Communism/Socialism

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The difference between communism and socialism;

Socialism is liberal. More people (preferably everyone) have some say in how the economy works. Democracy is liberal. More people (preferably everyone) have some say in how the government works. “Democracy,” said Marx, “is the road to socialism.” He was wrong about how economics and politics interact, but he did see their similar underpinnings.

Communism is conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just the Party Secretary) have any say in how the economy works. Republicans are conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just people controlling the Party figurehead) have any say in how the government works. The conservatives in the US are in the same position as the communists in the 30s, and for the same reason: Their revolutions failed spectacularly but they refuse to admit what went wrong.

A common mistake is to confuse Socialism, the economic system, with Communism, the political system. Communists are “socialist” in the same way that Republicans are “compassionate conservatives”. That is, they give lip service to ideals they have no intention of practicing.

Socialism is the idea that the working class, the class that produces the profits, the wealth, the cars, houses, planes, steel, should take over and run things collectively, democratically, for the benefit of the majority (who also “just happen” to be workers too).

Communism is the idea that society should not have classes – exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed, and so on. "

In a way, communism is an extreme form of socialism.
A Comparison between the two

Have your say.
Im just most concerned about china

 
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Originally posted by wargamer1000:

Communism is conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just the Party Secretary) have any say in how the economy works. Republicans are conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just people controlling the Party figurehead) have any say in how the government works. The conservatives in the US are in the same position as the communists in the 30s, and for the same reason: Their revolutions failed spectacularly but they refuse to admit what went wrong.

This is not communism. This is a flawed version of Marxism at best.

Communism is a system by which communal control is given. For example, if you have a communist factory, every worker is given an equal share of the profits, and has an equal voice in deciding what direction the business should move in. There’s no leader in charge, or scooping off profits.

 
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more or less. but the difference is not per se that socialism is democratic and communism is not. communism is just absolutist, totalist form of socialism, like fascism is an absolutist, totalist form of (corporate) conservatism (or right-wing ideology), and anomie an absolute form of (classical) liberalism, oh and anarchism an aboslutist form of left-wing ideology.

socialism just means any form of economic collectivism or economic democracy, instead of economic free-for-all or economic elitism. such as workers agreements, social securacy, etc.

communism, ín theory, is the absense of classes, like you said in the end, but before that you said the opposite; you said that communism is single-party dictatorship, which it abolutely is not in theory. that is just what Stalin and Mao created, which they called socialism and we called communism. but it really is neither, it’s just authoritarian totalism, or totalitarianism.

Marx, btw, thought of socialism as the temporary state between capitalism and communism, and defined communism as “dictatorship of the proletariat” based on economic egalitarianism. but Marx is just one guy, and he didn’t invent anything but a revolution based on class-warfare and prejudice.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by wargamer1000:

Communism is conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just the Party Secretary) have any say in how the economy works. Republicans are conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just people controlling the Party figurehead) have any say in how the government works. The conservatives in the US are in the same position as the communists in the 30s, and for the same reason: Their revolutions failed spectacularly but they refuse to admit what went wrong.

This is not communism. This is a flawed version of Marxism at best.

Communism is a system by which communal control is given. For example, if you have a communist factory, every worker is given an equal share of the profits, and has an equal voice in deciding what direction the business should move in. There’s no leader in charge, or scooping off profits.

You might ask some of the Russian people how good Communism is. they stood in bread lines hoping to get a loaf before it was gone. Meat was a luxury and automobiles were nonexistent for most, just to name a few of the benefits of Communism.

 
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Originally posted by jhco50:

You might ask some of the Russian people how good Communism is.

There are other countries that are still communist, you know.

just to name a few of the benefits of Communism.

Not really, since that’s… Not “pure” communism, just a bastardized version called communism where the soviet government calls all the shots.

 
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You might ask some of the Russian people how good Communism is. they stood in bread lines hoping to get a loaf before it was gone. Meat was a luxury and automobiles were nonexistent for most, just to name a few of the benefits of Communism.

the Russian lived pretty much in those conditions before communism. in fact, during communism, they probably had the highest standart of living they ever had (though of course, at the cost of major atrocities, which never make any of that worth it)

but my point is, that Russia had a bad starting point. it was a poor, authoritarian, corrupt country to begin with, that only saw some of it’s vices enhanced through economic regulation, and never had anything that can correctly be called socialism, nor communism.

