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Fri Aug 21, 2015, 10:44 AM

 

What is a Democratic Socialist?

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Reply What is a Democratic Socialist? (Original post)
SHRED Aug 2015 OP
HassleCat Aug 2015 #1
DetlefK Aug 2015 #2
demwing Aug 2015 #4
ooky Aug 2015 #6
Matrosov Aug 2015 #39
Bradical79 Aug 2015 #5
clarice Aug 2015 #15
randys1 Aug 2015 #26
clarice Aug 2015 #55
RiverNoord Aug 2015 #23
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2015 #31
PatrickforO Aug 2015 #3
demwing Aug 2015 #7
PatrickforO Aug 2015 #18
demwing Aug 2015 #20
PatrickforO Aug 2015 #37
Stardust Aug 2015 #58
snot Aug 2015 #8
brooklynite Aug 2015 #9
hifiguy Aug 2015 #12
stevenleser Aug 2015 #13
brooklynite Aug 2015 #17
demwing Aug 2015 #25
brooklynite Aug 2015 #34
demwing Aug 2015 #52
RiverNoord Aug 2015 #28
brooklynite Aug 2015 #50
RiverNoord Aug 2015 #67
HERVEPA Aug 2015 #30
stevenleser Aug 2015 #47
PotatoChip Aug 2015 #45
stevenleser Aug 2015 #51
cascadiance Aug 2015 #60
AOR Aug 2015 #10
stevenleser Aug 2015 #14
AOR Aug 2015 #42
stevenleser Aug 2015 #48
AOR Aug 2015 #56
stevenleser Aug 2015 #62
AOR Aug 2015 #68
stevenleser Aug 2015 #69
AOR Aug 2015 #71
stevenleser Aug 2015 #11
merrily Aug 2015 #29
stevenleser Aug 2015 #49
Octafish Aug 2015 #16
Stardust Aug 2015 #59
Octafish Aug 2015 #61
Stardust Aug 2015 #63
lewebley3 Aug 2015 #19
merrily Aug 2015 #22
lewebley3 Aug 2015 #36
merrily Aug 2015 #38
lewebley3 Aug 2015 #40
merrily Aug 2015 #41
lewebley3 Aug 2015 #46
truebluegreen Aug 2015 #57
frylock Aug 2015 #54
yallerdawg Aug 2015 #21
merrily Aug 2015 #24
yallerdawg Aug 2015 #33
merrily Aug 2015 #35
yallerdawg Aug 2015 #43
merrily Aug 2015 #44
cascadiance Aug 2015 #64
azmom Aug 2015 #32
merrily Aug 2015 #27
Tierra_y_Libertad Aug 2015 #53
Douglas Carpenter Aug 2015 #65
muriel_volestrangler Aug 2015 #66
DFW Aug 2015 #70

Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 10:52 AM

1. Accurate

 

I have been a democratic socialist for many years, and that seems to be a good description. Some of the things I favor that the mainstream Democratic Party has ignored or forgotten: promoting workers control and ownership of businesses, eliminating sales taxes and other regressive taxes that shift the tax burden onto the working class and middle class, using protectionist trade regulations to protect US workers from dumping and other market manipulations by foreign governments, using the power of the government to protect consumers against fraud and faulty products, restricting financial instruments to prevent things such as bundling bad mortgages and selling derivatives based on them, restricting the amount of money spent on political campaigns, and so on.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 10:57 AM

2. Wow. That's one hell of a political iliteracy if you don't know that.

Then again, there are voters in the US who believe that Communists and Nazis are the same...

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 11:50 AM

4. And so the average person must be politically illiterate

 

Last edited Fri Aug 21, 2015, 03:25 PM - Edit history (1)

because I can guarantee you that most people are clueless on the issues,

Now, if you want to talk about the NFL or the Kardashians, Americans are freaking geniuses...

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Response to demwing (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:06 PM

6. Agree

Otherwise they wouldn't seem so eager to back candidates who want to steal their Medicare and Social Security.

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Response to demwing (Reply #4)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:06 PM

39. +1 n/t

 

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 11:57 AM

5. What I learned about socialism in my economics class:

Socialism = command economy. Command economies don't work. The end.

