The United States of Socialism

Hello aspacia,

Not by my definition; by the definition. A socialist program is planned and executed by a centralized government for the (supposed) general welfare, and involves a redistribution of wealth; typically collected in the form of taxes.

I’m especially perplexed why you’d question whether Bashar al Assad supports socialism. The motto of the Baath Arab Socialist Party - of which he is a central leader - is, “Unity, Freedom, Socialism.” Furthermore, Assad’s government provides a host of social services for its people. Despite widespread poverty and a ballooning population, there is nearly 100% attendance in their state-run primary schools. Syria has a universal health care system. The government also subsidizes (up to 40%) many of life’s staples (bread, fuel, electricity, etc.).

A caveat; the above is not an endorsement of Assad’s government; it is a refutation of your claim that the Syrian government provides “zero zero social services for their people.”

As Tentative alluded, words may become so demon-infused as to incapacitate our thinking (as typified by our many -isms). The Federal Aviation Administration (FDA) is an example of socialism at work; as are the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the [i]Department of Health and Human Services /i.

I’m not here to malign either the DOD or the HHS. The crux of my thread is that it’s ludicrous to revile the HHS as socialism, while at the same time hoist up the DOD as an example of American virtue; when they both clearly exemplify socialism in action. This oft-espoused hypocrisy ought to have a stake driven through its heart once and for all.

Regards,
Michael

Michael,

So how do you propose to put such a topic on the national agenda? How does one get the people who choose not to think… to think? Everyone has an opinion on everything. After all, we wouldn’t want to look ill-informed, or uncaring about important issues. How do we get Joe Sixpack off his dead ass and get him looking at issues squarely?

With regards,

aspacia :sunglasses:

Hi aspacia,

Please go to the Library of Congress country profiles (formerly known as the Army Area Handbook Program). The profile on Syria was last updated in April, 2005. Referring to page eight, I quote

“Welfare: Syria’s socialist government provides extensive social services to citizens at nominal cost. Most welfare programs are administered by the ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, which also controls labor unions, sets the minimum wage, regulates safety, pays social security, and operates orphanages, institutions for the handicapped, and rural community development centers. Many citizens have access to subsidized public housing, and many basic commodities are heavily subsidized.”

The line, “Syria’s socialist government provides extensive social services to citizens at a nominal cost,” alone, is sufficient to refute your claim that the Syrian government provides, “zero zero social services for their people.”

As for your counterclaim concerning Syria’s healthcare, please see this report issued by the [i]United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance /i.

“Syria provides virtually free medical care to its citizens and imposes a ceiling on charges by private hospitals. Services at government clinics and health centres are free to all citizens.”

Bear in mind that 1.5 million Iraqi refugees are currently living in Syria.

“Although Syria is maintaining its “open door policy” in the name of pan-Arabism, it has begun imposing restrictions on Iraqi refugees, such as charges for healthcare that used to be free.”

And, from another report speaking of the Iraqi refugees living in Syria.

"Many basic food goods, as well as electricity and transport, are subsidised by the government by up to 40 percent, meaning it is the state and not its population that is bearing the major burden of inflationary pressures.

Kerosene, for example, sells at a subsidised rate of seven Syrian pounds per litre ($0.14) but is bought by the government for around 30 Syrian pounds per litre ($0.60)."

You appear to be talking about Social Democracy. Social Democracy is but one subset beneath the rather large umbrella that represents all socialist political theory (from Olof Palme to Leon Trotsky). To insist that the only real socialism is social democracy is a bit like supposing the only real car is a BMW.

Cheers,
Michael

Well, what if they only car worth owning is a BMW?

Don’t get me wrong, some other cars will get you from point A to point B . . . but, I mean, come on, a KIA? I ain’t drivin’ no Korean car, that is for sure!

With appreciation, as I am here to learn,

aspacia :sunglasses:

Certainly, Polemarchus, to support the military as it currently exists in the US, or public education for that matter, is to support socialism in its purest form. Now this is not to say that simply supporting a public military or an educational system in general is supporting socialism directly, as you are defining it. Surely you would not argue that the militias during the revolutionary war, which constituted a large portion of the military, were socialist in nature. They were principally comprised of individuals receiving no public funds, but rather simply fighting, perhaps ideologically, for the protection of their own lives, the lives of their families, their possessions and assets – nary a socialist bone to be found.

Yeahhhh…I do understand that you were clearly referring to the military of today. Your every word speaks to present actions, and every implication is a present condemnation of those despicable conservatives who believe in limiting the power of the government to the greatest extent possible.

But ask yourself, if it is true that the existence of a government means that it will require funding, and to attain funds it is necessary to levy taxes for general spending, then are you not attempting to condemn our conservatives for not holding the beliefs of anarchists?

For fucks sake, give them a little ground to rest on.

The problem I have with most conservatives is that they talk like anarchists.

It is like asking a vegan chef to prepare some filet mignon.

Of course, Xun, to vegans, the talk of meat consumption is vile, but there are others who understand the intermediate levels, such as those who will not eat that which they do not kill.

But, with all respect to you, your inability to understand the difference between no government and limited government has become an issue that is beyond my concern as it applies to you. Educate yourself, please!!!

Hey man, it ain’t my problem – that is the problem. I don’t much care for paleo-cons, I disagree with their policies but I see our disagreement as being more academic in nature. But Neo-Cons who talk about ‘starving the beast’ and twelve other kinds of nonsense, those guys do remind me of vegan chefs saying they’ll do a fine job cooking meat.

Ok

We will talk later … when it’s safe.

:slight_smile:

Teh Aleins?

Yip…I’ll contact you when it’s safe.

Yopele,

Did you fail to read the the rest of the thread? Michael wasn’t making a claim for or against government socialism. He was pointing out the neo-cons who who purport to hate the very idea of socialism are, in fact, its biggest supporters. The hypocracy of these people is soooo obvious.

Do you think Cheney would publically support anything that might look like socialism? Then look at Haliburton… The neo-cons cover their eyes and declare, “You can’t see me!” #-o

Strange you use this example.

I have two lesbians who live next door to me, the more feminine one is a vegan who works as a chef. No, I’m not lying. Even she laughs at the irony quite often, today included.

She comes home reeking of flayed animal corpse. So what’s wrong with oligarchic socialists pretending to be conservative anarchists?

I know a lesbian, vegan chef … I do believe anything is now possible.

If she was a bisexual omnivore she’d have a wider variety of dishes to choose from, but I guess she’s only set to handle a certain spectrum and none the more.

If you support the centralized Federal Reserve System which commands and controls the nations monetary policies, you support socialism.

Ironic? Not when you realize that capitalism and communism are just economic models of little importance to the power elite. Control is what they seek not ideologies.

“Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild

I read the rest of the thread, which is why I quoted the original post, rather than a later one. I tried to concede all of polemarchus’ valid points without bobbing on the pole.

However, Tent, whether Bush or Cheney comprehend the ramifications of their positions and decisions is not, strictly speaking, relevant to Joe Blow conservative, who may or may not have voted for these leaders. ILP is at root a philosophy site, and taking for granted that the judgments made by a selected group of self proclaimed conservatives, speaks for the whole is bad form. You know this.