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Author Topic: champagne socialists
clearview
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posted 08 June 2004 04:59 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What sort of lifestyle is acceptable for a person that self-identifies as a socialist, or even someone who says that we need to do more to alleviate problems that arise from economic inequities.

...continued from This Thread

Edited to fix link.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: clearview ]

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: clearview ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 08 June 2004 05:05 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was just reading the end of that thread and thinking about this question.

I am a socialist -- and would say I live a very humble lifestyle. But then money things have never been particularily important to me. In the money versus quality of life, I pick the quality of life side of the equation everytime.

But I certainly saw what was described in the other thread, especially in university.


From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jimmytheweed
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posted 08 June 2004 05:13 PM      Profile for Jimmytheweed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just in case you missed my last posting on the last thread:

Nah, clearview, all I'm saying is I got pretty pissed off having some millionaire preaching to me about how I should act as a member of the working class. Hell I was a piledriver for 7 years before going to university and was raised working class. I don't need a millionaire with a jet and BMW to explain to me how I should feel about it, I friggin well lived it.

Nonetheless this should prove to be an interesting thread.


From: Gatineau, Quebec | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 05:14 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is a topic worthy of a new thread and thanks for firing it up.

The examples I was pointing out involved people living within some pretty gross luxury to be speaking of what they were.

How much is too much though? Tough question. My own view of course is to leave that to the individual but if the individual chooses to live the fine life, I would appreciate it if they shut the hell up about caring about the rest.

On some levels we are told to feel guilty for eating meat as the grain used in the production of that meat could have fed far more than the meat it produced. Those that live a vegan lifestyle are welcome to point that out. Others can kiss my ass.

Art galleries are another great area to see these crocodile tears shed for the poor. How many times have you been to a function for a new artist and listened to some self-proclaimed socialist condemning evil capitalists while drinking some mighty fine wine and eating some exotic cheeses. I am sure that a cheap bottle and some Kraft slices could have sufficed.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jimmytheweed
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posted 08 June 2004 05:31 PM      Profile for Jimmytheweed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Morgan, you've brought out two types of socialists who IMHO aren't socialists. First are the rich who feign being socialists to assuage there guilt or some other perverese reason and the other are those who adopt socialist ideals as a marketing ploy to make a buck.

Isn't that what you just said?


From: Gatineau, Quebec | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Raos
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posted 08 June 2004 05:34 PM      Profile for Raos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You can still be a socialist and live a more padded lifestyle, though. I think that's a better message to get out, rather than social programs and social liberalism being the end of the wealthy. Why can only somebody who is living or has lived in a situation be the only voice that can present that view? I'm sure none of you would whole-heartedly believe somebody of another religion tell you that their way is the path to true happiness? By this logic, you can't disagree, because you aren't living that lifestyle to disagree with.
From: Sweet home Alaberta | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 05:36 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thats pretty much some of it.

There are those who claim to be social conservatives, preach their morals to the world, and have same sex affairs on the side.

What I am trying to break down is the difficulty in categorizing anybody most especially using the simplistic left/right definitions.

I won't hide my leanings on either side of the issue thus I have trouble fitting into any particular party or philosophy.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 05:43 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Soar:
yes a person can live an affluent lifestyle while still promoting some forms of socialism. It all depends on the individual and the situation. I just loath hypocrisy in all forms.

I would suggest that those taking socialism/collectivism to heart may want to try and distance themselves from the champagne set because it does provide easy pickings for one such as me when I am attacking socialism.

Champagne socialists grant me a great analogy to point out when speaking at townhall meetings in Alberta. Some individuals may not be well read in political philosophy and need things broken down for them. The Michael Enrights of the world help me do that terrifically.


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lagatta
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posted 08 June 2004 05:50 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Engels bankrolled Marx.

On another point, Kraft slices are chemical-laden poison. A person who makes enough SHOULD actually be buying real, organically-produced cheese from small local producers.

I don't like wasteful consumption either, but hate miserabilism even more.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 05:54 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK I used a poor example on the cheese thing. I can't gag those slices down myself.

Engels walked the walk. I can respect that even if I disagree with the philosophy that he promoted.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 05:54 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
What I am trying to break down is the difficulty in categorizing anybody most especially using the simplistic left/right definitions.

I won't hide my leanings on either side of the issue ...


Actually you've been pretty consistently right-wing. It just appears to yourself that you're not.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 05:58 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Depends on you definition of right wing. Economically, most often yes though I don't believe in completely unrestrained capitalism. I see monopolies as the greatest threat to citizens whether corporate or government.

Socially I am most definately not right wing. We have been speaking mostly on economic issues though.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jimmytheweed
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posted 08 June 2004 05:59 PM      Profile for Jimmytheweed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree Soar, you don't have to be poor to be a socialist and its a pretty sorry way of selling socialism if only poor people can sell it.

That being said, unless you were born working class and have lived working class you can't really understand that world can you.

You can sympathise and certainly help the socialist cause but you can't really understand being working class if you've never lived it.

I manage a federal Aboriginal program. I visit Aboriginal communities across Canada. I sympathise with their grievances. I try to understand their problems but unless I was Aboriginal and lived in their shoes I really can't say I understand their situation can I?


From: Gatineau, Quebec | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 08 June 2004 06:00 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Capt'n:
You bring up odd examples.

Why should fine wine and good cheese be acceptable only for those who do not espouse socialism? As Lagatta points out, if may even be healthier for us.

(but I guess this has been dealt with)

What is the champagne set? I haven't been able to figure out if you mean people who are independently wealthy through capitalist investments, or those who have higher than average incomes that have come through joining a profession, or entering academia?


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N-SIGN
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posted 08 June 2004 06:01 PM      Profile for N-SIGN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I could on some level be considered a "champagne socialist" even though I don't really make much money.

I tend to wear designer clothes, have visited other countries, been a part of think tanks, and could discuss the relative stengths and weaknesses of Karl Marx's works. I admit that I only really understand the issues of the hardhat left only from an intellectual standpoint - I don't really know what it is like to operate a crane or drill press all day. It would be really presumptious of me to pretend I knew.

The fact is though, that guy almost certainly earns more money than I do - even though our tastes, priorities, and styles are different.

I met some of these guys campaigning, and there is a certain level of disconnect between us - but since we both ultimately care about the same things - better lives for regular people - I think we should have no problems.

As long as I don't expect him to engage me on the esoterics of socialism I don't think I should have to be up to speed on all the issues of the shop floor.

Some people can do both, and I salute them. In the meantime, I think we should just look to serve the greater good and not be petty and backbiting towards our allies who chose a different lifestyle.

(also the link in this thread does not work, and I would like to read the article)


From: Canada | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 June 2004 06:06 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that with their highest concentration of millionaires in the world, Europeans live fairly well within an equitable society. You can have an affluent society and still afford social democracy. Singapore has risen faster and further than Hong Kong while affording social justice. Singapore has been socialist since the 1960's, and on average, their citizens earn the world's fifth highest incomes.

I think that although Canada now taxes capital more on par with the European economies and less so than Uncle Sam, the federal liberals have been underfunding universities, colleges, health care, the unemployment insurance thefts and more. Paul Martin has been using socialist models for taxation and yet hasn't re-invested the resultant surplus into Canada's social safety net. Hundreds of other countries have varying degrees of social democracy which benefits their citizens, so where is this right wing ideology coming from on the part of the so called centrist Liberals who promise to spend more on military industrial corporate welfare while gutting our social programs ?.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 06:14 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I see having a taste for the finer things in life as being no sin at all. If somebody self-proclaimed socialist or otherwise has earned their money, by all means they should enjoy it however they see fit.

