Socialism

Why Are We Still Debating the 'Merits' of Socialism?

To understand socialism, one needn't fixate on its most-horrifying elements-gulags and executions. Think about the simple stuff. Like aspirin.

|

In the 1970s, my Dad flew from his home in Pennsylvania to a medical center in Houston to have a then-innovative bypass surgery that extended his life by more than three decades. At the same time, my wife's family was sending bottles of aspirin to their relatives in the Polish socialist paradise. That dichotomy—Americans receiving cutting-edge medical care even as Eastern Europeans were lacking the rudimentary medicines—always stuck in my mind as I've written about political systems.

To understand socialism, one needn't fixate on its most-horrifying elements—gulags, executions and endless repression. Think about the simple stuff.

After Boris Yeltsin joined the Soviet Politburo in 1989, he visited Johnson Space Center and stopped in a typical Texas grocery store. "When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people," he later wrote. At the time, Russians waited in line for whatever crumbs the bureaucrats would sell them.

Why are pundits and politicians talking about socialism again, 28 years after the fall of the Soviet Union? Donald Trump's vow that the United States would never become a socialist country got people talking. Good for him, even if he should stop praising and excusing North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who runs a communist dystopia often described as the "the world's biggest open prison camp."

The real reason for the renewed discussion, however, comes from politicians on the other side of the spectrum. It's apparently hip to be a socialist now, even among contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. A year before Yeltsin's U.S. visit, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took a strange trip to the Soviet Union. A video of the shirtless then-Burlington, Vt., mayor singing with his Soviet hosts as part of a sister-city event has gone viral. That was ages ago. What bothers me is what he—and others on the Democratic Left—have said more recently.

In an article headlined, "Sanders could face more scrutiny for socialist leanings," The Washington Post referred to the 2016 primary debate between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Sanders was asked by the moderator in Miami—a city filled with people who fled Cuban communism—about seemingly positive things he had said about Fidel Castro and Nicaragua's socialist strongman Daniel Ortega. "The key issue here was whether the United States should go around overthrowing small Latin American countries," Sanders said. That was a transparent dodge. One can oppose American military intervention without having a soft spot for dictators.

These days, some progressives describe themselves as "democratic socialists," which makes the idea sound kinder and gentler. They aren't thinking about crumbling buildings in Cuba, starving children in Venezuela and genocide in Cambodia, but might be envisioning a facsimile of Portland, Ore.,—a place with cool, fair-trade, vegan restaurants and hip bars, but without all that private ownership stuff. Yet socialistic policies could turn the nicest cities into wastelands.

Apparently, the leaders in those bad socialist places didn't do socialism right. As a former Barack Obama national security adviser told the Post, "I think the challenge for Bernie is just going to be differentiating his brand of social democratic policies from the corrupt turn—and authoritarian turn—socialism took in parts of Latin America."

A turn? Authoritarianism is the inevitable outcome—a feature of socialistic systems, not a bug, because those systems empower government at the expense of individuals.

On its website, the Democratic Socialists of America say they "believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few." They don't offer many specifics, but perhaps your tenants will vote on the rent until you decide to leave the apartment business. These "new" socialists seem as utopian as the old ones. DSA notes that, "a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor." Until work is fun, though, someone must divvy up unpleasant tasks on a more equitable basis. You've been warned.

Despite air-conditioned homes, full bellies and consumer gadgets courtesy of capitalism, some Americans yearn for a socialist paradise. We can cross one off the list. In 2013, Salon published a piece about the Venezuelan leader's "full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism" titled, "Hugo Chavez's Economic Miracle."

Four years later (with a different strongman but same policies), the BBC described that miracle: "Despite being an oil-rich country, Venezuela is facing record levels of child malnutrition as it experiences severe shortages of food and an inflation rate of over 700 percent."

Maybe Venezuelans didn't do it right. Nor did the Russians, or anybody else. Or maybe socialism is a fundamentally flawed idea that always leads to misery by design. We shouldn't need this discussion in 2019, given mounds of evidence and victims, but here we are again.

This column was first published in the Orange County Register.

Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute. Write to him at sgreenhut@rstreet.org.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

548 responses to “Why Are We Still Debating the 'Merits' of Socialism?

  1. The better question is: why aren’t we criminalizing socialism and stopping these slaver sin their tracks?

    They are at war with our individual freedoms. The notion they are worthy of consideration or debate is absurd on it’s face. The correct reaction to those who are promising to enslave, or kill you, is to stop them, or kill them.

    They are at war with our free society. We better start fighting back, and soon.

    1. Because whoever you pick to enforce the new law – I don’t care who it is – will come for me first. #andisaidnot2day

      1. If they pick me, I promise here openly that I will come for you no sooner than 87th. Maybe not even in the top 100, but certainly no sooner than 87th. First? Pshh.

        1. Google is now paying $17000 to $22000 per month for working online from home. I have joined this job 2 months ago and i have earned $20544 in my first month from this job. I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do…..

          click here =====?? http://www.payshd.com

          1. THINK ABOUT IT?..
            Earning in the modern life is not as difficult as it is thought to be. God has made man for comfort then why we are so stressed. We are giving you the solution of your problems. Come and join us here on just go to home TECH tab at this site and start a fair income bussiness

            >>>>>>>> http://www.Theprocoin.com

          2. on Saturday I got a gorgeous Ariel Atom after earning $6292 this ? four weeks past, after lot of struggels Google, Yahoo, Facebook proffessionals have been revealed the way and cope with gape for increase home income in suffcient free time.You can make $9o an hour working from home easily??. VIST THIS SITE RIGHT HERE
            >>=====>>>> http://xurl.es/BestUSA

        2. Google is now paying $17000 to $22000 per month for working online from home. I have joined this job 2 months ago and i have earned $20544 in my first month from this job. I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do…..

          click here ======?? http://www.Aprocoin.com

      2. Google is now paying $17000 to $22000 per month for working online from home. I have joined this job 2 months ago and i have earned $20544 in my first month from this job. I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do…..

        click here =====?? http://www.Aprocoin.com

    2. Oh, I don’t know. Because criminalizing thought isn’t American or libertarian? Just a thought. Oops!

      1. Keep thinking that on your way to the gulag, after all your property is confiscated by the Democrat Socialist Party. That you didn’t violate the NAP.

        1. Funny you’d conflate not violating NAP with failing to defend yourself.

          One need not become a tyrant to protect one’s self from tyrants.

          Please try to take my property. I double dare you!

          1. And at that point they have control of the govt. and the police. SWAT kills you, your family, and any pets in a standoff.

            Better to stop them decisiively before it comes to that.

            1. I’d like to see them try. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars teaching me to kill people and break things.

              I’m armed better, I know the terrain better, I’ve prepped the battlefield, and I’m PISSED OFF!

              (And I really don’t mind dying if it means I can kill a few tyrants.)

              Molon Labe!

            2. So you want them in concentration camps.

          2. The best defense is a good offense. You must ALWAYS throw the socialist from the helicopter.

            You don’t wait for the cancer to metastasize before you start treatment. You cut it out early.

            1. Not sure if you’re being satirical, but you are essentially correct. Most of,the people here who go on about the NAP will likely wait until progtard authorities show up to take them to the RE education camp before they put up a fight.

              Far better to stop them much sooner than that.

            2. You should cut it out *before* free helicopter rides are your best option. Cut it out earlier.

              1. Look at how bad things have gotten I just The last five years. Now imagine what can happen in the next five

                It’s time to thin the commie herd.

      2. Shitlords is the guy who calls me a sociopath.

        1. Yes. And you are. You are the kind of person that makes my above statement necessary and true.

          You are a goddamn slaver, and some of us hit back against slavers.

          1. You’re just too cute for words.

            1. You’ve admitted you’d kill your opponents many times. Why pretend otherwise?

              1. You, however, are an insufferable bore.

                1. You are a passenger who should be boarding the General’s helicopter.

        2. Strangle a few kittens, set a few fires, and wet the bed and suddenly every amature psychologist wants to put a label on you.

    3. Er, I think there might be one or two problems with criminalizing a particular set of political beliefs.

      The at war “by any means necessary” mentality is not going to give us a more free society. You don’t think non-socialists also hunger for power?

      1. The at war “by any means necessary” mentality is not going to give us a more free society. You don’t think non-socialists also hunger for power?

        This is an interesting question.

        To hunger for power beyond those things that are one’s own, one must needs be some form of collectivist.

        That is the first step to the left, the start of abandoning individuality.

        Since ‘socialism’ is represented as the most benign form of collectivism by it’s adherents, I say we take them at theier word and place socialism near that first step to the left.

        If we accept this premise then no, non-socialists do not, in general, hunger for any power beyond the power over that which is theirs.

        1. This is blindingly false. If an individual wants more for himself he is avaricious, not collectivist. Ever seen Wolf of Wall Street?

      2. People hunger for power all the time. The difference between socialism and a free society is that socialism requires unchecked power in a few while a free society has a certain amounts of checks and balances.

    4. How many of the dirty bastards have you killed today?

      1. Not enough.

        1. Well get your shit together, slacker.

    5. I agree with you, Shitlord.
      If someone bought the cattle cars I’d happily shove commies into them and send them to the gas chambers.
      Fuck them before they fuck us, i say.

      1. That is literally what the original Nazis said.

        I don’t think you guys realize how much this small government bullshit is fascism masquerading as bullshit.

        1. Yeah Tony, it isn’t fun when your intended victims hit back, is it.

          1. Sometimes it can be exhilarating. Just always bring a safe word.

            1. You realize you have lost every time right?

              1. You realize you aren’t even interesting when you’re sober, right?

                1. You realize your mom left her shit at my house last night when my boys were running a train on her right?

                  Bitch is stank.

                  1. At least she’s interesting.

                    1. No that’s why I sent her home with jizz in her hair.

                      She said you never listen, and that’s how you ended up with a shitty do-nothing degree, low rent job and 250k in student loans which she has to sell herself for to help you pay off.

                    2. Oh, you must be who she nicknamed “white tootsie roll.”

                    3. Funny, she told me you didn’t know she was talking about you when she aaid that and begged me not to tell you.

                    4. Obama ate a dog is right hun, I was always talking about you when I said that.

                      I’m sorry but the doctor actually thought you were a girl when you were born and did some minor cleanup down there. It’s why your thing looks like a shrimp that was left in the fryer too long.

        2. Fascism means a bigger government, not a smaller one.

          1. Name one politician selling smaller government who ever actually achieved it.

            1. So your intractable opposition is proof of something?

            2. Donald Trump

              1. And that refers to GDP figures or perhaps the fact that he never built his great wall?

                1. Move those goalposts.

                  And tell your skank mom to come get her shit.

                2. Hey faggot. The wall is getting built.

            3. Thatcher? In fact George H.W. Bush? Calvin Coolidge?

            4. Calvin Coolidge

        3. It’s what the Demorrhoid Nazis are saying right now in their riots. “Free speech doesn’t apply to conservatives,” etc.

          It’s at that point. Will I fight against the boxcars? Certainly. If they come for blacks or Jews or gays. But socialists? It’s not a genetic condition and they’re not human beings. Why should I get involved?

        4. The idea that the government must be prohibited from initiating force is fascism? Someone notify Webster’s they’ve published an incorrect definition.

      2. They’re welcome to leave, or abandon their beliefs. It only gets ugly if they force it to.

        I don’t really care if they rode out of town on their horse, or slung over the back. So long as they go.

    6. Socialism is not government spending. Socialism is government ownership, and no one is suggesting that.

      As for, “executions and endless repression,” have you forgotten Nazi, right-wing fascism? Trump thinks there are some good Nazis.

      1. No you’re just fucking stupid and lie to make it seem that way.

        Honestly, the idea that you idiots intentionally try to look obtuse is hilarious. You know what he said. You think lying about it then pretending it is what he actually said isn’t completely fucking transparent. You don’t even realize how retarded normal people think you are.

      2. Medicare for all. 1/6th of the economy.

      3. As for, “executions and endless repression,” have you forgotten Nazi, right-wing fascism? Trump thinks there are some good Nazis.

        Can you point to the Right-wing planks of the Nazi platform?

        Hell, the Democrats are heading towards approving large swaths of the “inalterable” points of the platform.

      4. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

      5. Socialism can also be government control of the means of production. It doesn’t have to be owned by that government. That’s how the Germans operated. Germany and USSR worked toward the same ends, via slightly different means, and were two sides of a socialist coin.

  2. Yup. The goal of socialism is to divide up all the work ‘fairly’, while the goal of capitalism is to work hard and amass wealth so that you don’t have to work. You can retire and do all the things you always dreamed of doing. The problem is that in order to do this, people have to trust in capitalism, otherwise they will be too scared to retire and hand over the reigns of whatever industry they grew rich in. And in order to trust in capitalism, people must buy in voluntarily, and not by force. And in order to buy in voluntarily, people must repent of their sin. #verilyisay2u

    1. “From each according to their ability” is not a request. It’s explicit slavery.

    2. Even in a capitalist society not everyone is going to be rich. The world needs ditch diggers too.

      1. The capitalists ( Those horrible stinking rich 1%’ers ) made wheel loaders – ditch digging is now a fun job that’s actually pays pretty darn good. The VALUE they’ve created and sell is well — WELL WORTH it.

  3. There are all sorts of reasons for spitting on socialism.

    Experience — it don’t fuckin’ work, it’s killed hundreds of millions of people, it always degenerates into a police state run by elites, with far more and worse cronies than any crony capitalist society. “Degenerates” is a euphemism for “must start as”.

    Definition — it requires government force. This is not a by-product or side effect. It is the definition if socialism.

    Asymmetry — individualism can simulate socialism by voluntary contract. Socialism cannot tolerate any semblance of individualism, let alone simulate it.

    And it violates liberty in the most basic way. Property is what you build with your own hand. Stealing a chair is the same as forcing a furniture maker to build a chair: both are slavery. Socialism denies even the concept of property, turning everybody except the elites into literal slaves.

    1. Definition — it requires government force. This is not a by-product or side effect. It is the definition if socialism.

      That’s why the argument “but I’m a democratic socialist!” is such bullshit. So, I’d get to choose which kommissar pops the whip on my back. Ooo such choice!

      1. It’s not Nazism, it’s *democratic* Nazism!

        1. +1

        2. Perfect Fit — Democratic National Socialism does indeed equate perfectly to Democratic Nazism.
          Wikipedia (“Nazism”) = National Socialism, more commonly known as Nazism.

      2. “Democratic Socialism” is just an intermediate step to the usual “Authoritarian Socialism”.

      3. Just mention that Trump won and they don’t seem to much care for that. How much would they like him with a LOT more power?

      4. You don’t even get to choose which Alphabet Soup agency’s goons do what under the current system. The Idea that disarming the populous and increasing the number and scope of bureaucracies will improve the situation is just dead stupid.

  4. Socialism is pretty cool. I don’t know what you capitalist pigdog jerkoffs are so worried about. Work makes you free! You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. You just want to be slaves to korporayshuns.

