First  Prev  1  2  3  4  5  Next  Last
Democratic Socialism
1711 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / F / Canada
Offline
Posted 12/30/08 , edited 12/30/08
I realize that most people on here are from America so I'll just start this topic and see what happens. Democratic socialism has been taken up and integrated into many developed country in the world and has worked.

What do you think of this form of government? Explain your reasoning.


What Is Democratic Socialism?
Democratic Socialists believe that the economy and society should be run democratically - to meet the needs of the whole community, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be trasnsformed to through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the decisions that affect our lives.
Democracy and socialism go hand in hand. All over the world, wherever the idea of democracy has taken root, the vision of socialism has taken root as well- everywhere but in the United States.
Because of this, many false ideas about socialism have developed in the U.S. With this booklet, we hope to answer some of your questions about socialism.

# Large corporations seem to be an almost permanent fixture in the US, so what is the point of working towards socialism?
In the short term we can't eliminate large corporations, but we can bring them under democratic control. Government could use regulartions and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment. Public pressure and trade unions also have a critical role to play in the struggle to hold corporations accountable. Worker ownership of large corporations is another important possibility for democratizing our economy, and one that has recently seemed more and more attainable.

# Won't socialism be impractical because people will lose their incentive to work?
We don't agree with the capitalist assumption that starvation or greed are the only reasons people work. People enjoy thier work if it is meaningful and enhances their lives. They work out of a sense of responsibility to their community and society. Although a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor, we recognize that unappealing jobs will remain. These tasks would be spread among as many people as possible- rather than distributed on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, or gender, as they are under capitalism. We believe that a combination of social, economic, and moral incentives will motivate people to work.

# Hasn't socialism been discredited by the triumph of capitalism and the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe?
Socialists have been among the harshest critics of the anti-democratic, highly centralized societies and economies of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Just because the bureaucratic elites called their systems 'socialist' did not make it so; they also called their regimes 'democratic'. We applaude the authentic democratic revolutions that have transformed the former communist bloc. We also expect that the social democratic parties that are re-emerging in Eastern Europe will be essential in the struggle to protect workers rights, to ensure equality for women, and to promote social justice for all. The improvement of people's lives requires economic growth and real democracy, without ethnic rivaltries and/or new forms of authoritarianism. Democratic socialists will continue to play a key role in that struggle throughout the world.
Can half the world be turned upside down while the U.S. continues in the rut of Cold War thinking? We say no; the fall of communism should not blind us to injustices at home. Nor should we allow all reform to be dismissed as 'communistic.' That suppression of dissent and difersity undermines America's ability to prosper in a radically new world, a world in which the most successful countries promote social justice and combine market economies with a strong role for democratic government.

# Isn't socialism unpatriotic, un-American?
America has been blessed with abundant natural resources, and a skilled, innovative workforce. We recognize that we have significant political liberties and individual freedoms. Our standard of living is higher than that of many other nations.
We believe, however, that this country can do better. Over the generations, socialists have played a key role in the fights for the reforms that our nation points to with pride. It is through the struggles of working people, women, and people of color that vital democratic reforms such as the forty-hour week, increases in the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and Social Security have been won. Much, however, remains to be done before people take control over their own destinies, and before our wealth is used to ensure that everyone has access to such basic necessities as food, housing, education, and health care.
Other countries show us that you can strive for both prosperity and social justice. We must do better.

# Why are there no models of democratic socialism?
Although no country has fully instituted democratic socialism, the democratic socialist, social democratic, and labor movements of other countries have won many victories we can learn from. We can learn from the comprehensive welfare state maintained by the Swedes, from Canada's national health care system, France's nationwide child care program, or Nicaragua's literacy programs. Lastly, we can learn from efforts initiated right here in the U.S., such as the community health centers created by the government in the 1960s. They provided high quality family care, with community involvement in decision-making.

# But hasn't the European Social Democratic experiment failed?
For over half a decade, Western Europe have enjoyed both tremendous prosperity and economic equality thanks to the policies pursued by socialist and labor parties. These nations used their relative wealth to insure a high standard of living for their citizens- high wages, health care and subsidized education. More importantly, these states supported strong labor movements which became central players in economic decision-making. But times have changed, and as the world economy becomes more and more internationalized, the old social democratic model becomes harder and harder to maintain. Stiff competition from low-wage labor markets in developing countries and the constant fear that industry would move to avoid taxes and strong labor regulations has diminished the ability of nations to launch ambitious economic reform on their own. European Socialists, like their North American counterparts, have recognized that social democratic reform must happen at the international level -- multinational corporations must be brought under democratic controls, and worker's organizing efforts must reach accross borders.
Now, more than ever, Socialism is an international movement. As we have always known, the welfare of working people in Sweden or California is linked to those in Italy or Indonesia. That being so, we must invision reforms which can withstand the power of multinationals and global banks.

