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Just What's So Wrong With Socialism

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posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:47 PM

In the late 1930s, the noted economist Friedrich Von Hayek wrote his landmark pamphlet "Road to Serfdom," laying bare the diseased skeleton of socialist/utopian thought that had permeated academia and the salons of his day. With an economy of words that showcased the significance of his conclusion, he pointed out the Achilles heel of collectivist dogma: for a planned economy to succeed, there must be central planners, who by necessity will insist on universal commitment to their plan.

How do you attain total commitment to a goal from a free people? Well, you don't.

Von Hayek accurately foretold the fate that would befall dissenters from the plan. They simply could not be allowed to get in the way. Opposition would soon be treated as subversion, with debate shriveling to non-existence under the glare of the state. Those who refused compliance would first be marginalized, then dehumanized, and finally (failing re-education) eliminated. Collectivism and individualism cannot long share the same bed.

"A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers."
Friedrich August von Hayek

"Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality - an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order."
Friedrich August von Hayek

"It seems to me that socialists today can preserve their position in academic economics merely by the pretense that the differences are entirely moral questions about which science cannot decide."
Friedrich August von Hayek

The beauty of the last quote...

Has history not proven that directed moral obligations based on indoctrinated principals, when applied to economics and government always turn into the very contributing factors that are responsible for the collapse of every economy or government?

Here's an interesting essay written about the topic...

First, socialism ignores fundamental human behavior and expects individuals will operate in a fair and altruistic fashion. Lenin initiated modern socialism's cure for this problem, he just shot those individuals who didn't show up to work on time or decided to take a day off for Christmas.

Second, it replaces the big "G" (God) with a little "g" (government). In a socialist government, government provides everybody with everything and the church has a dwindling role in society. What socialist country out there is also a God-fearing country?

Third, it assumes that the socialist economy will produce the same or better results than capitalism. Just read the financial news. Socialist economies all over the world are collapsing under the debt accumulated trying to implement socialist "reform."

All socialism involves slavery.
Herbert Spencer

Almost the only persons who may be said to comprehend even approximately the significance, principles, and purposes of Socialism are the chief leaders of the extreme wings of the Socialistic forces, and perhaps a few of the money kings themselves.
Benjamin Tucker

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
Alexis de Tocqueville

I would enjoy a good ole' debate about this one, so please... fire away!

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:53 PM
Nothing is inherently wrong. It all looks great on paper. It is the part where you go trying to translate it into reality. You tend to run into a little problem called human nature. People like to engineer endless ways to "get over" and take advantage.

No system is perfect. One thing to always have is a system of checks and balances. And forget about doing anything based on any sort of honor system. People do not have any of that.

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:53 PM
Democracy affords capitalist business and consumption-driver citizens,

whereas Socialism actually demands restraints and "economy" such as limited pricing and spending, which greedy & fat Americans cannot even begin to fathom being limited to living within their means, or truly economizing.

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:54 PM
There are aspects of socialism in every day american life.

Who likes public education?

Who likes medicare?

Who like disability benefits?

The reason our education system is so bad, is so that they can prop up these boogie men to scare us into submission.

Its the red scare all over again apparently..

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by LoveU

You are confusing political and economic systems. Democracy is a political system and socialism is an economic system. Two different things, but common error.

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:57 PM
reply to post by benrl

The reason why the American education system is so bad is because (thanks to the teacher's unions) it is impossible to fire teachers who suck and are stupid and incompetent.
edit on 11-7-2012 by Numbers33four because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:58 PM
reply to post by FractalChaos13242017

Take the "for profit" out of medicine, and the US could provide Health Care for all,

and spend Less money on it.

Never happen though, Profit before People is the American Way.

posted on Jul, 10 2012 @ 11:59 PM
Socialism requires that everyone plays fair and it's simply too attractive to greedy morons.
It also attracts alot of insanity and eventually slave minded do gooders.

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:00 AM
reply to post by Numbers33four

And if you ask good teachers they will tell you its the States constantly messing with the standards and education material.

My friends mom is one of the good ones, she takes each student sucess as a personal point of pride, for 30 years shes been plugging away doing what she does best.

I had her in Junior High, and its actually how I became friends with her son, she was an Awesome teacher.

Over the years Ive heard every complaint from her when ever the "flavor" of the month comes along with new standards and curriculum.

She would argue that its the Teaching to pass test that is killing the American education system, the lack of teaching critical thinking.

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:01 AM

Originally posted by Numbers33four
reply to post by LoveU

You are confusing political and economic systems. Democracy is a political system and socialism is an economic system. Two different things, but common error.

HUH? The OP's last quote claims Socialism and Democracy have nothing in common except equality. I was responding to that..

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:13 AM

Originally posted by LoveU
Democracy affords capitalist business and consumption-driver citizens,

whereas Socialism actually demands restraints and "economy" such as limited pricing and spending, which greedy & fat Americans cannot even begin to fathom being limited to living within their means, or truly economizing.

