The Characteristics of an ideal socialist society? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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As either the transitional stage to communism or legitimate socio-economic ends in its own right.
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#14123763
Hello comrades and all!

If you were to have the perfect socialist society, how would it be run? What are the characteristics? I want to get people's minds flowing about this sort of thing. :)
In my ideal socialist society, everyone would be guaranteed a job. No matter what background they came from, the establishment of a National Labor Board or something would coordinate the ability for all Americans to have jobs.
#14123805
There are no ideal socialist societies, nor is it rational to suggest one could exist. I'm not sure what the purpose would be to define all of these things, as a society, regardless of its socioeconomic system.
#14125980
Soixante-Retard wrote:The irony is that Marx was more "Utopian" than the so-called "Utopians".


They are utopian socialists in the sense that they think they could simply by reason and rationality design the ideal - the utopian - conditions for the proletariat without understanding the dynamics of social change.

Engels writes in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific wrote:The solution of the social problems, which as yet lay hidden in undeveloped economic conditions, the Utopians attempted to evolve out of the human brain. Society presented nothing but wrongs; to remove these was the task of reason. It was necessary, then, to discover a new and more perfect system of social order and to impose this upon society from without by propaganda, and, wherever it was possible, by the example of model experiments. These new social systems were foredoomed as Utopian; the more completely they were worked out in detail, the more they could not avoid drifting off into pure phantasies.


Of course, socialism requires experimentation of social forms and institutions but the experimentation is not to be carried out by the design of some individuals armed with reason and rationality. It has to come about as a result of working class movement.
#14126071
HoniSoit wrote:All else has to be developed and worked out in the process of class struggles.


And wrote:It has to come about as a result of working class movement.


Honi, be gentle with me...you know I'm not pugnaciously adversarial in these matters, merely perpetually bewildered.

:D

Your quotes read to me as if you are saying, "It doesn't matter how well-intentioned or honourable you are, if you haven't just come from 12 hours straight down the pit or on the factory floor, your opinions are worthless"


So someone could come along (in my mad, utopian and very hypothetical universe) with the answer to all the world's problems, but if it hadn't been built on the back of class struggle and spawned in the mind of a bioler-suited labourer, black with grease and dirt from a full day's manual labours, it should be discarded?

Perhaps the path to enlightenment lies in the rejection of this bizarre reverse-elitism?

;)
#14126861
Cartertonian wrote:Your quotes read to me as if you are saying, "It doesn't matter how well-intentioned or honourable you are, if you haven't just come from 12 hours straight down the pit or on the factory floor, your opinions are worthless"

So someone could come along (in my mad, utopian and very hypothetical universe) with the answer to all the world's problems, but if it hadn't been built on the back of class struggle and spawned in the mind of a bioler-suited labourer, black with grease and dirt from a full day's manual labours, it should be discarded?


Cart - you were having in mind the classical image the 19th century English working class, but that is not what I was referring to. Working class includes both blue-collar workers and a significant proportion of white-collar, clerical and office workers i.e. a majority of what is referred to the middle class. But that's beside the main point we are discussing.

So if someone comes along with all the answers, that's all well and good (and in fact you can see plenty of this in Socialism, Communism and Anarchism subforums here), and these ideas may well be very interesting. It could even be a very stimulating intellectual exercise.

But socialism will not come about simply because we have all the answers or have designed an ideal society in our head. If it is that simple (and I wish it is), why do we need social movements at all? Just ask a group of highly intelligent people to design an ideal system and pray it will somehow come into existence in accordance to our design.

In fact, for the sake of argument, even if you have all the answers and have designed an ideal society that we all agree on (which is highly implausible constrained as we are historically and ideologically), it will not come into existence unless social movements - of which the labour movement is the most important because it represents the interests of the vast majority of the population - organise collective struggles to push for these changes.

It will also be beyond the design of any individual workers, so I am certainly not saying while an intellectual cannot design an ideal socialist society, somehow a worker - simply by being a worker - can. That's why I emphasised any socialist society and its institutions have to be worked out in the process of class struggle (rather than by the design of any workers).
#14945049
AtarashiiSekai wrote:
Hello comrades and all!

