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Capitalism Vs. Socialism


Adaptus
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It's been a big topic on the boards lately, and to draw away the debate from Suv's industry thread, I have started this. Any debating on the subjects can take place here now.

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If unions are a problem, get rid of them. They slow things down. If the workers need protecting, thats what civil rights is for, they can put forward their own case agains their employers rather than let unions do the work.

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But what can one worker do against a whole company? Workers must strike and when the company just bring in other people there's no point in it. It ruins welfare if you don't have union. Were would we be today without unions adaptus? You would at the moment be stuck in a factory doing heavy manual labour for crappy pay. Would you like that?

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I do agree with you, my sugestion above is an exream. Unions do well, but theres a point where thigs get to much. Yet I do belive through capitalism you can have a better welfare system. Just look at Britain Child Support Agency, if it was privatalised, it would do much better. The same for health services. People say that a private health sceme would ruin a nations health, not if you brought in a few diffrent firms, the costs would plumit.

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mellow.gif It's kind of balancing....

Capitalism that not explit too much in resources, nature, and their employee...

And Union that ask what should be given, not eroding the corporate, and deal the negotiation in a decent manner, quickly resolve problems & demands.

That's what I think. yes.gif

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I think that their is a time and a place for Unions, Late victorian times, early 20's for example. However, during depressions, where all buisnesses are doing badly and struggling to stay afloat, Unions carry on demanding more pay, or fighting wage cuts, even though prices have dropped because of it, and then you get into inflation etc...never good.

 

But the nHS should be privatised, but the post office shouldnt. I think several companises should repalce the NHS, and that way their will be competion to improve standards. I also think thought that the railways, or at least their maintentance should be re-nationalised, as the government already supports and funds these things, they should just buy it.

 

But still, wages should be set at the disgression of the employer, and it should be a lot easier to sack people, its to difficult to get rid of useless people now.

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I'm all for capitalism, though the governments should do a bit of regulating here and there. Mainly to prevent trust acts between business entities and monopolies. The thing with capitalism is that there is always a incentive for developing better quality and cheaper products so that the consumer will favor your business over others. The system of competition works well with me.

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Unions can be good and bad. Let me explain. Most strikes involve actions by labor unions during collective bargaining with an employer. Though such actions are rare because most are settled without a strike. It's not good if the relationship is unbalanced, either way, not towards the employee nor towards the employer. Balancing is the key!

Strikes became important during the Industrial Revolution, when people working in factories and mines wanting to improve working conditions. Factory owners mass producing consumption goods won't selll anything if the entire nation barely earns enough to feed themselves.

But the unions can't demand just anything, they have to keep in mind the overall performance of the company. Because without the company, they wouldn't have a job.

 

You may argue they don't have any use anymore today. But if there weren't Unions, employees with serious grievances probably wouldn't go nicely put their case forward against their employer. Firstly, because it's rather impossible in a company with several thousands of employees. Having a delegation of the union is much easier to negotiate with. And besides that, if there's social unrest and there are no unions, so-called "wild-cat strikes" will emerge. I belive the recent airport-strike in Barcelona was what you could call a "wildcat strike", unanounced, not recognised.. caused a lot of trouble. If it was an official strike, it would be announced in advance, and measures could be taken.

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I thought this kind of discussion ended in 1991/1992 or at least on September 11th, 2001.

 

Socialism is based on the theory that:

- People can be put into very similar groups,

- the core of human existence and human society can be changed easily,

- that a complex system like economy can be planned centrally,

- and that the concentration of political power can lead to a free society

 

That all proved wrong.

People are individuals and cannot be grouped by some factors like machines. This kind of society where we had workers & peasants, "burgeouis" and Lords & Ladies ended some time between 1918 and 1945.

 

The core of human existence cannot be changed. Human society cannot be changed easily. Despite more than 70 years of soviet rulership, the russians are a very nationalistic people. Despite more than 40 years of oppression the desire for freedom was too big in Eastern Europe for the soviets to handle.

 

A complex system like economy cannot be planned centrally. Not one communist nation was able to outperform a western capitalistic nation comparable by size and population. Even the vast amount of resources of the Soviet Union didn't help here - nations with nearly no natural resources like Japan and West Germany outclassed every communist nation. Shortages in certain goods were common in communist nations and the centralized research & development slowed or killed off innovations entirely. Just look at the cars from the soviet block.

