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Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:44 PM Nov 2012

What does Socialism look like to you?

We often have conversations on what it is--but I'm interested more in what we imagine when we think of life in a socialist society.

For me, I picture life in the US with an expanded and more robust version of the WPA, with public programs to bring up living standards, full unionization with workers running the bulk of decision-making processes.

I see the arts and education fully funded, with opportunities that are not dependent on corporations wanting to make a buck on you and your skills. Children from all backgrounds would be able to go on as far with their education as they hope to.

The removal of privatized monopolies from our public resources, our living needs should not be dependent on whims of profit. Our news and airwaves would be expanded into more public programming.

I have a long list, but my last one for this entry would be the return of public space exploration. I'd rather not see capitalism move out into outer space.

Anyone else with a wish list?

What does Socialism look like to you? (Original Post) Starry Messenger Nov 2012 OP
I like China's approach to socialism of limiting women to one baby and eventually using genetic jody Nov 2012 #1
China is Communist, which is more authoritarin than many varieties of Socialism are. nt patrice Nov 2012 #4
Still China is socialist and shame on you for trying to cherry-pick. nt jody Nov 2012 #6
& Shame on you for trying to turn a thread about Socialism into a whatever forum. Start patrice Nov 2012 #8
BS I responded to the OP. Are you ignorant of China's socialist policies to limit population and jody Nov 2012 #9
China =/= USA no matter how much you try. patrice Nov 2012 #11
Have a blissful evening and goodbye. nt jody Nov 2012 #14
Do you think all Republicans hate Obama? Same logic as the statement above. Weak. patrice Nov 2012 #26
On edit you added "it has more to do with autocracy". Don't you know that socialism requires a jody Nov 2012 #12
Don't you know that Socialism requires no such thing. You have just disqualified yourself patrice Nov 2012 #20
No, it doesn't, Jody. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #112
This message was self-deleted by its author pangaia Nov 2012 #52
This is a safe haven group for people who support socialism. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #15
I've read the cited post. Facts are still facts or are those banned also? nt jody Nov 2012 #18
I block posters who do not post in support of the SOP. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #19
I concede and understand your policy, your group allows only pro-red posts and bans "red-baiting" jody Nov 2012 #21
Thank you. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #23
It's an oversimplification to assume that the weight of any fact is the same in all situations, all patrice Nov 2012 #24
Ask Pol Pot and all the people in mass graves in Europe and Asia.. Systemshock212 Nov 2012 #42
Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were not communists or socialists. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #113
China's approach is decidedly capitalist. joshcryer Nov 2012 #84
Worker defined & governed Real Value in exchange for Real Value. The MOST efficient economic patrice Nov 2012 #2
Who determines "Real Value"? nt jody Nov 2012 #7
I like the definition that Adam Smith uses in The Wealth of Nations, in the simplist terms, patrice Nov 2012 #10
Precisely equivalent to Marx's Labor Theory of Value. Jackpine Radical Feb 2013 #98
which has a long pedigree, including some classical economists. HiPointDem Jun 2013 #125
Superb rebuttal ... Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #114
Thanks! I'm about ready to give up on this place myself. nt patrice Jun 2013 #122
Don't give up. We need you and your insight. nt Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #123
I don't mind people disagreeing with me; what I don't like is being mis-understood. patrice Jun 2013 #124
Worker-owned industries Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #3
+++1 patrice Nov 2012 #5
That's Malthusianism, not socialism. David__77 Nov 2012 #17
It's not JUST Maltusianism. Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #25
Marx wasn't the only socialist. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #115
Of course. David__77 Jun 2013 #120
I'm not sure what you mean by that statement. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #121
Really? tjnite Feb 2013 #97
about nine letters Festivito Nov 2012 #13
It's far off in the future. David__77 Nov 2012 #16
I really hope it is not too far off. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #22
A different way to organize production while we destroy the planet NoOneMan Nov 2012 #27
Not a lot of optimism here today. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #29
I am sorry to disagree NoOneMan Nov 2012 #30
Capitalism as we know it (to avoid discussing ideological idealized definitions) tama Nov 2012 #32
Cuba's GDP has doubled in the last 10 years NoOneMan Nov 2012 #34
Well, I hate to be mom again- Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #35
Kropotkin, Tolstoi, Anarcho-Primitivism etc. Green Anarchism tama Nov 2012 #36
Basically, yes NoOneMan Nov 2012 #37
May your wish come true :) tama Nov 2012 #40
capitalism has a growth imperative. socialism doesn't. there's no requirement for growth in HiPointDem May 2013 #110
Odd how what appears to be "Libertarian" folk are AGAINST worker AUTONOMY, isn't it. Apparently patrice Nov 2012 #28
When I was living tama Nov 2012 #31
The way I see Socialism NickP Nov 2012 #33
More democracy, limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #38
I especially love the last item. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #39
Pigs tama Nov 2012 #41
Oddly enough this was all-women bosses. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #43
"More democracy" but do you support unalienable rights? If so which ones? nt jody Nov 2012 #44
Sure I love rights. limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #45
Thanks, your "traditional liberties" aka natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable rights in jody Nov 2012 #46
True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #47
I still don't understand how those things you want to call "rights" can be shown to pre-exist our jody Nov 2012 #48
Why does it matter if something pre-exists the Constitution? limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #49
Because such rights cannot be alienated, given away, however SCOTUS has offered opinions that allow jody Nov 2012 #50
Which kind of state of nature tama Nov 2012 #54
A state of nature is one without a social organization aka government. nt jody Nov 2012 #55
That only tells tama Nov 2012 #57
Apparently you and I have a different understanding of rights. My thoughts on the topic are at jody Nov 2012 #59
Precisely. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #117
How do you know which rights are inalienable and which one are not? limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #66
Because some states declared them and it's up to state and federal courts to decide whether jody Nov 2012 #68
So you think rights are inalienable because they are declared in state constitutions? limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #70
A right is either enumerated or unenumerated. Suggest you read the history of our Bill of Rights. nt jody Nov 2012 #71
This message was self-deleted by its author limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #73
thanks for the tip limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #74
Please read jody Nov 2012 #75
What is your point in posting state constitutions? What point are you trying to make, if any? limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #76
You deleted the post to which I replied. nt jody Nov 2012 #77
My question exactly. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #118
The notion of unalianable rights tama Nov 2012 #79
Understand, please see link below. jody Nov 2012 #82
Perhaps you do tama Nov 2012 #83
Beautifully said. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #119
You are spewing the ideology of the Capitalist ruling class, not fact. Odin2005 Dec 2012 #92
I was wondering the same thing. Fantastic Anarchist Jun 2013 #116
They are naturally derived tama Nov 2012 #53
Natural, inherent, unalienable/inalienable rights pre-exist a community. nt jody Nov 2012 #56
Ah, tama Nov 2012 #58
No, I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat in the mould of Jefferson and Madison. Are you? nt jody Nov 2012 #60
Well, I'm not a slave owner. tama Nov 2012 #61
Why do you introduce slave owner? You do know that WA and CO just exercised nullification by making jody Nov 2012 #63
Because tama Nov 2012 #64
OK one major problem is a generation gap or perhaps two but we've had an interesting exchange. Have jody Nov 2012 #65
I'm closer to 50 :) tama Nov 2012 #67
I'm 77 and survived a near death experience via heart attack five years ago. Every morning I wake up jody Nov 2012 #69
Nice to know you tama Nov 2012 #72
The 10th amendment doesn't grant the right to nullifcation. white_wolf Nov 2012 #78
See DU thread jody Nov 2012 #80
Jefferson and Madison may have held that view... white_wolf Nov 2012 #81
Nullification per Jefferson&Madison is states exercising their Tenth Amendment power, see link below jody Dec 2012 #93
Starry Messenger I'm very disappointed that your OP has not triggered a spirited, intelligent jody Nov 2012 #51
I think we've had some interesting discussions though. Starry Messenger Nov 2012 #62
An increased percentage of the mix as a transitional step along the path to our next plane TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #85
Great post, TheKentuckian. Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #86
You're right about that, Starry. I'm on the edge of that propaganda effort myself. TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #87
I haven't mentally gone that far into the future. Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #88
Right again, no matter which way we go I've yet to catch a projection that they don't make worse. TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #89
Bottom up and long term multigenerational development tama Dec 2012 #90
You're assuming that the ruling class has some investment in maintaining the lives of the HiPointDem May 2013 #111
An econonomy of co-ops. Odin2005 Dec 2012 #91
I envision the ideal socialism to be LeftTurnOnly Dec 2012 #94
What does socialism look like.... Oakenshield Jan 2013 #95
Message auto-removed Indoctrinated idiots Mar 2013 #99
Price controls and corporate abolition BudHardener Jan 2013 #96
The workers control the means of production - period. Taverner Mar 2013 #100
How is what you described not capitalism? David__77 Mar 2013 #101
In capitalism, the means of production are owned by an owner class Taverner Mar 2013 #102
Production LWolf Mar 2013 #103
Hey! Nice to see you. :) Starry Messenger Mar 2013 #104
It's what I've got. LWolf Mar 2013 #105
Ideally? It would be this Witan00 Apr 2013 #106
Great list Witan00. Starry Messenger Apr 2013 #107
Socialism is the Public Library. Beer Swiller Apr 2013 #108
Libraries are great. limpyhobbler Apr 2013 #109
Libraries are the crown jewel of socialism Kolesar Jun 2013 #126
I see what you see, but the 1% sees too many people comfortable with their lives and less profit Cleita Jun 2013 #127
This message was self-deleted by its author BOG PERSON Aug 2013 #128
endless parades BOG PERSON Aug 2013 #129
After over a year I figured out how to frame what socialism looks like. joshcryer Dec 2013 #130
Message auto-removed Name removed Dec 2013 #131
Please familiarize yourself with the rules of this group - TBF Dec 2013 #132
It is? Agschmid Dec 2013 #133
Capitalism is destroying Detroit, the city in your profile Starry Messenger Dec 2013 #134


