The Workers Dream: Socialism and Communism

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posted on Apr, 12 2013 @ 10:36 PM
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So, Cabin, you like that Anok is open minded cuz he agrees with you? I dont think its a fact that no one else in this forum is close minded. We are all debating and sharing ideas with you. I find those kind of comments very condescending and not very conducive to winning hearts and minds in the spirit of debate. I use history and definitions because I feel that many have a skewed view of these things based on what is taught these days. The way you two present the argument is that socialism is an economic model ONLY that has benefited society. The only way it can be implemented is if you a group of individuals that impose their will upon everyone to move towards that model. In a country where personal property rights have been established, socialism/communism goes against the most basic tenet of freedom. Socialism has the benefit of providing basic necessities of life. Things such as food, shelter, education, basic health care, clothing can be achieved, but when a society is FORCED to conform to one way of thinking, you will find that people dont have the incentive to thrive. You pointed out North Korea in an earlier text questioning how well they done with things such as education or health care. I may be jumping to conclusions, but I do not see the world tearing down the fences to get to North Korean hospitals or schools. As a matter of fact, it has been well documented that leaders of countries with socialized health care come to the US to have complex surgeries. Young adults from all over the world come to the US to go to universities to receive to top notch education.




posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 04:36 AM
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reply to post by bmullini
 


Anok did not agree with me. He brought out that Nordic countries are not socialistic policies, but liberalistic. To be honest, the real reason why I personally liked the post, was that he was one of the first users, who have answered to such argument in a socialism/capitalism thread. Usually when I have asked the question about Nordic countries it has simply been ignored.

Most users are open-minded, although I have come across some really close-minded users, for example in that thread a user called ElectricUniverse:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I have never implied socialism is the best economic system. Although I would agree that certain social mechanisms would make the capitalistic system better. Too many people see things black and white: communism(socialism)/capitalism, left-wing/right-wing and it is ignorant. Some people like to equate these.

Socialism=left-wing Capitalism=right wing

That black and white view tends to create a situation, where anything left-wing is automatically associated with the terrors of communism and anything right-wing is associated with the "freedom" created by capitalism.

You also tend to think in extremes as far as I can see from your post. Left-wing automatically associates with losing property rights, other rights and freedoms. Both socialism and capitalism have some good ideas in them. As the Economist article wrote:



You must be ready to abandon tired orthodoxies of the left and right and forage for good ideas across the political spectrum


It is possible to create a system -a mix between those taking the best ideas from both wings - a system where everybody have their rights and freedoms and still it benefits everybody. Capitalism tends to create extreme inequality, socialism is about absolute equality - why can´t there be a system between these two? A system where inequality exists, although the wealth gap is much lower. No CEO is 1000 times smarter or works 1000 more than any blue-collar worker(often the blue-collar worker puts in much more hours and time). Yet that is often their salary difference, It is suggested in certain countries in Europe to cap the salaries of top executives, also high progressive taxes lower the wealth gap. Both of them are considered left-wing ideas and many people associate these with the terrors of socialism. Maybe that is the real conspiracy set out by the so-called elites? Convincing people that there are only two extremes (one is good, one is bad) and there exits no middle area...

Leaders all over the world come to US for complex surgeries. Although how many Americans truly have the option of getting a surgery from these doctors? Usually such doctors are in top private hospitals and their fees are extreme.

I had a sports injury surgery 7 years ago. It was performed by a world-class doctor, who is the doctor of world-class athletes - olympic winners, national teams, some people who are considered among the best of all time in their field. And yet I did not pay a cent for my surgery. I checked the US rates for the same surgery. The lowest costs I could find were around 50k for the surgery and these were performed by a doctor with much less experience. I would never have been able to come up with such finances. One of friend got into a car accident in USA, he was injured, although the costs of the surgery went far above his insurance. At the end he owed more than 80k, it is simply absurd in my eyes. 80k is a yearly salary of many people...

Health care should be a right for everybody. Everybody, whetever their finances, should have the right for strong healthcare. The financial situation of one should not affect the quality of the healthcare they get. At least that is my opinion. When considering the healtcare an average person with salary can get, US is far away from the top (among 30-40th). When considering the healthcare a person with very financial status afford, US is the place to go.

I have never implied US has not good higher education. Although I believe many Americans would agree with it costs too much. To be honest, most foreign students do not have to pay for the education to get there. I am also planning on going there, I have already found myself sponsor who gives me finances to study there. There are so many organisations that provide funds for it without asking anything back. It is overally easier to get in to a Ivy League College for a foreigner than for an average American, as far as I have talked with different Americans. Overally again it comes to an average person. If your parents are not doing financially well, it is not easy for an average person to afford strong higher education in most colleges...

