The United States of Socialism

The United States military is the predominate socialist institution in all of the Americas. Like it or not, the U.S. government wrests taxes from its individual citizens to fund a massive military, for the welfare of all (or so we are told). For good or for bad; necessary or not; this is a prime example of pure socialism; the most extreme form of “Big Government” that can be found.

If you support the U.S. military, then you support Socialism.

Michael

Michael,

There might be a little more to it than that. :laughing: But there is nothing suggest in the definition of a republic form of government that disallows some vestiges of socialism. Or is this just an effort on your part to stir the old bucket? :wink:

JT

Hi JT,

It’s very nice to hear from you again. I hope you’re well (and staying cool).

Frankly, I think this is a pot that needs a bit o’ stirring. :wink:

Socialism taxes individual citizens in order to provide support for the welfare of all. The U.S. military is a massive national welfare system. It is run by the government for the (supposed) welfare of all of its citizens. This much is an elementary fact.

The “starve the beast” mantra chanted by U.S. Conservatives strikes me as unbelievably out-of-sync with their universal support for a massive, government-run, single-payer, military. Bear in mind, these are the same folk who work themselves into a froth at any mention of a government administered, single-payer health care system. Socialism - they would have you believe - is one of the world’s great ills; akin to child-pornography.

This is a bilious (albeit ballsy), hypocrisy. In truth, Conservatives are rabid socialists; so long as the welfare checks are disproportionally slid through their mail slots.

And here’s a way to test my charge. Let us introduce a bill into Congress, stating that the cost of the Iraq war will, henceforth, be borne exclusively by those who support and profit by it. In other words, wage war through user-fees.

Kind regards,
Michael

Please, no one is profiting from this war. That would be terrible!

Those contractors are just patriots serving their country at a reasonable rate of roughly four times what the soldiers are paid.

Completely different.

Maybe the military provides domestic reward for all its foreign “affairs”? Maybe its foreign subjects are justified by a socialist cause? “Eg: They’re crying for our help.”

My question for you is wheather your model for socialism is sustainable. That is: Grows from continuous resources, and will not depend on exhausting resources elsewhere.

Given that you can guarantee such a socialism, you can then deal with a police state vs. liberty. Suppose we rely on our own steam. Does it power us to mostly keep us in line? Or does it let us take risks because we want to?

Overall, I do believe that sociteties can’t simply “practice what they want” depending on what they subject their citizens to. I support war on the grounds that a cultural cruelty has to stop . . . and if they’re hogging good resources, all the more political reason to support the ethic. My criticism for the United States is this . . .

If your coountry wants better for others, do you welcome immigrants to come and get away from their bad situation?

If your country wants better for yourselves, will you ensure that citizens don’t die needlessly when they want to live?

For the welfare of all?

This may be splitting hairs, but I think you need a different term, so as to divest “welfare” of some of its connotations (being those unrelated to the Military itself).

How about, “for the protection of all”?

Sounds spiffy enough, and from a Hobbesian perspective, protection is the one service the government may provide from which said government derives its legitimacy.

Can you show me a capitalist country that exhibits this trait?

I understand what you’re saying. A lot of people claim that socialism is bad, but they support socialist policies. In political debates a policy can be shot down just by being labeled a socialist policy.

I don’t know if a government can not be socialist. It seems like government is inherently aimed at making a good social order, whether it be with a king or a democracy.

=D> =D> :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

That one hurt so good. I do believe most missed your blatant subtle play. That makes it even more humorous especially if they know you. Thank you. This post alone makes the thread worth reading.

Bet me , noone will get the conection. :laughing:

Michael,

While your observations are completely correct, one has to acknowledge that all government is a form of socialism. The only issue (as you point out) is who pays and who receives.

Of course the principles involved will never be a national discussion, it would end our so-called two party system. It’s funny, most people understand the ‘fix’ is in, but still hold up the old mythologies - as long as they’re on the receiving end.

The military issue is almost understandable. Even a dyed-in-the-wool socialist will acknowledge that someone risking death to protect us is just a teensy bit more deserving than the down-and-outer who picks up his welfare check to buy more drugs.

But the military, and to some extent warmongering, becomes a socialist government to itself. It might be interesting to identify all the other ‘socialist’ institutions we’ve created as well. Wanna look at corporate welfare? The massive government employee ‘perks’ of entitlements not available to Joe Sixpack? Is congressional pork barrel spending a form of preferential socialism?

