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This Economics related article has been assessed as SIGNIFICANTLY PROBLEMATIC in one or more ways. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


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A few quibbles

Is socialism a system of government - or is it an economic system? Also: libertarian socialism is not a turn of phrase one sees very often - wouldn't "social democracy" be a better term? And does communism by definition need to be totalitarian? Looking forward to some dialogue...PFoster 23:46, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

I bit the bullet and changed "libertarian socialism" to "social democracy." Libertarianism and socialism are petty strange bedfellows, after all. PFoster 11:08, 2 November 2007 (EDT)

Personally, I'd have to say that if there is only "some" control over the free market, then it isn't socialism. That would make the US a socialist country, which is blatantly not the case. (Then again, I don't even really consider the "social democratic" countries to be really "socialist", as individuals and the market still have a large influence.) Researcher 23:58, 4 December 2007 (EST)

Alright, I added a section about the meaning of 'libertarian socialism'. Libertarianism is the antonym of 'authoritarianism'. If you've got any more problems with the articles, or any questions you'd like to see answered, please post them here. -Judas Reward 13:42, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Communism is incompatible with freedom. How can there be freedom of the press when the government owns all of the presses? And I think that a country can have socialist attributes without the country as a whole being socialist. The US has an education system, a mail delivery system, and increasingly a health care system, that have socialist attributes.Fdof (talk) 04:31, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Add criticism section?[edit]

There are many legitimate rationalist concerns with socialism that should be debated. Should a criticism section be added? — Unsigned, by: / talk

I agree, socialism doesn’t work and it is pseudoscience --Jakester499 (talk) 07:02, 2 May 2022 (UTC)

So does it work?[edit]

Does the article say if the system works? And I want unbiased answers? — Unsigned, by: Kyle / talk / contribs

Hi, KyleButler (talk · contribs · block  · rights  · rename) . --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 18:41, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

Critical points?[edit]

I find that many other political or economic systems and ideologies on RationalWiki have a section for criticism like the articles on Libertarianism, Capitalism and Free-Markets. There are few minor points throughout the text offering some critical thought, though mostly on different schools of thought within socialism. I think it would be better to have a new section for criticisms of socialism. It would improve the layout of the article and make it easier to read by collating criticisms in one section. (talk) 10:52, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Gonna write a section about it in a couple of weeks. GeeJayK (talk) 22:56, 6 March 2021 (UTC)

Famous Socialists[edit]

I added this section and it was removed by GrammarCommie. I'd like to address their concerns. First, I think we do need this section. It's a good thing to inform people about famous socialists and communists. I don't see why they think that's an issue. Second, socialism has a few different definitions and it's often used as an umbrella term for communism, anarchism and socialism. If necessary, we can add a note for those that are communist rather than socialist. Simoneh (talk) 17:57, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

What point does this section serve? How does it further RationalWiki's core mission? And why should we continue perpetuating the political equivalent of mis-classifying American Elk, African Gazelle, and White Tailed Deer as one and the same? Just because the average pundit or layman has no knowledge of political taxonomy does not mean we should behave in a like manner. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:58, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
Just because something has different definitions doesn't mean one is objectively "right". If you prefer using the definition you mentioned, we can have a Famous Socialists section on the Socialism page and a Famous Communists section on the Communism page. And the reason we should have this section is simply because it's informative and contains useful information. Many people do not know that these people are socialists/communists. I don't see why this is so contentious for you, I simply added information to the page. -Simone H ☭ 🌈 12:43, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
Is Christianity a religion that holds that the Bible is the divine word of the Abrahamic god? Or is it the act of running around naked holding a rubber duck? I can define it as the latter all I want, that doesn't make the latter true though. Again, I refer to my example above concerning various members of the family Cervidae. The idea that all definitions count is poppycock, and appealing to a vague definition of terms does nothing to help your case. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that no one has heard of Stalin, Mao, etc, as these individuals are frequently brought up as political bogymen to try to scare the masses into voting against left-wing policies. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:00, 5 April 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't really explain why the page shouldn't have a section as described, just that you don't think Stalin et al were Socialists. — Dysk (contribs) 13:51, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

