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Socialism: A Primer -
Socialism is an umbrella term for everything from anarchism to democratic socialism to communism. It is the movement away from corporate ownership in the economy towards more community and social control.
For the vast majority of human history, humans lived a communal life that was conducive to sound mental health. Much of the mental health issues in capitalist society derive from its violation of our caring, communal nature that developed during this period of hunting-gathering life.
As hunter gatherers, we owned the land, which generated wealth, in common. With the advent of civilization and its class distinctions however, the vast majority of people were dispossessed from control of the land.
In class society, the vast majority of people became slaves or serfs subject to exploitation and control by the land owning classes. Wealth disparity developed and accelerated tremendously with the advent of capitalism.
European capitalism was only able to develop by dispossessing its own peasants and the people of Latin America, Asia and Africa.
From its birth, therefore, capitalism's freedom is only available to a privileged few. Their freedom and wealth depended on others being subject to war, slavery, and exploitation.
Different types of socialist governments developed not as a matter of cerebral choice but rather as responses to very different historical situations in different countries.
The negative aspects of communism derived from it having been developed in countries subject to brutal, Western imperialist control. Communists became dictatorial in order to defend against Western imperialist attacks.
The positive aspects of democratic socialism derives from it having been developed in the imperialist countries of Western Europe. Capitalists in those rich countries allowed democratic socialism in order to prevent communist revolution. Each type of socialism thus developed in response to specific historical situations in different locations.
We know now that capitalism is destroying our physical habitat. Socialists of all types can unite in order to prevent that from happening and to transition to a more sane society.

By Krish557
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16 comments

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0

I find your drawn conclusion that capitalism is the down fall of our society to be mightily fallacious. i would adamantly and vehemently argue that it is religion, specifically xSTAINity. the perverse odious vile disconnect of xSTAINity with the division, heirarchy, separation, and utter lack of human unity. with xSTAINity and its perversions of human life you arrive at papal bulls and blood quantum, and genocide of (here in the americas) over 500 million humans in a period over 500 years. (that's not to mention the wildlife that was mercilessly also genocided - over 10 million bison bison destroyed down to under 300 known animals in under 10 years.

humans mixed with xSTAINity is the problem.

lakota_5 Level 4 Nov 13, 2019
2

More than a kernel of truth here!

Bump Level 4 Nov 8, 2019
0

Behavioral Economics teaches that people have many different and competing motives operating when making economic decisions.

Yes, making money and what it can garner us is a motive. The word capitalism is often used to suggest that this one motive rules over all else. This would be the extremist view of capitalism and bears no resemblance to reality.

People have many mixed motives when deciding what is important in life. A major generic one is security. Seeking security brought about Social Security for old age. The motive to feel secure drives the Medicare For All debate.

Another major generic motive is the time to enjoy yourself. People really want to do things other than work. So the 40 hour work week was legislated and vacation time and holidays are set aside. This became the sort of social engineering within economics that most people overlook.

I would start calling a realistic behavioral economic system 'Socialized Capitalism'. A mixed economy more accurately reflects the motives of all the citizens that make up an economy. But it would have to be democratically driven to ensure everyone's interests are represented.

arnoldt1st Level 1 Sep 11, 2019
0

Two words: credit unions.

pau11y Level 3 Aug 16, 2019
2

Name calling is inevitable, I suppose, when the few who know of employee-owned companies are silent.
Unregulated capitalism selects for sociopathy, so corruption and name calling are inevitable.
Try a search on employee ownership.
Call me, if you must, a collective capitalist.

yvilletom Level 7 Aug 12, 2019
0

I agree some of what was said. What was left out is the fact that human nature and selfishness are part of our simian heritage. We are literally savage monkeys who have not risen above many of our base instincts. This is due to many factors. The truth being that as a society, as a culture, we are so very primitive (primate driven), such children that it will take many generations before we are even close to a mature just society. We don't even have very good fundamentals in place to begin such an experiment. Just as America was once the hope of the world, we have now degraded down to savage warring tribes ready to kill each other just to get more of the 'pie' each feels entitled to. We need to wander longer in the wilderness to cleanse ourselves of the current poison. Do we survive this? Maybe. From the current perspective it looks grim and as if we are entering yet another dark age. The only thing that will guide us out is truth.

dandadan Level 3 May 25, 2019

Your response seems to ignore the ability of humans to learn by mental as well as experiential means. We can imagine scenarios and reach conclusions. Teaching and learning complex ideas is what separates we humans from the other simians. So we can, do, and always have, used these abilities to change our societies. We only need to agree to teach youth how to think and reason rather than what to think. When we allow any "ism" to be taught without countering it with another "ism" we set future generations on a path that relies on instinct (emotional response) rather than thoughtful consideration. These types of responses determine what someone will perceive as truth and so create disagreement. We also need to acknowledge that all humans do not have the same or equal ability to learn so any society will need to recognize this and pay special attention to the way we educate to avoid indoctrination of every citizen. In the past, methods of gaining support from enough people to any given agenda was more easily driven by survival "needs", while at this time we have developed enough technology to provide for the needs of everyone, but we still accept the idea that we need a leader or historical "ism" to provide for those needs. We need to recognize that most systems were developed with the idea of protecting the supplies that fulfilled those needs and are no longer useful. We need a new "ism". As Yuval Noah Harari so elegantly demonstrated, humans living in larger communities or societies do need something that they all cooperate for. They need a guiding myth or purpose. I think that a new purpose might just be "survivalism". But that survival must recognize it requires a diverse and healthy ecology and that a system for only or even primarily humans can never succeed.

