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A few quibbles[edit]

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)

I just moved this here to talk/write about[edit]

', and thus, all communists are socialists, but all socialists are not necessarily communists

In communist theory socialism is an historic stage between capitalism and communism. This does NOT mean all communists are socialist any more than it means all socialists are capitalists because it was the previous step. We need a person to go through the If X = Y and Z = ?" . . .... well. you know the drill. Carptrash 14:15, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

You have a point. Communists do advocate socialism, sure, but I suppose that you have a fair enough objection there, though I wouldn't agree that capitalists could be said to be socialists in the same way. Also, feudalism was the previous step, though that doesn't really matter. Anyways, I agree with leaving that out. Thanks for going over the article, btw. -Judas Reward 14:23, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

You are welcome, but since we are now at the second or third sentence, . ........ well you might not have heard the last of me on the topic. Carptrash 16:33, 30 August 2008 (EDT)


This is still in the article, but hopefully, not for long.

Socialism is revolutionary. However, it does not necessarily have to be accomplished by violent revolution, and many types of socialism advocate using democratic elections to take power, often coupled with a mass strike, and some involve the Party then handing power to a large worker's union, which will respond with a strike if it is denied this.
Okay, so Sweden is a socialist country. When was the revolution? What was the "mass strike" about? Is this article attempting to be serious or are we just here to have fun? I go either way. Carptrash 16:40, 30 August 2008 (EDT)
There's a definite slant to this article that rubs me the wrong way - can't put my finger on it but ... SusanG  ContribsTalk 16:49, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Well for me it sounds as if the primary writer/s got most of their ideas about the subject written out, then shuffled all the words together and composed the current article by drawing one word at a time out of a hat. I have other theories, if anyone is interested. For example, they might well have channelled it while attempting to get in touch with Esther Hicks' friend Abraham - but they got J. Edgar Hoover by mistake, forgetting that Hicks does not talk to the dead. Or . .................... wait, don't go. Carptrash 19:37, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Sweden's not a socialist country. A mass strke is what anarcho-syndicalists is necessary to bring about socialism, while some De Leonists believe that it should be done along with polls, though I wouldn't agree. And De Leonism involves handing over power to a Socialist Industrial Union when power is taken. -Judas Reward 01:21, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

Social Democracy =/= Socialism[edit]

Not exactly, anyway. Social Democrats believe in a very strong regulatory framework and a strong welfare state, but do still believe in some place for free enterprise and private ownership. Researcher 23:44, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

Pro-Marxist POV[edit]

Hi, I feel there is a bit pro-Marxist POV in the current version of the Branches section. Please compare the present version with this version. I want to clarify some points;

  • Marxist concept of "dictatorship of the proletariat" is bullshit and it should be mentioned. It is nothing more than the dictatorship of the party bosses over the people. This was the point of conflict between Marx and Bakunin. It should be mentioned in the article.
  • Anarchism and Marxism are not same. Anarcho-capitalism is an anti-Marxist branch of anarchism. Classical anarchist reject Marxist idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat". Marxists advocate centrally planned economy, anarchists advocate workers' self-management or autogesion.
  • Libertarian socialism and anarchism are not same. Libertarian socialism encompasses only a few currents of anarchism.
  • Anarchism and Marxism are generally the same. However, they have been separated by much misunderstanding, such as the belief that 'dictatorship of the proletariat' actually refers to the dictatorship of one person or a small group, though this is the opposite of its intent, or the belief that Stalinism is representative of Marxism.

Good, but Leninism is the root behind the rise of Stalin. It was Lenin who emphasized the role of the party and he slandered all types of anti-authoritarian socialism in his propaganda bullshit "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder.

