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Thread: Socialism

  1. #281
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Then so can the US democratic republic, without any degree of socialism. Which means democracy or republic, no socialism was employed.
    Uh...

    Social security.
    Medicare.
    Unemployment.

    These are widely seen as socialist programs employed within the framework of a representative democracy.

    From Investopedia:

    • A defining feature of socialism is public ownership of the means of production where the government allocates jobs and basic needs for the entire population are taken care of.


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  2. #282
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Then so can the US democratic republic, without any degree of socialism. Which means democracy or republic, no socialism was employed.
    The U.S. constitution does not dictate any particular form of economic organization, although it did allow for the rather primitive form of economic organization known as slavery. It did, however, put certain parts of society under government control, such as the military. I'm sure there is some libertarian anarchist out there who would argue that if you've got some turf to defend, you should hire your own guards instead of relying on the socialist organization of a state-run army.

    Consider Section 8 of the constitution:
    Section 8: Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
    To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
    To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
    To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
    To provide and maintain a Navy;
    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;-And
    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
    I lived near the old Post Road in Kittery, Maine, and I can assure you, that was a public road, and by the standards of most libertarians, that's socialist.

    The word 'socialist' as we use it now was not coined until 1830. That doesn't mean there were no public goods or enterprises before that. The American Way, sometimes called the American System, was an economic program in the early days of the Republic that relied on public investment to develop the American economy.

    http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blog...rican-way.html

    Tax-supported efforts at development, now regarded as socialism by some market fetishists on the right, were written right into the constitution.

    And by the way, none of the founding fathers would have called themselves capitalists.

    http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blog...-economic.html

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Uh... FYI, there are actually four ways to pass a constitutional amendment; I think you have to know that much just to earn a GED. And then there are all those other ways to change it (in practice) that don't involve amendments.

    Tom
    OK, two if you count the Convention (called for by the legislatures of the states). As you said (#178):

    A 2/3 majority vote in the legislature is not the only way an amendment can be passed. A national convention can be called by 2/3 of all state legislatures.
    My point is that the amendment processes are the only way the Constitution can be amended. Not by "interpretation and future application."

    The words of the Constitution are the Constitution. The Constitution is not amended unless those words are changed.
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  4. #284
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    OK, two if you count the Convention (called for by the legislatures of the states). As you said (#178):

    My point is that the amendment processes are the only way the Constitution can be amended. Not by "interpretation and future application."

    The words of the Constitution are the Constitution. The Constitution is not amended unless those words are changed.
    But court interpretations certainly have changed the application of the Constitution in practice. That was my point.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The U.S. constitution does not dictate any particular form of economic organization . . .
    Including socialism.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    . . . It did, however, put certain parts of society under government control, such as the military. I'm sure there is some libertarian anarchist out there who would argue that if you've got some turf to defend, you should hire your own guards instead of relying on the socialist organization of a state-run army.
    Yes, they're FOS. Ideological.

    The word 'socialist' as we use it now was not coined until 1830. That doesn't mean there were no public goods or enterprises before that.

    But it does mean they weren't socialist.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Tax-supported efforts at development, now regarded as socialism by some market fetishists on the right, were written right into the constitution.
    Yes, they're FOS. Ideological.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    And by the way, none of the founding fathers would have called themselves capitalists.
    Which means the USA can only be a capitalist state according to subsequent definitions.
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  6. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    But court interpretations certainly have changed the application of the Constitution in practice. That was my point.

    Tom
    Yes, but that's interpreting, not amending.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    But one way or another, the reason we describe the US (and Japan, the UK, Germany, Chile, India, Costa Rica, Australia . . .) as 'democracies' is that the ordinary meaning of the word has changed in 250 years, and it's now generally used to mean constitutional or parliamentary democracies, places with popularly-elected but limited governments, like the examples I gave.
    Ordinary meaning is not law. "Homestead" is ordinarily understood as land, whereas in law, it can be cash, a Bible, or false teeth. A "homestead exemption" is a list of property exempt from execution of judgment. No limit on what kind of property.

    Does the statutory definition of "homestead" change when the common definition changes? Of course not. Legal definitions can only be changed according to law. In some cases, only a very narrow set of meanings has any relevance. Certain words in certain contexts mean only what certain people say they mean. By law. Other meanings are irrelevant.

