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SOCIALISM – PART THREE (SOCIALISM VS. COMMUNISM)

This post is part three and the last in this series about socialism. The following will compare and contrast with socialism with communism. Communism is an extreme form of socialism. Many countries have dominant socialist political parties, but very few are truly communist. Socialism is sometimes used interchangeably with communism, but the two philosophies have some stark differences. While communism is a political system, socialism is primarily an economic system that can exist in various forms under a wide range of political systems.

The following will further outline the differences:

PHILOSOPHY

Communism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Free access to the articles of consumption is made possible by advances in technology that allow for super-abundance.

Socialism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries.

DEFINITION

Communism: International theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the community or state. Rejection of free markets and extreme distrust of Capitalism in any form.

Socialism: A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers.

IDEAS

Communism: All people are the same and therefore classes make no sense. The government should own all means of production and land and also everything else. People should work for the government and the collective output should be redistributed equally.

Socialism: All individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization. Large scale industries are collective efforts and thus the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.

KEY ELEMENTS

Communism: Centralized government, planned economy, dictatorship of the proletariat, common ownership of the tools of production, no private property, equality between genders and all people, international focus, anti-democratic. One party system.

Socialism: Economic activity and production especially are adjusted by the State to meet human needs and economic demands. Production for use; useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.

 

 

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Communism: The means of production are held in common, negating the concept of ownership in capital goods. Production is organized to provide for human needs directly without any use for money. Communism is predicated upon a condition of material abundance.

Socialism: The means or production are owned by public enterprises or cooperatives, and individuals are compensated based on the principle of individual contribution. Production may variously be coordinated through either economic planning or markets.

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Communism: Usually takes the form of totalitarianism as Marx described in the Communist Manifesto. Cronyism common.

Socialism: Can coexist with different political systems. Most socialists advocate participatory democracy, some advocate parliamentary democracy, and Marxist-Lennists advocate Democratic centralism.

PRIVATE PROPERTY

Communism: Abolished. The concept of property is negated and replaced with the concept of commons and ownership with usership.

Socialism: Two kinds of property: Personal property, such as houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual. Public property includes factories, and means of production owned by the State, but with worker control.

RELIGION

Communism: Abolished. All religious and metaphysics is rejected.

Socialism: Freedom of religion, but usually promotes secularism.

SOCIAL STRUCTURE

Communism: All class distinctions are eliminated.

Socialism: Class distinctions are diminished. Status derived more from political distinctions than the class distinctions. Some mobility.

FREE CHOICE

Communism: Either the collective vote or the state’s rulers make economic and political decisions for everyone else.

Socialism: Religion, jobs, and marriage are up to the individual. Compulsory education. Free, equal access to healthcare and education provided through a socialized system funded by taxation. Production decisions driven more by State decision than consumer demand.

ECONOMIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SOCIALISTS AND COMMUNISTS

In a socialist economy, the means or producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. On the other hand, in a communist society, there is no centralized government, there is a collective ownership of property and the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

For a Capitalist society to transition, the first step is Socialism. From a capitalist system, it is easier to achieve the Socialist ideal where production is distributed according to people’s deeds (quantity and quality of work done). For Communism (to distribute production according to needs), it is necessary to first have production so high that there is enough for everyone’s needs. In an ideal Communist society, people work not because they have to, but because they want to and out of a sense of responsibility.

POLITICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SOCIALISTS AND COMMUNISTS

Socialism rejects a class-based society. But socialists believe that it is possible to make the transition from capitalism to socialism without a basic change in the character of the state. They hold this view because they do not think of the capitalist state as essentially an institution for the dictatorship of the capitalist class, but rather as a perfectly good piece of machinery which can be used in the interest of whichever class gets command of it. No need, then, for the working class in power to smash the old capitalist state apparatus and set up its own, the march to socialism can be made step by step within the framework of the democratic forms of the capitalist state. Socialism is primarily an economic system so it exists in various degrees and forms in a wide variety of political systems.

On the other hand, communists believe that as soon as the working class and its allies are in a position to do so they must make a basic change in the character of the state; they must replace capitalist dictatorship over the working class with workers’ dictatorship over the capitalist class as the first step in the process by which the existence of capitalists as a class, but not as individuals, is ended and a classless society is eventually ushered in.

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With an avowed socialist running for president, I think it is important that voters have some idea about socialism. I also believe that while what Bernie Sanders says sounds great on the surface (soak the rich, substantive regulations on private businesses, womb to tomb access to healthcare and education), it doesn’t work l in the real world and leads to an overall decrease in prosperity. Millennials, who were never exposed to the horrors of Communism and were probably never taught economic history of this country, are embracing old, white, Bernie Sanders.

Except for the above paragraph, the contents of this article was taken from website: diffen.com.