I did not mean to sound anti-US or something. I have nothing against America or Americans, simply certain things seem a bit odd, as it is different here



posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 05:14 AM
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Under the supervision of a small Govt Socialism and Capitalism can co exist in a single country.

Not a mixed economy but two separate societal governing mechanisms with their own adherent peoples in one

country with respect under law for each others chosen path.

This would be my dream and a way to settle both views.

edit on 13-4-2013 by Zngland because: spelling



posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by Zngland
 


Both socialism and capitalism do exist together right now.

America has lots of worker owned companies.

But the original idea of socialism was ultimately anti-state, yes even Marx. Socialism doesn't require government, whereas capitalism does.

I always thought the American dream was ownership, so why are so many against worker ownership?

The majority of people are workers.



posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by NavyDoc

Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by NavyDoc
 


Certainly every society will have its misfits.

The definition of ownership itself is only defined by the willingness of those more powerful and capable of taking something by force to not do so.

Private ownership of anything, including a such things as a mate through marriage, is just an illusion allowed by all those with the power to take it, whatever "it" might be, away by force.

No solution is perfect. There will always be criminals, malcontents, maladjusted, greedy, selfish, warped, and unstable people waiting on the sidelines and fringes to take advantage.

This is where any and every society enacts laws, just as we adhere to right now, enforced by a police and judicial system, just as is done now, all to facilitate social cohesion as a measure against those who care not for anything like playing nice.





Which comes full circle to the concept that socialism leads to coercion. If someone does not want to share or work for the benefit of others, you would empower the state to force him to share. See what a nice utopia we get.


really?....ok...I will force you to work for me for minimum wage, and only 20 hours a week, because there is no one else that will hire you for more. I will keep all the profits, no matter how large they are, because I earned them. I don't want to share with you, and I don't want the government taking my money to give to you, because that would be socialism......works for me, as long as I'm the one keeping all the profits.



posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK
reply to post by Zngland
 


Both socialism and capitalism do exist together right now.

America has lots of worker owned companies.

But the original idea of socialism was ultimately anti-state, yes even Marx. Socialism doesn't require government, whereas capitalism does.

I always thought the American dream was ownership, so why are so many against worker ownership?

The majority of people are workers.


it's called facism...look at the government of Italy before WW2....it is comparable in many ways to America right now.



posted on Apr, 13 2013 @ 03:39 PM
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Fascism is radical authoritarian nationalism that uses military control, and supports Darwinism.
It does not support worker ownership, only state ownership and capitalism. Workers are controlled, not liberated.

America does have some fascist leanings, but not because they have liberal policies.

Socialism is liberation from authority, worker ownership. Authority gets it's power from the inequality in wealth caused by private ownership of the means of production. If the workers all owned the means of production in common, then no authority can arise from a mass inequality of wealth.

edit on 4/13/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2013 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 



Socialism may originally be anti State like Anarcho Capitalism but to me the repulsive thing most is
the forcing of people to follow 'your' system, the abuse of the the 'sovereign self'

The system i want is not implemented anywhere in the world it's a society where socialists and capitalists
co exist respecting each others paths.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


My apologies if my comments came on a little too strong. I felt like there might have been a little hypocrisy with the comments between you and Anok. The only reason I ignored the comment about the Nordic countries is because I am very ignorant to their style of government. I have learned that I look like a fool when I represent knowledge I don't truly have.

There will always be people who refuse to listen and are very close minded. They see the world in black and white. I am a very analytical person. I love to debate facts. I know the world isn't just black and white, but a myriad of shades of color. The issue that I have is that history holds the knowledge of epistemology, yet few will look at the facts of the past to make better the present or future.

There is no "perfect" economic system. There will always be the few that will try to manipulate any system to their benefit and certain natural rights will be violated. "If men were angels, there would be no need for government." - James Madison

I would characterize left more as "progressive" and right as "conservative". The terms left and right actually pre-date to the French Revolution of 1789 where the members of the National Assembly split with supporters of the king to the right and supporters of the revolution to the left. The terms were never meant to denote politics rather than a seating chart. The only reason I mention this is in my support of definitions. The definition of "left vs. right" is completely different from where it originally started.

