The right-wing's pearl-clutching, hair-on-fire, freakout over the word "socialism"

It's become increasingly obvious that the right-wing has absolutely no clue what socialism actually is.

Most of the new DSA comrades genuinely believe they are working for a better America. These indoctrinated souls have no idea that by joining DSA, they have become part of the international communist movement.
...Academia has been overrun with Marxist professors, who are grooming the next generation of radicals.

Now to be fair, the writer doesn't mention the commies hiding under your bed and in your closet, but he does imply it.
It's clear that the right-wing news media has spent far too many years dumbing down both their content and their audience.
They are out of practice when it comes to making an argument with adults, and it shows.

More than a few pearls have been clutched as a result. Former FBI director James Comey warns Democrats not to “lose your minds and rush to the socialist left.” A recent story at Vox argues Americans aren’t “ready for the bill” posed by democratic socialist policies. At the New York Times, Bret Stephens says embracing democratic socialism is “Dem Doom.” And at the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf says it actually “threatens minorities.”

This hysteria reveals a fundamental misunderstanding among media pundits and political elites about why the DSA is experiencing such explosive growth. Whether suggesting democratic socialism is just for white men, that its policies are too radical for most Americans, that it will bankrupt the country, that it’s a dangerous foreign concept, or that it will spell disaster for the Democratic Party, these critics consistently seem to miss the mark. In reality, such claims often betray the fact that the rise of socialism materially endangers their current positions of both wealth and power.

Now you may laugh at how Fox Business anchor Trish Regan recently likened Denmark to Venezuela, but she is not alone.

And in a new column on the scourge of democratic socialism, Commentary’s Noah Rothman casts all proponents of single-payer health care as proto-Stalinists.
...Call it Medicare-for-all or single-payer; the new affinity among Democrats for the functional nationalization of the health insurance industry speaks to a paradigm shift on the left. Likewise, establishing as a right the ability to access tuition-free education at public universities and a federal jobs guarantee—all planks of the Democratic Socialist agenda with increasingly broad appeal—are pillars of the Soviet Constitution.

Because that's how Stalin took over...with universal health care.
Remember when Fox attacked Pope Francis for being socialist?

All of these examples are so ridiculous that they are fun, but my absolute favorite is this one from The Federalist.

How Support For Socialism Arises From Ingratitude

If, as a sophisticated modern person, you are not interested in thinking about Providence, and especially if you are no friend of the free market, please for a moment at least entertain the possibility that a deep truth about human nature is here revealed. There is a direct connection between shallow thinking, ingratitude, and recourse to blame.

The coffee drinker neglects to thank those who bless his table with coffee. Instead, when the government intervenes he blames the coordinated effort of the people who bring his coffee to him — for that is all the free market is — instead of blaming the government. If, on the other hand, you are a believer, you may want to consider how the free market is a gift of our human nature, and therefore ultimately a part of the Creator’s design.

There is a lot to unpack here. First of all, the idea that anyone needs to be grateful to the capitalist system shows that they don't understand capitalism, nor does he know of its history.
Secondly, capitalism is only about 500 years ago, so how can it be part of human nature?
Finally, I missed the part of Jesus' teachings where he praised profiting from self-interest.

One reason that right-wingers are all over the place on socialism is because they are belatedly realizing that they've abused the word until it is meaningless and ceases to be scary.
Commentary’s Noah Rothman, besides calling anyone who want universal health care a Stalinist, also acknowledged that Barack Obama’s policies weren’t socialist, but merely “culturally progressive”.
He wasn't alone.

Fox Washington managing editor Bill Sammon was caught on tape admitting that the “socialist” accusations of President Barack Obama on Fox News that he spouted were “mischievous speculation” and “far-fetched.”

Right-wingers are actually trying to move the Overton Window slightly to the left because they've realized that it is so far to the right that Obama and an actual socialist are indistinguishable to the average Fox News viewer, and that's a problem.
Their past success is now a liability, which is an interesting historical point. Maybe at one time these mea culpa's would have meant something, but now nobody cares.
Hell, some right-wingers still refuse to give up the "Obama and Clinton are socialists" meme. They can't see how the world has moved on. They can't see that a good lie requires at least a kernel of truth.

Notice that the right wing first tried to smear AOC with her policies.
They've completely stopped trying to do that because 1) AOC isn't running away from any of it, like Democrats did with the word "liberal", and 2) those policies are popular.
So they've switched to calling her stupid. Once again, it shows just how dumbed down the average Republican has become, that they've resorted to playground insults.

It's worth understanding why socialism has lost it's ability to smear.
The first reason is, the Cold War ended more than a generation ago.

"Without the Cold War and without the Soviet Union, it becomes possible to talk about socialism in a away that isn't with reference to what is understood as a dictatorial society or political system," Mudge told me. "In other words, when there's no living example of a really socialist country, then people are free to imagine different kinds of socialist institutions without having to defend themselves as somehow being pro-Soviet or pro-Stalin or something like that."

"Young people—millennials and younger—who didn't grow up in the Cold War, just as a general trend or rule, socialism is not the pejorative for them that it once was," agreed Andrew Hartman, a history professor at Illinois State University and author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School.

The second reason is the failures of capitalism and our neoliberal political system.

This exceptional half-century with very little reform explains a lot about our current politics. It helps make sense of the populist rage that led to Donald Trump’s election; millions of people are angry because the political and economic system is not working for them, and they have given up on establishment politicians.

It also explains why the word socialism has reappeared not as a demonic other feared by conservatives, but as an agenda for reform. Conservatives are reaping the consequences of their redefinition of capitalism. In a moment when many Americans feel that the system isn’t working for them, a system defined as immutable naturally leaves some thinking that we need an alternative system that is not rigged to benefit the millionaires and billionaires.

