Socialism vs Capitalism: The Soho Debates - Page 2 - Politics | 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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late wrote:
You are proposing massive change.You need to convince us, and I am not even seeing an explanation that I understand.

Balls in your court.

I "need" to convince you -- ??

Would you like me to re-type everything that's in the F.A.Q., for you personally -- ? Or you could just go to the information, take the time to understand it, and then maybe we'll have something to talk about.

The 'convincing' will come from world events, as with the immigrants that Trump has been killing. What *I* do is more of a 'courtesy', in providing some illustrations and statements that may be helpful for some.

*You* haven't suggested *anything* realistic, just some tinkering with the capitalist system.
Nonsense wrote:
'Capitalism' is not 'Democratic', it never will be 'Socialistic' either, at the fundamental level, neither of them are true to their patronage.

A 'democrat' exercise's choice by how they vote in the expectation of a particular outcome that 'supposedly' , brings the, ' greatest possible happiness to the greatest number of people' :hmm: :p .

Nonsense wrote:
A 'Socialist' wants to produce the above objectives by arbitrarily deciding how, where, when & whom should have the fruits of someone else's labour through the redistribution of taxes levied on anything that moves.

This is incorrect, and is a pernicious stereotype of socialism as being a Stalinist strongman authoritarian over everything, which is certainly not needed these days -- the major countries of the world have already industrialized. With real, egalitarian socialism the workers of the world could collectively decide how best to industrialize the remaining parts of the world, and to get food and electricity everywhere, etc.

Nonsense wrote:
A 'Capitalist' wants to apportion the greatest happiness on himself by charging an excess of what any goods or services cost to produce or sell in order to maximise his profit.

His 'taxpayer' is the customer from whom he levies the 'tax' that will earn him his profit, the customer though, has what neither 'Socialism', or 'Democracy' can provide- choice in where or how & to whom they give their disposable wealth to in return for material or other happiness.

It's best to call this "tax" a 'bribe', since the capitalist has hegemonic control over productive property, like factories. Profits are an additional expense to funding.

What about the *non*-disposable monies that poorer people *have* to exchange for the necessities of life and living -- ? Why does the world society tolerate an economics that impoverishes billions while modern-day productive capacities would readily *wipe out* such privation, given a more appropriate method of distribution for those who need basic things.

Nonsense wrote:
The latter case illustrates that the consumer or customer always has the freedom to choose, providing that they have the means to make such choices, that's the fool-proof logical reason to never vote, because, by so doing, you get an expanding state.

So you prefer the voting of dollars over the voting by person. 'Nuff said.

Nonsense wrote:
A 'Socialist' government that has only one objective , to extract the maximum taxes from each, whilst 'redistributing' the minimum to the least well-off('Socialism'),in order to maintain the status quo of the ruling 'elite' capitalist class.

This is a flat-out *misrepresentation* -- yes, socialism could very well have its own government, a workers state, but, no, money would not be needed, nor would taxes, because the workers could simply make what they think society needs (preferably aided by empirical information), and the goods / materials produced could simply be claimed by those who need them the most. (That's what my 'labor credits FAQ' addresses, by the way.) There would no longer be a ruling capitalist class because the workers would be the ones making decisions over what gets produced, and what doesn't.

Nonsense wrote:
A 'Conservative' type of government, which includes the 'Liberal' flavour, exist only to maintain the capitalist system, for which the resources that it spends are distributed to it's property wealthy 'friends' of the 'elite' type, whether at a personal level, as 'reliefs', lower taxes,or 'tax breaks'.

They then double down on their own version of 'Socialism' towards Capitalism, through every conceivable reduction in business taxes, expanding tax reliefs, inflated public contract prices, bail-outs, 'write-downs' or tax 'gap' that they can get away with, whilst minimising the level of subsistence 'affluence' of the less well-off by using 'austerity' as an instrument in which to wage economic war against the less well-off whom they created in the first place.

One can be an 'apologist' to either side, they are simply two sides of the same coin, both sides have a vested interest in creating a schism between people through the creation of rich & poor.

'Rich and poor' is *okay* as a quick description, but I'll remind that what's *really* at stake is how society produces the things that it needs, and how it disposes of its material surplus. Once the working class has control of the levers of society the use of money would be rendered *superfluous* since exchange values in their totality would no longer be required.