    1. We are not, “slaves to Corporations (please learn how to spell)” — We WILLINGLY traded our good for their goods and CAN refuse to at any point in time we so desire.

      1. Well, other than insurance companies, of course.

  5. It never ceases to amaze me when authoritarian people argue, unquestioned and unchallenged, that we should look on the bright side of a system that murdered at least 100 million people during the last century. It’s equivalent to arguing that the Nazis merit a reassessment because they succeeded in getting the trains to run on time.

    The proper response to anyone who non-ironically suggests ANY totalitarian ideology deserves another chance should be “fuck off, slaver!”

    1. Well, keep in mind which party want to go back to relying on the trains – – – – – – – –

      Let’s see;
      democratic socialists (no, to general)
      national democratic socialists (better)
      democratic national socialists (more fluid, but still carries the democratic baggage)
      national socialist democratic party (closer, but we need to include our union labor base)
      national socialist workers party (yeah, that’s the ticket)

      1. It’s cute that you all think that because the Nazi’s borrowed the term “socialist” for their name, that they were in fact socialist of the left wing variety. You would also agree then that the German Democratic Republic and Democratic Republic of Vietnam were in fact democracies, no?

        1. Well there was also their policies. But yeah, ignore that. It’s the only way you make it work.

          1. Sum up the policies and I think we can find that the Nazi’s were a unique blend of the worst authoritarian tendencies of both the left and right (using the modern commonly ascribed left/right…not the Michael Medved et al redefinition that say right = freedom, and left = authority).

            1. Ayn Rand was of a habit of laughing at people like Eric, who seek to limit analysis by offering poison for food and poison for antidote. But, someone has to be not just on the right but in the right. When Benito Mussolini said, “The state is resuming its right and its prestige as the sole interpreter of the needs of society,” I think he meant it. When FDR signed onto the Swope plan for alleviating the Depression, cast the plan into law in the form of the NIRA, and ordered everyone to give all their gold to him on penalty of arrest and imprisonment, I think he meant it. When FDR further saw fit to lock 110,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camp for the duration of the war, when he surrounded these camps with armed guards toting machine guns, I think he meant it. And, when Adolf Hitler did essentially the same thing, I KNOW he meant it.

              I agree FDR never set up any death camps (Sobibor was unique to Hitler’s own peculiar vision, and the Supreme Court never would have allowed those here); but, stop trying to tell me that there was a great deal of difference between fascism and the New Deal (which we now apparently are revisiting with promises of greener pastures). After all, I’m a numismatist, and I know very well what was on the back of the dime.

            2. Fascism – National Socialism implemented for race/religious uniformity

              About the only U.S. group to fit into this is White Supremacists looking to banish all colored people based upon their ‘inalienable’ color only or by their religious ( NOT political ) affiliation — which really isn’t a problem here short of Democratic Congresswoman llhan Omar.

              To claim protection through “religious politics” would be to claim/own a word like “criminist” ( degradation of criminal activity is now crime ).

              The very ROOT of the difference between U.S. Left vs Right is ‘Power’ vs ‘Freedom’

              Every leftist believes WEALTH is the result of POWER – Whoever has the biggest gun has the most wealth.

              Most on the Right believes WEALTH is the result of VALUE – Whoever creates the most value to society has the most wealth.

              It’s quite obvious once its been called out — Watch what the leftists argue about and how they position their stances. It’s always a ‘Power’ struggle be it character bashing, Taxation or whatever they’re discussing it’s always a ‘Power’ struggle. The last word you’ll ever hear from the foundation of a leftist is the word VALUE=WEALTH.

        2. The Nazis had a planned economy and eradicated federalism in favor of centralized government. The Nazis outlawed unions like Communist China and Soviet Russia disallowed unions. The Nazis enforced strict gun control and considered church and family as competitors; and disavowed tradition wishing to restore Germany’s pre-Christian roots. Hitler extolled public education, even banning private schools and instituting “a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program” controlled by Berlin. The Nazis idealized public service and smothered private charity with public programs. Hitler’s election platform included “an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.” Nazi propaganda proclaimed, “No one shall go hungry! No one shall be cold!” Germany had universal healthcare and demanded that “the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood.”

          1. Among other things, the Nazi’s were also corporatists, nationalists, anti-egalitarian, white-supremacists, anti-communists, anti-intellectual.

            I won’t call you uninformed, but you are mis-informed if you actually think that the modern left in American carries the torch of the Nazi’s. The Nazi’s were extremists in every way possible. You can certainly ascribe many of their polices to those of the extreme left today, but you also can do the same of the extreme right. Anyone objectively looking at this subject will either place the Nazi’s in the middle or slightly to the right.

            Further, fuck anyone trying to pin the Nazi (or fascist) label on the majority of either party in the U.S. The VAST majority of liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Repbulicans or anyone else would never point a gun at their neighbors simply for their beliefs. Fuck all of the nutjobs on this commentariat who propogate this shit. I know most just come here to vent, but there are enough poisoned minds on both sides of the aisle right now that it’s maddening to see such hyper-partisanship masquerading as objective discourse.

            1. The global socialists were smart.
              They took all the superficial aspects of the national socialists and enthusiastically rebuked, vilified, and reversed them – but they patiently kept and implemented the fundamental systems and ideology.

            2. There’s nothing peculiarly ‘right wing’ about being anti-intellectual, as left wing regimes consistently demonstrate (the Nazis has their own intellectuals btw, Heidegger, Schmidt, etc.).

              Nor were they radically anti-egalitarian. In fact they staunchly opposed traditional conservatives in large part because the latter were an impediment to nationalistic egalitarianism. Divvying people up into nobles and peasants diverts attention from common nationality. The Nazis were more egalitarian within the confines of their nationality/race than the conservatives they displaced.

              Even racial nationalism itself is something that has only been associated with the right for a few generations. The early nationalists – of the 19th century – were considered of the left, and were often socialists. The fascists were not the inheritors of the legacy of conservatives like Metternich or even Bismarck, but of the likes of Garibaldi and Mazzini.

        3. Communism and Fascism were both seen as left wing *alternatives* to right wing republicanism, by themselves and everyone else.

          Marxists wrote the history books and pretended otherwise.

        4. Sham elections are still elections.

        5. Not cute. Fact. However you spin it, it was collectvist. Just liur socialism. All branches of Marxism.

        6. Six of one, half dozen of another.

      2. You forgot the current governor of California (it was in his state-of-the-State address, and he said that after acknowledging that the most recent scheme to build high-speed rail from Sacramento to Los Angeles was a multi-billion-dollar failure).

    2. …They succeeded in getting the trains to run on time.

      I don’t know about the fascist trains but the socialist train system I ride regularly is always on time. The problem is it takes a bus and 2 marshrutkas (shared taxis) to get to the station and then another 16 hours to go the distance of a 6 hour drive and there is no food for sale. And sleeping in a train car built during Soviet times with 59 other people is not fun and it smells.

  6. Why are pundits and politicians talking about socialism again, 28 years after the fall of the Soviet Union? Donald Trump’s vow that the United States would never become a socialist country got people talking. Good for him, even if he should stop praising and excusing North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who runs a communist dystopia often described as the “the world’s biggest open prison camp.”

    Because stupid kids don’t use one of the greatest tools ever invented- The internet. These kids can access almost any document ever written and they can access almost endless sources of facts to find out what historically happened.

    We now have a situation where kids are too young to even have lived through the USSR, these kids are so dumb that they don’t even know that China and North Korea are Communist regimes that are very different than the USA, and years of propaganda and indoctrination at schools has created a Generation of ‘Useful Idiots’.

    1. The problem is that kids CAN use the internet. And the greatest feature of the internet is that we can find any evidence that we want to confirm our bias.

      I regularly repeat to my kids that our default condition is worm food- shivering in the dark without food or shelter, beset by disease and the other ravages of nature. I do this because whenever they encounter someone talking on the internet about rights to food, shelter, living wages, healthcare, etc, I want them to understand that they are claiming a “right” to force someone else to lift them from that default condition, without freely negotiated compensation.

      We are all victims of our own confirmation bias. The problem is getting the bias set correctly early.

      1. Sounds like good parenting to me. Good job.

      2. I often attempt to instill in my kids a sense of perspective. My son in particular gets very angry when the internet goes down. I try to explain that there was a time when you had to use a modem to just access the internet and it used to take a couple of minutes to get online. No youtube or facebook or even google. Worse, no internet as I was growing up or mobile phones, or tablets. It is really odd to get so angry over such a triviality as the internet dropping for a few minutes or the time it takes to reboot the home router. That’s kids for you in today’s age.

    2. “years of propaganda and indoctrination at schools has created a Generation of ‘Useful Idiots’.”

      Which was part of the socialists’ plan all along. The plan was given a huge boost by Obama’s alt-leftist Bill Ayers et al and continues to this day from kindergarten through graduate school.

      It takes years to indoctrinate stupidity into otherwise intelligent people. The only silver lining is that, should these authoritarian leftists gain control, it will only take months or weeks for these useful idiots to realize their stupidity.

      1. Solution – Abolish the FAILED socialist B.O.E. (Board of Education). Allow capitalism; Companies themselves or Coops to teach and train USEFUL education/skills. States can implement basic reading/writing/arithmetic but the ‘regime’ has grown SO-FAR outside that its ridiculous.

  7. Or Capitalism for that matter.

    They are two man made, corruptible and completely divisive social constructs.

    If we want to divide people into two camps for perpetual conflict, capitalism and socialism are perfect. They are just complicated enough to confuse the masses who prefer to call them right and left.

    Your eyes are clearly “off the ball”.

    Are there not enough examples of being duped into conflict by those who would control and manipulate us.

    1. You cannot have natural property rights[1] and right to contract and also have socialism. You can have it with capitalism. So the former is incompatible with freedom, while the latter is not (even though Capitalism could lead to conditions where freedom can be taken away).

      [1] And I do mean natural property rights. Nature is full of organisms laying claim to resources and the products of those resources. And nature is full of evolved mechanisms for negotiating transactions, from predators and prey that mark their territory as a means of reducing unwanted conflict, to organisms that have evolved signals for mutual benefit (“You spread my pollen and I will give you this refined sugar water”)

      Capitalism is merely a framework placed on top of those natural rights to further minimize conflict. Socialism is a mechanism of denying those natural rights in an attempt to pretend that scarce resources can be given to everyone.

      1. Natural property rights do not exist. We all die leaving everything behind.

        Capitalism encourages using all our natural resources to make disposable crap so some dumbfuck can live like a god.

        1. While socialism orders you to make cheap so the Party bosses can live like gods.

          1. It can, but it isn’t the stated objective.

            1. Maybe so, but it is always the achieved outcome.

              1. It doesn’t have to be anymore.

                When we developed the technology to record our memories everywhere we go and store them safely in the cloud we achieved the potential for the first time in human history to capture and expose every lie.

                Corruption depends on lies.

                It is vanquished when exposed in an environment of justice.

                With the human right to voluntarily record our memories everywhere we go corruption could for the first time in history be eradicated.

                Currently it is illegal to do so as the human right is not recognized.

        2. The fact that we all die could be used to deny ANY natural right. Why do you need freedom of religion if you’re just going to die anyway? Why do you need the right to self defense if at some point you’re going to go anyway?

          It’s a nonsensical argument.

          1. There aren’t any natural rights.

            There are only those we recognize with logic and science in our civilization.

            1. So many 18th century thinkers on here, hanging on to Locke and God and “natural rights.”

              Evolve, already.

              1. Live through a grease fire already slaver.

            2. There it is.

              Fuck off, slaver.

        3. In that case no one owns their body so slavery and murder are ok.

          1. You may not be capable of discerning truth with logic and science.

            That’s why the conclusions of those who are need to be written down and deified for you to memorize, recite and worship.

            Your “natural” rights.

            1. Here’s a natural right. Use the Oxford comma, botch.

              1. Hahaha

    2. “Are there not enough examples of being duped into conflict by those who would control and manipulate us.”

      Stuff your tin-foil hat up your butt, you pathetic loser.

      1. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I never respond to your posts except when you try to foul one of mine. You are a foul smell.

        Fuck off troll.

        How do I scrape dog shit like you off my shoe?

        1. You calling someone else a troll is pretty fucking rich.

        2. You could dive headfirst off a building. That’ll get rid of him I’m sure.

        3. I don’t know Rob. How DOES one scrape oneself off one’s own shoe?

          And how did you get stuck to your own shoe in the first place?

    3. “They are just complicated enough to confuse the masses who prefer to call them right and left.”

      Seems to have confused you, anyway.

    4. Capitalism can’t be corrupt without government.

    5. Capitalism is the default economic system. As long as there is no force requiring people submit to something else, capitalism just happens.

      1. Are you intentionally comparing capitalism to anarchy?

        1. I’m not comparing it. I’m just saying it exists outside of political systems and is the default way that people interact economically so you don’t have to “set it up”. It’s what black markets are in oppressive systems because you can’t get rid of it though you can skew it.

          1. You may not realize you are.

            Here is the definition of anarchy.

            1. Absence of any form of political authority.

            1. “Any” being the key word. You can want the stability of a government without wanting them to try to regulate the forces of the market. A small government is still firmly the opposite of “no” government.

            2. I clearly said that capitalism is present even oppressive regimes so, no, I am not in anyway comparing capitalism to anarchy. I also feel that one of the duties of government is to protect the rights of individuals so that the market can operate freely. Let me simply state it this way- capitalism is the natural economic system and any other economic system has to try to replace it but will not be able to no matter the political system or lack thereof.

              1. No, you said

                “As long as there is no force”

                And

                “It exists outside of political systems”

                That is anarchy.

                Now you’re saying that capitalist government forces are good, while socialist government forces are bad. Yawn.

                Make up your fucking mind.

                1. Capitalism is an economic system and not a political system. Obviously, you have an issue with words.

                  1. You’re on thin ice.

                    No economic system works in the absence of a political system like you suggested in your initial reply.

                    There is no default system in anarchy.

                    Are you trying to make any point at all?

                    1. Are you seriously trying to argue that humans don’t naturally barter and trade value for value?

                    2. Exactly. Capitalism is what people do with or without a political system. It has nothing to do with anarchy but capitalism will exist if there is anarchy. I don’t believe that anarchy is possible though because people always create some type of political structure because that’s what people do.

                      Just like capitalism will rear its head even in a full communist society through the black market, a political system will arise when people try to force anarchy. The problem is, without thought or action most political systems that arise from anarchy will be despotic even if just on a micro level.

                    3. “No economic system works in the absence of a political system”

                      Yes, he is. Because 2 guys trading is impossible without government.

                    4. Why would I trade when I can kill you and take what’s yours?

                      Not killing you is a choice I make perhaps because I prefer order in civilization.

                    5. “kill you and take what’s yours” — Isn’t an “economical” system. It’s a ‘Power’ system.

