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Demonizing words to fit the agenda of the well-offs Options
Ni un voto al PRIAN PVEM
Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 11:29:51 PM

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I've taken notice many people avoid being labeled as 'victims' but when I look in the dictionary I just can't find why, it's just another word. So there's a unwritten meaning everyone fears, a negative connotation. I haven't understood very well this unwritten meaning but I think it suits the agenda of the haves. One of the first steps to solve a problem is to name it, if you can't name it, then the problem doesn't exist. If everyone fears being labeled as 'victims' or believe being a 'victim' is wrong in some way, then 'victims' disappear, especially victims of an economic system.

In the 17th century the word 'syndicate' was used to name a group of workers, but now it's associated with crime. I read it was in the 20th century when this new meaning was introduced and it's taught at a very young age (Justice League vs Crime syndicate). No one wants to be part of the organized crime. Unions i.e syndicates are powerful tools to protect the rights of the working class. Walmart, the world's largest company by revenue, doesn't allow unions, so no surprise the low wages.

Strike is a collective withdrawal from work but also a hit to hurt or cause damage, so to strike doesn't help to build better corporations. A 'villain' is a wicked man, not a poor person living in a village, so being poor makes you a evil and being rich like Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark makes you a good person.





Axel Bear
Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2015 4:09:16 AM

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Where I come from I've taken notice that more and more people gladly label themselves as 'victims' if it suits their agenda, to use some of the above posters own words.

A strike can help to build better corporations if it results in better conditions etc... the idea here is that a satisfied employee is more motivated in the long run.

A 'villain' has nothing to do with being monetarily rich or poor.

'trade union' in French is 'syndicat', 'syndicato' in Spanish, 'Syndikáto' in transliterate Greek, etc.












Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 11:40:04 AM

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I agree, somewhat with both of you.

The action does exist.

"Demonising" is quite a good word (even though my spell-checker doesn't like it).
It is part of the whole system of propaganda - used intensively by Hitler's mob and the Soviets and American (USA) governments, but also used in all countries I guess.

It is part of the action which now has the name of 'spin'. A "PR" man is often called a 'spin-doctor'.

spin v
4. To provide an interpretation of (a statement or event, for example), especially in a way meant to sway public opinion:


Probably the 'spin' on words in Ni un voto's country is different from that on the same words in the USA and UK. Here 'acting as a victim' is a good way to earn money (welfare benefits and compensation in court cases) whereas real victims in many situations get no help.

I am in a syndicate - there is no 'spin' on that word here.

The original meaning of 'villain' (villein) was a free man who owed allegiance to a Lord - sort of 'middle class'. The working classes were serfs.
This meaning has been lost for hundreds of years here, since the end of the feudal system.

thar
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 11:58:22 AM

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Surely this is inevitable - every single word has nuance, a conscious choice. No word, even the simplest label, exists outside the society and culture that creates and uses it.
Words are of their culture and their time. If they weren't, they wouldn't be any use as a tool of expression and communication.
'Strike' means greedy extortion to some, standing up for your cause to others.
Countries (such as Nazi Germany, Soviet bloc and its heirs) deliberately try to force this. Others see it driven by press and popular culture. But it happens everywhere, all the time.
The alternative is saying 'Ug!' to each other - except that probably has nuances too!

To misquote something I once heard:
" Don't be a victim. Don't be a perpetrator. And most importantly don't be a bystander.

Re the OP question, 'victims' of rape, sexual abuse etc are now choosing the label 'survivors of...'
I find that problematic - like those who did not 'survive' are not part of their group, excluded. I dislike that categorisation, but understand the need not to portray oneself as a victim.
ithink140
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 1:12:11 PM
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One has always to look beyond the label since it does not tell the whole story. We may become a victim due, in part, to our own foolishness or weakness of character, or just time and circumstance.
I don’t like labels in general, since I think they box one in. The word victim, for example, elicits pity or compassion where it is not always deserving of such.

I looked up the meanings of the word victim,and one such is as follows: a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment.
"I saw myself as a victim… “


Humans are so complex. Some take the self-pitying stance forever and a day, and ‘it has ruined my life’ becomes their mantra, while others display strength of character and put the matter in question in perspective and get on with life. I think one has to move on in the knowledge that some things cannot be changed and there is a life to lead.

Romany
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 3:54:21 PM
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Thar - you said: -

"Re the OP question, 'victims' of rape, sexual abuse etc are now choosing the label 'survivors of...'
I find that problematic - like those who did not 'survive' are not part of their group, excluded."

which gave me pause. As you may know, I work, and have worked for years, with various "Survivor's Groups." - because most of them present with mental health issues either caused by, or exacerbated by, their experiences of rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse etc.

And to explain from THAT side:-

so many people lose their lives - or their minds - through these kinds of trauma. If not at someone else's hand then at their own. So everyone still standing has, ipso facto, survived. They are not dead. Or irretrievably bat-shit mental.There is no feeling of casting judgement on those who didn't survive: just rage on their behalf.

And declaring oneself a survivor - no matter how one has been affected psychophysically - is realising that, WOW! One has really come out the other side! Still breathing in and out. Because one has faced the reality of the loss of existence, or of total oblivion somewhere in the back reaches of one's mind where no-one can reach in.....and even accepted it.

So it's more a Gloria Gaynor moment: "I will survive!!"



thar
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 5:46:21 PM

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Oh, yeah, I get that. I can see why it is a powerful self-description.

It is just sometimes when I hear it I think if I had a loved-one who had committed suicide, or did not currently consider themselves as having 'survived', that it would feel somehow like if you are not a survivor you must be a 'victim'. And what constitutes or creates the difference. I guess I am just being a bit over-sensitive to it. I just feel there should be a word somehow that includes everyone, whatever their response to their experience.

But I guess there is never a perfect word - just the one that can come closest to expressing yourself positively.
Wanderer
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2015 10:58:52 PM

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Who claims victimization? When someone dies of suicide who is victimized? The family feels grief, guilt and anger. Anger that they didn't love me enough to live. I didn't hear their cries for help. I didn't have what it took to save them. Healing happens when you realize it wasn't any of those things that made them kill themselves. People can have mental pain just as real any physical pain.

Wealthy people often feel victimized to such a point that they claim they can't enjoy their fortunes. They feel singled-out and are categorized. Mitt Romney is like that. You think Mitt Romney, you think money. My mother would tell me when I complained about my lack of funds, "Don't envy the rich. Everyone knows money can't buy happiness." Americans who are in the upper middle-class are 30% more likely to shoplift in a high end storr than other members of the middle-class. Entitlement and rage? Many affluent often consider themselves victimized. Consider the case if the fifteen year old boy who stole his parents drunk and wrecked it while drunk killing two friends and leaving the other permanently disabled. He got off on light probation using the defense that he was too rich and spoiled to know right from wrong.

I hear ya, amigo! The rich act as though they are really being victimized by all those poor people, all those sick and old (don't get me started) that keep messing up their lives.

Tovarish
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 1:39:55 AM
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Interesting comments Ni, I would prefer to be called a 'survivor' and we are all survivors in our own lives, no one gets off scott free.