These two conditions are not going to go away.
You can't restart the Cold War without the Soviet Union, and you can't expect capitalism to function any better without structural reforms that our political system appears incapable of enacting. This is by design. The wealthy elites have calcified the system and made it incapable of fixing itself.
Our political and economic leaders and the MSM are firmly stuck in the past. They have no idea that the ground has shifted, and have no intention of acknowledging it. Just because they refuse to see it, won't stop the world from turning.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...may be useful for the Left in general because the nation looks to us to define what Socialism means in the context of a developed nation, and in the context of the US in particular. But this argument is mostly a strawman distraction since the fact is that all developed nations on this planet are socialist nations. The US is socialist, as well, it has simply executed a sabotaged version of it, which has resulted in a despairing population with none of the basic human rights defined by the United Nations.

Rugged libertarians don't build nations, they build compounds. Capitalists don't build nations, they build debt-based financial empires, gated enclaves, company towns, plantations, and
for-profit prisons. Conservatives don't build anything resembling a civilization, they build rivers of inequality and pockets of deep, inescapable poverty. Show me a politically conservative nation where the people thrive.

The noise of the current political struggle comes from people pushing against the social limitations that were locked into place by the aristocratic class and their descendants, who still run place based on the global interests of the corporations. They've had a sweet deal for centuries. The people pick up the entire tab the foreign policy-related costs of restoring the Anglo Empire to its ultimate glory as owners and rulers of the melanin+ World. And in return, the great majority of Americans get ever increasing austerity, ever diminishing personal economic security, and tightly throttled social services.

The day that we stop fighting and dying for them, we win. But not one day sooner. Everything else is just a new shade of lipstick.

[edit typo]

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GreyWolf's picture

@Pluto's Republic (rather than just upvoting I've commented so I can find this again later Wink )

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@Pluto's Republic Really good and clear comment, and true true true.

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arendt's picture

@Pluto's Republic

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polkageist's picture

@Pluto's Republic
you have outdone yourself. I look forward to reading your comments any time I see them. Thanks.

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Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

Cassiodorus's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Capitalists don't build nations, they build debt-based financial empires, gated enclaves, company towns, plantations, and for-profit prisons.

The United States is pretty close, if not on the mark, as an example of a nation built by capitalists. What was the initial complaint that launched our "Revolution"? That's right, high taxes and the consequent fear of slave revolt that accompanied the initial rebellion. And who are our Founding Fathers? Hamilton, Jefferson, that bunch.

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"Day-to-day life under crapitalism is so horrible and depressing." -- Sam Miller

@Pluto's Republic I would like to use this:

Rugged libertarians don't build nations, they build compounds. Capitalists don't build nations, they build debt-based financial empires, gated enclaves, company

What attribution do you want. Commentator Pluto's Republic @ Caucus99% or something else?

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Nastarana

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Nastarana

When I write here, there are times when I wonder myself to whom the attribution belongs. The fact is, they belong to this community that inspires them as much as they do to me. If you wish to paraphrase them, go right ahead and make them your own.

If you wish to attribute them because a quote works with what you are writing, you can use one of the following:

...a voice over at caucus99percent...
...Pluto over at caucus99percent...
...one of the speakers at caucus99percent...
...according to Pluto's Republic at caucus99percent...

Or any variation, thereof.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

You nailed it, Pluto. In simple terms that I can understand too. Commented to bookmark it myself.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

it's also most of the democratic leadership, and rank and file. It's the attempt to put socialism=bad into the "everybody knows" category. I think every US political/governmental system is the way it is because it leaves people out of the equation, and defers to the question of how much does it cost/we can't afford it. If people were at the core, and the concerns for them and their families well being, the power would have to shift away from where it is now.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Snode

It's not just conservatives it's also most of the democratic leadership, and rank and file.

Which, since the Clinton Administration, have been conservadems. In other words, more conservatives.

And Pluto's remark still stands: "Show me a politically conservative nation where the people thrive."

You can't.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

The Aspie Corner's picture

Many still believe that if they 'work hard', they can join the bourgeoisie. Not bloody likely. Some even go so far as to believe there are no classes at all.

In fact, it's because of this lack of class consciousness or class struggle that nothing has changed since the 1980s...well, I take that back, things have gotten worse. The pigs looted pensions, destroyed unions, bought and then destroyed/became the government, ramped up the criminal 'wars', all while the plebs fight amongst themselves over which group is oppressed more because 'Cultural Marxism'. Karl Marx himself would slap the taste out of all groups involved in this IdPol crap.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

arendt's picture

@The Aspie Corner

all the while the plebs fight amongst themselves over which group is oppressed more because 'Cultural Marxism'.

The bleating over what IdPol beings won in last week's Dem primaries is just the latest case in point. Nobody pays attention to what policies they will fight for; they only care that the candidate is a woman, a Hispanic (I refuse to go down the fake-left politically correct road and call them Latinx.), gay, bi, whatever.

Nobody asks these people what they will do about the military budget, the prison industrial complex, the police state rollout, the overt corporate/MIC censorship of the last month. The questions from the corporate media are all fluff and IP crapola.

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@arendt I don't remember her name, who just won a primary this week does have a robust anti-war statement among her issues. She does have some experience of war and what it does to civilian populations.

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Nastarana

arendt's picture

@Nastarana

I want to know her politics, not her ethnicity. Leading with IdPol credentials is exactly why I gave up on the Dems. Here are her positions from Wikipedia

Tenure and political positions

Omar supports a $15 hourly minimum wage[19] and free tuition for college students whose family income is below $125,000 as well as greater accessibility to student loan forgiveness programs.[20] As of May 2018, she had authored 38 bills, though none have been passed into law.[21] She is an Assistant Minority Leader for the DFL caucus.

