Scott Mayers wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:23 am
The opposing concepts about ownership is "Communism" versus "Capitalism". Regardless of the various definition sources of "socialism", this concept describes any ideal of a party that believes the government's function is to provide laws that aim to direct society to favor EACH member of society in some class. Thus, Communist government favors the whole the class. For a "National Socialist" type, as those who believe in formulating a very particular society for a subset of the whole, "the Nationalist" [For WWII Germany's Nazis, the Class is ONLY the 'Native
or Aboriginal' of German blood.]
In today's society, "socialism" is about setting up essential services for all when in government. This entails ownership of essential things like public roads and waterways, education systems, utility companies and communication infrastructure BY THE PEOPLE. The essentials if or when 'owned' by select subsets of people,in contrast, where profit (or power through it) is their private motive first and foremost, makes those who 'own' them have an absurd power to exploit others, especially where these become monopolized. The compassion of the strict capitalist is SELFISH and thus not something relevant to the interest of a management system for all (a 'government'). In other words, the means of the strict capitalist is to OPTIMIZE their OWN, regardless of its effects upon those that are NOT theirs.
And please don't mistaken me for some type you have in mind of the socialist. I am arguing here without bias for nor against, even where I may share certain socialist leaning preferences. I think politics is somewhat fucked because it cannot ideally work in any system where values are involved in making laws. There is always bias. BUT when I hear from those like yourself act with your own apparent disgust of the "socialist", I am only able to interpret you as having some STRONG SELFISH interest to make government itself to be 'privately' of your own. That's dictatorial. Note that Communism fails for the nature of this to creep in. Marx only proposed it because he couldn't determine how you could get to the ideal 'communist' society. It is ironic that both (or all?) extremes share certain common behaviors when in practice. Note that both the National Socialist and the Communists were derived from idealizing a society with NO GOVERNMENT! Their means of getting to this anarchy and how they imagine people to become may differ, but their intents were to mean well (at least for those they thought were worthy of love, of course.)
As one of my favourite British Conservative Prime Ministers, John Major, would suggest, I will probably need to go "Back to Basics" on this matter in order to untangle some of the muddled thinking I note in your posts. I think that's a good idea, actually, so I'm going to explain two very basic, though very important concepts that bear on the problem of socialism and why it is such a poisonous and inhuman political ideology. There are more than two basic concepts I should explain, but just dealing with two of the basics will make this post rather lengthy, and I've been told that most forum members find long-winded posts very taxing and tedious.
OK, so, there are two basics concepts I'm going to exposit in the context of socialism: (1) THE FACTUAL INEQUALITY OF HUMAN NATURE
and (2) "THE TREMENDOUS IMPORTANCE OF THE 'RULE OF LAW' ." I start by looking at the Rule of law...
(1) THE "RULE OF LAW"
OK, so, let's try to clearly define what is essentially meant by the term "Rule of Law". The "Rule of Law" is best defined as the authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behaviour. It is a political principal whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered EQUALLY subject to publicly-disclosed legal codes and processes.
It is important to explicate what is meant by a "law" in the context of the political principle: the "Rule of Law." My understanding of the kind laws being referenced here is probably best illustrated by looking at the rules that together constitute what is called "Common Law" in the West. "Common Law" was originally developed in England and dates back to the early medieval period, so I will use English Common Law as an example. The Common Law in England is that unwritten part of English law that stems from the customs and usages of the English people and from judicial precedence. By "customs", I mean the rules for social behaviour which develop naturally in a community without being enforced by any external authority. I would emphasise as well that when I say Common Law is derived from custom and "judicial precedent", the later means that it is not in any way imposed by legislators or any other government officials. English Common Law as I have indicated evolves over time and represent a compilation (unwritten) of those rules , founded on common sense, that the people and the judiciary have together set for themselves as standards for their own conduct in society. The Common Law is based on broad principles, such as the right to life, the right to own private property, non-maleficence and such like. Thus, the Common Law prohibits: murder; rape; assault and battery; trespass on private property; defamation; property theft; outraging public decency; deprivation of liberty, etc.
For the purposes of this debate, the most important aspect of the "Rule of Law" is notion of EQUALITY before the "Rule of Law." John Locke, the English philosopher famously argued that individuals in a society can only be free when they are subjected to the Rule of the Laws (the Laws he had in mind were the collective set of rules the comprise Common Law) of their society AND those laws apply EQUALLY to EVERYONE with literally no exceptions. No one can be above the law. The same law must apply equally to the most powerful and wealthy persons in a society as it does to its most humble citizen, this is a necessary condition for securing the liberty of all individuals in the state.
(2) THE FACTUAL INEQUALITY OF HUMAN NATURE
Now let's look at human nature. Human beings are NOT equal. I mean, just consider for a moment the infinite varieties of human nature that exist all around you. Consider the wide range of differences in individual capacities (biophysical and psychological) and in potentialities. This tremendous diversity is one of the most distinctive facts about the human species. The evolution of homo sapiens
has probably made them the most variable of all creature on Earth. (And) I think the claim that biology, with variability as its cornerstone, has conferred on EVERY human being a totally unique set of attributes which, in turn, gives him/her a dignity, that is, a moral worth/value, that s/he could not possess otherwise, is correct. Human beings are all innately endowed with equal dignity precisely BECAUSE each individual person possess an utterly unique ( i.e; UNEQUAL) set of characteristics both physical and mental.
