## Capitalism vs Socialism

For discussions of culture, politics, economics, sociology, law, business and any other topic that falls under the social science remit.

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

phyllo wrote:
I had the same question and it would be good if you'd answer it.
Why should I?

Hey Sil, what fallacy is that?

Phyllo: Not that "private consumption as % of gdp" represents anything. It's basically a meaningless number.
Sil: What would represent a meaningful measure of "freedom", economically speaking, if not private consumption?
Phyllo: Really?
Me: I have the same question and it would be good if you'd answer it.
Phyllo: Why should I?

You said it's a meaningless number, so how do you know it's a meaningless number if you can't think of a meaningful number?

You made an assertion without evidence or rationale.

You're trying to make a point. I am not. I'm just saying that your argument is flawed.

So the point you're trying to make is that my point is wrong. Where is it wrong? Because a few variables out of 50 don't correlate? Because you say the data is meaningless? Fine. I'll wager no fair-minded reader will agree with you.

Actually capitalism here has the meaning of "anti-socialism", which is a good definition of capitalism in the context of government spending. Essentially, socialist governments are those that spend more money, presumably for the good of society (social) and "anti-socialism" is governments that do not.
So you say. I don't think that capitalism is "anti-socialism". False dichotomy. Fabricated opposites.

Then what is capitalism? If you don't think it's anti-socialism, then you must know what it is, unless you're just guessing.

What is the opposite of the redistribution of wealth? What is the opposite of government spending? What is the opposite of taxation? What is the opposite of regulation? What is the opposite of government ownership?

The lack of all those things is capitalism.

Saudi Arabia simply pulls money from the ground and throws it around, hence the government spending and its rank on the list. The ranking doesn't take into account social justice.
A monarchy is socialism. If you say so.

Sure, it can be. That was the benevolent dictator argument of that joker dude who used to post here. If the dictator is really a good guy, it can work splendidly, but the trouble comes if he's not.

That's two data points. I provided 13.
Plot the graph and you will see that lots don't match.

freedom.jpg (46.38 KiB) Viewed 8956 times

The black line is a 7 period moving average. Freedom declines with government spending in general.

No I didn't. And neither did Chomsky.
Chomsky thinks that socialism and capitalism is a dichotomy?

Yes. And he thinks libertarianism = authoritarianism. And the fall of the USSR was a victory for socialism.

There is only empowerment of the people or not. Socialism empowers the people and everything else does not.

Which number would you like me to use?
I don't want you to use any number. It's idiotic.

You're right to be scared lol

It represents the lack of government spending, which is an attribute of socialism.
You used it as a measure of capitalism and socialism.

That's right, I measured the extent of socialism by virtue of government spending.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Hey Sil, what fallacy is that?

Phyllo: Not that "private consumption as % of gdp" represents anything. It's basically a meaningless number.
Sil: What would represent a meaningful measure of "freedom", economically speaking, if not private consumption?
Phyllo: Really?
Me: I have the same question and it would be good if you'd answer it.
Phyllo: Why should I?

You said it's a meaningless number, so how do you know it's a meaningless number if you can't think of a meaningful number?

You made an assertion without evidence or rationale.
Reducing "freedom" or "capitalism" or "socialism" to one number makes no sense.

Why not reduce "life" to one number?

Like the answer to life, the universe and everything ... 42.
So the point you're trying to make is that my point is wrong. Where is it wrong?
I already said. If you look at it, you have to wonder how Syria could be near the top of the capitalist heap. Or how could Saudi Arabia, a monarchy which makes money by selling oil, count as socialist.
It's pretty strange. One would have to examine those countries to determine if they legitimately could be considered socialist. If they could be considered capitalist. And there lots of countries that look strange.
Then what is capitalism? If you don't think it's anti-socialism, then you must know what it is, unless you're just guessing.
Capitalism exists in harmony with a variety of social programs. They are no polar opposites.
What is the opposite of the redistribution of wealth? What is the opposite of government spending? What is the opposite of taxation? What is the opposite of regulation? What is the opposite of government ownership?
These things don't have "opposites".
The lack of all those things is capitalism.
There was always taxation, regulation, government spending, government ownership of property and enterprises. So that can't be the definition of capitalism.
Sure, it can be. That was the benevolent dictator argument of that joker dude who used to post here. If the dictator is really a good guy, it can work splendidly, but the trouble comes if he's not.
Sure. Then the benevolent dictator dies or goes crazy or turns things over to his idiot children, your socialist utopia disappears and you're screwed.
You might want to call it benevolent despotism rather than socialism.
The black line is a 7 period moving average. Freedom declines with government spending in general.
Your 'fitted' line goes up 15% over the range of 34 countries?
There is often a spread of 10% or more between adjoining countries on the list. It oscillates wildly.
You're right to be scared lol
Yeah, I don't want to live in a police state.
phyllo
ILP Legend

Posts: 11235
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Serendipper wrote:Hey Sil, what fallacy is that?

