Left VS. Right The Political Spectrum Explained

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The original (model) of government designed by our founders, was established as a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy, or anything else. A Republic is governed by the rule of law--our Constitution. It's function is to protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the United States. Such rights and freedoms cannot be secure in a democracy. Democracy means mob rule. 51% of the people rule the other 49%.

Video presentation of the political spectrum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODJfwa9XKZQ

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Liberty-Pac
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When conservatives are involved, that whole rule of law thing gets tossed. In reality we have an oligarchy, where the richest 1% rule the other 99%.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm

Overly simplified. First, Socialism dictates no inherent level of governmental involvement. Indeed you can have free-market socialism based on almost anarchist ideals, democratic or republic type socialism, or statist/authoritarian/Autocratic socialism. Socialism is an economic arrangement that can be governed in several different ways, just as Capitalism. So, his placement of that on the far left in his dichotomy is false to begin with.

Secondly, his separation of "the rule of law" from all the other forms of government is also false. Even monarchies had laws which created general rules or guidelines for aristocracy to follow. The point he is concealing is HOW the laws are made. He was correct about the monarch bit - theoretically where the king decides on law based on his authority given to him/her by God. Typically, this always was tempered by advisors and lords providing input. You could also have several forms of oligarchy which he completely brushes over. For example, his characterization of people like Lenin, Hitler, Castro were all, at least at the beginning, a type of oligarchy where a political party or movement of a limited number of people took power and elected or appointed their own leader to rule.

However, what we have in this country is also an oligarchy and it has multiple teirs. The obvious one is the Representatives that are DEMOCRATICALLY elected (by popular vote). However, once elected they operate basically as an oligarchy which makes the laws and rules. The second teir is basically those with means. In fact, some of the founders wanted this - they wanted only property owners to vote, then only men, and then only white men. All of these limitations create a ruling class - an oligarchy. While history has moved us away from this formal oligarchy, we continue to have a functional oligarchy which currently is in the form of corporations and other well vested interest groups.

"The rule of law" is NEVER independent from those who create them. This video clip tries to unhinge "the rule of law" from its poltical context as if it is something that exists independently for now and forever, Amen. That is a lie. It is a lie to leverage the idea that if you have less Democracy that you will be traveling closer to the rule of law and, thus, closer to justice. This is a false dilemma and a limited view of what justice or freedom really means.

In the end, it sort of seems like every single government that has ever existed has actually been some type of oligarchy. The difference lies in how they justify or legitimize their rule, the process by which the oligarchs are determined, and the process by which those oligarchs create laws of the land, and also their level of accountability to the polis.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Having watched the video I'm now more misinformed.
1- making the entire political spectrum a linear idea is limiting and stupid. Anyone who looks at Bachmann or Pawlenty and their desire to control American's vaginas, and their drug laws, their desire to be the American Taliban and thinks the right wing are seeking limited government, or want to maximize individual freedom must define freedom to not include people having freedom of their own conscience.
2- instead, if you look at a 3 dimensional model, with the x axis representing personal civil rights, y axis for economic freedom, z axis for militarism, that is a more accurate way to view and compare govts.

On personal freedom, the modern American progressive movement would set at the extreme positive end, say 10, the Nazis, and the modern Iran at zero, and the conservative American Taliban about a 2.
On economic freedom, the Chicago school, the IMF, the free traders, would get a ten, Nazis- 9, modern American progressives would be a 6, FDR, western euro socialists and greenies a 4, and Stalin and Marx 0.
On militarism, Nazis, conservative Republicans, and Stalin would all be 10, Kucinich a 0, and FDR a 7?

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Phaedrus76
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Wait a second - are you guys saying life is more complicated than Liberty-Pac seems to think? Well, goooollleee.

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planetxan
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Ah2 very nice articulate reply. However I request clarification of the following quotes. Do these quotes represent your political beliefs? Or are they definitions you have swapped out for definitions presented in the video??? I have only posted one of your mis quotes or mis-representations. However I found 2 of them :) Incorrect: "First, Socialism dictates no inherent level of governmental involvement." No place in the time line of the video presentation dose the spokesperson state this as the definition of Socialism. Please clarify with actual video time and quote.

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Quote Liberty-Pac:

Ah2 very nice articulate reply. However I request clarification of the following quotes. Do these quotes represent your political beliefs? Or are they definitions you have swapped out for definitions presented in the video??? I have only posted one of your mis quotes or mis-representations. However I found 2 of them :) Incorrect: "First, Socialism dictates no inherent level of governmental involvement." No place in the time line of the video presentation dose the spokesperson state this as the definition of Socialism. Please clarify with actual video time and quote.

Corrected for multiple grammatical problems:

He never says it. It is displayed in his graphic. After he redefines the political spectrum as being authoritarian on the left and anarchaic on the right, he then presents a graphic at about 1:05 where he lists all of those labels which he believes to be on the far left as authoritarian. The terms he includes are: Communism, socialism, nazism, fascism, etc.

This list is a lie. Communism and Socialism are economic forms, not governmental forms. In their purest sense they have literally nothing to say about the governmental organization. There are several ways one could governmentally achieve a communist or socialist economic arrangment. Many of the historical manifestations were authoritarian but it does not follow that those are the only possibiities. In particular, the modern welfare state (and I am not talking about the US here - more like Sweden or similar countries) could be considered a Socialist Democracy. Although it should be noted that they probably don't self-label that way. Communism simply means equal share of goods for everyone. Socialism has been alternatively defined in two ways - state ownership of the means of production (however, these could be controlled by any form of government - statist, democratic, and even in a republic such as ours) OR it simply mean that the means of production are owned and controlled by the people or the proletariat (working class). Taking this second definintion, one can imagine an even broader array of governmental arrangements.

Nazism was a political party, not a form of government. When they came to power a particular governmental form seemed natural with their political beliefs but they are two different things. Although I would concede that their political party platform probably explicitly stated a desire for this governmental organization so I will let this slide.

Fascism is the ONLY term he included which has anything to say about the governmental form - the alignment of corporate and state interests in some form of authoritarian rule. This is the ONLY term that belongs on that list.

Others that he could have or should have included might have been authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dicatorship, statism, in some cases a theocracy (if they have a God on earth type figure that rules), etc.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Liberty-Pac:

Ah2 very nice articulate reply. However I request clarification of the following quotes. Do these quotes represent your political beliefs? Or are they definitions you have swapped out for definitions presented in the video??? I have only posted one of your mis quotes or mis-representations. However I found 2 of them :) Incorrect: "First, Socialism dictates no inherent level of governmental involvement." No place in the time line of the video presentation dose the spokesperson state this as the definition of Socialism. Please clarify with actual video time and quote.

poly replies: If you read early socialist thinkers, the primary impetus of socialism is just direct worker ownership of their workplace as existed when this nation was founded. A nation of independent shop keepers, craftsmen and farmers. It isn't likely we'll return to our socialist roots anytime in the near future. though ESOPS (Employee Share Ownership Plans) are a move in that direction.

Don't confuse elements of a social democracy with socialism. Elements of a social democracy may or may not be included in socialism which is merely.direct worker ownership of their workplace. There is minimal government involvment in that.

.Working for another...sharing the fruits of one's own labor with an "owner", is contrary to the prime socialist principle. An independent.plumber is operating a socialist enterprise. He has direct ownership of his workplace. He reaps the full value of his labor.

Socialism is now often referred to as Parecon. Participatory Economics... in an endeavor to clarify what socialism is and isn't.

If those working for GM owned GM, it would be considered a socialist enterprise. If government owned it, it wouldn't be..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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YES WE CAN! REAL HOPE FOR AMERICA!
Aaron Russo, 1996 Mad as Hell!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4ry3GzdFBM

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Liberty-Pac
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Polycrap2: According to your definition, Merriam-Websters dictionary is incorrect! Or is your definition, a neo-progressive definition of Socialism? The neo-conservatives have come up with the own definitions too. I am disgusted by and oppose the 2 Party (D) & (R) Monopoly brother. If you choose, you may stereo type me as your friendly neighborhood 3rd party activist :)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism?show=0&t=1310733561

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or Governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2 : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state 3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done The Philosophy of Liberty Video Presentationhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muHg86Mys7I

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Liberty-Pac
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I really do not agree wholly with any of the previous posters' opinions. I do agree with Liberty-pac's first posting: "The original (model) of government designed by our founders, was established as a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy, or anything else. A Republic is governed by the rule of law--our Constitution. It's function is to protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the United States. Such rights and freedoms cannot be secure in a democracy. Democracy means mob rule. 51% of the people rule the other 49%."

