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Jun 24 2015

Judicial Watch Documents Valerie Jarrett’s Family Ties to Communism

Not that this will make the evening news, but look what Judicial Watch has found:

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.

Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Bowman was also a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. …

According to Bowman’s government file the Association of Internes and Medical Students is an organization that “has long been a faithful follower of the Communist Party line” and engages in un-American activities. Bowman was born in Washington D.C. and had deep ties to Chicago, where he often collaborated with fellow Communists. JW also obtained documents on Bowman from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) showing that the FBI was brought into investigate him for his membership in a group that “follows the communist party line.” The Jarrett family Communist ties also include a business partnership between Jarrett’s maternal grandpa, Robert Rochon Taylor, and Stern, the Soviet agent associated with her dad.

Jarrett’s father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was also another big-time Chicago Communist, according to separate FBI files obtained by JW as part of a probe into the Jarrett family’s Communist ties. For a period of time Vernon Jarrett appeared on the FBI’s Security Index and was considered a potential Communist saboteur who was to be arrested in the event of a conflict with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

Obama’s lack of seriousness has led many to suspect that Valerie Jarrett is effectively calling the shots at the White House.

Obama himself was mentored by Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Soviet-financed Communist Party USA who also had an extensive FBI file, and who also was designated for arrest should war break out with the USSR, the country to which he could be presumed to be loyal.

Advisor David Axelrod, who prepared the Obama package so that the media could sell it to the masses, also has numerous communist ties.

Bill Ayers launched Obama’s political career from the apartment he shared with fellow communist terrorist Bernardine Dohrn.

Yet again we see that Joseph McCarthy was correct about American institutions being infested with communists devoted to the downfall of our country and the establishment of a repressive oligarchical collectivist regime along the lines of the Soviet Union. The sort of people McCarthy was demonized for warning us against now run the White House.

Communist Obama
The USSR’s revenge from beyond the grave.

On tips from Ken in Florida, Varla, Stormfax, JusttheTipHQ, and DJ.



  • Appalled By The World

    Doesn’t really matter. The commiecrats firmly entrenched themselves six years ago and nobody said boo despite all the clear warning signs. Makes one wonder just who really won the Cold War after all. The USSR is gone-but then again, so is the USA. Russia and the Obaman People’s Republic have replaced them with the former nation probably being more capitalist and free these days.

  • Appalled By The World

    Doesn’t really matter. The commiecrats firmly entrenched themselves six years ago and nobody said boo despite all the clear warning signs. Makes one wonder just who really won the Cold War after all. The USSR is gone-but then again, so is the USA. Russia and the Obaman People’s Republic have replaced them with the former nation probably being more capitalist and free these days.

  • Aguila1952

    Yes, what some of us suspected about eight years ago. No one bothered to vet our Clown-in-Chief. Why is this just now being released? I wonder …

  • Gassius Maximus

    Yes, what some of us suspected about eight years ago. No one bothered to vet our Clown-in-Chief. Why is this just now being released? I wonder …

  • bubba

    Huh, I would have never guessed.

  • bubba

    Huh, I would have never guessed.

  • Musicmaven

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you !
    No, we are not surprised,but what difference does it make. To quote the Hilldabeast.

  • Musicmaven

    I am shocked, shocked I tell you !
    No, we are not surprised,but what difference does it make. To quote the Hilldabeast.

  • Appalled By The World

    Not only that but you’d think after the whole “is he really a citizen” flap in 2008 it would have been REQUIRED to prove citizenship when running for office. Nope-so in the future another fraudster from our pool of millions of illegal aliens can possibly become president if the media anoints them again. Talk about insane!

  • Appalled By The World

    Not only that but you’d think after the whole “is he really a citizen” flap in 2008 it would have been REQUIRED to prove citizenship when running for office. Nope-so in the future another fraudster from our pool of millions of illegal aliens can possibly become president if the media anoints them again. Talk about insane!

  • Coming out☭ of the woodwork like cheese maggots.

    Re-post for anyone who hasn’t seen this here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDo8xAQGrI8

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    This info has been available for a long time (though there may be some new details. People have written books about it. Just not discussed in the MSM, for obvious reasons.

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    This info has been available for a long time (though there may be some new details. People have written books about it. Just not discussed in the MSM, for obvious reasons.

  • jarhead

    Our government is full of commies! time to clean house

  • jarhead

    Our government is full of commies! time to clean house

  • Appalled By The World

    Please, don’t insult the poor maggots. They don’t know what they do, unlike the Lefties.

  • Appalled By The World

    Please, don’t insult the poor maggots. They don’t know what they do, unlike the Lefties.

  • LOL! You’re correct and the maggots actually serve a purpose. *ahem*

  • Appalled By The World

    Leftists do too-they show what happens when mental illness isn’t properly treated.

  • Appalled By The World

    Leftists do too-they show what happens when mental illness isn’t properly treated.

  • Well, when the lunatics are running the asylum….

    Gonna need a bigger boat!!!!!!!!!!

  • whotothewhat

    Like we did not already know this about her.

  • whotothewhat

    Like we did not already know this about her.

  • DJ

    This goes to the question: Did we really win the Cold War?

    A piece from LibertyGB.org

    Appeasement as a Government Strategy

    pullquote:

    “If you don’t know much about Russia I will give you a crash course now. In Russia church attendance is so high you often need to line up just to go to church. They don’t have political correctness, they don’t bow to Muslim aggression, and they’re actually proud of their culture. (I have Russian family and have been there many times.) In other words Russia today is very much like Britain [and the USA] was 50 years ago.”

    read the whole article

    http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/news-libertygb/6740-appeasement-as-a-government-strategy

  • DJ

    This goes to the question: Did we really win the Cold War? Of course the answer depends on who’s asking the question.

    A piece from LibertyGB.org

    Appeasement as a Government Strategy

    pullquote:

    “If you don’t know much about Russia I will give you a crash course now. In Russia church attendance is so high you often need to line up just to go to church. They don’t have political correctness, they don’t bow to Muslim aggression, and they’re actually proud of their culture. (I have Russian family and have been there many times.) In other words Russia today is very much like Britain [and the USA] was 50 years ago.”

    read the whole article

    http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/news-libertygb/6740-appeasement-as-a-government-strategy

  • rambler

    The media failed to vet anyone connected to this administration. Is the media communist too? Guilty by association!

  • rambler

    The media failed to vet anyone connected to this administration. Is the media communist too? Guilty by association!

  • TED

    http://i.imgur.com/SHXWB0P.jpg
    THAT does NOT include ONE of OBOZO’s staff.

  • TED

    http://i.imgur.com/SHXWB0P.jpg
    THAT does NOT include ONE of OBOZO’s staff.

  • 762×51

    Jarrett’s father was a pathologist and geneticist, so he was in the same business as Josef Mengele, got it.

    Before his transfer to Auschwitz, SS Capt. Dr. Mengele worked at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics. At Auschwitz, he performed many experiments on twins who he had executed in specific ways in order to study their genetics through pathologist autopsy. Sounds like Dr. Jarrett would have been a great addition to the Auschwitz experiment team.

  • 762×51

    Jarrett’s father was a pathologist and geneticist, so he was in the same business as Josef Mengele, got it.

    Before his transfer to Auschwitz, SS Capt. Dr. Mengele worked at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics. At Auschwitz, he performed many experiments on twins who he had executed in specific ways in order to study their genetics through pathologist autopsy. Sounds like Dr. Jarrett would have been a great addition to the Auschwitz experiment team.

  • Callawyn

    President Jarrett’s been making all of the big decisions since the beginning. Obama’s just the clown they prop up to read the teleprompter.

  • Callawyn

    President Jarrett’s been making all of the big decisions since the beginning. Obama’s just the clown they prop up to read the teleprompter.

  • 762×51

    They all came out of universities like Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. They are not guilty by association, they are trained Communists who are not complicit but collaborators.

  • 762×51

    They all came out of universities like Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. They are not guilty by association, they are trained Communists who are not complicit but collaborators.

  • depwavid

    Make that the ass clown…

  • Make that the ass clown…

  • Torcer

    “Democratic” Socialism of Bernie Sanders Is Still Socialism http://blog.panampost.com/rachel-rodriguez/2015/09/08/democratic-socialism-of-bernie-sanders-is-still-socialism/#.Ve8btvxmN4U.twitter via @PanAmPost

    “Democratic” Socialism of Bernie Sanders Is Still Socialism
    Central Planning Will Misallocate Resources, Whether Voted On or Not
    Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate, is a self-proclaimed socialist.

    But not a Soviet Union, Cuban, or Maoist socialist, the sort that piled up 100 million corpses throughout the 20th century. He does not mean that the state should directly own and control the factors of production. That kind of socialism has been shown to inevitably end in failure, collapse, and famine.

    Nor is he a national socialist, of the type exemplified by the Nazi Party, or Mussolini’s Italy, whereby the factors of production were nominally privately owned, but de facto orchestrated by the state — the system commonly known as fascism.

    Bernie Sanders is a “democratic” socialist. Naturally, the adjective democratic should be enough to salvage even the most destructive of political and economic ideologies, shouldn’t it? After all, people voted on it, right? What does Bernie Sanders mean by democratic socialism?

    A democratic socialist believes that the wealth earned by private industry is not created, but stolen off the backs of the hard-working laborers. He believes in crude nationalism and mercantilism, that corporations are more beholden to individuals in the same political and geographic region than to their shareholders, customers, and employees, wherever on the earth they may reside. He believes in economic democracy, the notion that the majority can vote to steal the property of a minority. Why seize the means of production, when you can leave other people to produce everything, and then just take it afterwards?

    But democracy is not a way to distribute resources, because the non-producing majority will always vote for access to other people’s wealth. Nor is it a way to produce wealth. The worker-owned and -operated co-ops that Marx and Sanders would like to see supplant the corporate structure are almost comically inefficient. Democracy may be the least bad system for distributing political power, but it is woefully inadequate for running an industrialized civilization.
    […]
    But the reality of our economy is that we do not have a free-market system, and if you dig deep enough you will find that our money is very tightly tied to the whims of the politicians who elect themselves into power and the bureaucracies that support them.

    What Bernie Sanders fails to realize is there is an economic reality that cannot be superseded by political whim. At some point the supposed Scandinavian socialist paradises will consume what scarce capital they have built up. Their politicians will again run out of other peoples’ money, and their societies will become poorer. Politicians can create nothing, they can only redistribute what has been created by the private enterprise they demonize.
    http://blog.panampost.com/rachel-rodriguez/2015/09/08/democratic-socialism-of-bernie-sanders-is-still-socialism/

  • Torcer

    You say gun control doesn’t work? Fine. Let’s ban guns altogether. http://fw.to/q3NgAlk

    Opinion You say gun control doesn’t work? Fine. Let’s ban guns altogether.
    May 28, 2014

    But there also have been responses from people who share my disgust at the endless gun violence that pervades American culture. A few asked what should be done. My personal preference? It’s a decidedly minority viewpoint, but I say, ban them, with a carve-out for hunting weapons.
    [..]
    For example: Hunters could own shotguns (and rifles where state laws allow them for hunting), but they would have to be registered and the owners would have to pass a gun safety course before they could get a hunting license (already a requirement in most, if not all, places). That license would be a prerequisite for registering a hunting weapon. Resale of a weapon should be monitored to preclude passing it along to unqualified people. Ammunition sales would be tracked much like we do sales of pseudoephinedrine (an ingredient in meth).

    As for handguns, assault-style weapons, etc., let’s have a flat-out ban. Beyond the histrionics of the gun lobby, there is no defensible reason for such weapons to be a part of our culture. They exist for one purpose: to kill. Yes, hobbyists also like to use guns for target shooting and other nonlethal purposes, but it’s hard to say that desire for sport outweighs the atrocious level of gun-related deaths in this country.
    [..]
    As for the argument that the 2nd Amendment was written with an eye toward protecting America from the tyranny of King George, the Revolutionary War ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. The Bill of Rights was adopted six years later in an atmosphere in which there was no standing federal army; the government relied on state militias, which were composed of soldiers who brought their own weapons with them. We haven’t had an army like that in a long, long time. And the idea that a few well-armed patriots would be able to defeat the U.S. Army should the government turn despotic is, at best, a romantic infatuation.

    Yes, the Supreme Court has upheld private gun ownership under the 2nd Amendment, but the Supreme Court has been wrong before (Fugitive Slave Law, the Dred Scott case, decisions allowing deed restrictions to bar home sales to African Americans, etc.). One can hope that the court will someday go further than its recognition that the 2nd Amendment is not an absolute right and determine that rampant gun ownership is a public safety threat. And that Congress will push legislation that recognizes that the heavy societal costs of gun ownership outweigh any 2nd Amendment pretense to the right to own guns. (By comparison, the 1st Amendment, near and dear to my heart, is not absolute: We have libel laws, which inherently limit free speech for the sake of the broader good, yet even journalists recognize them as a reasonable compromise.)
    [..]
    So my personal view: Ban the guns, and slowly but inexorably bring our culture back from this violent, communal madness. It won’t be fast, it won’t be easy, it probably won’t even be possible given the political realities. But the status quo is unacceptable and, at one level, suicidal. We have to try to fix this.
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-gun-control-ban-homicides-suicides-20140528-story.html

    Opinion You say gun control doesn’t work? Fine. Let’s ban guns altogether.
    May 28, 2014
    In a post Tuesday, I listed the mass shootings since January 2013 in which at least three people were killed. It’s an agonizingly, depressingly long list, and I cited it as the prime reason we need meaningful gun control. The post received the usual blowback from gun owners, most of whom skipped over the scope of gun deaths in this country to look more myopically at last week’s tragic events at Isla Vista (which I mentioned only in passing, seeing this problem as much broader than the most recent headlines).

    But there also have been responses from people who share my disgust at the endless gun violence that pervades American culture. A few asked what should be done. My personal preference? It’s a decidedly minority viewpoint, but I say, ban them, with a carve-out for hunting weapons.

    For example: Hunters could own shotguns (and rifles where state laws allow them for hunting), but they would have to be registered and the owners would have to pass a gun safety course before they could get a hunting license (already a requirement in most, if not all, places). That license would be a prerequisite for registering a hunting weapon. Resale of a weapon should be monitored to preclude passing it along to unqualified people. Ammunition sales would be tracked much like we do sales of pseudoephinedrine (an ingredient in meth).

    As for handguns, assault-style weapons, etc., let’s have a flat-out ban. Beyond the histrionics of the gun lobby, there is no defensible reason for such weapons to be a part of our culture. They exist for one purpose: to kill. Yes, hobbyists also like to use guns for target shooting and other nonlethal purposes, but it’s hard to say that desire for sport outweighs the atrocious level of gun-related deaths in this country.

    Self-defense? Impossible to measure because of a lack of trustworthy data. Similarly, the scope of gun victims is unknown, in part because of gun-lobby interference in efforts to try to establish baseline reports (we know how many die but not how many are wounded). This national debate would be helped immensely if the Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were funded by Congress to collect the data.
    My personal preference? It’s a decidedly minority viewpoint, but I say, ban them, with a carve-out for hunting weapons. –

    But we do know that guns are often used by angry men to kill their wives and kids; the mentally ill to act out whatever pain they are suffering; violent criminals; the suicidal (who may kill themselves anyway by other means, but ready access to a gun makes it easier); or children who find guns kept by “properly trained” owners and accidentally shoot themselves or others. In fact, two-thirds of homicides in the U.S. involve guns, according to the CDC. And yes, we need to have stronger, better programs and laws to help the mentally ill, but in the end, it’s their access to weapons that have caused so much mayhem at such a big scale. Mental illness is a factor in some of the violence, but guns are part of most of the killings.

    As for the argument that the 2nd Amendment was written with an eye toward protecting America from the tyranny of King George, the Revolutionary War ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. The Bill of Rights was adopted six years later in an atmosphere in which there was no standing federal army; the government relied on state militias, which were composed of soldiers who brought their own weapons with them. We haven’t had an army like that in a long, long time. And the idea that a few well-armed patriots would be able to defeat the U.S. Army should the government turn despotic is, at best, a romantic infatuation.

    Yes, the Supreme Court has upheld private gun ownership under the 2nd Amendment, but the Supreme Court has been wrong before (Fugitive Slave Law, the Dred Scott case, decisions allowing deed restrictions to bar home sales to African Americans, etc.). One can hope that the court will someday go further than its recognition that the 2nd Amendment is not an absolute right and determine that rampant gun ownership is a public safety threat. And that Congress will push legislation that recognizes that the heavy societal costs of gun ownership outweigh any 2nd Amendment pretense to the right to own guns. (By comparison, the 1st Amendment, near and dear to my heart, is not absolute: We have libel laws, which inherently limit free speech for the sake of the broader good, yet even journalists recognize them as a reasonable compromise.)

    So my personal view: Ban the guns, and slowly but inexorably bring our culture back from this violent, communal madness. It won’t be fast, it won’t be easy, it probably won’t even be possible given the political realities. But the status quo is unacceptable and, at one level, suicidal. We have to try to fix this.
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-gun-control-ban-homicides-suicides-20140528-story.html

  • Torcer

    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. “ Ronald
    Reagan

  • Torcer

    Brevity is the soul of wit.
    William Shakespeare

  • Torcer

    Effective Gun Control – A National Semi-Auto Ban
    Monday Oct 05, 2015

    Let’s get serious about what it will take, for “meaningful steps” to actually BE, meaningful steps.

    Otherwise, let’s skip to the chase and admit: “It’s all just window-dressing, and political payback to the NRA.”

    What has to go?
    All magazine fed, self-loading firearms.
    Yes, that means handguns too.
    Yes, that includes your 4 shot Remington hunting rifle.

    Yes, that includes rigid controls on police firearms.
    Your 5 shot revolver can go home with you officer, your 17 shot handgun stays inside the armory of the police station. Armory, not your locker. Signed-in, signed-out, via proximity card reader, with real-time computer controls at the State and Federal levels.
    Did you, officer, have a domestic violence incident at home? Shoot a fleeing person of color over a tail light violation? Get served divorce papers?
    Huh, your proximity card no longer works… and that 17 round death machine stays IN the armory.

    How-to, over the cheese doodle…

    First, let’s get the messy facts out of the way.

    Federal Courts aren’t going to sit on their hands while this happens.
    Second, the Republicans won’t sit on their hands either, so a deal must be struck.
    Third, the Courts, require the DOJ in the form of the US Marshals, the FBI, (and now the whole umbrella of DHS) to enforce Federal Court Injunctions.

    Act I Step 1:
    The POTUS issues a EO, commanding the BATFE to “audit dealer records” – ie, look for “strawman sales” by reviewing each of the dealers Form 4473 records.
    This is actually easier if the dealer has adopted the eForm 4473

    For handwritten forms, an OCR scanner would be carried, the form scanned, and information corrected on a laptop prior to the next scan.

    What can’t be done? Is hold a news conference.
    It can’t be done by BATFE Agents alone, as this demands too many bodies in too many locations, at the very same time.

    We as a nation, will have to let a few things slide, while various agencies supply personnel to work with BATFE Agents.
    Yes, a same day, nationwide “I’m here to review your records”. Close every single gun seller that day, days, or week(s) until the audit is complete. Sold a hundred guns in your entire existence? We’ll be gone by 4pm today. Sell a hundred per day? You can re-open after the end of the year.
    It’ll put you out of business? Impact hunting season and holiday sales? (Which next to DiFi’s failed AWB II is the most money you make in a year?) That’s sad.
    CLOSED… can read GONE OUT OF BUSINESS.
    We score that as a win… you and your fellow death merchants can retrain as Baristas.

    So, now we have ALL the records scanned… and a comprehensive list of who purchased what gun where. Those are sorted for make and model.

    Shotguns.
    Semi-auto shotguns.

    Rifles.
    Semi-auto rifles.

    Rimfire rifles.
    Semi-auto rimfire rifles.

    Handguns.
    Semi-auto handguns.

    (save ALL of this data for later)

    Step 2: permit the dealers to reopen – however, now the eForm 4473 is 100% required,
    and in a slight tweak, batch processing is done once a week, where the forms are uploaded “to the cloud”.
    (as-if ‘the cloud’ isn’t on those servers already)

    Step 3: Prioritize you list.

    Act II Step 1:

    Strike a deal with the Republicans. For public consumption, word it as ambiguously as possible… as was the ACA (just pass it and we’ll find out what’s in it) and stuff it into the next Continuing Resolution.

    On this 11th day of December, 2015 this 114th Congress does hereby resolve to instruct the Department of Justice to audit all Federally Licensed Firearm retailers for compliance with 18 USC as condition of their license, and direct all necessary resources to do same. The Director of the BATFE, the Attorney General of the United States, and the Director of Homeland Security may adopt policies and procedures necessary to effect this Congressional mandate.

    About those Republicans:
    First, they’re really not that happy with massive civilian gun ownership, they just like the cash from the pro-gun crowd.
    BREAKING NEWS!!
    They like the cash from Wall Street, and Corporate America better.

    Give Congress the choice between:
    a) massive controls on financial transactions, killing their benefactor’s proven-risk derivative market
    – or –
    b) massive (armed) civil unrest when we pull a Greece and shove a total economic collapse onto the American taxpayer?
    Rationed water, electric, heat, food and fuel and a 65% tax on your income.

    Everyone other than a Tea Party Republican will choose to eliminate the risk of option b.
    The motion will pass.

    There’s going to be a political quid pro quo. I’d hang my hat on “illegal immigrants” taking it in the neck. How and why, is below.

    Step 2:
    Federalize (“second”) the National Guard of the respective states. Just as we could send them to war in Iraq, we can deploy them as deputized federal agents. One BATFE agent to 3 or 4 guardsmen.

    Step 3:
    Go door-to-door with your list of gun purchasers, and get access to the guns. A massive VIPR-like sweep.
    No gun? Where is it?
    Who has it? Where’s the paperwork? No gun, no paperwork?
    You’re coming with us… the weather in Cuba is fine.
    Sadly, it appears the nationwide cell phone network is down, unless you’re using a government contract cell phone.
    Yes, surprise is key.
    Oh, by the way… you have ID don’t you? Born here? Let’s run that ID.
    So… you’re here on a visa, that expired in 2003.
    You’re coming with us, the weather in Minot, North Dakota is fine.
    There’s your required quid pro quo to the Republicans.

    Step 4:
    Anticipate the Federal Court Injunctions.
    Injunctions which are enforced by… the DOJ and US Marshals.
    Who are preoccupied in carrying out the mandate of Congress.
    You’ve reached the DOJ, leave a message at the beep.

    Step 5:
    Mistakes happen.
    Somewhere in the process, an “honest mistake” happened.

    Knock, view, verify and record the presence of the named firearm in the possession of the named owner – or find out who has that firearm – was misinterpreted.

    Knock, bash-in the door, verify the presence of, and confiscate the named firearm – became the process.

    Rules of Engagement were defined as: “take no incoming fire – lethal means authorized”.
    A few “rogue operators” decided that if it looked sketchy, breach the door after the flash-bang grenades, and engage anyone seen with a firearm in proximity using lethal force.

    Step 6:
    The number of confiscated firearms becomes a problem. National Guard units are directed to turn the contraband over to Active Duty Military Police. Certain weapons may be re-purposed by the government, exported to allies, used by agencies, or stripped for parts.

    Light alloys are put into a grinder, steel and stainless steel are cut with a plasma torch to render non-salvageable (prevents theft in transit), then taken to a smelter to be melted down.

    Step 7:
    The higher Federal Courts, and perhaps the SCOTUS weigh in.

    Answer A: “It’s gotten out of hand, and we can’t reach all of the field units… your order to cease is understood and complied with at the Executive Level. The logistical issues however, preclude prompt compliance in the field. The majority of units are out of contact, operating independently beyond range of communications.”

    Answer B:
    Arrest those Judges. What part of Congressional Mandate didn’t you understand?

    There’s going to be some issue, with a few mouthy Governors complaining about “…patent misuse of the Guard, violation of the Constit…” Yep.
    We’re sorry, the Governor’s new conference has encountered technical difficulties.
    To Jamie, and Sports!

    It’s amazing what a FBI Agent can do for video production: “Cut the feed, NOW. Otherwise? You’re coming with me, the weather in Cuba is fine.”

    The prevention of an armed civil insurrection requires a total lockdown on the ability to communicate. The NSA knows this. Anyone studying the Arab Spring knows this.

    The email servers of the various pro-gun groups “appear to have sustained a prolonged DoS attack by some overseas entity in Asia”.

    Facebook decided that a new version of their photo and written content filter was worth Beta testing, and all gun-related images and commentary ceased to be shown.
    Yes, the “nipple filter” took down the gun fetishists.

    Act III. The Shit, hits the fan.
    Step 1: Eventually, it all comes to a halt.
    The Nation awakes to a new reality. Your armed-to-the-teeth white male neighbor, is now gumming on a lone Winchester .30-30.
    The massive number of Guardsmen and Federal Agents go home, taking all the ammunition with them. “By mistake.”
    “30 Cal M1 or .30-30 Winchester, how the hell should I know? I’ve only shot a M-16 in Basic. Sarge said ‘get the ammo too, all of it’ and I did.”

    No self-loading handguns, shotguns, or rifles exist in lawful civilian hands.
    In certain areas, the gunfire continues, as does the presence of Guardsmen, Agents and Police.
    The ROE remains: Take no incoming fire.

    A well publicized CRIMINAL AMNESTY program is offered. Turn in your semi-auto, no questions asked regarding who it might have killed, or how you derive your income.
    As certain acts (suicide in particular) continue, the decision is made to remove all handguns from civilian possession.
    A 1 year Amnesty is offered. If we have to come for it?
    It will be with lethal force. Suicide-by-Cop.
    It’s a price, it’s paid once.
    “Handgun suicides were virtually eliminated in a three year effort.”
    The suicide rate remained unabated, and went up in the next economic collapse.
    “What can you do? We tried. At least the guns are gone.”

    Gun makers are given a chance to merge, develop next-generation firearms for the military, or go out of business.
    The few remaining gun shops offer your choice of single barrel, double barrel, or 2 round capacity pump-action shotguns.
    Single shot, bolt-action, double-barrel, lever or pump-action high power rifles, with 4 or less round capacity.
    Wow… how Steampunk!
    This is what my great-grandfather must have seen back in the early 1900s!

    Legacy shotguns and rifles with greater magazine capacity can be altered “plugged” to meet the new limit. The plug must be welded, machine-pressed, or epoxy fastened to prevent removal.

    Step 2: A black market of gun imports is created. Mexico is now a donor-state.
    That’s managed by combining BATFE and DEA with exponential success.
    You can still get a 9 millimeter handgun with 15 round magazines, it just costs $6,000 for the gun, and another $10 per round for the ammo. The price of Cocaine and Heroin go up as well.
    Guns come from Brazil, and arrive on the same truck, boat, or airplane as the drugs.
    Logistics baby, logistics.

    Step 3: The SCOTUS get’s it’s day.
    The POTUS retires by then, lauded “for his courage, however misguided”.
    Congress is rebuked.
    Contrite, it offers to “work towards a solution”.
    Nothing much happens, as there’s no means of recompense.
    Return your gun to you?
    Ah… here’s a baggy of shredded metal. My dbad.

    Eventually in the year 2061, when many of the affected citizens are dead, Congress passes a Resolution offering “an official apology for the so-called unconstitutional gun confiscation, coincidental loss and damages”.
    No funds are appropriated.
    Japanese-Americans, knowing of their history under the Roosevelt Administration, merely nod with a wry smile.

    Act IV: Disarm the local cops. Either return them to revolvers and possibly shotguns, or transition to disarmed local policing. That precludes raiding the police station for weapons.
    Serious incident? The State Police can render tactical aid if needed.
    State police can be armed with appropriate levels of modern weaponry to end any threat to law and order. That’s how it’s done in Europe, a closely supervised select few have serious weaponry at-hand.

    THAT is how you get it done. ALL of it done.

    Act V, an Afterword:
    The danger? Is in the American people finally understanding they live in, and pay to support, an Oligarchy of the Corporate Interests, by The People, for the Corporate Interests. Pigs to slaughter, cows to be milked.
    Use whatever metaphor you choose.

    The danger of knowing that the distinction of Democrat or Republican has little meaning.
    Neither respect the limits of the Constitution, and pass laws exempting the government from adhering to the Constitution. (do you see the irony in the DOJ website banner)

    It’s your choice of white or wheat, comprising the same, shit sandwich.

    No matter, the means of revolution has been disposed-of.
    Welcome to the new American Century, one where your vote doesn’t count, you’ll shut-up and do as you’re told.

    The massive coordinated workers strike? Never happened. Filtered from existence.
    The spontaneous occupation of the streets and squares? Went great for a while, then it went predictably when the Oligarchy tired of non-compliance.

    Tue Oct 06, 2015 at 6:00 AM PT: Tuesday @ 0800 observations:
    using this diary’s poll data, with a standard math principle rounding of numbers,
    ~10% of replies are for some form of drastic action, just not whole hog.
    ~10% are for “get ‘er done” and go for ALL of the semi-automatics, and maybe more.
    A further ~10% is for a total gun confiscation. Every. Single. One.
    That’s 29% in true numbers.
    1-in-5 respondents are willing to kick doors in, and get it done today.

    This past August, HuffPo claimed 67% of HuffPo readers seek some vague form of greater gun control
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/roanoke-shooting-gun-poll_55e0ab28e4b0aec9f35329c0
    71% is for politics-as-usual, working within current restraints/constraints.
    Fight the NRA. Contribute to Democrats. Volunteer. Pack the SCOTUS, and change the meaning of the Second Amendment back to the way it was.
    ie:
    The various guises of Government, have the right to a citizen militia, and to the guns required to equip said militia in time of conflict.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/5/1427845/-Effective-Gun-Control-A-National-Semi-Auto-Ban

  • Torcer

    What Is Communism?
    The term “communism” originated in France in the 1840’s but it acquired a modern meaning only in 1918 when Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, having seized power in what used to be the Russian empire, named his party Communist.

    Communism is a variant of socialism. But differs from it in this important respect: while socialists believe in democracy and assume that they will come to power democratically and rule democratically, Lenin and his Communist followers did not.

    On one occasion, Lenin frankly defined his government as “power that is limited by nothing, by no laws, that is restrained by absolutely no rules, that rests directly on coercion” — an excellent definition of what later came to be labeled a “totalitarian regime.”

    The Communists, like the socialists and anarchists, assert that their dictatorship is only a temporary regime, established to destroy the propertied classes and the entire socio-political order founded by them. Once the bourgeoisie has been crushed, the state will “wither away” and yield to a free association of communities.

    But this objective has in fact not been achieved by any Communist regime. For one, even after the old propertied classes have been dispossessed, new ones emerge or are ready to emerge to take their place. Secondly, in order to maintain the “proletarian dictatorship” it is necessary to create a privileged caste, called in Russia nomenklatura, that arrogates itself the rights and privileges of the old bourgeoisie.

    As a result, the Communist state everywhere atrophies: it stays in place, unable to change yet unwilling to yield. Examples of such atrophied Communist regimes today are Cuba and North Korea. The Soviet Union, the oldest and largest of these regimes, collapsed only because the ruling elite started making changes that brought the whole edifice down.

    Experience indicates that a Communist regime can dissolve only if its rulers are no longer willing to maintain it. It cannot be dissolved from below.
    http://blog.victimsofcommunism.org/what-is-communism/

  • Torcer

    “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a
    well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all,
    enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.” John Derbyshire

  • Torcer

    “You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean
    and paltry; for whatever a man’s actions are, such must be his spirit.”
    Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac

  • Torcer

    Socialism Is Misery, and I Should Know
    Venezuela Is Reliving a Failed Model
    I’ve had the dubious fortune to experience life in two countries that claimed to be marching towards socialism. I was in Chile between 1971 and 1972 when President Salvador Allende led a government attempting to create a socialist state of freedom. I lived in Venezuela from 1974 until President Hugo Chávez set course towards the “sea of happiness” that was nothing other than the Cuban socialist model.

    In both cases I had to put up with lines outside stores provoked by shortages, government-backed violence, and a harsh daily existence in which every instant was dedicated to hunting down basic products and food.

    Venezuelan socialism was, for a while, able to hide the miseries that came in its wake. The elevated price of oil on global markets gave the government foreign currency reserves to plow money into social spending programs that consisted of little more than cash handouts. The government wrote blank checks to finance the spread of its ideology abroad, and to swell a burgeoning bureaucracy dependent on state largesse for its existence.
    http://panampost.com/carlos-sabino/2015/02/16/socialism-is-misery-and-i-should-know/

  • Torcer

    Scandinavia is a Collectivist Paradise? Not So Much.
    A touch too much in the way of conformity, high taxes, and “benign totalitarianism”
    In the imagination of the American Left, Scandinavia, that cluster of northern European countries defined by sky-high taxes, expansive welfare policies, and seemingly limitless enthusiasm for snow-related activities, presents the ideal alternative to the rough-and-tumble of American capitalism. They’re peaceful. They’re prosperous. And they routinely dominate the top spots in global “happiness rankings.”

    Enter The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, a cover-to-cover delight from English journalist Michael Booth puncturing the caricature of the region as a semi-socialist paradise. The book, which has just been published in the U.S., is especially powerful in its dissection of the culturally corrosive effects of Scandinavia’s expansive state power, which seems to “smother its people’s motivation, ambition, and spirit.”

    A full fifth of Danish adults don’t work and live exclusively on public benefits. Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is—this is for real—a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains. Booth calls the prevailing Swedish political norms “benign totalitarianism.”
    http://reason.com/blog/2015/04/30/scandinavia-is-a-collectivist-paradise-n

  • Torcer

    If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman

  • Torcer

    There wasn’t a man voting for it who didn’t think that under a setup
    of this kind he’d muscle in on the profits of the men abler than
    himself. There wasn’t a man rich and smart enough but that he didn’t
    think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him
    a share of his better’s wealth and brain. But while he was thinking
    that he’d get uneared benefits from the men above, he forgot about the
    men below who’d get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his
    inferiors who’d rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his
    superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a
    limousine like his boss’s, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth
    would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his
    own. That was our real motive when we voted – that was the truth of it –
    but we didn’t like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we
    yelled about our love for the common good.

    Except from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

  • Torcer

    Troops of the Uniform Unite! The Military Is a Socialist Paradise!
    It may come as an unwelcome surprise to conservatives, but America’s military has one of the only working models of collective living and social welfare the country has ever known.
    Every day before dawn, brave men and women of different races and backgrounds rise as one, united by a common cause. They march together in formation, kept in step by their voices joined in song. These workers leave their communal housing arrangements and go toil together “in the field.” While they are out doing their day’s labor, their young are cared for in subsidized childcare programs. If they hurt themselves on the job, they can count on universal health care. Right under your nose, on the fenced-in bases you drive past on your way to work or see on the TV news, a successful experiment in collectivization has been going on for years.

    In an era defined by 13 years of continuous war, most Americans still seem to regard the U.S. military as a mysterious and remote way of life. Then a tragedy involving a soldier or veteran happens, and reliably experts come forward to explain the strange customs of the folkloric troop in its native habitat. Shame that so many of the experts seem to have barely a clue what the military is really like. They’ve studied it from a distance without getting a real feel for the customs and characteristics of the culture they’re eager to explain.

    It probably comes as a surprise to many, but the army may have more in common with Norway than Sparta.

    The U.S. military is a socialist paradise. Imagine a testing ground where every signature liberal program of the past century has been applied, from racial integration to single-payer health care—then add personal honor, strict hierarchy, and more guns. Like all socialist paradises, the military has been responsible for its share of bloodshed, but it has developed one of the only working models of collective living and social welfare that this country has ever known.

    Not that the leadership always gets things right and protects those who serve. Over and over again, the military has betrayed its own best principles and traditions, from the practical exclusion of non-white veterans from the World War II G.I. Bill to the massive lapses and failures in the VA system and today’s rising dependence on food stamps in military homes. The military suffers from the same problems that all mammoth bureaucracies do but less so, because its membership largely believes in its core values and has seen those values upheld often enough to expect action when they are betrayed.

    So what’s life like for those in uniform living in the socialist paradise?

    The military is an enormous jobs program. There are more than 2 million active duty and reserve members of the armed forces spread out between bases in more than 150 countries. As with any employer of that size, you’ll get a range of answers about working conditions depending on who you ask and how much they got screwed by the bureaucracy, let down by their leaders, or punished by circumstance.

    Across the thousands of bases where soldiers, marines, and airmen live with their families, a few common features shape military life. It’s the commonness of the life, actually, that makes it unique. From Fort Bragg to Camp Pendleton, there is a shared experience on a scale that exists almost nowhere else in America.

    Millions of people on military bases live in communal arrangements. They participate in centrally run programs that govern the most basic and fundamental aspects of their lives, from their housing and children’s educations to where and how they shop for food.

    Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities—not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

    Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive. (Though with budget cuts now looming, Congress is trying to gut some of those benefits while wasteful programs go untouched.)

    The pay difference, and thus the lifestyle difference, between a junior troop and a senior general is a small fraction of the disparity that separates the salary of an average worker from that of a top CEO in the private sector.
    Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

    And speaking of management and floor workers, as stratified as the military’s rank system is, it is also one of the country’s last engines of social mobility. A young enlistee from a poor background with no higher education can rise through the ranks. The military is one of the only institutions in America, maybe the only one, where the mailroom-to-boardroom scenario still happens often enough to be more than just a self-serving myth.

    On social issues, the military has consistently been ahead of the country at large. President Truman ordered the armed forces desegregated in 1948, shamefully late but two decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010, gay service members have been getting married and collecting the same benefits as their straight peers, while the issue still works its way through the states.

    Yes, the military is a machine that is engineered to kill. It is also one of America’s most meritocratic institutions, and one of its most progressive and generous in terms of workers’ benefits.

    No one will be more infuriated by the comparison to socialism than the conservative-leaning members of the military. And there are, of course, innumerable and essential ways in which the military isn’t socialist at all. It’s a volunteer force that works as well as it does because the organization fulfills its obligations to the people who sign up. Most people sign up because they’re looking to better themselves and get more opportunities than they had back home. They stay if they believe that the rules are applied fairly and they can get ahead on their merits.

    Upholding the contract that underwrites the service of the volunteer military requires more than just providing resources and distributing benefits. To maintain the loyalty of the foot soldiers the military brass depends on, the leadership needs to show that it can hold itself accountable. It fails often at that task but succeeds enough to be one of the few national institutions left where people take each other at their word.

    Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to reflect that most military childcare programs are subsidized but not free.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/21/troops-of-the-uniform-unite-the-military-is-a-socialist-paradise

  • Torcer

    “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on
    criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One
    declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for
    men to live without breaking laws” ~~Ayn Rand

  • Torcer

    Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. Winston Churchill

  • Torcer

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
    exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves
    largess out of the public treasury. Alexander Tytler

  • Torcer

    Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property
    of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they
    put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon
    absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge
    which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” -John
    Locke

  • Torcer

    WATCH – Conservative English MP Hannan Lights Up Crowd Observing ‘Hitler was a Socialist’ http://joemiller.us/2014/12/watch-conservative-english-mp-hannan-lights-up-crowd-observing-hitler-was-a-socialist/ via @joewmiller

    WATCH – Conservative English MP Hannan Lights Up Crowd Observing ‘Hitler was a Socialist’
    20 Dec 2014
    English MP (Member of Parliament) Daniel Hannan, famous for his speech “the devalued Prime Minister of a devalued government,” is no stranger to controversy.

    As a member of the European Conservatives and Reformist Group, he often says things that runs against the grain of prevailing sentiment in elitist circles.

    In this speech, posted on December 9th of this year, Hannan sets out to prove how the infamous German fuhrer Adolf Hitler was not a man of the right, but a different type of socialist.

    Mr Hannan opens, “Ladies and gentleman, who said this? ‘I am a socialist. And a very different kind of socialist from your rich friend Count Reventlow.’”

    …As Hannan points out, while socialists and fascists, two different kinds of authoritarian collectivists, fought one another for power, both groups were hostile to the classically liberal true “right” – which stands for individual freedom.

    English Conservative MEP:Hitler Was A Socialist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Rini9Yu0M

    http://joemiller.us/2014/12/watch-conservative-english-mp-hannan-lights-up-crowd-observing-hitler-was-a-socialist/

  • Torcer

    HITLERITE’RIOT IN BERLIN.; Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler and Lenin.

    HITLERITE RIOT IN BERLIN. Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler and Lenin. Copyright, 1925, by The New York Times Company. By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES. BERLIn’, Nov. 27, — The National Socialist-Labor Party, of which

    https://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/#/%221925%22++%2B+%22Hitlerite+Riot+in+Berlin%22/
    https://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9802EFDD1231EE3ABC4051DFB767838E639EDE

    ————————————————————————————–

    November 28, 1925 – By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES – Print Headline: “HITLERITE’RIOT IN BERLIN.; Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler and Lenin.”

    Article Preview
    HITLERITE’RIOT IN BERLIN.; Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler and Lenin.

    Permissions

    By Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES. ();
    November 28, 1925,
    , Section , Page 4, Column , words

    [ DISPLAYING ABSTRACT ]

    The first paragraph is not available for this article.

    http://static01.nyt.com/ads/front_page/1925/11/28/300.jpg

    ===================================================================

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hinkelstone/22009727408

    Comparison of Nazism and Stalinism
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Nazism_and_Stalinism

    http://spiderbites.nytimes.com/pay_1925/articles_1925_11_00000.html

    http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F7081EFC39551B7A93CAAB178AD95F418285F9

  • Torcer

    Remarks by the President in Q&A with David Karp, CEO of Tumblr
    June 10, 2014
    State Dining Room
    4:15 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody.

    AUDIENCE: Hi.

    THE PRESIDENT: You don’t have to be so formal. (Laughter.) Sheesh. Come on, now.

    MR. KARP: This is unusual. Thank you. Thank you, everyone, and welcome to the White House. Thank you for having us, Mr. President. I’m David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, and it is my tremendous privilege to be here with President Obama today and joined by the Tumblr community. Thank you for joining us, everyone.

    Yesterday, the President signed an executive order intended to curb the pain of student debt. Americans now hold more than a trillion dollars in student debt, one of the greatest expenses they’ll incur in their lifetime. And the generation that’s just reaching college age is beginning to wonder if it’s even worth it.

    One-third of Americans who have applied for an education loan this year also happen to use Tumblr, so last week we asked our audience if they had questions that they’d like to ask the President about the cost value and accessibility of higher education — turns out they had quite a few. We’re not going to be able to get through all of them today, but the President has been kind enough to give us some time at his house to answer some of those questions. (Laughter.)

    So again, huge thank you for making yourself available today. Anything you’d like to add before we start?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, this is a rental house. (Laughter.) I just want to be clear. My lease runs out in about two and a half years.

    Second of all, I want to thank David and the whole Tumblr community for participating in this. We’re constantly looking for new ways to reach audiences that are relevant to the things we’re talking about. And, obviously, young people disproportionately use Tumblr. A lot of Tumblr users are impacted by student debt. So for you to be able to give us this forum to speak directly to folks is wonderful, and I’m looking forward to a whole bunch of good questions.

    MR. KARP: Thank you. Okay, so everybody is clear on how the questions work — so since we closed for questions at 5:00 p.m. yesterday, we brought together a team of influential Tumblr bloggers who helped us select some of the best questions. There are — a few of them, anyway, are joining us in the audience in the State Dining Room here today. Neither the White House nor the President have seen any of these questions in advance.

    Should we get started?

    THE PRESIDENT: Let’s go.

    MR. KARP: All right. So, first came in from Caitlin (ph). I appreciate your willingness to work with legislators to attempt to retroactively diffuse the cost of some student’s loans by creating new repayment plans, but this seems to me like an attempt to put a band aid on a broken leg. What are we doing to actually lower the cost of a college degree — excuse me — of college tuition so these loans will no longer be necessary?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, it’s a great question. Let me give people some context for what’s happened over the last 20, 30 years.

    I graduated from college in ’83; graduated from law school in 1990. And although I went to a private school, through a combination of grants, loans and working I had a fairly low level of debt that I was able to pay in one year without getting an incredibly well-paying job. I was able to keep my debt burden pretty low. Folks who were 10 years younger than me, they probably paid even less. And if you went to a state school at the time, typically people would come out with almost no debt whatsoever.

    Today, the average debt burden, even for young people who are going to a public university, is about $30,000. And that gives you some sense of how much the cost has escalated for the average young person.

    Now, you mentioned earlier some people are wondering, is this a good investment. It absolutely is. The difference between a college grad and somebody with a high school diploma is about $28,000 a year in income. So it continues to be a very smart investment for you to go to college. But we have to find ways to do two things.

    One is we have to lower the costs on the front end. And then, if you do have to supplement whatever you can pay with borrowing, we’ve got to make sure that that is a manageable debt. And about 12 months ago, maybe 16 months ago, I convened college and university presidents around the country to start working with them on how we could lower debt — or lower tuition, rather.

    The main reason that tuition has gone up so much is that state legislatures stopped subsidizing public universities as much as they used to, in part because they started spending money on things like prisons and other activities that I think are less productive. And so schools then made up for the declining state support by jacking up their tuition rates.

    What’s also happened is, is that the costs of things like health care that a university community with a lot of personnel has to shoulder, those costs have gone up faster than wages and incomes. The combination of those things has made college tuition skyrocket faster than health care costs have.

    There are ways we can bring down those costs, and we know that because there are some colleges who have done a very good job in keeping tuition low. We also have to do a better job of informing students about how to keep their debt down — because, frankly, universities don’t always counsel young people well when they first come in; they say, don’t worry about it, you can pay for it — not realizing that you’re paying for it through borrowing that you’re going to end up having to shoulder once you graduate.

    MR. KARP: What does that help, what does that support look like? So Chelsea sent in a very similar question from Portland. So she asks: “Colleges help students get into debt. They don’t often help offer financial planning services before school, after they graduate.”

    Do you guys have a plan to help students make sound financial decisions? I mean, these are teenagers who are making decisions sometimes amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars that are going to follow them through their entire lives. Hopefully, they have parents who can help them navigate those decisions. But if they don’t, are they on their own?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, we are already doing something we call Know What You Owe. And the idea is to work with every college, university, community college out there so that when you come into school, ideally even before you accept admission from a school, you are given a sense of what your annual loans might be, what your financial package is going to translate into in terms of debt — assuming you go through a four-year degree on schedule, and what your monthly payments are likely to be afterwards.

    And so just that one step alone — making sure that schools are obliged to counsel you on the front end when you come in, as opposed to just on the exit interview once you’ve already accumulated the debt — that in and of itself can make a big difference.

    MR. KARP: Understood. We didn’t get first names for everybody. So Haiku Moon asks — (laughter) —

    THE PRESIDENT: That might be the first name. That’s a cool name. (Laughter.)

    MR. KARP: “It wasn’t until after I graduated college that I realized what I wanted to do with my life. Now I have a degree that has very little to do with that goal and a mountain of debt. I can’t help but wonder if I wasn’t pressured to go to college and was better prepared to make that decision, and if I was better prepared to make that decision, that I might be in a better place to pursue my dreams today. How can we change the public education system to better prepare and support young people making this huge decision?” I mean, again, teenagers deciding what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, one of the things that Haiku Moon is alluding to is that high school should be a time in which young people have greater exposure to actual careers as opposed to just classroom study.

    And I went to a wonderful school in New York called P-TECH, went there for a visit. What they’ve done is they have collapsed high school basically into a three-year program. You can then extend for another two years and get an associate’s degree. IBM is working with them so that if, in fact, they complete the curriculum that IBM helped to design, they know they’ve got a job at IBM on the back end. And that’s just one example of what I’d like to see a lot more high schools do, which is give young people in high school more hands-on experience, more apprenticeships, more training.

    If you are somebody who is interested in graphic design, I’d rather have you work at a company doing graphic design your senior year or junior year to see if you actually like it, to get a sense of the training you need. You may not need a four-year degree. You might only need a two-year degree. You might be able to work while getting that degree. All that can save you money. So that can make a really big difference for high school kids.

    At the same time, one of the things that we initiated several years back is something called income-based repayments. And that’s something I really want to focus on, IBR for short — income-based repayments. What we did in 2011 was to say all student loans going forward, if you have a debt and you decide you want to go into a job that — like teaching or social work, that doesn’t necessarily pay a lot, you shouldn’t be hampered from making that choice just because you’ve got such a significant debt load. So what we said was that we will cap your repayments of your loans at 10 percent of your income above $18,000. And by doing that, that gives people flexibility. It doesn’t eliminate your debt. But what it does is it makes it manageable each month so that the career that you choose may not be constrained, and we then have additional programs so that if you go into one of the helping professions — public service, law enforcement, social work, teaching — then over time that debt could actually be forgiven.

    Now, the problem with it was that we passed this law in 2011; it only applied going forward. It didn’t apply retroactively. So yesterday what I did was sign an executive action saying that the Department of Education is going to be developing rules so that going backwards anybody can avail themselves of this income-based repayments, because I get a lot of letters from people who took out loans in 2005 or 2000 — they are also in a situation where they’re making regular payments but it’s very hard for them to make ends meet. And we want to ideally finish what’s called the rulemaking process — nothing is easy around here — hopefully by the time — say, the end of next year, the rules will be in place, that will be the law, and then everybody and not just folks who borrowed after 2011 can take advantage of that.

    But there’s not a lot of knowledge of this, and I hope that the Tumblr community helps to spread the word that this is something already available for loans that you took out after 2011 and hopefully by next year it will be available for people even if you took out your loans before 2011.

    MR. KARP: Where do we find information about it?

    THE PRESIDENT: You should go to whitehouse.gov, the White House website. It will then link you to ED.gov, which is the Education Department website. But whitehouse.gov I figure is easier to remember. (Laughter.)

    MR. KARP: Can you elaborate real quick on encouraging public service? So Josh from Oak Park sent in a really good question about this: “The U.S. has a long history of encouraging college-age men and women to give back to their larger communities through organizations like the Peace Corps, through organizations like Teach for America. Couldn’t we make a larger commitment to that by creating tuition loan forgiveness programs for those students who agree to work in those fields or work in those geographic areas in need of skilled employees?” So you can imagine family practice doctors, you can imagine public defenders.

    THE PRESIDENT: I mean, right now we have some programs like this in place but they’re typically relatively small, relatively specialized. So there are some loan-forgiveness programs for primary care physicians who are going out to rural communities or inner cities or underserved communities. There are some programs that are available through the AmeriCorps program for people who are engaged in public service. They are not as broad-based and widespread as I would like. And we have tried to work with Congress — so far, unsuccessfully — to be able to get an expansion of these areas.

    And let’s take health care as an example. We know that the population is aging. We know that we have a severe shortage of primary care physicians. A lot of young doctors are going into specialized fields like dermatology or plastic surgery because you can make a relatively large profit, you don’t end up having a lot of liability, and that’s not really what we need more of.

    And so my hope is, is that over time Congress recognizes that young people are our most precious asset. There are some areas that we know we need people to get into the field, our best and brightest, and right now the financial burdens are precluding them from doing it. And we could open up those fields to a huge influx of talent if we were a little smarter with it.

    MR. KARP: So you’ve touched on health care in public service and health care in general. You talk a lot about STEM fields. So how do we promote — this is one Orta (sp) asked: “How can we promote growth in STEM fields without putting humanities on the back burner?”

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I want to say I was a humanities major. (Laughter.) I majored in political science and I minored in English. And I was pretty good in math, but in high school — I actually loved math and science until I got into high school, and then I misspent those years. (Laughter.) And the thing about the humanities was you could kind of talk your way through classes, which you couldn’t do in math and science. (Laughter.)

    So a great liberal arts humanities education is still critically important, because in today’s global economy, one of the most important skills you have is your ability to work with people and communicate clearly and effectively. Having said that, what is also true is that technology is going to continue to drive innovation. And just to be a good citizen, you need some background in STEM, and we are not producing enough engineers, enough computer scientists, enough math teachers and science teachers, and enough researchers.

    And so I’m putting a big emphasis on STEM in part because we have a shortage; not because I’m privileging one over the other, but because we don’t have as many people going into the STEM fields. And it starts early.

    Part of what we’re trying to do is work with public schools to take away some of the intimidation factor in math and science. Part of what we’re trying to do is make sure that we are reaching to demographics that are very underrepresented — and, yes, I mean you, women. Girls are still more likely to be discouraged from pursuing math, science, technology degrees. You see that imbalance in Silicon Valley, you see it in a lot of high-tech firms.

    And so we’re trying to lift up curriculums that are interesting for kids, work with schools in terms of best practices. One of the things that we’re also discovering is that young people who have an interest in math and science, when they go to college, oftentimes they’re steered into finance because that’s been perceived as the more lucrative option. And we’re trying to work with universities and departments of engineering, for example, to help mentor young people to understand that — if you look at the top 100 companies in the country, you’ve got a lot more engineers running companies than you do folks who have a finance background.

    And so there are great opportunities. And one of the things that every young person should be thinking about is, A, what’s their passion, what do they care about, but they should also be taking a look at where is there a demand. And frankly, if you’ve got a science or engineering background, the likelihood of you being unemployed is very low, because there’s always going to be a need — and it doesn’t preclude you from writing a haiku at some point and figuring out some creative outlet. But having that discipline and that skillset is still going to be invaluable.

    MR. KARP: Well, you just described it as really hard to navigate — again, a teenager making the decision between passion or an industry that’s going to have demand for them. So great question: “At this point, I’m stuck between majors. I know the field I have a passion for has a limited number of jobs, all of which pay very little. Assuming I get the job, the low income will make it difficult to pay the substantial debt I’ll most likely be in from that education. There are other fields I know I could succeed in and receive the higher salary, but I’m afraid that one day I’ll realize I hate what I do.”

    Question was, how did you decide on your career, and what advice do you have for somebody who is coming up trying to navigate that marketplace with demand or their passions?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well —

    MR. KARP: By the way, one vote for keeping kids out of finance. (Laughter.)

    THE PRESIDENT: Or the law, by the way, because — (laughter) — we have enough lawyers. Although it’s a fine profession. (Laughter.) I can say that because I’m a lawyer.

    I think everybody is different. But I do think that, first of all, when I first got out of school I worked for a year in a job that I wasn’t interested in because I wanted to pay off my loans.

    Now, I had the luxury, as I said, that my loan burden was only — was small enough that I could pay it off in a year. But work is not always fun, and you can’t always follow your bliss right away. And so I think that young people should be practical. I know a lot of young people who work for five years in a field that they may not be interested, but it gives them the financial stability and the base from which then to do what they want. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    The main advice I would give young people starting off, though, is ultimately you are going to do best at something you care deeply about. And some people have probably heard this said before, but if you really enjoy what you do, then the line between work and play starts vanishing a little bit. You still have to grind it out, but you can get into that mindset where the creativity or the effort and the sweat that you’re putting into what you do doesn’t feel like a burden, it feels like an expression of what you care about.

    And so I think your career is not going to be a straight line all the time. I think there may be times where you got to take a detour and you got to do something practical to pay the bills. There are going to be times where you see an opportunity, and you’re making a calculated risk that I’m going to start some wacky company called Tumblr. (Laughter.)

    And how you balance the practical with your highest aspirations is something that will be different for each person. Everybody is going to have different circumstances.

    MR. KARP: What do you say to kids right now who ask you — they see their passion, they want to build big stuff for the Internet. They want to build the next big app or the next big social network. What do you tell them, when they say, hey, look, David, Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates, all these guys —

    THE PRESIDENT: Just dropped out of school.

    MR. KARP: — might not necessarily deserve to get a company up, but dropped out of school?

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes. I mean you wouldn’t know it looking at you, but you’re like LeBron or Durant. (Laughter.) I mean, you guys don’t have the same physiques — (laughter) — but there are only going to be so many Zuckerbergs or Gates who are able to short-circuit the traditional path.

    If you can, more power to you. But let me put it this way: Had you not — let’s say Tumblr had been a bust, right? Or Facebook had just ended up being some dating site that nobody was really interested in.

    MR. KARP: We’d be in a hard place.

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, but the truth is also you had the foundation where you could go back to school, right? I mean, it wasn’t as if you were suddenly operating without a net. I’m assuming that you would have been readmitted to whatever institution you were in. And if not, then you would go to another school and you’d do fine.

    So the issue is not whether you may not want to take a risk at some point. The point is that for the average young person an investment in college is always going to be a smart investment. Making sure you know what it is that you’re investing in is important.

    One of the biggest areas where we see a problem is young people who are going, let’s say, to technical schools or community colleges or some of these for-profit universities, they’re promised a lot. But they haven’t done the research to see, okay, does typically a graduate coming out of one of these schools get a job in the occupation? Are they actually making money? If you’re going to have $50,000 worth of debt, you better have factored in what are the employment prospects coming out.

    And so I think it’s good for young people — not only good, it’s imperative for young people to be good consumers of education, and don’t just assume that there’s one way of doing things.

    We tell our daughters — Malia is now — she’ll be 16 next month, and she’s going to be in the college process. And we tell her, don’t assume that there are 10 schools that you have to go to, and if you didn’t go to those 10, that somehow things are going to be terrible. There are a lot of schools out there. There are a lot of options. And you should do your research before you decide to exercise one of those options.

    Having said that, the overwhelming evidence is that a college education is the surest, clearest path into the middle class for most Americans.

    MR. KARP: Is the White House right now offering any of those tools to be a good a consumer, to navigate all the choices out there?

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, yes. So if you go to whitehouse.gov, which will link you to the Department of Education, one of the things that we’re doing is to — we’re starting to develop a scorecard for colleges and universities so you have just a general sense of what’s the typical graduation rate, what’s the typical debt that you carry once you get out, what is the employment rate for graduates five years afterwards. And over time, one of the things that we’re trying to do is develop a ranking system that is not exactly the same as the typical college-ranking systems that you see in U.S. News and World Report, for example.

    Part of the problem with the traditional ranking systems of schools is that, for example, high cost is actually a bonus in the ranking system. It indicates prestige, and so there may be some great schools that are expensive, but what you’re missing is a great school that may give you much better value, particularly in the field that you’re in.

    Now, there’s some controversy, I want to confess, about — that a lot of colleges and universities say, you know, if you start ranking just based on cost and employability, et cetera, you’re missing the essence of higher education and so forth. What we’re really trying to do is just identify here are some good bargains, here are some really bad deals. Then there’s going to be a bunch of schools in the middle that there’s not going to be a huge amount of differentiation. But what we are trying to do is make sure that students have enough information going into it that they don’t end up in a school that is pretty notorious for piling a lot of debt on their students but not really delivering a great education.

    MR. KARP: Back to the debt, which is top of mind for everybody here today — so Megan (ph) from Tulsa asked an interesting question: “Of my $220,000 in student loans —

    THE PRESIDENT: Yikes.

    MR. KARP: — from college and law school” — there you go — “less than half is receiving the benefit of loan forgiveness.” Why is there no discussion on the mounting private student loan debt?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, there is a discussion. The problem is we just end up having less leverage over that. I mean, the truth is, is that both legislatively and administratively we have some impact on federal loans. Private loans — if you take — if you go to a private company and you’re taking out a loan, we have the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau that is trying to regulate this area and make sure that you have full information about what you’re getting yourself into. It’s another version of Know Before You Owe. But it’s harder for us to restructure some of that debt.

    Now, one thing that I think is really important for everybody to know here — because this is actual action you can take, as opposed to just listening to me blather on. This week, there will be a vote in the United States Senate on a bill sponsored by Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from Massachusetts. And what this bill would do would allow students to refinance their existing loans at today’s rates. The reason that’s important is because rates have been low, and typically there’s going to be a pretty big spread between the rates that a lot of students — the interest rates that a lot of students have on their debt right now, versus what they could do if they refinanced, the same way that a lot of people refinance their mortgages to take advantage of historically low rates.

    And so this vote is coming up. It will come up this week. I think everybody on Tumblr should be contacting their senators and finding out where they stand on the issue, because — and, by the way, this is something that will not add to the deficit, because the way we pay for it is we say that we’re going to eliminate some loopholes right now that allow millionaires and billionaires to pay lower rates of taxes than secretaries and teachers. And so it would pay for itself. It’s a good piece of legislation. It directly affects folks in their 20s and 30s, and in some cases, their 40s and 50s and 60s. But particularly the young people who use Tumblr, this is something that you should pay a lot of attention to. Make sure that you are pushing your senators around this issue.

    MR. KARP: Particularly important if you know you’re facing that debt already or you are already today facing that debt. What’s the best way, though, for people who are — again, they’re thinking about higher education, they’re in school today, and a thoughtful question. What is the best way for students to have a voice in their own education? So much education today, I think really — I don’t know, I mean, so many teenagers who feel like education is happening to them. They’re going through the motions. They know that this is what they’re supposed to do, and so they follow along. How do we make sure kids are driving?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, at some point it’s going to be up to the young person to drive that education. It’s not inevitable that you just fasten your seatbelt and just go on a ride for four years or two years or whatever it is. I mean, I have to say that in my own college experience, I think the first two years I was there thinking I’m just happy to be here and I’m having fun and I’ll just sort of go through the motions. My last two years was when I really became much more serious about what I was doing and much more intentional about what I was doing.

    Too many young people see — and I’m grossly generalizing now, so excuse me — but I use myself as an example as well. I think too many of us see college as a box to check or a place to have fun and extend adolescence, as opposed to a opportunity for each of us to figure out what is it that we’re good at, what is it that we care about, what is it that we’re willing to invest a lot of time and effort and energy into, how do we hone some skills or interests or attributes that we already have. And as a consequence, I think young people waste a lot of time in school.

    Now, again, I’m generalizing, because there are a whole bunch of folks who are working while going to school, while helping out their parents — in some cases, they’re already parents themselves. And so everything I just said does not apply to you. It’s interesting — one of the reasons I think I did well in law school was because I had worked for three and a half years so that by the time I got to law school I actually knew why I was studying the law, and I knew exactly what I wanted to get out of it — not to mention the fact that the idea of just going to class for three hours a day and then reading didn’t seem particularly oppressive to me, whereas young people who had come straight out of college thought, this is horrible. Try working for a while and then you realize that this is a pretty good deal. (Laughter.)

    But I think that part of what we as adults have to do goes back to what I said about high schools. Education is not a passive thing. You don’t tip your head and somebody pours it into your ear. It is an active process of you figuring out the world and your place in it. And the earlier we can help young people — not lock them in. Look, nobody expects that somebody who is 16 automatically knows exactly what they want to do, and people may change their minds repeatedly. But what we can do is expose young people to enough actual work and occupations that they start getting a feel for what they would be interested in. And I really want to work with more school districts, and I’ve asked the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to work with more school districts, and we’re actually giving grants to school districts that are thinking creatively about how high school can be used more effectively.

    I don’t want a young person who knows that they want to go into the trades to just waste four years of high school and then they’ve got to go through two years of apprenticeship and classwork before they become a contractor. I’d rather have them doing contracting while also getting some other educational exposure so that they’re getting a jump on the things that they want to do. And they can save a lot of money in the process.

    MR. KARP: So Beth asked a question close to that point. Instead of pushing all students into college, shouldn’t we focus on the other side — increasing the minimum wage and making it viable, livable to enter the workforce straight out of high school? Should we be doing both?

    THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. Well, here is what I would say: There are very few jobs now where you’re not going to need some advanced training. One of the great things about being President is I get to visit companies and worksites and factories. And if you go into the average auto company today, for example, first of all, it’s not at all what you’d imagine — it is spotless and it is quiet, and it is humming, because it is all mechanized and computerized at this point. And even if you have a four-football-field-sized assembly line, most of the people there are working with machines and they’re working on computer keyboards.

    So having some basic training in math, some familiarity with computers, some familiarity with programming and code — all that is a huge advantage if you are trying to get a job on an assembly line. Now, if that’s true for assembly line work, that’s certainly going to be true for any other trade that you’re interested in.

    We do have to do a better job of giving young people who are interested an effective vocational education. And there are tons of opportunities out there for people — here’s an interesting statistic: The average trade person in Wisconsin — and what I mean by that is an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a machine tool worker — the average age in Wisconsin is 59 years old. Now, these jobs typically pay 25, 30 bucks an hour, potentially, with benefits. You can make a really good living doing that, and there are a lot of folks who love doing it. It’s really interesting work and highly skilled work.

    So I don’t want somebody to find out about that when they’re 30, after they’ve already taken a bunch of classes and stuff that they ended up not using; now they’ve got a bunch of debt. I’d rather, if they got that inclination, to figure that early and be able to go straight into something that helps them get that job.

    MR. KARP: So one question we heard a lot from our community that I wanted to make sure to mention today: Recently — I think you’ve been following — the Department of Ed’s Office of Civil Rights and DOJ have extended Title IX protections to trans students. What do you see as the next steps to ensure equal treatment of trans people in schools in America?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, Title IX is a powerful tool. It’s interesting — yesterday I had the University of Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball teams here. This is only the second time that the men’s and women’s basketball teams won the national championship in the same year. The previous year was 2004, and it was UConn again.

