Socialism Vs Capitalism

By on May 4, 2009 2:32:50 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

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Hey guys, one thing before we start, please keep it civil
I know many of you heard of such debates where one side gave his word on Socialism
while the other side gave the word for Capitalism, so this is a place to share your oppinion.
and sorry for any mistakes, as English is far not my main language

Anyways, 3 days ago we had 1st May Day, the day of the workers
I wont say where i am from, but i can say that i am from a democratic capitalistic country
and there were a whole lot of people comming out with red flags waving and shouting for socialism.
I know many people in here are from USA, and USA education have a tendancy to teach the youth
that socialism is in fact evil with no human rights or whatever...
Sure both sides got thair ups and downs, but when it comes to "rights" socialism is just as
good as capitalism, just in a different way. So please avoid throwing in false facts.

Soon im planning on traveling to Cuba for like 5+ months, to live in there
to see how its like, to meet new people, to talk to them, to reserch about their life
i mean, one thing is what newspapers tell us, another thing is to interview true socialists.
Both my parents are socialists by the way, and with time i find more and more interest in socialism myself.
Mainly due the capitalist hostile world i see all around me, with the huge corporations that inslave workers
and how my parents are scared as hell to loose thair job, and are rdy to do anything to keep it.

Now i never was rich, in fact im more like middle class, but even today i see how my parents
fighting to survive, just so that we wont loose our house, just like many americans did.
many blame the crisis but its a different topic, lets stay on this one.

i spent some time today reserching the unknown world of socialism
i say unknown because i find it difficult to trust media, yet its the only tool i have
threw which i can see the world around me, so i read international news, same news from diffrent
points of view, and i found this page:
http://www.workers.org/ww/2002/cuba0627.php

sure some may say its propoganda, others will shout blinldy against socialism
but i beliave that when people vote, they show the truth, and when i see 9 million cubans
that is out of 11 million cubans (remember there are undaraged childer who cant vote)
when i see so many vote for socialism, i must admit, there must be a reason for it.
some may say they vote so out of fear, yet if they were scared then they would of avoid voting at all.

I must admit, i think its better to live in a country where i dont have to be scared like shit to end up on the street
just because my boss dont like my haircut, so he throw me out, i loose my home, and with it everything ales...
I also admit that i prefare free health care, so that i know that when the time comes and i will end up with some
really nasty crap going on with me, i can trust my goverment to take care of me without it checking my insurace first.
and in case i dont have it, to kick me out of the same door i came in, and to forget about me.

And i must admit, that equality starts with education, and when education is totaly free
i know that i dont have to have rich father so that ill be able to register to Harward-like univercity.

Do i prefare to surcifice all the things above just so that ill have a sport car with LCD screens and 3 houses
and a super computer? no, i prefare to live a simple life, where i can date a girl without worreing that
i dont have a BMW to show her, or without worreing that i cant take her to some expancive restoraunt.
a simple life where brands are not the focus of my life and my money, where all people are equal, even if somewhat poor!
Thats me, please guys dont attack me because of my views on things, i went threw a lot in my life
and i can trully say that i dont like capitalism at all.

Open your mind, and share

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May 4, 2009 2:49:44 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

The evolution of worldwide economics starts with getting rid of abuse and social classes based on wealth.

When all people are born and raised equal on Earth then we'll be able to detect and encourage the possibly unique genius who will (or might, some day) cure cancer or provide anything else worth anyone's hopes for true progress.

It's got nothing to do about Socialism or Capitalism, in fact. No even Utopic, religious or philosophical.

It's that WE never could find THE precious kid through the currently unbalanced Education systems or HUGE handicaps in society conditions.

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May 4, 2009 2:58:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hello CCA.

There is not only capitalism and socialism in the world. Different countries favor different styles and ususally no style is 100% one or the other. There are a lot of "capitalistic" countries out there, which have a free social system for their citizens. The germans call their system "social capitalism", I think (although I might be wrong). Some scandinavian countries call their system different, too...

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May 4, 2009 3:24:02 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GHenrikG,
Hello CCA.

There is not only capitalism and socialism in the world. Different countries favor different styles and ususally no style is 100% one or the other. There are a lot of "capitalistic" countries out there, which have a free social system for their citizens. The germans call their system "social capitalism", I think (although I might be wrong). Some scandinavian countries call their system different, too...

indeed, there are wide differences in application of capitalism. what is acceptable in the us is in many case weird for some europeans and vice versa.

