Why Socialism is Necessary for Civilization - Page 5 - 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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#15051315
Julian658 wrote:No I haven't. I am skeptical because socialism has never worked. At best, it works in families or very small groups with kinship. Otherwise, people are not altruistic.

First of all there has never yet been a country in which an established, functioning economic system has been based on workers actually owning and controlling the MoP (businesses). So it is a false statement that claims socialism has never worked. Neither has any attempt to put a human settlement on Mars.

Secondly, humans have altruistic or social characteristics. We normally work in a socially organized manner to compete with others who do the same. We see it in both business and in sports to name two common ones.


It turns out that socialist countries are often authoritarian fascist like states with massive oppression.

Again, there are no socialist countries. You are conflating strategies that were intended to "get to socialism" with the actual political system in each case, none of which were/are socialism. The goal was never ultimately achieved anywhere. Yet. Even Cuba is still working on it.


You have failed to tell me how you can impose socialism without an authoritarian repressive state. What will you do if someone wants to be a capitalist within a socialist nation?

That will be figured out when we get there. You're still stuck on the old, failed model of military take-over and imposition of some interim system the eradicates the old. That failed for known reasons, and the lessons of those failures have led to the realization that the transition must be carried out much as capitalism also carried out the transition from feudalism to capitalism: gradually.


Sure, I am biased, but one cannot argue with success. Capitalism has given us the most prosperity in world history.

The flaw in your thinking is the apparent belief that capitalism can just go on forever if allowed to. It's required 2.5 to 3% annually compounded growth in markets, revenue, sales, profits, etc. is not sustainable. It's continuing substitution of machines for workers is no sustainable. It's increasing ownership and/or influence of government is not sustainable.


Venezuelans are leaving the country in large numbers. The food stands in grocery stores are empty and most people are now quite thin due to caloric restriction. The state is repressive and violent with dissidents. I would say the workers are not running the system in a very efficient manner. And BTW, they are a petroleum rich nation.

What's your point? Ukraine is not doing great. Ethiopia is not doing great. Sudan is not doing great. Nigeria is not doing great. In 2018 the GDP per capita of Iceland, Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland (and Luxembourg and Singapore) were all better than the US. So what's your point?


I agree, but workers on their own cannot produce anything unless they are directed by an organization with talent.

Oh I love it. A floor manager is a worker. Business managers are workers. Accountants are workers. Production managers are workers. Sales managers are workers. Actuaries are workers. I am confident that they, along with the remainder of the work force, can manage production. Try checking Mondragon.


Why would they work that hard? What is the motivation?

Achievement. Progress. Social commitment. Pride.


Overproduction makes everything extremely cheap. Why do you think homeless people have cell phones?

I think cellphone ownership among them is not so common.


As I said: Anyone that lives in a the gutter or is dirt poor benefits from socialism.

That's capitalist anti-socialist nonsense.


But. how about the rest of the people that are doing OK in a capitalist nation?

Are you concerned about them?


The government should be hands off. The only role is to provide a framework of no aggression between the parties that exchange services or goods.

OF COURSE!! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?? Except that is fantasy. It has never happened and doesn't exist anywhere that I know of. And you?

In the USA we were closest to that around 1915 and it did wonders for the working class.
#15051339
Senter wrote:First of all there has never yet been a country in which an established, functioning economic system has been based on workers actually owning and controlling the MoP (businesses). So it is a false statement that claims socialism has never worked. Neither has any attempt to put a human settlement on Mars.


A system owned by thousands of people that are not related is likely to fail. Any structure needs direction and organization. Even if everybody is an owner they will need someone to run the business. A meeting of owners with a large number of people goes nowhere. At some point the vast majority of people have to relinquish participation an elect leaders . And we all know what happens when the leaders take control. In any event a COOP can easily exist in a Western capitalist country. However, it will need a board room.


Secondly, humans have altruistic or social characteristics. We normally work in a socially organized manner to compete with others who do the same. We see it in both business and in sports to name two common ones.


Humans are selfish or altruistic according to evolutionary forces to survive. In good times when things are plentiful it is easy to gather around the fire and sing Kumbaya. During times of stress and lack of goods people revert back to tribalism and violence erupts. Altruism is best performed by those that have more than enough. Those that have little are not likely to be altruistic.

What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence.

Altruism declares that any action taken for the benefit of others is good, and any action taken for one’s own benefit is evil. Thus the beneficiary of an action is the only criterion of moral value—and so long as that beneficiary is anybody other than oneself, anything goes.

