Friday, April 10, 2009

Surprising Poll Finds Only Half of Americans Believe Capitalism is Better Than Socialism ... Or?

Posted by Joshua Holland, AlterNet.
at 4:00 PM on April 9, 2009
.

Do They Understand the Words?

The results of a new Rasmussen poll are an eye-opener in some ways...

Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 20% disagree and say socialism is better. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure which is better.

Adults under 30 are essentially evenly divided: 37% prefer capitalism, 33% socialism, and 30% are undecided. Thirty-somethings are a bit more supportive of the free-enterprise approach with 49% for capitalism and 26% for socialism. Adults over 40 strongly favor capitalism, and just 13% of those older Americans believe socialism is better.

Investors by a 5-to-1 margin choose capitalism. As for those who do not invest, 40% say capitalism is better while 25% prefer socialism.

It's certainly a fascinating finding, especially when compared with that of an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefered a free-market economy. Rasmussen also notes, "the fact that a 'free-market economy' attracts substantially more support than 'capitalism' may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets." Which just means we're not as dumb as we look.

But I take these findings with a significant grain of salt...

I doubt the terms "socialism" and "capitalism" are fully understood by most respondents, and Rasmussen didn't explain them (when asked which is better, 27 percent said 'whuh?'). Remember, according to the most recent (1997) Household Survey of Adult Civic Participation, less than a third of American adults read a newspaper or news magazine "almost every day." Almost a third couldn't tell you what "job or political office" Al Gore had held after he had been Vice President for five years, around a third didn't know which party held the majority in Congress and, stunningly, 49 percent of Americans surveyed didn't know "which party is more conservative at the national level."

Looking at other data as well, I think that there's widespread disilussionment with the American model of capitalism, and the response to Rasmussen's question is colored by the fact that most believe it to be the only one. The poll notes that just "fifteen percent of Americans say they prefer a government-managed economy ... 14% believe the federal government would do a better job running auto companies, and even fewer believe government would do a better job running financial firms." Given that, it's hard to see more than one in five opting for a system in which the state owns the means of production.

I'd be interested to see a poll that offered respondents a little information about what these terms mean, and also included "social democracy" as an option -- I've always seen a mostly free-market system with a far better safety net as the best of both worlds myself.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet.

I don't agree it's relevant that people know exactly what is meant by socialism, what is relevant is that about 30% of the US population isn't put off by socialism. Explaining socialism is my job.




RENEGADE EYE

90 comments:

tony said...

I suppose that finding out that The Free Market has a Cost does help to focus the mind..........EDUCATION Is a wonderful thing............

TAO said...

Most people have no clue how to define capitalism from socialism...all they know it that they are disgusted by current events and if these current events are defined as 'capitalism' and they have heard that there is something called 'socialism' then they want that because it is different.

The Pagan Temple said...

Most people are just sick to death of politics and politicians, and they don't particularly care for one branch of it over another. Ask your average person and they'll pretty much tell you "they're all crooked".

As far as economic policies goes, most people have only the most basic comprehension of any given one, including the one they have been raised in all their lives. In other words, as a basic rule of thumb, they know what they've been taught.

Most people want to live their lives, flourish and prosper, and provide for their families. By the way, most people want their kids to have it better than they did. When those kids grow up to have their own families, they will want they same for their kids.

Most people will be attracted to whatever system they think will help them achieve their goals. It's just that simple. Ideology has little to nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

on the other hand, ren, wouldn't you like to see more people discussing what socialism is, or what it could be, and, by coming to a better understanding of the term, start to figure out how we might achieve it? in which case, i think it is relevant that there needs to be a better and broader understanding of the nature of socialism, and how it's different than say, populism or communitarianism, for example.

les

jams o donnell said...

We are in a nasty recession,the world economy is (with a few exceptions) going down the crapper, bankers are held in lower esteem than paedophiles or even estate agents/realtors. The only thing that surprises me is that result isn't closer!

Gert said...

Interesting poll results, no matter what explanation you might want to offer.

Personally I wouldn't have expected the results to break so evenly because Cold War indoctrination against anything 'socialistish' has a legacy, felt to this day.

Perhaps more and more Americans are starting to feel that the excellence rewarding systems that lead to self-reinforcing feedback loops that cause enormous amounts of people being left out in the cold, in particular on education (so I'm told) and health care, are not working for THEM?

