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

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

    Let me pen a "capitalist" equivalent to yours, Dennis.

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Socialism is...

    Socialism: social ism:

    "-ism" is the word suffix indicating "belief in."

    social-ism is thus: the belief in "social."

    What is "social", what does it indicate? "Social" refers to a group of individuals, plural, more than an individual. "Social" refers to a group.
    Capital-ism is the belief in "capital."

    What is "capital," what does it indicate? Capital comes from the Latin word "caput," meaning head, human, main thing or life.

    Capitalism is the belief in the sanctity of the life of the human being.

    ...

    Just to make this clear: I think there is obviously no capitalism today, even though this word is commonly used for today's society. I would rather call it like John Perkins, a corporatocracy. You can also go for oligarchy, plutocracy, pathocracy, or many others. But by the definition of capitalism = private property & free markets, capitalism is obviously non-existent today. Sorry for the excursion, just wanna say I'm not an apologist for the system that we have today.

    ...

    As for the opposites of socialism and individualism, aren't they both directed towards the human being? If I love and respect every individual, don't I love and respect the entire human community?

    However, if my love is directed to the whole human community in an abstract way and not explicitly to the individual next to me, couldn't that be dangerous?

    Again, from Eric Hoffer's The True Believer:

    Quote It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. There may even be a certain antagonism between love of humanity and love of neighbor; a low capacity for getting along with those near us often goes hand in hand with a high receptivity to the idea of the brotherhood of men. About a hundred years ago a Russian landowner by the name of Petrashevsky recorded a remarkable conclusion: "Finding nothing worthy of my attachment either among women or among men, I have vowed myself to the service of mankind."
    Or think of all the famous philanthropists of the US, loving mankind so much they never get tired of devising grand schemes to put order and harmony into the pitiful lives of mankind.

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

    Socialism is the opposite of Capitalism. Socialism is a system based on working together and sharing while Capitalism is a system based on competition and winners and losers.

    This is the theory of it. Which system would you prefer Dennis?

    I know that Socialism and Communism are like swear words in the USA but thats based on the Cold War (fear) and ignorance.

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

    Quote Posted by Mypos (here)
    I know that Socialism and Communism are like swear words in the USA but thats based on the Cold War (fear) and ignorance.
    Communism is "the left" of socialism, Fascism is "the right"

    Socialism is actually quite popular in the US, especially for anyone who spent time in the higher education (staffed by mostly leftist) system.

    But still....


    A lot of smart people have very solid points:
    Last edited by TargeT; 8th February 2019 at 18:06.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    I would say 'aspects' of socialism are present in our current system in the USA but not the socialist system as it is commonly known just certain parts of it. I believe technically speaking we're still a republic.
    The genius consistently stands out from the masses in that he unconsciously anticipates truths of which the population as a whole only later becomes conscious! Speech-circa 1937

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




    Socialized medicine: I can be forced to pay for and use drugs and tx I believe kill people. If you want abortion, pay for it, don't pull me into it.

    Climate change: I can be forced to pay for programs based on junk science that say the world is heating up due to human generated Co2. That includes energy control, housing, food you name it.

    I could go on and on....

    It's clear we don't have true democracy in the US, that is no reason to say we need socialism, maybe we just need to try an implement a system that was hijacked practically from conception.
    Last edited by Savannah; 8th February 2019 at 18:24.

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

    Quote Posted by Ratszinger (here)
    I would say 'aspects' of socialism are present in our current system in the USA but not the socialist system as it is commonly known just certain parts of it. I believe technically speaking we're still a republic.
    Technically, yes, whatever "republic" is interpreted to be. Pinning down ANY political belief system is nigh on impossible, as they continually morph according to the context of history. Communism, usually considered synonymous with Russia, is likewise an amorphous stew: recall that up until the "fall", Russia was set up as the leader of the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics".

    Such change is why Dennis has set us a very difficult task. Trying to pin jello to the wall is an apt analogy for trying to define socialism. Declaring our multivarious points of view is a good start, but may be as far as we can get. Fascinating, none-the-less.

    Brian
    Last edited by Fellow Aspirant; 9th February 2019 at 02:18.
    A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

    Albert E.

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

    Quote Posted by Mypos (here)
    ...Which system would you prefer Dennis?...
    A question I'd love to "answer"/explore, but outside the scope of this thread. I'm actually excited about the prospect of having that discussion (which, I'll hint, for me includes and transcends current governance ideologies and policies, and would ideally be an enhanced hybrid system that would certainly include some socialism, "working towards the group", as I define/understand it), but until there is an understanding of what the basic meaning of the word "socialism" is, it's kind of nebulous to the point of meaningless.


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

    If we really want to understand something a little exaggeration can help.

    The end product of SuperSocialism is that the ones who run it owns everything.
    The end product of SuperCapitalism is that the ones who run it owns everything.

    It probably is a Hegelian game where the ones who stage the games, figure the only way to learn is by colliding two forces together and see what comes of it. They also control both sides of the forces. And probably can determine the outcome.
    Welcome to the NWO.

