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Forum Post: What is socialism and why do people fear it?

Posted 2 years ago on Dec. 29, 2011, 4:40 p.m. EST by Algee (182)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If you can answer this without bias and in the most non-insulting way possible, please do so. I am not looking for a fight but a real discussion with people talking to people. Let us cooperate to find an answer together. I ask this because I seek to understand how and why some attack an idea they do not know or understand. The people would benefit very much from a disscussion such as this, I encourage them to participate.

139 Comments

139 Comments


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[-] 5 points by wellhungjury (296) 2 years ago

Whether it is socialism, capitalism, imperialism or communism, we currently allow few people to dictate to the rest of us what we will have as goods and services. Out of the three, I see capitalism giving the individual the best chance at having an immediate say in what they want for themselves and their own. Not saying it is perfect, but it is the one I prefer. I see a better chance at changing ones class status through capitalism. Proof is in my own family.

[-] 6 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

'Socialism' is just a word which, thanx to The (mis)Education System and The Toxic-MSM - seems to provoke all sorts of emotional, knee-jerk, negative responses in Americans in particular - whose internalised 'Cold War Propaganda', still chimes in The Collective Psyche. I am not as particularly attached to The Word as I am to the ideas, principles and philosophy.

I do NOT wish for, desire or advocate State Ownership Of Everything ... FAR from it. I wish there to be a myriad competing co-operatives and entrepreneurs ; I want free and fair competition between ideas and for there to be many 'modus operandi' in many matters ; I want Equality Of Opportunity For All, especially for the younger generation - Irrespective of 'Class', Financial Standing or Familial Favours & Advantages and I want a Strong, Responsive, Effective and More Representative Democracy.

In short I'm not interested in 'dumbing down' and factoring people down with Lowest Common Denominators - I want individuals, families and communities to rise up to their Highest Potential. I want an equal playing field and fair advancement to be available for all, no matter what 'class', colour or creed. I have a lot of time for Adam Smith who in his writings often warns against monopoly and cartels and who I regard as a Moral Philosopher more than a 'Free Market Fundamentalist'.

Philosophically, I desire all this for Everyone Everywhere and I yearn for All of Us to be free of The Despotism Of The Banksters and to be Emancipated from The Stifling Clutches Of The 'Permanent-War' Machine.

I want a Fair Society with good shared Healthcare For All and good Educational Opportunities For All. I want voting to mean something and I want More Political Parties with The Corporations OUT of Our Democracies and Our Future Societies to be based on True and Direct, Participatory Democracy, Meritocracy and Transparency !!!

Finally, I don't regard all or any of this as 'utopian' or 'idealistic' ; I regard it as eminently 'doable & desirable' and indeed well within our human capabilities.

per ardua ad astra ...~~***

[-] 3 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups. The primary goal of economic activity is to provide the necessities of life, including food, shelter, health care, education, child care, cultural opportunities, and social services.

"democratically controlled public agencies" is another word for "the state"

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

@ "5%" abv. : Your Fellow Citizens = "democratically controlled public agencies" = "the state" ...

IF your suspicion and disdain for the state" is based on the Massive Democratic Deficit and the demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy of the faux choice between "Demoblican and Republocrat" then that is fair enough ; IF Not, then readers should note, question and eventually come to a judgement about the apparent disdain for Your Fellow Citizens.

Please free to clarify.

fiat lux ;-)

[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

This can be higly debated.

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

Well I guess you can debate that with the Scialist Party USA since that is where I got the definition.

http://socialistparty-usa.org/

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Yes, everyone has their own definition.

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

You say that it can be highly debated but then ad nothing to the conversation.

That is the definition I have seen in historical, politcal, and economic books and sources. Not sure why you would come up with your own.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Why would I not? Must we conform to everything society has already written? There are many things in politics that are debatable, political science for example is not an exact science. I'm sure you must have different opinions, that are not exactly the same as those shared in the books and sources.

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

If you come up with a political and economic system that is different, you should call it something else. We create confusion when we bend the meaning of terms.

I could say the denfinition of capitalism is collective ownership but that would not make it true. Sure opinions can differ but changing definitions does not make much sense. Language loses it's effectiveness as a means of communication when we do this.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

I did not create anything, it is just that the political systems known to the world today have names that are themselves too broad to applied to them only. Socialism is too broad in the many thoughts and theories, that is the same for capitalism.

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

Socialism implies in its name social or collective ownership and control versus the private ownership and control in capitalism. It is a fundamental difference.

The degree of collective control "can be highly debated" but the fundamental definition must remain or the word has no meaning at all.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

No socialism implies more than just ownership. Is that what you think socialism is all about?

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

I think you are confusing social programs with socialism.

Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment... are social programs that exist in our Democratic Constituional Republic political and Capitalist economice system.

Socia-ISM is a sytem not a program. It is a system where there is collective or state control of the means of production and distribution of goods and services.

Under Marxist theory it is a stepping stone to communism where the actual goods are colletively owned and not just their production and distribution.

I you do not agree then please explain your definition since you have not done so. Please explain what it mans to you. I would be interested in hearing what you believe the word socialism means.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Read Emile Durkheim his book "Socialism" and you'll get my meaning :)

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

So it appears you do not want to answer your own question with your own words. That says a lot about you.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

I get my answers from this book. By the way we are not here to talk about me, we are here to speak of Socialism and why people fear it.

[-] 1 points by FivePercentForNothing (190) 2 years ago

I am not asking you to talk about yourself.

I am asking you to tell me what you think socialism is since you asked the question.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20917) 2 years ago

OWS supports neither socialism nor communism, it is pro-capitalist, but here are the definitions:

Socialism - definition from Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
  2. a system of society or group living in which there is no private property 3. a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
  3. a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

Communism - definition from Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  1. a. a theory advocating elimination of private property b. a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
  2. a. a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics b. a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production c. a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably d. communist systems collectively

People fear both socialism and communism because there is a lack of control by the individual. Control is with the government.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

This is a good answer, you come with definitions, but the one problem is that a dictionary definition is often lacking. This definition lacks the many different forms of socialism because Marx and Engles were not the only theorists of Socialism. For example the dictionary says "a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state" What makes Socialism different from Communism if this applies in both of them?

The second problem that I see is that the dictionary uses historical refrences such as the USSR and its totalitarian government in the definition of Communism. That is misleading because it may lead people to think that Communist theory put into practice can ony work through dictatorship. The USSR was not Communist or socialist because these two involve democratic rule of the people over the means of production and product. Mixing history with political theory can be dangerous because it is very vague and is malleable to people's points of view of history. For example Russia's outlook on the battle of Stalingrad may be very different than that of America's and so this would lead on into the ideologies. Another point often made is that Totalitarian governments also existed under the banner of Capitalism.

