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Socialism

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Satya, Oct 1, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I figured it was time this had its own thread.

    The only rational argument I can make against socialism is that it doesn't adequately provide incentive to work.

    People often argue that it reduces liberty, but capitalism often accomplishes that same task by creating a class system.

    So what coherent arguments can you make for or against socialism?
     
  2. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    The best argument I can make against Socialism is "Australian Aboriginals".

    They've got the only purely socialist/communist society on earth. Their society hasn't progressed from the stone age because they share everything, thus have no incentive to build or create anything, if someone can just come take it off them.

    In the wet season, they just walk to somewhere dry. No houses, because that requires effort, for someone else to move into it.
     
  3. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    Socialism does not always kill incentives. Add a little religious fervor, and you've got a highly productive society on your hands. (Surviving members recalled powerful social pressures within the church that promoted the constant advancement of their status and discouraged relaxation.)
     
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  4. OP
    Satya

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    Mixing religion and politics is never a good idea.

    Anyways, that article has more to do with communism than socialism.
     
    #4 Satya, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  5. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    Socialism is a lot like democracy. It ain't perfect, and it has a lot of problems. Some implementations work better than others. But it's still by far the best alternative.

    Plus people always forget that socialism isn't a carte blanche for lazy/poor people to leech off the government. It also helps your hardworking lower class, the sick and infirm who could be productive members of society with the right help (Stephen Hawking types won't get much brilliance done if forced into medical bill bankruptcy hell) and etcetera.

    And boohoo, there will be people who take advantage of the system. Show me one system where people aren't sickly profiting from it somehow. Capitalism is no better in that respect and probably worse, because money grubbing at the top takes a lot more money out of circulation than bottom feeders.
     
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  6. OP
    Satya

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    And yet I bet the Aborginals live within their means and have a low impact on their environment. Pros and cons to stagnation.
     
  7. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Aboriginals USED to live within their means. Now they don't.

    Now they* use credit and spend all their money on booze. They live on royalties from leased land from the government, and mine sites, from land that the government says they can use, which they trade on and keep for themselves until they default on a loan in which case several years afterwards they can reclaim that land.

    Socialism tends to create a "I Deserve Everything" attitude.











    *for the most part
     
  8. OP
    Satya

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    Um...didn't all that occur because they were exposed to capitalism? I doubt that credit, money, and booze were concepts that originated in their culture.

    Isn't entitlement one of the drawbacks of capitalism ass well? Instead of coming from the government it just comes from inheritance.
     
  9. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Sure, but if their culture was strong enough they'd not need the capitalism.

    For the population of Australia they represent, they've got more arable land than anyone else.
     
  10. OP
    Satya

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    You mean that they don't reproduce and consume endlessly, so they can't keep up with the growth of a capitalistic society, so they need to assimilate or be forcefully pushed out?

    Curse them for not exploiting their resources!
     
  11. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    No, they should be made to give up so many of their rights since they abuse them terribly.

    The Australian Aboriginal example shows what socialism does for a society over a very long period of time. It stagnates it.
    What was shown in a smaller time frame in the USSR, is shown on a long scale in Australia.
     
  12. OP
    Satya

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    There are pros and cons to technological stagnation.

    Communism and socialism, apples and oranges.
     
  13. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    Both were Socialist.

    Aboriginals have a Tribal Elders government, which is very Authoritative.
     
  14. OP
    Satya

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    Communism is a form of revolutionary socialism. There is a fundamental difference between socialism fostered by democracy and socialism fostered by an organized opposition to an authority.
     
  15. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    I'm an inventor and I've started three companies. The last company (my current one) I started in 1990 and it only cost $40 to incorporate. I once tried to start a company in Switzerland with a European colleague. We couldn't get started because the Swiss Government required that we have 50,000 Swiss Francs of capital in the bank to begin with. And, the Swiss aren't even very Socialist.

    I'm a Capitalist because, despite all its flaws, Capitalism is still the economic framework that automatically yields the most efficient use of resources. The fewer decision makers in an economy, the less efficient it and its markets are. I've developed inventions within large companies, and let me tell you, even if one is lucky enough to have a boss who champions the invention, it is an incredibly slow and uncertain process. Innovation is easily crushed within bureaucracies. So, it is no surprise that many important inventions are first developed by entrepreneurs within small, agile organizations.

