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Socialism
in Politics

By DrCerealDrCereal 168 Pts edited August 2018
I'm very interested in hearing people's reasoning for why they do or do not support socialism.
For the purpose of this discussion, we will define socialism as "public ownership of capital, property, and the means of production". Please do not construe this definition as implying a state apparatus.

George_HorseZombieguy1987
Bis das, si cito das.
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  • For Health Insurance (in most nations) or perhaps if it can work the healthcare provider themselves (but NHS is going downhill) as well as education institutions (although I support public funded homeschool online courses instead of school as this will eliminate bullying and enable so much more flexibility) and finally transport I support these being socialist as the main means to get it and private for specialist competitors aimed at the middle-upper class on the side.

    I can explain why if you want. I will say this:

    I agree with H. Clinton's policies on like everything on her platform so if you are ever in doubt of my stance just look at her manifesto of 2016 and I agree (yeah I literally supported the email diva).
    DrCerealNathaniel_BbeckysmithZombieguy1987
  • tyvm 
  • I will just quote Ayn Rand to describe my general position in a more eloquent way:


    "There is no difference between the principles, policies and practical results of socialism—and those of any historical or prehistorical tyranny. Socialism is merely democratic absolute monarchy—that is, a system of absolutism without a fixed head, open to seizure of power by all corners, by any ruthless climber, opportunist, adventurer, demagogue or thug.

    When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.” No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the “right” to “redistribute” the wealth produced by others is claiming the “right” to treat human beings as chattel."


    In my opinion, socialism is wrong on all levels: moral (I do not see it as just to take control of people's possessions "for the greater good"), economical (it historically has proven to work extremely poorly, and economical theories almost unanimously support this assumption), logical (whether we like it or not, human nature is based on greed, and trying to restrain/defy this nature cannot end well), rational (the importance of individual freedom stems from the fact that human organisms are fundamentally egoistic; it is a rational judgment), conceptual (society controlling individuals, but not controlled by individuals, is logically problematic) and practical (power vacuum will always be taken by someone, and socialism creates the ground for it to be taken by very vicious people). It is not that it is worse than capitalism; it is that capitalism is the natural system, and socialism is the artificial one, not bound by laws of nature. It is the same disparity as naturalism vs spiritualism: the latter involves scientifically suspect assumptions and, hence, leads to suspect outcomes.

    It is not that socialism "cannot work"... But it is that socialism is very likely to fail, and even if it does happen to work and to last, then this system will never feel right to those who are subjected to living in it. It is possible to create an illusion of happiness for a pet dog; however, the dog will never be truly happy in captivity, and there will always be something left to be desired.

    We only live once. Living our life fully is the only rational choice to maximize our happiness, and we cannot do so in the situation where we work for the happiness of the society and not our own.

    Nathaniel_BApplesauceZombieguy1987
  • I do not suport Socialism because it gives the government too much power and restricts the freedoms ofi t's occupiers
    DrCerealNathaniel_BApplesauceZombieguy1987
  • darth123 said:
    I do not suport Socialism because it gives the government too much power and restricts the freedoms ofi t's occupiers
    You didn't read my note.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • MayCaesar said:
    I will just quote Ayn Rand to describe my general position in a more eloquent way:


    "There is no difference between the principles, policies and practical results of socialism—and those of any historical or prehistorical tyranny. Socialism is merely democratic absolute monarchy—that is, a system of absolutism without a fixed head, open to seizure of power by all corners, by any ruthless climber, opportunist, adventurer, demagogue or thug.

    When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.” No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the “right” to “redistribute” the wealth produced by others is claiming the “right” to treat human beings as chattel."

    To clarify, by "property", I mean "property" as "land". Not property like possessions.

    Though I agree with the point Rand is attempting to make, that property rights are human rights, I wholly disagree with the statement, "No human rights can exist without property rights." For example, you do not need property to have the right to speak. Saying that you do is a factual absurdity.

    Rand says that "if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life", but this doesn't sound like an argument against socialism but rather one for socialism.
    The average worker does not own the results of their efforts, do they? The capitalist does. This is the very thing that a lot of socialists wish to get rid of. It appears that Rand has fallen to a very common misconception that asserts every socialist wishes to achieve socialism through the means of a state, viz. by giving the means of production to the state. This is not the case.

    I do not see it as just to take control of people's possessions "for the greater good"
    This is not a critique of socialism but is a critique of the process of getting to socialism. Though the two are linked, they are not the same thing. (What I meant by "property", clarified above, should also be noted.)

    it historically has proven to work extremely poorly, and economical theories almost unanimously support this assumption
    Instead of attempting to argue with a personal interpretation of the history referred to in the first clause of this statement, I will simply challenge you to provide sources.
    To the second clause, an assumption being commonly agreed upon does not make it true. This is an argumentum ad populum.

    whether we like it or not, human nature is based on greed, and trying to restrain/defy this nature cannot end well
    This is a commonly held notion, which is commonly used as reasoning against socialism, that I have never actually seen demonstrated. Could you elaborate on how this is the case?
    the importance of individual freedom stems from the fact that human organisms are fundamentally egoistic; it is a rational judgment
    It's clear that the assumption, "socialism denies individual freedom", is hidden within this statement so I must again ask you to elaborate.
    society controlling individuals, but not controlled by individuals, is logically problematic
    Society is a collection of individuals, is it not? I do not understand how "society controls A" does not necessarily imply "a group of individuals controls A".
    Do you mean to say that the "majority oppresses the minority"? If you do, in what way to you mean it?
    power vacuum will always be taken by someone, and socialism creates the ground for it to be taken by very vicious people
    This needs to be explained further before I can adequately respond to it.
    Living our life fully is the only rational choice to maximize our happiness, and we cannot do so in the situation where we work for the happiness of the society and not our own.

