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Socialism sucks or not?

Started by billy rubin, August 07, 2022, 11:52:47 PM

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billy rubin

#15
this is too big a bite for me to chew, asmo

Quote from: Asmodean on August 10, 2022, 09:04:00 AMCan you explain the decline in the standard of living among Americans? Is it the indexed income plus services plus luxuries thing? Or do you mean something more/different?

That said, let's jump off that bridge when we get to it - which is now.

1. On Socialism

Socialism is an economic/political system where the collective largely owns the means of production. I do despise the buzzwords, so let me rephrase slightly; it is a system, in which the society (usually C/O the state) largely owns land, capital and labour.

That necessitates that you as a cog in the proverbial Socialist machine do not even own all your own labour - remember, it's workers and other such terms in plural - "never" the singular you.

you are describing the results of the system we have now, whatever label it goes under

QuotePeople not getting invested in something not their own is one of the reasons why Socialism fails, unless it has a solid cushion of something else to support it. Say I'm the entrepreneurial type. Why would I work as hard for the betterment of the land, not my own as I would for that, in which I have a personal stake? Why would I work towards creation of wealth I won't get to keep? Why would I compete and innovate and in the process contribute to someone not thusly inclined getting a pay check for their nine-to-five in my enterprise?

ditto.  who owns how much of america today? here is a chart of american capitalism, working as designed.



QuoteAnd so innovation stagnates, the drive for equity kills competitiveness, the wealth-generating entrepreneurs swim for sweeter waters in numbers that let themselves be felt and towards the end, the nation is reduced to little more than natural resource sales, which loses its edge due to that very same lack of innovation and often ends up getting plundered by the wider world.

entrepeneurs do not generate wealth, they trickle down minimal compensation for the labourers who do the actual generating.  how many of jeff bezos's employees are getting their wealth generated while he fights unionization? how many of elon musks employess are happy working at "the plantation?"

QuoteChina (and, to a degree, Viet Nam) are in fact succeeding as they are, in spite of their Socialist ways, because in several practical ways, their Socialism does not extend to the entrepreneurial classes. They can compete on what almost amounts to the free market, though often coasting on a cushion of very low labour cost, supplied by the Socialist "rest."

...But I do waffle on. Let's get back to the core of the issue.

Fully implementing and maintaining Socialism necessitates a tyrannical government OR a population fully willing to give up their land, capital or effort without say in it. You do not decide to sell what's yours to whatever bidder may please you - in a Socialist society, it's not yours to sell. You are not yours to sell. Additionally, ruling towards the betterment or the good of the whole of society to the exclusion of the individual offers no safeguards from being ruled against. An example for clarity; There is one rich (Note how I did not say "wealthy." There is a reason) person and one hundred destitute people. One could argue that by taking everything from the rich person, and distributing it to the poor, the whole would be better off - now, you have a society of a hundred people of modest means and one destitute person. Socialism allows for that - the formerly-rich person's riches were not his to begin with, after all - they were everybody's.

you are describing the results of capitalism again, asmo. thats what we have now.



QuoteSo to put it in (too) simple terms, and Anarcho-anything would probably disagree with my reasoning here vehemently, but they do them - while in a Capitalist society, you pay rent for living or operating a business in it in the form of taxes, and said rent goes towards mowing the lawn and tarring the roof and such, in a Socialist society, you live and operate "rent-free," (those taxes are money that was never yours to begin with) but only in the sense that you live and operate at the mercy and discretion of the collective and, historically speaking, nobody mows the lawn or tars the roof - or when it does get done, it's not done well.

I think this will do for a round one.

whatever the nuances of political science might be, here are the real-world results of american capitalism in place now:





i am in favour of changing the system that is designed to generate these results to one in which there are fewer destitute people and fewer who are obscenely wealthy.

im open to anything that will do that.


Given that most people struggle with legible handwriting already, the added complexity of cursive is an unnecessary burden. It is more practical and efficient to stick to standard print writing.

