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Why is socialism such a scary word?

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Posts

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    FANTOMAS wrote: »
    Capitalism questioning communism about its failure.
    tenor.gif

    Eh, communism doesn't have a great track record in a lot of areas. Central planning is only as good as the central planner. Demanding a solution to the dictatorship problem is silly though. Authoritarians are going to authoritarian no matter the economic system. Hell, Wisconsin just voted itself into a one party state.

    spool32FANTOMASCouscousFeralElvenshaeLoisLane
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    As an aside, if you'd like to watch what appears to be a socialist small business in operation, check out Car Masters: Rust to Riches on Netflix.

    Surprisingly good show!

    Feral
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    edited December 7
    spool32 wrote: »
    As an aside, if you'd like to watch what appears to be a socialist small business in operation, check out Car Masters: Rust to Riches on Netflix.

    Surprisingly good show!

    yes i suspect the most "socialist" policies one is likely to see in the coming years are going to be changing corporate and business ownership structures. in the uk one labour party suggestion is that when somebody wants to sell their business their employees get to buy it first and convert to a co-op and gov will lend the capital, idea being to increase the quant of businesses of that type.

    i also suspect there are various forms of localism that are a lot easier to do with the internet that would appeal to a libertarian socialist point of view, although unsure how many will actually happen. devolution is always slow

    also various forms of gov market-making/sector construction a la "green new deal" an idea being pushed both sides of the atlantic

    surrealitycheck on
    obF2Wuw.png
    TL DRDehumanizedFeralAresProphet
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    There are a lot of reasons that socialists want open borders and they're not all explicitly related to socialism itself, but the general umbrella could be described as "people should be maximally free".

    There's also the fact that as long as capital can cross borders freely and workers cannot, the game will be playing nations against each other in a race to the bottom.

    Open borders won't really solve that. We can already see why within countries. As much as people move where the work is, they also don't and instead wallow in failing deindustrializing towns. And they get kinda pissed off about the whole situation too.

    We're already seeing international borders causing problems in the face of mass climate fueled migration. Of course opening borders won't solve everything, no one is saying so, but they're a serious impediment.

    We aren't seeing a mass migration of Floridians moving to the Dakotas or anything like that, though. Even when there are open borders, as there are within the United States, there just isn't that much climate based migration.

    Facts for Features: Katrina Impact
    The population of New Orleans fell from 484,674 before Katrina (April 2000) to an estimated 230,172 after Katrina (July 2006) — a decrease of 254,502 people and a loss of over half of the city’s population.(1) By July of 2015, the population was back up to 386,617 — 80% of what it was in 2000.

    The Guardian: 'We're moving to higher ground': America's era of climate mass migration is here
    The era of climate migration is, virtually unheralded, already upon America.

    The population shift gathering pace is so sprawling that it may rival anything in US history. “Including all climate impacts it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine something twice as large as the Dustbowl,” said Jesse Keenan, a climate adaptation expert at Harvard University, referencing the 1930s upheaval in which 2.5 million people moved from the dusty, drought-ridden plains to California.

    This enormous migration will probably take place over a longer period than the Dustbowl but its implications are both profound and opaque. It will plunge the US into an utterly alien reality. “It is very difficult to model human behaviour under such extreme and historically unprecedented circumstances,” Keenan admits.
    ...
    Dejected with frigid New York winters, Chase Twichell and her husband purchased a four-bedroom apartment in Miami Beach in 2011, with the plan of spending at least a decade basking in the sunshine. At first, keeping a pair of flip-flops on hand to deal with the flooded streets seemed an acceptable quirk, until the magnitude of the encroaching seas became apparent when the city spent $400m to elevate streets near Twichell’s abode.

    Twichell began to notice water pumps were spewing plastic bags, condoms and chip packets into the bay. Friends’ balconies started getting submerged. Twichell, a poet, found apocalyptic themes creeping into her work. Last year, she sold the apartment to a French businessman and moved back to upstate New York.

    “It was like end of the world stuff,” she said. “It was crazy for us to have such a big investment in such a dangerous situation.” Her neighbours initially scolded her but now several are also selling up, fretting that the real estate and insurance markets for properties like theirs will seize up.
    ...
    A study published last year found that the economies of the southern states, along with parts of the west, will suffer disproportionately as temperatures rise. In what researchers called potentially one of the largest transfers of wealth in US history, the poorest third of counties are expected to lose up to 20% of their income unless greenhouse gas emissions are severely curtailed. Wealth, and potentially people, are expected to shift north and west.

    Meanwhile, cities already struggling with heat will see wealthy residents head for cooler climes. Last year, 155 people died in Phoenix due to a particularly fierce summer. Increasing heat will start testing the durability of the populace, even those shielded by air conditioning. In the western states, wildfires are getting larger, razing homes in ever more spectacular ways and choking thousands of people with carcinogenic smoke.

    Further to the south, at the border, there are suggestions that people from Central America are being nudged towards the US because of drought and hurricanes in their homelands, part of a trend that will see as many as 300 million climate refugees worldwide by 2050.