    Yet this is the current state of workers under capitalism, is it not? Workers who produce product for others are not working for their own happiness but for the happiness of those who employ them.

    someone234Nathaniel_B
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • Rand says that "if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life", but this doesn't sound like an argument against socialism but rather one for socialism.
    The average worker does not own the results of their efforts, do they? The capitalist does. This is the very thing that a lot of socialists wish to get rid of. It appears that Rand has fallen to a very common misconception that asserts every socialist wishes to achieve socialism through the means of a state, viz. by giving the means of production to the state. This is not the case.
    They do. As per their contract, they do the agreed work - and they get the agreed payment.

    This is not a critique of socialism but is a critique of the process of getting to socialism. Though the two are linked, they are not the same thing. (What I meant by "property", clarified above, should also be noted.)
    Having gotten to socialism is the necessary condition for being in socialism.

    DrCereal said:

    Instead of attempting to argue with a personal interpretation of the history referred to in the first clause of this statement, I will simply challenge you to provide sources.
    To the second clause, an assumption being commonly agreed upon does not make it true. This is an argumentum ad populum.
    I do not think the fact that every single instance of attempted socialism resulting in a horrible failure needs sources. Simply pick any country from this list and compare to its capitalist counterparts at the time it was socialist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_states
    I was referred to theories, not people. Theories refute socialism overwhelmingly; in fact, I have not seen a single mathematical model that would predict socialism resulting in anything but failure.

    DrCereal said:

    This is a commonly held notion, which is commonly used as reasoning against socialism, that I have never actually seen demonstrated. Could you elaborate on how this is the case?
    Compare the number of people who can help a beggar with little to no damage to their finances - to the number who actually do that. Ask yourself and your friends and answer honestly on what you would rather have happen: you getting a million dollars, or a thousand African kids getting $1000 each. I can go on and on, but I do not think further elaboration is needed.

    DrCereal said:

    It's clear that the assumption, "socialism denies individual freedom", is hidden within this statement so I must again ask you to elaborate.
    Having to work for the good of the society and not yourself = being denied individual freedom.

    DrCereal said:

    Society is a collection of individuals, is it not? I do not understand how "society controls A" does not necessarily imply "a group of individuals controls A".
    Do you mean to say that the "majority oppresses the minority"? If you do, in what way to you mean it?
    Society is a group of individuals. The individual is one individual. If society controls the individual, hence a group of individuals controls the individual.

    DrCereal said:

    This needs to be explained further before I can adequately respond to it.
    Not much to explain: if individuals are not in full control of their lives, then the society controls them. And any controlling structure by definition needs a leadership, which necessarily emerges.

    DrCereal said:

    Yet this is the current state of workers under capitalism, is it not? Workers who produce product for others are not working for their own happiness but for the happiness of those who employ them.
    I do not go every day to work because my employer becomes richer for it. I go every day to work because I become richer for it.
    Nathaniel_BZombieguy1987
  • DrCerealDrCereal 168 Pts
    edited August 2018
    MayCaesar said:
    They do. As per their contract, they do the agreed work - and they get the agreed payment.
    They do not own the results of their labor but the money they are paid. If there is profit for the company, or employer, then the laborer is necessarily not paid the full value of the products they produced.
    Having gotten to socialism is the necessary condition for being in socialism.
    Though this doesn't in anyway refute what I said, I have realized what you mean and will admit that I was wrong.
    Though I agree with you that socialism would be difficult to implement while still retaining as much respect to rights to property, I do not agree with you that it is impossible.
    I do not think the fact that every single instance of attempted socialism resulting in a horrible failure needs sources. Simply pick any country from this list and compare to its capitalist counterparts at the time it was socialist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_states
    I was referred to theories, not people. Theories refute socialism overwhelmingly; in fact, I have not seen a single mathematical model that would predict socialism resulting in anything but failure.

    Though you have provided me with a list of states and a possible reason for their collapse, you have not provided me with the proper correlation.
    Furthermore, if I recall from memory correctly, a lot of socialist states dissipated due to outside forces, such as the French Commune, and some socialist states dissipated due to capitalist reform, such as the U.S.S.R. To say they collapsed due to socialism, to the extent of my knowledge, would be inappropriate.

    Compare the number of people who can help a beggar with little to no damage to their finances - to the number who actually do that. Ask yourself and your friends and answer honestly on what you would rather have happen: you getting a million dollars, or a thousand African kids getting $1000 each. I can go on and on, but I do not think further elaboration is needed.

    I think you missed my point. Sure, people tend to act greedy, but that does not necessarily imply they are inherently greedy. Furthermore, providing support for people being greedy does not explain why acting against greed would end badly. (My main source of insight for my disagreement with this would be Buddhist monks. The Dhamma, which teaches you to not be greedy among a lot of other things, is something Buddhist monks live by, and I wouldn't really say their society has collapsed.)
    Having to work for the good of the society and not yourself = being denied individual freedom.

    Sure, if you were forced to work for the good of society and not yourself, it would be a denial of individual freedom, but I'm not sure how socialism entails this coercion.

    Going on a brief tangent, the form of socialist society I advocate is one in which companies are collectively owned by the workers. (This is one of many ways socialism could be implemented.) I don't see how giving more power to the workers in this scenario entails the coercion elaborated in your statement.

    Society is a group of individuals. The individual is one individual. If society controls the individual, hence a group of individuals controls the individual.

    Exactly my point though. What you are describing here is "the majority oppressing the minority" and not what you initially said, "society controlling individuals, but not controlled by individuals, is logically problematic."
    I will still refer you to my second question, in what way would the minority be oppressed?

    Not much to explain: if individuals are not in full control of their lives, then the society controls them. And any controlling structure by definition needs a leadership, which necessarily emerges.

    This first statement supposes that "society" would be the controlling power which contradicts your original statement, that the lack of a controlling power would lead to vicious people taking power.
    I must ask, what is this "controlling power" that we are even talking about? Are you talking about those who own the means of production? You have to be more specific.

