Insulting Communists & Liberals

Do we need a more democratic economic system in America based on co-operation not competition? Is your idea of Campaign Finance Reform to have the state take over the funding of campaigns? Are the words, ‘profit-motive’, an epithet in your mind? If so, you may be offended by the rest of this article, please read on…

Progressivism, liberalism, leftism, whatever you want to call it, is, in essence, the inheritor of the estate of Marx. This is a historical fact which is undeniable. We may argue about the degree to which many progressives subscribe to the ideal egalitarian society, how much evolution has occurred in progressive thought, or even the diversity of progressive positions, but there can be no doubt that the underpinnings and moral basis of progressivism are directly descended from 19th century socialism.

This will sound petty on my part to bring this up, and it most probably is, but in response to the above quote I have been called 'hateful' and engaging in, "political spin designed to split Americans and divide our country," as well as making, "attributions to a generic class", (apparently one of the worst sins to commit in liberal minds, though I see no signs that the left refrains from doing so every day themselves). I've been accused of bad writing, bad logic, of 'hurling insults', and several other things.

It won't matter how many American liberals like Harry Bellefonte, or Michael Moore, or how many liberal groups like Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan's anti-war circus are quoted actually mouthing support for marxist doctrines, dictators, or various strains of socialist enterprise, it just doesn't matter because proof is not welcome about this point. We are not meant to think about why so many groups on the left are entrenched in hardcore leftist ideology.

Instead we are supposed to erase the past, accept new terminology for old concepts and avoid the debate about the underlying assumptions that liberal policies are based on.

Is today's progressive ideology, "directly descended from 19th century socialism"? Some vociferously deny it. To be liberal has nothing to do with being socialist or communist or any strain in between they would say. But, my point is not that supporters of Universal Health Care are committed communists, it is that the concept of Universal Health Care and the problem it is meant to solve is based largely on flawed socialist arguments. It has nothing to do with whether or not the average Democratic voter consciously supports a Soviet American Republic, in fact, they most definitely do not and don't even want to think of themselves as remotely doing so, such is the utter failure of that ideology. This is why many of those who do support some sort of outright socialism want to redefine the terms they use and obfuscate any reference to all the previously failed attempts to bring socialist aims to fruition.

A Third Way: obfuscation and redefinition

Socialism is on the rise in the world. Fortunately, for the world, this socialist movement is married to ideals of democracy and not communism, and this socialist movement in the world, in large part, is a hybrid which does not, as its predecessor movement in the 1920’s did, reject capitalism or free markets, but, instead seeks to co-exist with them.

This co-existence of socialism and capitalism and free enterprise is precisely the mix which vaulted the United States to the status of the greatest economic nation in the world. I personally feel rather proud that socialist movement in the world today is emulating the American model of a mixed economy combined with greater democracy. Lenin is dead! Long live the American model.

As an attempt to refute my premise, I am thankful to David for being so truthful. However, I question some of the premises he puts forward.

The entire rationale for socialism is based upon it's critique of capitalism and free markets. The question is then, why would socialism continue to be relevant after it's core principles are refuted even by it's own supporters? In essence, proponents of socialism (including the many socialism-lite's) now ask that we accept it's premises and implement it's ideals after having admitted that those ideals don't work in the real world.

How is this 'new' form of socialism, which now wants to co-exist with capitalism, any different from the old socialism, which is entirely based upon a demonization of capitalism?

Claims of ascendency

The claim is that socialism is on the rise in the world. But the fact is that socialism, which supposedly made our country so prosperous, is already in place and working it's economic wonders all throughout the third world (where poverty is endemic). If a mixture of mostly capitalism with a little socialism is actually the route to prosperity then you might expect proponents to advocate for a higher ratio of capitalism in the socialist third world, yet they do not, they actually protest privatization and free market reforms, and advocate for more socialism not less.

The real problem with this 'mixture' advocacy of socialism is that socialism has very little to offer by way of prosperity through government control. It is not an engine of prosperity, it can only dampen prosperity. The promise of socialism is absolute freedom. The practice is limited to controls on the free market and limitations on economic freedom.

Venezuelan shoppers face food shortages 

President Hugo Chavez's policy of keeping a tight control on food retail prices while doubling the price of raw coffee beans back in December may have backfired.

For at least a week, there has been no roasted coffee available on the shelves of Venezuelan supermarkets as wholesalers and coffee producers have been withholding their coffee from sale.

Since 2003, President Chavez has maintained a strict price regime on some basic foods like coffee, beans, sugar and powdered milk.

Socialism and economic control

Simply put, socialism involves the state taking control of the economy. Whether it is by setting prices, punishing profit, mandating investments, regulating in a myriad of ways, or taking total control, socialism is the progress toward making every economic decision a political one. And isn't that what we all want more of? Let's put all of our economic decisions in the hands of elected officials?

This is so important that I want to say it again: Socialism is the progress toward making every economic decision a political one.

Venezuela's leftwing leader has authorised the use of the National Guard to "find every last kilogram of coffee" being stockpiled by coffee roasters.

He even raised the prospect of nationalising the industry as a last resort.

"As far as the law is concerned, we're absolutely within our rights to seize coffee which is deliberately being withheld from sale," insists Samuel Ruh, a government appointed monitor of consumer rights.

"In fact, we have already carried out several successful raids at premises illegally holding thousands of tonnes of coffee." news.bbc.co

Hence, we have demands for a more democratic economic system. One based on social justice, or economic justice, or any number of new terminology for old marxist concepts, in which 'everyone gets a voice' in making economic decisions. Don Fitz, (Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance) puts it this way:

Economic Democracy in Society

Macro-empowerment assumes that questions like "How many cars should we produce?" are too important to be left to the whims of the market. Whether auto production increases by 20% or decreases by 10% should not be based on which direction a corporate board of directors thinks would maximize profit. Though it might seem that power taken from corporate board rooms should be turned over to an elite of ecologically-minded do-gooders, experiences of the Soviet Union suggest that self-perpetuating cliques don't do a great job of ruling. The democratic route is for society itself to vote on the direction for automobile production. greens.org

The idea that the laws of economics should be put to a vote is about on par with deciding if gravity should be obeyed. This is not a new concept, it is not a radical new version of socialism, it is socialism as it has always been. It is all the promises of socialism, while trying very hard to ignore that the practical implementation of it must involve the terrible loss of freedom.

One of the first economic issues for a national referendum could be, "What should be the maximum gap between the poorest and the richest citizen?" Assuming that a humanitarian society would institute a guaranteed income, how much above that income should a person make before there is 100% taxation? Should the richest be allowed to take home 1000 times the guaranteed income? 100 times? 10 times? The ratio could change over time, according to people's preference for more or less egalitarianism. The point is that such questions can be decided by people themselves through direct referendum with no need for a congress to intervene. greens.org

Socialism as a cure for 'unrestrained' Capitalism

Most arguments demanding socialist policies to regulate 'unrestrained' capitalism suffers from the fact that the definition used to justify a socialist remedy to a 'capitalism problem' actually uses only the marxist definition of capitalism (as an oppressive expolitative system that must be kept in check lest it run amok and destroy civilization).

Yet we do not need to resort to marxist dogma to justify the regulation of capitalism because the operation of free markets does not work under anarchy and lawlessness. Capitalism presupposes the rule of law and a stable environment conducive to making commercial exchange without coercion and with recourse to the courts for things like breach of contract, fraud, and theft. It works better where there is honesty and people can trust each other. It works worst in the kind of environment where everything is subject to political whims. Whether it is third world dictatorship or congress deciding that appeasing the voters means price controls on 'big oil'.

What's more, if we are looking for a system that maximizes human freedom and creates the greatest possiblity for the advancement of culture, free choice, democracy, and liberty the only choice is liberal free market capitalism.

Posted by Eric Simonson at January 13, 2006 2:01 AM
Comments
Comment #112712

I consider myself to be a libertarian. I side with the libs on some social issues, and I side with the conservatives on some economic issues (and with those few who still champion federalism).

Some of my beliefs are supported by neither mainstream party, such as my belief that our illegal drug policy needs serious reform.

Should I assume that EVERY thread on this board will quickly devolve into name-calling between the “Left” and the “Right?”

Yes, Left-leaning politics in general can be traced to any number of undesirable ideologies, regimes, or commentators. The same can be said for the Right. Forget comparisons to Communism–both our mainstream political parties can be traced to unflattering past actions in this country alone.

It’s irrelevant. The United States is less “Socialist” than another other wealthy western nation, is it not? We’ll get much father discussing issues than insulting each other’s ideologies.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #112715

As a Proud Angeleno( L.A )Republican its hard to talk about issues because of Local gangs,proper authority Officials using scare and extortion tactics against political and social activism in LA with the surrounding 310 AREAS puts pressure on the city.this is bulls@#$.F@#$ INGLEWOOD Alway up to no good but I really blame WHITE Santa Monica Smucks.IT is really sad to see how truly this racist city is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: peter at January 13, 2006 6:03 AM
Comment #112719

Hey Eric,

Good post. Pretty much right on target. The market does work best when left alone. What our liberal brothers and sisters don’t realize is that as soon as the government, on any level, gets into making economic decisions, things start going downhill. With the best of intentions, there will be corrections applied that totally screw up the process. Price controls come to mind. These usually lead to shortages and hurt both producer and consumer. Rent controls, as seen in New York City, lead to a deterioration of existing housing and put a damper on building new.

I too am a libertarian in philosophy. I don’t believe the government should very much control over my life in any way.

Actually, the founding fathers must have felt the same way. The Constitution is crafted to prohibit too much government interference with the people. However, with the philosophy that it is a “living” document, we can see how far we have strayed from the original intent.

Posted by: John Back at January 13, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #112726

Eric,

The first thing we have to do here is get past our fear of the word “Socialism”. Unfortunately, when most people think of the word, they relate it to the marriage of communist economy and totalitarian government that was the Soviet Union. That was the society that Marx spoke of. But just because someone is suggesting a socialist ECONOMY (or elements thereof) does not necessarily mean that they’re a Marxist in disguise. Being in favor of helping the poor, providing public education, or providing affordable healthcare doesn’t make one a Marxist anymore than advocating good roads makes one a Nazi.

The fact is, capitalism and free markets are only good for a limited period of time. Sure, it’s great for the consumer when businesses compete against each other, but eventually one business or the other will win that competition, and a monopoly will form. That is NOT good for the consumer.

Also, capitalism is very unforgiving of such sins as being born poor, suffering through natural disasters, or suffering from severe medical problems. It’s a system without compassion, without mercy. “Survival of the fittest” suits it well.

Socialism, on the other hand, has its own world of problems. No incentives and no ability to improve as an individual are the first that come to mind.

What we need (and what we have, btw) is a combination of the two. Enough free markets and commercial exchange to promote growth and hard work, with government involvement to assist the poor, provide necessities, and prevent monopolies from forming.

According to your last paragraph, Eric, it appears that we’re simply debating symantics. We’re both describing a system of free market capitalism, regulated by the government. I call it a mixture of captitalism and socialism, while you call it “liberal free market capitalism”.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 8:21 AM
Comment #112729
Actually, the founding fathers must have felt the same way. The Constitution is crafted to prohibit too much government interference with the people. However, with the philosophy that it is a “living” document, we can see how far we have strayed from the original intent.

Yeah. Let’s go back to the “original intent”, when women couldn’t vote or own property, and blacks WERE property.

Or, we can realize that the Constitution IS a living document. It’s the foundation of a nation of, by, and for THE PEOPLE. Not a nation of, by, and for the FOUNDING FATHERS. None of the founding fathers voted in the last election (except maybe in Chicago) — BECAUSE THEY’RE DEAD! The idea they fought for, and that many of them died for, is that we should have the right to determine our own government. Not that THEY had the right to determine OUR government, but that WE can choose our own.

That’s what a “living” Constitution means. It’s one that represents the people generation after generation, instead of being locked into the mores of men long gone.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #112738

How to annoy a Libral.
Work, Be Sucessful, Be Happy.
My Libral friends (yes I do have a few) hate to see that sticker on my truck.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #112739

Socialism and Communisim are based on the Government making choices for the individual that He or She should make for themselves,one with taxes and force and the other with FORCE.Our constitution was written to not allow either,giving the individuals the right to choose how they excercise their “inalienable rights”,the ones their former governments would not allow them to pursue,but,from the beginning of this nation some people are resorting to the ways our forefathers came here to escape.Over the years some have been elected who would have this Country go backwards to those days when the individual had no rights,but the governing bodies control every aspect of our lives,taking away our choices.Look at where we were even 40 years ago when what was unacceptable behavior and labled as immoral is now treated as an alternate morality,but is being legislated from a branch of government which according to the Constitution is supposed to JUDGE the constitutionality of the laws past by congress and signed by the president,and,if it is not allowed by the constitution then it is supposed to be “struck down”and NOT become law.If the people want the law,then we the people can work through our Congress to amend the Constitution to allow the law to be passed.The problem is,the majority does not want it so the minority tries to stack the courts with those who want that law or others like it with people who will allow their laws even when the Constitution does not allow it.They are losing their grip on the Supreme Court,and even though the majority in America has at the polls expressed they want to go in the direction of the old morality,they won’t relinquish the power back to the majority.

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 13, 2006 8:58 AM
Comment #112742

Ron Brown,

How to annoy a Libral. Work, Be Sucessful, Be Happy.

Considering the number of working, successful, happy Liberals that I know, that sticker doesn’t make much sense to me.

Maybe we should put one next to it that says something like:

How to annoy a Conservative:
(a) be nice to a non-American,
(b) be nice to a homosexual,
(c) be nice to a poor person,
(d) be nice to a non-Christian,
(e) do anything for a motivation other than religion or profit.

The name-calling can swing both ways. Personally, though, I prefer…

How to annoy Democrats AND Republicans:
Cast an informed vote!

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #112744

RDAVIDC,

Socialism and Communisim are based on the Government making choices for the individual that He or She should make for themselves…

Do you mean like choice of sexual partner? Or choice of whether or not to sustain a pregnancy? Or choice of what religion to teach our children?

Or does choice only matter to you when it affects your pocketbook?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 9:08 AM
Comment #112751

—-
Should I assume that EVERY thread on this board will quickly devolve into name-calling between the “Left” and the “Right?”
—-

ummm…. yea, looks like it.

Posted by: tony at January 13, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #112756

Im all for economic “progress” however i rarely believe that making more money can be considered “progress”. If we can be responsible stewards of our land, protect our natural resources such as wetlands and make money at the same time i am all for it.

However, you can’t trust the individual or the company or the corporation to do right by the environment because if you don’t impose requirements on them it won’t happen.

And if making more money means that companies do not have to pay into pensions anymore and leave the employees behind with a lifes work and nothing to show for it then i will never be for economic “progress”. I am never for the greedy CEO raping his employees so that he can steal millions of dollars. There has to be government involvement in the economy so scumbags like that don’t continue to pull ERON’s. It will happen if you get lazy and don’t pay attention or take the neccessary steps.

I think its a social misconception mixed with ignorance on the largest and saddest of scales that we place such an importance on material posessions — which are largely wasteful and environmentally harmful; and then call that progress.

Posted by: tree hugger at January 13, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #112763

Rob C.
Those are nothing but political “talking points.” They take issues to the extreme all in order to get votes.

“Government making choices for the individual that He or She should make for themselves

Things that should be individual “choices” such as seatbelts, smoking, drinking, porn, retirement plans, charity, guns, what auto etc… better represent unConstitutional govt intrusion.

Posted by: kctim at January 13, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #112768

Let’s not forget “choices” such as un-monitored phone calls.

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #112770

Human sciences like economics must always factor in the monkey wrench of social and psychological complexity. According to theory, the best product naturally triumphs in the Market Place. The reality is more complicated. Sometimes the best product for one year, is the lousy one for the next. Example? SUVs versus Hybrids.

The Free Market fundamentalists can be stereotypically said to hold anything less than the bare minimum of regulation and taxation as an impingement on market forces that would do the job better. They make the mistake though of reifying the market, thingifying it if you will.

That is, they look at the market, and they see something that has an existence on its own, not something that emerges from a larger pattern. The Market exists primarily as a multi-sided guess on million’s of American’s parts. The wisdom of that guess can vary with the knowledge of whats going on and what folks are willing to do based on that knowledge.

The Market doesn’t itself come up with better solutions, people do, in response to the market, under the right circumstances. Sometimes, other folk’s guesses about what’s right creates a situation that blocks out what’s really right. Again, SUVs versus Hybrids.

I believe it is the correctability of the market that makes it better than other forms of economy most of the time. It’s not self correcting though. That’s the error of reification again. The Market doesn’t correct errors, people do. The virtue of the market is that it “finds” solutions to problems quicker - more accurately, somebody makes a solution and it catches on and things start working again.

The trouble is, error in the market is pretty tautologically defined. If you fail, you made a mistake. To say that Enron was an error corrected by the Market is to ignore the market’s opinion of Enron up to the point it began its decline. It’s also to ignore the effects of ignorance and imperfect solutions to complex problems.

The Market is good at creating optimal solutions to complex problems in context, according to what people understand about the situation. If there are big black holes in understanding about dealings, or another solution has better support and greater infrastructure, the Market is not necessarily going to provide you with the best solution. Moreover, the market, not being a real thing in and of itself, but a result of interactions not fully understood, cannot really be said to have morals, religion, or any other kind of independent principles. To appeal to the market to pump up something’s virtues is to make an Ad Populum appeal- a fallacy of logic.

The Market is our interaction, and as such, the interaction takes on our moral character. Where lacking, it lacks it. Where present, it has it. When the market is full of secret traps of unreliable accounting and conflict-of-interest driven financing, people tread with no less care than they would through any other environment of society.

While you’re busy trying to divine the will of the market, the rest of us are looking at the neighborhood its become, and are wondering whether its safe to go through there at night.