History class only talked about socialism in the context of the USSR and the cold war. Didn't learn anything else about it until a college history of western civilization class that I had to drop. I'd say most of us ARE economically and politically illiterate, and maybe that's by design.

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Response to Bradical79 (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:02 PM

15. Never has worked...never will...no matter WHO tries to implement that system.nt

 

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Response to clarice (Reply #15)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:39 PM

26. Oh god, thank you for the OUT LOUD laughter

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Response to randys1 (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 04:10 PM

55. You are quite welcome...how are you Randi? nt

 

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:34 PM

23. Only if they're Muslims.

 

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:46 PM

31. There are people who think Capitalism = Freedom too....

 

They also live in constant fear believing civilization is as fragile as a China doll and will shatter at any moment.

Then again, there are some who watch the movie "The Postman" and want to be General Bethlehem.



When civilization falls they intend to pack the guns in the SUV and head for the hills until after the zombies are done and then come back and take over and have their pick of the women.

I'm not making up that last part. I've met guys who can't WAIT for that glorious day when they can be a warlord.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 11:07 AM

3. Excellent post! I have run into right wing trolls on this site who understand so little

of history that they believe the Soviet style communism and Hitler style Nazism are both 'socialism' per se.

I ended up wasting a couple of hours one time differentiating the two for some guy that was probably getting paid a nickel a post.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:12 PM

7. The Nazi's called themselves National Socialists

 

so they must be socialist, just like the People's Republic of China must be Republican..

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Response to demwing (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:15 PM

18. Sure they did!

But all these people have to do is read things like Toland's 'Hitler' and Shirer's 'Rise and Fall of the Third Reich' to understand the difference. I wasted so much time because I actually researched the time when Hitler, Goering, Goebbels and other Nazi leaders got rid of the socialist elements of national socialism. By the time the second world war began, they were a fascist state, which combines oligarchy with chest-pounding nationalism.

We see this twisting of meaning in lots of bills the GOP puts forth. The one that comes most readily to mind is the 'Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006' which would, if we wanted the name to be accurate, be 'The GOP Attempt to Force the USPS to Go Broke So it Can be Privatized Act.'

Words can mean a lot, demwing. They sure can.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:32 PM

20. Just to clarify

 

you and I are in agreement, despite my lack of use of the

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Response to demwing (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:02 PM

37. I knew that! We're definitely cool. But when the general election comes around and

the GOP, the corporate media and individual oligarchs come after Bernie, we've got a lot of educating to do.

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Response to PatrickforO (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 06:26 PM

58. "... combines oligarchy with chest-pounding nationalism." Sounds like we have a little bit of

history repeating to me.

I really enjoy your posts, very insightful in my opinion.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:16 PM

8. To boil it down further . . .

A government can be socialist/communist, or not.

A government can be democratic, or not.

The four resulting possible combinations are:

Tyrannical capitalist systems,
Democratic capitalist systems,
Tyrannical socialist/communist systems, or
Democratic socialist/communist systems.

I don't think the 1% really cares that much whether the government is "capitalist" or "socialist," so long as it's tyrannical and they get to be or control the tyrant.

None of the options are really all one or the other of course; there are gradations.

At this point, I think most DU'ers agree, our country needs a substantial shift toward the democracy and socialism ends of those spectrums.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:17 PM

9. Why isn't that a Democratic Capitalist?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:49 PM

12. Because virtually all large scale capitalists

 

completely reject the notion that there should be limits or restraints on the pursiit of their private interests no matter how much collateral damage they cause and should never be held accountable for that collateral damage. The little people, i.e., taxpaying citizens, are obligated to bail them out but have no right to redress: See, e.g., Blankfein, Lloyd, Dimon, James, Koch, Charles, Koch, David.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:52 PM

13. The answer is, because that is an incorrect definition. The word Socialism in the definition isnt

 

decoration as it is with Nazism. Democratic Socialists are anti-Capitalist and would seek to do away with Capitalism as an economic system. Anything they would do economy wise would be a step in that direction.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:09 PM

17. "Democratic Socialists are anti-Capitalist and would seek to do away with Capitalism"

Nothing about this in the OP, and this is why Sanders is going to be burdened by the self-imposed title if he's the nominee.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #17)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:35 PM

25. And I'm sure you'll be the first to help clear up the confusion

 

yep

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Response to demwing (Reply #25)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:54 PM

34. If you have to "clear up the confusion", you're already on the defensive.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #34)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 03:23 PM

52. Failure to respond

 

is a response in itself.

Thanks

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:41 PM

28. Um... What?

 

... I... Well, I don't know what to say, except that you are astoundingly clueless.

Democratic Socialists don't want to do away with...

Oh, screw it. Sometimes you just have to let an idiot be an idiot.

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Response to RiverNoord (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:56 PM

50. You did note that I quoted that verbatim from the post above me, right?

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #50)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 08:17 PM

67. lol - yes, my response was directed at him :-)

 

You didn't see my reply as a response to one of your posts, did you? It definitely says reply to 'stevenlesser.' I'd apologize for the confusion, but I don't my post should have created any. Anyway, cheers and that is one really bizarre dude.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:44 PM

30. Do you enjoy just making shit up?

 

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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #30)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:48 PM

47. Is that what you call me having links to back me up? No wonder you are so confused! nt

 

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:19 PM

45. Here is a video that I hope you will watch when you can find the time.

It is only a little over 11 minutes long, but provides a lot of good info.

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Response to PotatoChip (Reply #45)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 03:12 PM

51. I'll watch it, but there are two possibilities. The definition is clear.

 

1. Bernie is confused about the definition of Social Democracy vs Democratic Socialism. (I doubt that, I think he knows the definition of the terms)

2. Bernie knows the definition and has correctly identified as a Democratic Socialist and is trying not to scare people with the description of the belief system.

The definition is very clear:
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.

versus
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, redistribution of income and wealth, and a commitment to representative democracy. Social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater egalitarian, democratic and solidaristic outcomes

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 06:58 PM

60. Better than helping communist dictatorships like the Koch family did with Stalin!

 

... and his family looks to continue to fund the candidates who want to support similar goals of the domination of the 1% class over the rest of us.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:42 PM

10. Capitalism can't "be restrained" or "controlled"...

 

it is wishful thinking by those who refuse to accept that Marx was exactly right. Capitalism is propelled by forces beyond the control of anyone or anything including the capitalists themselves. The capitalist forces of production take on a life of their own - as the capitalists search for ever increasing profits consolidated in the hands of the few - that eventually leads to capitalist crisis of over-production. That will continue to happen over and over and over again as an ever increasing amount of people are destroyed and rendered into abject poverty.

The capitalist market exists for one purpose and that is for the profits of a small minority ruling class who control immense capital. Those profits come from the exploitation and institutionalized theft of the human labor of the majority. It is not in dispute. It is a fact and no amount of these labels "Democratic Socialism" will change that. As long as a capitalist ruling class exists and controls the means of production "Democratic Socialism" is whistling past the graveyard. Trying to control and regulate the capitalist forces of production might work in the short term but it will never be a complete solution for human civilization going forward and millions will still be destroyed and left behind.

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Response to AOR (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:54 PM

14. The OP is confusing Social Democracy with Democratic Socialism. Democratic Socialists would agree

 

with you and they seek to do away with Capitalism as much as they can at any point in time.

The definition provided by the OP more accurately describes Social Democracy which is pro-Capitalist albeit with a strong suite of regulations and ample social safety net.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:10 PM

42. Maybe Steven...can't speak for the OP...

 

for many leftists("purists" as you would say) the proof is in the pudding Steven... The DSA long ago gave up the ghost of actual leftism. They have their own tactics on achieving whatever the hell "socialist" aims they have and most of those tactics revolve around slow reforms, electoral lesser of two evils commitment, and working within the Democratic Party. They aren't alone. It is what it is but where are the results in regards to slowing the destruction of capitalist social relations. There is no evidence of that and no results whatsoever in that regard as capitalism continues its death march. I know you don't agree and that's fine but what's real and what isn't matters for leftist analysis.