    But what was interesting about it is that the men were kind of a surprise. It was nice. The women were dominant. I mean, the UConn Husky women’s program, they rule. And they are incredible athletes. And talking to these young women, they’re poised and they’re beautiful, and some of them are 6’6” and they’re wearing high heels, and supremely confident and competitive. And that’s a huge shift from even 20 years ago or 30 years ago. The reason for that was Title IX was applied vigorously in schools, and it gave opportunities — it’s not like women suddenly became athletes. They were athletic before. Michelle, when I work out with her, she puts me to shame. (Laughter.) But it had more to do with restrictions and opportunity.

    So the point I’m making is, is that Title IX is a very powerful tool. The fact that we are applying it to transgender students means that they are going to be in a position to assert their rights if and when they see that they are being discriminated on their college campuses. And that could manifest itself in a whole variety of ways.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/10/remarks-president-qa-david-karp-ceo-tumblr

  • Torcer

    Remarks by the President in Q&A with David Karp, CEO of Tumblr
    June 10, 2014
    State Dining Room
    4:15 P.M. EDT[…]
    A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it — we’re not seeing that again. And basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws. And they haven’t had a mass shooting since.
    [..]5:10 P.M. EDT
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/10/remarks-president-qa-david-karp-ceo-tumblr

    Remarks by the President in Q&A with David Karp, CEO of Tumblr
    June 10, 2014
    State Dining Room
    4:15 P.M. EDT
    […]
    MR. KARP: Brilliant. This one was sent in a few days ago: “Mr. President, my name is Nick Dineen, and I attend school at the University of California-Santa Barbara. I was the RA for the floor that George Chen lived on last year as a first-year college student. I knew him. Elliot Rodger killed him and five more of my fellow students. Today, another man has shot and killed at least one person and injured three others at a private Christian school in Seattle. What are you going to do? What can we all do?” And of course, another mass shooting this morning.

    THE PRESIDENT: I have to say that people often ask me how has it been being President, and what am I proudest of and what are my biggest disappointments. And I’ve got two and a half years left. My biggest frustration so far is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.

    We’re the only developed country on Earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this. A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it — we’re not seeing that again. And basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws. And they haven’t had a mass shooting since.

    Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on Earth that would put up with this. Now, we have a different tradition. We have a Second Amendment. We have historically respected gun rights. I respect gun rights. But the idea that, for example, we couldn’t even get a background check bill in to make sure that if you’re going to buy a weapon you have to actually go through a fairly rigorous process so that we know who you are, so you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semiautomatic weapon — it makes no sense.

    And I don’t know if anybody saw the brief press conference from the father of the young man who had been killed at Santa Barbara. And as a father myself, I just could not understand the pain he must be going through and just the primal scream that he gave out — why aren’t we doing something about this?

    And I will tell you, I have been in Washington for a while now and most things don’t surprise me. The fact that 20 six-year-olds were gunned down in the most violent fashion possible and this town couldn’t do anything about it was stunning to me. And so the question then becomes what can we do about it. The only thing that is going to change is public opinion. If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change. I’ve initiated over 20 executive actions to try to tighten up some of the rules in the laws, but the bottom line is, is that we don’t have enough tools right now to really make as big of a dent as we need to.

    And most members of Congress — and I have to say, to some degree, this is bipartisan — are terrified of the NRA. The combination of the NRA and gun manufacturers are very well financed and have the capacity to move votes in local elections and congressional elections. And so if you’re running for office right now, that’s where you feel the heat. And people on the other side may be generally favorable towards things like background checks and other commonsense rules but they’re not as motivated. So that’s not — that doesn’t end up being the issue that a lot of you vote on.

    And until that changes, until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say, enough, this is not acceptable, this is not normal, this isn’t sort of the price we should be paying for our freedom, that we can have respect for the Second Amendment and responsible gun owners and sportsmen and hunters can have the ability to possess weapons but that we are going to put some commonsense rules in place that make a dent, at least, in what’s happening — until that is not just the majority of you — because that’s already the majority of you, even the majority of gun owners believe that. But until that’s a view that people feel passionately about and are willing to go after folks who don’t vote reflecting those values, until that happens, sadly, not that much is going to change.

    The last thing I’ll say: A lot of people will say that, well, this is a mental health problem, it’s not a gun problem. The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people. (Laughter.) It’s not the only country that has psychosis. And yet, we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than anyplace else. Well, what’s the difference? The difference is, is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses and that’s sort of par for the course.

    So the country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm, and we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me. And I am prepared to work with anybody, including responsible sportsmen and gun owners, to craft some solutions. But right now, it’s not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress, and we should be ashamed of that.
    [..]
    5:10 P.M. EDT
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/10/remarks-president-qa-david-karp-ceo-tumblr

  • Torcer

    “Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” — Sun Tzu

  • Torcer

    Dem Rep Nails Obama Over His Refusal To Say “Islamic Extremism”… http://www.weaselzippers.us/212452-dem-rep-nails-obama-over-his-refusal-to-say-islamic-extremism/ via @WeaselZippers

    Dem Rep Nails Obama Over His Refusal To Say “Islamic Extremism”…
    http://weaselzippers.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/tulsi-gabbard-new-mug-e1367375549796-550×526.jpeg
    Via Washington Times:

    Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, issued a scathing assessment Tuesday of President Obama’s refusal to utter the words “Islamic extremism” in reference to recent terror attacks, calling the omission a threat to the safety of the nation.

    “This is not just about words,” the Hawaii Democrat told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “It’s not about semantics. It’s really about having a real, true understanding of who our enemy is and how important that is, that we have to understand what their motivation is and what their ideology is — the radical Islamic ideology that is fueling them.”

    Ms. Gabbard took umbrage with Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent assertion that the criminal conduct of terrorists with the Islamic State and al Qaeda is “rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors,” which she said is flat-out wrong.

    http://www.weaselzippers.us/212452-dem-rep-nails-obama-over-his-refusal-to-say-islamic-extremism/

  • Torcer

    “We want them registered” – Nancy Pelosi

  • Torcer

    Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again
    According to a disturbingly pleasant graphic from Information is Beautiful entitled simply 20th Century Death, communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.

    During the century measured, more people died as a result of communism than from homicide (58 million) and genocide (30 million) put together. The combined death tolls of WWI (37 million) and WWII (66 million) exceed communism’s total by only 9 million.
    http://reason.com/blog/2013/03/13/communism-killed-94m-in-20th-century

  • Torcer

    Doug Ross @ Journal: Why Socialism Always Fails http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-socialism-always-fails.html?

    Why Socialism Always Fails
    Socialism is the Big Lie of the last century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

    In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

    A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

    In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

    Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!

    In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, I pointed out the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe, and China. At the time of our debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it, I asked him, that people were fleeing Haiti and traveling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the “evil capitalist empire” when they were only 50 miles from the “workers’ paradise” of Cuba?

    The Marxist admitted that many “socialist” countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing “pure” socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.

    If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, any economic or political system–socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism–would work perfectly.

    However, the choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.

    The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-socialism-always-fails.html

  • Torcer

    Doug Ross @ Journal: Why Socialism Always Fails http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-socialism-always-fails.html?

    Why Socialism Always Fails
    Socialism is the Big Lie of the last century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

    In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

    A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

    In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

    Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!

    In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, I pointed out the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe, and China. At the time of our debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it, I asked him, that people were fleeing Haiti and traveling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the “evil capitalist empire” when they were only 50 miles from the “workers’ paradise” of Cuba?

    The Marxist admitted that many “socialist” countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing “pure” socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.

    If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, any economic or political system–socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism–would work perfectly.

    However, the choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.

    The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-socialism-always-fails.html

  • Torcer

    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. “ Ronald
    Reagan

  • Torcer

    “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a
    well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all,
    enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.” John Derbyshire

  • Torcer

    Legacy of Communism
    Communism’s Crimes Against Humanity

    In October 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution gave birth to the deadliest ideology in history – Communism. In less than 100 years, Communism has claimed more than 100 million victims. Today, it continues to rule one-fifth of the world’s people.

    Thanks to the efforts of The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and its supporters the United States now has a memorial to commemorate these victims. This is fitting since the U.S. has been communism’s greatest challenger. Dedicated on June 12, 2007 by President George W. Bush, The Victims of Communism Memorial stands on on Massachusetts Avenue near the U.S. Capitol building. It is an enduring reminder of the horrific legacy of totalitarianism.
    Never Forget

    A free people cannot afford to forget the evils and the costs of Communism. We must no allow the atrocities of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and Castro to fade into the background of history. We must not forget the trail of blood and tears this utopian deception has left behind. How:

    The Bolsheviks murdered their way into power…
    Lenin destroyed hundreds of thousands of Cossacks…
    The Kremlin starved to death more than six million in Ukraine…
    Mao murdered tens of millions of Chinese peasants during his “Great Leap Forward”…
    Ho Chi Minh sent 850,000 Vietnamese to their graves in “education camps”…
    Castro buried dissenters in the infamous Isle of Pines…
    The student voices of freedom were silenced at Tiananmen Square in Beijing
    http://victimsofcommunism.org/mission/legacy-of-communism/

  • Torcer

    “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a
    well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all,
    enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.” John Derbyshire

    PREVENTING GUN VIOLENCE THROUGH EFFECTIVE MESSAGING
    HIGH-PROFILE GUN VIOLENCE INCIDENTS
    OVERVIEW
    #1:DON’T HESITATE TO SPEAK OUT.
    The truth is, the most powerful time to communicate is when concern and emotions are running at their peak.
    #3:DON’T ASSUME THE FACTS – AND DON’T WAIT FOR THEM
    Experience tells us that the specific facts of a high-profile gun incident are revealed over time. If we jump to conclusions about those details, we could find ourselves at odds with reality as events unfold.
    So, the smartest thing to do is avoid linking our message and arguments to any one set of partially-revealed facts.
    #8:DON’T LET POLICYSPEAK DRAIN THE EMOTION FROM THE MOMENT.
    There is often a compelling case to be made for immediate action, pivoting from the emotion of a high-profile incident to calls for legislative action or specific policy changes. Those who seek to make that pivot have to be careful not to drain the emotional power out of the moment. An emotionally-driven conversation about what can be done to prevent incidents such as the one at hand is engaging.

    http://gunssavelives.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Gun-ViolenceMessaging-Guide-PDF-1.pdf

  • Torcer

    “You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean
    and paltry; for whatever a man’s actions are, such must be his spirit.”
    Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac

  • Torcer

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    This is a repost of a blog I wrote last year.
    You can see the original here. It’s exactly the same except the original has pictures!

    I just wanted to bring this back in hopes of sparking a real, rational conversation about socialism.

    I feel the narrative around common sense, Democratic Socialism is constantly negative and too many liberals are afraid to associate themselves with the word.

    Socialism is not a bad thing. It benefits each and every one of us in one way or another.

    Below the fold is 75 ways socialism has improved, shaped, and built America.

    Socialism.

    There is nothing more feared and hated in America.

    The word alone sends shivers down the spine of the American people.

    Those three syllables conger up images of Big Brother Government ruling over us all, telling us what to eat, wear, buy, and think. Our children in national uniform being indoctrinated with propaganda in government education camps that use to be schools, turning them into little slaves. While their parents work twelve hour shifts in the concentration camp that slaughters rich successful billionaires, as the poor and needy get a million dollars a month in welfare. A murderous government waging a war against freedom and liberty to gain complete control over everyone and everything.

    You know, the way things were under that socialist Bill Clinton. And the way things are now under that socialist Barack Obama.

    They imagine the USSR and how Democrats are turning America into it because our government will give money to poor people so they don’t starve to death. (Giving money to billion dollar corporations is NOT socialism somehow. You would be a communist and a hippie to think otherwise.)

    This is scary stuff!

    And it’s about to get scarier, because I have some terrifying news for you….

    Socialism is alive and well in America and it has been here for a very long time!

    Oh, that’s not all. it gets much worse! I hope your sitting down…

    As it turns out, You love socialism and you use it everyday, and you may not even know it! It may have even saved your life. I know, this is bad…

    Now relax and breath. It’s going to be okay! We are going to get through this.

    You see, we are still a capitalist nation. In America, you can still make a billion dollars, get a giant tax cut, and pay your employees barely enough to survive while you sail in your yacht to escape any guilt that might inconvenience you. So don’t freak out just yet!

    The thing is, socialism is all over America and people actually like it. Even you… Yes you!

    I know, I know. You’re a conservative that believes in freedom and the constitution. You hate handouts and believe in hard work and the individual. You think government should get out of the way and let you live your lives and allow you to prosper on your own. You know that all rich people must have worked hard and all poor people are lazy. There is no other reason why they could be poor considering life is completely fair and all people are born into situations and environments that allow them to have all the opportunities and blessings that you had. There is no fathomable way they could have 2 or 3 jobs they work very hard at but still can’t make ends meet. You got it all figured out.

    But still, even you get your kicks from a little socialism every now and then.

    Don’t think of this as an intervention, think of it as a coming out of the closet party. We know you are a closet socialist. It’s okay, you are amongst friends and we support you. Besides, we always knew…

    Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.

    Sounds horrible, huh?

    Well I hate to be the one to tell you, but Socialism, which you have been told to fear all your life, is responsible for all this…

    1. The Military/Defense – The United States military is the largest and most funded socialist program in the world. It operates thanks to our taxpayer dollars and protects the country as a whole. From the richest citizens to the homeless who sleep under the bridge. We are all protected by our military whether we pay taxes or not. This is complete socialism.

    2. Highways/Roads – Those roads and highways you drive on every single day are completely taxpayer funded. Your tax dollars are used to maintain, expand, and preserve our highways and roads for every one’s use. President Eisenhower was inspired by Germany’s autobahn and implemented the idea right here in America. That’s right, a republican president created our taxpayer funded, national highway system. This was a different time, before the republican party came down with a vicious case of rabies that never went away.

    3. Public Libraries – Yes. That place where you go to check out books from conservative authors telling you how horrible socialism is, is in fact socialism. Libraries are taxpayer funded. You pay a few bucks to get a library card and you can read books for free for the rest of your life.

    4. Police – Ever had a situation where you had to call the police? Then you have used a taxpayer funded socialist program. Anyone can call the police whether they pay taxes or not. They are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. This is complete socialism on a state level, but still socialism all the same. Would you rather have to swipe your credit card before the police will help you?

    5. Fire Dept. – Hopefully you have never had a fire in your home. But if you have, you probably called your local taxpayer-funded fire department to put the fire out. Like police, this is state socialism. You tax dollars are used to rescue your entire community in case of a fire. It use to be set up where you would pay a fee every month to the fire dept. for their service. If you didn’t pay, they let your house burn down. Sadly, a man from Tennessee had this exact situation happen to him in 2011 because he didn’t pay his $75.00 fee. I guess that small town in Tennessee would rather let people’s houses burn down that resort to evil socialism. So don’t take for granted the fact that you have a 24/7 fire dept. to put out your burning home thanks to socialism.

    6. Postal Service – Like having mail delivered directly to your front door and paying next to nothing to send mail anywhere you want? Well it’s all made possible by socialism.

    7. Student Loans and Grants – Did you go to College? If you did, you family might not have been rich enough to pay your way through. So you got your education anyway through student loans and grants from the federal government at taxpayer expense. Of course you have to pay back the loans, but if not the government, did you know anyone else who was going to lend you tens of thousands of dollars? Probably not. So the taxpayers lent you the money and you paid it back with slight interest. The government grants you accepted were gifts from the taxpayer and the federal government that you did not have to pay back. Socialism got you through school.

    8. Bridges – Along with our highways, our government used your taxpayer dollars to build bridges. This allows the public to travel across rivers without having to sail or swim.

    9. Garbage Collection – Like having your garbage collected once a week instead of having to drive it to the landfill yourself? Thank socialism.

    10. Public Landfills – Taxpayer dollars are used to have places to dump all of our garbage that is collected by taxpayer funded garbage men.

    11. War – That’s right! War would not be possible without socialism. Your tax dollars are used to fight wars for your country. This is Big Government at it’s biggest. Private companies don’t attack other countries, at least not yet. Government is the only entity in America that can defend us from foreign enemies and our tax dollars are used for every second of it. Socialism has brought down Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bin Laden. War may very well be the most socialist thing on this list.

    12. Farm Subsidies – Our government uses taxpayer funds to pay farmers and businesses to provide their income and keep them growing food for the public.

    13. CIA – The Central Intelligence Agency is vital to America’s security. The CIA is completely taxpayer funded to protect the public from enemies.

    14. FBI – The Federal bureau of investigations is a taxpayer funded government agency.

    15. Congressional Health Care – As Republicans in congress warn us of the evils of government-run health care, most of them are covered by taxpayer-funded government-run health care. You literally pay for their health care while they tell you that paying for your neighbors health care through a public option or single-payer system is socialism. They are 100% correct, it is socialism. They’re just not telling you that they like their socialist health care, they just don’t think you should have it. They are afraid you might like it better than the private insurance you have now that funds their campaigns and gives them money to push what is best for them and not for you. Members of congress are free to opt out of their evil government health care, but most of them don’t because deep down, they like socialism too.

    16. Polio Vaccine – In the 1950’s polio ravaged the United States. Until Dr. Jonas Salk invented a cure, finally ridding America of this terrible disease. Dr. Salk could have sold his vaccine in the free market and made millions and millions of dollars. Instead he gave it to the federal government to begin eradicating polio. He said that he made plenty of money as a scientist and felt it was too important to try and profit from or create a business around.

    17. EPA – Republicans hate this taxpayer-funded government program because they have the nerve to tell corporations that they may have to follow environmental rules ad regulations for the greater good of the earth and the people who live on it. But if you don’t like breathing mercury, drinking dirty water, and breathing in chemicals, you should like this example of socialism working for the people.

    18. Social Security – You pay a tax to help ensure that our grandparents and senior citizens of America have money to live off of when they are retired or too elderly to work. I love hearing rich people bitch about this one because the truth is that they do not pay a social security tax, like most payroll taxes. This little piece of socialism helps prevent our senior citizens from sinking into poverty and starving to death.

    19. Museums – Many museums are privately owned by organizations and groups, but many are also taxpayer-funded state, national, and federal museums.

    20. Public Schools – Can’t afford to send your children to an expensive private school? Thanks to socialism and government, you child can still get an education. Public education has been under attack for decades in this country by the radical right because public schools don’t teach Christianity to your children and it enables people like Barack Obama to work hard, gain scholarships, and eventually become President of the United States.

    21. Jail/Prison System – Many murders and criminals are behind bars right now and not out on the streets because of our taxpayer-funded, federal and state run jails and prisons. Taxpayer money is collected and used to help protect all of society from murders, molesters, rapist, etc. I know there’s a lot of disagreement and controversy about how to handle our prison system, but I think we can all agree that serial killers should not be freed into society. There are also many private prisons in the United States. However, they have a higher escape rate than their socialist counterpart. Besides, don’t you see the bad incentives in having a private prison system that profits from having people in prison? Since a business’s top goal is to make more money than the year before, the only feasible agenda would be to get everyone in prison.

    22. Corporate/Business Subsidies – This is the type of socialism that is acceptable in the Republican party. You tax dollars are given to big corporations to do things they should be doing anyway out of morals and ethics. Like not sending jobs overseas and hiring people. Wouldn’t you like a nice big check just for not breaking the law? To be fair though, many businesses do earn their subsidies by advancing green technology and practice, donating to charity, helping communities, etc. They aren’t all bad. People just get mad when big billionaire oil companies get billions of their taxpayer dollars while they’re paying $4 at the pump. For the corporations that don’t earn their subsidies other than donating to their very own political party, it’s merely welfare. Though however you look at it, it is socialism.

    23. Veteran’s (VA) Health Care – Our soldiers bravely go to foreign countries and risk their lives at the request of their government and the American people. For those who survive, we as a country feel committed and obligated to ensure that they have everything they need for the rest of their lives for their service to us in which we could never fully repay. So we the taxpayers fund their health care in a government-run single-payer system for veterans. Many soldiers return with mental and/or physical health issues that would cost them thousands in a private health care plan. Socialism funds the military, the overall war, and also takes care of our troops when they return home.

    24. Public Parks – Like going to the park on a sunny day? Just being able to walk right in, or at the worse pay a small fee? This is once again the work of socialism. If it were private, it wouldn’t be a park, it would be someones back yard. That small or non-existent fee will turn into a $15 fee faster than you can say “No Trespassing”.

    25. All Elected Government Officials – From the Supreme Court, to the President of the United States and all the way down to the County Dog Catcher, taxpayers pay their salary and provide the funding for them to do their job. We pay for every aspect of their job. So in a sense, I guess you could say our whole country is run on socialism.

    26. Food Stamps – Republicans fill with bitter contempt knowing that our government at the expense of the taxpayer is giving poor people money to buy food they couldn’t otherwise afford. This, like welfare, is what the right thinks socialism is all about, along with mass murder. However, just like corporate welfare, welfare is socialism. I’ll just end this one with a quick story. I have been down and out in periods of my life and sought assistance via food stamps. Even though I was what anyone would consider poor, I was not poor enough to get food stamps. Which means people who do get them, must really, really need them. As far as my personal experience, they weren’t thrown around like candy the way the right would have you believe.

    27. Sewer System – Do you like having a sewer system to remove waste and prevent pollution and disease from seeping into our environment? Thank the taxpayers of America and the socialist system it operates in.

    28. Medicare – Medicare is one of the most liked socialist programs in America. Most of us don’t mind paying taxes to provide our senior citizens with health care and hope the next generation will do the same for us. If you don’t believe me, just look at almost any poll. Most seniors would not be able to afford private health care. So this form of socialism is a life saver for this nation’s grandparents and senior citizens.

    29. Court System – Whether it’s the murder trial of the century or a case in a small claims court, the taxpayers of America fully fund our courts and legal process. You may pay for your own lawyer, but the courtroom, judge, and jury is paid for through socialist means.

    30. Bird Flu Vaccine – You don’t have bird flu right now and probably aren’t worried about it because our federal government used taxpayer funds to pump vaccines all over America.

    31. G.I. Bill – The G.I. bill allows veterans to pursue an education by using taxpayer dollars to help them pay for most of their schooling. It also helps them with loans, savings, and unemployment benefits.

    32. Hoover Dam – Remember when our country use to build things? Our government built the Hoover Dam using taxpayer funds. It is now a vital source of power for the west coast.

    33. State/City Zoos – American families have been going to the zoo for generations. A place where kids and adults can have fun seeing creatures and animals from all over the world and learn at the same time. Many zoos are ran by the state and/or city, using taxpayer funds to operate and even bring the animals to the zoo.

    34. IRS – I know, the IRS is about as popular and well liked in America as a hemorrhoid, but think about it. The IRS is the reason that we have anything. The IRS collects taxpayer funds for the federal government. The government then dispenses these funds to our military, states, and social programs. If there is no one collecting taxes, no one will pay them. If no one pays taxes, our country shuts down. Without money to operate, nothing operates. This may sound like a good thing to some radical republicans, but for those of us with sense, we know this means anarchy in the USA. The IRS gets a bad rap because if you don’t pay your taxes or owe them money, they can be ruthless. Like everything else, the IRS is not perfect, but without them we literally have no country or no means to run it.

    35. Free Lunch Program – Some children are living in poverty by no fault of their own. I’m not saying it is even their parents fault, but you surely cannot blame a child for the situation they are born into. In most if not all states, there are programs where children who live in poor households can receive school lunch for free. The taxpayers of the state pay for this. Sounds like socialism to me, and also the moral and Christian thing to do.

    36. The Pentagon – Our defense system in America is a socialist system from top to bottom. We as taxpayers fund the pentagon completely.

    37. Medicaid – Our government uses taxpayer funds to provide health care for low-income people. Republicans, the compassionate Christians that they are, absolutely hate this program. What they fail to understand is that when people can’t afford to pay their outrageous medical bills, they don’t. This bill does not disappear. The loss that the insurance company, doctor’s office, or hospital takes gets passed down to everyone else. So covering people and giving them a low-income option reduces costs for them and everyone else. This is the main argument behind a health care mandate. It’s not to force you to buy health care out of cruelty. If everyone is covered, costs drop for everyone. If you have no compassion for the uninsured, you can at least understand the rational in a selfish sense.

    38. FDA – The Food and Drug Administration is far from perfect. It is infested with corporate corruption and they have been wrong many, many times. Countless times they have approved things that they later have to apologize for and have banned things that would have helped people. However, they have also stopped many harmful foods and products from being sold to the public and protect us everyday from poisons being disguised as products. While not perfect, they are needed to prevent harmful food and drugs from being sold to you and you family. Without them, corporations can send whatever they want to your supermarkets and drug stores without any testing or evaluation. I don’t mind my taxes going towards a middle man to inspect the safety of the products we are being sold everyday.

    39. Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers – After beating back GOP obstruction, Democrats finally passed a bill last year to allow government to help 9/11 rescue worker’s with their health care after many came down with horrible lung diseases from the toxins they breathed in rescuing people from smoldering buildings. These brave citizens risked their lives and health to help complete strangers. They deserve more, but covering their health care is a good start.

    40. Swine Flu Vaccine – Do you have swine flu right now? Then thank government and the socialist structure.

    41. Disability Insurance (SSDI) – For those who are disabled and cannot work, our government provides an income for them via taxpayer dollars as opposed to the other option of letting them starve to death.

    42. Town/State Run Beaches – Like going to the beach? Like it when the beach is clean and safe? Like having lifeguards on staff in case of an emergency? Then once again, thank the taxpayers and the socialist structure that makes it all possible.

    43. Corporate Bailouts/Welfare – The whole point of this post is to prove that we ALL use, benefit from, and like socialism. This example is a form of socialism that the republicans not only like, but fight tooth and nail for. They don’t like it when socialism is used for working/poor people, but when it’s for millionaires and their corporate donors, socialism becomes as American as apple pie. The middle/working class who are the majority of taxpayers pay for welfare for corporations and people who have more money than all of us combined. When our government bails out a bank or gives a subsidy to a billion dollar corporation, you are paying for it.

    44. State Construction – Ever see those construction workers in your town fixing potholes, erecting buildings, repaving highways and roads, and fixing things all over town? They themselves and the work they do is taxpayer-funded state socialism.

    45. Unemployment Insurance – All your working life, you pay payroll taxes. Some of these taxes go toward a program that temporarily provides for people who lost their jobs until they can find another one. You pay for others, others pay for you. Especially these days, you never know when you might lose your job. You may need temporary assistance until you get back on your feet. The government recognizes this. UI also keeps the economy moving in times of recession because people still have some money in their pockets to buy goods and promote demand.
    46. City/Metro Buses – If you lack transportation, you can catch a city bus. Taxpayer funds and the fee you pay to take the bus make it possible for millions of people to go to work.

    47. WIC – WIC is a federally funded program to assist women, infants, and children. WIC helps low-income families by providing funding for nutrition, education, and health care for children.

    48. State Snow Removal – Even though sometimes it may take them longer than you like to get to your street, do you like having snow plow service to clear our roads and highways in the winter? This is a state socialist taxpayer-funded service.

    49. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) – PBS operates on donations and government funding. The provide non-partisan news and information to the public. They are the home of Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theater, and The Antiques Roadshow. Surveys show that they are literally the most trusted name in news. I wonder how Fox feels about that?

    50. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The CDC helps promote and enact the health and safety of the public along with helping to prevent and control illness and disease. The CDC is a government program that operates on taxpayer funding.

    51. Welfare – Is there anything the republicans hate more? Of course I’m talking about the welfare that goes to poor people. Corporate welfare is not only accepted in the republican Kabul, but it’s mandatory that we give our tax dollars to billionaires and not question the logic of it. Though if you look at it realistically and not through the red scare glasses in which the right sees the world, welfare helps the economy. As I’ve said many times, when poor people have money in their pocket, they buy things made and sold by companies. This creates a demand. To keep up with demand, businesses must hire to keep up. If you yanked everyone who is on welfare off of it tomorrow, the economy would take a blow and lose jobs due to the down tick in consumer demand because we just took what little money they had away.

    52. Public Street Lighting – Like being able to see at night when you walk or drive? Thank Socialism.

    53. FEMA – If Disaster strikes, FEMA is there to help pick up the pieces. As a part of homeland security and an agency of the federal government, they use taxpayer dollars to help cities, states, and towns recover and rebuild. I don’t know to many private companies that could assist in disaster relief and ask nothing in return. Thank God for socialism.

    54. Public Defenders – Ever been in trouble and couldn’t afford a lawyer? Well the taxpayers and the government make sure you still get representation.

    55. S-CHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) – S-CHIP is a program that matches funds to states for health insurance for children in families that cannot afford insurance but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Your tax dollars go towards covering uninsured children, is that so wrong?

    56. Amtrak – Amtrak transports tens of millions of passengers a year in 46 states and three Canadian Providences. It is owned by the federal government and your tax dollars are used to fund it. All aboard!!

    57. NPR – National Public Radio operates on private and federal funding along with public donations. NPR has been one of the most trusted news sources in America for over 40 years.

    58. The Department of Homeland Security – Created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, this heavily federally funded department of the U.S. government helps protect us from future terrorist attacks. This is the third largest department within the United States government.

    59. OSHA – Do you have a safe and healthy workplace that provides training, outreach, education, and assistance? Thank OSHA! Brought to you by the taxpayers of America and socialism.

    60. State and National Monuments – The Lincoln Memorial. Mount Rushmore. The D.C. National Mall. All brought to you and maintained with your tax dollars. Socialism is patriotic?

    61. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – The USDA enforces regulations on the farming, agriculture, and food industries to ensure food safety, natural resources, and hunger worldwide and in the United States. Your tax dollars are used to help keep what you are eating safe and even feed those who are not eating.

    62. Government Scholarships – if you work hard in school and show true potential, our government will give you a scholarship towards college so you can advance your education. Your tax dollars have been used to send future doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even presidents of the United States to college.
    63. Department of Health and Human Service – The overall goal of HHS is to promote, implement, and ensure the health of the American people. Your tax dollars are used to do this. Government looking out for the well being of it’s people, imagine that!

    64. Census Bureau – Every ten years, our government collects data about our people and economy, to better serve and represent us. From the forms that are sent to your home for you to fill out and send back in and to the census worker who shows up and kindly asks you to fill out the form if you don’t send it in, all taxpayer funded socialism. The information collected is used to better understand the economic situation and population in your area. Not to enslave you in a FEMA camp.

    65. Department of Energy – This taxpayer funded cabinet of the federal government oversees nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, energy conservation, radioactive waste disposal, and energy production. To those of you who care about our environment and would rather not witness a nuclear holocaust might consider this money well spent.

    66. Customs and Border Protection – the CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in America. This is big government that republicans actually do like because they don’t like Mexicans immigrating to our country like our ancestors did. However, this taxpayer funded, socialist agency of the federal government regulates trade, imports, and immigration.

    67. Department of Education – This cabinet of the federal government is actually the smallest. They administer and oversee federal assistance to education. They also collect data and enforce federal laws and regulations involving education. Even though the right thinks that this department is indoctrinating your children, they actually have no control over curriculum or standards.

    68. Secret Service – Your tax dollars are used to provide highly-trained, skilled professional bodyguards to protect the President of the United States.

    69. Peace Corps – The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the government that helps people outside of the US to understand our culture as well as helping us learn about other cultures. However they are more well known for their work with economic and social development in less-fortunate countries. Sounds very Christian for being a socialist program, huh?

    70. Department of Justice – The DOJ is responsible for enforcing the law. Socialism keeps our civilization intact.

    71. National Weather Service – Like knowing when a storm, tornado, earthquake, or snow is coming? Socialism makes this possible and available to everyone.

    72. The White House – Our taxpayer dollars through a socialist means pays for the house that the president and his family live in during a presidents time in office.

    73. Government – Like it or not, our country would not be a country without a government. Every single day, government on state and local levels serve us in ways we simply take for granted. Government as an entity operates and functions on our tax dollars through a socialist structured funding system. From the military down to the county dog catcher, socialism turns the wheels that make our society function.

    74. Law – Laws and rules make our democracy possible. Remove these laws and you have sheer anarchy. Laws do not appear out of thin air. To have law, you need a government. You need elected lawmakers to make the laws and a government to implement and enforce them. Socialism is responsible for every law in this country. Without our government and lawmakers which exist thanks to socialism, there would be no laws. So the laws themselves, are enforced and implemented thanks to socialism.

    75. Civilization – As an American citizen, you enjoy freedoms that many in other countries do not. Like anything else in this world, our government is not perfect, but you should be thankful everyday that your country has a government that feels an obligation to serve the people and protect their rights and freedoms. This is completely possible because of government, taxes, and socialism. Do you think the private sector would do a better job of governing our country? Do you think corporations would enact laws to help protect and serve you and your family or them and their profits? The reason you can read this blog and the reason I can write it whether you agree with it or not is because of the freedoms we have here in America enforced and protected through socialist means. Our entire civilization depends on us being a people united. Socialism is a glue that binds us together and makes possible the things that we could not accomplish as individuals working against each other.

    I don’t care who you are.

    Rich or poor. Teaparty Republican or Liberal Socialist.

    You benefit from at least one or more of these 75 American Government-Run, Taxpayer funded Socialist programs, agencies, and laws.

    My overall argument is not for a completely socialist nation. This would not work. A completely capitalist nation would not work either.

    I’m just simply saying that I, as a Democratic Socialist, feel that the two can co-exist. I know this because they always have. Socialism and capitalism have always co-existed in America.

    I also believe in freedom. I believe options are a form of freedom.

    Right now in the United States of America, I can send mail through the public postal service or I can choose a private option like FedEx. I can send my kids to public school or private school.

    As liberals, we don’t want a government takeover, we want options. We think we should have the freedom to be able to choose to have government health care if we don’t like our private plan.

    If we are 18-64, we have no options or freedom over our own health care. I don’t understand why this isn’t viewed as a corporate takeover of health care.

    Socialism is not a bad thing. It is a foundation in this country of ours. Claiming socialism is bad because of radical and non-factual comparisons to Hitler and Stalin is like saying all guns are bad because of the Columbine killers and Jared Loughner.

    National socialism and communism are very, very different from Democratic Socialism here in America. I’d explain further but this topic is for another post, this one is long enough. Besides, socialism defeated Hitler.

    So let’s just stop the madness and have a serious discussion about socialism and the role it plays in America.

    “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country” – FDR

    Originally posted to TheNewDeal00 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:13 AM PDT.
    Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos Classics.
    http://www.dailykos.com/ story/ 2012/ 03/ 29/ 1078852/ -75-Ways-Socialism-Has-Improved-America

  • Torcer

    If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman

  • Torcer

    #Socialism definition pop out list

    Definition of collectivism
    [mass noun]
    1The practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it:
    ‘the Church has criticized the great emphasis placed on individualism rather than collectivism’
    1.1 The ownership of land and the means of production by the people or the state, as a political principle or system:
    ‘the Russian Revolution decided to alter the course of modernity towards collectivism’
    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/collectivism?

    Communism, the political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society. Communism is thus a form of socialism—a higher and more advanced form, according to its advocates. Exactly how communism differs from socialism has long been a matter of debate, but the distinction rests largely on the communists’ adherence to the revolutionary socialism of Karl Marx.
    http://www.britannica.com/topic/communism

    communism a way of organizing a society in which the government owns the things that are used to make and transport products (such as land, oil, factories, ships, etc.) and there is no privately owned property
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism

    Definition of COMMUNISM
    1a : a theory advocating elimination of private property
    b : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
    2capitalized
    a : a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    b : a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
    c : a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
    d : communist systems collectively
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism

    Definition of communism
    mass noun]
    A theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs. See also Marxism.

    The most familiar form of communism is that established by the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and it has generally been understood in terms of the system practised by the former Soviet Union and its allies in eastern Europe, in China since 1949, and in some developing countries such as Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. In this form of communism it was held that the state would wither away after the overthrow of the capitalist system.
    In practice, however, the state grew to control all aspects of communist society. Communism in eastern Europe collapsed in the late 1980s and early 1990s against a background of failure to meet people’s economic expectations, a shift to more democracy in political life, and increasing nationalism such as that which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

    Origin

    Mid 19th century: from French communisme, from commun (see common).
    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/communism?

    Definition of democratic socialism
    noun
    A form of socialism pursued by democratic rather than autocratic or revolutionary means, especially by respecting a democratically elected legislature as the source of political change; (also more generally) moderate or centrist socialism.
    Origin
    Mid 19th cent.; earliest use found in The Athenaeum. From democratic + socialism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/democratic-socialism?

    Definition of democratic socialist
    noun
    An advocate of democratic socialism; a member of a political party whose aims are those of democratic socialism
    adjective
    Of or relating to democratic socialism or its advocates; that advocates or supports democratic socialism; specifically designating any of various political parties that support democratic socialism.
    Origin
    Mid 19th cent.; earliest use found in The Standard. From democratic + socialist.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/democratic-socialist?

    Definition of Fabian
    noun
    A member or supporter of the Fabian Society, an organization of socialists aiming to achieve socialism by gradual rather than revolutionary means.
    1.1Employing a cautiously persistent and dilatory strategy to wear out an enemy: ‘Fabian tactics’
    Derivatives
    Fabianism
    noun
    Fabianist
    noun
    Origin
    Late 18th century: from the name of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (see Fabius).
    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Fabian

    Definitions of left
    2 Relating to a person or group favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views:
    Left politics
    left periodicals such as Marxism Today
    2 (often the Left) [treated as singular or plural] A group or party favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views:
    the Left is preparing to fight presidential elections
    he is on the left of the party
    Origin Old English lyft, left ‘weak’ (the left-hand side being regarded as the weaker side of the body), of West Germanic origin.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/left via @OxfordWords

    Definition of Leninism
    [mass noun]
    Marxism as interpreted and applied by Lenin.
    Origin
    Early 20th century: named after Lenin (see Lenin, Vladimir Ilich).
    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Leninism

    Definition of Marxism
    The political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the basis of communism

    Central to Marxist theory is an explanation of social change in terms of economic factors, according to which the means of production provide the economic base which influences or determines the political and ideological superstructure.
    Marx and Engels predicted the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism by the proletariat and the eventual attainment of a classless communist society
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Marxism via

    Marxism–Leninism
    [mass noun]
    The doctrines of Marx as interpreted and put into effect by Lenin in the Soviet Union and (at first) by Mao Zedong in China.
    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Marxism%E2%80%93Leninism

    Definition of national
    adjective
    1 Relating to or characteristic of a nation; common to a whole nation:
    this policy may have been in the national interest
    a national newspaper
    Origin Late 16th century: from French, from Latin natio(n-) ‘birth, race of people’ (see nation).
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/english/national

    Definition of SOCIALISM
    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
    First Known Use of SOCIALISM
    1837
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

    This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on … (100 of 8,350 words)
    http://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism

    Definition of Social Democratic Party
    A UK political party with moderate socialist aims, founded in 1981 by a group of former Labour MPs and disbanded in 1990 after political regroupings.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/Social-Democratic-Party?

    Definition of social democratic
    adjective
    1That supports or advocates social democracy; specifically designating any of various political parties or movements that support or advocate social democracy; of or relating to these.
    2Of a nation, state, etc.: governed or organized in accordance with the principles of social democracy.
    3Of, relating to, or characteristic of social democracy or social democrats; characterized by (support for) social democracy or social democrats.
    Origin
    Mid 19th cent.; earliest use found in The Glasgow Herald. From social + democratic, probably after social democrat. Compare German sozial-demokratisch.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/social-democratic?

    Definition of social democracy
    A socialist system of government achieved by democratic means
    Derivatives
    social democrat
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/social-democracy?

    Definition of statism
    [mass noun]
    A political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs:
    ‘the rise of authoritarian statism’
    Derivatives

    statist
    1 noun & adjective
    https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/statism

  • Torcer

    There wasn’t a man voting for it who didn’t think that under a setup
    of this kind he’d muscle in on the profits of the men abler than
    himself. There wasn’t a man rich and smart enough but that he didn’t
    think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him
    a share of his better’s wealth and brain. But while he was thinking
    that he’d get uneared benefits from the men above, he forgot about the
    men below who’d get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his
    inferiors who’d rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his
    superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a
    limousine like his boss’s, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth
    would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his
    own. That was our real motive when we voted – that was the truth of it –
    but we didn’t like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we
    yelled about our love for the common good.

    Except from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

  • Torcer

    Ah yes, this old chestnut.
    Carl Sagan made the admonition that: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    Trying to pretend a Socialist Worker’s party WASN’T a Socialist Worker’s party is an Extraordinary claim.

    Where is your extraordinary evidence?

    You could write a term paper filled with BS about propaganda or the North Korea red herring but if that is the extent of your ‘evidence’ it falls way short of being ‘extraordinary’.

    For starters Please explain why they were a ‘Socialist’ ‘Workers’ party:

    Nazi
    German Nationalsozialistische [deutsche Arbeiter-Partei] (National Socialist [German Workers’ Party])
    The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition

    And do try to be creative – you can dispense with the tired and shopworn ‘Propaganda’ excuse or the Red Herring ‘North Korea’ dodge.

    Please include Plenty of EXCERPTS and Links from authentic reference sites to bolster your assertions.

    Then there is this quote:

    In certain basic respects – a totalitarian state structure, a single party, a leader, a secret police, a hatred of political, cultural and intellectual freedom – fascism and communism are clearly more like each other than they are like anything in between.
    Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Associate Professor of History at Harvard New York Times Magazine

    Let’s face it, you leftists cannot escape the bloody history of you base ideology, no matter how many Lies you conjure up to distract and confuse the issue..

  • Torcer

    “Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a
    well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all,
    enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.” John Derbyshire

  • Torcer

    “Democratic” Socialism of Bernie Sanders Is Still Socialism http://blog.panampost.com/rachel-rodriguez/2015/09/08/democratic-socialism-of-bernie-sanders-is-still-socialism/#.Ve8btvxmN4U.twitter via @PanAmPost

    “Democratic” Socialism of Bernie Sanders Is Still Socialism
    Central Planning Will Misallocate Resources, Whether Voted On or Not
    Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate, is a self-proclaimed socialist.

    But not a Soviet Union, Cuban, or Maoist socialist, the sort that piled up 100 million corpses throughout the 20th century. He does not mean that the state should directly own and control the factors of production. That kind of socialism has been shown to inevitably end in failure, collapse, and famine.

    Nor is he a national socialist, of the type exemplified by the Nazi Party, or Mussolini’s Italy, whereby the factors of production were nominally privately owned, but de facto orchestrated by the state — the system commonly known as fascism.

    Bernie Sanders is a “democratic” socialist. Naturally, the adjective democratic should be enough to salvage even the most destructive of political and economic ideologies, shouldn’t it? After all, people voted on it, right? What does Bernie Sanders mean by democratic socialism?

    A democratic socialist believes that the wealth earned by private industry is not created, but stolen off the backs of the hard-working laborers. He believes in crude nationalism and mercantilism, that corporations are more beholden to individuals in the same political and geographic region than to their shareholders, customers, and employees, wherever on the earth they may reside. He believes in economic democracy, the notion that the majority can vote to steal the property of a minority. Why seize the means of production, when you can leave other people to produce everything, and then just take it afterwards?

    But democracy is not a way to distribute resources, because the non-producing majority will always vote for access to other people’s wealth. Nor is it a way to produce wealth. The worker-owned and -operated co-ops that Marx and Sanders would like to see supplant the corporate structure are almost comically inefficient. Democracy may be the least bad system for distributing political power, but it is woefully inadequate for running an industrialized civilization.
    […]
    But the reality of our economy is that we do not have a free-market system, and if you dig deep enough you will find that our money is very tightly tied to the whims of the politicians who elect themselves into power and the bureaucracies that support them.

    What Bernie Sanders fails to realize is there is an economic reality that cannot be superseded by political whim. At some point the supposed Scandinavian socialist paradises will consume what scarce capital they have built up. Their politicians will again run out of other peoples’ money, and their societies will become poorer. Politicians can create nothing, they can only redistribute what has been created by the private enterprise they demonize.
    http://blog.panampost.com/rachel-rodriguez/2015/09/08/democratic-socialism-of-bernie-sanders-is-still-socialism/

  • Torcer

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    Millennials Are Coming of Age in a Depression — They Just Don’t Know It
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/10/14/millennials_are_coming_of_age_in_a_depression_they_just_don_t_know_it

    Why This Feels Like A Depression For Most People
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-08/why-feels-depression-most-people

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    Record 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest Since 1977
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-04/record-94-million-americans-not-labor-force-participation-rate-lowest-1977

  • Torcer

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    Millennials Are Coming of Age in a Depression — They Just Don’t Know It
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/10/14/millennials_are_coming_of_age_in_a_depression_they_just_don_t_know_it

    Why This Feels Like A Depression For Most People
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-08/why-feels-depression-most-people

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    Record 94 Million Americans Not In The Labor Force; Participation Rate Lowest Since 1977
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-04/record-94-million-americans-not-labor-force-participation-rate-lowest-1977

  • Torcer

    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. “ Ronald
    Reagan

  • Torcer

    Take a look at this totally Absurd screed that pretty much equates #Socialism with ANYTHING the government does:
    [Cleaned up version with the b word in #18 taken out and replaced with Complain]

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    This is a repost of a blog I wrote last year.
    You can see the original here. It’s exactly the same except the original has pictures!

    I just wanted to bring this back in hopes of sparking a real, rational conversation about socialism.

    I feel the narrative around common sense, Democratic Socialism is constantly negative and too many liberals are afraid to associate themselves with the word.

    Socialism is not a bad thing. It benefits each and every one of us in one way or another.

    Below the fold is 75 ways socialism has improved, shaped, and built America.

    Socialism.

    There is nothing more feared and hated in America.

    The word alone sends shivers down the spine of the American people.

    Those three syllables conger up images of Big Brother Government ruling over us all, telling us what to eat, wear, buy, and think. Our children in national uniform being indoctrinated with propaganda in government education camps that use to be schools, turning them into little slaves. While their parents work twelve hour shifts in the concentration camp that slaughters rich successful billionaires, as the poor and needy get a million dollars a month in welfare. A murderous government waging a war against freedom and liberty to gain complete control over everyone and everything.

    You know, the way things were under that socialist Bill Clinton. And the way things are now under that socialist Barack Obama.

    They imagine the USSR and how Democrats are turning America into it because our government will give money to poor people so they don’t starve to death. (Giving money to billion dollar corporations is NOT socialism somehow. You would be a communist and a hippie to think otherwise.)

    This is scary stuff!

    And it’s about to get scarier, because I have some terrifying news for you….

    Socialism is alive and well in America and it has been here for a very long time!

    Oh, that’s not all. it gets much worse! I hope your sitting down…

    As it turns out, You love socialism and you use it everyday, and you may not even know it! It may have even saved your life. I know, this is bad…

    Now relax and breath. It’s going to be okay! We are going to get through this.

    You see, we are still a capitalist nation. In America, you can still make a billion dollars, get a giant tax cut, and pay your employees barely enough to survive while you sail in your yacht to escape any guilt that might inconvenience you. So don’t freak out just yet!

    The thing is, socialism is all over America and people actually like it. Even you… Yes you!

    I know, I know. You’re a conservative that believes in freedom and the constitution. You hate handouts and believe in hard work and the individual. You think government should get out of the way and let you live your lives and allow you to prosper on your own. You know that all rich people must have worked hard and all poor people are lazy. There is no other reason why they could be poor considering life is completely fair and all people are born into situations and environments that allow them to have all the opportunities and blessings that you had. There is no fathomable way they could have 2 or 3 jobs they work very hard at but still can’t make ends meet. You got it all figured out.

    But still, even you get your kicks from a little socialism every now and then.

    Don’t think of this as an intervention, think of it as a coming out of the closet party. We know you are a closet socialist. It’s okay, you are amongst friends and we support you. Besides, we always knew…

    Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.

    Sounds horrible, huh?

    Well I hate to be the one to tell you, but Socialism, which you have been told to fear all your life, is responsible for all this…

    1. The Military/Defense – The United States military is the largest and most funded socialist program in the world. It operates thanks to our taxpayer dollars and protects the country as a whole. From the richest citizens to the homeless who sleep under the bridge. We are all protected by our military whether we pay taxes or not. This is complete socialism.

    2. Highways/Roads – Those roads and highways you drive on every single day are completely taxpayer funded. Your tax dollars are used to maintain, expand, and preserve our highways and roads for every one’s use. President Eisenhower was inspired by Germany’s autobahn and implemented the idea right here in America. That’s right, a republican president created our taxpayer funded, national highway system. This was a different time, before the republican party came down with a vicious case of rabies that never went away.

    3. Public Libraries – Yes. That place where you go to check out books from conservative authors telling you how horrible socialism is, is in fact socialism. Libraries are taxpayer funded. You pay a few bucks to get a library card and you can read books for free for the rest of your life.

    4. Police – Ever had a situation where you had to call the police? Then you have used a taxpayer funded socialist program. Anyone can call the police whether they pay taxes or not. They are there to protect and serve the community, not individuals. This is complete socialism on a state level, but still socialism all the same. Would you rather have to swipe your credit card before the police will help you?

    5. Fire Dept. – Hopefully you have never had a fire in your home. But if you have, you probably called your local taxpayer-funded fire department to put the fire out. Like police, this is state socialism. You tax dollars are used to rescue your entire community in case of a fire. It use to be set up where you would pay a fee every month to the fire dept. for their service. If you didn’t pay, they let your house burn down. Sadly, a man from Tennessee had this exact situation happen to him in 2011 because he didn’t pay his $75.00 fee. I guess that small town in Tennessee would rather let people’s houses burn down that resort to evil socialism. So don’t take for granted the fact that you have a 24/7 fire dept. to put out your burning home thanks to socialism.

    6. Postal Service – Like having mail delivered directly to your front door and paying next to nothing to send mail anywhere you want? Well it’s all made possible by socialism.

    7. Student Loans and Grants – Did you go to College? If you did, you family might not have been rich enough to pay your way through. So you got your education anyway through student loans and grants from the federal government at taxpayer expense. Of course you have to pay back the loans, but if not the government, did you know anyone else who was going to lend you tens of thousands of dollars? Probably not. So the taxpayers lent you the money and you paid it back with slight interest. The government grants you accepted were gifts from the taxpayer and the federal government that you did not have to pay back. Socialism got you through school.

    8. Bridges – Along with our highways, our government used your taxpayer dollars to build bridges. This allows the public to travel across rivers without having to sail or swim.

    9. Garbage Collection – Like having your garbage collected once a week instead of having to drive it to the landfill yourself? Thank socialism.

    10. Public Landfills – Taxpayer dollars are used to have places to dump all of our garbage that is collected by taxpayer funded garbage men.

    11. War – That’s right! War would not be possible without socialism. Your tax dollars are used to fight wars for your country. This is Big Government at it’s biggest. Private companies don’t attack other countries, at least not yet. Government is the only entity in America that can defend us from foreign enemies and our tax dollars are used for every second of it. Socialism has brought down Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bin Laden. War may very well be the most socialist thing on this list.

    12. Farm Subsidies – Our government uses taxpayer funds to pay farmers and businesses to provide their income and keep them growing food for the public.

    13. CIA – The Central Intelligence Agency is vital to America’s security. The CIA is completely taxpayer funded to protect the public from enemies.

    14. FBI – The Federal bureau of investigations is a taxpayer funded government agency.

    15. Congressional Health Care – As Republicans in congress warn us of the evils of government-run health care, most of them are covered by taxpayer-funded government-run health care. You literally pay for their health care while they tell you that paying for your neighbors health care through a public option or single-payer system is socialism. They are 100% correct, it is socialism. They’re just not telling you that they like their socialist health care, they just don’t think you should have it. They are afraid you might like it better than the private insurance you have now that funds their campaigns and gives them money to push what is best for them and not for you. Members of congress are free to opt out of their evil government health care, but most of them don’t because deep down, they like socialism too.

    16. Polio Vaccine – In the 1950’s polio ravaged the United States. Until Dr. Jonas Salk invented a cure, finally ridding America of this terrible disease. Dr. Salk could have sold his vaccine in the free market and made millions and millions of dollars. Instead he gave it to the federal government to begin eradicating polio. He said that he made plenty of money as a scientist and felt it was too important to try and profit from or create a business around.

    17. EPA – Republicans hate this taxpayer-funded government program because they have the nerve to tell corporations that they may have to follow environmental rules ad regulations for the greater good of the earth and the people who live on it. But if you don’t like breathing mercury, drinking dirty water, and breathing in chemicals, you should like this example of socialism working for the people.

    18. Social Security – You pay a tax to help ensure that our grandparents and senior citizens of America have money to live off of when they are retired or too elderly to work. I love hearing rich people Complain about this one because the truth is that they do not pay a social security tax, like most payroll taxes. This little piece of socialism helps prevent our senior citizens from sinking into poverty and starving to death.

    19. Museums – Many museums are privately owned by organizations and groups, but many are also taxpayer-funded state, national, and federal museums.

    20. Public Schools – Can’t afford to send your children to an expensive private school? Thanks to socialism and government, you child can still get an education. Public education has been under attack for decades in this country by the radical right because public schools don’t teach Christianity to your children and it enables people like Barack Obama to work hard, gain scholarships, and eventually become President of the United States.

    21. Jail/Prison System – Many murders and criminals are behind bars right now and not out on the streets because of our taxpayer-funded, federal and state run jails and prisons. Taxpayer money is collected and used to help protect all of society from murders, molesters, rapist, etc. I know there’s a lot of disagreement and controversy about how to handle our prison system, but I think we can all agree that serial killers should not be freed into society. There are also many private prisons in the United States. However, they have a higher escape rate than their socialist counterpart. Besides, don’t you see the bad incentives in having a private prison system that profits from having people in prison? Since a business’s top goal is to make more money than the year before, the only feasible agenda would be to get everyone in prison.

    22. Corporate/Business Subsidies – This is the type of socialism that is acceptable in the Republican party. You tax dollars are given to big corporations to do things they should be doing anyway out of morals and ethics. Like not sending jobs overseas and hiring people. Wouldn’t you like a nice big check just for not breaking the law? To be fair though, many businesses do earn their subsidies by advancing green technology and practice, donating to charity, helping communities, etc. They aren’t all bad. People just get mad when big billionaire oil companies get billions of their taxpayer dollars while they’re paying $4 at the pump. For the corporations that don’t earn their subsidies other than donating to their very own political party, it’s merely welfare. Though however you look at it, it is socialism.

    23. Veteran’s (VA) Health Care – Our soldiers bravely go to foreign countries and risk their lives at the request of their government and the American people. For those who survive, we as a country feel committed and obligated to ensure that they have everything they need for the rest of their lives for their service to us in which we could never fully repay. So we the taxpayers fund their health care in a government-run single-payer system for veterans. Many soldiers return with mental and/or physical health issues that would cost them thousands in a private health care plan. Socialism funds the military, the overall war, and also takes care of our troops when they return home.

    24. Public Parks – Like going to the park on a sunny day? Just being able to walk right in, or at the worse pay a small fee? This is once again the work of socialism. If it were private, it wouldn’t be a park, it would be someones back yard. That small or non-existent fee will turn into a $15 fee faster than you can say “No Trespassing”.

    25. All Elected Government Officials – From the Supreme Court, to the President of the United States and all the way down to the County Dog Catcher, taxpayers pay their salary and provide the funding for them to do their job. We pay for every aspect of their job. So in a sense, I guess you could say our whole country is run on socialism.

    26. Food Stamps – Republicans fill with bitter contempt knowing that our government at the expense of the taxpayer is giving poor people money to buy food they couldn’t otherwise afford. This, like welfare, is what the right thinks socialism is all about, along with mass murder. However, just like corporate welfare, welfare is socialism. I’ll just end this one with a quick story. I have been down and out in periods of my life and sought assistance via food stamps. Even though I was what anyone would consider poor, I was not poor enough to get food stamps. Which means people who do get them, must really, really need them. As far as my personal experience, they weren’t thrown around like candy the way the right would have you believe.

    27. Sewer System – Do you like having a sewer system to remove waste and prevent pollution and disease from seeping into our environment? Thank the taxpayers of America and the socialist system it operates in.

    28. Medicare – Medicare is one of the most liked socialist programs in America. Most of us don’t mind paying taxes to provide our senior citizens with health care and hope the next generation will do the same for us. If you don’t believe me, just look at almost any poll. Most seniors would not be able to afford private health care. So this form of socialism is a life saver for this nation’s grandparents and senior citizens.

    29. Court System – Whether it’s the murder trial of the century or a case in a small claims court, the taxpayers of America fully fund our courts and legal process. You may pay for your own lawyer, but the courtroom, judge, and jury is paid for through socialist means.

    30. Bird Flu Vaccine – You don’t have bird flu right now and probably aren’t worried about it because our federal government used taxpayer funds to pump vaccines all over America.

    31. G.I. Bill – The G.I. bill allows veterans to pursue an education by using taxpayer dollars to help them pay for most of their schooling. It also helps them with loans, savings, and unemployment benefits.

    32. Hoover Dam – Remember when our country use to build things? Our government built the Hoover Dam using taxpayer funds. It is now a vital source of power for the west coast.

    33. State/City Zoos – American families have been going to the zoo for generations. A place where kids and adults can have fun seeing creatures and animals from all over the world and learn at the same time. Many zoos are ran by the state and/or city, using taxpayer funds to operate and even bring the animals to the zoo.

    34. IRS – I know, the IRS is about as popular and well liked in America as a hemorrhoid, but think about it. The IRS is the reason that we have anything. The IRS collects taxpayer funds for the federal government. The government then dispenses these funds to our military, states, and social programs. If there is no one collecting taxes, no one will pay them. If no one pays taxes, our country shuts down. Without money to operate, nothing operates. This may sound like a good thing to some radical republicans, but for those of us with sense, we know this means anarchy in the USA. The IRS gets a bad rap because if you don’t pay your taxes or owe them money, they can be ruthless. Like everything else, the IRS is not perfect, but without them we literally have no country or no means to run it.

    35. Free Lunch Program – Some children are living in poverty by no fault of their own. I’m not saying it is even their parents fault, but you surely cannot blame a child for the situation they are born into. In most if not all states, there are programs where children who live in poor households can receive school lunch for free. The taxpayers of the state pay for this. Sounds like socialism to me, and also the moral and Christian thing to do.

    36. The Pentagon – Our defense system in America is a socialist system from top to bottom. We as taxpayers fund the pentagon completely.

    37. Medicaid – Our government uses taxpayer funds to provide health care for low-income people. Republicans, the compassionate Christians that they are, absolutely hate this program. What they fail to understand is that when people can’t afford to pay their outrageous medical bills, they don’t. This bill does not disappear. The loss that the insurance company, doctor’s office, or hospital takes gets passed down to everyone else. So covering people and giving them a low-income option reduces costs for them and everyone else. This is the main argument behind a health care mandate. It’s not to force you to buy health care out of cruelty. If everyone is covered, costs drop for everyone. If you have no compassion for the uninsured, you can at least understand the rational in a selfish sense.

    38. FDA – The Food and Drug Administration is far from perfect. It is infested with corporate corruption and they have been wrong many, many times. Countless times they have approved things that they later have to apologize for and have banned things that would have helped people. However, they have also stopped many harmful foods and products from being sold to the public and protect us everyday from poisons being disguised as products. While not perfect, they are needed to prevent harmful food and drugs from being sold to you and you family. Without them, corporations can send whatever they want to your supermarkets and drug stores without any testing or evaluation. I don’t mind my taxes going towards a middle man to inspect the safety of the products we are being sold everyday.

    39. Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers – After beating back GOP obstruction, Democrats finally passed a bill last year to allow government to help 9/11 rescue worker’s with their health care after many came down with horrible lung diseases from the toxins they breathed in rescuing people from smoldering buildings. These brave citizens risked their lives and health to help complete strangers. They deserve more, but covering their health care is a good start.

    40. Swine Flu Vaccine – Do you have swine flu right now? Then thank government and the socialist structure.

    41. Disability Insurance (SSDI) – For those who are disabled and cannot work, our government provides an income for them via taxpayer dollars as opposed to the other option of letting them starve to death.

    42. Town/State Run Beaches – Like going to the beach? Like it when the beach is clean and safe? Like having lifeguards on staff in case of an emergency? Then once again, thank the taxpayers and the socialist structure that makes it all possible.

    43. Corporate Bailouts/Welfare – The whole point of this post is to prove that we ALL use, benefit from, and like socialism. This example is a form of socialism that the republicans not only like, but fight tooth and nail for. They don’t like it when socialism is used for working/poor people, but when it’s for millionaires and their corporate donors, socialism becomes as American as apple pie. The middle/working class who are the majority of taxpayers pay for welfare for corporations and people who have more money than all of us combined. When our government bails out a bank or gives a subsidy to a billion dollar corporation, you are paying for it.

    44. State Construction – Ever see those construction workers in your town fixing potholes, erecting buildings, repaving highways and roads, and fixing things all over town? They themselves and the work they do is taxpayer-funded state socialism.

    45. Unemployment Insurance – All your working life, you pay payroll taxes. Some of these taxes go toward a program that temporarily provides for people who lost their jobs until they can find another one. You pay for others, others pay for you. Especially these days, you never know when you might lose your job. You may need temporary assistance until you get back on your feet. The government recognizes this. UI also keeps the economy moving in times of recession because people still have some money in their pockets to buy goods and promote demand.
    46. City/Metro Buses – If you lack transportation, you can catch a city bus. Taxpayer funds and the fee you pay to take the bus make it possible for millions of people to go to work.

    47. WIC – WIC is a federally funded program to assist women, infants, and children. WIC helps low-income families by providing funding for nutrition, education, and health care for children.

    48. State Snow Removal – Even though sometimes it may take them longer than you like to get to your street, do you like having snow plow service to clear our roads and highways in the winter? This is a state socialist taxpayer-funded service.

    49. PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) – PBS operates on donations and government funding. The provide non-partisan news and information to the public. They are the home of Sesame Street, Masterpiece Theater, and The Antiques Roadshow. Surveys show that they are literally the most trusted name in news. I wonder how Fox feels about that?

    50. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The CDC helps promote and enact the health and safety of the public along with helping to prevent and control illness and disease. The CDC is a government program that operates on taxpayer funding.

    51. Welfare – Is there anything the republicans hate more? Of course I’m talking about the welfare that goes to poor people. Corporate welfare is not only accepted in the republican Kabul, but it’s mandatory that we give our tax dollars to billionaires and not question the logic of it. Though if you look at it realistically and not through the red scare glasses in which the right sees the world, welfare helps the economy. As I’ve said many times, when poor people have money in their pocket, they buy things made and sold by companies. This creates a demand. To keep up with demand, businesses must hire to keep up. If you yanked everyone who is on welfare off of it tomorrow, the economy would take a blow and lose jobs due to the down tick in consumer demand because we just took what little money they had away.

    52. Public Street Lighting – Like being able to see at night when you walk or drive? Thank Socialism.

    53. FEMA – If Disaster strikes, FEMA is there to help pick up the pieces. As a part of homeland security and an agency of the federal government, they use taxpayer dollars to help cities, states, and towns recover and rebuild. I don’t know to many private companies that could assist in disaster relief and ask nothing in return. Thank God for socialism.

    54. Public Defenders – Ever been in trouble and couldn’t afford a lawyer? Well the taxpayers and the government make sure you still get representation.

    55. S-CHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program) – S-CHIP is a program that matches funds to states for health insurance for children in families that cannot afford insurance but make too much to qualify for Medicaid. Your tax dollars go towards covering uninsured children, is that so wrong?

    56. Amtrak – Amtrak transports tens of millions of passengers a year in 46 states and three Canadian Providences. It is owned by the federal government and your tax dollars are used to fund it. All aboard!!

    57. NPR – National Public Radio operates on private and federal funding along with public donations. NPR has been one of the most trusted news sources in America for over 40 years.

    58. The Department of Homeland Security – Created after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, this heavily federally funded department of the U.S. government helps protect us from future terrorist attacks. This is the third largest department within the United States government.

    59. OSHA – Do you have a safe and healthy workplace that provides training, outreach, education, and assistance? Thank OSHA! Brought to you by the taxpayers of America and socialism.

    60. State and National Monuments – The Lincoln Memorial. Mount Rushmore. The D.C. National Mall. All brought to you and maintained with your tax dollars. Socialism is patriotic?

    61. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – The USDA enforces regulations on the farming, agriculture, and food industries to ensure food safety, natural resources, and hunger worldwide and in the United States. Your tax dollars are used to help keep what you are eating safe and even feed those who are not eating.

    62. Government Scholarships – if you work hard in school and show true potential, our government will give you a scholarship towards college so you can advance your education. Your tax dollars have been used to send future doctors, lawyers, scientists, and even presidents of the United States to college.
    63. Department of Health and Human Service – The overall goal of HHS is to promote, implement, and ensure the health of the American people. Your tax dollars are used to do this. Government looking out for the well being of it’s people, imagine that!

    64. Census Bureau – Every ten years, our government collects data about our people and economy, to better serve and represent us. From the forms that are sent to your home for you to fill out and send back in and to the census worker who shows up and kindly asks you to fill out the form if you don’t send it in, all taxpayer funded socialism. The information collected is used to better understand the economic situation and population in your area. Not to enslave you in a FEMA camp.

    65. Department of Energy – This taxpayer funded cabinet of the federal government oversees nuclear weapons, nuclear reactors, energy conservation, radioactive waste disposal, and energy production. To those of you who care about our environment and would rather not witness a nuclear holocaust might consider this money well spent.

