The New Socialist

Member Demanded Area - Society For The Prevention Of Stupidity In The U.S. Political System

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Socialism bad or good

Good
8
26%
Bad
5
16%
The Worst
3
10%
The Way to Go
3
10%
Not The Way to Go
12
39%
 
Total votes : 31

Re: The New Socialist

Postby celtic1970 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:10 am

I'm glad a more socialist government is working out for Denmark. That's great. But I want to live in a capitalist, free-market society. And if America goes more socialist, I don't have anywhere to go. If you want to live in a more socialist society, you can move to Europe. Or North Korea. If I knew of a more capitalist country, I would move there.


It is truly interesting to read a debate consisting of (mostly) Americans discussing Socialism, something most of you have no clear idea of what really is. For instance - most European nations have large social-democratic parties running the show (the UK, France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Poland, Holland etc), but also several other nations like Japan, Australia and hey - look what's up north, Canada. I dare any one of you to travel to these nations, to take part in society and come back and tell me you are oppressed, that your opportunities are limited or that your social/economic/cultural potential is being held back or curtailed by the government. Unless of course you're crazy about hand-guns... most Europeans have a problem with that.

You might actually find that we are healthier, live longer, earn more, have a higher standard of living and no longer pine for the USA as we did 30, 40 or 50 years ago. Young Americans who settle in Europe for a period of time often find it difficult to go back. Many will tell you that having a safe environment for the kids are paramount, but there could be any number of reasons.

(All that said and done - Denmark is one of the most liberal and free democracies in the world. You'd be surprised, and the more puritan amongst you would be shocked...)

So what's the deal? A fairer re-distribution of wealth. It occurs to me that many Americans still believe that if you simply provide a few people with enormous fortunes, THEY will redistribute the wealth down through the system. If anything, the last few years will have tought you that greed is paramount and any opportunity, loophole or downright illegality is utilized in order to withhold money for no other reason than to swim around in it like some sort of perverted Unca Scrooge. So yes, "rich" folks in Europe are taxed a bit harder, yes, large corporations are taxed a bit harder (and in some cases, co-owned by the state in order to make sure no-one can run these companies into the ground a get away with a "whoops. sorry...") ..

And yes, we have a few more social systems in place in order to provide comfort and aid to those who need it, or the kids and myself should I get sick. Or loose my job. Or suffer a disease. You get the picture.

Funny thing is at the same time you'll find that we are just as capitalistic as you. In fact, often more so. Fortunes are made, money are spendt, people live well. Could it be that the whole notion of redistribution of wealth has something going for it? I am not saying we're perfect over here - far from it - but I will suggest that there are elements of the European model that you ought to consider.

It also occurs to me that some of you think socialism = oppressive governmental control. Big brother, all that stuff. True, Communist states did (and still do) practice that. It's a token part of being totalitarian, after all. That has, however, nothing to do with the kind of democratic society the social-democratic parties are a part of (and in many cases helped create!) in Europe. Further more, is all well in the US in this regard? Dozens of new laws, all created apparently to help keep you "safe" (was that not part of the various agencies' agenda prior to 2001?), but the reality is of course that you - me - all of us are under the lens - which of course has but of a shadow of anything to do with "safety".

Not saying socialist/social-democratic is better, but in my experience, having lived and enjoyed life on both sides of the ocean, there are important lessons to be learned in Europe that the US would find beneficial at this point in time.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby larry1617 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Socialism is the weird uncle of Democracy, People ultimately want money. Socialism gives and takes equally, to become the Capital of Capitalism then a Socialist Communion is impossible. America will never become the Socialist state some of us seek, the only way that would happen is if a Charismatic Leader such as Hitler would rise up. The thing that keeps Socialism back is the masses, it's the masses thinking, what if their going to take my money? People are greedy, Socialism is pure charity, impossible.
"So let us regard this as settled: what is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious." ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby celtic1970 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:23 pm

The thing that keeps Socialism back is the masses, it's the masses thinking, what if their going to take my money? People are greedy, Socialism is pure charity, impossible.


