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Why is nationalizing the banks good?

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yoda's walking stick
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Aug 3 2012 16:30
Why is nationalizing the banks good?

Newb question.

Why is nationalizing the banks an advancement toward socialism? Would there even be banks under socialism? Is it just a temporary maneuver?

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Steven.
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Aug 3 2012 17:13
yoda's walking stick wrote:
Newb question.

Why is nationalizing the banks an advancement toward socialism? Would there even be banks under socialism? Is it just a temporary maneuver?

hi, libertarian communists (and most anarchists) wouldn't support this. That sort of "transitional" measure or demand is a standard Trotskyist/Leninist thing.

But we would say that you can look at the case of the UK banks which have been nationalised, like Northern Rock and others, which were nationalised in order to save capitalism. It certainly hasn't brought us anywhere near to socialism - nor would the nationalisation of anything else.

The countries of the former Soviet Union are good examples of essentially capitalist countries were all industries have been nationalised. Workers were not any closer to socialism in those countries.

yoda's walking stick
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Aug 3 2012 18:53

When you talk about the dichotomy of the Soviet Union, for my question I was assuming we were talking about nationalization in a working democracy.

What would a Trot say for why nationalizing the banks is a good transitional measure?

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Rob Ray
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Aug 3 2012 19:32

If your main tactic is to capture the state in order to impose socialism using its resources and apparatus, it makes sense to get as much stuff inside the state's reach as possible.

It's worth adding btw that a lot of anarchists do campaign against privatisation, but that's not because things being nationalised is specifically worse or better for our attempts to push through revolution. Such campaigns are pretty much on the basis that the process of privatisation itself is almost always used to lever through changes to working conditions, cuts and fragmentation of union power (I probably don't need to go through the details on that, there's hundreds of examples happening right now).

Harrison
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Joined: 16-11-10
Aug 3 2012 19:39
yoda's walking stick wrote:
assuming we were talking about nationalization in a working democracy.

Capitalism is not a working democracy and never can be...

yoda's walking stick wrote:
What would a Trot say for why nationalizing the banks is a good transitional measure?

Its probably better to get it first hand from a trot, but i'll reply anyway. Its all based on the flawed logic of the second international; that state-capitalism represents the historical progression of capitalism (in reality, state-capitalism has proved less than efficient), and so communists should support a greater centralisation of capitalist industry into the hands of the state. All this parallel to organising a vanguard that will struggle for control over the state apparatus, afterall lenin did at one point hold a position that socialism is basically just state-capitalism in the hands of the working class and run 'in their interests'.

Now you've asked this question, if you proceed to do your previously routine behaviour of being rude to everyone who replies and tries to honestly answer your question, i shall refrain from continuing to post on this thread.

blimeybruv
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Aug 12 2012 18:53

Nationalising the banks; or consolidating them into a single state bank, would place the reigns of investment squarely in the hands of the state's planners, allowing them to drive development in the country. I don't know what effect it would have when enacted in an explicitly capitalist society though.

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ComradeAppleton
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Aug 12 2012 23:29

Nationalizing anything is bad, but so is "privatizing". What we need to do is have some kind of program whereby the people actually working in an industry take control of it. So a school, for example, should be taken away from the state and given as common property of all the people who are working in the school - teachers, etc (after getting rid of all the state slave-masters, aka "administrators" of course).

Nationalizing banking actually leads to a fascist economic model where the state rulers (so basically all their lobbyist masters) get to control all the credit and money in the entire economy. They get all the sweet deals and all we get to do is pay for any losses all this incurs. It's becomes like a permanent eternal bail-out.

I would say all we need to do is organize and refuse to tolerate the money monopoly (normally we should repeal it through politics, but I think we all know what the chances of that are). Once the state no longer has any control of money, banks become completely irrelevant. People could then trade whatever they want however they want and give the usurers the finger. Or people could create their own non-crony, non-state bank.

alb
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Aug 19 2012 08:07

Here's an article from the Socialist Standard of May 1936:

Quote:
No Banks Under Socialism

Banks cannot be “socialised.” They are part of capitalism and will end with the coming of Socialism. Under Socialism the functions performed by the banks will not have to be performed at all. The provision of the needs of life will be simplified once the means of production and distribution are made the common property of Society as a whole. At present the workers may not go to work producing and distributing food, clothing, and so on, without obtaining the permission of the owners of the land, factories and railways. Under capitalism we have to enter into a complicated and wasteful system of negotiating wages between workers and employers, negotiating for the purchase of raw materials, and then organising for the sale of the goods, and the allocation of the proceeds as rent, interest, profit and taxes. Underneath it all is the essential feature of capitalism, that the capitalists own the means of production and the goods produced by the workers they employ. The banks exist because of the monetary system by means of which capitalism carries on all these complex relationships between the individual owners of property, between them and the workers, and between both and the State. Money and banks only exist because of the private property system. Socialism will cut out all these intermediate steps. There will be no private ownership and control of the means of production and distribution. Society through its appropriate organisations will handle the much-simplified problem of producing goods in the quantities and in the places required, and of transporting them to the places where they are needed. There will be no wages system, no rent, interest or profit—hence no monetary system—and no banks. That is why Socialists oppose schemes put forward by Lord Beaverbrook on the one hand and by the Labour Party on the other for making privately owned banks into State banks. Socialists want no banks, neither better banks nor Government banks.

