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

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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
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Joined: 11/26/2016
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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

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Joined: 3/23/2015
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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
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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

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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
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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: 31,291
Neurons: 187,383
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!
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