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  • Beermat
    1 Registered Rank Loser
    • Oct 2009
    • 3643

    American misunderstandings

    Something on the 'Historic' thread prompted this. There is a confusion between civil liberty and the political right that is leading to all kinds of odd statements coming out of the US, and all kinds of odd people running for president.

    When did over-regulation and/or bureaucracy become seen as Socialism? Was it a result of the same world view that confused capitalism with democracy (often by folk who couldn't even point to China on a map, never mind understand what is happening there)?

    There was a time in the UK when an overbearing petty bureaucrat would be called a 'Little Hitler'. Is it the case that in fact those who don't like the state chose to brand it with the name of the bogeyman of the day. Hence it is 'Socialist' in the US?

    This question was meant without reference to the actual rights and wrongs of actual socialism.
    Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 08:43.
    www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
    It's all good. Probably.
  • charliehunt
    Nearly there!
    • Oct 2012
    • 11459

    #2
    The simple answer to the question at the start of your second paragraph is that simplistically more bureaucracy and state regulation is associated with a socialist orthodoxy. And always remember Hitler's party was a National SOCIALIST party. The terms left and right have become almost meaningless over the decades.
    Charlie

    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

    Comment

    • Beermat
      1 Registered Rank Loser
      • Oct 2009
      • 3643

      #3
      It certainly is associated with a socialist orthodoxy, my question was why? If one reads Marx, for example, nowhere does he advocate bureaucracy or even state regulation. I know a few hardcore Socialists, and none of them have ever wanted more state regulation of anything!

      So yes, it is popularly associated, but why?

      Maybe the terms 'left' - or 'socialist' - have become meaningless because they have been used so often as a catch-all by a quite narrow but politically dominant school of thought to define the 'other' - be it hippies, striking workers, writers, journalists, those who don't think greed is good, pacifists, atheists, foreigners, gun control advocates, bureaucrats or care workers. In fact, all the people who get rounded up when it hits the fan and real, not imagined, state control is exerted, regardless of the professed political persuasion of those doing the rounding.

      All of the above have been recently been called 'socialists' in the US. This misapprehension is creeping across the Atlantic. It is making debate of actual issues more difficult, and I am sure that's fine by some.
      Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 11:07.
      www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
      It's all good. Probably.

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      • charliehunt
        Nearly there!
        • Oct 2012
        • 11459

        #4
        This definition might provide a partial answer:

        "Full 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
        2
        a : 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"

        But, I agree, that the various terms to describe social structures and beliefs have become confused and often contradictory.
        Charlie

        Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

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        • John Green
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Mar 2011
          • 6643

          #5
          I have a crystal clear understanding of the difference - in general terms - between 'right' and 'left'.

          'Right' equals excellence and independence. 'Left' equals mediocrity and dependence.

          Comment

          • Beermat
            1 Registered Rank Loser
            • Oct 2009
            • 3643

            #6
            Glad your clear on that.

            Don't look at Donald Trump, it might muddy your waters a bit. Or is he 'excellent'?

            Actually, to some he might be. I heard a very cutting remark recently, I wish I could remember where - 'He's very clever - well, no, he's very rich, which in America is a substitute for clever'.

            Charlie, yes, that's useful - it gets back to the point. The OED is closer than Miriam Webster to the original thrust of socialist theory - "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" - rather than 'by the Government' which has crept in to US definitions..

            On a point of logic - we cannot all excel. It is only ever a comparative term. We cannot all have a larger slice of the pie than everybody else, but in the classic 'It Could Be You' way it suits for us all to keep trying. To me it's the difference between a lifeboat drill that says 'everyone make orderly progress together to the stations, no shoving or trampling' (received version of socialism, if not all about the means of production) and one that says 'everyone try to get there first, no rules' (neo-liberalism). Yes, the fastest and fittest will get there quicker by trampling over others than had they waited, and some of a particular mind set might say that they excelled and demonstrated independence! But fewer get to the boats at all. I know I am a voice in the wilderness, but maybe generations to come will look back on these decades and shake their heads - they might see us as we see a hamster running faster and faster on a wheel, really thinking it's getting somewhere. Just thought I'd throw that one out there!
            Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 12:50.
            www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
            It's all good. Probably.

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            • John Green
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Mar 2011
              • 6643

              #7
              Is it his haircut to which you object ?

              Referring to his excellence. He's certainly made a shilling or two !

              Comment

              • Beermat
                1 Registered Rank Loser
                • Oct 2009
                • 3643

                #8
                Most excellent, then. That's not his real hair, is it?
                www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                It's all good. Probably.

