socialism or fascism?

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darkpriest
darkpriest's picture

There is something that totally confuses me in this "battle" between conservatives and progressives.  Conservatives are quick to use the term "socialism" when it comes to domestic programs.  Yet, progressives never call the conservative agenda what it really is.... "fascism".  Why?  It can only be for one of three reasons:  1).  Progressives are too cowardly to stand up.  2)  Progressives are bought off just like conservatives.  Or 3)  Progressives are just too stupid to know better.

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Achtfaden
Achtfaden's picture
It might also be because we

It might also be because we defeated the fascists 65 years ago and the socialists 19 years ago. Maybe socialists are simply more on peoples' minds.

douglaslee
douglaslee's picture
When you are already fascist

When you are already fascist and own the message, and the message networks, only an imaginary manufactured enemy is the story.

mtdon
mtdon's picture
One word is used while the

One word is used while the other isn't because the right has won the use of Language nad the ability to redefine words to their advantage.....

The right also wins the use of STORY to drive the debate -   while the non-existent Left gives in at every opportunity because deep down the dem's are also a bunch of corporate supporting Labor sellouts.

ah2
Well, fascism is often

Well, fascism is often associated with Totalitarian rule which we are not.  Additionally, those countries which were considered fascists often called themselves socialist.  So, there is a confusion of terms for a lot of American's that perhaps Dems don't want to deal with.  It is so much easier tocall them corporatists which is probably even a little more appropriate.

MA'AT
MA'AT's picture
ah2 wrote: Well, fascism is

ah2 wrote:

Well, fascism is often associated with Totalitarian rule which we are not.  Additionally, those countries which were considered fascists often called themselves socialist.  So, there is a confusion of terms for a lot of American's that perhaps Dems don't want to deal with.  It is so much easier tocall them corporatists which is probably even a little more appropriate.

Fascism is associated with the Natzi's and we have been chastised by our own "progressive" leaders to avoid that name but if the shoe fits>>>>>

If what we are seeing develop in the right wing is not totalitarianism then it is a movement without definition.

Although, it is not leaderless. The corporatists are pulling the strings of the right wing, that is certain.

We are cautioned to avoid the neo-nazi term as well but perhaps neo-fascist is more appropriate.

As is Neo-CON, but I would just call them what they are and what they want to be....... MASTER.

FrankChodorov
FrankChodorov's picture
Both socialism and fascism

Both socialism and fascism are kinds of statism.  Statism is the enemy of individual freedom.

ah2
Socialism does not assume

Socialism does not assume statism.  This is the most common misconception among most Americans.  You can have forms of democratic socialism which don't rely on statist methodologies at all.  I suppose this relies on a looser definition of strict socialism but if you can point me to a living example of any governmental system in a pure form, I will give you a gold star.

FrankChodorov
FrankChodorov's picture
ah2, I have no object to

ah2,

I have no object to people forming communes.  Anything that's voluntary is OK by me.  I was referring to state imposed socialism, which is the most common kind.  The kind where it's adherents aren't satisfied with drawing in willing participants.  Everyone has to take part or it won't work.  That kind.

Achtfaden
Achtfaden's picture
FrankChodorov wrote:Anything

FrankChodorov wrote:
Anything that's voluntary is OK by me.

"Voluntary" means that those with the most to gain will participate the most. In other words, the wealthy and business organizations have the greatest stake in "voluntary" politics and therefore will out-participate those with little at stake (the poor, the uneducated, the unskilled). The result is a pluralist polity or a societal corporatist polity.

ah2
FrankChodorov wrote: ah2, I

FrankChodorov wrote:

ah2,

I have no object to people forming communes.  Anything that's voluntary is OK by me.  I was referring to state imposed socialism, which is the most common kind.  The kind where it's adherents aren't satisfied with drawing in willing participants.  Everyone has to take part or it won't work.  That kind.

Do you hold capitalism to the same standard?  Many of us in this country are involuntarily bound to a capitalist system.  By this standard, the ONLY thing you would accept are small communes engaging in whatever economic system they choose.

