Whether in government, commerce or industry, the end product of any monopoly will increase exponentially in cost while decreasing exponentially in value. Socialism is the mother of all monopolies. One management system covers all three. The people who run a monopoly live high, but the end result of any monopoly is bankruptcy. When the public can no longer endure, neither ballot boxes nor courts can be used in a socialist country to bring about change, since both are under the same management system as the problem.
How well does man fit in the culture called socialism. We use the Socialist Party principles as a means of examination. Bold type will be the quotation from the principles. Italics will be our discussion.
Socialism As Radical Democracy
The SP Statement of Principles
The Socialist Party strives to establish a radical democracy that places people's lives under their own control -- a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in the community.
Most people will cooperate, regardless of the form of government. Many will not, regardless of the form of government, but to expect all people to be non-racist, classless, and feminist is pushing everyone into the same mold. This subtracts from individual freedom. Many people rebel from being taught how to think or what to believe. A man may be racist and chauvinistic but still act properly. The socialist thought control is repulsive to any free man. Almost all people, on the other hand, may be taught how to act. Some men can live as herd animals. Many can't. The 'movers and shakers' will either take charge of the movement (and destroy the classless objective-the usual case), or be criminal against it (most crimes perpetrated in socialist governments are by the officials themselves).
Socialism is not mere government ownership, a welfare state, or a repressive bureaucracy.
This is a denial of that which is inevitable in socialism.
Socialism is a new social and economic order in which workers and consumers control production and community residents control their neighborhoods, homes, and schools.
There is no better consumer control of the production of goods than the use of supply and demand. All other methods run the risk of the wrong goods being produced. Having the workers control the production work in the plant is not unusual, having them decide what to produce and how much is idiocy. Only the market place can do that well. The idea of community residents controlling their neighborhoods, homes and schools is not unique to the socialist form of government, and is a good idea regardless of the form of government.
The production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few.
There is no better way to produce goods for the consumer than by catering to the consumers demands. There is no better way to control the costs of those goods than by having many compete in producing these goods. Free enterprise provides both of these advantages. The profit made by those who produce in free enterprise is far less than the amount wasted in producing them under a bureaucracy (or the amount stolen by the inevitable corrupt official).
Socialism produces a constantly renewed future by not plundering the resources of the earth.
Easy to say, hard to do. Nobody is going to solve this problem without population control, socialist or not.
Under capitalist and "Communist" states, people have little control over fundamental areas of their lives. The capitalist system forces workers to sell their abilities and skills to the few who own the workplaces, profit from these workers' labor, and use the government to maintain their privileged position. Under Communist states, decisions are made by Communist Party officials, the bureaucracy and the military. The inevitable product of each system is a class society with gross inequality of privileges, a draining of the productive wealth and goods of the society into military purposes, environmental pollution, and war in which workers are compelled to fight other workers.
This is called "Marxist rhetoric". Don't solve the problem, point the finger and call names. Either of these systems described, and including socialism, can be made to work. The meek and incompetent will live the same in all three. The difference is that only free enterprise gives the freedom and the opportunity for the hyperactive ones to vent their energy in a constructive way, one which benefits all of us. Under socialism, these must be brain-washed into plodding along. Under communism, they either become party leaders or they are shot. Besides, you people should read your Marx: once socialism is established, communism is inevitable.
People across the world need to cast off the systems which oppress them, and build a new world fit for all humanity.
Amen! The oppression of the people of the world of today is the result of cultures based on instinct and dogma. Remove these shackles! Give every human being a chance at the brass ring! Teach them only provable knowledge! Let them learn what their true position is in this universe! Teach them how to live within a culture, not how to destroy it! Hand them the challenge! Then stand back and let them succeed or fail! My bet is that few will fail. Socialist regimentation is not the answer.
Democratic revolutions are needed to dissolve the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government.
To shift all power, both economic and political, to the same group of leaders does not solve this problem. It, in fact, gives a monopoly to the government, one which has no system of accountability. Under a democratic free-enterprise system, most ranking economic and political leaders are the result of a merit system. Under a socialistic system, all leaders are the result of a political system. Since the system is classless, there is only one party. Since there is only one party, there can be no democracy. Trading the problem we have for a worse one is no solution. Abolishing inheritance and gifts within families is a solution worth considering, but the loss of incentive might result in a loss in production greater than allowing some to be born with a silver spoon. Confiscation of all private property is certainly the greatest disincentive that can be imagined, especially when political figures always manage to form another (and somehow exempt) class.
By revolution we mean a radical and fundamental change in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations. The building of socialism requires widespread understanding and participation, and will not be achieved by an elite working "on behalf of" the people. Radical democracy is the cornerstone not only of our socialism, but also of our strategy. Here are the main features of each:
I get a real sinking feeling reading this. I'll take the freedom of free enterprise any old day. I'm willing to sink or swim on my own ability. I found the competition of life exhilarating. I worked hard and enjoyed every minute of it. I had many more failures than successes. That made the successes feel even better. If I had the chance, I'd do it again. Take that away from man and it deprives him of a lot that is alive. I shudder to think of man returning to the herd status of the africanus herbivore.