The worst offenders for the double standard in my view come from academia, inheiritance, and the arts community.

I bring up the arts community as that is where I have encountered much of this. They love to speak in lofty ideals and to go on about social causes. Yet they enjoy the finer things such as the wines and loft apartments due to government grants or managing to grab some horrific prices for their productions (good on em if its private money).

Tenured profs are not exactly starving but I am sure that nearly everybody has sat through some lectures now and then about the evils of wealth. Those profs have often had little exposure to anything outside of educational institutions.

As for those who encountered their money by birth, well they likely will piss it away before long after receiving it so it is of little consequence.

The common denominator I see is that the champagne socialist attitude hits most among those who did not have to work too terribly hard for their fortunes.

Those who had to battle their way to affluence feel little guilt when they are enjoying it despite what some socialist idealists may tell them.

From the other postings it looks like most others have encountered this sort at one time or another.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 06:16 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some of this discussion of social class is confusing. It's not even clear to me that everyone who uses the term "working class" would even accept that classes exist in society. A strange contradiction.

The right wing view is that class is an adjective and not a noun. A question of style or something. Nothing could be further from the truth. But regardless of a person's social class or class origin, anyone can change their class orientation. It is a question of effort and willingness to work at it.

The most fundamental question of all, whether you drink wine or tea, eat brie or Kraft slices, use a hammer or use a pen is which side of the fence you are on. Right or left. Kapish? It's not all that hard for those that are clear on the concept.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 06:20 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"But regardless of a person's social class or class origin, anyone can change their class orientation. It is a question of effort and willingness to work at it."

Couldn't have said it better myself. In light of that though, why do I have any obligation to those who wont put in the effort?


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 06:25 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
...why do I have any obligation to those who wont put in the effort?

What sort of obligation?


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 06:32 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm, lets see. How much tax should I pay for government funding for artists who cant cut it on their own.How much in tax should I pay in order to subsidize the tuition of others? How much tax should I pay to subsidize our First Nations? How much tax should I pay for welfare? How much tax for subsidized housing? Is that enough?

Using your thesis, all of those people benefiting from those programs should be just fine without my tax dollars. They just need to work for it.

I don't support the totally eliminating those programs. But damn I get tired of being told I should feel guilty for even questioning how much I pay for them.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 June 2004 06:34 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But regardless of a person's social class or class origin, anyone can change their class orientation. It is a question of effort and willingness to work at it.

Higher education or job training has been shown to increase the chances of this occurring. So then why are universities, colleges and job training programs being underfunded by the federal liberals and provincial conservatives throughout Canada ?. As Jack Layton says, students from poorer class backgrounds are owing what amounts to student loan debt sentences in Canada. It's like having a mortgage without a house.

In fact, there are 13 socialist countries in Europe where there are no university tuition fees.

Is it any wonder that Canada is short of physicians, specialists, and in the coming years,a teacher shortage. Where does this leave room for class mobility in Canada ?.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 08 June 2004 06:38 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mmmm, exotic cheeses.
Although actually when it comes to expensive there's not really so much difference between decent real cheese that's cheddar and decent real cheese that's something more interesting. Cheese is freakin' expensive.
Most other interesting or "sophisticated" foods are actually way cheaper to make than it costs to order a pizza. Heck, lots of cool multinational food is cheaper than Kraft Dinner. It's the time and effort that are harder to come by.

It seems to me that often, what makes people consider someone a "champagne socialist" has more to do with taste than money. It's about enjoying wimpy stuff and not liking sports, where proper workers drink beer and watch football. Going back to the artist example--you know, most of those artists are actually poor. There's a few who make it big and sell something for a bundle. But for the rest, they're munching that exotic cheese while the munching's good, because tomorrow it's back to beans, rice or Macbarfo's and their room sharing a dank basement suite. Most of them really are willing to be half-starved for the chance to do art and/or spend time being pretentious. But people think they must be rich or they couldn't afford to spend their time on something we consider fringe or nonessential rather than giving in and flipping burgers for a living and joining mass culture. It isn't generally so; people in art, dance, acting and so forth make little money and the money they do make tends to be unreliable. If the leftist ones are "champagne socialists" it must be because of the aesthetics they affect and the priorities they adopt, not anything to do with actual income.

I don't think it's really legitimate to dump people out of the progressive movement because their aesthetics aren't working class enough.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 06:40 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I bring up the arts community as that is where I have encountered much of this. They love to speak in lofty ideals and to go on about social causes. Yet they enjoy the finer things such as the wines and loft apartments due to government grants or managing to grab some horrific prices for their productions (good on em if its private money).

This. Is. Such. Total. Crap.

Sorry. No quarter. No intelligent adult should have to argue this any further.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 06:42 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is getting expensive to get an education. Thats why I had to work while attending.

What should be questioned though is where all that education money is going.

Considering that the student still sees only 20% of the tuition costs directly and based on an 80 student course which has about 40 lecture hours. Lets say the tuition for the student was about $500 (about standard) this typical course using one prof and maybe a couple volunteers costs $5000 per hour to hold. Nice little racket there.

How many courses can a prof do per day anyway?

Education, native and healthcare spending are considered sacred cows in this country. It seems we get labelled as greedy for even questioning the spending on them.

I spend more than enough on those. Streamline the outcome for the dollars spent, then we can talk about me paying more for them.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 June 2004 06:43 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree. I'm a socialist, and I wouldn't know a Van Gogh from a Mel Blanc. Socialists come from all walks of life. Why focus on such a narrow bunch of us ?. This whole discussion is invalid.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 08 June 2004 06:45 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
Tenured profs are not exactly starving but I am sure that nearly everybody has sat through some lectures now and then about the evils of wealth. Those profs have often had little exposure to anything outside of educational institutions.

You know, I've been hanging around a university for the past twenty years and have never heard any university prof lecture about the evils of wealth. For that matter, tenured profs are increasingly rare as sessionals making insecure wages become the rule. And the ones most ivory-towerish seem generally to be the more right-wing business, economics etc. types, who lecture about the evils of helping the poor.

C.Morgan, you're pushing a very flimsy stereotype.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 08 June 2004 06:46 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N-SIGN:
In the meantime, I think we should just look to serve the greater good and not be petty and backbiting towards our allies who chose a different lifestyle.

I agree. I hope that my simply asking is not taken to be petty. I was asking because I've heard calls of hypocrite before of a number of people, especially those with a high profile in the media.

In my opinion, it is a right wing rhetorical technique (kind of like an opposite of 'white trash') to try and discourage people who live comfortable lives from engaging in socialist ideas and activity.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
steffie
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posted 08 June 2004 06:47 PM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The huge student debt serves to motivate me to get a good paying job to pay the loan off! But, what if there are no jobs available? What then of my "earned class?" In limbo?

I think the issue of "living the high life" versus "working class" has been painted a little too black-and-white.