(26,624 posts)
1. I like China's approach to socialism of limiting women to one baby and eventually using genetic
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:48 PM
Nov 2012

prenatal testing to select babies with superior intellectual potential.

Don't know whether to add the sarcasm thingy or not.


(47,992 posts)
8. & Shame on you for trying to turn a thread about Socialism into a whatever forum. Start
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:57 PM
Nov 2012

your own thread.

The topic of your post is not intrinsic to Socialism; it has more to do with autocracy.



(26,624 posts)
9. BS I responded to the OP. Are you ignorant of China's socialist policies to limit population and
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:00 PM
Nov 2012

produce babies with greater intellectual potential?



(26,624 posts)
12. On edit you added "it has more to do with autocracy". Don't you know that socialism requires a
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:04 PM
Nov 2012

totalitarian state, another descriptor for autocratic state?


(47,992 posts)
20. Don't you know that Socialism requires no such thing. You have just disqualified yourself
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:06 PM
Nov 2012

as anything but a minor side-note in a discussion about which you apparently have very little information.

Socialism and Communism are not the same:


Right-wing economics do not necessarily result in wealth:


Mothers do better in socialistic nations:


An example of a successful socialistic co-operative:


Perhaps you will google links about socialism yourself, but I hope you are honest to be aware that google's organizing principle is number of clicks, ergo info that is biased by being popular, not necessarily the truth, so you'll have to click several of pages into the stack before you find anything that isn't LOADED with obvious bias.

Fantastic Anarchist

(7,309 posts)
112. No, it doesn't, Jody.
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 12:16 PM
Jun 2013

"Don't you know" anything about what you're talking about?

"Requires a totalitarian state." That has to be parody.

Do you know what socialism (the many variations thereof) even is?

Response to jody (Reply #6)

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
15. This is a safe haven group for people who support socialism.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:21 PM
Nov 2012

This is our SOP:


Please read it before replying further in topics here in the group.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
19. I block posters who do not post in support of the SOP.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:38 PM
Nov 2012

Are you asking to be blocked? Either desist in red-baiting or you will have the rest of DU to post to your heart's content, just not here.



(26,624 posts)
21. I concede and understand your policy, your group allows only pro-red posts and bans "red-baiting"
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:10 PM
Nov 2012

whatever that is.

I hope I don't break those restrictions again and if I do it will be an unintentional error on my part.


(47,992 posts)
24. It's an oversimplification to assume that the weight of any fact is the same in all situations, all
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:18 PM
Nov 2012

time, all circumstances, all persons and weight here could be regarded as validity + reliability. BTW, that assumption about what you call "the facts" is pretty damned the opposite of what anyone who stands for nullification would assume, wouldn't you think? Kind of authoritarian, right?

Funny how you people who are supposedly so much in support of something that you call freedom apparently think you can judge millions and millions of people and all of their situations and predict the future so precisely as to come up with YOUR "conclusion" of what the facts are.

Personally, I don't think some people authentically know crap about freedom, whether they use the word "nullification" or not. Like as not, they have mistaken the reactionary contrarianism of adolescence for what freedom actually is.

Fantastic Anarchist

(7,309 posts)
113. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were not communists or socialists.
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 12:22 PM
Jun 2013

They even said so themselves. They were a group of reactionaries that were educated in France that returned to a country in revolutionary fervor after US bombings relieved the peasantry of their farms and land (and their lives). There were actually two competing (four if you really want to get specific) factions within the Khmer Rouge. The US did all it could to support the Pol Pot faction directly and indirectly. Any Vietnamese portions (hardly socialists themselves) were relieved of their lives, as well. Vietnam finally had enough and decided to invade.


(47,992 posts)
2. Worker defined & governed Real Value in exchange for Real Value. The MOST efficient economic
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:50 PM
Nov 2012

form there is for all of the necessities of life.

Capitalism for everything else.


(47,992 posts)
10. I like the definition that Adam Smith uses in The Wealth of Nations, in the simplist terms,
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:02 PM
Nov 2012

Real Value is work, all other values are derived from Real Value.

I'm a little surprised that someone engaging in a discussion of economics does not recognize the term.

I'm no expert myself, but I did at least begin with a classic work on the subject.



(20,729 posts)
125. which has a long pedigree, including some classical economists.
Sat Jun 29, 2013, 04:02 PM
Jun 2013

The labor theory of value has developed over many centuries. It seems clear that there is no one originator of concept, but rather many different thinkers have arrived at the same conclusion independently.

Some writers trace its origin to Thomas Aquinas.[10][11] In his Summa Theologiae (1265-1274) he expresses the view that "... value can, does and should increase in relation to the amount of labor which has been expended in the improvement of commodities".[12] Scholars such as Joseph Schumpeter have cited Ibn Khaldun, who in his Muqaddimah (1377), described labor as the source of value, necessary for all earnings and capital accumulation. ... Scholars have also pointed to Sir William Petty's Treatise of Taxes of 1662[14] and to John Locke's labor theory of property, set out in the Second Treatise on Government (1689), which sees labor as the ultimate source of economic value. Karl Marx himself credited Benjamin Franklin in his 1729 essay entitled "A Modest Enquiry into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency" as being "one of the first" to advance the theory.[15]

Pioneer Scottish economist Adam Smith accepted the theory for pre-capitalist societies but saw a flaw in its application to contemporary capitalism....David Ricardo (seconded by Marx) responded to this paradox by arguing that Smith had confused labor with wages....

