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Sun Mar 23, 2014, 01:34 PM

What am I?

Well, apart from not being really well read on socialism per se...

I'm hoping folks here can more precisely identify where I fall on the 'socialist'/'capitalist' spectrum, and suggest readings that might help me refine my rather general notion of the nature of socialism if I throw out some of my ideas.

First, I don't entirely exclude capitalism, just think it should be far more limited in where it arises. Any endeavour that is either explicitly mentioned in the duties of the state or can be seen to be implicitly geared towards the common good should be at least primarily a matter for the state, if not the exclusive purview of the state. No prison should be privately run, and indeed, all trial lawyers should be publicly provided - justice should not be a matter of who can afford the best lawyers. Education should be public, including university level. Private institutions should be allowed to exist, but should not receive any public support.

In healthcare, actual socialized medicine would be best, along with single payer. Licenses to practice issued by the state would require at least some minimal level of time spent working for public patients - no physician could simply decide to work exclusively for those who might pay cash outside the system and still stay licensed, unless they wanted to practice outside the country.

Public dining facilities would exist in any city over a certain size, with anyone able to simply walk in and receive breakfast, lunch and dinner, without direct charge, although such free meals would be off a limited menu of healthy choices. Ditto minimalist public housing, so that no one was forced to stay outside in inclement weather, would be able to sleep securely, and have a bathroom indoors.

Utilities of all sort should be publicly run, and the government should have manufacturing facilities to vertically integrate to minimize costs of the supplies it uses, whether in terms of ammunition, weaponry, or even office supplies.

Capitalism would largely be confined to non-essentials of life - fashion, design, entertainment, but government would be allowed even to compete in these areas, but would be required to compete evenly - it would have to run any of those endeavours as profit generators, unsubsidized by other facets of government.

So there would still be plenty of room for those who wanted go the private sector route, but specific areas related to the public welfare and critical needs of the state would be of a necessity state run.

So where does that put me on the socialist spectrum? Whose writings might I best identify with?

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Reply What am I? (Original post)
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2014 OP
TBF Mar 2014 #1
socialist_n_TN Mar 2014 #2
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Mar 2014 #3

Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 09:35 PM

1. Democratic Socialist would be my guess -

have you read any Howard Zinn or John Hobson (British)? They favored reform of capitalism rather than revolution.


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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Original post)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 07:37 PM

2. I agree with T. Probably a democratic socialist.......

although a little more to the left of the scale of dem soc. A lot of democratic socialists would leave a lot more of the economy in the hands of the capitalists than your scenario would. As a practical matter, I think that this system will wind up being what is instituted (at least for a while) after a revolution in this country.

The problem with government control of most of the other items you mentioned is that you run the real danger of a parasitic bureaucracy taking control of those state run agencies. To head this off, you really need a strong system of worker control of the means of production at an individual factory floor level, along with representation for the people on the controlling boards of industries that pertain to needs of the overall general population. These boards would consist of elected representatives who are IMMEDIATELY recallable and only make a wage consisting of the average of the workers in those workplaces, IOW, even though they're on the controlling boards, some workers at that facility would actually make MORE than the board members. This would prevent people from wanting to be on the boards because of opportunistic and material reasons.

BTW, welcome to the Socialist Progressives group of Democratic Underground. And on a personal note, my daughter also has a BSN. Congrats on that. I know how hard she worked for it.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 24, 2014, 07:50 PM

3. Thanks.

It's probably the most satisfying of my degrees, although to be honest, I think I was worked far harder on the ADN than any of the other degrees, including the BSN. I'm taking a phlebotomy tech course now, while I consider whether I want to head into an MSN in healthcare administration or geriatric/adult specialization.

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