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Bluenami

The defamation of socialism

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FWD to 57:28 if it's not already cued.

 

Transcript:

 

We should recognize what I think is true, I've written about it plenty myself, that the Bolshevik Revolution, was really a coup, was really a counter-revolution, which placed state power in the hands of a highly authoritarian anti-socialist group which within a couple of months had destroyed the factory councils, had destroyed the Soviets, had dismissed the Constituent Assembly (because they knew they were gonna lose) and have eliminated every popular movement; and had done exactly what Trotsky said: turned the country into a labor army under the control of the maximal leader. That was mid 1918. And since then there hasn't been a shred of socialism in the Soviet Union!

Now of course they called it "socialism", but they also called it "democracy", you know, they were "people's democracies", "the purest form of democracy", they were "socialism". The West, the big propaganda system in the world, of course, just laughed at the "democracy" part, but it loved the "socialism" part because that's a way to defame socialism. So if you think that the fall of the Soviet Union is a blow to socialism, you ought to also think, on the same grounds, that it's a blow to democracy. After all, they call themselves democracies too, so why isn't it a blow to democracy? Makes as much sense. It's only when it gets filtered through the Western propaganda system that it's not a blow to democracy, but it is a blow to socialism. 

But, you know, there's actually no reason to play that game. Whether you play it in Dissent [the magazine] or in the Nation [the magazine] or on the Right or anywhere else, expose it for the fraud that it is. 

[Someone asks question]

What ideology? The ideology of totalitarianism? Yeah it's deeply flawed. I mean, they were the initial modern totalitarians. 

[Asks another question]

It doesn't have anything to do with socialism. They destroyed socialism within weeks! You know. They didn't wait. By 1918 it was finished. And they knew it. You know. Like, it's not a secret; they knew it. I mean, in fact, Lenin as soon as, you know, as soon as he sort of got grips of things, he moved to what he called "state capitalism". Which is what it was. It had nothing to do with socialism. 

Socialism... I mean we can argue about... there's no point arguing about what the word means, but what it always meant at the core was that producers take control of production, working people take control of production: what's sometimes called industrial democracy, that was the absolute core of it. Well, you know, there was more socialism in Germany, in Western Europe, than there was in Russia. 

No, Russia's about the most anti-socialist place you can imagine, since 1918. It had wage-labor, had super-exploitation, had no element of worker's control or involvement or participation. What's that got to do with socialism? It's the exact opposite on every point. 

As I say, the West liked to call that "socialism" while laughing at the fact that they called themselves "Democrats", but that's for purely propaganda reasons. I mean, unless you're committed to being part of the Western propaganda system, there's nothing to say about that issue, except to laugh.

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I think the reason flawed examples of socialism have tarnished the name (while flawed examples of democracy do not) is that there are so few 'good' examples of pure (or even semi-pure) socialism to counter the bad.  Part of the defamation logic goes something like this:  Socialism gives more power to the state and a more powerful state is more easily corrupted by the leaders, therefore too much socialism leads to a totalitarian regime.  Then, they point to all the bad examples I'm sure you're familiar with.  Lenin may and his contemporaries may have destroyed socialism in Russia as you say, but that's no defense against the arguments of those who are against it...it's too easily corrupted.

 

For me, the critical point is:  how much is too much?  We just need to find the sweet spot, which I believe is a moving target depending on a nation's culture, economic development, education, morals, and other circumstances.   It looks to me like its time for the USA to add to its social welfare programs.

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Well said     ^     ^     ^    

 

I think Marx understood capitalism.  But his solution, communism, has proven to be completely unrealistic.  Basic human nature is incompatible with eg, the elimination of private property.  And wherever tried, communism has been easily preempted by totalitarian demagogues.

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On 3/13/2019 at 6:12 AM, Renegade said:

 

 

For me, the critical point is:  how much is too much?  We just need to find the sweet spot, which I believe is a moving target depending on a nation's culture, economic development, education, morals, and other circumstances.   It looks to me like its time for the USA to add to its social welfare programs.

 

 

I think that's exactly correct about both socialism and capitalism. We also have corporate welfare programs which these days don't seem to be suffering much.

