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Forum Post: Socialism and Capitalism -- A short explanation.

Posted 3 years ago on May 25, 2014, 10:31 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Some people (including on this forum) seem to be a little confused about what these words mean. So let's just go thru them real quick.

So what is capitalism?

Capitalism is a system with private ownership of the means of production. There's of course more to the system than that, but it's this that characterizes capitalism. If there's no private ownership of the means of production, it's not capitalism.

Noam Chomsky on Capitalism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYW1SdQCM7s

Richard Wolff on Capitalism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMdIgGOYKhs

Read more here: https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-case-against-capitalism/


So what is socialism? Socialism is a system where there's no private ownership of the means of production, but instead collective ownership of the means of production. In other words, production would be run democratically by the workers.

Noam Chomsky on Socialism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Tq4VE8eHQ

Noam Chomsky on Libertarian Socialism/Anarchism: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

Read more here: https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-alternative-to-capitalism/

I hope this cleared things up a little.

177 Comments

177 Comments


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[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (22772) 3 years ago

Capitalism = Exploitation

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Hi. Yes, that is the logical consequence of private ownership of the means of production. But we don't have to accept this tyrannical system; if enough people get mobilized, we can dismantle it. We can do better than capitalism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnI7cfIbkBc

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (22772) 3 years ago

"Democratize the workplace!

As Wolf says: If you want to do something about inequality, democratize the enterprise. Because the minute that we begin to spread the profits around rather than concentrate them in the hands of those who monopolize those decisions today we will do something about inequality rather than exhaust ourselves talking about it."

Give workers ownership over their labor. Spread the profits around among the many, rather than concentrating the profits for the few.

[+] -6 points by anarkette (24) from Boston, MA 3 years ago

Bah, wealth inequality is not a pressing issue. The planet is much more pressing. It's the #1 priority. As long as people have enough to live with, who cares if some folks are billionaires?

[-] 6 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

the 85 richest people own as much as the bottom 3.5 billion. Yes it is.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8851) from Phoenix, AZ 3 years ago

do you have any links to this info? I would think it is true, but I was just asking....

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8851) from Phoenix, AZ 3 years ago

Have you posted about this article? This is really a good piece and deserves its own post IMHO.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Not that I can remember. I agree, this enormous and intolerable inequality should get more attention.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8851) from Phoenix, AZ 3 years ago

I posted to FB and twitter, not much response but I encourage you to post something here, this (unlike so much we see) is right on target with OWS goals, it would seem to me anyway.

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Because if we spread the wealth around, the workers, the unemployed, the sick, the seniors, the students, the children, the entire population in fact (except for the wealthy elite) would be better off. It is very undemocratic when a small non-elected elite have so much power and control over the economy and our lives. We don't accept tyranny in state and government, we shouldn't accept in business either. The economic institutions should be run democratically by the participants and the ones affected.

[-] -1 points by timeforabigchange (-43) from Winnipeg, MB 3 years ago

Sure, the economic institutions could be run democratically. I agree they should. That doesn't mean there would be no wealth inequality. The goal doesn't necessarily have to be perfect distribution so that everyone has the same amount of money. I can be, but that doesn't interest me that much. What I really want is to make sure everyone has enough to live decent lives. As long as no one is poor, I'm happy.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I'm not saying that everyone would receive the exact same remuneration, but if the workplaces were democratic, inequality would be radically reduced.

We were talking about today's world, a world where the 400 richest people in the US own the same as the bottom 185 million combined. This is intolerable. You seemed to indicate that you were fine with that.

In addition to fighting for the democratization of enterprises, a more progressive tax system should be introduced, as well as taxing all income above $100 000 with 100%. In other words, nobody could make more that $100 000. Similar things could be done with taxes on property etc. That would be a step in the right direction.

[-] -1 points by timeforabigchange (-43) from Winnipeg, MB 3 years ago

I'm fine with any inequality as long as the poorest people have enough to live decent lives. They don't right now. But, it's not because of inequality. It's just because the poorest don't have enough. If the poorest people in society live decent lives, then I don't care if there are people way way way way way way richer than them.

In other words, nobody could make more that $100 000

That just seems useless to me. Who cares if some people make millions, or even billions, as long as the poorest live good lives that shouldn't matter.

It seems to me you're fighting the wrong battles. Getting caught up with stuff that really doesn't matter too much. What we must concentrate on is making sure the poorest have decent lives. The inequality thing is a false problematic.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"I'm fine with any inequality"

So in other words, you don't have any problems with a small non-elected elite controlling huge parts of our resources?

"But, it's not because of inequality."

Yes it is. The Western countries are more productive, efficient, and wealthy that ever. Yet the gap between the wealthy and ordinary people is increasing. Workers in the US are working just as hard, or even harder than before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P9fSdUzeos

"Getting caught up with stuff that really doesn't matter too much."

Ok. I understand. You're just here to split hairs and provoke. Trashy, right? This is my last response to you.

[-] -1 points by timeforabigchange (-43) from Winnipeg, MB 3 years ago

So in other words, you don't have any problems with a small non-elected elite controlling huge parts of our resources?

If the poorest people on the planet would live well, and if it would be done in a sustainable way as not to destroy the planet, then no, not at all.

Yes it is. The Western countries are more productive, efficient, and wealthy that ever. Yet the gap between the wealthy and ordinary people is increasing. Workers in the US are working just as hard, or even harder than before.

Actually, this is a good example of how wealth inequality is not really the issue. US has a huge wealth inequality, but the vast majority of people still live decent lives.

In some countries wealth inequality is almost non existent, everyone being equally very poor.

What's important is not wealth equality, but that the baseline (poorest people) live well.

Ok. I understand. You're just here to split hairs and provoke. Trashy, right? This is my last response to you.

No, not here to split hairs. I think it's very important to recognize that wealth inequality is a false problematic, that the real issue is the situation at the baseline. I don't think that is a mere detail.

This is my last response to you.

That's fine. You were never one who like to discuss issues. You like to prescribe, usually the same thing over and over again, but when it comes time to actually discuss problems and dig for solutions, you run away. Intellectual discourse is not your forte. You are more of a reporter, which is absolutely fine.

Have a nice day.

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (22772) 3 years ago

Bah, go to the Tea Party forum, would ya? Oh, yeah, they don't have one anymore.

[+] -4 points by anarkette (24) from Boston, MA 3 years ago

I don't support Tea Party ideas at all. So, why would I go there? I support OWS style ideas, that's why I am here. If you don't like my contributions, either say why so we can discuss, or simply ignore. No need for insulting blah blah. Use your mind, not your cheap little teenage girl emotions.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8851) from Phoenix, AZ 3 years ago

Really???? do you know nothing of how these two are connected?