That Socialists are right in saying that the way banks are run is a capitalist question, not a workers' question, is shown by the fact that there are many State banks but no countries where the workers' problems have been solved. Would Lord Beaverbrook be found advocating State banks if they were a Socialist idea? New Zealand's Labour Government has just made the bank into a State bank, but the Times, quite correctly, says that "New Zealand is moving towards State capitalism." (Times, March 31st.) That is what it is, "State capitalism," not Socialism. That is why the Times can say that the rest of the world will follow the experiments of the Labour Government "with sympathy and interest" (March 27th), and why another capitalist paper, the Manchester Guardian (March 31st), can say that the New Zealand Labour Government's policy generally is only following "mildly in the footsteps of Mr. Roosevelt in the capitalist United States." They would not be sympathetic towards Socialism as they are towards State capitalism.

It is when we come to the Labour Party that we find the most mischievous propaganda of all-mischievous, that is, in relation to the propaganda for Socialism. Labour Party writers such as Mr. Francis Williams, City Editor of the Daily Herald, always represent State banks as being Socialist institutions. In his case it is done out of pure ignorance of Socialism. Yet his own arguments for State banks are enough to show that there is nothing in them for the workers. In an article in the Daily Herald on March 27th, Mr. Williams tells us that the New Zealand Labour Government's action had the support of "large numbers of business men and industrialists "—by industrialists, of course, is meant capitalists. He also tells us that "similar proposals are now under consideration (and will be carried through shortly) by the Liberal Government of Canada." (Our italics.) Lastly, Mr. Williams relates with pride that the State bank in Sweden, where there is a Labour Government, has been so successful that "foreign capital has rushed to Sweden on many occasions." All that Mr. Williams has shown is that State banks are compatible with capitalism and may even be better for capitalism's needs than private banks have shown themselves to be under changing conditions since the War. In short, neither Mr. Williams nor State banks can help us with our problem of abolishing capitalism and establishing Socialism.

Jacob Richter
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Aug 25 2012 07:01

If we're talking about a public monopoly on all financial services, this is a major boost for public management of the money supply. Right now the effectively privatized money supply is out of control.

RedFlagg
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Aug 25 2012 21:27
Quote:
Why is nationalizing the banks an advancement toward socialism?

I think that nationalization cannot be relegated to simply a "good" or "bad" stance.

Nor do I believe that nationalization of the banks (or other major industries) can be written off as state-capitalist policy or a step towards full-blown, revolutionary socialism.

Nationalizing a bank and putting it under control of a new, revolutionary socialist government seems to me to be far from a "bad" thing.

Quote:
But we would say that you can look at the case of the UK banks which have been nationalized, like Northern Rock and others, which were nationalized in order to save capitalism. It certainly hasn't brought us anywhere near to socialism - nor would the nationalization of anything else.

As you have stated, those banks were nationalized not in the interest of the proletariat, but in the interest of the capitalist class.

If those banks had been nationalized by a revolutionary socialist government in the interest of the proletariat, then that would be an entirely different matter.

Quote:
The countries of the former Soviet Union are good examples of essentially capitalist countries were all industries have been nationalized.

They weren't capitalist countries, in my opinion.

Sure, Soviet industries were nationalized but lacked one key component: workers' control.

If we factor in workers' control in relation to a policy of nationalization (in a looser sense of the word), then that would be a revolutionary act in of itself.

Quote:
I was assuming we were talking about nationalization in a working democracy.

Exactly. Are we to assume that nationalization can function only from within a Soviet-styled economy, where economic democracy is nonexistent?

I think that if the banks and other industries were nationalized in the interest of the proletariat in a democratic socialist society (factoring in a mostly public, worker-controlled economy) then I fail to see how nationalization is "bad."

I don't think that a totally worker-controlled economy is 100% possible. Banks might just function better nationalized, serving the interests of the [socialist] state (and in theory the proletariat).

Quote:
What would a Trot say for why nationalizing the banks is a good transitional measure?

I'd say as a (real-live) Trotskyist that nationalizing the banks will serve the best interests of society as a whole.

And no, I'm not totally against Anarchism(I came to this site due to my interest in Anarchist ideology, and am up for discussion some time about my views/other views. feel free to pm me.), nor am I in favor of everything the Bolsheviks did or for that matter what other Leninist groups/parties/etc. did.

I try to read up on all viewpoints, and don't tend to dismiss entire ideologies just because their are differences between mine and other opposing ideologies.

I hope to add to this discussion, not detract from it. Am I not entitled to my opinions on this site?

I will argue or debate in a healthy manner with anyone who is wiling to do so.

radicalgraffiti
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Aug 25 2012 23:39

thats just silly, theres no such thing as a " revolutionary socialist government" a government is a institution fundamentally opposed to revolution, regardless of who runs it or their intentions. Different bosses don't change the fundamental social relationship between bosses and workers.

RedFlagg
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Aug 26 2012 00:06
Quote:
that's just silly, there's no such thing as a " revolutionary socialist government" a government is a institution fundamentally opposed to revolution...

I disagree that there is no such thing as a revolutionary [socialist] government.

Furthermore, government is not automatically opposed to a revolutionary movement or revolution in general. Can you please elaborate on why you think that?

I really do look forward to healthy debate. But lets please keep this on topic(nationalization.), alright.

I prefer you to pm me back and forth if you want to form a debate, okay.

Harrison
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Aug 26 2012 18:43

It is substitutionist to assume that it is possible for a class as numerous as the working class to exercise control through organs designed to maintain the dominance of a smaller class such as the bourgeoisie. All that happens is a small group of revolutionaries exercise power "in the name of and in the (supposed) interests of" the working class, whilst that class has no control over the actions of this small group.