Won't socialism be impractical because people will lose their incentive to work?

A:

We don’t agree with the capitalist assumption that starvation or greed are the only reasons people work. People enjoy their work if it is meaningful and enhances their lives. They work out of a sense of responsibility to their community and society. Although a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor, we recognize that unappealing jobs will long remain. These tasks would be spread among as many people as possible rather than distributed on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, or gender, as they are under capitalism. And this undesirable work should be among the best, not the least, rewarded work within the economy. For now, the burden should be placed on the employer to make work desirable by raising wages, offering benefits and improving the work environment. In short, we believe that a combination of social, economic, and moral incentives will motivate people to work. 

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commented 2016-08-20 20:37:53 -0400 · Flag
The concept of undesirable labor is a largely a class based concept, forward largely by people with an aversion to manual labor. Not only is this type of thinking, it leads to labyrinthine monstrosities like Paracon founder Michael Albert’s balanced jobs complex, so I would have to defer to Noam Chomsky in this matter. The fact is, what is undesirable to one individual is desirable to another. It’s really a matter of person preference. That said, there are certainly workong conditions that make manual labor less desirable to those who prefer it, which socialism would address. Beyond that, there are those do not prefer it, but are constrained by a lack of options due to socio-economic constraints and lack of educational opportunities, issues which socialism would likewise address. Democratic socialism is not an sever ideology, it’s one mean to enhance one’s quality of life. Forcing people to do work their not suited to is not only I’ll advised, it’s impractical. It’s an outmoded view born of agrarian communes.

In addition, the idea of inequitable rewards for “undesirable” labor or occupations involving risk is equally wrong headed. As in the first case, high risk occupations are filled by those who are well suited to them. A person who prepares a sandwich may not receive the same level of gratitude as someone who pulls a child from a burning building, but no logic person would argue that one task is more socially necessary than another. Each individual is rewarded by the knowledge of their own indispensable contribution to society, and should be renimerated equitably.

It’s erroneously assumptions as like these that turn democracy into purely mechanical process, and is antithetical to the social ethos of true socialism.
commented 2016-08-18 10:32:56 -0400 · Flag
No, I don’t think so. It depends on the society and the country where they are from.
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commented 2016-07-27 15:39:57 -0400 · Flag
I’d like more specifics on what is meant by “These tasks would be spread among as many people as possible…” Does this mean people would be assigned undesirable jobs and have to take them, whether they want to or not?
commented 2016-07-27 15:35:28 -0400 · Flag
I would like some clarification regarding unappealing jobs being spread (“would be spread”), among as many people as possible. Does this mean that people would be assigned these jobs by a co-op committee or other form of government, and that people would have to take these jobs, whether they want to or not?
commented 2016-07-24 04:05:06 -0400 · Flag
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commented 2016-07-24 04:03:06 -0400 · Flag
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commented 2016-05-30 19:15:37 -0400 · Flag
The arguments posted here ignore the reality that every commune and socialist experiment ever attempted has failed. Individuals live their lives and make decisions to pursue their own needs and desires. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “Collective” or sustainable socialism that does not employ FORCE (typically mass murder).
commented 2016-05-24 01:36:00 -0400 · Flag
Sooooo… I disagree. The first quote, “the burden should be placed on the employer to make work desirable by raising wages, offering benefits…”. I recommend all of the Social Democrats that believe this to be a smart way to operate our economy to read Daniel Pink’s book, “Drive”. It’s a fascinating study but ultimately he makes the point that the old ‘carrot and stick’ method of motivating employees is not effective. He sites Google and Wikipedia as examples of how autonomy and creative freedom create the desire, not money. You are not going to make a job desirable by throwing money at it. You just aren’t.

For the second quote, “Although a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor,”… Ha, ok, I don’t think I need to even comment on this one…
commented 2016-05-13 13:42:30 -0400 · Flag
commented 2016-05-13 13:41:26 -0400 · Flag
commented 2016-05-09 04:33:22 -0400 · Flag
commented 2016-05-05 16:31:53 -0400 · Flag
It’s baked into the very nature of our DNA to conserve energy. You don’t see a cheetah running around because he enjoys it. There’s a nice juicy gazelle at the end of that chase. The day you see a snake pumping hard earned venom into an inedible stone is the day you’ll see people working “out of a sense of responsibility to their community and society.”

People will work for money and the ability to take care of their own. The cheetah eats the gazelle, it doesn’t bring it food.
commented 2016-05-05 14:05:02 -0400 · Flag
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commented 2016-05-05 12:10:12 -0400 · Flag
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commented 2016-05-01 14:53:38 -0400 · Flag
I completely disagree with your statement “They work out of a sense of responsibility to their community and society.” Money is the reason people work and if their hard earned money is being taxed away, they will definitely lose all incentive to work.
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commented 2016-04-18 08:18:43 -0400 · Flag
Every time Socialism is experimented with it fails. Europe being the prime example currently of a failed Socialistic system.

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Starting a Local Chapter from Scratch (9pm Eastern)

October 04, 2016 · 5 rsvps
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So you are now a member of DSA, but there is no local chapter where you live. You are thinking of starting a local chapter, but you're not quite sure how to do it.

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October 19, 2016 · 12 rsvps
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You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 6 PM MT; 5 PM PT.

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