                      If everyone ditched their ‘Power’ system – Trainer is right and anarchy would work.
                      but
                      because many still try to use ‘Power’ to “steal” wealth – A Justice System needs to be in place to curb that criminal activity.

                    6. Eradicate corruption and any political system would work.

                      So far as I have observed here, I’m the only one here who has suggested a workable solution to do just that.

                      But people seem to like the opportunities afforded by inequity and greed which depend upon corruption.

                      So, distracted, they squabble over the virtues of left and right, to acquire what they lust for, while their pockets are picked and their futures are sold.

                    7. Just to clarify that for readers —

                      Inequity (NOT inequality) = Injustice
                      Inequality = Social disparity (unequal)

                      Corruption = Dishonest or illegal behavior by government officials (i.e. ‘Power’)

                      As per Merriam-Webster dictionary

                      They squabble because the ‘corruption’ and Inequity comes from the left mostly and only from RINO’S on the right. The DNC platform (if you read it) is a perfect fit with Corrupt Inequity.

                      I’d almost guess you’re purposely using left sounding words to support right principle – expecting to rile people up.

                    8. And you would still be wrong.

                    9. Killing may well work if some one wants what you have. It does not work if you require that person to manufacture something for you. Killing also works both ways and for the sake of self preservation and protection from outside groups Human beings flock together for the benefit of everyone within the collective. This does not require government but does require capitalism in the form of barter if no monetary system is in place

                    10. When you’re dead, I get everything, including your technology. I may let you live to teach.

                      When my people are healthy, others flock to me. This is the natural human condition currently employed in shitholes all over the earth.

                      You own nothing those with power over you don’t allow.

                    11. That’s why in a non-warped USA; The Supreme Power isn’t a “those” — its a document insuring ‘individual rights / freedom’.

                      “Those” elected or nominated/confirmed (Justices) – swearing an oath to the Supreme Power are there to enforce that Supreme Power (U.S. Constitution).

                      When people elect imbeciles who swear one thing and do the exact opposite – they can say goodbye to their ‘individual rights / freedom’ whether they think that’s what they’re doing or not and you’re right it creates the biggest “shitholes” (Power trips) ever seen. Eventually “The People” will revolt and the nation collapses and turns to civil war. Just hope the Supreme Law prevails in the end.

                    12. The constitution is old. The environment we live in now is different than 200 years ago.

                      There are opportunities for new rights that couldn’t have been conceived then.

                      Who has the authority and responsibility to bring the constitution to life and enforce it?

                      What are the criteria that validate something to be recognized as a right?

                    13. You have one thing right. Power and the willingness to eliminate certain people are vital. People like you and all the progtards clearly need to go. One way or the other.

                      I’m not like most of,the other people here. I’ve been in some pretty awful p,aces and seen what happens when all you folks who think you will come and take my shit get your way. I have no problem employing swift brutal decisive force to do away with your ilk.

                      The NAP is like a contract. When one side violates it, the contract is void, and things start getting real in a hurry.

                    14. You’re a legend in your own mind.

                      Are you a full blown NAP crusader seeking out all aggression in your neighbourhood and smoting villains, like the x force guy without super powers? You don’t have super powers do you?

                      Or are you a more narcissistic nap man getting annoyed only when your mother won’t bring your mini pizzas downstairs?

                      Dipshit.

                    15. Yeah, you really are a punk ass bitch, aren’t you Rob? I don’t need ‘super powers’ to deal with punk ass bitches and dirty hippies. You and your pals are the kind of weak faggots that need half a dozen of you to muster the courage to beat up an old lady going to speak at a campus event.

                      You think you so slick? You punkass, blasphemous, dope fiend bitch. I’ll slap your bitch ass around.

                      Fuckin’ progtard. Get back to attending your gloryhole at the bus station.

                    16. Your dipshit threat to assault me violates your nap contract as well as the rules of this website.

                      Fuck off troll.

                    17. You’re a coward and a weaklimg, just like all your kind. And speaking of getting slapped around, that appears to be your function here.

                      Stupid, silly bitch.

                    18. The Constitution allows ‘Amendments’ but it requires a 2/3rds Majority in Congress after which a 2/3rds approval from the States (i.e. Ratification). But; I really don’t see anything in it that needs “brought to life” but see it getting ignored a lot.

                      I’d suggest if you want a “right” not already listed to see your State Government, County or City Councilmen. The more focused the government level the more leeway they’re allowed to grant and the more “voice” / representation power it has.

                      The federal government was ONLY created for one purpose and that was for a strong national defense. The Bill of Rights was “Amended” to ensure state governments didn’t violate individual ‘inalienable rights’ (i.e. Ensure Freedom).

                    19. *Woops; “the more your voice / representation power has” … In other words; Using the right tool (gov) for the job will get a lot more done and your complaints/requests aren’t drowned out or dictated on the whole pool of 325M other people. Only the local area in which you live.

                    20. 3/4 of States

                    21. ^YES, my mistake; thanks for the correction.

                    22. You tell us so much about yourself with your scribblings. That you actually believe this filth says you are a vile person inside. You lack the basic decency to function in anarchy so you require guards at every stop. Because you think everyone else thinks like you, you expect as many possible guards as can be mustered, and those guards should exercise vast punitive measures without hesitation or restraint.

                      As already had been said, fuck off, slaver.

                    23. I don’t care if people don’t think like me, though I would prefer them to think.

                      In anarchy, decency is a detriment. Be careful what you pine for while you’re impatiently waiting at the drive through.

                    24. If you kill me and take my stuff, I won’t be making more. And that’s assuming that my people don’t kill you. More importantly, you don’t know how to make what I was offering, prefer to live where there are other resources, or simply find it more efficient to concentrate your efforts on a different technology. Comparative advantage is so powerful that enemies who fear even showing themselves to the other tribe will still trade:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_trade

                      There’s only one thing enforcing honesty in such trade: if you cheat me, you won’t ever get any more from me. And in my experience, that is still an important element in business relations even under the American legal system. If you don’t pay for the circuit boards shipped from my factory, we _could_ sue, pay huge legal expenses, and get a court order to pay up years later – and then require further legal action to enforce that order, if there are any bank accounts or other assets to seize. But first, we stop shipping our product to you, until you pay for everything we shipped and then pay in advance for the next order. That shuts down your business. If that doesn’t persuade you to pay, it’s likely that you _cannot_ pay us or your other suppliers because you’re going bankrupt.

                    25. Of course why would I invade and take what’s yours when I could just let you boycott me into bankruptcy?

                      Dipshit.

        2. Clearly not. Is Newton’s first Law also a metaphor for anarchy?

          It just describes natural conditions. Capitalism does function better if there’s some underlying social contract that defines the value of currency; trade wouldn’t work if money’s value was only recognized in small, confined areas. That doesn’t mean that massive forces are required to regulate and control the value of it, it’s simply a medium of exchange.

          It falls apart when some outside force attempts to force specific values onto something, such as suggesting that low-skilled untrained labor deserves $15 an hour. If the general market consensus is that such labor isn’t worth that much, then either the value of money has to shift, or else the labor market has to be readjusted so that fewer of those jobs are required.

      2. Capitalism still requires government to enforce contracts, property rights, etc. The government is essentially a referee enforcing the rules. It also prevents private parties from using violence and intimidation to influence others. (That’s the government job.)

        1. Not necessarily thought that is preferable. To an extent, the market will generally enrich those who are honest and fair and punish those who are not as long as people have a choice.

          Look at the illegal drug market. Unless you’re hurting, you’re not going to go to a dealer who has a reputation for cheating his buyers or puts them unnecessary amounts of danger. Highly addicted drugs skew that but highly addictive drugs skew things a lot but being a drug addict isn’t necessarily a nature state. No frat boy is going to go buy his weed from someone across town that is dishonest and dangerous because there’s some loser in his dorm that probably has better stuff anyway and treats him like a customer.

          1. “the market will generally enrich those who are honest and fair and punish those who are not” — Well said and should be repeated until the leftist LIE that “poor” people are inherently innocent gets demolished.

            1. Who’s going to tell that to the 2008 Wall Street bankers?

              1. Most “bankers” got bailed out of their consequences by Big Gov. Those who insisted everyone have houses they couldn’t afford on the free-market were NOT being “honest or fair”.

                So what you speak of isn’t the “market” at all – but was the voting public using the government (force) which coincidentally both are now piss poor.

                If the market wasn’t flooded with EZ-Bake-Mortgages / Money for everyone; Real Estate pricing wouldn’t have bubbled and the market wouldn’t have crashed. So the phrase works perfectly.

                Consider all those who was honest about the homes they could afford and paid for them. They lost NOTHING during the GR and actually profited by the “poors” mistakes by picking up more houses they could afford during the GR and turning a profit on flips.

        2. It was the governments job until ‘leftists’ decided to use it *force* WEALTH distribution (i.e. Theft).

          1. When leftists violated the NAP it because ok to hit back.

    6. This 100%. And the responses to this are good evidence that the manipulation works well.

      To this commentariat, the mere utterance of the word ‘socialism’ is enough to trigger a strong salivary response and increased adrenaline and noradrenaline. On Mother Jones or that ilk, the word ‘capitalism’ triggers the same response.

      Normally those groups stay separate so they can just rile each other to a perpetual frenzy. But put them in the same place and hey presto you can divert the attention of pretty much everyone – participants, bystanders, etc – and turn everyone into a purely instinctive unthinking violent mob.

      Divide et impera 101

  8. Why don’t you call it Soviet style communism if that’s what you mean by “socialism”.

    1. Right! Or call it Mao style socialism, or Cuban style, or Venezuelan style, or Cambodian style, etc, etc.

      The similarities ultimately outweigh the differences. Just like any other authoritarian structure, be it monarchism, fascism, oligarchism, theocracy, it’s all about the very few people at the top treating the rest like slaves because it’s “for their own good/more equal and fair/God’s will/we know better than they do/whatever.

      Take your economic fairness and central planning and stick it in the same place as your Papal States, your caliphate, and divine right of kings. They’re all just different flavors of the same dictatorial shit sandwich.

      1. You may be too emotional to think clearly. I never said anything about what I prefer. If you’re trying to convince me of anything conflating Sweden with Stalin isn’t helping.

        1. Sweden is NOT a socialist country.

          1. yeah their 25% VAT aka sales tax is awesome. That’s what I want here.

          2. Democrats aren’t either.

            1. How many Democrats running for president are self-identified Socialists and how many are flashing their Socialist street cred?

              All of them.

              1. I’ll one up your alternative facts LC. How many Republicans fuck kittens?

                All of them.

                1. Except he isn’t lying Eric.

                  Think about that. You’re here defending an ideology that killed tens of millions and ypu have to lie to do it. And everyone can see you’re lying.

                  Meanwhile, Dems ARE flashing their Socialist cred. How does it feel to have your masters making you jump before you were ready?

                  1. Two things:

                    1. I’m not defending socialism. At least not anyone who wants to implement it in the U.S.

                    2. I wouldn’t call Gabbard, Hickenlooper, Yang, or Kloubachar socialists. LC said that “All” of the candidates were socialists. You do know what “all” means right?

                    1. Everyone of them wants to use government to control various markets. Not regulate mind you, control.

                      One of those markets is the health care market. Democrats now running wants to create single payer or Medicare-for-all type scheme.
                      Democratic 2020 Hopefuls: All Roads Lead To Single-Payer

                    2. And republicans want to do the same. At least the big government repubs like Trump do. What the hell do you think the military/security industrial complex is? Why not call the republicans socialists too?

                      You just can’t stand the fact that your team’s shit stinks as bad as the others.

                    3. Eric, just stop. There is NO equivalence to be found here.

                      So don’t even start that shit here.

                    4. @Eric;

                      The Left believes ‘Power’ = Wealth. The Right believes ‘Value’ = Wealth.
                      The Right believes ‘Power’ = ‘Individual Justice’

                      The Military/Security Industrial Complex the Right Supports IS the support of ‘Justice’ to curb Crime and instill Individual Justice (civilized society) AGAINST the ‘Power’ grabbers.

                      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their [[Creator]] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

                      ** Notice the word is [deprive] ** not Guarantee

                      No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state [[deprive]] any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

                      ‘Power’ = Wealth…. goes against this principle by using government to ‘deprive’ property without ‘due process’ meaning the government can only void an ‘inalienable right’ within the halls of criminal law.

                    5. It would probably be more like Medicaid for all, which would be worse.

                    6. Personally, I see nothing wrong with universal health care just as long as those people who can afford, and want to have their own private health care have the ability to opt out so they are not forced to pay for someone else’s health care.
                      I will guarantee that the socialists will never allow any kind of opt out. Indeed, most of them will not even allow you to keep your private plan even if you are forced to pay for everyone else on top of your own plan. In the UK we have public health known as the NHS. I get private health insurance through my employer though I can afford my own insurance anyway, but part of my salary is automatically deducted to pay toward the NHS. Since it is not a lot, I personally don’t mind, but if I did, there is no way to opt out of paying.
                      In America the socialists are all adamant that they will completely scrap private insurance. I don’t understand why they would do so except to bring everyone down to the same level. To socialists, this is the only ‘fair way’ They will be unable to provide the best service possible because this would be far too costly on a yearly continuous basis, so they seem determined to force a mediocre cover on the even the very richest in society. It makes absolutely no sense

                    7. Hickenlooper is an authoritarian leftist in policy he’s supported. If given the chance, he would be a socialist. Remember, socialism is for the masses, not those who set themselves up as politically connected. When the inevitable shortages happen, it won’t be their families doing without food, energy or medicine.

            2. Ordinary Person|3.8.19 @ 8:37AM|#
              “Democrats aren’t either.”

              Except for the ones who are and make it clear they are. Are you proud of posting lies?

              1. He is proud of posting his propaganda.

          3. List of government enterprises of Sweden

            The Swedish Government owns wholly or partially numerous companies. That government controls the means of production for those companies.

            1. No it doesn’t control the means of production for those companies.

              From your link:

              “Based on the tradition of avoiding “ministerial rule”, the government has avoided interfering with the business of the companies, and allowed them to go international. “

              1. LC uses the Trumpian tactic of pulling thoughts out of his ass and calling them facts.

                1. “Eric|3.8.19 @ 12:18PM|#

                  LC uses the Trumpian tactic of pulling thoughts out of his ass and calling them facts.”

                  Well as an expert on that I have to bow to your superior knowledge.

                  “Eric|3.8.19 @ 12:09PM|#

                  I’ll one up your alternative facts LC. How many Republicans fuck kittens?

                  All of them.

              2. Letting a company go international vs domestic has nothing to do with the fact that the Swedish government controls and administers those companies listed first. Just because the Swedish government chooses to leave most of the day-to-day to company executives does not change the fact that under the definition of Socialism, Sweden controls and administers means of production.

                The Swedish Government clearly order those companies to do things that the US Government could not order US companies to do because the American Government has only quasi-control over a few companies, like FDIC, Amtrack, and the USPS.

                1. How does the government in Sweden avoid interfering with the business of the companies while simultaneously controlling the means of production?

