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What is socialism and communism in VERY simple terms? watch

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    What is socialism and communism in VERY simple terms?

    The definitions on google don't help me understand!

    I read that socialism is: Left-wing political system where the principle means of production, distribution and exchange are in common ownership.

    I don't understand what that means.
    Please help me!!

    I know the Uk is not communist , but what is it? capitalist?
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    Socialism:

    'I am opposed to the policy that all of the tips are put into a jar and divided evenly to the entire wait staff. When you get the lazy one with an attitude they all get the shaft at the end of the day. Finally the service declines because no one tries to excell and word gets around so patronage drops off. It's like socialism. Everyone gets a fair share of the pot no matter if they earn it or not. It just doesn't work.'
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    socialism = lowering the gap between rich and poor, having progressive/high taxation, government owning certain industries/providing certain services
    communism = no gap between the rich and poor, no taxes seeing as your work = the government's money, government owning everything
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    Socialism is a political and economical ideology that states the workers should own the means of production and agriculture etc. It a democratically planned economy. Whether that is achievable or not is debatable. Often when people call state capitalist governments socialists (like the uk labour party) what they mean is that the party main contain socialists or people inspired by socialist ideals like free health care for everyone no matter your socioeconomic position. They are not actually socialist parties but they do try ot interfere and help out the poorer propel in a sociaity and insure that workers get treated more fairly and advocate for wealth re distribution.

    Communism sprung out of the socialist movement and is based off of the communist manifesto. It was supposed to be a way of eliminating class and creating socialism. It has never really existed. Ignore the people saying communism equates to the government controlling everything as this is factual false. In a communist society there would be no government. They are referring to the likes of Mao's China and the Soviet Union which were run by police states that called themselves communists but never implemented communism. They may have started out with communist intentions but they never created it and took all freedom away from the population.
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    (Original post by sarah22345)
    What is socialism and communism in VERY simple terms?

    The definitions on google don't help me understand!

    I read that socialism is: Left-wing political system where the principle means of production, distribution and exchange are in common ownership.

    I don't understand what that means.
    Please help me!!

    I know the Uk is not communist , but what is it? capitalist?
    The Oxford Dictionary provides some nice definitions:

    Socialism: ''A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.''

    Communism: ''A theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.''

    Socialism is the opposite of capitalism. Capitalism is where private individuals own the means of production, distribution and exchange (often with the intention of making profit with that ownership). The ''means of production'' are ways in which people produce things (so, factories, roads, industrial equipment, etc).

    The UK has a mixed economy. This means that the economy has some capitalist and socialist qualities (both 'work' together to maximise economic growth).

    Think of communism as a 'step-up' from socialism; things such as money, classes and the state no longer exist (ontop of the means of production, etc, being owned by the whole community).
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    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    socialism = lowering the gap between rich and poor, having progressive/high taxation, government owning certain industries/providing certain services
    communism = no gap between the rich and poor, no taxes seeing as your work = the government's money, government owning everything
    This is not true. Socialism primarily concerns who owns the means of production. While some socialists may wish to lower the gap between the rich and the poor, this is not solely a socialist trait (capitalists may want to see that).

    Your right in saying that some socialist societies may have government-run industries, however societies that truely become communist would not.

    Communist movements on the other hand, such as Leninism, Maoism, Stalinism, etc, would favour government control over everything (as a way of moving a country from capitalism to communism). This failed pretty bad, as we all (should) know.
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    (Original post by SHallowvale)
    This is not true. Socialism primarily concerns who owns the means of production. While some socialists may wish to lower the gap between the rich and the poor, this is not solely a socialist trait (capitalists may want to see that).
    redistribution of wealth is a common socialist aim, surely?

    Your right in saying that some socialist societies may have government-run industries, however societies that truely become communist would not.