Unsourced claims and many other problems.[edit]

This article has countless unsourced claims. Weasel words like "according to some", "some people say", "in the United States", "thinking people believe" just to name a few are pretty much everywhere here. Is there any way to fix it without flooding it with the "citation needed" template? GeeJayK (talk) 22:53, 6 March 2021 (UTC)

Rewrite the parts and add citations? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:03, 6 March 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess it's the only way. Searching on the entire Internet to see if the claims are real sounds like a fucking nightmare though. Maybe I'll do this one day, right now I'll focus on a critical section. GeeJayK (talk) 23:08, 6 March 2021 (UTC)

@GrammarCommie Although I agree that the definition I put might be strict to one single author I think it is still better than the unsourced, highly personal definition that is in the article right now. I also believe it's closer to what most political scientists believe (Bobbio is after all perhaps the single most European important political scientist of the second half of the XXth century, though I don't have the English version of his dictionary of politics). Most dictionaries and encyclopedias tend to say that socialism is the public/social ownership of the means of production, which I tend to see as a rather poor definition. GeeJayK (talk) 12:52, 19 March 2021 (UTC)

@GeeJayK Well, that is nominally what socialists are trying to achieve so I don't know what to tell you there. I'll admit the version you replaced does need work, as you are correct about it being unsourced. Perhaps we could compromise and add the common definition (with citations) and Bobbio's counter? I'm sure we could also find some other prominent political scientists with informed opinions on the topic as well. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:53, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for answering. Not gonna line, I was too hasty when I deleted the whole thing, that was a mistake, I did it at like, 3 AM in my local time. I'll check some other definitions latter. I'm usually slow with my projects, but trust me, I always finish them.
Also, of course, the textbook definition of socialism is also important (and a lot less vague than the one right now) but I don't think it's correct to define Socialism only by its goals, the methods are also important. This might be controversial considering how reformists socialists and revolutionary socialists are totally different here, so I'm not touching it right now though. GeeJayK (talk) 16:12, 19 March 2021 (UTC)
@GeeJayK I'll comment out the disputed section for now, since we both agree that it could use some work. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:22, 19 March 2021 (UTC)

Sorry, left some things unsourced, including sources to confirm the models in Market socialism. Sorry. --Boredsocialist (talk) 16:45, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Democratic Socialism[edit]

"Democratic socialists believe socialization should happen through an accountable democratic government instead of a dictatorship that claims to have their people's best interests in mind". The bold part hyperlinks to the "Bullshit" article. Are DemSocs taking out of their asses then, when they say that? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 09:14, 5 November 2022 (UTC)

You're taking the word of an article that has been rated as being "significantly problematic" seriously? Also judging by the syntax, pretty sure the bolded part refers to a dictatorship. Vee (talk) 10:12, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
Dictators often have sham elections and other trappings of democracy. George Orwell's book Animal Farms famously said "All animals are equal but some are more equal than others". Boxaritoro (talk) 13:58, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
I work in the media world and I recommend watching this video: Noam Chomsky - The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine.
Is mass media still ‘manufacturing consent’ in the internet age? - "The book Manufacturing Consent (1988) by Noam Chomsky and David S Herman aimed to upend the notion of Western media as a force for public good. Rather than serving as a vital check on power and a source of reliable information, they argued, the mass media existed to sustain and protect power, making media institutions of the ‘free world’ little better than government propaganda channels of dictatorships. Aided by some truly strange and inventive visuals from the filmmaker Pierangelo Pirak, this brief animation for the Al Jazeera TV programme The Listening Post describes the five media ‘filters’ that, per Chomsky and Herman, ultimately determine what is presented to the public as news. A landmark work, Manufacturing Consent has been endlessly debated and reevaluated in the 30-plus years since its release. Reflected on today, its arguments raise fascinating questions about how the media has and hasn’t changed since the dawn of the internet age." Boxaritoro (talk) 14:10, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
You cited a book by a socialist after you just tried to tie socialism with psychopathy. 🤨 --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 17:22, 5 November 2022 (UTC)