    On the part of the plaintiff, it has been urged that [the District of] Columbia is a distinct political society, and is, therefore, a 'State' according to the definition of writers on general law. This is true; but as the act of Congress obviously uses the word 'State' in reference to that term as used in the Constitution, it becomes necessary to inquire whether Columbia is a State in the sense of that instrument . . .

    -- Hepburn & Dundass v. Ellxey, quoted in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869)
    Last edited by Osborne Russell; 08-13-2022 at 03:28 PM. Reason: statutory
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    If 90% of US citizens became devout followers of Moon's Unification Church, and wanted to abolish the First Amendment, replacing it with one establishing the Unification Church as the state religion and banning any criticism of Reverend Moon, there is a perfectly legal constitutional method to do that. One might even say 'democratic'. So what was this about the 'limited' powers of the vox populi?
    You could say it was democratic, though great big dampers have been installed. In any case what matters is not whether it's democratic, but whether it's legal. Amendment is the only legal way to do it. If "democracy" were the criterion, secession by vote of a state's voters would be legal.

    Abolish freedom from religion, and freedom of speech, maybe. Arguably a surrender of the republic, not an amendment. The kindest way to put it would be, they had not abolished the republic, they had forgotten what it was, and why. In any case, the mere will of the people is insufficient, and unless and until the amendments are legally enacted, the limits on the will of the people are the law. Which is what makes the limits important, dispositive unless and until. They might be changed because the people went crazy, or because they were promised free baby formula and granny flats for all. Until then, the USA is a republic, not a democracy.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Seems some definitions are subjective. I see those things the government provides as socialistic. That would include roads, airports, dredged harbors, navigation aids, etc........ paid for by taxpayers, but built by private companies.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, but that's interpreting, not amending.
    I wasn't talking about "amending"--I was talking about "changing" the Constitution. Which can happen by formal amendment, or--changing how the Constitution is applied in practice, by legal interpretations or legislation.

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  11. #291
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    The word 'socialist' as we use it now was not coined until 1830. That doesn't mean there were no public goods or enterprises before that.

    But it does mean they weren't socialist.
    The noun "mammoth" was not coined until 1706. That doesn't mean there were no mammoths before then. But it does mean they weren't mammoths.

    See how silly that is?

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Including socialism.



    Yes, they're FOS. Ideological.

    The word 'socialist' as we use it now was not coined until 1830. That doesn't mean there were no public goods or enterprises before that.

    But it does mean they weren't socialist.
    That's not an argument, it's a non sequitur. When the United States Lighthouse Service was established in 1789, it was a public enterprise, whereas in England, lighthouses were first established as private enterprises and only nationalized after the private enterprise model failed. By the standards of anyone who uses the word socialist, they were socialist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, they're FOS. Ideological.



    Which means the USA can only be a capitalist state according to subsequent definitions.
    Well, there are people who use the term 'capitalist' so loosely that they think any market-based system is capitalist, but I know what a stickler for language you are. Marx, who invented the term 'capitalist,' said that capitalism was incipient in all market economies, but did not come into fruition until they became industrialized. The big difference between capitalist economies and earlier models is that while in earlier economies, increased production depended on more resources, such as a growing population or conquering more land, in a capitalist economy, increased production comes mainly from the application of capital. In pre-capitalist England, increasing textile production required more sheep and more weavers. In capitalist England, it required spending capital to build a textile mill and buying fiber from anyone who had it.

    So, if you use a loose enough definition, you can assert that America at its founding was capitalist, but that deprives the word of most of its meaning. By most definitions of socialism, the Lighthouse Service was what we would now call socialism, and it was founded the year after the constitution was ratified and in the year the constitution went into operation.

    This doesn't mean that America was founded as a socialist nation, only that it was a mixed economy from the start. Our government system never dictated a particular economic system, and accommodated but public and private enterprises from the start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    That's not an argument, it's a non sequitur. When the United States Lighthouse Service was established in 1789, it was a public enterprise, whereas in England, lighthouses were first established as private enterprises and only nationalized after the private enterprise model failed. By the standards of anyone who uses the word socialist, they were socialist.
    Anyone who uses the word now. They did not then, because they weren't socialists.

    It was a practical, not an ideological question. Socialism is an ideology, not the mere fact that the government chooses to own something, because it has been shown to be more practical, not because some non-existent ideology influenced the choice. At the time the choice was made, the ideology did not exist.

