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Thread: Socialism

  1. #1
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    Socialism

    In class I have to debate why if we were to start a new country why it should be socialistic. I don't want this to turn into a debate, I only wants links and reasons on why we should go socialistic over capitalistic.

    Thanks for helping.

    *REMINDER* please do not turn this into a debate!
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  2. #2
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    I would suggest that you take a look at the reports of Boothe and Rowntree from the late 19th century to get a perspective on what happens when you have pure (or nearly pure) capitalism. Also think about the veil of ignorance, if you don't know what your starting situation in life is, how would you design a society eg tax system etc.

  3. #3
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    Could I, at least, observe that Freedom Fighter is certainly diligent in his ongoing fight against freedom?
    Brother, you can believe in stones as long as you do not hurl them at me. Wafa Sultan

    “War is an American way to teach geography,” British soldier

    War is sweet to those who have not tasted it, but the experienced man trembles exceedingly at heart on its approach. – Pindar

  4. #4
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    In a socialist nation, the government issues identity cards to all its citizens, to ensure "national security". Anyone suspected of wrongdoing can more easily be rounded up and imprisoned than in a free society.

    In a socialist nation, the government is the most important entity in determining whether an individual or group of individuals is prosperous or not, if a business is suspected of having links to terrorism, abortion, islam or political opponents, funding can be cut, ensuring high moral standards are maintained throughout the land.

    In a socialist nation, the government funds schools and determines their curriculum - ensuring that all students learn the appropriate facts rather than controversial theories, ensuring the stability of the governing regime.

    In a socialist regime the head of state is held to be deserving of respect and admiration from his subjects, ensuring a stable rule - those opposing actions taken by the government are regarded as "unpatriotic" and "appeasers".

    In this way it is easy for a socialist nation to wage war and ensure foreign nations have friendly governments, where a less socialist government may not have the funding to maintain a high-tech global police force.
    He or she who supports a State organized in a military way – whether directly or indirectly – participates in sin. Each man takes part in the sin by contributing to the maintenance of the State by paying taxes.

    ~ Gandhi

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by simone
    Could I, at least, observe that Freedom Fighter is certainly diligent in his ongoing fight against freedom?
    Umm. I would appreciate it if this thread was left to people who are trying to give advice.We are trying to convince people why if we were to start a new country why it should be capitalist of socialist, and I was chosen to do the socialist. I am in this because I have to, not that I want to, I support capitalism, but I am going to do this project so I can pass the class.

    Thank you Symbiote and Jo Bennett for giving me the advice. Our debate starts monday so thanks for helping.
    God Bless America, yes, yes I said it. I said God, now sue me.
    "After the chaos and carnage of September 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers."
    -President Bush-
    America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
    -President Bush-
    Bring them on.
    -President Bush-

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbiote
    In a socialist nation, the government issues identity cards to all its citizens, to ensure "national security". Anyone suspected of wrongdoing can more easily be rounded up and imprisoned than in a free society.

    In a socialist nation, the government is the most important entity in determining whether an individual or group of individuals is prosperous or not, if a business is suspected of having links to terrorism, abortion, islam or political opponents, funding can be cut, ensuring high moral standards are maintained throughout the land.

    In a socialist nation, the government funds schools and determines their curriculum - ensuring that all students learn the appropriate facts rather than controversial theories, ensuring the stability of the governing regime.

    In a socialist regime the head of state is held to be deserving of respect and admiration from his subjects, ensuring a stable rule - those opposing actions taken by the government are regarded as "unpatriotic" and "appeasers".

    In this way it is easy for a socialist nation to wage war and ensure foreign nations have friendly governments, where a less socialist government may not have the funding to maintain a high-tech global police force.
    I think you're mixing up socialist and fascist. Patriotism is anathema to socialism.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Bennett
    I think you're mixing up socialist and fascist. Patriotism is anathema to socialism.
    In the Soviet Union, the war against Hitler's Germany was called 'The Great Patriotic War'. I believe it still is.

  8. #8
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    And that doctrine was a feature of what Stalin called "socialism in one country", in short an abandonment of socialist principles in order to exploit Russian nationalist sentiment. Socialism inherently rejects national distinctions, in favour of class distinctions. All socialist parties in Europe, with the exception of the British labour party, opposed WWI for precisely this reason.