Based on the discrepancy between the wages of labor and the value of the product, the "Ricardian socialists" — Charles Hall, Thomas Hodgskin, John Gray, and John Francis Bray[17] — applied Ricardo's theory to develop theories of exploitation.

Marx expanded on these ideas, arguing that workers work for a part of each day adding the value required to cover their wages, while the remainder of their labor is performed for the enrichment of the capitalist. The LTV and the accompanying theory of exploitation became central to his economic thought.


Fantastic Anarchist

(7,309 posts)
114. Superb rebuttal ...
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 12:25 PM
Jun 2013

It's surprising how little the reactionaries understand Adam Smith's Labor Theory of Value, and how other prominent socialists, namely Proudhon and Marx (despite their differences) expanded on that.

If Adam Smith were alive today, he'd shoot himself.


(47,992 posts)
124. I don't mind people disagreeing with me; what I don't like is being mis-understood.
Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:00 PM
Jun 2013

I would prefer that they disagree with what I actually think instead of acting out these manufactured propaganda wars.

I feel like there's such a strong power-struggle going on that "disagreement" is cultivated even amongst ourselves. There's a difference between disagreement and differences and I don't know how our disagreements can be authentic if we don't even allow anyone to discover what their authentic differences are, because everyone gets classified as either this, or that.

That bothers me because it CAN result in LOSING ON THE ISSUES and that's horrible because winning on some important issues is what the Left needs more than anything else right now. The big focus on numbers of persons will mean 0 if we can't actually deliver on the issues (i.e. policy development and design) and I fear the different issue constituencies are going to cancel one another out with intolerance and competition, so even if there's a win it'll result in a bunch of potemkin villages as far as the issues go. People are going to get used some more and nothing will change.

The truth, positive and negative, is how we could be different from what has preceded this moment. It's what we could have going for us; that's why I liked the DU. "We don't need another hero . . ." not Obama, not Bradley Manning, not Edward Snowden. Let's tell the truth, ALL of it, good and bad, call on people to decide for themselves, and stop punishing people for ____________________ . (I was criticized for bringing a corporate-logo "American flag" to a Bradley Manning rally recently. Several old-timers from "the peace movement" were part of it.)

I can't stand this "shut up, no public thinking, just repeat the prescribed memes" organizing tactic and what calls itself "the Left" does it too. Tell the truth about Bradley Manning et al, and ALL of the social issues, positive and negative. Respect people's minds enough to set them free. That's how a socialistic movement can put down roots and discover what's next. Anything else runs a strong risk of being the same old shit and we ARE running out of time.

Jackpine Radical

(45,274 posts)
3. Worker-owned industries
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:50 PM
Nov 2012

with various stakeholders (consumers, environmentalists, etc.) on the boards.

Production geared to real needs rather than trying to create needs to justify production. Zero economic growth combined with zero population growth.

Shorter work weeks at the same pay as an alternative to unemployment as productivity increases.

Higher pay for shittier jobs, and attention paid to making those jobs less shitty.


(22,470 posts)
17. That's Malthusianism, not socialism.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:33 PM
Nov 2012

At least not humanistic socialism as envisioned by Karl Marx. Just my opinion.

Jackpine Radical

(45,274 posts)
25. It's not JUST Maltusianism.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:19 PM
Nov 2012

Whatever society we may envision, we do it in a world of finite growth potential.


(22,470 posts)
120. Of course.
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:51 PM
Jun 2013

The Strasser brothers were arguably "socialists" as well, albeit national socialists. Socialism, in itself, does not mean too much as a political label.

Fantastic Anarchist

(7,309 posts)
121. I'm not sure what you mean by that statement.
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:11 PM
Jun 2013

Political label or not, socialism, regardless of whose theories you follow, is scientifically foundational to economic relations, and more specifically, to those relations at the point of production, and to the distribution of products and allocation of resources. Hence, my term of socialism as political economy.


(13,452 posts)
13. about nine letters
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:05 PM
Nov 2012

For some it means total government control that we need. To some that means it will fail -- so do I.

For some it means regulating some things that help businesses to thrive, such as requiring helmets and seat belt use. Those I can handle. As to what goes into cigarettes -- not so much.

For some it means having laws so people and business don't do bad things to each other such as making sure insurance companies pay up when the claim is made or that I pay up when I'm supposed to.

For some it means regulating some things that help people to thrive and have fun such as having Federal Insurance on banks and Social Security...

For some it means letting government handle things that are best left to government(e.g. water, electric, internet, health-care,..) and letting the market handle those things best left to the market(e.g. travel, shopping, cars, new-ideas,...). I like it here.

For some it means one man one vote, not one vote per million dollars owned.

For some it is to be avoided at all costs and we are all to be individuals until each of us is divided and eaten. I don't like this one either.


(22,470 posts)
16. It's far off in the future.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:29 PM
Nov 2012

And not inevitable. It would be a function of humanity growing up, and private appropriation becoming an impediment to further development. Perhaps that is centuries away.

It would necessarily have to occur in conditions in which economics has become about not how to manage scarcity, but about how to further advance an already universally materially and culturally prosperous humanity. The problems of energy and water will have to be solved conclusively. Capital-intensivity will have to be much greater, with every worker being a highly technically skilled worker.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
22. I really hope it is not too far off.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:14 PM
Nov 2012

I doubt it will happen in my lifetime, but I was hoping to at least spy the periscope before I go.

It seems to me that private appropriation is already an impediment to further development. With climate change, we are coming to a place where we're bucking up against the physical limits of what we can survive without some real decisions and planning if we're going to keep existing for centuries.



(4,795 posts)
27. A different way to organize production while we destroy the planet
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:28 PM
Nov 2012

Its a somewhat friendlier way to commit mass suicide.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
29. Not a lot of optimism here today.
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:42 PM
Nov 2012

I thought this would be a happy thread.

Well, I won't try to talk you out of the pessimism, but I tend to be the group pollyanna. So, I will say that historically humans have tried to pull themselves out of some pretty tight corners and sometimes even succeeded. I think removing capitalism from the equation would give the planet a fighting chance.



(4,795 posts)
30. I am sorry to disagree
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:57 PM
Nov 2012

Socialism would enable far more people to command energy by promoting equality, which has been illustrated--especially through the failure of supply-side economics--to increase growth and the velocity of capital. It isn't capitalism that must be remove, but rather mindless, infinite growth forward (which both capitalism and socialism act as a vehicle to). To be blunt, the planet doesn't have a fighting chance because man cannot remove infinite growth from the paradigm of our existence. We will scratch, scream, fight, and do whatever we can to ensure the party rolls forward, while satisfying our egos with concepts such as "greenness" and equality. In 100 years, it likely won't matter who owns what share of which company, but what the average global temperature is. The sooner we figure this out, and thereby where we need to focus our energy, the better we have a chance at survival. Otherwise, we are just cheerily kicking the can down the road



(9,137 posts)
32. Capitalism as we know it (to avoid discussing ideological idealized definitions)
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:39 PM
Nov 2012

is based on interest/usury leading to exponential growth of fractional fiat monetary systems outside any democratic control, effectively controlling capitalistic states. Socialism as we know it - e.g. Cuba - has it's monetary system under state/party control and it does not by necessity have inherent growth incentive, but of course works within the confines of global capitalism.

