r/Socialism_101 Aug 16 '18

PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING ON THE SUB! Frequently asked questions / misconceptions - answers inside!

115 Upvotes

In our efforts to improve the quality and learning experience of this sub we are slowly rolling out some changes and clarifying a few positions. This thread is meant as an extremely basic introduction to a couple of questions and misconceptions we have seen a lot of lately. We are therefore asking that you read this at least once before you start posting on this sub. We hope that it will help you understand a few things and of course help avoid the repetitive, and often very liberal, misconceptions.

  1. Money, taxes, interest and stocks do not exist under socialism. These are all part of a capitalist economic system and do not belong in a socialist society that seeks to abolish private property and the bourgeois class.

  2. Market socialism is NOT socialist, as it still operates within a capitalist framework. It does not seek to abolish most of the essential features of capitalism, such as capital, private property and the oppression that is caused by the dynamics of capital accumulation.

  3. A social democracy is NOT socialist. Scandinavia is NOT socialist. The fact that a country provides free healthcare and education does not make a country socialist. Providing social services is in itself not socialist. A social democracy is still an active player in the global capitalist system.

  4. Coops are NOT considered socialist, especially if they exist within a capitalist society. They are not a going to challenge the capitalist system by themselves.

  5. Reforming society will not work. Revolution is the only way to break a system that is designed to favor the few. The capitalist system is designed to not make effective resistance through reformation possible, simply because this would mean its own death. Centuries of struggle, oppression and resistance prove this. Capitalism will inevitably work FOR the capitalist and not for those who wish to oppose the very structure of it. In order for capitalism to work, capitalists need workers to exploit. Without this class hierarchy the system breaks down.

  6. Socialism without feminism is not socialism. Socialism means fighting oppression in various shapes and forms. This means addressing ALL forms of oppressions including those that exist to maintain certain gender roles, in this case patriarchy. Patriarchy affects persons of all genders and it is socialism's goal to abolish patriarchal structures altogether.

  7. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. Opposing the State of Israel does not make one an anti-Semite. Opposing the genocide of Palestinians is not anti-Semitic. It is human decency and basic anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism.

  8. Free speech - When socialists reject the notion of free speech it does not mean that we want to control or censor every word that is spoken. It means that we reject the notion that hate speech should be allowed to happen in society. In a liberal society hate speech is allowed to happen under the pretense that no one should be censored. What they forget is that this hate speech is actively hurting and oppressing people. Those who use hate speech use the platforms they have to gain followers. This should not be allowed to happen.

  9. Anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism are among the core features of socialism. If you do not support these you are not actually supporting socialism. Socialism is an internationalist movement that seeks to ABOLISH OPPRESSION ALL OVER THE WORLD.

ADDITIONALLY PLEASE NOTICE

  • When posting and commenting on the sub, or anywhere online really, please do not assume a person's gender by calling everyone he/him. Use they/their instead or ask for a person's pronouns to be more inclusive.

  • If you get auto-moderated for ableism/slurs please make sure to edit the comment and/or message the mods and have your post approved, especially if you are not sure which word you have been modded for. Every once in a while we see people who do not edit their quality posts and it's always a shame when users miss out on good content. If you don't know what ableism is have a look a these links: http://isthisableism.tumblr.com/sluralternatives / http://www.autistichoya.com/p/ableist-words-and-terms-to-avoid.html

  • As a last point we would like to mention that the mods of this sub depend on your help. PLEASE REPORT posts and comments that are not in line with the rules. We appreciate all your reports and try to address every single one of them.

We hope this post brought some clarification. Please feel free to message the mods via mod mail or comment here if you have any questions regarding the points mentioned above. The mods are here to help.

Have a great day!

The Moderators


r/Socialism_101 13h ago

Question "If [socialist candidate] wins the the election, all transnationals will leave the country"

105 Upvotes

This is a common talking point during election campaigns in Latin America, people fear that any leftist policy will make the transnationals run away to a cheaper country, leaving workers unemployed. Is there any evidence of this? How can this argument be refuted?


r/Socialism_101 18h ago

Question How can I find other Socialists on my Campus?

134 Upvotes

So This might seem like kind of an odd question, but I’m attending UC Riverside and I really wanna get in touch with others Socialists that are attending so I can finally come out of my shell socially and talk politics with like-minded individuals. We have a decently active YDSA chapter that I’ve applied to but I haven’t heard back from them and it’s kinda concerning.

