Why Socialism is Necessary for Civilization - Page 7 - 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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#15073561
Julian658 wrote:
There is no equality among humans.



We need to bring our schools up to world standards. We need to remove some of the impediments that the poor face when trying to get out of poverty.

In fact, there is a shitload of stuff we need to do that falls under the category of basic human decency. That it would be good for the country and the economy isn't bad, either.

Rand, to put it charitably, was a kook. You can't run a modern country that way.
#15073563
Julian658 wrote:The guy in the gutter lives of the taxes collected from the productive members of society.
The successful brother creates jobs so people can put food on the table.


Even if the guy in the gutter does collect a welfare check, it isn't accurate to say that he collected it from the "productive members" of society because taxation isn't the only way that governments raise revenue. Similarly, private enterprise isn't the only way to create jobs.

It's also curious that you're using the example of an idler/tramp in an argument against a political philosophy that seeks to build a government for and by the working class. :?:
#15073568
Donna wrote:
It's also curious that you're using the example of an idler/tramp in an argument against a political philosophy that seeks to build a government for and by the working class. :?:



Ayn Rand was a Russian emigre.

Like a lot of Russians, she wanted to get as far, philosophically, from the USSR as she possibly could.

She went so far she became a kissing cousin to fascism.

Calling her batshit crazy is stating the obvious. You ever watch Star Trek? She's about 80% Ferengi, and 20% Klingon. Doesn't get much weirder.


https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ayn-rand/
#15073611
Donna wrote:Even if the guy in the gutter does collect a welfare check, it isn't accurate to say that he collected it from the "productive members" of society because taxation isn't the only way that governments raise revenue. Similarly, private enterprise isn't the only way to create jobs.

It's also curious that you're using the example of an idler/tramp in an argument against a political philosophy that seeks to build a government for and by the working class. :?:

Government in itself has no wealth. Government can only collect wealth from the citizens by coercion. UNless the government provides services such as a police force, an army, and laws that protect private property. If they do the latter well they can collect some taxes to pay for their services. The government should not be in the business of propping up non-productive members of society. That leads to nihilism.
#15073616
Julian658 wrote:Government in itself has no wealth. Government can only collect wealth from the citizens by coercion. UNless the government provides services such as a police force, an army, and laws that protect private property. If they do the latter well they can collect some taxes to pay for their services. The government should not be in the business of propping up non-productive members of society. That leads to nihilism.


Why should someone be allowed to take my money to pay for your protection? Do it yourself, moocher.
#15073618
Julian658 wrote:Government can only collect wealth from the citizens by coercion.


Governments also invest their tax revenues, which creates a source of capital gains income outside of taxation. So you're technically wrong as governments can collect wealth through financial speculation.
#15073646
Agent Steel wrote:Throughout history, nations that have attempted strict communist philosophies have not worked because inevitably someone will take all the power for themselves and then use it to regulate the lives of everyone else.


You forgot that centrally planned communist economies on a large scale are horribly inefficient and can't compete with capitalist economies. See China and USSR etc
Last edited by Unthinking Majority on 09 Mar 2020 01:38, edited 1 time in total.
#15073704
Pants-of-dog wrote:I think China is beating the USA in a trade war


China has a capitalist economy, well more of a mixed economy, it's a developmental state. Compare China's economy now to the 1970's pre-capitalist reforms. It certainly isn't communist.

and the Cuban economy is stronger than the economies of many countries in te Caribbean and Central America.


Is that due to central planning or to strong government institutions and law and order? It's also small in size in geographic area and population which makes it easier to administer. It's not a diverse population or geography. Natural resources and trade are easy to manage. China has many cultures, geographic areas, and needs. Centrally planning 1.4 billion people sounds like a nightmare of administration.
#15073723
Unthinking Majority wrote:China has a capitalist economy, well more of a mixed economy, it's a developmental state. Compare China's economy now to the 1970's pre-capitalist reforms. It certainly isn't communist.


I would argue that it is as capitalist as it needs to be and no more. The global system is, of course, capitalism, and so all countries have to play that game to a certain extent.

Is that due to central planning or to strong government institutions and law and order?


Considering the fact that previous to 1959, Cuba had roughly the same history (and therefore the same existing socioeconomic conditions) as the rest of the Caribbean and Central America, so if it does have significantly stronger government institutions and more law and order than other countries in the region, that would be due to socialism.

It's also small in size in geographic area and population which makes it easier to administer. It's not a diverse population or geography. Natural resources and trade are easy to manage. China has many cultures, geographic areas, and needs. Centrally planning 1.4 billion people sounds like a nightmare of administration.


I was comparing Cuba to the capitalist economies in the Caribbean and Central America, not China. I believe the initial claim was that socialist economies cannot compete with capitalist economies. It seems they do when we compare countries that have similar size, area, population, geography, et cetera.