Demanding something from the 'Economy' is a joke.

People are organic, we are not machines. There is no mathematical algorithms that may be constructed that accurately assess the future. Mix that with mis-placed incentives, and the removal of responsibly, which then gives rise to dependence... you have now created unstable conditions that are conducive towards the failure.

Here's an AWESOME DOCUMENTARY, I really hope more people would watch this... it's not conspiratorial, and gives great insight as to the reality of the financial collapse. I can't stress enough, how great this video is!

Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street

Then, you always have the fact that governments through out history have attempted to mask the grim realities of failing systems in order to save face with the rest of the world, as well as its citizens. Couple that with dependence on said government, that is ultimately responsible for such conditions... you have a very real chance of all sorts of horrors. Such as famine, and war to regain what was lost, as well as the suppression of dissent which also then becomes extremely dangerous for individuals are not aware of what the true reality is. I suppose much of this is based on Russia, but there are other historical references in which this is true, such as China.

I know plenty of Americans that live with in their means, truly economize, and are not 'fat'. You're currently conversing with one.

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:14 AM

Originally posted by Numbers33four
reply to post by LoveU

You are confusing political and economic systems. Democracy is a political system and socialism is an economic system. Two different things, but common error.

You are confusing the roles of economy and governance if you think that Socialism isn't both an economic and government 'system'.

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:23 AM
Socialism reduces the total wealth of the country. Capitalism increases it. We may or may not like the distribution of the wealth under any particular system, but Socialism provides less wealth to distribute.

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 12:39 AM
Socialism also essentially eliminates healthy competition (not that theres alot of it now) and competition breeds excellence and diversity of thought. Its a nice theory but eventually it will crumble under human nature to think outside the box of socialism.

Thats not to say Capitolism doesnt have big flaws as well, in its current application atleast

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 02:01 AM
There are too many selfish people in our society for socialism to work. Everybody has a capitalistic mentality. It would take a spiritual awakening to get the people on the same page in order to establish a socialist utopia.

Why do people pick on socialism? What harm has it caused?

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 05:22 AM
reply to post by FractalChaos13242017

To answer your title, because people take it personally. Keep politics and personal feelings out of it all and socialism as a business model will work just fine. Just ask Mark Murphy. And when I say don't take it personally, I mean everyone. From the people who implement the structure to the workers who keep it alive by going to work everyday.

When socialism is wrapped in politics or personal ideologies, it fails. I don't think socialism was ever meant to be some sort of political or personal endeavor by anyone. It was meant to help economies. The problem with it, I think, is that on it's inception it was meant as a tool for government to help an economy. It never evolved out of that stage and that's why it doesn't work.

The key principle that needs to be applied here is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. On ANY level. This all goes back to the age old practice of keeping work at work and home at home. In my opinion, work is not the place to voice your personal feelings. It's the perfect place for socialism to work if people could just keep their feelings to themselves for 8 hours a day. But apparently that's too much to ask. This is true both at the ground level and the corporate level. People on the ground level voice their personal feelings about how much money they don't make and people on the corporate level think that they personally need more.

The ground level complains what they can't do personally with money while the corporate level is more than happy with what the can do personally with money.

Since the corporate level is what dictates everything else ( tell me it doesn't ) it's up to them to keep their personal feelings and political leanings out of the mix for the sake of business. If they did that, they would be able to take care of the economics of it all better to the point where the money would be on a much more level playing field. Because when you get right down to it, keeping money evenly distributed is a good business decision to make. But since the corporate level is corrupt because they feel they need more money than what they had yesterday, that decision trickles down and affects everything else on a business level that everyone else then takes personally.

There are bosses of small businesses and large corporations alike who feel that since they built that company from the ground up, put their own personal life on hold for the sake of building up the business, that that gives them the right to interject their personal feelings into their business decisions. Sorry, no it doesn't. And if they feel that way that's THEIR problem. If you work for yourself with no employees, that mindset is OK. But when you start hiring people and putting paychecks in their pockets AND put your personal feelings into how you do that, you're screwing them AND yourself.

The bottom line is this: There is no political system in peoples' minds that is more impersonal than socialism ( With the exception of communism ) There is also nothing more impersonal than a dollar bill. It doesn't love you, hate you, agree with you, talk back, or otherwise show any personal qualities at all.

It's a piece of paper.

Why someone would want to take something so impersonal so personally is beyond me.

When you look at it and apply it this way, socialism and business are perfect for each other. If applied correctly, they're un-corrupted by the most unsure thing this planet has ever known. Personal feelings. And THAT'S the trick. Keeping the two separated yet together at the same time. People as whole just need to evolve to the point where they don't take money so personally.

( On the flip side.....people who say money can't buy happiness aren't spending it on the right things.)

Disclaimer: The contents of this post are meant for the ATS community at large. Not any ONE person. In other words.......nothing personal. It's meant simply to show how socialism as a business model can work if applied correctly.

