Socialism: Threat or Menace?

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #34069

    Unseen
    Participant

    Clearly, when a lot of people hear the word “socialism” all they can think of is Russia, China, Cuba, N. Korea, Venezuela and even the Nazis (the National Socialists). And of course, those are all examples of terrible and repressive regimes, intolerant of dissent.

    You can’t talk to anyone on the right, it seems, without being instructed that Stalin probably killed more of his own country’s citizens than all of the people killed in Hitler’s concentration camps, and that socialism may start out appearing benign but sooner or later dissidents will be rounded up for reeducation or to be killed and the food shortages will begin.

    So, is that inevitable?

    And what about capitalism? Prof. Wolff below will argue that capitalism has an essential flaw: it is unstable and on average every few years its house of cards collapses resulting business failures, lost jobs and wages, and homelessness, with public health taking a hard hit. He will point out that capitalism inevitable concentrates wealth unfairly, often with wealthy people collecting their booty passively while the people who actually produce, the workers, watch the wealth gap widen apace.

    Wolff’s interlocutor is a libertarian proponent of capitalism.

    I offer this debate as a starting point:

    #34070

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    To the question: “Socialism: Threat or Menace?” my answer is simply: “Yes.”

    I heard a preacher say: “Socialism only works in two places: Heaven, where they don’t need it, and Hell, where they already have it.”

    I replied to myself: “Well since neither of those places exist, then it doesn’t work at all.  Check and mate.”

    Of course, the preacher also didn’t realize that Socialistic economics is baked into both Testiments of The Holy Bible.  For instance, The Old Testiment has not working on the Sabbath, not making or using certain products like mixed fabrics, not eating or using certain animals, not charging interests on loans, mandatory forgiveness of debts every 7 years, justifications for slave labor, execution for thoughtcrimes.  The New Testiment has The Sermon on the Mount which says we can live like lilies and beasts of the field without work or effort and basically to “Trust God, She’ll provide.”  There’s all the sayings and Parables against justly-acquired wealth and the rich, there’s Jesus breaking bad on merchants and moneychangers.  And, of course, in both Testiments, God destroys everything and everybody except his elect few.

    Socialism: It’s all there in The Holy Bible…complete with all of Jesus’ words printed in red.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Space and spelling, not possible with stone tablets
    #34072

    Unseen
    Participant

    Isn’t it ironic that statistics of people killed by socialism (which comes in a wide variety of flavors) is often proffered by people who are ignorant of or are eager to forget how many people historical capitalism has killed. It’s been estimated that the British colonization of India alone killed around 14 million Indians over their dominion there. A dominion driven solely by the profit motive and treating the country of India and those unfortunate enough to live there as a capitalist resource.

    That’s just one colony of the British Empire, ane empire which had a vast presence around the world where it’s safe to assume they killed many millions more, probably impoverishing most of the rest.

    They may have been the most widespread and prosperous of such empires, but many European countries operated similar capitalist enterprises on a smaller scale. France, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, and Germany quickly come to mind as colonizers on various scales, most likely with records sadly similar in type of not scale to Britain.

    Be careful when you bring up headcounts of the deceased.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Unseen.
    #34076

    Davis
    Moderator

    Comparing modern European mixed system socialism with Nazi socialism or Soviet Socialism or Latin-American-Bolivarian-Socialism is like comparing Islamic-capitalism (think Dubia) with American style brutalist capitalism with Scandanavian style Capitalism with Chinese style pseudo-free-market-but-still-tyrranical-capitalism. It doesn’t make any sense to compare them with one another if you actually want to learn about how viable one or the other is.

    Soviet socialism is NOT european-mixed-socialism. They are different universes. European mixed socialism respects the driving force behind capitalism, attempts to correct the errors by providing social services to those who cannot or do not benefit from it and deeply respects human rights and democratic principles. Anybody who is against European-mixed-system-socialism because they think its sovietesque doesn’t know what the fuck they are talking about and have been successfully bullied by American conservative talking points into believing whatever they are told. The likely would highly benefit from the social services offer but vote against their interests for various reasons. European socialist countries have healthy economies, strong human rights, social programs that don’t immorally let people rot in the gutter to death and usually benefit from the lower crime and higher quality of life that comes with it (the more programs they have the more they benefit). To not want to have all of that is to be willfully driven by a deranged cruel and radical-libertarian ideology.

    #34078

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    The original free-market Capitalist Adam Smith, as well as Manchester School free-marketeers Richard Cobden and John Bright all opposed Colonialism on both moral and economic grounds.

    They pointed out rightly that it is always cheaper in terms of fiscal and manpower expense to trade than to forcibly occupy a nation.  They equally opposed slavery on similar grounds.

    #34079

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Davis,

    You may want to carefully read my post above.  You’ll never find my critique of Biblical Socialism from Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and anyone on Fox News, nor Glenn Beck and anyone on Blaze.tv, nor Dennis Prager, Sebastian Gorka, or anyone on the Salem Witch-Burner Radio Network.

    (John Stossel has been an able defender of both Secularism and Free-Market Economics, but has yet to combine the two.  Maybe someday he will and it’ll be great viewing.)

    As for European-style “Democratic Socialism,” they can only do what they do because they are under the umbrella of U.S. defense and don’t have to pay for all of their own.

