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Why Socialism?

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makaira
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Oct 26 2006 04:12
Why Socialism?

admin edit: pls dont post c&p's when the text is available elsewhere online, just abstract it and then link.

Quote:
Why Socialism?
by Albert Einstein

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.

This is obviously not groundbreaking, and perhaps some of you have read this article before, but it is certainly nice to know that there are "geniuses" out there that share the same thought process as us.

I very much enjoyed the following portions:

"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."

Because every time I get in an argument with somebody over capitalism the line I always hear is, "You've obviously not taken any economics courses." Usually my response includes something along the lines of, "I'm literate and I know where the library is." For the record I have taken an econ class at the uni, but I never bring it up because it holds no weight in my mind.

"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil."

Obviously he uses the word "anarchy" here to mean "chaos" instead of actual anarchist thought. I mainly like it for this attribute, however.

"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."

Perhaps some of my strongest critiques of capitalism are in regard to the education system. So, I'm very delighted when others share in my enthusiasm.

lem
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Oct 26 2006 08:18

Which bit of economic is one supposed to know? confused

I mean, as far as I could tell there was Hayek, and he's a philosopher, and not much else!

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JoeMaguire
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Oct 26 2006 08:22

The article is courtessy of Monthly Review (so be careful)
this also might be worth a look though
http://www.monthlyreview.org/0505jjs.htm

Vaneigemappreci...
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Oct 26 2006 09:21
Quote:
Which bit of economic is one supposed to know?

milton friedman suggested that capitalism was the only was to acheive politcal freedom, though by political freedom i think he may have meant parliamentary democracy.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ipe/friedman.htm

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 26 2006 09:29

friedman's whole arguments are based around pointing out that 'socialism', meaning a state monopoly of everything, is neccessarily undemocratic, which he juxtaposes to 'the market'. he mentions anarchism once in 'capitalism and freedom', to say something like 'liberals are not anarchists, we recognise the need for law and order to protect life and property' (i.e. he's smart enough to know capitalism without a state doesn't work, but not as honest as adam smith who openly labelled such class dictatorship 'an association of the rich to oppress the poor', which doesn't help sell the whole 'capitalism is freedom' line very well wink).

bit of a tangent, but there you go

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Jacques Roux
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Oct 26 2006 09:38

M - please see note at the top of your post for why i edited.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Oct 26 2006 09:38

yeah it seems to be based on the notion of political freedom being represented by parliamentary democracy, "socialist" russia doesnt have parliamentary democracy ergo only "free market" capitalism can give us political freedom- scintillating stuff!

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 26 2006 09:44

he's the greatest economist alive!

(and that's not a compliment wink)

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 26 2006 09:48

actually friedman is an excellent ideologue/propagandist, because he seems well aware of the counter-arguments and completely side-steps them in favour of USSR-bashing, which works for those not acquainted with libertarian communism (which, lets face it is most people who read friedman).

i mean for example he correctly states that economic and political power are intertwined, then says we're obviously better off with a choice of bosses than just one, so we need market-capitalism not state-capitalism - that being the only choice you see roll eyes

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Lazy Riser
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Oct 26 2006 18:44

Hi

Quote:
"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."

Maybe if Albert hadn't been so well off, he'd have had a little more understanding of why others worship acquisitive success. Moreover, his analysis of his education bears little relationship to mine. Where I’m from everyone was taught to knuckle under, know their place, limit their ambitions and that the worship of acquisitive success is the root of all evil (despite it being a secular comprehensive). It’s my generation what started the ball rolling on escalating violent crime though, so there you go.

Love

LR

petey
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Joined: 13-10-05
Oct 26 2006 18:47
Joseph K. wrote:
actually friedman is an excellent ideologue/propagandist, because he seems well aware of the counter-arguments and completely side-steps them in favour of USSR-bashing

spot-on