Phyllo: Not that "private consumption as % of gdp" represents anything. It's basically a meaningless number.
Sil: What would represent a meaningful measure of "freedom", economically speaking, if not private consumption?
Phyllo: Really?
Me: I have the same question and it would be good if you'd answer it.
Phyllo: Why should I?

You said it's a meaningless number, so how do you know it's a meaningless number if you can't think of a meaningful number?

You made an assertion without evidence or rationale.

I don't know the full chain of events, but it seems to me the person asserting that private consumption as a percentage of gdp is the best or even a good measure of freedom bears a huge onus. Presumably they asserted this first and Phyllo reacted with skepticism. Sure, he bears an onus for that, but only after the other person backs up what I would tend to agree with Phyllo sounds pretty silly. It seems like a category error. There might be some kinds of correlation, but I would guess glaring counterexamples. And Sil's question strikes me as almost funny. What would be a good measure if not that. Well, things like can the press criticize the government, is there a right to assemble that actually defends against police and court intervention, is there freedom of speech both legally and in practice. You could look into how women and minorities are treated in courts and by police and even social policing. ETc. IOW look at freedom directly. I am quite sure there are organizations that do this and rank countries. It's not as easy to plop in a chart, but then, the ease of a measure where you just pop out a number doesn't make it a good measure.

Like, well, look at the actual freedoms.

And frankly I find it kind of offensive that freedom to purchase is considered a good measure of freedom, and I find it offensive in the West especially where corporations are intentionally addicting people, for example, to distracting and often unhealthy media and gadgets so they end up, precisely expressing their freedom through buying Nike to feel cool and have an, laughing, individual look, rather than being engaged politically or even personally developmentally. Look, I am free I can buy one of hundreds of breakfast cereals.

If the very notion of what freedom is is undermined, well, then perhaps it is a good measure. But I find it really rather suspicious that we should shift the measure of something onto something else that might correlate sometimes. Why not skip the middleman and measure the thing itself. Sure, its trickier, in this case.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

phyllo wrote:
Hey Sil, what fallacy is that?

Phyllo: Not that "private consumption as % of gdp" represents anything. It's basically a meaningless number.
Sil: What would represent a meaningful measure of "freedom", economically speaking, if not private consumption?
Phyllo: Really?
Me: I have the same question and it would be good if you'd answer it.
Phyllo: Why should I?

You said it's a meaningless number, so how do you know it's a meaningless number if you can't think of a meaningful number?

You made an assertion without evidence or rationale.
Reducing "freedom" or "capitalism" or "socialism" to one number makes no sense.

Not reduced, but indicated by one number. It makes no sense to you because it makes your beloved system look bad. Anything putting capitalism in a negative light makes no sense.

Why not reduce "life" to one number?

We do. It's called the population statistic.

So the point you're trying to make is that my point is wrong. Where is it wrong?
I already said. If you look at it, you have to wonder how Syria could be near the top of the capitalist heap. Or how could Saudi Arabia, a monarchy which makes money by selling oil, count as socialist.

I explained that. Because you don't understand it doesn't mean I'm wrong.

It's pretty strange. One would have to examine those countries to determine if they legitimately could be considered socialist. If they could be considered capitalist. And there lots of countries that look strange.

Sure, I'll concede that, but overall the extent to which a country engages in government spending is a decent measure of socialism and good enough to exhibit trends.

Then what is capitalism? If you don't think it's anti-socialism, then you must know what it is, unless you're just guessing.
Capitalism exists in harmony with a variety of social programs. They are no polar opposites.

Says who? Capitalism cannot exist in harmony with spreading the wealth. Capitalism is the condensation of wealth whereas socialism is the dispersal of wealth. You cannot say welfare is a capitalist attribute.

What is the opposite of the redistribution of wealth? What is the opposite of government spending? What is the opposite of taxation? What is the opposite of regulation? What is the opposite of government ownership?
These things don't have "opposites".

Really?

Redistribution / lack of redistribution. Gov spending / lack of gov spending. Taxation / lack of taxation. Regulation / lack of regulation. Gov ownership / private ownership. Socialism / capitalism.