    If that ever changed and the U.S. had to withdraw from NATO, (always a possibility, given our monstrous National Debt,) then the governments of Europe might have to choose between guns and butter, and government butter might take the cut.

    European citizens might have to churn their own butter, work 40 hours a week instead of 33 and retire later.  And French waiters might have to actually learn courtesy to get market share for their restaurants.

    Europeans also have to deal with Value-Added Taxes (VATs) which tax goods at every point from manufacture to warehouse to distribution to retail sale.  That has to be the most anti-poor and anti-middle-class policy any government could impose.

    The evidence just doesn’t lead me to any flavor of Socialism, whether National, International, Communist, Democratic, or American Populist.

    #34081

    Davis
    Moderator

    Thanks for that Eco. That was utterly hilarious. Can’t remember the last time I rolled my eyes that much. Oh thank you great American saviour for protecting us from the worlds boogeymen. Your uncountable military conflicts around the world have certainly made Europe a safer place and your escapades in the Middle East (and the unleashing of Iraqi, Afghani and Syrian terrorists and ISIS) have brought down lots of lovely Jihhaddist attacks on a monthly if not weekly basis in Europe which wouldn’t have been possible without your military intervention. Why there were already three in the last seven days in France and Austria. Thank you so much America. Without you we wouldn’t have to worry about constant beheadings and cars plowing into crows. Why just last week I passed through a train station that was blown up a month after you invaded Iraq and three months ago I passed through an airport that was also blown up by angry ISIS agents who were made possible through your totally necessary second gulf war. You make it possible for us to live our socialist paradise. Your absurd ridiculous preposterous overspending on the military facilitates it…so once again, thank you America so much, that a large portion of you live in poverty without labour protections and social assistance so we can. We should all make a pilgrimage to America so we can kiss some generals ass as a thank you. If only more countries would sacrifice their standard of living so they could absurdly overspend on their military. Europe would be even safer and enjoy even more weekly terrorist events but at least we could all retire at the age of 40.

    #34082

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think it’s time to pop some popcorn.

    #34087

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    Popcorn sounds good, but more for the entertainment of the soap-boxers at Hyde Park, not for Pay-Per-View.

    Davis is like my Nephew.  Best to just let him go on, and then breathe deep, sigh, and say: “He’ll learn if he’s going to.” 🧘‍♂️

    #34088

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    And who’s Eco? 🤔

    #34095

    Davis
    Moderator

    A deflection, not addressing the points, making a joke instead of responding. It’s what I expected. Please don’t let me stop you repeating nonsense conservative talking points.

    #34136

    Unseen
    Participant

    Davis is like my Nephew.  Best to just let him go on, and then breathe deep, sigh, and say: “He’ll learn if he’s going to.”

    Davis can’t say anything in 100 words if it can be said in 1,000. And I guess in Belgian schools, they don’t teach paragraphing.

    #34139

    Glen D
    Participant

    @unseen

    “Isn’t it ironic that statistics of people killed by socialism (which comes in a wide variety of flavors) is often proffered by people who are ignorant of or are eager to forget how many people historical capitalism has killed. ”

    I’m not convinced that Socialism, Capitalism or Socialism have killed anybody. Nor indeed has atheism. None of those concepts entail murder. However, it’s easy for people to make such claims by way of rationalisation or facile criticism.

    Fascism on the other hand is  different animal, under Nazism especially.   Ex judicial murder, massacres, and finally genocide became part of Nazi ideolog based on the then widely accepted concepts of racialism and eugenics.

    Stalin and Mao were each responsible for tens of millions of deaths, by murder or deliberate neglect . However, my understanding of  ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Capital’  leave me bemused. It’s hard for me  to reconcile such behaviour with  that of any  authoritarian  leader in any state which called itself  ‘communist’

     

    Upton Sinclair defined Fascism as “capitalism plus murder”. Has always sounded about right to  me.

    #34143

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’m not convinced that Socialism, Capitalism or Socialism have killed anybody. Nor indeed has atheism. None of those concepts entail murder. However, it’s easy for people to make such claims by way of rationalisation or facile criticism.

    Well, you can’t show a causal connection between smoking tobacco and lung cancer, either. All you can do is refer to a statistical correlation and apply common sense logic.

    Likewise, wherever the Communist cult of socialism has reared its ugly head, people have tended to die political deaths in large numbers for dogmatic reasons. Likewise, wherever colonial capitalism has reared its ugly head people tended to die as well, only in greater numbers.

    #34147

    Davis
    Moderator

    Encognitaor…do you still stand by your claim that the US hyperoverspending in the military has helped make Europe safer (considering your military adventures in the Middle East has clearly made life more dangerous for us?). Considering military numbers in Europe are 50,000,000 I’m curious which country would invade Europe if the US wasn’t around? And what makes you think the US would help Europe if it was invaded anyways consider the US did NOTHING when Russia invaded Ukraine. Your idea that funding social programs must take away from other spending is also ridiculous. These programs are self sustaining. They increase education and thus the economy, they heavily reduce crime and thus spending on the judicial or policing, they add handicap workers to the economy and reduce pointless deaths and poverty that comes from lack of free-health care. But again, please don’t let these facts get in the way of your conservative talking points.

    Also, it was nice to finally see a post that didn’t begin with “fellow unbelievers” … which sounds like a US conservative radio talk show.

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