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Confusion should not reign
The article starts with a clear statement that Socialism means two things: "Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.." However, the second para "A socialist economy is based on the principle of production for use,.." seems to me to refer to the theoretical socialist system, rather than real-world implementations of what is claimed to be socialism. Given the clarity of the opening statement, I would like this clarity maintained throughout the article, e.g. by inserting 'theoretical' as the second word in the second para, and similar changes to avoid confusion between statements that refer to the real world and statements that refer to hypothetical constructs. Any objections? Gravuritas (talk) 19:27, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
- The opening paragraph isn't specific enough with what "social ownership" implies. The second paragraph goes into more detail as to what social ownership implied traditionally (a system of production for use, meaning socialized assets are operated according to economic dynamics than the profit system of capitalism). As for "real-world" systems, there is no agreement as to whether or not socialism has ever been fully achieved in the "real world". Note that the official orientation of Soviet-style economies (assuming that is what you mean by "real-world implementations") was to plan production for use via material balances as opposed to relying on profit-loss signals for the guidance of production. So the concept of "production for use", while admittedly a broad generalization, is not something relegated to pure economic/political theory. -Battlecry 20:37, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
- Considering the fact that it seems like this page has defined socialism as what Marx defined communism to be I'm a bit confused as well. Marx based his utopian vision on actual real world systems that were being recorded in the travel logs of European explorers, anthropologists, traders, etc (which is why it was a 'primitive' system within his unilinear model). It might be better to define socialism as any economic system or subsystem organized around and driven by social interaction, relationships, and sociality, since there are real world examples of such systems. I don't know if that definition is out there though and is original research on my end (most definitions for socialism are functionally crap), but I think some close approximation would go far to improving the page. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 15:08, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Removed references to Blanquism
Lenin's paper "What is to be Done?" is not an accurate source as it was written almost 20 years prior to the Russian Revolution, when Revolutionary parties were illegal and suppressed, and well before the Bolsheviks were an open, large, and popular party. Blanquism is not Marxist nor Marxism, Leninism is not Blanquism. Therefore, Blanquism doesn't belong on this article in general and should not be referred to one in the same as Marxism Leninism specifically. In 1917 Lenin himself commented on how the Bolsheviks were not Blanquist.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 16:36, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
Semi-protected edit request on 15 May 2015
|This edit request has been answered. Set the
Ill formed sentence in Criticism §
I think what is meant here is that standard bourgeois economists do so, the text as is is unworkable. I'll review the source and put the text back properly composed shortly. Stiglitz is not such an Economist.
- So the title is unavailable in electronic form, I've ordered it with expedited shipping. There's no page reference but if someone has a copy ... . Lycurgus (talk) 05:54, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
- The base thing I think that it was attempted to say here (the part about equilibria anyway) though is cogent. You can't base models of the new society on the assumed basis of the old. Pareto optimality less so or not at all, expect that to be totally reversed. Lycurgus (talk) 05:59, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
- So this has arrived and in fact p7 where the fundamental theorems of welfare economics and pareto are highlighted (i.e it's a used text) correspond more or less to the sentence but the entirety of the work to some extent is relevant. Apparently where the original sentence had the weasel collective there's an actual codification of some body of economic thought in this specific work so that will be the nature of the redact. Lycurgus (talk) 15:45, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
- We should delete the section. Criticism should be entered in appropriate sections rather than be in a criticism ghetto. The British Labour Party for example embraced neo-classical economics before the Conservatives, so the criticism makes no sense. TFD (talk) 06:44, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
- In this case that seems to be contraindicated, inasmuch as opposition/criticism of socialism is on a scale comparable to the thing itself and there is a main article. Not sure how UK politics are determinative of anything outside the UK or to what extent it (Labour) should be considered a voice worth hearing either way on the (general) matter of socialism. Lycurgus (talk) 16:11, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
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|The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.|
Why is the obvious fact that socialism lost conveniently swept under the rug? I mean, even if you accept every argument for socialism as true and all the arguments against it as false that doesn't change the historical reality that socialism lost. I don't have a problem with different points of view, I do have a problem with being delusional.
Socialism lost. Why is there absolutely no effort to explain this?
But that is my point. All the new "socialist" movements are not socialist by any classical definition of socialism. The heartland of real actual socialism, where capitalism was utterly abolished, collapsed like a house of cards in 1989-91. No explanation is given for this, either from a socialist or capitalist perspective. That is my problem with the article.
Can you make a specific suggestion on were the article needs improving. You seem to be misrepresenting the article when you say things have been 'swept under the rug'. For example, the Dissolution of the Soviet Union is mentioned and the relevant is article linked to, in the Late 20th Century section. Although, it is tacked on the end of a paragraph mainly about China - it probably should have its own paragraph. The lede could probably be improved to better summarize the content, although this a broad article so is tricky. Also note, the article isn't specifically or just about the History of socialism, so the Philosophy, Economics etc. sections need to be given appropriate weight.
Socialism lost, although true by some definitions, is an over simplification. Worse it isn't very descriptive for people wishing to get deeper into the topic.Jonpatterns (talk) 23:04, 1 July 2015 (UTC)
I wrote following the collapse of much of the socialist world in the late 20th century orthodox socialism is no longer widely implemented.
How is that statement untrue?
2. Orthodox socialism means state ownership of all the means of production.
3. "No longer widely implemented" should be self-explanatory. Only Cuba and North Korea are implementing it.
