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Leonardo

Socialism in the Heart of Capitalist US

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Chris Agee is loading boxes of food and drink products on to a conveyor belt down in the basement of a grocery store in Brooklyn, New York.

One floor above him, shoppers push trolleys up and down the aisles, picking up their weekly groceries.

But this isn't Chris's full-time job. In fact he's not getting paid a wage at all. Chris actually teaches political science at City University of New York.

He is one of the 16,000 members of the Park Slope Food Co-op, who volunteers at the store.

The co-operative is one of the few in the US that still has a member labour requirement - members have to work there if they want to shop there.

source

Awaiting comments on the evils of socialism, or how it can only work on such a small scale, etc, etc...

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Your title is seriously mis leading, all i found is that everyone is happy there, sure they are not being paid but its better than huge stores where you wait and need to look most of the time.

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Your title is seriously mis leading, all i found is that everyone is happy there, sure they are not being paid but its better than huge stores where you wait and need to look most of the time.

If you found my OP misleading I would encourage you to report it.

What about it [the subject of the article] is not an example of socialism, I ask?

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How is that bad?

Instead of paying for goods with cash, they're doing so via labour.

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If you found my OP misleading I would encourage you to report it.

What about it [the subject of the article] is not an example of socialism, I ask?

all of it, why do you think this is socialism?

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How is that bad?

Instead of paying for goods with cash, they're doing so via labour.

I never said the example in the article was bad, SWoH.

But look through many of the threads here and you will find a general antipathy for socialism among the American public based, I would suggest, purely on a false understanding of what socialism is; indoctrination through corporate media pushing the "socialism is bad" message; and a historic opposition to 'socialist' nations in the endeavour to be "top dog".

However, as the article I linked to suggests, socialism can bring real, material, benefits as well as community benefits.

Edited by Leonardo
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all of it, why do you think this is socialism?

Well, it is a co-operative venture undertaken to manage the local economy of the food-store; it is co-operative 'ownership' of production; and access to the production is according to contribution.

What makes you think it does not describe a socialist environment? Please be more specific than "all of it".

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Just another Obamaist Trojan horse to bring America under the heel of Russia, again. Putin will be laughing his socks off behind that sinister exterior of his.

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Just another Obamaist Trojan horse to bring America under the heel of Russia, again. Putin will be laughing his socks off behind that sinister exterior of his.

:lol:

Well done, Colonel. Well done, I say! :tsu:

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Looks like a great idea. Looks like it's working fine for them. I'm assuming there is no profit incentive in the operations of the store? Just lower prices for the members? What's not to like?

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source

Awaiting comments on the evils of socialism, or how it can only work on such a small scale, etc, etc...

Obviously it depends upon how we define socialism.

This story from Brooklyn is about volunteer work, IMO, not socialism.

It seems to me that socialism would somehow involve the use of funds in the public treasury, NOT the activities of volunteer workers.

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Obviously it depends upon how we define socialism.

This story from Brooklyn is about volunteer work, IMO, not socialism.

It seems to me that socialism would somehow involve the use of funds in the public treasury, NOT the activities of volunteer workers.

Where we have the usual problem with the definition, socialism is the collective egalitarian effort (where with most volunteering the egalitarian part does not exist) for the benefit of all. That store would sure fall under that.

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We have lots of examples of socialism here in the United States. Families operate via socialism with each member contributing what they can and taking what they need. Charities as well.

I think that the problem is Americans have taken term "socialism" and have corrupted its definition to include all their ills and fears. Countless times I am heard someone say or post, "Socialist, Fascist, Liberal!". When in reality socialism and fascism are on opposite spectrums.

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We have lots of examples of socialism here in the United States. Families operate via socialism with each member contributing what they can and taking what they need. Charities as well.

Absolutely, I don't dispute that. And many/most of the examples of socialism are beneficial to those involved.

I think that the problem is Americans have taken term "socialism" and have corrupted its definition to include all their ills and fears. Countless times I am heard someone say or post, "Socialist, Fascist, Liberal!". When in reality socialism and fascism are on opposite spectrums.

