First GOP Debate!
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15-08-2015, 12:38 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(15-08-2015 12:22 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(15-08-2015 12:14 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Does the Communist Manifesto count? According to it, socialist organisation is bottom-up. The Soviet Union was a top-down oligarchy.

Don't know, didn't read.

How exactly are you going to learn what socialism is without looking at the documents calalysing its foundation as an ideology?

It'd be like claiming to know what Christianity is about without reading the Bible...

Oh. Wait.

(15-08-2015 12:22 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  So we would have two different (?) definitions.

What other definition of socialism is there, besides the one socialists would give?

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15-08-2015, 12:44 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(15-08-2015 12:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(15-08-2015 12:22 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  So we would have two different (?) definitions.

What other definition of socialism is there, besides the one socialists would give?

About the same number that proponents and various opponents of 'liberal' would give.

Or as the proponents and opponents of "atheism" would give.

Wink

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15-08-2015, 12:49 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
Wow, I step away for a few minutes to talk to a customer, and come back to PAGES! Tongue

(15-08-2015 12:15 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(15-08-2015 11:51 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  The United Soviet Socialist Republic was United and Soviet but not so much a republic in any real way and was far closer to a state run oligarchy than Socialist.
It was Socialist. If Sanders start to take 90% of your income it will be socialist.
You will live the same way as all people lived in the USSR.

You mean the way President Eisenhower took 90% of top incomes? Was Ike a socialist?

http://news.yahoo.com/eisenhower-obama-w...NlYwNzcg--

(15-08-2015 12:15 PM)Alla Wrote:  1)You will have free healthcare(crappy) but still health care. You will have to bribe doctors so they can give you good healthcare.
Doctors in the USSR were great and talented but not very rich. Of course, if you pay 90% of you income to people like Sanders.


What do you mean, "to people like Sanders"? You think he gets the money?? I'm going to assume you just mean "to the government". There's a pretty good link between spending taxes for public use and the overall happiness of the society, when you're not in an oppressive nation like the USSR.

Denmark is the happiest population on earth, yet they have a tax rate of 61.03% (or 46% for lower brackets).

(15-08-2015 12:15 PM)Alla Wrote:  2)You will have free education - schools, Universities, you name it. Great education. High level education. But, what good comes from it if by becoming an engineer and even a great engineer you are going to be poor? 90% of your income goes to people like Sanders?
Oh, because it is free for all people not all people can get in. Too many people. You have pass very hard tests. Or you can bribe people in the University.
The smart guy will be out but you who bribe will be in.

You want colleges where people don't have to pass "very hard tests" to get in? I'd say that pay-for-education is one of the biggest issues with the American education system today, in that colleges continue to dumb-down curricula in order to draw in more paying customers. When education is treated like a commodity for sale, you can expect colleges to act like businesses rather than places of education.

Secondly, even if I assume the 90% figure you expect Sanders to impose, the point of taxes is to provide services in return. You can quibble about efficiency, but in the end, it doesn't make a difference if I pay only 20% of my income to taxes (I'm assuming this ballpark is what you have in mind) if I am forced to pay another 20% to corporations in the form of insurance/meds, 25% to housing, and 25% to other bills of various sorts, leaving me with your same 10% income for my food and personal use. More importantly, there's good evidence that setting the system up so that corporations get to pocket what would otherwise go to taxes helps artificially inflate prices and keeps us poorer than we'd be (in terms of disposable income) if we were in a more-socialist setup akin to Denmark, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison...ted_States

Indeed, Alla, based on your previous (not just the above) comments, I recommend that you read the above article and this one, so you at least have a better idea about how to use the terms, and what they mean.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialized_medicine


(15-08-2015 12:15 PM)Alla Wrote:  3)You will have free housing. You live in the house or apartment that is free for all your life. WOW! Great! But what if you do not like this house? what if you want to live in different place? what if your family grows and you need bigger place?
You can't sell it.

We said back then: socialism is when everything is everybody's which means it is NOBODY's.
You have everything but nothing is yours. No, wait, may be your cat or your dog or your coat is really yours. Big Grin

I don't think anyone is advocating for flat-out communism, here; even the heavily-socialist nations of which I speak, like France, Sweden, and Denmark, don't have anything like the system you're talking about... so it's a bit of a straw man.