I think you'll find that *pure* socialism, much like pure libertarianism, is utopic by nature. However, practically applied, like you'll find in European social-democratic parties, is almost just as capitalistic as either one of the two great American parties - with a few extra bells and whistles. For instance, Great Britain has been ruled by the Labour Party for more than 10 years now... but England remains a *great* place to make money, with an enormous amount of old money, new millionaires - the works.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby larry1617 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:27 pm

The U.K is a Capitalistic Country in Moderation, it takes the best part of both system and uses them. Norway's Cousin, Sweden, is a better example in effect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Sweden
"So let us regard this as settled: what is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious." ~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby celtic1970 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:26 am

The U.K is a Capitalistic Country in Moderation, it takes the best part of both system and uses them. Norway's Cousin, Sweden, is a better example in effect.


I am sorry - not sure I understand what you mean? Are you suggesting that Sweden and Norway are NOT "moderately capitalistic"? Belive me, all the Scandinavian countries are very capitalistic - the point being that from time to time, the State is one of the major capitalistic players in order to maintain ownership of important businesses or resources. This is the case with almost ANY country in the world, and has nothing at all to do with socialism.

The UK isn't bad at applying "the best part of both", but they are FAR behind the Scandinavian countries in many ways, so much so that the difference is very noticable for anyone with a good knowledge of both the UK and Scandinavia.

Oh - btw - wikipedia is not a credible source of information. It's infotainment at best and downright wrong often.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby KenC » Tue May 19, 2009 9:33 am

I must protest the use of low crime rates as being an example of one of the benefits of European Socialism. Racial homogeneity, cultural norms, Scandinavian winters and other factors can contribute heavily to reducing crime. That said, I do think universal health care would actually reduce crime in the US, but that's just one small part of what many would call Socialism.

Why would universal health care reduce crime? Because criminal activity is often spawned from desperation. Reduce the amount of desperation in society, reduce the amount of crime. Psychologically speaking, if people aren't as worried about the lower levels of Mazlow's pyramid, it allows them to pursue higher levels - stuff like being a part of society, achieving ones potential, and all that hoo-ha. Highly potential inefficiencies aside, I think there's very good reason to think that it would improve things as far as crime is concerned.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Lafayette » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:37 am

I am new to the ideas, but I have 2 beliefs.
1. As soon as a community establishes real infrastructure and starts to grow exponentially, socialism in its pure form is no longer good for the society. Take Defiance. Even then, 1 guy started oppresing others until James Bond shot him. It is too easy to take control of.
2. If all people are given an equal starting line, say equal healthcare, security and education (at least up to 12th or 8th grade), then Socialism is good, but as soon as it starts getting into pay, what job you do, ect. it becomes repressive.
Before you all me an idiot, remember that I am new to the issue.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Lafayette » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:37 am

I am new to the ideas, but I have 2 beliefs.
1. As soon as a community establishes real infrastructure and starts to grow exponentially, socialism in its pure form is no longer good for the society. Take Defiance. Even then, 1 guy started oppresing others until James Bond shot him. It is too easy to take control of.
2. If all people are given an equal starting line, say equal healthcare, security and education (at least up to 12th or 8th grade), then Socialism is good, but as soon as it starts getting into pay, what job you do, ect. it becomes repressive.
Before you all me an idiot, remember that I am new to the issue.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Mr. Sluagh » Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:43 pm

BrianMc wrote:If I dint have any political asperations I would totally be a Socialist. I might anyway who knows. I think however, if America is ever going to have a viable Socialist party we will beed to er.... "rebrand" it. Tear it down and make it our own.

Loki


Nah, then it'll just get branded as an Evil Commie Plot to slip propaganda into American society. You've got to drop the spin right off the bat so people can't accuse you of subterfuge. Wear fur hats. Go around asking about nuclear wessels. I'm almost serious.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Lafayette » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:23 pm

We've got to beat, ummmmmm, India to Mars!!
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby theradicalcleric » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:04 pm

Try listening to Dan's shows from the point of view of a Marxist and a funny thing happens, Dan seems like a Socialist!..(play them backwards and he's a Satan worshiper!)

