The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

State of the Union - Socialism Denounced Options
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 3:16:55 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 629
Neurons: 1,019,336
Lawrence O'Donnell shares his thoughts on Donny Jon's denouncement of socialism.

It's too late, we already have socialism. There's good socialism and there's bad socialism. The good: Social Security & Medicare. The bad: Professional Sports.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-rWPzck5Ck
jj.smith
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 6:29:44 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/26/2016
Posts: 19
Neurons: 9,582
Oscar D. Grouch wrote:
Lawrence O'Donnell shares his thoughts on Donny Jon's denouncement of socialism.

It's too late, we already have socialism. There's good socialism and there's bad socialism. The good: Social Security & Medicare.


Don't forget public K-12 education, public libraries and everything else supported collectively by tax dollars, e.g., police, fire departments, etc.
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 1:15:11 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 8,615
Neurons: 49,353
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Interesting comment re sports, Oscar.

A Socialist government philosophy is very different from social programs designed to provide basic needs for all citizens. This use of socialistic programs is sometimes called a Social Democracy. The US has had many such social programs for decades. As does Canada, including universal healthcare.

Also, a Socialist government is not the same as a Communist government. Neither work that well.

Many Americans (mostly Republicans) freak out at the very word socialism without knowing the different meanings. Hence all the Republicans clapped vigorously at Trump's assertion.

I have talked to Americans who tell me Canada is a socialist country because we have (and are fighting right now to keep) universal healthcare. We have social programs. We are not a socialist country.

Edited - in fact countries with more social programs have happier citizens. Maybe because they don't have to be so overly competitive, as I've anecdotally noticed about many Americans over the years.

"Do the people you care about love you back?" Warren Buffett's measure of success
Romany
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 2:35:47 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,380
Neurons: 48,295
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

If Americans are like people everywhere else, there is a far higher percentage than one would like to believe, who don't take a deliberate and informed stance on most issues, but who are swayed by the oldest propaganda trick in the world: repetition, repetition.

If a certain segment of the population learns of the concept of socialism only through media and/or their peers; and if it has always been in a negative context, then they take that on board and register that socialism is BAD. Without ever having heard anything about Socialism from anyone but their Elders and Betters - politicians, pastors, their ole gran'pappy - they will have absorbed the fact that it is BAD. Thus UN-AMERICAN. So probably a Leftist meme. And with no input from any other source they'll probably go to their graves prepared to defend their country from the foreign, devilish, un-Christian, bound-for-hell Socialists.

Which, once again, leads one to imagine what a difference an efficient, standardised, free education system would make. With relevent classes that equip one to live, and make a living in, the realities of the current world?

But wait,...free? Jumping Jehosaphat! There's them rabid librals agen, tryn' to slip their evil Socialism on us. We gonna fight them messin' with our schools till we ain't got no breath left in us.

And the circle becomes more beautifully easy to slip into.

Demonising this word and applying it to education in particular was a bloody master-stroke.



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2019 10:49:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,098
Neurons: 194,036
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - as reported in the American press (The Orange County Register), it's not just a 'Republican plot' or 'Liberal Con-trick'.

Quote:
We should stipulate that, not only do the words of the politically inspired not necessarily mean what words normally mean, but neither do their labels.

“Progressives” frequently are not progressive, strictly speaking. Progressives often are closed-minded when it comes to tolerating religious viewpoints with which they disagree. “Conservatives,” likewise, counterintuitively can be willing to toss aside long-standing values when it benefits them. “Hypocrites” may be a more accurate label for both.

Set aside your Merriam-Webster dictionary. Words in political season take on meanings of their own.

I consider myself a bit (not much) left of centre, but this is what the author has to say about that:
Quote:
many centrists now find themselves extremely distanced from both ends of the spectrum. To either end of the spectrum, this means the centrist is now an extremist.

Of course, as is to be expected, it is all considered a bit 'Orwellian' - probably because it IS.

Quote:
In Orwell’s 1984, Newspeak was expected to finally supersede standard English by 2050. We’re on schedule.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
progpen
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 1:53:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,034
Neurons: 350,029
Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom
Romany wrote:

If Americans are like people everywhere else, there is a far higher percentage than one would like to believe, who don't take a deliberate and informed stance on most issues, but who are swayed by the oldest propaganda trick in the world: repetition, repetition.