    66. Customs and Border Protection – the CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in America. This is big government that republicans actually do like because they don’t like Mexicans immigrating to our country like our ancestors did. However, this taxpayer funded, socialist agency of the federal government regulates trade, imports, and immigration.

    67. Department of Education – This cabinet of the federal government is actually the smallest. They administer and oversee federal assistance to education. They also collect data and enforce federal laws and regulations involving education. Even though the right thinks that this department is indoctrinating your children, they actually have no control over curriculum or standards.

    68. Secret Service – Your tax dollars are used to provide highly-trained, skilled professional bodyguards to protect the President of the United States.

    69. Peace Corps – The Peace Corps is a volunteer program run by the government that helps people outside of the US to understand our culture as well as helping us learn about other cultures. However they are more well known for their work with economic and social development in less-fortunate countries. Sounds very Christian for being a socialist program, huh?

    70. Department of Justice – The DOJ is responsible for enforcing the law. Socialism keeps our civilization intact.

    71. National Weather Service – Like knowing when a storm, tornado, earthquake, or snow is coming? Socialism makes this possible and available to everyone.

    72. The White House – Our taxpayer dollars through a socialist means pays for the house that the president and his family live in during a presidents time in office.

    73. Government – Like it or not, our country would not be a country without a government. Every single day, government on state and local levels serve us in ways we simply take for granted. Government as an entity operates and functions on our tax dollars through a socialist structured funding system. From the military down to the county dog catcher, socialism turns the wheels that make our society function.

    74. Law – Laws and rules make our democracy possible. Remove these laws and you have sheer anarchy. Laws do not appear out of thin air. To have law, you need a government. You need elected lawmakers to make the laws and a government to implement and enforce them. Socialism is responsible for every law in this country. Without our government and lawmakers which exist thanks to socialism, there would be no laws. So the laws themselves, are enforced and implemented thanks to socialism.

    75. Civilization – As an American citizen, you enjoy freedoms that many in other countries do not. Like anything else in this world, our government is not perfect, but you should be thankful everyday that your country has a government that feels an obligation to serve the people and protect their rights and freedoms. This is completely possible because of government, taxes, and socialism. Do you think the private sector would do a better job of governing our country? Do you think corporations would enact laws to help protect and serve you and your family or them and their profits? The reason you can read this blog and the reason I can write it whether you agree with it or not is because of the freedoms we have here in America enforced and protected through socialist means. Our entire civilization depends on us being a people united. Socialism is a glue that binds us together and makes possible the things that we could not accomplish as individuals working against each other.

    I don’t care who you are.

    Rich or poor. Teaparty Republican or Liberal Socialist.

    You benefit from at least one or more of these 75 American Government-Run, Taxpayer funded Socialist programs, agencies, and laws.

    My overall argument is not for a completely socialist nation. This would not work. A completely capitalist nation would not work either.

    I’m just simply saying that I, as a Democratic Socialist, feel that the two can co-exist. I know this because they always have. Socialism and capitalism have always co-existed in America.

    I also believe in freedom. I believe options are a form of freedom.

    Right now in the United States of America, I can send mail through the public postal service or I can choose a private option like FedEx. I can send my kids to public school or private school.

    As liberals, we don’t want a government takeover, we want options. We think we should have the freedom to be able to choose to have government health care if we don’t like our private plan.

    If we are 18-64, we have no options or freedom over our own health care. I don’t understand why this isn’t viewed as a corporate takeover of health care.

    Socialism is not a bad thing. It is a foundation in this country of ours. Claiming socialism is bad because of radical and non-factual comparisons to Hitler and Stalin is like saying all guns are bad because of the Columbine killers and Jared Loughner.

    National socialism and communism are very, very different from Democratic Socialism here in America. I’d explain further but this topic is for another post, this one is long enough. Besides, socialism defeated Hitler.

    So let’s just stop the madness and have a serious discussion about socialism and the role it plays in America.

    “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country” – FDR

    Originally posted to TheNewDeal00 on Thu Mar 29, 2012 at 08:13 AM PDT.
    Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos Classics.
    http://www.dailykos.com/ story/ 2012/ 03/ 29/ 1078852/ -75-Ways-Socialism-Has-Improved-America

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    “I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men
    have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years.
    I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when
    the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest
    qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made
    under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no
    permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another
    into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who
    yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become
    a slave.” — H.L. Mencken

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    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the
    gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
    Winston Churchill

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    Images of Nazi/USSR posters from the Soviet story:
    https://forumvert.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/thesovietstory2008latvi.jpg

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    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. ”
    ― Margaret Thatcher

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    We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. Benjamin Franklin

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    New DOJ Department For Domestic Terrorists Explodes Right-Wing Heads Everywhere https://shar.es/1cpIz6 via @sharethis

    New DOJ Department For Domestic Terrorists Explodes Right-Wing Heads Everywhere
    It’s about time the feds started paying special attention to the domestic terrorists in this country. After all, domestic terrorists have killed more people since 9-11-2001 than Islamic terrorists have.

    This decision by the federal government necessarily requires the right wing to lose their collective minds, which they have done with aplomb.

    Earlier this week, the Justice Department announced the creation of a new position for a “domestic terrorism counsel” to fight homegrown extremism, which DOJ national security head John Carlin said could be “motivated by any viewpoint on the full spectrum of hate — anti-government views, racism, bigotry, anarchy and other despicable beliefs” because “when it comes to hate and intolerance, no single ideology governs.”

    So, naturally, WorldNetDaily reported on the story today with the headline “New Obama Czar Will Hunt ‘Right-Wing’ Extremists” and interviewed a pair of right-wing activists who warned that it is all a plot to “target” and “intimidate” political opponents in the “old Soviet model.”

    Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton told WND that the new position will “become the vehicle through which the Justice Department can target those who oppose the Obama agenda,” adding, “If a totalitarian leftist had to write a description for a government operation to suppress his enemies, this would be it.”

    The Rutherford institute’s John Whitehead, meanwhile, warned that the DOJ will use the new position to go after gun owners, veterans, “abortion activists, tea-party activists [and] constitutionalists.”

    My response to Rutherford? They all deserve scrutiny. They’ve earned it, fair and square.

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    Just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Adrian Pierce Rogers

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    Just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Adrian Pierce Rogers

    Denmark: We Are Not The Socialist Utopia Bernie Sanders Thinks We Are http://www.govexec.com/management/2015/11/denmark-we-are-not-socialist-utopia-bernie-sanders-thinks-we-are/123319/ via @govexec

    Denmark: We Are Not The Socialist Utopia Bernie Sanders Thinks We Are
    In the first Democratic primary debate, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke of their fondness for Denmark.

    Sanders, in particular, suggested that the US could adopt a socialist system by emulating Scandinavia. “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people,” said the US presidential candidate, who identifies himself as a “democratic socialist.”

    But Danish prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government this week, says Sanders got more than a few things wrong.

    “I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

    Nordic Solutions and Challenges – A Danish Perspective
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgrJnXZ_WGo

    As Quartz reported during the Democratic debate, Sanders’ admiration for Denmark’s left-leaning policies is a little outdated: Rasmussen was elected as part of a center-right coalition, with the right-wing, anti-immigration Danish People’s Party becoming the second-largest party in parliament.

    And some of the confusion may stem from the definition of socialism in the first place: Technically, a socialist state as set out by Vladimir Lenin is one where the government owns all means of production, which is certainly not the case in the Nordic countries. But in general parlance it has come to be used as a shorthand for a market economy fused with a comprehensive and generous welfare state.
    http://www.govexec.com/management/2015/11/denmark-we-are-not-socialist-utopia-bernie-sanders-thinks-we-are/123319/

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    Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. Winston Churchill

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    Hitler and the socialist dream
    He declared that ‘national socialism was based on Marx’ Socialists have always disowned him. But a new book insists that he was, at heart, a left-winger

    George Watson
    Sunday 22 November 1998
    It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too. The title of National Socialism was not hypocritical. The evidence before 1945 was more private than public, which is perhaps significant in itself. In public Hitler was always anti-Marxist, and in an age in which the Soviet Union was the only socialist state on earth, and with anti-Bolshevism a large part of his popular appeal, he may have been understandably reluctant to speak openly of his sources. His megalomania, in any case, would have prevented him from calling himself anyone’s disciple. That led to an odd and paradoxical alliance between modern historians and the mind of a dead dictator. Many recent analysts have fastidiously refused to study the mind of Hitler; and they accept, as unquestioningly as many Nazis did in the 1930s, the slogan “Crusade against Marxism” as a summary of his views. An age in which fascism has become a term of abuse is unlikely to analyse it profoundly.

    His private conversations, however, though they do not overturn his reputation as an anti-Communist, qualify it heavily. Hermann Rauschning, for example, a Danzig Nazi who knew Hitler before and after his accession to power in 1933, tells how in private Hitler acknowledged his profound debt to the Marxian tradition. “I have learned a great deal from Marxism” he once remarked, “as I do not hesitate to admit”. He was proud of a knowledge of Marxist texts acquired in his student days before the First World War and later in a Bavarian prison, in 1924, after the failure of the Munich putsch. The trouble with Weimar Republic politicians, he told Otto Wagener at much the same time, was that “they had never even read Marx”, implying that no one who had failed to read so important an author could even begin to understand the modern world; in consequence, he went on, they imagined that the October revolution in 1917 had been “a private Russian affair”, whereas in fact it had changed the whole course of human history! His differences with the communists, he explained, were less ideological than tactical. German communists he had known before he took power, he told Rauschning, thought politics meant talking and writing. They were mere pamphleteers, whereas “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun”, adding revealingly that “the whole of National Socialism” was based on Marx.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/hitler-and-the-socialist-dream-1186455.html

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    We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever
    spent before and it does not work … After eight years of this
    Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started …
    And an enormous debt to boot!

    Henry Morgenthau, Treasury Secretary under FDR.

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    Video of a direct comparison of the Socialism of the USSR and Nazi Germany

    The Soviet Story 2/9 legendado
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=blsu-12CAfY
    ………………………………………..

    The Soviet Story (2008) subtitled
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVZjyyAE-78

    Published on Mar 25, 2013

    Subtitles in Română, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Czech, Croatian, Finnish, French, Polish, Serbian and Spanish

    ………………………….

    Soviet started WWII Together With Nazi Germany
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL15BEB3143796F5D5&feature=player_detailpage&v=K2hg2MO6Te0

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    “A Statist system — whether of a communist, fascist, Nazi, socialist or
    ‘welfare’ type — is based on the … government’s unlimited power,
    which means: on the rule of brute force. … Under Statism, the
    government is not a policeman, but a legalized criminal that holds the
    power to use physical force in any manner and for any purpose it pleases
    against legally disarmed, defenseless victims.” Ayn Rand

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    “We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours.” Obama October 01, 2015

    …………

    “We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours.” Obama October 01, 2015
    James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/10/01/statement-president-shootings-umpqua-community-college-roseburg-oregon

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    We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. – Epictetus

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    15-1003 Obama Demanding Gun Confiscation
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beJAGL9uxvY

    Obama Praises Australia’s Gun Confiscation Laws After Oregon School Shooting…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Ex3T8YU8g

    Obama cites Australia’s gun confiscation program as example for US
    Published time: 11 Jun, 2014 18:26
    Edited time: 12 Jun, 2014 22:39
    https://www.rt.com/usa/165384-obama-australia-gun-law/

  • Torcer

    The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. whenever evil wins, it is
    only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that
    there can be no compromise on basic principles. Ayn Rand

  • Torcer

    “Collectivism doesn’t work because it’s based on a faulty economic
    premise. There is no such thing as a person’s “fair share” of wealth.
    The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully divided
    because if I get too many slices, you have to eat the box. The economy
    is expandable and, in any practical sense, limitless.” – P.J. O’Rourke

  • Torcer
  • Torcer

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/29/1078852/-75-Ways-Socialism-Has-Improved-America

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America – Democratic Underground
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/12773600

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/108385-6037085042470047747

    75 Ways Socialist Has Improved America US Message Board
    http://www.usmessageboard.com/threads/75-ways-socialist-has-improved-america.431530/

    People Against Tea Party Threats and Violence
    http://teapartythreats.blogspot.nl/2015/05/75-ways-socialism-has-improved-america.html

    Underline News: 75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    http://underlinenews.blogspot.com/2015/05/75-ways-socialism-has-improved-america.html

    Be Afraid Republicans As Bernie Sanders Is Set To Strike In
    http://www.politicususa.com/2015/07/22/afraid-republicans-bernie-sanders-set-strike-red-state-louisiana.html

    WV Construction Workers
    https://www.facebook.com/WV-Construction-Workers-1378046275830596/timeline/

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America – Progressive Radio
    http://prn.fm/75-ways-socialism-has-improved-america/

    75 Ways “Socialism” (general welfare/… – Scoop.it
    http://www.scoop.it/t/mahilena-s-debunking-conservatism-and-libertarianism/p/4016399894/2014/02/21/75-ways-socialism-general-welfare-domestic-tranquility-has-improved-america-mahilena-s-debunking-libertarianism-conservatism

    Links – bernieforamerica
    https://bernieforamerica.wordpress.com/links/

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America – Discussionist
    http://www.discussionist.com/1015487135

    75 Ways Socialist Has Improved America US Message Board
    http://www.usmessageboard.com/threads/75-ways-socialist-has-improved-america.431530/

  • Torcer

    “For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is
    the very definition of slavery.” – Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

  • Torcer

    A gun-free society http://wapo.st/1LrJxz3

    A gun-free society
    By Fred Hiatt Editorial page editor October 4
    Yes, even saying these words makes the NRA happy. It fuels the slippery-slope argument the gun lobby uses to oppose even the most modest, common-sense reforms. You see? Background checks today, confiscation tomorrow.

    And yes, I understand how difficult it would be. This is a matter of changing the culture and norms of an entire society. It would take time.

    But the incremental approach is not succeeding. It sets increasingly modest goals, increasingly polite goals: close a loophole here, restrict a particularly lethal weapon there. Talk about gun safety and public health. Say “reform,” not “control.”

    And people are not immune, over time, to reason. Given how guns decimate poor black communities every day — not just when there are mass shootings, but every day — this is a civil rights issue. Given how many small children shoot themselves or their siblings accidentally, it is a family issue. Given the suicides that could be prevented, it is a mental health issue. On average 55 Americans shoot themselves to death every day. Every day!

    The Supreme Court, which has misread the Second Amendment in its recent decisions, would have to revisit the issue. The court has corrected itself before, and if public opinion shifts it could correct itself again. If it did not, the Constitution would have to be amended.

    It sounds hard, I know. But it’s possible that if we started talking more honestly about the most logical, long-term goal, public opinion would begin to shift and the short-term gains would become more, not less likely, as the NRA had to play defense. We might end up with a safer country.
    [..]
    Without guns — with only kitchen knives at hand — some of those people would die. Most would still be living.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-gun-free-society/2015/10/04/6da29040-69c4-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html?

  • Torcer

    “One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically
    bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite;
    civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The
    normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of
    the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and
    civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us
    less interesting.” – C.S. Lewis

  • Torcer

    “In the Australian example, as I recall, that was a buyback program.”…..“I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level” Hillary Clinton October 16 2015

    Transcript
    Reference:
    http://www.c-span.org/video/?328774-1/hillary-clinton-town-hall-meeting-keene-new-hampshire&start=2831

    Hillary Clinton
    Oct 16, 2015
    Keene, New Hampshire
    Transcript below:

    VOTER: Back to handguns. Recently, Australia managed to get away, or take away tens of thousands, millions of handguns. In one year, they were all gone. Can we do that? If we can’t, why can’t we?

    HILLARY CLINTON: Australia is a good example, Canada is a good example, the U.K. is a good example. Why? Each of them have had mass killings. Australia had a huge mass killing about 20-25 years ago, Canada did as well, so did the U.K. In reaction, they passed much stricter gun laws.

    In the Australian example, as I recall, that was a buyback program. The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns. Then, they basically clamped down, going forward, in terms of having more of a background check approach, more of a permitting approach, but they believe, and I think the evidence supports them, that by offering to buyback those guns, they were able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future.

    Communities have done that in our country, several communities have done gun buyback programs. I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged. After the terrible 2008 financial crisis, one of the programs that President Obama was able to get in place was Cash for Clunkers. You remember that? It was partially a way to get people to buy new cars because we wanted more economic activity, and to get old models that were polluting too much, off the roads. So I think that’s worth considering. I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how would it work, but certainly your example is worth looking at. [Applause]
    http://www.c-span.org/video/?328774-1/hillary-clinton-town-hall-meeting-keene-new-hampshire

  • Torcer

    “I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men
    have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years.
    I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when
    the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest
    qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made
    under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no
    permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another
    into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who
    yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become
    a slave.” — H.L. Mencken

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  • Torcer

    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the
    gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
    Winston Churchill

  • Torcer

    Remember the victims of communism: Column http://usat.ly/1oZh1ZW via @usatoday

    Remember the victims of communism: Column
    August 24, 2014
    It took Stalin AND Hitler to ignite World War II and the slaughter that came after.
    Seventy-five years ago this week, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact of non-aggression and cooperation. The sinister 1939 pact (along with its secret provisions) between Hitler and Stalin and negotiated by Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, would conquer and divide Europe, half Nazi and half Communist. Fascism and Communism became aligned in the early stages of a conflict that would consume millions of lives in the years that followed.

    Within days of signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Hitler’s armies invaded Poland, and over the next few months, Stalin soon invaded Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. For nearly two years, the Nazi SS and Soviet NKVD worked together. There were instances when Soviet secret police rounded up German Jews who had escaped to the Soviet Union and handed them over to the SS. Both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union committed war crimes on a massive scale and systematically murdered millions of civilians.

    In 1941, Hitler broke the pact and attacked the Soviet Union. When the war ended, the Third Reich was finished, but the Soviet Empire lived on.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/08/22/communism-memorial-coldwar–mass-murder-fascism-column/14447479/

  • Torcer

    Just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Adrian Pierce Rogers

  • Torcer

    Just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense. Adrian Pierce Rogers

    Definitions of left
    2 Relating to a person or group favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views:
    Left politics
    left periodicals such as Marxism Today
    2 (often the Left) [treated as singular or plural] A group or party favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views:
    the Left is preparing to fight presidential elections
    he is on the left of the party
    Origin Old English lyft, left ‘weak’ (the left-hand side being regarded as the weaker side of the body), of West Germanic origin.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/left

  • Torcer

    In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich Hayek noted that “the power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionnaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.”

  • Torcer

    Doug Ross @ Journal: Why Socialism Always Fails http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-socialism-always-fails.html?

    Why Socialism Always Fails
    Socialism is the Big Lie of the last century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.

    In the same way that a Ponzi scheme or chain letter initially succeeds but eventually collapses, socialism may show early signs of success. But any accomplishments quickly fade as the fundamental deficiencies of central planning emerge. It is the initial illusion of success that gives government intervention its pernicious, seductive appeal. In the long run, socialism has always proven to be a formula for tyranny and misery.

    A pyramid scheme is ultimately unsustainable because it is based on faulty principles. Likewise, collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

    In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

    Under socialism, incentives either play a minimal role or are ignored totally. A centrally planned economy without market prices or profits, where property is owned by the state, is a system without an effective incentive mechanism to direct economic activity. By failing to emphasize incentives, socialism is a theory inconsistent with human nature and is therefore doomed to fail. Socialism is based on the theory that incentives don’t matter!

    In a radio debate several months ago with a Marxist professor from the University of Minnesota, I pointed out the obvious failures of socialism around the world in Cuba, Eastern Europe, and China. At the time of our debate, Haitian refugees were risking their lives trying to get to Florida in homemade boats. Why was it, I asked him, that people were fleeing Haiti and traveling almost 500 miles by ocean to get to the “evil capitalist empire” when they were only 50 miles from the “workers’ paradise” of Cuba?

    The Marxist admitted that many “socialist” countries around the world were failing. However, according to him, the reason for failure is not that socialism is deficient, but that the socialist economies are not practicing “pure” socialism. The perfect version of socialism would work; it is just the imperfect socialism that doesn’t work. Marxists like to compare a theoretically perfect version of socialism with practical, imperfect capitalism which allows them to claim that socialism is superior to capitalism.

    If perfection really were an available option, the choice of economic and political systems would be irrelevant. In a world with perfect beings and infinite abundance, any economic or political system–socialism, capitalism, fascism, or communism–would work perfectly.

    However, the choice of economic and political institutions is crucial in an imperfect universe with imperfect beings and limited resources. In a world of scarcity it is essential for an economic system to be based on a clear incentive structure to promote economic efficiency. The real choice we face is between imperfect capitalism and imperfect socialism. Given that choice, the evidence of history overwhelmingly favors capitalism as the greatest wealth-producing economic system available.

    The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.
    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2015/09/why-socialism-always-fails.html

    Why Socialism Failed
    http://fee.org/freeman/why-socialism-failed/

  • Torcer

    Kurt Schlichter – Bernie Sanders, Lover of Genocidal Tyrants, Is Anything But Cute http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2015/11/09/draft-n2076309

    Bernie Sanders, Lover of Genocidal Tyrants, Is Anything But Cute
    In a reality show election starring Hillary Clinton, it takes real effort to be the most appalling, disgusting, and morally bankrupt character in the cast. Enter stage left Bernie Sanders, the “democratic” socialist. He’s not some cute curmudgeon who fights the little guy. He’s a committed adherent to an ideology that starved, tortured, and murdered north of 100 million people over the last century.

    Even for the Democrat Party, which founded and nurtured the KKK, embracing a sycophant of psychotics is a mortifying new low.

    Sanders – I refuse to anthropomorphize this lover of mass murderers by using the cute diminutive “Bernie” – wants you to believe that “socialism” is just another word for Sweden. That’s a lie. Let’s clear the air – the word “socialism” means something, and it’s not just “really liberal.” A socialist is one who places the state above the individual, who rejects the notion that human beings have any natural rights and, instead, believes that “rights” are mere privileges to be granted or withdrawn at a dictator’s whim.

    It’s no surprise that Sanders abhors the First Amendment so much that he makes a huge point of demanding that our free speech be circumscribed and limited. The Citizens United decision barred the government from banning speech critical of another Democrat, Hillary Clinton, and the likes of Sanders cannot abide people speaking truth to power. The heart of socialism is government control – of your property and of your life, among other things. Socialist ideology is not amenable to tolerating opposition, and lo and behold, none of the tyrannies that Sanders and his pack of murder-apologists fetishize ever do.

    Sanders honeymooned in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a barbaric construct that was less a nation than a collection of gulags and mass graves masquerading as a country. To lend support to that Evil Empire – and that is exactly what it was before Reagan broke its accursed neck – is a moral failure of epic proportions. Not to mention that, at the time Sanders was sucking up to it, it was America’s sworn enemy. I know – I sat on the free side of the Iron Curtain in uniform prepared to die in place holding its hordes back in the event they decided to cross into West Germany.

    And the Pol Pot thickens. How many tears did the leftists shed when the side Sanders wanted to win, that he agitated for, that he actively supported, actually won in Southeast Asia following his party’s betrayal of its allies and the breaking of its solemn promise of continued support? Zero. Once the socialists had been allowed to triumph, Sanders and the rest of his merry band of butcher-enablers turned their attention elsewhere, leaving their friends to add another couple million to the Left’s tally of slaughtered innocents.

    Sanders likes Castro too. What’s enslaving an entire island if it helps his immoral cause? Oh, and he loves Venezuela as well – similarly, if Sanders gets his way here, there won’t be a chicken in any pot, nor any toilet paper on the roll. How appropriate for history’s crappiest ideology.

    And let’s not forget the fraternal twin brother socialism never talks about, the one Sanders and his socialist pals want to deny but who best encapsulates what they are about – the Nazis. Yes, we all know how socialists spaz out when you point out that the National Socialist Worker’s Party was a socialist party, but facts matter. Stormtrooper shirt brown is just another color in the leftist rainbow.

    There are some troubling parallels that Sanders and his crew of burnt out Woodstockians and nitwit college teens want to deny. Hitler liked to control free speech. We’ve seen how Sanders agrees. Hitler left big corporations nominally in private hands but retained unambiguous and unquestioned control over them; Sanders would tell the big corporations what to do directly. Hitler liked to arrange big rallies of like-minded, slack-jawed idiots; so does Sanders. Hitler insinuated the state in every private decision; that’s Sanders’s dream. Oh, and Hitler hated Jews who resisted their extermination; so do Sanders and his anti-Israeli minions.

    The utter disgrace is that Democrats not only tolerate this wretched piece of walking, talking excrement, but that they invited him on stage as a legitimate candidate for the nomination of their party to be president. Hillary Clinton, if she was a decent American, should have spit in his bitter, howling face.

    Maybe I’m biased, having spent years of my life helping defend against, and clean up the bloody ruins of, the nightmare of socialism. I am not talking about the dreamy, gooey, soft-focus, non-existent species of socialism embraced by brainwashed sophomores and their TAs, but the real socialism practiced in the real world. The one that enslaves people, that poisons their cultures, that murders them for disobedience or sometimes, simply for mere convenience.

    With socialism, it’s always, “Let’s give it one more chance because real socialism has never been tried.” No, real socialism has been tried. Real socialism is moral and economic poverty. Real socialism is prison camps. Real socialism is mass graves.

    But of course, by that time you and I will already be dead. Because the only way the United States of America and its Constitution will ever be overthrown in favor of the socialist dictatorship Sanders and his pals dream of is over heaping piles of spent brass and our dead bodies.
    http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2015/11/09/draft-n2076309/page/full

  • Torcer

    Kurt Schlichter – Bernie Sanders, Lover of Genocidal Tyrants, Is Anything But Cute http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2015/11/09/draft-n2076309

    Bernie Sanders, Lover of Genocidal Tyrants, Is Anything But Cute
    In a reality show election starring Hillary Clinton, it takes real effort to be the most appalling, disgusting, and morally bankrupt character in the cast. Enter stage left Bernie Sanders, the “democratic” socialist. He’s not some cute curmudgeon who fights the little guy. He’s a committed adherent to an ideology that starved, tortured, and murdered north of 100 million people over the last century.

    Even for the Democrat Party, which founded and nurtured the KKK, embracing a sycophant of psychotics is a mortifying new low.

    Sanders – I refuse to anthropomorphize this lover of mass murderers by using the cute diminutive “Bernie” – wants you to believe that “socialism” is just another word for Sweden. That’s a lie. Let’s clear the air – the word “socialism” means something, and it’s not just “really liberal.” A socialist is one who places the state above the individual, who rejects the notion that human beings have any natural rights and, instead, believes that “rights” are mere privileges to be granted or withdrawn at a dictator’s whim.

    It’s no surprise that Sanders abhors the First Amendment so much that he makes a huge point of demanding that our free speech be circumscribed and limited. The Citizens United decision barred the government from banning speech critical of another Democrat, Hillary Clinton, and the likes of Sanders cannot abide people speaking truth to power. The heart of socialism is government control – of your property and of your life, among other things. Socialist ideology is not amenable to tolerating opposition, and lo and behold, none of the tyrannies that Sanders and his pack of murder-apologists fetishize ever do.

    Sanders honeymooned in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a barbaric construct that was less a nation than a collection of gulags and mass graves masquerading as a country. To lend support to that Evil Empire – and that is exactly what it was before Reagan broke its accursed neck – is a moral failure of epic proportions. Not to mention that, at the time Sanders was sucking up to it, it was America’s sworn enemy. I know – I sat on the free side of the Iron Curtain in uniform prepared to die in place holding its hordes back in the event they decided to cross into West Germany.

    And the Pol Pot thickens. How many tears did the leftists shed when the side Sanders wanted to win, that he agitated for, that he actively supported, actually won in Southeast Asia following his party’s betrayal of its allies and the breaking of its solemn promise of continued support? Zero. Once the socialists had been allowed to triumph, Sanders and the rest of his merry band of butcher-enablers turned their attention elsewhere, leaving their friends to add another couple million to the Left’s tally of slaughtered innocents.

    Sanders likes Castro too. What’s enslaving an entire island if it helps his immoral cause? Oh, and he loves Venezuela as well – similarly, if Sanders gets his way here, there won’t be a chicken in any pot, nor any toilet paper on the roll. How appropriate for history’s crappiest ideology.

    And let’s not forget the fraternal twin brother socialism never talks about, the one Sanders and his socialist pals want to deny but who best encapsulates what they are about – the Nazis. Yes, we all know how socialists spaz out when you point out that the National Socialist Worker’s Party was a socialist party, but facts matter. Stormtrooper shirt brown is just another color in the leftist rainbow.

    There are some troubling parallels that Sanders and his crew of burnt out Woodstockians and nitwit college teens want to deny. Hitler liked to control free speech. We’ve seen how Sanders agrees. Hitler left big corporations nominally in private hands but retained unambiguous and unquestioned control over them; Sanders would tell the big corporations what to do directly. Hitler liked to arrange big rallies of like-minded, slack-jawed idiots; so does Sanders. Hitler insinuated the state in every private decision; that’s Sanders’s dream. Oh, and Hitler hated Jews who resisted their extermination; so do Sanders and his anti-Israeli minions.

    The utter disgrace is that Democrats not only tolerate this wretched piece of walking, talking excrement, but that they invited him on stage as a legitimate candidate for the nomination of their party to be president. Hillary Clinton, if she was a decent American, should have spit in his bitter, howling face.

    Maybe I’m biased, having spent years of my life helping defend against, and clean up the bloody ruins of, the nightmare of socialism. I am not talking about the dreamy, gooey, soft-focus, non-existent species of socialism embraced by brainwashed sophomores and their TAs, but the real socialism practiced in the real world. The one that enslaves people, that poisons their cultures, that murders them for disobedience or sometimes, simply for mere convenience.

    With socialism, it’s always, “Let’s give it one more chance because real socialism has never been tried.” No, real socialism has been tried. Real socialism is moral and economic poverty. Real socialism is prison camps. Real socialism is mass graves.

    But of course, by that time you and I will already be dead. Because the only way the United States of America and its Constitution will ever be overthrown in favor of the socialist dictatorship Sanders and his pals dream of is over heaping piles of spent brass and our dead bodies.
    http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2015/11/09/draft-n2076309/page/full

  • Torcer

    If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. W. C. Fields

  • Torcer

    “Collectivism doesn’t work because it’s based on a faulty economic
    premise. There is no such thing as a person’s “fair share” of wealth.
    The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully divided
    because if I get too many slices, you have to eat the box. The economy
    is expandable and, in any practical sense, limitless.” – P.J. O’Rourke

  • Torcer

    If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. W. C. Fields

    How Do You Kill 11 Million People? – YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH_Izul6J5M

    Oct 26, 2012 … This whiteboard animation shows what happened when Hitler lied to get elected and people don’t care or pay attention to the lies

  • Torcer

    Definition of utopia
    noun
    An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect:
    ‘misplaced faith in political utopias has led to ruin’
    The opposite of dystopia
    ‘a romantic vision of Utopia’
    Origin
    Mid 16th century: based on Greek ou not + topos place; the word was first used in the book “Utopia” (1516) by Sir Thomas More.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/utopia


    =========================================

    Full Definition of utopia
    1: an imaginary and indefinitely remote place
    2 often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
    3 : an impractical scheme for social improvement

    Did You Know?
    In 1516, English humanist Sir Thomas More published a book titled Utopia. It compared social and economic conditions in Europe with those of an ideal society on an imaginary island located off the coast of the Americas. More wanted to imply that the perfect conditions on his fictional island could never really exist, so he called it Utopia, a name he created by combining the Greek words ou (meaning “no, not”) and topos (meaning “place,” a root used in our word topography). The earliest generic use of utopia was for an imaginary and indefinitely remote place. The current use of utopia, referring to an ideal place or society, was inspired by More’s description of Utopia’s perfection.

    Origin and Etymology of utopia
    Utopia, imaginary and ideal country in Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place
    First Known Use: 1597
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utopia

  • Torcer

    We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever
    spent before and it does not work … After eight years of this
    Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started …
    And an enormous debt to boot!

    Henry Morgenthau, Treasury Secretary under FDR.

  • Torcer

    “And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress
    to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience;
    or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable
    citizens, from keeping their own arms; …” – Samuel Adams, Philadelphia
    Independent Gazetteer, August 20, 1789, “Propositions submitted to the
    Convention of this State”

  • Torcer

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. – Evelyn Beatrice Hall

  • Torcer

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over
    the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate
    governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia
    officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of
    ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any
    form can admit of.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 46, 1788

  • Torcer

    The Socialist Party of Great Britain.
    The Basic Principles of Socialism
    1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (i.e. land, factories, railways, etc) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class by whose labour alone wealth is produced.

    “You take my life if you do take the means whereby I live”, wrote Shakespeare. This is precisely the position today for the great majority of people. The means whereby they live — society’s natural and industrial resources — are monopolized by a minority who thus form a privileged class. This is the basis of present-day society the world over, In countries like Britain this class monopoly takes the form mainly of legal property titles granted to individuals. In countries like Russia the predominant form is actual control of access to the means of production through control of the State. But, whatever the form, the position of the excluded, non-owning majority is basically the same; to live they must sell their mental and physical energies for a wage or salary; they are dependent on the owning class for a livelihood. But more. They also produce all the wealth of society, including that consumed by the owning class. So they, like the slaves of the ancient world, work to maintain in privilege and dominance a minority class who monopolize the means of production; they are, in short, wage slaves. Because they produce the wealth of society they are properly called the working class. A word of caution is in order here.: The term “working class” is often used in ordinary conversation in a narrower sense than this, to mean industrial workers only. But in the scientific sense used here it is much broader than this and includes all those who depend on a wage or salary to live, irrespective of the kind of job they are employed to do. So the vast majority of those who are popularly regarded as “middle class”, professional and white collar employees of all kinds, are really working class. In fact the middle class is a myth. In the industrialized parts of the world there are only two classes: this working class, comprising over 90 per cent of the population, and the monopolizing or capitalist class (so called because they use the means of production as capital, that is, to extract from the labour of the producers a profit which is accumulated as more capital).

    2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce, and those who produce but do not possess.

    Built-in to present-day society is a struggle between these two classes over the possession and use of the means of production. The one, using political power and ideology, to maintain its dominant position; the other, at first somewhat blindly and without fully realizing it, struggling against it. At the moment the obvious signs of the class struggle are trade-union negotiations and strikes when workers bargain over how much they shall be allowed to have of the wealth they produce. But the class struggle is not about the division of the newly-produced wealth between wages and profits; it is about the ownership and control of the means of production themselves, as the next Principle makes clear.

    3. That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into the common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.

    The class struggle will only end when the working class take over the ownership and control of the means of production from the capitalist class (a political act, as a later Principle explains). This done, classes are abolished and the means of production become common property under the democratic control of all the people; Socialism has been established. So ultimately the class struggle is a struggle over whether there should be capitalism or Socialism, class or common ownership of the means of production, with the working class championing common ownership, even though at first they don’t realise this.

    4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.

    “The history of all hitherto existing society”, wrote Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto, “is a history of class struggles”. Like everything else, human society has been subject to constant change. The basis of any society is the way its members are organized to produce and reproduce their basic conditions of life. This has two aspects, the actual technical methods of production and the social relations of production by which classes are defined according to how they stand with regard to the control and use of the means of production. As technology develops, so this social organization of production changes too: old classes lose their dominant position as new classes, based on new more productive methods, arise to challenge them. In the course of history, at least in Western Europe and the Mediterranean, class society has evolved, very broadly, through the following states: ancient slave society, feudalism and now capitalism. The presently dominant capitalist class, the last class to have won its freedom, had to fight its way to power against the landed aristocracy whose power rested on their private ownership of the land, the main means of production till the growth of modern industry. But the revolutions in which the capitalist class seized power — Britain in 1688, France in 1789 — were, despite all their talk of “freedom” and “liberty”, changes from rule by one minority class to rule by another minority class. The mass of the people remained unfree, downtrodden and exploited; these were later to develop into the modern wage-earning working class of today. This working class is now itself engaged in a struggle for its freedom. Its struggle is not simply one to replace one ruling class by another since, as we saw, the working class can only free itself by establishing the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production, so abolishing all classes (including itself). The working class can only achieve its freedom by establishing a classless society in which every member of society, no matter what their race or nationality or sex, will stand in the same position with regard to the control and use of the means of production and will have an equal say in the way social affairs are conducted. This is why Socialism necessarily involves what is called “women’s liberation”, “black liberation”, “national liberation”, etc. and why all other oppressed groups; should recognise that they are the working class and struggle for Socialism, a frontierless world community where the resources of the world, natural and industrial, will become the common heritage of all mankind;

    5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.

    This is the shortest, but perhaps the most important Socialist Principle. It expresses the fact that Socialism can only be established by the action of the working class (remember, all those compelled to work for a wage or salary). It is a decisive rejection of all leadership and an assertion of confidence in the ability of the working class to act for itself and work out its own salvation without needing to be guided by condescending or “intellectual” leaders or vanguards. History shows that leadership a conscious minority at the head of an unconscious majority — has been the feature of those revolutions that have merely transferred power from one minority ruling class to another, as was the case in France in 1789 and again in Russia in 1917, The very nature of Socialism, as a society based on common ownership run by and for all the people, means that it can only be established by people who have already learned to do without leaders and to manage their affairs democratically. Socialism cannot be established by an élite, but only by a conscious, participating working class. ‘

    6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exist only to conserve the monopoly of the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.

    The establishment of Socialism must be a political act. Not in the sense of being legislated into being by professional politicians (or of being legislated into being at all), but in that the socialist-minded and democratically – organized working class will have to use political power to do it. For one simple reason. Once the vast majority of workers have become socialist-minded there will only be one obstacle in the way of establishing Socialism: the fact that the machinery of government will still be in the hands of the capitalist class. One of the biggest political myths of today is that governments exist to serve the interest of all the people. In class society this is impossible; the government’s job is to preserve the status quo, to maintain the established basis of society: at the moment, the capitalist class monopoly of the means of production and their exploitation of the working class. Parliament passes laws in the interests of the capitalist class, and the civil service, the courts, and if necessary the armed forces, carry out and enforce those laws. But in countries like Britain Parliament is elected by all the people, the great majority of whom are workers. At the moment, unfortunately, they elect people pledged to maintain and work within capitalism. But it needn’t be like this. Once the workers have become Socialists they will obviously stop electing capitalist politicians and parties. Instead, they will have to think about how to take control of the machinery of government out of the hands of the capitalist class. The way to do this will be to organize themselves in a mass, democratic, Socialist party and to themselves put up candidates for parliament and the local councils. In accordance with the previous principle that “the emancipation of the working class . . . must be the work of the working class itself”, these candidates must be mandated delegates under the strict democratic control of the politically-organized working class outside parliament. Their task will be to carry out the democratically-expressed will of the working class outside Parliament, they will take over the machinery of government, convert it for Socialist use by lopping off its many undemocratic features and then use it to end capitalist ownership and control of the means of production (along with any vestiges of aristocratic privilege, such as the monarchy, that may still be existing at that time). Should there be any attempt on the part of an undemocratic minority to use violence to resist the abolition of capitalism, then the Socialist working-class majority will have to be prepared, as a last resort, to deal with them by employing armed force (suitably re-organized on a democratic basis of course). But there is no question of there being a “socialist government”. This would be an absurd contradiction in terms. The Socialist working class will simply be using the machinery of government for the one purpose of replacing class ownership by common ownership. This done there is no longer any need for a coercive governmental machinery to protect the interest of a ruling class. With the establishment of Socialism government over people gives way to the democratic administration of social affairs by and for all the people.

    7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.

    A political party is an organization seeking to win control of the machinery of government. Since, in the end, such political power can only be used for one of two basic purposes — either to maintain capitalism or to abolish it — then parties either represent the interest of the capitalist class (or rival or would-be sections of it) or they represent the interest of the working class. The major parties in Britain today (and, for that matter, the various minor parties too) all stand for the interest of the capitalist class because they stand for the maintenance of capitalism. They all in practice accept class ownership and production for the market with a view to profit; they all work within and seek only to patch up and reform the capitalist system. For this reason the working-class, socialist political party, envisaged by the previous Principle, must be uncompromisingly opposed to all other parties.’

    8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action, determined to wage, war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.

    The Socialist Party of Great Britain, as the one uncompromising, Socialist, working-class party operating in Britain, declares its opposition to all other British political parties and calls on the working class here to join with a view to quickly establishing Socialism, a society of freedom and equality in which no one will go without adequate food, clothing or shelter. Socialism of course cannot be established in Britain, but the working class in any particular nation-state must organize to take control of that State out of the hands of its capitalist class. At the same time as the Socialist Party is organizing here so will similar Socialist parties be organizing in the other countries of the world. At a certain stage these Socialist parties will unite as a world socialist movement — and, most likely, a single World Socialist Party — to co-ordinate the final establishment of world Socialism.

    Adam Buick
    http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1970s/1973/no-827-july-1973/basic-principles-socialism

  • Torcer

    BILL WHITTLE: WHERE DO YOU LIVE, MARK ZUCKERBERG?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkN4XiqRnrE

  • Torcer

    socialist international

    Adopted by the XVIII Congress, Stockholm, June 1989

    I. Global Change and Future Prospects

    1. The idea of Socialism has caught the imagination of people across the world, promoted successful political movements, decisively improved the lives of working men and women, and contributed to shaping the 20th century.

    However, justified satisfaction about the realisation of many of our goals should not prevent us from clearly recognising present dangers and problems. We are aware that essential tasks still lie ahead which we can master only through common action, since human survival increasingly depends upon the joint efforts of people around the world.

    2. Current economic, technological, political and social changes reflect a profound transformation of our world. The fundamental issue we now face is not whether there will be change in future years, but rather who is going to control it and how. The socialist answer is unequivocal. It is the people of the world who should exercise control by means of a more advanced democracy in all aspects of life: political, social, and economic. Political democracy, for socialists, is the necessary framework and precondition for other rights and liberties.

    3. All the peoples of the world should be involved in the process of transforming our societies and promoting new hope for humankind. The Socialist International calls on all men and women committed to peace and progress to work together in order to translate this hope into reality.

    4. The challenge of global change opens up enormous possibilities:

    – The internationalisation of the economy and wide-spread access to information and new technologies can, if brought under democratic control, provide a basis for a world society better suited to cooperation. It is obvious that a world family is no longer a utopian dream, but, increasingly, a practical necessity.

    – The technological revolution can and should be used to preserve the environment, create new employment and provide the means to liberate people from routine work rather than ruthlessly impose unwanted idleness.

    – On the basis of suitable and humane democratic structures, freedom, equality, security and prosperity can be achieved within the framework of a democratic world society.

    5. However, many current trends also give rise to unprecedented threats:

    – Proliferation of the technologies of destruction promote a precarious balance of terror where there are inadequate guarantees for the security of humankind.

    – The physical conditions for life on the planet are threatened by an uncontrolled urban and industrial expansion, the degradation of the biosphere, and the irrational exploitation of vital resources.

    – Hunger, famine and death threaten whole regions and communities in the South, even though the world has enough natural and technical resources to feed itself.

    6. This transformation of social and economic structures is at least as dramatic and far-reaching as the transition from laissez-faire to the corporate capitalism and colonialism of pre-World War I days. The social cost of these transformations – unemployment, regional decline, destruction of communities – has affected not only the very poor but also working people in general.

    7. The rapid process of internationalisation and interdependence in the world economy has given rise to contradictions within existing political, social and national institutions. This growing gap between an international economy and inadequate international political structures has been a contributory factor to the poverty and underdevelopment of the South, as well as to mass unemployment and new forms of poverty in many areas of the North.

    8. Real progress has been made since World War II in vital areas such as decolonisation, the growth of the Welfare State and, more recently, disarmament, where the first hopeful steps have been taken. However, age-old injustices remain. Human rights are still violated, racial and sex discrimination are rife, and individual opportunities in life are still determined by the region and class in which people are born.

    9. Faced with such crucial issues, the Socialist International reaffirms its fundamental beliefs. It is committed, as ever, to the democratisation on a global scale of economic, social and political power structures. The same principles and political commitments which socialism has always held have to be attained in a world that has changed radically since the Frankfurt Declaration of 1951.

    10. The Socialist International was founded a hundred years ago in order to coordinate the worldwide struggle of democratic socialist movements for social justice, human dignity and democracy. It brought together parties and organisations from different traditions which shared a common goal: democratic socialism. Throughout their history, socialist, social democratic and labour parties have stood for the same values and principles.

    11. Today the Socialist International combines its traditional struggle for freedom, justice and solidarity with a deep commitment to peace, the protection of the environment, and the development of the South. All these issues require common answers. To this end, the Socialist International seeks the support of all those who share its values and commitment.

    II. Principles

    Freedom, Justice and Solidarity

    12. Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.

    13. Freedom is the product of both individual and cooperative efforts – the two aspects are parts of a single process. Each person has the right to be free of political coercion and also to the greatest chance to act in pursuit of individual goals and to fulfil personal potential. But that is only possible if humanity as a whole succeeds in its long-standing struggle to master its history and to ensure that no person, class, sex, religion or race becomes the servant of another.

    14. Justice and Equality. Justice means the end of all discrimination against individuals, and the equality of rights and opportunities. It demands compensation for physical, mental and social inequalities, and freedom from dependence on either the owners of the means of production or the holders of political power.

    Equality is the expression of the equal value of all human beings and the precondition for the free development of the human personality. Basic economic, social and cultural equality is essential for individual diversity and social progress.

    Freedom and equality are not contradictory. Equality is the condition for the development of individual personality. Equality and personal freedom are indivisible.

    15. Solidarity is all-encompassing and global. It is the practical expression of common humanity and of the sense of compassion with the victims of injustice. Solidarity is rightly stressed and celebrated by all major humanist traditions. In the present era of unprecedented interdependence between individuals and nations, solidarity gains an enhanced significance since it is imperative for human survival.

    16. Democratic socialists attach equal importance to these fundamental principles. They are interdependent. Each is a prerequisite of the other. As opposed to this position, Liberals and Conservatives have placed the main emphasis on individual liberty at the expense of justice and solidarity while Communists have claimed to achieve equality and solidarity, but at the expense of freedom.

    Democracy and Human Rights

    17. The idea of democracy is based on the principles of freedom and equality. Therefore, equal rights for men and women – not only in theory, but also in practice, at work, in the family and in all areas of social life – are part of the socialist concept of society.

    18. Democratic socialists strive to achieve equal rights for all races, ethnic groups, nations and denominations. These rights are seriously in question in many regions of the world today.

    19. Forms of democracy of course may vary. However, it is only possible to speak of democracy if people have a free choice between various political alternatives in the framework of free elections; if there is a possibility for a change of government by peaceful means based on the free will of the people; if individual and minority rights are guaranteed; and, if there is an independent judicial system based on the rule of law impartially applied to all citizens. Political democracy is an indispensable element of a socialist society. Democratic socialism is a continuing process of social and economic democratisation and of increasing social justice.

    20. Individual rights are fundamental to the values of socialism. Democracy and human rights are also the substance of popular power, and the indispensable mechanism whereby people can control the economic structures which have so long dominated them. Without democracy, social policies cannot disguise the dictatorial character of a government.

    21. There can be no doubt that different cultures will develop their own institutional forms of democracy. But whatever form democracy assumes – nationally or internationally – it must provide full rights for individuals and for organised minority opinions. For socialists, democracy is of its very nature pluralist, and this pluralism provides the best guarantee of its vitality and creativity.

    22. Freedom from arbitrary and dictatorial government is essential. It constitutes the precondition whereby peoples and societies can create a new and better world of peace and international cooperation – a world in which political, economic and social destinies will be democratically determined.

    The Nature of Socialism

    23. Democratic socialists have arrived at the definition of these values in many different ways. They originate in the labour movement, popular liberation movements, cultural traditions of mutual assistance, and communal solidarity in many parts of the world. They have also gained from the various humanist traditions of the world.

    But although there are differences in their cultures and ideologies, all socialists are united in their vision of a peaceful and democratic world society combining freedom, justice and solidarity.

    24. The national struggles for democratic socialism in the years to come will show differences in policy and divergences on legislative provisions. These will reflect different histories and the pluralism of varied societies. Socialists do not claim to possess the blueprint for some final and fixed society which cannot be changed, reformed or further developed. In a movement committed to democratic self-determination there will always be room for creativity since each people and every generation must set its own goals.

    25. In addition to the principles which guide all democratic socialists, there is a clear consensus among socialists on fundamental values. Despite all diversity, it is common ground that democracy and human rights are not simply political means to socialist ends but the very substance of those ends – a democratic economy and society.

    26. Individual freedom and basic rights in society are the preconditions of human dignity for all. These rights cannot replace one another, nor can they be played off against each other. Socialists protect the inalienable right to life and to physical safety, to freedom of belief and free expression of opinion, to freedom of association and to protection from torture and degradation. Socialists are committed to achieve freedom from hunger and want, genuine social security, and the right to work.

    27. Democratic socialism also means cultural democracy. There must be equal rights and opportunities for the different cultures within each society as well as equal access for everyone to the national and global cultural heritage.

    III. Peace

    Peace – A Basic Value

    28. Peace is the precondition of all our hopes. It is a basic value of common interest to all political systems and necessary for human society. War destroys human life and the basis for social development. A nuclear holocaust could spell the end of human life as we know it.

    29. A lasting peace cannot be guaranteed through nuclear deterrence nor through an arms race with conventional forces. Therefore disarmament and new models of common security are imperative.

    30. What is now essential is the achievement, not merely of military stability at the lowest possible level of defensive weapon systems, but also a climate of mutual political confidence. This can be developed through cooperation on projects for our common future and a new emphasis on peaceful competition between societies with different political, economic and social structures.

    31. Peace is more than the absence of war. It cannot be based on fear or on ephemeral goodwill between the Superpowers. The fundamental economic and social causes of international conflict must be abolished by the achievement of global justice and by the creation of new institutions for the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.

    32. The establishment of a New International Economic and Political Order is an essential contribution to peace. This should involve respect for national sovereignty and the right to national self-government, negotiated settlement of conflict, and suspension of arms supplies to the parties in conflict. There must be both global and regional systems for cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution in all parts of the world. These could be brought about through the action of the UN, complementing agreements between the Superpowers.

    33. Peace is equally a necessity within nations. Violent ways of handling conflicts destroy opportunities for development and human rights. Education for peace and disarmament must be intensified.

    34. The militarisation of relations between nations of the South has become a serious threat to the future of humanity, as are the tensions between East and West. In some cases the major powers, with their tendency to globalise conflict, have engaged in proxy struggles in countries of the South. In others, the arms merchants of both East and West have contributed to raising the level of violence in the South as they sought political advantage or profit. It is undeniable that every war in the past four decades has been fought in those regions of the world. Social, economic and other causes of conflict in the South must be eliminated.

    Initiatives for Peace

    35. Democratic socialists reject a world order in which there is an armed peace between East and West but constant bloodshed in developing countries. Peacekeeping efforts must focus upon putting an end to these confrontations. Europe has a unique role in this process. For decades it has been the most likely battlefield for armed conflict between East and West. Europe can now become the area in which a new climate of mutual trust and restraint can develop and grow.

    36. Initiatives for peace require that different socio-economic systems and nations cooperate with one another on projects for confidence building and disarmament, justice in the South and protection of the planet’s biosphere. At the same time, they should engage in peaceful competition in the fields of wealth creation, welfare and solidarity. Societies should be prepared to learn from one another. It must become the norm for the different systems to trade, negotiate and work together. There should also be a place for frank and open exchange of views, in particular where issues of human rights and peace are at stake.

    37. East-West cooperation in the common struggle to close the gap between North and South and for the protection of the environment are perhaps the areas of greatest potential for fruitful action to build human solidarity regardless of frontiers and blocs.

    IV. North and South

    Globalisation

    38. Recent decades have been characterised by an accelerating internationalisation of world affairs, or globalisation. Oil shocks, exchange rate fluctuations and stock market crashes are directly transmitted between the world’s economies, North and South. New information technologies disseminate a mass culture to every corner of the world. Financial decisions by multinational corporations can have far-reaching effects overnight. National and international conflicts are generating huge and growing refugee movements of continental and intercontinental dimensions.

    39. Further, globalisation of the international economy has shattered the bipolar division of the world which dominated the era of the Cold War. New industrial powers have emerged in the Pacific rim and, until recent setbacks, the rapidly developing Latin American nations. There are also new international forces such as China and the Non-Aligned Movement. Interdependence is a reality. It is more important than ever to establish multilateral institutions with a more equal role for the South under the aegis of the UN.

    40. At a global level, economic crisis and conservative deflationary policies have brought the return of mass unemployment to many of the advanced economies. They have also had a destructive effect on poor countries. They have wiped out export markets, sharpened the debt crisis and undone progress already made. At the same time, such regress in the South, combined with the necessity to service enormous debts, closed huge potential markets to the North. Thus the declining living standards of the debtor nations became a factor promoting unemployment in the creditor nations.

    41. A transformed global economy must involve the growth centres of the South in a radically new way if it is to advance the development of either South or North. Programmes to stimulate economic and social development in the South can and must become a vehicle for stimulating the world economy as a whole. Such issues must feature as integral parts of global macro-economic strategies.

    42. In Africa, the continuation of the apartheid regime in South Africa is not only a crime against the majority of the people of that nation but has subverted the economic efforts of the Front Line States and had a negative impact throughout the entire continent. There, as elsewhere, the fight for human rights and democracy goes hand in hand with the battle for economic and social justice.

    43. Africa and Latin America are in particular faced with an intolerable debt problem which precludes the investments and imports which are needed to ensure development and provide jobs for rapidly growing populations. Global action to alleviate the debt burden is a precondition for progress. It must be a central goal of East-West cooperation in the common search for North-South justice.

    The Environmental Challenge

    44. A critical and fundamental challenge of worldwide dimensions is the crisis of the environment. ln both the North and the South, the ecological balance is jeopardised. Every year, animal and plant species are being exterminated while there is increasing evidence of a depletion of the ozone layer. In the North, irresponsible industrialism destroys forest areas; in the South, the rain forests which are vital to the survival of the whole world are shrinking with alarming speed. In the rich countries, soil pollution is increasing. In the poor countries, deserts are encroaching upon civilisation. Everywhere clean water is in short supply.

    45. Since environmental destruction extends across national frontiers, environmental protection must be international. It is, above all, a question of maintaining the relations between natural cycles, since ecological protection is always more economical and more responsible than environmental renovation. The best and cheapest solutions to the crisis are those that change the basic framework of production and consumption so that environmental damage does not occur in the first place.

    46. We advocate joint international efforts to replace all environmentally damaging products and processes by alternatives which enhance nature. The transfer of technology from North to South must not be allowed to become a matter of exporting ecologically unacceptable systems, or the toxic wastes of rich economies. Renewable energy sources and decentralised supply structures should be encouraged in both North and South. Moreover, there must be an international early warning system to identify environmental threats and catastrophes which cross national frontiers.

    47. These environmental problems affect the whole world community as well as doing harm to the developing countries. Without multilateral assistance and cooperation, poor nations cannot solve them. For these reasons it is crucial to achieve a substantial transfer of resources through development aid.

    48. Such policies are compatible with qualitative economic growth, in the North and South, in order to meet the social and economic responsibilities of the future. Social investment in ecological reconstruction – which many experts count as an expenditure without benefits and which is not computed as part of the Gross National Product – is one of the most positive investments a society can possibly make.

    Social Control of Technological Development

    49. The technological revolution which has already begun in the advanced industrial economies will profoundly change the conditions of the environment and resource management within the life-time of the present generation. Moreover, the impact of this change will be experienced worldwide. Micro-electronics, robotics, weapons technology, bio-engineering – plus innovations which are not yet dreamed of – will transform the circumstances of both individuals and the structures of society in the world as a whole.

    50. Technology is not simply a matter of objective science or inanimate machines. It is always guided by particular interests and designed according to human values, whether implicit or explicit. It has to be brought under social control in order to use the positive opportunities offered by new technologies for humankind, to minimise the risks and the dangers of uncontrolled developments and to prevent socially unacceptable technologies.

    51. Social progress requires, and inspires, technological progress. What is needed is technology appropriate to the different conditions, experiences and levels of development prevailing in the North and in the South. There must be a substantial transfer of suitable technology – and of basic technological know-how – between North and South. The North has much to learn from the experience of the South, especially its use of low-waste technologies. There should be social dialogue, and democratic political control of the context in which new technologies are introduced. This should ensure that their availability:

    – contributes to autonomous development in the countries of the South, mobilising their resources rather than wasting them, and creating new jobs rather than increasing unemployment;

    – humanises labour, promotes human health, and enhances safety in the workplace;

    – facilitates economic rights and increases the scope for popular decision-making in working life.

    52. In order to ensure that these standards are met throughout the world there must be institutions and procedures for assessment of technology. Innovation should be introduced in accordance with social needs and priorities as expressed through democratic debate and decision-making.

    53. Manipulation of human genetic material and exploitation of women through new reproductive technologies must be prevented. Likewise ways must be found to protect humanity from nuclear danger and chemical risk.

    Disarmament and Development

    54. Disarmament agreements between the Superpowers will do more than remove the threat of annihilation from the planet. With such agreements in place, many of the resources now wasted on thermonuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons could be released for investment in economic and social development programmes in the South. Disarmament between the East and West should be linked with programmes for justice between the North and South.

    55. A proportion of the substantial funds which the highly industrialised countries of the West and the East would save as a result of negotiated disarmament should be utilised to create a multinational fund to promote a secure and sustainable development in the countries of the South.

    V. Shaping the Twenty- First Century

    Political and Economic Democracy

    56. Recent events have made the achievement of political, economic and social democracy on a world scale more feasible than ever before. Democracy represents the prime means for popular control and humanisation of the otherwise uncontrolled forces which are re-shaping our planet without regard for its survival.

    57. Human rights include economic and social rights; the right to form trade unions and to strike; the right to social security and welfare for all, including the protection of mothers and children; the right to education, training and leisure; the right to decent housing in a liveable environment, and the right to economic security. Crucially, there is the right to both full and useful employment in an adequately rewarded job. Unemployment undermines human dignity, threatens social stability and wastes the world’s most valuable resource.

    58. Economic rights must not be considered as benefits paid to passive individuals lacking in initiative, but as a necessary base from which to secure the active participation of all citizens in a project for society. This is not a matter of subsidising those on the fringe of society, but of creating the conditions for an integrated society with social welfare for all people.

    59. Democratic socialism today is based on the same values on which it was founded. But they must be formulated critically, both assimilating past experience and looking ahead to the future. For instance, experience has shown that while nationalisation in some circumstances may be necessary, it is not by itself a sovereign remedy for social ills. Likewise, economic growth can often be destructive and divisive, especially where private interests evade their social and ecological responsibility. Neither private nor State ownership by themselves guarantee either economic efficiency or social justice.

    60. The democratic socialist movement continues to advocate both socialisation and public property within the framework of a mixed economy. It is clear that the internationalisation of the economy and the global technological revolution make democratic control more important than ever. But social control of the economy is a goal that can be achieved through a wide range of economic means according to time and place, including:

    – democratic, participative and decentralised production policies; public supervision of investment; protection of the public and social interest; and socialisation of the costs and benefits of economic change;

    – worker participation and joint decision-making at company and workplace level as well as union involvement in the determination of national economic policy;

    – self-managed cooperatives of workers and farmers;

    – public enterprises, with democratic forms of control and decision-making where this is necessary to enable governments to realise social and economic priorities;

    – democratisation of the institutions of the world financial and economic system to allow full participation by all countries;

    – international control and monitoring of the activities of transnational corporations, including cross-frontier trade union rights within such corporations.

    61. There is no single or fixed model for economic democracy and there is room for bold experimentation in different countries. But the underlying principle is clear – not simply formal, legal control by the State, but substantial involvement by workers themselves and by their communities in economic decision-making. This principle must apply both nationally and internationally.

    62. In societies structured in this fashion, and committed to genuine economic and social equality, markets can and must function as a dynamic way of promoting innovation and signalling the desires of consumers through the economy as a whole. Markets should not be dominated by big business power, and manipulated by misinformation.

    63. The concentration of economic power in few private hands must be replaced by a different order in which each person is entitled – as citizen, consumer or wage-earner – to influence the direction and distribution of production, the shaping of the means of production, and the conditions of working life. This will come about by involvement of the citizen in economic policies, by guaranteeing wage earners an influence in their workplace, by fostering open and accountable competition both domestically and internationally and by strengthening the position of consumers relative to producers.

    64. A democratic society must compensate for the defects of even the most responsible market systems. Government must not function simply as the repair shop for the damage brought about by market inadequacies or the uncontrolled application of new technologies. Rather the State must regulate the market in the interests of the people and obtain for all workers the benefits of technology, both in work experience and through the growth of leisure time and meaningful possibilities for individual development.

    Culture and Society

    65. Education is crucial for the development of a modern, democratic and tolerant society. The goals of education which we advocate, are:

    – information, learning and knowledge;

    – the passing of a spiritual and cultural heritage from generation to generation;

    – the preparation of the individual for life within society on the basis of equal opportunity for all;

    – helping each individual to develop his full personal potential.

    66. The values of freedom, social justice, solidarity and tolerance must be central messages in the process of education.

    We advocate tolerance and cooperation between different groups in multicultural societies. Cultural diversity enriches rather than endangers our societies. Cultural uniformity is a threat to freedom and democracy.

    67. Special attention must be given to the relations between different generations. Elderly people in particular need the respect and support of the young. They need a guaranteed income through social security and public pension, homes and nursing in the community, room for cultural and social activities, and the right to live their old age in dignity.

    The Role of Men and Women in Modern Society

    68. Inequality between men and women is the most pervasive form of oppression in human history. It may be traced almost to the origin of the species itself and has persisted in almost every socio-economic order to the present time.

    69. Recent years have seen a new surge of feminist consciousness, both within and outside the socialist movement, leading to the emergence of one of the most important social movements of our time. In part, the renewal of feminism occurred as the women of the most advanced welfare States came to realise that, despite the progress made in many fields, they were still often relegated to subordinate positions in occupational and political structures.

    70. The social costs of economic crises, at national and international levels, have been borne to a disproportionate degree by women. Poverty, unemployment, homelessness and low-wage exploitation have all contributed to this effect. In some areas of the South, the overcoming of patriarchal attitudes is a fundamental precondition for both the vindication of the rights of women and the achievement of sustainable economic development.

    71. The Socialist International supports the struggle of women for equal rights and opportunities everywhere in the world. In some countries there has been progress, while in others the struggle for equality is only beginning. Equality and justice for women is a crucial element of a just and peaceful world. The UN has played an important role in facilitating the emergence of a global feminist consciousness which links the women of the South and the North.

    72. The Socialist International specifically endorses the following measures:

    – legislation and positive action programmes which guarantee full equality between men and women;

    – support for programmes to promote education, vocational training and professional integration for girls and women;

    – legislation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value;

    – dissemination of information and practical assistance for family planning;

    – good facilities for child care;

    – public backing for full and equal participation of women in the social and political activities of every country by positive steps which ensure women’s representation at all levels of decision making.

    73. Women constitute slightly more than half of the population on our planet. Justice and equality for them is a sine qua non of international justice and equality.

    A New International Culture for Political Dialogue

    74. The increasing interdependence of the world leaves little space for fundamentalist controversies and hostilities. Common survival and development demand both cooperation and civilised forms of dispute even between antagonistic political forces and ideas. We therefore reject and condemn any form of religious or political fundamentalism.

    75. Communism has lost the appeal that it once had to parts of the labour movement or to some intellectuals after the October Revolution or during the struggle against fascism.

    The crimes of stalinism, mass persecution and the violation of human rights, as well as unsolved economic problems, have undermined the idea of communism as an alternative to democratic socialism or as a model for the future.

    76. The Socialist International supports all efforts aimed at the transformation of communist societies through liberalisation and democratisation. The same support must apply to the development of decentralised market mechanisms, struggles against bureaucratisation and corruption and, above all, the realisation that human rights and political openness are important elements of a dynamic and progressive society.

    77. Detente, international cooperation and peaceful competition create an atmosphere in which the most promising of the present initiatives may prosper. The Socialist International wants to promote a culture of international dialogue. All sides must cooperate in mutual trust where there are basic common interests, and argue openly and frankly where the commitment to human rights, democracy and pluralism is at stake. Socialists want to play a prominent role in that dialogue.

    A New Model for Growth

    78. In order to generate employment and prosperity all across the world, there is a need for ecologically balanced development. Growth which is not designed to meet ecological and social imperatives runs counter to progress, since it will cause environmental damage and destroy jobs. The market system alone can never ensure the attainment of the social goals of economic growth. It is the legitimate function of democratic economic policy to promote development which opens up future opportunities while improving the quality of life.

    79. To achieve these objectives on a global basis, it is imperative to establish a genuinely new international economic order. This must reconcile the interests of both industrialised and developing countries. A fundamental reform of financial relations must create the conditions for international economic cooperation. A more equitable international economic order is necessary not only for reasons of solidarity, but also in order to create a more efficient, productive and balanced world economy.

    80. The priority in the case of international debt must be to write down, write off or capitalise the debts of the poorer countries. Institutional arrangements are needed to stabilise both the terms of trade and the export earnings of the countries of the South by establishing internationally supported commodity funds. The North must open its markets to the products of the South, and end its policy of subsidising exports from the North.