So I'm going to just come out here and ask the Man (lol), Dan are you a Socialist? (feel free to delete this if I'm revealing some hidden agenda you want to stay hidden!)

Oh and will you be running for president in 2012 under you new socialist democratically constructed platform?

And if not why not?

:)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 get caught up in the storm: http://www.reddit.com/r/reformstorm/
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Angry Puppy » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:46 pm

I think the ideal of socialism is great, history kinds of shows me that pure socialism leads to violent repression and corruption. but there are many examples of social democracies around the world, that work just fine. its all about balance, between the rights of the many and the individual. when you go the extreme on either side bad things happen.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby celtic1970 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:39 am

I must protest the use of low crime rates as being an example of one of the benefits of European Socialism. Racial homogeneity, cultural norms, Scandinavian winters and other factors can contribute heavily to reducing crime. That said, I do think universal health care would actually reduce crime in the US, but that's just one small part of what many would call Socialism.


OK, tell you what - loose the whole "socialism" notion, focus on the concept of Social Democracy. As far as crime goes, I don't see how you can use any of your suggestions as a viable explanation? When you say that "racial homgeneity" is a contributing factor, I truly have to say that this sounds racist to me. I am *not* calling you a racist, as I am sure you're not, but the IDEA that a culturally and racially homogenic socity is less criminally inclined than a heterogenic one, is a huge historical lie. IF being homogenic makes you somehow better, then please explain Nazi Germany.

As for your other points - how can "cultural norms" explain crime in the US?

Most crime is a result of poverty. (I am talking about streetlevel crime here, not the big bright corporate crime of corruption.)

Why would universal health care reduce crime? Because criminal activity is often spawned from desperation. Reduce the amount of desperation in society, reduce the amount of crime.


PRECISELY! So why is this so hard for so many Americans to get to grips with, as a concept! Why do you allow yourself to be drowned in urban decay, social misery, unemployment, corporate and political corruption and the reverse Robin Hood policies of an elite few?! In Europe, not even the most desperate circus would bother employing Glenn Beck as a clown, and people in the US still think he's relevant to your current problems?
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Madscout » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:59 pm

BrianMc wrote:If I dint have any political asperations I would totally be a Socialist. I might anyway who knows. I think however, if America is ever going to have a viable Socialist party we will beed to er.... "rebrand" it. Tear it down and make it our own.

Loki

Agreed.

I don't think that there has ever been a large scale socialistic state. The USSR certainly wasn't one. China isn't. These both were conceived as something else, and in practice were and are neither what they claimed to be, nor were or are socialist.

I think Canada would be the closest thing we have to socialism for a country with such land mass, and Canada is much like a moderately more liberal US with a less polarized (and more diverse (currently on both counts)) political party.

I think instead of thinking about a system, which I don't think we or anyone can change, we should think about initiatives. A single payer system would be such an initiative. A better social safety net would be another, as SS and public education are now.

I don't think capitalism is bad persay, it just has very predictable consequences that a certain segment of the US population turns a blind eye to, or shrugs off as completely individualistic problems. This must be shown not to be the majority case, as it has been again and again.

Lastly, we neglect the way that capitalism and socialism may work hand in hand. Europe has found a way to make this happen. They realize that individuals must control many if not all of their own economic decisions, yet they realize that government lifting the burden of certain things, such as health care, off of the backs of business payrolls is a better deal for businesses and for their people as a whole. No one benefits from people not having health care, and society as a whole benefits from having a healthier population because they have health care.
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Re: The New Socialist

Postby Aden » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:55 am

I think land ought to be socialized to some extent. By that, I mean people ought to have a right to a minimum amount of land tax free/rent free. Nobody should have to pay anybody to exist. I think maybe this should also apply to natural resources but I'm more easily swayed here. As for the rest, the market works best, IMO.
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