Well, there’s only one. State owns the means of production. Period.
Kady M.

This discussion is getting stupid now.

First, you are saying that there is “only one” definition of Socialism, and furthermore that it is not the one that describes every major party with the word “socialist” in its name. Thanks for that insight, Noah Webster. Do you want to bestow a One True Meaning on any other words, in contravention of a clearly-established current use?

[I get that there is your meaning, and that people use it — the old-school Marxist meaning. It even still has relevance outside of Europe, i.e. the PSUV and many other “Socialist” parties outside Europe advocate some version of it. What annoys me is your arrogance in declaring that you have the One and Only Meaning, contra those silly liars who make up all the European Socialist parties.]

Second, you write: “After all, North Korea’s actual name is the “Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea.” How accurate do you think THAT is?”

When I wrote my comment, I gazed into my crystal ball and foresaw exactly this reply. Most “Socialist” parties do not advocate totalitarianism (and see below if you think they all secretly want it anyway) even in principle; whereas North Korea claims democratic participation of its populace, as stupid and thin a facade as it is. They even go so far as to have sham elections. There is a clear and established meaning of “democracy” that they are alluding to, even if it is a transparent lie in their case. Whereas the Socialist parties of Europe would be horrified if you tried to convince them to follow the program Svetlana described.

As for “People’s Republic” — (a) it also falls under the case I described above; and (b) when most people say “People’s Republic” nowadays, they actually mean exactly what every “People’s Republic” has become. Kind of like how when I say “Socialist”, I’m referring to the actual ideology of most of the “Socialist” parties currently in existence.

[One quick correction: their name is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, not …of North Korea. Not that it matters, but hey.]

Third, you write: “Well, if the French Socialist Party changed their name to the “Totalitarian Party”, they wouldn’t get any votes.” Yeah, and also the name would stop reflecting the actual ideology of the Parti Socialiste.

[You can argue that their policies will eventually lead to totalitarianism. I’m even sympathetic to such an argument. But it would still make “totalitarian party” the wrong label. And if you want to claim that they secretly believe all this totalitarian stuff, and that you can somehow peer into their minds, you’re no better than those who scream about Trump’s “dog whistles”.]

Finally, where is your evidence that Nazi Germany was doomed to a badly misallocated end? It didn’t start off like the USSR, why do you think it would have to end like the USSR? They didn’t have, for example, the collective farms that caused so much famine in the USSR.

I’m not saying that nationalization (or even quasi-nationalization on the Zaibatsu model) is the way to go. The situation of the United States is not the same as that of pre-war Germany, and as a very general rule of thumb, “less intervention = better” is a good one. But it’s just factually wrong to suggest that heavy state intervention in the economy is naturally doomed to fail under all conditions.

Like what you read? Give Progressive Reformation a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.