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OverSword

Socialism, why not?

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I've been having a discussion with a friend who dreams of living in a socialist/communist utopia, where everyone has everything they need (especially the right to healthcare and housing) and where people are treated equally.  Can such a system exist?  If so why would we be opposed to it?  In the past all other examples of this system, regardless of intention have turned repressive.  Does this have to happen?  Why or why not?  He feels this is the real path to social equality, what's wrong or right about that?

Opinions?

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Historically you could go on all day about why this is a really bad idea. Bottom line is it just doesn't work. Why would anyone but the lazy want to live in a world were no matter what you do things will never get any better for you? No matter how hard you work, you still have to live in the same type of house. Unless we are all getting mansions. It just takes away the desire to be the best you can be. Humanity would become stagnant.

 

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It has been repeatedly proven through grim experience, not to work  - especially in multicultural settings.  The reason that Capitalism has proven superior, even with terrible flaws, is that human nature is not about sharing, predominately.  There are individuals who have no desire or ambition to work, there always have been, always will be.  Those who do want to succeed cannot provide enough to meet the needs of all and will soon enough stop trying if they see others whose needs are met or who even exceed the benefits that they, themselves have labored for.  

If your friend really believes in Socialism he should study the regime in Venezuela.  That country sits atop more oil than Saudi Arabia, yet many of its citizens are now starving.  Socialism has failed everywhere it has been attempted unless the country was small and had a very homogeneous population.  The Scandinavian countries are the exception because they began their experiment with a good grounding in western morals and civic responsibility.  If a man or woman wanted to live off the sweat of their neighbors they could expect to be shunned and ridiculed if they were able-bodied.  In a country of hundreds of millions with no cultural basis of similarity or morals, this system CANNOT WORK.  Those who insist that it can are just intellectually arrogant.  It smacks of "yeah, I know it always failed before, but WE can make it succeed".

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The main 'why not' regarding socialism is simply because it doesn't work. It's one of those 'might look good on paper' kind of things, but in actual practice it falls flat.

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1 hour ago, OverSword said:

In the past all other examples of this system, regardless of intention have turned repressive.  Does this have to happen?  Why or why not?

- The Native Americans
- The black community
- Long-term welfare recipients

What do they all have in common? They are all receiving large portions of Government tax money, along with extra benefits meant to stimulate their respective communities and promote well being. What else do they all have in common? Low rates of employment, high rates of depression and drug/alcohol abuse. 

The Native Americans are a prime example as they are born in to Socialism at a micro level. We thought that taking care of their base needs and sprinkling some extra benefits on top would lead to a successful tribe of people. The opposite proved to be true. Socialism approaches humanity from a point of compassion, not taking in to regard the nature of human beings. The reason Communist countries have (mostly,) crumbled, is that Communism carves an easy path for evil men to take over. 

Communism doesn't produce wealth out of thin air, it's taken from the rich and distributed among everyone. Of course, this leads to major issues when the rich aren't willing to give up their riches: then it falls on the people. Suddenly, everyone is equal - equally poor. Communism is sharing in misery while the elite are up in the clouds, far away from the "average joe" who is now unable to forge a lucrative career as the opportunities are not there like they would be under Capitalism. Communism rewards everyone with little while Capitalism rewards hard work with endless bounty.

You will never see the next Apple or Google coming out of Communism - period. Where's the incentive? 

 

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1 hour ago, Dark_Grey said:

- The Native Americans
- The black community
- Long-term welfare recipients

What do they all have in common? They are all receiving large portions of Government tax money, along with extra benefits meant to stimulate their respective communities and promote well being. What else do they all have in common? Low rates of employment, high rates of depression and drug/alcohol abuse. 

The Native Americans are a prime example as they are born in to Socialism at a micro level. We thought that taking care of their base needs and sprinkling some extra benefits on top would lead to a successful tribe of people. The opposite proved to be true. Socialism approaches humanity from a point of compassion, not taking in to regard the nature of human beings. The reason Communist countries have (mostly,) crumbled, is that Communism carves an easy path for evil men to take over. 

