In Reply to: Socialism posted by Sara Menker on October 2, 2000 at 20:38:49:
Socialism has been defined, in the Marxist context, as a transitional
economy (between capitalism and communism) in which a worker dominated
government takes control of some portion of the means of production and
uses its power of redistribution to bring about a transition from capitalism
to communism. Communism is defined as a society where the workers control
their own surplus. The leaders of the old Soviet Union called their society
socialist because it was supposed to be in transition to communism. Of course,
there is no proof they were trying to change society in the way the definition
of socialism implies.
Socialism has also been associated with social theorists, like Owen, who
believed that public ownership of means of production would, in and of itself,
lead to a better society. Others would add that the state needs to provide for
the basic needs of its citizens. The French Socialist Party falls basically
into this category of socialism, although the French Socialist Party has largely
abandoned the idea of extensive public ownership of means of production.
There are a lot of non-communist socialists, including the French socialists.
Many of these "moderate" socialists are very anti-communist and in favor of
reforming capitalism to improve the lot of the poor and working people. The
degree to which socialists favor nationalization of major industries varies
greatly, but all seem to favor social-welfare programs.
Rubin was a socialist of the "moderate" type, I believe.
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