Reviews for Socialism
Technopeasant chapter 1 . 1/24/2012
One note of error: socialism does not necessarily imply state ownership or even direction, at least not necessary. It implies that the means of production are controlled by those that live with or utilize it. There are several socialist movements based on decentralized independent communes, cooperatives or collectives. Social democracy, as practised in Western Europe, is arguable in terms of how genuinely socialistic it is. The difference goes down to one question: is equality and opportunity the goal of the state or the inherent right of each individual? The social democratic model states that they are desirable but not mandatory, and utilizes regulatory mechanisms to try and achieve a relative equality. The ideal for the Soviet Union was that these were innate rights, as outlined in the Soviet Constitution (Roosevelt also considered a Second Bill of Rights addressing this). The state had to provide housing, food, work, etc, and for most of its history actually did not do that bad a job of it considering. You are right that the Soviet Union lost its democratic representation and became too isolationist and militarist; and you are right in my opinion to stress that this was seen as defensive rather than aggressive by the Soviets themselves - a typically Russian trait. My point is socialism is more the idea of economic equality and security, rather than a single organizational or structural model.
Aisteru U chapter 1 . 6/4/2004
Yah! I finally read one of your essays that I can't ague with. I completely agree with everything you say. Good Job!