It's not really important what to call a system which is not ruled by banks and money creation system based on interest, if you'd wish to call such system some form of capitalism, no problem, but it would not be capitalism as we know it, but closer to socialism as we know it. And it would have much less or even no inherent growth incentive - if it were able to develop sustainable agriculture (as Cuba is doing) and other fields of production.



(4,795 posts)
34. Cuba's GDP has doubled in the last 10 years
Mon Nov 26, 2012, 01:46 PM
Nov 2012

This is while they are isolated from their largest potential trading partner. Their GDP has consistently trended upward in the last 50 years.

If they have no growth incentive, please tell when they plan to stop growing for good.

if it were able to develop sustainable agriculture (as Cuba is doing)

"Sustainable agriculture" is somewhat of an oxymoron FYI. Exploiting land for energy surplus will always lead to conditions that create a larger demand for energy.

Any economic system is largely the same. It demands that I pick up a rake, hoe, hammer or pen and work to put food in my belly; food that would take far less effort to put in my belly if I were living harmoniously with nature. Economic systems separate man from nature, force them to work at least twice as much, and then exploits their labor "for the common good" (also known as rewards their energy expenditure with less "goods" than that energy can potentially net on its own in a natural setting). But this extra work never translates into an objective common good, as community it broken, sickness increases, humans are enslaved, and more complex problems appear than would exist in an egalitarian, communal tribe (what we observe in natural). All that exploited energy just fuels growth, which fuels demand for more energy and breeds rampant problems.

Economic systems exist to fix the problems their existence creates and to grow larger (as well as to allow elites to exploit energy). Their existence is insufficient at improving the natural condition of the human race. Further, their existence has proven to be one of the greatest threats to the human race that there ever has been (illustrated by climate change)

If socialism allowed--no, promoted--me to "drop out" with a group of friends and go back to nature, then it would be different. But as of now, socialism wants to put a tool in my hand and turn me into a cog, as every other economic system does, in the name of growth and "goodness". I'm glad to be a recovering socialist

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
35. Well, I hate to be mom again-
Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:55 PM
Nov 2012

but this forum is really for discussion of socialism and how to apply it to progressive politics, just FYI. Interesting conversation though.



(9,137 posts)
36. Kropotkin, Tolstoi, Anarcho-Primitivism etc. Green Anarchism
Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:28 PM
Nov 2012

would then seem to interest you more than Marxist socialism and it's connection with industrialism and industrial working class.

Your view on "sustainable agriculture" seems to come from hard-line Zerzanesque primitivism that (IMO erraneously) sees no middle ground between hunter-gatherer societies (who also "exploit land for energy surplus&quot and inherently imperialistic agricultural civilization. Yet there are and have been horticultural societies that have been able to live in sustainable balance with the ecosystems they participate in dynamic way, and there are no general laws preventing humans developing sustainable and highly complex horticultural civilizations. Pre-Columbian Amazonian civilization, "Indian fires" and Food Forest of California, Kerala Gardens, to mention couple examples I've been interested in.

And I'm sure you will like the article "Foundations of our lives" by a friend of mine:



(4,795 posts)
37. Basically, yes
Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:46 PM
Nov 2012

But I do not have any issue with the horticultural societies of the early Americas, and often recommend their model as a viable sustainable future (it takes very little labor & capital investiture to produce high per acre energy yields with woody perennials, while still living in balance with nature and even enhancing habitat). I am a huge fan of agro-forestry to be honest, and hopefully can one day pursue it full-time.

Thanks for the link.



(9,137 posts)
40. May your wish come true :)
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:38 PM
Nov 2012

I've lived in ecovillages and studied permaculture (in the wide sense) so I have some idea of what you are talking about. And I like the vision of Garden Planet very much.

But back to the theme of this group. First, as theory socialism has been and is open to further theorizing, and from it's material foundation also Marxist socialism could be and should be developed to better respond to material limits of growth and the ecological challenges of these days.

As my basic progressive and revolutionary political philosophy is to avoid dystopian present and futures and to be open - in the spirit of continuous revolution - to various Others, I'm not opposing socialism or various socialist developments, and I'm generally supportive of better real life progressive examples such as Kerala, Cuba and recent Latin American socialist revolutions and Iceland etc. European revolutions, which have complex relations to local indigenous sustainable ways of life and their "primitive" communism/anarchy. Though not always unproblematic, these revolutions have been generally positive steps from the indigenous point of view.

Material growth as such is no more problem than child growing to into adult, after which there is qualitative change in the nature of growth, and e.g. Cuba's GDP is still well below global averadge. The most positive side has IMHO been that in Cuba the transition into sustainable organic agriculture has been done with initiative and support from the state, where as according to permaculturalist experiences capitalist states are anything but supportive but tend to create lot's of obstacles against founding more ecovillages and establishing sustainable practices. Ecuador's new constitution was the first to grant constitutional rights to Pacha Mama and those speaking for her, though there is now lot of tension between government (representing mostly the urban population) and indigenous rural peoples. The urban-rural divide (reflecting the deeper culture-nature divide) remains materially, spiritually and politically unsolved both in practice and at the level of socialist theory.

But urban population and consumerist attitudes will not just go silently away, and ecovillages and sustainable communities also realize we are all in the same boat, and even if you live in an ecovillage does not mean that you are not also part of the "Babylon" and all this collective insanity. As the Lakota prayer says, this is about all our relations.

I believe I'm speaking for many in this group when I say that red and green and black anti-capitalist forces - reformist and revolutionary socialists, anarchists, etc. are all always present in various mixtures in progressive anti-dystopian revolutions and developments, and our worst enemy is often ourselves, factionalism and too narrow dogmatism which keep us divided.



(20,729 posts)
110. capitalism has a growth imperative. socialism doesn't. there's no requirement for growth in
Sat May 11, 2013, 04:06 AM
May 2013

a socialist economy. it *can* grow; it can also shrink or be steady-state.

socialism *does* allow you & your friends to drop out & go back to nature; that's a variety of socialism (assuming production & consumption were socialistic).

so you & your friends going back to nature, by which i assume you mean living in huts, hunting, gathering roots and berries -- is your vision of socialism.


(47,992 posts)
28. Odd how what appears to be "Libertarian" folk are AGAINST worker AUTONOMY, isn't it. Apparently
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 06:38 PM
Nov 2012

only capitalistic authority can organize our economics and, hence, our lives for us.

Once again we see that they are for individual, and by extension, states' rights, when they are for them and against them when they are against them. Another word for this is Fascism.



(9,137 posts)
31. When I was living
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:21 PM
Nov 2012

in (small a) anarchic commune, an "ecovillage", it looked and felt as living with humans being humans to each other (instead of abstract persons, property relations, bureaucracy, wage slavery to owning class, boss/class worship/fight etc.). It's magical!


(50 posts)
33. The way I see Socialism
Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:53 AM
Nov 2012

Socialism to me is the building of an egalitarian society. A society in where healthcare and education a free and provided by the government, where women can make their own choices about their bodies and reproductive health, and where equality and civil rights and liberties are the forefront of society.

There is a longer and more detailed list, but these are my main points.


(8,244 posts)
38. More democracy,
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 04:07 PM
Nov 2012

A properly functioning political system where people are able to have a more direct say over decisions that affect them, including at work.

Free education and health care. Free libraries and museums.

Shorter work hours. The right to a decent job for anybody wanting to work.

A blended economy that includes state industries, non-profit cooperatives, and small businesses.

The end of the fossil fuel age.

Bosses have to take a turn cleaning the restrooms.


Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
39. I especially love the last item.
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:03 PM
Nov 2012

(As an aside, I once worked at a non-profit that was strapped enough for funds that we had to cancel our janitorial service and *everyone* agreed to pitch in on cleaning, including bathrooms. Guess who were declaring themselves too important to be wasted on such things within a week...)


(9,137 posts)
41. Pigs
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:43 PM
Nov 2012

who are "more equal than others". Anyone hinted about Orwell's Animal Farm?

BTW Kropotkin's most important advice to new communes was that if men don't participate in home work, cooking, cleaning etc., the commune does not have a bright future...

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
43. Oddly enough this was all-women bosses.
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:18 PM
Nov 2012

I think we had just one guy on staff at the time. Half were grunts, half were execs. Crazy set-up.

That's the problem I see with volunteerism, if there isn't anything to back up the decisions, then divisions are going to set in from the get-go. The bosses had the intention of being equal with the rest of the staff, but given that there were no consequences to them stopping when they felt it was a waste of their time...they all reverted quickly to thinking that their time was more valuable than the rest of ours.


(8,244 posts)
45. Sure I love rights.
Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:48 PM
Nov 2012

All the traditional liberties inherited from the liberal tradition (free speech, free press, no taxation without representation, etc), and also some expanded ones like a right to housing, medical care, education, employment, food, paid vacations. I support rights for people. Please note corporations are not people.



(26,624 posts)
46. Thanks, your "traditional liberties" aka natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable rights in
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:29 AM
Nov 2012

PA (1776) and VT (1777) constitutions and recognized by SCOTUS see:
SCOTUS in D.C. v. Heller

c. Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), “{t}his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed. {page 19}

Please explain how your "expanded ones like a right to housing, medical care, education, employment, food, paid vacations." pre-existed our Constitution.


(8,244 posts)
47. True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:08 PM
Nov 2012
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.”[3] People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.

For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Not exactly a radical idea. It's part of the best tradition of the Democratic Party.

See also "Four Freedoms" .

What's your take on it?


(26,624 posts)
48. I still don't understand how those things you want to call "rights" can be shown to pre-exist our
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:24 PM
Nov 2012


Rights addressed in our Bill of Rights enumerate those rights that pre-exist our Constitution and do not depend upon words on paper and other unenumerated rights are protected by the Ninth Amendment.

They are inherent in the sovereignty of each individual. A concept behind We the People and simply expressed by Abraham Lincoln, "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."

The things you list are privileges granted by government and paid for by using its power to tax citizens. If you wish to call them rights then I understand but they appear to be different from rights that pre-exist our Constitution.

If you disagree, please clarify.



(26,624 posts)
50. Because such rights cannot be alienated, given away, however SCOTUS has offered opinions that allow
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:14 PM
Nov 2012

infringement on such rights.

I am really interested in how one can define such things as "right to job" or "right to house" when jobs and houses do not exist in a state of nature.

Such things are privileges or entitlements granted by government using power delegated by We the People but quite distinct from rights that are natural, inherent, and unalienable/inalienable and do not depend upon government.

I encourage you to read the constitutions below contemporaneous with the Declaration of Independence and before our Constitution to understand what shapes my statements.





(9,137 posts)
54. Which kind of state of nature
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:13 PM
Nov 2012

can deny right to work (do something beneficial for your community and support yourself and those depending from you) and right to home (a place to live and get livelihood from and house you can build by yourself or with help from your friends)?



(9,137 posts)
57. That only tells
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:22 PM
Nov 2012

that you see "social organization aka government" as something outside nature, which nature-culture divide is common for the social organization of European culture.

My response is that the state of nature in question IS European culture and other hierarchic imperialistic civilizations.



(26,624 posts)
68. Because some states declared them and it's up to state and federal courts to decide whether
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:46 PM
Nov 2012

something is an unenumerated right.

Of course states could amend our Constitution or theirs but that seems unlikely in today's hostile political climate.

SCOTUS has not written much about the Ninth Amendment that protects unenumerated rights.

You might start with Wikipedia Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution



(26,624 posts)
71. A right is either enumerated or unenumerated. Suggest you read the history of our Bill of Rights. nt
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:03 PM
Nov 2012

Response to jody (Reply #71)



(26,624 posts)
75. Please read
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:34 PM
Nov 2012




(8,244 posts)
76. What is your point in posting state constitutions? What point are you trying to make, if any?
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:41 PM
Nov 2012

I skimmed them earlier when you posted the link.

Fantastic Anarchist

(7,309 posts)
118. My question exactly.
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 12:49 PM
Jun 2013

I thought they were inherent and inalienable regardless of some state's declaration thereof. And by implication, rights can and should be expanded to coincide with the contemporary social conditions that exist.

But, oh well.



(9,137 posts)
79. The notion of unalianable rights
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:04 AM
Nov 2012

in American political writing and thought predates state and federal constitutions:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

Not to mention the political and philosophical thought of Indian nations.



(9,137 posts)
83. Perhaps you do
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:48 AM
Nov 2012

but as kind and constructive criticism, your comments in this thread speak of confusion brought by too narrow point of view in regards to very wide and deep topic, under which "natural rights" vs. "social contracts" (ie. anything and all to do with any form of government) is very important and deep issue.

To put it simply, natural rights are not "rights" in the sense that any form of government can give them, they are just natural, our way of being and living as part of nature. All that government social contracts can do is to make respectful mention of those and/or try to limit them some way. As the latter is the usual standard, hence less government is better (socialism) and no government best (communism/anarchy).


(53,521 posts)
92. You are spewing the ideology of the Capitalist ruling class, not fact.
Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:13 PM
Dec 2012

There is no such thing as "inalienable rights", they are an ideological creation of the Capitalist class used to justify their power after they took the reigns of power in the 1700s. it is used to justify capitalist oppression in the name of the "inalienable right of private property". They are the modern Capitalist form of the Divine Right of Kings.

Material and economic forces shape the structure of society and ideological notions like "rights" are only developed afterwards as a post-hoc justification of the new order.

Fantastic Anarchist

(7,309 posts)
116. I was wondering the same thing.
Fri Jun 7, 2013, 12:37 PM
Jun 2013

It seems like a red herring.

So, those rights that weren't around at when the Constitution were created are not to be agitated for? What was the purpose of the Revolution of 1776? If something didn't exist at that time, why waste time on a revolution? That seems to be Jody's view.



(9,137 posts)
58. Ah,
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:24 PM
Nov 2012

Now I get it. You are RW Individualist Libertarian.

Edit to add: Of course there is nothing "pre-commune" in human terms, as we are social beings evolved from social beings.



(9,137 posts)
61. Well, I'm not a slave owner.
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:57 PM
Nov 2012

And had to look: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullification_(U.S._Constitution)

This thread is about general and visionary discussion of socialism, not about your pet issue, according to which you want to define and discuss "rights".

But since you ask, I do like the anarchist views of the slave owner mentioned above and US people / states deciding to abolish the federation now turned into imperialistic police state would not be a bad idea. 5th Amendment constitutional congress could be one way to do that.



(26,624 posts)
63. Why do you introduce slave owner? You do know that WA and CO just exercised nullification by making
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:08 PM
Nov 2012

marijuana legal. Other states have used nullification and in each case to protect their citizens against a federal government that had abused its position.

Do you oppose states exercising the powers retained under the Tenth Amendment and in so doing protecting their citizens against the loss of their enumerated and unenumerated rights and powers they retained when they delegated limited power to a central government?

