Regular wrote:People in the west have weird understanding about socialism in Soviet Union as well. It's either black or white.
I've had a chance to live some years under red banners and I can say that even last stages of communism had decent quality of life through the Union..
You HAD to work, there was no benefits per se, as you see in UK.
There was no lazy culture and generally people were quite hungry for money.. by hungry, I mean, most of the people were really good at making businesses.
Streets were clean, children playgrounds had no bottles, siringes, pavement was in top condition, parks - safe and clean, culture centres had plenty of going. It was almost idyllic. Because there were people who did that job and did it well.
Well, to go hungry you will probably needed to be heavy alcoholic. But even then, people were forced to go to work in some form or another. By force, I mean, it was done through social workers. So you had to be on self-destructing path to starve.
It's just west that does it so WRONG.. benefits- the way they are paid in UK, Norway, Germany... It's so counterproductive.. it wins the votes for politicians, but it doesn't help people get to work. I personally think - people should be forced to work. If they don't want to- let them go through social structures and explain themselves why they are not contributing to society and if they are capable to work, but don't want to- make their easily lifes unbereable by social workers visits, property confiscations and even arrest if needed. No one is that lazy to go to jail for it.
I don't know what is true. I think you might be romanticizing Communism maybe. Of course you know that the US is a very right wing reactionary country. I think a major problem for Americans is that the words Socialism and Communism have different meanings and interpretations and isn't properly defined. Many Americans especially on the right view Norway as a socialist country while others view it as a capitalist country; the same as some very right wing reactionaries view Nazi Germany as socialist while other socialist think that is crazy to view the Nazis as socialist.
I copied this from a website I was reading and it sums up a good point of view on the capitalist socialist debate:
"My contribution is very basic. The trouble with socialism (at least when it was practiced in Ethiopia in 1974–91) was that it stopped people from investing and it hardly invested as a system. The classic case is housing. It nationalised private houses but did not maintain them or build new ones; it did not allow individuals to maintain or build — the result houses fell down and homelessness became rampant.
Where investments were made, say in state farms, they were not managed efficiently leading to wastage of public resources. Of course the “Workers’ Party” members took the lion’s share of the limited resources and led luxurious lives. I therefore disagree with Umair’s assertion that socialism is you getting rich. Socialism, as I understand it, is actually us getting poor except those who take power in the name of workers.
We, as humans the most intelligent creatures (at least on this planet), must be able to build a system that is fair to all citizens. We should not discourage capitalism from growing but it must grow responsibly! We must develop mechanisms so that we don’t get capitalists richer while us getting poorer. I am not just thinking about taxation here — social protection systems, PPPs, philanthropy, and building strong community structures that can make sure the poor are not left behind. The latter can also hold accountable those who get rich at the expense of the poor.
What is the role of government in all these? Providing a conducive policy environment for the development of “capitalism with a human face” and empowering individuals and communities! "
Here are some good reads: