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Socialism can happen despite freedom

 
 
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2020 06:39 am
Socialism can occur as a result of government, but it is not the only means by which socialism can occur.

To understand how, it is necessary to:
1) break down socialism to the level of specific power relations among individuals and institutions
2) note how state socialism operates at this level of individuals and institutions
3) consider other non-governmental means through which the same types of power relations can occur

In Orwell's book, 1984, socialism/fascism occurs at the level of the 'party,' aka 'Incsoc corporation.' Corporations and political parties are both forms of collective/social institutionality that can facilitate authoritarian relations among individuals and institutions.

Socialism, fascism, and other forms of authoritarianism are worth questioning and solving, but it doesn't help to naively assume that authoritarian political/social/economic power can only occur at the level of state and/or federal government.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 569 • Replies: 19
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livinglava
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2020 06:35 pm
@livinglava,
I posted this thread after reading about a politician who was threatening to shoot and/or jail socialists, so I think it is important to realize that socialism is going on in many ways already that are outside government, such as corporations.

The whole principle of insurance is socialist. Europe is especially socialist because people are required to have insurance. That was the same thing the affordable care act was attempting to do by fining us for not having insurance.

Still, the choice not to have insurance doesn't prevent insurance-subsidized demand from pushing up prices to levels that are unaffordable to uninsured individuals, which is why more needs to be done to bring down prices, e.g. by increasing supply-side market entry.

That way insurance corporations and health care providers are not cooperating to drive up health care costs and thus funnel more money to a provider community that is protected from competition by institutions designed to make it difficult/expensive to get medical training, practice medicine, etc.

The more the insurance industry subsidizes health care costs, the more it forces people into seeking insurance, e.g. through employers, which is a form of socialism that existed before Obama ever began proposing the ACA.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2020 06:47 pm
@livinglava,
I am not sure if you know what the word "socialism" means.

Quote:

The whole principle of insurance is socialist.


Chuckles. Ironically, education is socialist. So are basic reasoning skills apparently.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 04:18 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I am not sure if you know what the word "socialism" means.

Quote:

The whole principle of insurance is socialist.


Chuckles. Ironically, education is socialist. So are basic reasoning skills apparently.

Look, there is a politician in the news currently who is advocating shooting and/or jailing socialist, while people like Sanders and AOC are advocating and calling themselves 'democratic socialists.'

This thread is to discuss what exactly 'socialism' entails, and I am pointing out that insurance in and of itself is a form of socialism, as are corporations, etc. because all those things were going on before Obama even came into office, let alone created the ACA.

I think it's important to realize socialism was going on in the US before Obama. The US economy was traditionally described as a 'mixed economy' along with most other modern economies.

Nevertheless, we should remember why national socialism was the way it was and why the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were socialist, and what the problems were with those systems as well as why they used socialism in the ways that they did.

The basic problem with socialism is how it operates without respect for liberty. Of course the other problem is when liberty is insufficient for achieving the kind of economy that you want, and then you have to question whether what is desired economically is sufficiently important to justify using socialist means to achieve it.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 06:15 pm
@livinglava,
You are making ridiculous statements.

- socialism/fascism occurs at the level of the 'party,'
- insurance in and of itself is a form of socialism
- corporations are a form of socialism
- socialism was going on in the US before Obama
- Europe is especially socialist because people are required to have insurance
- socialism ... operates without respect for liberty

It is impossible to have a serious discussion on a topic when you are making silly claims on a topic you show no evidence of having the slightest clue about.

livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 06:30 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You are making ridiculous statements.

- socialism/fascism occurs at the level of the 'party,'

A 'party' is just a form of collective organization like a corporation, state, or gang. This is why Incsoc in the book, 1984, is referred to both as a party and a corporation.

Quote:
- insurance in and of itself is a form of socialism

It is. You haven't analyzed it well-enough to understand how yet, I supposed.

Quote:
- corporations are a form of socialism

If you disagree with my POV, why don't you provide your own definiton of socialism and analysis that refutes mine with more than just calling it 'ridiculous' as per your subjective POV?

Quote:
- socialism was going on in the US before Obama

There were insurance and corporations/corporatism in the US before Obama, weren't there?

Quote:
- Europe is especially socialist because people are required to have insurance

That's how socialized medicine works in Europe. People are required to have insurance. There is no free market for health care. It is all controlled and regulated by collective insurance 'societies.'

Quote:
- socialism ... operates without respect for liberty

Liberty is self-regulation. Socialism is social-regulation.

