- Capitalism and Alternatives -

I do not claim that Soviet style socialism is the only type.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on July 21, 1999 at 12:59:29:

In Reply to: One has to wonder posted by Samuel Day Fassbinder on July 20, 1999 at 10:53:04:

: : (Don): Socialism is the common ownership of the means of production. State ownership is one form of "common ownership". I fail to see why socialism must be moneyless, democratic, or international.

: SDF: Well, since Don has already told us it's stupid to equate the state with the people, we've got to wonder what to think of this above definition of "state ownership" as "common ownership". Let's go over the facts. State ownership is by Don's own definition NOT ownership by the people. And, presumably, ownership by the people (as opposed to ownership by a few people) is "common ownership". So, transitively, state ownership is not common ownership, unless one is stupid. Or maybe it's a good thing to be stupid, by Don's estimation.

Don: In socialist nation states such as the USSR, common ownership was as much a fiction as the idea that "the people are the government" is in the US. After all, if you were a citizen in the USSR, you couldn't just decide to take off for a joyride in a MiG 29, could you? The MiG in fact belonged to your government, and you had no say in its use.

Don: Nevertheless, I fail to see how common ownership could work when you get to something larger than a village. Common ownership works fine at a family level, and get increasingly difficult with larger groups. At some point socialists define state ownership as common ownership, but it is just a fiction. It is perhaps true that the USSR never attained "true" socialism, but it is as close as anyone is likely to get.

: One REALLY has to wonder, therefore, where this propaganda-definition of "socialism" comes from. Shall we define "socialism" as ONLY being this bogeyman form of obsolete Stalinist dictatorship, that's mostly died out in the world since the Soviet regime collapsed, while at the same time pretending that it's ruining the world?

Don: Most of the worst places in the world suffer because they retain Marxist concepts. Capitalism has cought on much better with the Czechs than the Russians, because the Czechs never bought into Marxist ideas in the first place, and were always very much capitalist at heart. Russia is having trouble shaking the old, bad, ideas.

Don: I do not claim that Soviet style socialism is the only type. I do believe that the Soviets made a genuine attempt to creat a Marxist society (Stalin notwithstanding), even if it did fail. I think all attempts to creat a true Marxist or socialist system will fail, because it is not a system consistant with human nature.

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