A 'syndicate' to me is a group of people owning a racehorse and sharing the love of the horse and racing, nothing political.

Am I a 'have' instead of a 'have not' quite possibly, I have a roof over my head and I know where my next meal is coming from, all of which I have

paid for and have worked extremely hard to make it so.
Wanderer
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 1:34:15 PM

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I'm not sure this fits the topic but, since it is about unions specifically, here goes. At the beginning of the 20 century when socialist ideas and unions were being formed around Europe and America and Canada, the Americans took a turn that the rest did not. The results are plain to see. Take for example Canada, their unions fought for health care not, just for themselves but, for everyone. Unions in America only fought for their members health care and not for anyone else. Americans can't seem to realize that what is good for one group is equally beneficial to everyone. There is this mind set that helping someone else is basically a selfish act. When everyone is better off it is better for us all.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 4:24:48 PM
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Wanderer -

But how many people, nowadays, really have this mindset? What I mean is, is it the norm or is it just a sub-section?

When Foundit first introduced this way of being I was shocked rigid: because I'd NEVER come across it before. I've lived in American expat. communities; shared houses with, worked with, and become close to, hundreds of Americans over the years and in countries all over the world...and I've never, ever, met Americans who thought that way.

So I had always thought that the world as Foundit sees it is a description only of how a certain demographic views things?

Or is it that the Americans who travel and work outside their country are members of a minority demographic that has what the rest of the country (at home) think are 'socialistic' tendencies?

And what about the George Carlins and Michael Moores...well the hundreds of comedians and satirists and social commentators whom we consider to be spokespersons for the average American, as we consider our own comedians and satirists and social commentators to be? Are they, rather, considered subversive according to the 'average Joe'?

The completely opposite polarity of these two attitudes is not what surprises me: it's knowing which attitude prevails enough to be considered the national mindset?

Wanderer
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 5:55:03 PM

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Hi Hope, I can't speak for the whole country but, so far these are the people who vote. I can't explain why they are so callous but, if they are white, educated and well paid this is it. Foundit is pretty much run of the mill around here. I think it is a racism thing that unions haven't pushed for universal health care. As an example, in 1917 East St. Louis (not far from Ferguson where Michael Brown was shot) had a terrible union led race riot when factories begin hiring black men from the south cheaper than union men. So, fearing for their own jobs they tried to forcefully deter the black workers. The factory owners were happy with hurting the unions and paying the black man less than a white union worker. Most white Americans prefer not to know history so they can happily say it doesn't exist. And now maybe you will see how brave you have to be to stand up to this BS and still be funny.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 6:28:39 PM

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Romany,

A personal perspective:

What you and Wanderer are failing to include in your thinking is how the American mind-set was formed. You probably know this already, having studied history, but Americans built this society as a way to escape the group-think that was Europe in the 17th and 18th century – in particular, the religious intolerance that was being practiced at the time. The original purpose of the migration to this continent was to be able to practice religious freedom.

Out of the effort to construct a new and unique society on the continent, grew a fierce sense of individual freedom and independence. The founders wanted to create a society and government that was to be of, by, and for the people, not ruled from the top down as had been the case throughout prior history.

As the society grew and increased, vast amounts of money were being made by individuals, and financial empires blossomed. Along with that came the concomitant corruption that always follows money and power. Powerful business interests and Government combined in ways that didn’t always have the citizens’ best interest in mind. The Unions formed in the early 20th century were a counter-balance to that power. But as usually happens whenever power becomes concentrated, the Unions also soon became corrupted. This was the influence of Organized Crime which became known as the Mafia here in the U.S. in the 1920’s and 30’s.

During these early years of the 20th century, the Socialist Movement attempted to establish itself among the citizens, but by that time, Socialism was viewed askance because of two reasons: one was the methods used by Stalin in Russia, and the second was because Socialism represented the very group-think that this nation was created to avoid.

The emphasis here has always been on individual achievement, and individual freedom to decide for oneself. That did not mean the less fortunate were to be ignored, but their help was to be provided for by churches and charity groups formed for that purpose, locally. It was thought that local control would mean better efforts, and less in the way of cheating.

This has been the over-arching thought process for most all Americans throughout the last century. However, the Socialist Movement didn’t die out. They simply changed their name, but continued to work behind the scenes to continue to promote their ideas.

Today they call themselves Progressive Liberals, and they openly admit to admiring the type of Socialism practiced today in Europe and Scandinavia. This is the agenda of the Democratic Party of the U.S. today, and why the leader of the Democratic Party Caucus, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, when asked on two occasions what was the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist, could not articulate any difference, and never answered.

Because of the independent spirit of Americans throughout our history, Socialism has been condemned and criticized, using the Soviet Union as a prime example of why we would not want to establish it here.

But a kind of hybrid type of Socialism has been installed in Europe that the Democratic Party appears to want to establish here also. It is this that is vehemently opposed by many here, who want to retain the original sense of individuality and individual freedoms.

The Democrats of today (which are far different from those of just 60 years ago), have been very successful, however, in establishing much of their agenda, and it is this philosophy that George Carlin, Michael Moore, John Stewart, et al., represent. I think they do not represent the bulk of our citizens.

But a movement is now underway to block its progress. This is the heart of the current political battle that you see taking place, leading to political gridlock in our Congress. Unfortunately, the news media in the U.S. is not unbiased, so there is a definite slant to that side of the political spectrum.

Our forum here is populated primarily by folks who share that political ideology, and that is why tempers flare often between those people and the more traditional type of American thinkers. I believe you also share the ideas of that European model, but I don’t hold it against you…Whistle

Neither side is perfectly right or wrong, in my opinion. Both have some good ideas, but typically, when it comes to power, enough is never enough, and selfishness trumps the common good. Each side wants to have things their way and no other opinion, or idea, is tolerated.

Politics is said to be the art of compromise, but as power grows, selfishness defeats compromise. For this reason, we see power shift back and forth between the two poles of extreme thought – what are called Liberalism and Conservatism. Liberalism likes the hybrid Socialism practiced today in Europe, and Conservatism likes the traditional ideas of limited government, individual responsibility, and freedom from what they see as group-think.

I didn’t intend to write so much, but thought it might be instructive to some who may not have considered this point of view. It is entirely my interpretation of our history and politics, and my experience in it, so it’s worth what you paid for it…Dancing
Wanderer
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2015 10:15:47 PM

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Hi Foundit, That is such a thoughtful and well written piece it may take a bit to digest it. Of course, the early history of European colonist is one that you and I, Hope and the author of this topic all share in. I would like to assert that the first colony, Jamestown was established in the hopes of finding gold just as the first European explorers were searching for gold and other resources. The second colony was a Dutch colony that was mainly farmers in search of large acerages. Another reason was they were fed up with the constant wars in Europe. I will grant you that religious freedom was cherished by those who were tired of being under a king who demanded all his people have the same religion he did. And that's as far as I've gotten.

Also, I am interested in the term "group-think" which I think is a relatively modern term that describes a psychological phenomenon where people will try to maintain conformity unto the point of setting aside their own personal beliefs unquestionably. People rationalizing and stereotyping leads them to ignore or demonize out-group members

I don't think the people (at least this person) who consider themselves democratic-socislist identify with either Republicans or Democrats. I have voted for both parties at different times when I thought the person was the best (of the worst). I've voted for Ralph Nader but, not Ross Perott. When I voted for Obama was probably the first time I voted for the winning party. So, I feel like I am as much of a free-thinker as any of my ancestors. My ancester was in that second colony of Dutch in 1624 and the other was a native woman. So, my history is pretty convoluted. And I don't want to destroy capitalism. I mainly want big-business out of government.

I found something by Nick Hanuare that sums up my beliefs. "Rich people don't create jobs. Jobs are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop between customers and businesses. When the middle-class thrives, businesses grow and owners profit . . . Taxing the rich is the single shrewdest thing we can do for the middle-class, for the poor and the rich."
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 10:35:20 AM

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Wanderer,

You have the definition of "group-think" locked in very well, it seems. It is similar to George Orwell's "New Speak" from his book, 1984, which includes "double-speak" and "double-think".

To quote from Wikipedia on this topic:

"George Orwell created the word doublethink in his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949); doublethink is part of newspeak. In the novel, its origin within the typical citizen is unclear; while it could be partly a product of Big Brother's formal brainwashing programmes,[2] the novel explicitly shows people learning Doublethink and newspeak due to peer pressure and a desire to "fit in", or gain status within the Party — to be seen as a loyal Party Member. In the novel, for someone to even recognize – let alone mention – any contradiction within the context of the Party line was akin to blasphemy, and could subject that someone to possible disciplinary action and to the instant social disapproval of fellow Party Members."

This latter part was on display just yesterday in the news, in fact. Scientists who believe in Climate Change sent a letter to the President asking him to bring the force of the government down on anyone who disagrees with Climate Change. Scientific debate is what advances science, but here we see those infected with "group-think" willing to shut down debate if it does not agree with their thinking.

I find it interesting to see those who so often demand the freedom to speak openly on any subject so willing to shut down anyone else who might have a different opinion. Fascinating.

I do question the quote in your last paragraph, however:

"Rich people don't create jobs. Jobs are a consequence of an ecosystemic feedback loop between customers and businesses. When the middle-class thrives, businesses grow and owners profit . . . Taxing the rich is the single shrewdest thing we can do for the middle-class, for the poor and the rich."

Do poor people create jobs?...Think I can't recall ever hearing of any poor person who did so. And jobs as a consequence of the feedback loop between customers and businesses? That contradicts the initial proposition. It is the money the customers pay the business that makes the business owner rich, so he/she can expand the business, thus creating jobs.

And how did the business get started in the first place? With the exception of a specialized skill set, most all businesses need investment capital - which makes them "rich" in comparison to those who don't have that much money. That term, "rich" needs defining. It is too loosely thrown about and has lost any real meaning. Are folks who get a $50,000 loan to start a business "rich"? How about $100,000, or $1,000,000?

Without businesses, the only job any person has is the one he or she can perform as an individual. That doesn't lead to a very productive society.

Taxing the rich is fine, but not to the point of destroying the very thing we need to have a productive and advancing society. As with everything, there must be a balance. Great wealth on one end and poverty on the other is no good, but great poverty and no wealth is no good either. Both will always exist. The key is to keep them in some kind of balance for everyone to have a chance of success.
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:08:31 AM

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Good morning Foundit, I am still waking up but, was glad to see your post. I didn't say that poor people (the old, the disabled, children) created jobs. That is ridiculous to think. I said "Jobs are a consequence . . . When the middle-class thrives. . ." You said how charity should help the poor but, if they have scant supplies how can they help anyone else?

Maybe, we can get back to psychological discussions and just who are the ones (it's the Republicans) who are willing to destroy the government and themselves for beliefs held by just a few for fear they we will become the outside group in this gerrymandered House of Representatives with their group-think.
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:18:40 AM

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Foundit, as you say, this country was founded on the belief of a government for the PEOPLE. Let us stop here a moment. Democratic Socialist believe that VERY thing and hold it as dear. A business or corporation is not a person. It doesn't have the right to exist without the will of the people.
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:26:11 AM

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I believe this government should be FOR THE PEOPLE. I don't believe the government should declare a war on the people. This is a democratic socialist view. I don't believe anyone but the people should benefit from the healthcare system. Not insurance companies and hospitals that have caused the US to have the highest health care cost in the world and some of the worst results.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:30:20 AM
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Foundit -

Yes, of course I've heard the version of early American history that you present. But I've also maintained that one CAN'T approach history in a vacuum. We've discussed it a few times over the years - I've provided many objective historical accounts of that era; and in the recent thread about the nation-wide (USA) revision of the way American history is taught, I provided American-written links to to the reality of early colonial America and its history: the history that the rest of the world learns but which the current school-curricula in the USA doesn't include.THAT'S why there is a huge conversation going on amongst educators everywhere. Have you never followed any of them, or done independant historical research?

Because that is always my first hurdle each time you have proffered the image of the Puritans as freedom-lovers "wanting to escape religious persecution" etc. etc. and THIS being the spirit which built the country.

Because early American history (though most Americans hate the idea!) is inseparable from English history. The first settlers WERE English and were trying to consolidate England's colonial interests. And Scotland's. (There was no UK back then). NOT freedom-fighters.

Then there were the Puritans.

Religious persecution died in England with the Tudors. The Stuarts had learned the grim lesson that religious persecution not only gave rise to wars...but also bled the economy.
The Stuarts were in power from 1601. The Puritans didn't go to America until 1620. NOT freedom fighters.

The Puritans were an extreme sect who eventually banned Christmas, singing, dancing, fun, theatre, freedom of expression, reading anything but the Bible, laughter, colour, and when Oliver Cromwell became The Lord Protector, completely trashed England and slaughtered the Irish. NOT anyone's idea of freedom-lovers

!Under the Puritan regime England went into a kind of Dark Age when Art, Science, Literature stultified.

But...back to 1620 - the Stuarts were still in power then and, although their lives weren't in danger, the Puritans were certainly not the most popular kids in town. It was hoped by the majority of the English that encouraging them to go first to Holland and then far away to the new colonies, would let everyone else get on with their own business.

So, right there, at the very beginning I find it difficult to accept your thesis. I can't see that the Puritan/Pilgrims really had anything to do with the a Constitution that was written over a century later - fueled by the intense and dizzying new ideas that were blossoming across England, Europe and The Continent. Nor with a mind-set that prevails to-day. The only legacy I see is the grip of religion which sets the modern USA apart from modern Uk and Europe?

And the "group-think that was Europe"? That I don't understand in the slightest. The 17th and 18th centuries were the coming-of-age years of our civilisation. They mark the flowering of free-thought, innovation, masterful ideals, modern language etc. The very reason I chose to specialise in that period: it's a fizz-bang age for humanity. It's the beginning of the Modern Era. It's the beginning of the Industrial Revolution which changes our worlds forever.

So, you see, I'm still no closer to understanding why modern American thinking as I come across it here on TFD, differs so much to the way other first-world countries think.

(And as for the "socialist" bit? I put that in as a joke. THAT is the most un-understandable bit of all. And while that's mentioned here often...if you were to try to tell the average Brit, French, Swiss etc. etc. that they were "Socialists" you'd either get your block knocked off, or be greeted with a blank look of astonishment and dropped jaws...depending on the politics, education and ideals of the people you were speaking to!!)

Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:36:01 AM

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You speak of the differences between the GOP and the Democrats but, in my lifetime I can not see how either party has been a party of the PEOPLE. When The Affordable Healthcare Act was being passed the Democrats so weakly supported it (out of fear of the gerrymandered electorate) that it was never properly debated and honed into a tool for the PEOPLE. So, I say again the Democrats are not my savior. If we can use them to get out there for the PEOPLE well, good. I don't want to destroy capitalism, free enterprise or any of that (or take away your gun). I just want it to benefit the nation not the 1% if the world.
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 11:52:56 AM

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Foundit, you sure glaze over a lot if history. You speak of people making vast sums of money. Lets speak of how they had slaves, they committed genocide, etc. That was just the beginning of their rapacious appetites. And now you want me to believe pouring coal, ash and co2 into the air, water and soil is good for me? I believe the reason nay sayers of climate change must be shut down is because the stakes are too high, the damage to great to spend in semantics. Real, urgent work must begin.

And I know, I live in Texas, so, I've heard every argument you have and it is too stupid to continue arguing and I will tell you why. The news outlets last month, September, reported that Shell would not be renewing any of Arctic oil leases because the global warming was making arctic oil drilling too dangerous. But, (and this is what THEY said) not too worry they have had time to prepare for this as their own (Shell) scientist had predicted global warming as early as 1979. So just Shhh Silenced It is a self evident phenomenon.
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 1:04:08 PM

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One more about how scientist want the president to shut down the debate on Climate Change. Let me see, it reminds me when in 1995 or so, congress FORBADE the CDC from doing investigations on how Climate Change was affecting health. The various agencies that would have reported on it were FORBIDDEN from using the term Climate Change in any if their reports. I know this because guess who sponsored those laws - Yes! Texas representatives (who receive most all their funding from oil, substitute Koch here if you want).
Wanderer
Posted: Sunday, October 18, 2015 3:07:06 PM

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I know more than just Foundit (and maybe not him. Like he said I dont know him and suspect he's decent) hold these views. I wish we could continue the debate. Romany, as I seem to do often) forgot to mention that American history begins with Britain, Scotland and Ireland, Spain, France, (brought us log cabins, thank you) Chinese, Africa and the whole world. I guess that's makes us so, American? But, this country isn't as it was then. And the world is not the same. And if we don't get down to the business of the people (you remember us!) all that promise will be gone.
Hope123
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2015 1:48:22 PM

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Hi Ni Un.

I had an aunt who liked to 'play the martyr' bit as we used to call it. She was not really bad about it, but we used to laugh about how it was always she who had suffered. At our first Christmas dinner when we were newlyweds, my husband kidded her about it. She thought from then on that he was just great, they kidded each other, and got along just fine for many years. And she became more aware of how she came across to people.

However, there are people who have that personality where they have the mindset that they are victims and blame everyone and everything else for their problems. It is a personality problem from experiences as a child or learned from a parent. It is called the 'victim personality' and to have a 'victim mindset'. It is found in all socioeconomic classes and is not the exclusive property of the rich. And it is very hard to deal with these people or to change their mindset. The thought just crossed my mind that it is almost like mild paranoia.

So that would be why well adjusted people avoid being seen as having that mindset. Mature people try to take responsibility for their own actions, although it seems to be a growing phenomenon to sue somebody when it was your own fault - i.e. sue the bartender when it was you who drank and drove and so on.

Here are some websites about people with the 'victim' mentality'.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_mentality

https://healthpsychologyconsultancy.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/the-victim-personality/

This second link has lists of characteristics and even has a set of questions to ask yourself if you are guilty of 'playing the victim'. Think

http://www.2knowmyself.com/how_to_deal_with_people_who_play_the_victim

I am not sure exactly what you are trying to say or what the point is of the thread, but because of the title and especially the first paragraph, it makes me think that somehow you are blaming the rich? Correct?

Unions are good to protect the worker and were very important with the conditions of years ago and can still be useful today. But there needs to be a balance between workers and management/owners. A company invests its money with the idea of making of a profit. Without that investment, there would be no business and therefore no jobs. So workers who decide to strike should know the actual situation before putting a company out of business with their demands. The problem is compounded when the 'business' is the government and unions see the coffers as overflowing when it is in actuality the money of others and not a bottomless pit.

As for your last couple of statements - the poor just have no money, they are not evil. There are both good and bad. Debtor's prisons went out years ago in my culture. I have no idea about elsewhere but assume it is the same. As for the rich being good like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark - well they are fictional characters. There are poor fictional heroes too and real life heroes come from all socioeconomic classes, just as there are good and bad rich people.

Generalizations and stereotypes don't work in the situations where you classify all people because of a certain characteristic. As iThink says, he doesn't like labels for people.




FounDit
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2015 3:06:26 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
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Wow. Where to start. And do I even want to start? I’m left scratching my head over how, what seems to me plainly written, is so misunderstood, misconstrued, and misstated.

Well, let’s start at the beginning. I attempted to cover about 400 hundred years in just a few paragraphs. Must I explain every single detail?

Did I not say that “the original purpose of the migration to this continent was to be able to practice religious freedom”? Why, yes. There it is in the first paragraph. Does it matter if the Puritan’s were religious whacko-s? No, because THEIR stated purpose for leaving England was to be able to practice religion as THEY saw fit. It doesn’t matter what those in England thought of them. This was how they saw themselves.

I then jumped forward in time to the founders and their vision for the kind of government they wanted to create.

Romany wrote:
I can't see that the Puritan/Pilgrims really had anything to do with the a Constitution that was written over a century later (sic).


Odd, I don’t see anywhere in what I wrote, any reference to the Pilgrims writing our Constitution. I was trying to establish a theme, one of breaking away from the top-down form of governing that had been the style practiced for millennia, and how this evolving creation of a new nation created in the minds of the following generations, a fierce sense of independence and freedom. Did I not state that? Why, yes, there it is in blue and white in the second paragraph.

I then jumped in time to the early 1900’s when the Socialist Movement was attempting to establish itself in the U.S. I went on to point out that it was rejected because of the practices of Stalin, in particular, and because it represented the group-think I wanted to talk about. I went on to say that Socialism was condemned in the minds of Americans because of what Stalin and his Russia represented. Did I not state that clearly? I thought so. Why, yes, there it is in the fourth paragraph.

I then jumped to today when I stated that modern Democrats embrace the kind of hybrid Socialism practiced in Europe. Is there a type of Socialism practiced in Europe? Well, if you type in European Socialism in a search engine, you will find all kinds of links that describe it from glowing terms to derogatory terms, so it seems to me that it must exist. Added to that are the statements from Democrats themselves on their social agendas, and a parallel can be drawn.

