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why are folks so paranoid about “socialism” anyways?
Posted: 07 May 2012 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Bryan - 28 April 2012 11:42 AM

Having trouble finding information on “Keep Left” ...
http://swp.org.uk/links/international-socialist-tendency

“Card Carrying Marxist”
What the F is that?
        shock

The “card-carrying” members of the KKK probably share that thought (“How idiotic!  Like we would actually carry cards identifying our affiliation with the KKK.”).

Heh.  The “U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization” likewise could probably pass off its listed policy agenda as that of the Democratic Party.  What makes these Marxist-Leninists think Democrats will fall for this stuff?  Just because they express support for some of the same things doesn’t mean that true Democrats would give Marxist-Leninists the time of day.  Right?

Hey so what is it about socialism that scares people so much?

I’m confused because it seem to me that socialism is sort of a mind-set that’s the underpinning for family, or tribes, or congregations, or clubs, heck society.  You know working together, cooperating, sharing the spoils?

Why is that communal cooperative mind-set really so much worse and more dangerous

than this other right-wingish mindset that justifies an attitude of strength-makes-right and taking things becomes an imperative. {what wars and empire is all about, don’t you know}
and that whole gut level demonizing {including that religious egomaniacal attitude that others are going to burn in hell for ever and glad for it.}.

 

Just asking,
signed confused about people

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Posted: 07 May 2012 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Again, the 1% has managed to transform a perfectly good word for a description of the many, many services our government provides all the citizens into an evil concept even though most of the people haven’t the vaguest dea what socialism is.  (Not using the old fashiioned Marx definition of socialism being a waystation on the way to communism).

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Posted: 08 May 2012 02:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, blame it all on propaganda. Partly to blame also is the fact that the few socialist experiments that we’ve so far witnessed - USSR, China and a small pockets of others - have tended to be dogmatic and dictatorial. Not a good example to set.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 02:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 07 May 2012 10:54 PM

Hey so what is it about socialism that scares people so much?

I’m confused because it seem to me that socialism is sort of a mind-set that’s the underpinning for family, or tribes, or congregations, or clubs, heck society.  You know working together, cooperating, sharing the spoils?

Indeed, that was partly the point I was making.  It’s “McCarthyism” to call people socialists or communists.  Why is the left so up in arms about it?  Embrace the legitimate part of the comparison, reject the illegitimate part.  Instead, the left demonizes West and avoids the conversation.  Nice to see you’re an exception, CC, even if your post misleadingly suggests a “fear” or socialism on my part—albeit I’d agree with those who say it has show itself repeatedly as a failed ideology.

Why is that communal cooperative mind-set really so much worse and more dangerous

than this other right-wingish mindset that justifies an attitude of strength-makes-right and taking things becomes an imperative. {what wars and empire is all about, don’t you know}
and that whole gut level demonizing {including that religious egomaniacal attitude that others are going to burn in hell for ever and glad for it.}.

Fair enough (j/k).

Seriously, without ignoring the faults of the U.S.A. it has achieved a great deal of good world wide using an essentially capitalistic system.  Feel free to name a nation that has accomplished more.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Bryan - 08 May 2012 02:57 AM

Seriously, without ignoring the faults of the U.S.A. it has achieved a great deal of good world wide using an essentially capitalistic system.  Feel free to name a nation that has accomplished more.

How do we measure that?  Donations of food and services per capita? creating a healthy, educated population with an ethic of support and concern for others?  not starting wars?  Educating and assisting other peoples?

I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’d just be interested in knowing how you qualify and quantify your claim.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 03:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The Nordic Model of democratic socialism has done pretty darn well for its populations.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for the info, Doug. The example of the Nordic socialists is truly impresive, but I bet they still remain unknown to much of the rest of the world. Also raises an important point: There are a variety of socialist models, a very few of which have ever been put to test, let alone proven succesful. Sadly, socialism remains to be exclusively associated with the totalitarianism of Stalinist Russia in the popular psyche.

Speaking of socialist models, has anyone in the house heard of Parecon?
en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_economics

[ Edited: 08 May 2012 06:10 AM by Pambania ]
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Posted: 08 May 2012 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I wrote an essay in college (this was 1980) where I proposed the dangerous idea that socialism actually fits better with democracy than does capitalism, and explored how the U.S. might move toward a socialist form of government. I don’t remember much about it now but I’m sure being young and idealistic, I pretty well trashed the status quo. This was an English Comp class, not a political one. The TA was nervous as hell when he read it. He asked me if I realized that it would go into a file where it could stay for years and be read by anyone. I just laughed and said something like “who would be interested.” So I may have an FBI file now for all I know.  LOL

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Posted: 08 May 2012 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Jeciron - 08 May 2012 03:41 AM
Bryan - 08 May 2012 02:57 AM

Seriously, without ignoring the faults of the U.S.A. it has achieved a great deal of good world wide using an essentially capitalistic system.  Feel free to name a nation that has accomplished more.