It is possible to have large scale socialism without statist organization.  I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Achtfaden
Achtfaden's picture
Quote: I encourage you to

Quote:
I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Is that in the fiction aisle?

FrankChodorov
FrankChodorov's picture
ah2 wrote: FrankChodorov

ah2 wrote:

FrankChodorov wrote:

ah2,

I have no object to people forming communes.  Anything that's voluntary is OK by me.  I was referring to state imposed socialism, which is the most common kind.  The kind where it's adherents aren't satisfied with drawing in willing participants.  Everyone has to take part or it won't work.  That kind.

Do you hold capitalism to the same standard? 

Of course.  Nobody should be bound to a system that they don't support.

ah2 wrote:

 Many of us in this country are involuntarily bound to a capitalist system.  By this standard, the ONLY thing you would accept are small communes engaging in whatever economic system they choose.

I don't care about the size of the communities.  As long as all of the participants consent to the arrangement.

ah2 wrote:

It is possible to have large scale socialism without statist organization.  I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Unfortunately, today's political environment is so fractured that many words have been corrupted.  To me, the paradigm is voluntary vs. coercive.

ah2
My point is that only in

My point is that only in relatively small communities could you ever really come to a true consensus.  In the modern nation-state, there will always be some level of coersion if you intend to keep everyone in the country under the same government and economic system.  The alternative, again, seems to be anarchy which seems to come up a lot in the implications of what you write Frank.

ah2
Achtfaden wrote: Quote: I

Achtfaden wrote:

Quote:
I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Is that in the fiction aisle?

Yeah, right next to Ayn Rand and all the pure free market literature.

 

Achtfaden
Achtfaden's picture
ah2 wrote: Achtfaden

ah2 wrote:

Achtfaden wrote:

Quote:
I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Is that in the fiction aisle?

Yeah, right next to Ayn Rand and all the pure free market literature.

LOL!

We agree completely. Ayn Rand was insane and many of her followers were of questionable sanity as well.

FrankChodorov
FrankChodorov's picture
Achtfaden wrote: ah2

Achtfaden wrote:

ah2 wrote:

Achtfaden wrote:

Quote:
I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Is that in the fiction aisle?

Yeah, right next to Ayn Rand and all the pure free market literature.

LOL!

We agree completely. Ayn Rand was insane and many of her followers were of questionable sanity as well.

I'm one of the many libertarians who hasn't been influenced a lot by Rand.  I would like to make a correction.  Rand did not support a pure free market.  She was for limited government.  While she was excellent defending the free market in general, some of her positions were ridiculous.  "America's Persecuted Minority:Big Business" is probably the most outrageous.  Many truly free market anti-corporatism libertarians took her to task.  http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard99.html.

The worst thing about Rand is some of her followers.  They're good on domestic free market policy but they are the worst kind of warmongers when it comes to foreign policy.  Their foreign policy completely contradicts their stated principles that no one has a right to agress on the person or property of others.  Thankfully, there are some Randians who took her principles to their logical conclusion and support anarchy, i.e. no government.  And no, eliminated gov't does not mean eliminated rules or laws.  Walter Block , http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html, is a great defender of a stateless society.

Achtfaden
Achtfaden's picture
I am not a Libertarian but I

I am not a Libertarian but I understand intellectually many of its tenets. I share a distrust of government and a suspicion of efforts to widen its authority over private activity. No American wants a total government without limits on its power, as far as I know. Certainly I do not.

I support wider government involvement in private affairs than many Liberatarians, however. I am a strong supporter of non-discrimination laws, for example, and laws that prevent others from dumping their garbage on my property and making me pay to clean it up. I think the United States can never again abandon its responsibility for international affairs, although I dream of the day when America is no longer the world's policeman. I would love lower taxes, but I don't think that is possible until we end our global empire, which benefits many in the military-industrial complex.

In other words, I am just another American.

ah2
FrankChodorov

FrankChodorov wrote:

Achtfaden wrote:

ah2 wrote:

Achtfaden wrote:

Quote:
I encourage you to explore the democratic socialism literature.  While some of it is statist, not all of it is.

Is that in the fiction aisle?

Yeah, right next to Ayn Rand and all the pure free market literature.

