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Thread: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    The president of the US said just yesterday that the US will never be socialist, yet the US (and UK, and Canada, and France, and Australia, and Finland, and many many other countries) all have some socialism. Maybe he was talking about not wanting the USA to ever become 100% socialist? But it sure makes me wonder what do people actually think socialism is.

    The word "socialism" seems to have different meanings for different people. I'm not thinking about the dictionary or wiki definition of socialism, and particularly not about Marxism (which has a pretty firm definition in Marx's published work.)

    In your present understanding, what does socialism actually mean, in concrete, non-nebulous terms? I think it would be helpful if you also name what you think is the opposite of socialism.

    Some people run towards it and some people run away from it - that makes it a pretty interesting topic to me.

    There's no wrong answers here - I am specifically NOT asking for a dictionary definition but rather your opinion of what socialism is, based on your current understanding.


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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Socialism is like catching wild pigs. You ever caught wild pigs? You go out where you know there are some reported and you run a line of fence. You drop corn down and soon enough the pigs come in smelling it as they sniff all about. They see the row of fence and smell it and are wary but in time they come on in and eat up the corn. Then they leave.

    You come in after and run a second row attached to first line of fence and now you have the start of a pen, a big ole "L" row of fence and and you drop more corn. The piggies come in and boy that second row throws them. They stand back a while but soon enough a bold one or two goes up and eats and things seem okay so the others say it must be cool and they join in.

    Now they feed up and leave and you come in and run a third row of fence now making a big ole "U" and boy they are really really wary now and it take some extra corn and a few days of leading them in deep but in a few you get them used to it. Then it's no big deal they come eat and walk right in and get comfortable, heck even causing the young ones to get playful and now they leave and the trap is getting close to being set!

    The unsuspecting piggies come back but now there is a fourth row of fence and it's kinda blocking the way a bit and looks imposing. They stand back, squeal some and carry on but in time hunger gets to some of the bolder ones and they wander in and begin eating. Soon the others start thinking they better get in there or those guys will eat up all my food and so they run in and now you've got several big ones and some little ones and a good variety of color and why you pull on your fishing line and that old gate snaps shut!

    Now you got em all but boy are they unhappy! They are fussing up a storm running around all carrying on just not to be consoled. But they settle down in time and the corn keeps coming but now it's half as much and they are trapped!

    That is socialism! As taught by my grandfather at just about every family reunion we ever had, this in a family reunion full of democrats. He called em all have nots and that the left created have not mentality that wanted to be taken care of on a draw all the time that would lock them in and never be enough> to him it was slavery.
    Last edited by Ratszinger; 6th February 2019 at 22:01.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    There are indeed many ideas of what socialism is and I can't say I can contribute much to the answer.

    I was talking to a friend last night who lost his business in 2008, then his medical insurance, then his house, then he and his wife split up. Then his father died, soon followed by his mother. He moved in with his sister and a short time later found he had advanced colon cancer. He had no way to pay for treatment as he was only able to find part-time employment.

    He told me he had never been socialist but...he was quite sure that he would now be dead without socialized medicine.

    Socialism, in part, is taking money from those who have it and giving to those who don't. And he knows that and feels a bit guilty that he is alive because money was taken from others and given to the medical system to help him out medically. He even pondered if he should have not taken the medical care and died as doing so is essentially theft. We did not come to any conclusion

    It reminds me of what Catherine Austin Fitts said in one interview that caused me to stop, rewind and listen again then write it down.

    Quote You can’t have socialism without capitalism or it becomes communism.
    And you can’t have capitalism without socialism or it becomes fascism.
    Ponder that one!

    I had hoped she would expound upon that but it was not to be...

    And remember, she is conservative.
    Last edited by Franny; 6th February 2019 at 22:08.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by latte (here)
    There are indeed many ideas of what socialism is and I can't say I can contribute much to the answer.

    I was talking to a friend last night who lost his business in 2008, then his medical insurance, then his house, then he and his wife split up. Then his father died, soon followed by his mother. He moved in with his sister and a short time later found he had advanced colon cancer. He had no way to pay for treatment as he was only able to find part-time employment.

    He told me he had never been socialist but...he was quite sure that he would now be dead without socialized medicine.

    Socialism, in part, is taking money from those who have it and giving to those who don't. And he knows that and feels a bit guilty that he is alive because money was taken from others and given to the medical system to help him out medically. He even pondered if he should have not taken the medical care and died as doing so is essentially theft. We did not come to any conclusion

    It reminds me of what Catherine Austin Fitts said in one interview that caused me to stop, rewind and listen again then write it down.

    Quote You can’t have socialism without capitalism or it becomes communism.
    And you can’t have capitalism without socialism or it becomes fascism.
    Ponder that one!

    I had hoped she would expound upon that but it was not to be...