How do we measure that?  Donations of food and services per capita? creating a healthy, educated population with an ethic of support and concern for others?  not starting wars?  Educating and assisting other peoples?

There is the Happiness Index  cool smirk

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Posted: 08 May 2012 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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FreeInKy - 08 May 2012 07:34 AM

He asked me if I realized that it would go into a file where it could stay for years and be read by anyone. I just laughed and said something like “who would be interested.” So I may have an FBI file now for all I know.  LOL

Does that make us co-conspirators?  grrr

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Posted: 08 May 2012 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 08 May 2012 07:44 AM
FreeInKy - 08 May 2012 07:34 AM

He asked me if I realized that it would go into a file where it could stay for years and be read by anyone. I just laughed and said something like “who would be interested.” So I may have an FBI file now for all I know.  LOL

Does that make us co-conspirators?  grrr

I’ll understand if you no longer want to associate with me.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Jeciron - 08 May 2012 03:41 AM
Bryan - 08 May 2012 02:57 AM

Seriously, without ignoring the faults of the U.S.A. it has achieved a great deal of good world wide using an essentially capitalistic system.  Feel free to name a nation that has accomplished more.

How do we measure that?  Donations of food and services per capita? creating a healthy, educated population with an ethic of support and concern for others?  not starting wars?  Educating and assisting other peoples?

I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’d just be interested in knowing how you qualify and quantify your claim.

There are all sorts of metrics.  I think by most reasonable systems of measurement the U.S. does the best if not extremely well.  No doubt any specific system I would recommend would automatically receive abundant criticism on the basis of bias.  But one thing I’ll point out about war:  War is a form of diplomacy and not automatically a bad thing.  President Clinton took the U.S. to war in Kosovo and achieved a diplomatic solution there by force.  It is a situation that Europe appeared unable to resolve on its own.  And one other very important point:  The U.S. creation of wealth has done a great benefit.  Perhaps nothing better illustrates this than the world-wide effect in the wake of the mortgage crisis.  The deleterious effects recently illustrate the beneficial effects historically.

Doug offered:

The Nordic Model of democratic socialism has done pretty darn well for its populations.

I’m sure the rest of the world is duly indebted.  wink

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Posted: 08 May 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I get a kick out of the way people throw around words like socialism without defining what they mean by them (possibly not even knowing themselves).  First, we have to be very careful not to confuse the three vectors that all societies have:  Economic, political, and social.  Democracy is a political vector as are republic and communism.  Capitalism and fascism are economic systems.  Socialism is a social system.  Or, do you disagree?  smile

Without muddliing them together, could we define, say, socialism and see where we go from there?

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Posted: 08 May 2012 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Occam. - 08 May 2012 12:23 PM

I get a kick out of the way people throw around words like socialism without defining what they mean by them (possibly not even knowing themselves).  First, we have to be very careful not to confuse the three vectors that all societies have:  Economic, political, and social.  Democracy is a political vector as are republic and communism.  Capitalism and fascism are economic systems.  Socialism is a social system.  Or, do you disagree?  smile

Without muddliing them together, could we define, say, socialism and see where we go from there?

Occam

http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Socialism.html
http://www.auburn.edu/~johnspm/gloss/socialism

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Posted: 08 May 2012 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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No, no, no.  It’s easy to go to a link for an “official” definition.  That’s not what I was asking.  Most people have strong opinions related to these words and what they think they mean.  I was asking that each of the members who are participating here state, in their own words, what they mean when they use the word, socialism.

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Posted: 08 May 2012 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Occam. - 08 May 2012 02:37 PM

No, no, no.  It’s easy to go to a link for an “official” definition.  That’s not what I was asking.

That’s not what I was answering.  You asserted that socialism isn’t an economic system (and invited disagreement).  The links dispute that.  I’m not hung up on nailing down a definition for all to cleave to.  I’ll deal with whatever definitions people want to use.  Language is fluid that way.

Most people have strong opinions related to these words and what they think they mean.  I was asking that each of the members who are participating here state, in their own words, what they mean when they use the word, socialism.

Point being?

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