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Workable Socialism

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Posted (edited)

For the social, economic and legal and political roots of socialism as we understand it now (and communism too) people might like to watch the excellent film, Peterloo (2019), currently streaming on amazon prime.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/04/movies/peterloo-review.html?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/peterloo-review-an-orator-makes-a-stand-11554405338

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/sep/01/peterloo-review-grit-and-brilliance-in-mike-leighs-very-british-massacre

All the elements in this film, which is enormously more historically factual and accurate than many an historical movie, are thoroughly recognizable to us -- including a monarch who is mentally deranged.  Or should be recognizable, unless one lives in a TVillain bubble of historical ignorance about everything, and within an even smaller bubble of just not giving a damn coz I got mine.

Predictably enough, most of the amazon prime reviews are outraged when not just plain bored.  Evidently quite a few wanted heroic deeds by officers at Waterloo, not what happened to the troops and their families back at home, and when they got back home.

Additional context, this is right after the War of 1812, in which Jackson made the deep South safe for the Cotton Kingdom and slavocracy.  (Puleeeeze, don't come here and say that US slavery was feudalism and not capitalism.  That argument went out already in the 1980's.)

Capitalism has always been sadistic and cruel, focused on nothing but more.  See: the history of Hansa League.

 

Edited by Zorral

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

I'm operating off of modern understandings, not the antiquated political writings of a dead man.

I agree with you that Marx' writings are antiquated, but "community buy in for communal services that benefit the entirety of the collective" covers almost every political ideology. 

36 minutes ago, DMC said:

I don't really get all this beard stroking about the difference between communism and socialism.  The former is very clearly distinct - read the book!  Here it is.  Hell, just skip to the last few graphs (page 39 in my copy):

I don't get how you can confuse that with the social welfare/Keynesian model that was implemented in the entire developed world since the Great Depression - which was precisely a response to the dangers of unfettered capitalism.  A communist is a revolutionary, basically permanently (because they'll never win all that Marx requires).  A socialist just wants to get her kids through college and afford a retirement.

That is not true. Even Social Democrats want to to significantly further than that, and they are the most moderate out of the different branches of socialist ideology. Look up the stated goals of some actual Socialist parties (should not be confused with Social Democrats) and you will see that most of them aim to abolish private property at some point. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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1 minute ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

That is not true. Even Social Democracts want to to significantly further than that, and they are the most moderate out of the different branches of socialist ideology. Look up the stated goals of most actual socialist parties and you will see that most of them aim to abolish private property at some point. 

First, how does that not make it true?  Like, even if I agreed (which I don't) that every socialist wants to "abolish private property," how does that contradict wanting to get her kids through college and afford a retirement?

Anyway, social democrats want to go further than that exactly how _______?  Because I'm not seeing them being radical revolutionaries.  They want more redistributive policies in basically all facets, yes.  That's what being a socialist means.  But please cite where there are proposals from social democrats to abolish private property.  The Green Party doesn't.  The Democratic Socialists don't.  I mean, I'm not on expert on other countries' socialist parties, but I'm pretty sure any legitimate/successful ones are not calling for the abolition of private property.

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for what it’s worth, i’d say the dsa’s national position on private property is far to the right of the average local chapter or member

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, DMC said:

First, how does that not make it true?  Like, even if I agreed (which I don't) that every socialist wants to "abolish private property," how does that contradict wanting to get her kids through college and afford a retirement?

Anyway, social democrats want to go further than that exactly how _______?  Because I'm not seeing them being radical revolutionaries.  They want more redistributive policies in basically all facets, yes.  That's what being a socialist means.  But please cite where there are proposals from social democrats to abolish private property.  The Green Party doesn't.  The Democratic Socialists don't.  I mean, I'm not on expert on other countries' socialist parties, but I'm pretty sure any legitimate/successful ones are not calling for the abolition of private property.

It contradicts it because you said "just". Socialists do not at all just want those two things. Not even close. 

Secondly, Social Democracy is not the same thing as Socialism, or Democratic Socialism. At least not if you talk about Western countries where Social Democrats have historically achieved some success. The traditional Socialists tend to have their own political parties. 