[-] 0 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Let me know when you find a solution that stops people from liking "stuff".

[-] -2 points by anarkette (24) from Boston, MA 3 years ago

Do you mean the only way to save the planet is for people to stop liking stuff?

Sorry, but I don't believe in primitivism. I believe we have to make more stuff, and more energy. I believe it's entirely possible to do that, maybe even increase our energy and creation output tenfold or more, while also reducing our pollution footprint.

The problem is we did the industrial revolution without thinking of pollution consequences. We were only thinking or producing to have an end product, not producing in an ecological way. I think there is all kinds of room for improvement in that area. We can make stuff in an ecological manner. Stuff that's not only neutral for the environment, but that actually helps the environment. The opposite of pollution.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

We have three main tenants of survival: Food, clothing and shelter.

Clothing and shelter require harvesting and processing the environment, some stuff is simply not able to be processed in an "organic" fashion. So thats a net loss for the environment.

Food potentially has the best shot I suppose, but that requires everyone growing a garden, and Im not sure everyone wants to. Once we get into mass scale, time and energy are a major factor, and then hence pricing, and then hence how to scale it via non organic methods.

All of the accessories, sorry, there is no way to mine a mountain and process all of those minerals, and the steel, and then fabricate it all without fucking up the environment, there just isnt.

There is certainly a ton of ways we can reduce our effects, but with an outlook of 20 billion people on the planet shortly, there is only so much earth, wind and water, and at a certain point our physical footprint per person is simply going to be too much to handle for it, no matter how careful we are.

The only shining hope I see is population decreases, like we are seeing in old Europe and actually would be here if immigration were ceased (this is not a call to close the borders, but a call for further education).

It would appear that the more educated a population, when looking at education levels per country and then reproductive rates per country, the less they reproduce. That may be the long term solution. You could also tie it to poverty levels per country.

Just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

[-] -2 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

apparently that is easy for you to say. maybe not if your child were dying because of lack of clean water etc. your opinion on inequality is just that - your opinion. i would suggest you frame it that way instead of a pronouncement. lots of pressing problems and nobody has the answer - nobody knows what exactly will move us in the best direction. and just so you know - i care if some are billionaires especially when many are STARVING!

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

flip/sff continued.

"no problem with worker democracy"

Good.

"I have built a business for the last 40 years - if you think I will hire some young kid and pay them what I make you are not thinking clearly"

Very few are going to do that. It's called CAPITALISM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMdIgGOYKhs

"a different society and some fantasy world things might be different."

That's right.

"what we were discussing is real world situations with my business"

And I explained how I think businesses should be organized. We are discussing principles here. My solutions are obviously not implemented a lot places at this moment, but that doesn't mean the solutions are wrong.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

in case you did not notice we live in a society where you must make your own way and build your own retirement etc. I am guessing you are young and have not worked. you can discuss your theories and pie in the sky all you like. I brought up real world situations and you seem unable to discuss them. I am not arguing against an egalitarian society but we do not live with the Lakota and it is not 1860. I have said also that a society that allows some who work harder or longer or want to have their own small business and make more money could be a very healthy place. take a look at cuba - certainly healthier than our society. ok so have the last word - say the same thing one last time about your principles of your beloved SOCIALISM - but I do not really like isms!

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I've been working for many years. But let's leave personal questions out of the discussion, shall we?

Yes we live in a society that encourages and sometimes requires people to be more selfish, cynical and so on. We have to distinguish between the ideas and principles we have in terms of what kind of society we want, and ideas we have in terms of which tactics to use here and now. I thought we were discussing the first one? (our discussion has essentially been about social democracy/mixed economy vs socialism/libertarian socialism).

We were discussing principles -- which values and ideas should our communities be based on, at least that's what I was doing. I don't mind discussing tactics and things that can and should be done today. I've actually written a little bit about this here as well. I've also been pretty clear that creating a more social democratic society in the United States would be a step in the right direction. Again, I assumed we were discussing principles etc.

"I have said also that a society that allows some who work harder or longer or want to have their own small business and make more money could be a very healthy place"

Yes, and you asked me what I thought about this, and I said that it shouldn't stop there. All institutions should eventually be democratized, so that they're run by the ones involved and affected.

Well, I'm not going to let the last three letters in a word determine whether I like the idea or not. This "ism" that I'm advocating just means that we make people in control of their own lives, that they are allowed to participate and make decisions in the things that affect them. What I'm basically advocating is democracy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljaXy1t0I44

Don't you agree that this is the kind of society we should strive for?

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Except people would not be in control of their own lives because a plurality of other people would be in control. You couldn't control anything unless your choice was quite literally a popular one. It defeats the purpose of being an artist if you can't create anything that other people don't understand, and why should someone hired to wash dishes have the power to vote on the menu?; you'd end up with burgers and sushi everywhere.

You're taking the ideal of absolute democracy and not appreciating the whole picture of diversity. That isolated ideal has fooled people all throughout history, and when applied to large social structures the results have always been violence and terror. Keep trying to fool the innocent people of Occupy. All you can do is repeat yourself without good reason, and it's getting pretty obvious.

Oh yeah, and why do you have multiple accounts here, like sff90? Is that democracy?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"Except people would not be in control of their own lives because a plurality of other people would be in control."

When people work together on things, they should all have an equal say. It's common sense.

"It defeats the purpose of being an artist"

Be as artistic and creative as you want. Just don't expect to be able to control and dominate others.

"You're taking the ideal of absolute democracy and not appreciating the whole picture of diversity."

A participatory democracy would welcome, and be full of diversity. "Oh yeah, and why do you have multiple accounts here, like sff90?"

I don't. sff90 was probably "trashy" --a seemingly mentally disturbed person who creates several accounts all day long.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

It's not common sense, it's ridiculous. If I hired you to clean toilets it's because you're an idiot when it comes to astrophysics. I know that's a mean way to put it, but you see the point. Everyone thinks they know best because everyone wants to direct everything in accordance with their own ideas. That's just part of human nature, and you can count on it.

Merely saying that you would be in control does nothing to defeat actual physics. But when people do work together on something they're actually sharing then that kind of democracy does tend to happen.

Nice scapegoat. So why did you try ignoring me? You responded to everything but that, conveniently. Why not spend a few words to defend yourself so nobody would think otherwise? I didn't bring up a question of why you would have multiple accounts last time, so maybe you were avoiding that? Nevermind, I don't really care.

[-] -1 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

There is an interesting model of business where the workers hire the manager every year or two, and vote on it.

