I saw Marx mentioned in a thread and then by chance stumbled across this site: misesvsmarx.aier.org - The March of History
Of course, I admit it appealed to me because it leans my way, but it does have some good basic information if you are interested in the Marx/Socialism issue but don't want to dive into another research or book-read project. The video is cool and there are point-by-point professorial commentary videos in the sidebar.
You can catch the youtube playlist of the videos here:Ludwig Von Mises vs. Karl Marx
freedom requires boundaries. self imposed. through wisdom. is it really so hard to grasp? govt. vs the individual.
power to the individual?
or power to the government?
The former is preferred by thinking people.
- to the unthinking ...
not so much.
The individual in a well functioning economy must give up some power, and so must the government. Unfettered socialism works about as well as unfettered capitalism - both will end in a collapsed society or in open revolt.
We are seeing some countries that have gone too far towards socialism virtually dying as a result, while those still strongly capitalist are thriving. The question thus becomes "How far can/will the US go before the pitfalls become apparent?". Hopefully the answer is "Not much further", but that is a rather forlorn hope as greed will continue to demand that others pay for what we want but won't or can't pay for ourselves and that demand is on an upward curve.
How far will the US go before the pitfalls of capitalism become apparent?
... of free market?
... of freedom itself?
To what extent will the pitfalls of too much freedom become apparent?
Greed is the result of selfishness.
Excess is the result of selfishness.
Arrogance is the result of selfishness.
If individuals don't become less selfish, and refuse to look out for each other of their own free will, then the government will be called upon.
Strangely, we can all agree that willingly following The Golden Rule will ultimately save capitalism! the same is true for socialism, but with capitalism it is not FORCED!
Welcome back, Kathryn. Nice to see you again. You were sorely missed.
A good video, but some inaccurate statements made, that biases it more in favour of right-wing Capitalism that it should be if the video was an attempt to be non-bias (which considering the author, it’s not)!
Two examples being:-
(1) At 7:20 minutes (Statement made in favour of Capitalism) “Encourage Peace, Trade and Immigration”. Currently two examples of right-wing ‘Nationalist’ Governments fighting for ‘Protectionism’ and opposing ‘Immigration’ are the USA and UK e.g. USA Trade Wars with China and the EU threatening a world recession.
(2) At 8 minutes (Statement made in favour of Capitalism) “Only the wealthiest societies can afford to go green”; Not only is China is spending more money on ‘Renewable Energy’ than the rest of the world put together, but also the USA (the wealthiest country in the world) is spending far less on going green than its European counterparts.
That being said, the video makes no attempt to distinguish between the different versions of Capitalism or Socialism. For example, the video gives the distinct impression that Socialism and Communism is synonymous; tar the two left-wing ideologies with the same brush, whereas these days, in Europe there is a distinct difference between Socialism and Communism.
Speaking from the perspective of European Politics (which has a much wider political spectrum than politics in the USA), if a moderate Government is in Power it doesn’t matter whether it’s a right-wing (Capitalist/Conservative) Government, centralist (mixed economy) Government who advocates both Capitalism and Socialism e.g. the Liberal Democrats, or a Socialist Government (such as Labour). Regardless to which type of Government is in power, both the individual and government have power and the economy will generally function quite well.
Where you get the big problems and the big issues are not with the moderate Governments’, but with the extreme Governments; regardless to whether they are left or right wing e.g. laissez-faire Capitalism on the extreme right and Communism on the extreme left are the two undesirables (at least from a European perspective).
You are right Arther, the site and its videos are biased towards capitalism, and there was a lot of, let's generously say, artistic license taken, but, I think that, generally speaking, the basic tenets of the two systems, (Socialism/Capitalism), were well illustrated.
Regarding your examples, specifically #1, I think you are misapplying the concept the video presented with the current misguided actions of the two nations mentioned. While it is true that both are predominetly capitalist nations, I don't think their nationalist and protectionist policies are the result of capitalism's tenets. I think your closing remark about extreme governments also supports my thought.
I am not sure I understand your disagreement in example #2. Unless, of course, you do not consider China to be a wealthy nation. As a Communist state, the state is the nation, and I consider China to be very wealthy. Also, whether or not a wealthy nation is doing what it has the economic power to do doesn't negate the basic truth of the video's statement. It seems to me to be simply a matter of economic scale.
As mentioned in the OP, I did find the linked video interesting and informative, (with the bias considered), but I found the right-sidebar linked videos more directly informative, as they were commentaries of details, not just generalities.
It may be a tangential thought, and I may even be mixing-up my videos, but there was one question posed that I thought very important to consider; In a Marxist society, who makes the decisions on what to produce? With no entrepreneurs would a Marxist society have the smartphones of today or the brickphones of the 1990s?
Thanks for your feedback GA.
