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Why Socialism? Him's soap box.
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CTrees



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 3772

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Einstein, on socialism, must be treated as an especially intelligent layperson. Look at the title of the thread, though - including "by Albert Einstein" is telling. If it were a less famous layperson who wrote the opening essay, that byline would not have been included in the title of the thread. The implication is that the author is one of the important parts of the piece, rather than being completely incidental. I still believe, between the title and the wholesale copy/pasting of the article with no commentary, that the first post itself is effectively an appeal to authority.

And no, I haven't read it. It's a giant wall of text with no added commentary, no analysis of different points, just "hey, someone famous wrote this, what do you think?" I do know, from skimming, that it advocates a planned economy, which, with the style's inherent issues with resource distribution, lack of competition, and removal of useful volatility is a terrible idea (see: USSR). This is part of what led me to posting the gigantic picture of James Watson - brilliant, Nobel laureate geneticist, but when speaking on social issues, well... he speaks as a layperson, and has some highly questionable opinions.
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Kilgore



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Him wrote:
Actually if you read the part that starts with
Albert Einstein wrote:
Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.

and ends with
Quote:
For these reasons, we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.


The article actually addresses that issue directly. So Shadowcell please tell me more about logical fallacies. You seem to be quite familiar with them.


See, Him, now you're getting the idea. Wade through that shit and pull out a couple of paragraphs you think are particularly salient and block quote them, with a little bit of your own analysis. (Alternatively, in the future, at least bother to bold the important parts of the next wall of text you post). People will read that, and respond. They may even go back and read the whole thing if what you post is interesting enough. But no-one is going to slog through several thousand words on a topic they aren't particularly interested in on the mere strength of your say so.
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CTrees



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 3772

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
Him wrote:
Actually if you read the part that starts with
Albert Einstein wrote:
Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.

and ends with
Quote:
For these reasons, we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society.


The article actually addresses that issue directly. So Shadowcell please tell me more about logical fallacies. You seem to be quite familiar with them.


See, Him, now you're getting the idea. Wade through that shit and pull out a couple of paragraphs you think are particularly salient and block quote them, with a little bit of your own analysis. (Alternatively, in the future, at least bother to bold the important parts of the next wall of text you post). People will read that, and respond. They may even go back and read the whole thing if what you post is interesting enough. But no-one is going to slog through several thousand words on a topic they aren't particularly interested in on the mere strength of your say so.


+1
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Him



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:

See, Him, now you're getting the idea. Wade through that shit and pull out a couple of paragraphs you think are particularly salient and block quote them, with a little bit of your own analysis. (Alternatively, in the future, at least bother to bold the important parts of the next wall of text you post). People will read that, and respond. They may even go back and read the whole thing if what you post is interesting enough. But no-one is going to slog through several thousand words on a topic they aren't particularly interested in on the mere strength of your say so.

Yeah that actually was my original intent, but I didn't mainly because my connection was and is glitchy as fuck and it's not really something I can do effectively on my phone and I was sleep deprived. The article, for all it's qualities brevity is not one of them. So I decided, fuck it, I'll post it as is while I can post at all (took me 20 min to post this and I still have to spellcheck by phone) and get back to this when I am more lucid and my connection is more cooperative.

CT wrote:

I do know, from skimming, that it advocates a planned economy, which, with the style's inherent issues with resource distribution, lack of competition, and removal of useful volatility is a terrible idea (see: USSR)

Which part would you like me to address? Let's start with the USSR, because while he does not spell it out explicitly I think It's pretty clear what he is referring to here:
Quote:
Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralization of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?

He leaves these as open questions, which is wise I think, considering the purpose of the article.


As for volatility and competition, it could be said most of the article is addressing that. Again he makes rather long arguments that are hard to boil down to just one liners, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

So forgive the long quote:

Quote:
The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense. In particular, it should be noted that the workers, through long and bitter political struggles, have succeeded in securing a somewhat improved form of the “free labor contract” for certain categories of workers. But taken as a whole, the present day economy does not differ much from “pure” capitalism.

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers' goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.


I hope it's not too ripped out of context.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

n/m
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Samsally



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll just put this here.
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Him



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just another socialism related link: Socialist Alternative Radio I think this is a pretty cool initiative. Overall I'm a big fan of radio.
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Him



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Samsally wrote:
I'll just put this here.

Oh and I almost forgot. That's pretty awesome, Samsally.
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Guest



Joined: 15 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's appropriate.
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Him



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 4191
Location: On edge

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest wrote:
I think it's appropriate.

This was the official soundtrack to a squat I was in. Because HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GROUND! But beyond that I don't see why you think it's appropriate nor do I want to know.
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Him



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So since I decided to make this thread more general, I've changed the title to that effect.
Here's the latest U.S and socialist related news that makes me happy:
Washington State: Kshama Sawant Wins 8.5% of Primary Vote Against Pedersen — Unprecedented Write-In Vote for Position 2 Could Challenge House Speaker Chopp
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Sam



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found this to be the best and most salient commentary on socialist stuffs in a long time, which says a lot about me.

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Michael



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like this new title
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Him



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A red flag a socialist state does not make. Besides Im a trot so ussr post1927 and pretty much all of the rest, nah I don take fall for that stuff. I can make q longer argument when less slrep deprived. Oh and tjsnks, michael. Im quite happy with it myself
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Him



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also fuck touchscreen.
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