Something isn't right....

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Tom_Radigan
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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:45 am

If someone here would all of a sudden take your side, would you accuse them of blind faith?
It depends on why they would. I don't expect people to blindly believe me; they would ask others who know about these things.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Æron » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:08 am

You're assuming the health care bill is actually going to actually do that. Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences? I mentioned before that my home state of Illinois legalized gambling as a way of bringing in more revenue. It not only didn't, but our state is in a much worse financial condition than before. Why do you think I don't buy the idea that the health care bill is going to make things better? You're talking to someone who's heard it all before.

Any of you familiar with George Orwell? He hated capitalism and the rich (having had to deal with rich jerks in his life) and was a socialist. However, by the end of his life when he wrote 1984, he had become disillusioned with socialism as well. Ostensibly it brings equality and justice; in reality, it brings oppression and poverty. Denmark is not a socialist country; it may have more government programs, but it is actually capitalist. Socialism means letting the government control everything. It invariably results in tyranny and mass poverty, except for the ruling elite.

The United States did have a form of socialism in parts of the country, where freedoms were exchanged for the provisoin of all ones food and housing needs. It was called slavery.
-I think making an argument about the efficacy of the healthcare bill based on the failure of another completely unrelated bill is a weak argument indeed. Why not discuss it based upon ITS merits and detriments, not on analogy.

-Yes, I am familiar with Orwell. Stop being condescending.

-Yes, Denmark is a capitalist country economically. But the government runs many socialist programs. It is my idea of a good system--a hybrid. A democracy with a capitalist economy and social government programs. It harnesses the competition of the market to produce economic prosperity, but because the free market is imperfect and does not always lead to fairly distributed prosperity (and can overextend itself creating boom/bust cycles e.g. the recent housing bubble pop), the government steps in with regulations to protect from abuse as well as provide socialized programs to patch up the cracks and provide a safety net for those who are screwed by the system. Free market purists like to pretend that an unregulated market means "a rising tide raises all ships," but they forget that, as a competitive system, the free market, like natural selection, has losers...

-You seem to be defining any authoritarianism, anywhere, as socialism. I see this as an attempt to poison the well. Slavery? Socialism! Nazis? Socialists! Police states? Socialist! Resultantly, think this discussion is suffering from definitional differences. When I argue for socialism, I'm not arguing for a fully socialist system any more than when I'm arguing for capitalism I'm arguing for pure laissez-faire capitalism. I see pure socialism (total government control and management of the economy) as a terrible idea, much like I think pure capitalism (no government regulations on the market, no social programs to help the less fortunate) is an equally terrible idea.

When I include 'socialism' in my description of Denmark, I don't mean it has pure socialism. It has socialist elements.
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Caoimhin
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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Caoimhin » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:17 am

Socialism is by definition where the government controls all aspects of the economy. You work for the government, and the government pays you. (And as for slavery, the slaves got free food and housing and medical care. Also, the elderly and children who were too young to work had to be cared for. This was actually one argument against slavery put forth in pre-Civil War times.) BTW, no Communist nation ever called itself by that name. They called themselves either "Socialist" or "Democratic People's Republic". The world's first Communist nation was known as the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics".

George Orwell and other early Socialists and Communists came to realize that these newfangled economic systems were not bringing equality and freedom to oppressed workers and farmers-they were doing the opposite.
You're compairing the socialized welfare of Canada, England, and much of Europe to slavery. You've also used Communism and Socialism synomynously, a bad slip to your credibility. Claiming that Socialism is wrong because of the the semantics that other countries used as manipulation has no basis. I'm amused by your feelings about something being "newfangled", you come off as a rather reluctant to change. Communism and Socialism were already more than fifty years old when Orwell was born. Hardly new.

Socialized medicine does not imply socialism in other parts of the government. I'm sure you are much more well read in the subject than I. I have not read anything on political theory, so you will have to excuse my difficulty in understanding the difference between Communism and Socialism.
I see Socialism as strict government control (not inherently an evil word to me) over industry. However, unlike Democracy and Republics, this only applies to the economic control of a nation. This is still assuming that healthcare is actually a commodity, which even if treated this way it still technically is. If that were otherwise there would be no argument over regulaltion.
Think of Dictatorship, Democracy, Communism (truly only thoretical), and a Republic as means of government, while Socialism and Capitalism are economic philosophies. One is very tangible, the lack or the ability to choose the leaders of a country, or in communism's case, no leaders at all. The other is more abstract, describing the means by which commerce is regulated and restricted (or lack of said regulation and restriction) by said forms of government. Its not really as black and white as you may think. You can have a Republic and Socialism at the same time.

