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Socialism
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3311

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:01 pm    Post subject: Socialism Reply with quote

I saw a socialist interviewed .They are very disappointed that Obama is a complete capitalist. The Health care esp.
He said the element socialists found most important was the public option that did not appear in the final draft. It would have helped controlled costs.
Making everyone buy insurance was so capitalist that the conservatives are challenging it mainly on that point.
He spoke about the big success the Socialists have had, most recently the GOP drug benefit. Social Security itself is the biggest, and Medicare comes second as great Socialist Party successes. Veterans benefits are also well deserved Socialist programs - esp disability benefits.
He said they could not have been successful without the strong and enduring support of the Republican Party. When asked if that seemed a reversal for them he said that everyone loves Socialism, esp GOP when the money goes to them or buys them votes and Medicare and the drug benefit are just that.
He said they use the word socialism as hate speech because neither conservatives or libs know what that means. He said the libs use the word neoconservative in the same way.
He found it interesting that some teas have suggested dismantling SS Dept Ed, and Medicare among other things. They are the only true conservatives.
They are willing to give up socialist programs that benefit themselves and he admired them for being true to their conservative views. unlike the hypocrites screaming socialist on the way to cashing their Gov checks.
I never paid attention to socialists and didn't realize how closely allied they were with the GOP on the big stuff.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1922

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With so much talk about Socialism, does anyone have a good definition? I always thought the governments of truly Socialist countries own everything, including all industry, natural resources and real estate.

Private ownership is not possible.

Do we have socialistic elements in our government?
Is the military a socialistic institution?
How about the local police department?
Public schools?
Medicare and Social Security?
A healthcare plan that requires the PURCHASE of insurance?
Public utilities, roads and bridges?

It seems that we like to pick and choose what is considered "Socialistic"; depending on what voting block we are sucking up to or what type of fear we are trying to instill.
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tramontana00



Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Socialism is supposed to be next step from capitalism to communism.
The idea of socialism is that society would become rich enough and be able to pay for basic needs of all the people. Like housing, health care, education, transportation etc. This is why capitalism is necessary prior to socialism Laughing Laughing Laughing , to create all that necessary wealth!
In next step, the communism, where all the people own everything and no one person own anything (does this sound like disaster or what?), people would advance so far that everyone would work only as much as necessary within their abilities and only consume as much as needed, so everyone will have all they need and there would be no waste. This can only work if society is extremely wealthy, so everything has to start with capitalism Laughing Laughing Laughing . Government would have role of figuring out what is needed so that there is no saturation of markets or shortages. And we all know government is capable of doing this Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes !
Money would not be needed any longer as we would just go to the store and only take what we need and no more Wink .
Borders would disappear as there would be no need for it. There would be no wars, nothing to fight for when everyone has all they need and there are no religions. Yes, communists are atheist by definition, so if you are religious, brainwashing is necessary to fit within this concept.
One thing that is completely missed in these ideologies is that people would have to be some other species in order for this to work. Greed, selfishness, ambition, and other human characteristics would have to be erased (maybe by changing genetics like Hitler wanted to do).
Bottom line is forget about it. It doesn't work!
Every time this was tried it ended up with dictatorship. In China they forgot about first step, the capitalism, so they are going backwards now, back to the capitalism so that they can make communism work Idea Exclamation


Hope this short explanation helps you find answers to your questions.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3311

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly all countries have socialist programs. I see no line that would make your country Socialist with a capital S.Fiji is clearly a capitalist country away from the rural areas.
If your society is based around village ownership of resources like most Fiji people, then you are much more socialist than Cuba. The variations are so many it blurs lines.The village people live on cruise in Fiji. Pure socialism may not be the only reason but I think it helps keep them unmotivated.
The connection with communism is thin.That system also has many variants and emphasizes central control,which is not a socialist idea.Nearly every communist effort on a large scale failed for the reasons well explained above by tramontana
Americans have lived in a society with socialist elements since the 1800s and they like it esp older conservatives. They lobby with the AARP for more socialist programs aimed at them, while screaming socialist at those younger dam libs who themselves get no gov.check.
It is human nature to support getting your Veterans benefits and SS and Medicare and the GOP drug benefit and feel you deserve it because at one time you had a job. You have to squinch up your eyes a lot to ignore that these are socialist programs that you have learned to love.The Budget will never balance unless they collect a lot more taxes or cut back on these four socialist programs.
No GOP leader is even considering doing that.
Anyone counting on Dems to cut these programs?
Only a few Teas even talk about it. Too many of them get these socialist benefits as well, along with unemployment - a pure socialist program.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1922