    And remember, she is conservative.
    What your friend may not have realised is that he paid for his treatments while he had his business, through the taxes he paid.
    That is what capitalist socialism is about. A better equalizer of wealth while still promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging commerce and ideas.

    I would not want to be in a place that does not care for its most vulnerables.

    Austin Fitt is entirely correct in my views and based on life experience.
    Last edited by Flash; 6th February 2019 at 22:35.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    The benchmark of any society is how it treats it's disabled and sick.
    Socialism for me is ownership by the people equally .

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Pure socialism has never been just as pure capitalism has not. There are always moderating factors that amend the scope of either.

    Socialism in my mind is about taking care of the poor, making sure everyone has equal opportunities, and that the working class can prosper. Socialism is supposed to be about working together toward a common goal for all the people, not gays, muslims, or other tiny segments of the population. It certainly is not for increasing the rights of minorities, or silencing the voice of individuals, or enacting laws that favor a few special people. Socialism is also not about PC speech or hate laws like those for jews and muslims. Socialism is also not about opening the borders to anyone who can make it there any way they can. It is about peace-keeping, refugee intake, and curbing the rampant greed of capitalism.

    I have been a Liberal all my life here in Canada - I do not have a party that upholds my standards anymore, if ever they did...

    edit to add: And I really want to hear your, Denis', opinion, since I am certain you have one. If anyone can make it clear, you can.
    Last edited by Ernie Nemeth; 6th February 2019 at 23:56.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Well there's only been a small handful of posts ... I'd say already the whole problem about evaluating socialism is clear. No consensus of the definition of terms (in this case "opinions of terms". The same issue at the root of 95% of all the worlds problems.

    Dennis, this thread idea of having everyone lay it out is brilliant. You have the mind of a true problem solver.
    Last edited by DeDukshyn; 7th February 2019 at 00:25.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote What your friend may not have realised is that he paid for his treatments while he had his business, through the taxes he paid.
    That is what capitalist socialism is about. A better equalizer of wealth while still promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging commerce and ideas.

    I would not want to be in a place that does not care for its most vulnerables.

    Austin Fitt is entirely correct in my views and based on life experience.

    Many people equate the paying of taxes to theft. Also, his tax withholdings do not equal the money it took to pay his medical bill. Plus taxes are not voluntary, it is written into law that the State will take a portion of your earnings which many also consider unconstitutional theft.

    These things were part of the conversation that I didn't include, didn't want to bore anyone with so many details as these things are rather well known.

    One thing he also mentioned is that it's getting more difficult for many people to live as well as they did at one time as the prices of so many things have risen above even inflation - and wages have not kept up with inflation.

    About 4 years ago I looked into inflation vis-a-vis wages and there is a significant disparity. Had wages kept up with inflation from the mid 1960s the minimum wage would have been about $17.00 USD in 2015.

    His view was that necessities should be affordable to people, and I can't help but agree. Recall the articles a few years ago about Wall-Mart paying low wages and instructing employees how to obtain food stamps and medicaid - and how our taxes pay for those services to help keep Wall-Mart's net profit somewhere in the stratosphere. But these low wages even apply to many other businesses including, ironically, bank tellers.

    However that is not how our system works so there must be a way to help those who fall through the safety net. Fortunately we have various social services to take care of those needs. Even at $18.00 an hour many people would not be able to afford even very limited medical care.

    I also grabbed a quote from our own Wade Frasier:

    Quote …capitalism may well be the most inefficient system yet developed, and its apparent “efficiency” is only maintained by wiping out alternative systems and innovations that could unseat the capitalists who quickly consume and destroy Earth’s real wealth, which largely lies in its ecosystems and exploitable hydrocarbons. ~ Wayne Frasier
    Sorry, back to the definition of socialism.
    Last edited by Franny; 7th February 2019 at 00:15.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by latte (here)
    Socialism, in part, is taking money from those who have it and giving to those who don't.
    That somewhat defines "part time socialism," as you can recall the situation where the big banks found themselves very short of "good" money and had to be bailed out by the ordinary folks.

    West European socialism has been characterized by heavy taxes levied on high earners, East European socialism was steered toward a different path paved by the ideas of communism; and so it appears that the fruit of socialism doesn't grow on the same tree.

    If you look at the historical development, western-style socialism has evolved into quite different species.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    I'm curious to see where this is going. Obviously to me, what has been done in the last century under the banner of Socialism was quite awful; but I do understand that doesn't necessarily represent Socialism.

    To me Socialism has always been like the group projects done in school. One or two students do all the work while the others surf the internet or play games and everyone gets the share of the credit.

    I am a bit biased against Socialism. As a dual history / economics major, many of my favorite writers (Chesterton, Tolkien, Lewis, Mises) wrote against Socialism but I am open to at least read why some say they are wrong.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Dennis, you have separate out the 2 very different ends of this thing called socialism.

