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Author Topic: Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism
Left Turn
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posted 12 April 2008 05:42 PM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Much of the history of the past 200 years revolved around a single idea. It was the vision that life could be lived in peace and brotherhood if only property were shared by all and distributed equally, eliminating the source of greed, envy, poverty and strife. This idea was called "socialism" and it was man's most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine grounded on science rather than revelation.

It became the most popular political idea in history. Its provenance was European, but it spread to China and Africa, India and Latin America and even to that most tradition-bound of regions, the Middle East. While it never fully took root in America, its influence shaped the nation's political debate. At its crest in the 1970s, roughly 60 percent of the earth's population lived under governments that espoused socialism in one form or another. Then, suddenly, it all collapsed.

Because its goal proved so elusive, the socialist movement split and split again into diverse, sometimes murderously contradictory forms. There was Social Democracy, which insisted that only peaceful and democratic means could produce a harmonious commonwealth. There was Communism, which extolled the resolute use of force and dictatorship to propel mankind to a new way of life. There was Arab Socialism, African Socialism, and other Third World variants that sought to amalgamate western Social Democracy and eastern Communism. There was even fascism, which turned the socialist idea on its head by substituting the brotherhood of nation and race for the brotherhood of class. And there were those - from early American settlers, to the "flower children" of the 1960s, to Israeli Zionist kibbutzniks - who built their own socialist communities, hoping to transform the world by the force of example.

As an idea that changed the way people thought, socialism's success was spectacular. As a critique of capitalism that helped spawn modern social safety nets and welfare states, its success was appreciable. As a model for the development of post-colonial states, the socialist model proved disappointing, fostering economic stagnation among millions of the world's poorest people. And in its most violent forms, socialism was calamitous, claiming scores of millions of lives and helping to make the twentieth century the bloodiest ever.

Through profiles of the individuals that brought socialism to life, HEAVEN ON EARTH tells the story of how an idea arose, evolved, changed the world, and eventually fell.



Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

Last night I saw the first hour of this 3 hour pbs special. Has anyone else seen it?

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism is also a book by Joshua Murchavic

quote:
Socialism was man's most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine claiming to ground itself in "science." Indeed, no religion ever spread so far so fast. Yet while socialism had established itself as a fact of life by the beginning of the 20th century, it did not create societies of abundance or give birth to "the New Man." Each failure inspired new searches for the path to the promised land: revolution, communes, social democracy, Communism, Fascism, Third World socialism. None worked, and some exacted staggering human tolls. Then, after two hundred years of wishful thinking and fitful governance, socialism suddenly imploded in a fin du siecle drama of falling walls and collapsing regimes.

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism provides a somewhat decent overview of the history of socialism. However, I find it's analysis and conclusions about socialism to be sadly lacking, in that it parrots most of the usual bourgeois criticisms of socialism.

[ 12 April 2008: Message edited by: Left Turn ]


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 12 April 2008 06:50 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Pffft, it hasn't even crested.
From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 12 April 2008 09:56 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Socialism has had a good run.

The past thirty years have not been too good to it... but that happens sometimes.

I think there will be a big shift to the left as millenials acquire the vote and boomers retire.


From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
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posted 13 April 2008 02:02 AM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by remind:
Pffft, it hasn't even crested.

I would hope not. Only socialism can save our planet from almost certain doom from runaway global warming.


From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 April 2008 06:17 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't help but notice that the authors regurgitate the claim that socialism is simply the sharing of social property in a new form of distribution. Thing is, that's not the half of it. The dominance of another class in society, the working class, leads to new social relations between people. Lord and serf became boss and worker under capitalism and boss and worker becomes something new again in socialism. It's the new relations between people that's the radical heart of socialism. It's quite astounding, really, how many people get this totally and completely wrong. And, as long as there is a working class, the vision of a better way of doing things can never die. The authors use an image of Marx on their title page, but, in fact, they seem to misrepresent Marx's views most of all. That's not the first, nor will it be the last, time that that's been done.

I always find it rather amusing that those who claim that class struggle has come to an end are often the very same people who noisily advocate intensified class struggle ... on behalf of bosses, through attacks on working people and our institutions, unions, means of self-defence, etc.. There's one message for bosses and another message for the rest of us.

How about a history of the working class? Or doesn't that lead to the desired conclusion? It's rather difficult to claim that the working class is disappearing any time soon and, therefore, that the social aims associated with the appearance of the working class on the world stage are going to disappear as well.