Bernie Sanders is not a socialist or a leftist for gods sake Steve. A very vanilla leftist at most. Leftists don't really have this view -- " I think there is obviously an enormously important role for the free market and for entrepreneurial activity." -- Bernie Sanders

Bernie is a reformer ala FDR and head and shoulders above the rest in terms of an electoral choice only (you probably don't agree with that either as you seem to support Clinton) Change will take much more than that.Why people are trying to make the campaign into something it isn't is very puzzling and confusing. Let the reformers speak their tactics and let the leftists apply pressure and speak their analysis. A mixture of the two will be better in the long run without confusing things. Trying to make Bernie's campaign the final word on leftist politics is not a good starting point or a good negotiating point against the destruction being caused by capitalist social arrangements. The capitalist power structure needs to be shaken to it's very core. Cheers

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Response to AOR (Reply #42)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:49 PM

48. There is a very simple problem with your assertion...

 

"They have their own tactics on achieving whatever the hell "socialist" aims they have and most of those tactics revolve around slow reforms, electoral lesser of two evils commitment, and working within the Democratic Party."

Do you not see a disconnect here with Bernie Sanders' 24+ years in politics where he has refused to be associated with the Democratic Party?

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #48)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 04:12 PM

56. Doesn't Bernie caucus and vote with Democrats like 95% of the time or something?

 

I admit to not being a deep follower on inside electoral politics but I thought I read that somewhere.

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Response to AOR (Reply #56)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 07:04 PM

62. In a Boolean situation, what would you have him do, caucus with the GOP or vote with them?

 

Votes are yea or nay. If you don't caucus with someone, you get no committee assignments.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #62)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 08:36 PM

68. I'm not really sure what you're trying to say overall Steven...

 

do you think Sanders is a leftist anti-capitalist ? Some of us wish he was and he was running on a leftist party, socialist party, or workers party platform. Are you saying he does not support the Democratic Party ? There is not much evidence of that as he will back Clinton and the Democratic Party if he loses. Do you think Sanders should not be running and is not qualified to run as a Democrat ?

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Response to AOR (Reply #68)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 09:07 PM

69. Simple, you tried to make a judgement based on who he caucuses with and votes with.

 

The problem with that is that in both cases you have three choices (I said boolean earlier but that's not quite true there are three options in each case)

With caucusing, you can caucus with the Republicans or Democrats or neither. If you caucus with neither, you do not get a committee assignment and thus your power in the senate is greatly reduced. Caucusing with the Democrats basically just means you voted that of the two parties, the Democrats should control leadership roles in the senate.

When you vote, you can vote yea, nay or abstain. It's not like you can propose new measures with a vote.

You can try to add amendments to bills, and Bernie tries that occasionally. They usually don't get adopted but he tries to do it.

To answer your new questions, yes, I think he is anti-capitalist. I think if you gave him absolute power to reshape the economy he would probably make every corporation worker owned.

Running on a third party would instantly give Sanders zero chance of winning and would reduce his role in the race to whether or not he would prevent the Democrat from winning and thus hand the white house to the far right reactionary whacko the GOP nominates. That's what you want? I don't understand that.

I think he supports the Democratic Party when he agrees that whatever the Democrats are currently doing is about as much progress towards his goals that can be made at the time.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #69)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 10:15 PM

71. Fair enough Steven clear explanation...

 

I can't speak for all brands of leftists but most will not take the threat of a Republican as a threat to the struggle. Leftists can't worry about that. The overriding responsibility of anti-capitalists (leftists) is to unyielding critique, organize, and agitate against the mechanisms of capitalism and everything that goes with it (economic, political, and social) including the capitalist power structure. Regardless of who is nominated and elected in the 2016 election... the capitalist power structure will remain the same and the responsibility of leftists will remain the same. As far as a third party goes...If Sanders was a Debs and ran as a workers or socialist party candidate leftists could gauge any actual strength on the ground for many anti-capitalist demands. Sanders calling himself a Socialist and a Leftist and running as a Democrat - which is a party of capitalists - presents confusion for leftist demands. That being said... I don't think many leftists would advise or vote for a right-wing reactionary Republican if they decide to vote in this election.