If a certain segment of the population learns of the concept of socialism only through media and/or their peers; and if it has always been in a negative context, then they take that on board and register that socialism is BAD. Without ever having heard anything about Socialism from anyone but their Elders and Betters - politicians, pastors, their ole gran'pappy - they will have absorbed the fact that it is BAD. Thus UN-AMERICAN. So probably a Leftist meme. And with no input from any other source they'll probably go to their graves prepared to defend their country from the foreign, devilish, un-Christian, bound-for-hell Socialists.

Which, once again, leads one to imagine what a difference an efficient, standardised, free education system would make. With relevent classes that equip one to live, and make a living in, the realities of the current world?

But wait,...free? Jumping Jehosaphat! There's them rabid librals agen, tryn' to slip their evil Socialism on us. We gonna fight them messin' with our schools till we ain't got no breath left in us.

And the circle becomes more beautifully easy to slip into.

Demonising this word and applying it to education in particular was a bloody master-stroke.


This feeds into another post regarding Anarchists and the far/alt right. The failure of the US education system is not something that has happened accidentally. It's part of a larger project that will result in the disintegration of the US so it can be rebuilt in the image of the right wing extremists and the corporations that fund them. The abject stupidity that is currently on display in the US is just a symptom, not the cause or the disease.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 7:16:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 32,098
Neurons: 194,036
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
progpen wrote:
This feeds into another post regarding Anarchists and the far/alt right. The failure of the US education system is not something that has happened accidentally. It's part of a larger project that will result in the disintegration of the US so it can be rebuilt in the image of the right wing extremists and the corporations that fund them. The abject stupidity that is currently on display in the US is just a symptom, not the cause or the disease.

Odd you should mention Anarchy.

The American Dream (descriptions from 'then' and 'now'):
We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; ...
Thomas Jefferson, Declaration (1775)

Everyone can travel and settle wherever he pleases. No passport is demanded, no police mingles in his affairs or hinders his movements
F. W. Bogen, The German in America (1851)

But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. . .
It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position...

James Truslow Adams, Epic of America (1931) (The first known use of the phrase "American Dream", apparently)

"A lot of Americans think the U.S. has more social mobility than other western industrialized countries. This (study using medians instead of averages that underestimate the range and show less stark distinctions between the top and bottom tiers) makes it abundantly clear that we have less.
Your circumstances at birth—specifically, what your parents do for a living—are an even bigger factor in how far you get in life than we had previously realized. Generations of Americans considered the United States to be a land of opportunity. This research raises some sobering questions about that image."

Michael Hout, Professor of Sociology at New York University, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016)

The "Expectations" of the Founding Fathers - the way America was expected to be was an Anarchy - total liberty and personal independence - no passport, no police, no government intervention, anyone could go wherever he wanted.
Total Anarchy was the stated aim.
Free to pursue happiness in whatever form that might be:
(If killing everyone in sight made him happy - fine, he could kill everyone - unless someone else wanted to be happy having living people around, in which case they could kill him first.)

Later, it became Socialist - life should be better and richer and fuller for every man (and woman). . . regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

Recently, it has become aristocratic or at least plutocratic.
Your circumstances at birth — specifically, what your parents do for a living — are an even bigger factor in how far you get in life than we had previously realized.
Only the rich can afford a proper education, which will influence employment. Obviously the better educated rich can get better jobs than the poorly-educated poor - producing an "aristocracy" of rich families.

The State of the Union has gone, over 180 years, from a budding anarchy, through socialism and conservatism to a budding aristocracy.

Amazing. It took the UK a thousand years to drag itself from absolute monarchy to a society in which 'most people have most rights' - even though there are still some advantages to being born rich - not everyone is born equal.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
progpen
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2019 3:23:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,034
Neurons: 350,029
Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom
Drag0, that is interesting. Nowadays in the US, Anarchists are more about infiltrating peaceful marches and torching businesses and garbage cans.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Romany
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2019 8:04:49 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 15,380
Neurons: 48,295
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
I think what's lacking from Dragos assessment is that, for those who know nothing of history, it's important to stress that "Absolute Monarchy" has had a very limited shelf-life after being introduced by the French after the Norman invasion...and it did not exist before it.