    “People will get very grumpy and upset with very hot temperatures,” said Amir Jina, an environmental economist at the University of Chicago who co-authored the research on economic losses. “Even if you have air conditioning, some areas start to look less habitable. By the middle of the century parts of the south-west and south-east won’t look attractive to live in.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    I would contest the notion that humanity is doing better than ever before.

    Living standards are higher and continue to climb even globally, yes. But we are on the brink of a possible climate apocalypse, which will interact in troubling ways with the familiar existential threat of nuclear war. The intensification of technological power also leads to more intense consequences when things are mismanaged. Is there any other time in the history of our species when total extinction was more plausible?

    On top of that, our massive population means that the population of people suffering in absolute numbers is greater than almost all of history. Not all ethical systems would agree that the proportion of people lifted from abject misery is sufficient to declare we are riding a shining arc of progress.

    Black Death says hi.

    Nah. It took us from 450 million down to 350–375 million globally. It was bad, but it never got us close to extinction.

    The closest we've come is due to climate change. The ice age caused by Toba eruption took us down to somewhere between 40 and 1,000.

    Holy shit.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    spool32JuliuskimeKamar
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Re monied interests and climate change:

    Flash back to the 70s. Instead of oil and coal companies we have whatever socialist equivalent you'd like to posit.

    Explain why they would have responded to climate change any differently.

    Simply because it would not be in their economic self-interest to deny it happening. Their sole purpose would be to provide power to the people, not make a profit. They would have to be accountable to the people, they wouldn't be able to fund propaganda and lies to obscure the issue.

    In short, they would have to confront reality and make changes because they would not be in a position to deny it.


    Shit, the reason the world is in such bad shape is because Oil Companies in capitalist society can dictate policy to politicians and subvert democratic accountability. Companies don't obey the law, they make the law. In a socialist society they are unable to do so, that alone is a huge game changer.

    The USSR promoted Lysenkoism, in part, to deny that there was actually a shortage of crops while Lysenkoist methods contributed to famines under Stalin.

    "Traditional" Chinese Medicine as it is practiced today was cobbled together by the Communist Party under Mao Zedong from a cornucopia of folk remedies and (mostly unproven or disproven) ancient texts. It was a form of nationalist propaganda aimed at addressing concerns about doctor shortages and reducing the attractiveness of Western education to Chinese citizens.

    Those are two enormous examples of Communists adopting flagrant denialism and pseudoscience, for ideological purposes, contributing to the deaths of their own citizens.

    This is kind of a rehash of an earlier issue: Soviet/Chinese communist states are not examples of what people want from socialism.

    One of the goals of socialist policy is preventing the dramatic concentration of power, IMO, by striking at the power base of capital. This is the quality of a socialist state that would purportedly make it better able to respond to collective problems like climate change: shortsighted interests would have dramatically less power to direct policy in their favor and less power to propagandize to mute the issue.

    Totalitarian communist states definitely didn't democratize power that way. They just seized power for a political class and cultish leader.

    If you want to suggest that socialist states necessarily cannot democratize power more than capitalist states, that's the argument to make, I think. Using totalitarian states as examples in this way is sort of question-begging by assuming that argument is already made.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    TL DRshrykeJepherymrondeauJuliusQuidEtiowsaMegaMek
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Re monied interests and climate change:

    Flash back to the 70s. Instead of oil and coal companies we have whatever socialist equivalent you'd like to posit.

    Explain why they would have responded to climate change any differently.

    Obviously it's impossible to say, but one might imagine that a state oil company wouldn't have looked at their own research into climate change and fixated on the fact that global warming will increase the arctic drilling season over time, increasing profits.

    On the other hand, maybe they would have reached a similar conclusion out of concern regarding foreign belligerents and the need to take advantage of fossil fuels to prop up domestic production or similar, which is why I'm not a nationalist and why I think world peace has to be the objective. Franz Fanon describes something similar in Wretched of the Earth; post-colonial states go through a period of (re-)asserting national identity and autonomy before they can integrate into an international community (ie Pan-Africanism).
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Why is Socialism urgently necessary? Because we're running out of time. Climate change is here, and the alternative to drastic and immediate change is to rely on turning out the vote in increasingly-dire midterm elections for liberals who (as the recent Bush funeral has shown), identify more with their fellow political and media class than they do with working people. The current system is not ignoring climate change, it is building walls. The right-wing position has been to begin justifying why, as increasing numbers of refugees from climate disasters and destabilization due to American imperialism arrive at our borders, it's ok to turn them away. The humane position, the position that is not only just but also frees us as individuals from a precarious position in brutal hierarchy, is that all human life is valuable and that we are all in this together. It's Socialism or barbarism, folks.

    This seems a false dichotomy and also kinda highlights this strange argument I keep seeing in here trying to tie socialism to a solution to climate change but without any clear reason as to why. It's not like environmental destruction started with capitalism. Humans been destroying their own environment for like all of human history. It's basically what all life does.

    It does not seem to me that a socialist society is any more likely to get people to give a shit about the long term effects of their actions which is more or less then fundamental problem of climate change.

