The essential components of socialism



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Arran
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Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:17 pm

What ideologies and policies must an individual or movement possess to be considered and accepted as socialist?



DentArthurDent
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Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:34 pm

First and foremost it must be a system where the decisions are passed from the masses to the bureaucracy and not the other way around, the concepts of socialism and its proposed eventual succesor, communism are in essence the ultimate in democracy. Secondly or maybe joint first the means of production must be in the hands of the masses and the need for profit removed.


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ruveyn
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Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:35 pm

Arran wrote:
What ideologies and policies must an individual or movement possess to be considered and accepted as socialist?


The needs of the collective outweigh the needs of the one or the few.

Socialism is the contrary of individualism.

ruveyn



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Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:56 pm

Socialists have been debating that for years, so far without result. Dent is arguing a very rigid and apologetic interpretation of Marxism. Socialism can mean anything from giving blankets to the poor to liquidating the Kulaks.


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Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:01 pm

ruveyn wrote:
The needs of the collective outweigh the needs of the one or the few.

Socialism is the contrary of individualism.

ruveyn

Collectives are comprised of individuals. You are making a false dichotomy.



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Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:34 pm

91 wrote:
Socialism can mean anything from giving blankets to the poor to liquidating the Kulaks.


:roll: :roll:


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Master_Pedant
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:23 am

The necessary and sufficient condition of socialism is worker ownership of the means of production.


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91
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:39 am

Master_Pedant wrote:
The necessary and sufficient condition of socialism is worker ownership of the means of production.


Social ownership =/= worker ownership. Further, your definition leaves no space for 'production for use'. As such it might be a necessary condition (but I doubt it) but cannot be a sufficient condition.


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thomas81
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:14 am

ruveyn wrote:

Socialism is the contrary of individualism.

ruveyn


Since capitalism has done little other than to spawn the archetypical Jersey shore esque coathanger model of plastic humans, i fail to see how its been much more successful on the individualism front.


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ModusPonens
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:16 pm

thomas81 wrote:
ruveyn wrote:

Socialism is the contrary of individualism.

ruveyn


Since capitalism has done little other than to spawn the archetypical Jersey shore esque coathanger model of plastic humans, i fail to see how its been much more successful on the individualism front.


Just like in the miriad of nature-vs-nurture-like debates, we find later that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Full force capitalism doesn't work. Full force communism doesn't work. We have to have a system that's somewhere in the middle.

Both these ideologies end up being totalitarian in practice because human beings are not that rational, let alone honest.



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Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:02 pm

Arran wrote:
What ideologies and policies must an individual or movement possess to be considered and accepted as socialist?


A collectivist mentality and a deep desire to force one's beliefs upon another.


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Kurgan
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:11 pm

Image

Socialists are like crabs in a bucket. If they can't afford to have a nice car and an iPad (despite dropping out of high school), nobody else gets to have that either (even if said persons have a PhD in nuclear physics).



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Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:45 pm

Kurgan wrote:

Socialists are like crabs in a bucket. If they can't afford to have a nice car and an iPad (despite dropping out of high school), nobody else gets to have that either (even if said persons have a PhD in nuclear physics).

I don't know if that analysis is borrowed from a specific experience you have of a socialist individual, or if its a strawman you've summoned out of thin air to burn. I suspect its the latter. No socialist worth his salt would arbitrarilly feel anger towards individuals on the back of their life achievements or intellectual credentials. Quite the contrary. Most intellectuals from what i've seen seem to gravitate towards the left wing. Its dialectics at work.

The grievance isn't with owning nice possessions, its with owning the means of production specifically. Its with ill gotten gains, things they don't deserve. I'd say for that reason socialists are better vigilantes of the concept of success for merit than anti-socialists or libertarians are.

Nice cars, ipads etc aren't means of production. Its not the ownership of these things that socialists oppose, especially if one has a phd in nuclear physics. The main cause of anger is the system that enables those who have done nothing other than spawning from a specific vagina to get a free ride, the institution of hereditary privilege vs hereditary adversity.


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thomas81
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:51 pm

pete1061 wrote:

A collectivist mentality and a deep desire to force one's beliefs upon another.


The second half of that is just hysteria, and could easilly be used to label fascism or theocracy.


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thomas81
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Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:57 pm

91 wrote:
Social ownership =/= worker ownership.


Depends which paradigm you are applying.

One goal of marxism is to eradicate the idea that there lies a differentiation between society and workers.

Arguably, that differentiation is a construct invented by anti communists and bourgeoisie as a divide and conquer device. Where that construct to be defeated, then social ownership and worker ownership would be one and the same. I rather suspect one problem is cultural relativism, since in anti-communist countries like the USA the concept of class has become almost a taboo or filthy subject.

Class definitely exits though. How can you look with honesty at the wealth disparity in the United States and claim that it doesn't? The communist manifesto is a prophetic work.

Its telling to read the posts here from Americans here who mindlessly defend capitalism that have probably read little socialist material, let alone spoken to or met an actual socialist. When their social, economic and political masters tell them to jump they ask "how high". They're just as brainwashed as the North Koreans they purport to hate.
Makes me glad to be a European where intellectual plurality doesn't trigger a witch hunt.


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