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Old June 13th, 2018, 07:09 AM   #1
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Question Question for non-socialists: what is socialism according to you?

If you are not a socialist, please first state that you are not a socialist or not a proponent of socialism, then explain what is socialism according to you. You don't have to state that you are not a socialist or not a proponent of socialism more than once, if you post more than once on this thread.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 08:24 AM   #2
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I am neither a socialist nor a proponent of socialism.

To me, socialism is - first of all - something that requires capitalism. In other words, it only exists in a capitalist system and it also mandates capitalism. I would also say that the existence of capitalism is not dependent on the existence of socialism.

Capitalism cannot exist without the existence of the state; if there is capitalism, then there is the state. It is a contradiction or oxymoronic to speak of capitalism without the state, or the state without capitalism. There is either the state and capitalism, or there is neither the state nor capitalism. I can get more into this, but I would want to do this on a different thread (I think I did create another thread on this a while back).

Explanation of what I mean by capitalism: to me, capitalism means anything that involves trade or an exchange of goods or services; it also means that there is ownership of property, whether by individuals, corporations, or the state. I don't think having capital necessarily means having huge stacks of cash or a bank account full of money; if you are a living, breathing, conscious, thinking human being capable of producing some sort of good or service, then you have capital (i.e., you possess the ability to offer or produce goods or services).

Explanation of what I mean by property and ownership: to me, having property or ownership means the entity that owns the property has the right to exclude others from having/possessing, using, or borrowing the property in question; it also means the owner can enter into an agreement with another party to trade/sell, rent, lease, or loan the property. There are some exceptions when it comes to geographical regions (e.g., land).

Explanation of trade or exchange: to me, trade & exchange means either barter or use of a medium of exchange (e.g., gold, silver, gold certificates, silver certificates, fiat money, debt-based interest-bearing private central bank notes, cryptocurrencies, salt, clams, etc.).

To me, what distinguishes socialist capitalism from non-socialist capitalism is the restricted, banned, or mandated trade or exchange for goods or services that are produced by human manual labor (construction worker, carpenter, janitor, garbage collector, ditch digger, assembly line worker, etc.) or some form of exertion of effort involving human labor, or taking a risk, including reading or writing reports, using a computer, and speaking to people (secretary, receptionist, hostess, switchboard operator, police officer, nurse, doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc.), essentially for the purpose of trying to artificially economically engineer society against naturally occurring economic forces, or to control behavior (sex/drugs/rock&roll, etc.). This means it does not include someone being elected or appointed to government office, being called to serve jury duty, being summoned to testify as a witness in a court case, etc.

Anyone who does anything, whether white collar or blue collar, skilled or unskilled, is laboring or in some other way taking a risk to produce a good or service. It essentially involves taking some sort of risk. Getting a job, loaning money or loaning something else, or investing in something, involves taking a risk; going to college or trade school involves taking a risk, the risk that the student will pass the requirements for the certificate or degree and be able to work competently in the field they trained in.

This also basically doesn't include geographical elements, because the existence of a geographical region isn't the result of human labor or service: land or real estate, mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, oceans, etc. (not that they can't be owned or "possessed" by an individual, corporation, or state); what I mean is that I think land or geographical regions can be privately or publicly owned, but they can also be taxed and used for public roadways or travelways, and the state can mandate the existence of a right-of-way or easement between a plot of property and the roadways or travel ways. The state can have eminent domain over geographical regions.

In a similar way that there are exceptions when it comes to land ownership, a right-of-way, or other geographical region issues, there may also be exceptions when it comes to health purposes (quarantines, sanitation issues, etc.) and living space issues; for example, if a person is renting their home to someone, and they fail to pay their rent, they can't just barge in and drag them out of their homes; they have to go through lawful eviction procedures. Same if someone in a hotel room gets sick; the hotel can't just toss them out of their hotel room. There are probably things the state ought to do that it doesn't do, that I wouldn't consider socialism.

An example of a socialist restriction (or ban) would be a minimum wage; this is the state preventing party A from entering into an agreement with party B to trade or exchange goods or services with each other that they desire; it bans employers from offering jobs that pay below a threshold. An example of a socialist mandate would be a requirement to purchase health insurance. Another example of a ban would be the state monopolizing a good or service, such as healthcare. A single payer system is also socialism, since it imposes restrictions, bans, or mandates on the healthcare industry.