  • Why the mention of democratic socialism was removed? My own POV is more or less Libertarian socialism, if there is something wrong with Marxism that should be mentioned. --Space traveller 07:47, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
I've actually read many works of Marx, and his view was dominantly that the people (proletariat if you will) should be in charge, never, anywhere, does he mention a select few of the people to lord over the rest. That concept goes straight against the "Rule of the Proletariat", as the goal of Marxism and of that sentiment was to removes differences in class, or whatever concept you would put there, and if you intend to have a government while following the ideas of Marx, the only way to do that would be a government in which ALL of the people would have a say. InaVegt 08:28, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
Strangely enough, most truly democratic countries (The USA is not, and has never been, a real democracy, due to the way the governmental structure is set up) have some degree of Social-Democracy worked into their systems, while relatively little non-democratic countries have done anything resembling socialism. (Stalinist countries are not even close to such, and are contrary to the classless system that Marxism promotes.) InaVegt 08:28, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
Ah, but have you read Lenin? What of the vanguard? PFoster 09:45, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
I've been intending to, but I haven't been able to find his works yet, I have a few strictly Marxist friends, and they don't want Lenin in their bookchests, but they have plenty of Marx's works. InaVegt 10:09, 1 November 2008 (EDT)

I noticed that edit yesterday & was a bit puzzled by it. I think we need to blend both versions (the current one & old revision linked above). weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 09:58, 1 November 2008 (EDT)

Ok, I am agree Marxism and Leninism have vast differences. Regarding Lenin's vanguardism, it did not work. On the other hand, anarchists in the Spanish Civil War did not form any so-called vanguard party, but there was true socialism during that brief period as George Orwell wrote in Homage to Catalonia:
I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master.
Space traveller 11:54, 1 November 2008 (EDT)
Of course, I included the discussions on 'dictatorship of the proletariat' in my article, and it was in no way 'dictatorship over the proletariat'. Anarcho-capitalism is an oxymoron. However, I suppose anarcho-mutualism would be an exception, so I'll add that in. I got rid of 'democratic socialism' because it's pretty much redundant, and hardly incompatible with Marxism. Crud, Hal Draper, author of 'The Two Souls of Socialism' said this, "In the socialist movement as it developed before Marx, nowhere did the line of the Socialist Idea intersect the line of Democracy-from-Below. This intersection, this synthesis, was the great contribution of Marx: in comparison, the whole content of his Capital is secondary." Also, of course, as we all know, the most democratic area before now is probably the Paris Commune (or some anarchist commune). Well, until the Blanquists decided to take matters into their own hands... -Sρΐяαl.Дгсђıτέςτstand up and shout 13:54, 1 November 2008 (EDT)

Paris Commune, oh the good ol' days[edit]

Was it Lenin or Trostky who said "for real socialism, look no further than the Paris Commune". In any case, could I either point out the sanguineous nature of this commmune or the fact both the Soviet Union and the Third Reich has Socialist in their official names? I would be content with either.— Unsigned, by: Matias / talk / contribs

I agree we're defining terms far too narrowly (here & on some other articles). We should acknowledge that numerous governments have claimed to be or endeavoured to be socialist, even if they have failed to create a socialist society in the strictest interpretations of the word. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 10:32, 6 November 2008 (EST)
What do Lenin or Trotsky have to do with anything? Yes, the Paris Commune was generally workers' ownership (dictatorship of the proletariat,as socialism is international), though the Blanquist influence in it undermined it quickly (it's the same for the Russian Revolution, ironically, where the Makhnovists, Kronstadt, etc, were crushed by the Bolshies), and then it was crushed. As for being sanguinous, they weren't really that murderous compared to... Certain people. Even so, unnecessary killings committed were a result of the Jacobin/Blanquists being a majority and implementing a dictatorship of the minority, which lead to the creation of a "Committee of Public Safety" by them, with the task of 'defending (by terror) the revolution'. However, the libertarian socialists may have been gaining support, but then the Commune was crushed in a way far more bloody than the Blanquists could have ever managed. The anarchist communes in Spain are perhaps a better example, though they were later undermined by the fact that the Blanquists and fascists (no thanks to the West) had all the money, and Franco later won the war. As Chomsky says, "a good example of a really large-scale anarchist revolution -- in fact the best example to my knowledge -- is the Spanish revolution in 1936, in which over most of Republican Spain there was a quite inspiring anarchist revolution that involved both industry and agriculture over substantial areas . . . And that again was, by both human measures and indeed anyone's economic measures, quite successful. That is, production continued effectively; workers in farms and factories proved quite capable of managing their affairs without coercion from above, contrary to what lots of socialists, communists, liberals and other wanted to believe." Bookchin, "[i]n Spain, millions of people took large segments of the economy into their own hands, collectivised them, administered them, even abolished money and lived by communistic principles of work and distribution -- all of this in the midst of a terrible civil war, yet without producing the chaos or even the serious dislocations that were and still are predicted by authoritarian 'radicals.' Indeed, in many collectivised areas, the efficiency with which an enterprise worked by far exceeded that of a comparable one in nationalised or private sectors. This 'green shoot' of revolutionary reality has more meaning for us than the most persuasive theoretical arguments to the contrary. On this score it is not the anarchists who are the 'unrealistic day-dreamers,' but their opponents who have turned their backs to the facts or have shamelessly concealed them." Of course, it also lead to large amounts of innovation, which some people would probably claim was impossible.
The Nazis just used the term 'socialism' in order to mislead members of the at the time powerful socialist movement. The USSR were state capitalist. Socialism refers to a classless society, the USSR was not at all classless, the upper levels of the state (to use the political meaning) were basically a capitalist class. -Sρΐяαl.Дгсђıτέςτstand up and shout 08:28, 28 November 2008 (EST)