    I mean, being a left-wing ideology and generally more willing to tackle things like externalities and collection-action problems you would definitely get better action on the issue but those aren't really ideas exclusive to socialism.

    To me, it's not that socialism is inherently prone to climate action any more than it is to authoritarianism. It's that climate action requires the defeat of entrenched power structures in the form of trans-national corporate interests which have known about the dire situation since the 70's and actively worked to muddy the waters in the national discourse, block climate change legislation, enforce climate denial as a platform among politicians reliant upon fossil fuel industry dollars, etc, building broad-based power that isn't beholden to capitalist political parties seems to be well-informed by socialist praxis.

    FANTOMASJepheryJulius
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Re monied interests and climate change:

    Flash back to the 70s. Instead of oil and coal companies we have whatever socialist equivalent you'd like to posit.

    Explain why they would have responded to climate change any differently.

    Simply because it would not be in their economic self-interest to deny it happening. Their sole purpose would be to provide power to the people, not make a profit. They would have to be accountable to the people, they wouldn't be able to fund propaganda and lies to obscure the issue.

    In short, they would have to confront reality and make changes because they would not be in a position to deny it.


    Shit, the reason the world is in such bad shape is because Oil Companies in capitalist society can dictate policy to politicians and subvert democratic accountability. Companies don't obey the law, they make the law. In a socialist society they are unable to do so, that alone is a huge game changer.

    The USSR promoted Lysenkoism, in part, to deny that there was actually a shortage of crops while Lysenkoist methods contributed to famines under Stalin.

    "Traditional" Chinese Medicine as it is practiced today was cobbled together by the Communist Party under Mao Zedong from a cornucopia of folk remedies and (mostly unproven or disproven) ancient texts. It was a form of nationalist propaganda aimed at addressing concerns about doctor shortages and reducing the attractiveness of Western education to Chinese citizens.

    Those are two enormous examples of Communists adopting flagrant denialism and pseudoscience, for ideological purposes, contributing to the deaths of their own citizens.

    This is kind of a rehash of an earlier issue: Soviet/Chinese communist states are not examples of what people want from socialism.

    One of the goals of socialist policy is preventing the dramatic concentration of power, IMO, by striking at the power base of capital. This is the quality of a socialist state that would purportedly make it better able to respond to collective problems like climate change: shortsighted interests would have dramatically less power to direct policy in their favor and less power to propagandize to mute the issue.

    Totalitarian communist states definitely didn't democratize power that way. They just seized power for a political class and cultish leader.

    If you want to suggest that socialist states necessarily cannot democratize power more than capitalist states, that's the argument to make, I think. Using totalitarian states as examples in this way is sort of question-begging by assuming that argument is already made.

    It's worth noting that DSA still has an old rule on the books at a national level that members can't 'dual card' and belong to DSA if they're already a member of a democratic centralist organization.

    I think there's utility to democratic centralism (and the rule is set to be abolished next year, I think), but yes the stated goal of socialism and especially DSA, the most powerful caucus being that of the Libertarian Socialists, is to abolish unjustifiable hierarchies and decentralize power.

    People think of planned economies and immediately think of centralized bureaucracy telling you how many monogrammed handkerchiefs you're allowed to make in your workshop, but it seems prudent to me to consider the ways in which our current economy is planned: unelected rulers control production, and goods are allocated such that the rich have first dibs in the case of scarcity. To maintain that we can't make intentional change and must rely on something that is already intentional and controlled is effectively defeatist nihilism.

    JepheryJuliusMegaMek
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited December 7
    shryke wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    Why is Socialism urgently necessary? Because we're running out of time. Climate change is here, and the alternative to drastic and immediate change is to rely on turning out the vote in increasingly-dire midterm elections for liberals who (as the recent Bush funeral has shown), identify more with their fellow political and media class than they do with working people. The current system is not ignoring climate change, it is building walls. The right-wing position has been to begin justifying why, as increasing numbers of refugees from climate disasters and destabilization due to American imperialism arrive at our borders, it's ok to turn them away. The humane position, the position that is not only just but also frees us as individuals from a precarious position in brutal hierarchy, is that all human life is valuable and that we are all in this together. It's Socialism or barbarism, folks.

    This seems a false dichotomy and also kinda highlights this strange argument I keep seeing in here trying to tie socialism to a solution to climate change but without any clear reason as to why. It's not like environmental destruction started with capitalism. Humans been destroying their own environment for like all of human history. It's basically what all life does.

    It does not seem to me that a socialist society is any more likely to get people to give a shit about the long term effects of their actions which is more or less then fundamental problem of climate change.

    I mean, being a left-wing ideology and generally more willing to tackle things like externalities and collection-action problems you would definitely get better action on the issue but those aren't really ideas exclusive to socialism.
    My thought on this is that the necessity to keep growing at all costs seems essentially hardwired into capitalism while potentially less inherent to socialism. Capitalism seems programmed to just keep eating everything until there is nothing.

