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Jens
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« Reply #50 on: June 25, 2004, 04:09:28 pm »

Jens,

I refer you to my last post in which I explained to Al why I feel that the socialism of which you and he speak is purely theoretical and has no practical application because it is counter intuitive to human nature. No nation that has fully adopted socialist principles has ever turned out to be anything other than a dictatorship, where precious few control the resources and the thought process of the vast majority.
I think you and I strongly disagree on what socialism is. I would never call the tvisted societies in USSR, China, North Korea or Eastern Europe socialist. They were autoritarian with on respect for human life and failed to acomplish anything near a society containing socialist values.
I think Britain or Spain is closer to incorporate core socialist values in their society than USSR ever were. The USSR forcefully made other countries subcribe to its believes and failed to listen to the people.
Claiming that an ideology is counter to human nature no matter what kind of ideology we are talking about is not a valid argument.
We humans make our own ideologies and whether you like like the ideology or not, does not make it counter intuitive to human nature, because that we ourself define.
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MarkDel
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« Reply #51 on: June 25, 2004, 06:50:58 pm »
« Edited: June 25, 2004, 06:52:47 pm by MarkDel »

Jens,

OK...you and Al both seem to be missing the point, so I guess I'll have to go back and walk you through this. Since you both seem to think I am misinterpreting the definition of socialism, let me start there and see if I can walk you through the argument.

Socialism--An economic and social system where production and ownership of goods and services is controlled by the state rather than private enterprise. This system is characterized by its belief in the utility of goods solely for benefit of society rather than profit. The goal being to create a society that is essentially classless, where individual wealth is subverted in favor of the common good, with government playing the most important role in determining the methods and levels of production. Socialism representing the transitional period between Capitalism and Communism, the latter being the inevitable conclusion of socialist implementation. The final stage being complete equitable redistribution of goods, services and wealth.

Can we agree, that this is the historical definition of socialism? It's not out of a textbook, but a paraphrase of what I've learned over many years of study on this subject. If you say "no" then we probably have very little else to discuss because you have ignored several hundred years of history that went into that definition.
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W in 2004
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« Reply #52 on: June 25, 2004, 07:59:40 pm »

Jens,

Yes, I'm quite aware of what feudalism is, so I don't need your lectures or any outside reading references. It's painfully clear from your post that my comment went way over your head.
No need to become condescending!

Al,

Come on, I know you're a smart guy. Forget for a minute that you and Jens are in love with theoretical bullsh*t and then go back and read what I said again. This has nothing to do with DEFINITIONS or THEORY...I am way past that. I'm talking about the practical impact of application of socialism on average citizens...try thinking in the real world and outside the cozy confines of the classroom.
The reason why I became a socialist has nothing to do with any cozy classrooms. I grew up in an area where the harsh economic politics of the conservative government in the eighties createted widespred poverty and enormous social problems. That was good people who had been working hard all their life who lost their jobs and the government didn't cared, because it wasn't their core voters. I say that uncontrolled marked ecomony creates social inequality and I believe that every human counts. In a democratic socialist society (not China or USSR - they only had a socialist facade) everybody should get a change to do his best - It should be a question about abillity not where you are from or your daddys surname!

I wonder how conservative the “conservative” government in Denmark in the eighties was.  I agree with you that “everybody should get a chance to do his best.”  That is why I am a free market capitalist.  I believe that in a true free market environment (the United States does not have that environment right now) someone who takes personal responsibility can reach their highest potential.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #53 on: June 26, 2004, 03:15:35 am »

Socialism--An economic and social system where production and ownership of goods and services is controlled by the state rather than private enterprise. This system is characterized by its belief in the utility of goods solely for benefit of society rather than profit. The goal being to create a society that is essentially classless, where individual wealth is subverted in favor of the common good, with government playing the most important role in determining the methods and levels of production. Socialism representing the transitional period between Capitalism and Communism, the latter being the inevitable conclusion of socialist implementation. The final stage being complete equitable redistribution of goods, services and wealth.

Can we agree, that this is the historical definition of socialism? It's not out of a textbook, but a paraphrase of what I've learned over many years of study on this subject. If you say "no" then we probably have very little else to discuss because you have ignored several hundred years of history that went into that definition.

Ah. Marxism. Oh dear.
I'm no marxist and I would disagree that marxism=socialism.
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Jens
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« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2004, 03:53:55 am »

Socialism--An economic and social system where production and ownership of goods and services is controlled by the state rather than private enterprise. This system is characterized by its belief in the utility of goods solely for benefit of society rather than profit. The goal being to create a society that is essentially classless, where individual wealth is subverted in favor of the common good, with government playing the most important role in determining the methods and levels of production. Socialism representing the transitional period between Capitalism and Communism, the latter being the inevitable conclusion of socialist implementation. The final stage being complete equitable redistribution of goods, services and wealth.