    I do not go every day to work because my employer becomes richer for it. I go every day to work because I become richer for it.

    This is not a concept that's necessarily alien to socialism. Socialism does not advocate abolishing money or the establishment of equal pay.

    Bis das, si cito das.
  • I do not feel like turning this into quote wars, but I think you misunderstand the fundamental flaw of socialism that condemns it at the core. Everything else is just a consequence of it.

    Any system in which individual freedoms are respected is based on the concept of "consent", which can be conveyed through a "contract". "Consent" is a voluntary agreement between two or more parties that prescribes to what extent they gain rights to each other's property (including body, which, as Ayn Rand reasonably states, is the most important unit of property one can possess).

    From this principle, capitalism naturally follows, and everything else is naturally excluded. Capitalism is simply an economical system based on voluntary contracts that are signed (or implied) as a result of mutual consent to the activity. I say, "I need some money". The employer says, "I need some work done". We shake hands, sign a contract, I do the work, he gives me the money. That is it, that is the whole economical system in a nutshell. There is no need to even call it "capitalism"; it is simply a society in which individual freedoms and rights are respected.

    ---

    Socialism does not allow such a system to exist. Socialism fundamentally violates the principle of consent by not allowing people to own capital, property or means of production. In socialism, the society owns everything, and it is the society that defines the terms of every economical activity. Individual freedom is stomped upon in a very brutal way. 

    It does not matter how "fair" or "benevolent" the society is; it does not matter what excuses it uses to justify what it does in the name of the "greater good". What is important is that I am literally being economically raped by the society, that does not give me the freedom to accumulate wealth which belongs to me and me only. 

    Just imagine a society in which one's body belongs to the collective. The collective can decide that two people should have sex, and the people cannot object, because they are not the owners of their bodies. Socialism is the same matter of affairs, only with regards to other types of property. The economical activities are non-consensual, hence rapist.

    ---

    Companies should not be owned by workers. The facilities the employer provides belong to the employer. If the workers want to be independent from the employer, they are always free to open their own business and do the same work for other people, in a freelancing manner. In this case, demanding that the employer forfeits their right for the property would be the same as me inviting guests to my apartment and losing this apartment as a result.

    Socialism, plainly speaking, is a system based on robbery (i.e. appropriation of property through coercion). In order to avoid violence applied to you, you have to forfeit everything you own (in the socialist extreme - including your body) and to conform with the societal urges. It should be easy to see why most people do not want to live like that.
  • After some consideration, something I should add is that the land ownership is a much trickier concept than ownership of almost everything else. To put it bluntly: what stops me from going into the wilderness, taking a piece of chalk, drawing a contour around a 1 sq. km worth of land and saying, "This is my land"? And then another person coming over, claiming that my chalky contour does not mean anything legal-wise and starting building a house on the "my land"? And then a ranger coming over, claiming that this land does not belong to anyone and demolishing the "illegally" built house?

    So something I might concede to you is that consensual land ownership rules must be somewhat subjectively specified, and there is an argument to be made for shared land ownage in a system based on the concept of individual rights. Same, I suppose, goes for natural resources.

    Property that was not created by a human, but existed in the world on its own, is difficult to attribute to someone without installing some sort of legal framework defining who can claim their rights on it - and if nobody, then on what conditions it is shared. Obviously nobody can claim a lake just by coming over and building a fence around it, that would be ridiculous - but on the other hand, a lake that already belongs to someone is a settled matter.
  • "public ownership of capital, property (land), and the MoP."
    My biggest problem has always been the vague definition, but that's not your fault. By "public ownership" I assume you mean the entire community owning the land, machines, raw materials and what-not. So if someone has his own stove in his own house, and he cooks and sells food with it, would all that have to be taken from him? How would this system work without a government, unless it's on a small-scale?
  • funperson said:
    "public ownership of capital, property (land), and the MoP."
    My biggest problem has always been the vague definition, but that's not your fault. By "public ownership" I assume you mean the entire community owning the land, machines, raw materials and what-not. So if someone has his own stove in his own house, and he cooks and sells food with it, would all that have to be taken from him? How would this system work without a government, unless it's on a small-scale?
    Well, I used the word "public" to account for some ambiguity.
    Some socialists believe that these things should be given to the state, while others, like myself, believe that they should be given to the laborers who use them.

    In your example, since the guy is the only one using his stove, he would be the only one to own and decide what is to be done with it. Something like Walmart would probably be broken up into smaller, self-sufficient companies, each owned and controlled by the workers equally. (As mentioned in my conversation with MayCaesar, this process of "breaking up" would admittedly be a difficult one to do properly.)
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • I'm going to be openly honest. I won't be replying to you today, and there's a good chance that my reply will come much later than a couple of days.
    This is something I care deeply about, and every time I try to reply to your response, it deeply upsets me. (This is not necessarily your fault. I, like any other person, have my own biases.) In fear of letting my anger corrupt my own response or reasoning, I can't bring myself to complete or post a reply.

    Hopefully, in the near future, I will be able to take this argument up again with less passion and properly consider the things you have to say. (If it's worth anything, you've already made me more critical of my own position.) I wholeheartedly hope you can understand and forgive me for failing to be a proper interlocutor.

    P.S. I hope I never came off as rude during our discussion. I never intended to, but sometimes I give that impression. :P
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @DrCereal

    No, not at all: we are having a good discussion, and I see no problems on either side. ;)

    That said, I grew up in a very authoritarian and collectivist society, and as a person who strongly values independence and freedom, I have learned to be very sensitive to any advocacy for restriction of individual rights. I see disrespect for individual rights and freedoms as the main cause of all conflicts in the history of humanity, for a man rarely takes arms against a large group of people to defend his own interest, and almost always it has to do with certain collective interests triumphing over the individual interests.

    While the desire to eliminate or reduce instances of undesirable behavior, such as those which increases wealth inequality, by strong means is understandable - I see it as a harmful way of thinking. In my experience and knowledge, the ends never justify the means, and even those cases where it seems it does, there is always a logical caveat appearing from the very act of dismissing the importance of the effects of the means.

