- 1 Economic freedom
- 2 Economics sidebar
- 3 Socialism Definition
- 4 August 2011
- 5 Battlecry are you using the account User:Rocketman116
- 6 You have been reported to a sock puppet investigation
- 7 Deletion discussion about Strike Suit Zero
- 8 Social Market Economy
- 9 Capitalism Template
- 10 Barnstar for you
- 11 Article Feedback deployment
- 12 Input Social Market Economy
- 13 Disambiguation link notification for July 19
- 14 January 2014
- 15 Socialism
- 16 Reference Errors on 22 April
- 17 May 2014
- 18 A pie for you!
- 19 Battlecry your edits on Social Democracy are incorrect
- 20 A barnstar for you!
- 21 Social Democracy
- 22 Socialism
- 23 Re: Socialism
- 24 Definition of Socialism
- 25 Capitalism
- 26 Thank you for your Nov. 19 edit at Bernie Sanders
- 27 Planned Economy and Marxism
- 28 Democratic socialism
- 29 I award you The Worker's Barn Star!
- 30 Social Ownership
- 31 Are you a native speaker of English?
- 32 Socialism
Hello-I reverted your addition to the intro of Economic freedom. That article has seen a lot of contention, and so the material in it is (or should be) carefully referenced. So, if you want to add something on the socialist tradition of economic freedom, it should also be carefully referenced. CRETOG8(t/c) 15:42, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Following discussion on the talk pages of the economics project, the sidebar does not have mention of economic systems/ideologies/schools. IMHO, it is too difficult to get consensus on inclusion criteria, as I noted in my edit summary reverting your good-faith edit. You should feel free to create a self-standing template of ideologies/schools/systems, if you'd like; I would encourage you to run such templates by the Economics Project talk page, for feedback.
Best regards,23:43, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Hi. I replied to your comment in the discussion on socialism. The distinction lies in whether we are discussing an "economic system" or an "economic theory." Same thing with how capitalism is treated. As is, the definition is of an economic system, implying that it actually exists. I know Marxist purists want to keep "socialism" as a term for themselves, but this is socialism as a theory described by Marx. Socialism as an economic theory and as term coined by Marx is already noted in the bullet/header of the article and has a link to that article. -Nelbev (talk) 16:20, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
- Hello Nelbev. I think you are confused about the definition of socialism; first of all, Marx never clearly defined socialism, he only recognized certain parameters that would distinguish socialism from capitalism (any system structured around the accumulation of capital, profit and private property). The fundamental distinction, shared by all socialists save for modern social democrats and some confused proponents of market socialism, is that socialism entails some form of co-operative property structure and production is carried out for use directly. This is by no means a narrow definition, as there is literally hundreds of different institutional configurations socialism can take given these parameters (just as we see many different variations of capitalism under the parameters I noted above). However, if you are looking for a definition of socialism as an economic system that already exists, you would have to go with the neoclassical and Austrian definition of socialism, which defines it primarily as an economic system where economic planning displaces market coordination in the allocation of economic inputs and capital. Under this definition, socialism refers specifically to the economies of the Soviet Union and its satellite states (because no other modern economies have substituted market allocation with planning, although some Western mixed economies complement market allocation with indirect planning). But if you examine the definitions closely, you will notice that the neoclassical / Austrian definition actually refers to a slightly different (and far more specific) concept than the socialist, anarchist and Marxist definition of socialism. Both deserve mention. Battlecry (talk) 22:14, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
- I posted a response to your comment in that section. Here is a copy of what I posted: You are confusing socialist politics (a political ideology and movement) with socialist economics (a group of theoretical or hypothetical future economic systems). First off, Sweden and Norway have been governed by social democratic parties and have implemented a range of policies to benefit their constituents. Granted, some believed these reforms would eventually and gradually pave the way toward a socialist system, while democratic socialists tended to believe they could not achieve socialism by themselves but were worth supporting in the interim. Regardless of ones position, these policies are not the same thing as socialism (which has a specific, technical definition); for example, when the Republicans come to power in the United States, their policies do not (and rightly so) define Republicanism. Furthermore, different socialist political movements have different strategies for achieving socialism - had a Leninist Communist or an anarcho-syndicalist party taken power in Sweden, their path to building socialism would have been radically different from the social democrats. Their policies, again, would not define socialism as an economic system. Secondly, you claim that the following line implies Marx's labor theory of value: "accounting is based on physical quantities of resources, some physical magnitude, or a direct measure of labor-time". This is incorrect; there is a list of three different means for quantifying resources and use-values, the last of which is the (mis)application of Marx's concept socially-necessary labor time to a hypothetical socialist economy. While personally I don't agree with that particular position, it is worth mentioning along with the other accounting mechanisms because it is and has been a major proposal for socialist economic systems, particularly by anarchists, cooperative market socialists and syndicalists. Thirdly, you are correct in claiming that the lead clearly defines the property-rights structure of socialism. Again, it lists a range of different possible configurations property rights over the MoP can take under socialism: public (state) ownership, common ownership (free access) and independent cooperatives. All of these configurations are very different from each other, and aside from common ownership, cooperatives and public enterprises do not in any way exclude market coordination. The various proposals for market socialism typically includes a mixture of cooperatives and public enterprises operating in a free-market economy - so your point that the given definition excludes market socialism or market coordination is moot. Fourth, the reason why the given definition does not appear to exist in reality is precisely because socialism has not yet existed on a large scale. All of the world's economies operate under the laws of capital accumulation and seek to generate a financial profit; most are dominated by private enterprises. Unless you are defining socialism as the system that existed in the Soviet Union and other Communist-run states, which is debatable itself, socialism has not existed on a large scale to date. As per capitalism, the United States (and Sweden for that matter) fits the definition of capitalism: the means of production are almost entirely privately-owned, and enterprises compete to generate a profit. I hope this clarifies the issue for you. Battlecry (talk) 22:14, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your contributions to Wikipedia. Before saving your changes to an article, please provide an edit summary for your edits. Doing so helps everyone understand the intention of your edit (and prevents legitimate edits from being mistaken for vandalism). It is also helpful to users reading the edit history of the page. Thank you. bodnotbod (talk) 09:21, 31 August 2011 (UTC)