We also have Bernie Sanders, who declares himself a Socialist, running for President. Now, since there remains a tarnished image of Socialism in the minds of many Americans, this philosophy will be rejected outright. Does it matter that it is now called “Democratic Socialism”? No, because it still carries that taint for Conservatives, and they will reject it. Is that fair? Probably not, but I’m not judging it, I’m explaining the mind-set of a great many people here.

But beyond all that, did I not say that this was my personal perspective? Why, yes, I did. It’s right there in the first line. Did I not say this was my interpretation of our history and politics? Why, yes, I did. It’s right there in the last line. Am I not an American? Why, yes, I am, so it seems only reasonable that I would have an American perspective.

So must I conclude that, somehow, I’m not permitted to have a perspective or opinion that differs from those of our British/European members, and that the perspective of Americans is just plain wrong, because we don’t see our history in the same way you do?

It becomes wearying to have to explain myself repeatedly. Is my thinking too lofty, my writing too abstruse? Surely not. Everyone here seems finely educated, so why is it so difficult to understand what I plainly write?

You may take that as an insult, and no doubt some will, but I am genuinely in the dark as to why everyone has such difficulty understanding what I write.

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that there arises in folks who read my posts, such an intense desire to find some fault, that they graft onto my words, meanings I never intended, just for the purpose of taking me to task for something. But, of course, I know better than that. So I’ll have to wait for someone to explain it to me. I’m dense that way.

FounDit
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2015 3:06:27 PM

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Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,469
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Wow. Where to start. And do I even want to start? I’m left scratching my head over how, what seems to me plainly written, is so misunderstood, misconstrued, and misstated.

Well, let’s start at the beginning. I attempted to cover about 400 hundred years in just a few paragraphs. Must I explain every single detail?

Did I not say that “the original purpose of the migration to this continent was to be able to practice religious freedom”? Why, yes. There it is in the first paragraph. Does it matter if the Puritan’s were religious whacko-s? No, because THEIR stated purpose for leaving England was to be able to practice religion as THEY saw fit. It doesn’t matter what those in England thought of them. This was how they saw themselves.

I then jumped forward in time to the founders and their vision for the kind of government they wanted to create.

Romany wrote:
I can't see that the Puritan/Pilgrims really had anything to do with the a Constitution that was written over a century later (sic).


Odd, I don’t see anywhere in what I wrote, any reference to the Pilgrims writing our Constitution. I was trying to establish a theme, one of breaking away from the top-down form of governing that had been the style practiced for millennia, and how this evolving creation of a new nation created in the minds of the following generations, a fierce sense of independence and freedom. Did I not state that? Why, yes, there it is in blue and white in the second paragraph.

I then jumped in time to the early 1900’s when the Socialist Movement was attempting to establish itself in the U.S. I went on to point out that it was rejected because of the practices of Stalin, in particular, and because it represented the group-think I wanted to talk about. I went on to say that Socialism was condemned in the minds of Americans because of what Stalin and his Russia represented. Did I not state that clearly? I thought so. Why, yes, there it is in the fourth paragraph.

I then jumped to today when I stated that modern Democrats embrace the kind of hybrid Socialism practiced in Europe. Is there a type of Socialism practiced in Europe? Well, if you type in European Socialism in a search engine, you will find all kinds of links that describe it from glowing terms to derogatory terms, so it seems to me that it must exist. Added to that are the statements from Democrats themselves on their social agendas, and a parallel can be drawn.

We also have Bernie Sanders, who declares himself a Socialist, running for President. Now, since there remains a tarnished image of Socialism in the minds of many Americans, this philosophy will be rejected outright. Does it matter that it is now called “Democratic Socialism”? No, because it still carries that taint for Conservatives, and they will reject it. Is that fair? Probably not, but I’m not judging it, I’m explaining the mind-set of a great many people here.

But beyond all that, did I not say that this was my personal perspective? Why, yes, I did. It’s right there in the first line. Did I not say this was my interpretation of our history and politics? Why, yes, I did. It’s right there in the last line. Am I not an American? Why, yes, I am, so it seems only reasonable that I would have an American perspective.

So must I conclude that, somehow, I’m not permitted to have a perspective or opinion that differs from those of our British/European members, and that the perspective of Americans is just plain wrong, because we don’t see our history in the same way you do?

It becomes wearying to have to explain myself repeatedly. Is my thinking too lofty, my writing too abstruse? Surely not. Everyone here seems finely educated, so why is it so difficult to understand what I plainly write?

You may take that as an insult, and no doubt some will, but I am genuinely in the dark as to why everyone has such difficulty understanding what I write.

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that there arises in folks who read my posts, such an intense desire to find some fault, that they graft onto my words, meanings I never intended, just for the purpose of taking me to task for something. But, of course, I know better than that. So I’ll have to wait for someone to explain it to me. I’m dense that way.

Hope123
Posted: Monday, October 19, 2015 9:48:15 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Your point about the Pilgrims feeling like victims whether they were or not fits in with the OP quite nicely, FD. BTW, the questions I am asking are meant to further the conversation and to get explanation as to concepts, not to criticize anyone.

I am thinking there must be other factors besides the desire to set up a new country free and independent from religious persecution. Both what is now Canada and the US had these pilgrims and Puritans settle in their country. We still have many religions including the Amish and Mennonites. Both countries had stalwart courageous settlers opening the Wild West. Yet we produced different cultures. Settlers who later became Canadians actually fought to be independent from what became the US. One group that would have made differences in thinking would have been the United Empire Loyalists in Canada.

I was checking to see when our religious pilgrims first came if it was the same time as in the US and it was not - the first of ours came from the US as refugees - but I found this link. I had no idea we had received so many different refugees over the years.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/games/teachers-corner/refugee/refuge.asp


Canadians believe in individualism, have confidence that we ARE free and independent, and we take it for granted. We don't feel we have to protect ourselves from government or from each other for the most part. That is one difference I see between countries. (IMHO). Each group of settlers (who settled what became the US and what became Canada) was/is neither better nor worse than the other so I do not understand what factors made the differences. Do you have any further ideas?

I also don't understand your point - If the Pilgrims wanted freedom for workers from being 'bossed' from the top down, is that not what pure socialism is? Where the Workers have control? So why the phobia about Socialism?

We need Dragon's definitions once again so we are on the same page.

Canada may pay for healthcare for everyone out of taxes but she is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as her head of state. The Queen is really just a figurehead. We have capitalism with certain restraints. That is not socialism but anecdotally the Americans I have talked to seem to feel it is because of the healthcare. The rest of our socialistic government pensions and so on are set up in a similar way to the US. These were brought in instead of the charities being the only source of help for people.

Although they were called United Soviet Socialist Republic, I thought Russia was really a communist country. (I have forgotten any world history that I was taught so many years ago. it has probably all changed by now anyhow. lol)

Quote FounDit - " ...and the second was because Socialism represented the very group-think that this nation was created to avoid." How so? I don't know anything about British history but was there really Socialism in England before the Pilgrims left? (Romany?) In other words, how did Socialism come to represent the negative group-think? What am I missing?

