Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

How should society be organised, if at all?

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Gary Childress
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Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » 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?

Skip
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Skip » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:30 am

1. It's the most reasonable politico-economic system we have yet devised, and that's why all functional democracies end up there.
2. Therefore, everyone who doesn't want to share makes an effort to thwart democratic process.
3. They are very successful.

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Gary Childress
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:44 am

EDIT: Never mind. I looked at your post again and think I understand it better. Was a little confused at first as to what you were referring to in a couple of the bullets.

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Gary Childress
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:12 am

Meanwhile the preachers of austerity are rejoicing that raising the minimum wage in California appears to be hurting the garment industry there.

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/04/16/c ... wage-hike/
A fifteen dollar per hour minimum wage is coming to California, so break out the champagne and let’s get this party started! Unless you work in the apparel manufacturing industry, that is, in which case you may want to start looking for some cheaper drinks since you’ll likely be out of a job soon. Once the home to a large segment of the American clothing manufacturing industry, California apparel manufacturers have already been hit by skyrocketing commercial real estate value and rising supply chain costs, but another spike in their labor rates will apparently be the final straw for some of them who are still holding on.

. . .

But you keep right on Fighting For 15, folks. I’m sure it will all work out in the end, right?
Too bad we can't go back to the good ole days and just chain slaves to the sewing machines. It might make the author of the above article even more happy I suppose. :roll:

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by mickthinks » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:19 am

I like the succinctness of Skip's response, and it may be all you need to explain the sparsity of real socialism in Europe, but it doesn't explain why there is such opposition even to the idea of socialism in America.

To understand the problem for socialism in the US you need to consider the pernicious political effect of The American Dream which works like a Ponzi scheme.


1. Everyone in America can become wealthy, and leave their children even wealthier, by sheer hard work.
2. That's how today's billionaires got wealthy.
3. It'll be your turn tomorrow.
4. Socialism is anti-work and anti-wealth. If the socialists win your turn will never come.
5. Reject socialism and keep working hard for the billionaires.

Thus the US citizen (so often in the past a newly arrived immigrant) is lead from The American Dream (1) via the Ponzi promise (3) to false consciousness (5).

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Post by henry quirk » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:25 pm

I invest my time and resources, perhaps going into debt, seems to me the business is mine.

If it fails, my employees may be out of work, but I bear the totality of the loss, am responsible for the debt (personal and public).

But, if it succeeds, I get the impression it's wrong I should get the lion's share of the profit.

Explain it to me why this be.

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Post by henry quirk » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:29 pm

I self-employ...my 'office' is my head, my tools are my eyes, hands, legs, and brain. What do I gain by allowing myself (the business) to be directed (and owned) by the many?

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Re:

Post by Gary Childress » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:45 pm

henry quirk wrote:I self-employ...my 'office' is my head, my tools are my eyes, hands, legs, and brain. What do I gain by allowing myself (the business) to be directed (and owned) by the many?
If your business is a relatively small one then it probably doesn't apply to being "socialized". Socialism I think generally applies to larger scale ownership of the means to production.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:08 pm

So, as long as it's just me, I'm good, but if I expand, hire folks, bring in more money, then I should extend control/ownership of my business to the employees. They get the lion's share too.

Okeedoke. Will they bear the consequence of failure too, or is that honor still mine alone?

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Re:

Post by mickthinks » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:26 pm

What are the consequences of failure that you are referring to here, Henry?

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Gary Childress
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Re:

Post by Gary Childress » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:51 pm

henry quirk wrote:So, as long as it's just me, I'm good, but if I expand, hire folks, bring in more money, then I should extend control/ownership of my business to the employees. They get the lion's share too.

Okeedoke. Will they bear the consequence of failure too, or is that honor still mine alone?
If your business were "socialized" I would assume failure of the business would affect everyone in the company pretty much equally.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by bobevenson » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:26 pm

Question: Socialism -- what has gone wrong?
Answer: Not understanding human nature.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:45 am

Human nature is essentially social cooperation.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by bobevenson » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:51 pm

Arising_uk wrote:Human nature is essentially social cooperation.
I guess you never heard of Darwin, huh?

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Arising_uk » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:28 pm

bobevenson wrote:I guess you never heard of Darwin, huh?
Sure and read his books, something you've obviously not done. But LMFAO that an absolute fool(your words) of a godbotherer brings this to the table, cognitive dissonance obviously holds no meaning for you. :lol:

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