 

Peace!

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On 3/13/2019 at 1:57 PM, bludog said:

Well said     ^     ^     ^    

 

I think Marx understood capitalism.  But his solution, communism, has proven to be completely unrealistic.  Basic human nature is incompatible with eg, the elimination of private property.  And wherever tried, communism has been easily preempted by totalitarian demagogues.

 

Marx didn't believe communism was a solution, but an inevitable outcome of a natural evolution of society as a function of technological and social progression.  Communism was never anything meant to be implemented or enforced, but simply a beginning and ending state of society with an absence of scarcity and absence of government.

 

The-six-stages-of-Marxs-theory-of-histor

 

There has never been an example of Marxist communism because there is no such thing, at least not until technology has eliminated all scarcity such that a government is not required.  Even then, it still wouldn't be a "system".

 

All attempts at communism were attempts to force it before technology could support it.

 

Capitalism gave us technology that is now being used increasingly to relieve people of burdens which begins the gradual and lumbering transition into socialism.  That will progress until machines do all work with free solar energy resulting in such abundance that no governmental body is required to regulate who has what; money is antiquated.  Communism = anarchy.  We'll never live to see what the genius of Marx could clearly see 150 yrs ago.

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A hundred and fifty years of reality later, Marx's entire line of reasoning about the future of technology, appears to be a construct of the imagination, bearing little connection to observable reality since then.  Marx's "inevitable outcome of a natural evolution of society as a function of technological and social progression", is not validated by any evidence to back it up, and likely never will be.  What Marx "could clearly see 150 years ago", has proven, so far, to be the illusion of a nonexistent future. 

 

The rapacious tendencies of human nature probably guarantee that any abundance bestowed by technology, will never support communism in the foreseeable future ...  At least not until biological evolution alters the functioning of the human brain, enabling a larger percentage of the population to identify with all humanity. 

 

From actual observation of human progress, up to now, social democracy has been the closest we have been able to come.  And that is why I support Bernie Sanders for president.

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12 hours ago, bludog said:

A hundred and fifty years of reality later, Marx's entire line of reasoning about the future of technology, appears to be a construct of the imagination, bearing little connection to observable reality since then.  Marx's "inevitable outcome of a natural evolution of society as a function of technological and social progression", is not validated by any evidence to back it up, and likely never will be.  What Marx "could clearly see 150 years ago", has proven, so far, to be the illusion of a nonexistent future. 

 

The rapacious tendencies of human nature probably guarantee that any abundance bestowed by technology, will never support communism in the foreseeable future ...  At least not until biological evolution alters the functioning of the human brain, enabling a larger percentage of the population to identify with all humanity. 

 

From actual observation of human progress, up to now, social democracy has been the closest we have been able to come.  And that is why I support Bernie Sanders for president.

The biggest problem with "social democracy",

is its name, and the fact that most "conservatives" have never been beyond the limits of the county that they were born in.

 

Hannity, and all the right wing liars will continue to equate the name to communism,

and the fiercely gullible "conservatives" will valiantly continue to vote against themselves.

 

It may be much too late to establish a different name for "social democracy",

maybe something like "European capitalism".

But since the white supremacists probably trace their roots to Europe,

maybe the dummies would fall for it?

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1 hour ago, peter45 said:

The biggest problem with "social democracy",

is its name, and the fact that most "conservatives" have never been beyond the limits of the county that they were born in.

 

And yet, irrespective of the name of his ideology, many conservatives find Bernie Sanders ideals appealing.  .  While at the same time, these same conservative spurred by the Right Wing Noise Machine, equate the name social democracy with communism.  But it would appear that, in the 2016 race, Bernie was surprisingly successful in expanding the number of voters, on both sides, who actually understand what social democracy actually is.  And now, he's busy campaigning again.

 

1 hour ago, peter45 said:

It may be much too late to establish a different name for "social democracy",

maybe something like "European capitalism". 

