Socialism/Communism - bad ideas?


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Profile thorin belvrog
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Message 604963 - Posted: 17 Jul 2007, 11:47:55 UTC
Last modified: 17 Jul 2007, 11:48:32 UTC

Grown up in East Germany and having some experience how socialism should not be managed, I still think that socialism per se is a good idea. I only read about how it's been done in other former socialist countries but they made the same mistakes.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.
In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.
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Message 605002 - Posted: 17 Jul 2007, 13:28:03 UTC - in response to Message 604963.

Grown up in East Germany and having some experience how socialism should not be managed, I still think that socialism per se is a good idea. I only read about how it's been done in other former socialist countries but they made the same mistakes.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.
In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.

You sure do bandy that "opinion" around as if it's some substitute for reason and analysis.

I don't think anyone would care about communism/socialism as long as people are/were free to leave. Frankly, you don't want those that don't want to play because they are the ones that will milk the system, become "corrupt" if you will. But you can't blame them for doing so if you force them to stay. Once you, forced them to play in your sandbox, it's your fault if they start throwing sand in your face.

As I said, if it's sooooo cool, build another wall. Encompass all of Germany. You have the technological know how and you have the experience.

And once again there will be almost no gap between poor and rich.
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Message 605153 - Posted: 17 Jul 2007, 21:21:03 UTC - in response to Message 605002.

Grown up in East Germany and having some experience how socialism should not be managed, I still think that socialism per se is a good idea. I only read about how it's been done in other former socialist countries but they made the same mistakes.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.
In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.

You sure do bandy that "opinion" around as if it's some substitute for reason and analysis.

I don't think anyone would care about communism/socialism as long as people are/were free to leave. Frankly, you don't want those that don't want to play because they are the ones that will milk the system, become "corrupt" if you will. But you can't blame them for doing so if you force them to stay. Once you, forced them to play in your sandbox, it's your fault if they start throwing sand in your face.

As I said, if it's sooooo cool, build another wall. Encompass all of Germany. You have the technological know how and you have the experience.

And once again there will be almost no gap between poor and rich.

yes...but on the down side there were no homeless people, no unemployed people, no beggars, there was free transport for all, free childcare and pretty much equal opportunities for women. No wonder you don't like the idea :D

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Message 605175 - Posted: 17 Jul 2007, 21:39:23 UTC - in response to Message 605153.

yes...but on the down side there were no homeless people, no unemployed people, no beggars, there was free transport for all, free childcare and pretty much equal opportunities for women. No wonder you don't like the idea :D

I didn't say I didn't like the idea. I said, if it's sooooo cool, they can build another wall. They have the technological know how and they have the experience.

As long as people are free to leave, who cares?
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Message 605182 - Posted: 17 Jul 2007, 21:50:22 UTC - in response to Message 605153.

Grown up in East Germany and having some experience how socialism should not be managed, I still think that socialism per se is a good idea. I only read about how it's been done in other former socialist countries but they made the same mistakes.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.
In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.

You sure do bandy that "opinion" around as if it's some substitute for reason and analysis.

I don't think anyone would care about communism/socialism as long as people are/were free to leave. Frankly, you don't want those that don't want to play because they are the ones that will milk the system, become "corrupt" if you will. But you can't blame them for doing so if you force them to stay. Once you, forced them to play in your sandbox, it's your fault if they start throwing sand in your face.

As I said, if it's sooooo cool, build another wall. Encompass all of Germany. You have the technological know how and you have the experience.

And once again there will be almost no gap between poor and rich.

yes...but on the down side there were no homeless people, no unemployed people, no beggars, there was free transport for all, free childcare and pretty much equal opportunities for women. No wonder you don't like the idea :D

Well, the transport was almost free. And the flats were ultimately cheap. My parents had to pay less than 10% of one of their incomes for their flat: about 1GDR Mark per square meter.

About the freedom to leave: that's what I mean with
some experience how socialism should not be managed

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Message 605258 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 0:35:10 UTC - in response to Message 604963.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2007, 0:39:50 UTC

Hello, Thorin.