In my opinion, the type of government that we have now is best described as a Corporate Oligarchy, or Corporatocracy, and incorporates Fascism. None of the aforementioned types of governments describe the system that "we the people" now "enjoy". With the advent of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, AND "Corporate Personhood," (where the Supreme Court enabled corporations to purchase the favor of both political parties, by extending to corporations the."natural" rights that a "person" enjoys, and then some), and if you will take notice of the Executive Orders that Obama has written (and Super-Neocon G.W. Bush, before him), you may be able to connect the dots and realize that Obama's policies (both foreign and domestic) have been in lock-step with the Neocon/PNAC/Zionist/Globalist agenda. Obomba is neither a Liberal, nor Democrat. As a matter of fact, he has been given the honorary title of "neocon" by fellow neocons, which I'm sure that he either: a. took as an insult, or b. worried that his cover would be blown.

Phaedrus76- You said, " When conservatives are involved, that whole rule of law thing gets tossed. In reality we have an oligarchy, where the richest 1% rule the other 99%."

FYI, Michele Bachman, Boehner, Paul Ryan et al are NOT Conservatives. You should look up the definition of a Conservative Constitutionalist, and you will see a picture of Ron Paul. lol. Actually, Ron Paul has been described as a Conservative Constitutionalist, and Libertarian. He embodies all of the principles and ideals that this country was founded on. The majority of so-called "Republicans" are more adequately described as neocons, or as I like to refer to them (because they hijacked the modern-day Tea Party that was resurrected in 2007 by Ron Paul) Tea-o-cons. You are perpetuating the false Left/Right paradigm when you make such erroneous statements.

"Having watched the video I'm now more misinformed.
1- making the entire political spectrum a linear idea is limiting and stupid. Anyone who looks at Bachmann or Pawlenty and their desire to control American's vaginas, and their drug laws, their desire to be the American Taliban and thinks the right wing are seeking limited government, or want to maximize individual freedom must define freedom to not include people having freedom of their own conscience."

Your generalizations and bias boggle my mind. You are basing your skewed view of "Conservatives" on 2 representatives who happen to be anything but conservative- See above comment, concerning who/what a true "Conservative" is.

"2- instead, if you look at a 3 dimensional model, with the x axis representing personal civil rights, y axis for economic freedom, z axis for militarism, that is a more accurate way to view and compare govts.
On personal freedom, the modern American progressive movement would set at the extreme positive end, say 10, the Nazis, and the modern Iran at zero, and the conservative American Taliban about a 2.

On economic freedom, the Chicago school, the IMF, the free traders, would get a ten, Nazis- 9, modern American progressives would be a 6, FDR, western euro socialists and greenies a 4, and Stalin and Marx 0.
On militarism, Nazis, conservative Republicans, and Stalin would all be 10, Kucinich a 0, and FDR a 7?"

The IMF, Federal Reserve, Central Banks, CFR, AIPAC, Bilderberg, etc. (all connected) are not comprised of "Republicans" or "Democrats". Look at the CFR membership roster, and you will find this to be true. John Kerry(D), Joe LIEberman (D or is he an I now?), Hillary Clinton (D), Rick Perry(R), Don Rumsfeld (R), etc., etc., are all CFR puppets. And you'd better believe that no matter what letter comes after their names, whether it be a (D), or a (R), they all agree to bow to the agenda of the bankers/corporations, not "we the people". Dennis Kucinich (like Ron Paul) is one of the few politicians who has not sould his soul for the almighty falling dollar. Again, you generalize and make baseless statements.

P.S. The "free traders" should get a "0".

@ ah2- You said: "Nazism was a political party, not a form of government. When they came to power a particular governmental form seemed natural with their political beliefs but they are two different things. Although I would concede that their political party platform probably explicitly stated a desire for this governmental organization so I will let this slide."

Sorry, but you are wrong.
Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism; alternatively spelled Naziism[1]; historically also Hitlerism,[2] Hitlerismus[3]) was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany.[4][5][6][7] It was a unique variety of fascism that incorporated biological racism and antisemitism.[8] Nazism presented itself as politically syncretic, incorporating policies, tactics and philosophies from right- and left-wing ideologies, though a majority of scholars hold it to be a far right form of politics.[9]
Source: Wikipedia

Ludwig Von Mises' take on Nazism:

Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian

http://mises.org/daily/1937


Ron Paul for President in 2012!!

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Sherriv
Joined:
Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am
Quote polycarp2:
Quote Liberty-Pac:

Ah2 very nice articulate reply. However I request clarification of the following quotes. Do these quotes represent your political beliefs? Or are they definitions you have swapped out for definitions presented in the video??? I have only posted one of your mis quotes or mis-representations. However I found 2 of them :) Incorrect: "First, Socialism dictates no inherent level of governmental involvement." No place in the time line of the video presentation dose the spokesperson state this as the definition of Socialism. Please clarify with actual video time and quote.

poly replies: If you read early socialist thinkers, the primary impetus of socialism is just direct worker ownership of their workplace as existed when this nation was founded. A nation of independent shop keepers, craftsmen and farmers. It isn't likely we'll return to our socialist roots anytime in the near future. though ESOPS (Employee Share Ownership Plans) are a move in that direction.

Don't confuse elements of a social democracy with socialism. Elements of a social democracy may or may not be included in socialism which is merely.direct worker ownership of their workplace. There is minimal government involvment in that.

.Working for another...sharing the fruits of one's own labor with an "owner", is contrary to the prime socialist principle. An independent.plumber is operating a socialist enterprise. He has direct ownership of his workplace. He reaps the full value of his labor.

Socialism is now often referred to as Parecon. Participatory Economics... in an endeavor to clarify what socialism is and isn't.

If those working for GM owned GM, it would be considered a socialist enterprise. If government owned it, it wouldn't be..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

I'm not sure who you are considering "original socialist writers." To my knowledge the starting points one might consider valid are two: either Plato who gives the classical definition, or Marx, who modernizes the term. Either which one you pick socialism is not defined by direct ownership of the individual workers of the means of production but ownership by the people or polis, broadly defined.

What you described, I have heard some call mercantilism but I am looking that up and finding that to be the wrong term. Anyway, the arrangement you describe also has entered the conversation in some free-market socialist literature but it is not the classical arrangement of the original definition of that economic form.

Regardless of which definition you use, the definition of socialism DOES NOT prescribe a particular form or level of government. That is not to say it may not require some form of government (which free market socialists will debate), but simply that you can't say "Socialism" and know exactly what type of government you will have. The video passed it off as inherently a totalitarian or authoritarian form of government. That is false. This was explained very clearly in my last post poly. Read it again slower.

So, I haven't confused anything. In fact, I would say you are imbuing the word with more particular meaning that it really has. Socialism does not imply minimal level of governmental involvement. And saying that will merely make people like Liberty-PAC to consider you a liar because their sole notion of Socialism is Communist China, the USSR, Cuba, or Nazi Germany. To essentialize the term in the other direction does no one any favors. The thing that people really need to understand is the terms inherent complexity and felxibility. This allows them to realize why they were intially confused by their narrow assumption as to its nature and make progress towards broader understanding.

Your third paragraph, I would say is partially false. Taking the classical definition of Socialism, it would be more appropriate to say that everyone works for everyone. Or that you work for "the people" because they are the owners of the means of production. Likewise, if you take the worker owned firm route - which I do consider socialist in form - each employee works for all the owners, not just themselves.

Again, your last comment about GM is false. Both would be considered different forms of a Socialist arrangement. The first would be closer to a market socialst arrangement, depending on what the rest of the governmental structure looked like. The second could also be numerous things depending on the structure of the state. For example, if tomorrow the US changed nothing about its governmental structure - elections, congress president, etc. - but we passed a Constutional Amendment or Laws that said all means of production (which is NOT the same as saying all property) now belongs to and is managed by the government, it would be a Socialist Republic, or some might consider it a Socialist Democracy.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Liberty-Pac:

YES WE CAN! REAL HOPE FOR AMERICA!
Aaron Russo, 1996 Mad as Hell!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4ry3GzdFBM

YEEEEHAWWWWWW!!!!! WHERE'S MY SPITOON?!???! PUT THE NASCAR ON!!!!!

Is your endeavor here to post as many you tube videos based on falsehoods here as possible? I'm just trying to figure out how this is pertinent to your original post and the conversation transpiring here...

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Sherriv:

I really do not agree wholly with any of the previous posters' opinions. I do agree with Liberty-pac's first posting: "The original (model) of government designed by our founders, was established as a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy, or anything else. A Republic is governed by the rule of law--our Constitution. It's function is to protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the United States. Such rights and freedoms cannot be secure in a democracy. Democracy means mob rule. 51% of the people rule the other 49%."