 

The concentration of power always leads to an authoritarian dictatorship. People who have power like to keep power. Therefor they kill off opposition and stay in their seats. East Germany saw two leaders from 1945 to 1989. West Germany saw six during that time. Castro leads Cuba since 1959. Imagine Dwight D. Eisenhower still being President of the United States today...

 

The discussion about socialism ended in 1991. This system doesn't work. It didn't change the people, it ruined the economies and it was pure horror for its citizens who were constantly fearing the secret police groups.

 

The discussion today is about religious and secular societies; wars between nations and international organizations like Al-Kaida; the rise of fundamentalism; the coming wars for natural resources; the rise of Asia (India & China) and the decline of Europe.

 

A discussion about socialism vs. capitalism sounds in my ears as anachronistic as fascism vs. democracy or republic vs. monarchy. Don't get me wrong guys, I don't want you to stop this discussion. I'd just like to point out that this is a conflict that has ended and is decided. Today we have other issues to deal with that will keep us busy for the next couple of decades.

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But the nHS should be privatised, but the post office shouldnt.

Neither the NHS or the Post Office should be privatised, in my opinion. Both are still suffering from underfunding and neglect from under the Tories, although some of the stuff Blair has done has improved the condition of the NHS. The Post Office is suffering the fact that technology is over taking it. When was the last time people here used letters to correspond?

 

I honestly can't see a decent reason for the privatisation of the NHS. After, it would become more of an interest to save the money of the share-holders than treat the "customers". Although, under Tory Bliar, we're seeing a sneak privatisation of the NHS, almost completely against the wishes of both the mainstay of the Labour Party (not his quasi-Conservatives) and the British Public.

 

And again, I can't see any problem with Unions. I'd even go as far as to say that it's a bad thing that the Unions in the UK have lost their voice over the last few decades.

The thing with capitalism is that there is always a incentive for developing better quality and cheaper products so that the consumer will favor your business over others.

The main problem with producing cheaper and cheaper products is the "hidden" costs. The cost is to the environment, as more natural resources are destroyed; look at the rainforest being decimated in South America and Southeast Asia for the manufacture of cheaper palm oil for Western nations. The same can be said for the demand of cheaper clothes - it's the poor sods who have to make them in Asia who feel the brunt of that. Their wages are driven down whilst the profits of the company are driven up as more clothes are flogged.

 

Capitalism Kills.

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@Tamurin, So. You say socialism doesn't work? Sweden have been mostly socialist since the 30's and are one of the best economies of Europa and a welfare system admired by the entire world. You say socialism doesn't work? It does work, and have worked ever since it started. Now communist russia didn't work very well. But it didn't work to well under the tzar ey?

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You want to call sweden a socialist nation?! The rest of the world calls sweden a social-liberal society or a welfare state, but socialist?!?

 

I think you're mixing up some things. I know that sweden has been ruled by the social-democratic party for quite some time now, but socialism is a little different. Here in Germany it is called the "scandinavian way" or "scandinavian economy" which is a third way between capitalism and socialism, mixing the best of both worlds if you like.

 

But even that did only work in good times. If you recall, in the 80s and 90s Sweden and other scandinavian nations had to cut back several social systems.

 

Yes, compared to many nations you have a very sophisticated welfare state. But man, that's not socialism!! Socialism is the soviet union, cuba, vietnam, east germany - the economies that broke down! Sweden lives and thrives.

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Yes, compared to many nations you have a very sophisticated welfare state. But man, that's not socialism!! Socialism is the soviet union, cuba, vietnam, east germany - the economies that broke down! Sweden lives and thrives.

Who brainwhased you???? huh.gif

 

The swedish socialdemocratic workers party is, have and will be socialist.

 

Social-liberalists are the environmentalists and the centrist used to be.

 

We and the leftist are socialists.

 

Edit: There are so many forms of socialism. reformed socialism, maoism, marxism, leninism, stalinism, titoism and peronism. There are so many forms.

 

Usually it's devided in reformed socialists and revolutionary socialists.