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                • trekbuster
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jul 2011
                  • 877

                  #9
                  So, being on the right automatically leads to excellence?

                  Hmmmm. That it tends to make people self-serving and self-important I'd agree with, but automatically 'excellent"? No

                  Those qualities undoubtedly make people very 'successful' in some areas, usually at the expense of others, but it sure doesn't automatically make them people who are good.

                  And in addition, making loads of money makes you excellent does it?

                  In some cases I would agree that it can make people become a force for good, such as Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett or Mark Zuckerberg but in most cases it just seems to make one objectionable e.g. Michael O'Leary, Rupert Murdoch or Lord Archer.

                  Comment

                  • charliehunt
                    Nearly there!
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 11459

                    #10
                    I wonder how representative your examples at the extremes are. I suspect the majority who have made loads of money, rather than just winning it, get on with their loves in relative anonymity.
                    Charlie

                    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

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                    • Beermat
                      1 Registered Rank Loser
                      • Oct 2009
                      • 3643

                      #11
                      And there's more - you mentioned "at the expense of others". To be clear, how else is wealth obtained?

                      No one has adequately explained to me or anyone who has ever taken the time to question it how 'wealth creation through being wealthy' works. You might do or give something legitimate or illegitimate for which you are financially rewarded. But you haven't created that money, merely acquired it. The wealth of nations comes about through the collective effort of the nation (and the money is merely a transactional tool - after all, it is printed at will with no real relation to national wealth or otherwise), and not from someone being better than the next person at concentrating that money, taken from the overall money supply, into their own bank account.

                      So what makes the person with the money more 'excellent' than the person they have taken or received it from, even if it was done as a legitimate transaction? It's a bit like the phrase 'Oh, He's worth ten million' , meaning he has ten million. When did we start saying that? He is in fact arguably the opposite of that - he has taken ten million out of the collective 'money supply' (and yes, I know there is no such thing - maybe 'circulating cash' is better). Certainly his overall worth to the rest of us is unrelated to the value of his assets or the cash in his bank.

                      I know some very nice rich people, and some skint people who are *soles, as well as vice-versa - mine are not the politics of envy - just to head that cheap shot off. I am just curious as to how it really works and why it doesn't seem to tally with how most politicians say it works, really.
                      Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 17:07.
                      www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                      It's all good. Probably.

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                      • snafu352
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2008
                        • 2250

                        #12
                        I would offer you two words to answer your last question Beermat: Complexity and Simplicity.

                        The things of which you speak are complex, which takes time and understanding to comprehend.
                        The majority of people either have not the time or not the ability to understand, or both.

                        There are then folk who having observed this fact use it to their own advantage by offering a simple, although incorrect and inadequate, explanation and claiming that they have an answer. These people we call politicians and businessmen.
                        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
                        Bertrand Russell

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                        • John Green
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Mar 2011
                          • 6643

                          #13
                          Trekkie,

                          Funnily enough, yes. It certainly works in education. Private education, generally on the political right, is widely recognised as being excellent; while State education being generally on the political left, is widely recognised as being at best, mediocre. This is what the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had to say, by co-incidence, just to-day:

                          Most young people in England are the most educationally backward in the developed world. Many aged 16 - 19 have only a basic grasp of English and Maths. English teenagers were the worst of 23 developed nations in literacy and were placed 22 our of 23 in numeracy.

                          One in five university students struggle with anything more difficult than basic reading, writing and arithmetic. This means that they are hardly equipped to read the simple instructions on a box of medicine or, understand a petrol guage.

                          As I have repeatedly mentioned on these forums, there is something dreadfully wrong and inadequate at the heart of State education. The OECD regularly draws attention to gross shortcomings in the British State education system. Still there are politically dysfunctional people on this forum and in other places who trot out the usual lame excuses to justify this lamentable failure.

                          It might be, that if more parents were encouraged to have a more responsible attitude to the education of their offspring and give up their recreational drugs, booze and fags and pay for private education we, as a nation, would not feature so dismally or, so often, in the reports of the OECD.

                          Comment

                          • Beermat
                            1 Registered Rank Loser
                            • Oct 2009
                            • 3643

                            #14
                            EDIT - THIS WAS POSTED IN RESPONSE TO A POST BY JG SINCE REMOVED

                            Or maybe if we accepted our collective responsibility and funded state education through taxation to the same degree as private education is funded by the wealthy looking after their own then the results would be on a par as well. The problem isn't inherent in state versus private funding, John. It's all money, wherever it does or doesn't come from.