If there is a problem from these definitions then your answer to the second question could be flawed as well. I'm sure there are other reasons for people to fear Communism and Socialism. In my opinion it is mostly because many people misunderstand and/or that some do not seek to understand. Much like the people who say "socialism does not work", how do they know that is true? What I do is ask them to explain to me "what" Socialism is in detail and then see if they can still deduce it to be a failure. From the little we have seen Communism or Socialism in practice and the little we understand of it, can we really deduce that it does not work?

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20917) 2 years ago

You make a lot of good points and I wish I could remember more of The Communist Manifesto which I read many years ago! One difference between socialism and communism is that in true communism there is no state. I don't think there's really ever been a government that was truly communist in the pure sense of the word. This leads to big misconceptions about what communism is.

I do think I am right about why people fear it. Most people like to have control over their lives. Living in a socialist country or in a true communist society would surely remove a lot of control from the individual as the collective society becomes prominent.

You are definitely right, though, people fear it because they don't understand it properly. Honestly, I agree with you, we can't say it doesn't work because it's never been tried.

[-] 1 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 2 years ago

Socialism was supposed to lead to Communism kind of like in the way that religion leads to heaven. Marx said that it was to happen as a world wide revolution simultaneously particularly in the three most industrialized nations Germany, England and the US. He would have found it absurd to occur isolated in non-industrialized countries like Russia although it did turn Russia from a country of serfs to a giant superpower so I guess it was effective in some sense. The reason it didn't work was mostly because much of the world opposed it and the Soviets had to spend the majority of the resources building a giant military just to hang on to it. And the gulags didn't help with moral and it's reputation Im sure.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20917) 2 years ago

True and the communism we find in agricultural China is even more odd. It didn't arise out of industrialism at all. However, in the end, all of the "communist" countries that we've seen to date are not truly communist in the way that Marx proposed. They veered way off of what he was describing.

[-] 3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Here's a funny propaganda poster from Canada. It tries to portray communists as godless and therefore without morals. It's particularly funny since Canada is a country where atheism is beginning to be quite strong nowadays.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

I live in England and like many millions of people in The UK, in Europe and throughout Our World at large, I subscribe to Socialist Precepts and Principles because I realise and accept that Socialism has an Ethical Basis and Dimension above and beyond "The Dog Eat Dog" and "The Devil Take the Hindmost" attitudes of crude laissez-fair capitalism.

Indeed Modern High-Finance Capitalism (cf Corporate Banksterism / 'Hoover-Up Kaputalism' ) is a Busted Flush and any honest person in possession of the most rudimentary ethical compass can clearly see that.

Please do NOT confuse and conflate "Socialism" with 'State Capitalism' or 'Totalitarian Stalinism' (as is the wont of avowed and abject 'antisocial-ists' {ahem!} and do try to understand why very many 'Economists' & 'Social & Political Commentators' with anything pertinent to say about our Global 'Debtocracy' ( http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/debtocracy/ ) are increasingly referring to Karl Marx ( http://www.marxists.org/ ) - for analysis but Not dogma !

Socialism is a Philosophy, World View, School of Ethics, Morality and Thought and its a very 'Broad Church', from 'Left-Liberals', Social Democrats, Fabians, Christian Socialists (inspired by That Proto-Socialist, 'Jesus Christ'!) through Dialectical Materialists, Internationalists, Libertarian-Socialists and Anarcho-Syndicalists - to Revolutionary Maoists advocating armed resistance and revolution.

Ignorant and prejudiced opinions are no place for anyone to objectively assess Socialism, so seek to step back from the MSM (ABCNNBCBS / FUX SNEWzzz etc.) induced apoplexy and prejudices & look to make your own mind up. Thus further to the links above, I offer the following :

a) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism , for Some Fair Facts,

b) http://www.internationalgramscisociety.org/ , as Theory Matters,

c) http://www.lucyparsonsproject.org/ , for a True 99% American Heroine,

d) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOP2V_np2c0 , for An Animated Analysis,

e) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha , as re. OWS, Gandhian Ideas are also Very Important !!!

A poster (jpaul05) on another thread on this subject, once wrote : "Socialism is the belief that Production should be Democratically controlled ; NOT in a hierarchical sense but in a decentralized, lateral sense. This way the dominant value guiding society is not maximization of profit, but a plurality of values aimed toward human need.", which I thought was very well put.

In conclusion, either we meekly accept The Usurpation & 'Mutation Under Duress' of Our Democracies into 'demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy' ; Bankster Despotism and de facto Fascism ... OR WE Reclaim Our Dignity, Liberty, Prosperity and indeed Sanity as The Only 'Class War' is the one that has been waged by a Parasitic 0.01%, using a 1% against The 99% Working Class - because IF We need to work to pay our bills, Then That IS What We aRe!

Another article = "The War Against the Poor : Occupy Wall Street and the Politics of Financial Morality" http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29649.htm .

Finally, some words from Albert Einstein from over 60 years ago : "Why Socialism ?" ; http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism .

iVIVA LOS INDIGNADOS! ; iVIVA LOS 99%! ; iViva O.W.S.! ~{;-)

per ardua ad astra ....~~~~****

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

...but in a decentralized, lateral sense.

SO true, but hey! That's called a Free Market Capitalist Republic!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Maybe but better not to get too hung up on jargon ; let's democratically pick the best ideas which work for the greatest number and work upwards and sideways from that !!!

For that of course, we need to Agitate, Educate and Organise !!

So, "iViva O.W.S."! ; iViva Los 99%! et dum spiro, spero !

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

My purpose isn't really to quibble over terminology, but to argue that we should protect our system from corruption rather than replace it with an ideal which is equally flawed and potentially more dangerous.

In that respect, I am fully onboard the OWS bandwagon: The People must get directly involved!

[-] 0 points by NewEngIandPatriot (230) 2 years ago

Now this is great

[-] 0 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

I half expected the old 'Is Your Bathroom Breeding Bolsheviks' poster which you can view here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiless/2439695420/

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

The National Lead company, uses Scott.

[-] -1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Even better than the poster I published above.

[-] 0 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

Misinformation, lack of knowledge and corruption all breed Bolsheviks.

Let's end the corruption in the White House, Congress, Senate, The Representatives, Wall Street and Banking and return the U.S. to the founding ideals. Also, corporations and individuals who can: there needs to be a huge effort to supplant the current government programs with privately provided ones for those who simply cannot afford wholesome food, shelter, transportation and medical care-it's the humane thing to do and to be able to do it VOLUNTARILY.

If you'd like to learn about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and other founding documents that originally laid the foundations for America and freedoms within check these out:

http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst.html scroll down and you can read the whole Constitution here and links to the Bill of Rights and other documents can be found here http://www.usconstitution.net/otherdocs.html PS: They carry the pocket sized Constitution books exactly like the late Sen. Byrd carried.

