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How would YOU get people to give up the excess of what they produce, and fight their natural drive to dominate others?
Even if we pretend socialism is inherently authoritarian (which you would know is antithetical to the truth if you studied the true ideological roots of it)
I actually have studied the roots of socialism: Marx, etc.. It really does seem workable when supported by unfounded, idealistic assumptions about people.
I have also paid attention to people, particularly people who work, and have done so all their lives, unlike Marx, who sponged off of his parents and friends for almost all of his life.
What Marx, and his followers fail to account for is that EVERYBODY wants to keep what they already have, what they are in the process of getting, and what they plan to get. We all have different abilities and failings that affect how much we get for the same effort, and how much of that we are able to keep or grow. Even when all other things are equal, some of us end up with less for our effort, and some end up with more. When we have more, we want to keep it for ourselves and our families.
On top of that, the tendency toward creating and climbing dominance hierarchies is natural to vertebrates.
The combination of these realities means that, in order to "keep everything equal", an extraordinarily large amount of external social control must be applied, which is why Communism and Socialism necessarily have become hyper-authoritarian in the past.
So, pony up.
Propose a plan to institute and enforce communism that does not include secret police, gulags, or people magically becoming different than we really are.
the only difference between the far left and the far right is to be found in what they want for society.
I agree with this. The ONLY difference between far left and far right is what they WANT for society. What they do to society to get it is the same. The situation after they have done these things is the same.
The difference is that the far right wants an authoritarian hierarchy with a supreme leader and the far left wants the complete opposite. The only thing they really share in practice is that they are ideological religions, and as such those fully indoctrinated into them will sacrifice the well-being of others and/or themselves in order to move closer toward them.
What they want is irrelevant.
My point remains that the "overall effect in practice" is the same: a rigid society run by a very small group of rich and privileged elite who oppress and impoverish the masses, and imprison, torture, and kill any who dissent.
Stalin only sounds different than Ivan the Terrible if you use the words Communist, Monarchist, left, and right. If you merely describe how they actually treated the Russian people, and the effects of their behavior on the people, the differences melt away. The Soviet Union was just another empire.
if you studied the true ideological roots of it
Read my answer. I was only discussing what actually happens IN PRACTICE. Theories are all very nice, and so are intentions, but they often ignore how people actually behave in the real world.
The USSR valued rationality over religion or mysticism, did not care about race or enforcing gender roles, were not as kind to the beorgiosie, and had the goal of eventually dissolving the state and setting up a moneyless and stateless society.
Despite the values and goals (which you recounted accurately) of the USSR, the actual result was a highly stratified society with party leaders living lavishly at the top, and everybody else either suffering under crushing poverty, or in a gulag. In practice, the Soviet government was every bit as elitist, authoritarian, and grasping as the Nazi government or the Tsars.
Great, so you think the status quo is perfect and that no society will ever progress beyond the irrational monkey stage where they rely on social constructs and authority to guide them rather than reason and democracy as us radical leftists propose.
Not exactly, but you got a couple things correct.
1 - True, I don't think people will get past the irrationality.
Too many folks follow their emotions and ideal around philosophical corners (turning both right AND left), without accounting for basic realities about our species before announcing their grand plans.
2 - Of course people will continue to need to rely on social constructs. Without such constructs, it is unlikely that hordes of people can live peacefully together with all our differing and often competing beliefs, values, and desires. Democracy is one such social construct, as are a constitution & other laws, a republic, commerce, etc..
The reason I think a democratic republic is in the ideal zone is that it simultaneously accounts for the natural human drive toward hierarchies, and people's competing desires for security and liberty. It institutionalizes compromise in a manageable system.
you are actually for a bigger government than I am
I am not arguing in favor of what I want, but rather in favor of what I think it is actually possible to get. History demonstrates pretty consistently that realities trump ideals.
I recognize that others live in this society, as well. That means that we must all compromise. The only other option is that a few get exactly what they want to the detriment of the vast majority.
History also demonstrates pretty consistently that ideologues with good intentions are harmless until they are in charge.
Once in charge, their good intentions blind them to the horrors and oppression they inflict on the masses they seek to save. This sad reality is what binds together the Inquisition, the Umayyad conquests, the Crusades, the Conquista, the Cultural Revolution, the USSR, Nazi Germany, and the Italian Fascisti. They were all driven by people seeking to make the world better by saving the masses in spite of themselves.
it depends who they/you are.
No, it does not. Read the previous paragraph again if you need an explanation.
Are we talking right vs. left on the full political spectrum, or right vs. left on the modern American political spectrum (where conservative Republicans are barely left of center on the full political spectrum)?
To clarify, my assumptions/observations are the following:
In terms of the full political spectrum (not theoretical, but as it has manifested historically in the real world), it seems to me that the difference between far right (totalitarian theocrats, monarchists, etc.) and far left (communists, etc.) are merely a matter of vocabulary, not overall effect in practice.
The far right tends to promise physical or moral safety, and the far left tends to promise personal or economic equality, but these never actually manifest in such societies. Both ends produce highly stratified, outrageously brutal, and incredibly oppressive realities.
The main premise of those on the ends (far left and far right) is that people are not able to run our own lives, solve our own problems, and find ways to get along with our own neighbors, but (counterintuitively) that government is able to do these things for us (despite the fact that the people in government are in no way discernable from the rest of the populace.)
Personally I think the sweet spot is in the center region of democratic republics (whether parliamentary or not) with minimally regulated market economies where governmental control is balanced against personal freedom such that security and liberty are also relatively balanced.
So, as a leftist, (in whichever sense)
Do you think some guy or gal in government knows how to run my life and spend my money better than I do?
Do you think some guy or gal in government is more likely to be moral/ethical and more interested in fairness than I am?
"Westerners like criticizing and Chinese like praising" and "Westerners like innovating and Chinese like stealing" are totally compatible statements.
Westerners like criticizing and innovating
Criticism is how Westerners identify flaws, and become motivated to innovate in order to improve the things we criticize.
Chinese like praising and stealing (technology)
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Chinese copying the fruits of Western innovation and using Western technology is tantamount to praise of Western culture and achievement.