You can justify anything like that: e.g. war is achieving military goals, not anything soldiers do, or Islam is a religion of peace, not anything those who interpret Quran actually do. It is more important what the real life consequences are, not what it was meant in theory (and in real life socialist governments have done so many stupid things). The problem with socialism is that in it the government exists and is much more powerful than in capitalist systems (even in anarcho-socialist systems common decisions are made which bind every individual - this is still some form of central power). So you can't just turn blind eye on the bad deeds of government in a socialist system - that inevitably comes in package.
joeisbadassFeatured By OwnerDec 13, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
I never said state capitalism wasn't an existing term. I've heard it be used several times before. I'm saying that it's an oxymoron because it means something that completely contradicts what capitalism is, and anyone who knows what capitalism is knows that.
And unreliable source? Please. The guy is a Harvard professor on economics.
joeisbadassFeatured By OwnerDec 13, 2013Hobbyist General Artist
The very definition of capitalism has nothing to do with the state, and I sent that to you to prove that state capitalism is an oxymoron. Now let me ask you this. How in the hell is Cuba and China state capitalist?
Because of dictatorship rule of resources. True Communism requires democratic elections and democratic ideals. This is in the introduction of the Communist Manifesto, if you have read it. In Soviet Russia and Cuba, you still had privately owned companies; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan
The heads of these companies were basically people who reported to the government, thus creating a State Capital system. Nowhere in the equation does the worker vote on business decisions nor elect the party.
It means both, depending on context. A label is a tool and all tools are neutral, as to be defined by the individual.
For example --
A hammer is not good nor bad. You can build a fence or bash someones skull in, but a hammer is not exclusive to one or the other.
Gun Powder is not good nor bad. Pretty fireworks, deadly bombs. Gun Powder is not exclusive.
The real trap is society tricking us into believing in one singular definition of a label and then tricking us into thinking we need to fit ourselves into the box of the label. Those who control the meanings of labels, control all who believe in the label. The tools become the wielder of the human.
I think we just need to stop the judgemental absolutist attitude the joke of an educational system indoctrinates us into with its deceptions.
You're right. In the context of a right wing talking point, socialism is "government action". When socialists talk about socialism, they refer to the ownership of the means of production by the people.
Right and left each have their own dualisms unto themselves, as they too are merely labels which we define, but are tricked into adopting someone else's view as being the one and only absolute.
There is no "the context of a right wing talking point" but you have pointed out "a" context of a "potential right wing talking point probability".
For you see, right wing and left wing are not so absolute as we've been tricked into thinking. I am what they call a political anomaly. Middle path. Centered. I allow myself my individuality which means, I can simultaneously agree and disagree with both the right and the left, because I refuse to put myself in either of those limiting boxes.
I also see right and left as two points of contrast and everything between those two points is measurable and creates so much variety and it is all of this variety which hides in plain sight, in the fog of our complacency.
Yeah, just saying that all words are labels and thus tools and thus all subject to the same sort of peril if we disable our discernment and just blindly hop onto the BS waggon idea of there being only one singular absolute context for everything.
In my experience, theres no such thing as a word which only has one. If we as humans bother to do the research into the meanings and origins of words, lets just say we may be shocked by what we find
For example, Government is Latin for Mind Control. Democracy is Latin for Rule of Mafia. Now, someone might assume that government only has the one standard societal spoon-fed definition and one might also assume that democracy also has the singular absolute societal spoon-fed definition; however this assumption is the right to a persons free will choice to make the assumption, it is not an absolute static reality which applies to all humans
Now lets say hypothetically, there was such a thing as a word with only one definition. That definition will be filtered through the paradigm filter of individuality. 7 billion people will see that one thing, in 7 billion different ways.
I've always said that if we could get 7 billion people to agree on any one thing, they would have 7 billion different reasons for agreeing and then proceed to fight over whose one singular absolute reason is supposedly right Society has made us into insecure and irrational children. The more we "grow up" into "adulthood", the more we actually "devolve" into complacency and addiction to the familiar and fear of the new and different.
The eternal "IDEA", of freedom and equality. The problem is the Utopian sense of Socialism has proven nothing more than an idea. It just doesn't take into account the fact that people are flawed. They will suffer from the knowledge problem and personal greed. Ultimately almost every attempt to achieve the ideals of the Socialist religion almost always lead to all the power being concentrated in a select few who are just as greedy and corrupt as everyone else and use their power to benefit themselves at everyone else's expense.
Capitalism where peoples basic rights to Life, Liberty, and Property/Pursuit of Happiness are largely protected have seen the greatest growth in human development and rise from poverty(the natural state of man). The average citizen in these countries have seen the greatest improvement in their lives than anywhere else and their lives still continue to improve.