    Sure there are poor people within any society and government should play a substantial role in helping the poor, but this should not be at the risk of losing the benefits to society of individuals who are extraordinarily talented and willing to take risks to start companies, invent new technologies (and, indeed, new industries) and employ an ever growing number of new tax payers.

    Obviously, there is an important place for government and monopolies within an economy. Beyond the obvious functions of infrastructure, health and welfare, defense, research funding, etc., government regulation is clearly critical for establishing and enforcing the rules of the economic game. The most difficult problem is maintaining balance. In any complex system, the balance between regulation and freedom is a quasi-stable point that can easily swing too much in either direction. Too much regulation leads to stagnancy. Too little regulation (and/or too little enforcement) leads to the current economic situation.

    Society needs a free and vibrant economic environment for individuals so that, within a legal framework, they can take risks that a Socialist government, for example, would be unwilling to take. And, it should be remembered that, when government infringes the freedom of the individual in society, it is the individual within the government that gains more power over the rest of us.
     
    #15 Norton, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
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  16. OP
    Satya

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    Capitalism is only efficient as long as there is competition. Monopolies, for example, are by no means efficient, nor do they take great risks in research and development as there is no incentive to do so. So you might want to question your assumption that capitalism always automatically yields the most efficient use of resources.

    When it comes to government involvement, that occurs in both capitalism and socialism. It's just as possible for the rights of the individual to be infringed by a capitalistic government as by a socialistic government.
     
    #16 Satya, Oct 1, 2009
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  17. mjgjr706

    mjgjr706 Regular Poster

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    I hate socialism because it means bigger government... That is my primary reason for my hatred for it. The more power a government has the more corrupt that government will eventually grow, this is history and human nature speaking. I am not saying that socialism is always awful I am just saying that unless a perfect being with nothing but perfect motives rules it then it will offer more structure and protection to the corrupt powers the be. No form of government is perfect because we are dealing with good and evil here as humans... I just dont see socialism as anywhere near good in the long run. I believe it works in theory but not so much in action. So in my opinion democracy and capitalism is the way to go... Not perfect but good under the correct conditions. Pretty much Im just a rebel and hate big government... In my opinion people shouldnt even know the government exist until they are needed... Basically I think uncle Sam is becoming Daddy Sam through socialism whereas I would prefer him to be like... 2nd cousin Sam... You guys understand my feelings on this?:mk:
     
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  18. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    I've never been in an industry where there wasn't competition. If you come up with something new, it's usually just a few months before someone else is out there in the market as well. OTOH, monopolies work best in industries where we don't want them to take risks, such as utilities (for which attempts at developing competition with attendant lower prices has largely failed, so far in the US).

    In particular, regarding individual rights, I meant individual economic rights, which meaning I thought was inherent based on the thread topic. It is typically harder for individuals to raise capital in socialist economies and, thus, more difficult to start new enterprises.

    Beyond all that, I can envision a high enough tax rate causing diminishing returns for an individual beyond which I, for example, would be unwilling to risk my resources (e.g., money, energy, effort) to develop inventions and/or start a new company. France has made it so difficult for entrepreneurs (what with high taxes, 35 hour work weeks, and tight credit) that Silicon Valley has been rife with young French Electrical Engineers (at least up until the economic crisis). I love working on projects that benefit people, but I also want recompense. One need not love Ayn Rand to still crave the possibility of a big payoff from taking fruitful risks.
     
  19. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    In socialism no one has anything, yet everyone owns everything.

    Socialism is a perfect example of a Robin hood society.
    It takes what belongs to someone, and gives it to another.
    There may not be a point in striving ahead and making something out of your life.
    For the people who try and make something out of themselves will be punished.
    The further up you deserve to be - the more the taxes rise.
    The further down you are - the more the taxes go down as well as being given social welfare.
    Over time bringing everyone down to an even level.
    Good or bad - is pointless! How much, on the other hand, is not!!!!

    It also makes people prone to rely on the state to fix their problems rather than comming up with a solution on their own.
     
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    #19 Pristinegirl, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  20. the

    the Si master race.
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    Yup. Robin Hood was a thief plain and simple.
     
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