Grown up in East Germany and having some experience how socialism should not be managed, I still think that socialism per se is a good idea. I only read about how it's been done in other former socialist countries but they made the same mistakes.


'Socialism is a good idea' is your opinion, which you have a right to. Not everyone shares this opinion, as is their right.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.


Yes, thats a problem, all right. People tend, by nature, to be egocentric, greedy, and corrupt. It is a problem in ALL political/economic systems, not just Socialism/Communism.

In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.


So Marx believed. He believed the shift would be permanent. However, history has shown that there is a strong tendency to 'swing back' towards capitalism because of economic efficiency. A current case in point is the People's Republic of China. They are overcoming the effects of many decades of economic inefficiency due to Communism and are expanding the size of their economy many-fold by adopting some 'capitalist' reforms.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.


Well, that is a nice idea, and I am NOT being sarcastic. It would be a very good thing if ALL of humanity could do this. Many of us do already, its called donating to charity, or even just 'helping out a friend'. If all of humanity could be convinced of the wisdom of giving part of their surplus to those that are needy, it would be positively wonderful! But then, why would we then need to make it mandatory by having a socialistic or communistic government/economy? Would it not be better then to enjoy the economic efficiency of a capitalist system, knowing that the needs of needy would be taken care of by our common generosity without it being mandated by the government through force-of-arms?

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Message 605369 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 9:56:46 UTC - in response to Message 605153.

Grown up in East Germany and having some experience how socialism should not be managed, I still think that socialism per se is a good idea. I only read about how it's been done in other former socialist countries but they made the same mistakes.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.
In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.

You sure do bandy that "opinion" around as if it's some substitute for reason and analysis.

I don't think anyone would care about communism/socialism as long as people are/were free to leave. Frankly, you don't want those that don't want to play because they are the ones that will milk the system, become "corrupt" if you will. But you can't blame them for doing so if you force them to stay. Once you, forced them to play in your sandbox, it's your fault if they start throwing sand in your face.

As I said, if it's sooooo cool, build another wall. Encompass all of Germany. You have the technological know how and you have the experience.

And once again there will be almost no gap between poor and rich.

yes...but on the down side there were no homeless people, no unemployed people, no beggars, there was free transport for all, free childcare and pretty much equal opportunities for women. No wonder you don't like the idea :D

and very boring

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Message 605376 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 10:40:38 UTC - in response to Message 605258.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2007, 10:43:39 UTC

Hello, Thorin.

My theory is: the socialist countries only vanished because of the corruption within the system. Avoid people to become egocentric, greedy and corrupt, and this system should work.


Yes, thats a problem, all right. People tend, by nature, to be egocentric, greedy, and corrupt. It is a problem in ALL political/economic systems, not just Socialism/Communism.
I disagree. As I understand it, the statement that people tended to egoism by nature is just false. Even in wildlife there is altruism, is helping the needy, is sharing the surplus -- So in my understanding altruism is the natural way, and people are directly or indirectly instilled into becoming greedy and egocentric.

In my opinion all countries will develop from capitalism to socialism to communism, when the time is right.


So Marx believed. He believed the shift would be permanent. However, history has shown that there is a strong tendency to 'swing back' towards capitalism because of economic efficiency. A current case in point is the People's Republic of China. They are overcoming the effects of many decades of economic inefficiency due to Communism and are expanding the size of their economy many-fold by adopting some 'capitalist' reforms.
I don't have anything against entrepreneurs and economic efficiency - as long as humans are treated much more important than money, and as long as there is no huge gap between rich and poor. I'm fine with the fact that one is earning more than the other one - according to a different amount of work and to different responsibilities; and I'm even fine with the fact that people earn money doing business - that's all okay. But I think the surpluses should be shared: Those who have a lot shall give a lot, those who have little shall give little... that all who can will participate into the growth of the entire nation. That there is an equality of chances as well as an equality of rights and duties. Like a chain being as strong as its weakest link, a society can be judged in how they treat their weakest people.

Like children who are taught to grow out of "have, have, have" and into "let's share what I have" by their parents, I think it should be taught to the entire humankind to grow out of greed towards voluntary sharing. In my opinion it's all a matter of education.


