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Thread: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

  1. #1
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    Default Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Past time, really.

    She takes too much of a black&white approach, and blames 'capitalism' too much without fully understanding the dynamic... but she gets a lot of it right --

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...pinions&wpmm=1
    David G
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    The article never comes close to saying what she thinks socialism is. How she includes this
    "Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture"
    But that really says almost nothing about policy. Before you or her can say its past time/time to shift towards socialism, you need to define fairly precisely what you say. When conservatives call certain liberal policies "socialism", liberals cry foul and say that's not socialism. Yet liberals then advocate for something called "democratic socialism".
    Lets just simplify it and get down to brass tacks David. Please define a few policies that would fit under the socialist banner.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    The article never comes close to saying what she thinks socialism is. How she includes this
    "Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture"
    But that really says almost nothing about policy. Before you or her can say its past time/time to shift towards socialism, you need to define fairly precisely what you say. When conservatives call certain liberal policies "socialism", liberals cry foul and say that's not socialism. Yet liberals then advocate for something called "democratic socialism".
    Lets just simplify it and get down to brass tacks David. Please define a few policies that would fit under the socialist banner.
    You say you want to know what I define as socialism.

    But I have to wonder about the sincerity of your wondering. Because I have posted - many, many times - my thinking on the topic. If I had simply posted it once, I could easily imagine you missing it... or forgetting it. But I've posted it literally dozens of time. Enough so that people have teased me about the level of repetition.

    But on the assumption that you're honestly interested... and that the level of repetition has simply been insufficient for you... I'll post it again. I can't speak for the author, and she and I might disagree somewhat... but here's mine. It was first posted here in early 2008.

    If, after reading, you have further questions... fire away. We could explore the policy details relevant to today. I didn't mention socialized medicine, for instance. That would be a big one. --


    Originally Posted by IanMcColgin
    At its best, conservatism as shown by aline of American conservatives from George Washington through SenatorTaft embody the wonderous if boring virtue of rectitude.Unfortunatly, this is a tough virtue to maintain, quickly becomingthe judgemental hipocracy we see in the hateful talking heads who sodevalue meaning that they demonize the word "liberal" anddon't live up to any of the virtues found in the dictionarydefinition of conservative. They are not conservative in the positivesense but rather are only defenders of power and wealth.






    Mr. McColgin,

    I've come lateto this thread, but I have to say I think you have touched on thecore phenomenon. One of the long term patterns inherent in our systemof market capitalism (combined with democratic elections) is anongoing pendulum swing between the extremes of laissez-fairecapitalism on one hand, and Scandinavian-style "marketsocialism" on the other.

    Full disclosure: I'mnon-doctrinaire, but tend to lean toward the progressive side.However, my undergraduate work was in economics w/graduate work ineconomic history & economic development.

    Toelaborate: market capitalism is a very efficient system for fosteringinnovation, accumulating capital, and developing economies. Thispowerful engine is driven by a particular side of human nature: theceaseless dynamo of human need and human greed. Don't think I'mcondemning. I'm not. For the most part market capitalism does a greatjob of channeling this drive into productive avenues.

    However,it is also true that - left unchecked - market capitalism has somebuilt-in destructive tendencies. Historically, the continued accrualof more & more capital & power into fewer & fewer handshas led to an inefficient funtioning of the economy. More speculativebubbles. More oscillations. Eventual instability. One example is theGreat Depression. Hoover was an absolute True Believer in the notionthat "The business of America is business". He thought therich getting richer and the poor getting poorer was good for thecountry. He was not the only one. The process began before him. Hewas just the Final Fool before the fall in that particular episode ofthe drama.

    What followed the Great Depression was a rapidswing of the pendulum to the far end of the spectrum. Rooseveltinstituted Social Security; Unemployment Insurance; WPA programs; anda bevy of other programs which were the antithesis of Hoover'sapproach. Socialism, all of it. Don't think I'm condemning. Itworked, and it has a place in our society. We are a far more stableeconomy now - with these programs in place - than we were before.

    Icould go on and on with the variations, ramifications, andpermutations of the pattern. Also about the dangers if the pendulumswings too far (we're close right now) toward laissez-faire (thinkWeimar Germany and Adolph Hitler). Instead, I'll sum up by saying itis not - as Keith so wisely notes - a case of "us vs. them".It is a case of recognizing where we are in the pendulum swing, andaccepting whatever corrections are in order... even if that leadsaway from your particular ideological island.

