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

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    Avalon Member TrumanCash's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Socialism is, in the de facto sense, the government putting a gun to your head and demanding a large portion of your labor and possessions (e.g., "money") and if you don't give it over then you face losing all your money and all your possessions and may even face a stiff prison sentence--in other words, a form of slavery.

    You have no say so in what the government does with that money and the money that you are forced to give may or may not make it to the people who need it. Anytime a middle man (i.e., government) is used to administrate the funds, the bureaucracy itself becomes parasitic to the extent that a large part of those funds never make it to people in need in order to feed the burgeoning bureaucracy.

    However, in the de jure sense, the social security system/administration and social security number in the US are "voluntary" in order to comply with the 13th amendment (no involuntary servitude or slavery). However, in real life one is required to have a social security number to obtain a bank account, credit/debit cards as well as an ID, driver's license, business license, professional license, fishing/hunting license, etc, under US Code, Title 42, Section 666.

    BTW, I have letters from the Social Security Administration that reveal that it is a corporation (created by Congress without constitutional authority) under the jurisdiction of another corporation called the IRS. (The SSA does not even have franking privileges under the US Constitution as evidenced by the postage paid on the envelope.)

    I would venture to say that it is pretty much the same in most countries in the world.

    If, as Dennis says in the OP, Trump said that the US will never be socialist, I'm guessing he either doesn't have a clue about what socialism is or perhaps he was thinking to himself, well, it's really more fascist than socialist.

    Even taxation is a socialist principle. In spite of what Ben Franklin wrote, taxation is entirely unnecessary in that the US could take over the Federal Reserve and banking industry and use the interest that people pay on loans, etc, to fund public necessities. Theoretically, any country could take over the banking industry and fund roads, bridges, etc, and perhaps even social programs thus eliminating the need for "socialism".
    Last edited by TrumanCash; 7th February 2019 at 05:04.

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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!!
    This is interesting, but I find this to be completely untrue. It could be because I am currently in college or maybe because I have only lived in two states that lean pretty far left but in college, this is more true about Capitalism than Socialism. Most of my professors are Socialists, many Marxists. They only tout the good of a the safety net as Socialism and ignore the removal of civil liberties. Of course civil liberties are quickly disappearing on campus. Capitalism is this evil monster that has never done any good while Socialism is this amazing system of peace and love. All the death in it's history was because "That's not real Socialism." I have gotten in my share of debates with professors by saying, well in that case, "That is not real Capitalism."

    It is probably best if both words were just tossed out since nobody appears to agree on the meaning of either.

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

    Knight, The academic arena is kind of the opposite side of the same coin as Christian fascism/fanaticism. All of these types seek total domination aand have become what they profess to hate.

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    United States Avalon Member A Voice from the Mountains's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    I agree with the descriptions already posted by Ratszinger, Bill, Satori, and TrumanCash above.

    Vladimir Lenin had this to say about socialism, and he probably knew something about it:



    In economic terms, socialism is when the government interferes in the free market system and prevents anyone from being able to tell where the equilibrium point in supply and demand should be. Minimum wages are a prime example of this. I just posted a thread not long ago about how immediately after higher minimum wages went into effect in New York, there were already large numbers of people laid off, or having their hours reduced, because companies, already severely burdened under heavy taxes and regulations, could not afford paying out more money without facing bankruptcy.

    This is exactly why Venezuela is such a shining example of socialism's ultimate fruits right now, because they followed the same heavy taxation and regulation route, killing independent businesses and making government a monopoly on money and power.


    In political terms, socialism is in direct opposition to the limited government the founders of the US set up in our Constitution. Our Constitution, I should point out, represents the longest-running government in the world. France implemented a more socialist documented after their revolution, and since then, they've had several government changes while we've had none. Virtually all European governments had to be reformed as a result of the world wars and Cold War. Asian countries, likewise, have been through numerous governments since we adopted our Constitution, as have African and South American countries, and even Canada and the United Kingdom have had significant revisions to their government since 1789.

