A funny closed mind
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18-03-2011, 08:13 AM
A funny closed mind
At work we have the same truck driver mondays and fridays. We were counting product coming off a pallet this past Monday and I told him it reminded me of sesame street. He told me a story on how he was in 1st grade when sesame street came out, and for 4 months when it did they would wheel a tv into the classroom so the kids could see it. He then tells me that looking back, he figures they were getting the kids used to waatching sesame street so that they could spread their socialist agenda through it and indoctrinate the kids into socialism... I just laughed at him, but he keeps making serious socialism comments, which make me laugh because he hates something he can't even honestly define. He reminds me of McCarthyism. Nice guy, but dumb/paranoid in a funny way.

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18-03-2011, 09:05 AM
Hopefully you are not the one calling the kettle, "black."
Do you try to correct him, by explaining that he has inappropriately assigned an economic system designation to what would be the liberal social agenda that is usually assigned to Sesame Street and PBS by conservatives?

And, then you may have to explain that socialism is the central government administration of all industry, which is contrasted with capitalism, where proprietors are in control of production.

And, then you can explain how wonderful liberal politics is and how it would make people much more smarter then he is if people would just watch more PBS and stop believing in god.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
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18-03-2011, 10:29 AM
RE: Hopefully you are not the one calling the kettle, "black."
(18-03-2011 09:05 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  Do you try to correct him, by explaining that he has inappropriately assigned an economic system designation to what would be the liberal social agenda that is usually assigned to Sesame Street and PBS by conservatives?

And, then you may have to explain that socialism is the central government administration of all industry, which is contrasted with capitalism, where proprietors are in control of production.

And, then you can explain how wonderful liberal politics is and how it would make people much more smarter then he is if people would just watch more PBS and stop believing in god.

Socialism is fundamentally a mode of production based on democratic rather than despotic control of the productive processes.
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18-03-2011, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 18-03-2011 12:36 PM by TrainWreck.)
RE: Hopefully you are not the one calling the kettle, "black."
(18-03-2011 10:29 AM)sosa Wrote:  Socialism is fundamentally a mode of production based on democratic rather than despotic control of the productive processes.
You are in fantasy land. I assure you, your use of "democratic" refers to a central government, because otherwise, how do you expect decisions to be made - set-up an election every week to meet the needs of emerging commerce???

Wikipedia - Democratic Socialism Wrote:Democratic socialism is difficult to define, and groups of scholars have radically different definitions for the term. Some definitions simply refer to all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one.

It's absolutely amazing, how atheists fail to understand what a democracy is and the enormous complexities of devising a republic - they assume it to be naturally occurring phenomenon, and that only authoritarian government is man made.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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18-03-2011, 12:34 PM
RE: A funny closed mind
The word democratic like the word theory has different meanings. A democratic form of government is impractical, yet our representatives are democratically elected. I suspect that when Sosa speaks of a democratic control of the productive process he's not speaking of a show of hands at each step of the assembly line. Rather, he's talking about the control over decisions being in a representative enclave selected via democratic means.
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18-03-2011, 01:55 PM
RE: A funny closed mind
As a person living in a socialist state I must say that you people have a really screwed up view on what socialism is.
First of all, if you start to look at socialism thinking of it as an economic system or a way of controlling production processes, then you have it all backwards.
Socialism is an ideology. The way a social democracy constructs it's economic system is a consequence of this ideology.
I'll sum up the idea as short as I can.
A state with a social ideology strives to distribute wealth as evenly as possible between it's citizens. It tries to give all citizens equal access to things like education and medical treatment. The idea being that if everyone contributes as best they can to make sure that everyone gets a chance at a productive, fulfilling and secure life, then society as a whole will benefit.

The mantra is:
Contribute according to your ability.
Receive according to your needs.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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18-03-2011, 02:17 PM
RE: A funny closed mind
Cookie Monster's not a socialist! I mean doesn't he always munch all the cookies, so isn't that more like capitalist?

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18-03-2011, 02:23 PM
RE: A funny closed mind
(18-03-2011 12:34 PM)gamutman Wrote:  Rather, he's talking about the control over decisions being in a representative enclave selected via democratic means.
Yeah, a central government . . .

