working class

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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‘New Harmony’

Massacres

Vested Interest

LIG

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Communism and the 1%

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By Barbara Stängl

Communism

Karl_MarxCommunism in its end stage is a classless and stateless society. This ideology has never in fact been implemented to the final stage, where the state as such would have ‘withered away’. The states ruled by communist political parties themselves rather define themselves as socialist states. Karl Marx has divided the working class from the capitalist class, in that it can be said that he too was a global player serving the system in that he adhered to propagating and intensifying already existing inequalities, same as Obama or Merkel, which is essential for any kind of ideology to work: divide & conquer. This holds true whether one is speaking of the system/ideology of democracy, totalitarianism, socialism, capitalism or communism. 

 

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Communism was utilized by the Elite to further the chasm by way of placing it as a threat to democracy and ‘its values’ of free market, freedom of speech and a free media. What was stated to be a planned economy on the communist/socialist side was opposed to a market-based economy – both only paradigms, both not working for the majority, both not based on the principle of what is best for all. 

As mentioned above, and specifically in the example of the Soviet Union, there never was communism according to Marx’ definition nor a communism that in the actual sense of the word focused on the community, as all being equal and being given an equal opportunity to live life to its fullest potential. It was again a sort of dictatorship, where the subordinated beings had to do all the labor and the top 1% were able to profit, to have it all and live the ‘happy life’.

 

The problem was the economic focus on heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods, oftentimes resulting in shortages of vital products or even famine, and to cover up the mismanagement of the government in their 5-year plans, militarism and propaganda were used in a widespread manner. These means and measures of manipulation and suppression had been so obvious to the ‘democratic side’ of the iron curtain at the time of the Soviet Union, but there was also this strange inability or rather unwillingness to see the parallels in the capitalist system that we hold in such great esteem.


As a side note here, both the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Federal President of Germany Joachim Gauck had held close connections to the then GDR before coming to represent the German people through their respective positions or rather placements. Gauck is supposed to have been a resistance fighter in the GDR, but received a lot of privileges there that would not ordinarily have been awarded to resistance fighters. The same situation with Merkel who had the privilege of going to Moscow to study which is only granted to people who are loyal to the ‘Einheitspartei’. So the point I want to make here is that there’s something going on behind the scene we’re being shown of two opposing ideological systems, where one is a threat to the other, the idea being utilized to justify the channeling of vast amounts of money into military, armies and means of defense, which the CEOs, leading political and other string-pulling figures benefit from immensely.

 

workaholicSo, we’re being taken on quite a ride here. The solution is to educate people on how ideologies are being used within the power principle of ‘divide and conquer’ to brainwash and manipulate people to make do with the direst of living conditions with hard, tedious or repetitive labor and little pay or no job at all where the ideology of capitalism is lived or the opposite where one has to juggle 2-3 jobs concurrently on a daily basis to survive, because the pay one is given for one job does not suffice to get by on at all. People have to be told who benefits from the information that is being propagated, so one is able to see the intent behind the disinformation.

For one, panic and desperation can be avoided because one does not fall for incomplete and misleading information. One will not be misguided so easily and will learn to apply commonsense. Politics and the media are in the hands of the financing and private banking sector, that is to say the individuals behind it, and these have usurped politics and media to maintain the status quo that is serving them so well. This is the dimension of educating people, one step to be taken toward change.

 

team-buildingA fundamental model that is to be implemented, namely the platform presented within/as LIG, the Living Income Guaranteed, which suggests the nationalization of resources, where, however, the profit will be used to create social equality by providing a guaranteed living income for shelter, food, electricity, clean water, education and internet for voting and communication/a means of participating and getting vital information, local and global news for all. Provided with such a basis on a world scale one will be able to choose a living/an occupation according to one’s actual creative abilities and build a business to make more money that provides them with some luxury as well.

For those that are already working for a business firm or company there should be a minimum wage that is double the Living Income which means that if people get a Living Income of 15 dollars per hour, the minimum wage for work should be 30 dollars. This would create the incentive for people to educate themselves and take on more responsibility in the professional areas in the application of technological advancements and know-how on a highly skilled level.

 

The benefits are real equality on a lived basis, where there is happiness through being guaranteed a life in dignity, with real improvements in the job situations because money does not come from abusing the laborers and their workforce, but from the nationalization of the essential resourcing corporations. Education toward professional skills and access to internet for everyone will bring forth entrepreneurial endeavors and will eventually increase the overall power of acquisition which will support the entire society’s well-being. Education of how our mind works, together with a sound financial basis will also improve the relationships between individuals as greed and competition will decrease and one is more ready to meet one’s neighbor on an eye to eye level. Starvation will be a thing of the past and health issues will be able to be dealt with from an early onset because the financial means will be available to all, which means everybody gets an equal chance toward happiness and self-realization for real, which adds up to a lived statement of ‘true communism’ in the actual sense of the word, where each is treated as an equal part of the community of mankind on the principle of the common good being life – which is to be supported equally by all as one.

