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socialism

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@Jamie123 Thanks for participating in this thread.

On 8/4/2020 at 6:24 PM, Traveler said:

social justice demands a one size fits all which is the ideological basis of socialism. 

 

21 hours ago, Traveler said:

With very few exceptions - most any citizen of the USA can chose socialism.  They can have free housing, meals, clothing, health care, education and even retirement benefits - but with so many things in this universe there is a catch.  The catch is that every morning someone will come and wake you up - you will not be allowed to sleep in.  You can do what I did when I was 17 and join the military. 

 

19 hours ago, Traveler said:

socialism is not about help - it is about everybody is treated the same.  This is the one size fits all. 

 

19 hours ago, Traveler said:

We would all sleep in a same size bunk (regardless of the size of the person).  We all had the same issue for clothing.  We all went to the same place to eat - but we were able to determine portions.   If someone got the flu - we all got the same shot.  We all got the same pay based on rank regardless of abilities.  If someone wanted education (including college) we all got the same education benefit.  If someone in the company screwed up we were all given extra duty - and so on and so on.

I know we have some people on this board who are friendlier towards socialism than I am and who support Bernie Sanders' democratic socialism. This question is directed to them:

Do you agree with Traveler's definition of what socialism is?

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This is a true Story.

 

I was in Switzerland last September 2019 eating in a nice restaurant in Lucerne with several friends.  The conversation varied, but at one point I held out against Socialism and railed against the evilness of it.  Topics were changed and we went on to other subjects.

As we were eating dessert, a couple came to the table and stated that they had overheard the conversation about the evils of Socialism.  They were from Russia, and had lived there during the Soviet period.  Now living in Chicago, they stated that anyone who has lived in a socialist society hates socialism.  They hated it, that's why they emigrated from Russia as soon as they could.  They came to hate their local politicians in Chicago, and were looking to leave there as well.

No one who has lived through what happened behind the Iron Curtain likes socialism except the ones who had privileged positions in those societies.

As far as the NHS goes, I have been in the UK many, many, times and have some good friends there.  My friends wife made a very good living selling...………….wait for it...…………...Health Insurance!  The NHS is not for everyone for sure.

Also it is a big political football.  Almost daily in the press the NHS has front page headlines.  Good or bad depending on the POV of the newspaper.  So why any  normal government would want to take on the responsibility for the general health of their population is beyond me.  A way to buy votes, I assume.

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2020 at 4:16 PM, Traveler said:

Maybe - but socialism is not about help - it is about everybody is treated the same.  This is the one size fits all.  The military is such a equalizer.  There is not such thing as lazy.  The term in the military is a deserter - which is a crime punishable by death.  Like I said - the catch is that every morning someone comes and wakes you up.  If you do not want to go along with the regulars - your choice is to go along with everybody in the brig.   No one that argues for socialism ever talks about how it is enforced.  And many complain about how the mentally ill are treated in free societies like the USA - but they never consider how the mentally ill are treated in any socialists society.

 

The Traveler

Sure, this is what the original form of socialism, or what inspired it was supposed to do.  There were nor RICH or POOR in the group (or supposed not to be).  If someone arrived with 3 beds and 5 family members, they got to keep the beds...and maybe even get two more!

However, If they had more than they needed, it was taken from them.  Each individual was given as to their needs...but not necessarily to their wants.  In Peter's time, this was enforced by DEATH!

In Joseph Smith's time, it was not, though excommunication occurred.  Many who were poor not only got to keep what they brought with them but were issued more.  However, there were several individuals that had a LOT (always that 1%, though at the time it was more like 25-40% of those who had more then they needed and had it taken away from them).  Some of the most upset were those invested in land which had that land divested from them.  Many of those previously rich abandoned the church and became some of the most angry ex-members of the Church (and that led to a great deal of strife in Missouri, and also the death's of the prophet and other leaders). 

