SOCIALISM: the pros & cons

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I have been wanting to make a thread on this subject for some time now. Mostly for the essential merits of how the concept applies to different societies around the world…both the pros & cons of it—esp when compared to the various other forms of application of (basically financial?) “social order”.

I want to establish a basis for my initial consideration of socialism:

“Socialism refers to an economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy.1 “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.2 There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.3 They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets or planning, how management is to be organised within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.4"

That part in bold is something I have presented to our illustrious jhco numerous times. Yet, he adamantly insists on pushing HIS concept of socialism as if it were, not only the acme of many, THE ONLY ONE on the planet.

A part of what spurred me to make this thread (at this time) is presented in the quote below…depicting an exchange between jhco & tenco:

Originally posted by jhco50:
Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by jhco50:

We know what socialism is.


Which is exactly why you constantly misuse and misunderstand it.


we just don’t accept fifty different definitions of it to water it down and making it seem more acceptable.

Like right here.


Originally posted by jhco50:

99% of people do not go on the offense with their firearms.


So when people hunt they almost always shoot in self-defense? Okay, I know that deer can go really ape-shit on someone, but I don’t think they actively seek out to provoke it first.


Of course Tenco. We should be defining socialism to fit your ideas instead of what it is. How many definitions does it have?


Ahhhhh, clever Tenco.

I fully anticipate that most of the discussion will be about socialism vs. capitalism since most other economic/social forms of governing currently are of little consequence.

But, I hope we will also discuss communism, if for no other reason, to establish the nuances by which it is: “An extreme form of socialism is communism. (see Communism vs Socialism).”

“In a way, communism is an extreme form of socialism. Many countries have dominant socialist political parties but very few are truly communist. In fact, most countries – including staunch capitalist bastions like the U.S. and U.K. – have government programs that borrow from socialist principles. ”Socialism" is sometimes used interchangeably with “communism” but the two philosophies have some stark differences. Most notably, while communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems."

At the very least, I hope that the above (esp. in bold) will finally shut down jhco (& a couple of other Chicken Littles on their constant haranguing about “the sky is falling…the sky is falling” as it is applied to Obama’s taking America deep into “socialism”.

 
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If America had socialism Wall Street would not exist. JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, etc., would not essentially sponsor politics. Those companies would not exist in a socialist society. Obama is not a socialist. How some people do not comprehend that bemuses me. People are so easily influenced by the media, it’s somewhat saddening.

 
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Originally posted by JaumeBG:

If America had socialism Wall Street would not exist.

Well, more socialism at least, it has some socialistic aspects already in place.

 
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Some socialist policies ≠ socialism.

And let’s remember that nearly all of the western world, and the rest of the world, had socialised healthcare in place in the 20th century; most of those countries were and are capitalist. The U.S. catching up with the rest of the world in the 21st does not make it socialist. Moreover, many countries have taxation which helps unequal poverty, by having the rich pay significantly more; the U.S. has this to an extent, but the extent is not near as much as, e.g., France (or most other countries) with their Robin Hood tax.

 
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Originally posted by JaumeBG:

Some socialist policies ≠ socialism.

And let’s remember that nearly all of the western world, and the rest of the world, had socialised healthcare in place in the 20th century; most of those countries were and are capitalist. The U.S. catching up with the rest of the world in the 21st does not make it socialist. Moreover, many countries have taxation which helps unequal poverty, by having the rich pay significantly more; the U.S. has this to an extent, but the extent is not near as much as, e.g., France (or most other countries) with their Robin Hood tax.

When your friends jump of bridges, do you follow them?

 
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Originally posted by scoopolard:

When your friends jump of bridges, do you follow them?

If the water’s actually made of Dorritos and ranch dressing, fuck yeah.

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by scoopolard:

When your friends jump of bridges, do you follow them?

If the water’s actually made of Dorritos and ranch dressing, fuck yeah.

I second this. I very much agree that Dorritos and ranch dressing taste good, although all people would quickly die if all water in general was changed to be a mixture of ranch dressing and Dorritos.

 
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Socialism is good because its just everyone helping each other out.

Capitalism is all about being greedy and therefor goes against Jesus’s teachings.

Discuss

 
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I always found the assumption that Capitalism is inherently greedy an odd one. That it is “about” being greedy. What is inherently greedy about some guy deciding something? It’s bonkers.