Can we agree, that this is the historical definition of socialism? It's not out of a textbook, but a paraphrase of what I've learned over many years of study on this subject. If you say "no" then we probably have very little else to discuss because you have ignored several hundred years of history that went into that definition.

Ah. Marxism. Oh dear.
I'm no marxist and I would disagree that marxism=socialism.
I agree with Al on this on. I don't agree with Marxist Dialectics and its predestination.
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MarkDel
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« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2004, 10:13:40 am »

Al and Jens,

Gee, that's nice that you guys have an alternate definition of socialism, but I think you'll find that 99% of the respected academic and legal scholars in the world would define socialism in roughly the same terms that I have. Sorry fellas, but that IS the historical definition no matter how much you guys want it to be your watered down, 21st Century Euro, pseudo-leftist definition.

So how would you two define socialism?

PS--Go find a dictionary or read any historical interpretation and you will see that I'm right
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #56 on: June 26, 2004, 10:15:13 am »

"I have said, both in writing and from the platform many times, that the impetus which drove me first into the Labour movement, and the inspiration which has carried me on in it, has been derived more from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth than from all other sources combined"
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MarkDel
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« Reply #57 on: June 26, 2004, 10:16:35 am »

"I have said, both in writing and from the platform many times, that the impetus which drove me first into the Labour movement, and the inspiration which has carried me on in it, has been derived more from the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth than from all other sources combined"

Al,

That's nice, but what exactly does that have to do with your definition of socialism?
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MarkDel
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« Reply #58 on: June 27, 2004, 06:56:05 am »

Al and Jens,

What happened to you guys in this thread? I thought you were supposed to come back and tell me, the dictionary and the respected academicians of the world why we have the wrong definiton of socialism?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2004, 07:28:18 am »

Al and Jens,

What happened to you guys in this thread? I thought you were supposed to come back and tell me, the dictionary and the respected academicians of the world why we have the wrong definiton of socialism?

I suppose a simple answer would be a belief in community, equality, social justice, compassion and so on.
Remember the first man to be called a socialist was Robert Owen.
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StatesRights
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« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2004, 10:00:45 am »

It's Nationalize no 's'.
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MarkDel
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« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2004, 09:54:18 pm »

It's Nationalize no 's'.

LOL!!!

Yeah, the Euro boys are not allowed to use "s" instead of "z" again until they come in here and defend their indefensible misinterpretation of the word "socialism"
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #62 on: June 28, 2004, 05:29:11 am »

It's Nationalize no 's'.

LOL!!!

Yeah, the Euro boys are not allowed to use "s" instead of "z" again until they come in here and defend their indefensible misinterpretation of the word "socialism"

Er... I just have.
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Jens
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« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2004, 10:59:42 am »

Al and Jens,

What happened to you guys in this thread? I thought you were supposed to come back and tell me, the dictionary and the respected academicians of the world why we have the wrong definiton of socialism?
You presented a rip of "Manifest der kommunistischen Partei" (the Communist Manifesto) that's classic Marxism.
I fail to see the hordes of academics that claim that the manifesto represents modern day socialism. No modern academic would claim that the todays socialism is based on the Marxist dialectics.
-
But if you would like to discuss the development of socialism thoughout history I'd love to participate Smiley

In the modern understanding of socialism - I think that Al and I are fairly close
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MarkDel
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« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2004, 01:47:13 pm »

Jens,

Go buy a dictionary and read the definition of socialism. Go ask a respected professor what the historical definition of socialism is...you won't like the answer.
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Michael Z
Mike
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« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2004, 04:01:22 pm »
« Edited: June 28, 2004, 04:02:51 pm by Michael Z »

I suppose socialism, in the strictest definition of the word, means state ownership of industry, but throughout the decades it has been warped and realigned so many times that by now it means many different things to many different people.
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WMS
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« Reply #66 on: June 28, 2004, 09:27:19 pm »

Well, this thread sure got interesting in my absence...

How was it brutal? What atrocities were committed?

How is the current government better?

Why is everyone poorer now?
The Smith-regime forcefully moved parts of the population and burned their villages. The regime refuged to give the majority of the population the right to selfdetermination and waged war against those who tried to claim that right. Rhodesia attacted its nabour countries on several occations and armed and trained RENAMO, effectively initiating a very brutal civil war in Mozambique.
I am not claiming that the recent Mugabe-regime is much better, but until he snapped around 1996-97 and sent troops to Zaire, Zimbabwe had been the most important country in the battle against Apartheid and played a very important role in SADCC (Today SADC). You have to see the nuances.
When it comes to poverty one of the reasons is Mugabes politics and AIDS/HIV, but another reason is that most of the wealth was concentrated on very few hands who got their money out of the country very fast hurting those who has not got the means to leave.
Claiming that "Mugabe is a lot worse, and it's not even debatable" is a too simplistic conclution on a very complex situation

A point or two for Jens...
1. You are aware that in the process of "land reform", it just so happened that Mugabe and his cronies coincidentally grabbed all the best land for themselves, right?
2. And as for events before 1996-1997, why don't you ask the Ndebele about what kind of person Mugabe was, eh? "Tens of thousands massacred", right?
3. And for that matter, isn't Mugabe's favoritism toward the Shona awfully like Rhodesia's apartheid?

