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Why we get so hung up on what Socialism is...I think.

Posted by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM
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3 moms liked this

I was doing some reading yesterday...looking up what I could find about the New Party, what they stood for, who they backed, who they linked to from their (archived) website...and I learned something I didn't know.  The Socialist Party USA, and the Democratic Socialists of America define socialism different from the Socialist Organizer Party, and they all consider their group to be socialist.  No wonder it's so confusing!

What I found out, from their websites, is that the Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Party USA would ultimately like to see an end to capitalism altogether, but not replace that with a completely government run state.  They see more of a communal utopia in which everyone provides what they can, and does it because they want to for the good of society...not because of a financial incentive.  

"Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives."

The question I have with this point is...what makes democratic socialists think that the government won't swoop in and decide that they can run the 'consumer goods industries' better than the co-ops?  We are seeing this now in the form of excessive regulations in small businesses and family farms.  If you think that capitalism creates a power structure based on greed, just wait until the government has the ultimate power over everything.  You can't choose not to buy from the government, because that will be your only choice.

Then you've got the Socialist Organizer Party.  They go even further in that they don't want anything to do with capitalism OR the current government.  And I'm thinking they also want to see this worldwide?  Not sure how that would work since we can't seem to get along with a lot of other countries, and I'm pretty sure that the dictators are not going to want to give up their luxurious palace to work out in the field.  I guess they could kill all the dictators, but that would require a strong military and masterful organization...who knows...maybe they have a plan for that.

"The central objective of Socialist Organizer is the overthrow of capitalism, the establishment of a workers’ government, and the creation of a worldwide socialist economy run democratically by and for working people."

And then you have the 'socialism' that most capitalists define as any sort of excessive government control of the market.  This is why we all get so hung up on 'what socialism is' or if Obama is a socialist.  There are a ton of different definitions based on who you most identify with.  Maybe it's time for a new word.  LOL  I can see why socialists get hung up on the whole 'Obama is a Socialist' thing though.  The current economy is both capitalist and socialist.  We have both elements here, and Obama plays both sides of the fence.  

What us capitalists are afraid of is the growing rate of government control on both business and our personal choices.  And this is where the 'Obama is a Socialist' thing comes into play.  Us capitalists see the growing size of government to be an inevitable move toward Socialism (the kind that is full of government mandates and so much control over our lives that we are no longer diverse...we are all the exact same bureaucratically defined image of a good and happy individual.)  What we see happening is a constant justification of big government for the purpose of restraining big business.  The problem is, imo, who's going to restrain big government?  Most of us can agree that most of them are idiots, yet we are letting them pick and choose what our lives should look like.  I don't get it.

I'm sure there are other views/definitions of what you all think socialism and capitalism represent, and what you believe to be the ideal vision of our country, but I just wanted to share what I've been thinking.

--------------------------------------------
You don't have to be judgmental and be like "Oh, he's using his freedom the wrong way!  I want him to use his freedom the way I use my freedom!"  You can't do that. You have to be tolerant.  People say "Oh no, you can't be tolerant. What if they do something you don't like?" Tolerance does not mean endorsement.  -- Ron Paul
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 3:23 PM
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lylalane7275
by Silver Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 3:52 PM
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I saw a recent video of Bill Ayres where he stated that he woke up everyday saying "this is the day we end capitalism".  He did not go on to explain what he had in mind to do instead of, and I never understood.

 I guess we still don't completely know what Obama, Ayres, or any Socialist member has in mind but I'm not okay with any of the options stated in the OP.                       Thanks for posting this.

Debrowsky
by Gold Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 4:11 PM
3 moms liked this

That was a pretty good run down of what people are thinking.  I like this paragraph because this is what I see taking place.  

"What us capitalists are afraid of is the growing rate of government control on both business and our personal choices.  And this is where the 'Obama is a Socialist' thing comes into play.  Us capitalists see the growing size of government to be an inevitable move toward Socialism (the kind that is full of government mandates and so much control over our lives that we are no longer diverse...we are all the exact same bureaucratically defined image of a good and happy individual.)  What we see happening is a constant justification of big government for the purpose of restraining big business.  The problem is, imo, who's going to restrain big government?  Most of us can agree that most of them are idiots, yet we are letting them pick and choose what our lives should look like.  I don't get it."


Sisteract
by Socialist Hippie on Jun. 8, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Are you folks also afraid of the 75 people who control all markets-globally as well as within the US- they control entire governments and monetary systems. Their money determines elections and policies made.

Unless you're one of these people you have little control. Do you have money in the stock market? Do you watch those swings?

How do you truly get ahead when you (general) have so little control?

Loss of control is why people are angry and volatile.

Romney is Obama- nothing will change no matter who is elected- those 75 people control everything.


PamR
by Platinum Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Obama is so not a socialist, the comparison is comical.

