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US Politics: RIP EHK FYVM GOP

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2019 at 4:03 PM, Simon Steele said:

That just sounds like a dick (and has little to do with Bernie.) This time we have Warren and Bernie and many others. Such a big field makes sense to me--people have a lot of choices. If Warren dropped out tomorrow, I bet Bernie's support would increase dramatically, don't you?

Edit: I'll add too, the craze and excitement surrounding Bernie was never about Bernie. Just his message. As a Marxist, I recognize neither Bernie nor Warren as true socialists, just kind of the best options right now. If AOC could run, I might shift to her. If a true Marxist ran (Richard Wolff or Slavoj Zizek let's say), I'd probably support them. This is not the centrist media's claim of a cult of personality. In fact, that is where the gaslighting has truly occurred. If you support Bernie, it's all about a cult of personality vs. Bernie represents something that a large demographic believes in. Ending income inequality and shutting down the "rich get richer" pyramid scheme (don't worry, if you follow us, it'll trickle down to you! Then yours will trickle down to two more!) that the U.S. is currently built upon.

You know Marx has an incredibly cogent, well thought out, and insightful criticism of capitalism.  My problem is that when Marxism has been “applied” it has turned into rather nasty authoritarian governments.  Is there an example of this not happening when a Nation-State has adopted Marxism?

This isn’t a “gotcha” I am unaware of a Marxist State that hasn’t gone authoritarian.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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2 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

I thought Tea Partiers traded those in for MAGA hats.

It is indeed good to see you. Yeah, they totally traded them in for Trump hats and matching slave collars. Freeeedom!

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Seems like one thing that can be learned from Trump is that if you say something forcefully and with conviction people will buy it. And it's even better if that thing is actually backed up with facts and evidence. 

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26 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You know Marx has an incredibly cogent, well thought out, and insightful criticism of capitalism.  My problem is that when Marxism has been “applied” it has turned into rather nasty authoritarian governments.  Is there an example of this not happening when a Nation-State has adopted Marxism?

This isn’t a “gotcha” I am unaware of a Marxist State that hasn’t gone authoritarian.

Hi Scot, I think this is absolutely a muddy area and it really depends on what we mean when defining Marxism (or socialism). I was listening to Richard Wolff the other day (economics prof at Univ. of Massachusetts) explain that socialism as we understand it, isn't necessarily how Marx envisioned it, and that it's best if we understand there are several different models. He breaks it into three broad categories: socialist countries like Denmark, Finland, etc. are led by political leaders of socialist parties, and the government works to regulate businesses so that profit doesn't benefit a few already wealthy people, but instead, is redistributed for the social welfare of the society. This doesn't cancel out people becoming rich, but it does limit it. 

The second type is what I think most of us in the U.S. born in the 80s or earlier often think of--and that's the type of socialism (communism) where the government takes complete control of the means of production. This is where we've seen the big failures that we're well acquainted with.

Wolff argues a newer evolution of the above two is beginning to take hold. I see the biggest difference here being that socialism comes into the workplace, and workers get a democratic vote in terms of how things will work. This one hasn't seen success or defeat as it is still a pretty new concept. 

I think in the U.S., what I see mostly talked about is the first style (like Sweden, Denmark, and others). Caps to wealth, an expansion of what we view as fundamental human rights.

I use the term Marxism because of this. As you said, Marxism is only a critique of capitalism, not a solution. I think it's worth looking at those broken models (such as communism in the USSR) and understanding those haven't worked, whereas moderated versions have worked. So I think this is why Bernie sticks so hard to Democratic Socialism vs just socialism. The vote has to remain in the hands of the people to help stop authoritarian models taking over.

So I guess that evolved versions of socialism are successful. I honestly wouldn't advocate for a pure government takeover of the means of production. In that case, it's just another small group of people dictating how the rest of us live.

I think it's also worth considering, have we ever seen a truly functional model of capitalism? We have had a recession in the U.S. (moderate to severe) every ten years. That is a really unstable system. Small percentages of people who have cornered the majority of our wealth are increasingly difficult to work against, too. I mean, it's one thing to make a million bucks. To me, that'd be life changing. Someone like Mark Zuckerberg could blow through a million bucks a day for the next 11 years. That's assuming everything he bought had no appreciation value. That blows my mind. I think it's really worth wondering if capitalism has ever been truly successful anywhere when it is so unstable, and so easy for a tiny percentage of the population to amass the majority of the nation's wealth.

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Just now, The Anti-Targ said:

Seems like one thing that can be learned from Trump is that if you say something forcefully and with conviction people will buy it. And it's even better if that thing is actually backed up with facts and evidence. 

Incorrect conclusion drawn from a correctly identified observance.

If you say something that appeals to base emotion forcefully enough then people will buy it. Facts and reality are irrelevant.

