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What is socialism?

ncallaway

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I hear a lot coming from capitalists about what socialism is. I hear a lot about Stalin, and tyrannical communist states. From the little bit I've gathered that's not what socialism actually is about. So I ask you socialists, what is socialism?

I don't wanna bunch of replies from self-proclaimed capitalists talking about all the bad things about socialism. I let capitalists describe capitalism to me, so it seems only fair that socialists should define socialism.

Oh, and I know I should read Marx. I plan to later this summer. If there are any other good authors out there that I should know about, let me know. For the capitalists, I do want to know some good authors in favor of capitalism. So any suggested reading is cool to post.

Thanks all.
 

Kelzie

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What convinced me to go socialist were their stances on the issues, so here are the ones I agree with:

-state funded, 24-hour child care
-one year paid leave for new parents (split if there's two parents)
-legalization of gay marriage
-end of military draft registration
-give all parties a level playing field in elections
-socialized health care
-more low-cost housing
-free college tuition
-more bike and foot paths
-large-scale investement in public transportation (with affordable rates)
-oppositions of factory farms
-labeling of GMOs
-research for the elimination of pesticides
-opposition to factory farm's torture of animals
-public ownership and democratic control of all natural resources
-force corporations to clean up their own toxic waste
-legal action against any US company that violates US environmental laws overseas
-municipal control of energy plants
-development of alternative energy sources
-go unions!
-international organization of labor
-international labor rights include: unrestrained right to organize labor unions and a 30 hour work week at no loss of pay, with six weeks annual paid vacation, and one year parental leave for new parents at no loss of seniority
-minimum wage of $12/hour, indexed to the cost of living
-guarenteed livable annual income for the unemployed, not luxerious, but livable, and subject to proof of an attempt to find employment (or schooling)
-all financial institutions are socially owned, and democratically run
-steeply graduated income tax (honestly, does anyone need to make more than 300K a year)
-opposition if the IMF, WTO and world bank
-tax benefits for renters equal to those of homeowners
-war on Iraq is wrong
-repeal of the PATRIOT act

So these are just the main platforms that I support. Obviously there's some I disagree with (I'm not a fan of affirmative action). Socialism is not communism. Most of us do not support the same wages for all, or government control of all businesses

Here's the US Socialist Party website if you want more information.
 

128shot

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Kelzie said:
What convinced me to go socialist were their stances on the issues, so here are the ones I agree with:

-state funded, 24-hour child care
-one year paid leave for new parents (split if there's two parents)
-legalization of gay marriage
-end of military draft registration
-give all parties a level playing field in elections
-socialized health care
-more low-cost housing
-free college tuition
-more bike and foot paths
-large-scale investement in public transportation (with affordable rates)
-oppositions of factory farms
-labeling of GMOs
-research for the elimination of pesticides
-opposition to factory farm's torture of animals
-public ownership and democratic control of all natural resources
-force corporations to clean up their own toxic waste
-legal action against any US company that violates US environmental laws overseas
-municipal control of energy plants
-development of alternative energy sources
-go unions!
-international organization of labor
-international labor rights include: unrestrained right to organize labor unions and a 30 hour work week at no loss of pay, with six weeks annual paid vacation, and one year parental leave for new parents at no loss of seniority
-minimum wage of $12/hour, indexed to the cost of living
-guarenteed livable annual income for the unemployed, not luxerious, but livable, and subject to proof of an attempt to find employment (or schooling)
-all financial institutions are socially owned, and democratically run
-steeply graduated income tax (honestly, does anyone need to make more than 300K a year)
-opposition if the IMF, WTO and world bank
-tax benefits for renters equal to those of homeowners
-war on Iraq is wrong
-repeal of the PATRIOT act

So these are just the main platforms that I support. Obviously there's some I disagree with (I'm not a fan of affirmative action). Socialism is not communism. Most of us do not support the same wages for all, or government control of all businesses

Here's the US Socialist Party website if you want more information.

All this is well and good, and I sway from tree to tree here, so let me ask you.

Inherently, there is a problem with this. how exactly can everyone agree on this ?
 