    The US Constitution has provided us with a remarkably stable and long-lasting government which is based on the idea of limited federal government, and allowing the states and the people themselves to determine their own destiny, without the heavy hand of centralized power inserting itself into the lives of its citizens. The founders rightly considered this to be a form of tyranny, and they revolted against much less than the nonsense we put up with from the federal government today.

    Thomas Jefferson said the following:

    Quote I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition.
    Quote To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association-the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.
    Quote Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.
    Quote A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
    Quote To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Tyrannical governments have to suppress their populations in every way to consolidate their grip on power. That includes impoverishing them. Modern tyrannies impoverish their people by gutting the middle class and creating a huge divide between the rich and poor, and they do this through excessive taxation and regulation. The richest people in the world never pay taxes because they always hide it off-shore in international tax havens, so the idea of taxing people like Rothschild or Rockefeller is a non-starter in the first place. Nor can taxing the 1% pay for all of the social programs that socialists want, like free education, free healthcare, etc. It's the middle classes that ultimately have to carry that burden, and that's not by accident. Again, they have to gut the middle class in over to create totalitarianism, because a middle class means large numbers of people with large amounts of resources at their disposal to resist tyrants. People like Maduro, Mao, or Stalin wouldn't tolerate that.

    Note that the individual state governments have every right under the US Constitution to create programs to take care of the disadvantaged without having to appeal to federal funding. In the old days (and still to some degree today), local communities would use fundraisers and church collections to raise money to help take care of each other, and I think this is a much more healthy and economically sound way for communities to take care of each other. Giving that responsibility to government bureaucrats does not actually solve our problems, as various statistics about poverty and the purchasing power of the dollar since the time of FDR can demonstrate.

    States even have the right to implement socialism if they like. That's exactly what states like New York and California have already been doing. The only problem for the rest of us is that it's leading to a mass exodus of people into more conservative states, and when these leftists flee their urban hellholes for more comfortable living, they immediately resume voting for socialism. Texas and Nevada are already having to deal with this problem, and Yankees fleeing to the South are why Virginia also now has an executive branch of clowns. When I was younger, and the suburbs of Washington DC were less swollen, Virginia would have never elected socialist baby-killers like Ralph Northam. But who is celebrating the murder of infants? New York. That tells you everything you need to know about where this insane culture is invading the South from.

    It's fortunate that the founders who gave us the Constitution also gave us the most heavily-armed citizenry in the world, specifically to prevent tyrants from coming to power by preventing them from ever gaining a monopoly on physical violence. Unlike other countries, the US government cannot force its citizens to do anything without having to seriously contemplate the consequences of a military rebellion backed by about 70 million armed citizens, larger than any army on Earth. Otherwise we would probably already be just as socialist as Europe by now.


    One more thing about the economic consequences of socialists interfering with the free market, which their propagandists have cleverly projected onto the free market itself: creating artificial scarcity by destroying any idea of a real price equilibrium, leading to shortages of some items, surpluses of others, and causing the black market to flourish. Cuba is a good example of this, or, again, Venezuela.

    Go to a grocery store in Caracas today and this is what you'll see:



    If that isn't a scarcity of goods, artificially caused by overly burdensome economic policies, then what is?

    Can anyone show a country with a free market that has such barren grocery stores? I'll wait for it.
    Last edited by A Voice from the Mountains; 7th February 2019 at 05:15.

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    Avalon Member Tree Of Life's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Socialism? Simple.

    Work hard to make a better life.
    Someone who does not work hard, or often does not work at all, wants a piece of your pie.

    Now, if an individual decides to share that pie of their own free will and volition, that is charity.

    If the strong arm of the government comes along and makes you give up your pie, now we are talking socialism.

    The major problem however, and the big lie, is that the government decides who is going to get that piece of pie they are forcing you to give up.

    The government usually keeps the pie for themselves, prints some paper called 'money' backed by nothing but thin air, and gives that to the non-working, pie-eating welfare class to shut them up, devaluing the hard worker's cash in the process.

