Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Americans and Socialism Watch

    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    do you believe in the presence of a government?
    No.

    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    you do realise there's a distinction between socialism and communism, or anarcho-collectivism, right?
    Communism is a particular form of the broad category of socialism, which also includes various schools of anarchist thought includig collectivist anarchist.

    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    karl marx, for example, said in order to have communism (absolute economic equality), you needed "socialism" - and by that he meant a government ownership of the means of production
    Karl Marx said a lot of things.

    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    so are you a socialist or an anarcho communist?
    Socialist, yes. I guess I'm more of anarchist without adjectives though, really

    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    because "socialism" requires taxation/violation of liberty,
    Why?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Farm_Ecology)
    Over the years I've noticed something about Americans when discussing socialism. This often comes up when discussing Obama, as a large group of right(er) wing Americans believe Obama to be a socialist.

    But what strikes me most about this, is that far too often I see "Socialism" as just being another word for Fascism, or a general catch-all term for something bad or dictatorial.

    So what I wonder, is whether this complete misunderstanding of socialism is just a bi-product of cold war propaganda, or something more fundamental to the fabric of American society.

    Any thoughts?

    As an American, I'll share my thoughts:

    Most people that think Obama is socialist tend to be ignorant. That's it.

    That being said, the term "socialism" is used as another term for fascism. Although it is (academically) incorrect, I think the concept of having the government own major businesses is anathema to most Americans. America was in many ways, built because of the excessive taxation and government monopolies from England*, and the idea of our own government, which was originally built on a premise of ensuring individual liberties via limited government**, to become overreaching in the business sector is an unsavory thought. That being said, the fact that most people on the right tend to think that way is because they are very strong suporters of an extremely limited government.*** Believe it or not, governments espoused by many nations in the EU tend to be derided to be too interfering in the individual rights of its citizens, through programs such as a government run health care program. There are a plethora of other answers, but I'll let those be discussed by someone else.

    *You Brits might have your own opinions about the Revolutionary War, but this is what most Americans think
    **Articles of Confederation. Epic fail, but concepts of it are advocated for today.
    ***Imagine UKIP or the National Front had a 24hr news channel devoted to their ideology. That would be a European counterpart of Fox News.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Socktor)
    No.



    Communism is a particular form of the broad category of socialism, which also includes various schools of anarchist thought includig collectivist anarchist.



    Karl Marx said a lot of things.



