Talking about socialism rationally

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    I found this comment by a conservative poster who apparently thinks that the mere mention of the word "socialism" is supposed to be scary, or incite fear or something -- he certainly seems to react like a vampire when presented with garlic or crucifixes or sunlight.


    Here's the comment:


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    Elected Republicans and their supporters too often allow elected Democrats to get away with denying that they are socialists. Republicans expect that because they understand what socialism is, everyone else does, as well.

    But our education system has not taught the last two generations what socialism means and how to recognize it.

    We need to point out the dictionary definition of socialism at every opportunity. People who don’t know what socialism is should look it up in Webster’s Student Dictionary.

    You will find that this Congress and this President are in the act of a socialist takeover of the United States, with your help.

    To save you the small trouble of looking it up, let me tell you how the dictionary defines socialism. It is “the theory of public collective ownership or control of the basic means of production, distribution, and exchange, with the avowed aim of operating for use rather than for profit.”

    Sound familiar?


    --------------------



    You know, a "public collective ownership" which controls the means of production does not seem so bad an idea to me these days.... Right now, through our wonderful system of corporate capitalism, we are letting large (too-big-to-fail) international corporations control the means of production: Exxon-Mobil, Wal-Mart, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, General Motors, Citigroup, General Electric, Bank of America, Pfizer, J.P. Morgan Chase, Toyota, AIG, etc. --- Frankly, a "governement option" created to compete with most of these industries (energy, banking, pharmaceutical, transportation) does not sound like an off-base idea. I think out of the lot, only Wal-Mart keeps prices low and quality moderate.... by means of sweatshops and slave labor wages in second and third world countries.



    Also. Industries that "...operate for use rather than for profit” simply does not sound ominous to be. Call me a socialist. But I'm reacting to the logical extent of the fruits of capitalism that we've all witnessed in the past decade.
     
  2. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    When you have people screaming about the fears of Socialism, meanwhile are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security themselves, there is a major problem with the information that is being spread about the subject matter.

    We are all tax payers who contribute to these programs. These taxes are not only collected on April 15th, as much as the dissenters would like to make it seem with their "I work hard for my money" rhetoric. Why should today's younger working generation, who are currently seeing some of their tax money placed into these socialist-like systems, not be able to take advantage of these same programs when they get older? Because of a few penny snitching people in the top tax brackets who never knew how to manage their money in the first place?

    Greed knows no boundaries in this country.
     
  3. 1kmb1

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    id rather have our government control business than business that controls our government.
     
  4. SilverTrain

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    You could get elected on that. :cool:
     
  5. Bbucko

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    Someone focus-grouped the word "socialist" and found it struck the deepest chords with the Republican base. Unlike Communist (which sounds rather old-hat), Americans never understood Socialism, which is a malleable concept to start with and isn't given to black/white dichotomies.

    But in the hands of those looking to drive up fear among the ignorant and foolish, Socialism has become encoded shorthand for everything from Fascism to a Leftist takeover of all they hold dear driven by our "outsider" President.

    The panty-wetting fear is palpable. Someday a whole lot of people are gonna feel really stupid: makes you wonder what they see in the mirror every day.
     
  6. SilverTrain

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    I'm still waiting for any of these people to explain their tolerance of our military, our postal service, libraries, public universities, highways and other transportation infrastructure, etc., etc.

    I'm also patiently anticipating the return of even one social security check by these folks.
     
  7. rob_just_rob

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    Every country's political discourse includes certain magical trigger words that can be used to incite hysteria among the proles, and confusion among foreign observers.
     
  8. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    What I'm baffled over is how virulently some conservatives (and their political base, which systematically seems to vote against their own best interests) defend mega-corporations.

    I'm certain that even 19th-century american industrialists and capitalists would be dumbfounded at how eagerly conservatives today are ready to defend and protect and promote Exxon-Mobil and Wal-Mart and Pfizer and ING Group, corporations that are international conglomerates and feel no particular allegiance to any one country (money talks, individual patriotism is not their bag).

    International corporations are not "american values" (they're american values and french values and japanese values and chinese values and iranian values...)
     
  9. slurper_la

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    Amen brother!
     
  10. slurper_la

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    because the ignorance of the vast majority of people who take this position on the right are in fact supporting and promoting Fascism but don't realize it. Furthermore they are too ignorant to realize they will never really be part of the minority elite who own and profit from this approach.

    On another note I laugh at their willingness to ignore the socialism inherent in the corporate welfare these mega-industrial, multi-nationals enjoy from our government at the expense of the American taxpayer.