    Right now,as I mentioned, we've swung a good long way toward uncheckedcapitalism. It's time for a correction. Conservatives should not howlat the prospect. They should welcome it as a normal, desirable,adjustment (think "market correction" if it makes you feelbetter). Liberals should not think that the answer is to swing to theother end of the spectrum and stay there. That place has its ownproblems, dangers, and inefficiencies.

    So - it's time forall of us (you too Milo<)to embrace a bit of "socialism" and step back a bit fromthe dog-eat-dog wing of capitalism. We will possibly over-correct(this system is a positive feedback loop, and they have thattendency). Then it will be time for all of us to embrace a littlemore market control. "To everything, Turn turn turn, There is aseason, Turn turn turn..."

    I hope this rant has beenuseful to someone, and not simply a bit of blather that only aneconomist could put up with.


    "When there is anaccumulation of money and power into fewer and fewer hands, peoplewith the mentality of gangsters come to the fore. Power tends tocorrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" -- Lord Acton<Keep in mind that he's British, and he said this in 1877. Thisis not the first time the pattern has played out>
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    David, I am very sincere in my question. I recall your post and repost. And this post does not really answer it beyond the idea that we need to swing back to more liberalism, away from unchecked capitalism, we should "embrace a bit of "socialism". I cannot help but note that the word socialism is in quotations. By that I assume you do not mean that the state owns the means of production. I sort of thing the author of the article posted might mean that, but I am not for sure.

    It is very vague. Are you talking about more liberal economic policies: more regulation, higher minimum wage, single payer healthcare system? If so, if someone then, when arguing against claims it to be socialism, liberals will cry foul. So again, what policies do you consider socialist.
    Lets start with "socialized medicine" - so that is single payer healthcare (which liberals have expressedly said is not socialism) or it is nationalization of all the hospitals and clinics?

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    I wish people wouldn't get so hung up on the definition of the term.

    It's not a black or white thing... you can accuse some program of being 'socialistic'.... or some other action as 'fascistic'... without having to park either of them squarely in one camp or the other.

    Yes, there are some 'liberal' economic policies that this country has adapted, without justifying the accusation of 'socialism' when used as an epithet. Social Security may indeed be 'socialistic'.... but it didn't change the fundamentally capitalist nature of our economic system... it was simply a practical solution to a socioeconomic problem. Nobody that I'm aware of, save for some infinitesimally small number of political crackpots, is advocating 'state owned means of production', are they?

    In contrast, what would you call the decades long tend of economic inequality? How do you define the very clear political trend, among conservatives, to embrace olicies that result in dramatically rising economic inequality? When it's coupled with authoritarianism, wouldn't it be fair to describe it as 'fascistic'?
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I wish people wouldn't get so hung up on the definition of the term.

    It's not a black or white thing... you can accuse some program of being 'socialistic'.... or some other action as 'fascistic'... without having to park either of them squarely in one camp or the other.

    Yes, there are some 'liberal' economic policies that this country has adapted, without justifying the accusation of 'socialism' when used as an epithet. Social Security may indeed be 'socialistic'.... but it didn't change the fundamentally capitalist nature of our economic system... it was simply a practical solution to a socioeconomic problem. Nobody that I'm aware of, save for some infinitesimally small number of political crackpots, is advocating 'state owned means of production', are they?

    In contrast, what would you call the decades long tend of economic inequality? How do you define the very clear political trend, among conservatives, to embrace olicies that result in dramatically rising economic inequality? When it's coupled with authoritarianism, wouldn't it be fair to describe it as 'fascistic'?
    I think that the US has long had fascist behaviours. The big difference is that whilst some of our tame RWW's argue against expression of dissent, the government does not actively suppress it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Please define a few policies that would fit under the socialist banner.
    single payer heath care
    well funded national institute of health
    well funded national institute of science
    completely funded education from pre-k through grad school, vocational and trade schools, job training
    nationalized mass transit
    federally subsidized green energy programs

    i can go on if you like
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    peb - no matter how many times you've read it, you seem to have missed one of the main thrusts. Which I alluded to in the OP. IT'S NOT EITHER/OR... BLACK/WHITE.