    81. As productivity rapidly increases due to new technologies, it is also necessary to redefine working life. The aim must be to humanise working conditions by both appropriate production technologies and workers’ participation. Employment should be created by investment in social services and in environmental reconstruction, as well as by public spending on the development of new technologies and on improving infrastructure. By contrast, conservative economic policies in many industrialised countries have allowed for mass unemployment, thus jeopardising social justice and security, and giving rise to new manifestations of poverty in the rich world. It is of paramount importance that governments take on in practice their overall responsibility to provide for full employment.

    82. In many cases, a reduction of working hours can help achieve a fair distribution of both paid jobs and work at home between men and women. It also increases the leisure time of workers, farmers and employees, thus giving them more time for other activities.

    Solidarity between North and South

    83. Economic development is unquestionably a priority for the South. This is not to say that there is a simple formula for ending poverty in the developing countries, be it socialist in origin or not. Economies need a reduction in trade barriers, improved access to markets and the transfer of technology. They need the opportunity to develop their own scientific resources – for example, in the area of biotechnology – and to end dependence on second-hand technologies.

    84. Where the poorer countries are concerned, traditional development assistance remains vital. Many of them, in different regions of the world, need land reforms, incentives to farmers to achieve a sustained food supply, and support for cooperative traditions within their rural cultures. But, increased food production alone will not end hunger and famine. Sadly, in some cases, an increase in export agriculture can destroy traditional patterns of food supply, at one and the same time adding to farm output and hunger. It must be the task of the political system to guarantee both the right to food and employment.

    85. The debt crisis has led to a net financial flow away from developing countries to industrialised ones. The UN development target of 0.7% of GNP in official development assistance, which is twice the current rate, must be achieved without delay. Internationally coordinated efforts are urgently needed to alleviate the burden of the external debt of developing countries.

    86. Programmes of cooperation with the South must support development goals which relate to economic growth as well as a fair distribution of income. Aid programmes must focus on the development of the poorest groups. They should help to transform stultifying social structures and improve the situation of women in society. Specific programmes for children are of the greatest importance. Assistance through cooperatives and popular movements serves to promote democratic development.

    87. A broadly based approach to development is also an important factor in stemming the massive tide of migration to the big cities of the South, many of which are threatened by uncontrollable population growth and are becoming huge megapolitan slums.

    88. Enhanced South-South relations form an important path for economic progress. A substantial growth in trade between the nations of the South will contribute to their well-being and will enhance their prospects of dealing with the crises which arise from dramatic changes in production and occupational structures. Close economic links and rapidly growing markets in the developing world are a vital prerequisite of any positive development of the world economy.

    89. An open world economy can stimulate development in the South. But it can also bring vulnerability. Thus, the North should not pursue economic and trade policies which impose drastic reductions in living standards and erode the bases of stable democracy.

    90. Inequality and dictatorship are the enemies not only of human rights, but also of genuine development. Social and economic democracy cannot be regarded as luxuries which only the rich countries can afford. Rather, they are necessary for any country to make progress on the road of development. That is why the strengthening of democratic socialism in the South is so crucial. In this context the recent expansion of the Socialist International in the South, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, is a good omen for both North and South alike.

    91. Ending poverty in the South is also a common project for the North. It can promote disarmament, and create both wealth and jobs in the advanced as well as the developing countries. This is central to the strategy of socialists in dealing with wide-ranging economic change during a period of crisis and transition at world level. It is also an integral part of democratic socialist proposals for new economic and social structures which can bring the world peacefully and prosperously into the 21st century.

    VI. With the Socialist International Towards a Democratic World Society

    The Unity of International Socialism

    92. At a time of rapid internationalisation, the goals of democratic socialism cannot be attained in just a few countries. The fate of people living in many different parts of the world is more interlinked than ever before. The various socialist parties of the world must therefore work together, both in their individual national interest and in their common international interest. The Socialist International, whose history dates back to 1864, was re-established in 1951 to serve this purpose.

    93. Although it unites movements with long-standing national histories, the Socialist International is not a supranational, centralised organisation. It is an association of independent parties with common principles whose representatives want to learn from one another, jointly promote socialist ideas and work towards this objective at international level.

    94. The purpose of the International is to facilitate this work of solidarity and cooperation, while being aware of the fact that there are different ways of promoting the basic values of a pluralist democratic socialism in different societies. Each member party is itself responsible for the manner in which it puts the decisions of the Socialist International into effect in its own country.

    95. In recent years, the membership of the Socialist International has become more genuinely international, with very marked growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, and new members in other continents. It is the goal of the Socialist International to cooperate with all democratic socialist movements throughout the world.

    96. Since the Frankfurt Declaration of the Socialist International in 1951, the world has become closer in economic and social terms, but not in terms of democratic community and solidarity. It is now clear that the socialist movement – as it looks towards the 21st century – is becoming more truly internationalist in outlook and in practice.

    A New Democratic Order

    97. The international challenge is nothing less than the beginning of a new, democratic world society. We cannot allow blocs, nations and private corporations to shape the political structure of the planet as a mere by-product of their own self-interest.

    98. Strengthening the United Nations is an important step in the creation of this new, democratic world society. Where there is a consensus among the major nations, significant peace-making and peace-keeping initiatives are possible. The UN specialised agencies, like the WHO, and UN organs like UNDP and UNICEF, have demonstrated that the governments and citizens of various nations can work effectively together in pursuit of common international goals.

    99. It is unrealistic to assume that justice and peace can be legislated in a world of fundamental inequality where many millions barely cling to life while a favoured few enjoy a standard beyond the dreams of most of their fellow human beings. Socialist struggles in the original capitalist nations made gains in welfare and solidarity, which in turn made the extension of democracy possible in individual countries. Likewise the work of abolishing international inequality will be a crucial step forward on the road to a democratic world society.

    100. There is no illusion that this ideal can be quickly accomplished. However, the creation of a pluralist and democratic world, based on consensus and cooperation, is a necessary condition for the advance of humankind. This is both a challenge and an enormous opportunity. The Socialist International is ready to meet the challenge and to strive for a world in which our children can live and work in peace, in freedom, in solidarity and humanity.

    We are confident that the strength of our principles, the force of our arguments and the idealism of our supporters will contribute to shaping a democratic socialist future into the 21st century. We invite all men and women to join us in this endeavour.
    http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=31

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    Senator Hubert H. Humphrey,
    Comm.: Foreign Relations Minnesota
    Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used, and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.

  • Torcer

    Statement of Principles of the Socialist Party USA
    THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control — a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in the community.

    Socialism is not mere government ownership, a welfare state, or a repressive bureaucracy. Socialism is a new social and economic order in which workers and consumers control production and community residents control their neighborhoods, homes, and schools. The production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. Socialism produces a constantly renewed future by not plundering the resources of the earth.

    Under both capitalist and authoritarian statist systems, people have little control over fundamental areas of their lives. The capitalist system forces workers to sell their abilities and skills to the few who own the workplaces, profit from these workers’ labor, and use the government to maintain their privileged position, while further impelling the drain of society’s productive wealth and goods into military purposes, the despoliation of the environment and natural resources, and perpetual war in which workers are compelled to fight other workers. Under authoritarian statist regimes, decisions are made by ruling party officials, the bureaucracy and the military. The inevitable product of each system is a highly stratified society with gross inequality of resources, privileges, and substantive participation in political life.

    People across the world need to cast off the systems which oppress them, and build a new world fit for all humanity. Democratic revolutions are needed to dissolve the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. By revolution we mean a radical and fundamental change in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations. The building of socialism requires widespread understanding and participation, and will not be achieved by an elite working “on behalf of” the people. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future – to a real radical democracy from below.
    Radical democracy is the cornerstone not only of our socialism, but also of our strategy. Here are the main features of each:

    Socialist Society
    Freedom & Equality
    Democratic socialism is a political and economic system with freedom and equality for all, so that people may develop to their fullest potential in harmony with others. The Socialist Party is committed to full freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion, and to a multi-party system. We are dedicated to the abolition of male supremacy and class society, and to the elimination of all forms of oppression, including those based on race, national origin, age, sexual preferences, and disabling conditions.

    Production For Use, Not For Profit
    In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups. The primary goal of economic activity is to provide the necessities of life, including food, shelter, health care, education, child care, cultural opportunities, and social services.

    These social services include care for the chronically ill, persons with mental disabilities, the infirm and the aging. Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

    Full Employment
    Under welfare capitalism, a reserve pool of people is kept undereducated, under-skilled and unemployed, largely along racial and gender lines, to exert pressure on those who are employed and on organized labor. The employed pay for this knife that capitalism holds to their throats by being taxed to fund welfare programs to maintain the unemployed and their children. In this way the working class is divided against itself; those with jobs and those without are separated by resentment and fear. In socialism, full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work.

    Worker & Community Control
    Democracy in daily life is the core of our socialism. Public ownership becomes a fraud if decisions are made by distant bureaucrats or authoritarian managers. In socialist society power resides in worker-managed and cooperative enterprises. Community-based cooperatives help provide the flexibility and innovation required in a dynamic socialist economy. Workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions. Worker and community control make it possible to combine life at work, home and in the community into a meaningful whole for adults and children. Girls and boys are encouraged to grow up able to choose freely the shape of their lives and work without gender and racial stereotyping. Children are provided with the care, goods and services, and support that they need, and are protected from abuse.

    Ecological Harmony
    A socialist society carefully plans its way of life and technology to be a harmonious part of our natural environment. This planning takes place on regional, national, and international levels and covers the production of energy, the use of scarce resources, land-use planning, the prevention of pollution and the preservation of wildlife. The cleanup of the contaminated environment and the creation of a nuclear-free world are among the first tasks of a socialist society.

    Socialist Strategy
    Socialist Feminism and Women’s Liberation
    Socialist feminism confronts the common root of sexism, racism and classism: the determination of a life of oppression or privilege based on accidents of birth or circumstances. Socialist feminism is an inclusive way of creating social change. We value synthesis and cooperation rather than conflict and competition.

    We work against the exploitation and oppression of women who live with lower wages, inferior working conditions and subordination in the home, in society and in politics. Socialists struggle for the full freedom of women and men to control their own bodies and reproductive systems and to determine their own sexual orientation.

    We stand for the right of women to choose to have a safe and legal abortion, at no cost, regardless of age, race, or circumstance.
    Women’s independent organizations and caucuses are essential to full liberation, both before and after the transformation to socialism. Women will define their own liberation.

    Liberation of Oppressed People
    Bigotry and discrimination help the ruling class divide, exploit, and abuse workers here and in the Third World. The Socialist Party works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in all its forms. We recognize the right of self-defense in the face of attacks; we also support non-violent direct action in combating oppression. We fully support strong and expanded affirmative action programs to help combat the entrenched inertia of a racist and sexist system which profits from discrimination and social division.

    People of color, lesbians and gays, and other oppressed groups need independent organization to fight oppression. Racism will not be eliminated merely by eliminating capitalism.

    International Solidarity & Peace
    People around the world have more in common with each other than with their rulers. We condemn war, preparation for war, and the militaristic culture because they play havoc with people’s lives and divert resources from constructive social projects. Militarism also concentrates even greater power in the hands of the few, the powerful and the violent. We align with no nation, but only with working people throughout the world.

    Internal Democracy
    Socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The Socialist Party is democratic, with its structure and practices visible and accessible to all members. We reject dogma and promote internal debate. The Socialist Party is a “multi-tendency” organization. We orient ourselves around our principles and develop a common program, but our members have various underlying philosophies and views of the world. Solidarity within the party comes from the ability of those with divergent views on some issues to engage in a collective struggle towards social revolution. We strive to develop feminist practice within the party.

    Cultural Freedom
    Art is an integral part of daily life. It should not be treated as just a commodity. Socialists work to create opportunities for participation in art and cultural activities. We work for the restoration and preservation of the history and culture of working people, women, and oppressed minorities.

    The Personal as Political
    Living under domination and struggling against it exact a personal toll. Socialists regard the distortion of personal life and interpersonal relations under capitalism as a political matter. Socialism must ultimately improve life; this cannot be accomplished by demanding that personal lives be sacrificed for the movement. We cherish the right of personal privacy and the enrichment of culture through diversity.

    Electoral Action
    Socialists participate in the electoral process to present socialist alternatives. The Socialist Party does not divorce electoral politics from other strategies for basic change. While a minority, we fight for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. When a majority we will rapidly introduce those changes, which constitute socialism, with priority to the elimination of the power of big business through public ownership and workers’ control.

    By participating in local government, socialists can support movements of working people and make improvements that illustrate the potential of public ownership. We advocate electoral action independent of the capitalist-controlled two-party system.

    Democratic Revolution From Below
    No oppressed group has ever been liberated except by its own organized efforts to overthrow its oppressors. A society based on radical democracy, with power exercised through people’s organizations, requires a socialist transformation from below. People’s organizations cannot be created by legislation, nor can they spring into being only on the eve of a revolution.

    They can grow only in the course of popular struggles, especially those of women, labor, and minority groups. The Socialist Party works to build these organizations democratically.

    The process of struggle profoundly shapes the ends achieved. Our tactics in the struggle for radical democratic change reflect our ultimate goal of a society founded on principles of egalitarian, non-exploitative and non-violent relations among all people and between all peoples.

    To be free we must create new patterns for our lives and live in new ways in the midst of a society that does not understand and is often hostile to new, better modes of life. Our aim is the creation of a new social order, a society in which the commanding value is the infinite preciousness of every woman, man and child.
    http://socialistparty-usa.net/principles.html

  • Torcer

    “One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically
    bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite;
    civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The
    normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of
    the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and
    civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us
    less interesting.” – C.S. Lewis

  • Torcer

    By Branch / Doctrine > Political Philosophy > Socialism
    Introduction

    Socialism is a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the workers, either directly through popular collectives such as workers’ councils, or indirectly exercised on behalf of the people by the state, and in which Egalitarianism or equality is an important goal. Thus, under Socialism, the means of production are owned by the state, community or the workers (as opposed to privately owned as under Capitalism).

    Adherents of Socialism are split into differing, and sometimes opposing, branches, particularly between reformists and revolutionaries, and some of these are briefly describe in the Types of Socialism section below.

    The term “socialism” is variously attributed to Pierre Leroux (1798 – 1871) or to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud (1799 – 1879) or to Robert Owen (1771 – 1858) in the mid-19th Century. According to Frederick Engels (1820 – 1895), by 1847, the term “socialism” (usually referring to the utopian philosophies of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), was considered quite respectable on the continent of Europe, while “communism” was the opposite.

    History of Socialism
    Certain elements of socialist thought long predate the socialist ideology that emerged in the first half of the 19th Century. For example, Plato’s “The Republic” and Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia”, dating from 1516, have been cited as including Socialist or Communist ideas.

    Modern Socialism emerged in early 19th Century Britain and France, from a diverse array of doctrines and social experiments, largely as a reaction or protest against some of the excesses of 18th and 19th Century Capitalism. Early 19th Century Socialist thought was largely utopian in nature, followed by the more pragmatic and revolutionary Socialist and Communist movements in the later 19th Century.

    Social critics in the late 18th Century and early 19th Century such as Robert Owen (1771 – 1858), Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809 – 1865), Louis Blanc (1811 – 1882) and Henri de Saint-Simon (1760 – 1825) criticized the excesses of poverty and inequality of the Industrial Revolution, and advocated reforms such as the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the transformation of society into small utopian communities in which private property was to be abolished.

    Some socialist religious movements, such as the Shakers in America, also date from this period, as does the Chartist movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom (possibly the first mass working class movement in the world).

    It was Karl Marx, though, who first employed systematic analysis (sometimes known as “scientific socialism”) in an ambitious attempt to expose Capitalism’s contradictions and the specific mechanisms by which it exploits and alienates. His ambitious work “Das Kapital”, the first volume of which was published in 1867 with two more edited and published after his death by Friedrich Engels (1820 – 1895), is modelled to some extent on Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”, one of the cornerstones of Capitalist theory. In it, he transforms Smith’s labour theory of value into his own characteristic “law of value” (that the exchange value of a commodity is actually independent of the amount of labour required to appropriate its useful qualities), and reveals how commodity fetishism obscures the reality of Capitalist society.

    In 1864, the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA) or First International, was founded in London, and became the first major international forum for the promulgation of Socialist ideas, under the leadership of Marx and Johann Georg Eccarius. Anarchists, like the Russian Mikhail Bakunin (1814 – 1876), and proponents of other alternative visions of Socialism which emphasized the potential of small-scale communities and agrarianism, coexisted with the more influential currents of Marxism and social democracy. Much of the developement of Socialism is indistinguishable for the development of Communism, which is essentially an extreme variant of Socialism.

    Marx and Engels, who together had founded the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany in 1869, were also responsible for setting up the Second International (or Socialist International) in 1889, as the ideas of Socialism gained new adherents, especially in Central Europe, and just before his death in 1895, Engels boasted of a “single great international army of socialists”.

    When the First World War started in 1914, the socialist social democratic parties in the UK, France, Belgium and Germany supported their respective states’ war effort, discarding their commitment to internationalism and solidarity, and the Second International dissolved during the war.

    In Russia, however, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 – 1924) denounced the war as an imperialist conflict, and urged workers worldwide to use it as an occasion for proletarian revolution. In February 1917, revolution broke out in Russia and the workers, soldiers and peasants set up councils (or soviets in Russian). The Bolsheviks won a majority in the soviets in October 1917 and, at the same time, the October Revolution was led by Lenin and Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940). The new Soviet government immediately nationalized the banks and major industries, repudiated the former Romanov regime’s national debts, sued for peace and withdrew from the First World War, and implemented a system of government through the elected workers’ councils or soviets. The Third International (also known as the Communist International or Comintern) was an international Communist organization founded in Moscow in 1919 to replace the disbanded Second International.

    After Lenin’s death in 1924, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, under Josef Stalin declared a policy of “socialism in one country”, taking the route of isolationism. This led to a polarization of Socialism around the question of the Soviet Union and adoption of socialist or social democratic policies in response, or in other cases the vehement repudiation of all that it stands for.

    However, not everyone saw Socialism as necessarily entailing revolution, and non-revolutionaries such as the influential economists John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946) and John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006), took inspiration from the work of John Stuart Mill as well as Marx, and provided theoretical justification for (potentially very extensive) state involvement in an existing market economy. This kind of Social Democracy (and the more left-wing Democratic Socialism) can be considered a moderate form of Socialism (although many socialists would not), and aims to reform Capitalism democratically through state regulation and the creation of state-sponsored programs and organizations which work to ameliorate or remove injustices purportedly inflicted by the Capitalist market system.
    Criticisms of Socialism

    Criticisms of Socialism range from disagreements over the efficiency of socialist economic and political models, to outright condemnation of socialist states.

    Some critics dispute that the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the nationalization of industries advocated by some socialists can be achieved without loss of political or economic freedoms. Some argue that countries where the means of production are socialized are less prosperous than those where the means of production are under private control. Yet others argue that socialist policies reduce work incentives (because workers do not receive rewards for a work well done) and reduce efficiency through the elimination of the profit and loss mechanism and a free price system and reliance on central planning. They also argue that Socialism stagnates technology due to competition being stifled. The tragedy of the commons effect has been attributed to Socialism by some, whereby when assets are owned in common, there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship (i.e. if everyone owns an asset, people act as if no-one owns it). There has also been much focus on the economic performance and human rights records of Communist states, although this is not necessarily a criticism of Socialism.

    Socialists have counter-argued that Socialism can actually increase efficiency and economic growth better than Capitalism, or that a certain degree of efficiency can and should be sacrificed for the sake of economic equality or other social goals. They further argue that market systems have a natural tendency toward monopoly or oligopoly in major industries, leading to a distortion of prices, and that a public monopoly is better than a private one. Also, they claim that a socialist approach can mitigate the role of externalities in pricing. Some socialists have made a case for Socialism and central planning being better able to address the issue of managing the environment than self-serving Capitalism.
    Types of Socialism

    Democratic Socialism advocates Socialism as an economic principle (the means of production should be in the hands of ordinary working people), and democracy as a governing principle (political power should be in the hands of the people democratically through a co-operative commonwealth or republic). It attempts to bring about Socialism through peaceful democratic means as opposed to violent insurrection, and represents the reformist tradition of Socialism.
    It is similar, but not necessarily identical (although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably), to Social Democracy. This refers to an ideology that is more centrist and supports a broadly Capitalist system, with some social reforms (such as the welfare state), intended to make it more equitable and humane. Democratic Socialism, by contrast, implies an ideology that is more left-wing and supportive of a fully socialist system, established either by gradually reforming Capitalism from within, or by some form of revolutionary transformation.

    Revolutionary Socialism advocates the need for fundamental social change through revolution or insurrection (rather than gradual refom) as a strategy to achieve a socialist society. The Third International, which was founded following the Russian Revolution of 1917, defined itself in terms of Revolutionary Socialism but also became widely identified with Communism. Trotskyism is the theory of Revolutionary Socialism as advocated by Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940), declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution (rather than Stalin’s “socialism in one country”) and unwavering support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles. Luxemburgism is another Revolutionary Socialist tradition, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg (1970 – 1919). It is similar to Trotskyism in its opposition to the Totalitarianism of Stalin, while simultaneously avoiding the reformist politics of modern Social Democracy.

    Utopian Socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought in the first quarter of the 19th Century. In general, it was used by later socialist thinkers to describe early socialist, or quasi-socialist, intellectuals who created hypothetical visions of perfect egalitarian and communalist societies without actually concerning themselves with the manner in which these societies could be created or sustained. They rejected all political (and especially all revolutionary) action, and wished to attain their ends by peaceful means and small experiments, which more practical socialists like Karl Marx saw as necessarily doomed to failure. But the early theoretical work of people like Robert Owen (1771-1858), Charles Fourier (1772-1837) and Étienne Cabet (1788–1856) gave much of the impetus to later socialist movements.

    Libertarian Socialism aims to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies, in which every person would have free, equal access to tools of information and production. This would be achieved through the abolition of authoritarian institutions and private property, so that direct control of the means of production and resources will be gained by the working class and society as a whole. Most Libertarian Socialists advocate abolishing the state altogether, in much the same way as Utopian Socialists and many varieties of Anarchism (including Social Anarchism, Anarcho-Communism, Anarcho-Collectivism and Anarcho-Syndicalism).

    Market Socialism is a term used to define an economic system in which there is a market economy directed and guided by socialist planners, and where prices would be set through trial and error (making adjustments as shortages and surpluses occur) rather than relying on a free price mechanism. By contrast, a Socialist Market Economy, such as that practiced in the People’s Republic of China, in one where major industries are owned by state entities, but compete with each other within a pricing system set by the market and the state does not routinely intervene in the setting of prices.

    Eco-Socialism (or Green Socialism or Socialist Ecology) is an ideology merging aspects of Marxism, Socialism, Green politics, ecology and the anti-globalization movement. They advocate the non-violent dismantling of Capitalism and the State, focusing on collective ownership of the means of production, in order to mitigate the social exclusion, poverty and environmental degradation brought about (as they see it) by the capitalist system, globalization and imperialism.
    Christian Socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist, and who see these two things as being interconnected. Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus, and the messages of modern Socialism.
    http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_socialism.html

  • Torcer

    A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer. – Robert Frost

  • Torcer

    “You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean
    and paltry; for whatever a man’s actions are, such must be his spirit.”
    Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac

  • Torcer

    EAT THE RICH!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ
    Uploaded on Mar 31, 2011
    Is America really broke? Michael Moore (and others) tells us that there are oceans of cash being hoarded by the wealthy. But Iowahawk (iowahawk.typepad.com) did a little addition, and armed with these statistics Bill and the ‘Hawk blow a hole in the “hoarding” lie big enough to fit a documentary filmmaker through.

    EAT THE RICH! https://youtu.be/661pi6K-8WQ via @YouTube

  • Torcer

    The Communist Manifesto after 100 years

    It is now 150 years since the Communist Manifesto was first published. Much has happened in the almost 150 years since this article* was written but its analysis remains valid today. Capitalism remains capitalism and Marxism and socialism are as valid as ever.

    The Communist Manifesto, the most famous document in the history of the socialist movement, was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels during the latter part of 1847 and the first month of 1848. It was published in February 1848. This appreciation of the Manifesto at the end of its first century is thus more than a year late. This is a case, however, in which we hope our readers will agree with us: better late than never.
    Historical importance of the Manifesto

    What gives the Manifesto its unique importance? In order to answer this question it is necessary to see clearly its place in the history of socialism.

    Despite a frequently encountered opinion to the contrary, there was no socialism in ancient or medieval times. There were movements and doctrines of social reform which were radical in the sense that they sought greater equality or even complete community of consumer goods, but none even approached the modern socialist conception of a society in which the means of production are publicly owned and managed. This is, of course, not surprising. Production actually took place on a primitive level in scattered workshops and agricultural strips — conditions under which public ownership and management were not only impossible but even unthinkable.

    The first theoretical expression of a genuinely socialist position came in Thomas More’s Utopia, written in the early years of the 16th Century — in other words, at the very threshold of what we call the modern period. But Utopia was the work of an individual genius and not the reflection of a social movement. It was not until the English Civil War, in the middle of the 17th Century, that socialism first began to assume the shape of a social movement.

    Gerrard Winstanley (born 1609, died sometime after 1660) was probably the greatest socialist thinker that the English-speaking countries have yet produced, and the Digger movement which he led was certainly the first practical expression of socialism. But it lasted only a very short time, and the same was true of the movement led by Babeuf during the French Revolution a century and a half later. Meanwhile, quite a number of writers had formulated views of a more or less definitely socialist character.

    But it was not until the 19th Century that socialism became an important public issue and socialists began to play a significant role in the political life of the most advanced European countries. The Utopian socialists (Owen, Fourier, St. Simon) were key figures in this period of emergence; and the Chartist movement in Britain, which flourished during the late 1880s and early 1840s, showed that the new factory working class formed a potentially powerful base for a socialist political party.

    Thus we see that socialism is strictly a modern phenomenon, a child of the industrial revolution which got under way in England in the 17th Century and decisively altered the economic and social structure of all of western Europe during the 18th and early 19th Centuries. By 1840 or so, socialism had arrived in the sense that it was already widely discussed and politically promising.

    But socialism was still shapeless and inchoate — a collection of brilliant insights and perceptions, of more or less fanciful projects, of passionate beliefs and hopes. There was an urgent need for systematisation; for a careful review picking out what was sound, dropping what was unsound, integrating into the socialist outlook the most progressive elements of bourgeois philosophy and social science.

    It was the historical mission of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to perform this task. They appeared on the scene at just the right time; they were admirably prepared by background and training; they seized upon their opportunity with a remarkably clear estimate of its crucial importance to the future of mankind.

    Marx and Engels began their work of transforming socialism “from Utopia to science” in the early 1840s. In the next few years of profound study and intense discussion they worked out their own new socialist synthesis. The Manifesto for the first time broadcast this new synthesis to the world — in briefest compass and in arrestingly brilliant prose.

    The Manifesto thus marks a decisive watershed in the history of socialism. Previous thought and experience lead up to it; subsequent developments start from it. It is this fact which stamps the Manifesto as the most important document in the history of socialism. And the steady growth of socialism as a world force since 1848 has raised the Manifesto to the status of one of the most important documents in the entire history of the human race.
    How should we evaluate the Manifesto today?

    How has the Manifesto stood up during its first 100 years? The answer we give to this question will depend largely on the criteria by which — consciously or unconsciously — we form our judgments.

    Some who consider themselves Marxists approach the Manifesto in the spirit of a religious fundamentalist approaching the Bible — every word and every proposition were literally true when written and remain sacrosanct and untouchable after the most eventful century in world history. It is, of course, not difficult to demonstrate to the satisfaction of any reasonable person that this is an untenable position. For this very reason, no doubt, a favorite procedure of enemies of Marxism is to assume that all Marxists take this view of the Manifesto. If the Manifesto is judged by the criterion of 100 per cent infallibility it can be readily disposed of by any second-rate hack who thus convinces himself that he is a greater man than the founders of scientific socialism. The American academic community, it may be noted in passing, is full of such great men today. But theirs is a hollow victory which, though repeated thousands of times every year, leaves the Manifesto untouched and the stature of its authors undiminished.

    Much more relevant and significant are the criteria which Marx and Engels themselves, in later years, used in judging the Manifesto. For this reason the prefaces which they wrote to various reprints and translations are both revealing and important (especially the prefaces to the German edition of 1872, the Russian edition of 1882, the German edition of 1883, and the English edition of 1888). Let us sum up what seem to us to be the main points which emerge from a study of these prefaces:

    In certain respects, Marx and Engels regarded the Manifesto as clearly dated. This is particularly the case as regards the programmatic section and the section dealing with socialist literature (end of Part II and all of Part III).
    The general principles set forth in the Manifesto were, in their view, “on the whole as correct today as ever” (first written in 1872, repeated in 1888).
    The experience of the Paris Commune caused them to add a principle of great importance which was absent from the original, namely, that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes.” In other words, the “ready-made state machinery” had been created by and for the existing ruling classes and would have to be replaced by new state machinery after the conquest of power by the working class.
    Finally — and this is perhaps the most important point of all — in their last joint preface (to the Russian edition of 1882), Marx and Engels brought out clearly the fact that the Manifesto was based on the historical experience of western and central Europe. But by 1882 Russia, in their opinion, formed “the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe,” and this development inevitably gave rise to new questions and problems which did not and could not arise within the framework of the original Manifesto.

    It is thus quite obvious from these later prefaces that Marx and Engels never for a moment entertained the notion that they were blueprinting the future course of history or laying down a set of dogmas which would be binding on future generations of socialists. In particular, they implicitly recognised that as capitalism spread and drew new countries and regions into the mainstream of modern history, problems and forms of development not considered in the Manifesto must necessarily be encountered.

    On the other hand, Marx and Engels never wavered in their conviction that the general principles set forth in the Manifesto were sound and valid. Neither the events of the succeeding decades nor their own subsequent studies, profound and wide-ranging as they were, caused them to alter or question its central theoretical framework.

    It seems clear to us that in judging the Manifesto today, a century after its publication, we should be guided by the same criteria that the authors themselves used 25, 30, and 40 years after its publication. We should not concern ourselves with details but should go straight to the general principles and examine them in the light of the changed conditions of the mid-20th Century.
    The general principles of the Manifesto

    The general principles of the Manifesto can be grouped under the following headings: (a) historical materialism, (b) class struggle, (c) the nature of capitalism, (d) the inevitability of socialism, and (e) the road to socialism. Let us review these principles as briefly and concisely as we can.

    HISTORICAL MATERIALISM: This is the theory of history which runs through the Manifesto as it does through all the mature writings of Marx and Engels. It holds that the way people act and think is determined in the final analysis by the way they get their living; hence the foundation of any society is its economic system; and therefore economic change is the driving force history. Part I of the Manifesto is essentially a brilliant and amazingly compact application of this theory to the rise and development of capitalism from its earliest beginnings in the Middle Ages to its full-fledged mid-19th Century form. Part II contains a passage which puts the case for historical materialism as against historical idealism with unexampled clarity:

    Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conceptions, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

    What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.

    When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

    CLASS STRUGGLE: The Manifesto opens with the famous sentence: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” This is in no sense a contradiction of the theory of historical materialism hut rather an essential part of it. “Hitherto existing society” (Engels explained in a footnote to the 1888 edition that this term should not be interpreted to include preliterate societies) had always been based on an economic system in which some people did the work and others appropriated the social surplus. Fundamental differences in the method of securing a livelihood — some by working, some by owning — must, according to historical materialism, create groups with fundamentally different and in many respects antagonistic interests, attitudes, aspirations. These groups are the classes of Marxian theory. They, and not individuals, are the chief actors on the stage of history. Their activities and strivings — above all, their conflicts — underlie the social movements, the wars and revolutions, which trace out the pattern of human progress.

    THE NATURE OF CAPITALISM: The Manifesto contains the bold outlines of the theory of capitalism which Marx was to spend most of the remainder of his life perfecting and elaborating. (It is interesting to note that the term “capitalism” does not occur in the Manifesto; instead, Marx and Engels use a variety of expressions, such as “existing society,”, “bourgeois society,”, “the rule of the bourgeoisie”, and so forth.) Capitalism is pre-eminently a market, or commodity-producing, economy, which “has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment’.” Even the laborer is a commodity and must sell himself piecemeal to the capitalist. The capitalist purchases labor (later Marx would have substituted “labor power” for “labor” in this context) in order to make profits, and he makes profits in order to expand his capital. Thus the laborers form a class “who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital.”

    It follows that capitalism, in contrast to all earlier forms of society, is a restlessly expanding system which “cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.” Moreover, “the need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.” Thanks to these qualities, “the bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.” But, by a peculiar irony, its enormous productivity turns out to be the nemesis of capitalism. In one of the great passages of the Manifesto, which is worth quoting in full, Marx and Engels lay bare the inner contradictions which are driving capitalism to certain shipwreck:

    Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand, by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

    THE INEVITABILITY OF SOCIALISM: The mere fact that capitalism is doomed is not enough to ensure the triumph of socialism. History is full of examples which show that the dissolution of a society can lead to chaos and retrogression as well as to a new and more progressive system. Hence it is of greatest importance that capitalism by its very nature creates and trains the force which at a certain stage of development must overthrow it and replace it by socialism. The reasoning is concisely summed up in the last paragraph of Part I:

    The essential condition for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage labor. Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the laborers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of modern industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

    THE ROAD TO SOCIALISM: There are two aspects to this question as it appears in the Manifesto: first, the general character of the socialist revolution; and, second, the course of the revolution on an international scale.

    The socialist revolution must be essentially a working-class revolution, though Marx and Engels were far from denying a role to elements of other classes. As pointed out above, the development of capitalism itself requires more and more wage workers; moreover, as industry grows and the transport network is extended and improved, the workers are increasingly unified and trained for collective action. At a certain stage this results in the “organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party.” The contradictions of capitalism will sooner or later give rise to a situation from which there is no escape except through revolution. What Marx and Engels call the “first step” in this revolution is the conquest of power, “to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.” It is important to note — because it has been so often overlooked — that basic social changes come only after the working class has acquired power:

    The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e. of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive powers as rapidly as possible.

    This will be a transition period during which the working class “sweeps away by force the old conditions of production.” (In view of present-day misrepresentations of Marxism, it may be as well to point out that “sweeping away by force” in this connection implies the orderly use of state power and not the indiscriminate use of violence.) Finally, along with these conditions, the working class will have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.

    In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

    So much for the general character of the socialist revolution. There remains the question of the international course of the revolution. Here it was clear to Marx and Engels that though the modern working-class movement is essentially an international movement directed against a system which knows no national boundaries, “yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle.” And from this it follows that “the proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” At the same time, Marx and Engels were well aware of the international character of the counter-revolutionary forces which would certainly attempt to crush an isolated workers’ revolution. Hence, “united action of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.” Thus the various national revolutions must reinforce and protect one another and eventually merge into a new society from which international exploitation and hostility will have vanished. For, as Marx and Engels point out:

    In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.

    As to the actual geography of the revolution, Marx and Engels took it for granted that it would start and spread from the most advanced capitalist countries of western and central Europe. At the time of writing the Manifesto, they correctly judged that Europe was on the verge of a new revolutionary upheaval, and they expected that Germany would be the cockpit:

    The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation and with a much more developed proletariat than that of England was in the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.

    This prediction, of course, turned out to be over-optimistic. Not the revolution but the counter-revolution won the day in Germany, and indeed in all of Europe. But at no time in their later lives did Marx and Engels revise the view of the Manifesto that the proletarian, or socialist, revolution would come first in one or more of the most advanced capitalist countries of western and central Europe. In the 1870s and 1880s they became increasingly interested in Russia, convinced that that country must soon be the scene of a revolution similar in scope and character to the great French Revolution of 100 years earlier. No small part of their interest in Russia derived from a conviction that the Russian revolution, though it would be essentially a bourgeois revolution, would flash the signal for the final showdown in the West. As Gustav Mayer says in his biography of Engels, speaking of the later years, “his speculations about the future always centered on the approaching Russian revolution, the revolution which was to clear the way for the proletarian revolution in the West.” (English translation, p. 278) But “he never imagined that his ideas might triumph, in that Empire lying on the very edge of European civilisation, before capitalism was overthrown in western Europe.” (p. 286)
    The general principles of the Manifesto a hundred years later

    What are we to say of the theoretical framework of the Manifesto after 100 years? Can we say, as Marx and Engels said, that the general principles are “on the whole as correct today as ever”? Or have the events of the last five or six decades been such as to force us to abandon or revise these principles? Let us review our list item by item.

    HISTORICAL MATERIALISM: The last half century has certainly provided no grounds whatever to question the validity of historical materialism. Rather the contrary. There has probably never been a period in which it was more obvious that the prime mover of history is economic change; and certainly the thesis has never been so widely recognised as at present. This recognition is by no means confined to Marxists or socialists; one can even say that it provides the starting point for an increasingly large proportion of all serious historical scholarship. Moreover, the point of view of historical materialism — that “man’s ideas, views, and conceptions, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life” — has been taken over (ordinarily without acknowledgment, and perhaps frequently without even knowledge, of its source) by nearly all social scientists worthy of the name. It is, of course, true that the world-wide crisis of the capitalist system, along with the wars and depressions and catastrophes to which it has given rise, has produced a vast outpouring of mystical, irrational theories in recent years, and that such theories are increasingly characteristic of bourgeois thought as a whole. But wherever sanity and reason prevail, both inside and outside the socialist movement, there the truth of historical materialism is ever more clearly perceived as a beacon lighting up the path to an understanding of human society and its history.

    CLASS STRUGGLE: The theory of class struggle, like the theory of historical materialism, has been strengthened rather than weakened by the events of the last half century. Not only is it increasingly clear that internal events in the leading nations of the world are dominated by class conflicts, but also the crucial role of class conflict in international affairs is much nearer the surface and hence more easily visible today than ever before. Above all, the rise and spread of fascism in the inter-war period did more than anything else possibly could have done to educate millions of people all over the world to the class character of capitalism and the lengths to which the ruling class will go to preserve its privileges against any threat from below. Moreover, here, as in the case of historical materialism, serious social scientists have been forced to pay Marx and Engels the compliment of imitation. The study of such diverse phenomena as social psychology, the development of Chinese society, the caste system in India, and racial discrimination in the United States South, is being transformed by a recognition of the central role of class and class struggle. Honest enemies of Marxism are no longer able to pooh-pooh the theory of class struggle as they once did; they now leave the pooh-poohing to the dupes and paid propagandists of the ruling class. They must admit, with H. G. Wells, that “Marx, who did not so much advocate the class war, the war of the expropriated mass against the appropriating few, as foretell it, is being more and more justified by events” (The Outline of History, Vol. II, p. 399); or, with Professor Talcott Parsons, Chairman of the Social Relations Department at Harvard, that “the Marxian view of the importance of class structure has in a broad way been vindicated.” (Papers and Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, May 1949, p. 26)

    THE NATURE OF CAPITALISM: In political economy, bourgeois social science has borrowed less from, and made fewer concessions to, the Marxian position than in historiography and sociology. The reason is not far to seek. Historical materialism and class struggle are general theories which apply to many different societies and epochs. It is not difficult, with the help of circumlocutions and evasions, to make use of them in relatively “safe” ways and at the same time to obtain results incomparably more valuable than anything yielded by the traditional bourgeois idealist and individualist approaches. When it comes to political economy, however, the case is very different. Marxian political economy applies specifically to capitalism, to the system under which the bourgeois social scientist lives (and makes his living) here and now; its conclusions are clear-cut, difficult to evade, and absolutely unacceptable to the ruling class. The result is that for bourgeois economists Marxian political economy scarcely exists, and it is rare to find in their writings an admission of Marx’s greatness as an economist stated so specifically as in the following: “He was the first economist of top rank to see and to teach systematically how economic theory may be turned into historical analysis and how the historical narrative may be turned into histoire raisonnee.” (J. A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 1st edition, p. 44)

    Does the neglect of Marx as an economist indicate the failure of the ideas of the Manifesto? On the contrary; the correlation is an inverse one. What idea has been more completely confirmed by the last century than the conception of capitalism’s restless need to expand, of the capitalist’s irresistible urge to “nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere”? Who can deny today that the periodical return of crises is a fact which puts the “existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly”? Who can fail to see that “the conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them”? In short, who can any longer be blind to the fact that capitalism is riddled with contradictions which make its continued existence — at least in anything like its traditional form — impossible and unthinkable?

    THE INEVITABILITY OF SOCIALISM: There are, of course, many who, recognising the dire straits to which the capitalist world has come, believe that it is possible to patch up and reform the system in such a way as to make it serve the real interests of society. But their number is diminishing every day, and conversely the great international army of socialism is growing in strength and confidence. Its members have every reason for confidence.

    When the Manifesto was written, socialism was composed of “little sects,” as Engels told the Zurich Congress of the Second International in 1893; by that time, two years before his death, it “had developed into a powerful party before which the world of officialdom trembles.”

    Twenty-five years later, after World War I, one sixth of the land surface of the globe had passed through a proletarian revolution and was, as subsequent events showed, securely on the path to socialism.

    Three decades later, after World War II, more than a quarter of the human race, in eastern Europe and China, had followed suit.

    If capitalism could not prevent the growth of socialism when it was healthy and in sole possession of the field, what reason is there to suppose that it can now perform the feat when it is sick to death and challenged by an actually functioning socialist system which grows in strength and vigor with every year that passes? The central message of the Manifesto was the impending doom of capitalism and its replacement by a new, socialist order. Has anything else in the whole document been more brilliantly verified by the intervening 100 years? (This statement calls for revision following following the defeat of socialism in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. However, in the present period, working-class struggles, the socialist movement and particularly struggles in the under-developed countries are on the increase again)

    THE ROAD TO SOCIALISM: Much of what Marx and Engels said in the Manifesto about the general character of the socialist revolution has been amply confirmed by the experience of Russia. The working class did lead the way and play the decisive role. The first step was “to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class.” The proletariat did “use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, … and to increase the total of productive powers as rapidly as possible.” The conditions for the existence of class antagonisms have been “swept away.” On the other hand, the relative backwardness of Russia and the aggravation of class and international conflicts on a world scale have combined to bring about the intensification rather than the dismantling of state power in the USSR. The achievement of “an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” remains what it was a century ago, a goal for the future. It is also true that an important part of what is said in the Manifesto about the international course of the revolution has been corroborated by subsequent experience. The socialist revolution has not taken the form of a simultaneous international uprising; rather it has taken, and gives every prospect of continuing to take, the form of a series of national revolutions which differ from one another in many respects. Such differences, however, do not alter the fact that in content all these socialist revolutions, like the bourgeois revolutions of an earlier period, are international in character and are contributing to the building of a new world order. We cannot yet state as a fact that this new world order will be one from which international enmity will have vanished, and the quarrel between Yugoslavia and the other socialist countries of eastern Europe may seem to point to an opposite conclusion. The present status of international relations, however, is so dominated by the division of the world into two systems and the preparation of both sides for a possible “final” conflict, and the existence of more than one socialist country is such a recent phenomenon, that we shall do well to reserve judgment on the import of the Yugoslav case. In the meantime, the reasons for expecting the gradual disappearance of international exploitation and hostility from a predominantly socialist world are just as strong as they were 100 years ago.

    We now come to our last topic, the geography of the socialist revolution. Here there can be no question that Marx and Engels were mistaken, not only when they wrote the Manifesto but in their later writings as well. The socialist revolution did not come first in the most advanced capitalist countries of Europe; nor did it come first in America after the United States had displaced Great Britain as the world’s leading capitalist country. Further, the socialist revolution is not spreading first to these regions from its country of origin; on the contrary, it is spreading first to comparatively backward countries which are relatively inaccessible to the economic and military power of the most advanced capitalist countries. The first country to pass through a successful socialist revolution was Russia, and this was not only not anticipated by Marx and Engels but would have been impossible under conditions which existed during the lifetime of their generation.

    Why were Marx and Engels mistaken on this issue? We must examine this question carefully, both because it is an important issue in its own right and because it is the source of many misconceptions.

    At first sight, it might appear that the mistake of Marx and Engels consisted in not providing explanatory principles adequate to account for the Russian Revolution. But we do not believe that this reaches the heart of the problem. It is, of course, true, as we pointed out above, that during the 1870s and 1880s Marx and Engels denied the possibility of a socialist revolution in Russia. But at that time they were perfectly right, and it is not inconsistent to record this fact and at the same time to assert that the pattern and timing of the Russian Revolution were in accord with the principles of the Manifesto. What is too often forgotten is that between 1880 and World War I, capitalism developed extremely rapidly in the empire of the tsars. In 1917 Russia was still, on the whole, a relatively backward country; but she also possessed some of the largest factories in Europe and a working class which, in terms of numbers, degree of organisation, and quality of leadership, was almost entirely a product of the preceding three decades. Capitalism was certainly more highly developed in Russia in 1917 than it had been in Germany in 1848. Bearing this in mind, let us substitute “Russia” for “Germany” in a passage from the Manifesto already quoted above:

    The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Russia, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation and with a more developed proletariat than that of England was in the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Russia will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.

    Clearly, what Marx and Engels had over-optimistically predicted for Germany in 1848 actually occurred in Russia 70 years later. What this means is that, given the fact that the socialist revolution had failed to materialise in the West, Russia was, even according to the theory of the Manifesto, a logical starting point.

    Furthermore, there is no contradiction between Marxian theory and the fact that the socialist revolution, having once taken place in Russia, spread first to relatively backward countries. For Marx and Engels fully recognised what might be called the possibility of historical borrowing. One consequence of the triumph of socialism anywhere would be the opening up of new paths to socialism elsewhere. Or, to put the matter differently, not all countries need go through the same stages of development; once one country has achieved socialism, other countries will have the possibility of abbreviating or skipping certain stages which the pioneer country had to pass through. There was obviously no occasion to discuss this question in the Manifesto, but it arose later on in connection with the debate among Russian socialists as to whether Russia would necessarily have to pass through capitalism on the way to socialism. In 1877 Marx sharply criticised a Russian writer who

    felt obliged to metamorphose my historical sketch (in Capital) of the genesis of capitalism in Western Europe into an historico-philosophical theory of the marche generale imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the historic circumstances in which it finds itself, in order that it may ultimately arrive at the form of economy which will ensure, together with the greatest expansion of the productive powers of social labour, the most complete development of man.
    Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, p. 354

    And Engels, in 1893, dealt with the specific point at issue in the Russian debate in the following terms:

    … no more in Russia than anywhere elswould it have been possible to develop a higher social form out of primitive agrarian communism unless — that higher form was already in existence in another country, so as to serve as a model. That higher form being, wherever it is historically possible, the necessary consequence of the capitalistic form of production and of the social dualistic antagonism created by it, it could not be developed directly out of the agrarian commune, unless in imitation of an example already in existence somewhere else. Had the West of Europe been ripe, 1860-70, for such a transformation, had that transformation then been taken in hand in England, France, etc., then the Russians would have been called upon to show what could have been made out of their commune, which was then more or less intact.
    Selected Correspondence, p. 515

    While this argument is developed in a particular context, it is clear that the general principle involved — the possibility of historical borrowing — applies to, say, China today. Unless both the theory and the actual practice of socialism had been developed elsewhere it is hardly likely that China would now be actually tackling the problem of transforming itself into a socialist society. But given the experience of western Europe (in theory) and of Russia (in both theory and practice), this is a logical and feasible course for the Chinese Revolution to take.

    Thus we must conclude that while of course Marx and Engels did not expect Russia to be the scene of the first socialist revolution, and still less could they look beyond and foretell that the next countries would be relatively backward ones, nevertheless both of these developments, coming as and when they did, are consistent with Marxian theory as worked out by the founders themselves. What, then, was the nature of their mistake?

    The answer, clearly, is that Marx and Engels were wrong in expecting an early socialist revolution in western Europe. What needs explaining is why the advanced capitalist countries did not go ahead, so to speak, “on schedule” but stubbornly remained capitalist until, and indeed long after, Russia, a latecomer to the family of capitalist nations, had passed through its own socialist revolution. In other words, how are we to explain the apparent paradox that, though in a broad historical sense socialism is undeniably the product o{ capitalism, nevertheless the most fully developed capitalist countries not only were not the first to go socialist but, as it now seems, may turn out to be the last? The Manifesto does not help us to answer this question; never in their own lifetime did Marx and Engels imagine that such a question might arise.
    The problem of the advanced capitalist countries

    To explain why the advanced capitalist countries have failed to go socialist in the 100 years since the publication of the Manifesto is certainly not easy, and we know of no satisfactory analysis which is specifically concerned with this problem. But it would be a poor compliment to the authors of the Manifesto, who have given us all the basic tools for an understanding of the nature of capitalism and hence for an understanding of our own epoch, to evade a problem because they themselves did not pose and solve it. Let us therefore indicate — as a stimulus to study and discussion rather than as an attempt at a definitive answer — what seem to us to be the main factors which have to be taken into account.

    If we consider the chief countries of Europe, certain things seem clear. First, even under conditions prevailing in the middle of the 19th Century, Marx and Engels underestimated the extent to which capitalism could still continue to expand in these countries.

    Second, and much more important, this “margin of expansibility” was vastly extended in the three or four decades preceding World War I by the development of a new pattern of imperialism which enabled the advanced countries to exploit the resources and manpower of the backward regions of the world to a previously unheard-of degree. As Lenin concisely put it in 1920: “Capitalism has grown into a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the people of the world by a handful of ‘advanced’ countries.” (Collected Works, Vol. XIX, p. 87) (This development only began to take place toward the end of Marx’s and Engels’ lives, and it would have been little short of a miracle if they had been able to foresee all its momentous consequences.)

    Third, it was this new system of imperialism which brought western Europe out of the long depression of the 1870s and 1880s, gave capitalism a new lease on life, and enabled the ruling class to secure — by means of an astute policy of social reforms and concessions to the working class — widespread support from all sections of society.

    The other side of the imperialist coin was the awakening of the backward peoples, the putting into their hands of the moral, psychological, and material means by which they could begin the struggle for their political independence and their economic advancement.

    In all this development, it should be noted, Russia occupied a special place. The Russian bourgeoisie, or at least certain sections of it, participated in the expansion of imperialism, especially in the Middle and Far East. But on balance Russia was more an object than a beneficiary of imperialism. Hence few, if any, of the effects which imperialism produced in the West — amelioration of internal social conflicts, widespread class collaboration, and the like — appeared in Russia.

    To sum up: imperialism prolonged the life of capitalism in the West and turned what was a revolutionary working-class movement (as in Germany) or what might have become one (as in England) into reformist and collaborationist channels. It intensified the contradictions of capitalism in Russia. And it laid the foundations of a revolutionary movement in the exploited colonial and semi-colonial countries. Here, it seems to us, is the basic reason why the advanced capitalist countries of western Europe failed to fulfill the revolutionary expectations of the Manifesto. Here also is to be found an important part of the explanation of the role which Russia and the backward regions of the world have played and are playing in the world transition from capitalism to socialism.

    But, it may be objected, by the beginning of the 20th Century the United States was already the most advanced capitalist country, and the United States did not really become enmeshed in the imperialist system until World War I. Why did the United States not lead the way to socialism?

    Generally speaking, the answer to this question is well known. North America offered unique opportunities for the development of capitalism; the “margin of expansibility” in the late 19th Century was much greater than that enjoyed by the European countries even when account is taken of the new system of imperialism which was only then beginning to be put into operation. There is no space to enumerate and analyse the advantages enjoyed by this continent; the following list, compiled and commented upon by William Z. Foster in a recent article (“Marxism and American Exceptionalism”, Political Affairs, September 1947), certainly includes the most important: (1) absence of a feudal political national past, (2) tremendous natural resources, (3) a vast unified land area, (4) insatiable demand for labour power, (5) highly strategic location, and (6) freedom from the ravages of war.

    American capitalism, making the most of these advantages, developed a degree of productivity and wealth far surpassing that of any other capitalist country or region; and it offered opportunities for advancement to members of the working class which — at least up until the Great Depression of the 1930s — were without parallel in the history of capitalism or, for that matter, of any class society that ever existed. (On this point, see the article on “Socialism and American Labor”, by Leo Huberman, in the May 1949 issue of Monthly Review.) This does not mean, of course, that the United States economy was at any time free from the contradictions of capitalism; it merely means that American capitalism, in spite of these contradictions, has been able to reach a much higher level than the capitalist system of other countries. It also means that capitalism in this country could go — and actually has gone — further than in the European imperialist countries toward winning support for the system from all sections of the population, including the working class. It is thus not surprising that the United States, far from taking the place of western Europe as the leader of the world socialist revolution, has actually had a weaker socialist movement than any other developed capitalist country.

    We see that, for reasons which could hardly have been uncovered 100 years ago, capitalism has been able to dig in deep in the advanced countries of western Europe and America and to resist the rising tide of socialism much longer than Marx and Engels ever thought possible.

    Before we leave the problem of the advanced countries, however, a word of caution seems necessary. It ought to be obvious, though it often seems to be anything but, that to say that capitalism has enjoyed an unexpectedly long life in the most advanced countries is very different from saying that it will live forever. Similarly, to say that the western European and American working classes have so far failed to fulfill the role of “grave-diggers” of capitalism is not equivalent to asserting that they never will do so. Marx and Engels were certainly wrong in their timing, but we believe that their basic theory of capitalism and of the manner of its transformation into socialism remains valid and is no less applicable to western Europe and America than to other parts of the world.

    Present-day indications all point to this conclusion. Two world wars and the growth of the revolutionary movement in the backward areas have irrevocably undermined the system of imperialism which formerly pumped lifeblood into western European capitalism. The ruling class of the United States, threatened as never before by the peculiar capitalist disease of overproduction, is struggling, Atlas-like, to carry the whole capitalist world on its shoulders — and is showing more clearly every day that it has no idea how the miracle is to be accomplished.

    Are we to assume that the western European and American working classes are so thoroughly bemused by the past that they will never learn the lessons of the present and turn their eyes to the future? Are we to assume that, because capitalism was able to offer them concessions in its period of good fortune, they will be content to sink (or be blown up) with a doomed system?

    We refuse to make any such assumptions. We believe that the time is not distant when the working man of the most advanced, as well as of the most backward, countries will be compelled, in the words of the Manifesto, “to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.” And when he does, we have no doubt that he will choose to live under socialism rather than die under capitalism.
    Conclusion

    On the whole, the Manifesto has stood up amazingly well during its first 100 years. The theory of history, the analysis of capitalism, the prognosis of socialism, have all been brilliantly confirmed. Only in one respect — the view that socialism would come first in the most advanced capitalist countries — has the Manifesto been proved mistaken by experience. This mistake, moreover, is one which could hardly have been avoided in the conditions of 100 years ago. It is in no sense a reflection on the authors; it only shows that Engels was right when he insisted in his celebrated critique of Duhring that “each mental image of the world system is and remains in actual fact limited, objectively through the historical stage and subjectively through the physical and mental constitution of its maker.”

    How fortunate it would have been for mankind if the world socialist revolution had proceeded in accordance with the expectations of the authors of the Manifesto! How much more rapid and less painful the crossing would be if Britain or Germany or — best of all — the United States had been the first to set foot on the road! Only imagine what we in this country could do to lead the world into the promised land of peace and abundance if we could but control, instead of being dominated by, our vast powers of production!

    But, as Engels once remarked, “history is about the most cruel of all goddesses.” She has decreed that the world transition from capitalism to socialism, instead of being relatively quick and smooth, as it might have been if the most productive and civilised nations had led the way, is to be a long drawn-out period of intense suffering and bitter conflict.

    There is even a danger that in the heat of the struggle some of the finest fruits of the bourgeois epoch will be temporarily lost to mankind, instead of being extended and universalised by the spread of the socialist revolution. Intellectual freedom and personal security guaranteed by law — to name only the most precious — have been virtually unknown to the peoples who are now blazing the trail to socialism; in the advanced countries, they are seriously jeopardised by the fierce onslaughts of reaction and counter-revolution.

    No one can say whether they will survive the period of tension and strife through which we are now passing, or whether they will have to be rediscovered and recaptured in a more rational world of the future.

    The passage is dangerous and difficult, the worst may be yet to come. But there is no escape for the disillusioned, the timid, or the weary.

    Those who have mastered the message of the Manifesto and caught the spirit of its authors will understand that the clock cannot be turned back, that capitalism is surely doomed, and that the only hope of mankind lies in completing the journey to socialism with maximum speed and minimum violence.

    * This essay was written by Paul Sweezy in collaboration with his fellow editor of Monthly Review, Leo Huberman, and was first published as an editorial in the issue of August 1949.

    http://www.cpa.org.au/amr/38/amr38-06-communist-manifesto.html

  • Torcer

    #national Socialist Left

    Well Red: Democrats And Hillary In Bed With Socialism http://www.weaselzippers.us/241124-well-red-democrats-and-hillary-begin-to-warm-up-to-socialism/ via @WeaselZippers

  • Torcer

    #national Socialist Left

    Well Red: Democrats And Hillary In Bed With Socialism http://www.weaselzippers.us/241124-well-red-democrats-and-hillary-begin-to-warm-up-to-socialism/ via @WeaselZippers

  • Torcer

    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. “ Ronald
    Reagan

    “Economic ignorance is the breeding ground of totalitarianism.” – John Jewkes

    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our
    inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the
    state of facts and evidence.” John Adams

    Facts are to the mind what food is to the body. Edmund Burke

  • Torcer

    “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto
    ………………………………..

    “Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto

    ………………………………

    “Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarians, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.” Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto

    http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-tools/the-communist-manifesto-original-text-t3022.html

  • Torcer

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism – http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/ via @FDRLST

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism
    So Bernie Sanders finally gave his long-promised speech explaining what “democratic socialism” means and making the case for it.

    From what I can tell, it means wanting free stuff and hating billionaires.

    It’s particularly heavy on hating billionaires, which seems to be at the center of Bernie’s political program. For a speech supposedly laying out the tenets of an entire political philosophy, there was very little intellectual content—but a lot of vilifying of the captains of industry.
    [..]
    The contradiction is summed up in the way he hails the welfare state as “the foundation of the middle class,” yet concludes that, “The reality is that for the last 40 years the great middle class of this country has been in decline.” So from 1935 to 1965, Bernie’s democratic socialist heroes established the modern welfare state. And then within a decade, the middle class went into a long-term decline.

    That’s funny. It’s almost as if all of these “democratic socialist” programs deliver the opposite of what they promise.

    Bernie is basically admitting that the welfare state has failed, so why try more of it? And if you keep trying and it doesn’t actually produce results, at some point we’re entitled to suspect that lifting up the middle class isn’t your real goal. Perhaps that explains why hating billionaires is so central to Bernie’s “democratic socialist” agenda. It seems like that’s the real point after all—not prosperity for the masses, but envy and resentment of the rich.
    http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/#disqus_thread

  • Torcer

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    Every day, the independent media informs us of a new scandal involving the government’s mismanagement of public funds associated with social programs. Waste, fraud, and corruption are commonplace in the so-called welfare state.

    Even in the least corrupt countries, welfare programs remain controversial, given the large gap that exists between the state’s purported goals and the actual results.

    On a national scale, many rulers claim to want to improve the lives of the underprivileged through greater state intervention. Yet they not only worsen the living conditions of these people in the long run, but leave the entire country in financial ruin.

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is a prime example of such a ruler, but Kirchner in Argentina, the Castro brothers in Cuba, and the rest of the 21st-century socialism gang all fit the bill as well.
    [..]
    To answer these questions, we must divide rulers into two groups. On the one hand, we have the tricksters and con men, for whom the poor are just an excuse to use the state’s power to enrich themselves, their family, and their political allies. In this case, it’s obvious why public spending is not helping the poor: it was never the real objective.

    On the other hand, we have those who are genuinely well intentioned, who tend to be the majority, and supported by their constituents. That is why, if we are truly concerned about the fate of the disadvantaged and want to help, it is important to understand the reasons why social programs will never be successful.

    Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman provides one of the most clear and simple explanations for why this happens. As he put it, there are four ways to spend money: (1) spending your money on yourself; (2) spending your money on somebody else; (3) spending someone else’s money on yourself; (4) spending someone else’s money on somebody else.

    All welfare programs fall into the third and fourth category. This explains why, despite stemming from well-intended ideas, these projects inevitably end in corruption, fraud, and the outrageous squandering of resources. According to Friedman, the dynamics are as follows:

    Lawmakers, who are obviously not the ones who produce funding, are in charge of approving these programs. Convinced they will benefit directly from money others will pay, voters elect politicians who promise the greatest number of projects like these. The bureaucrats who manage these large sums of money are interested in seeing some of it end up in their own pockets, and this is how the corruption begins.

    Although these programs are designed to help the poor, many who do not fall into this category seek to benefit from them, and therefore fraud finds its way in. Public officials who are not yet corrupt want a slice of the pie once it’s waved in front of them. As a result, they resort to pressure tactics to increase their salaries, benefits, and perks.

    In short, a very small percentage of the funds will actually get to where it is supposed to go. The lion’s share is handed out to organized interest groups made up of middle and upper-class individuals.
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

  • Torcer

    Socialism cannot work because it defies human nature – no matter what you call it.

    It rewards theft while punishing production.

    Such an economic system is unsustainable.

  • Torcer

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism – http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/ via @FDRLST

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism
    So Bernie Sanders finally gave his long-promised speech explaining what “democratic socialism” means and making the case for it.

    From what I can tell, it means wanting free stuff and hating billionaires.

    It’s particularly heavy on hating billionaires, which seems to be at the center of Bernie’s political program. For a speech supposedly laying out the tenets of an entire political philosophy, there was very little intellectual content—but a lot of vilifying of the captains of industry.
    [..]
    The contradiction is summed up in the way he hails the welfare state as “the foundation of the middle class,” yet concludes that, “The reality is that for the last 40 years the great middle class of this country has been in decline.” So from 1935 to 1965, Bernie’s democratic socialist heroes established the modern welfare state. And then within a decade, the middle class went into a long-term decline.

    That’s funny. It’s almost as if all of these “democratic socialist” programs deliver the opposite of what they promise.

    Bernie is basically admitting that the welfare state has failed, so why try more of it? And if you keep trying and it doesn’t actually produce results, at some point we’re entitled to suspect that lifting up the middle class isn’t your real goal. Perhaps that explains why hating billionaires is so central to Bernie’s “democratic socialist” agenda. It seems like that’s the real point after all—not prosperity for the masses, but envy and resentment of the rich.
    http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/#disqus_thread

  • Torcer

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    Every day, the independent media informs us of a new scandal involving the government’s mismanagement of public funds associated with social programs. Waste, fraud, and corruption are commonplace in the so-called welfare state.

    Even in the least corrupt countries, welfare programs remain controversial, given the large gap that exists between the state’s purported goals and the actual results.

    On a national scale, many rulers claim to want to improve the lives of the underprivileged through greater state intervention. Yet they not only worsen the living conditions of these people in the long run, but leave the entire country in financial ruin.

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is a prime example of such a ruler, but Kirchner in Argentina, the Castro brothers in Cuba, and the rest of the 21st-century socialism gang all fit the bill as well.
    [..]
    To answer these questions, we must divide rulers into two groups. On the one hand, we have the tricksters and con men, for whom the poor are just an excuse to use the state’s power to enrich themselves, their family, and their political allies. In this case, it’s obvious why public spending is not helping the poor: it was never the real objective.

    On the other hand, we have those who are genuinely well intentioned, who tend to be the majority, and supported by their constituents. That is why, if we are truly concerned about the fate of the disadvantaged and want to help, it is important to understand the reasons why social programs will never be successful.

    Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman provides one of the most clear and simple explanations for why this happens. As he put it, there are four ways to spend money: (1) spending your money on yourself; (2) spending your money on somebody else; (3) spending someone else’s money on yourself; (4) spending someone else’s money on somebody else.

    All welfare programs fall into the third and fourth category. This explains why, despite stemming from well-intended ideas, these projects inevitably end in corruption, fraud, and the outrageous squandering of resources. According to Friedman, the dynamics are as follows:

    Lawmakers, who are obviously not the ones who produce funding, are in charge of approving these programs. Convinced they will benefit directly from money others will pay, voters elect politicians who promise the greatest number of projects like these. The bureaucrats who manage these large sums of money are interested in seeing some of it end up in their own pockets, and this is how the corruption begins.

    Although these programs are designed to help the poor, many who do not fall into this category seek to benefit from them, and therefore fraud finds its way in. Public officials who are not yet corrupt want a slice of the pie once it’s waved in front of them. As a result, they resort to pressure tactics to increase their salaries, benefits, and perks.

    In short, a very small percentage of the funds will actually get to where it is supposed to go. The lion’s share is handed out to organized interest groups made up of middle and upper-class individuals.
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

  • Torcer

    Socialism cannot work because it defies human nature – no matter what you call it.

    It rewards theft while punishing production.

    Such an economic system is unsustainable.

  • Torcer

    The Democrats’ socialism problem
    The party is lunging leftward thanks to Bernie Sanders
    Since his first run for the White House, Barack Obama has mocked political opponents who have called him a socialist due to his promotion of class warfare, frequent calls for increased spending, and costly regulatory agenda. He was successful at making his political opponents look crazy, but Bernie Sanders‘ rise is a problem for the Democratic Party.