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on August 11, 2022, 04:28:45 PMyou are describing the results of the system we have now, whatever label it goes under
Ah, but I am not describing results here - only premises.

That said, in a Capitalist society, your time and effort, land and money are yours. If, for example, you want to sell some of your effort to a gas station in the capacity of a janitor, you can trade that effort for the gas station's money. Capitalism is, at its core a barter system.

Socialism, on the other hand, is a distributive system. You are not bartering your product, which you value lower than someone else's, for someone else's product, who values it lower than yours - you are partaking in the redistribution of collective resources, those being "your" effort and "the gas station's" coin.

Quoteditto.  who owns how much of america today? here is a chart of american capitalism, working as designed.
Whoever builds, buys or otherwise acquires something owns it. I used to own a small piece of America under the former president.

So the wealthiest Americans own most of the wealth. OK. And? It's theirs to own. If you want it, offer them something they want, and they may trade you a chunk of it for that.

Quoteentrepeneurs do not generate wealth, they trickle down minimal compensation for the labourers who do the actual generating.
And without those entrepreneurs, those labourers would have to enterprise for themselves - or find somewhere else to pitch their tent, so to speak.

Of course, entrepreneurs generate wealth. More so, they drive innovation through competition. And of course they rely on the effort of those working for them to succeed. Getting to work every day is, however, a voluntary exercise. If you are dissatisfied with the compensation for your efforts - don't sell. Do your own thing, if everything else fails.

Quotehow many of jeff bezos's employees are getting their wealth generated while he fights unionization?

Pretty much every single one. Amazon does pay wages.

Quotehow many of elon musks employess are happy working at "the plantation?"
Musk has no right to keep them there against their will regardless of their happiness, outside basic contractual terms. (For instance, here, it's a common mutual agreement that from termination is announced, the employment relationship continues for three months) Whatever obligations an employee forces unto himself outside the employment, Musk has nothing to do with them. ("It sucks, but I must do this job because five kids and one's autistic" - not Musk's problem if you still do it. "It sucks, but there's nowhere else to work" - not Musk's problem if you still do it. "I'm proud of my job, but the following things in it hamper productivity..." - Musk's problem. You can see the difference, yes?)

Quoteyou are describing the results of capitalism again, asmo. thats what we have now.

How does the CEO making a thousand hundred million bajillion times more than the assembly-line-roller-greaser-upper-dude relate to a tyrannical government? Or, I suppose that was a reference to the first paragraph only, but it's a faulty comparison still.

You do not compare the CEO's wages with those of the greaser-upper-dude for any business-running purposes. That's comparing the driver to the rear-left-side wheel bearing. You compare the wages of a greaser-upper-dude here and in a competing market. Same for the CEO.

The CEO's bonuses, which can often be the bulk of their earnings, are tied to the businesses profits, and the earnings themselves are, in a well-run company, a small enough percentage of the operating costs to preserve competitive edge.

Quotewhatever the nuances of political science might be, here are the real-world results of american capitalism in place now:
The first image looks like something one might expect from California, which is a bit of a shithole in places. I don't see how that's due to Capitalism though. Mismanagement of public assets, perhaps, but you get that with Socialism too, only on a grander scale - usually. We should also not forget that it would be as easy for me to find a picture or five of the "other" America, as it was for you to find that one - and I'm talking Google Maps here, not some tourist brochure. It's much harder to find "the other" India or Venezuela.

I can't address the second image because I have no idea what the y-axis represents.

Quotei am in favour of changing the system that is designed to generate these results to one in which there are fewer destitute people and fewer who are obscenely wealthy.

im open to anything that will do that.
I am in favour of maximising freedom. I do not want to engineer a society - I want to let it evolve. Capitalism suits that philosophy well. I am, however, willing to accept some regulations towards certain common ends. The key word here being "common." If it's in my interest too, then I will likely support it - to a degree, if not fully. If it's only in your interest - I'm unlikely to care. If it's against my interest - I will oppose it to the very best of my abilities.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

jumbojak

Quotehow many of elon musks employess are happy working at "the plantation

As a former member of the Communist Party of the United States of America, and someone who currently works on an actual plantation, soft socialists can go fuck themselves for being utterly useless and communists can go fuck themselves for being evil. You can have useless or evil, take your pick.