To be fair on him and his administration, they were the ones to institute the national minimum wage (which Attlee, Wilson, and Callaghan failed to do), at a rate that's only a couple of dozen pence less than the one that Obama's floated, and made the Employment Relations Act, which was a major boost to unionism in Britain - I wouldn't praise him on the whole, but calling him 'conservative in all but name' is a fairly indefensible comment. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!

Fair enough; change away. My rewrite was trying to improve what was there before, which was fairly badly worded. Personally I would say Blair is more centrist than conservative. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 12:27, 9 November 2008 (EST)

New Labour Conservatism[edit]

Much is made of New Labours supposed conservatism; and it is true that Blair and co. did much to move the party away from nationalisation and collective ownership. To be fair, these ideas were only spuriously implemented (Such as competition in the education sector, Blairs reforms never really took off) What is much more relevant is the dramatic increases in the NHS budget, which now accounts for one fifth of British government spending, and for the role of the state in the economy, which accounts for half of GDP. Dianne Abbot recently (And correctly) said that New Labour was only ever a marketing gimmick, and that it changed little from a structural perspective in the party manifesto. Gone were the old red rhetoric over class warfare and in was a new middle class friendly ambiguity. Really all that substantially changed in the Labour party was a switch in rhetoric.

Can we please stick to the fundamentals here and diverge away from essays by disenchanted British public schoolboys. MarcusCicero (talk) 12:59, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

In the context of Socialism, moving away from a commitment to the nationalisation of the means of production (without a complementary syndicalist streak of commitment to worker ownership of the means of production) is indubitably significant. Embracing wage labour with accompanying commiserations to the workers would make Labour a state capitalist party. Gamerunknown (talk) 12:39, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

First, a perhaps broken sentence in pp 3: "...would also refer to Lenin's Russia as "state capitalist"; even Lenin himself did." Should that be "didn't"?

Second, the lead is a mess. I know this was developed via edit war more than collaboration, but the lead jumps all over the place. A detailed example/counterexample of one event in the second sentence is just poor writing. Any chance I can get some help cleaning this up or will I have to overhaul it myself? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:05, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

The lead really is a mess, and it doesn't give somebody a real clue about what socialism is beyond the 'owning the means of production' stuff; it should address the goals of socialism rather than the section it is today. I'm up for cleaning it up, alone or with you, whatever you want... first i need a keyboard with a WORKING SHIFT KEY. AHHHH. also, human, is there any proceedure for nominating/rating articles? do people just go ahead and slap on a silver brain, or suggest it somewhere, or what? back in 10 minutes, with a keyboard from the garage. DalekEXTERMINATE 21:13, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I think this is quite a fine example of what happens when we start to develop stuff which is more tangentially related to our missions. We can all agree on what pseudoscience is and why it's wrong and where it's wrong. We can write with certainty and we are all on the same page of the hymn-book in that case. But politics is another hymn-book and I'm not sure that we can hope for the same sort of consensus. BobSpring is sprung! 21:28, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Consensus, no; clarity, yes. We can reasonably hope, even with our differing opinions, to put in a decent and clear lead section which loosely defined socialism, the goals of socialism and how socialism is today. We can also make a clear and fair criticism section, I reckon. DalekEXTERMINATE 21:32, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
What Dalek, my mutant sockpuppet, said (clarity if not consensus). As far as rating pages, usually people bring it up on the talk page to see what others think. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:49, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
LX appears to be helping out a lot, this article is getting better all the time. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

