Being a socialist in america

aka “rutherless criticism of everything that exists”

So, here it is, I’ve been around for a little while. I’ve participated in threads, started threads, insulted people, and been insulted. Yet, there still seems to be some confusion on what Socialists actually believe and how they actually see the world. If I’m compared to a liberal one more time I think I will fucking scream. Where is this leading…
I’ve decided to start a thread… The title seems pretty self explanatory. But, there is a difference. Threads similar to this have been started before, they usually end up being a devate between 3-4 people on how socialism can or can’t work.
I do not want that. I want as many people as possible to be able to participate. I want as many people as possible to be able to state that they think I’m a cracker moron. As such I’m posting some ground rules.

  1. This thread is what it’s like being a socialist, not how socialism will work. Any questions or posts in reference to socialism not being able to work will be ignored. As Blanqi so elegantly stated “One of our most qrotesque presumptions is that we barbarians, we ignoramuses, pose as legislators for future generations” Don’t think I’m ignoring the issue, I’m just banishing it from this thread until a later point. Once I read “The Fatal Conceit” recomended by Libertarian, I will start that thread.

  2. You can ask me any historical questions, but again I’m going to try and not let this get bogged down in a debate on some minute point. It’s more for people to understand what exactly socialists think, how they act, to see what makes us tick.

  3. I may or may not change the grounds of the debate at any time, as the OP I reserve that right. I also reserve the right to use obscure acronyms without explanation of what they mean. TCMSU

So we will see. Is there any interest on what Socialists have to say on the environment, gore, the death penalty, distrust of government, art? We will see. If not so be it.

Also since this is my thread, I’m goingto start with a quote that I’ve always liked but never found occasion to post.
In fact I think it’s a quote most people on the board can agree with.

“…with the lack of one freedom all other freedoms become illusory. Every form of freedom conditions the others, just as every bodily member affects every other. Every time one form of freedom is rejected, it is freedom that is rejected and deprived of any semblance of life; after that, pure chance will decide what will be the butt of unfreedom’s overweening power. Unfreedom then becomes the rule, and freedom an exception to chance and arbitrariness. Thus there is nothing more topsy-turvy to believe, when it is a question of a special existence-form of freedom, that this is a special question. It is the general question within a special sphere. Freedom remains freedom, whether it expresses itself in printer’s ink or land or conscience or a political assembly.”

At the rate the American government is headed toward being a “nanny state”, we’ll all be socialists in a couple of decades, whether we want to be or not.

So, Oldscratch, you are willing to state your position but not defend it? Hmmmm. HFWM.

I am looking forward to hearing the distinction between a socialist and liberal and what socialists want to accomplish.

Anybody who wishes to avoid insulting oldscratch by inadvertently lumping him in with us liberals :slight_smile: can do a little preliminary reading on core liberal positions here for purposes of comparison.

No I’m quite willing to defend my positions. I’m just saving the debate on whether or not socialism would work in the future, for another time.

Ahh. excellent. There is a big difference between socialists and communists in the sense of history, and in the snese of movements and what you are talking about. What you are referring to is as repugnant to socialists as it is to you. It falls under the heading state socialism, in the past it was referred to as Bonapartism. Not something I like at all. And, I would disagree with your premise. If anything America is moving further and further away from that. Look at the what happened to welfare and the talk of privatising social security among other things

That’s a tough one because it’s a very general question. I’m sure a defintion will be brought up through answers to specific questions. But, I’ll try.
Socialists believe that the “state” is a tool used by a minority of people to opress the majority. As such they are distrustfull of it and want it abolished. Hence we are against more prisons, gun control, stiffer penalties for criminals, protective trade laws, increased military spending, anything that makes it easier for the government to interfere in peoples private lives.

From Kimstu’s link: {quote]So what is a liberal? Consider the ideas of openness, reform, solutions, progress, equality, liberty, responsibility, and opportunity. These ideas are what constitute the make up of a liberal.

WOw, those are all of the things that conservatives are for! Amazing.

So, what political segment is for more government programs, redistribution of wealth and government owned companies and services?

Man Am I confused.

