power to the people

The Shared Idea of Socialism and What to Make of it

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By Barbara Stängl

Socialism

Some history and the problem:

Socialism is an idea that has as its basis equality pertaining to property being shared by all and distributed equally. Unfortunately, when the idea was first put into practice by a British man called Owen in the US State of Indiana in 1825 on the huge property he bought and called New Harmony, it ultimately failed. This was not due to the fundamentals of the idea of socialism as such, but due to the organization of the distribution of the produce, the fact that the land was not owned by the residents themselves and in part in consequence to this, there was a lack of self-responsibility as to the cultivation of the land, the workforce needed to maintain self-sufficiency, and finally, due to the nature of the people that it attracted. Though the people who chose to live in New Harmony on the basis of the shared idea of socialism that received the tinge of its founder Robert Owen, were open-minded and socially oriented, they were very theoretically and philosophically minded. This set of characters and personalities gave the experiment a bias that ultimately tipped it toward being marked as not sustainable. However, Owen implemented a set of social rules to live by, such as no public drinking, personal cleanliness, emptying trash at specific intervals, free education in which the human character was to be developed in more fortunate ways and having to make time for family, he granted sick pay and shortened working hours. All of which were directed at changing human nature and optimizing the conditions of living together.

 

Owen-and-new-harmony

 

The idea was recast by two philosophers Engels and Marx later, who considered socialism to be humankind’s destiny which was considered to become a triumph over capitalism. It was thus directly placed to have a polarity nature toward capitalism, which allowed the idea of Revolution to settle in as a means to drive socialism forward and gain supremacy over capitalism. This was adopted as a point of self-identification that amounted to demonic obsession which found its most extreme manifestation and expression under the dictatorship of Stalin in the USSR. Here the term socialism was actually abused to cover up and, where not possible, to justify the atrocities against its population and the antagonists of the ideology. Socialism had been turned into communism, though the term was still used by the ruling figures to benefit from the moral appeal that true socialism had among large parts of the general world population.

 

Lidice_massacred_men

 

The ‘other side of the polarity’, the capitalistic states, the ‘States of Freedom’ as they were contrasted to socialistic states, used the label of socialism as a propaganda operation also but for the opposite reason, namely to defame socialism by way of association with this miserable and rapacious tyranny.

Socialism, as the core notion of working people being in control of production and of their own lives basically, on the principle of equality with respect to property and distribution of goods, has been evacuated of content over the last century, due to the Soviet Union being called a socialist society as a propagandistic means of directing the world to suit the vested interests of the elite by keeping the masses enslaved. It seems the few at the top are doing their best that nobody would be able to easily pick up the idea of socialism and try to establish a working structure on that basis for the common good of man.

 

chapter_corporate_profiles_bob

 

Solution

As a solution it is necessary to distinguish between the socialistic/communistic ulcerations of true socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union can actually be counted as a small victory for socialism as such, because it has been freed of the radical revolution aspect as well as the aspect of tyranny and debasement toward the working class. The latter will have to be solidly embraced within the term of communism and within that, of course, dictatorship. Along those lines the term nationalization and nationalistic should be looked at and stripped of its associations with fascist developments and resulting atrocities of Nazi Germany leading to and in World War II. The pros and cons of the Israeli kibbutzim are to be investigated, and seen that these are said to have worked until they were ridden into a debt crisis in the middle of the 1980’s from which they weren’t able to recover. One must ask who is pulling the strings here and why. It is pretty obvious that they simply weren’t supposed to work in the public eye.

The solution to humanity’s demise should not be found in an idea or ideology, as that can be used within polarity and undermined, but within a living principle, that does not have to be named socialism or capitalism or democracy. It’s certainly not about the name or the idea.

Of course at first there must be something communicable as the name for a solution presented, such as a democracy on a real people-basis, a form of direct democracy, as has been proposed by the platform of Living Income Guaranteed. The realization must be fostered that life can only strive on earth – we can only strive, or even simply survive – when we give to the other what we ourselves would like to receive, on an equal and one basis. If we do not see that we are already equal on the basis of the substance of Life and are killing ourselves and others by not acknowledging and living this principle, we will perish.

