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The Fantasy of Socialism

 

Apparently, this is not a parody account.

With genuine socialism, you would be doing work that you actually enjoy and want to do. All work will be voluntary. No one would be made to do anything they don’t want to do. That is what happens under capitalism.

So, under socialism, only foot fetishists will work in shoe stores, bedpans will be emptied by coprophiliacs, and potatoes will be dug by… poor people overseen by armed men because nobody in the real world is going to do it just for the gratification of feeding smug populations of urban elites who have nothing but contempt for the people that supply their food.

Until someone invents replicators so we can have Luxury Authoritarian Space Communism a la Star Trek, this scheme of “everybody works for the common good and does whatever they want” isn’t going to work. And even in the Trek universe, there is still scarcity. If everyone is living in a high-rise condo, who gets the top floor with the view? Does everybody who wants one get a ranch in Montana, or is that reserved for Star Fleet Admirals and other elites? Who has to be on a low floor next to the turbolift? I imagine there would have to be an entire bureaucracy of people making those allocations; people who were really passionate about telling other people where they get to live and suchlike.

The really sad part is, a lot of “young skulls full of mush” are being taught that Socialism really is just “free stuff from the government that lets you do whatever you want.”

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There are 57 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    Victor Tango Kilo: With genuine socialism, you would be doing work that you actually enjoy and want to do.

    You mean under socialism, I can open that brothel I’ve always wanted? Sign me up!

    • #1
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:19 am
    • 5 likes
  2. Thatcher

    Socialism promises a Utopia it can never deliver, while capitalism promises an opportunity for individuals to create their own personal utopias (lower case intentional) to the best of their abilities and drives.

    Liberals like to say because capitalism offers no guarantees (which is true), it’s flawed, while ignoring the inherent flaw in socialism (Utopia doesn’t exist).

    • #2
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:26 am
    • 9 likes
  3. Member

    A professor I had explained it with beef. A steer has only so many steaks. With socialism a bureaucrat decides who gets the steak ( usually him) and who gets the hamburger. With capitalism the free market decides.

    Edit. That is assuming that under socialism there is any beef to be had.

    • #3
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:53 am
    • 12 likes
  4. Member
    Victor Tango Kilo Post author

    I am reminded of a story that was told in the Soviet Union. A peasant was in the woods gathering logs to make a fire, when he came upon an old bottle. He picked the bottle up and a Djinn came out. The genie said, “For freeing me from my bottle, I will grant you one wish.”

    The peasant said. “I am cold and have barely enough to eat. But my neighbor has a farm where he keeps cows. He sells the milk and beef from the cows to provide his family with food and wood to keep his fire warm.”

    “I think I know where this is going,” said the Djinn.

    “Yes,” said the old peasant. “I want you to kill my neighbor’s cows.”

    That’s socialism.

    • #4
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:01 am
    • 25 likes
  5. Member

    As the old joke goes:

    With capitalism man oppresses man. With socialism it is the other way around.

    • #5
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:04 am
    • 14 likes
  6. Member

    Even Marx recognized this for the rubbish that it is and talked of the need to create the new communist man who would voluntarily dig potatoes and others who would not sneer at those who dug them. The new communist man would only take what he needed and give fully of what his abilities enabled. How this mythical creature was to come about, Marx knew not. But his presence was required.

    • #6
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:18 am
    • 14 likes
  7. Coolidge

    The problem is that is what The Democratic Party would have you believe, not just The Socialist Party.

    • #7
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:19 am
    • 5 likes
  8. Member

    ctlaw (View Comment):
    The problem is that is what The Democratic Party would have you believe, not just The Socialist Party.

    What’s a few logical inconsistencies that will kill millions if followed among friends?

    • #8
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:24 am
    • 4 likes
  9. Member

    Victor Tango Kilo: And even in the Trek universe, there is still scarcity. If everyone is living in a high-rise condo, who gets the top floor with the view? Who has to be next to the turbolift?

    The vast majority of the Federation population lives 24/7 in holodecks.

    • #9
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:26 am
    • 4 likes
  10. Member

    Once again, the modifier “genuine” is the built in excuse for why the only product of socialism is a century of failure and death. Like faith healers, the problem is you for not believing in it enough and doing more of it even though it’s not working.

    • #10
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:44 am
    • 4 likes
  11. Member

    Victor Tango Kilo: Until someone invents replicators so we can have Luxury Authoritarian Space Communism a la Star Trek,

    One of these days, I’m going to write a post that explictly disproves that Star Trek was ever communist, even the nutty early Next Generation where Picard blabbers about nobody wanting money (it’s because Roddenberry had financial problems, not because he was interested in communism).

