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Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:31 PM

If not "socialism", what should we call "spending tax dollars on things that help everyone"



Rather than just, say, the already rich and powerful.

I tend to use the term "socialism" for things like the police, fire department, the military, the court system, food inspection, etc. where people all pool their resources to provide common goods and services that help all of our lives be better. But some people seem to be objecting to that term, applying strictly only to a Marxist vision of the government owning the means of production.

So what are the alternatives?

I'm open to suggestions

"Kindness"
"Humanism"
"All Togetherism"
"Solidarity"

94 replies, 3823 views

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Reply If not "socialism", what should we call "spending tax dollars on things that help everyone" (Original post)
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 OP
dchill Aug 2018 #1
Girard442 Aug 2018 #2
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #5
Garrett78 Aug 2018 #9
pnwmom Aug 2018 #21
Girard442 Aug 2018 #38
pnwmom Aug 2018 #42
Girard442 Aug 2018 #47
pnwmom Aug 2018 #52
Girard442 Aug 2018 #58
pnwmom Aug 2018 #59
GulfCoast66 Aug 2018 #64
ck4829 Aug 2018 #74
pnwmom Aug 2018 #84
fishwax Aug 2018 #88
pnwmom Aug 2018 #89
fishwax Aug 2018 #90
pnwmom Aug 2018 #91
fishwax Aug 2018 #92
pnwmom Aug 2018 #93
fishwax Aug 2018 #94
shraby Aug 2018 #3
KT2000 Aug 2018 #4
JI7 Aug 2018 #6
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #14
JI7 Aug 2018 #7
Garrett78 Aug 2018 #8
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #16
pnwmom Aug 2018 #23
Garrett78 Aug 2018 #29
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #37
vlyons Aug 2018 #10
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #17
H2O Man Aug 2018 #11
pnwmom Aug 2018 #12
salin Aug 2018 #13
FBaggins Aug 2018 #15
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #19
FBaggins Aug 2018 #26
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #34
FBaggins Aug 2018 #40
pnwmom Aug 2018 #44
mythology Aug 2018 #61
earthshine Aug 2018 #18
Lochloosa Aug 2018 #27
blm Aug 2018 #20
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #25
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #39
EndGOPPropaganda Aug 2018 #22
hurl Aug 2018 #24
DonViejo Aug 2018 #28
LuvLoogie Aug 2018 #30
JHB Aug 2018 #31
Blue_true Aug 2018 #32
NurseJackie Aug 2018 #35
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #36
Blue_true Aug 2018 #49
cutroot Aug 2018 #33
comradebillyboy Aug 2018 #41
librechik Aug 2018 #43
Hekate Aug 2018 #45
JustABozoOnThisBus Aug 2018 #46
brer cat Aug 2018 #48
Adrahil Aug 2018 #50
meow2u3 Aug 2018 #51
mn9driver Aug 2018 #53
DBoon Aug 2018 #54
Crunchy Frog Aug 2018 #55
eallen Aug 2018 #56
JDC Aug 2018 #60
dogman Aug 2018 #57
PDittie Aug 2018 #62
OnDoutside Aug 2018 #82
tirebiter Aug 2018 #63
Stinky The Clown Aug 2018 #65
OilemFirchen Aug 2018 #66
kacekwl Aug 2018 #67
VOX Aug 2018 #68
MaryELease Aug 2018 #69
GulfCoast66 Aug 2018 #70
theophilus Aug 2018 #71
Bluepinky Aug 2018 #72
yortsed snacilbuper Aug 2018 #73
ck4829 Aug 2018 #75
lapucelle Aug 2018 #76
NCTraveler Aug 2018 #77
Vinca Aug 2018 #78
greymattermom Aug 2018 #79
scarletlib Aug 2018 #80
Lee-Lee Aug 2018 #81
get the red out Aug 2018 #83
fishwax Aug 2018 #85
ProfessorPlum Aug 2018 #87
Caliman73 Aug 2018 #86

Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:34 PM

1. Doing a solid?

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:36 PM

2. This country is chock-full of entities that fit the definition of socialism.

So is every other country that hasn't collapsed into anarchy. Thing is, when those entities are successful, they become invisible. When was the last time you heard the right deride the tax-supported street in front of your home or your sewer system as welfare for freeloaders?

