This Is Socialism

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Right. I've gotten so sick of some of the crap some people on here have been known to spew about socialism that I've decided to retype another chapter of my political ideologies book[1]. 27 pages. The last one on the New Right was only 17 pages. This will take a while, and I'm not making any promises due to my heavy workload at the moment. Hell, this might take till Christmas but here we go:

Varieties of Socialism

Of all ideologies socialism is perhaps the most difficult to pin down. Debates among socialists about what constitutes "True Socialism" are notoriously indecisive, long-lasting, and bitter. We are well advised to take the view that there is no such essential socialism but many socialisms.

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Sub-Section 3

Sub-Section 4

[1] Political Ideologies today, 2nd edition by Ian Adams, published by manchester university press in 2001. 0 7190 6020 6

What are you having for dinner?

So this is a thread which is pretty much based on copyright infringement? That usually doesn't go over well on these forums...but I suppose we shall see.

Dags90:
So this is a thread which is pretty much based on copyright infringement? That usually doesn't go over well on these forums...but I suppose we shall see.

Guess it depends on whether he means "my" book in the sense of "that book that I bought" or "that book that I wrote".
Although, even if it's the latter, I doubt his publisher would appreciate this.

The problem with this is that the people who need to read it, won't. They know that "SOCIALIZM = BAD!!!", and that's all they NEED to know.

Skeleon:
Guess it depends on whether he means "my" book in the sense of "that book that I bought" or "that book that I wrote".
Although, even if it's the latter, I doubt his publisher would appreciate this.

Some quick googling says that a large portion of the OP is from Political Ideology Today by Ian Adams. It was first published in 1993, around the time the OP claims to have been born. That'd be some accomplishment.

I hope the moderation team deals with this accordingly, though they seem pretty inconsistent in their handling of copyright.

Dags90:

Skeleon:
Guess it depends on whether he means "my" book in the sense of "that book that I bought" or "that book that I wrote".
Although, even if it's the latter, I doubt his publisher would appreciate this.

Some quick googling says that a large portion of the OP is from Political Ideology Today by Ian Adams. It was first published in 1993, around the time the OP claims to have been born. That'd be some accomplishment.

I hope the moderation team deals with this accordingly, though they seem pretty inconsistent in their handling of copyright.

Why does it matter so much? It's properly attributed, and I'm not doing it for profit, and it's only a small part of the book. No-one made such cries of copyright last time, why the sudden change in opinion? I could have verbally read this to a friend. This book was actually given to me by my teacher, is that bad, too?

If they message me or something and ask me to take it down, I will. I think it'd be needlessly callous of them to do so, though.

Reserved for later.

Reserved for later.

Danny Ocean:
Why does it matter so much? It's properly attributed, and I'm not doing it for profit, and it's only a small part of the book. No-one made such cries of copyright last time, why the sudden change in opinion? I could have verbally read this to a friend. This book was actually given to me by my teacher, is that bad, too?

If they message me or something and ask me to take it down, I will. I think it'd be needlessly callous of them to do so, though.

For me it's just about consistency. This usage would probably never be covered under the UK's Fair Dealing policy and definitely not covered under US Fair Use exceptions to copyright law. I'd just like to have some clarification on the rules, I think everyone benefits from that. Whether or not you can post unauthorized copyrighted material isn't even covered on the posting guidelines.

Dags90:

Danny Ocean:
Why does it matter so much? It's properly attributed, and I'm not doing it for profit, and it's only a small part of the book. No-one made such cries of copyright last time, why the sudden change in opinion? I could have verbally read this to a friend. This book was actually given to me by my teacher, is that bad, too?

If they message me or something and ask me to take it down, I will. I think it'd be needlessly callous of them to do so, though.

For me it's just about consistency. This usage would probably never be covered under the UK's Fair Dealing policy and definitely not covered under US Fair Use exceptions to copyright law. I'd just like to have some clarification on the rules, I think everyone benefits from that. Whether or not you can post unauthorized copyrighted material isn't even covered on the posting guidelines.

I shall continue until instructed otherwise by the mods or the publisher, then. Thanks for the heads up, I suppose. Who'd have thought the spreading of knowledge would be potentially illegal? Bleh.

Finished for the night having done up to Saint-Simon. Will hopefully update tomorrow.

Updated with:

Saint-Simon and his followers
Charles Fourier
Robert Owen
International Socialism
Marx and the international workers movement

Sorry for the wait.

Next up: British Socialist tradition

It's worth re-stating that Marxism has a whole, different chapter to itself.