Omar has been critical of the actions of the Israeli government, referring to it as "the apartheid Israeli regime,"[22] asserting that Israel has "hypnotized the world" to its "evil doings,"[23] and supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (she recommended that the University of Minnesota divest from bonds belonging to Israel, and criticized an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions law.)[22] However, speaking at a candidates forum held in a synagogue during the last week of the 2018 primary campaign, she reversed her position asserting that a boycott is not helpful in working towards a two-state solution, and that, "It is going to be important for us to recognize Israel's place in the Middle East and the Jewish people's rightful place within that region."[23]

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

While she does support some good positions, now that she has a shot at Congress, she is already trimming back her support for BDS. Not a good sign.

Also, I don't know how to say this without sounding like a deplorable; but her background is sort of privileged for a Somali. I have grown really, really cynical about the backgrounds of public figures. When someone presents themselves as a "person of the people", I get suspicious. With IdPol refugees, you have to do some reserarch.

(She) grew up in an upper-middle-class household. Ilhan's father, Nur Omar Mohamed, is Somali, and worked as a teacher trainer.[6]...Ilhan's grandfather, Abukar, was the director of Somalia's National Marine Transport, with her uncles and aunts also working as civil servants and educators.[6] After the start of the civil war in 1991, she and her family fled the country and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.[9] In 1995, Omar and her family emigrated to the United States, initially settling in Arlington, Virginia.[10]

Upper middle class is basically the elite in a place like Somalia - a country so messed up the UN can't even get enough data to calculate a GINI coefficient.

Not just everyone gets into the US as a refugee. I'm not sure how strict things were for Somalian refugees from camps in Kenya in 1995, but her family background probably had some influence on getting here and not rotting in a refugee camp. And, settling in Arlington, VA? There's a certain five-sided building in Arlington. Just sayin.

I already wrote about CIA Dems, and about Jeff Beals, one of those CIA Dems trying to palm himself off as a leftie when he had one of Hillary's bagmen as a campaign advisor. This person seems to have more leftish positions. But her focus is a little too IdPol for me:

As of September 2015, Omar is the Director of Policy & Initiatives of the Women Organizing Women Network.[12] The association advocates for women from East Africa to take on civic and political leadership roles.[14]

I'd feel better is she was advocating for something ALL Americans need, like cuts to the military budget or decreases in the prison population and the closing of private prisons.

So, I will withhold judgement on her until we see what she says in the General Election. But, the background is not a slam dunk for me. She came from a privileged family in Somalia. She came to one of the places in the US with the most Somalis. Her advocacy is for Somalis first. Maybe its the Ghandi family scenario.

Sorry to be such a cynic; but I have been fooled too many times.

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@arendt @arendt about her if her resume showed that she had ever punched a time clock or met a payroll. I did not look her up on wiki, obviously I ought to have, but the curriculum vitae of "positions" held showed signs of someone with backing from somewhere.

I think we need a few more cynics. The Lord doesn't love fools.

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Nastarana

arendt's picture

@Nastarana

I hope I didn't sound like I was criticizing your modest enthusiasm. We all are looking for people who are genuinely on our side. You have to take a look at them, investigate them. Thanks for mentioning her, as I had completely ignored the primary hoopla.

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@arendt Somalia" does not in any way indicate ethnicity in itself.

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dfarrah

@arendt was deeply corrupt.

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dfarrah

@dfarrah Nor would I be surprised to learn that the family were yet another of the CIA's pets and protégés resettled in the USA. It will be interesting to see what committee assignments Pelosi is told to give her.

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Nastarana

@The Aspie Corner @The Aspie Corner A reporter who followed Trump to all of his rallies wrote that the mass media was distorting those rallies over some staged incident(s) involving some protester at the rally. The media made it seem that Trump was about illegal Mexicans 24/7. In most rallies he came off as a populist building on class issues and resentments. The gop understands class much better than democrats.

Hillary on the other hand, pushed Identity Politics in her messaging. In an ironic way, IP played a critical role in her loss. Not because some white voter rush to Trump, which by the way, never happened, but because she did not appoint an African American as her running mate. She stabbed her black voter base in the back when she picked Kaine. Hillary saw race alright, and it was white.

From a certain angle, Trump won the electoral class war.

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@MrWebster might have been the only Dim. possibility who would not have made Mme. C. look even dumber than she already does.

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Nastarana

The Aspie Corner's picture

@MrWebster And they've been doing it for years. Dipshit's rise to the presidency is a culmination of that. If his supporters had any understanding of class, they would have seen Trumpy Boy for the blatant snake oil salesman that he was.

Superficially speaking to working class issues and actually doing something that would radically transform their lot into something better are very different things. But as with every election since Nixon, the good ol' Southern Strategy kept angry white voters angry at the wrong people, much like Clinton's 'Deplorables' comments did for hers.

Neither groups have any consciousness at all. They're entirely reactionary.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

arendt's picture

@The Aspie Corner

As long as they were doing OK, they figured America must have been OK for everyone. Everyone was middle class. So what were women, blacks, hispanics, gays, poor people, leftists complaining about?

When they stopped doing OK, never having had to make distinctions of any sort, they latched onto their ethnicity because it was the only thing that made them not in the same boat with women, blacks, poor people... Not to mention, they refuse to listen to any kind of class analysis - because "class" is a "communist" idea.

I don't know how you communicate to that group. Bernie seemed to get some traction. For that alone, I hope Bernie runs again. Not that I'd vote for him, cause he is 100% on board the permanent war train.

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@The Aspie Corner understand class every bit as anyone else does.