Well, that is a nice idea, and I am NOT being sarcastic. It would be a very good thing if ALL of humanity could do this. Many of us do already, its called donating to charity, or even just 'helping out a friend'. If all of humanity could be convinced of the wisdom of giving part of their surplus to those that are needy, it would be positively wonderful! But then, why would we then need to make it mandatory by having a socialistic or communistic government/economy? Would it not be better then to enjoy the economic efficiency of a capitalist system, knowing that the needs of needy would be taken care of by our common generosity without it being mandated by the government through force-of-arms?

Here I again have to point out that I only have seen and experienced how socialism should not be managed. They made a lot of clear mistakes between 1917 and 1989. Political oppression, cutting the freedom of travel, allowing corruption and "shadow economics" - these are just three mistakes of many...

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Message 605386 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 11:17:43 UTC - in response to Message 605376.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2007, 11:43:28 UTC


I don't have anything against entrepreneurs and economic efficiency - as long as humans are treated much more important than money, and as long as there is no huge gap between rich and poor. I'm fine with the fact that one is earning more than the other one - according to a different amount of work and to different responsibilities; and I'm even fine with the fact that people earn money doing business - that's all okay. But I think the surpluses should be shared: Those who have a lot shall give a lot, those who have little shall give little... that all who can will participate into the growth of the entire nation. That there is an equality of chances as well as an equality of rights and duties. Like a chain being as strong as its weakest link, a society can be judged in how they treat their weakest people.


Actually, surprisingly, this approach is an industrial capitilist one. To explain, with examples such as Henry Ford, and Friederich Krupp, who recognised that the needs of workers did include money, but were not always the biggest motivator.

Friedrich Krupp, for example, provided health care, subsidised housing and pension programs for workers. His workforce grew from 1, to over 20,000 by the time of his death in the 1800's, the biggest company that had ever been in that time. [This was when child labour and slavery was commonplace, he made use of neither]

Henry Ford initially had problems that 100 positions in his company would need 300 people hired per year. Very high costs for retraining, lost production and seeking new workers. Better working conditions ( and pay, twice the going rate) as well as meeting the psychological needs for personal growth safety and welfare, meant these costs actually dropped and productivity was vastly increased.

In other words industrial capitalism, in its purest form, recognises its workers as a major investment.

In many many companies this is not recognised and those 'bad businessmen' generate a lot of heartache, and end up going bust due to only getting bad workers, a bad reputation, and losing business. These companies generally go broke.

Take a look around at successful companies and how they treat their workers. You'll find the most sucessful, have the best conditions.


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Message 605416 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 11:56:58 UTC - in response to Message 605386.


I don't have anything against entrepreneurs and economic efficiency - as long as humans are treated much more important than money, and as long as there is no huge gap between rich and poor. I'm fine with the fact that one is earning more than the other one - according to a different amount of work and to different responsibilities; and I'm even fine with the fact that people earn money doing business - that's all okay. But I think the surpluses should be shared: Those who have a lot shall give a lot, those who have little shall give little... that all who can will participate into the growth of the entire nation. That there is an equality of chances as well as an equality of rights and duties. Like a chain being as strong as its weakest link, a society can be judged in how they treat their weakest people.


Actually, surprisingly, this approach is an industrial capitilist one. To explain, with examples such as Henry Ford, and Friederich Krupp, who recognised that the needs of workers did include money, but were not always the biggest motivator.

Friedrich Krupp, for example, provided health care, subsidised housing and pension programs for workers. His workforce grew from 1, to over 20,000 by the time of his death in the 1800's, the biggest company that had ever been in that time. [This was when child labour and slavery was commonplace, he made use of neither]

Henry Ford initially had problems that 100 positions in his company would need 300 people hired per year. Very high costs for retraining, lost production and seeking new workers. Better working conditions ( and pay, twice the going rate) as well as meeting the psychological needs for personal growth safety and welfare, meant these costs actually dropped and productivity was vastly increased.

In other words industrial capitalism, in its purest form, recognises its workers as a major investment.

In many many companies this is not recognised and those 'bad businessmen' generate a lot of heartache, and end up going bust due to only getting bad workers, a bad reputation, and losing business. These companies generally go broke.