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point, is that defining something as "socialist" is, in many ways, up to the author or speaker.

You could make an argument that all, or none, of the government programs I listed are "Socialistic".

It may be time to stop using Socialism and Communism etc as a threat and start making the governmental system we have work. The checks and balances were designed to control the government. That is what the voters (rightly or wrongly) did last Tuesday. But WE chose.

Now, if we could cut through the crap and get some real dialogue going in Washington, regarding our debt and pension obligations, maybe we can get this country back on track!
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1393

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When did social programs become socialist programs?

There's a bit of disinformation going on here - the attempt at an explanation of socialism earlier in the thread is an example that.


Read before you write:
http://www.reference.com/browse/socialism

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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1922

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Feuser,

You can read about Socialism from a number of sources and find about any definition that you want. That's my point.

Social programs became Socialistic programs when the politicians want to scare somebody into thinking the government is going to take away everything one has and divide it up. I believe this happened in this last election cycle.

Scare tactics work!
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tramontana00



Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

feuser wrote:
When did social programs become socialist programs?

There's a bit of disinformation going on here - the attempt at an explanation of socialism earlier in the thread is an example that.


Read before you write:
http://www.reference.com/browse/socialism


I just tried to explain definition of socialism and where it leads to answer the question coboardhead asked. I did not say anywhere that social programs necesserily lead to socialism. In fact I do agree that social programs when well executed can be good thing. Just don't go to far as people get dumb when given everything for free and don't have to use their brains any more.
I don't really need to read any of those definitions. Born and raised in Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, I had to attend mandatory classes for "Theory and Practice of Self Governing Socialism" 3-4 hours every week in elementary, middle and high school. And than I had to live in that system to reinforce what I learned. I can tell you for sure it doesn't work.

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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5080

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the posting Florian. There are probably many more stripes of socialism than laid out in the article, and there is the interesting--yet I think still inconclusive--experiment in social capitalism going on right now in China. There are also elements of "social" management in our economy, including regulation and the management of the money supply. Remember, Noxon ended the gold standard and Bush and Reagan dramatically increased the debt. Nixon and Bush are villified by the new generation of fiscal conservatives, while Reagan remains, for some reasons that escape me, a saint.

It is possible to have a serious discussion between left and right about how much role the Federal government should have in the economy. (And I would not be so disparaging of the Tea Party movement if I bbelieved it was rooted in fiscal conservatism rather than in racial animus.) It is not possible to have that discussion without some grasp of facts and history, and it takes a higher level of discourse than chanting "Obama is a socialist."

On facts, the vast number of people in this country who are so angry at the Democrats about the bank bailout don't understand a few basic facts.

1. The idea came from Bush and his Republican fiscal advisors with close ties to Wall Street. Democrats feared the economic impact of a bank collapse, which looked to be imminent.

2. The fiscal accountability in the TARP legislation came entirely from Democrats. The original Bush bill was two pages, basically free money. The accounting mechanisms came from Obama's advisors, who were overwhelmingly Republican. McCain was so panicked about having to take a position on bailouts during a Presidential campaign that he turned to Phil Gramm, who authored the legislation that created the crisis.

3. By at least some accounts, the money seems to have been largely repaid, and stopped a number of bank failures and even greater economic downturn.

4. Interestingly enough, the credibility of the Democrats with the unions, and Obama's hardball, seems to have helped in the restructuring of the auto companies and the more realistic long-term look at pensions, given that life expectancy is much greater than when most of these programs were originally negotiated.