    I don't see it being any less inherent to any other human setup. It's not like "keep growing" as a human drive only came about in the last 400-500 years or whatever time period you choose to define for it.
    Well, I think we should avoid conflating different types of growth in this discussion. Population growth and economic growth aren't the same thing (though not totally unrelated). Growth in population seemed a ubiquitous rule for all of human history (at least the parts where collapsing civilizations and plagues and such weren't killing everyone), and in a sense it's an underlying drive for life itself. Yet today we see population growth declining in industrialized nations and even flatlining/receding in some, and most of us think this is not only acceptable but also probably a good thing in the long term. I remember Rousseau (not sure which work) arguing that one can measure a country's success by its rate of population growth; almost no one would argue that today. Continued growth in population is even seen as a risk in terms of sustainability by many people - I find it strange that economic growth is not viewed the same way. And if population growth slows or ceases, one of the major reasons that economic growth seems necessary also fades away - you may not need need to constantly create more jobs and or larger amount of goods and services if your population is stable and the peoples' needs are met.

    It's true that economic growth occurs in non-capitalist societies, and that non-capitalist societies have often made economic growth a goal. But in our society, economic growth is a conscious goal underlying almost all mainstream economic discussion and government economic policy. Capitalism seems fundamentally based on growth in order to function - I'm not an economist so I'm open to correction here, and would be interested to here an argument to the contrary.

    Kaputa on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Decentralization or democratization of power can easily lead to people refusing to do much about solving a huge issue.

    Oil workers in an oil producing region where power is decentralized are likely to have a lot of incentives to resist efforts to fight global warming by reducing carbon pollution and are likely to be extremely motivated to do so when they own the means of production.

    Same with coal workers and whatnot. The hidden hierarchies that form can be a powerful tool.

    Phoenix-DshrykeElvenshaeMrMister
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Re monied interests and climate change:

    Flash back to the 70s. Instead of oil and coal companies we have whatever socialist equivalent you'd like to posit.

    Explain why they would have responded to climate change any differently.

    Simply because it would not be in their economic self-interest to deny it happening. Their sole purpose would be to provide power to the people, not make a profit. They would have to be accountable to the people, they wouldn't be able to fund propaganda and lies to obscure the issue.

    In short, they would have to confront reality and make changes because they would not be in a position to deny it.


    Shit, the reason the world is in such bad shape is because Oil Companies in capitalist society can dictate policy to politicians and subvert democratic accountability. Companies don't obey the law, they make the law. In a socialist society they are unable to do so, that alone is a huge game changer.

    The USSR promoted Lysenkoism, in part, to deny that there was actually a shortage of crops while Lysenkoist methods contributed to famines under Stalin.

    "Traditional" Chinese Medicine as it is practiced today was cobbled together by the Communist Party under Mao Zedong from a cornucopia of folk remedies and (mostly unproven or disproven) ancient texts. It was a form of nationalist propaganda aimed at addressing concerns about doctor shortages and reducing the attractiveness of Western education to Chinese citizens.

    Those are two enormous examples of Communists adopting flagrant denialism and pseudoscience, for ideological purposes, contributing to the deaths of their own citizens.

    This is kind of a rehash of an earlier issue: Soviet/Chinese communist states are not examples of what people want from socialism.

    One of the goals of socialist policy is preventing the dramatic concentration of power, IMO, by striking at the power base of capital. This is the quality of a socialist state that would purportedly make it better able to respond to collective problems like climate change: shortsighted interests would have dramatically less power to direct policy in their favor and less power to propagandize to mute the issue.

    Totalitarian communist states definitely didn't democratize power that way. They just seized power for a political class and cultish leader.

    If you want to suggest that socialist states necessarily cannot democratize power more than capitalist states, that's the argument to make, I think. Using totalitarian states as examples in this way is sort of question-begging by assuming that argument is already made.

    No, that's not what I'm suggesting. I'm surprised that you interpreted my response that way.

    If there an official name for this fallacy?
    "If X, then Y."

    "Here's an example of X without Y."

    "Oh, then you must think X precludes Y."
    "If socialism, then democratization of power and accountability to the people."

    "Here's an example of socialist societies that didn't have democratization of power and accountability to the people."

    "Oh, do you want to suggest that socialist states necessarily cannot democratize power?"

    Just because "X does not reliably lead to Y" doesn't mean that "X never leads to Y" or "!X reliably leads to Y."

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited December 7
    TL DR wrote: »
    I think there's utility to democratic centralism (and the rule is set to be abolished next year, I think), but yes the stated goal of socialism and especially DSA, the most powerful caucus being that of the Libertarian Socialists, is to abolish unjustifiable hierarchies and decentralize power.
    TL DR wrote: »
    To me, it's not that socialism is inherently prone to climate action any more than it is to authoritarianism. It's that climate action requires the defeat of entrenched power structures in the form of trans-national corporate interests which have known about the dire situation since the 70's and actively worked to muddy the waters in the national discourse, block climate change legislation, enforce climate denial as a platform among politicians reliant upon fossil fuel industry dollars, etc, building broad-based power that isn't beholden to capitalist political parties seems to be well-informed by socialist praxis.

    Can you give some specific real-world examples of socialists decentralizing power, or exercising socialist praxis, that you consider to have been successful?