PS: Bjork from Iceland pretty much is endorsing what 'We the People' already did over 200 years ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z7NN4n8CTY&feature=related

[-] 1 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

Thanks and glad you liked the Bjork link-enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E5-4GdzXWw&feature=related Bjork in Times Square, NYC Björk - Big Time Sensuality (Official Music Video)

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Thanx again. I'm acquainted with her voice since 1987's "Birthday" by 'The Sugarcubes', so am always happy to hear it again ! + Re. her song "Declare Independence" ; I think she's not so much endorsing 1776 as actually being much more up to date in her analogies and analysis ;-)

Re. 'Socialist Precepts' and IF you fancy an uplifting and illuminating 15 minutes then please try Slavoj Zizek @ O.W.S. ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEUZNfOtPlE ! He has a strong sLOVEnian accent so thank goodness for 'MIC-CHECK' !!

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 0 points by economicallydiscardedcitizen (761) 2 years ago

:( that YouTube user has closed their account but thanks for trying to share it! Anyway, the big difference between what the founders of the US had in mind and Socialism is that socially responsible acts were intentionally left with the will of the people. I managed to find a pretty good series on YouTube that explains the differences between different forms of government vs. the way the U.S.A. was set up and it came from an unlikely source, a 'far right' conservative group called the John Birch Society which I thought disappeared over 10 years ago.

In an ideal world, businesses and individuals would generate and oversee Social Programs to such a magnitude that there would be no need of government to provide them and of course, in the case of health, absolutely, modern society in the face of the blatant greed and the fact that you can't have people going around spreading nasty diseases such as Viral Tuburculosis(as one of many examples and I can site others such as chronic disease sufferers such as diabetics who need oral or injection medication dying without proper care, etc), yeah, you have to have programs such as public healthcare, food stamps, shelter programs etc. so the validity of Socialism in providing certain basic needs for all is a sound one when GREED trumps CHARITY to such as magnitude that it is to the detriment of and to the livelihood and well being of so many.

This is cut and pasted from an earlier post so here you go: "The history is recalled in this documentary I ran across on YouTube that is short and sweet considering it takes only about an hour to go through the whole episode in segments vs. the lengthier time it will take to do a reread of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Federalist papers and the history involved: There's also alot of misunderstanding 'out there' with respect to meaning/definitions. Many do not know the difference between forms of government nor do many Americans know what the true design of US Government is but once they have even a basic understanding they clearly recognize the corruption that has taken up residence in US Government, Wall Street and, through the fractional reserve banking system-The World. Here, for all to get the basics is a very nice outline of what America was founded to be. If we would only study the Constitution, The Bill of Rights and The Federalist Papers to solidify the foundation, the numbers of OWS participants by acting in the interest of the original ethical ideals would make major headway! Also, if more American businesses and individuals would VOLUNTARILY create their own social programs on a greater scale to the point of eclipsing the crappy government ones we wouldn't need those programs at the expense to taxpayers! http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/americadefinitions-of-principles-helpful-in-exposi/ Forum Post: America:Definitions of Principles helpful in exposing the corruption of US govt. and Wall Street Thanks to YouTube there is a synopsis of what America as a nation is supposed to be as setup by the founders along with the true definition of capitalism when practiced without the corruption (obscene concentration of wealth and economic manipulation of US government and the world through the fractional reserve banking system)we are seeing now and rightfully railing against. The great thing about this series is it allows a quick educational overview of the principles and form of government America was founded on and through clear definitions allows the viewer to see the pros and cons of each type of government in comparison. PS:And when you have time you can read the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and Federalist Papers. John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_ciT1psaPc&feature=youtube_gdata_player John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsoIR2BlCH8&feature=youtube_gdata_player John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPr0ujS2kyc&feature=youtube_gdata_player John Birch Society - Overview of America - Part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbLKeQIZCk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Peace out!

[-] 1 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 2 years ago

Yea! Lets get those greedy Bolsheviks out of Congress! What the fuck? We should put a dollar sign on everything we can think of. That will ensure maximum freedom for all! Public wealth is inherently corrupt. All those greedy bolsheviks getting their hands on what rightfully belongs to the property owners and stock holders makes me sick. John Jay was right that those who own the country ought to govern it.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

WTF ?!!! Do you have even a passing acquaintance with "Reality" ?!! Try the links above and 'asap', before you vanish up The Vortex of your own Irrationality ! "avaritia facit bardos" ~{;-)

[-] 1 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 2 years ago

haha sorry I was trying to be as sarcastic as possible. I'm just bored right now is all. I guess I forgot that some people that come on here are really that retarded and post comments similar to that that are genuine.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

As you are posting from The U$A on the matter of "Socialism" AND as there really are Rabid, Randian "Free Market Fundamentalists" (only "Free" because there is NO accounting for "Externalities" !!) who 'believe' along the lines of what you've (apparently 'sarcastically") written, I do hope you'll understand and forgive my 'confusion' !! et "radix malorum est cupiditas" ~{:-)

[-] 2 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

only "Free" because there is NO accounting for "Externalities" !!

That's the biggest unenunciated misconception prevalent here on OWS.org about "Free" Markets.

Absolutely not! That is not the only reason it is "free". "Freedom of power to contract" is the real intent behind that word. There was never any legitimate expectation that Capitalists would be "Free" to commit crimes.

Just like "Pure Socialism" can only be practically implemented through flawed "State Capitalism" -- "Free Market Capitalism" is not without its own flaw, namely this:

It (by precisely the same process of greed and corruption and inconsiderateness) invariably devolves into Crony Capitalism.

"Pure Voluntary Socialism" is, truthfully, indistinguishable from actual "Free Market Capitalism". They really aren't any different in practice.

However, I'm afraid that when most people talk about "Socialism" they are not referring to "Pure Voluntary Socialism", but actually "State Enforced Socialism" -- which refers to the state possessing the capital, and is therefore, actually "State Capitalism".

As I said above:

"Capital" is not a mere concept. It's not an idea which can be theorized away. "Capital" is stuff, and things, and places, and people, and their labor.

REAL objects and real energy expenditure.

The laws of physics governing the control of things such as a cow or a bag of flour or a car manufacturing plant, cannot be simply ignored for the benefit of a conceptual viewpoint.

In Reality, fully functioning systems combine both ideals:

  • Individuals and Corporations are free to do business when and how they wish (or can afford.)

  • Meanwhile, The Public legislatively imposes restrictions on practices which they wish to de-incentivize. (For example, foreign import tariffs)

Problems arise when either thing happens:

  • The People's power becomes too weak to regulate
  • The Capitalist's power becomes too weak to produce

And by "problems arise", I mean: people starve, live in squalor, and die impoverished and unhappy.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Of course I'm aware of Idealised 'Classical Free Markets' !

I was making an oblique and tongue in cheek (cf brackets & exclamation marks !!) point about The Very Serious Matter of "Capitalist Externalities". You however, go off at your own tangent in pursuit of your own point but also fail to address the matter of "Externalities" in your post above !!

Further, you might wish to reflect on 'Northern European Countries with Market Economies and Social Democracies' to see how "Socialist Idealism" can successfully underpin Economy, Democracy and Society !!!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

It may have seemed tangential because I was referring to / expanding upon another post I had made on this same page.