Aeron, presented this argument much better than me. I just had spent time writing this, so, I'll still post it.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby osprey » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:09 pm

I think you confuse socialism with communism. North Korea is communist. Finland is socialist, for example. Socialism is middle ground between the two, and if implemented right aims to take the best points from both systems and fit them together. You keep on with the socialism is evil thing, but never have you given any points as to why.
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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:52 pm

I think you confuse socialism with communism. North Korea is communist. Finland is socialist, for example. Socialism is middle ground between the two, and if implemented right aims to take the best points from both systems and fit them together. You keep on with the socialism is evil thing, but never have you given any points as to why.
I've made the mistake of going by the classic definitions. Just as "fascist" originally referred only to the political movement in Italy, but has since come to mean any oppressor or would-be oppressor, socialism and communism have come into general use for other than their original definitions.

When the Communists first set up their government in Russia, they actually tried to abolish money-though that idea was quickly found impractical. The early Red Army also tried to abolish the traditional military command structure, and that failed too. Arguably they tried to set up a communistic system in the true sense, but they had to settle for socialism, and the nation incorporated "Socialist" as part of their new national title.

If "socialism" does NOT mean where the government controls all the major industries, then it makes the definition quite murky, as every nation has some level of government regulation of private enterprises. There are no pure capitalist countries, and by definition the USA is as socialist as most other nations.

Going back to the old definition, socialist means a nation where the government controls the major part of the economy. Why is that bad? Because that gives the government too much power, e. g. it can control the news media, food production, transportation, etc. One can technically still have a democracy that way, but what about a government that doesn't want to give up its power? "Vote for us or we can cut off your food supplies!" Uh-oh.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:57 am

Re the health care bill itself: I haven't read it and much of it would be beyond my understanding anyway, since I have had no legal training and I don't have an intimate knowledge of the health care industry. That's why I mentioned Charles Krauthammer, a former doctor who does understand medicine and the health industry, as an authoritative source. If there are any commentators with the same credentials, who have a detailed understanding of how the health care system works, I will gladly listen to them. However, arguments along the lines of "it's national health care, by definition is has to be good" are worthless. Like I said earlier, some nations have good national health care systems and some don't. If I thought the bill was a real step for improving our health care system and not just a political ploy, I would have felt better about it.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Muninn » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:06 pm

You heard maybe of Jeremiah Wright?
In case you weren't aware, the Republicans have been voted out in the past several years for abandoning their old principles.
You seem to have blind faith that a national health care service is a panacea.
yet you somehow think Obama is magically an exception who's quite different from the others. Only the uninformed or incredibly stupid would believe that.
And as for before the war, did you forget how all the sanctions were killing millions of Iraqis? Oh, and Saddam was such a nice benign leader.
Did you know that the income tax was passed in 1913 as a "soak the rich" tax, and even nowadays the top income earners in the USA pay a good chunk of total income tax revenue.
You're assuming the health care bill is actually going to actually do that. Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences?
Any of you familiar with George Orwell?
Don't do this, it makes you look condescending. It's always better to think the people you're talking to know what they're going on about.

As for communism, didn't Marx write that a truly communist state could only emerge out of one that had gone through capitalism? I don't think mainly rural Russia under a monarch quite fulfilled that which is why they didn't call the new nation communist in the title.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Bocaj Claw » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:48 pm

I believe so. Marx believed that a country had to be industrialized before a communist revolution and that said revolution would be inevitable and started by the workers rising up. I think he singled out England and Germany as the most likely candidates.

Russia, China, and Cuba were all heavily agricultural when they had their revolutions.
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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:08 pm

Don't do this, it makes you look condescending. It's always better to think the people you're talking to know what they're going on about.

As for communism, didn't Marx write that a truly communist state could only emerge out of one that had gone through capitalism? I don't think mainly rural Russia under a monarch quite fulfilled that which is why they didn't call the new nation communist in the title.
I already admitted I was wrong in talking this way and apologized for it, and I'll do so again.

Marx is reported to have said, "I am not a Marxist." Presumably Marxism wasn't what he intended his philosophy to be interpreted as. It should be noted the Lenin himself did not agree with all of Marx's observations, and in the Soviet Union only censored versions of Das Kapital were available.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Caoimhin » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:42 pm

Don't do this, it makes you look condescending. It's always better to think the people you're talking to know what they're going on about.