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:42 PM

5. you are so right

or the monetary system, or the court systems, or international relations, or emergency services. Occasionally they will rail against social security (though they take it) and the EPA (though they still breathe cleaner air and drink cleaner water).

But streets and highways and everything good about our country and its infrastructure are just taken for granted.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:46 PM

9. Public funding is not socialism. Seriously, that meme needs to stop. It's ignorant.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:53 PM

21. Please define socialism. This is how Webster's defines it:

Definition of socialism

1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:33 PM

38. I think the sewer system would definitely fit definition 1.

Although it's not "goods" that are being distributed.

Definition 2 would describe a pure socialist society. I don't think that exists anywhere.

Definition 3 is too "out there" for any situation we're likely to face.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #38)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:53 PM

42. The sewer system isn't a "means of production" OR a method of "distribution of goods."

So, no, having a public sewer system isn't a specifically socialist thing.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #42)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:11 PM

47. Based on my econ classes, I'd think Defn #1 should read...

"...goods and services." Maybe that's just me.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #47)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:42 PM

52. You still haven't provided a link. The problem is that the standard definition of the word

has been accepted for decades, and it's the one accepted by the dictionaries and by the Socialist party itself.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #52)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 06:19 PM

58. Here's a good link.

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

Unfortuately, it's a long, rambling article without a crisp definition, but I think that reflects the underlying reality. In any country you go to that isn't actually in a state of collapse, some of the goods and services you consume will be provided by private enterprise and some of them you will get from government and it's likely that there's no bright and shining line between those that should be supplied by government and those that should be supplied by private entities (think about the overlap between the U.S. Postal Service and UPS and Fedex). Also, the next country you go to will probably have a different mix -- not necessarily better or worse, just different.

The dictionary definitions are an attempt to capture a complicated, fluid concept in a few words. Whatever else is true about them, they're not handed down by God.

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #58)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 06:28 PM

59. But services can be provided by any government -- that doesn't make it a socialist government

or those socialist services.

Socialism has to do with the means of production and the distribution of goods.

And unnecessarily attaching a weighted and divisive word like "socialism" to things we support is dumb. We need to get better at branding, not worse.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 07:42 PM

64. Now, now pnwmom...

There you go disillusioning all these liberals who want to seem edgy.

Don’t you know that calling yourself a liberal is just too yesterday and that standard definitions don’t apply to edgy people.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:45 AM

74. LOL, we totally use the dictionary for everything in politics

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Response to ck4829 (Reply #74)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 12:02 PM

84. LOL, ignoring the standard, dictionary definition of a word is a GREAT branding strategy.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 02:50 PM

88. Here's how the Oxford Dictionaries define it

1A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

1.1 Policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.

1.2 (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

The term ‘socialism’ has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state Communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammelled workings of the economic market. The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended towards social democracy


This dictionary definition, with the use of "or regulated" is pretty clearly in line with the usage in American political discourse going back well over a century. Every significant government regulation of industry, from the idea that coal mines shouldn't be able to purchase the labor of eight-year-olds in extremely dangerous conditions to the minimum wage to the requirement that employees provide access to health care has won the label, in the halls of congress and on the editorial pages of newspapers across the country.

The funny thing is that it has historically been conservatives who have used this term to attack policies that they don't like. And for decades, they have successfully fought against a wide variety of public interventions into the private operation of capital by simply referring to any such intervention as socialism. Now, though, the tactic has backfired and the tide is turning, because the rising generations, who don't have the psychological baggage of growing up during the Cold War, aren't as predisposed to see anything labeled socialism as problematic. So they hear conservatives use terms like socialism to refer to Universal Health Care and they think: I'm cool with that. And so you have millennials who are predisposed to like socialism, because (thanks mostly to conservative attacks) they associate it with things like the nordic model.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #88)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 03:04 PM

89. The problem with that definition is that almost ANY democracy, no matter how capitalistic,

could be called socialism, if the "means of production, distribution, and exchange" were "regulated by the community as a whole" -- even a country that had no safety net at all.

