You seem to be defining 'freedom' as free stuff - your version of 'freedom' requires taking away actual freedom from others. You want to enslave me to work to take care of someone else.
You misunderstood me then.
At "taking away freedom from others". Please try to have a look at actual reality. You use freedom in an extremely capitalist way. I mean what comes next? Do you complain about people that breath air you could breath or use the internet and so your connection gets slower?
One could also argue that Lybia lost its freedom to have a dictatorship. Later you mention North Korea. [SARCASM]Isn't it good that they have their freedom to be slaves?[/SARCASM]
Foxconn employees can quit... they're also getting paid significantly better than under Mao (i.e. _real_ communism, where 100 million people starved). And Foxconn is actually an excellent job in China. For the Foxconn suicides: look up China's suicide rate (22 per 100k), and multiple that by the number of people Foxconn employes (920k)... Foxconn is doing significantly better (14) than the Chinese average would dictate (202)... in China 202 out of 920,000 people commit suicide, at Foxconn it is only 14 out of 920000 - that's a spectacular improvement.
[IRONY]That's great! We take a look on how worse it could be and rankings. Looking at rankings is a great way to measure actual advancement.[/IRONY]
Have you bothered read Marx's or Engel's stuff? In what way was Mao a communist?
Would you rather be born disabled in the US or in Cuba... I'd take the US.
Another great comparison of yours. So the US only looks good when compared to possibly the worst country on the planet, the worst dictatorship at least. Really, you'd rather live somewhere else? Oh and North Korea is truly built on the ideals of socialism and communism.
And especially not Sweden where the Social Democrat party forcibly sterilized people for half the 20th century.
And I am sure you'd deny all the stuff the US did in cold war, right? They are so democratic and everyone has the freedom to randomly picked out for human experimentation. Also it's so nice that they gave the researches of Nazi-Germany a second chance to experiment in the US, so they weren't cruel socialists anymore, but have been paid lots of money to torture people in an ethical way. Because it is for freedom. That's what the US is all about.
This never happened? Here just a starting point.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States
Also dropping atomic bombs on countries before they capitulate, just for the sake of it is a freedom everyone should have.
Okay, so I really don't want to be unfair. It's just that you won't find a country that didn't do lots of shit. It's just dumb to connect all these things. Greece has one of the longest histories when it comes to democracy does it mean democracies lead to a country going broke? When Hitler came to power (not after he already had it!) it was a completely democratic process, especially for that time. Does it mean democracies lead to violent wars, genocides and nationalism? (I wouldn't really call it socialism, because their biggest opposition actually have been socialist and communist movements that in that time actually thought for democracy)
It's just dumb to say any of these things is about taking freedom. Most of these philosophical-political "ideas" came from people who thought about giving everyone more freedom. One of the core ideas of Marx's communism for example was that workers, who basically had no rights should get them. Another core idea was about people being (in a political sense) equal, which is the opposite of a dictatorship. I think he was wrong in many ways, but from a historical perspective he actually caused workers to have more freedoms. I am not talking about communist states, but for example in England and western Germany workers began to work together in unions and changed things in a good and not extreme way. It also depends a lot on how the countries were before that. Dictatorships usually arise where people are already at the verge of existence. See the fact that the main reason for WW2 was WW1. People just didn't have enough and Germany was kinda enslaved by the winners of the first world war.
Most people naturally have the same idea about what's good. Only their approaches differ a lot. See Die Freien
. Lots of philosophers who think about Freedom in different ways. You can see socialists, liberalists and if the term had been established back then liberatists. Also see the Bitcoin community (or the open source community). All trying to get freedom.
Taxes are unfair, as they take stuff away from you. I completely agree. See the subject of the thread. I am completely aware that I may be wrong about a lot of stuff.
My approach with giving everything basic stuff - and I mean the most basic stuff is to overcome certain things that a worse. The problem is that minorities (in whatever way) often have financial problems. I also think a lot of money simply gets wasted by a complex financial system. It's why I am unsure about minimal stats. I mean something like that would simply solve that problem. I know, taking 1% (random value) from people is still taking things from someone and I think using force sucks. I basically think everyone should have the right to say "no" to everything (a reason why I think a world governments for example may not be a good idea). However, I think guaranteeing life (water, bread, healthcare that makes sure you don't die or even better can work) and education (and with that I basically mean what we have now. Libraries and open universities) will bring us into a better position quicker.
A lot of bad things (many dictatorships and violence) simply came from the fact that people didn't think about it, didn't know it better and didn't know how to survive. In the end some kind of revolution (and with that I also mean declaration of independence, because it usually is against the will of something else) changed things, sometimes to better, sometimes to worse, usually at least a bit of both always caused to change things. I think in such revolutions we lose too much, stuff that either has to be rebuilt or is lost forever. I think things will always be better if you have more educated people and take a look at history. It is true.
I know you can argue about how education is done. It's usually suboptimal and sucks a lot, but for most part it is good because knowledge causes you to look at things from a different perspective, question bad stuff and not blindly follow someone who wants to take your freedom.
