Is Socialism really that bad?

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Steve3007
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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Steve3007 » September 21st, 2017, 6:22 am

Ranvier:

I broadly agree with the above post, but it would be interesting to consider what the new ideology mentioned in the last sentence might look like.
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Burning ghost
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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Burning ghost » September 21st, 2017, 11:11 am

Ranvier -

I have been saying for a long time on this thread pretty much the same thing in different ways. It is not a "perspective", but an actual reality in western societies today.

The armed forces may not be there only to wage war. During crisis, such as earthquakes, they may be of use to helping people. I am also assuming you pay taxes? That where you live the police force and emergency services are paid for with your taxes? This is a socialist idea.

Also, consider having to pay for your child to go to school?

All that said socialism as a be all and end all is not a good idea and we've seen such things try and be forced before with horrible effect. I prefer to look at the uses of an idea rather than obsessing over two polar extremes that are different flavours of bad.

I find it utterly insane that people in the US protest the very idea of free healthcare?? I cannot understand such an attitude. I do think governments should fund education and healthcare for certain. That is not to say I am opposed to either private healthcare or private education.

I do think a well established, honoured and strong education system is the first step in the right direction.

Steve -

That is a basic description of anarchy in action. The same kind of thing happened in Grenfell Towers in London. People saw what was happening and mucked in together to help. Anarchy is very much rthe most natural human state.
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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Steve3007 » September 21st, 2017, 11:36 am

Burning ghost to me:
That is a basic description of anarchy in action.
What does the word "that" in this sentence refer to? I've looked back at my post. I don't think I proposed any kind of political system.

-- Updated Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:41 pm to add the following --
I find it utterly insane that people in the US protest the very idea of free healthcare??
I'm in favour of taxpayer-funded healthcare (as we have here in the UK) but I don't find people who disagree insane. I may disagree with them but I understand their argument. They make standard free-market arguments and apply them to healthcare.

I personally think that free markets are a very useful tool for driving innovation and wealth creation. But I think there are some things to which a completely free market idea are not entirely applicable. I'd include policing, judiciary, education, healthcare, some transport infrastructure and possibly some utilities.

But I appreciate that the list might be different for other people. It's unlikely to be empty.

-- Updated Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:45 pm to add the following --

(Sorry, my remark at the top of this post was a bit dim. I think I know which part of Ranvier's post you were referring to. I'll comment later.)
"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." - Eric Cantona.

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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by LuckyR » September 21st, 2017, 4:03 pm

Burning ghost wrote:Ranvier -

I have been saying for a long time on this thread pretty much the same thing in different ways. It is not a "perspective", but an actual reality in western societies today.

The armed forces may not be there only to wage war. During crisis, such as earthquakes, they may be of use to helping people. I am also assuming you pay taxes? That where you live the police force and emergency services are paid for with your taxes? This is a socialist idea.

Also, consider having to pay for your child to go to school?

All that said socialism as a be all and end all is not a good idea and we've seen such things try and be forced before with horrible effect. I prefer to look at the uses of an idea rather than obsessing over two polar extremes that are different flavours of bad.

I find it utterly insane that people in the US protest the very idea of free healthcare?? I cannot understand such an attitude. I do think governments should fund education and healthcare for certain. That is not to say I am opposed to either private healthcare or private education.

I do think a well established, honoured and strong education system is the first step in the right direction.

Steve -

That is a basic description of anarchy in action. The same kind of thing happened in Grenfell Towers in London. People saw what was happening and mucked in together to help. Anarchy is very much rthe most natural human state.
In your context "healthcare' might as well be "car". What folks are protesting is the idea of free Uber accounts for all. If all you have is a bicycle (or a pair of running shoes), free Uber sounds great. If you have a Mercedes, not so much. What Obama tried to do was thread the needle between taking away BMWs and helping out roller skaters. Currently the BMW owners are rebelling against the higher gas tax to fund the Uber accounts for folks with bikes. The truly amazing thing is they have bamboozled a substantial minority of those without cars (but current Uber accounts) that the good days of bike ridin' were pretty romantic and cool, so let's get rid of Uber. You have to applaud such sleight of hand. It is truly impressive.
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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Ranvier » September 21st, 2017, 8:06 pm