I came from a professional family, yet enjoyed none of the perks (toys, cars, disposable income) mentioned above. It's a mistake to generalize about people who come from a "good" family. Our lives are not always easy.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 08 June 2004 06:52 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
Lets say the tuition for the student was about $500 (about standard)

Are you talking per course? Here at SFU we're looking at about $2000 per semester, which would make $4000 per year. Plus student fees and vastly inflated textbooks. But yeah, one course for one semester would be $500. And no, it's not %20 any more.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 06:56 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes I am pushing some stereotypes, yes I am using rhetoric. It is stimulating the discussion though it is being dismissed as petty.

There are some who fall into the stereotype of 'champagne socialist' and I think it undercuts (or at least allows me to undercut)what many who honestly champion socialism are trying to get across. Worth addressing I would think.

If nothing else I am showing you the tools that are given to me in my opposition of your cause. You would be well served to try and take them away from me.

As for student debt, see my above posting regarding education spending.

As for getting a job after school, there are plenty out there if you were wise enough to study something more practical than Womens Studies for example.

As for a shortage of professionals, that is more due to our taxing them out of the country rather than our lack of production of them. Until we address the 'Brain Drain', increased educational input will only achieve the better education of future Americans.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 06:58 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
Using your thesis, all of those people benefiting from those programs should be just fine without my tax dollars. They just need to work for it.

Not quite. You're mixing apples and oranges, calling them all fruit, and wondering why your apples sauce looks funny and costs a lot. Slow down there pal.

You've jumped from the question of social orientation of an individual to questions of public policy for all of society. What a leap!

Whatever social class a person belongs to, or chooses to side with, public policy that is worth supporting stands on its own. That should be clear. Your jump seems ...disingenious.

quote:
Hmm, lets see. How much tax should I pay for ...artists...tuition...our First Nations...welfare...subsidized housing.

What public policies do you support? Your class orientation should help here...as a guide.

Artists? I would say have some sort of peer review and pay the ones that reach that standard enough to live. And make sure that their Canadian art is distributed ...so the rest of us can see it.

Tuition: free. Again, set a standard and all those who meet it get in free. They do this in Europe and it works fine.

our First Nations: Damn it! They're not "our" First Nations! They're their own. How about settle the land claims expediently, thus giving them a revenue base. Of course we could just ask them what they want. They might even tell us.

But enough already. It all depends on what you think is the public good. And, as I noted already, this is not the same question as your social or class orientation. Enough already.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 06:59 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, gee, it is so true. All my writing friends and I spend almost all day every day just lying about in picturesque settings in downtown Toronto (query: does anyone know of a picturesque setting in downtown Toronto?), sipping away on the Moet et Chandon, talking socialism while being really really mean to the real people who have made artists in Canada just so filthy filthy rich.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 June 2004 07:00 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You'd make a lousy right winger, Rufus.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 08 June 2004 07:00 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bah, have run out of time. We are digressing into a myriad of issues that can be better addressed in other threads and I look forward to it.

Been fun tho.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 08 June 2004 07:01 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As for getting a job after school, there are plenty out there if you were wise enough to study something more practical than Womens Studies for example.


From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 June 2004 07:04 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd like to be an engineer, too. That is, once Nortel and the rest of telecom that makes up 8% of our economy gets their sh!t together.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 June 2004 07:09 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
does anyone know of a picturesque setting in downtown Toronto?)

I can think of several, but it might be nostalgia talking.

Personally, rather than being a Champagne socialist, I'd prefer to be an Armagnac anarchist.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 08 June 2004 07:11 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What about a Colt45 Capitalist?
From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 June 2004 07:13 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Colt 45? Bleah. Better to be a Guinness Green.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 07:14 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Didn't Goebbels state that when he heard the word "culture" he reached for his gun? Perhaps it was a Colt. 45.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 June 2004 07:15 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Perhaps so. He certainly wasn't a Luger Liberal.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 07:22 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:

I can think of several, but it might be nostalgia talking.

Personally, rather than being a Champagne socialist, I'd prefer to be an Armagnac anarchist.


*heart*

Damn. I can't find the Armagnac.

Mind you, we have at least three different single malts here, one of them unnamed, and those are the best, as you will know, mon Colonel.

I see also a strange flavoured vodka, left by a visiting cousin of the next generation (where did these young persons learn their tastes? I ask you!), about a quarter-cup of Kirsch (but sheesh, Colonel, I need that for the next fondue), and a really pretty bottle of dark rum (hands off! eh?).

So: how decadent and depraved a socialist do you wish to become, mon Colonel? *hopeful smiley*


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 08 June 2004 07:23 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
sipping away on the Moet et Chandon,

Yes that's all we did in Women's Studies too.


From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 08 June 2004 07:24 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So: how decadent and depraved a socialist do you wish to become, mon Colonel?

Well, I'm not likely to become more decadent and depraved, skdadl, at least not under the influence of mere alcohol. (How good a socialist I am we'll leave for another occasion).

But a nice single malt would slip down very nicely, if you'd be so kind.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 07:24 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Work is the curse of the drinking class."
Oscar Wilde

From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 07:31 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kuba:

Yes that's all we did in Women's Studies too.


Well, and Northrop Frye was famous for letting the Moet et Chandon flow freely, over there at (eek!) Victoria College, during his depraved and abandoned seminars on poetics.

Art and social justice: it's a slippery slope, eh, kuba? Join the NDP today; find yourself slurping champagne tomorrow. That's just how it was for me. You too?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 07:35 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:


But a nice single malt would slip down very nicely, if you'd be so kind.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: 'lance ]



Laphroaig or Lagavullin, schweetheart?

Either way, we'll always have Paris.

(Is that your line or my line?)


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
beverly
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posted 08 June 2004 07:37 PM      Profile for beverly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Art and social justice: it's a slippery slope, eh, kuba? Join the NDP today; find yourself slurping champagne tomorrow. That's just how it was for me. You too?

Yes I remember it clearly, bought my membership in the party and was partying at a gravel pit that night. Although I don't think the two events of my youth were necessarily causally related.


From: In my Apartment!!!! | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 08 June 2004 07:38 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I bring up the arts community as that is where I have encountered much of this. They love to speak in lofty ideals and to go on about social causes. Yet they enjoy the finer things such as the wines and loft apartments due to government grants or managing to grab some horrific prices for their productions (good on em if its private money).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This. Is. Such. Total. Crap.

Sorry. No quarter. No intelligent adult should have to argue this any further.


Wot she said.

Morgan, I was raised working class. I worked as a painter along side my dad in high school, and I've cleaned other people's toilets to make ends meet. I worked my way throught university. And nowadays, I'm an artist. I'm also a socialist.

Yeah, I get grants. They don't cover the shot, usually, and I wind up putting up some of my own, hard-earned cash to finish my less mainstream films. Other, more mainstream projects, pay me enough to live on -- but not nearly as much as you would think.

Oh, and what was that last one? About striking miners and the labour movement? Wouldn't be forwarding socialist ideals atall, atall...

So pardon me while I nosh my fancy cheese and indulge in a quaff of champagne. You know nothing of artists, and you can go straight to hell.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 June 2004 07:42 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I bring up the arts community as that is where I have encountered much of this. They love to speak in lofty ideals and to go on about social causes. Yet they enjoy the finer things such as the wines and loft apartments due to government grants or managing to grab some horrific prices for their productions (good on em if its private money).

"Bollocks!", as a Mancunian thespian once said to me regarding another matter.

