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What exactly is "Socialism"?

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What exactly is "Socialism"?

Old 11th Oct 2019, 19:41
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Most economies are neither "capitalist" nor "socialist", but mixed. Over the years, it has been decided that some things (policing, defence) are best done by the state, and others (like making things) are best done by individuals working for their own benefit.

The balance between the two is what exercises politicians in most countries. Those that swing towards socialism have a larger public sector, offering more benefits to their people. Those that swing towards capitalism tend to be richer but less equal.

My contention is that the state is not very good at doing anything, mainly because there is no room for individuality, innovation and enterprise. Publicly owned entities tend to be over-staffed, bureaucratic and inefficient. Not much fun if you are trying to deal with them, or trying to get a decision on something slightly non-standard.

There is a tendency for employees of public bodies, and left-leaning politicians, to believe that they know what is best for you, Usually they don't. This leads to limits on individual freedom, and the state taking a bigger part in everyone's life. It infantilises people, who can just relax, knowing they will be looked after, however lazy or feckless they choose to be.

When the state, and left-wing politicians "know" what's good for you, they have to enforce their solutions, because they must apply to everyone. So socialist-leaning countries tend to become more autocratic. It's no surprise that almost all of the genocides the modern world has seen have been perpetrated by regimes that characterise themselves as "socialist". Think Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Mugabe and others.

So if you meet someone who professes to be a socialist, be very wary of their motives. They want to control your life.
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 22:20
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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@pax britanica: Who told you that a lot of socialists are not conservatives or that conservatives are not socialists? For example in Poland we have the PiS party and its socialists and extremely conservative at the same time. Or historically look to the conservative Soviet Union.... communists were extremely conservative, of course today many communists (the old ones deny that those new ones are communists) claim the opposite. But conservatism or liberalism are totally not connected to the definition of socialism. Socialism is about the elite controlling the individuals and regulating their life.

Capitalism is freedom, some capitalist parties even call themselves Libertarians because of the desire for freedom. Conservatives who often are socialists on the other hand believe people are not fit to decide about themselves and should be controlled by the state and follow their tradition etc. still the same conservative socialists believe the people who are not fit to govern their own life are fit to vote and govern the whole nation. Its kind of a funny paradox.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 02:39
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LGS6753 View Post
Most economies are neither "capitalist" nor "socialist", but mixed. Over the years, it has been decided that some things (policing, defence) are best done by the state, and others (like making things) are best done by individuals working for their own benefit.

The balance between the two is what exercises politicians in most countries. Those that swing towards socialism have a larger public sector, offering more benefits to their people. Those that swing towards capitalism tend to be richer but less equal.

My contention is that the state is not very good at doing anything, mainly because there is no room for individuality, innovation and enterprise. Publicly owned entities tend to be over-staffed, bureaucratic and inefficient. Not much fun if you are trying to deal with them, or trying to get a decision on something slightly non-standard.

There is a tendency for employees of public bodies, and left-leaning politicians, to believe that they know what is best for you, Usually they don't. This leads to limits on individual freedom, and the state taking a bigger part in everyone's life. It infantilises people, who can just relax, knowing they will be looked after, however lazy or feckless they choose to be.

When the state, and left-wing politicians "know" what's good for you, they have to enforce their solutions, because they must apply to everyone. So socialist-leaning countries tend to become more autocratic. It's no surprise that almost all of the genocides the modern world has seen have been perpetrated by regimes that characterise themselves as "socialist". Think Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Tse Tung, Mugabe and others.

So if you meet someone who professes to be a socialist, be very wary of their motives. They want to control your life.
A "Socialist" someone who believes everything should be under the control of a central organisation so that everyone gets fair shares of everything, as long as they get to decide what a "fair share" is. This of course is based on the fundamental principle that "everyone will do their fair share" which fails to appreciate that some people want to give sod all, and those who, before socialism, would give a lot because they are clever and willing to work, will suddenly either a} come to conclusion that it's not worth it anymore without an incentive or b} be got rid of for disagreeing wth the central organisation how things should be done.

Any form of government that awards those with the right political ethos with the responsibility for running things they know nothing about is doomed to fail.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 04:01
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Socialism and Capitalism at work.This is a VERY simple way to understand the tax laws. Read on — it does make you think!!

Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:The first four men — the poorest — would pay nothing; the fifth would pay $1, the sixth would pay $3, the seventh $7, the eighth $12, the ninth $18, and the tenth man — the richest — would pay $59. That’s what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement — until one day, the owner threw them a curve (in tax language a tax cut).“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.” So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.00.The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six — the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being PAID to eat their meal. So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, the seventh paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59. Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man who pointed to the tenth. “But he got $7!” “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man, “I only saved a dollar, too … It’s unfair that he got seven times more than me!”.

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man, “why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night he didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered, a little late what was very important. They were FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS short of paying the bill! Imagine that!And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore, or they move to the Virgin Islands.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 06:55
  #65 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
A "Socialist" someone who believes everything should be under the control of a central organisation so that everyone gets fair shares of everything, as long as they get to decide what a "fair share" is. This of course is based on the fundamental principle that "everyone will do their fair share" which fails to appreciate that some people want to give sod all, and those who, before socialism, would give a lot because they are clever and willing to work, will suddenly either a} come to conclusion that it's not worth it anymore without an incentive or b} be got rid of for disagreeing with the central organisation how things should be done.
I like this quite a lot.

Maybe not entirely sure if the horse and cart are facing the right direction at the first sentece. Meaning the fair-share idea comes first, the necessity for control later, followed by a creation of a central authority that decides what's aligned and what's not. Then, inevitably due to traits of human nature, that governing entity gets seized by the less scrupulous. Favouritism, nepotism, charity-begins-at-home and survival of the fittest prevail. The whole noble idea of fair share of benefits gets abducted, and what's left is equal suffering at best.

The observation about the devastating effects on the able and capable is spot on, and explains why in the long run Implemented Socialism is prone to fail after a certain time. Empirically the lifespan is expandable by tightening the government control towards totality.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 07:44
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
Then, inevitably due to traits of human nature, that governing entity gets seized by the less scrupulous. Favouritism, nepotism, charity-begins-at-home and survival of the fittest prevail. The whole noble idea of fair share of benefits gets abducted, and what's left is equal suffering at best.
.
You’ve just described that bastion of socialism the Trump administration!
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 11:07
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2019
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’Wealth redistribution’ is always an easy sell to the masses, but for the proponents, from Lenin to Chavez, it’s always, ALWAYS, about power and money.

Personally, I’d rather live in an imperfect society with a few obscenely rich people than hand my future over to the likes of Corbyn and Sanders. History has inarguably shown that their utopian dreams always end badly for almost everyone
.
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