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And for God's sakes, why do they worship Stalin and Mao?
Communism is not equal to liberalism. Also socialism isn't equal to communism and socialism isn't equal to liberalism either. Not everything that is "left political spectrum" is the same crappy idea.
The Mao/Stalin state form is not communism but a absolutist dictatorship with "social" and "communist" ideas in the propaganda machine. Here, the leading class is exploiting the system and telling people that they have to. Such a system doesn't work without a good public media brainwashing and a secret police that puts away all the people who speak up against it.
Communism did never work in any large scheme. In fact there never was a state with a truly communist system. There were some small communities, typically less than 30 people, where they had a working communism with the original ideas of communism. The problem with a communistic system is that it is easy for the individual to exploit and that one malevolent individual can ruin it all. So it never actually works with larger groups. Because the more people are in, the higher the probability that there is an assh*le present.
Socialism is another thing. Any political model that is based on the idea that everyone is responsible for everyone is socialist. It's a everyone-helps-everyone system. There are institutions that work that way, very well actually. (German public health care for example is great. Everyone pays a X-percent share of their income and everyone gets every necessary medication paid. Period. No one pays more than they can afford and you are absolutely sure, whatever you have, whether it's a flu or whether it's a Hundred-Thausand-Euro cancer treatment, you give them your card, it gets paid. Everyone is safe.)
And there are institutions that try to work that way and lead to some people exploiting many people. Some countries have retirement money or unemployment insurances that can be exploited by people pretending to be so ill that they cannot work anymore or by people pretending that they can not find a new job. Then everyone will pay for people who are really unable to fend for themselves. And everyone will also pay for the few who exploit the system. Yet, still, if you really break your back, you are falling into a safety net in such a system, You do not hit the ground. Even though some people abuse the social net as a social hammock. The difference between all of those systems and communism is, that they are designed with control mechanisms in such a way that you cannot abuse them "from above", taking from the system from the leading position and thus exploiting those who provide the wealth of the system.
Liberalism is actually something else entirely. Liberalism in the original meaning is freedom-ism. The word "liber" means "free" in latin. Liberalism is the idea that government control is bad. Liberal people will like the idea that a person should be allowed to travel everywhere, say anything, be able to do things without official permissions. Liberal is pretty much the opposite of law and order. Liberalism defends the idea that society will be better with only a minimum of control, laws and regulations.
Liberalism does not work well with Maoist/Stalinist states. Because it opposes them. Liberalism also does not work well with socialism. Because in socialism you need massive control mechanisms to find the people who exploit the everyone-helps-everyone system.
The false illusion that there are actual checks and balances at play is much worse than having none at all. Just like... the false illusion of choice gives a false validity that we are subject to the choices that we never actually made. Obviously, you are a fan of the status quo... you only think it needs a little tweaking here and there. We've tried it your way for one hundred years now and have for that time, taking into consideration the ebb and flow of the keynesian boom/bust cycle,been on a steady decline. What free market advocates are proposing... is that we the people become the party that keeps a check on the market. All the statists want to forego their responsiblity as cognizant human beings to mind our best interests in favor of spending more tax dollars hiring it out to a team of people who have shown over and over again that at the highest levels of bureaucracy the cronyism it is supposed to suppress has instead been used to buy off the bureaucrats. Why do you suppose those largest multinationals are always atop the list of major contributors for the statist candidates? Do you think they are incredibly naive? No... they routinely shirk paying their fair share in taxes through loopholes and are the benefactors of regulations that keep their competition on the bottom tier. I came to my ideology only after careful evaluation of the problem. I have always had a problem accepting the natural boom/bust cycles I was taught in school as actually being natural. After a considerable amount of time discerning the problems, I came to my conclusion and that is the ideology I follow. Crony capitalism can only occur with the aid of a large central government... because in essence... it is a cartel composed of govt/corporations. Therefore.. ceding more power to the governmet is counter to the idea of curbing the cronyism. Isn't this obvious? Why are we seeing the disparity between rich and poor grow as we grow the government? It is the very definition of insanity to keep trying the same solution over and over again and expect a different outcome. I believe that centralization is typically bad, except for those communities that have some governing set of mores that do actually keep the leaders from accreting power. The Amish for example. In all other cases I follow the maxim that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. My ideology has been thoroughly vetted and proven by virtue of the example of the decline of the west as statism grows in the west. But again... I am spitting into a maelstrom. Full speed ahead... over the falls
