2009 is almost over and it makes me reflective (in the pondering sense, not the shiny one) - after the global financial crisis has so recently shown up the dark side of capitalism; does anyone think socialism is a better system?
Another liberal fallacy, Socailist Utopia. Wouldn't that the athies, or godless, garden of eden?
if you read MARX socialism is not an element of capitalism or democracy it is a step towards communism. HENSE THE TWO CANNOT EXIST TOGETHER. and humans, being the selfish people we are never going toward,as proven with the former USSR, communism, it is flawed, every one wants power and control. until we stop wanting to be in control and thinking we are always faultless there will never be a utopia. Not even an american society with concern for all other americans.
Until we come up with perfect people it will be difficult to achieve any form of utopia. All it takes is one act of selfishness for perfection to break down.
True socialism is probably the purest society there is, but as long as we have corrupt individuals, any form will have its flaws and pitfalls.
I think everyday people would be a problem too. How do you divvy up the crap jobs that need to be done for any society to work? Who's going to collect the rubbish and clean the toilets or scrub down streets and make the place liveable?
How does 'work' work in a socialist society anyway?
And there is a problem with the other end of the spectrum. Who is going to go to the trouble of becoming a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc., if they are going to be paid the same amount of money as a ditch digger? There isn't much incentive in a socialist system for people to strive for a high level of achievement, unless they just do it for their own satisfaction.
Maybe, if there was no additional money or status associated with professions, people would study for the personal interest and enrichment.
We might also get doctors and lawyers who are best suited to the profession - would weed out the ones who are just in it for the money.
I don't think a utopia based on any economic philosophy is possible except at the very smallest of levels, and probably not even then. How many communes setting out to build a utopian society last even one year before descending into petty in-fighting?
At the level of state or national governments, I don't think a pure system has ever existed. The US isn't a real capitalist society, nor is/was China or the USSR true communist ones. I can't think of a single large-scale government that even claimed to be socialist. I think the closest we've gotten to a pure state of any economic philosophy is probably fascism, but most of the fascist states were too short lived to get corrupted.
Someone on here a while back (think it was Madame X) mentioned some of the first settlers in America, who initially tried to live on a communal basis. It all went downhill very quickly, and the settlers very nearly starved. The following year the farmers grew stuff for themselves and sold any surplus. Result? Enough for everyone, and no food riots.
Found a link if anyone's interested:
http://www.myfreedompost.com/2009/11/pi … -with.html
Human behaviour is largely about incentives IMO - if there is no incentive to produce anything, then a large proportion of the population will just sit back and let someone else do the work. There will always be a small percentage of people whose values would never let them do this, but they will bitterly resent carrying the non-productive people. Not a good basis for a sound society. Plus you have the problem of how resources are allocated - in a socialist society, everything is theoretically decided on the basis of "need" rather than who can afford to pay. But it's often hard to define "need". And the more you rely on need rather than money as a decision-making tool, the more bureaucratic everything gets. In other words, you can have some socialistic elements in a society, but woe betide us if we ever try to go the whole hog.
Yes, the system in Soviet Russia etc. wasn't the communist ideal. It was meant to be a stepping stone on the way to a socialist utopia, which would one day emerge as if by magic. It never happened, of course.
When anyone says that the US or other countries in the West are living under socialism, they're wrong - there are *elements* of socialism (in the UK we have socialised health care for example), but no way are we living in a full-on socialist regime. And you're right: pure capitalism has never been tried. (I wonder what it would be like? I had a long debate with LDT about that once - wonder where he is these days?)
People can define as they wish. Both are very broad terms that are used in many different ways.
Thomas More's utopian vision is different than Homer Simpson's.
the symptoms of socialism describe more accurately the position of American ideals as expressed in the Constitution.
Let any man or woman who is not of service be cast out, in this sense. The fundamental problem with capitalism is that it permits predatory practice against one's fellow man and is a covert expression of the same ideolegies that support slavery. It is a social debt. It allows one to subsist by subjugating others and also allows one to subsist without being of service to anyone or being accountable for any of the freedoms. It is the difference between a soldier and celebrity like Paris Hilton. Paris Hilton would not die for you or I, but a soldier would. In a socialist arena, we are all soldiers in order that we may all be Paris. That is the ideal. ideals are perfect, but humans are not, which is the fundamental problem with socialism.
Bovine, I don't think it is impossible. I think that kind of attitude makes it impossible.
In a socialist context, the idea of America and the equality of man is possible. It is a collective commitment to a single idea, promoting the health and well being of our entire country, not just some select group of elites.
Ain't going to happen Wesley, if it does, come and find me, I will eat my words.
I believe the human condition keeps it out of the realm of the possible.
i think it is the human condition which makes it possible. we are directly at odds, yet again!
Earnest, it's been a while () but you just said something here with which I totally agree!
Utopia only can work when it is free from the supremacy of all ideological and religious views.
I'm with Ernest on this one.
Socialism is a noble concept that has failed without exception due to human nature. The average man looks out for number 1 and that is not going to change.
In my experience when travelling, no country is as capitalist as a communinst one. Any official socialist policy results in a thriving black economy that is ruthlessly capitalist. I love traveling in these countries. Kick-backs are the name of the game and the dollar rules.
Pure socialism will never work. Period.
Pure capitalism leads to growing inequality in society that in turn leads to political instability.
America's irrational fear of even slightly socialist policy makes it out of touch with the rest of the world and is likely to cause future problems. Obama's health care reform may be unpopular now but it is likely to decrease future political unrest. Another decade of Republican tax breaks for the rich would have millions of American's desperate for action.
The last election was democracy in action. The Democrats were elected with sufficient numbers to push through a change that is for the common good of America. This would not have occurred without Republicans continued move to the right.
That's a great question: what would pure capitalism look like?
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if there was a major disruption to the means of production in that Marxian sense. What if capitalist systems went belly up and we had to work out a way of making ends meet?
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