The lack of all those things is capitalism.
There was always taxation, regulation, government spending, government ownership of property and enterprises. So that can't be the definition of capitalism.

Show me a capitalist who wants more taxes, gov spending, regulation, and government ownership.

Sure, it can be. That was the benevolent dictator argument of that joker dude who used to post here. If the dictator is really a good guy, it can work splendidly, but the trouble comes if he's not.
Sure. Then the benevolent dictator dies or goes crazy or turns things over to his idiot children, your socialist utopia disappears and you're screwed.

I know. That's what I said. It can work great until it doesn't.

The black line is a 7 period moving average. Freedom declines with government spending in general.
Your 'fitted' line goes up 15% over the range of 34 countries?

Whatever the data says is what it says. Check it yourself; I posted the data.

There is often a spread of 10% or more between adjoining countries on the list. It oscillates wildly.

The trend is obvious.

You're right to be scared lol
Yeah, I don't want to live in a police state.

Better be down with socialism then. The police state is a republican thing.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't know the full chain of events, but it seems to me the person asserting that private consumption as a percentage of gdp is the best or even a good measure of freedom bears a huge onus.

I think you have it backwards. Private consumption is a measure of public consumption by subtraction from 100%. Private consumption is a measure of capitalism, plutocracy, etc or happens to correlate with less freedom. The countries with the lowest private consumption have the highest public consumption.

Presumably they asserted this first and Phyllo reacted with skepticism. Sure, he bears an onus for that, but only after the other person backs up what I would tend to agree with Phyllo sounds pretty silly.

freedom.jpg (46.38 KiB) Viewed 8841 times

In general, governments that spend more money happen to have more freedom.

70% private consumption = 30% public consumption or government spending. As the chart goes up, government spending goes down. The free countries are to the left.

I'll redo the chart. I created it on my laptop last night, but I can improve it.

It seems like a category error. There might be some kinds of correlation, but I would guess glaring counterexamples. And Sil's question strikes me as almost funny. What would be a good measure if not that. Well, things like can the press criticize the government, is there a right to assemble that actually defends against police and court intervention, is there freedom of speech both legally and in practice. You could look into how women and minorities are treated in courts and by police and even social policing. ETc. IOW look at freedom directly. I am quite sure there are organizations that do this and rank countries. It's not as easy to plop in a chart, but then, the ease of a measure where you just pop out a number doesn't make it a good measure.

The methodology is here https://freedomhouse.org/report/methodo ... world-2018

It takes into account journalistic freedom, internet freedom, and other civil liberties and political rights.

Norway had the best freedom of the press score in 2017. https://freedomhouse.org/report/table-c ... -fotp-2017

Norway also has one of the highest government spending.

Coincidence? Maybe, but there is a lot of coincidence to swallow.

Estonia has the most internet freedom. https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/ ... 1_2018.pdf

Estonia also has robust government spending.

Coincidence?
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Not reduced, but indicated by one number. It makes no sense to you because it makes your beloved system look bad. Anything putting capitalism in a negative light makes no sense.
It doesn't make any system look good or bad because it's all over the place. It makes one scratch his head and ask "what does it mean, if anything?"
I explained that. Because you don't understand it doesn't mean I'm wrong.
If you call Saudi Arabia socialist, then you are tossing away a key concept of socialism which is that "the people" have the political power.

What you are really saying is that any government that spends a lot of money is socialist.
Really?

Redistribution / lack of redistribution. Gov spending / lack of gov spending. Taxation / lack of taxation. Regulation / lack of regulation. Gov ownership / private ownership. Socialism / capitalism.
Apple / lack of apple.
Show me a capitalist who wants more taxes, gov spending, regulation, and government ownership.
Didn't you post at least two examples of capitalists who want their taxes raised? (I forget which thread it was in.)
I think that KT spent several pages discussing gov spending and regulation with you. No need for me to repeat it.
I know. That's what I said. It can work great until it doesn't.
That's why the power has to be in the hands of "the people" instead of the despot. Socialists understand.
Whatever the data says is what it says. Check it yourself; I posted the data.
I did. I looked up the report. Fortunately you did not need to plot Saudi Arabia on the graph, (or China or Singapore). Freedom scores : Finland 100, Saudi Arabia 7.
Better be down with socialism then. The police state is a republican thing.
That was my lame attempt to move the conversation on to something more productive ... if we want freedom, what exactly do we want to be happening? What kind of compromises are acceptable or unacceptable? What are the biggest threats to freedom?
phyllo
ILP Legend

Posts: 11235
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Serendipper wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't know the full chain of events, but it seems to me the person asserting that private consumption as a percentage of gdp is the best or even a good measure of freedom bears a huge onus.