Nonsense wrote:
The Tory side want cheap labour for their 'friends', whilst the 'Socialist' want the votes of the poor or less well-off, it's the people that always pay, if you are 'well-off', paying is no object, not so if poor or less 'well-off', for these two groups are never fully compensated for inflation in the capitalist system(caused by government).

You're using 'inflation' in a generic alarmist way without looking at how the various interests would be affected by it -- inflation in the economy would allow the poorer types to *pay off* their debts more cheaply, and it would provide cheap money for investments in real-world production. It's always the *privileged* types who scream 'inflation' because inflation would erode their stores of cached value -- look at Bitcoin, for example, which is a *deflationary* financial vehicle for those who want a castle-wall around their wealth.

Nonsense wrote:
At root, all that government does, is 'skim off money from people, either directly or indirectly(as in spending taxes), or business, to spend how it sees fit, it's the people that always pay, not business, because taxes are always passed on to the customer by business & the end user is always a personal customer or consumer.

This, too, is too generic, because you're not looking at *what* the government spends its money *on* -- I'm all in favor of any government -- even capitalist government -- policies that provide for *human need*, like food, transportation, housing, education, energy, etc., but I'm *against* government spending on *warfare*, killing people just so that the global pie gets sliced up a different way.

Nonsense wrote:
We do not have a true Laissez Faire economic system, if we had, the state would not bail out businesses or even support them, instead business continue trading each year because the state allows badly run businesses to 'write down' their losses against any taxable gains each tax year, whereas a poor person would just be unable to seek redress for their own financial incontinence.

The western capitalist system is surviving solely on increasing dent which is 'creating' money, the effect is higher inflation, which is being dishonestly reported by governments, in order to reduce compensation payments to it's creditors or those long term liabilities to pensioners or benefit claimants, as a result currency values are being deflated towards the status of ;'fiat' status, as the price of gold would attest.

Actually, you're *incorrect* here -- in the U.S., for example, the economic environment is now, and has been, one of *deflation*, as seen in historically low interest rates (and even *negative* interest rates in parts of Europe).

The starkest issue facing the capitalist class these days is that of *overproduction*, where prices head *downward*, thereby shutting off incentives for spurring further production, and profit-making -- the world is awash in cash and commodity goods yet there aren't enough opportunities for *velocity* in the capitalist economy, and so things just linger on as they are with no real economic growth (GDP).
Atlantis wrote:
Opposing capitalism and socialism is a false dichotomy.

No, it's *not* a false dichotomy because capitalism relies on *exchange values* (commodity production), while socialism *doesn't*. Socialism is full workers' control, worldwide, over what society produces. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

Atlantis wrote:
From Anglo neoliberals to European social democrats and the social market economy there is a wide range of market economies that cannot be summarized under the term of capitalism.

If the economy is driven by profit-seeking behavior then it's capitalist, despite whatever flavors of local culture it may exhibit. ('Market economy' = 'capitalism'.)

Atlantis wrote:
As to socialism, its advocates pretend that their fantasies could become true irrespective of the horrible track record of the really-existing-socialism. The real world has no use for narcissistic self-indulgent dreamers.

This is cute, given your facile treatment of actual history -- the main example is that of the Bolshevik Revolution, which got *invaded*, and its post-capitalist / soviet economy got wrecked as a consequence:

Allied concerns

The Allied Powers became concerned at the collapse of the Eastern Front and the loss of their Tsarist ally to communism, and there was also the question of the large quantities of supplies and equipment in Russian ports, which the Allied Powers feared might be seized by the Germans. Also worrisome to the Allied Powers was the April 1918 landing of a division of German troops in Finland, increasing speculation they might attempt to capture the Murmansk-Petrograd railway, and subsequently the strategic port of Murmansk and possibly Arkhangelsk. Other concerns regarded the potential destruction of the Czechoslovak Legions and the threat of Bolshevism, the nature of which worried many Allied governments. Meanwhile, Allied materiel in transit quickly accumulated in the warehouses in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. Estonia had established a national army with the support of Finnish volunteers and were defending against the 7th Red Army's attack.[15]

Faced with these events, the British and French governments decided upon an Allied military intervention in Russia. ... _Civil_War