This article doesn't mention free-market socialism[edit]

Free market socialism exists, and it implies worker ownership of the means of production which still operate in a market economy, using the strength and growth of capitalism while ensuring the well-being of most of the people, who just happen to be proletarians. Such a system (market socialism) combined with government regulations to ensure that those who are unable to work are provided with the required needs, is human and efficient in the same time. This type of socialism is getting more and more popular in several intellectual circles while often gets dismissed as revisionist by many socialists who support central planning, which is currently inefficient due to a lack of computational technology.

Essentially, the capitalist mode of production is overthrown in a market socialist society.

I say, I say, add it in, son! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:25, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

This article doesn't mention national socialism[edit]

National Socialism is still socialism.

Y'Know... you could sign your posts around here. just sayin'
Also, the problem with your proposal is that though the Nazis claimed to be socialist in the early days of the party's rise to power, they gave socialists and other leftist groups the Zyklon B treatment when they were in charge. Secondlongest (talk) 21:25, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Why would a socialist movement actively seek to eliminate all trade unions once in power, then immediately fund the largest supporting private corporations? It was a complete lie. Read up George Orwell's definition of it, he had the bloody balls to fight the Spanish back then. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:54, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Eliminating unions once in power was not an uncommon feature of communist regimes. The Eastern Bloc came down in part because the Polish government's heart was not really in its attempts to suppress Solidarity, the independent union.
Also, Hitler called for the elimination of "purely financial" capital and the bringing of the rest under State control. While the Nazis did not abolish formal ownership, they did greatly restrict what could be done with the property that one owned. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:37, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
And thus we see the problem inherent when moving from political theory to political practice. What can we say that's really useful when we talk about political leaders who borrow aspects of theories that help them meet ends that are contrary to the values of those theories in the first place. Nazism was a sui generis political movement that borrowed from a bunch of different--and sometimes contradictory ideologies. I'm not sure how helpful a facile comparison in a short article on a goofy website will be. B♭maj7 (talk) Member of the Kara Duhe fan club since 2010 02:50, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
National socialism maintained a capitalistic mode of production, making it capitalist. The 'socialist' aspect was purely for purposes of popularity. While it had overwhelming control over the economy, it was much more consistent to what we've seen in capitalist systems than anything in any socialist system. It makes zero sense to include national socialism in an article about socialism, because overall, it was far from it. (talk) 19:52, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Where do the means of production go[edit]

I think this section of the article is unsupported by evidence. Here was the reason given for my edit: Previous citation given mentions only that the freight company was sold by Thatcher to the employees, no mention was made of protests. Not to mention, the very cite given claims only 38% of employees had a share in the company as of 1982, rising to 80% by 1989. Hardly worker control of the means of production, is it? There are other reasons why such an example would be inept, notably the suspicion regarding Thatcher's motivations in dissolving nationalised industries. Such fears seem warranted given the fate of the company. As the cite does not support the body of the segment (and in fact contradicts it), surely such a comment should not stand by itself? Edit: forgot to sign. Gamerunknown (talk) 12:47, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

redistribution of wealth[edit]

According to some people (whose identities you may only guess at), socialism advocates the redistribution of wealth. This view of socialism is only held by idiots who are too benighted to realize that when left-wingers yowl about the wealth gap until they are blue in the face, they are really just having a friendly chat about the weather. In reality, socialists are actually just interested in redistributing the means of production Is this an attempt at humor? Ownership of means of production is wealth. Redistributing ownership is redistributing wealth.Fdof (talk) 04:39, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Redistributing wealth means taking everyone's money and reapportioning it to everyone in different shares. Redistribution of the means of production is highly limited form of "wealth redistribution", much the same as food stamps, and disability are "wealth redistribution." You're conflating the specific meaning of "wealth redistribution" with the more generic "redistribution of only some items of weatlh". --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:09, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
A limited form of something is still that something. And I don't see how "the means of production" is a "highly limited" form of wealth. Would it not include real estate, cars, and stocks? That is, most of one's wealth in the vast majority of cases?Fdof (talk) 06:26, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