Take a look around at successful companies and how they treat their workers. You'll find the most sucessful, have the best conditions.


Unbridled capitalism has its problems mainly in the form of monopolies. Once a monopoly has been established, there is a much lower incentive for that monopoly to either improve service, or to avoid price gouging. Quite often a monopoly will have a war chest large enough to drop prices and improve service for long enough to put any new competition out of business. Then it is back to the high prices and poor service. A truly competetive market is much more efficient at providing service.

Communism has its problems mainly in the form of ineffiency and motivation. If there is no personal benefit for working harder, many people won't (some people will work hard just because the like to, but not enough to make the system work).

There are some services that are best provided by governments or heavily regulated monopolies. There are other services best served by a competitive market.
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Message 605431 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 12:38:31 UTC - in response to Message 605416.


I don't have anything against entrepreneurs and economic efficiency - as long as humans are treated much more important than money, and as long as there is no huge gap between rich and poor. I'm fine with the fact that one is earning more than the other one - according to a different amount of work and to different responsibilities; and I'm even fine with the fact that people earn money doing business - that's all okay. But I think the surpluses should be shared: Those who have a lot shall give a lot, those who have little shall give little... that all who can will participate into the growth of the entire nation. That there is an equality of chances as well as an equality of rights and duties. Like a chain being as strong as its weakest link, a society can be judged in how they treat their weakest people.


Actually, surprisingly, this approach is an industrial capitilist one. To explain, with examples such as Henry Ford, and Friederich Krupp, who recognised that the needs of workers did include money, but were not always the biggest motivator.

Friedrich Krupp, for example, provided health care, subsidised housing and pension programs for workers. His workforce grew from 1, to over 20,000 by the time of his death in the 1800's, the biggest company that had ever been in that time. [This was when child labour and slavery was commonplace, he made use of neither]

Henry Ford initially had problems that 100 positions in his company would need 300 people hired per year. Very high costs for retraining, lost production and seeking new workers. Better working conditions ( and pay, twice the going rate) as well as meeting the psychological needs for personal growth safety and welfare, meant these costs actually dropped and productivity was vastly increased.

In other words industrial capitalism, in its purest form, recognises its workers as a major investment.

In many many companies this is not recognised and those 'bad businessmen' generate a lot of heartache, and end up going bust due to only getting bad workers, a bad reputation, and losing business. These companies generally go broke.

Take a look around at successful companies and how they treat their workers. You'll find the most sucessful, have the best conditions.


Unbridled capitalism has its problems mainly in the form of monopolies. Once a monopoly has been established, there is a much lower incentive for that monopoly to either improve service, or to avoid price gouging. Quite often a monopoly will have a war chest large enough to drop prices and improve service for long enough to put any new competition out of business. Then it is back to the high prices and poor service. A truly competetive market is much more efficient at providing service.

Communism has its problems mainly in the form of ineffiency and motivation. If there is no personal benefit for working harder, many people won't (some people will work hard just because the like to, but not enough to make the system work).

There are some services that are best provided by governments or heavily regulated monopolies. There are other services best served by a competitive market.

sorry, but although there have been socialist countries, there still haven't been any country which had communism in which "...houses, fields, and factories will no longer be private property, and that they will belong to the commune or the nation and money, wages, and trade would be abolished."(Kropotkin)
The constitutions of the socialist and "Communist" countries defined that these countries were "developing towards communism"

According to theory
communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations. In [...] communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants.

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Message 605439 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 12:54:24 UTC - in response to Message 605416.
Last modified: 18 Jul 2007, 13:04:40 UTC

Unbridled capitalism has its problems mainly in the form of monopolies. Once a monopoly has been established, there is a much lower incentive for that monopoly to either improve service, or to avoid price gouging. Quite often a monopoly will have a war chest large enough to drop prices and improve service for long enough to put any new competition out of business. Then it is back to the high prices and poor service. A truly competetive market is much more efficient at providing service.

Name one. I mean, one that hasn't been imposed on you by force of law by the gov't. It seems the gov't really hates those things (not that they've ever found one)... well, except when the gov't decides it must force one on us. For some reason, then it's OK

There are some services that are best provided by governments or heavily regulated monopolies.