I don't know which artistic community this poster knows, but the people in the one with which I have an acquaintance put in long hours producing fabulous work for little money.

Some of them even have jobs in construction and the service industry to support their artistic habit and to pay the rent.

They all drink beer.

I've never met a "champagne socialist," but then I'm from rye and coke country, not le pays de Moët et Chandon.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 07:45 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, Zoot!

Slainte var!

Oh, maybe tomorrow, some of us will do a boring, slow, careful analysis of what happens to seriously creative persons in this country, and some of us will explain the problem of raw numbers that stops all creative people here from creating for a substantial market.

But for now: standing ovation for Zoot! eh? Zoot makes docs. Zoot wins awards. If Zoot were a USian, Zoot would already be rich and decadent. But Zoot stays here, and she continues to write our stories. Standing ovation for Zoot, I say!


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 07:47 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't waste your breath any further Zoot. Morgan is long gone I think. Stirred the pot and ran like hell when it got too hot. He may be back for more but I am tempted to check the evil Dominion for his noisy boasts.
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 08 June 2004 07:50 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
He was worse than he first appeared, wasn't he?

Scout deserves a lot of credit for sniffing him out, I think.

Scout did a lot of hard work, and took a lot of shit for doing it. But she knew.

Brava, Scout.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 08 June 2004 08:14 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
He was worse than he first appeared, wasn't he?

I was just thinking the same thing.


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 08:18 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Free Dominion
name: Cory Morgan
joined: May 28, 2004
location: Alberta
occupation: surveyor

quotes:

"I have always been in favor of the full and unabridged independence of Alberta."

"Will their be any challenge to the status-quo left within the Conservatives by the end of the campaign? We can't even question the policy of bilingualism any longer."

"I havent read Fight Kyoto yet though I intend to."

Oh yea...one more:

"I won't hide my leanings on either side of the issue thus I have trouble fitting into any particular party or philosophy."

The last one is from this very thread. What disingenious crap. I mean...CRAP! (Conservative Reform Alliance Party)

Another "principled" Conservative. yea right.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 08 June 2004 08:23 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
68 Cory Morgan
Height: 6-2
Weight: 190
Position: Right Wing
Born: 08/20/1978
Birthplace: Blue Sky, Alberta, Canada
Team: Columbus Blue Jackets

See here.

Edited to add link, incase someone thought I was making this up. THough it's likely not the same guy judging by the dates of birth.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: clearview ]

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: clearview ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 June 2004 08:40 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Correction ... Cory Morgan: Position: extreme right wing.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 08 June 2004 09:21 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Can you still be a champagne socialist if all you can afford is sparkling wine?
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
N-SIGN
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posted 08 June 2004 09:34 PM      Profile for N-SIGN     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

I agree. I hope that my simply asking is not taken to be petty. I was asking because I've heard calls of hypocrite before of a number of people, especially those with a high profile in the media.

Not at all, I was just making a general statement because I understood what the thrust of the rightist argument was going to be. I think this might be some "talking point" in the right wing playbook. The only time I've very been called a Champagne Socialist is by two of the most conservative guys in Saskatchewan, ironically while we were quaffing all kinds of beer (I might add, my bar tab was quite a bit more fiscally responsible than theirs).

It is good of you to point out it is a right wing technique. I've never heard leftists use that term to criticize each other.

[ 08 June 2004: Message edited by: N-SIGN ]


From: Canada | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 08 June 2004 09:56 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, we artistic types aren't all that fussy. We'll drink beer, and we'll drink rye (prairie ones, anyway), and we'll drink champagne. Whatever's going, really...

And not all champagne is horrifically expensive. Nice to indulge oneself once in a long while. Accompanied by really good chocolate in addition to the fancy cheese, preferably.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 08 June 2004 10:56 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Doug, champagne is sparkling wine. And there are many other excellent sparkling wines that are considerably cheaper - I like Prosecco, and also the Riesling Sekt the Viennese keep to themselves ...

I've been off babble - translating gratos for a refugee case, then to my German class (is that useful? Guess it depends on whether you are reading Kafka, Rosa Luxemburg or annual reports from the bankers in Frankfurt and Zürich.) Other than that, I have nothing to add to what Zoot and skdadl said. I know very few wealthy artists, except a handful of performing artists. Even a lot of those who are rather well known in Québec make far less money than one might assume.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 08 June 2004 11:39 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Champagne socialist" is simply an epithet directed at a person rather than the argument being made.

Forget for a moment that the whole category is basically invented by right-wing spin doctors....
just ask why it is that "champagne Reform Party types" never gets articulated anywhere.

Or maybe Belinda Stronach never drinks champagne.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 09 June 2004 01:06 AM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am afraid that yes I am not the Cory Morgan who plays for Columbus. I do play hockey but nowhere near at that caliber. There is quite a bit of web info hiding out there about Cory Morgan the separatist out there as well though if one cares to dig deeper. I have nothing to hide, thus my posting using my real name.

I didn't mean to look like I trolled and ran. I like to think that I am not outright trolling but my discussion can get provocative as things progress. Tis part of being passionate about politics as we can tend to be on both sides of the spectrum.

I honestly had to run though. Rest assured I was enjoying the discussion very much and would have continued if I could have and given opportunity I will.

The only thing standing out for me right now is having been described as 'extreme right-wing'. Many of my views are what would be considered extreme when considering the scope of changes that I suggest. Which one or two drives me to the right end of things though?

I support gay marriage, a degree of social programs, environmental protection and other things outside of what would be considered 'right'.

Where is that invisible line?

If I may add, I strongly oppose capital punishment. (I do advocate a tough on crime stance though)

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: C.Morgan ]


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 June 2004 02:25 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
I like to think that I am not outright trolling but my discussion can get provocative as things progress. Tis part of being passionate about politics as we can tend to be on both sides of the spectrum.

If you are the same C.Morgan that is also a Surveyor from Alberta registered on the Free Dominion then it is disingenuous for you to pretend that "I have trouble fitting into any particular party or philosophy," as you claimed earlier in this thread. What's the point debating someone who misrepresents his own views? And why come to babble with the "convince me" message when you are already convinced? How principled is that?

quote:
The only thing standing out for me right now is having been described as 'extreme right-wing'. ...Where is that invisible line?

uh...Alberta separatism? anti-bilingual? But perhaps I am being unfair. After all, you didn't reach for your gun...did you?

Oh yea. If you are still there, perhaps you could address the issue that I raised when you decided that you had run out of time. What I noted at the time was...

"You're mixing apples and oranges, calling them all fruit, and wondering why your apples sauce looks funny and costs a lot. Slow down there pal.

You've jumped from the question of social orientation of an individual to questions of public policy for all of society. What a leap!"

Perhaps my assessment was unfair. It seemed like you just wanted an excuse to rail about a whole lot of things that the Federal Government spends money on. And you started with the "white wine/champagne/whatever epithet is fashionable today" anti-socialist premise. Still there?

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 09 June 2004 02:49 AM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ahhh now thats some of the kind of debate that I do enjoy.

And yes I do oppose C68 though that is more based in my respect for property rights than in any love I may have for firearms.

As I thought I had admitted in my prior post, I expect many if not most to consider me as 'extreme'. My issue comes as it has with most of the other posts in my being labelled as right wing. To repeat, I do understand that the majority of my views place me in that category as most would view it. Not all though.