My first suggestion as to the potential benefit of a Social system is the creation of a National Community. Outside of Social Programs, and the intervention of the Government to provide Services, I don’t see what the appeal of belonging to a Federal body exactly is. It creates not only a community of people jointly invested in a process and universally reaping the rewards, but also a reward for their involvement in the nation itself.

These services can also be erected at a large enough scale that their general framework is not answerable to local powers, but transcends them. Serving to unify smaller groups under a larger banner. Consider Police, Military, and such.

I also suppose under good leadership, better decisions may be made. But that certainly is something of a Catch 22. Unilateral decision making by some sort of official versus distributed small decisions amongst the populace could go either way.

 
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Originally posted by JaumeBG:

Some socialist policies ≠ socialism.

And let’s remember that nearly all of the western world, and the rest of the world, had socialised healthcare in place in the 20th century; most of those countries were and are capitalist.

Some capitalist policies ≠ capitalism

Most countries are actually economic hybrids of some sort or the other. Calling them capitalist usually relies on the miss conception that a market-economy equals capitalism and ignores heavy Government involvement in classic government fields(for example infrastructure, police, military and foreign trade). Government Fields that could largely be privatized if one was dedicated to being really capitalist.
Now don´t get me wrong the economic models many countries run on are usually closer to being capitalist than socialist(as per OP) and communist. And perhaps if only the extreme ends of the scale private vs. social ownership are regarded as possible labels one could call these countries capitalist. I just think for a serious discussion it would be better for a finer scaled labeling as that.


To the OP

Pros of socialism generally are:

More equal sharing of Wealth with all its various side effects. For example less violent crime.
A stronger united front against other outside Economies and a stronger front against internal businesses or even a whole branch of businesses. In socialism a business can not just root up and take(or threaten to take) its business oversees as easily or it can but since the profits are socialized it does not matter(who would care as much if a company here takes its business oversees to make more profit, if that profit is shared by everyone here?).
The stronger unification makes the handling of certain Issues that effect society as a whole easier. For example handling ecological questions that are the result of specific industries/branches of the economy becomes much more straight forward since the owners of said industry are also those effected by it.

Got to go to work now, will come back later too overwork this. I think its still a bit unclear and/or missing some details. I also need to add some of the many cons.

 
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Originally posted by ExemplaryReturns:

Socialism is good because its just everyone helping each other out.

Capitalism is all about being greedy and therefor goes against Jesus’s teachings.

Discuss

Socialism is the transition stage to communism. The complete phase change does not always happen. When it does, the country is now communist and all religion is abolished.

 
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Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

Socialism is the transition stage to communism. The complete phase change does not always happen. When it does, the country is now communist and all religion is abolished.

You’re not even trying to hide that you’re a troll anymore, are you?

 
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You act like socialism is a gateway drug to communism. The most technologically advanced countries are going through socialist experimentation. The countries choose to be this way because they are so well educated. The fact that religion is abolished is not by force, but a side-effect of having the fore-said good education.

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

Socialism is the transition stage to communism. The complete phase change does not always happen. When it does, the country is now communist and all religion is abolished.

You’re not even trying to hide that you’re a troll anymore, are you?

Explain how I’m being a troll.

 
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Originally posted by slasher:

You act like socialism is a gateway drug to communism. The most technologically advanced countries are going through socialist experimentation. The countries choose to be this way because they are so well educated. The fact that religion is abolished is not by force, but a side-effect of having the fore-said good education.

facepalm

Disregarding whether or not all of what you said is correct, none of that has to do with my point. Someone pretended to support socialism in the name of God, which is ridiculous. Well, maybe he actually supports socialism in the name of God, which would be sad.

 
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Originally posted by ExemplaryReturns:

Socialism is good because its just everyone helping each other out.

Capitalism is all about being greedy and therefor goes against Jesus’s teachings.

Discuss

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” -Winston Churchill

It sounds friendly and nice when you say, “Helping each other out”, but it is does not work in conjunction with human nature. People naturally work harder to benefit themselves rather than someone else. If it does not matter how hard you work, you can only ever be a little bit wealthier than the poorest people in the country, what incentive is there to work harder and make breakthroughs in your field of work? Capitalism maximizes production, quality, and drives price down because if someone else makes it better and cheaper than you, they get business. Capitalism is portrayed as greedy, but that is a skewed, obtuse perspective. Most people are quicker to spend someone else’s money than the money they worked for themselves. And whos to say that someone who is wealthy cannot give to the poor themselves? The government is never the most efficient method in distributing things like this or determining who rightfully deserves it. I believe that the individual would know better who needs and deserves the money. Neither do government officials, some of whom have never had a real job nor completed high school, know better than doctors and scientists what medical procedures are necessary or how to run a hospital for that matter. Just look at public education; I dont want medical care to be like that.

