What is socialism?
What means socialism to you and are you for it, partially for it or totally against it?
To me socialism is a redistributive philosophy of government that believes in taking from those that have and giving it to those that don't. That is the "cliff-notes" version. I do not believe that to be a good and just use of the government, especially on a federal level. I do believe in helping friends, family, neighbors and communities by way of the voluntary giving of one's own time and money, but not by way of confiscatory taxes and inefficient and un-Constitutional redistribution.
Thanks Mitch Alan, I see that a lot of Americans are willing to give freely/voluntary and I once read somewhere that this Nation is the biggest in voluntary support.
Prior to the recession the US gave away in charitable donations nearly 300 billion annually. Those numbers are currently down as a result of the current economic malaise.
God thought leaving the corner of farmers' fields for the poor in Old Testament Israel was both good and just. I wrote about it at Business Insider and it is in a link for the article I just wrote about this subject. I turned my answer into a hub.
What we interpret God's will to be should be irrelvant in economic policy. Charity must come from the heart, not through Gov't coercion. And it is far more effective when done privately. What if I was an atheist ??? (Which I am not)
Socialism is a system that holds that all business except for small business should belong to the community at large. It's essentially a system to protect the rights of workers and give them an equal share of what they produce. Many see it as a system to give to those who don't work, it's anything but, indeed one of the socialist creeds is "He who does not work neither shall he eat" rather it's a system to offer everyone work at fair wages.
I am indeed a socialist (yes I do have horns on my head and the smell of brimstone follows me) but I am not a utopian, socialism isn't perfect, it requires a strong constitution and democratic system to remain non authoritarian and it needs to be moderate.
Josak, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am actually wondering if there is such thing as a perfect type of government. Isn't each lacking somewhere....? Nothing in this world will ever be perfect I guess.
No such thing as a perfect system, not yet anyhow but we can hope.
I don't believe you need all business shared to have useful socialism.
The simplest answer is Socialism is system that does not recognize individual liberty in an economic sense. Upward economic mobility is limited to that which the state will allow. There is little differentiation in terms of rewards for those with greater skills, efforts, or determination. Not surprisingly economic systems that embrace a more free market approach have produced the greatest of innovations that have benefited the world in countless ways. From the Ford Model-T to the Apple i-Pad, these wonders of the world come from the free market, not from the direction of centrally planned gov't entity devoid of economic motivation. In fact often the brightest intellectual capital in the world seems to find its way to a free market system to unleash their creative abilities.
LandmarkWealth, you brought some interesting thoughts to surface here. Thank you.
Socialism in moderations, as I wrote about, most certainly does recognize individual liberty. I bet you didn't know that libertarians like you often believe that liberty means the freedom to be serve the races you want to serve in your restaurant.
I am quite familiar with libertarian views. Socialism is simply a transition into fiscal insolvency and soft tyranny given enough time. In some cases hard tyranny. The track record as a political system is abismal.
Your view that all socialism is tyranny is wrong. While I believe in separation of church and state, the argument that helping the poor, for example, through government, is invalid because God made that a requirement for OT Israel.
There is no such thing as helping the poor through gov't. The Dept of Interior spends more than 40k per year on families below the poverty level for decades. If they gave them the 40k they wouldn't be in poverty. Political altruism doesnt exist
I didn't say government was always effective, and certainly it can always improve. But you are saying it is theft and I believe OT Israel is an example that it is not theft.
It is theft when the gov't funds anything beyond an essential function of society. What is essential is clearly debatable.
You give Caesar what Caesar wants. The founding fathers' gripe was not about taxation, but about taxation without representation. That is an improvement on Caesar, but it is still about taxation.
I am not referencing the concept of taxation, but rather the uses of tax revenue. The gov't has gone far beyond it's intended limited role in recent deacades. It is a slow march toward eroding personal freedoms and economically destructive.
bgamall, Believers are told to give froma cheerful heart and not out of compulsion. Confiscatory taxes used as a way to redistribute from one person to another only leads to more and more governemental interference. What is a "fair" % to take?
Socialism is good in moderation. We have social security, which is a socialist program. We have medicare, which is a socialist program. We have progressive income tax, which is a socialist program. We have unemployment insurance, which is socialism.... read more
(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles. "Social ownership" may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, direct public ownership or autonomous state enterprises.
It refers to conversion of 'oneism' to 'totalism'.Earning of each person will be expensed for the sake of the community.