I think you have it backwards. Private consumption is a measure of public consumption by subtraction from 100%. Private consumption is a measure of capitalism, plutocracy, etc or happens to correlate with less freedom. The countries with the lowest private consumption have the highest public consumption.
Ok, that might be better, but it seems to me you still should measure the actual freedoms. Harder to get a number, sure, but a vastly better measure. I think his ' they are all over the place' is a good argument against it. And to demonstrate that it's true, you are going to have to figure out the level of freedom directly. I mean, the speed that crickets chirp in the evening in different countries might correlate with freedom somehow, but might as well measure freedom, as well as you can. And yes, I can see where gdp percentages might have more easily argued correlations, but then perhaps humans somehow affect cricket chirping or their spending does, lol. It seems like the kind of statistic that will be used to draw poor conclusions whereas measuring actual freedoms gets you down to the core more directly. Of course there will be controversy and one will have to weigh different freedoms against each other when ranking, but that's a good debate. One worth having.
I wonder how the USSR and communist China in, say the 70s would have done on that scale. I am guessing that public spending was very high and freedoms rather low.
Karpel Tunnel
Philosopher

Posts: 2221
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

phyllo wrote:
Not reduced, but indicated by one number. It makes no sense to you because it makes your beloved system look bad. Anything putting capitalism in a negative light makes no sense.
It doesn't make any system look good or bad because it's all over the place. It makes one scratch his head and ask "what does it mean, if anything?"

I think that says more about you than the research.

I explained that. Because you don't understand it doesn't mean I'm wrong.
If you call Saudi Arabia socialist, then you are tossing away a key concept of socialism which is that "the people" have the political power.

Good point! That's true, but in this case socialism is a function of government spending and not the extent to which the people have control over the government. I can't think of a way to quantify democracy. Can you? I'll be more than happy to research it if you can.

What you are really saying is that any government that spends a lot of money is socialist.

Yes, government spending is an attribute of socialism. Just like democracy is an attribute of socialism. Saudi Arabia has a lot of government spending and large welfare, but the people have no control over government. So on one hand it seems socialistic, but on the other not. But at the end of the day, the money is being spread around to the people and that has to be considered socialism. In Egypt, the money is not spread to the people and the people have no control over their government, so Egypt is anti-socialistic.

Really?

Redistribution / lack of redistribution. Gov spending / lack of gov spending. Taxation / lack of taxation. Regulation / lack of regulation. Gov ownership / private ownership. Socialism / capitalism.
Apple / lack of apple.

Now you got it!

Show me a capitalist who wants more taxes, gov spending, regulation, and government ownership.
Didn't you post at least two examples of capitalists who want their taxes raised? (I forget which thread it was in.)

Buffett and Gates and the Patriotic Millionaires are crusading to raise their own taxes, and they have capitalized off a capitalist system, but Buffett said if he ran for president, his campaign would look a lot like Bernie's. He advocates taking care of the population that made him rich. He thinks the burden of government spending should be on his shoulders and not those of the lower classes. Buffett supported Hillary for president (because he didn't think Bernie had a chance of winning). Essentially, Buffett is crusading to reduce his capital and that of his peers for the purpose of taking care of society. And republicans hate Buffett almost as much as Paul Krugman.

Capitalists, such as Peter Schiff, want zero minimum wage, no taxes whatsoever, no welfare, no regulation, and no government ownership. They believe the invisible hand of the free market will usher in a utopia. Per Noam Chomsky, this is a distortion of the teaching of Adam Smith (I haven't verified that).

I think that KT spent several pages discussing gov spending and regulation with you. No need for me to repeat it.

He argued that the capitalist desires government regulation for their own benefit, and that includes government spending by the military on R&D for the corporations (socialization of costs/privatization of profits) and government spending on infrastructure that corporations use, but on the other hand, it depends where the government money is coming from. If the corps themselves are being taxed to fund the military research and fix the roads, then it's not plutocratic/capitalistic, but socialistic because the military and the road crews are regular people receiving wages from the corporate tax. On the other hand, if government spending is coming from gas taxes and other taxes on the poor, then it's not socialistic since the poor are funding their own welfare and government workers are supplying their own wages.

It's definitely more complex than just one statistic, but all I'm doing is showing the general trend as it relates to government spending. As Chomsky said, I think we can draw some conclusions from that.