Socialism is something that needs to be enforced, and enforcement ultimately boils down to only one thing: a gun to people's heads. It's one thing for the police to put a gun to a criminal suspect's head, someone who has victimized someone else, but socialism essentially does this to people when there is no victim of a crime.

One more thing, there are 2 aspects of society: the individual and the collective. Socialism is about putting the collective before the individual (and anarchism is about putting the individual before the collective).

Last edited by Neil; June 13th, 2018 at 08:42 AM. Reason: pluralize "head" in 2nd to last paragraph
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Old June 13th, 2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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If you are socialist, please use this thread to explain what it is according to you: Question for socialists: what is socialism according to you?
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Old June 13th, 2018, 08:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
If you are not a socialist, please first state that you are not a socialist or not a proponent of socialism, then explain what is socialism according to you. You don't have to state that you are not a socialist or not a proponent of socialism more than once, if you post more than once on this thread.
I believe that Laissez-faire is the best economic system.

Socialism is an economic theory that is the transition from laissez-faire to communism w/ communism being the end goal. Socialism is a controlled economy w/ the means of production being in the hands of the state. Ultimately the people would come to the realization that the state is no longer necessary and do away w/ it leaving the means of production in the hands of the people doing away w/ first their corprate overlords and then the state. Being that the end goal of socialism is communism is why many socialist governments of the past have called themselves communist. This has killed more humans than any single thing in modern history. It cannot work as giving more and more power to the state only strengthens it leaving less and less in the hands of the people. Making it next to impossible for those who have become dependent of the state for survival to come to the conclusion that doing away w/ the state is in their best interest.Though many people believe that the state is in fact the people is how this illusion is preformed. Here in the states we have perceived socialist programs but if you look closer many are in fact fascist as the entities pulling the strings behind the scenes are the corporations. (Healthcare)
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Old June 13th, 2018, 09:40 AM   #5
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I believe that Laissez-faire is the best economic system.
I suppose I can take this as your statement that you're not a socialist; thanks.

Here are some questions I can think of so far:

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Socialism is an economic theory that is the transition from laissez-faire to communism w/ communism being the end goal.
So what is communism itself? Is it possible to transition to communism without having to go through socialism as an intermediary stage?

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Socialism is a controlled economy w/ the means of production being in the hands of the state.
I think we agree on this.

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Ultimately the people would come to the realization that the state is no longer necessary and do away w/ it leaving the means of production in the hands of the people doing away w/ first their corprate overlords and then the state.
Is this communism? I think I've seen communism described this way, or something very similar to this.

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Being that the end goal of socialism is communism is why many socialist governments of the past have called themselves communist. This has killed more humans than any single thing in modern history. It cannot work as giving more and more power to the state only strengthens it leaving less and less in the hands of the people. Making it next to impossible for those who have become dependent of the state for survival to come to the conclusion that doing away w/ the state is in their best interest.Though many people believe that the state is in fact the people is how this illusion is preformed. Here in the states we have perceived socialist programs but if you look closer many are in fact fascist as the entities pulling the strings behind the scenes are the corporations. (Healthcare)
What is fascism? Is fascism something that's distinct from socialism?
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:26 AM   #6
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I suppose I can take this as your statement that you're not a socialist; thanks.

Here are some questions I can think of so far:


So what is communism itself? Is it possible to transition to communism without having to go through socialism as an intermediary stage?


I think we agree on this.


Is this communism? I think I've seen communism described this way, or something very similar to this.


What is fascism? Is fascism something that's distinct from socialism?

Communism in this context is a utopian stateless society w/ the means of production in the hands of the people w/ all living according to their ability and their needs. If you want to be a painter...paint. if you want to be a farmer...farm exc everything will work itself out.

Fascism is a planned economy w/ the means of production in the hands of the corporations w/ a strong, authoritarian state supporting them.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 11:44 AM   #7
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Socialism can either be government ownership or worker owned business. The problem with this is its either authoritarian or becomes mob rule. It also requires stealing if you decide to go that route. It requires removing personal property and ownership from individuals. It requires not longer rewarding the individual but rewarding the idea of a society established set of rules and values. The underlying problem with this is that it takes away incentive. If Bill makes more money than Clara, and its justified by saying because Bill has a larger family, that would be socialism. Socialism does not mean equal, it means establishing compensation based on ones need as established by a government entity or some other entity who picks the winners and losers based on criteria that has little do do with individual production. It removes ambition. The Soviet Union is a classic example of this. Fields were left to rot or were not properly planted as example, due to the fact the farmers never got compensated for their work. The state took the compensation then decided who needed it the most. Need is the only thing factored in. What a person wants is not a consideration in Socialism. There is no room for "decadent" things in the world of Socialism. A swimming pool for your house would not happen because that is taking away from the need of somebody as example.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Communism in this context is a utopian stateless society w/ the means of production in the hands of the people w/ all living according to their ability and their needs. If you want to be a painter...paint. if you want to be a farmer...farm exc everything will work itself out.
What's the difference between communism (as you describe here) and anarchism? Are communism and anarchism the same thing to you, or is there a difference?

