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Socialist Humanism

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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animist
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Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: Socialist Humanism

#41 Post by animist » April 20th, 2012, 9:50 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Dave B wrote: Tried "Mein Kampf" but it was too much of a struggle.
:hilarity: capital!

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Val
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Joined: October 6th, 2007, 10:56 pm

Re: Socialist Humanism

#42 Post by Val » April 25th, 2012, 10:16 pm

Dave b, I like the idea of putting serious books on kindle in case one is hospitalised but in my experience heavy going books will not be read or enjoyed. I find it is much too hard to concentrate unless in a single bed ward. Like food, reading material needs to be 'little and often' for me in a busy, noisy ward. I am finding it harder as I get older (68) to read and listen to the radio at the same time. I still manage to listen to the radio and play solitaire simultaneously though.

( sorry just realised how off topic i had wandered.)

ASHEd
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#43 Post by ASHEd » June 10th, 2012, 10:56 pm

I am about as comfortable around people talking about a "cure" on socialist tendencies as I am for someone talking about a "cure" on homosexuality. I know one is innate and one isn't. But that doesn't matter, the word "cure" implies it is wrong and that you are diseased with it.

I don't say people need to be "cured" of their capitalist ideas despite that being absolute tosh to the poor. I like Richard Branson, but it is getting close to the crunch where he has influence on a lot. He is only one man. I mean fair play to him, but it is a little unnerving.

I'm sorry, I'm with lewist. I don't see socialism being rubbish to the poor, it was capitalism that was meant to help the poor, but turned more into Globalisation. Certain companies hogging rather a lot of the money (Crony-ish).

I like a balance, I am socialist, but I don't object to a bit of free market. I don't mind the balance we have in the UK. But there are things that should be tidied up, like benefits. All that needs to be done - maths and actual thinking. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what has to be improved or where benefits is going wrong. Just get someone to focus on it who has a shred of common sense.

Socialism should only be considered as sitting on the political economic scale. It is left, but further right than Communism. This doesn't factor in the social scale. You can have socialism and be more authoritarian socially or you can be more liberal/trustworthy socially.

Oh, and personally, I like the NHS - if you are in the UK and don't like socialism, I hope you are on private healthcare (which is fine too). Just, what an awful contradiction. And I hope if you are like that you won't mind someone like me becoming a little angry.

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Tetenterre
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#44 Post by Tetenterre » June 11th, 2012, 9:29 am

animist wrote:
Dave B wrote: Tried "Mein Kampf" but it was too much of a struggle.
:hilarity: capital!
Nein! That was Marx! :laughter:

ASHEd wrote:I am about as comfortable around people talking about a "cure" on socialist tendencies as I am for someone talking about a "cure" on homosexuality. I know one is innate and one isn't. But that doesn't matter, the word "cure" implies it is wrong and that you are diseased with it.
#1. There is no similarity at all between socialism and homosexuality in this regard; to imply that there is IMO is merely a cheap debating trick. Do I spy Godwin on the horizon?
#2. I used the word "cure" in the sense that Dave explained on the previous page.
#3. What do you call a political system that doesn't work in practice if not "wrong"? If I adhered to a wrong notion, I would be (and have been in the past) grateful if someone cured me of that tendency.

Oh, and personally, I like the NHS - if you are in the UK and don't like socialism, I hope you are on private healthcare
Sorry, but that is quite simply ridiculous. The choice is not (and never has been) "socialism or lose the NHS". That is merely the scare-mongering of tired old leftist bigots who have lost the plot (and/or their integrity).

Please note that I have neither asserted either that free-market capitalism is faultless, nor that one should not act with a social conscience. I do assert that socialism, where it has been put into practice, has ultimately failed and has been rejected by the populations that it has been imposed upon.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

ASHEd
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#45 Post by ASHEd » June 18th, 2012, 6:31 am

Tetenterre wrote:
ASHEd wrote:I am about as comfortable around people talking about a "cure" on socialist tendencies as I am for someone talking about a "cure" on homosexuality. I know one is innate and one isn't. But that doesn't matter, the word "cure" implies it is wrong and that you are diseased with it.
#1. There is no similarity at all between socialism and homosexuality in this regard; to imply that there is IMO is merely a cheap debating trick. Do I spy Godwin on the horizon?
#2. I used the word "cure" in the sense that Dave explained on the previous page.
#3. What do you call a political system that doesn't work in practice if not "wrong"? If I adhered to a wrong notion, I would be (and have been in the past) grateful if someone cured me of that tendency.

Oh, and personally, I like the NHS - if you are in the UK and don't like socialism, I hope you are on private healthcare
Sorry, but that is quite simply ridiculous. The choice is not (and never has been) "socialism or lose the NHS". That is merely the scare-mongering of tired old leftist bigots who have lost the plot (and/or their integrity).