As for an example to your question about private property, here are some statements by the Democratic Socialists of America taken from their wikipedia page: 

Quote

We are socialists because we reject an economic order based on private profit, alienated labor, gross inequalities of wealth and power, discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, disability status, age, religion, and national origin, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo. We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships. We are socialists because we are developing a concrete strategy for achieving that vision, for building a majority movement that will make democratic socialism a reality in America. We believe that such a strategy must acknowledge the class structure of American society and that this class structure means that there is a basic conflict of interest between those sectors with enormous economic power and the vast majority of the population.

Quote

In the short term we can't eliminate private corporations, but we can bring them under greater democratic control. The government could use regulations and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment. Public pressure can also have a critical role to play in the struggle to hold corporations accountable. Most of all, socialists look to unions to make private business more accountable.

Etc. 

Anyway, I think this is risking sidetracking the thread. The point is that socialism as an ideology goes a hell of a lot further than just wanting some amount of public services or a welfare state, but is rather about the abolishment of capitalism. Then there are a thousand different interpretations of how exactly the new system should look like, many of which resulted in bloodbaths within the historical socialist states, but that is a hole this thread should not dive into. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Interesting.  I will read up on it.

I hope I haven't sent you on a 9 year quest to understand Canadian history. 

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4 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

So a Soviet style Socialist State with real estate bubbles?

Seems like you're playing around here. I'm taking it seriously. 

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1 minute ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

Secondly, Social Democracy is not the same thing as Socialism, or Democratic Socialism. At least not if you talk about Western countries where Social Democrats have historically achieved some success. The traditional Socialists tend to have their own political parties. 

This is just quibbling with definitions.  I'm really not interested in that argument.  AOC is a member of the DSA.  That means she's a socialist, in my book, and good for her.

3 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

As for an example of your question regarding private property, here are some statements by the Democratic Socialists of America taken from their wikipedia page

Um, none of your citations have anything to do with abolishing private property.  Like, at all.  Way to prove yourself wrong though.

5 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

The point is that socialism as an ideology goes a hell of a lot further than just having some amount of public services or a welfare state, as it is rather about the abolishment of capitalism.

I favor a mixed system, yes.  Pure capitalism was abolished nearly a century ago.  But my point was there is a clear distinction between socialists and communists even though many people somehow still get the two confused.  You are one of those people.

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4 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Is that a function of capitalism per se? 

Yes. How is that even a question ? 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, DMC said:

This is just quibbling with definitions.  I'm really not interested in that argument.  AOC is a member of the DSA.  That means she's a socialist, in my book, and good for her.

Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, National Socialists. Just quibbling with definitions.

Quote

Um, none of your citations have anything to do with abolishing private property.  Like, at all.  Way to prove yourself wrong though.

Wishing to eliminate private corporations, private profit, and having a social order based on popular control over resources and production is the same thing as abolishing private property. That is, privately held capital. Or the "means of production", to use traditional socialist terminology. 

Quote

I favor a mixed system, yes.  Pure capitalism was abolished nearly a century ago.  But my point was there is a clear distinction between socialists and communists even though many people somehow still get the two confused.  You are one of those people.

They are distinct from each other, but not regarding the aim of abolishing the capitalist economic system. You are the one who is confused. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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12 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

Social Democrats, Democratic Socialists, National Socialists. Just quibbling with definitions.

*sigh* When I'm describing socialists I'm thinking of the large group of people that tend to identify more with socialism than capitalism.  Therefore I do not care about quibbling with the party definitions.  If that's not good enough for you, oh well.

15 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

Wishing to eliminate private corporations, private profit, and having a social order based on popular control over resources and production is the same thing as abolishing private property. That is, privately held capital. Or the "means of production", to use traditional socialist terminology. 

No, it's not.  There's a fundamental difference between controlling the means of production and abolishing private property.  The latter is sacrosanct according to Locke, but he lived during the British Empire.  You don't think the British Empire controlled most means of production in the 17th century?

18 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

but not regarding the aim of abolishing the capitalist economic system. You are the one who is confused. 

One wants to reform the capitalist system.  The other wants to kill it.  You're still confused about that distinction.

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50 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

Seems like you're playing around here. I'm taking it seriously. 

