventually all that will be left is a "skeleton" of clerical functions, like record-keeping and some services. The capitalist class will be gone entirely and so classless society will be what remains.... classless, stateless society. This he called "communism" which he considered to be a return to ancient societies that were represented by tribal, hunter-gatherer societies, but of course far more advanced.

Now, since communist society "eventuates" from the "withering away of the state" and the classes naturally vanish of "neglect", two very interesting things should be very apparent to you:
1. socialism will last a very, very long time, -possibly many, many generations. And...
2. communist society cannot be imposed on a country, since it gradually and naturally evolves.

Does that answer your questions?
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Last edited by Kode; February 21st, 2018 at 02:29 PM.
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Old February 21st, 2018, 02:27 PM   #10
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As to the austerity, correct, but revenue isn't infinite. That is what many socialists seem to totally forget.

That belief is the left's stupidity equal of the right's belief in trickle-down.,
PLEASE DON'T reply within quotes! It makes it very hard to respond clearly.

First, regarding the above. A Rutgers University study found that WSDEs on average are 4% more productive and 14% more profitable than their traditional capitalist counterpart. So the source of funding is profits of successful WSDEs. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation is 60 years old, has about 80,000 workers, is the 7th largest corporation in Spain, operates in 4 countries, has their own University and their own bank.

The normal way capitalist businesses of any size form is by borrowing from banks. WSDEs need legislation to facilitate such loans for them because traditional banks don't know how to structure a loan so that they have one name of one person who is ultimately responsible for paying back the loan, or they don't care to try a new approach to solve it. So it can be very difficult for a WSDE to obtain a loan from a typical bank.

So 6 states at last count have passed legislation to solve all such problems for WSDEs, and they are MA, RI, NY, NC, TX, AND CA. Meanwhile two senators and a representative have submitted such legislation for federal passage. In the senate it's S.1062 and in the House it's HR2357.

So your claim of the left forgetting that revenue isn't infinite is empty and nonsensical at best.
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