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(Gallup)   Not news: Half of Democrats have favorable impressions of socialism. Fark: So do a quarter of Republicans   (gallup.com) divider line 23
    More: Amusing, Democrats, Republican, socialism, capitalism  
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1273 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 Nov 2012 at 4:09 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-29 03:30:49 PM  
8 votes:
Being a liberal in the Infantry (which is actually a dirty word to some guys I work with...), I'm often called on to try to defend "Obama's Socialist Takeover" of America. Here's my argument as to why some socialism is good, but all or none is bad:

"Look, you obviously don't actually know what socialism *IS*. The definition of socialism is, basically, 'government control of a certain industry.' That's not a perfect definition, but it's pretty close. That doesn't have to mean federal government. That can mean local, like city, county or state government. Now, an example of national socialism is actually our Army/Navy/Air Force, etc... We as a country have decided that it's better for government to control the method of national defense than to contract it out to mercenary groups (or at least we used to).

"An example of local socialism, such as city or county would be our fire department. You pay property taxes in some form, if you live off post. It's either part of your mortgage, like mine is, or it's calculated in the rent that you pay. Property taxes help pay for the fire department because the local government, of which we are a part, has decided that it is better for everyone to pay into a general fund, which is then used to run a city-wide fire fighting service. This is much better than a pure capitalistic model which has you needing to decide if you want Fire Fighting Company A, which is stationed closer to your house, but costs more, or Company B, which is a bit farther away, but costs less. Plus, you need to figure out which company has the better record of saving the house of fire vs. just keeping it contained and kept away from other houses. Is it worth the extra money for Company A? Does Company B have a better safety record?

"All that stuff is something that is basic to our security and way of life. What happens if the person living next to you decides that he will just be extra careful and not spend the extra 150-200 a month for fire fighting insurance. So when his house catches fire, he has no one to call. There's no 911 for fires. He doesn't have a contract with any fire fighting company, so now your house is in danger because you might not even know that his house is on fire until it's too big to fight. Now that fire can spread to your house, through no fault of your own.

Instead, a socialistic model is used to ensure that each homeowner pays towards the cost of operating a fire department. That way, everyone is covered in case of emergency, and your house is safer than it would be if you were dealing with a neighbor that refuses to spend the extra money because he doesn't think his house will catch fire.

"Now, an example of a BAD idea for socialism is McDonalds. Them, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc... they ALL are a good example of capitalism providing non-essential services, fast food specifically. Government absolutely should NOT try to take control of fast food production and sales, setting all the prices, control all the supply, etc... Gov't wouldn't be able to run any of those businesses as efficiently as each franchise or corporation that controls the stores. It might not run a fire fighting company as efficiently as a private venture either, but the little bit of waste that results isn't enough to justify dismantling and essential service and giving it to private enterprise the way it does with something non-essential like fast food.

There's already socialism in our country. It's part of what makes us great, coming together to ensure social safety and security. Military, Police, Fire Fighting, it's all socialist. The main point of argument is whether or not health care is essential enough to justify a socialistic model. I believe it does, because, once again, take your neighbor who didn't want to buy fire fighting insurance. He doesn't want to buy health insurance because he just doesn't have the money and he's healthy anyways, right? What happens when he gets sick with something minor, yet bad enough that he should go to the doctor? Well, it costs too much to do that out of pocket, so he's just going to keep working. Now he's spread a bad strain of the flu through all the workers in his company, the majority of which ALSO don't have health insurance because it costs too much right now. This adds up to lost productivity, possible health hazards depending on where they work, generally a bad situation. Socialized health care would help prevent this because he wouldn't have to worry about going to a doctor right when he gets sick, and is able to find out that his strain is pretty virulent, so he should stay home for a few days to rest up. He doesn't pay out of pocket expenses for the doctor's visit, maybe a little bit of money for the medicine, but now the company doesn't have the cascading effect of workers getting sick and unable to work as well for a week or two at least. They don't have to worry about potential health hazards from a large number of people working together suddenly having a virulent strain of the flu. Plus, with socialized health care, everyone pays in, the whole country, but not everyone is going to need it at one time. Therefore, they'll save money in the long run, paying a little bit higher in their tax percentage, but not having lost revenue or productivity from sick workers."

If they haven't fallen asleep by this point, most people will admit that I have a good point. Hopefully, I've changed a few minds, but I'm not too optimistic.
2012-11-29 04:29:48 PM  
4 votes:
Republicans have never had a problem with socialism for the rich.
2012-11-29 04:33:05 PM  
3 votes:
I like socialism where it matters. Why DON'T we all own the natural resources of our country as citizens? Alaska has the right idea about that.

Same thing with health care. In the end, privatized health care is more concerned with a profit line than with giving care. Unless there is a better idea out there, we should let the state take care of it. Hell, WE ARE THE STATE, which is what I don't get about people who are so fearful of the government.

Where government control makes more sense, we should DO IT, and where it doesn't, let the free market work things out.
2012-11-29 03:46:08 PM  
3 votes:

Lsherm: Everybody loves socialism as long as you get more than you're giving.


Fark you. I'm definitely in the giver camp given my tax bracket and I'm all for investing in improvements to the general welfare.

I find that making the country, as a whole, better improves my life, too and that you need to be a special kind of short-sighted asshole not to see that.

