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A question for critics of Socialism

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+17 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:14 AM
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I have a question for critics of Socialism on ATS. Why do you think it is ok to make up things about Socialism to show your contempt for it? Namely I'm talking about expressions such as, "All Socialism leads to Communism," or, "Socialism ='s Communism." Socialism and Communism are too distinct political ideologies. Here is a site that shows the differences between Socialism and Communism.

Socialism vs. Communism

As you can see, they are ran completely differently. When you as a critic of Socialism equate it to Communism, you are creating a strawman. You are also showing ignorance about the topic you are debating about. You don't see critics of Libertarianism say things like, "All Libertarianism leads to Anarchy," or, "Libertarianism ='s Anarchy." Now any number of self-described Libertarians would be SUPER quick to jump into a thread to correct a Socialist making such a lazy comparison.

Many will just call me a Socialist in this thread or a Liberal and whatnot, but I'm trying to be respectful here. Though when I see people make lazy comparisons like I've outlined it just tells me that that person is closed minded. They are unable to consider their opponent's position honestly and compare it with their own to see which truly is better than the other. These are the thoughts that go through my head when I look at a debater and I see him lying about his opponent's position. Even when I was posting on ATS as a full Libertarian I STILL didn't accept that lazy comparison between Socialism and Communism.

If you find Socialism bad, then explain why IT is bad. Calling it Communism, because Communism is already a widely despised political ideology isn't going to convince anyone but the people who are already convinced.

Now one more thing before I finish. If you'll notice, I made an effort not to single out any groups of people. I didn't call out conservatives or Republicans or right wing posters. I just said critics of Socialism, but even THEN I'm only talking to the ones that make this lazy comparison. I recognize that there are some intelligent and sincere critics of Socialism that understand the differences between the two ideologies and can form two separate and distinct opinions about each ideology instead of making an amalgamation between the two of them.
edit on 10-11-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



+27 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:37 AM
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Socialism requires broad powers to be assumed by government.

In many cases in EU nations this is perfectly fine.

But a nation that is actually a Federation of 50 economies, the central planning, and blanket application of economic policies like universal healthcare don't work out. It is actually something I would like to see states hammer out themselves individually.

To me the notion of an all powerful federal government making these choices for 50 states and 330 million people, in the spirit of socialist collectivism, is offensive to the individualistic nature of the Constitution. I no more expect my neighbor to think like me than he expects of me, but such policies REQUIRE such uniformity.

It isn't that socialism is necessarily a bad thing. It is that socialists are typically elitist politicians who expect everyone to conform to their notions of economic and social equality without care for the individual. In that sense it shares much with communism, and that fact should not be ignored, as it has been the central tenet by which monolithic socialist societies with single ruling parties have collapsed economically.
edit on -06:00Tue, 10 Nov 2015 07:39:09 -0600201510America/Chicago2015-11-10T07:39:09-06:0030vx11 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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America as we know it couldn't even exist without having some hardcore socialist philosophies within how the country is run.

Its just excruciating to hear all these hardcore capitalist Americans carry on about how evil socialism is, when the only reason why the US is considered as one of the best countries in the world, is because of full on socialist and progressive values.

If you want my honest opinion, if your a hardcore republican and also fly the American flag in your front yard, then your in need of some serious mental health treatment. Because in reality, the American flag has always stood for progressive and socialist values.


+13 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: Subaeruginosa




If you want my honest opinion, if your a hardcore republican and also fly the American flag in your front yard, then your in need of some serious mental health treatment. Because in reality, the American flag has always stood for progressive and socialist values.


This is simply not true.

The founders were stark individualists and this is reflected in the construction of the Constitution. Socialism is a political and economic philosophy of collectivism.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:44 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
It isn't that socialism is necessarily a bad thing. It is that socialists are typically elitist politicians who expect everyone to conform to their notions of economic and social equality without care for the individual. In that sense it shares much with communism, and that fact should not be ignored, as it has been the central tenet by which monolithic socialist societies with single ruling parties have collapsed economically.


So? I can make similar comparisons to Anarchy and Libertarianism. Both are about as small as government as possible. Both argue for self-determination. Both rely heavily on individual merit instead of collective merit.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:44 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t
The problem you have is that the word socialism can have completely different meanings to different people (and being ATS different meanings to the same person on any given day).
When I talk about socialism I generally mean social democracy of the type normally seen in Scandinavian countries, however my usage isn't really any more or less correct than anyone else. Socialism can also mean different things depending if you are talking about philosophy, politics or economics.
Discussion forums like ATS also tend to attract people who think, or at least express themselves, in very binary terms with no sense of nuance. All government bad, any gun regulation is a gun grab, all companies are evil etc.


+2 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:45 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: Subaeruginosa




If you want my honest opinion, if your a hardcore republican and also fly the American flag in your front yard, then your in need of some serious mental health treatment. Because in reality, the American flag has always stood for progressive and socialist values.


This is simply not true.

The founders were stark individualists and this is reflected in the construction of the Constitution. Socialism is a political and economic philosophy of collectivism.


The idea of giving rights to everyone is kind of a Socialist idea.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: ScepticScot

To this I am already aware. This thread is more supposed to function as a thought exercise to people who are willing to recognize their own mistakes. Naturally, it will fly over most people's heads who will come up with a thousand and one ways to defend the legitimacy of their strawman argument because as you said they think in binary terms.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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originally posted by: projectvxn
a reply to: Subaeruginosa




If you want my honest opinion, if your a hardcore republican and also fly the American flag in your front yard, then your in need of some serious mental health treatment. Because in reality, the American flag has always stood for progressive and socialist values.