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

    I suspect that for a lot of people - most especially US citizens - the questions I asked in the opening post are kind of a brain teaser. It is pretty obvious from the responses so far that there is an overwhelming amount of emotion attached to the word "socialism." It's a highly charged word, an emotional "trigger" for some. I'd like to note it, but step past the emotion and get to the intellectual side of this. Just what does the word "socialism" mean without all the emotional baggage, right?

    "socialism is evil awful rotten terrible" is all emotion. "socialism is wonderful awesome fabulous great" is all emotion. This does help the reader understand what emotions you have attached to the word, but gives no clue as to why you feel this way. if you simply supply the "why" as a conclusion, the reader still won't know what your intellectual process is to arrive at "why." For example, if someone said, "socialism is great because it protects against tyranny", it wouldn't give a clue as to how socialism would cause or lead to protection against tyranny.

    It was sort of a trick question because I had a pretty good idea that most people would just express emotion - because they don't have a clear definition of what socialism is - and isn't. I excluded Marxism, trying to narrow-in on just what the stripped-down word "socialism" actually means, rather than (fill in adverb here)---> "_______ socialism", "forms of socialism" and especially "implementation of socialism or socialist policies." I'll enter into those discussions as well - they will be interesting as well (if not just emotions.) However, until someone can strip off all the emotion attached to the word, and if the definition of "socialism" remains nebulous to them and cannot be defined, then discussions of forms and implementations are going to be just emotional as well.

    To have an intelligent discussion about all of the various forms and implementations of socialism, we need to examine the word socialism without any modifiers. We need to understand the plain, vanilla, emotionless word as a foundation for any intelligent discussion.


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

    If you merely go back to the root meaning of the word, Socialism sounds as fine as Capitalism, as explained above. Sharing with others, respecting the human being, that's all good.

    To differentiate definitions, it's absolutely necessary to transcend the mere word in a concrete way. Ambitions, hopes and generalities don't suffice. The definition needs to answer this hard question in a clear way: Who decides what, and how?

    Whatever answer one would come up with, it would be expedient to compare it to previous and commonly accepted definitions. That makes it easier for people to grasp your definition and to understand any similarities and differences to the existing models in their mind. This implicitly encourages to consider and mention existing definitions when talking about Socialism.

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

    Removed
    Last edited by Antagenet; 15th February 2019 at 06:30.

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

    It is as if I asked for everyone's definition of "ocean", and the majority of the replies are "tsunami", and "shipwreck", and "waterspout." If the topic was "sex" some would jump to "rape!" If the subject was "knife" some would jump to "murder."

    I am underscoring that "socialism" is a word that few people can define (whether their conditioned emotional reaction is anger or joy.) I think a discussion about the implementation of some form of socialist policy on groups of humans is just going to be the same pile of emotion, unless there is some understanding of the basic concept of what socialism is before human twisting, manipulating, rebranding, Orwellian doublespeaking - whether demonizing or glorifying their modified concept of socialism.

    Here is the topic that many of you seem to be responding to:
    "Implementation of some form of Marxist-inspired if not Marxism labeled as "Socialism", including a gun-to-the-head armed robbery taxation shakedown of hard working people to pay for the lazy scumbag people to eat cake and make babies."

    But, that's not the topic of this thread.

    How are we going to discuss socialism in human governance if we don't really know what socialism actually is? A reader may not emotionally like my definition of socialism, but if it is wrong, it should be deconstructed using logic, not emotion. Quite frankly, I was kind of surprised that when I sat down and tried to articulate what socialism is, I realized that is is a direction of energy flow toward a group of similar creatures, as opposed to a flow of energy toward the individual. Neither is "bad"; both are necessary for survival of a species. How many "higher" animals survive without any cooperative strategy blended with individual strategy? I can't think of any. Are Emperor penguins just too far removed from humans to be a valid example of how socialism is a species survival strategy? Well then, let's talk about early hominids (before gunpowder and taxation.) The flow of some of an individual's energy as working towards the group was imperative for hominid species survival. You (dear reader) and I would not be here if early hominids didn't have cooperative group survival strategies - energy directed towards the group - even if clan-based or tribal-based group size.

    We can get to talking about 21st century humans and what is labeled as "socialism" or "Socialism", but it won't mean much without an understanding of what socialism actually is.


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

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    but if it is wrong, it should be deconstructed using logic, not emotion..
    I did that though.

    It is immoral to steal, even if you vote to do it.


    That covers all the re-distribution / fair society ("socialism") concepts that I've ever heard of; no emotion either.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by TargeT (here)
    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    but if it is wrong, it should be deconstructed using logic, not emotion..
    I did that though.

    It is immoral to steal, even if you vote to do it.