They know that they are being shafted.

Did you really expect them to vote for stay-the-course Hillary? Do you think they wanted 8 more years of Obama?

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dfarrah

arendt's picture

@dfarrah

That's the weakness of tossing around generalities. Nobody's fault. The nature of such discussions.

Yes, some white ethnics (really wish I had a better, neutral sounding handle) are aware of class. They're the ones who went to the Bernie rallies.

But other white ethnics are completely brainwashed by Fux News, talk radio, and so on. They're like the one that Mark from Queens encountered. Totally impervious to reason. Ready to scapegoat minorities and immigrants for all their troubles instead of recognizing the class angle.

I don't know how to get downwardly-moving, angry, high-school educated people to take time to listen to class analysis. The little free time they have is already colonized by talk radio, Christian fundamentalism, and sports.

You say that Trump voters do have class awareness. Do you have any ideas how genuine leftists (as opposed to the corrupt Democratic Party) could reach those voters?

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@arendt our side could start hearing them. Our side could recognize their concerns overlap with ours. Our side might recall that the dems once represented working people.

There seem to be far too many on our side (broadly speaking) who simply dismiss these people as deplorables, like HRC did.

Both sides realize they are being screwed by the powerful. It would be fantastic if a new party could coalesce and replace all the Pelosis, the McConnells, etc.

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dfarrah

arendt's picture

@dfarrah

Generalites, like "our side", make it difficult to communicate in the shorthand that comments on a board are. So, please forgive the unavoidable generalities in my reply.

Yes, the genuine left used to support labor. It needs to get back to that. What has smashed labor is globalization and the bankers who lend the money for debt-leveraged buyouts and globalization. With globalization, first world workers are in direct competition with third world workers. That is the crux of the white ethnics' complaint. The Dems have folded like a cheap suit on globalization. Dem=neoliberal=anti-labor.

Another thing that has hurt labor is the increasing automation of all kinds of work. The problem is that workers, up to and including engineers, created that automation; but only the shareholders own the rights to profit from that automation. Basically, they have used labor to put chains on labor. Automation includes the internet which, via "apps" like Uber and Lyft, has knocked the bottom out of businesses that are legitimately regulated for public safety. Here, I think the white ethnics loathing of government is a mistake. The only way to protect people from corporate slavery is regulation.

So, a party of leftists and workers should be anti-globalization, in favor of heavily taxing or regulating automation (but I don't think a corporate-defined UBI is the way to do that).

That's my simple minded, off the top of my head take on this.

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Mark from Queens's picture

As many of you know I have a collection of politically confrontational t-shirts that I pretty much wear every day. On this occasion a couple of days ago I was wearing the Socialist Alternative shirt I bought outside of the Quaker Meeting House in Philly during the week of the DNC, incidentally when a handful of we C99ers met for a fun dinner and drinks at the venerable Khyber Pass. It is a play on the Drumpf dumbed-down fascist slogan. In the same lettering it says,"Make Socialism Great Again."

Was the first time in a long while though since something like this happened. I kind of relished it, taken by surprise. Because for the past few years walking around in Leftist shirts has gotten way more support and positive reaction than the contrary.

Anyway, this guy is doing his morning, running-up-the-stairs in the park when I see him and give a friendly wave. I've kind of taken to him because he kind of looks like an ex-football player on the Jets I liked, and when I put it out there in a way to see if he was him, he said he played college ball as a safety. The guy's in good shape, appeared kind and the type of person you might invite to a barbecue or something to hear his football war stories.

I notice he's not waving back but stops his workout and is looking at me. I notice he's wearing a cut-off grey Bud Light sweatshirt. He starts railing about Bernie Sanders owning 5 (?) houses, Soshulism and some other stuff. I start to tell him I don't think that's true, and how many does McCain own, 10, or maybe he doesn't know? Then he's off.

He's frothing rapid-fire about how socialism has killed 100 million people, Venezuela this, free market that, capitalism, blah blah blah. He's practically incoherent in his conditioned rage. Tells me he's 64, and after I tell him the banks and corporations own us all, he tells me he made 200 grand selling horses or something, that we've got the best healthcare system in the world, etc etc.

I begin to see a bad caricature of a completely duped RW fascist. He's spitting every old hack, tired cliche he's heard over decades of having listened to Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Regean, Beck, Savage, etc. He spews every canard about Bad Socialism/Good Capitalism that it's laughable. Instead of dismissing him as the sad RW tool he appeared to be I told him that when he calms down I'd sit with him, for an hour and a half if he likes, to discuss this all. Could be my pure idealism and kind of liking the guy up to then (and having had success with another skeptic in the same park). We'll see how he is next time. He may fall into the older white male syndrome of being poisoned by relentless RW "patriotic" and fear-mongering propaganda and lost, like so many we know of.

There's so much to say about this all. It's a very interesting time. Which is why, electoral politics or not, I fully support those running for office who don't back away from fundamental Socialist platforms and principles. Changing The Narrative is one the key linchpins going forward, as far as I'm concerned.

Having calm, considered conversations with neighbors in your community could really change things. I'd add that the divisions might be too built up by the ugly hand of propaganda to even have the conversation. But if it is possible I would always suggest that, like I do myself, that my perceived adversary should also consider swearing off all corporate media forever. That might even be as good as any place to start. Just thinking about this though I know I'm a very impassioned guy and can easily meet aggressive bullshit with aggressive dismissal. It's a test. And I realize it's an opportunity to put into practice all the desire we have for coalescing a movement of the 99% being economically disenfranchised. Identity politics is the nemesis to this.

I'll end by saying I am really relishing the tag team meltdown of the Neoliberals and RW zoombies. They're literally scared shit of what's going on. The Emperor Has No Clothes. And they've got nothing too.