 
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Originally posted by PatriotSaint:
Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

Socialism is the transition stage to communism. The complete phase change does not always happen. When it does, the country is now communist and all religion is abolished.

You’re not even trying to hide that you’re a troll anymore, are you?

Explain how I’m being a troll.

Because you’ve started to deteriorate idealogically into what I’ve summed up before as everything the caracatured right-wing stands for.

Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

facepalm

Disregarding whether or not all of what you said is correct, none of that has to do with my point.

Actually, it does. Well, unless your real point was obscured under the more obvious one, that is.

Someone pretended to support socialism in the name of God, which is ridiculous. Well, maybe he actually supports socialism in the name of God, which would be sad.

So… In response to something you think wasn’t actually related to what you were saying, you just copy and expand upon said unrelatedness. Okay, it’s not what I would do, but to each his own.

 
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Benuu01, YOUR response, while “worthy” in that it can represent a particular viewpoint, shows just how out of touch w/ the actual concepts of human nature apply to the economic aspects of a very large social group.

Ya certainly missed the point ExemplryReturns made (in a most generalized way?) comparing the two.

Originally posted by Benu01:
Originally posted by ExemplaryReturns:

Socialism is good because its just everyone helping each other out.


Capitalism is all about being greedy and therefor goes against Jesus’s teachings.


“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” -Winston Churchill

Nice quote.
However, it would appear that ya greatly fail to understand it.

It sounds friendly and nice when you say, “Helping each other out”, but it is does not work in conjunction with human nature.

Well, THAT may be the way YOU see social intercourse.
BUT, it is a very overly-simplification of the more negative aspects of “human nature”.

Plus, there is the somewhat related (to helping “others”) concept that loosely corresponds to the concept of: what goes around….comes around.
This means that if a society COOPERATES (read: if a person willingly extends the same respect they want shown them),,,it obviously will function at a much great level of “productivity”….in all areas. I think this concept is also known as: The Golden Rule.

This means that, at the very least, when a person is cooperating—being SOCIAL—they are actually being a form of selfishness because such a form of SOCIALIZING has a huge impact on their own life.

People naturally work harder to benefit themselves rather than someone else.

So?
Are YOU “expecting” everyone to be Saints?
Are YOU not able to see where ya (very likely?) jumped from most forms of SOCIALISM right into full-blown Communism?
Are ya merely regurgitating the bullshit put out by the rabid-right about how “socialism” means everyone is (incorrectly seen as) the “same” and therefore GETS THE SAME?

If it does not matter how hard you work, you can only ever be a little bit wealthier than the poorest people in the country, what incentive is there to work harder and make breakthroughs in your field of work?

Wow!
What a gross over-simplification & putrid view of the most basic concept of ECONOMIC socialism.
AND, that overly simpilton view is compounded by the failure to “flesh out” just what this “little bit” of difference between the top earners and those at the bottom.
I’d like to think ya know about the "bell-curve of distribution, esp. as it applies to economics, and that capitalism allows a hugely malproportioned & even greater INAPPROPRIATE extension of the wealth representation of the bell-curve.

OR, as YOUR quote from Churchill points out: The inherent VICE of CAPITALISM is the {GROSSLY} unequal sharing of the blessings.
Of course, his viewpoint of “socialism” was at the edge where communism begins….SHARPLY.

Capitalism maximizes production, quality, and drives price down because if someone else makes it better and cheaper than you, they get business.

Yeah…sure.
That’s a good part of capitalism.
NO ONE is saying that capitalism is ALL bad.
Good grief.
THAT is the kind of crap one expects from the rabid-right.

Capitalism is portrayed as greedy, but that is a skewed, obtuse perspective.

Capitalism, in & of itself, isn’t bad.
It is when the few GREEDY PEOPLE use the economic system to hugely maximize such a system to “line their own pockets”….usually at the EXPENSE of the “lesser ppl”.
I guess ya never heard of the Robber Barons?
Is THAT the kind of capitalism ya’re saying shouldn’t be portrayed as being “greed”,,,
that such a portrayal is a “skewed, obtuse perspective”?
I hate to break the news to ya,,
but, it is “socialist-minded” efforts that stopped those Robber Barons.