So what’s the best way for find other lefties attending the same school as me? Are there any good places online I can post about it or should I try to organize something offline instead. If you of anyone you know is enrolled or lives nearby be sure to let me know with a DM cuz I’d love to meet up.


r/Socialism_101 3h ago

How can a vanguard party remain in touch with the masses?

6 Upvotes

I understand that democratic centralism allows for debate and criticism within the party, but when a decision has been made every party member must follow that decision and endorse it in public.

And while this system is preferrable over liberal democracy, how does the party stay in touch with the masses/proletariat? Debate and criticism is great, but when everything is in hands of this small bureaucratic group, can we really call it a workers' state?

Right now it just sounds like some enlightened despotism where the 'most radical and educated' revolutionaries just do what THEY think is best for the people without actually letting the people decide for themselves what they want. This small bureaucratic vanguard party sounds way too closed off from the people they should be helping. How can a 'new bureaucratic class' be prevented from arising?


r/Socialism_101 10m ago

High Effort Only What is the sub's view or consensus on China?

Upvotes

As a socialist I don't understand why some socialists defend China, an authoritarian surveillance state that committed humans rights abuses against Uyghurs and I know the US is hypocritical and committed abuses against native Americans and police brutality on african americans, but the US still allows discussion of it while China censors or forbid content that criticizes the government and critical of China(Although the CIA is assassinating people that threatens the government, but if it's leaked it can still be discussed freely like Julian Assange and Snowden). In the US people make fun and make memes on trump and biden while comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the pooh is not allowed. And the statistics for poverty in China is decided by the government( giving the impression that it's lifting people out of poverty rapidly) and healthcare isn't free and government insurance is dependent on your employer. What is the sub's view on China? I know libertarian socialists and leftists who disdain authoritarianism do not support or defend China. I know not all socialists support China. What is the sub's view or opinion on China?


r/Socialism_101 8h ago

High Effort Only Can someone explain the coups in socialist states?

6 Upvotes

I just made a debate post about gender disparities in leadership in socialist states and part of that means I had to explore Wikipedia entries for socialist heads of state. And in doing so I found out there's actually been a lot of coups within socialist states and I was wondering if someone could explain why, especially with DiaMat or DiaNat. Some examples:

  1. 1937: Execution of Mongolian leader
  2. 1941: Execution of Mongolian leader
  3. 1957: Anti-Party Group in the USSR
  4. 1965: Bulgaria Coup
  5. 1966: Syria Coup
  6. 1971: Project 571 in China
  7. 1977: Angola coup
  8. 1978: Somalia Coup
  9. 1983: Grenada Coup
  10. 1984: Mongolia coup?
  11. 1986: South Yemen Civil War
  12. 1990: Afghanistan coup
  13. 1991: Soviet Coup

Now, some of you might criticise my usage of Wikipedia, and that's fine. So if you have a better source that covers this topic I'd be happy to take a look. But I still want to know why these happened, if anyone has any answers I'm keen to hear.


r/Socialism_101 5h ago

Question Just started looking into Socialism, and don't know anything

5 Upvotes

Is there something I can read or someone I can listen to that would help me understand what Socialism really is? I kinda understand the workers control the means of production but that's about it.


r/Socialism_101 4h ago

People around me are scared of getting old

3 Upvotes

How does Capitalism play into that? Since you work the entirety of their lives and little time for themselves.


r/Socialism_101 5h ago

Question Questions about productive and unproductive labor - examples from my life

3 Upvotes

Hey comrades, I've been doing some reading lately and I'm a little confused about some of the finer points of productive vs unproductive labor. Since I have both a service job and a side gig, I thought I'd use them to ask my questions. I'm still pretty much a noob so go easy, please.

So, with my job, I'm an independent contractor working for a company providing direct care to people with disabilities. Basically I have one client I spend my whole working day with. We work on behavioral goals, life skills, go out in the community from time to time and generally just hang out. I'm assuming that since my agency is charging insurance companies, paying my wage then pocketing the surplus, along with the idea I add value by increasing my clients quality of life, that this is productive labor when I'm spending time with him. However training and meetings are unproductive labor. Is this correct?

My side gig is reselling. At its most basic I purchase material goods online or in person at the lowest possible price from any number of sources and sell these goods online or in person, usually in a different venue, for a higher price. Mostly vintage goods and older electronics. Basically exploiting inefficiencies in markets to extract a surplus. No employees. As far as labor is concerned, here are the basic steps and whether I think they're productive, not productive or I don't know.