I asked a leftist acquaintance what he thought about the Sanders campaign and the value for leftist political action and this was the response below. It pretty much sums it up for a lot of leftists and it doesn't pull any punches Steven. Cheers

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

First, anything and everything I might say on the topic is subject to rigorous critical review and analysis. Sanders is not the "one we have been waiting for," not a guru or savior. The yearning for a savior or guru is an expression of individualism, a product of the corrupt ideology of the bourgeoisie.

There will be people taunting us in the coming months - "hey, nobody's perfect! If you don't like Bernie, then who do you like?" In other words, the can only think in terms of personalities, in the context of individualism. Leadership does and will emerge form the working class. It will not come in the form of gurus and saviors. It will come in the form of martyrs and fighters.

The simple answer is that we support the authentic aspirations of the working class, and resist any attempts by the ruling class to turn those aspirations against us and into the service of advancing the interests of the ruling class. Universal public healthcare? Yes. Universal public education? Yes. Sanders is saying those things. We support that. Not because Sanders is "good" or "right," or "our guy," but rather because, as I said, we support the authentic aspirations of the working class.

At the same time, this is no cause to abandon the left wing positions, and there will be pressure to do just that. We will see two contradictory phenomena unfolding simultaneously. Working class people will be attracted to the Sanders campaign because he is expressing some components that comprise working class aspirations. The enabling class, the functionaries and administrators and sycophants and toadies, will be promoting Sanders as a tool for crushing the Left and co-opting the working class.

Keep in mind that elections tell us where we have been, not where we are going. They are an effect, not a cause of social and political change. You will be told that your left wing criticism is hurting the Sanders campaign, and therefore "helping Republicans." That is a lie. It reveals the speaker to be more committed to preserving the current social and political arrangements than they are committed to the Sanders campaign. Left wing criticism will make it more likely that the Sanders campaign will succeed, not less likely. There would be no Sanders campaign were it not for the desperation of working class people. That is the wind in the sails, not the "beliefs" or "ideals" of the progressive policy wonks. Strong advocacy for working class interests increases that wind. "You lefties need to shut up, stop criticizing and get on the bandwagon" takes wind out of the sails.

We advocate the abolishing Wall Street, not merely reining it in a little.

We advocate the disbanding of the police forces as presently constituted, not merely "citizen oversight" or "reform."

We advocate abolishing so-called "private property" (the commons and the means of production) in the hands of the ruling class not merely some weak and half-hearted effort at making the system of "private property" look a little more equitable.

We advocate the dismantling of the social conventions and arrangements upon which racism and misogyny and bigotry are based, social conventions and arrangements that are forcibly imposed upon us by a small minority of people for their exclusive benefit, not merely the admission of a handful of a few tokens to the halls of power. We advocate the complete and utter demolishing of patriarchy and white supremacy. We do not want to see more African Americans and women sitting on corporate boards, we want to see more corporate board members sitting in prison.

We advocate dismantling the global empire and the reign of terror being waged against humanity, not merely "more diplomacy."

At the same time, we support the aspirations of the working class, in whatever form they may take. Supporting the people who will be attracted to the sanders campaign is one thing. Promoting the personality involved, the candidacy, and the system of which he is a creature, is yet another.

Recently I watched the Burns documentary in the Dust Bowl. It is his best and with watching, I think, in stark contrast to that abomination he made about WWII. It is very compelling hearing the stories of people who lived through the New Deal era. People were put to work, people had access to healthcare and retirement and unemployment benefits, people were freed from the threat of eviction and foreclosure. Massive public works projects to retire and protect the environment were happening. Unions gained in power. Research and education were being financed. Real suffering was being alleviated, and the bankers and industrialists were fighting hard against any and all reforms.

The battle lines were clearly defined.

It is all very seductive and compelling. Yes, Sanders will either fail or else will ultimately serve the purpose of saving Capitalism from itself. Yet, I find myself thinking that maybe if we could back the snarling dogs of Capitalism down for just a brief period of time...