I can't see a USSA any time soon but a shift in emphasis, probably yes...

Larry Gambone said...

The author of the article himself doesn't seem to know what socialism is. Seems to think it is statism, not workers democracy. If most Americans were to find out what socialism really is, it would be a lot higher than 30%

The Pagan Temple said...

Well, Gambone, maybe this comment from another post might, just maybe, explain what socialism "really is"-

"Cargill should be expropriated everywhere, not just Venezuela."

I feel confident that I can safely speak for the majority, in saying-

No thank you.

Renegade Eye said...

Tony: Behind the invisible hand of the market, is an iron fist.

Tao: Thank you for visiting. You have an interesting blog, that hopefully people from here, will visit.

I agree.

Pagan: It's not that black and white. Not just anything looks good to people. The ideology has to have justice for average workers and poor.

You obviously disagree with Larry G.

Anonymous: Today I was at a socialist conference, sponsored by the CWI. This poll was big news. I agree with you.

Jams: It's closer amongst youth.

Gert: I don't see USSA soon. Atleast you know a good 30% of the people can be approached.

TAO said...

We have had state subsidized capitalism for quite sometime.

My favorite example is a program the state of Kentucky has, and I am sure other states have it, where a company relocates or expands and the state allows them to participate in a program where they get 'credits' for state and local payroll taxes for all new jobs created. Basically, the company gets to keep all of the state and local payroll taxes they collect from their employees.

So you just set up a new company and capture the credit from all your employees...I call it the employee job bribery program.

Employees paying their employers a bribe to keep their jobs.

While we have socialized risk we have yet to socialize profitability and I believe younger people are better at seeing through the games and gimmicks.

Ben said...

An interesting poll.I agree with Tao that we have had state subsidized capitalism. All said and done socialism is still a no,no. This Benny from Israeli Uncensored News

Anonymous said...

or perhaps another way to rephrase this question is: what needs to happen for the current discontent to translate into an increase in class consciousness rather than degenerate into populist resentment or something even more reactionary?

les

FJ said...

...and the recent economic collapse is merely the first in what is destined to become an ever lengthening series of events reflecting the failure(s) of socialism.

LeftyHenry said...

very interesting... although many Americans take socialism to mean something more like a social democracy where healthcare and education are free but their is still free market capitalism. As the economic crisis wears on we'll see more voices against capitalism

jewbonics said...

Nonetheless, I think it's showing enormous anger at the prevailing socio-economic model. Anger is of course an organizer's dream.
I also don't mean to be a reformist on this point, I'm not, but free healthcare and education would be massive improvements...it echoes Wallerstein's call for progressive decommodification of institutions/social spheres, and that's nothing to sniff at.



Jewbonics

LeftyHenry said...

of course it would, but the history of this country has been slow, progressive reform out of a dark hell of injustice. union recognition, public education, new deal etc.. yet we're still fundamentally in the same spot as the the country was from its inception. reforms have made everything more flowery but it is still a racist, sexist, upper class state

JollyRoger said...

As Rasmussen is an unabashed right-wing poller, I have to believe that the numbers who prefer socialism are actually somewhere above 50%

Desert Mystery said...

Interesting results, would be interesting to see how these results correlate with party affiliation and whether they think the US is headed in one direction or the other.

utopia or bust said...

Dear blogger from the Anti-Stalinist Left,

In lieu of May Day 2009, I'm inviting people to take the time to answer the question, “When/if there is a revolution in the United States, what will it look like?” If you're interested schedule a post for May 1st, and let me know so I can link to it.

- uob

Renegade Eye said...

Tao: Even such a tax package for a corporation is no guarantee, it'll stay in that state.

On the other hand, a corporation may need an educated, cultured workforce, so a higher taxed area may be a better location.

Ben: Thank you for commenting here. Your comment has been the subject of discussion here, on several occasions.

Anonymous: During the Great Depression, it took a few years for consciousness to fight occured. It takes time for the timidity to go away. A bad economy is a conservatizing element.

The answer to your question lies with political leadership. Qualitative change can cause quantitative change.

FJ: I don't get it.