Battlecry are you using the account User:Rocketman116
Battlecry the account Rocketman116 like you also supports the technocracy movement. It is acceptable to use multiple accounts provided that they are not used for abusive sock puppetry, however Rocketman116 said "I agree with Battlecry". I will admit that fact that both you and Rocketman116 support this rather obscure and unknown movement does look suspicious to me. Whether or not you are using the account - it may be a coincidence that you and that user both believe in the technocracy movement - I am still going to bring it up with administrators, I am informing you of this so that you are aware.--R-41 (talk) 18:13, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
- No, I am not the same user as Rocketman116, and anyone is welcome to compare our IP addresses. I do converse with Rocketman through instant messenger every now and then, and during one of our recent discussions I brought the socialism article controversy to his attention. As for my support for technocracy, there is some misunderstanding here. I am not a proponent of the Technocracy Incorporated movement, but I do support the concept of technocratic governance of the economy in the sense of Fredrich Engels' statement that under socialism a "scientific administration of things would replace the political rule of man over man". When I placed the technocracy movement tag on my profile, I was unaware that the Technocracy movement represented an entirely different (meaning it had its own entirely seperate view on economics than neoclassical and Marxian economics), whole social movement unto itself. -Battlecry (talk) 00:03, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
You have been reported to a sock puppet investigation
I have looked over your edit history and that of Rocketman116, it seems clear to be that you are the sock master of the sock puppet Rocketman116 that you are using in abusive manner by pretending that Rocketman116 is a different user. You have been reported for sock puppet investigation here: .--R-41 (talk) 18:58, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
- I look forward to the results of this investigation because I am sure they will prove that your accusations are incorrect. And it is quite amusing when the cranks have to resort to personal attacks to silence their opposition. It should not be surprising that most other socialist users agree with my position on the definition of socialism: collective/social ownership over the means of production and production for use as opposed to regulated private enterprise, welfare-states in capitalism, the Nazi party, or some obscure ethical doctrine. Because we agree on this issue and happen to discuss such issues with each other through a different medium than wikipedia is no basis to claim conspiracy. Furthermore, aside from our agreement on the definition of socialism, Rocketman's edit history shows that he edits entirely different subjects that I have never contributed myself due to insufficient knowledge on my part.-Battlecry (talk) 00:13, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
- You accuse me of personal attack without any reason and then call me a "crank", that's hypocricy and could warrant a report for personal attack in itself if you do not rescind the comment - but it does reveal your uncivil behaviour and complete disrespect for me, nonetheless.--R-41 (talk) 14:29, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Deletion discussion about Strike Suit Zero
I wanted to let you know that there's a discussion about whether Strike Suit Zero should be deleted. Your comments are welcome at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Strike Suit Zero .
If you're new to the process, articles for deletion is a group discussion (not a vote!) that usually lasts seven days. If you need it, there is a guide on how to contribute. Last but not least, you are highly encouraged to continue improving the article; just be sure not to remove the tag about the deletion nomination from the top.
Social Market Economy
- Sure, I will take a look at the discussion there and offer my input.-Battlecry 07:20, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Barnstar for you
|The Original Barnstar|
|For your contribution to Wikipedia. Somedifferentstuff (talk) 10:54, 26 February 2013 (UTC)|
Article Feedback deployment
Hey Battlecry; I'm dropping you this note because you've used the article feedback tool in the last month or so. On Thursday and Friday the tool will be down for a major deployment; it should be up by Saturday, failing anything going wrong, and by Monday if something does :). Thanks, Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 23:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Input Social Market Economy
Hello Battlecry, you have given your input on the discussion of a possible lead. To finally find a consensus version (almost) everyone can agree upon there is a (hopefully) final attempt at Talk:Social_market_economy#working_on_Lead_consensus to make a one for all version. When we have a consensus version we can approach Jayron32 to unblock the article. I whant to invite you to probably make changes on that final version and finally give a thumb up or down. --Pass3456 (talk) 20:21, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
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- democrat]]s. In contrast to social welfare provisions found in other industrialized countries (especially those operating under the [[Anglo-Saxon model]], European welfare states provide more
- Our first priority should be to figure out on how to organize the material and prevent the descent into the "moralist" social democracy/social liberal PoV the article is beginning to take on, especially with attempts to define (or rather un-define) socialism as a vague set of moral values in the lead.
- On another note, I would request you don't revert back the current order of the page (History after etymology) because there was a general consensus agreeing with that change. What needs to be done is remove redundant and excess material from the history section, so the article is not so bloated and arguably biased. -Battlecry 23:19, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Reference Errors on 22 April
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- *[[Ideal (ethics)
A pie for you!
|For your work on socialist articles on Wikipedia Royalmate3 (talk) 13:13, 4 April 2015 (UTC)|
Battlecry your edits on Social Democracy are incorrect
Are you biased against Social Democracy? I'm a Social Democrat myself, our goal is the creation of a Democratic Socialist system over time. Saying that we are not Socialists is very offensive. I'm a swedish Social Democrat and Democratic Socialism over time is our aim. Why do you keep writing saying these things about Social Democrats? By your definition below, China is "capitalist."
"As per capitalism, the United States (and Sweden for that matter) fits the definition of capitalism: the means of production are almost entirely privately-owned, and enterprises compete to generate a profit. I hope this clarifies the issue for you."