    As Norman suggests - and my essay points out - IT'S A SPECTRUM. <can you hear me yet?>

    Pure laissez-faire at one end, and pure socialism at the other. And any given policy can be defined as living at any point on that spectrum. Where is a matter of interpretation, of course.

    So my position is that attempting to 'define' socialism is useful, and important at the beginning. But we will never achieve pure socialism, nor pure capitalism. The social dysfunction of going that far in either direction would undo any such efforts. But quibbling about whether any given policy, or party platform, is 'capitalis' or 'socialist' is bootless. I can't think of anyone arguing for pure socialsm. And only a few fringe Libertarians arguing for pure capitalism. I think we can simply agree that bolstering Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are a move toward socialism. And deregulating polluters is a move toward laissez-fair capitalism. That a single-payer health scheme (echoing that of the rest of the industrialized world) is more socialist than what we had 10 years ago... or even than Obamacare.

    See... there IS no 'socialist banner'. It's just a range. Until you wrap your mind around that... we're going to have trouble conversing.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    single payer heath care
    well funded national institute of health
    well funded national institute of science
    completely funded education from pre-k through grad school, vocational and trade schools, job training
    nationalized mass transit
    federally subsidized green energy programs

    i can go on if you like
    Please do. You left OUT the space program!!!
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    It's nice for a change to see what is really going on in ones head, thankfully here we have the same poster reaching out and trying to explain.

    Thankfully the OP and his alter ego have no say in anything that matters for the rest of us.

    I'm just glad to see one of them brought Acton along, how would we rationalize current behavior with out?

    I'll state this and say no more, the problem with socialism is that the powers to be are like capitalists, as the power they gain grows the desire to achieve more becomes instinct.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    OK... let me guess. NOW delecta is mad about being left off my Xmas Fruitcake list?
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    what do you soak your fruitcakes in david? bourbon?? brandy???
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    No body likes, no body cares, some of us humor just you despair.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    LSD?
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    what do you soak your fruitcakes in david? bourbon?? brandy???
    One has to garner a spot on the Xmas Fruitcake list in order to get any hints. I can say - and you are authorized to repeat, without let or hindrance, that if I made one for bbbbbbybs... it would soak in MD2020. Delect's would likely be peppermint schnaps and everclear.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    LSD?
    lmao
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I wish people wouldn't get so hung up on the definition of the term.

    It's not a black or white thing... you can accuse some program of being 'socialistic'.... or some other action as 'fascistic'... without having to park either of them squarely in one camp or the other.

    Yes, there are some 'liberal' economic policies that this country has adapted, without justifying the accusation of 'socialism' when used as an epithet. Social Security may indeed be 'socialistic'.... but it didn't change the fundamentally capitalist nature of our economic system... it was simply a practical solution to a socioeconomic problem. Nobody that I'm aware of, save for some infinitesimally small number of political crackpots, is advocating 'state owned means of production', are they?

    In contrast, what would you call the decades long tend of economic inequality? How do you define the very clear political trend, among conservatives, to embrace olicies that result in dramatically rising economic inequality? When it's coupled with authoritarianism, wouldn't it be fair to describe it as 'fascistic'?
    I tend to agree Norman, we don't need the word socialism, unless we are talking about true socialism (eg. nationalizing industries and direct state control of a given industry, ala UK after WWII). And lets admit it, some industries should be nationalized (eg roads and highways).

    But the term socialism is apparently important to the author of the article and to David G. So I would like to know what he means. Otherwise, how can we have a discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by David G
    So my position is that attempting to 'define' socialism is useful, and important at the beginning. But we will never achieve pure socialism, nor pure capitalism. The social dysfunction of going that far in either direction would undo any such efforts. But quibbling about whether any given policy, or party platform, is 'capitalis' or 'socialist' is bootless. I can't think of anyone arguing for pure socialsm.
    Well then you position then is not consistent. You explicitly started a thread saying its past time to give socialism a chance. And now you say that arguing about what is and is not socialism is bootless.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    LSD?
    Does M6 have a spy watching the production of cakes for my personal consumption??? This is an OUTRAGE!!!