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
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18-03-2011, 02:41 PM
RE: A funny closed mind
(18-03-2011 09:05 AM)TrainWreck Wrote:  Do you try to correct him, by explaining that he has inappropriately assigned an economic system designation to what would be the liberal social agenda that is usually assigned to Sesame Street and PBS by conservatives?

And, then you may have to explain that socialism is the central government administration of all industry, which is contrasted with capitalism, where proprietors are in control of production.

And, then you can explain how wonderful liberal politics is and how it would make people much more smarter then he is if people would just watch more PBS and stop believing in god.
I quit trying to correct people on socialism. People who eat their views straight from Beck, Limbaugh or Oreilly normally don't take too well to facts. I'm also a left-leaning moderate, so while more of my ideas would be construed as "liberal" I think both sides ought to have their say. Neither side is perfect. I also don't like television and never encourage people to watch it, nor have I attempted to de-convert anybody in my life. What you believe is what you believe, and I think it's all fine and dandy as long as nobody is getting hurt.
(18-03-2011 12:20 PM)TrainWreck Wrote:  It's absolutely amazing, how atheists fail to understand what a democracy is and the enormous complexities of devising a republic - they assume it to be naturally occurring phenomenon, and that only authoritarian government is man made.
...Nice blanket (statement) there. Get out of bed on the wrong side much?

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18-03-2011, 03:50 PM
RE: A funny closed mind
Socialism is fundamentally a mode of production based on democratic rather than despotic control of the productive processes.[/I]

Workers councils ("worker self-management", “participatory workplace democracy”, “soviets”) are the fundamental underpinning of socialism. The workers democratically control production locally and then more broadly through federations and such. Any leftist who hasn't bought into the right's rhetoric about capitalism being a mode of distribution (the "market") rather than a mode of production recognizes this.

Now, once this “federation of workers’ councils” (or “soviet union” or whatever you want to call it) has been formed, several questions arise:

A) What should the mechanism be that each workplace uses to determine how much to produce?
B) What should the mechanism be that society uses to determine how much of what workplaces to expand (“investment”)?
C) What should the mechanism be that each individual uses to determine how much and of what kind to work?
D) What should the mechanism be that each individual uses to determine how much to consume?

A) There are several proposed "modes of productive distribution" (i.e. ways to decide what each individual workplace should produce). There are three dominant mechanisms proposed to do this:

1) The Market – Each individual workplace should still work to maximize its ‘profits’ (or total income per worker given that the boss/capitalist has been transcended) as the means to plan.

2) Communal-Democracy – Community councils/bodies determine what industries they want to utilize and how much in order to maximize the benefits for the community as a whole and then proceed to coordinate their efforts with other communities.

3) Centralized-Democracy – State or central planning boards/mechanisms determine what industries need to be utilized and how much in order to maximize the benefits for society as a whole.

B) There are several proposed "growth/investment mechanisms" (i.e. ways to decide what industries will expand and how much). There are three dominant mechanisms proposed to do this:

1) Community/State Banks - Banks that are owned by either the community or the larger state hold all of the savings and latent currency of the society it stands over and, according to consultation with democratic (communal or state, respectively) bodies, determines where to invest the currency.

2) Communal-Democracy - Community councils/bodies determine what industries will have excess means of production (or new innovations in that industry) produced in order to grow and better that industry in the community (generally this would be the same community councils or bodies as above).

3) Centralized-Democracy - State/central planning boards/mechanisms determine what industries will have excess means of production (or new innovations in that industry) produced in order to grow and better that industry in the society (generally this would be the same boards or mechanisms as above).

C) There are several proposed "labor distribution mechanisms" (i.e. ways to decide what work each individual needs to do). There are three dominant mechanisms proposed to do this:

1) Voluntary or Market - You can choose to work as little or as much as you want, meaning that undesired unemployment would not be eliminated (which may or may not be a problem depending on the “mode of consumptive distribution”).

2) Communal-Democracy - The community council/body determine how many labor hours the community needs to have spent and divides it up among the individuals of the community who wish to be part of the community consumption framework and may or may not determine what type of labor each individual will do (generally this would be the same community councils or bodies as above).

3) Centralized-Democracy - The state or central planning body determines how many labor hours society needs to have spent and divides it up among the individuals of society who want to be part of the social consumption framework and may or may not determine what type of labor each individual will do (generally this would be the same boards or mechanisms as above).