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SOCIALISM – PART TWO (CAPITALISM VS. SOCIALISM)

Currently candidate for the Democrat nomination for President of the United States, Bernie Sanders, is an avowed socialist, calling himself a Democratic Socialist. While Senator Sanders will probably lose the nomination to Hillary Clinton, he is currently a viable candidate. As of this writing, he will soon be giving a speech explaining just what a Democrat Socialist is, but in the meantime, the following will contrast Capitalism, our current economic system in the United States with Socialism. As you read this, keep in mind that while we call or economic system capitalism, it is not a purely capitalistic system.

The central arguments in the socialism vs. capitalism debate are about economic equality and the role of government. Socialists believe that economic inequality if bad for society and that the government is responsible for reducing it through programs that benefit the poor such as free public education, free of subsidized healthcare, social security for the elderly, and higher taxes on the rich. In contrast, capitalists believe that the government does not use economic resources as efficiently as private enterprises do, and therefore society is better off with the free market determining economic winners and losers.

As I indicated above the United States is considered a bastion of capitalism. However, large parts of Scandinavia and Western Europe are considered socialist democracies. As you know, though, the United States has a plethora of entitlement programs that allegedly benefit the poor. The U.S. also offers free public elementary and secondary education to its citizens and has implemented a Social Security program to benefit the elderly. Furthermore, its present tax system imposes higher taxes on higher income earners. As such, the United States is not a pure capitalistic society. We currently have a strong private sector and income inequality. Those individuals who work hard and take risks have chances at accumulating more wealth than those who prefer not to take large risks and work less. But for those individuals willing to work harder than normal and take the risks, additional wealth is not guaranteed. Of course, there’s those in between. In a capitalistic society such as what we have in the United States, you get to choose.

The following will outline the differences between capitalism and socialism:

DEFINITION

Capitalism: A theory or system of social organization based around a free market and privatization in which ownership is ascribed to the individual persons. Voluntary co-ownership is also permitted

Socialism: A theory or system of social organization based on the holding of most property in common, with actual ownership ascribed to the workers.

PHILOSOPHY

Capitalism: Capital (or the means of production) is owned, operated, and traded in order to generate profits for private owners or shareholders. Emphasis on individual profit rather than on workers or society as a whole. No restriction on who may own capital.

Socialism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution. Emphasis on profit being distributed among the society or workforce to complement individual wages/salaries.

 

IDEAS

Capitalism: Laissez-faire means to “let it be;” opposed to government intervention in economics because capitalists believe it introduces inefficiencies. A free market produces the best economic outcome for society. Government should not pick winners and losers.

Socialism: All individuals should have access to basic articles of consumption and public goods to allow for self-actualization. Large-scale industries are collective efforts and this the returns from these industries must benefit society as a whole.

KEY ELEMENTS

Capitalism: Competition for ownership of capital drives economic activity and creates a price system that determines resource allocation; profits are reinvested in the economy. “Production for profit:” useful goods and services are a byproduct of pursuing profit.

Socialism: Economic activity and production especially are adjusted by the State to meet human needs and economic demands. “Production for use:” useful goods and services are produced specifically for their usefulness.

ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Capitalism: Market based economy combined with private or corporate ownership of the means of production. Goods and services are produced to make a profit, and this profit is reinvested into the economy to fuel economic growth.

Socialism: The means of production are owned by public enterprises or cooperatives, and individuals are compensated based on the principle of individual contribution. Production may variously be coordinated through either economic planning or markets.

POLITICAL SYSTEM

Capitalism: Can co-exist with a variety of political systems, including dictatorship, democratic republic, anarchism, and direct democracy. Most capitalists advocate a democratic republic.

Socialism: Can co-exist with different political systems. Most socialists advocate participatory democracy, some (Social Democrats) advocate parliamentary democracy, and Marxist-Leninists advocate “Democratic Centralism.”

PRIVATE PROPERTY

Capitalism: Private property in capital and other goods is the dominant form of property. Public property and state property play a secondary role, and there might also be some collective property in the economy.

Socialism: Two kinds of property: Personal property, such as houses, clothing, etc. owned by the individual. Public property includes factories, and means of production owned by the State but with worker control.

 

OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE

Capitalism: The means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit. This drives incentives for producers to engage in economic activity. Firms can be owned by individuals, worker do-ops, or shareholders.

Socialism: The means of production are socially-owned with the surplus value produced accruing to either all of society (in public ownership models) or to all the employee-members of the enterprise (in Cooperative ownership models.)

SOCIAL STRUCTURE

Capitalism: Classes exist based on their relationship to capital: the capitalists own shares of the means of production and derive their income in that way while the working class is dependent on wages or salaries. Large degree of mobility between the classes.

Socialism: Class distinctions are diminished. Status derived more from political distinctions that class distinctions. Some mobility.