    Historical is fine, if you want to go all the way back to the early labor movement. I'd prefer more recent, though.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 7
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

    Are we counting the USSR as communist at the moment? Because then uh, sputnik and stuff.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

    Are we counting the USSR as communist at the moment? Because then uh, space stuff.

    Which was grossly out paced and out done by the full weight of (cant think of any way to say this that doesnt sound jingoistic) American capitalism and manufacture. And we did it safer, and quicker.
    And with less "hell" for the engineers, scientists, and astronauts.

    Add to that that the USSR is (as pointed out by many here) a dodgy example of communism a best.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

    Are we counting the USSR as communist at the moment? Because then uh, space stuff.

    Which was grossly out paced and out done by the full weight of (cant think of any way to say this that doesnt sound jingoistic) American capitalism and manufacture. And we did it safer, and quicker.
    And with less "hell" for the engineers, scientists, and astronauts.

    Add to that that the USSR is (as pointed out by many here) a dodgy example of communism a best.

    Yeah I mean congrats the US was better run than the USSR, but I'm not sure how NASA is a win for capitalism.

    Anyway, this is post moving.

    MegaMek
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    TL DR wrote: »
    I think there's utility to democratic centralism (and the rule is set to be abolished next year, I think), but yes the stated goal of socialism and especially DSA, the most powerful caucus being that of the Libertarian Socialists, is to abolish unjustifiable hierarchies and decentralize power.
    TL DR wrote: »
    To me, it's not that socialism is inherently prone to climate action any more than it is to authoritarianism. It's that climate action requires the defeat of entrenched power structures in the form of trans-national corporate interests which have known about the dire situation since the 70's and actively worked to muddy the waters in the national discourse, block climate change legislation, enforce climate denial as a platform among politicians reliant upon fossil fuel industry dollars, etc, building broad-based power that isn't beholden to capitalist political parties seems to be well-informed by socialist praxis.

    Can you give some specific real-world examples of socialists decentralizing power, or exercising socialist praxis, that you consider to have been successful?

    Historical is fine, if you want to go all the way back to the early labor movement. I'd prefer more recent, though.

    The Paris commune maybe?

    I've seen plenty of praxis in student protests and movements, and squatter scenes. Usually temporary, because, y'know, the state beats them down. But there are a couple of essentially socialist communities in Amsterdam and around Europe. It is hard to go much beyond that because larger groups are tolerated less and less, but I see no reason it couldn't work.

  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

    Are we counting the USSR as communist at the moment? Because then uh, space stuff.

    Which was grossly out paced and out done by the full weight of (cant think of any way to say this that doesnt sound jingoistic) American capitalism and manufacture. And we did it safer, and quicker.
    And with less "hell" for the engineers, scientists, and astronauts.

    Add to that that the USSR is (as pointed out by many here) a dodgy example of communism a best.

    Yeah I mean congrats the US was better run than the USSR, but I'm not sure how NASA is a win for capitalism.

    Anyway, this is post moving.

    How so?

    I hypothesized that capitalist countries were mostly repsonsible for most if not all of humanities greatest acheivements.
    One of which i suspect will be solving the climate crisis. Even if capitalism was partly responsible for creating it.

    Is that not relvant to the thread?

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

    Are we counting the USSR as communist at the moment? Because then uh, space stuff.

    Which was grossly out paced and out done by the full weight of (cant think of any way to say this that doesnt sound jingoistic) American capitalism and manufacture. And we did it safer, and quicker.
    And with less "hell" for the engineers, scientists, and astronauts.

    Add to that that the USSR is (as pointed out by many here) a dodgy example of communism a best.

    Yeah I mean congrats the US was better run than the USSR, but I'm not sure how NASA is a win for capitalism.

    Anyway, this is post moving.

    How so?

    I hypothesized that capitalist countries were mostly repsonsible for most if not all of humanities greatest acheivements.
    One of which i suspect will be solving the climate crisis. Even if capitalism was partly responsible for creating it.

    Is that not relvant to the thread?

    You asked for a monumental achievement from a communist country. That's sputnik. That NASA did more and better (we'll assume that's true) is irrelevant to what you asked for, its just changing the goal post.

    Julius
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    It seems to me that -oddly- the thing best suited to quickly fix climate change is capitalism.
    I could be wrong, but i cant think of any monumental achievement that has occurred from Communist societies.

    We'll hit that breaking point soon i think. When the race will be to fix things and those that do will be handsomely rewarded. For good or ill.

    Are we counting the USSR as communist at the moment? Because then uh, space stuff.

    Which was grossly out paced and out done by the full weight of (cant think of any way to say this that doesnt sound jingoistic) American capitalism and manufacture. And we did it safer, and quicker.
    And with less "hell" for the engineers, scientists, and astronauts.

    Add to that that the USSR is (as pointed out by many here) a dodgy example of communism a best.

    I'm not sure what capitalism really had to do with NASA's early years? Yes, the US was capitalist, but NASA was pretty much totally a government initiative, no? German rocket scientists and all that. It wasn't like there was a lot of outsourcing back then.