In your opening paragraph, acknowledging the fact that the videos are biased towards capitalism, and they use artistic license is fine. There is nothing wrong with ‘political spin’; it’s what’s expected of political parties during political campaigns. However, the video isn’t comparing the broad range of Socialism with Capitalism; it specifically focuses on Communism which is completely different to Socialism in Britain and across the rest of Europe. Therefore in my view the video is trying to blight all forms of Socialism with the same flaws of Communism e.g. suggesting that any form of Socialism is bad. So rather than just political spin, it’s verging on propaganda.
With reference to your 2nd paragraph: I’m glad you said ‘misguided’ actions of the two nations (UK/USA). True, the current nationalist and protectionist policies of the UK and USA are not necessarily the result of capitalism's tenets; but neither is nationalist and protectionist policies the result of Socialism’s tenets.
However it was the video that made the claim that Capitalism stands for ‘Trade & Immigration’ inferring that Socialism doesn’t. Whereas most nations want to Trade internationally irrespective of whether they are a Capitalist or Socialist based nation; and irrespective of the economic needs of a nation for immigration it tends to be the Nationalist (hard/extreme-right-wing) Governments who are most anti-immigration.
Therefore, at 7:20 minutes the video is making a ‘false’ comparison.
With reference to your third paragraph: My point is that the video (at 8 minutes) in context of the video strongly infers that only Capitalist countries are wealthy enough to “afford to go green”. Suggesting a strong link between Capitalism and Wealth of the Nation; and therefore by inference, that Socialist Countries are too poor to afford to go green, which in the case of China is not the case because in spite of it being a Communist State, it is a very wealth nation.
With reference to your fourth paragraph: The one video I did look at on the right-sidebar link (‘Economic Calculation in a Socialist Society’) clearly proves in its opening sentence that it’s intention is to discredit ALL forms of Socialism as being undesirable (propaganda) simply because the statement it makes in its opening sentence is specific to Marxism, Trotskyism and other forms of Communism, and makes NO attempt to distinguish these forms of Socialism from the more moderate forms of Socialism in Britain (and Europe) that has nothing to do with Communism.
The opening sentence in that video was:-
“Socialism means an economic system where you are going to abolish private property and the major factors of production and replace it with some form of collective ownership”
This is not the Socialism you see in Europe (Britain) this is pure Communism.
For clarity, Socialism takes many forms; Marxism & Trotskyism are extreme forms of Socialism that come under Communism.
All Communists are Socialists; but not all Socialists are Communists. In fact Socialists in Europe hate and fear Communism just as much as the Americans do.
To distinguish itself from Communism, European Socialists describe themselves as ‘Democratic Socialists’ (not to be confused with Socialist Democrats) e.g. Social Democrats is a form of Liberalism (similar to Democrats in the USA).
The reason European Democratic Socialists put the word ‘Democratic’ in front of the word ‘Socialist’ is specifically because Democratic Socialists firmly believe in ‘Free Democracy’, something which is lacking in Communist countries.
Even within Labour in Britain (which is a Socialist Party) there is a wide spectrum of Socialism from Blairism on the extreme right of Democratic Socialism to Corbynism on the extreme left of Democratic Socialism. In terms of political ideology Blairism isn’t that different to Democrats in the USA, while Corbynism is as extreme left wing that Democratic Socialism can get.
With reference to your last paragraph, where you ask:-
“In a Marxist society, who makes the decisions on what to produce? With no entrepreneurs would a Marxist society have the smartphones of today or the brickphones of the 1990s?”
In answer to your question: A Marxist Society is a Communist Society e.g. very much like Russia, China, North Korea etc. I get the impression that Russia, which tries to stick to purist Communism does tend towards relying on older technologies like the brickphone. Whereas China, an Emerging Industrialised Nation, has embraced elements of Capitalism; and have become world leaders in ‘Research and Development’ in a number of new technology fields e.g. electric cars, solar power panels etc.
so ... what is the best form of socialism? and why? democratic socialism is what the left wants, right?
and everything will be FINE
There is NO PROBLEM with democratic socialism is there?
Hi Kathryn, well obviously not communism, Europeans dislike and fear communism as much as Americans.
The only form of socialism suited to Western Society is ‘democratic socialism’ because it upholds the principles of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Democracy’ just as strongly as any other political party.
When you questioningly state, democratic socialism is what the left want; that largely depends on whether you’re in the USA or Europe:-
Bernie Sanders would make a good Blairite; soft ‘democratic socialist’ (on the far right of the British Labour Party). But from what I’ve seen of American politics, the vast majority of American Democrats are Liberals not Socialists.
In European politics Liberalism is a ‘centralist’ party that believes in a mixed economy e.g. a blend of socialism and capitalism (best of both worlds).
You ask whether “everything will be FINE”, and whether “there is NO Problem with democratic socialism”. Before answering, I wish to make it clear that I am a staunch Socialist, and a Corbynite; albeit I don’t believe in ‘all’ of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, but nothing is ever perfect.
Personally, I think a strong ‘Democratic Socialist’ Party would be good for America, but I find it hard to visualise Americans being comfortable with Socialism; even Liberalism for many American’s seems extreme!