    This system of socialism goes against Human Nature, which is why it always fails... every single time.
    Human nature naturally inclines humans to want to better themselves, not turn over the blood, sweat, and tears it took to accomplish that.

    A revolt is most often the result.

    Simple as pie.

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

    We as a community are only as strong as our weakest link. If one person fails, the whole group fails.

    That is socialism to me.

    Many people do not choose to be the weakest link, but some do!

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

    How about this system:

    From the day you are born, until the day you die, your housing, food, and healthcare are all provided to you for free.

    In exchange, when you work, you are allowed to keep a small portion of it for whatever you want to spend it on, but the rest goes to the people who are providing your housing, food, healthcare, etc.

    I'd be willing to wager that many/most Avalonians would think that sounds like a pretty good deal. And it happens to be the arrangement that blacks were under on plantations in the Antebellum South.

    So which is better: freedom, or free stuff?

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

    Thinking about some of the major issues going on vs communism, socialism and capitalism our understanding and thinking becomes clouded.

    The 1% spiritually wicked psychopaths rule the world - backed up by political dogma.

    1. Increasing inequality rich getting richer and poor getting poorer (Extreme capitalism)
    2. Power of Central Banks - controlling (owning) finance, Governments and assets Agenda 21 / 2030 (communism)
    3. Stock markets have become reliant upon money printing QE. (capitalism, communism & socialism)
    4. When Central Banks wind in the printing to control their balance sheet stock markets decline – capitalism, socialism and capitalism)
    5. Middle classes – eroding away (socialist & communism)
    6. Inflation is worsening where the majority of income is spent on mortgages, utilities, food and healthcare (capitalism, communism and socialism)
    7. UK National Health Service is broadly a good thing but is slowly being privatised (capitalism)
    8. Significant increases in military and surveillance spending (capitalism & communism)
    9. Trillions missing from Government expenditure (capitalism, communism & socialism)
    10. socialism, communism and capitalism – muddy the water’isms
    11. The Annunaki may return and sort it all out !!

    For me socialism is not political. It is when a person is fundamentally good and causes no harm or suffering to others

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

    Here's something I wrote a while ago when I penned some definitions of political systems:
    Socialism is an essentially contested concepted, usually referring to the increasing reliance on political institutions for the organization of society.
    Socialism means to let political institutions decide on what's being done, as opposed to a free market in which individuals decide self-responsibly what they do.

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

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    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 […].
    I would like to make a counter argument.

    The most disadvantaged member in a society is always the lone individual. Someone who has a completely unique set of beliefs, habits and goals that make him a stranger to the rest of society. That person is certainly more disadvantaged than an old, sick or poor person that is integrated into a supportive network of other humans.

    Socialism is a form of collectivism, meaning that the individual must follow a certain group consensus. Therefore, Socialism does not support the lone individual who has a completely unique set of beliefs, habits and goals. Instead, Socialism compels the individual to become a wheel in a machinery that is organized by some sort of government that claims to be the legitimate ruler of all individuals.

    Therefore, the prime goal of Socialism is not the support of the most disadvantaged and not even the support of fellow believers in Socialism, but always the support of its own power structure.

    As Eric Hoffer noted in The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements (1951):

    Quote Collective unity is not the result of the brotherly love of the faithful for each other. The loyalty of the true believer is to the whole—the church, party, nation—and not to his fellow true believer. True loyalty between individuals is possible only in a loose and relatively free society.
    You could also say, in Socialism the end (empowerment of the most disadvantaged) justifies the means (subjugation of the most disadvantaged).

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

    Over 100 years ago people where told that equality in all ways comes under the name of socialism, as promoted by the parties at that time, then that was what they understood socialism to be.

    I live in Glasgow, West of Scotland and this area became the powerhouse of the British Empire during the industrial revolution, 'second city of the empire' was the tag thrown up from London to keep the natives quiet - but it didn't work.