Quote:
It is impossible to have a serious discussion on a topic when you are making silly claims on a topic you show no evidence of having the slightest clue about.

You haven't posted anything to discuss besides your subjective negativity about my POV.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 06:35 pm
@livinglava,
Yes, I am ridiculing your post. And it is a non-science post. You should be happy.

You can't just go around saying that religion is fascist because all insurance is religious. Or that you can't have potatoes with freedom because they governments control potatoes. There are lots of people who love the theater but aren't fishermen.

You keep making ridiculous posts, and I will keep ridiculing them.

By the way, there was theater before Trump... and french fries.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 06:40 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Yes, I am ridiculing your post. And it is a non-science post. You should be happy.

You should stop using ridicule as a substitute for relevant argumentation and thus a crutch.

Quote:
You can't just go around saying that religion is fascist because all insurance is religious. Or that you can't have potatoes with freedom because they governments control potatoes. There are lots of people who love the theater but aren't fishermen.

You're talking about superficial rhetorical logic here, which is nonsense. You can't just project such logic onto something as a substitute for actually unpacking it. Doing so is a lie.

Quote:
You keep making ridiculous posts, and I will keep ridiculing them.

By the way, there was theater before Trump... and french fries.

You obviously don't understand this topic or what I'm saying about it so stop comparing it with these random associations you pull out of your . . . head.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 06:43 pm
@livinglava,
Quote:
You should stop using ridicule as a substitute for relevant argumentation and thus a crutch.


There is no room for argumentation here. You are spouting a bunch of nonsense, in some kind of free association.

I believe that ridicule is the proper response.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2020 06:53 pm
@maxdancona,
Let me point out that there are people here who identify as socialists. You are attacking them pretty personally. Another reason I think my ridicule is fair.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2020 06:34 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Let me point out that there are people here who identify as socialists. You are attacking them pretty personally. Another reason I think my ridicule is fair.

I was pretty clear that 'socialism' can refer to a broad spectrum of governmental-economic forms, including national socialism under Hitler, the USSR under Stalin or Gorbachev, to B Sanders and AOC talking about 'democratic socialism,' to mandates on health insurance coverage, to other forms of mandatory insurance coverage like car insurance, etc. etc.

The reason I posted this thread was to broaden the discussion of socialism to something that goes beyond headlines of a GOP congressional representative threatening to jail/shoot socialists without any discussion of what the term even means, let alone why jailing/shooting would be the best and most ethical response, and/or why he's not advocating shooting/jailing everyone who works in the insurance industry or for a corporation more generally.

In other words, I am trying to broaden the discussion of socialism and you are just getting defensive, attacking, ridiculing, and generally discouraging discussion.

If you have something to say about socialism, positive or negative, explain your POV instead of attacking mine.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2020 06:52 pm
@livinglava,
You really think that "National Socialists" are socialists because they have "socialist" in their name?

That is ridiculous.

oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2020 11:59 pm
@maxdancona,
What is ridiculous about it?
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2020 06:12 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You really think that "National Socialists" are socialists because they have "socialist" in their name?

That is ridiculous.

Nazis deported people to concentration camps. Soviet socialists murdered the Czar's family and sent people to gulags.

The message seems to have been similar in both cases: dissenters will be treated as enemies of the state and heavily discriminated against and/or removed.

I don't think that's the only form socialism can take, but it is a good example of how applying social-political power to achieving economic goals can get very scary.

Now what about some softer form of power, such as using insurance-subsidized demand to drive up health care prices so that people are pushed into seeking employer-provided coverage and/or paying higher taxes and/or enrolling in government-mandated insurance?

In that case, the economic coercion is taking place in a different way and no one is getting sent off to work camps/prisons (unless they get arrested and convicted of a crime, of course), but there is still economic coercion going on.

In other words, it's different than just people just taking care of each other affordably within a free market situation where insurance doesn't push up prices and/or structure how people can get health care services, drugs, etc.

In order to have a broader discussion about how the politics and economics of labor participation, supply/demand, etc. for various products/services does, can, and/or should work, you have to think outside the box of what has been construed as 'normal' and/or 'socialist/capitalist' from an uncritical perspective.

You have to realize that 'socialism' and 'communism' have been demonized in political culture and so the people and industries that operate in a more socialistic way are going to fight against those terms being applied out of fear it would turn public opinion against them.

Meanwhile, people like B Sanders and AOC are trying to promote 'democratic socialism' in a way that makes the concept something that's not totally taboo, so there really needs to be a lot of public discussion to sort out what the term means so that it won't be simultaneously a stigma term as well as something that certain people want to promote as legitimate.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2020 06:33 am
@livinglava,
You are comparing Nazi "concentration camps" to health insurance. You really can't step back and see why a sane person might find this ridiculous?

