If Communism/Socialism were to dominate the world..?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by AltHispano, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. AltHispano It's worth dreaming / Vale la pena soñar

    Sep 13, 2018
    In a world where few or no countries retain capitalism, where Communism/Socialism was a great success. What would politics, society, technology, etc. be like? What would be the consequences? Would it survive?
    The POD could be before 1920 or far back if required for success in other countries.
  2. Histor32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2015
    americanyets na europa
    Either it will be paradise or a hell on earth..
    King_Arthur and Ivoshafen like this.
  3. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Sep 18, 2007
    it'd be bureaucratic and corrupt with any "successes" being a few generations in the past like OTL. As for differences, probably less than people would think. The obvious answer for similarities is that we'd still see a couple hundred million corpses. We've had that in OTL with liberal democracy's dominating the world, so no reason to expect anything different from communism/fascism. The only difference I can think is that more of the dead would be residents of the core socialist powers instead of the global periphery due to differences in government style.
  4. herkles Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2017
    Which form of Communism or Socialism are you referring to?

    • Marxism-Leninism
    • Juche
    • Maoism
    • Trotskyism
    • Titoism
    • Eurocommunism
    • Luxemburgism
    • Council Communism
    • Hoaxism
    • Dengism
    • Prachanda Path
    • De Leonism
    • Anarcho-Communism
    • Anarcho-Syndicalism
    • Autonomism
    • Christian Communism/Socialism
    • Jewish Socialism
    • Muslim Socialism
    • Buddhist Socialism
    • Liberal socialism
    • Democratic Socialism
    • Libertarian socialism
    • Arab socialism
    • Eco-Socialism
    • Posadism
    • Market Socialism
    There probably are others but then there are quite a number of schools of thought :p
  5. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

    Aug 26, 2017
    You will need to create massive scale cultural changes that need to occur over a century. While I doubt we could reach communism there, socialism seems like a pretty good possibility if they got lucky.

    It is defined ultimately as "a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management,[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership or citizen ownership of equity."

    Basically, having the public own the factories and places of employment rather than have it be owned by a small and wealthy class of investors and stockholders.

    This could be done through the state (which would work best in like local areas or in pure democratic areas) or through collectives or cooperatives or even a mixture of all of them with whatever else. Basically, everyone sharing the places and working together.

    Every nation would need to develop its approach and sell point to it. In the USA for example, it could be viewed as the Modern American Dream (whereas the old one viewed liberty and democracy triumphing over the political aristocracy, the new one is a continuation that would frame the rich fat cats, investors and stockholders as the new aristocracy and where fraternity is added in).

    Granted, just because everyone is working together does not mean everything is hunky dory. While I imagine we would get things like universal healthcare and so on in most places (since I doubt industries like insurance could survive in these sort of states), there are interesting potentials. There would still be cultural conservatism and butting heads between the old and the new. The potential threat of excluding minorities out of these may be a possibility or noncitizens for that matter.

    Politics would still be focused over foreign policy, domestic issues as civil rights occur and so on and so forth. Like if certain doctors refused to operate on minority patients or considered them a lesser priority.

    Another would be on advancing technology. The adaptation of automated machines changed the job market and that could either stagnate here or innovation be potentially suppressed because some older folk do not wanna lose their jobs and thus arguments and such have to be made. Education would have to be done all over the place. The internet would definitely be a massive curveball, but people could adapt.

    it is ultimately about cultivating a culture of being proactivity within the community and the workplace. Communism would be gradually achieved once that proactivity is introduced into managing society and the nation. Granted the internet could curveball that though if the whole world is some form of socialism, then ideas of making a more global commune would be a little easier.
    AceofDens likes this.
  6. Windows95 Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Montreal, Canada
    There is also the automation and the whole BS jobs that could wipe out 80% of jobs...

    David Graeber.
  7. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    As others have said, there are so many forms of socialism that it's difficult to pin down. All societies which have so far claimed to have introduced wholesale socialism - and by that meant state-planned command economies - have been characterised by a lot of common traits: scarcity crises, when they occur, hitting the population in comparatively unmitigated ways, for example, but also a workplace behavior which is less characterised by stress when compared to more capitalist systems. I see no reason why this would change if the system were to dominate world-wide. You wouldn't see so much isolation then, but that's about it and it's not going to change the fundamental workings. As far as socialist elements have been introduced into predominantly capitalist systems IOTL, I'd say that patterns like greater equality, a greater feeling of safety, but also increased attempts to evade (from taxation, regulation etc.) occur. In the latter case, if in some way one would make sure that most of the world follows these patterns of a mixed economy, then there'd be less options for evasion and for free riding. Clasically social-democratic welfare states with mixed economies would be a lot more stable in a world where they don't incur competitive disadvantages from the limits they place on capitalist profit.
    Any of the more creative and more OTL-remote forms of socialism gaining traction worldwide requires much more efforts of the imagination and we'd probably be faced with a world so fundamentally different that we can't make any reliable predictions about it. Which is not to say that such forms (like anarcho-syndicalism or mutualism or whatever) cannot work. (But which is also not to say that it can.)
  8. Tanc49 Domitian Truther