The Blue Column approach is to police the interactions, and add others to fill in the gaps that private industry can’t or won’t provide up to reasonable standards. We put the brakes on the more egregious or deceptive of practices, and punish injurious behavior, and let the system run itself otherwise.

This has always been the American way: freedoms with the constraints of the rule of law. Not everything that big business would like to be permitted to do is what it should be permitted to do. The Government has to be capable of intervening effectively as a third party, the way the police have to be effective in their interventions in our neighborhoods.

Unfortunately, the Republicans have eroded that power to effectively intervene, and worse declared that regulations policing finance and disclosure were unneeded, impediments to this magical thing, the market.

In making the mistake of treating the market as a real thing, and not the result of interactions, the Republicans have let the neighborhood go. If they’re not careful, they’ll make a ghetto of our economy, in their quest to avoid the ideological sin of intervention into the market.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 13, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #112773

I’m baffled that nowhere in this posting is there any reference to Eduard Bernstein

It’s like referring to the American Revolution without mentioning Thomas Jefferson.

It shows how little Americans know about the development of “Socialism” in the Western World.

Posted by: bobo at January 13, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #112774

‘How to annoy a Conservative:
….
(c) be nice to a poor person,…

I thought it was shown that conservatives give more money -out of their pockets - to help the poor….

Posted by: dawn at January 13, 2006 10:15 AM
Comment #112775

Dave,
“Let’s not forget “choices” such as un-monitored phone calls.”

No one is monitoring your phone calls, unless, maybe you are talking to or helping the wrong people.

If MY President is monitoring my phone calls maybe I should re-think who I associate with.

Posted by: blah blah blah at January 13, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #112780

kctim–

Things that should be individual “choices” such as seatbelts, smoking, drinking, porn, retirement plans, charity, guns, what auto etc… better represent unConstitutional govt intrusion.

For such regulation to be “unconstitutional,” the Constitution itself needs to prohibit the states from regulating that area.

I agree that less regulation is often better, especially on the federal level–but with the exception of porn and guns (with limits), I don’t see why the state can’t regulate such things.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 10:28 AM
Comment #112785

How to annoy a Conservative:
(a) be nice to a non-American,
(b) be nice to a homosexual,
(c) be nice to a poor person,
(d) be nice to a non-Christian,
(e) do anything for a motivation other than religion or profit.

The name-calling can swing both ways. Personally, though, I prefer…

How to annoy Democrats AND Republicans:
Cast an informed vote!

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 09:04 AM

Them might annoy a Republican but not a Conservitive.
And your right casting an infromed vote is the surest way to annoy both Republicans and Democrats.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #112786

blah-blah-blah

I bet Big Brother is already watching you, and the thought police are on your trail. You can let YOUR president listen in on you. I don’t want him anywhere near me (physically or electronically).

BTW, I love the logic: “No one is monitoring your phone calls, unless, maybe you are talking to or helping the wrong people. “
How would they know who I was talking to unless they were already listening to me?

Posted by: Dave at January 13, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #112794

It is fairly clear that the link Eric is attempting to forge between liberalism and Communism has a purely pejorative motivation, no matter his pretextual argument to the contrary.

Fair is fair…

Fascism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary:

“A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism”

Sounds a lot like modern American conservatism, doesn’t it? I guess it has its ideological roots in fascism.

Moreover, students of history know that America, during the late 19th and early 20th century, already experimented with laissez-faire capitalism, with disastrous results for the general citizenry.

True, certain industries were remarkably ascendant (Standard Oil, Carnegie Steel), but, unlike conservative politicos, most don’t believe that the success of a society is measured along the sole axis of the economic success of business.

People during the Big Business era were exploited ruthlessly and relentlessly in terms of wage and hours, their health was compromised both in the workplace and by the goods Big Business produced, and their political clout was virutally nil.

Ah, the good ol’ days! And, of course, as America moved inexorably toward a more regulated marketplace, the hew and cry of captains of industry was that America would be ruined and would lose its place as first and foremost among industrialized nations.

As we all know, that’s exactly what happened. Wait… no, it didn’t.

David is of course completely right in his assertion that America’s success was firmly rooted in a mixture of industry and business, with social and welfare programs. Arguing otherwise is outright rubbish, as any student of history knows.

Posted by: Yossarian at January 13, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #112799

I wish the federal government would get out of the business of CORPORATE WELFARE. Why should any company with profits over a million dollars get one dime of federal subsidy? The Right talks about competition. I wish we had a level playing field where nimble entrepreneurs could compete w/ the giant mega corps, but with our Federal-Corporate Welfare state how can they compete? This unholy marriage between our Fed Govt. and the Souless Mega-Corp reeks of Fascism. While we’re at it, lets pull funding from the highways (an indirect subsidy to Honda, Toyota, Ford, and GM). This Big Government / Big Corporation Alliance is driving our country to ruin!

Posted by: Rick at January 13, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #112806

Yossarian wrote:

People during the Big Business era were exploited ruthlessly and relentlessly in terms of wage and hours, their health was compromised both in the workplace and by the goods Big Business produced, and their political clout was virutally nil.

big Business era? Look at today!! Finally, finally, there’s a dent in the Wal-Mart model of treating your employees like excrement.

The Maryland legislature overrode the Governor’s veto and now requires any employer with over 10,000 employees to either spend 8% of payroll on health care for its workers, or else provide the difference to the state’s medicaid fund. In other words the message is: “big employers: either YOU pay for health care, or you pay the TAX that we use to pay for health care.”

And NO: Wal-Mart isn’t the only employer who this law applies to. It’s just the only one whose piss-poor benefits trigger the provisions of the law.

Posted by: bobo at January 13, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #112810

It’s obvious that I don’t agree with the line that Eric is drawing. Rob wrote “The fact is, capitalism and free markets are only good for a limited period of time. Sure, it’s great for the consumer when businesses compete against each other, but eventually one business will win that competition, and a monopoly will form. That is NOT good for the consumer.”
I agree fully. What this comes down to is the principle of Checks & Balances. In order to have balance, I believe, there needs to be tolerance for all the parties involved. Period. I’m done arguing with you, Eric, about what I am reading behind your articles. No, I will not take back the fact that I consider your articles to be hateful. I still think that you are trying to discredit liberals. That’s just my opinion.

Posted by: Karen at January 13, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #112813

Calling liberals socialists and communists is not different (or less accurate) then calling neo-cons facists. So if you’re ok with that name call away.

Laissez faire econmics did not work for the french and it will not work for us. The answer is in the middle of the partie’s approaches. Let’s not forget when corporations started in this fine country of freedom they HAD to serve a public good and they were also temporary. So going “ad fonte” is not going back to laissez faire.

Posted by: chantico at January 13, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #112816

blah blah blah,

No one is monitoring your phone calls, unless, maybe you are talking to or helping the wrong people.

How do you know that? Are you privy to the classified records of who the government is monitoring? Because you’d have to be in order to back up a statement like that.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #112817

I wish the federal government would get out of the business of CORPORATE WELFARE.

Posted by: Rick at January 13, 2006 11:32 AM

I wish the government would just get out of the welfare business altogeather.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 13, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #112818

Ron Brown wrote,

I wish the government would just get out of the welfare business altogether.

If businesses paid people enough you wish will come true. But then — GEESH — that goes against free markets.

Posted by: bobo at January 13, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #112819

“I wish the government would just get out of the welfare business altogeather.”

Ya know, I happen to agree with you there. I was talking to some friends the other day, and we decided that if government was run by blue collored workers instead of the rich, we would probably limit welfare greatly, and only extend it to those who actually need it. Mostly because laborers and skilled tradespersons understand better than most the value of a hard day’s work, and they would kick America in the behind and say ‘get back to work’. As opposed to business management, where ‘business golf’ is actually put forward as legitimate work.

Posted by: ant at January 13, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #112820
Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is—the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.
—-Winston Churchill Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #112822

Those opposed to welfare must, ipso facto, be opposed to the billions Congress is spending on Katrina rebuilding and aid to victims. For a person unemployed through outsourcing or inadequate education is no less a victim than a person who lost their home and posessions to Katrina.

Think about it. A government that takes taxes from its people but disregards their plight will not be viewed as a democracy. And of course, eliminating taxes and letting every person fend for themselves also has a name, and the name is Anarchy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #112824

The steady, designed decline of pure
Americanism over the last 55 years has produced a clinking - clanking collection of colligenous politics blinded to the truth of history. Inch by inch American’s have caved to the emotional treachery of the left, leaving America a fat, bloated wounded animal. The lies and deceit of the left have allowed laws to flourish, which have failed to protect America from it’s enemies. They are the enemy within.

The commu-left has made insensitivity their friend, developing “tolerance and diversity” as the banners of their maligned sense of socialism, hoping in the end to create weakness. However, the fresh change of freedom is in the air, as we have much yet to fight for!

The acts and dreams of the social left continue to grow weak, and as they do, America will prevail, beginning at the voting booth. America has begun to wake up out of the naval-gazing haze of apathetic taradiddle. And as the crust of sleepiness is removed from our eyes, we see the enemy, and he will be defeated.

Posted by: Mundo at January 13, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #112834

Did Mundo just copy and paste some quote from Sen. Joe McCarthy from congressional records of the Red Scare hearings? Inquiring minds want to know?

Does anyone doubt the appropriateness of Mundo’s comment in this column? I don’t. And folks project hate as a commodity of the left. Now that is laughable absurdity in the extreme.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 13, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #112835

Rob,
“How to annoy a Conservative:
(a) be nice to a non-American,
(b) be nice to a homosexual,
(c) be nice to a poor person,
(d) be nice to a non-Christian,
(e) do anything for a motivation other than religion or profit.”


(a) be nice to a non-American
By allowing people to violate our immigration laws?! Don’t worry, the conservatives and libs are doing just that.

(b) be nice to a homosexual
By not violating heterosexual rights with the marriage between a “Man and Woman”; the homosexuals have plenty of rights other than that one.

(c) be nice to a poor person
More money was spent for the poor under this President than any other. And, it was the Democratic lead administrations (Mayor, Governor) that failed the Katrina victims, remember that.

(d) be nice to a non-Christian
Jews, Hindus, Non-terrorist Muslims ( the few that exist), etc. are all treated with respect. It’s the attack on Christianity that is the Problem; just ask the “Patriotic” Nationalists in the ACLU about that.

(e) do anything for a motivation other than religion or profit.
How about contributing to charities or helping out in the community without the gov’t making you do it!


The fact is, the conservatives are more positive than the liberals; just take a look at how they’ve been positioning themselves the past few years. The libs have positioned themselves to the point that “anything that’s good for America, is bad for them and anything good for them, is bad for America”. Think about it.


The War:
Bad for America that our troops are dying; good for libs b/c the higher the US death toll the more of a case they can make against the war.


The Economy:
Bad for America that the jobs report is low and inflation high along with unemployment; good for libs, they can blame it on Bush and say it’s his policies that are doing it.


National Security:
Good for America that we’ve been eavesdropping on Al Qaeda and holding secret CIA prisons to combat this enemy (without them knowing) in order to win this war and prevent future attacks; bad for libs that the “appeasement” stratagem can’t work b/c Americans are taking the tough and “preemptive” approach. Basically, it exposes and debunks the “appeasement” strategy with each victory.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 12:58 PM
Comment #112850

rahdigly,

I’m sure you probably wrote something else worth reading, but I find it hard to get past this part:

Non-terrorist Muslims ( the few that exist)

Do you really believe that the majority of Muslims are terrorists? If so, then you need to meet a few more Muslims. Judging all of Islam on the actions of a few terrorists is like judging Christianity on the actions of David Koresh. It’s an ignorant, bigotted thing to do. Besides, historically speaking, Christians have killed more people than Muslims have — usually for no crime worse than worshipping God in the “wrong” way.

It’s the attack on Christianity that is the Problem; just ask the “Patriotic” Nationalists in the ACLU about that.

What attack on Christianity are you talking about? I’m a Christian myself, and I’ve seen no such attack.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #112862

Rob,

The War on Christmas; taking god out of the Pledge of Allegiance; schools condemning teachers for using the Declaration of Independence b/c it has “endowed by our creator”. That’s just a few examples of the attack on Christianity in America. You must not be Catholic, b/c all of December each Mass the priest talked about the attack on saying “Christmas” and how we should be allowed and “proud” to say Christmas in public.


As far as the muslim/terrorist comment, I was just taking a little jab at the PC crowd and the islamofascists. Of course I don’t believe that all muslims are terrorists; we have millions of Muslims that live in the US and they are good, hard-working citizens and I certainly respect them. The fact that they (US Muslims) haven’t waged war against us for going into Afghanistan and Iraq (and hopefully soon in Iran) is a sign that we’re doing something right.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #112865

Someone kept you from using the word “Christmas” in public?

What an absurd talking point.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #112872

Mattlaw
Thanks for reading that. I’m glad somebody caught it.
I would have to then ask how those “choices” are any different than the pro-choice reasoning?
If the govt can’t tell a woman what to do with her body, then why can they tell everybody else what to do with theirs?

Porn and guns are both protected by the Constitution. Any regulation of them is unConstitutional.

Posted by: kctim at January 13, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #112876

Kctim–

Thanks for reading that. I’m glad somebody caught it. I would have to then ask how those “choices” are any different than the pro-choice reasoning? If the govt can’t tell a woman what to do with her body, then why can they tell everybody else what to do with theirs?

Well, you’d have to read the various abortion decisions to see why a constitutional right lies in that practice, but not in others.

I don’t necessarily buy the reasoning behind Roe v. Wade, but consider the fact that it’s based on ‘Griswold.’ I can’t see that decision ever being overturned. Can you imagine the reaction of American public today were they told that the State could control their access to birth control?

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #112880

Eric,

So should we give China backs its 295 BILLION dollars in trade bonds? And if so, how do you plan on paying for this war? I know the typical conservative answer is credit, but for us that want a balanced budget, what do you suggest?

Posted by: Vic at January 13, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #112883
Can you imagine the reaction of American public today were they told that the State could control their access to birth control?

Which is why conservatives (and liberals too) should “be careful what you wish for.” If you go too far with getting what you want, you can get a backlash in a big way. I think the argument raised in other places that the Roe decision help usher in the Christian Fundamentalist infusion in politics is an example of this.

Posted by: bobo at January 13, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #112890

matt
“Well, you’d have to read the various abortion decisions to see why a constitutional right lies in that practice, but not in others”

Abortion is none of my business and doesnt interest me in the least.
Like the majority of Americans, I dont have the time to read those nor do I want to. Personally, I dont think its any of my business.
Any way you could give me a short idea of why?
Why the govt has no business telling a woman if she can or cannot have an abortion but can force me not to smoke etc…?
The abortion issue has two lifeforms, mine only affects one, me.
At least when I dont wear a seatbelt or smoke or own a gun or whatever, nobody else is harmed.

Posted by: kctim at January 13, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #112892

matt,
“Someone kept you from using the word “Christmas” in public? What an absurd talking point.”


Where have you been? Stores tried to use happy holidays; some even tried to sell “holiday” trees instead of “CHRISTMAS” trees. Those businesses got hurt pretty bad with that, too. The consumers spoke up by going elsewhere; that’ll teach them for waging war. He! He!


“Can you imagine the reaction of American public today were they told that the State could control their access to birth control?”


Most people would prefer the states deciding rather than the federal gov’t. And, the Roe v. Wade will be overturned b/c it’s bad law; just like Dred Scott was bad law, it was overturned. That won’t abolish abortions, it will just put in in the hands of the states.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #112896
Where have you been? Stores tried to use happy holidays … that’ll teach them for waging war.

How a business using the word “holiday” constitutes a “war” is beyond me.

Happy Martin Luther King Day rahdigly !

Posted by: bobo at January 13, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #112898

“Where have you been? Stores tried to use happy holidays; some even tried to sell “holiday” trees instead of “CHRISTMAS” trees. “

I know. I was so effected by this irresponsible attack on christianity that I almost stopped being a christian. Phew thank goodness for the boycotts, nothing spreads christianity like indignation. Still I fear for those christians not as strong as I.

Sarcasm aside, when christianity becomes more concerned with what other people call trees instead of loving your neighbor and keeping peace in your heart that is a good way to tell that maybe certain sects have gone awry.

Posted by: chantico at January 13, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #112901
Abortion is none of my business and doesnt interest me in the least. Like the majority of Americans, I dont have the time to read those nor do I want to. Personally, I dont think its any of my business.

Well, it’s a legal decision of our Supreme Court … so I’d say it is “your business.”

Basically, the Court determined that there is an implied right of privacy located within various part of the Bill of Rights and incorporated against the states by the 14th amendment. This was how the decision came down against state regulation of the use of birth control by married couples, and it was extended to include abortion here.

It’s more complicated than that and I can’t really briefly explain it … but when a constitutional right is recognized, then the government must present some sort of compelling interest to curtail it.

This argument has basically been affirmed in different ways throughout the other abortion cases.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #112904

Try and deny the attack on Christianity; it’s not going to work. Just like the NSA wiretapping is not working for the anti-Bush crowd. You guys better figure out who the enemy is! It’s not Bush; it’s not Christians. Wake up, people!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #112906
Stores tried to use happy holidays; some even tried to sell “holiday” trees instead of “CHRISTMAS” trees. Those businesses got hurt pretty bad with that, too. The consumers spoke up by going elsewhere; that’ll teach them for waging war. He! He!

…so these stores were being forced to say this? By whom?

Were those stores “hurt pretty bad?” Do you have evidence of this?

Most people would prefer the states deciding rather than the federal gov’t.

It’s protected by the constitution. NO ONE can touch it.

Posted by: mattLaw at January 13, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #112908

rahdigly,

The War on Christmas;

Someone declared war on a holiday??!! It must have been a Republican… they’re good at declaring war on intangible objects.

taking god out of the Pledge of Allegiance;

Did that actually happen? Was it upheld by higher courts? Didn’t think so.