    It’s also ridiculous that a franchise that featured backward societies run by computers as an allegory for the Soviet Union, and its main protagonist as someone who would talk those computers to death by showing that they failed to deliver on the exact goals that they were trying to achieve, is now heralded by a bunch of dirty commies as advocating the very economic system it spent so much time criticizing as morally bankrupt.

    • #11
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:53 am
    • 8 likes
  12. Member
    Victor Tango Kilo Post author

    Joe P (View Comment):

    One of these days, I’m going to write a post that explictly disproves that Star Trek was ever communist, even the nutty early Next Generation where Picard blabbers about nobody wanting money (it’s because Roddenberry had financial problems, not because he was interested in communism).

    Then, you will have to address the greedy capitalist space Jews*, i.e. The Ferengi. They were created explicitly as a ham-handed critique of Capitalism, or what Hollywood thinks of as Capitalism. They screwed over everyone they did business with, yet had no trouble finding people to do business with. It made no freakin’ sense. Unless that’s how Hollywood works.

    Granted, in the later seasons of DS9, the Ferengi were given more depth than Roddenberry had created them with. Still, they had to impose an income tax and business regulations as part of their rehabilitation.

    (* I’m saying this is how they were portrayed, as anti-Semitic stereotypes {big ears instead of big noses}; not that they were actually representative of Jewish persons. Also, the Cardassians represented Israelis occupying Bajoran lands and making their terrorism justifiable. Lots of unsubtle anti-Semitism in Trek.)

    • #12
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:58 am
    • 6 likes
  13. Coolidge

    Victor Tango Kilo:Apparently, this is not a parody account.

    With genuine socialism, you would be doing work that you actually enjoy and want to do. All work will be voluntary. No one would be made to do anything they don’t want to do. That is what happens under capitalism.

    Yes, that is what happens under capitalism! All work is voluntary, and no one is made to do anything they don’t want to do. Well, it could happen under capitalism, if there’s slavery, or prison labor, but that’s not a result of capitalism. And your parents would still make you get a job at McDonalds to pay for your car, which is probably what prompted the author to write this tripe.

    • #13
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:05 am
    • 7 likes
  14. Member

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):

    Joe P (View Comment):

    One of these days, I’m going to write a post that explictly disproves that Star Trek was ever communist, even the nutty early Next Generation where Picard blabbers about nobody wanting money (it’s because Roddenberry had financial problems, not because he was interested in communism).

    Then, you will have to address the greedy capitalist space Jews, i.e. The Ferengi. They were created explicitly as a ham-handed critique of Capitalism, or what Hollywood thinks of as Capitalism. They screwed over everyone they did business with, yet had no trouble finding people to do business with. It made sense. Unless that’s how Hollywood works.

    Providing a critique of capitalism is not the same as explictly advocating communism. Roddenberry was a mushy thinker about these issues, but he did not favor communism.

    The tell is right in the pilot of The Next Generation, where Q delivers a rant about “the petty arguments you people used to have about how to divide the resources of your planet” which is condemning both sides of the Cold War as stupid. We can easily find this reprehensible now that the Soviet Union is obviously a failure (something that did not happen yet when that episode was written), but, it still is not advocacy for communism. It’s an implicit claim that there exists some third, magic, undefined way of making these problems all go away, which is exactly what we see on the show; everyone on Earth seems to be happy with whatever their arrangement is, however they made it.

    • #14
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:11 am
    • 1 like
  15. Member
    Victor Tango Kilo Post author

    Also, for a Utopian society, Trek had an awful lot of people working as waiters and waitresses. Yeah, that’s what everybody wants to do in a Utopian society where money has been eliminated: bus tables.

    Star Wars got this closer to how it actually would have worked.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/WA-7_waitress_droid

    • #15
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:19 am
    • 4 likes
  16. Member

    Actually, the system they’re claiming would totally work. If you scroll through their twitter feed, you’ll see that they have a good response to virtually every snarky comment thrown at them. That is for the simple reason that their ideology is correct. As they themselves claim, if a large enough majority of people truly wanted to live in a socialist environment, and if this group was diverse enough to function even at the lower levels, and if there were people who even wanted to do dirty and awful jobs for the same pay as professional athletes and video game testers, (and so on and so on and so on), then socialism would work like a dream.

    I wouldn’t bother arguing with them that it can’t work – I’d just encourage them to find enough willing people to form a country where it will work. Cooperation is awesome! Of course, it doesn’t exist in a real world, but I see no reason to discourage them from searching for it.