What you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business.

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 06:49 AM
Bob and Tom work on a factory line... make the same money... work the same schedule....Bob works hard.... Tom does only the the end of the month... Bob has out produced Tom by 2 to 1.

But this being socialism, there is no extra reward for Bob... no bonus... no promotion. They are equals with no special recognition or reward.

Bob cuts back...why not. Makes the same as last month. Therefore, production not only remains minimal.... it actually goes down...

Refer to the old USSR... that is the United Soviet SOCIALIST Republic

Bob is a border line genius. Tom is not. Bob has a 2 room cotage... just like Tom. Bob has the same black 2 door sedan that Tom does. Bob suddenly finds a way to get more energy out of an electric turbine cutting production costs.... Bob gets a thank you from the government and goes back to the same 2 room cottage in the same 2 door sedan that Tom has.

Bob stops innovating and looking at ways of improving systems...

Bob wants a big farm...almost a ranch... with cows and solar power cells along the fence lines... and wind turbines... to make even more money. Tom doesn't... Bob works 2 jobs... saves, invests... Tom doesn't. Bob finally saves enough... and then the government says it is not fair to Tom that Bob has more... Bob should give Tom a percentage of the money and buy his insurance and supplement his food bill... and even heat and a/c.

Bob says screw that... Bob starts working under the table. Keeps his mouth shut and stashes his cash away, uses the underground economy to improve living standards... even avoids paying the tax he should to avoid supporting lazy asses like Tom.

Bob and Tom both work for the state... both have the same living standards, same cars, same apartments... the state says that they are one day closer to equality and perfect communal order... free substandard health care, price controlled food...when in supply, wage controlled pay to provide a meager and substandard means of living in small eco-friendly apartments where the government controls the heat... the a/c... the lighting... in which your TV programs are monitored to protect the children... the government controls the distribution of equality.

All the while... the government leaders of the socialist state get to eat what they want, when they want... and live in larger homes to administer the distribution of equality from... while they travel in larger cars... can't have the administrators of equality in little cars.... but when everyone is equal... tommorow they will forgo such luxuries and be equal with Bob and Tom...

Tommorrow never comes...

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 08:03 AM
reply to post by AlreadyGone

Yeah, this is like the story of the classroom experiment in which all the kids got the same grade and all...

It works like that when you use for your characters people who come from a highly individualist culture.

Now, do the same story and stick in it characters who come from a highly socialized culture and values.

Suddenly the motivation for innovation, and success is not primarily money and possesions.
It is social status and respect in the community.
When from a individualist mindset that doesn't make sense, with all our "who cares what others think of me" and "I don't need anyone else" assertions.
But in very social collectivities, your social standing in the community is super important. Many exchanges of goods go on in unofficial ways, people give you stuff if they respect you.
You get discounts and bonuses not because you clipped coupons in the paper, but because your name and face is known in your area and carries a reputation, and when you walk in, people want to serve you. -Quicker and better than they want to serve the person who has a reputation for not being a hard worker, for not bringing creativity and effort into the community.

In the individualist culture, I find all that IS still desired by people, but indirectly- they want to have that attention, admiration and respect around them, but try to get it in an indirect way- through wearing expensive clothes, driving expensive cars, having an expensive house. They hope that will transmit the message- "I am a hard worker, I am intelligent and creative, and being an active part of my community".

In these social cultures, it actual word of mouth from witnesses that gets that around. The guy working with you that didn't or couldn't do as well as you tells others. There is not the same type of competative attitude.

This usage of material wealth to get ones image across is problematic in that it is the cause of people trying to LOOK like they are hard working intelligent and creative parts of their community, when they are not. They may actually even be crooks!

This works the same in the classroom experiment when you use kids from a social culture. The kids who don't work hard enough get lots of peer pressure from those who did. They were raised being told what peers think is extremely important so this has impact.

I didn't know this until I moved to a coutnry that is not Socialist- it is Capitalist, but it has a much more socialist culture and influence.
edit on 11-7-2012 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 08:08 AM
Nothing really wrong with it on paper its just a political propaganda hot word now just like "Communism" used to be.

no system is perfect

posted on Jul, 11 2012 @ 09:06 AM

Originally posted by UnaChispa
There are too many selfish people in our society for socialism to work. Everybody has a capitalistic mentality. It would take a spiritual awakening to get the people on the same page in order to establish a socialist utopia.

Why do people pick on socialism? What harm has it caused?

Because it wakes people up to that some of us is not getting a fair deal and that some are extremely parasitical. The people who are extreme parasites do not like people to notice and be told exactly what they are. And they know if to many understand the stupidety of the system then they will either have to give up their extreme parasitic ways of face the rage of the common man. When a manipulator that have manipulated his fellow man cannot justify his greed and people no longer listens to him then the manipulator know that he is truely alone against the whole.

Today people are very angry with the banksters and they have every right to be from my point of view.

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