- Wikipedia is not a forum for you to discuss or promote your own personal political viewpoints. My edits are well-sourced by specialized encyclopedias on political economy and philosophy - if you can find reliable secondary sources for your claim that contemporary social democrats advocate socialism and social ownership, then I will be open to discuss incorporating them into the article. --Battlecry 04:46, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
A barnstar for you!
|The Original Barnstar|
|Great work on the article Social-democracy. Creedence (talk) 22:40, 18 July 2015 (UTC)|
I removed the information that you restored because I felt that it was really just re-hashing what the previous paragraphs had already said, to the point of redundancy. What do you think? Vrrajkum (talk) 09:01, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
- We should retain the information about modern social democracy being defined by support for universal access to public services as listed. The section can probably be trimmed to be more concise and to prevent repeating information stated in the previous paragraphs. -Battlecry 09:40, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
According to Production_for_use#Contrary_socialist_theories, some market socialists seek to retain the principle of production for profit rather than production for use. This is supported by Socialism#cite_note-20.
In the context of the article, the question of whether the Soviet Union was socialist or non-socialist is more significant than the question of whether its economy was planned or non-planned, and suggesting that the USSR's economy not being planned is the reason that it was not socialist in turn suggests (to laymen) that socialist economies are necessarily planned. Your point is not invalid, but it distracts from the larger point that's trying to be made.
- That section was written by me a long time ago, and while it is true that market socialists don't seek to implement planned production for use, the content should be amended to say that market socialists believe that - given the right institutions - there is no contradiction between production for use and markets. Regardless, I think including a brief overview of the actual organization of the Soviet economy gives readers an understanding of why it might not have represented socialism - especially since planning was heavily associated with socialism, and a "command" or "managed" economy was certainly not advocated as a form of socialism (just as state capitalism wouldn't represent a form of socialism). It is also a more widespread view (held by non-socialist theorists as well) than the view that it simply represented a form of state capitalism. -Battlecry 11:05, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Vrrajkum I want to be clear that "non-market" refers specifically to the absence of factor markets, and does not necessarily imply a "planned economy" by the definition that term has acquired. Socialism was and still is widely conceived as a non-capitalist economic order that operates according to a different dynamic than capitalism, even among many traditional market socialists (Oskar Lange and Abba Lerner were quite specific that the aim of their model was to provide an alternate mechanism to capital markets). -Battlecry 23:59, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Battlecry: As I understand it the Lange model was a hybrid of planning and markets, rather than a true market socialism? I am influenced by for example Socialism#cite_note-20, which suggests that market socialism can operate under laws largely similar to those of market capitalism (e.g., the law of value), merely with private ownership of the means of production superseded by (primarily) cooperative ownership.
- Socialism as an entirely different economic order is indeed what was advanced by Marx, but the Marxist approach to socialism is not the only one and is in no way defining of socialism. Indeed, many socialists, including Noam Chomsky, believe that Marx actually hurt the socialist cause by providing a basis for the authoritarian systems of government traditionally associated with socialism and/or communism, which have in turn given many people (particularly in the West) a knee-jerk opposition to the concept of 'socialism' and a stronger affinity for what they perceive as capitalism.
- Also, the usage of the word 'superior' in the second paragraph takes a non-NPoV. Vrrajkum (talk) 04:22, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: This is not merely a Marxist perspective, it was again shared by many socialists of various persuasions as noted in the given sources. Also, the concept of different system to capitalism does not in any way imply authoritarianism - your comment about Chomsky's views on this matter are misplaced.
- @Battlecry: I wasn't saying that a different system to capitalism implies authoritarianism, I was saying that Marxism implies authoritarianism (e.g., "dictatorship of the proletariat"). Chomsky does indeed suggest this in his article "The Soviet Union Versus Socialism", invoking Bakunin who also "concluded that any regime led by Marx or his followers was likely to be oppressive and dictatorial" (Howard and King, "'State Capitalism' in the Soviet Union"). That is, Chomsky argues that the Bolsheviks' "intense hostility to socialism... [had] roots in Marx."
- In fact, I actually emailed Dr. Chomsky directly a few days ago asking him whether or not he thinks that there are any positive aspects of capitalism, and this was his response: http://s22.postimg.org/hivy0fdi7/chomsky.png
- In the context of Marx's "lavish praises" of capitalism, Chomsky's first sentence is saying that (state) capitalism has been very successful at subjugating and oppressing working people--an unsurprisingly doctrinaire but surprisingly tongue-in-cheek response. However, his larger point in invoking Marx and describing him as a "leading booster" of capitalism was noting that the correlates of Marxism, such as the Soviet Union, have planted seeds of opposition to 'socialism' in the minds of many people and thus "boosted" capitalism, as he describes in "The Soviet Union Versus Socialism":
- "[The USA's] association of socialism with the Soviet Union and its clients serves as a powerful ideological weapon to enforce conformity and obedience to the State capitalist institutions, to ensure that the necessity to rent oneself to the owners and managers of these institutions will be regarded as virtually a natural law, the only alternative to the ‘socialist’ dungeon."
- In other words, Marxism being used by the Bolsheviks (and particularly Stalin) as a justification for the "dungeon" that was the USSR has indeed resulted in Marx's net contribution to socialism being negative, by virtue of Marxist offshoots leading people to believe that socialism is necessarily dictatorial and oppressive, resulting in them voluntarily choosing capitalism which they therefore perceive as being more free.