                  .

        2. Yes, I’ve been too emotional for the past 25 years thanks to learning history. The old feudalist systems gradually got replaced by equally authoritarian ones. Even the Enlightenment ideals of classical liberalism have degraded into the current progressive thought police state. And lest you take that as a knock against the last few presidents, I should clarify by saying take a look at how the government honored Indian treaties, or the first war on drugs, Prohibition, Jim Crow, etc.

          It seems the best and most trustworthy form of government is none at all.

          1. There will always be some form of government.

            1. Agreed, even just for the need to administer the defence of the territory boundaries of the country from outside forces and to police the internal boundaries to prevent anarchy within

    2. OK. Perhaps there is a distinction to be made between revolutionary socialism and more democratic approaches.
      But even where it didn’t devolve into brutal dictatorship, socialism failed where it was tried. The UK and many other European countries flirted with actual socialism, government ownership of major industries and that sort of thing. Those companies did terribly. So there’s your example of democratic socialism. It’s a bad idea.

      1. I heard that nationalization failed in Britain because they only nationalized the inefficient companies and left the efficient ones in private hands.

      2. Socialism is The Revolution and the revolution is war. It’s not some utopian revolution of handsome men and beautiful women walking off to the fertile fields to grow wheat. It’s a brutal, murderous revolution as people refuse to give up their homes, their land, their belongings, their family members and their freedom as they are enslaved. All socialists know this- they just feel it’s justified.

        Even if 51% percent of the people choose to make a country socialist, most of the other 49% will fight it and, at some point, many of the 51% will too. To think that it could be any other way is ignorance.

        1. Enter the Bundy Protest — Leftist Urbanites really need to keep their insane echo chambers within their own ilk (City Council/State). It is not going to end well if they keep insisting total totalitarian (federal) routes.

        2. I guarantee that if socialism is adopted in America it will lead to the breakup of the union as states cede from the union. First will likely be Texas as the are the state which has always been the most independent and proud of that fact. They are not called the ‘Lone Star State’ for nothing.

  9. Should we conflate capitalism with slavery and Jim Crow because we can tell that story about America’s capitalist paradise.

    1. Oh but you might say, “America wasn’t (isn’t) truly capitalist, if only we could try the real thing, then you would know!”

    2. Let’s see, slavery ended 150 years ago in the states. Stalin was responsible for killing untold millions about 60 years ago. Same for Mao. Same for Pol Pot who has the unique honor of killing off the highest percentage of a country’s population. Venezuela has seen hyperinflation due to their socialist policies in today’s age.

      The fact is, capitalism is responsible for lifting an enormous amount of people out of poverty, while control the means of production socialism is responsible for an obscene amount of murder, increased poverty and misery.

      Go take your stupid fucking false equivalences elsewhere.

      1. I was mocking false equivalencies with that comment.

        1. You know who else mocked false equivalencies?

          1. Mithrandir?

          2. Marcus Aurelius?

        2. Ordinary Person|3.8.19 @ 8:19AM|#
          “I was mocking false equivalencies with that comment.”

          You failed.

          1. To his credit, at least he’s consistent.

      2. Well. To be fair, China IS currently lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. And I wouldn’t describe their economy as free-market.

        1. Actually, we are, China is just the intermediary.

          You seem exceptionally stupid

          1. Oh the mental gymnastics it takes to come to that conclusion. I guess using your logic the Chinese are proponents of libertarianism since they manufactured the device that most of us are using to interact here, right?

            1. “Oh the mental gymnastics it takes to come to that conclusion”

              We pay them to build shit. They do. People prosper.

              Lol the fun thing is, that probably is a challenging bit of mental gymnastics for you.

              1. Agreed. And they’re prospering in a socialist bastion. That’s not supposed to happen, right?

                – Not defending socialism here. But it is curious as to what’s working in China.

                  1. Yes I am, no doubt. But you lost an argument to an idiot.

                    1. If your post on this thread are any indication, you’re definitely an idiot, and you didn’t even remotely win.

                      The people of China only started to be lifted out of abject poverty when the Chinese government loosened up and began allowing more capitalistic activity.

                1. And yet; China has 2x the income inequality than that of the U.S. and 2x less humane ways of getting things done. The U.S. subsidizes china’s shipping costs through the U.P.U. because they consider China a 3rd World Country.

                  We’ll just forget about how China almost went bankrupt when the U.S. entered its Great Recession. China is so dependent on the U.S. for innovation, treasury bonds and growth/food – they could almost be considered a socialist co-op corporation of the U.S.


    3. Should we conflate capitalism with slavery and Jim Crow because we can tell that story about America’s capitalist paradise.

      No, because neither is intrnisic to capitalism.

      Socialist states–ALL of them– are de facto AND de jure slave states as the state owns and/or controls ALL the means of production. This includes the people. People tend to forget that they are also ‘means of production’

      And state imposed racism has nothing to do with individually owned business.

      And if you really think you were ‘mocking false equivalencies’ then let me be the first to inform you that you failed.

      Miserably.

    4. “Socialism proposes to do away with free competition; to afford protection and support at all times to the laboring class; to bring about, at least, a qualified community or property, and to associate labor. All these purposes, slavery fully and perfectly attains.”

      George Fitzhugh, slavery apologist

    5. Tell us again how the state allowing chattel slavery to the point of deciding which new territories would have it be legal and passing laws like the Fugitive Slave Act and then enforcing Jim Crow Laws (I’m shocked that you left the law part out. Not really though) were in any way capitalist.

    6. Horrible equivalency since the only way slavery worked in the U.S. was with government help and enforcement at all levels. There’s no getting around that, you fucking imbecile. That means it isn’t capitalism. Rather, it was cronyism. Those two are mutually exclusive.

  10. Poor Lefties don’t understand that slavery was enforced by government under Socialist policies.

    Jim Crowe laws were enforced by government under Socialist policies.

    socialism
    so??cial??ism | \ ?s?-sh?-?li-z?m\
    1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
    b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

  11. If you ever want to live as a communist just join the military.

    1. Military service in the USA is voluntary.

      1. So can the transition to socialism be.
        That doesn’t make it any less socialist.
        The military is a top-down, collectivist, bureaucrat-driven, system of compulsion. You own nothing, you decide nothing, outside of what the command structure permits.

        1. Clearly you never served in the military.

          I owned all sorts of things that I paid for with my paychecks.

          1. I mean I “own” property, but the State keeps demanding a money so I can keep it.

            Is that ownership?

            1. Its called taxation.

              In the USA, no tax liability should ever lead to taking someone’s real property while they are alive to pay the tax debt. Pay the taxes due from the estate.

              1. “Its called taxation.”

                It’s called coveting, stealing, and murdering.

      2. Not once you enlist.

    2. This is stupid even by your standards.

    3. Dumb.

    4. Dumb.

    5. Like lc said, this isn’t accurate. Yes, the government owns YOU but you are still allowed to own private property.

      1. And in the military, are you are the beneficiary of the fruits of your labor? Are you compensated commensurate to your input into the organization?

        1. If by “input” you mean responsibility, then yes. As you rise in rank and accrue additional duties there are correlated increases in your paycheck. There are also supplemental increases in income based on deployment to various areas and on what hazards may be unique to your occupation.

  12. To be fair the Chinese have seemed to found a middle way combining the worst of kleptocratic crony capitalism with the worst of state controled media, secret police and schools.

    That surely is a more attractive model than Venezuelan socialism, at least the forced abortions have stopped.

    1. A million people in re-education camps might disagree.

  13. “Despite air-conditioned homes”

    Probably not the best example to include in supporting capitalism. The advent of the AC home made life much more livable and encouraged growth in the southern United States. But a big part of that change was the availability of electricity. This came about not due to capitalism but rather due to government programs. Programs like the TVA and the Rural Electrification program. Programs that build dams and power plants. So this example shows that there is a place for government in the economy using its power to make life better for its citizens.

    1. Under the US Constitution, building some infrastructure is an enumerated power.

      The fact that the TVA built some of the America’s infrastructure does not prove that government is the only way to get these big projects done. In fact, government employees don’t even build most big projects anymore, they hire contractors to build them.

      1. You made a good point. Government uses tax revenue and contracts out infrastructure projects. So would “Medicare for all” be any different if government paid for health care that it contracted out to private suppliers?

        1. “So would “Medicare for all” be any different if government paid for health care that it contracted out to private suppliers?”

          Is electricity guaranteed for all?
          Either you’re too cute or too stupid.

        2. Contractors who build things for government tend to have private projects that they also work on.

          Medicare for all is a Socialist scheme to get rid of the private medical care/medical insurance markets.

          1. “Medicare for all” is not really socialist. Socialism is the “community” (the government in practice) owning and the means of production. This is more like the V.A. What Medicare does is pay private entities; plus there are laws limiting what it will pay. In this way, the government *controls* production while leaving it in the hands of private parties. This is not Socialism. It’s Fascism.

        3. So would “Medicare for all” be any different if government paid for health care that it contracted out to private suppliers?

          Competition improves quality and lowers prices, so a better approach would be giving poor people cash to pay for their own health care and insurance while simultaneously getting rid of regulations that limit competition and encourage inefficient use of healthcare resources (e.g. by using insurance to pay for routine expenses).

          1. Even the cash route leads to skews in the market.

            Students loans are a fantastic example of government skewing the undergraduate education market.

            1. That is because we are giving free cash to EVERYBODY. Any time you lessen or remove price sensitivity, you encourage inflation of costs[1]. The question is how to strike the right balance. While most libertarians would prefer “no healthcare welfare” the most libertarian of reasonable alternatives is to have some sort of cash-based safety net for the truly unfortunate.

              Unfortunately, the poor are a small voting block, and so politicians have figured out that the only way to get these programs passed is to spread the benefits to everyone. That means giving even middle class and upper middle class families access to benefits like subsidized housing and college loans. As a result you depress price sensitivity widely with the resulting inflation in prices. If government benefits were limited to the poorest 20% of the population, the price pressures of the remaining 80% would certainly improve our current system.

              [1] This is not necessarily the same as standard inflation. We aren’t just talking about the cost of a doctor’s or professor’s hour going up. Instead, we see spend large amounts on cures, when treatments are more cost effective, or your kid goes to a school with farm to table cafeterias and free laptops instead of more bare boned education. The lack of price sensitivity decreases the need to make trade offs over cost, and so providers are encouraged to distinguish their services, price be damned.

        4. It all depends on how much the government involvement affects the private markets. As LC1789 alludes, government infrastructure projects are a small part of the overall construction market. Medicare for all will eliminate the private health insurance market, and virtually eliminate the private health care market, under designs of the presidential candidates.

    2. This came about not due to capitalism but rather due to government programs.

      This is false. Governments took over many utilities because they desired to. But up to that point private enterprise was making electricity available across the country. The assertion availability would not have occurred but for government is simply false.

      1. Exactly. The massive spread of internet service is a direct contradiction to the notion that only government can provide some service like electricity.

        If it weren’t for government, there are untold technologies we might currently have. Micro-grids, wireless power sources… We are likely stuck with our current outdated power system for decades to come because of subsidies and heavy regulation to keep new energy competitors out of the market.

        1. One caveat – I work in an extremely rural part of West Virginia and internet service is awful. That isn’t surprising – laying fiber has fixed costs per mile so if population density is low it’s tough to recoup those costs. As technology improves, costs either come down, or whole new solutions become available, but it can take time. I see that as part of the trade offs that come with a rural lifestyle. There are pros and cons to low-density living just as with high density living.

          1. Of course. A market solution for rural internet service was/is satellite internet service, like HughesNet.

            AT&T has ridden the government gravy train for so long that they are even interested in expanding past telecommunications and into movie/HBO/TV content ownership.

          2. It is also noteworthy that even in rural areas, monopolies are often in place. When I lived in rural Colorado, a single cable company had sole rights to provide service. That company was then allowed to be sold to one of the big companies. There was never an incentive to provide better cable/internet service to us because we represented like 100 households in a large area, and no competition was allowed to force the issue. While we received increasing channel lineups (because Dish/DirectTV competed) internet remained a problem. It was only when wireless providers started making their way into the area, that comcast started investing.

  14. When most people in America talk about socialism they are talking about some idealized northern European countries. I think it’s more effective to debate them on the best form of their argument, rather than the USSR, which amounts to a straw man.

    Having said that, Sanders and other members of Congress seem radical enough that they would embrace something like Chavez-style socialism.

    1. The problem is that the countries they’re talking about aren’t socialist, even if they have more Big Government than I’d like. So they’re arguing from a false premise, one I have no intention of falling for.

      1. That may be true, but if you are going to argue with them, you have to engage with what they are actually talking about or you are just talking past each other.

        1. In other words, the first party to tell a lie in a debate is allowed to have the lie stand for the sake of both parties avoiding talking past each other. No thanks. Any rational person understands that confronting the falsehoods of the opponent is entire point of a debate.

      2. The countries they are talking about used to be socialist, but saw that it wasn’t working and became capitalism-based. They still have at least double the tax rates we have here, but socialists here never want to talk about that aspect.

    2. That’s easy. Ask them if they want to tax the lower middle class at 60% like they so in Denmark and if they want to implement a national sales tax, which is largely seen as “regressive”.

      People who say they want Scandinavian democratic socialism don’t actually realize what that entails. They just think those countriea tax the rich a lot and it magically pays for everything.

      I say goodluck to anyone trying to convince Americans that someone earning $40,000 should pay $25,000 in taxes, not including that national sales tax.

      1. That won’t matter. They don’t think. They feel.

        1. So how do we get people to think instead of feel? There needs to be an effective small-government backlash to this unicorn nonsense.

          1. Everyone does some thinking and some feeling. Libertarians, too.

            If you need to stop people from feeling to have success, then you aren’t going to have success.

            What we need is an emotional appeal to freedom and capitalism as we want to see it practiced which is as compelling as those of our ideological opponents.

            1. What we need is an emotional appeal to freedom

              Very well put.

          2. I don’t know the answer. Thing is, socialism works. It works in a family setting and in other small groups. When the group is small enough, there is accountability. From each according to ability and to each according to need actually works! It’s when you extend it to larger groups that it fails. And it feels good. Helping the needy. Punishing the successful. Warms the heart. While we libertarians are heartless.

            1. I’ll tell you, nothing has been a better of indictment of socialism than having 3 kids try to decide which allotment of work and spoils is the most “fair” in our household. On the weekends, they have to figure out who is going to do what, and they are not persuaded at all by the fact that the youngest “needs” more help than the oldest. So she ends up getting more of the menial tasks while the older kids get fewer, harder tasks.

              So while we certainly practice socialism in the house, its inherent unfairness is clearly on display to the kids.

              1. +1

                1. Overt +1

                  1. Like you needed to specify, dude. You wouldn’t give me credit unless there was a gun pointed at you.

                    1. Say something good and I will compliment you.

                      You almost had me on your comment and then you tried to call yourself a Libertarian.