    If socialism developed later, it was only in the sense of a policy orientation within liberal democracy, as a matter of fact. Socialism cannot be anything more than LD without becoming an ideology that makes it something more. Without that something more, why have two names for the same thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    So, if you use a loose enough definition, you can assert that America at its founding was capitalist, but that deprives the word of most of its meaning. By most definitions of socialism, the Lighthouse Service was what we would now call socialism, and it was founded the year after the constitution was ratified and in the year the constitution went into operation.

    This doesn't mean that America was founded as a socialist nation, only that it was a mixed economy from the start. Our government system never dictated a particular economic system, and accommodated but public and private enterprises from the start.
    Exactly. Why describe it as socialism now, as opposed to then, when the choices were made, and the measures were undertaken? What was mixed with what, when? Not when the post office was established, nor when the lighthouses were built. Liberal democracy existed. Socialism didn't. LD did it. Socialism didn't. Lighthouses and the Postal Service do not conflict with liberal democracy. Twas LD that implemented, if not invented them. What did socialism contribute? Zip. Not possible. Didn't exist. So what was mixed with what, when? Takes two different, pre-existing things to make a mix. Not one thing that existed, and was mixed unconsciously with something that didn't exist at the time. That's a mix made after the fact.

    If you can't project capitalism back through time to publicly owned lighthouses, how can you project socialism back through time, to publicly owned lighthouses?

    Isn't it one of your principal theses that capitalism needs LD, not just to survive, but to come to be in the first place? The necessary implication of which, as well as the fact is, that LD that pre-existed both capitalism and socialism? Therefore, LD built lighthouses, as a matter of its own purposes, not as a matter of accidental, or coincidental, or unconscious socialism.

    So what does socialism, invented later, add to LD? If it adds nothing, what is the utility of the term? This isn't quibbling. Real socialists, believing that socialism is something additonal to, and therefore in conflict with LD, have their proposals, have fought for them, and a great deal of blood has been shed. All the while decisions must be made. On what basis are we going to make them?

    One is either calling one thing by two names, or giving a name to two different things. Which is it?
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    You could say it was democratic, though great big dampers have been installed. In any case what matters is not whether it's democratic, but whether it's legal. Amendment is the only legal way to do it. . . .
    Yes, great big dampers. And I'm certainly not saying that any of it would be a good idea; quite the opposite. But it would be 100% legally possible to do those things; the people could vote in representatives who pass constitutional amendments. My point is that despite very necessary dampers and protections and procedures, the will of the people is the basis of legitimate government authority, and if enough of them agree, they can change anything they want. Thus a democracy (the common current meaning).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Yes, great big dampers. And I'm certainly not saying that any of it would be a good idea; quite the opposite. But it would be 100% legally possible to do those things; the people could vote in representatives who pass constitutional amendments. My point is that despite very necessary dampers and protections and procedures, the will of the people is the basis of legitimate government authority, and if enough of them agree, they can change anything they want. Thus a democracy (the common current meaning).
    So what does the "Republic" part mean? Just the removable dampers? The obstacles to removing the obstacles?

    It must be remembered that the National Government, too, is republican in essence and in theory.

    US Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995)

    - -

    Justice Kennedy, concurring:

    I join the opinion of the Court.

    The majority and dissenting opinions demonstrate the intricacy of the question whether or not the Qualifications Clauses are exclusive. In my view, however, it is well settled that the whole people of the United States asserted their political identity and unity of purpose when they created the federal system. The dissent's course of reasoning suggesting otherwise might be construed to disparage the republican character of the National Government.


    https://www.courtlistener.com/opinio...nc-v-thornton/
    Last edited by Osborne Russell; 08-14-2022 at 12:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Yes, great big dampers. And I'm certainly not saying that any of it would be a good idea; quite the opposite. But it would be 100% legally possible to do those things; the people could vote in representatives who pass constitutional amendments. My point is that despite very necessary dampers and protections and procedures, the will of the people is the basis of legitimate government authority, and if enough of them agree, they can change anything they want. Thus a democracy (the common current meaning).
    All is good as long as the will is from properly informed people. People who's will is based on false information are problematic.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    I find this claim bizarre, even for you. Defend or retract, man!

    Any legislation that can be conceived--or any Constitutional amendment that citizens or legislators can think up--can be voted on. I'm aware of no restrictions on what may or may not be proposed and voted on. Nor, do I suspect, do you.

    Tom
    A vote on something found to be beyond the limited powers of the limited government is no vote at all. Even if it takes a while to formally overturn it, it is void ab initio, as if it never happened. The vote iteself could be enjoined by the courts, though I don't know that it ever has.