If you were to have the perfect socialist society, how would it be run? What are the characteristics? I want to get people's minds flowing about this sort of thing. :)


AtarashiiSekai wrote:
In my ideal socialist society, everyone would be guaranteed a job. No matter what background they came from, the establishment of a National Labor Board or something would coordinate the ability for all Americans to have jobs.



This abstract construction *can* rightfully be called 'idealism' -- but, to me, it's because it's based on an incorrect approach, and thus unsound.

I subscribe to the planning process of 'working backward', meaning that one should start with 'ends' in mind, and then 'work-backward' to find what 'means' could realistically be used to *arrive* at those ends.

In this case, the ends are posited as being 'jobs for all', but I don't think that's realistically accurate, because jobs themselves are just means to something else: productivity.

Rather, I think the *ends* should be 'satisfying human need', which then may or *may not* require jobs -- what if all material-productive processes could be *fully automated*, so that virtually *anything* that people may want could be fully deliverable just from sending an email (as to a sophisticated 3D printer, producing the item without human labor, and the item then delivered by a driverless vehicle).


Cartertonian wrote:
Honi, be gentle with me...you know I'm not pugnaciously adversarial in these matters, merely perpetually bewildered.

:D

Your quotes read to me as if you are saying, "It doesn't matter how well-intentioned or honourable you are, if you haven't just come from 12 hours straight down the pit or on the factory floor, your opinions are worthless"


So someone could come along (in my mad, utopian and very hypothetical universe) with the answer to all the world's problems, but if it hadn't been built on the back of class struggle and spawned in the mind of a bioler-suited labourer, black with grease and dirt from a full day's manual labours, it should be discarded?

Perhaps the path to enlightenment lies in the rejection of this bizarre reverse-elitism?

;)



HoniSoit wrote:
Cart - you were having in mind the classical image the 19th century English working class, but that is not what I was referring to. Working class includes both blue-collar workers and a significant proportion of white-collar, clerical and office workers i.e. a majority of what is referred to the middle class. But that's beside the main point we are discussing.

So if someone comes along with all the answers, that's all well and good (and in fact you can see plenty of this in Socialism, Communism and Anarchism subforums here), and these ideas may well be very interesting. It could even be a very stimulating intellectual exercise.

But socialism will not come about simply because we have all the answers or have designed an ideal society in our head. If it is that simple (and I wish it is), why do we need social movements at all? Just ask a group of highly intelligent people to design an ideal system and pray it will somehow come into existence in accordance to our design.



Agreed. The *technocratic* approach may be technologically enlightened, but its inherent elitism over material production is too much of a socio-political *problematic* to be appropriately applicable -- there needs to be a mass-accepted norm, or routine, for political-type inputs from *everyone*, always, regarding anything about socially-necessary production.


HoniSoit wrote:
In fact, for the sake of argument, even if you have all the answers and have designed an ideal society that we all agree on (which is highly implausible constrained as we are historically and ideologically), it will not come into existence unless social movements - of which the labour movement is the most important because it represents the interests of the vast majority of the population - organise collective struggles to push for these changes.



True, and any 'blueprint'-type approach *is* idealism because it relies-on / requires mass *groupthink* -- like religion -- for its effectiveness, which may diverge from actual material realities (quantities of natural resources that can be readily sourced, etc.).


Pies Must Line Up

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HoniSoit wrote:
It will also be beyond the design of any individual workers, so I am certainly not saying while an intellectual cannot design an ideal socialist society, somehow a worker - simply by being a worker - can. That's why I emphasised any socialist society and its institutions have to be worked out in the process of class struggle (rather than by the design of any workers).



That said, it may be possible to have a far-less-than-final, flexible *framework* of 'known' components that would undoubtedly continue to exist in a post-capitalist social context, things like (liberated) labor, machinery, energy, natural resources, coordination, etc.:


http://tinyurl.com/labor-credits-faq

https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... -Questions
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