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Socialism: pros and cons

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posted on May, 9 2012 @ 08:36 PM

reply to post by thesungod

Socialism is about government. When the government controls it, owns it, and says whether or not you can have it. It's socialist, save in the context of 2a. In 2a no one owns anything. Even in Marxist theory socialism is something that never works and is only transitional in nature, until either capitalism or communism is attained by the government.

Check that definition again. It said "government or collective." I'd say cheeseheads qualify as a collective, even though they aren't necessarily the government.

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT anti-socialist. Socialist things work and well, when not messed with.

IMHO, Socialist solutions primarily work in two scenarios:-

a] When the commodity or service in question is a staple, which is required universally. Food, water, electricity, Internet access all qualify, here.

b] When the commodity in question, or the commodities on which the service in question depends, is not scarce, and the supply can be maintained indefinitely.

The latter point is the reason why personally, I'm iffy on the idea of universal healthcare. In most places there is a chronic shortage of doctors relative to patients, and at least where pharmaceuticals are concerned, some of them are made from fairly exotic components at times, as well. You can't always guarantee the supply.

Socialist/co-operative/nationalised scenarios have points of weakness as well, however:-

a] In the case of wants, not needs; or put another way, in the case of commodities or services which aren't universally required or desired. The robustness of co-ops scales with the size of its' membership, which means that the less people you have in a given co-op, the weaker it is, and the smaller the incentive for being in it, because the goods and services offered are more likely to be expensive, whether they are obtained via co-op or not. For non-essentials (such as the proverbial gold plated toilet seat) you're likely going to want a limited Capitalist scenario.

b] In the case of goods where there is going to be a permanent, uncontrollable state of scarcity. Because Socialist solutions presuppose equality in terms of the number of resources given to each individual or entity, they generally can't cope well with situations where the Zero Sum Game is unavoidable.

These are situations where it would make good sense to implement a small scale or provisional Capitalist scenario, because Zero Sum is one of the conditions which Capitalism was specifically designed to cope with. The entire reason why Capitalism presupposes inequality, is because it also presupposes that a Zero Sum state is unavoidable. Socialism tends to presuppose abundance. This is one of the fundamental differences between the systems.

c] Socialism presupposes altruism and non-psychopathy, and has no inherent defenses against psychopathy. While this is fine for the non-psychopathic 93-96% of the population, it creates potential for exactly the type of situation we saw in Russia, under the Bolsheviki, and in China; namely, a scenario where a psychopath (Stalin and Mao, as two prominent examples) can seize control, and set up ideal conditions for himself and his fellow psychopaths.

Capitalism, inversely, presupposes psychopathy; or to put it in terms which its' own advocates would be happier with, extreme or total self-interest. This is the precise reason why Capitalism tends to work poorly within the broader population, and the reason why it works so well for psychopaths, and hence, why psychopaths are able to create monopolies in Capitalist societies. It is because the Capitalist presupposition of psychopathy, is only correct in the case of 4-7% of the human population, rather than 100%.

Psychopaths have inverted morality to the rest of us, and they tend to strongly favour Capitalism. This is because elitism derived from hierarchy and inequality, are the only means which psychopaths have, for obtaining positive psychological/emotional gratification.

I am not, as I have perhaps said before, an advocate of either Capitalism or Socialism/Communism in isolation. I desire synthesis, and one of the main reasons why, is because I tend to believe that each system is the mirror opposite of the other. They can both work well in certain situations, but they both tend to fail in environments which don't match their assumptions. When that happens, using the opposite system makes sense.
edit on 9-5-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)

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