No, I’m being serious.  It seems odd to allow real estate speculation in a Soviet style system 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, maarsen said:

I hope I haven't sent you on a 9 year quest to understand Canadian history. 

That’s a bad thing?

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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4 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

"The Soviet Union was an economic success" gimmie a fucking break. What Bolshevik bathroom stall wall did you silly gooses read that off, I wonder?

I know this doesn't warrant a serious answer but here's one : pretty much any American (or Western) media, official report, or fiction until the mid-1970s at the very least.

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28 minutes ago, DMC said:

One wants to reform the capitalist system.  The other wants to kill it.  You're still confused about that distinction.

No, he's actually correct. The definition(s) you're using may be widespread but they're erroneous nonetheless.

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3 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I know this doesn't warrant a serious answer but here's one : pretty much any American (or Western) media, official report, or fiction until the mid-1970s at the very least.

So...what's your point?  They were going good until they entirely collapsed in the 80s - right when Gorbachev introduced perestroika and glasnost (and, of course, when they went in to Afghanistan)?  K.  I don't see what the takeaway from that is.  The point is the Soviet experiment failed and was unsustainable - regardless of the atrocities it had to perpetuate to survive - plain and simple.

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1 minute ago, Rippounet said:

No, he's actually correct. The definition(s) you're using may be widespread but they're erroneous nonetheless.

Uh, you need to explain that one.  How are my definitions of communism and socialism incorrect?

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, DMC said:

*sigh* When I'm describing socialists I'm thinking of the large group of people that tend to identify more with socialism than capitalism.  Therefore I do not care about quibbling with the party definitions.  If that's not good enough for you, oh well.

Well, it is not good enough for me, so I guess that is that. 

Quote

No, it's not.  There's a fundamental difference between controlling the means of production and abolishing private property.  The latter is sacrosanct according to Locke, but he lived during the British Empire.  You don't think the British Empire controlled most means of production in the 17th century?

Not at all. Not in the sense Socialists mean it anyway. Most of the means of production in the British Empire at this time (which would have been things like farmland, cattle, mines, merchant ships, simple factories, etc) were privately owned. Not controlled by the British state or held in common. 

Quote

One wants to reform the capitalist system.  The other wants to kill it.  You're still confused about that distinction.

No, not quite. Both want to kill the capitalist system. Socialists want to kill it through reform, Communists by revolution. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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1 minute ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

Not at all. Not in the sense Socialists mean it anyway. Most of the means of production in the British Empire at this time (which would have been things like farmland, cattle, mines, merchant ships, simple factories, etc) where owned privately. Not controlled by the British state or held in common. 

Heh, it's funny you mention farming.  I mean, you're right, but FDR essentially socialized most farming industries just to feed people.  They're still reaping the benefits from those redistributive policies, and always will.  And should!  We all need to eat.  Point is, that's not taking away anyone's property.  At all.

4 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

No, not quite. Both want to kill the capitalist system. Socialists want to kill it through reform, Communists by revolution. 

Um, yes.  That would be the distinction I just clearly laid out.

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28 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

I know this doesn't warrant a serious answer but here's one : pretty much any American (or Western) media, official report, or fiction until the mid-1970s at the very least.

Ok, I suppose I made a basic mistake there. I didn't clarify that as far as I'm concerned any economic policy which requires the deaths of twenty million people just to get started and ran itself into the ground within a century is not an "economic success." Silly Jacelyn, thinking that dictated economic trends aren't supposed to murder vast swathes of the population. I'm so fucking dumb. Will you forgive me for being this stupid, Ripp? Please? I know that I messed up now!

Now you could go for the "(American) capitalism was built on subjugation of slaves" argument now, which is what I wouldn't do because I know when I'm out on a limb and that's just changing the focus. But then I'll be forced to counter that the majority of human civilizations have functioned on practices of subjugation of external peoples and the American experience was not formed on the actual corpses of the same people it claimed to be serving. Y'know, 'cause when they wrote that famous document they weren't pretending that they saw black people as... well, people. So there is a pretty clear difference of degrees.

If we wanna go down that road we can, but I've got leftover brats to eat and need to decide whether I wanna eat them with a Hitchcock movie or Harry Potter. So type fast.

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