    I shall contact the State Department forthwith. Oh, wait, our State Dept. apparently has no issue with foreign powers interfering in the U.S. I'm fooked, then, eh? We're all fooked.

    Well... at least they missed the MDMA component. Oh Crap... I shouldn't have said that, should I??
    Last edited by David G; 03-07-2018 at 01:34 PM.
    David G
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    single payer heath care
    well funded national institute of health
    well funded national institute of science
    completely funded education from pre-k through grad school, vocational and trade schools, job training
    nationalized mass transit
    federally subsidized green energy programs

    i can go on if you like
    I support a single payer healthcare system. Putting it under the banner of socialism would be quite counter productive.
    A well funded national institute of health and science, diddo.
    completely funded education from pre-k through grad school, vocational and trade schools, job training. I need to think about this one. I tend to disagree, but have honestly never given it enough thought.
    nationalized mass transit - this is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard. I see no reason why the federal government should own the city of Dallas's DART system.
    federally subsidized green energy programs - we have had that, in spades. It has given us Tesla.

    All of these can and should be debated. If you want to do so under a socialist banner, I think you are hurting your cause. At the minimum, it will require that you do a better job defining what you want to accomplish.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    federally subsidized green energy programs - we have had that, in spades. It has given us Tesla.
    bull****

    in spades? compare the subsidies for green energy to the subsidies still given to the oil and gas industries in the guise that oil and gas are developing technologies. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I support a single payer healthcare system. Putting it under the banner of socialism would be quite counter productive.
    Is the name we attach to it important, or is it the substance of the thing that matters?

    The ONLY politician I've seen trading in the 'socialist' name is Bernie Sanders... and I always thought it was ill-advised of him.

    The things in Paul's list can reasonably be described as 'progressive'.... and it's a much better word to use. 'Progressive' things, properly conceived, are things which make our lives better. If they don't, then they're not really progressive, are they?

    You support a single payer healthcare system... but far MORE right wingers apply the 'socialist' label to it, than do Democrats. To me, it's simply common sense... and the appeal of the idea is that it would be better (as demonstrated by virtually every other developed country) than what we have now. I would certainly label it as 'progressive'.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    bull****

    in spades? compare the subsidies for green energy to the subsidies still given to the oil and gas industries in the guise that oil and gas are developing technologies. . .
    I suspect you do not know the level of wind/solar industry subsidies. Wind industry has had a 1.5 cent tax credit per kilowatt hour, adjusted for inflation since 1992. This is big.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    Is the name we attach to it important, or is it the substance of the thing that matters?

    The ONLY politician I've seen trading in the 'socialist' name is Bernie Sanders... and I always thought it was ill-advised of him.

    The things in Paul's list can reasonably be described as 'progressive'.... and it's a much better word to use. 'Progressive' things, properly conceived, are things which make our lives better. If they don't, then they're not really progressive, are they?

    You support a single payer healthcare system... but far MORE right wingers apply the 'socialist' label to it, than do Democrats. To me, it's simply common sense... and the appeal of the idea is that it would be better (as demonstrated by virtually every other developed country) than what we have now. I would certainly label it as 'progressive'.
    Again Norma, the name "socialism" was important and the title in the OP of this thread. Take it up with David. I won't apologize for asking clarification.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    $20 billion last year in oil and gas subsidies from the feds
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    I tend to agree Norman, we don't need the word socialism, unless we are talking about true socialism (eg. nationalizing industries and direct state control of a given industry, ala UK after WWII). And lets admit it, some industries should be nationalized (eg roads and highways).

    But the term socialism is apparently important to the author of the article and to David G. So I would like to know what he means. Otherwise, how can we have a discussion.


    Well then you position then is not consistent. You explicitly started a thread saying its past time to give socialism a chance. And now you say that arguing about what is and is not socialism is bootless.
    Sigh... read what I said again.

    I said defining 'socialism' is important at the beginning. And I have no issue with using the textbook definitions for that. Here ya go -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    It seems as if you are stuck in the limited/cartoon definition of socialism as having to do only with public ownership of the means of production. Non-market socialism, iow. That's not all there is to it.

    And... once again... you say you read my 2008 essay multiple times. But I said in the first paragraph that the spectrum in the U.S. (and, it should be noted, if we look around the world in other democracies) runs between 'laissez-faire capitalism'... and 'market socialism'. You seem to have skimmed right over those two terms.