I think most arguments pro/ contra the two sides have been widely discussed, so let me think of one other point which I think has not received the bulk of attention: you see, in capitalism, many decisions are taken by 'the market', that is by the individual actors, companies, consumers, etc. the government takes a generally smaller role and there is (theoretically) a lesser consolidation of power. decisions are decentralised. this is not only a good thing because the ones closer attached to decisions often have better information and self interest to make the best bargains, it also limits political leaders to abuse their power.

the truth is: socialism in itself is not an entirely bad thing. wanting to give everyone equal opportunities and giving people with less potential a decent standard of living is essentially a good intention. but history has proven that power corrupts more often than not and I cannot recall any socialist regime that has not resulted in a de facto dictatorship sooner or later. (I do see the issues with the an egalitarian system not valuing someone's higher effort or skills, but that is not my point here). a proverb from my mother language fits well here: 'the opposite of good is well-intended'.

the result is that capitalism is not a particularly good option, but the better of the two evils. the best approach imo is use its strengths and try to use the government ie the public to iron out its weaknesses. just how far you go with this is the point of contention, but I guess that is something you can discuss a long, long time.

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May 4, 2009 3:46:57 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I cannot recall any socialist regime that has not resulted in a de facto dictatorship sooner or later.

Germany, Norway, Japan, Canada? All of these are "socialist" by the US definition, and last time I checked they all have active (some might say TOO active) political processes. If you look at the evidence history gives us, it's safe to say that the optimal economy operates somewhere between capitalist and socialist systems.

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May 4, 2009 3:59:02 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Scoutdog,

I cannot recall any socialist regime that has not resulted in a de facto dictatorship sooner or later.
Germany, Norway, Japan, Canada? All of these are "socialist" by the US definition, and last time I checked they all have active (some might say TOO active) political processes. If you look at the evidence history gives us, it's safe to say that the optimal economy operates somewhere between capitalist and socialist systems.

you consider those countries socialist? well, I dunno, but socialist countries for me are/ were the sowjet union, cuba, north korea and the like. the countries you listed rather are something called social market economy. just consider the huge, huge difference between west and east germany and then tell again that both were socialst economies.

to really tell, you'd have to start by determining the difference between capitalism and socialism, or rather define the two. I'd say, in a nutshell, the main difference is that in capitalism, prices and wages are in general determined via supply and demand, whereas in socialism prices are fixed by the state. that is the most direct way to achieve equality and iirc it is exactly what was done (among other things).

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May 4, 2009 4:05:21 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

The evolution of worldwide economics starts with getting rid of abuse and social classes based on wealth.

Good luck with that.  Not that it would work.

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May 4, 2009 4:07:52 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Shadowhal,

Quoting GHenrikG, reply 2Hello CCA.

There is not only capitalism and socialism in the world. Different countries favor different styles and ususally no style is 100% one or the other. There are a lot of "capitalistic" countries out there, which have a free social system for their citizens. The germans call their system "social capitalism", I think (although I might be wrong). Some scandinavian countries call their system different, too...
indeed, there are wide differences in application of capitalism. what is acceptable in the us is in many case weird for some europeans and vice versa.

I think most arguments pro/ contra the two sides have been widely discussed, so let me think of one other point which I think has not received the bulk of attention: you see, in capitalism, many decisions are taken by 'the market', that is by the individual actors, companies, consumers, etc. the government takes a generally smaller role and there is (theoretically) a lesser consolidation of power. decisions are decentralised. this is not only a good thing because the ones closer attached to decisions often have better information and self interest to make the best bargains, it also limits political leaders to abuse their power.

the truth is: socialism in itself is not an entirely bad thing. wanting to give everyone equal opportunities and giving people with less potential a decent standard of living is essentially a good intention. but history has proven that power corrupts more often than not and I cannot recall any socialist regime that has not resulted in a de facto dictatorship sooner or later. (I do see the issues with the an egalitarian system not valuing someone's higher effort or skills, but that is not my point here). a proverb from my mother language fits well here: 'the opposite of good is well-intended'.

the result is that capitalism is not a particularly good option, but the better of the two evils. the best approach imo is use its strengths and try to use the government ie the public to iron out its weaknesses. just how far you go with this is the point of contention, but I guess that is something you can discuss a long, long time.

Thanks for the informative reply
i wanted to focus mainly on socialism and capitalism as those are the main focus of the media today
here in my country, many stood up for socialism, i think it was due to 2 reasons:
1. The harsh and difficult capitalist world
2. The economical crisis which resulted in many people end up living on savings and forced to leave or sell thair appt's
In fact all over Europe a whole lots of people came out with red flags shouting for socialism
so i guess they are not really happy with the "half" part, and looks like they want it to be 100% socialism.