Besides, I didn't fail to address the matter of externalities:

Meanwhile, The Public legislatively imposes restrictions on practices which they wish to de-incentivize. (For example, foreign import tariffs)

"Freely Externalizing" in that context would be criminal for you would have to violate legislation.

Yes, I see that you were tongue-in-cheek, but for many people here your argument is truly the end of the discussion; "Capitalism must die!"

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Examples of "Externalities" in Capitalism, can include immediate and future Environmental Degradation, Pollution, Health Issues, etc. all of which may be considered by certain perspectives as "Costs" - but whose price is not "accounted for by the original instigator" but is transferred to others ie. "society", which has to pay the costs - with little or no chance of recharging the 'originator' by way of any redress !

For example, does the cost, price and profit of selling a New Computer, include or in any way account for the costs involved in safely disposing / recycling it OR the actual costs incurred by NOT doing so ?! Poisoned environment, soil, water et al, never seem to appear on anyone's Balance Sheet but patently, it IS a cost/price that someone, somewhere has to pay and bear at some point !!

That is an example of what I mean by "Externalities" and they abound throughout not just Tangible, Industrial, Consumer Capitalism but right through to less tangible and more abstract "High Finance Kaputalism", where "The Externalities" of Ponzi Trading "Derivatives" of Compound Interest Bearing Usurious Debt - are directly affecting Billions of The 99%, across The World !!!

iViva Los Indignados! ; iViva Los 99%! ; iViva OCCUPY!

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 1 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 2 years ago

haha no problem. It was my fault.

[-] 1 points by hamalmang (722) from Lebanon, PA 2 years ago

Hey thanks you too. And thanks for the link. I always forget what those sites are that have the free documentaries.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Sources of "Documentaries" for Others & Yourself in 2OI2 :

a) http://www.wanttoknow.info/ ;

b) http://documentarystorm.com/ ;

c) http://freeviewdocumentaries.com/ ;

d) http://rt.com/programs/keiser-report/ &

e) http://www.blatantworld.com/index.html !!

scientia ipsa potentia est ...

[-] 3 points by Listof40 (233) 2 years ago

There are a number of reasons people can become concerned about socialism.

First of all government can be perceived as bureaucratic and susceptible to interests controlling it, therefore this can be brought up against a system where government is involved in more broad programs. In addition, there is concern about encroaching on freedoms, by having more government involvement in enterprises, or companies being controlled by the state.

Essentially, socialism means that the government may control some important industries like healthcare, utilities, etc. In addition, the government can be seen as being involved in broader pension regulation and other wel-fare or general assistance (ie well-being of the public) programs. Communism is a more extreme form of socialism.

There are good and bad with this. One problem is that the individual can be emphasized as less important than the society itself. For example in some forms of communism, the state can decide what your employment is and future is, which is bad because u have some bureaucrat deciding how u live your life. The other issue is excessive conformity and social pressure often being exphasized and used as a tool to repress free expression (ie China, Soviet propaganda)...

But essentially it comes down to how government is run. If socialism is done in a propagandic fashion, an 'us vs them' mentality, and to oppress free expression, then it is bad. Capitalism, however can be influenced by the same thing, but is farther away from more aggressive centralization, in theory.

Proper centralization is useful, If used to regulate predatory actions by interests against the public, or when providing infrastructure and benefical programs for the benefit of the public.

All political implementations are essentially just reasoning structures, if the reasoning that implements it is poor, then problems occur, and it can be difficult to redress once implemented, in capitalism and otherwise. Some are concerned socialism could be less flexible. Reasoning is key however, which is why I posted the below post, as a general approach to this concern for reasoning in movements and politics.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/issues-with-progress-thru-dialog/ Dave

[-] 2 points by toukarin (488) 2 years ago

Socialism is the grossly misunderstood system of government. But this is not a strange thing, western media has always tried to equate socialism and communism.

Just BTW, By that yardstick, most of Europe has largely "communist" policies.

The core principle of democracy is the representation of the will of the people in government, however this is accomplished by different means in different countries. That does not mean that they are not democracies. Consider the fact that in the absence of a viable 3rd alternative, our country is one party away from Facism.

Similarly, the core principle of socialism is the providing of opportunities for everyone to succeed and achieve at least the median lifestyle in their country. This may be accomplished via different means.

Indeed, a communist system of government IS socialist, but a socialist government need NOT be communist and Socialism and Capitalism are not mutually exclusive.

In its most simple form, socialism is about providing every citizen with the reasonable opportunity to obtain a good standard of life.

This does not mean you give them a dole.

It means that you provide better public education, and perhaps throw in some govt sponsored training for long term unemployed or low skill workers. By working with local employers, the govt will be able to provide training while giving the employer an essentially free workforce.

It means you allow them access to cheap housing, and not by forcing banks to give them unsecured loans, but by actually providing LOW COST housing. Perhaps a Govt built housing complex with units sold at cost price (restricted to low income families)? To restrict abuse, owners would have to sell back to govt at the same (inflation adjusted) price.

It means you provide them with good and affordable healthcare. Bring down healthcare cost by outlawing ever-greening of drug patents, reduce insurance costs, reduce liability for doctors so that they do not have to order extraneous unnecessary and expensive tests to cover their asses.

It means you level the playing field when it comes to setting up a business. Reduce red tape and formalities for small businesses. Give them the breaks they need to be the next big thing. Not just the breaks the big guys need to continue being the big guys.

It means you allow the little guys to become big guys and stop the big guys from becoming too big too fail. Glass Steagall anyone?

It means that you take steps to prevent an unsustainable concentration of wealth and power. This does not mean you always have to increase taxes on the rich. You could instead make their tax breaks proportional to their payroll expenditure.

It means you reward and support initiatives that help the community.You could have tax breaks based on % of revenue reinvested in the local community.

It means you support distressed individuals with some basic govt sponsored services, vocational training (discussed earlier) perhaps a subsidized daycare for low income and/or single working parents? Rehabilitation programs for the handicapped?

Socialism is not about govt ownership of the means of production and distribution, Socialism is not about the handing out of doles. Socialism is most certainly NOT equivalent to Communism...

In short, Socialism is not about giving people a check, it about giving them opportunities.

As the old Chinese proverb says: Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

What an answer this!!! This one like many others I have seen is clear and shows a great understanding of Socialism. Socialism does not take away individuality, it makes it possible through the creation of equal opportunity.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Socialism poll on Fox News shows 31% view socialism favorably. I voted the poll inspiring.

http://nation.foxnews.com/socialism/2011/12/29/shocking-poll-socialism-america

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[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

If it interests anyone here I suggest reading Emile Durkheim's book "Socialism". It answers many questions but not all. It helps with answering what socialism is without bias.

[-] 2 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

The US propaganda machine has always equated socialists with communists, the latter being America's mortal enemies. Because it fought communism for so many decades, US became the polar opposite of communism; a hard right version of capitalism where every man must fight for himself.