Jewbonics: Reforms should be fought for, and expanded. An example is EFCA. Even though not all of it is agreeable, it should be supported and expanded. With all the $$ labor gave the Democrats, they probably will let it die.

Left Henry: Great you're blogging again. I put back up the link to your blog.

eforms have made everything more flowery but it is still a racist, sexist, upper class state

I don't agree with you about reforms. Objectively you're correct, but it's not helpful to point it out.

Fighting for reforms, is not the same as being reformist.

Jolly Roger: Thank you for visiting.

I believe the numbers. The point is interpreting them.

Desert Mystery: The US population is changing and going left. There are demographic changes that are hard for the right to stop.

Most identify as Democrats.

We need a labor party. That will be our 1917.

Renegade Eye said...

Utopia or Bust: Thank you for visiting.

Utopia is the opposite of materialism. I don't believe in historical blueprints.

Forming a labor party in this country, would be a great step.

jewbonics said...

I think at the very least any reform that moves something away from the logic of capital should be applauded, and fought for, and is NOT necessarily reformist.

Decommodifying health care and education--ie, demanding that those spheres of our lives will not be governed according to the market--would be a huge step, a "real break," as Poulantzas (not usually a fan of his) put it. This is an ancient debate that isn't worth rehashing, of course, but fighting for such things like national health-care can in itself be an educational tool to deepen struggles.

Telling a working-class person without health-care that their struggle for health-care is just making things more "flowery" is worse than useless.

Jewbonics

NB: RenegadeEye, it's "Max"

thr said...

We have a Labor Party here in the antipodes, and they exist in the UK and Israel. These days, in each of the above countries, their core policies are largely indistinct from those of the conservatives. The labour movement is more important than any labour party - here the latter has even corrupted and neutered the former to a significant extent.

The focus on health care and education is crucial, even if not entirely revolutionary in the strictest sense. Here in Australia, no political party, no matter how violently neoliberal or conservative would expect to promote health/education policies like those in the US, and expect to come away unscathed. Anything other than universal health and education is inconceivable, though it should be said that elemtns of these services have been outsourced or cut back.

FJ said...

Ren - I'm not surprised that you don't "get it". For you, "socialism" is some utopian far off and unattainable "Nirvana", and not the cr*p the House and Senate Banking Committees regulate. Need housing for the poor? No problem, just mandate that the banks lend money to poor people who can't pay it back... problem solved (or so they thought).

Need more rental units for poor people? Just mandate that 1.5% of all the profits made by Fannie and Freddie go to housing rights activists and Chicago slum lords like Baracks "good friend" Tony Rezko.

thr said...

Need more rental units for poor people? Just mandate that 1.5% of all the profits made by Fannie and Freddie go to housing rights activists and Chicago slum lords like Baracks "good friend" Tony Rezko.


In other words, you've defined something that isn't 'socialism', but is pretty much capitalism as is, but with some welfare statism and subsidies for the poor.

FJ said...

Please, define "socialism" for us. Everyone who posts here has a different definition of socialism, yet all would agree that no nation has yet achieved its' much lauded goals.

Much like the pure waters of communism, it seems that every time Tantalus reaches for the "fruit" of socialism, it recedes from humanities reach. Why is that?

You'll notice how few people in the survey could answer the question... largely because the proponents of "socialism" have transformed it into an ephemeral concept they once reserved for the term "communism".

FJ said...

If I had to define "socialism", I'd have to describe it as "negation of the means by which individuals can voluntarily cooperatively prosper." It's implementation requires the complete elimination of individual liberty and replaces it with positively enforced social duties.

The Pagan Temple said...

"It's implementation requires the complete elimination of individual liberty and replaces it with positively enforced social duties."

Wow I think that's it in a nutshell.

Charlie Marks said...

But wait a minute. Could not the same thing be said for capitalism - which is to say, minority ownership of the means of production?

If the poll tells us anything its that most Americans agree with sharing the wealth but are divided as to how it is to be achieved.

FJ said...

Who said that capitalism had to represent a "minority" ownership of the means of production? The "state" through the granting of artificial "corporate" charters, provides the means by which capital gets vertically integrated and invested in the hands of the few. It is the "state" which provides all the tax incentives and expedients which lead to merchantilism as well. It's the socialists, not the capitalist, who's policies conspire to concentrate ownership of the means of production in the state, and therefore "the few".

