“Socialism is Evil”

MAY 2022 Forums General discussion “Socialism is Evil”

  • This topic has 33 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 4 months ago by Wez.
Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 34 total)
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  • #225437
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Our ex-member friend must be joking.

    #225441
    ZJW
    Participant

    Why must he be joking?

    #225445
    ALB
    Keymaster

    For suggesting that anything useful could come from debating this Peter Harrison character. He seems to be a disillusioned ex-Bordigist who toys with the idea of “primitivism” (ie of going back to living in caves).

    #225446
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Read this for instance. Or if you can’t plough your way through it, jump to the conclusion:

    “The other type of human is the one that still lives in the forests, in the hills, or on the plains, avoiding the advances of civilization. But their existence is precarious and is becoming more fragile with each passing day. These peoples are the last humans.”

    I came across these anarcho-primitivists in France in the 1970s and 1980s. They liked the writings of Zerzan. They had also emerged from the ultra-left. One of them told me that at one point Camette had become a nutarian ie someone who would only eat fruit and nuts that had fallen from a tree. I don’t know if that was true but he certainly became a nut.

    There was an echo of this in our companion party in the US a few years ago when a number left because they had come to the conclusion that the problem was not capitalism but “civilisation”. They were known as the Caveman Tendency.

    #225460
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Just occurred to me that Harrison will probably also take the view that socialism, as we understand it, is evil.

    #225506
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I have just read the Haskins book, or rather pamphlet as it’s only 90 pages. He does seem to have studied our case and portrays it accurately as us defining socialism as a classless, stateless, frontierless, moneyless world society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production by the whole people.

    He says that this is what Marx too envisaged as the post-capitalist future and that the terms ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ both refer to it. He accepts that socialism has to be democratic and has not been established anywhere and that the various authoritarian regimes that have called themselves or have been called socialism aren’t because they were not democratic.

    His approach to criticising socialism is different from that of his fellow anti-socialists who attack it as undemocratic on the basis of what happened in Russia, China, Cambodia, etc. He criticises it precisely because it would be democratic, extending democracy to the production and distribution of wealth.

    He doesn’t think that such a society is possible but his objections here are bog standard: that it’s against human nature and What About the Lazy Man, Who Will Do the Dirty Work, What If Everyone Wanted to Live in Malibu, etc, etc, which we have often met and refuted.

    His main point is that socialism in our and Marx’s sense is not just impossible but is ‘evil’ on the grounds that it would oblige people to share responsibility for something that was against their moral principles.

    This is the old ‘tyranny of the majority’ argument deployed by individualist anarchists against socialism (Haskins seems to be some sort of moderate anarcho-capitalist). His argument is that, because what is to be produced is democratically decided, if a majority decide to raise cattle or pigs to eat this would be ‘evil’ because it would force Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Vegans to accept this despite voting against it.

    Although he accepts that what he calls ‘European-style Socialism’ isn’t really socialism, he makes the same charge against a Public Health Service like the NHS. This too is ‘evil’ because it forces, for instance, strict Roman Catholics to accept decisions to provide contraception and abortion if it is decided that these should be provided.

    He would have a case if a majority were to decide that everybody had to eat meat but of course what people should eat or should not eat (or how they should dress, what they should read, etc) is not something that would be decided or would need to be decided by a vote but could and would be left to individual choice. There are limits to what can be decided by a majority decision.

    In any event, it is an argument against majority decision-making as such rather than just against socialism. Maybe his next book will be called ‘Why Democracy is Evil’.

    #225570
    ZJW
    Participant

    Regarding Haskins, are steps being taken to try to arrange a debate?

    #225575
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    “His main point is that socialism in our and Marx’s sense is not just impossible but is ‘evil’ on the grounds that it would oblige people to share responsibility for something that was against their moral principles.

    This is the old ‘tyranny of the majority’ argument deployed by individualist anarchists against socialism (Haskins seems to be some sort of moderate anarcho-capitalist). His argument is that, because what is to be produced is democratically decided, if a majority decide to raise cattle or pigs to eat this would be ‘evil’ because it would force Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Vegans to accept this despite voting against it.”

    Following his logic we can assume that he also thinks that Capitalism is similarly “Evil” as it requires pacifists, Jehovahs Witnesses, etc. who object to war, armies, etc. to “pay tax” to support the war industry.

    Taking his logic further, if motor industry corporations object to various car safety requirements, is it evil to require them to follow safety standardised regulations?

    Stretching this even further, is it “evil” to compel Socialists to live in a capitalist society? I object to property relationships, presumable it is “evil” to put me in prison if I walk away from Tesco’s with a dozen bottles of whiskey.

    To be honest, if the only defence of capitalism I had was such a piss poor pile of horse shit, I hope I would have the sense to keep my mouth shut!

    #225576

    Although he accepts that what he calls ‘European-style Socialism’ isn’t really socialism, he makes the same charge against a Public Health Service like the NHS. This too is ‘evil’ because it forces, for instance, strict Roman Catholics to accept decisions to provide contraception and abortion if it is decided that these should be provided.

    ———————————

    Enver Hoxha also said that European Socialism or communism ( Euro-communism ) was not communism

    #225578
    Mike Foster
    Participant

    Yes, ZJW, the possibility of a debate is being looked into.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Mike Foster.
    #225604
    twc
    Participant

    Stopping Socialism — Justin Haskins and Donald Kendal

    Video 1.
    What is Socialism?
    [October 2020]

    Video 2.
    3 Unstoppable Arguments Against Socialism
    [July 2021]

    Video 2. Timestamps

    • 01:58 Socialism NEVER Works
    • 06:58 Scandinavian “Socialism”
    • 14:39 The Big Finish — Socialism is Evil
    #225861
    robbo203
    Participant

    Here’s another bunch of right-wingers who might be worth contacting with a view to a public debate

    About

    #225865
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Should we be targetting our resources to trying to convert our implacable class enemies?

    Or use our limited energy to try and persuade an audience who happen to disagree with us on some aspects of our ideas but accept much of our basic case?

    #225867
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Haskins is a special case. He has explicitly accepted our definition of socialism, citing us by name, and has then criticised it. What we are demanding in this case is the right of reply.

    It might be worth debating some of the other capitalist ideologues with a view to exposing their arguments and putting ours but only before an audience of interested workers, not just their or our supporters.

    #225868
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    I have always been sceptical about the “fellow travellers” argument.

    The various Christian recruiting organisations do not generally make a beeline to the other Christian sects, they look more at other faiths and the non-believers. They have been in the game for nearly 1,900 years more than we have, perhaps they’ve picked up a few tricks.

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