FREE CHOICE

Capitalism: All individuals make decisions for themselves. People will make the best decisions because they must live with the consequences of their actions. Freedom of choice allows consumers to drive the economy.

Socialism: Religion, jobs, and marriage are up to the individual. Compulsory education. Free, equal access to healthcare and education provided through a socialized system funded by taxation. Production decisions driven more by State decision than consumer demand.

The above outline a few of the major differences between capitalism and socialism. Again, pure free market capitalism doesn’t exist on the planet. The United State, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong are strongholds of capitalism.

With Bernie Sanders running for the Democrat nominee for president, front-runner Hillary Clinton has moved far left. Millennials are leaning toward socialism because they see our capitalistic economic system as one that benefits the wealthy. However, younger adults tend to be more idealistic, but tend to change as they mature and are able to view the world from a practical standpoint rather than an academic stand point.

It is my hope that American from the entire political spectrum will read this post and think hard and long about socialism. Is this something you really want because there is a good chance this country, built on the principals of capitalism and a free market will veer toward socialism if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are elected President in 2016.

The contents of this article was mostly provided by diffen.com and your administrator’s personal opinions.

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CAPITALISM VS. SOCIALISM, WHICH WILL BE CHOSEN?

Every presidential race in which I can recall is supposedly the most important presidential race ever. And I don’t dispute that. As we get closer to the 2016 presidential race, it appears that this race will be a race where the American people choose whether they want to continue governance in the way that our founding fathers indicated that America should be governed, the way that those coming to America, seeking a departure from the European way of governance wanted to be governed. Or do the American people want to return to the socialistic methods of governance steadfastly adhered to by the European culture?

Democratic socialist candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, want to give everybody everything. To do this, you confiscate the possessions of the wealthy, without wealthy being defined. Free college, free medical care, free housing, free transportation, and the list goes on.

Because so many Americans are leaping onto the entitlement bandwagon and Bernie is drawing huge crowds wherever he speaks, Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton is moving farther left than she already was.

According To Bill O’Reilly’s talking points on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, Bernie Sanders wants to do the following:

  • Free Medicare for all Americans at a cost of $15 trillion over ten years.
  • An increase in Social Security payments at a cost of $1.2 trillion.
  • Guaranteed family leave at a cost of $310 billion.
  • Tuition free schools at a cost of $750 billion
  • Rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure at a cost of $1 trillion.
  • Prevent private companies from cutting pensions at a cost of $29 billion.

As someone who has worked hard for everything she has, this makes my head spin. I don’t want government healthcare. I want to be able, through my hard work, to provide for myself, the best healthcare possible. Also, I’ve paid enough into social security that I should be able to get my fair share out of it. However, I don’t want what I’ve put in under my name to be taken away from me and given to somebody else. Currently, I’m working seven days a week so that I don’t have to depend on Social Security which might not be there for me if the Democrats who are turning into socialists/communists get their way.

The rest of the freebies that Bernie wants to force on the American people is communism pure and simple. From each according to each according to his need. And guess who decides what you’re capable of producing and what your needs are? The government, of course.

It sickens me to see many of my liberal Facebook friends leaning toward Bernie Sanders because he is offering free stuff. How many times have your parents told you that there is no free lunch, you pay for what you get? Oh, you occasionally find a bargain such as the three $20.00 purses I purchased at Wal-Mart two years ago. Those purses have not shown one bit of wear and are very stylish. But that doesn’t happen often.

My health insurance sure isn’t a bargain. I’m paying almost a house payment for an insurance plan that is inferior to what I had before I had to purchase health insurance through the market place. I guess the fact that I won’t have to buy purses for a while will offset the high cost of my health insurance.

But wait! Isn’t Bernie offering free healthcare? This translates as a single-payer 100% government run health care. In other words, the government gets to decide what medical procedures you qualify for and which you don’t. Due to having a heart that is not 100% functional, I’m going to have to have a heart valve replacement sometime in the future. At that time, I’m going to be a senior citizen. If the liberals get their way and our government is socialistic/communistic, will I be approved for the procedure? I’m old and useless. Plus, I am the author of blog posts such as this one. So, we have to get rid of her.

When I mentioned this to a liberal friend who is an “Obama-zombie,” she said, “That’s not going to happen.” She thinks our government is one of benevolence. No, our government is not one of benevolence. Our founding fathers wrote into the constitution measures to stop a tyrannical government. Governments lean toward being tyrannical naturally. Only that government that is held accountable by its citizens might be, and I said might be benevolent.

The United States of America was founded on government by the people, for the people, and of the people, not by the state, for the state, and of the state. We, the people, are to hold government accountable, no matter which political philosophy is in office. That means I have a duty to hold a Republican administration and a Republican Congress accountable just as I have a duty to hold a Democrat administration and a Democrat Congress accountable.