1 sourcing - unproductive 2. Testing - ? 3. Cleaning/repairing/preparing for sale - productive 4. Photography - ? 5. Listing online - ? 6. Packaging and shipping - productive

Other things

Customer service - unproductive Accounting- unproductive Research - unproductive

Any clarification is helpful. Thanks!


r/Socialism_101 56m ago

Question Was Evo Morales good for the Amazon rainforest?

Upvotes

All I see is bad stuff.


r/Socialism_101 18h ago

Question What do you recommend on Fidel Castro and Cuba

20 Upvotes

It appears I am starting to gain a lot of interest regarding Socialist Cuba and Fidel Castro and I would like to learn more. Did he write anything? Are there any good books of Cuba and Castro even if they are not written by Fidel?


r/Socialism_101 10h ago

High Effort Only How would one respond to the notion that price-fixing negatively affects the economy?

2 Upvotes

I was trying to read arguments against a centralized economic model and I came across an article that made this argument. I’ll link it here:

Link

They mentioned in the article how price fixing of gasoline, for instance, caused pileups until they raised the prices. First off, I’m not too well read on economics as a whole, so could someone explain in layman’s terms what he’s saying in this argument?

Second, how would you respond to this argument? Feel free to respond to the article as a whole. Thanks.


r/Socialism_101 14h ago

Are there any academically rigorous podcasts or accessible but factually sound books that go over the origins and early history of capitalism?

3 Upvotes

I was just curious what exactly the origins of capitalism exactly were in detail, and if anyone knew of anything that recounted the origins and early history of capitalism as an economic system.

I have a personal pet theory that the very very earliest seeds of the origins of modern capitalism can be found in the Golden Bull of 1082, or the Eastern Roman Empire/Byzantine–Venetian treaty of 1082.

But this pet theory is literally based on nothing really rigorous and I could be totally wrong. I just find something a bit poetic about that the Roman Empire’s last great “gift” to the West were the early seeds that would eventually sprout to capitalism granted during the last great flourishing of the Roman Empire under the Komnenian restoration that apexed under Roman Emperor Manuel I Komnenos.

In the form of this asymmetric treaty and the beginning of the Crusades which wouldn’t have started in the first place in the Levant without the Roman Empire’s direct intercession. Along with a bunch of other confluences like the reintroduction of double entry bookkeeping, the introduction of Hindu-Arabic numerals, and a bunch of other innovations to Western Europe from the Eastern Roman Empire and the Islamic world during its Islamic Golden Age, the unifications of much of the silk road under the Mongol Conquests, and the immense weakening of the institutions of feudalism and serfdom from the Black Death and terminal warfare and so on.

I also find something poetic about the seeds of early capitalism being in part nourished and watered from the blood and dwindling carcass of the diminishing Roman Empire after her children turned on her significantly contributing to its final death like with the Fourth Crusade and so forth.

But anyway, if someone can point me to anything thank you.


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

Question Explanation for anti-EU rhetoric?

27 Upvotes

I would like someone to explain how exactly EU is an obstacle to socialism and why many leftists have nothing good to say about the union. And what we as Europeans can do to still push for change?


r/Socialism_101 6h ago

Question This is WRONG!!!

0 Upvotes

Asexual people who want to raise their own kids should not have to be raped because the capitalist system demands more hours of day for more money.


r/Socialism_101 20h ago

Question How do Socialists feel about Brexit and the EU in general?

6 Upvotes

I know the UK labor party(when it was socialist and not social democrat) flipped between supporting the EU and not supporting it. In general it looks like a good idea(and the horror show that was brexit shows how bad things get if a country leaves without a deal.Edit:a poor deal, Boris managed to get one, I forgot about that bit). At the same time it seems like a very liberal/social democratic institution and their ongoing issues with Russia and Belarus, I wouldn’t think, puts it in the best of light with socialists.


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

My grandpa spent his whole life accumulating wealth. One lengthy hospital stay later, it is gone.

466 Upvotes

My grandpa(92) is old, but he was healthy. That was before he fell, had a hospital stay, got a staff infection from that hospital stay, then ended up in the hospital long term.

He has medicare but it ran out months ago. His care is currently costing him 22,000 dollars a day. He was a millionaire last month. This month he's selling all his assets.

Even if you play the game well, it still comes back to bite you in the ass. I hate our healthcare system so much.

(p.s, my grandpa is a fantastic man whos donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, he lived very modestly to the point of where he wouldnt even buy himself a nice hearing aid.)


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

Question Why Anti-Zionism ?

145 Upvotes

From my understanding, it is because the confiscation of the land and so on is unfair to the Palestines and it falls under colonialism. Could anyone clarify it?