Which is why @larrytheimp is wrong. And it's not even necessarily (exclusively) about racism. It's tribalism and entitlement combined. "This is mine, I don't want anyone else to have it." If you think that only racists and Republicans have that mindset then you need to take a step into the real world for five minutes or drive in traffic. Overcoming such basic impulses to do what is morally and fiscally correct is not a simple as "It's the right thing to do" or else we wouldn't be having this conversation at all.

People think there's some kind of binary choice to be made on every political question, that you somehow cannot have both a Navy and a social safety net. Or a functioning economy and workers' rights. This is a fantastically effective hoodwink that will never go away. Ignoring it is the height of stupidity. I mean really, whose vote are you courting by saying that? Is it the illegal immigrant's vote? The one who can't vote? Were liberals drawing a line in the sand that undocumented residents needed health insurance too or else the party was no longer representative of progressive values? That question was so fucking bizarre and counterproductive that I initially wasn't sure I understood it.

And let me be clear, again, for my confused friends. I'm totally on board with the idea, it's the right thing to do for a lot of reasons. But admitting to it does nothing but let Donald and his state media apparatus run ads declaring that "Democrats want to give your tax dollars to illegals" or "Democrats are buying illegal votes" It doesn't matter that it's not true, it doesn't matter that almost all of those folks pay into the system, it doesn't matter that we can afford it, or that it's cheaper... None of that matters because while the Democrat stands there trying to explain reality all the Republican has to do is scream about giving away the country.

If you actually think that facts matter anymore then I want to smoke some of whatever it is you've been hitting for the last four years.

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

You know Marx has an incredibly cogent, well thought out, and insightful criticism of capitalism.  My problem is that when Marxism has been “applied” it has turned into rather nasty authoritarian governments.  Is there an example of this not happening when a Nation-State has adopted Marxism?

This is your repeated complaint, and I continue to just say simply it's illegitimate.  If you read the communist manifesto (it's pretty short kids!) there's little resembling what they had in mind with any of the regimes that have taken up the mantel of Marxism.  I'm not saying he's right, but he was a great and very influential political theorist, for better and of course very much for worse.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2019 at 9:19 PM, Simon Steele said:

snip

The definition of socialism problem.

Now this is a particularly problem in the United States because certain sorts of people want to do the Humpty Dumpty with the word "socialism". Humpty Dumpty famously said:

"When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

And Republicans constantly do this, by changing he meaning of term as it suits them. Whenever I encounter Republicans over this issue, I always tell them they are going to have to pick a definition. And once they pick definition, were going to stick with that one. And since we are going to stick to the definition they have chosen, they better think hard about how they want to define it. Because under some Republican definitions of "socialism" things like Social Security which is popular with many Republicans become "socialism".  And if Republicans really feel that something like that is socialism and is bad, then they need to be upfront with their own voters about it, and stop bullshitting. Anyway the point is never let a Republican or conservative sloppily use the term "socialism" in a sloppy or ill defined manner and then let them sashay right on out of that definition into another one as it suits whatever argument they are making.

At any rate, I think of socialism as basically where there is no private ownership of capital. That is it. And that I don't support. I do of course support a strong welfare state, unions, and appropriate regulations to protect the public from fraud, externalities, and financial crises and so forth, and of course I'm a strong Keynesian as I believe that demand side stabilization is key to the interest of working class people because as Joan Robinson famously quipped, "the only thing worse than being exploited is being unexploited", by which she meant the devastation involuntary unemployment does to people. Anyway, that probably doesn't make me a socialist, if you're willing to use my definition of what a socialist is. It makes a social democrat. Of course if somebody has a different definition of socialism, then I'm fine with being called a socialist, just so long as the person using that term is consistent with its meaning.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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48 minutes ago, DMC said:

This is your repeated complaint, and I continue to just say simply it's illegitimate.  If you read the communist manifesto (it's pretty short kids!) there's little resembling what they had in mind with any of the regimes that have taken up the mantel of Marxism.  I'm not saying he's right, but he was a great and very influential political theorist, for better and of course very much for worse.

I appreciate your point but I don’t think mine is invalid.  Has there been a Government calling itself “Marxist” that hasn’t been a nasty authoritarian regime claiming to act for “the greater good”.

This in no way invalidates or makes less cogent Marx’s criticisms or capitalism.  It simply means that those who have, since Marx passed, attempted to carry his mantle haven’t really gotten past the “we’re being assholes for your own good” stage.

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20 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I appreciate your point but I don’t think mine is invalid.  Has there been a Government calling itself “Marxist” that hasn’t been a nasty authoritarian regime claiming to act for “the greater good”.