Most Americans support health care for all. But the word "socialism" still carries negative baggage for millions of Americans. Just because young people are "cool" with the word doesn't mean it's the best way to brand policies we want all Americans to support.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #89)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 03:28 PM

90. but it's a dictionary definition

I've been reading the argument on DU that a fairly common usage of the term socialism is inaccurate because it isn't consistent with the dictionary definition. And yet: it is.



The problem with that definition is that almost ANY democracy, no matter how capitalistic,

could be called socialism, if the "means of production, distribution, and exchange" were "regulated by the community as a whole" -- even a country that had no safety net at all.

And why is that a problem? I mean, grammatically it's a problem because you wouldn't call a democracy "socialism" (or "capitalism" ). But aside from the awkward grammar, what is the problem with acknowledging that even countries with a pretty strong capitalist framework, such as the United States, can and have benefited tremendously from socialist intervention in the process of production, distribution, and exchange? I don't have (or see) a need to categorize any country as purely capitalist or purely socialist.



Most Americans support health care for all. But the word "socialism" still carries negative baggage for millions of Americans. Just because young people are "cool" with the word doesn't mean it's the best way to brand policies we want all Americans to support.

I'm not convinced by this line of reasoning. For fifty years (from Truman to Clinton), the democratic party tried to advance the cause of health care for all. For fifty years, conservatives attacked it by referring to it as socialized medicine. For fifty years, democrats responded by running from the label. For fifty years, democratic efforts were thwarted.

In the run up to the 2008 election we again saw the attacks on "socialized medicine," and this continued after Obama was elected and as he worked to make health care reform a reality. But this time, something was different: a pretty sizable portion of the public looked at examples of what had been called socialized medicine and said: that looks pretty good to me. The word no longer had the impact that it once did. Additionally, you had more voices in the fight who were willing to take on the label rather than running from it. I don't think Obama or Biden ever referred to it as socialized medicine, but there were certainly activists and rank-and-file who did. Here on DU it was plenty common to see people advocate for socialized medicine (and also plenty common to see people argue that what would eventually become Obamacare wasn't socialized enough, lol). Finally, you had actual politicians who weren't running from the label. Kucinich, for example, had a noticeable (though never viable in terms of national elections) following, and he didn't fear the label. More significantly, Howard Dean didn't run from the term socialized medicine (though he was careful to clarify differences between single-payer, which he supported, and truly socialist systems such as the VA system, which he also spoke highly of). Running from the label socialized medicine never worked, and eventually health care reform passed in an era in which (a) plenty of prominent voices stopped running from the term and (b) the term itself no longer provided a particularly effective framework against reform.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #90)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 03:34 PM

91. The problem with that definition is that it is so all-encompassing that it is meaningless.

It would apply to any democracy with a legal system.

Perhaps that is the way the word is used in Great Britain, home of the Oxford dictionary. But that's not how it's used in America.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #91)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 04:30 PM

92. um, no it's not. It doesn't apply to "a democracy," but rather to

specific elements that may be present within a democracy. If one were to define "socialist country" as a "[country] in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange [are] owned or regulated by the community as a whole" then your point might have merit, because you could argue that this encompasses every country in existence. But this is a definition of socialism as a concept, not a definition of a specific organization of government. It's not a meaningless definition by any stretch.


Perhaps that is the way the word is used in Great Britain, home of the Oxford dictionary. But that's not how it's used in America.

As I said before, this is actually EXACTLY how it's used in America, and has been for decades. More than a century, even.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #92)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 04:55 PM

93. The Webster's dictionary is based on American usage. The Oxford Dictionary

is published in Great Britain by the Oxford University Press.