I know. That's what I said. It can work great until it doesn't.
That's why the power has to be in the hands of "the people" instead of the despot. Socialists understand.

Yes, I agree.

Whatever the data says is what it says. Check it yourself; I posted the data.
I did. I looked up the report. Fortunately you did not need to plot Saudi Arabia on the graph, (or China or Singapore). Freedom scores : Finland 100, Saudi Arabia 7.

So your point is that both Finland and Saudi Arabia spend government money, but one has freedom and the other not? This was covered above, I think.

Better be down with socialism then. The police state is a republican thing.
That was my lame attempt to move the conversation on to something more productive ... if we want freedom, what exactly do we want to be happening?

The easiest thing to do is support Bernie. https://twitter.com/BernieSanders

Bernie Sanders@BernieSanders
Tens of thousands of Americans every year get criminal records for possessing marijuana.
Meanwhile ZERO major Wall Street executives went to jail for destroying our economy in 2008 as a result of their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior.
Unacceptable.

Bernie Sanders@BernieSanders
No more private prisons and detention centers.
No more profiteering from locking people up.
No more "war on drugs."
No more keeping people in jail because they're too poor to afford cash bail.

.@BernieSanders has a simple, moral vision for America's future. Instead of spending $6 trillion on endless wars, we need to invest in: ✅ Healthcare ✅ Education ✅ Infrastructure ✅ Clean Energy "Real police department reform led at the federal level, which says that lethal force is the LAST resort not the FIRST." @BernieSanders #BernieInChicago "Together we are going to end austerity for working families and bring some austerity to corporate America." -@BernieSanders In the last decade, more than 30 states have considered voter suppression laws whose clear intent is to disenfranchise people of color. How pathetic and how cowardly is that! #BernieInChicago We will no longer accept the absurd situation where large corporations like Amazon, Netflix and General Motors pay nothing in federal income taxes after raking in billions in profits. #BernieInChicago At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, am I going to demand that the very rich and large corporations start paying their fair share in taxes? Damn right I am. #SandersTownHall Where are we going to get the money to pay for our priorities? To start, Amazon made$11.2 billion in profits last year. You know how much they paid in taxes? 0. We're going to change that. #SandersTownHall What are the biggest threats to freedom? Republicans. Noam Chomsky: Republican Party is the most dangerous organisation in human history Lack of education. Educated people make better political decisions. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2178 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism Karpel Tunnel wrote: Serendipper wrote: Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't know the full chain of events, but it seems to me the person asserting that private consumption as a percentage of gdp is the best or even a good measure of freedom bears a huge onus. I think you have it backwards. Private consumption is a measure of public consumption by subtraction from 100%. Private consumption is a measure of capitalism, plutocracy, etc or happens to correlate with less freedom. The countries with the lowest private consumption have the highest public consumption. Ok, that might be better, but it seems to me you still should measure the actual freedoms. Harder to get a number, sure, but a vastly better measure. I think his ' they are all over the place' is a good argument against it. And to demonstrate that it's true, you are going to have to figure out the level of freedom directly. I mean, the speed that crickets chirp in the evening in different countries might correlate with freedom somehow, but might as well measure freedom, as well as you can. And yes, I can see where gdp percentages might have more easily argued correlations, but then perhaps humans somehow affect cricket chirping or their spending does, lol. It seems like the kind of statistic that will be used to draw poor conclusions whereas measuring actual freedoms gets you down to the core more directly. Of course there will be controversy and one will have to weigh different freedoms against each other when ranking, but that's a good debate. One worth having. I wonder how the USSR and communist China in, say the 70s would have done on that scale. I am guessing that public spending was very high and freedoms rather low. Did you see this chart I posted at the beginning of the thread? china.jpg (90.81 KiB) Viewed 8806 times I don't know about freedom, but public spending was pretty low in communist china in the 60s and 70s. The Chinese are arguably more free now. There isn't much data on Russia. Here is a better chart of the freedom ranking vs private consumption % of GDP: freedom.jpg (73.71 KiB) Viewed 8806 times Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2178 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism I realized that China was a crap shoot. But My guess is Russia was necessarily very high on public spending. There was no other real possible source. The military was huge compared to GDP. I guess I'm seeing Phyllo, whose come from a socialist or perhaps 'socialist' country that was abusive and not free and I think had pretty high public spending. We are in an new kind of era. You have Scandanavian countries who are highly aligned with the US and have relatively low military budgets. and they are right now degenerating into 'free market' capitalisms. Slwoly, thatcher and reagan seeping in slowly. But perhaps it might help to address his concerns that socialism may lead again to the types of experiences one had behind the Iron Curtain, where public spending was high, since there wasn't so much else there to spend, and freedom was low. and worse. Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total. Karpel Tunnel Philosopher Posts: 2221 Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism Karpel Tunnel wrote:I realized that China was a crap shoot. But My guess is Russia was necessarily very high on public spending. There was no other real possible source. The military was huge compared to GDP. Russia also has a lot of oil, so they could have functioned like Saudia Arabia: social spending, but no democracy. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2178 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism Serendipper wrote: Karpel Tunnel wrote:I realized that China was a crap shoot. But My guess is Russia was necessarily very high on public spending. There was no other real possible source. The military was huge compared to GDP. Russia also has a lot of oil, so they could have functioned like Saudia Arabia: social spending, but no democracy. I added a bit above. Karpel Tunnel Philosopher Posts: 2221 Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:26 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism Karpel Tunnel wrote: Serendipper wrote: Karpel Tunnel wrote:I realized that China was a crap shoot. But My guess is Russia was necessarily very high on public spending. There was no other real possible source. The military was huge compared to GDP. Russia also has a lot of oil, so they could have functioned like Saudia Arabia: social spending, but no democracy. I added a bit above. Oh, oops, lol. I guess I'm seeing Phyllo, whose come from a socialist or perhaps 'socialist' country that was abusive and not free and I think had pretty high public spending. I wonder which country. Anyway, yeah, there's government spending and extent of control of the people over its government and maybe a few other ways to quantify socialism. Government spending doesn't define it wholly, but is one aspect of it. But if the people were in charge of their own government, would they vote for more or less government spending? Probably more. So although the people aren't in charge, they're still getting more or less what they want. But in places like Egypt, they get nothing: no control nor welfare. thatcher and reagan seeping in slowly. And they do it under the banner of socialism. Or we have those like Hillary who are economic conservatives and social liberals: giving people tampons in the mensroom and corporations keep their power. Those are the worst if you ask me. That Kamala Harris terrifies me. I'll vote for Trump over her. But perhaps it might help to address his concerns that socialism may lead again to the types of experiences one had behind the Iron Curtain Not as long as the people have voting power. Get rid of electoral college and all that delegate crap. And as Bernie says, "If you're a citizen and you turn 18, you're registered to vote. Simple as that!" We could even make voting mandatory (like switzerland, I think). There's no way a tyrant could take over under those conditions, especially if the people are decently educated. Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2178 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism I think that says more about you than the research. It says something about me for sure. I can't think of a way to quantify democracy. Can you? I'll be more than happy to research it if you can. There is a Democracy Index. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy ... untry_2018 Saudi Arabia has a lot of government spending and large welfare, but the people have no control over government. So on one hand it seems socialistic, but on the other not.But at the end of the day, the money is being spread around to the people and that has to be considered socialism. You consider it socialism. If the corps themselves are being taxed to fund the military research and fix the roads, then it's not plutocratic/capitalistic, but socialistic because the military and the road crews are regular people receiving wages from the corporate tax. On the other hand, if government spending is coming from gas taxes and other taxes on the poor, then it's not socialistic since the poor are funding their own welfare and government workers are supplying their own wages. What? Your "consumption as % gdp" number doesn't take into account where the gov money came from. The easiest thing to do is support Bernie. https://twitter.com/BernieSanders I don't live in your fine republic. Republicans. Noam Chomsky: Republican Party is the most dangerous organisation in human history Lack of education. Educated people make better political decisions. Sigh phyllo ILP Legend Posts: 11235 Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism I guess I'm seeing Phyllo, whose come from a socialist or perhaps 'socialist' country that was abusive and not free and I think had pretty high public spending. I wonder which country. We (my parents and I) lived in Czechoslovakia until 1968 when the attempt to get "Socialism with a Human Face" ended with a Russian invasion and a kick in the face. Then we were in Sweden for a while but eventually moved to Canada. But if the people were in charge of their own government, would they vote for more or less government spending? Probably more. So although the people aren't in charge, they're still getting more or less what they want. phyllo ILP Legend Posts: 11235 Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism phyllo wrote:There is a Democracy Index. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy ... untry_2018 And the US is ranked #25 and considered a "flawed democracy" lol At first glance, it appears to correlate tightly with government spending. I'll work on it later. Saudi Arabia has a lot of government spending and large welfare, but the people have no control over government. So on one hand it seems socialistic, but on the other not.But at the end of the day, the money is being spread around to the people and that has to be considered socialism. You consider it socialism. If not socialism, then what is it? If the corps themselves are being taxed to fund the military research and fix the roads, then it's not plutocratic/capitalistic, but socialistic because the military and the road crews are regular people receiving wages from the corporate tax. On the other hand, if government spending is coming from gas taxes and other taxes on the poor, then it's not socialistic since the poor are funding their own welfare and government workers are supplying their own wages. What? Your "consumption as % gdp" number doesn't take into account where the gov money came from. Yes, I know. How do I quantify where the money came from? The easiest thing to do is support Bernie. https://twitter.com/BernieSanders I don't live in your fine republic. Still in your best interest to support him lest the US decide one day to send some "US aid" your way Dy1w4l2UUAAtcug.jpg (31.59 KiB) Viewed 8761 times Serendipper Philosopher Posts: 2178 Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism There's no way a tyrant could take over under those conditions, especially if the people are decently educated. Germany had a democracy and a highly educated population. They ended up with Hitler. phyllo ILP Legend Posts: 11235 Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am ### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism phyllo wrote: I guess I'm seeing Phyllo, whose come from a socialist or perhaps 'socialist' country that was abusive and not free and I think had pretty high public spending. I wonder which country. We (my parents and I) lived in Czechoslovakia until 1968 when the attempt to get "Socialism with a Human Face" ended with a Russian invasion and a kick in the face. So what does that prove? That Russia didn't want you to have prosperity? Then we were in Sweden for a while but eventually moved to Canada. Well hell, you have more socialism and freedom than I do. Heck, you can even daytrade stocks without needing25k minimum. If not for the cold, I'd move to canada and partake in all the freedom.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