"Amazing what chimney sweeping can teach us, no? Keep your fire hot and
your flue clean."  - Ecurb Noselrub

"I'd be incensed by your impudence were I not so impressed by your memory." - Siz

billy rubin

some context?

Lawsuit Alleges Tesla Segregated Black Workers Into Area Referred to As 'The Plantation'

QuoteCalifornia's civil rights agency accusing Elon Musk's company of racial discrimination, including work environment where Black staffers were subjected to N-Word and other slurs

California's civil rights agency is alleging that Black workers at Tesla's California plant were subject to N-word and other racial slurs by fellow employees as well as managers and supervisors.

According to the lawsuit, Elon Musk's tech company segregated Black workers into areas that other employees referred to as "porch monkey stations," "the dark side," "the slave ship," and "the plantation."

https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/tesla-faces-california-lawsuit-after-allegations-of-racism/


Given that most people struggle with legible handwriting already, the added complexity of cursive is an unnecessary burden. It is more practical and efficient to stick to standard print writing.

No one

I still firmly, and wholeheartedly believe in Nooneism. No one should be the Grand Master Chief Commander Sultan of Human affairs. If no one made the rules, everyone would benefit.

Magdalena

Quote from: billy rubin on August 16, 2022, 02:31:22 AMsome context?

Lawsuit Alleges Tesla Segregated Black Workers Into Area Referred to As 'The Plantation'

QuoteCalifornia's civil rights agency accusing Elon Musk's company of racial discrimination, including work environment where Black staffers were subjected to N-Word and other slurs

California's civil rights agency is alleging that Black workers at Tesla's California plant were subject to N-word and other racial slurs by fellow employees as well as managers and supervisors.

According to the lawsuit, Elon Musk's tech company segregated Black workers into areas that other employees referred to as "porch monkey stations," "the dark side," "the slave ship," and "the plantation."

https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/tesla-faces-california-lawsuit-after-allegations-of-racism/
That's fucked up.
I hope they are compensated for what they have gone through.

"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

Magdalena

Quote from: No one on August 16, 2022, 03:15:40 AMI still firmly, and wholeheartedly believe in Nooneism. No one should be the Grand Master Chief Commander Sultan of Human affairs. If no one made the rules, everyone would benefit.
"Grand Master Chief Commander Sultan of Human affairs." I like that.
—You are No one, and No one is perfect, therefore, you are perfect. ;)

"I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe." ~Recusant

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on August 16, 2022, 02:31:22 AMsome context?

Lawsuit Alleges Tesla Segregated Black Workers Into Area Referred to As 'The Plantation'

QuoteCalifornia's civil rights agency accusing Elon Musk's company of racial discrimination, including work environment where Black staffers were subjected to N-Word and other slurs

California's civil rights agency is alleging that Black workers at Tesla's California plant were subject to N-word and other racial slurs by fellow employees as well as managers and supervisors.

According to the lawsuit, Elon Musk's tech company segregated Black workers into areas that other employees referred to as "porch monkey stations," "the dark side," "the slave ship," and "the plantation."

https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/tesla-faces-california-lawsuit-after-allegations-of-racism/
While I personally think that Elon Musk is just one step removed from a full-on scammer and think that those Tesla cars that don't look like them ugly flat fishes what have barbs on their tails (Brain freeze. Forgot the name) look like pregnant hippos, and I could take a jab or three at parts of the American culture at both extremes advocating for segregation (Heard about "spaces of colour" and other such nonsense at university campuses?), I'll limit myself to asking;