Acknowledging that the person may have great skills when it comes to managing, yet still maintaining some say and control.

I thought that was an interesting concept when I heard it.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Aye, there's a lot of coop models that seem pretty cool. I could see that working in some cases, but on the other hand consider this: You need time to become really familiar with something. The more time you have the more familiar you become. Starting over every two years can be counterproductive or even detrimental in some situations.

[-] -1 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Very true. Another lesson that the ones hiring would soon realize.

[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

not sure what the utopia should look like. not sure it should be completely egalitarian but that was not the question that I asked that got us to this point. what I said to you was about real world situations - a company we started with savings accumulated over years of work - a company started with risk and sweat and what should new hires be paid? we can see what comes in the future and I am all for you thinking about what it might look like. for me it is too academic to be really interesting.

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[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

not everyone

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Put another way, private ownership is independence, and socialism is political tyranny unifying popular will, absolute power given to the most irrational animal, the mass of people. We have to appreciate the real life physics of democracy. Any system which is black or white is not complete. At least mixed economy is considering that balance between freedom and collective.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

No, it's capitalism that's based on tyranny: totalitarian institutions (corporations) controlling our lives. Libertarian socialism is about human liberation, allowing people to control their own work and communities.

It is libertarian socialism that perfectly combines collective and individual freedoms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

[-] 3 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

hehe ... no .... both are :)

and both arn't ...

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

That made no sense.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

hehe... I guess it was to short ...

quote: socialism is political tyranny unifying popular will, absolute power given to the most irrational animal, the mass of people.

quote: it's capitalism that's based on tyranny: totalitarian institutions (corporations) controlling our lives.

no .... both are...and both arn't .

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Still not making sense. Libertarian socialism -- real socialism, with workers (not the state) controlling the means of production -- is about creating a democracy controlled from below, so that the ones who are making the decisions are the ones affected by them; a real participatory democracy in which people control their own lives and work -- the opposite of tyranny.

[-] -1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Larence Lessing in his book "Code" made an intereseting observation; democracy and liberty are two mutually exclusive things. One can have a democracy in which there is no liberty, and there is such a thing as dictatorships which allow individual liberty. Real democracies where every individual has responsibility to the common tend to have the least liberty; in that being responsible also means making commitments, and having commitments takes away from individual liberty. Wierd huh, but if one thinks about it one comes to realize that is true.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

What we need to do is find a reasonable balance between individual freedom and what's best for the community as a whole. I think the principle of having a right to a say in things proportional to how much you're affected is a good one. That way the individual is free to do what it wants, but when its actions affect the community, the community should be able to create certain restrictions.

[-] -1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Please read some books on democracy. We've come a long way in understanding the results of history. People wouldn't control their own lives, a plurality of other people would, and we all know how that goes.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

https://occupywallst.org/forum/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-democracy-but-/

I'm curious why you completely refuse to consider balance. I really wish you'd consider learning about the real life physics of democracy because you could probably figure out some functional solutions instead of pushing this disguised anarchy that so easily fools people. It doesn't achieve what you're claiming no matter how romantic it sounds.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

LS has the perfect balance.

LS is about making society more democratic (by applying it to our workplaces)

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

balance my butt, you're advocating direct democracy from the ground up, admittedly. that's the completely extreme opposite of liberty. You say people would be in control of their own work, but what would actually happen is that nobody would be in control of their own work because everyone would be, absolute power given to a plurality of other people. You really need to appreciate that you're statements contradict reality and i'm begging you to study some real world democracy so you can put your energy into helping democracy in a way that would actually be functional.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Anyway, aside from perfectly legitimate, censored comments, I've explained in great detail why it's not at all anything like liberty. If logic doesn't make sense, try going to a college library and start reading some academic books. Between you and me though, I know you have your own reason.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

And I’ve explained why it is liberty. A free society should include having the right to control one’s own work and workplace.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Under this system of absolute democracy that is literally impossible. You do not control your own work when everyone else does.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-alternative-to-capitalism/#comment-1033484

We're done talking about this. I'll say for the last time that i wish you'd learn something about democracy so you could actually help instead of trying to romance people into something that physically does not work and only causes communist wars.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

If you're doing something by yourself, then it's your business. If people do things together, then everyone should have a say in how the business is run.

Democracy is about people having the right to decide on the things that affect them. If we like democracy, then shouldn't democracy apply in the place we spend 40 hours every week?

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[-] -3 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

I vote that struggleforfreedom80 does all the work, and the rest of us eat for free, who's with me.

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[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

silosam/sff continued.

What was vague?

"Certainly there should be a higher degree of "renumeration" for people with more skills or education, or people who simply work harder. That's not capitalistic. That's fair."

You're right, it's not capitalistic. I'm not sure if I agree with the other part, though. Why is it fair that people with more skills/education should be paid more? Wouldn't it be better to instead make things like education and so on free, and focusing on people's needs, rather than effort? In my view, this is the reasonable thing to do in a modern and wealthy society like ours.

"It's the huge wage & wealth disparity that is the problem"

That's one of the main problems, yes.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

ok... I admit some of my conjecture in this thread is confused....

I confused what came first socialism or communism ... I thought communism's roots were dated bc....

anyway... let me say this....

there is nowhere that Capitalism exists w/o some form of Socialism running with it....

as.... there nowhere that Socialism exists w/o some form of Capitalism running with it....

maybe we really need to simply improve the systems....

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

You're making no sense. A worker-run society controlling a capitalist society?? It seems like you still won't except what "socialism" actually means.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

maybe so... I'm just trying to describe what I see happening... doesn't mean it makes sense

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

hmmm.... did some historical reading for a change!!!

and realized that I am fuked up a bit with my arguments! ...

I am confusing Socialism vs Communism a bit ....

;)

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

You've been confusing mixed economy/state-capitalism with socialism. Socialism is an economy which doesn't have private ownership of the means of production (capitalism), but instead collective ownership of the mop(workers controlling production democratically).

You're not the only one who has these words a little mixed up. The right-wing constantly associates it with dictatorships etc. Liberals also misuse the word by referring to Europe or Scandinavia as "socialist" etc.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

well almost... I confused what came first socialism or communism ... I thought communism's roots were dated bc....

[-] 2 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

probably depends on what part of the globe. some communities most likely took everything and divided it up, others created an emergency stash for special occasions.