I believe it's just a major cop-out to say that those who loathe socialism do it because they never bothered to read up on it.

I'd rather say those people know all too well what socialism is, and therefore are also aware of that it's bollocks, both in theory and in practice.

Elcarsh:
I believe it's just a major cop-out to say that those who loathe socialism do it because they never bothered to read up on it.

I'd rather say those people know all too well what socialism is, and therefore are also aware of that it's bollocks, both in theory and in practice.

And to which kind of Socialism might you be referring? Marxism that failed? The Social Democracy present in Europe which succeeds to this day? What'choo talking 'bout?

Socialism is just as broad an umbrella as Capitalism. To dismiss either based on their extremes would be foolish.

Judging by the videos I've seen, especially at tea-party rallies, of US anti-socialists ranting about how evil it is, I'd say it's fair to say that they loathe it precisely because they don't know what it is.

Elcarsh:
I believe it's just a major cop-out to say that those who loathe socialism do it because they never bothered to read up on it.

I'd rather say those people know all too well what socialism is, and therefore are also aware of that it's bollocks, both in theory and in practice.

However, the tendency is there. Most of the criticism that I hear (outside of this forum) is completely baseless.

Elcarsh:
I believe it's just a major cop-out to say that those who loathe socialism do it because they never bothered to read up on it.

I'd rather say those people know all too well what socialism is, and therefore are also aware of that it's bollocks, both in theory and in practice.

Clearly it's not entirely "bullocks" as most First World Western societies have certain socialistic practices in operation in which sorely help out the civilian population in very proven methods.

Most of the criticism I hear comparing Socialism to Nazism and Stalinism, is, I assure you, utter fucking bullocks in itself.

Danny Ocean:
And to which kind of Socialism might you be referring? Marxism that failed? The Social Democracy present in Europe which succeeds to this day? What'choo talking 'bout?

Socialism is just as broad an umbrella as Capitalism. To dismiss either based on their extremes would be foolish.

I am most certainly not referring to social democracy, or social liberalism, which isn't socialism, just as I'm not referring to liberalism when I say socialism. Usually, you can safely assume that when I say something, I don't mean something entirely different.

I am mainly referring to bolsjevism and ortodox marxism. The former is far more vicious and violent, while the latter is less idiotic in its application and more in its theory.

It is hard not to criticize socialism for its extremes, seeing as how 'tis an extreme in and of itself. Any system that involves the abolishing of personal wealth, ambition, luxury and thought is stupid, no matter if you style it extreme or moderate.

ShadowsofHope:
Clearly it's not entirely "bullocks" as most First World Western societies have certain socialistic practices in operation in which sorely help out the civilian population in very proven methods.

I don't know how you managed to shoehorn Sandra Bullock into this, but anyway...

It's not like concepts like public health care is exclusive to socialism, the country that premiered it most prominently in Europe was fascist Italy.

And simply taking elements that are involved in socialism doesn't mean the country is socialist.

ShadowsofHope:

Most of the criticism I hear comparing Socialism to Nazism and Stalinism, is, I assure you, utter fucking bullocks in itself.

There are actually remarkable similarities between socialism and national socialism as it was used in Germany up to and including part of the 1940s. The overall theme of abolishing personal ambition and the focus on the greater common good over the will of the individual is eerily familiar.

The problem with criticism of socialism is that when a socialist system is criticized, the socialists will usually claim "That's not real socialism!" Be it the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, North Korea or Iraq under Saddam, whose economy included many state run enterprises. When asked what real socialism is they will say "The closest we have is today's Europe" which has a generous welfare state but lacks the state or worker run industry that would be necessary for it to be real socialism.

So they are asking us to abandon a system that we know and are comfortable(sort of) with and adopt socialism which they claim will be much better. Forgive me for not jumping on the bandwagon because this sounds exactly like what happened in the past with communism. "Trust us" they said and they delivered totalitarianism

Elcarsh:
I am most certainly not referring to social democracy, or social liberalism, which isn't socialism, just as I'm not referring to liberalism when I say socialism.

Yeah, YOU might not be, but there are plenty of posters around here who will decry a. any money going to poor people, b. anything Obama does, or c. anything they don't like as "ZOMG SOSHULIZM!!!1" Like powder, for example, although he seems to have fled the board since his latest suspension.

Danny Ocean:

Elcarsh:
I believe it's just a major cop-out to say that those who loathe socialism do it because they never bothered to read up on it.

I'd rather say those people know all too well what socialism is, and therefore are also aware of that it's bollocks, both in theory and in practice.

