View Full Version : The Dehumanising effect of Capitalism

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007, 06:10 PM
The title of this thread is a replacement to the one whos original intended title was " Is Socialism A Utopian Concept? " until I thought how absurd that title really is .

How , I wondered , can people who are members of Trade Unions, privy to free national health care , protected by Health and Safety laws in the workplace etc etc... still believe that Socialism is in some way utopian? The only conclusion to draw from this is that these people don't think that the very real examples given are a consequence of the socialist movement at all.

If this is the case it must lead to the conclusion that there has been a wonderful marketing campaign fought by the opponents of socialism to subvert its achievements in such dramatic fashion.
Any serious socialist who vocally supports or attempts its public promotion will know how any positive statements they make about it are received by many people with , at the very least indifference , sometimes open hostility.

Personally , I put this down to the de-humanising effects of living under the capitalist system , generation after generation. The continuing cycle of competition between people , selfish egoism , division of wealth , isolation , inequality promoted by our current system will only help to nurture in people the qualities needed to survive in that environment.
These survival traits have developed into the collective conscience of many hence the reactionary response to the strong humanitarian essence of socialist thinking. They have lost some of their humanity in the adoption of the skills needed to survive in a State based on competition between people.
Little wonder that those who hold on to their humanity in the competitive world of capitalism are treated with indifference or contempt.

The truth is , imo , we will in the future be forced to think of an alternative to the current system or face extinction by our own hand.

As for the misconceptions commonly held by many people that the Soviet and Chinese regimes were in any way representative of socialism I would like to divert to the thread currently on BuB about the Asatru child molester.

The universal consensus that this man is not representative of the Asatru faith is how I see it too. Everybody sees it ! Yet people don't see that the regimes of Stalin , Mao are not representative of socialism. Those who know what it is know a fake when they see it.

So , with an open mind toward the socialist State as a viable option we move on.

In the 1980's Oxfam released a pamphlet entitled " The Fear Of A Good Example " refering to the capitalist countries " fear " of a socialist state popping up somewhere around the world with the real intention of full promotion of socialist ideals and thus setting the much feared " good example. "

The fear of these countries was not based on the fear of whichever nation decided to take the plunge. The fear was based on the danger of their own populations casting admiring eyes towards such a system and , heaven forbid , asking a few questions about their own society.
Once again , we can not only see that some people ( our masters ) take socialism very seriously but that socialism continues to be denied the right to prove itself on the world stage. Even when democratically voted in by the population all socialist governments are harried and harrassed , even attacked , by those who fear a good example.

Socialism is very real and achievable it's the dehumanising effect of capitalism that creates those that doubt it

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007, 11:08 PM
It seems so obvious to me: capitalism creates losers; socialism demands winners.

In capitalism, anyone can be rich (so the great lie goes) but it's false that everyone can be rich. The rump of the millionaire rests on the backs of many, many poor.

In socialism, 'rich' is redefined--no longer the grotesquely ostentatious realm of the very few, but as an acknowledgement that the leaders of any community--family, tribe, folk, state, nation--are responsible to make sure that the simple rights to home, food, clothing, health care and education are met first and for all. Once that's done, let the rich have their hoardings.

Perhaps we can commit in this thread to abandon the tired old false arguments about how "the Soviet Union socialists" and the "Chinese socialists" prove that socialism doesn't work. Why abandon these arguments? Because neither the Russians nor the Chinese were/are socialists; they were/are totalitarian dictatorships.

But here's a bit of socialism from Wisconsin; the most popular mayor the city of Milwaukee has ever known, Frank Ziedler, preserved the entire lakeshore for public use.

<<As city population dwindled after he left office, Zeidler said he regarded transportation changes, particularly the rise of the freeway system, as a major reason for the city's decline.

"Milwaukee has switched away from its German roots," Zeidler said in an interview in 2002 with the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin. "It's become an African American and Hispanic city.">> (http://wfrv.com/topstories/local_story_189125405.html).

Wholly in agreement with Skyhawk, I say that the only reason capitalism continues to thrive is because of the fear it engenders--the very real fear that if you do not work your two or three jobs, surrender to your fistful of credit cards and spend-spend-spend, you will end up living in a discarded refrigerator box on a steam grate until disease, addiction or crime takes your life. Fear is what only the cruel use to motivate animals; it is what the economic dictatorship uses to motivate humans.

But what threatens folk of our kind? The lack of time to invest in our families and our folk, the inability to save money because of our consumer-goods-addicted cultures, the civil unrest just under the surface of the poorest of the poor--who are, at least in urban areas, overwhelmingly brutally angry at white people and the terrible difficulties of trying to maintain (much less promote) our sound Germanic life principles.

And who, after all, "suffers" in a gradual change to socialism? Can we call it suffering if someone has to forego their 50th pair of shoes so that a child can have her first? Does this micro-population really need to be protected in favor of our own grandparents?

We can become socialists now or slaves later on. We can reasonably redistribute wealth as an act of good government or we can scratch for ever fewer scraps as an act of desperate survival. We can arrange for reasonable health care standards for every citizen or we can die by the thousands when the next SARS/AIDS epidemic roars out of the poorest neighborhoods and into every strata of life.

Take away the fear of failing in a capitalist system and there is no longer a reason to stay away from prospering under socialism.

Thursday, May 10th, 2007, 10:09 PM
I think the best example we can see of how a western type State can improve under the adoption of more socialist policies is in Sweden.

From around the end of WW2 up until quite recently Sweden was governed by social democrats . Their continuous commitment to social policies for the best part of half a century led to Sweden becoming probably one of the most progressive societies in western europe.

It is important to note that Swedish nationals are/and have been considered by many other europian nationals as very liberal in their views , behaviour and Laws.

It is no surprise ( certainly to me at least ) to find that people who have lived in a society which focuses more on people and equality tend to be more tolerent, humane , understanding individuals in general themselves.

All this was achieved in Sweden not as the result of a peoples revolution or civil war ( which is a popular belief amongst people who fear the any introduction of socialist policies ) but by the power of the people though the Trade Unions movement.

Sadly in Europe and the US the governmental capitulation and handing over of power to the Multinationals will lead to no new examples of socialist policies and the State for us to study in the immediate future.
Which is not only of concern to socialists but should be a concern to everybody no matter what their personal politics may be.

We can democratically vote in any government , no matter what their historical roots may have been , they will continue to receive their orders from ( and for the benefit of ) the new rulers of ALL countries........ the Multinationals , the real dictators of not only national policies but of international policies.

The War in Iraq being a clear and disturbing example of such policies. The War on Terror being the general term or umbrella for all forthcoming conflicts necessary to secure the resources of the world into the hands of our Multinational masters.

As for present " good examples " of socialist policies at work we will have to rely for the moment on maybe the Bolivarian revolution of Chavez in Venezuela.

There is much tentative ( for obvious reasons ) co-operation from other South American nations in the aim of some sort of S American Commonwealth. Which if allowed to flourish ( not that I hold out any hope of this ) would may well be another good example of socialist ideas in practice.

They may well be able to show us all in the west a few things about democracy and the responsibilities of a democratically elected government to boot.