    When Mr. Sanders began toying with the idea of a presidential bid, he made it clear that his run would focus on issues popular with the Democratic Party’s so-called “progressive” wing. Indeed, his campaign platform is filled with all sorts of “freebies” that will require massive increases in taxes and spending. His message is resonating. He captured 33 percent of registered Democrats in the most recent CBS News-New York Times poll, up from 27 percent in September.

    During the summer, when Mr. Sanders began his ascent in the polls, MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz about the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. Initially speechless, she uncomfortably deflected. “The more important question is,” she said, “what is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican.”

    In a separate appearance just days later on “Meet the Press,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz was asked the same question and, once again, she deflected by going after the Republican presidential candidates. Questions about socialism may be awkward for Democratic leaders, but Mr. Sanders and his team think his beliefs jive with the party.
    [..]
    Mr. Sanders has praised the Scandinavian socialist model, which he wants the United States to emulate. “I think there’s much that we can learn from those countries that have had social democratic governments and labor governments or whatever,” he told USA Today.

    Indeed, there is much we can learn, but the lesson isn’t about the perceived wonders of socialism, but rather how socialism has stunted economic growth and diminished prosperity. In reality, Sweden began moving away from socialism years ago. Apparently, Mr. Sanders never got the memo.

    “The admired Swedish model was in fact abandoned in the 1970s, precisely when it gained its international fame and admiration. Then the world’s highest tax rates were introduced, together with interventionism, particularly in social policy and the labor market,” Waldemar Ingdahl wrote in The Freeman in 2007. “An ill-fated attempt to introduce the radical ‘next step’ toward Yugoslav-style trade-union-controlled socialism ended the decade.”

    Similarly, Nima Sanandaji, author of “Scandinavian Unexceptionalism: Culture, Markets and the Failure of Third-Way Socialism,” explains that Sweden’s socialist experiment “proved such a colossal failure that few even in the left today view the memory as something positive.”

    Sweden has continued to implement reforms to alleviate the burden of its generous welfare state. Its economy has grown and unemployment has fallen and as a result, though still not as successful as, say, Switzerland, which has been more market-oriented than Scandinavian countries.

    Despite the clear case against Scandinavian socialism, Mr. Sanders has trotted out several proposals. Basically, he is Matthew Lesko, the annoying guy famous for his infomercial about “free” money, sans the over-the-top enthusiasm.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/14/jason-pye-the-democrats-socialism-problem/

  • Torcer

    Jerry Brown Touts Fascism:

    Jerry Brown Touts ‘Coercive Power of the State’ on Climate Change
    Tells an audience in Paris to never underestimate that power being used “in the service of good.”

    California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) raised some eyebrows while attending the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, proclaiming the “coercive power of the central state” is needed to promote good public policy, specifically when it comes to a cleaner environment.

    Taking part in an onstage presentation with billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer, Brown said government regulations force companies to adopt clean technologies.

    After Steyer mentioned business frameworks, Brown said, “Tom, you used the phrase ‘policy.’ Good policy. But I want to unpack that term a little bit. Inside the policy, you need a law. You need a rule. You need the coercive power of government to say, ‘Do this.’ Now, you have to be wise and don’t say something stupid or order something stupid but the fact is, the regulations supported by the laws drive innovation.”

    The Sacramento Bee reported that Brown later urged a small crowd to “never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.”

    “You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating,” the 77-year-old Democrat said. “And, shall I say, keep taxing.”
    [..]
    “Gov. Brown’s statement is a frank admission that politicians and government in the U.S. are out of control,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research, a public policy organization that calls for free market solutions on energy policy.

    “The governor bragged about the ‘coercive powers of government’ and how his state would keep regulating and taxing. The United States was formed to put citizens in charge of their lives by putting a fence around government power and control,” Kish said in an email to Watchdog.org.

    “Gov. Brown has shown he thinks people should be inside the fence, with government, and their crony business partners, using its coercive and taxing powers to make them do what the politicians say, and it’s illustrative he is doing it at the Climate Summit in Paris. This is how freedom is lost and tyranny and coercion prevail.”
    https://reason. com/archives/2015/12/13/jerry-brown-touts-coercive-power-of-the

  • Torcer

    The Democrats’ socialism problem
    The party is lunging leftward thanks to Bernie Sanders
    Since his first run for the White House, Barack Obama has mocked political opponents who have called him a socialist due to his promotion of class warfare, frequent calls for increased spending, and costly regulatory agenda. He was successful at making his political opponents look crazy, but Bernie Sanders‘ rise is a problem for the Democratic Party.

    When Mr. Sanders began toying with the idea of a presidential bid, he made it clear that his run would focus on issues popular with the Democratic Party’s so-called “progressive” wing. Indeed, his campaign platform is filled with all sorts of “freebies” that will require massive increases in taxes and spending. His message is resonating. He captured 33 percent of registered Democrats in the most recent CBS News-New York Times poll, up from 27 percent in September.

    During the summer, when Mr. Sanders began his ascent in the polls, MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked Democratic National Committee chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz about the difference between a Democrat and a socialist. Initially speechless, she uncomfortably deflected. “The more important question is,” she said, “what is the difference between being a Democrat and being a Republican.”

    In a separate appearance just days later on “Meet the Press,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz was asked the same question and, once again, she deflected by going after the Republican presidential candidates. Questions about socialism may be awkward for Democratic leaders, but Mr. Sanders and his team think his beliefs jive with the party.
    [..]
    Mr. Sanders has praised the Scandinavian socialist model, which he wants the United States to emulate. “I think there’s much that we can learn from those countries that have had social democratic governments and labor governments or whatever,” he told USA Today.

    Indeed, there is much we can learn, but the lesson isn’t about the perceived wonders of socialism, but rather how socialism has stunted economic growth and diminished prosperity. In reality, Sweden began moving away from socialism years ago. Apparently, Mr. Sanders never got the memo.

    “The admired Swedish model was in fact abandoned in the 1970s, precisely when it gained its international fame and admiration. Then the world’s highest tax rates were introduced, together with interventionism, particularly in social policy and the labor market,” Waldemar Ingdahl wrote in The Freeman in 2007. “An ill-fated attempt to introduce the radical ‘next step’ toward Yugoslav-style trade-union-controlled socialism ended the decade.”

    Similarly, Nima Sanandaji, author of “Scandinavian Unexceptionalism: Culture, Markets and the Failure of Third-Way Socialism,” explains that Sweden’s socialist experiment “proved such a colossal failure that few even in the left today view the memory as something positive.”

    Sweden has continued to implement reforms to alleviate the burden of its generous welfare state. Its economy has grown and unemployment has fallen and as a result, though still not as successful as, say, Switzerland, which has been more market-oriented than Scandinavian countries.

    Despite the clear case against Scandinavian socialism, Mr. Sanders has trotted out several proposals. Basically, he is Matthew Lesko, the annoying guy famous for his infomercial about “free” money, sans the over-the-top enthusiasm.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/14/jason-pye-the-democrats-socialism-problem/

  • Torcer

    Jerry Brown Touts Fascism:

    Jerry Brown Touts ‘Coercive Power of the State’ on Climate Change
    Tells an audience in Paris to never underestimate that power being used “in the service of good.”

    California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) raised some eyebrows while attending the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, proclaiming the “coercive power of the central state” is needed to promote good public policy, specifically when it comes to a cleaner environment.

    Taking part in an onstage presentation with billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer, Brown said government regulations force companies to adopt clean technologies.

    After Steyer mentioned business frameworks, Brown said, “Tom, you used the phrase ‘policy.’ Good policy. But I want to unpack that term a little bit. Inside the policy, you need a law. You need a rule. You need the coercive power of government to say, ‘Do this.’ Now, you have to be wise and don’t say something stupid or order something stupid but the fact is, the regulations supported by the laws drive innovation.”

    The Sacramento Bee reported that Brown later urged a small crowd to “never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.”

    “You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating,” the 77-year-old Democrat said. “And, shall I say, keep taxing.”
    [..]
    “Gov. Brown’s statement is a frank admission that politicians and government in the U.S. are out of control,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research, a public policy organization that calls for free market solutions on energy policy.

    “The governor bragged about the ‘coercive powers of government’ and how his state would keep regulating and taxing. The United States was formed to put citizens in charge of their lives by putting a fence around government power and control,” Kish said in an email to Watchdog.org.

    “Gov. Brown has shown he thinks people should be inside the fence, with government, and their crony business partners, using its coercive and taxing powers to make them do what the politicians say, and it’s illustrative he is doing it at the Climate Summit in Paris. This is how freedom is lost and tyranny and coercion prevail.”
    https://reason. com/archives/2015/12/13/jerry-brown-touts-coercive-power-of-the

  • Torcer

    In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

    Ronald Reagan First Inaugural Address 20 January 1981

  • Torcer

    “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

  • Torcer

    U.S. Constitution – Article 4 Section 4
    Article 4 – The States
    Section 4 – Republican Government
    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
    http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A4Sec4.html

  • Torcer

    Want To Feel The Bern? Socialist #Venezuela, Land of No Toilet Paper, No Diapers, And Bad Healthcare… http://www.weaselzippers.us/242382-want-to-feel-the-bern-socialist-venezuela-land-of-no-toilet-paper-no-diapers-and-bad-healthcare/ via @WeaselZippers

    Want To Feel The Bern? Socialist Venezuela, Land of No Toilet Paper, No Diapers, And Bad Healthcare…
    Moonbat utopia.

    Via The Independent Sentinel:

    Wow! Socialism doesn’t work? Who would have thought it. CNBC reported that the revolution is ailing even in Chavez’ hometown.

    Even the orange tree in Hugo’s backyard which he named ‘revolution’ is infested with something. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo’s successor, planted an orange tree in the same yard and that’s infested too.

    What a perfect metaphor for the effects of the far-left ideology when put into action.

    ‘The Beautiful Revolution’ is even unpopular in Hugo’s hometown of Sabaneto.

    Corruption, dysfunction, over-control, rampant inflation – 68%, the near-collapse of the bolivar, and the end of the oil bonanza, the corrupt government didn’t make use of, has brought the country to its knees.

    Scarcity of basic goods, such as toilet paper, beer, and diapers, a shortage of plane tickets for those who dare to flee the country, and a national currency that is barely worth more than monopoly money are the fixtures of Venezuela’s 21st-century socialist economy.

    Venezuelans line up for hours in the hope a truck will come by with rice or toilet paper. Salaries are in the sewer and many barricade themselves in their homes because crime is out of control.

    http://www.weaselzippers.us/242382-want-to-feel-the-bern-socialist-venezuela-land-of-no-toilet-paper-no-diapers-and-bad-healthcare/

  • Torcer

    Cuba’s Lessons after 55 Years of Socialism http://panampost.com/carlos-sabino/2014/01/10/lessons-55-years-socialism/

    Cuba’s Lessons after 55 Years of Socialism
    Most Live in Deprivation; High-Ranking Officials Enjoy Marvels of Capitalism
    January 10, 2014
    During the last days of the Soviet Union, a Russian citizen posted a sign with a short phrase that shocked me. It read “72 years going nowhere.” I can’t help but relate those words to the famous Cuban revolution and its 55-year anniversary. Cuba is a living example of how socialism hasn’t kept its promises; rather, it has achieved the exact opposite of what it previously offered. Let’s analyze this in Cuba’s case.

    Initially the revolution’s purpose was to overthrow Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorial regime — who had ruled for six years — rather than fight against poverty. Even though there was a democratic euphoria at first, it only lasted a few weeks. The result was what we see today, 55 years of dictatorship, first led by Fidel Castro and then — due to his weakened health — by his brother Raúl. This regime couldn’t be further from democracy, similar to North Korea, and could even qualify as an absolute hereditary monarchy, similar to colonial times.

    It isn’t even a moderate dictatorship. For half a century, Cuba’s government denied its citizens the right to leave the country, banned all political parties and groups, and denied all press freedoms. Cuba’s government also brutally harassed any kind of anti-government protest and filled prisons with political prisoners. This is the same regime that has been tolerated, defended, and even praised by supposed democrats like Dilma Roussef, Mr. and Mrs. Kirchner, and many other rulers in the region.

    Some would say these are inevitable downsides of a revolution that had to confront United States’ imperialism and maintain a small country’s dignity. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s easy to remind these dreamers that Cuba has lived four decades as the Soviet Union’s colonial satellite, and it has survived only through other nations’ charitable handouts, currently from the generous oil-producing Venezuela.

    Without freedom, there’s no dignity. Is there at least material well-being in Cuba? Not at all: to this day Cubans still bear with using ration booklets, monthly wages of US$30.00, and until recently, they couldn’t even own cellphones or other items that the poor in other Latin American countries enjoy.

    The regime, however, continues to argue that the United States’ blockade has impeded Cuba’s economic growth. But there hasn’t been any blockade, only an embargo or prohibition to trade, established by the North American country and followed by a few others. Nothing has stopped Cuba from trading with the rest of the world, and they’ve had plenty of time to adjust.

    The last justification regime advocates use is that health care and education are free in Cuba, and illiteracy has been abolished. Keep in mind, most nations have already eliminated or drastically reduced illiteracy without the need for a dictatorship. Further, it’s necessary to recall that most Cubans receive very low quality health care and strong indoctrination through education. Most important, education is used as a tool for political and cultural control.

    Social inequalities haven’t disappeared from the island either. On the contrary, government officials and bureaucrats have access to goods not generally available to the population through special shops for dignitaries. This double-standard has led to a system where most of the population face deprivation while high-ranking officials enjoy special privileges. For all this, Cuba has become one of the most unequal countries on earth. The regime would say there isn’t a distinction between rich or poor, but the reality is that almost the entire population lives in poverty, and those who rule are the only ones who have access to most consumer goods.

    This is the sad reality of a socialism that exemplifies the biggest ideological fraud of modern times. These are the facts, the hard facts, that those who still advocate policies that only lead to oppression, misery, and inequalities should keep in mind.
    https://panampost.com/carlos-sabino/2014/01/10/lessons-55-years-socialism/

  • Torcer

    “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

  • Torcer

    U.S. Constitution – Article 4 Section 4
    Article 4 – The States
    Section 4 – Republican Government
    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
    http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A4Sec4.html

  • Torcer

    Want To Feel The Bern? Socialist #Venezuela, Land of No Toilet Paper, No Diapers, And Bad Healthcare… http://www.weaselzippers.us/242382-want-to-feel-the-bern-socialist-venezuela-land-of-no-toilet-paper-no-diapers-and-bad-healthcare/ via @WeaselZippers

    Want To Feel The Bern? Socialist Venezuela, Land of No Toilet Paper, No Diapers, And Bad Healthcare…
    Moonbat utopia.

    Via The Independent Sentinel:

    Wow! Socialism doesn’t work? Who would have thought it. CNBC reported that the revolution is ailing even in Chavez’ hometown.

    Even the orange tree in Hugo’s backyard which he named ‘revolution’ is infested with something. Nicolas Maduro, Hugo’s successor, planted an orange tree in the same yard and that’s infested too.

    What a perfect metaphor for the effects of the far-left ideology when put into action.

    ‘The Beautiful Revolution’ is even unpopular in Hugo’s hometown of Sabaneto.

    Corruption, dysfunction, over-control, rampant inflation – 68%, the near-collapse of the bolivar, and the end of the oil bonanza, the corrupt government didn’t make use of, has brought the country to its knees.

    Scarcity of basic goods, such as toilet paper, beer, and diapers, a shortage of plane tickets for those who dare to flee the country, and a national currency that is barely worth more than monopoly money are the fixtures of Venezuela’s 21st-century socialist economy.

    Venezuelans line up for hours in the hope a truck will come by with rice or toilet paper. Salaries are in the sewer and many barricade themselves in their homes because crime is out of control.

    http://www.weaselzippers.us/242382-want-to-feel-the-bern-socialist-venezuela-land-of-no-toilet-paper-no-diapers-and-bad-healthcare/

  • Torcer

    ‘The confused Hillary Huma warned us about!’ Clinton forgets which party is occupying in the White House http://twitchy.com/2015/11/29/the-confused-hillary-huma-warned-us-about-clinton-forgets-which-party-is-occupying-in-the-white-house/

    ‘The confused Hillary Huma warned us about!’ Clinton forgets which party is occupying in the White House

    Dan Merica@danmericaCNN
    Clinton: “It is time we get back to where we were before the Republicans came in and messed it up again.”

    Um, could someone please remind Hillary that there has been a Democratic president in the White House since January 20, 2009?

    jimgeraghty@jimgeraghty
    Who’s president right now?https://t.co/IPmTlFDvAt

    Logan Dobson @LoganDobson
    …who’s been in the White House the past 7 years, again?

    Jay Caruso @JayCaruso
    I’m sorry, did she forget who has been in office since 2009? Dementia is no laughing matter.

    To be fair, she probably wants very badly to forget the four years she worked in the administration.
    http://twitchy.com/2015/11/29/the-confused-hillary-huma-warned-us-about-clinton-forgets-which-party-is-occupying-in-the-white-house/

  • Torcer

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    Every day, the independent media informs us of a new scandal involving the government’s mismanagement of public funds associated with social programs. Waste, fraud, and corruption are commonplace in the so-called welfare state.

    Even in the least corrupt countries, welfare programs remain controversial, given the large gap that exists between the state’s purported goals and the actual results.

    On a national scale, many rulers claim to want to improve the lives of the underprivileged through greater state intervention. Yet they not only worsen the living conditions of these people in the long run, but leave the entire country in financial ruin.

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is a prime example of such a ruler, but Kirchner in Argentina, the Castro brothers in Cuba, and the rest of the 21st-century socialism gang all fit the bill as well.
    [..]
    To answer these questions, we must divide rulers into two groups. On the one hand, we have the tricksters and con men, for whom the poor are just an excuse to use the state’s power to enrich themselves, their family, and their political allies. In this case, it’s obvious why public spending is not helping the poor: it was never the real objective.

    On the other hand, we have those who are genuinely well intentioned, who tend to be the majority, and supported by their constituents. That is why, if we are truly concerned about the fate of the disadvantaged and want to help, it is important to understand the reasons why social programs will never be successful.

    Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman provides one of the most clear and simple explanations for why this happens. As he put it, there are four ways to spend money: (1) spending your money on yourself; (2) spending your money on somebody else; (3) spending someone else’s money on yourself; (4) spending someone else’s money on somebody else.

    All welfare programs fall into the third and fourth category. This explains why, despite stemming from well-intended ideas, these projects inevitably end in corruption, fraud, and the outrageous squandering of resources. According to Friedman, the dynamics are as follows:

    Lawmakers, who are obviously not the ones who produce funding, are in charge of approving these programs. Convinced they will benefit directly from money others will pay, voters elect politicians who promise the greatest number of projects like these. The bureaucrats who manage these large sums of money are interested in seeing some of it end up in their own pockets, and this is how the corruption begins.

    Although these programs are designed to help the poor, many who do not fall into this category seek to benefit from them, and therefore fraud finds its way in. Public officials who are not yet corrupt want a slice of the pie once it’s waved in front of them. As a result, they resort to pressure tactics to increase their salaries, benefits, and perks.

    In short, a very small percentage of the funds will actually get to where it is supposed to go. The lion’s share is handed out to organized interest groups made up of middle and upper-class individuals.
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

  • Torcer

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism – http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/ via @FDRLST

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism
    So Bernie Sanders finally gave his long-promised speech explaining what “democratic socialism” means and making the case for it.

    From what I can tell, it means wanting free stuff and hating billionaires.

    It’s particularly heavy on hating billionaires, which seems to be at the center of Bernie’s political program. For a speech supposedly laying out the tenets of an entire political philosophy, there was very little intellectual content—but a lot of vilifying of the captains of industry.
    [..]
    The contradiction is summed up in the way he hails the welfare state as “the foundation of the middle class,” yet concludes that, “The reality is that for the last 40 years the great middle class of this country has been in decline.” So from 1935 to 1965, Bernie’s democratic socialist heroes established the modern welfare state. And then within a decade, the middle class went into a long-term decline.

    That’s funny. It’s almost as if all of these “democratic socialist” programs deliver the opposite of what they promise.

    Bernie is basically admitting that the welfare state has failed, so why try more of it? And if you keep trying and it doesn’t actually produce results, at some point we’re entitled to suspect that lifting up the middle class isn’t your real goal. Perhaps that explains why hating billionaires is so central to Bernie’s “democratic socialist” agenda. It seems like that’s the real point after all—not prosperity for the masses, but envy and resentment of the rich.
    http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/#disqus_thread

  • Torcer

    ‘The confused Hillary Huma warned us about!’ Clinton forgets which party is occupying in the White House http://twitchy.com/2015/11/29/the-confused-hillary-huma-warned-us-about-clinton-forgets-which-party-is-occupying-in-the-white-house/

    ‘The confused Hillary Huma warned us about!’ Clinton forgets which party is occupying in the White House

    Dan Merica@danmericaCNN
    Clinton: “It is time we get back to where we were before the Republicans came in and messed it up again.”

    Um, could someone please remind Hillary that there has been a Democratic president in the White House since January 20, 2009?

    jimgeraghty@jimgeraghty
    Who’s president right now?https://t.co/IPmTlFDvAt

    Logan Dobson @LoganDobson
    …who’s been in the White House the past 7 years, again?

    Jay Caruso @JayCaruso
    I’m sorry, did she forget who has been in office since 2009? Dementia is no laughing matter.

    To be fair, she probably wants very badly to forget the four years she worked in the administration.
    http://twitchy.com/2015/11/29/the-confused-hillary-huma-warned-us-about-clinton-forgets-which-party-is-occupying-in-the-white-house/

  • Torcer

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

    Why the Welfare State Always Fails
    Every day, the independent media informs us of a new scandal involving the government’s mismanagement of public funds associated with social programs. Waste, fraud, and corruption are commonplace in the so-called welfare state.

    Even in the least corrupt countries, welfare programs remain controversial, given the large gap that exists between the state’s purported goals and the actual results.

    On a national scale, many rulers claim to want to improve the lives of the underprivileged through greater state intervention. Yet they not only worsen the living conditions of these people in the long run, but leave the entire country in financial ruin.

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez is a prime example of such a ruler, but Kirchner in Argentina, the Castro brothers in Cuba, and the rest of the 21st-century socialism gang all fit the bill as well.
    [..]
    To answer these questions, we must divide rulers into two groups. On the one hand, we have the tricksters and con men, for whom the poor are just an excuse to use the state’s power to enrich themselves, their family, and their political allies. In this case, it’s obvious why public spending is not helping the poor: it was never the real objective.

    On the other hand, we have those who are genuinely well intentioned, who tend to be the majority, and supported by their constituents. That is why, if we are truly concerned about the fate of the disadvantaged and want to help, it is important to understand the reasons why social programs will never be successful.

    Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman provides one of the most clear and simple explanations for why this happens. As he put it, there are four ways to spend money: (1) spending your money on yourself; (2) spending your money on somebody else; (3) spending someone else’s money on yourself; (4) spending someone else’s money on somebody else.

    All welfare programs fall into the third and fourth category. This explains why, despite stemming from well-intended ideas, these projects inevitably end in corruption, fraud, and the outrageous squandering of resources. According to Friedman, the dynamics are as follows:

    Lawmakers, who are obviously not the ones who produce funding, are in charge of approving these programs. Convinced they will benefit directly from money others will pay, voters elect politicians who promise the greatest number of projects like these. The bureaucrats who manage these large sums of money are interested in seeing some of it end up in their own pockets, and this is how the corruption begins.

    Although these programs are designed to help the poor, many who do not fall into this category seek to benefit from them, and therefore fraud finds its way in. Public officials who are not yet corrupt want a slice of the pie once it’s waved in front of them. As a result, they resort to pressure tactics to increase their salaries, benefits, and perks.

    In short, a very small percentage of the funds will actually get to where it is supposed to go. The lion’s share is handed out to organized interest groups made up of middle and upper-class individuals.
    http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2015/08/11/why-the-welfare-state-always-fails/?

  • Torcer

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism – http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/ via @FDRLST

    Bernie Sanders’s Odd Case Against Socialism
    So Bernie Sanders finally gave his long-promised speech explaining what “democratic socialism” means and making the case for it.

    From what I can tell, it means wanting free stuff and hating billionaires.

    It’s particularly heavy on hating billionaires, which seems to be at the center of Bernie’s political program. For a speech supposedly laying out the tenets of an entire political philosophy, there was very little intellectual content—but a lot of vilifying of the captains of industry.
    [..]
    The contradiction is summed up in the way he hails the welfare state as “the foundation of the middle class,” yet concludes that, “The reality is that for the last 40 years the great middle class of this country has been in decline.” So from 1935 to 1965, Bernie’s democratic socialist heroes established the modern welfare state. And then within a decade, the middle class went into a long-term decline.

    That’s funny. It’s almost as if all of these “democratic socialist” programs deliver the opposite of what they promise.

    Bernie is basically admitting that the welfare state has failed, so why try more of it? And if you keep trying and it doesn’t actually produce results, at some point we’re entitled to suspect that lifting up the middle class isn’t your real goal. Perhaps that explains why hating billionaires is so central to Bernie’s “democratic socialist” agenda. It seems like that’s the real point after all—not prosperity for the masses, but envy and resentment of the rich.
    http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/01/bernie-sanderss-odd-case-against-socialism/#disqus_thread

  • Torcer

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

  • Torcer

    “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded.”

  • Torcer

    Principles of Communism – How do communists differ from socialists?
    [ Democratic Socialists: ]

    Finally, the third category consists of democratic socialists who favor some of the same measures the communists advocate, as described in Question 18, not as part of the transition to communism, however, but as measures which they believe will be sufficient to abolish the misery and evils of present-day society.

    These democratic socialists are either proletarians who are not yet sufficiently clear about the conditions of the liberation of their class, or they are representatives of the petty bourgeoisie, a class which, prior to the achievement of democracy and the socialist measures to which it gives rise, has many interests in common with the proletariat.

    It follows that, in moments of action, the communists will have to come to an understanding with these democratic socialists, and in general to follow as far as possible a common policy with them – provided that these socialists do not enter into the service of the ruling bourgeoisie and attack the communists.

    It is clear that this form of co-operation in action does not exclude the discussion of differences.
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11347493-the-principles-of-communism

  • Torcer

    “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded.”

  • Torcer
  • Torcer

    Pompous NY Times Jackass Paul Krugman: UN Climate Deal Could “Save Civilization”… http://www.weaselzippers.us/245430-ny-times-pompous-jackass-paul-krugman-un-climate-deal-could-save-civilization/ via @WeaselZippers

    Jerry Brown Touts ‘Coercive Power of the State’ on Climate Change
    https://reason.com/archives/2015/12/13/jerry-brown-touts-coercive-power-of-the

  • Torcer
  • Torcer

    Pompous NY Times Jackass Paul Krugman: UN Climate Deal Could “Save Civilization”… http://www.weaselzippers.us/245430-ny-times-pompous-jackass-paul-krugman-un-climate-deal-could-save-civilization/ via @WeaselZippers

    Jerry Brown Touts ‘Coercive Power of the State’ on Climate Change
    https://reason.com/archives/2015/12/13/jerry-brown-touts-coercive-power-of-the

  • Torcer

    BILL WHITTLE: WHERE DO YOU LIVE, MARK ZUCKERBERG?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkN4XiqRnrE

  • Torcer

    Development of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV)
    Introduction

    On December 15th 2006, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced his desire to create a single, consolidated left wing party entitled the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Chavez encouraged all left-wing parties, representing the mass majority of the National Assembly, to dissolve into the PSUV and abandon their current leadership. Chavez has framed the formulation of the PSUV as an essential step toward creating 21st Century Socialism and furthering the revolutionary goals of the Bolivarian process. Chavez stressed that the PSUV shall be governed primarily from the bottom up, focusing on mass-participation and democratic principles, and claimed that “[the PSUV] should be the most democratic party in Venezuelan history”[1]. Chavez proposed the creation of a party-wide congress to establish an official party agenda and nominate candidates, through referendum, to replace current officials representing the various left wing parties. Voting on the agenda and candidates was held on March 8, 2008, national elections for state governors and mayors took place on November 23, 2008.

    Chavez’s announcement immediately sparked controversy, as well as enthusiasm, on both the left and the right of the Chavista parties. The idea of a single party representing such a wide spectrum of political viewpoints and wielding unprecedented power has created a division amongst major political parties, with some refusing participation in the PSUV, and others eager to promote the new united party. The major issues surrounding the formation of the PSUV center around political autonomy, the degree of popular participation, and how to replace existing bureaucratic hierarchies within former and current PSUV factions. Despite the lingering historical specter of failed single party states, Venezuela is moving forward with a challenging process which could either serve to reinvigorate socialism or stagnate into bureaucracy, or worse, authoritarian rule.

    Despite the controversy and inherent skepticism, there are currently around 5.5 million members registered in the PSUV[2][Editor’s note: Since the writing of this article, party membership has increased to more than 7 million, according to the PSUV]. Regardless of its successes and failures, it is destined to wield major influence over the future of Venezuela. In order to understand and analyze this process one must examine the history of the parties involved, the stated goals and organization of the PSUV within the context of the Bolivarian movement, and the expressed concerns against participation in the PSUV.

    Political Background

    Venezuelan political parties have a long history of infighting, fracture and restructuring based along ideological and political lines. However from 1958 until the election of 1993, mainstream politics were governed by the three parties of the Punto Fijo Pact[3]. Signers included Accion Democratica (AD, Democratic Action), COPEI (Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente, Political Electoral Independent Organization Committee), and Union Republica Democratica (UPV, Democratic Republic Union). The Punto Fijo parties were de-legitimized for overt corruption which was highlighted during the furious Caracazo riots, which consumed Caracas for three days[4]. The 1993 re- election of former COPEI leader Rafael Caldera, campaigning for a new party, ended Punto Fijo control of Venezuelan politics. The shortcomings of Caldera’s second presidency, which included taking IMF loans and structural adjustment programs, would give way to Chavez’s presidency, which unified a coalition of leftist groups who, though marginalized, had remained active during the Punto Fijo reign.

    The PSUV Party Program

    In early 2008 the Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV drafted an outline for the party which included a political-ideological doctrine, a critical analysis of the past and present, and a program which described goals and methods of action necessary to achieve an ideal future. The draft was then sent to 1,676 elected congressional delegates to further discuss and refine the program. Since then, the delegates have been back and forth to their local constituents debating the program.

    The outline highlights seven strategic guidelines that serve to summarize the party’s agenda and define the goals of 21st Century Socialism (it is important to note that at this point, the program promotes party ideals but does not provide specifics on how to achieve them):

    1. Defense of the Revolution.

    The PSUV will, first and foremost, unconditionally defend the Bolivarian Revolution and construct socialism for the 21st century. “The PSUV is the instrument with which to set out the objectives, forms and methods of this revolutionary project, and express them at each moment… that can facilitate the transition from immediate reality to end goal.” [5]

    2. Internationalism

    A major stated goal of the PSUV is to work toward unity and emancipation of all Venezuelans, as well as Latin American and Caribbean peoples, from the networks of capitalism and imperialism. It seeks new alliances in order to create innovative axes apart from neo-liberalism and the interests of the international market. The PSUV wants to focus on creating “solidarity-based” exchanges of resources with other nations.

    3. Build Popular Power. Socialize Power.

    This section states a desire to promote and build a society based on popular power where direct decision making is placed in the hands of the masses within their various organizations: students, workers, farmers etc. It vows to make self government a reality, with a focus on transferring as much available policy-making power towards city governments, communal councils, and communes. In order to achieve these goals there must be as much direct and constant participation as possible amongst the populace.

    4. Planned Economy. Communal State.

    This section outlines the economic and political goals of the PSUV, “throughout this period of transition, which at this moment marches from a state capitalism dominated by market forces towards a state socialism with a regulated market, the aim is to move towards a communal state socialism.”[6] The goal of “communal state socialism” is an economy based on “humanistic values of cooperation and the preponderance of common interests.”[7] The PSUV aims to build a society that favors collective forms of property, and a “mixed” economy where a “social product” is used to maintain the means of production and satisfy public needs such as schooling and health care[8]. This also entails the transfer of private latifundio land to revolutionary state entities, cooperatives, and other social organizations. However, not all private property would transfer into state or public hands. Certain private property “that is of public utility or general interest and which is subjected to contributions, charges, restrictions and obligations”[9] would be respected.

    5. Defense of Nature. Planned Production.

    This section pertains to the proposed environmental policy of the PSUV, which includes the promotion of alternative energy sources, consumption of ecological products, and the preservation of water sources and basins. This also includes the planning of economic production within the requirement of the ecosystem, and fighting against consumerist society, which leads to the production of “useless objects at the cost of exhausting natural resources.”[10]

    6. Defense of the Revolution and Sovereignty.

    The PSUV acknowledges the threat of outside intervention from imperialist nations, and the need to protect the revolutionary process. Therefore an “alliance” with the National Armed Forces (FAN) is proposed. Alongside this is the creation of popular militias and defense comittees within communal councils. This section provides little detail on the relationship between FAN and the proposed popular militias.

    7. A State Based on Popular Power.

    This final section discusses the goal of constructing a state:

    “…based on Councils of Popular Power, with the full and democratic participation… guaranteeing the widest possible participation and protagonism of the people in determining and realizing their destiny.”[11]

    This final section serves to acknowledge that mass participation is crucial to popular control of the state in order to fulfill the revolutionary political and economic goals of 21st century socialism.

    Next, the program outlines more specific ideological principles. This includes the defeat of poverty, and the promotion of direct democracy, humanist values, and anti-imperial solidarity. It presents a powerful critique of the current state, and historical growth, of global capitalism and imperialism:

    “Capitalism contradicts the human condition and goes against the survival of the species. This catastrophic dynamic is caused by the irrationality of a socioeconomic system that omits the necessities of humanity and acts under obligation of its own logic, compelled towards constant growth in the pursuit of profit.”[12]

    This attempts to prove the necessity of a mass revolutionary party and to justify the conclusion that socialism is the only reasonable choice for Venezuela.

    Party Organization

    The structure of the PSUV attempts to fulfill the program’s promise of popular power by establishing a bottom-up, democratic method of electing party officials and establishing party policy. To start, some 11,000 party “promoters” traveled the nation registering members into the party and taking a census.[13] After registration, groups of around 200 party members, organized by region and locality, formed “socialist battalions”. A socialist battalion is the basic building block of the party; a political/community group meeting weekly to debate the party program and address concerns of the community, having the ability to influence decision making on a regional and national level.[14] Each socialist battalion elected a recallable spokesperson. These spokespeople went on to form “socialist conscriptions” that then elected delegates, roughly one per seven to twelve socialist battalions, to the national PSUV congress. Delegates would remain in constant contact with their respective socialist conscription in order to be aware of the demands of their socialist battalions.

    The congressional delegates attended two conventions on January 12 and March 2, 2008. During the convention delegates selected candidates for party leadership and created more concrete ideological and political goals for the party program. On March 9th, 2008, party candidates were officially elected. On November 23, 2008, elections for mayoral and gubernatorial positions were held. An official party program is to be created by an “Ideological Congress” some time in the near future. Despite this democratic process, Chavez remains the de-facto president of the PSUV, and has exercised power in appointing some preliminary party officials.

    Controversies

    Dissenting Parties

    Apart from the usual critiques coming from parties traditionally in opposition to Chavez, there have been a number of controversies within the Venezuelan left around the formation of the PSUV. Criticism has come both from the left and the right of the Chavista coalition, with several major parties refusing to join the PSUV as well as discontent coming from within the party. Valuable critiques have also come from international scholars such as Gregory Wilpert.

    The three major parties refusing to join the PSUV have expressed different reasons for their decision, with some overlapping rationales. The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) has refused to join primarily for ideological reasons, stating that the PSUV does not fit in with its Marxist-Leninist agenda[15] which requires full expropriation of capitalist institutions. PODEMOS and the PPT, seen as the “right wing” of the Chavista parties, differ for more complicated reasons involving disagreements with the organization of the party and how its constitution is being drafted. In the media, the PODEMOS party leader, Ismael Garcia, has accused Chavez of a having “fascist mindset” and a “single line of thinking” for opposing pluralism within the left[16]. Both parties have warned of impending authoritarianism.

    While those are the rationales presented on the surface, these parties may be more concerned with protecting institutional privilege for party bureaucrats and elites. Both PODEMOS and the PPT have expressed discontent over the creation of the PSUV Technical Committee, in charge of consolidating the party, and the PSUV Promotional Commission, in charge of early ideological development. Members of both groups were appointed directly by Chavez, which included a mix of grass-roots activists, outspoken leftists with guerilla backgrounds, and even an “out” lesbian.[17] These choices were meant to symbolize the new direction of the PSUV and to emphasize inclusion and bottom-up, popular power. Absent from these committees were former and current party leaders, and traditional members of the business and bureaucratic elite. Former leader of the radical UPV party and appointee to the Technical Committee, Lina Ron, has accused PODEMOS of wanting to protect the power of their mayoralties and governorships within the revolution, believing that the PSUV will dispense with internal hierarchies.[18]

    As the second largest Chavista party, PODEMOS wanted their electoral weight represented and translated to decision making power in the drafting of the constitution and policy making for the PSUV. Instead of “socialist battalions” in charge of electing constitutional delegates they preferred an electoral system which weighted voting influence; 50% coming from “socialist battalions”, 30% coming from state officials, and 20% coming from national officials.[19] Chavez, denied this request, resulting in PODEMOS refusing to enter into the PSUV. The reasons behind PPT’s dissent are less clear, though they have also been accused of attempting to protect their party privilege by PSUV members on the left.

    Internal Conflicts

    Smaller and more radical parties supporting the formation of the PSUV see it as an opportunity to replace stale bureaucrats in positions of power with radicals and grass roots activists who more directly represent the interests of the people. However, there are still conflicts within the party itself. Orlando Chirino, a national organizer for the National Union of Workers (UNT), and leader of the C-Cura (United Autonomous Revolutionary Class Current) within the PSUV, has been an outspoken critic from within the party. His concerns echo many other leftist voices in the party and are especially representative of the concerns of organized labor.

    Chirino’s chief complaints center around the relationship between union members of the PSUV and the government, as well as the PSUV’s stance on capitalist institutions. Chirino believes that the PSUV is not interested in fully expropriating foreign capital. C-Cura sees the nation moving towards developmentalist state capitalism rather than socialism, with private property remaining as well as worker exploitation. C-Cura supports the nationalization of industries, but sees contradictions when certain privately owned companies are labeled as “good capitalists,”[20] thereby avoiding nationalization.

    With trade unions aligned with the PSUV, Chirino wonders what the relationship with the government will look like. He is concerned that the PSUV will become another appendage of the government and is uncomfortable working with mayors, bosses and bureaucrats traditionally at odds with radical labor. Therefore C-Cura believes in trade union autonomy and is fighting to preserve internal currents within the PSUV. However, C-Cura and the UNT continue to collaborate with the PSUV and push forward their revolutionary agenda; working to seize economic, political and military power from capitalist institutions.[21]

    Finally, Venezuelan scholar Greg Wilpert outlined two major obstacles in the creation of a successful participatory democracy for Venezuela in 2005: 1) the “in-group” culture of Venezuelan politics, and 2) the cult of personality surrounding Chavez.[22] The PSUV seeks to address these issues. By dissolving party distinctions and empty signifiers such as flags and colors, allegiances will be formed along more identifiable ideological tendencies. This should allow more room for leaders to emerge based on their grassroots merits rather than their political/party affiliations. By embracing and empowering new collective leadership elected by popular means, party members should develop a more shared commitment to the revolutionary process. If this is true, the party, and the revolution, should gradually become less reliant on the leadership and charisma of Chavez. This all depends on the commitment of party members on all levels, especially at the local grassroots, who potentially have the most to gain from the success of the PSUV.

    Conclusion

    While the party is still in its formative stage, it is impossible to judge the success of this ambitious project. However, there are several points that can be addressed. First and foremost, it is very clear that in order for this party to legitimately carry out its goal of creating a participatory socialist democracy, the bottom-up aspects of the party’s organization must remain intact and respected. Mass participation on the grassroots and local levels are of the utmost importance to maintaining the legitimacy of the PSUV. People must feel that their voices are being heard and that the promises of popular power are kept. Stagnating into a state run by a single-party bureaucratic elite represents the greatest threat to the success of the revolution and the party. If at any point the influence of top rankers greatly outweighs those at the bottom, the party’s vision will likely fail.

    Secondly, it is clear that the party program and definition of 21st century socialism is still vague, and in some places contradictory, though a more concrete party program is expected soon. Capitalist institutions still play a major role within Venezuela, both politically and economically, which presents the possibility of conflict in the future. It is even stated in the party program that certain capitalist institutions will remain, which creates a great deal of uncertainty around the selection of those “socially valuable” institutions.

    Thirdly, infighting within the party and on the left might weaken the Chavista coalition as a whole and strengthen the opposition parties. However, the refusal of PODEMOS and others, to join the PSUV might actually strengthen the party, as those in favor of maintaining traditional party power will not interfere with party decision making.

    Finally, the last round of elections, which took place on November 23, 2008, showed a large increase in voter turnout and a huge turnout for PSUV candidates. The PSUV won 17 out of 22 governorships, and 81% of mayoralties.[23] Nearly 5 million votes went for the PSUV.

    The PSUV is being closely followed around the world by socialists and capitalists alike, representing one of the only major revolutionary political parties in the world, holding the potential to reinvent socialism and presenting a viable alternative to neo-liberal and capitalist development models for nations all over the globe.

    Ryne Maloney-Risner wrote this essay after spending three months studying in Venezuela with other students and professors from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington through Evergreen’s academic program Building Economic and Social Justice.

    Notes

    [1] Haste, Paul. “¡Rumbo a la Revolución Bolívariana! PSUV: Democratic Politics of the Future with Participation and Popular Support at Its Heart.” Dissident Voice. 30 May 2007. 27 Nov. 2008 <http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2007/05/%c2%a1rumbo-a-la-revolucion-boliva….)

    [2] Venezuela’s Participatory Socialism Roger Burbach, Camila Piñero. Socialism and Democracy. New York: 2007. Vol. 21, Iss. 3, p. 181-200, 220-221 (22 pp.)

    [3] Wilpert, Gregory. Changing Venezuela by Taking Power. New York, NY: Verso, 2007.

    [4] Wilpert, Gregory. Changing Venezuela by Taking Power. New York, NY: Verso, 2007.

    [5] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [6] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [7] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [8] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [9] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [10] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [11] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [12] United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Presidential Commission to Organize the PSUV. “Draft Program and Principles of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.” Press release. 23 Jan. 2008. 19 Nov. 2008 .

    [13] Larsen, Patrick. “The PSUV Congress- Whats at Stake?” 5 Feb. 2008. 22 Nov. 2008 .

    [14] Larsen, Patrick. “The PSUV Congress- Whats at Stake?” 5 Feb. 2008. 22 Nov. 2008 .

    [15] Venezuela’s Participatory Socialism Roger Burbach, Camila Piñero. Socialism and Democracy. New York: 2007. Vol. 21, Iss. 3, p. 181-200, 220-221 (22 pp.)

    [16] Circcariello-Maher, George. “Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below.” 28 Mar. 2007. 11 Nov. 2008 .

    [17] Circcariello-Maher, George. “Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below.” 28 Mar. 2007. 11 Nov. 2008 .

    [18] Circcariello-Maher, George. “Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below.” 28 Mar. 2007. 11 Nov. 2008 .

    [19] Circcariello-Maher, George. “Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below.” 28 Mar. 2007. 11 Nov. 2008 .

    [20] Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below: Interview with Orlando Chirino Anonymous. New Politics. Brooklyn: Winter 2008. Vol. 11, Iss.4, p. 17-22 (6pp).

    [21] Venezuela’s PSUV and Socialism from Below: Interview with Orlando Chirino Anonymous. New Politics. Brooklyn: Winter 2008. Vol. 11, Iss.4, p. 17-22 (6pp.)

    [22] Venezuela’s Participatory Socialism Roger Burbach, Camila Piñero. Socialism and Democracy. New York: 2007. Vol. 21, Iss. 3, p. 181-200, 220-221 (22 pp.)

    [23] Fuentes, Federico. “Venezuela: The signifi cance of the election results and the new struggles.” 29 Nov. 2008. 30 Nov. 2008 .
    https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4929

  • Torcer

    I find myself at a loss as to why people like yourself are reticent to actually learn. Here you have been given an opportunity to read, comprehend and learn the factual information I have presented and you apparently cannot make it past the first step in the process. On top of which you expect others to somehow prove YOUR points for YOU.

    As a teacher in the process, I deal in factual information, not the incessant regurgitation of various unsubstantiated assertions.

    As an aside it should really bother you that you have failed several ties to actually back up your assertions with factual information.

    bklynguy: You display ignorance of the basic history of Nazism

    It’s quite odd that you would assert this given your lack of presenting any factual information to bolster your claims.

    Too many times I have come across the same tactics by those on the national socialist left.

    1. First and foremost there is the extreme lack of factual data to back up their assertions.

    2. Then there is use of long diatribes regurgitating the same claims without any supporting documentation in the form of excerpts and links to authentic reference sites.

    3. Then of course is the exception that other prove your points for you.

    So, let’s go back to the beginning of the argument so that each of these baseless assertions can eviscerated in order.

    You along with others have made the extraordinary claim that a Socialist organization wasn’t actually a Socialist organization.
    [Parenthetically, others have made the same claim with regard to the USSR and other socialist organizations, so this is not endemic to German Socialists]
    But you failed to present factual data from authoritative references on the matter. And of course there is the usual tactic of attempting to gloss over this extraordinary claim based on unsubstantiated assertions.

    I had hoped that you would be different and finally produce the elusive and extraordinary evidence that makes those on the left believe this. But as others have failed to, you tried to fall back on unsubstantiated talking points that failed to prove anything.

    So, think of this as your first lesson – I have presented the reality of the situation that you need to learn and understand and perhaps you will refrain from making such baseless claims in the future.

    As the teacher, I presented the facts you need to learn. If you disagree with the reality of history, it is incumbent on YOU as the student to find the proper research materials, extract the relevant portions that bolster your claim and present them in the form of an excerpt.

    This is your first task and you first test on the material.

    Think of this as a Socratic exercise in somehow proving your baseless assertions. IF you cannot find the proper references that bolster your assertions YOU should take this as a sign that the rest of your belief system is also in error.

    You may be taking my tone as being a bit harsh – that is not the intent. The intent is to teach you the facts based on the Socratic method.
    Now, off you go – find the extraordinary materials that bolsters your as yet unproven assertions and when you fail to do so, think of this a life lesson.

    Then we can proceed on with the factual destruction of the other spurious assertions.

    Don’t bother wasting your time writing longer and longer factual vacant diatribes that in turn also fail to present factual information. Your time as the student would be much better served by researching the subject matter and presenting your findings – IF you can find anything that backs up what you are claiming.

    You can expect me to repeat this test for your until you past it, then we can proceed onward to factually eviscerate your other baseless assertions.

    I find the need to forewarn you that you will not get away with trying to gloss over one of the biggest extraordinary claims form history.

    Merely trying to pretend a baseless assertion is a fact will not fly in this case.

    Again, before we proceed with eviscerating your other claims, you will have to prove this one.

    IF you cannot accomplish this task, that should inform you the veracity of your beliefs.

    ………………………….

    If those items supposedly prove your point, WHY have you not researched them yourself and posted the relevant portions for all to see?

  • Torcer

    I find myself at a loss as to why people like yourself are reticent to actually learn. Here you have been given an opportunity to read, comprehend and learn the factual information I have presented and you apparently cannot make it past the first step in the process. On top of which you expect others to somehow prove YOUR points for YOU.

    As a teacher in the process, I deal in factual information, not the incessant regurgitation of various unsubstantiated assertions.

    As an aside it should really bother you that you have failed several ties to actually back up your assertions with factual information.

    bklynguy: You display ignorance of the basic history of Nazism

    It’s quite odd that you would assert this given your lack of presenting any factual information to bolster your claims.

    Too many times I have come across the same tactics by those on the national socialist left.

    1. First and foremost there is the extreme lack of factual data to back up their assertions.

    2. Then there is use of long diatribes regurgitating the same claims without any supporting documentation in the form of excerpts and links to authentic reference sites.

    3. Then of course is the exception that other prove your points for you.

    So, let’s go back to the beginning of the argument so that each of these baseless assertions can eviscerated in order.

    You along with others have made the extraordinary claim that a Socialist organization wasn’t actually a Socialist organization.
    [Parenthetically, others have made the same claim with regard to the USSR and other socialist organizations, so this is not endemic to German Socialists]
    But you failed to present factual data from authoritative references on the matter. And of course there is the usual tactic of attempting to gloss over this extraordinary claim based on unsubstantiated assertions.

    I had hoped that you would be different and finally produce the elusive and extraordinary evidence that makes those on the left believe this. But as others have failed to, you tried to fall back on unsubstantiated talking points that failed to prove anything.

    So, think of this as your first lesson – I have presented the reality of the situation that you need to learn and understand and perhaps you will refrain from making such baseless claims in the future.

    As the teacher, I presented the facts you need to learn. If you disagree with the reality of history, it is incumbent on YOU as the student to find the proper research materials, extract the relevant portions that bolster your claim and present them in the form of an excerpt.

    This is your first task and you first test on the material.

    Think of this as a Socratic exercise in somehow proving your baseless assertions. IF you cannot find the proper references that bolster your assertions YOU should take this as a sign that the rest of your belief system is also in error.

    You may be taking my tone as being a bit harsh – that is not the intent. The intent is to teach you the facts based on the Socratic method.
    Now, off you go – find the extraordinary materials that bolsters your as yet unproven assertions and when you fail to do so, think of this a life lesson.

    Then we can proceed on with the factual destruction of the other spurious assertions.

    Don’t bother wasting your time writing longer and longer factual vacant diatribes that in turn also fail to present factual information. Your time as the student would be much better served by researching the subject matter and presenting your findings – IF you can find anything that backs up what you are claiming.

    You can expect me to repeat this test for your until you past it, then we can proceed onward to factually eviscerate your other baseless assertions.

    I find the need to forewarn you that you will not get away with trying to gloss over one of the biggest extraordinary claims form history.

    Merely trying to pretend a baseless assertion is a fact will not fly in this case.

    Again, before we proceed with eviscerating your other claims, you will have to prove this one.

    IF you cannot accomplish this task, that should inform you the veracity of your beliefs.

    ………………………….

    If those items supposedly prove your point, WHY have you not researched them yourself and posted the relevant portions for all to see?

  • Torcer

    I find myself at a loss as to why people like yourself are reticent to actually learn. Here you have been given an opportunity to read, comprehend and learn the factual information I have presented and you apparently cannot make it past the first step in the process. On top of which you expect others to somehow prove YOUR points for YOU.

    As a teacher in the process, I deal in factual information, not the incessant regurgitation of various unsubstantiated assertions.

    As an aside it should really bother you that you have failed several ties to actually back up your assertions with factual information.

    bklynguy: You display ignorance of the basic history of Nazism

    It’s quite odd that you would assert this given your lack of presenting any factual information to bolster your claims.

    Too many times I have come across the same tactics by those on the national socialist left.

    1. First and foremost there is the extreme lack of factual data to back up their assertions.

    2. Then there is use of long diatribes regurgitating the same claims without any supporting documentation in the form of excerpts and links to authentic reference sites.

    3. Then of course is the exception that others prove their points for them

    So, let’s go back to the beginning of the argument so that each of these baseless assertions can eviscerated in order.

    You along with others have made the extraordinary claim that a Socialist organization wasn’t actually a Socialist organization.
    [Parenthetically, others have made the same claim with regard to the USSR and other socialist organizations, so this is not endemic to German Socialists]
    But you failed to present factual data from authoritative references on the matter. And of course there is the usual tactic of attempting to gloss over this extraordinary claim based on unsubstantiated assertions.

    I had hoped that you would be different and finally produce the elusive and extraordinary evidence that makes those on the left believe this. But as others have failed to, you tried to fall back on unsubstantiated talking points that failed to prove anything.

    So, think of this as your first lesson – I have presented the reality of the situation that you need to learn and understand and perhaps you will refrain from making such baseless claims in the future.

    As the teacher, I presented the facts you need to learn. If you disagree with the reality of history, it is incumbent on YOU as the student to find the proper research materials, extract the relevant portions that bolster your claim and present them in the form of an excerpt.

    This is your first task and you first test on the material.

    Think of this as a Socratic exercise in somehow proving your baseless assertions. IF you cannot find the proper references that bolster your assertions YOU should take this as a sign that the rest of your belief system is also in error.

    You may be taking my tone as being a bit harsh – that is not the intent. The intent is to teach you the facts based on the Socratic method.
    Now, off you go – find the extraordinary materials that bolsters your as yet unproven assertions and when you fail to do so, think of this a life lesson.

    Then we can proceed on with the factual destruction of the other spurious assertions.

    Don’t bother wasting your time writing longer and longer factual vacant diatribes that in turn also fail to present factual information. Your time as the student would be much better served by researching the subject matter and presenting your findings – IF you can find anything that backs up what you are claiming.

    You can expect me to repeat this test for your until you past it, then we can proceed onward to factually eviscerate your other baseless assertions.

    I find the need to forewarn you that you will not get away with trying to gloss over one of the biggest extraordinary claims form history.

    Merely trying to pretend a baseless assertion is a fact will not fly in this case.

    Again, before we proceed with eviscerating your other claims, you will have to prove this one.

    IF you cannot accomplish this task, that should inform you the veracity of your beliefs.

    ………………………….

    If those items supposedly prove your point, WHY have you not researched them yourself and posted the relevant portions for all to see?

  • Torcer

    I find myself at a loss as to why people like yourself are reticent to actually learn. Here you have been given an opportunity to read, comprehend and learn the factual information I have presented and you apparently cannot make it past the first step in the process. On top of which you expect others to somehow prove YOUR points for YOU.

    As a teacher in the process, I deal in factual information, not the incessant regurgitation of various unsubstantiated assertions.
    As an aside it should really bother you that you have failed several ties to actually back up your assertions with factual information.

    bklynguy: You display ignorance of the basic history of Nazism

    It’s quite odd that you would assert this given your lack of presenting any factual information to bolster your claims.

    Too many times I have come across the same tactics by those on the national socialist left.

    1. First and foremost there is the extreme lack of factual data to back up their assertions.

    2. Then there is use of long diatribes regurgitating the same claims without any supporting documentation in the form of excerpts and links to authentic reference sites.

    3. Then of course is the exception that others prove their points for them
    So, let’s go back to the beginning of the argument so that each of these baseless assertions can eviscerated in order.

    You along with others have made the extraordinary claim that a Socialist organization wasn’t actually a Socialist organization.
    [Parenthetically, others have made the same claim with regard to the USSR and other socialist organizations, so this is not endemic to German Socialists]
    But you failed to present factual data from authoritative references on the matter. And of course there is the usual tactic of attempting to gloss over this extraordinary claim based on unsubstantiated assertions.

    I had hoped that you would be different and finally produce the elusive and extraordinary evidence that makes those on the left believe this. But as others have failed to, you tried to fall back on unsubstantiated talking points that failed to prove anything.

    So, think of this as your first lesson – I have presented the reality of the situation that you need to learn and understand and perhaps you will refrain from making such baseless claims in the future.

    As the teacher, I presented the facts you need to learn. If you disagree with the reality of history, it is incumbent on YOU as the student to find the proper research materials, extract the relevant portions that bolster your claim and present them in the form of an excerpt.

    This is your first task and you first test on the material.

    Think of this as a Socratic exercise in somehow proving your baseless assertions. IF you cannot find the proper references that bolster your assertions YOU should take this as a sign that the rest of your belief system is also in error.

    You may be taking my tone as being a bit harsh – that is not the intent. The intent is to teach you the facts based on the Socratic method.
    Now, off you go – find the extraordinary materials that bolsters your as yet unproven assertions and when you fail to do so, think of this a life lesson.

    Then we can proceed on with the factual destruction of the other spurious assertions.

    Don’t bother wasting your time writing longer and longer factual vacant diatribes that in turn also fail to present factual information. Your time as the student would be much better served by researching the subject matter and presenting your findings – IF you can find anything that backs up what you are claiming.

    You can expect me to repeat this test for your until you past it, then we can proceed onward to factually eviscerate your other baseless assertions.

    I find the need to forewarn you that you will not get away with trying to gloss over one of the biggest extraordinary claims form history.

    Merely trying to pretend a baseless assertion is a fact will not fly in this case.

    Again, before we proceed with eviscerating your other claims, you will have to prove this one.

    IF you cannot accomplish this task, that should inform you the veracity of your beliefs.

    ………………………….

    If those items supposedly prove your point, WHY have you not researched them yourself and posted the relevant portions for all to see?

    ………………………….

    If those items supposedly prove your point, WHY have you not researched them yourself and posted the relevant portions for all to see?

  • Torcer

    Why you are going to lose the argument:

    So let’s get down to brass tacks here – the reason why you are going to lose the argument:

    The short and sweet of it is that we are on the ‘Right’ side of history, those on the #nationalSocialistLeft on the WRONG side of history.

    But as a service I will detail the various reason why you are going to lose:

    1. The Facts are on our side.
    This is exemplified by the actuality that we can use excerpts and links for authentic reference sites to bolster our assertions.

    2. Truth is on our side.
    As epitomized by the foregoing and that we have no need of the use of childish tactics that are a feeble attempts by the #nationalSocialistLeft to make up for it’s lack of truth.

    3. Reality is on our side.
    Yes, that similar to the facts but we want to make sure we encompass all the relevant issues in making our case.

    4. Logic is on our side.
    We have no need of feeble strawman or circular logic

    5. We have no need to use childish insults as you and many of your Comrades on the #nationalSocialistLeft often do.

  • Torcer

    Why you are going to lose the argument:

    So let’s get down to brass tacks here – the reason why you are going to lose the argument:

    The short and sweet of it is that we are on the ‘Right’ side of history, those on the #nationalSocialistLeft on the WRONG side of history.

    But as a service I will detail the various reason why you are going to lose:

    1. The Facts are on our side.
    This is exemplified by the actuality that we can use excerpts and links for authentic reference sites to bolster our assertions.

    2. Truth is on our side.
    As epitomized by the foregoing and that we have no need of the use of childish tactics that are a feeble attempts by the #nationalSocialistLeft to make up for it’s lack of truth.

    3. Reality is on our side.
    Yes, that similar to the facts but we want to make sure we encompass all the relevant issues in making our case.

    4. Logic is on our side.
    We have no need of feeble strawman or circular logic

    5. We have no need to use childish insults as you and many of your Comrades on the #nationalSocialistLeft often do.

  • Torcer

    An English Lawmaker Called Hitler a Socialist. After the Arguing is Done, the Audience is Cheering. http://www.ijreview.com/2014/12/217711-3-english-mp-daniel-hannan-gives-blistering-speech-setting-record-straight-real-socialists/? via @ijdotcom

    An English Lawmaker Called Hitler a Socialist. After the Arguing is Done, the Audience is Cheering.
    In this speech, posted on December 9th of this year, Hannan sets out to prove how the infamous German fuhrer Adolf Hitler was not a man of the right, but a different type of socialist.
    Mr Hannan opens, “Ladies and gentleman, who said this? ‘I am a socialist. And a very different kind of socialist from your rich friend Count Reventlow.’
    Among the points that back Mr. Hannan’s point is the official Nazi platform; particularly, its economic policies:

    9. All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.
    10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.
    Therefore we demand:
    11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished. […]
    14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
    15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.
    In bold letters, the Nazi platform summarizes:

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    As Hannan points out, while socialists and fascists, two different kinds of authoritarian collectivists, fought one another for power, both groups were hostile to the classically liberal true “right” – which stands for individual freedom.

    Later on in the video [5:30], a questioner asks: “How is it freedom to not have your daily bread, to not go to a reasonable school, to not have any opportunities to develop yourself as a young person…?”

    Mr. Hannan replied, “Let’s leave aside whether or not one means positive freedom or negative freedom. If you want those opportunities, if you want decent schools, if you want a rise in living standards, would you go to North Korea or South Korea?” Much of the audience applauded in approval.

    In a related article in the Telegraph, “So total is the Left’s cultural ascendancy that no one likes to mention the socialist roots of fascism,” Daniel Hannan points out how uncomfortable it makes people to recite basic historical facts about history:

    One of the most stunning achievements of the modern Left is to have created a cultural climate where simply to recite these facts is jarring. History is reinterpreted, and it is taken as axiomatic that fascism must have been Right-wing, the logic seemingly being that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists were nasty. You expect this level of analysis from Twitter mobs; you shouldn’t expect it from mainstream commentators.

    It is astounding to see how one political faction can so thoroughly dominate discourse as to condition the cultural terrain whereby any opposition is considered “hate,” “racism,” or “bigotry.” But much like with the Democratic Party in the United States, the first rule of polite, politically correct conversation is to never drag the skeletons out of the left’s closet.

    English Conservative MEP:Hitler Was A Socialist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Rini9Yu0M

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/12/217711-3-english-mp-daniel-hannan-gives-blistering-speech-setting-record-straight-real-socialists/

  • Torcer

    An English Lawmaker Called Hitler a Socialist. After the Arguing is Done, the Audience is Cheering. http://www.ijreview.com/2014/12/217711-3-english-mp-daniel-hannan-gives-blistering-speech-setting-record-straight-real-socialists/? via @ijdotcom

    An English Lawmaker Called Hitler a Socialist. After the Arguing is Done, the Audience is Cheering.
    In this speech, posted on December 9th of this year, Hannan sets out to prove how the infamous German fuhrer Adolf Hitler was not a man of the right, but a different type of socialist.
    Mr Hannan opens, “Ladies and gentleman, who said this? ‘I am a socialist. And a very different kind of socialist from your rich friend Count Reventlow.’
    Among the points that back Mr. Hannan’s point is the official Nazi platform; particularly, its economic policies:

    9. All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.
    10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.
    Therefore we demand:
    11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished. […]
    14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
    15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.
    In bold letters, the Nazi platform summarizes:

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    As Hannan points out, while socialists and fascists, two different kinds of authoritarian collectivists, fought one another for power, both groups were hostile to the classically liberal true “right” – which stands for individual freedom.

    Later on in the video [5:30], a questioner asks: “How is it freedom to not have your daily bread, to not go to a reasonable school, to not have any opportunities to develop yourself as a young person…?”

    Mr. Hannan replied, “Let’s leave aside whether or not one means positive freedom or negative freedom. If you want those opportunities, if you want decent schools, if you want a rise in living standards, would you go to North Korea or South Korea?” Much of the audience applauded in approval.

    In a related article in the Telegraph, “So total is the Left’s cultural ascendancy that no one likes to mention the socialist roots of fascism,” Daniel Hannan points out how uncomfortable it makes people to recite basic historical facts about history:

    One of the most stunning achievements of the modern Left is to have created a cultural climate where simply to recite these facts is jarring. History is reinterpreted, and it is taken as axiomatic that fascism must have been Right-wing, the logic seemingly being that Left-wing means compassionate and Right-wing means nasty and fascists were nasty. You expect this level of analysis from Twitter mobs; you shouldn’t expect it from mainstream commentators.

    It is astounding to see how one political faction can so thoroughly dominate discourse as to condition the cultural terrain whereby any opposition is considered “hate,” “racism,” or “bigotry.” But much like with the Democratic Party in the United States, the first rule of polite, politically correct conversation is to never drag the skeletons out of the left’s closet.

    English Conservative MEP:Hitler Was A Socialist
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Rini9Yu0M

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/12/217711-3-english-mp-daniel-hannan-gives-blistering-speech-setting-record-straight-real-socialists/

  • Torcer

    Jerry Brown: ‘Never underestimate the coercive power of the central state’
    December 7, 2015
    PARIS

    One of the goals of Californians who traveled to Paris for climate talks this week was to showcase green-energy businesses that are succeeding in the state.

    But on Monday it was the “coercive power” of government for which Gov. Jerry Brown was seeking credit.

    Regulations, he said at an event with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer at an art museum in the city, “work hand in glove” with innovation, forcing companies to adapt to cleaner technologies. Brown held out the introduction of the catalytic converter and the proliferation of renewable energy as examples of industry responding to regulation.

    “You do have to have, at the end of the day, a regulation, a law,” he said. “Progress comes from well-designed regulatory objectives that business then follows.”

    Later, at the site where world leaders are meeting to negotiate a climate pact outside of Paris, Brown urged a small crowd to “never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.”

    “You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating,” the Democratic governor said. “And, shall I say, keep taxing.”
    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article48466200.html

  • Torcer

    Jerry Brown: ‘Never underestimate the coercive power of the central state’
    December 7, 2015
    PARIS

    One of the goals of Californians who traveled to Paris for climate talks this week was to showcase green-energy businesses that are succeeding in the state.

    But on Monday it was the “coercive power” of government for which Gov. Jerry Brown was seeking credit.

    Regulations, he said at an event with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer at an art museum in the city, “work hand in glove” with innovation, forcing companies to adapt to cleaner technologies. Brown held out the introduction of the catalytic converter and the proliferation of renewable energy as examples of industry responding to regulation.