But, one person's truth is another person's lie. I believe part of the problem is this search for absolutes: Part of this is nature, part is nurture/'social' conditioning. Organised religion has played a major part in the conditioning. It has also accentuated the egocentricity that is one of our species' faults.

5

no system is perfect we can all agree that 1% should not control 90% , thats basic math

metalhead222 Level 8 Apr 16, 2019

The central point! You just cut to the Chase!

2

As hunter/gatherers, which mode of subsistence represents 99% of our history as a species, for the most part there was no concept that the land could be "owned", at all. To suggest that is evidence of the strength of the ideological control imposed by capitalism.

chazwin Level 6 Apr 14, 2019
0

To see socialism as a monolithic bloc is to project one's own monolithic attitude unto varied historical situations. It is the same shallow, close-minded attitude, impervious to reality, that religious fanatics exhibit. See the comment directly below for a good example of this...

Krish55 Level 7 Apr 14, 2019
1

It is called communism. History perfectly showed where the implementation leads: terror of the proletariat, communist concentration camps, poverty and absence of technological and social development. Social engineering, the creation of a new, socialist person, simple doesn't work. This is an uneducated, dangerous and very naive, childish idea.

zesty Level 7 Apr 11, 2019

Look at the history in more depth. You're commenting on one type that developed in a specific situation. Some of your comments are inaccurate. You do know that the USSR was the first to send a man in space...?

@Krish55 Gagarin was number 15 launched. The 14 fighter pilots before him all died. Do you know their names? Isn't it interesting that all the specific situations resulted in disaster?

@zesty Do you know the names of 15 Africans and African American slaves who died in order to create the wealth in the society that we all enjoy? Do you know the names of 15 native Americans at subject to genocide? Do you know the names of 15 Mexicans who died in the US wars of conquest? Do you know the names of 15 Filipinos who died in US genocide around 1900? Do you know the names of 15 Vietnamese who similarly died? Do you know the names of 15 Iraqis who died out of the over one million who died since our invasion in 2003? Etc., Etc.,..
Capitalism has created far more deaths and suffering than all the various types of socialism ever have!

@Krish55 You are comparing apples and oranges. Of course, there were wars and victims. The cosmonauts I mentioned were sacrificed by their own society. As far as number of deaths created by socialism - Soviet Union - 80 millions, China - 180 millions, North Korea - 45 millions, Cuba - 2.

@zesty Those numbers are ridiculous! 2 million in Cuba? How so?

@zesty And if you make the similarly ridiculous claim that the cosmonauts were sacrificed, then the same is true of those who died in US space missions!

@zesty Furthemore, your acknowledgement that Yuri Gagarin was the 1st person in space contradicts your earlier claim that there was no technological development in Communist countries.

@Krish55 No. The communist leaders sent 14 men up knowing that the probability of staying alive was extremely low. ALso, they never mentioned the unsuccessful, tragic launches. The US space missions were widely publicized and unfortunate accidents happened. An absolutely different ballgame! Comparing the US space missions to the Soviet ones is equivalent to comparing gold to excrement.

@Krish55 I never said that there was no technological development in Russia. Also, Gagarin was not the first in space. Just the first who returned alive. The commies forced the jaled scientists to perform and stole almost all technological secrets from the US.

@zesty The US got it from that Nazi Germany.

@zesty If the Soviet missions were excrement, then the US space missions were inspired by shit! After all, it was the successful Soviet human orbit that caused the US to compete

@Krish55 So did the Russians, of course.

@Krish55 No. Simple in Russia, as in any socialist country, the human life had and has zero value. So, they risked much more, killing a bunch of people. Free countries, as the US, couldn't and wouldn't follow this kind of reckless, inhuman approach. Well, the system generates the approach.

Since the natural mode of humanity has been co-operation, for the majority of history. One has to wonder at the degree of indoctrination you personally have suffered to denigrate socialism as uneducated, naive and childish.
I suggest you educate yourself with a little anthropology.

@zesty Hysterical nonsense from the country that has more prison inmates than any country on earth, with more police killings, random murders, people with no health care despite being the richest country - you have the cheek to talk about life being worthless!!