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

 

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Divide and conquer
Karl Marx
MalcolmX
Team building
Juggling jobs

What is the Living Income Guaranteed?

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Living Income Guaranteed is an economic and political mechanism to ensure the establishment of Fundamental Human Birth Rights of the public through allocating an allowance on a monthly basis to every eligible individual that is currently in a position of being unable to sustain themselves – and/or people in their custody – financially to a level that Human Dignity deserves and that currently lack such support due to reasons beyond their immediate control including – but not limited to – unemployment, lacking access to food, lacking access to housing, lacking access to healthcare, lacking access to education, physical disability, being retired or not old enough to have a job.

This is within the understanding that the existence of poverty and lack of education as the key to have a job and means to live is the result and outflow of the economic system’s malfunction, providing an unfair allocation of National Natural Resources, being unable to support every living individual with sufficient access to fundamental living necessities. The most immediate remedy is to eradicate poverty, through allocating/designating a monthly allowance to those that don’t have access to their fundamental living necessities, thereby empowering them to establish a dignified life, enabling each one to reach their potential, choose a career and contribute to the economy through their skill, labour and purchasing power.

Why is it called Living Income instead of Basic Income?

It is called ‘Living Income’ because it won’t only provide each one with the minimum required to survive, it implies sufficient allowance that is able to cover the fundamental expenses required for a dignified living Why? Because this will enable people to reach their creative potential, return to the job market, become independent from the Living Income and contribute to the progression of the economy.

This means that a Living Income Guaranteed should be provided to all individuals that are currently unable to participate in any economic activity due to the lack of jobs/education/health. However those that don’t participate in any economic activity but do have sufficient money to live due to, for example, family wealth, inheritance or any other regular income won’t qualify nor require the Living Income Guaranteed.

Why is Living Income Guaranteed Not Unconditional?

The reason why it is not given to all people unconditionally is because this would undermine the sustainability of an economic system that does require people to be motivated to educate themselves and work to enable the continuation and functionality of our societies.

That means that people that work won’t get the Living Income Guaranteed?

That’s right, however we Do propose that the Minimum Wage is Doubled (twice the Living Income Allowance), which means that there will be a series of reforms to take place first to make the Living Income Guaranteed a sufficient Allowance granted to cover fundamental living necessities, which is within the context of our current economy More than our current Minimum Wage standards.

This allowance should be sufficient for an individual to have dignified living conditions with guaranteed access to their fundamental human birth rights: Food, Water, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Clothing, Transportation, Public Services, etc.

Now to motivate people to work, the new minimum wage should be Double the Living Income Guaranteed in the most common economic activities which are at the moment associated with retail workers, waiters, cashiers, transportation workers, fast food industries, etc..

So, anyone that genuinely wants to have a top quality lifestyle will not conform to only getting the minimum as the Living Income, but continue educating themselves, developing further skills to make more money and have more financial solvency.

What’s in it for the corporations with implementing the Living Income Guaranteed model?

A broader consumer base. Those that previously had no money to live and as such were not economically active will suddenly become active participants in the economy which will ensure that profit is also broadened for corporations, realizing that if more buyers emerge, there will be more profit that can be used to better the working conditions, to diminish the compulsive production and instead adapt the prices to make things affordable, with great quality and providing a secure and harmonious working base, as well as proceeding to fund the automation of jobs that are currently deteriorating human health.

Workers will feel supported and cared for by their employers, which will result in individuals that no longer feel pressured and enforced to only be a profit-making machine, but will feel happy and content to realize that their work is being truly remunerated and that their time and contribution to the corporation is being valued as the life-time investment it actually is. A well remunerated individual will create a happier and fulfilled society that is no longer afraid of not having sufficient money to feed their family, it will be the beginning of a new era of quality work that dignifies the lives of human beings that genuinely desire to improve their lifestyles.

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Why is the implementation of a Living Income Guaranteed an immediate solution to the economic crisis?

More than a solution to a crisis, it should be understood as the way to guarantee that the Fundamental Human Rights to each individual are properly funded through allocating an Allowance as the access to the necessary things one requires to live in a dignified way – this is within the principle of Giving to others what we would like to receive, and if we want to live in a peaceful society, to have a happy and healthy living condition, we then must give access to this Allowance/Income as a living certainty that will eradicate the need to resort to crime, panhandling, homelessness, lacking education, health care that results in economical regression affecting every individual in society.