In my opinion, the type of government that we have now is best described as a Corporate Oligarchy, or Corporatocracy, and incorporates Fascism. None of the aforementioned types of governments describe the system that "we the people" now "enjoy". With the advent of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, AND "Corporate Personhood," (where the Supreme Court enabled corporations to purchase the favor of both political parties, by extending to corporations the."natural" rights that a "person" enjoys, and then some), and if you will take notice of the Executive Orders that Obama has written (and Super-Neocon G.W. Bush, before him), you may be able to connect the dots and realize that Obama's policies (both foreign and domestic) have been in lock-step with the Neocon/PNAC/Zionist/Globalist agenda. Obomba is neither a Liberal, nor Democrat. As a matter of fact, he has been given the honorary title of "neocon" by fellow neocons, which I'm sure that he either: a. took as an insult, or b. worried that his cover would be blown.

Phaedrus76- You said, " When conservatives are involved, that whole rule of law thing gets tossed. In reality we have an oligarchy, where the richest 1% rule the other 99%."

FYI, Michele Bachman, Boehner, Paul Ryan et al are NOT Conservatives. You should look up the definition of a Conservative Constitutionalist, and you will see a picture of Ron Paul. lol. Actually, Ron Paul has been described as a Conservative Constitutionalist, and Libertarian. He embodies all of the principles and ideals that this country was founded on. The majority of so-called "Republicans" are more adequately described as neocons, or as I like to refer to them (because they hijacked the modern-day Tea Party that was resurrected in 2007 by Ron Paul) Tea-o-cons. You are perpetuating the false Left/Right paradigm when you make such erroneous statements.

"Having watched the video I'm now more misinformed.
1- making the entire political spectrum a linear idea is limiting and stupid. Anyone who looks at Bachmann or Pawlenty and their desire to control American's vaginas, and their drug laws, their desire to be the American Taliban and thinks the right wing are seeking limited government, or want to maximize individual freedom must define freedom to not include people having freedom of their own conscience."

Your generalizations and bias boggle my mind. You are basing your skewed view of "Conservatives" on 2 representatives who happen to be anything but conservative- See above comment, concerning who/what a true "Conservative" is.

"2- instead, if you look at a 3 dimensional model, with the x axis representing personal civil rights, y axis for economic freedom, z axis for militarism, that is a more accurate way to view and compare govts.
On personal freedom, the modern American progressive movement would set at the extreme positive end, say 10, the Nazis, and the modern Iran at zero, and the conservative American Taliban about a 2.

On economic freedom, the Chicago school, the IMF, the free traders, would get a ten, Nazis- 9, modern American progressives would be a 6, FDR, western euro socialists and greenies a 4, and Stalin and Marx 0.
On militarism, Nazis, conservative Republicans, and Stalin would all be 10, Kucinich a 0, and FDR a 7?"

The IMF, Federal Reserve, Central Banks, CFR, AIPAC, Bilderberg, etc. (all connected) are not comprised of "Republicans" or "Democrats". Look at the CFR membership roster, and you will find this to be true. John Kerry(D), Joe LIEberman (D or is he an I now?), Hillary Clinton (D), Rick Perry(R), Don Rumsfeld (R), etc., etc., are all CFR puppets. And you'd better believe that no matter what letter comes after their names, whether it be a (D), or a (R), they all agree to bow to the agenda of the bankers/corporations, not "we the people". Dennis Kucinich (like Ron Paul) is one of the few politicians who has not sould his soul for the almighty falling dollar. Again, you generalize and make baseless statements.

P.S. The "free traders" should get a "0".

@ ah2- You said: "Nazism was a political party, not a form of government. When they came to power a particular governmental form seemed natural with their political beliefs but they are two different things. Although I would concede that their political party platform probably explicitly stated a desire for this governmental organization so I will let this slide."

Sorry, but you are wrong.
Nazism (Nationalsozialismus, National Socialism; alternatively spelled Naziism[1]; historically also Hitlerism,[2] Hitlerismus[3]) was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany.[4][5][6][7] It was a unique variety of fascism that incorporated biological racism and antisemitism.[8] Nazism presented itself as politically syncretic, incorporating policies, tactics and philosophies from right- and left-wing ideologies, though a majority of scholars hold it to be a far right form of politics.[9]
Source: Wikipedia

Ludwig Von Mises' take on Nazism:

Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian

http://mises.org/daily/1937


Ron Paul for President in 2012!!

I just want to point out that what you cut and pasted from wiki was exactly what I said reworded.

Nazism was a political party, not a form of government. ----- was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany

When they came to power a particular governmental form seemed natural with their political beliefs but they are two different things. Although I would concede that their political party platform probably explicitly stated a desire for this governmental organization so I will let this slides ----- It was a unique variety of fascism that incorporated biological racism and antisemitism

The form of government was FASCISM. The political ideology or platform was NAZISM.

THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

I agree with Liberty-Pac. The definition of Socialism was never defined. I also disagree w/ah2's views on Socialism, in general.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

Liberty-Pac,
'The Philosophy of Liberty' sould be required viewing in schools/Universities. How could anyone deny that this is the most desirable type of government? If I had to choose anything other than this, I would choose anarchy over the messed-up, false L/R paradaigm that we are stuck with currently! The 2 party system, along w/banks controlling our monetary system/ elections via corporate personhood just does not work!

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

Great video!

Sherriv's picture
Sherriv
Joined:
Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am
Quote Sherriv:

I agree with Liberty-Pac. The definition of Socialism was never defined. I also disagree w/ah2's views on Socialism, in general.

As I stated in my reply to post 6, Socialism was in the graphic at 1:05 in the video. Maybe you should read the whole thread before engaging.

As for my views on socialism, they are not my views. Everything I typed can be confirmed through scholarship that extends back as far as Plato and continues to the present. When you disagree with the truth, you are either an idiot or liar. Which are you?

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

This is getting silly.
A constitution does not equal the rule of law. A constitution does not mean a republic.
If America followed the rule of law, then explain why neither Nixon or Reagan went to prison. Or how we had rampant fraud in banking, and less than a dozen people have been convicted. If we were a nation of laws, then explain how from 2000 to 2004, illegal immigration exploded, yet only four employers got fined.
Both Iran and Mexico have constitutions, both are Republics, both have democratic elections, and neither can be considered to be free, or living under the rule of law.
A republic is a government by representives.
A democratic republic is one of representitives who are elected.
And a federal democratic republic would be where a national democratic republic shares powers with states, or provinces, or cantons.

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm

Yep. The term Republic really came about as a general term to define forms of government in which political offices were not defined by blood or divine right. The most common form of Republic is democratic in nature - Representatives determined by election. The dichotomy that conservatives like to draw here is a false one. What they really want to say is that we are not a direct democracy or pure democracy which would mean the entire polis votes on everything. Just because we have representatives doesn't mean we are not democratic in nature.

In The Republic, Plato outlines 4 forms of government - timocracy (rule by honor), oligarchy (rule by property/economic status), Democracy (rule by the people - which is protected by a ruling class), and Tyranny (a perversion of a corrupt ruling class). For "the Republic," democracy was Plato's prefered method of governancy.

The origin of this dichotomy may, in the end, be a particular reading of Aristotle's Politics. For starters it should be pointed out that Aristotle has a discussion in Book 2, Part 6 of Politics in which he describes exactly what Phaedrus is saying above - the multitude of constituent elements of a Constitutional state. Aristotle makes it clear that he prefers Constitutions which contain elements of Monarchy, Oligarchy, and Democracy. His view was that the more elements of different governmental forms a Consitution had, the stronger it was. Anyway, the entire book of Politics is Aristotle looking at four different philosophies of what a Constitutional state should look like and critquing and contrasting each. If this isn't evidence enough for Phaedrus' statement above, I don't know what is.

Anyway, consider Aristotle's following words from book 3:

"Of the above-mentioned forms, the perversions are as follows: of royalty, tyranny; of aristocracy, oligarchy; of constitutional government, democracy. For tyranny is a kind of monarchy which has in view the interest of the monarch only; oligarchy has in view the interest of the wealthy; democracy, of the needy: none of them the common good of all."

But it should be noted that what Aristotle is calling a Democracy here is, in his own words, "when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers." This might be similar to what Marx called the "dictatorship of the proletariat." Anyway, the point is that Aristotle was starting with a particular assumption that governments need to serve "the virtue" of man or the citizens. He was starting with a pressuposition of what that virtue or good was and believed that particular forms of government, including giving the working poor too much power, would create a situation where the government was no longer pursuing "virtue." In the end, he is basically saying that a consitution should have some democracy in it but not too much. Personally, I think his assumption about virtue is a poor one but it is fitting for his time period.

I should also point out that Aristotle also goes on to point out some complications or qualifications to this breakdown. His above statement about democracy, he acknowledges, assumes that the vast majority of the polis will be poor and not property owners and thus will lead to a perversion which only serves the interest of the poor - almost like retribution in a way. He does however posit situations in which the majority of the polis are property/land owners or are not poor. In this case, he admits that his analysis above is too simplistic.