Typical bloody Third World story: The "Revolutionary Party" takes power, wins the first election, and decides there's no need for real multiparty democracy since things are going so well under their enlightened rule...the economy shrinks, but the leaders' bank accounts don't. Repression and stagnation, all blamed on those naughty white Westerners.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat...and that's the Third World!
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Jens
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« Reply #67 on: July 01, 2004, 10:22:18 am »

Jens,

Go buy a dictionary and read the definition of socialism. Go ask a respected professor what the historical definition of socialism is...you won't like the answer.
This is getting a bit silly.
It doesn't really matter how Marx defines the word "Socialism" back in 1849. What is important is the breakup of the 1st internationale and the splinter between the orthodox communist parties and the social democratic parties. The first defined socialism as you did in your earlier post - the second did not accept the Marxist dialectics aka the inevitabel triumph of Communism.
I think that you need to update your definitions! Wink and remember that definitions don't last forever
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Jens
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« Reply #68 on: July 01, 2004, 10:50:24 am »

Splendid, back on track
Well, this thread sure got interesting in my absence...

How was it brutal? What atrocities were committed?

How is the current government better?

Why is everyone poorer now?
The Smith-regime forcefully moved parts of the population and burned their villages. The regime refuged to give the majority of the population the right to selfdetermination and waged war against those who tried to claim that right. Rhodesia attacted its nabour countries on several occations and armed and trained RENAMO, effectively initiating a very brutal civil war in Mozambique.
I am not claiming that the recent Mugabe-regime is much better, but until he snapped around 1996-97 and sent troops to Zaire, Zimbabwe had been the most important country in the battle against Apartheid and played a very important role in SADCC (Today SADC). You have to see the nuances.
When it comes to poverty one of the reasons is Mugabes politics and AIDS/HIV, but another reason is that most of the wealth was concentrated on very few hands who got their money out of the country very fast hurting those who has not got the means to leave.
Claiming that "Mugabe is a lot worse, and it's not even debatable" is a too simplistic conclution on a very complex situation

A point or two for Jens...
1. You are aware that in the process of "land reform", it just so happened that Mugabe and his cronies coincidentally grabbed all the best land for themselves, right?

1. I know and to make it even sillier some of the "Veterans" that claimed the land wasn't even born in 1980! I support the idea of a land reform in Zimbabwe but not the way Mugabe did.

2. And as for events before 1996-1997, why don't you ask the Ndebele about what kind of person Mugabe was, eh? "Tens of thousands massacred", right?

I will not defend Mugabe nor ZANU's actions. The attacts on the Ndebele in the 80' was yet another example of brutal "nationbuilding" and should have been stopped. - But I still belive that he went bananas around 1996-97 when he witnessed other longtime dictators or semi-dictators like Banda in Malawi and Kaunda in Zambia lose their powers and face trial.


3. And for that matter, isn't Mugabe's favoritism toward the Shona awfully like Rhodesia's apartheid?
You cannot compare Apartheid with favoritism towards one etnic group. Apartheid was a sick system based on separation between the "races" and the idea of white supremacy.
The ZANU fought most of the liberation war in Shona lands and much of the ideology merged with the traditional Shona symbolic world thus creating a strong connection between the Shonas and ZANU.


Typical bloody Third World story: The "Revolutionary Party" takes power, wins the first election, and decides there's no need for real multiparty democracy since things are going so well under their enlightened rule...the economy shrinks, but the leaders' bank accounts don't. Repression and stagnation, all blamed on those naughty white Westerners.
As said earlier Zimbabwe was during quite well in the 80' and 90' but yes with a lot of corruption and bad management.
I don't know what kind of money Mugabe has in offshore accounts but probably some (like Mobutu, Bukassa, Baby Doc, Mengistu or any other terrible man around the 3th world kept alive by people thinkin a bit too much about realpolitik and not about the people living in those countries).
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WMS
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« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2004, 11:49:15 pm »

Sorry for the delay!

Splendid, back on track
Well, this thread sure got interesting in my absence...

[snip snip for space]

A point or two for Jens...
1. You are aware that in the process of "land reform", it just so happened that Mugabe and his cronies coincidentally grabbed all the best land for themselves, right?

1. I know and to make it even sillier some of the "Veterans" that claimed the land wasn't even born in 1980! I support the idea of a land reform in Zimbabwe but not the way Mugabe did.