Scratch, who then controls the money. I am asssuming that if you are taking away government control, that means more privatized control? I thought that socialists would want the government to control industry. Not so?

Would socialists want more re-distribution of wealth? Greater social programs? Government owned businesses?

Man Am I confused.

Yeah, but you discovered a very cool way to do hard breaks.

Lib, “Hard breaks?” I don’t know what that means. Now I am REALLY confused.

Scratch said in the healthcare post

So, if the government has control of the police, the military AND healthcare, how are you decreasing the power of government? THis doesn’t seem to be philosphically coherent.

Am I in the bizzaro world?

Well, I know the conservatives are all for redistribution of wealth. They just want it all redistributed upwards. :smiley:

C’mon pld, everybody knows that they already have it all and will never, ever let anyone else get it. Why else would they need the Illuminati? :smiley:

what is the position of socialists on planned obsolescence of durable consumer goods?

Marx never said anything about it, Adam Smith never said anything about it. i think this capitalist, socialist, communist debate that goes on endlessly, is mostly intellectual drivel of people that don’t even agree on/understand the terms they are talking about. if you’re born in the united states you’re brainwashed into loving capitalism and hating communism without understanding either of them. the same thing applied in the old evil empire, just in reverse. i presume as a socialist you catch a lot of flak from dummies that don’t know what they are talking about. LOL! we’ll see how much flak that gets me.

i decided i’m a MACHIAVELLIAN LIBERTARIAN. the libertarians talk about SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVISM but i’ve never heard them mention planned obsolescence. it’s 30 years since the moon landing. how can anybody claiming to be scientifically objective not figure out the automobile industry is making trivial variations in mature technology? how much are americans losing anually in depreciation on this garbage?

                                          Dal Timgar

You assume that socialized medicine means taking control of the companies that make the medicine. It doesn’t.

Who you callin’ they, property boy? :wink:

ok. Now you’re getting into the tricky areas. Yes I’m for overthrowing the government. Here is a quote from Marx that sums up the socialist position rather well. Socialism mean freedom, but with the rise of representative democracy and capitalism “Man, therefore, was not freed from religion; he obtained freedom of religion. He was not freed from property; he obtained freedom of property. He was not freed from the egotism of business; he obtained freedom of business.”
In aother quote Marx goes on, (sorry I can’t find it at this time but I will paraphrase). We have obtained democracy in only one sense, we have democracy in poolitics, but what about democracy in economics. That is what socialim is for, true democracy of almost every aspect of life. How this relates to me sporting socialized health care I will touch upon in my next post, I’m out of time right now, and I want to send this off.

OK. So you are asking, how can oldscratch support socialized healthcare? Easy. You see a revolution is not something that can happen overnight, it requires many small steps. It has to be the conscious effort of the vast majority of the people. I support issues that increase people’s class consciousness and their willingness to take on the government.

A good example would be equal rights for religous minorites. Yes, I’m an atheist. I’m even anti-religious. I don’t believe people should be. You might make the case that I would support repressio of religion? No. I support struggle against the state and anything that brings people together.
If people fought for and won socialized health-care, they would get it that they could ight for and win other things. It would also implant in people’s mind that everyone is entitled to be provided with health care. That is a good idea.

The same goes for housing. Sure the UN resolution is stupid, but if people fight for that idea, they will come into conflict with the existing ideas of the day, it will expand their conciousness. Again a good thing.

Why did I oppose the attacks on welfare. They were the prong on a larger attack on social services and the idea of a safety net.

You can’t look at any issue as seperate, everything is connected. The simple litmus test is this “what will this do to further the cause of bringing about a revolution in america”.

OK, oldscratch.

You say you want a revolution?

Then what’s your position on the constitution? Tool of the capitalists? Toilet tissue? A good idea at the time, but now we need a housecleaning?

And I don’t see how you can call yourself a socialist unless you are in favor of public control of industry. We’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are a democratic socialist. You are, aren’t you? Or are you an advocate of dictatorship?

And if you are for public control of industry, then you obviously are for public/democratic ownership of industry, right? If not, why not?

And if you are for public ownership of industry, how is that compatible with your stated idea of decreasing government power?