Burning ghost

I agree that perhaps the behavior of the people described from the video may not be accurately classified as "socialism" but clearly there was a level of "hierarchy" of roles assumed by the people, hence neither "anarchy" would be an accurate description nor "collectivism". This is the problem with "labels". I also agree that most of the "governments" in the world today are described as various types of Social-Democracy, which is not an entirely accurate description, therefore I referred to your post as a "perspective". Similarly with the term "free healthcare", we all "know" that nothing is "free" in our modern reality, one will pay for everything in one way or another. As for paying taxes for the education of children, being an overall benefit (presumably) for each individual within the society, may not be as clear for someone who doesn't have children or doesn't plan on having any children in the future, yet pay the most in taxes as a single individual (not married). This is presumably to make the institution of marriage more "enticing" by saving money in taxes, smiles. This doesn't calculate all that well either, since the divorce rate in Western hemisphere is above 50% and I hear that the divorce is quite expensive. Similarly with the military. We have the National Guard of volunteers that service in case of the natural disasters or domestic peace keeping force needed in case of imposed Marshal Law. One may argue that the military is redundant with the advancement to the nuclear weapons as a deterrent. It's difficult to imagine say N. Korea attacking United States to "occupy" any territory in the US and hope to survive as a country. This is perhaps the reason they are in such hurry to develop their own nuclear program.

Steve3007

Aside from the political or ideological labels, Society is not "made" by the government or corporations but all the individuals like us and those on the described video. We decide what is important, our values, and the "course" for the future. The new ideology for the 21st century should be based on such social consciousness. Therefore, using a cliche: "Necessity is a mother of all inventions", we must decide what it is that we want for the future that is necessary to our existence. Everything else is just a "realization" of what are the best methods of getting from point A to the desired point B, followed by implementation of steps to achieve point B. For instance, I would imagine that the "future" of the information exchange is in the internet. Therefore, if we are thinking of the "benefit" for the entire society, which consists of individuals, the first step would be to bring "everyone" into the "fold" by providing the "free internet" to everyone as it was intended. This makes a particularly good idea if we are thinking of free education for everyone, since the future of education is most likely in the internet with equal access to knowledge. With such goal, we just have to figure out how to get to that point without the assistance of the government or the corporations. Similarly, the income "equalization" should come from the people not the government and definitely not the corporations. I don't have the link at the moment to another thread, where I propose Pluracracy as means to achieve that integration of individuals as the government of society. This is a good canvas to discuss such ideas on what would be the best method in achieving a social structure that we would like to have.

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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Steve3007 » September 22nd, 2017, 10:24 am

Ranvier to me:
Aside from the political or ideological labels, Society is not "made" by the government or corporations but all the individuals like us and those on the described video.
Yes, I agree. The opposite is true: Governments and corporations are made by, and out of, individuals like us. Unless we want to create a society which contains no structures, except perhaps families, (which I think is actually what you might be suggesting?) then there will surely always be collections of individuals that we refer to with words like "government" or "corporation".
The new ideology for the 21st century should be based on such social consciousness. Therefore, using a cliche: "Necessity is a mother of all inventions", we must decide what it is that we want for the future that is necessary to our existence. Everything else is just a "realisation" of what are the best methods of getting from point A to the desired point B, followed by implementation of steps to achieve point B.
Yes, I can see that. We need to "cut to the chase". Work out what is essential and don't sweat the small stuff.
For instance, I would imagine that the "future" of the information exchange is in the internet.
Yes, and the present too! Telling my children about the world before the internet in which I spent my formative years is almost like an alien trying to describe his home world.
Therefore, if we are thinking of the "benefit" for the entire society, which consists of individuals, the first step would be to bring "everyone" into the "fold" by providing the "free internet" to everyone as it was intended. This makes a particularly good idea if we are thinking of free education for everyone, since the future of education is most likely in the internet with equal access to knowledge.
That sounds like a good idea. Various experiments to bring internet connection to poor parts of the world using such things as balloons have been started. Barring major world wars or other catastrophes, I think universal internet access will probably come eventually. Unlike access to other aspects of first-world technology, like cars, it doesn't necessarily face the problem of being an unsustainable burden on the global environment.
With such goal, we just have to figure out how to get to that point without the assistance of the government or the corporations.
This is the first point where I have a serious query. I don't see what is intrinsically bad about the role of governments or corporations in this particular effort. I understand what you said in your previous post about the power of grass roots movements to solve immediate relatively logistically simple problems, like earthquake relief. But as soon as you start to create the level of organisation required to provide something like global internet access, you've essentially got a corporation, haven't you?
Similarly, the income "equalization" should come from the people not the government and definitely not the corporations.
Again, I find it difficult to see how this kind of grass-roots people's movement avoids becoming government. After all, the idea of power coming straight from the people has occurred to people before! Some times it has worked better than at other times. But it always seems to have resulted in something that we would call government. How would you stop that this time?
I don't have the link at the moment to another thread, where I propose Pluracracy as means to achieve that integration of individuals as the government of society.
I'll see if I can find it myself.
This is a good canvas to discuss such ideas on what would be the best method in achieving a social structure that we would like to have.
Absolutely. I think it's a very interesting subject. It's a problem that people have been trying to solve for thousands of years! At least since Plato's Republic.