Your question is odd. What passes for liberal in the US is only a few ticks to the left of what is considered conservative. Nobody is suggesting the government taking over the means of production. No credible candidate in our political spectrum wants to dismantle our economic system; liberals simply want more regulations to prevent the most predatory and destructive of business practices, a somewhat more progressive taxation than we have now and a safety net to help those who through no fault of their own find themselves down and out. I've never heard Democrats wax nostalgic about Stalin and Mao. Even true Communists and Socialists get their inspiration from Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels and the moderate social democracies of Europe rather than Mass murderers like Stalin and those who emulated him like Mao. If capitalism fails it will be because of doctrinaire laiassez-faire capitalists not socialists or communists. If you look at what preceded the communist revolutions in Cuba and Russia you see the same thing; most of the wealth controlled by a tiny number of people and everyone else effectively penniless. Like Bob Dylan observes, when you got nothing, you got nothing to loose. When the masses have no stake in a system what is stopping them from revolt and simply taking what they believe is their share? We are moving toward the type of economic disparity that preceded the communist takeovers of Cuba and Russia; Republican policies accelerate increasing disparity in wealth Democratic policies slow or reverse it. Marx predicted that Communist countries like the USSR and China would fail. He said that Communism couldn't survive in a microcosm and would only work if it was a worldwide revolution. My view is the opposite. The only examples of communism I've seen work are small and/or homogenous groups. If there is a ship wreck or plane crash the first thing that happens is the concept of private property disappears and all resources are pooled for the group's mutual survival. There are also examples of communism working in monasteries and nunneries. Some orders of nuns are so strict that nuns are not even allowed to sleep in the same bed every night to discourage anyone from considering a bed theirs. Communism works poorly in large heterogeneous societies and when it has to directly compete with capitalism.
I don't want to get into the communism discussion. So... I wont. My stance as somewhat of a libertarian is as an advocate of Laissez-faire markets. Im not sure that a doctrinaire laissez faire advocate isn't an oxymoron because one simply calls for the market to decide... there isn't anyreal tenets to be beholden to... but I suppose that is only semantical. The problem with calling for more and more regulations on markets is, like I have suggested before, regulations behave like a spider web... only ensnaring the small start up businesses who cannot afford to abide by them while allowing for the huge multinationals to proceed uninhibited. The manner with which to attack violations from offending companies is through the court system. The multinationals were the driving force behind tort reform... while oftentimes being advocates for the regulations that restrict their competition. Case in point... SOPA. The real problem with having a highly regulated market is that it mandates bureaucratic oversight... which necessitates federal funding and tax dollars. The bureaucracies are replete with bureaucrats who will side with the highest bidder... leading to the govt/elite business cartel we have now. Crony capitalism is only possible with a strong central government. This is one reason why neocons with ties to multinationals are also big government advocates. A government that is big enough to take care of all your needs is also big enough to take everything you have. It doesn't take an economist to see that as our government is ceded with more authority... our standards of living have waned. We have all of these bureacracies now... and while they have only served the rampant cronyism we see... uncannily... the chorus is always for more... stricter regulations. We've driven the Keynesian highway for 100 years and have ended up at the dead end Hayek predicted... so instead of any more antiquated Keynesian notions that we go just a little further into the abyss... credible... prescient economists are all in the Austrian school.
here is an analogy to help illustrate my point. You and I are residents in a Miami neighborhood that has come under duress from a drug cartel trying to expand its territory. The first reaction would be to petition for more laws and bigger police presence to crack down on the crime. Afterwords... more drug dealers are hauled in... but none with any affiliation to the cartel seeking to expand its territory. Now the cartel without any competition expands further than it had previously. Again... we call for more police action... and again they increase their presence and more drug dealers are arrested and again... none of them with any affiliation to the menacing cartel... and it expands again. Why did the police not arrest the cartel... because the police were on the take. The solution would then be to form a neighborhood watch and take the matter into our own hands. Why? Because the police are men who can be bought... they have no other vested interest in keeping the cartel from expanding... because their neighborhood is not under threat... at least at the time. Why is the neighborhood watch better? Even though members of a neighborhood watch can be bribed as easily as any policeman... the person has some skin in the game. His property is under threat... so he would have to be compensated at a higher level to offset the property he is forfeiting. Not only this... but it would be impossible to pay off every member of the neighborhood at such a level that they would willingly give up their property for the payment. This is why cartels favor centralization. The power that is up for grabs is in a nice neat bundle and can be attained at a much cheaper price. This is why regulations will never work. They're only as dependable as the lack of avarice of the men enforcing them.