Why, because you said so?

Everything would be "best served by a competitive market." Let the companies crush each other and drive costs down, that brings the best goods and services to the most people at the cheapest prices. A heavily regulated, actual monopoly (as provided by law) doesn't drive costs down.

Take for example, the legally created utility monopolies. Generally, by law, any increase in efficiency must go directly to reducing cost to the consumer. Since they have no competition, and are guaranteed to make money by law, they have no incentive whatsoever to invest in bettering their system. Why would they? It's expensive, no more profit is gained (in fact it's lost--they spent money they cannot recover, indeed, it lowers their overall return), and they get 100% of the customers anyway.
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Message 605441 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 12:59:51 UTC - in response to Message 605431.

sorry, but although there have been socialist countries, there still haven't been any country which had communism in which "...houses, fields, and factories will no longer be private property, and that they will belong to the commune or the nation and money, wages, and trade would be abolished."(Kropotkin) The constitutions of the socialist and "Communist" countries defined that these countries were "developing towards communism"

Heh. They had all the guns they needed and they had near absolute power. That was all they needed for this workers utopia.

According to theory "communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations. In [...] communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants."

And that was such a kool idea that massive walls needed to be built, to force the worker to acknowledge that someone else knew better what was best for him.

It's also why the system will always fail if people are forced to participate: while they are "free to contribute" at the point of a gun, they are also free to do nearly nothing and ride the system.
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Message 605455 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 13:49:02 UTC - in response to Message 605441.

sorry, but although there have been socialist countries, there still haven't been any country which had communism in which "...houses, fields, and factories will no longer be private property, and that they will belong to the commune or the nation and money, wages, and trade would be abolished."(Kropotkin) The constitutions of the socialist and "Communist" countries defined that these countries were "developing towards communism"

Heh. They had all the guns they needed and they had near absolute power. That was all they needed for this workers utopia.

According to theory "communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations. In [...] communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants."

And that was such a kool idea that massive walls needed to be built, to force the worker to acknowledge that someone else knew better what was best for him.

It's also why the system will always fail if people are forced to participate: while they are "free to contribute" at the point of a gun, they are also free to do nearly nothing and ride the system.


I don't know where you got that picture from. I've never seen anyone pointing guns on somebody in a factory back in that time. But I saw that people who were against the system were arrested - like in every other system.

An example about "force to work"
Everyone had a right to get a job - and everyone who had a job had the duty to do their job. According to Constitution, and according to the Laws.
When someone didn't come to work without an obvious reason (vacation, day-off, sick...), they got a visit by their union representative to see what's going on. If that person wasn't at home and not in a hospital around, or was just too lazy to work or too busy doing private work, this person was asked to go to work again asap, getting unpaid day-offs for the time missing -- or in case of lack of co-operation, the person was picked up and accompanied to work by a police officer for a certain time, using no violence at the first time, as long as there was co-operation.

About The Berlin Wall: You forgot maybe, that there were 2 separate German countries. The Federal Republic of Germany (called West Germany) - founded on 23 May 1949 out of the French, British and American Zones (declared "fully sovereign" 5 May 1955), and the German Democratic Republic (called East germany, or "the Zone"), founded 7 Oct 1949. West Berlin (which was enclosed by the Wall in 1961) was in fact occupied until 1990. And doesn't have a country the right to secure their borders? The freedom of travel was cut short because of the Cold War.
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Message 605470 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 14:40:03 UTC - in response to Message 605455.

I don't know where you got that picture from. I've never seen anyone pointing guns on somebody in a factory back in that time. But I saw that people who were against the system were arrested - like in every other system.

Hmmmm, the Brandenburg Gate? Checkpoint Charlie? The Berlin Wall? They couldn't LEAVE.

An example about "force to work" Everyone had a right to get a job - and everyone who had a job had the duty to do their job. According to Constitution, and according to the Laws. When someone didn't come to work without an obvious reason (vacation, day-off, sick...), they got a visit by their union representative to see what's going on. If that person wasn't at home and not in a hospital around, or was just too lazy to work or too busy doing private work, this person was asked to go to work again asap, getting unpaid day-offs for the time missing -- or in case of lack of co-operation, the person was picked up and accompanied to work by a police officer for a certain time, using no violence at the first time, as long as there was co-operation.