Those who start by saying: “It is selfish to pursue your own wishes, you must sacrifice them to the wishes of others”—end up by saying: “It is selfish to uphold your convictions, you must sacrifice them to the convictions of others.”
AR


Again, there are no socialist countries. You are conflating strategies that were intended to "get to socialism" with the actual political system in each case, none of which were/are socialism. The goal was never ultimately achieved anywhere. Yet. Even Cuba is still working on it.


I have good news for you. The world will eventually reach socialism but it will take at least 1000 years. Socialism needs a lot of wealth to work. Sadly socialists are incredibly bad at producing wealth. OTOH, capitalists know how to create wealth. Simply allow capitalists to continue to create wealth and hopefully one day wealth will be so abundant that it will become redundant. Once wealth is redundant you can have your utopia.



That will be figured out when we get there. You're still stuck on the old, failed model of military take-over and imposition of some interim system the eradicates the old. That failed for known reasons, and the lessons of those failures have led to the realization that the transition must be carried out much as capitalism also carried out the transition from feudalism to capitalism: gradually.


As i said above: When wealth is redundant you will get your utopia. So I ask again: What will you do if citizens in a socialist nation decide to be capitalists?

The flaw in your thinking is the apparent belief that capitalism can just go on forever if allowed to. It's required 2.5 to 3% annually compounded growth in markets, revenue, sales, profits, etc. is not sustainable. It's continuing substitution of machines for workers is no sustainable. It's increasing ownership and/or influence of government is not sustainable.


As I said capitalism becomes socialist, but not as you envision it. Read above.


What's your point? Ukraine is not doing great. Ethiopia is not doing great. Sudan is not doing great. Nigeria is not doing great. In 2018 the GDP per capita of Iceland, Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland (and Luxembourg and Singapore) were all better than the US. So what's your point?


It is not easy to compare GDPs between countries with different currency and population. There are plenty of small countries that are better than the USA. Large countries eventually get polluted with an underclass . This is often worse if the country has a very liberal left leaning government.

Oh I love it. A floor manager is a worker. Business managers are workers. Accountants are workers. Production managers are workers. Sales managers are workers. Actuaries are workers. I am confident that they, along with the remainder of the work force, can manage production. Try checking Mondragon.


Mondragon is a cooperative of workers and it was founded within the context of a capitalist nation. Anyone in the West can pool together a group and create a cooperative where everybody is part owner. No one is stopping YOU from doing this. However, it seems you simply want to get the business of another person and make it yours. Most successful businesses in America started just like Mondragon. The only difference is that they did not give shares to all the workers. Apple was started by two guys in a garage. My son in law works in a company founded by 8 college friends. They are all owners.

Achievement. Progress. Social commitment. Pride.


This only works with a certain segment of society. MANKIND aligns itself according to talent and competency. A few make it to the very top. Others are high end earners such as physicians, engineers, etc. most are average earners, many are low wage earners, and some end up in the gutter. You cannot change the bell curve distribution of talent and achievement
#15051360
Julian658 wrote:A system owned by thousands of people that are not related is likely to fail.

That would be a speculative opinion.


Any structure needs direction and organization.

Do you think a socialist business would have no directors or no organization?


Even if everybody is an owner they will need someone to run the business.

Sure. So? What's your point?


A meeting of owners with a large number of people goes nowhere.

You've apparently never heard of a "mass democracy meeting" nor "Robert's Rules of Order".


At some point the vast majority of people have to relinquish participation an elect leaders .

Yeah, how 'bout doing it from the start? Good enough?


And we all know what happens when the leaders take control. In any event a COOP can easily exist in a Western capitalist country. However, it will need a board room.

Great. So check Mondragon. You seem to be critiquing the structure and organization of WSDEs without knowing anything about their structure and organization.


Humans are selfish or altruistic according to evolutionary forces to survive.

Ya, that's why the increasing push to end capitalism and establish socialism.


In good times when things are plentiful it is easy to gather around the fire and sing Kumbaya. During times of stress and lack of goods people revert back to tribalism and violence erupts. Altruism is best performed by those that have more than enough. Those that have little are not likely to be altruistic.

I don't see the relevance but it may have some validity. Socialism does not rely on altruism. Altruism is often expressed by the work of participants, but it it not a requirement.


What is the moral code of altruism? The basic principle of altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.

"Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings and/or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. In an extreme case, altruism may become a synonym of selflessness which is the opposite of selfishness."