The founders were stark individualists and this is reflected in the construction of the Constitution.


Please point me to the section in the constitution where it states that the rich should rightfully be more significant than the poor?


+2 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:48 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




So?


Please don't be so dismissive.





I can make similar comparisons to Anarchy and Libertarianism. Both are about as small as government as possible. Both argue for self-determination. Both rely heavily on individual merit instead of collective merit.


You could, except both political philosophies are centered around volunteerism. You can have socialist societies within these two systems, but you cannot have libertarian or anarchist societies within the confines of collectivism.
edit on -06:00Tue, 10 Nov 2015 07:50:54 -0600201510America/Chicago2015-11-10T07:50:54-06:0030vx11 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)


+11 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: Subaeruginosa




Please point me to the section in the constitution where it states that the rich should rightfully be more significant than the poor?


Please point me in the direction of the Constitution, the Federlist, the Articles of Confederation, or any other founding documents where it says that economic outcomes are guaranteed?



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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Socialism is just like every other ism. To much of it is a bad thing.
There needs to be a balance of capitalism and socialism. Some social programs are required to keep the people healthy.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Sorry, I didn't mean to sound or be dismissive there.


You could, except both political philosophies are centered around volunteerism. You can have socialist societies within these two systems, buy you cannot have libertarian or anarchist societies within the confines of collectivism.


What would a Libertarian Socialism society or an Anarchist Socialism society look like? It seems to me that the more you move in one direction the more you become the other. Are you referring to a Democratic Socialism here? Well with Communism, you cannot do that. The government controls and dictates everything. It is the exact opposite of Libertarianism. Communist society could theoretically PERMIT a Libertarian or anarchist collective to exist within the confines of the country, but it would be by a permissive basis and wouldn't be a true representation of that political ideology.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:55 AM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
Socialism is just like every other ism. To much of it is a bad thing.
There needs to be a balance of capitalism and socialism. Some social programs are required to keep the people healthy.


I agree. I happen to like Democratic Socialism myself as well.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn

Thomas Paine, a founding father said this:


Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally.

Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.


Individual liberty is not at risk from socialism. In fact, as Paine states, the individual relies on the collective.


+11 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:58 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




The idea of giving rights to everyone is kind of a Socialist idea.


No it isn't.

The Constitution does not "Give rights" to anyone. It is not a document of positive rights, but of negative rights. This is reflected in the language wherein it is government that is restricted from abrogating the rights of the individual and that of individual states. "Congress shall make no law", "Shall not be infringed" "no person shall be..." So forth and so on.

What the Constitution does do is effect the recognition that people ALREADY have these rights irrespective of what government says or does, and takes steps to protect the individual from being abused or infringing on those core rights by law. The philosophy behind that is clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence. That we are endowed with certain inalienable rights by our creator(or by virtue of our humanity if you will). That these rights exist beyond the scope of any government.
edit on -06:00Tue, 10 Nov 2015 07:59:49 -0600201510America/Chicago2015-11-10T07:59:49-06:0030vx11 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 07:58 AM
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a reply to: projectvxn


It is that socialists are typically elitist politicians who expect everyone to conform to their notions of economic and social equality without care for the individual.


So much nope.

Socialists are NOT elitists, they care about everyone's prosperity and well-being and security.


+4 more 
posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 08:03 AM
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a reply to: introvert

Let's not conflate what Thomas Paine is saying here. The fact that no man can be rich without society is absolutely true. Without commerce there is no profit.

But that is not an argument for abrogating personal property rights, nor is it a good argument for blanket economic policy that sees the political class taking more money and power off the fruit of the worker the pretend to exalt.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 08:06 AM
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a reply to: BuzzyWigs


The citizens of Venezuela might disagree with you.
Like I said above, you need balance for any ism to work.
And no matter what ism you choose, the one percent still runs everything.



posted on Nov, 10 2015 @ 08:06 AM
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I come from a family of socialists, in fact my Great Grandma and Great Aunties were women who got up on their soapboxes back in the day and fought for Womens' Rights and the NHS. I still think society should be more fair and equal, that wealth should be shared etc. However, in recent years I have become disenfranchaised with some of the policies of Labour, although at heart I agree with the majority of their policies.

I think what we are seeing lately is a more far left approach which is why Jeremy Corbyn has been voted in.

I think I have become disenfranchaised with Labour because of two of the points you make namely:

1 "They are unable to consider their opponent's position honestly and compare it with their own to see which truly is better than the other". In recent years I think a lot of socialists could be accused of this, they don't want to hear any other point of view or even try and listen, it is their way or the highway! Its for exactly this reason why I believe Ed Milliband didn't win the election. He wouldn't listen to the people with regards to wanting an EU referendum. He believed in the EU so it was his way, there was no negotiating.

2 Also because of a point in the article you have sourced to show the differences in socialism and communism. Namely the socialist's philosophy with regard to discrimination is "The people are considered equal; laws are made when necessary to protect people from discrimination. Immigration is often tightly controlled". It is because of this exact point why I didn't vote for Labour this time in the General Election because I think their policies are failing on this one point and I couldn't therefore be true to myself and vote for them, much to my Mum's dismay!
edit on 10-11-2015 by anxiouswens because: (no reason given)




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