    If we want to solve our economical problems, then we need to do it in the framework based on divination of the individual human freedom and dignity - for all humans, even those we hate with the utmost passion, even those who seem to have much more than they "deserve", while others have much less than they "deserve". Once the collective interest is put before the interest of even a single individual, no matter how wealthy and successful - our species has failed that individual.
    DrCerealNathaniel_BApplesauceZombieguy1987
  • MayCaesar said:
    I do not feel like turning this into quote wars, but I think you misunderstand the fundamental flaw of socialism that condemns it at the core. Everything else is just a consequence of it.

    Any system in which individual freedoms are respected is based on the concept of "consent", which can be conveyed through a "contract". "Consent" is a voluntary agreement between two or more parties that prescribes to what extent they gain rights to each other's property (including body, which, as Ayn Rand reasonably states, is the most important unit of property one can possess).

    From this principle, capitalism naturally follows, and everything else is naturally excluded. Capitalism is simply an economical system based on voluntary contracts that are signed (or implied) as a result of mutual consent to the activity. I say, "I need some money". The employer says, "I need some work done". We shake hands, sign a contract, I do the work, he gives me the money. That is it, that is the whole economical system in a nutshell. There is no need to even call it "capitalism"; it is simply a society in which individual freedoms and rights are respected.
    That's not really what individual freedoms are based on. Feel free to see any democratic country in the world where people's consent is not required for them to face either rights or restrictions from the government. 

    It's also superficial and naive to treat employment as voluntary and consensual in the sense of it being free of coercion. Work is required to earn money to both buy basic human necessities and have money to self-actualise and be more than a producer-consumer by following wants, desires, etc. This gives the employer far more coercive power in the relationship that the employee. I don't want to work in a Capitalist country but it is the best of the available options so I do. The situation is worse for others, for instance in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the choices available are often so poor that they or their children will needlessly die from malnutrition or preventable disease because even though they work they are paid so poorly they can't afford essentials. The standard of "consent" being used is childish and often has little to no implications for real freedom of action.

    If the best you can honestly say about Capitalism in terms of consent is that on average society as a while begrudgingly accepts it and even those who don't like it and would prefer an alternative (like me) are forced to work within it despite our wishes if we want to have a halfway decent standard of living; then wouldn't that implicitly mean that any democratically accepted implementation of Socialism would be at least equal to Capitalism in terms of consent?

    Also as you have note consent is not unique to Capitalism and can be applied to socialism too. See for instance market socialism which tend sto be the nice gentle introduction to socialism for most capitalists.

    MayCaesar said:

    Socialism does not allow such a system to exist. Socialism fundamentally violates the principle of consent by not allowing people to own capital, property or means of production. In socialism, the society owns everything, and it is the society that defines the terms of every economical activity. Individual freedom is stomped upon in a very brutal way. 

    False, Socialism allows people to own capital, property and means of production. The difference is that for the first and the last they own it communally with the other workers with the aim of democratising production.Society does not own everything (the change in ownership is centred around the means of production (e.g. factories, offices, etc) and doesn't extend to your personal stuff.

    Even when it comes to the means of production, socialism enhances the individual freedom. Currently I, like almost all employees, am not a shareholder or the MD of my company. I have no say in the overall running of the company, despite it only running because of me and people like me. In socialism I would have a say in how the company I work for and help run works. That's more individual freedom, not less. Even when you consider the loss of freedom exhibited by Managing Directors and rich Capitalists, they're so outnumbered that the net gain in freedom is enormous.

    MayCaesar said:

    It does not matter how "fair" or "benevolent" the society is; it does not matter what excuses it uses to justify what it does in the name of the "greater good". What is important is that I am literally being economically raped by the society, that does not give me the freedom to accumulate wealth which belongs to me and me only. 
    This is histrionics, not a rational argument. i can't even tell what point you're trying to make besides "Socialism is bad because I say so".

    MayCaesar said:

    Just imagine a society in which one's body belongs to the collective. The collective can decide that two people should have sex, and the people cannot object, because they are not the owners of their bodies. Socialism is the same matter of affairs, only with regards to other types of property. The economical activities are non-consensual, hence rapist.
    "Just imagine a society in which one's body is a resource to be bought and sold. People can by and sell other human beings, treating them like chattel because they are not the owners of their bodies. Capitalism is the same matter of affairs, only with regards to other types of property. The economic activities are non-consensual, hence slavery."

    How about instead of making weird meaningless analogies based on strawman hypotheticals that have nothing to do with socialism (and if you believe otherwise, please note you have done nothing to show they do), how about you argue against actual Socialism as it's being advocated?

    MayCaesar said:

    Companies should not be owned by workers. The facilities the employer provides belong to the employer. If the workers want to be independent from the employer, they are always free to open their own business and do the same work for other people, in a freelancing manner. In this case, demanding that the employer forfeits their right for the property would be the same as me inviting guests to my apartment and losing this apartment as a result.

    Logically fallacious. You argue that the capitalists should own the 'facilities' because "The facilities the employer provides belong to the employer". This is circular reasoning and doesn't matter in the slightest. that's just what the situation is now - the question is whether we should replace that system entirely with a different one. Simply saying they own it under the current paradigm in no way gives us a reason we shouldn't institute a different paradigm.

    You also seem to miss the point entirely with your suggestion about freelancing. Socialism involves giving people control of the means of production because this is viewed as a way to give them greater income and more ability to self-actualise. Freelancing does neither of those things.

    MayCaesar said:

    Socialism, plainly speaking, is a system based on robbery (i.e. appropriation of property through coercion). In order to avoid violence applied to you, you have to forfeit everything you own (in the socialist extreme - including your body) and to conform with the societal urges. It should be easy to see why most people do not want to live like that.
    Feel free to quote where Marx stated the community should have control of your body - I'll wait for you to dig up the relevant quote. At this point I feel we're entering "Old man Yells At Cloud" territory.

