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State Socialism Vs Distributed Socialism


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#1 Traktion

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:25 PM

It seems to me that somewhere along the line, socialism has been reinterpreted as statism, rather than state socialism. Due to this, socialism has become a bad word to 'the right' and 'the left' feel like there has never been any 'real' socialism.

This strikes me as a similar situation to money - credit money and asset money have been mixed together into a term 'money', thus breaking the logical connections to the underlying concepts.

You could say both terms have been butchered, perhaps by those who have an agenda, which is inconsistent with the original concept. IMO, it is important to restore (or perhaps rescue) these terms to their original meanings or, if impossible, at least create new independent words which represent the original meaning.

Socialism, as in common ownership of service agencies, resources and so forth is not an unreasonable concept. Cooperatives and mutuals have been commonly owned organisations for a long time. Their membership is optional, with terms which can be defined by the share holders, who all have a say/vote in how the organisation is run.

What is unreasonable, is forced membership. This isn't socialism, but state socialism.

Removing the choice to go with a different cooperative or mutual, means that the opinions of the share holders can be ignored - they have little choice but to accept what the directors of the organisation choose to do. While they may be able to choose different directors, when there is only a choice of unsuitable candidates, it's hardly a choice at all.

IMO, there is a place for both socialism and capitalism. Each has times when they are useful and beneficial. However, I reject both state socialism and state capitalism, as there is no place for double standards and coercion in a civilised society.
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#2 We’re all in this together

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:45 PM

What you're talking about sounds like democracy. A fine concept. I wonder where it's practised, and can only imagine what it would be like.

#3 hotairmail

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:02 PM

On the 'people living alone thread', I thought someone gave a great definition of the welfare state:


In the past you had children so they could care for you. With the welfare state, other people's children have to care for you at gun point and your own children have become a liability. (or something like that)

"The chicken is radiating disorder out into the wider universe."


#4 LJAR

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

I think that if you aggressively prune back the state socialism and state capitalism that you have now, then voluntary socialism and capitalism will fill the void.

In the 19th century there were loads of different types of voluntary socialist structures as well as philanthropic ventures. The "problem" was that they are never standard and you have to look for the one that suits you best.

That could start with allowing people to opt out of things like the State pension system, the school system, maybe even the NHS etc provided they belong to one or another of those groups.

It wouldn't be hard to get to a stage where you belong to a Health mutual, housing association, employment protections association or trade union depending on what protections you want and can afford. Having multiple options would allow people to get the kind of care and involvement that they wanted instead of having the current one size fits nobody approach we have now.

People are naturally social and will band together to do things if it makes sense for them to do so. The problems arise when they are forced to do things that don't make sense for them. Like paying for people to have kids they can't support and paying for private investors not to lose their money

There could be a government option, but they shouldn't be allowed any special privileges compared to the other mutuals and societies that one might choose.

#5 24gray24

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:26 PM

Voluntary taxation? It won't work.

The problem is monopolies and cartels. Gas,, water, food, electricity, all the essentials of life are basically monopolies. So you get ripped off and can't avoid paying.

On the distribution side, the money is siphoned off to the rich, with huge numbers of overpaid jobs in the military, charities, civil service all going to the same class of people. These same people are then allowed to avoid taxes themselves.

The end result is the 99% do all the paying, and the 1% get all the money.

The way to change it, is break up the cartels, stop funding the rich; and cut off all the tax exemptions
2012 prediction:

banks fall like dominoes in 2013, as funds are withdrawn into PMs.

Sarkozy, Obama and Merkel all fall from power.

the british housing crash is not gradual and slow, it drops like a stone on the day interest rates rise.

#6 wonderpup

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:15 PM

However, I reject both state socialism and state capitalism, as there is no place for double standards and coercion in a civilised society.


But even you would support the right of the majority to appropriate the creative efforts of a minority without payment, on the basis that this would be beneficial to society a whole- which is itself a form of coerced socialism.

On paper the idea of a society composed of freely associating individuals is great- but it seems the temptation to try to impose one's ideals on others is so strong that even those who advocate it cannot resist trying to smuggle in some ideological baggage- in your case it's the belief that information should be free- in others it's the belief that white people are superior to black people, or that the free market should be left completely unregulated ect.

All ideologies, no matter how benign they seem- have the same imperative to prosthelytize and dominate- for simple and tragic reason that those who believe in them know they are right. And knowing this they realise the liberty of those who fail to agree with them is expendable- a price worth paying for' the greater good'.