- While "superior" might not be NPoV, the goal of a socialist system is to be a more productive and efficient than capitalism (however we define these concepts). What word would you use in place of "superior"? -Battlecry 04:36, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: Marxian analysis continues to be the most systematic and consistent analysis of the economic issues of capitalist dynamics and the emergence of socialism that avoids appeals to subjective moralism. While Marx's political views might not be entirely adequate for today's world, it is also important to understand that the terminology he used had different connotations in his time. "Dictatorship of the proletariat" referred to working-class interests underpinning government policy, much as in contemporary capitalism we live under a "dictatorship of the bourgeois" where government policy ultimately serves the interests of businesses and capitalists. I would argue that it was the deviation from Marxian analysis in the form of advancing a theory of imperialism, particularly on the part of Lenin, which set the stage for authoritarian governance. In Marx's analysis, socialism can only emerge where the dynamics of capitalism are breaking down and leading to social strife. This certainly was not the case in semi-feudal Russia, where the Bolsheviks seized power under the assumption that socialist revolution was imminent in the advanced capitalist countries - and later, as part of Lenin's theory of imperialism where Marxist-Leninists aimed to "break the back" of imperialism by cutting off the advanced capitalist countries from exploiting developing economies, which in the Marxist-Leninist view was responsible for sustaining capitalism. So the Bolsheviks had to maintain power, forcefully develop capitalism via state-directed accumulation, and then aimed to socially engineer a socialist culture and forcefully develop socialism on an insufficiently developed economic base. This is the opposite of genuine Marxism, which has social relations and political action emerging in response to underlying technological and economic trends. I would argue that Marxism envisions socialism as a largely organic response to the breakdown of capitalism, and cannot be artificially or forcefully imposed. Further, holding developing countries "hostage" and cutting them off from the world capitalist system under the assumption that said system is being starved of places to exploit is contradictory and will only create an unsustainable political situation in said countries.
- Regarding the wording in describing the socialist economic mechanism, socialism aimed to be superior in the sense of being more productive and efficient than capitalism, hence representing a post-capitalist, and not merely an alternative, system. -Battlecry 11:15, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Battlecry: What would fuel this "breakdown" of capitalism? Newton's first law states that something at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon, which holds true for social systems as much as it does for physical systems. There needs to be a large-scale, active effort to implement socialism; expecting technological and economic trends to result in the organic subversion of a system that is largely maintained by authoritarian means is quixotic.
- @Vrrajkum: The political action must be grounded upon underlying economic and technological trends that make socialism technically feasible and which demonstrate the insufficiency of capitalism. Socialism cannot be simply willed into existence without these technical preconditions. So yes, there is a very active role for political action in the process of systemic transformation. In fact, I would even go so far as to argue that political action is required in order to prevent reforms from perpetuating capitalism - even if capitalism is barely limping along, the population has little conception of any viable alternative without a very active social and political movement (in academia and civil society) articulating, disseminating and actively developing alternative institutions, processes and economic dynamics to substitute capitalism with. Unfortunately as you are aware, as your comments suggest in the Socialism talk page, many "socialists" today are actually only interested in reforms to capitalism and the advocacy of social policy that only serve to prop up capitalist property relations ("social democracy"), and many actually sound like conservatives harking back to a glorified past (the so-called Golden age of capitalism) instead of promoting a genuinely new system. This despite the underlying contradictions of capitalism - rising job automation threatening job security, longer work hours despite huge increases in worker productivity, an over-accumulation of capital in the financial sector, and digital goods and services have a zero marginal reproduction cost undermining the price system.
- Socialists generally perceived such a system to be superior to capitalism... But perhaps we can reserve this information for a more detailed description in the economics section of the article? -Battlecry 01:08, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: It seems that you are arguing for some form of technological determinism, which I am highly skeptical of. In my view, increasing levels of technological and economic development can not and will not render the capitalist mode of production inherently obsolete. For example, Chomsky notes in "The Soviet Union Versus Socialism" that "libertarian socialism... seeks to abolish all forms of domination and hierarchy in every aspect of social and personal life, an unending struggle, since progress in achieving a more just society will lead to new insight and understanding of forms of oppression that may be concealed in traditional practice and consciousness." That is, abolishing capitalism is an unending struggle, because as levels of technological and economic development advance, so, too, do justifications for and methods of instituting and maintaining capitalism and exploitative social relations.
In other words, as justifications for and methods of instituting and maintaining capitalistic relations are weakened in one way, they are simultaneously strengthened in another way; shapeshifting, so to speak. The capitalist class knows this and will take advantage of it as a means to maintain their (considerable) power. Thus, I am skeptical of the description of socialism as "the culmination of technological development outstripping the economic dynamics of capitalism" (which I further believe is too technical for most readers to understand, and should be rephrased or removed), and of your argument that socialism requires a certain set of "technical preconditions", as I don't believe that such a set of preconditions will ever be sufficiently established. In my view, the means for socialism are and always have been in place, but they have been and will continue to be suppressed by capitalistic forces and interests. Vrrajkum (talk) 07:27, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: You (and Chomsky as well for that matter) appear to be conflating capitalism with domination and hierarchy. Socialism can only resolve issues inherent to capitalism, not every form of domination and hierarchy. Socialism is only possible without technical preconditions if we are conceiving it as an ethical or moral doctrine. That is not how it is technically understood - socialism in the sense of post-capitalist dynamics requires a sufficient level of technological capability, particularly in the development of information technology, for efficient and real-time non-market coordination to take place over vast geographical distances without suffering from Hayekian informational problems. Second, your skepticism of Marxism is noted but ultimately irrelevant to the subject of socialism. Marxism has been the most influential theoretical framework underpinning much of socialist thinking, which conceives of socialism as emerging from a contradiction between the productive forces (technological capability as applied to production) outstripping the social relations of production (including capitalist property forms). It is absolutely essential we briefly mention the technical argument(s) that have been made for socialism as opposed to simply presenting it as a vague ethical doctrine as modern day social democrats try to redefine it as. Again, our personal views on socialist politics are irrelevant to our present task of updating the Socialism article.