Magna Carta was signed in 1215. This was the first document ever signed which sought to limit the Monarch's powers and to state citizens rights. This was when a Parliament was first formed - and the point from which the rejection of Absolute Monarchy led to the point we are at today.

A century later, in 1381, the Peasant's Revolt resulted in those who were discounted and had no rights anywhere else in Europe - those who owned no land - being recognised under English law as citizens who had rights which the monarch must abide by.

The Tudors, of course, were a thorny problem - but though they claimed almost absolute rule Parliament was not disbanded or ruled out - and it still had rights of the Privy Purse i.e. money. And the next King to dispute Parliamentary rule and claim divine "Right" to rule had, as every British person knows, his head summararily severed from his body.

From then on, every Monarch spent a lot of their reign in dispute of many parliamentary decisions, being checked at every turn from royal whim, the allocation of funds, decisions on war, colonisation, trade and civil law. One of the reasons the American myth of "The Tyrant George" never fails to bring a smile to my face: the Georgians were the dynasty who were most hamstrung by Parliamentary rule! With the Georgians came full-blown Parliamentary rule of the type we have today.

Technically, Queen Anne became the first "Monarch" of the newly formed (by Parliament)Union of Great Britain, and with Ireland, Scotland and Wales all on board, the trope of "Absolute" rule bit the dust - no King or Queen could ever govern without Parliamentary oversight with the populations of (what were, previously) four seperate countries, watching every move.

Thus Dragos point about "anarchy".

The trope - repeated in all seriousness here by our main Trumpeter - that their forefathers were "Freedom fighters" against the tyranny of Kings, striving for equality and casting off the shackles of absolute rule, is a Trumpian load of garbage. Sure: America was far away from England, they wanted to rule themselves: stands to reason. But what they were "fleeing" from was Parliamentary rule - and a system which - at that particular point in world history - provided the British citizen from the land to the landed gentry with rights and laws which existed nowhere else at that time.(Except in Iceland and the Isle of Man) And which ensured that no one person would ever have control over Britain. Which in turn guaranteed that the Brits. never had to resort to the blood and horror of the French Revolution in 1789.

And why a Trump-person would never have the power to shut down Government; a power no leader of any free country possesses.

And that's also why the "freedoms" of a system where women, brown people, black people, Asian people, poor people, unemployed people, sick people, and children from other countries, have little to no power or protection; ring hollow around the modern world.

I am so sick and tired now of being treated with smug condescension and un-earned superiority by the voices of total ignorance which emanate from Trumpians. There are no such things as "alternative facts".Propositions such as "The truth is not the truth", are the very definition of anarchy.

Historical facts are historical facts. And, like Hope and others, refusing to let garbage take the place of Science in regard to climate change, I'm not going to let fairy stories distort the facts of history in order to try to give any kind of legitimacy to the dystopian anarchy that Trump has let loose on the world.

finally: "Aristocracy" is not predicated upon money. It comes from generations upon generations of families who have taken part in the long formation of Britain and Europe. Some of whom today are as poor as church mice. I'm neither supporting nor disparaging it here. But it's a quality that money can't buy. It takes hundreds of years to become an Aristocrat. Privilege and money is not what does it. It's just what makes a person rich and privileged. Like all the corrupt, rich, privileged, dishonest and morally bankrupt people Trump has surrounded himself with to lead the country into the anarchy which currently reigns.
progpen
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2019 3:02:54 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/2/2015
Posts: 2,034
Neurons: 350,029
Location: Haddington, Scotland, United Kingdom
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position...[/color]
James Truslow Adams, Epic of America (1931) (The first known use of the phrase "American Dream", apparently)


This was being said during the height of the Great Depression when the actions of a relative few had damaged and injured the lives of hundreds of millions around the world. The idea of a social order where people are equal was also being discussed in Great Britain (and I'm sure elsewhere) at this time.