The degree to which the Sanders campaign presents opportunities to advocate the positions I outlined above, use it. The degree to which the Sanders campaign is used to silence the Left, resist it.



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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 12:47 PM

11. That is an incorrect definition. The Actual Democratic Socialists of America describe themselves

 

thusly:

http://www.dsausa.org/about_dsa

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA's members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics.

At the root of our socialism is a profound commitment to democracy, as means and end. As we are unlikely to see an immediate end to capitalism tomorrow, DSA fights for reforms today that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people.
.
.
.
We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo.

We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.

------------------------------------------
They are Socialists. They support and will try to engineer a change to a Socialist economy. They are anti-Capitalist

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:43 PM

29. They believe in working within capitalism AND within the Democratic Party. See Reply 27.

One excerpt from the website that is quoted in one of the posts linked in Reply 27:

In electoral politics, DSA, like DSOC before it, was very strongly associated with Michael Harrington's position that "the left wing of realism is found today in the Democratic Party." In its early years DSA opposed Republican presidential candidates by giving critical support to Democratic Party nominees like Walter Mondale in 1984. In 1988, DSA enthusiastically supported Jesse Jackson's second presidential campaign. DSA's position on US electoral politics states that "democratic socialists reject an either–or approach to electoral coalition building, focused solely on a new party or on realignment within the Democratic Party."

During the 1990s, DSA gave the Clinton administration an overall rating of C-, "less than satisfactory."

The DSA's leadership believes working within the Democratic Party is necessary because of the nature of the American political system, which rarely gives third parties a chance politically. That said, DSA is very critical of the corporate-funded Democratic Party leadership. The organization believes that:
Original DSA Logo

"Much of progressive, independent political action will continue to occur in Democratic Party primaries in support of candidates who represent a broad progressive coalition. In such instances, democratic socialists will support coalitional campaigns based on labor, women, people of color and other potentially anti-corporate elements... Electoral tactics are only a means for democratic socialists; the building of a powerful anti-corporate coalition is the end..."


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Response to merrily (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:50 PM

49. As far as it will take them, sure. But they are also clearly against Capitalism and for Socialism.

 

They will work with the established parties as far as it will take them because they know an immediate jump to Socialism is impossible. They as much as say that in their description of themselves.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:05 PM

16. That's why the Right listened to Lewis Powell.

They were sore afraid the USA would become like Sweden or Norway, they actually spent some money.



Alex Carey: Corporations and Propaganda
The Attack on Democracy


The 20th century, said Carey, is marked by three historic developments: the growth of democracy via the expansion of the franchise, the growth of corporations, and the growth of propaganda to protect corporations from democracy. Carey wrote that the people of the US have been subjected to an unparalleled, expensive, 3/4 century long propaganda effort designed to expand corporate rights by undermining democracy and destroying the unions. And, in his manuscript, unpublished during his life time, he described that history, going back to World War I and ending with the Reagan era. Carey covers the little known role of the US Chamber of Commerce in the McCarthy witch hunts of post WWII and shows how the continued campaign against "Big Government" plays an important role in bringing Reagan to power.

John Pilger called Carey "a second Orwell", Noam Chomsky dedicated his book, Manufacturing Consent, to him. And even though TUC Radio runs our documentary based on Carey's manuscript at least every two years and draws a huge response each time, Alex Carey is still unknown.

Given today's spotlight on corporations that may change. It is not only the Occupy movement that inspired me to present this program again at this time. By an amazing historic coincidence Bill Moyers and Charlie Cray of Greenpeace have just added the missing chapter to Carey's analysis. Carey's manuscript ends in 1988 when he committed suicide. Moyers and Cray begin with 1971 and bring the corporate propaganda project up to date.

This is a fairly complex production with many voices, historic sound clips, and source material. The program has been used by writers and students of history and propaganda. Alex Carey: Taking the Risk out of Democracy, Corporate Propaganda VS Freedom and Liberty with a foreword by Noam Chomsky was published by the University of Illinois Press in 1995.