His words:

"And here arises the first of our difficulties, and it relates to the distinction drawn. For democracy is said to be the government of the many. But what if the many are men of property and have the power in their hands? In like manner oligarchy is said to be the government of the few; but what if the poor are fewer than the rich, and have the power in their hands because they are stronger? In these cases the distinction which we have drawn between these different forms of government would no longer hold good."

Liberty-PAC's assumption here, I think anyway, is that we have too much democracy in our constitutional arrangement and we need more of something else. Maybe him and Mitch McConnell can start a new country together where we don't have to worry about those pesky people who vote and stuff.

ah2
Joined:
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ah2 said

"As for my views on socialism, they are not my views. Everything I typed can be confirmed through scholarship that extends back as far as Plato and continues to the present. When you disagree with the truth, you are either an idiot or liar. Which are you?"

Umm, I'm neither. Wow, you and Plato went to school together?

Again, I will have to disagree with your assessments. You can't get more scholarly than Ludwig Von Mises and Thomas Jefferson.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

I know the definition of Socialsim. The only reason that I copied and pasted the wiki link was to back up my statement with a source.

First of all, you conceded that you were wrong (you had no choice, considering that the very word "Nazi" is a shortened derivation of
"Nationalsozialismus", which I will once again repeat, means National Socialism, which is a form of FASCISM). Therefore, the orator in the video is correct in stating that Nazism and Socialism would belong on the left end of the spectrum. Communism, Fascism and Socialism are all forms of Collectivist Systems.

The fact that you retracted your admission of error by first saying, "I will let this slide" (wow, thanks!), then adding: "The form of government was FASCISM. The political ideology or platform was NAZISM. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS." only proves to me that you still do not understand that you are wrong. Nazism is a political form of fascism. They are not "two different things." Hence the grouping of Nazism, Socialism, Communism Fascism on the opposite side of the spectrum (opposite NO government/Anarchism). Did you not read the Ludwig Von Mises link that I posted? Let's add one more word to the list: "Totalitarianism".

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Sherriv
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Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

collectivism

Any of several types of social organization that ascribe central importance to the groups to which individuals belong (e.g., state, nation, ethnic group, or social class). It may be contrasted with individualism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first modern philosopher to discuss it (1762). Karl Marx was its most forceful proponent in the 19th century. Communism, fascism, and socialism may all be termed collectivist systems. See also communitarianism; kibbutz; moshav.

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Sherriv
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The Jeffersonian Perspective

Commentary on Today's Social and Political Issues
Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson

Socialism vs. Liberty

The key determinant in the question of Socialism vs. Liberty is that Liberty must always and forever prevail. This fundamental fact is derived from the philosophical foundation laid down by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, which itself derives from the very nature of man and is confirmed in the quotation that is the lead to this whole series of essays:

"Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to J. Cartwright, 1824.

Whatever else we may conclude, this is the one unalterable guidepost that cannot be moved without undermining the whole purpose of government and, indeed, of human life itself.

"It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all." --Thomas Jefferson to M. D'Ivernois, 1795.

Therefore, when we consider Socialism in its many aspects, this is the issue that must remain uppermost. Socialism is a very broad topic, and to condemn every aspect of it on the basis of some ideological hatred would be irrational and absurd. Even Karl Marx had some observations about modern industrial society that we should at least take into consideration. If there are any insights that we might gain from a study of socialism that would aid us in promoting the prosperity and happiness of our fellow citizens, surely we should thoughtfully consider those insights.

"To preserve the peace of our fellow citizens, promote their prosperity and happiness... are objects calling for the efforts and sacrifices of every good man and patriot." --Thomas Jefferson: to Rhode Island Assembly, 1801.

But overriding all such considerations and all such investigations is the principle of our inherent and inalienable rights. These we cannot relinquish. If there is anything in socialist thinking that would reinforce those rights, we will pay attention. But if there is anything that would detract from or undermine those rights, we will reply with a resounding "No!"

Ever since the Declaration of Independence proclaimed our inalienable rights, American society has undergone great changes. This is inevitable, as Jefferson pointed out:

"We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." --Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1816.

Proponents offer Socialism itself as an advanced stage of civilization, as an improvement over "the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." But would the change that socialism offers in fact be an improvement of the human condition? Does it facilitate the natural development of civilization? Is it inevitable that a free society move along the Socialist path?

Society Must Remain Open to Change

Oppressors would keep everything as it is in order to maintain themselves with the powers to which they have grown accustomed. They resist change and wish to suppress any experiments in government that might alter the status quo or undermine their prerogatives. But in a free nation, we are not afraid to experiment with government in order to discover those things that suit us and those that do not. We cannot turn away from change, and we must not cling to established ways just because they have been long with us.

    "Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also and keep pace with the times." --Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1816.

This is the secret of a dynamic society. As knowledge advances, institutions adapt and change also. Some of this change may seem chaotic, because all advancement includes a mixture of failure and success. But common sense dictates that we cut our losses on the failures and hold on to the successes; or as Jefferson put it:

    "The precept is wise which directs us to try all things and hold fast that which is good." --Thomas Jefferson to W. Drayton, 1788.

But in the process of this experimentation, we cannot, we must not deviate from our fundamental principles.

    "Lay down true principles and adhere to them inflexibly." --Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1816.

In the face of change, true principles -- the inherent and inalienable rights of man -- do not change, must not change.

We have already conducted many experiments in this country. We tried Prohibition, and decided that was a mistake. Our experiment with socialism in the form of a system of public welfare has only proved that the socialist principle of "to each according to his need" creates dependency and does not solve any problems. As a result, we are now in the process of changing that system. But a failed experiment is no reason for making drastic changes in the form of government to prevent the occurrence of such mistakes. If anything, failure and its correction only proves that our system works! Trial and error is the way a free, dynamic society functions: the society tries something, and when people discover the experiment doesn't work, they revise the program or terminate it. As long as our republican principles remain intact, as long as the people exercise control over government, there is no great danger to society. An occasional error only proves that the system is working and we are changing and adapting government as we go along, just as the Founding Fathers intended we should do. Congress would be remiss were it to refrain from such experimentation out of a misplaced reverence for the institutions as established by the Founding Fathers. Only despotic force has an interest in bringing such experiments to a halt.

    "I have such reliance on the good sense of the body of the people and the honesty of their leaders that I am not afraid of their letting things go wrong to any length in any cause." --Thomas Jefferson to M. Dumas, 1788.

Most often, on closer examination we find that the enemies of change in fact have a secret agenda. When private interests are promoted by a specific interpretation of the "Founding Father's intentions," those interests cling to the past as though they were the defenders of the true faith.

      "Those who [advocate] reformation of institutions

pari passu

    with the progress of science [maintain] that no definite limits [can] be assigned to that progress. The enemies of reform, on the other hand, [deny] improvement and [advocate] steady adherence to the principles, practices and institutions of our fathers, which they [represent] as the consummation of wisdom and acme of excellence, beyond which the human mind could never advance." --Thomas Jefferson to J. Adams, 1813.

But our Founding Fathers had no intentions that established institutional forms appropriate for the colonial experience should remain unrevised forever.

    "I willingly acquiesce in the institutions of my country, perfect or imperfect; and think it a duty to leave their modifications to those who are to live under them, and are to participate of the good or evil they may produce. The present generation has the same right of self-government which the past one has exercised for itself." --Thomas Jefferson to J. Pleasants, 1824.

In fact, Jefferson expected future generations to be every bit the equal of the Founders.

    "Our children will be as wise as we are and will establish in the fulness of time those things not yet ripe for establishment." --Thomas Jefferson to J. Tyler, 1810.

He thought it inconceivable that a later generation would knowingly throw away the heritage of freedom.

    "The generation which is going off the stage has deserved well of mankind for the struggles it has made and for having arrested that course of despotism which had overwhelmed the world for thousands and thousands of years. If there seems to be danger that the ground they have gained will be lost again, that danger comes from the [upcoming] generation. But that the enthusiasm which characterizes youth should lift its parricide hands against freedom and science would be such a monstrous phenomenon as I cannot place among possible things in this age and this country." --Thomas Jefferson to W. Mumford, 1799.

There will be experiments, and some of them will turn out to be mistakes. But we should not despair. Suppression is not the answer, but rather education.

    "We shall have our follies without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry. Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. We are destined to be a barrier against the return of ignorance and barbarism." --Thomas Jefferson to J. Adams, 1816.

To suppress change, even "wrong" changes, in the name of preserving freedom is to destroy freedom. The republican institutions of this country, if maintained, are fully capable of correcting all error because those institutions allow the people themselves to change their mind and to correct their mistakes and those of their predecessors.

    "Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights." --Thomas Jefferson to D. Humphreys, 1789.

The failed experiment of Prohibition only affirmed that this is indeed a great nation under the sovereign supervision of its own people, fully capable of making experiments and then of rejecting the experiment if the outcome turns out ill.