StandTall-The Activist said...

Pple have so many confusing theory of socialism as well... I just hope a lot of will be willing to seek true understanding of what it means

FJ said...

...especially amongst those who advocate it!

It used to be people rallied under the banner of "freedom" or "liberty". Now they rally under the banner of "greater social inter-dependence and comformity to state goals".

Muser said...

Interesting post. Thanks. And any blog shaped in part by the combined influence of Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, tango, etc., et al., is, ipso facto, cool.

The Pagan Temple said...

Honestly, I think most people don't really give a damn about freedom and liberty, they just make good buzz words, sound bites, and demagogue manipulation. Ask any group of people what those concepts mean, and you won't necessarily get a different answer for every person asked, but you will get a variety of answers, and one of the most prominent answers can be summed up as "economic security".

It's among those folks where socialism makes its strongest in-roads.

FJ said...

I'll take your word for it, Pagan. I know I've got very specific definitions for both. I draw the distinction between the two through the concept of establishing "rules/ limits". Freedom is a chaotic anything goes, but once "circumscribed" by certain established "limits" (ie - a Constitution/ law) establishes "order" and predictability (much as the rules of the road create a thoroughly ordered flow of traffic throughout a transportation system w/o which chaos would reign). Of course, establishing limits also requires enforcement of certain "seemingly arbitrary" rules like "always staying to the right." For some strange reason, some people insist upon denigrating their arbitrariness and subsequently violating these simple rules, resulting in a myriad of tragic fatalities....

Renegade Eye said...

I'll be replying tonight.

I like this discussion. It is interesting. The other aspect is so many new to this blog are involved.

The Pagan Temple said...

So in other words freedom might best be described as man's natural inclinations, where liberty might best be described as the freedom which is granted by the state, with modifications. My only quibble would be that in the American version, it is the state which is empowered, ideally, by the people, not the other way around, though we do grant the government those regulatory powers-which of course they then proceed to twist and take advantage of, all the while merrily undermining the power of the people who empowered them to begin with.

Or so it seems.

Renegade Eye said...

Max: I agree with you on the nature of reforms.

THR: I agree with you about the nature of some labor parties. There is a big difference between even what became a reactionary party like the Israeli Labor Party, is that they are based on labor. It's a cardinal rule of politics, that when workers are in motion, they first go to parties they are most familiar with. In May68 France Communist and Socialist Party membership jumped. In Pakistan millions came out to greet Benazir Bhutto. The Democratic Party is a totally bourgeoise party.

Stand Tall: Thank you for visiting. I'm sure your experiences will add to the discussions here.

Charlie Marks: I hope you come here more often.

I agree.

Muser: Your blogs are very good.

FJ: They rally around power to the workers.

The cup I'm drinking cocoa from, isn't a product of individual initiative. Hundreds of people were involved in the process, even someone who fug the clay. It was put in a kiln, packaged, transported, wholesaled and retailed.

I believe socialism is similar to the Paris Commune of 1871.

Socialism has better chances today than ever before. Stalinism has no material basis to be a force. The US has the wealth to build houses and schools for need.

Pagan: I think FJ's definitions are not bad.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I'm surprised that half of Americans know what capitalism and socialism are?

Joke.

Kinda.

FJ said...

They rally around power to the workers....in the same way that kings used to rally around power to the peasants (as a means to offsetting/ checking the REAL power of the aristocrats).

The View from Steeltown said...

We should not underestimate the fact that a critical mass is now considering "socialism" (whatever it means to them) as a possible or viable alternative to capitalism (again whatever it means to them). What we can get from this is that people are dissatisfied with the kind of society in which they live (which is objectively the Capital set of social relations) and they are seeking for something better (which meet their needs in a meaningful way). Capitalism cannot give them that. To paraphrase Renegade Eye, it is our job to make sure that "socialism" can offer a decent, practical and meaningful alternative to the destructive and oppressive power of Capitalism. That a large number of young people are even willing to consider giving socialism a chance is an historical opportunity for radical and revolutionary change within the United states.

FJ said...

In other words, you appeal to their ignorance and naivete to sow dissatisfaction with the status quo and offer them "hope" and "change" with nothing specific in mind.

Yep, MOST people are JUST STUPID ENOUGH to fall for it.