 

Yes.  Because of their heritage, and racism, that title might appeal many conservatives.  A truly descriptive title might be "Democratic Welfare Capitalism"  But that might not go over too big with the Limbaugh-indoctrinated set:).  It does seem too late to replace the title "Social Democracy" with something more politically viable.  It appears too often in the media and publications. 

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14 hours ago, bludog said:

A hundred and fifty years of reality later, Marx's entire line of reasoning about the future of technology, appears to be a construct of the imagination, bearing little connection to observable reality since then.  Marx's "inevitable outcome of a natural evolution of society as a function of technological and social progression", is not validated by any evidence to back it up, and likely never will be.  What Marx "could clearly see 150 years ago", has proven, so far, to be the illusion of a nonexistent future. 

 

The rapacious tendencies of human nature probably guarantee that any abundance bestowed by technology, will never support communism in the foreseeable future ...  At least not until biological evolution alters the functioning of the human brain, enabling a larger percentage of the population to identify with all humanity. 

 

From actual observation of human progress, up to now, social democracy has been the closest we have been able to come.  And that is why I support Bernie Sanders for president.

 

How do you figure?  Technology has freed us from all sorts of burdens and, really, the only reason people are conscripted into the workforce is for the profit of another.  Most of the work done in the world is a triviality justifying a paycheck and we may as well dig holes for 2nd shift to fill them back in.

 

Do we need the IRS and a huge complicated tax code or is that just busywork to justify a handout?

 

Do we need to update google all the time or can it simply be left alone?

 

Do we need starbucks coffee?  Why should people be conscripted into serving luxuries?  If someone wants coffee, they can fend for themselves.  One can't ethically call that work that needs to be done such that people must be forced to do it or go starve.

 

Most of the work is not anything required and the remaining that is, can be streamlined to increase efficiency while reducing the necessary workforce to a relative handful of people.  We could do this right now, today.

 

The only problem is the whole generation of people simply cannot stomach the idea that someone might get something for nothing, even if a machine is doing the work.

 

In the 1800s, they would have figured by 2019 that people would be sitting around all day doing nothing since clothes no longer need to be washed in streams and horses no longer need to pull plows and wood no longer needs to be chopped or animals tended, the cow milked and so on, but we're busier than ever, without even so much as time to raise our own kids, all because people insist people must suffer for money.

 

We're technologically in the 21st century and psychologically in the 18th.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Bluenami said:

How do you figure?  Technology has freed us from all sorts of burdens and, really, the only reason people are conscripted into the workforce is for the profit of another.  Most of the work done in the world is a triviality justifying a paycheck and we may as well dig holes for 2nd shift to fill them back in.

 

People today are laboring at all kinds of goods and services that didn't even exist 150 years ago.  The list is nearly endless:  From SUVs to smart phones.   Much of that technological progress has made life more convenient and interesting than a potentate could have dreamed of before the industrial revolution.   Very few were aware of the downsides until about the 60 years ago ...  Probably dating from the publication of Rachael Carson's "The Silent Spring" in 1962.

 

And the downside of all this dazzling technological bling is so enormous, it might have brought us to the brink of extinction, as a species:  Advancing technology has brought us the looming threat of WMD's and nuclear armegeddon to global warming, to chemical pollution and the sixth great extinction on earth.

 

So Marx's predictions were a double-edged sword of which he foresaw only one edge.  Furthermore;  Nowhere has the state withered away, or private property been abandoned.  Communism never came to fruition and, given it's dismal track record, is not likely to.

 

42 minutes ago, Bluenami said:

In the 1800s, they would have figured by 2019 that people would be sitting around all day doing nothing since clothes no longer need to be washed in streams and horses no longer need to pull plows and wood no longer needs to be chopped or animals tended, the cow milked and so on, but we're busier than ever, without even so much as time to raise our own kids, all because people insist people must suffer for money.

 

Most people in the 1800s had no idea of a technology dominated future.  They called such new ideas things like "Fulton's Folly".  In 1899, the US patent office commissioner Charles H. Duell purportedly said "everything that can be invented has been invented".  And even if he didn't say it, it is indicative of the attitude of the times.

 

52 minutes ago, Bluenami said:

We're technologically in the 21st century and psychologically in the 18th.