Stores tried to use happy holidays; some even tried to sell “holiday” trees instead of “CHRISTMAS” trees.

How dare someone try to sell a Celtic yule-log as a “holiday tree”! Don’t they know that Christians rightfully stole that symbol?

I don’t consider using the word “holiday” as being an attack on a holiday. If anything, it’s a defense of them all.

If someone decided to use the word “holiday” instead of “Christmas”, that’s a personal decision — it’s not a war.

I keep hearing people talking about the “war on Christianity”, and how the rights of the majority are being trampled. I still fail to see any evidence of it. We Christians have the same right to practice our religion as anyone else. What we DON’T have is the “right” to have the government practice it for us. Teaching religion in school, posting religious documents in government buildings, all the trappings of state-sponsored religion… that’s a right we DON’T have.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at January 13, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #112909

“Actually, the founding fathers must have felt the same way. The Constitution is crafted to prohibit too much government interference with the people”.

If this true, maybe corporations should get back to doing as our founders intended as well and allow the American people another chance at self governance.

USA,Inc. is not what they intended.

Posted by: dtom21 at January 13, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #112917

See how quickly a real disscussion on agendas becomes a name fest! I guess the rules of name calling do not apply here?

Posted by: jerry at January 13, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #112928

Actually, God was never in the original pledge. Some Christian coalition put it in there. It should go back to it’s original.

Posted by: womanmarine at January 13, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #112932

rahdigly,

“Where have you been? Stores tried to use happy holidays; some even tried to sell “holiday” trees instead of “CHRISTMAS” trees. Those businesses got hurt pretty bad with that, too. The consumers spoke up by going elsewhere; that’ll teach them for waging war. He! He!”

Somebody waged war with trees?

Oh MY Gawd!

Posted by: Rocky at January 13, 2006 3:56 PM
Comment #112935

mattlaw:

Should I assume that EVERY thread on this board will quickly devolve into name-calling between the “Left” and the “Right?”

Where is the name calling you speak of? I am talking about substantive issues. You may not agree with my premise but that does not make it name calling. Do you ever take any other post to task for ‘name calling’, for instance when Bush is called a dictator who is intent on creating a police state? Hello?

Rob,

The first thing we have to do here is get past our fear of the word “Socialism”.

I think perhaps that it is those on the left who fear the word socialism. Or else why call it ‘name calling’ to mention it?

Unfortunately, when most people think of the word, they relate it to the marriage of communist economy and totalitarian government that was the Soviet Union. That was the society that Marx spoke of. But just because someone is suggesting a socialist ECONOMY (or elements thereof) does not necessarily mean that they’re a Marxist in disguise. Being in favor of helping the poor, providing public education, or providing affordable healthcare doesn’t make one a Marxist anymore than advocating good roads makes one a Nazi.

I addressed this directly:

But, my point is not that supporters of Universal Health Care are committed communists, it is that the concept of Universal Health Care and the problem it is meant to solve is based largely on flawed socialist arguments. It has nothing to do with whether or not the average Democratic voter consciously supports a Soviet American Republic, in fact, they most definitely do not and don’t even want to think of themselves as remotely doing so, such is the utter failure of that ideology.

There is a disconnect between the philosophy with which you arrive at the conclusion that the ONLY way to care for the poor, provide for education, and affordable healthcare is through government. This is socialism. Pure and simple. It is why Democrats continue to say that Republicans don’t care about the poor because they do not want to increase government spending for some agency.

The fact is, capitalism and free markets are only good for a limited period of time. Sure, it’s great for the consumer when businesses compete against each other, but eventually one business or the other will win that competition, and a monopoly will form. That is NOT good for the consumer.

Also, capitalism is very unforgiving of such sins as being born poor, suffering through natural disasters, or suffering from severe medical problems. It’s a system without compassion, without mercy. “Survival of the fittest” suits it well.

Again, this is an erroneous assumption based on the past 100 years of socialist propaganda. The only permanent monopolies are those that have the assistance of government, the assitance of force. A free market by definition means that you can compete no matter who you are.

Is capitalism a heartless system? But socialism isn’t? Capitalism has no feelings, people do. Institutionalized caring is not caring.

According to your last paragraph, Eric, it appears that we’re simply debating symantics. We’re both describing a system of free market capitalism, regulated by the government. I call it a mixture of captitalism and socialism, while you call it “liberal free market capitalism”.

The difference is in the standard for regulation. It is not simply a matter of semantics. Those who advocate more overt socialism never see a problem with the application of socialism only capitalism. It is essentially like a chinese finger trap, where you can put your fingers in but cannot pull them out.



That’s what a “living” Constitution means. It’s one that represents the people generation after generation, instead of being locked into the mores of men long gone.

This is relevant to the conversation: How living is it? What objective standards do you apply? If it’s completely relative then we can apply anything we want- why even have a constitution?

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #112938

Rob,

Do you mean like choice of sexual partner? Or choice of whether or not to sustain a pregnancy? Or choice of what religion to teach our children?

Or does choice only matter to you when it affects your pocketbook?

You might be surprised to know that I agree with you the first and third items, but not on the second. I don’t see it as the government’s role to regulate sexual choices, nor religious ones. But because I believe preganancy is a human being at some point I cannot agree that killing a child is an expression of freedom. This is an objective standard. Meaning that we can both look at the standard see where it follows.

To support abortion throughout a pregnancy you must believe that it is not a human life until it is born. I disagree with that standard.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #112940

treehugger,

However, you can’t trust the individual or the company or the corporation to do right by the environment because if you don’t impose requirements on them it won’t happen.

I agree in the same sense that I agree that my nieghbor cannot dump garbage in his front lawn and let it pile up. It affecst me and my nieghbors. This is a perfectly acceptable requirement.

I think its a social misconception mixed with ignorance on the largest and saddest of scales that we place such an importance on material posessions — which are largely wasteful and environmentally harmful; and then call that progress.

You disagreement with materialism is not an objective standard on which to base law. The fact that harm may be done though is.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #112949

Stephen,

According to theory, the best product naturally triumphs in the Market Place.

According to your theory perhaps. But this is not what market theory says at all. Which product is best is a value judgement made by those who purchase the product at the time, according to factors relavant to them at the time.

We’ve had this conversation before and I realize that you have to find a way to your justify your position that government can always fix what you see as the inevitable market failures. I think you are working backwards from that premise. That the market fails and government must prevent market failures.

In making the mistake of treating the market as a real thing, and not the result of interactions,

This is a mischaracterization. What I have always explained was that the market was the result of aggregate choices.

The main error I see in your view is that you seek no restraint on how far these regulations can or should go. What definition do we have of what a ‘market failure’ is? There are too many calls for government intervention when there is no need or a weakly perceived need.

With your strategy is there ever a situation where the government gets out of whatever business it takes over? Since there isn’t, and since there is always a ‘failure’ somewhere else what you have is an inevitable march toward the government controlling ever more parts of the economy.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #112952

Rob, Matt and Rocky,


I love how some of you out there are actually trying to argue that there isn’t a war on Christianity (lead by the ACLU). The point of the war on Christianity is that one, it is real and two, the stores that did that ridiculous crap (calling it a holiday tree) paid the price b/c the consumers (most of them christians) spoke up and (basically) put an end to that crap. The companies weren’t forced to do that; however, the people spoke up and stopped it, just like they spoke up in November 2004 and voted for Bush. Ha! ha!


Now, you still want to whine and cry about Bush and his policies; and yet, no word is mentioned about Iran. They thumbed their noses at the World; called for the Jews to be “wiped of the planet”; and pulled the IAEA seals on their nukes (THAT THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!). They just keep thumbing their noses and you guys want to talk about Bush. Good job everyone. Next Presidential election, make sure you give me your names so I can vote for you. Great leaders. Ha! ha! Yeah, right!!!!


Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #112955

Yossarian,

It is fairly clear that the link Eric is attempting to forge between liberalism and Communism has a purely pejorative motivation, no matter his pretextual argument to the contrary.

I don’t agree at all. In fact, it is born of the accusations that conservative “don’t care about the poor” because they don’t support liberal programs. Democrats actually said that Republicans wanted to “starve children and old people” because they wanted to slow the rate of budget increase in some programs. That is pejorative. It is also based on the premise that the only way to care for the poor is through government spending.

Fascism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary:

“A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism”

Sounds a lot like modern American conservatism, doesn’t it? I guess it has its ideological roots in fascism.

This is actually an accusation that is leveled all the time toward ‘the right’.

In fact it is precisely descriptive of Roosevelt’s New Deal. You need to do some research on fascism, my friend. It certainly doesn’t describe free market capitalism at all. This is what I mean about the erroneous definitions of marxism.

David is of course completely right in his assertion that America’s success was firmly rooted in a mixture of industry and business, with social and welfare programs. Arguing otherwise is outright rubbish, as any student of history knows.

This is demonstrably false. If socialism were an engine of prosperity we would expect that it would be able to produce prosperity outside of and without the assistance of capitalism. Since it cannot, and since capitalism itself can operate and produce prosperity without socialism, we must conclude that socialism is a subtractive element. Like a parasite it can only exist in conjunction with a healthy host. The larger the role that socialism takes the more it drains the host.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #112958

Eric,

What I don’t understand is why, every one of your posts gets back to;
liberals = communist/socialist/whatever?

What exactly is the point of all this?
Are there no other subjects that you are versed in?

Posted by: Rocky at January 13, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #112960

Rahdigly,

“I love how some of you out there are actually trying to argue that there isn’t a war on Christianity (lead by the ACLU). The point of the war on Christianity is that one, it is real and two, the stores that did that ridiculous crap (calling it a holiday tree) paid the price b/c the consumers (most of them christians) spoke up and (basically) put an end to that crap. The companies weren’t forced to do that; however, the people spoke up and stopped it, just like they spoke up in November 2004 and voted for Bush.”

Other than you and Bill O’Rielly there might be two or three people out there that actually give a rat’s ass about this.
This was a tempest in a teapot.

Posted by: Rocky at January 13, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #112964

Karen,

“…but eventually one business will win that competition, and a monopoly will form. That is NOT good for the consumer.”

I agree fully. What this comes down to is the principle of Checks & Balances. In order to have balance, I believe, there needs to be tolerance for all the parties involved.

It’s correct that there needs to be checks and balances. As I said, capitalism requires it to function. However, I do not agree with socialist remedies to socialist definitions of capitalism. There is no need for the government to take over entire industries or services.

There isn’t a natural tendency toward monopolies. Again, a perfect example of marxist theory evident in liberal thinking. Marxism’s main theory is that capitalism will destroy itself by consolidation. Yet it doesn’t work that way.

With the worst examples of the capitalist “Robber Barons” how did they maintain their measure of monopoly? They did so by bribing politicians. Not through the free market. They had to resort to government intervention to keep out competitors. This is not capitalism, it is arguably the same thing that many liberals often times propose- government partnerships with business. Look at Europe. Do you see government owned industries with monopolies?

While referring to the growing concentration of capital, the Manifesto did not draw the necessary conclusion in regard to monopoly, which has become the dominant capitalist form in our epoch and the most important precondition for socialist economy. Only afterwards, in Capital, did Marx establish the tendency towards the transformation of free competition into monopoly. It was Lenin who gave a scientific characterisation of monopoly capitalism in his “Imperialism.”

Here I am trying to expose you to a different point of view from your own and what is your reaction?

Period. I’m done arguing with you, Eric, about what I am reading behind your articles. No, I will not take back the fact that I consider your articles to be hateful. I still think that you are trying to discredit liberals. That’s just my opinion.

Karen, I hope you are not done arguing. That would be a sad end to the conversation. What’s the purpose of free speech if not to debate and learn, and even disagree?

I can’t help it if you take my point of view for hatred because you disagree with my conclusions. If you thought about it you would realize that I am trying to discredit liberals, but not by slander. Just as virtually every post in the blue column is an effort to discredit Bush. Will you call that hatred too?

I see a connection between the core left, which has been profoundly influenced by socialist doctrines, and many of the popular liberal policies supported by many who do not see themselves as socialists. How does that make my thoughts hatred?

I have a friend, (also the father of a friend, but I consider him to be my friend as well) who graduated from Harvard, taught literature and journalism all his life and retired recently. He is definitely a liberal. He believes in the New Deal, JFK, the Great Society, etc. We completely disagree about everything. I don’t hate him. I love the guy. And I love talking to him. We have a great time debating and talking. When he says Bush is the worst President ever I don’t feel as though he hates me either.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 5:21 PM
Comment #112972

Rocky,
“Other than you and Bill O’Rielly there might be two or three people out there that actually give a rat’s ass about this.”

Actually, there are plenty of people that do care and are offended, you just don’t want to admit it.


Now, I noticed you skipped the Iran comment. What’s a matter Rock, are you afraid to give an opinion? That’s something that people better give a “Rat’s A$$” about b/c it’s real and it’s imminient.

So, Rock, let’s try this again. Step up to the plate:

“Now, you still want to whine and cry about Bush and his policies; and yet, no word is mentioned about Iran. They thumbed their noses at the World; called for the Jews to be “wiped of the planet”; and pulled the IAEA seals on their nukes (THAT THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!). They just keep thumbing their noses and you guys want to talk about Bush.”


What would you do about Iran, Rock?! This ought to be good…

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #112974

“Now, you still want to whine and cry…They just keep thumbing their noses and you guys want to talk about Bush.”
Said the man complaining about Holiday Trees.

Posted by: chantico at January 13, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #112975

I see that Eric is still worrying his favorite old “all liberals are communists” bone. Stephen Daughtery kicked his debating butt so badly in his previous thread (which is in many ways similar to this one) so he felt the need to try, try again — although not especially afresh, I notice.

As usual Eric feels a burning need to sneer at men like Michael Moore, or Harry Bellefonte, or Kurt Vonnegut, or whoever — just anyone he doesn’t like that is on the left — never realizing that in reality they are as fully and authentically American as he himself is, despite his distaste for their political stance or personal opinions. And he has no shame or conscience about claiming ultimate superiority for his party and their ideologies, while trash talking a woman like Cindy Sheehan who happens to be the mother of a Marine who died fighting in America’s name. She must be the enemy, simply because she has the audacity to criticize the actions and policies of a presidential administration who started a pre-emptive quagmire of a war by mistake. A failed, incompetent and corrupt president and administration, as well as a majority in Congress who people like Eric feel they must vociferously defend and make excuses for constantly.
It could be kind of laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic and devisive and harmful to the mindset of the country.
Interestingly enough, articles like the one above aren’t usually the kind that people on the Left or Center in WB tend to write. No, they don’t waste their time writing shrill screeds which rail against far-right figures like William F. Buckley, Bill Cristol, or Rush Limbaugh. Nor do they attack the whole conservative oeuvre trying to raise questions about their patriotism, or try to lie about, or chip away at the archaic foundations of conservative philosophical thought in America. Instead they tend to talk about important issues and current events and whatever scandals unfold (which with this administration has kept them extremely busy!). Or being concerned by such things, the center column might focus on Constitutional issues or the failings of our two party system, while the Left being progressive by nature, might bring up issues about America’s future and what must be done to make it better.

In closing, and as a way to answer the title of this article “Insulting Communists and Liberals”, I’d like to leave a link to a much better piece written by someone on the Left:
Bullying and Threats Can’t Smokescreen the Truth

Posted by: Adrienne at January 13, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #112979

Eric,
The fundamental comparison of this post is wrong. It would be more useful to refer to Locke or Rousseau, or investigate the dichotomy personified by Thomas Jefferson & John Adams.

Jefferson advocated a working man’s America, where merit and work and innovation earned success. Liberal principles begin with this concept, and use the success of the group as a whole to provide a safety net. Thus, merit and work and innovation are rewarded, and the basic moral concepts of compassion and Christian kindness are observed.

Adams advocated an aristocracy, where birth and wealth meant success. Conservative concepts begin with this concept, and use success as a net to keep the ignorant, undeserving rabble ensnared. Thus, merit and work belong only to those who inherently deserve it.

Look at a list of ‘successful’ countries today, and how closely they match the aristocratic vision of John Adams. ‘Deserving’ countries are consistently colonialists, who made their wealth and claimed the land through brutual exploitation of others abroad, and genocide of native peoples at home.

Posted by: phx8 at January 13, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #112981

Chantico,
“Said the man complaining about Holiday Trees.”


Nice debate, Chantico. That’s actually a classic ad hominem retort that many liberals use; you sure you want to be in that company?


Still didn’t respond to the Iran problem? Or, are you going to be like most liberals and do nothing, offer nothing, then attack the Republicans when they (actually) take action?! Hmmm….

Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #112982

Adrienne, Liberals.. Do you ever read your posts? You have no ideas on witch to debate. Read your post, not one idea, not one fact, there is nothing there. Oh yeah there it is, Bush is to blame for everything wrong with this world. What a strong case you made..

Posted by: philipz at January 13, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #112983

rahdigly,

“and pulled the IAEA seals on their nukes (THAT THEY⒅ NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!).”

And you know that how?

They resumed their research Tuesday. That is when they took the seals off their research facilities.

“They thumbed their noses at the World; called for the Jews to be “wiped of the planet””

Me, I think that we should let Israel handle them. They haven’t threatened us, and if you think that Iran would be a cakewalk to invade, hey, your welcome to try, but you better bring lots and lots of body bags.

Posted by: Rocky at January 13, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #112990

“You have no ideas on witch to debate.”

Right, because there was nothing there to be debated. Eric’s article is just another attack upon liberals, based upon lies and fallacies that he endlessly repeats.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 13, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #112991

“Still didn’t respond to the Iran problem? Or, are you going to be like most liberals and do nothing, offer nothing, then attack the Republicans when they (actually) take action?! Hmmm….”

Yeah that’s right call me a liberal. That’ll make it easy for you, everyone who disagrees must be a durn librul.