Yes, I've heard about those veterans! Insane, eh? And the best land reform I've ever heard of was Taiwan's, where they bought off the big landowners, who went into business and grew the economy while the common people got their land. Expensive, though...

Quote
2. And as for events before 1996-1997, why don't you ask the Ndebele about what kind of person Mugabe was, eh? "Tens of thousands massacred", right?

I will not defend Mugabe nor ZANU's actions. The attacts on the Ndebele in the 80' was yet another example of brutal "nationbuilding" and should have been stopped. - But I still belive that he went bananas around 1996-97 when he witnessed other longtime dictators or semi-dictators like Banda in Malawi and Kaunda in Zambia lose their powers and face trial.

From bad to worse...OK, that's possible, and for the reasons you state. Kaunda in Zambia is one of my favorites - the social democratic Movement for Multy-party Democracy uses some force to prevent the extreme left United National Independence Party from ever taking power again. The center-left vs. the far left! Fun! Wink

Quote
3. And for that matter, isn't Mugabe's favoritism toward the Shona awfully like Rhodesia's apartheid?
You cannot compare Apartheid with favoritism towards one etnic group. Apartheid was a sick system based on separation between the "races" and the idea of white supremacy.
The ZANU fought most of the liberation war in Shona lands and much of the ideology merged with the traditional Shona symbolic world thus creating a strong connection between the Shonas and ZANU.

Well, I tend to agree with the position that the Boers are, basically, a white African tribe. Don't they actually have considerable amounts of black African blood in them? I've heard their answer to that is "well, it's Zulu blood", which shows ya how silly it all was. Now of the Rhodesians aren't Boer, then whoops on my part. Smiley A sick system, yes, but not that different from what tribes do to each other in places such as...Nigeria (Hausa-Fulani oppression against Ibos, Yorubas, etc.), Rwanda/Burundi (pick your flavor from the Tutsi and Hutu), and so on. And I didn't know about that second paragraph at all - thanks!

Quote
Typical bloody Third World story: The "Revolutionary Party" takes power, wins the first election, and decides there's no need for real multiparty democracy since things are going so well under their enlightened rule...the economy shrinks, but the leaders' bank accounts don't. Repression and stagnation, all blamed on those naughty white Westerners.
As said earlier Zimbabwe was during quite well in the 80' and 90' but yes with a lot of corruption and bad management.
I don't know what kind of money Mugabe has in offshore accounts but probably some (like Mobutu, Bukassa, Baby Doc, Mengistu or any other terrible man around the 3th world kept alive by people thinkin a bit too much about realpolitik and not about the people living in those countries).

Fair enough - look what Obote, Amin, and Okello did to Uganda! And that was the fault of the Islamic/Arab world, in part, due to their support for Amin (who died in his gilded exile in Saudi Arabia). I didn't have much use for Nyerere's Tanzanian leftist one-party state, but thank God they beat Amin's forces in their war...of course, they reinstalled Obote, who then proceeded to match Amin's brutal record, but sometimes you just can't win - see Liberia and the Congo, which went into the abyss even after brutal dictators were overthrown... Sad
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cwelsch
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« Reply #70 on: July 17, 2004, 06:05:48 am »

Socialists think capitalist means greedy robber barons using the state to limit competition and destroy individual effort, maximizing welath into the hands of the few.

Laissez-faire capitalists (especially libertarians and anarcho-capitalists) think socialist means state intervention into the economy for any reason, whether nationalistic, selfish or idealistic, and anything stomping on the free market principles.

So instead of socialist I just say anti-market.  Most aristocrats and uber-rich people are moderate interventionists on the economy.  Why not?  They can actually afford taxes and usually think it's their obligation to throw a few dollars at poor people.  It's usually the middle class that really buys into laissez-faire, although in America I notice a lot of lower-middle class people that are intensely offended by welfare and socialism, like it's calling them stupid or weak.

Anyway, say interventionist, authoritarian, anti-market, something like that.  Just avoids having to define socialist when clearly there are plenty of Europeans who buy into it.  It's a lot easier to argue the point with Americans, most of whom consider "socialist" just this side of "Nazi" even if they advocate the exact same thing as classical or contemporary European socialists.
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cwelsch
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« Reply #71 on: July 17, 2004, 06:08:34 am »

I suppose socialism, in the strictest definition of the word, means state ownership of industry, but throughout the decades it has been warped and realigned so many times that by now it means many different things to many different people.

The original European socialists were anarchist-leaning, same as the original European liberals.  Nationalization and regulation are the manifestation more of policies like the German SDP, then the UK Labor, and similar state socialist parties.  The fact that academics and observers feel the need to add the modifier "state" in front of socialist should suggest that it might have a very different meaning alone.
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