Socialism!



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    Like a troublesome foot fungus these are sprouting up all over Melbourne again. I got to meet some of these crazies when I went to observe the Aussie Pride protests last month. I was amazed at their organisation and also how incredibly sure that their ideology is exactly what the world needs and felt justified in achieving that by any means necessary.

    In the interests of trying to get a bit of balance in my political analysis can anyone give me examples where socialism has actually worked as an ideology in history? I'm guessing maybe Sweden would be many peoples suggestion but aren't they still mostly free market capitalist but with high taxes and some socialised health and education?



  • @Rembrandt said in Socialism!:

    n the interests of trying to get a bit of balance in my political analysis can anyone give me examples where socialism has actually worked as an ideology in history?

    Depends what your goals were: Genocide and mass deprivation while the elite lived the high life? Plenty of examples there.

    Modern, European type Socialism works because it's really capitalism with wealth redistribution and safety nets. Certainly, nothing based on central planning has ever been a success that I can recall.



  • @Rembrandt Socialism never works because if there is no incentive to work harder you end up with a bunch of lazy carnts



  • @Rembrandt

    As @antipodean alluded to, it really depends on your definition of 'socialism'. According to google, it can be defined as "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole", which is not exactly a narrow range of activity, and encompasses a whole of shit-fuckery as well as pretty successful 'social-democratic' style systems. At the end of the day, I think that definition is broad enough to cover basically any country where the government plays a part in regulating any part of the means of production. I can't think of an example of a country which isn't socialist by that definition.

    Not that I'm on their side or anything (although I find myself becoming more and more socially democratic after living in JP for so long) but I doubt that the muppets going to that event see themselves as living in a communist country, where totalitarianism is used to ensure that everybody should share equally in the wealth created by their collective labor , but where some animals are more equal than others 🙂

    Seriously, I think that there is seriously benefit in examining how people is certain countries have been able to give up a little personal freedom, and transfer more regulatory authority to the government, in order to give everyone a fairer deal. Having said that, I doubt you are going to hear abut that type of socialism at this event - I suspect it may be SJW dressed up as 'socialism'.



  • Dear old Maggie:- "The trouble with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money".



  • @Catogrande said in Socialism!:

    Dear old Maggie:- "The trouble with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money".

    And Winston, " If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain".

    It's something sensible people grow out of usually. Like capitalism we picked out all the best bits of it years ago and incorporated it into our political system .



  • New Zealand was a broadly socialist economy until the Lange government's market based reforms from 1984 (large sell offs of state owned assets to fund social spending) - this is what the left mockingly refers to as "neo-liberalism".

    Even the conservative prime minister Robert Muldoon was introducing the large state run productive enterprises (the "Think Big" projects) into the 1980s e.g. the NZ Steel plant was greatly expanded in 1986 (though that was years in the making of course). Some of these projects (e.g. a methanol plant) arose because of additional natural gas discoveries in/off Taranaki in the 1970s i.e. we had this abundant cheap energy source so we built industries to take advantage of it. Of course, these have mostly been sold to foreign investors.

    Our electricity generation (which we can proudly say is from largely renewable energy sources) capacity was updated with significant investments in this period.
    We'd be a bit fucked if that hadn't have happened.



  • @antipodean said in Socialism!:

    Certainly, nothing based on central planning has ever been a success that I can recall.

    NZRFU Central contracting seems to be doing alright 🤔





  • Central planning is a key to good govt. Knowing what things to control and what not to is how improvements can be made.
    Obviously too much control hinders ideas and investment, too little can have negative impacts in key areas when assets get abused as income providers more than long term society requirements.
    Rail is a great example where some control rather than hands off privitisation would have benefited the country more.
    The concept of SOEs has worked reasonably well. My criticism would be that it is more difficult for a govt to pull a SOE in line than it is for the SOE to move off the straight and narrow. Generally though, the mechanism keep things balanced. They just need to avoid getting sucked into offering decision makers contracts that are heavily weighted in bonuses from financial performance rather than overall goal measurements.



  • Any "system" guided by one ideology like socialism or capitalism is going to be stuffed up, isn't it? All developed nations have a complex form of many things that are can have aspects of socialist/capital etc systems . Too simplistic I know but the military for example is clearly govt. controlled and funded and so definiely very socialist-like. Retail businesses are definitely very capitalist-like.
    My own personal opinion is we need socialist aspects to our health and education systems in order to create a fair society.



  • @Samurai-Jack said in Socialism!:

    Any "system" guided by one ideology like socialism or capitalism is going to be stuffed up, isn't it? All developed nations have a complex form of many things that are can have aspects of socialist/capital etc systems . Too simplistic I know but the military for example is clearly govt. controlled and funded and so definiely very socialist-like. Retail businesses are definitely very capitalist-like.
    My own personal opinion is we need socialist aspects to our health and education systems in order to create a fair society.

    Agree. The areas of contention are things that some people think are public necessities and others think are commodities eg power, water

    I always find it funny that people the decry all forms of socialism as stupid are happy to drive around on roads that are funded from various user pools and public borrowings. A fully privatised roading system would be chaos and virtually unusable.

    On the other hand those that decry capitalism benefit hugely from the advances made that would happen without such systems.

    It's all about balance.



  • @Crucial said in Socialism!:

    @Samurai-Jack said in Socialism!:

    Any "system" guided by one ideology like socialism or capitalism is going to be stuffed up, isn't it? All developed nations have a complex form of many things that are can have aspects of socialist/capital etc systems . Too simplistic I know but the military for example is clearly govt. controlled and funded and so definiely very socialist-like. Retail businesses are definitely very capitalist-like.
    My own personal opinion is we need socialist aspects to our health and education systems in order to create a fair society.

    Agree. The areas of contention are things that some people think are public necessities and others think are commodities eg power, water

    I always find it funny that people the decry all forms of socialism as stupid are happy to drive around on roads that are funded from various user pools and public borrowings. A fully privatised roading system would be chaos and virtually unusable.

    On the other hand those that decry capitalism benefit hugely from the advances made that would happen without such systems.

    It's all about balance.

    Government funded roads are not examples of Socialism though. Socialism is a system whereby the workers control the means of production. This is not what happens with roads, hospitals or the military.



  • @hydro11 Not an expert by any means so really shouldn't really comment cos could get into trouble but that is a bit simplistic, isn't it?
    Straight from wiki:
    Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production,[10] as well as the political theories, and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective, or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[13] Social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.[5][14][15]
    I thought Socialism Communism is a system whereby the workers control the means of production. Straight from "Sociology 101Unit 3 Karl Marx"



  • Hydro is correct. The roads example was silly. Since when does capatalism not believe in govt?



  • Uh-oh. Don't mention roads or beneficiary-hugging feminist Caroline Criado Perez will tweet the following outraged opinion:

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  • @Tregaskis A little ironic given her father's work relied on those roads. The very work that permitted her to have an upper middle-class upbringing. The very type who can afford to crap on about socialism. Much easier with a safety net provisioned by the labours of others.

    I guess poor people just use footpaths and bicycle lanes...



  • I don't think she realises that many ordinary women, such as my wife, drive to work.



  • If people disagree wth socialism the best thing to do is kill them apparently

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/03/ken-livingstone-venezuela-crisis-hugo-chavez-oligarchs



  • @jegga said in Socialism!:

    If people disagree wth socialism the best thing to do is kill them apparently

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/03/ken-livingstone-venezuela-crisis-hugo-chavez-oligarchs

    Somehow, I can't see New Zealand ever devolving to Venezuela...


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