    • #16
    • February 5, 2018 at 10:03 am
    • 3 likes
  17. Member

    • #17
    • February 5, 2018 at 11:52 am
    • Like
  18. Contributor

    Joe P (View Comment):
    The tell is right in the pilot of The Next Generation, where Q delivers a rant about “the petty arguments you people used to have about how to divide the resources of your planet” which is condemning both sides of the Cold War as stupid. We can easily find this reprehensible now that the Soviet Union is obviously a failure (something that did not happen yet when that episode was written), but, it still is not advocacy for communism. It’s an implicit claim that there exists some third, magic, undefined way of making these problems all go away, which is exactly what we see on the show; everyone on Earth seems to be happy with whatever their arrangement is, however they made it.

    There was a TNG scene where Picard scoffs “can you believe that people actually went to war over economic systems,” which made him sound like a complete idiot. Just the scriptwriter, preening. But as for the TNG line about doing away with money, it’s not consistent with the rest of Trek. From the script of the 3rd movie: Bones is in a bar, trying to get passage off Earth.

    McCOY: You have me at a disadvantage, sir.
    ALIEN: I name not important. You seek I. Message received. Available ship stands by.
    McCOY: How much and how soon?
    ALIEN: How soon is now. How much is where?
    McCOY: Somewhere in the Mutara Sector.
    ALIEN: Oh. Mutara restricted. Take permits many. Money, more.
    McCOY: There aren’t going to be any damn permits! How can you get a permit to do a damn illegal thing? Look, price you name, money I got.
    ALIEN: Place you name, money I name. Otherwise, bargain, no.

    So they had money. They had to have a medium of exchange to deal with other species. And thus, gold-pressed latinum was born.

    The Ferengis – based on ferenghi, an Arabic word for Western Europeans – turned out to be good comic relief, once the show runners realized that snarling little trolls with neon whips weren’t exactly terrifying. Quark was a marvelous character – the Captain Renault of DS9. But I’ll differ with you on the Bajor / Palestine thing. At first, yes, but once DS9 got up and running, it was more of a post-Soviet Eastern-Europe analogy, since the Spoonheads had suffered reverses and pulled back from captive territory.

    • #18
    • February 5, 2018 at 11:56 am
    • 2 likes
  19. Member
    Victor Tango Kilo Post author

    The line of dialogue that sticks out in my memory is from Mark Twain in Time Arrow, Part II.

    Young lady, I come from a time when men achieve power and wealth by standing on the backs of the poor, where prejudice and intolerance are commonplace and power is an end unto itself, and you’re telling me that isn’t how it is anymore?!

    I don’t there’s any line in the Trek universe where a 20th Century communist denounces that system. “I come from a time when men promised equality and progress in return for power, but delivered only squalor, oppression, and misery. Where freedom and individuality were suppressed in the name of the so-called ‘Common Good'” 

    • #19
    • February 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm
    • 2 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Joe P (View Comment):

    Victor Tango Kilo: Until someone invents replicators so we can have Luxury Authoritarian Space Communism a la Star Trek,

    One of these days, I’m going to write a post that explictly disproves that Star Trek was ever communist, even the nutty early Next Generation where Picard blabbers about nobody wanting money (it’s because Roddenberry had financial problems, not because he was interested in communism).

    It’s also ridiculous that a franchise that featured backward societies run by computers as an allegory for the Soviet Union, and its main protagonist as someone who would talk those computers to death by showing that they failed to deliver on the exact goals that they were trying to achieve, is now heralded by a bunch of dirty commies as advocating the very economic system it spent so much time criticizing as morally bankrupt.

    I’d be interested to read that post. My memory of TNG was that there was an awful lot of denunciation of 20th-century American values, especially capitalism.

    • #20
    • February 5, 2018 at 12:59 pm
    • 2 likes
  21. Coolidge
    TBA

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):
    Also, for a Utopian society, Trek had an awful lot of people working as waiters and waitresses. Yeah, that’s what everybody wants to do in a Utopian society where money has been eliminated: bus tables.

    Star Wars got this closer to how it actually would have worked.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/WA-7_waitress_droid

    Did…did you just claim that one of the two major ‘Star’ franchises is in some way superior to the other?

    Do you want Ricochet to die in a flame war?

    • #21
    • February 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    • 3 likes
  22. Member

    So under genuine socialism I can be the quarterback in next year’s Super Bowl? I call dibs. I’m only a year older than Tom Brady, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be me…

    • #22
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    • 6 likes
  23. Member

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    So under genuine socialism I can be the quarterback in next year’s Super Bowl? I call dibs. I’m only a year older than Tom Brady, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be me…

    “From each according to his abilities…”

    With all due respect, are you sure you wouldn’t prefer digging potatoes?