At what point does the community become too big to control with certain measures and therefore needs forced sharing via government?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

No, you have primarily confused mixed economy/state-capitalism with socialism. That's what we've been discussing for the most part.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

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[-] 0 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Socialism does not necessarily mean collective ownership, it simply means looking out for one another instead of only oneself. It is totally possible to have private ownership in a socialized system. I think Chomsky is twisting it.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

There's no twisting. Socialism means workers control/collective control of the means of production. Many people have misused the word, so I can understand the confusion.

Looking out for one another is important, and would definitely be an important feature in a socialist society, but it's not the definition of socialism.

"Private ownership (of the mop) in a socialized system"

You're describing some kind of social democracy.

[-] -2 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Ok, if you say so, I'd have to accept that. Afterall, a word is only what people say it is. I can't debate what somebody says his opinion is.

What would you call something like progressive taxation?

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

It's not my opinion. It's what socialism means.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

"What would you call something like progressive taxation?"

Social democracies have this.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 3 years ago

Defining socialism is kind of like defining occupy. Everyone has their own interpretation.

[-] 0 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Yes of course, but only because wikipedia defined it that way. The oxford dictionary defines it as "A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole." If socialism was promoted in that manner, many more people would be for it. The term "or regulated" means a socialist system can be privately owned so long as it is managed collectively, or managed in the interests of the collective.

I personnally am not too hung up on what definition anybody uses so long one understands what the other is thinking. However, having said that it is an important point, in that most people in America are very sensitive about giving up thier property to a collective; pointing to the old Soviet commie system as a very bad example of what happens. So, when one defines socialism exclusively as giving up private ownership it instantly creates a bad connotation.

I believe the majority of Americans so long as they are not giving up their personnal property are more than willing to work together as a community, to "regulate" things together in the interestes of the community as a whole.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

The word «socialism» has been so misused thruout history, some incorrect sentences here and there don’t surprise me at all. Including “or regulated” into the definition is a mistake if they by that mean a regulated economy with private ownership of the mop; that would be a regulated state-capitalist economy.

If someone wants to use the word in an incorrect way, like calling Europe “socialist” and so on, then go ahead. It doesn’t mean they’re correct, though.

Take the word “communism” as well. The soviet tyranny is still, by journalists, intellectuals, authors and so on, referred to as communism. Well, communism means a classless stateless society.

But, again, these words have been so misused thruout history, I can understand why these somewhat different definitions and understandings occur.

Just so we are clear, I’m not advocating taking people’s TVs and cars and so on, It’s the property right that allows one individual to exploit and dominate another that I’d like to see dismantled –in other words: the right to privately own the mop (that others are using).

[-] 0 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

I'm not so sure property rights over production is the root of the problem although I do agree that it can make for a problem. I think the issue is whether the entities in control can be kept in check (i.e. nobody ought have total right.) In the now defunct commie Russia the problem was with no private ownership, all control ended up in the hands of a state that was run by one small oligarchic power. The oligarchic state then abused the power they had. So, dismantling private control over resouces and production solved no problem, but merely shifted control over to another abusing order.

On the other hand, these days we are seeing the opposite happening here in the U.S.A. and elsewhere in the world where entities who privately own mega-resources are abusing the powers they have. a.k.a. a rich people's revolution is going on that is dismantling all forms of government and control over property privately owned by the mega-rich to the demise of ordinary folk.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Private ownership of the mop isn't the root of all problems, but it's a root of a lot of the problems in terms of inequality, poverty, exploitation, crime etcetc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYW1SdQCM7s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMdIgGOYKhs

"I think the issue is whether the entities in control can be kept in check"

The institutions should be "kept in check" by the ones working there as well as those who have to live with the consequences.

"In the now defunct commie Russia the problem was with no private ownership, all control ended up in the hands of a state that was run by one small oligarchic power."

First of all, Russia has never had communism. Yes, Lenin created state tyranny the moment he took power. Leninism is awful. The fact that so many people actually believed that concentrating all this power in the hands of Lenin and the party, wouldn't lead to tyranny and oppression, is really mind-boggling in my view.

Socialism has to be built and controlled primarily from below, which is what libertarian socialism is about.

"On the other hand, these days we are seeing the opposite happening here in the U.S.A. and elsewhere in the world where entities who privately own mega-resources are abusing the powers they have."

Exactly right. Concentrated power is bad, no matter where it lies, and that is why we should organize a society where hierarchies are down to the minimum. That would be a libertarian socialist society.

[-] 0 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Ok, so then the next question is how. How would you suggest achieving a libertarian socialist society? How does one wrestle power from those who have it, when one has little power of one's own?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I don't think there's a magic recipe in terms of tactics and strategy, but focusing on the things I mentioned here, would in my view be a good idea.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

All good ideas. Add to the list; think we need to figure out how to get away from using the U.S. dollar as a means of exchange.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

That should not be a high priority. The important thing is ending corporate tyranny and capitalism.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Capitalism's as well as the Corporate tyranny's tool of power is the U.S. dollar. If you can get away from or at least minimize your transactions in the U.S. dollar you then are well on your way to defeating both of these evils.

[-] 3 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Money is artificial energy, causing problems like artificial things tend to do. Taking it out of the equation would definitely solve the equation. But while it allows for things to go wrong, it also allows for good things to happen that were previously not possible. It's also a pretty good crutch to keep people participating in fairness (theoretically). Like a system of total freedom being unsustainable on a finite world, I think it just needs that democratic lid, a mixed economy.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

The only question is how does one get that "democratic lid" put in place?

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

"The only question is how does one get that "democratic lid" put in place?"

I'm not sure, or I should say that I don't know enough to be even remotely sure. I've been looking at Norway a lot and they have a pretty good mix of welfare, free market, and tax. Seems like if people generally had enough money they wouldn't be so pressured into entering relationships that didn't feel fair, making it very hard to exploit them. Regulations of world resources and vital infrastructure would be that lid as far as exploiting the planet beyond its means.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

It would be interesting to figure out what it is about Norway and the other Scandinavian countries that enabled them to bring about the systems that they have.

Your hitting on an interesting subject; sounds like we got manipulated into some catch 22 downward spiral. Put people into a desparate situation, people get desparate, do desparate things, take on work they would ordinarily not agree to doing, only to get into a more desparte situation,... Like how many people out there complain about Walmart ripping everybody off, but then turn around and not only shop but also work there because Walmart has the lowest prices and are only people hiring... Would it not be better to just figure out how to do without?

[-] 0 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

It kinda gets people mad, when you imply that your going to take their property. I thought the point here was to pull together to make economic reform, not to fracture an already fractured movement more by making statements to the effect of property confiscations.

[-] -1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Exactly my point! That is why I have a problem with the way Noam Chomsky, and the author of this post are defining Socialism.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

It does irreparable damage. Once those statements are made it is very hard to convince people otherwise. They assume the worst, and why shouldn't they, the old bait and switch isn't a new game to politics.

