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Forum Post: Why Socialism? -Albert Einstein, 1949

Posted 1 year ago on Feb. 5, 2013, 3:23 a.m. EST by TrevorMnemonic (5827)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones.

The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.

The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

There is much more to read here - http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism

38 Comments

38 Comments


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[-] 5 points by Ache4Change (3158) 1 year ago

'Before the 1980s homelessness existed largely as an occasional occurrence of bad luck for a family, perhaps a mother who needed a few days to find a job. Then President Reagan redirected blame for indigence to the poor themselves, and market-driven policies took over. Since 1980 the number of homeless people has doubled or tripled every decade. Up to 3.5 million people—one out of every hundred Americans—experience homelessness at some time during an average year. But a survey of the fifty largest U.S. cities determined that almost none of them has sufficient shelter beds for homeless residents.'

'The federal housing budget has dropped from $86 billion in 1976 to $45 billion in 2013. This has occurred despite a study that revealed the cost of supportive housing as less than half the cost of prison accommodations. In Los Angeles, a UCLA study found that more was spent on skid row policing than on homeless shelters.'

from -:- http://www.nationofchange.org/shame-wealthy-america-some-facts-about-victims-your-greed-1360595041 & so, that's 'Why Socialism?' Perhaps! Never Give Up Exposing The Vile 'Antisocialism'! Occupy Society & Solidarity!

[-] 5 points by EmergencyAlert (51) 1 year ago

I think OWS needs to really focus on what it wants to demonstrate during an occupy event in order to lead the country through positive action in a new direction. For example, I was inspired to see their response to the fire dept pulling their gas generator as a fire hazard. They brought in a bicycle and started cranking out watts to run their phones and laptops. That was TOO COOL. They beat the tired old unsustainable polluting bs system with a new paradigm!

In the same way, there are many other things that can be demonstrated. The Library was also cool! Feeding 1500 meals a day and running a kitchen 18hrs a day with donations was also cool! Also the human microphone when they forbade amplification. The street theater. All that made it cool. Having young women made it more legit as well.

They should add some more things for their next occupy event, like dry compost septic system. Composting their kitchen scraps with a mobile portable compost pile. Shit like that.

OWS needs to visit schools and pass out info about the website and maybe have a more organize site in terms of issues. I havent explored it yet really. Also run banner ads. You got the attention in the first media splash but that needs to be maintained with regular ads on MSN, Yahoo, Google, Youtube etc. to maintain the momentum. Whatever money comes in would do well to go for promotions like that.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Ideas are always welcome!

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"American Autumn - An Occudoc" ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wulAQW5VkcI - and that's "Why Socialism" imho !! Thanx for posting that great article from someone who knew a thing or two about love, light and logic !!!

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Thanks for the goods words! I just finished reading Empire of Illusion and Hedges shared this awesome quote from Einstein in the book. It was a great book because it tackles the issues of what causes people to put faith in a corruptions society and blindly indulge in the illusion of the current America. From objectivity and spectacle in the news to explaining the commodity culture referencing pornography as one of its worst forms. The final chapter is truly brilliant. His analysis on the abuse of war is incredible and sadly true.

As usual you share great links. I will have to check out that doc when I'm off work tonight.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Re. The Einstein piece, I know this article and have used it myself, eg. see :

where I just noted that you and I seem to go waay back ! Solidarity in all your doings Trev !! Occupy Wall Street - 'cause The Parasites have been 'occupying' the rest of us for long enough !!! Also see :

"Coalitions of environmental, anti-nuclear, anti-capitalist, sustainable-agriculture and anti-globalization forces have coalesced in Europe to form and support socialist parties. This has yet to happen in the United States. The left never rallied in significant numbers behind Cynthia McKinney or Ralph Nader. In picking the lesser of two evils, it threw its lot in with a Democratic Party that backs our imperial wars, empowers the national security state and does the bidding of corporations.