I see nothing anarchist about that and one expert on the subject said "The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable." (Ulysses S. Grant)



(9,137 posts)
64. Because
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:32 PM
Nov 2012

for last days I've been playing Assassins Creed III which is situated in the American Revolution and the main character is a member of Iroquois Nation trying to protect his tribe. Because it should not be forgotten what kind of men made the revolution and what it meant for Indians.

Also Declaration of Independence is not a bad piece of revolutionary writing, stating the inalienable right of people to dispose tyrannical government. That and other opinions by Jefferson about state and government have earned his fame of "philosophical anarchist", together with David Henry Thoreau.

That document remains to be inspiration for also Occupy Movement General Assemblies, which refuse to make any demands to the Government for the reason that demanding something from the Government would legitimize it. The inherent right of revolution is much wider issue than just state rights vs. federal tyranny.



(26,624 posts)
65. OK one major problem is a generation gap or perhaps two but we've had an interesting exchange. Have
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:36 PM
Nov 2012

a great evening.

Very interesting learning history from games. Wonder how far they stretch the facts?



(9,137 posts)
67. I'm closer to 50 :)
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:43 PM
Nov 2012

And reading the nullification wiki link, this is worth quoting:

Georgia and the Cherokees
In the 1820s, Georgia passed an act making Georgia state law applicable on all Cherokee lands and declaring all laws of the Cherokee nation void. This contradicted federal treaties with the Cherokees, effectively nullifying those federal treaties. Georgia's actions were reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. (6 Pet.) 515 (1832). While the case was pending in the Supreme Court, the Georgia legislature passed a resolution asserting that under the Tenth Amendment, the federal government had no jurisdiction over Georgia criminal law and the Supreme Court's review of the case was unconstitutional.[47]
The Supreme Court rejected Georgia's attempt to nullify the federal treaties with the Cherokees. The Court held that "according to the settled principles of our Constitution," authority over Indian affairs is "committed exclusively to the government of the Union." The Court held that under the federal treaties with the Cherokees, "the laws of Georgia can have no force" on Cherokee land. The Court held that Georgia's laws regulating Cherokee land were "void, as being repugnant to the constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States."[48] The Supreme Court thus asserted final authority to interpret the Constitution and federal treaties, rejecting Georgia's nullification attempt.
Georgia refused to accept the Supreme Court's decision. President Andrew Jackson did not believe Georgia had the right to nullify federal law, but was sympathetic to Georgia's goal of forcing the Cherokees to relocate to the west. He took no immediate action against Georgia. Before the Supreme Court could hear a request for an order enforcing its judgment, the Nullification Crisis arose in South Carolina. Jackson wanted to avoid a confrontation with Georgia over states' rights. A compromise was brokered under which Georgia repealed the law at issue in Worcester. Despite the Court's decision finding Georgia's actions unconstitutional, Georgia continued to enforce other laws regulating the Cherokees. Ultimately the Cherokees were forced to agree to a treaty of relocation, leading to the Trail of Tears.[49]


(6,238 posts)
78. The 10th amendment doesn't grant the right to nullifcation.
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:54 PM
Nov 2012

The 10th reserves only the rights that the states had under the Articles of Confederation. Justice Storey first wrote about this in his commentary on the U.S. Constitution. It doesn't grant them the power to ignore federal law. Only right-wing libertarians hold that view.


(6,238 posts)
81. Jefferson and Madison may have held that view...
Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:17 AM
Nov 2012

Jefferson also believed in right to secession. However, the Supreme Court has never held that view and when it comes to the Constitution their word is literally law. They have stated in several cases that the 10th Amendment only protects right that existed under the Articles of Confederations. Now Clarence Thomas disagreed with the majority opinion in one of the more recent rulings on this issue, but Thomas is a hard right-winger, no better than Scalia.



(26,624 posts)
51. Starry Messenger I'm very disappointed that your OP has not triggered a spirited, intelligent
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:41 PM
Nov 2012

exchange on Socialism.

In my opinion your question is basic to what many DUers claim to believe but their posts suggest ignorance of major schisms among Socialists and little of subtleties that divide, even polarize Socialists.

Hope you try again and have better luck the next time.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
62. I think we've had some interesting discussions though.
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:05 PM
Nov 2012

DU is not a socialist website, so there is sometimes a hurdle over the word socialism here.

I think in this group there is a general consensus that Socialism would be a society where people who work and produce things have more control over their lives than they do now.

There are many different kinds of socialists in our group here, and we have different opinions of the "how" of getting there. But discussing the "what this looks like" is something we rarely have the chance to do.


(24,057 posts)
85. An increased percentage of the mix as a transitional step along the path to our next plane
Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:26 PM
Dec 2012

something or even a debate of somethings we have little way of picturing from our perspective.

I don't see what the option is other than willingness to tolerate and eventually active pursuit of mass murder of humans on a never before seen scale and outright genocide of non-human species which eventually would be almost certainly suicidal.

Limited resources, ever decreasing need for labor, historic productivity, innovation, environmental damage (limitations on freshwater alone threatens chaos), and the collection of wealth into so few hands with the many fighting over hardly scraps puts too much pressure on the current mix to hold up. It just doesn't make any sense in our present state of development. Even those that earnestly believe that the greater mix of capitalism we have now is the best we've come up with are always evasive when asked to plug their belief into emerging context.
In fact, they are pretty much left stammering about the New Deal era when even discussing today's economic realities. The stammering comes when the conversation goes away from the philosophical to the practical even when describing using more socialism in the mix to head off socialism dominating the mix because they cannot account for the availability of accessible resources in a cleaner world with a far lower population in a world with few competitors but with the check of a competing ideology in a Jim Crow and barefoot and pregnant, stay in the kitchen America.

Religious devotion to a one generation exception under general conditions we cannot duplicate that actually was limited in general benefit at high deferred costs is not being serious, it is simplistic, nostalgic, and hand to mouth.

So, I guess the most important thing socialism can be is breaking down the reflexive and I say religious devotion to an economic philosophy that has it's place as a tool but has proven to be as a poor a master of a free people as any other that can be named. I guess it does create a new level of freedom for the ruling class that none have been able to maintain for any length of time before essentially via the sales point that you too can join the club.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
86. Great post, TheKentuckian.
Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:36 AM
Dec 2012

Religious devotion to a one generation exception under general conditions we cannot duplicate that actually was limited in general benefit at high deferred costs is not being serious, it is simplistic, nostalgic, and hand to mouth.

I think the post-war generation got heavily bombarded with school films about capitalism and teh "evils of socialism", paid for by the Chamber of Commerce. The insanity around this topic with some older folks is like talking to a Scientologist who is deep in.


(24,057 posts)
87. You're right about that, Starry. I'm on the edge of that propaganda effort myself.
Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:18 AM
Dec 2012

But I'm not married to using a hammer when a screwdriver is called for, either.

Nor do I believe the screwdriver will work when a wrench is called for, or the hammer for that matter.

An economy is a means of distributing resources and that is all it is, you adjust the mix of tools used based on need and goals.

Fast forward a couple of generations to a time with perhaps with fusion power plants coming online, much more efficient solar collectors, and molecular factories going to work. How do the present systemic tools even apply? How much labor will be needed? What risks would capitol really be taking when a product is completely intellectual and produced at point of sale by machine? A machine just waiting on the next innovative design to build it's own replacement and then becoming raw materials again?

How would capitalism or socialism hold up to 10 billion people, almost no accessible resources, and the lights going out in a world with depleted soil, deforested, toxified oceans, desperate for freshwater, and extinct wildlife?

The systems were designed for different eras and worked questionably at best within them.