This in no way invalidates or makes less cogent Marx’s criticisms or capitalism.  It simply means that those who have, since Marx passed, attempted to carry his mantle haven’t really gotten past the “we’re being assholes for your own good” stage.

Was the Nazi regime socialist?

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16 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I appreciate your point but I don’t think mine is invalid.

Ok, perhaps not invalid, but just..irrelevant?  That those that have tried to take up the mantel are gross abominations needs to be taken into account.  You're right, there hasn't been a state that's actually followed his prescribed process.  But that's in part because his process is kind of ridiculous if you look at it as a realist.  So, sure, Marx and Engels didn't exactly know what they were talking about.  Whom among us does?

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7 hours ago, DMC said:

And I think you should get a sense of humor.

for real, if you can’t find the humor in [reads thread] concentration camps, buddy i don’t know what to tell you!

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Just now, a good and nice guy said:

for real, if you can’t find the humor in [reads thread] concentration camps, buddy i don’t know what to tell you!

Nice to see you back as well, even if you're giving me shit.

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3 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

I'm not saying your wrong for asking this, I'm saying that there have to be other options.  And Bret Stephens isn't a moderate or a voice of the center, he's an old school conservative who got left behind by by Tumpism  

i’d go even further and say he is every bit the far right bigot trump and his supporters are, he simply acts aghast at the “uncivilized” manner in which trumps political theater plays out. don’t read stephens (or brooks or any of these other ghouls) for any reason aside from mining for savage dunks

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14 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

In name only in my opinion.

Okay, but we are in the process of saying what horrible douchebags communists are. And by extension every liberal, leftist, Democrat, former Cuban offical are the worst piles of shit ever for being any way associated with communism. 

Well, Nazis are at least loosely associated with the right wing. Go ahead and defend them. Or immediately disavow all right wing ideas forever.

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1 hour ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

If you actually think that facts matter anymore...

 

Pelosi has lived in a post facts world for longer than the last four years.   I would say Democrats got there first.  Nothing out of her is real, it's all said to shape a context she benefits from and leaves reality behind.   There is no more debate, or finding solutions, when everyone shifts to this mode.   There's no more arguments won by their merits, now we talk past each other and make up our own verbiage and it doesn't get better.    This is Russia's victory.    When people lose faith in their institutions.  It was better when there were facts.   

There was more hope , less bitterness.  Do we really believe the Republicans are the ones who ended facts?   I mean, are lefty's really saying that to each other and believing it???  Factless brainwashing campaigns have always been waged by the donkeys here for as long as I've been watching.    Lots of the shock and horror of 2016 was over how the opponent finally appropriated your toolkit and used it against you.   

It's not awesome, is it, having to deal with someone who'll literally say whatever.  Well, how do you think we've felt for the last 6 elections?    So feel free to dial it back to the world that is.  

All this hulaballoo over Russian collusion is hilarious.    What an outrage, right?  Look at all the people on this thread who want to collude with Russia by way of throwing out the democracy experiment this place pledged itself to and inviting communism in.   Dems have been colluding with foreign powers for generations in spirit.   The outrage over Trump contact with Russia was like the reaction of a jilted lover, feeling betrayed.  Wasn't all the colluding with the Clinton Foundation enough for you Putin?   No?   Did you want us to do more butt stuff?  Less?  Putin, why aren't you answering our texts anymore?  Have you found someone new?    Is he hotter than us?   Oranger?

 If it's really so important to keep trying socialism over and over and pretending it'll be great this next time (like an addict), then wait for Venezuela to become purchasable via kickstarter and why doesn't everybody chip in to try democratic socialism out there?   somewhere else.    Why does it always have to be here?   This is a very mobile society.  You can buy your way into Venezuela.   You guys can make good on the promise to leave America that Alec Baldwin fell short of.   You can go!  (Hey, I'm not wishing death on anybody like you did on the troops.  Oh,  reminds me.  Happy fourth of July!)      (I quoted you but really am talking to everybody so don't feel singled out and thanks for your take on Star Wars 8, and i hope this doesn't erode our wonderful relationship.)

 

oh!    PETE!  Forgot about Pete Bud-edge-edge in my debate review.  He was totally hot and the bravest of the bunch, the short speech touching upon religion and how they're not the sole source of moral authority, that was the masterpiece blurb of his whole group that night, and the only speaker who sounded capable of wresting away some votes from those who feel religious guilt.  The conscientious, you know.   

and good lawd, peeple.  So much talk of brown people on this thread.  You guys sound so racist.   The border should be color blind.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, The Mother of The Others said:

 

Pelosi has lived in a post facts world for longer than the last four years.   I would say Democrats got there first.  Nothing out of her is real, it's all said to shape a context she benefits from and leaves reality behind.   There is no more debate, or finding solutions, when everyone shifts to this mode.   There's no more arguments won by their merits, now we talk past each other and make up our own verbiage and it doesn't get better.    This is Russia's victory.    When people lose faith in their institutions.  It was better when there were facts.   

