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Old 19-04-2017, 10:51   #1
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Default Socialism

It's often talked about as an alternative to Capitalism, I mean it sounds nice, it's 'social' and obviously not good for 'capitalist pigs' but what does it mean in 21st century Britain? What means of production would the state redistribute, does it just lead to a dictatorship of the proletariat?

Does Labour have to offer something radical along these lines or will Corbyn simply keep repeating platitudes about fairness?
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Old 19-04-2017, 11:59   #2
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The only thing labour are going to offer is 'progess' on transgender and diversity issues
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Old 19-04-2017, 12:57   #3
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I think capitalism and socialism in equal share is probably about right.

With capitalism you get free enterprise, entrepreneurship, rewarding work etc and you can have people 'climbing the ladder' with better jobs, nicer houses but socialism can stop it going too far, we don't want health and police etc as part of that market. Areas of the economy should be state owned and or run no matter what. The state also has a role to play with banking and regulations. The market doesn't always know best.

Then on the other hand if you went too far with socialism, you know, Natalie Bennett style visions for the economy with us recycling our own piss in our sheds and working just 3 days a week, then you can argue you disincentivise work, undermine productivity and realise you actually have no fucking money for anything and large parts of society become impoverished.

I don't think Corbyn is the latter, his policies aren't that radical and if they sound extreme to people then it's probably because we've been drifting steadily to the right economically for decades under successive neoliberal consensus that we think it's completely normal to have prisons, schools and care homes literally run as a business by private companies and anything else would be 'loony lefty nonsense from the 70s' - A Labour party ran by Corbyn would probably just bring us about centrist really. Especially if we actually got power and certain things in his wishlist evaporated as unworkable in reality.
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Old 19-04-2017, 20:05   #4
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Socialism will never work because people are greedy, self absorbed cunts who will only ever look after their own interests and not do not give a shit about the overall betterment of the human race as a whole unless they can get something out of it. Humans as a species deserve to be fucking wiped out.

Hopefully trump fucks something up and triggers a full out thermo-nuclear war that leads to more or less everyone getting killed. Then those few remnants of the human race will really have to come together and actually work as one rather than the tribal horseshit we see now.
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Old 19-04-2017, 21:54   #5
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Someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Tucker View Post
I think capitalism and socialism in equal share is probably about right.
Not sure how that works, it' kind of one or the other. Social Democracy != Socialism.

Quote:
With capitalism you get free enterprise, entrepreneurship, rewarding work etc and you can have people 'climbing the ladder' with better jobs, nicer houses but socialism can stop it going too far, we don't want health and police etc as part of that market. Areas of the economy should be state owned and or run no matter what. The state also has a role to play with banking and regulations. The market doesn't always know best.
Of course there should be regulations, but that isn't socialism.

Quote:
Then on the other hand if you went too far with socialism, you know, Natalie Bennett style visions for the economy with us recycling our own piss in our sheds and working just 3 days a week, then you can argue you disincentivise work, undermine productivity and realise you actually have no fucking money for anything and large parts of society become impoverished.
That's socialism?

Quote:
I don't think Corbyn is the latter, his policies aren't that radical and if they sound extreme to people then it's probably because we've been drifting steadily to the right economically for decades under successive neoliberal consensus that we think it's completely normal to have prisons, schools and care homes literally run as a business by private companies and anything else would be 'loony lefty nonsense from the 70s' - A Labour party ran by Corbyn would probably just bring us about centrist really. Especially if we actually got power and certain things in his wishlist evaporated as unworkable in reality.
I agree with all this and it's where Labour are failing to show actual alternative ways to run our capitalist system. We need to understand the difference between Socialism and Social Democracy, saying that the French Socialist party are actually just social democrats. It's this conflation that is a red rag to a bull where people see Communism when really we're talking about Social Democracy.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:15   #7
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I define socialism as the people/public having a stake in more of the economy rather than corporations and businesses running virtually everything.

I think Labour offers that, under Corbyn anyway, and I also believe it doesn't have to go all the way and ditch capitalism. I think a mix is possible.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:29   #8
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A mix like that is generally what's referred to as Social Democracy. It's what Labour campaign on for the '97 election - The Third Way. Although you could easily argue that what emerged was more on the side of capitalism in the mix as they failed to regulate as much as they should.

Labour under Milliband were a very typical Social Democratic party. Corbyn as you say isn't really that far left of that.
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Old 09-05-2017, 16:00   #9
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What about fourth sector? The quiet bat people? Where do they fit in all this?
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Old 09-05-2017, 18:21   #10
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Lifted from wiki:

Quote:
Democratic socialism is distinguished from both the Soviet model of centralized socialism and from social democracy, where social democracy refers to support for political democracy, nationalization of key industries, and a welfare state. The distinction with the former is made on the basis of the authoritarian form of government and centralized economic system that emerged in the Soviet Union during the 20th century, while the distinction with the latter is made on the basis that democratic socialism is committed to systemic transformation of the economy while social democracy is not. That is, whereas social democrats only seek to "humanize" capitalism through state intervention, democratic socialists see capitalism as inherently incompatible with the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by superseding private ownership with some form of social ownership. Ultimately democratic socialists believe that reforms aimed at addressing the economic contradictions of capitalism will only cause more problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy, that capitalism can never be sufficiently "humanized", and that it must therefore ultimately be replaced with socialism.

Democratic socialism is not specifically revolutionary or reformist, as many types of democratic socialism can fall into either category, with some forms overlapping with social democracy, supporting reforms within capitalism as a prelude to the establishment of socialism. Some forms of democratic socialism accept social democratic reformism to gradually convert the capitalist economy to a socialist one using pre-existing democratic institutions, while other forms are revolutionary in their political orientation and advocate for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the transformation of the capitalist economy to a socialist economy.
So Chuckles is right, what you're talking about is Social Democracy.

I am dubious if Social Democracy can really deliver adequate change, that the inherent imbalances of capitalism will lead to further stratified classes. Which I guess is where we are at now, with all the talk and criticism of neoliberalism. A system that favours capital over labour. I guess this is Marx's hypothesis but ultimately I can see there being a crisis that will regress the system to the point where it is simply feudalism. As is though our current system still provides huge freedoms for the most savvy, but slowly we are seeing labour being disciplined and the power of capital become unfettered.

The way things are going I think eventually our situation will deteriorate to something between Greece and Japan. A situation where the state is neutered and mired in debt (perhaps through another bailout), meaning the current provisions of what Social Democracy we have left will be put on the bonfire in the name of protecting the financial system from collapsing.

Can we renew our country's post war Social Democratic values or are we heading for an inevitable further entrenchment of neoliberalism?
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