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

polkageist's picture

@Mark from Queens
Let us know if you and this guy ever talk rationally together. It could be interesting.

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Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

@Mark from Queens and the VP nominee is someone like, say, Amy Klobuchar, (the Dims. strongest ticket, IMHO), it would be fun, fun, fun watching the RW old guy meltdown.

Howsomeever, I think the Dims are going to let Sanders be the nominee so he can loose and then they can say they gave "socialism" a chance and the electorate rejected it. That is no way to treat a revered elder, but then the present day Dim leadership cares nothing for decency.

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Nastarana

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Nastarana

Promoting Trump was supposed to allow HER an easy cruise into the White House, and look how that went down.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

arendt's picture

@Nastarana

When you look past all the personal grandstanding and virtue signaling, he is Wall St.'s boy. I wouldn't vote for him. He's another version of Obama - a black corporatist with a thin record that leans to the right.

Klobuchar is another corporatist:

According to Murshed Zaheed, political director of progressive organizing unit CREDO, Klobuchar showed a “shameful” lack of backbone in her role in the shutdown talks. “I can’t imagine the progressive heart of Minnesota, the state of Paul Wellstone, is going to be happy about it,” he said.

Klobuchar is often mentioned as a possible candidate to seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020, and Zaheed noted that the other likely candidates currently serving in the Senate — Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders — all voted against reopening the government on Monday.

-
Sen. Amy Klobuchar was instrumental in brokering the deal to end the shutdown — and that may come back to haunt her

If this is the best the Dems can do, I'm voting Green again. Screw the corporatists who stole my party.

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@arendt but for the Dims, I do think it would be the strongest ticket.

I shall probably be voting Green for years.

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Nastarana

arendt's picture

@Nastarana

I get it that you are just informing me of the conventional wisdom. Thanks.

However, I can't resist commenting. Apologies.

----

Really, that's the strongest ticket? You may be right; but it would get killed. (Of course, two years of Trump shenanigans is plenty of time to turn the world upside down. But that can go either direction for Trump.)

The right will not go for another black guy, even one whose lips are welded to Wall St.'s ass. A lot of blacks might also be once burned, twice shy.

And a woman with almost zero name recognition, from Minnesota no less? If the Dems want to run a woman, they should run Elizabeth Warren. She has name recognition, she is a good debater, and she has a track record of trying to protect the public from Wall St.

Trump is about to slip the noose on Mueller's investigation. All the rabid Dems look like fools or knaves. If all of Trump's sanctions don't blow up the world economy or start a war, he may actually be able to claim that he improved America's domestic economy. Have the Democrats accomplished anything, or stood for anything except "we're not Trump" for the last two years?

For myself, I do not see any Democratic ticket being compelling other than not being Trump. The ones who have name recognition are compromised, corporatist fossils. The ones who don't are merely corporatists looking to strike it rich. It ain't FDR's party anymore.

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@arendt I find your responses very illuminating.

I can't pretend to know what the conventional wisdom might be. At this point I don't think the Dims have a winning ticket for 2020.

Warren is needed in the Senate, IMO, and I don't see her making a good impression in a national campaign. Too hectoring and schoolmarmish. Mind, I have high respect for her, but what states do you imagine she can carry? Booker is already running, or so it looks like to me, and is all around the country in Black neighborhoods, shoring up his base. Run a ticket of two East Coast urbanite types and I think the Midwest gets offended. What, don't we matter anymore? Klobuchar is from the Midwest, a known quantity there and much liked. I think she could be very competitive in Midwest battleground states.

At this point, I don't expect any Dim ticket to win in 2020, but a ticket seen as competent and competitive could bring reluctant Dems and independents to the polls, and be a great help in the down ballot races. The task for Progressives would be the same as this year, make sure our candidates win their primaries. RWs aren't going to vote for any Democrat because they think they have a winner already.

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Nastarana

snoopydawg's picture

@Nastarana

IMG_2447.JPG

IMG_2373.JPG

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

arendt's picture

@snoopydawg

I would love to be able to hand out the reference to that embarrassing fact.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Mark from Queens

He started off complaining about 'those people' who went to the hospital and got free care. I asked if he saw someone say that they couldn't afford to pay for their care and he said no ... but he heard about them. He then started talking about the other issues that people complain about when they talk about poor people and I went into my spiel about he's just repeating stuff that he's heard and ended with how the real welfare fraud that happens is corporate welfare. He listened to me for 45 and thanked me for telling him what was what.

So many people have been brainwashed into believing the Koch and GOP propaganda like unions are bad and that SS isn't going to be around for them so why should they have to pay into it, etc. That only blacks and minorities are on social programs and every one of them can actually work, but they're just too lazy ...

I used to not understand how people could be so blatantly blind to things and then Russia Gate happened. We keep getting hit with propaganda because it works.

Good luck with the guy. I hope that you have a chance to speak with him and he listens to your comments and doesn't just blow you off. The guy I spoke with said that he will start setting people straight when they repeat those things.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

@snoopydawg I’ll let them rant and rave about x,y and z and then very calmly ask them if they have personally see whatever happen or if they can give me a first hand example etc. Usually I’ll get a “well...no, but...” and then we get to the source, which is always some right wing propaganda outlet. I can’t say I’ve ever been able to change someone’s mind, but I’ve at least seen that moment where someone considers they may have been duped.

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5 users have voted.