                      -100

              2. So while we certainly practice socialism in the house, its inherent unfairness is clearly on display to the kids.

                Yet when they become young adults I have no doubt whatsoever that they will support the political candidates who espouse the virtues of socialism. Unless they are homeschooled or in private school. Then they might stand a chance.

                1. Perhaps. My oldest started an online business when she was 10. She learned a lot about how it isn’t enough just to produce a good- that it takes real hard work to make the business successful. This has come up again when we are out shopping, and she wonders why “stupid” products are successful and the things she specifically wants aren’t available. All in all, I feel she is on a good track to question a lot of the base assumptions of socialism, such as the notion that business owners are merely exploiting the labor of their workers rather than actually adding value to the product through their own labors.

            2. Thing is, socialism works. It works in a family setting and in other small groups.

              Thing is, that’s not socialism.

              In a familiy setting what you’ve got is autocracy (the socialist dream( where there is one ‘owner’ who manages everyone for the good of all.

              In small groups that are still based on the family idea, one can extend this out a bit, getting a central ‘first’ family as the autocrat surrogate.

              Once family is removed, the whole thing starts to break down.

              This suggests that what we’re seeing when we see the familial ‘from each/to each’ action that is the basis of all socialistic thought isn’t what the socialists think it is.

              1. I’m pretty sure the majority of people who claim to support socialism really have no idea what it is.

          3. Just get rid of the socialists. I’m not even sure why this is in question. Considering the damage that has been done.

        2. The feelz cuts all ways.

          1. degrees

      2. Yep. Some of also are competitive or consistently rank higher than the US in the Fraser Institute’s economic freedom rankings.

        And if you set aside their “size of government” part of the economic freed rankings, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands would all rank much higher than US.

        So basically, when most Americans think of Democratic socialism, they think vaguely of a large social welfare system and low economic inequality. Most Americans would be in up in arms about the level of middle class taxation, and would be shocked to know that in northern Europe that often comes with less economic regulation, freer trade, sounder money, and stronger property rights than in the US.

        But by not confronting people with that reality, we basically let “socialism” as they understand it remain this amorphous blob that they can just project their fantasies on to, and people like Sanders are happy to ride that wave to something more destructive. Trying to compare that amorphous blob to the USSR is pointless because they can just point back at Europe mostly unchallenged.

        1. I think part of the problem now too is you have this strange swell of support for Modern Monetary Theory. So you have morons like AOC who go around telling people that we can do all the massive welfare state stuff that the scandinavian countries have, without having to worry about any of the costs.

          How do you combat that level of insanity?

          1. The GND is actually insane enough that is becomes easier to combat. So maybe the best way to argue against the democratic socialists in Congress is to make them get specific.

          2. I cannot wait for the election commercials where AOC is working as a bartender and explaining how her plans are genius.

          3. Yes, Occasionally Conscious, the socialist pioneer…

            You notice how her wardrobe now includes outfits so typical of the working class like the $1000 white Mao ensemble she sports. “Gee,” she says in her little baby girl voice, “when you’re the Boss at the very tippy top you can’t dress like you’re in the cheap seats. I mean, like it’s like something that like only capitalists do.”

            Meanwhile, her behind-the-scenes svengali has recently been reported as having played fast and loose with campaign funds for his own personal socialist benefit. But I guess when you’re tasked with making up all Ms. O-C’s tweets and other faux communications there must be some compensation for laboring in the boiler room of stupidity.

          4. There is no reasoning with Progressives.
            Progressivism, democratic socialism, is a faith – a faith that demands fanatical devotion.
            So you have to figure out who you’re dealing with – how devout are they?
            And even with the less devout, your arguments should be formulated for the wider audience rather than to convince your opponent.
            There is no compromise with the zealot – there is only battle.
            Your weapon, truth, has power in the unconscious. Be patient, don’t doubt it, and stick to it.
            Win wars, not battles

      3. Actually, I think a lot of people would pay European style taxes to get European style benefits. But I don’t think the model works here. I lived in Europe in the late 80’s. Never underestimate the benefit of a relatively homogenous population with a culture that frowns upon sloth. Most people in Europe at that time paid high taxes, but reaped most of the benefits of those taxes (education, mass transit, retirement money, good roads, etc.). In the U.S. how much of your taxes do you feel go toward things that benefit you personally? How do most people feel about that?

      4. Socialism works on small homogeneous groups. Mormons (as conservative as you can get), willingly tithe 10% of their income to the church. They know that this money is going back into their Mormon communities for things like daycare, education, missions, and even general welfare for those members who need it.

        In the U.S., socialism would never work on a large scale. “I’m not paying for a bunch of lazy in to sit on their asses and do nothing. I work hard for my money and donate it when and where I want to”.

        1. Yes. It makes a big difference if you can be confident your taxes are not being wasted. This becomes harder the larger the population and associated government you’re talking about.

    3. There is only one kind of socialism.

    4. what’s the argument? everything has been ‘socialist’ since 1913. now there are 100 trillions dollars of ‘social’ money floating around, and somebody got it oo, and spent it however they saw fit.

  15. From a Koch / Reason libertarian perspective, democratic socialism has a lot to offer because many of its proponents agree with us on our biggest issue ? immigration. I’d vote for a democratic socialist who wants to #AbolishICE before I’d vote for an immigration restrictionist “capitalist” any day.

    #OpenBorders
    #NoBanNoWall

    1. exactly

  16. Why? Because Democrats are the dumbest mother fuckers around?

    1. Have you seen a Trump rally? I agree that progressives are dumb. But they have nothing on fanatic Trump supporters.

      1. You just can’t restrain yourself from trying to establish a false equivalence, can you?

        1. how about a true equivalence?

          1. He’s incapable of those too.

      2. holy shyte they are dumb

        1. Yes, most people that are not me are stupid by comparison.

  17. To be fair the Chinese have seemed to found a middle way combining the worst of kleptocratic crony capitalism with the worst of state controled media, secret police and schools.

    That surely is a more attractive model than Venezuelan socialism, at least the forced abortions have stopped.

    1. it just goes to show that people are real, not “socialism”. Scandinavians make a different socialism than the Han

  18. Socialism can only exist by force.

    Socialists are some of the most uptight and bitter people I have ever met. They’re constantly bugging me to check my ‘privilege,’ and saying my masculinity is ‘toxic.’

    On a lark, I checked my ‘intersectionality,’ which is supposed to be a ‘groovy’ thing to do.

    My intersectionality score is 6 !

    I am more privileged than 93% of others!

    https://intersectionalityscore.com

    1. I got an 8. That must mean you oppress me. Now give me free shit.

      1. I got a 7!

    2. Hah, I got a 5! Take that.

    3. I got a 15. I’m a cis-hetero shitlord but I got points for being an old geezer.

      1. I don’t understand how being old gives you more points … unless they are equating “young” with “wise” ??? Tas crap.

    4. Justice can only exist by force.

      1. A paraphrase of “political power comes from the barrel of a gun”?

      2. Force is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the existence of justice.
        You claim that it is, prove it.

        1. ask the Sheriff and the Military

      3. justice just is? no pun

    5. I got a 4. All of you losers should expect the oppression to start just as soon as I finish my coffee.

      1. What? You’re going to make us wait?

        ‘Frowny face’

    6. I’m Sicilian – do I have to move the white slider any further left than the middle?

    7. 18.
      The religion ones seem odd. How does being a more devout Christian make you more of an oppressor?

      1. Why don’t you consult the last 2000 years of history.

        1. Why don’t you consult the last 1400 years in the Greater Mediterranean

          Why don’t you consult the last 2000 days in Syria

        2. It’s funny you think history is restricted only to certain areas of the world, but you are not exactly unique in that.

          1. Well Tony is a giant bigot so it makes sense.

      2. >>>How does being a more devout Christian make you more of an oppressor?

        nobody puts a plate in front of me for 10% anymore

    8. I got 32 but it asked if Ukrainian was my first language and if I was born in Ukraine. I’m sure it got the info that I was in Ukraine from my computer but does it give different scores for different things in different countries?

    9. everything only exists by force

  19. Whatever Sweden is or is not, the fact remains that the program the Democrat Party is proposing for this country will require a massive amount of force to implement. Use whatever label you like; it’s still unacceptable.

    1. No, it’s just a spending priority within the existing system. It does not come from “taxpayers” or any new kind of “force”.

      Nobody is “paying” for the already multiple trillions of dollars in public spending, that mathematically can only be supported by issuing new money.

      Which is exactly why there are now 100 trillion dollars floating around: 100 + years of currency expansion.

  20. “I think the challenge for Bernie is just going to be differentiating his brand of social democratic policies from the corrupt turn?and authoritarian turn?socialism took in parts of Latin America.”

    Isn’t it obvious that Bernie’s policies ALWAYS take a corrupt turn. Hell, corruption and violence are features, not bugs of any socialist system. It blows my mind that people think AOC and Bernie are compassionate, all while advocating an extremely evil form of governance. Especially considering the failures of Venezuela currently, and the collapse of the USSR in the not so recent past…

    1. People put way too much weight on stated intentions. Meaning well (or appearing to) is worth jack shit if your policies suck The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Yet many voters seem to just go with someone they think means well and wants to help.

  21. We talk about socialism as a possibly viable system because journalists lean left and because we’re a generation removed from the Soviet nightmare.

    1. I think there is something to the suggestion that that some kids like the word “socialism” because it riles up older generations–like the kids of fundamentalists scribbling pentagrams and upside down crosses everywhere.

      1. Che is kewl and wearing t-shirts with him on it allows young to people to fake rebel and actually fit in better.

        In this day and age, wearing a MAGA hat is more rebellious that wearing anything involving Socialists.

        Young people are generally stupid and the years of indoctrination and propaganda have created little dum-dum soldiers for the Socialist cause.

    2. I get the journalist part of it but we can currently watch Venezuela implode in real time so does the Soviet failure really matter that much?

  22. A ton of people out there seem to have lost track of what we’re talking about when we talk about socialism.

    Socialism: Government ownership of industry, redistribution of wealth, prices set by something other than markets.

    Capitalism: Private ownership, prices set by markets

    No point in talking about the historical merits of each system when people don’t seem to understand what we’re talking about. No, the existence of roads, universities, and a criminal justice system are not excellent examples of socialism. When you’re defending socialism, defend government ownership of industry, the redistribution of wealth, and prices set by bureaucrats–or you’re talking out of your ass.

    1. prices set by something other than markets

      This is one of the key points, and people have trouble grasping it intuitively. Until someone understands this, he won’t understand why socialism leads to scarcity.

      1. High wages and low prices won’t matter if the stores are empty. Just ask any old East German.

    2. +1

    3. Socialism is also a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

      1. And “democratic socialism” is a stage of society transitional between “capitalism” and “authoritarian socialism”.

    4. People need to understand that this is the definition that people who are socialist espouse. AOC knows exactly what socialism is and it’s that definition that she supports but she’s happy letting everyone think it’s a $15 minimum wage and free college and medical care.

  23. There’s a clear correlation between how young someone is and how likely that person is to view socialism in a positive light. There’s also a clear correlation between how young someone is and how poor that person is.

    I think those trends are related. A poorer person is more likely to want the government to give him stuff. A richer person is more likely to want others to earn what they get, the same way that most richer people did.

    1. Kids and young adults are just coming out of a very Socialist family dynamic. Daddy and Mommy were in charge and they controlled nearly everything about these young people’s lives. These young people also have no real wealth that was not given to them.

      Once adults raise families, work a career in the private sector, or own a business the cracks begin to appear in the absolute righteousness of Socialism.

      1. Kids raised in public school, anyway. My kid’s homeschooling has featured several real-time demonstrations (involving slacker cousins) about how socialism leads to productive people getting shafted.

        But doesn’t every group project turn out that way?

      2. I’ve met a number of people who were progressive when young and then moved to the right. I’ve never met anyone that moved the other way.

        1. Old ladies who rescue dogs and cats tend to move to the left. I seen it many time and think menopause has something to do with both.

    2. There’s also the naive idealism of youth. When you are younger, your mental model of the world tends to be simpler. When you don’t have a real idea of how complex and messy the world is, it’s easier to imagine socialism working.

      1. You’re much more generous than I am about it. I don’t think there’s anything particularly idealistic about robbing and enslaving people. I think it’s mostly spoiled children acting like Veruca Salt. “I want a free education, daddy! No! I want it now!”

        1. True. Slavers deserve to be eliminated.

  24. We’re still debating socialism because Stalin was our ally of convenience during WWII, so while the right had to purge its Nazi sympathizers, the left never purged their commies.

    Seriously, it’s old history, which isn’t taught anymore for obvious reasons.

    1. And, since Germany lost, after the war all of the Nazi atrocities were overrun by the Allies and exposed. All of the records were captured. All of the camps and mass burial sites were flung open for the world to see.

      The Soviet Union vaporized but Russia was not occupied by a hostile force. So while some of the atrocities are known because witnesses survived and because countries in the former Soviet Union became free, there are almost certainly hundreds of them that’ll never see the light of day……

      1. Well, we DID get to see the Soviet records, decades after the fact.

        They proved that the evil anti-Communists were actually right all along about cultural heroes like The Rosenbergs, Alger Hiss, Hollywood blacklistees, and certain lefty politicians.

        But, they got almost no mention in our lefty press, which resisted being purged of communism

        1. It also proved Ted Kennedy colluded with Russia back in 1983 to undermine Reagan’s presidency.

          Democrats are always the ultimate traitors.

    2. The commies actually infiltrated our mass media sufficiently to stop any complete purge
      Any pushback against them became conflated with McCarthyism
      McCarthyism somehow became to mean a fight against a non-existent enemy, all of its victims pure and innocent

      1. And our current progressives come from the New Left – ideas that are basically communist, with race replacing class.
        They’re exemplified by groups such as Weather Underground, whose members went on to be highly influential in academia and later politics.
        Weather Underground and other New Leftists, in their 20s at the time, trained in Cuba with North Vietnamese agents. These people are now in their 60s and 70s… and friends with the leading D/progressive party figures.
        Vilification of McCarthyism was necessary to allow literal communist takeover of the power structure/establishment.
        We live in the Information Age.
        Thus the communication of information are the Means of Production.
        Guess who controls it…

        1. They all must be destroyed.

  25. The only thing we are debating is how much socialism we want to have,
    The USA is, and has been a socialist county since before we were born.

    1. “The USA is, and has been a socialist county since before we were born.”

      No, it hasn’t. It doesn’t help in the argument against actual socialism when people scream “Socialism!!!” at things that aren’t socialist. Obamacare – just to pick one – wasn’t socialist. Maybe it was bad policy, maybe it was good policy poorly designed, choose whichever you want. But it wasn’t socialist. All the people screaming about things like that being socialist aren’t helping the cause. It’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf Syndrome.

      1. ObamaCare tried to control the means of production of an industry. In that case, health insurance.

        Just because Socialism never works does not make it any less Socialist.