I don't necessarily think in terms of extremes. I think in terms of history. When the proletarians took power after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, socialism was implemented and 60 million people died as a result. Farms were taken from families that didn't conform to the new agenda and thrown in the gulags. Bureaucrats were given control of the agriculture industry and when they couldn't produce enough food for the masses, famine ensued. To respond to your quote, "You must be ready to abandon tired orthodoxies of the left and right and forage for good ideas across the political spectrum"... this was done in 1787!!! The recognition of personal property rights for every citizen had never been tried anywhere in the world.

To get to the main course, we currently live in a mixed economy here in America. Our market is capital based, with many social safety nets. Where I beg to differ is that socialism does not allow you to have all the freedoms expressed to us in the US Constitution. The main principle of the founding of the US was personal property rights. You have a right to property that you earn and you have a right to intellectual property. Socialism dictates that I must give some of what I earn or create and give it to the "community." Now, I understand that there are a lot of people that give their earnings away freely, that is called "charity." No one is forced or coerced to give what they have to charity. The United States has been the most charitable country ever. Every year, private citizens give millions to charities in many countries to help the sick, uneducated, or otherwise underprivileged. Where I disagree is that our government will give billions of taxpayer dollars to countries that support very questionable entities. THAT is socialism. We give billions to other countries that may support groups that seek our demise, yet, as a people, we have no say in that.

When you describe a CEO, you talk as if he is equal to the blue collar worker. Capitalism has recognized this is not true. Every CEO of a major corporation has gone thru several years of experience in the field and several years of education. Not just anyone could step in the role of a CEO. When these companies search for a new one, there might be six people to choose from and the competition is fierce. Running a company from the top down takes a certain kind of person that understands markets and trends, how to adjust to them, investment strategies, marketing principles, economics of their market, and time management. A blue collar worker on an assembly line does not need any prior experience or a college education. They go thru a training period where they receive task specific training and that is it. When Ford or GM look for a worker on the assembly line, thousands will apply. This whole line of thinking follows the laws of supply and demand. The demand for CEOs is high and there are very few in supply so the salaries are made to be attractive. The supply for assembly line workers is large and demand is very little so their salaries are not as high. I am not saying that one human's life is worth more or less than another, but I am strictly speaking in terms of business.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by Zngland
reply to post by ANOK
 

Socialism may originally be anti State like Anarcho Capitalism but to me the repulsive thing most is
the forcing of people to follow 'your' system, the abuse of the the 'sovereign self'

The system i want is not implemented anywhere in the world it's a society where socialists and capitalists
co exist respecting each others paths.


Anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron. You can't have capitalism without the state. Capitalism is a form of authority, private owners have authority over the workers. Not something the working class would benefit from.
It would benefit the wealthy though, as they could operate with no government over-site, in other words nothing to stop slavery etc.

Socialism doesn't force anyone to do anything. All it is is a change of how the economy is organised. Capitalism came through force, through state laws. Force is used to open up markets for capitalist exploitation. Capitalism uses force to suppress competition, such as what is happening now in the Middle East.

It could happen through education, all it takes is working people to realise it would be to their benefit.

edit on 4/15/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by Cabin
 


Yes, many individuals with lots of money come to the US for health care and surgeries. My point wasn't the money aspect. The point was that the health care industry here in the US far surpasses that of most other countries. Yes, the cost for things are increasing exponentially. A lot of this can be attributed to government intervention. Hospitals are told they cannot refuse to serve anyone according to law. Nurses and doctors do not operate for free, supplies and machines are not free, yet we have many the illusion that healthcare is "free" or a "right". I have never understood why people feel that health care is a right. People go into the health profession as a career and it takes a lot of time and money to be good as a professional. Why should it be free to any or all that want to use it? You will find that when health care is declared a "right," the industry will meet a shortfall in the number and doctors and nurses it needs to provide services for everyone. The government will fix prices and determine what services an individual can or cannot have. This does not sound like freedom to me. You are correct, a person should not have to spend their life savings or a years worth of pay to have a life saving operation. I believe that if we move back to the point where everyone understands that hospitals need to be paid the cost of their services, you will start to see insurance and cost of services go down.

The United States does have an excellent education system. We have several universities and colleges in every state. I don't think any country has as many education institutes as we do. But the cost is going up every year. These schools are for profit organizations also and it costs quite a bit for the technology and salaries for good educational professionals. It is extremely tough for an average citizen to get into top level schools. If you have been accepted as a foreign student, then I say congrats to you and make the most of it.