    You say you are sincere in this discussion. It's a bit hard to believe that when you either don't read what others have written, or bothered to try to understand the terms used, before you respond.

    And... I also reiterated a key point, which you have yet to acknowledge. There IS no 'socialist banner'. It's a spectrum. Do you understand that? THAT is why such quibbling is bootless. Because it's almost certainly NOT strictly one or the other.
    Last edited by David G; 03-07-2018 at 01:38 PM.
    David G
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    single payer heath care
    well funded national institute of health
    well funded national institute of science
    completely funded education from pre-k through grad school, vocational and trade schools, job training
    nationalized mass transit
    federally subsidized green energy programs

    i can go on if you like
    A darn good list. But to pursue these ends I recommend staying as far away from any 'socialist banner' as possible and float these ideas as the best means for promoting a free society, since the concept of freedom is infinitely sexier than any socialist banner.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    David I did not miss any of the terms. You say you are happy with a textbook definition of socialism. Buy you say that is a limited and cartoon definition. Lets just go with the last sentence of the wiki article you linked to "though social ownership (of the means of production) is the common element shared by its various forms". And not worry too much about what "social ownership" is so as not to be too cartoonish.

    Now, you started out this thread saying you it was past time to try "social ownership of the means of production". Great, now we are getting somewhere. Your 2008 screed did not mention this.

    I did not miss your references to "market socialism" or "'laissez-faire capitalism". I know what you mean by the latter. Trying to get my head around the former. I would much prefer to debate individual issues/policies. Perhaps I will just let it go and focus on those threads, since the overarching threads such as these don't really get us anywhere.


    There is no socialist banner..... Its past time to try socialism. Can't make this stuff up.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Again Norma, the name "socialism" was important and the title in the OP of this thread. Take it up with David. I won't apologize for asking clarification.
    You are allowing yourself to be tripped up by an emotional reaction to that word. And you are focusing on public relations, while I am focusing on facts. Did you read the Wiki article yet? Pay particular attention to the phenomenon of 'market socialism'. We most certainly DO need the word 'socialism'... because it's the ACCURATE word. You are putting your assertions of sincerity in the shade, and raising questions about your ability to grasp facts/date in spite of your preprogramming.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Lets just simplify it and get down to brass tacks David. Please define a few policies that would fit under the socialist banner.
    David G wants change. Like others who want change they feel they need to be vague to draw support. Socialist is a lofty word. But the word seems to evoke a path not a goal: Government or at least public ownership/control of stuff.

    I am certainly not a socialist, but I would tax the rich enough to bring the poor up to the median. That seems to achieve an economic goal many complain about. It does not require socialism. It does not require reigning in capitalism. (It does not disallow it either.) I don't care if the government levies a tax or if business/individuals make the change with higher wages and charity.
    Life is complex.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    You are allowing yourself to be tripped up by an emotional reaction to that word. And you are focusing on public relations, while I am focusing on facts. Did you read the Wiki article yet? Pay particular attention to the phenomenon of 'market socialism'. We most certainly DO need the word 'socialism'... because it's the ACCURATE word. You are putting your assertions of sincerity in the shade, and raising questions about your ability to grasp facts/date in spite of your preprogramming.
    I have no emotional reaction to the word (unless it is associated with communism). I only want clarity. And when I ask for clarity, as usual, you become more vague. I will grant you this, at least on this thread you are not just throwing out one liner responses.

    So lets now go with the term "market socialism". According to the wiki article, that means we keep a market economy, but we have public ownership of the means of production. Do I get that right? So we need more of this. Fine, we can weed Paul's list of 6 examples, that you approved of, down to one. Nationalized mass transit. And that is a rather extreme position, since our mass transit systems (excluding airlines) are pretty much publicly owned now, but Paul wants to apparently move them under the federal umbrella.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    $20 billion last year in oil and gas subsidies from the feds
    And the gov’t is subsidizing fuel consumption by about $13 Billion a year because it hasn’t updated the Fed fuel tax in 25 years.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    $20 billion last year in oil and gas subsidies from the feds
    So we need to get rid of that. Fine. Now, back to subsidies for renewables. How much should we have since it is not enough in your mind? What should the subsidy be on solar or wind power per kilowatt? What should the subsidy be if I buy an electric car?