@Mark from Queens
I find I can usually talk with right-leaning folks if I don't present myself out front as the enemy. Common ground is easy to find in alienation and disenfranchisement from the political system. If political issues arise I generally start with a dismissive comment about both parties, and bring up the corruption and dishonesty of most politicians. It's rare that an opening like that doesn't get agreement. Once we talk a bit about that -- and I show willingness to trash the Dems and Republicans equally -- I'll start to talk about my views of politics in general, and maybe mention my past support for Bernie. Coupled with more disparagement of phonies like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. Disagreement then is generally much more reasonable, and I'll ask about their views. Some probing questions about how their views support the corruption and disenfranchisement we opened with have often provoked surprising answers.

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QMS's picture

What the morons don't see can't scare them. It's better for the machine to use their own flavor of fear.

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Listen to your higher mind.

WoodsDweller's picture

Socialism was the "trigger-word" (new phrase there, what do you think?) for the Cold War. Just say "socialism" and people are supposed to stop thinking, set their hair on fire, and run around in a panic.
After 9/11 the trigger-word was "terrorism". As in "we need to record all your emails because TERRORISM". Quit thinking and comply.
People under 40 aren't triggered by the word "socialism". It's just a word.
People like AOC correctly want to talk about policies, which are extremely popular. The propaganda machine is trying to close the barn door after the horses have run off and apply the socialist label to people and policies, then talk about the labels in the abstract. Pick a team, are you team Capitalist or team Socialist, then you have to oppose everything with a socialist label and never mention the policies themselves.
The reason the right was successful in demonizing the label "liberal" was that the liberals rallied to the defense of their label, instead of redirecting the discussion to the grand tradition of liberalism in America.

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12 users have voted.

I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

QMS's picture

@WoodsDweller Roy Roger's pony left the barn with the name Trigger. It's funny the scary commie ruse ain't working anymore. The concept is on strike for better benefits or something. The Reagan cowboys are losing their 'scare the Indians' scam. The settlers still see the ugly war in spite of the distractions.

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7 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Brett Wilkins's picture

My favorite is when regressive morons try to tell me that Hitler was a leftist because, national "socialism."

Yeah, and the People's Democratic Republic of North Korea is sooo "democratic," to say nothing of the "Democratic" party lol.

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23 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Brett Wilkins

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5 users have voted.

@Brett Wilkins
Who knew that all you had to do was call yourself something?

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EdMass's picture

@Brett Wilkins

Facism was battling Communism in the post WWI Europe. They tried to coopt certain principles much like the Catholic Church took over the Pagan Sites and Holidays. They did nationalize many industries for the benefit of the "volk". " “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.“ Oh wait, that was here in the US...

And the common word is? What?

If religion is the opiate of the masses, politics is its pillow.

Take a look at this.

National Socialism (disambiguation)

National Socialism may also refer to:

Ethnic German movements related to Nazism:

Austrian National Socialism, an early influence on the NSDAP
German National Socialist Workers' Party (Czechoslovakia) (Sudeten German, anti-Semitic)
Sudeten German Party (Sudeten German, pro-annexation-by-Germany, successor of the above)
Strasserism, a breakaway movement from German Nazism

Non-German groups drawing inspiration from Nazism and existing in the same historical period:

Bulgarian National Socialist Workers Party
Canadian National Socialist Unity Party (pro-Anglo-Canadian/French-Canadian)
National Socialist Movement of Chile (1930s)
National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (German-style Nazi, anti-Semitic)
Greek National Socialist Party (Italian-style fascist, pro-Hitler)
Hungarian National Socialist Party (German-style Nazi, anti-Semitic)
National Socialist Dutch Workers Party (1920s–1930s; favoured German annexation of the Netherlands)
National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (1930s–1940s; unlike the above, it nominally supported an independent Netherlands)
National Socialist Workers' Party of Norway (German-style Nazi, anti-Semitic)
Nasjonal Samling (Norway) (German-style Nazi, anti-Semitic, anti-Masonic)
National Socialist Party (Romania) (German-style Nazi)
Swedish National Socialist Freedom League (pro-Hitler, founded in 1924)
Swedish National Socialist Party (founded in 1930 through a merger of Nazi and fascist groups)
National Socialist Workers' Party (Sweden) (split from the above in 1933, became more Strasserite and independently Swedish before declining during World War II)
South African Gentile National Socialist Movement (1930s–1940s; pro-apartheid, white, anti-Semitic)

Neo-Nazism, a label for groups and ideologies after 1945 that are considered to be based on Nazism:

National Socialist Movement of Denmark (contemporary)
Iranian National Socialist Party, created in 1952 (pro-Hitler, anti-Semitic, anti-Arab, anti-Turk)
National Socialist Party of New Zealand (German-style Nazi, anti-Semitic)
National Socialist Movement of Norway (contemporary)
Russian National Socialist Party (Russian nationalist, fascist, anti-immigrant, promoting Orthodox Christian theocracy)
Colin Jordan's National Socialist Movement (UK, 1962) of the United Kingdom
National Socialist Action Party (British, founded in 1982)
National Socialist Movement (United Kingdom) (contemporary)
National Socialist League (United States) (gay, "Aryan", pro-Hitler)
National Socialist Party of America (white, anti-Semitic, anti-black)
National Socialist Movement (United States) (contemporary)

Other unrelated ideologies and organizations, some of which were founded before the NSDAP and thus before "National Socialism" became associated with Nazism, while others exist in non-European contexts where Nazism is not widely known:

Czech National Social Party, founded in Austria-Hungary in 1898 as a center-left party advocating Czech independence
National-Social Association, a small center-left Christian liberal party in Germany, founded by Friedrich Naumann in 1896
National Socialist Party (UK), a breakaway group from the British Socialist Party formed in 1916; historically Marxist, it reverted to a previous name as the Social Democratic Federation in 1919 and then merged with the Labour Party
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (National Socialist Party), a small socialist party in Bangladesh
National Socialist Council of Nagaland, a Maoist insurgent group in India
National Socialist Party of Tripura, a party advocating Tripuri self-determination in India

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5 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

Pluto's Republic's picture

@EdMass

...but I'd be happy to analyze that list for you.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution was bringing to towns and cities a transformation that could not be avoided. People would leave the land and take jobs in factories. For the first time in history, the one secure means of survival, working the land, was transformed into more abstract and virtual work — the factory. The people gave up something they could touch and control and sustain themselves with for something that was nebulous — a job controlled by the actions of others, which they could lose for a variety of abstract reasons.