    That's the feds. The vote itself has in fact been enjoined on several occasions in states, in the case of ballot initiatives, or "direct democracy" as it has often been called. That term is a good example of how inaccurate it is to call a republic a democracy. This "direct democracy" cannot enact anything that the legislature could not; the permissble range of measures is limited not just by the various republican doctrines of separation of powers, limited powers, federal supremacy, etc, which restrain the state legislature. The scope of initiatives is frequently further limited by state statutes. The vote itself can be prevented by the responsible official, from the lieutenant governor to a municipal clerk.

    Before the people can vote on it, an initiative must first be on the ballot. The people do not decide what goes on the ballot; The state does. The proponent proposes; the government disposes.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Lordy, lordy, lordy...

    Some of you have a boatload more patience than I for pretzel logic, word salad, non sequiturs, half-truths, and alternating broad-brush & binary thinking.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Anyone who uses the word now. They did not then, because they weren't socialists.

    It was a practical, not an ideological question. Socialism is an ideology, not the mere fact that the government chooses to own something, because it has been shown to be more practical, not because some non-existent ideology influenced the choice. At the time the choice was made, the ideology did not exist.

    If socialism developed later, it was only in the sense of a policy orientation within liberal democracy, as a matter of fact. Socialism cannot be anything more than LD without becoming an ideology that makes it something more. Without that something more, why have two names for the same thing?



    Exactly. Why describe it as socialism now, as opposed to then, when the choices were made, and the measures were undertaken? What was mixed with what, when? Not when the post office was established, nor when the lighthouses were built. Liberal democracy existed. Socialism didn't. LD did it. Socialism didn't. Lighthouses and the Postal Service do not conflict with liberal democracy. Twas LD that implemented, if not invented them. What did socialism contribute? Zip. Not possible. Didn't exist. So what was mixed with what, when? Takes two different, pre-existing things to make a mix. Not one thing that existed, and was mixed unconsciously with something that didn't exist at the time. That's a mix made after the fact.

    If you can't project capitalism back through time to publicly owned lighthouses, how can you project socialism back through time, to publicly owned lighthouses?

    Isn't it one of your principal theses that capitalism needs LD, not just to survive, but to come to be in the first place? The necessary implication of which, as well as the fact is, that LD that pre-existed both capitalism and socialism? Therefore, LD built lighthouses, as a matter of its own purposes, not as a matter of accidental, or coincidental, or unconscious socialism.

    So what does socialism, invented later, add to LD? If it adds nothing, what is the utility of the term? This isn't quibbling. Real socialists, believing that socialism is something additonal to, and therefore in conflict with LD, have their proposals, have fought for them, and a great deal of blood has been shed. All the while decisions must be made. On what basis are we going to make them?

    One is either calling one thing by two names, or giving a name to two different things. Which is it?
    I refer you to post #291. We can refer to things that existed before we invented the term. In fact, we invent the terms because there is something to describe. At the same time, we must be at least a little rigorous in the way we use those terms, otherwise we literally have no idea what we're talking about.

    Socialism is the social ownership of the means of production, usually by the government. For example, lighthouses and other aids to navigation are a productive enterprise that makes navigation safer and more productive. The U.S. Postal Service is a public enterprise that competes with private companies such as UPS, which is needed to insure service to people it is unprofitable to serve. It is specifically provided for in the constitution.

    How do you define socialism?

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Thread careening off the rails alert

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    In 2003 Scott Kohlhaas proposed a ballot initiative calling for a statewide vote on whether Alaska should secede from the United States.   The lieutenant governor refused to certify Kohlhaas's initiative, and the superior court concluded that his refusal was proper.   Affirming the judgment of the superior court, we held that the lieutenant governor had correctly declined to certify Kohlhaas's initiative because secession is a clearly unconstitutional end . . .

    Kohlhaas appealed to the superior court, arguing that the lieutenant governor was required to certify the initiative for circulation because initiatives that are not clearly unconstitutional may be judicially reviewed only after enactment.   Superior Court Judge Sen K. Tan ruled in favor of the State on the ground that secession from the United States is clearly illegal, and Kohlhaas appealed that decision.

    In Kohlhaas I, we held that (1) the State may refuse to certify an initiative proposing ends that are clearly unconstitutional;  (2) secession from the United States is clearly unconstitutional and therefore an improper subject for the initiative, and thus the State properly rejected the petition proposing the initiative;  and (3) because the initiative had not been circulated, possible severance of its unconstitutional portions would not be considered.