Now the hard left despises TARP, reasoning that the government should have taken over the banks to stop deceptive loan practices (think Country wide) that helped create the crisis. The libertarians think the government should simply have let the banks fail, a view of economic Darwinism. Both, I think, ignore both the human cost of such failures, or the actual results, which were a softening of the economic blow of bank failures during a manufactured housing bubble fueled by fraudulent sub-prime loan practices.

I don't hear much coherent criticism of the role of the Fed in helping manage the economy. That management has been done for decades, generally be Republicans close to Wall Street, and a major step was taken this week that made my holdings go up. Maybe socialism, maybe not, but a high degree of tinkering with great prospect for political manipulation to try to boost employment going into an election, even at the risk of further inflating balloons.

Perhaps a more nuanced question should be what is an appropriate role for the government to have in the economy, and if that role should be reduced, how do we get from here to there without another train wreck?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13998

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Capitalism: Its goal is individual freedom. Its strategy is that one entity -- be it government, corporation, or individual -- owns something, another wants it, and they negotiate a mutually acceptable price. Government's function is to make our Constitution work ... not much more, not much less. Result: competent people are generally free to determine their own level of motivation, effort, and success, within the constraints of the laws necessary to let it all work.

Socialism (Marxism) and communism: The goal of both is to ensure that everyone has the same amount of stuff. The strategy in socialism is that the government owns the means of production and distribution and uses taxes to redistribute monetary wealth by force of law to ensure that everyone has roughly the same amount of stuff. Communism’s strategy is to take socialism to the next level by owning everything and parceling everything out to ensure that everyone has more precisely the same amount of stuff. The former uses taxes* to redistribute funds, leaving individuals some leeway in how they spend their limited funds. The latter uses direct ownership and distribution of all goods and services from housing to hamburger, leaving individuals little freedom beyond choosing which hand they use their government-supplied toilet paper with. Result of either: only the corrupt and connected achieve power, wealth, or the freedom to commit crime with impunity; no one else is rewarded for hard work, so overall productivity steadily declines and drags the nation down with it. Only a very small handful of tiny little nations of very limited diversity make socialism work adequately, and only by their limited criteria; there’s no way I’d give up the freedoms I’ve had to live in such a freaking nanny state puppet show. Besides, socialism is succumbing to capitalism across most of the world except for the one nation trying against all evidence to reverse that process: the USA, and even Fidel Castro has issued a virtually death bed declaration (actual ones are often acceptable in court) that his communism model doesn’t work.

* Taxes are Marxist wealth redistribution taxes by definition if they take money or property from some people according to their means and give cash or goods or services to others according their “needs” (or, more commonly, their “wants”) in order to equalize their amount of stuff. This includes revenues and handouts such as the hundreds of things actually CALLED taxes, plus Cap & Trade, carbon footprint scams, the entire global warming emergency scam, reparations, 99 weeks of unemployment incentives, most mortgage bailouts, ad nauseum. The wealth redistribution exceptions are the taxes used for the small percentage who really do need help through no fault of their own choosing.

THAT’S why it is fair to apply the terms “socialist” and “communist” to many of the policies and goals of our government, especially the current administration and millions of liberal democrats. Hillary says “I want to TAKE those profits …” (emphasis hers). Pelosi Oct 19, 2010) wants to consider taking money and property from the wealthy and using it to move more people up into the middle class [you and what army?]. Obama says and repeats to an incredulous Charlie Gibson that he supports redistribution of wealth even though he knows it will harm the economy. Obama and Frank say on tape that their intent is to force everyone into single-payer, government-run, universal health care, Obama in 10-20 years, Frank immediately. Congressmen are on record discussing proposals to appropriate part of all of our retirement funds with government IOUs and monthly allotments TBD. If these people -- and their supporters in this forum and their little San Francisco coffee houses -- don’t like being called socialists or communists, the cure is as obvious as hell: STOP THINKING AND BEHAVING AND LEGISLATING LIKE SOCIALISTS AND COMMUNISTS.


Last edited by isobars on Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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