Socialism has already existed at various periods in history, but it needs to exist on a world scale because capitalism and socialism are irreconcilable and cannot coexist for long. What has human nature got to do with socialism? Socialism/communism is the abolition of private property (capital). Personal greed or lack thereof is entirely irrelevant, because if the means of production are owned by the public then the very concept of private ownership becomes legally incoherent; it will literally be impossible - "human greed" has nothing to do with it. Stalinism occurred because of the isolation of the revolution in Russia, a backward third world country which - after the proletarian revolutions all across Europe were crushed by the state - had to contend with developing socialism on its own. This led to an insular attitude and to the dictatorship of an elite. Socialism can only exist internationally.
You're right with what you say about capitalism, but that was equally true of feudalism before the 18th century: It's essentially meaningless to say so because it's the current form of economic production.
The idea that poverty is the "natural state of man" is ridiculous and only makes sense from within a capitalist framework. Poverty is the lack of material resources or money. When production is collectively owned, everyone in principle has access to an abundance of resources, so poverty becomes an incoherent concept. It only makes sense under the polarising dichotomy of capitalism which creates a massive rift between those with property and those without, the rich live at the expense of the poor.
The average citizen in most capitalist countries (ie pretty much all of them) earns less than two dollars a day and resides in soul destroying, unliveable, abject poverty. This is the necessary consequence of capitalism itself.
Please cite the examples of where the Socialism you described existed. When did these societies exist. That's important.
The problem is the public is greedy and you'll have someone living off the expense of others and those others will won't work as hard if they can't enjoy the fruits of their labor and everyone will have less. A systems of commons was attempted in the Plymouth colony. Everyone was to share the land and share the profits. What ended up happening was people didn't work as hard because hell why do have to work if others will do it. People harvested the corn to early hoping to get it before others. For the first few years they starved. They then decided to split the land up between everyone and privately own their own plot. Everyone started working harder because they were responsible for their own land and crops and no one else was. And applying your idea of socialism on a global scale is even harder where you have a multitude of different cultures, languages, values, religions, etc. You will have some groups making decisions for other groups let alone individuals and this will inevitably create tension. Capitalism has actually managed to foster more cooperation among the peoples of the world than any other system. Here is great video that describes this process. [link]
The reason that Communist forces largely succeeded in poor countries is because the people in the rich countries were quite content and their standards of living were rising. The reason every single attempt at the Utopia the Socialist religion espouses ended in oppressive tyranny and continued poverty is that a handful of men take power claiming they'll altruistically bring about the great Socialist Utopia when they're just as greedy and corrupt as everyone else and use their power to benefit themselves at everyone else expense. Another thing is many of these leaders tend to have a superiority complex. They believe themselves to be so much smarter than everyone else they can organize and run society when they themselves suffer from the knowledge problem and in no capable of running it all. I see no reason why Socialism the way you describe it work perfectly fine within a single country. The Soviet Union was a large resource rich country. If the socialist model you described practiced and superior to Capitalism shouldn't it be able to provide for it's people and be able to trade with other countries peacefully. Capitalist will trade with anyone who can get them the goods most cheaply. Any sane man will always love himself before he hates another.
I think in my previous post I made clear why Capitalism and Feudalism are not the same. Under Feudalism you had no right to your life. The lord could do whatever the hell he wanted with it. You had no liberty the lord determined what you did, where you lived, what land you tilled, if you spoke out, or acted against him he could kill you, you had no hope of owning land the lords owned it all he only leased it to you. Under Capitalism you have a right to your life no one has the right to take. Under Capitalism you have liberty. You can speak freely, you can act how you want so long as it doesn't bring harm to others, you can pursue the job you want, you can pursue where you want to live, you can pursue the property you want. Under capitalism you can freely pursue property and what property you have is protected as yours. The difference between an employer and a feudal lord is you couldn't leave a feudal lord, you worked for him against your will. You choose to work for an employer, you chose to take the wage he offers, you can chose to leave the employer if you feel you can do better elsewhere.
Just because one system is the economic system of the era does not make it the best system they could have. You had a world divided between Free Markets and Command and Control economies they coexisted with each other and one came out on top. Capitalism has proven to be far superior to all the other economic systems including Feudalism. Prior to the industrial revolution no country had seen GDP growth greater than 1% except maybe China. Although the trend leading up to the Industrial revolution was moving towards free markets the governments still exerted much influence over their respective economies especially in terms of foreign trade. When Britain abolished the Corn Laws almost all laws, tariffs, and regulation in respect to trade. Essentially bringing about the freest markets Capitalist markets in human history they saw the greatest growth in human development in history. Britain saw an unprecedented 6% growth in GDP. Other countries followed suit and they too saw great growth. The reason being was trade allowed people to buy the cheapest goods meaning they had more disposable income for more things. Companies had to compete more vigorously and were forced to become more innovative in producing cheaper and/or better quality goods and services. Technology advance rapidly. The masses moved away from poverty. This all happened under free market capitalism.