Ayers wanting to end capitalism was in his Weather Underground days?  There were a lot of young people back then who had the same philosophy.  Note that it didn't happen. 

itsmesteph11
by Silver Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:46 PM
2 moms liked this

What I found out, from their websites, is that the Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Party USA would ultimately like to see an end to capitalism altogether, but not replace that with a completely government run state. They see more of a communal utopia in which everyone provides what they can, and does it because they want to for the good of society...not because of a financial incentive"

A world full of hippie communes..... Great.  Personally, I don't like either definition and there is no such animal as utopia.   I don't see Obama trying to "commune" the country. Guess he is a "true" socialist not a New Party socialist after all.

lylalane7275
by Silver Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:49 PM
1 mom liked this

No, he was at an Occupy Wall Street rally, so it was within the last year.  The clip was about OWS, and they just asked him for a comment since he was there.

Quoting PamR:

Obama is so not a socialist, the comparison is comical.

Ayers wanting to end capitalism was in his Weather Underground days?  There were a lot of young people back then who had the same philosophy.  Note that it didn't happen. 


PamR
by Platinum Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM
1 mom liked this

OK, I tihnk Ayers may need to move on to something else.  Capitalism is here to stay.  This country is not going to become socialist.

asfriend
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:54 PM
6 moms liked this

 

Quoting lylalane7275:

I saw a recent video of Bill Ayres where he stated that he woke up everyday saying "this is the day we end capitalism".  He did not go on to explain what he had in mind to do instead of, and I never understood.

 I guess we still don't completely know what Obama, Ayres, or any Socialist member has in mind but I'm not okay with any of the options stated in the OP.                       Thanks for posting this.

I think that we do have a pretty good idea of what they what.

If we listen to the people that either counsel or are in the administration, and just believe what they say, we know.

We know that Cass Sustein and the others in the labor movement want the complete other throw of privately held business, and would prefer a combination of worker/government controlled industries, a true workers of the world unite. We know that Van Jones and his followers also want the overthrow of capitalism and replace t would some type of "green" world complete with reparations. We know that Mark Lloyd wants to silence all opposition by controlling speech.  We know that Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama want single payer health care. It goes on and on.

They tell us what they want, all we have to do is listen.

asfriend
by on Jun. 8, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I hate those 75 people.

Quoting Sisteract:

Are you folks also afraid of the 75 people who control all markets-globally as well as within the US- they control entire governments and monetary systems. Their money determines elections and policies made.

Unless you're one of these people you have little control. Do you have money in the stock market? Do you watch those swings?

How do you truly get ahead when you (general) have so little control?

Loss of control is why people are angry and volatile.

Romney is Obama- nothing will change no matter who is elected- those 75 people control everything.



imagirlgeek
by Bronze Member on Jun. 8, 2012 at 6:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm not sure exactly who the 75 people are.  Like, billionaires?  Oil execs?  Hedge Fund managers? Like...New World Order?  Please know that I'm not ridiculing (I just read that back and think it could be interpreted as snark), I'm just trying not to assume to know what you mean.

If you are just using '75' as an example of a small(ish) number of people controlling the entire economy, then yeah, I have no doubt that is occurring.  And it's been like that since, well, the Rockefellers...maybe even before that.  And I'm not saying that it's right, or okay, but I don't know that eliminating capitalism is the way to change that.  I am angry that the banks got bailouts, and that money drives elections, but how is putting the government in charge of everything going to fix that?  It just gives us less choice.  It just changes the faces, and eliminates the middle man.

I have control of my life, for the most part, right now.  The way it is today, I can keep doing the job I do, or I can go work for someone else.  I can start my own business if I want.  I can buy some books and study new technologies to move into different roles, or up the ladder.  I can take some night classes to further my education if I want.  That's how I got ahead, anyway.  I literally bought a book.  It cost me $50 and I learned about computer hardware.  Then I took 6 night classes at the local community college, and got a certificate.  It's not a degree, but it got my foot in the door.  I gradually went in the software direction, slowly increasing my value, and now I do a job I love for a company I love.  I know this doesn't happen for everyone, but I'm just sharing to show that all I started with was a $50 book and I made a career.

For the record, I'm not a fan of Obama or Romney.  

All this is to say that as much as I hate big business and big government working together against us, I REALLY hate dealing with the government.  I don't know what your situation is, maybe you've been in a bind and an agency was able to help you out, I don't know.  But every single time I've had to deal with them, it's been slow and painful and even scary sometimes (I have an IRS story that would blow your mind).  I'm not looking to give them any more access to my world than I absolutely have to.

Quoting Sisteract:

Are you folks also afraid of the 75 people who control all markets-globally as well as within the US- they control entire governments and monetary systems. Their money determines elections and policies made.

Unless you're one of these people you have little control. Do you have money in the stock market? Do you watch those swings?

How do you truly get ahead when you (general) have so little control?

Loss of control is why people are angry and volatile.

Romney is Obama- nothing will change no matter who is elected- those 75 people control everything.



--------------------------------------------
You don't have to be judgmental and be like "Oh, he's using his freedom the wrong way!  I want him to use his freedom the way I use my freedom!"  You can't do that. You have to be tolerant.  People say "Oh no, you can't be tolerant. What if they do something you don't like?" Tolerance does not mean endorsement.  -- Ron Paul
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