Kelzie

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128shot said:
All this is well and good, and I sway from tree to tree here, so let me ask you.

Inherently, there is a problem with this. how exactly can everyone agree on this ?
A problem with what? Agree on what? Socialism? Obviously not everyone agrees with it. That's why there's elections.
 

128shot

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Kelzie said:
A problem with what? Agree on what? Socialism? Obviously not everyone agrees with it. That's why there's elections.

No, things like wage salary cap etc.

Not every plan even within the socialist community is agreeable.
 

Kelzie

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128shot said:
No, things like wage salary cap etc.

Not every plan even within the socialist community is agreeable.
You're right. That's why there are elections. If a policy is disagreeable to the population, they won't vote for it. By the way, one of the things I support is direct votes on issues. None of this "representative" democracy stuff.
 

V.I. Lenin

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I think I'm in love again. Haha.
But seriously, I love socialism, but where are the nay-sayers? This is very one sided so far, no one has ranted about "RAHHH INEFFICENT!!!"
 

ncallaway

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I'd like to think they haven't shouted about it because I kindly asked them not to. We'll see. Thank you to everyone who's posted so far. I really appreciate being brought up to speed.
 

point

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ncallaway said:
I hear a lot coming from capitalists about what socialism is. I hear a lot about Stalin, and tyrannical communist states. From the little bit I've gathered that's not what socialism actually is about. So I ask you socialists, what is socialism?

I don't wanna bunch of replies from self-proclaimed capitalists talking about all the bad things about socialism. I let capitalists describe capitalism to me, so it seems only fair that socialists should define socialism.

Oh, and I know I should read Marx. I plan to later this summer. If there are any other good authors out there that I should know about, let me know. For the capitalists, I do want to know some good authors in favor of capitalism. So any suggested reading is cool to post.

Thanks all.
Socialism, as Marx has defined it, is a social system, in which the majority rules, i.e. the workers. In socialism the goods are not produced because a small group of wealthy capitalists wants to make profits, but the goods are produced because the people need them. The question "How to make profits?" is replaced with the question "What do the people need?". In socialism the people represent their own interests, they don't have any more to accept cutting social security benefits etc. in favour of higher profits of the capitalists.
 

faminedynasty

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point said:
Socialism, as Marx has defined it, is a social system, in which the majority rules, i.e. the workers. In socialism the goods are not produced because a small group of wealthy capitalists wants to make profits, but the goods are produced because the people need them. The question "How to make profits?" is replaced with the question "What do the people need?". In socialism the people represent their own interests, they don't have any more to accept cutting social security benefits etc. in favour of higher profits of the capitalists.
Well said.
 

asmith555

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Yes socialism has to be the best option.

We could all be living the sweet life like the North Koreans. We could all sit at home on our butts and make exactly the same wage. I can quit my job as a Chemical Engineer and work at a gas station. Its a hell of a lot easier. We don't need highly paid doctors. We could get government home surgery kits.

I have a better idea.
Instead of a 100% tax rate and an equal distribution on money the gvmt could just send us the products they want us to have directly. Then we could control how much sugar people eat and things like that. Those stupid capitalist. Only an idiot would believe they are somehow entitled to the money they make. A salesman for instance: First of all the product he is selling should belong to the common good not an individual.

We will have disent from idiots who want to keep the land they think they own when in fact the land is actually owned by the common good. We could make all faithfull Socialists wear a mark on their forehead and hand that marks thier aleigence to the great system. Self sacrifice for the common good.
 

ncallaway

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asmith555 said:
Yes socialism has to be the best option.

We could all be living the sweet life like the North Koreans. We could all sit at home on our butts and make exactly the same wage. I can quit my job as a Chemical Engineer and work at a gas station. Its a hell of a lot easier. We don't need highly paid doctors. We could get government home surgery kits.

I have a better idea.
Instead of a 100% tax rate and an equal distribution on money the gvmt could just send us the products they want us to have directly. Then we could control how much sugar people eat and things like that. Those stupid capitalist. Only an idiot would believe they are somehow entitled to the money they make. A salesman for instance: First of all the product he is selling should belong to the common good not an individual.