You want to know what I think about Iran? Very well. I’ve said it here before I opposed the war in Iraq because everything that Bush and Co. were saying about Iraq Iran was much more guilty of. If they had said in 2002 Iran instead of Iraq I’d say, “OK!” I’ve said from the beginning Iran should be our focus, we can easily prove the terrorist links and WMDs for Iran, Iraq? Not so much.

So don’t come to me whining about how we’re not doing anything in Iran. I said do something from the beginning, don’t take out Iraq, go to Iran if we took out Iraq then we’d have to ignore Iran at our peril. But NOOOOooooooo, no one would listen then, ESPECIALLY the conservatives.

Now we’ve found no WMDs in Iraq, Cheney says there was no connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda and Iran’s gotten more powerful, our military is stretched thin, and the american people are saying “Bush, you called wolf before and look where it got us. Why should we believe you now?”. Gee, looks like I was right doesn’t it?

Bark up some other tree raggy. That wont fly with me.

Posted by: chantico at January 13, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #112996

Wow! Nothing like a good exposure to get a dialogue going. Unfortunately, some of our writers want to engage in a battle of wits and are only half prepared.

Rob C. Either you have neglected to keep up on current events in the real world or you are deliberately ignoring them. The war on Christianity is real. School systems in all parts of the country have passed rules regarding the wearing of “inappropriate” garb. Not obscene T-shirts but T-shirts with Christian messages. Read the common newspapers for a couple of weeks and see what is going on.

Also, your characterization of the Constitution as a “living document” effectively removes it from having any power in our system of law. The Constitution and amendments provide a bedrock for our government. Without something to anchor to, we have no stability.

As a libertarian, I firmly agree with the 10th amendment: All powers not specifically granted to the Federal govenment are reserved to the states. If we could really accept that as true and in force, the size of government would decrease drastically along with our tax bills and paperwork.

Unfortunately, folks on both sides of the aisle are too wrapped up in a powerful federal government to even try to dismantle it.

We have had one revolution in this country to get out from under a repressive government. Will we have another?

Posted by: John Back at January 13, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #113006

rahdigly,

Nice debate, Chantico. That’s actually a classic ad hominem retort that many liberals use; you sure you want to be in that company?
Actually, rahdigly, it’s just a classic case of you being unable to swallow the same medicine you dish out.

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 13, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #113008

Chantico,
“Yeah that’s right call me a liberal.”


I didn’t call you a liberal, I said “Are you going to be like most liberals and do nothing, offer nothing, then attack the Republicans when they (actually) take action?!”, there’s a big difference there. What do you have a guilty complex? Try not to jump the gun, next time.


“raggy”

Real mature response.


“I said do something from the beginning, don’t take out Iraq, go to Iran if we took out Iraq then we’d have to ignore Iran at our peril. But NOOOOooooooo, no one would listen then, ESPECIALLY the conservatives.”

Well, we’re in concurrence now. So, now that we both agree, meaning you don’t have to be alone shouting about Iran, what do you suppose we do?! Is it the same thing that you “advised” in 2002, or have you seen anything that would change your mind and offer a different strategy?


Posted by: rahdigly at January 13, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #113013

John Back,

The war on Christianity is real. School systems in all parts of the country have passed rules regarding the wearing of “inappropriate” garb.
If this war is real, can you post some links documenting some of the battles? You know, just to further the discussion?

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 13, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #113019

There have been some excellent points made in this discussion. What started out as a post by esimon that was obviously meant to tar the liberal leaning thinkers with fear generating terms of ‘socialist’ and ‘communist’ has brought out the EXACT equivalent on the other end of the continuum… that is, that one can use the same reasoning and history to rightful place conservatives in the camp of ‘fascists’ and ‘social Darwinists’ … that is survival of the fittest to you unlettered emotionalists in the conservative camp (how ironic).

Yossarian’s post had it right. Following the conservative logic of keeping the government out of businesses’ business, Child Labor laws, unions, laws regarding workers’ safety, and business’s liabilities would be purely voluntary. It really was not too long ago that children were routinely put in mines and dangerous factories for pennies a day. Injured workers and those permanently disabled were apt to be fired. Families were compensated only at the discretion of the company. The families of worker killed on the job were routinely ignored, or if living in company housing, evicted. There was no retirement or Social Security. Those too old to work had better have family to support them or charitable organizations to support them. Savings for the unskilled workers was nil since they often left the company in debt to the company stores or housing accounts.

Read history folks these were the facts of life for many, many workers in the 1850’s through the 1920’s.

My guess is that esimon comes from people who benefited greatly by the ‘socialist’ movements and organizations… unions, government labor laws and employee responsibility, work site safety laws, oversight of retirement systems (ha!), Social Security laws, federal intervention in public works after the Crash of ‘29…

The good old days indeed… conservatives live in a fool’s paradise. They would howl the loudest if the progressive actions of the ‘liberal socialists’ were removed… afterall, they have the most to lose.

LibRick… working, self-supporting, six figures, not in debt, NOT A WHINER, like most wealthy white males.

Posted by: LibRick at January 13, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #113023

The most important reason why socialism cannot work is not ideological. It is merely the practical problem that it does not have a price mechanism. A market price regulates supply and demand and contains information about scarcity and future expectations. There is nothing a government can do to duplicate this.

The free market requires the rule of law and some government regulation This does not mean extensive government ownership or management. It just does not work. It is also no longer necessary.

Socialism is old fashioned. A century ago, when we were a much poorer country and the economy was more concentrated, you could make a decent agreement for socialism. That time has passed.

Posted by: Jack at January 13, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #113050

Socialism ,,,, It does’nt work in Europe, why do you think it would work here. Europe has 9.0% unemployment, is that whaT WE want for this country. Liberals think that if everbody is even in life there will be Eutopia. If you want something out of life get off your bum and go after it, do’ent wait for someone to give it to you, You probally do’ent deserve it anyway.

Posted by: philipz at January 13, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #113051

Jack,

It isn’t just that socialism’s time has passed.
Americans feel that they’re entitled to whatever they feel that they are worth, and socialism doesn’t reward those that feel entitled.
Socialism is about sharing from the top down.

You’re right, that time has long past.

Posted by: Rocky at January 13, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #113054

Suprisingly, as a Democrat, Liberal, and a card-carrying member of the ACLU, I agree with most of Eric’s original post. As a Christian I also do not see any “War on Christianity”. As far as stores saying “Happy Holidays”, they do have customers who are not Christians and that do have holidays in December and January. I do not support Socialism, because it does not work, however the Consevitives tend to lable any governtment regulation as “socialist”. Medicare was fought by people who called it “socialised medicine”, although many on this blog may be too young to remember.

Posted by: Warren Dace at January 13, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #113055

Rocky

Socialism has nothing to do with sharing from the top down. It is the system for managing the economy that involved government ownership of the means of production. Socialist countries past and present were not particularly generous. Consider the difference in behavior between the socialist Soviet Union and the free market U.S. after WWII.

The free market has created so much wealth that even the poor in the U.S. live at a very high level of physical comfort. What the free market does not do is ensure equality. That may be something you want to pursue, but socialism won’t necessarily help with that except to the extent that it slows economic growth, which tends to dampen inequality.

Posted by: Jack at January 13, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #113056

Charles W Link to any major newspaper for the past couple of years or Google for banned speech. You will find many links to stories about banned t-shirts, crosses, etc. However, I doubt that you will take the time or effort to do so. It might burst your cocoon.

Posted by: John Back at January 13, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #113061

John Back,

However, I doubt that you will take the time or effort to do so. It might burst your cocoon.
Let me get this straight… You brought up that these cases exist, you aren’t willing to post a single link to one of them, and you’re saying I’m unwilling to take the time and effort? Whan an effective way to further the discussion! Since you’re unwilling to back up your assertions, the logical conclusion for me to draw is that you can’t back them up.

By the way, I have looked up every example Bill O’Reilly has given in support of this “War” on Christmas. He’s flat out lied about over half of them, and the other half he’s exaggerated beyond recognition.

Take care of your own cocoon.

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 13, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #113062

Jack, i
In your last post you just spelled out exactly why the whole premise of Eric’s article is incorrect. Liberals in America have never really been wholesale supporters of European-style socialism, our ideas are a hybrid that come from many places, not from one single source. (Look at phx8’s post to find just some of the others.) I think this is why I find it so objectionable that he’s constantly trying to stick the socialist label upon us. He’s doing all he can to shove us into a box that we’ve only dipped a hand into when we formed our own unique Liberal American philosophy.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 13, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #113063

Socialism is nothing but a power grab by the so called elite. They preach government control from the cradle to the grave. Because for the last 20 years our children have been taught to run from fights and look at the ground with their hands at their sides when confronted by bullies, we now have a gutless bunch of men running the world who must have government help to exist in the manner they think they deserve. To sum it up we are going to pay for the several decades of namby pambys we produced in the liberal school system and there is nothing we can do about it. Its to bad Ayn Rand wasn’t required reading by all school children.

Posted by: jc at January 13, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #113064

Adrienne

You are right. Liberals in the U.S. are not socialists.

Sometimes liberal academics fall for it, however, and they are too tolerant of Marxists, who are real enemies of civilization. Fortunately, socialism is discredited.

Liberals currently suffer from a lack of vision. They kind of ran out of steam with the failure of the great society and during the 1970s they more or less ran the conservatives out the universities and retreated into the ivory tower. Conservatives built think tanks in the real world and now control the intellectual agenda. It is about time for liberals to dump the Teddy Kennedys and get back to some serious thinking about a market based “fair” society.

Posted by: Jack at January 13, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #113069

If the Constitution is a “living document” then its meaning changes according to the political fashion of the day. This makes it meaningless and the rights it guarantees (not grants) are simply the privileges whatever mob holds power that day chooses to allow. The Constitution is our charter of government, the document that makes our government legitimate. It is the shackle that binds tyrants. Its meaning must remain unchanged for our rights as Americans to be secure. Many people think America is a democracy. It isn’t, though it’s rapidly degenerating into one. The founding fathers greatly feared democracy and warned against it. They were among the few people in history to learn the lessons that history offers. America was founded as a republic, the only form of government that protects the rights of man. The fact that the execution of the idea isn’t perfect doesn’t lessen its moral or practical value. Republicanism (referring to the ideology not the political party) strictly delimits the authority of government. This is done through the mechanism of a constitution. If that constitution changes according to the political whims of those in authority the shackle is removed from the tyrant and a police state is inevitable.

Posted by: steve at January 13, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #113070

Communism, socialism and fascism are all variations on a theme, that theme being the belief that common people are too stupid to decide what’s best for them and must be forced to follow an enlightened avatar. Hitler and Mussolini were self described socialists. “Nazi” means “National Socialist”. Fascism is “right wing” only if the entire political spectrum is statist.

Posted by: steve at January 13, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #113071

adrienne,

Interestingly enough, articles like the one above aren’t usually the kind that people on the Left or Center in WB tend to write. No, they don’t waste their time writing shrill screeds which rail against far-right figures like William F. Buckley, Bill Cristol, or Rush Limbaugh. Nor do they attack the whole conservative oeuvre trying to raise questions about their patriotism, or try to lie about, or chip away at the archaic foundations of conservative philosophical thought in America.

Adrienne, you have your hateful views and I have mine I guess.

Also, Stephen is great and I’m very glad that he is willing to engage me here on watchblog, but he hardly kicked my debating butt. Unless of course by that you mean that you agree with him and I failed to pursuade you. But that’s hardly an objective comparison. We’ve gone around on this a couple of times and I don’t totally disagree with what he said in the last post, it’s just that from other conversations I know that his ‘moderation’ tends in one direction.


phx8,

I don’t think so. I mean, you are probably right that Jefferson and Adams have contributed to the dominant memes of American political thought, but when you look at progressive ideas and policies the flavor of the viewpoint seems more recent.

Look at a list of ‘successful’ countries today, and how closely they match the aristocratic vision of John Adams. ‘Deserving’ countries are consistently colonialists, who made their wealth and claimed the land through brutual exploitation of others abroad, and genocide of native peoples at home.

Here’s my take. If you look at all the countries throughout history there are none that did not engage in brutal exploitation and warfare.

All the ‘deserving’ countries have something more pertinent in common. Western culture and a sophisticated system of property rights. Look at the third world in Latin America. Just Mexico… how many times has Mexico nationalized it’s industries in modern history? I’m not sure offhand but it is several. What is the main difference between Hong Kong or Taiwan, and Latin America?

There is a reason that in countries where it’s difficult for those outside the government to actually have title to the land their family may have lived on for generations that poverty is endemic.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #113072

Jc,
I’ve taught High School English, and “Anthem” by Ayn Rand was required reading. That’s the Elk Grove School District in California.

Have you read any of Ayn Rand’s books? Do you think a writer so utterly incapable of writing a decent sex scene has anything useful to say about life? Although Ayn Rand’s inability to write about sexual relations undoubtedly explains why there are so few libertarians in the first place.

Adrienne,
Thanks for picking up on my earlier point. I was going to expand on it, about the basic duality in our culture between the wealthy elite of John Adams, and the common man. I used Jefferson as an example, but Andrew Jackson might be a better one.

To spend time on communism and socialism in our society is to waste time. The battles between capitalism and socialism were resolved in compromises forged by FDR after 1929, with spectacular success. If there were a desire to discuss an economic philosophy and its quiet pervasiveness in today’s culture, it should be fascism. However, the term is so loaded with perjorative connotations, I’m not going to go there.

The tension between the elite and the mob are manifested in generation after generation in American history; class warfare, if you will. Nevertheless, the conflict is real, and obvious today.

The President is the son of a president. Most members of the House & Senate are multi-millionares. Wealth is concentrated in an extremely small percentage of the US population, and most of that is wealth is inherited wealth.

Yeah, it’s true. When it comes to wealth, Bill Gates isn’t the rule. Paris Hilton is the rule.

As someone said: “When it comes to class warfare, I have some bad news for you. The rich won.”

As Jack notes, the poor and the middle class are relatively well off in this country, compared with those in other lands. That’s actually open to dispute, and a discussion of ‘poverty’ versus ‘misery’ could ensue, but let’s move on. What made this situation possible here was the compromises made after 1929, and the policies after WWII which gave rise to the middle class.

Today, the country’s elite are backing away from the compromises which made this country the envy of others. While economic statistics show the middle class stuck under the Bush administration in terms of wages, and while those statistics show poverty increasing, debt skyrocketing, and so on, large corporations and the wealthy elite are accumulating even more wealth and power than ever before.

During a recovery, many will accept the conditions. During the next downturn, many will reject the imbalance, particularly when they are on the low end of the see-saw.

Posted by: phx8 at January 13, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #113073

Adrienne,

Liberals in America have never really been wholesale supporters of European-style socialism, our ideas are a hybrid that come from many places, not from one single source. (Look at phx8’s post to find just some of the others.) I think this is why I find it so objectionable that he’s constantly trying to stick the socialist label upon us. He’s doing all he can to shove us into a box that we’ve only dipped a hand into when we formed our own unique Liberal American philosophy.

I can get more specific if it helps.

I meant to write this post after reading Jack’s post. (A conservative disagreeing with a conservative?! How is that possible? Rove’s mind control rays must be weakening. The real question is which one of us has deviated from the talking points?)

I believe that socialism has had a profound effect on the ideology and philosophy of the left, not just here in the US but worldwide. I find it objectionable that my expressing my views about this, which are no more hateful than any post on the left side, is treated with such contempt and labeled as hatred just because you disagree with it. If I weren’t going to express my true opinions I might as well not write anything at all.

I think this is why I find it so objectionable that he’s constantly trying to stick the socialist label upon us. He’s doing all he can to shove us into a box that we’ve only dipped a hand into when we formed our own unique Liberal American philosophy.

If there were scores of right-wing think tanks and public figures in the U.S. today who wrote about the glories of nationalism and race purity I would expect the term of fascist to be used to describe them even if it were in fact only fascist-lite. In fact if there is just one David Duke, the left will continue to hang him on the ‘racist GOP’ for years. If you don’t believe that David Duke isn’t used by the left -on this site even- to paint Republicans as racists, well you aren’t reading it all the time because it has happened.

Posted by: esimonson at January 13, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #113086

First off, Eric Simonson, how do we know that Venezuelan communism won’t give way to some form of “Thatcherism” or similar reform at some point? Look at where we are today this all evolved out of some very Socialized systems (New Deal and the like) who’s to say that the (form of) communism under Chavez isn’t a means to cleaning up their system a bit? Yes granted it is the direct result of corporate laissez fairism and American backlash but it could evolve into something else over time. The poverty problem in South and Central America does require a bit of bureaucracy, what they consider poor or disadvantaged are very very different from what we in this country would call poor or disadvantaged. Myself certainly no communist or even socialist fully, would actually have to contend that evolutions happen as they did with us. Also that region is no stranger to radical politics but this through trial and error might actually result in something more.

Secondly, I hate the notion where we think as Americans we have the right to tell them what to do with their own country. They aren’t setting out to create the ruble as far as I know (point there being communism/socialism of the past is different than today’s versions there of) and are merely going to a form of socialism and even protectionism that will take some capitlist reforms to make it work.

As for claims that they will grow more cocaine—gee whiz we’ve never dealt with that before (sarcasm).

QUESTION Eric: Why wasn’t there the same railings against Russia’s managed democracy proposals? What Putin did and is doing is highly dangerous not only to civil liberties but could sell arms all over the globe including Nuclear fission materials to ations in the mideast (and probably is). Venezuela in contrast is harmless but the problem is capitalists/corporations more directly don’t like the idea. and by no means do i think the CIA should go and try to destabilize the region or anything else. Why? So we keep them a source of cheap labor? It is their country afterall, hoping ofcourse it doesn’t traverse into the hands of despotical regeims instead of responsible reformers but we ourselves and Britain were born really of socialism (Britain very protectionist) thus we enjoy the modern era we have today where we have a balanced combination of capitalism and socialism.

