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Comment: With all due respect, the

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In reply to comment: "they are hardly socialist (see in situ)

With all due respect, the

With all due respect, the countries I named are socialist, per definition. The government runs most or all of the economy. While this is necessary to achieve communism (a form of socialism), it is not sufficient. Communism has other criteria that these countries lack and probably always will because at their hearts they are dictatorships and oligarchies with a rigid class hierarchy, which is anathema to communism.

I don't believe we have any communist nations, regardless of what they call themselves, and we probably never will.

My main point, though, is that we're not debating with real socialists (i.e. those who advocate bona fide socialism). Most of the time we're debating with those who are enamored with European style democracy where the preferred economy - whether or not they will admit it and regardless of what the call it - is corporatism: a cooperative, managed system between capitalist actors and the state. This is a nice word for crony-capitalism, or in extreme cases, fascism. By arguing from this position we achieve two objectives:

1. We stop trying to attribute Marxist dogma and objectives to those with whom we disagree and we stop arguing past them. Most of them don't even know what real socialism is and wouldn't want any part of it if they did.

2. We force our opponents to admit that they are capitalists at heart: that we could not have achieved the society we have without capitalism, and that they have no desire to end capitalism as the predominant economic model in civilized society.

Once we have established these positions, we can argue the relative merits of an economy regulated by the state and one where the free market controls production.

“Wasting a vote is sometimes voting for somebody that you don't really believe in."
-Ron Paul