    PS: Wiltom, have I told you I love you today? :tongue:

    .

    .
     
  11. B_Enough_for_Me

    B_Enough_for_Me New Member

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    You're quoted poster was correct, Willtom. We should never let Democrats deny that they are socialists. Often the socialists in congress deny that they worship the communist flag by changing the name of it. They call themselves 'progressives' or 'liberal'. In the end it is all the same animal; jealousy.

    Not only can we lean on the experiences that socialism/communism has given us in the previous century, but we were also blessed with being able to watch how well capitalism worked over the same period. So, we stand at the highest point humanity has ever achieved, with a higher standard of living then ever before, more choices, opportunities, and ability than any generation before us, and we say, "lets get rid of this horrible system that created all this wealth and stability." Instead, small minds proffer a system that has failed precisely as many times as it has been tried. It doesn't matter where you look. On top of that, we have statements like, "I'd rather have government run business, than business run government." There was no consideration of history before that statement was made, just a quick check to moveon.org to make sure that conformity was being served. For those of you who believe government is better I'd like to point out that governments start, perpetuate, and prolong wars for social control. Socialist governments not only start wars, but they perpetuate genocide. Check my facts before you have your knee-jerk reactions; China, Russia, Germany, Cambodia, Hungary, on and on and on. But, that genocide is better than having someone get ahead in life. Well, not just ahead, but ahead of you. Because thats what this is about isn't it: jealousy. It pains liberals to watch someone succeed and be happy. Super La, you made my point for me on this one. "Ignorant" people who will never be part of the ultra-elite, right? So, this is about who gets ahead, not about who is left behind. Since you can't get ahead of the top 1% the second best thing to do is to have your congressman take their stuff; that'll serve them right. This is really about that guy from high school, the smug one that everyone liked and always got good grades, getting ahead of you and people asking "what happened to you?". So, we boiled down nicely here: we want money money money, and we don't have enough, so lets take if from that rich guy that 'doesn't deserve it'; and you are 'ignorant' if you follow a political philophy based on morals to the detriment of your standing in society verse the top 1%. Because I know how emotional this board gets, this is not an invitation to blab about how you live a perfect life; you can thank capitalism if you do.

    Just FYI, Americans have one of the highest living standards in the world (damn capitalism). So we are the elite. Further, what does it matter if I will never be part of the top 1%. There will always be a top 1%, socialism or not. Not only that, the rich will leave. You guys should pick up a history book to see how that goes. Spoiler: life doesn't get better.


    I also agree that corporate socialism needs to stop. It is painful to watch. Of course, you also contradict yourself. If the 'evil' corporations are all socialized then whats wrong with them? Weren't you just saying that was our goal? Isn't that the government running business? So, socialism is bad for companies and good for individuals?


    Enjoy!
     
    #11 B_Enough_for_Me, Sep 25, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  12. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Enough For Me writes: "Just FYI, Americans have one of the highest living standards in the world (damn capitalism). So we are the elite."


    --------------------

    So I googled "countries with highest standard of living"... Results:

    1. Norway
    2. Sweden
    3. Canada
    4. Belgium
    5. Australia
    6. United States
    7. Iceland
    8. Netherlands
    9. Japan
    10. Finland



    Ok, I guess 6 isn't terrible. Oh, look, there's Canada at #3 with it's nationalized healthcare system!


    Here's another.




    Ten Richest Countries (based on 2004 GNP per capita in US$)
    1. Luxembourg ... $56,380
    2. Norway ... $51,810
    3. Switzerland ... $49,600
    4. United States ... $41,440
    5. Denmark ... $40,750
    6. Iceland ... $37,920
    7. Japan ... $37,050
    8. Sweden ... $35,840
    9. Ireland ... $34,310
    10. United Kingdom ... $33,630
    Boy, there sure are a lot of Socialist/Capitalist hybrid countries lurking on these lists. I guess this means that you can be a socialist country AND have a high standard of living AND have good nationalized healthcare.




    We all know the World Health Organization's list which took years to compile. You won't find the United States on this Top 20 list. We're #37.


    1. France
    2. Italy
    3. San Marino
    4. Andorra
    5. Malta
    6. Singapore
    7. Spain
    8. Oman
    9. Austria
    10. Japan
    11. Norway
    12. Portugal
    13. Monaco
    14. Greece
    15. Iceland
    16. Luxembourg
    17. Netherlands
    18. United Kingdom
    19. Ireland
    20. Switzerland


    This WHO list is sort of old hat, but conservatives love to discredit it --- because the United States is the greatest country on God's green earth and all of that hogwash.