FJ said...

Alinsky, "Rules for Radicals": "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Steeltown: "it is our job to make sure that "socialism" can offer a decent, practical and meaningful alternative...."

Steeltown: " a critical mass is now considering "socialism" (whatever it means to them)"The day you connect the dot's between a nebulous "whatever it means to them" and "a decent, practical and meaningful alternative" is the day I'll sing the Internationale. But until then, I'd advise people against believing that Marxist "deconstructionists" and Frankfurt School "critical theorists" have ANY "decent, practical or meaningful" alternatives to offer. Especially since they're completely incapable of verbalizing ANY of these "practical" alternatives in a coherent fashion.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

Farmer seems to be channeling Herbert Spencer with more enthusiasm than usual. Or you can dress it up as its neurotic Nietzschean equivalent, same thing.

You made more sense Farmer when you were asking if free markets can regulate themselves to reconcile the Malthusian prospect(Freaking hint: They can't). Neoclassical purists will need to embrace social planning in some form and we just want to have the say on who is included because you folks have been making a serious cock up of the world economy lately with your little Nietzschean aphorisms designed to mask the neuroses caused by not really being sure that capitalism and America have a big schlong.

When freedom, economic necessity, and economic theory collide; there is the call for a social contract and a democratic socialist resolution.

FJ said...

Who would EVER want to reconcile the Maltheusian prospect?

Either "Mother Nature" will force humanity to kill the current excess 5 billion people on this planet or some "central world planner" will. You cast your vote for the one worlder controlled "central planner" saving the weakest and most oppressed. I vote for allowing Mother Nature to ensure the outcome as she always has... through the survival of the "fittest".

Why? Because the one-worlder central state planner is going to save HIS OWN ASS and HIS OWN RACE, and doesn't give 2 sh*ts about the weak OR the oppressed.

FJ said...

from Garrett Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons"

EROSION OF THE MYTH OF ADMINISTRATORS OF THE COMMONS

"Indeed, the process has been so widely commented upon that one writer postulated a common life cycle for all of the attempts to develop regulatory policies. The life cycle is launched by an outcry so widespread and demanding that it generates enough political force to bring about establishment of a regulatory agency to insure the equitable, just, and rational distribution of the advantages among all holders of interest in the commons. This phase is followed by the symbolic reassurance of the offended as the agency goes into operation, developing a period of political quiescence among the great majority of those who hold a general but unorganized interest in the commons. Once this political quiescence has developed, the highly organized and specifically interested groups (ACORN, etc.) who wish to make incursions into the commons bring sufficient pressure to bear through other political processes to convert the agency to the protection and furthering of their interests."
Any of this sound familiar? It's what the Obama Adminsistration is doing as we speak.

FJ said...

Link for people unfamiliar with the Maltheusian prospect mr. ducky has mentioned...

FJ said...

It would take a true "Overman" to guide humanity into surpassing human nature. So far, they've all been pathetic Court Jesters...

FJ said...

Of course, mr ducky would trust in his ubermensch central planner to discern those who bore the mark of Gideon...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Bloody hell FJ, how many comments, it's not quantity but quality.

You seem to be talking to yourself.

FJ said...

Well, Daniel, unlike "the many" I like to source and/or illustrate my comments with examples. That typically requires a little more time and effort then one who simply ejaculates the first thought that springs to mind like, "F' off you racist pig," and it also makes it much more easy for me to lose entirely a comment that I've put a lot of work into.

So rather than save everything to a separate document to be pasted in as a whole to make it convenient for Hoffman-Gill to read, I build the comment in pieces, saving each piece as it gets built.

Regardless, though, I suggest that you try and get used to the fact that I really don't care whether it bothers you or not.

FJ said...

btw - mr. ducky, capitalism has a very BIG schlong, and so does America when the pussies with the (D)s next to their names aren't doing all their typical hand-wringing near the White House.

thr said...

FJ, this is just a one-dimensional, comic book attempt to transpose Nietzsche into the discussion. Even you will be embarrassed by it when you sober up the next day.

Now, nobody needs to sow 'dissatisfaction' with the status quo. The dissatisfaction is well and truly there. People have a range of options to deal with it, some of which aren't great (fascism, gentrified versions of which are advocated by your talk show hosts; apathy and depression, etc). There's nothing wrong with giving people some radical left options.