Heh. Sure. "the person was picked up and accompanied to work by a police officer for a certain time, using no violence at the first time, as long as there was co-operation." Oh yeah, no overt threat there at all.

Like I said, you obviously think this stuff is a great idea. Build another wall. Get everyone that thinks as you do, and do it. Nothing is stopping you.

And doesn't have a country the right to secure their borders? The freedom of travel was cut short because of the Cold War.

Odd that it was only cut short for those in communist countries... But either way, a country can secure it's borders without pointing the machine gun nests towards the interior.
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Message 605527 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 17:57:21 UTC - in response to Message 605455.

sorry, but although there have been socialist countries, there still haven't been any country which had communism in which "...houses, fields, and factories will no longer be private property, and that they will belong to the commune or the nation and money, wages, and trade would be abolished."(Kropotkin) The constitutions of the socialist and "Communist" countries defined that these countries were "developing towards communism"

Heh. They had all the guns they needed and they had near absolute power. That was all they needed for this workers utopia.

According to theory "communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations. In [...] communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants."

And that was such a kool idea that massive walls needed to be built, to force the worker to acknowledge that someone else knew better what was best for him.

It's also why the system will always fail if people are forced to participate: while they are "free to contribute" at the point of a gun, they are also free to do nearly nothing and ride the system.


I don't know where you got that picture from. I've never seen anyone pointing guns on somebody in a factory back in that time. But I saw that people who were against the system were arrested - like in every other system.

An example about "force to work"
Everyone had a right to get a job - and everyone who had a job had the duty to do their job. According to Constitution, and according to the Laws.
When someone didn't come to work without an obvious reason (vacation, day-off, sick...), they got a visit by their union representative to see what's going on. If that person wasn't at home and not in a hospital around, or was just too lazy to work or too busy doing private work, this person was asked to go to work again asap, getting unpaid day-offs for the time missing -- or in case of lack of co-operation, the person was picked up and accompanied to work by a police officer for a certain time, using no violence at the first time, as long as there was co-operation.

About The Berlin Wall: You forgot maybe, that there were 2 separate German countries. The Federal Republic of Germany (called West Germany) - founded on 23 May 1949 out of the French, British and American Zones (declared "fully sovereign" 5 May 1955), and the German Democratic Republic (called East germany, or "the Zone"), founded 7 Oct 1949. West Berlin (which was enclosed by the Wall in 1961) was in fact occupied until 1990. And doesn't have a country the right to secure their borders? The freedom of travel was cut short because of the Cold War.

please don't tell us that wall and fence were to secure borders. it had one pupose, keep people in. i was stationed 8 kilometers from the border and saw it with my own eyes. it would have taken our infantry company about two minutes to breach it. it was designed with bombs in the bobwire(visible) to blow up if someone tried to climb over. there were armed gun towers about every 300 yards to shoot anyone who tried. there were vehicle barriers to stop any traffic that tried to get out. and there was a mine field on the west side just in case someone made it over. protect their border? just from their own people.

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Message 605612 - Posted: 18 Jul 2007, 20:27:22 UTC
Last modified: 18 Jul 2007, 20:29:21 UTC

To present a slightly different approach, allow me to present a newspaper article for discussion.

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1891543.ece

Irritation grows over taxes


Norwegians have long accepted high taxes to finance their social welfare state, but a new survey indicates rising dissatisfaction and, in some cases, outright hatred of some taxes that are viewed as way too high and unfair.

Norwegians are among the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in which to live. Most accept the taxes they're ordered to pay on income and even net worth and property, but growing numbers are publicly complaining about sky-high taxes on everything from cars to fuel to consumer goods.

Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They're what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.

"It's clear that taxes are much too high in oil-rich Norway," Oslo resident Gro Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten. "It's sick!"