I do not oppose bilingualism as a whole either. Just the means that has been used to promote the Canadian version of it.

There is room for multiple cultures as well as languages in any state. The best working example of it that I feel I have found though has been the Swiss system which is pretty much as de-centralized as any that can be found in something that is still called a nation. They still carry a very strong national identity as well. Go figure.

I was in communication with members of the Bloc in the past. During some pretty frank discussions they made it pretty clear that they really could not have cared less how many people in Alberta, Newfoundland or any other province spoke French and no amount of effort towards the bilingualism of those provinces mattered a whit to them. Their concern was strictly for Quebec and I admire their honesty about that. So what is the point on the money spent and the divisive rhetoric directed at a policy that has clearly failed? How many truly bilingual individuals do you find outside of Quebec, portions of New Brunswick and portions of Ontario?

If Alberta were to be bilingual based on population, I think that Chinese may be the second most popular second language here though I may be mistaken. I know French is far down the list anyway.

My meetings with the Bloc were no small factor in the downfall of my party as the more intolerant wing of my own followers could not accept even the communication with people from Quebec. My clashes with the social conservatives and the intolerant were brutal as well but they have still not ended my quest for separation.

Thus my quest for a political stance that includes a broader perspective.

As a side note, one party member of mine openly declared himself as a socialist who opposed nearly every policy we had in principle, but still felt that we needed independence as a province. He vowed quite clearly to me that after the seccession of Alberta that he would go back to work fighting people such as me tooth and nail. He felt he would have a more democratic front to do it on in an independent Alberta.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 June 2004 03:03 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You haven't convinced your FD colleagues that Alberta separatism is workable. Do you really think babblers will be any more sympathetic?

This is besides the obvious: what problem(s) are so great that separatism is the answer? The Quebecois make a national argument for their case. It resonates with Quebecers...so much so that they all agree to call the Legislature "the National Assembly." Not so for Alberta.

But if someone wanted to dismember Canada, making it easy pickings for some large country close by, why then the separation of a "have" province would be the perfect solution. Kinda like undermining a public institution by chopping off the profitable portion of it.

Now if you were to argue that the absorbtion of Canada by the U.S. was somehow inevitable ...that would be different. But you would have to demonstrate that.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 09 June 2004 03:12 AM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My motives for separation run deep and they are more based in a means to systematic change than anything else. That itself is worthy of another thread if anybody wants to pursue it with me.

I am not here to gain converts any more than I am in FD to do it (though admittedly many more at FD are sympathetic).

I am hear to learn rather than to convince. Thats why many of my posts end in questions rather than statements.

I am retiring for the eve now. Not running with my tail between my legs. Just need some sleep.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 09 June 2004 03:17 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
How many truly bilingual individuals do you find outside of Quebec, portions of New Brunswick and portions of Ontario?

3/4 of my Saskatoon household. I'm getting there, but am not quite fluent in French.

I agree, though, that Québec nationalists don't care much about les francophones hors du Québec.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 June 2004 03:26 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been working for the civil service for a few years in the province founded by Riel. Most, if not all, of my billingual colleagues in the workplace are Francophones who have learned English. As a group, we Anglos are pretty pathetic when it comes to learning the other official language. But we whine about it anyway.

Francophones outside of Quebec seem to be on their own. Why is that? Shouldn't Quebec-based Francophone promoters of French language and culture give a shit? I don't understand.

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 09 June 2004 03:39 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
How many truly bilingual individuals do you find outside of Quebec, portions of New Brunswick and portions of Ontario?

Take a drive around Northern Ontario to Kapuskasing, Timmins, Dubreuilville, Wawa, Desbarats, Sault Sainte Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, French River etc etc and you'll meet any of the half million or so of Ontario's Francophones.

Conservatism in the deep south, according to former Texan, Michael Lind, is based on religious revivalism and racism.

And the Klan made their way into Ontario as well.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 09 June 2004 03:48 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by C.Morgan:
My motives for separation run deep and they are more based in a means to systematic change than anything else. That itself is worthy of another thread if anybody wants to pursue it with me.

OK. Here is the thread. Come get some!


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 09 June 2004 04:55 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Take a drive around Northern Ontario to Kapuskasing, Timmins, Dubreuilville, Wawa, Desbarats, Sault Sainte Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, French River etc etc and you'll meet any of the half million or so of Ontario's Francophones.

He could take a drive to St. Paul, Bonneville, and Plamondon Alberta to visit some local francos.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Marc
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posted 09 June 2004 05:03 AM      Profile for Marc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The west coast of Newfoundland has a bunch of pockets of francophones.
From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 June 2004 08:24 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
"Champagne socialist" is simply an epithet directed at a person rather than the argument being made.

Forget for a moment that the whole category is basically invented by right-wing spin doctors....
just ask why it is that "champagne Reform Party types" never gets articulated anywhere.

Or maybe Belinda Stronach never drinks champagne.


Well, I think "champagne socialist" is an effective epithet because it supposedly highlights hypocrisy. There is no hypocrisy in advocating a "get as rich as you can and lord it over the poor" right-wing philosophy and then living by it. But some people think that believing in social justice and fair distribution of resources at the same time as belonging to a class of people who have much more of those resources than the poorest in society is hypocritical, thus the epithet.

And by the way, this isn't a view only held by people who are "right-wing". This is quite common among some people on the left, too. When the NDP holds a fund raiser that costs more than $5 or PWYC, you always get some members getting pissed off because it's "elitist", and then the champagne socialist thing comes out. Last summer at the Yorkville Feast, during the last speech given, the speaker (who was a spokesperson for OCAP if I'm not mistaken) claimed that every person in every restaurant in Yorkville was "the enemy" even if they were in there "reading the Communist Manifesto".

I disagree with this viewpoint, speaking as someone closer to the "have-not" end of the spectrum (although I recognize that I have much more than the very poorest in our society). I don't feel guilty over small luxuries like fine wine and expensive cheese when I get the opportunity to have it, and I don't begrudge those "champagne socialists" who can have it much more often than I can.

The reason I don't feel guilty about it is because I think EVERYONE should be able to enjoy some fine wine and brie sometimes. And I find that "champagne socialists" generally feel the same way. "Champagne socialists" are usually the ones who will be less likely to look down their noses at poor people who occasionally buy beer. "Champagne socialists" are often people who buy conscientiously because they can afford to do so. People on welfare pretty much have to shop for sweatshop specials at Walmart if they want to wear clothes. "Champagne socialists" who dress their toddlers in $50-100 Please Mum rompers don't offend me, because I figure, if there are some people in society who can afford to support fair trade (I think they are an anti-sweatshop company, are they not? I might be mistaken), they should do so. It would offend me more if people with high incomes who can afford to buy non-sweatshop goods instead loaded up at Walmart.

"Champagne socialists" are the people who are most likely to believe that everyone should be able to afford quality goods and food. They're people who don't mind paying more for something if they know it's a product that has been produced more ethically. The "champagne socialists" I know tend to appreciate craftsmanship and would like to see all workers who make the products we consume earn a living wage, even if that means that the price of the product goes up. Imagine how nice it would be if everyone who makes the products we consume earned a living wage for making good quality products which in turn everyone could afford some of, instead of having an underclass that makes a bunch of disposable crap products that are a dime a dozen, leaving quality craftsmanship as the domain of the rich.