phyllo wrote:
There's no way a tyrant could take over under those conditions, especially if the people are decently educated.

Germany had a democracy and a highly educated population. They ended up with Hitler.

I'm dubious that the germans were highly educated. The smart ones were jews.

I'm not sure about the democracy claim either.

And Hitler was more a result of the treaty of versailles and the reparations imposed on the germans.
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Serendipper wrote:
phyllo wrote:
There's no way a tyrant could take over under those conditions, especially if the people are decently educated.

Germany had a democracy and a highly educated population. They ended up with Hitler.

I'm dubious that the germans were highly educated. The smart ones were jews.

I'm not sure about the democracy claim either.

And Hitler was more a result of the treaty of versailles and the reparations imposed on the germans.

In Germany the general level of education in the Weimar period was regarded as high by international standards and there was very little illiteracy. Prussia, for example, had made education up to age 14 compulsory in 1825, much earlier than France or England. Even before that the proportion of children attending school up to age 14 had been high. Traditionally, Germans have held education in very high regard. Before 1933 Germany was seen as a bastion of scholarship and science, and aspects of its school and university systems were widely imitated in many other countries, in particular the heavy emphasis on research in the universities.

PS. There’s a strange idea that I have encountered from a few Americans that in the inter-war period Germans were ‘uneducated’. This view is complete nonsense.

https://www.quora.com/In-1930s-Germany- ... racy-ratio
phyllo
ILP Legend

Posts: 11235
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

So what does that prove? That Russia didn't want you to have prosperity?
Interesting reaction.
phyllo
ILP Legend

Posts: 11235
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

phyllo wrote:
In Germany the general level of education in the Weimar period was regarded as high by international standards and there was very little illiteracy. Prussia, for example, had made education up to age 14 compulsory in 1825, much earlier than France or England. Even before that the proportion of children attending school up to age 14 had been high. Traditionally, Germans have held education in very high regard. Before 1933 Germany was seen as a bastion of scholarship and science, and aspects of its school and university systems were widely imitated in many other countries, in particular the heavy emphasis on research in the universities.

PS. There’s a strange idea that I have encountered from a few Americans that in the inter-war period Germans were ‘uneducated’. This view is complete nonsense.

https://www.quora.com/In-1930s-Germany- ... racy-ratio

I have difficultly imagining any large body of people could possibly be educated in the 1800s. Sure there were pockets on intelligentsia, but nothing like today where almost everyone can read. But even literacy isn't enough since Trump supporters can read, but are otherwise dumb as rocks.