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Fascism is a planned economy w/ the means of production in the hands of the corporations w/ a strong, authoritarian state supporting them.
I consider fascism as a version of socialism; do you think socialism and fascism are distinct from each other?
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Old June 14th, 2018, 03:06 PM   #9
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Socialism can either be government ownership or worker owned business.
That seems pretty broad. What would be an example of something that isn't socialism?

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The problem with this is its either authoritarian or becomes mob rule. It also requires stealing if you decide to go that route. It requires removing personal property and ownership from individuals. It requires not longer rewarding the individual but rewarding the idea of a society established set of rules and values. The underlying problem with this is that it takes away incentive.
I agree that the underlying problem with socialism is that it takes away incentive & it can get much worse than that. The lack of incentive also creates a slippery slope that can cause a country to end up like the now defunct USSR, Cuba, North Korea, and more recently Venezuela.

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If Bill makes more money than Clara, and its justified by saying because Bill has a larger family, that would be socialism.
Hmm interesting; I'll have to think about this one.

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Socialism does not mean equal, it means establishing compensation based on ones need as established by a government entity or some other entity who picks the winners and losers based on criteria that has little do do with individual production. It removes ambition. The Soviet Union is a classic example of this. Fields were left to rot or were not properly planted as example, due to the fact the farmers never got compensated for their work.
Well, I would say that it's because farmers weren't allowed to keep & profit from their work. Ironic how they claim to be for the workers, but their actions go against their workers, and the pseudointellectual proponents of socialism simply look the other way and pretent like this isn't what ever happens.

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The state took the compensation then decided who needed it the most. Need is the only thing factored in. What a person wants is not a consideration in Socialism. There is no room for "decadent" things in the world of Socialism. A swimming pool for your house would not happen because that is taking away from the need of somebody as example.
Agreed & I would say that this is tantamount to being like an open prison.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 04:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by guy39 View Post
Socialism can either be government ownership or worker owned business.
Quote:
That seems pretty broad. What would be an example of something that isn't socialism?
Its basically what the term Democratic Socialism is built around. Think of mandated co-ops as example.
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Originally Posted by guy39 View Post
The problem with this is its either authoritarian or becomes mob rule. It also requires stealing if you decide to go that route. It requires removing personal property and ownership from individuals. It requires not longer rewarding the individual but rewarding the idea of a society established set of rules and values. The underlying problem with this is that it takes away incentive.
I
Quote:
agree that the underlying problem with socialism is that it takes away incentive & it can get much worse than that. The lack of incentive also creates a slippery slope that can cause a country to end up like the now defunct USSR, Cuba, North Korea, and more recently Venezuela.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guy39 View Post
If Bill makes more money than Clara, and its justified by saying because Bill has a larger family, that would be socialism.
Quote:
Hmm interesting; I'll have to think about this one.
To each according to his need ring a bell?
Quote:
Originally Posted by guy39 View Post
Socialism does not mean equal, it means establishing compensation based on ones need as established by a government entity or some other entity who picks the winners and losers based on criteria that has little do do with individual production. It removes ambition. The Soviet Union is a classic example of this. Fields were left to rot or were not properly planted as example, due to the fact the farmers never got compensated for their work.
Quote:
Well, I would say that it's because farmers weren't allowed to keep & profit from their work. Ironic how they claim to be for the workers, but their actions go against their workers, and the pseudointellectual proponents of socialism simply look the other way and pretent like this isn't what ever happens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guy39 View Post
The state took the compensation then decided who needed it the most. Need is the only thing factored in. What a person wants is not a consideration in Socialism. There is no room for "decadent" things in the world of Socialism. A swimming pool for your house would not happen because that is taking away from the need of somebody as example.
Quote:
Agreed & I would say that this is tantamount to being like an open prison.
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