    Communist movements on the other hand, such as Leninism, Maoism, Stalinism, etc, would favour government control over everything (as a way of moving a country from capitalism to communism). This failed pretty bad, as we all (should) know.
    by "communist" I don't mean anarcho-communist
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    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    redistribution of wealth is a common socialist aim, surely?
    Common? Yes. Although I don't think it automatically makes it socialst.

    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    by "communist" I don't mean anarcho-communist
    Oh? I thought communism, by definition, was stateless? This is news to me, thank you.
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    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    redistribution of wealth is a common socialist aim, surely?
    I would say yes as wealth is so vastly unevenly distributed that it has created a plutocracy which should be treated with contempt by any real socialist.

    Complete egalitarianism on the other hand does not have to be a socialist ideal. In a socialist society the community could still reward people who work harder or are exceptionally talented. A co-operative or some kind of democratic industrial organization could elect someone to temporally lead that industry, they may deem it fitting to reward the extra work put in by this individual.

    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    by "communist" I don't mean anarcho-communist
    Then what do you mean? If you think communism advocates government control you have no idea what the movement was trying to create. There is no need for a state in a communist society. This is not debatable. Go read the communists manifesto. I think you are getting confused as you equate communism with Leninism which is not the same thing. Anarcho communism was a left marxist movement and was much closer to actual communism.

    What is up for debate though is whether it is achievable or realistic.
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    (Original post by SHallowvale)


    Oh? I thought communism, by definition, was stateless? This is news to me, thank you.
    Don't back down!

    You were correct.

    Communism is by definition stateless as there is not need for a state. Society isn't split between private ownership that is managed by a government which runs public funded services. In a communist society the political sphere and economic sphere would be the part of the same.

    This whole state thing comes from the branch of socialists that thought the only way to achieve socialism was to gain control of the state with a workers vanguard party that would use its authoritarian power to steer society towards communism. This caused a massive split in the left for abvoise reasons. This resulted in the animal farm.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    Then what do you mean? If you think communism advocates government control you have no idea what the movement was trying to create. There is no need for a state in a communist society. This is not debatable. Go read the communists manifesto. I think you are getting confused as you equate communism with Leninism which is not the same thing. Anarcho communism was a left marxist movement and was much closer to actual communism.

    What is up for debate though is whether it is achievable or realistic.
    well marxism necessitates a socialist state, or a dictatorship of the proletariat (which he never really elaborated upon in terms of what this would entail), which thus would eventually lead to anarchy. but, seeing as the end is not the means, and the means is what is in question here, marxism is primarily arguing for the eradication of capitalism through the use of some kind of government as the scaffolding of the new system (of communism) (after all, he is impliedly distinguishing between statist socialism by calling for a "dictator of the proletariat" and "anarchy", or else there'd be no point of making a distinction)
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    (Original post by sarah22345)
    What is socialism and communism in VERY simple terms?

    ...
    Socialism, at least Marxist socialism, is the organisation of a society aimed at the equitable distribution of power and need satisfaction, usually involving a state apparatus to that end.

    Communism, at least Marxist communism, is the successful end-point of the above wherein there no longer needs to be a state or it at least becomes a much diminished element in societal reproduction.
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    **** and ****ter in the simplest terms

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    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    well marxism necessitates a socialist state, or a dictatorship of the proletariat (which he never really elaborated upon in terms of what this would entail), which thus would eventually lead to anarchy. but, seeing as the end is not the means, and the means is what is in question here, marxism is primarily arguing for the eradication of capitalism through the use of some kind of government as the scaffolding of the new system (of communism) (after all, he is impliedly distinguishing between statist socialism by calling for a "dictator of the proletariat" and "anarchy", or else there'd be no point of making a distinction)
    Marx didn't write much on socialism. His main body of work was a critique of the capitalism that existed at the time.

    What we are debating is what a theoretical communist society would look like(I am anyway). You are correct in that Marx was supportive of the dictatorship of the proletariat but not all marxists supported that idea. Look into left Marxism. Like I said, most marxist thought is a critic of capitalism. Communism came about to build a society that didn't have the problems that Marxist thought describes.