Drag0nspeaker wrote:
"A lot of Americans think the U.S. has more social mobility than other western industrialized countries. This (study using medians instead of averages that underestimate the range and show less stark distinctions between the top and bottom tiers) makes it abundantly clear that we have less.
Your circumstances at birth—specifically, what your parents do for a living—are an even bigger factor in how far you get in life than we had previously realized. Generations of Americans considered the United States to be a land of opportunity. This research raises some sobering questions about that image."[/color]
Michael Hout, Professor of Sociology at New York University, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016)


This was not new information in 2016, and even if a lot of Americans did (and still do) believe that social mobility was higher, there are many times more who know for a fact from first-hand experience that it is not true. The idea that 'any person could become a billionaire just by working hard enough' is more of a political meme than anything.



Drag0nspeaker wrote:
The "Expectations" of the Founding Fathers - the way America was expected to be was an Anarchy - total liberty and personal independence - no passport, no police, no government intervention, anyone could go wherever he wanted.
Total Anarchy was the stated aim.
Free to pursue happiness in whatever form that might be:
(If killing everyone in sight made him happy - fine, he could kill everyone - unless someone else wanted to be happy having living people around, in which case they could kill him first.)


I've never actually heard this before and had to go do some research, but the founding fathers did not espouse Anarchy. I think where this idea might fall down is the idea of 'no government intervention' instead of 'limited government intervention'. And murder was still murder even in the Wild West. In fact, the romanticized idea of the American Wild West has little to do with the reality.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries, there was initially a lack of local government in the frontier lands, but law and order were the first bits of civilization that were incorporated into the new towns and states.


Nolite te bastardes carborundorum
Kirill Vorobyov
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 6:28:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/4/2016
Posts: 799
Neurons: 3,982
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

The "Expectations" of the Founding Fathers - the way America was expected to be was an Anarchy - total liberty and personal independence - no passport, no police, no government intervention, anyone could go wherever he wanted.
Total Anarchy was the stated aim.
Free to pursue happiness in whatever form that might be:
(If killing everyone in sight made him happy - fine, he could kill everyone - unless someone else wanted to be happy having living people around, in which case they could kill him first.)

Later, it became Socialist - life should be better and richer and fuller for every man (and woman). . . regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

Recently, it has become aristocratic or at least plutocratic.
Your circumstances at birth — specifically, what your parents do for a living — are an even bigger factor in how far you get in life than we had previously realized.
Only the rich can afford a proper education, which will influence employment. Obviously the better educated rich can get better jobs than the poorly-educated poor - producing an "aristocracy" of rich families.

The State of the Union has gone, over 180 years, from a budding anarchy, through socialism and conservatism to a budding aristocracy.

Amazing. It took the UK a thousand years to drag itself from absolute monarchy to a society in which 'most people have most rights' - even though there are still some advantages to being born rich - not everyone is born equal.



Can it be that it was exactly the idea from the start - to just replace one privileged class with another? Then it seems to have been developing according to plan.

This thought came to my mind when I was reading "Gone With The Wind". Could it be that abolishment of slavery was only a pretext? The slavery would soon have gone anyway, for purely economic reasons. I am not sure slavery labor was economically efficient even then in the 1860s, and it would have become increasingly less so as the economy developed and technology progressed. So wasn't it that the real difference that this war made, something that could not and would not have been achieved without that war, was redistribution of political and economic power in the Southern States? And of course it was not the black community who were the beneficiaries.

Another thing is the bitter history of my own country Russia. The communists who organized the revolution in 1917 said they were against monarchy and the privileged and acting in the interests of the majority of people. Under this pretext they killed millions of generally better-educated and more competent people and expropriated an enormous amount of property. 70 years later they privatized everything in their names so they themselves bacame owners. As a result of this century long operation Russia, which is the largest Eurasian country with enormous amount of natural resources, is now owned by quite different kind of people compared to who controlled it a century ago.

The United States has been relatively "luckier" - there a similar operation seems to be being carried out in a better staged and less violent way. But I wonder if the goal and outcome are the same - a new privileged class, property changing hands, changing demographics.
Oscar D. Grouch
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 7:23:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/26/2014
Posts: 629
Neurons: 1,019,336
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
The American Dream (descriptions from 'then' and 'now'):
We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; ...
Thomas Jefferson, Declaration (1775)


At the time those words were written, they likely meant rich, white, land owning men. Not women, not Native Americans (who were victims of genocide and biological warfare), and certainly not African Americans (who had no rights whatsoever). I am grateful that the meaning of those words have changed.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.