- The current version of the article  is fairly accurate and touches upon the major defining characteristics of socialism. It will obviously need some tweaking and perhaps some downsizing, but I think we should largely keep it as is. Our main concern should be reaching a consensus at this point because Eduen is pushing a non-NPoV (most likely under good faith) by failing to distinguish between socialism as a concept and the actions/policies of self-described socialist politicians and parties. To restate, the current version of the lead is not perfect, but it is much better at presenting what socialism actually is and at touching upon the most common associations the casual reader have (relationship to the Soviet system, Karl Marx's influence, reform vs. revolution) while providing a concise yet comprehensive presentation of the socialist concept (non-market, market and the types of social ownership). -Battlecry 09:21, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
"The Marxian conception of socialism stands in contrast to other early conceptions of socialism, most notably early forms of market socialism based on classical economics such as Mutualism and Ricardian socialism. Unlike the Marxian conception, these conceptions of socialism retained commodity exchange (markets) for labor and the means of production, seeking to perfect the market process."
You wrote in the second paragraph on the Socialism page that Marx's conception of socialism is the initial concept of socialism, but the Socialist mode of production page says that Marxian socialism came after Ricardian socialism.
- @Vrrajkum: I did not write that the Marxian conception was the initial conception of socialism. As per the sources given, I stated that the initial conception of socialism was encompassed by a non-market alternative to capitalism. Marx's analysis underpinned much of the early, comprehensive (economic) conception of socialism as post-capitalism. Ricardian socialism does predate Marx's work and can be classified as proto-market socialism. However it isn't very notable in the economics profession, and isn't widely regarded as constituting a truly non-capitalist economy (the conception of autonomous cooperatives operating in a free market economy is regarded as an institutional variation of capitalism because it is characterized by the same economic dynamics, much like some thinkers argue the Soviet economy was simply "state capitalism"), hence why many economic sources are probably glossing over its contribution to socialist thought.-Battlecry 23:18, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: We can probably remove the "initial concept of socialism" from the second paragraph in the lead when describing nonmarket socialism, since I agree that while it was the most prominent conception of socialism, it was not the only initial conception. However, again, I think our main issue right now should be with dealing with the blatant social democratic non-NPoV pushing by user Eduen, who is trying to redefine socialism to mean "social control", which is highly dubious and suggests (particularly in the popular conception) state regulation of a private economy, which you and I both know have nothing to do with socialism. -Battlecry 00:35, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: The article you linked to refers to social control as a sociological concept, not as an economic concept. Furthermore, Eduen simply seems to be conflating the words 'social' and 'state', and thus misconstruing 'social ownership' and 'social control' for 'state ownership' and 'state control', although it is rather confounding that his misconception persists even after being presented with sources that indicate that 'social ownership' is broader than 'state ownership'.
- @Vrrajkum: If you look at the history of the socialism talk page, you will see he has consistently held this position for a long time. Regardless, we need to avoid problematic terminology. "Social control" is not commonly used to describe an economic concept and when it does, it has no clear meaning, ranging from state regulation to state planning. It is even more confusing that the concept more generally refers to a sociological concept, as you have correctly pointed out. We also need to make it clear that the article is about the concept of socialism first and foremost, and not about the actions or beliefs of every self-described socialist party or leader, which may have nothing to do with socialism itself. A socialist politician can pursue non-socialist liberal or conservative reforms while in office while genuinely remaining committed to a belief in socialism - we need to make it clear that this does not change the definition of socialism. -Battlecry 10:11, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: 'Social ownership' is public or cooperative ownership of the means of production; wouldn't 'social control' just be public or cooperative control of the means of production?
It makes intuitive sense if we compare it to private ownership and control in capitalism. Private ownership of the means of production in capitalism means exclusive ownership of the means of production, and private control, in turn, means exclusive control over the means of production.
- @Vrrajkum: "Social ownership AND control" is what I had initially wrote as the definition in the lead. This is acceptable - we just have to explain what "social control" means in this context in the article. But "social control" in this sense -without- social ownership is not socialism; for example, a private corporation that has an egalitarian or cooperative management structure does not constitute socialism. -Battlecry 23:30, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: That makes sense. I think the version of the introduction before Eduen reverted it looked pretty good; the only thing I maybe want to better address is Ricardian/market socialism as a system of cooperatives operating in a free-market economy. Vrrajkum (talk) 07:37, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: Actually I am curious about one other thing. Is common ownership indeed a form of social ownership? As I understood it social ownership is the defining characteristic of socialism, but common ownership is actually the defining characteristic of communism, not socialism. For example Routledge does not include common ownership in its definition of social ownership: "In order of increasing decentralisation (at least) three forms of socialised ownership can be distinguished: state-owned firms, employee-owned (or socially) owned firms, and citizen ownership of equity." Vrrajkum (talk) 09:53, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: Ricardian socialism was not notable in the economics profession; the comprehensive conception of socialism in the late 19th century was a non-market system. This is supported by the sources given (From Marx to Mises, Markets in the Name of Socialism and A Future for Socialism) and follows the standard account of the socialist calculation debate. Market socialism only gained currency as a serious school of thought in the late 1920s-early 1930s, where it was widely recognized and associated with the economic theories of Oskar Lange, Abba Lerner, Fred M. Taylor and Karl Polyani. But these concepts of "market socialism" were far removed from the relatively mild notion of cooperatives operating in a free market economy, which up until the latter half of the 20th century was not considered a valid form of socialism but rather an institutional variation of capitalism by most of the economics profession. The reasoning was that such a system was not characterized by any fundamentally different process than capitalism, and so it did not actually constitute a categorically different system from extant capitalism. This is also largely supported by many of the authors of contemporary works developing new models of socialist economics, including Daniel E. Saros, David McMullen, David Ramsay Steele and Harry Shutt - who don't consider this type of market socialism to be a satisfactory response to the anti-socialist critics for failing to provide a truly distinct and superior economic mechanism - despite its recognition as a notable tradition in socialist thought.
