Jump to content
iNow

Military is an excellent example of socialism. Why or Why Not?

Recommended Posts

War crimes, mass murders, genocide, and general raping and pillaging are not the purpose of the Military, Sensei.
( although I've always stated that all institutions can be corrupted by unscrupulous people )

The purpose of the Military is to protect and defend the people who pay for it collectively.
Seems perfectly Socialistic to me.

And as INow has stated, All Socialistic institutions have some Capitalistic aspects, just like all Capitalistic institutions have Socialistic aspects. I'm not even sure it's possible to have 'pure' Socialism or Capitalism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MigL said:

The purpose of the Military is to protect and defend the people who pay for it collectively.

Even in Canada the Military does more than that, and the US puts Canada to shame when it comes to using the Military for other purposes. The US has sent troops to Latin America about every four years on average since its founding. Countries like Grenada haven't really posed much of a threat to the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you can make the argument that they are there to safeguard American interests.
Even Canadian 'peace-keeping' is intended to ultimately protect Canada from a 'larger' conflict.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MigL said:

But you can make the argument that they are there to safeguard American interests.

"American" interests sure, but not necessarily for anything resembling socialistic interests. Many of the interventions during the Cold War were decidedly anti-socialism. Many others were in support of capitalism. Those interventions tend to undermine the claim that the military (at least in the US) is a socialistic institution.

Some of Canadas "larger conflicts" include overseeing elections in Korea and work in Haiti, which again is hardly a threat. Canada is a shining example of using their military for the right reasons, but those reasons are not always for protecting citizens who are Canadian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

American interests, during the Cold War, were the stopping of Communist expansion, so that Americans wouldn't have to spend so much in the arms race, to protect themselves from Communist expansion; i.e. their own interests ( and by 1989 it worked ). It had nothing to do with the fact that they were fighting against Socialist ( rather Communist ) ideals.
Even Middle East wars are in America's self-interest. If I want to be cynical, it is for cheap oil supply. You can argue that it's wrong, but it is still self-serving.
Similarly Canadians send their military to aid/work in Haiti, so that we don't have a humanitarian crisis, and our borders/ports are not inundated with refugees. Again perceived as self-interests

Any collective moneys spent on society's self-interests is a Socialistic endeavor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any collective monies spent on capitalistic interests or to defeat socialistic governments is not a socialistic endeavor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, zapatos said:

"American" interests sure, but not necessarily for anything resembling socialistic interests. Many of the interventions during the Cold War were decidedly anti-socialism. Many others were in support of capitalism. Those interventions tend to undermine the claim that the military (at least in the US) is a socialistic institution.

I don't see how that follows. 

Unless your doctrine of socialism requires that it be imposed on others, or that a socialistic system cannot be a threat to anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, MigL said:

And as INow has stated, All Socialistic institutions have some Capitalistic aspects, just like all Capitalistic institutions have Socialistic aspects. I'm not even sure it's possible to have 'pure' Socialism or Capitalism.

It's possible to have a system where socialistic endeavors aren't influenced as much by capitalistic requirements. Our schools used to have lunch personnel that were paid to operate the kitchens that were built into the schools. Now they mostly have contracts with private foodservice companies, and savings are being questioned, as well as poor but popular food choices: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2011/12/5/1042460/-

I think mixing socialistic programs with capitalistic requirements makes it all capitalism. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

It's possible to have a system where socialistic endeavors aren't influenced as much by capitalistic requirements. Our schools used to have lunch personnel that were paid to operate the kitchens that were built into the schools. Now they mostly have contracts with private foodservice companies, and savings are being questioned, as well as poor but popular food choices: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2011/12/5/1042460/-

I think mixing socialistic programs with capitalistic requirements makes it all capitalism. 

I disagree that having an element of capitalism turns something into "all capitalism"

Public schools might be even an better example of socialism, in that you are better able to depict it as an industry, that is owned by the state. There are workers who make a product, of sorts (turning children into better-educated children).