Here is the rub with regulating the multinationals... How do you enforce the regulations? We have a ton of SEC violations from such multinationals that never seem to have any teeth in regards to the offending businesses. This is because the regulating body is composed of people earning a govt wage who are prime to be bought off by the very businesses the regulations are intended to restrain. So.. instead of being the intended policemen of corporate malfeasance... these bureaucracies instead become gatekeepers for them... ensuring their competition succumb to regulations they can ill afford. The people are left with monopolies they never wanted while they receive a pittance from the Federal Government... meanwhile they had their livelihoods stolen propping up the cronyism. The idea behind a laissez-faire attitude is that we are better served by a nihilistic... no holds barred arena... than to be handicapped by those rich enough to rig the game against us. We can hold offending corporations accountable in a court system where we become the policeman thus ensuring a more equitable playing field. It won't be perfect... but will be immensely more egalitarian and with keeping with the ideals of a truly classless society. There have been no true laissez-faire economies to reference in regards to viability. Obviously... the path we're currently traveling down leads to ruin.
One of the problems as I see it is that the American dream is getting harder to achieve. My dad came from a poor family but with nothing more than a high school diploma and a willingness to work hard built a nice house in the country he paid off before he turned 30, raised 3 sons, retired early, and now in his 80's is enjoying a comfortable retirement and has some money to pass on when he does; he lived the American dream. Even with a college degree and being at the top of my field in a lot of ways I haven't done as well as my dad. A college degree is no longer a guaranty of success but it is more of a prerequisite than ever and it is getting so expensive that a family either needs to be very wealthy or it requires crushing loans to pay for it. Socioeconomic mobility is now lower in the US than France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway, Austria, and Denmark. While politicians are dismissive of these countries as "old Europe" and as Socialist they are now more of a land of opportunity than we are.
I agree with this whole statement, except the part where Far Lefties do not worship Mao or Stalin, because they do. And the proof is in lord Aleksandr's statement. Those people baffle me, and if I were completely a democrat, I would distance myself from the people who think that way, just like The republicans should distance them selves from the far-right nuts. other than that, it is amazing how alike we think after all Spamm! I was talking to my friend Don, who is the most successful friend I have in terms of financial success. he currently pays about 60 percent in taxes. he employs about 600 people nationwide. he treats his employees very well, and he takes a very modest salary for himself, and uses profit to expand his company. The question on everyones mind is; how do we regulate, while minimizing the effects on the ones that are doing it right? There has to be a way, it probably starts with getting corporate money out of Washington.
Lots of other leaders killed millions of people to get what they wanted. In the early 1900s, Turkish armies killed millions of Armenians for their territory, at the same time Russians were killing millions of Jews, Germans were at war with half of Europe, and Turks were killing millions of Greeks and Orthodox Christians. So you see, everyone who was ever considered a great leader or great for unification of people did it in violent ways. I was born about a year and a half after the fall of Communism in my country, but my parents were the ones who were the Pioneer children of the Soviet Union so they lived through the age and in their opinions they consider Communism to be good because they all had jobs and there weren't any social classes. But this is all opinionated because people who lived through it and liked it would consider it better than something like Capitalism or a Monarchy.
Communism does work....just not in most societies where capitalism rules (i.e. America). Communism was adopted by many Eastern European countries because during that period of economic hardships and rule, people couldn't just go out and buy whatever they felt like whenever they felt like. So in a way to help "everyone", people all worked and all or near most money went to the government where it decided what to spend on.
There's an upside to Communism, no one was ever unemployed because all able bodied citizens HAD to work, not like the unemployment you see in America because some people are "too good" for a certain job and won't risk embarrassing their reputation by flipping burgers.
Worshiping Stalin and Mao Zedong are just people's preferences. Stalin, as a leader was considered pretty good, who else could combine so many countries into one large Union.
miscegenymiser, most systems that work have a combination of competitive and cooperative elements. That is why the extremes of laissez-faire capitalism and communism don't work. They take an ideology to its logical conclusion but in the process ignore what works. I've come to see any economic ideology as counter productive. Sometimes markets need more competition; some times they need more regulation. Some things are better done by the private sector and some times they work best in the public sector. When problems are approached with the idea that the solution must conform to your favored ideology the ideology becomes more important than the solution.
