Arguments for socialism

Being a socialist/leftist is something I've taken for granted for quite a long time now. When I discuss politics, it's usually just flinging shit at other leftists on here (or Zig Forums), which means I don't get much practice convincing people who are not already on "my side".

ITT: Post your favorite arguments for socialism/left-wing politics. The best arguments against left liberals, the best arguments against right wingers, the arguments that you found most convincing when you were a liberal, etc, etc.

Try to keep it as tendency non-specific as possible.

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Other urls found in this thread:

theanarchistlibrary.org/library/the-anarchist-faq-editorial-collective-an-anarchist-faq
docs.google.com/document/d/1Gxwhh-vdeB--47HM-20cEVRC9eAMhrapbNf0Sk8VSOs/mobilebasic
pastebin.com/Zwuejk4A
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture
rt.com/usa/362836-emails-citigroup-obama-cabinet/
marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/ichtci/11.htm

Also ITT: counter arguments to common arguments against socialism

Take a look at the following.
theanarchistlibrary.org/library/the-anarchist-faq-editorial-collective-an-anarchist-faq
docs.google.com/document/d/1Gxwhh-vdeB--47HM-20cEVRC9eAMhrapbNf0Sk8VSOs/mobilebasic
pastebin.com/Zwuejk4A

pic related

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I like the Papa Wolff style democracy-arguments. It makes people realize that super regular morality is radical.

This. The simplest way to overcome peoples' spooks against socialism is by wrapping it in words they think they already support.

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Another argument from Wolff that I'm fond of and originally convinced me to learn more about Marxism is that the lesson of the destruction of the New Deal is that as long as you leave the system of exploitation in place you place the the power and the incentive in the hands of the people to undo social democracy reforms. Is the "price of democracy eternal vigilance"? Maybe in bourgeois democracy, and it doesn't appear to work.

There's a related idea called "regulatory capture."
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture

But more importantly, I think that it's better to begin with the idea that in any given society the dominant ideology, laws, and institutions will already serve the ruling class and its constituent components. This was expressed by Marx in The German Ideology when he said,

"The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force."

So the idea that a society dominated by massive corporations will somehow allow governments to step in their way is prima facie absurd. Case in point: Obama's white house cabinet mostly came from a list given to him by a major banking group.
rt.com/usa/362836-emails-citigroup-obama-cabinet/

The conclusion here is that if corporations accede to allow welfare-state reforms it's largely because it benefits them somehow. Obamacare is a good example… It was basically a giant hand-out to insurance companies that gave nothing of value to consumers themselves.

Common criticisms of socialism from the right:

This. Massive capitalist businesses already have central planning and they manage to reach their priorities just fine. Central planning failed miserably in 'M'-L countries because none of them were capitalist prior to their 'revolutions'.

The fact that workers controlling their own workplaces would make them far more productive and willing to work. Also this concept simply makes total sense to me.

Didn't someone link a book about central planning within large corporations, analyzed from an ML perspective, a while back?

this is why Lenin said,

"For socialism is merely the next step forward from state-capitalist monopoly. Or, in other words, socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people and has to that extent ceased to be capitalist monopoly."
marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/ichtci/11.htm

Today many people work for bureaucrats in centrally planned enterprises but have zero control over their own workplace. In socialism the entire point would be to put enterprises under worker-control, eliminate the capitalist class (shareholders), eliminate hierarchical managerment appointed by capitalists, and connect all of these enterprises to each other via a national system of planning and distribution.

lmao sure they did buddy that's why their historical performance effectively mirrors the West (post-WWII boom followed by stagnation of living standards in the 70's)
t. schizophrenic pseudosocialist trying to sound like a well-read Marxist

bump

Thing is, there are several schools of thought within the left.

I'm personally a market socialist and see capitalism as the antithesis of the free market and liberty. Only under market socialism can everyone truly benefit from a free market.

Liberals always claim that capitalism was born "when cavemen exchanged products" or shit like that, however capitalism has nothing to do with markets. Capitalism merely exists to justify workplace and social hierarchy. Markets, under a capitalist system, merely created de facto states (oligarchy) since wealth is transfered from the working class to the rich.

Libertarians, on the other hand, claim they own the term, despite the fact that it was first ised by Joseph Dejaque, circa the 19th century, to define his far left, anti-capitalist ideology (anarcho-communism). That worthless turd called Murray Rothbard stole the term from us, not the other way around.

Even from an economic standpoint, the laissez faire ideology of libertarians/minarchists have been proved wrong by empirical evidence. Practically no reputable economist (even capitalist ones) support the gold standard or laissez faire, if only because the gold standard would create a a massive deflation of currency (since you have no control over the amount of gold) and because under laissez faire no one would adress negative externalities, market failure and the volatility of the business cycles. Also, privatizing natural monopolies always leads to a heavily monopolized market share.

Long-story-short: As much as "anarcho"-capitalists/libertarians/minarchists claim to know everything about economics/how the market works, the reality is that they just parrot Von Misses, Rothbard's, David Friedman's and several other jackasses that are all about rethoric, zero pragmatism.

Anyone that has some knowledge about macro-economics can debunk so called right wing "libertarians".

