Tag Archives | Socialism

The Problem with Social Democracy

FlagAn interesting article that highlights some inconsistencies Center-Left parties have in implementing a social-democratic platform while effectively maintaining and strengthening capitalism … Via Socialist Worker:

With the electoral breakthrough of the NDP in the federal election, attention to the nature of social democracy has returned to the political agenda. What do socialists say about the NDP and social democracy today?

There are two main views about parliamentary — or electoral — democracy in the history of the socialist movement. The social democratic view sees the liberal democratic state as a neutral body that can be peopled by delegates of the right or the left. Marxists, however, have stressed the limitations of the liberal democratic state. This view dates back to Marx’s analysis stated simply in the Communist Manifesto.

Contemporary social democratic parties, like the NDP or the Labour Party in the UK, keep a close eye on every aspect of parliamentary practice.

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Rick Perry Is a Socialist

Rick Perry for PresidentThe Washington Post reports:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has leapfrogged to the top tier of Republican presidential candidates largely on the strength of one compelling fact: During more than a decade as governor, his state created more than 1 million jobs, while the nation as a whole lost 1.4 million jobs.

Perry says the “Texas miracle” rests on conservative pillars that he would bring to the White House: minimal regulation and government, low taxes and a determination to limit the reach of Uncle Sam.

What he does not say is that much of that job growth has come because of government, not in spite of it.

With a young and fast-growing population, a large and expanding military presence and an influx of federal stimulus money, the number of government jobs in Texas has grown at more than double the rate of private-sector employment during Perry’s tenure.

The disparity has grown sharper since the national recession hit.

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How Congress Created Socialized Medicine — In 1798

02-john-adams-12644Is Obamacare a communism-flavored slap-in-the-face to our Founding Fathers? No, it isn’t — Forbes points out that the wigged ones were closet socialists. In 1798, Congress created the first taxpayer-funded, government-run hospital, and mandated health insurance for all sailors — moves that seemed to predict health care in Europe and Canada today:

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed – “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.

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Bill Maher: Americans Must Realize What Makes NFL Football So Great — Socialism (Video)

Super BowlFrom last week's Real Time With Bill Maher, also on the Huffington Post:
New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That's right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams ... just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin has a population of 100,000. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets — who next year need to just shut the hell up and play. Now, me personally, I haven't watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson's nipple popped out during half time, and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned my eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it - who doesn't love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving each other brain damage on a giant flat-screen TV with a picture so realistic it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister? It's no surprise that some 100 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl next week — that's 40 million more than go to church on Christmas — suck on that, Jesus! It's also 85 million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity...
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Cuban Medics in Haiti Put the World to Shame

Cuba In HaitiNina Lakhani writes in the Indepedent:

They are the real heroes of the Haitian earthquake disaster, the human catastrophe on America’s doorstep which Barack Obama pledged a monumental US humanitarian mission to alleviate. Except these heroes are from America’s arch-enemy Cuba, whose doctors and nurses have put US efforts to shame.

A medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans is operating all over earthquake-torn and cholera-infected Haiti, as part of Fidel Castro’s international medical mission which has won the socialist state many friends, but little international recognition.

Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention.

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Congress Refuses an Article V Convention — Has Our Government Been Hijacked?

Signing of the Constitution. Painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

Signing of the Constitution. Painting by Howard Chandler Christy.

Article V is the only part of the US Constitution that tells how we can change the Constitution. The states, not Congress, propose amendments at an Article V Convention. An Article V Symposium was held at Cooley Law School on September 17, 2010 in Lansing, Michigan. Bill Walker, cofounder of Friends of the Article V Convention, shared how he filed two federal lawsuits stating that Congress was obligated to call an Article V Convention. The latter lawsuit (Walker v. the Members of Congress in 2004) was appealed to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court declared, as it had in three other separate decisions, that Congress must call for an Article V Convention. But Congress has simply refused in violation of the US Constitution.

To listen to Bill Walker’s speech and to the other scholars at the symposium, who all argue that we should want, not fear, an Article V Convention, click on this link.… Read the rest

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Tea Party Believes Thanksgiving Pilgrims Were Socialists

'The First Thanksgiving' by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

'The First Thanksgiving' by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

This ought to get conversation at your dinner table fired up! Kate Zernike fuels that fire in the New York Times:

Ah, Thanksgiving. A celebration regardless of creed; a time for all Americans to come together after a divisive election year.

But why take a holiday from argument? In these fractious times, even the meaning of Thanksgiving is subject to political debate.

Forget what you learned about the first Thanksgiving being a celebration of a bountiful harvest, or an expression of gratitude to the Indians who helped the Pilgrims through those harsh first months in an unfamiliar land. In the Tea Party view of the holiday, the first settlers were actually early socialists. They realized the error of their collectivist ways and embraced capitalism, producing a bumper year, upon which they decided that it was only right to celebrate the glory of the free market and private property.

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No Pay, No Spray: Firefighters Let Tennessee Home Burn Because Homeowner ‘Forgot’ to Pay $75 Fee

Photo Courtesty of punkpatriot on Etsy

Photo courtesy of punkpatriot on Etsy

I saw the man in question, Gene Cranick, interviewed on Countdown with Keith Olbermann earlier in the week. Seems a bit insane to not just collect the fee (plus some penalty) after putting out the fire. Via MSNBC:

Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn’t paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat.

“They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn’t do it,” Cranick told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks’ grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.

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The Crime of the Century: A Review of “Plunder”

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

"Plunder" Filmmaker Danny Schechter

From Nick Pell at Red Star Times:

In a just world Michael Moore’s Capitalism would have been released on DVD for a niche crowd of professional weirdos and malcontents while Plunder would have made millions and garnered Academy Awards. Unlike the former which relied on the pulling of emotional heartstrings, sucking up to Barack Obama and Mr. Moore’s usual shenanigans, Plunder: The Crime of Our Time revolves around hard analysis. Plunder provides a detailed summary of the Rube Goldberg machine that collapsed the American economy.

Indeed, the investors who robbed America blind are only one part of the equation. They received a great deal of assistance from the regulatory agency tasked with defending Americans from just such a swindle. Plunder falls short on exploring just how such malfeasance at the highest levels of power is allowed to happen, though it does an admirable job of laying bare the function of such agencies.… Read the rest

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