And to which kind of Socialism might you be referring? Marxism that failed? The Social Democracy present in Europe which succeeds to this day? What'choo talking 'bout?

Socialism is just as broad an umbrella as Capitalism. To dismiss either based on their extremes would be foolish.

Judging by the videos I've seen, especially at tea-party rallies, of US anti-socialists ranting about how evil it is, I'd say it's fair to say that they loathe it precisely because they don't know what it is.

Even using the term Marxism as a single ideology is... well, sloppy. With respect to Adams, the Marxist thought process splintered in a couple different directions after Marx's death, off hand, Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky all go in different directions (though Trotsky and Stalin's writings have more in common with each other than one might expect), and that's just the Soviet strand of Marxism. As I recall, Luxumbourg argued that the Soviet Revolution wasn't violent enough and ended up getting offed (assassinated/executed) during the final days of World War I. In contrast Bernstein viewed Marx's revolution as unlikely (IIRC), and advocated for gradual change to a new system.

Starke:

Danny Ocean:

Elcarsh:
I believe it's just a major cop-out to say that those who loathe socialism do it because they never bothered to read up on it.

I'd rather say those people know all too well what socialism is, and therefore are also aware of that it's bollocks, both in theory and in practice.

And to which kind of Socialism might you be referring? Marxism that failed? The Social Democracy present in Europe which succeeds to this day? What'choo talking 'bout?

Socialism is just as broad an umbrella as Capitalism. To dismiss either based on their extremes would be foolish.

Judging by the videos I've seen, especially at tea-party rallies, of US anti-socialists ranting about how evil it is, I'd say it's fair to say that they loathe it precisely because they don't know what it is.

Even using the term Marxism as a single ideology is... well, sloppy. With respect to Adams, the Marxist thought process splintered in a couple different directions after Marx's death, off hand, Lennon, Stalin and Trotsky all go in different directions (though Trotsky and Stalin's writings have more in common with each other than one might expect), and that's just the Soviet strand of Marxism. As I recall, Luxumbourg argued that the Soviet Revolution wasn't violent enough and ended up getting offed (assassinated/executed) during the final days of World War I. In contrast Bernstein viewed Marx's revolution as unlikely (IIRC), and advocated for gradual change to a new system.

His contributions to Marxism are long forgotten, since he gave up economic theory to join the Beatles.

Kobie:

Starke:

Danny Ocean:

And to which kind of Socialism might you be referring? Marxism that failed? The Social Democracy present in Europe which succeeds to this day? What'choo talking 'bout?

Socialism is just as broad an umbrella as Capitalism. To dismiss either based on their extremes would be foolish.

Judging by the videos I've seen, especially at tea-party rallies, of US anti-socialists ranting about how evil it is, I'd say it's fair to say that they loathe it precisely because they don't know what it is.

Even using the term Marxism as a single ideology is... well, sloppy. With respect to Adams, the Marxist thought process splintered in a couple different directions after Marx's death, off hand, Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky all go in different directions (though Trotsky and Stalin's writings have more in common with each other than one might expect), and that's just the Soviet strand of Marxism. As I recall, Luxumbourg argued that the Soviet Revolution wasn't violent enough and ended up getting offed (assassinated/executed) during the final days of World War I. In contrast Bernstein viewed Marx's revolution as unlikely (IIRC), and advocated for gradual change to a new system.

His contributions to Marxism are long forgotten, since he gave up economic theory to join the Beatles.

Yeah, that's my fuckup, I did it on a term paper once as well...

JRslinger:
The problem with criticism of socialism is that when a socialist system is criticized, the socialists will usually claim "That's not real socialism!" Be it the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, North Korea or Iraq under Saddam, whose economy included many state run enterprises. When asked what real socialism is they will say "The closest we have is today's Europe" which has a generous welfare state but lacks the state or worker run industry that would be necessary for it to be real socialism.

So they are asking us to abandon a system that we know and are comfortable(sort of) with and adopt socialism which they claim will be much better. Forgive me for not jumping on the bandwagon because this sounds exactly like what happened in the past with communism. "Trust us" they said and they delivered totalitarianism

very few people would want a full socialist society just like very few people want a full capitilist society. Its a recipe for disaster either way.

OP: I've argued before that emergency state sponsored operation like police and firefighters are loosely socialist in theory. Would you agree?

Elcarsh:

ShadowsofHope:
Clearly it's not entirely "bullocks" as most First World Western societies have certain socialistic practices in operation in which sorely help out the civilian population in very proven methods.