My point is that there is some point where an argument is so bat-**** ridiculous and so completely detached from reality that you arguing against it is futile. Your goal here is to link Nazis to people in the US who are promoting a policy you don't like. But you are taking the most ludicrous steps to get there.

You are being ridiculous. When someone is being ridiculous, the proper response is ridicule.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2020 06:46 am
The German Workers' Party, the DAP (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei,) was founded in January, 1919, and only lasted until February, 1920. Walter can probably come up with their statement of political ideals, but it is well known that this was a right-wing organization, explicitly opposed to liberal democracy. In a speech in 1920, Hitler attacked both capitalism and "Bolshevism," which speech so impressed Anton Drexler and the other founders of the party that Hitler was asked to join the party. The name was soon changed to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the National Socialist German Workers' Party, or NSDAP--the Nazis in the English-speaking world. Just because the name includes the word socialist does not mean that they were a left-wing party, that they were socialists. That is the type of witless assumption which beggars any claim to understand the advance of fascism in Europe in the 1920s and -30s.

Quote:
Robert Paxton, a professor emeritus of social science at Columbia University in New York who is widely considered the father of fascism studies, defined fascism as "a form of political practice distinctive to the 20th century that arouses popular enthusiasm by sophisticated propaganda techniques for an anti-liberal, anti-socialist, violently exclusionary, expansionist nationalist agenda."


Source at Live Science-dot-com

We've had this idiotic discussion in much greater length, in much greater detail, but not much more idiotic in the past. Fascists and Nazis were only anti-capitalist to the extent that they wanted to control all activities in the state. Both Mussolini and Hitler realized that they could not finance their respective rises to power without the money available only from industrialists. So they got in bed with those boys, promising (and delivering) sweetheart contracts to those who contributed to the coffers of their respective parties.

I'm sure that we will hear this witless argument again and again. Simple-minded people are never in short supply.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2020 06:57 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

You are comparing Nazi "concentration camps" to health insurance. You really can't step back and see why a sane person might find this ridiculous?

Not in the sense you are implying. I am simply explaining that there are different forms of power.

What you are doing is implying that because health insurance doesn't use concentration camps to exercise economic power over health care, it is not an institution of social-economic control, which it is.

Quote:
My point is that there is some point where an argument is so bat-**** ridiculous and so completely detached from reality that you arguing against it is futile. Your goal here is to link Nazis to people in the US who are promoting a policy you don't like. But you are taking the most ludicrous steps to get there.

When you go bat-**** crazy over discussions that include different forms of power, that makes it really difficult to discuss social-economic-political power in its various forms.

It is like trying to explain to someone that infrared heat, x-rays, and blue light are all parts of the same electromagnetic spectrum and having them attack you for suggesting that blue light and heat have anything to do with seeing whether a bone is broken or not.

Quote:
You are being ridiculous. When someone is being ridiculous, the proper response is ridicule.

No, the proper response is to discuss the topic in a way that sorts out misunderstandings and supports a good, clear discussion of the topic.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Feb, 2020 07:54 am
@livinglava,
You are being completely ridiculous with the goal of "Argumentum ad hitlerum".

Your basic argument is ... roses have leaves, tables have leaves therefore a rose is a piece of furniture. A cabinet is a piece of furniture. The people around Hitler were his cabinet....

BAM! Roses are Nazis! (Max can play that game too)


0 Replies
 
bgg6006
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Sep, 2020 07:13 am
@Setanta,
Mussolini used corporations and believed in capitalism in aiding the growth of the state but unlike "Americanism" he controlled them with force and ousted them from parliament instead of the reverse as we have here. When they thought they would attain the control by using him, they found that the only control they had was in running their factory for his demanded product and quantity of output. He never allowed the kind of control that we have witnessed here in the likes of Exxon or Halliburton and the rest of the plutocratic oligarchy.
0 Replies
 
ihatethepostman
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2021 09:29 am
Maybe we just need socialism and democracy. Socialism is kind of instinctive for hunans, pack animals and all that, democracy can be frightening on the subconscious level with its emphasis on the individual , sure it means theoretically everyone gets a chance to have their needs and desires represented but it also exposes the differences, the weaknesses; it, of practiced to the highest degree could flay us. Democracys great but in small doses. In order for any ideology to survive there can never be total satisfaction total freedom. Freedom is abyssal.
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