I find the comparison between China and the USA to be difficult to use as an example of capitalism versus communism since they had a very different history over the last 500 years.
#15073738
Pants-of-dog wrote:I would argue that it is as capitalist as it needs to be and no more. The global system is, of course, capitalism, and so all countries have to play that game to a certain extent.


The point is it needs to be capitalist. Bureaucrats will never be better at determining the wants and needs of private citizens and allocating resources as such than private citizens themselves. The state can have a role in helping to guide and stabilizing the economy but it is not a replacement.

Considering the fact that previous to 1959, Cuba had roughly the same history (and therefore the same existing socioeconomic conditions) as the rest of the Caribbean and Central America, so if it does have significantly stronger government institutions and more law and order than other countries in the region, that would be due to socialism.


Cuba's economy compared to the rest of the region is nothing special at all, and many latin american countries have a similar or higher GDP per capita. Quite a few latin american countries even have double or more the GDP per capita. What's special about Cuba is its outcomes in education and healthcare compared to the region. But you don't need communism to provide universal education and healthcare, since Canada and France etc. do the same.

Cuba has a strong and stable dictatorship and small area to administer so it has good law and order. It also has crappy personal liberties and human rights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

I was comparing Cuba to the capitalist economies in the Caribbean and Central America, not China. I believe the initial claim was that socialist economies cannot compete with capitalist economies. It seems they do when we compare countries that have similar size, area, population, geography, et cetera.

I find the comparison between China and the USA to be difficult to use as an example of capitalism versus communism since they had a very different history over the last 500 years.


The most successful countries in east Asia embrace capitalism with strong state guidance. These are called a "developmental state". This is a mix of capitalism with socialism and/or state control. This allows the efficiencies of capitalism to work while the state can protect certain industries from being exploited by foreign investment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_state

It's been shown many times that too much laissze-faire capitalism or too much state control/ownership can stunt economic growth, so most countries need a balance.
#15073772
On the thread's topic:



Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt. All work of that kind should be done by a machine.

And I have no doubt that it will be so. Up to the present, man has been, to a certain extent, the slave of machinery, and there is something tragic in the fact that as soon as man had invented a machine to do his work he began to starve. This, however, is, of course, the result of our property system and our system of competition. One man owns a machine which does the work of five hundred men. Five hundred men are, in consequence, thrown out of employment, and, having no work to do, become hungry and take to thieving. The one man secures the produce of the machine and keeps it, and has five hundred times as much as he should have, and probably, which is of much more importance, a great deal more than he really wants. Were that machine the property of all, every one would benefit by it. It would be an immense advantage to the community. All unintellectual labour, all monotonous, dull labour, all labour that deals with dreadful things, and involves unpleasant conditions, must be done by machinery. Machinery must work for us in coal mines, and do all sanitary services, and be the stoker of steamers, and clean the streets, and run messages on wet days, and do anything that is tedious or distressing. At present machinery competes against man. Under proper conditions machinery will serve man. There is no doubt at all that this is the future of machinery, and just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself, or enjoying cultivated leisure – which, and not labour, is the aim of man – or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight, machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work. The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends. And when scientific men are no longer called upon to go down to a depressing East End and distribute bad cocoa and worse blankets to starving people, they will have delightful leisure in which to devise wonderful and marvellous things for their own joy and the joy of everyone else. There will be great storages of force for every city, and for every house if required, and this force man will convert into heat, light, or motion, according to his needs. Is this Utopian? A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.



https://www.marxists.org/reference/arch ... /soul-man/
#15073792
Unthinking Majority wrote:The point is it needs to be capitalist. Bureaucrats will never be better at determining the wants and needs of private citizens and allocating resources as such than private citizens themselves. The state can have a role in helping to guide and stabilizing the economy but it is not a replacement.


I disagree.

Capitalism is much worse than socialism when it comes to actual needs like health care, food security, defence, transport, electricity, and many other things.

The only reason a country “needs” to be capitalist is if they want trade globally.

Cuba's economy compared to the rest of the region is nothing special at all, and many latin american countries have a similar or higher GDP per capita. Quite a few latin american countries even have double or more the GDP per capita. What's special about Cuba is its outcomes in education and healthcare compared to the region. But you don't need communism to provide universal education and healthcare, since Canada and France etc. do the same.

Cuba has a strong and stable dictatorship and small area to administer so it has good law and order. It also has crappy personal liberties and human rights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita


According to that webpage, Cuba has a higher GDP than most countries in the region.

And as you say, in other numbers, it vastly outperforms them.

I disagree that it is a dictatorship. While the Cuban government has had to target certain people and groups, this is due to outside influences trying to usurp the government.

The most successful countries in east Asia embrace capitalism with strong state guidance. These are called a "developmental state". This is a mix of capitalism with socialism and/or state control. This allows the efficiencies of capitalism to work while the state can protect certain industries from being exploited by foreign investment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_state

It's been shown many times that too much laissze-faire capitalism or too much state control/ownership can stunt economic growth, so most countries need a balance.