I don't know how you managed to shoehorn Sandra Bullock into this, but anyway...

It's not like concepts like public health care is exclusive to socialism, the country that premiered it most prominently in Europe was fascist Italy.

And simply taking elements that are involved in socialism doesn't mean the country is socialist.

I never said it makes the country "socialist". I said it means the country employs certain methods of societal structure most commonly used by socialistic systems. Otherwise, Capitalistic systems are still in play economically to a notable extent.

Ex. Canada, Sweden, United States.

Elcarsh:

ShadowsofHope:

Most of the criticism I hear comparing Socialism to Nazism and Stalinism, is, I assure you, utter fucking bullocks in itself.

There are actually remarkable similarities between socialism and national socialism as it was used in Germany up to and including part of the 1940s. The overall theme of abolishing personal ambition and the focus on the greater common good over the will of the individual is eerily familiar.

Ah, yes. Because the Nazis used the word Socialism in their party name, that automatically means they were Socialist. I suppose the Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea is also a democracy because it has the word Democratic in it, right? /sarcasm

Nazism in Nazi Germany and Fascism in Italy under Mussolini were in strong favoring of Fascist Corporatism. Here, a cookie for you!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism#Fascist_corporatism

Edit: Oh, and..

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

..Was their primary ideological justification for the "good of the many [nation] over the few [individual]".

Elcarsh:

It is hard not to criticize socialism for its extremes, seeing as how 'tis an extreme in and of itself. Any system that involves the abolishing of personal wealth, ambition, luxury and thought is stupid, no matter if you style it extreme or moderate.

This is exactly what I'm talking about.

The classical socialisms are not the same as the modern socialisms. For someone who appears to know what you're talking about you're doing yourself an awful disservice by lumping all socialisms past and present together like that; and then dismissing them wholesale because the most violent and hard-line (Not even the first or most recent, just one) version bailed, even as moderate socialism exists to this day in many successful countries, and indeed, contributes to their success.

The points of the Charter of 1848, for example:

1. A vote for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime.

2. The secret ballot. - To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.

3. No property qualification for members of Parliament - thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.

4. Payment of members, thus enabling an honest tradesman, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the Country.

5. Equal Constituencies, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones.

6. Annual parliaments, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelve-month; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.

The moderate socialist left in Weimar Germany was also responsible for the establishment of its democracy.

The left in those days was really a combination of liberalism and socialism (except for those right on the fringe, who were often some strand of Marxist), and still is to this day, at least in the West.

There are no socialist or liberal countries, but almost all are socialistic or liberalistic. Many in Europe are highly socialistic, especially France and the Scandinavian countries, and they are very successful and their people happy and free. This is clearly not the socialism you imagine, and it's not a slippery slope either, so what is it? They carry the main traits of Socialism: state ownership of industry and welfare. Yet, they also feature the key economic and political freedoms of Liberalism. Seems to work pretty well, and they've not descended into communism. It's Socialism and Liberalism.

Suffice to say there is a lot left for me to type.

dmase:

OP: I've argued before that emergency state sponsored operation like police and firefighters are loosely socialist in theory. Would you agree?

It's state control of an industry so, yeah, it's socialistic. These particular examples highlight the imperfections of free markets: they can't provide everything, because some things are just impractical for them to provide. Police and Fire services are public goods, the water supply is an inevitable monopoly for example, and as such the consume actually benefits from it becoming a state-run monopoly.

ShadowsofHope:
I never said it makes the country "socialist". I said it means the country employs certain methods of societal structure most commonly used by socialistic systems. Otherwise, Capitalistic systems are still in play economically to a notable extent.

Ex. Canada, Sweden, United States.

And yet again, you are arguing against an argument that I have never made.

I'm getting tired of pointing out that when I say socialism I mean SOCIALISM, not social liberalism or social democracy, I mean SOCIALISM!

Elcarsh:

ShadowsofHope:

Most of the criticism I hear comparing Socialism to Nazism and Stalinism, is, I assure you, utter fucking bullocks in itself.

[quote="ShadowsofHope" post="528.243931.9040644"]
Ah, yes. Because the Nazis used the word Socialism in their party name, that automatically means they were Socialist. I suppose the Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea is also a democracy because it has the word Democratic in it, right? /sarcasm

Nazism in Nazi Germany and Fascism in Italy under Mussolini were in strong favoring of Fascist Corporatism. Here, a cookie for you!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism#Fascist_corporatism

Edit: Oh, and..

