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Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:56 PM

Democratic Socialist

Last edited Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:35 PM - Edit history (1)

84 replies, 6268 views

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Arrow 84 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democratic Socialist (Original post)
Quixote1818 Aug 2015 OP
Trajan Aug 2015 #1
Quixote1818 Aug 2015 #3
LineLineReply !
tecelote Aug 2015 #18
guillaumeb Aug 2015 #2
global1 Aug 2015 #4
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #8
George II Aug 2015 #19
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #23
George II Aug 2015 #24
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #25
George II Aug 2015 #26
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #30
Babel_17 Aug 2015 #51
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #54
Babel_17 Aug 2015 #55
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #57
Babel_17 Aug 2015 #59
George II Aug 2015 #65
JDPriestly Aug 2015 #70
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #64
George II Aug 2015 #66
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #68
Baadger Aug 2015 #10
lunatica Aug 2015 #83
pampango Aug 2015 #5
former9thward Aug 2015 #15
George II Aug 2015 #69
rogerashton Aug 2015 #6
Dont call me Shirley Aug 2015 #7
Cassidy Aug 2015 #9
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #11
ronnie624 Aug 2015 #56
valerief Aug 2015 #12
AOR Aug 2015 #13
JanMichael Aug 2015 #16
CanSocDem Aug 2015 #20
AOR Aug 2015 #27
CanSocDem Aug 2015 #28
AOR Aug 2015 #32
Armstead Aug 2015 #29
AOR Aug 2015 #31
Armstead Aug 2015 #34
AOR Aug 2015 #35
FrodosPet Aug 2015 #58
AOR Aug 2015 #61
Quixote1818 Aug 2015 #37
moondust Aug 2015 #42
AOR Aug 2015 #45
moondust Aug 2015 #47
AOR Aug 2015 #60
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #67
AOR Aug 2015 #71
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #72
AOR Aug 2015 #73
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #74
AOR Aug 2015 #77
AOR Aug 2015 #75
passiveporcupine Aug 2015 #76
AOR Aug 2015 #78
stevenleser Aug 2015 #79
AOR Aug 2015 #80
stevenleser Aug 2015 #82
AOR Aug 2015 #84
leftstreet Aug 2015 #81
ellennelle Aug 2015 #14
Uncle Joe Aug 2015 #17
lobodons Aug 2015 #21
wiggs Aug 2015 #22
stevenleser Aug 2015 #44
stevenleser Aug 2015 #33
Quixote1818 Aug 2015 #36
stevenleser Aug 2015 #38
Quixote1818 Aug 2015 #39
AOR Aug 2015 #40
RichVRichV Aug 2015 #41
stevenleser Aug 2015 #43
RichVRichV Aug 2015 #46
stevenleser Aug 2015 #48
ericson00 Aug 2015 #50
stevenleser Aug 2015 #62
ericson00 Aug 2015 #49
Babel_17 Aug 2015 #52
KingCharlemagne Aug 2015 #53
stevenleser Aug 2015 #63

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:00 PM

1. Hell yeah ...

 

nicely done ...

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Response to Trajan (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:05 PM

3. I can't take credit for writing this


Saw it here and it didn't come up anywhere else in a Google image search:

http://www.discussionist.com/1015538577

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Response to Trajan (Reply #1)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:36 PM

18. !

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:04 PM

2. Might this mean passing laws to channel behavior into socially productive areas?

Like taxing ultra high incomes at a 90% rate, as was done until Kennedy lowered tax rates, followed by Reagan and Bush?

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 04:30 PM

4. After Listening To Call-In's On CSPAN Today I Think You Are Going To Have To.....

take your posted definition and make it very, very simple for people to understand. There are too many red flag words in your post that tend to confuse people and make them think bad thoughts.

Here's my attempt to cleaning it up. Anybody else want to give it a try?

A Democratic Socialist is an American who seeks to democratically channel our tax money into creating opportunities for everyone. To do this all Americans - including the wealthy and corporations - need to contribute their fair share of taxes.

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Response to global1 (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 05:54 PM

8. Bernie wants to raise taxes on the rich and lower them on the rest of us.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:38 PM

19. Obama tried to do that too, couldn't get it past the republican congress....

...what makes people think Sanders will be successful?

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Response to George II (Reply #19)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:21 PM

23. Sanders says outright that no president can do it alone. He is trying to create a movement of

people to back him in achieving the goals he talks about.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #23)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:28 PM

24. 118 members of Congress have endorsed Clinton, zero have endorsed Sanders:

I'd say he's failing at that.

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Response to George II (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:30 PM

25. I'd say he is not corrupt like so many of our members of Congress.

He is not bought out.

A certain portion of his support is due to the lack of action by Congress in ending Citizens United and all the perks for corporations. It's scandalous, and the Democratic elite are just as anxious to guzzle up the corporate money as the Republicans.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:33 PM

26. Regardless, how is going to be able to work with Congress if many of them don't like his politics?

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Response to George II (Reply #26)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:05 PM

30. Actually he is liked by a lot of people in Congress.

His campaign proposals are not that revolutionary. They make enormous common sense. Free college would be a wise investment in our time. After all, the streets and lower level schools are free. College is the new high school. If you don't have a college degree you really don't have good job opportunities. Even with a degree jobs are scarce and hard to keep these days.

Congress will find it difficult to explain why they don't vote for Bernie's down-to-earth common-sense proposals especially with regard to expanding Social Security and increasing taxes on the very wealthy. Virtually all of his proposals are strongly supported by the American voters even by Republicans. Reining in the too-big-to-fail banks??? That's a no brainer.

In fact had the Congress already passed laws to do that, Bernie might be satisfied just to remain the senator from Vermont. He isn't a particularly vain or ambitious person. That is obvious.

He has over the years worked out a lot of compromises in Congress. He is the ranking member of the committee on Veteran's Affairs. He is on the budget committee.

The problem is not with Bernie. It is with our corrupt and greedy Congress.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #30)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:07 AM

51. It's not cheaper to just give up on millions of young adults?

I'm shocked to hear this radical idea, shocked!

It needs to be mentioned that trade schools are also a great way to get into relatively secure and decently paying careers. And many Unions (such as the one I retired from) offer training classes to equip young people to get decent paying jobs, with full benefits.

Not to go on a rant, but I want to see us return to being a nation of builders and doers.

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Response to Babel_17 (Reply #51)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:17 AM

54. I assume that trade schools would be treated the same as colleges.

I think that the issue is that high school is no longer enough.

One of my children went to a technical university after high school.

Sorry if I did not make that clear.

I consider technical schools to be of the same importance and in the same category as colleges. Perhaps not all people don't.

It's just school after college. Junior college, university, technical school, trade school, and I would like to see us institute an apprenticeship system a little but not exactly like the one that works so well in Germany.