Very true, and one of the reasons I started this thread. "Socialism" and "Totalitarianism" seem to be synonyms in the American vocabulary, but it's a false association.

For sure, socialism isn't the be-all/end-all solution to a better society - but it is part of it and America needs to learn to embrace socialism amongst the rest of what it embraces in order to improve the quality of social life in the nation.

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I think Americans are generally clueless about socialism judging by discussions I've had whilst there and on the net.I hear people calling Obama a marxist pig which is laughable,he isn't even particularly left wing.Its a hangover from all the hysterical anti communist propaganda they were fed in the cold war IMHO

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Personally, I think that the term is purposefully being corrupted. If you can take a term and apply negative traits to it and then hang it on your opponent's head then you can goad the populace to vilify that opponent.

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Personally, I think that the term is purposefully being corrupted. If you can take a term and apply negative traits to it and then hang it on your opponent's head then you can goad the populace to vilify that opponent.

You can also goad the general populace to accept a less-than-optimal social solution for the benefit of just a few.

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Personally, I think that the term is purposefully being corrupted. If you can take a term and apply negative traits to it and then hang it on your opponent's head then you can goad the populace to vilify that opponent.

And not the first time... after a few years they have to"invent" new terms to regain the old adulterated definition, like libertarian for liberal.

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Well, it is a co-operative venture undertaken to manage the local economy of the food-store; it is co-operative 'ownership' of production; and access to the production is according to contribution.

What makes you think it does not describe a socialist environment? Please be more specific than "all of it".

Not really.

Since they still pay for the food, it isn't socialist at all, just capitalist.

Exactly as in any other labor market, this group is performing work in trade for goods and services, whether for the actuality (grocery discounts) or for the symbolic equivalent (money.)

Harte

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This cooperative is voluntary. Its no different than a collective of voluntary insurances or voluntary private school or a whole community of businesses forming a voluntary egalitarian collective. And yes its called socialism. But its important to understand that the collectives relationship is strictly voluntary. No use of force or coercion by GOV.

And as has already been mentioned the word socialism has been abused of late. Many see the GOV forcing socialism down each others throats. Then its not called socialism anymore when the GOV uses force to initiate it. Its called many other terms. Fascism and totalitarian come into play.

Edited by acidhead

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Personally, I think that the term is purposefully being corrupted. If you can take a term and apply negative traits to it and then hang it on your opponent's head then you can goad the populace to vilify that opponent.

And not the first time... after a few years they have to"invent" new terms to regain the old adulterated definition, like libertarian for liberal.

Well, exactly. Look how "Liberal" or "Dem" has become pretty well a synonym for "Communist" according to some, including some people around here.

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Another point. This cooperative is owned by the individuals... they each have a stake in ensuring its success. When GOV uses force to create a cooperative nobody owns it. And when nobody owns something its sure to become broken neglected and a failure.

Edited by acidhead
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Another point. This cooperative is owned by the individuals... they each have a stake in ensuring its success. When GOV uses force to create a cooperative nobody owns it. And when nobody owns something its sure to become broken neglected and a failure.

When the government creates something everybody owns it, not nobody... but as collaborative as everybody is minded it comes out to the same.

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When the government creates something everybody owns it, not nobody... but as collaborative as everybody is minded it comes out to the same.

Not quite the same Q.

For example: when the GOV creates a housing project nobody has a stake in it because they do not own it.. the GOV owns it. It was given to them to live in. Nobody can claim individual ownship so nobody owns it. And from this example we all know what happens to the building... it becomes neglected and falls apart.

The opposite results when the individual has a stake in the building. Its in each individuals best interest to maintain the building to ensure the value of the building isn't compromised.

People generally spend their money more wisely then they spend somebody else's money. --milton friedman

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And not the first time... after a few years they have to"invent" new terms to regain the old adulterated definition, like libertarian for liberal.

I hope you meant to write "progressive" there.

Harte

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