Fragile Bird

US Politics: Speak Into the Microwave

402 posts in this topic

3 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

IMO, anti Trump people deserve at least some of the credit for that galvanization. Literally EVERY instance of me being introduced to any sort of white supremacy/nazi Trump supporters has come from people against Trump, going "see, Trump supporters are racists" in turn making dirtbags like Richard Spencer into far bigger celebrities than they ever deserve to be.

Not sure what you're trying to say here.  Is it that anti-Trump people popularize Trump's most notable white supremacist supporters, thus increasing their popularity among other Trump supporters?  I suppose that may be true, but it doesn't say anything good about those that are inclined to support such people once being exposed to them.

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5 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Not sure what you're trying to say here.  Is it that anti-Trump people popularize Trump's most notable white supremacist supporters, thus increasing their popularity among other Trump supporters?  I suppose that may be true, but it doesn't say anything good about those that are inclined to support such people once being exposed to them.

I don't know how many the white supremacy people were able to convert. But they sure got a shit load of publicity from people that wanted to push the Trump supporters are are racist narrative. 

 

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11 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

I don't know how many the white supremacy people were able to convert. But they sure got a shit load of publicity from people that wanted to push the Trump supporters are are racist narrative. 

 

Well, that's pretty much the objective - to shine a spotlight on the sick views such people are propagating.  If/when there are equivalents on the left, you damn well know conservative media shines the light on them at least - and usually much more - as hard.  That's politics.

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4 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Well, that's pretty much the objective - to shine a spotlight on the sick views such people are propagating.  If/when there are equivalents on the left, you damn well know conservative media shines the light on them at least - and usually much more - as hard.  That's politics.

Yep and that's why some people see socialism as a bad word. Doesn't matter if it's true, it's politics.

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3 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

Yep and that's why some people see socialism as a bad word. Doesn't matter if it's true, it's politics.

Sure.  It's also politics to point out that's a false equivalency, demonstrably wrong, and stupid for anyone to believe.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Sure.  It's also politics to point out that's a false equivalency, demonstrably wrong, and stupid for anyone to believe.

Yep and even more politics is to point out that it's not false equivalency. Also demonstrably wrong and very stupid for anyone to believe Trump voters are nazis

Edited by DunderMifflin

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3 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

Yep and even more politics is to point out that it's not false equivalency, it's equivalency. Also demonstrably wrong and very stupid for anyone to believe Trump voters are nazis

Equating the actual neo-nazis that support Trump to coupling "socialists" like Mao, Stalin, etc. with socialism in general - which btw has been an aspect of all liberalized democracies since the great depression - is by definition a false equivalency.  Please cite where anyone said all, or even most or many, Trump voters are nazis.

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

Equating the actual neo-nazis that support Trump to coupling "socialists" like Mao, Stalin, etc. with socialism in general - which btw has been an aspect of all liberalized democracies since the great depression - is by definition a false equivalency.  Please cite where anyone said all, or even most or many, Trump voters are nazis.

Who's equating? I just said that people are possibly wary of socialism because of the times its gone horribly wrong.

Also why are Mao and Stalin "socialists" and not socialists.

I realize socialism is a broad term without clear definition but when some people, particularly

Edited by DunderMifflin

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3 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

Who's equating? I just said that people are possibly wary of socialism because of the times its gone horribly wrong.

Also why are Mao and Stalin "socialists" and not socialists.

Same answer to both questions:  Because neither Mao nor Stalin practiced socialism in any discernible fashion.  They were totalitarian dictators that used the term to their political advantage.  Nothing more.

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

..."socialists" like Mao, Stalin...

I can see why you'd argue Mao wasn't really a socialist, I suppose it depends on how you look at it.

Stalin is interesting, though, I don't think there's any question that he was a socialist. He ran a centralised, mostly nationalised, economic model. It was even... somewhat? ...  equal, if you take his demented form of treating all human life as equally worthless as a type of equality.

Socialism is an economic model, and it's possible with very little or a great deal of democratic input. In Stalin's case, I think it's fair to say there was no democratic input, but it was absolutely socialist. Albeit in no way egalitarian.

Moscow was the undisputed beating heart of the USSR. The soviets themselves were a series of small councils who were all subservient to the centralised government and very little private investment was tolerated. Come to think of it, under Stalin very little of anything was tolerated.