In politics, extreme cases are less stable and less able to stand the test of time. Communist Russia fell, and capitalist America will be next unless it takes on a more moderate structure. Canada is a good model for a moderately controlled capitalism mixed with socialism. America would do well to look north. There's no need to be afraid of socialism any longer. The cold war is over.

[-] 2 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 2 years ago

Russia where never communist by any definition. Communism were never applied even half way to it's definition.

[-] 0 points by America921 (161) 2 years ago

Russia's economy was Communist their government was by no means Communist. In the end Soviet Russia's economy collapsed and thus fell the Iron Curtain, and the world is a much better place for it.

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 2 years ago
  • Stateless - false
  • Classless - false
  • Moneyless - false

By which criteria was it Communist?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

The point is the US propaganda machine has always painted communism in a bad light and didd't really wait for a better sun beam before painting socialism. Actually, the two were often painted at once giving the impression to uninformed Americans that communism and socialism were/are one and the same.

Of course, Russia's communism doesn't reflect most ideas found in communist theory, but this is beside the point.

[-] 1 points by Rowsdower (27) 2 years ago

So who's communism does represent most ideas found in communist theory? North Korea? Cambodia? Niceragua? Cuba? Romania?

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

None. There's always a very large gap between political theory and political practice. Politics is one of the most complex fields. It deals with many people, cultures, histories, economies, etc... To implement any political theory into a practice that resembles said theory you would essentially need to create a nation from scratch with people who have no histories, economies, etc... You would need to start from tabula rasa. This really only happens in computer models. Economy suffers from the a very similar problem.

That being said, theory is important because it defines the general outlines and ideas. However, you really need to try it in practice to see how it would end up. To understand particular systems, you have to do a case by case analysis.

We can't predict what anarcho-communism would look like in US if it was implemented. Undoubtedly, it would be very different from anything we have already seen. If we want to know, we have to try it. There's no other way. We can't predict what effects it would have. You have to understand, political systems and economical systems are always in flux. Governmental structures constantly change. 1920 russian communism is not the same as 1950 russian communism. Similarly, the US governmental structure is also always changing.

It's also important to note that each thinker who has written theoretical texts on communism or on other political systems is different. The communist theory of one thinker is not the same as another. It's the same in every complex field. That's why we talk about things like Keynesian economics. We can even separate various periods of a thinker's theory. Keynesian economics changed during John Maynard Keynes's life.

Economics and politics are extremely complex. You can't even begin to properly understand these fields without deep study.

My question would be what type of communist theory are you referring to? From which thinker and which period in his life's work?

[-] 1 points by jomojo (562) 2 years ago

I doubt if any surviving communist leader$ are in the 99%. My guess is that with China's GNP, it has some world class wealthy "leaders" and supporters. Face the facts, when there's million$ involved the name of the political system has little significance, except to their enemies. McCarthyism was useful to the 1% until it stepped on the wrong toes.

[-] -1 points by mee44 (71) 2 years ago

Communism is socialism with a gun. The Soviet Union fell well within that definition. Good grief.

What do you think CCCP stood for?

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

If communism is socialism with a gun, then socialism is communism with the ballot box.

[-] 0 points by mee44 (71) 2 years ago

Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

[-] 2 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 2 years ago

How often do you make up your own abbreviations?

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

He's not making up an abbreviation. He's doing the opposite. He's taking an abbreviation which is also an acronym in this case - C.C.C.P - and making up words for the letters. He's making up the expansion of the abbreviation. The abbreviation itself is left unchanged.

C.C.C.P. is also used for many other meanings. Funny ones are - Communist Countries Can't Produce, and - Cat Colony Care Program.

[-] 1 points by hidden (430) from Los Angeles, CA 2 years ago

The problem with all the expansions is that they are in English and abbreviation is in Russian. ;)

For English there is translated abbreviation, which is USSR.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

True. It's very funny mistake actually.

[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Canada is becoming more like the US, the days of moderate capitalism and socialist moderation are all but over. The cold war is over but it seems like it may start all over again if people are not careful.

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Indeed, Canada is being pulled towards the right. Harper is modeled after Bush. However, don't forget that Canada's current problem is the divided left. The right made it to power, but the NDP which leans further to the left than the Liberals have grabbed the most seats in their entire career. Harper is in power, but the opposition is further left than ever before in Canada's history. There is something to be said for that. Hopefully, Harper and his party will be thrashed in the next election and his reign will have been a temporary blemish in Canada's history instead of a turning point.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The polar opposites are growing in distance, because I think every governement knows it has fucked up, and better to keep the people fighting each other than to start pointing the collective finger

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I think it has more to do with the Liberal's scandal than anything else. I don't see it has a generalized tendency. People were confused as to which left to vote for. A lot of people wanted Harper gone, but they did not know if they should vote Liberal or NDP. In Québec, the choice was clearer. People voted NDP instead of the Bloc because they were terrified of Harper. This is extremely meaningful. It shows many people really were scared of Harper. Had he been just another conservative, Québecquers who used to vote Bloc would have done so again.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I have to say Im not educated enough in Canadian politics to really discuss this.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Harper got 37% of the nation's votes. The left combined got 63%. At this time, Harper's conservatives are the only right wing party. There are four left wing parties: NPD, Liberals, Bloc, Greens.

Note: Politics in Canada do not work like in US. We vote for candidates who win seats in the parliament. It's quite possible for a party to get more votes, but fewer seats.

[-] 1 points by flip (6814) 2 years ago

canada is certainly better than the usa but seems to be moving in our direction - driving down wages and dismantling health care. if it weren't for the commodity spike they would move faster i imagine - and let's not for get this - "Britain recently was Indonesia’s largest arms supplier, and Japan its largest source of economic aid and foreign investment. Canada has provided Jakarta with both economic and military aid, while the Netherlands and Germany have also been major weapons suppliers"....... while we are at it here is a nice bit about canada - "We might tarry for a moment to recall Canada’s role in the Indochina wars, some of the worst crimes of the last century. Canada was a member of the International Control Commission for Indochina, theoretically neutral, in fact spying for the aggressors. We learn from recently released Canadian archives that Canada felt “some misgivings about some specific USA military measures against [North Vietnam],” but “supports purposes and objectives of USA policy” in opposing North Vietnamese “aggression of [a] special type.” This Vietnamese aggression against Vietnam must not be allowed to succeed, not only because of the possible consequences in Vietnam, still not facing the threat of “extinction” at this time, but also because if Vietnam survives “as a viable cultural and historic entity,” the aggression of the Vietnamese might set a precedent “for other so-called liberation wars.” The concept of Vietnamese aggression in Vietnam against the American defenders of the country has interesting precedents, which out of politeness I will not mention. It is particularly striking because the Canadian observers surely were aware that at the time there were more US mercenaries in South Vietnam as part of the invading US army than there were North Vietnamese – even if we assume that somehow North Vietnamese are not allowed in Vietnam. And the US mercenaries, along with the far greater US army, were threatening South Vietnam with “extinction” by mass terror operations right at the heart of the country, while the North Vietnamese “aggressors” were at the periphery, mainly trying to draw the invading forces to the borders, at a time when North Vietnam too was being bombed. That remained true, according to the Pentagon, until many years after these Canadian government reports.

