Is Socialism theft? (1 Viewer)

Jon

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I saw a video on it once. I don't know if its true. Why not tell me, is Socialism theft?
 

The_Doc_Man

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Socialism as a government style implies certain things about individual property rights and ownership. In which case a socialist economy isn't theft, because the government doesn't recognize private ownership the same way that a constitutional republic or democracy would see ownership.

In the context of an otherwise free society with private ownership of property, socialism must be a matter of degree. We can share to the degree with which we are comfortable. "100% Pure" socialism would indeed be theft.
 

Frothingslosh

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Also, don't forget that there are two major kinds of socialism: economic socialism and governmental socialism. Economic is the idea that property and the means of production should belong to the workers, and that the proceeds of said production should be split by all. There are different degrees, however, where some think everything should be shared equally, while others feel that it should be distributed based on importance or difficulty of each contribution. However, economic socialism also includes things like insurance - the idea that large numbers of people contribute to a central fund made available to those who need it as they need it. Hell, when you get right down to it, tribal societies where everyone shares everything (such as were common with many Native American peoples and still ARE common in aboriginal peoples around the world) are absolute examples of this kind of socialism.

Governmental socialism, on the other hand, can range from full-on Soviet and French Revolution style where all people are theoretically equal to the idea that society has an obligation to support those unable to support themselves (which brought us Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, etc) to the idea that societies become stronger and more productive if its members have easy access to health care and education, such as the European model.

Oh, and then you get Democratic Socialism, which is none of the above, as it is simply the idea that elected representatives have the obligation to represent and enact the will of their constituents rather than the will of their largest donors.

So, honestly, 'Is socialism theft?' is a terrible question, as it relies entirely on incorrect assumptions of what socialism is. It's no different than asking 'Is Capitalism slavery?' or 'Is red bitter?'
 

Jon

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I think the video was arguing that when you take something by force from someone else, against their will, that amounts to theft. Or could it be (daylight) robbery? If you don't pay the extra taxes, you are forced, violently if need be, to jail.

In hunting for the video, I realise I got the title wrong, unless he was arguing that socialism is theft anyway.

Here it is:

 

NauticalGent

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Frothy, I was wondering if you were going to weigh in on this, glad you did. Interesting post...
 

Frothingslosh

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With how unremittingly hostile the forum has become to non-conservatives, I normally CBA to reply to political posts here any longer, but I felt the extra information I could add was too important to not post it.
 

Jon

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Hey, Froth, whatever your political leanings, we are family here!
 

Frothingslosh

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Jon, by that logic, that means that taxes are also theft. That's actually a central tenet of both Anarchism and some branches of Libertarianism (mainly that following the writings of Ayn Rand).
 

Jon

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I see lots of things as continuums rather than binary. If you have a tax system and Socialists want to take more tax than say Capitalists, then both are thieving. It is just a question of the extent. Both should go to jail! But to be clear, it is not my logic. It was just a video I saw and I like to post things that are provocative. It gets people chatting!

Let me even things up for you.
 

Frothingslosh

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Meh, to be quite honest, I'm neither capitalist nor socialist. Both have their positives, and both can result in hell on Earth when distorted by greed and the pursuit of power. Neither one is either inherently good or inherently evil.

I personally support a capitalist economy with laws in place to prevent monopolies and abuse, a democratic system of government (although I prefer Parliamentary over Presidential because I think it's FAR more stable and open to cooperation), and a social safety net to assist those who are unable to help themselves. And I also understand that people will abuse ANY system, and that that that doesn't mean we shouldn't try just because someone doesn't 'deserve' the help they're getting.

I also think that the healthier and more educated the members of a society are, the better that society works and the more affluent it becomes, which is why I absolutely support single-payer healthcare and a nationally-funded college program like pretty much every other Western nation provides. Basically, the benefit severely outweighs the cost.

Basically, even though I'm no longer religious, I took the Parable of the Goats and the Sermon on the Mount to heart.

And with all that, I have been called (both on this forum and elsewhere) the most evil person people have ever met, specifically because of those beliefs.
 
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Frothingslosh

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And hell, just look at that video you linked: saying socialism is evil is just the flipside of saying capitalism is evil. Both are simplistic arguments based on a profound lack of understanding of complex and nuanced subjects. It would make just as much sense to say education is evil or that research is evil.

The truth is that neither capitalism nor socialism is evil, but the ways they can be implemented CAN be.
 

Jon

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I've never heard of the Parabl of the Goats. Is that Christian?
 

Frothingslosh

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I've never heard of the Parabl of the Goats. Is that Christian?
Matthew 25: 31-46

The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
 
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Jon

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I hope the copyright has expired. :D
 

Jon

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I have been called (both on this forum and elsewhere) the most evil person people have ever met, specifically because of those beliefs.
Why would your beliefs, which include The Sheep and the Goats, lead to people saying you are evil? That parable seems a rather compassionate view.
 

Frothingslosh

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Amusingly, over at Conservapedia, when they got to this part in their Bible rewrite, they suggested replacing 'right' with 'Conservative' and 'left' with 'Liberal'.
 

Frothingslosh

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Why would your beliefs, which include The Sheep and the Goats, lead to people saying you are evil? That parable seems a rather compassionate view.
I couldn't begin to tell you, but it happened. Once here, a couple times elsewhere.
 

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