The idea of National Socialism came out of that as a movement toward fairness and security in this new world. The words "national socialism" is an oxymoron or a redundancy, now, but they had meaning for this earlier generation that hoped to survive in an economic construct that the world had never known before. The bottom line was this: If a worker lost their job, how would their families eat?

Simultaneously, another party emerged out of nowhere — Fascism. At some point in the early 20th century, just about every nation on earth, including the US, had an active Fascist Party. I have come to believe that the Fascist party was started by the Aristocracy as a backfire to the wage security issue that National Socialism addressed. Both Parties were predicated on the rise of Industry in the world. I believe the Fascist Party was also designed to sabotage the global rise of democracy, a concept that appalled the Aristocracy.

Then, things happened. The UN was established. Some political parties went away and new political parties that did the same things came along with different names. And before you know it, we were entering the 21st century. And people were still engaged in the same struggle: Trying to find a way to feed their families if they lost their jobs.

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11 users have voted.
EdMass's picture

@Pluto's Republic

simply that it wasn't just Germany and the National Socialist that are sometimes described as "leftists", in general many co-opted the word Socialism for their political movements and many of the principles of governance (nationalization of industry, re-distribution of wealth, extensive social programs for health and welfare) in the attempt to sway/confuse those with a leaning to communist or socialist philosophy that they could be comfortable with them and achieve similar ends.

But thank you for offering to analyze a wiki list for me.

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2 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

@EdMass explains the wild-eyed reaction to the notion of socialism in the US, because I just don't get it. From your list though, it seems that socialism was firmly associated with Nazism.

Myself, I thought socialism was merely pooling of money to pay for some public goods, like streets or schools or fire fighters/police.

Even Tucker, Hannity, and Ingraham are rabid capitalists who go all bug-eyed when talking about 'socialism.' Even though they decry some of the same situations we do, they see no connection between capitalism and the bad situations caused by capitalism. They must believe that socialism leads to mass murder or something.

Tucker just now said socialism killed millions of people. Where did this notion come from? His guest is saying that socialism now means something more benign, like helping each other out. Then Tucker talks about the bank bail-out....

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4 users have voted.

dfarrah

arendt's picture

@Pluto's Republic

The Nazis claimed to be for the worker; but their "unions" were authoritarian. The first thing the Nazis did was to ban the Socialists and smash their unions, arrest their union leaders. Yes, the Nazis organized workers' holidays; but they were massive indoctrination sessions. Every minute of the vacation was scripted. No time to think. Just go to the propaganda lecture, then an hour at the beach, then another propaganda lecture. Meanwhile, Gestapo agents were noticing who said what in an unguarded moment.

The point is that "socialism" and "concern for the worker" were just words in the Nazi propaganda arsenal. They weren't socialists. They were corporatists.

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3 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic
This speaks to history I'm not familiar with. Did the German National Socialist party name harken back to the socialist reforms of the Bismarck years?

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boriscleto's picture

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8 users have voted.

" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

https://youpic.com/photographer/boriscleto/

I had to correct him, but I'm sure it's just a swear word to him.

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7 users have voted.
boriscleto's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness Called Cuomo a Marxist the other day. I had to tell them to stop insulting Marxists.

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5 users have voted.

" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

https://youpic.com/photographer/boriscleto/

@boriscleto

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3 users have voted.
EdMass's picture

It's easy for Repugs to denigrate socialism (and communism btw) because our electorate, millennials and democrats are mostly illiterate, uneducated in political philosophy (or any philosophy in general) and stupid. Hey, what's Baby BooBoo up to on the TeeVee tonight?

Every time, when asked, Tom Perez, the Clinton Creature, Bernie, AOC and on and on cannot explain what the difference is between a Democrat, a Socialist, or a Democratic Socialist.

All they can do is to point to some small Scandinavian Country with the population of Houston and say see that works.

It's too easy since none of "our folks" have a f'g clue how to explain it to the populace. All the populace hears is the death tolls of Nazi Germany, Mussolini Itaty, Stalin Soviet Russia, Mao China, Cambodias Pol Pot, Castro Cuba, Chavez/Maduro Venezuela etc etc.

Until we solve/move past the death by government issue, none of this is happening in the "good ole" USA imho.

They have way to many scary guns...WOLVERINES!

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5 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

@EdMass

Until we solve/move past the death by government issue, none of this is happening in the "good ole" USA imho.

Millennial have no memory of the Cold War scare. They simply don't care about their parents' fears. Nor should they.
We could and should fight back against the right wing's spin on the history of socialism (like I did here, for example), but the kids are indifferent. They are living in the present and looking forward, like they should be.

OTOH, a clear articulation of socialism is absolutely necessary.

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5 users have voted.
EdMass's picture

@gjohnsit

I was not alive in history long past, but I know it.

"Millennials have no memory" nor want one apparently . "Trump Sucks, just because.."

That's a basis for governing if I ever heard one.

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3 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

Pluto's Republic's picture

@EdMass

...that you are hovering over a dying ember. That world may have moved on. Sure, there are brain cells here and there firing on obsolete news drivers and freaking people out. But these are dying out fast, growing weaker and more irrelevant by the day.