Central planning is not inherently evil or anything else. It simply isn't useful or democratic in some circumstances. Note that nobody objects to the vast levels of centralisation in big corporations, for instance.

The choice is hardly one between world government and 'survival of the fittest' vis-a-vis 'mother nature'. This latter option would effectively be a survival of the richest, since even a slight drop in income and living conditions for the developing world is capable of causing mass death.
I take it that brave bourgeois bankers are your 'ubermensch', then?


Finally, capitalism is not yet in its death throes. It is, however, needing massive transfers of wealth from taxpayers to the finance industry et. al. to survive as is. Given that the status quo ain't that good to begin with, said taxpayers have a pretty legitimate rallying point.

FJ said...

FJ, this is just a one-dimensional, comic book attempt to transpose Nietzsche into the discussion.You'll have to blame "the duck" for dragging Nietzsche into this discussion. As for my being one-dimensional, I'm afraid you'll have to look to Herbert Marcuse for the original attribution of THAT particular fault to me... but unlike some I have no stomach for fawning over the Left's prescribed anti-dote to single dimensionality (embracing "critical theory") as a "practical" solution. Nietzsche may have advocated the "sounding of idols" and "philosophizing with a hammer", but we all know that anyone can "de-construct" a house, but it takes real dialectical skill to build one.

Now, nobody needs to sow 'dissatisfaction' with the status quo. The dissatisfaction is well and truly there. Please. I had to put up w/Bush Derangement Syndrome for 8 long years so please don't try and lecture me about "nobody needing to sow dissatisfaction with the status quo." So, right, nobody needs to do that...now... the Democrats are in power again...

People have a range of options to deal with it, some of which aren't great (fascism, gentrified versions of which are advocated by your talk show hosts; apathy and depression, etc). There's nothing wrong with giving people some radical left options.Yes there are a wide range of options and No, there isn't anything wrong with the Left offering some... provided you don't proceed to offer them, and then shout down the Right at every turn... call them "racist homophobes" and prevent anything like an honest exchange of ideas taking place. Perhaps the reasons why some of those ideas don't "appear to be all that great" is that you refuse to allow a complete and frank discussion of them. You immediately apply the label "immoral" to the right's argument and thereby a priori tell the crowd to reject them, ignoring the fact that there is "generation from opposites". You accuse me of being one-dimensional... the Left loves a monologue.

Central planning is not inherently evil or anything else. It simply isn't useful or democratic in some circumstances. Note that nobody objects to the vast levels of centralisation in big corporations, for instance.Large corporations are not empowered with the ability to FORCE people to comply with their wishes, to either work for them or buy their products. They must "orally persuade" their customers to buy them, and if they fail to satisfy their customers demands, must go out of business. Failing governments, on the other hand, tend to start rigging elections and abrogating the "republican" social contract... w/brown shirt tactics involving forceful intimidation (look at Venezuela's murder rate).

The choice is hardly one between world government and 'survival of the fittest' vis-a-vis 'mother nature'.No, mother nature transcends BOTH conditions. It's the Left that insists upon acquiring control of all the "means of production" necessary for establishing the socialist worker's paradise (where nobody ever does any work).

This latter option would effectively be a survival of the richest, since even a slight drop in income and living conditions for the developing world is capable of causing mass death.That is the Maltheusian problem, in a nut-shell (food production grows in linear fashion, population grows exponentially). Once the planet has become optimized for sustaining "high levels of population", mass death becomes inevitable and this is due ENTIRELY to over-population.

Now it is in this regard only that I must tip my hat to Herbert Marcuse and the New Left's solution of deconstructing the nuclear family ("Eros and Civilization"). Unfortunately for the New Left, the developing world has largely ignored their prescription. We are therefore left with witnessing the de facto "Suicide of the West".

I take it that brave bourgeois bankers are your 'ubermensch', then? Nope, they're responsible for subsidizing and maintaining the greatest productivity surge and population growth in human history. To intimate that capitalism is in ANY way responsible for the market calamities we've seen in the past few years would be a gross misreading of the economic power of capitalism as described by Adam Smith in his classic 1776 treatise "The Wealth of Nations".

Finally, capitalism is not yet in its death throes. Capitalism isn't in it's death throws, the corruption of it previously known as SOCIALISM is.

