Friday, August 14, 2009

Socialism... is Socialism

I was listening to Rush on Monday when I heard this phrase uttered. And within seconds, I knew I was going to have to write a whole post about it. And for clarification, before you of the Rush-hating choir start singing, everything after this sentence I've looked up myself, starting with Wikipedia:
Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state, public or common worker ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a more egalitarian method of compensation.
Now I'm going to avoid naming individuals in the current climate (except the pic to the right because it's a cool pic), because this is about the overriding philosophy and not individual douchebaggery. But a socialist, broadly defined, works to achieve as state that functions under socialism. And it is fair to draw the conclusion that some one is a socialist when their political ideas, plans, and laws can be found in the pages of The Communist Manifesto (ill-formed conjoined twin of socialism):

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes [an extreme of eminent domain].
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax [our current code, more or less].
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance [can be achieved with inheritance tax].
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly [or maybe through government bailouts].
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State [FCC, and federal highway funds for behavior].
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State [GM, Chrysler]; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies [labor unions], especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equal distribution of the population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in [government] schools [our current broken system]. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.

Now to clarify, that doesn't mean everything in the above list is automatically evil (just most). And after I sussed out the above list, I found a more comprehensive (and a little paranoid) list. The point is that socialism is not necessarily an all-or-nothing prospect, but a powerful weed in the garden. Controlled, it's something you have to deal with on occasion. unchecked, it destroys the garden.


Socialism in theory sounds lovely. After all, who would be against this:
THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people's lives under their own control -- a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in the community.

I would, for one. Because a cooperative democracy with personal freedom sounds great in theory. But the Romans valued democracy. But democracy gave rise to the rule of Caesars. In Russia, the people rose up against the czars, and swept in the communist usurpers. The National Socalist Pary, and particularly their fearless (and nucking futs) leader, one Adolf Hitler, was wildly popular as he rallied his country back from its crippling post-war state, educating children and building infrastructure. Of course this paved the way for brainwashing, war, and genocide. More recently, the popularly elected Hugo Chavez has been gathering more power unto himself (and is "elected" for life).

This is because socialism ignores human nature. We are predatory species, instinctively hierarchical, and intellectually motivated by our own self-interest. And while we promote many of the ideals that socialism does through religion and other social compacts, it's only a stopgap against how we function. And it's only the value we find in fulfilling our own rational self-interest in pursuing a more enlightened agenda that keeps us from simply giving up and going with our animal selves.

So it all comes back to today's discussions, whether it be about the government stimulating the economy for the "common good" or making health coverage universal for the "common good" or taking over the car companies for the "common good." The point is that anything can be justified in the name of the "common good" as long as you aren't the person getting the shaft.

And while President Obama is not an insane despot like many of the socialists listed above, he follows the same model in gaining power, as do far too many politicians who off their hand out with a piece of candy to lure us into their political Bang Bus, with the result being the same.

There is a reason we are a constitutional republic and not a democracy: Any pure democracy is always one vote from despotism, when the people abdicate responsibility to the snake oil salesman who promises to make their lives better. This is why you see socialist countries glom on to such misnaming words like "people's" "democratic" and "republic" when they are clearly autocratic.

Now for those of you who don't mind this (as I know I have socialists that read my wisdom), that's your choice. But let's be honest about what you're doing, as opposed to trying to bullshit people into it.

8 comments:

DiscipleDOC said...

Yes, I voted for Obama. And I regret every minute of it.

He (Obama) is destroying our sovereignty piece by piece, all at the hands of his puppet masters.

I'm not going to join the club that outright hates everyone, but I do believe that he's (Obama)ruining this country.
I ain't gonna sugar coat it, I don't like him and anyone who voted him in and still supports him, should be rethinking about that.

TRUTH 101 said...

Well Patrick my friend. When you and buddies lead us into fuedalism then will you be happy?

Barack and Michelle Obama dress pretty good for socialists, don't they? They have an expensive home in Chicago. Michelle was a high paid hospital executive. Damn commies! Who do they think they are weating nice clothes. Having a nice home and sending their kids to private instead of quality, taxpayer supported public schools.


You asked in your last sentence who we (whomever TF we are) are trying to bullshit. It is you that are spreading the bullshit with this post Patrick. I will concede however, you did a good job. The Lord of your manor will be pleased.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Stop with the socialism meme. No one with half a brain is buying it.

You ought to get out into other parts of the country.

Really.