Interesting philosophy, but ultimately irrelevant since altruism is not primary in socialist organization and function.


The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

You seem to be saying that socialist entities and systems rely on altruism and therefor are unworkable. Yet we have a 60-year-old worker's coop that is good enough and workable enough that General Motors and Microsoft is paying to have employees work there to learn the coop's methods. That coop is Mondragon. .... -Pretty damned workable! And we have about 600 workers' coops in the US today. You night want to investigate how they are organized and structured. I can help you with that.


I have good news for you. The world will eventually reach socialism but it will take at least 1000 years. Socialism needs a lot of wealth to work. Sadly socialists are incredibly bad at producing wealth.

Employee-owned businesses have higher productivity, morale, sales and wages, according to analysts. Rutgers University, which has studied the topic extensively, has found that employee ownership boosted company productivity by an average of 4 percent, while profits went up 14 percent.

https://vtdigger.org/2017/05/17/senator ... ationwide/


Mondragon is a cooperative of workers and it was founded within the context of a capitalist nation. Anyone in the West can pool together a group and create a cooperative where everybody is part owner. No one is stopping YOU from doing this. However, it seems you simply want to get the business of another person and make it yours.

Where the FUCK do you get that personal attack? You need to substantiate your accusation or apologize.


Most successful businesses in America started just like Mondragon.

LOL!!! I smell desperation.


The only difference is that they did not give shares to all the workers. Apple was started by two guys in a garage. My son in law works in a company founded by 8 college friends. They are all owners.

Then they weren't started as worker-owned, self-directed enterprises. Hence they didn't "start just like Mondragon".


This only works with a certain segment of society.

If you think achievement, progress, commitment, and pride are rare or hard to find, either you hold a contemptuous view of humanity, or you are unwittingly representing your own values, thinking most people share them.


MANKIND aligns itself according to talent and competency. A few make it to the very top. Others are high end earners such as physicians, engineers, etc. most are average earners, many are low wage earners, and some end up in the gutter. You cannot change the bell curve distribution of talent and achievement

I wouldn't try to.
#15051376
Senter wrote:That would be a speculative opinion.
Do you think a socialist business would have no directors or no organization?
Sure. So? What's your point?
You've apparently never heard of a "mass democracy meeting" nor "Robert's Rules of Order".
Yeah, how 'bout doing it from the start? Good enough?
Great. So check Mondragon. You seem to be critiquing the structure and organization of WSDEs without knowing anything about their structure and organization.
Ya, that's why the increasing push to end capitalism and establish socialism.
I don't see the relevance but it may have some validity. Socialism does not rely on altruism. Altruism is often expressed by the work of participants, but it it not a requirement.
"Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings and/or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. In an extreme case, altruism may become a synonym of selflessness which is the opposite of selfishness."
Interesting philosophy, but ultimately irrelevant since altruism is not primary in socialist organization and function.
You seem to be saying that socialist entities and systems rely on altruism and therefor are unworkable. Yet we have a 60-year-old worker's coop that is good enough and workable enough that General Motors and Microsoft is paying to have employees work there to learn the coop's methods. That coop is Mondragon. .... -Pretty damned workable! And we have about 600 workers' coops in the US today. You night want to investigate how they are organized and structured. I can help you with that.
Employee-owned businesses have higher productivity, morale, sales and wages, according to analysts. Rutgers University, which has studied the topic extensively, has found that employee ownership boosted company productivity by an average of 4 percent, while profits went up 14 percent.
https://vtdigger.org/2017/05/17/senator ... ationwide/
Where the FUCK do you get that personal attack? You need to substantiate your accusation or apologize.
LOL!!! I smell desperation.
Then they weren't started as worker-owned, self-directed enterprises. Hence they didn't "start just like Mondragon".
If you think achievement, progress, commitment, and pride are rare or hard to find, either you hold a contemptuous view of humanity, or you are unwittingly representing your own values, thinking most people share them.
I wouldn't try to.


Mondragon was created within the context of a capitalist nation. I have nothing but admiration for that business. No one is stopping you and your comrades to open more Mondragons. I have zero objections and I think it is great. As I said my son in law and college mates opened a business that they own. This is done every day in capitalist nations. Family own business are everywhere. Large scale employee owned business are harder to come by as it requires much more coordination and work. For example if you go to Spain and apply for a job at Mondragon. Will they make you an owner? Could you be fired as an owner if you are inept as a worker? Do they only employ productive workers they really need? Or do they have nepotism? There is a lot to consider, but I am glad they are successful.

