Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

How should society be organised, if at all?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:59 pm

"the AK-47, the greatest personal arms weapon of all time"

The hell you say!

The best, most versatile, most robust firearm is the shotgun.

The shotgun can do anything, ANYTHING, I tell ya!

The AK is flashy and spits fast, but the shotgun is just plain old effective across the board

Gary Childress
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Re:

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:02 pm

henry quirk wrote:"Why would socialists want to take money out of my wallet (or yours for that matter) and give it to someone else(?)"

Let's widen the question a bit...

'Why would communitarians (among which you include the republicans) want to take money out of my wallet (or yours for that matter) and give it to someone else(?)'

For some, 'from each according to ability, to each according to need' is 'fair'. Such folks have eaten up and digested the idea of the powerless or impotent individual who only has direction when operating under the umbrella of democracy (mob rule). 'Adam has more...that's unfair...doesn't matter how he got more...the disparity is unacceptable...take his shit'.

For some, 'from each according to ability, to each according to need' is just a formula for acquiring power and keeping it. Such folks recognize the essential venality of the citizenry and they cater to it. 'My electorate, when fat and sedated, let's me do just about anything I like, so, of course, I'm gonna keep on (symbolically) jabbing away at BIG MONEY cuz it keeps me in-office, in power, in control'.

So: why?

Idealism and opportunism, mixed together, in a tasty gumbo.
I agree that perfect equality in every respect is not realistic, and probably not even a desirable goal.

Gary Childress
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Re:

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:06 pm

henry quirk wrote:Idealism and opportunism, mixed together, in a tasty gumbo.
I would think greed and opportunism are an even "tastier" goal.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:08 pm

"Perfect equality in every respect is not realistic, and probably not even a desirable goal."

I agree...now go preach it to the dyed-in-the wools and get yourself lynched.

Idealists generally don't cozy up to reason or reality.

I do get where you're coming from, Gary, and I'm not unsympathetic. Where we part company is you think socialism may offer solutions, and I see it as just another resource-finagling scheme.

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Re:

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:14 pm

henry quirk wrote:I do get where you're coming from, Gary, and I'm not unsympathetic. Where we part company is you think socialism may offer solutions, and I see it as just another resource-finagling scheme.
No worries. We are all exploring ideas here.

I will not deny that socialism has been used as a pretext for unjust systems. Does that mean that socialism by necessity implies such abuse? The Soviet Union is a clear example of a regime which called itself socialist but (by many accounts) wasn't democratically administrated. Of course if socialism is a "resource-finagling scheme" then capitalism seems to make little pretext of being otherwise. Democracy is not perfect. However, as Joseph Heller once said, it's the best system we know of compared to all the rest.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:15 pm

In context, greed and opportunism, if not the same, are intertwined...*greed motivates the mercenary.









*greed is just normal, healthy, self-interest taken to an insane extreme just as enforced communitarianism is just normal, healthy, socialbility taken to an insane extreme just as (many strains) of sociailism/communisim are compassion taken to an insane extreme...best you can do is guard against those who'd take your shit, cooperate you to death, or take care of you.

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

"Does that mean that socialism by necessity implies such abuse?

I think any system of thinking that encourages one to serve, compromise to, or accomodate, the many (or, the other) is a huge gate for abusers to walk through.

I think capitalism and socialism are equally vulnerable to being skewed.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:23 pm

Many of us like to think we are rugged individuals looking out for ourselves but I think some may be surprised at how much is done in the name of compassion. An average worker may do their job with the utmost care and expedience not necessarily always or only because they are afraid of being fired but because they care about the impact their job has on others and the community. It's a profound pessimism to say that everyone should just look out for themselves and we must always be on guard. Some level of trust in the good nature of others might be healthy I would think.

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Re: Re:

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:31 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
henry quirk wrote:I do get where you're coming from, Gary, and I'm not unsympathetic. Where we part company is you think socialism may offer solutions, and I see it as just another resource-finagling scheme.
No worries. We are all exploring ideas here.
Woops, I need to make one correction to my statement above, I should have said "some of us are exploring ideas here." Unlike Socrates, Melchior, already knows everything there is to know with the utmost certainty and therefore does not need to explore ideas.

Apologies to Melchior.

Melchior
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Melchior » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:37 pm

Gary Childress wrote:Many of us like to think we are rugged individuals looking out for ourselves but I think some may be surprised at how much is done in the name of compassion. An average worker may do their job with the utmost care and expedience not necessarily always or only because they are afraid of being fired but because they care about the impact their job has on others and the community. It's a profound pessimism to say that everyone should just look out for themselves and we must always be on guard. Some level of trust in the good nature of others might be healthy I would think.
Read Ayn Rand.

Gary Childress
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:46 pm

Melchior wrote:
Gary Childress wrote:Many of us like to think we are rugged individuals looking out for ourselves but I think some may be surprised at how much is done in the name of compassion. An average worker may do their job with the utmost care and expedience not necessarily always or only because they are afraid of being fired but because they care about the impact their job has on others and the community. It's a profound pessimism to say that everyone should just look out for themselves and we must always be on guard. Some level of trust in the good nature of others might be healthy I would think.
Read Ayn Rand.
I've read bits and parts of Ayn Rand's writings. Is there anything in particular you recommend?

bobevenson
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by bobevenson » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:47 pm

Gary Childress wrote:Bob, the purpose of taxes are to fund government programs. Don't you understand that?
Of course, and I've submitted the only proper form of taxation, which is a single tax on property, property being defined as anything with intrinsic market value.

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:52 pm

"Sone level of trust in the good nature of others might be healthy I would think."

Trust is a good thing...extend it when you can...just keep a razor up your sleeve while doin' that.


Long time back, in the now defunct Mad Philosopher's Forum, I went 'round and 'round with someone who called him/her-self Xanthos. This person was all about unconditional love and was a big advocate of a kind of tribal communism. He/she claimed to live in China. I wonder how things went, go, for him/her.

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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by bobevenson » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:53 pm

Gary Childress wrote:Have you ever heard of a "sit down" strike?

A so-called sit-down strike is obviously illegal trespassing, and the so-called workers should be immediately arrested.

Gary Childress
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Re: Socialism: What Has Gone Wrong?

Post by Gary Childress » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:54 pm

bobevenson wrote:
Gary Childress wrote:Bob, the purpose of taxes are to fund government programs. Don't you understand that?
Of course, and I've submitted the only proper form of taxation, which is a single tax on property, property being defined as anything with intrinsic market value.
If you are currently paying taxes, Bob, then I suspect you are paying more than just a "single tax on property".

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