Talk:Socialism/Archive 12

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Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13

Small change to article in order to maintain neutrality

I think it would be proper, in order to maintain this article's neutrality, to add the word "radical" in the first part of the article. This keeps the "Socialism" article consistent with the "Fascism" article. Both are obviously considered to be "Radical."

For instance, the Socialism article is currently as such: "Socialism is an economic and political theory based on public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources."

And the Fascism article is currently as such: "Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology."

I simply want to make the following revision to maintain neutrality: "Socialism is a radical economic and political theory based on public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources."

That will be all...

    • UPDATE**

Apparently, marxists feel that their political system is NOT AT ALL radical, and as a result, are reverting the article, and claiming that I am actually HARMING THE NEUTRALITY of this article by making these revisions! May I remind you not to be a hypocrite. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Equating socialism and fascism is your idea of neutrality? Acroterion (talk) 18:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Acroterion, are both Socialism and Fascism not political extremes? They share that factor in common. If I say black is an extreme color on the contrast spectrum, I also have to say white is an extreme color on the contrast spectrum.

What, exactly, is your idea of neutrality?

Replied in more general terms on your talk page. Considering the variety of philosophies that extend well to the left of socialism, and the existing distribution of the system around the world, it is hard to sustain an argument that it is "radical". In any case, this talk page (or anywhere else in Wikipedia) is not a forum for debate on politics. Acroterion (talk) 18:39, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

21st century socialism - Obama

President Barrack Obama's views and actions show him to be a strong advocate of national socialization. Should he not be included in the "21st century" section of this page? Invmog (talk) 17:05, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Barack Obama is not a socialist. Anybody with even the most basic knowledge of socialism is perfectly aware of that. Jacob Richardson (talk) 20:49, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

And besides, "national socialization" is a nonsense phrase. Get an education! (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:46, 12 August 2009 (UTC).

I was hoping we could get this article with out the mention of Obama in this manner, but I guess I was being too optimistic in mankind. If we're calling Obama socialist, we'd might as well call Bush fascist by those standards --MercZ (talk) 22:47, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

"Ownership" has at least 3 dimensions: 1) legal title; 2) effective control; 3) risk-reward. Socialists in academia and the mainstream media have tried to mis-define socialism by keying on who holds legal title. However, socialism is an economic, not a political system. Economically, legal title is irrelevant; the dimensions of control and risk-reward are what count. Any ideology or system that advocates government excercising substantial control over the means of production, at least in certain key industries, can therefore be called socialism. Any ideology or system that proposes to have government take over a substantial portion of the risk and/or reward is also socialism. Massive government subsidies and bailouts are manifestations of socialism. President Obama's effective control over General Motors and Chrysler is socialism. So-called "single-payer" health care systems are socialism.

Even if one refuses to accept the above clarification, one cannot reasonably dispute that "single-payer health care" by definition constitutes government ownership of the health care financing industry, if not the health care industry itself, and is therefore socialism.

President Obama's policies appear to be consistent with correctly-defined socialism. President Bush's economic policy and "aggressive defense" approach to national security, however, appear to be more consistent with National Socialist ideology than with fascist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kelly J Bailey (talkcontribs) 04:34, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

No, they really don't. Please, just drop it.Simonm223 (talk) 14:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

I think that the widespread description of Obama as socialist is an important factor in society, particularly among the political right, but at the same time I think that it should be noted as largely baseless accusations and not as widely accepted. MattW93 (talk) 13:59, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Obama is not particularly seen as a socialist. The political right just uses it as a meaningless buzzword for anyone they don't approve of. Bill Clinton was called a socialist plenty of times as well. --Ashenai (talk) 14:50, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Obama is no sort of socialist. Period. Simonm223 (talk) 14:22, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
The article should include something about the way the word socialism is thrown around. Most Americans probably encounter the word socialism only in the context of defamatory misuse and this merits a sentence or two. (talk) 11:08, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you have any reliable sources that cover this phenomenon? I agree that there might be a section describing popular misuse of the word to describe something else (like Obama's conservative health care reform plan) but we need to have a couple of sources to include such a section. Regards SoWhy 11:20, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
As it happens, there was an article in The Guardian yesterday; and there are several other aericles in the Guardian online dealing with this phenomenon. RolandR 11:52, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any encyclopedic sources that have covered the issue. There are plenty of blogs, but they're junk. Maybe there is or will be an article in a political science journal. (talk) 13:28, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
The Guardian is an RS.Simonm223 (talk) 15:28, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Is there any sources we could find for a dispassionate classification of Obama's policies without breaking WP:OR? I only ask because, although the guardian article addresses that American conservatives incorrectly call Obama a socialist, inclusion in the article on socialism would be better if it was not just a refutation of his status but rather an explanation of what his political position realistically represents and how that differs from socialism, with references and examples from sources such as that guardian article.Simonm223 (talk) 16:44, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Just to note, having a section in this article refuting the accusation of Obama's 'socialism' would be just beautiful. Wikipedia is becoming more and more the standard for general sourcing in semi-casual discussions, so including a section on that would really serve the purpose of speeding up discussion. (It, of course, has to be NPOV, though that shouldn't be an issue considering Obama's center-conservativism is pretty much hard fact.) 8bit (talk) 20:10, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Just need an RS saying that.Simonm223 (talk) 20:29, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
The notion is so absurd that few RS will even get the idea to discuss this. Try to source "the ocean is not pink" or "anvils don't fall downup". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:29, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
ROTFL Fair point. However there has to be some journalist or scholar who has said "Obama is a fiscal conservative" somewhere in print.Simonm223 (talk) 12:38, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Possibly. But that is not strictly incompatible with being a socialist - one is concerned with the control of the means of production, the other with how the state spends money. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:12, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
Well I'm sure we can find a RS that says he is in favour of free-market capitalism. I've seen video footage of him saying that...Simonm223 (talk) 15:35, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Another Vandal Oh dear. While we are over here on the talk page discussing the fact that Obama is nearly as far from Socialism as Reagan yet another vandal was linking Obama into the Socialism page. I can tell this one will be on my watchpage basically indefinately.Simonm223 (talk) 13:33, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

We don't need a section to refute charges that Obama is a socialist or about the terms "socialism" and "socialist" being thrown around in a defamatory way. What we do need is a section describing the manner in which socialists went "underground" in academia and the media in the mid-20th century, and the fear that modern socialists have of the socialist label. I support public schools. I don't want a public monopoly or a heavy-handed approach, but I do want government to offer a good public education to everyone. That makes me a socialist, to a limited degree. Now why can't all the other, bigger socialists out there acknowledge what they are? It's as if they know "socialism = bad" without understanding the essence of socialism.

Gardentower (talk) I very much agree that the activities of socialists, communists, etc. in the U.S. in the 20th century is very oddly missing from this long article. This article does a nice job of describing development elsewhere in the world, but the lack of a U.S. discussion makes it sound like the U.S. remains socialist/communist free. To be truthfull, robust sections need to be added describing people and their actions and plans in the late 1800's, the Wilson era, the dive for cover in the 1920's, the strong re-emergence during the Roosevelt era, the submersion in the 50's, the gradual infiltration throughout the 60-70-80's of the U.S. government/economy/social programs, and the full-bore power grap that has been happening since then to the present that has left us in a diseased stupor rotting from moral decay. Even better and to paint the full picture, lets add discusion of the efforts of non-Americans to subvert and collapse the U.S. political and economic system so as to "fundamentally transform" (i.e, neuter) the U.S. into something ripe for control by the elites. Gardentower (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:22, 10 July 2010 (UTC).