    In Kohlhaas I, we described two grounds on which the State may deny certification of an initiative, from which denial the sponsors of the initiative may obtain judicial review:  “First, a petition may be rejected if it violates the subject matter restrictions that arise from the constitutional and statutory provisions governing initiatives․  Second, a petition may be rejected if it proposes a substantive ordinance where controlling authority establishes its unconstitutionality.” 

    In Kodiak Island Borough v. Mahoney, [https://www.courtlistener.com/opinio...ugh-v-mahoney/ ]we gave as an example of a clearly unconstitutional initiative that would properly be rejected (even if correctly submitted as a procedural matter) an initiative proposing an ordinance that would mandate local school segregation based on race.  As we explained, a clerk's power to reject a clearly unconstitutional initiative proposal is analogous to the “authority [of executive agencies] to abrogate a statute which is clearly unconstitutional under a United States Supreme Court decision dealing with a similar law.”  If a proposed initiative seeks a clearly unconstitutional end, the State may deny certification.

    (emphasis added)

    -- SCOTT KOHLHAAS, Appellant, v. STATE OF ALASKA, OFFICE OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, Appellee.

    Supreme Court No. S-13024
    Decided: January 15, 2010

    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ak-supre...t/1497483.html
    There is of course no "direct democracy" in the national government. If the states have it, they could end it tomorrow, without violating anyone's rights, because there is no right to "direct democracy".
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The U.S. constitution does not dictate any particular form of economic organization, l
    Its structure guaranteed an oligarchy.

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    Also, when an initiative passes, and someone files suit, the state government can refuse, on grounds of its unconstitutionality, to defend the suit and the appeal, which then dies; which is what happened with Prop 8 (banning same-sex marriage) in California.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, but that's interpreting, not amending.
    The right wing SCOTUS amended the constitution when it decreed that the clear language in the emoluments clauses meant nothing whatsoever.

    And over the years the Court has bent, folded spindled and mutilated the 14th amendment beyond all recognition.

    All perfectly legal

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    I refer you to post #291. We can refer to things that existed before we invented the term. In fact, we invent the terms because there is something to describe. At the same time, we must be at least a little rigorous in the way we use those terms, otherwise we literally have no idea what we're talking about.
    Yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Socialism is the social ownership of the means of production, usually by the government. For example, lighthouses and other aids to navigation are a productive enterprise that makes navigation safer and more productive. The U.S. Postal Service is a public enterprise that competes with private companies such as UPS, which is needed to insure service to people it is unprofitable to serve. It is specifically provided for in the constitution.
    So any amount of non-private ownership makes anything socialism? Roads? Parks? Airports? Utilities? The space shuttle? The military? The strategic oil reserve? What is the utility of so broad a definition?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    How do you define socialism?
    An ideology aiming at the socialization of all property, incrementally, by law, on moral grounds. The intent element, based on the moral element, is fundamental. What, when they put the post office in the Constitution, they were unknowing, unwitting, unconscious socialists by accident?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    The right wing SCOTUS amended the constitution when it decreed that the clear language in the emoluments clauses meant nothing whatsoever.
    No they didn't. Amendment means amending the text.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    And over the years the Court has bent, folded spindled and mutilated the 14th amendment beyond all recognition.

    All perfectly legal
    As you say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    A vote on something found to be beyond the limited powers of the limited government is no vote at all.
    I do not grant your premise, nor the tortured logic you use to try to support it. But I understand that you find it necessary to avoid admitting that you are simply wrong about limits on what may be voted on by legislators.

    Now, how about your other false claim--that the demos is limited to voting only on their representatives? Can you admit you're wrong there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    So any amount of non-private ownership makes anything socialism? Roads? Parks? Airports? Utilities? The space shuttle? The military? The strategic oil reserve? What is the utility of so broad a definition?
    The utility lies in having a shared language in which people agree on what meaning words have. You don't seem to understand the value of that, though, so I can see why you're puzzled.

    "Socialism" is not necessarily an ideology. A democracy may enact any degree of socialism that its citizens accept. Or not. But the two (socialism and democracy) are not mutually exclusive the way you seem to think they are. I think we went over this about 9,000 posts ago. Maybe you should do more reading and less posting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yeah.



    So any amount of non-private ownership makes anything socialism? Roads? Parks? Airports? Utilities? The space shuttle? The military? The strategic oil reserve? What is the utility of so broad a definition?