Posted by: Novenge at January 13, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #113091

Eric-
One can be belligerent in one’s writing without being irrational. You insist on the Democrats as being direct ideological descendants of Marx and have on several occasions question the patriotism, honesty and forthrightness of those who vote blue rather than red.

And when we argue against that? You’re shocked we’re being so partisan, so irrational. You provoke us, then you complain to all who will listen that we’re just hot-tempered devotees to a sad old philosophy.

You don’t seem willing to take us at our word, and in this time of national need when we want to show up and be counted, your people and you are telling us we don’t mean the things we really mean, and therefore deserve to sit on the sidelines.

The more you try and cut us out of this, the more you will find resistance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #113092

Novenge

We are stuck re Venezuela because Hugo Chavez needs to use us to increase his standing with leftists worldwide and as a scapegoat for his inevitable troubles. No matter how we treat him, he will make trouble for us. You remember that the Carter Administration was generous with the Sandistas to no effect.

Chavez’s policies will wreck the economy. Oil wealth will obscure the failure for awhile, but what is already happening is that foreigners are not investing or demanding a risk premium. This gives Hugo the chance to claim he is being ostracized or cheated by the capitalists. It is true that he is, but not for the reasons he claims. Nobody wants to put money where it has a good chance of being lost. Investors will invest in countries that are stabile. If you invest with a five or ten year horizon, you don’t want to invest in Venezuela.

Last I heard, Chavez wanted to set up a bank to compete with the IMF. Good. That is his business. If it works it will save us some money and effort, but I would be against its success and so will most investors.

So we all have choices. Chavez can engage in anti-market behavior. Investors can avoid his country. There is not a moral dimension to this except to the extent that Chavez is oppressing his people and will end up with more, not less, poverty.

What will happen is the following. The economy will start to go bad. If the price of oil drops, it will get worse faster. Foreign investors will not invest. Why should they? Chavez and leftists in U.S. and Europe will tout Chavez as a bold innovator being strangled by the capitalists who refuse to invest (and lose their money). Eventually there will be a coup (since Chavez rigs the elections) and the whole thing will end badly. I would not be optimistic about this.

Re Russia - the U.S. complains all the time about the retreat from democracy. It just doesn’t do much good. Both countries would be better off with more free market democracy, but despite its problems, Russia is a better investment.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #113093

Eric,
“Look at a list of ‘successful’ countries today, and how closely they match the aristocratic vision of John Adams. ‘Deserving’ countries are consistently colonialists, who made their wealth and claimed the land through brutual exploitation of others abroad, and genocide of native peoples at home.

Here’s my take. If you look at all the countries throughout history there are none that did not engage in brutal exploitation and warfare.

All the ‘deserving’ countries have something more pertinent in common. Western culture and a sophisticated system of property rights.”

Very interesting.

Here comes a ‘might makes right’ argument:

You note almost every country benefits from conquest at one point or another.
But are Western culture and a sophisticated system of property rights just coincidences, incidental to the most important factors for success?

‘Successful’ and ‘deserving’ countries feed their hunger with the property of others. They need to eat property and resources in order to grow and prosper. Big fish eat little fish. It’s the continuous act of conquest, the stoking of the engine that matters. Communism, capitalism, socialism, monarchy, rule by the left, rule by the right; it doesn’t matter. The systems for stifling class warfare and distributing rewards are of little consequence, compared to the importance of continuous exploitation.

This admittedly horrible Darwinian model can be applied to the success or failure of almost any country today, and be far more relevant and informative about a country’s prospects, moreso than political or economic systems.

Posted by: phx8 at January 14, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #113094

Eric Simonson,

Your assertion that “Socialism is the progress toward making every economic decision a political one” is factually incorrect. There are many forms of socialism that which you discribe is actually more radical marxist market activism against globalism, if you want to get technical. there are many forms of socialism and truth be told, we in our country have done things in our past and founding that were very similar to this.

It is silly and it actually does go against what i would certainly call constitutional (they have no such constitution) but they want to stop being the globalist whippingboy and assert some power economically. It is an afront to capitalism but it is also a stranglehold on capitalist makets which in itself is a point of national activism. Anyway that’s radical marxism, apparently, socialism in the modern age is very much a kin to systems such as they have in France and in many EU countries and that requires obvious reform too. Marxism is more akin to Communism than to socialism which in many respecs is a waste of resources if capitalistically unjustified (IMHO) as to why that “thing” is being subsidized. It doesn’t always mean extreme micromanagement it is just a theory on subsidization of external government projects, in many cases quite unecessary or luxury (within the general sense).

Posted by: Novenge at January 14, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #113095

Jack,

Is there actual evidence that Hugo Chavez rigs elections? Not to contest it but just in general interest.

I agree with what you are saying and it is a mess, undoubtedly.

Posted by: Novenge at January 14, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #113100

Novenge

Take a look at this link from Foreign Policy. Unfortunately it is no longer free, but maybe you can get the article at the library.

I would hope that he can be removed democratically and I don’t think the U.S. should push him over the edge. But if you read the article, you get some insight into how it works.

Reasonable people might differ on interpretation. Of course, I suppose it is possible his “reforms” will work, although to believe that is the triumph of hope over experience.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #113104

Jack:
“You are right. Liberals in the U.S. are not socialists.”

Jack, thank you. You are an intelligent man, and you do know how to deal fairly with others (thought I suspect only when you choose to). :^)

“Sometimes liberal academics fall for it, however, and they are too tolerant of Marxists,

Perhaps you’re right that they now are not critical enough of Marxism, yet to be honest, I have no way to ascertain whether or not this is true, as I’ve been away from academia for quite some time now. I can tell you that this was not the case when I was in school. I truly feel that I received a very comprehensive - and critical - look at a wide range of political philosophies.
It’d be great if a current college student would now wander into WB and be able to give us their freshly gleaned perspective…

“who are real enemies of civilization.”

I can see where Communism could be considered an enemy — no doubt about it. It has proved to be a wretched experiment and a failed one. But let’s be clear now: The philosophies of Marx and Engles, in my opinion anyway, are actually untried territory — and nobody really knows whether what they described could work, or not (I suspect it wouldn’t, but I won’t go into all the reasons now, as I fear I could be here all night!). What people term governments rooted in Marxism, such as the former the USSR, or Cuba, have been in actuality, dictatorships where those in charge were only paying lip service to those philosophies.

“Fortunately, socialism is discredited.”

Yes, for the reason I gave above. I think it’s fairly obvious that mankind simply isn’t designed to be as selfless and altruistic as would be needed to make the philosophies of Marx and Engles a viable and sustainable reality.

“Liberals currently suffer from a lack of vision.”

I think that some Democrats do. Not all Liberals in general.

“They kind of ran out of steam with the failure of the great society and during the 1970s they more or less ran the conservatives out the universities and retreated into the ivory tower.”

You’ve said this before. I disagreed then, and I still do! I say the steam is there, and plenty of it — but it just isn’t being harnessed. That’s the problem. When the Dem’s moved right, they began losing their ideological steam, and now they’re almost at a standstill. I know others disagree with this - but this comes from many of those who moved to the right along with them (IMO). I’m still here dead center in the middle of the liberal sphere (along with many others), wondering what the hell happened to my former party — and I suspect they’ve been bought off - the politicians that is. Which really sucks.
As you may know, I’ve tried moving further to the left toward the Green’s (many good ideas), but it was ultimately a no-go. I do, after all, believe that people have to make a living! :^)

“Conservatives built think tanks in the real world and now control the intellectual agenda.”

Ain’t that the truth! You guys now control Everything. But you’ll have to pardon me for stating the obvious: You’re agenda has not been working well for most American’s — for the average earners. Though you all keep denying this fact, a great many of us (the majority in fact) really know the score. The rich have been doing splendidly, while the rest are not. And this has nothing to do with a lack of initiative, or knowing how to to work hard, or from not trying to be prudent with our money. It’s because the chips are steadily being stacked against middle class, while the pile on the wealthy side keeps growing.

“It is about time for liberals to dump the Teddy Kennedys and get back to some serious thinking about a market based “fair” society.”

Indeed it is time for some very serious thinking. But more importantly, it is time for some actions to back up all the rhetoric that’s being thrown around — on both sides. Btw, the Liberals problem has never been in not knowing what is “fair”. Rather, it’s been in electing or reelecting leaders who don’t know how to deliver what we all know we need (again this is in my opinion only).

phx8:
“Thanks for picking up on my earlier point. I was going to expand on it, about the basic duality in our culture between the wealthy elite of John Adams, and the common man. I used Jefferson as an example, but Andrew Jackson might be a better one.”

Expand all you like (I love when you do!), and I agree about the differences between Jefferson and Adams being a good, if not perfect, example of the dichotomous nature of American politics.

“The tension between the elite and the mob are manifested in generation after generation in American history; class warfare, if you will. Nevertheless, the conflict is real, and obvious today.”

Yes, though the right tries like crazy to act like it either doesn’t exist, or that it’s a vulgar subject to mention, or that it’s somehow the fault of the people for not finding a way — purely on their own steam — into the circles of the elite. It’s something that I consider utter bullsh*t. The greatest problem that the left faces today seems to lie in the fact that the right has convinced those in the middle and lower classes to vote completely against their own best interests. However the left is also to blame for this, because they’ve let it happen without an effective argument to convince them otherwise.

“As Jack notes, the poor and the middle class are relatively well off in this country, compared with those in other lands.”

I think that is true in an overall sense, nevertheless, it isn’t really the point. The point lies in the fact that there is too much disparity between the rich and the poor — and that chasm is growing ever wider under the leadership of the Republicans.

“Today, the country’s elite are backing away from the compromises which made this country the envy of others. While economic statistics show the middle class stuck under the Bush administration in terms of wages, and while those statistics show poverty increasing, debt skyrocketing, and so on, large corporations and the wealthy elite are accumulating even more wealth and power than ever before.”

Exactly. Well said. The wealthy are currently backing away from any and all compromise with all Americans who rank below their social class. And if we don’t find a way to put the skids on the Republicans inflated sense of entitlement and opportunism, they will bury us all. The wealthy truly ruled in this country with an iron fist in the past, and they’ll no doubt do it again if given the chance.

Eric:
“I believe that socialism has had a profound effect on the ideology and philosophy of the left, not just here in the US but worldwide.”

Obviously you do. I strongly disagree on that level of profundity, therefore I am offended by the fact that you write so many articles stressing the same exact things over and over. Perhaps because it seems you can never be persuaded to listen when other people (those who are themselves liberals) give you their honest opinions on this topic. You think we are offended by the word socialist, but in reality I suspect that most of us are really offended by how you refuse to hear our views in favor of pushing a routinely propagandized version of “Liberal philosophical foundations” in order to generally discredit and smear us.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 14, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #113110

What both the Democrats and Republicans forget is the simple fact that All Humans must consume in order to exist. Thus, until we as a society figure out how to make it so all consumers can afford to pay for what they need and want not even the Wal-Marts of the world will realize their full profit potential.

Therfore, what the Republicans like Eric has to deal with is the fact that they are willing to break the law just so they can make pennies on the dollar while cutting the their Stockholders ability to see their investment grow. For what would life be like and how much profit could be made if even the “Poorest Consumer on Earth” could afford to pay full price for everything that they need and/or want? Now, would someone please explain that to me.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 14, 2006 3:57 AM
Comment #113133

It seems that GOP bloggers would rather delve ancient history and discuss how democrats evolved than how to address current issues that have been raised by this inept GOP right wing administration. Social issues are undergoing severe cuts, i.e., medicare, and Social Security is threatened by the Republican right wingers under the guise of necessary changes. In the meantime pharmecutical corporations reap the benefits of unrestrained cost increases for the old people and the sick people in the United States.
The Radical Right wing Republicans convinced the American people that attacking Iraq was the way to ‘protect’ American citizens when military strategy would confine operations against terrerism to Afganistan and Pakistan.

Posted by: John at January 14, 2006 8:27 AM
Comment #113145

Eric:

There is a huge difference between “control” and “regulate”. Regulating and industry can save and industry if done with sound economic principals. I would offer the New York Stock Exchange as proof. After the roaring twenties, and the crash of 1929, with the great depression, Federal regulation in key areas poored out of Congress. These acts required many things of the investment community. Now 70 years later, few argue that this regulation was needed and necessary in our free markets.

Another example is the Federal Reserve Board. With the imperfect intervention from in markets by the fed, (most recently raising interest rates until home price increases began to moderate), has reduced the standard deviation in the econmic cyles and increased the distance between recessions, and might have improved the long term growth rate of the US economy by providing stability.

I also remember when I couldn’t swim in the river near my home because of polution. Now there are boats and skiers all up and down the river.

Many of these issues were spearheaded by democrats.
In addition, the economy does about the same whether there is a democrat or a repubican in control. The economy actually does well when government is split!!

There is a whole fabric of political types around. I would agree that many are kookie and we wouldn’t want them in charge. I assume that there are few true socialists around. One of the things I like about today is it seems theat the kooks from the left seem to be more visable that the kooks from the right right now. This didn’t seem to be as true 10 years ago. I was glad to hear Pat Robertsons stupid remark last week, just to know the right is holding up their share in kookery.

I don’t think true socialism is anything we need to fear as their numbers are few.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 14, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #113158

adrienne,dave,john & co.
In my little office ,in front of my computer,in quiet and warm room as I am reading your extremely thoughtful comments about the world and US ,about communists and non communists about Christians and Muslims I am thinking back of my ugly years in the communist country I grew up in .ANYONE of you who did not born and grew up and spend more then 30 years in that nice helping protecting people and kill them as you like inferno communists regimes JUST shut up .Don’t talk about something you did read of,or see a movie of,or read today New York Times about.You can not tell me about Muslims,they controlled the country I was born in for more then 500 years.They killed anyone who opposed the official Islamic rule.You can not tell me about communists,they killed anyone who opposed the rulings of communist state.You can not tell me about helping pour because I did not have a penny when I got here and not one word in English.I work in back rooms of restaurants washing dishes and making almost nothing .But I did something with my life.Did not wait and demand that somebody else give me money and pay my bills and take care of my kids.On this note ,my kids NEVER got a free lunch from any school.My wife and I worked very hard and we are still working hard but we are not complaining .You suppose to take care of your family , you suppose to work for what you need ,you suppose to keep this country the way you got it from your parents,you suppose to protect it from enemies like Muslims , communists and the like.Liberals,gays ,communists ,socialists Muslims, just keep your ideology for your self.Don’t try to get it here in this country,we are Christians and we like family way of life and we like our freedom.You should like the freedom too , keep it this way . In a environment you are trying to create you will not be aloud to make your voice heard anymore. Just ask me , I was in that kind of country you are dreaming of . You know what ? Why don’t you move there and stay there .

Posted by: george at January 14, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #113165

Adrienne

Marxism is mistaken in its basic assumption about class, materialism, & dialectic process. It is so 19th Century. Had it never been put into action, it would have been most harmless as many such things from that era. Unfortunately, it had champions.

You have to judge people, things and ideologies not by what they say they are in theory, but how they work in the corrupt and imperfect real world. Marxism fails miserably. If you team it up with its collectivist cousin fascism, you have most of the history of the 20th Century involved in fighting them. I don’t think we should yield to the temptation to let them off the hook because Marx managed to steal some cool phrases from earlier thinkers.

Re liberal dead end, you actually described the situation very well when you said, “the steam is there, and plenty of it - but it just isn’t being harnessed” Yes, liberals steamed up about a lot of things, but they have no place to go. So anger itself becomes the goal. Look at Howard Dean.

Re life getting better or worse (as you talked to Phx8) the problem liberals have with the progress we have made is with equality. The poor are better off in what they actually have and can consume than any time in history. But wealth of others has grown faster. Some of this is statistical anomaly. Since you can’t go below zero income, but you can go up forever, as wealth increases the distance between zero and the higher incomes grows.

I also do not believe that equality of results is a possible or even a desirable outcome, so inequality bothers me not very much.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #113169

Rocky,
“Me, I think that we should let Israel handle them. They haven’t threatened us, and if you think that Iran would be a cakewalk to invade, hey, your welcome to try, but you better bring lots and lots of body bags.”


Yeah, I agree with you about Israel taking them out. I also think we should set Embargo’s on their oil; that would certainly cut off their cotzie’s. And the Iranians I’m not as worried about head on as I am with Russia and China backing them up; that would certainly be messy.

Posted by: rahdigly at January 14, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #113178

First priority of government is to protect the population from harm.

Second priority is maintaining order.

Third priority is debatable

Posted by: Reporting for Doody at January 14, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #113191

esimonson said: “This is demonstrably false. If socialism were an engine of prosperity we would expect that it would be able to produce prosperity outside of and without the assistance of capitalism.”

Well, where is the demonstration? Ever heard of symbiosis? Apparently not. What you ignore is the rise of the Great Middle Class of consumers that was wrought by The New Deal, WWII and the entrance of women into the work force, and social security which assists the retired in remaining members of the consuming middle class. Our Military is socialist. Take money from all and distribute it according to the needs of the nation. Public Schools, public transportation, government itself is a socialist concept in which taxes are drawn from all and distributed to those in need of it. Some anarchists of course, oppose government altogether for this reason, but, most Americans agree the social institution of government is necessary. Socialist is not an evil concept or ideology, it is nothing more than a description of how needs of a nation are funded through mandatory taxation of all who enjoy the protections and services of that government.

This is really the heart of your objection it would appear, esimonson, that the very concept of government is socialist. There can be no national defense if all who can afford to sustain a military are not forced to support it. Whether the citizens reluctantly or willing pay their taxes for the military, they enjoy the benefits of that military nonetheless. Same with public schools. Public schools are the great civilizing and shared experience in our nation regardless of background, religion, race, or political party. Though not all taxpayers have children in schools, all members reap the benefit of a unified experience and education which knits commonality and shared identity together for the nation’s people.