As others on this thread have pointed out, new contradictions, in the form, for example, of global problems of the destruction of biodiversity, global warming and climate change, horrific pollution, the development of ever newer and more barbaric weapons of mass destruction and annihilation, etc., point to the inexorable fact that our current socio-economic system is leading us to a planetary precipice.

However, Marx was wrong, from much of his writings, about the inevitability of socialism. The flicker of life on planet earth can, and may very well, be extinguished under the current capitalist socio-economic system. We live in a time, now, when the juggernaut to the south of us rampages like an injured beast in a ghastly effort to prevent change and preserve a Pax Americana forever. Androcles is the remedy to the groaning lion. The vision of socialism beckons, bowed but not broken, of a different future for humanity from the headlong rush to species extinction of capitalism.

We are running out of time, however. The readiness is all.

[ 13 April 2008: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 13 April 2008 06:25 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
500 Apples, May 68 was created by boomers. Not just in France, but the world over. www.mai-68.org

That is not the first time you've made an ageist comment.

Indeed, socialism has to do with productive relations and another human society, not just redistribution.

Marx could not have helped share in the positivism of his epoch. Later Marxists, such as Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci and Walter Benjamin, were much more lucid about the choice between socialism or barbarism.

And nowadays, it is a matter of ecosocialism or death.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
The Wizard of Socialism
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posted 13 April 2008 07:26 AM      Profile for The Wizard of Socialism   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ecosocialism or death? Sounds like chick tract put out by the so-called greens. And for those of you unfamiliar with Jack Chick's "work" here's a link to put my comment in context.

Just one of Jack Chick's comics to scare children into mindless obedience.


From: A Proud Canadian! | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 13 April 2008 07:26 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lagatta:
500 Apples, May 68 was created by boomers. Not just in France, but the world over. www.mai-68.org

That is not the first time you've made an ageist comment.

Indeed, socialism has to do with productive relations and another human society, not just redistribution.

Marx could not have helped share in the positivism of his epoch. Later Marxists, such as Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci and Walter Benjamin, were much more lucid about the choice between socialism or barbarism.

And nowadays, it is a matter of ecosocialism or death.


I'm not sure why that would be ageist. I think it's true of any individual, no matter when born, that they'll be less likely to politically demand tax cuts when they stop working. It does seem to me that for the past ten years in canada, the focus has been 45% tax cuts, and 45% health care. Welfare, infrastructure, education, foreign aid, et cetera have been completely ignored. Parts of McGill University were falling apart when I was there. Why? Because no one cares.

Thank you for the link. I wasn't around in 1968 so I'll read it as an interesting item of the distant history. I started following politics around 1997. I saw Chretien cynically manipulate EI premiums. I saw Hep-C victims go without help. I saw Chretien comment that he puts pepper on his plate, and that at least APEC protesters didn't get tear gassed. I saw the parliament pass anti-gay marriage resolutions, and then suddenly when the supreme court created enough political capital everybody changed their mind overnight (right). And these people kept receiving support from the dominant voting blocks.

In the USA, Bush passed 2.3 trillion dollars in badly directed tax cuts, he created a no child left behind act without the supporting mechanisms, he slashed taxes for big oil, he invaded Iraq without a plan, and then he won reelection over John Kerry because of Bush's patriotism.

[ 13 April 2008: Message edited by: 500_Apples ]


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Le Téléspectateur
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posted 13 April 2008 08:12 AM      Profile for Le Téléspectateur     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It does seem to me that for the past ten years in canada, the focus has been 45% tax cuts, and 45% health care. Welfare, infrastructure, education, foreign aid, et cetera have been completely ignored. Parts of McGill University were falling apart when I was there. Why? Because no one cares.


You think that this has to do with peoples' age and not political ideology?


From: More here than there | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 13 April 2008 09:25 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Isn`t it more accurate to say that socialism and capitalism both were modified over time to include ideas from the other side ?

I don`t see the NDP calling for nationalization of industry any more, nor do I see Conservatives calling for an end to socialized healthcare.

I also don`t know if the term "working class" does accurately describe new workplaces. I have seen massive social change in the workplace over only the past 15 years or so.


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N.Beltov
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posted 13 April 2008 10:32 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Michael Hardner: I don`t see the NDP calling for nationalization of industry any more, nor do I see Conservatives calling for an end to socialized healthcare.

Many Conservatives tend to support an end to public medicine by stealth. Death by a thousand cuts, as it were. What they can't get through the front door they try to stuff in the back door. There's rather a lot of evidence of that.

The NDP has abandoned nationalization presumably because their party no longer even supports what used to be called "evolutionary" socialism.

So the case could be made that you've given two examples from the same side. Care to try again?

quote:
MH: I also don`t know if the term "working class" does accurately describe new workplaces. I have seen massive social change in the workplace over only the past 15 years or so.