For Europe, yes with Democratic Socialism, everything is ‘fine’. And any of what you might consider to be a ‘Problem’ (dependent on your political beliefs) with democratic socialism isn’t any greater than what a Socialist would consider ‘Problems’ with ‘Conservative’ (Capitalist) Governments (often just the flip side of the same argument).
Personally, I like Coalitions because it forces all sides to compromise and work together e.g. it helps to moderate extremism on both sides. The European Parliament being a good example of how this works:-
Below: Number of Elected MEP Seats in the European Party (by broad ‘Generic’ political groupings)
751 seats, therefore 376 MEPs votes (majority) required to pass EU Legislation (in practice the Capitalists and Socialists work closely together with the Liberal parties in the EU, thereby making it difficult for the Nationalists and Federalists (the two extremes) to have any real influence):-
• Extreme Hard Right (Nationalists) = 73 MEPs seats
• Right-Wing (Capitalists) = 244 MEPs seats
• Liberalism (centralist parties) = 108 MEPs seats
• Left-Wing (Socialists) = 227 MEPs seats
• Extreme Left-Wing (Federalists) = 41 MEPs seats
• Independents = 55 MEPs seats
Hello again Arther. It seems that most of the issues you have with the video relate to it being inaccurate relative to the different forms of socialism, and I can agree with that, but my perception is that it is trying to illustrate the differences between the basic tenants of Socialism and capitalism. On that level, and even though it is obviously pro-capitalism, I think it makes the important points accurately.
It seems that your reference to the various forms of Socialism in Europe would more accurately be described as degrees of Socialist ideals in a mixed government, which is what we all have. One possible clarifier might be to address the dominance of one ideal over the other.
If the question of dominance is to be determined, (or contemplated), an understanding of the core tenants of both is most important, and I think the video does a fair job of illustrating those tenants.
I also think that the dominance question boils down even further to the question of the size and power of our governments - no matter what name we give them. Socialism is the all-powerful government, (as illustrated by the video), and Capitalism is the least powerful government - based on the core ideals of both systems.
So even though the video is biased towards capitalism, I think it does a fair job of describing the battle between Socialist and Capitalist ideals.
Also, and as a nod to your objections, anyone relying solely on the video for their understanding is shortchanging themselves.
Yep GA, I can’t fault your carefully worded reply in the broadest of sense, you’ve obviously put a lot of thought into it; but the crux of the matter is your last sentence: Specifically, too many people do rely solely on such material like the video for their understanding of the issues; which is why they are such effective propaganda tools.
However, the video is specific to Marxism (and Communism in general), and gives a strong message that it is this form of Socialism that the West faces in its own Society; whereas in reality the form of Socialism in the West is not Marxism or any other form of Communism. So the video (in spite of your very astute observations) does paint a false picture to those who don’t know and understand the fundamental differences between Communism and the form of Socialism embraced in Europe.
I’ve listened to the video again (word for word) and there are three specific points highlighted in the video which are quite rightly at the core of Marxism (Communism), but which is at odds with the political ideology of Democratic Socialism in Europe; namely Communists firm belief in ‘Centralised Power’, ‘Total Control’ and their stifling of ‘Free Markets’.
Covering Each Point in Turn:-
Communist Countries firmly believe in ‘Centralised Power’ e.g. Beijing in China and the Kremlin in Russia etc.
Socialists in Europe firmly believe in ‘Regional Power’ e.g. in Britain the British Labour Party (Socialist Party) firmly believe in giving local governments more autonomy (local democracy); whereas in the UK it’s the Conservative Party (Capitalist Party) who over the years (since the 1980s) has taken powers away from local governments, as a way of restricting local governments (especially Labour controlled local governments) from spending money on Local Social Services.
Communist Countries, especially Russia like to have a tight control on ‘Markets’. China has mellowed (especially over the past ten years) because they have recognised that an element of ‘Free Markets’ is a necessary evil in their desire for economic growth as they become more industrialised.
Likewise, Democratic Socialist Parties in Europe firmly believe in Free Markets for Industry and Commerce (where the wealth is made) as an essential part of a good healthy economy. But where Americans will baulk is that Democratic Socialists also firmly believe in State Ownership and State Control of ‘Essential Services’ e.g. Health Service (NHS), Electricity, Water, Sewage, Public Transport etc.
Communist Countries firmly believe in ‘Total Control’ e.g. China and Russia etc. But then so does any other Dictatorial Government, regardless to whether they are extreme left wing or right wing politics; whereas at the heart of the Democratic Socialist’s philosophy is Democracy and Freedom.
On The Flip Side
What people in Europe fear more isn’t Socialist Governments but right-wing Laissez-faire governments; Laissez-faire governments being something many Americans seem to welcome with open arms!!!
Fortunately, in Europe Capitalists Governments (including the British Conservative Government) love to control (heavily Regulate) Industry anyway, so we’re not likely to see any move towards American style Laissez-faire governments in Europe anytime soon.
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