# How can we afford socialism with the enormous budget deficit?
The vast wealth of this country must be distributed more equitably. Progressive taxation would yield revenue that could be put towards restoring many of the social programs that have been recently slashed - and many more social programs. Furthermore, increased spending on education and infrustructure, as Japan and Germany have proven, will give our economy a much-needed boost. The tax burden in the US unfairly favors the rich, while the middle classes struggle to meet Uncle Sam's demands. Simply put, we must tax the rich. A return to the moderately progressive tax levels prior to 1981 would restore close to $100 billion a year in tax revenues.

# Isn't DSA a party that's in competition with the Democratic party for votes and support?
No, DSA is not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizing movements, we are members of the Democratic party. We work with those movements to push the party in a progressive direction and to advance vital issues of justice, opportunity, and economic democracy.
The process and structure of American elections, however, hurt third party efforts. Winner-take-all elections instead of proportional representation, rigorous party qualification requirements that vary from state to state, the presidential instead of a parliamentary system, and the two-party monopoly on political power have doomed third party attempts from the start. Maybe sometime in the future, in coalition with our allies, an alternative party will be initiated. For now, we will continue to work to turn the Democratic party into a fighting force with a mission for change because that is where we can be most effective.

# If I am going to devote time to politics, why shouldn't I focus on something more immediate?
Although capitalism will be with us for a long time, socialism is an attainable goal worth struggling for. Socialism is a series of steps. The first steps- like raising the minimum wage, securing a national health plan, and demanding passage of right-to-strike legislation will all help make life better today. Many democratic socialists actively work in the single-issue organizations that advocate for those reforms. We are visible in the reproductive freedom movement, the peace community, gay and lesbian organizations, anti-racist groups, and the labor movement.
It is precisely our socialist vision that informs and inspires our day-to-day activism for social justice. And as socialists we bring a new framework- a sense of the interdependence of our struggles for justice. No one single issue organization will be able to challenge the capitalist system, so alone no single issue organization will ever be able to adequately secure its demands. In fact, unless you have a vision of the broader goal, each short-term step will be disconnected, maybe even self-defeating.

# If so many people misunderstand socialism, why continue to use the word?
First, we call ourselves socialists because we are proud of what we are. Second, no matter what we call ourselves, conservatives will use it against us. Anti-socialism has been repeatedly used to attack reforms that shift power to the people and away from corporate capital. In 1993, national health insurance was attacked as 'socialized medicine' and defeated. Liberals and progressives are routinely denounced as socialists in order to discredit reform. We also call ourselves socialists because we are proud of the traditions upon which we are based, namely the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and the other struggles for change that have made America as democratic and just as it now is. Finally, we call ourselves socialists to remind everyone that we have a vision of a better world.

http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/merupert/Research/far-right/dem_soc.htm
100203 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / F / Charlotte
Offline
Posted 12/30/08
hun, that's way too long to read, good look grasping somebody bored enough to read all that s**t
100203 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / F / Charlotte
Offline
Posted 12/30/08
i meant to say good luck
Scientist Moderator
digs 
37029 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Online
Posted 12/30/08 , edited 12/30/08
Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.
100203 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / F / Charlotte
Offline
Posted 12/30/08

digs wrote:

Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.


U just pop up anywhere don't u. I wonder how big of a brain u have.

Is there anything u actually agree upon?
Scientist Moderator
digs 
37029 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Online
Posted 12/30/08 , edited 12/30/08

LamiaZlogonje wrote:


digs wrote:

Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.


U just pop up anywhere don't u. I wonder how big of a brain u have.

Is there anything u actually agree upon?


I am a very opinionated person I don't want to brag, but my brain is fine. I scored a 28 on the ACT (ranking in the top 7% of the country and the top 1% by earning a 34 on the science portion) and I have a 3.75 college GPA. I don't say this to brag (because God gave me my abilities and all glory and thanks goes to Him) But I would argue that I am not uneducated or politically ignorant.

I don't really agree with much liberalism. However, I do not support the war in Iraq and I think Obama has it right when it comes to talking with militant dictators (as long as he pushes a strong position and doesn't compromise with them). Although I still voted McCain (closet liberal imo, kinda glad he didn't win) and Palin.
100203 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / F / Charlotte
Offline
Posted 12/30/08

digs wrote:


LamiaZlogonje wrote:


digs wrote:

Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.


U just pop up anywhere don't u. I wonder how big of a brain u have.

Is there anything u actually agree upon?