    Also robbery is actually "take property unlawfully from (a person or place) by force or threat of force". You'll note that is we actually used your metric then not just all capitalist and democratic societies but literally every single society on earth that isn't just pure lawless chaos counts as robbery if you actually bother to apply your metrics for "robbery". I mean what society doesn't expect you to confirm to societal norms and laws, even without getting into the coercive nature of Capitalism.
  • Ampersand said:

    Even when it comes to the means of production, socialism enhances the individual freedom. Currently I, like almost all employees, am not a shareholder or the MD of my company. I have no say in the overall running of the company, despite it only running because of me and people like me. In socialism I would have a say in how the company I work for and help run works. That's more individual freedom, not less. Even when you consider the loss of freedom exhibited by Managing Directors and rich Capitalists, they're so outnumbered that the net gain in freedom is enormous.
    I generally ignore your posts, because I value my time and do not engage with people who are not interested in a constructive discussion. However, this point very well illustrates the nature of socialism and the majority (not all; @DrCereal does not appear like this, for one) of its followers: extreme, violent greed and envy for people's property. 

    Capitalism is based on consensual economical activities. In your case, your employer (or group of employers, in case of shareholders) offered you a job contract, with clearly defined terms on their and your part - and you voluntarily accepted it. Now that you are in the company, suddenly you want more than the voluntarily agreed terms; you also want to own a part of the company. However, you cannot get it on your own, because you are just one person - hence you want the society to support you and take the property away from the employers by force.

    What is taking away property by force usually called? Robbery. However, when it is not a single person or a group of people doing that, but a society as a whole - then suddenly it is called "freedom". No, my friend, freedom applies to everyone, not just to the workers, but to everyone, including your employers - something you do not consider, since you are only in it for your personal gain at the expense of others.

    Someone a long time ago started a business, involving a lot of risks. They invested in that business, they developed it. Now they (or their successors) are enjoying the fruit of their labor, much like someone who grew an apple tree enjoys fresh apples. And now you come in and, in addition to what you are already getting from the company as a result of consent, want to have the company as well, for no reason other than "The company runs because of me, so I deserve it".

    You are like a man who, after a pleasant evening with a woman, says, "You only had a pleasant evening because of me, so now you cannot reject my request for sex". Except, you also want the government to assure your right to that sex by force. I am sorry if many people see it as nothing other than utterly sickening and disgusting.

    ---

    A good principle to live by is, "Stop looking in others' wallets and focus on your own instead". Focus on satisfaction of your greed through constructive economical activities, and not through taking away from others. Until then, there really is nothing to talk about: builders and conquerors speak different languages.
    Nathaniel_BApplesauceZombieguy1987
  • @DrCereal
    So somebody can be completely self-employed under your system, good. Why would Walmart have to be broken up though, why can't control just be given to the workers? This also seems more like a business model and not an economic one. So the difference between this and capitalism is that the workers own the business whereas in capitalism there is a manager or CEO.
  • funperson said:
    @DrCereal
    So somebody can be completely self-employed under your system, good. Why would Walmart have to be broken up though, why can't control just be given to the workers? This also seems more like a business model and not an economic one. So the difference between this and capitalism is that the workers own the business whereas in capitalism there is a manager or CEO.
    My reasoning is sort of along the lines of:
    A more nationalized company would be better for helping regions that have a hard time operating in the green, but individual, regional companies would allow for more specific decisions to be made by the workers. Basically, it makes decision making for the company - or companies - less abstract.
    (Honestly, I think a more "federalist" approach, like that of the U.S. government, would be more appropriate to get the benefits of both.)

    Also, yes, my ideal economic system would be very similar to the one we currently have.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • DrCerealDrCereal 168 Pts
    edited August 2018
    To put it more plainly: I support a cooperative-orientated economy.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • I can’t believe this man is makin a debate on socialism on a Sunday. I was at the beach for petesake :joy:
    DrCereal
    “Communism is evil. Its driving forces are the deadly sins of envy and hatred.” ~Peter Drucker 

    "It's not a gun control problem, it's a cultural control problem."
    Bob Barr
  • DrCereal said:
    To put it more plainly, I support a cooperative-orientated economy.
    This is not contradictory to capitalism though. Capitalism is about freedom to own, freedom to trade, freedom to cooperate. You can absolutely create a cooperative-orientated company in a free market economy, and many companies function just on that exact model. The university I am working at is highly cooperative-based, and we have a lot of shared or semi-shared (available for lease for a very small price) goods - and we also have a very high corporate culture, and everyone feels the need to contribute to the community with donations and gifts.

    The reason people oppose socialism is not because they do not want to see cooperative-orientated economy. It is because they do not want it forced - regardless of whether they oppose it or not.

    I spend a lot of money on charity (probably much more than I should, he-he), so it is not like I am an utterly selfish person. However, I am strongly against "forced charity": I want to help people because I feel like it, not because I will be thrown in jail if I don't. I hate to bring Ayn Rand into this for the 3rd time, but her works are really full of quotes perfect for this discussion:


    "Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal."


    Charity, cooperation, volunteerism - all these things are much more precious when they are done from the heart and not from the whip. Capitalism already has all the tools one needs to create a small socialist heaven in a larger free market framework. People need merely to agree on terms. It is the forcing of socialism on everyone that we oppose, not necessarily a socialist model of economical organization per se.
    DrCereal
  • MayCaesar said:
    DrCereal said:
    To put it more plainly, I support a cooperative-orientated economy.
    This is not contradictory to capitalism though. Capitalism is about freedom to own, freedom to trade, freedom to cooperate. You can absolutely create a cooperative-orientated company in a free market economy, and many companies function just on that exact model. The university I am working at is highly cooperative-based, and we have a lot of shared or semi-shared (available for lease for a very small price) goods - and we also have a very high corporate culture, and everyone feels the need to contribute to the community with donations and gifts.