There will always be attempted smear attacks. Some may fizzle.

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6 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@Pluto's Republic

The idea that history is irrelevant is one of the scariest things the corporatists have pushed over the last forty years. To not know how the Nazis took power and how that resembles what is being done today means entire generations are missing in action in the fight against corporatism.

My favorite quote along these lines was from the great historian, Eric Hobsbawm, who said:

(paraphrase) I knew we were in trouble when, after a lecture on WW2, a student came up to me and said "so I presume that WW2 implies there was a WW1."

History is part of our language. How can you call the Russiagate farce "neo-McCarthyism" if no one knows what McCarthy did? There are many other political shorthands that are very important to the left that are at risk of being lost. Meanwhile, the corporate business media and all the business schools pump out all the bullshit about the perfect market.

History is what refutes all the lies being told by the 1%. To lose history is to become defenceless.

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3 users have voted.
arendt's picture

@arendt

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”

- Marcus Tullis Cicero

The "kids will work it out" only if they wake up and start studying history. Otherwise, as Cicero says, they will remain adult children as they are marched into a police state.

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2 users have voted.

@EdMass
It's like how the history of labor in America is no longer taught in school.
TPTB don't want people to know actual facts about socialism.

The kids will figure it out. Have faith.

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6 users have voted.
boriscleto's picture

@gjohnsit Being worried at night that Ronny Raygun was going to hit the nuke button instead of the nurse button. And I lived just a couple miles from an Air National Guard base, until the early 80s there was an air defense radar unit headquartered in Syracuse, and the A-10s (later F-16s) flew over my house every day. There is a drone unit there now. It's so nice knowing that some guy is sitting in a trailer shooting Hellfire missiles at a wedding, or dropping JDAMs on school kids, then driving home for dinner with the wife and kids.

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2 users have voted.

" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

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QMS's picture

@EdMass
Stalin Soviet Russia, Mao China, Cambodias Pol Pot, Castro Cuba, Chavez/Maduro Venezuela etc etc.

For arguments sake, they hardly add up to the Mericun Empire death toll. At least all those other 'adjustments' are in the past. Our clever extinction process is just getting rolling with no end in sight. Explain that to your 'scared of commies' friends.

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Listen to your higher mind.

EdMass's picture

@QMS

Innocent deaths in the countries I mention exceed 100 million combined. Look it up yourself. Merica while certainly not innocent in the world is not even close especially within the borders of this country...

BTW, I don't have "scared of commie friends".

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3 users have voted.

"I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you"

Alvin Lee - Ten Years After

Stop the War!

@EdMass
bed.jpg
reds-under-the-beds.jpeg
socialism-one-more-shot.jpg

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4 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@EdMass death's within the confines of some demarcation by those listed is probably different from the bombardment outside of the US, and number of deaths attributable to the american military probably mean nothing to your argument. I was not implying that you personally have commie fearing friends. The point was if people are going to go on about the destructive nature of communist / socialist regimes, perhaps a constructive counter argument would be to compare the destructive activities of a capitalist regime (such as is ours). OK?

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3 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

@EdMass
capitalism and its associated empire is pretty hard to calculate.

A study on "ubiquitous but insidious" lead exposure is being deemed a "big deal" after researchers found a link between lead exposure and the deaths of around a quarter-million Americans annually from heart disease.

New study finds 45,000 deaths annually linked to lack of health coverage

etc.

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3 users have voted.

Sigh

The Aspie Corner's picture

@EdMass

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4 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Mark from Queens's picture

I lack the requisite time at the moment to add fresh thoughts to this. But there was a troll here who last year was throwing around all manner of lame, classic RW propaganda machine BS.

For posterity, here's a comment I wrote in that thread about it.

And here's an explanations down thread:

Tired old RW propaganda attempt to conflate Socialism with Nazism, simply by virtue of the name being used for their party. Whatever socialism existed under Hitler quickly gave way to full-throated intolerant fascism, a diametric difference.

RW propagandists frequently use this canard to further scare people about socialism. To the extent that it preys on the subconscious of the malleable, "wasn't socialism what the Nazis had?" Oh my god, never that evil socialism. It doesn't help that the American education system lays the groundwork for the propaganda to settle in, by touting our Exceptionalism and the American Dream, as part and parcel of capitalism's wonderful "free market" gifts.

Most of the world, including almost all Western nations and even Third World, are primarily, fundamentally socialist economies, meaning some of the basics in living costs are taken care of through the taxes you pay. For instance, almost every country in the world pays for its citizens healthcare, including unexpected places like Barbados and Mexico. We're the only ones still holding out, a sheer horrifying embarrassment, along with higher education. The cunning part is that now, a good many have been preyed upon by global financial elite venture capitalists, who have cleaved chunks out their economies, resulting in austerity and the dismantling of the socialist state, in order to pay back the Economic Terrorists of Wall St, who made them mafia-like offers they couldn't refuse. These "free market" bastards have all but destroyed places like Greece, Ireland and Spain, and have diminished Scandinavia, a haven for socialism. Global financial capitalism is the bane of the human race and the earth's existence and future.

Bottom line is, as great investigative journalist/muckraker I.F. Stone reminds, "all governments lie," with the corollary being they're all corrupt. Socialist economies, like capitalist ones, fail. But the basic principles are night and day. In a general sense, Socialism is humane, compassionate and empathetic. Capitalism is ruthless, alienating and abusive.
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4 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

QMS's picture

our chances for survival. While the audience here at C99% already understand this, seems the gullible masses would rather go along with the 'profit over people' meme. Because it is less stress on the thinking process, or some such. Showee shebangers.

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3 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.