    • #23
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm
    • 5 likes
  24. Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    Even Marx recognized this for the rubbish that it is and talked of the need to create the new communist man who would voluntarily dig potatoes and others who would not sneer at those who dug them. The new communist man would only take what he needed and give fully of what his abilities enabled. How this mythical creature was to come about, Marx knew not. But his presence was required.

    Well based on the history of the 20th century, I think the way Communism attempts to create this mythical creature is by identifying everyone who does not want to dig potatoes, labeling them a “class enemy,” and sending them to re-education camps (or simply killing them). Everyone who survives quickly learns to get with the program and feign enthusiasm for digging potatoes…

    • #24
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    With all due respect, are you sure you wouldn’t prefer digging potatoes?

    Yes comrade, I love digging potatoes! Is so much more satisfying and rewarding than playing children’s ball game in front of audience of billions to enrich filthy capitalist corporations…

    • #25
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:11 pm
    • 4 likes
  26. Member

    TBA (View Comment):
    Did…did you just claim that one of the two major ‘Star’ franchises is in some way superior to the other?

    Do you want Ricochet to die in a flame war?

    Why would there be a flame war? Conservatives are smart and have good taste, and every smart person with good taste knows Star Wars is way better than Star Trek…

    • #26
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:37 pm
    • 2 likes
  27. Thatcher

    I’ve found that referring to the Democrats as the “free stuff party” sets my kids back on their heels. Must have had twenty-five friends of my five kids (all college age) staying with us at times over the winter break (large house in third-tier Colorado ski town). Sure, they fight against the “free stuff party” barb but they can never get the hook out and they know it.

    Try it out. It’s true and it’s a fun line of attack with the young ones.

    • #27
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:01 pm
    • 6 likes
  28. Member

    Milt Friedman used to say that Capitalism isn’t perfect, but it is the best we have at lifting the most people up from poverty. He also said no matter the system; capitalism, socialism, communism, they all have ups and downs, highs and lows. We might have recessions, but so do socialist and communist countries. We don’t have mass starvations.

    As Thomas Sowell said, the black market was important in Soviet Russia. I think it is also at work in Venezuela.

    Lefies never notice the failures of socialism. As noted, the theory is perfect. Therefore, it must be able to work. What man should do and does do are two different things. Ben Franklin could not become the perfect man by conscientiously trying to work on one thing at a time. If BF couldn’t execute the experiment successfully with one man, what makes young punks think they can do so with millions? Ignorance combined with Narcissim is the best I have in reply. Those are the qualities that seem most abundant and have the least worth in a capitalist or socialist system.

    • #28
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm
    • 1 like
  29. Member

    I think it was Churchill who said that “The problem with capitalism is capitalists. The problem with socialism is socialism.”

    • #29
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm
    • 3 likes
  30. Member

    Victor Tango Kilo (View Comment):
    I am reminded of a story that was told in the Soviet Union. A peasant was in the woods gathering logs to make a fire, when he came upon an old bottle. He picked the bottle up and a Djinn came out. The genie said, “For freeing me from my bottle, I will grant you one wish.”

    The peasant said. “I am cold and have barely enough to eat. But my neighbor has a farm where he keeps cows. He sells the milk and beef from the cows to provide his family with food and wood to keep his fire warm.”

    “I think I know where this is going,” said the Djinn.

    “Yes,” said the old peasant. “I want you to kill my neighbor’s cows.”

    That’s socialism.

    Very good. I’ll match your old story with another…one I came across in the the forward of Victor Serge’s memoirs:

    Nedezhda Joffe had spent some two decades of her life in prison camps and internal exile. A vibrant, gray-haired woman of eighty-five, she was probably the last person alive in Russia who had once known Victor Serge. As the spring sun streamed through her window, we spent a morning talking about him and her father and the Russia that might have been if people like them had prevailed. Just before I left, she told me a story.

    “A descendant of the Decembrists [reformer aristocrats who rebelled against the Tsar in the 1820s] sees a crowd demonstrating in the street and she sends her daughter outside: ‘Masha! Go and see what’s going on.’

    “Masha returns and says, ‘Lots of people are out on the street.’

    “’What do they want?’

    “’They’re demanding that no one should be rich.’

    “’That’s strange,’ says the woman. ‘My grandfather went out onto the street and demanded that no one should be poor.’”

    As Ralphie noted, “the theory is perfect.” I suspect this can be taken further in that socialism and the corresponding socialists in any given experiment are “best” on day one and degrade steadily every day the experiment continues. The story above hints at degradation of the socialists over generations. Unfortunately, reality seems to lead to mass starvations much quicker (on the order of a decade…or less), so that part will remain only a theory also.

    • #30
    • February 5, 2018 at 10:15 pm
    • 1 like
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