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Can anyone explain what the appeal of "socialism" is?

Discussion in 'Politics Discussion' started by Nauti, May 14, 2019 at 10:26 PM.

  1. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    I'm having real trouble understanding why anyone with any maturity would espouse this ideology?
    History and plenty of current events show me that it's an oppressive, "mob-rule" (as in angry pitchfork carrying mob type group-think) hypocritical, niave, hostile and envious cultural phenomena, intent of demonizing people; individuals who think for themselves, Christians, people of means (as in successful people, financially speaking) white people (pretty racist, in my opinion), melanin deficient males or male leaders and males demonstrating ample testosterone... the list goes on.
    Some of the would-be world leaders-influencers who espouse this ideogy are very, very rich themselves and do not practically demonstrate, their so-called values in real life, people in hellyweird (hollywood), Bernie Sanders and the like.

    So I'm wondering if anyone can.convince me that I am wrong ?

    I live in a country (Australia) that is quite gripped by the "lefty" ideology, right now, and I grew up in "hippysville" (not a real place, in more ways than one) and I feel that I have been very damaged, being raised with these "lefty" values, and to me, it is a failed ideology. This is not to say that there isn't any truth in it, but, "the 'devil' is in the details" and the "devil" is wreaking havoc in the west right now, IMO.
     
  2. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    'liberal fascism'

    I view it like network externalities.
    There's a benefit to society as a whole if people can see that having some shared values can work better .

    Often capitalism has monetised people and created separations between people to make things much harderabd more expensive .
    Part it capitalism's 'cost' is a social one that doesn't appear on the bottom line of a company but is shared by everyone.

    For me the increase in lawyerism has been the worst.

    Also the increase in irresponsibility by people not paying for their actions.

    Everyone's a liar now,playing a game of pretend .
    It's a wonder anything works.

    I realise that answers nothing :)
     
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  3. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    To me, it is a pity that people have lost faith in Christian values and in developing their own upright and moral sense of justice. A lot of people seem to fail to separate Christian institutions; the politicization of the Bible (beginning with Rome), and the values espoused by the narrated character we call "Jesus" (not his real name, a greek version of his name).

    These values, plus the separation of church, monarchies and state, have been liberating, enabling the burgeoning rise of "capitalism" see landowners of means plus Jewish bankers who were permitted to charge interest - usury, plus innovation and add in ruthless political maneuvering and you get what is seen as "capitalism", a flawed system without a humanitarian moral code, which Christian values and greek +, I.e.. reason/rationale - "philosophy" and science and technology, combine nicely and have created our unprecedented success in the West. A historical fact that seems lost on these angry "lefty" types.

    Marx didn't get the meaning and moral necessity of "religion" and his ideology focused solely on materialism which, to my mind, is where he, fundamentally, went astray. He didn't understand loaded principles, that are defined, and key, within.the Bible, like "Love" , "Charity" transcendence and personal responsibility.

    This is where his ideological followers are erring, in my opinion.

    "The truth shall set you free".
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019 at 11:44 PM
  4. MeghanWithAnH

    MeghanWithAnH Active Member

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    I'd say that at this point, everyone on every side is confused about what socialism actually is because the word has been over-used past any possible meaning. Conservatives call every liberal idea socialism because they've heard other conservatives call liberal ideas socialism, even though only a few of them actually understand socialism. And by socialism, many of them actually mean communism, which is yet a whole different topic, despite being related. They therefore conflate socialism with every policy they don't agree with. Liberals who also mostly don't know what socialism means then decide that socialism must mean all of the same things that liberals believe, since that's what conservatives keep calling all liberal ideas and policies, so they then decide that socialism must be 100% positive and the best solution to many of our problems. Then everyone keeps mostly talking to the people they agree with in their own separate echo chambers, where everyone gets more and more extreme in all of their beliefs, until both sides decide that the other side is stupid and evil and the best possible course of action is to take the most extreme possible version of their own beliefs. The result of all this is that most discussions quickly devolve from an attempt to understand and solve problems to highly polarized name calling and unrealistic descriptions of the other side's platform, and very little is ever accomplished.
     
  5. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    Yes, that's why it's important to have meaningful, fact-based, intelligent and history-informed discussions about these issues, IMO.
    As someone who was raised with "lefty" beliefs and ideas and who has put a lot of thought and research into cultural phenomena, and political and economic realities for the better part of my life, I felt equipped to invite discussion. I've also been to university and been subject to the "academic" version of these lefty political ideologies. So as a second generation recipient of, at the heart of it, Marxist, and divisive ideologies, IMO, I wanted to see if anyone who feels passionate about their lefty values and political preferences could explain to me, things that I may have missed, in my kind of brutal assessment of these ideologies.
    I guess at the root of it, it.looks to me, like a rejection of Christian values, replacing it with belief in "the state" "government" as a means to feel provided for.