    The dictatorship was intended to be temporary and eventually it would dismantle its self leading to communism. No honest communist would have described Russia as a communist system. It was said to be holding Russia in place until communism was achievable. It was called communism by both allies and enemies of the soviet union as a means of indoctrination and propaganda.

    Basically the difference between the authoritarian and libertarian trends of Marxism were due not to them being directly opposed to each other, they both wanted the same thing (in thoerey), it was how to get there. The dictatorship lot thought you could only get there if a powerful state was created that could defend the revolution and guide the stupid masses form above. The anarchist tendencies thought that would only lead to slavery and that the workers themselves should run things in a bottom up democratic way right form the start. This lot did not advocate the need of a state and wanted to dismantle it form the get go.

    Of course some intellectuals saw the dictatorship of the proletariat as a means of riding the populist movements of the time into power. These are the sort of people that can easily switch form the far left to far right. They either want to be at the top of the red bureaucracy giving orders or be the managers (politicians) for the people with all the wealth who really run things in a far right state capitalist system.

    Tldr: You make correct points, but your understanding of the reasoning behind the split in left Marxists vs authoritarian Marxists is wrong if you trust that both lot were honest. We only ever here about the authoritarian Marxists and next to nothing about the libertarian lot for obvious reasons. So unless someone makes an effort to find out for themselves it is understandable they will just repeat what they have been told.


    Disclaimer: Before anyone gets any ideas I am not a marxist
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    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    redistribution of wealth is a common socialist aim, surely?...
    Yeah, but socialism aims for the equitable control of the means of production out of which the satisfaction of need is generated, so it's maybe a little misleading to characterise it as a redistribution of wealth without reference to the democratic control of the means by which wealth is generated.
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    (Original post by mojojojo101)
    Inb4 'its impossible'.

    oh... too late...
    I never get this argument.

    It applies to people who want an overnight revolution but not to reformist socialists. It is impossible to eradicate all murder but that does not mean we just give up and don't try to stop it. It is better to aim high and never get to your destination than aim so low that you go backwards.
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    (Original post by Daniel9510)
    **** and ****ter in the simplest terms

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    Cool story bro. Tell it again
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    (Original post by Bulbasaur)
    Cool story bro. Tell it again
    Because they're proven success stories aren't they? Let's ask the USSR's citizens, how did they treat you? The land owners in Laos? The rich in Vietnam? The economists of Cuba? The Democratic believers in China?
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    (Original post by kka25)
    Socialism:



    Linky
    That's nonsense. Marx said "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need". He never said some people get to laze about and still get their cut. All he said is that workers should have power in the company and a fair wage.
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    (Original post by Monkey.Man)
    well marxism necessitates a socialist state, or a dictatorship of the proletariat (which he never really elaborated upon in terms of what this would entail), which thus would eventually lead to anarchy. but, seeing as the end is not the means, and the means is what is in question here, marxism is primarily arguing for the eradication of capitalism through the use of some kind of government as the scaffolding of the new system (of communism) (after all, he is impliedly distinguishing between statist socialism by calling for a "dictator of the proletariat" and "anarchy", or else there'd be no point of making a distinction)
    Marx meant that the working class would dominate the respective countries' parliament, as he considered liberal democracy to be bourgeois.
    The phrase 'dictatorship of the proletariat' was hijacked by communisms' opponents to imply Lenin's concept of vanguardism, which has forever damaged Marxism as it is associated with the USSR.
    Marx actually said in 'The Communist Manifesto' that the state would gradually wither away as proponents of capitalism gradually lessen, he believed the state was a tool used by the ruling class as an oppressive mechanism against the subservient class. Equality would have eliminated the need for the state.
    The ultimate destination of Marxism, was in fact a variation of collectivist anarchism.
 
 
 

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