Many of the concepts will carry on but circumstances change that require whole new systems and we will have to leave some that probably brought us to where we are for good and ill to adapt to emerging realities especially with capitalism which comes to a point now that it must begin to assertively oppose progress in certain important sectors to maintain profit centers because advancement doesn't just change those profit centers like going from horse and buggy to automobile but risks eliminating potential for profit and at that pass the prime directive is clear and profit must win. That is deadly to any hope of growing to advanced species stature.

One cannot safely replace both science and morality with ideology, particularly an ideology designed to make avarice an asset.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
88. I haven't mentally gone that far into the future.
Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:02 AM
Dec 2012

I'm holding out hope we can get the worst offenders and destroyers of the resources off of our nuts in the next couple of decades--whichever way we go, the sociopathic corporations who are holding the gun to the head of humanity need to be dismantled.

I think freeing us up from that would bring a lot of human creativity to fix problems back "online"--so much of our collective brain and health power goes into keeping this present system up in the air, like an insane circus act. I'm captured by the picture of what might happen when we stop.


(24,057 posts)
89. Right again, no matter which way we go I've yet to catch a projection that they don't make worse.
Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:53 PM
Dec 2012

The greater the potential for good almost always, the more disastrous in comparison they make things too is what is scary.

Very few paths out under this thinking and even most of those are extended dead ends that close the sky above us for hundreds of millions of years or even forever due to resource depletion in a fit of lack of vision that leaves humanity as genetic and knowledge eunuchs.

A part of the universe that came to consciousness and able to take the paths of discovery that thought about it for a moment and elected to mutilate it's genitals beyond repair, to blow out it's eardrums, poke out it's eyes, and give it's self a lobotomy while waging genocidal but undeclared wars against all other life in it's sphere of influence.

I too am all for not playing those longest odds, it is tough enough under the best of circumstances I imagine.



(9,137 posts)
90. Bottom up and long term multigenerational development
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:18 AM
Dec 2012

- Mostly self sufficient small local horticultural communities based largely on multilayer permaculture gardens (providing food, energy, fibre, medicine, building materials). Lots of political and cultural variety, but mostly commons and social anarchy.

That's the sustainable base line, if nothing else works, and supporting 10 billion is no problem with modest consumption and the horticultural know-how we have. And much else can work from that base line, should the local communities form networks to share resources to create bigger projects, such as "space cities" etc.

Internet etc. could be preserved, hopefully, also by bottom-up approach - local solar panels, small wind mills etc. and local micrigrids in local control that can be combined to larger networks to direct surplus energy to bigger projects if and when needed; recycling current materials instead of mining more and building to last instead to break down.

Not totally unrealistic vision IMHO, and as far I'm called, we can call it communism or socialism or anarchy or ecosystem or what ever.



(20,729 posts)
111. You're assuming that the ruling class has some investment in maintaining the lives of the
Sat May 11, 2013, 04:16 AM
May 2013

multitude, but they don't, just their own and their heirs'.

what's to stop them from using all that wondrous technology to maintain their own privileged lives, serviced by a remnant population of prole slaves, while the rest of the world starves to death?

labor-saving technology, including the technology of surveillance, policing and war-making, makes it completely feasible.


(36 posts)
94. I envision the ideal socialism to be
Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:57 PM
Dec 2012

a world without wage slavery, where no one is forced into a line of work. Where everyone is free to pursue the dreams they want to, regardless of their profitability. Where oppression is a thing of the past. Where income equality flourishes and everyone has access to the same programs. A system that puts the welfare and happiness in it's list of priorities. A system that serves the people. A system of freedom, of justice, equality, and of culture. In other words democracy. True democracy=socialism.


(614 posts)
95. What does socialism look like....
Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:37 PM
Jan 2013

It looks like fairness, where every man and woman has an equal chance of pursuing happiness. Whether or not it would be a true democracy however I'm not sure. When I look at how this country has tripped and stumbled, the cynic in me wonders if we're even strong enough to maintain true socialism for it surely requires a kind of fervent vigilance. Perhaps even a vicious kind when circumstances demand such.

Response to Oakenshield (Reply #95)


(16 posts)
96. Price controls and corporate abolition
Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:55 PM
Jan 2013

The rampant greed that has destroyed the capitalist experiment is a tough nut to crack. Price controls will only be achieved by eliminating speculators such as Wall Street, corporate boards and the warped practice of shareholding as defined by stock manipulation.

When everyone is a shareholder and advancement of the species is the product then regulation is minimized by pride of production. In China's case, production is stymied by low living conditions and heavy-handedness and oppression, so tightening of regulation may be required until living conditions improve and personal freedoms are granted. The US is really poised to reclaim world production levels but American companies will resist unions even as big government continues to allow the illusion of a safety net.

That people matter is a rather new concept historically for civilized mankind. Jungle tribes don't seem to have the same problem so maybe even as we grow together as a society we should also grow closer locally as communities that can address immediate needs of the association, with concentric levels (ie:county,state,region,federal) of representation by citizens required to perform civic politics and securities for a set time for a modest and common wage. Eliminating professionalism in government promotes better will between groups. Lobbying is necessary but restricted to regional reports that concern the common good ("Argg, Hans just blew a tire on his tractor but doesn't have the money to afford a new one this week and he has a crop to put in. Will the Regional Director please petition Goodyear for at least a decent used one?&quot

My personal wish list would include true separation of church and state and a repeal of non-profit status for religious organizations as currently operated. As a spiritualist I understand the "opiate" of the people and that religious freedom is a personal issue that will only decrease in idolatry and dogma when a rise in social consciousness and human goals - like reconnecting with our interstellar roots - will power scientific exploration.



(55,476 posts)
100. The workers control the means of production - period.
Fri Mar 8, 2013, 07:10 PM
Mar 2013

If that means a bunch of worker-owned companies, or a network of syndicates or what have you - as long as the workers TRULY own the means of production, then it is Socialism


(22,470 posts)
101. How is what you described not capitalism?
Tue Mar 12, 2013, 02:46 AM
Mar 2013

If “worker control” is devolved to the level of workplace units such as individual factories or groups of factories, instead of collaborating in a planned way to meet mutually understood social needs, the separate units will become atomized and behave as competing capitals.

Such competition mimics that of capitalism, resulting in an inefficient allocation of resources - especially if the goal of production is not monetary profit but instead, broadly speaking, meeting of the people’s material needs.

"Worker control" is Fabian-capitalism unless there is a working "class-for-itself," as understood by Marx - one that would not just accede to, but contribute to and indeed demand coordinated macroeconomic socialist planning.



(55,476 posts)
102. In capitalism, the means of production are owned by an owner class
Tue Mar 12, 2013, 08:31 AM
Mar 2013

They don't work, they just own things and collect the capital off the back of the worker

This kind of ownership would be eliminated


(46,179 posts)
103. Production
Wed Mar 13, 2013, 07:28 AM
Mar 2013

is about returning gains to all the people: the workers, and those who, for whatever reason, can't or don't work. Government is about organizing systems to serve all those people equally.


(51 posts)
106. Ideally? It would be this
Tue Apr 2, 2013, 10:44 PM
Apr 2013

* Abolition of capitalism in favor of worker or worker/consumer cooperatives.
* Triumph of labor over capital, and the abolition of income through mere ownership to the greatest extent possible.
* A decentralized approach, where the central government is mostly tasked with securing the rights and welfare of citizens.
* The softening of the barrier between work and family life; making work more family friendly.
* Working towards a steady-state economy, rather than a growth-based economy.
* The end of production and consumption for their own sake (consumerism), in favor of production to satisfy basic demand.
* More consumption of locally-produced goods and services.
* A low population density with (approximate) zero population growth.
* Reliance on horticulture and sustainable farming for food production.