As for altruism: It is Ok if voluntary without coercion. The problem is the coercion. And most socialists sooner or later use coercion.
#15051383
Julian658 wrote:I have good news for you. The world will eventually reach socialism but it will take at least 1000 years. Socialism needs a lot of wealth to work. Sadly socialists are incredibly bad at producing wealth. OTOH, capitalists know how to create wealth. Simply allow capitalists to continue to create wealth and hopefully one day wealth will be so abundant that it will become redundant. Once wealth is redundant you can have your utopia.


I am afraid 1000 years might be an understatement.

Consider the following quote from Confucius:
"Do not worry about scarcity, but rather about uneven distribution."

That means, socialism had been in mind for some nations (in this case, China) as early as 2500 years ago. We are still far away from it.

Or maybe some nations simply didn't do it right...
#15051389
After reading the opening post, I'd like to give a rather simplified response to socialism / communism / anarchism in general.

These political ideologies seem oblivious to a certain fact that there are some people (or indeed, quote a lot) who are either incapable or unwilling to exercise the power in their hands (no matter how big or how small the said power is). It is from this point that power flows to whoever capable or willing to wield it, and ultimately this is why capitalism seems to become more relevant as history progresses.

On the other hand, their opposite, a.k.a. Fascism and Nazism, are somewhat more honest in acknowledging such difference in the society, although they (esp. Nazism) get something rather rotten mixed in and they ended up on the losing side.

In order to achieve socialism or something like that, those at least somewhat capable or willing to exercise power must understand that they have the responsibility to look after those who don't, at the same time not to let their power be abused -- either by themselves or by someone apparently more powerful. This is not an easy process, admittedly, but the more of us are aware and act accordingly (not out of coercion, but out of self-awareness and self-restraint), the closer to success it is.
#15051458
Patrickov wrote:I am afraid 1000 years might be an understatement.

Consider the following quote from Confucius:
"Do not worry about scarcity, but rather about uneven distribution."

That means, socialism had been in mind for some nations (in this case, China) as early as 2500 years ago. We are still far away from it.

Or maybe some nations simply didn't do it right...


Socialism is the normal state for small groups that have kinship. I practice socialism with my family and even with close friends. In fact socialism has worked in small communes where everybody is in the same page.

However, at the level of a nation it is silly to expect me or you to share the wealth I earned with an unknown entity. Hence, the only way socialism would work in this instance is by coercion.

You miss the point about wealth creation. Bill gates made so much money that he will likely give away 98% of his wealth and still be very rich. Bill Gates cannot spend all the money he made because he achieved a state of redundant wealth. Once capitalism achieves redundant wealth on a global basis the poor will not be poor anymore. We already see a little bit of this. In this era the poor in western capitalists nations suffer from obesity (too many calories). Throughout world history the poor were always emaciated and cachectic.
#15051472
Julian658 wrote:OK, don't let the door hit you as you walk away.

Do you realize that not every coop is a Workers' Self-Directed Enterprise" ("WSDE")?

Do you realize that WSDE's, which are also called "worker owned and operated cooperative corporations" are structured according to their Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws? They would answer your question regarding dismissal of an owner-worker. Right? Right.
#15051474
Julian658 wrote:Socialism is the normal state for small groups that have kinship. I practice socialism with my family and even with close friends.

LOL!!! I'd have to see that to believe it.

However, at the level of a nation it is silly to expect me or you to share the wealth I earned with an unknown entity. Hence, the only way socialism would work in this instance is by coercion.

It's also silly to think you would be required to share your wealth under socialism. You fell for the propaganda.

You miss the point about wealth creation. Bill gates made so much money that he will likely give away 98% of his wealth and still be very rich. Bill Gates cannot spend all the money he made because he achieved a state of redundant wealth. Once capitalism achieves redundant wealth on a global basis the poor will not be poor anymore. We already see a little bit of this. In this era the poor in western capitalists nations suffer from obesity (too many calories). Throughout world history the poor were always emaciated and cachectic.[/quote]
Oh I LOVE predictions of how capitalists will share their wealth with all of us once they own it all!!

BTW, obesity is not the result of too many calories.

The funniest dreamer is he who bases his dreams in fantasy.
#15051481
Senter wrote:LOL!!! I'd have to see that to believe it.


That is a statement in a vacuum with no meaning. Please explain yourself.


