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FREEDOM of choice....demonstrate socialism's virtue

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by bandit75238, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    WHARRGARBL!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    I was gonna go all YouTube commenter with a "Shaddup, boogershitmotherlickstumphomofuckpusfagcock!" but your example is just as valid and significantly more tasteful.

    Typical Baraka.

    ...

    I figured out why politics bore me: I'm really stupid and they're just like big name team sports except the only people that get rich are them and the only people that get hurt are us.

    Also: Fuck Libertarians. You whiny bitches only exist inside the safety of the cushy nest of systems and services that can only be provided by the big government you claim to hate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
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  3. Spiritsoar

    Spiritsoar Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    New York
    Isn't that a little general?
    I dunno, that sounds pretty ok to me. Let me dig into it some more. Good ol' Wikipedia should help me. That's what I pay $5 every time their little donation banner comes up for.
    That doesn't sound so bad. I mean I could disagree with the elimination of state functions, but I suppose no one agrees with everything in a party platform.

    So what it sounds like you're saying is fuck hardcore Libertarians. The Ayn Randian "I got mine and everyone else can screw off" libertarians. In which case I agree with you. But in that case, fuck Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and anyone else that has their extreme outliers.
     
  4. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Noam Chomsky and Bill Maher are pretty cool, but I'm pretty sure they're outliers.
     
  5. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    Mmm, let me reiterate: Fuck the entitled Americans that call themselves Libertarians. It would appear that the only breed of these creatures that exist are the upper middle class Ayn Randians that enjoy the shit out of public systems and services all while talking about how it's a nanny state and they don't need any of it interrupting their lives and the economy, blah-blah-blah. It's like the chicken saying it doesn't need the egg and the egg saying that it didn't come from the chicken. Or whatever.

    Since you seem to be advocating for these chuckleheads, go ahead and point me at a Sensible Moderate Libertarian (TM) so I can correct myself.

    ...

    Damnit, I got sucked into Politics again. Sorry. I should keep my safety helmet on and just stand facing the corner.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Spiritsoar

    Spiritsoar Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    New York
    Well, maybe I've the one that needs correcting. I've never gotten overmuch into politics, but I've always thought of myself conservative in terms of fiscal policies and liberal in terms of civil liberties. I'm not saying all government functions should cease. Hell, I'm in the military, the government pays my paycheck. I grew up on food stamps and government assistance. You won't hear me saying I did it all myself. But we do have a lot of government subsidies that are produced more from lobbies than from actual best interests of the country. We do have a Republican party who is a bunch of crazies who care more about seeing who more embodies the Christian values than the good of the people. Libertarians aren't great. Hell, politics suck. But given the choice between the Libertarians and the Republicans, I'd take the former any day. We're supposed to have an adversarial government to help moderate the extremes and come out with the functional. That system is broken as it stands.
     
  7. MSD

    MSD Very Tilted

    Location:
    CT
    When someone makes an argument that consists largely or entirely of fallacious and otherwise flawed reasoning, their argument is poorly defended. I'm refraining from passing judgment on whether that's due to an individual doing a poor job of defending that argument or whether that argument is indefensible.
     
  8. Plan9 FORMAT C:

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    You're quite masterful in action. Good to see you flexing here again.

    And I'm inclined to think it is the latter.
     
  9. My original post seems to sound more critical of the idea than I intended.
    From what I could find out, studies have been done showing that socialism can work, especially in voluntary communities.
    Yet it seems the best known example was tragic. Should point to this as a reason it can't work? Of course not. Should I look at other examples? Should I seek to understand the viewpoints, beliefs, previous behavior, data, and a multitude of other factors involved?
    900 Americans died in a South American jungle upon the orders of Rev. Jim Jones, who had tried to create a socialist paradise that survivors called a slave camp.

    Indianapolis preacher James Warren Jones. Jones, who had no formal theological training, based his liberal ministry on a combination of religious and socialist philosophies.
    Jones urged his congregation to join him in a new, isolated community where they could escape American capitalism—and criticism—and practice a more communal way of life.

    "Although a variety of beliefs existed inPeoplesTemple, two main systems of thought can be identified. The first system, which tended to be concentrated in Jim Jones and a small leadership corps, comprised a belief in the salvific power of socialism. Somewhat atheistic, or at best agnostic, in nature, this belief resembled humanism in its understanding of the power of human beings to re-create and re-shape reality for the benefit of all. In this view, religion could be used to attract people into the organization so that the real message of Christianity — radical sharing and mutual support — could actually be lived. The second belief system in theTemple, and by far the largest, was a traditional Christianity which emphasized the prophetic call to social justice and a belief that thekingdomofGodcould be established on earth by living in an apostolic community. This system resembled the Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in its commitment to solving social problems; at the same time, however, the group had utopianist ideals which could only be lived out through the establishment of a community separate from the evil and injustice of the rest of the world, especiallyAmerica."