So I'm with you on this. Personally, I like to work with my hands even though I did not earn my living that way.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #54)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 11:08 AM

55. You were clear enough, I just think it's beneficial if we emphasize it more

"College" has come to be the catch all panacea for unemployment. I think that obscures a bit the larger point that's it about being prepared for jobs, and having an economy that produces them.

That's why I mention getting skills that lead directly to employment.

I often spoke about this to my co-worker who was born in Italy (came over as an adolescent). He says that over there your guidance counselor would have a frank talk with your parents and wasn't shy about recommending a trade school. In Europe the trades do quite well.

Lol, he'd say "If a kid didn't have it to go to go to college, the counselor might advise, 'You're a cabinet builder? I think your kid should enter the family business."

I frankly question the feasibility of an economy not more grounded in the fundamentals. Our work force is at the mercy of the multi-nationals when we give up on what we used to do. When we're more a nation of producers, we have more leverage, imo.

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Response to Babel_17 (Reply #55)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:39 PM

57. I totally agree with you. I lived in several European countries for years, and in each, the

education system helped children get the kinds of skills and education best for their lives.

College no longer means just academics. But we need a better apprenticeship program that is as in Europe coupled with in-class training in some academics, some business and a lot of technical preparation.

It should not be a choice of academics or nothing.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #57)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 02:05 PM

59. I was thinking along the same lines

"It should not be a choice of academics or nothing" is a good way of putting it.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 07:47 PM

65. So IF (a huge if) he gets elected, you really expect him to be an effective President....

....by going it alone?

If he doesn't have a single ally in Congress supporting his candidacy, how do you expect him to accomplish anything?

In 26 years in Congress, he's introduced a few bills and co-sponsored a few bills, but basically all he's done is vote for legislation authored by others. He's a follower, not a leader.

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Response to George II (Reply #65)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 09:20 PM

70. I expect him to have the people behind him.

Most of Congress is so corrupt that the bills they pass hurt the middle class and working people. That goes for most of the Congress including most of the Democrats.

The bail-out of the banks with no requirements about how they used the money or whether they would in turn bail out the families that owed them money.

The War in Iraq.

The excessive spending on the military.

The tax breaks for the rich.

Refusal to pass equal pay for women.

Refusal to make health care a basic right and pass some sort of single payer health insurance bill.

Refusal to pass immigration legislation.

Refusal to pass a law guaranteeing the right to vote in the face of Republican obstruction of the right to vote.

Refusing to pass really good education reform instead of the No Child Left Behind bill that has harmed our kids.

Refusing to raise the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax.

Leaving interest rates high on student loan interest that flows into the US treasury while lowering taxes on the very wealthiest.

Not fully funding food stamps and other programs to help the poor.

Not funding infrastructure repairs the country badly needs.

Not providing free college or trade school for all students but giving tax breaks to the rich parents who can afford to send their children to the elite schools.

Passing and signing NAFTA.

Passing the TPP fast-track bill.

The list of the corrupt actions of Congress defy the imagination.

It's all play for pay. EXCEPT BERNIE.

And you may accuse him of not having accomplishments, but I say that he is one of the few in Congress of whom you can say that he is not bought, doesn't take money in exchange for votes and plays straight with the American people.

I'm for Bernie. He is the only hope we have to change this corrupt status quo.

Play to pay. Pay to play. That's our Congress now. That's the other presidential candidates too. Trump claims it isn't true of him, but the complexity of his business dealings and his penchant for corporate bankruptcies makes me question how much of what he says and claims is true.

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Response to George II (Reply #24)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 07:36 PM

64. are you being deliberately obtuse?

It's not congress who is going to push this country to change. It's grass roots uprisings of the people. That is what Bernie is counting on if he is POTUS. He already knows the money entrenched congress are going to resist him. It's time we stood up for ourselves, and he is going to be there to guide us.

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #64)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 07:51 PM

66. Is this "grass roots uprising" going to descend on Washington, sit in at the Capitol....

....and legislative office buildings, the White House, the Supreme Court, etc.?

This isn't the '60s man.

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Response to George II (Reply #66)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 08:48 PM

68. Just look at BLM. It's already making a difference in how this campaign season is starting off

in how this campaign season is starting off. Protestors can make a difference. They have already changed things so gays can get married. We the people have the power of the vote in our hands, and the power of protest and letting our congress people know what we expect of them.

We haven't used this power to our full advantage for a long time. It's time to get off our duffs.

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Response to global1 (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:12 PM

10. I agree

 

It needs to be simpler and less scary .

Also, any word with "ism" at the end scares people, so I like using the words "democratic" and "social" in the definition (because they are not scary words) and this allows people to understand the origin of the big scary words so they can better relate to the actual meaning behind the words

Keep it super simple

-----------------

Democratic Socialism means having a democratically elected government spend money on infrastructure and social services that benefit society.

Do you like the having a police force? If yes then you are a socialist. Do you like having good roads and bridges paid for by government? If yes then you are a socialist. Do you think that war vets should receive the health care they need? If yes then you are a socialist. Do you like to be able to vote? If yes then you like the Democratic process. Do you think that billionaires should pay a similar effective tax rate as average people and the tax revenue should be spent on society? If yes then vote for Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders is suggesting that the massive tax cuts that the top 1% have received over the past 40 years should be withdrawn, and the money should be spent on bettering society.

Its not that scary or extreme!

And if you decide you don't like it after 4 years, you can vote him out, because it is DEMOCRATIC.

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Response to global1 (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:31 PM

83. Unfortunately to them there's no such thing as fair taxes

We're talking the lowest common denominator after the highest has been eliminated. Take out the top two tiers of intelligent and see how the bell curve makes erstwhile simpletons into smart people. Idiocracy happens.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 05:01 PM

5. I believe Bernie asked why we can't be more like Scandinavia.

They govern as Democratic Socialists.

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Response to pampango (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:25 PM

15. They don't.

The have capitalist economies. Politically they are social democracies -- not democratic socialists. People are just making up their own definitions of socialism.

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Response to pampango (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 09:03 PM

69. He said that? Someone should give Sanders a geography lesson - Scandinavia isn't a country....

It's a peninsula containing three countries - Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

Sweden in a parliamentary democracy
Denmark is parliamentary democracy
Norway is a "parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy"

None are formally "socialist" although each, like most other democratic governments in the world (including the United States) have some socialist aspects and programs.

Scary that a self-proclaimed "socialist" who wants to be the President of the United States wouldn't know this about "Scandinavia".

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 05:23 PM

6. Don't you see the contradiction here?

A capitalist economy is one run by capitalists.

If an economy were democratic it would be run by majority rule. Capitalists are not a majority.