Having the legitimate right to control something is the essence of ownership. The essence of socialism is the belief that it is the legitimate role of government to ensure everyone's needs are met - that is, government has the moral right and responsibility to control all wealth in society, and the people, at least to the degree necessary to ensure everyone's needs are met. The implication of this is that the State ultimately "owns" everything, in precisely the same sense that medieval kings and lords owned everyone and everything subject to their jurisdiction.

Let's see a section about the phenomenon of how the mid-20th century socialists in academia and the media have so misshaped the public's understanding of socialism, capitalism, and the concept of ownership, that so many people think ownership is all about holding legal title - that the control and risk-reward dimensions of ownership don't really count, that the State can control an industry but that it isn't socialism as long as we hide behind the fiction of legal title? That's what we really need to see covered in the sections on socialism, market socialism, etc.Kelly J Bailey (talk) 18:15, 27 August 2009 (UTC)Kelly B

Perhaps you should consider that support for public education has not traditionally been considered as an aspect of socialism. The essence of socialism has nothing to do with the role of government, but with radical egalitarianism and rejection of the sanctity of private property - particularly rejection of the principle of private ownership of the means of production. Anarchists can be socialists. And anti-socialists like Bismarck or European Christian Democrats can build a social welfare system. john k (talk) 19:14, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

The essence of socialism has everything to do with the role of government. I believe that each of us has a moral responsibility to help those who are in need, to the extent of our abilities. This belief is perfectly consistent with classical liberal and capitalist thought. However, nobody who advocates a compulory, government-run social welfare system can rightly be called anti-socialist. They may be anti- some particular form of socialism, but they're not strictly anti-socialist. The notion that it is the role of government - i.e., that government has the responsibility to establish social welfare apparatus that is compulsory (taxpayer funded or othewise) implies that government is socialist. Responsibility and authority necessarily go hand in hand, so the notion implies that government holds sovereign ownership of, which is to say it has the legitimate moral authority to control as it sees fit, all of societies wealth including the labor of its citizens. This is directly contrary to the classical liberal principle expressed by John Locke and others that WE own the fruits of our labors, that government has only the rights and authority which we explicity agree to give to it. All forms of socialism, social welfare state, so-called market socialism, etc., appear to be built not on classical liberalism, but on the age-old paternalistic theory that has been used to justify every form of authoritarianism since the dawn of time - that whoever is lording it over us under whatever political form, they lord it over us for our own good.

That is the common thread that binds all forms of socialism, and therefore merits a little better discussion in the sections on capitalism and socialism. Unfortunately, thanks to the dominance of socialist thinking in academia and the media, most of us no longer even know what classical liberalism. We've been trained to see only the weaknesses of capitalism. Few understand the essence of socialism, and are therefore unable to see that the flaws of socialism pervade President Obama's economic policies as they pervade all big-government social welfare programs. Which brings us to another point that should be included as a criticism of all forms socialism: the fact that they breed dependence and irresponsibility, as we've seen over the past 40 years. We see proof of this in liberal Democrat policies, as well as in socialist-lite policies of Republicans like Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

I would refer you to WP:SOAP.Simonm223 (talk) 01:55, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if Noam Chomsky and other libsocs are aware they aren't socialists? Socialism is normally defined economically, yes, but egalitarian practices in a capitalist economy do not constitute socialism any more than a market in a socialist economy constitutes capitalism. ~ Switch () 00:00, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
This definition of "socialism" robs the term of all useful meaning - it makes every government of the last 150 years socialist, to a greater or lesser extent. Look, it's up to you to find sources which support your definition. As Simonm223 alludes to, wikipedia is not a soap box for you to elaborate on pet personal theories. If you want your idiosyncratic definition of socialist to be included in the article, you need to find reliable sources, from mainstream academic scholarship, which define socialism in this way. If you can't do that, it doesn't belong in the article, as simple as that. john k (talk) 00:47, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps it would be helpful for the article on socialism to elaborate further on the criticisms. For example, there are two important practical implications of the lack of "rational" pricing in a socialist system. First, there will be overproduction of some goods and services, wasting precious limited resources. Second, there will be underproduction and overconsumption of other key goods and services, inevitably leading to rationing and corruption.

Socialism breeds an entitlement mentality. The sense of entitlement results in fewer people being productive, productive people being less productive. The number of unproductive people and their consumption grows until the system is unable to sustain itself.

--And you don't think capitalism breeds entitlement? Like the rich who want tax breaks? What world do you live in?

Socialism breeds corruption. Citizens ask not what they can do for their country, but rather what their country can do for them. In effect, socialism mixed with democracy means that the citizens are selling their votes to the politicians. Power corrupts, and it is inevitable that despite the best of intentions, the government apparatus will also be corrupted as the people in power use their economic control to manipulate and oppress the populace.

--And you don't think captialism breeds corruption? So Wall Street is full of saints, eh? Again, what world do you live in?

Classical liberal ideology protects against such State-sponsored oppression, asserting that under "natural law" or "God's law" we are all completely free, and that government has absolutely no moral authority beyond that which we all agree to grant to it. Socialism, in contrast, suggests that the State has supreme paternalistic responsibility and authority over the people. Implicit in all forms of socialist thinking, including the predominant "liberal" Democrat thinking of the 21st century, is the idea that the State has sovereign ownership rights over all forms of wealth and that the people hold property rights limited strictly to those which the State in its eminent wisdom chooses to delegate. (talk) 21:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)Kelly B

Please review WP:SOAP and WP:NPoV. Might be good to also consult WP:SYNTH. Then consider your proposal in light of those policies.Simonm223 (talk) 21:50, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Once again, what is the source for all this nonsense? You can't simply recite original nonsense of your own imagining and expect that anyone will be willing to include it in a wikipedia article. The purpose of this article is to provide a précis of what reliable sources say about socialism. In this case, reliable sources means the work of political scientists and historians in academia. john k (talk) 00:47, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

hmmm liberal ideology rejects socialism you say? what profound insight you have. black rejects white. dry rejects wet. let's add this to the article. (talk) 08:07, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Can we stop this? I am a strong conservative, and I do not believe Obama to be socialist, just very, very, very, liberal. He is not a socialist. --Carolinapanthersfan (talk) 22:57, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

See one thing socialists and conservatives alike can agree on. Obama is not a socialist.Simonm223 (talk) 02:23, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
The first time I checked this section it only had a few sentences. Now it looks like a 3 page paper. I am so sick of this accusation. Is Bush a socialist for handing out those stimulus checks back in 2007? Dumaka (talk) 01:40, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
I expect 7.5 more years of this nonsense.Simonm223 (talk) 20:57, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Obama said on Letterman tonight that he is NOT a socialist. As far as I know, he's some well educated guy who talks a lot, but then again presidents tend to be. (talk) 04:25, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Social democrats and nationalization of industries

Maybe it should be noted that social democrats don't usually nationalize an industry or property without proper compensation to the owner. It was also common to develop those key industries using public funds. On a side note, EU countries are no longer allowed to have national industries, something that european social democratic parties seem to respect.

Libertarian socialism should get its own paragraph, I don't see how is it related to social-democracy. (talk) 13:54, 7 September 2009 (UTC)Ike, 7-September-2009

Which part of the article are you referring too? Dumaka (talk) 14:10, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
The paragraph just before the table of contents (begins with "Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries" [...] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:01, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think Libertarian socialism and Social democrates are being intertwined together in that paragraph. Libertarian socialism is only referred to in a few sentences. It is too small to have it's own paragraph, unless you care to expand on it. Also, it says "Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries in mixed economies". So the way it is worded now makes sense. Dumaka (talk) 16:15, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

There is a page referring to social libetarianism as well btw. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ninjitsuzach (talkcontribs) 19:26, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Not a political system?