There was more hope , less bitterness.  Do we really believe the Republicans are the ones who ended facts?   I mean, are lefty's really saying that to each other and believing it???  Factless brainwashing campaigns have always been waged by the donkeys here for as long as I've been watching.    Lots of the shock and horror of 2016 was over how the opponent finally appropriated your toolkit and used it against you.   

It's not awesome, is it, having to deal with someone who'll literally say whatever.  Well, how do you think we've felt for the last 6 elections?    So feel free to dial it back to the world that is.  

All this hulaballoo over Russian collusion is hilarious.    What an outrage, right?  Look at all the people on this thread who want to collude with Russia by way of throwing out the democracy experiment this place pledged itself to and inviting communism in.   Dems have been colluding with foreign powers for generations in spirit.   The outrage over Trump contact with Russia was like the reaction of a jilted lover, feeling betrayed.  Wasn't all the colluding with the Clinton Foundation enough for you Putin?   No?   Did you want us to do more butt stuff?  Less?  Putin, why aren't you answering our texts anymore?  Have you found someone new?    Is he hotter than us?   Oranger?

 If it's really so important to keep trying socialism over and over and pretending it'll be great this next time (like an addict), then wait for Venezuela to become purchasable via kickstarter and why doesn't everybody chip in to try democratic socialism out there?   somewhere else.    Why does it always have to be here?   This is a very mobile society.  You can buy your way into Venezuela.   You guys can make good on the promise to leave America that Alec Baldwin fell short of.   You can go!  (Hey, I'm not wishing death on anybody like you did on the troops.  Oh,  reminds me.  Happy fourth of July!)      (I quoted you but really am talking to everybody so don't feel singled out and thanks for your take on Star Wars 8, and i hope this doesn't erode our wonderful relationship.)

 

oh!    PETE!  Forgot about Pete Bud-edge-edge in my debate review.  He was totally hot and the bravest of the bunch, the short speech touching upon religion and how they're not the sole source of moral authority, that was the masterpiece blurb of his whole group that night, and the only speaker who sounded capable of wresting away some votes from those who feel religious guilt.  The conscientious, you know.   

and good lawd, peeple.  So much talk of brown people on this thread.  You guys sound so racist.   The border should be color blind.

 

 

Now THAT is a rant. Goddamn, you just made me proud to be an American again! Feel my crotch, I'm wetter than an April shower right now.

Are you assholes paying attention!?! Because ^THAT^ is how you execute a post-truth persuasion. Holy shit, man. I didn't know you had it in you... I mean last night was fun and all but just WOW.

I'd give you a standing ovation but I'm flat on my back right now and one hand is busy. Stay golden, my new Pony Boy.

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1 hour ago, Martell Spy said:

Was the Nazi regime socialist?

i’m gonna stop you right there, and say this is a major reason it’s so difficult to have a discussion on the merits of socialism/communism. people like scot will always resort to these stupid rhetorical tricks that will try and divorce any anti-capitalist state from the greater geopolitical context. it’s a trap to deflect from the horrors and atrocities committed by capitalist regimes, their own authoritative aspects, and how the outsized power of capital interests interfere both directly and in more subtle ways to undermine any socialist goals. don’t fall for it and don’t play into their disingenuous hands  

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52 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

Okay, but we are in the process of saying what horrible douchebags communists are. And by extension every liberal, leftist, Democrat, former Cuban offical are the worst piles of shit ever for being any way associated with communism. 

I’ve never said that.  There are plenty of socialist nations that aren’t run by “horrible douchebags”.  They are democratic socialists who don’t feel the need to use Mao and Lenin’s methods of taking and holding onto power in Marx’s name.

My point is that those Nations that have claimed to be “Marxist” in conception (not Socialist) have to the best of my knowledge all been authoritarian in nature. 

This in no way invalidates Marx’s criticism of capitalism.  It simply suggests that “Marxists” attempting to push what they see as Marx’s ideals upon people tend to run the authoritarian route.  Given their poor track record perhaps the Democratic Socialist track is one that is more effective and worthwhile than the Marxist Socialist track?

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11 minutes ago, a good and nice guy said:

i’m gonna stop you right there, and say this is a major reason it’s so difficult to have a discussion on the merits of socialism/communism. people like scot will always resort to these stupid rhetorical tricks that will try and divorce any anti-capitalist state from the greater geopolitical context. it’s a trap to deflect from the horrors and atrocities committed by capitalist regimes, their own authoritative aspects, and how the outsized power of capital interests interfere both directly and in more subtle ways to undermine any socialist goals. don’t fall for it and don’t play into their disingenuous hands  

See my post above, please.

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