    That covers all the re-distribution / fair society ("socialism") concepts that I've ever heard of; no emotion either.
    No, that doesn't reference the definition I gave, it's a reiteration of your opinion. {edit to add: Not that anyone needs to deconstruct my definition, but if someone is going to say they deconstructed my definition, then my definition needs to be referenced.}

    Quote A reader may not emotionally like my definition of socialism, but if it is wrong, it should be deconstructed using logic, not emotion.
    You are leaping to the next topic, which I want to also explore. You might even be surprised by my thoughts on what I think of what the word "socialism" has been twisted into, and a third subject of how I would like to see "energy directed towards the group" as part of governance. A desire for a complete lack of governance (anarchy) it yet another subject. All interesting subjects, none of which will be able to be examined and discussed without recognizing that there really is such a thing as "energy directed towards the group" that is species innate.

    Do you recognize that the successful survival of hominids is due to some individual energy directed toward the group, rather than solely directed strictly toward each individual?
    Last edited by Dennis Leahy; 9th February 2019 at 19:38.


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

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Do you recognize that the successful survival of hominids is due to some individual energy directed toward the group, rather than solely directed strictly toward each individual?
    Absolutely, that's why my preferred (non-existent, for the most part) way to comport a society is through volunteerism... much like we had in the early days of the USA (the first 100 years or so); which has a drastically different connotation when compared with socialism.

    What it seems you are trying to do, is take a term that is fairly well understood and re-define it... another common tactic in politics, a logical fallacy and very insidious way of CREATING double speak.

    I've never seen a form of socialism that didn't have a central control structure that "guided" (aka forced) the energy direction away from the individual and to the group... if you are trying to re-define terms; then maybe we should come up with a new one? (no need though, UNBATU has been around for a while... but that didn't work either)
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Quote Posted by TargeT (here)
    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    Do you recognize that the successful survival of hominids is due to some individual energy directed toward the group, rather than solely directed strictly toward each individual?
    Absolutely, that's why my preferred (non-existent, for the most part) way to comport a society is through volunteerism... much like we had in the early days of the USA (the first 100 years or so); which has a drastically different connotation when compared with socialism.

    What it seems you are trying to do, is take a term that is fairly well understood and re-define it... another common tactic in politics, a logical fallacy and very insidious way of CREATING double speak.

    I've never seen a form of socialism that didn't have a central control structure that "guided" (aka forced) the energy direction away from the individual and to the group... if you are trying to re-define terms; then maybe we should come up with a new one? (no need though, UNBATU has been around for a while... but that didn't work either)
    Quote "What it seems you are trying to do, is take a term that is fairly well understood and re-define it..."
    No, I'm not talking about politics, I'm talking about animal behavior, survival strategies. You are still trying to push the discussion to be about Marxism or other pseudo-implementations of political socialism. That's a different discussion. This is about the basic meaning of socialism. It is NOT fairly well understood. That is one of the points of the thread.


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

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    I'm talking about animal behavior, survival strategies....This is about the basic meaning of socialism. It is NOT fairly well understood. That is one of the points of the thread.
    I never thought of socialism in an animal context.. what you seem to be describing seems a lot more like volunteerism, since there is no central redistributionary structure.

    But even social animals do not re-distribute wealth (unless it's in the form of direct theft) for the most part.

    I'd say nature, espeically social groups; is a lot more of an anarcho - captialism structure.

    Is there a place where socialism is NOT a political term? this seems like an attempt to re-define again.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Capitalism is closer to duplicating nature in my opinion, in that it is like nature in that it is geared for survival of the fittest. Breeding a have not society dependent on big gov. and raising your children such that they believe this is accepted norm makes for a society lacking motivation to do anything more than they need to do to get by. I doubt but only the hardest core individuals do what they love to do but instead most are forced to do most often things they would rather not be doing and for many more hours per day than they would hope to ever be doing it and for a lot less pay in a have not society which I equate to socialist society. At least that is my feeling. Even someone lazy and mediocre in everything they do in life could carry on and even reproduce those genes in a have not society. Capitalism breeds hardier people more able to stand on their own two feet and in my opinion even when they can't they would rather fail trying than accept a hand out.
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    Default Re: What is socialism? (your opinion, not the dictionary definition)

    Philosophically speaking communism and fascism claim to be opposite ends of the spectrum, but upon analysis of of effect they are 100% the same.

    Capitalism and socialism are more centered versions of the extreme of communism and fascism. Sort of the lite version.

    What if we did away with the social constructs that we’re invented by those long dead and visualized the perfect compromise? What would that look like?

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

    I have a good friend who is a libertarian..based on Austrian economics. We have a lot of interesting discussions. What often ends up being the crux of our disagreement is in my opinion his system would only work if it were a truly even playing field. Its easy for someone who is strong and capable to say ... every man for himseld...100% ability for self determination. But as someone who has a disability, who has had to accept the fact that i have no choice but to rely on others to survive...this is a terrifying prospect. He claims individuals will step up and take care of society's vulnerable....but this takes complete power and dignity away from the vulnerable...placing their survival at the mercy and whim of the strong and able.

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