    There's the little people who have been told it's all going to get better because socialism distributes power and money more equally.

    Then there's the semi hidden hand 'socialists' who are playing crowds looking for the best crowds for the easiest and fewest Machiavellian moves in what is raw power playing. For a long time (since the 60s) the crowds they've liked the best, as armies of meltdown, have been the "lefty" brained liberal progressives. Some would even say they are the inevitable outcome of a corrupt, secular and decadent 'Western' development. I tend to agree, and there's the irony. The very people who are now rabidly screeching against the state of western society are the ultimate products of it. Hence the terms "snowflakes" etc.

    The big difference between them and the so called conservatives is that while the conservatives stood back and shook their heads in disbelief, they took it all deadly seriously and built an entire belief system out of it. Kinda like lab rats. Poor buggers, I should feel sorry for them, and I do, a little, but their attitude is very hard to sympathise with.

    You may well say that socialists are not the same thing as progressives. Damn right they are not. The Socialist intelligentsia are definitely not progressives in any other sense, perhaps, than criminally or secretively within elite circles of power.

    What the hell IS socialism as an idea anyway ? If we go with the idea that Marks brought it about, we have to take a good hard look at him and find who were his influencers and backers. The research I've run into strongly suggests he was a banker dynasty stooge thrown into a bloody rebellion, arranged by yet another stooge, to intellectualise the outcome and generally steer it towards a grand alpha test of a new world order. The beta tests came later, culminating in the rise of China which turned into the basic skeleton of the actual fulfilment of the new world order, and damn well nearly succeeded, too.

    Growing numbers of people around the world are joining these same dots and coming to a fairly unified conclusion which is manifesting in a resistance to anything that walks and quacks like an army of intellectual zombie ism suckered over a century and more by bogus political ventriloquism till our heads are spinning.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Are you trying to establish a common definition so that we can come up with a better discussion in regards? otherwise I see no point to this discussion.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Are you trying to establish a common definition so that we can come up with a better discussion in regards? otherwise I see no point to this discussion.
    I'm pretty sure you'll find that there is no consensus definition. If different individuals have strongly different ideas of what socialism is, "the point" of the discussion might just be to try to wrap your head around each person's concept. It certainly underscores that people have a spectrum of ideas of what socialism is - and, a spectrum of feelings about their concept of socialism. I think everyone has an opportunity to gain insight into how differently people think and feel about socialism.

    Yes, at this time, each person's post is a bullet point in a list, rather than stopping to discuss individual viewpoints, so far. I'm just thanking everyone for being honest and taking the time to each add another viewpoint. (I'll add mine too, Ernie, but later, because I don't want to steer this. When I do, it won't be the correct answer, but I will express the same thing I'm asking others to do.) I'd love to discuss our differences and similarities after we amass opinions of whomever wants to express their opinion, but even if that discussion doesn't take place, I'm already gaining a better understanding of the variety of viewpoints.


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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    What's sad is that in this country they treat Socialism like the bogie man -- oooohhhh Socialism! Watch out it's hiding under the bed!!

    Meanwhile the military budget is $700 plus Billion dollars a year, the "above" military budget.
    And most people couldn't afford a doctor visit if they didn't have the health insurance their company is able to get a cheaper deal on than they ever could. Nor would they dream of affording any prescription medication.

    You can't even talk about Socialism in this country. There's no category of understanding for it. It's been so derogated and vilified as a concept that it's a dead fish. Dried up.

    Yet they go on stealing from us. Remember this ? https://home.solari.com/the-federal-...-anybody-care/

    We are deluded here because we do have a kind of Socialism. That means money generated by one population segment and diverted to another. They've been doing that to us for at least 100 years.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by latte (here)
    Quote What your friend may not have realised is that he paid for his treatments while he had his business, through the taxes he paid.
    That is what capitalist socialism is about. A better equalizer of wealth while still promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging commerce and ideas.

    I would not want to be in a place that does not care for its most vulnerables.

    Austin Fitt is entirely correct in my views and based on life experience.

    Many people equate the paying of taxes to theft. Also, his tax withholdings do not equal the money it took to pay his medical bill. Plus taxes are not voluntary, it is written into law that the State will take a portion of your earnings which many also consider unconstitutional theft.

    These things were part of the conversation that I didn't include, didn't want to bore anyone with so many details as these things are rather well known.

    One thing he also mentioned is that it's getting more difficult for many people to live as well as they did at one time as the prices of so many things have risen above even inflation - and wages have not kept up with inflation.

    About 4 years ago I looked into inflation vis-a-vis wages and there is a significant disparity. Had wages kept up with inflation from the mid 1960s the minimum wage would have been about $17.00 USD in 2015.