    Well intentioned programs result in such behavior as wasted resources(taxes), corruption, etc., when implemented in the way the actual bills are written. Observe...

    Not on welfare or below the poverty line? Never mind — here’s your free phone.


    “So here’s the final count: I was able to apply on the street for one SafeLink phone and seven Assurance phones. I received one SafeLink phone and two Assurance phones, no questions asked. For several other applications, Assurance sent me requests for more financial information.

    Finally, I received one other letter, full of grammatical errors, informing me that “there is already an Assurance Wireless account established at this address” and requesting further information about my application. I find it curious that Assurance caught a duplicate only once, considering that I’ve got seven entries in their system, and that they have on file my name, address, HRA case number, and, in some instances, photos of my insurance card and driver’s license. SafeLink was slightly better about catching duplications on the street, but it still gave me a phone when it shouldn’t have.

    And if you’ve been wondering why the companies are so eager to hand out free phones, the incentive is built into the program. As Griffin explains, “Of course, the way the program was set up, [wireless companies] were getting money for every one they could give out, so they gave out as many as they could.”

    And still do.”
    =================

    The idea of forcing it is what I wanted to be critical about. And then given that the tool to implement it is almost always the government, the astounding amount of waste, mismanagement, abuses of power, and lack of being held accountable would be likely to produce a perverted form of any system that may be implemented. This I would assume would simply compound itself as they are given more control or trust of the people. That being said I do have issues with some aspects of Socialism, *IF* if understand it correctly. Man tends to fear what he does not understand, and then destroy it. I want to at least try to understand to the best of my ability however limited that may be.

    This is just the danger I see…(this example was provided by someone other than I)

    Capitalism- A professor administers a test to his class. Some students study long hours and sacrifice other wants in order to ensure they do the best they can. Most receive an A on the test. Other students have less time to study or are less intellectually gifted; they however do spend a substantial amount of effort on preparing for the test. Most of these students receive a B. Some pay attention in class and attend each lecture taking notes, which they review once or twice before testing. They for the most part receive a C grade. Others cram at the last minute and receive D grades. One or two people don’t even attend most of the classes and fail. The drawback here is any success at all requires effort. Some cannot pass no matter how much they study.

    Socialism--- Same situation, but the professor explains he has averaged out the grade of all of the students and it is a low A. Each student will receive an A on the test. Some of the students that typically receive very high As, are a little upset, everybody else cheers. The next week another test is administered. The ratios on the letter grades of the A students did not change, the ratio of those that usually fail did not change. A lot more receive Bs and Cs than before. The professor again takes everyone’s grade and then averages it. This time it is a high B. Everyone receives a high B. The next week another test is taken. One or two get A low a, nobody gets a high A. I lot of low Bs, mostly low Cs, a few students don’t bother coming into class, except on the day of the test and get Fs. Now the average provided to the class is a low B. This trend continues. Eventually everyone is receiving a failing grade.



    Here is a question- of the following choices which place would you prefer

    West Berlinvs.East Berlin.

    North Korea vs. South Korea.

    Chinavs.Taiwan

    Juarez vs El Paso
     
  10. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    bandit75238

    You're presenting a false dichotomy.

    In other words, your test scenarios are strawmen that don't represent what they stand in for partly because they leave out pertinent details.

    In other words, I'd prefer Sweden.
     
  11. -------
    they leave out pertinent details----
    Yes I agree. Partly due to ignorance, partly due to bias, partly due to misinformation.
    What do you admire about Sweden?
    I am just venting frustration I am feeling when I see most media spinning stories to fit their view, politicians ignoring instances/events that would contradict their agenda, and it seems like it has gotten to the point where each side demonizes the other. Resulting in, over a period of time almost subconsciously, the tendency to ignore what the opposition actually represents.
    I have not seen complaints regarding the income of movie stars, or Opera. Haven't seen it regarding sports stars income. Yet I have seen CEOs salaries presented as being to large, or greedy, etc.
     
  12. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Sweden has what is characteristic of Scandinavian Europe: a strong tradition of social democracy. I tend to get tired of discussions along the lines of capitalism vs. socialism because they're often based on an assumption that the two don't work within the same economy, which is patently false. Sweden is an example of an economy that features characteristics of both capitalism and socialism. Most economies are mixed economies. Sweden just so happens to have a richer socialist side than most while maintaining the capitalist way of doing businesses (compared to, say, China, which is a communist government transitioning to capitalism).