This is the worst thing I've read on the internet in a very, long time, for a lot of different reasons.. 

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8 minutes ago, ExpandMyMind said:

This is the worst thing I've read on the internet in a very, long time, for a lot of different reasons.. 

Cool. Now let's hear your rebuttal

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Just now, Dark_Grey said:

Cool. Now let's hear your rebuttal

Venezuela.

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2 hours ago, OverSword said:

I've been having a discussion with a friend who dreams of living in a socialist/communist utopia, where everyone has everything they need (especially the right to healthcare and housing) and where people are treated equally.  Can such a system exist?  If so why would we be opposed to it?  In the past all other examples of this system, regardless of intention have turned repressive.  Does this have to happen?  Why or why not?  He feels this is the real path to social equality, what's wrong or right about that?

Opinions?

It would be a great utopia.  I have thought about it.   It works with the initial smaller population.   Everyone has there tasks to fulfill.   Soon, the people in the doctor roles realize that they're work is worth more than those weeding the garden.  

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Pure socialism as well as pure capitalism both don't work.  That is why most governments we have plot a path somewhat in the middle of the two.

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8 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

Pure socialism as well as pure capitalism both don't work.  That is why most governments we have plot a path somewhat in the middle of the two.

The current Democrat party is indeed trying to create a hybrid.  They are unwilling to even try to work through the task of creating real Socialism because it requires effort to build companies and forge a system of wealth to draw from.  They see a much better solution in simply strangling existing ventures to a point JUST before death with taxation.

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1 minute ago, Daughter of the Nine Moons said:

You as a Canadian have benefited all your life from the social safety net that is in place. You have always had access to universal healthcare, if you get hurt on the job you can get workers comp. Your wife could take paid maternity leave for up to a year without losing her job, you could take paid paternal leave without losing your job. 

I find it so odd and hypocritical that you oppose some of the very things that you take for granted as a Canadian.

It's about moderation to make a system that works well for as many people as it can without being self-destructive.  A purely Capitalist society wouldn't be sunshine and daisies either, but from what I've seen a primarily Capitalist society with sprinkles of other ideas works fairly well.

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@Wickian I agree wholeheartedly. I don't believe pure socialism works, but I do believe that some elements like universal healthcare are vital to maintaining a strong and healthy society 

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12 minutes ago, and then said:

The current Democrat party is indeed trying to create a hybrid.  They are unwilling to even try to work through the task of creating real Socialism because it requires effort to build companies and forge a system of wealth to draw from.  They see a much better solution in simply strangling existing ventures to a point JUST before death with taxation.

What Trump is doing isn't pure capitalism at all.  Stopping free trade agreements, taking action to curb trade imbalance, tariffs on items like aluminum foil, steel, etc.   One of the fails of capitalism is that it doesn't care about nations or people.  Be competitive or fail.  The Republicans have all stepped back from it as well.  My old Governor Branstad was a big supporter of TPP. 

Gutting of regulations and reducing taxes seem to be the only thing free capitalistic they are sticking to. 

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7 minutes ago, Daughter of the Nine Moons said:

@Wickian I agree wholeheartedly. I don't believe pure socialism works, but I do believe that some elements like universal healthcare are vital to maintaining a strong and healthy society 

Universal health care sounds wonderful but, having worked for a couple of decades within the existing system, I can assure you that simply passing laws and giving every U.S. citizen a Medicare card is NOT the answer.  All that will do is make Medicare the equivalent of being under the V.A. Medical system.  Government does not create wealth and cannot manage even itself, let alone a venture as complex as health care.  But that won't matter.  I believe America is headed full speed toward the easiest solution for the politicians, people be damned.  Nutjob Bernie and co. are beginning the mantra of Medicare for all and it will probably pass with the help of the Repukes.  Rationing and the equivalent of bureaucrat panels that determine who is worthy of expenditures and who is not will be seen here within a couple of years.  I believe this NOT because I think one party is worse than another.  I believe it because the only real way to amend the system would be to remove the right of people to sue Providers left, right and center.  Apparently, Lawyers have a much better Lobby than the rest of us.  It's nice to know that Lawyers, Doctors, and Legislators will be able to afford real care while everyone else waits their turn patiently for whatever care they can get, PROBABLY without the ability to hold anyone accountable for REAL mistakes that harm them or their loved ones.  That should really make for a strong and healthy society.  I believe that preventative health care should be available as well as emergent care.  Everything else should be the responsibility of the people who need the care.  In a system not subsidized by the government, where the government cannot skew prices unrealistically, such care would again be affordable because the Market would determine prices to a much greater extent than it has since our government took control of most of the system in the 60's.  