Edited by Suverina (see edit history)
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When I refer to socialism or communism, I mean the former "real-existing socialism". This including:

 

- A centralized planned economy

- A government consisting of "soviets" (council) that is NOT elected by the people

- One party-system

- No freedom of speech, no democracy, no human rights

 

Everything else (including Sweden) is not socialism from my point of view. I would call sweden a social-democratic welfare state, as I've pointed out before. The government there may call itself socialist, but please compare these "socialists" with the socialists from Cold War-times in Eastern Europe or to today-socialists like the ones in China, Cuba and Vietnam. There aren't many similarities, but many differences.

 

Can we agree on this?

 

 

On another note: No need to insult me (brainwashing etc.). If you don't want a discussion please say so.

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China still shares several features of real-existing socialism, like the one-party-system, the lack of human rights and democracy and the institutions of soviets.

 

Most authoritarian government are centered around persons, like Iraq (Saddam Hussein), Nazi Germany (Adolf Hitler) or Uganda (Idi Amin). They collaps when the leader dies or there's a coup against the leader and another person moves into the center or there's a civil war after the leader dies.

 

Communist parties can exchange their leaders without such drastic measures. There were two generations of leaders in East Germany before the breakdown of communism, seven in the Soviet Union and (I think) currently it's the fourth in China.

 

So, despite that they're not stalinist anymore, they're still communist in a new "dress".

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When I refer to socialism or communism, I mean the former "real-existing socialism". This including:

 

- A centralized planned economy

- A government consisting of "soviets" (council) that is NOT elected by the people

- One party-system

- No freedom of speech, no democracy, no human rights

Well, it isn't actually you who set the standards of socialism. There is a political scale that somewhat declares where parties stand and what ideals they have. There are several versions of socialism. As I said before there are 2 ways of socialism, reformed/democratic socialism or revolutionary socialism. These are usually far apart but they are both socialists. You can't just say that there is one "true" form of socialism.

 

Whatever you see as socialism is up to you, but do bear in mind that so many other people disagree with you. Make a phonecall to your local socialdemocratic office and ask them if they are socialists and why. One is socialist because you belive in certain ideals. Mainly it's equality, that's usually the base of the socialist ideas.

Edited by Suverina (see edit history)
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As I said before there are 2 ways of socialism, reformed/democratic socialism or revolutionary socialism.

 

Your "reformed" socialism is usually called social-democracy.

 

Of course I don't set the standards of socialism. Marx did.

To quote wikipedia on this (and I totally agree to this statement):

 

Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to social control. As an economic system, socialism is usually associated with state or collective ownership of the means of production. (...)

 

For Karl Marx, who helped establish and define the modern socialist movement, socialism implied the abolition of markets, capital, and labor as a commodity.

 

It is difficult to make generalizations about the diverse array of doctrines and movements that have been referred to as "socialist." The various adherents of contemporary socialist movements do not agree on a common doctrine or program. As a result, the movement has split into different and sometimes opposing branches, particularly between moderate socialists and communists. (...)

 

What you call "reformed socialist" is (at least in Germany) commonly referred to as social-democracy. I guess we have just a problem with names. When you say "socialism", I here "Karl Marx, Josef Stalin and Walter Ulbricht". When I say social-democracy, you here "environmentalists and centrists".

 

Maybe we should settle this with the following:

 

Socialism (according to Suverina) = Social-Democracy (according to Tamurin)

 

Make a phonecall to your local socialdemocratic office and ask them if they are socialists and why.

 

Well, I'd certainly get a "NO!!!!". The last reference to socialism was deleted from the program of the SPD in the 1980s (if I recall correctly).

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Socialism is the soviet union, cuba, vietnam, east germany - the economies that broke down!

I'ld have to disagree with your definition of "socialism" there, Tamurin. Like Tag said, I too would rather label those nations as communist. It's just a matter of what you use as definition, but I've always learned the difference between "socialism" and "communism" is that communism wants to create a new society through revolution, while socialism wants to create a more equal society through participation in the political process. Hence parties propagating socialist ideals within a democratic system are labeled as democratic socialism. In most cases social democrats will settle for a medium between capitalism and true socialism. There're many gradations, for example the more centrist Third Way you mentioned.

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Socialism (my point of view of), in my opinion, is the jeans of politics. Republics, totalitarian states, monarchies, tribal councils, and the devil who drags you-- it fits with all of them. It's helping the people to be more equal, not at gunpoint, and by stealing from the rich-- but by giving them an occupation, and decent life conditions. Like everything in this world, it needs moderation and parcimony. Everything radical tends to break.

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