The goals of the Bolsheviks in implementing war communism are a matter of controversy. Some commentators, including a number of Bolsheviks, have argued that its sole purpose was to win the war. Vladimir Lenin, for instance, said that "the confiscation of surpluses from the peasants was a measure with which we were saddled by the imperative conditions of war-time."[2] Other Bolsheviks, such as Yurii Larin, Lev Kritzman, Leonid Krasin, and Nikolai Bukharin, argued that it was a transitional step towards socialism.[3] Commentators, such as the historian Richard Pipes, the philosopher Michael Polanyi,[4] and economists such as Paul Craig Roberts[5] or Sheldon L. Richman,[6] have argued that war communism was actually an attempt to immediately eliminate private property, commodity production and market exchange, and in that way to implement communist economics, and that the Bolshevik leaders expected an immediate and large-scale increase in economic output. This view was also held by Nikolai Bukharin, who said that "We conceived War Communism as the universal, so to say 'normal' form of the economic policy of the victorious proletariat and not as being related to the war, that is, conforming to a definite state of the civil war".[7]



War communism was largely successful at its primary purpose of aiding the Red Army in halting the advance of the White Army and in reclaiming most of the territory of the former Russian Empire thereafter.


In the cities and surrounding countryside, the population experienced hardships as a result of the war. Peasants refused to co-operate in producing food. Workers began migrating from the cities to the countryside, where the chances to feed themselves were higher, thus further decreasing the possibility of barter of industrial goods for food and worsening the plight of the remaining urban population. Between 1918 and 1920, Petrograd lost 70% of its population, while Moscow lost over 50%.[8]

A series of workers' strikes and peasants' rebellions broke out all over the country, such as the Tambov rebellion (1920–1921). A turning point came with the Kronstadt rebellion at the Kronstadt naval base in early March 1921. The rebellion startled Lenin, because Bolsheviks considered Kronstadt sailors the "reddest of the reds". According to David Christian, the Cheka (the state Communist Party secret police) reported 118 peasant uprisings in February 1921.[9]

Christian, in his book "Imperial and Soviet Russia", summarises the state of Russia in 1921 after years of War communism:

A government claiming to represent the people now found itself on the verge of being overthrown by that same working class. The crisis had undermined the loyalty of the villages, the towns and finally sections of the army. It was fully as serious as the crises faced by the tsarist government in 1905 and February 1917.[10]

Communist officials were paralyzed by the Russian famine of 1921–22 because they could not blame it on the usual enemies. Food was purchased abroad but it all went to cities, not to peasants. Finally Herbert Hoover's offer of $62 million worth of American food and $8 million in medicine was accepted, feeding up to 11 million people. Other outside agencies fed another three million.[11]


Atlantis wrote:
To fight about ideologies such as socialism or capitalism is about as useful as a hole in the knee. The social market economy provides pragmatic solutions that can be adapted to all places and situations.

You can spout platitudes all you want, but why can't capitalism actually provide for people's needs -- ??

Global prevalence

In 2012 it was estimated that, using a poverty line of $1.25 a day, 1.2 billion people lived in poverty.[5]


Atlantis wrote:
It's by far the most successful model. The problem is that Anglophones are incapable of distinguishing between the effects of the market economy and the effects of the imperial economy. Imperialism and monopoly-capitalism distort the market.

Imperialism and monopolization *are* market capitalism, because capital will always seek-out new markets, as in foreign countries, and it uses the muscle of its military forces to accomplish this. You may not *like* the capitalist state, but it's an *integral* part of the functioning of capitalism and capital markets.
Tainari88 wrote:I liked listening to this debate between my favorite Marxist economist Richard Wolff and a prominent Capitalist expert:

Which of these two you agree or disagree with and why?

I'm definitely with Wolff here, he is ever so clear and to the point. This is how socialism should be introduced and taught to people - tangible and comprehensible. He's great!
Thanks Taina for sharing this video.
Yes, thanks, Taina, for the thread.

I'd like to point out, though, that Wolff's politics is basically *anarchist*, with its insistence on localist self-sufficiency, post-capitalism.

I just finished a graphic illustration that *critiques* this kind of arrangement / layout, and presents a much better approach:

Emergent Central Planning


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