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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605125
10/05/2020 14:05
10/05/2020 14:05
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Near West Side, beautiful Clev...
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And additional comments to mikez,

Again, you zoom right by the difference between "leftism" and "Communism." I have critiques of Socialist parties in power in Western Europe, Canada and elsewhere around bureaucracy and some other issues.
But generally they (and the conservatives who share a lot of their social assumptions) are able to provide a network to protect against impact of "income disparity." Some have a lot more than others, but if you provide health care and free education that impact is a lot less.Is it achieved to a certain extent by "Milking the rich?" Yeah. But proposals by that non-socialist, Elizabeth Warren went a long way towards social justice, barely touching the middle class or milking more than a small fraction of the $$$ that companies make, benefiting from our freedoms. And I do not believe that you can cite a single example of the destruction of private property or religion in any country that practices democracy, under socialism or "leftism."

And you should be happy that the Swiss (national character?) seem to have their capitalism and social welfare too. You don't have to be socialist to provide for your citizens. And the left in Sweden is currently a minority government. But with the exception of a tiny group of Fascists, nobody wants to dissolve their social constructs. My biases (national character again?) are such that I think things work better when, since 1970, between 81 and 91% of the electorate voted.

Our winner take all economy seems more innovative. And we pay our medical and other professionals better. But we have a lot more resources to draw on. And as you recognize, it also results in increasing "social disparity."
Now it's working on the middle class - after destroying 80% of family farms. And starving huge sections of the country of those well paid professionals.

You also minimize the nature of Fascism., although you call it "Rightist Dictatorship."
It wasn't just the Jews. It was Gypsies, unionists, homosexuals and anyone who refused to espouse Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany.
In the schools, press, churches, and everywhere that dictatorship could control.

Of course if you shut up in China, and aren't Uigur or religious or a dissident, you increasingly can make out there too. This is not a compliment to Communism..
And I am amused that in a "Communist" country, increasingly millionaires/billionaires rise to riches through bribery of the Communist elite - or by getting along so that they can get theirs.


Neither you nor I have talked much about military or religious dictatorships. The why or what. That's a whole different class for another time.


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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605127
11/05/2020 08:37
11/05/2020 08:37
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Re: Nazism/Fascism-Yes, they controlled the press, churches, etc.by telling them what to teach.And they murdered or locked up dissidents. But millions weren't killed by that. Millions were killed by farm collectivization and atrocities like the Cultural Revolution's ideological purification nonsense which shut the whole country down.Rightists on the other hand, generally like power and goodies for themselves and theirs-and the repressed society that allows that state of affairs. I don't think too many authoritarian rightists care about creating a new man or a better society or destroying millions of people to do it. Their goals are thus more limited than those of the left(-I'm not saying more moral here). When the French Estates General national assembly met just before the French Revolution, the ones wanting to keep things the way they were sat on the right. Those wanting change sat on the left.Their goals typified the differences between the two political outlooks that exist to this day. In that case, the left won.

Hence, there are similarities between non-Communist leftism and Communism.Both are dissatisfied with the way society is and want to change it-although the former takes a more graduated, nonviolent approach that respects rights. However the left does have an affinity w/Communist regimes-hence their ongoing love for Castro.People in Cuba have no more rights than they did in Chile under Pinochet, but the former wasn't criticized while the latter was.

We can argue back and forth on this, and whether the non-Communist left was sufficiently critical of Communism. I don't think they were, and that affected our policies. The most blatant example of the latter was WWII here Roosevelt and Ike wanted a broad, deliberate military advance in Europe while the far more astute Churchill wanted a fast,narrow drive into Germany, and earlier, an attack thru the Balkans to keep Eastern Europe from the Russians. He failed, but his brain was in the right place. He was far more prescient about Stalin than the liberal and utterly naive FDR.I remember the Dems, continually fighting Reagan because his policies were hurting the "peace process," nuke reduction talks and such,w/the Soviets.Like that actually mattered. They never learned that the SU was a criminal regime bent on dominating as much of the world as possible, and those goals never changed till the end when it was collapsing.

