- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Socialism is the common ownership of the means of production.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on July 19, 1999 at 14:28:18:

In Reply to: socialism = economic freedom posted by Nikhil Jaikumar on July 16, 1999 at 03:17:04:

: You evidently have no idea what socialism is. Socialism is the common and democratic ownership of the means of production, to be used in the interests of people instead of profits. It is thus incompatible with a command economy.

DonS: Socialism is the common ownership of the means of production. It is a social-economic system, and by no means has to be democratic.

: Market socialism is what they had in Yugoslavia, to some extent, or what they're tryoing to build in Eritrea. A significant part of teh economy is owned by teh people, but these industries are expected to make a profit. It's not perfect because it still forces companies to obey the dictates of teh market (possibly to lay off workers, etc.) but it is at leats better than market capitalism.

DonS: Sounds kinda like fascism to me. In fact, IT IS FASCISM, if these private companies are government controlled! "Market socialism" is an oxymoron. The correct term is "fascism", it's just that modern socialists have a bad impression of fascism due to the '30s brand of nationalistic fascism, that they refuse to see the close relationship between fascism and socialism.

DonS: A good example of the closeness of fascism and socialism is FDR's New Deal. It was supported by the American Communist Party, but it can also be seen as being fascist in nature. The New Deal was a step towards socialism--but it was also a step towards fascism.

: A regulated mixed economy is fascism? Are you joking? fascism refers toa specific political system, in which a conservative dictatorship is run with the broad support of the business class and on the basis of nationalism. As such, "socialist fascism" is an oxymoron. A regulated moixed ecvonomy siu what they have in india, teh world's largest democracy.

DonS: Fascism is a social-economic system, just as socialism is. In socialism, the means of production is owned by the government. In fascism, it is mostly privitly owned, but publicly controlled. Fascism is the "middle path" between capitalism and socialism. Fascism does not define the political system explicitly any more than socialism or capitalism does. In principle, any one can be democratic, republican, monarchist, or dictorial. Nazism is a specific form of fascism which is highly nationalistic and dictorial, just as communism is a specific form of socialism which is internationalist and highly centralized.

DonS: India is not a true democracy, but rather a republic.

: So you are not a supporter of economic democracy? Do you not like political democracy either/ or do you like having no control over your labor power, seeing the fruits of your work go to line the pockets of your boss?

DonS: Above all else, I support individual freedom. I live in a nation that was intended to be a constitutional republic with strict limits on federal power--the US. Most of the limits on federal power have eroded, and while the US remains a republic it is no longer a *constitutional republic*. The federal government is clearly the greatest threat to my rights.

DonS: I think the term "economic democracy" is nonsense. Democracy is a political system, not an economic one. Democracy means everyone votes on every issue. No modern nation state is a true democracy. No large nation state could operate as a democracy. The most democratic way to run an economic system is the free-market, where each individual consumer makes his own, personal decisions. I know this is not what you mean whan you say "economic democracy". You mean some sort of socialist system, which means government control of the economy. Which leads to a failing system and a loss of personal freedom.

DonS: As far as having "no control over my labor power", I do in fact have control. I can leave my job and go someplace else if I decide I don't like my current job. The "fruits of my labor lining the pockets of my boss"? The fruits of my labor also line my pocket. The fruits of my boss's labor also line my pocket. The relationship between my boss and me is mutually beneficial. It it fails to be so in the future, either one of us can sever the relationship.

DonS: What I resent are the fruits of my labor lining the government's pockets. What I resent are those people on welfare who are fit to work but who would rather stay at home and collect the fruits of *my* labor. My boss works for his money; he also helps to make my job, and the company I work for, possible. If he is paid too much (more than his market value), the company will pay in the end. The "capitalist pig" investors will pay for the mistake. Not me. I can find another job.


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