SOURCE: http://tucradio.org/new.html

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Response to Octafish (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 06:48 PM

59. I'm always puzzled when I read that about Americans fearing becoming like Norway or

Sweden. Luckily I have known people from there, visited both countries, and can't for the life of me understand what's not to love. And if Americans can't travel there, at least look at the statistics on their level of contentment. It's pretty eye-opening.

I admit I've never heard of Alex Carey. Thank you for turning me on to him.

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Response to Stardust (Reply #59)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 07:02 PM

61. You are most welcome. Carey explains how Capital rose to defend itself with a bodyguard of lies.

If you didn't find it, here's the first part (scroll down at the link for the second part) on Carey:

http://tucradio.org/AlexCarey_ONE.mp3



Review of Alex Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy: Propaganda in the US and Australia

(University of NSW Press, 1995. 214 pp., $19.95)

Reviewed by Alex McCutcheon in Green Left Weekly

As Alex Carey sees it, "The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy''.

Throughout this book of collected essays with its unified theme, Carey succeeds in showing the reader that far from being a natural outcome of "market forces'' or some natural "law of nature'', the present hegemony that corporations enjoy has been the result of a consciously pursued goal whose origins lie within corporate America.

Carey makes the crucial (and often forgotten) point that in a technologically advanced democracy, "the maintenance of the existing power and privileges are vulnerable to popular opinion'' in a way that is not true in authoritarian societies. Therefore elite propaganda must assume a "more covert and sophisticated role''.

In the US, corporate propaganda has played upon the high level of religious beliefs in the community, beliefs which leave its citizens predisposed to see the world in "Manichean terms''. This outlook leads towards a preference for action over reflection, a "pragmatic orientation'' that is perfectly suited to the corporate aim of identifying positive symbols with business, while assigning negative values to those that oppose them, such as labour unions and welfare provisions.

CONTINUED...

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/25/006.html



Please spread the word on the guy's work. The more people who understand why the media serve up the crapola, the better for democracy.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #61)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 07:05 PM

63. Thank you. I'll do my best to spread the word about Alex Carey.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:24 PM

19. It doesn't matter what the actual Def is: Socialism is defined by those who practice it.

 

Last edited Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:56 PM - Edit history (1)



Sanders said the was a socialist: he is too far left for this country, for
the Dem's

He just a nice man!

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Response to lewebley3 (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:33 PM

22. Sure, Definitions don't matter, only stuff people pull out of their ears matters.



BTW: Not too far left for the country, either.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12777036

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Response to merrily (Reply #22)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:59 PM

36. I am Dem I could not vote for socialist. Sanders should not be in the Dem party

 

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Response to lewebley3 (Reply #36)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:04 PM

38. He's not a Socialist, so no worries. See Reply 27 and the threads linked in that post.

As far as his being in the Democratic Party, the Vermont Democratic Party and the DNC disagree with you. Even when he ran as an Independent, Democrats didn't run anyone against him and Dean, then as DNC head, and Schumer, then as DSCC head, called him a great asset to the Party.

So, I guess you know more about being a Democrat than all the above. Cool!

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Response to merrily (Reply #38)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:06 PM

40. I watch this man career for about 25 years: He refused to join the Dem for years

 

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Response to lewebley3 (Reply #40)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:10 PM

41. You think Dean (former Gov of Vermont and former DNC head) and Schumer didn't also watch his career?

I see you'd rather post and hold fast to your lack of info than read the factual info linked in Reply 27.

No way I can deal with that form of willfulness rationally, so

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Response to merrily (Reply #41)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:33 PM

46. Schummer will not support Sanders: Schummer thinks Obama it too left wing

 

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Response to lewebley3 (Reply #46)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 04:48 PM

57. I think Schumer is too right wing. So?

 

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Response to lewebley3 (Reply #36)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 03:46 PM

54. Then don't vote for him.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:32 PM

21. Gee, once you explain it, Americans will just line up!

After all, they only think Obama is a socialist.

Once America can have the real deal, and we can have European-style socialist democracy, Senator Sanders (I-VT) should win by a Eugene McCarthy landslide!

I'll start working on my Alabama neighbors, and my Louisiana neighbors, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida...

Of course, I won't be going door to door...