There's nothing wrong with being a "champagne socialist" - if anything, it would be nice if a lot more people with comfortable incomes WERE champagne socialists. Appreciating quality is not the same thing as overconsuming.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 09 June 2004 10:44 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Awesome post, Michelle. I have to admit that at some points in time I have been the person on the left thinking bad thoughts about my activist friends with summer homes. I'm over this now and I'm happy to have everyone contributing their part, whatever it may be.

I think the one remaining problem I have is to do with the fact I don't just want everyone in Canada to be able to enjoy a little nice wine now and again, but I think the whole world deserves this. However, living in a finite world with as many people as we do, I don't see how this is possible. When I come to this conclusion, I can't help but think that my clicking away at this keyboard could mean a roof over a family's head somewhere else in the world. I don't know how to resolve this.


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
detano_inipo
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posted 09 June 2004 10:55 AM      Profile for detano_inipo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I hear the expression: "champagne socialist", I have to think of "doctors without borders".
They are well-to-do doctors who have decided to spend a year or two in the worst hellholes of the world.
They could stay home and make tons of money while sipping champagne in the evening. Their socialist conscience has convinced them to go and help the poorest of the poor.
I read about one of them who came home to his BMW after a year in AIDS-ridden Africa. Two weeks of luxury made him go back to that horrible place; he elt guilty about the affluent life style at home.
.
Bill Gates is quite a capitalist who has amassed a fortune. He probably drinks champagne. His wife and his father have changed him into the world's greatest philanthropist.
He has developed a social conscience, and the worlds poor are grateful.
Socialism means you want to help society to function better. ("ask what you can do for your country").
The list of nations with the best quality of life contains mostly socialist countries, it makes sense.

From: ontario | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 10:57 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Michelle: what about privelege? I agree with you that if some "champagne socialist" wants to pay $25 for a bottle of wine instead of $10, that's fine. But is it reasonable to expect someone to put their money where their mouth is with regard to advantages and opportunities?

I ask this because I recall Jeff House discussing privelege in a thread way back when in which he described some of the advantages his sons have received thanks to his social class, his neighbours and peers, etc., and I wondered at the time how one explains this to ones self.

Is it OK to send your kids to special camps (engineering camp, space camp, football camp), to pay for private lessons (tutoring, piano, dance) or to otherwise make investments in your family that you know are designed to give them the advantage over those without? I know, it's great to believe "that everyone should have these things", and that's true, but meanwhile, everyone doesn't, and if you can't give the whole world piano lessons like your kid, then you could still equalize opportunities by not giving your kid piano lessons.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 June 2004 11:00 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah. I was thinking when I wrote it that I've also been guilty occasionally of feeling resentful of "champagne socialists", generally only when I'm annoyed with someone who is one for some unrelated reason.

But the truth is, this is the only economic system available right now, and it's the only one we can participate in. I don't see any reason for the gimme-gimme-capitalists to be the only ones to appreciate well-made clothing and furniture and food. We should all be nourished well with food that tastes delicious.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 09 June 2004 11:12 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I guess it's just a matter of how far can you go personally (or how much are you comfortable with), and will you be happy enough doing so to continue on contributing. I mean, I can be well nourished, eating relatively tasty food without it costing much, so should I be doing that all the time and contributing what I would have spent on nice cheese to my local student foodbank? I'm flying to Nepal in a couple of weeks to spend two months volunteering on a community development project there, constructing a school. I thought this was something really important and concrete I should be doing but now I wonder if I'll be doing enough benefit to warrant the nasty pollution that the plane I'll be taking there will add to our environment.
From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 09 June 2004 11:45 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When this discussion arises, I think that it is helpful to take some tips from auntie, as in auntie.com above, bosom buddy of our sainted publisher.

I am not going to do justice to her thought, but as I've read her on these sorts of issues over the last three years, it has seemed to me that she was telling us all to recognize not only how impractical but also how egotistical and individualistic it can be to agonize about personal purity.

If you're a socialist, or an environmentalist, you already know that the biggest problems we face are not going to be solved by making individual citizens all self-conscious about what label they drink or whether or not they have an air conditioner. Of course, we shouldn't be endorsing conspicuous consumption. When we can make ethical choices, we should, and we should be informing ourselves as much as we can about how and where that is possible.

But if that's all we're thinking about, then we've lost the point of our politics. Focusing on the really pretty petty differences in consumption among members of several levels of the middle classes is an old right-wing tactic. It's called divide and conquer. Stop the socialists from thinking about society; tempt them into sniping at individuals.

Well, screw that. And enjoy your lunch. Seriously: enjoy!

Ben Franklin said something like, "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Of course it is! Wine, too. And all that good stuff. Change the world, and eat and drink well while you're doing it.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 09 June 2004 11:47 AM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So in conclusion on this one I am gathering that affluence and ambition do not negate the possibility of having a social conscience. Thats where I was hoping to end up on this one. The Bill Gates example was great.

I see some frank postings up here indicating that this issue has challenged others here as well. It was worth examining. While I was painting with a broad brush in many of my postings, I do understand that the true 'champagne socialists' are a very limitted breed. They do give 'right-wing' provocateurs such as myself opportunity to invoke discussion though.


From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 09 June 2004 11:48 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's great skdadl, thanks. I need to write this down somewhere, to remind me when my silly, guilty tendencies start getting the best of me!

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: shaolin ]


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
shaolin
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posted 09 June 2004 11:52 AM      Profile for shaolin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So in conclusion on this one I am gathering that affluence and ambition do not negate the possibility of having a social conscience. Thats where I was hoping to end up on this one. The Bill Gates example was great.

I'm not sure it is the 'conlusion' so much. I think Michelle's point that this is the only economic system we have at the moment is an important one. This is just a starting point and while affluence in and of itself may not mean you're lacking a social conscience, if you're stepping on people's heads trying to clamber to the top, then there's a real problem. I seem to remember Microsoft doing some of this...

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: shaolin ]


From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 June 2004 11:53 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I didn't see Magoo's post before posting mine, so I'll address it now.

I think people have to make choices based on their ethics, and I don't think there are hard and fast rules for each ferinstance that makes me an ethical champagne socialist and you a hypocritical champagne socialist. Obviously I can't speak for Jeff House and the choices he makes. However...I don't think he said that he sends his children to private school, in fact I think elsewhere on babble he has said that he didn't do so even though he could have, because he believes in the public school system. I remember that other thread - he said that he recognized the advantage that one of his children have had since, when he wanted to act, he had a neighbour who was an agent or something like that - I don't remember exactly what was said. Basically, he did some networking to help out his kid.

Is this unethical? I don't know. I've never been in that situation, but I think if I had, I probably would have done the same thing. We all ask people we know for advice if we need help with something that they're an expert in. For instance, right here on babble, we often "page" the lawyers around here for (free!) legal advice or interpretations.

As for summer day camps - well, unless there was a universal summer day camp or day care system, I don't see any reason why people shouldn't send their kids to science or music camp, especially if they're fighting politically either for quality summer programs to be available to all children regardless of income, or they're fighting politically for better distribution of wealth so that those who are now the working poor can make enough income to send their children to the same summer camps.