One must realize that socialism is just a word – we are the ones who must take care of our reactions, associations, prejudices and fears within it and as it, and allow ourselves to establish a groundwork that supports all — as the sounding and individual letters of the word suggest: so-see-I-all-is-m(e)

We must turn to Life lived on the principle of equality and incorporate the lived realization of oneness, as we are all of and as Life here.

 

The reward is a state, where competition exacted on the basis of live or die / grow or perish will be of the past; where we implement our realization that we are able to stand as the living principle of equality and oneness and give to the other what we want for ourselves and our children, which is the kind of socialism that has not been compromised through fear and desire for control, greed and power. Giving to the other as one would wish for oneself means to distribute resources fairly and adequately, as required by each and on the basis of ensuring that everything used can be reconstituted and replenished, that resources are sustainable. This will provide for real, actual support of all equally resulting in peace and dignity. Responsibility will be more readily lived because there won’t be the point of ‘it’s not my responsibility – I don’t have a say anyway, I’m just a small keg in a big machine’ when equality is lived on principality.

We will see truly happy children that are able to play and enjoy themselves because they are cared for on a steady basis from the start with actual equal opportunity within education, good nourishment, and a stable social environment. One will find the ability to truly trust oneself and others within a trustworthy, self-responsible society that is not self-incapacitated through the allowance and acceptance of a maniac Elite that irrespective of the whole pulls the strings in utter self-interest. There will be no one to polarize to ‘defend’ a status of self-interested accumulation of wealth on the basis of democracy vs. socialism/communism when the principle of equality is truly implemented and lived.

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal and Join us for discussion.

 

Photo credits

‘New Harmony’

Massacres

Vested Interest

LIG

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Liberalism: Problems, Solutions & Benefits

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By Barbara Stängl
 

Liberalism

“Liberalism is a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market and the gold standard; in political terms it denotes a belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties”  (ref.:www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/liberalism‎).

Classical liberalism has its focus on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government – the concept emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century. It advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law, private property and laissez-faire economic liberalism. Social liberalism believes in government intervention to provide equal protection and opportunity. Neoliberalism promotes a market economy with a strong state, a ‘social market economy’. Later the meaning had shifted to hold one of a more radical and laissez-faire capitalistic ideas. It was used to criticize legislative initiatives for free trade, deregulation, enhanced privatization and an overall reduction in government control of the economy.

Neoliberalism is what we are still allowing and accepting as our economical and political system nowadays.

A change in economic course was taken with the program Ludwig Erhard formulated after the Second World War, where demand was not taken as the driving factor of production any more, but rather the other way around, wherein the idea was assumed that every offer created its own demand – which is said to only be valid for trade economies. This new directive of a social market economy, where focus is to be on profit, competition and consuming goods for and within each and everyone, not only economy and politics,  which was implemented thereafter, caused dire consequences reaching up to the current situation where the financial sector as a non-producing element in the system is reaching blown-up and disproportionate extents of power in that major banks are able to demand to be bailed out by the government using the financial means of the public when a tide of bad investments collapses back onto them in consequence and leaves them unable to rectify their position of creating money from loans, financial products and other financial machinations within the state. 

1. JahreDesAufbausInOstUndWest_plakatErhardSozialeMarktwirtschaft

 

Thus the real economy is in the process of subsidizing the banking sector which doesn’t produce consumer goods and thus doesn’t contribute to the productivity and added-value, but only creates claims for consumer goods with the respective finance products they conceptualize, the consequence being a discrepancy between factual goods and the claim for them, which in turn leaves people in the upper middle financial ranks of society feeling richer and better off than years ago, but they aren’t in fact, as they are holding only claims to potential goods and not the actual manifested object. This is actually a matter of window-dressing based on agreements without basic real securities.

Thus accepting the ideology of Neoliberalism as a political directive for how we manage our economy has led to the debt crisis of 2007, which should in fact show us what we are allowing, i.e. the economical coups that are possible by stock markets against democracy and in that against the people itself. A criminalist system of unfettered capitalism has been allowed, wherein values are destroyed instead of creating them, the consequence of which living beings have to bear in form of abuse, denigration, immense suffering, poverty and starvation, conflict, war, hopelessness and despair, death – all for an idea that has proven that it doesn’t work for society, where the principle of best for all is being ridden roughshod over.