"If Barack Obama does not end the flagrant theft of taxpayer funds by corporate slugs and the disgraceful abandonment of our working class, especially as foreclosures and unemployment mount, many in the country will turn in desperation to the far right embodied by groups such as Christian radicals. The failure by the left to offer a democratic socialist alternative will mean there will be, in the eyes of many embittered and struggling working- and middle-class Americans, no alternative but a perverted Christian fascism. The inability to articulate a viable socialism has been our gravest mistake. It will ensure, if this does not soon change, a ruthless totalitarian capitalism."

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"Nine Myths about Socialism in the US", by Bill Quigley :

"But if socialism means the US would go down the path of being more generous with our babies, our children, our working families, our pregnant mothers, and our sisters and brothers across the world, I think we could all appreciate it."

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

"How Socialists Built America", by John Nichols :

"Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy were not socialists. But the nation benefited from their borrowing of socialist and social democratic ideas. Barack Obama is certainly not a socialist. But he, and the nation he leads, would be well served by a similar borrowing from the people who once imagined Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the War on Poverty." & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rT1NYCWqEk :-)

consilio et animis ...

[-] 1 points by EmergencyAlert (51) 1 year ago

Until the Internet. That you are allowed to talk to me here is proof of that.

[-] -1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

proof of what?

Last time I checked corporations and banks have taken control of our government.

[-] 2 points by EmergencyAlert (51) 1 year ago

"private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education)" until the Internet.

That we are communicating on OWS means they are not controlling it, or at least not doing a good job of controlling.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

they definitely control the main forms of media. Look at all the people that still come here and flood 2 party system propaganda. The people that push the blame Nader theory. Those that still idolize Clinton. Those that push NRA talking points etc etc. There is still a lot of it.

The internet does help break the mold, but as the MAJORITY goes, they are still very much in control. The majority do not come to OWS. The majority still get their information from corporate sources, even corporate sources online.

[-] 3 points by EmergencyAlert (51) 1 year ago

True. Conditioning is strong.

[-] -3 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

I wonder if "the majority whom do not come to OWS" and whom still get their information from corporate sources know more and focus on being successful instead of waisting time texting, tweeting, or facebooking.

[-] -1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

said the NRA shayneh

[+] -4 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

So I guess you agree.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

focus on being successful? And whats that? Running like a freak in a broken system?

Self governance is work. Its not a hand out. Its not something that just takes care of itself. It takes work. Facebooking is not work. And the masses DEFINITELY facebook the most. "I just had a great dinner tonight at McDonalds!!" No one cares. Get a life, right?

[-] 1 points by EmergencyAlert (51) 1 year ago

Dinner implies food. Please don't be misleading. We have standards to maintain here,

[-] -2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

He's mocking the system, dude.

[-] -3 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

So are you saying that the "masses" aren't successful because they "don't make the effort to become successful"?

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

The masses are the middle class who, despite their hard work and efforts, have seen their wages stagnate for the past 30 years.

30 years of middle class wage stagnation and extreme levels of wealth and income inequality, is not the result of people lacking goals or lack of 'effort'. It's the result of bad economic policies and concentrated wealth driving economic and fiscal decisions for the benefit of a few at the expense of the many.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/books/review/the-price-of-inequality-by-joseph-e-stiglitz.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/05/joseph-stiglitz-the-price-on-inequality

[+] -4 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Well my wages always went up as my job skills improved - never had a problem making a decent wage over the years - Sitting at a desk day after day or working for someone doing the same thing over and over again for 20 years isn't going to improve someones wages.

[-] 4 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

I don't even know where to begin. You're comment is utterly stupifying.

Your personal circumstances are irrelevant. You are not the macro economy. It's not about 'you'. You are completely missing the entire point because you are focused on yourself. Narcissitic. Egotistical. Narrow self-absorbed selfish self-interest. You have the mentality of a 2 year old. Your attitude is ultimately self-defeating and dangerous.

Because no matter your personal circumstances, you happen to be a part of this society. The circumstances of society and the overall health of the macro level economy ultimately impacts you as well.

30 years of middle class wage stagnation is not healthy for the economy or society. Proof of this is self-evident.