The fact that they might engage in a capitalist practice doesn't change that basic structure. They hire people in a marketplace and buy furniture and classroom supplies that way as well. But it's still a state-owned, state-run (and therefore owned and run by the people) enterprise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, zapatos said:

I tend to think "no". Socialism generally means everyone contributes and everyone benefits proportionately.

Kind of the opposite; everyone contributes and those in need benefits.

33 minutes ago, swansont said:

I disagree that having an element of capitalism turns something into "all capitalism"

Public schools might be even an better example of socialism, in that you are better able to depict it as an industry, that is owned by the state. There are workers who make a product, of sorts (turning children into better-educated children).

I agree other than public schools in the UK, IS anti-socialism... They're even registered as a charity, here...

55 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I think mixing socialistic programs with capitalistic requirements makes it all capitalism. 

It's all about the ballance, we have to have money, to eat/shelter/exist and when we don't; we'd better hope that someone else, does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, swansont said:

I don't see how that follows. 

Unless your doctrine of socialism requires that it be imposed on others, or that a socialistic system cannot be a threat to anyone.

No, my 'doctrine' of socialism requires that the benefactors be those who paid for the military. If the benefactors are oil companies then the military is serving the needs of capitalism, not socialism.

23 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I don't see how that follows. 

Unless your doctrine of socialism requires that it be imposed on others, or that a socialistic system cannot be a threat to anyone.

I disagree. Social Security as an example provides funds to everyone who contributed, and the more you contributed, the more you get back. If you are a billionaire you still get social security payments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would consider my pension to be Socialist.
Yet all pension funds invest in the Capitalistic stock market.

I would consider the Canadian Health Care system to be Socialist.
Yet the medications provided are the very definition of Capitalism.
( at least until the patents run out and they become 'generic' )

I would consider our infrastructure to be socialist.
Yet contracts are tendered to unionized labour ( another Socialist institution ) with higher profit margins than non-unionized labour; clearly a 'for-profit' Capitalistic result arrived at by Socialist means.

Need I go on, Phi ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, zapatos said:

I disagree. Social Security as an example provides funds to everyone who contributed, and the more you contributed, the more you get back. If you are a billionaire you still get social security payments.

Not proportionately, if you are a billionaire you don't need social security, unless it's meant to be a joke...

Edited by dimreepr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, zapatos said:

No, my 'doctrine' of socialism requires that the benefactors be those who paid for the military. If the benefactors are oil companies then the military is serving the needs of capitalism, not socialism.

It can be both, and again: why does this matter?

3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Not proportionately, if you are a billionaire you don't need social security, unless it's ment to be a joke...

Proportional to what you paid in; the payment requirements are capped. Also there is a means-testing. If you have income over a certain amount, you aren't eligible.

But if social security isn't socialism, then perhaps we have too many definitions of socialism bandying about to have a useful discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Not proportionately, if you are a billionaire you don't need social security, unless it's meant to be a joke...

Doesn't matter if I need it or not. I still get it. And it is proportional. I'll get more than my wife because I paid in more than she did.

2 minutes ago, swansont said:

: why does this matter?

It doesn't matter to me, it matters to the definition of socialism and its application to the military, which is what the OP asked about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, zapatos said:

If the benefactors are oil companies then the military is serving the needs of capitalism, not socialism.

Was it done solely for the purpose of benefitting the oil companies, or was that simply a 'side-effect' ?
Don't people want ( for better or for worse ) cheap oil prices ?

People wanting cheap oil prices and a dependable supply, is arguably the driving factor.
The Socialist aspect is using our collectively paid Armed Forces to secure the cheap oil supplies for our benefit.
That there are some Capitalist aspects such as the oil companies realizing that they can make a load of money from these actions, is what I talked about earlier; pure Capitalism and pure Socialism don't really exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Phi for All said:

So the military was socialistic when we had the draft? Choice is the difference?! 

Right.  In this thread there appears to be no consensus or agreement about the definitions of capitalism, socialism, fascism, dictatorship, and authoritarianism.  Maybe this should be addressed in order to have a meaningful discussion.