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

..Was their primary ideological justification for the "good of the many [nation] over the few [individual]".

Do you ever even take a moment to consider the position that you are arguing against before making up your arguments? Because you don't seem overly eager to actually factor in what I'm saying.

First, I never said anything about the names being similar, that's just you projecting.

Second, I never said they were identical, just that there were some ideological similarities. Since you are so incredibly eager to say that similarities equals connections, you of all people should appreciate that.

Elcarsh:

And yet again, you are arguing against an argument that I have never made.

I'm getting tired of pointing out that when I say socialism I mean SOCIALISM, not social liberalism or social democracy, I mean SOCIALISM!

But there are different kinds of socialism. You can't just say 'Socialism is bad' as you can't say 'Liberalism is bad' or 'Capitalism is bad'. They are all umbrella terms, and by using them as you are you are not just slagging of the extremes of Socialism, you are slagging off all graduations of the philosophy, including those that are more reasonable. If ideologies are colours: It's not a line with clearly defined blocks, rather a spectrum of many blending shades. Why do you insist on being so black and white about it?

I mean, the web definition of 'Socialism' is this:

Socialism:

-a political theory advocating state ownership of industry
-an economic system based on state ownership of capital

Are you really against that? It's so vague! It can mean any number of things, and that's exactly my point.

However, you were right to call me out on touting links with Socialism only when it suits me. It's something I didn't realise I did and I was wrong to do so.

Danny Ocean:
Are you really against that? It's so vague! It can mean any number of things, and that's exactly my point.

Yes, I am most certainly against that, I think state ownership of industry and/or capital is a terrible idea.

So, am I making myself sufficiently clear if I say that the things I really loathe are orthodox marxism and bolsjevism?

Elcarsh:

Danny Ocean:
Are you really against that? It's so vague! It can mean any number of things, and that's exactly my point.

Yes, I am most certainly against that, I think state ownership of industry and/or capital is a terrible idea.

Any industry/capital, or all industry/capital?

Policing, fire, and other commonly cited examples are situations in which the state controls an industry and all capital therein. Do you think they should be privatised?

Elcarsh:
So, am I making myself sufficiently clear if I say that the things I really loathe are orthodox marxism and bolsjevism?

Although they do themselves contain different strands, I'd say that yes, that's clear enough for me.

Danny Ocean:
Any industry/capital, or all industry/capital?

Policing, fire, and other commonly cited examples are situations in which the state controls an industry and all capital therein. Do you think they should be privatised?

I am opposed to them controlling all, or even a large part of, the industry in a country.

Elcarsh:

Danny Ocean:
Any industry/capital, or all industry/capital?

Policing, fire, and other commonly cited examples are situations in which the state controls an industry and all capital therein. Do you think they should be privatised?

I am opposed to them controlling all, or even a large part of, the industry in a country.

That's not really answering the question...

But do you accept that government should or has to control some things?

Danny Ocean:
That's not really answering the question...

But do you accept that government should or has to control some things?

Not by definition, no. To whatever degree it is necessary in order to ensure quality of service, it can potentially be a good idea to allow the government to control certain civil functions, but I do not believe it to be the case that the government is by definition more suitable for the task than private actors.

For instance, there are trials under way in Sweden to determine the merits of privately run, but officially funded, hospitals. What is in question is the ability of the government to provide the level of service that is mandated by law, something it has failed miserably at.

Elcarsh:

Danny Ocean:
That's not really answering the question...

But do you accept that government should or has to control some things?

Not by definition, no. To whatever degree it is necessary in order to ensure quality of service, it can potentially be a good idea to allow the government to control certain civil functions, but I do not believe it to be the case that the government is by definition more suitable for the task than private actors.

For instance, there are trials under way in Sweden to determine the merits of privately run, but officially funded, hospitals. What is in question is the ability of the government to provide the level of service that is mandated by law, something it has failed miserably at.

There is the issue of some things being practically difficult or impossible for private enterprise to maintain. The water supply- how would a free market in that work? Everyone uses the same pipes, after all. Or policing? Or the army? History shows that whenever either organisation is allowed to be independent from gov't they stage a coup. We're studying one such instance of Germany- the independence of the army contributed significantly to the first and second world wars.

There is also the issue of a perfect market being infeasible- infinite competition, no entry barriers, perfect knowledge etc.. are almost impossible to achieve for the free market to run at its most productively efficient. A government-directed monopoly is far more feasible. Not to say that feasibility should dictate direction, but it must be acknowledged that government run monopolies do have productive advantages over their free market counterparts.

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