The taxes placed on new cars, which can more than double the price of the car itself, are another bone of contention, even though most Norwegians support measures to protect the environment. "The car tax is much too high, but so are most all the other avgifter also," said Ernst Bendiksen of the northern city of Vadsø, where Norwegians are far more dependent on their cars than those living in cities with good public transit systems. "We certainly don't get anything in return for them."

A study conducted by research firm MMI for the Norwegian Tax Payers Association (Skattebetalerforeningen) showed that the most hated taxes are those on new cars and a transfer tax levied when real estate changes hands. The so-called dokumentavgift on real estate transactions, which implies that it's meant to cover the costs of property registration, costs homebuyers around 2.5 percent of the purchase price.

Three of four Norwegians believe that's too high, according to the MMI study, and absolutely no one believed it was too low. With even a modest flat in Oslo costing a few million kroner these days, the tax amounts to a fair bit of change.

Regressive inequality
The study also showed that 67 percent of the population think Norway's inheritance taxes are too high, while 63 percent think fuel taxes are too high. Norway's hefty 25 percent VAT (like a sales tax) on nearly all consumer items is considered too high by 53 percent of the population.

Only 32 percent, meanwhile, believed tobacco taxes are too high, while 44 percent believed liquor taxes are too high.

The user taxes, or avgifter, are also unpopular because they're largely regressive taxes that hit people with low incomes much harder than those with high incomes. Filling the car's gas tank, and paying the taxes that requires, is much more expensive for someone earning NOK 300,000 than it is for a car owner earning NOK 900,000.

The head of the tax payers' association, Jon Stordrange, said he thinks user taxes should be adjusted to reflect actual costs inflicted on society. "Then I think people would have more respect for the system," he said.

Aftenposten English Web Desk
Nina Berglund


It seems that while people in Norway accept that high taxes are required to finance a Social Welfare State, there comes a point where the required taxes just become too much to tolerate.

Thoughts? Opinions?

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Message 611626 - Posted: 30 Jul 2007, 16:05:09 UTC

Well, the biggest problem is always greed. Ideas and philosophies are nice - but are often failing because once people have absolute power this power corrupts. So in the end there is always the danger of a dictatorship in the one or the other form.

Having experienced being an employee and an employer I find it just fair that the one who works hard earns more then someone without the urge to work. The best system is IMHO like Germany approx thirty years ago - a worker could earn enough to afford a house, car, wife@home, children and holidays. The money spent would strengthen the economy and crime rate would be low.

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Message 611750 - Posted: 30 Jul 2007, 19:59:54 UTC - in response to Message 611626.

Well, the biggest problem is always greed. Ideas and philosophies are nice - but are often failing because once people have absolute power this power corrupts. So in the end there is always the danger of a dictatorship in the one or the other form.

Having experienced being an employee and an employer I find it just fair that the one who works hard earns more then someone without the urge to work. The best system is IMHO like Germany approx thirty years ago - a worker could earn enough to afford a house, car, wife@home, children and holidays. The money spent would strengthen the economy and crime rate would be low.


Yes, dictatorship is always a danger, no matter whether on the right or the left.

Out of curiosity, 'Germany approx thirty years ago'... Would you mean East or West Germany?

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Message 612190 - Posted: 31 Jul 2007, 0:07:03 UTC - in response to Message 611750.

Well, the biggest problem is always greed. Ideas and philosophies are nice - but are often failing because once people have absolute power this power corrupts. So in the end there is always the danger of a dictatorship in the one or the other form.

Having experienced being an employee and an employer I find it just fair that the one who works hard earns more then someone without the urge to work. The best system is IMHO like Germany approx thirty years ago - a worker could earn enough to afford a house, car, wife@home, children and holidays. The money spent would strengthen the economy and crime rate would be low.


Yes, dictatorship is always a danger, no matter whether on the right or the left.

Out of curiosity, 'Germany approx thirty years ago'... Would you mean East or West Germany?

Both. Because of the Cold War between the two German countries the West tried to be as social as East Germany -- 1) to show the Eastern part how good life can be in West Germany, and 2) to prevent west German ppl to move East.

btw: according to the East German constitution the GDR government was a "dictatorship of the proletariat", not a socialist government.
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