Under Brigham Young, in some ways it became a matter of life and death.  During the famine of the first few years in Utah the Council of the Twelve (and also delegated down to Bishops at periods, especially later on) determined how much food each family got.  It was literally a decision that could determine if someone lived or died in the early years of the church.  However, even then members did not embrace the program wholly and eventually their discontent led President Young to do other programs and other economic policies among the Saints.  If they had listened to him and Utah had not been made part of the United States, it is possible that Utah today (probably known under Deseret or another name instead) would have possibly been the strongest Religious (Theological) Socialistic government in existence!

In the Utah Territory, and under Brigham Young, it could be Death for those who did not participate (especially early on).  In some ways, you could see it as one size fits all, as it was supposed to be (though there are those who would argue it didn't actually work this way, there were the haves and have nots even in the Church's program) according to one's needs...and it was the needs that were addressed.  In general, this was an equal distribution among the Saints at the time in relation to age and individual (thus, each individual would be issued one potato a day, so a family of 5 might get 5 potatoes...though at times it may be distinguished via family rather than individual, in which case each family gets 2 potatoes between them all...which could be hard on large families in those instances). 

In this, everyone was expected to work as well (and it was literally for the survival of the Saints in early Utah, and in many of the early settlements...if you didn't work it could actually condemn the entire group to death or starvation or other such travesties).  Those who chose not to do so did not necessarily go to the Brig...it was far worse.  They could be exiled and excommunicated (which, could also mean starvation, or at times, torture).

The difference that I would say though, is that one is led by the Lord and his prophet (and thus, the corruption of men does not arrive) while the other is led by the wisdom of men...which we know is not the wisdom of the Lord.  This is a major difference between the two systems in my opinion.  Brigham Young's society was actually a pretty big success, and represents one of the shining moments and goals of those who study socialism.  It represents that socialism CAN work...under the right circumstances (of course, from a religious view we know that's because the Lord was behind it, even if that is not recognized in a secular world).  That is a BIG difference. 

Most Socialism does not work that way today.  It is not one size fits all, or even similar to what Brigham Young (or Joseph Smith or Peter) created.  Instead, it has variations. 

For example, we take the military you talked about.  Not all are treated the same...unless things have changed drastically over the past few decades.  Higher ranked NCO's and officers got their own tent or quarters.  They got better accommodations, and different aspects of work and respect.  Officers and enlisted had different common areas, and at times different levels of attaining certain items (officers would be higher on the ladder than enlisted, especially lower ranked enlisted).

If we go to the socialism in the US, it also works differently than one size fits all.  Social security (Social is built right into the name of it...though one could call it socialist security) isn't paid in the same amount to everyone.  Some get more than others. 

Medically speaking, I'm not as clear on the social aspects, but I know it works incredibly well in Germany.  People who need emergency surgeries get them basically as quickly as those in the US, and those who need surgery but not as an emergency, depending on the situation could get them faster as well (not as big a waiting list).  Germany DOES pay it's doctors relatively well from what I understand (though not at US levels for many) which may be a reason why they have them, but while a surgery that is done in the US may bankrupt many, it will not cost much in Germany at all.  On the otherhand, there are some things that might take a LOT longer in Germany than the US...such as unneeded surgeries (plastic surgery for example for someone who simply wants to change some aspect of their body for vanity reasons, rather than necessity or need).

Mentally ill is another issue entirely.  That could be a debate in and of itself.  I'll have to do more research into the Early Saints to see how they handled the mentally ill, but I expect it may not be a good thing to read about in some ways.  In Germany, the worst cases are given food and shelter and taught lessons on how to take care of themselves.  They are not really given opportunities to advance in life or society.  If one views education in three tiers which people are delegated to, the top has people who are able to advance academically and go to the universities.  The second tier are those who you would know as blue collar and do necessary jobs for all of us.  The lowest tier though are for those who are mentally or otherwise deficient.  Once in that tier, it is nigh impossible to get out.  Instead of being taught letters and numbers in higher education, they are taught basics such as how to wash your clothes, or how to vacuum a room.  In this way, though they have what they need to survive, they are not really given the tools to advance in life if they are able or wish to.