.This is undoubtedly a Utopian thought that can be implemented when the whole world will support. No doubt ,the rich will not support it because this kind of implementation will drag their property and make them equal to the labour class which will not be tolerable for them as they are incapable of drudgery but this system proposes earning by working. As
Mitch Alan has stated above 'I also do believe in helping friends, family, neighbors and communities by way of the voluntary giving of one's own time and money' which we can call spiritualism that can be attained through the activity of humanism.This theory is not perfect my friend ,it needs perfection although imperfect is an apt word that befits all . exercises ,practices and above all experiences shall make imperfect perfect..................................
Marx was delayed by some socialism, like communal building of roads, of regulation of bankers and the like. But now we are getting what the rich want, toll roads and no regulation of bankers. Redistribution is up the financial food chain, not down.
What gives one person the RIGHT to another person's property to be taken by force?
Socialism is an economic and governmental system where people can accumulate personal wealth, however the government can come along and take a portion of it and apply it somewhere else, where the government thinks it should go, generally to people who the government deems has less than someone else, to make it more fair, redistribution of wealth. People often. An excellent example of this comes from the history of the music group Abba. Obviously the members of Abba are multi-millionaires having sold millions of albums and many years of successful concert tours. But I read in an article once that the members of Abba had to pay millions of dollars back to the Swedish Government, because Sweden is a socialist nation. It's just essentially allowing ownership of property but government can force the redistribution of wealth.
Two things are amazing to me. First are the amount of average Joes on this website that are so afraid that the wealthy may have some of their wealth captured for the poor, or to hire more police. And how many of you want toll roads you don't own?
What % of one person's private property is "OK" to confiscate by force? What's wrong will toll roads, I use them all the time...I pay when I use them...
In some ways it depends on who you ask...in the case of a "socialist", it is a destination at which the productive means and the goods reaped from it are property of the community or communal working it....it all hinges on the idea of sharing work equally as well sharing the products of the work equally. That is the theoretical sense of it at any rate. If one asked Karl Marx, the answer would be that socialism is simply an imperfect transitional state between a capitalist society and a communist one with the goal being eventual transition to communism where the government essentially owns everything and the people contribute of the basis of their ability and receive on the basis of their need. In either case it all hinges on the assumption that mankind eventually is "enslaved" to the government through his/her dependency for basic survival needs. The theory assumes that in that state the individual seeks work as a life goal and production output grows as a result...a flawed conclusion at best. In the end there are the "givers" and the "takers" and eventually there are more takers than givers which adds up to a shrinking output and a smaller share which grows smaller with time. Both philosophies always paint a vague picture of a utopia society just over the next hill which tends to draw those who see capitalism as a short-coming into the fold. Under either one, the middle class eventually disappears out of existence. Only the poor and a very elite and small rich class are left. As time passes the poor get poorer but have little power to change it for they have traded their freedoms and liberty for the promised security of a utopian life. Revolution or death then becomes the only way out. It is virtually impossible to eliminate some level of socialism from any society but the effort must be made if it is to be controlled. The negatives of both far outweigh any positive value but the concepts are still being sold...just like they are today with the current administration in Washington. ~WB
Socialism is a collective process where everyone is expected to do their part to contribute to a common economy. The problem with socialism is that there are always severe shortages of everything. There has never been equal share of anything in a socialist society, far worse than in our current capitalist society where there are people that cannot afford basic goods let alone luxury goods. I would be against socialism because it would create more problems than it would solve, I think it would further reduce the classes and create more poverty and crime.
I have never seen a road shortage except when non socialist Republican politicians refuse to build new roads.
bgmall, I never saw a socialist that could build a 15 trillion dollar economy like we have in the United States.
Ask much of American business what it would be like to have fewer government contracts. BTW, Las Vegas exists because of the Hoover Dam which was sponsored by government. Did you know that banksters were afraid to fund Las Vegas development! Stupid.
You need to check your history. Las Vegas wasn't built by the Hoover Dam. Las Vegas was built by the Italian Mafia. And it exists today because of billion dollar investments of private sector corporations.
The Hoover Dam made the water source for Las vegas possible. Yes, the mob had a vision that the banksters could not even see. Not saying they were very moral, just that they had an idea. Bankers should have been the ones backing Las Vegas instead.
The economy would be way better off without gov't contracts. For each job gov't creates their is one lost elswhere as there is not trade of value for value. Henry Hazlitt demonstrated this in 1946 with the "Fallacy of the broken window theory"
And now the promise of the Hover Dam is failing...the man made attempt is falling short as water is not as plentiful as promised and people need to move away...look into it.
Socialism is an ideology and as such is open to interpretation and change. It's social side is appealing it's economic side less so.
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