D) There are several proposed "modes of consumptive distribution” (i.e. ways to decide what each individual gets to consume). There are four dominant mechanisms proposed to do this:

1) Money – A consumption system where workers are still paid in wages according to the basic dynamics of supply and demand and on the dynamics of market fluctuations and ‘profit’-needs (if not capitalist profit, individual workplace “profit”).

2) Labor Vouchers - A distribution system where wages would be transformed into labor vouchers representing the number of hours worked, regardless of the type of work. Goods and services would be priced in terms of the cumulative labor required to produce them.

3) Communal-Democracy - A distribution system where local community councils/bodies would determine the rules and basic regulations of how goods and services would be distributed to individuals (generally this would be the same community councils or bodies as above).

4) Central-Democracy - A distribution system where the state or a central board or system determines the rules and basic regulations of how goods and services would be distributed to individuals (generally this would be the same boards or mechanisms as above).

5) Gift Consumption - A distribution system where consumption is open and unregulated.

As you can tell from the above there are three main trends in socialist thought (examples are provided for any interested readers):
1) A“non-capitalist market” trend – Market Socialism and Mutualism
2) A decentralized coordination trend – Libertarian Communism and Participatory Economics
3) A centralized planning trend – Centralized Communism and State Socialism

Obviously, the decision of how exactly to organize production would be up to these federations of workers, these worker’s unions, these “soviet unions”. Perhaps it would be decided that different communities or different industries should be organized on different principles. Perhaps each system would have a community or workplace opt-in option. Perhaps not. What particular means of socialism will be realized will be decided on the day that capitalism is abolished by the workers themselves. This is why socialists usually talk of “leaving the details for the day after the revolution”.

---------------

There are different philosophical reasons that individuals may be drawn to and advocate socialism. The two most dominant strains of socialist philosophy are Marxism and Anarchism.
Marxism tends to be a scientific analysis of the material history of the world and argues that the most important conclusion to be drawn is the eventual abolition of all class relationships and the creation of a classless society.
Anarchism tends to be an ethical analysis of authority, hierarchy, exploitation, and oppression that argues that these things should be eliminated in all their forms – including but not limited to the economic forms. 

The two philosophies/attitudes toward socialism are not necessarily incompatible. There is certainly great value in the history of thought in both of these ideological systems. From Proudhon to Kropotkin to Marx to Trotsky. Obviously everything these individuals said is not correct and is up for criticism. Neither should we be quick to ignore them simply because of their tendency compared to ours.

---------------

The fundamental question was, and remains to be, how the working class can bring about such a radically different mode of production and how can we accelerate that process and ensure most effectively that our class keeps its "eye on the prize" so to speak. Some people advocate merely entering into existing organizations and trying to persuade them to focus on the long term goal of a mass worker’s democracy (indeed this is what many of the early socialists like Marx and Bakunin did). Others advocate the creation of new or specific models of organization that will be the means to usher in the revolution (this is the strategy of those in the legacy of Kautsky and Lenin, for example – this would also include groups like the platformists).

There are three dominant organizations/organizational models that are followed by those urging particular structures:

1) Political Parties – Organizations that push for change through the state that should allow or should bring about or in some cases even should be the revolution via labor rights, social reforms, and sometimes revolutionary restructurings.

2) Syndicalist Unions – Organizations that push for particular desires of the workers in the short term, but that could be used to put in place democratic structures to realize their long-terms desires, and which could eventually establish worker’s councils.

3) Community Movements – Organizations that push for the reestablishment of the community relationships that have been ‘torn asunder’ by capitalism and seek to build community means of organizing change and eventually moving toward establishing a commune or a municipal federation of communes.

Perhaps the best approach is to accept that each of these has its place in the revolutionary struggle and that anything that raises the awareness of the workers (raising class consciousness) should be accepted and perhaps even supported. But perhaps not. This is here to inform you of what basics exist in the socialist field today, not which particular ideas are best.


Lastly, there is the issue of historical revolutions which have divided revolutionaries in the most angry of disputes. The details of any of these revolutions will not be delved into here (as the complexity of a single revolution would take a book to understand fully). Suffice to say that there were truly socialist trends at some point in most historical revolutions that claim to be socialist (regardless of where the ended up).

"Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." Mikhail Bakunin
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