The Fundamental Problem of Socialism

How should society be organised, if at all?

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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

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richardtod
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Re: The Fundamental Problem of Socialism

Post by richardtod »

xy.Now! wrote:.

Thirdly. The thing you Lefties are most ignorant of is yourselves. You think that having more stuff somehow insulates you from pain, from misery: from being miserable... You think that going to a better school or university will somehow make you better; that living in a better neighbourhood will make you better. Ultimately, you ignore that which makes for a better life, but somehow you think that having more stuff will change that; you know there is something you wanna change, but do not know where or what is it; and you blame others... You are miserable because you don't know yourselves, and only an ignorant, vulgar soul comes to the conclusion that material possessions cure him from that.
[/i]
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This is a weird view of Socialism. Socialists do not believe that wealth is the savior or release or anything positive. Where on earth do you get that from? In fact it is the concentration of wealth that is the cause of misery. The gap between the richest and the poorest, The ability of the wealthy to have power to control the democratic process. Do you think Donald Trump would ever have gotten as far as he has if it was not for money?

Socialism is about the fair distribution of wealth. It is not against riches but against poverty when there is plenty for all.

It is about ensuring that no one can use wealth to gain advantage over those who do not have it. In short, a level playing field where everyone has the opportunity to become rich or use their abilities and follow their desires without fear or favour. Everyone pays their taxes and the wealthy encouraged to make more so more is distributed.

I love the term Leftie by the way. I am a proud Pinko Leftie. An atheist who believes in the teaching of Jesus. "Do unto others......"
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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

Rich,

If you (and Hobbes and Mick and whoever) truly believe socialism is best, then, by all means possible, make it happen.

Keep in mind, though: there are some (like me) who will not, who do not, cooperate.

Best get the re-education camps (or abattoirs) ready.
osgart
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Re: The Fundamental Problem of Socialism

Post by osgart »

a value system based on deserve and necessity of being and human rights of individuality and benevolence.
Communism says we are all the same lump. Capitalism says win or die. So where does government fit in our equation. Should we have a benevolent caretaker government. Is government responsible to the education and betterment of its citizens. Can we limit consumption to necessity and deserve. Should we foster life and give opportunity to all. Is gain the sole objective. Or should america foster cooperation over competition. One thing we cant do is take away the freedom to choose how we live be it lawful and for the greater common good. We need a culture of cooperation in our country . A unifying principle despite our differences. We need to value life from the best to the least and put education at the center of society. Capitalism alone will consume the planet and communism will make us all poor and servile slaves.
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henry quirk
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off the top of my head and by no means comprehensive

Post by henry quirk »

"So where does government fit in our equation(?)"

As I see it: federal government (our employees) should, minimally, manage (large) infrastructure, enforce borders, mediate contract disputes, and not much else.

Local (state, regional, municipal) government (our employees) should, minimally, manage (local) infrastructure, catch and jail criminals, and not much else.

Pay for it all by way of a flat tax (some sensible percenatage of total personal incone [no exceptions or loopholes], or a sensible sales tax).

Government (our employees) should largely remain neutral and silent in matters of culture and leave folks be to sort out for themselves what they'll 'do' (as individuals and groups of individuals).
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Post by mickthinks »

Mick: Someone is a socialist if a) they believe the competition that is life in Western civilisation is not fair but has been so rigged in the past by earlier winners* that the elite to which those winners and their descendants belong holds a monopoly on success at the expense of the vast majority; and b) they are on the side of society's undeserving losers.
Henry: I know republicans and libertarians who say the same thing ...


Libertarians maybe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism) but Republicans? I doubt it. There is no conflict between socialism and republicanism as ideoologies, but the current values and policies of the GoP are a long way to the right of basic Republicanism. If you can give me any citations of leading Republicans who have endorsed any principle remotely like my description of Socialism above, I'll be delighted. And astounded.

Henry: ... so, as far as definitions go, it ain't one.
You seem to be conflating "a definition of a political creed satisfying the criteria for a creed distinct from all other creeds" with "meeting the criteria for a definition of a political creed" That's poor communication, dude.
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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

The republicans and libertarians I refer to aren't powers that be but workin' folks who I know.

Don't they count?


As for creeds and 'creeds', definitions and 'definitions': seems to me you're just dancin' 'round the bushes.

As you like (dude).
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Re:

Post by mickthinks »

The republicans and libertarians I refer to aren't powers that be but workin' folks who I know. Don't they count?

If you cannot produce evidence for their existence, Henry, they don't count as evidence for Republicans who fit my definition of Socialism, no.

Do you have any other grounds for objecting to Socialism as I have defined it?
Last edited by mickthinks on Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mickthinks
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Post by mickthinks »

As for creeds and 'creeds', definitions and 'definitions': seems to me you're just dancin' 'round the bushes.

I'll dance more slowly for you, Henry.

You asked me to provide a definition of Socialism, presumably because you thought it would help you to understand why I disagree with you about it.
I provided a tentative definition of "Socialist" but instead of addressing it, you denied I had provided you with any such thing. I explained why definitions of "Socialist" and "Socialism" were mutually transformable (in case that was at the root of your inability to follow me) and you tried to change tack and stick to your course at the same time; by criticising my definition for defining Socialism too widely and all the while continuing to deny that it was a definition.

And now you are trying to pretend that you are too simple to understand what's going on here.

No you're not that simple, Henry

You are that sly.
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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

"Do you have any other grounds for objecting to Socialism as I have defined it?"

You haven't defined (your) socialism...again: you've only offered *reasons why you're a socialist.


Try this: Hobbes sez 'socialism is what socialists do'. so tell me: what do you **do?









*bottom line: 'it's all unfair! I want my fair share! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!'

**besides sittin' around, bein' envious of rich folks
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Post by mickthinks »

You haven't defined (your) socialism...again: you've only offered *reasons why you're a socialist.

You are confusing belief=apprehension with belief=conviction. Someone who is on the side of society's undeserving losers doesn't just have a predisposition; they have a goal to struggle for.

... what do you do?

I vote for politicians and policies aiming to reduce the privileges of the moneyed elite and increase the life-chances of all the ordinary joes.
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Post by bobevenson »

mickthinks wrote:I vote for politicians and policies aiming to reduce the privileges of the moneyed elite and increase the life-chances of all the ordinary joes.
Would you mind explaining what privileges of the moneyed elite you want to reduce, and what life-chances of the ordinary joes you want to increase?
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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

"I vote for politicians and policies aiming to reduce the privileges of the moneyed elite and increase the life-chances of all the ordinary joes."

In other words: you, knowin' better than the ordinary joes what's in the best interest of ordinary joes; you, envious of those who have (and it really doesn't matter how they got what they have; what matters is they have and you don't); you vote for folks and laws that micromanage, predetermine, catalog, and punish.

This is your socialism.

And you wonder why I oppose it.
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Post by mickthinks »

You seem to be saying that Socialism is wrong if some ordinary people don't support it. I think that argument, if it applies here, applies to all political parties creeds, points of view and voting strategies. Republicanism is wrong because some business people disagree with it. Libertarianism is wrong because some independent people disagree with it, Environmentalism is wrong because because some country people disagree with it.

Socialists have a practical problem if Socialism is opposed by too many of the people it aims to protect and advance, yes. But that problem isn't a fundamental problem of Socialism, and it certainly isn't a reason not to be a Socialist.
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