We will have disent from idiots who want to keep the land they think they own when in fact the land is actually owned by the common good. We could make all faithfull Socialists wear a mark on their forehead and hand that marks thier aleigence to the great system. Self sacrifice for the common good.
Hey, I asked for a definition of socialism from socialists. I specifically asked people not to do what you're doing right now, and I don't appreciate it.

I simply wanted to hear from socialists what they believed socialism was. I let capitalists describe capitalism to me. Isn't it only fair that I let them explain their beliefs.

If you don't agree with socialism, feel free to post capitalist reading material. That's what I asked for wasn't it?
 

asmith555

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ncallaway said:
Hey, I asked for a definition of socialism from socialists. I specifically asked people not to do what you're doing right now, and I don't appreciate it.

I simply wanted to hear from socialists what they believed socialism was. I let capitalists describe capitalism to me. Isn't it only fair that I let them explain their beliefs.

If you don't agree with socialism, feel free to post capitalist reading material. That's what I asked for wasn't it?
This is Socialism. You have no ownership of this thread. It belongs to the public.
 

point

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asmith555 said:
Yes socialism has to be the best option.
You are right. :bravo:

We could all be living the sweet life like the North Koreans.
The North Koreans don't have a socialist system. Socialism is a democratic system, otherwise you can't call it socialism.

I can quit my job as a Chemical Engineer and work at a gas station.
If you don't like your job as a Chemical Engineer - why not? :2bow:

We don't need highly paid doctors. We could get government home surgery kits.
Do you think Socialists are against highly paid doctors? You are not well informed. You better read Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotzky.:idea:

Those stupid capitalist. Only an idiot would believe they are somehow entitled to the money they make.
Right again. Why should the capitalist be "entitled" to the money he makes seeing that he makes it profiting by the work of others? :neutral:
 
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ncallaway

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asmith555 said:
This is Socialism. You have no ownership of this thread. It belongs to the public.
Correct, I don't own the thread. I just hoped that if I nicely asked people not to do this kind of thing they wouldn't. Sorry I expected better manners from you asmith555. I won't make that mistake again.

And, while I have no ownership of the thread, you are off topic, and I would again request that you not give me your opinion as a capitalist, because I really don't want it. If you want to argue against socialism, maybe post capitalist reading material, instead of creating a bad image for the other capitalists that are far better mannered than you.
 

anomaly

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ncallaway said:
I hear a lot coming from capitalists about what socialism is. I hear a lot about Stalin, and tyrannical communist states. From the little bit I've gathered that's not what socialism actually is about. So I ask you socialists, what is socialism?

I don't wanna bunch of replies from self-proclaimed capitalists talking about all the bad things about socialism. I let capitalists describe capitalism to me, so it seems only fair that socialists should define socialism.

Oh, and I know I should read Marx. I plan to later this summer. If there are any other good authors out there that I should know about, let me know. For the capitalists, I do want to know some good authors in favor of capitalism. So any suggested reading is cool to post.

Thanks all.
I think Kelzie gave you a definition of socialism that one socialist party happens to use. Socialism is a form of economy, not government, that is very important. Socialism, essentially, is any planned economic system, the polar opposite of the unplanned and often inefficient capitalist mode of production. What is key really is where the planning takes place. In the old USSR, we saw a centrally planned economy. Now, if you truly believe that the Federal government can plan the production of toothbrushes at your local store, OK, but in my opinion (based on the facts) central planning is horribly unproductive. Local planning is much, much better, much more productive, and far more efficient than any capitalist production (which is by its very nature inefficient, as it wastes human and natural resources). Government has nothing to do with socialism, so anytime you hear someone scream 'socialism is tyrannical', you should know that you're listening to a fool. Socialists generally want the political realm to have power over the economic, to avoid the terrible corruption we see so often in capitalism. This fact makes it terribly important that socialism is democratic in nature, and, in fact, most socialists (and anticapitalists generally) are very democratic.