For me personally, if I were a champagne socialist (gosh, I hope someday I can be faced with these ethical dilemmas! ) I would use the public systems as much as possible when available. So, I would send my kids to public school, use the universal day care system if one were in place instead of a private system, etc. I would try to buy ethically. I would enjoy quality-made products, made by craftspeople who are paid properly for their labour. And I would fight politically for changes to the system so that everyone could have access to the type of products and services that I could enjoy, even if it means paying higher taxes - and until then, donate to organizations that try to alleviate poverty and provide quality services to people with less money than I have.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 09 June 2004 12:05 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What would we do without all the highly educated people in many fields -- yes, even the lawyers -- who use their advantages pro bono to help others?

Is an education an "advantage"? Obviously, in some sense, yes. But an education is also an education. What -- socialists are supposed to start opposing education so that they don't look like hypocrites?

Lawyers who fight for social justice are not the real-estate market. They didn't decide who gets paid what for what, or how much their pads happen to be worth this year.

You starts from where you is, and moves forward from there, one step at a time, one foot t'front of t'other, eh?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 09 June 2004 12:06 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fascinating thread, and some good arguments. I know of a couple of university profs who make very good coin, but who call themselves socialists, and who, like Engels, "walk the walk"— they donate a large portion of their income to worthy social causes, or NDP fundraisers, and the like. (And they get rather embarrassed if anyone calls undue attention to that. "From each according to his ability..." Erroll intones ponderously...)

And speaking of great socialist quotes, can someone tell me who said this?

quote:

"Live simply, that others may simply live."


I think it's T.C. Douglas, but I'm not positive... Confirmation (or correction) would be much appreciated.

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
C.Morgan
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posted 09 June 2004 12:10 PM      Profile for C.Morgan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that quote may have been Gandhi.
From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 09 June 2004 01:45 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hold on there, partners! Before you let ol’ Bill Gates—and thus the contradictory economic system he so capably represents—ride conclusively into the sunset (having supposedly saved the town), consider the following. Ol’ Bill donates medicine to suffering people in the developing world. At the same time, his own monopoly—the one that produced the wealth that allows him to donate in the first place—depends on the same property rights laws that prevent those same developing nations from buying medicine at cheap “market” prices. So he saves some, and yet helps kill a great many more. ‘Ol Bill also donates computers and labs and training to developing nations, and even the poor in the United States. At the same time, his company opposes those governments from contributing to the development of open source software. What did Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, call Linux? A “cancer.” Why? Because he believed it’s not truly open source. Meaning, it’s not open to commercial companies like Microsoft.

Ol’ Bill Gates and his allies (say, in the big pharmaceutical companies) want monopolies, and they want the governments of the world (i.e., “us”) to protect those monopolies (and the massive wealth they accrue) using “intellectual property rights” laws, even when doing so is not in the best interests of their citizens. Frankly, even when doing so kills their citizens.

Is ‘Ol Bill a good man, redeemed by his family, or a scheming hypocrite? It doesn’t matter. He saves lives, and that’s good. What matters is that ‘Ol Bill belongs to a system that giveth some, and then taketh away massively because of its own internal contradictions.

skdadl, very wise words. Sniping at individuals is not helpful, or even relevant. The above, I think, describes a representative case. It’s trotted out so often that it’s getting shaggy, and I thought it needed a bit of sniping.


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 02:05 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Is an education an "advantage"? Obviously, in some sense, yes. But an education is also an education

And we all get one, "free", from our government and our taxes. There's no need to send a child to Drama classes, or football camp, or ballet lessons, or any other perk that's going to give your child an advantage that you know damn well others' children simply won't have, whether you're 'fighting for' that or not. If you set out to use your class to advantage your children before that fight has been won, aren't you perpetuating your own class advantage? If that battle is won in 10 years (if ever),then your child's advantages are going to have already put them well ahead of others' kids... how can that be undone? And can you pretend you weren't fully aware that it would work out to your child's advantage??

I've seen it mentioned often on babble that one needs to see, acknowledge and reject one's unfair advantages if one truly believes in equality. Why not in this case?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 09 June 2004 02:30 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
You'd make a lousy right winger, Rufus.

You say the sweetest things.
(Can't find a blushing emoticon)


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 09 June 2004 02:46 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Magoo, I think you are mixing up giving children advantages with purposely disadvantaging your own children in order to make a point. It might make you a more "pure" socialist, but it'd make you a lousy parent.

I know working class families that spend more money to put their kids in hockey than we do to send Ms B to cello lessons. Maybe cello's a high-brow, champagne socialist choice for a kids' activity (although the choice was ultimately made by Ms B herself, she came up with the idea) and hockey isn't. It isn't always about the money.

I suppose I could have opted to have her bussed out of our transitional neighborhood (I know others who've done it) and to a more homogenously middle-class school instead of going to our very mixed-class community school. We chose not to because we felt that exposure to a wide variety of peers, racially and socio-economically, would be better for her.

I don't know if I have a point here. When you're raising kids, you take on the responsibility to give them the best you can. Sometimes that responsibility and the loftiest of your ideals don't match perfectly, so you do your best. In a perfect world, it wouldn't be an issue. In case you haven't noticed, we haven't quite reached a utopia yet.

I also think you like to argue for the sake of argument, Magoo.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 03:01 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I also think you like to argue for the sake of argument, Magoo.

If this were true, then I'd promptly deny this and hope. I suppose it's somewhat true I guess... aren't we all here for a good debate?

One of the reasons I ask this is that on our recent thread regarding inheritance I asserted that it's only natural for parents to want to give everything they possibly can to their kids, and that whether or not some other parent can do the same thing isn't realistically going to stop most people from doing so. So I wonder, without getting into the arbitrary business of defining "an advantage", "a big advantage" and "an unacceptable advantage", what's really the difference between using your money or status for your kids' benefit now, and leaving them your money for their benefit later? Ethically I mean.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
clearview
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posted 09 June 2004 03:04 PM      Profile for clearview     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
By leaving it until later you are neglecting your children's well-being while they are alive.
From: Toronto | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 03:10 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Who said it was either/or? I suspect that any parent who could do so would give their child whatever they could while they were alive, and give them whatever they could after they die.

The only question is: is this an unacceptable attempt on the part of priveleged parents to try and ensure that their privelege gets "inherited" by their children, or is it just a normal part of being a parent?


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 09 June 2004 03:48 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
what's really the difference between using your money or status for your kids' benefit now, and leaving them your money for their benefit later? Ethically I mean.

None. I will certainly use my money and status for my children to the best of my ability. And I will pass it on to them when I die.

But I will also support programmes which try to make sure that others without status or monetary advantages are not left hopeless. That is why affirmative action makes sense; it balances the near-automatic advantages which accrue to children with more wealth.

And that is why I support progressive taxation, including inheritance taxes. No kid should start off life on third base while others never make it out of the dugout.

So, in a nutshell, I will not sell my house in order to move to a poor neighbourhood, or cancel violin lessons so as to make my kids more equal to the poor.

But I will support systemic efforts to bring all children to equality. To me, that is only rational, while trying to deny benefits to my own children alone makes no sense.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 04:09 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
None. I will certainly use my money and status for my children to the best of my ability. And I will pass it on to them when I die.

Doesn't that simply perpetuate the inequality for another generation? And as was often mentioned on the inheritance thread, how have they earned this?

quote:
That is why affirmative action makes sense; it balances the near-automatic advantages which accrue to children with more wealth.