 

The idea of neoliberalism is based on implementing the following parameters based on the concept that laws and regulations disturb the balance of market economy:

 

Austerity-is-not-working - LIG

  • the reduction of legal regulations for the private economical sector
  • reduced taxation of big income earners
  • austerity programs within the social state such as health, education and culture
  • no tariff security and secure jobs and positions
  • subsidization of corporate power and banking powers

 

Greece Greek Bailout LIG

 

Within this, forces that propagate and uphold this ideology of neoliberalism feature a tendency of obscuring the inner workings of the economy resulting in an impenetrability of the same for the common person. There also seems to be a tacit prohibition in place to further the common wealth on an equal basis, based on the presumption that there is a fundamental inequality between and amongst people, which in fact has to be intensified so that the principle of free competition works. 

 

Office Bully Bulying Profit Driven Societies LIG

Another feature is the maintained rationality that there is ‘no alternative’, as if this is how humanity inherently functions – on the basis of inequality and a competitive nature. Slogans such as ‘the market shall regulate society through competition’ show that the model as the blueprint of neoliberalism that leading figures sought to implement was to basically make individuals into enterprises who are required to establish entrepreneurial traits and behaviors on all levels of their social interactions, dominated by demand and offer, costs, gains and investments as the new social values post WWII within ‘free competition of inequalities’. This kind of freedom cannot accept other liberties along with it, as Erhard stated: “Rights shall find their expression in the freedom of consumption.” This ultimately allows for a constant state of fear of not being able to express within these limitations, and being judged by one’s ability or inability to do so and thus to hold one’s status within society and remain competitive.

 

Solution:

One must realize the allowance and acceptance of the manipulation leading to the change of focus from surviving within WWII and a hands-on approach of rebuilding and producing some kind of added value to what was left in the ruins of the war to a focus on and the dominion of competition and competiveness. This has brought forth an alienation within oneself toward one’s self-expression and what life is about and can be, and the diversion from the principle of best for all within giving another what one would like to receive oneself. This is where one can actually find a handle for the fear of not surviving. One is able to refocus, to redirect one’s focus on equality and in that seeing, realizing and understanding that there is an alternative way, because all are in fact equal as and within life and in that we are all one, one humanity, one life.

 

Living Income Guaranteed - Logo

 

As it is us, the people, each and every one, that constitute the system, politics, economy, what we focus on, what we allow and accept as the statement of who we are, we create. It is important to see one’s immediate starting point for one’ s actions and interactions and make sure it is not one of competition, of proving oneself better or superior over another, where one comes from the point of fear of not surviving. One is able to realign oneself with one’s self-expression.

Alongside with this personal process we are able to and in fact must reorganize the existing financial structures and the realign the power we give to institutions with what serves all equally. To this end as a first platform there is LIG – Living Income Guaranteed which states common sense rationalities – those we could have observed and referred to in ourselves instead of accepting and allowing the manipulations that have and are taking place in politics and underlying powers which we have submitted ourselves to. Such are among others a guaranteed living income on an as-needed basis as provisions for shelter, food and education etc. – basically everything that is required to ensure one’s well-being. We can stop this ideology that we have supported inadvertently by having accepted the misinformation and manipulations over many decades by bringing out the information that is relevant and valid and constitutes a basis for implementing a change on the principle of what is best for all equally as life.

The rewards are obvious: No more fear of losing one’s job and not surviving. No more competition as an all-pervading overlay on every social interaction, instead of self-expression. A letting go of pressure and an allowance to see the other and be with him without placing a price tag onto the time spent for support so one has money to survive. The security of having food, a home one can return to and feel comfortable in, education to expand in this existence, and providing children with a world that nourishes and supports all on the basis of true care.

Investigate the Living Income Guaranteed Proposal and Join us for discussion.

 

Photo Credits:

Ludwig Erhard

Office bully

Greece bailouts

Austerity