    At the end of the 1700s, the Land Clearances in Scotland (removing the people from the land and replacing them with sheep) was instigated by the Lairds and Lords who owned the lands as sheep were more profitable than the subsistence farming practised by the crofters, which led to a massive increase in the larger towns and the emigration around the World of the Scots.

    And this town population increase coincided with the rapidly evolving Industrial Revolution - no surprise there, everything happening by design, leading to Glasgow being the 'forerunner' to witness the effects of industrial inner city overcrowding, squalor and poverty.

    After about 100 years of witnessing what 'progress' had brought them, the newly formed Socialist Parties had many people joining their ranks because they witnessed firsthand the inequality that Capitalism brings. The shipyards that used to line the banks of Glasgows river,the Clyde, became known as Red Clydeside due the support they gave to the red flag of Socialism.

    Even during the WW1 troops were put onto the streets of Glasgow due to civil unrest brought about by WOMEN. The ignition point being a rent increase by Glasgow Council leading to women and children being evicted while the husbands were away fighting for their country. This led to the women forming gangs and ATTACKING the council enforcers and the police. The unrest escalated but the government didn't bring in the local soldiers stationed in Glasgow in case they joined the 'cause', troops from South were sent in to quell the dissent.

    So after all that, my take on Socialism would be witnessing the inequality that Capitalism brings and wanting to do something about it - simple!
    Last edited by what is a name?; 7th February 2019 at 14:54.

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

    Hmmm, what a can of worms, eh?
    I was born in 1952.
    When I started school capitalism was king. You worked hard, paid your taxes, saved your money, tried to live up to the goals of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness".
    There were really no "social" programs to speak of.
    I grew up in a exceedingly poor family and when my father broke his back we had no state sponsored or federally sponsored help available and relied upon the church and charity to survive. It may not have been the best of times but it did instill in my family the notion of take care of yourself and your kindred but remember to give to others less fortunate, since we had been on the receiving end of others generosity. We did not take just to be taking, we accepted what was needed and let others receive who were more needy than us. When my father got back to work, we provided for ourselves. The government was not involved.
    We were taught in school that communism and socialism were basically the same thing and was bad for a variety of reasons, the worst being enslavement by the government of it's peoples.
    During the 60's social programs began to roll out.
    People in our society became more and more dependent on social programs and assistance from the state and federal governments instead of relying on the individual communities and their own ability to provide for themselves.
    It was, if they can have it I can have it too, I must have it too, and I demand the government give it to me. It became the governments responsibility to provide those services through heavier and heavier taxation for social programs that have been a failure, imho. The people have given up their personal responsibility and allowed the "state" to become their nanny.
    My thought then (and now) was, I was willing to give someone a helping hand and a leg up, but it has turned into giving handouts that people expect more and more of instead of relying on themselves.
    To me, that's socialism, and the greed of the people for "free" services has been the downfall of our society.
    I'm sure I could have been more clear in this missive, so much more is involved. These are just my initial musings on the subject and are subject to tweaking. LOL
    Last edited by Ivanhoe; 8th February 2019 at 03:31.

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

    Hi Ivanhoe.
    It sounds to me like your family enjoyed true socialism - the charitable kindness of your neighbors...
    Why Not?

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

    Quote Posted by Ernie Nemeth (here)
    Hi Ivanhoe.
    It sounds to me like your family enjoyed true socialism - the charitable kindness of your neighbors...
    Sorry but Socialism does not equal charity. It is so clear that the name needs to be tossed. Voluntarily giving to your neighbor is not the same as the state taking from you with the threat of violence.

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

    What exactly do you think socialism is but charity? Socialism becomes government policy when institutionalized. Otherwise socialism is just people helping people - the way it was always supposed to be.
    Why Not?