    Socialist, yes. I guess I'm more of anarchist without adjectives though, really



    Why?
    then you should be defending anarcho-collectivism, mutualism/mutual aid, anarcho-syndicalism etc - not socialism, the statist brand of collectivism. make your point clearer.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    then you should be defending anarcho-collectivism, mutualism/mutual aid, anarcho-syndicalism etc - not socialism, the statist brand of collectivism. make your point clearer.
    If you know so little about socialism that you think it aims for a large authoritarian state apparatus then you're gonna have a bad time.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    higher taxation? that costs liberty from the individual.
    minimum wages? that costs liberty from the individual.
    I could go on. and obviously, getting more things through the work of somebody else through force is not liberty, it's sadistic material bribery.
    19th century Victorian England called. It wants its domestic policy back.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by betaglucowhat)
    If you know so little about socialism that you think it aims for a large authoritarian state apparatus then you're gonna have a bad time.
    "socialism" is not totally synonymous with collectivism; collectivism can be without a state, whereas socialism is where some/all property is owned by the state - that's why when people, when they refer to socialism today, aren't advocating anarchism when they advocate for things like democratic socialism, social democracy, etc.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    socialism = a term no one agrees on which completely defeats the point of language and prevents action
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DErasmus)
    19th century Victorian England called. It wants its domestic policy back.
    ah right, and I suppose you're going to tell me that the 19th century was full of poverty not because technology hadn't advanced yet, but because the industrial revolution/capitalism was oh so bad, and worse than the feudal times before it...okay. at least it sure sounds like that old chestnut where people like you spew that kind of thing out; the industrial revolution was bad only because better and more technologically advanced forms of housing and water supply etc where not there yet; if you had socialism in that time, what do you think would have happened? you think that we'd be in our current technological age today if we had socialism since the 1800s? really...:rolleyes: socialism holds back competitiveness, holds back innovation and holds back progression - socialism on paper and socialism (especially long term) in reality look very different
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    ah right, and I suppose you're going to tell me that the 19th century was full of poverty not because technology hadn't advanced yet, but because the industrial revolution/capitalism was oh so bad, and worse than the feudal times before it...okay. at least it sure sounds like that old chestnut where people like you spew that kind of thing out; the industrial revolution was bad only because better and more technologically advanced forms of housing and water supply etc where not there yet; if you had socialism in that time, what do you think would have happened? you think that we'd be in our current technological age today if we had socialism since the 1800s? really...:rolleyes: socialism holds back competitiveness, holds back innovation and holds back progression - socialism on paper and socialism (especially long term) in reality look very different
    Denmark, Sweden and Norway called. They want you to look out your window at America and get back to them. Public sector seems to be doing fine in most social democratic countries, not 'holding back competition' at all. And poverty was largely the result of a non interventionist government that was busy wasting money on colonies and the rich whoring materials.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DErasmus)
    Denmark, Sweden and Norway called. They want you to look out your window at America and get back to them. Public sector seems to be doing fine in most social democratic countries, not 'holding back competition' at all.
    1) norway has oil
    2) sweden used to be one of the most prosperous (economically) nations in the world before it came to its socialist policies
    3) as for denmark, their corporation taxes are very low, whereas america's are one of the highest in the world, so that would cause a rough balance in terms of the deterrence to business

    and if you think like that, look to eastern europe - why do you think they are *still* poor? their kind of socialism was *way* more socialist than the social democratic nations in Scandinavia and that's obviously why they were/are so poor - and I think you are overestimating the wealth of these countries - they are certainly not great in terms of their own innovations, and whatever innovations come from there are *not* products of government or government involvement
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    then you should be defending anarcho-collectivism, mutualism/mutual aid, anarcho-syndicalism etc - not socialism, the statist brand of collectivism. make your point clearer.
    You clearly have no idea what you're on about.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Socktor)
    You clearly have no idea what you're on about.
    why
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    why
    Anarchists are socialists.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Socktor)
    Anarchists are socialists.
    LOL
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    and if you think like that, look to eastern europe - why do you think they are *still* poor? their kind of socialism was *way* more socialist than the social democratic nations....
    "Was".

    The fact that eastern europe was poorer than western europe before, during, and after socialism should tell you something about the relevance socialism has on their success and relative poverty.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Farm_Ecology)
    "Was".

    The fact that eastern europe was poorer than western europe before, during, and after socialism should tell you something about the relevance socialism has on their success and relative poverty.
    they've only had capitalism for about 20 years
    they had socialism for 45 years
    it's just the level of difference that this kind of time can do to nations
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    LOL
    Likewise.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Socktor)
    Likewise.
    so I'm guessing you have no understanding of who people like rothbard, (david) friedman, stirner, thorou, godwin etc were.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Farm_Ecology)
    So what I wonder, is whether this complete misunderstanding of socialism is just a bi-product of cold war propaganda, or something more fundamental to the fabric of American society.
    I think its a by-product of the cold war. Also a by-product of the current political system that means if you're rich enough you can effectively buy a law or policy, and those policies tend to be de-regulation.
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    they've only had capitalism for about 20 years
    they had socialism for 45 years
    it's just the level of difference that this kind of time can do to nations
    While I have no desire to see the Stalinist system of the Eastern Bloc recreated, it grew more or less at the same speed as Western Europe during the Cold War. Indeed, the capitalist 'shock therapy' imposed on Eastern Europe destroyed many of its economies. Bulgaria, probably the worst affected, saw a 95% economic contraction in just two years, and it took them until a few years ago to return to the level they'd been at in the late 1980s.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.