It is, however, needing massive transfers of wealth from taxpayers to the finance industry et. al. to survive as is. LOL! All these transfers of wealth are being diverted by the government from productive capitalist to social parasites for "health care" and the social support systems New Left liberals prescribed in the West which have replaced the traditional "nuclear family".

Given that the status quo ain't that good to begin with, said taxpayers have a pretty legitimate rallying point. Indeed they do... only the Left can't afford to let them realize the truth behind the cause of their current predicament.

thr said...

Please. I had to put up w/Bush Derangement Syndrome for 8 long years so please don't try and lecture me about "nobody needing to sow dissatisfaction with the status quo." So, right, nobody needs to do that...now... the Democrats are in power again...How incredibly narrow and stupid. Try to think beyond the blinkers of party politics if you wish to keep up, please. Both the GOP and the Dems have only marginal differences in most policies, particularly as the regards the economy. The grievances that exist can therefore be understood to relate to broader structural issues, not merely who is in congress or the presidency. (Having said that, you could make a reasonable argument that aggressively belligerant presidencies, such as W's in his first term, might 'sharpen the contradictions' in the populace a little, to use a Marxist phrase).


Failing governments, on the other hand, tend to start rigging elections and abrogating the "republican" social contract... w/brown shirt tactics involving forceful intimidation (look at Venezuela's murder rate).This is a moronic smokescreen. Venezuela's elections are more legitimate than those in the US, and the admittedly high crime rate is not principally the work of Chavista 'brownshirts'. (cf. Mexico and Colombia).

Now, you keep referring to 'deconstruction' and 'critical theory'. Before you relate these to the left, please do us the favour of at least getting some basic education in Derrida, Adorna, etc, as you are conflating vastly different things in the midst of your inchoate gibberish.



To intimate that capitalism is in ANY way responsible for the market calamities we've seen in the past few years would be a gross misreading of the economic power of capitalism as described by Adam Smith in his classic 1776 treatise "The Wealth of Nations".Yeah, there's no capitalist market anywhere, and the investment banks of Wall St are Marxists. LOL.


All these transfers of wealth are being diverted by the government from productive capitalist to social parasites for "health care" and the social support systems New Left liberals prescribed in the West which have replaced the traditional "nuclear family".So you're okay with bailouts for banks, but talk about health care for the poor (or for everybody), and you start clutching your pearls? If you want to talk about parasitism, do you realise how much your country spends on 'defense'?

Got any more GOP talking points to mix with pseudo-philosophy?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

THR:

FJ isn't drunk believe it or not, perhaps on his own sense of power but not fine ale. I know, it is hard to believe.

From a previous discussion, FJ's loves the average American, they seem to be his ubermensch.

FJ is also so far to the right on most issues that he nearly becomes the left but the mix of puesdo-philosophy and talking points are the tools of his trade here.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ:

There really is no need for all your excessive commenting, that drifts further and further from the post subject matter.

And your research amounts to, as thr puts it: "a one-dimensional, comic book attempt to transpose Nietzsche into the discussion." the only thing he missed was the word EVERY discussion. It's not Ducky's fault, you always shoe horn it in as if is is an argument winner. Also, thing shave moved on somewhat since 1776.

All this is up to you of course, freedom of expression and all that, just looks silly that's all.

As does your bringing up of the victim role regarding the terms homophobe and racist, we've gone over this before, if you use language that is homophobic and racist then you will be called such things as such language cannot be allowed to stand.

And you accuse the left of loving a monologue coming from you of all people, who would be more than willing to fill every comment thread here with endless comments and block quotes. That seems to be monologuing at it's worst wouldn't you say?

And I know you don't care but I have a freedom to express my thoughts here, as do you.

FJ said...

ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem.

Yep, that's the Laft's argument, in a nutshell.

And you accuse the left of loving a monologue coming from you of all people, who would be more than willing to fill every comment thread here with endless comments and block quotes.Ren is the exception... but you are the rule. "Off with his head! Verdict first, trial later!"

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I have no idea what your comment means.

It doesn't make any sense, well, not to me anyway but I'm sure it does to you.

FJ said...

Oooops. Pardon me, I misquoted. Sentence first, verdict later. Happy now, oh clueless one?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Clueless one?