While I'm at it, I think I'll also clear up what communism is. Communism is not Stalinism. Communism is the withering away of the state, and the creation of a classless, moneyless society (not moneyless as in materially poor, but rather as in the doing away with currency). Essentially, communism is human production strictly for use, not profit. Some Marxists would argue that socialism is 'neccesary' somehow for communism to take shape, but I and others think differently.
 

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Socialism is a very good idea, key word being idea. Socialism is an idea that look very good on paper it lets everyone have an equal part in social prosperity but it gains that prosperity through not allowing people to be what they want or grow financialy. It ties you down which gives some form of financial stability but also doesn't allow for personal growth. Realy it would be a grate system if you didn't add the human element.
 

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TJS0110 said:
Socialism is a very good idea, key word being idea. Socialism is an idea that look very good on paper it lets everyone have an equal part in social prosperity but it gains that prosperity through not allowing people to be what they want or grow financialy. It ties you down which gives some form of financial stability but also doesn't allow for personal growth. Realy it would be a grate system if you didn't add the human element.
So are you saying socialism would work for pigs, but not for humans? The 'human element'? I agree socialism looks great on paper, and if it is done democratically, without a tyrannical aspect, it will look good in real life as well. What you and many other cappies refuse to accept is that socialism would help many people in this world.

Socialism does not give everyone an 'equal part' economically, or, therefore, socially. Socialism guarentees a living wage to all citizens. The idea of equal wage is supported by very few socialists these days. You simply cannot mix a capitalistic idea with a communistic one (wage being capitalistic and equality being communistic of course). Socialism would allow people to be anything they want, and with a large federal government and welfare policies, everyone will be able to be whatever they want. Today there are children who cannot afford higher education. Such would not be the case in socialism. A government in socialism acts for the people, and in democratic socialism, it is run by the people as well. I really don't understand how socialism would limit 'personal growth' in the least.

Of course, I'm probably wasting my time doing this. I'm debating with someone who can't spell at a 5th grade level (grate?).
 

TJS0110

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anomaly said:
So are you saying socialism would work for pigs, but not for humans? The 'human element'? I agree socialism looks great on paper, and if it is done democratically, without a tyrannical aspect, it will look good in real life as well. What you and many other cappies refuse to accept is that socialism would help many people in this world.

Socialism does not give everyone an 'equal part' economically, or, therefore, socially. Socialism guarentees a living wage to all citizens. The idea of equal wage is supported by very few socialists these days. You simply cannot mix a capitalistic idea with a communistic one (wage being capitalistic and equality being communistic of course). Socialism would allow people to be anything they want, and with a large federal government and welfare policies, everyone will be able to be whatever they want. Today there are children who cannot afford higher education. Such would not be the case in socialism. A government in socialism acts for the people, and in democratic socialism, it is run by the people as well. I really don't understand how socialism would limit 'personal growth' in the least.

Of course, I'm probably wasting my time doing this. I'm debating with someone who can't spell at a 5th grade level (grate?).

First i'd like to say i accidently spelled great wrong and relised it after i posted that response. Other then that i'd like to say that what i meant bye the human element was just that people in general(im not saying all people becuase certain people wouldn't have a problem with it) don't like to have a living income certain people would want to be better than others and i have a feeling that some people would quickly move up in the financial standings and others would move down. Thats just how people are some are better than others, now given the fact that even those bad with money would always have that fixed income they wouldn't be able to dip below a certain point. I admit that i realy dont now that much about socialism but i do think it does look good on paper but i think people would mess it up.
 

ncallaway

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TJS0110 said:
people in general(im not saying all people becuase certain people wouldn't have a problem with it) don't like to have a living income certain people would want to be better than others and i have a feeling that some people would quickly move up in the financial standings and others would move down.
As I understand it so far, Socialism doesn't offer equal wage. It offers a living wage. Basically, employment opportunities for all (as provided by the government). Yes, some people would be able to move up. I think the idea is that more people are given opportunity to move up in the world with free health care, and free higher education. Or am I mistaken on those points.

So yes, some would move up. Some would move down. Is the idea that this movement comes more from the effort an individual is willing to put out, and less on his parents economic conditions? So we make it easier for someone to be born "poor" to rise to higher societal echelons?