Now you said "you see, in capitalism, many decisions are taken by 'the market', that is by the individual actors, companies, consumers, etc. the government takes a generally smaller role and there is", sure you are right
but it is not a good side of capitalism, its the bad side of capitalism.
I can explain, when the large corporations make their own rules, it leads to a corporate state
a good excample is Japan, where, if you are not a part of a corporation, then you are no one.

Socialism is more about what the people want, even though there is a leader
he cant do much as in the end its the people who controll everything, sure you are right it may lead to dictatorship
but not because someone wanted too much power, but because the people allowed it to happen.
a good excample is Germany during and somewhat before WW2, it was the people who voted for dictatorship
and, as a result, german people had quiet a good quality of life, even though it resulted in the destruction
and death of milions over millions. the german nation had no idea that the man they vote for will lead germany
to the darkest pages of the human history, all they wanted was a better life, just like we do.

And even in the US, if im not mistaken, about 50% of the population prefared socialism over capitalism.
Overall just rememer what Marx said: there is no question wether communism will ever take place
the only question is when, as it will avantualy happen. (cant quote, so i came up with the basic idea)
some people even think that with today economic crisis, its already happaning.
the word "socialism" really start to show itself in nowdays news. with media covering all over the world
how more and more people go out to the streets shouting for socialism. (mainly european countrys)

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May 4, 2009 4:11:10 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting Daiwa,

The evolution of worldwide economics starts with getting rid of abuse and social classes based on wealth.
Good luck with that.  Not that it would work.

why not? you see, dont be so hopeless, it have a tendancy to stick to your serounding (freands etc..)
instead you should say "i dont want to be some rich guys puppet, and i will show it by going out and show it with my vote"

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May 4, 2009 4:13:44 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

-isms can so easily make a discussion messy, but let me throw in another one to help mark out the USSR and North Korea: Stalinism. Maoism is a variation of Stalinsm, best I can tell, and the important part--murdering to get your way--is the same.

If you take your Marx seriously at least in terms of intellectual history, socialism is a stage on the way to true communism (which we've yet to see in reality). Stalinism is authoritarian socialism that tries to call itself communism, while the 'social democratic' parties of western Europe tend to advocate a limited role for state ownership and a strong role for labor and trade unions.

Here in the US, our vocabulary is mostly hosed by decades of our side of Cold War propaganda. But with the USSR gone and our Cold War generation dying off, maybe in another decade or three we'll be able to speak more calmly and clearly on the subject.

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May 4, 2009 4:14:35 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

By the way i really recommend to read about Marxsims
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism#Main_ideas
not because i want to convert you into socialism but because i want you to look at capitalism from
a driffferent prospective

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May 4, 2009 4:19:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting GW Swicord,
-isms can so easily make a discussion messy, but let me throw in another one to help mark out the USSR and North Korea: Stalinism. Maoism is a variation of Stalinsm, best I can tell, and the important part--murdering to get your way--is the same.

If you take your Marx seriously at least in terms of intellectual history, socialism is a stage on the way to true communism (which we've yet to see in reality). Stalinism is authoritarian socialism that tries to call itself communism, while the 'social democratic' parties of western Europe tend to advocate a limited role for state ownership and a strong role for labor and trade unions.

Here in the US, our vocabulary is mostly hosed by decades of our side of Cold War propaganda. But with the USSR gone and our Cold War generation dying off, maybe in another decade or three we'll be able to speak more calmly and clearly on the subject.

Hell i am socialist and im totlay anti USSR, i think it was more like a dictatorship with its name changed to communism.
the thing is that today people are smarter, and hopefully today a true socialism can gain some good reputation
unfortunatly many countrys are scared to convert or to even try as the iron hand of USA will crash them like a little bug
and im not saing it from thin air, i read it on many accesions on articals about socialism.
Good excample is how Bush tried to force cuba to convert to capitalism "do it or starve to death with our embargo"

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May 4, 2009 4:24:21 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Capitalist systems have provided more aid to third world & impoverished countries than all socialist systems combined.  Once the destruction of the capitalist system is complete, there will be nothing to take its place but the likes of Hugo Chavez's revolution.  Who will 'take from the rich' once the rich are gone? (Actually, wealth will just get diminished, confiscated & concentrated in the hands of thugocrats, until there's no more to confiscate).