"Contrary to popular belief, socialism is not a political system; it is an economic system distinct from capitalism."

And any encyclopedia and dictionary disagrees that socialism is not a political system as well. Does anyone know why this is in the article? Jcchat66 (talk) 04:37, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree with its inclusion either, as it's likely only to provoke dispute (as it has here), considering that some identify the division between politics and economics as arbitrary and many of those who don't would still contend that socialism is a political system. Agnapostate (talk) 11:09, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
According to the extensive academic works of Carroll Quigley on the Evolution of Civilizations, one of the unique ideas of Western Europe was the separation of politics, economics, and religion. In antiquity, these were all held at interrelated and inseparable. It is interesting to note that Eastern European philosophers generally argue in favor of antiquated thinking on this subject, while Western philosophers argue for the separation. (Thus, the concept of separation of church and state, which would have never been possible in antiquity or most of Eastern European history.) The origins of socialism clearly argues in favor of combining politics and economics. And logically, it is simply impossible to implement a socialist economy without a socialist political structure of some sort. Jcchat66 (talk) 16:17, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
There's probably a sufficient basis for removal of that unsourced comment, as it's likely to generate dispute, but there is not basis for inclusion of a comment that attacks the division between politics and economics, though I hold that belief myself. I'd remove it if I were you. Agnapostate (talk) 18:47, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Planned economy and centralized government

Why is the core meaning of socialism excluded? It is highly inaccurate not to mention a planned economy or centralized government of nearly all socialist advocates in history. Jcchat66 (talk) 04:43, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

It is not the core of socialism. The core of socialism is authentic democratic control of the means of production and public ownership. There may be a government. But there may be a government in any other economic system. Only a small group of Marxists, about half of Marxists, advocated a planned economy or centralized government. There are still Left Marxists, Anarchists, Democratic Socialists, Libertarians and Social Democrats among others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

A lot of socialist advocates had beards too, but we don't mention beards either. // Liftarn (talk) 09:08, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
That does not address the question above. Jcchat66 (talk) 03:37, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Centralised government is not the goal advocated by all socialists, indeed, many socialists would argue that the abolition of government was their aim. Planned economy differs in meaning between many different strands of socialism, from meaning a soviet style command economy to meaning local co-operatives or workers' councils administrating economically. The emphasisis is on the diversity of socialist views within the overal rubric of collective economic control. Hope that helps.--Red Deathy (talk) 10:36, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it does not help. This is an article about socialism, not the goals of socialists, which is an entirely separate issue. Regardless of the arguments that various people propose, the meaning of the word has never changed. If it were to change along with the contemporary beliefs of the times, then words would have no meaning, and language impossible. A "collective economic control" as you call it is a planned economy that requires some kind of centralized government. Community control is centralized. Tribal control is centralized. Thus, socialism, social, as opposed to individual control. All encyclopedias agree with the core meaning ... except Wikipedia. I am questioning why Wikipedia's definition is so aberrant. When I first read it, I was frankly startled. Any time silly Americans call Obama a socialist, I like to refer them to a comprehensive meaning. I cannot refer them to Wikipedia with such an absurd first paragraph. Jcchat66 (talk) 16:03, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
The problem as Red Deathy identified it is that references to "centralized" control and a "planned economy" are not sufficiently inclusive, and neglect critical schools of the socialist tradition, such as anarchism and theories of market socialism that focus on worker-owned enterprises and labor cooperatives. We therefore refer to the definition that is least likely to generate dispute or challenge, and while reference to state ownership inevitably will, reference to "collective" ownership is far less likely to. Agnapostate (talk) 18:47, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
In other words, the paragraph is was politically motivated with biased intentions? Isn't that in violation of Wiki policy? Are the moderators asleep at the wheel again? Jcchat66 (talk) 23:54, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what you mean by that. Reference to centralized command or governance structure or economic planning will inevitably draw dispute from figures such as anarchists, who oppose centralized structure, and market socialists, who oppose economic planning in the traditional sense. While I don't attempt to hide my own anarchism, this isn't a matter of upholding my own biases here, but instead of creating the most inclusive definition for encyclopedic purposes and the one most likely to acquire consensus support. Agnapostate (talk) 1:15, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Most of the classic liberals opposed centralized structures, endorsing a balance of power approach. Though some argued for a strong central government, that never meant strong centralized authority, where it is often confused. Heck, the whole Age of Reason and Enlightenment was pretty much for limited government, so anarchists should feel safe enough in Enlightened societies. The only time socialists ever embrace anarchy is on a trial basis to remove the current system, and then replace it with their own. And the only time anarchists sign up with socialists is because socialism oils the rusty gears towards anarchy. It's nothing more than Caesar's flirtation with Roman proletarii to win power. Jcchat66 (talk) 03:17, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Jcchat66, Well, William Morris certainly didn't advocate state control or centralisation, and he was an orthodx Socialist in his time News from Nowhere being an example of this. So if we're talking about change over time, the distinction between socialism adn state socialism was well understood in the 19th Century. However, we have to be NPOV, which means finding a definition which includes Stalinists, Luxemburgists, Maoists, Proudhonists, Posadists, Trotskyists, members of the Socialist International, Co-operativists, Anarchists, etc./ all of whom would style themselves socialist, and many of whom would object to the idea that it is about government centralisation. Incidentally, the OED doesn't mention centralisation, just state or collective ownership (it also highlights the shifting meaning towards meaning state intervention and the social welfare model). Anyway, do you have a particular source for your wording (indeed, a wording to propose?)--Red Deathy (talk) 07:24, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, well, that is the problem. Plenty of self-proclaimed socialists, and not enough socialism.
Frederick Engels, co-worker of the late Karl Marx, saw Morris as something of a loose cannon in the socialist :movement during this period:

"Fortunately the Socialist League is dormant for the time being. Our good Bax and Morris, craving to do something (if only they knew what?), are restrained only by the fact that there is absolutely nothing to do. Moreover they have far more truck with the anarchists than is desirable.... All this will pass, if only because there is absolutely nothing to be done over here [in England] just now. But with Hyndman, who is well versed in political imposture and capable of all sorts of folly when his self-advancement is at stake...on the one hand and our two political babes in arms on the other, prospects are no means bright. Yet now we have socialist papers abroad proclaiming at the top of their voices that socialism in England is marching forward with gigantic strides! I am very glad to say that what passes for socialism here in England is not on the march — far from it."