Every newborn baby is an unknown quantity with respect to its potentialities because there are so many thousands of genes and inter-related gene patterns which contribute to his make-up. As a consequence of the continuous, dynamic interaction of nature (internal genotype) and nurture (external environmental factors) the newborn baby may become one of the greatest men or women ever to have lived. In every case, each newborn baby has the making of an utterly unique individual quite unlike any other.
So, if these human differences are merely inconsequential, unimportant things, then freedom and the idea of individual human dignity (worth/moral value) is likewise merely an inconsequential, unimportant thing, isn't it ? Those proponents of the widely-held uniformity theory of human nature - which in a superficial sense seems to accord with ("One Vote, One Value") democracy - would, it follows, in time undermine the very basic ideals of freedom and individual worth, and ultimately render life as we know it meaningless - bereft of all value and hope.
(3) THE FACTUAL INEQUALITY OF HUMAN NATURE and EQUALITY BEFORE THE "RULE OF LAW"
Let me begin this concluding section of my post by quoting the Nobel Laureate (economic, 1974) A.F.Hayek....
"The great aim of the struggle for liberty has been equality before the law."
I agree with Hayek, 100%. The equality of ALL citizens before the law (Hayek meant the rules of Common Law) is the only kind of equality which we can possible attain without DESTROYING LIBERTY. At the heart of the principle of equality before the law is the demand that PEOPLE SHOULD ALL BE TREATED ALIKE in spite of the fact that they are all so different ( i.e; factually unequal).
Because people are very different, it follows that if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual positions, and the only way to place them in an equal position WOULD BE TO TREAT THEM DIFFERENTLY.
Given the obvious differences between people, if we want to make unequal people equal, we need to rely on isolated case decisions to determine who get what. This means that establishing social conditions - like material (substantive) equality - will necessarily need the deliberate discrimination of redistributing authorities. Such a kind of planning necessarily involves deliberate discrimination between the particular needs of different people, and allowing one man to do what another is prohibited from doing. In other words, Equality before the Law and material equality are not only different, but they are actually in conflict with each other. We can have one or the other , but WE CANNOT HAVE BOTH
at the same time.
In a classical socialistic order the government deliberately pursues policies aimed at material/substantive equality and this inevitably leads to the destruction of the Rule of Law. In a society where the Rule of Law has been destroyed, so too, course, will the principle of EQUALITY before the Rule of Law be non-existent. In such a society there can be no liberty - men are no longer free. Let me explain as follows...
In the 20th century, and indeed the 21st (I am thinking of Venezuela here) the classical socialistic regimes followed a definite and homogenous goal, and that goal was expressed through Karl Marx's idea of "Communism." For example, in the program of the IX party conference of the Socialistic Unity Party (SED) of the German Democratic Republic (DDR) from 1976, we read that...
"Communism - that is the classless order of society in which all members of the society are footed socially equal...and which is governed by the principle: "from each according to his ability to each according to his need."
The Marxian idea of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
was translated into public policy by a variety of political instruments including: selective subsidising of good and services; rationing of goods, and administratively fixed uniform wages for nearly all occupations and such like. Thus, classical socialistic systems typically pursued the ideal of material equality rather than the ideal of Equality before the Law. Most socialistic regimes tried to achieve this by central planning, a style of administration, which has, according to socialistic ideology, an economic as well as a moral superiority against the "anarchy of the free market." To exercise "superior" central planning according to the will of the working class, dictatorship was officially accepted (e.g. Stalin, Tito) and wanted. But this dictatorship was not exercised by the working class directly; rather, it was "represented by the party, which was seen as the only authorized "interpreter" of official ideology, namely, Socialistic Scientism". This central power was exercised in economic relations through the various state-owned companies and agricultural cooperatives. The extent of this power can be imagined if we take a look at the share of the public sector as a percentage of GDP in European Socialistic countries shortly before the start of the transition to free market economies in 1989: in the year 1988 the public sector produced 99.3% of GDP in Czechoslovakia, 96.4 % in East Germany and 95.5% in Romania.
In addition, the administration in socialistic systems, exercised a lot of influence in the civic society via "mass organisations" which were also led by ruling socialistic parties. Neither in civic nor in economic life were there independent actors which could be seen as Equals before the Law. Because the central planners in these political systems were subject only to the "interests of the working class", and not to any constitutional (common) law, or the the aims of independent individuals, they exercised their power NOT according to the Rule of Law, but according to the rules of REASON - which meant that they necessarily had to treat different persons unequally !
Finally, it is not remotely possible to set out all of the argument against socialistic government on a forum like this, I mean, one would have to publish a very large text book just to scratch the surface of the legion different dimensions of the problem with socialistic ideology: political, economic, social. philosophical, etc. So let me conclude this post with just one final point, which is this...
It seems very clear to me that free market capital economies work far more in concert with human nature than socialistic economies, which attempt to work largely in opposition to it. Take the tremendous abundance of the United States for instance. America's great abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of FREE men who were at liberty to pursue their own personal interests. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialisation ( nor terrorise, imprison, torture, or murder them for that matter !). They gave people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance - and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way. But I think the great 18th century economist Adam Smith summed it up best when he wrote...
"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard for their own interest."
A man will always work much harder to take care of himself and his family and his friends than he will to make money for the state/government, which will then waste most of it before redistributing it to people who aren't working as hard as the man who earned it in the first place.
Dachshund (Der Uberweiner)