    Styrofoam SammichFeralshrykeQuidJuliusVegemyteMegaMek
  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    edited December 7
    Ah fair.

    I consider the entire Space Race into exploration and utilization of Space to be the achievement. Peaking with the Moon landing (from a human achievement perspective).
    So, to me, Sputnik is just the start of the race, not the finish.

    But i should have clarified.


    edited for clarity and better wording.

    Ninjeff on
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

    I disagree.
    I think capitalism encourages the best (scientists, engineers, manufacturing, etc) to strive for greatness, and produces an altogether superior product in nearly every case.
    I attribute that to the reward system of capitalism, both from a professional and personal perspective.


    *which, of course, isnt to say that we dont need to pump the breaks a bit here. Unregulated capitalism is nasty. Regulated capitalism is superior to communism in almost every way. When taken at a national level.
    My opinion of course.

  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

    I disagree.
    I think capitalism encourages the best (scientists, engineers, manufacturing, etc) to strive for greatness, and produces an altogether superior product in nearly every case.
    I attribute that to the reward system of capitalism, both from a professional and personal perspective.


    *which, of course, isnt to say that we dont need to pump the breaks a bit here. Unregulated capitalism is nasty. Regulated capitalism is superior to communism in almost every way. When taken at a national level.
    My opinion of course.
    The best scientists and engineers are not motivated by money, they are motivated by curiosity, and given the proper resources would do a good job no matter the economic system.

    Styrofoam SammichshrykeQuidVegemyteDoobhMegaMek
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

    I disagree.
    I think capitalism encourages the best (scientists, engineers, manufacturing, etc) to strive for greatness, and produces an altogether superior product in nearly every case.
    I attribute that to the reward system of capitalism, both from a professional and personal perspective.


    *which, of course, isnt to say that we dont need to pump the breaks a bit here. Unregulated capitalism is nasty. Regulated capitalism is superior to communism in almost every way. When taken at a national level.
    My opinion of course.
    The best scientists and engineers are not motivated by money, they are motivated by curiosity, and given the proper resources would do a good job no matter the economic system.

    Scientists and academics really do hint at how a post-wage economy would work. Prestige comes through breakthroughs and publications, and the idea that you can pinpoint the best in a field by who has the highest salary or best title is laughable.

    mrondeauVegemyte
  • NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

    I disagree.
    I think capitalism encourages the best (scientists, engineers, manufacturing, etc) to strive for greatness, and produces an altogether superior product in nearly every case.
    I attribute that to the reward system of capitalism, both from a professional and personal perspective.


    *which, of course, isnt to say that we dont need to pump the breaks a bit here. Unregulated capitalism is nasty. Regulated capitalism is superior to communism in almost every way. When taken at a national level.
    My opinion of course.
    The best scientists and engineers are not motivated by money, they are motivated by curiosity, and given the proper resources would do a good job no matter the economic system.

    I'd posit that a properly run capitalistic society will inherently create foster more of each.
    Especially engineers.
    Or another way to think about it, is both capitalistic and communistic societies may have, say, 100 STEM experts in each, but that the 100 in capitalistic environments will do better and more with their creations. And that those creations will prompt more and better creations, fostering more investment in STEM fields, allowing the society to nurture STEM fields and so on.....

  • mrondeaumrondeau Montréal, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    mrondeau wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

    I disagree.
    I think capitalism encourages the best (scientists, engineers, manufacturing, etc) to strive for greatness, and produces an altogether superior product in nearly every case.
    I attribute that to the reward system of capitalism, both from a professional and personal perspective.


    *which, of course, isnt to say that we dont need to pump the breaks a bit here. Unregulated capitalism is nasty. Regulated capitalism is superior to communism in almost every way. When taken at a national level.
    My opinion of course.
    The best scientists and engineers are not motivated by money, they are motivated by curiosity, and given the proper resources would do a good job no matter the economic system.

    I'd posit that a properly run capitalistic society will inherently create foster more of each.
    Especially engineers.
    Or another way to think about it, is both capitalistic and communistic societies may have, say, 100 STEM experts in each, but that the 100 in capitalistic environments will do better and more with their creations. And that those creations will prompt more and better creations, fostering more investment in STEM fields, allowing the society to nurture STEM fields and so on.....

    Science is not run on a capitalistic model. Quite the opposite. It's government spending that create the breakthroughs and the infrastructure.
    Corporate money came in at the last step, and could easily be replaced.

    The reason the USSR had problems with science is not that they were communist, it's that scientists kept questioning the party line and that is not something an authoritarian government tolerates.

    Styrofoam SammichshrykeVegemyteJuliusMegaMek
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited December 7
    Feral wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    So do you believe that the regular 4-9% unemployment rate in the US since the 1990s actually consists of "temporarily" unemployed workers? And that's just U3. U5 ranges from 4.9% to 11%.

    No, not at all. But I also wouldn't claim that the US follows orthodox economic theory in any sense. If we did, Paul Krugman wouldn't find something to complain about in NYT each and every week.

    hippofant wrote: »
    Also, yeah, no, unemployed people aren't taken care of. I explicitly mentioned that I was referring to capitalist economics in practice. It's true that in theory, unemployed people can be taken care of, but that's not how capitalist economics has actually manifested in today's capitalist societies, is it?

