We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"All but the hard-hearted man must be torn with pity for this pathetic dilemma of the rich man, who has to keep the poor man just stout enough to do the work and just thin enough to have to do it.” -GK Chesterton, 1917
Socialist differ on whether to compel labor by the lash, but agree on compelling it through hunger.
First, what is the best the socialists, in their writings, can offer us? What do the most optimistic of them say? That our subsistence will be guaranteed, while we work; that some of us, the best of us, may earn a surplus above what is actually necessary for our subsistence; and that surplus, like a good child, we may "keep to spend." We may not use it to better our condition, we may not, if a fisherman, buy another boat with it, if a farmer, another field ; we may not invest it, or use it productively ; but we can spend it like the good child, on candy — on something we consume, or waste it, or throw it away.
Could not the African slave do as much? In fact, is not this whole position exactly that of the negro slave? He, too, was guaranteed his sustenance; he, too, was allowed to keep and spend the extra money he made by working overtime; but he was not allowed to better his condition, to engage in trade, to invest it, to change his lot in life. Precisely what makes a slave is that he is allowed no use of productive capital to make wealth on his own account. The only difference is that under socialism, I may not be compelled to labor (I don't even know as to that — socialists differ on the point), actually compelled, by the lash, or any other force than hunger. And the only other difference is that the negro slave was under the orders of one man, while the subject of socialism will be under the orders of a committee of ward heelers. You will say, the slave could not choose his master, but we shall elect the ward politician. So we do now. Will that help much? Suppose the man with a grievance didn't vote for him?
--Socialism; a speech delivered in Faneuil hall, February 7th, 1903, by Frederic J. Stimson
The socialist methods of production will kick in any time now. Also, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is ever closer.
What Stalin calls socialism corresponds by and large to Marx’s concept of the “early phase” of communism. Stalin reserves the term communism exclusively for what Marx called the “higher phase” of communism. Socialism, in the sense in which Stalin has lately used the term, is moving towards communism, but is in itself not yet communism. Socialism will turn into communism as soon as the increase in wealth to be expected from the operation of the socialist methods of production has raised the lower standard of living of the Russian masses to the higher standard which the distinguished holders of important offices enjoy in present-day Russia.
Most people today don't remember what Lenin or Mao did. The dangers of socialism are hard to understand if you only listen to those who preach socialism. But Venezuela is right now and very real. It happened in the lifetime of every adult alive today. We know who the guilty parties were and who the supporters were. We know how it happened and what lies were told for Hugo Chavez to first take power there. It is that easy and that dangerous. This isn't something in an old musty hitory book where the worst facts were cleansed to make it rated PG. It's in the news. you can see it on Youtube. It's real.