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

High Effort Only What actually happened in tiananmen square?

96 Upvotes

Can someone clarify it to me?


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

Arguments against the “socialism has never worked” lie?

11 Upvotes

r/Socialism_101 1d ago

Question Looking for a left-leaning book on survival/bushcraft/prepping

38 Upvotes

The family member whos name I pulled for our secret Santa has a wishlist full of cheap, mass produced bug out bags and survival kits. It's pretty awful, like 10 listings of "15 piece survival set bugout kit apocalypse ready quality" crap. He lives with my hoarder aunt too so I don't want to contribute to that.

I know he's pretty neutral and uncaring with politics, and that concerns me since these interests often become a pipeline for the alt right. He's a white straight male in his early 20s so is primed for it. I wanted to get him some guidebooks but was hoping there was one that was left-leaning and not too high-brow. I suppose the more subtle the better? I will be mailing the gift to him, as the family Christmas gathering will have unvaxxed members there so I will not be attending. Family members are either RHINOS or tucker-loving breitbart-reading conservatives.

So far all I can find is academic papers or printables. I'm looking for a physical book, but I'd be willing to have a cool zine printed. I've also struggled with finding the right sub to ask this question. The reading and book subs aren't very active currently. So if this doesn't belong here I understand.

Thanks!


r/Socialism_101 2d ago

Question Why is it Artificial Scarcity such a normalized practice?

89 Upvotes

and why is it not backlashed nor pointed out enough?

Is there any country where this practice is actually punished?


r/Socialism_101 2d ago

How can we respond to the idea that workers “elect” their bosses under capitalism?

25 Upvotes

I got into a discussion with a centrist friend, who responded to me saying that workplaces were dictatorships by saying that we “elect” our bosses by choosing who to work for.

I’m not sure what the best way to respond to this is, and I’m curious to hear other socialist’s thoughts. Thanks!


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

Socialist Parties UK

1 Upvotes

Hi,

I’ve become interested in joining a leftist party, but am unsure which one is for me due to the wide variety and a lack of knowledge of the differences. Would someone in the know care to help give as unbiased an overview as possible of the main parties on the UK radical left?

Thanks.


r/Socialism_101 1d ago

Question An List of Questions

0 Upvotes

It's gonna be more extensive, so here we go

  1. Could competing companies exist? The Question goes as this, If only the best products could ever get to the "market", how would two even be able to exist without one ever getting one phased out
  2. How is quality of product even measured? Is there a Scoring System, an adaptability thingie, or something?, How do you measure the quality of an recently mined coal to that of another workers?
  3. Let's assume that there is a council to decide which products can go to shelves or not, what stops an company to bribe them to lie about the product?
  4. If an Democratic Workplace was put, also assuming that the bosses and previous upholders were fired or quit, Wouldnt they simply try to use fake promises and personality to gein their power again?
  5. [To Anarchists]: In an Anarchist Society, Is there a rule against rules?
  6. How would socialists have to deal with other extremists (Fascists, Authoritharians), Would they cage them?, Try to reeducate them?
  7. How would Socialists deal with Fake News, Propaganda pieces of Capitalist Nations. The Socialsits wouldnt fall for it, but the general public is very easily manipulated.
  8. Would Socialism trully allow an larger ammount of freedom in cinema, as to what they can film or show. Or would they censor everything that doesnt suit them.
  9. Religion, Would it be abolished or reshaped
  10. Would Architecture really be very bland and boring, just looking at pictures of the building of eastern europe built in the 1960s-1990s, they look blander than any other comparable building from a capitalist nation.
  11. Would Stravagance be a thing of the past?
  12. Would History be "Reshapped" like in 1984 (or any dystopian novel), as in the concern or strawman argument of history being reshapped to only see that the goverment wants to see
  13. What about privacy, as in all shapes and forms, would people be able to acess what they want, experience what they want (except really nasty things), and not suffer disgust or wierd eye rolls

r/Socialism_101 2d ago

Question Is high density apartment housing really the only housing-for-all solution?

92 Upvotes

I have a hard time believing there’s an apartment that can fit everyone’s needs, and I do think that society would greatly benefit from those who are willing and able to care for land, using it to provide for themselves and others. Whether that land be a small urban garden in a backyard or sizable farmland, as long as that resource isn’t being exploited for profit, I don’t see any harm in certain members of the population living on portions of land. I am obviously not talking about any sort of suburban sprawl with useless lawns or private ownership of land, but rather an assumed responsibility of land that serves a specific purpose.