This is something I wrote in response to a cappie on one of my videos, and I thought I should post it on here as it touches on a lot of arguments I hear a lot
“socialism has never been sustainable. The debts incurred by the governments under socialism to pay for all the state funded entitlements are enormous”
For this you have provided absolutely no evidence, so I could just easily dismiss this as a non-argument, but let’s investigate this. The best example of working socialism that one can easily find in the history books is revolutionary Catalonia. Whether it was anarchist or not is a different debate, but it was most definitely socialist. During this time in Catalonia many sectors of the economy fell under the control of the anarchist CNT and the socialist UGT trade unions, where workers’ self-management was implemented. These included Railways, streetcars, buses, taxicabs, shipping, electric light and power companies, gasworks and waterworks, engineering and automobile assembly plants, mines, mills, factories, food-processing plants, theaters, newspapers, bars, hotels, restaurants, department stores, and thousands of dwellings previously owned by the upper classes. Due to these new socialist tactics they saw massive improvements in quality of life, as well as economic prosperity (1). This was all even during a time of war, where these things are usually naturally declining.
“Just because everyone is required to pay into the system of socialized medical care equally, does not mean that every individual is going to use it equally. Some people are born lucky and never get sick or injured, and some suffer the wrath of fate. Why should the lucky ones contribute to the system they rarely ever use, while the ones who are dependent on it use it well past their fair share?”
The answer to this questions is quite simple. In modern society, you pay into the system as much as everyone else, and take out from it when you need to. When healthcare is handled in this way, care can be distributed based on need and not based on whether or not you can afford it, it also lowers the price for everyone. It is a well known fact that a single payer healthcare system is the best system that exists, given that every country with better healthcare than the United States has it (2). The main one of those countries is France, which has the best healthcare system in the world and it is entirely state planned and run (3).
“When it comes to a government investing limited tax dollars to a social program, the cheapest route is the best route. Are you getting the best doctor or the cheapest one? Well, under socialism, you get the ones that are available at the lowest wages, why is that? Because it’s not capitalism, which operates on competition. Competition mandates that the best quality at the best price wins, socialism removes competition from the equasion. How about medical supplies? Socialism is not famed for it’s use of high quality goods, once again, when buying a massive amount of resources to be distributed, you go for quantity, not quality. Free healthcare, is low budget healthcare.”
The first statement about governments investing in healthcare leads to poorer quality of care is objectively false as I explained earlier. Aside from you not knowing that socialism isn’t when the state does everything, competition in the healthcare industry has proven to be disastrous, and every single country that has healthcare systems leaps and bounds better than the US’s all do so without the cut throat competition on the market. Because under a capitalist system, you only get treatment if you can afford it, whereas under a single payer system you get care if you need it. You say that socialism does not have high quality goods, but don’t point to a reason for this argument so I will simply dismiss it.
“As above, state funded education is the cheapest education available, hence the low wages for teachers. A state funded education system is also corrupted to it’s core in the arena of curriculum, false doctrine and faulty ideologies are taught based on the lobiests who line the pockets if politicians.”
Your suggestion that public school teachers make low wages is absurd. It is a very well known fact that public school teachers are much better paid than private school teachers (4) generally because of their union systems. Your next statement about the big bad state pushing a corrupted doctrine on the youth wouldn’t be solved by privatizing the school industry, that would just allow for companies to push what they want onto children. What you seem to be suggesting is that it is the parents and students who know what’s best for their own education, so why not give them control over it? That is what socialism is after all.
“Education has become brainwashing and indoctrination of political agendas and ideologies by manipulating the student with emotional rather than logical viewpoints. Take socialism, it views everyone as the same, but we are each unique individuals, we don’t all want or need the same things, we have diverse ambitions and goals; why cast an entire population into a “one size fits all” mold.”
You once again provide no evidence for this claim that education has become brainwashing indoctrination of political agendas but are rather just continuing to use it as a talking point. Next, you state that socialism doesn’t view individuals as unique, with different needs, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Socialism holds that the individuals of a society should get the care and treatment they need, not what some corporate or state boss needs, that’s why socialism advocates for workers ownership of the means of production and democratic schooling, which has been very successful in practice (5).
“The bias in public education is extreme. Take for instance the theory of evolution is taught as fact, but half of the scientific community are not convinced or at least skeptical, but you never hear about their side if the debate as it is aggressively suppressed and viewed as an archaic fairy man in the sky ideology.”
The theory of evolution is taught as a fact because it is a fact. The overwhelming majority of the scientific community accepts evolution as the dominant scientific theory of biological diversity. (6) Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, has issued statements rejecting intelligent design (7) and a petition supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners (8). It is not a debate in the scientific community, and it hasn’t been for decades.
“Same goes for global warming, if you have evidence against man made climate change, you’re simply referred to as a climate change denier. (in which case, you are actually a skeptic). These two examples show how education isn’t about educating, it’s about indoctrunating, paid for by people who stand to profit off of it.”