I could add more, but those are the main things that pop into my head. And again, this would be my ideal vision of socialism.


Beer Swiller

(44 posts)
108. Socialism is the Public Library.
Mon Apr 22, 2013, 08:27 PM
Apr 2013

Think about it. All members of the society who have the ability help fund it do so, and all members can participate in it, at no cost to themselves other than what they pay in taxes for the support of the library. Bill Gates and the homeless dude on the street have equal access.

Furthermore, if public libraries had not been in existence since before the beginning of the American "Republic," any effort to establish such a thing now would be vociferously opposed by the advocates of "free enterprise" as "socialist."

Socialism provides public services with equal access for all, be those services libraries, education, transportation, food, clothing, shelter, or health care. Socialism promotes what is good for all members of the social system in which they reside, equally, by mutual democratic consent. That is what makes it morally antithetical to capitalism, the only objective of which is to accumulate more capital, or profit, soonest, for the capitalists.

If anything, capitalism is far simpler than socialism, since it is ONLY concerned with capital, whereas socialism is concerned with the needs of society as a whole, which is far more complex. Maybe that is why capitalism is more successful than socialism at slogans that can fit onto a bumper sticker.


(8,244 posts)
109. Libraries are great.
Tue Apr 23, 2013, 12:04 AM
Apr 2013

I use libraries as an example all the time when talking to people, as an example of another way of doing things. If every town or county can run a library, what's the reason they can't run a health clinic? Or small grocery store. And you're right, I think if we didn't have public libraries and we were trying to create them today, people would call it crazy communism or something.


(31,182 posts)
126. Libraries are the crown jewel of socialism
Sat Jun 29, 2013, 04:10 PM
Jun 2013

Roads and canals are all too "workaday" to be lauded, libraries, on the other hand, have that fantastic culture. The librarians try to stock the library with the most relevant new publications and keep dynamic information available for the skeptics.

I pulled one of Elizabeth Warren's books off the shelf two hours ago and read the introduction and one chapter just to get a "feel" for it. She was describing the overpriced housing market and how it's harming women.


(75,480 posts)
127. I see what you see, but the 1% sees too many people comfortable with their lives and less profit
Sat Jun 29, 2013, 04:23 PM
Jun 2013

for them. After all, I have been told right here on DU, that people are poor because they made bad choices.

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)


(62,242 posts)
130. After over a year I figured out how to frame what socialism looks like.
Sat Dec 7, 2013, 08:57 AM
Dec 2013

Socialism looks like a young child waking up in a comfortable temperature, slipping out of bed into a new pair of slippers that fit just right, waltzing to the kitchen to make breakfast, being greeted by family.

The child is only 6 years old but can decide breakfast for the entire family, and does it.

Breakfast is made, everyone gets PB&J waffles, covered in freshly crushed pecans and maple syrup, as well as a nice tall cold glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

How was breakfast made?

Everyone made it.

Maybe this day dad walked to the skyscraper's arboretum and hand picked some pecans off of a screen that they had been collecting on as they naturally fell from the tree, carried them back to the dwelling, and shelled them by hand.

Or maybe the mom popped them in a de-shelling gadget on the counter.

Or maybe the child had the pecans collected from the same arboretum, within walking distance, by an automated rover picking machine.

Or maybe any one of them performed any one of the above tasks.

But there they have it, pecans. Nicely crushed, perfect added texture.

Where did the waffles come from? PB&J, even? Well, peanuts are growing in the vertical skyscraper, somewhere. Maybe a week earlier the child and parents waltzed down to where they were growing and pulled them out of nutrient rich synthetic "media" to protect the pods from over-saturation in the hydroponic system. Mom being sure to check the pH balance which is almost always accurate when they leave the hydroponics area, but it can't hurt to check. If it alerted, which it almost never did, it would give instructions to fix the problem. Maybe mom checked so diligently because she knew about the hydroponics systems or maybe she checked because she was annoyed it worked so well and wanted to be the first to fix something there.

Maybe the peanuts were automatically picked, shelled, and delivered, in ground powdered recipe form, just like the pecans.

The oranges, same thing, different section of the skyscraper, same basic premise. The batter? Need lots of flower, probably a really fascinating hydroponics wheat field somewhere on the facility. Maybe the child still hadn't seen it except on a tablet that was made in another facility nearby. Maybe the parents didn't take him because he'd get excited and want to run the gamut, of 3 football fields of wheat growing in a brightly lit room, rustling his fingers through every stalk he could.

From each according to their ability, to each according to their need. Except, ability is meaningless and needs are obvious, wants are more curious. Socialism is to me simply the act of making breakfast together, even if it takes all week to gather the materials and process them by hand if desired or if it's done with the press of a button, without there being any productive and artifical limitation on those in the process. With a plethora of options that wants are decided by a child who just wandered into the kitchen because two confounded parents couldn't decide.

No one shells peanuts to put on the market, no one shells pecans, you do it yourself, or if you doubt yourself, you have a machine do it for you. Or maybe you don't give a crap about making breakfast and you would rather program the machines that do it for you, and the other person next to you, because once code is written it can be copied with zero marginal cost. Just as if I share some seeds it is the representation of a plant which replicates genetically in the appropriate environment at zero marginal cost.

No exact production, no scarcity indexes, no calculations, simply an overabundance of any easily grown foods stuff in a hydroponic or aeroponic medium lit by LED lighting powered by the sun, or maybe fission energy, or maybe fusion. Not the wind though.

There's no appreciable wind on Mars. But there's plenty of thorium.

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)


(31,869 posts)
132. Please familiarize yourself with the rules of this group -
Mon Dec 9, 2013, 08:57 PM
Dec 2013

These rules are non-negotiable and this is a protected group.


Welcome to the Socialist Progressives Group. Posts in this group should generally be supportive of socialism and socialists. We are largely anti-capitalist and will not tolerate red-baiting. We welcome leftists of all persuasion as allowed per the admin's TOS. Democratic (ballot box) socialism, revolutionary socialism, Syndicalists and autonomists are all ok. Pure black flag (as opposed to red/black) anarchists who would rather organize with any anarchist than socialists, including anarcho-capitalists and libertarians, will not be welcome. If you don't know what kind of anarchist you are, cool, so long as you don't hijack and red-bait. This includes no "you're a dictator-lover" if you support the Russian Revolution. CPUSA members, please chime in.

Social Democrats are welcome with the explanation that if someone believes in "regulated" capitalism and social programs, they're a Keynesian, not a socialist. We welcome your questions as long as you're pleasant and don't red bait or shift the discussion away from socialism. You'll find many of us support Obama and his re-election given our two-party system, but this is not the forum to talk about the intricacies of elections - see Politics 2012 for those conversations. We are more concerned with safe-guarding the working class gains we've made in this country thus far and encouraging the peaceful transition to socialism. Please no Trotsky or Stalin baiting, we've all seen it fracture groups and do not want to fight that battle again.

Starry Messenger

(32,339 posts)
134. Capitalism is destroying Detroit, the city in your profile
Mon Dec 9, 2013, 09:10 PM
Dec 2013

How did offshoring under the free market do for Detroit?

How would we pay? Get rid of the excessive MIC socialism and put it back into our citizens. Just for starters.

And yes, like TBF mentioned, this group is protected for supporters of socialism. But since a search on your user name brings up loads of conservative sites, like this one, I doubt you are in here simply seeking information.

Consider this your last warning, if you post in here again, you will be blocked.

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