- So my point is, for the lead of the socialism article, we should not delve too much into minor variations of socialism when describing its economic theory and focus instead on the standard account of its development. That would mean first describing non-market socialism, and then notably describing market socialism as retaining the use of factor markets and monetary prices, which logically flows with the development of the concept. This flows better and highlights the standard account of the evolution of socialist economic thought, while still leaving open the possibility of modern and future developments that make non-market socialism feasible. -Battlecry 09:56, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: Common ownership is traditionally associated with a higher form of socialism, but at the same time social ownership can be taken to mean the negation of ownership as such since property titles would be vested in a single entity or network of entities. Some contemporary conceptions of socialism based on peer-to-peer processes and information technology for resource allocation can be described as featuring a large role for the commons, and some socialist thinkers in the past described common ownership as a form of socialism (see Public Ownership and Common Ownership by Anton Pannekoek). So there is clearly some overlap with the concepts. -Battlecry 10:00, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
- "Common ownership differs from collective ownership. The former means property open for access to anyone, and the latter means property owned jointly by agreement. Examples of collective ownership include modern forms of corporate ownership as well as producer cooperatives, which are in contrast to forms of common ownership, such as a public park available to everyone."
The way I conceive it in my head is that social ownership means that property is collectively owned (by agreement), but common ownership means that property is altogether un-owned--i.e. that there is no ownership claim at all, which is my conception of communism.
With respect to market socialism, I am reluctant to give a doctrinaire respect to the "standard" development of socialism or the economics profession's recognition of socialism for the same reason that I am reluctant to consider modern social democracy a form of socialism, despite the fact that it is commonly designated as socialism. On a conceptual level, socialism as a system of cooperatives operating in a free-market economy is indeed a valid form of socialism, regardless of whether or not it was recognized as such. I am again influenced by Pierson:
- "Even the most conservative accounts of market socialism insist that this abolition of large-scale holdings of private capital is essential. This requirement is fully consistent with the market socialists’ general claim that the vices of market capitalism lie not with the institutions of the market but with (the consequences of) the private ownership of capital."
In other words, I tend to favor treating socialism as a concept rather than constraining treatment to any "standard" of human acknowledgement or advancement of that concept. For example, what about the work of Proudhon and other anarchist advocates of free-market socialism? Why should this not be treated? Vrrajkum (talk) 10:19, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: That is how I conceive of communism as well - as a non-ownership economy. As for your comment on Proudhonian socialism, the lead section of Wikipedia articles should not go into excessive detail on relatively minor traditions or theories. Keep in mind that socialism as a system to be juxtaposed with capitalism implies the neutralization of the category of capital - the defining feature of capitalism. Thus it makes sense to describe non-market socialism first and then describe how (modern) market socialism is contrasted with this comprehensive notion of socialism. The way this was described still gave equal weighting to both forms of socialism without specifically mentioning any specific thinker or model (like mutualism). This order - describing non-market socialism as the initial concept - is consistent with the given sources. Note that on the "Ricardian socialism" page, the concept is seen as dubious. -Battlecry 10:29, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: I am content with the current version of the lead (). There can be some tweaks and revision to some of the wording, but overall I think it is fairly concise and accurate in describing the main points and forms of socialism. We should now focus on gaining a consensus on the talk page and begin work on reducing the length of the "History" section of the article. -Battlecry 10:39, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: There is no clear answer to that question. Marx certainly believed that the two were interchangeable, communism simply representing a higher form of socialism. More commonly, socialism is understood to "negate property" in the means of production (the production process) whereas communism more broadly applies this to all goods and services (in the form of free access). I see the various forms as being applicable to different levels of technological development: market socialism is a first transitional step, which resolves some issues of private ownership. As information technology advances to a point where real-time coordination is possible, publicly-owned enterprises can be linked together and the economy would no longer be driven by factor markets and the accumulation of capital. Communism would emerge only if superabundance becomes possible, which would enable free access (this exists today in the sphere of free and open-source software, where the marginal reproduction cost is near zero). I draw a line between communism and socialism by identifying it with superabundance free access, which would result in a very different kind of society and social relations than a socialist system. So in the context of the Socialism article, I cannot give a concrete answer as to whether or not "communism" is a form of socialism or not - I think of it as a further (hypothetical) development of socialism, but others would disagree. -Battlecry 01:05, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: I see. With respect to the Socialism article and the controversy over "social ownership" on the talk page, and the fact that communism being a form of socialism is not universally agreed upon, I then think that "common ownership" should be removed from the list of forms of "social ownership" in the second sentence. "Common ownership" is not explicitly specified by any sources, for example Routledge. Vrrajkum (talk) 06:27, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: For the sake of clarity we can remove it unless a reliable source can be found that specifically mentions common ownership. Our foremost concern right now should be gaining consensus for the current lead on the talk page, as it appears Eduen is repeatedly ignoring what you, I and other editors have posted regarding the definition of socialism. -Battlecry 07:57, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
- This edit could be seen as improper canvassing. I note you did not contact editors who disagreed with you. TFD (talk) 01:16, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
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Definition of Socialism
@Battlecry: Can you expand more on what you mean by "autonomous management" as an example of social ownership without workers' control that remains consistent with socialism? Vrrajkum (talk) 03:14, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
- By "autonomous management", I mean a publicly-owned entity that does not have its management decisions or management team appointed by the owning entity (the state). A publicly-owned enterprise or corporation would be an example of this in the context of a market socialist system. -Battlecry 05:13, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
- @Vrrajkum: "Workers' control" is again a very ambiguous concept. Socialism in the Marxian sense, and in the sense of a non-market economy, is understood to be a system where technical specialists would displace business functions for operating the economy or enterprises. These "technical specialists" are workers, not capitalists. Does this constitute "workers' control"? Or does workers' control mean a more simplistic notion of direct democracy within an enterprise (a concept that is popular among activists but can't be taken seriously by anyone with more knowledge on organizational management)? Likewise, socialism might mean the absence of management as such by self-management (which is NOT the same thing as democratic workers' control). It is much more difficult to say any one of these concepts is universally applicable to all the models of socialism compared to the concept of "social ownership". -Battlecry 05:41, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: Are the technical specialists members of the firm? Then yes, that constitutes workers' control. Workers' control can mean direct democracy within enterprises, but not necessarily; it can also mean that workers vote to elect the management of the firm from among their own ranks, and the management then makes the organizational decisions about the firm. This is democratic workers' control while not being direct democracy within enterprises, and is currently practiced in credit unions (financial cooperatives) in the U.S. as well as in pockets in other areas and time periods, such as revolutionary Russia post-February Revolution but pre-October Revolution.