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May 4, 2009 4:24:48 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

K i found the 6 steps of "evolution" by Marx, evolution os society it is starts with 1 ends with 6:

  1. Primitive Communism: as seen in cooperative tribal societies.
  2. Slave Society: which develops when the tribe becomes a city-state. Aristocracy is born.
  3. Feudalism: aristocracy is the ruling class. Merchants develop into capitalists.
  4. Capitalism: capitalists are the ruling class, who create and employ the true working class.
  5. Dictatorship of the proletariat: workers gain class consciousness, overthrow the capitalists and take control over the state.
  6. Communism: a classless and stateless society.

Edit: Daiwa you are talking about Dictatorship... its not communism
And, dont forget about all the aid that communist countrys recived from USSR
for example Cuba was just yet another country, but once it turned into Socialist, USSR gave them so much support
that USA fall into panic and dropped the trade embargo on them. if USSR wouldnt fall, Cuba could of be
a very powerfull and rich country today.

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May 4, 2009 4:29:32 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Well, I tend to believe, being born and raised in a "socialist" country, and since 20 years, tasting "bitter sweet" capitalism, both are evil, with the personal favor tendency towards socialism. I think capitalism, causes and raises greed mistrust and rivalry between human beings, which is bad, somehow very destructive socially and culturally.

Socialism, as a stage towards communism, has never been practiced yet either, nor it will ever. It will stay a nice utopy, it would requier centuries of "training" ourselves globally and at the same speed and time, to achieve.

Probably a "unified" econimical theory, a mixture, would be the way to go.

I thing, the whole US-Thinktank nighmare, being actively developing in south america looks very interresting and promising.

For the first time in history, a whole continent seems to move to a single direction, trying to develop a consiousness, with a completely different goal-- equally spred wealth.

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May 4, 2009 4:33:40 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Quoting MrKorx,
Well, I tend to believe, being born and raised in a "socialist" country, and since 20 years, tasting "bitter sweet" capitalism, both are evil, with the personal favor tendency towards socialism. I think capitalism, causes and raises greed mistrust and rivalry between human beings, which is bad.

Socialism, as a stage towards communism, has never been practiced yet either, nor it will ever. It will stay a nice utopy, it would requier centuries of "training" ourselves globally and at the same speed and time, to achieve.

Probably a "unified" econimical theory, a mixture, would be the way to go.

I thing, the whole US-Thinktank nighmare, being actively developing in south america looks very interresting and promising.

For the first time in history, a whole continent seems to move to a single direction, trying to develop a consiousness, with a completely different goal-- equally spred wealth.

I agree, and i wounder what do you think about Cuba where, even though are very poor, 98% of the people
voted for Socialism?

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May 4, 2009 4:36:22 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

for example Cuba was just yet another country, but once it turned into Socialist, USSR gave them so much support
that USA fall into panic and dropped the trade embargo on them. if USSR wouldnt fall, Cuba could of be
a very powerfull and rich country today.

Its rather more, if the US would cancel the still in place embargo, as the United Nations wish, except these three coutries...

then they could freely develop and compete.

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May 4, 2009 4:41:12 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Capitalism is not a political system, it's an economic principle.

As a result, you can't "judge" socialism against it.

The error most people make is to tie communism with the socialist (the term is important here, not -ism but -ist) economic perspectives.

Now please do introduce "democratic" *POLITICAL* system in any of the following circumstances; wealth, health, standards of living, property, government, consuming. By choice, populations can alter these or maintain their society capitalized enough to generate more or less of anything.

More property to the wealthy, less consuming for the poor. Etc.

Monarchy & Feudalism were discarded for a reason. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity -- sounds familiar? Revolutions.

If Capitalism is bad for a vast majority, i'll gamble less than half of my life savings (call me prudent with my investment logic) on a better economic system BEFORE free-market collapses in any social(ism-ist) contexts. Be it politically driven or not. By governments OR populations.

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May 4, 2009 4:43:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

well, just two things:

one: you said 'the market' making the decisions is a bad thing. why? who else should make the decisions? the government? with the market, at least I can decide if I want to buy and what I want to buy. if all supply is controlled by some centrally organised body, then I'll have a lot less of a choice. the heart of capitalism of competition. you are better at something then someone else, you will have more money. ceteris paribus this results in better products and/ or lower prices. granted, you can opt out of consumerism and just crap on the all the stuff you don't really need, but it's hard to argue that cars, mobile phones, household appliances are just consumer crap that don't actually imrove anything in your life. the truth is that nothing is a successful as appealing to peoples' self interest.

the second thing: people have learned from their mistakes and a peaceful, just and non-oppressive socialism is possible? maybe I'm just awfully cynic, but I have little faith in mankind to believe people actually learn from past mistakes. the vast majority of mankind is a pack of stupid, blind, naive, manipulatable sheeps. if you are interested in socialism, you probably followed the development in venezuela. I did. at first I thought 'ok, well, not the way I would do it, but at least well-intended. hope it doesn't go wrong and Chavez clutches to power.' what did he do? he did some good stuff with the money from the oil boom, but more long term investments would have been prudent. but more importantly, he repeatedly tried to get extra terms as president. which he now has. and another one also tried that, not sure, was it Morales? my point: that is not the way to democracy. there are enough people to see what way this might be going and it's still headed for that direction. no, people don't learn.