The diplomatic historians who have explored the Canadian archives have not reported any misgivings about the attack against South Vietnam, which by the time of these internal communications, was demolishing the country. The distinguished statesman Lester Pearson had gone far beyond. He informed the House of Commons in the early 1950s that “aggression” by the Vietnamese against France in Vietnam is only one element of worldwide “communist aggression,” and that “Soviet colonial authority in Indochina” appeared to be stronger than that of France – that’s when France was attempting (with US support) to reconquer its former Indochinese colonies, with not a Russian anywhere in the neighborhood, and not even any contacts, as the CIA had to concede after a desperate effort to find them. One has to search pretty far to find more fervent devotion to imperial crimes than Pearson’s declarations.

Without forgetting the very significant progress towards more civilized societies in past years, and the reasons for it, let’s focus nevertheless on the present, and on the notions of imperial sovereignty now being crafted. It is not surprising that as the population becomes more civilized, power systems become more extreme in their efforts to control the “great beast” (as the Founding Fathers called the people). And the great beast is indeed frightening: I’ll return to majority views on major issues, which are so far to the left of the spectrum of elite commentary and the electoral arena that they cannot even be reported – another fact that teaches important lessons to those who do not like what is being done in their names.

[-] -3 points by NightShade (163) 2 years ago

socialism is communism, plus I really don't feel like having another this time minority Adolf running the country.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The abuse of our current social programs.

[-] 1 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 2 years ago

Socialism is great - until you run out of other peoples money.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

Socialism, as Thamy points out, has a million and one sub definitions. Emily B. Ader, IMO, does the best job distinguishing the differences in her book, "Socialism," for dummies, which I added the last part to illustrate the easy read of the book. In it she delves into the different permutations that the word and the idea has evolved into. English Christian Socialism, Evolutionary (orthodox) Socialism, Fabian Socialism, Syndicalism and Guild Socialism and China's top down managed system are all different takes on the same old thought. In my opinion a well managed America, has always had a mixed economy, and the least mixed it is the worst it is. If communism is delivered with the barrel of a gun, we must say the same about Market Fundamentalism, and that socialism is instated at the ballot box.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

Here it is, in simple, straightforward, unbiased, realistic terms:

Prefect Socialism among fully represented and fully consenting people would be an absolute utopia.

However, it is physically impossible to ensure that all people are fully represented and fully consenting:

  • Uneducated people
  • Inaccessible people
  • Young people

This problem makes it therefore impossible to implement perfect Socialism at a governmental level; to pass laws regarding it, enforce a system based on it, etc.

Any attempts to do that (at the governmental level) require putting money and power in the hands of "the collective" or, in political terms "The State".

Such a system, whether intentionally or not, ultimately amounts to what is properly termed "State Capitalism".

The State comes into possession of the "capital"; land, people, labor contracts, the "means of production". Capital is real stuff; it is not an ideal, and cannot be rightly ignored.

It is not possible to live in an entropic universe where our bodies require continuous energy input to survive without some kind of labor transpiring to produce food and provide protection and shelter.

Implementing Government Socialism, or State Capitalism requires some form of system: of requiring labor, of distributing wealth, of deciding policy.

Such systems inherently fail to adapt quickly when needs change, or address all needs presented (ever.) Instead, they become calcified along lines of power and control.

You know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who runs the flour mill, and he can expedite your weekly sack hush-hush.

Free-Market Capitalism, of course, is not immune to this corruption either -- however, the nature of competition means that if one provider does not meet your needs, another provider will try to fill that niche.

But when such a system becomes concentrated highly, you have no other options and no recourse. When your request for needs-meeting is denied or delayed or unexecuted, you have nowhere else to turn.

In that event, regular people invariably end up turning to (what become labeled as) criminal acts in order to have their needs met, and the black market becomes more and more successful, eventually more so than the 'legal methods'.

Eventually, the highly concentrated corruption at the top is confronted with a choice:

Beat 'em, or Join 'em?

Beating all illegal trade (prosecution, regulation) costs more than the trade is worth; so the administrators and powers-that-be typically resort to their own under-the-table deals, which saps more goods away from the rightful recipients, further and further failing to meet the needs of the public.

So here it is; think about this very carefully:

Any functioning Socialist system must be entirely voluntary, participatory, and unenforced.

OR it will tyrannize some (usually the masses) while benefiting others (usually the well-connected.) who are entrusted to administer it properly.

For perfect socialism to exist, you must be able to provide only what you are willing to. You must be free to meet your needs through any other avenue you wish, and you must be able to cease participation at any time.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

I take this into consideration and consider the fact that as we can see today the same is true of Capitalism. Although I disagree with some of these discriptions this is a good answer, It shows that in a tiny way socialism is not impossible. It also shows in some detail what can come out of forced adoption of ideologies. We must pay attention to this and make sure that when we implement the next system we do not force it on people.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

The difference between the two is ultimately ideological:

  • Socialism operates upon the ideal that capital belongs to the collective.

  • Capitalism operates upon the ideal that capital belongs to the individual.

I resolve the question for myself like this: My hands are my hands, and no one else's.

Thereby it is made evident to me that there is a very real hierarchy emanating from my "self" to my "production" by way of my own "will".

That is, "real" in the sense that it is not subject to pontification, but is actual and factual; undeniable.

--Until the robots take us over and wire our brains into one giant electronic hive mind, this will continue to be the case.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

we can see today the same is true of Capitalism.

I wholeheartedly agree, I went into that in this comment:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-is-socialism-and-why-do-people-fear-it/#comment-552869

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

The socialism that I personally advocate is a little different. I have a great belief in people and this leads me to favor Anarchy thus Direct Democracy without any leaders. They say power corrupts, I say power corrupts leaders because then power is in the hands of very few people. I think we should put more of our faith into people instead of leaders, because we become too dependent on leaders and fail if they are npt there to do their jobs. Socialism (policies that benefit the people) implemented by the people. You say in your first reply that the collective is the State, but in this case there is not state because the people become it and vice versa. People have to stop seperating themselves from the state, that is what makes the state think it can control us without reprisal. If you read carefully in Marx's writting, never does it say that the state will take countrol of the economy but that the economy will become part of the state. Meaning that the state and economy will become one.

[-] 1 points by ScrewyL (809) 2 years ago

Well, you know me... I always say:

Anarchy is all there ever is. Anything else is an illusion.

Regarding the distinction between individuals and collectives:

It's ideological and subjective; up to each person to decide how much of themselves they commit to the "good of the whole" -- however, barring any willful act of charity by you or me pr anyone, our hands and minds will by default, in this universe, only serve our own selves.

I do realize my explanation is self-contradictory. It's by exposing that contradiction that I attempt to impart clarity, which is this:

Given the realities, the ideals of fairness which Socialism strives for, are more reliably secured through Capitalism. Ironically.