    The reason people oppose socialism is not because they do not want to see cooperative-orientated economy. It is because they do not want it forced - regardless of whether they oppose it or not.

    I spend a lot of money on charity (probably much more than I should, he-he), so it is not like I am an utterly selfish person. However, I am strongly against "forced charity": I want to help people because I feel like it, not because I will be thrown in jail if I don't. I hate to bring Ayn Rand into this for the 3rd time, but her works are really full of quotes perfect for this discussion:


    "Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal."


    Charity, cooperation, volunteerism - all these things are much more precious when they are done from the heart and not from the whip. Capitalism already has all the tools one needs to create a small socialist heaven in a larger free market framework. People need merely to agree on terms. It is the forcing of socialism on everyone that we oppose, not necessarily a socialist model of economical organization per se.
    Given this response, I think we're probably closer to agreement than what it appeared like in the prior part of our conversation.
    MayCaesar
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @DrCereal ;

    Yes, looking back now, I think we just misunderstood each other's points. I have nothing against a socialist model arising naturally, and it has a pretty good chance to eventually occur due to the abundance of resources in the future technologically advanced humanity. An interesting aspect here is that, when the society is inclined to follow a socialist model, then socialism is not needed: it already exists. Socialism is only needed to be instituted when people do not want to live like that and have to be forced to.

    It is the same situation as with women in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabian government claims that them having to cover their heads is simply a part of the culture - which is obviously not the case: if it was a part of the culture, it would not have to be enforced, since women would follow it by default; having to force it and institute punishments for not following the rules means that there is significant opposition to the notion, hence it is definitely not an inherent part of the societal culture.

    When everyone wants to behave as socialism prescribes (and maybe people will one day), socialism will de facto appear naturally. Socialism is good when it is accepted and followed peacefully; it breaks when it has to be forced on the society.

    Many of us love sharing goods. We do not love being forced to share goods, but we see nothing wrong with voluntary sharing and we do so regularly in a consensual peaceful cooperation. ;)
    DrCereal
  • DrCereal said:
    I'm very interested in hearing people's reasoning for why they do or do not support socialism.
    For the purpose of this discussion, we will define socialism as "public ownership of capital, property, and the means of production". Please do not construe this definition as implying a state apparatus.

    It is not possible to separate the state and socialism, for someone has to use force to make my property the "public's" property and to enslave me to the "public".  And therein lies the problem with socialism - it is premised on theft and slavery and they are immoral.

    ApplesauceDrCereal
  • @DrCereal
    Yea an economy where businesses are owned by the employees could still be capitalist, because that would still be a private business with just a few more people taking ownership. Side note, given the stock market allows people to buy shares and “own” part of a company, it sounds like a stock market is against capitalism
  • funperson said:
    @DrCereal
    Yea an economy where businesses are owned by the employees could still be capitalist, because that would still be a private business with just a few more people taking ownership. Side note, given the stock market allows people to buy shares and “own” part of a company, it sounds like a stock market is against capitalism
    Not necessarily because the stock market enables private individuals to buy partial ownership of a company. In a cooperative, at least a worker cooperative, the company would be owned equally by the workers. This means there would be no stock available on the stock market for cooperatives.

    This is compatible with our current market, yes, but it is not compatible with capitalism, as the notion of cooperatives is a socialist one. The ending arguments between MayCaesar and me better elucidated a potential way that a cooperative economy would come about: through mutual agreement. This is what I now advocate.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • DrCerealDrCereal 168 Pts
    edited August 2018
    Theocrat said:
    DrCereal said:
    I'm very interested in hearing people's reasoning for why they do or do not support socialism.
    For the purpose of this discussion, we will define socialism as "public ownership of capital, property, and the means of production". Please do not construe this definition as implying a state apparatus.

    It is not possible to separate the state and socialism, for someone has to use force to make my property the "public's" property and to enslave me to the "public".  And therein lies the problem with socialism - it is premised on theft and slavery and they are immoral.

    I would recommend reading my conversation with MayCaesar. I don't support state socialism, and state socialism is not the only possible form of socialism. Stating that it is is a gross oversight of other forms of socialism.
    I, as I have already said, advocate the idea of worker cooperatives in a free market.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • Whatever you advocate, socialism is not possible absent state intervention.
    ApplesauceDrCereal
  • @Theocrat

    IMO what they are advocating for is charities, which is a good thing so long as they aren't government mandated.  Could society encourage and better enable charities to exist and thrive?  Of course we don't need government for that, we need government to get out of the way of that.

    Charitable giving by individuals as a percentage of GDP in America was recorded at 1.44%, in New Zealand at 0.79%, in Canada at .77% and in the UK – which came fourth globally – at 0.54%.

    (U.S. ranked #1)

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/america-new-zealand-and-canada-top-list-of-world-s-most-generous-nations-a6849221.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wealthiest_charitable_foundations

    Wealthiest charitable foundations

    seems Capitalistic nations far exceed socialist in their charity.

    "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"
    The Animals
  • I am advocating for freedom within the context of Biblical law.
  • "Whatever you advocate, socialism is not possible absent state intervention."
    This isn't an argument, and is frankly wrong.


    Bis das, si cito das.
  • Well, idea you say so.  And you have yet to tell us how my property/labor becomes public property without the state and their guns?
  • DrCerealDrCereal 168 Pts
    edited August 2018
    Theocrat said:
    Well, idea you say so.  And you have yet to tell us how my property/labor becomes public property without the state and their guns?
    You, and others who also wish to do so, could form a cooperative. Perhaps a business owner would volunteer to make their own company a cooperative.
    Sure, there's an argument to be had that this would be difficult or unlikely, but it's a means without a state.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @Applesauce

    There is no charity in a socialist state, so of course capitalist states will have much bigger amount of charity: anything is bigger than 0. 

