Is it possible to make a rational case for Socialism in the light of so many failures?
To say something has "failed" pre-supposes that the objective was attainable in the first place.
And as with all thing both economic and political, attainability will depend upon expectation, and expectation on experience, and experience on circumstance -- all of which leads us back around to attainability in the first place.
The world will eventually recognize and accept that all systems have merit.
The wisdom will in turn come when we reject the notion that only "our" system is valuable, and instead, figure out how to take the best from all systems, toward the benefit of all humanity.
No, nor was it possible prior to the consistent failure of its numerous trials. For a socialist society to function sufficiently efficiently to survive in a world not itself completely socialist, perhaps even in such a circumstance, posits the rise of the new socialist man, the proletarian ubermensch, the star child. Human nature must change before socialism can work, yet our nature has not changed from the beginning of history, and none of the experiments in socialism of the past century has made the slightest progress in recreating man in its own image.
The socialist deludes himself he can play god. It invariably turns out he is just another tyrant with a different cut to his clothes. The political question remains the same as it was thousands of years ago, the same one pondered by Plato: is the good society ruled by the people through their private choices or by an elite through its commands and control? Socialists believe the latter, and that, IMO, taken in the light of human experience, is a fundamentally irrational position.
What a great reply, Attikos. I appreciate the people who make me think about why I disagree with them. I have never met a Socialist who believed in rule by an elite. I always thought that is a capitalist idea. control by destroying the competition.
I'm a socialist and I don't believe in rule by an elite!
That is the biggest problem that I have with the present system, it is most definitely rule by an elite.
Yes because there have also been a lot of successes it is also important to keep in mind two things #1 that tyranny is not socialism, that taking away rights and free press etc. is not to be condoned and that behavior has led to many of those failures and #2 that socialism usually only rises in great adversity when things are at their absolute worst so to be successful is very difficult, nonetheless I think a quick glance at the South American Pink Tide will show that democratic constitutional socialism can work very well indeed in the modern era. Certainly pure capitalism seems to be the mark of the failing economy in the current world climate and socialism the mark of the faster growing economies.
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Very true. One of the problems dealing with socialism, and its evil twin, communism, is that power tends to concentrate, and it makes it harder for the people to have an active voice in, leading to abuse and revocation of rights. Kudos.
Thank you Josak. When discussing Socialism it seems that the failures are the ones that come to light. TomBlalock's point is that Socialism and Communism deprive people of an active voice. Is that true?
To ianto: Often communist and socialist governments have deprived people of free speech and other liberties but I think that is more the product of tyranny when you have dictators they tend to abuse power, that is not part of socialism though.
Socialism, much like Communism, in theory is an ideal society. But this ideal takes away human motivation and lust for power. In reality, neither system can naturally exist because there are always those in power who take advantage of said power for their personal gain. When this occurs, the social structure no longer mirrors the ideals of the founding principals and becomes something else.
Thank you Lawrence; May I ask you to clarify slightly. You seem to be saying that a case can be made for the Socialist ideal but not for the Socialist society. Do I have it right?
In theory these societies make sense, everyone is equal and gets an equal share. But in practice, this is never the case as those who are in charge corrupt the entire system and the elite get much more than their fair share.
No! The system has been so thoroughly discredited over the past 100 years one can only being engaging in irrational thought in perpetuating a theory that has been proven wrong.
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