[-] -1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

I agree. I just assume stay away from the word Socialism. So, then, what is it exactly that we are advocating, now that it is not socialism?

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

I think a mixed economy makes perfect sense. Too much freedom isn't sustainable, and too much democracy is oppressive. It shouldn't be difficult to capture the independent discovery of truth and then democratically (through public ownership of government) have that responded to in a way that is observable. A pretty decent standard of living would make it impossible to exploit workers. Regulation of world resources and pollution would keep things under control. And the freedom and independence of business would make everything else. It sounds pretty good to me.

[-] -1 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

The term regulated capitalism might be offensive as well.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

I suppose too many people really like their capitalism. Afterall it is a way to avoid social responsibility. That may be the root of the problem.

So any word that suggests responsibility toward society becomes a bad word.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Probably. That's an interesting thought. Anything becomes a bad word when people want it to be. Communists find it easy to kill independent people as long as they call them fascists.

Someone said something about eliminating patents, and that kinda seems like a cool idea. But it seems like that could ruin the way people can safely pursue their ideas, but also if there were no patents there would be less monopoly. I want to understand this more because it really seems to have potential, if not disaster.

I suppose it comes down to land ownership too. And there's an idea about not owning property that you do not actually live on, which I think would be pretty cool. I think it would totally negate the guys who buy land and then sit back and rent it, making the cost of living as tight as possible.

Similarly there's an idea about regulations in cross business, like weapons manufacturers not owning TV stations, etc. It reminds me of the land ownership thing because it's preventing that accumulation of dominance.

Anyway, sorry for the scattered thoughts.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 3 years ago

Funny you're hitting on all the things I got; I have a patent, I have some rental houses, and I have a job at a company that makes things for the military. Although I'm not starving, I'm not a rich guy, and my income certainly does not qualify me for the 1%. I don't believe I'm ripping anybody off, I'm just trying to make a living with the cards that were dealt to me. I think I lot of Americans are in a position similar to mine. I personnally think there is merit and purpose in individuals owning property, but people need to understand that ownership comes with limits, rules, and responsibility. One cannot do anything one wants with what one owns, and one should always be using what one has for the public good, or at least not use it to the public detrement.

Patents are to protect entrepenures for a limited time, 17 to 20 years, so that an idea can be properly be developed and a return on the effort can be realized. Otherwise vultures would capitalize on an idea without actually investing in it.

Landlords exist to cover those individuals who for some reason can't afford or otherwise maintain their own residences. One needs deep pockets, a strong back, and pleanty of other resources to maintain a property, and not everybody has that. Believe me, most landlords although asset rich, are cash poor.

The military exists (or at least supposed to) to protect society from out side theats and assure peace and stability in a country. I don't make enough money at my daytime job, so I have a small real estate business on the side. I suppose somebody would call that engaging in cross business.

All these things are legitamate enterprises, and there is nothing wrong in engaging in them. In all fairness all these things are also very often abused. I'm all for rules regulating all these things.

I personnally do not think ownership is the root of today's problem. I think the root problem today is that there are a few people out there, both at the top and bottom of society, and some in between, who think they do not have to live by any rules, have no commitment to society, and are thus screwing over our entire economy, environment, and society in the process.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Oh, as for cross business regulations I imagine that would be something very specific. Like media corporations not being allowed to have relationships that could influence them. or public health funds, etc. I suppose it would require special audits of income and such, but this is vital infrastructure with very real vulnerabilities we can identify. The vulnerability of news is something that has massive impact on society. The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Thanks for the good points. I knew very little about patents and was kinda poking around about it.

Seems like exploitation would be a lot harder if people weren't so desperate. If people had the most basic means of living they wouldn't be so pressured to agree to relationships that didn't feel fair to them. The result i think is that everything else would perpetuate a similar standard.

I keep thinking about how the intent of extreme pressure is to motivate people to do incredible things. But that seems like more of an excuse because the stress is much more unhealthy and the products are a bit ridiculous. Besides, when was the last time that a struggling homeless person contributed a really great innovation? I think we can afford to slow down a little bit and still have plenty of room for people to be inspired to do great things, if not more room.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

You know, the problem is not the business owners, it isn't the property owners, it isn't the farmers. Yet in every socialist revolution they have been the targets, while the real problems walk free, it is no different on this forum. A man named Vincent Vickers, got to the heart of the issue, back in the 1930's, his writtings were published by his son in 1941, in a book called Economic Tribulations. Here is a statement from that book that, in my opinion succinctly identifies the segment of capitalism that is to blame for the mess we are currently in.

"These middlemen, these agents, these brokers and jobbers, money and metal exchange operators, money lenders, issuing houses, banks and insurance companies – these entrepreneurs create nothing at all. They are the drones of the national beehive and live and are dependent upon the honey that others collect. Like the unemployed, they are supported at the cost of the nation."

It is these people who drive up prices, who underpay farmers and producers, who demand more and more in the form of dividend checks. No it isn't the business owner or the farmer who is your enemy, it is the drone.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Nice. That's exactly what i mean about landlords, people who own land just to rent it to other people. They're not creating anything, just owning. It's like slavery, basically owning those people and making them work their butts off to pay as high as price of rent as possible.

In a lot of ways money seems like a middle man in general. I know it's useful and makes things possible that were not without it, but in a general sense we work for money to pay for a place or way to live. without the middle man you'd be working for a place or way to live, same thing, same motivation really. It's complicated and I know money solves some of that complication, but how complicated is it really? I dunno, just thoughts.

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

quote: "...Capitalism is a system with private ownership of the means of production...."

try... "...A Capitalistic economic system is a system with private ownership & interest of the means of production...."

....

"...Capitalism is an action of trade which supports the individuals to agree to the value of the trade..."

"...Communism is the theory that all the people equally share all the resources & responsibilities..."

"...Socialism is the action of applying controls to an free-market system in the effort to share the wealth...as well as applying incentives to an common-market system in the effort to boost productivity..."

"...The Free-market system is a reality... like air & water... it will exist regardless of whether it's legal or not... people will freely trade among each other regardless of governing structure..."

"...The Common-market system is a reality... like air & water... it will exist regardless of whether it's legal or not... people will continue to attempt share the wealth regardless of governing structure..."

maybe Realism ... is what we really want ....

added:

The Evils of Capitalism & Communism

As long as people are welling to do evil things in the effort to gain monetary profit and unnecessary power... The ungoverned use of Capitalism and non shared use of Communism... will continue to create wars... impoverish people... pollute the world & waste resources...