It is common sense that if we give an Allowance to every eligible individual to be well nourished, have proper living conditions with the fundamental necessary services, health care and leisure time, more educated beings will emerge from this when realizing that if one is given support as in getting an income to cover one’s living necessities, one learns how to give back to society too. This will be understood as a living principle that applies to every living being on Earth beyond any political, social, religious or ideological affiliation. We’re talking about physical living necessities that all human beings require to live in a dignified and sustainable way.

On top of this, many jobs are being replaced by the rise of the machine, which will require more restructuring processes in our economy to finally upgrade the premise of being able to ‘make a living by having a job’ because if jobs are currently not available to all – regardless of having college degrees and necessary skills to have one – then it is certain that a new understanding of our economy should be grasped as supportive mechanism for all individuals rather than a restrictive and coercive one.

In the past, long-term policies and treaties have attempted to benefit the working class over time, and it has proven to be inefficient for the tightening policies implemented by corporations as well as the economic outflows have deviated their effectiveness. This is how through a direct intervention to provide the Living Income as an Allowance and doubling of the minimum wage, we are directing the problem at the root, instead of expecting third party actors and policies to solve the situation throughout time.

Will the Living Income Guaranteed undermine competition and as such create economic stagnation in society?

Not at all, actually it’s the other way around. If we define competition as the ability achieve the best living condition in a society, by allocating Allowance to every eligible individual that previously had no access to it, we assure the activation of the economy and impulse people to work if they do want to have a greater economic solvency to cover other consumer desires for extra commodities that are not able to be paid for with the Living Income Guaranteed. Also, there is no limit to how much money you or corporations can make as long as their businesses do not interfere in any way with the nationalization of natural resources or fundamental public services – that is the condition. That means that the rules of a free market still apply and as such, the only constitutional and governmental management will be to supervise the implementation of the Living Income Guaranteed, as well as conducting the usual maintenance, management and provision of public goods and the justice department.

The more you prepare yourself, the better work you’ll have, the more benefits which means you will earn more money as well. Competition means bettering oneself to perform a certain activity the best way one can and this is an essential part of human nature  that has kept our societies remaining competitive, innovative and creative  at a local and global level.

You will also be able to truly have free choice on which work is best for you instead of engaging in working contracts based on need rather than preference or choice. This is the way to implement a real ethical environment at work too, where no more exploitation occurs since any job won’t be the result of a need to work in order to survive, but rather become a means and incentive to increase the quality of life. 

How will it be funded?

Through the nationalization of resources , banks and basic services which means that if, for example, your oil, gas, water, electricity, telecommunications ,transportation is defined as patrimony of the people, the profit that comes from the consumption/purchase of such goods and services should be sufficient to fund the Living Income Guaranteed for eligible individuals. This means there will be no need to have personal taxation but instead keep the VAT (Value Added Tax) as it is to continue funding the functions of the government – this is also within the consideration that as the purchasing power increases and consumer base broadens, the funds coming from VAT will also increase creating more solvency in governmental budget as well, which translates to higher quality public welfare.

Thus with the Living Income Guaranteed there is one thing that is of vital importance: no one in the system, no citizen will pay tax – all tax will be facilitated by either value added tax or sales tax or import duties. If you have a government system that is responsible because you have a system where each one is functioning effectively within the system, you do not need excessive tax; your tax is spent on things like roadwork, transport facilitation – all things that can be handled ‘in house’.

One of the things that can work quite effectively also in a country is to have a toll tax on the roads which are managed by the government and that keeps the roads in place, so according to the use that one has of a road = will be the amount of tax you pay, but there will be in this proposal no income tax, so nobody is going to pay for anyone’s Living Income Guaranteed, it’s coming from the resource companies which everybody in the country are participating in and your sales tax or your value added tax will be according to the amount of your participation within a particular system – this is a fair way of dealing with government tax collection.

This is how the distribution of wealth and profits is expanded onto those that would have no benefit from the commercialization of natural resources and basic services, and due to the constant consumption and requirement of these, it is ensured that the foundation of the Living Income Guaranteed will always remain sustainable and have sufficient funds to cover the beneficiaries’ expenses.

Another example is how through stopping allocating money to fund wars, the trillions of dollars that are spent in the warfare industry can be designated to revitalize the economy through funding the Living Income Guaranteed and supporting the health care, education, commerce, production industries and basic services that require to be improved at home.

Will Public Services also be Nationalized?

Health care, education, water, electricity, telecommunications, media, banks will also be nationalized. Each country will have to assess their available resources in order for the government to make sufficient profit to fund the Living Income Guaranteed.

How can we implement the Living Income Guaranteed?

Through a political proposal, through existing or new political parties that have this mechanism as their key card to gain the majority vote to have our Fundamental Human Rights guaranteed through the Living Income Guaranteed. This means that the right to a Living Income must be granted on a constitutional basis – this is a national-based system constituted at a political level and able to be voted on within a democratic process based on the principle of one man, one vote.

LIG Hong Kong

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