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:34 PM

24. They lined up for FDR. Most elected President in history.

Please see also Replies 22 and 27.

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Response to merrily (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:53 PM

33. Trump is flying down to Mobile, AL today.

He says he is expecting a minimum of 30,000 people and up to 50,000!

How would it go over, me out in the parking lot handing out flyers "Vote Bernie - Just Like FDR!"

Then, I give them the definition of socialist democrat to explain a little.

Do you think I would get out of that parking lot alive?

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #33)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:57 PM

35. Say Social Security and Medicare. They'll catch on.

When was the last time Alabama's electoral votes went to a Democrat anyway?

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Response to merrily (Reply #35)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:14 PM

43. Not since Carter...

and not even for John Kennedy.

If you try to tell southerners Social Security and Medicare are socialist programs, you are throwing down for a fight. That money is paid out of their pay checks, and due after a lifetime of work.

"The government better keep its hands off of my money!" they say!

You all really really don't think America is ready for a democratic socialist, do you?

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 02:18 PM

44. I don't believe that and polls are to the contrary. Also, please see Reply 27.

Not since Carter. So, I don't think a Democratic Presidential nominee should worry about it overly much.

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #43)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 07:11 PM

64. Yes, this is the mentality you see down there in many cases. Time for an edumacation!!!

 








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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:50 PM

32. That was just code for he's going to help the blacks. N/

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 01:40 PM

27. Democrat Socialist--someone who likes the New Deal and the Great Society.

If you like Social Security and Medicare, you just might be a Democratic Socialist.

More info: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12806844 (What the hell is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist, anyway?)

Americans are Democratic Socialists.

Where Americans are on the issues: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12777036 (Let's talk polls)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12779483 (I just realized.....Americans are Democratic Socialists.)

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 03:32 PM

53. A candidate I would vote for.

 

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 07:11 PM

65. THANK YOU!!!! It is a shame that we live in the only western democracy where it is necessary

to explain something so simple that any twelve-year-old in any other open society would have known since they were much younger.

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 07:35 PM

66. The Facebooker who wrote that changed a few of the DSA statements

Here's the original, with the changes in italics:

A Democratic Socialist is not a Marxist Socialist or a Communist. A Democratic Socialist is one who seeks to restrain the self-destructive excesses of capitalism and channel the Government’s use of our tax money into creating opportunities for everyone

Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. [strike]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.[/strike]
...
[strike]In the short term we can’t eliminate[/strike]A Democratic Socialist does not want to destroy private corporations, but [strike]we can[/strike]does want to 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.

http://www.dsausa.org/what_is_democratic_socialism

And worth putting in their first answer, as their basic economic stance:

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.

Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.

Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.


(The evolution of the definition seems to have gone via this Facebook page, which had:

"As a short term goal the Democratic Socialist does not want to destroy private corporations, but does want to bring them under greater democratic control. ...", and added the initial paragraph about "not a Marxist Socialist or a Communist".

https://www.facebook.com/DemocraticSocialist/photos/a.522929914521718.1073741830.519136358234407/536466779834698/?type=1&permPage=1

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Response to SHRED (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2015, 09:30 PM

70. That's just one definition. To me and my family, it means something else entirely

"The Party of Democratic Socialism (German: Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus, PDS) was a democratic socialist political party in Germany active between 1989 and 2007. It was the legal successor to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), which ruled the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) as a one-party state until 1990. From 1990 through to 2005, the PDS had been seen as the left-wing "party of the East". While it achieved minimal support in western Germany, it regularly won 15% to 25% of the vote in the eastern new states of Germany, entering coalition governments (with the Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD) in the federal states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin."

Wikipedia is correct here. It was the legal successor to the party that shot down people trying to cross the Berlin Wall, destroyed the lives of dissenters (sometimes by firing squad in the courtyards of Potsdam Villas where Putin used to hang out and oversee the proceedings as a KGB officer--I've seen the bullet holes), and made it illegal for than more than four people to congregate at one table at a café.

I know Bernie Sanders is nothing like this, but Americans aren't the only people to use the term. In Europe, he would be considered more of a Social Democrat, not a Stalinist Kommissar.

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