Doesn't appear that people knew anymore what socialism was then they do now. None the less, we cannot submit to the pandering of every wanna-be socialist just to state what it has been defined as for a very long time. We don't have to pander to all those you mentioned in the first paragraph of the article, which it desperately, and pathetically, attempts.
A word on centralization. Broadly speaking, that means any system in which the planning economic power is vested with a very few people, as opposed to individuals doing it themselves. It would naturally include chiefs of tribes, states, collectives, cooperatives, etc. Collective ownership, using pure logic and reason, means by default centralized authority. Either individuals control their own property, or a group control it in trust. That trust and the trustees are then the centralized authority. This is a matter of logic, not any ideology or political view. Otherwise, it would not be called social. I am a president of a cooperative, after all, and responsible for the property for many people. The Board of Directors IS centralized authority. Jcchat66 (talk) 03:33, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
And it's been said again and again that limiting the definition of "socialism" to economic systems that utilize only centralized economic planning is not sufficiently inclusive of all of the aspects of socialist theory. Even if we ignored the long anarchist tradition and remained focused on the recent definition of the term, we'd have to consider recently developed variants of socialism specifically designed to avoid central planning, such as the market socialist "post-Hayekian" model of Theodore Burczak or those that fall under the libertarian socialist tradition, such as participatory economics. Agnapostate (talk) 06:39, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't follow. All forms of socialism must have some kind of central planning. Market Socialism is no different, and nor is so-called Libertarian Socialism, where they still endorse some kind of organized authority. Everyone that uses the word "socialism" including even social democrats, would be addressed. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but the meaning of the word is still subject to one. ALL articles are subject to the dictionary, it literally dictates the use of words, or language would be impossible. If it does not meat the criteria of that word, then it needs not be acknowledged at all. The beginning paragraph should reflect the dictionary meaning first and foremost, and THEN elaborate with the different theories. It is not possible, nor necessary, to make a first paragraph attempt to address everything, no matter how many commas. Jcchat66 (talk) 18:12, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Neither planned economy nor centralized government is a defining characteristic of socialism. // Liftarn (talk) 21:49, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Every dictionary and encyclopedia, since the movement began, would disagree with you. Marx would disagree with you. Every example of socialism in theory or practice has some kind of centralized authority holding resources in trust, and endorses a planned economy of some kind, whether direct or indirect, as opposed to an unplanned economy controlled by no one. Show examples to the contrary. Jcchat66 (talk) 15:28, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
We're talking about socialism here, not marxism. There are several theories about self covenment and a few examples. Some often quoted examples include the Paris Commune, the Kronstadt rebellion and the Spanish Revolution (including Anarchist Catalonia), but practical implemntation is not a requirement for a theory to exist. // Liftarn (talk) 19:10, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
More abuses of language. Anarchy simply means no organization at all. If you have any form of organization, it immediately ceases to be anarchy. The Paris Commune, Kronstadt, and the Spanish Revolution do not support you claims. There is no such thing as socialism, in any form whatsoever, per its dictionary meaning, without some form of central authority and planned economy of the means of production. If this criteria is not meant, it is not socialism. WE don't dictate this, the dictionary does, and historical precedent. Do you have convincing evidence that for the last century and a half, the dictionaries have been wrong, and all the many people that understand its meaning wrong as well? Jcchat66 (talk) 01:35, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Erm, no Anarchy merely means without leaders, not without organisation. As I've pointed out Morrisian socialism didn't instantiate the need for a "central directing force" (to use deLeobn's formulation), nor do some social democratic formulations, Ramsay MacDonald's version of socialism seemed to be simply co-ordination/co-operation between enterprises. Dictionaries are not the be all and end all (especially as some disagree - for example, some dictionaries follow the split between socialism and communism as being partially state owned and entirely state owned, of course, as the article makes clear, once the two words meant exactly the same thing)...--Red Deathy (talk) 07:37, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Good grief, of course anarchy means lack of organization. Rulers and organization are one and the same, as you obviously cannot have one without the other. Even the ancient Romans made this simple, the collegium, which required a minimal of two consuls to have an organization. They are the rulers. And of course the dictionary is the end-all of the meaning of words. Thus, dictionary, to dictate. Language would be impossible without a fixed method of words, in which they cannot be arbitrarily changed. It's bad enough that language is corrupted over time, which should always be avoided. The dictionary is INDEED the final authority on the meaning of words, and it has not generally changed in a very long time. (Try practicing law without a legal dictionary!) You are over-complicating a very, very, very simple concept. Socialism ... where the means of production is held in trust for the people, for the benefit of society as a whole. This automatically, and undeniably, means a centralized authority. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can be held in trust for anyone without organized authority, without rulers. There is no such concept as communal ownership without centralized authority. If the means of production is not held in trust, or communally owned, then it is owned by individuals, thus the natural opposite of socialism. You are confusing various ideologies with the concept of socialism, which existed in its purest forms since the beginning of recorded history, and regardless of ideology, philosophy, or POV's. Jcchat66 (talk) 05:03, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
Anarchism is not the same thing as the lack of organization. Actually it often is the exact opposite. It is the lack or rulers (some may make a difference between leaders and rulers). A pocket dictionary is not a final authority on political ideologies. You seem to having a bit of difficulty grasping the idea of self-organization. // Liftarn (talk) 10:47, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Liftarn, I explained in DETAIL why I believe you are incorrect, and you just proceeded to repeat the same thing, without any supporting arguments. Jcchat66 (talk) 16:19, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Ahem, from the OED: "b. A theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without implication of disorder)." The eytmology being "Gr. , n. of state f. - without a chief or head, f. priv. + leader, chief. "--Red Deathy (talk) 07:25, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I'd like you to show me your 'dictionary' that says that socialism has to equal centralised, state-planned economy. My dictionary, OED of course, says that the only absolutely definable aspect of socialism is that it "implies an opposition to the untrammelled workings of the economic market". Perhaps you will understand this to mean something different to myself, but in no way does this necessitate a planned economy in my opinion. Stopping the untrammelled workings of the free-market could be anything from full-scale nationalisation to providing limited welfare benefits to those who are unemployed.

Full quote from dictionary:

The term “socialism” has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammeled workings of the economic market.The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended toward social democracy.

Hasfg (talk) 00:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Why the American Spelling

Somebody keeps going and changing the spelling to American English. No edit summaries, no explaination. What's up? Simonm223 (talk) 17:35, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

It happens on loads of articles, just rv. --Snowded TALK 17:37, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I already did! RolandR 17:42, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
As have I previously. I was just wondering if the editor who changed the spelling has a reason for their changes. Simonm223 (talk) 17:48, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know; but one IP editor who reverted to British spellings clearly did have a reason, as s/he wrote in the edit summary "Socialism is originally a European concept, the spelling should reflect this with the British spelling being used. The page also talks mainly of European events. This is not an American article". RolandR 17:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Not to mention that I can't think of a currently extant state more hostile to socialism than the USA. Simonm223 (talk) 18:21, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Spelling of WHAT????? Idiot has been brits and what not. This site is in America, paid for by Americans, America is by far the largest native English speaking country, etc. etc. Also, you can't be seriously suggesting that the little English speaking countries are defenders of Socialism, they may not be as backward as the US in this respect but that's not really saying much is it? Perhaps they're waiting for the leadership of their big brother on this as on virtually everything else. Also, as far as the Education and Literacy indices of the Human Development Index are concerned, it's true that AU and CA rank far above the US. Sadly, this is not true for the home of the chav. So it's unclear why any principle other than number of speakers should determine which is the received dialect of English. (talk) 14:00, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Please read WP:ENGVAR. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:43, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely, that's consistent with my position, and the text in question is still, SFAICT, unidentified, but the policy makes it moot. (talk) 18:34, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not. The guidelines state: "If an article has evolved using predominantly one variety, the whole article should conform to that variety, unless there are reasons for changing it based on strong national ties to the topic". So, unless you can bring strong reasons (and not your US-centric arrogance above) for such a change, then the British spelling should remain. RolandR 18:44, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I see, didn't catch the diff linked before. So it's the entire article. The germans have an expression scheiß-egal. Certainly I would agree that if there were you know like a British labor party with even a significant Socialist counterpoise to New Labor then there would be a basis to the argument above. As I understand it they are all superanuated and/or sold out to Blair, Brown and Co. (talk) 22:55, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The majority of the articles on Wikipedia are using American English. I believe the articles need to be consistent. I'm willing to fix the whole article if anyone agrees with me? --Jt white93 (talk) 20:49, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't agree (and I'm American). Please see WP:ENGVAR, and the thread immediately above. This article has been in British English for a while, no need to change it. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:52, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
So you're saying articles across Wikipedia don't need consistent writing standards? --Jt white93 (talk) 20:54, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia so far is run on the consensus that spelling should be consistent within one article, but not in between articles - and that no-one should try to switch an existing article over unless the topic clearly is associated with one variant of English. Have you read WP:ENGVAR? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:00, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) Yes, that's what I'm saying. Again, see WP:ENGVAR. The important thing is that they're internally consistent, but some are in American, some are in the Queen's English, and some are even in Australian or Canadian. --Floquenbeam (talk) 21:03, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
And I am afraid I also have to oppose the use of USA spelling in this article for the reasons stated previously in this thread. Simonm223 (talk) 21:27, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I support Floquenbeam, because WP:ENGVAR says that if the article was started in British English, the spelling should continue being British English. Same for American English. If anyone want to change that policy, go to WP:ENGVAR, and propose a change of policy first. If that policy change is successful, then come back here afterwards and change the spelling here, not before that. IMHO the current design of WP:ENGVAR intends to 1. keep the style reasonably consistent, 2. save effort, 3. keep nationality issues outside WP. ... said: Rursus (mbork³) 13:10, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