None of the lefties I run with think much of Stalin. He's anyone I want to hitch my wagon to. I'm a former moderate Republican myself. As the party moved to the right and I drifted left we parted ways. The thing I think of is sustainability. What we are doing now isn't sustainable. We are spending ourselves into the ground yet we are letting our infrastructure crumble, our health care is the most expensive in the world but far from the best, our education system is becoming a bad joke, our economy requires cheap oil to run which we know won't last forever but nobody has a credible plan to get past this.
I cannot stay on a train that absolutely will not budge! My God Spam, the republicans are saying stay the course, and deregulate even more? I am not an economist. i wish someone was. I think it will come down to sustainability eventually. I dont know that we can remain a "Take as much as we can from the earth" people for very long without serious repercussions. I am not only talking about envirnment, I am talking about who we are as a people. We have been sold the American dream so long, we think it is who we are. That we are nothing more than "jersey Shore", and spinning rims.
It does "work," because it happens...trying to get what you define as "work" but as someone who leans in more liberal ways (although I am an independant) l, I can tell you that i do not, nor any other liberal friend of mine, think that communism would "work" for this country (the U.S I mean) nor do we worship Stalin or Mao. However, I do tend to wonder if what we have going for us (in the U.S) is really the best way as most Americans tend to think. One could ask many interesting questions to the conservatives.
Probably because they have no idea about what it is like to live in a dictatorship... Though you can, of course, have a great life in a dictatorship, if you do not oppose the system and if no one else puts you in the line of fire. And if you do not try to use your brain and publish the results. To be happy living in that kind of world, there are sides of the soul one must entirely paralyze.
What does freedom of speech have to do with Communism? Censorship is determined by what the nation feels should be censored, not the type of government it has. There's no such thing as free speech, not even in America because I can tell some official to f*** off and I'd be arrested just like that. There are poor people everywhere it's not China's fault, it's the whole world economy.
I like Spam's Idea about Ideology getting in the way of fixing the economy. It is as the captain who sets his course for hawaii, and never plots his course. Pretty soon he is seeing chunks of ice and penguins floating by, but stubbornly says to himself "I didnt know there were penguins in Hawaii!" No matter how free our market system is or isnt, it still needs checks and balances.
You do not know what real repression is, or you wouldnt even respond like you did. I think every American should live in other countries so they can see the differences for themselves. We have it so fricken good here, but most people are totally oblivious to it, cause they do not know any better.
And he did it by killing millions of people. I lived in Germany when the wall came down. I went to east Berlin, and saw with my own eyes the stark contrast between Communism and free market society. You want communism, I suggest you go get it somewhere else. It will not happen here.
In Dallas anyone wearing Mao or Redskins shirts is risking their lives. I've seen Libertarians wear Che shirts as down here Che is as associated with revolutionaries as he is with socialism. I assume some of the folks wearing Che shirts don't actually know who he was though.
just because this free market we have here in the U.S. only worked for 233 out of the 236 years, everyone wants to $hit can it. I agree that we need to reign in capitalism a little, but to switch to a different system is rediculous. lol.
Did you live there when it was the USSR? it was a little different back then. i was there, so I am not fooled. I stood at Checkpoint charlie, when people were getting shot trying to escape communist Soviet Union.
Make the regulations only for companies that make over a billion a year. Screw em! Corporations arent people. there has to be a way to punish greed, and bad ethica practices in business besides the court system.
Well even though I could, I won't get too detailed. It's because they want to control ALL of the money to spend in whatever way they see fit and the people who work hard to earn it have no say so whatsoever.
bahahaa im sorry but thats a load of BS.. have you not seen how many poor people there are in china!! By the way i like my freedom of speach.. Communism doesn't work!!!
Freefromself, were you talking to me or joe? Because I'm from a different country (former soviet Union to be exact) so I kind of know what I was talking about.
Only people from Russia believe Stalin was a great leader. The rest of the world KNOWS he was a fruitcake. He is number one most evil man in the world.
Not a lot of people actually believe it to be realistic to switch to another system. Just pointing out that all systems have pros and cons.
Well then, I am a liberal. Except for i live in portland where everyone wears Che t-shirts, and Mao t-shirts, and they praise stalin.
thats my point Whle communist soviet union was in charge! people were shot at random check poitns!!