I know these concepts are alien to your notion of an ideal world of freedom to greed, and greed as keys to freedom, but capitalism without government or socialized institutions amounts to just that. Capitalism is the the horse that pulls the cart, and socialised institutions of government are what prevent the horse and cart from running down the pedestrian traffic on the road.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2006 1:17 PM
Comment #113194

matt
“Well, it’s a legal decision of our Supreme Court … so I’d say it is “your business.””

Its not my business. It is between the woman, her family and her doctor.
That is why I say it is none of my business.

Posted by: kctim at January 14, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #113195

George,
“I was in that kind of country you are dreaming of. You know what? Why don’t you move there and stay there.”

So you like your freedom, and because you might disagree with me, you want me to go to another country, lose my right to be heard, and lose my freedom.

George, I’m glad you’re in this country, and able to appreciate your freedom and liberty. You’ll be glad to know I don’t think you should leave, but that’s because I’m a liberal. And I hope you oppose the Patriot Act and government eavesdropping with every bone in your body.

Posted by: phx8 at January 14, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #113204

Jack,

“Socialism has nothing to do with sharing from the top down.”

Sorry, I forgot to activate the sarcasm button before I posted.

rahdigly,

“I also think we should set Embargo’s on their oil; that would certainly cut off their cotzie’s.”

That will only be cutting our nose off to spite our face.
Right now we need all the oil we can get and Iran has a bunch of it, not to mention I seriously doubt that the rest of the world would go along with it.

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0411-21.htm

“According to the most recent tally by Oil and Gas Journal, Iran houses the second-largest pool of untapped petroleum in the world, an estimated 125.8 billion barrels. Only Saudi Arabia, with an estimated 260 billion barrels, possesses more; Iraq, the third in line, has an estimated 115 billion barrels. With this much oil — about one-tenth of the world’s estimated total supply — Iran is certain to play a key role in the global energy equation, no matter what else occurs.”

Posted by: Rocky at January 14, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #113208

Public schools could be good if we allowed more choice and could overcome teachers’ unions. Otherwise, they are a good example of socialist principles in action. Ironically, the more social democratic Europeans have systems that allow for greater choice in this particular instance.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #113209

Tracing the extremes of an ideology of a party can lead to some very unpleasant ends… just as Democrats do not wish to be compared to socialists or communists… we can go to the extreme right and what do we find? Facsim. Personally I try to avoid that extreme because it is unfair in my esitmation… but if people insist then I can easily make an exception.

Neither being completely true to the more mainstream members of either political party.

Okay. As a society, we can do things collectively that is either impossible or impractical for us to do as individuals. The typical examples of this are roads, police and fire protection, and national defense.

One aspect not liked is that because each person pays towards the use of these that benefits everyone… we can, as a society force someone that uses these facilities to adopt their behavior… such as the use of interstate commerce laws being used to attack segragation and discrimination. A business cannot use the benefits of the roads that everyone has paid for and exclude a group of people based on their color. (For the people not up on the lingo… this is known as “social engineering” by the right.)

What we are capable of providing for ourselves also changes over time. There is no longer a country doctor making housecalls and dispensing one of a few handfulls of medicines. Instead, there is a vast support structure that goes into even the simplest family practice. Nurses, receptionists, insurance, both for the employees and malpractice.

If the means of providing medical care to people starts to exceed the reach of the average and below Americans, do we simply write them off to stay pure to an economic model or philosophy?

Good idea! Yes dear.. it is sad about those poor people dying but remember, it is important to keep a stip upper lip and know that we are being true to the purity of capitalism. No dear… it is not my fault. I had to lay them off and close the plant because, as you know, there are lots of poor people in other countries that are just as needy. Oh, and they work for 10% of the wages with no benefits. Are you ready to go to church? We don’t want to be late.

The irony? The Democrats are being compared to socialists and communists… no matter how regretfully or badly the person might feel about saying it.

The Republicans? They are champions of Capitalism.

Now this is not the capitalism of your mom and dad. No… they have evolved it into capitalistic welfare. Supply side economics!

You see, instead of the market place determining the winners and losers in competition for the consumers business… they have devised a way to give money to all the companies and let them do with it what they will. (It is supposed to “trickle down”…. who has had any trickle down on them in the past 20 years or so?

Has your paycheck gone up? Has your contribution to your healtcare gone up? How’s your feelings of job security? I bet the other employees…no, not the ones next to you.. the other employees who are managers and executives are doing pretty good though. Huh? Stock options? Bonuses? Perks?

It is supposed to be the consumer that rewards the best companies and then those companies use the profits to continue to grow and be even more competitive. This was supposed to provide lower prices, better goods and innovation.

There isn’t only one answer!

Now, you see… it cannot be denied that if you give a company more money they might be able to create new jobs. Even people talking about the economy moving back on track are hoping that you don’t think this through too much…

The other side? Giving the money to the consumers can also stimulate the economy… see reasons above. Now… how much better does one do than the other? That is a good question. One that the Republicans don’t want you to look at too much.

How quickly is the economy growing?
Could it have grown just as fast without the handouts?
Could it have grown faster by letting the consumer have the tax breaks and forcing the companies to compete for the business?

Maybe we should consider it Corporate Socialism?

Come on… if the definition fits… changing the names but the definition remains the same, right? Well, here we have the government giving money to companies for their well being (socailism). With the promise that someday, maybe they will create new jobs.

Who has heard this and then seen those self same companies either close a plant, lay off empolyees or shipped the jobs overseas? I have!

The Republicans proclaim themselves to be the embodiment of Christian values. (Yeah right, pull the other one!)

Republicans put capitalism before everything. Everything!!!! With no exceptions. None! Nada!!

Please, someone… prove me wrong!!!!

When Democrats are concerned about the health of the American people the same old tired words are raised (no matter how regretfully!) Socialists. Marxist. Communist.

Christ did not mention ability to pay. Or captialism either come to think of it.

Again, going by the definition instead of the noun… I would have to say that Christ was probably a communist. Sorry guys!

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 14, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #113228

I think the one point that needs to be made is that it’s not important what people think will work, it’s what does work. That’s what makes the market the preferred method of determining prices You’ve got a greater chance that if the leader is wrong, somebody is not.

That doesn’t mean any social program is wrong by its nature though, nor any law that restricts the behavior of businesses. I believe that good regulation is regulation that deals with those problems that are obviously bad for business: a lack of transparency in business. Now, many business, given the chance, can and do conceal their finances from their investors, so that their financial problems don’t scare off the investors they need to pay off their loans.

Some would say the market punishes those people, but many of the speculators and executives who did these things make millions. If making millions is being punished, then I’ve been a bad boy, and I need some too!

Seriously, though, as long as their is profit in deception and indulging in conflicts of interests, as long as their is profit in not dealing with pollution problems, or not making engines more efficient, as long as their is profit in not going through the expense of safeguarding employees and customers, somebody’s going to do it, and competitive pressures are going to push the conformists that man many companies to do the same thing.

The market will reward corrupt and harmful behavior because Businesses are out to make money. That is their nature, and in fact the legal obligation that comes with creating a corporation. With that in mind, we must look at this as a moral problem, not a problem of economic control or ideology.

It is wrong to steal, wrong to con people into giving you money, wrong to knowingly release poisons, wrong to injure and kill people on the job when it’s reasonably avoidable, and wrong to give consumers products that malfunction, or deal with them in a way that’s deceptive.

We can’t just get around to dealing with these moral issues when we’re done having a nice economy. On a practical level, these practices often cause friction, often cause economic problems- we might not have a functioning economies if the moral rules are in place, any more than we could have a functioning society if laws against theft, assault, murder and rape were not present, or not enforced.

But on that basic level, its a matter of pride. Are we so desperately out of touch with what works in the economy that we have to allow these deceptive and harmful practices, for fear of our system being impoverished?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 14, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #113233

We are talking about very different things.

Communism in its non-ideological or non-political form is just a quaint way people in small communities can live together. Many people think they would like to live like that, but they are mistaken. Remember when you shared chores and groceries with several roommates?

Marxism and socialism are political concepts. Socialism has lot of different permutations. Marxism is based on Marx. This is the deadly form of communism. So sometimes when people think communism they are thinking, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.” This sounds good (if unworkable) but what Marxist actually turns into is the horrible oppression of Stalin, Mao or Pol-Pot or the merely nasty slow motion oppression of the former Warsaw Pact in its final years.

So if you want to be a communist, move to a monastery. Marxists can go to hell before they create it on earth.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #113235

mattLaw your 1st post was really well stated. This whole idea of masking modern day liberalism with 19th century socialism is the equivelant of linking modern day conservatism to monarchys. It may have aspects of the former ideal but to say if one has compnents of the other it must be the same is totally absurd. That would be like saying a pizza is the same as a tomato because there are tomatos in pizza. It’s just bad logic.

John Back wrote:
“The market does work best when left alone. What our liberal brothers and sisters don’t realize is that as soon as the government, on any level, gets into making economic decisions, things start going downhill.”

With all due respect.
That whole market left alone thing drove our great nation to the great depression. Hoovervilles are the final product of complete government abstinance. You should really take some time to look over our history before you make such simplistic assertions. I do agree the government should be less involved but to say not at all means you haven’t paid attention to what happened last time.

Posted by: zakquiet at January 14, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #113238

Zak,
“The market does work best when left alone. What our liberal brothers and sisters don’t realize is that as soon as the government, on any level, gets into making economic decisions, things start going downhill.”

The statement is laughable. For example, where does money come from? Is the US dollar produced by ‘the market’? Of course not. The dollar is produced by the Fed, and we accept it as tender because the dollar is backed by the federal government.

In 1987, one market, the stock market, used a relatively new technique called ‘program trading.’ The result was the crash of 1987. Given enough time, computerized program trading would have driven the market to zero had the Fed not interfered, I mean, intervened.


Posted by: phx8 at January 14, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #113242

Zakquiet

So do you mean the simplistic idea that the stock market crash caused the Depression. Or are you talking about government actions, such as the fact that the Federal Reservefailed to provide liquidity, or that the Smoot Hawley crippled free trade.

You also must realize that the New Deal never stopped the downturn. It was not until the world geared up for war (or maybe the cycle ran its course) that things picked up.

Government has a role to play in regulation and maintaining rule of law. When it strays into economic management it causes trouble.

So maybe we should not talk about government and the market as separate, but rather when government intervention is appropriate and when it causes harm.

Posted by: Jack at January 14, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #113246

What do you think about anti-trust and monopoly prevention? Unfair competitive practices?

Just for discussion, let’s say that an unfair practice is to sell below costs to destory competition and then corner the market.

Would this be considered inappropriate by the government?

You see, what bothers me, is that people seem to want to believe in the “fairness” and the “goodwill” of “ethical” business… when evidence shows this not to be the case.

I am sorry, but it just doesn’t prove out historically. Given the opportunity, there has been too much temptation (greed) to cut corners with
1) Accounting (Enron, et al)
2) Toxic waste (anyone care to have a PCB ladend fish from the Fox River in Wisc.?)
3) Price fixing
4) Corporate raiding of retirement funds
5) Bribery and worker exploitation (as in seriously hazardous work environments, not just “too” many regulations).
6) Insider trading
7) Product safety

Yes, I did listen to Rush once upon a time… how can you know the mind of the other side without listening to what they have to say.

Rush was complaining about how stupid it was to have FDA inspectors… no burger place is interested in making their customers sick. It just doesn’t make sense! Therefore, to force the extra cost and time to deal with food handling and preparation compliance is another example of the Clinton Administration harming the good business people!

Now, on the other stations was the story of the kids killed by the Jack in the Box burgers that were tainted with e-coli and undercooked.

Jack in the Box is a fairly large company. They would not intentionally harm a customer. But it happened!

Laxiness and the cutting of corners because of no previous bad experiences can lead to problems. Especially in a business that prepares food and has a very high turnover in food handlers and cooks.

Just an example.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 14, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #113256

Jack, putting 10’s of thousands of people to work with paychecks to buy groceries and house their families made no contribution to preventing the depression from worsening? Reality check needed here.

By your logic, cutting taxes then did nothing to support the consumers who saved the last recession from deepening worse than it did. Money in the pockets of consumers keeps them consuming. Try ending a recession or depression without broad based consumer activity. Ain’t gonna happen.

Companies will continue to produce only as long as consumers can buy and vice versa. So, yes, the New Deal did in fact prevent the depression from deepening further than it did, and it boosted steel manufacturer’s output and concrete industries and a host of others with dam projects, road projects and wiring the country for electricity, which was a boon to the copper mining industry.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #113262

phx8,

To spend time on communism and socialism in our society is to waste time. The battles between capitalism and socialism were resolved in compromises forged by FDR after 1929, with spectacular success. If there were a desire to discuss an economic philosophy and its quiet pervasiveness in today’s culture, it should be fascism. However, the term is so loaded with perjorative connotations, I’m not going to go there.

The tension between the elite and the mob are manifested in generation after generation in American history; class warfare, if you will. Nevertheless, the conflict is real, and obvious today.

The President is the son of a president. Most members of the House & Senate are multi-millionares. Wealth is concentrated in an extremely small percentage of the US population, and most of that is wealth is inherited wealth.

You are proving my premise at every turn.

Something I already know: The class warfare meme is alive and well in liberal thought today. The terminology and arguments are directly from marxism. How can we have honest debate in this country about economic policy when all of the left’s arguments are soaked in marxist based theories (whether they are aware of it or not) about what the problems are in the first place.

This is part of my thesis and it is not a waste of time to debate, because I think that on the left there is no debate about this. It is supposed to be ignored.

Let’s take your statement that, “the battles between capitalism and socialism were resolved in compromises forged by FDR after 1929, with spectacular success.

1) You are admitting that socialism has had a part in not only leftist/liberal theoretical policy but in actual Democratic Party policy, and those who still support those policies are supporting a form of socialism.

I also addressed this point regarding David’s comments which made the same point as your statement. If socialism itself does not bring prosperity, and in fact fails to work as a system on it’s own, then how can it claim credit for prosperity when wedded to capitalism, when capitalism has been shown to bring prosperity on it’s own and socialism hasn’t?

In essence, proponents of socialism (including the many socialism-lite’s) now ask that we accept it’s premises and implement it’s ideals after having admitted that those ideals don’t work in the real world.

2) You claim that socialism has been a spectacular success because of these ‘compromises’ but isn’t it more rational to say that capitalism has succeeded despite being hampered by your socialist policies?

There is no evidence that socialism produces any positive economic effect whatsoever outside of the workings of a free market. Socialism produces poverty, whilst capitalism produces prosperity, a mixed economy produces less prosperity than capitalism would alone.

When you make the addition of socialism the reason for ‘spectacular success’ aren’t you setting the conditions to increase the amount of socialism? On the one hand supporters admit that socialism as a system fails, yet socialist policies are deemed to be the reason that capitalism in a mixed economy succeeds?

Posted by: esimonson at January 14, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #113266

Jack, you could end teacher’s unions tomorrow if the society would back a plan to pay them according to the professional and direly needed services the market demands. A competent teacher shortage now exists and is worsening in America precisely because the society has so far not come up with a plan to fulfill what the free market of shortages demands, higher teacher compensation packages.

Our laws dictate that every child will receive a minmal quality education regardless of means, race, religion etc. This is a good law. A moral law. A just law. And one that helps insure a future for the nation. However, economic forces are at play with school funding hinging upon taxation of working families, who already are scaling down in the housing market to afford the property taxes on the hyperinflation of real estate values.

Move to privatized education and one invalidates the laws requiring minimal standard education for all, since many will not be able to afford education at all, and many more will have to buy into substandard education for their children.

Move to a nationalized educational system on the other hand will result in gross inefficiencies of tax dollar allocation due to a host of demographic variables like proximity to quality housing and neighborhoods for good teachers. Not to mention the social upheaval that would result from removing schools from local control.

Add to these problems the cost for the dire need to move to an 11 month school calendar.

It appears what is called for is a mixed economic solution. Minimal national standards for education set and attached to teacher and administrative salary minimums to meet those standards based on local economic yardsticks. Then, let communities up the local taxes according to their economic conditions locally to improve upon the minimal educational standards if they can afford to.

Looks strangely like the system we now have doesn’t it, save for the fact that we lack a national minimal standard for education regardless of community. I praise however, President Bush for at least talking the talk on setting national standards and partially walking the walk.

His voucher idea and support of private education on public tax dollars however, were grossly misguided as we are witnessing in Fla. and have witnessed in Texas.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 14, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #113270

novenge,

The poverty problem in South and Central America does require a bit of bureaucracy, what they consider poor or disadvantaged are very very different from what we in this country would call poor or disadvantaged.

I’m going to assume that you are unaware that South and Central American governments have no shortage of bureacracy? I will refer you to one of my posts from awhile back:

We as Americans forget that the process of creating the wealth of this country happened over an extended period and without an explicit plan per se. The number one problem holding back third world nations from becoming engines of prosperity is the lack of a legal structure of property and property rights that would allow the poor and noble entrepenuers to ‘capitalized’ the assets they have.

Most of the third world has no legal ownership to their property. Even families who have held land for generations have no title recorded publicly to say that they own their land. Thus they cannot borrow against their property to buy equipment to farm more efficiently or build new structures. They cannot leverage the assets they have.

On top of that the governments of the third world are almost always run by an elite who follow the worst sort of governmental doctrines, often cloaked in socialist rhetoric, that effectively makes it impossible to do business legally unless you are one of the elite who run the government. In this sense it is true that the rich in these countries stay rich and the poor stay poor. The irony is that the elite would be even richer if their whole country were richer and the poor would be able to start businesses and pursue opportunity that until now seems reserved for the west.