You mention the Liberal/Democratic Party is not the same as years ago. Is it not true that the same is true of the Conservative/Republican party too? As in Tea Partiers?

We stopped voting Progressive Conservative here in Canada when the party was taken over by Reformers and dropped the progressive part of their name. They are more like your Tea Partiers.

We'll see where we stand shortly. A lot of Canadians have not been happy with the paths our current government has been taking us on for ten years. Our Polls closed a minute ago at 9:30 p.m. - on a very tight race. (Well, out west the polls are still open.)




Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 1:27:02 AM

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Actually, they did something different this year. Because of the internet they can't black out results until the west votes. So this election the polls in BC went from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m, while those in Ontario went from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

It is a Red Tide! I am posting a new thread.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 11:42:07 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,469
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Hope123 wrote:
Your point about the Pilgrims feeling like victims whether they were or not fits in with the OP quite nicely, FD. BTW, the questions I am asking are meant to further the conversation and to get explanation as to concepts, not to criticize anyone.

I am thinking there must be other factors besides the desire to set up a new country free and independent from religious persecution.
You are right, of course. I've no doubt there were as many factors as there was people to choose them. Some probably wanted land to call their own, some wanted adventure, some riches, some escape from punishment for crimes real or not, and the list goes on.

Both what is now Canada and the US had these pilgrims and Puritans settle in their country. We still have many religions including the Amish and Mennonites. Both countries had stalwart courageous settlers opening the Wild West. Yet we produced different cultures. Settlers who later became Canadians actually fought to be independent from what became the US. One group that would have made differences in thinking would have been the United Empire Loyalists in Canada.
One factor that likely had a powerful effect on separating our two countries was the clash between the British and the French in the French-Indian War, as it is called here. I only vaguely remember that part of history, so had to go to a search engine for some details. You can read one entry here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_and_Indian_War

There is a map showing that the French were primarily in the North, while the British were the colonies of our modern day state locations.

There was, of course, any number of peoples who wanted to control this vast new land, including the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch, just to name some of the major players.

I was checking to see when our religious pilgrims first came if it was the same time as in the US and it was not - the first of ours came from the US as refugees - but I found this link. I had no idea we had received so many different refugees over the years.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/games/teachers-corner/refugee/refuge.asp

Canadians believe in individualism, have confidence that we ARE free and independent, and we take it for granted. We don't feel we have to protect ourselves from government or from each other for the most part. That is one difference I see between countries. (IMHO). Each group of settlers (who settled what became the US and what became Canada) was/is neither better nor worse than the other so I do not understand what factors made the differences. Do you have any further ideas?
It's just a guess on my part, but I think there are a couple of reasons for the differences between our two people's and their attitudes. One lies in the number of Native populations here as opposed to Canada.

Canadians didn't have to battle their way across the whole of the country to the Pacific through as many tribes as did those who lived in the lower part of the continent.

It could also be that the terrain played a large part also, but again, that is just a guess.

Another factor was probably the amount of wealth that was being generated. Britain placed taxes on the colonies that the French didn't put on theirs in the North. It was that continuing irritation that led to the Colonies rebellion.

I also don't understand your point - If the Pilgrims wanted freedom for workers from being 'bossed' from the top down, is that not what pure socialism is? Where the Workers have control? So why the phobia about Socialism?
Because under Socialism, the workers really have no control, at least not until they finally rise up against the system. Did the people of Russia get to decide how their country was run under Stalin? How about Cuba, or Venezuela?

Socialism in theory is probably the best system, but is one of the worst in actual practice. This is because of selfishness, as I have said many times before.

A brief aside: I've stated before that I believe humans always are in a balancing act between selfishness and co-operation, because both are necessary for our individual survival. Alone, we perish easily, but in mutual co-operation, we rise to the top of the food chain. Yet selfishness is always with us, and wealth and power cause it to be magnified. Whether it be kings/queens, tyrants, dictators, politburos, or congresses, power always corrupts. We know this, and it was because of this knowledge that our govenment was designed to limit power. Socialism concentrates power in the hands of bureaucracies who wield it in a top down manner.

We here in the States, have always been suspicious of government power, at least up until the last century. But now, we have politicians running for the Presidency who are promising government largess for nearly everything a person could want. This is the opposite of what our nation has always been about. And this is the struggle that is taking place now between the two groups seeking the power to rule.

We need Dragon's definitions once again so we are on the same page.

Canada may pay for healthcare for everyone out of taxes but she is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as her head of state. The Queen is really just a figurehead. We have capitalism with certain restraints. That is not socialism but anecdotally the Americans I have talked to seem to feel it is because of the healthcare. The rest of our socialistic government pensions and so on are set up in a similar way to the US. These were brought in instead of the charities being the only source of help for people.

Although they were called United Soviet Socialist Republic, I thought Russia was really a communist country. (I have forgotten any world history that I was taught so many years ago. it has probably all changed by now anyhow. lol)
The U.S.S.R. was a communist country, but Communism is often seen as just the next step up from Socialism, and the ultimate end once power is given over.

Right from the beginning, during the Constitutional Conventions, the founders argued over just how much power the Federal Government was, or should, have. This argument is contained in the Federalists Papers, which we printed for the populace to read in the newspapers. Most of our people today could not read them, and I admit they are a difficult read until you get used to the language they used at that time.

Quote FounDit - " ...and the second was because Socialism represented the very group-think that this nation was created to avoid." How so? I don't know anything about British history but was there really Socialism in England before the Pilgrims left? (Romany?) In other words, how did Socialism come to represent the negative group-think? What am I missing?
I wrote that as the off-shoot of Stalin's Russia, not British history. Remember, I was talking about folks in the early 1900's. All I have written above should help clarify what I was talking about.

You mention the Liberal/Democratic Party is not the same as years ago. Is it not true that the same is true of the Conservative/Republican party too? As in Tea Partiers?
Yes, that is true. Both parties have changed over the years, often swapping positions, depending on how advantageous the swap seemed to be in order to gain power.

This is my personal opinion:

Each group in our two political camps consist of several sub-groups. About 20% are the "crusaders", or extremists. About 20% are political junkies who love political drama, and the remaining 60% are people who couldn't care less, don't really pay much attention, and are just trying to live their lives with as little trouble as possible, but who look up occasionally and think most politicians are idiots from what they see on TV.

The crusaders are always trying to pull the society to their side of the political spectrum, but it is a slow process, and takes years. Eventually, they gain some success, and the society moves to either the political Left, or the Right. However, every political movement is undone by its own excesses, as I've said before. We have now reached that point of excess for the political Left, IMO, and the 60% have looked up, and think we're heading down the wrong path (that is reflected in the polls).

The crusaders on the Right are emboldened. These are the Tea Party types. They will seize on any opportunity to make the Democrats look bad, and the Democrats will do the same. The single goal is to persuade that 60% to vote as they desire.