    “You do have to have, at the end of the day, a regulation, a law,” he said. “Progress comes from well-designed regulatory objectives that business then follows.”

    Later, at the site where world leaders are meeting to negotiate a climate pact outside of Paris, Brown urged a small crowd to “never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.”

    “You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating,” the Democratic governor said. “And, shall I say, keep taxing.”
    http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article48466200.html

  • Torcer

    Hillary Has A Debbie Wasserman-Shultz Moment: She Can’t Explain The Difference Between Democrats, Socialists… http://www.weaselzippers.us/249201-hillary-has-a-debbie-wasserman-shultz-moment-she-cant-explain-the-difference-between-democrats-socialists/ via @WeaselZippers

  • Torcer

    Hillary Has A Debbie Wasserman-Shultz Moment: She Can’t Explain The Difference Between Democrats, Socialists… http://www.weaselzippers.us/249201-hillary-has-a-debbie-wasserman-shultz-moment-she-cant-explain-the-difference-between-democrats-socialists/ via @WeaselZippers

  • Torcer

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
    exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves
    largess out of the public treasury.” Alexander Tytler

  • Torcer

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
    exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves
    largess out of the public treasury.” Alexander Tytler

    Scenes from Life Under Communism http://blog.victimsofcommunism.org/scenes-from-life-under-communism/

  • Torcer

    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill

  • Torcer

    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill
    ===========================================================

    Political Philosophy > Socialism
    Introduction

    Socialism is a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the workers, either directly through popular collectives such as workers’ councils, or indirectly exercised on behalf of the people by the state, and in which Egalitarianism or equality is an important goal. Thus, under Socialism, the means of production are owned by the state, community or the workers (as opposed to privately owned as under Capitalism).

    Adherents of Socialism are split into differing, and sometimes opposing, branches, particularly between reformists and revolutionaries, and some of these are briefly describe in the Types of Socialism section below.

    The term “socialism” is variously attributed to Pierre Leroux (1798 – 1871) or to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud (1799 – 1879) or to Robert Owen (1771 – 1858) in the mid-19th Century. According to Frederick Engels (1820 – 1895), by 1847, the term “socialism” (usually referring to the utopian philosophies of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), was considered quite respectable on the continent of Europe, while “communism” was the opposite.

    History of Socialism
    Certain elements of socialist thought long predate the socialist ideology that emerged in the first half of the 19th Century. For example, Plato’s “The Republic” and Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia”, dating from 1516, have been cited as including Socialist or Communist ideas.

    Modern Socialism emerged in early 19th Century Britain and France, from a diverse array of doctrines and social experiments, largely as a reaction or protest against some of the excesses of 18th and 19th Century Capitalism. Early 19th Century Socialist thought was largely utopian in nature, followed by the more pragmatic and revolutionary Socialist and Communist movements in the later 19th Century.

    Social critics in the late 18th Century and early 19th Century such as Robert Owen (1771 – 1858), Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809 – 1865), Louis Blanc (1811 – 1882) and Henri de Saint-Simon (1760 – 1825) criticized the excesses of poverty and inequality of the Industrial Revolution, and advocated reforms such as the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the transformation of society into small utopian communities in which private property was to be abolished.

    Some socialist religious movements, such as the Shakers in America, also date from this period, as does the Chartist movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom (possibly the first mass working class movement in the world).

    http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_socialism.html


  • Torcer

    Eyewitness to the Ayers Revolution
    An interview with Weathermen insider/FBI informant Larry Grathwohl on whether to believe Obama when it comes to Bill Ayers.

    When Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn led the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground in 1969, a chance meeting led Army veteran Larry Grathwohl into joining the group. Grathwohl served as a courier, running messages between the group’s leadership (called the “Weather Bureau”) and individual cells that were to carry out attacks.

    Grathwohl was also an informant for the FBI.
    In an interview from the 1982 documentary No Place To Hide that recently surfaced, Grathwohl discussed what the Weathermen intended to do after overthrowing the U.S. government, including what they would do with those Americans who refused to embrace communism.

    I asked, “Well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?” And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.

    And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.

    And when I say “eliminate,” I mean “kill.”

    Twenty-five million people.

    Twenty-six years later, I caught up with Larry Grathwohl, and asked him about the Weathermen, their leaders then and now, and what he thinks about the relationship between Bill Ayers and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

    PJ Media: Was this merely an academic matter to them, or were they serious about killing 25 million Americans that would not bend to their political will?

    Larry Grathwohl: I suppose you could consider this a purely academic discussion in that the Weathermen never had the opportunity to implement their political ends. However, I can assure you that this was not the case. There was an absolute belief that they, along with the international revolutionary movement, would cause the collapse of the United States and that they would be in charge.
    http://pjmedia.com/blog/eyewitness-to-the-ayers-revolution/?singlepage=true

  • Torcer

    Eyewitness to the Ayers Revolution
    An interview with Weathermen insider/FBI informant Larry Grathwohl on whether to believe Obama when it comes to Bill Ayers.

    When Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn led the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground in 1969, a chance meeting led Army veteran Larry Grathwohl into joining the group. Grathwohl served as a courier, running messages between the group’s leadership (called the “Weather Bureau”) and individual cells that were to carry out attacks.

    Grathwohl was also an informant for the FBI.
    In an interview from the 1982 documentary No Place To Hide that recently surfaced, Grathwohl discussed what the Weathermen intended to do after overthrowing the U.S. government, including what they would do with those Americans who refused to embrace communism.

    I asked, “Well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?” And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.

    And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.

    And when I say “eliminate,” I mean “kill.”

    Twenty-five million people.

    Twenty-six years later, I caught up with Larry Grathwohl, and asked him about the Weathermen, their leaders then and now, and what he thinks about the relationship between Bill Ayers and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

    PJ Media: Was this merely an academic matter to them, or were they serious about killing 25 million Americans that would not bend to their political will?

    Larry Grathwohl: I suppose you could consider this a purely academic discussion in that the Weathermen never had the opportunity to implement their political ends. However, I can assure you that this was not the case. There was an absolute belief that they, along with the international revolutionary movement, would cause the collapse of the United States and that they would be in charge.
    http://pjmedia.com/blog/eyewitness-to-the-ayers-revolution/?singlepage=true

  • Torcer

    Venezuela’s Socialist Disaster Proves Austrian Economics Right, Yet Again
    We Ignore Ludwig von Mises’s Warnings … http://panampost.com/andrea-rondon/2015/10/05/venezuelas-socialist-disaster-proves-austrian-economics-right-yet-again/

  • Torcer

    Venezuela’s Socialist Disaster Proves Austrian Economics Right, Yet Again
    We Ignore Ludwig von Mises’s Warnings … http://panampost.com/andrea-rondon/2015/10/05/venezuelas-socialist-disaster-proves-austrian-economics-right-yet-again/

  • Torcer
  • Torcer
  • Torcer

    Definition of SOCIALISM
    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
    First Known Use of SOCIALISM
    1837
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

    This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on … (100 of 8,350 words)
    http://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism

  • Torcer

    Definition of SOCIALISM
    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
    First Known Use of SOCIALISM
    1837
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

    This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on … (100 of 8,350 words)
    http://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism

  • Torcer

    Look at the definitions of the words – they both mean the same thing – the presumption that the “Worker’s Paradise” of nation under socialism brought about by supposedly ‘democratic means

    Definition of democratic socialism
    noun
    A form of socialism pursued by democratic rather than autocratic or revolutionary means, especially by respecting a democratically elected legislature as the source of political change; (also more generally) moderate or centrist socialism.
    Origin
    Mid 19th cent.; earliest use found in The Athenaeum. From democratic + socialism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/democratic-socialism?

    ……..

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

  • Torcer

    Look at the definitions of the words – they both mean the same thing – the presumption that the “Worker’s Paradise” of nation under socialism brought about by supposedly ‘democratic means

    Definition of democratic socialism
    noun
    A form of socialism pursued by democratic rather than autocratic or revolutionary means, especially by respecting a democratically elected legislature as the source of political change; (also more generally) moderate or centrist socialism.
    Origin
    Mid 19th cent.; earliest use found in The Athenaeum. From democratic + socialism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/democratic-socialism?

    ……..

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

  • Torcer

    NY Post: Don’t Be Fooled By Bernie, He’s A Diehard Communist http://www.weaselzippers.us/251411-ny-post-dont-be-fooled-by-bernie-hes-a-diehard-communist/ via @WeaselZippers

    NY Post: Don’t Be Fooled By Bernie, He’s A Diehard Communist
    Not feeling the Bern…
    Via NY Post:

    As polls tighten and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders looks more like a serious contender than a novelty candidate for president, the liberal media elite have suddenly stopped calling him socialist. He’s now cleaned-up as a “progressive” or “pragmatist.”
    But he’s not even a socialist. He’s a communist.

    Mainstreaming Sanders requires whitewashing his radical pro-Communist past. It won’t be easy to do.

    If Sanders were vying for a Cabinet post, he’d never pass an FBI background check. There’d be too many subversive red flags popping up in his file. He was a Communist collaborator during the height of the Cold War.

    Rewind to 1964.

    While attending the University of Chicago, Sanders joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA. He also organized for a communist front, the United Packinghouse Workers Union, which at the time was under investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

    After graduating with a political-science degree, Sanders moved to Vermont, where he headed the American People’s History Society, an organ for Marxist propaganda. There, he produced a glowing documentary on the life of socialist revolutionary Eugene Debs, who was jailed for espionage during the Red Scare and hailed by the Bolsheviks as “America’s greatest Marxist.”

    http://www.weaselzippers.us/251411-ny-post-dont-be-fooled-by-bernie-hes-a-diehard-communist/

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    NY Post: Don’t Be Fooled By Bernie, He’s A Diehard Communist http://www.weaselzippers.us/251411-ny-post-dont-be-fooled-by-bernie-hes-a-diehard-communist/ via @WeaselZippers

    NY Post: Don’t Be Fooled By Bernie, He’s A Diehard Communist
    Not feeling the Bern…
    Via NY Post:

    As polls tighten and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders looks more like a serious contender than a novelty candidate for president, the liberal media elite have suddenly stopped calling him socialist. He’s now cleaned-up as a “progressive” or “pragmatist.”
    But he’s not even a socialist. He’s a communist.

    Mainstreaming Sanders requires whitewashing his radical pro-Communist past. It won’t be easy to do.

    If Sanders were vying for a Cabinet post, he’d never pass an FBI background check. There’d be too many subversive red flags popping up in his file. He was a Communist collaborator during the height of the Cold War.

    Rewind to 1964.

    While attending the University of Chicago, Sanders joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth wing of the Socialist Party USA. He also organized for a communist front, the United Packinghouse Workers Union, which at the time was under investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

    After graduating with a political-science degree, Sanders moved to Vermont, where he headed the American People’s History Society, an organ for Marxist propaganda. There, he produced a glowing documentary on the life of socialist revolutionary Eugene Debs, who was jailed for espionage during the Red Scare and hailed by the Bolsheviks as “America’s greatest Marxist.”

    http://www.weaselzippers.us/251411-ny-post-dont-be-fooled-by-bernie-hes-a-diehard-communist/

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    Liberals Are Simple-Minded…and often more dogmatic than conservatives, according to a new study. http://reason.com/archives/2016/01/15/liberals-are-simple-minded

    Liberals Are Simple-Minded
    ..and often more dogmatic than conservatives, according to a new study.

    It is almost a truism among psychological researchers that conservatives are simple-minded and dogmatic. Liberals, meanwhile, are supposed to be more complex and open-minded thinkers. But a new paper is calling those conclusions into question.

    Writing in the journal Political Psychology, a team of researchers led by the University of Montana psychologist Lucian Gideon Conway III reports the results of four studies that together call “into question the typical interpretation that conservatives are less complex than liberals.” It turns out that liberals and conservatives are both simple-minded, depending on the topic under discussion.

    Using the dogmatism scale devised in 1960 by the psychologist Milton Rokeach, who defined dogmatism in terms of “closed belief systems,” researchers have generally found a positive relationship between dogmatism and political conservatism. But while the Rokeach scale is supposed to be politically neutral, Conway and his colleagues argue that it actually includes a number of topics for which conservatives generally have a greater concern, such as religion and national defense. Conservatives who fill out the scale would more tend to come off as more dogmatic largely because they are endorsing conservative views.
    http://reason.com/archives/2016/01/15/liberals-are-simple-minded

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    Liberals Are Simple-Minded…and often more dogmatic than conservatives, according to a new study. http://reason.com/archives/2016/01/15/liberals-are-simple-minded

    Liberals Are Simple-Minded
    ..and often more dogmatic than conservatives, according to a new study.

    It is almost a truism among psychological researchers that conservatives are simple-minded and dogmatic. Liberals, meanwhile, are supposed to be more complex and open-minded thinkers. But a new paper is calling those conclusions into question.

    Writing in the journal Political Psychology, a team of researchers led by the University of Montana psychologist Lucian Gideon Conway III reports the results of four studies that together call “into question the typical interpretation that conservatives are less complex than liberals.” It turns out that liberals and conservatives are both simple-minded, depending on the topic under discussion.

    Using the dogmatism scale devised in 1960 by the psychologist Milton Rokeach, who defined dogmatism in terms of “closed belief systems,” researchers have generally found a positive relationship between dogmatism and political conservatism. But while the Rokeach scale is supposed to be politically neutral, Conway and his colleagues argue that it actually includes a number of topics for which conservatives generally have a greater concern, such as religion and national defense. Conservatives who fill out the scale would more tend to come off as more dogmatic largely because they are endorsing conservative views.
    http://reason.com/archives/2016/01/15/liberals-are-simple-minded

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    Bernie Sanders: The Most Fascist Candidate of All http://louderwithcrowder.com/bernie-sanders-the-most-fascist-candidate-of-all/ via @scrowder

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    Bernie Sanders: The Most Fascist Candidate of All http://louderwithcrowder.com/bernie-sanders-the-most-fascist-candidate-of-all/ via @scrowder

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    In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

    Ronald Reagan First Inaugural Address 20 January 1981

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    Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela; PSUV
    http://www.psuv.org.ve/

    =============================================

    Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR)
    political party, Venezuela

    The MVR was dissolved in 2007 to become part of Chávez’s new political party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela; PSUV), which was created by a merger of some of his coalition partners. The PSUV held its inaugural congress in January 2008.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Movement-of-the-Fifth-Republic#ref1064202

    ==============================================

    United Socialist Party of Venezuela
    political party, Venezuela
    Alternative Titles: Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV

    Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR)
    political party, Venezuela

    Alternative Titles: Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200, MBR-200, Movimiento Bolivariano Revolucionario–200, Movimiento de la Quinta República, Movimiento V República, MVR

    Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR), Spanish Movimiento de la Quinta República, formerly Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200 (Movimiento Bolivariano Revolucionario–200; MBR-200), nationalist Venezuelan political party established to support the presidential candidacy of Hugo Chávez in 1998.

    MBR-200 was secretly established within the Venezuelan military in the 1980s by Chávez and his fellow military officers. The movement rejected democracy, endorsed policies based on Chávez’s interpretation of the philosophy of Simón Bolívar (who led the revolutions of independence against Spain in South America in the 19th century), and sometimes advocated violence to overthrow the existing political order.

    In 1992 the Bolivarian Movement 200, led by Chávez, who was then a lieutenant colonel, attempted to engineer a coup, justifying its intervention on the basis of charges of governmental corruption and various economic grievances. Chávez was subsequently imprisoned, but he won sympathy from large segments of the Venezuelan population. In 1994 Chávez was released from prison in a goodwill gesture by Venezuela’s newly elected president, Rafael Caldera Rodríguez.

    Although the movement had previously called on its supporters to abstain from voting, in 1998 Chávez established the MVR to serve as a vehicle for his successful bid for the presidency. The MVR’s criticisms of social inequalities won it broad support among the country’s impoverished. In the 1998 legislative elections, the party became the second largest in the National Assembly. In 2002 opponents of Chávez engineered his brief ouster from the presidency, but protests and threats of violence from his supporters resulted in his return to power less than three days later. In the 2005 legislative elections, Chávez’s MVR won the majority of seats in the National Assembly (and other pro-Chávez parties gained the remainder) after several opposition parties boycotted the elections to protest what they saw as corruption in the Chávez-dominated National Election Council, the institution that oversees elections.

    The MVR was dissolved in 2007 to become part of Chávez’s new political party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela; PSUV), which was created by a merger of some of his coalition partners. The PSUV held its inaugural congress in January 2008.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Movement-of-the-Fifth-Republic#ref1064202

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    A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin

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    Venezuela Heads for Default amid Tanking Oil Prices
    https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2016/01/22/venezuela-heads-for-default-amid-tanking-oil-prices/

    Venezuela Heads for Default amid Tanking Oil Prices
    Cash-Strapped Chavista Regime on Its Last Legs
    After a year of extreme economic recession and tanking oil prices, Venezuela may no longer be able to service its debts in 2016.

    According to Forbes, the stage is now set in the South American nation for default, considering the steep declines in GDP, oil prices, and trust in the Venezuelan government’s ability to weather the crisis.

    Alejandro Arreaza, a financial analyst with Barclays, told Forbes that both the state-run oil company PDVSA and the Venezuelan government are going bankrupt. President Maduro will have to spend around 90 percent of the country’s dwindling revenues from oil sales to pay off domestic and foreign debts, according to Arreaza.

    Venezuela’s reserves are at an all-time low. Forbes notes that they went from US$20 billion in the third quarter of 2015 to just $14 billion in November, according to figures from Venezuela’s Central Bank. Likewise, $10 billion in net assets have disappeared in one year.

    This puts the Chavista regime in a tight spot: it either pays off the country’s debts, or it keeps the social programs that maintain their remaining public support.
    https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2016/01/22/venezuela-heads-for-default-amid-tanking-oil-prices/

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    Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense 1776

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    A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin

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    Venezuela Heads for Default amid Tanking Oil Prices
    https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2016/01/22/venezuela-heads-for-default-amid-tanking-oil-prices/

    Venezuela Heads for Default amid Tanking Oil Prices
    Cash-Strapped Chavista Regime on Its Last Legs
    After a year of extreme economic recession and tanking oil prices, Venezuela may no longer be able to service its debts in 2016.

    According to Forbes, the stage is now set in the South American nation for default, considering the steep declines in GDP, oil prices, and trust in the Venezuelan government’s ability to weather the crisis.

    Alejandro Arreaza, a financial analyst with Barclays, told Forbes that both the state-run oil company PDVSA and the Venezuelan government are going bankrupt. President Maduro will have to spend around 90 percent of the country’s dwindling revenues from oil sales to pay off domestic and foreign debts, according to Arreaza.

    Venezuela’s reserves are at an all-time low. Forbes notes that they went from US$20 billion in the third quarter of 2015 to just $14 billion in November, according to figures from Venezuela’s Central Bank. Likewise, $10 billion in net assets have disappeared in one year.

    This puts the Chavista regime in a tight spot: it either pays off the country’s debts, or it keeps the social programs that maintain their remaining public support.
    https://panampost.com/sabrina-martin/2016/01/22/venezuela-heads-for-default-amid-tanking-oil-prices/

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    Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense 1776

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell

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    “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name- liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”
    Abraham Lincoln
    Source:April 18, 1864 – Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell

    John Dewey & Soviet Progressives
    http://www.academia.org/john-dewey-soviet-progressives/

    How Many Have Communists Murdered?
    http://www.virtualschool.edu/mon/SocialConstruction/GenocideAndMassMurder.html

    Soviets put brutal end to Hungarian revolution
    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/soviets-put-brutal-end-to-hungarian-revolution#

    Canada: It’s Time to Remember the 90 Million Victims
    http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/2015/03/canada-its-time-to-remember-the-90-million-victims/

    The Holocaust death toll
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1481975/The-Holocaust-death-toll.html

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    “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name- liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.”
    Abraham Lincoln
    Source:April 18, 1864 – Address at Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, Maryland

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    So I guess you deny Hitler's self-professed socialism while heading Germany's National Socialist Party? https://t.co/7V42sSdnOY— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) January 27, 2016

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    Yes, The Australian Model On Gun Control Means Bans and Confiscation http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/01/27/yes-the-australian-model-on-gun-control-means-bans-and-confiscation-n2107925

    Yes, The Australian Model On Gun Control Means Bans and Confiscation
    http://media.townhall.com/townhall/reu/ha/uploads/2016/1/27/10.png
    Nobody wants to take your guns. That’s what most mainstream pro-gun control Democrats say ad nauseam at various rallies. There’s also the “I support the Second Amendment, but…” that advocates of gun control say prior to offering some pie-in-the-sky policy proposals that usually venture into bans on so-called assault rifles, limiting magazine sizes, or an all-out ban on semi-automatic firearms. That’s essentially a gun ban.

    Both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have praised the Australian-model of gun control, which the National Rifle Association decided to explain at length in a recent video. It deals with gun buybacks, confiscation, and bans. Oh, and personal protection isn’t a sufficient reason to own firearms down under.

    Australia Means Bans & Confiscation.
    https://youtu.be/aHGit3zF808

    The clip also includes the president invoking the United Kingdom as well. According to the Library of Congress, their laws are just as strict, and unconstitutional if applied here in the U.S.

    It’s no wonder why the firearms industry is on “alert” this year. Any gun owner or Second Amendment supporter who hears a politician praise UK or Australian-style gun control should look at someone else. Moreover, it’s grossly unconstitutional, but that doesn’t mean Democrats, anti-gunners, and their allies in the liberal media will push a like-minded agenda. Right now, Democrats are trying to lay the groundwork for people to sue gun manufacturers out of existence. It has no chance of passing, but the fact remains; we have to be vigilant regarding the protection of our gun rights and heritage.
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/01/27/yes-the-australian-model-on-gun-control-means-bans-and-confiscation-n2107925

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    So I guess you deny Hitler's self-professed socialism while heading Germany's National Socialist Party? https://t.co/7V42sSdnOY— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) January 27, 2016

  • Torcer

    Yes, The Australian Model On Gun Control Means Bans and Confiscation http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/01/27/yes-the-australian-model-on-gun-control-means-bans-and-confiscation-n2107925

    Yes, The Australian Model On Gun Control Means Bans and Confiscation
    http://media.townhall.com/townhall/reu/ha/uploads/2016/1/27/10.png
    Nobody wants to take your guns. That’s what most mainstream pro-gun control Democrats say ad nauseam at various rallies. There’s also the “I support the Second Amendment, but…” that advocates of gun control say prior to offering some pie-in-the-sky policy proposals that usually venture into bans on so-called assault rifles, limiting magazine sizes, or an all-out ban on semi-automatic firearms. That’s essentially a gun ban.

    Both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have praised the Australian-model of gun control, which the National Rifle Association decided to explain at length in a recent video. It deals with gun buybacks, confiscation, and bans. Oh, and personal protection isn’t a sufficient reason to own firearms down under.

    Australia Means Bans & Confiscation.
    https://youtu.be/aHGit3zF808

    The clip also includes the president invoking the United Kingdom as well. According to the Library of Congress, their laws are just as strict, and unconstitutional if applied here in the U.S.

    It’s no wonder why the firearms industry is on “alert” this year. Any gun owner or Second Amendment supporter who hears a politician praise UK or Australian-style gun control should look at someone else. Moreover, it’s grossly unconstitutional, but that doesn’t mean Democrats, anti-gunners, and their allies in the liberal media will push a like-minded agenda. Right now, Democrats are trying to lay the groundwork for people to sue gun manufacturers out of existence. It has no chance of passing, but the fact remains; we have to be vigilant regarding the protection of our gun rights and heritage.
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/01/27/yes-the-australian-model-on-gun-control-means-bans-and-confiscation-n2107925

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    Clinton: The Money to Help Americans Pay Their Bills ‘Should Come From Those Who Have It’ http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/clinton-money-help-americans-pay-their-bills-should-come-those-who-have-it

    Clinton: The Money to Help Americans Pay Their Bills ‘Should Come From Those Who Have It’
    (CNSNews.com) – “We have to change the tax system so that it is fairer,” Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. To her, that means taking more money from the rich and spending it on other people’s college tuition, child care, and paid family leave.

    “There are things we can do that will relieve the burdens on middle-class families, and the money should come from those who have it,” Clinton told a gathering in Marshalltown, Iowa, Wednesday.

    “I will raise your incomes, I will not raise middle-class taxes,” Clinton promised.

    “I do not think it is right — (she was interrupted by applause) — to be going to people who suffered because of the Republican recession and asking for you to help us make the investments for the future. I want you to take advantage of them, but I want to go where the money is, and the money is at the top, and that’s where we need to be shifting our tax system.”
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/clinton-money-help-americans-pay-their-bills-should-come-those-who-have-it

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    Washington Post Brands Bernie Sanders A Liar http://rightwingnews.com/media-bias/washington-post-brands-bernie-sanders-liar/ via @rightwingnews

    Washington Post Brands Bernie Sanders A Liar
    The Washington Post Editorial Board is in high outrage over Bernie Sanders, calling his campaign “fiction filled”

    SEN. BERNIE Sanders (I-Vt.) is leading in New Hampshire and within striking distance in Iowa, in large part because he is playing the role of uncorrupted anti-establishment crusader. But Mr. Sanders is not a brave truth-teller. He is a politician selling his own brand of fiction to a slice of the country that eagerly wants to buy it.

    Mr. Sanders’s tale starts with the bad guys: Wall Street and corporate money. The existence of large banks and lax campaign finance laws explains why working Americans are not thriving, he says, and why the progressive agenda has not advanced. Here is a reality check: Wall Street has already undergone a round of reform, significantly reducing the risks big banks pose to the financial system. The evolution and structure of the world economy, not mere corporate deck-stacking, explained many of the big economic challenges the country still faces. And even with radical campaign finance reform, many Americans and their representatives would still oppose the Sanders agenda.


    http://rightwingnews.com/media-bias/washington-post-brands-bernie-sanders-liar/

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    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZ15a1sVIAAGRCN.jpg:large

    A Quarter Billion Arguments for Reducing the Size and Scope of Government https://shar.es/1h8yFh via @sharethis

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    Clinton: The Money to Help Americans Pay Their Bills ‘Should Come From Those Who Have It’ http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/clinton-money-help-americans-pay-their-bills-should-come-those-who-have-it

    Clinton: The Money to Help Americans Pay Their Bills ‘Should Come From Those Who Have It’
    (CNSNews.com) – “We have to change the tax system so that it is fairer,” Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. To her, that means taking more money from the rich and spending it on other people’s college tuition, child care, and paid family leave.

    “There are things we can do that will relieve the burdens on middle-class families, and the money should come from those who have it,” Clinton told a gathering in Marshalltown, Iowa, Wednesday.

    “I will raise your incomes, I will not raise middle-class taxes,” Clinton promised.

    “I do not think it is right — (she was interrupted by applause) — to be going to people who suffered because of the Republican recession and asking for you to help us make the investments for the future. I want you to take advantage of them, but I want to go where the money is, and the money is at the top, and that’s where we need to be shifting our tax system.”
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/clinton-money-help-americans-pay-their-bills-should-come-those-who-have-it

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    Washington Post Brands Bernie Sanders A Liar http://rightwingnews.com/media-bias/washington-post-brands-bernie-sanders-liar/ via @rightwingnews

    Washington Post Brands Bernie Sanders A Liar
    The Washington Post Editorial Board is in high outrage over Bernie Sanders, calling his campaign “fiction filled”

    SEN. BERNIE Sanders (I-Vt.) is leading in New Hampshire and within striking distance in Iowa, in large part because he is playing the role of uncorrupted anti-establishment crusader. But Mr. Sanders is not a brave truth-teller. He is a politician selling his own brand of fiction to a slice of the country that eagerly wants to buy it.

    Mr. Sanders’s tale starts with the bad guys: Wall Street and corporate money. The existence of large banks and lax campaign finance laws explains why working Americans are not thriving, he says, and why the progressive agenda has not advanced. Here is a reality check: Wall Street has already undergone a round of reform, significantly reducing the risks big banks pose to the financial system. The evolution and structure of the world economy, not mere corporate deck-stacking, explained many of the big economic challenges the country still faces. And even with radical campaign finance reform, many Americans and their representatives would still oppose the Sanders agenda.


    http://rightwingnews.com/media-bias/washington-post-brands-bernie-sanders-liar/

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    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CZ15a1sVIAAGRCN.jpg:large

    A Quarter Billion Arguments for Reducing the Size and Scope of Government https://shar.es/1h8yFh via @sharethis

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    “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
    And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
    Ronald Reagan

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    #BS
    North Korea Honors Bernie Sanders for his Socialist Stances https://shar.es/1h81ZS via @sharethis

    North Korea Honors Bernie Sanders for his Socialist Stances
    http://thepeoplescube.com/images/Sanders_Bust_North_Korea.jpg
    PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA- Reports are surfacing from various Chinese news sources that a bust of Bernie Sanders has been erected in the ‘people’s garden’ behind the Presidential Palace at Pyongyang, the capitol of North Korea, sometime during the past few weeks. According to said sources, a plaque beneath the statue reads “Bernie Sanders, Hero of True Socialism, Proponent of Communist Ideals”.

    This event marks the first time that a U.S. citizen has received any kind of recognition from the DKRP and is only one of a few other foreign nationals to be officially recognized by the State of North Korea. The only other foreign recipients to be honored with a bust of their likeness has been Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, and Mao Zedong who are all reportedly located side by side in the garden among twenty other busts of North Korean nationals recognized for their “heroic socialism”.

    According to the reports, Sanders’ political, cultural, and economic views has been catching various members of the North Korean government’s attention in a very positive way, and has even earned Kim Jong Un’s official endorsement. It is rumored that Kim Jong Un himself ordered the bust to be made since it was reportedly him who personally unveiled the Sanders bust in front of a small gathering of high-ranking North Korean officials. – See more at: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/north-korea-honors-bernie-sanders-for-his-socialist-stances-t17489.html

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    Venezuela’s state informers: patriots or snitches? http://news.yahoo.com/venezuelas-state-informers-patriots-snitches-121402673.html?

    Venezuela’s state informers: patriots or snitches?

    CARACAS (Reuters) – Retired pilot Rodolfo Gonzalez was relaxing at home after a cinema outing in April 2014 when Venezuelan intelligence agents burst into his Caracas apartment.

    The officials handcuffed and whisked him away, accusing the 63-year old of being “one of the brains” behind that year’s anti-government protests that left 43 people dead, according to his wife who was briefly taken with him.

    His accuser was a “cooperating patriot” who handed authorities a purported audio recording in which Gonzalez revealed “destabilizing actions” against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, according to a court transcript.

    “Cooperating patriots,” or anonymous informers, have during Maduro’s nearly three years in power taken an increasingly important role in providing information that leads to arrests of government foes, a Reuters review has found.

    Maduro’s government lauds them as guardians of its socialist revolution, helping curb the opposition’s radical wing and staving off alleged coup plans.

    Critics and legal experts say the informers are used as pro-government snitches to spread fear, weakening Venezuela’s democracy and flawed justice system.
    http://news.yahoo.com/venezuelas-state-informers-patriots-snitches-121402673.html

  • Torcer

    “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
    And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
    Ronald Reagan

  • Torcer

    #BS
    North Korea Honors Bernie Sanders for his Socialist Stances https://shar.es/1h81ZS via @sharethis

    North Korea Honors Bernie Sanders for his Socialist Stances
    http://thepeoplescube.com/images/Sanders_Bust_North_Korea.jpg
    PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA- Reports are surfacing from various Chinese news sources that a bust of Bernie Sanders has been erected in the ‘people’s garden’ behind the Presidential Palace at Pyongyang, the capitol of North Korea, sometime during the past few weeks. According to said sources, a plaque beneath the statue reads “Bernie Sanders, Hero of True Socialism, Proponent of Communist Ideals”.

    This event marks the first time that a U.S. citizen has received any kind of recognition from the DKRP and is only one of a few other foreign nationals to be officially recognized by the State of North Korea. The only other foreign recipients to be honored with a bust of their likeness has been Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, and Mao Zedong who are all reportedly located side by side in the garden among twenty other busts of North Korean nationals recognized for their “heroic socialism”.

    According to the reports, Sanders’ political, cultural, and economic views has been catching various members of the North Korean government’s attention in a very positive way, and has even earned Kim Jong Un’s official endorsement. It is rumored that Kim Jong Un himself ordered the bust to be made since it was reportedly him who personally unveiled the Sanders bust in front of a small gathering of high-ranking North Korean officials. – See more at: http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/north-korea-honors-bernie-sanders-for-his-socialist-stances-t17489.html

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    Venezuela’s state informers: patriots or snitches? http://news.yahoo.com/venezuelas-state-informers-patriots-snitches-121402673.html?

    Venezuela’s state informers: patriots or snitches?

    CARACAS (Reuters) – Retired pilot Rodolfo Gonzalez was relaxing at home after a cinema outing in April 2014 when Venezuelan intelligence agents burst into his Caracas apartment.

    The officials handcuffed and whisked him away, accusing the 63-year old of being “one of the brains” behind that year’s anti-government protests that left 43 people dead, according to his wife who was briefly taken with him.

    His accuser was a “cooperating patriot” who handed authorities a purported audio recording in which Gonzalez revealed “destabilizing actions” against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, according to a court transcript.

    “Cooperating patriots,” or anonymous informers, have during Maduro’s nearly three years in power taken an increasingly important role in providing information that leads to arrests of government foes, a Reuters review has found.

    Maduro’s government lauds them as guardians of its socialist revolution, helping curb the opposition’s radical wing and staving off alleged coup plans.

    Critics and legal experts say the informers are used as pro-government snitches to spread fear, weakening Venezuela’s democracy and flawed justice system.
    http://news.yahoo.com/venezuelas-state-informers-patriots-snitches-121402673.html

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    Bernie Sanders Calls for Sweeping Gun Ban That Would Outlaw All Self-Defense Firearms
    Senator Bernie Sanders, who represents vehemently pro-gun Vermont, has built a fairly firearms friendly voting record during his time in the U.S. Senate. After he recently emerged as the 2016 presidential race’s standard-bearer for the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, progressive politicos who oppose gun rights began to complain about Sanders’ record on guns. In an apparent primary-season about-face on Sunday’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press, Sanders radically adjusted his position on guns and advocated for a sweeping gun ban that would outlaw most firearms designed for home and self defense.

    In the above-embedded clip from Meet the Press, which is featured on Bernie Sanders’ YouTube channel, he said, “Nobody should have a gun who has a criminal background, who’s involved in domestic abuse situations. People should not have guns who are going to hurt other people, who are unstable. And second of all I believe that we need to make sure that certain types of guns used to kill people, exclusively, not for hunting, they should not be sold in the United States of America, and we have a huge loophole now with gun shows that should be eliminated.”

    While most of the positions that he advocated for on guns on Meet the Press fall within the mainstream of the Democratic Party, Media Research Center points out the fact that calling for a ban on all firearms “used to kill people” and “not for hunting” implies a ban on all weapons that are impractical for hunting but used primarily for self defense, including handguns, shotguns, and specific classes of rifles.

    “Coming from a rural state, I think I can communicate with folks coming from urban states where guns mean different things than they do in Vermont where it’s used for hunting,” said Sanders, clarifying that he would continue to defend his home state’s hunting tradition but would oppose gun rights for people living in an urban area.

    The Washington Post notes that the previously pro-gun Sanders won his first House seat with the help of an endorsement from the National Rifle Association.

    In a May op-ed criticizing Sanders’ votes in favor of gun rights, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote, “Sanders, an economic populist and middle-class pugilist, doesn’t talk much about guns on the campaign trail. But his voting record paints the picture of a legislator who is both skeptical of gun control and invested in the interests of gun owners—and manufacturers. In 1993, then-Rep. Sanders voted against the Brady Act, which mandated federal background checks for gun purchasers and restricted felons’ access to firearms. As a senator, Sanders supported bills to allow firearms in checked bags on Amtrak trains and block funding to any foreign aid organization that registered or taxed Americans’ guns. Sanders is dubious that gun control could help prevent gun violence, telling one interviewer after Sandy Hook that ‘if you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.’”
    http://truthinmedia.com/bernie-sanders-calls-for-sweeping-gun-ban-that-would-outlaw-all-self-defense-firearms/

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    Without Free Speech, Cuba Remains Trapped in Totalitarian Unanimity
    https://panampost.com/jose-azel/2016/01/22/without-free-speech-cuba-remains-trapped-in-totalitarian-unanimity/

    Without Free Speech, Cuba Remains Trapped in Totalitarian Unanimity
    “The Hour of Unanimity” is the title of a courageous article in defense of free speech published by Luis Aguilar Leon in Cuba in 1960. As it turned out, it was the last defense of free speech permitted in Castro’s Cuba. Two days after the article’s publication, the publishing newspaper was taken over and Professor Aguilar, who had been a classmate of Fidel Castro, was forced to leave Cuba under threat of execution.
    […]
    Today, Cuba’s totalitarian unanimity still forbids a free press, and nothing in the new US-Cuba policy argues for a free press in Cuba. Yet, the administration is forcefully pursuing an unconditional lifting of the embargo, and those of us committed to the ideals of freedom are labeled as intransigent for not supporting the new course of unconditioned rapprochement with the regime.

    The president and his supporters believe that diplomacy and increased commerce should be the new guiding lights. The new approach to US-Cuba relations makes it clear that liberty for the Cuban people is no longer the primary objective or moral compass of the administration. The natural consequence is the legitimization and, perhaps, perpetuation, of the Cuban tyranny. Totalitarian unanimity is to remain intact.
    https://panampost.com/jose-azel/2016/01/22/without-free-speech-cuba-remains-trapped-in-totalitarian-unanimity/

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    Bernie Sanders Calls for Sweeping Gun Ban That Would Outlaw All Self-Defense Firearms
    Senator Bernie Sanders, who represents vehemently pro-gun Vermont, has built a fairly firearms friendly voting record during his time in the U.S. Senate. After he recently emerged as the 2016 presidential race’s standard-bearer for the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, progressive politicos who oppose gun rights began to complain about Sanders’ record on guns. In an apparent primary-season about-face on Sunday’s episode of NBC’s Meet the Press, Sanders radically adjusted his position on guns and advocated for a sweeping gun ban that would outlaw most firearms designed for home and self defense.

    In the above-embedded clip from Meet the Press, which is featured on Bernie Sanders’ YouTube channel, he said, “Nobody should have a gun who has a criminal background, who’s involved in domestic abuse situations. People should not have guns who are going to hurt other people, who are unstable. And second of all I believe that we need to make sure that certain types of guns used to kill people, exclusively, not for hunting, they should not be sold in the United States of America, and we have a huge loophole now with gun shows that should be eliminated.”

    While most of the positions that he advocated for on guns on Meet the Press fall within the mainstream of the Democratic Party, Media Research Center points out the fact that calling for a ban on all firearms “used to kill people” and “not for hunting” implies a ban on all weapons that are impractical for hunting but used primarily for self defense, including handguns, shotguns, and specific classes of rifles.

    “Coming from a rural state, I think I can communicate with folks coming from urban states where guns mean different things than they do in Vermont where it’s used for hunting,” said Sanders, clarifying that he would continue to defend his home state’s hunting tradition but would oppose gun rights for people living in an urban area.

    The Washington Post notes that the previously pro-gun Sanders won his first House seat with the help of an endorsement from the National Rifle Association.

    In a May op-ed criticizing Sanders’ votes in favor of gun rights, Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern wrote, “Sanders, an economic populist and middle-class pugilist, doesn’t talk much about guns on the campaign trail. But his voting record paints the picture of a legislator who is both skeptical of gun control and invested in the interests of gun owners—and manufacturers. In 1993, then-Rep. Sanders voted against the Brady Act, which mandated federal background checks for gun purchasers and restricted felons’ access to firearms. As a senator, Sanders supported bills to allow firearms in checked bags on Amtrak trains and block funding to any foreign aid organization that registered or taxed Americans’ guns. Sanders is dubious that gun control could help prevent gun violence, telling one interviewer after Sandy Hook that ‘if you passed the strongest gun control legislation tomorrow, I don’t think it will have a profound effect on the tragedies we have seen.’”
    http://truthinmedia.com/bernie-sanders-calls-for-sweeping-gun-ban-that-would-outlaw-all-self-defense-firearms/

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    Without Free Speech, Cuba Remains Trapped in Totalitarian Unanimity
    https://panampost.com/jose-azel/2016/01/22/without-free-speech-cuba-remains-trapped-in-totalitarian-unanimity/

    Without Free Speech, Cuba Remains Trapped in Totalitarian Unanimity
    “The Hour of Unanimity” is the title of a courageous article in defense of free speech published by Luis Aguilar Leon in Cuba in 1960. As it turned out, it was the last defense of free speech permitted in Castro’s Cuba. Two days after the article’s publication, the publishing newspaper was taken over and Professor Aguilar, who had been a classmate of Fidel Castro, was forced to leave Cuba under threat of execution.
    […]
    Today, Cuba’s totalitarian unanimity still forbids a free press, and nothing in the new US-Cuba policy argues for a free press in Cuba. Yet, the administration is forcefully pursuing an unconditional lifting of the embargo, and those of us committed to the ideals of freedom are labeled as intransigent for not supporting the new course of unconditioned rapprochement with the regime.

    The president and his supporters believe that diplomacy and increased commerce should be the new guiding lights. The new approach to US-Cuba relations makes it clear that liberty for the Cuban people is no longer the primary objective or moral compass of the administration. The natural consequence is the legitimization and, perhaps, perpetuation, of the Cuban tyranny. Totalitarian unanimity is to remain intact.
    https://panampost.com/jose-azel/2016/01/22/without-free-speech-cuba-remains-trapped-in-totalitarian-unanimity/

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    Venezuela is on the brink of a complete economic collapse http://wapo.st/1nCRlnD?

    Venezuela is on the brink of a complete economic collapse
    The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.

    The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

    That’s not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Chávez’s socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything from two-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that — in fact, it’s a good idea in general — but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend. And by 2005 or so, Venezuela didn’t.

    Why not? The answer is that Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime, and profits came out but new investment didn’t go in. That last part was particularly bad, because Venezuela’s extra-heavy crude needs to be blended or refined — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. So Venezuela just hasn’t been able to churn out as much oil as it used to without upgraded or even maintained infrastructure. Specifically, oil production fell 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.

    The rest is a familiar tale of fiscal woe. Even triple-digit oil prices, as Justin Fox points out, weren’t enough to keep Venezuela out of the red when it was spending more on its people but producing less crude. So it did what all poorly run states do when the money runs out: It printed some more. And by “some,” I mean a lot, a lot more. That, in turn, became more “a lots” than you can count once oil started collapsing in mid-2014. The result of all this money-printing, as you can see below, is that Venezuela’s currency has, by black market rates, lost 93 percent of its value in the past two years.

    It turns out Lenin was wrong. Debauching the currency is actually the best way to destroy the socialist, not the capitalist, system.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/29/venezuela-is-on-the-brink-of-a-complete-collapse/

  • Torcer

    Venezuela is on the brink of a complete economic collapse http://wapo.st/1nCRlnD?

    Venezuela is on the brink of a complete economic collapse
    The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.

    The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

    That’s not an easy thing to do when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it. How? Well, a combination of bad luck and worse policies. The first step was when Hugo Chávez’s socialist government started spending more money on the poor, with everything from two-cent gasoline to free housing. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that — in fact, it’s a good idea in general — but only as long as you actually, well, have the money to spend. And by 2005 or so, Venezuela didn’t.

    Why not? The answer is that Chávez turned the state-owned oil company from being professionally run to being barely run. People who knew what they were doing were replaced with people who were loyal to the regime, and profits came out but new investment didn’t go in. That last part was particularly bad, because Venezuela’s extra-heavy crude needs to be blended or refined — neither of which is cheap — before it can be sold. So Venezuela just hasn’t been able to churn out as much oil as it used to without upgraded or even maintained infrastructure. Specifically, oil production fell 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.

    The rest is a familiar tale of fiscal woe. Even triple-digit oil prices, as Justin Fox points out, weren’t enough to keep Venezuela out of the red when it was spending more on its people but producing less crude. So it did what all poorly run states do when the money runs out: It printed some more. And by “some,” I mean a lot, a lot more. That, in turn, became more “a lots” than you can count once oil started collapsing in mid-2014. The result of all this money-printing, as you can see below, is that Venezuela’s currency has, by black market rates, lost 93 percent of its value in the past two years.

    It turns out Lenin was wrong. Debauching the currency is actually the best way to destroy the socialist, not the capitalist, system.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/29/venezuela-is-on-the-brink-of-a-complete-collapse/

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    The goal of socialism is communism.
    Vladimir Lenin

    ……………………………………………..
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell
    ……………………………………………
    “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
    ……………………………………………..
    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek
    ………………………………………..

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    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek

  • Torcer

    The goal of socialism is communism.
    Vladimir Lenin

    ……………………………………………..
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell
    ……………………………………………
    “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
    ……………………………………………..
    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek
    ………………………………………..

  • Torcer

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Rus. Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik, former republic. It was established in 1922 and dissolved in 1991. The Soviet Union was the first state to be based on Marxist socialism (see also Marxism; communism). Until 1989 the Communist party indirectly controlled all levels of government; the party’s politburo effectively ruled the country, and its general secretary was the country’s most powerful leader. Soviet industry was owned and managed by the state, and agricultural land was divided into state farms, collective farms, and small, privately held plots.
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/places/commonwealth-independent-states-and-baltic-nations/cis-and-baltic-political-geography/union

    …………………….

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    The goal of socialism is communism.
    Vladimir Lenin

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    By Branch / Doctrine > Political Philosophy > Socialism
    Introduction

    Socialism is a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the workers, either directly through popular collectives such as workers’ councils, or indirectly exercised on behalf of the people by the state, and in which Egalitarianism or equality is an important goal. Thus, under Socialism, the means of production are owned by the state, community or the workers (as opposed to privately owned as under Capitalism).

    Adherents of Socialism are split into differing, and sometimes opposing, branches, particularly between reformists and revolutionaries, and some of these are briefly describe in the Types of Socialism section below.

    The term “socialism” is variously attributed to Pierre Leroux (1798 – 1871) or to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud (1799 – 1879) or to Robert Owen (1771 – 1858) in the mid-19th Century. According to Frederick Engels (1820 – 1895), by 1847, the term “socialism” (usually referring to the utopian philosophies of Robert Owen and Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), was considered quite respectable on the continent of Europe, while “communism” was the opposite.

    History of Socialism
    Certain elements of socialist thought long predate the socialist ideology that emerged in the first half of the 19th Century. For example, Plato’s “The Republic” and Sir Thomas More’s “Utopia”, dating from 1516, have been cited as including Socialist or Communist ideas.

    Modern Socialism emerged in early 19th Century Britain and France, from a diverse array of doctrines and social experiments, largely as a reaction or protest against some of the excesses of 18th and 19th Century Capitalism. Early 19th Century Socialist thought was largely utopian in nature, followed by the more pragmatic and revolutionary Socialist and Communist movements in the later 19th Century.

    Social critics in the late 18th Century and early 19th Century such as Robert Owen (1771 – 1858), Charles Fourier (1772 – 1837), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809 – 1865), Louis Blanc (1811 – 1882) and Henri de Saint-Simon (1760 – 1825) criticized the excesses of poverty and inequality of the Industrial Revolution, and advocated reforms such as the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the transformation of society into small utopian communities in which private property was to be abolished.

    Some socialist religious movements, such as the Shakers in America, also date from this period, as does the Chartist movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom (possibly the first mass working class movement in the world).

    It was Karl Marx, though, who first employed systematic analysis (sometimes known as “scientific socialism”) in an ambitious attempt to expose Capitalism’s contradictions and the specific mechanisms by which it exploits and alienates. His ambitious work “Das Kapital”, the first volume of which was published in 1867 with two more edited and published after his death by Friedrich Engels (1820 – 1895), is modelled to some extent on Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”, one of the cornerstones of Capitalist theory. In it, he transforms Smith’s labour theory of value into his own characteristic “law of value” (that the exchange value of a commodity is actually independent of the amount of labour required to appropriate its useful qualities), and reveals how commodity fetishism obscures the reality of Capitalist society.

    In 1864, the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA) or First International, was founded in London, and became the first major international forum for the promulgation of Socialist ideas, under the leadership of Marx and Johann Georg Eccarius. Anarchists, like the Russian Mikhail Bakunin (1814 – 1876), and proponents of other alternative visions of Socialism which emphasized the potential of small-scale communities and agrarianism, coexisted with the more influential currents of Marxism and social democracy. Much of the developement of Socialism is indistinguishable for the development of Communism, which is essentially an extreme variant of Socialism.

    Marx and Engels, who together had founded the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Germany in 1869, were also responsible for setting up the Second International (or Socialist International) in 1889, as the ideas of Socialism gained new adherents, especially in Central Europe, and just before his death in 1895, Engels boasted of a “single great international army of socialists”.

    When the First World War started in 1914, the socialist social democratic parties in the UK, France, Belgium and Germany supported their respective states’ war effort, discarding their commitment to internationalism and solidarity, and the Second International dissolved during the war.

    In Russia, however, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 – 1924) denounced the war as an imperialist conflict, and urged workers worldwide to use it as an occasion for proletarian revolution. In February 1917, revolution broke out in Russia and the workers, soldiers and peasants set up councils (or soviets in Russian). The Bolsheviks won a majority in the soviets in October 1917 and, at the same time, the October Revolution was led by Lenin and Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940). The new Soviet government immediately nationalized the banks and major industries, repudiated the former Romanov regime’s national debts, sued for peace and withdrew from the First World War, and implemented a system of government through the elected workers’ councils or soviets. The Third International (also known as the Communist International or Comintern) was an international Communist organization founded in Moscow in 1919 to replace the disbanded Second International.

    After Lenin’s death in 1924, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, under Josef Stalin declared a policy of “socialism in one country”, taking the route of isolationism. This led to a polarization of Socialism around the question of the Soviet Union and adoption of socialist or social democratic policies in response, or in other cases the vehement repudiation of all that it stands for.

    However, not everyone saw Socialism as necessarily entailing revolution, and non-revolutionaries such as the influential economists John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946) and John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006), took inspiration from the work of John Stuart Mill as well as Marx, and provided theoretical justification for (potentially very extensive) state involvement in an existing market economy. This kind of Social Democracy (and the more left-wing Democratic Socialism) can be considered a moderate form of Socialism (although many socialists would not), and aims to reform Capitalism democratically through state regulation and the creation of state-sponsored programs and organizations which work to ameliorate or remove injustices purportedly inflicted by the Capitalist market system.
    Criticisms of Socialism

    Criticisms of Socialism range from disagreements over the efficiency of socialist economic and political models, to outright condemnation of socialist states.

    Some critics dispute that the egalitarian distribution of wealth and the nationalization of industries advocated by some socialists can be achieved without loss of political or economic freedoms. Some argue that countries where the means of production are socialized are less prosperous than those where the means of production are under private control. Yet others argue that socialist policies reduce work incentives (because workers do not receive rewards for a work well done) and reduce efficiency through the elimination of the profit and loss mechanism and a free price system and reliance on central planning. They also argue that Socialism stagnates technology due to competition being stifled. The tragedy of the commons effect has been attributed to Socialism by some, whereby when assets are owned in common, there are no incentives in place to encourage wise stewardship (i.e. if everyone owns an asset, people act as if no-one owns it). There has also been much focus on the economic performance and human rights records of Communist states, although this is not necessarily a criticism of Socialism.

    Socialists have counter-argued that Socialism can actually increase efficiency and economic growth better than Capitalism, or that a certain degree of efficiency can and should be sacrificed for the sake of economic equality or other social goals. They further argue that market systems have a natural tendency toward monopoly or oligopoly in major industries, leading to a distortion of prices, and that a public monopoly is better than a private one. Also, they claim that a socialist approach can mitigate the role of externalities in pricing. Some socialists have made a case for Socialism and central planning being better able to address the issue of managing the environment than self-serving Capitalism.
    Types of Socialism

    Democratic Socialism advocates Socialism as an economic principle (the means of production should be in the hands of ordinary working people), and democracy as a governing principle (political power should be in the hands of the people democratically through a co-operative commonwealth or republic). It attempts to bring about Socialism through peaceful democratic means as opposed to violent insurrection, and represents the reformist tradition of Socialism.
    It is similar, but not necessarily identical (although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably), to Social Democracy. This refers to an ideology that is more centrist and supports a broadly Capitalist system, with some social reforms (such as the welfare state), intended to make it more equitable and humane. Democratic Socialism, by contrast, implies an ideology that is more left-wing and supportive of a fully socialist system, established either by gradually reforming Capitalism from within, or by some form of revolutionary transformation.

    Revolutionary Socialism advocates the need for fundamental social change through revolution or insurrection (rather than gradual refom) as a strategy to achieve a socialist society. The Third International, which was founded following the Russian Revolution of 1917, defined itself in terms of Revolutionary Socialism but also became widely identified with Communism. Trotskyism is the theory of Revolutionary Socialism as advocated by Leon Trotsky (1879 – 1940), declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution (rather than Stalin’s “socialism in one country”) and unwavering support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles. Luxemburgism is another Revolutionary Socialist tradition, based on the writings of Rosa Luxemburg (1970 – 1919). It is similar to Trotskyism in its opposition to the Totalitarianism of Stalin, while simultaneously avoiding the reformist politics of modern Social Democracy.

    Utopian Socialism is a term used to define the first currents of modern socialist thought in the first quarter of the 19th Century. In general, it was used by later socialist thinkers to describe early socialist, or quasi-socialist, intellectuals who created hypothetical visions of perfect egalitarian and communalist societies without actually concerning themselves with the manner in which these societies could be created or sustained. They rejected all political (and especially all revolutionary) action, and wished to attain their ends by peaceful means and small experiments, which more practical socialists like Karl Marx saw as necessarily doomed to failure. But the early theoretical work of people like Robert Owen (1771-1858), Charles Fourier (1772-1837) and Étienne Cabet (1788–1856) gave much of the impetus to later socialist movements.

    Libertarian Socialism aims to create a society without political, economic or social hierarchies, in which every person would have free, equal access to tools of information and production. This would be achieved through the abolition of authoritarian institutions and private property, so that direct control of the means of production and resources will be gained by the working class and society as a whole. Most Libertarian Socialists advocate abolishing the state altogether, in much the same way as Utopian Socialists and many varieties of Anarchism (including Social Anarchism, Anarcho-Communism, Anarcho-Collectivism and Anarcho-Syndicalism).

    Market Socialism is a term used to define an economic system in which there is a market economy directed and guided by socialist planners, and where prices would be set through trial and error (making adjustments as shortages and surpluses occur) rather than relying on a free price mechanism. By contrast, a Socialist Market Economy, such as that practiced in the People’s Republic of China, in one where major industries are owned by state entities, but compete with each other within a pricing system set by the market and the state does not routinely intervene in the setting of prices.

    Eco-Socialism (or Green Socialism or Socialist Ecology) is an ideology merging aspects of Marxism, Socialism, Green politics, ecology and the anti-globalization movement. They advocate the non-violent dismantling of Capitalism and the State, focusing on collective ownership of the means of production, in order to mitigate the social exclusion, poverty and environmental degradation brought about (as they see it) by the capitalist system, globalization and imperialism.
    Christian Socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist, and who see these two things as being interconnected. Christian socialists draw parallels between what some have characterized as the egalitarian and anti-establishment message of Jesus, and the messages of modern Socialism.
    http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_socialism.html


  • Torcer

    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. “ Ronald
    Reagan

    “Economic ignorance is the breeding ground of totalitarianism.” – John Jewkes

    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our
    inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the
    state of facts and evidence.” John Adams

    Facts are to the mind what food is to the body. Edmund Burke

  • Torcer

    Thomas More’s Utopia – the island of Utopia
    http://www.bl.uk/learning/images/21cc/utopia/island%20utopia.jpg
    The island of Utopia is in the middle just 200 miles broad, and holds almost at the same breadth over a great part of it; but it grows narrower towards both ends. Its figure is not unlike a crescent: between its horns, the sea comes in eleven miles broad, and spreads itself into a great bay, which is environed with land to the compass of about five hundred miles, and is well secured from winds. In this bay there is no great current, the whole coast is, as it were, one continued harbour, which gives all that live in the island great convenience for mutual commerce; but the entry into the bay, occasioned by rocks on the one hand, and shallows on the other, is very dangerous. In the middle of it there is one single rock which appears above water, and may therefore be easily avoided; and on the top of it there is a tower in which a garri-son is kept the other rocks lie under water, and are very dangerous. The channel is known only to the natives, so that if any stranger should enter into the bay, without one of their pilots, he would run great danger of shipwreck; for even they themselves could not pass it safe, if some marks that are on the coast did not direct their way; and if these should be but a little shifted, any fleet that might come against them, how great soever it were, would be certainly lost.

    There are 54 cities in the island, all large and well-built: the manners, customs, and laws of which are the same, and they are all contrived as near in the same manner as the ground on which they stand will allow. The nearest lie at least 24 miles distance from one another, and the most remote are not so far distant, but that a man can go on foot in one day from it, to that which lies next it. Every city sends three of their wisest senators once a year to Amaurot [the capital] to consult about their common concerns; for that is chief town of the island, being situated near the centre of it, so that it is the most convenient place for their assemblies. The jurisdiction of every city extends at least twenty miles: and where the towns lie wider, they have much more ground: no town desires to enlarge its bounds, for the people consider themselves rather as tenants than landlords. They have built over all the country, farmhouses for husbandmen, which are well contrived, and are furnished with all things necessary for country labour. Inhabitants are sent by turns from the cities to dwell in them; no country family has fewer than forty men and women in it, besides two slaves. There is a master and a mistress set over every family; and over thirty families there is a magistrate.

    Image taken from: Utopia
    Created by: Thomas More
    Publisher: Arte Theodorici Martini
    Date created: 1516
    Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
    Shelfmark: C.27.b.30

    Taken from: Sir Thomas More’s Utopia
    Author / Creator: Thomas More (translated by Gilbert Burnet)
    Publisher: George Routledge & Sons
    Date: 1885
    Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
    Shelfmark: 12204.gg.1/23
    http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/utopia/more1/island1/island.html

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    Facts are to the mind what food is to the body. Edmund Burke

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    “Economic ignorance is the breeding ground of totalitarianism.” – John Jewkes

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    16th century dreams: Thomas More
    Thomas More (1477 – 1535) wrote the first formal utopia. He imagined a complex, self-contained world set on an island, in which communities shared a common culture and way of life.

    This selection of extracts illustrates many of the systems and practices that More imagined for his Utopians. He defined systems of punishment, social hierarchy, agriculture and education, as well as customs for marriage, dress, and death.

    How do More’s versions of social systems and practices compare with those of his own, real, 16th century world? How do they compare with the world today? Which aspects did he retain? Which did he replace?
    Can you find clues to what he was reacting against?

    Should we consider More’s Utopia to be ‘outside time’ and set apart from the real world? Isolation is not only about geography – think about other measures of self-containment.

    What can More’s Utopia tell us about citizenship in the 16th century , and what we can learn about citizenship today?
    Background

    Sir Thomas More was an English lawyer, writer, and statesman. He was at one time one of Henry VIII’s most trusted civil servants, becoming Chancellor of England in 1529.
    http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/utopia/more1/moreutopia.html

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    16th century dreams: Thomas More
    Thomas More (1477 – 1535) wrote the first formal utopia. He imagined a complex, self-contained world set on an island, in which communities shared a common culture and way of life.

    This selection of extracts illustrates many of the systems and practices that More imagined for his Utopians. He defined systems of punishment, social hierarchy, agriculture and education, as well as customs for marriage, dress, and death.

    How do More’s versions of social systems and practices compare with those of his own, real, 16th century world? How do they compare with the world today? Which aspects did he retain? Which did he replace?
    Can you find clues to what he was reacting against?

    Should we consider More’s Utopia to be ‘outside time’ and set apart from the real world? Isolation is not only about geography – think about other measures of self-containment.

    What can More’s Utopia tell us about citizenship in the 16th century , and what we can learn about citizenship today?
    Background

    Sir Thomas More was an English lawyer, writer, and statesman. He was at one time one of Henry VIII’s most trusted civil servants, becoming Chancellor of England in 1529.
    http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/utopia/more1/moreutopia.html

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    Bernie Sander’s Supporter Asked If She Can Define Socialism… http://www.weaselzippers.us/254275-bernie-sanders-supporter-asked-if-she-can-define-socialism/ via @WeaselZippers

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    Bernie Sander’s Supporter Asked If She Can Define Socialism… http://www.weaselzippers.us/254275-bernie-sanders-supporter-asked-if-she-can-define-socialism/ via @WeaselZippers

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    Lib Rag Vox Funds Poll Finding Americans Are Yearning For A Socialist Revolution…. http://www.weaselzippers.us/254657-lib-rag-vox-funds-poll-finding-americans-are-yearning-for-a-socialist-revolution/ via @WeaselZippers

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    Lib Rag Vox Funds Poll Finding Americans Are Yearning For A Socialist Revolution…. http://www.weaselzippers.us/254657-lib-rag-vox-funds-poll-finding-americans-are-yearning-for-a-socialist-revolution/ via @WeaselZippers

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    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek
    ……………………

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    “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Thomas Jefferson
    …………………..

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell
    ………………

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    https://twitter.com/scrowder/status/695358715419955200

    "Democratic" socialism always leads to "national" socialism. Watch the full video https://t.co/PgTxhDLRXQ pic.twitter.com/Jdchuodd3O— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) February 4, 2016

    Yes, Hitler was a Liberal Socialist… | Louder With Crowder
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VybWkpt_3Jo

    …………………………………………………….

    Yes, Hitler was a Liberal Socialist… | Louder With Crowder
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VybWkpt_3Jo
    Published on Feb 3, 2016

    A favorite tactic employed by leftists is to describe the Nazis as “right wing,” with of course, Adolf Hitler as their leader. Rewriting history is pretty common for leftists, but thanks to this nifty thing called “history” in combination with “the internet,” we can bust this myth once and for all…

    Sources? You got it. http://louderwithcrowder.com/myth-bus

    More at http://louderwithcrowder.com

    Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/scrowder
    Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stevencrowde
    Follow me on Vine: https://vine.co/u/1136892885917368320

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    MYTH BUSTED: Actually, Yes, Hitler Was a Socialist Liberal http://louderwithcrowder.com/myth-busted-actually-yes-hitler-was-a-socialist-liberal/ via @scrowder

  • Torcer

    Socialism
    Revisionism and revolution
    In 1889, on the centenary of the French Revolution, a Second International emerged from two rival socialist conventions in Paris. Intended as a revival of the International Working Men’s Association, this new organization was dominated by Marxists in general and the SPD in particular. By this time the SPD was both officially Marxist and a force to be reckoned with in German politics. Despite Otto von Bismarck’s attempts to suppress it, Wilhelm Liebknecht, August Bebel, and other leaders had transformed the SPD into a mass party. But its considerable success—the SPD won almost one-fifth of the votes cast in the parliamentary elections of 1890, for example—raised the question of whether socialism might be achieved through the ballot box rather than through revolution. The “orthodox” position, as developed by the SPD’s chief theorist, Karl Kautsky, tried to reconcile the SPD’s electoral practice with Marx’s revolutionary doctrine. But others had begun to think that it would be better to recognize that circumstances had changed and to revise Marx’s doctrine accordingly.

    Foremost among the “revisionists” was Eduard Bernstein, an SPD leader who became an associate of Engels while living in England to escape Bismarck’s harassment. Bernstein was also exposed to the Fabians while in England, and their example encouraged him to question aspects of Marx’s theory. Like others, Bernstein observed that the living and working conditions of the proletariat were not growing more desperate, as Marx had predicted, but were on the contrary improving, largely as a result of trade-union activity and the extension of the franchise. This led him to conclude that the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism was neither necessary nor desirable. A gradual, peaceful transformation to socialism, he argued in Evolutionary Socialism (1899), would be safer than the revolutionary route, with its dangerously vague and potentially tyrannical dictatorship of the proletariat.

    Bernstein’s writings drew a swift and hostile reaction from his SPD comrades, Kautsky in particular, and from revolutionary Marxists elsewhere. After several years of polemical war between revisionists and orthodox Marxists, the revisionists eventually triumphed within the SPD, which gradually abandoned its revolutionary pretenses. Nevertheless, some stalwarts, such as Rosa Luxemburg, remained faithful to the spirit of revolutionary Marxism.

    Among the remaining orthodox Marxists was the Russian revolutionary V.I. Ulyanov, better known by his pseudonym Lenin. As the leader of the Bolshevik, or “majority,” faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, Lenin himself had been accused of straying from the Marxist path. The problem for Russian Marxists was that Russia in the late 19th century remained a semifeudal country with barely the beginnings of industrial capitalism. To be sure, Marx had allowed that it might be possible for a country such as Russia to move directly from feudalism to socialism, but the standard position among Marxists was that capitalism was a necessary stage of economic and historical development; otherwise, there would be neither the productive power to overcome necessity nor the revolutionary proletariat to win freedom for all as it emancipated itself from capitalist exploitation.