It's also silly to think you would be required to share your wealth under socialism. You fell for the propaganda.


OK, so if I live in a socialist nation I could become a billionaire if I work hard? Is that correct? Could I still practice capitalism in a socialist nation?

You miss the point about wealth creation.


Bill Gates reveals the 2 reasons he's giving away his $90 billion fortune

BTW, obesity is not the result of too many calories.


Calories in>calories out = obesity. No point in denying this.

High-income countries have greater rates of obesity than middle- and low-income countries (1). Countries that develop wealth also develop obesity; for instance, with economic growth in China and India, obesity rates have increased by several-fold (1). The international trend is that greater obesity tracks with greater wealth (2,3).
Poverty and Obesity in the US
#15051483
Pants-of-dog wrote:@Julian658

Please define socialism.


Here we go again: This is a favorite fallacy of lefties. Of course, the most famous one is that we never had real socialism.

There are zillions of definitions of socialism and this gives the left the opportunity to make false and illogical statements. It is fertile ground for those that seek to dupe people with nice words and does not take into account human nature.

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management,[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[13] with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms. WIKI

Compañero POD: Could you care to describe what was the initial "means of production" Steve Jobs and Bill gates had when they develop their ideas? It was their brains. Are we going to nationalize the brains of creative people.

What is the "means of production" of UBER or LYFT?
#15051485
So, if a tiny minority of companies are owned by workers, while the rest of them are not, that is not socialism.

Also, the familial or communal relationships in a small tribe or family are also not socialism.

And we also see that the definition has nothing to do with coercion, so you are wrong about that too.

Finally, there have been successful socialist countries.
#15051495
Pants-of-dog wrote:So, if a tiny minority of companies are owned by workers, while the rest of them are not, that is not socialism.


Compañero: Do not frame you statements in that manner. It sounds like a straw man. I am 100% in favor of companies that are owned by workers. In fact, in my neck of the woods Hispanics are great at doing just that. However, most of these are family owned.

Also, the familial or communal relationships in a small tribe or family are also not socialism.


Yes, it is not formally called socialism. But, the family unit pretty much behaves like a socialist state. I share everything with my wife and kids.

And we also see that the definition has nothing to do with coercion, so you are wrong about that too.


I will ask again: It seems socialists do not have an answer for this question. What will happen to me if I become a capitalist in a socialist nation? Let's say I am another Steve Jobs and have an incredible idea that is game changer. And I set up a shop in my garage and create a business that can potentially make me a billionaire. Can I do that in a socialist nation?
#15051497
Julian658 wrote:Compañero:


You are not my compañero.

You do not seem to know what that means.

Do not frame you statements in that manner. It sounds like a straw man. I am 100% in favor of companies that are owned by workers. In fact, in my neck of the woods Hispanics are great at doing just that. However, most of these are family owned.


I have no idea if you deliberately ignored my point or simply did not understand.

Worker owned companies are not an example of socialism.

Yes, it is not formally called socialism. But, the family unit pretty much behaves like a socialist state. I share everything with my wife and kids.


No, it is not socialism because there is no collective ownership of the means if production.

Do you know what “means of production” means?

I will ask again: It seems socialists do not have an answer for this question. What will happen to me if I become a capitalist in a socialist nation? Let's say I am another Steve Jobs and have an incredible idea that is game changer. And I set up a shop in my garage and create a business that can potentially make me a billionaire. Can I do that in a socialist nation?


Sure, you can create whatever you want and have any ideas that you want. You cannot, however, exercise exclusive control over the means of production in order to enrich yourself with the labour of others.
#15051503
Pants-of-dog wrote:Sure, you can create whatever you want and have any ideas that you want. You cannot, however, exercise exclusive control over the means of production in order to enrich yourself with the labour of others.


And here we have it. The "smoking gun" COERCION!!!

Compañero is how socialists call each other. I thought you would be pleased. Do you prefer comrade?
#15051507
Julian658 wrote:And here we have it. The "smoking gun" COERCION!!!


The exact same level of coercion already occurs in modern capitalism.

Compañero is how socialists call each other. I thought you would be pleased. Do you prefer comrade?


Thank you for clarifying that you do not what this means.

And since you are not a socialist, you are admitting that you are using it ironically, instead of as an actual attempt at friendliness.

Julian658 wrote:Why do socialists peddle Mondragon so much?


Did you actually forget that you are the one who keeps bringing this up as an example of socialism?

Yup. And hardly news, huh...

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