On the otherhand you have the US.  In the worst case many of the mentally ill are homeless and wander, ignored by the rest of society.  Of course, there are success stories as well.  There are those who are on disability that are paid so little they cannot afford a home or place to stay even if they wished to have one, or cannot afford other necessities such as the medicine which could make them operate normally in society.  Then, because the US offers education to all (that's more of a socialistic idea in the US, where one size kind of fits all in grades 1-12), they have the opportunities to learn and possibly advance in life and society.  In many cases, those who are mentally disabled or ill have advanced to great heights in society and had a huge amount of success.  This could be something impossible in other nations that are more socialistic than the US.

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On 8/7/2020 at 5:27 PM, JohnsonJones said:

Sure, this is what the original form of socialism, or what inspired it was supposed to do.  There were nor RICH or POOR in the group (or supposed not to be).  If someone arrived with 3 beds and 5 family members, they got to keep the beds...and maybe even get two more!

However, If they had more than they needed, it was taken from them.  Each individual was given as to their needs...but not necessarily to their wants.  In Peter's time, this was enforced by DEATH!

In Joseph Smith's time, it was not, though excommunication occurred.  Many who were poor not only got to keep what they brought with them but were issued more.  However, there were several individuals that had a LOT (always that 1%, though at the time it was more like 25-40% of those who had more then they needed and had it taken away from them).  Some of the most upset were those invested in land which had that land divested from them.  Many of those previously rich abandoned the church and became some of the most angry ex-members of the Church (and that led to a great deal of strife in Missouri, and also the death's of the prophet and other leaders). 

Under Brigham Young, in some ways it became a matter of life and death.  During the famine of the first few years in Utah the Council of the Twelve (and also delegated down to Bishops at periods, especially later on) determined how much food each family got.  It was literally a decision that could determine if someone lived or died in the early years of the church.  However, even then members did not embrace the program wholly and eventually their discontent led President Young to do other programs and other economic policies among the Saints.  If they had listened to him and Utah had not been made part of the United States, it is possible that Utah today (probably known under Deseret or another name instead) would have possibly been the strongest Religious (Theological) Socialistic government in existence!

In the Utah Territory, and under Brigham Young, it could be Death for those who did not participate (especially early on).  In some ways, you could see it as one size fits all, as it was supposed to be (though there are those who would argue it didn't actually work this way, there were the haves and have nots even in the Church's program) according to one's needs...and it was the needs that were addressed.  In general, this was an equal distribution among the Saints at the time in relation to age and individual (thus, each individual would be issued one potato a day, so a family of 5 might get 5 potatoes...though at times it may be distinguished via family rather than individual, in which case each family gets 2 potatoes between them all...which could be hard on large families in those instances). 

In this, everyone was expected to work as well (and it was literally for the survival of the Saints in early Utah, and in many of the early settlements...if you didn't work it could actually condemn the entire group to death or starvation or other such travesties).  Those who chose not to do so did not necessarily go to the Brig...it was far worse.  They could be exiled and excommunicated (which, could also mean starvation, or at times, torture).

The difference that I would say though, is that one is led by the Lord and his prophet (and thus, the corruption of men does not arrive) while the other is led by the wisdom of men...which we know is not the wisdom of the Lord.  This is a major difference between the two systems in my opinion.  Brigham Young's society was actually a pretty big success, and represents one of the shining moments and goals of those who study socialism.  It represents that socialism CAN work...under the right circumstances (of course, from a religious view we know that's because the Lord was behind it, even if that is not recognized in a secular world).  That is a BIG difference. 

Most Socialism does not work that way today.  It is not one size fits all, or even similar to what Brigham Young (or Joseph Smith or Peter) created.  Instead, it has variations. 

For example, we take the military you talked about.  Not all are treated the same...unless things have changed drastically over the past few decades.  Higher ranked NCO's and officers got their own tent or quarters.  They got better accommodations, and different aspects of work and respect.  Officers and enlisted had different common areas, and at times different levels of attaining certain items (officers would be higher on the ladder than enlisted, especially lower ranked enlisted).