How much of that was correct, and how much of it was hogwash?
 

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I find it sad that only the socialists in this thread seem to have no trouble with their English grammer.

Please post links to online reading material by "Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotzky"







I am not a capitalist.
Nor a socialist.
Nor a communist.

Merely someone who finds capitalism the most affective form of government at the moment.
 

Kelzie

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Blankstamp said:
I find it sad that only the socialists in this thread seem to have no trouble with their English grammer.

Please post links to online reading material by "Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotzky"


I am not a capitalist.
Nor a socialist.
Nor a communist.

Merely someone who finds capitalism the most affective form of government at the moment.
Man, why do we have to do everything for you capitalist pig? Oh wait, you're not capitalist huh? Okay, just pigs than...:mrgreen: Here:

Marx...actually, you can find stuff on Engels there too, cause they worked together. Huh, Lenin's there too...so, I'm not going to look, but Trotzky probably will be too. Enjoy. Hope you have a couple of hours on your hands...
 

IValueFreedom

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ncallaway said:
I hear a lot coming from capitalists about what socialism is. I hear a lot about Stalin, and tyrannical communist states. From the little bit I've gathered that's not what socialism actually is about. So I ask you socialists, what is socialism?

I don't wanna bunch of replies from self-proclaimed capitalists talking about all the bad things about socialism. I let capitalists describe capitalism to me, so it seems only fair that socialists should define socialism.

Oh, and I know I should read Marx. I plan to later this summer. If there are any other good authors out there that I should know about, let me know. For the capitalists, I do want to know some good authors in favor of capitalism. So any suggested reading is cool to post.

Thanks all.

Socialism is an economic system in which all forms of production and distribution are state owned/determined.

Marxist Socialism is a little more specific than general socialism. It states that there will be a rise of the common man against the managment of a capitalist society. After this is done, there is a time when all production is owned by the state and the distribution of resources/goods is determined by what you need. Everyone works 100%, everyone gets everything they need.

After that period, Marx predicted Communism would evolve. Socialism, to Marx, is a middle ground that is only temporary. Communism would then emerge with the elimination of government and the production and distribution controlled by society in general. No private property.

Again, that was just Marxist Socialism and Communism.


General socialism, the kind I'm guess you're looking for, is goverment control of production and distribution of resources. Basically, the government tells the economy what to make, when to make it, and where it goes.

Hopefully this helps a little bit in your quest for knowledge.
 

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TJS0110 said:
First i'd like to say i accidently spelled great wrong and relised it after i posted that response. Other then that i'd like to say that what i meant bye the human element was just that people in general(im not saying all people becuase certain people wouldn't have a problem with it) don't like to have a living income certain people would want to be better than others and i have a feeling that some people would quickly move up in the financial standings and others would move down. Thats just how people are some are better than others, now given the fact that even those bad with money would always have that fixed income they wouldn't be able to dip below a certain point. I admit that i realy dont now that much about socialism but i do think it does look good on paper but i think people would mess it up.
The living wage I'm referring to would be a minimum wage in socialism. So wages cannot go below that point. Beyond this, some sort of welfare system would exist. This would likely be graduated, in that the lowest 6th of the population would receive the most, the next lowest receive a little less, and the next lowest receive a little less. This money would come from redistributive policies which are paid by the upper half of society. I don't know if I responded to anything there, but that's an idea of the redistributive system may work.

If people 'move up', fine. If people 'move down', fine as well. The idea is to not let anyone move so far down that they are unable to live while holding a job. Hence the concept of setting the minimum wage at a living wage. Thousands of people today in capitalism live on less than a dollar a day! Does this seem fair to you 'intellectual' libertarians? Think of how much socialism would help these people, and yet you continue to reject the idea, and most of you would probably support the usual US-backed coup of any socialist country (even if the leader is democratically elected...).

In the end, you say people would 'mess it up', just as you said before, but in neither post have you explained how they would 'mess it up'. Monopolization should be 'messing up' capitalism, and perhaps it will when true monoploies exist, but no cappie seems to be saying this. Truly, I'm just still waiting to hear your argument.
 
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