The Oxford English Dictionary is the main historical dictionary of the English language, published by the Oxford University Press.

Originally published: February 1, 1884
Release number: 3
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Original language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Genres: Dictionary, Non-fiction, Reference work

https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/


And as to: "because you could argue that this encompasses every country in existence."

And I do. That's why I said the definition was meaningless.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #93)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 05:09 PM

94. lol -- if the argument is now that an oxford definition isn't good enough

Last edited Fri Aug 10, 2018, 06:05 PM - Edit history (1)

then it's not really a discussion worth continuing.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:40 PM

3. Since our government is owned by the citizens of the country, funded by the citizens

and run by the citizens. Maybe it can be called Citizenism.

If socialism is where the government owns the means of production, that would be a mis-nomer.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:42 PM

4. Insurance n/t

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:44 PM

6. republicans want tax dollars for farmers and religious shit

 

and military. would you call that socialist ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:50 PM

14. the military is our common defense

and as such is socialist by my personal definition. Something we spend $ on that benefits us all.

Keeping working farms from going bankrupt is an overall benefit for our country, as we need food.

Religious shit should be precluded by the 1st amendment. Some people argue that overall religion is a good thing for society. I think that point is debatable. I would only consider spending on religion properly socialist if every one of us had exactly the same religion. Other than that, it is cronyism.

There are circumstances where all of this spending can be perverted/diverted to helping only the wealthy few. Like militarism in the service of corporations. Or farm subsidies that are scooped up by big agribusiness that doesn't need them.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:44 PM

7. safety net

 

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:45 PM

8. Social Democracy/the Nordic Model is fine.

Promoting the Nordic Model is perfectly reasonable and understandable. But it shouldn't be conflated with socialism. Those who promote the Nordic Model while referring to themselves as socialists are shooting themselves in the foot.

I know it's popular to say things like, "If you support public schools and public roads, you support socialism." But it's just not true. That's not what socialism is unless you completely re-define the term. I can try to re-define "apple" to mean "airplane," but why?

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:51 PM

16. words don't have inherent meaning, only usages.

I can appreciate you defending your usage of socialism, but it doesn't make it necessarily more valid than mine (if we agree to use mine, for example)

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:54 PM

23. You aren't using a standard, dictionary definition of socialism.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

Definition of socialism

1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/socialism?s=t

noun
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole

procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:10 PM

29. No, but they have longstanding definitions.

I posted about this earlier: https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=10964786.

Why would those promoting the Nordic Model conflate Social Democracy with a misunderstood and polarizing term that really has nothing to do with Social Democracy? Part of the reason, I suppose, is that many of those promoting the Nordic Model are among those who misunderstand what socialism is. They're shooting themselves in the foot.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #29)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:33 PM

37. hence the reason for my post

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:48 PM

10. call it good government

or your tax dollars at work for you

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Response to vlyons (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:51 PM

17. I like those

both

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:48 PM

11. Recommended.

Thank you!

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:48 PM

12. Good government, in a democracy. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #12)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:49 PM

13. Good Government was the first phrase that popped into my mind, as well.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:50 PM

15. All governments theoretically spend tax dollars on things that help everyone

If that was the definition of Socialism, there wouldn't be competing economic theories.

The question is who owns the means of production? Capital or labor?

I tend to use the term "socialism" for things like the police, fire department, the military, the court system, food inspection, etc.

That's becoming more common, but it's essentially an admission that actual socialism is unpalatable.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:52 PM

19. maybe the difference is "socialism" versus "social spending"

where social spending is used for things that build up a society.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #19)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:05 PM

26. Ok... but again... what's the alternative?

Even in a wholly capitalist economy, the government builds roads, enforces laws (and contracts), regulate imports/exports, educates students, etc.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:30 PM

34. I know that, and you know that,

but Trumpanzees think that any spending on things people like is horrible

We need a way to talk about and market those things. Because we need them.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #34)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:43 PM

40. You really think "You don't know it... but YOU support socialism" is a winning argument with them?

If we're going to go with un-truth as a con game to change their minds... we would be better off selling socialism as really a form of capitalism.