 

We in the US, are living under a plutocracy in which nearly the entire system is being run for the further enrichment of a handful of corporate elites;  At the expense of the bulk of the people.  This is not so everywhere.  Especially in the Democratic Socialist countries of the world, where there is far more economic equality.  And where citizen's necessities are taken care of while most have far more free time.

 

59 minutes ago, Bluenami said:

The only problem is the whole generation of people simply cannot stomach the idea that someone might get something for nothing, even if a machine is doing the work.

 

This is a problem being constantly perpetuated and institutionalized with propaganda 24/7/365, paid for by the right wing media.  The victims of this propaganda constantly vote for right wing, plutocratic dominated government.  Thus motivated, they continue to vote against their own best interests and stab themselves in the back, dragging along the rest of us.  But the US is at a demographic tipping point at which that generation is dying off. 

 

It is entirely possible that America's course may turn enough that the more socially democratic time of the 1950s, 60s and 70s originated in the policies of FDR, may return.

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6 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

People today are laboring at all kinds of goods and services that didn't even exist 150 years ago.  The list is nearly endless:  From SUVs to smart phones.   Much of that technological progress has made life more convenient and interesting than a potentate could have dreamed of before the industrial revolution.   Very few were aware of the downsides until about the 60 years ago ...  Probably dating from the publication of Rachael Carson's "The Silent Spring" in 1962.

 

But how much of that is necessary?  I suppose we could argue that after machines have taken every job, there will be room for employment in the entertainment industry, so will that be considered a necessary task?  Will humans always be required to toil for the right to exist no matter how silly the drudgery is?

 

Milton Friedman visited an Asian country (China I suppose) and asked why the workers were digging with shovels.  He suggested that machinery could do the job much faster, but they assured him speed was not the issue as it was simply giving the people work to do.  So Friedman replied "Then why not give them spoons?"

 

https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/

 

There are no jobs that machines cannot do.  I've read they can even write music and paint, at least mimicking creativity.

 

6 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

And the downside of all this dazzling technological bling is so enormous, it might have brought us to the brink of extinction, as a species:  Advancing technology has brought us the looming threat of WMD's and nuclear armegeddon to global warming, to chemical pollution and the sixth great extinction on earth.

 

Well if humanity goes extinct, then there is nothing to worry about.  If they go partially extinct, then those who remain will be primitive communists with no government and Marx will still have been right ;) 

 

Marx was merely extrapolating into the future in a linear fashion and even 150 years out, I still can't see a good reason to suspect a diversion except for natural disasters and such.  It seems to me the farther along in terms of prosperity we get, the less likely we will destroy ourselves.

 

6 minutes ago, bludog said:

 

So Marx's predictions were a double-edged sword of which he foresaw only one edge.  Furthermore;  Nowhere has the state withered away, or private property been abandoned.  Communism never came to fruition and, given it's dismal track record, is not likely to.

 

You're missing the key point I'm trying to convey: communism cannot be forced.  Any communism that is forced is not an example of communism, so we can't say the track record is dismal.  Folks may have labeled it communism, but state capitalism would be a better descriptor.  Like Chomsky said, "They also called it democracy."

 

And the state will grow larger and larger like a sawtooth sinewave that suddenly plummets when scarcity is eliminated.  No one will blow a trumpet sounding the arrival of communism, it's just that people will drop government, money, and private property like rotary phones and cassettes.  It will all be a natural evolution that no one dictates or controls.  Even now our plutocratic masters are becoming more benevolent by supporting leftwing candidates.  One of Friedman's main points was that monopolies have a way of regulating themselves and it could be that the masters get so prosperous that they willing bestow power to the people.  Bezos willingly raised the wage to $15.  How prosperous does one have to be before he begins feeling sympathetic for everyone else?

 

And with the rental culture we're witnessing the shunning of private property.  People don't want to own things like they used to: they rent their homes, cars, phones, and seek to escape the maintenance required in ownership.  Why mow my lawn when I could do other things?  Why paint the house again this year?  I don't want all these chores to do.  Private property is a ball n chain that people do not want anymore.  And then you could be sued for damages if you are the owner.  There is hardly a reason to own anything.