If we go to the socialism in the US, it also works differently than one size fits all.  Social security (Social is built right into the name of it...though one could call it socialist security) isn't paid in the same amount to everyone.  Some get more than others. 

Medically speaking, I'm not as clear on the social aspects, but I know it works incredibly well in Germany.  People who need emergency surgeries get them basically as quickly as those in the US, and those who need surgery but not as an emergency, depending on the situation could get them faster as well (not as big a waiting list).  Germany DOES pay it's doctors relatively well from what I understand (though not at US levels for many) which may be a reason why they have them, but while a surgery that is done in the US may bankrupt many, it will not cost much in Germany at all.  On the otherhand, there are some things that might take a LOT longer in Germany than the US...such as unneeded surgeries (plastic surgery for example for someone who simply wants to change some aspect of their body for vanity reasons, rather than necessity or need).

Mentally ill is another issue entirely.  That could be a debate in and of itself.  I'll have to do more research into the Early Saints to see how they handled the mentally ill, but I expect it may not be a good thing to read about in some ways.  In Germany, the worst cases are given food and shelter and taught lessons on how to take care of themselves.  They are not really given opportunities to advance in life or society.  If one views education in three tiers which people are delegated to, the top has people who are able to advance academically and go to the universities.  The second tier are those who you would know as blue collar and do necessary jobs for all of us.  The lowest tier though are for those who are mentally or otherwise deficient.  Once in that tier, it is nigh impossible to get out.  Instead of being taught letters and numbers in higher education, they are taught basics such as how to wash your clothes, or how to vacuum a room.  In this way, though they have what they need to survive, they are not really given the tools to advance in life if they are able or wish to.

On the otherhand you have the US.  In the worst case many of the mentally ill are homeless and wander, ignored by the rest of society.  Of course, there are success stories as well.  There are those who are on disability that are paid so little they cannot afford a home or place to stay even if they wished to have one, or cannot afford other necessities such as the medicine which could make them operate normally in society.  Then, because the US offers education to all (that's more of a socialistic idea in the US, where one size kind of fits all in grades 1-12), they have the opportunities to learn and possibly advance in life and society.  In many cases, those who are mentally disabled or ill have advanced to great heights in society and had a huge amount of success.  This could be something impossible in other nations that are more socialistic than the US.

I am of the mind that the "United Order" and the "Law of Consecration" are not socialism.  There are several points - first ownership is considered to be G-d's and not the community.  There were principles of stewardship that is based in agency.   Distributions were not according to law but were conducted according to the inspiration of ordained priesthood leaders.  The "Law of Consecration" is by divine order to be an act of agency - not in any way the loss of or disenfranchisement of agency.

In reference to Joseph Smith - the great apostasy (hatred of Joseph Smith) had more to do with the failure of the Kirkland Safety Society - which was more speculative investments of individual greed than communal socialism.

The early church believed that the idle should not eat of the "bounties" of the laborer and that industry was a personal virtue.    I believe that it is still doctrine that without individual personal industry there is no honor and thus welfare is not just the providing of needed goods but opportunity of service.

 

The Traveler

 

The Traveler

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6 hours ago, Traveler said:

I am of the mind that the "United Order" and the "Law of Consecration" are not socialism.  There are several points - first ownership is considered to be G-d's and not the community.  There were principles of stewardship that is based in agency.   Distributions were not according to law but were conducted according to the inspiration of ordained priesthood leaders.  The "Law of Consecration" is by divine order to be an act of agency - not in any way the loss of or disenfranchisement of agency.

In reference to Joseph Smith - the great apostasy (hatred of Joseph Smith) had more to do with the failure of the Kirkland Safety Society - which was more speculative investments of individual greed than communal socialism.

The early church believed that the idle should not eat of the "bounties" of the laborer and that industry was a personal virtue.    I believe that it is still doctrine that without individual personal industry there is no honor and thus welfare is not just the providing of needed goods but opportunity of service.

 

The Traveler

 

The Traveler

Study more on how the United Order and Law of Consecration worked. 

It is considered socialism under the current definitions.