As a rough definition, working class refers to a social group defined by the relations they hold in social production. Workplaces can change, even the organization of production can change, but the key power relations are what characterize social classes such as the broadly defined working class. It's probably better to refer to working classes, but you get the idea.

quote:
MH: Isn't it more accurate to say that socialism and capitalism both were modified over time to include ideas from the other side ?

It depends in part how you define your terms. Of course, if you're defending some thesis of convergence of capitalism and socialism then that's an entirely different matter. In that case that's a particular ideological trend that by no means exhausts socialist, much less capitalist, viewpoints. But it's an interesting question. There's no doubt that the battle of ideas has had mutual influence.

But getting back to the issue of definitions ... for myself, I use capitalism and socialism to describe, above all, what kind of society or socio-economic formation we're describing. Of course that begs the question of transitional societies, capitalist societies in transition to socialist societies, and vice versa (socialist societies overthrown and capitalism restored), but you should get the idea here.

In particular, I would argue that a substantial part of the battle of ideas between socialism and capitalism includes viewpoints, self-described as socialist, that have little to do with socialism despite a surface claim that they are socialistic.

The success of "socialism", for example, led the Nazis to disguise their views as "socialist", as in "National Socialist Party," despite the fact that the Nazis made war on working class institutions and political parties as much as they carried out their horrific Holocaust against European Jewery. The Nazis supported a corporatism that was perfectly compatible with 20th century capitalism elsewhere. That's an extreme example but it's by no means the only one.

I can't think of any "mock" pro-capitalist viewpoints in the same way. Can you? If I'm correct about this, then it would indicate, in my view, the success and popularity of socialist views and the modification of strategies hostile to socialism to deal with that fact. We see this also in capitalism's response to environmental challenges ...


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 13 April 2008 10:51 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Le Téléspectateur:
You think that this has to do with peoples' age and not political ideology?
I think a person's political ideology will shift as their situation in life changes.

From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 13 April 2008 12:24 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
Isn`t it more accurate to say that socialism and capitalism both were modified over time to include ideas from the other side ?.

There's no questioning it. Keynes saved capitalism from itself in the 1930's and used socialism to do it. In 1980's, western governments abandoned Keynes' call to maintain employment and social measures, but a good deal of socialism stil remains in the least likely countries, and especially in that country which claims to be the world's bastion for free market capitalism. This is a good article by Americn economist James Galbraith

The real American model: ‘soft’ budgets in the social sectors

quote:
The “soft budget constraint” is an idea familiar to students of central and eastern Europe in the late years of communist rule. It described the condition of state-owned heavy industry under the communist regimes: entities that could not make profits, could not compete on international markets, and yet were so central to the social fabric of the system in which they were embedded, including its provision of social services, that they could not be allowed to fail. These entities became widely-deplored dependencies of the state budget and the state banks. Yet to millions, they provided the rudiments of a comfortable and secure life, the threads of which have not been picked up in the post-socialist orders that since emerged.

Soft budgets in the social and public sectors were the driving force behind U.S. capitalism throughout the cold war era. U.S. conservatives don't intend to scrap what are the world's largest investments in public research and military each year anytime soon. They just want to do away with all parts of it which make U.S. workers a less "flexible" workforce for so-called capitalists to exploit.

imo, the U.S. model was a carbon copy of German Keynesianism or Keynesian-militarism from the 1930's to 1960's', mid-1970's. This U.S. government has it down to a pat with Hitlerian attempts to support the economy with printing money wildly to support military aggression abroad and support parasitic corporatists to live off natural resource plunder and cheap labour in conquered nations.

As they've worked to scale back socialism in the U.S., significant problems have been the result. Essentially, capitalism and industrialized states alike are facing what I believe Marx described as technological stagnation. We're running out of power to electrify capitalist expansion, and the U.S. is falling behind certain other countries wrt investment in nuclear power physics, the one technology deemed capable of allowing similar cold war era economic expansions.

500-Apples refers to baby boom expansion coinciding with the popularity of the prosperous cold war era capitalism when our economies expanded approximately 5% and 6% each year. Capitalism was always equated with material well being based on consumer-driven economies and wanton consumption. We know now that this was a false promise for the bulk of humanity. And so with that waning promise for middle class material prosperity goes their political capital with voters, or so the theory suggests. The Soviets(although with a rather forceful approach in countries like the Stani nations) and Marxists around the world never made such promises for flash and glitz and tried to focus on delivering the basics to desperately poor people around the globe. Basics like health care, education, clean water, roads and electricity. Our propaganda machine in the west said people wanted more than that, and that Soviet communism was dull and boring.