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    David I did not miss any of the terms. You say you are happy with a textbook definition of socialism. Buy you say that is a limited and cartoon definition. Lets just go with the last sentence of the wiki article you linked to "though social ownership (of the means of production) is the common element shared by its various forms". And not worry too much about what "social ownership" is so as not to be too cartoonish.

    Now, you started out this thread saying you it was past time to try "social ownership of the means of production". Great, now we are getting somewhere. Your 2008 screed did not mention this.

    I did not miss your references to "market socialism" or "'laissez-faire capitalism". I know what you mean by the latter. Trying to get my head around the former. I would much prefer to debate individual issues/policies. Perhaps I will just let it go and focus on those threads, since the overarching threads such as these don't really get us anywhere.


    There is no socialist banner..... Its past time to try socialism. Can't make this stuff up.
    Sorry, the textbook definition of socialism is not limited to the simplistic/cartoon version you want to insist upon. You say you are attempting to 'wrap your mind around' the term 'market socialism'. Until you do, you will be stuck in that simplistic world that has little to do with our modern economic choices. If examples would help, check out policies in the Scandinavian countries. They are further down the spectrum toward socialism. Market socialism, that is.

    In case it's never been made clear to you - people 'sincerely' interested in exploring a topic don't cherry-pick tidbits that misrepresent the thrust of an article. As you did in your first paragraph. Here's a fuller rendering --

    Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[13] though social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.[5][14][15]

    Socialist economic systems can be divided into non-market and market forms.[16] Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money, with engineering and technical criteria, based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crisestraditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system.[25]

    By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of socially owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them. Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend.[26][27][28] The socialist calculation debate discusses the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system.
    I'm perfectly happy with that textbook definition of pure socialism - with incorporates both non-market and market socialism.

    But you still haven't said you understand the spectrum aspect. You keep trying to say that I'm advocating for pure socialism. I'm not. Can you hear that? I'm not.

    Few or none are advocating for pure socialism, or pure capitalism. I've said that multiple times now. That is what the quotes around the word socialism in the title allude to. That it's a spectrum. You appear to still be stuck in black/white, socialist banner territory. Don't know how we can move forward until you get unstuck.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Why Americans should give socialism a try

    Americans appear to be isolated, viciously competitive, suspicious of one another and spiritually shallow; and that we are anxiously looking for some kind of attachment to something real and profound in an age of decreasing trust and regard — seem to be emblematic of capitalism, which encourages and requires fierce individualism, self-interested disregard for the other, and resentment of arrangements into which one deposits more than he or she withdraws.

    (As a business-savvy friend once remarked: Nobody gets rich off of bilateral transactions where everybody knows what they're doing.) Capitalism is an ideology that is far more encompassing than it admits, and one that turns every relationship into a calculable exchange. Bodies, time, energy, creativity, love — all become commodities to be priced and sold. Alienation reigns. There is no room for sustained contemplation and little interest in public morality; everything collapses down to the level of the atomized individual.

    Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital's stranglehold over politics and culture.

    Elizabeth Bruenig is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/o...307-story.html


    If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

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    Default Re: Time to shift toward 'socialism'

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    The article never comes close to saying what she thinks socialism is. How she includes this
    "Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture"
    But that really says almost nothing about policy. Before you or her can say its past time/time to shift towards socialism, you need to define fairly precisely what you say. When conservatives call certain liberal policies "socialism", liberals cry foul and say that's not socialism. Yet liberals then advocate for something called "democratic socialism".
    Lets just simplify it and get down to brass tacks David. Please define a few policies that would fit under the socialist banner.
    Yeah. If you can't define it, you can't use it. It adds nothing. Ironically socialists are keen on definitions.

    One important divide is between socialism and national socialism. Italy right now has two major competing parties. They compete with each other on the basis of who can promise the most welfare and at the same time bash the most immigrants. The difference between that and other western European socialists is not a difference in degree.

    So you define socialism as "friendly to immigrants". Feels good but why? Why shouldn't socialism be nationalistic?
    He's a Mexican. -- Donald Trump.
    America cannot survive another four years of Barack Obama. -- Governor Chris Christie (R) New Jersey
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