8 Myths about socialism

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dubaba, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Myth #1: Socialists want to take away your property
    This myth confuses private property with personal property. When socialists talk about the abolition of private property, they are referring to the socialization of the means of production-the resources and equipment that create wealth. Working people do not own this type of property-which is why we have to work to survive.
    Right now, the wealth of the 1,000 billionaires is equal to that of the 3.5 billion poorest people on the planet. In order to provide everyone with more, that wealth must be commonly owned, and not the property of those few capitalists.
    Socialists have no interest in taking away one's home, car or individual items intended for personal use. In reality, as the foreclosure crisis has shown, under capitalism the banks own most of this property as well-and will take it away as they please.
    Myth #2: Socialists are against democracy and for a dictatorship
    The two-party “democratic” system under capitalism is in fact a dictatorship of the rich. Under it, working people create all the wealth, but capitalists-who own the corporations and banks-have all the economic power and use it to control politics. That fact never changes, even if we have the right to vote. We get to vote on who will oppress us next, while all the important decisions are made in executive boardrooms.

    Under socialism, society's vast resources cannot be privately hoarded. They are used and distributed according to a plan that the working class and its organizations decide. Because wealth will not be concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, it creates the basis for genuine democracy -- real "rule of the people" -- for the first time.

    Historically, there have been various political forms to defend the rule of the working class. In U.S. schools, they teach us that the Soviet Union, China and Cuba are evil dictatorships because of their single-party systems. But we never learn that they developed such governments to prevent counter-revolutions that would have brought back the dictatorship of the rich.
    Myth #3: Under socialism, there is no incentive to work
    Socialism rewards hard work, while under capitalism the richest people are the ones who do no work at all. In a socialist society, the working class controls the means of production and the fruits of its own labor and therefore has a real stake in the realization of its full capacity to produce. The main incentive to work under capitalism is the threat of being fired and starvation.
    Under socialism, a person is paid according to the work they do. Under capitalism, the least productive members of society-the bankers and CEOs-grow obscenely wealthy while working class people live paycheck to paycheck.
    Myth #4: Socialism is against human nature
    Human “nature” changes depending on the type of society you are living in. Marx explained that the ruling ideas and behaviors of a society are those of its ruling class. We are taught to believe that humans are naturally violent, exploitative and selfish because those are the principles on which our society is built. Looking through human history, including thousands of years of communal, class-less societies, we can see that another “nature” exists. Even in our present society, we can see in our daily lives tremendous examples of shared sacrifice and solidarity-even if those don't make the evening news.
    Myth #5: Socialists don't respect freedom of religion
    Socialists consider religion a private matter, and actively fight against discrimination on the basis of religion.
    Marx never called for the banning of religion. He pointed out how historically religious institutions have discouraged people from fighting against oppression. They instruct poor and working people to wait instead for a better after-life.
    There are many examples, however, of movements that have used religious ideology while struggling for a better world. While many socialists are atheists, the PSL whole-heartedly welcomes people of all faith backgrounds that want to fight to make that world a reality.
    Myth #6: Socialists only care about class oppression-not other forms of oppression
    PSL members are tireless fighters against all forms of oppression. We believe that racism, sexism, anti-immigrant bigotry, homophobia and all other kinds of discrimination divide poor and working people and must be fought if we ever want to move forward. We put ourselves in that revolutionary tradition of socialists who take up the banners of Black liberation, women's liberation and LGBT liberation.
    Myth #7: Socialism collapsed when the Soviet Union collapsed
    Socialism as a concept is not dependent on any single state. It will exist as long as the exploitative system of capitalism exists. It existed before the Soviet Union and therefore exists after it. It is a theory of how to organize society in a way that eliminates scarcity and puts the producers in control.
    A few governments do exist that are trying to build socialism. Cuba, a country that had been impoverished by colonialism, is an example of what can be accomplished when the resources of society are used to meet the needs of the people, as opposed to enriching the capitalist class.
    The Soviet Union was the first experiment of poor and working people taking power. Despite its own contradictions, it provided universal health care, free education, the right to a job, free childcare, as well as guaranteed maternity leave and vacation days for all workers. Since the Soviet Union's overthrow, life expectancy and living conditions have plummeted in Russia.
    The Soviet Union also developed a privileged, bureaucratic leadership that departed from revolutionary socialism. But it must be remembered that it inherited a legacy of underdevelopment. For its entire existence, the world's most powerful countries worked to weaken and overthrow it.
    Myth #8: Socialism has no historical roots in the United States
    Socialists have been consistent and dedicated participants in all the major struggles the U.S. working class has engaged in. Some of the main socialist holidays-International Worker's Day and International Women's Day-began in the United States. The first unions were established by radicals who wanted to abolish capitalism. During the Great Depression, socialists were leaders in the labor movement and organized the unemployed. In the 1960s, leading figures of the struggles against racism, war and sexism recognized that only socialism could put a final end to these injustices. (Click here to read about socialists' historic role in the U.S. labor movement.)