Peruvian economist, Hernando De Soto, details in his book, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, the kind of effort a entrepreneur in a third world nation has to make in order to start a legal business. He or she would be required to go back forth to various government agencies and officials hundreds of times, with a (legal) fee associated with each visit, and in some cases additional ‘grease the wheels’ kind of fees as well. Most entrepreneurs don’t even try to comply with such regulations. Thus they are forced to avoid their government ‘catching them’ doing business illegally and are bereft of the use of the legal system in addressing grievances as well.

Is it any wonder why there is poverty in these nations? watchblog Sept. 29, 2004

“QUESTION Eric: Why wasn’t there the same railings against Russia’s managed democracy proposals?”

You are hearing the same railings. In the beginning it was hoped that Russia was headed in the right direction. Obviously there is still hope, but greatly diminished.

Posted by: esimonson at January 14, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #113275

Most of these sound like little kids that are still repeating what their beer guzzling, martini sipping parents talk about …
Just get behind this President & believe in this great country & the war in Iraq would be over in months instead of years….

Posted by: fred lucas at January 14, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #113278

Fred,

First of all there should be a reason to get behind a president and this one shows little reason for that. So many of the decisions he makes go against so many of the principals that Americas stands for - eavesdropping on citizens without a warrant, holding people without charging them, etc.. If he wants us to stand behind him then he needs to show that his decisions are agreeable with our concepts and ideals.

It would have absolutely no effect on the war in Iraq. The insurgents there do not care about presidential support. They will keep fighting until the Iraq people take over the security of the country and stand up to the insurgents.

Mike P

Posted by: Mike P at January 14, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #113282

David… it sounds like you have a very good understanding of education in America. Yes, teachers are not treated as the professionals they are. Most people have absolutely no idea the additional education required to gain a teachers license. Let me put it this way… with a BA in business I have taken enough credits to have earned a masters in business on my way to getting my teaching license.

Some mentioned liberal class conflict. Hmmmmm. Is this person willing to state that there is ABSOLUTELY NO PREJUDICE in hiring in America? That American colorblind and each child has the same opportunity? I sure hope not because we should try to be as truthful as possible here.


Fred,
“Most of these sound like little kids that are still repeating what their beer guzzling, martini sipping parents talk about …
Just get behind this President & believe in this great country & the war in Iraq would be over in months instead of years….”

Have you read the Senate intelligence report on the assessment of the prewar intelligence?
Here is a link if you are interested.

http://intelligence.senate.gov/conclusions.pdf

Please, no “bias” partisan crap. This was the offical senate report… Republican chairman in a Republican controlled senate.

The idea of getting behind the President making the difference reminds me of clicking my heels and wishing I were home.

YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
This President does not care! He is not interested in alternatives… incompetence of his subordinates (read about Rumsefeld and his, I consider criminal, ineptness… he still isn’t done. He now wants to decrease our active duty by 35,000 even as they lower the entry level aptitude requirements for enlistment).

He is showing himself incredibly wrong with his decisions. So, we should blindly continue to allow him to do what he has been doing?

My God… don’t people ever ever learn from their past? From the mistakes already made?

Sir, the President had the entire country behind him when he ordered the invasion of Afganistan. He took that success and approval as justification to go further!

Many people… Democrats, Republicans, Current and ex military and intelligence did not believe that the evidence was sufficient to justify the invasion.

We were right (see above linked report) and he was wrong. Why should we follow a failure into more failure?

He ruined the goodwill of almost every nation that would have stood behind us. I know this doesn’t matter much to a person that believes that any consideration of other nations is a sign of weakness and a loss of sovereignty… but we are not the only ones with sovereignty.

Expand your reading a bit more. Look at international newspapers… see what other nations are saying. I know it doesn’t matter because we are a “Superpower” which means everyone else should kiss our ass… but this is a pretty large world.

No sir… blindly following this President is what got us into this predicament… insanity can be defined as, “Doing the same thing and expecting different results.”

I see no evidence that this President based on his past performance is deserving of a “blank check”.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 14, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #113285

Stephen,

One can be belligerent in one’s writing without being irrational. You insist on the Democrats as being direct ideological descendants of Marx and have on several occasions question the patriotism, honesty and forthrightness of those who vote blue rather than red.

You know that speaking truth to power is often confrontational.

And when we argue against that? You’re shocked we’re being so partisan, so irrational. You provoke us, then you complain to all who will listen that we’re just hot-tempered devotees to a sad old philosophy.

I think what I’m protesting, or trying to point out, is that criticizing my writing as ‘filled with hate’ because I use a generalization or a label seems to be an leap that doesn’t make sense. I don’t think saying that I think liberalism has bought into marxist terminology and theory is hateful. Especially when there is no shortage of the same from the left side.

I’d say asking for an example of how my writing is ‘hateful’ is a reasonable request.

You don’t seem willing to take us at our word,

I disagree. I think the real problem is that I am taking the left at it’s word. When you say Bush should resign because he’s corrupt and incompetent, or use Katrina as an example of why conservatism is a failure, (when we know now that virtually everything hyped up by the media about that ‘disaster’ was false) I think that it deserves a response.

We can argue about the surface differences, but there’s also nothing wrong with going below the surface and arguing about the underlying premises behind our arguments.

…and in this time of national need when we want to show up and be counted,

Heh. I think you mean Bush’s Presidency as ‘our time of national need’?

I have to laugh when those like Paul write that I need to stop ‘name calling’, by calling someone a ‘liberal’, and start discussing ‘real issues’, like how Bush is a dictator. That’s ok though.

your people and you are telling us we don’t mean the things we really mean, and therefore deserve to sit on the sidelines.

I listen and I take note. What I’ve said is that what I hear is based on the template of class struggle and implementing socialist ideals. You disagree. Well, isn’t that what we are here for?

I think what bothers the left about calling their policies socialist is that this argument is supposed to be over. Socialism lost, but we still have socialist policies being advocated. Basically saying we shouldn’t talk about the influence of socialism on the left amounts to saying it’s unfair to point out a weak argument. Yet if the argument amounts to proposing socialist solutions then what are we to do? Ignore it?

You yourself said that there are OTHER influences on the left besides socialism, but that is quite different from saying there is no influence.

The more you try and cut us out of this, the more you will find resistance.

I’m not trying to cut you out. I am trying to argue that the policies of the left are by and large warmed over socialism (like the green party etc.), AND even those who are not direct advocates of socialism (like most elected Democrats) use the template of socialist ideas to make their arguments. If that is not a valid argument then I concede the point. But I think it is provable. At least it appears on the surface that support for and advocacy for the New Deal, Universal Health Care, definition of caring for the poor being ONLY government spending, continual support for increasing and expanding the power of all social programs but never their deletion, all these things add up.


Novenge,

Your assertion that “Socialism is the progress toward making every economic decision a political one” is factually incorrect. There are many forms of socialism that which you discribe is actually more radical marxist market activism against globalism, if you want to get technical. there are many forms of socialism and truth be told, we in our country have done things in our past and founding that were very similar to this.

You’re right, they are numerous. Yet my statement holds true. They all have this same thing in common. They all desire to make every economic decision a political one. Even the mildest forms. This is a defining characteristic of all of them.


Let’s get past the semantic differences between communism and socialism, the underlying assumptions are the same, their temporary means of achieving the egalitarian ideal is the only thing that changes.

Here’s a list from wikipedia’s entry for socialism.

  • Asian socialism
  • African socialism
  • Libertarian socialism
    • Anarchism
      • Anarcho-syndicalism
      • Anarcho-communism
    • council communism
    • autonomist Marxism
  • Christian socialism
  • Islamic socialism
  • Communism (see also Marxism)
  • Democratic socialism
  • International socialism
  • Syndicalism
  • Utopian socialism
  • Guild socialism
  • fascism
  • national socialism

The socio-political or intellectual movements basing themselves in the Marxist-Socialist tradition can generally be further divided into:

  • Castroism
  • Council communism
  • Hoxhaism
  • Juche
  • Angka
  • Left communism
  • Leninism
  • Luxembourgism
  • Mao Zedong Thought or “Maoism”
    • Gonzalo Thought
  • Marxist humanism
  • Stalinism
  • Trotskyism
  • Situationism
  • Red Khmers

Several forms of “socialism” are considered by those further to the left to be reformist or revisionist. These include:

  • Austromarxism
  • Evolutionary socialism
  • Fabianism
  • Social democracy
  • Popular Socialism
  • Yellow socialism
  • Socialism with Chinese characteristics and other forms of market socialism
  • Bernsteinism
  • Kautskyism
  • Titoism
  • Labor Zionism

Chomsky is an advocate of Anarcho-syndicalism by the way, but can you tell the difference?

Now what I said was that, “Socialism is the progress toward making every economic decision a political one.”

This is the defining characteristic of all forms of socialism. It applies no matter what form you are talking about. Whether it’s the Single Party of Soviet central planners, the autonomous guilds of Anarcho-syndicalism, or the regional economic democracy of the Green Party, they all desire to make economic decisions via a political apparatus rather than leave them to the individual.

You will also notice that fascism is a branch of socialism in this list.

When the left demands that wages should not be left to oppressive capitalist employers to decide (according to what the market for labor will bear) they are making an economic decision into a political one. When the left says that ‘communities’ should be able to keep a Wal-Mart from building a store in their neighborhood for whatever reason, they are saying that an economic decision should be a political one.

With no objective standard as to why any particular economic issue should be decided politically there is no end to what we can do ‘democratically’. Abolish private property altogether I suppose. It’s a living constitution after all.

If wages and benefits should be decided democratically, why not what can be sold and for how much? One of the complaints against Wal-Mart is that they are putting small ‘mom and pop’ businesses out of business. What objective criteria can we use to say that we cannot vote to increase the prices of wal-mart in order to help mom and pop businesses survive?

Posted by: esimonson at January 14, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #113292

esimonson,

Looking at part of Wikipedia’s definition of facism:

Mussolini defined fascism as being a right-wing ideology in opposition to socialism, liberalism, democracy and individualism. He said in The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism:
“Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right’, a Fascist century. If the 19th century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century, and therefore the century of the State.”
Fascism is associated by many scholars with one or more of the following characteristics: a very high degree of nationalism, economic corporatism, a powerful, dictatorial leader who portrays the nation, state or collective as superior to the individuals or groups composing it.
You previously commented on part of Wikipedia’s definition of socialism:
You will also notice that fascism is a branch of socialism in this list.
What are we to concur from this? It appears that facism had its start in socialism, then evolved into a right-wing ideology in opposition to socialism. I guess we can say that both liberalism and conservatism have roots in socialism!
I guess you can prove anything stems from anything, if only you look up enough definitions… You can go on to look at other definitions and the terms get even more obfuscated. Take part of the Wikipedia definition for conservatism:
In the USA conservatism and liberalism are sometimes seen as polar opposites, yet in actuality the situation is more complex. A major area of difference in US politics is that between social liberalism and social conservatism…. Fiscally, US liberals are regarded as advocates for limited social spending, consumer protection regulations, and other policies which run contrary to a more fiscal conservative, (or neoliberal) ideal. The overall (US) terms liberal and conservative are generalizations and do not point to any concrete set of ideals or values.

My take on this discusson is that it’s nothing but semantics. You can argue about the meanings of these words and their origins all you want, but you can’t look at these words in isolation and draw any real-world conclusions about the political climate of the US, or what it means to be a liberal or conservative in this country today. In my opinion, getting caught up in the formal definitions of these words is a deterrent to any productive dialog, which is why personally I have found this entire discussion to be rather tedious and pointless.

Obviously that’s just my opinion, so please feel free to carry on…

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 14, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #113293

eric,

“When the left says that ‘communities’ should be able to keep a Wal-Mart from building a store in their neighborhood for whatever reason, they are saying that an economic decision should be a political one.”

So what you’re saying is that Wal-Mart in their omnipotence should be able to force themselves on any “community”, anywhere, regardless if the communitiy wants it or not?
So would it be even better if Wal-Mart was able to get in under eminent domain, and actually force out the “mom and pop” stores to make room, because that would be the capitalistic way, right?

Small town America is disappearing with those mom and pop stores, along with the personal service they provide.

But that’s not true capitalism, is it Eric?

Posted by: Rocky at January 14, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #113296

Just a nickles worth and I don’t need the change.

Socialism, Communism, Liberal, Left, Republican, Democrat, and on and on and on. Today they all practice totalitarianism. That would be bigger government for whatever reason. There are bureaus and agencies of our federal government that should be discarded and the responsibilities dealt out the the several states according to the 10th amendment to the Constitution. For instance HUD, Agriculture, EPA, OSHA, Education and I think you get the drift. The most local government should adopt and adapt these responsibilities. The ism’s can be debated till the moon turns to blood and then the rapture and I’m outta here.

Posted by: tomh at January 15, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #113300

Charles,

What are we to concur from this? It appears that facism had its start in socialism, then evolved into a right-wing ideology in opposition to socialism. I guess we can say that both liberalism and conservatism have roots in socialism!

I have an assignment for you. In economic terms, how does Mussolini’s fascism differ from Stalin’s Socialism? Let’s get beyond the semantic and into the meaning.

My take on this discusson is that it’s nothing but semantics. You can argue about the meanings of these words and their origins all you want, but you can’t look at these words in isolation and draw any real-world conclusions about the political climate of the US, or what it means to be a liberal or conservative in this country today. In my opinion, getting caught up in the formal definitions of these words is a deterrent to any productive dialog, which is why personally I have found this entire discussion to be rather tedious and pointless.

You seem to be making the same mistake you are attempting to point out. Simply because one can be easily confused by the surface definitions of words does not mean that words have no meaning. Further, since words can mean many things does not mean that the things they define actually do not exist.

For instance, I consider myself to be a true liberal in the classic sense.

The reason that fascism and socialism are in the same category is because they are both defined as the state having total control of the economy. If you look at Mussolini’s fascism what you see is something very similiar to anarchy-syndicalism. In fact, part of Mussolini’s fascism was the formation of industries into syndicates, just as the National Industrial Recovery Administration’s job under FDR was a step in that same direction.

Posted by: esimonson at January 15, 2006 12:56 AM
Comment #113303

Jack-

The act was passed in June of 1930 and increased tariffs to a tax of 50 percent on goods imported into the United States. Since this occurred after the onset of the Depression, it’s hard to see how it could have caused it. However, since the real effect of the increased tariffs was to increase prices and increase price rigidity, it is easy to see how the Act could have exacerbated the Depression. Enacting the tariff was exactly the wrong thing to do and about 1,000 economists signed a petition begging Congress not to pass it. Eventually, 60 other countries passed retaliatory tariffs in response.[Emphasis Mine]

And on the fed:

Is it possible that the Fedwas[sic] actually responsible for the Depression? The answer is a qualified no. The Fed took several actions that, in retrospect, were quite bad. [emphasis mine]

The website is incomplete, but the picture that seems to develop is a more complicated that your supply side sensibilities. The Stock Market Crash played a part in that it scared people out of investing and banking their money. The hoarding of money by itself wasn’t bad, but coupled with the Gold standard and a bad monetary policy, those events converged to create a long term depression.

It’s important to point out that Herbert Hoover was the one whose administration put those policies you mention into play. Also, my sense is, the author’s not saying that government action in and of itself was problematic, just that a number of these actions were made with poor judgment. What he poses here is not a liberalism created problem, but rather one where economic and consumer confidence problems conspired with a collapse of the money supply to create a pretty severe economic down turn.

What puzzles me is where the Republicans fall. One moment, they’re saying they’re doing a Keynesian priming of the pump with their deficit spending, the next, they’re singing the virtues of the free market system.

Frankly, I think the problem with intervening with the economy by government, socialism as classically defined, is that markets represent rather chaotic, and human factors saturated. Ideal productivity ratios get moderated, for example, by the fact that individual employees can only do so much. One has to deal with the realities of the market before ideals can be made legitimate.

Eric-
Class warfare? It’s as old as dirt. Marxism just oversimplifies every conflict to fit that one. Your point of view seems to oversimplify what it means for something to be socialist.

You’ve not proved your points about how soaked everything is in socialism and after that Marx. You just keep repeating it.

Socialism does mark the history of the Democratic party. There’s no use denying that. But parties are more than just blobs of protoplasm, one part indistinguishable from the next, and ideas are often little different, especially when they’ve evolved over time.

Socialism on its own never caught on in this country. We never had the entrenched aristrocrat and theocrats that socialism counted on to spread its influence. But Capitalism without government control? That too was short lived, and for good reason: nobody could trust such a system.

It’s an easy claim to make, Eric, that this economy would be still greater if it weren’t for all those crypto-marxist systems hanging on.

Of course, it’s easy to make claims about hypothetical gains we’ll never see because of those dirty pinko policies. Oh well. America could have been even more of the first richest country in the world than it was otherwise.

Your first bad assumption is that being capitalist means being rich. That’s not necessarily the case, any more than being socialist means being poor. The differences in the systems lie in how people decide to interact. It is the character of that interaction that means the difference between the success and failure of their economies. There are bad capitalist economies as well as bad socialist ones.

The second bad assumption is that the behavior of the whole system is predictable from pure versions of both systems. The hybrid is a system to itself, and because of the emergent nature of the economy, it’s a system that doesn’t resemble the purebred systems anymore than a human child would look like a fifty-fifty mix of his or her parent’s features.

It matters where the policies go. For utilities, where unpredictability of service quality is judged to be a bad thing, a strong measure of state management is merely good government, the way good maintenance of roads is to be expected out of any effective government, local, state or federal.

The fact of the matter is, most American neither need nor want such a degree of government control of the economy as you would suggest many liberals believe necessary- the Liberals being among those “most Americans”.

