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Pandemic
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PostSubject: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:27 am

The Difference Between Socialism and Communism
and the cognitive dissonance created by Lenin and Reagan

Read The Heartland Project: Simple Truths for a Shameful Time.

Recap from previous column: Liberals are people who are under the only partially mistaken impression that altering the structure of government is the best way to influence people and resources. Conservatives are people who are under the only partially mistaken impression that altering the people in power is the best way to influence other people and their culture.

To put it more simply: Liberals want the decision to be spread out among more people, preferably everyone; conservatives want the decision to be made by as few people as possible, preferably just one.

Socialism, as envisioned by Marx and Engels was, ideally, a where everyone would share the benefits of industrialization. Workers would do better than in the English system at the time (The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848) because there were more workers than bosses and the majority would rule. As a purely economic system, socialism is a lousy way to run a large scale economy. Socialism is not a political system, it's a way of distributing goods and services. At their ideal implementation, socialism and laissez faire capitalism will be identical as everyone will produce exactly what's needed for exactly who needs it. In practice, both work sometimes in microeconomic conditions but fail miserably when applied to national and international economies. And they fail for the same reason: Human pervserity. Too many people don't like to play fair, and both systems only work when everyone follow the same rules.

Socialism is liberal. More people (preferably everyone) have some say in how the economy works. Democracy is liberal. More people (preferably everyone) have some say in how the government works. "Democracy," said Marx, "is the road to socialism." He was wrong about how economics and politics interact, but he did see their similar underpinnings.

Communism is conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just the Party Secretary) have any say in how the economy works. Republicans are conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just people controlling the Party figurehead) have any say in how the government works. The conservatives in the US are in the same position as the communists in the 30s, and for the same reason: Their revolutions failed spectacularly but they refuse to admit what went wrong.

A common mistake is to confuse Socialism, the economic system, with Communism, the political system. Communists are "socialist" in the same way that Republicans are "compassionate conservatives". That is, they give lip service to ideals they have no intention of practicing.

Communism, or "scientific socialism", has very little to do with Marx. Communism was originally envisioned by Marx and Engels as the last stages of their socialist revolution. "The meaning of the word communism shifted after 1917, when Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Party seized power in Russia. The Bolsheviks changed their name to the Communist Party and installed a repressive, single-party regime devoted to the implementation of socialist policies." (quote from Encarta.). Those socialist policies were never implemented.

Whereas Marx saw industrialized workers rising up to take over control of their means of production, the exact opposite happened. Most countries that have gone Communist have been agrarian underdeveloped nations. The prime example is the Soviet Union. The best thing to be said about the October Revolution in 1917 is that the new government was better than the Tsars. The worst thing is that they trusted the wrong people, notably Lenin, to lead this upheaval. The Soviet Union officially abandoned socialism in 1921 when Lenin instituted the New Economic Policy allowing for taxation, local trade, some state capitalism... and extreme profiteering. Later that year, he purged 259,000 from the party membership and therefore purged them from voting (shades of the US election of 2000!) and fewer and fewer people were involved in making decisions.

Want to read the FULL THING?
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KenCat1337
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:06 am

I hate how a lot of people get this confused. >.<

Communism is an equal, classless society and an advanced and was never achieved in Soviet Russia or China, (even according to Lenin, Stalin and Mao, the leaders of the countries).

Under communism, according to Marx, the government disappears and there is economic cooperation as well. The principle of distribution becomes "from each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need, which is perhaps Marx's most famous quote."

Socialists and communists existed before Marx. Marx is the single most-'respected' 'authority' and reference point, but the words "socialism" and "communism" still have various shades and applications, because of the diversity amongst those calling themselves "communist" and "socialist."


So in other words, socialism is "the way" to get to communism (according to state socialists).

You could be a communist (someone who advocates an equal, classless society) and not believe in the "dictatorship of the proletariat" and see that dictatorship brings no equality! It is almost always oppressive and exploitative for those at the bottom, but not for those at the top.

For example, I (an anarchist) could be described as someone who advocates an equal, classless society. In fact, I believe that liberty and equality should HAVE to coexist in order to have the other.

For example, how can you have an equal, classless society when there are dictators (who are unequal in the sharing of power and money) and a state (which becomes a class of it's own, the rulers).