 

6 minutes ago, bludog said:

Most people in the 1800s had no idea of a technology dominated future.  They called such new ideas things like "Fulton's Folly".  In 1899, the US patent office commissioner Charles H. Duell purportedly said "everything that can be invented has been invented".  And even if he didn't say it, it is indicative of the attitude of the times.

 

That's true, but if you were in the 1800s would you figure in the 2000s that people would still be milking the family cow?  That is especially true around the turn of the century when it appeared machines were taking over everything.  Yet here we are and we're busier than ever.  It takes two people working to support a family vs 1950 when it only required one.

 

6 minutes ago, bludog said:

We in the US, are living under a plutocracy in which nearly the entire system is being run for the further enrichment of a handful of corporate elites;  At the expense of the bulk of the people.  This is not so everywhere.  Especially in the Democratic Socialist countries of the world, where there is far more economic equality.  And where citizen's necessities are taken care of while most have far more free time.

 

Yep, so there's some empirical evidence that it's already happening.

 

Chomsky argues that being a mother is work and should be one of the most highly paid jobs there are.  What kind of advanced technological society would force a mother of children to work for survival?  That's horrible on so many levels.

 

6 minutes ago, bludog said:

This is a problem being constantly perpetuated and institutionalized with propaganda 24/7/365, paid for by the right wing media.  The victims of this propaganda constantly vote for right wing, plutocratic dominated government.  Thus motivated, they continue to vote against their own best interests and stab themselves in the back, dragging along the rest of us.  But the US is at a demographic tipping point at which that generation is dying off. 

 

Yep, and big pharma is trying their hardest to keep their customers alive, so I hope the kids get involved like never before.

 

6 minutes ago, bludog said:

It is entirely possible that America's course may turn enough that the more socially democratic time of the 1950s, 60s and 70s originated in the policies of FDR, may return.

 

Yes but I wonder if the coming FDR-ish prosperity will once again usher in another RedCoat invasion like what happened with Reagan.  I know it's unrealistic, but I'd like to see constitutional protection preventing trickle-down nonsense from ever returning once the dems take control.  They would have the overwhelming majority to do it too; make it unconstitutional to be conservative lol

 

Noam Chomsky: Republican Party is the most dangerous organisation in human history  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/noam-chomsky-republican-party-most-dangerous-organisation-human-history-us-politics-mit-linguist-a7706026.html

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There are still many jobs which can't yet be done by robots;  Especially service jobs.  That will gradually change toward more automation.  The only way all human labor will be replaced is if self-servicing, self-replicating AIs are given complete control.  If AIs become self-replicating, they fall under the laws of evolution, except that, freed from biological complexity and generations, they will be able to evolve much faster, and by their own design.  The staggering implications of this are a separate subject which has not been lost on scientists or sci fi authors.

 

That said, the main reasons for unwanted or unpleasant, human toil are political.  The value of work, as a moral virtue, is rapidly becoming obsolete in the age of increasing automation.  Time for a Universal Basic Wage.

 

So-called "primitives" did not practice communism.  They did not take over the means of production.  In hunter-gatherer clans and tribes, the means of production were, by default, in the hands of the individual.  And, unlike complex technological gadgets of today, the products of their work did not require anything but intellect and manual dexterity to make.  Unlike with today's tech, one individual usually made the entire product from start to finish.

 

Moreover, anthropological observation of remaining hunter-gatherer societies reveals that private property is universal.  Nowhere do people, of any kind, share everything in common.  The idea that primitives practiced communism is a mistake, countered by the the facts.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 4:42 PM, Bluenami said:

You're missing the key point I'm trying to convey: communism cannot be forced.  Any communism that is forced is not an example of communism, so we can't say the track record is dismal.  Folks may have labeled it communism, but state capitalism would be a better descriptor.  Like Chomsky said, "They also called it democracy."

