Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another Battle in the Fight for America

These are the kinds of things we have to do.  Fight the misinformation by challenging the misinformed.

Co-worker mentions something that brings up socialism.   I mention we're getting closer and closer to it.
She: "But socialism isn't the same as communism."
Me: "For all practical purposes, they are.  They're based on the same misconceptions.  They're both forms of Statism."
She: "Ooooh, pullin' out the fancy words.  'Statism'.  Well so is Democracy."
Me: "Socialism and Communism are top-down Statism."
She: "Bottom-up."
Me: "It's always sold that way, but it's definitely top-down."
She: "I guess I just missed that whole 'Bolshevik Revolution' thing."
Me: "That was because it was sold as bottom up, so the movement was popular.   But it never works out that way in the end."
One thing I like to do to these people is this... two questions.  The most famous example of Communism so far has been the Soviet Union.  What party ran the Soviet Union?  And what was the official name of the Soviet Union?


1. The Communist Party
2. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Yeah.  They're totally different.


Cylar said...

The USSR was not a union so much as an empire, the component parts were communist, not socialist (a term I prefer to associate with western Europe), and said parts were not republics but rather simply vassal states. But "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" sounds better than "Communist Dictatorship by Russia."

The official name of North Korea is "DPRK" which stands for Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea. Laughable, of course, since it's not democratic, not of the people, and not a republic. It's simply propaganda.

Names mean little when discussing totalitarian countries.

philmon said...

Names mean little when discussing totalitarian countries.

Yes. And that says so much. It's a name that sounds like it means one thing that they think sounds better than what they know it is.

"Union". Like some voluntary federation, like, oh, say, the United States of America started.

The fact that it was most definitely a Communist revolution and the fact they chose "socialist" to describe it shows that they did not see them as fundamentally different enough to actually distinguish. They probably thought it would sound better to the rest of the world.

That was 1917.

Later, after the term "socialist" was soiled more, and progressives co-opted the term "liberal" for themselves (as "progressive" had also been soiled), the semantics went more toward "democratic" -- once again underscoring my point that it's always sold as "bottom-up". Modern Communists use the language of "democracy" to sell their central planning (they did in the past as well, but they emphasize it more now).

But central planning is going to be top down no matter which way you slice it.

pst314 said...

"The USSR was not...socialist"

Funny how socialists around the world supported it, though. It's almost as if all this quibbling over terminology is intended to obscure the fact that socialism is inherently inclined to like totalitarianism.

tim said...

She: "But socialism isn't the same as communism."

Was her premise that she was OK with socialism?

philmon said...

We never got that far (it was right before a meeting) but that's sure the impression I got as to where she was heading.

mkfreeberg said...

Seriously, I hope you write something up if the day ever comes you find out their side of the story on this thing. I'd really like to know. What's the hair-splitting? With communism, nobody has any money at all, with socialism, people have money but it's exactly the same amount?

I know when I put the question to them, they'll call me stupid for asking it, and when the conversation is over they will not have answered it. Those two are constants. But what is the ostensible difference? Do they really have one in mind?

philmon said...

It may be a while before it comes up again. She's a co-worker in my group and one I have a good relationship with. I won't be pushing it.

But if I had to speculate, it boils down to the fact that in their minds Socialism is the less revolutionary, softer, kinder, gentler sister to Communism. And there is an argument to be made for that. There are limited private property rights in Socialism.

But like I pointed out, they are based on the same premise -- that liberty in the economic sphere is rigged to the advantage of the wealthy. This is true to a limited extent. No system is perfect.

But Socialism/Communism both rest on the premise human nature being truly altruistic, and that once envy is eliminated via wealth redistribution, people will just enthusiastically produce for each other with no angle toward personal gain, because "everybody's" gain is their gain and they'll just all see it that way and everybody will be happy.

This, of course, requires humans to be something other than what we are. Some idealized form of human that does not now nor will ever exist.

Progressives believe that human nature is evolving toward that, and that they can push that evolution along. The worst progressives don't even mind killing off those who they feel are holding that evolution back. For the good of the future of Mankind, of course. That, in a nutshell, is what Progressivism is all about. The basic premise of Progressivism is the evolution human nature. Cultural Dawrinism.

Our system is the worst one ever, except for all the others. Our system gives me incentive to work hard and make new things because it will give ME a more comfortable existence and opportunities to do things I can't do today. If I don't like what I'm doing, I can decide to change jobs. If I want to work less, I must be willing to suffer the cut in compensation or find some legal and ingenious way to make up the difference.

In their system ... all must be equalized. If I make too much, money must be taken from me to give to someone else. If I don't make enough, money must be taken from someone else to give to me.

There is no incentive to produce outside of coersion, and the only people with the power to coerce is the government.

This is why socialism and communism, which are again based on the same false premises -- inevitably deteriorate into totalitarian, trickle-up poverty.

Oh, and those with the power to coerce? You can rest assured that they will find a way to justify greater compensation for themselves than to the proletariat they find themselves in charge of.

Every. Single. Time. Because Human nature doesn't change.

Cylar said...

The worst progressives don't even mind killing off those who they feel are holding that evolution back.

This is the part that has always struck me. The millions that must be (and have been) slaughtered on the way to utopia? "Never mind them. They were expendable. They didn't fit in. Oh yes, life will be so much better once those Jews/retards/disabled people/old people/Christians/whomever are disposed of."

But waitaminnit. Aren't the progressives the ones who assure us (over and over) that they're the compassionate, caring ones who want a level playing field? The giving ones? The ones who just want a better life for everyone? Who want to fight back on behalf of the little guy, against these corporate fat cats?

Yet...when millions of those little guys wind up in concentration camps, it's no big deal.

Meanwhile, those of us who fight and bleed and die trying to crush regimes like that so that men may breathe free...we're the evil cold-hearted ones.

Do you ever get the feeling that "progressives" learned nothing at all from the 20th century and its accompanying sordid, violent experiences?

Okeeeeeeey then. Carry on.

mkfreeberg said...

Whoa, that's good. I think you just managed to tie this all together for me Phil. Why does Star Trek remind me of liberalism, how come the liberals flip back & forth between demanding "complete" rights for "all of us" and then casually zipping off to the other end of the spectrum, defining people out of existence.

It's really the same thing they're doing with global warming when you think about it: "All of the scientists who agree with us, agree with us." They've built an entire method of thinking around the No-True-Scotsman fallacy. And this is why they're so gung-ho about evolution explaining everything: It isn't that they're in a big hurry to un-define God. That's only part of it. The rest is in what Phil said.

Sometime back I jotted down the thought that these progressives, when they argue about policy and frustrate the conservatives by so quickly leaving the plane of "what is the ultimate effect of this law you want to pass" -- they seem to naturally gravitate toward what I called "yellow light and red light." Red light is ostracism, shutting-out from the heavy village gates. "You shall be shunned, he who does not shun you shall be shunned, he who does not shun he who does not shun you shall likewise be shunned." Yellow light, as you might expect, is a warning of the approaching red light. "Your worthiness has been placed into question and you must work to mend your ways." As in...you agree with Ann Coulter don'cha.

This ties in perfectly well with your explanation. Obama's gonna lead us...are you cool enough to help us follow Him? If not, you shall be shunned.

philmon said...

And here we have a case of the comments being better than the original post.

Thanks for the Kudos.