#7 Game_Over

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:19 PM

Voluntary taxation? It won't work.

The problem is monopolies and cartels. Gas,, water, food, electricity, all the essentials of life are basically monopolies. So you get ripped off and can't avoid paying.

On the distribution side, the money is siphoned off to the rich, with huge numbers of overpaid jobs in the military, charities, civil service all going to the same class of people. These same people are then allowed to avoid taxes themselves.

The end result is the 99% do all the paying, and the 1% get all the money.

The way to change it, is break up the cartels, stop funding the rich; and cut off all the tax exemptions


And exactly who pays to feed, clothe and house the 8 million plus people in the UK who are economically inactive?

Presumably the 'rich', because they don't fund themselves and the 'poor' don't have any money

You also find that countries where there are few rich people tend to have a lot more poor people than countries that have a lot of rich people.

My analysis is that rich people actually generate wealth that pays to support the poor.

Radical or what?

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#8 Game_Over

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

It seems to me that somewhere along the line, socialism has been reinterpreted as statism, rather than state socialism. Due to this, socialism has become a bad word to 'the right' and 'the left' feel like there has never been any 'real' socialism.

This strikes me as a similar situation to money - credit money and asset money have been mixed together into a term 'money', thus breaking the logical connections to the underlying concepts.

You could say both terms have been butchered, perhaps by those who have an agenda, which is inconsistent with the original concept. IMO, it is important to restore (or perhaps rescue) these terms to their original meanings or, if impossible, at least create new independent words which represent the original meaning.

Socialism, as in common ownership of service agencies, resources and so forth is not an unreasonable concept. Cooperatives and mutuals have been commonly owned organisations for a long time. Their membership is optional, with terms which can be defined by the share holders, who all have a say/vote in how the organisation is run.

What is unreasonable, is forced membership. This isn't socialism, but state socialism.

Removing the choice to go with a different cooperative or mutual, means that the opinions of the share holders can be ignored - they have little choice but to accept what the directors of the organisation choose to do. While they may be able to choose different directors, when there is only a choice of unsuitable candidates, it's hardly a choice at all.

IMO, there is a place for both socialism and capitalism. Each has times when they are useful and beneficial. However, I reject both state socialism and state capitalism, as there is no place for double standards and coercion in a civilised society.


You never answered my question in the other thread about what happens when a group of people decide to make money by prostituting their children or selling drugs or weapons.

Other than by claiming that people just don't behave like this - when they clearly do.

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#9 24gray24

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:31 PM

And exactly who pays to feed, clothe and house the 8 million plus people in the UK who are economically inactive?

Presumably the 'rich', because they don't fund themselves and the 'poor' don't have any money

You also find that countries where there are few rich people tend to have a lot more poor people than countries that have a lot of rich people.

:blink:


No, the rich don't pay tax. It's the middle class doing the paying.

The third world has some of the richest people in the world. Sweden has relatively flat income distribution. China has a lot of rich people, and a lot of poor people, so your statement is clearly false.
2012 prediction:

banks fall like dominoes in 2013, as funds are withdrawn into PMs.

Sarkozy, Obama and Merkel all fall from power.

the british housing crash is not gradual and slow, it drops like a stone on the day interest rates rise.

#10 Game_Over

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:48 PM

No, the rich don't pay tax. It's the middle class doing the paying.

The third world has some of the richest people in the world. Sweden has relatively flat income distribution. China has a lot of rich people, and a lot of poor people, so your statement is clearly false.


I thought China was a Socialist paradise - so how come they have loads of rich people and loads of poor people?

In actual fact they just have loads of poor people.

You seem to have shot yourself in the foot here.

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#11 (Blizzard)

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

Voluntary taxation? It won't work.


Not necessarily.

link


You never answered my question in the other thread about what happens when a group of people decide to make money by prostituting their children or selling drugs or weapons.

Other than by claiming that people just don't behave like this - when they clearly do.



If they 'clearly do', despite the state, then the state clearly isn't a solution.




"As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce. The wood of the forest, the grass of the field, and all the natural fruits of the earth, which, when land was in common, cost the labourer only the trouble of gathering them, come, even to him, to have an additional price fixed upon them. He must then pay for the licence to gather them; and must give up to the landlord a portion of what his labour either collects or produces. This portion, or, what comes to the same thing, the price of this portion, constitutes the rent of land ...." — Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations[17]

#12 Game_Over

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

Not necessarily.

link





If they 'clearly do', despite the state, then the state clearly isn't a solution.


