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I'm just curious as to what a socialist believes. Never really have thought about it. Intrigue me. :)
I consider myself fairly socialist. I think that Capitalism leaves greed and corruption to un-regulated and that communism leads to censorship, totalitarianism, and overall bad things.
I think socialism (if it's done correctly) allows the government to stop people from starving on the street without taking away their motivation to do anything. There will always be those who are unwilling to work, they'll just not be starving in socialism.
That my (very general) opinion, what's yours if I might ask? :)
See that is the thing, I don't know. I'm not a socialist, but I'm surious as to what a socialist believes in to get a better understanding.
Ok so what exactly would happen under a socialist government? What would income distribution be, and how would it take place? What is the definition of socialism? These are all questions I've had for awhile, and when I Google them I mostly get abstract or extremely generalized answers.
I think I can help you with this one. In the modern world, the most common form of socialism is social democracy.
Social Democracy is a political ideology which is (of course) always democratic. It is pro-equality, in other words it tries through a variety of ways to minimize economic and social inequalities. It is also, most often, pro-labour.
All political ideologies are concerned with the trade off between freedom and equality. Each system tries to balance this trade off in what it believes to be the best way. Socialism or socialist democracy, believe that equality is more important than personal freedom. Liberal democratic theory, the system which America is most closely alligned with, beleives that persona freedom should take presidence over equality.
Many european countries already have social- democratic governements and programs in place.
As for income distrubution, in social-democracy, the market is always free, but is often subject to government intervention when they see fit, much the same as in the United States, although usually more so.
When the market is controlled, or closed in socialism, there are a number of ways to distribute income. It can simply be handed out, like welfare to both those who do and do not work, but modern theorists tend to disagree with this method.
Athough this has never been done, some theorist suggest allowing workers to create and run companies democractically, or communally. In other words, no one person would own a business. Every worker would have an equal footing in ownership and policy decisions. The size of the paycheck workers take home would be voted upon collectively. Income would still depend on work, but for those who could not work, an income would be given, and for those who refused to work, the bare minimum for survival would be issued. At the same time, these worker-run companies would be able to sell their goods on the market, whether closed or open. These companies would receive their start-up money from the government and of course, pay taxes back to support other companies and those who could not work. This is one theory of how incomes would work, and I tend to agree with it.
As an advocate for social-democracy, I believe in free healthcare, and education (at all levels, including post-secondary).
Social-democracy also advocates as much direct participation in democratic proceedings as possible. Google "participatory budgeting" and you should find some interesting material.
Social-democracy is the accepted form of socialism in the world today. It takes an abstarct, if somewhat ambigious theory, and puts it into a format that is possible to use.
Many of the Scandinavian countries of northern Europe are socialist. Canada, although largely aligned with the liberal ideology, has many aspects of socialism, such as free basic healthcare, issued by province. The province of Quebec, espeically, is inclined towards socialist ideas.
I could keep going on and on, but I'll leave it here. I hope some of this will help you understand socialism a little better. Just remember that socialism, communism and facism are comepletely seperate ideologies, not to be confused with each other.
Don't forget that Communism has never been implemented correctly. Stalin and Castro just called themselves Communists for the image. If you read Marx's "Communist Manifesto" and then look at the Soviet Union and China and South America you'll see that nothing lines up.
I identify as a Marxist because the word "Communist" is too touchy.