As for communism, didn't Marx write that a truly communist state could only emerge out of one that had gone through capitalism? I don't think mainly rural Russia under a monarch quite fulfilled that which is why they didn't call the new nation communist in the title.
I already admitted I was wrong in talking this way and apologized for it, and I'll do so again.

Marx is reported to have said, "I am not a Marxist." Presumably Marxism wasn't what he intended his philosophy to be interpreted as. It should be noted the Lenin himself did not agree with all of Marx's observations, and in the Soviet Union only censored versions of Das Kapital were available.
I was wondering whether or not someone would mention Das Kapital, having not read it myself (yet, there is a copy in my house) I didn't want to mention it. Marx's economic theory was actually more concerned with capitalism than communism. Actually considering Marxism was a moniker later given to it, it could be argued he never actually studied communism, he helped shaped it. The Communist Manifesto was actually a side project for Marx, as I said, he was more of a capitalist theorist more than anything. In fact, economist still study Marx's theories concerning capitalism. He's basically been given a bad reputation for something he never even cared much for.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:26 pm

I haven't read Das Kapital, and even then I wouldn't be likely to understand much of it, especially as it wasn't written in English in the first place. Also, it would be tantamount to learning about vacuum-tube electronics, which has become mostly obsolete by now. Great minds can come up with right ideas but also with wrong ones. Galileo and Sigmund Freud were wrong on a number of things as well.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby osprey » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:33 pm

No way are the United States as socialist as other countries, the biggest factor being how the people fight any slight increase in tax tooth and nail, no matter what the cause.
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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:42 am

No way are the United States as socialist as other countries, the biggest factor being how the people fight any slight increase in tax tooth and nail, no matter what the cause.
Probably because said tax increases aren't slight and don't necessarily go to where they're supposed to.

There's the matter of regulation on industries and such. For more than a century, telephone service in the USA was entirely provided by AT&T, a private company and a monopoly but a heavily regulated one. In the 1980's thanks to advancing technology, this monopoly became obsolete and AT&T was broken up. In my home state of Illinois, utilities are provided by private companies, some of which (gas and electricity) are monopolies, but they are heavily regulated. Of course said companies often try to fight regulations, and consumer groups such as CUB (I am a member of it) fight against the companies' fights.

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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby osprey » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:44 am

No way are the United States as socialist as other countries, the biggest factor being how the people fight any slight increase in tax tooth and nail, no matter what the cause.
Probably because said tax increases aren't slight and don't necessarily go to where they're supposed to.

There's the matter of regulation on industries and such. For more than a century, telephone service in the USA was entirely provided by AT&T, a private company and a monopoly but a heavily regulated one. In the 1980's thanks to advancing technology, this monopoly became obsolete and AT&T was broken up. In my home state of Illinois, utilities are provided by private companies, some of which (gas and electricity) are monopolies, but they are heavily regulated. Of course said companies often try to fight regulations, and consumer groups such as CUB (I am a member of it) fight against the companies' fights.
So you're basically saying you support a Socialist-style regulation of big business?
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Re: Something isn't right....

Postby Tom_Radigan » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:30 am

No way are the United States as socialist as other countries, the biggest factor being how the people fight any slight increase in tax tooth and nail, no matter what the cause.
Probably because said tax increases aren't slight and don't necessarily go to where they're supposed to.

There's the matter of regulation on industries and such. For more than a century, telephone service in the USA was entirely provided by AT&T, a private company and a monopoly but a heavily regulated one. In the 1980's thanks to advancing technology, this monopoly became obsolete and AT&T was broken up. In my home state of Illinois, utilities are provided by private companies, some of which (gas and electricity) are monopolies, but they are heavily regulated. Of course said companies often try to fight regulations, and consumer groups such as CUB (I am a member of it) fight against the companies' fights.
So you're basically saying you support a Socialist-style regulation of big business?
In this case these are monopoly businesses. I can't honestly say if they're superior to government-owned and run services, such as the U. S. Mail.

Of course there are certain services that essentially must be run by the government, such as police and judicial systems. In Philadelphia, the city formed its own public fire fighting service, because the various volunteer fire fighting services often got into each others' way and even had to fight over fire hydrants. Putting the city in charge meant the firefighters could be sent in a coordinated matter to whatever conflagaration had to be dealt with.


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