"socialism" popular in the US

July 2020 Forums General discussion "socialism" popular in the US

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 129 total)
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  • #192862
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    https://www.axios.com/capitalism-opposition-2020-election-trump-democrats-5c7747b3-d581-49a9-8f8b-61c7b05211d3.html

    I know we have dismissed such polls as being inaccurate since the definition of socialism does not match our criteria on what socialism actually means. But it is  thermometer of sorts (to use Engels phrase) of the political temperature and what is our possible potential audience at its widest.

    “40% of Americans — and 55% of women between 18 and 54 — say they would prefer to live in a socialist country over a capitalist one.

    What they mean: When Americans say they want to live in a socialist country, they don’t mean they want to live in a Marxist command economy. Rather, they mean that they want universal health care, tuition-free education, and a decent day’s wage for a decent day’s work.
    “Socialism” is best understood as a term that evinces a deep dissatisfaction with the way that capitalism has played out in America, more than as a clearly-defined ideology.”

    It seems free access to the very basic necessities is what we should be concentrating upon…As another thread on the forum indicates, even capitalism can justify free travel

    #192863
    marcos
    Participant

    First, socialism is not going to be an economic system, and marxism is not an economic system, Marx made a critique to capitalism, second,  in 2016 54% or 60%  of women voted for Donald Trump knowing that he was a sexist and womanizer, and a member of the USA capitalist class, that included the Feminists, the Lesbians and others women, and most of them were white women., and most of them opposed women from the Latin American countries It was a reality and some peoples in the forum of the Socialist Party said that I was a sexist. The feminist candidate lost the election due to the electoral college. Most polls do not show social reality. More than 99% of the American ( USA ) workers do not have a clue of what socialism is

    #192881
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Yet another survey, this time a worldwide one.

    56 percent of respondents said they agree with statement, “Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world.”

    That belief was expressed by a majority across age group, gender, and income level divides.

    In Australia, Canada, the U.S., South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan, the majority disagreed

    48 percent of respondents believe the system is failing them, while just 18 percent believe it is working for them.

    78  percent agree that “elites are getting richer while regular people struggle to pay their bills.”

    15 out of 28 , the majority are pessimistic about their financial future, with most believing they will not be better off in five years’ time than they are today.

    In the U.S., this represents a seven-point drop in optimism since 2019.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/20/welp-glad-thats-settled-global-poll-finds-majority-believe-capitalism-more-harmful

    We have a wide potential receptive audience.

    Why are we not resonating with them?

    #192883
    ALB
    Participant

    I think we are to an extent but the lesson would be that we should concentrate on saying how horrible capitalism is rather than how nice socialism would be.

    But look at the question again:

    “Capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world.”

    This leaves open the answer that capitalism could/should be reformed so as to change this rather than done away with completely, So why isn’t this “resonating” with reformists or vice versa? Why did the Labour lose the election? Why did the Australian Labor Party not win the election down there? And why will Sanders if he is selected lose the coming US elections; in fact why will Warren?

    The answer is that it probably is resonating with more but not enough people. Which I think answers your specific question.

    #192884
    robbo203
    Participant

    We have a wide potential receptive audience.
    Why are we not resonating with them?

    Partly I think because we are doing precious little to tap into this potential

    The problem is we live  in the age of the internet and the WSM has simply not yet adapted to this.  The vast majority of its membership is inactive,  because of isolation and probably not really appreciating what they can do to contribute.

     

    I am beginning to see what can be done on even a small scale with our American companion Party.   This time last year it was at the point of collapse.  Then it reorganised.  All members barring one or two were put on a central discussion list enabling party wide decisions to be made instantly.  The website was reorganised upgraded and made more attractive.  Members started writing pamplets and most crucially of all ,  a handful of comrades starting linking to material on the WSPUS website via the social media such as Facebook.   The result? The flow of contacts that had virtually dried up started flowing again and now we are seeing new members joining (one just yesterday).

     

    I cannot stress enough that the key to progress is through the internet where increasingly people meet the WSM and through which the vast majority of new members now join.   But there is only a tiny handful of members proactively linking to our website material via social media such as Facebook or Quora – I would say less than a dozen worldwide.

     

    If we could triple or quadruple the number of members engaged in this sort of activity I wouldn’t mind betting we would see an explosion in the number of contacts made and the number of new people taking up the trial offer of the Socialist Standard.   There is  direct correlation between the number of new contacts made and the number of new members made.

     

    This organisation needs to seriously consider developing an approach that would encourage every member to engage in internet work and perhaps some sort of ad hoc committee needs to be set up for that very purpose

     

     

     

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by robbo203.
    #192886
    rodshaw
    Participant

    robbo’s post seems to indicate that the WSM is an ageing organisation with not enough young members who are au fait with social media. Is this true?

    #192887
    robbo203
    Participant

    robbo’s post seems to indicate that the WSM is an ageing organisation with not enough young members who are au fait with social media. Is this true?

     

    Hi Rod,  I dont think age has got that much to do with it.  Its attitude, not age, that is the problem.   Older members are fully capable to using the internet and probably have more time on their hands to do so but overwhelmingly dont.   This is the root of the problem.   We have got to find a way of encouraging ALL members, young and old, to engage in more internet work.    The evidence shows that this IS the way  ahead.  It doesn’t mean abandoning traditional forms of activity but supplementing them.

     

    The really frustrating thing about all this is that internet work is NOT time-consuming, difficult  or laborious.  Its easy-peasey.   Anyone with a computer can do it and it only takes a few minutes a month.   Here is the link to a campaign that  sadly very few members have even bothered to respond to :

     

    http://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/search?q=ten+minutes

     

    The results of this kind of activity are disproportionally FAR BETTER than other forms of activity.   What is happening with the WSPUS now proves this and, even in the case of the WSPUS, only a minority are active in this way.