Socialism & Change

Given that change is inevitable and necessary, that some experiments with change will turn out well and some will not, but given also the immutability of our inherent and inalienable rights, there is one question that arises above all others with regard to any changes in governmental policy, including any proposed changes derived from socialist theory: Is this a kind of change that leaves those rights intact? Does it place those rights above all other theories or ideals? Does it, in fact, reinforce and reaffirm those rights, or does it undermine them? Do the people of this nation retain the freedom to experiment with change, to keep what is good and discard what is bad?

Advocates maintain that the ideals of Socialism are social justice, greater equality, and security. But there is no mention of inalienable rights. The three ideals, stated plainly, seem innocent enough. In fact, justice, equality and security are mentioned or implied in the Declaration of Independence, which also adds, however, the pursuit of happiness. "All men are created equal" defines equality. "Certain inalienable rights" suggests justice. The people's right to establish government that will "effect their safety and happiness" affirms their right to security.

The omission of the pursuit of happiness from the list of socialist ideals is significant, because Socialism removes that as an individual's responsibility and makes it the task of the state. Socialism is not founded on a philosophy of natural rights, but on a theory of social betterment. It is not based on an understanding of the natural condition of man and his inherent nature, but on a utopian concept which defines an ideal good. It does not leave to the individual the determination of what constitutes the pursuit of happiness, but decides and dictates this to all members of society. This is a fundamental difference, based on the abstract idealism of socialist theory, as opposed to the realistic view of existence posed by natural rights. (It is treated more fully under the essay on Natural Rights.) While recognizing that all men are created equal in their entitlement to political rights, natural rights also grants to men the freedom to discover their own potential and to make of their life what they will. Natural rights do not attempt to compensate a person for his natural shortcomings, nor diminish the rewards to a person for his natural abilities. Each person is accepted "as God created them."

    "Our wish... is that... equality of rights [be] maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805.

Equal rights necessitate unequal outcomes, because not every person will utilize the opportunity afforded by equal rights in the same way. Not every man is born into the same family and community circumstances. These circumstances are the result of natural happenstance, and become a national concern only when they result from the violation of natural rights. We are resting the organization of our society on nature, not on the artificial and abstract construction of the imagination of man. If nature makes one man stronger than another, then equal rights will mean that the stronger cannot enslave the weaker, but he can nevertheless reap the profit of whatever his strength enables him to gain.

Why, one might ask, does not Natural Rights mean that the naturally stronger has the right to enslave the naturally weaker? It is because we are all humans, and in forming a society, we look to the highest reaches to which human nature may aspire. The strong exploiting the weak provides that neither for the weak or the strong. We form a society to mutually protect our humanness from the exploitation of the strong. If exploitation were permitted, there would be no fulfillment of human potential. Many do not believe that, of course; they believe that they are entitled to dominate others if possible. They are social predators. We are grateful that our Founding Fathers were sufficiently developed as human beings themselves to transcend that and create a nation founded on the principle that "All men are created equal." Equal rights, therefore, are a recognition of the dignity which is the birthright of every human being regardless of his strength or abilities.

Socialism, in pursuing what it postulates as social justice, greater equality and security, does so by abolishing private enterprise and private ownership as the means of production. Socialism creates a centrally planned economy. Much has been written to prove that socialism enervates initiative, destroys creativity and is therefore highly inefficient. We will not add to that here, except to say that in spite of overwhelming evidence, Socialism maintains supporters in some quarters. Perhaps supporters of Socialism see it as a way of redistributing wealth and gaining material advantage that one would be incapable of gaining on one's own. Apparently, there are many kinds of governmental programs that are designated as "socialistic," and are included in a blanket condemnation of everything related to socialism. The fundamental reasons for accepting or condemning specific social programs of government is beyond the scope of this essay and will be considered in a later one.

Why condemn Socialism?

The criteria to be used in condemning social programs is whether or not those programs violate the inalienable rights of man. The criteria is not whether social programs "work" or not. Such a conclusion is always a matter of opinion, and the enemies will always say it does not work, and the supporters will always say it does or it only needs fixing. The real criteria for judging government's social programs will always be their effect on human liberty. Does the program enable each and every citizen through their own actions and initiatives to:

  • realize their own potential?
  • pursue their happiness equally with every other person?
  • pursue whatever they consider excellence?
  • exploit the freest range of human creativity?

SOCIALISM DOES NOT FULFILL THESE GOALS! Central planning means that endeavors that were the province of the individual are taken over by a centrally administered bureaucracy. The affairs of an enormously complex society are put in the hands of a few bureaucrats, rather than being left to the creative achievements of millions of entrepreneurs, each one seeking excellence in a naturally competitive environment. The most vital part of an ordinary person's life -- his work, his creation of the materials for living -- is taken over by a faceless committee. His capacity to achieve is not limited only by his own abilities, but by centrally administered rules. Creativity under socialism depends not on human initiative, but must be filtered through a central authority. Only when the individual has complete sovereignty over his own life can he completely exploit his creative potential. Socialism means the bureaucratic creativity (an oxymoron if there ever was one) of the few; liberty means the unrestricted creativity of millions of individuals. The fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, so necessary for reaching human potential, find their realization only in a state of freedom and equality.

    "The principles on which we engaged, of which the charter of our independence is the record, were sanctioned by the laws of our being, and we but obeyed them in pursuing undeviatingly the course they called for. It issued finally in that inestimable state of freedom which alone can ensure to man the enjoyment of his equal rights." --Thomas Jefferson to Georgetown Republicans, 1809.

A free society is founded on the freedom inherent in human nature, not on that granted to it by a central governing authority. Such a governing authority by its very nature, by its very existence is inimical to human freedom.

    "A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." --Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774.

The purpose of government is not to define man, to postulate abstractly what his life should be, and then dictate those intellectually derived conclusions to him. As intelligent as man is, he is not clever enough to discern the meaning of human existence and dictate that meaning to others. The purpose of government is to create a society in which each individual has the freedom to discover those things for himself, and reap the fruits of his discovery. Government's purpose is to protect the people as each one exercises his sovereign right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    "The laws are consequently so formed and administered as to bear with equal weight and favor on all, restraining no man in the pursuits of honest industry and securing to every one the property which that acquires." --Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806.

The advancement of humankind comes about, not from the restrictive manipulations of a central bureaucracy, but from that liberty which is enjoyed by each individual citizen.

    "Liberty... is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free." --Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Willard, 1789.

Bureaucratic control results in the oppressed society so typically created by those who fear the people and their capacity to do for themselves what is right and good. If creativity is limited and filtered through a bureaucratic net, it is restricted by the narrow minds and paltry vision of bureaucratic officials. This is hardly the way to a better society.

    "Where thought is free in its range, we need never fear to hazard what is good in itself." --Thomas Jefferson to Olgilvie, 1811.

Only in a state of liberty is reason free to work its way through to technological solutions. Restrictions on freedom of inquiry and on those activities where inquiry may lead only results in corruption as established error remains unchallenged.

    "Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error... They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only... If [free enquiry] be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Va., 1782.

The best course for government is to trust its people with freedom and to allow them to regulate their own affairs. This is the best means to a dynamic and creative society, and offers the best opportunity for the citizens of that society to realize their own potential.

    "The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits." --Thomas Jefferson to M. L'Hommande, 1787.

The role of government, therefore, is to assure citizens their equal rights and to allow them to pursue their productive activities unhampered by government intervention. Social change, necessary and inevitable in a free society, comes about as a result of the creative energy of a whole nation of people, not of a small directorate. Socialism is not conducive to naturally occurring change; it denies essential liberties and restricts the creative energy of the people, producing its changes through calculated measures that destroy individual initiative and creativity.

    "What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens--a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities." --Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801.

___________________________

Melody J. Miller reviewed this essay and made many invaluable suggestions.

Sherriv's picture
Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

ah2 said:
" Liberty-PAC's assumption here, I think anyway, is that we have too much democracy in our constitutional arrangement and we need more of something else. Maybe him and Mitch McConnell can start a new country together where we don't have to worry about those pesky people who vote and stuff."

No, neither you, nor the other poster grasped what Liberty-Pac said, before you went on to put words in his or her mouth. Liberty Pac repeated what was mentioned in the video, which was a famous Thomas Jefferson quote:

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”- TJ

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

Good point, Phaedrus! That is what we are trying to get across to you two. We don't have a Republic, and none of our representatives are doing anything close to upholding the Constitution! I couldn't have said it better myself. We HAD a Democracy, but we are now living in a Corporate Oligarchy, or Corporatocracy, which incorporates Fascism. They go hand-in-hand.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

Good point, Phaedrus! That is what we are trying to get across to you two. We don't have a Republic, and none of our representatives are doing anything close to upholding the Constitution! I couldn't have said it better myself. We HAD a Democracy, but we now have a Corporate Oligarchy, or Corporatocracy, which incorporates Fascism. They go hand-in-hand.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am
Quote Sherriv:

I know the definition of Socialsim. The only reason that I copied and pasted the wiki link was to back up my statement with a source.