Freedom & Equality
Democratic socialism is a political and economic system with freedom and equality for all, so that people may develop to their fullest potential in harmony with others. The Socialist Party is committed to full freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion, and to a multi-party system. We are dedicated to the abolition of male supremacy and class society, and to the elimination of all forms of oppression, including those based on race, national origin, age, sexual preferences, and disabling conditions.
None of these things are problems solved uniquely by socialism. All except the classless society are currently covered by our law. That factor has never been done in any culture. The Chinese even tried to remove rank from its military. The result was a disaster. Is a classless society wise? Will you make the bum dress up? Or will you require the rest of us to dress down? There is a lie here also. If a society is classless, how can it embrace multiple religions and political parties?
Production For Use, Not For Profit
In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups. The primary goal of economic activity is to provide the necessities of life, including food, shelter, health care, education, child care, cultural opportunities, and social services.
Since there is no incentive for efficiency in any bureaucracy, it becomes evermore inefficient. Socialist bureaucracies are even worse. Since no one is paid extra for sticking his neck out, no one does. When the government is your landlord, don't look for a smiling face when you complain about maintenance. Don't look for any maintenance either. A food supermarket has no place in socialism.
A socialist culture provides the bare essentials and nothing else. I'd have to give up that fancy motor home of mine. You guys with the boats better get ready to turn them over to the government. Those bigwigs will need recreation. Forget the trip south, this winter, the Comrade in Charge of Recreation For Tired Workers may have a little trouble getting around to you. Worst of all, Drambuie would be available only on the black market, and you'd need to sneak it into the house in a brown paper bag. The mid-Victorians were a wild bunch compared to these couch potatoes.
Why provide child care when the mother is paid the same to stay home with her children? Why bother with education if all of the jobs are interchangeable and assignable and pay the same?
These social services include care for the chronically ill, persons with mental disabilities, the infirm and the aging. Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.
Same layers of bureaucrats, even more inefficiency. One problem with socialism is that there is no way to measure the government's cut. They get it all first. At least we have a tax bill that we can bitch about.
Under welfare capitalism, a reserve pool of people is kept under-educated, under-skilled and unemployed, largely along racial and gender lines, to exert pressure on those who are employed and on organized labor. The employed pay for this knife that capitalism holds to their throats by being taxed to fund welfare programs to maintain the unemployed and their children. In this way the working class is divided against itself; those with jobs and those without are separated by resentment and fear. In socialism, full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work.
We established welfare because you people called us heartless, insensitive and uncaring. Now you claim the only reason we did it was to take advantage of them. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't.
In political parlance, this paragraph is called a spin. The fact is, under our free-enterprise system, we wish those lazy bums would go to school and learn how to do something besides smoke pot and make babies. We have real work for them to do. Unless the socialists also allow pimping and drug running, they won't have any jobs these people can do either. I notice that China doesn't have any unemployment. You either work where you are told on the outside or you work in prison. (Come to think of it, that idea is only half bad). If a government is going to guarantee full employment then it must reserve the right to tell the worker which job he gets. Early on in each individual's life, the electorate decides who goes on to school and who gets the lifetime job cleaning out the stables. What happened to individual freedom? One more thing: Have you noticed that we have a six per cent unemployment rate and a twenty something welfare rate. Does that mean that most of those bums are not out looking for work?
Worker & Community Control
Democracy in daily life is the core of our socialism. Public ownership becomes a fraud if decisions are made by distant bureaucrats or authoritarian managers. In socialist society power resides in worker-managed and cooperative enterprises. Community-based cooperatives help provide the flexibility and innovation required in a dynamic socialist economy. Workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions.
Making a living in this world is hard. One must be efficient in the expenditure of his resources and the accumulation of income. Free enterprise requires a lot of work and worry. But it works and works well. You'll notice that these guys don't worry much about efficiency. They never mention the work. It's always the benefits that the individual gets, not the goods that the individual must produce. They rely on the division of all wealth. They don't seem to realize that dividing up zilch is still hunger city. Their entire social, industrial, commercial and governmental structure is political. Can you imagine what would happen to Ford if they were turned over to a bunch of politicians? Three model T's per month in no time.
Worker and community control make it possible to combine life at work, home and in the community into a meaningful whole for adults and children. Girls and boys are encouraged to grow up able to choose freely the shape of their lives and work without gender and racial stereotyping. Children are provided with the care, goods and services, and support that they need, and are protected from abuse.