Most people are quicker to spend someone else’s money than the money they worked for themselves.

Well…DUH.
Alert the news media.
We have just uncovered a whole new economic concept.

And whos to say that someone who is wealthy cannot give to the poor themselves?

Wow!
A two-fer.

The government is never the most efficient method in distributing things like this or determining who rightfully deserves it.

So?
Tell me….who do ya want to do it….those Robber Barons?
Do ya actually believe the private sector of “social-benevolence” (non-profit organizations?) is any better at it?
Are ya suggesting that they be given the tax dollars for such distribution?
Do ya actually believe that these organizations don’t have similar “problems” that a govt. has? Sure, I’d say MOST of the private benevolence could do a (much?) better job of seeing to it that the ACTUAL “needy” got the resources.

BUT, don’t go believing that all such organizations are all that “saintly”.
The Salvation Army (at least here in Wichita) doesn’t give its OWN EMPLOYEES healthcare benefits, etc. YET, all the while making huge pleas for money (ever see the “bell-ringers” at Christmas time?) to help “those in need”.

I can tell ya that, via my closely working w/ such charities here in Wichita, I’m able to see that these employees have some serious “needs” themselves. Esp. when the greatest “capitalistic ploy” at enhancing the bottom line is to skirt the LAWS that are intended to ensure a working person is benefited by their own hard work. Of course, I’m talking about holding down the employee’s hours so they don’t LEGALLY qualify for said benefits. Double whammy: NO benefits AND less money.

I believe that the individual would know better who needs and deserves the money.

And, I believe that YOU are quite naive about how this “human nature thing” of YOURS works….at least in the more nefarious areas of it.

Neither do government officials, some of whom have never had a real job nor completed high school,….

So?
We should base what the entire dog should do because of one hair on its tail?
Brilliant…just brilliant.
Is that crap more of the rabid-right perspective on “socialism”?

…. know better than doctors and scientists what medical procedures are necessary or how to run a hospital for that matter.

And yet, somehow—just somehow—America limps along w/ a healthcare system that is just wonderful for those who can afford it. AND, for those who can’t afford it (meaning: doesn’t have healthcare insurance because they can be “cheated” out of it as a part of their job?)

Just look at public education; I dont want medical care to be like that.

Yeah….NOW I know ya’ve been listening to the rabid-right crap.
Their hatred for public ed is well established.
The reasons are obvious.

In closing, I do want to thank ya, Benu01, for your input.
It shows just how great of a job the rabid-right has managed to render skewed and obtuse the the truth about SOCIALSM.

 
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Originally posted by Benu01:

It sounds friendly and nice when you say, “Helping each other out”, but it is does not work in conjunction with human nature.

Actually it does. People are generally very much inclined to helping each other, but they are also inclined to draw boarders. Boards which define whom they help and whom not. Both are a natural thing considering its a necessary trait to survive in harsh World with limited resources. A group is stronger than an individual but if a group gets to big they are likely to have to war upon each other for resources.

People naturally work harder to benefit themselves rather than someone else. If it does not matter how hard you work, you can only ever be a little bit wealthier than the poorest people in the country, what incentive is there to work harder and make breakthroughs in your field of work?

Three flaws. 1. Wealth is not the only benefit one can get from ones work. 2. “A little bit” is relative term, even a little bit can be quite a benefit. 3. Socialism generally allows a much wider range of Wealth distribution than you describe, generally affording those much greater rewards who contribute more to society(work harder). What socialism generally does(or at least aims at) is taking away the ability of others to gamble upon the work of others, to turn money with little work into more money.

Capitalism maximizes production, quality, and drives price down because if someone else makes it better and cheaper than you, they get business.

Sorry, but your talking about market economy and not capitalism. Both are not the same. Adding to that is that the system is much more complex, which makes it untrue that Market economy as such maximizes production, quality, and drives price down. For that to be true many conditions have to be fulfilled which are generally not fulfilled.
For it to work as described someone else has first be able to make it all, which is not as easy as it might seem. And then consumers have to be able to fairly judge the differing quality and prices.

Capitalism is portrayed as greedy, but that is a skewed, obtuse perspective.

Was the core of your argument till now not about greed?

Most people are quicker to spend someone else’s money than the money they worked for themselves.

True in much more ways than you imagine.

And whos to say that someone who is wealthy cannot give to the poor themselves?

No one is to say that, but statistically the less wealthy give more to the poor than the wealthy.