Climate change is also taught as a fact in environmental classes, because it is a fact. All of the evidence points to it, as I’ve laid out in many of my essays, and the overwhelming majority of the scientific community is in agreement as the Doran & Zimmerman 2009 study shows which was done for a master’s thesis and involved a 9-question survey. The 2009 peer reviewed publication that followed the study reported on 2 of the 9 questions. The study found, in part, that 96.4% of “climatologists who are active publishers on climate change” agree that mean global temperatures have risen “compared with pre-1800s levels”, and that 97.4% (75 of 77) agree that human activity “is a significant contributing factor” in temperature change. The study concludes the distribution of answers to those survey questions implies that debate on the “role played by human activity is largely nonexistent” amongst climate experts. The Anderegg et al 2010 source defined a scientist’s expertise as determined by his or her number of climate publications. The top 50 scientists considered CE (“convinced by the evidence” in the terminology of the authors) wrote an average of 408 articles each which were submitted to and successfully published by climate journals. Scientists were counted as UE (“unconvinced by the evidence”) if having signed a public “statement strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC.” That resulted in a list of 472 UE scientists, of whom 5 were among the 200 most-published scientists in the study’s sample, amounting to 2.5% when the other 195 (97.5%) were counted as CE. That study’s sample included 903 scientists counted as CE (“convinced by the evidence”). Scientists were assumed to be CE when in the list of those credited by the IPCC as having done research utilized by AR4 Working Group I. Such an assumption resulted in a list of 619 names, which, after adjusting for duplication, became a total of 903 when also adding in those who signed one of several statements supporting the IPCC. There is no debate in the scientific community, and there are no more credible skeptics who are trying to attack the theory because there is no scientific way to do so.
“You do not have the right to eat anything you did not grow, hunt, or forrage for. You have the obligation to pay for it. The idea that the government would have control over food production is horrifying for 2 reasons; 1. it grants the government power over the diversity of food, and 2. it grants the government power over availability of food.”
You do not explain why the average person does not have the right to eat something they did not grow hunt or forrage for, but meanwhile a capitalist who merely owns property where people are laboring for them does. Furthermore you don’t understand that socialism is not the government controlling everything, it is the people controlling it and under a true socialist system, food is in the control of the people and not the state as is under state capitalism, and not private companies as is under regular capitalism.
“The highest quality foods and healthiest foods will always be reserved for the leading (governing) class. The idea of equality and fairness in socialism starts to fall apart here, such was the case in Venezuela. BTW, socialism did not work in Venezuela, it resulted in it’s economic collapse, what you see now, is a paniced response to salvage what’s left of the country’s banking systems.”
Once again you don’t understand that socialism is not the ruling elite controlling everything, that would be fascism that you are thinking of. As for venezuela, I have written an essay on this topic (https://eastsidemarxism.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/venezuela-a-leftist-analysis/) and basically the so called “socialist policies” of Hugo Chavez mostly improved the Venezuelan economy with his large social spending which paved the way for Venezuelans aged 15 and older, 95.2% to read and write, with Venezuela having one of the highest literacy rates in the region (9). The poverty rate fell from 48.6% in 1999 to 32.1% in 2013, according to the Venezuelan government’s National Statistics Institute (INE) (10), also the quality of life for Venezuelans had also improved according to a UN Index (11). So the economic crisis happening currently is not his fault, however what did cause this was the same thing that caused a recession from 2001-2003, and that is a decline in world oil prices; which is one of Venezuela’s largest exports (12). No matter who would’ve been in power, there was going to be an economic collapse.
“Free government sponsored housing has never been successful. The biggest pipe dreams of socialist housing is seen in the “projects” and slums of inner cities. Characterless cubicles made of inferior products, in undesirable locations, piled full of people who can’t seem to get along, which explains the high crime rates in these housing districts.”
When will you understand that socialism /= when the government spends money trying to do things. If that were the case, then every government in the world would be considered socialist, and that simply isn’t true. When we socialists talk about free housing owned by the people, we are talking about democratic housing such as the very successful Edinburgh Student Housing Co-op (13). I do not endorse the inner city projects of the slums, and how are those even at all free? Obviously under a capitalist system, any attempts governments make at what you call socialism would not live up to their hype because of how capitalism works, that’s why we want to replace the system with socialism, not have a “mix of the two.”
“Capitalism motivates ingenuity, innovation and higher standards due to it’s rewards. Inventers that produce a product that benifits many people, can become rich. Massive wealth can be accrued in little time if you have a marketable good or service. Who determines that success? You. The individual. In Socialism, success is determined by a politition and failures are bailed out due to no competing counterparts.”
Capitalism does not promote any of those things, but rather in fact stagnates it. Many studies show that workers under capitalism are not engaged in their work (14) which leads to lower levels of innovation and productivity. Capitalism further prevents innovation by trapping so many potential innovators in poverty, and not allowing them to get the basic education they need to pursue their dreams because their families simply couldn’t afford it. They also often times can’t get money to launch their products that could change the world. “Massive wealth” is almost never accrued by the most innovative people under capitalism. Some of the greatest inventors, Dan Bricklin, Gary Kildall, Joseph Swan, 5. Edwin H. Armstrong, Antonio Meucci, and so many more, all died in poverty (15) despite practically inventing every useful thing we use today. I bet you’ve never even heard of half those people that’s how much they’ve been erased from history by the holy free market. Innovation is punished in a market economy, because the second you come up with a good idea, someone steals it and sends you into poverty.
“Capitalism is the most Democratic economic system as viability is determined by the vote of the currency.”
Capitalism is in no way democratic. Under capitalism, the capitalists buy and sell elections long before they happen, and there is nearly no say from the people in what they want because politicians serve corporate interests before all else. That will do it for this “essay” that was really just a really long comment. Sorry if it’s not my usual format or style of writing as I did not intend for this to be an essay, please comment if you have questions or concerns, thanks for reading.
- Goldman, Emma (2006). Vision on Fire: Emma Goldman on the Spanish Revolution
- “Medical News Today”. Medical News Today. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Delgado, Cynthia (2006-07-28). “Finding evolution in medicine”.
- Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83
- Amicus Curiae brief in Edwards v. Aguillard, 85-1513 (United States Supreme Court 1986-08-18)
- UNESCO, Education in Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
- “http://www.ine.gov.ve/index.php?option=com_content”. Instituto Nacional de Estadística. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- Charlie Devereux & Raymond Colitt. March 7, 2013. “Venezuelans’ Quality of Life Improved in UN Index Under Chavez”. Bloomberg L.P. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2013.