@chazwin Thank you for the suggestion. Lol
One doesn't need a background in anthropology to see the terrible suffering from the socialist nightmare. Just see the history of the 20th century. One must be crazy to suggest continuing the socialist experiment.

@zesty You mean like Scandinavia? The nightmare is capitalism which exports all its suffering to the counties that it exploits and the plant it is quickly destroying.
I'll wager you've not got a fucking idea what socialism is.

@chazwin There are no socialist countries in Scandinavia. Scandinavian countries are capitalist ones with high level of social services.

@chazwin The US is a free country. Your little island became a slave to PC and the Muslims.

@zesty You are ignorant,as I suspected. Run along now

@zesty please refer to the comment i made some moments ago. You owe more than your blinkered mind realises to socialism , from public schools to roads, police and fire services. Ignorant savage

@chazwin You are a primitive, uneducated little prick! Learn the difference between social and socialist, idiot!

@zesty You are a Trump-bot. My level of education is way over yours. Please refer to my previous comments.

@chazwin Funny! What is your area of expertise? Being rude to people with a different viewpoint?

@Krish55 And the Russia was drown in poverty and unequality before the 1917 evolution.

@NR92 Yes. And it became, naturally, much worst under socialism. everything is better then socialism.

@zesty Nope, after revolution, the USSR which was very undeveloped country under the rule of feudalism became the super power and the biggest industrial country in short time.
I think you are still stuck in the cold war as prof Richald Wolff said in his video.

@chazwin

Testimony from scandinavian's, they are anything but socialist.

@NR92 The Soviet Union superpower status is quite questionable. It was more like a paper tiger. It was NEVER the largest industrial country.
The Soviets caused incredible suffering to the world in general and to their own people in particular.
Using inhuman methods they built up a highly inefficient military industry. However they could never build a halfway decent coffeemaker or hair dryer.
The Soviet system was a despicable, terrible experiment.
As far as I'm stuck - do not criticise ME, criticise MY POINT OF VIEW! Don't you fucking try to degrade me because I'm a woman!

@zesty First of all, I invite you to calm down because it will be harmful for your health and it will cost lots of money and then you will have to travel to Canada to get cheaper medication.

They were forced to start industerialization mostly in military as it was under the direct attack of Capitalists and Imperialists from the first day they took power and then during the cold war by Fascists, they had very poor and backward army inherited from Czar Kingdom whom were defeated in first world war.

@zesty I'm afraid that, as a statement, is demonstrably untrue. But as a demonstration of the type of belief in an absolute that causes so many problems - an excellent example!

@NR92 Don't patronize me boy, you are not qualified!
The Soviet Army was not inherited from the Czar. By the beginning of the Second World War they had a very experienced army, evolved in the civil war. The inefficiency of the Soviet Army was never demonstrated better than in the Afghan was. Even the subhuman Taliban could beat them! Mind-boggling !

5

Life should be a priority over money. Money should be the means for a better life not an end in itself. People matter more than profit. And Community, public interest and democracy should take precedence over corporations. These values have been largely lost.

ToolGuy Level 8 Apr 11, 2019
1

If is for the people not corporation can be great but look out for corruption

bobwjr Level 9 Apr 10, 2019
0

So if Socialism is not "Mother Government" but rather communities supporting what is best for the community how come it is destructive to to democratic institutions? If the majority of the people who combine to make a community elect to have a body of their members administer services that meet the common needs isn't that a function of the democratic process. But if communities are made up of people who support one another how does that reconcile with each of us being rugged individualists who believes that we are only responsible for ourselves. And if we are only responsible for ourselves as capitalism leads us to believe do we become alienated which leads to more mental health issues?

ArthurK Level 6 Apr 10, 2019

Wow..you figured that all by yourself..congrats..

how come it is destructive to to democratic institutions?

It isn’t. Capitalism patently is though. Voter suppression and destruction of an effective judiciary are standard right wing tactics

If the majority of the people who combine to make a community elect to have a body of their members administer services that meet the common needs isn't that a function of the democratic process

Yes. Not sure what the point is on that one though?

But if communities are made up of people who support one another how does that reconcile with each of us being rugged individualists who believes that we are only responsible for ourselves

We aren’t. That sounds like cover for a lack of empathy.

And if we are only responsible for ourselves as capitalism leads us to believe do we become alienated which leads to more mental health issues?

Not sure what the mechanisms are for our terrible epidemic of loneliness but there’s no doubt that it exists

@OwlInASack Great responses! Thanks!

@OwlInASack Thank you for saving me the trouble of responding to each of those points in the same way, and for your excellent job of doing so.

1

Whenever the topic comes up...I share this link....

Robecology Level 8 Apr 10, 2019

Gotta disagree with S-chip..love kids and grandchildren..but having Anyone with the ability to Track them..is beyond irresponcibility..it's passive Fascism.

1

Agreed! Please share sources. Thanks!

MojoDave Level 9 Apr 10, 2019
1

Caring indeed..

Charlene Level 9 Apr 10, 2019
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