Actually, it only balances it for some. There's no affirmative action program for the children of caucasian low-income parents, for example. Programs seem to be based more on skin colour (and the class assumptions that come with it) rather than on class alone. If some construction worker's kid is underpriveleged relative to yours right now, there's no program that's going to seek to rectify that when they're adults.

quote:
To me, that is only rational, while trying to deny benefits to my own children alone makes no sense.

They wouldn't be alone. They'd have equal opportunities. Isn't equality of opportunity the goal? How can one claim the perks of their status, sex or skin colour while believing in equality of opportunity?

Anyway, I'm taking a bit of a devil's advocate position here, since I personally think it's entirely natural for a parent to want to give their kid the moon with a fence around it, but this seems to conflict with the view that that wouldn't be very progressive.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 June 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I personally think it's entirely natural for a parent to want to give their kid the moon with a fence around it, but this seems to conflict with the view that that wouldn't be very progressive.

Most parents will never have the opportunity since a tiny minority of the population has already stolen and fenced everything in and works tirelessly to see no one else has access to it. Concentration of wealth in the hands of this minority is also something you believe to be entirely "natural".


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 04:33 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hehe. Devil's advocate or no, I'm taking your side of this discussion, and you'd still rather take a swipe than lend a hand. LOL!
From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 09 June 2004 04:37 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That is why affirmative action makes sense; it balances the near-automatic advantages which accrue to children with more wealth.

It's an American example, but infamous conservatives like president Dubya believe in affirmative action. How else would underperforming children of prominent families slide past the strict admissions policies of Ivy league schools like Harvard and Yale ?. Dubya himself must have wondered how a dunce like himself could get into Yale ahead of poor kids who did better on S.A.T. exams. Conservatives believe in the good ol' boys system aka 'the legacy system' when it comes to getting a leg up on the peons.

Time: How Affirmative Action Helped President Dubya

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 09 June 2004 04:54 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm taking your side of this discussion, and you'd still rather take a swipe than lend a hand. LOL!

What swipe? Have I somehow misrepresented your defence of the status quo?

How are you taking my side of this discussion?

Acknowledging privilege or working for equal opportunity does not mean denying yourself of any opportunity and becoming intentionally homeless as the only means to live up to your ideals.


It is also possible to provide an opportunity for your child and also work for that opportunity to be readily available to others.I'm sure for example Zoot would support the opportunity for any child to study cello and I would imagine she support music education in the schools.

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 09 June 2004 05:09 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Acknowledging privilege or working for equal opportunity does not mean denying yourself of any opportunity and becoming intentionally homeless as the only means to live up to your ideals.

So if the guy down the street wants to rent me an apartment because "he likes my type of character" (ie: I'm white) I should seize the opportunity? If I can get myself a job on the basis of being a man, I should? I'm not suggesting that every progressive has to denounce their entire lives and live on a parkbench. I'm saying that violin lessons confer an advantage on your child that you know others don't get, and you know damn well that whether you support others getting the same thing or not, they won't. They simply won't. Not in time to compete with your kids. So you're knowingly advantaging your kids relative to others, not because they've earned it, or specifically deserve it, but because they're your kids. And I'm asking, is the fact that they're your kids enough? Because when Bill Gates decides to do the same for his kids (namely, give them every advantage possible) I suspect that many are going to see this as an unfair gift from the priveleged to the priveleged, and an unfair advantage that they don't "deserve".

There's a world of difference between not hiring a private violin teacher for your kid and purposely making yourself homeless. Good grief.

quote:
What swipe? Have I somehow misrepresented your defence of the status quo?

There's your answer. I wasn't here defending the status quo.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 09 June 2004 05:23 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It is also possible to provide an opportunity for your child and also work for that opportunity to be readily available to others.I'm sure for example Zoot would support the opportunity for any child to study cello and I would imagine she support music education in the schools.

These conservatives who bemoan liberal arts as being a waste of time are too much. They don't understand that fine arts and humanities are the other side of the coin as far as a classic education goes. They advocate cutting funding to universities and private "colleges" that do not promise to churn out corporate oriented clones to toss on the scrap heap during the next economic downturn, not thinking individuals who are to think critically.

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1258

posted 09 June 2004 06:06 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There's a world of difference between not hiring a private violin teacher for your kid and purposely making yourself homeless. Good grief.

Neither is private violin lessons the same as the privilege of being the spawn of a multi-billionaire.


It is quite possible to provide music lessons through the public school system and decent programs were the norm in schools before the manufactured educational crisis and resultant cut backs.

You seem to be implying that in order to be an ideologically sound socialist one would have to deny oneself or one's children of any opportunity above and beyond the most marginalized group. If people to seek to provide these opportunities they are being hypocrites.

You also seem to be saying that it is all good and natural that parents provide there children with whatever opportunities are available. Therefore it is only good and natural that those who can afford these opportunities while excluding other people's children.

Perhaps I'm misreading something but it sort of sounds like a message from the dominant narrative i.e. status quo.


quote:
I wasn't here defending the status quo.

From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 09 June 2004 07:32 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So if the guy down the street wants to rent me an apartment because "he likes my type of character" (ie: I'm white) I should seize the opportunity? If I can get myself a job on the basis of being a man, I should?

Can you be certain you haven't?

quote:
I'm not suggesting that every progressive has to denounce their entire lives and live on a parkbench.

Well, actually, in a sense, you are. As N.R. Kissed put it:

quote:
You seem to be implying that in order to be an ideologically sound socialist one would have to deny oneself or one's children of any opportunity above and beyond the most marginalized group. If people to seek to provide these opportunities they are being hypocrites.

...and this seems to me to be a very reasonable reading of your comments.

quote:
There's a world of difference between not hiring a private violin teacher for your kid and purposely making yourself homeless. Good grief.

Good grief, indeed.

There is a world of difference between taking your kid to violin lessons and sending them to private school. Or not encouraging them to work, when they're teenagers. Or any number of other things.

So let's say we not take things to the extreme of living in a cardboard box. Should I then limit some of the other advantages I've given my kids? Should I have stopped breastfeeding at 6 weeks because some mothers have to return to work at that point? Should I have not played games that helped stimulate their little noggins so that they don't become unfairly developmentally excelerated? After all, perhaps some other kids don't have that adantage. Maybe I just should have limited the green vegetables...

All in all, your argument is a silly one, Magoo. NRK has just called you on it.

I would also like to point out, once more, that I know people who spend far more on sports for their kids, particularly hockey, than we do on music for ours. (I would actually like to see more arts and music education in schools.) And yet, I haven't seen anyone declaiming the unfair advantages that hockey dads or soccer moms are giving their children...

[ 09 June 2004: Message edited by: Zoot Capri ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jimmytheweed
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5896

posted 10 June 2004 07:44 PM      Profile for Jimmytheweed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To get back to the issue of "champagne socialists" looking back through the two threads the issue, I don't think, is one of money, in and of itself, but rather one of attitude and affectation in combination with money, oftentimes money isn't even an issue.

I've only met what I would consider a champagne socialist on rare occasions and the gut feeling I got was they were socialists for purely manipulative and/or self-serving reasons.

The left is simply something to use, manipulate and take advantage of for personal gain.

Am I the only one who has met this type of person?


From: Gatineau, Quebec | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged

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