@Vrrajkum:: The conceptual difference is "democratic management" might mean all members of an enterprise voting on management decisions, procedures, etc. whereas "self-management" might involve workers' individually setting their own work schedules and managing their own work processes within an enterprise. The two concepts are not identical. -Battlecry 05:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: In that case I would argue that self-management is still a form of workers' control. The workers still control what they do or don't do within the firm.
I think that the significant implication of "workers' control" is just that the workers are not beholden to a party or individual that is completely abstracted above them, as they are under capitalism. Vrrajkum (talk) 06:01, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
@Battlecry: Also, can you elaborate more on what you mean when you say "I want to be clear that "non-market" refers specifically to the absence of factor markets, and does not necessarily imply a "planned economy" by the definition that term has acquired"? What is a non-market, non-planned socialist economy? Vrrajkum (talk) 19:04, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
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- The profit motive refers to the incentive structure of firms and organizations. The profit system or a system of profit-loss calculation is a distinct concept; the profit system can exist but firms or organizations might or might not operate according to the profit motive even though they operate under a profit system. This is essentially how nonprofits operate today in capitalism (the profit system). And you are correct about the wording being imprecise - the capitalism article is in dire need of restructuring and its definition needs more sources. -Battlecry 09:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your Nov. 19 edit at Bernie Sanders
Thank you for your edit this morning at Bernie Sanders. I have tried to get the red "Socialism" category banner at the bottom of that page removed, as inaccurate, or at least inappropriate and misleading --- but any such edits I attempt are reverted. Additionally, and for the same reasons, I think the "American socialists" category listing for the page is inappropriate, as the other already listed category of "Democratic socialists" is there, and should suffice. Any thoughts? --- Professor JR (talk) 12:52, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
- Because Bernie Sanders self-identifies as a "democratic socialist" and because historically he has held what can be considered to be broadly socialist views, it is appropriate to include this category on his page. I don't think the red "socialism" category banner is appropriate though - Bernie Sanders is not recognized as a major activist or scholar of socialism. -Battlecry 13:01, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
Planned Economy and Marxism
I restructured the leads on both Planned economy and Marxism. Both were very long and contained a number of contradictions and redundancies, and "command economy" was being used interchangeably with "planned economy" on the former, which I tried to resolve. Could you look over them? Vrrajkum (talk) 08:22, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
- I also merged Decentralized planning (economics) into Planned economy. Maybe it should be merged into Economic planning instead; I think you can address this better than I can. Vrrajkum (talk) 08:25, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
- I have been meaning to completely rewrite the Planned economy article, but haven't had the time as of late. You are correct that it contained a number of inaccuracies and conflated a number of different concepts (Command economy, national planning, planned economy and Soviet-type planning). "Decentralized planning" should probably be merged with the Economic planning article instead, since it largely describes the economic mechanism of planning and not models of a planned economy. -Battlecry 12:23, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
- Economic planning is an allocation mechanism that is broader in definition and deserves its own distinct article, just as we have separate articles for markets (an allocative mechanism) and the market economy. Moreover, "Planned economy" in economic literature almost universally refers to a centrally-planned economy (though this is a bit inaccurate), whereas the concept of economic planning encompasses national development planning, indicative planning, decentralized socialist planning and centralized planning procedures. -Battlecry 07:30, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
You reinserted the line "with any attempt to address the economic contradictions of capitalism through reforms likely to generate more problems elsewhere in the capitalist economy" into democratic socialism; the reason I removed it is because it suggests that democratic socialists disfavor reformism, which contradicts the later statement which says that "Some forms of democratic socialism accept social democratic Reformism to gradually convert the capitalist economy to a socialist one using the pre-existing political democracy".