And still my point about the jews being the most educated were first to be ostracized, which is common to totalitarian regimes to first persecute the intellectuals:

Totalitarian governments manipulate and apply anti-intellectualism to repress political dissent.[2] During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and the following fascist dictatorship (1939–1975) of General Francisco Franco, the reactionary repression of the White Terror (1936–1945) was notably anti-intellectual, with most of the 200,000 civilians killed being the Spanish intelligentsia, the politically active teachers and academics, artists and writers of the deposed Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939).[3] In the communist state of Democratic Kampuchea (1975–1979), the Khmer Rouge régime of Pol Pot condemned all of the non-communist intelligentsia to death in the Killing Fields.[4]

Lots of examples here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-intellectualism

Nazi book burners http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/t ... okburn.htm

Now, if everyone were intelligent, then how could one separate the smart from the stupid in order to kill one and enslave the other? The fact that it happened is proof that the people weren't that smart.

If everyone knew what Chomsky knows, then the only way to kill intellectuals would be to kill 100% of people.

If the germans were as smart as german intelligentsia, there's no way Hitler could have happened. The fact that he happened proves they were stupid.

"The people get what government it deserves." - Forgot who said that.

This is going on today in the right wing:

propaganda2.jpg (88.72 KiB) Viewed 8708 times

"I realize you’re under a bit of a penalty because all our professors are stupid liberals, but that’s the best we can do." https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015 ... ain_folks/
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

I have difficultly imagining any large body of people could possibly be educated in the 1800s. Sure there were pockets on intelligentsia, but nothing like today where almost everyone can read.
So you're going to hang on to that idea, even though the high level of education in Germany is confirmed by many sources.

Sometimes educated people make bad choices. Stupid people are not the only ones who mess things up.
phyllo
ILP Legend

Posts: 11235
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

phyllo wrote:
I have difficultly imagining any large body of people could possibly be educated in the 1800s. Sure there were pockets on intelligentsia, but nothing like today where almost everyone can read.
So you're going to hang on to that idea, even though the high level of education in Germany is confirmed by many sources.

Your ONE source is "John Gordon, Keen interest in History". Heck, I have a keen interest in history, why am I not a source?

Further, "high level of education" is relative to the education of the rest of the world, which as I said, is hard to imagine being on par with today.

Germany back then was much like America today: the Jews are smart and the uneducated Christians protested their immorality. Hitler appealed to the stupid Christians to persecute the immoral Jews. Same thing the Right Wing is doing today, only with less focus on the Jews in particular, but liberals, academia, and sometimes Jews too, depending how far Right they are.

It's the smarties vs the stupids.

It's the Dunning-Krugers vs the Freddy Kruegers

Sometimes educated people make bad choices. Stupid people are not the only ones who mess things up.

So it's better to be stupid than smart?
Serendipper
Philosopher

Posts: 2178
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:30 pm

### Re: Capitalism vs Socialism

Just want to point out that "private consumption" isn't the metric it's being used as in this thread. Worldbank provides the following clarification:
Household final consumption expenditure (formerly private consumption) is the market value of all goods and services, including durable products (such as cars, washing machines, and home computers), purchased by households. It excludes purchases of dwellings but includes imputed rent for owner-occupied dwellings. It also includes payments and fees to governments to obtain permits and licenses. Here, household consumption expenditure includes the expenditures of nonprofit institutions serving households, even when reported separately by the country. This item also includes any statistical discrepancy in the use of resources relative to the supply of resources.

A few things to note:
1) This is looking at households, so presumably excludes expenditures by businesses and non-household non-profits. But if healthier societies have a more productive business sector, this will lead to false-negatives for what we're calling 'capitalist' countries.
2) The inclusion of "payments and fees to governments" complicates things substantially. A more 'socialist' country would be expected to have higher fees to government as a percentage of GDP, but as it's being used those fees would be scored as making it more 'capitalist'.
3) Even taken at face value, this seems to elide an important distinction, i.e. countries with large GDPs and small governments and countries with small GDPs and no governments will look the same, even though there is a clear and important distinction between them. I don't think anyone is claiming that a failed state is a capitalist utopia, so a measure that scores failed states as such is misleading.

I think the discussion here got too heated too fast. It does not seem that 'capitalism' and 'socialism' have been well-enough defined for a proper disagreement to be found. See e.g. Norway, which is often claimed by both camps as a success story. Similarly, re: Singapore, Georgist libertarians absolutely support government ownership of land (or what is effectively the same thing, a land value tax that captures all rents from land ownership).

Without a clearer definition of terms, it's all vitriol and no vs.
User Control Panel > Board preference > Edit display options > Display signatures: No.
Carleas
Magister Ludi

Posts: 5829
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:10 pm
Location: Washington DC, USA

PreviousNext