  9. #9
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    So you say. Here's what another socialist (or communist if you prefer) has to say about patriotism.

    "Vietnamese patriotism in the current cause of construction and defence of the socialist homeland must be inevitably patriotism combined with socialism; patriotic sentiments in association with revolutionary will through the world outlook of scientific socialism: a patriotism in labour to build and safeguard socialism in the character of Fatherland. It is patriotism of the spirit of determination to fight and win on the front of national industrialisation and modernisation". (Ho Chi Minh)

    Your conclusions are purely theoretical. All socialist states will appeal to patriotism if threatened by a foreign power - or sometimes if it's politically expedient.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Ryan
    Your conclusions are purely theoretical. All socialist states will appeal to patriotism if threatened by a foreign power - or sometimes if it's politically expedient.
    I was under the impression that this FF's debate was about theory. There are no socialist states in the world at present, so it can only be about theory.

  11. #11
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    Really? I expect you must have some special theory of socialism.

    I assume you would deny that Cuba, China, or Belarus, for instance can be described as 'socialist' in any respect at all?

    Can you say, without equivocation, that patriotism is anathema in those states and produce evidence to support your assertion?

  12. #12
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    China is state capitalist. Belarus, IIRC, is stalinist and no more socialist than the soviet union was. Cuba is marginally closer to socialism, but has strayed into nationalism in no small part because of massive pressure from the US. None of these countries is a socialist country, not least because they are not democratic. Socialism requires democracy.

  13. #13
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    All of your claims are at least arguable, but let's just stick with one.

    Socialism requires democracy, so the political theory textbooks say.

    1). The commitment to representative democracy is what is supposed to distinguish soft-centred 'Western' socialism from the hard case 'communist' version brought about by revolutionary violence.

    2). The 'parliamentary road to socialism' is said to be a creature so different from the socialism of the communist states as to be hardly the same political animal.

    Yes, I've encountered these sort of theoretical distinctions before. But facts force us to discard some theories - or else torture ourselves trying to reconcile the irreconciliable. Evidence is a fact (or facts) that discriminates between one theory and another, and things haven't worked out on the textbook model.

    The only socialist models that provide us with any empirical evidence of their attitude towards patriotism include the states I've already mentioned. And they did not become socialist by democratic acclamation. Though, of course, you deny that any of them are 'socialist' now - or perhaps ever have been? That allows your claim about patriotism to be impervious to contradiction by mere facts.

    A footnote on Cuba:

    According to Castro, Cuba has an elected national legislature that is socialist in character. Since only one party you can vote for exists in Cuba, it's not a democracy as we understand it. But if it wasn't for pressure from that wicked United States, the 'marginal socialism' there would blossom into ...........well, what?

  14. #14
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    I am talking about socialist theory. Any governmental system is defined by theory. You don't describe a governmental system by what it calls itself. For example I don't think anyone would claim the GDR was a democracy. You describe a governmental system by the theories it fits, you don't amend the theories to fit those governments that use the theories as a fig leaf for their dictatorial regimes.

    There are democratic socialist groups which are also revolutionary (though not necessarily violent). Their aim is to set up parallel democratic structures that ultimately make the apparatus of the current state irrelevant. Revisionist marxist groups match the description you have of achieving socialism through current electoral structures and are, as such, non-revolutionary.

    Socialist theory is, as I have outlined previously, inherently internationalist. However, when a party works within an existing state to achieve change, evolving beyond the constraints of that state is very difficult, especially when there is pressure from outside governments of conflicting politics.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo Bennett
    There are democratic socialist groups which are also revolutionary (though not necessarily violent). Their aim is to set up parallel democratic structures that ultimately make the apparatus of the current state irrelevant.
    Which is essentially what happened during, and since, the recent Argentinian economic collapse of 2001. While the government was still clinging to power, people organised themselves, first in small local units, then larger local units, then regional, and finally national. At every stage councils were set up representing the people at whichever level, and made real decisions which helped the country back on its feet while the government was essentially impotent.
    Not the best example, because the government was already in dire straits as the socialist movement grew, but this is a real model of grassroots socialism, power by the people, for the people.
    "It is impossible to understand reality without the use of mathematics"

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