Tell them that Social Security was first proposed by a German as a plan to avoid radical socialism in the late 19th century.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #34)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:58 PM

44. Yes we do. But the word SOCIALISM is the last thing that would help us market the concepts.

O'Conner in Ohio is much smarter about this. He's calling Social Security and Medicare "earned benefits." All of us should be.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #26)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 07:27 PM

61. In a wholly capitalist society, the roads would only be privately built

 

There are no fully capitalist economies, nor any fully socialist ones because each system has major flaws. A purely capitalist society would effectively have no government relying on individual actors to bargain among themselves for everything. It's a horribly inefficient system.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:52 PM

18. The "commons" nt

 

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Response to earthshine (Reply #18)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:07 PM

27. That's the phrase I like to use.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:52 PM

20. CIVILIZATION

Period.

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Response to blm (Reply #20)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:01 PM

25. !! excellent answer

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Response to blm (Reply #20)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:34 PM

39. "civilism"? "civility"


I support the civilization platform of the Democratic party. I kind of like the sound of that.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:53 PM

22. "Social safety net "

Medicaid and welfare are programs that are good for society. They help people who fall on hard times recover and become productive members of society.

And we should make the social safety net happen via our government. Government is the way we work together to achieve societal goals.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 03:57 PM

24. Infrastructure

is how I like to frame it.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:09 PM

28. Government of the people, by the people and for the people.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:12 PM

30. Patriotism

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:13 PM

31. Infrastructure.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:25 PM

32. You are conflating two totally different things.

Tax supported social infrastructure is not the same thing as socialism. Taxes are paid to funds things like roads, sewers, police, firefighting, teachers, courts, libraries, ect. Should the pay of some in that system be higher, certainly, teachers perform a primal and vital role in society, they should have the highest tax supported salaries by a long shot.

But, tax supported social infrastructure is not socialism and to call them the same shows lack of proper analysis of the unique differences.

Let's focus on winnable fights, like stopping taxpayer payouts to very profitable industries like the oil & gas industry and corporate farming. If we stop that, the money gained can be used to help the less fortunate in society.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #32)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:31 PM

35. I believe that was done intentionally...

You are conflating two totally different things.
I believe that was done intentionally. Thank you for pointing it out and for your courteous explanation.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #32)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:32 PM

36. Indeed, I am trying to disambiguate them

my mistake may be socialism versus social spending

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Reply #36)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:33 PM

49. I bought the social infrastructure spending is socialism argument for a while.

Until I analyzed the particulars of the two. Social infrastructure spending and the taxation that underlay it, are designed to ward off anarchy. Now, a person can validly argue that governments are somewhat deceitful in how that principle is applied, i.e., those that benefit the most from anarchy being held at bay should pay more in taxes, because that is a bargain for them when compared to the alternative.

The risk that both capitalism and socialism have is that a very small population of ultra elites will control most of societies resources, leaving the rest of the population facing varying levels of struggle. When taken to an extreme, the dichotomy created by the distorted ownership of resources causes society to collapse into anarchy.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:29 PM

33. We have Socialism for the rich and Capitalism for the poor.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:49 PM

41. It's properly called promoting the general welfare

The preamble to the U.S. Constitution cites promotion of the general welfare as a primary reason for the creation of the Constitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 04:58 PM

43. Our responsibility

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:01 PM

45. Democratic Party Principles Since Forever

Howzzat?

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:06 PM

46. Investment.

Invest in infrastructure, health, education, safety, etc.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:30 PM

48. Why do you need a separate label?

Democrats have been "spending tax dollars on things that help everyone" for a long time.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:35 PM

50. Promoting the "general welfare" of the people. NT

 

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:40 PM

51. I prefer the term "public investments"

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:44 PM

53. When I was in grade school we were taught that this was called

“The Social Contract”.