You make an interesting point on China. Is their Communist regime actually a "rightist" one in some ways now? Mao ravaged China to change it, but now we have a new elite that w/keep things the same. (A bunch of crazy rich Asians run the place?). Would a democratic movement to re-establish political and property rights and break up collectives be leftist? You mite have a cause there, Pogo. grin



Last edited by mikezpen; 11/05/2020 08:40.

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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605129
11/05/2020 11:48
11/05/2020 11:48
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We could bandy numbers, but with an exhaustive five minute 🙄 search I found figures of direct murder by the Nazis totaling 11 million, with 85 million also killed in WWII. Which I have no compunction saying were Nazi/Fascist deaths. . (Includes 15-20 million Chinese. Give those to the Japanese.)
I do think that it was more callousness to human life rather than deliberate murder that accounted for most of the Chinese deaths under Mao. But as a moral figure (Sherman Potter) said, "The dead don't care why they died."
Deaths by deliberate action under Communist regimes, including semi-deliberate famine, are given at 80 to 110 million, with 100 million being the most cited figure. Half or more of those were in China.
But this is not a debate. We do not differ in our hatred for those regimes.

Being "dissatisfied" is not an equation of guilt in any way. Nor are the military differences between Churchill and FDR. Churchill was a horrible military strategist. Nobody can deny that both he and FDR wanted the war to end soonest.
Churchill was more ready to fight the next war. FDR was one at a time. But Churchill was also ready to control, milk and colonize more than half the world himself. "I did not become his majesty's First Minister to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire."
Do you want to include that history as some sort of Conservative guilt? Including massacres and deliberate famines in India?
FDR also withstood the continuous pressure from Stalin to open a Western Front immediately.

I don't consider the institutional Democratic party as being particularly left. But soft on China or the USSR? 😂 It was they who attacked the Kissinger opening to China without any guarantees of policy change.
As I remember, Kissinger was more anti-USSR than pro-China. He just did not care about history if he could play one against the other.

And you again equate a blind or uncaring ignorance (which I do not think is accurate) with some sort of guilt on the "left". Concerned about righty crap here and abroad? Yup. That is to their (our?) credit. Not sufficiently aware of Communist terror?
I'll give that to all stripes as it is action that counts. But it is the Democratic left that is first attacked by both Fascists and Communists in power as they offer alternatives to injustice and dictatorships of whatever kind.

This entire conversation while sort of interesting is beside the point. It is using "history" of whatever sort to attack change here. And looking to democratic alternatives to rapacious monopoly capitalism.
I'll credit some conservative values. But not practice in our increasingly winner take all economy.

And by the way. I taught French history. You are accurate in the short term. But the revolution that was hugely popular at its start did not win. The failures of the dictatorship led to the guillotine for Robespierre in five years and to a somewhat more moderate establishment. In ten years, Napoleon. And the death of a third of France's adult males.




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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: pogo] #605135
11/05/2020 18:54
11/05/2020 18:54
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Pogo, the "differences between leftism and communism" are minimal at best. And the difference between communism and Nazism is the difference between maroon and burgundy. Both are systems of state control of the economy, the press, and everything else. The Communists are honest enough to take it over officially and directly, and the Nazis maintained the fiction of private property while controlling everything about it through rules, regulations, and decrees. It's yours, but it's really theirs. Two different forms of the same thing.

No, socialists and conservatives do NOT have "common assumptions." The only "winner take all economy" is socialism. It is because of market capitalism that fewer people than ever now live in poverty worldwide. Yet, a once- wealthy country like Venezuela is a disaster in which masses live in abject poverty, but the socialist elites live high on the hog. All Socialism really does is lock eveyrone in place and keep people like you and me, let alone hte poor, from getting where they are.

Government cannot provide health care or free education or anything else. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and government produces nothing nor does it have any money except what it takes from us. Nor is it an efficient or equitable channel for delivering goods and services. The only thing it's good at is force. And the more things it tries to do "for the people," the less effectively it does any of them. Then it steps up the use of force to try to "make" it work and to hide its failure.

Government is like a vicious dog. As long as it's on a short leash in its own yard, it're pretty good protection. Once it breaks that leash and starts getting into everything, it becomes a threat to everyone, including its owners.


Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.
Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: TBP] #605158
13/05/2020 10:10
13/05/2020 10:10
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Originally Posted by TBP
Pogo, the "differences between leftism and communism" are minimal at best.


I am at a loss to find sufficient expressions of incredulity to properly respond to the above statement.
Canada, Brazil under Lula, all of Western Europe at one time or another. All indistinguishable from Communist countries. Minimal differences. 😂
You really let your politics control what you say with minimal intervention by cerebral processes.

Originally Posted by TBP
And the difference between communism and Nazism is the difference between maroon and burgundy. Both are systems of state control of the economy, the press, and everything else. The Communists are honest enough to take it over officially and directly, and the Nazis maintained the fiction of private property while controlling everything about it through rules, regulations, and decrees. It's yours, but it's really theirs. Two different forms of the same thing.


I could nitpick, but I agree with the thrust of your statement. As long as you do not have the intervention of democracy, the details of how people are controlled - or even occasionally get some share of benefits - are substantially irrelevant.
Military dictatorships are to the benefit of the generals and the aristocracy, but occasionally countries benefited from a lack of chaos. Torture? Murder? Imprisonment? Piffle.
Cubans have the best health and education in most of Latin America, but are stuck in a non-productive economy, particularly since the end of Russian subsidies. And the prisons are still active.
China with its horrors has a substantial counter example. It is called India. And you don't need me to catalog their treatment of dissidents there.

Originally Posted by TBP
No, socialists and conservatives do NOT have "common assumptions." The only "winner take all economy" is socialism.

I guess you are referencing my comment that even conservatives in Europe do not want to undo the network of social welfare in their countries.

Sorry I stepped on your dangling conservative agenda. But it's true. Did you hear that rampant leftist Boris Johnson on British National Health as being “unconquerable” and “the beating heart of this country”?

Nothing is free. It all takes work. Government is there to regulate, protect, and when operating well, to provide the structures that its people require. Private prisons, schools restricted to the hereditary elite and war profiteering are not to the general welfare.
Roads and competent law enforcement are. But we seriously disagree as to the level of what should be seriously regulated or organized by government. Absolutist rhetoric sounds peachy keen, but really isn't useful.


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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605159
13/05/2020 16:05
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Government isn't there to provide structures. Its job is to secure and protect liberty. Anything else it does is outside its proper scope. You can take a narrow or broad view of securing liberty, But it is not supposed to form and mold society, as too many people in government want to do.


Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.
Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605162
14/05/2020 08:14
14/05/2020 08:14
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War profiteering is not a govt. function. It's an unwanted byproduct of govt.'s primary role-to defend the country.Domestic defense involves a prison system, unfortunately. If it can be done better thru private prisons, build them. Regulate them, that's all-like utilities maybe. Same w/private schools. They have their place; nothing wrong w/them.And w/government's ongoing efforts to impose items in the curriculum that offend large groups of people who then seek alternatives to the public school system, they will continue to have a place, and a growing one.

Capitalism involves competition which has both beneficial and negative impacts.In 1890, we had a Darwinian capitalism that was definitely "winner take all". But now, it's more "winner takes not all but still too much". You need some socialism-or "structures" like social security-to round off the rough edges of that sort of system. Unfortunately, automation and lower-paid foreign competition have led to stagnation of wages for many in this country while the rich pull steadily ahead.Which always amazes me and pisses me off when politicians of the right/left/socialist persuasion go along w/corporations that want to import more foreign labor (both legal and illegal) to cut their costs.And guess who gets screwed on that one.There' has to be a way where workers who put in their 40 per week have a living age.

Last edited by mikezpen; 14/05/2020 08:17.