Viva Liberty!





Quote :
Workers would do better than in the English system at the time (The Communist Manifesto was published in 1848) because there were more workers than bosses and the majority would rule.
A little anarchism (/liberty/equality =p) rubbing off on you there, Pandemic? But seriously.. I, like many others, work fine and usually more productively while not being watched over like a baby or a criminal.

EDIT: This deserves a topic of it's own, in my opinion. Can I post it in the socialist/communist forum?
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:22 am

"So in other words, socialism is "the way" to get to communism (according to state socialists)."

ONLY to State Socialists. Their are sooo many branches of Socialism that have nothing at all to do with Communism.

And KenCat, yes it would be a good topic, post it in whichever forum you focus on more. (Seeing as though im hoping you will expand it a bit longer Smile
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KenCat1337
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:41 pm

Pandemic wrote:
"So in other words, socialism is "the way" to get to communism (according to state socialists)."

ONLY to State Socialists. Their are sooo many branches of Socialism that have nothing at all to do with Communism.

And KenCat, yes it would be a good topic, post it in whichever forum you focus on more. (Seeing as though im hoping you will expand it a bit longer Smile

No, socialism is the process to get to communism. I just used general, "state socialist" as a collectivist example.

So, socialism (such as syndicalism) is a way to get to communism.
Socialism (such as autonomism) is a way to get to communism.
Socialism (such as anarchism) is a way to get to communism.

It's just which way is "right" is what the communists (people who want to achieve communism, it has nothing to do with government) debate about.
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:44 am

Socialism is not designed to get to communism unless your a state socialist/possible leftist. The vast majority of Socialists don't always agree that they want it too end in Communism.
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:35 am

Pandemic wrote:
Socialism is not designed to get to communism unless your a state socialist/possible leftist. The vast majority of Socialists don't always agree that they want it too end in Communism.

1) Show me a socialist that doesn't want an equal, classless society. In fact, NO ONE should not want one... WTF.
2) "Socialism is not designed to get to communism unless your a state socialist/possible leftist"?!?!???!??!

Not all leftists are socialists and not all socialists advocate a state... Look it up... lol
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:46 am

1/ National Socialist - Also called Nazi. / Democratic Socialist - Wants advanced capitalism
2/ No thats what i was trying to say, that not all Socialists want a classeless society.
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:02 am

"Communism is a social or economic structure/organization that promotes an egalitarian, classless, stateless society."

"Socialism is the transition of a society to communism"


1) LOL Hitler can NOT be compared to a socialist, no matter how many times he said "worker" or "socialism" in his speeches.

2) Democratic socialists are still socialists, though they believe that society can reach communism through refining capitalism slower.


I studied Marx, socialism and a lot of socioeconomic philosophies in political science courses, political philosophy courses and a course on world politics.. I used to be a Marxist, I know what I'm talking about..
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:18 am

What makes you think that socialism will magically create communism? I don't see your POV?

1/ I don't care if Hitler was a socialist or not but Nazism is National Socialism. It's a type of Socialism. Just like the other thousands of types that could not have anything to do with communism, kinda like your from a marxist viewpoint or something
2. Sure are. But they think differentely, and just because your a democratic socialist does not mean your a communist, either. Want a more defined version of this talk to ComradePollett, hes a socialist that is somewhat against communism.

I know you do, well educated, But from a Marxist Socialist view point is which your coming from (as it seems). Not all Socialists are Marxists (Obviously), but Marxists need to be socialists. Socialism in refernece to marx was the road to communism but not too everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: The Difference Between Socialism AND ...   Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:36 am

Do you literally think that I meant ALL socialist philosophies led to communism?!
Any philosophy that ADVOCATES and tries to get to communism is socialist..

"just because your a democratic socialist does not mean your a communist"
Uh, a communist is someone who envisions an equal, classless society.. So yes. Yes, you are. It's the negative connotation that communism got when "socialists" like Stalin called them that.

So yes, even Nazism is a form of socialism. This doesn't mean it will reach communism, though National Socialists did envision an equal nation.

So in other words, socialism doesn't have to mean you will get to communism, but it is an attempt to get there. There hasn't been ONE communist country to this day.
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