This is true. Radical leftism is the western superego gone over-orthodox.

I ask people why they say they want democracy and participation in the political sphere but are happy with totalitarianism in their workplace.

How will workers have any say in their workplace when their workplace is determined by a distributive system?

Soviets.

whenthesovietsaskwhereallthepowerwent.jpg

Surely not every decision can/has to be made through mechanical planning.

Honestly, I've increasingly come to lean toward the conclusion that while central planning would be best for "naturally monopolistic" sectors or whose products/services are highly interchangeable that together honestly make up most of GDP, markets will probably always be the best solution for sectors that are highly innovative, or whose products/services are subject to strong consumer preference.


Pic related, the original conception of council communism was basically LibSyn.

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yes please, that seems right down my alley.

I wonder ☘️who☘️ could be behind this post
read marx

I'm pretty much a ML but I've been thinking the same thing lately. I don't see the point of dogmatically clinging to centralized planning of the entire national economy as the only valid way to organize a socialist economy. What actually matters is moving towards an egalitarian society based on collective forms of ownership and control of the productive forces. There are different ways of organizing that, and the development of socialism will necessarily be different in different places at different times (we're not utopians yada yada). I fail to see what would be so terribly wrong or "un-socialist" about combining market forces with worker-owned enterprises in sectors of the economy were that would be appropriate.

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You think power is some kind of object that can "go" somewhere?

Read the Anti-Dühring and Misery of philosophy, and you shall not fail anymore.

My own preference would be to keep some form of central planning to invest in new enterprises and set budgets in the form of labor credits. but the prices of goods produced would always reflect their labor-input. so for the sake of simplicity we'll assume that a country faces no major external threats and doesn't have to worry about large budgets for military, defense, etc. in this case investment is almost wholly driven by consumer demand with the exception of certain public goods or large, long-term projects that are decided by referenda or voting process.

Ex.A
it costs X man-hours to produce something
consumers willing to pay X
production continues

Ex.B
it costs Y man-hours to produce something
consumers only buy 50% of goods
budget is reduced and production decreases

Ex.C
it costs Z man-hours to produce something
consumer orders outpace supply
budget is increased, production increases

At first glance this might look like a market, but it isn't. The budgets for this enterprise would be alotted based upon central planning (could be a committee or various worker councils or whatever). No person or enterprise is accumulating value. Businesses don't receive money or credits from consumers - they simply record that such-and-such units were sold to keep track of demand, but that's it. No one is making a profit since the goal is to sell goods & services at cost.

...

The problem with your version is that ignores the role of production costs…

Please define more precisely what you mean by "production costs".

the number of man-hours necessary to produce a given commodity.

You spoke of a "role of production costs". What role should this information play in the production process?

It allows society to know the relative cost of different commodities in the economy based upon human labor-time and its productivity. It also provides a feedback loop in which the people consuming goods would be able to decide if the production of a commodity is worth the effort or not.

If you want to produce something in the economy then you also have to allocate a budget representing the cost of producing that thing. These costs are a claim on materials & labor coming from the economy as a whole.

For example…
-
Enterprise: Car factory
Budget: 16,000 hours of labor credits, X amount of materials (represented by the cost in man-hours of producing those materials.)
-
The factory budget represents a claim on the rest of the economy in terms of X labor-time and Y materials. The factory "buys" materials from other enterprises and the workers buy consumer goods from stores and so on. This chain of production+consumption+production allows the possibility of rational economic planning.

Consumers -> Car factory -> Other enterprises

If a car costs 80 hours to produce, and the consumer is willing to pay 80 labor credits for it, then it means the consumer is willing to work 80 hours to supply the economy with enough goods to produce the requirements of funding the car factory. The goods produced by the car-buyer are being consumed by the factory worker and vice versa. The production from one goes to the other, being a circular process.

There's a pretty wide gap between those two definitions in structural terms

>If a car costs 80 hours to produce, and the consumer is willing to pay 80 labor credits for it, then it means the consumer is willing to work 80 hours to supply the economy with enough goods to produce the requirements of funding the car factory.
So the goal of this process is for the planner to determine how much labour the consumer is willing to do in order to get this or that good? Am I not mistaken?

No.
It's an internet culture reference, dad.

Thanks kid.

That, and to the duplicity of the Bolsheviks.

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What else is new?

That's basically it. The end goal, however, is to ensure that everyone is producing something really useful and affordable to society as a whole.

But the planner and the consumer are one and the same. He doesn't need any process to find out what he's willing to put labour in; he decides what he's willing to put labour in.

Everyone is producing something because everyone decided it is really useful in the first place. There's no need to ensure anything here.

What is being produced is affordable by definition, as if it wasn't, it couldn't be produced.

What do you mean?

How would this work in practice? Someone draws up a list and everyone votes on what should be produced? How does "everyone decide" in the "first place"?

You do realize it's possible to produce goods at a loss, right? If society produces something that is not voluntarily consumed at its cost of production then it represents lost value, and in a socialist society, lost labor-time. If production continues it will represent an increasing cost to society without anything of utility being produced.

What kind of system exactly are you proposing?

bump