Paying taxes, working together as a community, helping the less fortunate all were supposed to work together to make us the best place in the world to live.

Apparently many kids didn’t get that lesson.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:47 PM

54. how about calling it a "New Deal"?

catchy phrase isn't it?

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:50 PM

55. Social safety net. Social spending. Public interest.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:54 PM

56. The general welfare

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Response to eallen (Reply #56)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 06:33 PM

60. ⬆️ As clearly stated in the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution

The concern of the government for the health, peace, morality, and safety of its citizens.
Providing for the welfare of the general public is a basic goal of government. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution cites promotion of the general welfare as a primary reason for the creation of the Constitution. Promotion of the general welfare is also a stated purpose in state constitutions and statutes. The concept has sparked controversy only as a result of its inclusion in the body of the U.S. Constitution.
The first clause of Article I, Section 8, reads, "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."

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 05:59 PM

57. Democratic Socialism?

"Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.

Democracy and socialism go hand in hand. All over the world, wherever the idea of democracy has taken root, the vision of socialism has taken root as well—everywhere but in the United States. Because of this, many false ideas about socialism have developed in the US."

https://www.dsausa.org/what_is_democratic_socialism

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Response to dogman (Reply #57)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 07:28 PM

62. +1

Let's not let them denigrate the word, as they have done with "liberal".

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Response to dogman (Reply #57)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 08:17 AM

82. Social Democrat would be FAR better to be used than Democratic Socialist.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 07:28 PM

63. Do a little bit more studying social about social democrat v. democratic socialist dear friends.

Democratic socialists can't let go of Marx. Social Democrats noticed that liberalized capitalism breeds a larger middle class which both Engels and Marx had to admit in their later years.

American exceptionalism means we are an exception to the theories of Marx. Democrats are the updated version of the Democratic Republicans. That's one of the reasons we seem, at times, ill defined. But that also keeps the tent big. That would be big enough to use the intelligent solution to whatever problem usually after all the others have been tried and failed. Seems to me we need democratic capitalism.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 08:02 PM

65. That has all been fundamental to the Democratic Party since FDR if not longer

There is zero need to add adjectives to "Democrat".

Most Democrats hold all of that quite dear. The way to getting all that likely differs from one group of Democrats to another.

On balance, adding qualifiers to the name "Democrat" serves MORE to divide us that to unite us.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 08:43 PM

66. Much of the New Deal was based on 1930s European Corporatism,

as practiced by European Socialist states, notably Germany, Italy and Spain. Some of it is still around, like the NLRB and the FHA.

Should we reclaim the mantle of Corporatist? What could go wrong?

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 09:59 PM

67. Good government.

Taxation with representation for all.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 10:06 PM

68. Honest leadership with decency, respect and concern for all people.

You know, EXACTLY what we don't have now.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 10:35 PM

69. That's an easy answer. . .

Public Works

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 11:14 PM

70. Stinky The Clown called it a few post up. Democratic Governance.

The person who set our nation and party on a positive trajectory was just a Democrat.

One thing FDR did not claim to be is a socialist. And if some successful put that label one the party you will lose many if not most of its members .

The Democratic Party. Making America Better for Everyone.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Sun Aug 5, 2018, 11:36 PM

71. Civilization or Overcoming Evil with Good

Love needs to be the point of the spear, imo.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2018, 01:53 AM

72. Compatriotism. Symbiosis. Societal reciprocation. Humanism.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2018, 07:53 AM

73. Money is like manure, if you spread it around it makes things grow!

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:47 AM

75. I'm pretty sure the right wing will be calling compassion a form of socialism soon enough

"If you don't want to act like the Zodiac killer, you are a communist!!!"

