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guilluamezenz

Why is Socialism still a dirty word even for liberals?

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Even mainstream democrats have a coronary if someone mentions socialism why is that? Why are Liberals so spineless ? 

 

Socialism is no longer a dirty word in the US – and that’s scary for some

Since Trump took power, membership of the Democratic Socialists of America has leapt from 6,000 to 47,000 – and even conservatives are struggling to articulate what is so bad about free education and healthcare       You need us and you need to show us some respect

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/29/socialism-no-longer-dirty-word-us-scary-for-some

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All I have heard or choose to is strategically placed and regulated social programs do work within a democracy the fanatical people on the right treat it like we want our own red square in Washington and every job and business state ran.

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3 hours ago, guilluamezenz said:

Even mainstream democrats have a coronary if someone mentions socialism why is that?

 

This is starting to get silly. Are we going to spend the next 2 years talking about whether the word socialism is a dirty word?
I would rather talk about specific economic policies, but regarding political philosophy...

Social Democrats - embrace a mixed economy based on the predominance of private property, with only a minority of essential utilities and public services under public ownership. They reject the Democratic Socialist goal of replacing the capitalist system (factor markets, private property and wage labor) with a qualitatively different socialist economic system.

Democratic Socialists - are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas social democracy is supportive of reforms to capitalism.


I agree with Social Democrats, but really disagree with Democratic Socialism, and their long term goal of state ownership of corporations.

The DSA supports many of the same causes that I support. That's good, but I do not  agree with their overall political philosophy.

 

In a way, Democratic Socialists muddy the water for Social Democrats, and a chance for Republicans to demogogue.
This causes great confusion, and requires explanation. Many, if not most, voters do not realize the difference.

 

From FDR to LBJ, the Democrat Party  did not label themselves, or name the party "Social Democrats", but that is essentially what they were.

Until the 1980's......
Republicans successfully demonized the word 'liberal' as tax & spend.
This caused the rise of neo-liberalism, triangulation, centrism. Third Way economic policies, and implicit acceptance of the supply side scam took over the Democratic party.

 

And it been that way ever since.

 

Some other thoughts:

 

 

  • The United States does not have a strictly capitalist economy, but a mixed one. It features a high level of private ownership of capital and means of production.
  • Some of the most socially democratic countries on earth are more capitalist than the United States.
  • The question is and has always been: what systems should be public, which should be private, and what amount of regulation and taxation should the private sector pay to support the public good.
  • Arguing semantics of capitalism vs socialism is like saying the brake pedal on a car keeps the car from going fast, or that the gas pedal is too dangerous. Current conditions should dictate the right mixture of socialism and capitalism to be used (for the benefit of all passengers).

 

A good article:

Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist  -----   Scandinavia is, by one measure, a freer market than the United States.

 

As I said, I would much rather discuss specific economic proposals, than which words are more popular with voters.

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's

 

Social programs 'within'  a democracy can work' ?' l'm a brit who at 71yrs of age has lived under a 'socialist' government followed by a 'conservative' government then a 'socialist then a conservative and so on, we even had a Liberal government early in the twentieth century and they laid the foundations of our welfare state . When are you going to realize that the Russia, China, North Korea etc have corrupted  the philosophy  of socialism and hijacked the word Socialist When a powerful western leader begins demonizing socialism and socialist policies right wingers are energized as historic prejudice rears it ugly facade sharing the same narrative as social democratic despots like Putin.. What I do not understand is America has had for decades 'state provision of one sort or another and that's socialism however you dress it up. Yet republicans view socialism as the thin end of the wedge of communism and so progressive social democratic policies are not as quickly embraced as they are in western europe. From my point of view Trumps anti socialist rhetoric is akin to despotism and I find that scary. Fee education, healthcare, social care, childcare are widely available in western europe as they are in Russia.

.

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17 minutes ago, AlanMckennedy said:

Fee education, healthcare, social care, childcare are widely available in western europe as they are in Russia.

 

Free education (for people with reasonable grades) increases the talent of the workforce. That's good for employers.

 

Universal healthcare, paid by taxes, relieves employers of the paperwork burden of managing heath plans. That's good for employers.

 

Moreover, if you don't have to depend on employers for healthcare, you can start a business with more confidence. That's good for innovation.

 

Free childcare frees up a company's employees. They don't have to leave early, and that don't have to worry whether their sitter will leave them in the lurch. That's good for employers.

 

Social care for old people frees up working family members the same way childcare does. That's also good for employers.

 

It seems to me that making life easier for people makes life easier for employers, improves business efficiency and eases innovation.

 

Social programs are a good thing for a society that develops its wealth through free enterprise. Or if you need a buzz-phrase: a bit of socialism is good for capitalism.

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14 hours ago, ExPDXer said:

This is starting to get silly. Are we going to spend the next 2 years talking about whether the word socialism is a dirty word?
I would rather talk about specific economic policies, but regarding political philosophy...

 

Great post.

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To be honest, I am not completely sure I am on board with what appear to be (in Europe) social democrats calling themselves socialists.

 

'Socialist' isn't quite on the same level as 'fascist' in terms of being derogatory, but I still think that embracing it will alienate people... and I also think that the right will be able to twist it around and fool gullible centrists into thinking it's something it's not.

 

On the other hand, part of me seriously believes that the right's need to call anyone the Democrats run a 'socialist' probably helped Obama in 2008... people seemed to be expecting a sea change of some kind at least, and I can't really shake the sense that having your opponents call you a guy who wants the government to give back was more helpful than some people realize.

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7 hours ago, Toldya said:

To be honest, I am not completely sure I am on board with what appear to be (in Europe) social democrats calling themselves socialists.

 

'Socialist' isn't quite on the same level as 'fascist' in terms of being derogatory, but I still think that embracing it will alienate people... and I also think that the right will be able to twist it around and fool gullible centrists into thinking it's something it's not.

 

On the other hand, part of me seriously believes that the right's need to call anyone the Democrats run a 'socialist' probably helped Obama in 2008... people seemed to be expecting a sea change of some kind at least, and I can't really shake the sense that having your opponents call you a guy who wants the government to give back was more helpful than some people realize.

The word SOCIALIST

 

Years ago (not that many), we went to Australia, to visit relatives on my wife's side.

My sister has a master's degree.

She asked;

"Do they have computers in Australia"?

 

That should totally explain why socialism is about the worst title that the politicians could have chosen.

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It has never been a ditry word for me and here is why. When I was in high school in the 70's and no one could give me a reasonable explanation of communism I read the communist manifesto. It is not a book of evil. 

 

There has never BEEN two competing ideologies more in dire need of dialectic than socialism and capitalism. Taking the good from each and smoothing off the rough edges of each and coming to a third way keeping the best of both while getting rid of the excesses of both could really end up with a just society

 

The problem is too many people have come to deify the systems themselvess. Those who say the market has all the solutions are insane of COURSE it doesnt. That is why Ford sent out the Pinto KNOWING it would kill its cusotmers because it would cost less to pay the lawsuits than change the design that late in the game. Someone bought paved over and made a housing tract on a toxic waste dump called Love Canal. The market can be INSANELY evil if we let it. 

 

Some things are great with the profit motive others like healthcare and school should NEVER be held hostage to profits because then PROFITS become more important than the thing they are serving like the education of our young and keeping people alive.

 

It is like we are talkinng about taking two different trucks to the top of a hill. That hill being a just society. The more we argue about whether the Ford or the Chevy are the BEST and only way to the top the less likely we are to ever GET to the top of the hill. 

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