    In a capitalist system, people give money to organizations or individuals of their choice. In a socialist system, people put the money into a gigantic lifeless bureaucratic machine that then distributes it based on some abstract laws.

    One of my best friends had a real financial hardship recently. I sent her over a lot of money, and that helped her tremendously. In a socialist system, I would not be able to do so, and she would have to rely on an infamously ineffective bureaucracy to support her - and even though she lives in a "welfare state", the system failed her and she needed help from elsewhere.

    ---

    The truth is, charity is only possible by people/organizations that own property. You cannot do charity if you do not own anything, since you have nothing to give to anyone. While people tend to advocate for a socialist system as based on the principles of compassion and mutual help, in actuality it is anything but. Instead, it tears compassion and mutual help out of people's souls and converts human needs and desires into raw numbers.You are no longer a person in the eyes of this system; you are just a statistics.

    On the other hand, people willingly putting their property together in order to build something grand with mutual effort in a capitalist system - this is an ideal worth striving for. And this willful mutual help was how this country started and how the Independence War was won. The British fought for the kingdom; the American fought for Americans. The outcome was predefined by the very cause for the war.

    State capitalism is a system based on compassion, because it respects and loves the individual, with all their strengths and shortcomings. State socialism is a system based on the absence of compassion, because the system vilifies the individual and seeks to "cure" their shortcomings by force.
    Applesauce
  • That is not socialism, as the business is stilled owned by who the owner says owns it, not the public.  Try again.
    DrCereal
  • Theocrat said:
    That is not socialism, as the business is stilled owned by who the owner says owns it, not the public.  Try again.
    Again, I'm not quite sure you've read anything that I've said in this conversation.
    I never said, nor meant, "the public". I said "public ownership". It being publicly owned by a cooperative does not make it less public.

    Also, though I want to chat with you about this, if you continue to be condescending, I will no longer respond.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • MayCaesar said:
    Ampersand said:

    Even when it comes to the means of production, socialism enhances the individual freedom. Currently I, like almost all employees, am not a shareholder or the MD of my company. I have no say in the overall running of the company, despite it only running because of me and people like me. In socialism I would have a say in how the company I work for and help run works. That's more individual freedom, not less. Even when you consider the loss of freedom exhibited by Managing Directors and rich Capitalists, they're so outnumbered that the net gain in freedom is enormous.
    I generally ignore your posts, because I value my time and do not engage with people who are not interested in a constructive discussion. However, this point very well illustrates the nature of socialism and the majority (not all; @DrCereal does not appear like this, for one) of its followers: extreme, violent greed and envy for people's property. 
    I think I remember you responding up until I pointed out how you were making basic factual errors - for instance you tried to post in the Israeli/Palestine topic and got the two main Palestinian factions backwards as well as pulling you up when you were hypocritically rude to another user.

    If you've ever made even a single evidence based rebuttal against me feel free to link to it, it'd be interesting to see. I mean here for instance you just give your opinion, don;t back it up and really just repeat your previous post in different words - ignoring the fact your claims have already been rebutted. 

    Also I'd probably take a pay cut if salaries were equalised, I'm management so I earn above the mean and media both in the company and society as a whole. This is because people are wiling to sacrifice for what they think is right. Good job showing your biases by ascribing motives to me for rationales which existed only in your imagination.

    MayCaesar said:
    Capitalism is based on consensual economical activities.
    Wrong.

    Not off to a good start when you don't even know basic definitions.

     http://bfy.tw/10Jr

    "An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism

    "Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit."

    Capitalism is defined by the economic basis through which the means of production are owned. There have in fact been famous examples of slavery based Capitalist states such as the USA. Even today tens of millions of people are enslaved working for the profit of others.

    MayCaesar said:

    In your case, your employer (or group of employers, in case of shareholders) offered you a job contract, with clearly defined terms on their and your part - and you voluntarily accepted it. Now that you are in the company, suddenly you want more than the voluntarily agreed terms; you also want to own a part of the company. However, you cannot get it on your own, because you are just one person - hence you want the society to support you and take the property away from the employers by force.
    Already rebutted in my previous post where I explained the circular reasoning inherent in this part of your argument - a logical fallacy. Please don't mindless merely reiterate your already rebutted opinion which is what you are doing, actually respond to feedback to have the "constructive discussion" you claim to want but seem to be trying to avoid.


    MayCaesar said:
    What is taking away property by force usually called? Robbery. However, when it is not a single person or a group of people doing that, but a society as a whole - then suddenly it is called "freedom". No, my friend, freedom applies to everyone, not just to the workers, but to everyone, including your employers - something you do not consider, since you are only in it for your personal gain at the expense of others.

    Again, already rebutted in my previous post. You seem to be be just repeating yourself like a child going "Nuh-uh, I so am right". In case it wasn't clear the definition of robbery of "take property unlawfully from (a person or place) by force or threat of force" which counters your one is literally the first thing that comes up if you google the definition of 'rob'. Meanwhile the definition you gave of "appropriation of property through coercion" shows up in only a single website in the entire internet - a single random person's blog from 2013.

    You understand why it is bad of you to just make up definitions of words? Robbery has very negative connotations. Randomly trying to ascribe acts which are not robbery as robbery just shows the lack of depth to your argument.

    I mean it's not even the only argument I could make, the most hypocritical argument is that you only recognise consent in relation to businesses and employees. The businessman chose to start up a business in a democratic country where people are able to vote and elect representatives to carry out their wishes. he consented to this situation by found this business. Even your own ideology shows you are wrong. there are plenty more bases for calling out errors in your thinking, but why bother if you don't respond and just go off on a juvenile rant?
    MayCaesar said:

    Someone a long time ago started a business, involving a lot of risks. They invested in that business, they developed it. Now they (or their successors) are enjoying the fruit of their labor, much like someone who grew an apple tree enjoys fresh apples. And now you come in and, in addition to what you are already getting from the company as a result of consent, want to have the company as well, for no reason other than "The company runs because of me, so I deserve it".