To irate editor above: Canada, which has English as an official language, actually has a larger surface area than the United States. So your comment that "America is by far the largest native English speaking country" seems to be false. I don't know why one would have expected you to know this, after all, it's not like it's next-door.

I would also wager that altogether there are far more English-speakers located outside the United States than within it. If you journey you will see that there are an estimated 500 million to 1.8 billion speakers of the English language. The population of the US however, is estimated to be just above 300 million.

Next, if you care to look ( you will see that the rate of literacy, according to the UN, is 99.0% in about 26 very highly developed countries. This includes the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand (all predominantly English speaking). The rate of literacy in the United States is also 99.0%. Your suggestion of some great disparity between literacy rates in the UK and the US is laughable and clearly false.

And, yes, believe it or not there are many powerful socialist and otherwise left-wing parties either in power or in opposition in English-speaking countries, including those currently governing in the UK and Australia.

You are an idiot, you have absolutely no argument. Stop. Hasfg (talk) 00:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

The current lead section

I made a few minor improvements to the lead section, but it still needs some work. The section as it exists now seems to be a mish-mash of different topics with no real sense of organization or flow.Spylab (talk) 23:27, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the change in the first paragraph was good, less sure about the other so I have reverted for the moment. Ideally we should try and get this to the point where it is obvious that Obama is not a socialist (this saving all of use time dealing with vandals!) --Snowded TALK 23:47, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Source of Churchill's quote

I do not understand why the source for Churchill's quote is a biography of Friedrich Hayek. I think it should be directed to Churchill's speeches instead. If this quote is really from Churchill, because Friedrich Hayek's Biography is the only source for this quote I've found. (talk) 12:46, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

"Churchill was splendid except for one notorious speech in which he said that, 'If we have a Socialist government it will be like having a Gestapo'. That didn't go down well." - Major David Renton, quoted in Election '45, Austin Mitchell, a Fabian Society publication, Bellew Publishing, London, 1995, p. 69.
The Churchill quote is pretty infamous - it was regarded (even by his supporters, see below) as the kind of hyperbole that lost him any remaining support from the mass of the working population in the general election after the war, which Labour won in a landslide - not least since the Labour Party were in coalition with Churchill's Tories in the war against Hitler (i.e. not on the other side!) And needless to say, Labour did not develop a Gestapo. There's little difference between this accusation and the accusations being leveled at Obama by Fox News types at present.
By the way, on p. 48 of Mitchell's book (quoted from above), Viscount Lambton, a Conservative Party candidate in the general election, recalls "At every meeting at the beginning of the campaign I was reminded the Prime Minister [Churchill] had once declared he would like to 'shoot the miners'. He had also been Chancellor of the Exchequer during the [miners'] strike of 1926 and was responsible for the means test, etc, etc. In other words [he] was a liability." Andysoh (talk) 20:36, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Addition of four paragraphs on nazism

I'm not sure about them. They're not wikified at all, and it seems to really want to make the point that nazism is a form of socialism. It would argue it gives undue weight, especially since what it's talking about happened after the time period the section is about. Also, when it was first added, it used wikipedia as a source, and was directed copied from another article complete with blacktext '[1]' markers where sources would have been. Zazaban (talk) 03:52, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Socialism in the UK

Why does the article not mention that the United Kingdom is a socialist country, and has been for a long time? While the Labour party is perhaps not as socialist as it used to be in the 1960s, (and the Tories are more socialist than they used to be) I thought there was no dispute about the UK being a socialist country. Up until quite recently, the Labour party used to sing "We'll keep the red flag flying" at party conferences. Socialism - not to be confused with communism. Socialism is, I think, about fairness for all. Update: I see that other sections of the article that I had not looked at do mention the UK. (talk) 15:49, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

This IP has raised the same discussion at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:29, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

This article includes a lot about communism, when it is supposed to be about socialism. I wonder if it is unbiased or has been written by someone with a hidden agenda to tar socialism with the same brush as communism. (talk) 16:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

You are right. This article does a great disservice to Socialism and students who use this site. The rootword of Socialism is social, which is more based in the interactive than it is an ideology or governmental administration. The root word of Communism is commune, which is economic and administrative in nature. Just in name the differences are obvious. Socialism is not adherent to any ideology, as history has shown.

There are extreme differences between Socialists, despite the fact this article tries to make them out to be all Communist/Marxist. Infiltrating and posing as groups has long been a Marxist/Communist tactic in order to gain support and exploit such for their interests.

Friedrich List, who influenced many Socialists, was anti-cosmopolitan (multicultural), yet many Communists/Marxists are multiculturalists. Many Socialists throughout history have been racially conscious, but it fails to bandy that. This article tends to focus more on the Communists than it does real Socialists. List was influenced by the early American ideals, and it fails to highlight the American Constitution, written in the 18th century, which provided a clause for the support of the "general welfare" of the population, generally regarded as a "Socialist" clause; a clause many Communists/Marxists exploited to their benefit in the 20th century. List was pro-industrial revolution, whereas many of the so-called Socialists this article cites were not. It is said Socialists in China turned to the ideals of List and others of that school from the 19th century following Mao's rule, which are pro-industry policies and basically their industrial revolution. List warned against big, over-regulating government.

It tries to say this Communist/Marxist version of Socialism the article is writing about was an extension of the classical liberal ideals which brought about the modern middle class, despite the fact Marx criticized and objected to the much of the liberalism of the 19th century and did not like the bourgeois, just as many American conservatives today complain about liberalism, which tends to be more economic protectionist. It fails to accentuate the striking similarities between Marx's war on the bourgeois and modern American conservatives, where in that war these conservatives have enabled trade policies that have undermined the States' industrial production and middle-class, and organized labor has provided enough reason for companies to exploit these policies. Neither the conservatives nor organized labor have changed, resulting in a major underminization of America's middle class, as if they're are working in tandem.

It tries to paint Socialists as all left-wing revolutionaries, when there have been many kinds of Socialists from all political spectrums. It fails to discuss the tendency of real Socialists to be more nationalist, and the tendency of Communists to be more internationalist. This article is very non-inclusive and anti-diversity.