The Good of Capitalism & Communism

The incentives of individual driven Capitalism has provided invention.. discovery ... research and economic prosperity for the world that no governing body could begin to accomplish...

The compassion and altruistic goals of Communism keeps us in check and had provided economic prosperity for many nations whose populations have outgrown their resources....

Would it not be better to see what is real ... what is truthful ... and to develop upon the good of all ...than to destroy that good in the effort to destroy the evil ?.....

Would it not be better to combine all the idealistic goals of all the systems into one.... working simultaneous in common effort ?....

All we need to do is invent an "additional" currency ... one based not on monetary profit... but on social profit... that allows and promotes the free-market incentives towards the development of social wealth .... a social capital that allows us to be part of the economic world doing non-monetary profiting things ...

Many State owned banks are already moving this direction ... financing for the common good... Let's organize it into an actual new currency ... so it is not based on simple monetary gain ....

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Is there anything written in the post that you disagree with?

Capitalism will not exist if we abolish it.

Capitalism isn't the only system in which trade and markets can exist (market socialism etc)

You can't have capitalism and socialism at the same time. Again, you have to pick one:

  1. Decentralized collective ownership of the means of production (libertarian socialism)

  2. Private ownership of the mop(capitalism)

  3. Private ownership of the mop, but with an active state regulating the market to some extent (state capitalism)

  4. Total state control of the mop (leninism/stalinism etc).

I prefer nr 1. Which one do you prefer?

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

You can't have capitalism and socialism at the same time? Are you completely refusing to hear the words mixed economy? How about Norway?

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

A mixed economy is state-capitalism. Socialism means workers controlling the means of production.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Thanks for responding with completely irreverent trivia.

Oh i forgot you're a Nazi with the word socialism. I'll use the word to describe anything which is democratic or social. The common prescription is owned OR regulated by the community as a whole. But since you didn't listen when someone else told you that then I doubt you'll listen to me.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Stop with the Nazi-comments. It's pathetic.

[-] -3 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

"We are Socialists, we are enemies of the capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions. " Adolf Hitler

Sounds like your statements to me.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Ridiculous. Hitler said it, so then it must be true!!

The Stalinists in North Korea call themselves Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Does that mean North Korea is a democracy?

[-] -2 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

Those sound a lot like your words, those words were once used to deceive a people into adopting something they did not understand. Is it not natural to be skeptical when we hear those same words again?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

The classic guilt by association. You're pathetic. So because some genocidal maniac claims something, that means we should believe it? Do you believe the Jews are the root of all evil as well? I mean, Hitler said it. That means it must be true, right?

You can find quotes from all sorts of killers and tyrants who claimed they were "doing the right thing" and that they were doing it "to protect democracy and human rights" and so on. Why should we believe a word of it?

You sound like an ignorant and immature brat who's been watching too much Glenn Beck.

This is my last comment to you. You're a pathetic troll. I'm not feeding you anymore.

[-] -2 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

Hitler's words are your words. You are the one claiming they are true.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago
[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

a provocative step to make enemies

[-] -3 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

Just trying to prove struggleforfreedom80 is a Nazi.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

pretty sure it's an orc

[-] -2 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

A what, you'll have to explain that one.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

but then i would have to figure out what s14 means

[-] -1 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

There, is that better I edited the post.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

i doubt it

i haven't seen the poster advocating making enemies

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

So yes then, you're refusing to hear this.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

What are you talking about?

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Balance, not one or the other. Neither extreme liberty nor extreme democracy. Balance. Such as a mixed economy, private ownership with democratic regulation.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Libertarian socialism perfectly combines collective as well as individual rights: The right to do what you want with your life, as well as the right to a say in the things that affect you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-libertarianism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

A mixed economy allows exploitation and hierarchy in the workplace. The workplace should be run democratically by the participants, not by a non-elected minority.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

It doesn't perfectly combine anything. That concept of physics literally doesn't work in reality. Why would a mixed economy have to allow anything when it can be regulated? Talk about exploitation, you're the one showing up at peoples farms with a rifle.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-alternative-to-capitalism/#comment-1033584

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"It doesn't perfectly combine anything."

Yes it does. I just explained it.

"Why would a mixed economy have to allow anything when it can be regulated?"

A mixed economy would include private ownership of the means of production, which automatically means hierarchy and domination.

"Talk about exploitation, you're the one showing up at peoples farms with a rifle."

Nope.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

You did not just explain anything, all you did was say it would be that way without providing any reason.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-alternative-to-capitalism/#comment-1033693

btw, farming is means of production.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

people on power like to stay in power

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.”

--Noam Chomsky

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

"democratic management "is a lot closer to the definition

than those latin words and people know what that means

[-] -1 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

You absolutely cannot make these statements, since it is clear from previous comments that LS is an abstract ideal, and without knowing all the details statements like yours lac validity. The truth is that you don't know what it would do, or how it would really work.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I will make whatever statement I want.

It's not that abstract. I explained this here

But even if it was true, so what? Aren't we allowed as well as capable of coming up with new and better plausible ideas and solutions, present them and trying to implement them in society. This has been done over and over again thruout history. Parlamentary democracy seemed like a pipe dream for the people living under monarchs and feudalism. Now it exists in many countries.

[-] -2 points by wickerman (62) 3 years ago

You explained that you could not answer specific questions about how the system would work. Yet now you claim that it would be the perfect system. You have explained nothing except abstract ideals.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

hey man - I agree with you on most of this but is seems to me that some type of mixed economy is not a bad thing. small shops and family farms etc can be innovative. I have had my own business for 45 years - I think at the grassroots level this type of private ownership is ok - just as I will own my own house and car. the means of production and the basics of life must be owned collectively - do you disagree?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Just so there are no misunderstandings. I'm not talking about taking your TV or your car etc. As I explained before, I'm talking about the employer/employee-relationship in a capitalist economy; in other words when the means of production are being owned privately by some people (owners), while others (the workers) have to rent themselves to them and produce a surplus for the owner.

This is the kind of core feature of capitalism. It is this relationship -- one individual having the right to control and exploit another individual -- that should be dismantled.

When you say "mixed economy" then I assume you advocate a sort of social democratic-style society. If more countries organized a mixed economy based on social democracy and scandinavian-type systems, with decent workers' rights and more equality, then that would certainly be a step in the right direction. That would be a perfectly decent short term goal.

The society we should strive for though, is a society where people are in control of their own work -- a society without capitalism and other forms of hierarchies.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

No, you're advocating a society where people are not at all in control of their own work, everyone is.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Yes I am. Libertarian Socialism is about people controlling their own work. If they work together with others (as is often the case), then of course all should have an equal say (democracy).