        1. “ObamaCare tried to control the means of production of an industry. In that case, health insurance.”

          No, it didn’t. Did the government nationalize UnitedHealth or Aetna? Were they forced to offer plans into the Obamacare marketplace? Were limits set on what they could charge for plans in that marketplace? Were they forced to stop offering other plans to individuals or companies?

          None of those things happened. When you throw out bullshit like this you harm the credibility of arguments against actual socialism.

          1. As I said, ObamaCare was unsuccessful but they still tried.

            Obamacare effectively banned some health insurance because those plans didnt have the minimum required benefits. Obamacare really attacked catastrophic health insurance by effectively getting rid of that type of health insurance except for exempted people who could keep their plans. I was one of those people.

            Socialism does not require government nationalization. The definition is listed above.

            There is a line where government is no longer regulating an industry (means of production) and it becomes government ownership and control of that industry.

            AMTRACK is an example of a government company owned and administered by the government. Even the stock that was issued is held by the federal government and 4 other railroads. Funding comes from operation and Congress.

          2. It’s all part of how much on the spectrum of socialism a given government policy is. I don’t think you fully understand what Obamacare did. As an example, you ask whether Obamacare forced insurance companies to stop offering other plans to individuals. Are you under the impression that insurers could do what they wanted outside of “the Obamacare marketplace.” The Obamacare marketplace was simply a government-run distribution mechanism. The rules applied whether a policy was sold that way or not. So the answer to your question is yes, companies were not allowed to offer plans to individuals that didn’t conform to the new rules. And even policies already in place we’re disallowed if even minor coverage changes were made.

          3. Were limits set on what they could charge for plans in that marketplace? Were they forced to stop offering other plans to individuals or companies?

            Actually, yes. Premium increases are subject to approval by a board. High Deductible plans were drastically regulated, essentially destroying them as a product. (Instead of a High Deductible plan, they were forced to become Slightly Higher than Normal Deductible Plans.)

            1. Obamacare is fascism. Socialism without government ownership, but with tight government control of supply and prices and favored companies.

        2. “ObamaCare tried to control the means of production of an industry. In that case, health insurance.

          Just because Socialism never works does not make it any less Socialist.”

          How would you spin the fact that the exact same is true with the military industrial complex. Cuz all I hear is that the good capitalists of the right just loooove them some military spending.

        3. Socialism is not just *controlling* the means of production. It’s *owning* the means of production. Merely controlling the means of production is something the Nazis did as a compromise to get the support of private business owners, so it would be a little more accurate to controlling the means of production while allowing it to remain owned privately is more like Fascism.

      2. “No, it hasn’t. ”

        It’s certainly been socialistic. Have you read The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels? Progressive income tax. Check. Public funding of roads and schools. Check. There’s more too. There’s scarcely a politician in America willing to denounce these Marxist policies.

  26. Why?
    It’s called indoctrination and is disguised as education in our school systems.

  27. Nice job Steven.

  28. Because history isn’t taught in schools.

  29. They’re talking about socialism again because economics are not mandated at any level of education and people don’t understand how the utopian ideal of socialism directly causes destruction and chaos.

    1. While economics would be a good start to teach in schools, an even better one would be the benefits of individual choice, and how socialism is anathema to that.

      1. That’s a good point. A lot of leftists seem convinced that personal freedom should be restricted because bad things happen when people abuse freedom 🙁

    2. You wouldn’t want people taught “economics” the way lots of governmental teachers/professors teach it. Half of it is Neo-Keynesian government worship.

      (Guy with an Econ degree from a State University)

      Hand the kids a copy of Mises’ “Human Action” and the nonsense would stop.

      1. Surely we can agree that students should be taught in accord with evidence.

        1. lol Now do Global Warming

          1. Same thing.

            Do you ever wonder why that field of study among all others requires you to go to ClimateHoax.Limbaugh for your evidence instead of reputable sources?

        2. Yes, in accord with logic and reason as well. Those are absolutely necessary, unless you think I could hand you raw data on everything in the universe and you could teach yourself to be Einstein.

          There’s little reason to bring the evidence of mitochondrial development into a driving class.

  30. The most generous, euphemized, definition I can think of for socialism is the universal enslavement of all too all. But, that means that if you advocate for socialism, you advocate for slavery. There really is no way around that simple fact. It doesn’t matter if it is democratic or dictatorial, enlightened or brutish, pluralist or authoritarian, it’s still slavery. And if you think that slavery is better than liberty, just as long as you have the right masters, try taking a look at how those kindly masters turn when you cross their wishes.

    1. “The most generous, euphemized, definition I can think of for socialism is the universal enslavement of all too all”

      Generous? Try again. How can everyone be a slave to everyone?

      1. If everyone’s life and liberty are the property of the collective, which is what socialism does (you don’t have the liberty of employing them outside the dictates of the collective), everyone is a slave to the collective. And the collective is everyone but you.

        1. “And the collective is everyone but you.”

          Why am I excluded from the collective?

          1. by definition?

            1. I always thought collective means collective.

              1. yes. so “you” disappear.

                1. But I’m still here. Still wondering what you’re driving at.

  31. The country United Kingdom. The system Socialist. A child. Terrible accident. Two broken arms. A visit to the hospital. Timely effective treatment by dedicated professionals. The charge 2 pounds sterling. For parking. The reason why we are extolling the merits of socialism.

    1. The United Kingdom is not Socialist.

      1. The UK’s National Health system is about as socialist as you can get. Try it and see if you don’t believe me.

        1. The Social Security program in the US is socialist, but that doesn’t make the US a socialist country.

          The question the article asks, “why are we still talking about socialism?” cannot be answered by your one-issue, dogmatic post. The article is about the talk one hears today by some who advocate an actual shift to Socialism. Those who advocate this are not advocating a larger safety-net paid for by the free market (ala the UK), they are advocating all net and no market.

          1. “they are advocating all net and no market”

            That’s interesting. There were markets under the Stalin and Pol Pot. That proved too much market for them? Who are these people?

            1. There were free markets under Stalin and Pol Pot. Who knew? Amazing.

              1. There were markets. I wouldn’t go as far as to say they were free.

                “Who knew? Amazing.”

                I did. Read some books on the subject. Amazements abound if you can bring yourself to crack a tome.

                1. “Read some books on the subject.”

                  Cite the books, scumbag.

                  1. “Cite the books, scumbag.”

                    Do your own research, lazybones.

          2. What makes a country is when that country controls the means of production. It is not required to control ALL the means of production.

            Private medicine in the United Kingdom

            1. One cannot just pull their own definition of Socialism out of their ass because it bolsters their lame reasoning.

    2. English healthcare.

      English county where ONE GP covers home visits for 500,000 patients: Shock figure reveals crisis in out-of-hours NHS care that has ‘left dying cancer patients in agony with no one to administer morphine’
      One doctor in Shropshire is responsible for an area of 1,346 square miles.
      A clinic in Kent had only two doctors to look after 1.4million patients overnight
      Family doctors can opt out of working unsociable hours, weekends and evenings
      The state of out-of-hours care in Shropshire has led to patients dialing 999

      1. My god, man that’s terrible. It’s only a matter of time before the public demand a replacement system. They’ve suffered under NHS for 70 years. Any day now I expect some genius will come up with a proposal.

    3. The country: The United Kingdom
      The System: the NHS

      A woman, an 69yo woman, 5 years younger than sexpot Helen Mirren. an arthritic knee or hip. A visit to the doctor months after it is requested. A surgical consult that never happens. A decision by bureaucrats to deny her her mobility for the remaining deacdes of her life, that they are actually reducing to mere years

      1. My god, man that’s terrible. It’s only a matter of time before the public demand a replacement system. They’ve suffered under NHS for 70 years. Any day now I expect some genius will come up with a proposal.

    4. The country: The United Kingdom
      The System: the NHS

      A woman, an 54yo woman . A lump in her breast. AS biopsy. A surgery. A mestatsis. The decision to deny her the best drugs in the world because of cost. She never sees 60, while her American cosuin would have an 88% chance of doing so under the same circumstances.

      1. My god, man that’s terrible. It’s only a matter of time before the public demand a replacement system. They’ve suffered under NHS for 70 years. Any day now I expect some genius will come up with a proposal.

        1. You don’t read much about what is going on in the world I take it

          1. trueman, for reasons which are a mystery, fancies him/herself a clever commenter, most often posting gibberish in the hopes of appearing profound.
            Moreover, when s/he post historic claims, they tend to be less than honest and any request for cites gets *crickets*.
            S/he is a pathetic loser, hoping to be seen as ‘clever’. And failing.

        2. And people say I’m unreasonable to suggest the possible necessity of force to stop this kind of evil.

    5. The country: The United Kingdom
      The System: the NHS

      A man. A 38yo man. A toothache. a chronic problem. months of waiting to see a dentist. a bottle of alcohol and a pair of pliers

      The BBC

      1. My god, man that’s terrible. It’s only a matter of time before the public demand a replacement system. They’ve suffered under NHS for 70 years. Any day now I expect some genius will come up with a proposal.

    6. The Country: The United Kingdom
      The System: Capitalism

      A man. A woman. Anyone in their 20s or 30s with a college degree in the job market. An employer. A position. No one will take it unless it comes with one of the new Private Insurance plans he pays for so that his employees do not have to rely on the gawdawful NHS

      1. You should know the drill by now.

        1. This is actually the new proposal you’ve been asking for, dumbfcvk.

          How many Brits have you spoken to in the last several years?

          1. “This is actually the new proposal you’ve been asking for”

            Abolishing the beloved socialized medicine of the UK? Where’s the groundswell? I know Americans are dead set against UK’s NHS, but they don’t have the vote.

            1. LOL “beloved” LOL

              The top 10-20% of Briton wage earners have all moved to Private paid care. The only way for corporations in the UK to attract top talent is thru Employer Provided Private Health Insurance.

              They are moving toward our system, at least the ones who can afford to. They still have to pay for the NHS, like many Americans who send their kids to private school also have to pay taxes for failing public schools.

              The NHS is awful, and Kamala Harris and crew want to duplicate it, or Canada, where private pay was outlawed

              1. “The NHS is awful, and Kamala Harris and crew want to duplicate it, or Canada, where private pay was outlawed”

                If only Americans could vote on British and Canadian health matters. All their problems would be solved. As it stands they don’t and the reviled NHS and its contemptible Canadian counterpart stand to this day. Thanks to voters who have no idea of the slavery they are enslaved to.

                1. “Thanks to voters who have no idea of the slavery they are enslaved to.”

                  Thanks to idiots who think really crummy service for free is better than paying for it. I’d have thought even a simpleton like you could figure that out.
                  You’re welcome.

                  1. “Thanks to idiots who think really crummy service for free is better than paying for it. ”

                    The voters of UK and Canada have been idiots, and politicians of all political stripes over the past 70 years have been playing along with this idiocy. It’s like they’re no better than Venezuelans. Damn with them all, they anger me so much.

                    1. “The voters of UK and Canada have been idiots, and politicians of all political stripes over the past 70 years have been playing along with this idiocy. It’s like they’re no better than Venezuelans. Damn with them all, they anger me so much.”

                      I’ll bet your mama told you that you were clever: She lied.
                      Was there a point in there, other than that you have no point to make?

                    2. “Was there a point in there, other than that you have no point to make?”

                      Just pointlessly venting my anger over those idiots.

                  2. If there were few, or no socialists, then there could be no socialism.

                    The solution is simple.

  32. Any American politician calling himself a socialist is simply a bad politician, unless the only place he has to worry about getting elected is Vermont.

    What’s worrying is purple-state governor Hickenlooper this morning refusing to call himself a capitalist, presumably for one of two reasons: either he has been given data that the Democratic base is offended by that label and embraces socialism, or he’s being precious and ridiculous.

    Elizabeth Warren called herself a capitalist. Just wanna throw that out there.

    1. “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country”. — Bernie Sanders — May, 26, 2015

      Is there any doubt what Bernie means when he calls himself a Socialist?

      1. I’d be fine if Bernie Sanders wandered off and got lost in a park somewhere.

        1. You first

      2. “You know, it’s funny. Sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is when people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing. In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death,”

        1. And the journalists in the other countries can’t talk about it.

    2. “Elizabeth Warren called herself a capitalist. Just wanna throw that out there.”

      Yeah, lying is endemic among Ds, you included.

      1. That bitch always sounds like she is uncomfortably trying to hold her shit in.

  33. Hickenlooper was not wrong, for what it’s worth. These are nearly useless labels to describe extremes of what will always, in reality, be a mixed economy. If terms tend to obfuscate rather than clarify, and pit people against each other rather than find common ground, they should be ignored. But just call yourself a capitalist. If the Dem primary vote can’t handle that, they’re truly in as radical a space as the Republicans have long been on the other side.

    1. “….These are nearly useless labels to describe extremes of what will always, in reality, be a mixed economy….”

      Tell that to the Venezuelans who can’t buy toilet paper, scumbag. Your apologia for thugs and those who support them is pathetic from someone supposedly educated.

      1. You poor dear, you struggle so hard to keep up with basic English.

        1. Tony|3.8.19 @ 5:17PM|#
          “You poor dear, you struggle so hard to keep up with basic English.”

          You scumbag, you fail at keeping up with basic logic and knowledge.

        2. No Tony, he doesn’t. Though I. Sure this is al, quite confusing for you.

  34. Why are still discussing socialism the answer is very simple. First over the last about 8 decades the politically liberals (meaning the government will provide more to you) have been working to have greater influence in the US. To extend that ability to influence it was decide could be best accomplished through education so the members of the political liberals started getting their followers to go into education. That influence started in early 1960s during Johnson’s reelection when the democratic party went form “Ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country” to your government is going to give you —–. And it worked! Johnson was reelected and the so did the “Great Society”. A program which only the politicians profited. Since then each election cycle the democrats (as they were called then) have pushed more stuff (without cost to you) to, starting with the poor, and over the years expanded to others in part be cause the term “poor” was expanded to include more people where they are now promising every thing (almost) to every body. I use the term “almost” because there has to be someone to pick up the bill. As most people know before the government can give something, anything, to some one the government has to take from someone else. In the current election cycle the democrats are promising every thing free to all people (except the top 1%) yet democrats, now call progressives, have explained how these plans are going to be paid for.

  35. “Until work is fun, though, someone must divvy up unpleasant tasks on a more equitable basis. You’ve been warned.”

    Having grown up in Minneapolis, I can assure you that the unpleasant tasks won’t be assigned equitably. It works more like an episode of Survivor.

  36. its most-horrifying elements?gulags and executions

    It’s kinda quaint that this is the most horrifying elements of it.

    Entire communities were starved to death in the Ukraine. Men, women, children, entire families, entire towns died in their own homes. Unable to leave and unable to get the resources to survive. Meanwhile, Muskovite party faithful were rewarded with property, farmland, for their service. Of course they weren’t told where the farmland was, they were merely notified of their new arrangements and bused to wherever they were going. The good news is, they got their loyalty rewards. The bad news is, they had to remove the remains of the former occupants who’d starved to death themselves.