Perhaps you meant that democratic socialists would support an economy in which the market would continue to play a large part in the allocation of resources. Some do, some don't. Anyway, that would be market socialism, not capitalism.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027079509

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 05:38 PM

7. YA know, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt!

The Second Bill of Rights, Franklin D Roosevelt

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 05:55 PM

9. Thanks for posting this succinct definition!

Now if only someone could send it to Rep. Wasserman Schultz (Fl-D) and every other confused Democratic Representative and Senator!

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:14 PM

11. Socialism is where the means of production is controlled democratically

It means things like employee owned/shared businesses, where employees are part owner and/or decision makers of how a company is run. It is not run by a few people with all profits accruing to a few people. It is decided by the employees, and may also include members of society, because all business has an effect on the society in which it dwells. It is a social construct that benefits all. It does not mean that everyone earns the same amount and owns nothing.

It does not mean there is no capitalism. Capitalism and Socialism can exist side by side, as they do in places in Europe. But there may be constraints on capitalism so it benefits it's employees and society as well as it's owners. The larger the business, the more impact it has on it's society, the more important that it be a socialist construct, not privately owned capitalism. Small capitalist businesses don't have a major impact on society...but when they start to get big, they do and it becomes essential that they become democratically controlled (not by government, but by employees and society). Businesses that provide essential services (water, power, infrastructure, etc.) need to be socially controlled.

Socialism is NOT a dirty word.

It seems like everyone is scrambling to excuse Sanders for being a socialist. There is nothing to excuse him for. He has the right ideas and has always had them.

Bernie is all for employee owned businesses side-by-side with privately owned business. I suspect he'd be fine with all business being owned by the employees. He's not just for government being the arbiter of how social services are handled.

When we get to the point where most people don't need to work any more, because everything is automated, it will be crucial that our society is run by socialism, and not for the few who run/own the robots and resources in a capitalist environment.

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #11)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:33 PM

56. A lot of people want to have their cake and eat it too;

holding out for the day that they, themselves, may one day be 'rich'.

But alas, the Laws of Thermodynamics will not allow everyone to be 'rich'. Capitalism is inherently illogical and unsustainable, because the Law of Conservation of Energy and Mass says that a thermodynamic system, like a corporation or a factory, can never produce more than the initial investment of stored energy (resources) and available energy (labor). If the stored energy is receiving a disproportionately greater return than the available energy, it does so at the expense of laborers through substandard wages and benefits. Capitalism also incentives and promotes consumerism, thereby wasting resources and polluting our biosphere. This is not a system that can distribute resources, goods and services in an equitable manner, provide economic stability, drive necessary technological innovation and enable us to mitigate the coming hardships for our civilization in the form of resource depletion and global climate change.

If people were properly educated in science, mathematics and rational thinking, and genuine democracy actually held sway, Capitalism would not even exist at all.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:14 PM

12. Very nice. nt

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:19 PM

13. Capitalism can't be "made fair"...

 

one can parse and dice that any way they want by calling it "mixed systems" and "Democratic Socialism" but the fact remains that Capitalism can never be "made fair." It is not an honest assessment of capitalist social relations and the theft, oppression, and exploitation that the foundations of capitalism are built on and has no factual basis in reality or on the ground for those left out of the mix.

The best the Bernie Sanders platform of change can offer - while holding onto the foundations of Capitalism - is well fed and healthy wage slaves along with continued exploitation of the working class. A ruling class will remain that profits off of theft of the labor of workers and a lower class will remain firmly in place. That is historical reality and no talk of reform or regulation will change the foundations of capitalist social relations.

Sanders is not a leftist or a socialist in any form and Sanders calling himself one and his supporters trying to parse and dice leftism into an acceptable form that fits into the status quo of capitalist social relations is beyond laughable. Sanders supporters would do well to just call it New Deal capitalist reformist politics and leave it at that.

Beyond that...how does having a "mixed system" in one country do anything to alleviate the plight of workers in others when global capitalism and capital is on the march ? Do you care about the abuse of workers and their economic and social conditions in other countries ? If you do you would not profess that "Nordic Democratic Socialism" is some kind of noble solution. "Mixed systems"...will inevitably be overrun by the Capitalism in the mix and much evidence exists that the the Nordic model countries are under severe pressure to apply austerity and gains will be rolled back as global capitalism continues on it's death march of war, exploitation, and oppression.

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Response to AOR (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:27 PM

16. Agreed. nt.

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Response to AOR (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:53 PM

20. Sure it can...

 



...in many ways.

Don't build-in obsolescence. Don't flood a market. Don't compete for market control...just off the top of my head.

And number one, it is regulated by a democratically elected government.

The Social Democratic government does EVERYTHING in the public interest. If a capitalist enterprise does not operate in the interests of the 'unwashed masses', it is not permitted by virtue of a public vote.

And the government takes care of the basic needs of its citizens with health, education and social services.

Having grown up with these benefits, you have no idea how difficult it was to hear private industry attempting to market all the basic needs that most countries provide their citizens.


.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 07:43 PM

27. You are missing the point...

 

you apparently think that the foundations of capitalism are not based on exploitation, theft of the surplus value of the labor of the masses, and the impoverishment of workers ?

The foundations of Capitalism are expropriation of the working class and the commons of the people to funnel profit to a minority ruling class. Are you claiming that "Nordic Socialism" or "European Socialism" does not have a ruling class model ? Please prove it.

Leftists are interested in working class power, political power, and the workers controlling their own destiny. There is NO form of "mixed system" or "Nordic and European Socialism model" that is helpful to that end.

Definitions matter in historical context and in analysis of what is real and what isn't. I'm not bashing Sanders. I think he is doing exceptionally well from within the framework he is working in and is miles above anything being offered by either of the two capitalist parties candidates. That being said...calling the platform that Bernie is running on leftist politics is just not so. Leftists (of which there are many varieties) do not believe capitalism can be reformed, regulated, or "mixed" with something else to meet the needs of the WHOLE.



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Response to AOR (Reply #27)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:29 PM

28. Perhaps...

 

...but I grew up in a 'social democracy' just across your border. We had our very own "Bernie Sanders".



He convinced us it could be done.


.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #28)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:30 PM

32. You've not addressed what I've written...

 

certainly you are not claiming that the working class in Canada controls their own destiny and a ruling class is not in charge are you ?

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Response to AOR (Reply #27)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 09:39 PM

29. People are people, and so all systems need checks and balances and individual motivation...

 

I'd call myself a liberal and/or democratic socialist.

I believe in socialism in principle. But human nature being what it is, it'll never happen in undiluted form.

If it went too far in the direction of socialism it would lead to Animal Farm. Too far in the direction of capitalism, we'd have what we have today.