    This had been the standard position among Russian Marxists too, but it was not Lenin’s. Lenin had little faith in the revolutionary potential of the proletariat, arguing in What Is to Be Done? (1902) that the workers, left to themselves, would fight only for better wages and working conditions; they therefore needed to be educated, enlightened, and led to revolution by a “vanguard” party of professional revolutionaries. Moreover, the authoritarian nature of the Russian government required that the vanguard party be conspiratorial, disciplined, and elitist. Lenin’s Russian-Marxist rivals disputed these points, but his manipulation of the vote at a party congress enabled him to label them the Menshevik, or “minority,” faction.

    Lenin’s commitment to revolution thus put him at odds with those who advocated a revised, evolutionary Marxism. In Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), Lenin argued against the revisionists, stating that the improvement in conditions enjoyed by the proletariat of Europe and the United States was a kind of bribe made possible by the “superprofits” that their countries’ capitalists were extracting from the labour and resources of the poorer parts of the world. But imperialism would also be the last stage of capitalism, for it was bound to expose the contradictions of capitalism not only in the industrial countries but also in the countries exploited by the imperialistic powers—hence the possibility of revolution in a country that had not itself gone through capitalism.

    Lenin wrote Imperialism during World War I, which proved to be a watershed in the history of socialism. In the years before war broke out in August 1914, most European socialists had held that the only war the proletariat should fight was the class war against the bourgeoisie. When the war began, however, socialists were forced to choose between international socialism and their countries, and they generally chose the latter—though there were notable exceptions, Luxemburg and Lenin among them. Once the SPD’s contingent in the Reichstag voted to issue war credits, socialists in other countries fell into line behind their own governments. The Second International lingered for a time, but to no effective purpose.

    World War I also inflicted severe hardships on the Russian people, thereby contributing to the collapse of the tsarist regime and creating an opportunity for revolution, which the Bolsheviks seized in the Russian Revolution of 1917. Lenin’s standing among revolutionary Marxists soared, though Luxemburg and others deplored the way in which the dictatorship of the proletariat was becoming a dictatorship of the All-Russian Communist Party, as the Bolsheviks named themselves in 1918. Still, the communists’ victory gave Luxemburg and other revolutionaries hope that the Russian example would inspire socialist revolutions elsewhere.

    For his part, Lenin feared that his regime could not survive without the aid of friendly—and therefore socialist—neighbours. Accordingly, he called a meeting in Moscow to establish a Third International, or Communist International (Comintern). The response from other countries was tepid, and, by the time the delegates convened in March 1919, the prospects for a new international had been further dimmed by the failure of the Spartacus Revolt of the new Communist Party of Germany—a failure that claimed the lives of Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht (the son of Wilhelm Liebknecht), who were summarily executed by counterrevolutionary forces in 1919 (see also Spartacus League). Lenin pressed on with the formation of the Comintern, but it was soon apparent that it was an agent of the new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (formally created in 1922) and not of international socialism as such. Indeed, by this time a fissure had clearly developed between communists on the one hand and socialists, or social democrats, on the other.
    Socialism in the era of world war
    Connect with Britannica

    The division took institutional form as communist parties emerged in one country after another to challenge existing socialist parties and their common enemy, capitalism. In general, the communists were revolutionary Marxists who adhered to what came to be called Marxism-Leninism. Their socialist rivals—variously known as socialists, social democrats, and labourites—were a more diverse group, including both revisionists and non-Marxists, but they were united in their commitment to peaceful, democratic tactics. They were also less likely than the communists to claim that history was moving inexorably toward the demise of capitalism and more likely to appeal to ethical considerations. In England, for example, the reformer Richard Henry Tawney found a receptive audience within the Labour Party when he rested the case for socialism on its promotion of fellowship, the dignity of work, and the equal worth of all members of society.

    On the communist side, the standard was set by the increasingly totalitarian regime of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. Lenin’s death in 1924 led to a power struggle between Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Stalin not only won the struggle but eventually ordered the deaths of Trotsky and other rivals—and of millions more who opposed or resisted his policies. While professing to be a revolutionary in the Marxist-Leninist tradition, Stalin concentrated his efforts on building “socialism in one country,” largely through a program of forced collectivization and industrialization.

    There were occasional deviations from the Marxist-Leninist line, as in the case of Antonio Gramsci, who helped to found the Italian Communist Party in 1921. Gramsci resisted the tendency to reduce Marx’s theory to economic terms, focusing instead on the way in which the “hegemony” of the ruling classes over schools, churches, the media, and other cultural institutions encouraged workers to acquiesce in their exploitation. But Gramsci’s attempt to convince other communists of the revolutionary potential of cultural transformation was restricted by his imprisonment, from 1926 until shortly before his death in 1937, by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.

    Fascist oppression, in fact, was a major problem for communists and socialists alike, not only in Italy but subsequently in Spain under Francisco Franco and in Germany under Adolf Hitler. Socialist parties had drawn enough votes in Germany, Britain, and France to participate in or even to lead coalition governments in the 1920s and ’30s, and in Sweden the Swedish Social Democratic Workers’ Party won control of the government in 1932 with a promise to make their country into a “people’s home” based on “equality, concern, cooperation, and helpfulness.” Wherever fascists took power, however, communists and socialists were among the first to be suppressed.

    Nor were there any signal victories for socialism outside Europe in the years between the world wars. Although Eugene V. Debs won nearly one million votes in the U.S. presidential election of 1920, his showing represented less than 4 percent of the votes cast and remains the electoral high point for American socialists. In India, Mahatma Gandhi attracted a mass following, but his popularity owed more to his campaign for independence from Britain than to the traces of socialism in his philosophy.

    In China another mass movement for national liberation developed at this time, though it was explicitly communist. Its leader, Mao Zedong, helped to found the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921. After a disastrous beginning—the Comintern had pushed the Chinese communists into an alliance with the nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, who attacked the communists as soon as he thought it expedient—Mao retreated to the fields and hills to rebuild the CCP. While remaining faithful to Lenin’s notion of the communist party as the revolutionary vanguard, Mao proceeded to lead a guerilla movement that established its power base among the peasantry, which he regarded as a rural proletariat. In Mao’s hands, moreover, the concept of nation largely replaced that of class, with China represented as a poor and oppressed proletarian nation that had to rise against the oppressing imperialist nations and their bourgeois underlings.
    Postwar socialism

    World War II forged an uneasy alliance between communists and socialists—and between liberals and conservatives—in their common struggle against fascism. The alliance soon disintegrated, however, as the Soviet Union established communist regimes in the eastern European countries it had occupied at the end of the war. The Cold War that ensued deepened the fissure between communists and other socialists, the latter seeing themselves as democrats opposed to the one-party rule of the Soviet Union and its satellites. The Labour Party, for example, won a parliamentary majority in the British elections of 1945 and subsequently established a national health care system and public control of major industries and utilities; when the party lost its majority in 1951, it peacefully relinquished the offices of government to the victorious Conservatives.

    The communists also claimed to be democrats, but their notion of “people’s democracy” rested on the belief that the people were not yet capable of governing themselves. Thus, Mao declared, after Chiang Kai-shek’s forces were driven from mainland China in 1949, that the new People’s Republic of China was to be a “people’s democratic dictatorship”; that is, the CCP would rule in the interests of the people by suppressing their enemies and building socialism. Freedom of expression and political competition were bourgeois, counterrevolutionary ideas. This became the justification for one-party rule by other communist regimes in North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and elsewhere.

    Meanwhile, the socialist parties of Europe were modifying their positions and enjoying frequent electoral success. The Scandinavian socialists set the example of “mixed economies” that combined largely private ownership with government direction of the economy and substantial welfare programs, and other socialist parties followed suit. Even the SPD, in its Bad Godesberg program of 1959, dropped its Marxist pretenses and committed itself to a “social market economy” involving “as much competition as possible—as much planning as necessary.” Although some welcomed this blurring of boundaries between socialism and welfare-state liberalism as a sign of “the end of ideology,” the more radical student left of the 1960s complained that there was little choice between capitalism, the “obsolete communism” of the Marxist-Leninists, and the bureaucratic socialism of western Europe.

    Elsewhere, the withdrawal of European colonial powers from Africa and the Middle East created opportunities for new forms of socialism. Terms such as African socialism and Arab socialism were frequently invoked in the 1950s and ’60s, partly because the old colonial powers were identified with capitalist imperialism. In practice, these new kinds of socialism typically combined appeals to indigenous traditions, such as communal land ownership, with the Marxist-Leninist model of one-party rule for the purpose of rapid modernization. In Tanzania, for example, Julius Nyerere developed an egalitarian program of ujamaa (Swahili: “familyhood”) that collectivized village farmlands and attempted, unsuccessfully, to achieve economic self-sufficiency—all under the guidance of a one-party state.

    In Asia, by contrast, no distinctive form of socialism emerged. Aside from the communist regimes, Japan was the only country in which a socialist party gained a sizable and enduring following, to the point of occasionally controlling the government or participating in a governing coalition.

    Nor has there been a peculiarly Latin American contribution to socialist theory. The regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba tended to follow the Marxist-Leninist path in the 1950s and ’60s, though with increasing moderation in later years, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Liberation theology called on Christians to give priority to the needs of the poor, but it has not developed an explicitly socialist program. Perhaps the most distinctively Latin American expression of socialist impulses was Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez’s call for a “Bolivarian Revolution.” Apart from the appeal to Simón Bolívar’s reputation as a liberator, however, Chávez did not establish a connection between socialism and Bolívar’s thoughts and deeds.

    In many ways, however, the attempt by Salvador Allende to unite Marxists and other reformers in a socialist reconstruction of Chile is most representative of the direction that Latin American socialists have taken since the late 20th century. Elected by a plurality vote in a three-way election in 1970, Allende tried to nationalize foreign corporations and redistribute land and wealth to the poor. These efforts provoked domestic and foreign opposition, which led, in the midst of economic turmoil, to a military coup and Allende’s death—though whether by his or someone else’s hand is not clear.

    Several socialist (or socialist-leaning) leaders have followed Allende’s example in winning election to office in Latin American countries. Chávez led the way in 1999 and was followed in the early 21st century by successful electoral campaigns by self-proclaimed socialist or distinctly left-of-centre leaders in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia. Although it would be too much to say that these leaders have shared a common program, they have tended to support increased welfare provision for the poor, nationalization of some foreign corporations, redistribution of land from large landholders to peasants, and resistance to the “neoliberal” policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
    Socialism after communism

    The most important development in the recent history of socialism is undoubtedly the collapse of communism, first in eastern Europe in 1989 and then in the Soviet Union itself in 1991. Communist parties continued to exist, of course, and some of them remained in power—e.g., in North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and China. But by the late 20th century little of Marxism remained in the policies of the CCP, as economic reforms increasingly favoured private ownership of productive property and encouraged market competition. What did remain was the Leninist insistence on one-party rule.

    Mikhail Gorbachev’s attempts at glasnost (“openness”) and perestroika (“restructuring”), initiated after he became general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985, signaled a move away from one-party rule and the inefficient command economy, in which wages, prices, production, and distribution were determined by bureaucrats. Gorbachev intended perestroika to increase productivity and raise living standards without going far in the direction of a market economy. But glasnost created political opportunities for those who were unhappy with communism, as the downfall of the eastern European regimes indicated; ultimately it prompted a reaction—an attempted coup by a group of hard-line communists in 1991—that failed so swiftly and spectacularly that the Soviet Union itself disintegrated. By the end of the 20th century, communism, though not quite dead, certainly seemed to be dying.

    Beginning in the late 20th century, the advent of what many considered a “postindustrial” economy, in which knowledge and information count for more than labour and material production, raised doubts about the relevance of socialism, which was in theory and in practice primarily a response to industrial capitalism. This conviction led to much talk of a “third way”—that is, a centre-left position that would preserve the socialist commitment to equality and welfare while abandoning class-based politics and public ownership of the means of production. In 1995 the British Labour Party under Tony Blair embraced the third way by forsaking its long-standing commitment to the nationalization of basic industries; in general elections two years later, the Labour Party won a landslide victory, and Blair served as prime minister for the next 10 years. Other heads of government who professed the third way in the 1990s included Pres. Bill Clinton of the United States, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, and Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands.

    Critics on the left complained that the third way reduced equality to an equal chance to compete in economies in which the rich were growing ever richer and the poor were increasingly disadvantaged. Such a position, they insisted, is hardly socialist. But even these critics seldom called for a return to a centralist form of socialism; instead, they were more likely to advocate a decentralist form of market socialism. As the name implies, market socialism blends elements of a free-market economy with social ownership and control of property. Proposals have varied, but the basic idea is that businesses will compete for profits, as in capitalism, but they will be owned, or at least governed, by those who work in them. The workers in every business will choose their supervisors, control their working conditions, set the prices of their products, and decide how to share the profits—or to cope with the losses—of their enterprise. Market socialism is thus a form of “workplace democracy,” or “economic democracy,” that enables workers not only to vote in political contests but also to have a say in the economic decisions that affect them daily in their work.

    If socialism has a future, it may well lie in some form of market socialism. Market socialism promises neither the utopia of the early socialists nor the brave new world that Marx and his followers envisioned as the fulfillment of history. But it does promise to promote cooperation and solidarity rather than competitive individualism, and it aims at reducing, if not eliminating, the class divisions that foster exploitation and alienation. In these respects, this modest, decentralized version of socialism continues to sound the themes that have long inspired people to take up the cause of socialism. Even in Latin America and other places where socialists continue to call for direct, public ownership of natural resources and major industries, they nevertheless leave room for private competition for profits in the marketplace. In one way or another, socialists now seem more interested in bringing the free market under control than in eliminating it completely.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism/Revisionism-and-revolution

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    Socialism
    Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

    This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed. Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their dominance in society. Because such people are rich, they may choose where and how to live, and their choices in turn limit the options of the poor. As a result, terms such as individual freedom and equality of opportunity may be meaningful for capitalists but can only ring hollow for working people, who must do the capitalists’ bidding if they are to survive. As socialists see it, true freedom and true equality require social control of the resources that provide the basis for prosperity in any society. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made this point in Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) when they proclaimed that in a socialist society “the condition for the free development of each is the free development of all.”

    This fundamental conviction nevertheless leaves room for socialists to disagree among themselves with regard to two key points. The first concerns the extent and the kind of property that society should own or control. Some socialists have thought that almost everything except personal items such as clothing should be public property; this is true, for example, of the society envisioned by the English humanist Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (1516). Other socialists, however, have been willing to accept or even welcome private ownership of farms, shops, and other small or medium-sized businesses.

    The second disagreement concerns the way in which society is to exercise its control of property and other resources. In this case the main camps consist of loosely defined groups of centralists and decentralists. On the centralist side are socialists who want to invest public control of property in some central authority, such as the state—or the state under the guidance of a political party, as was the case in the Soviet Union. Those in the decentralist camp believe that decisions about the use of public property and resources should be made at the local, or lowest-possible, level by the people who will be most directly affected by those decisions. This conflict has persisted throughout the history of socialism as a political movement.
    Origins

    The origins of socialism as a political movement lie in the Industrial Revolution. Its intellectual roots, however, reach back almost as far as recorded thought—even as far as Moses, according to one history of the subject. Socialist or communist ideas certainly play an important part in the ideas of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, whose Republic depicts an austere society in which men and women of the “guardian” class share with each other not only their few material goods but also their spouses and children. Early Christian communities also practiced the sharing of goods and labour, a simple form of socialism subsequently followed in certain forms of monasticism. Several monastic orders continue these practices today.

    Christianity and Platonism were combined in More’s Utopia, which apparently recommends communal ownership as a way of controlling the sins of pride, envy, and greed. Land and houses are common property on More’s imaginary island of Utopia, where everyone works for at least two years on the communal farms and people change houses every 10 years so that no one develops pride of possession. Money has been abolished, and people are free to take what they need from common storehouses. All the Utopians live simply, moreover, so that they are able to meet their needs with only a few hours of work a day, leaving the rest for leisure.

    More’s Utopia is not so much a blueprint for a socialist society as it is a commentary on the failings he perceived in the supposedly Christian societies of his day. Religious and political turmoil, however, soon inspired others to try to put utopian ideas into practice. Common ownership was one of the aims of the brief Anabaptist regime in the Westphalian city of Münster during the Protestant Reformation, and several communist or socialist sects sprang up in England in the wake of the Civil Wars (1642–51). Chief among them was the Diggers, whose members claimed that God had created the world for people to share, not to divide and exploit for private profit. When they acted on this belief by digging and planting on land that was not legally theirs, they ran afoul of Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate, which forcibly disbanded them.

    Whether utopian or practical, these early visions of socialism were largely agrarian. This remained true as late as the French Revolution, when the journalist François-Noël Babeuf and other radicals complained that the Revolution had failed to fulfill the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Adherence to “the precious principle of equality,” Babeuf argued, requires the abolition of private property and common enjoyment of the land and its fruits. Such beliefs led to his execution for conspiring to overthrow the government. The publicity that followed his trial and death, however, made him a hero to many in the 19th century who reacted against the emergence of industrial capitalism.
    Utopian socialism

    Conservatives who saw the settled life of agricultural society disrupted by the insistent demands of industrialism were as likely as their radical counterparts to be outraged by the self-interested competition of capitalists and the squalor of industrial cities. The radicals distinguished themselves, however, by their commitment to equality and their willingness to envision a future in which industrial power and capitalism were divorced. To their moral outrage at the conditions that were reducing many workers to pauperism, the radical critics of industrial capitalism added a faith in the power of people to put science and an understanding of history to work in the creation of a new and glorious society. The term socialist came into use about 1830 to describe these radicals, some of the most important of whom subsequently acquired the title of “utopian” socialists.
    Connect with Britannica

    One of the first utopian socialists was the French aristocrat Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon. Saint-Simon did not call for public ownership of productive property, but he did advocate public control of property through central planning, in which scientists, industrialists, and engineers would anticipate social needs and direct the energies of society to meet them. Such a system would be more efficient than capitalism, according to Saint-Simon, and it even has the endorsement of history itself. Saint-Simon believed that history moves through a series of stages, each of which is marked by a particular arrangement of social classes and a set of dominant beliefs. Thus, feudalism, with its landed nobility and monotheistic religion, was giving way to industrialism, a complex form of society characterized by its reliance on science, reason, and the division of labour. In such circumstances, Saint-Simon argued, it makes sense to put the economic arrangements of society in the hands of its most knowledgeable and productive members, so that they may direct economic production for the benefit of all.

    Another early socialist, Robert Owen, was himself an industrialist. Owen first attracted attention by operating textile mills in New Lanark, Scot., that were both highly profitable and, by the standards of the day, remarkably humane: no children under age 10 were employed. Owen’s fundamental belief was that human nature is not fixed but formed. If people are selfish, depraved, or vicious, it is because social conditions have made them so. Change the conditions, he argued, and people will change; teach them to live and work together in harmony, and they will do so. Thus, Owen set out in 1825 to establish a model of social organization, New Harmony, on land he had purchased in the U.S. state of Indiana. This was to be a self-sufficient, cooperative community in which property was commonly owned. New Harmony failed within a few years, taking most of Owen’s fortune with it, but he soon turned his attention to other efforts to promote social cooperation—trade unions and cooperative businesses, in particular.

    Similar themes mark the writings of François-Marie-Charles Fourier, a French clerk whose imagination, if not his fortune, was as extravagant as Owen’s. Modern society breeds selfishness, deception, and other evils, Fourier charged, because institutions such as marriage, the male-dominated family, and the competitive market confine people to repetitive labour or a limited role in life and thus frustrate the need for variety. By setting people at odds with each other in the competition for profits, moreover, the market in particular frustrates the desire for harmony. Accordingly, Fourier envisioned a form of society that would be more in keeping with human needs and desires. Such a “phalanstery,” as he called it, would be a largely self-sufficient community of about 1,600 people organized according to the principle of “attractive labour,” which holds that people will work voluntarily and happily if their work engages their talents and interests. All tasks become tiresome at some point, however, so each member of the phalanstery would have several occupations, moving from one to another as his interest waned and waxed. Fourier left room for private investment in his utopian community, but every member was to share in ownership, and inequality of wealth, though permitted, was to be limited.

    The ideas of common ownership, equality, and a simple life were taken up in the visionary novel Voyage en Icarie (1840; Travels in Icaria), by the French socialist Étienne Cabet. Icaria was to be a self-sufficient community, combining industry with farming, of about one million people. In practice, however, the Icaria that Cabet founded in Illinois in the 1850s was about the size of a Fourierist phalanstery, and dissension among the Icarians prompted Cabet to depart in 1856.
    Other early socialists

    Other socialists in France began to agitate and organize in the 1830s and ’40s; they included Louis Blanc, Louis-Auguste Blanqui, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Blanc, the author of L’Organisation du travail (1839; The Organization of Labour), promoted a scheme of state-financed but worker-controlled “social workshops” that would guarantee work for everyone and lead gradually to a socialist society. Blanqui, by contrast, was a revolutionary who spent more than 33 years in prison for his insurrectionary activities. Socialism cannot be achieved without the conquest of state power, he argued, and this conquest must be the work of a small group of conspirators. Once in power, the revolutionaries would form a temporary dictatorship that would confiscate the property of the wealthy and establish state control of major industries.

    In Qu’est-ce que la propriété? (1840; What Is Property?), Proudhon memorably declared, “Property is theft!” This assertion was not quite as bold as it appears, however, since Proudhon had in mind not property in general but property that is worked by anyone other than its owner. In contrast to a society dominated by capitalists and absentee landlords, Proudhon’s ideal was a society in which everyone had an equal claim, either alone or as part of a small cooperative, to possess and use land and other resources as needed to make a living. Such a society would operate on the principle of mutualism, according to which individuals and groups would exchange products with one another on the basis of mutually satisfactory contracts. All this would be accomplished, ideally, without the interference of the state, for Proudhon was an anarchist who regarded the state as an essentially coercive institution. Yet his anarchism did not prevent him from urging Napoleon III to make free bank credit available to workers for the establishment of mutualist cooperatives—a proposal the emperor declined to adopt.
    Marxian socialism

    Despite their imagination and dedication to the cause of the workers, none of the early socialists met with the full approval of Karl Marx, who is unquestionably the most important theorist of socialism. In fact, Marx and his longtime friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels were largely responsible for attaching the label “utopian,” which they intended to be derogatory, to Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Owen, whose “fantastic pictures of future society” they contrasted to their own “scientific” approach to socialism. The path to socialism proceeds not through the establishment of model communities that set examples of harmonious cooperation to the world, according to Marx and Engels, but through the clash of social classes. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” they proclaimed in the Manifesto of the Communist Party. A scientific understanding of history shows that these struggles will culminate in the triumph of the working class and the establishment of socialism.

    According to Engels, the basic elements of Marx’s theory are to be found in German philosophy, French socialism, and British economics. Of these, German philosophy was surely the formative influence on Marx’s thinking. Born in Trier in the German Rhineland, Marx was a philosophy student at the University of Berlin when the idealism of G.W.F. Hegel dominated German philosophy. Hegel maintained that history is the story of the unfolding or realization of “spirit”—a process that requires struggle, agony, and the overcoming of obstacles to the attainment of self-knowledge. Just as individual persons cannot realize their potential—especially the potential for freedom—if they remain forever in a childish or adolescent condition, so spirit must develop throughout history in a dialectical fashion. That is, individuals and even nations are characters in a drama that proceeds through the clash of opposing ideas and interests to a greater self-awareness and appreciation of freedom. Slavery, for example, was long taken for granted as a natural and acceptable practice, but the slave’s struggle to be recognized as a person was bringing an end to slavery as master and slave came to recognize their common humanity—and thus to liberate themselves, and spirit, from a false sense of the master’s superiority.

    Like Hegel, Marx understood history as the story of human labour and struggle. However, whereas for Hegel history was the story of spirit’s self-realization through human conflict, for Marx it was the story of struggles between classes over material or economic interests and resources. In place of Hegel’s philosophical idealism, in other words, Marx developed a materialist or economic theory of history. Before people can do anything else, he held, they must first produce what they need to survive, which is to say that they are subject to necessity. Freedom for Marx is largely a matter of overcoming necessity. Necessity compels people to labour so that they may survive, and only those who are free from this compulsion will be free to develop their talents and potential. This is why, throughout history, freedom has usually been restricted to members of the ruling class, who use their control of the land and other means of production to exploit the labour of the poor and subservient. The masters in slaveholding societies, the landowning aristocracy in feudal times, and the bourgeoisie who control the wealth in capitalist societies have all enjoyed various degrees of freedom, but they have done so at the expense of the slaves, serfs, and industrial workers, or proletarians, who have provided the necessary labour.

    For Marx, capitalism is both a progressive force in history and an exploitative system that alienates capitalists and workers alike from their true humanity. It is progressive because it has made possible the industrial transformation of the world, thereby unleashing the productive power to free everyone from necessity. Yet it is exploitative in that capitalism condemns the proletarians, who own nothing but their labour power, to lives of grinding labour while enabling the capitalists to reap the profits. This is a volatile situation, according to Marx, and its inevitable result will be a war that will end all class divisions. Under the pressure of depressions, recessions, and competition for jobs, the workers will become conscious that they form a class, the proletariat, that is oppressed and exploited by their class enemy, the bourgeoisie. Armed with this awareness, they will overthrow the bourgeoisie in a series of spontaneous uprisings, seizing control of factories, mines, railroads, and other means of production, until they have gained control of the government and converted it into a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Under socialism or communism—Marx and Engels drew no clear or consistent distinction between the two—government itself will eventually wither away as people gradually lose the selfish attitudes inculcated by private ownership of the means of production. Freed from necessity and exploitation, people will finally live in a true community that gives “each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions.”

    Marx maintained that the revolution by which socialism would be achieved was ordained by the logic of capitalism itself, as the capitalists’ competition for profits led them to create their own “grave diggers” in the proletariat. Even the role of the revolutionary, such as Marx, was confined to that of “midwife,” for revolutionaries could do no more than speed along the inevitable revolution and ease its birth pangs.

    This, at least, was Marx’s more or less “official” doctrine. In his writings and political activities, however, he added several qualifications. He acknowledged, for example, that socialism might supplant capitalism peacefully in England, the United States, and other countries where the proletariat was gaining the franchise; he also said that it might be possible for a semifeudal country such as Russia to become socialist without first passing through capitalist industrialism. Moreover, Marx played an important part in the International Working Men’s Association, or First International, formed in 1864 by a group of labour leaders who were neither exclusively revolutionary nor even entirely committed to socialism. In short, Marx was not the inflexible economic determinist he is sometimes taken to be. But he was convinced that history was on the side of socialism and that the equal development of all people to be achieved under socialism would be the fulfillment of history.

    A membership card of the International Working Men’s Association, bearing the signature of Karl

    Socialism after Marx

    By the time of Marx’s death in 1883, many socialists had begun to call themselves “Marxists.” His influence was particularly strong within the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which was formed in 1875 by the merger of a Marxist party and a party created by Marx’s German rival, Ferdinand Lassalle. According to Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme (1891), Lassalle had “conceived the workers’ movement from the narrowest national standpoint”; that is, Lassalle had concentrated on converting Germany to socialism, whereas Marx thought that socialism had to be an international movement. Even worse, Lassalle and his followers had sought to gain control of the state through elections in hopes of using “state aid” to establish producers’ cooperatives. Marx’s belief in the revolutionary transformation of society soon prevailed in the SPD, but his controversy with Lassalle and the Lassalleans testifies to the existence of other important currents in socialist thought in the late 19th century.
    Christian socialism

    Caught up in these currents were men and women who seemed to agree on little but their condemnation of capitalism. Many prominent socialists were militant atheists, for example, but others expressly connected socialism to religion. Even the rationalist Saint-Simon had called for a “new Christianity” that would join Christian social teachings with modern science and industry to create a society that would satisfy basic human needs. His followers attempted to put this idea into practice, giving rise to a Saint-Simonian sect sometimes called “the religion of the engineers.” This combination of an appeal to universal brotherhood and a faith in enlightened management also animated the best-selling utopian novel Looking Backward (1888), by the American journalist Edward Bellamy. In England the Anglican clergymen Frederick Denison Maurice and Charles Kingsley initiated a Christian socialist movement at the end of the 1840s on the grounds that the competitive individualism of laissez-faire capitalism was incompatible with the spirit of Christianity. Similar concerns inspired socialists in other countries, including the Russian novelist, anarchist, and pacifist Leo Tolstoy.

    Although neither Christianity nor any other religion was a dominant force within socialist theory or politics, the connection between Christianity and socialism persisted through the 20th century. One manifestation of this connection was liberation theology—sometimes characterized as an attempt to marry Marx and Jesus—which emerged among Roman Catholic theologians in Latin America in the 1960s. Another, perhaps more modest, manifestation is the Christian Socialist Movement in Britain, which affiliates itself with the British Labour Party. Several members of Parliament have belonged to the Christian Socialist Movement, including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the son of a Methodist minister, and his predecessor, Tony Blair, an Anglican who converted to Catholicism not long after he left office.
    Anarcho-communism

    Neither Tolstoy’s religion nor his pacifism was shared by the earlier flamboyant Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, who held that religion, capitalism, and the state are forms of oppression that must be smashed if people are ever to be free. As he stated in an early essay, “”The Reaction in Germany”” (1842), “The passion for destruction is also a creative passion.” This belief led Bakunin into one uprising or conspiracy after another throughout his life. It also led him into a controversy with Marx that contributed to disintegration of the International Working Men’s Association in the 1870s. As a communist, Bakunin shared Marx’s vision of a classless, stateless community in which the means of production would be under community control; as an anarchist, however, he vehemently rejected Marx’s claim that the dictatorship of the proletariat was a necessary step on the way to communism. To the contrary, Bakunin argued, the dictatorship of the proletariat threatened to become even more oppressive than the bourgeois state, which at least had a militant and organized working class to check its growth.

    Anarcho-communism took less-extreme forms in the hands of two later Russian émigrés, Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman. Kropotkin used science and history to try to demonstrate that anarchism is not foolishly optimistic. In Mutual Aid (1897) he drew on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to argue that, contrary to popular notions of social Darwinism, the groups that prospered in evolutionary terms were those that practiced cooperation. Goldman, who came to prominence as “Red Emma” in the United States, campaigned against religion, capitalism, the state, and marriage, which she condemned in “”Marriage and Love”” (1910) as an institution that “makes a parasite of woman, an absolute dependent.” She also served a prison term for advocating birth control.
    Fabian socialism

    As the anarcho-communists argued for a form of socialism so decentralized that it required the abolition of the state, a milder and markedly centralist version of socialism, Fabianism, emerged in Britain. Fabian Socialism was so called because the members of the Fabian Society admired the tactics of the Roman general Fabius Cunctator (Fabius the Delayer), who avoided pitched battles and gradually wore down Hannibal’s forces. Instead of revolution, the Fabians favoured “gradualism” as the way to bring about socialism. Their notion of socialism, like Saint-Simon’s, entailed social control of property through an effectively and impartially administered state—a government of enlightened experts. The Fabians themselves were mostly middle-class intellectuals—including George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Graham Wallas, and H.G. Wells—who thought that persuasion and education were more likely to lead to socialism, however gradually, than violent class warfare. Rather than form their own political party or work through trade unions, moreover, the Fabians aimed at gaining influence within existing parties. They eventually exercised considerable influence within Britain’s Labour Party, though they had little to do with its formation in the early 1900s.
    Syndicalism

    Near the anarcho-communists on the decentralist side of socialism were the syndicalists. Inspired in part by Proudhon’s ideas, syndicalism developed at the end of the 19th century out of the French trade-union movement—syndicat being the French word for trade union. It was a significant force in Italy and Spain in the early 20th century until it was crushed by the fascist regimes in those countries. In the United States, syndicalism appeared in the guise of the Industrial Workers of the World, or “Wobblies,” founded in 1905.

    The hallmarks of syndicalism were workers’ control and “direct action.” Syndicalists such as Fernand Pelloutier distrusted both the state, which they regarded as an agent of capitalism, and political parties, which they thought were incapable of achieving radical change. Their aim was to replace capitalism and the state with a loose federation of local workers’ groups, which they meant to bring about through direct action—especially a general strike of workers that would bring down the government as it brought the economy to a halt. Georges Sorel elaborated on this idea in his Réflexions sur la violence (1908; Reflections on Violence), in which he treated the general strike not as the inevitable result of social developments but as a “myth” that could lead to the overthrow of capitalism if only enough people could be inspired to act on it.
    Guild socialism

    Related to syndicalism but nearer to Fabianism in its reformist tactics, Guild Socialism was an English movement that attracted a modest following in the first two decades of the 20th century. Inspired by the medieval guild, an association of craftsmen who determined their own working conditions and activities, theorists such as Samuel G. Hobson and G.D.H. Cole advocated the public ownership of industries and their organization into guilds, each of which would be under the democratic control of its trade union. The role of the state was less clear: some guild socialists envisioned it as a coordinator of the guilds’ activities, while others held that its functions should be limited to protection or policing. In general, however, the guild socialists were less inclined to invest power in the state than were their Fabian compatriots.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism

  • Torcer
  • Torcer

    https://twitter.com/scrowder/status/695358715419955200

    "Democratic" socialism always leads to "national" socialism. Watch the full video https://t.co/PgTxhDLRXQ pic.twitter.com/Jdchuodd3O— Steven Crowder (@scrowder) February 4, 2016

    Yes, Hitler was a Liberal Socialist… | Louder With Crowder
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VybWkpt_3Jo

    …………………………………………………….

    Yes, Hitler was a Liberal Socialist… | Louder With Crowder
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VybWkpt_3Jo
    Published on Feb 3, 2016

    A favorite tactic employed by leftists is to describe the Nazis as “right wing,” with of course, Adolf Hitler as their leader. Rewriting history is pretty common for leftists, but thanks to this nifty thing called “history” in combination with “the internet,” we can bust this myth once and for all…

    Sources? You got it. http://louderwithcrowder.com/myth-bus

    More at http://louderwithcrowder.com

    Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/scrowder
    Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stevencrowde
    Follow me on Vine: https://vine.co/u/1136892885917368320

  • Torcer

    MYTH BUSTED: Actually, Yes, Hitler Was a Socialist Liberal http://louderwithcrowder.com/myth-busted-actually-yes-hitler-was-a-socialist-liberal/ via @scrowder

    MYTH BUSTED: Actually, Yes, Hitler Was a Socialist Liberal
    A favorite tactic employed by leftists is to describe the Nazis as “right wing,” with Adolf Hitler, their leader, as the grand leader of this “right wing” movement. Rewriting history is pretty common for leftists, as their history is littered with injustice (the KKK was founded by Democrats, did you know?). Injustices they claim to fight against today. Awkward.

    Adolf Hitler wasn’t “right wing.” If you take nothing else from this post, just remember Hitler was a socialist. With terrible facial hair. There’s an easy way to remember it, too. NAZI stands for National Socialist German Workers‘ Party. Associate it with blunt mustaches.

    What does National Socialist German Worker’s Party mean? Glad you asked. Is it different from “Democratic socialism”? Only in semantics. A Democracy is mob rule, which is why America is actually a constitutional, representative republic, NOT a democracy. A representative republic protects the minority from the majority, whereas a democracy is the rule of the majority. Leftists get caught up in words, getting tripped up over “National Socialism” as opposed to “Democrat Socialism.” But it’s just that. Semantics. So when Hitler ginned up hatred for the Jews, he could get the mob to agree with him. He could get the mob to believe him. There were no representatives to stop Hitler. He was one man helming the desperation of a majority of people. Spot the difference?

    When we examine Hitler’s Nazi Germany through the lens of history, most, if not all of us, think of the Holocaust. In fact the holocaust might be the only thing we associate with Hitler’s Nazis. We’ve all been told of the Jews being marched off to death camps where they were worked, tortured, then gassed. We’ve also heard of the experiments conducted by Hitler’s Dr. Mengele. All terrible practices which we rightly find horrifying. Unless you’re one of those people who think Planned Parenthood is great.

    What we don’t often hear or learn about is how Hitler ruled the rest of Germany, what his domestic policies were for the German people he didn’t march off to death camps. Hitler’s domestic, socialist policies will be the focus of this post. Trigger warning: they’re eerily similar to what American Democrats tout today. Double trigger warning? He initially had the support of the mob of people. So replace many of Hitler’s policies with something you hear from Bernie Sanders…
    [..]
    Employment for All
    After that depression, Hitler made a huge promise to his people: employment for all. How did he do it?
    http://www.markedbyteachers.com/gcse/history/hitler-s-domestic-policies-between-1933-1939-engaged-widespread-popularity-among-german-people-how-far-would-you-agree.html
    So Hitler created jobs…through government. While at the same time, he criticized certain segments of the population, demeaning them, blaming the countries woes upon them. The rich, they just ruin everything. Sound familiar?
    Big Education
    If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch http://louderwithcrowder.com/holocaust-survivor-draws-chilling-similarities-between-nazism-and-obama/
    […]
    The Police State
    If you dared oppose the Nazis or Hitler politically, especially with your words, you better watch out.
    http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007675
    In Conclusion

    Hitler was a horrible human being. But aside from how he treated the Jews, aside from his monstrous ways, his policies were anything but “conservative.” He wanted big government, he wanted big education, he wanted thought control. He hated political dissidents. He loathed free-speech. He feared an armed citizenry.

    So stop saying “Hitler was right-wing.” No, he wasn’t. If anything, he was a full-fledged left-winger. With a horrible mustache.
    http://louderwithcrowder.com/myth-busted-actually-yes-hitler-was-a-socialist-liberal/

  • Torcer

    Professor Sees Students Supporting Bernie…What He Does Next Has The Internet Going CRAZY http://www.tpnn.com/2016/02/02/professor-sees-students-supporting-bernie-what-he-does-next-has-the-internet-going-crazy/

    Professor Sees Students Supporting Bernie…What He Does Next Has The Internet Going CRAZY

    The attraction of many thousands of young American voters to a 74-year-old self-described socialist running for president was so troublesome to an economics professor at a major American university that he felt he had to, as an educator, try to explain the universal failures of the collectivist system throughout history. So he wrote a blistering op-ed showing just what a disaster socialism has been, from the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago to the currently unfolding calamity in Venezuela.

    “Socialism is a dead end,” University of Oklahoma Professor David Deming wrote in NewsOK, in a post that’s been shared almost 135,000 times since Saturday. “For hundreds of years, it has failed everywhere it’s been adopted. The enthusiasm of our youth for the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a symptom of our failure to educate them, not only in history, government and economics, but also basic morality.”

    The failures of socialism are legion, and as Deming pointed out, are still making headlines today.

    “You don’t have to be a student of ancient history to know socialism doesn’t work,” he wrote. “The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 was an unequivocal demonstration of the moral and economic superiority of capitalism. The misery caused by socialism is unfolding today in Venezuela. Since Venezuela embraced socialism in 1999, poverty, crime and corruption have all increased. Grocery shelves are empty and the annual inflation rate is estimated to be as high as 200 percent.”

    One of the recurring themes in the socialist propaganda is the idea of fairness, as if taking from one person and giving to another is somehow fair; while capitalism, socialists argue, exploits people who exchange property and labor freely. Deming destroyed the socialism talking point, showing the inherent fairness of the free market and its success in creating a higher standard of living.

    “Under capitalism, goods and services are distributed through private, voluntary exchanges. When people engage in volitional transactions, everyone benefits. If we believe a transaction is in our best interest, we have an incentive to maintain good relations with those with whom we’re trading,” the professor wrote. “Thus a society based on freedom and trading promotes good will and civility. Our free-market system has produced the greatest prosperity in human history.”

    Deming saved the most blistering condemnation, not just of socialism but also of its supporters, for the last paragraph of his widely-read op-ed.

    “Socialism isn’t so much a legitimate economic system as it is a moral failing,” he wrote. “It will always exist because ignorant people will always want something for nothing.”
    http://www.tpnn.com/2016/02/02/professor-sees-students-supporting-bernie-what-he-does-next-has-the-internet-going-crazy/

  • Torcer

    Professor Sees Students Supporting Bernie…What He Does Next Has The Internet Going CRAZY http://www.tpnn.com/2016/02/02/professor-sees-students-supporting-bernie-what-he-does-next-has-the-internet-going-crazy/

    Professor Sees Students Supporting Bernie…What He Does Next Has The Internet Going CRAZY

    The attraction of many thousands of young American voters to a 74-year-old self-described socialist running for president was so troublesome to an economics professor at a major American university that he felt he had to, as an educator, try to explain the universal failures of the collectivist system throughout history. So he wrote a blistering op-ed showing just what a disaster socialism has been, from the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago to the currently unfolding calamity in Venezuela.

    “Socialism is a dead end,” University of Oklahoma Professor David Deming wrote in NewsOK, in a post that’s been shared almost 135,000 times since Saturday. “For hundreds of years, it has failed everywhere it’s been adopted. The enthusiasm of our youth for the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a symptom of our failure to educate them, not only in history, government and economics, but also basic morality.”

    The failures of socialism are legion, and as Deming pointed out, are still making headlines today.

    “You don’t have to be a student of ancient history to know socialism doesn’t work,” he wrote. “The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 was an unequivocal demonstration of the moral and economic superiority of capitalism. The misery caused by socialism is unfolding today in Venezuela. Since Venezuela embraced socialism in 1999, poverty, crime and corruption have all increased. Grocery shelves are empty and the annual inflation rate is estimated to be as high as 200 percent.”

    One of the recurring themes in the socialist propaganda is the idea of fairness, as if taking from one person and giving to another is somehow fair; while capitalism, socialists argue, exploits people who exchange property and labor freely. Deming destroyed the socialism talking point, showing the inherent fairness of the free market and its success in creating a higher standard of living.

    “Under capitalism, goods and services are distributed through private, voluntary exchanges. When people engage in volitional transactions, everyone benefits. If we believe a transaction is in our best interest, we have an incentive to maintain good relations with those with whom we’re trading,” the professor wrote. “Thus a society based on freedom and trading promotes good will and civility. Our free-market system has produced the greatest prosperity in human history.”

    Deming saved the most blistering condemnation, not just of socialism but also of its supporters, for the last paragraph of his widely-read op-ed.

    “Socialism isn’t so much a legitimate economic system as it is a moral failing,” he wrote. “It will always exist because ignorant people will always want something for nothing.”
    http://www.tpnn.com/2016/02/02/professor-sees-students-supporting-bernie-what-he-does-next-has-the-internet-going-crazy/

  • Torcer

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Venezuela
    Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/venezuelas-socialist-bernie-sanders-any-questions/ via @IBDeditorials

  • Torcer

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Venezuela
    Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/venezuelas-socialist-bernie-sanders-any-questions/ via @IBDeditorials

    Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions?
    Socialism: Like a skyscraper crane about to topple in high winds, Venezuela is teetering on the brink of a horrific economic collapse. It was brought on by one thing: socialism, taken to the hilt.

    Yet incredibly, neither Bernie Sanders nor his voters make this connection.

    It’s worrisome that so many Americans see socialism in a favorable light these days.

    It points to a collective loss of memory. After all, it’s been decades since the fact that the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet empire collapsed. As chess champion Garry Kasparov has noted in “Winter Is Coming,” there have been no truth commissions or victory parades to institutionalize the monstrous idea’s discreditation and demise. In fact, the idea seems to be resurging in the U.S. Democratic Party, even with examples of its failures continuing, the latest example being Venezuela.

    That reality of socialism and its horrific results is mocked by Sanders himself, who denies it has anything to do with his own ideas. “I myself don’t use the word socialism,” he told a University of Vermont student publication in 1976 “because people have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech.”

    Brainwashed? The very word comes from socialist indoctrination practices. Sanders’ flip dismissal of those realities reminds us of a quote from Nobel Prize winner and author of “The Gulag Archipelago” Aleksander Solzhenitsyn: “Or do they refuse to see?” Yes, Sanders and his followers refuse.

    Even the absence of slave-labor camps, in say, socialist Venezuela, doesn’t get Sanders off the hook. Right now Venezuelans are at the logical conclusion of 18 years of democratic socialism, the kind Sanders has praised in the past, and even benefited from, as he accepted Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s oil largesse — stolen from Venezuela’s people — for Vermont.

    Today Venezuela, with the world’s largest oil reserves is, believe it or not, importing oil. It’s a perfect illustration of Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman’s well known saying that if the Sahara took up socialism, there would soon be a shortage of sand.

    Socialism has also led to massive shortages of food, toilet paper, diapers and medicine, among many other things, all the result of state planning and currency controls and rampant inflation. After 18 years of socialist spending, inflation has hit 720%, the IMF says. And don’t forget that Venezuela also has the world’s highest crime rate, with Caracas rated the world’s most dangerous city by the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.

    Socialist Venezuela is on the verge of a massive Argentina-sized sovereign debt default, with $10 billion in debt payments due this year, and only $8 billion left to buy imports such as food, according to an appalling analysis in the Financial Times by Ricardo Hausmann. Meanwhile, Venezuela ranks No. 1 in the world on economist Steve Hanke’s Cato Institute “Misery Index” which is his measure of each nations’ combined inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Friday, Reuters reported that Venezuela was were desperately trying to swap out their gold reserves with German banks to survive a little longer. No surprise, investment banks say they’re looking at an 80% chance of a default. Blogger Miguel Octavio of The Devil’s Excrement reported this week that the Caracas airport was full of weeping families sending their young people into exile abroad.

    That’s the part of socialism Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to talk about. It’s the same wherever it’s tried. Voters fall for it over and over, and all it brings is failure. Sanders is only continuing the con. When is he going to be called on it?
    http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/venezuelas-socialist-bernie-sanders-any-questions/

  • Torcer

    In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich Hayek noted that “the power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionnaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.”

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    #LINKS to formatted comments

    MYTH BUSTED: Actually, Yes, Hitler Was a Socialist Liberal

    Jerry Brown: ‘Never underestimate the coercive power of the central state’

    Denmark: We Are Not The Socialist Utopia Bernie Sanders Thinks We Are

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America

    Why Socialism Always Fails

    Communism Killed 94M in 20th Century, Feels Need to Kill Again

    The Communist Manifesto

    Scandinavia is a Collectivist Paradise? Not So Much.

    What Is Communism?

    Hitler and the socialist dream

    =========================================

    Why Socialism Always Fails

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=59876#comment-2282110571
    ………………………………
    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    http://moonbattery.com/?p=59876#comment-2296830706
    ………………………………
    Denmark: We Are Not The Socialist Utopia Bernie Sanders Thinks We Are
    http://moonbattery.com/?p=59876#comment-2330263030
    …………………………………..

    Jerry Brown: ‘Never underestimate the coercive power of the central state’

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=59876#comment-2429290881

    MYTH BUSTED: Actually, Yes, Hitler Was a Socialist Liberal

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=59876#comment-2496475729

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    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek

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    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

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    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek

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    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek

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    Bernie Sanders’ Economic Plan Doesn’t Add Up SAY DEMOCRAT ECONOMISTS https://shar.es/14QMYN via @gatewaypundit

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    Venezuela Is Out of Food: Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like http://bit.ly/1PKZL3e #news via @activistpost

    Venezuela Is Out of Food: Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like
    Venezuela is out of food.

    After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.” This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

    Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic but, really, it’s far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people. For the past two years, I’ve been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse.

    A quick review: Why Venezuela Is Out of Food

    In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal. The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

    Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies.
    Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.”

    Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception. Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items.

    Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear. As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment.

    As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer. They assumed control of essential goods like food, and began putting retail outlets out of business. Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.

    But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed. (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work? Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.) This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food. The Ministry of Urban Farming was created to oversee this. While self-reliance sounds great, it isn’t so great in Venezuela. Just so the urban farmers don’t get too self-reliant, a registry of the crops and livestock will be required. (And obviously, they’ve already proven that they have no issue forcing farmers to hand over what they’ve produced.)

    Now, it looks like all of the socialist measures and forced food production haven’t been enough to keep the people of Venezuela fed. The country is in so much trouble now that it isn’t possible to cover it up with propaganda.
    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/02/venezuela-is-out-of-food-heres-what-an-economic-collapse-really-looks-like.html

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    “One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically
    bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite;
    civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The
    normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of
    the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and
    civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us
    less interesting.” – C.S. Lewis

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    Venezuela Is Out of Food: Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like http://bit.ly/1PKZL3e #news via @activistpost

    Venezuela Is Out of Food: Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like
    After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.” This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

    Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic but, really, it’s far more gradual than that.

    In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal. The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

    Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies.
    Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.”

    As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer.

    But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed. (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work? Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.) This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food.

    Now, it looks like all of the socialist measures and forced food production haven’t been enough to keep the people of Venezuela fed. The country is in so much trouble now that it isn’t possible to cover it up with propaganda.
    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/02/venezuela-is-out-of-food-heres-what-an-economic-collapse-really-looks-like.html

  • Torcer

    In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich Hayek noted that “the power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionnaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.”

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    This is because people have been brainwashed by screeds like:

    75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America
    That have an absurd definition of socialism as:

    Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.

    Which is antithetical to the set definition of the word:

    Definition of socialism
    a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/socialism

    Such screeds have things like ‘Laws’,‘Civilization’ and even ‘All Elected Government Officials’ as examples of the wonders of Socialism.

    Of Course, ‘Laws’,‘Civilization’ and even ‘All Elected Government Officials’ have been around for thousands of years and Socialism has only been around for 300 – 400 hundred years, but who wants to quibble about FACTS?

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    “One of the most dangerous errors is that civilization is automatically
    bound to increase and spread. The lesson of history is the opposite;
    civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost. The
    normal state of humanity is barbarism, just as the normal surface of
    the planet is salt water. Land looms large in our imagination and
    civilization in history books, only because sea and savagery are to us
    less interesting.” – C.S. Lewis

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    Socialism
    Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

    This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed. Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their dominance in society. Because such people are rich, they may choose where and how to live, and their choices in turn limit the options of the poor. As a result, terms such as individual freedom and equality of opportunity may be meaningful for capitalists but can only ring hollow for working people, who must do the capitalists’ bidding if they are to survive. As socialists see it, true freedom and true equality require social control of the resources that provide the basis for prosperity in any society. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made this point in Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) when they proclaimed that in a socialist society “the condition for the free development of each is the free development of all.”

    This fundamental conviction nevertheless leaves room for socialists to disagree among themselves with regard to two key points. The first concerns the extent and the kind of property that society should own or control. Some socialists have thought that almost everything except personal items such as clothing should be public property; this is true, for example, of the society envisioned by the English humanist Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (1516). Other socialists, however, have been willing to accept or even welcome private ownership of farms, shops, and other small or medium-sized businesses.

    The second disagreement concerns the way in which society is to exercise its control of property and other resources. In this case the main camps consist of loosely defined groups of centralists and decentralists. On the centralist side are socialists who want to invest public control of property in some central authority, such as the state—or the state under the guidance of a political party, as was the case in the Soviet Union. Those in the decentralist camp believe that decisions about the use of public property and resources should be made at the local, or lowest-possible, level by the people who will be most directly affected by those decisions. This conflict has persisted throughout the history of socialism as a political movement.

    Origins

    The origins of socialism as a political movement lie in the Industrial Revolution. Its intellectual roots, however, reach back almost as far as recorded thought—even as far as Moses, according to one history of the subject. Socialist or communist ideas certainly play an important part in the ideas of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, whose Republic depicts an austere society in which men and women of the “guardian” class share with each other not only their few material goods but also their spouses and children. Early Christian communities also practiced the sharing of goods and labour, a simple form of socialism subsequently followed in certain forms of monasticism. Several monastic orders continue these practices today.

    Christianity and Platonism were combined in More’s Utopia, which apparently recommends communal ownership as a way of controlling the sins of pride, envy, and greed. Land and houses are common property on More’s imaginary island of Utopia, where everyone works for at least two years on the communal farms and people change houses every 10 years so that no one develops pride of possession. Money has been abolished, and people are free to take what they need from common storehouses. All the Utopians live simply, moreover, so that they are able to meet their needs with only a few hours of work a day, leaving the rest for leisure.

    More’s Utopia is not so much a blueprint for a socialist society as it is a commentary on the failings he perceived in the supposedly Christian societies of his day. Religious and political turmoil, however, soon inspired others to try to put utopian ideas into practice. Common ownership was one of the aims of the brief Anabaptist regime in the Westphalian city of Münster during the Protestant Reformation, and several communist or socialist sects sprang up in England in the wake of the Civil Wars (1642–51). Chief among them was the Diggers, whose members claimed that God had created the world for people to share, not to divide and exploit for private profit. When they acted on this belief by digging and planting on land that was not legally theirs, they ran afoul of Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate, which forcibly disbanded them.

    Whether utopian or practical, these early visions of socialism were largely agrarian. This remained true as late as the French Revolution, when the journalist François-Noël Babeuf and other radicals complained that the Revolution had failed to fulfill the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Adherence to “the precious principle of equality,” Babeuf argued, requires the abolition of private property and common enjoyment of the land and its fruits. Such beliefs led to his execution for conspiring to overthrow the government. The publicity that followed his trial and death, however, made him a hero to many in the 19th century who reacted against the emergence of industrial capitalism.

    Utopian socialism

    Conservatives who saw the settled life of agricultural society disrupted by the insistent demands of industrialism were as likely as their radical counterparts to be outraged by the self-interested competition of capitalists and the squalor of industrial cities. The radicals distinguished themselves, however, by their commitment to equality and their willingness to envision a future in which industrial power and capitalism were divorced. To their moral outrage at the conditions that were reducing many workers to pauperism, the radical critics of industrial capitalism added a faith in the power of people to put science and an understanding of history to work in the creation of a new and glorious society. The term socialist came into use about 1830 to describe these radicals, some of the most important of whom subsequently acquired the title of “utopian” socialists.

    One of the first utopian socialists was the French aristocrat Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon. Saint-Simon did not call for public ownership of productive property, but he did advocate public control of property through central planning, in which scientists, industrialists, and engineers would anticipate social needs and direct the energies of society to meet them. Such a system would be more efficient than capitalism, according to Saint-Simon, and it even has the endorsement of history itself. Saint-Simon believed that history moves through a series of stages, each of which is marked by a particular arrangement of social classes and a set of dominant beliefs. Thus, feudalism, with its landed nobility and monotheistic religion, was giving way to industrialism, a complex form of society characterized by its reliance on science, reason, and the division of labour. In such circumstances, Saint-Simon argued, it makes sense to put the economic arrangements of society in the hands of its most knowledgeable and productive members, so that they may direct economic production for the benefit of all.

    Another early socialist, Robert Owen, was himself an industrialist. Owen first attracted attention by operating textile mills in New Lanark, Scot., that were both highly profitable and, by the standards of the day, remarkably humane: no children under age 10 were employed. Owen’s fundamental belief was that human nature is not fixed but formed. If people are selfish, depraved, or vicious, it is because social conditions have made them so. Change the conditions, he argued, and people will change; teach them to live and work together in harmony, and they will do so. Thus, Owen set out in 1825 to establish a model of social organization, New Harmony, on land he had purchased in the U.S. state of Indiana. This was to be a self-sufficient, cooperative community in which property was commonly owned. New Harmony failed within a few years, taking most of Owen’s fortune with it, but he soon turned his attention to other efforts to promote social cooperation—trade unions and cooperative businesses, in particular.

    Similar themes mark the writings of François-Marie-Charles Fourier, a French clerk whose imagination, if not his fortune, was as extravagant as Owen’s. Modern society breeds selfishness, deception, and other evils, Fourier charged, because institutions such as marriage, the male-dominated family, and the competitive market confine people to repetitive labour or a limited role in life and thus frustrate the need for variety. By setting people at odds with each other in the competition for profits, moreover, the market in particular frustrates the desire for harmony. Accordingly, Fourier envisioned a form of society that would be more in keeping with human needs and desires. Such a “phalanstery,” as he called it, would be a largely self-sufficient community of about 1,600 people organized according to the principle of “attractive labour,” which holds that people will work voluntarily and happily if their work engages their talents and interests. All tasks become tiresome at some point, however, so each member of the phalanstery would have several occupations, moving from one to another as his interest waned and waxed. Fourier left room for private investment in his utopian community, but every member was to share in ownership, and inequality of wealth, though permitted, was to be limited.

    The ideas of common ownership, equality, and a simple life were taken up in the visionary novel Voyage en Icarie (1840; Travels in Icaria), by the French socialist Étienne Cabet. Icaria was to be a self-sufficient community, combining industry with farming, of about one million people. In practice, however, the Icaria that Cabet founded in Illinois in the 1850s was about the size of a Fourierist phalanstery, and dissension among the Icarians prompted Cabet to depart in 1856.

    Other early socialists

    Other socialists in France began to agitate and organize in the 1830s and ’40s; they included Louis Blanc, Louis-Auguste Blanqui, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Blanc, the author of L’Organisation du travail (1839; The Organization of Labour), promoted a scheme of state-financed but worker-controlled “social workshops” that would guarantee work for everyone and lead gradually to a socialist society. Blanqui, by contrast, was a revolutionary who spent more than 33 years in prison for his insurrectionary activities. Socialism cannot be achieved without the conquest of state power, he argued, and this conquest must be the work of a small group of conspirators. Once in power, the revolutionaries would form a temporary dictatorship that would confiscate the property of the wealthy and establish state control of major industries.

    In Qu’est-ce que la propriété? (1840; What Is Property?), Proudhon memorably declared, “Property is theft!” This assertion was not quite as bold as it appears, however, since Proudhon had in mind not property in general but property that is worked by anyone other than its owner. In contrast to a society dominated by capitalists and absentee landlords, Proudhon’s ideal was a society in which everyone had an equal claim, either alone or as part of a small cooperative, to possess and use land and other resources as needed to make a living. Such a society would operate on the principle of mutualism, according to which individuals and groups would exchange products with one another on the basis of mutually satisfactory contracts. All this would be accomplished, ideally, without the interference of the state, for Proudhon was an anarchist who regarded the state as an essentially coercive institution. Yet his anarchism did not prevent him from urging Napoleon III to make free bank credit available to workers for the establishment of mutualist cooperatives—a proposal the emperor declined to adopt.

    Marxian socialism
    Despite their imagination and dedication to the cause of the workers, none of the early socialists met with the full approval of Karl Marx, who is unquestionably the most important theorist of socialism. In fact, Marx and his longtime friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels were largely responsible for attaching the label “utopian,” which they intended to be derogatory, to Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Owen, whose “fantastic pictures of future society” they contrasted to their own “scientific” approach to socialism. The path to socialism proceeds not through the establishment of model communities that set examples of harmonious cooperation to the world, according to Marx and Engels, but through the clash of social classes. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” they proclaimed in the Manifesto of the Communist Party. A scientific understanding of history shows that these struggles will culminate in the triumph of the working class and the establishment of socialism.

    According to Engels, the basic elements of Marx’s theory are to be found in German philosophy, French socialism, and British economics. Of these, German philosophy was surely the formative influence on Marx’s thinking. Born in Trier in the German Rhineland, Marx was a philosophy student at the University of Berlin when the idealism of G.W.F. Hegel dominated German philosophy. Hegel maintained that history is the story of the unfolding or realization of “spirit”—a process that requires struggle, agony, and the overcoming of obstacles to the attainment of self-knowledge. Just as individual persons cannot realize their potential—especially the potential for freedom—if they remain forever in a childish or adolescent condition, so spirit must develop throughout history in a dialectical fashion. That is, individuals and even nations are characters in a drama that proceeds through the clash of opposing ideas and interests to a greater self-awareness and appreciation of freedom. Slavery, for example, was long taken for granted as a natural and acceptable practice, but the slave’s struggle to be recognized as a person was bringing an end to slavery as master and slave came to recognize their common humanity—and thus to liberate themselves, and spirit, from a false sense of the master’s superiority.

    Like Hegel, Marx understood history as the story of human labour and struggle. However, whereas for Hegel history was the story of spirit’s self-realization through human conflict, for Marx it was the story of struggles between classes over material or economic interests and resources. In place of Hegel’s philosophical idealism, in other words, Marx developed a materialist or economic theory of history. Before people can do anything else, he held, they must first produce what they need to survive, which is to say that they are subject to necessity. Freedom for Marx is largely a matter of overcoming necessity. Necessity compels people to labour so that they may survive, and only those who are free from this compulsion will be free to develop their talents and potential. This is why, throughout history, freedom has usually been restricted to members of the ruling class, who use their control of the land and other means of production to exploit the labour of the poor and subservient. The masters in slaveholding societies, the landowning aristocracy in feudal times, and the bourgeoisie who control the wealth in capitalist societies have all enjoyed various degrees of freedom, but they have done so at the expense of the slaves, serfs, and industrial workers, or proletarians, who have provided the necessary labour.

    For Marx, capitalism is both a progressive force in history and an exploitative system that alienates capitalists and workers alike from their true humanity. It is progressive because it has made possible the industrial transformation of the world, thereby unleashing the productive power to free everyone from necessity. Yet it is exploitative in that capitalism condemns the proletarians, who own nothing but their labour power, to lives of grinding labour while enabling the capitalists to reap the profits. This is a volatile situation, according to Marx, and its inevitable result will be a war that will end all class divisions. Under the pressure of depressions, recessions, and competition for jobs, the workers will become conscious that they form a class, the proletariat, that is oppressed and exploited by their class enemy, the bourgeoisie. Armed with this awareness, they will overthrow the bourgeoisie in a series of spontaneous uprisings, seizing control of factories, mines, railroads, and other means of production, until they have gained control of the government and converted it into a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Under socialism or communism—Marx and Engels drew no clear or consistent distinction between the two—government itself will eventually wither away as people gradually lose the selfish attitudes inculcated by private ownership of the means of production. Freed from necessity and exploitation, people will finally live in a true community that gives “each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions.”

    Marx maintained that the revolution by which socialism would be achieved was ordained by the logic of capitalism itself, as the capitalists’ competition for profits led them to create their own “grave diggers” in the proletariat. Even the role of the revolutionary, such as Marx, was confined to that of “midwife,” for revolutionaries could do no more than speed along the inevitable revolution and ease its birth pangs.

    This, at least, was Marx’s more or less “official” doctrine. In his writings and political activities, however, he added several qualifications. He acknowledged, for example, that socialism might supplant capitalism peacefully in England, the United States, and other countries where the proletariat was gaining the franchise; he also said that it might be possible for a semifeudal country such as Russia to become socialist without first passing through capitalist industrialism. Moreover, Marx played an important part in the International Working Men’s Association, or First International, formed in 1864 by a group of labour leaders who were neither exclusively revolutionary nor even entirely committed to socialism. In short, Marx was not the inflexible economic determinist he is sometimes taken to be. But he was convinced that history was on the side of socialism and that the equal development of all people to be achieved under socialism would be the fulfillment of history.

    Socialism after Marx
    By the time of Marx’s death in 1883, many socialists had begun to call themselves “Marxists.” His influence was particularly strong within the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which was formed in 1875 by the merger of a Marxist party and a party created by Marx’s German rival, Ferdinand Lassalle. According to Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme (1891), Lassalle had “conceived the workers’ movement from the narrowest national standpoint”; that is, Lassalle had concentrated on converting Germany to socialism, whereas Marx thought that socialism had to be an international movement. Even worse, Lassalle and his followers had sought to gain control of the state through elections in hopes of using “state aid” to establish producers’ cooperatives. Marx’s belief in the revolutionary transformation of society soon prevailed in the SPD, but his controversy with Lassalle and the Lassalleans testifies to the existence of other important currents in socialist thought in the late 19th century.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism

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    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. ”
    ― Margaret Thatcher

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    “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money. ”
    ― Margaret Thatcher

    #weneedliberty #weneedsmallergovt #communist #wakeupamerica #socialist http://www.sonsoflibertytees.com/patriotblog/weneedliberty-weneedsmallergovt-communist-wakeupamerica-socialist/

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    Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. Winston Churchill

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    Carl Sagan’s admonition was that: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
    Trying to pretend a Socialist Worker’s party WASN’T a Socialist Worker’s party is an Extraordinary claim.

    Where is your extraordinary evidence?

    For starters Please explain why they were a ‘Socialist’ ‘Workers’ party:

    Nazi
    German Nationalsozialistische [deutsche Arbeiter-Partei] (National Socialist [German Workers’ Party])
    The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition

    And do try to be creative – you can dispense with the tired and shopworn ‘Propaganda’ excuse or the Red Herring ‘North Korea’ dodge.

    Please include Plenty of EXCERPTS and Links from authentic reference sites to bolster your assertions.

    You could write a term paper filled with BS about propaganda or the North Korea red herring but if that is the extent of your ‘evidence’ it falls way short of being ‘extraordinary’.

    The same holds true for conflict amongst collectivists dodge – Did the treatment of Trotsky somehow prove the USSR wasn’t socialist?

    Then there is this quote:

    In certain basic respects – a totalitarian state structure, a single party, a leader, a secret police, a hatred of political, cultural and intellectual freedom – fascism and communism are clearly more like each other than they are like anything in between.
    Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Associate Professor of History at Harvard New York Times Magazine

    ======================================

    Let’s face it, you leftists cannot escape the bloody history of you base ideology, no matter how many Lies you conjure up to distract and confuse the issue..