Quote

a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

In regards to your points...Socialism isn't necessarily where ownership is of the community, but where property is utilized by the community as a community, rather than the individual.  It is not "owned" by anyone...in that way.  Another way to view it, it is NOT owned by any MORTAL individual...in this instance, as the Lord is not on this Earth, is not mortal, is not using it, it is being utilized completely by the community as community utilization. It is therefore regulated by those on this earth (normally his Prophet and Church leaders) who are part of the community under the Laws of the Lord.

There were very strict Laws under Brigham Young, and there were also laws under Joseph Smith.  There was inspiration, but there was also a very LEGAL way of doing things.  This kept it as fair as it could be in many ways.  The LAWS were pretty strict in many areas, far more strict than what you see in most nations that claim to be utilizing socialism or socialistic programs today. 

People blame the Kirkland Safety Society, and that had some to do with it, but you need to read about the men that actually were in MISSOURI (not Ohio) and the LAND they felt was taken and stolen from them.  In fact, due to much of the property that they lost and was given to others, some were extremely bitter and utilized this in rousing up other people in Missouri to think the church members were coming en masse and voting against their interests. This is not to say that the Safety Society did not have anything to do with it, but many who drove the mobs in Missouri were not only having difficulties from that, but directly had difficulties in losing property and seeing it given away without what they felt was proper compensation (they were given what they needed, not what they WANTED).

Socialism does not believe idleness is good, but does rely on virtue, or that people will be virtuous.  The United Order also feels this way, but enforces it far more harshly than...most other socialistic societies.

One of the oddities of Modern Mormonism (this includes more than just our church, but others that fall under the Mormon theological umbrella) is the very conservative slant they've taken.  In the 1930s and 40s the Church was actually at the forefront pushing socialism and supported it tremendously (and socialism and religious communism should NOT be confused with Marxism or Marxist Communism...even early on the church was opposed to this form of socialism).  Some of it bad (this is one area where you can see in texts where they supported the National Socialists in Germany for example), some of it questionable to modern members (the Social Security and Welfare systems promoted by FDR originally took many ideas from the LDS version of the Law of Consecration into consideration, as well as it's United Order and the way it utilized help for the poor and needy in the Utah areas). 

Members today would be politically opposed to members a mere 80 years ago, and probably would be among those persecuting the Saints from a mere 120 years ago if they lived in the same time periods.  The opinions that you read of theirs from back then vs. many of the opinions from now are that diametrically opposite in their views in regards to economics.  What Hasn't changed AS much are their views on chastity and morality (though the Saints today are actually FAR MORE lax than those of even 80 years ago, much less 120 years ago). 

I imagine if the Law of Consecration were given to the members today, most could not live by it.  They would THINK they would get to keep all their property, especially in the US, but as most of us (yours truly included) have FAR more than what we actually need, while saints in some other poorer nations lack greatly in necessary areas, I imagine we would lose a great deal of property as it is given to those in need.  Remember, there are no rich OR poor in the Lord's plan.  When this is done, I imagine it would foster similar attitudes to those who were in Missouri and apostasized among many members in the US, as they would be very angry at the loss of property.  Many might even feel betrayed because they thought they would get to keep all they had under the Law of Consecration rather than having to give it away and then have what they NEED reallocated to them instead.  One reason why the Law of Consecration is probably not used in our day.  Members would not be able to live under it righteously, and would rebel instead.

The differences between the socialism being run by a government run by men vs. a government run by the Lord is the biggest difference, which is why sometimes people will refer to these things more as religious socialism or religious communism to differentiate them from each other.  One is the divine and promotes the divine, while the other is run by a more secular group.  In that view, for those who are religious, the religious version is less inclined to corruption, while the secular version run by governments of men can be rife with corruption.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 8/9/2020 at 3:15 AM, JohnsonJones said:

Study more on how the United Order and Law of Consecration worked. 

It is considered socialism under the current definitions.

Quote

a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

This definition is far two broad.  Even capitalism relies  on the markets that are regulated by what the associated  community as a whole will or will not purchase and for how much. 

 

The Traveler

 

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