They need each other for checks and balances.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:28 PM

31. What "you believe" or "call yourself" is entirely irrelevant...

 

Changing social conditions is not about YOU or what you believe. The oppressive and criminal relationship of Capitals domination over labor and the workers doesn't change regardless of one's belief or what one chooses to call themselves. Leftist politics is about power and resources and who controls what and why. Who has power and who has no power. "Human nature" arguments have always been the narrative of the ruling class and the gatekeepers of the status quo. The arguments are entirely unhistorical and a bunch of complete nonsense. Capitalism is not the preordained natural order of civilization, nor is it a by-product of humans in their natural state. In reality, it is the exact opposite. The ideas that some refer to as "scary socialism" were the principles of primitive human societies and tribes before recorded history and since the beginning of human existence.

Many will in fact blame anything and everything first before they blame capitalism and all it's insidious tentacles -of war, oppression, exploitation, institutionalized racism, genocide to name a few - as the fundamental problem. It is greed says the one, it's human nature says the other, it's overpopulation says another. To many, those billions of people living in abject poverty around the globe are expendable because it's "human nature." Capitalism can never provide an equitable distribution of production and resources in a way that takes care of the population as a whole and doesn't despoil and destroy everything around it as it does now. That is the bottom line and there is no factual narrative that proves otherwise as evidenced by the impoverishment and the death of millions on the ground due to capitalist social relations.








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Response to AOR (Reply #31)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:38 PM

34. Yeah, yeah,yeah...good luck with that.

 

Eons of human history have proven otherwise.

Seriously, let me know when you figure out 1) How to convince a critical mass of people to become enlightened enough to to jettison all vestiges of their perceived self-interest enough to overturn money, trading and all other aspects of capitalism and 2)Put in place a social system where everyone agrees with everyone else, and no one is tempted to sneak a little more for themselves -- and avoid the temptation to seek a little more power for themselves.

I wish it could be done. I'd love to be proven wrong. But until then, we gotta make the best of what we've got.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #34)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:47 PM

35. You've said absolutely nothing in your reply...

 

offered no analysis, have played the capitalism as "the end of history" card, along with rank apology for capitalist social relations that are destroying and impoverishing more of the working class and the struggling with each passing year. Business as usual...

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Response to AOR (Reply #35)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 01:51 PM

58. If I will be able to afford a BMW 750i xDrive Sedan and a McMansion under socialism,

Then by gosh I am for it.

Will I be able to afford a BMW 750i xDrive Sedan and a McMansion under socialism?

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #58)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 05:14 PM

61. Not until the human needs of every single citizen in society are met in full...

 

that includes much more than the basics of survival. Production must first be directed towards the needs of the many rather than the greed of the few.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:56 PM

37. You and I are exactly on the same page.

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Response to AOR (Reply #13)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:21 AM

42. Forget about purity.

All socioeconomic systems end up being a mix of collectivism and private enterprise. Even the totalitarian Soviet communists discovered the value of private plots on communal farms and had no real choice but to allow them to exist and thrive. Mao is probably rolling in his grave over the state of modern Chinese communism.

I think the trick is to find the right balance. IMO the U.S. has over the past few decades sacrificed too much collectivism (the commons) on the altar of private enterprise, partly as a reaction to totalitarian communism and centralization that may have worked in a simple agricultural economy but became increasingly overwhelmed by all the decision-making inherent in a complex technical environment.

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Response to moondust (Reply #42)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:41 AM

45. "Purity" has nothing to do with it...

 

as I said... what YOU think has no basis in objective material reality and the facts on the ground. The entire history of capitalist social relations moves in the exact opposite direction that the reformers claim possible. We see this in "Nordic Socialism" and "mixed systems." Austerity is the name of the game when capitalist crisis of over production and growth rears its head. It is NOT a matter of opinion on what you think or what I think. It is reality. This is happening in Denmark, Norway, Finland to name but a few of the "mixed economies." Capital reinvents itself under numerous names but the foundations of Capitalism remain the same. Those foundations are built on the exploitation of workers and labor. There are no "moral foundations" of capitalist social relations - that must remain for society to function - as the apologists claim.

"Private enterprise" is not possible without the theft of labor of the many. Without a complete change in the power structure and control of the commons that serves at the alter of Capital rather than the workers and people as a WHOLE there will be no so solutions. There will never be any "mixture of Socialism and Capitalism" that doesn't leave the Socialism part of it in the dust in the long run.

Class struggle is not an illusion.

Ruling class = those who own and control the means of production and thus are able to dominate and exploit a working class of wage-workers.

Working Class = those who must sell their labor power and work as wage-slaves in service to a ruling class or starve.

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Response to AOR (Reply #45)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 01:00 AM

47. How does this case fit into your "understanding" of things?

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Response to moondust (Reply #47)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 05:05 PM

60. How does it fit in ?

 

It's entirely irrelevant and entirely subjective for the whole of the workers. The CEO could pay that small group of employees a million a year and it still has ZERO relevance to the struggles of the working class as a WHOLE. Fifty percent of the workers, the poor, and the struggling in this country are existing on less than $27,000 a year How does your isolated case help the rest ? Surely you're not claiming that this act of "good will" is the norm rather than an aberration.

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Response to AOR (Reply #45)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 08:23 PM

67. What about the employee owned co-ops in Germany?

Last edited Sun Aug 16, 2015, 09:36 PM - Edit history (3)

they are not owned by government, but instead by a group of employees. They are governed by a group of employees. Decisions are made to benefit the society they are in, and themselves. They are a social capitalist endeavor. The employees are "owners" of a private enterprise, but not run by a board of directors that are responsible to wall street, nor are they run by a CEO who makes 300 times what the median employee wage is. They are not a "everyone is equal" business where they all earn the same wage. Those wages are decided by the employees.

Richard Wolff talks about these a lot. When enough people who are jobless in Germany decide to pool together to start a business, the government pays them a certain amount to get it started. It is not owned by the government. It is a private company, but it is a co-op.

We have co-ops in America too. My local power company is a rural co-op, and my credit union is a co-op.

Patagonia, a large apparel manufacturer based in Ventura, California, has organized itself as a “B-corporation.” That’s a for-profit company whose articles of incorporation require it to take into account the interests of workers, the community, and the environment, as well as shareholders.

The performance of B-corporations according to this measure is regularly reviewed and certified by a nonprofit entity called B Lab.

http://robertreich.org/post/94260751620

Companies don't "have" to go public and become responsible to shareholders. They can and did run on stakeholder capitalism, until shareholder capitalism took over.

edit to correct robert reich to richard wolff...sorry I have dyslexia with these two names.