BoN edit[edit]

One objection to the claim that Jesus Christ was a socialist is an important moral distinction. When an action is moral, it doesn't imply that forcing this action is moral as well. An example of such an action is the smoking of cigarettes. Similarly, while sharing money with the poor is a solid virtue according to Christianity, it isn't necessarily a virtue to force others to give money to the poor. Socialism teaches for the government to force redistribution of money by others. Christian doctrine doesn't necessarily endorse that. Furthermore, it opposes initiation of force. By IP

I axed this because it's not coherent. If the BoN would like to reiterate his point without the Poelike qualities I'm sure we could include this sentiment in the article. 09:50, 21 December 2012 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
It's a weak argument. Some of the sayings of Jesus (as they appear in the Gospels) could be interpreted as revolutionary & forceful ("not to bring peace but a sword" etc.), even if they seem to contradict his more placid sentiments. & Both Christianity & socialism have been imposed forcefully by governments in ways which their originators would probably not have desired. As for the smoking of cigarettes, that's a complete red herring that goes unexplained. If you think it's an issue of morality rather than, say, physical health and social etiquette, you need to explain yourself. What is moral or immoral about smoking? ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:08, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Start over?[edit]

Rationalwiki should be capable of taking a critical stance of the inherent inconsistencies and structural flaws within socialist thought. The primary flaw, one noted by Orwell (I consider myself in the democratic socialist tradition of such criticism) is the tendency for socialist regimes to descend to paranoia, mutual loathing, and absolute state control. This is no accident and it is a structural flaw within the socialist model that simply does not exist in the liberal democratic tradition. In liberal democracy, power is a contained wherever possible and citizens are urged to restrain the power of the state where their liberties are threatened. Some liberties are occasionally sacrificed but the pay off ultimately involves a greater level of security. In socialism, political liberty is rarely even a matter of discussion in most mainstream circles. It is lazily assumed that a society where the workers control the means of production will not have any repression. And if it does, the 'repressed' most likely deserve it. Such lazy assumptions are the single greatest flaw in socialist ideology.

One must question how and why it is assumed that when the state assumes the means of production, that they will not necessarily and somewhat naturally seek to extend their reach into other areas of life as well? Many on the left embarrassingly invoke Hugo Chavez and his cult of personality as a positive model, yet overlook the truly disastrous affect he has had on his countries civil society. How he dominated the cultural and social landscape, drowning out alternative voices, and created a durable deep state, one that will never transfer power willingly to an opposing ideology. Orwell would have been appalled by Chavez's Venezuela, as should all right thinking people of the left.

The inherent ideal is not only worthy, it is in my view, necessary for humanities future. But its authoritarian tendencies should not be overlooked either.

I propose a complete re-write, in keeping with the spirit of the supposed 'skeptical' nature of this website. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:59, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Go for it. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:05, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I'd rather be clear about whether such an addition would be censored or not. MarcusCicero (talk) 13:54, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

One person's censorship can be another person's editing into a better/more grammatically correct text that does not 'set out to annoy people' (being a general comment). (talk) 14:05, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Financing entrepreneurship[edit]

(Moved from User talk:Sprocket J Cogswell)

I'm frankly baffled that you could think it a good idea to insert both the following sentences, not only in the same paragraph, but actually juxtaposed:

1. The obvious pragmatic answer is that community-run (mutual) banks would store and lend credit for investment in said community.

2. The standard answer is that, if people have investment money to spend, it should be funneled through a state-maintained industrial fund, that would decide where to invest the dosh in the best interests of society as a whole.

I wrote #2, but I don't care if #1 finds favor instead. I just think letting them both stand is like "The airplane took off. The airplane departed."