    Yes, it is practiced that way in some countries. But that brings us back to the well-worn discussion about whether the Nordic model is "capitalist" or "socialist."

    I'm not entirely on board with the recurring theme of the thread that "welfare" = "socialism."

    This was in starkest relief in the last Presidential election when the Prime Minister of Denmark tried to put to rest Bernie Sanders's claims that Denmark is socialist:
    "I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore, I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."

    The Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens, but it is also a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish."

    https://www.vox.com/2015/10/31/9650030/denmark-prime-minister-bernie-sanders

    As I've said multiple times, my position is that mixed economies are best, capitalism requires regulations and redistribution to keep it in check, and the only remaining reasonable questions are about how and what to regulate and redistribute, not whether to do so.

    So, yes, I totally agree that capitalist nations must grapple with questions like "How do you prevent the oligarchs from taking over and ruining everything?" But I'd also argue that this is a problem every society needs to grapple with, regardless of their economic system.

    I don't disagree. You'll note me pressing Styrofoam Sammich on basically the same question right now. But I do want to pressure both schools of thought and see what gets squeezed out.

    Unfortunately, I'm not familiar enough with Nordic economics to push much further. I don't know enough to, for example, question whether their welfare system actually does take care of everybody who's unemployed, or whether their system is floated by, like, oil reserves (for Norway, anyways), etc..

    This seems like a really weird argument to be having. I'm literally a card carrying member of the DSA, and most of the members I've spoken to (with the exception of the Refoundation Caucus, which recently folded because their ideas weren't popular with the larger org) aren't huge fans of planned economies because of how terribly they fall apart when mismanaged. Syndicalism is pretty dope tho. Requires minimum changes to our society to implement (basically just democratization of business via unions) and is very Socialist in nature.

    That seems at odds with the Vox article by DSA member and Jacobin writer Meagan Day I linked upthread: https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/8/1/17637028/bernie-sanders-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-cynthia-nixon-democratic-socialism-jacobin-dsa
    I’m a staff writer at the socialist magazine Jacobin and a member of DSA, and here’s the truth: In the long run, democratic socialists want to end capitalism.

    ...

    A robust welfare state in an economy that’s still organized around capitalists’ profits can mitigate the worst inequalities for a while, but it’s at best a temporary truce between bosses and workers — and one that the former will look to scrap as soon as they can.

    ...

    Medicare-for-all is an instructive example. Winning single-payer health care in the US would be an enormous relief to the millions of Americans who, even with insurance, find themselves stymied by claims denials and crushed by medical debt. Many progressives and an increasing number of centrist liberals — hell, even a few Trump voters — want the private insurance industry to be replaced by a single comprehensive public insurance program, one we all pay into with our taxes to relieve everyone of financial stress in times of illness. We want that too.

    But we also know that Medicare-for-all is not socialism. It would only nationalize insurance, not the whole health care system. Doctors would remain private employees, for example, though under some plans they would be required to restructure their businesses into nonprofit entities. Democratic socialists ultimately want something more like the British National Health Service (NHS), in which everyone pays taxes to fund not just insurance but doctors and hospitals and medicine as well.

    So why are democratic socialists not demanding an NHS right now? Because we currently don’t have the support to push for and win such an ambitious program. Social democratic reforms like Medicare-for-all are, in the eyes of DSA, part of the long, uneven process of building that support, and eventually overthrowing capitalism.

    This doesn't sound like somebody who is suspicious of planned economies and just wants to implement minimum changes to our society.

    Nah dude. You're making the mistake of conflating capitalism with free markets.

    Socialists definitely want to end capitalism, but all that really means is stopping business owners from acting like lords over their own personal fiefdom. A worker owned business isn't capitalist, and there's no reason they can't compete in a free market.

    Old post but I wanted to go back to it because it's relevant to the broader question "what vision of socialism are we talking about, anyway?"

    In her Vox article, Day wasn't arguing for worker owned businesses. The most in-depth example she gave was a national health service; the NHS is a far cry from a decentralized worker-owned collective operating in a free market.

    The difficulty I'm having is trying to characterize these different visions of socialism and how they relate to each other. I'm used to movements containing internecine factions and fringes; I'm not asking anybody here to die on the cross defending all socialists everywhere.

    But it is really hard for me to visualize what these different visions of socialism actually want. If I could forge kind of a mental map of the different positions at play, that would help. For example, if you ask me to clarify my position in feminism, I'd probably say I'm sex-positive, third-wave, anti-TERF. If you posted an anti-sex-work article by Catherine MacKinnon, I'd make an effort to describe the internal feminist arguments about sex work and why I respectfully disagree with MacKinnon. I'd also try to explain what feminists have in common despite these internecine schisms.

    I'll use healthcare as an example because we're already talking about it. For @TL DR and @Giggles_Funsworth - do you see the NHS as a socialist ideal?