    I notice how you sneak in "or their successors" and then try to ignore it. Except you are trying to make an argument based on someone's profit being just based on the hard work they put in. If someone didn't actually put in the hard work and just got Capital handed to them - which is often the case in capitalism - then that undermines the entire basis for your entire argument. Rather than looking at Capitalism as a while, you have tried to cherrypick and take a very superficial look at Capitalism in the best possible light. You are obviously not interested in debating seriously and just looking to push your ideology.

    The other unfounded assumption is that the original founder developed it - that there weren't other people working there and building up the business working just as hard or harder but without the benefit of having money invested n the company and being able to profit from the fruits of their labour. Again, completely contrary to the fundamental principle you are trying to evoke.

    MayCaesar said:

    You are like a man who, after a pleasant evening with a woman, says, "You only had a pleasant evening because of me, so now you cannot reject my request for sex". Except, you also want the government to assure your right to that sex by force. I am sorry if many people see it as nothing other than utterly sickening and disgusting.
    Don;t be an utter moron. You're comparing someone using their democratic rights to advocate for political parties whose economic policies you don't like to the rape of another human being. To compare a ideological preference to rape is utterly peurile at the best of times, but even more so when you don't provide a single iota or argument and just make it as a baseless statement.

    I've already rebutted the underlying claim multiple times above and in my previous post with no response from you.

    MayCaesar said:
    A good principle to live by is, "Stop looking in others' wallets and focus on your own instead". Focus on satisfaction of your greed through constructive economical activities, and not through taking away from others. Until then, there really is nothing to talk about: builders and conquerors speak different languages.
    I don't take advice from children or people who argue in the manner of children. Simply giving your opinion is meaningless. You need to back it up.
  • Publically ownered in the sense of the stock market is not socialism.  YOU lefties hate English.  
    DrCereal
  • And yes, do run away, please.  

    Lefties take correction to be condescension.
    DrCereal
  • DrCereal said:
    funperson said:
    @DrCereal
    So somebody can be completely self-employed under your system, good. Why would Walmart have to be broken up though, why can't control just be given to the workers? This also seems more like a business model and not an economic one. So the difference between this and capitalism is that the workers own the business whereas in capitalism there is a manager or CEO.
    My reasoning is sort of along the lines of:
    A more nationalized company would be better for helping regions that have a hard time operating in the green, but individual, regional companies would allow for more specific decisions to be made by the workers. Basically, it makes decision making for the company - or companies - less abstract.
    (Honestly, I think a more "federalist" approach, like that of the U.S. government, would be more appropriate to get the benefits of both.)

    Also, yes, my ideal economic system would be very similar to the one we currently have.
    Sounds like a form of syndicalism if you want to check that out, although I can't see that as being possible without being fairly different from the current model 9though that itself isn't too bad). The model I usually mention as a nice nonthreatening, "kind of like we've got today" socialism system is market socialism.

    Essentially you go into work tomorrow, do the same work, but you'll have some form of control over the workplace - which may be something as simple as every year your workplace elects a director to sit on the board of the company and the directors from all your offices/stores/whatever collectively make decisions to benefit the business and the employees rather than shareholders. As you're the owners you also get a share in the business. It's a co-operative business model - you can find a prominent example in John Lewis, a multibillion pound workers owned co-operative that's been running for the last 150 years. All the workers are the joint partners and all take a share of the profits along with their salary. They have decision making power spend effort into making it a good communal place to work.

    DrCereal
  • I can't help it.
    "YOU lefties hate English."
    Yep, just a case of me getting corrected. Well crud.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @Ampersand
    though there's not many, there are some employee owned businesses, one locally is a manufacturing plant.  I do really like the idea of it, I just don't want the government to mandate or otherwise control it.  However they could "encourage" these business especially on a state level.  Profit sharing to employees as a tax benefit to the company I could probably support.
    DrCereal
    "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"
    The Animals
  • I love it when lefties abandon their owns arguments in the face of reality!
    DrCereal
  • @DrCereal
    Idk much about the stock market so I was just wondering. So if you're advocating for minimal state intervention and mutual agreement then I can't really be against it. However, what do you plan to do to get there? If a business is run by the workers, a democracy basically, that could probably lead to gridlock though, similar to our current congress sometimes, and if a business shuts down because of that then there'd be problems. So what's our plan for that.
  • And now for the correct definition of socialism:

    Socialism is a political system where the state owns and controls the means of production.  
    DrCereal
  • Can someone list all the successful socialist countries and then list the not successful socialist countries please.
    DrCereal
    "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"
    The Animals
  • Can someone list all the successful socialist countries and then list the not successful socialist countries please.
    Correlation is not causation.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • In other words, DrCereal cannot name one successful socialist country.   That makes senses as their are none.  Socialism denies human nature and is immoral, so, of course, it cannot prosper.
    ApplesauceDrCereal
  • DrCereal said:
    Can someone list all the successful socialist countries and then list the not successful socialist countries please.
    Correlation is not causation.
    well sure, but it can show a trend compared to capitalistic countries right?
    without apply cause, wouldn't it be fair to say capitalistic counties are richer and their citizens have higher standard of living compare with socialist countries?  This is only to show a common denominator not the root cause.
    "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good
    Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"
    The Animals
  • piloteerpiloteer 887 Pts
    edited August 2018
    If grown adults enter into a contract like a cooperative, the constitution has no power to legally or morally suppress that. If the people of the United States choose to become a socialist society and disregard the principles of individualism and private property, the constitution will alot that as well. If anybody expects me to work for the sake of others, it is my moral duty to defend my rights as an individual. If you are forced to do "good deeds" for others, it ceases to be a good deed. True charity can only come someones willful choice to be charitable. Show me someone who says that they put the happiness of everyone else above the happiness of themself, and I will show you a liar.
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