After all, "Anarchy is all there ever is."

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

Interesting poll, "Socialism" Not So Negative, "Capitalism" Not So Positive

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1583/political-rhetoric-capitalism-socialism-militia-family-values-states-rights

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

Capitalism vs. Socialism, means your only choices are either Adam Smith or Karl Marx. Sound familiar? (Obama vs. McCain, Pepsi vs. Coke, etc.)

Wake up to false dichotomy!

Escape the paradigm!

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

These are a little more complicated than you might think, Capitalism was not only influenced by Adam Smiths writings and in many cases he also influenced socialism. Same goes for Karl Marx and Socialism, there are many different forms of soicalism. This is an interesting point, I try to look outside of these two sides but it is sort of complicated. It is true that these are very divisive and have torn society into two distinctive groups, I would try to remove myself from them and get humanity back into one entity again. You must be careful with what you write, for Obama is not socialist at all, these choices cannot be compared at all because they have nothing to do with one another. Still very interesting.

[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

Obama is concerned with these ideologies as much as they serve him. Thus is the way of all tyrants.

[-] 1 points by valfather (286) 2 years ago

In communism, man exploits man. In capitalism, the revers is true. Socialism is somewhere in the middle.

[-] 1 points by NicholasBuckner (10) from Woodbine, NJ 2 years ago

Also, if a public sector goes under, it's so massive that the damage is huge. For example Greece which has a public sector 3x the average of Europe. If a private sector go under, the failing bits fail and the successful bits are left behind. The assets are then sold off to the successful people

[-] 0 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Where do you get this from? In 1929 when the Depression hit, all that was private failed in 2 hours. Companies that were successful collapsed in a manner of minutes. What do you mean by successful people?

[-] 1 points by NicholasBuckner (10) from Woodbine, NJ 2 years ago

failing banks collapsed, only the best of companies survived, and not all private failed, maybe 5%

[-] 1 points by NicholasBuckner (10) from Woodbine, NJ 2 years ago

People most likely hate socialism because it is connected with lack of growth. For example, pre 50's America had a very small state and had huge amounts of growth (10%). The same thing with Britain it also had a small state pre 1900s. Then welfare programs and the state got larger, and with it lower rates of growth. The new capitalism is now china, which has a smaller public sector (40%) than Britain and America and also the highest amounts of growth. Also, income tax is stealing, since your taking money from people who have provided more and better services to people and give to people who have made less services, also there are huge problems with state healthcare. For example, a fat person and a smoker and obese people get far more attention than people who don't, but have to pay the same amount, less in Britain because fat people are usually poor.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Socialism is the rule of the working class. People fear it because they confuse it with Stalinist totalitarianism, which is rightly feared.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I believe it has a lot to do with the Cold War and the indoctrination that sprung up because of it. Also, socialism is the antitheses of Free markets and Capitalism. Those that scrimped, saved and plundered to get to the top feel it would be unjust if we just started raising everyone's standard of living. Now, to flip the script, do we want someone who did not work hard, save his pennies, and negotiated mergers and acquisitions to run our country? I believe socialism is the true manifestation of democracy and capitalism is a benevolent manifestation of a republic. Now, since I was not bias in this proclamation, bring on the flame wars from both sides. I am open enough to take on both.

[-] 1 points by IslandActivist (191) from Keaau, HI 2 years ago

If you are against capitalism, you will be publicly labeled a supporter of socialism and communism which makes you in favor of Adolf Hitler along with all the other dictators out there excluding the US. You can thank the US's censorship and media.

[-] 1 points by MaryS (678) 2 years ago

Algee, you asked for unbiased responses... do you think you got that?

[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Many of them are biased, but that does not mean people should not express themselves. Some should tells us why they feel socialism is bad or good and how they came to believe this to be.

[-] 1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 2 years ago

Socialism is what they don't like.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

uberc@put : You're right !!!

The 99% "don't like" it when it's "Socialism" for The Parasitic 0.01% and Their 1% Running Dogs but Devil Take The Hindmost ; Dog-Eat-Dog ; "Hoover-Up UberCaputalism", for The 99% !!

ad iudicium !

[-] 3 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 2 years ago

You mean state aid for the banksters?

Banksters, go get a real job!

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

"Eggs-act-to-mundo" !!! ;-)

[-] 2 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 2 years ago
[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Brilliant !!! Monkey Like Shiny !! And on the subject of Silver, 'The Bears' on "Queasing" ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k and re. "Ag", http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9LcKcXpCDE ! Have a Gr8 2O|2 et fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

WHO'S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD SOCIALIST??? The infantile boob-tube-fed average American citizen, that's who.

That great American hero, Helen Keller, was proud to call herself a Socialist.

Why do Americans now fear it? Because the corporate-owned MSM want them to and have been VERY successful in making it a dirty word.

PREDICTION: One day millions of Americans will once again be proud to call themselves Socialist. And who knows? We may even elect a Socialist government, as have many European countries.

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[-] 0 points by flip (6814) 2 years ago

first of all the ones who most fear socialism are the capitalist owners of the "means of production" - henry ford etc. - another group that fears it are th quislings who manage the system fro them and benefit from it (very well - think ceo's of goldman etc) - then you have the brainwashed underlings - i think that is what we are seeing here but that is just a guess. here is a good starting point ....... The terminology of political and social discourse is vague and imprecise, and constantly debased by the contributions of ideologists of one or another stripe. Still, these terms have at least some residue of meaning. Since its origins, socialism has meant the liberation of working people from exploitation. As the Marxist theoretician Anton Pannekoek observed, "this goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie," but can only be "realized by the workers themselves being master over production." Mastery over production by the producers is the essence of socialism, and means to achieve this end have regularly been devised in periods of revolutionary struggle, against the bitter opposition of the traditional ruling classes and the 'revolutionary intellectuals' guided by the common principles of Leninism and Western managerialism, as adapted to changing circumstances. But the essential element of the socialist ideal remains: to convert the means of production into the property of freely associated producers and thus the social property of people who have liberated themselves from exploitation by their master, as a fundamental step towards a broader realm of human freedom.

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

This is interesting, especially the part about the bourgeoisie fighting socialism. Too many people today in my opinion take it for granted that ideologies just do not work. Life is never that simple for anything, it can be verified historically that no ideology started in a place has ever failed on its own terms but because of the elements surrounding it and fighting against it. There are a few good reasons that Leninism did not work in Russia. The answers can be found by analysing the years surrounding the 1917 revolution and the 3 decades that followed.

[-] 1 points by flip (6814) 2 years ago

not sure where you are going with this - maybe you can explain. as to the destruction of socialism one of lenin's first moves was to dismantle the soviets - here is chomsky's take - he has written much about it if you want to look further CHOMSKY: I'm afraid it's hard for me to answer this. If the left is understood to include 'Bolshevism,' then I would flatly dissociate myself from the left. Lenin was one of the greatest enemies of socialism, in my opinion, for reasons I've discussed.