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #67)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 09:24 PM

71. Robert Reich is a liberal capitalist passiveporcupine...

 

Hartmann, Reich, ect...talk a good game but they are unable to take the next step in denouncing capitalist social relations as the problem. That's fine but they should not be claiming to represent leftist politics because they don't. They will NEVER let go of Capitalism.

Some of the things that Robert says are fine in the context of "reform" but he simply doesn't get it. The cognitive dissonance whether real or deliberate is beyond all comprehension. Robert is a liberal capitalist who believes Capitalism can be "reformed and regulated" into a benevolent prosperity for all. Mr. Reich could not be more wrong. Liberal reforms in a capitalist empire is like putting a band-aid on a limb infected with gangrene.

Robert Reich actually made this comment in an article widely covered a few months ago at many venues --

" The widening inequality — combined with the increasing numbers of people who work full time but are still impoverished and of others who have never worked and are fabulously wealthy — is undermining the moral foundations of American capitalism."

ThAs statement is truly beyond all comprehension passiveporcupine. Somebody should tell Robert that the "moral foundations of American capitalism" are built on the institutionalized theft of labor and savage inequality and it has always been thus. That's the way it works and always has. And no, it is a "not a new feature of another kind of Capitalism that's not like the moral kind." It is the normal workings of Capitalism in all it's glory. Without a doubt one of the most absurd and ridiculous comments ever uttered by Robert Reich. Capitalism doesn't have any moral foundations. The foundations of Capitalism are expropriation of the working class and the commons of the people to funnel profit to a minority ruling class.

As far as co-ops go... most leftists don't buy into that mysticism at all. Working class struggle means a struggle of ALL workers. Workers of the world unite is more than a slogan. Solidarity is all workers have. "Socialism" within a capitalist power structure will be degraded to the point of extinction. ALL workers need to control the strings of the means of production and distribution of their labor. Not co-ops while capitalists and the ruling class retain their power. The capitalists will allow pockets of "socialist entrepreneurs" all day long as long as they maintain their political and economic power. As spot on as Richard Wolff is on a lot of Marxist critique he always loses his shit and the narrative when he starts yammering about mystical shit like workers co-ops in a capitalist power structure.

Richard Wolff always hedges about "curing capitalism", "mixed systems", "workers cooperatives", and a dozen other feel good "solutions" that appeal to disaffected Progressives and "middle class Socialists and Marxists" of all stripes. They just gotta have that "little bit of Capitalism thrown in" to "keep things from getting out of control and totalitarian" He throws in his lot with such esteemed "radicals" as Jill Stein and the "Green Shadow Cabinet." Fucking joke.

Without a complete change in the power structure and control of the commons that serves at the alter of Capital rather than the workers and labor as a WHOLE... Wolff's proposed solutions are more reformist pablum. There's not going to be any "mixture of Socialism and Capitalism" that doesn't leave the Socialism part of it in the dust in the long run. Workers Cooperatives for how many workers ? What about the rest ? Will their exploitation end while the Workers Cooperatives are negotiating with the capitalists for their little space of "Socialism" in the mixed system ?

It is all bullshit and calling it leftism doesn't make it so. The problem is Capitalism period. That is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Without addressing the 800 pound gorilla in the room - which is Capitalism - this is all meaningless pablum. If Sanders wants to get out a message... he needs to address and start talking about working class political power and put this feel good "help for the middle class" bullshit to rest. The middle-class is a decomposing social structure that was a 30 year aberration in capitalist social relations. Bernie, Hartmann, Reich, ect... are still speaking in the tongues of the ruling class when they spout that horseshit.

Again... Sanders is shaking the tree with his message and stands far above the rest in a capitalist power structure and electoral field and that's fine as far as it goes. The problem is that if Sanders doesn't win... the liberal wing of the party is going right back into the fold and voting for another neoliberal, warmonger corporatist in Clinton. Sanders makes no secret he is going back into the fold himself. It is what is but people should not be trying to put a leftist or socialist edge on Democratic Party politics because there is NO leftism or socialism going on.







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Response to AOR (Reply #71)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 09:47 PM

72. I think you are wrong about Richard Wolff

I think he leans very strong toward socialism, but a democratic socialism, not a one size fits all. And I think it can be done.

One thing that has to change, is that natural resources cannot belong to a privately owned enterprise. Nobody has the right to take them from the country we live in and profit from them by selling them to us, or other countries. All natural resources need to be nationalized.

No more Nestle company taking water in a drought stricken area to sell as bottled water for profit.

No more electricity sold for profit (except to maintain the services that provide it. No more health insurance that is for profit. The doctors can be private, but he system needs to be government run and paid for by taxes (which can negotiate pricing with doctors, pharmas and medical equipment etc.). Medical care and education (all the way up through college) need to be free to all (paid for by taxes).

Is this socialist? Maybe...but if it is I'm a socialist.

Oh, and no more wars or prison for profit. All military complexes and prisons need to be owned by the state and run by the state.

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #72)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:38 PM

73. Everything should be up for analysis passiveporcupine...

 

Wolff hits it on the head in many things. Certainly not dismissing Wolff in any way, shape, or form as a needed voice right now. People need to hear Richard Wolff more than ever right now. As we see by the crowds Bernie Sanders is drawing there is a very real appetite for alternatives to the status quo. The problem is that the capitalist power structure is so entrenched that it is probably beyond the scope of fixing within two-party electoral political solutions.

There could be some real possibility of building a movement behind some of the Sanders ideas but any movement will die out quickly if it is consumed back into the status quo of the neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party if Sanders does not win. That is the problem of why many leftists are not supporting the Sanders campaign with a little more vigor. "Lesser of two evils" isn't gonna cut it.






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Response to AOR (Reply #73)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:48 PM

74. Sanders isn't the lesser of two evils. Hillary is.

And if you expect or even hope for a change overnight from capitalism to socialism, you are a dreamer.

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #74)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 11:01 PM

77. I'd say trying to change capitalism into socialism...

 

through the current two-party political system is actually the idea of dreamers and mystical thinkers. These are things that anyone espousing leftist political views should take under consideration.

“The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to labor.”

― Eugene V. Debs


"Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead
them out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you
could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up
your minds there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves."

--Eugene V. Debs


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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #72)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:52 PM

75. Have a read on this passiveporcupine on the wage system...

 

The Wages System

Articles by Engels in the Labour Standard 1881

Source: Reproduced from the newspaper;

Written: May 15-16, 1881;

Published: No. 3, May 21, 1881, as a leading article;

Transcribed: director@marx.org, Labor Day 1996.

-- Public Domain

https://marxists.anu.edu.au/archive/marx/works/1881/05/21.htm

In a previous article we examined the time-honoured motto, "A fair day's wages for a fair day's work", and came to the conclusion that the fairest day's wages under present social conditions is necessarily tantamount to the very unfairest division of the workman's produce, the greater portion of that produce going into the capitalist's pocket, and the workman having to put up with just as much as will enable him to keep himself in working order and to propagate his race.