    To me, government should be a mechanism which protects individual liberties and creates infrastructure that everyone uses and taxes should be minimal so that people have incentive to work and not squirrel away money (especially the rich), that works to have an honest rule of law and that rewards merit and innovation and encourages healthy market place competition.
    I live in a country that has "universal health care" and it's a pretty inadequate and soulless system and although I myself am on a disability pension, I still could not get adequate health care until I, in desparation, bought private health insurance, because the public system is so woefully bad. The government is not good at providing good services and still treats those of us on the bottom, pretty woefully and dismally. So I think it niave to think that more centrailzed government involvement means a better outcome for people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.
    Just an example of where I think "left" politicians will sell you out, if you vote for them.
     
  6. AGXStarseed

    AGXStarseed Well-Known Member

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    I've only talked about Socialism briefly in my life to one of my colleagues at work, who is a feminist and believes that Socialism is the best way forward.
    As I didn't know much about it, we both looked at a "Pros and cons" list - with her agreeing with all the pros and some of the cons, but disregarding some of the other cons because she claimed those cons (I can't remember which ones she chose as it was a good number of months ago) weren't cons with "real socialism", which - considering socialism has multiple branches and she failed to explain in detail what "real" socialism was - left me more confused than when we started talking.

    Here's an article I found that may make more sense of the subject:
    Socialism and Its Characteristics, Pros, Cons, Examples and Types: What It Is, How It Works, Comparison to Capitalism, Communism, Fascism

    For those wondering, here's the website where we looked at the pros and cons of Socialism: 10 Biggest Pros and Cons of Socialism
     
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  7. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    I read them both and what strikes me, is that all forms of socialism, pretty much are based on an.idea of "equality of power" which, to my mind, is NEVER going to be a real thing, in the real world. It ends up being oppressive, because, it's denying the reality of human social organization and it tries to force these ideas, instead of emphasizing the importance of trust in human decency, personal moral codes and merit for applied effectiveness.

    At the moment, wealth is in part, a product of happenstance and yes, that seems unfair, but then, life is NOT FAIR on the surface of it, that's why we delve deeper, when life is tough, we gain in moral fortitude and, internally we "reap what we sow" but that might not look like material wealth, because not everyone thinks material wealth is the be all and end all of life. Some of us value freedom, personal responsibility and living a life of integrity over "having".

    I have spent years as a homeless person, quite "gypsy" like (itinerant musician and performance artist) and I was quite the "green" activist too, so I'm not.unfamiliar with many a "communalist" "activist" anti capitalist and socialist ideas, I just think free market trade combined with "Jesus" words kindness are way better than empty promises by marxist inspired anti-capitalism, of any kind, because hierarchies are NEVER going away, no matter what "system" we vote for or add our belief to.

    We actually need an open arena of innovative scientific and technogical development to rise to all our environmental challenges that we face, and I don't think a government dictated socialistic tax hyke by power oriented politician types will aid us in meeting the on coming eco energy needs.

    We need crack downs on corruption and closed door corporate cabal dealers who have been running "the establishment" because people in power have been.lying to us, aided and abetted by The mainstream media".

    We need."truth" not marxist-inspired power grabs by ill informed ignorers of history.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 2:24 AM
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  8. MeghanWithAnH

    MeghanWithAnH Active Member

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    Which politicians do you think won't "sell you out"? Do you think the "right" is any better? Are they less divisive or more inclined treat those at the bottom of society well? I've never seen this to be true, and my country has experienced plenty of right wing politics lately.

    I don't actually think true socialism is an effective form of government, but you seem to be saying that the problems you are describing are specifically true for socialism and not for other forms of government. There are very few people who think politicians are some great, benevolent beings who are looking out for the best interest of the public. Generally, those who support a large government do so because they believe that individual humans and their corporations with no restrictions or requirements (laws, regulations, and taxes) do worse things than the government as a whole does. Ideally, people would live morally on their own, but many people don't, and many more only do it when it's convenient (for example, how many Christians do you know of who really live by Christian values all the time?). Ideally, people could work together when needed to make sure we have effective infrastructure, education, environmental protection, police protection, etc. Those are things that we all benefit from if they are done well, but in order to be done even halfway well they need everyone's cooperation. That's what the government is for, to provide a framework for collective action when collective action is needed. Even if it doesn't do those things well, the argument is that it's better than if they weren't done at all. Do you have a better suggestion for how such things might be accomplished? Do you have an argument for why they shouldn't happen at all? I agree that complete government control (socialism) wouldn't work, but how would the opposite work any better? Historically, it hasn't. The best I've heard of lies somewhere in between, which is why I get annoyed when the debate devolves into people claiming one side has it all wrong. Usually it's someone accusing one side of doing something they both do, although they do it in different ways.
     