First of all, you conceded that you were wrong (you had no choice, considering that the very word "Nazi" is a shortened derivation of
"Nationalsozialismus", which I will once again repeat, means National Socialism, which is a form of FASCISM). Therefore, the orator in the video is correct in stating that Nazism and Socialism would belong on the left end of the spectrum. Communism, Fascism and Socialism are all forms of Collectivist Systems.

The fact that you retracted your admission of error by first saying, "I will let this slide" (wow, thanks!), then adding: "The form of government was FASCISM. The political ideology or platform was NAZISM. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS." only proves to me that you still do not understand that you are wrong. Nazism is a political form of fascism. They are not "two different things." Hence the grouping of Nazism, Socialism, Communism Fascism on the opposite side of the spectrum (opposite NO government/Anarchism). Did you not read the Ludwig Von Mises link that I posted? Let's add one more word to the list: "Totalitarianism".

I stated this in my first post... Nazism is not a form of government but I did concede that it professed a commitment to a particular kind of government in its political platform. I said all this... In the end, the governmental form of the Nazis IS NOT NAZISM. It is FACISM. Period. It is NOT a form of government. You keep repeating this yourself. And in the end, I said I "would let that one slide" by virtue of this fact.

In regards to socialism you have a formal logical fallacy. Just because Nazi's are socialists, it does not follow that all socialists are Nazis. Socialism is the broader of the two categories. You have taken a small fraction of socialism and attempted to generalize it as its total definition.

I have said it once and I will say it again - I have never made it through a discussion with a conservative on this forum without them using a logical fallacy yo make their point. Never.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Well, Liberty-Pac most likely thinks that you aren't "getting" what we've been trying to tell you thus far. So far, we've both corrected you concerning the meaning of Socialism, and where it belongs within the political spectrum, and you do not know what a Republic is, either. I just read post where you tried to revise history and the facts. I don't blame L-P for wanting to post a video. It's a classic- you really should watch it.

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Sherriv
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Quote Sherriv:

ah2 said

"As for my views on socialism, they are not my views. Everything I typed can be confirmed through scholarship that extends back as far as Plato and continues to the present. When you disagree with the truth, you are either an idiot or liar. Which are you?"

Umm, I'm neither. Wow, you and Plato went to school together?

Again, I will have to disagree with your assessments. You can't get more scholarly than Ludwig Von Mises and Thomas Jefferson.

Von Mises is an ideologue not a scholar. Jefferson never characterized Socialism in this way. You need to read more than two people.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Sherriv:

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:

collectivism

Any of several types of social organization that ascribe central importance to the groups to which individuals belong (e.g., state, nation, ethnic group, or social class). It may be contrasted with individualism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the first modern philosopher to discuss it (1762). Karl Marx was its most forceful proponent in the 19th century. Communism, fascism, and socialism may all be termed collectivist systems. See also communitarianism; kibbutz; moshav.

and? So you've provided the metacategory.. Great.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Sherriv:

The Jeffersonian Perspective

Commentary on Today's Social and Political Issues
Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson

Socialism vs. Liberty

False Dilemma Fallacy. Socialism and Liberty are not opposed.

I did this reply like 4 times and hartmanns boards keep screwing me. So, here is the short version. This article has nothing to do with Jefferson. In fact, they cut quotes to make them say what they want and then follow up with stuff that perverts the original meaning of the Jefferson text.

example: The whole quote from above.... (bold was left out)

"...our wish, as well as theirs, is, that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good, that peace be cultivated, civil and religious liberty unassailed, law and order preserved; equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry, or that of his fathers."

Now why is it that conservative blogs would leave out PUBLIC EFFORTS and PUBLIC GOOD and RELIGIOUS LIBERTY and LAW AND ORDER. Don't want any public anything right? Don't want those Muslims to have any religious freedom right? Don't want any laws like, I dunno, stopping corporations from dumping pollution in our drinking water right? DEREGULATE!!! Wouldn't want to get Jefferson's opinion on any of that stuff right? No.... just the part about state of property. ALL of the shortened quotes leave out the portions where Jefferson talks about PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY and CIVIC VIRTUE.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Probably, Liberty-Pac, you should read a bit of DeLeon...an early American socialist of the 1800's. Government ownership isn't socialism..

Maybe you;ve never heard of Engles response to the nationalization of some industries in Germany. It was soundly condemned as being nothing more than a change of employers...not socialism..

If you want an accurate definition of Buddhism, get it from a Buddhist, not a Baptist.. If you want to get an accurate definition of socialism, get it from a socialist rather than a fundamentalist capitalist. Probably Encyclopedia Britannica isn't a socialist enterprise.and would frown upon the idea of its workers owning the place.

Perhaps Chomsky can clarify socialism for you though he is neither a die-hard capitalist or a socialist....just a great intellect: who can separate the wheat from the chaff.. It goes straight back into American history when working for another was seen as little more than slavery. The industrial revolution destroyed our socialist roots...when most owned their own workplace. Organized socialism was nothing more than an attempt to regain those roots. in America and obtain them for the first time in Europe. Direct ownership of one's workplace.That's all socialism is. Elements of a social democracy may or may not exist with socialism. That's democratically determined.

Between Soviet propagandists and anti-socialist propagandists, the word "Socialism" has been so misconstrued as to have no original meaning left to it. The word Parecon is now often used in its place. Participatory Economics..

Chomsky video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Tq4VE8eHQ

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

LOL! Are you serious? What rock have you been living under? Ludwig Von Mises one of the most reknowned economists/scholars of the twentieth century! What do all those Harvard professors who studied and teach Austrian Economics know though, right? lol. Wow.

The characterization of Socialism that I attributed to Thomas Jefferson are his own words. lol. So, one of the founding fathers of our country is maybe just an "idealogue" too?

You STILL do not get what I posted about Nazism, which I specifically stated was Totalitarianism, aka Fascism/Socialism/Nationalism (in the case of Germany), and I could add Collectivism, as well, since these are all forms of Collectivism. These are labels,or groups, if you will. You are the one who got stuck on the whole "it's not a type of government" argument, but you were arguing with yourself. I was just stating that Socialism belonged under the same catagory as the other Collectivist types.The video said that these were groups, or labels-types of control in governments. Furthermore, the guy proceeded to narrow down to TYPES of GOVERNMENT. You are the only one that was under the impression that these labels were types of governments (watch it again). You claimed that the orator described Socialism wrong, but maybe you meant that he put Socialism on the wrong side of the spectrum? Remember, this presentation was about the "Political Spectrum," so maybe you failed to see that the whole purpose of the movie was to break down the common misconceptions, and educate people about specific types of government, so that they will quit falling for the false L/R paradigms. Did you happen to even notice that there was no "left" or "right" on the spectrum? No "right wing"/"left wing" disinfo. If there is anything that you should have learned from this video, it would be that 1.The U.S. is not technically a Democracy-hasn't been for a long time. 2.Democracies work on "mob rule" 3. Socialism is a form of Collectivism, which does not allow for individual liberty/rights 4. A republic is run by laws-laws that ensure your freedoms and rights, and it is a "Centrist" type on the scale, not "right wing." 5. An oligarchy is a government run by a few wealthy, or influential people, like our Corporatocracy. 6. Your belief that Socialism is just a form of people helping each other out is not a correct/complete description of Socialism. Your belief that there is no government control w/some forms of Socialism currently known to man is incorrect. 7. If I recall correctly, you were naming the types of Socialism, and you named "Free Market Socialism", which technichally does not exist.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

The glorification of the Founding Fathers is something I simply don't understand. The originalists, or whatever you want to call them, are as nutty as the people who essentially say, "The Bible is true because The Bible says it's true."

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am

Haha! You would pick Chomsky. Now THAT'S not a skewed, or biased opinion, is it?? I won't bother, because I'm very familiar w/his political views. Even though he is one of my favorite intellectuals, and a true champion for human rights, I have never subscribed to Chomsky's political beliefs. I'm not just dismissing your link, btw. I am already aware of his views.

Also, please see what 2 words that "Nazi" is derived from. We already discussed this, and I provided links. We will have to agree to disagree where Socialism is concerned.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

That a group can call itself "socialistic" without that meaning all (or even most) socialists are in sync with that group should be a pretty easy point to grasp.

If all of Subset X are part of Group Y, does that mean everyone in Group Y is part of Subset X? Maybe someone needs to re-take the SAT.

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am
Quote Sherriv:

Haha! You would pick Chomsky. Now THAT'S not a skewed, or biased opinion, is it?? I won't bother, because I'm very familiar w/his political views. Even though he is one of my favorite intellectuals, and a true champion for human rights, I have never subscribed to Chomsky's political beliefs. I'm not just dismissing your link, btw. I am already aware of his views.

Please describe the nature of your disagreement with Chomsky's political beliefs. For instance, do you disagree that the US is hegemonic?