This is a law of political economy, or, in other words, a law of the present economical organisation of society, which is more powerful than all the Common and Statute Law of England put together, the Court of Chancery included. While society is divided into two opposing classes -- on the one hand, the capitalists, monopolisers of the whole of the means of production, land, raw materials, machinery; on the other hand, labourers, working people deprived of all property in the means of production, owners of nothing but their own working power; while this social organisation exists the law of wages will remain all-powerful, and will every day afresh rivet the chains by which the working man is made the slave of his own produce -- monopolised by the capitalist.

The Trades Unions of this country have now for nearly sixty years fought against this law -- with what result? Have they succeeded in freeing the working class from the bondage in which capital -- the produce of its own hands -- holds it? Have they enabled a single section of the working class to rise above the situation of wages-slaves, to become owners of their own means of production, of the raw materials, tools, machinery required in their trade, and thus to become the owners of the produce of their own labour? It is well known that not only they have not done so but that they never tried.

Far be it from us to say that Trades Unions are of no use because they have not done that. On the contrary, Trades Unions in England, as well as in every other manufacturing country, are a necessity for the working classes in their struggle against capital. The average rate of wages is equal to the sum of necessaries sufficient to keep up the race of workmen in a certain country according to the standard of life habitual in that country. That standard of life may be very different for different classes of workmen. The great merit of Trades Unions, in their struggle to keep up the rate of wages and to reduce working hours, is that they tend to keep up and to raise the standard of life. There are many trades in the East-end of London whose labour is not more skilled and quite as hard as that of bricklayers and bricklayers' labourers, yet they hardly earn half the wages of these. Why? Simply because a powerful organisation enables the one set to maintain a comparatively high standard of life as the rule by which their wages are measured; while the other set, disorganised and powerless, have to submit not only to unavoidable but also to arbitrary encroachments of their employers: their standard of life is gradually reduced, they learn how to live on less and less wages, and their wages naturally fall to that level which they themselves have learnt to accept as sufficient.

The law of wages, then, is not one which draws a hard and fast line. It is not inexorable with certain limits. There is at every time (great depression excepted) for every trade a certain latitude within which the rate of wages may be modified by the results of the struggle between the two contending parties. Wages in every case are fixed by a bargain, and in a bargain he who resists longest and best has the greatest chance of getting more than his due. If the isolated workman tries to drive his bargain with the capitalist he is easily beaten and has to surrender at discretion, but if a whole trade of workmen form a powerful organisation, collect among themselves a fund to enable them to defy their employers if need be, and thus become enabled to treat with these employers as a power, then, and then only, have they a chance to get even that pittance which, according to the economical constitution of present society, may be called a fair day's wages for a fair day's work.

The law of wages is not upset by the struggles of Trades Unions. On the contrary, it is enforced by them. Without the means of resistance of the Trades Unions the labourer does not receive even what is his due according to the rules of the wages system. It is only with the fear of the Trades Union before his eyes that the capitalist can be made to part with the full market value of his labourer's working power. Do you want a proof? Look at the wages paid to the members of the large Trades Unions, and at the wages paid to the numberless small trades in that pool of stagnant misery, the East-end of London.

Thus the Trades Unions do not attack the wages system. But it is not the highness or lowness of wages which constitutes the economical degradation of the working class: this degradation is comprised in the fact that, instead of receiving for its labour the full produce of this labour, the working class has to be satisfied with a portion of its own produce called wages. The capitalist pockets the whole produce (paying the labourer out of it) because he is the owner of the means of labour. And, therefore, there is no real redemption for the working class until it becomes owner of all the means of work -- land, raw material, machinery, etc. -- and thereby also the owner of the whole of the produce of its own labor.

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Response to AOR (Reply #75)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:58 PM

76. You seem to be stuck in a groove

like a record. You keep talking about capitalism as if that is all there is.

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Response to passiveporcupine (Reply #76)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 11:07 PM

78. Leftist politics is about capitalism...

 

and its devastating effects on social arrangements. If you disagree that's fine but people should not try to co-opt leftist politics into liberal/progressive capitalist reform as if capitalist reform if the final word on the actual left. That is the point.

And again...the responsibility of actual leftists is to point out the failure of Capitalism for the WHOLE of the working class and the people, to point out the oppressive relationship between Capital and Labor under the capitalist modes of production, to point out class struggle and bring class analysis to the table, to point out the property question and theft of the commons ( who owns and controls what and why), and to deal in objective material reality and the facts on the ground for the WHOLE of the working class.

Leftist politics is about power and resources and who controls them. Leftists want that power in the hands of the working class as a whole. Leftist politics is not about lip-service and feel good platitudes that have no basis in objective reality when Capital dominates and controls all economic, political, and social relations. Bernie can change the narrative, but Bernie is swimming against the tides of Capital and objective material reality if he thinks his or our demands will be met while the power structure remains beholden to a capitalist ruling class that OWNS all the power.

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Response to AOR (Reply #78)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 10:19 AM

79. Left politics consist of a broad spectrum of beliefs both economically and socially.

 

It is not correct to say you are not part of the left if you believe in Capitalism. Social Democracy is definitely a left belief system but they believe in capitalism with a strong regulatory scheme and ample safety net.

Social Democrats are recognized as part of the left globally.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #79)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:22 PM

80. This is an old comment from an acquaintance steven...

 

who has fought the battles for the leftist cause. It's not mine but I have permission to use. I agree wholeheartedly with this critique.

Why Such Bitter Antagonism Between Liberals and Leftists?

Why are there so many arguments, so much bitter antagonism, such paralysis and confusion on much ballyhooed “Progressive-Liberal-Left”?

Because people fight for their positions as though their personal identity depended upon them, as though their existence depended upon their political position or theory. That is because their personal identity does depend upon their political positions. They are one and the same - "be the change you want to see." People actually mean "seek the change that suits who you are as an actualized individual" since it never involves self-sacrifice or focus on the needs of others, but always on individual personal choices and self-expression. In fact, their political positions are not political positions at all, but narcissistic expressions of their personalities.

Now I recognize that many people here define themselves as "liberals/progressives" and therefore, may reject whatever came before... but it is still important to know what that was.

It is also true that "liberals" and "leftists" may find themselves allied on many issues or tactics and may well need each other under those circumstances.

Finally, it is true that "liberal" or "leftist" may refer to "political labels", applied by "the right", by others, or even by oneself, and have no particular relevance to the actual issues which divide "liberals" and "leftists".

Nonetheless... historically, liberals and leftists are not merely different points in a common spectrum but, in the end, they are implacable enemies. And the issue is precisely joined on the issue of class, as has been mentioned before but now seems to have disappeared from the general lexicon.