In a related story, I withdraw my other comment about "community." Cheers --Ithaca (talk) 16:17, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

As I see it, the difference, and it is a significant one, has to do with the nature of the financial institution. In the one case, it is based in a community, presumably with local control. In the other case, it is "state-maintained," with all the inefficiency and waste that goes along with a command economy. The two situations may seem similar from a galloping horse at a great distance, which may make it easier for power-hungry apparatchiks to sell the state-controlled form, cloaked in the color of "community investment."
This part could stand to be more clearly written, but the difference is real, and the similarities confusing enough to enable abuse. Did that make any sense? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:32, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, sort-of. How about this re-write then?
The standard answer is that, if people have investment money to spend, it should be funneled through a state-maintained industrial fund, that would decide where to invest the dosh in the best interests of society as a whole. A less centralized approach would involve community-run (mutual) banks storing and lending credit for investment locally.
--Ithaca (talk) 16:38, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd rather keep the "obvious" (to clear thinkers, I hope) part first, and have the second one be the "standard historical bureaucratic answer" or some such.
While we're at it, "In practice, the sad truth is that predatory entrepreneurship does not thrive under Socialism." could use some better focus. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:50, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps "in practice, the sad truth is that entreprenuership based on disparities in social power does not thrive under socialism" is clearer? (talk) 18:27, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

Types of socialism and interesting facts[edit]

Should this article have a section added about all the different types of socialism? I neither condone nor support socialism, but this article makes it look like socialism implies a centrally planned economy, which is not the case. There's such a thing as free-market socialism, also known as Ricardian socialism, which was inspired by the teachings of Adam Smith. Then, there are many other kinds of socialist economic organizations, ranging from market economies which are operated by the state (also known as the Lange model), to planned economies which are operated in a democratic and decentralized manner.--EternalSkeptic (talk) 16:07, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

Anyway, I added a section called "Interesting facts", which describes various socialist economic models that don't rely on traditional central planning. (Such as Ricardian socialism, the Lange model, decentralized planning and computer-based socialism).--EternalSkeptic (talk) 14:10, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Socialisms and free markets aren't incompatible.[edit]

This article seems to perpetuate the myth that socialism implies a command economy. This is false. The variable in socialism and capitalism is the ownership of the means of production, and nothing else. If you work to earn money, buy things with that money, sell things with that money, and so on, but collectively own the factory you work in (and all the other workers in your society own their factories), you're living in a socialist society.

This is more than a simple oversight, because the majority of this article's criticisms of socialism are actually criticisms of command economies. Example:

"The question of whether the standard Marxist-inspired definition of socialism involving social ownership of the means of production and economic planning is economically feasible has been ongoing, with social democrats having abandoned this pursuit. Historically, most attempts to establish comprehensive planned economies have either collapsed for being politically unsustainable or resulted in horrifying dictatorships."

When you understand that socialism and command economies are separate concepts, only tenuously related, this criticism is a complete non sequitur.

If no one has any objections, I'd like to rewrite this article, or perhaps submit a draft, correcting tbe misinformation presented in this piece.

MykalOfDefiance (talk) 04:14, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

Well, if you would like to do that then you can start by adding the current article to your sandbox.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:39, 1 May 2016 (UTC) 04:39, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
Good idea, thanks. I'm kinda new here (made my account a long time ago but have been absent almost just as long), so I don't completely understand the way things work. I'll work on the article and show the people here when I'm done! MykalOfDefiance (talk) 16:56, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
Socialist at heart, but despise socialism in practice. Group of workers gets together and forms their own company? Fuck yeah, I love valve as a company for this very reason! Government forces companies to adopt various policies to hide society's failings? Fuck off. StickySock (talk) 05:24, 1 May 2016 (UTC)
What you describe as socialism is less a feature of socialism and more a feature of brutal dictatorships. There are a few historical examples of the former existing in the absence of the latter, and the Zapatistas, who enjoy objective, measurable successes relative to the surrounding regions, are almost (but not quite) a modern example. MykalOfDefiance (talk) 11:45, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm impressed[edit]

That you are one of the few sources that define socialism as that what it is and meant. And not the propaganda bolshevist state does everything meaning. Try to debate that at the Wikipedia article haha thx -- (talk) 20:33, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

who likes the poor?[edit]

"Although in their defense, Jesus never said give your money to the poor through government. He talked about private self-decided socialism. Of course, they don't do that either." Wrong. Those cognitively dissonant selfish john galt loving north Americans actually give waaay more to charity (both secular and religious) then their socialist counterparts, who of course are clairvoyant and know the mind of jesus just like right wing talk radio hosts. Even poor conservatives give more than rich liberals. Self decided socialism.

Whoever you are and whenever you wrote this, you're citing state-sponsored Russian propaganda. Christopher (talk) 18:35, 4 November 2017 (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

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)