What nearly everybody’s been trying to tell you is that your assumption of the worse badly mischaracterizes us, and the kind of system we favor. Until you realize that, you will see people react harshly against your description of our ideology.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #113308

esimonson,

Simply because one can be easily confused by the surface definitions of words does not mean that words have no meaning.
Of course. If a word had no meaning then a discussion based only on semantics (which is the study of meaning) would not be possible. Not only does the word socialism have a meaning, it has many different—sometimes contradictory—meanings, depending on which time period, culture, government, etc. you are referring to. The problem with your stance in this discussion is that you insist on trying to draw parallels between two very different ideologies simply because at some point the word socialism has been used to describe them. Yet, when someone demonstrates that similar semantic arguments can be used to draw parallels between facism and conservatism, or conservatism and socialism, you discard the argument as flawed.

Part of the entry for semantics in Wikipedia:

Semantics is distinguished from ontology (study of existence) in being about the use of a word more than the nature of the entity referenced by the word. This is reflected in the argument, “That’s only semantics,” when someone tries to draw conclusions about what is true about the world based on what is true about a word.

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 15, 2006 1:53 AM
Comment #113424

Just a bit of irony to note here… there is a lot of master’s degree discussion over the cause and effect of the Stock Crash.

Why is this ironic? Because, we cannot agree to something that happened over 70 years ago! This has been studied and debated for years….

Yet, the mantra of the Republican party with “supply side” economics is given in a concrete absolutits terms.

I will not argue that giving tax breaks to companies can give them more money to work with. It would be stupid to deny that.

What I wonder is… is it the best return on our investment and does it take into consideration the other factors in an economy.

Could we not give the money to the consumers and let them determine the winners and losers? Let the reward of the consumers purcahse of goods and services give the companies the profit to expand, innovate and hire new workers? You know.. the marketplace.

Has anyone looked at some of the data from the jobs created due to tax breaks? The ones I have seen show that it is probably cheaper for the taxpayer to continue to tax the companies at the old rate and pay the “new workers” $40,000 to stay home!

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 15, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #113428

Eric-
Speaking truth to power. That’s priceless. You talk to me, a member of the minority party, with a minority in all three branches, and a president accruing great power to himself with your blessing, and you talk to me about speaking truth to power? You guys have practically all the power in the country, and still you act as if you’re the minority opposition, oppressed and surpressed, censored at every turn.

When you were the minority and everything was pushed on you whether you liked it or not, maybe then you would have a point in complaining about how much power we have. But now, now you’re not speaking truth to power, you’re simply pushing your power down everybody’s throats.

What’s hateful is that you don’t take us at our word. You just assume the worst about what we believe, and what we stand for. You don’t even try to recognize the commonalities between our two sides of our society. Even if the intent is not hateful, the arrogant presumption that we need to be taught how to be proper Americans is. We are fine as we are, and our mistakes will teach us the lessons we need to learn.

As should your errors educate you. American liberalism is a broad category which includes in the small minority some who are more marxist in their philosophy, and which has a small portion of socialist thinking built into it. That said, as I’ve said before, Marxism is not the big explanation for every aspect of liberalism and leftwards political philosophy that you make it out to be.

With Katrina, the problem was not the bourgeiousie surpressing the proletariat. The problem was that FEMA, and Homeland Security did not have the plans, the materials, or the culture for the job people expected them to do. Dumping this all on the states was not a problem of capitalism, but instead a problem of the Federal government not recognizing its role in getting this country right to work dealing with a catastrophic multi-state disaster.

All we got were excuses about how the state and city should have been prepared, and minimizations by conservatives who don’t want to face the fact that a major US City got taken out of commission and has remained out of commission longer than its ever had to. Not only that, but you criticize people for turning to the federal government when they were all those people could turn to. It’s one thing to suggest that the government intervene minimally in markets, but it has long been the role of government to intervene in emergencies, and being told that their states and city government should have been better prepared, while occasionally true, is absolutely no answer to the needs of the crisis in question. You folks were talking about what should have been done with the next disaster when what you should have been taken care of was the one at hand.

As for WalMart, I wonder whatever happened to the notion of local governments running things instead of far off entities without local interest in the area. Who are you to tell the people of these communities, where WalMart many times becomes the de facto retail monopoly, that they cannot make decision as to how business will be run around their neck of the woods? You’ve got all your different memes running at cross purposes here, and you’re failing to recognize that it does you no good to claim you’re for local control if you allow interstate business to do the dictation in the place of the federal government.

When it all comes down to it, if you think by labels and systems alone, you are imprisoned in their logic. The world is more complicated than that, and so are we. These big ideas are merely guides to the smaller notions we use in our daily lives. America, by and large, goes for whatever works and works well. Our liberal economic policies served this country fine over the run of years that teh Democrats were in majority. It took decades for Americans to become so disatisfied with it that they changed course. Now Americans are becoming dissatisfied with your party’s policies, and it won’t help you to push this triumphalism in their faces, because they aren’t in that kind of mood. Now’s the time to humbly reconsider your position.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 15, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #113456

Rob and Charles:

Sorry to have taken so long, but I have been a bit busy the past couple of days.

In regard to your disbelief in the war on Christianity:

checkout website www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=thomasmore

There are quite a few citations of verifiable newpaper articles relating to the war. Also, you might have missed the story over Christmas about the Navy chaplain who went on a hunger strike to protest a Defense Department or Navy Department regulation banning Christian chaplains from praying outside “authorized services” in the name of Jesus. This ban did not apply to Muslim or Jewish chaplains. No war? Sorry boys, you lose.

Posted by: John Back at January 15, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #113457

Rob and Charles:

Sorry to have taken so long, but I have been a bit busy the past couple of days.

In regard to your disbelief in the war on Christianity:

checkout website www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=thomasmore

There are quite a few citations of verifiable newpaper articles relating to the war. Also, you might have missed the story over Christmas about the Navy chaplain who went on a hunger strike to protest a Defense Department or Navy Department regulation banning Christian chaplains from praying outside “authorized services” in the name of Jesus. This ban did not apply to Muslim or Jewish chaplains. No war? Sorry boys, you lose.

Posted by: John Back at January 15, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #113458

Eric Simonson,

I’m familiar with De Soto’s work and he is right on the mark. Alot of these ownership reforms have been implemented in parts of Africa most namely with coffee growers and it really has been a help in those areas. I totally agree with what he is promoting and deeds and land ownership are quintessential.

David Remer, I love the cart and horse anecdote, really good point we are really a balancing act of these two forces. It’s a necessary tug o’war for both teams, as we in turn require both.

Jack,

I have to backtrack on my statements earlier. This probably won’t work as this is actually a very radical form of socialism, actually it would be be better served to call it Marxism with a bent for trade manipulation. I understand why they are doing it as it, atleast from the outset, looks like a kneejerk against globalism, which could I suppose be necessary somewhat. But what they need are capitalist reforms as this could spiral into other radical things. Albeit this in itself is pretty radical and almost Castro-like in some regards. We may be looking at a downward spiral for Venezuela and perhaps dictatorships as a result. I’d actually like to say moderation, moderation and still do to some extent but this (Hugo Chavez) will undoubtedly be a failure unless they work more towards the capitalistic end of the spectrum and moderate their isolationism. I’m not going to get into a recommendations list, but the first on such a list would be more capitalist avenues and not this ‘POPULISM’ that passes as a remedy for problems attributed to globalism. Which could become more radical potentially making it harder for businesses in that region to thrive. I don’t know either how this will play out, but they know they’re worth something as a nation in raw materials/goods/oil (especially) and they are taking advantage of that like a post office on strike. I do have to say that it will probably be another South American fiasco, hate to backtrack my own assertions.

Posted by: Novenge at January 15, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #113472

John Back,

Can you please try to post direct links to some articles next time, rather than making me guess which ones you mean? Thanks.

Most of the articles I came across were not targeted specifically towards Christianity or Christmas. Instead, they were simply cases of trying to enforce the separation of church and state at public institutions—regardless of faith—which is a very good idea. For me to believe there is a war on Christmas and/or Christianity, you will have to demonstrate that Christianity is being targeted above and beyond other religions. You may find isolated cases where this seems to be the case (I don’t doubt that the policy is taken too far in some cases, just like it is taken too lightly in others), but there are also isolated cases which involve non-Christian faiths: And Now, the War on Hanukkah

Also, you might have missed the story over Christmas about the Navy chaplain who went on a hunger strike to protest a Defense Department or Navy Department regulation banning Christian chaplains from praying outside “authorized services” in the name of Jesus. This ban did not apply to Muslim or Jewish chaplains.
I did not miss that story, but it has nothing to do with a war on Christmas. The chaplain is allowed to pray, just not while in uniform in front of the troops—some of whom are not Christian—when those troops are required to be present. There’s also no evidence to believe that this policy would not be equally applied to chaplains of all faiths in a similar situation. In fact, other chaplains—of both Christian and non-Christain faiths—have not had the same problems as this particular chaplain, who seems to have a history of such conflicts in his role as chaplain:
But many chaplains from the various branches contend that they have not had the problems that Chaplain Klingenschmitt has had, specifically with praying in the name of Jesus.

Chaplain Lt. Cmdr. Alan Wilmot is a Navy chaplain endorsed by the American Baptist denomination and is currently stationed at Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. After seeing a news story on the online publication World Net Daily that outlined Chaplain Klingenschmitt’s complaints, he was compelled to write to the publication to caution them in their coverage.

“I read your article… with great interest, but I have to say I don’t know what he’s talking about,” wrote Wilmot. “It really caused me to wonder if we’re in the same Navy!”

Wilmot told WND that he has prayed in the name of Jesus “consistently” since joining the Navy 15 years ago.


Chaplain’s Protest Puts Spotlight on Prayer and the Military

So a big commotion is made about an isolated event, without taking into consideration the background of the individual involved and his history of disiplinary problems. I’m surprised the media gave it as much attention as it did.

No war? Sorry boys, you lose.
There’s nothing to be lost here—because this so-called war is fiction!
Posted by: Charles Wager at January 15, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #113584

If you’re a conservative, it’s apparently OK to accuse the opposition of hating the country, of being commies, of being divisive, etc. But if you’re NOT a conservative, and you use the same tactics, “speaking truth to power”, then the conservatives accuse you of being hate-filled and divisive.

I guess conservatives think they should have a monopoly on hate-filled, divisive rhetoric. After all, this is a free market of ideas…

Posted by: ElliottBay at January 16, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #113694

Stephen,

But Capitalism without government control? That too was short lived, and for good reason: nobody could trust such a system.

Again, of course, if you insist on using the socialist definition of capitalism as an oppressive anarchic system that will destroy itself without socialist intervention then you will always win the argument with yourself. But capitalism requires regulation, as I have argued, but you seem not to get the point when I bring it up.

My thesis has been that the left uses a socialist definition to frame their solutions to the ‘failures’ of capitalism and free markets. Period.

Charles,

Yet, when someone demonstrates that similar semantic arguments can be used to draw parallels between facism and conservatism, or conservatism and socialism, you discard the argument as flawed.

There is an identifiable link between policies generally known as socialist and what is generally known as left-wing liberalism. In fact, it is an admitted fact by Stephen, David and several others. It is not a stretch to say that ideology identifiable as socialism is readily identifiable in liberal policies.

Your semantic argument about fascism doesn’t address the same issue. I am not making a semantic arguement. I don’t care what you call it, that is why I have referenced progressivism, liberalism, left-wing, etc in order to make the claim not be simply about the meaning of the word ‘liberal’ for instance, because it can mean both conservative and liberal. Economic liberal, social liberal, classical liberal, all mean slightly different things.

Yes, it is a generalization, but it is not meant to be a semantic argument at all.

Posted by: esimonson at January 16, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #113696

Stephen,

But Capitalism without government control? That too was short lived, and for good reason: nobody could trust such a system.

Again, of course, if you insist on using the socialist definition of capitalism as an oppressive anarchic system that will destroy itself without socialist intervention then you will always win the argument with yourself. But capitalism requires regulation, as I have argued, but you seem not to get the point when I bring it up.

My thesis has been that the left uses a socialist definition to frame their solutions to the ‘failures’ of capitalism and free markets. Period.

Charles,

Yet, when someone demonstrates that similar semantic arguments can be used to draw parallels between facism and conservatism, or conservatism and socialism, you discard the argument as flawed.

There is an identifiable link between policies generally known as socialist and what is generally known as left-wing liberalism. In fact, it is an admitted fact by Stephen, David and several others. It is not a stretch to say that ideology identifiable as socialism is readily identifiable in liberal policies.

Your semantic argument about fascism doesn’t address the same issue. I am not making a semantic arguement. I don’t care what you call it, that is why I have referenced progressivism, liberalism, left-wing, etc in order to make the claim not be simply about the meaning of the word ‘liberal’ for instance, because it can mean both conservative and liberal. Economic liberal, social liberal, classical liberal, all mean slightly different things.

Yes, it is a generalization, but it is not meant to be a semantic argument at all.

Posted by: esimonson at January 16, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #113797

esimonson,

Again, of course, if you insist on using the socialist definition of capitalism as an oppressive anarchic system that will destroy itself without socialist intervention then you will always win the argument with yourself.
Likewise, if you insist on using your definition of socialism then you will always win the argument with yourself…

Posted by: Charles Wager at January 17, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #114142

Eric-
Are you speaking for me in this argument? Where did I say that my critique of a pure free market was based on socialist ideas of the whatever? Yes, and unregulated market can be oppressive, but not because it’s capitalist- it’s because it’s big and you’re small, and without the law on your side, it’s difficult to get justice. There should be no more difference between the justice that an individual and a corporation gets under the law, than that which a poor man and a rich man get before the law. And that should be no difference to begin with.

I have not problem with the rich if they’ve got no problem with me, and they’re willing to play by the rules. As a citizen, I count on that, and not some revolution, for justice. The difference that our system produces between the justice each deserves and that we get is the extent to which I see the system needs change.

I see regulation as a way to ensure that corporations follow the same basic rules in society the rest of us are expected to follow: Don’t lie to, cheat, steal from, maim, or kill people.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #114464

Dear All,
As I was looking through of of these comments it occurs to me that there is a common flaw with the use of the theory of “Socialism”. Socialism is by when the workers representing themselves are the owners of the means of production; and the distributers of the excesses from those means of production land , capital, machinery etc.
The institution of planning to allocate the means of production, that was Marx’s theory and what went into practice in their view of ending worker exploitation in Russia. The fundamental link in true socialism is when the workers are in charge of distributing the profits as well as being owners of the means of production.
In all modern societies today around Europe which touts its socialistic system express themselves wrong. They are in essence State Capitalists. The means of production may in some way belong to the people but the profits are not being distributed by the workers, who are in essence the owners of the means of production.
Many modern liberals and the elites preach state capitalism. Its more about the government control of the means of production vs. caring what happens to the people that work. I never knew anything that got better when you condensed the power from the hands of the few to the hands of the even fewer.

Posted by: Adam at January 18, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #114648

Eric,

While this is all very interesting, even if not entirely factual, all of this high theory has little to do with current political events and everything to do with inciting frenzied and offensive debate – while such ineffectual bickering may be intellectually stimulating (potentially), it bears little pertinence to current events or the average American citizen. Ergo, I would respectfully request the relevance of this topic to the many interesting (if admittedly disconcerting) events at hand. Here, I am referring to the original post topic, as I find many of the ensuing posts much more germane.

Basically, my concern is that this topic is merely an effort to redirect scrutiny from the Republican Party onto the underlying principles of the Democratic Party – I would suggest that both parties are founded on sound, logical principles; else it speaks very poorly for the American citizenry that, whichever the ideology, roughly half of us support it. A better argument could be made as to whether either party is holding to its alleged principles (I don’t recall either party advocating the corruption which can be found in both).

As for the substantive content of the post; as I have stated before, the political spectrum is in fact circular, rather than linear. Communism and Fascism are actually closely related, as are Liberalism and Conservatism – though it could be argued that Liberals are closer to Communists than Conservatives are, it can likewise be argued (by the very same logic) that Conservatives are closer to Fascists than Liberals are. Thus, by this logic, anyone can be made to look nefarious merely by association.

And as for the concept that Liberal ideas are founded on Communist ideas – aren’t many of these same ideas remarkably similar to those that can be found in the Bible? Is the Bible founded on Communist Doctrine? Hmmm, I thought the Republicans were the party of the Religious Right – help the needy, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless? Sounds like Commi talk to me.

And the assertion that these ideas are flawed… if they weren’t flawed, there would be no argument to make against them. They wouldn’t be political theories, they would be political facts. Your own arguments - I guarantee it - are flawed.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 19, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #247544

It is interesting that, that God who gave us life will not stand for a communisn take over in America.

We will all see that GOd will use the weather to bring us to repentance and understanding that this mocking of GOd is like man going where even the Devil himself dare not tread.

My prophetic father said on his death bed, that the seas will be stirred up, no boats, no airlines will be able to use those means of transporation and if the arabic nations who chose evil over GOd, that GOd that gave them life, will dry up every oil well they have and its back to the desert.

So my question, these remarks come from people who are never wrong about their predictions. With GOd its not a matter what he will do to us if we don’t knock it off, but when, DOn’t tempt God, we are not in charge.

Posted by: jeanie at March 10, 2008 1:38 PM
Comment #247546

DOn’t worry about San Franciso, or Berkeley or terrorists, even they will stand for a moment of reflection when the next earthquake hits San Francisco and marvel at the power of GOd. This earthquake which is at our doors will make the first earthquake look like a Sunday school picnic. We won’t be looking over the ruins, we will be diving to seem them.

Now folks, its like this, the hand of the Lord is about ready to come down on America. This was a nation perserved by god himself to be a Christian nation. When we allow non-christian their right to disbelieve that is one thing, when we allow then to get others to join them and ruin that which GOd has preserved for the rightious only we are not thinking clearly.

GOd will let you have anything you want, just so long as you don’t tamper with his rightous children and already you are with a rising generation no longer believing that God is all powerful and foolish man is. It’s not their fault we were suppose to behave ourselves.

And all sympahtizers are as bad as those who have allowed this evil to come to America.

Posted by: jeanie at March 10, 2008 1:50 PM
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