LOL!

We agree completely. Ayn Rand was insane and many of her followers were of questionable sanity as well.

I'm one of the many libertarians who hasn't been influenced a lot by Rand.  I would like to make a correction.  Rand did not support a pure free market.  She was for limited government.  While she was excellent defending the free market in general, some of her positions were ridiculous.  "America's Persecuted Minority:Big Business" is probably the most outrageous.  Many truly free market anti-corporatism libertarians took her to task.  http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard99.html.

The worst thing about Rand is some of her followers.  They're good on domestic free market policy but they are the worst kind of warmongers when it comes to foreign policy.  Their foreign policy completely contradicts their stated principles that no one has a right to agress on the person or property of others.  Thankfully, there are some Randians who took her principles to their logical conclusion and support anarchy, i.e. no government.  And no, eliminated gov't does not mean eliminated rules or laws.  Walter Block , http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block-arch.html, is a great defender of a stateless society.

Just read some of Block's stuff:

Walter: The first part of this phrase, Anarcho-Capitalism, means that there shall be no government. Private firms will undertake all supposed government functions, such as protection from foreign and domestic enemies, adjudication, supplying supposed public goods such as lighthouses (in bygone era), flood control, education, welfare, health, money, etc. The second part means that the law will support private property rights, money, etc., in contradistinction to left wing or socialist anarchism.

source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block165.html

Uhh.... that's fascism moron.

Who enforces the law?  A company?  What if the infrature of the law is committed by those who own the police?  How do you do a freemarket plumbing system?  Do you tear up the ground every time someone buys a house and lay pipe when they change water companies?  How do you coherently and safely lay pipe for multiple companies to compete with one another?  How do you do that with roads?  By the time each companies lay their private roads that you have to pay for, there won't be enough room for agrarian industry.  How do you enforce the usage of a street lamp?  Who pays for the lamp?  How do you keep those who didn't pay for the lamp to not use it?

This guy is a moron.  You can't pretend free rider problems don't exist.  You can't pretend extrenalities don't matter.  You can't pretend that there are infinite resources (particularly with what is now public space) to accomodate separate free market systems for roads, plumbing, electirical systems, etc., etc.

 

ah2
Let's try to lay multiple

Let's try to lay multiple competeing subway systems under New York city.  Let's have numerous different air traffic control companies all competing to tell planes how they should avoid potential collisions.  Let's have multiple competing fire fighting companies bid for contracts while your house burns down.  Let's get rid of the army and simply contract out everything to various companies like Blackwater.  I would love to see what would happen in large scale military initiatives where we have to contract to various different companies and then place them right next to each other on the battlefield against an enemy.  It would be like a multi-team Free for All map on your favorite first-person shooter.

The implications of this are so completely idiotic.  Oh let me count the ways....

FrankChodorov
FrankChodorov's picture
ah2 wrote: Let's try to lay

ah2 wrote:

Let's try to lay multiple competeing subway systems under New York city.

One subway is enough.  A privately owned subway company would have to compete with other forms of transportation.  They couldn't charge anything they wanted.

ah2 wrote:

  Let's have numerous different air traffic control companies all competing to tell planes how they should avoid potential collisions. 

What airline is going to stay in business if they don't agree with other airlines to have a standardized air traffic control system?

ah2 wrote:

Let's have multiple competing fire fighting companies bid for contracts while your house burns down.

You don't contract with a company while the fire is going on.  There are private and volunteer fire companies now.  The last example I heard of a house being let to burn down was by by a gov't run fire company in TN.

 

DRC
DRC's picture
Egads, the management of a

Egads, the management of a privatized world will be by the owners, and "we, the people," will get to buy our democracy and freedom from providers.  Very voluntary.  Oh my.

If you think democracy and a democratic state is a difficult social apparatus, try "governing" without one.  Ultimate voluntarism is limited to very small idealistic communities.  Learning how to be the loyal opposition is part of being the responsible majority.  If consensus takes too long, you do learn to trade places from time to time, so you try not to set bad precedents.  You respect conscience, and you have inclusive rules of participation.  This is the big bad state.