[ 13 April 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Wizard of Socialism
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posted 13 April 2008 04:07 PM      Profile for The Wizard of Socialism   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Socialism will rise again. Not the false socialism, the authoritarian socialism like in Cuba and the Soviet Union - democratic socialism, like we have in the NDP. I have seen the future and it's orange.
From: A Proud Canadian! | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 April 2008 04:34 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Wiz o' Soc: Socialism will rise again. democratic socialism, like we have in the NDP.

I share your positive attitude.

However, it's not clear to me that the NDP actually makes any serious version of socialism an "aim" in any meaningful sense of the word. It's also not clear to me whether the NDP will be the cause of greater public support for socialism, given that the party never discusses it publicly, or whether greater public support for socialism will precede any similar change in the NDP. I rather suspect the latter.

But as long as it's getting a good chunk of working class votes and organizational support the NDP will have a lot of influence over attitudes towards socialism - positive or negative.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Wizard of Socialism
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posted 13 April 2008 05:07 PM      Profile for The Wizard of Socialism   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank-you for your kind remark about my positive attitude. You display a level of civility that others would do well to emulate.

[ 13 April 2008: Message edited by: The Wizard of Socialism ]


From: A Proud Canadian! | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 13 April 2008 05:15 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
given that the party never discusses it publicly

I suspect it's because "socialism" has become a word that elicits instant and emotional attacks from the right, especially from right wing media hordes. I doubt in the current environment - the country at war in Afganistan, a neocon government, a neocon Official Opposition, and many folks desperate to make ends meet, "socialism" will have much currency in political discourse. I think the NDP are merely being pragmatic in avoiding any public reference whatsoever to socialism. I suspect in the minds of many people "socialist" is either a dirty word or simply discredited. I suspect it's alive and well and flourishing in academia.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 13 April 2008 05:28 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Many Conservatives tend to support an end to public medicine by stealth. Death by a thousand cuts, as it were. What they can't get through the front door they try to stuff in the back door. There's rather a lot of evidence of that.

The NDP has abandoned nationalization presumably because their party no longer even supports what used to be called "evolutionary" socialism.

So the case could be made that you've given two examples from the same side. Care to try again?


What do you mean ? I'm trying to support my assertion:

"Isn`t it more accurate to say that socialism and capitalism both were modified over time to include ideas from the other side ?"

The fact that some conservatives may be trying to dismantle socialized healthcare via a 'backdoor' implies that some socialist ideas thrive today.


quote:
As a rough definition, working class refers to a social group defined by the relations they hold in social production. Workplaces can change, even the organization of production can change, but the key power relations are what characterize social classes such as the broadly defined working class. It's probably better to refer to working classes, but you get the idea.

Ok.

quote:

It depends in part how you define your terms. Of course, if you're defending some thesis of convergence of capitalism and socialism then that's an entirely different matter. In that case that's a particular ideological trend that by no means exhausts socialist, much less capitalist, viewpoints. But it's an interesting question. There's no doubt that the battle of ideas has had mutual influence.

But getting back to the issue of definitions ... for myself, I use capitalism and socialism to describe, above all, what kind of society or socio-economic formation we're describing. Of course that begs the question of transitional societies, capitalist societies in transition to socialist societies, and vice versa (socialist societies overthrown and capitalism restored), but you should get the idea here.

In particular, I would argue that a substantial part of the battle of ideas between socialism and capitalism includes viewpoints, self-described as socialist, that have little to do with socialism despite a surface claim that they are socialistic.

The success of "socialism", for example, led the Nazis to disguise their views as "socialist", as in "National Socialist Party," despite the fact that the Nazis made war on working class institutions and political parties as much as they carried out their horrific Holocaust against European Jewery. The Nazis supported a corporatism that was perfectly compatible with 20th century capitalism elsewhere. That's an extreme example but it's by no means the only one.

I can't think of any "mock" pro-capitalist viewpoints in the same way. Can you? If I'm correct about this, then it would indicate, in my view, the success and popularity of socialist views and the modification of strategies hostile to socialism to deal with that fact. We see this also in capitalism's response to environmental challenges ...


No, I can't. But I can't think of any other movements that described themselves as 'socialist' and weren't.


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Michael Hardner
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posted 13 April 2008 05:31 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Not the false socialism, the authoritarian socialism like in Cuba and the Soviet Union - democratic socialism, like we have in the NDP. I have seen the future and it's orange.

Democratic socialism, the way the NDP does it today, seems to be pretty right-wing anyway, when you compare it to the 1970s...