If the term "left" has any meaning other than a purely relative one, it is as that group of political ideas, parties, movements, and organizations which believes that politics is driven less by ideas than by interests and that those interests are based on economic class. Radical republicans (Civil War variety), revolutionary democrats, social democrats (including even a sizable chunk of the British Labor Party and the German SDs of today), socialists, Utopian socialists, agrarian socialists, communists, anarchists, anarco-syndicalists, and nihilists - if these do not agree on anything else, they agree on the centrality of social classes even before they divide on what to do about them.

In contrast, "Liberals" explicitly reject the centrality of social classes. If such exist at all, they are assumed to be trumped by a common interest (national or otherwise) and any division is based only on transitory political opinion or policy. They are united with "Conservatives" in their agreement on the fundamental norms of society and on their long-term objectives (most importantly in the defense of private property and the projection of "national interest". Indeed, for them, the current organization of society is the only one conceivable.

To the Liberals, the Left is a competitor for the same political constituency they claim to represent. The Left fosters "national division" and "class hatred" where moderation and "cooler heads" might otherwise prevail. They are often hand-cuffed by the "extreme demands" and "lack of reform mindedness" of the Left. If things come to a head, they can even justify arresting the Left... in the interest of "the greater good", of course (see Palmer, McCarthy, many more...).

The Left returns this attitude with interest... They regard the Liberals as the reform party of the ruling class. From this standpoint, the Liberals most assuredly need the Left. We are the monsters-beneath-the-bed that they invariably point to as a reason for the Conservatives to negotiate "reform"... "If you don't deal with us you may have to tackle the great unwashed". That is what "playing the class card" or "race card" means.

What exactly do we need the Liberals for? If there turns out to have been a misunderstanding of biblical prophesy and all Liberals are suddenly captured by the Rapture and disappear from the face of the earth how much worse off would we be? Would Rove suddenly be "turned loose" ‘cause Joe Biden was no longer there to protect us?

A little political poem:

Liberals ask:

"Why can't we just get along?"

Leftists ask:

"Which side are you on?"

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Response to AOR (Reply #80)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:29 PM

82. Of course it's very convenient to define one's own viewpoint as the only true one of a particular

 

philosophy.

This is a variation of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

The only thing that makes Social Democrats the enemies of Socialists is Socialists who are intolerant of any other beliefs. This kind of internecine left warfare is the exact idiocy that led to the Nazi's coming to power in Germany. The factions of the left could not unite against them because of pigheaded people determined to believe and behave as if only their brand of leftism was pure enough.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #82)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 05:53 PM

84. Steven...it has nothing to do with labels...

 

The pressing question of working class people and the poor and struggling at this moment is history is -- to what actual result ? To what actual result - throughout the history of capitalist relations (political, social, and economic) - have the liberal "reformers and regulators" of the capitalist power structure benefited the working class and the people AS A WHOLE ?

Facts on the ground matter steven. Not subjective views from within lifestyle bubbles. 50% of Americans earn less that $ 27,000 a year, while close to 40% of Americans have zero retirement savings and 1 out of every 7 Americans over 65 lives in poverty. Add in child poverty and homelessness and that doesn't even begin to tell the story. Add in the devastation caused by Capitalism and all its tentacles around the globe and the picture of abject poverty is even bleaker. To what actual result.

How much longer should the poor and the struggling workers defer to the liberals and the Democratic Party for answers steven. To what actual result have solutions been provided ? Shall the leftists wait forever while working with the liberals and the Democratic Party for incremental change that amounts to nothing for an ever increasing amount of the working class with each passing year ?

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Response to AOR (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:25 PM

81. +1

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:25 PM

14. CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY ARE COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE!!!

because, as it happens, democracy and capitalism are completely at odds with each other, orthogonal, in fact.

capitalism demands individual ownership of property and capital, with hierarchical management of production.

there is NOTHING democratic about the production you do in your job; you have NO say, and you have no ownership of the product. not democratic!

socialism (even prior to marx, who simply wrote brilliantly about what was wrong with capitalism), on the other hand, places ownership of production and product in the hands of the workers themselves; they democratically vote about what happens to the product and production, and everyone contributes at most levels of production and management.

trying to "restrain the self-destructive excesses of capitalism" is like trying to keep a monster in a cage; good luck with that. but why would anyone even try?

and what would the end result of that "restraint" look like? why, socialism, pure and simple.

be careful not to confuse the open market with capitalism; they are not the same thing, as capitalism as an economic theory is based on the premise that everyone operates out of self-interest, which is just flat wrong! and why would anyone choose to follow a theory based on such a wrong-headed and nasty notion?

and don't confuse socialism with "state-controlled" enterprise; that is NOT what socialism is, but instead what the USSR and so many other states became.

to try to relieve socialism of the stigma imposed by capitalists for a century now by claiming it can embrace capitalism is a capitulation to their very agenda and propaganda! don't fall for it! the only way to defeat self-destructive capitalism is to just call it what it is, self-destructive and FAILED, put a stake in its self-interested "heart," and move on to something that at least has the moral core of being of, by, and for the people.

let's be very clear about this. CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY ARE COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE!!!

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:28 PM

17. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Quixote.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:56 PM

21. Forward to DWS

 

Perhaps Debbie Wasserman Shultz should look at this so maybe next time she appears on a National TV show she doesn't sit there looking like a complete dumb ass not suited to lead the Democratic Party.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:58 PM

22. we are all democratic socialists. DUrs, Freepers, GOPrs, the Pauls, BLMrs,

and all the Bushes and Palins. Just a matter of degree, extent, fine points, and where you draw the line, IMO.

Bernie has said as much. Can't wait for a general election debate in which the dem candidate makes the point in GOP-soul-crushing manner and wakes everyone up.

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Response to wiggs (Reply #22)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:28 AM

44. No, we are Social Democrats. See the below thread. nt

 

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 10:36 PM

33. Most links on the web say the opposite re: Democratic Socialism and Capitalism including...

 

...the website of the Democratic Socialists of America http://www.dsausa.org/what_is_democratic_socialism

Private corporations seem to be a permanent fixture in the US, so why work towards socialism?

A:
In the short term we can’t eliminate private corporations , but we can bring them under greater democratic control. The government could use regulations and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment. Public pressure can also have a critical role to play in the struggle to hold corporations accountable. Most of all, socialists look to unions to make private business more accountable.

What is Democratic Socialism? Q & A
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. With this pamphlet, we hope to answer some of your questions about socialism.

Doesn't socialism mean that the government will own and run everything?

