Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

How should society be organised, if at all?

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Gary Childress
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:27 am

Melchior wrote:
Gary Childress wrote:
With all due respect, what is special about those books? Or what do you find appealing or important about them? What message do you see them as communicating that is most important for others to be aware of? I haven't read them but I'm somewhat familiar with their themes from reading about them from critics and reviewers.

EDIT: And thank you for replying to my previous post above.
Just read them.
I'll see if I can get around to it one of these days. I have Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead in my library. Right now I've started reading Explaining Consciousness ed. by Jonathan Shear. I may be a while on it.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:20 pm

"Is that The Ego and Its Own?"

Yes, sir, it is.

Stirner expends a lot words to say this: I exist...I will do as I choose...you, go fuck yourself.

The work is overly long and awkward and is a showboating manifesto more than anything else. It's also pure and honest.

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Re:

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:31 pm

henry quirk wrote:Of course you can have a gee-tar in a socialism!

First, you must apply with the local Bureau of Music for a license to use (but never own) a gee-tar, and simultaneously file a request for (musical) apitude testing.

If you pass the test (given six months to a year after making the request), and if your bent is in the direction of the gee-tar, you can expect to recieve your very own (but not really yours) gee-tar two to five years after filing for your use-license.

The license can be revoked at any time, by any high ranking party member, for any (or, no) reason at all. Also, you may be required to play the gee-tar here or there at the direction of high ranking party members (and, if you're a pretty girl or boy, you may have other 'duties' to perform).

'tis the will of 'the people'.
I'd say your version is a pretty dismal view. Quite probably fueled by fear. Then again could it be anything else? (<- Rhetorical) Of course I have a version that's quite different, that actually promotes everyone's growth! As of course it should be!

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:57 am

Gary
Can this "disconnect" between the interests of the whole and the interests of the few be completely explained in terms of propaganda? If so, how can the few manage to keep almost EVEYRONE in line? Or how is it that a system can be completely dominated by the few?
Socialism is inpracticle because it gets in the way of the dominant motive within society: the need to establish prestige. The concept of equality furthered by socialism and the need for prestige don’t mix. Once a person understands why prestige is the dominant motive it opens the mind to what can further cooperation at the expense of prestige.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Walker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:00 pm

Whatever was right was short-lived until the O-P-M ran out.

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Gary Childress
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:16 pm

Walker wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:00 pm
Whatever was right was short-lived until the O-P-M ran out.
I assume OPM stands for "other people's money"?

Assuming the above; money is an abstraction and worthless until it can be connected to either labor or else products of labor. So what I perceive you really saying is that you disapprove of some disproportionately living off the labor of others. Is that an accurate assessment?

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Walker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm

Yes. Hear the play on sound?

It means that if it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by davidm » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:07 pm

I just started reading this thread, so forgive me for responding to old posts, but … good gawd. So much stupid bullshit from bobevenson, for example.
Gary Childress wrote:
Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:09 pm

I'm not sure that was Darwin's intent, though, and I believe evolutionary theory has since moved on from such oversimplifications. For example altruism is a very powerful mechanism in a species and, though it may not directly benefit the individual practicing it, may be of enormous benefit to the welfare of the species over all. Human social organization is much more complex than a simplistic "rat race" between individuals vying for individual survival.

I don't have any children, nor do I plan to. I don't think that makes me somehow "deficient". I can still live a perfectly good life and contribute to the general welfare despite the fact that I won't have any progeny.
Fitness has a very specific meaning in evolution. The main point, though, is that its meaning is descriptive and not normative. It describes how populations (not individuals!) evolve; it does not prescribe anything. Please do not think that Darwin or any biologist is implying that people who do not have offspring are “unfit” in some judgmental sense. Evolution isn’t even about individuals, only about populations. Incidentally, the phrase “survival of the fittest” is from Spencer, not Darwin.

See here, for example.
By 'fittest', of course, Spencer and Darwin didn't have in mind the commonly used meaning of the word now, that is, the most highly trained and physically energetic. The 'fittest' referred to here are those animals which are the most suited to their environment, that is, those which are best fitted to survive.
Some of the fittest organisms in the biosphere are parasites — which, I gather, certain people in this thread would equate to poor people. That shows the utter bankruptcy of their stupid analogy. (Actually, all extant species can be defined as fittest, but since 99 percent of all species that have ever existed have gone extinct, it follows that “fittest” can and will become “less fit” relative to other survivors over time. And it’s worth repeating again that “fitness” is a metric of populations and not individuals.