An aside, to Szuchow - You're right, it was Stalin, not Lenin. Again with trying to dredge up memories of stuff I read 20 years ago. It's the age of Google; I need to learn to check! Tongue

The reason I call it a religion is that Soviet-style communism/socialism weren't JUST socialism, but tacked on a bunch of quasi-religious notions as part of its culture, and behaved in many ways like a theocracy, rather than a republic, as it claimed to be. Yet no one quibbles when I say it wasn't much of a republic, only when I say it was terrible as an example of communism. I think, like the Nazis make such good examples of pure evil, the evils of the Soviet/Leninist-style communist governments make for an easy target for our hatred (rightfully so), and thus we enjoy them as emotional/rhetorical bogeymen.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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15-08-2015, 12:50 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(15-08-2015 12:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  How exactly are you going to learn what socialism is without looking at the documents calalysing its foundation as an ideology?

By studing history? By comparing events with other definitions?

(15-08-2015 12:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  It'd be like claiming to know what Christianity is about without reading the Bible...

Oh. Wait.

Christianity is just another story used to control others. No need reading Bible to see it.

(15-08-2015 12:38 PM)cjlr Wrote:  What other definition of socialism is there, besides the one socialists would give?

One that I supplied. It isn't necessarily right, but what stops socialist from defining socialism as something so good that nothing wrong could be said about this? There is no problem in saying that USSR wasn't socialist, but for me it smacks of no true scotsman fallacy.

Having said that I not dogmatic about it. When I hear good arguments for USSR being for example state capitalism country I could change my mind. I have yet too see one.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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15-08-2015, 12:59 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(15-08-2015 12:49 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  An aside, to Szuchow - You're right, it was Stalin, not Lenin. Again with trying to dredge up memories of stuff I read 20 years ago. It's the age of Google; I need to learn to check! Tongue

No problem. Also if I remember right Trotsky did disagreed with Lenin.

(15-08-2015 12:49 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  The reason I call it a religion is that Soviet-style communism/socialism weren't JUST socialism, but tacked on a bunch of quasi-religious notions as part of its culture, and behaved in many ways like a theocracy, rather than a republic, as it claimed to be.

I agree that it was religion, cult of personality is good argument for this. Also I agree with USSR being kinda theocracy.

So you think USSR was socialist?

(15-08-2015 12:49 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yet no one quibbles when I say it wasn't much of a republic, only when I say it was terrible as an example of communism. I think, like the Nazis make such good examples of pure evil, the evils of the Soviet/Leninist-style communist governments make for an easy target for our hatred (rightfully so), and thus we enjoy them as emotional/rhetorical bogeymen.

They could and are used as tool for propagandist.

Back to the socialism - I think that denying that USSR was socialist have something to do with avoiding blame for what happened there, like fearing the accusation that if you're socialist then you agree with Lenin and Stalin methods.

I think USSR was socialist. But so what? It did not mean that modern countries with socialist elemenst are bad, it's just mean that ideas can be used to justify violence.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-08-2015, 01:15 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
Yes, the USSR was socialist, in the "transitioning to communism" sense that the term was originally used in Lenin's writings (the infamous "five-year plans"), and in the sense that the state owned everything. No argument. The issue here is that we're using it ("we" being Alla) as a bludgeon to say, "when you have communism/socialism, THIS is what you get...", and in that regard, I think the USSR is a terrible example, because it derailed the entire principle of what socialism was supposed to be, namely "power to the people".

The modern definition of socialism, as used in Italy, France, Sweden, etc, is quite a bit different... and in that respect, all nations are socialist to varying degrees. When I worked for the Department of Environment, I pointed out to an anti-socialism colleague that technically, what we were doing was socialism, in a way: the government owned the Bureau of Environmental Field Services for which we worked, and paid us to do a job that was for the public good, but which no for-profit company would ever do. The military and the Postal Service are examples of something that could be done for-profit, but which works better as a government entity, or as a government entity in competition with private versions in the latter case, which I think is healthier than just-government or just-private-companies alone.