The state would be a solution

if the state didn't spend so much time oppressing ordinary citizens.

There is no alternative to a state

The argument is - what sort of state is the least worst option.

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#13 Traktion

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:42 PM

Voluntary taxation? It won't work.


Apart from it being an oxymoron, I agree that it wouldn't work.

Free association, with people paying for the services they want and need, without coercion is what I am talking about. If said services benefit from being commonly owned by their users/subscribers, that should be a good option to choose.

The problem is monopolies and cartels. Gas,, water, food, electricity, all the essentials of life are basically monopolies. So you get ripped off and can't avoid paying.


They are exactly the sort of industries which could be run as mutuals. If something can be monopolised, allowing subscribers to be share holders with voting rights, gives control of the organisation to the users. In short, they would collectively own the means of production.

That said, water and food seems to work fine without collective ownership. However, perhaps some would like to work in cooperatives for these too, if that suited.

On the distribution side, the money is siphoned off to the rich, with huge numbers of overpaid jobs in the military, charities, civil service all going to the same class of people. These same people are then allowed to avoid taxes themselves.

The end result is the 99% do all the paying, and the 1% get all the money.

The way to change it, is break up the cartels, stop funding the rich; and cut off all the tax exemptions


When you centralise the collection and distribution process, it is inevitable that the rich/powerful will go to great efforts to manipulate it.
Hayek: Denationalisation of Money - Competing, alternative currencies and breaking the money monopolies.
Bitcoin - Free market, distributed, open source, e-currency.
Against Intellectual Monopoly - Stop the rent seeking through legal monopoly.
Freedomain Radio - Philosophical commentary and debate.
Khan Academy - Free market education, funded by voluntary donations.
Community Land Licencing - A distributed, non-state, alternative to land value taxation.

#14 Traktion

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:43 PM

I think that if you aggressively prune back the state socialism and state capitalism that you have now, then voluntary socialism and capitalism will fill the void.

In the 19th century there were loads of different types of voluntary socialist structures as well as philanthropic ventures. The "problem" was that they are never standard and you have to look for the one that suits you best.

That could start with allowing people to opt out of things like the State pension system, the school system, maybe even the NHS etc provided they belong to one or another of those groups.

It wouldn't be hard to get to a stage where you belong to a Health mutual, housing association, employment protections association or trade union depending on what protections you want and can afford. Having multiple options would allow people to get the kind of care and involvement that they wanted instead of having the current one size fits nobody approach we have now.


People are naturally social and will band together to do things if it makes sense for them to do so. The problems arise when they are forced to do things that don't make sense for them. Like paying for people to have kids they can't support and paying for private investors not to lose their money

There could be a government option, but they shouldn't be allowed any special privileges compared to the other mutuals and societies that one might choose.


Good post. I agree with much of that.
Hayek: Denationalisation of Money - Competing, alternative currencies and breaking the money monopolies.
Bitcoin - Free market, distributed, open source, e-currency.
Against Intellectual Monopoly - Stop the rent seeking through legal monopoly.
Freedomain Radio - Philosophical commentary and debate.
Khan Academy - Free market education, funded by voluntary donations.
Community Land Licencing - A distributed, non-state, alternative to land value taxation.

#15 (Blizzard)

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:15 PM

It seems to me that somewhere along the line, socialism has been reinterpreted as statism, rather than state socialism. Due to this, socialism has become a bad word to 'the right' and 'the left' feel like there has never been any 'real' socialism.

...

You could say both terms have been butchered, perhaps by those who have an agenda, which is inconsistent with the original concept. IMO, it is important to restore (or perhaps rescue) these terms to their original meanings or, if impossible, at least create new independent words which represent the original meaning.


The battle over the language, and the meaning of words, is going on all the time.

Look at the strange mutilation of the words 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' in the US. Recently, I've started to see those uses creep into the UK as well.



"As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce. The wood of the forest, the grass of the field, and all the natural fruits of the earth, which, when land was in common, cost the labourer only the trouble of gathering them, come, even to him, to have an additional price fixed upon them. He must then pay for the licence to gather them; and must give up to the landlord a portion of what his labour either collects or produces. This portion, or, what comes to the same thing, the price of this portion, constitutes the rent of land ...." — Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations[17]




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