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Sun Jan 8, 2012, 09:51 AM

I'm sick of the misconception that Socialism = Command Economy.

This socialist totally rejects the notion of a command economy, I believe in a co-op-based market economy, with only things like healthcare, utilities, etc. controlled by the government.

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Reply I'm sick of the misconception that Socialism = Command Economy. (Original post)
Odin2005 Jan 2012 OP
socialist_n_TN Jan 2012 #1
Starry Messenger Jan 2012 #2
socialist_n_TN Jan 2012 #8
Starry Messenger Jan 2012 #10
Fantastic Anarchist Jan 2012 #3
Jackpine Radical Jan 2012 #4
Fantastic Anarchist Jan 2012 #13
TBF Jan 2012 #5
Shortsleevedmagician Jan 2012 #6
socialist_n_TN Jan 2012 #7
Shortsleevedmagician Jan 2012 #11
socialist_n_TN Jan 2012 #12
PETRUS Jan 2012 #9
Taverner Jan 2012 #14

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 12:14 PM

1. My notion is a "command" economy UNTIL

all citizen's "general welfare" concerns are taken care of. Food, shelter, clothing, health care, education, access to fuel, banking and others that I can't think of off the top of my head , should be prioritized and controlled by a PEOPLE'S run government for the benefit of ALL of the citizenry. After that I would allow a limited market economy as long as it was taxed and regulated.

Hell actually as much as the capitalists are afraid to compete, even in the market I'd set up a government run "business" to compete DIRECTLY with the capitalists. At least with products that are of general interest to the citizenry. Generic, safe, and regulated widgets created and sold without profit (Medicare model). Let the fucking bloodsuckers compete with that.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 12:48 PM

2. Socialism, to me, is a response to the needs of the people.

Dogmatic application of any other country's Socialist system, past or present, wouldn't really be Socialism, imo. When the US finally shifts away from private ownership of the commons and other public resources, that will be revolutionary in itself. There are so few small businesses now, I actually think Socialism would bring more opportunity for the public to have economic choices and autonomy, in ways that are different and will be people powered.

I think folks get hung up on the commerce side of Socialism, and forget that it is a whole social system. There are several Socialistic systems in the US that probably wouldn't change very much at all (other than being funded properly) as far as being run by the government. Other things that *should* be run by the government would be taken out of private monopoly. The biggest shift should be the ending of exploitation of working people for massive profits. I think doing that would free up the creative power of the country (assuming that the rest of the G20 countries don't all attack us at once with drones or something).

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 10:55 AM

8. RE: small businesses..........

and I'm talking about TRUE small businesses, not just "name only" small businesses, just think about how many individuals and co-op situations could be set up if nobody had to worry about health care concerns, i.e., if everybody had Medicare for All. And that's just ONE example of a socialist type of "general welfare" program benefitting the general populace in MORE THAN ONE WAY.

Then you could add in direct government loans and grants to individuals and groups wanting to start up a business. IOW, direct government support for PEOPLE rather than capitalistic enterprises. I've never been able to figure out why the government gave discounted money to private banks to loan to people for business start ups (or school loans for that matter-same principle), then guaranteed those loans, yet gave the profits of those loans TO the private banks. The banks under this system took no risk and yet reaped the profits.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 01:19 PM

10. I know, it's baffling to me too.

I know the short answer is Capitalism, but some things just seem to defy common sense. I feel the same way about businesses that are always trying to lower worker pay--if you don't pay people enough to buy the stuff they make for the company, you're eating the seed corn! Even that jerk Henry Ford understood that. But I guess the pursuit of profit really is mindless in all senses of the word.

I think true small businesses could be a definite feature of Socialism. I think when people were just starting to form Socialism in their own countries, people probably decided to err on the side of caution and make sure that they eliminated as many roads back to Capitalism as possible. Who knew if a hot dog seller could turn into an oligarch or not, lol, given the right circumstances, etc.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 04:28 PM

3. I agree ... and by government, I mean localized communties set up on the concept of mutual aid.

Not a top-down government.

That whole "socialism = command economy" canard needs to be destroyed.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 07:13 PM

4. Yes, power needs to be distributed widely.

All hierarchical systems eventually seem to go awry when certain of the players gain all the power and maintaining power becomes an end in itself for them.