30 years of middle class wage stagnation is not normal. It's never happened. Until the right wing began instituting neoliberal economic policies in the 80's.

During our period of greatest prosperity, the wealth and incomes of the middle class grew at about the same pace as higher incomes. The government invested in huge domestic projects, the interstate highway system, expanding utilities, sending men to the moon. That was the period of our greatest prosperity. The government invested in the country. Tax rates were very progressive. Top tax rates were 90%. And everyone prospered.

The extreme levels of wealth disparity is not normal. The level of wealth disparity today has not been seen in over 100 years since the Gilded Age. This has only occurred as the result of right wing neoliberal economic policies. It's fucked up policy.

The nature and definition of capitalism is wealth accumulation. It's only through the proper economic and fiscal policies where those natural tendencies are controlled, rather than allow them to take their inevitable course, does capitalism work. ie: progressive taxation, breaking up monopolies.

Wealth accumulates naturally. Supply side economic policies, which the right wing has pushed the past thirty years, has accellerated and exasperated the natural course of wealth accumulation. To the detriment of the middle class. If the wealthy continue to amass more wealth, at the expense of the middle class, who's gonna buy all their shit?

That's the problem. You don't continue to use supply side solutions for a demand side problem.

For the love of God. Try to get a fucking clue. It's not that difficult to understand.

http://www.thenation.com/image/extreme-inequality-chart#

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3697

[+] -5 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Well I would have to say that working under a Union Contract my wages nor those of my fellow workers never went down - they always went up and so did a lot of other union worker wages.

And as far as my fellow workers being concerned about "evil rich and wealthy" they were not because they made a decent living.

So I guess those who claim "wealth disparity" are those who just won't get off their asses to improve their self worth let alone their job skills.

Hell if anyone wants a decent paying job - there are jobs out there - if someone wants to whine because they can't find a decent wage - they can't be helped unless they help themselves.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26034) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

What is your union work? Who were your fellow union workers?

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Well the Plumbers/Steamfitters/Pipefitters/Service Technicians Union along with the Boilermakers were two of the Unions I belonged to - I also carry a state warm air HVAC license class II,

I also carry several other licenses certified by the FCC.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26034) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Just curious. You went to school for how long and took what courses? Started an apprenticeship as what and doing what and for how long?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26034) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

How old are you?

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

What does that have to do with anything - I always took it upon myself to learn all aspects of my trade - not like those who are satisfied with just being pipefitters or welders.

I took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to me and took advantage of them - they paid off for me

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26034) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

So you are a plumber with a need for Federal Communications Commission licensing?

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

No I am an individual who does it all when it comes to my trade.

Pipefitting, welding, welding inspection, plumbing, instrumentation, HVAC installation, supervision, operations manager, project management and Office business manager.

You see I had a goal while working and as a result I was never without a job - and have always incrased my wealth because of it.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (26034) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

U Do What(?) for a living? U R here all hours of the day - so - you get paid to B here? What line of work is that? Who Pays you?

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

I have my own business - it's called 'inventing" I already have one "non-provisional" patent and am working on others. So I work at home and because of that I can do whatever I please.

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Im saying the masses definition of success is usually 100% monetary based. Which is not a very healthy definition. It creates a gigantic rat race. Very little effort put into self governance.

[-] -3 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Well then tell me - if a person has no money to make purchases what's their option?

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

You are confusing having no money vs creating a race to material fulfillment .
I have hear from many successful people to not spend my whole life chasing dollars, that there is much more to life than that.

Taking some time out of the week to participate in the Republic is a good start.

[-] -3 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

You don't have to spend your whole life "chasing money" but having an income helps. What you do spend your whole life on is "having goals".

That's what life is all about and that includes helping to make this country a better place to live - tearing down success won't do this.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Life is not about working in a corrupt society where you work for the benefit of the few. The corporate takeover of America is a fucking pyramid scheme. Wake up.

You really think its acceptable for banks to commit fraud? What level of fraud do you count as success?

Celebrity culture has poisoned your mind with a fake dream.