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It never worked before. Learn from history's mistakes I always say. The largest problem to any society are the people themselves. This is why I trust no one.

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Much of time when people say socialist what they really mean is just very generous social safety net, rather than state ownership of all businesses. In this definition socialism can work but only when there is capitalist profit to feed off of. In Norway some of this from their oil wealth, in Sweden they actually had a history of rather permissive pro-market policy that create great wealth in the past, create a current culture of vigorous business, and permit the state to be generous. In Venezuela high oil prices allow  socialism to work for a time but when the price collapse come social and economic disruption follow. Is the Scandinavian model sustainable long term? One should be careful for signs of too great a burden on public expenditures, and entrenched interests who will not permit cuts should they are deemed necessary.

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When someone brings up this subject, I always have to ask, who decides who gets what?  Redistribution requires some mechanism of control.  If you are not in favor, then you end up being not quite as equal.  The ones that want Socialism are groups like Antifa.  Yeah, I can see egalitarianism right there.  Human nature will always be what it is. 

 

This is how our Constitutional Republic evolved.  Socialism and our Constitution are incompatible.  Capitalism and the Protestant Work Ethic (Weber) thrive under our Republic.  They are the triad of this culture’s strength.  Some try to imitate it, like China but they will never achieve true freedom. 

 

Others say that Socialism works well in small populations but I always bring up Stossel’s “Tragedy of the Commons” program (youtube) to debunk that, if Venezuela isn’t enough.  How much longer is it going to work in the homogeneous Scandinavian countries when unassimilated Muslim immigrants reach about 5% of the population? 

 

And yes another aspect are those that think that some mix of the two will be beneficial rather than a system purely one or the other.  A point to make about that is that a Constitutional Republic is defined in moderation on the political spectrum.  The Political Spectrum exists as 0% government control (anarchy) at one end and 100% government control (totalitarianism and authoritarianism) at the other.  I consider that an ideal place to be is between 10% and 30%.  Complete anarchy has the ability to flip the spectrum.

 

Going back to my first statement, any kind of government oversight (for good or bad) infringing into the personal lives of the people always tends to drift toward the 100% end.  Over time, people give up a little more of their freedom.  This should be viewed as normal and measures must be imposed on the government to reverse its control. 

 

It’s very tempting to see some entity that can step forward to protect its people and make life easier.  It is like a drug.  A government that gives its people stuff enslaves them and harms them more than it helps.  The best utopia is a unity of individuals, not a collective of cogs.

 

No doubt that there are elements of Socialism can help a society, it should be a Constitutional/Capitalist regime that sparingly sprinkles Socialism throughout its system, rather than a Socialist system trying to regulate, restrict, and hamper a capitalist system from full expression of the Invisible Hand.

 

So the solution is how can the government create an environment that empowers the individual?  If everyone had the spirit of entrepreneurship, then there would be no need or want.  So it’s up to the government to either drown people in dole or encourage self-reliance.

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3 hours ago, Daughter of the Nine Moons said:

You as a Canadian have benefited all your life from the social safety net that is in place. You have always had access to universal healthcare, if you get hurt on the job you can get workers comp. Your wife could take paid maternity leave for up to a year without losing her job, you could take paid paternal leave without losing your job. 

I find it so odd and hypocritical that you oppose some of the very things that you take for granted as a Canadian.

Who said I oppose all Socialism? Universal health care is great, but like Communism it needs to be implemented perfectly to really  reap the most benefit. That simply has not been done in Canada. Instead, we have UK-lite where the taxes are not insane, but insane enough to choke out middle class families.