 

And the state will grow larger and larger like a sawtooth sinewave that suddenly plummets when scarcity is eliminated.  No one will blow a trumpet sounding the arrival of communism, it's just that people will drop government, money, and private property like rotary phones and cassettes.  It will all be a natural evolution that no one dictates or controls.  Even now our plutocratic masters are becoming more benevolent by supporting leftwing candidates.  One of Friedman's main points was that monopolies have a way of regulating themselves and it could be that the masters get so prosperous that they willing bestow power to the people.  Bezos willingly raised the wage to $15.  How prosperous does one have to be before he begins feeling sympathetic for everyone else?

 

Sorry if I'm still missing the point.  But to me most of this is nothing but wishful thinking.  As things stand now in the US, we may have made a few, faltering steps toward progress, but most of the momentum is regressive.  And even if Warren or Sanders were to win the presidency the status quo wouldn't change by much considering the prevalence of republicans and corporate democrats in Congress.  Not that a president Warren or Sanders wouldn't be a big step forward.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 4:42 PM, Bluenami said:

And with the rental culture we're witnessing the shunning of private property.

 

Rented stuff still belongs to the lessee for any agreed-on period.  Rented goods or services cannot be legally shared except by the permission of the lessee.  The same principle as private property. 

 

On 3/15/2019 at 4:42 PM, Bluenami said:

so I hope the kids get involved like never before.

 

This new trend of activist kids is a really hopeful sign.  Especially in the area of climate change.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 4:42 PM, Bluenami said:

Yes but I wonder if the coming FDR-ish prosperity will once again usher in another RedCoat invasion like what happened with Reagan.  I know it's unrealistic, but I'd like to see constitutional protection preventing trickle-down nonsense from ever returning once the dems take control.  They would have the overwhelming majority to do it too; make it unconstitutional to be conservative lol

 

If and when progressives take real, substantive control of government, it will probably be necessary to do this.  Otherwise, backlash and regression are likely.  For 30 years, we've been hearing that demographic change will allow the progressive cause prevail but it always seems to fall short.  Maybe the tipping point will come soon enough that drastic constitutional changes won't need to be made.:)

 

Other legislation might include changing the nature of corporate charters to emphasize commitment to the public good and care of the environment.  And play down profit for shareholder.  Corporate charters to come up for renewal every two years.

 

On 3/15/2019 at 4:42 PM, Bluenami said:

 

No truer words were ever spoken.  In the name of money and power, the GOP has morphed into the enemy of life on Earth.  

 

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1 minute ago, guilluamezenz said:

there really is no such thing as socialism or capitalism they are concepts ideas not real things reality is that all economic systems are combinations of the two all of them i ma an ethical socialist who realizes the only way to attain socialist goals is through market based systems

Ethical socialism is a political philosophy that appeals to socialism on ethical and moral grounds as opposed to economic, egoistic and consumeristic grounds.[1] It emphasizes the need for a morally conscious economy based upon the principles of service, cooperation and social justice while opposing possessive individualism.[2] In contrast to socialism inspired by rationalism, historical materialism, neoclassical economics and Marxist theory which base their appeals for socialism on grounds of economic efficiency, rationality, or historical inevitability, ethical socialism focuses on the moral and ethical reasons for advocating socialism.

Ethical socialism had a profound impact on the social democratic movement and reformism during the later half of the 20th century, particularly in Great Britain.[3][1] Ethical socialism is distinct in its focus on criticism of the ethics of capitalism and not merely criticism of the economic, systemic and material issues of capitalism.[1]

The term ethical socialism initially originated as a pejorative by the Marxist economist Rosa Luxemburg against reformist revisionist Marxist Eduard Bernstein and his supporters, who evoked Kantian liberal ideals and ethical arguments in favor of socialism.[4] Self-recognized ethical socialists soon arose in Britain such as Christian socialist R. H. Tawney and its ideals were connected to Christian socialist, Fabian and guild socialist ideals.[5] Ethical socialism was an important ideology within the British Labour Party.[6] Ethical socialism has been publicly supported by British Prime Ministers Ramsay MacDonald,[7] Clement Attlee[8] and Tony Blair.[6]

When the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) renounced Marxism during the Godesberg Program in the 1950s, ethical socialism became the official philosophy within the SPD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_socialism

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