I dont think you are anti-American. We just have different perspectives on things.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


You cannot have any type of economy without the state in a civilized society. The free market allows you to buy/sell/produce by agreement with others. The free market allows you to negotiate with an employer. If you don't like conditions or pay, then you don't have to work there. The employer has to follow certain regulations in order to provide a safe work environment. How is this slavery?? If you don't like working there, then go some place else.

Socialism has ALWAYS forced the "haves" to give up something to the "have nots". Show me an example where it doesn't.



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by bmullini
reply to post by ANOK
 


You cannot have any type of economy without the state in a civilized society.


Well it depends on what you call the state. To me the state is any system that allows one class to have control over another, and that is not something that is required in an economic system.


The free market allows you to buy/sell/produce by agreement with others. The free market allows you to negotiate with an employer. If you don't like conditions or pay, then you don't have to work there. The employer has to follow certain regulations in order to provide a safe work environment. How is this slavery?? If don't like working there, then go some place else.


What free market? There is no free market when the means to produce for the market are monopolised by a minority class. Capitalism is not free-market, that is a complete myth. Capitalism is simply the private ownership of the means of production. A term coined by a SOCIALIST, Louis Blanc in the 1840's.

I never said it was slavery, but it is exploitation. The worker does not receive the full fruits of their labour. The worker has to produce more than they are paid for, called surplus value. Surplus value is what the private owners takes as their profit, after expenses.

The worker has no choice but to work for a private owner. All capitalist companies work the same way, so where is the choice?


Socialism has ALWAYS forced the "haves" to give up something to the "have nots". Show me an example where it doesn't.


No it doesn't. You are talking about liberalism. Show me where socialism has done that? In fact show me where socialism had ever been put into practice? AFAIK the Spanish revolution in 1936 is the only time socialism has ever been put into practical usage, and it worked very well for the two years it operated.

What the "haves" lose is their state supplied right to use their property to exploit labour. I have no sympathy for them.

Socialism can only come from the workers, the people, not a state or government.

Self management and the Spanish revolution

edit on 4/15/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:29 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 





Well it depends on what you call the state. To me the state is any system that allows one class to have control over another, and that is not something that is required in an economic system.


I group elected to create, enforce, and interpret the law is considered the "state". They can also be considered the "ruling class," but the derogatory connotation that carries with it is not the where I was going. In a civilized society, there needs to be rules and individuals who will enforce those rules, hence, the state. When individuals enter into contract or mutual agreement to conduct business with one another, there should be a third party to make sure that no rights are violated in said agreement. It isn't meant to be a source of "control," rather than making sure both parties are honest and forthright with one another.




What free market?


I completely agree with this statement. There is no such thing as a free market anymore. Government has manipulated markets for years whether it be with monetary policy or price fixing or intervention with laws picking the winners and losers in any said market.




There is no free market when the means to produce for the market are monopolized by a minority class.


Once again, I completely agree. When certain companies or individuals have exclusive control or prevent PREVENT other companies/individuals from competing, everyone loses. But, lets not get messages construed here. You could argue that he Henry Ford monopolized the market with the advent of the assembly line. But is that necessarily true?? Could it be that he just made the made the car affordable and changed the market forever? Very few know the history behind Henry Ford and his struggles to fend of other car manufacturers that tried to force him out of the market.

www.s363.com...

As a matter of fact, it could be argued that the government's Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was an instrument in creating monopolies for the railroads on the east coast. Since then, antitrust legislation has forced companies out of competition in the market place or forced companies to break into several subsidiaries necessarily stopping competition in the market place.




Capitalism is not free-market, that is a complete myth.


It is not a myth. When you put the property in the hands of the people to do what they want with it, without coercion from the state, the market is free to sustain itself. If there is a demand for it, someone with the means to do so will provide it. A perfect example of this right now is the government buying up millions of acres of land in Alaska, Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming where there happens to big huge deposits of fossil fuels. We are at a time when many lower class citizens are struggling to put gasoline in their vehicles and our federal government will not allow any drilling on these lands nor will they allow any new refineries to be built. This necessarily increases the cost of heating and transportation fuels. And for what purpose? This is a perfect example of socialism at its worst. The lands are considered "public," but commercial activity is outlawed hindering a chance to lower the cost of a specific commodity.




I never said it was slavery


Maybe not verbatim, but you implied that capitalism leads to enslaving the working class to the private owners/wealthy. I am just disagreeing with you. There are rules to follow for employers as well as employees. Not a single person on this planet is forcing you to work for anyone so I fail to see where the working class is enslaved in this country.




The worker does not receive the full fruits of their labour.


