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Short primer on Socialism

Quote:
Ideas rooted in socialism have often been deployed to save capitalism from its excessesusually in the face of opposition from capitalists themselves. The political scientist Mason Williams points to a comment from New Deal lawyer Jerome Frank as capturing this history nicely. We socialists are trying to save capitalism, Frank said, and the damned capitalists wont let us.


You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.
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Three Cheers for Socialism

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Moreover, just because a totalitarian regime happens to call itself socialistor, for that matter, a republic, or a union of republics, or a peoples republic, or a peoples democratic republicwe are under no obligation to take it at its word. What we call democratic socialism in the United States is difficult to distinguish from the social-democratic traditions of post-war Western Europe, and there we find little evidence that a democracy becomes a dictatorship simply by providing such staples of basic social welfare as universal health care. At least, it is hard not to notice that the social-democratic governments of Europe have always gained power only by being voted into office, and have always relinquished it peacefully when voted out again. None of them has ever made war on free markets, even in attempting (often all too hesitantly) to impose prudent and ethically salutary regulations on business. Rather than gulags, death camps, secret police, arrests without warrant, summary executions, enormous propaganda machines, killing fields, and the like, their political achievements have been more in the line of the milk-allowances given to British children in the post-war years, various national health services, free eyeglasses and orthodonture for children, school lunches, public pensions for the elderly and the disabled, humane public housing, adequate unemployment insurance, sane labor protections, and so forth, all of which have been accomplished without irreparable harm to economies or treasuries.

I suppose a social-democratic state could begin to gravitate toward true authoritarianism, in the way that any political arrangement can lead to just about any other. The Third Reich, after all, was born out of a functioning parliamentary democracy. The 2016 U.S. election proved that, even in a long-established democratic republic, just about anyone or anything, no matter how preposterously foul, can achieve political power if enough citizens are sufficiently credulous, cowardly, and vicious. In just the past few years, we have seen bland American neoconservatism rapidly evolving into populist, racist, openly fascist, mystical nationalism. Anything is possible. But to this point, it seems fair to say, the Western European democraciesas well as the Oceanian states and Canadahave all acquitted themselves fairly well on the civil liberties and rule of law fronts. And surely no one would deny that, approve of them or not, eyeglasses and milk are not gulags and summary executions.


You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
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You don't for one minute think JGW is going to read and understand this do you?

The capitalism vs socialism question is moot for the next twelve years or more.

Biden will be generally useless, popular for a while with those who elected him but with no real aims or goals beyond defeating Trump.
The Trump courts will work against him at every turn and the filibuster will get a new lease on life.

If some call them the "do nothing Democrats", just wait til do nothing Biden takes control. If he should beat Trump he will be easily defeated in four years by a Christo-fascist who will once again seize dictatorial power over the nation and hold it for 8 years or more.

Capitalism has won and will continue to deliver what it has always delivered. Filth and pollution, economic destruction and likely the end of civilization as we know it.

We lefties tried to throw Democrats a lifeline but they chose to drown rather than accept help from the "far left".

With luck, Donald Trump will defeat Biden and the US government might get one more chance in 2024 to make actual moves to save the planet and humanity. I'm thinking it's unlikely.

My neighbor is a hard core Trump supporter. He would have voted for Warren or Sanders because the cost of health insurance is eating him alive. He won't vote for Biden. Neither will I.

I might vote for Trump though, in a last ditch effort to destroy the Republican Party and give social democrats one last chance.

We arrived at a fork in the road and chose to go to the right, I think the consequences are going to be unfortunate for the fate of mankind. Anybody want to convince me I'm wrong?


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Originally Posted By: Greger
You don't for one minute think JGW is going to read and understand this do you?

No. I posted it so that maybe those of us who aren't freaked out by a word might hone our talking points.

Originally Posted By: Greger
The capitalism vs socialism question is moot for the next twelve years or more.

Accomplishing anything probably is, but normalizing progressive ideas is an ongoing process.

Originally Posted By: Greger
I might vote for Trump though, in a last ditch effort to destroy the Republican Party and give social democrats one last chance.

Might be the most productive move...


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The very word "socialist" has cost Bernie the presidency - just saying............

I know, I guess I just don't understand.........

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It's the Despair Quotient!
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Originally Posted By: jgw
The very word "socialist" has cost Bernie the presidency - just saying............

I know, I guess I just don't understand.........


I think that teachable moments depend upon timing.
We can have all the teachable moments we want about the word "socialism" as soon as we are out from under the jackboot of authoritarian fascist tyranny.

Biden is calling himself a "uniter".
Really? Uniting with WHO? He's on record as saying he might be open to a Republican running mate.
Who? Mitch? Ted? Lindsey? Devin?
He fantasizes about "reaching across the aisle to moderate Republicans in Congress.
Who? The ones who chewed off Obama's arms for eight years in a row?
There are no "moderate Republicans" in Congress.

Instead of reaching across the aisle, Joe better damn well reach across the goddamn ROOM to people in his own party, the people on the Left.
If he does not make an effort to do this and soon, he will lose and lose big.


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It's the socialism thing, but according to the numbers, the voting power of the left is growing. Fear of socialism is dying, the Scandinavian models are thriving and life goes on...until it doesn't.

This primary is showing us exactly where Democratic voters stand ideologically. I'm disappointed but not surprised. It's Clinton vs Sanders all over again and the general is gonna be Clinton and Trump all over again.


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It's the Despair Quotient!
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Originally Posted By: Greger
It's the socialism thing, but according to the numbers, the voting power of the left is growing. Fear of socialism is dying, the Scandinavian models are thriving and life goes on...until it doesn't.

This primary is showing us exactly where Democratic voters stand ideologically. I'm disappointed but not surprised. It's Clinton vs Sanders all over again and the general is gonna be Clinton and Trump all over again.





What's not growing is the youth vote, apparently.
Sanders is on TV today expressing disappointment that even LESS youths turned out than in 2016.

I don't know what to say. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the notion that the youth electorate somehow needs four more years of being stomped into oblivion by Trump to learn the reason why turnout is essential.

USA Today


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Originally Posted By: jgw
The very word "socialist" has cost Bernie the presidency - just saying............

I know, I guess I just don't understand.........


Americans are, of course, the most thoroughly and passively indoctrinated people on earth. They know next to nothing as a rule about their own history, or the histories of other nations, or the histories of the various social movements that have risen and fallen in the past, and they certainly know little or nothing of the complexities and contradictions comprised within words like socialism and capitalism. Chiefly, what they have been trained not to know or even suspect is that, in many ways, they enjoy far fewer freedoms, and suffer under a more intrusive centralized state, than do the citizens of countries with more vigorous social-democratic institutions.

My only question for you JGW, is are you willfully ignorant or are you merely propagating ignorance. Im leaning on the latter.

Why would be an interesting dive.

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Sanders has to find constituencies wherever they exist now.

I'm guessing any that would be:

Anti war
universal healthcare
Labor
Anti wallstreet/media/establishment
Legalize weed
Teachers
nurses
Blue Collar
Progressives
Latinos
Muslim
Immigrants
Sex workers

Bidens may be:

Wall street/ the owners
military complex
upper middle class whites
Conservatives
Liberals
Never Trumpers
Blue no matter who
Corporate Media
White collar workers
Pimps
Democratic party

Don't know how accurate that will be. Just a guess.

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