Do you think the U.S. military proves socialism works, because it is tax funded like my colleague suggests?

Asked by: amVoiceofReason
  • Yes of course

    The american military is the strongest in the world and it is entirely socialist. Everyone works together to achieve the same huge goals. The is no free enterprise you do what you are told. If it wasn't socialist then it would not be successful at all. Ya'll need to be educated.

  • Government does not automatically equal Socialist.

    I would argue that the military is a government function. Just because something is paid with taxes does not immediately make it a socialist organization. If the military was truly socialistic wouldn't it be safe to assume that the lowest level privates receive the same pay and benefits as higher ranking officers?


  • I'm a socialist, and no.

    1) Arguably nothing "proves" that a particular political or economic system works, so that's just a horrible way to frame the question to begin with.

    2) Socialism can be defined a myriad of ways, but particularly- if you are a democratic socialist, like me, you believe in popular sovereignty within the workplace and within society as a whole. A top-down bureaucratic military structure is generally not very conducive to that.

    Public ownership of the means of production (business, industry, etc.) can exist in a variety of forms, not just state ownership which has the tendency to actually become the opposite of what many socialists intend it to be.

    3) This sounds very similar to when people say that fire stations or police services are somehow socialist. No, they aren't. They are not run for profit, and they are public services. But they exist within a capitalist framework and don't have democratic mechanisms of control within their provision (for the most part), besides representatives making decisions on funding allocation.

    4) Military contractors reap huge benefits from war and selling equipment to the military. Would you describe war racketeering or just military contracts in general as an example of socialism? Or as an example of corporatism and crony capitalism?

    Posted by: Ryne
  • It's a poor example

    So much government money goes to defense projects designing equipment and vehicles that never get used.

    This problem would probably be better if the government ran the defense industry, since there wouldn't be a demand to pay anyone a profit. However, there would still be public industry lobbyists and defense union lobbyists who would ask for frivolous spending projects just to make more money or get more jobs (While I'm all for creating jobs they should be created with worthy spending projects and not frivolous ones).

    The nature of the military is that we can't have private militaries. If we had private militaries we'd have private governments, and then we'd have civil war or if they managed to get along together we'd have feudalism.

    It's not that public programs can't be a good thing. In fields such as fire, education, and healthcare there is a clear public interest that the profit motive doesn't adequately address. However, all these things would work better if we had a better democracy. If we had instant run-off voting then voters could truly control the politicians as there would be no spoiling effect if they ranked a third party person first and just ranked the lesser of two evils second from the bottom. Then there would be incentives to appropriately administer public programs to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency and utility.

  • This is a poorly structured question.

    No, It does not prove Socilism works. The first evidence I would point to is that the US miitary is an ALL voluntary fighting force. No one is compelled to participate.
    Although the military is much like Socialism/Communism in the way that you are no longer an individual and acting like one cause break downs in the machine. Unlike Socialism/Communism you are free to apply to join and you can opt out due to disagreeing with a certain military action.

  • Of course not.

    Just because one organization is tax funded does not mean socialism works. Capitalism does not call for 0 taxes on the government, they still wants the government to have some money. Using that money on entitlement programs or excess welfare is something capitalists are against. However using tax dollars for military is very common in capitalism and has no tie to socialism whatsoever. This is honestly a bad question.

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