Lately, I've been realizing I'm a rare specimen among the atheist community...
I'm against socialism. There, I said it. And no, I will not meet you at the swing set after school. I've spoken with a good number of atheist friends and acquaintances, and it seems nearly all of them take offense at that fact. It's like I'm telling them their baby looks like a damn monkey! They try to convince me that I'm heartless, and that I should change my opinion because they're broke. It's very nearly the same arguments I hear when theists find out my religious beliefs...
I don't believe in socialism because of this:
I am a business owner. I've spent a good amount of my adult life living in a shitty little apartment, eating ramen noodles (and the slower rats), staying home while my friends go out, working WELL over 100 hrs a week for months (if not years) at a time, and trained myself to live on 4 or less hours of sleep per night. Shit, if I wasn't a dude, I wouldn't even have had anything to entertain myself with... That's because every spare cent I earned was re-invested into my business. And no, I'm not a drug dealer or a prostitute, it's legitimate.
Now, I'm the asshole, because I make more money than my friends. Every time we go out, they want me to pay for drinks, or come to me looking to borrow money, etc. I earned my money, dammit! Get drunk enough to cornhole fat bitches on your own dime! They tell me that it's all well and good that I should get taxed more, because I make more. I didn't eat shit for years so that Mr. NoHighSchoolDiploma with 8 kids and no job can take my money and use it for the food he can't afford to put in his kids mouths, or for more rusty-carpart lawn decoration...
I look at socialism as treating those who work smarter/harder, and don't give up on their dreams, as if they were a piggy bank for the lazy. Oh, and fuck Robin Hood, too. Fuckin commie socialist douche... But I'm getting off topic... I don't want to hear about 'privilege' either, the only privilege I can claim is that I was born in a free country. I've got felonies on my record, done jail time, have no credit whatsoever, and was recently declined for a JC Penny's Rewards card. I didn't even know that shit was possible. I can't even get a job in fast food without lying on my application. I was born into a lower-class family in Detroit, Michigan (Go Red Wings!), and went to a school where I'd pass if I just attended class, regardless of how much schoolwork I did. And the classrooms all smelled like smashed asshole, too. Imagine having to deal with that all day.
Does anyone else feel the same way? If so, then why? If not, I'd love to hear your reasons/story, too. There may be angles to this that I haven't thought of yet, if you have any insight you think would be helpful or change my opinion, for FSM's sake, let me know! :)
i think the ideological basis of socialism is the belief (yes.. belief) that people should see themselves as part of a society, and share their wealth to the benefit of all. to that extent government intervenes, taxes, and spreads the wealth.
capitalism on the other hand has no concept of society, but rather sees only the individual, and his personal hard work. it doesn't matter that in a certain society people may be poor or rich- with the rich having the power and resources to help the poor- capitalism has only the narrow view of "me", and "my hard work."
with that being said, i should note that while i see socialism as a far more moral way of thinking, i strongly believe that it's unworkable because it negates human nature.
people don't appreciate things they haven't worked for. they get lazy. they get careless. a good example is government corruption- it's other people's money so who cares?
also, socialism presupposes goodwill among people all of the time. on the global level we might look at the rich and the poor and see the possibility of wealth distribution, but on the local level we know that neighbor X is freeloader and a drunk, and doesn't deserve his checks. that neighbor Y got pregnant at 16 and leads a life she never could have had it not been for welfare. and so on.... welfare provides a safety net which many people will abuse. goodwill just doesn't always exist between people, and many end up feeling used.
a capitalist system which judges every person every person on his own, and leaves the CHOICE of charity up to the indivudual, is far more suited in my view for an imperfect human nature.
Nothing socialist about taxes. In fact, in a pure socialist economy taxes would be unecessary as everyone would be employed and paid by the state. Socialism concerns the ownership of the means of production (socialist theory is generally quite iffy regarding how to deal with the service sector), and since the state will own it all, the state will also determine the indivdual's compensation based on their need - no tax system required!
However, wealth redistribution taxes are often dubbed 'revolution insurance', i.e. a mixed economy system's way of ensuring that the workers do not claim ownership of the means of production.
Small wonder people have strong opinions on capitalism and socialism when they appear misinformed about what it is.
But they are not. :)
Taxes have existed long before the advent of capitalism and socialism. In fact, extreme taxes are more likely to occur in a feudal society, where the tax collector and governing elite does not care about the needs of the population.
Capitalism embraces taxes to ensure that the things which have positive externalities (military, police, lighthouses etc.) is provided. As long as something is deemed to have positive externalities, such as highway systems, space programs, health care, capitalism easily justifies taxing the private sector to pay for these.
In a pure socialist system everything would be state owned, there is no private sector, and having a tax system would therefore not matter since everyone would be paid by the government anyway. Taxes would be redundant because you are not reporting your income to the state for taxation, it is given to you by the state.
It's a horrible system which always fails, but this does not defend the misapplication of its theories.
Very much so.
Taxes is the price we have to pay to live in modern and well ordered societies (by historical standards). Without a strong and uncorrupted state there can be no strong private sector with large corporations that are able to discover more things.
I like to think taxes is the price I have to pay to get my salary. Stings a bit less.
That's excellent, but it is a completely different discussion which can be based on theories and evidence instead of dogmatic ideology. As long as people can have both thoughts in their heads at the same time - that government can be a solution AND a problem - they can be informed about the benefits and drawbacks of government intervention.
I urge you to temper the focus on the drawbacks of capitalism with some understanding of its benefits. Capitalism is merely a theory, it does not have any innate morality apart from what you attribute to it. The pros and cons are detailed by an ever increasing pool of science which most people know little about because it's not really that important to know it. However, just like young earth creationists have strong opinions contradictory to commonly accepted theory, people persist in having strong opinions about economic systems they know virtually nothing about.