     

    Probably less than a dozen members across this world are engaged in this sort of activity on  Facebook, Quora and other social media.   If we can get it properly organised and join up all the dots – make this (and other WSM) website’s contents more amenable to linkability and get many more members involved in linking on the social media – we could quadruple the number of contacts we make within a year.  And more contacts means more members and, in due course, a much larger organisation than we currently are

     

    Yet we dont do this while the evidence is staring us in the face that this is what we ought to be doing!

     

    Why?

     

     

    #192888
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    ALB “I think we are to an extent but the lesson would be that we should concentrate on saying how horrible capitalism is rather than how nice socialism would be.”

    I have suggested the latter but was reminded that we are not going to offer a blueprint of socialism. I don’t think people require reminding of the horrors of capitalism. What they need to know is that there is an alternative.

    When does the broad brush strokes of depicting general feature of socialist society cross over to describing a utopian ideal and presenting the cook-book Marx cautioned against?

    We are ageing, Rod, and young members are urgently required if we are to continue as a viable political organisation. Age brings infirmity and the days where some members can take an active part in campaigns such as leafletting is passing.

    But many are well able to use social media at a personal level yet decline to make political use of it.

    Age also brings cynicism and feelings of ennui…you know a wearisome about after years of involvement producing little or no effect so why bother any more. That is what we can reverse if Robbo’s initiatives are encourage.

    We can be armchair revolutionaries with the laptop and mobile phone as our weapons. After all it is a battle of ideas and the manner that we present ours is vital.

     

     

     

    #192890
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Robbo

    I’m reasonably computer savvy, but not really doing all that I could in terms of using the lessons from the WSPUSA. I post quite a few provocative comments on the BBC have your say slots, trying to link this to party material etc. However I know there is more that could be done.

    Would it not be an idea to have a party workshop/get together on how to use the interweb more effectively, where all of the comrades who are interested in doing this come together and pool their knowledge and experience. I know it would help this old codger.

    #192891
    robbo203
    Participant

    I think that’s an excellent idea Bijou –  having a workshop on how to use the internet more effectively.   But I  think there are a number of other things that also need to be done to get this idea off the ground (what I mean by joining up the dots).

     

    For starters , this website needs to be sorted out as it is currently a bit of mess as far as locating material is concerned.   The pamphlets section, for example, needs reorganising.   A system for sorting SS articles under subject headings would help too.   The idea is to significantly enhance the “linkability” of stuff we publish

     

    There also needs to be some way of approaching all party members (and maybe also sympathisers) – perhaps in the form of a regular quarterly or half yearly newsletter  – on an individual basis via email to get them involved in this project.   So it would have to involve someone authorised to have access to membership data.   Perhaps  some sort  of ad hoc committee or working team could be set up to oversee this and  other  aspects of this project like the workshop you mention.   Of course, we could also say something about this in the new members handbook

     

    There are a lot of different things that we need to do to make this idea really work for us but I firmly believe that it is by far the most effective thing we could do at this stage as a relatively small organisation.   If I am right in thinking so it could enthuse and spur on a lot more members into activity than is currently the case.

    Success breeds success

     

     

     

     

    #192892
    ALB
    Participant

    Most new applications for membership now come through the internet. So, apart from election inserts, do most requests for a free three-month trial subscription to the Socialist Standard. This is something we want to increase as it allows contacts to get a better understanding of our position. We operate on the theory that the more people take this up the more will take out a permanent subscription. In fact it’s virtually the only way of increasing subscriptions.

    The advertisement for this can be found in two different places on our website, under Publications/Socialist Standard and Contacts. The second is the easiest to find. So if comrades active on other forums and comments want to draw attention to this offer here’s the link:

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/3-free-standards/

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by ALB.
    #192897
    alanjjohnstone
    Participant

    Is this offer an international one?

    Asking because wondering whether to promote it on our African Banner blog

    #192900
    robbo203
    Participant

    Alan, I believe the American Party has an arrangement with the SPGB whereby it advertises the free  trial offer of the SS amongst other things on its revived website.  I am  trying to encourage the  Canadian Party to do the same thing as they are struggling  at the moment.  For WSPUS this has been virtually the only source of the increase in the numbers of  contacts they are now receiving and, by extension, the new members they are now making

     

    Contacts from election leaflet  inserts are an important source of contacts for the SPGB  but nowhere else.   If a serious campaign was initiated within the SPGB to encourage individual members to engage in regular internet work linking to material published by the SPGB  in the social media I believe the number of contacts it would generate would dwarf the number obtained through leaflet inserts or adverts in papers and journals.  The WSPUS placed an advert in the Monthly Review and got no response.

     

    Members linking to  our material in the social media – Facebook, Quora and so on – not only costs nothing but actually encourages members, young or old, and no matter how isolated they may be , to become active.   Quite apart from the  results it will assuredly generate, this is  a major benefut for an organisation in which the vast majority of members are only members in name and probably because in large part they cannot see what role they can play in promoting the cause, apart from expressing solidarity with it by joining

     

     

    #192902
    ALB
    Participant

    Yes we do have an arrangement with the WSPUS to offer contacts there the 3-month trial subscription and quite a few have taken it up. And we do get requests from Australia too. In principle it is open to people anywhere. However, we ignore all requests from Ukraine and Russia. Once bitten twice shy.

    #192943
    ALB
    Participant

    We have just had 3 requests from twitter users for the three-month free trial subscription, presumably as a result of the offer being mentioned there. One is from Britain, one from the US and one from Nigeria. Which shows that our tweets have an international following.

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