The government is never the most efficient method in distributing things like this or determining who rightfully deserves it.

But in average far from the least efficient method.

I believe that the individual would know better who needs and deserves the money.

And i know that thats just untrue. Its easily observable in that the majority of “individuals” that give money to charity, don´t even know how the money is actually used. More often than not they pay for brand names and advertised charity that works completely different than they believe.
Governments are generally under a much higher amount of scrutiny and there is a greater struggle within governments about the allocation of resources.

Neither do government officials, some of whom have never had a real job nor completed high school, know better than doctors and scientists what medical procedures are necessary or how to run a hospital for that matter.
Just look at public education; I dont want medical care to be like that.

On many topics government officials are just random individuals and not experts, so yes governments officials commonly don´t know whats best. But then they are representatives of the beliefs and values of the People who voted them into office.
Science regarding social and mental topics is not yet as distinguished and commonly accepted as it is in the medical field in general. This can be best observed at the crossing point between the medical and the social and mental fields. So its little wonder that the scientific experts of the medical field get called on more to make such decisions than those of the social and mental field.

 
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Tenco-

“Because you’ve started to deteriorate logically into… caricatured right-wing…”

That’s trash-talking and name-calling. Not an answer.

“Unless your real point was obscured under the more obvious one.”

Correct. slowclap

 
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Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

That’s trash-talking and name-calling. Not an answer.

It’s an answer to you question because it is.

Correct. slowclap

And in case you didn’t realize, that’s not a good thing if you want to be understood correctly.

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:
Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

That’s trash-talking and name-calling. Not an answer.

It’s an answer to you question because it is.

Correct. slowclap

And in case you didn’t realize, that’s not a good thing if you want to be understood correctly.

Hey! I’m glad you can admit it when you’re trash-talking and name-calling.
Not a GOOD answer. You didn’t explain how I’m being a troll other than you disagreeing with me on subjects.

About that misunderstanding, it depends on what “obvious point” you thought I was making.

 
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Originally posted by slasher:

You act like socialism is a gateway drug to communism. The most technologically advanced countries are going through socialist experimentation. The countries choose to be this way because they are so well educated. The fact that religion is abolished is not by force, but a side-effect of having the fore-said good education.

This is not an argument on religion, but on socialism.

So if you are going to mention religion, do it objectively, not negatively or positively.

The basis of your post is on how stupid religion is, basically, which has nothing to do with socialism.

 
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Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

Hey! I’m glad you can admit it when you’re trash-talking and name-calling.

I don’t have to admit anything when it’s clearly stated and when you act like calling someone a name (in this case a troll) is something more than it’s not.

Okay, that didn’t make any sense, my point is calling foul because someone was mean to you does not a good defense make.

Not a GOOD answer. You didn’t explain how I’m being a troll other than you disagreeing with me on subjects.

Yes I did explain why, and no I didn’t say that. I didn’t say that you disagreeing with me was what made you a troll, what I did say is that your posts have been changeing (or always been, I don’t follow every post too closely) to antagonize the most pople here for the sake of antagonizing.

About that misunderstanding, it depends on what “obvious point” you thought I was making.

I thought that what slasher said here:

Originally posted by slasher:

You act like socialism is a gateway drug to communism. The most technologically advanced countries are going through socialist experimentation. The countries choose to be this way because they are so well educated. The fact that religion is abolished is not by force, but a side-effect of having the fore-said good education.

responded to the seemingly obvious point you were making.

Now, if that really wasn’t the point you were trying to make, why aren’t you saying what was?

Originally posted by PatriotSaint:

This is not an argument on religion, but on socialism.

So don’t make it one, it’s not that hard.

So if you are going to mention religion, do it objectively, not negatively or positively.

What about neutrally?

The basis of your post is on how stupid religion is,

When did he say that?

basically, which has nothing to do with socialism.

Except that he made it related by creating a (possibly incorrect) correlation to education and religious beliefs. In other, clearer words, you seemingly missed his point on purpose.

 
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You can’t give me a good example of me trolling. “Posts have been changing” Really. Do you really think I was only talking to you?
I’m not trying to antagonize anyone, it’s called DEBATE.

“what slasher said”

I don’t care what slasher said. Why? Because that first post wasn’t even addressed to him.

“What about neutrally?”

Yeah, that’s a given.

“When did he say that?”

He didn’t say it, but it was a point he wanted to make.

He said that education always results in the abolition of religion. Yeah, that’s what I call unbiased.