This situation is why I said to Epiphileon that I believe this next election will be between Socialism and Capitalism. Hillary, Biden, and Sanders represent the Socialist component, and Trump, Carson, Fiorina, and Rubio, represent the Capitalist side.
Cruz and his fellow group of 40 representatives are Tea Party crusaders. The rest are just politicians representing the same old, same old we've had for the last 50 years or so.

Well, again, I didn't intend to write so much, but did it anyway.

We stopped voting Progressive Conservative here in Canada when the party was taken over by Reformers and dropped the progressive part of their name. They are more like your Tea Partiers.

We'll see where we stand shortly. A lot of Canadians have not been happy with the paths our current government has been taking us on for ten years. Our Polls closed a minute ago at 9:30 p.m. - on a very tight race. (Well, out west the polls are still open.)




Hope123
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 12:12:19 PM

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FD, thanks for your thoughtful response. I didn't know you had a different name for the Seven Years' War, as we called it. Also, I couldn't believe we had fewer Indians to fight going west, although I guess we did ally with them in the War of 1812. I forget most of the history that was pounded into me years ago so I tried to find numbers on Native Americans online in the 1600s.

All I could find was this map. It doesn't really tell me much except where they lived. It doesn't tell about our relationships with them. I hope our present relationship with them improves now. It is pitiful the conditions some of them live in in Canada without even decent water. I think I would call Native Americans the true victims of the colonization of North America.

http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3301e.ct000669/

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 10:08:25 AM
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Hey, FD.,

I didn't respond straight away as I could see you were very upset, and thought it better to give you a little space. I'm sorry that it was I who caused you distress - although we disagree on many things, I had always thought that our posts were part of a debate: not on a personal level. That's how I was treating the discussion. You had given a (personal) view and I was trying to make the point that your thesis was one on which I stumbled on the very first point. I couldn't go on to discuss the rest of it until that point had been discussed.

viz: you have often said that the American passion for freedom etc. originated from the earliest settlers, The Puritans. I have, over the years, posted links to show why, historically, I don't think that idea works. But as you made no reference to this, I thought you had a) forgotten or b) hadn't accessed the links. Therefore...in response to your:

"Did I not say that “the original purpose of the migration to this continent was to be able to practice religious freedom”? Why, yes. There it is in the first paragraph." ...well exactly. Yes, you said that. Yes I read it, and yes, I was exploring that concept. I was addressing exactly that proposition.

I then tried to explain how our two different interpretations perhaps came about: the way we study the history of America. OUR view is taken in relation to what was going on in the rest of the world - the historical basis of the time. While yours starts with the Puritans landing in America - without the same back-story that we situate the Puritans in.
The above quote of yours, however, was preceded by "... the religious intolerance that was being practiced at the time. " so I went back to the historical underpinnings - religious persecution had stopped with the death of Queen Elizabeth (the last of the Tudors) and though James I was a pretty queer fish, he understood how the nation was sick and tired of the burnings and beheadings and all that malarky the Tudors took part in, and that he wouldn't remain on the throne very long if he kept it up.

That's why, as I said, I couldn't get past your (personal, I know - but then I was replying personally to you) view that FROM THE VERY FIRST - starting with the Puritans. I simply don't see that American society had built on the Puritans to achieve the "fierce independence" of the American mindset.

So perhaps I misunderstood the next bit? I had thought you were giving a linear account - however truncated - of the development of that mindset. So your jump to 'the founders' building on the existing mind-set DID confuse me. You'd only mentioned the puritans as settlers, and as I didn't see THEM as possessing this quality, I couldn't link to the founders building on it. (If you get that rather jumbled thought!)

So, to further MY personal opinion, I once again put events in America in the context of world history: from my viewpoint by 1787 the whole world was in a foment of freedom and new ideas. It was more than a century since the English had cut off a monarch's head to express the fact that Parliament (the people) made policy and that the King was NOT on a special mandate from God to rule autocratically. While in France the French Revolution was starting as the French also made it clear that they were chucking the whole idea of autocracy also. (And the first fleet landed in Australia).

Thus, I see the founding 'fathers' as part of a movement that was in place all over Europe and England: they were building on the ideas of the world's greatest philosophers and thinkers which made this period so exiting and resulted in change and innovation everywhere. The French call for Liberty, Fraternity and Equality echoed the mindset of the people of Europe and England...and the founding fathers - in my view - built upon that.

So, as I said, you positioned these two tropes (Puritans, founding fathers) as the beginning of the "American" love of liberty and egalitarianism...in your personal opinion. My personal opinion is that, AT THAT TIME, there was nothing uniquely American about them. Thus, I couldn't accept them as part of an explanation for that unique mind-set we were discussing.

I fell at the first hurdle and was explaining exactly why I did.

I would be much more inclined to position the beginnings of an American mind-set at the time of the westward expansion - with pioneers and gunslingers, and the Indian wars.

Indeed, in both South Africa and Australia it was the explorers and pioneers who shaped what was to become their national identity; each group battling with strange environments, isolation, and far from the centres of justice - so that they had to formulate their own. I would have expected that to have been the start of it all.

So, once again, I do apologise for having made you angry - but it wasn't that I was misunderstanding what you had written, or that I was 'finding fault', or that your writing skills and ideas were too "lofty". I was just disagreeing with what you'd said; and explaining why...as has often happened in our discussions over the years.

We've never come to (virtual) blows over our different ways of thinking - I sincerely hope I haven't started any unpleasantness.

All the best,
Rom.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 4:45:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Anxious

Interesting.

I feel that one pair of paragraphs will explain a lot of the 'misunderstanding' going on here (and there is a lot of misunderstanding).

Hope wrote:
I also don't understand your point - If the Pilgrims wanted freedom for workers from being 'bossed' from the top down, is that not what pure socialism is? Where the Workers have control? So why the phobia about Socialism?

FounDit wrote:
Because under Socialism, the workers really have no control, at least not until they finally rise up against the system. Did the people of Russia get to decide how their country was run under Stalin? How about Cuba, or Venezuela?


Under Socialism, the people do rule the country.
Stalin was a dictator. Cuba is a dictatorship. I'm honestly uncertain about Venezuela, but I'd bet on it being a dictatorship or a fascism.

Some people use 'socialism' to mean a democratic free state governed by the people.
Some people use 'socialism' to mean a soviet-type dictatorship.
There will be no understanding of each other's arguments until some agreement on 'terms' is reached.

In the same way that Stalin sneaked his way from being the chosen leader in a true communism (which probably lasted at least ten minutes after the revolution), the owners of 'Big Oil', Big Pharma' and 'Big Munitions' have sneaked their way from being businessmen to the controllers of the USA (and more).

This thread was originally about the redefinition of words as propaganda - this is what we seem to be running into.
A socialism is a socialism = a theory of government based upon the ownership and control of capital, land, and means of production by the community as a whole.
If it degenerates into a dictatorship or an oligarchy, it is not a socialism.

A democracy is a democracy = Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
If elections have only one party to 'choose' from, or if there is no control by the people, it is not a democracy.

A 'democratic socialism' is a system in which the main means of production is owned by the people as a whole, and they control who is in charge of it.