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

    The first thing that comes to mind when asked a question like this is my idealistic true gut response - all beings are deserving of the opportunity to be their very best. In order to achieve this, it is quite clear that doing without basics like healthcare, food, shelter, clothing, clean water and energy eliminates the possibility for personal achievement. This should not be a privilege afforded for the top 5% And what is even more clear, is that none of these life sustaining necessities should be vehicles for garnering personal wealth either as stakeholders, shareholders or both. Somehow, most Americans (and a few other Banana Republic dwellers) seem to have a problem with we as a society (NOT a government) demand that we change the status quo to accommodate the needs of ALL people. Not just the disadvantaged (whatever that means).

    So to get to the point - My Socialism (or just call it basic human integrity) is eliminating the financial incentives for providers of life's basic necessities not by means of creating a Nanny State, but by means of making their operations truly non profit. That doesn't mean that a CEO of a Pharmaceutical company shouldn't make 5M annually if they are truly achieving great results for the health of the people. All high contributors should be paid well, the operations, R&D funded, all expenses covered and then that is it! No public trading, no profiteering from the process whose sole purpose should be to eliminate illness and suffering and improve the quality of life for all.

    Now there are those that will say that no one will invest themselves in companies if there isn't a huge monetary incentive. Not true. If the sole reason you are going into Pharma is to make money? Too bad. Go make sports cars. We the people will not allow you to publicly trade this as a commodity. End of story. So that requires that we get a handle on the Banksters as well. All of life's necessities should not be funded by any bank. We as a society should find a way to draw a line in the sand that allows for profiteering on non necessity items only. If that means higher taxes, so be it. I'd rather pay more in tax, (but not with the bureaucrats running the show)would probably end up with more money in the pocket than the current highway robbery system anyhow. And all of the unemployed traders, banksters, oil executives, real estate developers, food sellers, energy execs, insurance workers, pill pushers, and anyone else living off of a depraved system can all be proud stakeholders in the non profit foundations that make all of life's basic necessities available to everyone at an affordable price. And be paid well and fairly for doing it. Just remove profit. Not money. Profit. From necessity items only. And of course, establish a basic acceptable MINIMUM wage consistent with the true non profit cost of producing necessities. And true and fair subsidy for those who cannot work built into the model.

    And then one day, over time, the concept of money will disappear and all people will have access to needs and wants while contributing back that service that inspires them. One day.

    Call me naive and idealistic.
    Last edited by AriG; 7th February 2019 at 19:19.

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

    Nobody would have an issue with Socialism if it was just "people helping people." If we are going to distort the word to mean whatever we think is good in the world, then what is the point of this discussion. No decent person is against charity.

    You want to see a Danish economics student turn red, tell him his country is Socialist. To the shock of my professor, the three students from Nordic counties, two from Denmark and one from Finland in my economics class became visibly upset and vocally angry when this was stated by my professor. It turned into a shouting match and he decided to just end the class.
    Last edited by aKnightThatSaysNi; 7th February 2019 at 19:07.

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

    Quote Posted by aKnightThatSaysNi (here)
    Nobody would have an issue with Socialism if it was just "people helping people." If we are going to distort the word to mean whatever we think is good in the world, then what is the point of this discussion. No decent person is against charity.

    You want to see a Danish economics student turn red, tell him his country is Socialist. To the shock of my professor, the three students from Nordic counties, two from Denmark and one from Finland in my economics class became visibly upset and vocally angry when this was stated by my professor. It turned into a shouting match and he decided to just end the class.
    The top four countries with the Happiest Citizenry:

    1. Finland
    2. Norway
    3. Denmark
    4. Iceland

    And it surely isn't their amazing weather driving this!

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

    Socialism instills the idea that the government is responsible for helping the weak and poor through special taxation/projects and by doing that it takes away the individual freedom to help them directly... the money to do it is siphoned by the government and the rationale to help ends being absurd "the wonderful socialist government already helps them right?". The bastards in power that are (almost?) always head of governments continue stealing and even more through the increased taxes/projects and the poor people end suffering more.

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

    Socialism is easy to explain. Its how much nannystate you have. For me, who lives in a country run by socialists for many decades, socialism is like a psychtic overprotective mother. Cant say I like it.

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