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    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

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    NKVD
    NKVD (Russian: Narodnyi komissariat vnutrennikh del; Ukrainian: NKVS, or Narodnyi komisariiat vnutrishnikh sprav [People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs]). A ministry of the Soviet government responsible for security and law enforcement that was set up on 7 November 1917 and reorganized as the MVD on 19 March 1946. During its history the NKVD underwent numerous organizational and functional changes: sometimes, as in 1922–3, 1934–41, and 1941–3, it encompassed not only the secret political police and foreign intelligence but also the regular police force, the border guards, and the prison system. At other times, as in 1917–22, 1923–34, 1941, and 1943–6, it was divided into two separate agencies, one responsible for state security and the other for law enforcement. These changes were due to political rather than administrative factors. The NKVD’s notoriety as an instrument of terror belongs to the periods when the state security apparatus came under its jurisdiction (July 1934 to April 1943, except for February–July 1941).

    At first the Cheka and the NKVD were independent and often competing institutions. When F. Dzerzhinsky, the founder and chief of the Cheka, replaced Hryhorii Petrovsky as head of the NKVD, in March 1919, the institutional friction between the two agencies subsided. Petrovsky’s predecessor was A. Rykov, who headed the NKVD only briefly, in 1917. The new permanent state security organ, the GPU, which replaced the ad hoc and temporary Cheka in February 1922, came under the NKVD. The Unified State Political Administration (OGPU), which succeeded the GPU in November 1923, was separated from the NKVD until July 1934, when it was renamed the Main Administration of State Security (GUGB) and subordinated to the NKVD. Republican commissariats of internal affairs had been abolished in 1930. After F. Dzerzhinsky’s death (1926) the NKVD was headed by V. Menzhinsky until May 1934.

    The unified NKVD (1934–41) consisted of numerous main administrations and departments of Union, republic, and lower levels. The main administrations were state security (Main Administration of State Security), the corrective slave-labor camps (GULAG), the border and internal troops (GUPVO), the worker-peasant militia, and the fire service (GUPO), all of which were established in July 1934. Later the main administrations of state surveying and cartography, highways, and weights and measures were added to the NKVD. The commissariat also had an administrative-economic administration, a department of acts of civil status, and a department of colonization. It is evident from its structure that the NKVD was much more than an organ of state security. In fact in the 1930s and 1940s its economic role was most conspicuous. Because it ran a vast network of labor camps, prisons, and other economic enterprises, the NKVD has been called the USSR’s largest employer. Its labor reserves were used in numerous large-scale construction projects, lumbering, and gold mining, and its contribution to the Soviet economy was factored into the five-year plans.

    In the 1930s the Main Administration of State Security (GUGB) constituted the central agency of the NKVD. The GUGB was subdivided into six major departments: special, economic, operative, foreign, transport, and political. The first kept the military under surveillance and was a key source of information on anti-Soviet groups. The economic department was responsible for combating economic sabotage in industry and agriculture. The operative department guarded the top leaders, including Joseph Stalin, and key installations. Foreign espionage and the use of terror abroad came under the foreign department. The transport department protected the transportation network and important shipments in transit. Finally, the political department dealt with political opposition groups and oversaw all organizations. Besides these departments, the GUGB included some technical sections.

    The consolidated NKVD was directed by G. Yagoda (July 1934 to September 1936), N. Yezhov (to December 1938) (see Yezhov terror), and L. Beria (to February 1941, and July 1941 to April 1943). The NKVD played the dominant role in the terror of the 1930s, in which it carried out countless arrests, interrogations, and executions. Its special boards were empowered to sentence people for up to five years’ imprisonment without judicial process. The secret police became the primary pillar of Stalin’s personal dictatorship: it was deployed not only against the general population and the intelligentsia, but also against the Party, the military, and the government. The Communist Party of Ukraine and Ukrainian government leaders, who had shown a reluctance to extend the purge, were decimated by arrests and executions in 1937–8. From September 1937 the republic was virtually governed by the NKVD. The NKVD played a central role in the show trials of old Bolsheviks, such as N. Bukharin, L. Kamenev, and Grigorii Zinovev, and in Leon Trotsky’s assassination. It was responsible for the massacre of over 9,000 people in Vinnytsia in 1937–8 (see Vinnytsia massacre) and of some 4,000 Polish officers in Katyn Forest in 1940. Ironically, Stalin turned the NKVD upon itself: its last three chiefs along with thousands of their followers were destroyed in the great terror of the late 1930s or in the succession struggle after Stalin’s death.

    During the Second World War the NKVD and the People’s Commissariat of State Security (NKGB) were involved separately in various phases of state security. They provided military assistance to the armed forces, organized Soviet partisans (see Soviet partisans in Ukraine, 1941–5), and engaged in intelligence and counterintelligence activities. At the start of the German offensive in 1941, they brutally executed thousands of political prisoners held in their prisons in Western Ukraine. After the war they administered mass deportations of Ukrainians, Balts, and other non-Russians from the newly annexed territories and suppressed anti-Soviet underground organizations and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In January 1946 L. Beria was replaced by S. Kruglov as head of the NKVD, and in March the NKVD was renamed the MVD. The general substitution of ‘ministry’ for ‘commissariat’ was meant to de-emphasize the revolutionary character of the Soviet government.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    Conquest, R. The Soviet Police System (New York 1968)
    Levytsky, B. The Uses of Terror: The Soviet Secret Police, 1917–1970 (New York 1972)
    Conquest, R. Inside Stalin’s Secret Police: NKVD Politics, 1936–1939 (London 1985)
    Dziak, J. Chekisty: A History of the KGB (New York 1988)
    Shapoval, Iu.; Prystaiko, V.; Zolotar’ov, V. ChK–GPU–NKVD v Ukraïni: Osoby, fakty, dokumenty (Kyiv 1997)

    Jaroslaw Bilocerkowycz

    [This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]
    http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pagesNKNKVD.htm

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    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the
    gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
    Winston Churchill

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    FAQ
    Why are the answers in this FAQ so long?
    Socialism is almost globally misunderstood and misrepresented. Socialism will be a basic structural change to society, and many of the things that most people take for granted, as “just the way things have to be”, can and must be changed to establish socialism.
    People tend to accept as true the things they hear over and over again. But repetition doesn’t make things true. Because the truth and the facts often contradict “common knowledge”, socialists have to show that “common knowledge” is wrong. That takes more words than just accepting the status quo.
    What is the World Socialist Movement (WSM)?
    The World Socialist Movement is an organization which began with the founding of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. The Companion Parties of Socialism, which make up the World Socialist Movement, are those parties sharing an understanding of what socialism means, how to establish socialism, and a scientific analysis of past and current society. For more information about the WSM, see Introducing the World Socialist Movement on the World Socialist Movement web site.
    Why doesn’t the World Socialist Movement get involved in social activism?
    By “social activism” most people mean demonstrating, protesting, or otherwise attempting to influence immediate events in society, and still under capitalism. These attempts to reform capitalism have a very long history: as long as capitalism itself. We call these actions “reformism”.
    Organizations which claim to want socialism, and which also promote reforms, ignore socialism and spend their time working for reforms.
    The Companion Parties of Socialism, in the World Socialist Movement, are socialist parties. They promote socialism because that is all a socialist party can promote.
    If you find a “socialist” party promoting “social activism,” you’ll have found a non-socialist party.

    Isn’t socialism what they had in Russia, or in China or Cuba, or in Sweden?
    No. Socialism, as understood by the World Socialist Movement, was never established in any country. A short definition of what we understand to be socialism: a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole.

    If there are wages and salaries, it is not socialism.
    State ownership is not socialism.
    Social programs are not socialism.
    Socialism means democracy at all levels of society, including the workplace.
    Socialism means a wageless, moneyless society.
    Socialism means voluntary labour.
    Socialism means free access to the goods produced by society.

    With this understanding of socialism, the Socialist Party of Great Britain noted in its journal, the Socialist Standard (August 1918, page 87), that the supposedly “Marxist” Russian Revolution of November 1917 was not socialist.
    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.ch/p/faq.html

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell
    ………………

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell
    ………………

    Synonyms of socialism
    noun
    1 SYNONYMS

    leftism, Fabianism, syndicalism, consumer socialism, utopian socialism, welfarism

    communism, Bolshevism

    radicalism, militancy

    progressivism, social democracy

    labourism

    Marxism, Leninism, Marxism–Leninism, neo-Marxism, Trotskyism, Maoism
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/thesaurus/socialism


    ———————————————————–

    Synonyms of communism
    noun
    1‘the social and economic principles of communism’
    SYNONYMS
    collectivism, state ownership, socialism, radical socialism
    Sovietism, Bolshevism, Marxism, neo-Marxism, Leninism, Marxism–Leninism, Trotskyism, Maoism
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/thesaurus/communism


    ————————————————-

    Synonyms and Antonyms of leftism
    a political belief stressing progress, the essential goodness of humankind, and individual freedom
    Synonyms left, liberalism, left wing
    Related Words neoliberalism; radicalism, socialism
    Near Antonyms neoconservatism
    Antonyms conservatism, illiberalism, immobilism, right
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/leftism

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    Bernie Sanders’ Economic Plan Doesn’t Add Up SAY DEMOCRAT ECONOMISTS https://shar.es/14QMYN via @gatewaypundit

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    In “The Road to Serfdom,” Friedrich Hayek noted that “the power which a multiple millionaire, who may be my neighbor and perhaps my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest functionnaire possesses who wields the coercive power of the state on whose discretion it depends whether and how I am to be allowed to live or to work.”

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    Bernie Sanders’ Economic Plan Doesn’t Add Up SAY DEMOCRAT ECONOMISTS https://shar.es/14QMYN via @gatewaypundit

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    The Origin Of Socialism
    Socialism literally sprang from observing the success of capitalism, while believing that conditions for workers could be improved if the control of production were moved from capitalists to the state. A top-down control system, such as that used in large business, was the model for socialist society. Yet the true engine of capitalism, the free market, was overlooked and left out of the plan.

    Social reformers, from the early Utopian Socialists to the Marxists, were literally awed by the tremendous success of capitalistic industrial production. In The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx stated:

    The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground—what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labor. [1]

    The socialists did not want to disrupt this technological miracle, but merely to distribute the profits of it more fairly. They observed the workers earning profits for the wealthy business owners and maintained they were being unfairly exploited. Believing the strength of the system was in its structure, they didn’t want to eliminate businesses, but merely to replace the wealthy business owners with the state.

    As early as 1791 Talleyrand, in France, compared the ideal society to a National Workshop. [2] In the 1820s Henri de Saint-Simon envisioned the ideal society as one large factory.[3] After his death, his followers, calling themselves the Saint-Simonians, devised a system in which all of society would be organized like a single factory and socialism was the word they chose to represent it. [4] This was the origin of socialism—the conception of a centrally-planned society run like a business.

    Throughout socialist writings the theme is recurring. Thomas More, Etienne Cabet, Louis Blanc, Robert Owen, Wilhelm Weitling, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Sydney Webb, William Clarke, and Nikolai (V.I.) Lenin all relied on a top-down structure, like that used in businesses, as the model for socialist society.[5] While they didn’t all express their philosophies the same way, their line of reasoning was basically this: Capitalism, with its scientific approach, had developed the methods of production to such a degree that they became routine tasks. The wealthy capitalists, desiring to live by the labor of others, had divorced themselves from the day to day duties by training others to perform those tasks. The role of the capitalists had therefore become superfluous, and production could go on without them, thus eliminating the exploitation of the workers.

    In his work The State and Revolution, Lenin states:

    Capitalism simplifies the functions of ‘state’ administration; it makes it possible to have done with ‘bossing’ and to reduce the whole business to an organization of proletarians (as the ruling class) which will hire ‘workers, foremen and bookkeepers’ in the name of the whole of society. [6]

    And The Communist Manifesto proclaims:

    The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers…. [7]

    And, these views were not just restricted to socialists. Even scholars who were avowedly against socialism, believed the success of businesses, with centralized and top-down controls, proved the viability of socialism. In 1942 Joseph Schumpeter—Chairman of the American Economic Board—saw in large business enterprise all the ear-markings of a socialistic structure, and from this he surmised that capitalism could readily be replaced by socialism. [8]

    The passage of time has revealed a conclusion quite different from that of Schumpeter’s. Unfortunately, the naive belief that capitalistic efficiency is due to the top-down structure within businesses is simply grist for the mills of social reformers.

    Before going any further it’s a good idea to clarify the terms socialism and capitalism. They have such a wide variety of meanings to different people that clarification is necessary. Afterward, it will be much easier to understand how businesses, in a capitalistic society, with capitalists in charge, can indeed contain a socialistic structure.
    The Capitalist

    The key to understanding the various definitions of capitalism and socialism begins with understanding the concept of the capitalist. To the early social reformers, capitalists were seen as wealthy and greedy business owners who controlled the resources of industry and exploited their positions of power over employees. Exploitation is central to this concept. A capitalist was seen as unfairly using the workers to expand his own wealth while keeping them in perpetual poverty. Marx saw workers as being caught in a trap—wage slavery—needing work, but only receiving subsistence wages. Surplus value was the term he applied to the value created by workers above that compensated to them as wages. He claimed that capitalists expropriated surplus value which rightfully belonged to workers. [9]
    Socialism and Capitalism

    Earlier we described the origins of socialism and showed how its founders intended it to be a social order patterned after businesses; only without capitalists. They wanted to retain the productivity and efficiency, but eliminate the exploitation they saw within the system.

    As these reformers envisioned a social structure to be like a “national workshop” they adopted one critical feature from business—the centralized control of production. Gradually, this became the most defining characteristic of socialism. Indeed, in his 1922 book entitled Socialism, Ludwig von Mises stated:

    The essence of Socialism is this: All the means of production are in the exclusive control of the organized community. This and this alone is Socialism. All other definitions are misleading. [10]

    Other definitions, however, often confirmed Mises’ own. The dictionary definition of socialism is essentially the same—

    A doctrine or movement calling for public ownership of factories and other means of production. [11]

    This definition of socialism has an ironic twist when metaphorically applied to businesses. Most of our large businesses today, in capitalistic countries, have internally socialistic structures—production within them is centrally controlled instead of market-controlled.

    The significance of centralized control is easily overlooked. After generations of such control, both in governments and in businesses, it is difficult for many people to envision any workable alternative. They fail to see the order in de-centralized control systems, such as markets, even though the model for them is readily available—capitalism.

    To many people capitalism simply means a system designed by, and for, the capitalists—a total system for exploitation of workers, and of society, by the wealthy. However, this view is primarily influenced by the concept of the capitalist we described above. The dictionary definition of capitalism reads:

    An economic system, marked by a free market and open competition, in which goods are produced for profit, labor performed for wages, and the means of production and distribution are privately owned. [12]

    As far as it goes, this definition is accurate. But it is even more revealing to compare how production is controlled in capitalism with how it is controlled in socialism . In his book Bureaucracy, Mises stated:

    Capitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters, and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individual’s life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as a central board of production management. [13]

    Thus, the salient feature of capitalism is not that wealthy people are in positions of authority within businesses, but that consumer choices dictate production. A consumer or market-based control of production identifies a system as capitalistic. A centralized control of production identifies a system as socialistic—capitalism is customer-driven, socialism is command-driven.

    According to these meanings of socialism and capitalism if production in a business is governed by plans, rules, budgets, and quotas, it is socialistic. If it is governed by customer demand in an internal market system, it is capitalistic.

    Just because a society is predominantly based on one model, doesn’t mean its businesses can’t be based on a different one. Most large businesses in capitalistic society are structured internally on a socialistic model, but externally they still need to compete for customers. The external system is capitalistic; the internal one, socialistic.
    Are Businesses Socialistic? Does It Matter?

    Are large businesses structured like a socialistic system? Two important reasons exist for understanding if this is true. First, if they are indeed socialistic, then based on our knowledge of history, if we can change the model of our businesses to more closely reflect a Western economic model there is a great potential to revolutionize productivity and increase the standard of living for everyone. Ask yourself, how efficient is socialism? Do we really want our businesses patterned after that same model? Secondly, people often learn their organizational skills through their employment. Then when they look for solutions to non-business problems it’s only natural that they would use the methods they already know. No wonder our government is constantly challenged by creeping socialism!

    Many people would be shocked to hear that large businesses are structured internally like a socialistic government. Here in the United States—the bastion of capitalism—large businesses seem to be the very essence of capitalism. At first blush it seems absurd to think they could be organized in any way similar to socialism. However, once a little history is disclosed about the origin of Socialism this truth soon becomes obvious. The first step is to understand that the socialist concept of the ideal society was from its very beginnings modeled after business. Hence, it is more accurate to say that socialism is based on a business model, than it is to say that business is based on a socialistic model, but either way, they are both based on a model of centralized control.
    The Employment Relationship

    One more clarification is necessary before moving on: The exploitation theory put forward by the social reformers is misleading. The employment relationship is simply a contract. The employer agrees to pay the employee a given wage provided he or she performs specific tasks as directed by the employer. As long as the employer does not ask the employee to do anything illegal or unethical, then he or she is bound to do as instructed, even if it is inefficient, unproductive, and personally unfulfilling. If the employee is not satisfied with the compensation, work environment, tasks assigned, use of resources, or anything else, the employee is free to re-negotiate the contract or leave the relationship and seek employment elsewhere.

    There is really no more exploitation in the employment relationship than in any other market exchange. When people buy and sell they voluntarily give up something they value less for something they value more. They are literally exploiting the differences in perceived value. If there isn’t surplus value in every market transaction then buying and selling won’t occur. Surplus value is essential to any exchange, including employment. If an employee feels he or she is not receiving adequate compensation for a given level of effort then two choices exist: Either petition for a higher salary or exchange labor with a different party. Perhaps another employer will value that person’s labor more highly.

    The concept of the capitalist uses terms implying wickedness on the part of the owners—exploitation, greed, expropriation, etc. However, there is nothing inherently unethical about controlling production within a business centrally, or, using my terms, structuring it on a socialistic model. In fact, for very small businesses there is evidence to suggest that it is an efficient method. It is in large businesses that the inefficiency, stagnation, labor unrest, and a lack of motivation become evident. As long as the owners are willing to accept the consequences of using a centralized model, there is nothing wicked in doing so.
    Social and Economic Symbiosis

    In his modern-day classic The Fatal Conceit, F.A. von Hayek discusses two social forms—the small group and the extended order. Hayek identifies the small group with small top-down hierarchies such as families and tribes, while the extended order he identifies with the spontaneous unplanned social order, capitalism. He states:

    If we were to apply the unmodified, uncurbed, rules of the micro-cosmos (i.e., of the small band or troop, or of, say, our families) to the macro-cosmos (our wider civilization), as our instincts and sentimental yearnings often make us wish to do, we would destroy it. Yet if we were always to apply the rules of the extended order to our more intimate groupings, we would crush them. So we must learn to live in two sorts of worlds at once. [14]

    Profit is not the motive for engaging in the myriad voluntary organizations which give charm to our lives. Charitable organizations, community athletic teams, clubs or associations of common interest, and especially our families; these are the reasons we engage in capitalistic pursuits. The workings of our most cherished institutions are bastions of centralized control and communal ownership. They are not capitalistic in nature, but must be supported and funded by capitalistic methods. Workers are not just one-dimensional machines of production, but interested members of families and communities. Such associations have rewards outside of wages and profits. To use Hayek’s words, “we must learn to live in two sorts of worlds”—social and economic—and learn to protect the unique features of each.

    An economic system cannot function efficiently on a social model. When we extend the workings of the small-group to large-scale enterprise, socialism emerges.

    Socialistic structures of control can be successful only in very small businesses, where inefficiencies are obvious and the natural affections between individuals tend to compensate for the disagreements and injustices which are bound to occur. Indeed, some of our most successful business experiences come about from the esprit de corps present in a small team of individuals with common goals.

    Large organizations are not efficient under socialism because, in a system without consumer-driven prices, no measures exist to guide production. Without such measures the well-meaning participants work at cross-purposes with each other and lost opportunities become increasingly difficult to identify. While people in such a system may fervently desire greater prosperity, the injustice of the system itself becomes a demotivator. Frustration turns to resentment and suspicion. Someone, they feel, must be incompetent or selfish. Unable to see flaws in the overall system they search for villains and saviors.

    The Soviets desired to totally eliminate capitalism by creating state-controlled businesses within a socialistic state. They soon found the laws of human nature and economics prevented a successful implementation of such a scheme. The inevitable episodes of under-producing what was desired and over-producing what was not, forced underground economies to emerge. Black markets supplied what was necessary to keep the people from starving. Repeatedly they had to retreat from socialist ideals and allow some private production to take place. The result was many small capitalistic enterprises within a socialistic environment.

    In the so-called capitalistic countries a different irony emerged. The free market reflected consumer preferences extremely well. Shortages and overages were rare and the standard of living blossomed. But the success convinced the leaders of industry that their business structures were efficient as they were. They could not see the inefficiencies of socialistic systems working right within their own firms. They had achieved socialistically structured businesses within a capitalistic environment. But to add irony upon irony, many of these successful business leaders, believing their own systems to be efficient, tried to infuse the same socialistic practices into the external society. And they were not alone in their attempts. Socialist and communist organizations of all sorts, subversive and blatantly open, tried to accelerate the slide toward a totally socialistic system. Universities, labor unions, the news media, the entertainment industry, and even well-intentioned religious leaders all lent a hand at smiting the capitalist monstrosity. Had it not been for the impossibility of achieving total socialism, as the Soviet Union has so vividly demonstrated, we would have arrived there long ago. In his book Socialism, Ludwig von Mises observed:

    We know that socialist enterprises in single branches of production are practicable only because of the help they get from their non-socialist environment. State and municipality can carry on their own enterprises because the taxes which capitalist enterprises pay, cover their loses. In a similar manner Russia, which left to herself would long ago have collapsed, has been supported by finance from capitalist countries. [15]

    Socialism can exist only in the presence of capitalism, either internal to businesses or external. Someone has to pay for every socialistic measure. As large businesses struggle under the weight of bureaucratic measures some common solutions have been to merge them with other companies or break them up into smaller and smaller units. While destructive in many ways, such changes often help to reintroduce capitalistic measures—infusing the economic calculation of market exchange. Professor Mises put it this way:

    In fact Socialism is not in the least what it pretends to be. It is not the pioneer of a better and finer world, but the spoiler of what thousands of years of civilization have created. Since a socialist order of society cannot exist, unless it be a fragment of Socialism within an economic order resting otherwise on private property, each step towards Socialism must exhaust itself in the destruction of what already exists. [16]

    So here is the all important point at which we have finally arrived: Though socialism can survive only in the presence of capitalism, capitalism (at least in governmental and business realms) does not need socialism! What we need is capitalistic businesses within a capitalistic environment. Not only will our businesses prosper within, but we will stop seeding socialistic practices into the external society and poisoning the well of our own prosperity.

    In the long run the top-down, centrally planned, hierarchy of large businesses is just as certain to “wither away” as is the socialist state. Our task is to design and implement a new business structure based upon constitutional and free-market principles. This is Constitutional Enterprise.

    Notes:

    Marx , Karl; and Engels, Friedrich, The Communist Manifesto, 1848, Penguin Books Ltd., Middlesex, England, 1986, p. 85.Return

    M. Talleyrand-Périgord, Charles Maurice, Rapport sur l’instruction publique fait au nom du comité de constitution de l’Assemblée Nationale, les 10,11, et 19 septembre 1791, Paris, 1791, p. 7-8. Return

    Manuel, Frank E., The New World of Henri Saint-Simon, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1956, p. 308-309, 367. Return

    Hayek, Friedrich A., Individualism and Economic Order, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill. 1948, p. 3.Return

    Laidler, Harry W., History of Socialism, 1968, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York. Although Laidler’s socialist leanings clearly show through, as a single source of diverse socialist viewpoints this 900+ page book is superb. See particularly, p. 28, 48, 62, 95-96, 108, 109, 197-202, 416, 658, and 660. Return

    Lenin, Vladimir Ilich, The State and Revolution, 1917, Penguin Books, New York, 1992, p. 44 See also p. 40, 42-46, 56, 61, 86-87, 90-91, and 98-99. Return

    Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, (noted above), p. 94. Also, p. 85-86. Return

    Schumpeter repeatedly makes claims such as these in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. 1942. New York. Harper & Roe. 1950. See particularly p. 61, 132-134, 186, and 214-215. He also believed managers of American businesses were suitably trained for future roles as leaders in a socialist society, p. 186, 204-205, and 207. Return

    Marx , Karl; and Engels, Friedrich, The Communist Manifesto 1848, Penguin Books Ltd., Middlesex, England, 1986, introduction by J.P. Taylor. See especially pages 31, 37, 88, and 93.Return

    Mises, Ludwig von. Socialism. (1922/1981) Liberty Fund Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 211. (Joseph Schumpeter also defines socialism in similar terms. See Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy (noted above). p. 167.)Return

    The American Heritage Desk Dictionary, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA, 1981, p. 156Return

    The American Heritage Desk Dictionary, (above), p. 883Return

    Mises, Ludwig von, Bureaucracy. (First printing 1944) ©1983 by Margit von Mises. Published by Center for Futures Education, Inc.. Cedar Falls, Iowa, p. 10Return

    Hayek, Friedrich A., THE FATAL CONCEIT The Errors of Socialism, 1988, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, p. 18. Return

    Mises, Ludwig von, Socialism, 1922, Liberty Fund Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1981, p. 118. Return

    Ibid. p. 414. Return
    http://cbc-inc.com/soc_origin.asp

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    “It is bad luck to be superstitious.” – Andrew W. Mathis

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    The Communist Manifesto after 100 years
    The Communist Manifesto, the most famous document in the history of the socialist movement, was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels during the latter part of 1847 and the first month of 1848. It was published in February 1848. This appreciation of the Manifesto at the end of its first century is thus more than a year late. This is a case, however, in which we hope our readers will agree with us: better late than never.
    […]
    The first theoretical expression of a genuinely socialist position came in Thomas More’s Utopia, written in the early years of the 16th Century — in other words, at the very threshold of what we call the modern period. But Utopia was the work of an individual genius and not the reflection of a social movement. It was not until the English Civil War, in the middle of the 17th Century, that socialism first began to assume the shape of a social movement.

    Gerrard Winstanley (born 1609, died sometime after 1660) was probably the greatest socialist thinker that the English-speaking countries have yet produced, and the Digger movement which he led was certainly the first practical expression of socialism. But it lasted only a very short time, and the same was true of the movement led by Babeuf during the French Revolution a century and a half later. Meanwhile, quite a number of writers had formulated views of a more or less definitely socialist character.

    But it was not until the 19th Century that socialism became an important public issue and socialists began to play a significant role in the political life of the most advanced European countries. The Utopian socialists (Owen, Fourier, St. Simon) were key figures in this period of emergence; and the Chartist movement in Britain, which flourished during the late 1880s and early 1840s, showed that the new factory working class formed a potentially powerful base for a socialist political party.
    […]
    Marx and Engels began their work of transforming socialism “from Utopia to science” in the early 1840s. In the next few years of profound study and intense discussion they worked out their own new socialist synthesis.
    http://archive.monthlyreview.org/index.php/mr/article/view/MR-001-04-1949-08_2/0

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    The only thing worse than a person who knows everything, is a person who thinks they know everything, but knows nothing. -Anon

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    The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. – Albert Einstein

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    A society based on the freedom to choose is better than a society based
    on the principles of socialism, communism and coercion. – M Friedman

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    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it -George Santayana

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    Woe to that nation whose literature is disturbed by the intervention of power. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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    19180830-grave uritzy red terror.jpg

    File:19180830-grave uritzy red terror.jpg – Wikimedia Commons
    1024 × 758

    English: Guards at the grave of Moisei Uritsky. Petrograd. Translation of the banner: “Death to the bourgeois and their helpers. Long live the Red Terror.”

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:19180830-grave_uritzy_red_terror.jpg

    19180830-grave_uritzy_red_terror.jpg

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    The Communist Manifesto after 100 years

    It is now 150 years since the Communist Manifesto was first published. Much has happened in the almost 150 years since this article* was written but its analysis remains valid today. Capitalism remains capitalism and Marxism and socialism are as valid as ever.

    The Communist Manifesto, the most famous document in the history of the socialist movement, was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels during the latter part of 1847 and the first month of 1848. It was published in February 1848. This appreciation of the Manifesto at the end of its first century is thus more than a year late. This is a case, however, in which we hope our readers will agree with us: better late than never.
    Historical importance of the Manifesto

    What gives the Manifesto its unique importance? In order to answer this question it is necessary to see clearly its place in the history of socialism.

    Despite a frequently encountered opinion to the contrary, there was no socialism in ancient or medieval times. There were movements and doctrines of social reform which were radical in the sense that they sought greater equality or even complete community of consumer goods, but none even approached the modern socialist conception of a society in which the means of production are publicly owned and managed. This is, of course, not surprising. Production actually took place on a primitive level in scattered workshops and agricultural strips — conditions under which public ownership and management were not only impossible but even unthinkable.

    The first theoretical expression of a genuinely socialist position came in Thomas More’s Utopia, written in the early years of the 16th Century — in other words, at the very threshold of what we call the modern period. But Utopia was the work of an individual genius and not the reflection of a social movement. It was not until the English Civil War, in the middle of the 17th Century, that socialism first began to assume the shape of a social movement.

    Gerrard Winstanley (born 1609, died sometime after 1660) was probably the greatest socialist thinker that the English-speaking countries have yet produced, and the Digger movement which he led was certainly the first practical expression of socialism. But it lasted only a very short time, and the same was true of the movement led by Babeuf during the French Revolution a century and a half later. Meanwhile, quite a number of writers had formulated views of a more or less definitely socialist character.

    But it was not until the 19th Century that socialism became an important public issue and socialists began to play a significant role in the political life of the most advanced European countries. The Utopian socialists (Owen, Fourier, St. Simon) were key figures in this period of emergence; and the Chartist movement in Britain, which flourished during the late 1880s and early 1840s, showed that the new factory working class formed a potentially powerful base for a socialist political party.

    Thus we see that socialism is strictly a modern phenomenon, a child of the industrial revolution which got under way in England in the 17th Century and decisively altered the economic and social structure of all of western Europe during the 18th and early 19th Centuries. By 1840 or so, socialism had arrived in the sense that it was already widely discussed and politically promising.

    But socialism was still shapeless and inchoate — a collection of brilliant insights and perceptions, of more or less fanciful projects, of passionate beliefs and hopes. There was an urgent need for systematisation; for a careful review picking out what was sound, dropping what was unsound, integrating into the socialist outlook the most progressive elements of bourgeois philosophy and social science.

    It was the historical mission of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to perform this task. They appeared on the scene at just the right time; they were admirably prepared by background and training; they seized upon their opportunity with a remarkably clear estimate of its crucial importance to the future of mankind.

    Marx and Engels began their work of transforming socialism “from Utopia to science” in the early 1840s. In the next few years of profound study and intense discussion they worked out their own new socialist synthesis. The Manifesto for the first time broadcast this new synthesis to the world — in briefest compass and in arrestingly brilliant prose.

    The Manifesto thus marks a decisive watershed in the history of socialism. Previous thought and experience lead up to it; subsequent developments start from it. It is this fact which stamps the Manifesto as the most important document in the history of socialism. And the steady growth of socialism as a world force since 1848 has raised the Manifesto to the status of one of the most important documents in the entire history of the human race.
    How should we evaluate the Manifesto today?

    How has the Manifesto stood up during its first 100 years? The answer we give to this question will depend largely on the criteria by which — consciously or unconsciously — we form our judgments.

    Some who consider themselves Marxists approach the Manifesto in the spirit of a religious fundamentalist approaching the Bible — every word and every proposition were literally true when written and remain sacrosanct and untouchable after the most eventful century in world history. It is, of course, not difficult to demonstrate to the satisfaction of any reasonable person that this is an untenable position. For this very reason, no doubt, a favorite procedure of enemies of Marxism is to assume that all Marxists take this view of the Manifesto. If the Manifesto is judged by the criterion of 100 per cent infallibility it can be readily disposed of by any second-rate hack who thus convinces himself that he is a greater man than the founders of scientific socialism. The American academic community, it may be noted in passing, is full of such great men today. But theirs is a hollow victory which, though repeated thousands of times every year, leaves the Manifesto untouched and the stature of its authors undiminished.

    Much more relevant and significant are the criteria which Marx and Engels themselves, in later years, used in judging the Manifesto. For this reason the prefaces which they wrote to various reprints and translations are both revealing and important (especially the prefaces to the German edition of 1872, the Russian edition of 1882, the German edition of 1883, and the English edition of 1888). Let us sum up what seem to us to be the main points which emerge from a study of these prefaces:

    In certain respects, Marx and Engels regarded the Manifesto as clearly dated. This is particularly the case as regards the programmatic section and the section dealing with socialist literature (end of Part II and all of Part III).
    The general principles set forth in the Manifesto were, in their view, “on the whole as correct today as ever” (first written in 1872, repeated in 1888).
    The experience of the Paris Commune caused them to add a principle of great importance which was absent from the original, namely, that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes.” In other words, the “ready-made state machinery” had been created by and for the existing ruling classes and would have to be replaced by new state machinery after the conquest of power by the working class.
    Finally — and this is perhaps the most important point of all — in their last joint preface (to the Russian edition of 1882), Marx and Engels brought out clearly the fact that the Manifesto was based on the historical experience of western and central Europe. But by 1882 Russia, in their opinion, formed the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe,” and this development inevitably gave rise to new questions and problems which did not and could not arise within the framework of the original Manifesto.

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    Official name
    The Principality of Andorra
    Australia
    The Commonwealth of the Bahamas
    Barbados
    Belize
    Burkina Faso
    Canada
    The Cook Islands
    The Kingdom of Denmark
    The Commonwealth of Dominica
    The State of Eritrea
    Faroe Islands
    Georgia
    Hungary
    Ireland
    The State of Israel
    Jamaica
    Japan
    The State of Kuwait
    The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    Malaysia
    The United Mexican States
    The Principality of Monaco
    Mongolia
    Montenegro
    The Kingdom of the Netherlands
    New Zealand
    The Kingdom of Norway
    Independent State of Papua New Guinea
    The State of Qatar
    Romania
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Saint Lucia
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    The Independent State of Samoa
    Solomon Islands
    The Kingdom of Sweden
    The Swiss Confederation
    Tokelau
    Tuvalu
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    The United States of America
    http://www.fao.org/countryprofiles/iso3list/en/

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    How Many Have Communists Murdered?
    R. J. Rummel
    Professor of Political Science
    University of Hawaii

    Based on R.J.Rummel, Death By Government (New Brunswick,
    NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1994)

    With the passing of communism into history as an
    ideological alternative to democracy it is time to do some
    accounting of its human costs.
    Few would deny any longer that communism–Marxism-Leninism
    and its variants–meant in practice bloody terrorism,
    deadly purges, lethal gulags and forced labor, fatal
    deportations, man-made famines, extrajudicial executions
    and show trials, and genocide. It is also widely known that
    as a result millions of innocent people have been murdered
    in cold blood. Yet there has been virtually no concentrated
    statistical work on what this total might be.
    For about eight years I have been sifting through
    thousands of sources trying to determine the extent of
    democide (genocide and mass murder) in this century. As a
    result of that effort I am able to give some conservative
    figures on what is an unrivaled communist hecatomb, and to
    compare this to overall world totals.
    First, however, I should clarify the term
    democide. It means for governments what murder means for an
    individual under municipal law. It is the premeditated
    killing of a person in cold blood, or causing the death of
    a person through reckless and wanton disregard for their
    life. Thus, a government incarcerating people in a prison
    under such deadly conditions that they die in a few years
    is murder by the state–democide–as would parents letting
    a child die from malnutrition and exposure be murder. So
    would government forced labor that kills a person within
    months or a couple of years be murder. So would government
    created famines that then are ignored or knowingly
    aggravated by government action be murder of those who
    starve to death. And obviously, extrajudicial executions,
    death by torture, government massacres, and all genocidal
    killing be murder. However, judicial executions for crimes
    the internationally would be considered capital offenses,
    such as for murder or treason (as long as it is clear that
    these are not fabricated for the purpose of executing the
    accused, as in communist show trials), is not democide. Nor
    is democide the killing of enemy soldiers in combat or of
    armed rebels, nor of noncombatants as a result of military
    action against military targets.
    With this understanding of democide, the following
    lists all communist governments that have committed any
    form of democide and gives their estimated total domestic
    and foreign democide and its annual rate (the percent of a
    government’s domestic population murdered per year). It
    also shows the total for communist guerrillas (including
    quasi-governments, as of the Mao soviets in China prior to
    the communist victory in 1949) and the world total for all
    governments and guerrillas (including such
    quasi-governments as of the White Armies during the Russian
    civil war in 1917-1922).
    Each line in the list gives, in order, the
    communist regime or group, years in existence up through
    1987, amount of democide in thousands, and the annual rate
    of democide in percent. The world total democide of all
    regimes and groups, whether communist or not.

    Afghanistan 1978-87 228 .157
    Albania 1944-87 100 .118
    Angola 1975-87 125 .302
    Bulgaria 1944-87 222 .062
    Cambodia 1975-79 2,035 8.161
    Cambodia 1979-87 230 .398
    China 1949-87 35,236 .120
    Cuba 1959-87 73 .028
    Czech. 1948-68 65 .024
    Ethiopia 1974-87 725 .162
    Germany,E. 1948-87 70 .011
    Grenada 1983 0.106 NA
    Hungary 1948-87 27 .007
    Korea, North 1948-87 1,663 .250
    Laos (PDR) 1975-87 56 .124
    Mongolia 1926-87 100 .187
    Mozambique 1975-87 198 .123
    Nicaragua 1979-87 5 .020
    Poland 1948-87 22 .002
    Rumania 1948-87 435 .055
    USSR 1917-87 61,911 .422
    Vietnam 1945-87 1,670 .105
    Yemen, S. 1967-87 1 .002
    Yugoslavia 1944-87 1,072 .118

    SUBTOTAL 1900-87 106,267 .477
    GUERRILLAS 1900-87 4,019 NA
    TOTAL 1900-87 110,286 .477
    WORLD TOTAL 1900-87 169,199 .235

    Of course, even though systematically determined
    and calculated, all these figures and their graph are only
    rough approximations. Even were we to have total access to
    all communist archives we still would not be able to
    calculate precisely how many the communists murdered.
    Consider that even in spite of the archival statistics and
    detailed reports of survivors, the best experts still
    disagree by over 40 percent on the total number of Jews
    killed by the Nazis. We cannot expect near this accuracy
    for the victims of communism. We can, however, get a
    probable order of magnitude and a relative approximation of
    these deaths within a most likely range. And that is what
    the figures in list are meant to be. Their apparent
    precision is only due to the total for most communist
    governments being the summation of dozens of subtotals (as
    of forced labor deaths each year) and calculations (as in
    extrapolating scholarly estimates of executions or
    massacres).
    With this understood, the Soviet Union appears the
    greatest megamurderer of all, apparently killing near
    61,000,000 people. Stalin himself is responsible for almost
    43,000,000 of these. Most of the deaths, perhaps around
    39,000,000 are due to lethal forced labor in gulag and
    transit thereto. Communist China up to 1987, but mainly
    from 1949 through the cultural revolution, which alone may
    have seen over 1,000,000 murdered, is the second worst
    megamurderer. Then there are the lesser megamurderers, such
    as North Korea and Tito’s Yugoslavia.
    Obviously the population that is available to kill
    will make a big difference in the total democide, and thus
    the annual percentage rate of democide is revealing. By
    far, the most deadly of all communist countries and,
    indeed, in this century by far, has been Cambodia under the
    Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot and his crew likely killed some
    2,000,000 Cambodians from April 1975 through December 1978
    out of a population of around 7,000,000. This is an annual
    rate of over 8 percent of the population murdered, or odds
    of an average Cambodian surviving Pol Pot’s rule of
    slightly over just over 2 to 1.
    In sum the communist probably have murdered
    something like 110,000,000, or near two-thirds of all those
    killed by all governments, quasi-governments, and
    guerrillas from 1900 to 1987. Of course, the world total
    itself it shocking. It is several times the 38,000,000
    battle-dead that have been killed in all this century’s
    international and domestic wars. Yet the probable number of
    murders by the Soviet Union alone–one communist country–
    well surpasses this cost of war. And those murders of
    communist China almost equal it.
    I should note that communist forced labor was
    particularly deadly, killing about 53,000,000 people. It
    not only accounts for half the deaths under communism, but
    is close to the world total of almost 59,000,000, which
    also includes colonial forced labor deaths (as in German,
    Portuguese, and Spanish colonies). Communists also
    committed genocide, to be sure, killing almost 12,000,000
    people because of their race, religion, or ethnicity, is
    about a quarter of the world total . Communists are much
    less disposed to massacre then were many other noncommunist
    governments (such as the Japanese military during World War
    II, or the Nationalist Chinese government from 1928 to
    1949). Communists were much more discriminating in their
    killing overall, even to the extent that in the Soviet
    Union, communist China, and Vietnam, at least, they used a
    quota system. Top officials would order local officials to
    kill a certain number of “enemies of the people,”
    “rightists”, or “tyrants”.
    How can we understand all this killing by
    communists? It is the marriage of an absolutist ideology
    with absolute power. Communists believed that they knew the
    truth, absolutely. The believed that they knew through
    Marxism what would bring about the greatest human welfare
    and happiness. And they believed that power, the
    dictatorship of the proletariat, must be used to tear down
    the old feudal or capitalist order and rebuild society and
    culture to realize this utopia. Nothing must stand in the
    way of its achievement. Government–the Communist
    Party–was thus above any law. All institutions, cultural
    norms, traditions, and sentiments were expendable. And the
    people were as though lumber and bricks, to be used in
    building the new world.
    Constructing this utopia was seen as though a war
    on poverty, exploitation, imperialism, and inequality. And
    for the greater good, as in a real war, people are killed.
    And thus this war for the communist utopia had its
    necessary enemy casualties, the clergy, bourgeoisie,
    capitalists, wreckers, counterrevolutionaries, rightists,
    tyrants, rich, landlords, and noncombatants that
    unfortunately got caught in the battle. In a war millions
    may die, but the cause may be well justified, as in the
    defeat of Hitler and an utterly racist Nazism. And to many
    communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to
    justify all the deaths. The irony of this is that communism
    in practice, even after decades of total control, did not
    improve the lot of the average person, but usually made
    their living conditions worse than before the revolution.
    It is not by chance that the greatest famines have occurred
    within the Soviet Union (about 5,000,000 dead during
    1921-23 and 7,000,000 during 1932-3) and communist China
    (about 27,000,000 dead from 1959-61). In total almost
    55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and
    associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from
    democidal famine. This is as though the total population of
    Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out.
    And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist
    countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina
    or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people,
    was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of
    Marxism-Leninism.
    http://www.virtualschool.edu/mon/SocialConstruction/GenocideAndMassMurder.html

    ………………

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    Woe to that nation whose literature is disturbed by the intervention of power. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Nazi Party
    political party, Germany
    Alternative Titles: National Socialist German Workers’ Party, National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP

    Nazi Party, byname of National Socialist German Workers’ Party, German Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), political party of the mass movement known as National Socialism. Under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, the party came to power in Germany in 1933 and governed by totalitarian methods until 1945.

    It was founded as the German Workers’ Party by Anton Drexler, a Munich locksmith, in 1919. Hitler attended one of its meetings that year, and his energy and oratorical skills soon enabled him to take over the party. He ousted the party’s former leaders in 1920–21 and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. In 1920 Hitler also formulated a 25-point program that became the permanent basis for the party. The program called for German abandonment of the Treaty of Versailles and for the expansion of German territory. These appeals for national aggrandizement were accompanied by a strident anti-Semitic rhetoric. The party’s socialist orientation was basically a demagogic gambit designed to attract support from the working class.

    Under Hitler the Nazi Party grew steadily in its home base of Bavaria. It organized strong-arm groups to protect its rallies and meetings. These groups drew their members from war veterans groups and paramilitary organizations and were organized under the name Sturmabteilung (SA). In 1923 Hitler and his followers felt strong enough to stage the Beer Hall Putsch, an unsuccessful attempt to take control of the Bavarian state government in the hope that it would trigger a nationwide insurrection against the Weimar Republic. The coup failed, the Nazi Party was temporarily banned, and Hitler was sent to prison for most of 1924.

    Upon his release Hitler quickly set about rebuilding his moribund party, vowing to achieve power only through legal political means thereafter. The Nazi Party’s membership grew from 25,000 in 1925 to about 180,000 in 1929. Its organizational system of gauleiters (“district leaders”) spread through Germany at this time, and the party began contesting municipal, state, and federal elections with increasing frequency.

    However, it was the effects of the Great Depression in Germany that brought the Nazi Party to its first real nationwide importance. The rapid rise in unemployment in 1929–30 provided millions of jobless and dissatisfied voters whom the Nazi Party exploited to its advantage. From 1929 to 1932 the party vastly increased its membership and voting strength; its vote in elections to the Reichstag (the German Parliament) increased from 800,000 votes in 1928 to about 14,000,000 votes in July 1932, and it thus emerged as the largest voting bloc in the Reichstag, with 230 members (38 percent of the total vote). By then big-business circles had begun to finance the Nazi electoral campaigns, and swelling bands of SA toughs increasingly dominated the street fighting with the communists that accompanied such campaigns.

    When unemployment began to drop in Germany in late 1932, the Nazi Party’s vote also dropped, to about 12,000,000 (33 percent of the vote) in the November 1932 elections. Nevertheless, Hitler’s shrewd maneuvering behind the scenes prompted the president of the German republic, Paul von Hindenburg, to name him chancellor on Jan. 30, 1933. Hitler used the powers of his office to solidify the Nazis’ position in the government during the following months. The elections of March 5, 1933, gave the Nazi Party 44 percent of the votes, and further unscrupulous tactics on Hitler’s part turned the voting balance in the Reichstag in the Nazis’ favour. On March 23, 1933, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which “enabled” Hitler’s government to issue decrees independently of the Reichstag and the presidency; Hitler in effect assumed dictatorial powers.

    On July 14, 1933, his government declared the Nazi Party to be the only political party in Germany. On the death of Hindenburg in 1934 Hitler took the titles of Führer (“Leader”), chancellor, and commander in chief of the army, and he remained leader of the Nazi Party as well. Nazi Party membership became mandatory for all higher civil servants and bureaucrats, and the gauleiters became powerful figures in the state governments. Hitler crushed the Nazi Party’s left, or socialist-oriented, wing in 1934, executing Ernst Röhm and other rebellious SA leaders at this time. Thereafter, Hitler’s word was the supreme and undisputed command in the party. The party came to control virtually all political, social, and cultural activities in Germany. Its vast and complex hierarchy was structured like a pyramid, with party-controlled mass organizations for youth, women, workers, and other groups at the bottom, party members and officials in the middle, and Hitler and his closest associates at the top wielding undisputed authority.

    Upon Germany’s defeat, Hitler’s suicide, and the Allied occupation of the country in 1945 at the end of World War II, the Nazi Party was banned, and its top leaders were convicted of crimes against peace and against humanity.

    There have been minor Nazi parties in other countries (such as the United States), but after 1945 Nazism as a mass movement was virtually nonexistent.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nazi-Party

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    The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer
    and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. – Douglas MacArthur

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    The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer
    and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. – Douglas MacArthur

    Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian
    https://www.mises.org/library/why-nazism-was-socialism-and-why-socialism-totalitarian

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    “If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists.”
    ― Friedrich Hayek
    ……………………

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    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Reference
    The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism | Corey Iacono http://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-scandinavian-socialism/ via @feeonline

    The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism
    The Nordic model is far from socialist
    Democratic socialism purports to combine majority rule with state control of the means of production. However, the Scandinavian countries are not good examples of democratic socialism in action because they aren’t socialist.

    In the Scandinavian countries, like all other developed nations, the means of production are primarily owned by private individuals, not the community or the government, and resources are allocated to their respective uses by the market, not government or community planning.

    While it is true that the Scandinavian countries provide things like a generous social safety net and universal healthcare, an extensive welfare state is not the same thing as socialism. What Sanders and his supporters confuse as socialism is actually social democracy, a system in which the government aims to promote the public welfare through heavy taxation and spending, within the framework of a capitalist economy. This is what the Scandinavians practice.

    In response to Americans frequently referring to his country as socialist, the prime minister of Denmark recently remarked in a lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,

    I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.

    The Scandinavians embrace a brand of free-market capitalism that exists in conjunction with a large welfare state, known as the “Nordic Model,” which includes many policies that democratic socialists would likely abhor.
    http://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-scandinavian-socialism/

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    Spike Jones – Der Fuehrer’s Face
    https://youtu. be/lWF8iRCan7I

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    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Reference
    The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism | Corey Iacono http://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-scandinavian-socialism/ via @feeonline

    The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism
    The Nordic model is far from socialist
    Democratic socialism purports to combine majority rule with state control of the means of production. However, the Scandinavian countries are not good examples of democratic socialism in action because they aren’t socialist.

    In the Scandinavian countries, like all other developed nations, the means of production are primarily owned by private individuals, not the community or the government, and resources are allocated to their respective uses by the market, not government or community planning.

    While it is true that the Scandinavian countries provide things like a generous social safety net and universal healthcare, an extensive welfare state is not the same thing as socialism. What Sanders and his supporters confuse as socialism is actually social democracy, a system in which the government aims to promote the public welfare through heavy taxation and spending, within the framework of a capitalist economy. This is what the Scandinavians practice.

    In response to Americans frequently referring to his country as socialist, the prime minister of Denmark recently remarked in a lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,

    I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.

    The Scandinavians embrace a brand of free-market capitalism that exists in conjunction with a large welfare state, known as the “Nordic Model,” which includes many policies that democratic socialists would likely abhor.
    http://fee.org/articles/the-myth-of-scandinavian-socialism/

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    America’s Rejected Socialist Origins https://shar.es/1YdfSG via @sharethis

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    America’s Rejected Socialist Origins https://shar.es/1YdfSG via @sharethis

    America’s Socialist Origins
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dAmroKyzGY

    Published on Mar 21, 2016
    Was America once socialist? Surprisingly, yes. The early settlers who arrived at Plymouth and Jamestown in the early 1600s experimented with socialist communes. Did it work? History professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton shares the fascinating story. Donate today to PragerU: http://l.prageru.com/2eB2p0h

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    Animated Ted Cruz to Media: WHO CARES WHAT DONALD IS TWEETING LATE AT NIGHT? http://therightscoop.com/animated-ted-cruz-to-media-who-cares-what-donald-is-tweeting-late-at-night/

    Ted Cruz Awesomely Mocks Trump’s ‘Late at Night’ Twitter Antics As Meaningless [VIDEO] | RedState http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/03/28/ted-cruz-openly-mocks-trumps-late-night-twitter-antics-meaningless-video/

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    Animated Ted Cruz to Media: WHO CARES WHAT DONALD IS TWEETING LATE AT NIGHT? http://therightscoop.com/animated-ted-cruz-to-media-who-cares-what-donald-is-tweeting-late-at-night/

    Ted Cruz Awesomely Mocks Trump’s ‘Late at Night’ Twitter Antics As Meaningless [VIDEO] | RedState http://www.redstate.com/absentee/2016/03/28/ted-cruz-openly-mocks-trumps-late-night-twitter-antics-meaningless-video/

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    “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” –Thomas Sowell

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    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the
    gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
    Winston Churchill

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    “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” –Thomas Sowell

    “It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” –Thomas Sowell

    #national Socialist Left
    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Reference

    Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian
    https://www.mises.org/library/why-nazism-was-socialism-and-why-socialism-totalitarian

    Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian
    My purpose today is to make just two main points: (1) To show why Nazi Germany was a socialist state, not a capitalist one. And (2) to show why socialism, understood as an economic system based on government ownership of the means of production, positively requires a totalitarian dictatorship.

    The identification of Nazi Germany as a socialist state was one of the many great contributions of Ludwig von Mises.

    When one remembers that the word “Nazi” was an abbreviation for “der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiters Partei — in English translation: the National Socialist German Workers’ Party — Mises’s identification might not appear all that noteworthy. For what should one expect the economic system of a country ruled by a party with “socialist” in its name to be but socialism?

    Nevertheless, apart from Mises and his readers, practically no one thinks of Nazi Germany as a socialist state. It is far more common to believe that it represented a form of capitalism, which is what the Communists and all other Marxists have claimed.

    The basis of the claim that Nazi Germany was capitalist was the fact that most industries in Nazi Germany appeared to be left in private hands.

    What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.

    De facto government ownership of the means of production, as Mises termed it, was logically implied by such fundamental collectivist principles embraced by the Nazis as that the common good comes before the private good and the individual exists as a means to the ends of the State. If the individual is a means to the ends of the State, so too, of course, is his property. Just as he is owned by the State, his property is also owned by the State.
    […]
    In sum, therefore, the requirements merely of enforcing price-control regulations is the adoption of essential features of a totalitarian state, namely, the establishment of the category of “economic crimes,” in which the peaceful pursuit of material self-interest is treated as a criminal offense, and the establishment of a totalitarian police apparatus replete with spies and informers and the power of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.
    [..]
    Socialism cannot be ruled for very long except by terror. As soon as the terror is relaxed, resentment and hostility logically begin to well up against the rulers. The stage is thus set for a revolution or civil war. In fact, in the absence of terror, or, more correctly, a sufficient degree of terror, socialism would be characterized by an endless series of revolutions and civil wars, as each new group of rulers proved as incapable of making socialism function successfully as its predecessors before it. The inescapable inference to be drawn is that the terror actually experienced in the socialist countries was not simply the work of evil men, such as Stalin, but springs from the nature of the socialist system. Stalin could come to the fore because his unusual willingness and cunning in the use of terror were the specific characteristics most required by a ruler of socialism in order to remain in power. He rose to the top by a process of socialist natural selection: the selection of the worst.
    https://www.mises.org/library/why-nazism-was-socialism-and-why-socialism-totalitarian

  • Torcer

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality.
    But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty,
    socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. Alexis de
    Tocqueville

  • Torcer

    “It is bad luck to be superstitious.” – Andrew W. Mathis

  • Torcer

    Most of the time they will respond with something along the lines of ‘everybody knows’ trying to pretend repeating something a number of times somehow makes it true.

    Or they use infamous Go google it yourself routine since it easily gets them off the hook because if the evidence if hard to find something that doesn’t exist, much less report on this fact.

  • Torcer

    “It is bad luck to be superstitious.” – Andrew W. Mathis

    “It is bad luck to be superstitious.” – Andrew W. Mathis

    “It is bad luck to be superstitious.” – Andrew W. Mathis
    ===============================

    Definition of progressive
    1 a : one that is progressive
    b : one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/progressive

    ================================================

    Definition of progressive
    1 a : one that is progressive
    b : one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action

    2 capitalized : a member of any of various United States political parties: as a : a member of a predominantly agrarian minor party that around 1912 split off from the Republicans; specifically : bull moose b : a follower of Robert M. La Follette in the presidential campaign of 1924 c : a follower of Henry A. Wallace in the presidential campaign of 1948
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/progressive

  • Torcer

    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Reference

    Your Socialist Zombie Survival Kit | FEE http://fee.org/articles/your-socialist-zombie-survival-kit/ via @feeonline

  • Torcer

    Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. Winston Churchill

  • Torcer

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality.
    But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty,
    socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. Alexis de
    Tocqueville

  • Torcer

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality.
    But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty,
    socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. Alexis de
    Tocqueville

  • Torcer

    #CommonsenseCivilRightofArmedSelfDefense
    Reference
    Gun Control Part I: Liberal Ignorance and the Founders’ True Intent
    http://www.glennbeck.com/2016/09/27/gun-control-part-i-liberal-ignorance-and-the-founders-true-intent/?

    Gun Control Part I: Liberal Ignorance and the Founders’ True Intent
    The constitutional right of Americans to own guns is under attack like never before. Yet the Framers found this right important enough to list second in the Bill of Rights:

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    The Founding Fathers believed self-defense was a Biblical right to ensure citizens could defend themselves against any kind of illegal force — from a neighbor, an outsider or their own government.

    The anti-Second Amendment crowd believes they can regulate gun ownership based on the words “well regulated,” but that intentionally ignores the Founders’ meaning. It actually means well trained and prepared. However, regulation is exactly how they’ll infringe on your Second Amendment rights. With 300 million guns currently owned by American citizens, it’s not likely they’ll be rounded up by some government agency. Instead, progressive liberals will do what they do best: apply massive regulations to drastically reduce your ability to purchase or own a firearm.
    Serial: Gun Control History by The Glenn Beck Program via #soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/glennbeck/serial-gun-control-history?
    Gun Control Part I: Liberal Ignorance and the Founders’ True Intent
    The ignorant statements of progressive politicians who oppose the Second Amendment would be funny if they weren’t so deadly serious:

    I actually don’t know what a barrel shroud is. I believe it’s a shoulder thing that goes up.
    This right here has the ability with a 30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip in half a second.
    For most purposes, having these . . . these . . . these magazine clips that have more than 15 rounds in them, there’s really no purpose for those, except for shooting targets or shooting people.
    We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks more than three rounds, and yet it’s legal to hunt humans.

    Actually, no, it isn’t legal to hunt humans in any state. That would be considered murder. To craft the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, America’s Founders studied thousands of years’ of the best knowledge mankind had to offer. They believed the right to self-defense was a fundamental God-given right that existed long before the creation of any government. In fact, written documents pertaining to self-preservation predate the Second Amendment by thousands of years. More than anything else, the Second Amendment was intended for protection against a tyrannical government. Because of their own experiences with tyranny, the Founders provided the means by which the people could rise up and defend their liberty, if ever needed.
    Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2016/09/27/gun-control-part-i-liberal-ignorance-and-the-founders-true-intent/?SOURCE=homepage&MEDIUM=slider&CAMPAIGN=homepage-slider?utm_source=glennbeck&utm_medium=contentcopy_link

  • Torcer

    The people always have some champion whom they set over them
    and nurse into greatness.
    This and no other is the root from which a
    tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.

    Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

    The people always have some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness. This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.

    Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

  • Torcer

    “A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves against those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” –Ibid.

  • Torcer

    “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
    And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
    Ronald Reagan

    “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin.
    And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
    Ronald Reagan

  • Torcer

    “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state
    lives at the expense of everyone.” Frederic Bastiat

  • Torcer

    “You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean
    and paltry; for whatever a man’s actions are, such must be his spirit.”
    Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac

  • Torcer
  • Torcer

    New video details how democratic socialism is still just socialism
    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/11/01/new-video-details-how-democratic-socialism-is-still-just-socialism/#

    New video details how democratic socialism is still just socialism
    This is something Crowder addresses throughout this video, pointing out that even socialists elected democratically are still suffering from the effects of the provenly failed economic policy.

    “The fact is that over time the greatest enemy of socialism is reality,” said Crowder. “The reality that human nature will invariably pull certain people toward individualism and success, and other toward laziness and collectivism. The tension between the makers and the takers always leads to socialisms inevitable collapse.”

    Watch the video below:
    https://youtu.be/MvF_D4tVfYU
    http://www.theblaze.com/news/2016/11/01/new-video-details-how-democratic-socialism-is-still-just-socialism/#

  • Torcer

    “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the
    whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme
    Court,” wrote Abraham Lincoln, “the people will have ceased to be their
    own rulers.”

  • Torcer

    #national Socialist Left
    Democrats face a power outage in Washington — and an identity crisis http://wapo.st/2fTvU2e?

    Democrats face a power outage in Washington — and an identity crisis
    The biggest stain on Barack Obama’s political legacy may turn out to be the decimation of the Democratic Party on his watch.

    The 2016 election has brought a moment of reckoning — and a new era to the party.

    Democrats have been shut out of power in Washington, with the White House and both chambers of Congress in GOP control starting in January. In state houses across the country, their ranks have been decimated.

    And for the first time in a quarter-century, there will be no one named Clinton in the Oval Office or on deck. Obama and Vice President Biden are also moving offstage.

    That is certain to set off a struggle for the soul and direction of the party — and give an opening for other leaders to fill the void in a party with a thin bench.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-face-a-power-outage-in-washington–and-an-identity-crisis/2016/11/09/74c80de8-a6a7-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html

  • Torcer

    #national Socialist Left
    The Democratic Party Deserved to Die
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-democratic-party-deserves-to-die_us_58236ad5e4b0aac62488cde5

    The Democratic Party Deserved To Die
    Demographics are not destiny. Candidates do matter. And it is still the economy, stupid.

    They said they were facing an economic apocalypse, we offered “retraining” and complained about their white privilege. Is it any wonder we lost? One after another, the dispatches came back from the provinces. The coal mines are gone, the steel mills are closed, the drugs are rampant, the towns are decimated and everywhere you look depression, despair, fear. In the face of Trump’s willingness to boldly proclaim without facts or evidence that he would bring the good times back, we offered a tepid gallows logic. Well, those jobs are actually gone for good, we knowingly told them. And we offered a fantastical non-solution. We will retrain you for good jobs! Never mind that these “good jobs” didn’t exist in East Kentucky or Cleveland. And as a final insult, we lectured a struggling people watching their kids die of drug overdoses about their white privilege. Can you blame them for calling bullshit? All Trump could offer was white nationalism as protection against competing with black and brown people. It wasn’t a very compelling case, but it was vastly superior to a candidate who enthusiastically backed NAFTA, seems most at ease in a room of Goldman Sachs bankers and was almost certain to do nothing for these towns other than maybe setting up a local chapter of Rednecks Who Code. We bet that Trump’s manifest awfulness would be enough to let us eke out a win. We were dead wrong. Here’s my version of the Democratic Party autopsy because, make no mistake, the old ways of the Democratic party must die.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-democratic-party-deserves-to-die_us_58236ad5e4b0aac62488cde5

  • Torcer

    #national Socialist Left
    The Democratic Party Establishment Is Finished — What a joke. — The Democrats will now control next to nothing above the municipal level. Donald Trump will be president. We are going to be unpacking this night for the rest of our lives, and lives beyond that.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/the_democratic_party_establishment_is_finished_after_trump.html

    The Democratic Party Establishment Is Finished
    What a joke
    Nov. 9 2016
    The Democrats will now control next to nothing above the municipal level. Donald Trump will be president. We are going to be unpacking this night for the rest of our lives, and lives beyond that. We can’t comprehend even 1 percent of what’s just happened. But one aspect of it, minor in the overall sweep, that I’m pretty sure we can comprehend well enough right now: The Democratic Party establishment has beclowned itself and is finished.
    [..]
    The midterm losses? That was just a bad cycle, structurally speaking; presidential demographics would make up for it. The party establishment made a grievous mistake rallying around Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just a lack of recent political seasoning. She was a bad candidate, with no message beyond heckling the opposite sideline. She was a total misfit for both the politics of 2016 and the energy of the Democratic Party as currently constituted. She could not escape her baggage, and she must own that failure herself.

    Think of how wrong the entire national media conversation was—and yes, I contributed my fair share—about how the Republicans were being torn apart as a party. I prewrote a piece Tuesday afternoon, to be published in the event of the expected Clinton win, pushing back against both myself and other members of the media, arguing that Democrats and Republicans were both in existential trouble and that, in the short-term context of a decaying political system, Republicans might even have the edge: Democrats could win the presidency most of the time but never a majority of state governments or the House; while Republicans could always win the majority of state governments and the House, and occasionally—probably in 2020, I thought—the White House. This was wrong. Republicans don’t have a slight edge over Democrats in a decaying political system. Republicans are ascendant. Trump has given them a mission. The country is now theirs.

    Whoever takes over what’s left of the Democratic Party is going to have to find a way to appeal to a broader cross section of the country. It may still be true that in the long term, Republicans can’t win with their demographics, but we found out Tuesday that the long term is still pretty far away. Democrats have to win more white voters. They have to do so in a way that doesn’t erode the anti-racist or anti-sexist planks of the modern party, which are non-negotiable. If only there were a model for this.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/11/the_democratic_party_establishment_is_finished_after_trump.html

  • Torcer

    #national Socialist Left
    The decimation of the Democratic Party, visualized http://wapo.st/2fVuhkU?

    The decimation of the Democratic Party, visualized
    There’s a certain type of pedant who gets mad if you use the word “decimated” inaccurately, the accurate usage being that it refers to the culling of a tenth of something, hence the prefix deci- which, as we all know, is a Latin-born numeric reference blah blah blah pedants am i right

    When I use the term “decimate” in reference to what’s happened to the Democratic Party in the era of Barack Obama, I admit that I am using the word in a way that would annoy those same pedants. After all, the number of Democrats in Congress and in state leadership positions has dropped far more than 10 percent since 2008.

    Chris Cillizza wrote about the sorry state of the Democratic bench after Tuesday, pointing out that a bad situation got much worse with the Donald Trump-driven failure of the party at the polls. Think of a political party like an Army. To have effective generals, you need to bring leaders up through the ranks. If everyone keeps getting killed off on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of any given November, you’re not going to be able to win many battles. The Democrats gained two Senate seats — in a year that it was long assumed they would regain control of the chamber.

    Since 2008, this is what the Democratic decimation has looked like. (Data sources are below.)
    https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/files/2016/11/Dems_2_Percent.jpg&w=1484
    That whistling sound you hear is the party Thelma-and-Louiseing.

    Two days after its candidate for the presidency suffered a stunning loss, the tension within the party became uncontainable. The Huffington Post reports that at a party meeting on Thursday, a staffer named Zach yelled at Donna Brazile, who took over as chair following the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz this summer.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/10/the-decimation-of-the-democ