    1) Would it be okay to maintain such a centralized, hierarchical organization as long as it kept helping people?
    2) Is the NHS (a fully nationalized service) more or less appealing than a single-payer system (where physicians and hospitals are private but receive payments from a government healthcare plan?)
    3) If you could restructure the US's healthcare system right now to your liking, what would the new system look like?

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    A system where scientists compete for prestige and they or their financial backers own the ideas produced is a capitalist market.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    I mean I'm not saying scientists don't want to get paid well for their labor, but no one goes into the Amazon for 6 months to gather samples of fungus to test for antibiotic properties because they're motivated by riches. The people who want that get someone else to do it.

    It goes beyond just socialism really. People like to do things that matter to them and there are far more personal levels of mattering than profit motive, unless you're the kind of person who values the accumulation of wealth for its own sake. Those are bad people.

    mrondeauIncenjucarshrykeQuidVegemyteDoobhJuliusMegaMek
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    A system where scientists compete for prestige and they or their financial backers own the ideas produced is a capitalist market.

    As someone who has worked for a major university research center, the growth in for-profit spin-offs, public-private partnerships, and the financialization of science has not been great for the research world. It has coincided with a growing small “c” conservatism in research projects and a huge increase in problems in reproducibility (i.e. either sloppiness or outright fraud).

    Styrofoam Sammichmrondeaushryke
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited December 8
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    A system where scientists compete for prestige and they or their financial backers own the ideas produced is a capitalist market.

    Edit: Okay, actually, I have no idea what the fuck this means. I'm... since when do scientists own their ideas? Or... what? I'm so confused what this is even referencing.

    hippofant on
    Julius
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    A system where scientists compete for prestige[/b] and they or their financial backers own the ideas produced is a capitalist market.

    Edit: Okay, actually, I have no idea what the fuck this means. I'm... since when do scientists own their ideas? Or... what? I'm so confused what this is even referencing.

    Modern university researchers generally do have ownership of their research and patents. The current model, which does vary from institution to institution, is for the researcher to partner with industry or venture capital to start a spin-off with their university taking a cut of the profits. The jargon term for this is "translational research."

    shryke
  • The Cow KingThe Cow King Walls of Jakiro Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    There's an assumption being made there that the US being built around profit motive is what made all that aero-space technology possible but I don't think that's tenable.

    I disagree.
    I think capitalism encourages the best (scientists, engineers, manufacturing, etc) to strive for greatness, and produces an altogether superior product in nearly every case.
    I attribute that to the reward system of capitalism, both from a professional and personal perspective.


    *which, of course, isnt to say that we dont need to pump the breaks a bit here. Unregulated capitalism is nasty. Regulated capitalism is superior to communism in almost every way. When taken at a national level.
    My opinion of course.

    Well we live in a international world and im sure all the explotied nations in the third world love having resources and wealth extracted and conflict and arms imported from the west, and yes the way the us has accessed the worlds resources is part of how it looks so good on a national level.

    Socialism is scary in america because the wealthy dont want to share and if were being honest socialism in the west would also require redistributing a lot of the resources we have to the rest of the world. Wanting to keep the imperialism is uh well its a no sell for me.

    I also heavily despise the notion the humanity is motivated soley by wealth

    icGJy2C.png
  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    Query: we already know that socialist systems can have markets [see, well, Market Socialism]; is there anything that prevents a fully communist system from having a market system? I would imagine it’d be possible under a stateless implementation [no state, no state centralization]

    waNkm4k.jpg?1
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Depends on how loose you're willing to get with "market"

  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    .
    I mean I'm not saying scientists don't want to get paid well for their labor, but no one goes into the Amazon for 6 months to gather samples of fungus to test for antibiotic properties because they're motivated by riches. The people who want that get someone else to do it.

    It goes beyond just socialism really. People like to do things that matter to them and there are far more personal levels of mattering than profit motive, unless you're the kind of person who values the accumulation of wealth for its own sake. Those are bad people.

    “Then what's the challenge?”

    “The challenge, Mr. Offenhouse, is to improve yourself. To enrich yourself. Enjoy it.”

    waNkm4k.jpg?1
    FeralshrykeDoobhMegaMek
  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    Depends on how loose you're willing to get with "market"


    Let’s, for the sake of simplicity go with “an economy in which individual actors or groups of workers offer self-directed businesses that provide goods or services.”

    waNkm4k.jpg?1
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    Depends on how loose you're willing to get with "market"


    Let’s, for the sake of simplicity go with “an economy in which individual actors or groups of workers offer self-directed businesses that provide goods or services.”

    One thing capitalism has been very good at (with some help from Soviet Communism) is equating commerce with capitalism. Commerce predates capitalism by tens of thousands of years! At least!

  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    A system where scientists compete for prestige[/b] and they or their financial backers own the ideas produced is a capitalist market.

    Edit: Okay, actually, I have no idea what the fuck this means. I'm... since when do scientists own their ideas? Or... what? I'm so confused what this is even referencing.

    Patents. I imagine that under a socialist system a patent would be a kind of means of production, of capital, that should not be owned by an individual, no?

    I would even argue that the way atribution is done in academia is capitalist on a philosophical level.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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