    What you get in Sweden is rare. You have a balance between both elements to achieve an equilibrium that has become the main reason why the country is often ranked among the top in polls, studies, or what have you regarding the best places to live in the world. As much as Americans like to chant, "USA! USA! USA!" and say that America is #1, the fact is that America is merely the number one economy (for now: the Chinese dragon riseth). America fails to rank on the top spots (and often even in the top 10) in other measures of prosperity. One problem is that Americans value "freedom" (a loaded concept that has problems in itself) more than tackling problems inherent in social stratification.

    Those who champion either capitalism or socialism as pure modes of governance fail to see the benefits both systems have to offer. Instead, you see many on the left identifying as social democrats, who wish not for a Marxist revolution but rather a progression of policies that temper the capitalist system into something more humane and stable. Sweden is one of the best examples of this in practice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Baraka Guru- I wish to thank you for being kind, logical, and willing to provide examples to help explain various views. It is refreshing. It also seems to be a method that the majority of members here practice.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage

    Location:
    Temasek
    Welcome to the TFP... doing it right since 2003. :)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Aceventura

    Aceventura Slightly Tilted

    Location:
    North Carolina
    I have never read about, observed or experienced a human version of pure socialism or pure libertarianism. In nature some species thrive under either theoretical approached to social organization and order. I would argue the systems are not the problems for humans - it is the nature of humanity that is the problem leading to the weaknesses and bastardization of either extreme. We can not release the need for self in pure socialism, nor can we abdicate the well being of others in pure libertarianism. We seek a theoretical balance that will never be achieved - no two people will ever agree on that balance over time.
     
  16. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    What I said was for comparative purposes. There have been governments in the past that were diametrically opposed to capitalism, and they referred to themselves as socialist or communist.

    As for non-human animal species, you will probably find that most of them organize more akin to tribalism or feudalism than anything resembling socialism or libertarianism. But comparing anything beyond primates, especially chimpanzees, isn't going to be that relevant when discussing human societies.

    As for whether the systems or humans themselves are the problem, it's not as easy as blaming one or the other. A "perfect" system that cannot work in a practical sense is flawed when you consider applicability. The system, despite our perceptions of it, would be destined to fail and would therefore not be so perfect after all. Is the system flawed or did its design not take into account human behaviour/psychology/sociology? While you can tool with systems to fit human uses, you can't change humanity to fit a system without potentially disastrous results.

    The problem as you seem to view it is that there is no one answer regarding balance. Nothing in practice is perfect. Life is about problems and solutions, concessions and compromise, successes and failures, mistakes and corrections. The best societies are those that continue to strive towards a balance that works for the public despite/amongst disagreements, usually in such a way that provides stability and opportunities to grow and progress in a desirable direction. Rigid systems of governance are those that impede such things. This can occur when a system is too strongly in the socialist camp, and one can surmise that it would also happen in a system too strongly in the libertarian camp. The reason why there are no stable, long-term socialist or libertarian societies is because these systems are untenable. Those who strive to achieve them are either naive or ideologues, or naive ideologues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  17. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    You know where socialism works marvelously? Interpersonal relationships. All of mine are totally fucking socialist. I strive to make sure the people I care about have what they need and I try not to take more from them than I need. So far, I have not once utilized the efficiency of the free market to optimize the distribution of macaroni and cheese at lunch time (this is one of the ways in which I am not an asshole).

    As for more expansively implemented economic systems go, anyone who says that their system is *better* (whatever that means) is probably also ignoring the fact that humans are the fly in mayo when it comes to *every* economic system. Unless your system removes humanity from the equation, it's going to start and end just as fucked up as every other system.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Capitalism has a very specific use, and it's often useless if not damaging in many applications. The way much of economic growth is going amongst new business models (if I may move away from interpersonal relationships exclusively), it has often been a matter of not merely foregoing traditional capitalist models, but actually actively avoiding them so it doesn't ruin things. In other words, the traditional factors of production upon which capitalism has thrived—land, labour, capital—has become less essential as a whole in terms of conducting business, and recent technologies has been a big part of that.
     
  19. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    For example: internet-based service companies that are free and awesome when they start but then once they go public turn to shit as they try to please their stock holders.
     
  20. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    That was what I was thinking about, yes. I think many avoid going public for this reason. They don't see the traditional growth model as a benefit. I think many of them actively avoid it. Where they seek growth is in service value, not dollar value. I think many of them find that with better service comes more income.

    Many of these services aren't free though. Many of them are really cheap and provide good value. Think of companies like 37signals and the products they make.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013