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Frustrated Mess
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posted 13 April 2008 05:37 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I suspect it's because "socialism" has become a word that elicits instant and emotional attacks from the right, especially from right wing media hordes. I doubt in the current environment - the country at war in Afganistan, a neocon government, a neocon Official Opposition, and many folks desperate to make ends meet, "socialism" will have much currency in political discourse. I think the NDP are merely being pragmatic in avoiding any public reference whatsoever to socialism. I suspect in the minds of many people "socialist" is either a dirty word or simply discredited. I suspect it's alive and well and flourishing in academia.

But if the party has abandoned the word, hasn't it de facto abandoned the cause? Politics is all about words, and if you're not using your words to describe your purpose and agenda, then whose words are you using? If the party is not talking about socialism, what is it they are talking about and whose agenda are they talking about?

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 13 April 2008 05:42 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Frustrated Mess:
Politics is all about words, and if you're not using your words to describe your purpose and agenda, then whose words are you using?

Maybe they're talking in code? Someone should ask Jack what their latest code word for "socialism" is.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 13 April 2008 06:06 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think it's unfair to suggest that what The_Wizard_of_Socialism calls the democratic socialism of the NDP might better be called the secret socialism of the NDP, since they don't seem to get around to discussing it very much at all.

But then, how is it a democratic sort of socialism if it's a secret? Or is that a secret as well?


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Frustrated Mess
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posted 13 April 2008 06:11 PM      Profile for Frustrated Mess   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Maybe they're talking in code?

That may be true. Perhaps the NDP is just one big insider's joke. I don't know ...

From: doom without the gloom | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 13 April 2008 06:29 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hardner:

Democratic socialism, the way the NDP does it today, seems to be pretty right-wing anyway, when you compare it to the 1970s...


A lot has changed since the mid 1970's. The power of the Bank of Canada isn't being used to fund important social programs and infrastructure since 1988-92 when Canada became a giant test lab for Friedmanite monetarism.

Jack Layton has mentioned that the Bank of Canada could be used for better purposes. I think the reason the NDP doesn't dwell on it is that most Canadians don't understand banking and finance, or what our appointed bank governor does on taxpayer's time.

At the same time, the NDP realizes we can do a lot better even without creating a quarter of the money supply through the Bank. All we have to do is look at countries where social democrats have created social democracy alongside competitive economies. Canada has never ranked in the top ten index with old line party fiscal Frankensteins running the show. It's those two parties' pursuit of failing U.S.-style neoLiberalism that's not working. It's those two parties who don't really understand how to make capitalism work, either for Canadian workers or businesses seeking to thrive in a competitive environment. Despite free trade claims to have fixed uncompetitive monopolies in Canada, FTA and NAFTA have worked to erode competitiveness as well as productivity gains and innovation - known requirements for improving standard of living.

The NDP has by far the best technical plan to make our mixed economy work better for all Canadians. The other two parties have very similar plans to erase our mixed economy and historic successes, and create something like 1985 Chile only on a larger scale in Canada. And it won't work any better here than it did in 1985 Chile or 1929 America.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
RosaL
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posted 13 April 2008 07:13 PM      Profile for RosaL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the word "socialism" is being used in at least two different senses here. Perhaps people should clarify what they mean by "socialism".
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Boom Boom
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posted 13 April 2008 07:23 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder if the party is trying to be progressive without being socialist.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 13 April 2008 07:58 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay then, what we have in place since 1938 or so is mixed market capitalism. And we've been part of an experiment in slightly more capitalism in recent years as feds decided to force themselves to run public institutions as capitalist enterprises as a result of there being a lot less interest-free money available and throwing a wrench into the state-socialist end of things since 1991 or so. Works for me.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4140

posted 13 April 2008 09:00 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
RosaL: I think the word "socialism" is being used in at least two different senses here. Perhaps people should clarify what they mean by "socialism".

That's a good request for clarification but it's almost irrelevant or beside the point. If a political party sets "socialism" as an important aim, but never discusses it in an open or public way, it doesn't really matter how it's defined. It's obviously not that important.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5594

posted 13 April 2008 10:05 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:

That's a good request for clarification but it's almost irrelevant or beside the point. If a political party sets "socialism" as an important aim, but never discusses it in an open or public way, it doesn't really matter how it's defined. It's obviously not that important.


Some Canadian lefties have written about their visits to Sweden in recent months. They've said that if we've never been before, and I haven't, that now is the time to go. The Swede's have social democracy down to a tee right now.

Why is it so difficult to imagine Canada's Social Democrats achieving something similar here?


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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