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View Diary: Socialism is like total equality y'know. (70 comments)

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  •  Incremental approach vs. Giant Leap Forward (0+ / 0-)
    First, I think it's necessary to point to a positive example of where socialism has actually succeeded, since merely pointing out that the Soviet Union didn't do it right does not constitute a proof that it can be done better.
    Why should we start from the assumption that social innovation is impossible?  See my previous diary (linked above).
    I have seen at least some of your previous diaries, but since they are closed for discussion I'm responding here.

    We didn't move from feudalism to capitalism in one quick change. Rather, small bits of capitalism were allowed to start in limited cases, beginning with the notion of paying your liege in cash rather than direct goods and services. After this was worked out in detail we slowly saw the introduction of independent merchants, and to a limited extent free farmers who paid rent but did not have to swear allegiance to an overlord.

    So, you don't have to have all of the answers worked out, but if you don't have them worked out what makes you think that they will in fact function? It seems to me that identifying a small step towards your ultimate goal would allow time to make these decisions (and recover from the mistakes along the way) without throwing everything into turmoil on the premise that The People Will Make The Decisions.

    As one example, we do see more social safety nets in places like Scandinavia, where private enterprises control most of the means of production but are required to kick a substantial amount of profit up to the government so that they can work on redistributing some of the wealth to the needy.

    •  I do have a diary on Sweden: (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      My friend Jason W. Moore, who has lived and worked in Sweden for quite some time and whose theories have much to teach me, agrees with my conclusions.  Sweden is capitalist.

      As for the idea that:

      We didn't move from feudalism to capitalism in one quick change.
      If you are looking for people who employ the principles of socialism in their everyday business, there are communes and co-operatives, but arguably there is no sign just yet of any sort of transition period out of capitalism.  Rather, it appears as if capitalism is going to continue to decline without there being any sort of alternative system waiting in the wings.  See e.g. Gopal Balakrishnan:

      http://newleftreview.org/...

      We are entering into a period of inconclusive struggles between a weakened capitalism and dispersed agencies of opposition, within delegitimated and insolvent political orders. The end of history could be thought to begin when no project of global scope is left standing, and a new kind of ‘worldlessness’ and drift begins. This would conform to Hegel’s suspicion that at this spiritual terminus, the past would be known, but that a singular future might cease to be a relevant category. In the absence of organized political projects to build new forms of autonomous life, the ongoing crisis will be stalked by ecological fatalities that will not be evaded by faltering growth.
      The future, then, looks to me like a great, gray, interim period.  I wish that I felt that it had more to offer us; I'm hoping there's some form of socialism on the other end of it.

      "It takes great courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it." Oscar Wilde

      by Cassiodorus on Wed May 15, 2013 at 02:45:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps one sign is where capitalism is propped (0+ / 0-)

        up by social programs as in the New Deal and nationalization of industries, which baby steps were stopped by Vietnam and the class war organized by Justice Powell. An access to giving birth to socialism, would be in restoring the relationship of voters to Congress by ending money in politics and limiting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

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