A:
Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either. Rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect.
Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism
Democratic socialism is a political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system, involving a combination of political democracy with social ownership of the means of production. Sometimes used synonymously with "socialism", the adjective "democratic" is added to denote a system of political democracy similar to that found in existing Western societies[citation needed], thus distinguishing democratic socialism from the Marxist–Leninist brand of socialism.[1]



http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/democratic+socialism
democratic socialism
noun
a form of socialism with a democratic government; the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, property, etc., by the community as a whole -- combined with a democratic government

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:50 PM

36. I am not an expert on any of this but I do know that Bernie points to countries like Norway

when he talks about being a Democratic Socialist and from everything I have read, Scandinavian countries are a mix of Capitalism and Socialism. http://craigcrawford.com/2013/11/21/living-the-good-life-in-socialist-norway/

If it's what is done in a country like Norway then the OP explanation is right on the money. Or at least Bernie Sanders brand of it that is.

I had looked at your linked websites too for clarification and I almost didn't start this thread because of what is said by those websites. But then I looked up how countries like Norway are run and it seems pretty clear that they mix capitalism and socialism. They may not have pure Democratic Socialist system but it's as close as one can reasonably expect to ever get in the US.

Adding this on edit: I also think if Sanders wants to win in the US the OP version is going to get him a lot more acceptability and traction.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #36)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:01 AM

38. Those countries & the policies they enact are examples of Social Democracy, not Democratic Socialism

 

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

Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, interventions to promote greater equality in the distribution of income and wealth, and a commitment to representative democracy.[1][2][3] Social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater egalitarian, democratic and solidaristic outcomes.[4] "Social democracy" is often used in this manner to refer to the social and economic policies prominent in Western and Northern Europe during the latter half of the 20th century.[5][6] Alternatively, social democracy is defined as a political ideology that advocates a peaceful, evolutionary transition of society from capitalism to socialism using established political processes.



Note the difference in that compared with the definition of Democratic Socialism. Some folks make the error of conflating the two but they are not the same. Democratic Socialism is an anti-capitalist Socialist economic philosophy. Social Democracy is pro-Capitalist albeit with a strong regulatory scheme and social safety net.

My guess is that Sanders understands the two and deliberately self defined as a Democratic Socialist because that is what he believes.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #38)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:04 AM

39. Thanks for the clarification Steve. nt

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #36)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:09 AM

40. Austerity comes to Norway – workers fight back...

 

Written by Niklas Albin Svensson

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

(Snip)

"At the same time, the government is attacking workplace rights. The working day and overtime can now be legally to increase by several hours, temporary contracts are legalised up to a year and agency staff will now no longer have to have the same working conditions as permanent staff in companies.

This is a clear attempt to make the labour market more “flexible”, I.e. making it easier to hire and fire workers and force them to work longer hours. This is all in the name of flexibility and productivity but really what the Norwegian bourgeois is looking to is to increase their profits at the expense of the working class."

(Snip)

"Norway is one of the richest countries on the planet. The only country with a higher GDP per capita is Luxembourg. Yet, the bourgeoisie is determined to claw back its profits. The Norwegian workers are learning the hard way what Capitalism means in the 21st century, just like their counterparts in the rest of Europe. The fiction of “Capitalism with a human face” can no longer be maintained even in the richest of countries.

The workers' organisations would do well to remember this. If they continue to attempt to prop up Capitalism they will be punished severely. In spite of the rise of the Labour Party, the Socialist Left Party (“Sosialistisk Venstreparti”) remains below 4% after having joined the last left-centre government. They are down from something like 8-9% in 2008-9. Rodt, which is tentatively rising in the opinion polls would do well to learn this lesson. What we need is not more compromise with the right-wing, or the water-down of our programme, but militant action and a socialist programme."

Full article here...

http://www.marxist.com/austerity-comes-to-norway.htm

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #33)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:15 AM

41. Private corporations are neither prohibited nor desired in a democratic socialist setup.

They're allowed as long as they don't harm the communities they serve. They're more heavily regulated then in a capitalist society to prevent the excesses of capitalism.


The preferred means of production and capital control in a democratic socialist economy is through not for profit co-ops, not for profit credit unions, and worker owned businesses. All of these can be and usually are private in nature. They all serve the communities that house them which isn't often true of corporations. That is what corporations are primarily traded for in an ideal social democracy, not government ownership.


Government ownership is used in the instances they make the most sense for production. But primarily the economy remains a private entity, just a different type.


In essence, from an economic standpoint, you're trading the primary purpose of making money for owners in corporate capitalism to the primary purpose of making money for the work force in democratic socialism. ie: you're moving from supply side economics to demand side economics.

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Response to RichVRichV (Reply #41)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:24 AM

43. A system where workers own corporations, not investment shareholders, is a form of Socialism.

 

Just because it is workers and not the government that owns the corporations, doesn't make it capitalism.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #43)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 12:50 AM

46. Hence why it is called democratic socialism.

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Response to RichVRichV (Reply #46)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 01:26 AM

48. Ah, so we agree. I wasn't sure.

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #33)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 08:07 AM

50. something tells me no one is selling that anytime soon in America

 

n/t

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Response to ericson00 (Reply #50)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 05:14 PM

62. I agree it's a non starter in the U.S. But it is how he self identified. Nt

 

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)


Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:13 AM

52. The Nordic Model

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

A pretty solid read.

Jerry Mander has likened the Nordic model to a kind of "hybrid" economics which features a blend of capitalist and socialist visions.[31] According to sociologist Lane Kenworthy, in the context of the Nordic model, "social democracy" refers to a set of policies intended to improve capitalism as opposed to a system to replace capitalism.[32] Kenworthy advocates for the U.S. to make a gradual transition to an economic system similar to those of the Nordic countries.[33] United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-described democratic socialist, has been a strong proponent of the Nordic system.[34][35][36] Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has noted that there is higher social mobility in the Scandinavian countries than in the United States, and argues that Scandinavia is now the land of opportunity that the United States once was.[37]

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 10:16 AM

53. Hogwash. Since Marx, 'Democratic Socialists' have sought the

 

public ownership of the means of production by various political means, not the least of which is the ballot box. What your meme describes are instead 'Social Democrats.' You should consider deleting this thread, as you are muddying the waters.

Sanders may call himself a 'Democratic Socialist,' but he's a capitalist, i.e., someone who believes in the private ownership of the means of production. IOW, a 'Social Democrat.'

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Response to KingCharlemagne (Reply #53)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 05:24 PM

63. We agree on the first paragraph. I actually think Sanders is a Democratic Socialist

 

But a pragmatic one. As the only one out of 538 members of congress and of course the executive and judicial branch, there is zero chance of him getting Socialism implemented so his Democratic Socialism ends up looking a lot like Social Democracy. He's basically voting progressive and not trying to implement a new economic system.

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