 
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You might ask some of the Russian people how good Communism is. they stood in bread lines hoping to get a loaf before it was gone. Meat was a luxury and automobiles were nonexistent for most, just to name a few of the benefits of Communism.

I love how the image of Communism is the Russian gulag. In the USSR, people lived their lives largely how they would anywhere else, but the difference was that the state ran their budgets, and made economic decisions for them. Admittedly that comes as a huge burden into your decision making process, but it’s not like people didn’t sidestep much of the system.

That said OP completely misdefined communism and socialism. People need to look at a dictionary before they start defining things.

 
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Communism’s greatest strength is that it places everyone on an equal footing with everyone else, with no hierarchy whatsoever. However, that is also its greatest weakness. Like any networking peer-to-peer system it suffers from economies of scale.

If you factor in that the human brain is capable of efficient networking with only a couple of hundred people in a community, you begin to see the problem. In a small-scale community such as a large village or a medium-size factory, it is possible to know at least to talk to, everyone else there. Communism works as a system because it is possible for everyone to know everyone, and for everyone to gather together to vote on any issue that comes up – pure communism is the ultimate democracy, as everyone has equal input on every decision.

However, as the numbers climb, it becomes more and more improbable that you are going to be able to gather everyone to vote on every possible issue that arises. You need some form or hierarchy to manage the structure, and this means you must come away from communism to something else.

So in recap, communism is ideal for a small scale such as a small settlement or mid-sized business. It is ideal for the internal running of a single facility, but it is incapable of running something as large as a country of millions. You need some sort of hierarchy in that case. The moment you have hierarchy, you’re not a communistic system any more.

 
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^that’s why communalism. if people are grouped by Dunbar’s number, and you group those Cummunes by Dunbars number in, say, Regions, and have those Cummunes interact with eachother in a Region the way individuals interact within one Commune, and so on…

 
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Communism actually started off good but then it got crazy. And in socialism I think everyone has equal power and no one is rich or poor. That’s just what I’ve heard.

 
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Originally posted by Rpoman2009:

Communism actually started off good but then it got crazy. And in socialism I think everyone has equal power and no one is rich or poor. That’s just what I’ve heard.

You heard way wrong then, sorry to say. Socialism is just any government interference in the free market. Socialism is therefore, very broad in what it encompasses, and its limits. Communism is the economic stance that there should be no private companies or property. Communists argue between whether or not they should have an authoritarian (such as Russia) or anarchic (such as your typical art history student) style of ruling. True to form Marxist communism sits in a completely stateless “utopia” type of government, whereas most “communist” states have had pretty intrusive governments.

 
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You heard way wrong then, sorry to say. Socialism is just any government interference in the free market.

no, you’re way wrong. “government interference in the free market” as you call it, can be a means employed for socialism, but it can be and is employed for many purposes, and in no way is it the definition of socialism.

Rpoman is actually not wrong; he defines the ideal that is socialism.

 
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Guys, where are we drawing these definitions from? Who vetted them as accurate? What is the history of the word?

It seems like we are arguing over semantics. Which is sometimes necessary, but if you have a view of a word make an actual case for its legitimacy as opposed to bickering over it.

I’ve personally always interpreted socalism as any government intervention into the free market. To larger or smaller degrees. It certainly has a recent history as such, and seems in line with the Britannica definition and the use of the word by Marx and Engels. That said, I can’t find anything definitively pointing out the early use of the word, in any connotation pre Communism.

If anyone would like to make a case for the roots of the word socalism as a meme and it’s original intent, I would be happy to oblige them. Really as a word unto itself it seems to encompass any authoritative Social program.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Really as a word unto itself it seems to encompass any authoritative Social program.

That probably sums it up the best.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

Guys, where are we drawing these definitions from? Who vetted them as accurate? What is the history of the word?