    An ideology aiming at the socialization of all property, incrementally, by law, on moral grounds. The intent element, based on the moral element, is fundamental. What, when they put the post office in the Constitution, they were unknowing, unwitting, unconscious socialists by accident?
    When Social Security passed, the right called it socialism. When Medicare passed, the right called it socialism. Were they wrong?

    Your definition fits Fabian socialism, but not other forms of socialism. Marxists condemn incrementalism, preferring revolution. Social democrats prefer a mixed economy, in which there is no intention to socialize all means of production. Even Marxists let people own the clothes on their backs. Most socialists don't want to socialize all property.

    Socialism isn't the bogyman you seem to think it is. In fact, all governments exist to do those things the private sector cannot do effectively. If you cannot exclude customers for either practical or moral reasons, that activity needs to be in the public sector. Until the rise of capitalism as an ideology, people didn't make a big fuss about the government doing the things it does better than the private sector.

    The technological breakthroughs that made the industrial revolution possible were pioneered by government armories. It happened that way because the military wanted guns that could be easily repaired in the field using standardized parts. Public enterprises have had a role in government for a very long time, but it only became an issue with the rise of market fetishists who insisted that private is better than public.

    Remember the chapter in my book about mythmaking and manufacturing?

    http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blog...ng-supply.html

    It was pretty well known when the country was founded that public enterprises could be productive. Condemning them as socialist only became popular after the Bolsheviks took over Russia and put a scare into capitalists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Marxists condemn incrementalism, preferring revolution. Social democrats prefer a mixed economy, in which there is no intention to socialize all means of production. Even Marxists let people own the clothes on their backs. Most socialists don't want to socialize all property. .
    Not true in the slightest, not even of Marx himself.

    You see, he left a large body of work, and his thinking evolved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    When Social Security passed, the right called it socialism. When Medicare passed, the right called it socialism. Were they wrong?
    Yes. Benjamin Franklin didn't call the Post Office socialism. Was he wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Socialism isn't the bogyman you seem to think it is.
    Depends on what type. So let each socialist set forth his self-definition . . . honestly. The responsible thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    In fact, all governments exist to do those things the private sector cannot do effectively.
    Since ancient history. Were Neanderthals socialists?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    If you cannot exclude customers for either practical or moral reasons, that activity needs to be in the public sector. Until the rise of capitalism as an ideology, people didn't make a big fuss about the government doing the things it does better than the private sector.
    I could go with at least part of the definition as being "reaction to capitalism". As you say:

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    The technological breakthroughs that made the industrial revolution possible were pioneered by government armories. It happened that way because the military wanted guns that could be easily repaired in the field using standardized parts. Public enterprises have had a role in government for a very long time, but it only became an issue with the rise of market fetishists who insisted that private is better than public.
    But the reaction to the market fetishists, producing "socialism", has to be reaction to the moral element, because the practical aspects are questions of fact, just like they were all along, i.e. before socialism. What does socialism of any kind add?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Remember the chapter in my book about mythmaking and manufacturing?

    http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blog...ng-supply.html

    No, but thanks for the cite, I'll read it again.

    It was pretty well known when the country was founded that public enterprises could be productive. Condemning them as socialist only became popular after the Bolsheviks took over Russia and put a scare into capitalists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Social security.
    Medicare.
    Unemployment.

    These are widely seen as socialist programs employed within the framework of a representative democracy.

    From Investopedia:
    A defining feature of socialism is public ownership of the means of production where the government allocates jobs and basic needs for the entire population are taken care of.
    Many people seem to ignore the "public ownership of the means of production" requirement in that definition of socialism.

    The 3 programs you list are paid for by taxes and not by the benefits of "public ownership". They are not socialism but rather are a means by which the profits of capitalism are (re)distributed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Since ancient history. Were Neanderthals socialists?
    You do have a knack for making yourself look foolish.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    Many people seem to ignore the "public ownership of the means of production" requirement in that definition of socialism.

    The 3 programs you list are paid for by taxes and not by the benefits of "public ownership". They are not socialism but rather are a means by which the profits of capitalism are (re)distributed.
    That is a very thin argument, especially considering that Medicare is owned and run by government, in contrast to the rest of US health care for profit.
    Are publicly owned roads not a means of production?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Depends on what type. So let each socialist set forth his self-definition . . . honestly. The responsible thing.
    We will be sure to get right on that.

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