"Universal" means everyone and that means you and I paying for the strain on the system from others' unhealthy lifestyle, obesity, smoking, etc.

No competition for health care means no lower prices, increased quality or any deviation from what the Federal budget dictates. It means losing good Doctors to the US because they stand to make whatever the market there will allow, which is usually much more than the Government of Canada is willing to pay. Finally, it means less innovation. The real shining light of the free market. Canadian Doctors and Universities have made some great breakthroughs but nothing compared to the privately funded facilities South of the border.

I like the benefits of having that "safety net", sure. But for as often as I've needed it, I would rather save all that tax money and have health insurance. At least then I'd be paying for my health and only my health, not the poor choices of others.

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The Five Charges this government is responsible for are:  Establish Justice, Insure Domestic Tranquility, Provide for the Common Defense, Promote the General Welfare, and Secure the Blessings of Liberty.  The Budget should be spent on only these things and nothing else. 

 

Justice would include enforcing the laws of the land and not usurping them via something like an Executive Order, for example, establishing DACA.  Domestic Tranquility would be not instigating racial unrest as BLM and Antifa are designed to do.  Defense is to build a military second to none.  One so powerful, that the next 10 strongest militaries couldn’t join forces to attack us.  General Welfare is not social programs.  It refers to public works; Infrastructure that facilitates trade, i.e. the old Postal Road or the Interstate Highway system today.  It says promote, not provide.  Having the Infrastructure in place promotes the General Welfare.  Secure Liberty to be able to control one’s destiny by exercising our Rights and Responsibilities. 

 

The Budget should be focused on the Defense, maintaining Infrastructure, and paying down the debt.  If we do this then I see no reason why the government couldn’t splurge one social program.  But pick one.  Social Security is a worthwhile candidate but it needs to be restructured.  There’s our touch of Socialism.  We definitely do not need a Universal Healthcare program.  All we need is a Concierge Medicine system w/ Tort Reform, Interstate Commerce, Portability, etc. backed up with Catastrophic insurance.  Let the government deal with growing the economy and not spending dole.  Let the people spend their money in the way they see fit.  If the economy is growing then even the poor will have enough.

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8 hours ago, OverSword said:

I've been having a discussion with a friend who dreams of living in a socialist/communist utopia, where everyone has everything they need (especially the right to healthcare and housing) and where people are treated equally.  Can such a system exist?  If so why would we be opposed to it?  In the past all other examples of this system, regardless of intention have turned repressive.  Does this have to happen?  Why or why not?  He feels this is the real path to social equality, what's wrong or right about that?

Opinions?

For the first part there is no such thing as a man made "utopia".. It is, and of itself,an impossibility..

To even suggest a viable alternative, is equable laughable.

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Posted (edited)

35 minutes ago, RavenHawk said:

The Five Charges this government is responsible for are:  Establish Justice, Insure Domestic Tranquility, Provide for the Common Defense, Promote the General Welfare, and Secure the Blessings of Liberty.  The Budget should be spent on only these things and nothing else.

Much more easy is; 'peace, order and good governance'.

Edited by Likely Guy
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4 minutes ago, Likely Guy said:

Much more simplistic and easy is; peace, order and good governance.

Simpler yes but not so much easier.  Easy would imply having an understanding.  I don’t think many would really understand your selection, hence my explanation.  Besides, such a forum as this is for expanding on.  Even Socialism aims for those things.  It’s all in the “how” in accomplishes it.

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1 minute ago, RavenHawk said:

Simpler yes but not so much easier.  Easy would imply having an understanding.  I don’t think many would really understand your selection, hence my explanation.  Besides, such a forum as this is for expanding on.  Even Socialism aims for those things.  It’s all in the “how” in accomplishes it.

 

I live in a socialist country called Canada, it's based on "Peace,Order and Good Governance";

We're not a failed state. We've had a very healthy discussion about who we are for a few generations now. We are a small country (demographically) with potential and great ambition. We are not, by any means perfect, and deserve a discussion (and reconciliation) as to how we treated our First Nations people.

I have faith in our immigrant selection services. I love my country, and I have the greatest hope for our newest Canadians.

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