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Socialism without government

darkkermit
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8/21/2011 5:30:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
How exactly does socialism work without government. I always here a vague definition of socialism as "power of the workers" or the owners own the mean of production. Many socialist say that its not about the government owning the means of production, but the workers.

My question is how are you to enforce this form of co-ownership of production. How does a new business form? If an entrepreneur wants to start a business, then how can he or she create it, if he or she is not allowed to own the mean of production. Where does the capital come from? How are investments made? How do you interpret what is a private good and what is the means of production, since a private good can be used as a means of production. For example, I use my computer for private enjoyment, but can also use it to produce software, design websites, etc.

What If a worker voluntarily wants to work for a company owned by a capitalist rather than a socialist organization?
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/21/2011 5:30:11 PM, darkkermit wrote:
How exactly does socialism work without government. I always here a vague definition of socialism as "power of the workers" or the owners own the mean of production. Many socialist say that its not about the government owning the means of production, but the workers.

My question is how are you to enforce this form of co-ownership of production. How does a new business form? If an entrepreneur wants to start a business, then how can he or she create it, if he or she is not allowed to own the mean of production. Where does the capital come from? How are investments made? How do you interpret what is a private good and what is the means of production, since a private good can be used as a means of production. For example, I use my computer for private enjoyment, but can also use it to produce software, design websites, etc.

What If a worker voluntarily wants to work for a company owned by a capitalist rather than a socialist organization?

If you make the stuff yourself, then you own your own labor. So if you want to go buy wood and carpet, make cat trees and sell them, most socialists won't have a problem with that. What most do have a problem with, is if someone hires a bunch of people to do $20,000,000 worth of work, and only pays them $15,000,000 and pockets the other $5,000,000 without actually doing anything. They believe that, instead, the entire $20,000,000 should go to the workers, since they are doing all the work.

As for being "governmentless" that is really a vague term. And actually not really common in socialism (though it is in Communism). At most, they suggest a minimalist government. With the goals of eventually transistioning into an AnCom society (takes several generations for the "capitalist mindset" to be washed away).
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Ore_Ele
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8/22/2011 10:59:16 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 9:56:54 AM, PhilipFerreira wrote:
At 8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
With the goals of eventually transistioning into an AnCom society (takes several generations for the "capitalist mindset" to be brainwashed away).

fixed

"Brainwashed" has various different negative implications which may or may not be appropriate based on your political leaning to begin with.
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BennyW
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8/22/2011 1:02:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Exactly, which is why Anarcho-socialism is an oxymoron.
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It's pretty lazy to quote things you disagree with, call it stupid and move on, rather than arguing with the person. -000ike
Ore_Ele
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8/22/2011 1:16:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 1:02:36 PM, BennyW wrote:
Exactly, which is why Anarcho-socialism is an oxymoron.

Typically, they go by anarcho-communism.

If you actually look up "anarcho-socialism" you'll find that it redirects you to "social anarchism" which is a board label for all left-anarchisms (from ancom to mutualism)
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darkkermit
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8/22/2011 7:55:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:

If you make the stuff yourself, then you own your own labor. So if you want to go buy wood and carpet, make cat trees and sell them, most socialists won't have a problem with that.

Except very rarely does a person work alone. Most workers must work with multiple people. Many projects need a multiple of people, working side by side, planning, working together, and sharing information known as firms and corporations. How are these operations run in a socialist society?

What most do have a problem with, is if someone hires a bunch of people to do $20,000,000 worth of work, and only pays them $15,000,000 and pockets the other $5,000,000 without actually doing anything.

Was the transaction voluntary though? How would one make such a transaction illegal? If a person can make more money working for a company than out on his or her own, why disallow it? In your earlier example, you stated that the worker would have to buy wood and all. However, in this example, the worker is simply "buying" the capital resources the capitalist owns. This system is more efficient since transaction costs are low and the laborers risks are lowered.

They believe that, instead, the entire $20,000,000 should go to the workers, since they are doing all the work.

However, they are not providing the capital. They are not buying the goods to make the products.

As for being "governmentless" that is really a vague term. And actually not really common in socialism (though it is in Communism). At most, they suggest a minimalist government.

Yet what are the underlining principals. In a libertarian society, government enforces self-ownership and property.

I don't understand what a socialist government enforces. The inability to make profit?

With the goals of eventually transistioning into an AnCom society (takes several generations for the "capitalist mindset" to be washed away).

In a free society, you think the market place of ideas will actually favor AnCom over capitalist? How can one say that, when DDO, which engages in discussion, tends to favor either a moderate or libertarian perspective? You can't remove the idea unless the idea is illogical and science disfavors it, or somehow it is forced, via brainwashing as askbob stated.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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8/26/2011 2:51:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
If you make the stuff yourself, then you own your own labor. So if you want to go buy wood and carpet, make cat trees and sell them, most socialists won't have a problem with that. What most do have a problem with, is if someone hires a bunch of people to do $20,000,000 worth of work, and only pays them $15,000,000 and pockets the other $5,000,000 without actually doing anything. They believe that, instead, the entire $20,000,000 should go to the workers, since they are doing all the work.

So, of course, if the venture loses $5.000,000 and goes out of business, the workers will be responsible for the loss, right? You can set up that deal any day of the week. While there are examples, it's not at all popular. Most people simply do not want to take the risk. However, if you don't believe that, you are free to start one yourself tomorrow. Go for it.
Indophile
Posts: 1,414
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8/26/2011 3:06:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/26/2011 2:51:03 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
If you make the stuff yourself, then you own your own labor. So if you want to go buy wood and carpet, make cat trees and sell them, most socialists won't have a problem with that. What most do have a problem with, is if someone hires a bunch of people to do $20,000,000 worth of work, and only pays them $15,000,000 and pockets the other $5,000,000 without actually doing anything. They believe that, instead, the entire $20,000,000 should go to the workers, since they are doing all the work.