It could talk more about Socialists and Communists quarreling, and Communism's historic alliances with Conservatives. The same American conservatives supported the Iraq invasion and removal of Saddam Hussein, who was a Socialist. Ironically, their allies in the war were the British Labour Party, who tend to be more Communist/Marxist than they are Socialist. Just recently, British Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown did nothing concerning the buyout of historic, legendary British-staple Cadbury by a foreign company, against the ideals of List and other protectionists and nationalists. List was considered a chief rival of Marx's from the 19th century. During the Prime Minister's Questions, Brown attacked liberalism. In pointing out the anti-liberalism of people like Karl Marx and Gordon Brown, it doesn't mean that all Socialists are liberal, rather highlights the stain on liberalism individuals like Marx and Brown have caused in that people believe they are and were liberal, just like the stain on conservatism in America others have caused because people believe they are conservative. Conservatives have previously teamed up with Communist/Marxist-oriented interests, such as World War Two when the British Conservatives teamed with the Communist/Marxist-leaning American Democrats and Communist Soviet Union. British Conservative Margaret Thatcher opposed bringing down the Berlin Wall and sided with the Communists. Germany became a unified, Socialist-based state after that. Ronald Reagan, at his speech at the wall, encouraged a liberalisation of the Soviet economy, which had virtually become downtrodden. What happened there in the 90s is another story and not the vision most had. The 90s marked a vulturization of the remaining Soviet economy, rather than a liberalisation.

It fails to highlight that many Socialists throughout history have been anti-organized labor, and tries to act as if some Socialists never existed. Concerning the situation in the UK, just recently there has been discussion by the Labour Party of returning to a more intellectual based party, reminiscence of early Socialists who sought support from the educated class instead of organized labor.

A previous attempt to edit this article which was removed:

Differences include, for example, the fact that in 1847 there were considered two kinds of Socialists. There were those who stood apart from the labor movement and looked toward the educated class for support, not seeking to disturb capital and profit if at all possible.[1] These Socialists were the bourgeois, or middle class, movement, considered the real Socialists of that time and respectable.[1] To the contrary, the other kind of Socialist was the labor movement, who believed revolution was not enough and that complete social upheaval and change needed to occur. These Socialists were called Communists. Communists were considered the complete opposite of Socialists during this period.[1] The differences continued into the 20th century, with the emergence of National Socialism in Germany, which was opposed to Communism and Marxism. Friedrich List, considered the father of the National System of Innovation as well as the original European unity theorist,[2] is credited with influencing the new National Socialist order and whose ideas formed the basis of the European Economic Community in the 20th century.[2][3]

Bourgeois versus organized labor and conservatives

In 1847 there were considered two kinds of Socialists. There were those who stood apart from the labor movement and looked toward the educated class for support, not seeking to disturb capital and profit if at all possible.[1] These Socialists were the bourgeois, or middle class, movement, considered the real Socialists of that time and respectable.[1]

To the contrary, the other kind of Socialist was the labor movement, who believed revolution was not enough and that complete social upheaval and change needed to occur. These Socialists were called Communists. Communists were considered the complete opposite of Socialists during this period.[1]

The differences continued into the 20th century, with the emergence of National Socialism in Germany, which was opposed to Communism and Marxism. Communists and National Socialists were enemies in World War 2. Friedrich List, considered a rival of Karl Marx and the father of the National System of Innovation as well as the original European unity theorist,[2] is credited with influencing the new National Socialist order and the European Economic Community of the 20th century.[2][4]

Communists have been accused of being only Socialists in name in the modern era, providing "lip service" but being the complete opposite.[5] Karl Marx had a disdain for the bourgeois, and much of his writings were directed against the them.[6] Marx objected to the liberalism found in his host countries.[6] Trade unions in England were considered staunch conservative in the 19th-century,[7] and the National Socialists of the 20th century in Germany outlawed trade unions, as well as purging conservatives. In the 21st century, American conservatives have been called the new Communists,[8] and have been accused of hurting the bourgeois the most with their economic policies while their Tea Party protests have been accused of attacking the educated class.[9][10]

U.S. President Barack Obama has warned against protectionism,[11] despite his campaign pledges to embrace such policies;[12] this with the enormous backing of labor unions and what has been called a "free trade depression."[13] Socialist Europe[14] instituted numerous protectionist measures, including on wire, steel, and iron products, as well as on aluminium foil and candles in 2009,[15] and as recently as 2010 was accused of being protectionist.[16]

Communist subversion of American conservatism

Today the American conservative movement is mostly led by those who were called Trotskyites during the days of Bolshevism in the Soviet Union.[17] The main drive of the Bolsheviks and modern American conservatives was and has never been about economic systems and principle, rather control and globalism (internationalism) versus tradition and nationalism,[17] where real Socialists tend to be found in the latter. The decline of Bolshevism in Russia occurred when Stalin needed Russian Nationalists and Orthodoxy to fight World War Two, the very same Nationalism and Orthodoxy the Bolshevik-Communists, who were funded by Capitalists, had tried to destroy.[17]

Following the founding of Israel, the Bolshevik-Communists drifted more into the camp of the U.S. during the Cold War in the interest of fighting Arab Nationalism, which was a threat to Israel.[17] This movement, called Neoconservatism, is still the driving force of conservatism in America today and dominates both political parties, which has resulted in the modern wars led by the U.S. on the Middle East.[17] A leading Bolshevik-Communist publication today is considered the Weekly Standard,[17] whose writers frequently appear on FOX News. Barack Obama was heavily funded by the unions during his presidential campaign in 2008,[18] and FOX News gave him better coverage during the election than John McCain.[19] Obama has continued the same Neoconservative policies toward the Middle East he inherited, but campaigned against, and has escalated the presence of U.S. troops during his administration in that more soldiers are on the ground there than under G.W. Bush.[20]

Admitted Communist Van Jones has taken exact positions on ethanol as alleged "conservative" Glenn Beck,[21][22] despite their arguments being debunked.[23][24] Another characteristic of the Bolshevik-Communist, their hatred for Imperial Russia's Tsars, is found among American conservatives with their modern bashing of Obama administration officials,[25] despite the fact that many have concluded Obama is Bush's third term,[26] and did before he took office.[27] Steve Forbes on FOX Business championed a Lenin to deal with Obama's Czars, and Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric has been compared to Leninism.[28]

The same weapons disarmament policies the Communists pushed in the 1940s[29][30][31] to protect the Soviet Union, under the guise of peace, are being pushed again today by Obama toward resurgent Nationalist, Orthodox Russia,[32] who the Neoconservatives still view as an enemy.[17] Modern Russia has adopted "general welfare" policies, spearheaded by Vladimir Putin, which pay women to have children, in an attempt to reverse Russia's declining demographics, which has been successful.[33] Putin has been a main target of the West and Neoconservatives.[34][35] Putin ironically has been a champion of the bourgeois.[36]

Despite popular belief that the early Soviet Union was a bastion of Communist scientific progress, the political entity was considered scientifically backwards up until the beginning of the Cold War, lacking key technology and where physics was virtually absent. Meanwhile, over 50% of the world's physics community was centered in Germany by the 1940s, where Socialism was found.[29][30][31] The same characteristic of the scientifically illiterate Bolshevik-Communists is found in today's American conservatives.[37] In one instance, death threats were issued to evolutionary biologists at the University of Colorado by a former Israeli citizen under the guise of "conservative" Christianity.[38]

Legitimate environmental concerns did not occur in the Communist Soviet Union until the 1980s, while such concerns were found in colonial America, and German Ernst Haeckel pioneered "ecology," which influenced National Socialism.[39] Today's American "conservatives" have as much interest in the environment as the Communists in the Soviet Union did, which was virtually none. They have been the biggest opponents of clean, alternative energy,[40][41] accepting donations from countries such as Nigeria to prevent the proliferation of such.[42] National Socialists in Germany were at the forefront of conservation, curbing air pollution, creating nature preserves, and were heavily supported by environmentalists and conservationists.[43] Martin Heidegger is known as a leading environmental philosopher who was a National Socialist.