That only makes sense if your only goal is growth.
#15073803
Pants-of-dog wrote:



Unthinking Majority wrote:
The most successful countries in east Asia embrace capitalism with strong state guidance. These are called a "developmental state". This is a mix of capitalism with socialism and/or state control. This allows the efficiencies of capitalism to work while the state can protect certain industries from being exploited by foreign investment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_state

It's been shown many times that too much laissze-faire capitalism or too much state control/ownership can stunt economic growth, so most countries need a balance.



I'll just note that the 'developmental state' definition is congruent with the right-wing term of 'crony capitalism', as we saw structured within the Central Powers, the rivals of the already-developed Western powers, leading into the conflict of World War I. This same dynamic continued into World War II:



As in the case of Japan, there is little government ownership of industry, but the private sector is rigidly guided and restricted by bureaucratic government elites. These bureaucratic government elites are not elected officials and are thus less subject to influence by either the corporate-class or working-class through the political process. The argument from this perspective is that a government ministry can have the freedom to plan the economy and look to long-term national interests without having their economic policies disrupted by either corporate-class or working-class short-term or narrow interests.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_state




The process of modernization was closely monitored and heavily subsidized by the Meiji government in close connection with a powerful clique of companies known as zaibatsu (e.g.: Mitsui and Mitsubishi). Borrowing and adapting technology from the West, Japan gradually took control of much of Asia's market for manufactured goods, beginning with textiles. The economic structure became very mercantilistic, importing raw materials and exporting finished products — a reflection of Japan's relative scarcity of raw materials.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_of ... evelopment
#15074326
Pants-of-dog wrote:I disagree.

Capitalism is much worse than socialism when it comes to actual needs like health care, food security, defence, transport, electricity, and many other things.

The only reason a country “needs” to be capitalist is if they want trade globally.


Every country needs to trade globally if it wants to prosper economically. You need to buy goods from outside you can't make and sell goods to others, as well as needing people to invest in your businesses.

Most universal healthcare programs have the government pay the costs of insurance but the medical providers are privately owned and operated. Food security is a joke, China and USSR starved their citizens to death due to administrative blunders. There's lots of electricity/utility providers that are run privately.

Competition fuels efficiency and innovation. It may not fuel equality of outcome, nor should it, but that's where the government can help out by providing things like universal healthcare, social housing, etc so that nobody goes without needs. This was proven throughout the 20th century, the proof is in the pudding. The most successful country in the world in terms of economic and social indicators are mixed capitalist with elements of democratic socialism. Not a communist country anywhere to be seen, never has and never will.

According to that webpage, Cuba has a higher GDP than most countries in the region.


Huh? If you read the list you'd see there's over twice as many latin american/carribean countries that have a higher GDP per capita than Cuba compared to the # of countries with lower GDP/capita.

I disagree that it is a dictatorship. While the Cuban government has had to target certain people and groups, this is due to outside influences trying to usurp the government.


LOL you're kidding right? Political opposition of any kind that's a threat to the Castros is repressed in Cuba, people thrown in jail without trial. That's how dictatorships hold onto power, there's no freedom of speech, rule of law, or legal due process. It claims to be communist but the Castros live in mansions on private islands away from the poor masses with money they stole from the people.

That only makes sense if your only goal is growth.


China has lifted many hundreds of millions out of subsistence poverty because of "growth"
#15074332
Unthinking Majority wrote:Every country needs to trade globally if it wants to prosper economically. You need to buy goods from outside you can't make and sell goods to others, as well as needing people to invest in your businesses.

Most universal healthcare programs have the government pay the costs of insurance but the medical providers are privately owned and operated. Food security is a joke, China and USSR starved their citizens to death due to administrative blunders. There's lots of electricity/utility providers that are run privately.


This does not contradict my point that socialism does it better.

Competition fuels efficiency and innovation. It may not fuel equality of outcome, nor should it, but that's where the government can help out by providing things like universal healthcare, social housing, etc so that nobody goes without needs. This was proven throughout the 20th century, the proof is in the pudding. The most successful country in the world in terms of economic and social indicators are mixed capitalist with elements of democratic socialism. Not a communist country anywhere to be seen, never has and never will.


Yes, I know the myths that capitalists tell each other and us.

Huh? If you read the list you'd see there's over twice as many latin american/carribean countries that have a higher GDP per capita than Cuba compared to the # of countries with lower GDP/capita.


Not really, no.

LOL you're kidding right? Political opposition of any kind that's a threat to the Castros is repressed in Cuba, people thrown in jail without trial. That's how dictatorships hold onto power, there's no freedom of speech, rule of law, or legal due process. It claims to be communist but the Castros live in mansions on private islands away from the poor masses with money they stole from the people.


I know many US people believe this. I assume you are also form the USA.

China has lifted many hundreds of millions out of subsistence poverty because of "growth"


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