So, of course, if the venture loses $5.000,000 and goes out of business, the workers will be responsible for the loss, right? You can set up that deal any day of the week. While there are examples, it's not at all popular. Most people simply do not want to take the risk. However, if you don't believe that, you are free to start one yourself tomorrow. Go for it.

If I'm not mistaken, the only loss-sharing economic model is Islamic economics. By outlawing interest, it says that investors have to share profit as well as loss.
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Ore_Ele
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8/26/2011 3:09:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/26/2011 2:51:03 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
If you make the stuff yourself, then you own your own labor. So if you want to go buy wood and carpet, make cat trees and sell them, most socialists won't have a problem with that. What most do have a problem with, is if someone hires a bunch of people to do $20,000,000 worth of work, and only pays them $15,000,000 and pockets the other $5,000,000 without actually doing anything. They believe that, instead, the entire $20,000,000 should go to the workers, since they are doing all the work.

So, of course, if the venture loses $5.000,000 and goes out of business, the workers will be responsible for the loss, right? You can set up that deal any day of the week. While there are examples, it's not at all popular. Most people simply do not want to take the risk. However, if you don't believe that, you are free to start one yourself tomorrow. Go for it.

I have started them up (not to that scale, of course). Currently on my second start up after the first failed (was only out $13.75).

Of course, if a business person starts something up and fails, they are only out the initial capital spent (unless they took out a loan, then they got interest and debt, and a big ugly mess). If a bunch of workers were to do it and fail, they too, would be out the initial capital spent. However, the workers have more to gain ($20 million, instead of $15 million), but the same start up cost and risk.

Of course, that should be pointed out as false, because it isn't the same risk, there is a much greater risk. Basically, what they are doing is making a 100-person (or however many workers there are) partnership, and partnerships are notorious for having higher failure rates due to the owners not able to come to agreements and stalling the company.

Then the responce would be that the workers can do just like a corporation and appoint a CEO, voted on by the owners (in this case, the workers). That CEO would make more, but not such the obscene amount, as his pay would be controled by the owners/workers, rather than his own decision.
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Indophile
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8/26/2011 3:15:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/26/2011 3:09:49 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 8/26/2011 2:51:03 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 8/22/2011 9:54:46 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
If you make the stuff yourself, then you own your own labor. So if you want to go buy wood and carpet, make cat trees and sell them, most socialists won't have a problem with that. What most do have a problem with, is if someone hires a bunch of people to do $20,000,000 worth of work, and only pays them $15,000,000 and pockets the other $5,000,000 without actually doing anything. They believe that, instead, the entire $20,000,000 should go to the workers, since they are doing all the work.

So, of course, if the venture loses $5.000,000 and goes out of business, the workers will be responsible for the loss, right? You can set up that deal any day of the week. While there are examples, it's not at all popular. Most people simply do not want to take the risk. However, if you don't believe that, you are free to start one yourself tomorrow. Go for it.

I have started them up (not to that scale, of course). Currently on my second start up after the first failed (was only out $13.75).

Of course, if a business person starts something up and fails, they are only out the initial capital spent (unless they took out a loan, then they got interest and debt, and a big ugly mess). If a bunch of workers were to do it and fail, they too, would be out the initial capital spent. However, the workers have more to gain ($20 million, instead of $15 million), but the same start up cost and risk.

Of course, that should be pointed out as false, because it isn't the same risk, there is a much greater risk. Basically, what they are doing is making a 100-person (or however many workers there are) partnership, and partnerships are notorious for having higher failure rates due to the owners not able to come to agreements and stalling the company.

Then the responce would be that the workers can do just like a corporation and appoint a CEO, voted on by the owners (in this case, the workers). That CEO would make more, but not such the obscene amount, as his pay would be controled by the owners/workers, rather than his own decision.

What if no one's willing to take up the extra responsibility of being the CEO without getting the obscene amount? If it was easy, then anyone could do it, right?
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RoyLatham
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8/26/2011 3:36:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/26/2011 3:09:49 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
I have started them up (not to that scale, of course). Currently on my second start up after the first failed (was only out $13.75).

Of course, if a business person starts something up and fails, they are only out the initial capital spent (unless they took out a loan, then they got interest and debt, and a big ugly mess).

There is no way to start a business of any size without debt. You can do a service business, say hiring yourself out as a programmer, without much capital, but you cannot get to any size that way. Most entrepreneurs borrow from credit cards or risk the equity in their homes or talk an "angel" into loaning them money. Then when the business starts to make money, they plow most of the profits back into the business. All you have to do is convince your fellow heroes of socialist realism to do exactly that, and you're on your way.

Of course, that should be pointed out as false, because it isn't the same risk, there is a much greater risk. Basically, what they are doing is making a 100-person (or however many workers there are) partnership, and partnerships are notorious for having higher failure rates due to the owners not able to come to agreements and stalling the company.

What a coincidence, to raise capital you have to convince someone who has capital to back you. How are you going to do that with promising a return on investment that compensates for the risk? The labor theory of value fails because it does not recognize either the time value of capital or the value of taking risk. Those two things are laws of nature that cannot be overcome.

Then the responce would be that the workers can do just like a corporation and appoint a CEO, voted on by the owners (in this case, the workers). That CEO would make more, but not such the obscene amount, as his pay would be controled by the owners/workers, rather than his own decision.

Sure, if you believe that just try it. Start by explaining to the CEO that major decisions like executive compensation will not be made by a Board of Directors, but rather by company workers. For example, United Airlines was at one point sold to the employees. Research that.