How is this a Capitalism problem?
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

#23
the way capitalism succeeds is through gaining economic power tby concentrating capital in thr posession of capitalists, which means economic power is to be removed from workers.

as in amazon, starbucks, and tesla. west virginia coal mines. textile mills. sugar cane plantations. brazilian gold mines .

the disparity of economic power is maintained by the disparity of social power.

musk is from south africa, and his racism did not originate in capitalism. but the use of his economic and social power to facilitate his racism and abuse the vulnerable people in his employ is precisely an inevitable result of social disparity.

the goal of capitalism is power.
power corrupts
capitalism corrupts.

musk is an example of capitalism working as designed.


Given that most people struggle with legible handwriting already, the added complexity of cursive is an unnecessary burden. It is more practical and efficient to stick to standard print writing.

No one

Are you implying that Musk is quite pungent with the way his entrepreneur waves are sent?

Asmodean

Quote from: No one on August 16, 2022, 12:17:36 PMAre you implying that Musk is quite pungent with the way his entrepreneur waves are sent?
Only that I would not buy his product because I demand solid foundations behind at the very least most of the hype - preferably all the hype.

Quote from: billy rubin on August 16, 2022, 11:14:49 AMthe way capitalism succeeds is through gaining economic power tby concentrating capital in thr posession of capitalists, which means economic power is to be removed from workers.
Actually, no. Capitalism does not "care" about "Capitalists" and "workers." Again, at its core, it is a barter system. It "cares" about transactions.

Quoteas in amazon, starbucks, and tesla. west virginia coal mines. textile mills. sugar cane plantations. brazilian gold mines .

the disparity of economic power is maintained by the disparity of social power.
Capitalism does not set any barriers on who you get to sell what, why and for how much. If you sell your labour for less than it is worth - that is on you.

Let me put it this way; assume that I make hats and you make trousers. Assume that I do not know how to make trousers, nor particularly care to learn, and that the same is true for you and hats.

I am, however, bored of walking around with dry hair and my privates all public, and so I want trousers. I can make a hat easily enough, but not trousers, and so I value the trousers you make with more than I value my own hats. You, on the other hand, have had your third heat stroke this week and wouldn't mind some portable shade. Trousers do not do a very good job of it, and so you look at me walking around trouserless, but in a really shady-looking hat, and you want it.

From there, we can barter. I could offer you a hat for a pair of trousers - or five hats, because I value your product with more than I do mine - or the reverse can happen. On a large enough scale, that is essentially supply and demand. If you can supply something that is in demand, you are likely to "come out on top" or at the very least, walk away happy from the exchange. If everyone makes trousers, but only I make hats, however, I can demand ever-fancier trousers with extra pockets and cool space-age materials and what have you for my hats, thus "driving the prices up."

In a Capitalist society, Capitalists attempt to offer something that is in demand to the market in order to generate profit. The amount of profit generated is irrelevant to whether the society is Capitalist or not - it is regulated by supply and demand.

Quotemusk is from south africa, and his racism did not originate in capitalism. but the use of his economic and social power to facilitate his racism and abuse the vulnerable people in his employ is precisely an inevitable result of social disparity.
I don't know whether or not Musk is racist - that word is cheaper than dirt these days. (VERY high supply - relatively low demand  ;) ) I don't see how it's relevant to Capitalism whatever the case.

As for abusing vulnerable people, you could have social safeguards against that in a Capitalist society. We have plenty where I'm at. Still, people will find ways to abuse each other for profit regardless of the system - be it a bribe to get your kid into a good school or, in a proper Commie hellhole, to get a passport to travel abroad) or a wage that's less than your rent. At the end of the day, your accounts are yours to balance, and Capitalism will not stop you - it will encourage you, if anything. Yes, you can be the ever-trodden-upon rear-left-side ball bearing, barely getting any grease when you start squeaking, with literally a million others ready to slot onto your axle... OR, you could try and find something that the market wants and sell it to them. Be a driver in stead. Keep your wheels firmly attached and turning, and your tricycle might just grow a V8 with enough sweat and tears.

