The possibilities of socialism.
Despite these posts talking about social democracy, I believe that a vital, authentic, socialist state is possible. I use the term 'state' in place of 'nation', I don't mean a socialist government.
I believe also that Soviet society and the Eastern Bloc countries, as well as some Third World countries which became socialist made some real advances and innovations in how a society can function equally and honestly, and to the benefit of all.
The components of these societies which are progressive have to be balanced against the fact that in all of them, including those existing today, the progressive accomplishments took place on a background of authoritarianism which flowed from the centralized control of society by the state.
Many people devoted their lives to building socialism, as authentically as they could and as idealistically as they could, on the background of a state calling itself socialist but which really in the end betrayed the socialist ideal. This does not negate their accomplishment or the innovations they created.
The question, then, is how can the positive accomplishments of people who attempted to build socialism on a very grass roots level can be implemented in a society which does not have authoritarianism as the basic social framework.
I think that the authoritarianism of the socialist states and the vacuum of power which manifests itself in capitalist states are equally abhorrent.
In one society everything is dominated by ideological interestes, in the other there is no authority which the people have over their own lives and society becomes ruled de facto by the most powerful institutions in it.
What is neccesary is some social structure to fill in the gap left by capitalist society which is in tune with human nature and human needs but is not monopolized by any group and is not centralized in it's functioning.
On such a basis a real, living, existing, socialism can be made in the most authentic way possible.