The main point here is that evolution also has nothing to say about personal moral behavior or how societies or economies should be constructed; it does not in any way, shape, or form imply the superiority of capitalism over socialism.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by davidm » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:11 pm

Oh, good, a quick glance upthread shows that Ayn Rand has entered the discussion. :lol:

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by davidm » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:14 pm

bobevenson wrote:
Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:19 pm
Gary Childress wrote:Many people have followed the Golden Rule and done a lot of good for society. Many people have not and done a lot of malice for society.
My point is that looking out for yourself, the driving force of evolution, is more closely tied to capitalism than socialism. ¿Entiende usted, señor?
This is not the driving force of evolution. You have no idea what you're talking about.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by davidm » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:16 pm

bobevenson wrote:
Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:41 pm
Gary Childress wrote:In short I don't see how it's accurate to say that capitalism helps people look out for themselves more so than socialism.
Socialists want to take money out of your wallet to give to somebody else. That goes against capitalism and evolution itself!
It's clear, in the first three pages of this thread, that you don't understand a single thing about evolution.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by bobevenson » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:07 pm

Perhaps, but I know an awful lot about socialism, which, of course, is especially awful.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by EricGilbert » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:34 am

bobevenson wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:07 pm
Perhaps, but I know an awful lot about socialism, which, of course, is especially awful.
Look at Ukraine`s Donbass, and you`ll see, what socialism can bring to us..

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:08 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:32 am
Here's a definition of "Socialism" according to a Wiki article. It seems pretty well stated.
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production,[7] as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim at their establishment.[8] Social ownership may refer to public ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[9] Although there are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[10] social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

On paper the above sounds much better than a single person (a virtual monarch in all but name) having complete authority over the means of a community's production. You would think that most ordinary people would be in favor of socialism over the private ownership of the economy. After all, in a democracy a million votes from ordinary workers should outweigh a handful of votes from a few wealthy business owners. But in practice none of this seems to be the case, (at least not in the US). In a sense it really does seem odd.

Can this "disconnect" between the interests of the whole and the interests of the few be completely explained in terms of propaganda? If so, how can the few manage to keep almost EVEYRONE in line? Or how is it that a system can be completely dominated by the few?

Clearly we human beings, as a species, have probably spent a large portion of our civilized history living under the rule of kings, monarchs or oligarchs. Is there something about our species, some sort of genetic predisposition that allows such a state of affairs to exist? Are we like ants in some remote respects who probably couldn't even envision overthrowing their "queen"? And yet, even if there is some disposition keeping us loyal to the rulers of the hive, it seems to be the case that we, nevertheless, have these strange concepts such as "democracy", "equality" and such that tell us differently. Are we just a confused species that can't make up it's mind whether it wants democracy or dictatorship?

What thoughts do others have on the topic of socialism?
One of my college professors said that it started with the Roman empire, and that their model is still being used today. The Roman rulers realized that the commoners (those with less education) are much easier to control if those in charge, the relatively wealthy, saw to some of their needs, so they passed out bread at gladiator events, which themselves were meant to quell barbaric behavior amongst the onlookers during their day to day lives (display of violence to help keep the peace). The idea is to take the fight out of people, by removing the lack of those needs which may lead to loss of control, and also reminding them of the face of violence. The Roman rulers also started building dwellings for their commoners, counting on them to not bite the hand that feeds. To control with pacification, with potential violence looming in the background for those not happy with their meager offerings. To the commoners it seemed to be an easier life, so they sold out, accepting domination for a slightly easier life.

The way I see it is that those that would rule were those with the greatest fear of death, and I mean to the point of insanity, and those that were commoners were more accepting of it, though no human is totally accepting.

It would be hard for there to be total "social ownership" without a constant reminder through continued education of the contrary to equality for all humans in all aspects of life. It would be tough to deal with new ideas that may seem to rock the boat, the status quo. I mean where would nuclear power/weapons stand in a country of "social ownership?" The problem with those of minority on any particular issue is that their position is not always accepted, surely dependent upon the ever varying lifelong experiences of any particular individual, and those with similar experience, it can be very strong indeed, as fears can run very deep.

But do I believe that humans should strive to attain "social ownership" where everyone is equal, where there is no disparity between anyone's available resources, Of course! But it shall take a drastic reorganization of our understanding of the absolute truth of the human animals plight, the actual state of all human affairs. What, where, how and why we are, has to be answered for certain, such that all 'know.' All denial and hidden truths about humanity must be laid bare for all to see, where there is no shame, no blame, where human determinism is purely academic, and understood by all, where all fears no matter how large or seemingly trivial are wiped from our consciousness. We must become psychologically naked, and universally accepting of that nakedness, before we could ever begin to truly cooperate in terms of public ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership or "social ownership" of the absolute truth of being an integral part of this one symbiotic biosphere.

Currently amongst humans, there are far too many false beliefs and not enough accepted knowledge for us to be rational enough to accept oneness! And so in the meantime we shall remain the barbarians that we are. Each not truly understanding themselves completely, while scrambling only for that which we simply "believe" to be true. And then of course we'll each die, a life wasted, chasing it's tail, in the viscous circle of simple belief, never knowing, accepting or managing for certain, the simplest absolute truths of the current human animals condition!

So I can only hope that one day humanity will wake up and decide that 'honest and true knowledge' shall be their new mantra, so we can finally start to understand our truest oneness of direction. And finally become the ultimate one human force of unwavering understanding and knowledge.

We're still very ignorant and immature! But I shall always have hope for the contrary, prior to self annihilation.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by bobevenson » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:31 pm

SpheresOfBalance wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:08 pm
I believe that humans should strive to attain "social ownership" where everyone is equal, where there is no disparity between anyone's available resources.
Nice pipe dream, honey.

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