So you are working for The Abominable Musk. How is he preventing you from doing the above? The risk is that he'll start competing with you aggressively should you succeed in a business that crosses his own in all the "wrong" ways, but other than that..?

Quotethe goal of capitalism is power.
Profit. What goals you have for accumulating profit is no business of Capitalism. It's all about making the buck - the rest is a different -ism.

Quotepower corrupts
capitalism corrupts.
Socialism corrupts. Communism corrupts. Fascism corrupts. Fucking feminism corrupts.

Isms corrupt.

Quotemusk is an example of capitalism working as designed.
Not in any manner which you described here, but yes. He is that. So am I.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

billy rubin

Quote from: Asmodean on August 16, 2022, 01:18:14 PM
Quote from: billy rubin on August 16, 2022, 11:14:49 AMthe way capitalism succeeds is through gaining economic power tby concentrating capital in thr posession of capitalists, which means economic power is to be removed from workers.
Actually, no. Capitalism does not "care" about "Capitalists" and "workers." Again, at its core, it is a barter system. It "cares" about transactions.


youre talking about capitalism as it is described in textbooks about economic theory, asmo.

im talking about the economic practices in place in my country which are called "capitalism."

the way my country's economic system works is my focus. if "capitalism" is the wrong word, we can call it something else.

got to go. i can address the rest in a bit if i have some time


Given that most people struggle with legible handwriting already, the added complexity of cursive is an unnecessary burden. It is more practical and efficient to stick to standard print writing.

Asmodean

Quote from: billy rubin on August 16, 2022, 02:09:10 PMyoure talking about capitalism as it is described in textbooks about economic theory, asmo.
Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s). The social justice component is a different -ism (Atheism+, they tried to call it)

You could, for example, have an oligarchic society which is economically Capitalist. You could call it Oligarchy or Capitalism - but you would be describing different facets of it.

Quoteim talking about the economic practices in place in my country which are called "capitalism."

the way my country's economic system works is my focus. if "capitalism" is the wrong word, we can call it something else.
Fair enough, though the economic system in the United States is Capitalism. It's not laissez-faire, but nor is it overmanaged - still Capitalism. The argument for something else, however, such as Socialism, must address how it is preferable to Capitalism. As in, how is top-down distribution of whatever preferable to free bartering with said whatever?

I don't think the system is the problem as such, as it does not force you to partake at a certain level (For example, there is no caste system in the United States to speak of - you don't have to follow in your parents' footsteps) There are paths from "low places" to the "top" of society which do not require "marrying up" or doing something illegal - paths a citizen (or any person with the legal right to do so) will not be prevented by the society from taking. Oh, you may and probably will have to compete for your spot in the sun - provided you don't offer the market something only you supply, thereby creating a monopoly, but you can, to paraphrase Samuel Beckett, ever try, ever fail - no matter. Try again, fail again - fail better.

Now, social parachutes for those who fail - those are a separate discussion. Here, for instance, I can go unemployed for six months and the government will pay me based on my earlier income up to a certain maximum. If, however, I go unemployed longer, or am/was a one-man business, then I'm shit out of luck and I'd better have something valuable to sell and/or a savings account to cushion my lifestyle with. When I've burned through those, however, then I may be in some measure of luck again, as the final social safety net may kick in and my fellow tax payers may be forced to pay my way through life for another couple of years - however bare-minimum it may be.

There are, of course, special cases, such as disability pension, re-education subsidies and the like, but ultimately, my lifestyle is mine to both create and maintain. The wider society does not owe me it.

People do fall through the cracks "all the time," but, and this is purely a personal position, I wouldn't count on something extended to me as a grace from the society as a right, so even if I happen to be the one fallen through the cracks one day, I wouldn't expect anybody else to come drag me up by my beard to begin with.
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.