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May 4, 2009 4:46:15 PM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

USA education have a tendancy to teach the youth
that socialism is in fact evil with no human rights or whatever...

 

No, ignorant neoconservatives have a tendency to preach that socialism is evil and all of their political opponents are of course, socialist. We're taught in school about all forms of economics, and by law can't be forced to believe one way or another. Please don't stereotype all americans for the same ideology.

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May 4, 2009 4:47:27 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

To Cuba, also Vietnam, I can say, they got a very good part in education and traing from us, the former GDR. Which pays off now. For Cuba, one of the best medical systems world wide. One can only imagine, what the could achive without these foreign bondages.

The couselor of Chavez in also (east)german

 

And ... democracy should not be connected to any economical system, if it is supposed to work as intended and invented.

Officially, the former eastern block was fully recognized by the UN as democratic. Also, one must wonder how democratic a 2 Party System is, when there is such a strong interaction between politics and econimics... and these elections with voting maschines... wasn't there also some slight disturbances, when a Mr Bush came into power?

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May 4, 2009 4:58:27 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

K i found the 6 steps of "evolution" by Marx, evolution os society it is starts with 1 ends with 6:

Well, you see that's where Karl Marx was somehow wrong. Communism failed because 1) HIS proletariat (as defined, workers class only) didn't want control over state issues and 2) certainly not from Capitalism principles.

I'll bring the Argentina or Sweden "experiments" here for a minute if you don't mind; neither can be called a Socialist "system" in a pure sense of the word for good reasons -- trade with international commerce as calculated by their GNP.

Isolation aside, they delt with banking systems as a device to exploit rather than be dependant upon. Not socialism or capitalism, again. The will of the people.

 

 

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May 4, 2009 5:02:23 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I'm more or less what passes for a US democratic socialist, so I feel obliged to point out that the Cuba embargo is way older than the last Bush administration and all of us with sympathies of this sort need to ask ourselves whether Cuba's outstanding literacy rate and (formerly?) strong health care system are worth the costs the people on the island have paid in terms of civil liberties.

At least until such time as we can be confident they're having free and fair elections and they make the call for themselves, at which point we can start a different argument with them.

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May 4, 2009 5:15:35 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

What is so so often praised civil liberty worth, if you can't afford it? I guess, if one probably needs a new kidney, the he can well be without civil liberty. But what me  also constantly wonders, since 20 years, what a strange picture the "west" got from the former "east".

I do not see any tendency for any sort of "revolutionary" movement in the west at the moment, though als sign show toward it globally.... I can proudly say, I was part of one... just to find out, that both sides got sold (out)...

Nothing new in history, in terms of keeping might in place, only the means differ.

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May 4, 2009 5:19:57 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think that in practice socialism will never really work out the way we'd like it to, and there are some intrinsic unfairnesses involved. If in my job I earn more that other people might, and other people need that money more than I do, it's undeniably the right thing to do to give them the money that they need which I would probably end up spending on some unnecessary luxury item. However, my question is whether it is right, if someone does not want to be charitable, for the government to take the fruits of his labor, which he has worked hard to earn and sacrificed all kinds of time and effort for, and give it to someone else against his will. Ideally, of course, everyone would be perfectly willing to give up whatever was necessary to help those in need, but if that were the case there would be no need for socialism, or government at all for that matter, to exist. I think that it is impossible for any kind of government to create a utopia, because in a utopia, governments are completely unnecessary. They are simply the means by which we seek to protect ourselves from a flawed society.

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May 4, 2009 5:24:36 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Citizens!  Have no fear!  Socialist nations are on the uprising! Just look at the USA.  Finnally coming to their senses.  Capitaialism is a thing of the past! Socialism is the future, become a valued citizen and take part in the effort for the benefit of the nation! And contribute your socitey's needs!

 

(I really have no interest in this topic, I just figured it was a funny coincidence that there be a topic based off my namesake.)

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