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

and there goes artistic vision if i can't make decisions for my company immune to the assertive personalities of other people. if you actually studied democracy at all you'd know that groups of people are extremely impulsive and reactionary. i keep bringing up group think and you never have a response.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

If someone can’t be creative without being able to exploit and dominate others, then there’s something seriously wrong with this person.

There are lots of examples of a more participatory democracy functioning very well. We know it works.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

You seem to think that giving people freedom only ends in exploitation, and adding democracy in balance to freedom isn't an option. You're only happy with absolute, totalitarian democracy, and yes, in that case you can't be creative unless absolutely everyone agrees with you, and that totally defeats the purpose of being an artist because you're unable to create anything other people don't understand. You're such a Nazi, seriously. You're going to show up with a rifle and tell people that they're going to live the way you want them to.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"You seem to think that giving people freedom only ends in exploitation"

No, freedom is a condition without domination and exploitation: a classless society.

"You're only happy with absolute, totalitarian democracy, and yes, in that case you can't be creative unless absolutely everyone agrees with you"

Strawman. I want a democracy controlled from below; a society in which the people who have to live with the decisions are the ones making them. A libertarian socialist society will allow individuals to live out their creative urges and contribute based on their own unique talents and knowledge.

"You're such a Nazi, seriously."

Ok, now you have to stop this Glenn Beck crap. If you continue like this, I won't talk to you anymore.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

Aye, let's not talk anymore. Although if you keep pushing this stuff i'm going to feel very obligated to contribute the reality.

https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-alternative-to-capitalism/#comment-1033584

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

quote..."The society we should strive for though, is a society where people are in control of their own work -- a society without capitalism and other forms of hierarchies."

ok... will there be incentives for better production or for performing unpopular tasks allowed in these collectives ?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Work that nobody wants to do should either be shared, or alternatively remuneration must be given. Parecon for example, suggests that the ones doing the hard and dirty work should be paid more than the ones who don't.

Please check out this video. It'll probably answer many of your questions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

quote..."Parecon for example, suggests that the ones doing the hard and dirty work should be paid more than the ones who don't...."

hmmm... that sounds a bit capitalistic ... no ?

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

No. How many times do I have to explain this to you?

Capitalism is a system with private ownership of the means of production. If there's no private ownership of the means of production, it's not capitalism.

Socialism is a system where there's no private ownership of the means of production, but instead collective ownership of the means of production. In other words, production would be run democratically by the workers.

Workers' control doesn't mean there can't be markets and money etc.

[-] 2 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

quote:...Workers' control doesn't mean there can't be markets and money etc. ....

I still can't get it.... that sounds like a co-op operating in a capitalistic environment....

don't get me wrong S4 ... I would love to see a fully detailed & doable model of a people owned economic system.... I just can't see it.... and imo... you make more sense than the videos .... so please don't send me there

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

So you're just trolling now. Is that it?

"that sounds like a co-op operating in a capitalistic environment"

So how many times do I have to explain the difference between socialism and capitalism to you?

[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

ok, we agree. I am not thinking so much of a Swedish style where workers have some say in Volvo but do not own it. all I am saying is that I am self employed - I teach tennis for a living. I am mostly in control of my own work. not always since I have to pay the rent. I do think that is something that should be part of any system - small grassroots privately owned business can be very innovative etc. as an aside my work would be much more difficult in Sweden - lots of hoops to jump through and state regulation. I am sure we will have no disagreement for the next 20 years since we are far away for a really better system - I was simply responding to your statement - A mixed economy is state-capitalism

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Ok. Just one thing: when you say "private ownership at the local level" does that mean you think one individual should be allowed to exploit and dominate another individual, just as long as it's local?

The thing is that private ownership of the means of production creates this relationship I explained earlier: one individual (employer) exploiting and dominating another individual (employee). This is unacceptable whether it's local or national; our goal should be to dismantle all forms of domination and control.

In my opinion, if one person works on a project that only affects and involves him, then it's his project and only his. If let's say five people work together on a project, then they should all have a say in the project; in other words, decisions should be made democratically. This principle should apply in all relations. That way no one can exploit and control others, and we'd have a democracy controlled from below, in which people have a say in the things they're a part of and affected by. In other words, your one-man tennis coach business would of course be your business.

A system with private ownership of the means of production (that others are using) --even if all businesses were local businesses, along with state regulations etc, would still be state-capitalism.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

ok... simple question.... who is to determine what is exploitation and domination of another individual.... the employer, the employee... some council... ?.... who determines who does what and how are they paid.... that's the only real question here

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I don't understand. That's like asking "who decides if punching someone in the face is violence"

I explained how exploitation happens here: https://occupywallst.org/forum/the-case-against-capitalism/

And I explained above how to avoid exploitation and dominantion.

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

at least when I am Bull shitting... I openly admit it.... and openly let everyone know that I am trying to work out the system,,,and am asking for help.... your not asking for help... you are preaching

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

BS.... show me where.... I'm starting to think you are bs-ing yourself....

who determines who does what and how are they paid.... that's the only real question here ....

you have never addressed that... until you do.... you have no model... only bs

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

I just said where you'd find it.

The individuals decide what to do with their lives. Decisions that affect the entire community are decided democratically by the community.

[-] -3 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

ok, how about this. my brother in law saw a really good opportunity in the solar construction industry. we put up our savings and bought machines - hired a few people and got work. we are doing well - exploitation??

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (33169) from Coon Rapids, MN 3 years ago

Are you paying your hired people as much as you are paying yourself and your brother ( after expenses of course ) or are you paying those other hired people less - if so how much less - can they afford to live a good life on what you are paying them. Talk about those things if you want to talk about exploiting or not exploiting.

[-] -3 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

nope - did they lay out their life savings and risk that? did they have the idea?? we do not need to go on here but I am pointing out that we are not talking about Wal-Mart here. there are small hardware stores and shops and businesses that are not exploiting but things get messy in the real world

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

we all lay down our life (savings)

we all have ideas

[-] -2 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

really - what ideas did you invest your life savings in

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

pacifism

and i thought i would be able to get a job with a master's degree in physics

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

no

I have no money to pay prople

[-] -3 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

and did you hire people in your pacifism business?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33169) from Coon Rapids, MN 3 years ago

I said after expenses - that would include the investment you made ( monthly payments to pay off the investment ) - expenses 1st - amount left over to be divided into pay. If you can do the job by yourselves ( you and your brother in law ) do it and pocket ( guilt free ) all of the proceeds "after expenses". If you can not do it - just you and your brother in law - well then you should pay anyone else hired the same as yourselves. To pay your help less than yourselves "is" exploitation and the degree of difference in pay would be the degree in difference in how much you exploit.

