Unconfusing the ‘isims’

I ran into Garry Leech’s article on CounterPunch: Why America’s Next President Will Not Be a Socialist. I’d been wondering what the heck Bernie was about and was grateful it was somewhat explained. I got about half way through when I realized that he made a distinction between socialist, social democrat, democratic socialist, and capitalism.

I found it odd because, to me those are all descriptions of the same system. I understand socialism to mean governmental or collective administration of the means of production and the distribution of goods. In other words, when the government regulates businesses it is socialism.

For example, when government forces a percentage of your incoming money flow to be paid to it that is the oligarchic collective of Congress removing individuals’ choice to spend her money as she wishes and uses violent force to spend her money as the oligarchy sees fit. The state administers production in that case, which is socialism.


Capitalism is ownership and trade of valuable assets called ‘capital goods’ in the market. Capital goods are money, stocks, bonds, and real world physical property of all types.

Socialism is also a system or condition of society or group living in which there is no private property. Employees in corporations or bureaucratic government offices exist within socialism while at work. This is because the shareholder collective of the company or the oligarchic collective of the state representatives owns the property.

The employees never receive title to the property that they work with. Employees spend their time at work mixing their labor with the real world raw materials that others own. From the employees’ perspective there is no private property. There is socialism.

Together the individual employees make up the company and the shareholders/voters rent the company of individual employees during business hours. The shareholders/voters own the raw materials and the produce thus placing the employees in a condition of socialism while at work.

The problem is that the employees do not own the raw materials that they work with. Use their labor to improve them and then sell their produce at market prices. Instead, employees agree to be ‘slaves’ while at work.

Most people work at jobs they hate because government rules and regulations (socialism) oblige them to make payments. And because capital in the form of loans has obliged them to make payments.

So, my point is that socialism is from the perspective of a person at work while capitalism is from the perspective of the same person determining how to allocate her 401(k). Both exist simultaneously now regardless of political talking heads.

Theft and confiscation of a percentage of an individuals incoming money flow is a criminal act. Individuals shall voluntarily choose to make payments. Corporate dividends to shareholders have been obliged payments which employees shall be able to choose in the future. Income taxes identically have been obliged payments that employees shall be able to choose in the future.

You seem to have mistaken Socialism for a Republic. A Republic is a community of generally equal individuals who voluntarily form a government in which supreme sovereign power resides in individual citizens who are entitled to vote. Sovereign power is exercised by elected representatives responsible to voters.

A republic would combine both of today’s distinct political and economic spheres. A republic is Democracy without majority domination of the election process. A republic is a not the oligarchy that we have today. In a republic every voter is also a representative and in that case there is no need for periodic elections of Representatives to be in the oligarchy.

There is no oligarchy because the republic’s rule of law applies to everyone equally. Everyone is a representative who makes policy by exchanging divisible ballots in the market any day of the term. Ballot provision in a republic is continuous rather than periodic making the republic more elastic than democracy.

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