(Personally, I don't like that. I prefer the idea of a system just slightly on the socialistic side of 'free trade'. Only the most vital pillars of the society - health, defence, and so on - controlled by law, everything else free-trade.)

***********************************
Hi FounDit! - a couple of points.

I agree with what you said about the people who start up businesses and create jobs.
They do have money, but they are not what I call 'The Rich' - mostly they are middle class, though not all the middle class have money.

It is not money which (for me) defines class - it is more their actions.

'The Rich' have money, they own things like conglomerations of businesses. They do not work, they 'earn' money by manipulating what they already own and control.

'The Middle Classes' own small or middle-sized businesses, or have professions (managers, doctors and so on), or start up new businesses. Some have plenty of money (the successful ones) and some don't. A few of them are downright poor. The best of them work very hard.

'The working Class' have a job (not a profession). They work for a wage (or they don't have a job, as the case may be).
Some of them have enough money, some are poor. Some are actually quite well-off, with two holidays abroad each year, two cars and so on.
edited to add: I realised, on reading this, that the 'cars' thing may not quite be real, as (at least from the view we get over here) everyone in the USA has a car, starting at age sixteen. Only those with enough money can afford to run one here, never mind two cars.

That quote about not 'hitting' the people who create jobs, but taxing the rich, makes sense in that case. Leave the middle classes alone to get on with pumping up the economy.

**********
One thing I don't get is your idea that 'freedom of religion' is part of the mind-set of the USA.
I have personally experienced the attitude in Florida, at least, to non-Christians. But it does not even seem to be 'freedom of which Christian religion' as some Christian religions do not seem to be accepted well, but Judaism and to some extent Buddhism seem OK.

*******
On 'charity' and 'welfare', I totally agree.
A Federal welfare scheme is going to be chaotic. State-run would be bad. County or 'parish' would work reasonably well, if organised correctly.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 5:03:40 PM

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Hey, Dragon. I knew we needed you to sort out the terms so we are talking about the same definitions. I fear that is a lot of why we have problems with the socialism ideas.

When I went to post about Canada, our ideals, and where exactly Canada stands re 'socialism', I saw your post that you posted while I wrote what started out to be a couple of paragraphs - that have predicatably morphed into several posts as I checked my facts online before posting. Whistle

I shall go ahead and post now. It shall take a bit for me digest what you wrote.
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 5:11:48 PM

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Ni Un, I am a long way from victims and the rich - but I think that has been answered, so hope you don't mind if I digress. It is how my brain works. ( when it does Whistle ) Part I

Romany and FD, that is exactly what I love about being on an international Forum - one gets to see points of view from all over the world. And it is especially great that you have a background in world history, Romany. I don't know how much background in history you have FD, but I know mine is severely lacking (I don't care either as I can always google ;) ) - and what little bit I did know, has been forgotten pretty much after I left school, unless I have traveled there or have read or have seen docudramas/fictional history stories. And then there are the few facts I will never forget Miss Hulet pounding into our heads - 'shot heard round the world at Sarajevo and 1066' - no connection of course. My one travel regret is that I will probably never get to Europe and the UK unless we win a lottery.

I prefer the future and nice new things - my brother loves antiques and history. Go figure. Well, at least we didn't fight over the antiques our parents had!

Romany, you come from a much older civilization. FD and I start our history from when settlers first arrived here. And they had to be pretty determined courageous people to go on those awful, vomit/urine smelling, rat-infested boats for months on end, without fresh food and water. As an aside, I just saw a nature show about how humans now live on every continent in the world, and how they set out in outriggers to conquer the oceans. Wow. No way would I be on any of those boats or outriggers or in a covered wagon setting out across hostile lands and mountains, facing snakes, animals, native peoples protecting their land, nasty other travelers, and sheer boredom and hard work.

And Canada and the United States' first ancestors did come from strong European and British backgrounds, so all three countries can pat ourselves on the back for genes of courage and strength. (No offence to other countries, of course.) On one side of my parents I can trace their ancestry from Lincoln, England, back many many years, and I have mentioned on here before that I probably having Viking blood (not sure if I am proud of that or not Whistle ) because of a trait I have called Dupytrens Contracture in both my hands. My other parent came from Marleybone, London in 1919 or thereabouts. (my orphan Dad I mentioned on another thread). One of my ancestors fought in the American Civil War and married an American, before coming back to Canada.

So yes, FD, you say Americans have a determined spirit to be free. I pointed out that Canadians also have this fiercely independent trait too. Right now it showed on Monday in our election in our desire to be friends with, but not join the United States completely in their policies - or as the 51st State. Although I have not heard the latter mentioned in recent years by either side. They wouldn't want us! :)

I also pointed out and you agreed, FD, that there were other reasons why Canadians and Americans chose slightly different paths to similar goals - types of government being one example. Perhaps, that is why our countries view socialists in a different light.

I am going to do a separate post about the New Democratic Party, the NDP, as we call them, as this post got too long. I always start out thinking it will be just a paragraph or two, and end up writing a mini novel.

One last point, I don't know why we chose to be so different with our gun laws from the US except that maybe don't have a powerful NRA. And we don't have a fear of our government. If we don't like them, we kick them out asap! Definitively and proudly as we did on Monday.

American, British, Canadian. We may differ in backgrounds and ideas, but we are all just people - like all the peoples around the world - just trying to keep upright and to put one foot in front of the other each day. :)

That's how I see it anyhow.




Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 5:17:46 PM

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Part II
Canada's government system -

We have a five party system right now, but the Greens and Bloc-Quebecois (Separatists) got hardly any seats on Monday. So it is the Liberal, Conservative, and New Democratic Party parties who will work together to form policies. The NDP party on the far left are the ones we can often thank for such policies as our universal healthcare. They started out as somewhat socialistic but are really now just trying to be for the working class, which is most of us. We are not afraid to elect them and some have formed provincial governments. I think they are in power in two provinces right now.

At the federal level they are always in opposition, usually in third place, and they encourage the other two parties to look after the 'little guy'. Union people usually vote NDP. The NDP are most effective with their policies when there is a minority government, when there is not one party with a majority. So they have to form coalitions, make conditions, and thus promote their agendas. The only reason we don't put them into power is that we can't afford everything we would like to have and that they want to give us - priorities have to be chosen.

Two of our beloved leaders came from the NDP - Tommy Douglas who had the idea and started us on our, also beloved, universal healthcare, and Jack Layton who died not too long ago. I did a thread about him when he died. He really tried to make a difference for people personally. They recognize their socialist beginnings but point out in their constitution that there are other influences too.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democratic_Party



"New Democrats are proud of our political and activist heritage, and our long record of visionary, practical, and successful governments. That heritage and that record have distinguished and inspired our party since the creation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in 1933 and the founding of the New Democratic Party in 1961. New Democrats seek a future that brings together the best of the insights and objectives of Canadians who, within the social democratic and democratic socialist traditions, have worked through farmer, labour, co-operative, feminist, human rights and environmental movements, and with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, to build a more just, equal, and sustainable Canada within a global community dedicated to the same goals.

— Constitution of the New Democratic Party of Canada, Effective April 2013"
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