The same fear-based propaganda tactics of the Communists from the early 20th century[29][30][31] have been adopted by American conservatives[44] and British Labour[45] to push their Neoconservative Middle Eastern agenda.

Ferocious osmosis (talk) 06:14, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can see this is just the text you have been trying to insert without success (and where your edit warring won you a block). There is no statement above which explains the grounds for the POV tag so I have removed it. --Snowded TALK 06:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

That's fine. But no scholar or well-read individual takes the front page article seriously.

Ferocious osmosis (talk) 07:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a noted Communist subversive, not a Socialist. He was affiliated with 34 Communist-front groups, serving as the honorary chairman of three Communist organizations.[46] The U.S. tried to block his application for immigration and suspend his passport for being an inadmissible alien because of his Communist activities, not Socialist.[29]

The Communists he was associated with were accused by the U.S. government of trying to deceive the public and the government by hiding Communist organizations using other names, and that these organizations were a threat to educational institutions. He was heavily involved with the organized labor, civil rights, and Israel movement. Changing names to hide their true Communist identity was a noted tactic of Einstein's circles.[29] The U.S. considered him highly undesirable.[29]

Einstein was accused of trying to distort and confuse the principles of science, while using such as a front for Communist activities and affiliations, which were associated with and funded by the Soviet Union.[29] Einstein personally corresponded with Joseph Stalin,[29] and wrote several articles for Communist publications.[30] Einstein's son lived in the Soviet Union.[29] During the trials of Alger Hiss, the U.S. considered Einstein for deportation,[29] and they had believed he was a Communist spy.[29] In 1948, Einstein was working with Robert Oppenheimer when charges were leveled that Oppenheimer associated with Soviet agents at a party where he received personal information of the first Soviet attempt to penetrate the Radiation Laboratory in California.[31]

Einstein was called a plagiarist, publicity-seeking dog, and charlatan, who rarely conducted actual scientific experiments.[47] His famous theory E=MC² is generally credited to Olinto De Pretto.[48] Nikola Telsa called Einstein's theories erroneous.[29] The Atomic Energy Commission never granted Einstein clearance.[29]

Socialists in Europe during the 1930s burned his literature.[49] In California during the 1940s, parents did not want their children exposed to Einstein.[29] Einstein supported the abolishment of the House Un-American Activities Committee,[31] and was a chief proponent of the Communist tactic of fear-based propaganda.[31] He was cited as being part of a circle of educators readily engaged in Communist-driven propaganda.[50]

Ferocious osmosis (talk) 03:43, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I smell anionic surfactant--Snowded TALK 08:57, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

You must be smelling your own crap because hardly can anything be smelled through this website. The anionic surfactant is on the front page of this article.

Ferocious osmosis (talk) 11:02, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

The Einstein quote is a fallacious argument from authority. While I agree with the sentiment he expresses, Einstein was a physicist, and not an expert on social, political, or economic matters. It ought to be removed. CABlankenship (talk) 21:16, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Socialism in ancient Greece


Ferocious osmosis (talk) 23:34, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Communist Manifesto". Gareth Stedman Jones. Penguin Classics. 2002. p. 202. Accessed January 27, 2010.
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  20. ^ "Obama far outdoes Bush in escalating war". Alter Net. December 9, 2009. Accessed January 31, 2010.
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  34. ^ "Putin has been vilified by the West - but he is still a great leader". John Laughland. September 22, 2007. Accessed January 31, 2009.
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  37. ^ "Why conservatives hate green jobs". Joseph Romm. March 26, 2009. Accessed January 31, 2010.
  38. ^ "Why do conservatives hate science and the environment so much?". Delilah Starling. All Voices. 2009. Accessed January 31, 2010.
  39. ^ "Environmental polices and views". World Future Fund. Accessed January 31, 2009.
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Ferocious osmosis (talk) 04:03, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Constructive discussion?

Ferocious Osmosis, many editors are struggling to try and keep the article, in a highly contentious subject where many hold strong opinions, balanced and fair. It already acknowledges that terhe are many strands of socialism, from those of us who do consider socialism and communism to be synonyms, to those who consider that socialism and communism are opposites, to those who think that anything whatwsoever that involves state action is socialist. Instead of posting long screeds here, could you make practical proposals for how you'd like to see the article changed, which we can discuss?--Red Deathy (talk) 14:42, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

This kind of thing is inevitable in this subject as the RL forces flush more individuals like this out of the woodwork. It may be perceived as a weakness in the wiki structure and policies and an especial vulnerability in this subject since most advocates of socialism will be especially loath to suppress the expression of any opinion, no matter how imbecile or backward. I'd say let it go as it's better to let such individuals just run out of steam than compromise the principle of open discussion. Also they are the best self-exposition of their positions so that they don't need to be commented in the mainspace. (talk) 13:53, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
i.e. as long as it's about the wiki article and not a general diatribe on socialism from the whack perspective. (talk) 14:14, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


I'm somewhat concerned about the description in the introductory paragraph of the subject being "based on economic rationalization to overcome anarchy of production in order to further advance the economy toward superabundance." The cited source is an anti-socialist opinion piece by Austrian economists Peter Boettke and Peter T. Leeson. The biases of that article may conflict with our own approved sources; their claim that "socialism is characterized by state ownership of the means of production" has already been disputed in this article and there's been a determination that this isn't a very useful description. But the relevant portion is extracted from this:

The ultimate end of socialism was the “end of history,” in which perfect social harmony would permanently be established. Social harmony was to be achieved by the abolition of exploitation, the transcendence of alienation, and above all, the transformation of society from the “kingdom of necessity” to the “kingdom of freedom.” How would such a world be achieved? The socialists informed us that by rationalizing production and thus advancing material production beyond the bounds reachable under capitalism, socialism would usher mankind into a post-scarcity world.

The first thing taught to introductory economics students is that conditions of scarcity are always present. This will remain true regardless of the allocation mechanism in place, as there are underlying issues of resource extraction and problems with all forms of allocation. The elimination of scarcity does not merely entail "egalitarian" distribution of goods and resources so that all possess; it means that all goods must be free goods, and all wants can be satisfied at zero prices. This is an extremely powerful claim and as Boettke and Leeson are Austrians, it would be in their interest to depict advocacy of socialism as wildly utopian. I'd recommend removing this portion unless corroboration can be found from actual major socialist sources. Cochise the Restorer (talk) 18:44, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Agreed -- remove it. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 19:00, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Kudos to the Current Lede State

Defend it. (talk) 21:43, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Mention 1 & 4 hour workdays?

I wonder if it would fit to mention that Upton Sinclair said in "The Jungle" that with Socialism all people could work 1 hour a day, & Bertrand Russell said that we could all have a 4 hour workday? Whereas with Capitalism we make half the people work 40-80 hours a week while the other half starve...even though they work. & Stars4change (talk) 04:18, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

"Comprehensive" definition

I removed the following sentence from the lead section because it is a run-on sentence that confuses more than helps.