The game is rigged. Our society is and has been a socialist entity since the late 30’s. Our distribution system does seem to be a little out of whack… :unamused:

JT

Well yes, our particular socialism is often labelled “corporate socialism” whereby the government’s redistribution of wealth is from the individual through the corporation back to the individual.

A sort of indirect socialism.

What the right seems to be complaining about is the part of this redistribution system that is not directed through corporations thereby betraying their sentiment for a more pure corporate socialism.

Fanatical socialists, all of them.

Hey GCT,

I wrote, “The U.S. military is a massive national welfare system.”

wel·fare (wĕl’fâr’), n., 1. Health, happiness, and good fortune; well-being.

The “connotations” you’d like to divest, are precisely those framed by the Conservatives. They want you to spit out of the corner of your mouth whenever you hear the word. But, as you see from the above, primary, definition, the welfare of it’s citizenry is the very reason a government is called upon to provide for a common defense.

Here’s George Lakoff talking about the Conservative use of framing.

Regards,
Michael

Tentative wrote,

Spot-on, JT; so long as governments collect taxes and redistribute wealth.

Quoting from the George Lakoff interview mentioned in my above post

“Taxes are what you pay to be an American, to live in a civilized society that is democratic and offers opportunity, and where there’s an infrastructure that has been paid for by previous taxpayers. This is a huge infrastructure…Taxes are your dues — you pay your dues to be an American. In addition, the wealthiest Americans use that infrastructure more than anyone else, and they use parts of it that other people don’t. The federal justice system, for example, is nine-tenths devoted to corporate law. The Securities and Exchange Commission and all the apparatus of the Commerce Department are mainly used by the wealthy. And we’re all paying for it.”

Best,
Michael

Still, a distinction needs to be made between protection of one’s person and welfare in the sense of happiness and good fortune. A real conservative (in the classical sense) holds government’s primary obligation is to insure the protection of its individual citizen from threats of bodily harm from abroad and at home. Thus governments are granted power by the citizenry to maintain an army and police force. Happiness is not a guarantee, the best Jefferson could offer was the pursuit thereof.

The conservatives of which you speak are not really conservatives at all, in neither the classical nor modern sense of the word. I believe it would be more apt to identify your “conservatives” as Libertarians (from what you have portrayed of them so far).

Modern Conservatives are statists, be it economically, politically, and in matters entailing personal freedom. Expanding government via the military is simply a preffered method semantically different from expansion via an increase in welfare policies but ultimately the same. Expansion of government for expansion’s sake.

Bingo. When it comes to moral evaluations, many things can be said to accomplish the same desired result, despite there pragmatic consequences. For example, it can be said that military activity is for the “welfare” of the people, just as soon as it could be said that no military activity is for the “welfare” of the people.

What is certain, however, is that so long as there is an “us” and a “them” among men, moral patriotism amounts to only semantic propaganda, as GCT supposed, and if this is the case…it cannot be pragmatic. It cannot be an ethical materialism, because it portrays man in an aesthetic sphere rather than a material sphere; it is nothing more than a cultural relativism masquerading as economics.

The war we are in now has nothing whatever to do with economics, and everything to do with economics. It has nothing to do with it because its motives and agendas are solving the wrong problems or asserting problems that are not problems, and creating real problems in the process. It has everything to do with it because its mistakes affect the material relations of the world.

The dilemma with all of this is that short of benevolent anarchism, the only question is who gets the biggest slice of the pie? At this point those who got, get. The pendulum swings back and forth, but we do seem to be at an extreme swing point right now.

I’ve always considered the labels conservative - liberal to be reversed. Conservatives seem to say that we can continue the same profligate policies of the early 50’s, while the liberals are saying that we need to begin making social policy more in keeping with current realities. But the old myths die slowly, and the illusions of “bad socialism” lingers on.

To some extent, I’m not sure that accuracy of labeling makes any difference. People may not know what socialism is, but they know they’re being screwed and who is screwing them. If there are any changes coming, it isn’t just yet. The poor have weak voices, and it will take a big increase in their numbers before their voices are loud enough to effect change.

But… I support socialism and NOT the U.S. Military. Where does that leave me? :stuck_out_tongue:

B C,

In illusion?

You are kidding? The sarcasm is so obvious. Chuckle–Ever checked regarding how many of our “representatives,” and I use the term loosely, have relatives who benefited from this war? I wonder how much $ Darth Vadar has stashed in a Swiss bank account.

:wink: :sunglasses:

By your definition, anyperson who supports a military for their nation supports Socialism??? Mubarak, Assad, ??? Governments, with zero zero social services for their people.