Please note that I have neither asserted either that free-market capitalism is faultless, nor that one should not act with a social conscience. I do assert that socialism, where it has been put into practice, has ultimately failed and has been rejected by the populations that it has been imposed upon.
But you seem to be asserting that socialism is indeed greater in faults than free market, you do this by bringing up examples where it wasn't always used correctly. Socialism is merely political-economic (just like communism, its practical application have "stifted" its scale in people's minds, but you must not shift the word to a new meaning, you must use another word to describe - humans have been lazy.). Before Hitler became the totalitarian mass-murderer we know today, when he promised all he did, Prora, cars, those excersise and leisure activities (only some of which he delivered in the end, having another motive and such), the people lapped it up.

Ok, if not in a socialist ideal, where would you find the NHS? Does its workings belong to that of the free-market system that isn't influenced by socialist ideals? Are they compatible? Tell me if they are. You do realise there is no shame in either explaining they are compatible or incompatible. Please explain. I will be happy to learn. Why don't you explain, instead of name-calling?

Oh, and by the way, I even drew up that homosexuality and socialism are of course different things. One is innate and one is an ideal based on sharing (thinking about it, could that have evolutionary merit? Capitalism would have the same of course, more survival than altruism). In that aspect I wasn't particularly looking for a debate. It was really more of a shock. I've never heard people use the word "cure" for something like that, it just sounded ridiculous. I've been interesting in politics ever since I was 15, studied it at A level but even I don't go that far. Socialism obviously means something different to you. And it was quite "case closed, I'm right, I'm know all the answers" especially for a Humanist. To assert such arrogance and lack of understanding was shocking. The shock factor was the same. Both are simply close-minded.

Nothing completely works in political practice. Democracy doesn't even completely work...unfortunately. Capitalism doesn't work on its own Socialism doesn't work on its own (why don't we just stratch the lot of them? Oh wait). I'm not advocating a complete socialist state, I just sit, at the moment, as a person who, when possible, will be happy to pay taxes and NI (even though it is a lot, I know) otherwise I'd feel greedy. I like government-controlled services, rail being a main one. But, I like people to have choice. Hence I said I like a mix. So I don't see your point of socialism being the worst out of all, but you not taking a knife at all saying someone should cure someone of their Capitalist tendencies, its rather arrogant. It's almost as if you are the unwilling to consider both sides.


P.S.There is even socialist branches of free-market.

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Tetenterre
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#46 Post by Tetenterre » June 18th, 2012, 9:34 am

ASHEd wrote:But you seem to be asserting that socialism is indeed greater in faults than free market, you do this by bringing up examples where it wasn't always used correctly.
#1. No, I have not made that assertion. Please do not attribute things to me that I did not say.
#2. Who decides what is the 'correct' use of socialism? Or is it just a case of "if it failed, it can't have been used 'correctly' "? :D
Socialism is merely political-economic (just like communism, its practical application have "stifted" its scale in people's minds, but you must not shift the word to a new meaning, you must use another word to describe - humans have been lazy.).
#1. Lots of things are "merely political-economic"; socialism is not in any sense unique in this regard.
#2. I don't know what "stifted" means; please explain.
#3. I have not shifted any word to a new meaning.
#4. Please do not attempt to dictate to me what I "must" and "must not" do. (Apart from anything else, it might reinforce the notion that socialists eventually fall back onto authoritarianism.)
Ok, if not in a socialist ideal, where would you find the NHS?
There has been an NHS in England since the middle of 1948; at no time has England been in any sense a "socialist ideal" at any time during this period.
Does its workings belong to that of the free-market system that isn't influenced by socialist ideals? Are they compatible? Tell me if they are. You do realise there is no shame in either explaining they are compatible or incompatible. Please explain. I will be happy to learn. Why don't you explain, instead of name-calling?
#1. I have not called you any names (but you seem to be OK about calling me "arrogant" :smile: ).
#2. There are at least two false dichotomies in the above; I'm a bit too old to fall for that trap.
#3. Why is it that so many socialists seem to ignore the evidence and act as if they have a monopoly of social (as opposed to socialist) conscience?
Oh, and by the way, I even drew up that homosexuality and socialism are of course different things. One is innate and one is an ideal based on sharing (thinking about it, could that have evolutionary merit?
Yes, you did draw that distinction. However, that didn't prevent you from conflating them in order to pretend that I meant something other than I did by my use of the word "cure".
In that aspect I wasn't particularly looking for a debate.
Then it's a rather curious approach to introduce it in a forum where a debate is taking place, don't you think?
And it was quite "case closed, I'm right, I'm know all the answers" especially for a Humanist. To assert such arrogance and lack of understanding was shocking.
Again you are putting words into my mouth. The programmers of this forum software have thoughtfully provided a mechanism by which you can accurately quote; why not use that instead of making up quotes and then attributing them to me?
Both are simply close-minded.
I thought, from what you had written, that you were opposed to name-calling? :smile:
So I don't see your point of socialism being the worst out of all,
Yet again you choose to misrepresent what I wrote. What I have actually written was (with added emphasis) is "...but socialism, in practice, seems to do a far better job of not working than most of the others" and "there's very little that is not substantially preferable to socialism". None of that either makes or implies the assertion that you attribute to me. I also note that you have chosen to disregard what I wrote about the free market: "I am somewhat suspicious of the concept of absolutely free markets". Oh well.

