Discussion in 'Economy' started by Kevin_Kennedy, Feb 11, 2009.
Putin Warns US About Socialsm | The Right Perspective
The Soviet economy was not socialist inasmuch as it was state capitalist in its social organization.
Why are you always so adamant about arguing these kinds of technicalities?
Regardless what you call it, it was the wrong way to run a country. Let's just leave it at that.
The rulers acted capitalist, but their state intervention was socialist. Much like in any dictatorship. People who were workers, ... in the soviet Union were under socialist rule.
I can give an example: I was on vacation (not so long ago) in Hungary, during the Soviet Occupation the camping that I visited (only one day) was a Soviet vacation destination (state controlled) and it seems that they still have some habits from back in those days:
There was a barrier in front of the camping for both the exit and for the entrance a separate barrier but in the middle was one guy who had to operate both the entrance barrier (by hand) and the exit barrier. When there was a line of cars both in front of the entrance barrier and in front of the exit barrier then there was only one guy to do both, so what did he do: first the entrance barrier and he let all the cars there go in (took about 1 hour) and then he turned his chair and did the other side (again 1 hour) and so on. Well that is communism and the Soviet Union was all like that (or very similar to it) in a lot of aspects.
So no, it was a communist state & organization with people in charge who had individual capitalist behavior (corruption).
There's actually a very critical reason, as indicated by Chomsky in The Soviet Union Versus Socialism.
For the defamatory allegation that an authoritarian, centralized state that opposed legitimate collective governance (consider the Kronstadt rebellion, for instance) was in any way socialist to characterize the nature of of essentially every anti-socialist's arguments and claims permits them to vilely misrepresent socialism, and disingenuously depict freedom and efficiency as tyranny and inefficiency. For instance, we might consider your claim that there is no incentive system in a socialist economy. That is directly related to the misconception of the Soviet Union as being socialist.
No, the very nature of socialism necessitates collective ownership and management of the means of production. Mere "state" ownership is wholly insufficient if the actual owners and managers of the system are top-level party elitists and bureaucrats, as was often the case with the Soviet empire.
"That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise." ~ Abe Lincoln
Of course, actual social mobility rates say otherwise.
With out the chance of getting more than what we currently have, we end up with mediocrity. That's the problem with socialism. It doesn't lead to upward societies. Why work hard or create anything when it will leave me right where I am already. Sorry a pat on the back doesn't work for me.
Oh kiss most of the things you enjoy from life.... How many major innovations have come out of a socialist society? How many have come about due to capitalism?
Socialism = Mediocrity
Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built. ~ Lincoln
We have a socialism thread here. Please comment on this issue.
But suffice to say that incentive problems are only an issue for state socialism. (Probably called state capitalism in its most authoritarian manifestations.) Most varieties of socialism retain wage differentiations in response to input differentiations, and even a communist economy is remunerative in that it forbids access to public utilities for those who are able to work but simply unwilling. The majority of socialists are tired of the idle wealthy in capitalist society.
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