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Garrett78
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Sep. 3, 2010 8:20 am

These are Thomas Jefferson's exact words from his own writings. The reason that these excerpts were chosen is that they pertain directly to what the article is about, which is showing exactly how strongly Thomas Jefferson felt about the fact that liberty vs. socialism. The reason that " equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry, or that of his fathers." was specifically chosen to illustrate a point. "Law and order preserved" has nothing to do with Socialism, and everything to do with "rule of law". "....that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good, that peace be cultivated, civil and religious liberty be unassailed...." are statements that have to do with rights, and that the public shall be treated honestly, and that peace be cultivated. Nothing to do with Socialism.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

Sorry, take out "the fact that" - typo. G'night! Peace and Liberty! lol. I'm going to read my Bible.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am

I will answer in more detail tomorrow or Sunday, but I do agree w/Chomsky about U.S. Hegemony. I'm a Ron Paul supporter, after all.

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Sherriv
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Jul. 15, 2011 10:14 am
Quote Sherriv:

LOL! Are you serious? What rock have you been living under? Ludwig Von Mises one of the most reknowned economists/scholars of the twentieth century! What do all those Harvard professors who studied and teach Austrian Economics know though, right? lol. Wow.

The characterization of Socialism that I attributed to Thomas Jefferson are his own words. lol. So, one of the founding fathers of our country is maybe just an "idealogue" too?

You STILL do not get what I posted about Nazism, which I specifically stated was Totalitarianism, aka Fascism/Socialism/Nationalism (in the case of Germany), and I could add Collectivism, as well, since these are all forms of Collectivism. These are labels,or groups, if you will. You are the one who got stuck on the whole "it's not a type of government" argument, but you were arguing with yourself. I was just stating that Socialism belonged under the same catagory as the other Collectivist types.The video said that these were groups, or labels-types of control in governments. Furthermore, the guy proceeded to narrow down to TYPES of GOVERNMENT. You are the only one that was under the impression that these labels were types of governments (watch it again). You claimed that the orator described Socialism wrong, but maybe you meant that he put Socialism on the wrong side of the spectrum? Remember, this presentation was about the "Political Spectrum," so maybe you failed to see that the whole purpose of the movie was to break down the common misconceptions, and educate people about specific types of government, so that they will quit falling for the false L/R paradigms. Did you happen to even notice that there was no "left" or "right" on the spectrum? No "right wing"/"left wing" disinfo. If there is anything that you should have learned from this video, it would be that 1.The U.S. is not technically a Democracy-hasn't been for a long time. 2.Democracies work on "mob rule" 3. Socialism is a form of Collectivism, which does not allow for individual liberty/rights 4. A republic is run by laws-laws that ensure your freedoms and rights, and it is a "Centrist" type on the scale, not "right wing." 5. An oligarchy is a government run by a few wealthy, or influential people, like our Corporatocracy. 6. Your belief that Socialism is just a form of people helping each other out is not a correct/complete description of Socialism. Your belief that there is no government control w/some forms of Socialism currently known to man is incorrect. 7. If I recall correctly, you were naming the types of Socialism, and you named "Free Market Socialism", which technichally does not exist.

Show me a direct quote from Jefferson where he explicitly mentions socialism.

Collectivism does not require a totalitarian government so it STILL does not belong on the end of the dichotomy that he put it on. If you had read more of the wiki post you linked and quoted you would have eventually gotten to a brand of collectivism called Anarcho-communism which relies on direct democracy princliples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-communists

Or are you know just cherry picking points from your own sources so you can will yourself to be correct. Sadly, you are not.

He gives a descriptor of the left end of the spectrum and then says - these are all the labels which fall under that description and he lists Socialism. This to me, means that he is implying that all Socialism falls under this decriptor which is A FALSE CHARACTERIZATION.

Von Mises is part of the Austrian School which is a fringe school in economics since the turn of the century and has regained popularity in the last 5 years or so as the Libertarians and Tea-Party people struggle to find some form of economic theory on which to base their views. Von Mises criticisms of socialism were largley based on his experience of Nazi Germany and solely directed at authoritarian types of socialist arrangements. None of his critiques would be valid for a free-market socialist arrangement like the worker owned firms that poly has been describing here. I don't wholely disagree with portions of what he says but his characterization of Socialism is limited and colored by his limited personal experience of a singular instance rather than an objective point of view of the broader socialist theoretical literature.

Oh and by the way: Free-market socialism found its orgins right around the same time of the Austrian school and is based on a lot of the same assumptions but takes them a different direction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_socialism

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote polycarp2:

Probably, Liberty-Pac, you should read a bit of DeLeon...an early American socialist of the 1800's. Government ownership isn't socialism..

Maybe you;ve never heard of Engles response to the nationalization of some industries in Germany. It was soundly condemned as being nothing more than a change of employers...not socialism..

If you want an accurate definition of Buddhism, get it from a Buddhist, not a Baptist.. If you want to get an accurate definition of socialism, get it from a socialist rather than a fundamentalist capitalist. Probably Encyclopedia Britannica isn't a socialist enterprise.and would frown upon the idea of its workers owning the place.

Perhaps Chomsky can clarify socialism for you though he is neither a die-hard capitalist or a socialist....just a great intellect: who can separate the wheat from the chaff.. It goes straight back into American history when working for another was seen as little more than slavery. The industrial revolution destroyed our socialist roots...when most owned their own workplace. Organized socialism was nothing more than an attempt to regain those roots. in America and obtain them for the first time in Europe. Direct ownership of one's workplace.That's all socialism is. Elements of a social democracy may or may not exist with socialism. That's democratically determined.

Between Soviet propagandists and anti-socialist propagandists, the word "Socialism" has been so misconstrued as to have no original meaning left to it. The word Parecon is now often used in its place. Participatory Economics..

Chomsky video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Tq4VE8eHQ

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

First off, DeLeon was not an "original socialist writer" as you mentioned in your previous post. He was an entire generaion after Marx. Engels and Marx both made criticisms of Nationalization during their lifetime but it wasn't because "government ownership isn't socialism." It was because of how that nationalization came about and more specifically WHO was doing it. In all of those cases and those of the early 20th century, there were multiple aspects about those particular socialist governments which were contrary to Marx and Engel's work. First, none of them were the result of a well developed Capitalist economy. Marx in particular was actually quite in awe of the productive power of Capitalism and in Das Capital he made it very clear that a successful Socialist arrangement would have to be a product of a level of industrialization and development that only Capitalism could achieve. This criticism has been level at the USSR several times, in particular. The second problem was that in most of these cases, the government ownership did not come about as the result of a "dictatorship of the proletariat" which sounds a lot worse that it actually is. Basically, in most of the cases during that time period, the government subsuming control of the means of production was the result of the efforts of a priveleged class or an oligarchy - not the working class. So, it might be appropriate to say that those versions of National "Socialism" were not really socialist. I could agree with that. But it does not follow that all forms of government ownership of the means of production are not socialist. Marx - arguably THE socialist writer which you seem to oddly avoid - would completely disagree with you.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Sherriv:

These are Thomas Jefferson's exact words from his own writings. The reason that these excerpts were chosen is that they pertain directly to what the article is about, which is showing exactly how strongly Thomas Jefferson felt about the fact that liberty vs. socialism. The reason that " equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry, or that of his fathers." was specifically chosen to illustrate a point. "Law and order preserved" has nothing to do with Socialism, and everything to do with "rule of law". "....that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good, that peace be cultivated, civil and religious liberty be unassailed...." are statements that have to do with rights, and that the public shall be treated honestly, and that peace be cultivated. Nothing to do with Socialism.

This post reveals your true character. They were Jefferson's words but do not carry his intended meaning. Jefferson was tempering his statements with qualifiers which the writer omits to serve their own ends and now you are doing the same. You have now answered my question from before. It is clear from your posts that you are a very intelligent person but this post in particular reveals that you are a liar. So now we know.

Here is another example of where they do exactly the same thing:

To preserve the peace of our fellow citizens, promote their prosperity and happiness, reunite opinion, cultivate a spirit of candor, moderation, charity and forbearance toward one another, are objects calling for the efforts and sacrifices of every good man and patriot."

Another oddly small portion of text to leave out. Why not just quote the whole thing? Because it, again, talks about our responsibilities towards one another. They focus merely on the happiness and posperity but it was to be tempered by maintaining a candor, forbearance, and charity towards one another. But you don't want to focus on that between the words "charity" and "public works" and "public goods" one might start to think about welfare and we don't want people thinking Jefferson might agree with that...

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Another example of reductionism: "Nothing... is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to J. Cartwright, 1824.

Have you read this entire letter? I think not. Here is a link to the text:

http://www.founding.com/founders_library/pageID.2195/default.asp

Let's look at the passage this quote comes from:

You will perceive by these details, that we have not yet so far perfected our constitutions as to venture to make them unchangeable. But still, in their present state, we consider them not otherwise changeable than by the authority of the people, on a special election of representatives for that purpose expressly: they are until then the lex legum.