These are lofty goals, goals more apt to be attainable in a rich society than in a poor one. Most of the people of the world would love to trade places with our poorest. Equal opportunity builds wealth. Equality forces all to the lowest common denominator.
A socialist society carefully plans its way of life and technology to be a harmonious part of our natural environment. This planning takes place on regional, national, and international levels and covers the production of energy, the use of scarce resources, land-use planning, the prevention of pollution and the preservation of wildlife. The cleanup of the contaminated environment and the creation of a nuclear-free world are among the first tasks of a socialist society.
That careful central planning scares me. More bureaucrats than in the pentagon? Nobody will ever get in balance with nature without population control, and don't write-off nuclear fuels. It needs development, but eventually it's the way to go. Here again, though, fewer people means lower ecological costs.
Socialist feminism confronts the common root of sexism, racism, and classism: the determination of a life of oppression or privilege based on accidents of birth or circumstances. Socialist feminism is an inclusive way of creating social change. We value synthesis and cooperation rather than conflict and competition.
A color blind society is a must, no matter the form of government. I don't know what they mean by "social feminism", and I'm afraid to ask, but competition is not necessarily conflict. Teamwork while working hard is the old tribal way of getting things done. Getting it done better than the tribe next door adds spice.
We work against the exploitation of women who live with lower wages, inferior working conditions, and subordination in the home and in politics.
Regardless of the form of government, these undesirable things must be eliminated. As a matter of interest: Where do you find one of those wives that you can subordinate in the home? I haven't seen one yet. Mine helps me a lot in deciding what I ought to be doing. Back in the old days it was a man's world, but he did what his wife told him to do.
Socialists struggle for the full freedom of women and men to control their own bodies and determine their own sexual orientation. Women's independent organizations and caucuses are essential to full liberation, both before and after the transformation to socialism. Women will define their own liberation.
I wouldn't touch this paragraph with a ten foot pole.
Liberation of Oppressed Groups
Bigotry and discrimination help the ruling class divide, exploit, and abuse workers here and in the Third World. The Socialist Party works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in all its forms. We recognize the right of self-defense in the face of attacks; we also support non-violent direct action in combatting oppression. People of color, lesbians and gays, and other oppressed groups need independent organization to fight oppression. Racism will not be eliminated merely by eliminating capitalism.
None of these factors have anything to do with the form of government. This is merely (red) flag waving. That last statement is pure hogwash. Racism is instinctive, of tribal origin, and has nothing to do with economic or cultural structure. It can be minimized by building one big tribe with a common culture. Until then we must not allow overt racism and be strict about it.
International Solidarity & Peace
People around the world have more in common with each other than with their rulers. We condemn war, preparation for war, and the militaristic culture because they play havoc with people's lives and divert resources from constructive social projects. Militarism also concentrates even greater power in the hands of the few, the powerful and the violent. We align with no nation, but only with working people throughout the world.
Take this attitude and you'll soon be working for the first little shirt-tail dictator that comes along with a machine-gun. Nobody fights wars for fun. I was in WWII, the full four years. You'd now be making sauerkraut and shouting "Sig Heil" if we hadn't taken them on. And so would your communist Russian friends.
Socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The Socialist Party is democratic, with its structure and practices visible and accessible to all members.
Socialism combined with democracy is unstable. They may promise it, but they can't allow it. If they did, everybody would immediately vote himself a big salary and annual 52 week vacations. We are having that problem in this country now. Total up all of the votes of those on the dole and on the government payroll, and you'll see why our debt is rising and the size of the government keeps growing as more and more socialist programs are being instituted. The producers in this country are now a minority, and we lose at the polls, every time.
We reject dogma and promote internal debate. The Socialist Party is a "multi-tendency" organization. We orient ourselves around our principles and develop a common program, but our members have various underlying philosophies and views of the world. Solidarity within the party comes from the ability of those with divergent views on some issues to engage in a collective struggle towards social revolution.
The entire movement is based on dogma. The only scientific basis for the formation of a culture and its attendant government form, is a study of genetics and evolution. These people dream about what people are. A look at man and his development will tell you what a man is. And that last part about listening to anyone else is pure hokum. They are outraged with any views not their own.
We strive to develop feminist practice within the party.
I'll say one thing, these guys are really out to get the female vote.
Art is an integral part of daily life. It should not be treated as just a commodity produced by the activity of an elite group. Socialists work to create opportunities for participation in art and cultural activities. We work for the restoration and preservation of the history and culture of working people, women, and oppressed minorities.
Sounds good to me, but why is it unique to the socialist process?
The Personal as Political
Living under domination and struggling against it exact a personal toll. Socialists regard the distortion of personal life and interpersonal relations under capitalism as a political matter. Socialism must ultimately improve life; this cannot be accomplished by demanding that personal lives be sacrificed for the movement. We cherish the right of personal privacy and the enrichment of culture through diversity.