You may find (I certainly do) that discussions are more fruitful (and pleasant) when the participants respond to what the other person actually said instead of inventing numerous straw men and attributing them to the other person.
but you not taking a knife at all saying someone should cure someone of their Capitalist tendencies,
I haven't a clue what that means.
its rather arrogant.
Not name-calling again, are we? :smile: Oh dear....
It's almost as if you are the unwilling to consider both sides.
#1. There is no "both". You appear to be erecting yet another false dichotomy. There are a lot more than two political choices!
#2. I am certainly not going to waste my life reconsidering something that I have already "considered" decades ago and found to be seriously wanting, unless some new aspect of it is introduced into the mix. You have not introduced anything into the socialism mix that was not already there 40 years ago.
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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animist
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#47 Post by animist » June 18th, 2012, 9:50 am

Tetenterre wrote:
animist wrote:
Dave B wrote: Tried "Mein Kampf" but it was too much of a struggle.
:hilarity: capital!
Nein! That was Marx! :laughter:
top marx, TT

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Dave B
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#48 Post by Dave B » June 18th, 2012, 2:52 pm

animist wrote:
TT wrote:
Nein! That was Marx! :laughter:
top marx, TT
Marx ist kaputt, ja?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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coledavis
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#49 Post by coledavis » September 22nd, 2012, 9:10 pm

Well, I've been rethinking the meaning of socialism, especially vis a vis so-called socialist states. I think that there is a continuum of state control. At the far end, you get the politically totalitarian communists (well, actually, that's not quite true, as some of the more controlling ones aren't quite at the furthest left - oh dear, the problems of writing something short and meaningful), with their mirror image of fascists on the right. Between these, you get those who believe in heavy state control on the left, with their mirror, the laissez-faire conservatives (Thatcherites, or, for those with a sense of history, economic liberals). Then further to the centre you get the descendants of mid-20th century democratic socialists (Clement Attlee's successors), with the one nation Tories (Heathites if you like) on the right. You can choose where to put Blairites. Then comes the mushy middle, including Keynesians.

The central part of the continuum is more about how far to regulate capitalism than about individual freedom, although there is a relationship. It now seems likely that environmental demands are likely to dictate a form of economic control. So from the point of view of libertarians, socialism will mean less freedom, but may also mean safety and freedom from the control of uber-capital. Maybe.

I don't really think that having lived in a communist state really tells you everything you need to know about socialism. Similarly, a knowledge of Marx and his successors (Lenin etc) does not cover British traditions of socialism (Levellers, Fabians, etc).

As for the tendency to be left-wing. Well, I think the absence of belief is not the preserve of a particular wing. However, communists of the Marxist stripe are prone to it as policy (c.f. the Soviet Union except when Christian support was necessary). On the other side of things, being wed to the idea of tradition and slow progress (if any) means, I think, that conservatives are more likely to support religions as part of their heritage and a structure which they believe may support society (they would worry about what would happen if it were to be removed).

However, I suspect that many of the more rational thinkers from either side of the political divide, such as it is, derive their lack of belief from what they see of the world, its irrationalities, its history and the whirling spirals of spaghetti that make up the outer galactic spirals.

Written from Elets, Lipetsk Oblast in the Russian Federation. In my opinion, I live in the worst of all possible worlds. Most of the people I meet believe in religion, but do not practise; think reactionary thoughts, but behave like Soviets; and they think I should be improving my Russian rather than playing chess.
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Dave B
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#50 Post by Dave B » September 22nd, 2012, 11:11 pm

. . . oh dear, the problems of writing something short and meaningful . . .
I am trying to remember who said something like, "I can do you a two hour talk this afternoon but I need a week's notice for a ten minute one."

I will admit that I find myself zig-zagging between the two wings, trying to match the best of each without conflict. I feel, because of this almost guilt forming, probably because the far left and right wingers say the other side must be totally wrong and the middle road tends to be ineffective.

Is there a way of cherry picking the best of both and stitching them together with a neat seam? There must be.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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coledavis
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#51 Post by coledavis » September 23rd, 2012, 3:26 am

I sometimes see Keynesianism this way. Very crudely, if things are going well, let the market do its thing, just save the surplus for a rainy day. When it rains, stimulate the economy, employing people on public works. Mainly related to elections, some politicians do the latter without the former. Others don't do either.
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Re: Socialist Humanism

#52 Post by Dave B » September 23rd, 2012, 9:43 am

I try to be pragmatic in my life. This has dangers but providing I keep to my internal rule, "Will this decision/action improve things, even if it means examining and, perhaps, discarding a long held understanding?" At (almost) 67 it can be difficult to break old habits but when needed I try.

I would suspect that to the politician pragmatism is a very dangerous tool. I do believe that no politician can be in any way objective.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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