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About socialism

a topic in Politics & Governance, a part of the RPG forum.

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National politics and the governance of the population.

About socialism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aniihya on Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:22 pm

What comes to your mind when you hear the word socialism?

Usually people on the right, especially conservatives associate socialism with communism or Marxism and the soviet states.

But when I hear of socialism, I know of a large variety of different ideologies and movements that aren't the same. Socialism is generally a system where the main focus is social welfare. Practically a reaction to the shortcomings of capitalist ideologies in which the poor are disadvantaged and are expected to find employment even when there is an insufficient job market or where the wealthy expect those who cannot find jobs to become self-employed when the poor lack the capital and resources to become self-employed and do not qualify for a loan because of their circumstances.

Also mainly capitalist ideologies put the handicapped at a major disadvantage, seeing them as unable to be sufficiently productive or giving them a very low income they cannot live off of, due to the often mistaken prejudice that the disabled are less productive when productivity among the disabled is rather circumstantial (where they may lack the ability in one area, they might succeed in another).

Of course there are socialist ideologies (mainly authoritarian ones) that aren't so great with the disabled, however many socialist views can muster up enough altruism to benefit the disabled to at least be able to live a life in dignity.

Additionally, there are two general subsets of socialism: Idealistic (revolutionary) socialism and rather unintentional or pragmatic socialism. Idealists tend to be the ones leaning towards more authoritarian versions of socialism as they hold onto a strict set of tenets. Pragmatists tend to be a little blurrier on specific subsets and tend to use influences from different socialist views to find a more compromising and often libertarian approach to socialism.

Some examples of socialist subsets:
State socialism
Marxism-Leninism
Libertarian socialism
Democratic socialism
Market socialism
Social libertarianism (not as far left as libertarian socialism)
Social democracy (most European countries are this, compared to democratic socialism rather a more capitalist system with socialist elements)
Democratic confederalism
Mutualism
Syndicalism
Anarcho-communism
Christian socialism

Generally on the far left you have communism, anarcho-communism, state socialism, syndicalism and Christian socialism. While most other things are moderate left or center left.

Most college folks (SJWs specifically) in the US tend to be crypto-state socialists under the guise of anarcho-communists or democratic socialists. Most anarchists who are not anarcho-communists, especially outside of North America, have libertarian approaches and oppose censorship and authoritarian behavior.

Personally, I consider myself a social libertarian or a mutualist, however have influences from democratic confederalism and Christian anarchism.
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Aniihya
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Re: About socialism

Tips: 0.25 INK Postby TomorrowsHerald on Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:31 pm

In my country its a complete opposite of what you described. The country used to be socialist, the old elites are socialist elites, the vanguard of (now ageing) change where market liberals. At the height of the socialist system, audiences in worker communes wouldn't clap at the conclusion of musical performances, since the musician was perceived to be a part of the proletariat and was just performing his or her function to society. Most of the state infrastructure and land was state-owned. The Army was and is still called "The Peoples Army" even if the original meaning is lost. All workers of the public sector belong to a single Workers Union, even though so much power concentrated in a single union effectively prevents it from exercising it out of fear of losing the power to do so. The country still retains what is widely considered to be traditional informality (or even bad manners) because Western traditions of manners were considered to be a class divide and where therefore erased through the voluntary actions of the people. These same habits are now being reintegrated because feeling and appearing to be western is now the fashion of the day.

I would page the old system as an in-between ground of socialist pragmatism and radicalism, probably market socialism to some extent. The free market and state economy existed at the same time until the point the state economy proved that it could no longer compete with the rising private sector. Socialists where kicked out of office in democratic elections largely because the people ironically wanted social change and a better life. Did they get it? Probably not quite, but socialism, while still a part of the political tradition and is almost a bi-partisan dialogue as far as welfare is concerned hasn't won an election on its own merits in decades.

Ideologically, I am probably a state socialist. I like to think of myself as a Syndicalist, but I doubt if that is honestly the case. In any affair, small or large, I will always place the nation first before any theoretical class or international solidarity. My view is that at the end of the day, the only organism capable of providing social security is the nation. Any individual that requires the assistance of a world organization to gain access to social security does so because her or his country is incapable of performing its function. A nation is in effect a large hoarding sphere of people mutually committed through historic tribalism to protecting and retaining whatever resources they managed to capture and hold in the past few thousand years. A nation is basically a very large gated community. My opinion of this situation is that any member of a wealthy country naturally seeks to preserve that status.

I might cynically add that social security is, at the end of the day, a bribe to the poor paid by the richer members of society to sustain beer and football for the masses and thereby prevent them from rising up in a revolution. International aid and refugee relief could similarly be seen as pragmatic decisions made to prevent far worse calamities.

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Re: About socialism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Aniihya on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:36 pm

What you describe is "State Socialism" which is an authoritarian and rather totalitarian form of socialism. It is when ideologically blind people try to run everything.

Market socialism is when means of production are owned by workers and not the state and arent regulated by the state either. It comes close to market anarchism, where market anarchism means anything goes unless it actually harms competition through immoral means (such as sabotage or coercion).

Social security is rather not a means to pay for alcohol because often social security is just enough to survive. If someone cant find a job because no one will give them a chance doesnt mean they are lazy but just unfortunate. And if conditions for the broad populace get worse, then even what little social security they get will not avert a revolution. Because there has always been a revolution when situations got worse enough. And it is not always a socialist revolution.

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Re: About socialism

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby TomorrowsHerald on Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:09 am

Social security provides basic sustenance precisely because the lack of it would encourage radicalism. The definition of what counts as basic sustenance can be translated to how terrified the powerholders of each state are from the downtrodden and dispossessed of their lands. The latest scheme of basic income seems to prove this point, it is a theoretical bribe paid to prevent the jobless masses from transforming their grievances into genuine political power. The earliest form of social security that I know about was the Roman grain dole, which was in effect, a bribe paid to the plebs to keep them content and avoid a repeat of past insurrections such as the conflict of the orders.

In case it was not clear, I do not oppose the claims of these sections of the populace against society, rather, I oppose the half measures the political and business elites take to keep the populace at arm's length, yet avoid any solution of the problem. Social security does not solve the problem, it just reduces the urgency of the problem. Sure, in an ideal state, or even in a sensible state, there must be social security, but not as the replacement to employment and economic reform. For the same reason, various causes, such as same-gender rights have been exploited by the political elites to distract the political dialogue. The refugee crisis has been further exploited to bring in a mass of unskilled labor to further disenfranchise the poor and at the same time encourage the anti-immigration cause among their number to distance them from socialism, that must advocate equality for all or lose its moral credibility. The poor and struggling middle class in turn blame immigration for the problem, rather than the political and business elites that cynically exploited it to divide the populace and maintain their own power.

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