    Eight myths about socialism—and their answers
     
  2. Myth 9 : Socialism helps improve an economy
     

  3. ur myth: trickle down economics works :wave:
     

  4. Ur myth: welfare is free money picked from the lush moneytree

    See what I did there?
     
  5. Please move to China.
     
  6. So the other day I'm at the gym and they have some T.Vs set up for people to watch while working out; CNN is on one of the channels. I look up and some clown is talking about how in the month of July spending on luxury items (e.g caviar) had surged. The guy then says something along the lines of, "it might seem ridiculous to us, but it's said that the spending of these rich individuals amounts to a high degree of total spending so, let's hope they keep on doing it, if only for us". It was some of the meekest shit I've ever heard.

    Then I got to thinking... How much is spending on luxury items actually helping average workers? I thought about caviar and imagined the fishermen (fuck, I don't know how caviar is actually harvested, but at any rate, the grunt workers) laboring away for their wages which, clearly, they relied upon for their survival. Then I thought about the owner of the corporation and realized he was probably a pretty rich man. And then I thought, how much of this spending by the original luxury-item consumer goes to those grunt workers, and how much just winds up in the hands of that other rich guy, the firm owner?

    Then I thought about the big banks, the big investment firms in the US. I thought about who invests the money and who reaps the greatest financial reward at these firms from said investments - all rich, extremely well-off people. And who gets screwed if the economy tanks from reckless practices? The other 99.9% of the world...

    I'm not saying that making money is bad or that wealthy people are necessarily bad, but the situation just seems kind of fucked... It made me think I might need to give some more thought to the tenets of socialism or at least some economic philosophy that leads to less wealth disparity than capitalism.
     
  7. ALL of these myths were pretty much proven to be truisms under the USSR, Cuba, China, North Korea, etc. So how is it these are myths again?
     
  8. Because those aren't real examples of socialism, those are just real examples of when humans try to implement socialism.
     
  9. #9 Arteezy, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011
    My body is a means of production. My computer is a means of production. What exactly do you mean by "means of production"?

    Why should I believe that socialists won't take away my home (or some other piece of private property) if they decide it could be useful as a "means of production"?
     
  10. it can only be one extreme or another dubaba.... the right wingers dont understand grey area they only see extreme cases of situations
     
  11. China is state capitalist.
     
  12. Unless you have a sweatshop in your basement...your house is not the means of production..and if you did have a sweatshop in your basement then your property should be seized by the workers in the basement so they can share the profit.
     
  13. I grow marijuana in one of my houses. I sell it to medical patients and dispenaries. I dont run no sweat shop, all though i can get a bit sweaty when trimming for hours on end.....its all on the up and up and compliant with state laws.
     
  14. what state do you live in?..can you make a good living doing that?..or is it more of a supplemental income?
     

  15. Around 120k-150k a year.
     
  16. #16 noviceGrower420, Aug 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2011
    Around 120k-150k a year. Depending on how many harvest i can squeeze out. many people can do and make much more.
     
  17. Is it safe though you don't have to worry about getting arrested by the DEA?... I always wanted to pack up and move to the West Coast and start working in the marijuana industry.
     

  18. well west coast is harder because prices are cheaper. So you have to grow larger quanties to make the same profit. I live in michigan. You can legally grow up to 72 plants. So , if you had the start up funs, you could grow out 72 plants roughly 4 times a year. If you can manage to pull 3 a plant(im around 4 a plant right now actually) , thats a ton of money. 72 x 3 / 16 = 13.5 pounds per harvest. in michigan a pound goes for about 4k a lb. 13.5 x 4 = 54 k. 54k x 4 cycles = 216,000 k a year. Now i dont run kind of set up or nearly that many plants. But i know plenty of people working amounts like that and even more. its a good market right now. I dont know if it would stay this way if pot is legalized though.
     
  19. I wish more liberal democrats had socialist tendencies
     

  20. Define "sweatshop".

    Furthermore, you didn't answer my question. Only "sweatshops" qualify as means of production? I don't know anyone in the US who works in a sweatshop.
     

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