It seems like we are arguing over semantics. Which is sometimes necessary, but if you have a view of a word make an actual case for its legitimacy as opposed to bickering over it.

I’ve personally always interpreted socalism as any government intervention into the free market. To larger or smaller degrees. It certainly has a recent history as such, and seems in line with the Britannica definition and the use of the word by Marx and Engels. That said, I can’t find anything definitively pointing out the early use of the word, in any connotation pre Communism.

If anyone would like to make a case for the roots of the word socalism as a meme and it’s original intent, I would be happy to oblige them. Really as a word unto itself it seems to encompass any authoritative Social program.

it wasn’t invented by Marx. there were theorists that tried to conceive of an alternative to capitalism. they were actually running experiments.

Marx thought that that was impractical, because he believed in the evil of the “bourgeoise” and how we could only get anywhere by oppressing them. he called for revolution, rather than experimentation. ironically, he called his way “scientific socialism”.

aar, it already existed, and it was just a search for an alternative, because capitalism has long been considered as exploitative.

and if you define socialism as all government intervention in the free market, you’re talking about something completely seperate from what any socialist would talk about, and will never be able to have any discussion without massive confusion. anti-trust laws, bussiness subsidization, printing money, not printing money, any government spending, any not government spending, all forms of taxation, etc, would all be socialism. that’s just ridiculous.

way to be an ignorant american.

 
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Originally posted by vikaTae:
Originally posted by wargamer1000:

Communism is conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just the Party Secretary) have any say in how the economy works. Republicans are conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just people controlling the Party figurehead) have any say in how the government works. The conservatives in the US are in the same position as the communists in the 30s, and for the same reason: Their revolutions failed spectacularly but they refuse to admit what went wrong.

This is not communism. This is a flawed version of Marxism at best.

Communism is a system by which communal control is given. For example, if you have a communist factory, every worker is given an equal share of the profits, and has an equal voice in deciding what direction the business should move in. There’s no leader in charge, or scooping off profits.

who manages and distributes the profits?
who manages the workers?

Originally posted by OmegaDoom:

more or less. but the difference is not per se that socialism is democratic and communism is not. communism is just absolutist, totalist form of socialism, like fascism is an absolutist, totalist form of (corporate) conservatism (or right-wing ideology), and anomie an absolute form of (classical) liberalism, oh and anarchism an aboslutist form of left-wing ideology.

socialism just means any form of economic collectivism or economic democracy, instead of economic free-for-all or economic elitism. such as workers agreements, social securacy, etc.

communism, ín theory, is the absense of classes, like you said in the end, but before that you said the opposite; you said that communism is single-party dictatorship, which it abolutely is not in theory. that is just what Stalin and Mao created, which they called socialism and we called communism. but it really is neither, it’s just authoritarian totalism, or totalitarianism.

Marx, btw, thought of socialism as the temporary state between capitalism and communism, and defined communism as “dictatorship of the proletariat” based on economic egalitarianism. but Marx is just one guy, and he didn’t invent anything but a revolution based on class-warfare and prejudice.

What books do you read? i would like to read those books.

 
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Originally posted by CrowbarOfJustice:

who manages and distributes the profits?

That will be somebody’s job, but with records open and accessible to all. If someone else wishes to do the math – particularly likely in hard times – it is all out in the open.

who manages the workers?

Team leaders probably, if there are indeed any teams. Most likely just someone in charge of a line, and the workers who pitch in as necessary. If you see a job needs doing and you have the skills, if nobody else is doing it, you do it. Helps a lot that you directly get an equal percentage of any profits, and an equal share in the losses from any downtime.

 
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it wasn’t invented by Marx. there were theorists that tried to conceive of an alternative to capitalism. they were actually running experiments.

I never suggested it was. Yes, there was. That does little to answer any of my questions. I am not sure what you are suggesting.

Marx thought that that was impractical, because he believed in the evil of the “bourgeoise” and how we could only get anywhere by oppressing them. he called for revolution, rather than experimentation. ironically, he called his way “scientific socialism”.
aar, it already existed, and it was just a search for an alternative, because capitalism has long been considered as exploitative.