But can they be made unchangeable? Can one generation bind another, and all others, in succession forever? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, not to mere matter, unendowed with will. The dead are not even things. The particles of matter which composed their bodies, make part now of the bodies of other animals, vegetables, or minerals, of a thousand forms. To what then are attached the rights and powers they held while in the form of men? A generation may bind itself as long as its majority continues in life; when that has disappeared, another majority is in place, holds all the rights and powers their predecessors once held, and may change their laws and institution to suit themselves. Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.

He is going back and forth quite a bit here. He is noting in one paragraph how the current set of rules is imperfect and, thus, can be changed by the people but then continues in the second to say that a generation should not be able to tell the next what their rights are and that they should be unchangeable. An odd tension and it seems he is struggling with it here. Yet, when it is used in the text you provided, they project this passage as Jefferson attempting to claim a definite certainty in particular liberties - and not liberties he describes but the liberties the author of the article wants you to ascribe to.

The next section of this letter is all about the separation of church and state, in particular, the judiciary. He concludes the letter by thanking Cartwright for his support of the creation of a PUBLIC UNIVERSITY - you know, PUBLIC EDUCATION - in his state....

If that isn't proof of how that author completely betrays Jefferson's original beliefs and intentions, I don't know what is....

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Ah2 wrote:But it does not follow that all forms of government ownership of the means of production are not socialist. Marx - arguably THE socialist writer which you seem to oddly avoid - would completely disagree with you.

poly replies: And oddly enough, Marx's observations on how capitalism functioned were pretty accurate. He was, afterall, an economic historian.. His European-based solutions were contradictory "The state must wither away". Not likely when the state owns everything in sight..Dialectical materialism is nonsense.along with his "dictatorship of the proletariate." that would one day disolve itself. Dictatorships don't disolve themselves.

Marx made pretty accurate observations, and offered gibberish solutions. for the inherent contradictions found in our peculiar applications of capitalism.. .I intentionally avoid any of Marx's solutions. They are nonsense. Socialism is a change in capitalism's applications...capitalism itself remains. .No economy...no society... can function without maintaining capitalism's foundational base...create a surplus to maintain or expand production..

DeLeon was a "Marxist"...and totally rejected state ownership as did most other socialist thinkers who came after Marx.

Marx opened the door with his observations on the functioning of capitalism...his solutions were rejected

In Marx's time, there were no democratic solutions for change in Marx's Europe.. One doesn't vote in a dicatorship or absolute Monarchy. There was no experience with direct worker ownership as there was in the U.S when most at one time owned their own workplace..

Socialists in Russia who didn't follow the view of Lenin/Stalin government ownership were purged. They were disappeared into graves or gullogs. Independent workers councils were disolved.

When mill workers in the U.S. declared, " those, who do the work should own the mill", they weren't advocating government ownership.. They were advocating the American tradition of direct worker ownership of the workplace as existed in this country before the industrial revolution. Socialism.

Government operating GM would be a disaster. GM's employees owning/operating GM wouldn't be. The employees already operate it ...from janitor to executive suite. Of course, that would be socialism if they owned what they operated. . A no no.

Chomsky's view is the correct one...not the propagandist view of the Soviets and U.S.. capital that adopted their definition to discredit it. That's why its now called Parecon. Participatory Economics. Elements of a social democracy such as national health care aren't socialism. They are elements of a social democracy. They may or may not exist in socialism. That's democratically determined.

Chomsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Tq4VE8eHQ

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Poly, you need to read what MArx meant by the dictatorship of the proletariat. I can tell that it is not what you think it is by what you posted above. While I agree that Marx didn't have all the "solutions" correct, he still is foundational in understanding the defining characteristics of at least some Socialist endeavors. Just because you don't think they would work doesn't mean that they aren't Socialism. I don't think Facism works but it is still a form of government. I think Feudalism was destined to eventually fail but I can't then say that Feudalism isn't Feudalism. That just doesn't make any sense. You continually describe a VERY small sliver of Socialist literature and poltiical philosophy and attempt to say, "This is the right one, all the others were wrong" and you are saying this even to Marx who was foundational to the thinkers you are saying are right.

I agree with all of your comments about the efficacy of certain political arrangements in realtion to Socialism but that is NOT the singular definition for Socialism rit large. It just isn't.

DeLeon was A Marxist. Castro is A Marxist. Lenin was A Marxist. Engels was A Marxist. Not one of them defines the term.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm
Quote Sherriv:

Good point, Phaedrus! That is what we are trying to get across to you two. We don't have a Republic, and none of our representatives are doing anything close to upholding the Constitution! I couldn't have said it better myself. We HAD a Democracy, but we are now living in a Corporate Oligarchy, or Corporatocracy, which incorporates Fascism. They go hand-in-hand.

Uh, the first comment I made, #2 on this thread, was exactly that.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm
Quote Sherriv:

You STILL do not get what I posted about Nazism, which I specifically stated was Totalitarianism, aka Fascism/Socialism/Nationalism (in the case of Germany), and I could add Collectivism, as well, since these are all forms of Collectivism. These are labels,or groups, if you will.

...

1.The U.S. is not technically a Democracy-hasn't been for a long time. 2.Democracies work on "mob rule" 3. Socialism is a form of Collectivism, which does not allow for individual liberty/rights 4. A republic is run by laws-laws that ensure your freedoms and rights, and it is a "Centrist" type on the scale, not "right wing." 5. An oligarchy is a government run by a few wealthy, or influential people, like our Corporatocracy. 6. Your belief that Socialism is just a form of people helping each other out is not a correct/complete description of Socialism. Your belief that there is no government control w/some forms of Socialism currently known to man is incorrect. 7. If I recall correctly, you were naming the types of Socialism, and you named "Free Market Socialism", which technichally does not exist.

Fascism/ Nazi (National Socialists) was totalitarianism with the aid of the industrialists / corporations. Meaning they were merely oligarchs, just like our GOP, US Chamber of Commerce, John Birchers, and Tea Party crowd. So unless you consider this collectivism of the rich against the poor, I miss how this is collectivist? Especially since they tended to shoot union workers, Jews, and gypsies, or all the groups that are collectivists.

The Soviet Union was totalitarianism against the corporations/ czars.

Totalitarianism doesn't equate with collectivism. Otherwise, those poor Danes and Swedes (2 of the most collectivist nations on Earth) are really blissfully ignorant of the horrorible tyrannical totalitarianism they are being subjected to; good pay, good public healthcare, good schools, safe food, etc.

Phaedrus76's picture
Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm
Quote Phaedrus76:
Quote Sherriv:

Good point, Phaedrus! That is what we are trying to get across to you two. We don't have a Republic, and none of our representatives are doing anything close to upholding the Constitution! I couldn't have said it better myself. We HAD a Democracy, but we are now living in a Corporate Oligarchy, or Corporatocracy, which incorporates Fascism. They go hand-in-hand.

Uh, the first comment I made, #2 on this thread, was exactly that.

He doesn't actually read people's posts.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Ah2 wrote:

DeLeon was A Marxist. Castro is A Marxist. Lenin was A Marxist. Engels was A Marxist. Not one of them defines the term.

poly replies: DeLeon defined socialism and Marxism pretty well. I have points of disagreement with him also.

Zinn's, "People's History of the U.S." has some pretty good definitions/examples of leftist aims from our own past.

I don't consider Castro a socialist..I didn't consider Lenin a socialist. They are barely Marxists in a rather weird sort of way..

First, A proletariate dictatorship wasn't established in either of their countries. They were Party Boss dictatorships looking after an entrenched partty elite.. Second, the : state doesn't "wither away " as Marx proposed, under any kind of dictatorship. Castro and Lenin weren't even Marxists if you use even those criteria advocated by Marx.

Marx was full of hooey. He made some profound observations on how our peculiar form of capitalism functions and came to some really absurd conclusions.

I'd have to qualify Marxism as.seeing the observations made by Marx...without adopting his conclusions/solutions. His conclusions and solutions were full of hooey..

The only modern nation to even come close to socialist, aims, was the U.S. at its founding It's difficult to see that given the now widely accepted definitions of "socialism". Socialism in the U.S. preceeded Marx. Attempting to regain the basic precept of what existed at our nations founding were the goals of early U.S. socialists. Direct ownership of one's workplace..Socialism. That's all it is. The industrial revolution destoyed that.

Pre-Soviet State definitions of socialism were much different than post-Soviet State definitions of socialism. That's why I prefer Parecon,. It's way, way closer to the original meanings of the term. ..If you'd prefer I say the U.S. had a Parecon society rather than a socialist society at its founding, I can do that. They are one and the same to me..

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease".

polycarp2
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Currently Chatting

The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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