-- Updated Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:45 pm to add the following --

Here is one place where you suggested your Pluracracy idea:

onlinephilosophyclub.com/forums/viewtop ... 58#p294458
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Ranvier
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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Ranvier » September 22nd, 2017, 4:12 pm

Steve3007

You found the link, thank you :)

Yes, different types of government system are described as representative of the people or by the people. Why no let the "people" be the government. After all, it's the individuals in the society that "know" what's best for them and people should shape the society as government, not an entity of "them" government. This was in reference to the tax break for married people, with government controlling or shaping the society through incentives.

The reasoning is that "power" corrupts, simply by "having" the power over other people. It's not that politicians are "evil" by nature but become "evil" by simply exercising the power. To avoid this "corruption", we invented the term limits to serve at the government posts for a certain amount of time. Additional method of reducing corruption of power is the concept of checks and balances of codependent mechanisms of control. Another way of reducing such "corruption" is to distribute the power to greater number of people, although this may actually have a negative effect seen as distribution of responsibility in a "mob" morality. Therefore, to prevent this there should be a direct control and responsibility for one's decisions, that aren't delegated or diluted by shared responsibility.

What I proposed as Pluracracy is the type of reversal of roles in governance, where people are directly responsible for their own decisions. That's a type of direct Democracy, where people set the direction and the hierarchy of agenda executed by the elected leader group. The checks and balances is distributed among the seven Alignments of the society, each is further "balanced" by level of responsibility within the different regional levels of alignment. This may appear as a very complicated system but I think it's quite intuitive in reality.

The premise of such system is to include everyone into the decision making process for the reason of relevance and accuracy that maximizes social cohesion, as well as strives to be the most efficient means of production of wealth. The reason being that in our physical reality we all have necessary requirements to survive: food, water, electricity, shelter, etc., therefore, everyone must work to secure such necessities. This is what I call a "Light bulb principle", in asking how many people are required to change a broken light bulb. Logically, only one person is required to "service" the broken "light" but in reality the number of people that require a "job" increases with the population level. People must "invent" a creative way to "interject" themselves into the "light bulb" changing process, where it will turn out that thousands or even millions of people are "required" to change a single light bulb... including lawyers and the insurance companies :)

This is also a problem within our educational system that produces "over qualified" individuals that actually have to learn on the "job". Similar is true with the Healthcare system, at least in US, where there are levels upon levels of "unnecessary" people that increase exponentially the "cost" of the healthcare. Under Pluracracy the "middle man" of the insurance companies and unnecessary government regulation is eliminated from that cost. This is how it should be, where the treatment is directly a contract between the physician and the patient and not the myriad of unnecessary people in between including the "Free Healthcare system" without any vested interest in the outcome of treatment, other than perhaps to keep people alive.

The framework of the Pluracracy system requires much more thought and details to be worked out but I think it's a step forward in the right direction.

Steve3007
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Re: Is Socialism really that bad?

Post by Steve3007 » September 23rd, 2017, 3:54 am

Ranvier:

I like the link you made there with the old light bulb joke. How many people does it take to change a light bulb? 7 billion and counting! :)

Anyway, the central thrust of your argument seems to me to be about the concept of alienation that is sometimes talked about in modern complex societies. Being a small cog in a large machine whose function and other working parts we don't fully understand and can't noticeably control is not satisfying. It goes against the millennia of experience our species has of being part of small directly accountable communities. (Echoes by the Mexican earthquake relief efforts you mentioned earlier.)

I agree that some form of society in which we have more direct control of what directly affects us is a good idea. And I agree that the internet could be key to making that work in a world of billions of people.

Those are my first impressions, for now. There are some details I'd like to look at later.
"When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." - Eric Cantona.

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