    One adult executing another is a pretty sad state of affairs. Parents smothering their own children in their sleep for fear of them dropping dead in the fields or, worse, themselves dying and leaving the children to starve alone… makes swift, orderly executions seem almost civil.

    1. ” Meanwhile, Muskovite party faithful were rewarded with property, farmland, for their service. ”

      Party faithful were wiped out in the millions. The higher they’d climbed the more likely they’d be liquidated. Good lord man, you shouldn’t need me to tell you about this.

      1. Low level party faithful were indeed sent to Ukraine to take over the farms of starved Ukrainians. There were many rewards under communism because rewards are an easy way to manipulate people. That doesn’t mean you were immune to punishment but you had no choice so why not enjoy the reward while you had it.

        1. “Low level party faithful were indeed sent to Ukraine to take over the farms of starved Ukrainians.”

          Stalin was much more concerned with industrialization. Moskovite party faithful were much more likely to be sent to various life-draining megaprojects, (damns, canals, factories etc) in the hinterlands than they were to take over farms.

          Even according to pessimistic Western estimates grain production in the Ukraine had recovered to pre-famine levels within a year or two. Agriculture was conducted by farmers, not idealistic urban youth longing for the joys of farm life.

          1. There was never a shortage of grain. It was taken. I’ll say that one more time- there was never a shortage of grain. It was taken by Stalin’s direct order.

            And the borders were closed so that no one could bring food in. Bridges were destroyed over border rivers and ferries were taken. Ukrainians were not allowed to go the city to buy bread where the Russians were already living (remember, sending you’re own people to occupied territories is the main way to enforce occupation which is why Putin is moving in more and more Russians into Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk) and were allowed to have food. It was illegal to sell bread to people from the villages.

            Industrialization can’t happen without food. Even Stalin knew that and that is why he needed to control or kill the farmers in Ukraine and replace them with people who would be willing to collectivize to feed the factory workers instead of keeping the food for themselves. Ukrainians weren’t going hungry- the factory workers were and with Stalin’s emphasis on industrialization, he figured knew he had to make changes. Ukrainians resisted and the result was the man-made famine.

            1. “There was never a shortage of grain.”

              Yes there was. Stalin even reversed himself and authorized buying grain from abroad with precious foreign reserves to relieve the hunger. Too little too late, though.

              1. Not having enough grain in Ukraine to feed a country the size of Russia is not a shortage of grain. There was plenty of grain to feed Ukrainians and then some. All of it and any other food stuffs were taken by the commies to punish Ukrainians who would not comply by giving their farms to collectives. Borders were closed so no food could be brought in and laws were passed to make it illegal to feed anyone who came from the villages. It was a forced starvation in a land of plenty. Stalin was 100% responsible and proud of it.

            2. “There was never a shortage of grain. It was taken. I’ll say that one more time- there was never a shortage of grain. It was taken by Stalin’s direct order.”

              You are arguing with an unlettered idiot.
              Ask him for a cite; he has none. AFAICT, his ‘reserach’ is Reader’s Digest and Parade Magazine articles.

              1. Sure there was a shortage. Normally USSR sold grain abroad. During the famine they had to buy it from abroad. Sure it was taken, and a lot of it just rotted in the fields, and people responsible for rationing hoarded it instead, and the harvest yielded only half of previous years due to hamfisted Bolshevik meddling (aka forced collectivization). People starved or went hungry in their millions, city and country. To claim there was no shortage of food is ludicrous. You need cites for this? Go to a library.

                1. Trueman is an unlettered idiot.
                  “Stalin’s War on Ukraine” (Applebaum), makes clear (with research and cites, you scumbag), that there were local shortages but the famines and starvation were not the result of production failures, but the result of conscious efforts on the part of the USSR central powers.
                  During much of the famine (and starvation) Stalin was still shipping confiscated grain abroad.
                  Yes, I need cites for your imbecilic claims.

                  1. “but the result of conscious efforts on the part of the USSR central powers.”

                    You don’t have cites to back this up.

                    Stalin had been taking food from the peasants since the 1920s. When he thought that the food he was getting from them wasn’t enough, he would terrorize them, and more food would appear. That was the background. The disastrous famine happened in much the same way except more food didn’t appear (because of the shortage I’ve discussed elsewhere on the page.) The suffering and brutality escalated until even Stalin understood and accepted the true scope of the disaster.

                    Your notion that Stalin and his minions consciously set out to murder 10s of millions is not supported by the historical record.

              2. Thanks for the heads up but it was becoming obvious.

                1. “Thanks for the heads up but it was becoming obvious.”

                  What’s obvious is the failure of your imagination. You can’t understand that the Bolsheviks truly believed in communism. To you communism was nothing but a cynical pretext to justify their murderous intentions. The historical record suggests otherwise. Stalin was a true believer. The record shows that his private thoughts on matters was essentially the same as his public pronouncements.

                  1. You can’t understand that the Bolsheviks truly believed in communism. To you communism was nothing but a cynical pretext to justify their murderous intentions.

                    You’re a moron. Nobody at any point, said anything about belief one way or the other. I certainly didn’t.

                    Farm collectivization was a megaproject. You don’t liquidate 5 million farmers and their farms and return to 100% production the following year without a considerable number of people cleaning up the corpses and starting up the tractors.

                    I don’t know what your stupid point is, but you’ve thoroughly convinced me it’s an immaterial fabrication.

                    1. “You’re a moron. Nobody at any point, said anything about belief one way or the other. I certainly didn’t.”

                      I raised belief in communism in the brief passage you just quoted. It seems to me you have a failure of imagination here. If you disagree, you should insult me again.

                      ” starting up the tractors.”

                      Tractors come from factories. They are not grown from the soil like wheat. The push to mechanize agriculture was very much part of Stalin’s plans. One tractor can do the work of many horses which can do the work of several people. Mechanization means that farms can be just as productive with a smaller workforce. You need to put a little more thought into the matter.

      2. Low level party faithful were indeed sent to Ukraine to take over the farms of starved Ukrainians. There were many rewards under communism because rewards are an easy way to manipulate people. That doesn’t mean you were immune to punishment but you had no choice so why not enjoy the reward while you had it.

      3. Exactly how hard do you have to work to be this stupid?

        The more loyal you were = the more likely you were to be killed. Can you not see Any logical problem with your thesis?

        They were only a threat to Stalin if they were around long enough to build their own political base. And that was hundreds of party officials and generals, not millions of low level apparatchiks, you mewing maw of imbecility

        1. “They were only a threat to Stalin if they were around long enough to build their own political base.”

          Trotsky was a threat to Stalin, and he had his own political base outside the USSR. There was nobody else. Supposed Trotskites who were liquidated in astonishing numbers were no more followers of Trotsky than you or I. The whole thing defies logic.

          If you think that only hundreds suffered during the purges and only those who threatened Stalin’s rule, you need to read up on the subject.

          1. Useless history about a failed ideology. Your liberal prof must be so proud!

            1. “Useless history about a failed ideology.”

              You should know your history, Then you’ll know where you’re coming from. And this failed ideology of yours looks set to fail once again a lot closer to home if the American voters have any say in the matter. Laugh while you can, monkey boy.

              1. “Laugh while you can, monkey boy.”

                Post bullshit anytime, scumbag.

                1. Keep laughing Sevo. A failed ideology is haunting America.

          2. Supposed Trotskites who were liquidated in astonishing numbers were no more followers of Trotsky than you or I. The whole thing defies logic.

            *Upper* estimates of the Great Purges approach 1.5M. *Lower* estimates of the Holodomor are generally above 3M.

            Nikolai Yezhov’s removal is a pretty messed up act. However, he was a part of bringing about the state of affairs that led to his own demise. Millions of Ukrainians who had no direct part, ideologically or otherwise, in bringing Stalin to power were effectively executed and were on the path to being erased from history in a far more brutal fashion.

            If you think the Great Purge defies logic but the Holodomor was just a policy faux pas, it says a lot more about your logic and ethics than it does about anything else.

            1. The enforced collectivization wasn’t restricted to Ukraine, but the entire country. It affected Russians, too. It’s estimated that half the population of Kazakhstan died during the same period. You wouldn’t know that reading the comments here or the main article which only acknowledge the suffering of Ukraine. You make the same error.

              “If you think the Great Purge defies logic but the Holodomor was just a policy faux pas”

              I don’t think the purges make a lot of logical sense, if you do, perhaps you can explain it. I never claimed the famines resulting from enforced collectivization were just a policy faux pas. Stalin was a brutal dictator and he was determined to collectivize agriculture as industry had been. Within a short while he had accomplished largely what he set out to do. The idea that Stalin set out to exterminate the peasantry is incorrect. He thought that communism would win the day. The idea that peasants would resist his efforts was not part of his thinking. Communists have always made the same mistake. The Vietnamese communists launched Tet offensive thinking that southern working class would jump at the chance to join in the revolution once the party had set the stage. Che Guevara thought the same as the Bolivian peasants would do the same thing. I’m not sure how this reflects on my logic and ethics, so you can explain if you wish.

    2. With Holodomor, Stalin killed more people in one year than the Nazis did in all of WWII.

      Meanwhile, Muskovite party faithful were rewarded with property…for their service.

      The same is happening now in Crimea.

      1. “The same is happening now in Crimea.”

        Russians repopulated Crimea back in the 18/19th century after they chased out the Tatars. Before the Tatars, Crimea was home to Armenians, Goths, Scythians, Mongols, Italians, Greeks and a lot more.

        1. We live in modern times and the law now says that Crimea (no matter its history) belongs to Ukraine. Russia staged a military invasion and occupied the area against the people’s will and international law.

          1. “We live in modern times and the law now says that Crimea (no matter its history) belongs to Ukraine.”

            It was actually the Bolsheviks that gave Crimea to Ukraine. Before that it was Russian. I don’t foresee it returning to Ukrainians any time soon.

            1. “It was actually the Bolsheviks that gave Crimea to Ukraine. Before that it was Russian. I don’t foresee it returning to Ukrainians any time soon.”

              Cite, as always, missing. Yes, the Commies may have ‘given’ the Crimea to the Ukrainians under some Kremiln policy or other, at one time or other, but without a cite, it’s not possible to separate what might possibly have happened from you constant stream of bullshit.
              You are full of shit, as Stalin once remarked.

              1. “but without a cite, it’s not possible to separate what might possibly have happened from you constant stream of bullshit.”

                Life is tough. Aim for the point where you know enough about the subject where you don’t need to constantly abase yourself begging me to educate you. My advice: less blather more reading.

            2. I will agree that it won’t be returned any time soon. Especially since Putin is readying for another push into Ukraine if the elections don’t turn out the way he likes. That doesn’t make any less evil though. Putin’s goal is to rebuild the USSR and Ukraine isn’t the only ex-Soviet state he’s messing with. It just made headlines because they successfully stood up to him but the punishment for that was swift and severe.

              The Ukrainian people generally just want to be left alone. They are so middle-class American-like that I sometimes forget that they are still dealing with having been oppressed for generations and have to remind myself to be patient as they learned to manage freedom.

              1. “. It just made headlines because they successfully stood up to him but the punishment for that was swift and severe.”

                The Russians took Crimea without firing a shot. That’s not successfully standing up to him, but capitulation. Makes sense though, as Russia is a large and powerful neighbour for any country to have and it’s best to be on good terms. Maybe the Ukrainians figure the Crimea is worth giving up for good relations with Russia. Or perhaps they could cement ties with Europe as Ukraine traditionally has enjoyed.

        2. Look at Putin’s Puppet over here

  37. Because the right people haven’t been in charge yet? Like scofflaw bartenders in their 20s

    1. And, of course, the dems are Pure In Heart enough not to let the power of enslaving millions of people to their heads so they can it right.

  38. Socialism has never been “done right”. Why we should think it will be done right the next time.

    1. This time they’ll be just…..

      …..just like the other times.

  39. But we will do it right because we are greatest nation in the world, eva!

  40. No, we surely shouldn’t be needing to have this conversation again. It’s ridiculous.

    Also, don’t know if the writer of the article made this mistake or if it was the infornation he was given, but there is a big difference between malnutrition and starvation.

    1. Malnutrition can caused by eating poorly but it can also be caused by the process of starvation. Noting the rise in the incidents of malnutrition in a country known not to have food is a good indicator of how bad the situation is getting.

  41. One thing that needs to be remembered is that the “merits” of socialism, as bad as they may indeed be, will never provide the true argument against the essence of socialism. Socialism can only be refuted by pointing out its moral problems and its aim of authoritarian control over individuals.

    Socialism is, much to the chagrin of Bernie, nothing more than the use of force for things that would otherwise be taken care of by either the market or the good will of society. Contrarily, the free market is simply freedom at work, allowing people to make the best of themselves according to their own wishes, never enslaving anyone to the purposes of the governmentally-determined “common good.”

  42. It should be obvious (SHOULD!) by now that one end of the economic freedom scale simply does not work. We need only look at the USSR, at Venezuela, at Cuba, at China before they started allowing capitalist enclaves.

    So if the amount of economic freedom is near zero, everything breaks down. My problem (even as an avowed libertarian) is the assumption that the curve of (X axis: government control of the economy) vs. (Y axis: general welfare of the population) is EVERYWHERE negative. In particular that it will be negative near the origin, where government control is near zero.

    What is the hard scientific evidence for this?

    1. “What is the hard scientific evidence for this?”

      Post WWII Hong Kong compared to Maoist China.
      Sorry, civilized people don’t allow controlled experiments on humans, except where the commies do so, since they are not civilized.

    2. What is the hard scientific evidence for this?

      I’d say you’re presenting or conceptualizing the problem incorrectly.

      If the government, year over year, randomly murdered 5% of the population and seized their assets or randomly murdered a portion of the population until it reached 5% of GDP, whichever reached 5% first, you’d be cool with that as long as they didn’t go above 5% (or whatever low number you choose)?

      Assuming you completely ignored the morality of the situation by mistake, there’s loads of abstract data that indicates below ~10% ‘control’ you stop seeing distinctly inhibitory effects of government control/wealth redistribution. But, this leaves entirely unanswered multitudes of pragmatic questions like ‘Which 10%?’ and ‘For how long or for what total sum?’ and, more importantly, ‘Is it a 10% that can be rationally/ethically taken?’ and ‘Once taken are any further consequences incurred?’ Lots of minarchists and most anarchists/ancaps will tell you that it’s negative near zero because of the noise in your measurements and the fact, invariably, X[1] > X[0].

  43. Because we have a short memory collectively. Because that’s what is being taught in our schools. Because people think socialism is Utopia – they don’t realize it is exactly like being in prison.

    Because giving things to the needy sounds like the right thing to do. Because they think it is OK to hold a gun to my head to get me to support their favorite charity.

  44. Mr Greenhut

    Excellent piece, but I respectfully disagree with one point:

    “Yet socialistic policies could turn the nicest cities into wastelands”

    No sir, socialistic policies **will** turn the nicest cities into wastelands. Portland, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, LA. All gun by the “democratic socialist” Democratic party.