Exploitation - it is what it is.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

if it evens out that people get paid the same as the people who take risks then why would anyone take risks?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33169) from Coon Rapids, MN 3 years ago

Same reasoning as they do now = they want to. The profit structure would be different - but - the risk (?) takers would still be in the same position as they are now = riding on the backs of the actual workers. They can choose to do what they do - OR - they can choose to actually work - for someone else.

[-] 0 points by nakedsex (94) 3 years ago

it doesn't sound like flip wasn't doing any work. i think you're taking the example of true exploiters and assuming that it's automatically the way everything works.

I think the worst thing ever are people who own houses and rent them out, basically owning other people. It's like modern slavery. And making money off of money alone is pretty ridiculous.

But when someone spends 40 years of their life sweating into their own business, and wants to delegate a certain job to another person and pay them with respect to that specific profession of that person, it doesn't make sense to say they should actually be paid the same.

That sort of logic throws so much reason for us to do certain things with our lives completely out the window. I'd rather be a front desk clerk at a hotel the rest of my life because it's fun and not stressful, if i made just as much money. No good reason to do anything difficult.

Think of it this way, if those workers were being exploited by that business and were the only ones doing any work, why were they working for it instead of doing the exact same thing by themselves?

The cost of living is way out of wack, for sure. But I think the problem is much deeper and really has little to do with the way we freely form at will business relationships.

[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

I disagree and so would the people we hired - but as I said that is not really the point. the point is that things get messy unless you are writing a paper for high school or some such

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

Is the employee/employer relationship as I explained above? If so then yes.

What it boils down to, in my opinion, is that no individual should have the right to control, dominate and exploit another individual. People should have the right to a democratic say in the things they're a part of and affected by. When there's private ownership of the mop, this principle will be violated. Domination and exploitation will naturally develop in a capitalist system, and that's why we should oppose it.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

ok, we seem to be talking past each other. teaching tennis or owning a hardware store are not mop - small mom and pop stores are a different animal. if you want all to be owned in common I doubt that would work well but again seems a bit pointless to be trying to see that far in the future. exploitation is something to be avoided for sure. if people do not need to work to survive that diminishes much chance to exploit.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"if you want all to be owned in common I doubt that would work"

I don't want everything to be owned in common; I just want everyone (not just the employers) to be able to control their work and workplace.

Again I feel it's worth mentioning Mondragon. As you may know already, Mondragon is an huge network of cooperatives working together on in all kinds of fields: Universities, industry, health services, housing etcetc, all owned and controlled by the ones working there.

As I've said before: the question isn't whether decentralized worker-controlled societies can work, we know they do, the question is how we most effectively can spread these ideas and solutions to more communities.

For more on capitalism, please watch these two videos. They kind of sum it all up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYW1SdQCM7s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMdIgGOYKhs

[-] -1 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

I don't need to watch anything on capitalism but thanks anyway. you did not address my point but not really important - I get you point and agree for the most part but there is no way I am gong to hire someone to help me when I run my tennis camp and pay them what I make. if you think I should you are not thinking correctly. as an aside Mondragon has been having problems for a while now - not all equal salaries as I imagine you know. is the ratio 7 to 1 now or what

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"there is no way I am gong to hire someone to help me when I run my tennis camp and pay them what I make."

That's a very normal thought to have in a capitalist society. If we were living in, or entering a classless society, we'd have different incentives and priorities. We'd be much less greedy, cynical and so on.

Remuneration is a somewhat different issue than what I've been trying to point out thruout these threads. What I'm saying is that democracy --having a say in the things that affect you -- should apply in the workplace as well. If you think democracy is a good idea, it's not a very unreasonable proposal. After all that's where we spend a lot of our time.

I've never said that Mondragon is perfect. What I'm saying is that Mondragon is an example of decentralized worker-controlled systems working pretty well.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 3 years ago

no problem with worker democracy - what we are debating is some details. I have built a business for the last 40 years - if you think I will hire some young kid and pay them what I make you are not thinking clearly. sure - a different society and some fantasy world things might be different. what we were discussing is real world situations with my business

[-] 2 points by silosam (10) 3 years ago

Your answer seems a bit vague to me. Certainly there should be a higher degree of "renumeration" for people with more skills or education, or people who simply work harder. That's not capitalistic. That's fair. It's the huge wage & wealth disparity that is the problem....

How an econimic system that requires unlimited growth, hence unlimited resources on a finite planet that is already showing the strains of the degradation that we have done to it...that's the BIGEE IMO.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

ok... in terms of the mop ...

let's say #1 has collective ownership and control of the mop.... and the collective democratically decide who uses the mop and how to be reimbursed for those services...

and then some other country develops a mop that can perform the same services at far less costs ...

what happens to the collective ?

do you think that the controlling power will continue to use the collective ? ...

or are you trying to make the entire world part of the collective ?

if so ... I really truly do not believe that that is possible

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"what happens to the collective ?" Then the collective should focus more on producing for the community in which they exist, instead of trying to compete on a global market. Just because someone produces cheaper, pays workers less etc, doesn't mean others have to do the same.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

agreed... and most people and govt's will support local.... but in bad economies when they don't have the capital available... they can't afford to....

do you know how many new local currencies there are in the US right now... I don't... but there are quite a few working successfully

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 3 years ago

"but in bad economies when they don't have the capital available... they can't afford to..."

Not necessarily:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SASI0rcpr0

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

that's great!!! like it :)

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

both mops take similar amounts of labor to produce

if the mop is cheaper elsewhere| the currency is unequal

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

ok... I can answer that... but first how does the mop fit in #1

[-] 0 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

here's my real answer....

I don't care about the mop... I don't care if some oil company is making obscene profits...

I care about helping those in need....

I don't want to see anyone hungry.... I don't wat to see anyone homeless ...unless they chose to be.... etc...

I want to simply have the funds available to me to help others in need....

I do not want to have to explain why it is monetarily profitable for me to help others.,...

I want to explain why it is socially profitable to help others....

I want a place I can go to ... to get capital to fund this building of social wealth....

I want to compete with others who are also trying to do the same....

I want to create a new industry that robots and technology cannot replace....

I want a new economy based on social prosperity....

not replacing the monetary prosperity one we have....

but ... in addition to it....

eventually most will find that they do not care about their monetary wealth as much as their social wealth...

I think you will find this approach not only is doable but provide all that you are looking for ....