4. Stating the rather blindingly obvious facts would be rather helpful in an encyclopedia.
5. If you haven't done basic research (like not knowing the socialist world collapsed) you should not be editing this article.
What are you talking about? The former communist states were socialist and they collapsed hence the collapse of much of the socialist world. This is not very hard.
The Soviet Union should probably have its own paragraph in the Late 20th Century section. There could be mention of State socialism no longer being widely implemented. @CJK: Communism is not the only form of socialism. You are oversimplifying in that it doesn't help in the understanding of the subject. Your argument relies one specific narrow definition of socialism, and one specific framing of events. For example, you could equally say 'capitalism' lost, see mixed economy. BTW Cuba is a mixed economy ref. Jonpatterns (talk) 12:42, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
What a ridiculous comment. So Cuba is Socialist but the USSR & co. weren't? I guess you are a Chomsky fan after all.
The Columbia encyclopedia says Recently, the collapse of Eastern European and Soviet Communist states has led socialists throughout the world to discard much of their doctrines regarding centralized planning and nationalization of enterprises.  That's pretty much the same thing I said, so what's the problem?
No, it's pretty much the same thing I said. But I can work with it if you can.
In case you haven't noticed all the original socialist states were Marxist-Leninist, hence the "orthodox" label. Your contention that they were not really socialist is an utterly laughable attempt to rewrite history, sustained primarily by discredited radicals who have a vested interest in perpetuating said myth.
Well, they were the majority of socialist states at the time.
One last thing: my point still stands that socialism lost. If you abandon state ownership, that means you have private ownership, which means you have (gasp) capitalism. We're saying exactly the same thing just differently.
Marxist-Leninist socialism was the main type of socialism that was implemented in real life as opposed to other various theoretical strands that came to nothing. The non-authoritarian socialism you seem to be championing does not exist anywhere in the real world. All the new variants of socialism you cite just want to manage capitalism, not abolish it as was the case with the Marxist-Leninist regimes. The past Marxist-Leninists regimes got rid of private property and capital accumulation, something the new "socialists" don't propose to eliminate. You need to look past shallow rhetoric and slogans to figure out what's going on.
Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy
So which new, real life socialists are actually preaching or practicing social ownership of the means of production? Surely you could find one if I was wrong.
A simple acknowledgement of reality would due. Socialism defined as "social ownership of the means of production" is utterly dead. Most of the people calling themselves socialists today just want to "manage" capitalism, rather than abolish it like past socialists. You really don't see that?
from — JamesEG (talk)
I mean wow, you must be pretty darn sure of yourself to think that you, Richard D. Wolf, and Noam Chomsky know exactly what socialism is and not the thousands of other experts throughout history who think otherwise. Where do you get that sort of confidence?
Civilization certainly requires some cooperation, but modern western civilization is not based on increased "cooperation" rather it is based on increased individual freedom, regardless of the consequences. I agree there is nothing economically wrong with socialism, my point is that it is not very compatible with individualism. That's why the socialist world collapsed. Instead of accepting the truth--socialism and individualism are incompatible--we have these ridiculous theories that the USSR & co., founded by the most fanatical socialists in world history, were really actually capitalist! The reality is that the USSR and Eastern Europe were far more faithful to socialism then all most modern movements touted as "socialist".
The answer is that he was a delusional idealist. He believed that state socialism would provide an eventual path to the abolition of the state in accordance with Marxist theory. He didn't understand that it was individualism that produced capitalism and that abolishing it was actually a reactionary step. The countries that had capitalism and individualism early and most vigorously--Britain, France, the U.S.--were the countries least affected by socialism. Socialism took over in Russia precisely because it was backward. Stalin and the Bolsheviks were under the delusion that this meant socialism was the way of the future, but in reality it was only successful in backward countries that had no individualist tradition.
Engels To Eduard Bernstein
- It might be helpful to mention this in the article somewhere. →Σσς. (Sigma) 22:35, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
- What specifically did you have in mind? Jonpatterns (talk) 15:03, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
- Nothing in particular. Its most useful use is the last bit, where Engels rejects the sound bites of socialism that are so prevalent today. And that were prevalent in his day as well, apparently.
- Long ago, I had the idea that the opening sentence should have gone something like "Socialism is not an economic system where everything is owned and controlled by the state", as the first sentence in coal ball once read "Coal balls are not made of coal". However that is no longer the case. But I digress. →Σσς. (Sigma) 21:38, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
- What specifically did you have in mind? Jonpatterns (talk) 15:03, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
This article seems to have been vandalised
- What is wrong with the opening line, what would you replace it with?Jonpatterns (talk) 15:03, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
- Partly agree with you. This description is basically a type of state advocated by Communists as a transition between capitalism and communism, but also advocated by some non-Communist socialists. See for example the Regina Manifesto. This article should be about socialism as a political movement and ideology with the socialist state moved to another article per disambiguation. Incidentally, Communists call,led the systems they created socialist, while socialists rejected the description, but never created any socialist states themselves. TFD (talk) 19:22, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
- There's only one mention of communism (big C) in the lede now, it's at the end, and it was added this month, so was unclear what this was about. There are articles on state aspects of socialism and this article is about the concept, except for an appropriately sized politics section. The addition of the weasel worded sentence with the questionable ... OK, just checked the source given for that and there's no basis in it for the statement in the sentence, the source is a very poor one, so yeah, removing that sentence. Lycurgus (talk) 01:03, 13 July 2015 (UTC)