    One more. From wikipedia. "List of Cities by Quality of Living":


    1. Zurich, Switzerland
    2. Geneva, Switzerland
    3. Vancouver, Canada
    4. Vienna, Austria
    5. Auckland, New Zealand
    6. Dusseldorf, Germany
    7. Frankfurt, Germany
    8. Munich, Germany
    9. Bern, Switzerland
    10. Sydney, Australia
    11. Copenhagen, Denmark
    12. Wellington, New Zealand
    13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
    14. Brussel, Belgium
    15. Toronto, Canada
    16. Berlin, Germany
    17. Melbourne Australia
    18. Luxembourg (city), Luxembourg
    19. Ottawa, Canada
    20. Stockholm, Sweden


    The United States finally makes an appearance at:

    28. Honolulu
    29. San Francisco


    (bastions of liberalism too)



    Now, WHY exactly (again) do we need unfettered capitalism and conservatism to save the United States? - We actually need to take notes from Switzerland and Canada and Germany and Sweden and Australia.
     
  13. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    * reads willtom27's post of factual data, turns off the stereo playing "America The Beautiful" and reluctantly puts away the Dixie Flag back in its box *

    Awwww, shucks. You and your darn facts. You ruined all the fun!! :biggrin:
     
  14. Ericsson1228d

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    The problem with socialist programs is that our population is simply too large. Look at the numbers. In our country, ca. 5 million are on "welfare" and over 50 million are on social security. Socialist type programs seem to work in countries with smaller populations and higher average GNP per capita. Even the lower counties on the above list (by GNP) have higher percentages of people actually working. Coupled with that, at least one Nation on that list (Norway) recently had a marginal tax rate as high as 85%! So, sure, in small countries, where most people work, and you tax the hell out of them, social programs work. Our population is simply too large, too many mouths for the rich teats that are available. I think most would agree that in very large countries (i.e. China, with 1.3 bil people), socialism does not create a very high standard of living, or civil rights, or even reproductive rights.
     
    #14 Ericsson1228d, Sep 25, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  15. Flashy

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    why not look at your little top 10 list there, Willtom, and tell me what all of those countries have in common (except Switzerland and Ireland, but who benefit from what they all have in common) since April 1949...

    care to take a guess what that is?

    been going on for just over 6 decades...


    give up?


    of course you do.

    three words...



    UNITED

    STATES

    PROTECTION


    all of those countries, belong to either NATO, have working relationships with NATO (Switz and Ire) or in Japan's case, the JAPAN-US Security treaty.

    not one of those countries who belongs to NATO, or neutral Switzerland who benefit by being in the center surrounded by secure NATO countries, or neutral Ireland, who benefit by being next to the UK, have had to worry about spending high amounts of GDP on security, even though they spent close to 5 decades with the Warsaw Pact a couple days tank drive to the east.

    both Switzerland and Ireland have cooperation ties with NATO as well

    why?

    The USA and its naughty unfettered capitalism, provided the engine of a military machine that kept the peace in europe and defended Japan.

    so, those well functioning hybrid socialist democracies, had roughly 5 decades to perfect their utopian societies, which function rather well, definitely...but they were *ABLE* to do so, because someone else's dime was invested in making *SURE* that soviet tanks never wound up racing through those paradises eating all the croissants and chocolate they could get their hands on.

    of all those countries on your little list, not one of them except for the UK devotes (based on 2005/2006 numbers) more than 2% of GDP to their military budgets. the world Average is 2%


    UK 2.4%
    Norway 1.9%
    Sweden 1.5%
    Denmark 1.3%
    Switzerland 1.0%
    Luxembourg .9 %
    Ireland .9%
    Japan .8%
    Iceland (under .1%)




    it is much easier to make your societies better, when you live free and safe, based securely behind the wall that someone else builds, maintains and defends, to keep the monsters out.

    i am just curious, what you think may have happened to all those countries and Europe, had our armed forces not been stationed there for the next 6 decades plus...not to mention the money we could have saved on deployment if we had just returned all our forces to pre-war levels and brought all our troops home and not to mention the money they would have been forced to spend on their militaries instead of health care and other social programs which are so good in those countries.


    oh yeah...and by the way...you may have heard of this nice little plan that the US organized Post WW2 (well you probably have not heard about it)

    it was called the ERP (European Recovery Program)

    you may know it as the Marshall Plan.

    after these now wonderful and magnificent socialist hybrid countries completely *DESTROYED* their entire continent, our money rebuilt it since ours was the only economy and infrastructure still functioning and not totally destroyed...and our military might since, which we spent *OUR* money on, safeguarded it.