[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

I am trying to explain how the use of history to show that socialism does not work is not good, because it leads to making rational mistakes. I was pointing out that if we were to use history then Russian socialism in 1917 was destroyed because of the political pressure Lenin felt. Soviet Russia did not become a dictatorship on its own, History is the study of actions and reactions, Causes and effects. The Soviets were dismanteled by Lenin because he needed to centralize power in Moscow, why did he need to do so? Because from the first day of its creation the USSR had enemies and was attacked by these during the Russian Civil War (1919-1921). Nobody can fight a war with the country not under one's control. We all live different lives with different experiences, these shape our understanding of the world and shape our decisions. All that I am saying is that we cannot possibly judge history based on one man and what he personally did, we must remember the specific circumstances of thetime and place. Or else we cannot use history to prove that socialism did not work, and in this case we cannot because the USSR was nothing close to being socialist.

[-] 1 points by flip (6814) 2 years ago

i agree but i still don't like lenin - not a true socialist

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

I agee aswell.

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[-] -1 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

It does not encourage productivity, but rather slothfulness. No incentive exists for a person to work hard, because their is no gain in doing so. When people do work hard and see their labor being taken advantage of, disillusionment sets in. Where it is has been instituted, it is always, hopeful initiation, followed by disillusionment.

[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Where is your proof of this?

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

It's called human nature Einstein. Where is your proof that it isn't so?

[-] 1 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

How do know it is human nature, how can we humans dictate what our nature is?

[-] -1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

The problem with socialism and communism: You eventually run out of other people's money. Period. No ifs, ands or buts.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

What ?!

Just like like The Banksters, you mean ?!!

As in : The Problem with 'High-Finance Kaputalism' is ... "You eventually run out of other people's money. Period. No ifs, ands or buts." !!!

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by Brandon37 (372) 2 years ago

Socialism, or any variation of it has failed each and every time it has been tried. It lowers the standard of living and everyone becomes poor. It's just another model for the govt to control everything. Period. You cannot explain it away or justify it. It has been proven time and time again. If you are for it in the United States, give it up. It will not happen. You cannot slip it in under the rug either. The American people will fight it tooth and nail.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

A) This country isnt built for socialism. Almost everyone here came from genes of someone who said "fuck it, im risking my life on a boat for weeks for a chance to make a name for myself.

The reason most people fear socialism so much is because as they get older, they see the abuse of social programs. How many times does someone need to see abuse in order to decide its not fair to them? Im not sure, I guess it depends on the person.

How people dont think we arent [pretty socialist already is beyond me. We have food stamps, medicaid, welfare, wic, unemployment that lasts 2 yrs, all sorts of other free stuff, and also medicare and ss.

I mean, Im not sure what else a system can provide for someone. The only thing lacking is clothes and a roof (everyone gets a few cracks at shelters, most screw it up, including myself). And start providing those two for free and we are now not socialist, we are...um...Im not even sure. I dont think its communism. Im not sure. Thoughts?

[-] -1 points by mee44 (71) 2 years ago

Because socialism cuts out the feedback mechanism of the end consumer and dictates how he or she should live. It takes over massive control of people and the economy and it's very poor at identifying what's best for everyone. If you like an iPod better than a Zune, then buy an iPod. There's no reason to have the department of commerce tell you which one to buy. Same with the EPA. They dictate everything and have no idea what the hell they're doing. They're very destructive.

A bureaucrat in Washington DC can't possibly know what's best for people, because they live in the beltway bubble, so rules and policies they issue by edict are very inefficient. They cause a lot of damage because of the unintended consequences they create with their do-gooder mentality.

Let the market work out what's best for everyone. It's much more efficient than some blowhard in a federal agency trying to run a centrally planned economy. People need the right to make their own choices instead of having a political body make every choice for them. Government can't protect you from everything.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Take Back The Government !!!

NO More demoCRAZY de MOCKERYcy !!

Re-establish The Republic ; Establish Democracy, Meritocracy and Transparency !

ad iudicium et dum spiro, spero ...

[-] -2 points by mee44 (71) 2 years ago

/sarcasm on/

Systemic Failures Everywhere. The Answer? More System!

/sarcasm off/

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

iL0L!~{:-) How about more True, Direct, Participatory and Transparent Democracy - Globally ?!

[-] -2 points by reckoning (53) 2 years ago

I dont want to pay high taxes so that we can have a bunch of bums being supported by food stamps, welfare ect....look at how are things today...even ilegals receive food stamps...ITS A JOKE..socialism has good intentions but its not gonna solve anything, other them creating a group of peole that depend on the taxpayers...

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Do your "reckoning" !!!

You are already paying high taxes so that you can have a bunch of bums "being supported by" Humongous Bank Bail-Outs ; Quantitative Easing (Queasing?) ; TARP etc. ad nauseum, which is "creating a group of peole that depend on the taxpayers" ...

IF you wish to learn or remind themselves what OWS and all things "Occupy" are all about, please watch : http://documentarystorm.com/inside-job/ ..

fiat justitia ruat caelum .

[-] -3 points by DiogenesTruth (108) 2 years ago

Socialism means the death of new ideas and critical thinking. Walk around your house and tally up the things you own that were created by socialist thinkers. its not an accident that "Facebook" was created in America. its not an accident that the PC and Apple are American. its not an accident that all video games are either Asian or American in creation. name a brilliant cutting edge movie made in Germany or France? why are European countries dying? why is there no european vibrancy?

[-] 2 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

You are making reference to the USSR, a totalitarian state that like the Russian Monarchy of Ivan the Terrible did not let new ideas be created because they threatend his rule. The USSR again was a dictatoriship before being anything close to socialism. Mixing history and political/economic theories to use as examples is no good.

[-] -1 points by DiogenesTruth (108) 2 years ago

what great thought, what great invention, has come from Europe? what great movie or book?

[-] 3 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

The car was invented in Europe, Democracy also, the plane, the tank, bicycle, the phone, ice cream, pasta, the wheel, roads, the highway, soup, the sandwhich, beer, shakespeare, glass, glasses, revolution, the steam engine, the brick, the spoon. And many other things that are great but have been marginalized.

[-] -1 points by DiogenesTruth (108) 2 years ago

uh, in recent history? you made my point by listing things invented decades ago, before the infestation of european socialism. where is the french bill gates? wherebis the danish mark zuckerberg? where is the german steven jobs? what happened ti the arthur conan doyles?

great invention, great european thought, literature died with the advent of socialism.

[-] -1 points by DiogenesTruth (108) 2 years ago

why are all video games NOT made in europe?

[-] 3 points by Algee (182) 2 years ago

Ubisoft is French Assassins's creed, prince of persia, splinter cell, brothers in arms, CDV is German (Blitzkrieg), Creative Assembly is British (all total war series), Dice (Battlefield series) Norwegian.

[-] 1 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 2 years ago

LOL!

The flower of Capitalism is video games!!!!!!

That tickles me no end.