I heard a fascinating question in history at uni: Given the USSR's essential role in the defeat of the Third Reich, was Josef Stalin's overall contribution to global development positive?

Not an easy one to answer, I think. Not impossible, but not easy. Anyway, tangent over.

Edited by Yukle

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1 minute ago, Yukle said:

Stalin is interesting, though, I don't think there's any question that he was a socialist. He ran a centralised, mostly nationalised, economic model. It was even... somewhat? ...  equal, if you take his demented form of treating all human life as equally worthless as a type of equality.

A centralized and nationalized economic model can be as much "fascism" as "communism" as "socialism."  Any objective conceptual definition of socialism, however, begins with equality of opportunity.  That was not practiced by Stalin nor Mao in the slightist.  Which is why, at the beginning of this back-and-forth, I described their uses of the term as a bastardization.

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22 minutes ago, Yukle said:

I think it's fair to say there was no democratic input, but it was absolutely socialist. Albeit in no way egalitarian.

Unegalitarian socialism is a contradiction in terms. An economy with Stalin in total control of everything isn't socialist any more than a capitalist state suddenly becomes socialist when a single huge corporation buys up its last competitor and takes ownership of the entire economy.

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Posted (edited)

32 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

A centralized and nationalized economic model can be as much "fascism" as "communism" as "socialism."  Any objective conceptual definition of socialism, however, begins with equality of opportunity.  That was not practiced by Stalin nor Mao in the slightist.  Which is why, at the beginning of this back-and-forth, I described their uses of the term as a bastardization.

Yes it was. Both Stalin and Mao tried to break down existing class barriers in tonnes of different ways. Like killing everyone of the upper classes, confiscating property through land reforms, making education more accessible to the lower classes, and so on. That it didn't work out very well, and that they thus weren't socialists, is like saying that Hitler wasn't an actual nazi because he didn't succeed in building the thousand year race-empire he was talking about.  

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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Posted (edited)

Fascism and communism will conjur up just as much or probably more negative reaction as socialism. I'm just backing up the point that it's politics and truth matters little in the realm of politics. No one in this discussion as far as I know openly proclaimed they want to convert the US government to full on socialism. But there were definitely a tiny minority of Clinton and Sanders supporters advocating that very thing. 

IMO the logic should be consistent, we shouldn't judge either candidate or any voter based on their most radical and extreme supporters. Anybody looks like shit when you do that.

Edited by DunderMifflin

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Trump wants to eliminate the one and only reason he paid almost any taxes at all.

And his supporters still cheer. That annoys me.

Also, kudos to whoever leaked a partial return. They're facing five years in gaol once caught. Good on them, though. Pity we don't have the full details, such as his Russian business ties. All we have is Eric Trump's praise of Russian investment in that speech from, like, a decade ago in terms of specifics of who has invested in Trump.

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9 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

Yes it was. Both Stalin and Mao tried to break down existing class barriers in tonnes of different ways. Like killing everyone of the upper classes, confiscating property through land reforms, making education more accessible to the lower classes, and so on. That it didn't work out very well, and that they thus weren't socialists, is like saying that Hitler wasn't an actual nazi because he didn't succeed in building the thousand year race-empire he was talking about.  

If you think that's socialism, I can't help you.  I'm rather surprised by the lack of understanding of what socialism actually is.  Democratic socialism has run the western world since World War II.  Well aware most Americans have conflated the term with with communism, but I did not expect that here.

12 minutes ago, DunderMifflin said:

Fascism and communism will conjur up just as much or probably more negative reaction as socialism. I'm just backing up the point that it's politics and truth matters little in the realm of politics. No one in this discussion as far as I know openly proclaimed they want to convert the US government to full on socialism. But there were definitely a tiny minority of Clinton and Sanders supporters advocating that very thing. 

IMO the logic should be consistent, we shouldn't judge either candidate or any voter based on their most radical and extreme supporters. Anybody looks like shit when you do that.

Not gonna get any argument from me on the bolded.  On the underlined, the point is the extremes on the right are more influential and numerous than the extremes on the left.  That can be empirically demonstrated as both the mass and elite levels.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, dmc515 said:

If you think that's socialism, I can't help you.  I'm rather surprised by the lack of understanding of what socialism actually is.  Democratic socialism has run the western world since World War II.  Well aware most Americans have conflated the term with with communism, but I did not expect that here.