    1. those are a great cities where everyone wants to live and have the highest property values and wealth levels and income and opportunity and range of possibilities. you just can’t handle prosperity so now it’s finger wagging and hinterland jealousy

      1. Those are cities where ignoramuses such as you have yet to demolish.

  45. Perhaps because people aren’t being honest about what socialism is. A socialist is someone who believes that government should control the means of production, not anyone to the left of Mark Meadows. The willful dishonesty on the right is largely responsible for the upswing in socialism’s popularity because they have defined it down. This article contributes to that upswing.

    1. The Left has defined it down to where it means “something that makes me feel warm and fuzzy that our side likes”.

      The Left always fights precision in describing policy, and makes all terms simply synonyms for political sides.

      It would be nice if people could mean something specific by Socialism, but that isn’t in the cards.

      Socialism – government operation of the means of production
      Fascism – control through regulation and fiat short of actual operation
      Redistribution – taxing and passing out money

      1. you forgot Capitalism- passing out money and taxing it back

        1. You forgot to mention that you’re an ignoramus.

    2. Erik w|3.8.19 @ 9:02PM|#
      “Perhaps because people aren’t being honest about what socialism is.”

      Correct.
      Lefty apologists are forever moving the goalposts in the hopes that their thuggish ideology will be hidden behind the curtain.
      Fuck off, slaver.

    3. no, because socialism is a state of affairs and not a “belief”.

      you don’t actually know anybody else, people don’t walk around “being socialists”

      1. Please fuck off and make the world more intelligent.

      2. you don’t actually know anybody else, people don’t walk around “being socialists”

        Right. The same way people don’t walk around “being gay”, “being feminist”, or “being vegan”. If I didn’t constantly walk around constantly identifying as a capitalist to everyone, I probably wouldn’t even know there were any socialists.

        You would really think that, for socialists, they would really get more political representation. All these countries with all the variations of capitalist parties; democratic capitalists, nationalist capitalists, republican capitalists, independent capitalists… the socialists should really catch up.

  46. Central planning doesn’t deliver the goods.

    1. it delivers America today, good and bad

      1. You deliver stupidity in every post.

  47. Mr. Greenhut hasn’t a clue what democratic socialism is. Having counseled us to focus on the “simple stuff,” he then proceeds to ignore it. The simple stuff is extension of Medicare, coupled with proper funding of Head Start, public schools, and the EPA. Not to mention progressive taxation and mending the social safety net.

    Nobody is advocating public ownership of the means of production — the very definition of socialism. We mixed-economy types grasp the fact that capitalism produces wealth. So do the Swedes. So don’t wave around the dictatorial and totalitarian regimes of the Bolsheviks, Pol Pot, North Korea and Cuba. Why not talk about Western Europe, the instantiated model of democratic socialism?

    Where are France and Germany and Denmark in this ignorant college freshman essay? Lost in an absurd comparison of the USA with USSR circa 1947 -1990. The author seems to suppose that Bernie Sanders is a fan of Joe Stalin. I know otherwise, and the public record would reveal the same to anyone qualified to write about today’s renewed democratic socialist movement in the USA.

    1. If you don’t want to be lumped in with the USSR and Nazis, get a new name for your policy prescriptions besides Socialist. They have dibs.

      1. Okay, progressive. But the candidates don’t take my advice. Not that “progressive” would poll well in this crowd.

      2. no, we have to own the word and shove it right in their face. crack the ignorance with bold success

        1. agricola|3.9.19 @ 12:18AM|#
          “no, we have to own the word and shove it right in their face. crack the ignorance with bold success”

          We really don’t need an added supply of stupidity; fuck off.

    2. Fuck off, slaver.

    3. you had it at “college freshman”

      1. You never got it.

    4. So let’s compare Denmark to America.
      1. They have a booming private sector, like we do.
      2. They have loads of small businesses and entrepreneurs like we do.
      3. They have publicly financed education, like we do.
      4. They have government healthcare. We do not.
      5. They have vicious immigration policies, because you cannot fund social benefits for all and have open borders.
      6. They have very high tax rates, irrespective of income.
      7. They have almost no military.
      8. Their government is relatively solvent. They’re not financing their social programs through endless debt.
      Anyone who maintains that we should be doing as the Danes are doing has a lot of ground to cover. Glib US observers NEVER get that far. Too complicated for them.

  48. Some capitalists and capitalist sympathizers promote a hard and false choice between capitalism and socialism. But the two have happily coexisted for centuries in nearly all the nations of the world, including the United States. We have Monsanto and Medicare, Facebook and the fire department, American Airlines and air traffic controllers. The only real question is what things will be in what category.

    1. thank you!!!

    2. Greg Dent|3.8.19 @ 10:13PM|#
      “Some capitalists and capitalist sympathizers promote a hard and false choice between capitalism and socialism. But the two have happily coexisted for centuries in nearly all the nations of the world, including the United States. We have Monsanto and Medicare, Facebook and the fire department, American Airlines and air traffic controllers. The only real question is what things will be in what category.

      We have very confused people posting bullshit.

  49. Greg Dent is right, for those few willing to pay attention.

    1. Best we just get rid of the socialists.

      1. get of the internet, it’s a socialist boondoggle

        1. Are you dedicated to proving you’re an ignoramus, or is that a byproduct of your stupidity?

  50. Sadly, neither the writer or most readers understand that socialism is not simply government spending. Socialism is government ownership, and no one is suggesting that.

    What people are suggesting is progressivism. Much different.

    As for “executions and endless repression,” have you all forgotten right-wing fascism?

    1. One more apologist:

      RodgerMitchell|3.8.19 @ 10:33PM|#
      “Sadly, neither the writer or most readers understand that socialism is not simply government spending. Socialism is government ownership, and no one is suggesting that.
      What people are suggesting is progressivism. Much different.”
      No, it is not “much different”; once the commies control the majority of the economy, they control production. I know you hope no one notices, but we do.

      “As for “executions and endless repression,” have you all forgotten right-wing fascism?”
      Are you serious? Are you so ignorant of 20th century history to bother trying to apologize for the commie mass murders by comparing them to that piker Hitler?
      Can I assume you are a product of government schools and not otherwise educated? If not, you should make a better effort at presenting your claims.

      1. The Soviets called their brand of socialism “progressivism” too. It seems the more progressives try to differentiate themselves form murderous, ineffective socialism, the more they convince me they are the same.

        1. “We’re not like them! We’re enlightened! Trust us!”
          They all need to have is stuffed up their butts. I’m tired of it.

        2. maybe, but the difference between America and “Russia” is that our well funded socialism is more market driven, mainly because Americans are more market driven,

          1. Please make the world more intelligent and fuck off.

          2. If it’s funded by capitalism it’s not socialism.

      2. so what do you call the 80% government control over “the economy” in America? oh right I forgot it’s called “capitalism”.

        1. Please make the world more intelligent and fuck off. We don’t need one more imbecile posting bullshit

    2. No. Just no.

    3. @RodgerMitchell …”no one is suggesting that”

      Search:
      Sanders on bread lines
      Sanders on choice in grocery markets
      DeBlasio on who should run and distribute housing
      DeBlasio on money in the wrong hands
      Dems on childcare
      Philadelphia MOVE bombing, government jail time or held responsible?
      New York City Housing Authority scandal, government jail time or held responsible?
      Dems on healthcare
      Subways in NYC
      Subways in D.C.
      Bullet trains in California
      Kamela Harris on rent control
      Dems on garanteed government union jobs
      Dems on underperforming or worthless teacher’s unions
      Pensions in deep blue cities
      Detroit bankruptcy
      Modern monetary theory
      Barriers to entry in the marketplace

      Yep, you’re communists.

  51. this is the same weatherbeaten trope about “capitalism” and “socialism”. There are is a TEN TRILLION DOLLAR PUBLIC SECTOR floating in a ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLAR MONEY SUPPLY.

    IT IS ALREADY SOCIALISM.

    the real question is why does “money socialism” produce America and “political socialism” produces Venezuela, and the answer is self explanatory.

    renters should vote on rent, and vote it out of existence.

  52. this is the same weatherbeaten trope about “capitalism” and “socialism”. There are is a TEN TRILLION DOLLAR PUBLIC SECTOR floating on a ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLAR MONEY SUPPLY.

    IT IS ALREADY SOCIALISM.

    the real question is why does “money socialism” produce America and “political socialism” produces Venezuela, and the answer is self explanatory.

    renters should vote on rent, and vote it out of existence.

    1. agricola|3.9.19 @ 12:07AM|#
      ‘bullshit, bullshit, bullshit…’

      Please make the world more intelligent and fuck off.

  53. I gotta hand it to you, Sevo. Working the late shift fending off the late arrival of three dipshit commies.
    Did this story post on MoJo or Slate? Why would a troika of Trotskyites wander over here on a Friday evening?

    1. A lot of our taxpayer funded state universities have decided to teach courses titled “Marxism for the 21st century”. It Can Work This Time–UTOPIA awaits.

  54. Illiterate illiberal morons on this thread. As for Grandoa Gulag, don’t be a useful idiot and fall for his paraditical nonsense.

  55. “Socialism” is a label that has been used to cover a very wide range of group activities, some of which have been provably benign — like co-op businesses, Social Security, labor unions, consumer unions, granges, guilds, and municipal water-works. This is what causes a lot of the confusion over “socialist” political policies, and has given “socialism” in general a better reputation than it deserves. We need to invent some more precise terms for particular group actions and organizations so that the voters can understand the differences.

  56. Because a new generation is coming of age, a generation indoctrinated in schools that Socialism is the answer to all man’s problems. They have never been taught the reality of socialism, the poverty, the repression, the gulags.

  57. Oh, lookie – a stupid propaganda bit from from the OC Register…

  58. Because right leaning idiots have been conflating ANY tax dollars actually going back to citizens as “socialism.”

  59. The examples of “democratic socialism” are invariably the nordic countries. And when you take a close look, the chief difference between a country like Denmark and the US is government health care. They have publicly financed education, like we do. And they have a booming private sector, like we do. Denmark is a capitalist economy, except for the social services. None of the classic socialist ideas–government ownership of the means of production and so on–are in evidence there.

    In addition, Denmark has almost no military. And they have vicious immigration laws. You can’t offer all these social programs, and have open borders. That’s a prescription for insolvency. Plus everyone pays high taxes, not just the wealthy. As an American living in California, with 13% state tax (now non-deductible), I’m paying 9% less in taxes than I would in Denmark, and getting a lot less for my money. And that’s with the US sinking deeper in debt by $1T a year.

    Reason should finance a junket to Denmark (or the “democratic socialist” state of their choice) for the top ten Democratic Presidential candidates, so that can get educated. At present, they’re blowing air out of their rear ends.

    1. You are 100% correct. The new lunacy for the open borders + welfare crowd is Modern Monetary Theory.

  60. Thomas Jefferson saw this clearly over 200 years ago:

    “Were we directed from Washington [the city, not his friend George] when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want [for] bread”

  61. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.GeoSalary.com

  62. “Authoritarianism is the inevitable outcome?a feature of socialistic systems, not a bug, because those systems empower government at the expense of individuals.”

    the key phrase. the one that no one should ever forget, but they always do.

  63. The New York City Housing Authority Scandal is the ultimate example of socialism in the U.S.. An incompetent, corrupt, bureaucracy that has systematically ruined the promise of utopia amongst the poorest New Yorkers (Vote for Me and Utopia will stand). Not one single government employee will be held accountable, imprisoned for the decades of corruption of that disaster. The tax payers are the ones that will take over that shit show.

    The question is, why do functional taxpayers leave these dysfunctional cities and states then vote for the same socialist policies they fled?

    1. How did the Wall Street bankers stay out of jail after 2008?

  64. Not going to happen, but a nice fantasy;
    First ‘debate’ question asked each person running for the democratic nomination should be “As your party espouses socialist platform planks, would you please explain to the nation why you have more than one house, and why you do not share that home with others who have no home?”

    1. Its become so batshitcrazy that the self proclaimed “Socialists” say that they are not really socialists. Its hard to keep up.

  65. Reason just doesn’t want people to have better lives. Socialism would be a move forward… no… a leap forward… no… a great leap forward.

  66. As long as you have Peter wanting to legally rob Paul, you’ll have socialism in one form another. As soon as the cavemen crawled out of the primeval ooze, the biggest one with the biggest club probably felt indignant about the unequal distribution of furs and began bashing his neighbors over the head to take some of their furs “for Common Good of the cave.”

  67. Top Reason: Government runs the schools and backs student loans.

  68. Why are we still debating the merits of socialism?

    We are debating it and hearing about it because there is an increasingly large section of the population whose needs are not addressed by crony capitalism where the worth of the individual is reduced to how much one consumes.

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

    The capacity to buy more of what you don’t need with money you don’t have is not a guarantee of liberty and the opportunity to become wealthy and not pay any taxes has led to this situation where there is an ever-growing segment of the population with a clear sense that they are getting screwed over by the oligarchs and the disappearing middle class (the tax base) is being replaced with AI and automation for the good of the shareholders.

    Capitalism? Fix it or lose it. My preference would be for a third way, haven’t figured that part out yet.

  69. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
    Clik This Link inYour Browser.

    ???????? http://www.Theprocoin.com

  70. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
    Clik This Link inYour Browser.

    ???????? http://www.Geosalary.com

  71. Why are we still “debating?” Because we have a generation today that was educated to fail in a free society. When one lacks basic knowledge and understanding of what constitutes a civil society, one lacks the skill set needed to achieve a modicum of self-reliance and independence and one is steeped in greed, class envy and harbors a victim mentality, then one believes that confiscation and redistribution of others’ property is “good.” It is common for those who have been in prison to sabotage their freedom in order to return to the security of incarceration. And for the millennials (and too many of their parents), the security of government control seems more reliable than their own flawed attempts at creating and defining their own destinies. Life doesn’t give participation trophies, and that is a shock to many in the voting public.

  72. One thing I never understood about socialists is why don’t they all build their old communes and have things the way they want them? Why the need to force (yes force) everyone else into it? If your system is so friggin good, just get together, buy a bunch of land, and build your paradise. Is anyone stopping you from doing this?

  73. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
    Clik This Link inYour Browser.

    ???????? http://xurl.es/Bizweek

  74. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://www.Aprocoin.com

  75. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.
    >>>>>>>>>> http://xurl.es/BestOnline

  76. I remember my grandmother going to Poland in the early 70’s. One of her bags was completely filled with Hershey bars….about 70 pounds worth.

    I think when she got through Polish customs, the amount was down to about 50.

  77. I earned $9000 last month by working online just for 7 to 8 hours on my laptop and this was so easy that i myself could not believe before working on this site. GBd If You too want to earn such a big money then come?2019 news
    Try it, you won’t regret it!?..

    SEE HERE http://www.Theprocoin.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.