The above is all well and good. However, it seems as though many people in this country are choosing to set aside the principals in which our great country was founded and exchange those principles for a government that takes as much from its citizens as it possibly can and gives back only what it thinks its citizens need.

To you liberals, just move to some other socialist country. Don’t ruin it for us who still believe in the principles in which this country was founded and wish to continue to govern ourselves with a capitalistic economy while adhering to Judeo Christian principles. There are plenty of socialist economies out there who also don’t accept Judeo Christian principles. Just go and leave us alone. I might even consider contributing a few dollars toward your one-way ticket. But be aware. If you don’t like it in your new socialist/communist/secular country, don’t come begging me to fund your return.

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AFTER LABOR DAY THOUGHTS

For his Labor Day thoughts, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, Robert Reich was bemoaning that 24% of private sector workers didn’t get a paid holiday for Labor Day. He was also lamenting that 23% of private sector workers get no paid vacation time during the year. The former Labor secretary also goes on to indicate that what you get in the private sector depends on where you are in the pecking order. He further cites a report from the Economic Policy Institute which shows that only 34$ of workers in the lowest 10 percent by income get any paid holidays and only 39% get any paid vacation. But among the top 10% of workers by income, 93 percent get both paid holidays and paid vacation.

In reality, the 24% of workers that don’t get paid holidays and the 23% that don’t get paid vacation is really pretty good when you take into consideration certain factors. What about contractors? Contractors are folks who are hired by a company or an in-between recruiter to work for a specified hourly rate. Most of the time no benefits are included, and when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. A lot of people choose to be contractors. I was an independent contractor for my first IT job and I was very grateful to have landed that position. I got my foot in the door. Then many folks, as they are winding down their careers choose to go the contracting route. The purpose of this post is not to discuss contracting vs. full employment, but to point out that contracting is a large part of the workforce in the private sector and many do choose it.

With respect to not getting Labor Day off as a paid holiday, remember retailers, food and beverage service workers, and workers in the leisure services may not get Labor Day as a paid holiday. Those people, who enhance our holiday experience, usually get a day off to make up for it.

With respect to Secretary Reich’s lament that 23% of private sectors get to vacation time during the year, you must, again, factor in contractors. If you’re good at what you do and companies seek you out, you have some negotiating power. A good contractor in negotiating his or her hourly rate will take into consideration holidays and vacation. When I’m evaluating a contract position, I decide rates based on a 48-week work year.

I also wonder if the Secretary is taking into consideration the standard custom and practice for new hires in the private sector. Generally new hires, for the first three months of their employment are on a probation. During these first three months no vacation can be taken. It’s been like this since way before I entered the workplace. Also, up until recently, newer employees were not eligible for vacation until after a year. You had to earn vacation first, then you could take it. That trend, though, has reversed and many companies allow an employee to take vacation after their three month probationary period is finished.
Of course, there are workers who work for small businesses who don’t get paid when they don’t work. And while I haven’t done any research on the subject, I suspect that these are young workers just starting out or older workers who may need some income to supplement their Social Security and retirement income.

Of course, this is the same tired old liberal propaganda. In order to take more control over your life, liberals want a government mandate that employers award their employees with paid vacation and paid holidays. They hate capitalism and the private sector because the government/liberals have less control over American citizens.

Up until recently, it was understood, for folks who had less desirable jobs, work hard, take classes, and do what was necessary to get out of that not so desirable situation. In other words, it was up to the individual to plot his or her own destiny. Now it seems as though liberals, having one of their kind as dictator and having a willing media which goes along with anything they do, want the government to come in and further erode our system of free enterprise and capitalism.

To any American, the above should be insulting. It should tell all Americans that the “tolerant left” thinks you’re stupid, thinks you’re morons, and thinks that you are incapable of getting yourself out of a bad job situation and/or plotting your own destiny. They want to control all of that for you.

Sure, there are unfortunate situations out there. Instead of letting free enterprise and capitalism work, liberals are hell bent on showcasing those low percentage hardship cases and righting those; most of the time to the detriment of those who are successful and making an effort to be successful. Look at they did to the best healthcare system on the planet. In order that 15% of the American population who didn’t have health insurance (or so they say) could have health insurance, they made life more difficult for the 85% of Americans who did have health insurance and/or access to healthcare. Even liberals are telling those of us whose life was made more difficult by the ACA, that we’ll get used to the higher premiums and lower standards.

It wasn’t about strengthening our healthcare system, nor was it about providing health care access to those who didn’t have it. It was about usurping one-sixth of the nation’s economy and putting it under the government umbrella.

So goes it…the pontificating of Secretary Robert Reich is not because he and his comrades on the left care so much about you. It’s about bigger government and taking more control your lives.

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