They don't? Does the worker not agree to a wage or the benefits before the ever set foot in the workplace? Anything can be negotiated with an employer. They don't have to comply with any request from potential employees and you don't have to accept a position with any certain employer. Also, you also have the choice of unionizing to bargain for better wages, benefits, or working conditions if you choose.




The worker has no choice but to work for a private owner.


There is always a choice.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by ANOK
 


Before I go any further, I have a request for you...

Can I ask what kind of literature you read to obtain your knowledge? I am seeing that I must conduct more research before I debate any further with you or Cabin. You have peaked my interest in the subject and am finding a very wide range of information on the net. Wikipedia has a wealth of knowledge, but I know it is not a reputable source to quote for educational standards in the states.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:40 PM
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Capitalism v Socialism seems to be a never ending debate ,maybe we should support a system
where both co exist in one system, followers engaging freely under their own values.

In ths system at the age of 18yrs a person decides whether he is to be a participant in a
State collective where the welfare , safety etc is provided with the prerequisite income tax; a Socialist.

or where a person opts out pays no tax and is not excluded from society, receives no 'help'
from the State and meets his responsibilities on his own; a Capitalist.

This obviously needs to be fleshed out but the premise is simple, i envisage this 'outside' person to be like those followers of the 'Freeman' movement.


[Roll with it and/or burn it ATSers]



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by Zngland
 


It is a never ending debate, but I can clearly see propaganda on both sides with the inclination to indoctrinate. I am a seeker of knowledge more than anything. I only wish a system that allows citizens with maximum amount of freedom to choose a path for their own happiness. Seems like you can't find it in any country today. But I do enjoy the fact that I am being challenged in my own thought process of things. Just drives me to read up on the subject more.



posted on May, 1 2013 @ 10:30 PM
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These threads are always fun on ATS considering the fact that I am socialist/communist A.K.A. Red.

A lot of people like to think they can defeat any talk of socialism by simply asking the question `how can it carried out with a population of several hundred million in modern society?`

Actually, it is a fair question which I get asked a lot by my friends and fellow comrades.

I always bring up two important factors: 1) The society we are talking about 2) The current education level of the common people.

We must define the society we are talking about if we are do discuss `how to carry out socialism or even a Red Revolution.`

Each society has a different set of traditions, bias, history, and a different bourgeoisie with a different base of maintaining power of the common people. It is highly important to understand the complete material conditions of the society which we hope to transform into a socialist society. In all of those aspects of society is it important to inject Marxist and socialist ideas. There are countless methods to do so.

Education is so fundamental. People must be exposed to certain ideas and then they must experience the external world with those ideas in their heads. It is only though experience that people leans and become aware of their own exploitation and their own class status.

For example, if you tell someone `you are part of the working class and you are being exploited by the capitalist. They will at first say, `You are a commie! You are trying to brainwash me!` Yet, if we explain it to them in a way they can understand, the ideas will stay in their heads. Then they learn from external experience that the ideas in their heads are true; they start to resist in small ways. It is the job of the socialist to encourage that resistance and to fan the flames.



posted on May, 1 2013 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by freedomwv
 


Thanks for the reply. You raised a good point and contributed greatly already. To be honest I'm not the biggest supporter of socialism or communism. But I do not fear it and wish to understand more than the average Joe. Did you think I had a good explanation. Anok has helped explain the concepts of socialism and communism better than I have in this thread.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by freedomwv
 


Yes, these debates can be very entertaining as long as people can control their feelings and realize it is only a debate. But, I fall victim to this very thing quite a bit, lol.

I guess the biggest concern I have isn't necessarily how do you implement socialism over several hundred million citizens. It isn't a concern of HOW to implement it. When looking back at the history of WHEN it has been implemented, there has always been an over-bearing government that restricts the natural God given rights of men to lead their own lives in the fashion they please (with respect to the rights of others). This does not denote the fact that man does not violate other men's rights, but a government's sole purpose is to PROTECT the rights of man. Not to exact the vision of what a few members of the ruling class would like to see. IMO, this is why you have the conservative vs. progressive, liberal vs. statist, right vs. left, etc. The argument settles more on the ROLE and/or FUNCTIONS of the federal, state, and local governments. We can sit and debate the minute points of either type of economic philosophy, but I think it ultimately comes down to what we define as rights. What is defined as "personal property"? What is defined as "for the common good"? Who makes the laws regarding property? Who enforces the laws regarding property? What are the checks and balances to be sure that rights aren't violated?

It just seems like looking back in history, when revolution occurs, there is always something worse that comes to power than what was there before.





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