You're projecting your own issues onto me, all I'm asking for is clarity rather than you just commenting nonsense here.

Being obtuse and illusory, as you are, isn't cool FJ.

FJ said...

Well, you'll just have to try and keep up. I'm not about to start dumbing it down for you, Daniel.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Dumbing down?

Heh, it's more about actually dealing with the issues presented rather than hiding behind smokescreens but whatever you want to call it.

FJ said...

I'll stick with dumbing down, Daniel, thanks.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Never doubted you'd do anything else.

Good dodge by the way.

FJ said...

I see you're still suffering from "last wordism".

Never the less, carry on!

Gert said...

Ayn Rand, anyone?

FJ said...

...that depends. Is she still sporting the stiletto heels and long cigarette holder she wore in the Helmut Newton photo shoot Ren posted about two weeks back?

FJ said...

There are few things I object to more than objectivism... unless it's not Ellsworth Toohey (her Immanuel Kant strawman)

FJ said...

Now Kant was perhaps the only true socialist who has ever lived. Rand's Toohey completely missed the mark.

FJ said...

But since the "lights" at the Objectivist Institute consistently argue that Toohey is a Kant stand-in... we'll, they should know, shouldn't they?

Gert said...

Oh, I don't think she was ever that randy...

FJ said...

You must not know her very well. You never happened to read Tobias Wolfe's "Old School" did you?

FJ said...

Of course in the novel, Rand later shows up at the school... complete with cigarette holder...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And I think you're suffering from verbal diarrhea FJ.

So it goes.

FJ said...

Naw, you just a hungry coprophagiac, and I represent a wish fulfillment to you.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Wrong again.

So it goes.

FJ said...

No your right, I'm not a wish fulfillment to you. I'm not gay. LOL!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Are you really going to do this with this thread and the other one?

You do know that I'll email Ren to close them as happened last time?

So top the sillyness now and move on.

So it goes.

FJ said...

I'd like EVERYONE to NOW note who started with the "verbal diarreah" insults...

Last word Danny ruins ANOTHER thread.

So it goes...

Anonymous said...

I've said this in the other one that you and the Brit are being foolish in, can the pair of you stop spoiling this blog please?

FJ said...

Tell it to the Brit.... he's the smart-ass "Mr. Last Word" on every thread.

Anonymous said...

I've told it to the Brit and I agree but you're as bad and surely it is a waste of your time and utterly pointless?

FJ said...

I'll admit that it's a total and complete waste of MY time, but there is a point to it, and I think I've shown you WHERE it is.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ, do we have to do this?

FJ said...

You started this dance, my friend. If you don't like the TAT stop being such a TIT.

FJ said...

If you're going to respond to my comments in the future, do so demonstrating something resembling "reason" or I'll take your comment for what it is... last wordism. Simply stating, "You're wrong," without offering an explanation as to "why", is simply an act of last wordism.

And if I'm wrong, you'll have to explain "why" I'm wrong. And believe it or not, getting Ren to agree with you, or you agreeing with Ren does NOT settle ANY debate.

Socrates was sentenced to the hemlock by a 'vote'. You would have us believe that such a vote would render the verdict "just".

Here's your opportunity to either offer the last word, or offer a last word.

Got it? A "yes" will suffice to answer and END this discussion. A 'but' will demonstrate to the world just who the real ass is.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ:

You'll be glad that this is my last comment in this thread, because I am the better man, I do not want to this to be 300+ nonsense which forces Ren to close the thread to comments.

To be clear, you have a serious problem FJ, you can't not have the last word, in every thread you contribute to you have to take the last word, even when long ago you have lost the argument.

Sometimes, amusingly, you have 3 last words, talking, as you always have, to yourself.

I hope having the last word here brings you some sense of fufillment in your life, no doubt, sadly, it will but while you protest to much that the last wordism is my problem it will be you that will desperately have it.

You never accept when you're wrong FJ, you presume you are always right, no matter what is presented, you are dead-set, closed minded and you know that will stunt your growth and clearly has already. Hence the urge you have to have the last word, as if that makes up for it.

I know that your need to have the last word will be the most fitting comment on your contribution to this blog and to blogging in general.

Pointless, empty postuting by a fragile and depserate soul.

Thankfully, I will never read it.

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