That last sentence shows the hypocrisy in socialism. The ultimate goal of socialism is a classless society, one in which all are equal. How, then, can they embrace diversity in anything? If a person does something different from another, they are no longer equal. They may be paid equally and they can be defined as equal, but they are not. The fact remains, no two human beings on this earth are equal. Why try to force them to be so? If you do not, then classes naturally form. Classes are inevitable in man, even in a socialist culture. The first thing that a man learns is how to classify. He spends his life classifying everything around him. Remove that ability and he ceases thinking-exactly what the socialists want.
Socialists participate in the electoral process to present socialist alternatives. The Socialist Party does not divorce electoral politics from other strategies for basic change. While a minority, we fight for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. When a majority we will rapidly introduce those changes which constitute socialism, with priority to the elimination of the power of big business through public ownership and workers' control.
Big business is already almost universally owned by the public. Buy a few shares and become an owner. Go to stock owners meetings and make a nuisance of yourself. You don't like working for someone else? Open your own business. And don't fool yourself, under socialism it will be the party bosses who run things (and rake a personal chunk off the top). And let the greedy ones own property, if they want to, as long as they pay their own way.
By participating in local government, socialists can support movements of working people and make improvements that illustrate the potential of public ownership. We support electoral action independent of the capitalist-controlled two-party system.
I big to differ. We don't have a two-party capitalist-controlled system. We have a pinko party called the republicans and a bright red one called the democrats. Both are to the left of Yeltsin and they closely straddle Castro. Both are in a race in driving us toward communism. Nobody owns property in this country any more. We rent it from the government (try not paying your taxes and see how fast you are evicted). We also don't earn salaries, our government skims it first then allows us to keep the bare amount to hold body and soul together so we may work another year for them (and all your socialist money transfer projects). This is exactly the same way the royalty worked with the serfs in the middle ages. Our socialist government often, in its socialist zeal, oversteps and kills the goose. Even now, communism is barely a proclamation away. If unannounced, no one would know the difference. Perhaps it has already happened.
Democratic Revolution From Below
No oppressed group has ever been liberated except by its own organized efforts to overthrow its oppressors. A society based on radical democracy, with power exercised through people's organizations, requires a socialist transformation from below. People's organizations cannot be created by legislation, nor can they spring into being only on the eve of a revolution. They can grow only in the course of popular struggles, especially those of women, labor, and minority groups. The Socialist Party works to build these organizations democratically.
Wait a minute. I'm a he-honky. Any room in there for me? They keep throwing that word "democratic" around. It's a feeling type word, like motherhood. It is used to balance the sting of the word "socialism." Name a socialist country that is democratic. They may vote, but with only one name on the ballot. They may like a multiple party system, but they never get one. They may deny the military, but it's the guns in a socialist country that hold it together.
The process of struggle profoundly shapes the ends achieved. Our tactics in the struggle for radical democratic change reflect our ultimate goal of a society founded on principles of egalitarian, non-exploitative and non-violent relations among all people and between all peoples.
Now if we can convince all of the aggressive foreign countries and the criminals in our own country to go along with this lofty plan, we can shut down all of those nasty military and police organization.
To be free we must create new patterns for our lives and live in new ways in the midst of a society that does not understand and is often hostile to new, better modes of life. Our aim is the creation of a new social order, a society in which the commanding value is the infinite preciousness of every woman, man and child.
How nice. Could I please ask about the rights of the unborn child?
Socialism is a con game. You take from here and you put it there. It works on the order of the chain letter. If everybody does what he is supposed to do, we all are rich. The problem is that people rarely do what they are supposed to do, unless it is to their individual advantage to do so. Who is going to empty the cess pools in their society? There are a lot of jobs that are not done for love. I'm an energetic guy, but if you convince me that my rewards will be the same if I loaf or work, I'd be another beer and tv bum. The Russians had a saying in the old Communist days: "They make believe that they are paying us, and we make believe we work."
Socialism appears to be a culture of losers, by losers and for losers. It is for people who do not wish to practice self-discipline, who do not wish to confront life and give it battle. It is sought by people who do not want responsibility, especially for their own actions. It is for people who want others to provide for them and control their every thought and action. It is the culture for those who see no need for individual dignity, drive, or purpose and who believe there is no other purpose for living than living. They would rather have everyone be a bum than to have someone with drive and purpose call anyone a bum. It would make a herd animal again of a proud and capable creature.
By unchaining man and allowing him to compete in the game of life, free enterprise emphasizes man's productivity. Such nations are wealthy (USA, Japan, Germany, England, France). They'd be a lot wealthier if they weren't so socialist.
In making man dependent and subservient, Marxism (socialism, liberalism) emphasizes man's needs. Such nations are destitute (China, Russia (recovering), North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba). China is doing a lot better now that it has opened up a little free enterprise.
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