    His view was that necessities should be affordable to people, and I can't help but agree. Recall the articles a few years ago about Wall-Mart paying low wages and instructing employees how to obtain food stamps and medicaid - and how our taxes pay for those services to help keep Wall-Mart's net profit somewhere in the stratosphere. But these low wages even apply to many other businesses including, ironically, bank tellers.

    However that is not how our system works so there must be a way to help those who fall through the safety net. Fortunately we have various social services to take care of those needs. Even at $18.00 an hour many people would not be able to afford even very limited medical care.

    I also grabbed a quote from our own Wade Frasier:

    Quote …capitalism may well be the most inefficient system yet developed, and its apparent “efficiency” is only maintained by wiping out alternative systems and innovations that could unseat the capitalists who quickly consume and destroy Earth’s real wealth, which largely lies in its ecosystems and exploitable hydrocarbons. ~ Wayne Frasier


    Sorry, back to the definition of socialism.
    Thanks Wade and latte, for the truth of the matter.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    My best shot. I've just come across this thread, so I'm writing it straight out.
    Socialism is an idealistic political model that has as its prime goal the support in all practical ways of the most disadvantaged members of society, as opposed to a more competitive model (commonly known as capitalism) in which members of society compete for their own well-being with minimal support from the state.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by Caliban (here)
    What's sad is that in this country they treat Socialism like the bogie man -- oooohhhh Socialism! Watch out it's hiding under the bed!!

    Meanwhile the military budget is $700 plus Billion dollars a year, the "above" military budget.
    And most people couldn't afford a doctor visit if they didn't have the health insurance their company is able to get a cheaper deal on than they ever could. Nor would they dream of affording any prescription medication.

    You can't even talk about Socialism in this country. There's no category of understanding for it. It's been so derogated and vilified as a concept that it's a dead fish. Dried up.

    Yet they go on stealing from us. Remember this ? https://home.solari.com/the-federal-...-anybody-care/

    We are deluded here because we do have a kind of Socialism. That means money generated by one population segment and diverted to another. They've been doing that to us for at least 100 years.
    take a third of that military budget taken from the US citizens and diverted into armament and throwing others countries into disarray, (this is a form of communism by the way, supporting large structures without the agreement of the people, but paid by them), and a system helping the poorer and giving free medeàicine could be achieve without raising anybody's taxes.

    It is true, in the USA, there is no way one can discuss socialism at all, nothing can be discuss about it . American's brains have been thoroughly washed. The word itself raises emotional uproar. Incredible when seen from outsiders point of view.

    All European countries have some form of socialism, if taking care of the very poor and the very vulnerable is socialism. Canada and Australia have similar system. Yet, we all have successful business and great businessman. And social medicine. But no, we cannot even mention it to an American. Thoroughly brainwashed they are.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Socialism is a set of beliefs that lead to the development of systems, such as political, economic, and cultural systems, which ostensibly hold the view that there is a sufficient abundance of money, wealth and means of production such that it can be relatively equally distributed to all members of a given society; but only under, and pursuant to, the dictates of a centralized administration and bureaucracy controlled by a few, most of whom have not been [s]elected by democratic processes.
    Last edited by Satori; 7th February 2019 at 22:04.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    When I think of government socialism I think of a system that rewards innovation and hard work, while protecting those who cannot compete.

    It's amazing to me that 'welfare,' is a dirtier word than 'warfare' to Social Darwinists.

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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Quote Posted by Bubu (here)
    Are you trying to establish a common definition so that we can come up with a better discussion in regards? otherwise I see no point to this discussion.
    I'm pretty sure you'll find that there is no consensus definition. If different individuals have strongly different ideas of what socialism is, "the point" of the discussion might just be to try to wrap your head around each person's concept. It certainly underscores that people have a spectrum of ideas of what socialism is - and, a spectrum of feelings about their concept of socialism. I think everyone has an opportunity to gain insight into how differently people think and feel about socialism.

    Yes, at this time, each person's post is a bullet point in a list, rather than stopping to discuss individual viewpoints, so far. I'm just thanking everyone for being honest and taking the time to each add another viewpoint. (I'll add mine too, Ernie, but later, because I don't want to steer this. When I do, it won't be the correct answer, but I will express the same thing I'm asking others to do.) I'd love to discuss our differences and similarities after we amass opinions of whomever wants to express their opinion, but even if that discussion doesn't take place, I'm already gaining a better understanding of the variety of viewpoints.
    May I remind you that one of the widely employ trick of the trolls, is to waste the sheeples time and effort on useless things. But of course if you are having fun with the discussion then its no waste. Although I am concerned that facebook has all the time wasting discussion and they have all the fun there while on their way to the inner cells of the prison. We are here on avalon to have a beneficial discussion while having fun. at least you and me and all the real truthers. Carry on I'm in no way stopping you or anyone. just bringing up what is it that we are here for. I'm just concerend that this forum is going the FB way.
    Last edited by Bubu; 7th February 2019 at 04:22.

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