I look to a new, information-dense environment as the garden in which to grow a participatory democracy unlike anything we've seen in societies of over maybe 150 individuals.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 04:30 PM

13. Paris and Lyon Communes ... a precedent to look at.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 07:57 PM

5. I'm left libertarian as well

the challenge as others have touched on is how to do it while defending yourselves from the rest of the capitalists. That is why I think OWS does have some merit - because folks worldwide responded. That's what we'll need. I think it would be very hard to do in one country without state control because capital is global.

So, we've got to figure out how to exploit globalism right back and use their tools against them.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 09:30 PM

6. Workers councils

should be the basis for a socialist system. Local councils elect higher organs and so on in such a way that these councils collectively act as the democratic basis of political and economic power in a socialist society.

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Response to Shortsleevedmagician (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 10:47 AM

7. They were called "soviets" in '05 and '17........

in Tsarist Russia. And since the delagates at ALL levels were immediately recallable, you have a system that responsive to the masses. As a "fundamentalist" Bolshevik, I agree.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 07:03 PM

11. I don't know about Bolshevism...

I hear a lot about Lenins repression of dissent and the gradual circumventing of soviet influence as the party began to consolidate power. From what Ive heard, the Russian soviets started out as true organs of working class power but had devolved into just "rubber stamps" by 1922. Perhaps you could present the other side of the story?

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Response to Shortsleevedmagician (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 12:28 PM

12. I can't argue too much with that notion as the bureaucracy.........

took control of not only the soviets, but also the Party. Of course, it wasn't a complete takeover by '22. That happened around '28 after Lenin's death and Trotsky's exile.

However, if you know the history of that era in Russia, you'll know that the revolution was fighting for it's very existence against a bevy of capitalist countries who were supporting the Whites and trying to strangle the embryonic revolution in it's cradle. That struggle and Lenin's ill health (and an assassination attempt) led to the rise of the bureaucracy. When you face not only personal death, but the death of an idea that you've fought your whole life for, sometimes you'll take extraordinary measures to survive. The rise of the bureaucracy was perhaps inevitable at that time, but checks on the bureaucracy didn't keep pace with that rise. That's where we can learn from the past. The difference IMO, was that Lenin and Trotsky both had a vision of a freer Russia based on pre civil war and even pre revolutionary Bolshevik principles, but neither survived to see it implemented. Only the bureaucracy survived to centralize power from the top down, NOT the bottom up model of the original incarnation of Bolshevism. The only reason that the Bolsheviks gained any power in the soviets in the first place was because they were the ONLY political party that wholeheartedly in word and, most importantly, in DEED took up the masses' cry for "Peace, land, and bread".

The original Bolsheviks were very democratic in principle, but also very disiplined. Once the issue was decided, the Party closed ranks in order to implement the issue. And remember these were life and death issues not only for the Party, but also for the entire populace. People had to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and defended during a vicious civil war brought on by the capitalist powers. So that disipline HAD to be there. But the original Bolsheviks also didn't ask that you change your opinions just because you were a minority in the Party. You could always bring the same issue up again and lobby for your side at the next Congress or meeting. If facts proved your position correct, the ISSUE could be corrected when you brought a majority over to your side.

That's why I consider myself a "fundamentalist" Bolshevik. I see the need for a vanguard, not to order the masses around, but to attempt to provide shape, form, strategy and tactics for the class struggle that leads to the revolution. And then to DEFEND the revolution from the inevitable capitalist counterattack. To a fundamentalist Bolshevik, THIS CANNOT BE ORDERED FROM ABOVE! It must come from the ACTUAL aspirations of the people and the people must be convinced of the correctness of the path. But they can't be ORDERED into seeing the correctness.

The bureaucracy in the USSR eventually failed as was predicted and the capitalists were restored. This didn't mean that the Bolshevik model failed, it meant that the BUREAUCRATIC model failed.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 11:13 AM

9. Yes, and the mirror claim is also irritating.

That is, the notion that capitalism does not require - and even detests - government intervention. Total BS. Business as we know it only exists because of laws, the courts, and the police (and military). To state an obvious example, corporations don't exist in nature, and they benefits their owners enjoy (such as limited liability) would not be possible without government enforcement. Poke a little deeper and you'll quickly lose track of how many instances of business "success" are attributable to the state.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 01:03 PM

14. Anarcho-Socialist here and I agree

 

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