Let me ask would you consider living in a cave with no electricity, no running water, no plumbing, no modern medicine, and you hunted all your food with stone tipped spears as poor? Would you consider a rural farmer living in a one maybe two room home, working the fields all day barely making enough to feed themselves as poor? All in comparison to how we live in the developed modern world? Well that is how your ancestors lived poor. Most of the Human race today and throughout history have lived in what we would call poverty[link]. And good things and wealth don't just come out of no where. You need people to produce goods and services, people to develop new technologies. Someone had to take time and effort to produce the food in the store, someone had to develop technology in transporting the food. Some had to accumulate the wealth to do all those things. We are all born with nothing, naked, and ignorant. We need ask ourselves why some groups/societies are wealthier and healthier than others. The those that are wealthier and healthier have largely embraced Free Market Capitalism where peoples natural rights are protected. Abstract theory and principle is often different from reality. We have scarcity. We have a scarcity of labor, we have a scarcity of available resources, we have a scarcity of a many things. You need a mechanism for rationing those things. Supply and Demand pricing has proven to work the best. By increasing prices to reduce consumption and encourage increase in production, lowering prices to increase consumption and reduce production to save resources. The rich don't live at the expense of the poor I've never seen a good explanation to this. A person under capitalism becomes rich by providing consumers his fellow citizens with goods and services he gives them something they value in return for money he can use to buy his own things with. Everyone wins. The poor under the free markets, haven't provided goods and services people value and thus don't make money and remain poor, or they took made bad decisions and bad risk and lost what they had. Sometimes people gamble and they lose. Like starting a business and it failing. Sometimes people try again and it succeeds like Hershey. He failed a number of times before he succeeded at creating a successful chocolate company. People move up and down the economic ladder through out a life time for a multitude of reasons[link]. Most people generally move up. Over 90% of those who were in the bottom 10% in 1975 are no longer there. 20% are actually in the top 10%. People don't stay still. Most of the previously poor people are replaced by young people just getting started with a whole life ahead of them and immigrants.
The thing is most of those countries suffer from governments that exert too much influence over the economy. Being it over bloated expenditures and taxes that eat resources, rules, regulations, and subsidies that restrict opportunities and create adverse incentive and mis allocation of resources. Protectionist trade policies reduce the people options in what they can buy and where they can sell. For instance in India they used to have an enormous subsidy to make an old method of producing textiles competitive. What this did was encourage resources and labor be wasted on this old industry and subsidized a foreigner discount at the people expense. Instead they should have never subsidized, ensured they competed with foreign producers. Indians would have more options and it would force their textile industry to modernize and innovate. I'm not sure what the situation today is, but it used to take a month just to start a business in India because of the all the bureaucracy and paper work involved. On the other end of things you have Hong Kong a non democratic society that embraced Free Markets. Despite having almost no natural resources it has some of the highest living standards in the world. It's because they freely trade with the rest of the world and you only one sheet of paper and a day to start a business. Although these countries largely operate under a capitalist system they are far from embracing free markets.
"Capitalism is not a sufficient condition for freedom, It's a necessary condition. I never said where ever you had Capitalism you had freedom....I made the opposite statement, where ever you had freedom you had Capitalism." - Milton Friedman [link]
Think about it - everybody gets "according to theit needs", not according to what they want. Which results in everybody getting approximately the same. Obviously, it has its upsides - I'm not trying to lead an idealogical war here - Nobody had to (seriously) worry about their future, everybody had a job and something to eat (letting political corruption aside).
Yet, someone who barely passed school and went straight to the simplest of jobs got paid approximately the same as a lawyer, manager or doctor - people who studied hard, spend decades learning and perfecting their skills. People who put a real effort into whatever they were doing.
Does that seem fair? Which results in bribes and high corruption - my family emigrated from the east, I've heard a lot about it. Who would work their ass off, if there was an easier way to get exactly the same?
Even now, socialistic principles (for example in Germany) tend to drive all the intellectuals out of the country, leaving a bitter need behind.
Communism may be a great idea - but humanity is not ready for it. In a post-scarcity society, it may be ideal. Until then, it is not just.
Not at all, they're completely equal. Until all production is fully automated and noone will have to work, all labour is rewarded with the same value which the person contributed. This is not the case under capitalism because workers only recieve a fraction of the value of their labour in a wage, not the whole product.
I'm in Germany. It#s not socialism here - but way more then in the US. we have a very strong wellfare system. The result: Work doesn't pay off as much as it should. Those who are just lazy do't have to work - and the state will pay them more then they need. They get big appartments, TV, don't have to pay taxes... while business owners have to pay a lot of taxes to finance those, who are lazy. Which again results in the "higher class" and those with higher education to emigrate.
And it comes worse: a friend of mine lost her job recently... and seeking another, small job is contraproductive, because through this, she would receive less money then by doing nothing.
Socialism would make it worse. Socialism means, that the population is more... well, united in the average - it's way harder, or impossible, to fall in this system. But it's equally impossible to rise. I prefer one, where there's risk of losing more - but also the chance to gain more.
The problem with capitalism is that high risk equals high reward... for the very few. The ruling class under capitalism is always necessarily a tiny fraction of the relatively worse off general population. Mass inequality under capitalism is unavoidable even in the richest countries.