  9. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    Well if you're getting annoyed, I'd rather leave it at that, because I'm not really interested in an emotive, reactive "argument" that adds to the polarised vitriol. I don't think my opinions would be respected, so I don't feel safe to elaborate any more than I have.
    I was just sharing my experience and thoughts.
    Yes, we don't want dodgy, dishonest politicians, I think we agree upon that, let's leave it at that.
     
  10. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    I often feel people don't see themselves accurately or honestly.
    Politics can be a reflection of that.

    A bit like 'the other guy does that. When I'm in charge, I won't do that.'

    I think socialism,perhaps,reflects actual human behaviour,less well ultimately.

    I also read that capitalist often quote Adam Smith 'the invisible hand' but have also misrepresented him.

    It's funny how well they've made it work - which is usually.

    'Emotive Issue' - in form of press release.

    Left/right argue over issue forever...

    Nothing changes. (not for the better)

    The reality of changing things for the better involves a complex discussion and actually doing things and being responsible for them.
    Nobody wants any of that, I don't think. Too much personal risk.

    lets argue about 'the issue' that has been laid out for us.
     
  11. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    Here, in Australia, I'm going to vote for a business man who cares about how we have been "sold out" by both our major parties. Who promises to stop the selling of our country to China, mainly (that was the issue that really gave me pause to consider voting for this guy). He isn't part of the "establishment"-so I'm slightly optimistic that he actually wants to get a better deal for those of us who are citizens and he already has plenty of money, so he isn't doing it for the money.

    The "media" have treated him pretty contemptuously, but I don't think that has any bearing on his character, as, it's been many years now, of me having lost complete confidence and faith in the integrity of our mainstream media.

    After being subject to .long-term "narcissist abuse" from childhood and in a 20 year relationship, I am now really adept at seeing manipulative ploys and I recognise the language of.liars and, as a result, I can see how much of a "propaganda machine" our mainstream media, generally, is.
     
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  12. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Most religious prophets, especially the big names, were preaching what we now call socialism. There was no separation between politics and religion in their time.

    Greed is a cardinal sin yet capitalism is built on it. Until people learn the true evil inherent in greed and the value of kindness and tolerance to All, that we are equal brothers and sisters in humanity, socialism can never exist.

    That is socialism, that is why it is a beautiful ideal but also why it is never likely to be implemented. Man is greedy and seeks advantage over others.
     
  13. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    When you put it like that, it sounds really beautiful. But I don't think it's just greed that is the obstacle, I think people want freedom to express themselves and money is a means to do so.

    I would like to put out my art and receive my due, so that I can support my family and actualize my "eco paradise" dreams. I would like to become both an Arts psychotherapist and a mycologist (a fungi scientist) to satisfy my desire to share what has helped me heal and grow as a person and to help save and enhance our environment and aid sustainable food production and health of humans; and I need money, to do so.

    So I don't think wanting money is inherently bad.
    I agree that "greed" is one of the "seven deadly sins" (as my 13 year old says) and that human vice and selfishness and corruptability, are big parts of our collective problems. I also agree that many of the "Spiritual" traditions of our history are human's way to combat these human failings. Of course, fundamentalism and extremism and dogmas that divide and demonize are also part of the problem.

    *Sigh* these are big issues and not solvable large scale. The way I see it, society transforms as people do and so, as long as we are checking ourselves and revising our beliefs to grow and evolve as we are exposed to "more enlightened" and "loving" and truthful information and doing our best to live our values, we are doing what we can to create a better society for the future.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 4:20 AM
  14. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    If you want to view a version of a near perfect (fictional) socialist society then look to the Earth of Star Trek TNG. Following the near destruction of our world in a 3rd world war, and subsequent contact with a more enlightened race, people are there all considered equals. There is no poverty and no hunger because resources are distributed fairly and people work for the betterment of themselves and humanity. The "Carrot and stick" are redundant. There is no drive to be rich because there is no money or consumerism. The only way to gain social status or respect is by contributing your labour, intellect or art to society. If you don't contribute you will survive but be a bored "nobody.