A more comprehensive definition of socialism is an economic system that directly maximizes use-values as opposed to exchange-values and has transcended commodity production and wage labour, along with a corresponding set of social and economic relations, including the organization of economic institutions, the method of resource allocation and post-monetary calculation based on some physical magnitude;[1] often implying a method of compensation based on individual merit, the amount of labour expended or individual contribution.[2]

If someone can split it up into smaller sentences and use plain English, feel free to re-insert it into the article.Spylab (talk) 15:17, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I attempted to re-incorporate it into the lead section, feel free to modify it if you feel it is still difficult to understand. I also suggest revising the first sentence so it defines socialism as three distinct things: a political/social movement, an economic system and a political philosophy/theory; right now it only defines it as an "economic and political theory".Battlecry (talk) 03:05, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Cooperative ownership

Cooperative ownership and management of a businesses is not socialism. There are capitalist businesses today that are worker-owned and managed. Socialism is when ALL the means of production are owned in common by society or all workers. It is not businesses individually owned by groups of workers. That is capitalism, because that is still private ownership of the means of production. Cooperatives is just a way to manage the means of production that are owned in common. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rapidosity (talkcontribs) 04:33, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

I would tend to agree; however, several notable socialist currents have supported worker-cooperatives in place of common ownership, usually defining socialism as a system in which the workers receive the full product of their labor (effectively using the application of he labor theory of value as the basis for organizing socialism). Guild socialism, mutualism and various forms of syndicalism come to mind. This arrangement is not "private" property in the traditional socialist/Marxist sense of the term. Because the article should represent all major strands of socialist thought, I think it would be appropriate to note that some socialists advocate worker-cooperatives in place of common ownership of the MoP.Battlecry (talk) 02:18, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

What spelling should this article use?

Having read the section above about using British spelling, I would have thought that every word should be spelt the British way. But having gone through the article, it seems to be a mixture of American and British spellings. I've been correcting many of them, but the whole article seems to be using both. Which one should be used then? Tripsin (talk) 00:25, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

The article was created, and has generally been edited, in accordance with British English, and there is no obvious reason to change this. The view has been expressed, however (sometimes in very offensive and aggressive terms) that US English should be the norm across Wikipedia, and that there is a more significant socialist tradition in the USA than in Britain. Neither of these claims has any validity, but there are still attempts, almost every week, to amend the spelling. RolandR (talk) 07:35, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Consensus on abolishing money?

Snowded, are you really saying that ALL socialists are in favor of abolishing money? Maybe you think that's a fundamental aspect of an hipothetical socialist society, and maybe you're right, but this article is suposed to describe ALL currents of socialism. Peace. (talk) 16:54, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Post monetary does not necessarily mean abolishing money. Social democratic and other movements attempt to work within the context of neoliberalism at times, market capitalism in general. However as I understand it socialism wishes to move beyond that. You should in any event observe WP:BRD --Snowded TALK 16:59, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Traditionally, socialism denotes a system based on economic planning in place of monetary allocation, at least specifically in the allocation of economic inputs (factors of production; ie, means of production and labor). Karl Marx referred to socialism (or lower stage communism) as being based on valueless calculation. While this was later revised by some socialists, and other currents such as anarchism and mutualism were sometimes in favor of cooperatives based in a free-market economy, even traditional market socialists often held the view that monetary allocation for the use of the means of production should be replaced by economic planning. This remains the traditional definition of socialism; modern social democracy is not a form of socialism (their goal was to eventually lead to such a socialist society). Therefore I think it is more historically accurate to say that socialism, as a socioeconomic system (not as a political movement), is based on post-monetary calculation, at least in the means of production. What is debatable is the degree to which money would be used in the allocation of consumer and luxury goods and services in a hypothetical socialist society.Battlecry (talk) 02:11, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
There's a confusion here between the technical function of money and the nature of a mode of production. Money is essentially the assignment of abstract value to production and this is a universal and in and of itself neutral and uncontroversial and necessary for the accounting function, regardless of the modality of production. Money arises naturally even before civilization in commodity money so it's not a matter of abolishing money but changing social relations incidental to the money valuation of things and in particular the epochal and seemingly unattainable shift from basing society on production for exchange value (money) to production for use value (the real underlying value represented by money). (talk) 19:52, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Citation for Libertarian Marxist

the tag has been removed twice. I was unable to find a source for the term in my research. Darkstar1st (talk) 20:05, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Pray tell ... how did you search, and what search terms did you use? BigK HeX (talk) 20:13, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
if you have found a citation, please improve the article:) Darkstar1st (talk) 20:19, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Please ... by all means, reinforce my suspicion that your "search for sources" was disingenuous. Are you going to describe your search, or not? BigK HeX (talk) 21:44, 17 August 2010 (UTC)


I don't like the use of vocabulary in the current version of the article. It seems divorced from the rest of Wikipedia (and my knowledge of economics). If you click on some of the first unusual terms - "Means of Production", "Use-value", "Exchange-value", "Free Association" - they all go Marxist Theory pages. I don't think I should have to learn all of Marxist Theory in order to understand Socialism. Just because it's not the Capitalist page, doesn't mean you can't use the word "capital".

Also, I see "post-monetary system" as a biased term.

On a non-vocabulary related note, the introduction includes a Socialist's criticism of Capitalism. Rather than saying "A socialist sees capitalism as doing X which is bad because of Y", I think a more even way of phrasing it is "A socialist wants Y and capitalism doesn't achieve that because of X". This second way of phrasing it allows people to evaluate if Y is important to them and whether or not X does or doesn't encourage Y. The first way of phrasing it allows criticism of the social's view of capitalism and whether or not there are offsetting things besides Y that might make capitalism redeemable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:40, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

The terms use-value and exchange-value are classical economic terminology that are not exclusive to Marxian economics. Neoclassical economics ("mainstream") lacks equivalent terminology because it ignores these concepts entirely and focuses on the analysis of price as its starting point. "Means of production" is simply the factors of production minus labor and land; I have seen the term used universally in the definitions of both capitalism and socialism (see the capitalism article). The term capital has different meanings; socialists generally consider socialism as a system where capital is neutralized, so I don't see how a concept with different meanings can be easily injected into the lead without adding a lengthy definition of what capital means in this specific context. Free association is admittedly a strictly Marxist and Anarchist phrase; however I do not know what phrase it can be adequately substituted with while maintaining its original meaning (Free association =/= government control). Post-monetary might be confusing for some, but moneyless calculation for the factors of production is a crucial element of socialism as characterized by its proponents.
As for your second concern, I think the whole criticism of capitalism section in the lead should be moved to its own category in the article titled "Socialist perspective" or "Socialist critique of capitalism". The focus of the lead should be a brief overview of socialism as a socioeconomic system, political movement and ideology devoid of socialist perspectives on other social systems. Battlecry (talk) 22:10, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Socialism and Calculation, on Retrieved February 15, 2010, from "Although money, and so monetary calculation, will disappear in socialism this does not mean that there will no longer be any need to make choices, evaluations and calculations...Wealth will be produced and distributed in its natural form of useful things, of objects that can serve to satisfy some human need or other. Not being produced for sale on a market, items of wealth will not acquire an exchange-value in addition to their use-value. In socialism their value, in the normal non-economic sense of the word, will not be their selling price nor the time needed to produce them but their usefulness. It is for this that they will be appreciated, evaluated, wanted. . . and produced."
    • ^ Critique of the Gotha Programme, Karl Marx.