/ And you misspelled "enlightened self-interest". It doesn't start with an S.
2012-11-29 02:35:05 PM  
3 votes:
Imagine what the numbers would be like if more Americans knew what socialism is.
2012-11-29 02:34:49 PM  
3 votes:
This just in: Some people still don't understand the difference between Socialism and Communism.
2012-11-29 04:39:47 PM  
2 votes:
Remember the Republican mantra "It's not socialism when we do it!"
2012-11-29 06:44:12 PM  
1 votes:

tenpoundsofcheese: So? There are "republicans" who like socialism. After all, there were "republicans" who voted for 0bama.


And there are "Reagan Democrats" but I'm guessing you're OK with that.
2012-11-29 06:30:20 PM  
1 votes:

jigger: Communist_Manifesto: Seriously, how would I start a company that competes with Wal Mart?

How did Wal Mart start?


They started when there was no WalMart
2012-11-29 06:09:12 PM  
1 votes:
Half of Democrats and THREE quarters of 'Pubs couldn't define the word "socialism" if you gave them a forty-word head start.
2012-11-29 05:31:49 PM  
1 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: Socialism doesn't sound scary when it's described as workers owning shares in the companies they work in.


It does when you're an executive.
2012-11-29 05:27:49 PM  
1 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: I like to get people on the socialist side by asking if they think owning shares in the company they would motivate them to do a better job. Most agree that it would, rationalizing by saying that of course they would work harder because their fate is now more directly tied to how well the firm does. Socialism doesn't sound scary when it's described as workers owning shares in the companies they work in.


that's because voluntary socialism - employee owned companies, for example - isn't scary. It's a perfectly cromulent outcome in a capitalist society that does not hinder progress or the desire of others to strike out on their own.

Forced socialism sucks monkey nuts, however.
2012-11-29 05:27:03 PM  
1 votes:

FarkedOver: If you want a better understanding of Socialism go to open meeting. I know the Socialist branch that I am member of has open meetings constantly about a wide range of economic and/or social issues. We encourage people to attend.

DO NOT go to ISO meetings or CPUSA meetings.


So which group do you attend? DSA?

I have several friends in the ISO. They're very enthusiastic and, contrary to your experience, I find they work well with others (unions, community and student groups, etc.). My main criticism of that group is that they seem more interested in holding rallies and yelling than doing the harder work of community organizing. There's a very mild cultish vibe, too, though nothing as bad as some other lefty groups I've encountered, like the Sparts.

Anyway, the return of positive connotations for the word socialism is interesting. We've deregulated capitalism for the past thirty years or so, and it's concentrated wealth, impoverished workers, and caused speculative bubbles and booms and busts, so people are interested in alternatives, or at least reining it in.

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

/Hot.
//Freelance socialist
2012-11-29 05:17:36 PM  
1 votes:

Sergeant Grumbles: Epoch_Zero: I too support Anarcholisnism.

I think if people are confused about actual Socialism and Communism, they're even more confused about Anarchism.
They think it means something to do with punk rock and complete disregard for all laws, in my experience.


Essentially. And when one tries to discuss it, the same "conversation" always happens, which boils down to, "the things you are saying don't jibe with my prejudices, so they must be untrue. Furthermore, things that actually exist in the real world (like workplace democracy and effective horizontal organization) can't possibly exist because they don't jibe with the aforementioned prejudices. You're a dumb stupidhead and I won't listen to you until you can present utopian solutions to all problems that can also be implemented instantaneously and won't disrupt the stock market."

Say the word "anarchism" and everyone turns into a Republican.
2012-11-29 05:12:25 PM  
1 votes:

Epoch_Zero: I too support Anarcholisnism.


I think if people are confused about actual Socialism and Communism, they're even more confused about Anarchism.
They think it means something to do with punk rock and complete disregard for all laws, in my experience.
2012-11-29 04:37:32 PM  
1 votes:

Surool: When you tell republicans about how the police, fire, roads, medicare and social security checks are all socialism, then they realized they've loved it all along.


No, no, no, those things are like trees and grass they just grow out of the ground.
2012-11-29 04:35:35 PM  
1 votes:
When you tell republicans about how the police, fire, roads, medicare and social security checks are all socialism, then they realized they've loved it all along.
2012-11-29 04:26:01 PM  
1 votes:

Spanky_McFarksalot: I'm really not sure what Americans associate with socialism,


"Some n-word is getting something for FREE" = socialism
"Welfare (be it SS, UI, whatever) check is here" = not socialism. Unless a black guy is getting it.
2012-11-29 04:25:08 PM  
1 votes:

Lionel Mandrake: unlikely: This just in: Some people still don't understand the difference between Socialism and Communism.

Hell, a significant number of douchebags don't know the difference between Stalinism and socialism. Or fascism and socialism.


A significant number of Americans don't understand the difference between socialism and health insurance reform.

/Hell, let's be honest. A significant number of Americans don't understand the difference between socialism and puff pastry.
2012-11-29 04:16:31 PM  
1 votes:

mrshowrules: milk comes from cats


Why, yes. Yes, it does.

3.bp.blogspot.com
2012-11-29 03:25:05 PM  
1 votes:

vpb: GOP definition of socialisim: Any system that seeks to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for someone other than me.  See: bad.


Fixed.
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-11-29 02:49:51 PM  
1 votes:

Lsherm: Everybody loves socialism as long as you get more than you're giving.


It's pretty much the same with capitalism, unless by "getting" you mean "getting it in the rear". The people who get to rob the middle class and poor live capitalism.
2012-11-29 02:38:48 PM  
1 votes:

unlikely: This just in: Some people still don't understand the difference between Socialism and Communism.


Hell, a significant number of douchebags don't know the difference between Stalinism and socialism. Or fascism and socialism.
 
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