We find ourselves in a position where we already pay lots of stupid taxes. I think the first incremental step towards a more free society is to unify them, making them fair and more efficient (not using taxes on managing taxes), like one tax for everyone. Then using them for basic stuff, basically that kind of stuff that's described in the declaration of human rights. From there it would be much easier to get into serous discussions that are less about emotions and more about advancement. Of course the optimal society would be one that's completely without force where people decide what they consider right, by thinking for themselves. Really I am completely on your side, but I don't think we can go there in one step. There would be revolution, counter revolution and we'd end up where we are, not having solved most of the problems and having thought a war with even worse weapons. What's even worse is that we would have lots of time, lots of lives, lots of chances.
The socialists decide you're too much of a burden so they kill you (since otherwise they would have to take care of you), while the capitalists leave you to your own devices - I'll take the capitalists.
Really? Do you consider the US capitalist? They never had COINTELPRO
? There are no companies that kill people because they know their products are bad or they do something criminal?
I wouldn't call it capitalist vs socialist tough, because.. China. It says and is considered communists, however acts capitalists, when it comes to their market.
The problem is that these -isms are just causing confusions. Seriously, everyone sees everything in a different light depending on where they grew up and what books they read. I mean you can force people when you have more money. A person that comes from a rich family can "simply" force a person from a poor background. In fact that's what happens in India and China. Rich companies from western/developed countries force them to do work and dump wages. Of course it's stupid to say that's the work of capitalism, but it's just as stupid to say socialism is about authorities and taking away stuff.
The thing is that capitalism in a way requires some fundamental equality to be fair, while socialism in a way tries to enforce it. I am talking about the philosophies here, not about reality. Like really in the beginning a lot of capitalists were like "god will do the rest/be that magical hand that makes things regulate themselves". It's wrong like this. It's wrong to think that a completely free market will magically try to regulate itself, because there are things where there always is more demand than there could ever be supply and a lot of people that simply have interest to make profit and team up so that they for example control pretty much all sources of a certain resource. Anyway, I don't want to talk about why capitalism isn't perfect. I don't know anything else that's really flawless and much better.
The free market is proven... the poor in a free market countries are vastly better off than the 'middle class' in countries with no functioning market. You mess with it at your own peril.
The poor in non-free markets often "pay" (work or whatever) for other countries.
Also you are kinda saying that people in a functioning country are better of than in a non-functional and say that it is about free markets.
Since you like to talk about socialism. See Cuba. It's the most successful country in that area (see neighbor countries), despite US sanctions which would kill every European country. Now, I don't think Cuba is a great country, but poor people there are way better off than neighbor-countries with freer markets.
Also European countries usually are usually less liberal than the US, still the poorest people of for example Sweden, since you mentioned it are better off than in the US. I think pretty much everyone, but a few super rich (maybe even they) are better of in Europe than the folks in the US. Yes, really.
Besides that even a lot of poorer countries in Europe have fewer debts per person than the US. Oh and these mean, socialist countries (in a lot of European countries socialists/social-democratic parties are in the government) don't use torture on anyone, don't have death-penalty, have healthcare for basically everyone, often even free or mostly-paid universities, ...
Oh and consumers have more rights, meaning more freedoms. They are allowed to modify products for their own use, don't have that draconian DMCA stuff, etc.
It's just wrong to think free markets magically make everything better.
But seriously all of this can change at every moment, with a financial crisis, with China finally using their power or whatever. What's really important is to set up certain anchors of freedom. Which means making sure you are independent and sorry, but this includes a certain minimum of "free" stuff. It doesn't even have to be paid by taxes. A library usually can pay for itself. We, no matter whether you are a capitalist/liberalist, socialist, anarchist (like communist or capitalist or whatever), define yourself as democrat/republican (not talking about the parties here) or whatever should simply create the right tools and infrastructure for us and everyone else (because we simply can't do everything on your own and we need all support) to strengthen freedom, independence and help everyone to fight oppression now matter what kind of -ism the oppressor does or pretends to follow.
I mean seriously, look at what people can do when working together. The Internet, Bitcoin, Wikipedia or whatever isn't built by only capitalists or socialists, but by people who think it's the right thing to do.
Yes, I think it is better to have basic stuff for free. I actually spend a lot of money on free stuff, like music on Jamendo, donations to EFF. I run a pretty big Tor server. I am renting/paying for a server to run stuff like Tor on it, because I want people and I don't care what they consider themselves or others to be to advance freely.
And in between I enjoy to annoy people by criticizing their philosophies, hoping it is a bit constructive, pretending that it is a good thing to do. When I talk about education I mainly want people to be smart enough see that it's (in an egoistic way) better for them if they help others and to see things from a completely different perspective. Being social and friendly (in a non-political way) is a desire people have anyway, just like sexual desire. So it's not like I would ever think that you need to force someone. I even agree that it is stupid to force someone. I just think that in an evolutionary way it probably is a good first step to a freer society. I could be completely wrong and that's why I want to see what others think about. And then I will just use these arguments when criticizing someone who thinks like that. Research in a way.
So yes, I change my position a lot. On purpose. While you may consider it stupid and in a way weak I think it's the best way to learn and find out what's right.