I am talking about the roots of the word not the political philosophy. This is all superfluous.

and if you define socialism as all government intervention in the free market, you’re talking about something completely seperate from what any socialist would talk about, and will never be able to have any discussion without massive confusion. anti-trust laws, bussiness subsidization, printing money, not printing money, any government spending, any not government spending, all forms of taxation, etc, would all be socialism. that’s just ridiculous.
way to be an ignorant american.

Sigh. And how would you define it? Why is your definition better? Who are these phantom socalists you refer to? When did they do this? You’re simply being pedantic and self righteous. You’ve presented nothing as any sort of evidence to support your self supposed authority and then resort to assumptive name calling.

Regardless. I elected to do some research. The word itself goes back to 1800’s France. It is derived from the French Word, Socialisme, which is beyond particulars of pronunciation identical in meaning. Coined by Pierre Leroux,by account. It’s English analogue was all but simultaneously being used by Robert Owen among a few other notable avant garde’s. Nowhere do I see a contradictory definition, or use of the term, being promoted. If such a definition is irreconcilable to the word then certainly you could furnish some authoritative examples? I really make no airs about being an expert upon the subject.

- hrm, edit.

socialism just means any form of economic collectivism or economic democracy, instead of economic free-for-all or economic elitism. such as workers agreements, social securacy, etc.

Really I agree with that definition, at least the “economic collectivism” part, I feel that is about as pure of a definition as we are likely to achieve. I also like that it makes no invocation of the state or specific authority-body, that is preferable certainly. That said, how does that not include you aforementioned anti trust laws, business subsidization, printing money, not printing money, any and all government spending or non-spending and taxation and so on. I feel those practices not only represent a degree of socialism, but more over are more then applicable to your provided definition of it.

 
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well i’m not a historian, nor a linguist. so don’t be surprised i can’t give you that perspective.

Really I agree with that definition, at least the “economic collectivism” part, I feel that is about as pure of a definition as we are likely to achieve. I also like that it makes no invocation of the state or specific authority-body, that is preferable certainly. That said, how does that not include you aforementioned anti trust laws, business subsidization, printing money, not printing money, any and all government spending or non-spending and taxation and so on. I feel those practices not only represent a degree of socialism, but more over are more then applicable to your provided definition of it.

but those are means. means that have existed far longer than socialism. if some tyrant forces people to pay taxes to his castle for him to use, that’s not ecomonic collectivism. so you can’t call that socialism.

it’s just that nowadays where such means are employed in Western nations, they are typically employed for what could be considered social purposes. but socialism is an ideology, and is not defined by means.

 
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but those are means. means that have existed far longer than socialism. if some tyrant forces people to pay taxes to his castle for him to use, that’s not ecomonic collectivism. so you can’t call that socialism. it’s just that nowadays where such means are employed in Western nations, they are typically employed for what could be considered social purposes. but socialism is an ideology, and is not defined by means.

Hm, Ends versus Means may be relevant here. Because I still see taxation as integrally, inherently, economically collective. But as you said it is a means, and if the ends are not in the interest or favor of the collective then it can hardly be considered an economic expression of theirs.

Thank you for the line of discussion. Socalism is something of a buzz word, and I find the idea of returning to first sources and early contexts using the very word itself pretty interesting. I’ll have to look into it some more.

 
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Originally posted by scoopolard:
Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Originally posted by scoopolard:

No.

Great response. Care to elaborate?

Yes.

Maybe he doesn’t know what elaborate means?
At least I know it ain’t a mix of dog breeds….lol
We need to remember that trying to “put names” to things as complex as social structure is tantamount to thinking a map IS the territory….that it is a total representation of the real world.
 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:
Originally posted by scoopolard:
Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Originally posted by scoopolard:

No.

Great response. Care to elaborate?

Yes.

Maybe he doesn’t know what elaborate means?
At least I know it ain’t a mix of dog breeds….lol
We need to remember that trying to “put names” to things as complex as social structure is tantamount to thinking a map IS the territory….that it is a total representation of the real world.

No. I do know what elaborate means. I just cared to do so. So I didn’t. Seems fairly straight forward. Please notify me if you need some more clarification on my mindset.