                            On a personal note, I take offence to calling my parents, who couldn't afford to put me through private education, recreational drug users.

                            I'm your worst nightmare - living refutation of your dogma.
                            Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 18:26.
                            www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                            It's all good. Probably.

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                            • John Green
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Mar 2011
                              • 6643

                              #15
                              My comments disappeared because I posted the same piece twice. In trying to get rid of the second one, they both disappeared ! If anyone knows how to get at least one back, I'd be grateful.

                              Comment

                              • Beermat
                                1 Registered Rank Loser
                                • Oct 2009
                                • 3643

                                #16
                                John, before reposting I'd be grateful if you removed the bit about people who can't afford private education for their kids being drug users. This includes my family for a start, and they are not. This is quite apart from the statement being bonkers nonsense.
                                www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                                It's all good. Probably.

                                Comment

                                • John Green
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Mar 2011
                                  • 6643

                                  #17
                                  My friend, it is a question of priorities. If you want to give your children every possible advantage then you'll scrimp and save to send your child to private education exactly as my parents did with me and my sister and as I did with my sprogs.

                                  As for 'recreational drug users' that was a general comment that arose out of my spending too much time watching reality TV and seeing just how the other half live. How would I know whether your parents were or, were not users ? If they could not put you thru' private education, it was perhaps due to other priorities.

                                  Comment

                                  • Beermat
                                    1 Registered Rank Loser
                                    • Oct 2009
                                    • 3643

                                    #18
                                    Well, whatever their priorities it wasn't learning about the 'other half' through the prism of gutter television.

                                    I seem to recall hard work. My mother raised kids and cleaned toilets, When I left for university she retrained as a probate lawyer, and retired as a partner (she says she came across more sh*ts in her second career).

                                    My father was a nuclear physicist with BNFL, who retrained as a teacher. Funnily enough he went to work in a public school. However, there was never any question of me going to one. I went to a comprehensive. And no, no one was a 'user' as you put it. You may not have seen people like my family on 'reality TV'. But take a look at actual reality. You'll see a lot of us.
                                    Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 21:47.
                                    www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                                    It's all good. Probably.

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                                    • snafu
                                      Senior Member
                                      • Aug 2013
                                      • 2825

                                      #19
                                      Here we go again...

                                      Originally posted by John Green View Post
                                      My comments disappeared because I posted the same piece twice. In trying to get rid of the second one, they both disappeared ! If anyone knows how to get at least one back, I'd be grateful.
                                      So that we can witness your bigotry first hand? Can't wait...


                                      Originally posted by Beermat View Post
                                      John, before reposting I'd be grateful if you removed the bit about people who can't afford private education for their kids being drug users. This includes my family for a start, and they are not. This is quite apart from the statement being bonkers nonsense.
                                      Every clich creates its own problems - obviously those children who attend private schools become money-fixated pretentious to$$ers with a predilection for deviant sexual practises who use their silver spoon to chase the dragon. I am sure there will be more who believe this stereotype than John and his rabid rantings about every state school parent being a druggie...

                                      Originally posted by John Green View Post
                                      My friend, it is a question of priorities. If you want to give your children every possible advantage then you'll scrimp and save to send your child to private education exactly as my parents did with me and my sister and as I did with my sprogs.
                                      So were your grandparents drug users, or their parents before them, etc, for not sending your forefathers to private school?

                                      Originally posted by John Green View Post
                                      As for 'recreational drug users' that was a general comment that arose out of my spending too much time watching reality TV and seeing just how the other half live. How would I know whether your parents were or, were not users ? If they could not put you thru' private education, it was perhaps due to other priorities.
                                      The 'other half' are a distinct minority who are always in the media, just like all those stories about deviants and embezzlers that just have to mention which 'famous' school the convicted miscreant attended.

                                      Comment

                                      • Beermat
                                        1 Registered Rank Loser
                                        • Oct 2009
                                        • 3643

                                        #20
                                        My father took early retirement mainly because he could no longer stand the arrogant parents and kids. The Russian and Chinese parents were offering bribes to up their kids grades, and the kids had a habit of issuing threats of the 'my father knows some dangerous people' kind. An atmosphere far more poisonous than my state school, a smell not disguised by the reek of money. I only hope your money went somewhere healthier.
                                        Last edited by Beermat; 3rd February 2016, 22:46.
                                        www.whirlwindfighterproject.org
                                        It's all good. Probably.

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