I am a very opinionated person I don't want to brag, but my brain is fine. I scored a 28 on the ACT (ranking in the top 7% of the country and the top 1% by earning a 34 on the science portion) and I have a 3.75 college GPA. I don't say this to brag (because God gave me my abilities and all glory and thanks goes to Him) But I would argue that I am not uneducated or politically ignorant.

I don't really agree with much liberalism. However, I do not support the war in Iraq and I think Obama has it right when it comes to talking with militant dictators (as long as he pushes a strong position and doesn't compromise with them). Although I still voted McCain (closet liberal imo, kinda glad he didn't win) and Palin.


^^ interesting, i wouldn't mind talkign to u, u seem like someone i'd be interested in speaking to maybe even learning from
Scientist Moderator
digs 
37029 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M
Online
Posted 12/30/08

LamiaZlogonje wrote:


digs wrote:


LamiaZlogonje wrote:


digs wrote:

Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.


U just pop up anywhere don't u. I wonder how big of a brain u have.

Is there anything u actually agree upon?


I am a very opinionated person I don't want to brag, but my brain is fine. I scored a 28 on the ACT (ranking in the top 7% of the country and the top 1% by earning a 34 on the science portion) and I have a 3.75 college GPA. I don't say this to brag (because God gave me my abilities and all glory and thanks goes to Him) But I would argue that I am not uneducated or politically ignorant.

I don't really agree with much liberalism. However, I do not support the war in Iraq and I think Obama has it right when it comes to talking with militant dictators (as long as he pushes a strong position and doesn't compromise with them). Although I still voted McCain (closet liberal imo, kinda glad he didn't win) and Palin.


^^ interesting, i wouldn't mind talkign to u, u seem like someone i'd be interested in speaking to maybe even learning from


I think I would enjoy talking with you too. I may be conservative, but I am not close minded and I enjoy respectful debate and the sharing of ideas as well as critical thinking/analysis. Thanks for the compliment, and same to you.
Posted 12/30/08

digs wrote:

Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.


Yeah there are "NO" divisions in the current system, the rich get more and the poor get the shaft. Democratic socialism would actually cement the ideal that all men are created equal, not only the rich or lucky could live happy fulfilling lives but everyone could. The current economic situation has proven that the free market is full of greedy opportunistic assholes.
20924 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
20 / M / Singapore
Offline
Posted 12/30/08
Capitalism had failed in America.....Go Socialist!
Posted 1/1/09

superninjaboy wrote:


digs wrote:

Democratic socialism in my opinion is not best. It limits free markets, punishes the rich, and brings division in society. Democratic socialism has larger government, less perosnal freedom, and adhears to "political correctness" and liberalism. I support a Conservative free market economy with small government. I support conservative/libertarian laws and view liberalism as a highly flawed political ideology.


Yeah there are "NO" divisions in the current system, the rich get more and the poor get the shaft. Democratic socialism would actually cement the ideal that all men are created equal, not only the rich or lucky could live happy fulfilling lives but everyone could. The current economic situation has proven that the free market is full of greedy opportunistic assholes.


Yeah, totally agree. The free market certainly gives opportunities, but sometimes cannot support itself as a system. At that point, the government eventually has to pump money into it (Bailout earlier in the year was quite socialistic by the way), and the free market technically loses its essence.
Posted 1/2/09
Well we all saw what capitalism does to a economy....TWICE. How about we try a different approach lol.
2031 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / inside your mind
Offline
Posted 1/3/09
I think it works well for small countries. The idea of equality as far as money and everything is a very good one, and if it can work in practice without a huge amount of corruption, then that's great. However, for America and other countries, a mixed economy seems to be the best possible system.
4577 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Hinamizawa
Offline
Posted 1/4/09
I thought Communism is similar to Democratic Socialism
Posted 2/2/09
I disagreed about Democratic Socialism or Socialism.

Economic freedom (capitalism, free enterprise, property rights), intellectual freedom (science and technology) and self-interest makes societies prosperous. Strong, utopian government (Socialism) leads to nothing but unemployment, poverty, and emigration. Socialism is immoral because it makes people subjects, chattel, owned by the state, which will plan their lives and tell them what to do. Socialism, along with Communism, are one of causes of the Great Depression, raise of National Socialist German Workers' Party and Social Welfare (Nazism) and Soviet, Vietnam War, Khmer Rouge, Serb genocide, Japanese 1986 to 1990 recession, and todays recession. And also Political Correctness

Socialists claim to want to make people better off. They claim to want to reduce poverty, not increase it. They claim capitalism lead to unemployment and deaths. And yet they refuse to approach the issue scientifically, namely by seeing what actually does reduce poverty, and adopting it.

Some of you thinks Socialism is okay or great, but once government give you something, they could also take it away from you.



First  Prev  1  2  3  4  5  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.