    "It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health to the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace. Our policy is not directed against any country, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. Any government that is willing to assist in recovery will find full co-operation on the part of the U.S.A. Its purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist."

    - George Marshall


    EVERY *SINGLE* COUNTRY ON THAT LIST, TOOK MONEY UNDER THE MARSHALL PLAN or other rebuilding efforts (japan)

    EVERY *SINGLE* COUNTRY ON THAT LIST, NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT SECURITY AGAIN BY EITHER OUR PRESENCE THERE OR COOPERATION WITH NATO.

    by the time the Marshall Plan had doled out all the money by roughly 1952,
    the economy of every country that participated (with the exception of Germany) had far exceeded pre-war levels.

    In the two decades after that, a majority of the western european regions experienced unprecedented growth and economic and social prosperity (hmmm, i wonder why...US money, and US protection allowed them to create these "hybrid" states as you call them)

    we even gave money to former *ENEMIES* in the Axis, most notably, Germany, Italy, and Austria....and to countries who were just so awesome and ethical, that they stayed neutral...i.e. Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland, instead of fighting against pure evil and tyranny. (but Switzerland was nice enough to hold the Nazi's money, and Sweden supplied Germany with all her steel to make tanks and planes and such)

    and, just as an aside, the MArshall Plan, when studied, proves to be the precursor to the Modern European Economic Union. It eliminated tariffs and trade barriers and built a coordinated system of institutions that organized and controlled the european economy on a continent wide scale.

    so maybe you should do some research....and acquaint yourself with this logo:

    http://marshallplan.freeterritorytrieste.com/myPictures/MARSHALLLOGO.png

    and keep your obnoxious and misinformed sermonizing on a level that actually embraces some form of understanding as to the conditions that allowed said hybrid countries that you admire so, to flourish.
     
  16. slurper_la

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  17. SilverTrain

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    No one has indicated ANY intent to destroy capitalism. So, that straw man can just wither in the wind with the rest of your paper tigers.

    What IS being discussed is the implementation of a program that incorporates some (if this is the word you prefer) socialism into the capitalism. Which, like so many things we've done before (e.g., Eisenhower's interstate highway program, etc., etc., ad naseum) will not spell the death of capitalism, or America, or the American Way of Life, or Republican children.......

    See "history" for some perspective on this.

    And, you try to make a point about a focus on money. Well, let's be clear. Every time a debate over an issue like this social program comes up, it's the conservatives/republicans that raise the issue of "taking money from our pockets". You are the one(s) so focussed on who makes how much, and who gets to be rich, and don't touch my pile, and that's the way it's done here or else it's un-American......yada yada, don't take any of my money!

    The idea is to implement a program that betters us as a community. If your pile is more important to you than that, then man up and admit it, with or without shame. But don't try to turn it around on us. There are plenty selfish, greedy assholes around. But they're not the ones trying to implement a plan to ensure a health care program for the community.
     
  18. SilverTrain

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    I know! The irony of using a massive social spending program to argue against the positive aspects of some socialist component to a capitalist society.......rich.

    And, in regards to these countries having a standard of living higher than the US, and that fact owing to their not having the massive defense budgets......Well, all those factors were in play from 1945 to the end of the 20th century (when we were undisputed top dog). What's different now is the degree of globalization (i.e., some actual competition for the good ol US of A), and the US's reaction (or lack of reaction) thereto. And, again, the irony that the Marshall Plan contributed mightily to said globalization.

    It's not some social program that brought down our standard of living. If you want to argue it was the DOD budget, well, we could discuss that. :biggrin1:
     
  19. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Excellent post, SilverTrain. :cool:
     
  20. Ericsson1228d

    Ericsson1228d Member

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    So, to summarize thus far:

    1.) Our country is too large, with too many not working (SS & Welfare) to implement well-funded socialist type programs.

    2.) Our country spends too much money on our own defense, and defending our allies, which essentially allows them to use their funds for socialist-type programs on their tiny (by comparison) populations.

    3.) We have spent (and continue to spend) too much of our money throughout the world and this reduces our ability to enhance social programs here in the USA, even things like the quality of public education.

    Now, what if we slammed on the brakes of our 25 billion plus/year foreign aid policies and earmarked it for the 8 million people who are uninsured? For $3125 per person per year, you couldn't buy a "gold plated" insurance plan, but you could buy one far more decent than they have now. Problem solved! Insure the uninsured, the budget does not take a hit, no cuts to services, death panels, etc. I realize this is a shortsighted solution, but we should take care of our country, especially during these tough times, right?
     
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