Reasonable, sane people do not buy into the "Deathers" and their stupid "death panel" hysteria. Most people are reasonable and understand the tantrums the rightwingers are having over the fact that Mr. Obama is the president.

ImAlwaysRight said...

Shaw Kenawe said...
"Stop with the socialism meme. No one with half a brain is buying it."


Well, I'm buying it.. "tantrums"? I think not!
Those comments, as well as many other recent posts on left-wing blogs such as Shaw's not only make me sick but I'm sick of dealing with a bunch of full-grown screaming idiots that constantly show their hatred for America. .

Say goodbye to your doctors and your healthcare plan. Say hello to Socialism.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Hatred for America?

The fact that I am sick of seeing people die every day due to lack of healthcare?

The fact that despite the right-wing mantras that we're the best at everything and have better than everyone else does, our outcomes are the worst in the industrialized world?

I don't hate America. I would like to see it be what it says it is: a place for all people, equally, to pursue life, liberty, and happiness, without being oppressed by the constant uncertainty that comes with lack of decent healthcare.

Are you sick? I bet you have healthcare.

Toad734 said...

Nothing in American history was closer to Despotism than the Bush rule. He came from a politically powerful family, had powerfully political family in places like Texas and Florida which got him into the white house because of their influence on the state and Supreme court and immediately started repealing our freedoms and immediately asked for more power and expanded the size and scope of the goverment more than has happened in the last 50 years. This post should have gone up 3 years ago.

And if Socialism ignores our predatory instincts, why did Nazi Germany spend so much time preying on their citizens and following their own hierarchical self interests by liquidating the ghettos, deporting and killiing the Jews, Gypsies, etc.? Its a pretty big contradiction dont you think?

And there were people like you on every major issue that we have faced in our country. There were people so afraid of change that they were for slavery, opposed to a womans right to vote, opposed to civil rights, opposed to social security, opposed to medicare, opposed to school lunches, integration, etc.

Don't you want to be on the right side at least once per century?

And besides, murdera and rape is also human nature, should we just let those things go too? We are not animals, we have very few instincts; we have the power to overcome simple urges and prejudices....Well, most of us anyway, clearly your information source Limbaugh is unable to ignore his basic urges to eat more bacon pizzas and do drugs but I guess we are just more evolved that Rush.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I <3 Toad.

Patrick M said...

Doc: What DID you think you were voting for?

101: Feudalism? You have obviously been missing some other posts I've done.

My problem is not with all forms of government to protect the interests of "BIG WHATEVER" or whoever's going to get all feudal on our asses. It's with government deviating from its role as a regulator, insuring the freedom and rights of all individuals (including corporations). And socialism, despite your claim at be being the bullshitter, requires suppressing the individual for the "greater good" of the state (which defines fairness (as opposed to freedom and opportunity) for all.

Shaw: With all due respect, blow the meme bullshit out your ass. If it was just about Obama, then I'd have gotten the picture of him up with the Hitler mustache.

Because if you notice, I don't buy the deather's hyping. But I know that the inevitable result of any single payer system is that rationing is, inevitable (as you have to pick and choose winners and losers when the money runs out). And while there are an assload of people that see the "good" that the monstrosity of a health care bill will provide, simple popular support doesn't make something automatically right. Or not socialist.

ImAlwaysRight: For clarification, most everybody on the left (especially the bloggers posting here) do not hate America. They have, in some cases, a radically different vision for this country that we know would destroy the good parts of the country. But vehement disagreement does not make someone an America hater.

Saty: There's one point where I have to disagree: I don't want to trade life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness just so I have security in health care.

Toad: I won't absolutely disagree with you here, though if I were around three years ago, I probably wouldn't have gone to this extreme (as bills such as the Patriot Act did have sunset provisions). Also, infringement on li

My real problems with the Bush administration are on the same grounds as my issues with Obama: Expansion of government control and ownership in the private sector (No Child Left Behind, and the bailouts in 2008).

As for equating government spending and control programs with eliminating discrimination on individual rights, you're talking two very different items, both of which I am generally on the right side of.

As for human nature, while we can control human nature (and must to secure individual rights), to ignore the parts of our human nature that make us stronger and make us excel is to invite disaster.

And if I wasn't clear about the dangers of Nazi Germany, they wrapped their murder and destruction under the idea of moral and racial superiority for "reaq" Germans. And made it a "necessary evil" for perfecting their country. Would you like me to continue on this thread? Because I borrowed that phrase of perfecting the country from someone else (clarification again: equating the psychology does not mean that similar leadership in this country will start killing people).