    Oct 9, 2014
    I mean, most of Europe is Socialist and working fine...
    kholieken likes this.
  9. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    Hm, what do you mean by "socialist"? I would say most of Europe is, at best, slightly mixed, with capitalist elements clearly dominating.
    basileus, HelloThere, Hawkeye and 5 others like this.
  10. Tanc49 Domitian Truther

    Oct 9, 2014
    That'd be Socialist though, strong safety net and democracy. Otherwise it's communism.
    That's why we regularly have self described Socialist leaders in Europe
  11. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    According to which system of terminology?
    In Marxist-Leninist tradition, where this distinction has been dwelt upon most extensively, "socialism" means collective ownership of the means of production in a transitionary period of dictatorship of the proletariat until capitalist mindset and class distinctions have withered away, while "communism" means the stage after the latter has happened, a stateless and property-less society. According to this terminology, the Eastern bloc was socialist (this is how its ruling Communist Parties described it, too). Communism, in this sense, is how I'd describe the internal relations in most families, or how humankind deals with the open seas and the skies, or with the so-called "creative commons".

    "Strong safety net and democracy" is what defines social democracy.

    Some social democrats (in Europe and elsewhere) are calling themselves "socialists", e.g. the French Parti Socialiste, or the Spanish "Partido Socialista de los Obreros Espanoles". That is purely historical, it does not mean that the French or Spanish social democrats are any more socialist or radical than their German counterparts who call themselves "Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands" or their British counterparts, the "Labour Party"....
  12. Tanc49 Domitian Truther

    Oct 9, 2014
    It might have been the original term that socialism and communism were more similar, however I believe that meaning has evolved.
    You have openly socialist party and socialist leaders in Europe, and while they may not be the original meaning of the term socialist, it is the current meaning of it:
    • Strong safety net (cradle to grave)
    • Socialised medicine
    • Market economy with strong worker protection
    • Some state monopolies

    The reason I'd insist on the distinction is not just pedantic. I'm Western European but I see often in American discussions that socialism is shown as a bad word, something terrible to avoid as it leads to breadline, dictatorships, yadda yadda... That means that any socialist policy, such as the ones shown above (minimum wage, paid holidays, socialised medicine...) is seen as the devil and a prelude to Soviet Russia c.a 1953. This is used by people with an agenda who think free market is the only answer and anything else is the work of Satan (sometimes literally...)
    Tibi088, Histor32 and kholieken like this.
  13. Scott Washburn Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2018
    It would be the United Federation of Planets. :)
    rush4you, HelloThere, Bomster and 2 others like this.
  14. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    I would say the four bullet points are core planks of social democracy. (What else would "social democracy" mean, then, if not this?) This is clearly a mixture of socialism and capitalism.
    I would agree that there are parties with a more far-reaching socialist agenda in Europe, but they tend to become social democrats (at best) upon contact with government power (e.g. Syriza in Greece).

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that a mixture between socialist and capitalist elements, i.e. the classical social democratic agenda, is neither the work of Satan, nor leads to breadlines or dictatorships, and that such policies have had overwhelmingly positive effects on post-war Europe (and to some extent the US, too). For clarity's sake, though, I'd like to stick with the term "social democracy" for this. (What many so-called social democrats in the New Labour vein have done, on the other hand, is not social democratic at all, and we're observing the logical consequence of that in the disintegration and disappearance of social democratic parties in various European countries... or their return onto a social democratic path, like Jeremy Corbyn's agenda in Britain, for example. New Labour and Gerhard Schröder's SPD have essentially pursued liberal to conservative agendas.)
  15. herkles Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2017
    I wonder how different is Social Democracy from Liberal Socialism?
  16. Salvador79 Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2015
    At the danger of contradicting what I've said so far in this thread, I would say that THESE two mostly mean the same thing. I haven't heard the term "liberal socialism" being used for quite a while, so I hadn't thought of that. What I hear a lot more often is "democratic socialism", which has become more or less the term of choice for "I mean REAL social democracy", I thought, but "liberal socialism" does the same.

    So, did the OP mean this? I somehow doubt it, given that he wrote "socialism/communism"?
  17. frenchiestfries His Highness

    Sep 14, 2018
    7th Panzer Division
    TBH? Not a place I would want to live in if it was Communism. Democratic Socialism (in a modern sense) or Social Democracy I would be fine with, but not Communism.
  18. Ventriloquist Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2013
    If it were a form of totalitarian/state communism, it'd be hell on earth; if it were a form of anarchist communism, it'd be a lot better imo.
  19. Windows95 Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Montreal, Canada
    Careful here:

    Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production,[1] with an emphasis on self-management and democratic management of economic institutions within a market or some form of decentralized planned socialist economy.[2] Democratic socialists espouse that capitalism is inherently incompatible with what they hold to be the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realization of a socialist society. Democratic socialism can be supportive of either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism.[3]

    What Is Democratic Socialism?

    Out of all the ideologies and tendencies listed here, market socialism (not the Chinese one of course) was never tried.
    TripleCitizen likes this.
  20. TauranCollective Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2016
    Or just as mediocre as today, but with more collectivization and hopefully less telemarketing.
    King_Arthur likes this.