I believe Alan Greedspan said the same things Frank says about the banksters who were so smart about business.  If they outsource the maintenance, how much will they put into air traffic control?  As little as they can get by with.  Every time.  Give it up Frank, commerce needs regulation and refs.  We ante up for democracy or become pissy little whiners.  The Constitution enables democracy while only giving it a start.  Governing ourselves so others don't rule over us is the name of the game.

no to fascism
no to fascism's picture
Well, fascism is often

Well, fascism is often associated with Totalitarian rule which we are not. - if you watched the way  benito walker "the republicon koch sucker" from wisconsin handled his first few moves - you would question if we are not already under Totalitarian rule. To top it all off (on how he handled his first couple months in office) - he gets on fox "so called news", and lies about everything he just did.  He's so full of *rap, his eyes are brown.  Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan are all already under totalitarian regimes.  If these states aren't completely ruined by then, we may be able to save the presidency (we gotta hope he's not a republicon too). 

 

 

D-dawg
D-dawg's picture
   Or it could be #4.

   Or it could be #4. Progressives are too smart to engage in such a stupid argument!

  It does no good to ask a question like that, when the basic assumption is wrong. Conservatism is not fascism necessarily, except that if the more extreme elements had their way, it would be.

   The irony is that with many of the most pressing issues, conservatives and progressives are really on the same side, if they were just able to get together and discuss the issues, without all of the flack.

   One of these issues is the power and cost of government. It is mainly the issue of abortion that creates the biggest divide. Solve that one, and we may be able to unite to fight the mega-corporatists.

D-dawg
D-dawg's picture
   No, the worst thing about

   No, the worst thing about Rand's philosophy is that normal human compassion plays no part in it. The same with all of the purer forms of capitalism. Making tons of money becomes a more important goal than curing social ills.

   Limited government, as you seem to be praising, would be a disaster, because regulations are needed to keep capitalism under control. The goal should be as Thoreau stated, that there should not be, "... no government, ...,but, at once,  better government."

   The Ninth Amendment gives us the power to change it all, if we can just get together to do it. Corporotocracy propaganda is unceasingly working to prevent that.

ah2
FrankChodorov wrote: ah2

FrankChodorov wrote:

ah2 wrote:

Let's try to lay multiple competeing subway systems under New York city.

One subway is enough.  A privately owned subway company would have to compete with other forms of transportation.  They couldn't charge anything they wanted.

ah2 wrote:

  Let's have numerous different air traffic control companies all competing to tell planes how they should avoid potential collisions. 

What airline is going to stay in business if they don't agree with other airlines to have a standardized air traffic control system?

ah2 wrote:

Let's have multiple competing fire fighting companies bid for contracts while your house burns down.

You don't contract with a company while the fire is going on.  There are private and volunteer fire companies now.  The last example I heard of a house being let to burn down was by by a gov't run fire company in TN.

 

1.  You have apparently never lived in a city like New York.

2.  It's not about standardization.  It's about multiple airtraffic companies competing with one another.  Or are you proposing also that it is okay to have privately owned monopolies?

3.  And the same thing would happen if you left it to private companies because people would always opt out of coverage or not be able to afford it.  And this again gets into an externality because fire spreads pretty fast in sometimes unpredictable ways.  What do you do if your neighbor doesn't have coverage?  Move?

 

Volitzer
Volitzer's picture
Fascism is an authoritarian

Fascism is an authoritarian corporatocracy.

Socialism is an authoritarian collectivist government.

What America needs is to own it's own banks, issue debt free money, more Libertarian mixed-capitalism but not un-fettered capitalism.  The only reason the welfare system has such abuse is the fact the FED contracts the money supply and causes business failures and unemployment.  The Federal Government borrows money to from the FED to supply money for welfare, foodstamps, medicare, medicade etc.  It is not that Libertarians on the left and right are against saftey nets or government regulations for industries.  However we are against creating a money problem in the first place that makes excessive safety-net economics necessary.

I argue with conservatives many of times how they don't mind having a ref at a sporting event but do mind having governmental regulators at businesses.  I think OSHA and the EPA are good ideas.