    Such a society is sadly a utopian dream, but some of the principles of socialism are necessary if we are to survive the next century.
     
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  15. Nauti

    Nauti Active Member

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    Perhaps, but the version I believe in, is not enforced, by outside "policy" .
    The version I believe in, relies on freedom not mandates; and good will, not judging without due evidence or process.
    The version I believe in is congruent with personal values and time honoured values and proceeds cautiously and with careful study of history and the wisdom of elders who earn our trust and admiration.
     
  16. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    That's what true socialism is though. It can only be enacted by the willful agency of the people. Everyone must believe in it and understand how they benefit from it or it cannot function. The moment someone thinks they are better or more deserving than another, it fails. We're too flawed as a species.

    The reason the attempts at so-called socialism we have seen so far have failed is because they were forced and with force comes loss of agency. Just as you cannot force everyone to follow a particular faith without proof, you cannot force cooperation in a political or economic system without proof of benefit.

    A true socialist society would offer the most freedom of all, because everyone would be free to use their talents for the greatest benefit without worrying about having enough money to survive or be greedy.

    What you describe is social monetarism which is the closest we're likely to get and can work providing enough checks and balances are in place. A society where you still have to work to thrive, but can still survive if you are prevented from working by disability, health or lack of opportunity. Social care and health care provided by the state along with all essential infrastructure and utilities.

    People are still free to make profit but not to the point where it hurts others. Regulation ensures ethics and prevents exploitation. That's what most "lefties" believe in, not bolshevism nor the socialist utopia we talked of earlier. Not "state control" but ethical, responsible, cooperative state responsibility for essentials of life in modern society whilst retaining individual freedoms within a morally based legal system.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 8:44 AM
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  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Do you see how paradoxical your statement is? It's entirely unrealistic to ever assume that a single ideal can be adopted and accepted by all of body politic. It just won't ever happen. Precisely because we're too flawed as a species. - Your words. Mine as well.

    Much like the mathematical relationship between supply, demand and earnings we fall back on democracy as well. Another flawed concept, but one based on only mathematical majorities to achieve a consensus. Two concepts that don't depend on the nature of man at all. Just the numbers. Cold, cruel to some and impartial to others. But they don't depend on lofty ideals of any kind that man ultimately cannot live up to.

    I won't go as far to say these concepts "work", but rather only to explain why they continue to be perpetuated in modern society. Where alternatives to the contrary so far have been proven to be every bit as flawed as man himself. It's why I often wonder if there really aren't any viable alternatives that don't involve lofty perceptions of man that man himself simply cannot live up to.

    It's why I will always revere the words of Thomas Hobbes over John Locke- every time. That I lean towards the reality that with whatever philosophy or system one espouses, that such a concept must inevitably accommodate the nature of man rather than seek to transcend it. It's no accident in political science that in most cases the very first concepts a student is exposed to aren't a discussion of all those "isms", but rather the nature of man and his alleged "inalienable rights". Opposing concepts which inevitably dictate the outcome of so many other philosophies.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 11:10 AM
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  18. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I don't think socialism is automatically oppressive.

    It becomes oppressive when it is mixed with things like dictatorship, fascism and violence....virtually any political ideology can be corrupted by such things.
     
  19. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Err... Yes ;) That's the point I've been making throughout this thread. The question was about the appeal of socialism. I tried to answer whilst also, at every step, pointing out it's fatal flaw - that of human nature.

    Socialism is an idealist dream, as we discussed elsewhere, and is unlikely to ever get a chance barring a planet wide catastrophe that forces rebuilding, an even then will likely be undermined by the same forces that are driving us all to the brink right now.

    I've attempted to explain the concept of the "ism" along with it's unlikely prospects of becoming reality. Knowing what something is and acknowledging it's attraction does not correlate to believing in it's viability.

    I would rather live in a Socialist anarchy than a totalitarian Capitalist dystopia that characterizes greed as freedom as we do now, but Man's selfishness will likely always drag us towards the latter in an endless cycle of repression and revolution. Sad but true :(
     
  20. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Yes- man himself characterizes greed, with or without any "ism's" economic or political "blueprint".

    Though in my own country what concerns me greatly is how the middle class (if there really is such a thing) perceives and defines wealth based on what is in ones' possession as opposed to one's actual net worth.

    In this instance IMO the alleged "middle class" is really quite poor. Where the absence of one to three paychecks can put an entire family on the street.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019 at 11:52 AM