 

That sure is a convincing counter argument.

Person 1: "I don't like nazism because they killed millions of people and destroyed much of the continent I live on."

Person 2: "If you think that's nazism, I can't help you. I'm rather surprised by the lack of understanding of what nazism actually is."

It is also pretty funny that Stalin and Mao weren't socialists according to you, but the Western world after WWII has been. Even though we basically have had a standard capitalist system just as before, only with somewhat higher tax rates and more expansive welfare programs. But that is still enough to make politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton more socialist than Stalin and Mao, apparently.  

10/10 for the mental gymnastics. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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7 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

That sure is a convincing counter argument.

Person 1: "I don't like nazism because they killed millions of people and destroyed much of the continent I lived on."

Person 2: "If you think that's nazism, I can't help you. I'm rather surprised by the lack of understanding of what nazism actually is."

It is also pretty funny that Stalin and Mao weren't socialists according to you, but the Western world after WWII has been. Even though we basically have had a standard capitalist system just as before, only with somewhat higher tax rates and more expansive welfare programs. But that is still enough to make politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton more socialist than Stalin and Mao, apparently.  

10/10 for the mental gymnastics. 

What Stalin, Mao and Hitler had in common was that they were leaders of autocratic dictatorships and it was their inherent goal to suppress any kind of opposition, expansionist policy and other, more complicated factors which made them horrible regimes to live (or die) under. It certainly wasn't their economy. What you may fear is the Soviet model of planned economy like it was used in the GDR: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_economy

Look at the part that says that it isn't equivalent to socialism. It was one attempt to brute-force a socialist solution, one that had quite a large part in the collapse of the eastern block. Pretty much nobody on the left wants such a system, because it's far too rigid to work under real life condtions. I believe what most people who argue for more socialism in the US want is this here:

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

Look, this is the system used in Germany. A free marked with checks and balances to put dow the major flaws of rampant capitalism. If you still insist that such a system is inherently evil, I just point at our GDP and laugh my ass off.

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14 minutes ago, Khaleesi did nothing wrong said:

It is also pretty funny that Stalin and Mao weren't socialists according to you, but the Western world after WWII has been. Even though we basically have had a standard capitalist system just as before, only with somewhat higher tax rates and more expansive welfare programs. But that is still enough to make politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton more socialist than Stalin and Mao, apparently.  

Yeah, those "somewhat higher tax rates and more expansive welfare programs" you're talking about is instituting a social safety net.  Otherwise known as instituting socialist policies as a safeguard against the volatility of pure capitalism.  Otherwise known as the institution of democratic socialism after the great depression.  Otherwise known as over half of the GDP of most countries when you aggregate social security, health care, and welfare programs.  Otherwise known as exactly what I was referring to.

And, again, no, Stalin and Mao weren't socialists.  Mao didn't even refer to himself as a socialist.  And even if Stalin actually observed fidelity to Leninism, that's still derived from Marx's retarded manifesto that has nothing to do with the modern idea of socialism.

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Posted (edited)

8 minutes ago, Toth said:

What Stalin, Mao and Hitler had in common was that they were leaders of autocratic dictatorships and it was their inherent goal to suppress any kind of opposition, expansionist policy and other, more complicated factors which made them horrible regimes to live (or die) under. It certainly wasn't their economy. What you may fear is the Soviet model of planned economy like it was used in the GDR: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_economy

Look at the part that says that it isn't equivalent to socialism. It was one attempt to brute-force a socialist solution, one that had quite a large part in the collapse of the eastern block. Pretty much nobody on the left wants such a system, because it's far too rigid to work under real life condtions. I believe what most people who argue for more socialism in the US want is this here:

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

Look, this is the system used in Germany. A free marked with checks and balances to put dow the major flaws of rampant capitalism. If you still insist that such a system is inherently evil, I just point at our GDP and laugh my ass off.

Well with Mao in particular a couple of tens of million people died starved to death because of his economic policies. I think starving to death seems pretty horrible, so in that sense I would argue that you are wrong in that economic policy wasn't one of (or the major) reason for why living in his China doesn't seem to have been very nice. 

But okay. So a planned economy a la Stalin or Mao isn't "real socialism", but a free market capitalist program with some government intervention and welfare polices, developed by a German liberal-conservative party, that is real socialism?

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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