In short, I think that a semi-capitalist, semi-socialist system is the best way to go. I think if you're too far down the scale of privatization or communism, there's not enough in the way of checks-and-balances, and you get corruption due unchecked power.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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15-08-2015, 01:27 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(15-08-2015 01:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Yes, the USSR was socialist, in the "transitioning to communism" sense that the term was originally used in Lenin's writings (the infamous "five-year plans"), and in the sense that the state owned everything. No argument. The issue here is that we're using it ("we" being Alla) as a bludgeon to say, "when you have communism/socialism, THIS is what you get...", and in that regard, I think the USSR is a terrible example, because it derailed the entire principle of what socialism was supposed to be, namely "power to the people".

So we're in agreement about USSR being socialist.

As for second part equaling socialism with tragedy is silly, though such thinking isn't exactly uncommon.

Sure, it didn't work in USSR but it doesn't mean that it won't work elsewhere. Conditions aren't the same.

(15-08-2015 01:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  The modern definition of socialism, as used in Italy, France, Sweden, etc, is quite a bit different... and in that respect, all nations are socialist to varying degrees. When I worked for the Department of Environment, I pointed out to an anti-socialism colleague that technically, what we were doing was socialism, in a way: the government owned the Bureau of Environmental Field Services for which we worked, and paid us to do a job that was for the public good, but which no for-profit company would ever do. The military and the Postal Service are examples of something that could be done for-profit, but which works better as a government entity, or as a government entity in competition with private versions in the latter case, which I think is healthier than just-government or just-private-companies alone.

I find nothing to disagree with Wink

(15-08-2015 01:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  In short, I think that a semi-capitalist, semi-socialist system is the best way to go. I think if you're too far down the scale of privatization or communism, there's not enough in the way of checks-and-balances, and you get corruption due unchecked power.

I think you're right. Problem is how exactly this proportion should look and what it's possible to be done.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-08-2015, 01:33 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(15-08-2015 01:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  When I worked for the Department of Environment,
Oh, FAT cat EPA
(15-08-2015 01:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I pointed out to an anti-socialism colleague that technically, what we were doing was socialism, in a way: the government owned the Bureau of Environmental Field Services for which we worked, and paid us to do a job that was for the public good, but which no for-profit company would ever do.
Yes, they do work for public good. But I think they can take it easy a little bit.
(15-08-2015 01:15 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  In short, I think that a semi-capitalist, semi-socialist system is the best way to go. I think if you're too far down the scale of privatization or communism, there's not enough in the way of checks-and-balances, and you get corruption due unchecked power.
I can agree with this.
I will respond to your other arguments later. I have to read first links you recommended.

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15-08-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
(14-08-2015 08:06 PM)Alla Wrote:  
(14-08-2015 06:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  Nope. Canada gives people a better chance.
Do you live in Canada?

I have.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-08-2015, 01:45 PM
RE: First GOP Debate!
Fat cat EPA? I worked for a state environment department, first of all, not the federal one, but I did send my reports to both the state capital and to the EPA.

With all due respect, I think you've been sold some very bad propaganda about the EPA and what it is, how it works, etc.

As for "fat cat", I made $29,800 a year plus per-diem while out on the road (about $100/week "extra" in tax-free income for what I spent on food and supplies while on the road). Even the highest-paid people with PhDs in our department barely made over $50K. Hardly fat-cats. It's not the reason you do such work. You do such work because you don't like agricultural mega-corporations poisoning your water supplies, or mining companies destroying ecosystems, just so they can make a bigger profit... and believe me, they will do EXACTLY that, the instant you stop watching them. Anyone who advocates for a smaller EPA is either insane or works for/profits from large corporations.

I'm not anti-business/anti-corporation; I simply recognize that they are sociopaths in the sense that their only motivation is profit. If you charge them $50,000 a day for dumping carcinogens in the water, and they can make $75,000/day by doing it, they'll cut a check daily. I have seen it! Indeed, when I got cancer in 2008 at the age of 31, I figured it was a direct result of all the chemical-laden streams/rivers I have had to crawl through, taking samples for analysis.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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