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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605189
15/05/2020 13:16
15/05/2020 13:16
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Near West Side, beautiful Clev...
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My statement was perhaps not clear. War profiteering and private prisons are against the purposes of government. Whatever you might say the purpose of prisons might be: retribution, protection for society, rehabilitation for the benefit of both society and the offender, deterrence, none of these are achieved when profits and cost savings are integral to prison operation. Both logic and the actual experience with private prisons tell us that. Private prison corporations have even lobbied for longer sentences. Why not? They are capitalists and want to make more profits with their product.
And we do not have to debate war profiteering. Again, the regulation of an operation necessary to society is an operation of sound government. Did you know that was how Harry Truman first made a name for him self in the Senate, by heading a committee on profiteering?
Foreign labor is a complex of issues. We benefit by importing medical professionals - to the detriment of their natal countries. And as far as I know, rarely to the detriment of home grown professionals. Mar-a-Lago stretches its profits by employing foreign nationals.The resort, received 78 H-2B visas in 2018-19. and asked for 80 in 2019. They also, in the past, were found to employ undocumented workers. “It’s very, very hard to get people,” he (guess who) explained during the 2016 campaign. “But other hotels do the exact same thing.”
Same thing goes in agriculture and construction. And the money saving goes beyond cheap wages. There is a huge saving on social security, workers comp. and unemployment coverage.
So basically I agree with the thrust and most of your second paragraph. And say that it goes even further.

Private schools? Education actually attracts people who value their product and do their best for their students. Both public and private. But exploitative money making and crap schools abound. As much as I value public schools and their uphill fight, I have few grounds to stand on, having attended private Secondary schools and having sent my kids to Catholic school and then private secondary school. Still many charter and online schools have horrible track records. Again, a purpose of government is to regulate that which is necessary to our society. People who denigrate government and keep it from regulating that which is necessary should live in a cave.


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Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605195
15/05/2020 18:12
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We do not benefit by importing medical professionals when American healthcare workers are losing their jobs. That's happening right now, and we will be doing this under Pelosi's "stimulus" bill.

One of my problems with President Trump is that Mara-a-Lago employs so many foreign workers when Americans are available to do the job. ESPECIALLY illegals. If they are actively employing illegals, the Trump Organization should be penalized for that. So should every other employer of illegal aliens. And yes, I would include agriculture in that. Instead, the Democrats' stimulus bill prohibits penalizing either illegals or their employers. .

Private schools, on the whole, outperform public schools. Some of the worst schools in the country are inner-city, primarily minority schools. It's not the students -- minority students in private schools such as the famous one in Chicago and charter schools on the whole perform well academically. Those in the traditional public system generally have noticeably less success.

On the day the federal Department of Education was established, we were number two in the world in educational performance. Today, we're 16th. Time to abolish DOE.

The purpose of govenment isn't to "regulate what is necessary in our society." It's to "secure the blessings of liberty." On that score, it has been a massive failure.


Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.
Re: Check out this nitwit [Re: mikezpen] #605229
17/05/2020 16:28
17/05/2020 16:28
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Nice rhetorical quote from the preamble. However what I said was not THE purpose was to "regulate what is necessary to our society" but that was a "A purpose."
If you are going to quote something you should be responsible to quote the entire relevant passage.
"---establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity---"
Notice that bit about promoting the general welfare?
Not that far from regulating that which is necessary.
In conversations about what is needed or preferable it would seem that discussing practicalities , pro and con, is of more use than quoting fine words.

Education? Or health for that matter? No easy solutions. I attended private schools from 9th grade on. My kids attended Catholic and private all the way.
You make the point of lower income (Black) students doing better in private schools. They have the sort of conscious parents who got them there.
My daughter loves the Boston Public school the granddaughter attends. And she has the middle-class eagle eye to know what is going on there.
Short publics to fund charters? Deny stressed schools the support they need? I remember the mayor of DC saying (to Democratic legislators) that charters were vital for his city's kids.
If we payed attention to schools as we do to bailouts that would not have to be true.

Anyway. We disagree, perhaps profoundly, as to what promotes the general welfare. A kid from the neighborhood, who went on to get a Phd just moved back to Sweden with his (met in college) Swedish wife as they agreed that their kids would get better education , health care and social support there. Made me and my best friend, the father and grandfather, very sad for all the obvious reasons. Used to be that people moved here. Where they have little choice they are still trying to do so.

Absolutist rhetoric is not real useful. With this tiny forum, neither, probably, is discussion. But it might be a start.


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