The version of the lead before I edited it was self-contradictory in that it first said that "Democratic socialism rejects the social democratic view of reform through state intervention within capitalism" before going on to say that "Some forms of democratic socialism accept social democratic reformism to gradually convert the capitalist economy to a socialist one using the pre-existing political democracy"; trying to address this contradiction was my primary goal in editing it. Vrrajkum (talk) 00:46, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
- Contradictions are inevitable when describing a term with multiple definitions and controversy about its meaning. However, I don't see the contradiction here - a democratic socialist can advocate reforms and interventions while still believing them to be self-contradictory and ineffective by themselves, but as short-term solutions (or as a means to attract widespread popular support) as a prelude to the establishment of social ownership. -Battlecry 03:02, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I award you The Worker's Barn Star!
|The Workers' Barnstar|
|This user has shown great editing skills in improving articles related to Communism or Socialism.|
- Have you considered nominating any of your articles for WP:GA? Many of them are very well-written. Vrrajkum (talk) 22:01, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
- Attaining GA status doesn't mean that the article is finished (for example, there's also WP:FA above GA), it just means that the article has reached a certain quality standard. This furthermore signals to readers that the information in the article is more or less accurate, which I think is important to indicate when it comes to contentious topics such as those pertaining to socialism and/or communism. Vrrajkum (talk) 03:11, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
On social ownership, is it accurate to say that "With society-wide public ownership, the surplus is distributed to all members of the public through a social dividend"? Couldn't the public also just collectively decide to allocate the surplus somewhere else, while remaining consistent with public ownership? Vrrajkum (talk) 01:46, 20 December 2015 (UTC)
- In the broad sense, "social dividend" designates the return on socially-owned assets to each citizen. In a market socialist system this takes the form of a monetary payment; in a non-market system it might take the form of distribution in-kind (free access to publicly-provided goods and services). The language is, as always, ambiguous, but I think it succinctly expresses the fundamental concept behind "social ownership": that the social surplus accrues to all of society as opposed to a separate class of private owners as under capitalism. -Battlecry 11:15, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
- But my question is, does the surplus necessarily accrue to the citizens directly? For example, couldn't the public collectively decide to allocate the, say, monetary surplus into new projects such as building infrastructure, or something along those lines? Vrrajkum (talk) 16:47, 21 December 2015 (UTC)
- It is possible that all of an economy's surplus is channeled into reinvestment, such as during wartime. But generally socialism is conceived of as being an advanced surplus-producing society (like capitalism). What remains after social investment and the cost of public goods would generally belong to the broader society. As far as I am aware, this would be used to benefit every individual citizen, when in-kind or in monetary (or even labor-voucher) forms. It is also possible that public goods use the remaining surplus after we account for social investment, leaving no room for a "social dividend". But one can argue that these public services represent an in-kind return on the capital assets owned by society to each citizen. I think the current terminology is general enough for the lead. -Battlecry 10:01, 22 December 2015 (UTC)
Are you a native speaker of English?
Your reversion of my edit, which did nothing more than clarify an erroneous and diametrically opposite of the intended meaning by the apparent English text indicates that you may not be. Regardless, I've seen you operating here, don't intend to invest any energy in Streit with you, but I'm very clear about the matter of the fact of the English text in question and the underlying matter(s) of fact. You're not helping the cause your space indicates you're pushing. Just the opposite. Lycurgus (talk) 08:13, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
- I was reverting an edit made by another user on that page and was not aware you had made an edit to the second paragraph of the lead. I have corrected the order of the words in the second paragraph of the lead to be grammatically correct. -Battlecry 08:33, 29 December 2015 (UTC)
I have actually come to agree with TFD in recognizing that the word 'socialism' can refer not to a discrete economic system, but to a movement centered around reforming capitalism (and that does not necessarily have as its goal the establishment of a socialist economic system). He simply doesn't conceive of 'socialism' the same way that we do, but after reading into it further, I realize that his conception is not invalid. 'Environmentalism' and 'feminism' are not systems; they are movements. But 'socialism' can, rather confusingly, refer to either a system OR to a movement. For this reason, I have come to support splitting the article into two and treating socialism as an abstract economic system and Socialism as a reformist movement separately from one another. What do you think? Vrrajkum (talk) 18:41, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
- Socialism can be a political ideology, I never doubted that. But primarily defining it as a movement without identifying its broad goals (the establishment of a socialist system) is circular and highly problematic. Do reliable sources that explore the concept of socialism consider it to be a movement that supports, for example, European welfare capitalism? Political historians are more likely to describe "socialism" by the historical actions of its adherents or the gains achieved by the movements operating under its banner, and are unconcerned with the concept of socialism as an organizational form or system (the ultimate goal of said movements, even if their commitment to said goal is only a formality). It's incorrect to define socialism as a movement that aims to achieve vague notions of equality and Christian ethics, as that is a minority view held by a few Labour party and continental social democratic theorists and politicians. They deserve a brief mention in the article on the section covering the history of socialist thought, but they don't warrant re-defining the mainstream definition of socialism to accommodate their views. Aside from that, your proposal to split the article is problematic. Are you suggesting the current socialism article be written to reflect post-war era Social democratic reformism (this is already problematic seeing that we are giving undue weight to this one ideology when the largest socialist ideology of the 20th century was Marxism-Leninism and the Soviet-type planned economy) and all content describing socialism as a system, social formation, and ideology be moved to a secondary article? The history of the socialist movement, including reformism, can be covered in articles focused on those specific topics (History of socialism and Reformism or Social democracy, respectively). There is no need to create a "Socialism (reformism)" or "Socialism (political movement)" article mirroring these topics.
- The best suggestion I have is to accommodate all the major perspectives within the main socialism article. We define it conventionally, as a social and economic system alongside the ideologies, movements and theories that aim to achieve said system. The article is segmented by these major themes, and the major economic theories, political ideologies, and historical movements are described based on their relevance as per WP:WEIGHT. More detailed information on, for example, the reformist socialist movement can be provided in a more specialized article via "see also" redirect. This is not a radical departure from the article's current layout, and is neutral in presentation. I'm not aware of any editor who proposed focusing the article entirely on socialism as an economic system (myself included); on the other hand, certain editors want to change the article to solely define it as a political movement, and more specifically, as Western European social democracy. The biggest issue has been the conflicting agendas of the article's frequent editors that has prevented any significant progress over the past few years. -Battlecry 02:40, 2 February 2016 (UTC)