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:53 AM

76. Call it "Government Aligned with Democratic Party Core Values"

and encourage people to actually read the Democratic platform. Remind them that the best way to ensure that principle becomes enacted policy is by voting.

https://www.democrats.org/party-platform

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:56 AM

77. A constitutionally limited representative republic...

 

With a capitalistic foundation.

There is no place for a logical socialist argument about where our country currently stands. To make that even more clear, Bernie Sanders is a capitalist. Socialist elements in this country are so small as to be insignificant. Many places across the globe would laugh at some of our “isn’t this socialism” arguments.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:56 AM

78. We need to change the meaning of the word in the minds of the sheeple.

Maybe advertising with phrases like "Medicare = Socialism," "VA Healthcare = Socialism," "Interstate Highways = Socialism," etc. We know the meaning of words has been changed in the past. Try using the word "queer" to describe something odd these days. LOL.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:56 AM

79. Pick some Bible phrases that fit.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 07:57 AM

80. The American Way

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 08:01 AM

81. Calling that stuff socialism is like being an assisted euthanasia advocate but saying you

 

Using a term that is not just inaccurate but comes with a built in stigma and opposition just makes it 10x harder to make your case.

Calling it socialism just shows that a person doesn’t understand what socialism is.

And a huge part of the problem is when some people say socialism meaning government social welfare programs a lot of people fight back against them because they oppose actual socialism.

Calling it something that more people would oppose just makes it harder to advocate for and easier for more people to fight against.

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 08:43 AM

83. Common good

That's why taxes are necessary, societies have to have money to take care of the common good!

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 01:17 PM

85. In the United States, the label of "socialism" has long been applied to any government intervention

It's a weird sort of tempest we're currently witnessing on DU regarding the definition of socialism. There is, on the one hand, a pretty standard academic/economic definition of socialism which involves public ownership of (at least some portion of) the means of production.

But that is not the way that the term socialism has generally been used in the United States in our cultural or political debates. For well over a century now, any form of government intervention in the economy or in the process of production has been labeled by its critics and by capital interests as socialism. This was true of, for instance, the minimum wage, which was attacked as socialism in the halls of congress and in newspaper editorials across the land. It was true of child labor laws and it was true of environmental regulations. Virtually any major regulation of industry has been resisted with the label of socialism. The label has also been applied to other processes which capital interests (or simply conservative sensibilities) have found distasteful, such as "socialized medicine" to attack publicly funded health care, or the attack on public schools as socialism.

As a brief aside, I'll note that there is some justification, even by the oft-cited dictionary definition, to call such things socialism. Regulation is, after all, a restriction of the rights of ownership, and as such represents a public intervention and public control over the privilege of ownership. But that's kind of an academic argument that isn't really necessary to delve into for the bigger picture, imo, so I'll leave it as an aside.

The larger point is that, in cultural and political usage, the term socialism in the United States has pretty much always been used to refer to the things that the "democratic socialist" wing is now in support of. For a long time, the primary reaction among those to the left of center has been to run from the label. There were a lot of reasons for this, and some of them were probably pretty good ones. But if we look around, the results haven't been particularly encouraging. When Harry Truman proposed introduced universal health care, he was insistent that it wasn't socialized medicine. The AMA called it socialized medicine. The proposal was defeated. You can see that pattern repeat itself again and again over the next six decades. Obamacare, too, was called socialized medicine, and while I don't think the president ever actually called it that, one of the big differences between Clinton's first term (which saw "socialized medicine" go down in flames) and Obama's first term (which saw "socialized medicine" actually enacted) is that "socialized medicine" (and "socialism" itself) didn't have nearly the pejorative power a generation after the end of the Cold War. In fact, most of the public *wanted* "socialized medicine."

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Response to fishwax (Reply #85)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 01:54 PM

87. yes - excellent restatement of the issue

thank you

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Response to ProfessorPlum (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 01:51 PM

86. Call it "Public Funding" or "Funding the Commons"

Socialism typically entails central planning, ownership, and distribution of the goods and services in a society. I think Social Democracy is also appropriate although Socialists can have a democratic form of government.

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