It seems that capitalism implies unscrupulous and/or fraudulent acts aimed at benefiting the actors likely to the detriment of all others.  And it seems that all activities benefiting the entire population are seen as socialistic.

I'd cite oil companies as counter example.  Fossil fuel firms seek vast profits to benefit it's shareholders and employees and in turn provide critical energy supplies that fuel all our lives.  Thought experiment: what would happen if (private) oil production was banned completely.  It's likely massive starvation and pestilence would result.  So oil companies greedily seek to enrich its owners, and thereby feed* virtually the entire human population.

Another example: North Korea's rumored pandemic policy.  Carefully and quickly shooting suspected coronavirus carriers would obviously be meant to protect society with no regard for those seeking their own enrichment (the infected).  Doesn't this rather perfectly match the goals of socialism? 

*Feed, clothe, house, employ, protect, et cetera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, MigL said:

pure Capitalism and pure Socialism don't really exist.

I agree. So we need to quit calling it socialism if instead it is a hybrid of socialism and capitalism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, zapatos said:

 It doesn't matter to me, it matters to the definition of socialism and its application to the military, which is what the OP asked about.

Which definition of socialism?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, zapatos said:

Doesn't matter if I need it or not. I still get it. And it is proportional. I'll get more than my wife because I paid in more than she did.

You're describing a bank account...

6 minutes ago, swansont said:

But if social security isn't socialism, then perhaps we have too many definitions of socialism bandying about to have a useful discussion.

In military terms social security is valid, in terms of actual need, as described above; I don't think the discussion is useless...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, swansont said:

Which definition of socialism?

As iNow pointed out there are many variations. I am making the argument that socialism requires that the contributors to a system also be the benefactors of the system. An example being Social Security, and a hybrid system being the military.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, swansont said:

I disagree that having an element of capitalism turns something into "all capitalism"

Public schools might be even an better example of socialism, in that you are better able to depict it as an industry, that is owned by the state. There are workers who make a product, of sorts (turning children into better-educated children).

The fact that they might engage in a capitalist practice doesn't change that basic structure. They hire people in a marketplace and buy furniture and classroom supplies that way as well. But it's still a state-owned, state-run (and therefore owned and run by the people) enterprise.

I think once you rank profit above anything else you're trying to do, you've turned it into capitalism. Maybe not "all capitalism", but I've often used the socialistic mentality Germany uses wrt maintaining its roads to show the difference between what they do and what the US does. Germany uses private contractors, but they MUST abide by the restrictions set for them, and if you repair a stretch of German roadway, you have to fix any potholes that happen in the next 10 years on your own dime. In the US, however, the emphasis on public contracts is on the private contractor. Their profit is more important, so fixing potholes is something they charge us for, along with repaving the roads unnecessarily every other year. 

I think capitalistic practices DO change the basic structure of our socialistic programs. It changes the emphasis when we cater to private interests, instead of forcing private interests to cater to the structure of socialism. Don't you think we would have approached education differently if not for the heavy influence of the private publishing industry? I think we've held onto textbooks a bit too long, sort of like our love affair with oil & gas.

I don't think it HAS to be this way. I think we should be able to lay out the design of classroom furniture with student's comfort in mind, and then ask for bids to make them. I think that's the way we used to do it. From what I hear now, the schools are shopping from private catalogs these days, from manufacturers who design desks to maximize their profit. It may be a subtle difference in some cases, but I still feel the basic structure of what we want changes when it's required to turn a profit above all else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

You're describing a bank account...

 

I'm describing the way our social security system works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, zapatos said:
 

I'm describing the way our social security system works.

That doesn't make it a social security system.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, zapatos said:

If you are a billionaire you still get social security payments.

Only if the billionaire payed into social security.  Clearly this very likely the case but not strictly necessary.  A billionaire who earns no interest (or is it taxable interest?) but lived off the existing cash holding would receive no social security payment.  And pay no income tax BTW.

32 minutes ago, swansont said:

Proportional to what you paid in; the payment requirements are capped. Also there is a means-testing. If you have income over a certain amount, you aren't eligible.

Means testing has been proposed for social security but as I understand it not implemented yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.