“Socialism Now to Be Called ‘Sustainable Capitalism'”

From StopTheACLU:

Update your Newspeak dictionaries. Comrade Al Gore has issued a decree that we are now to refer to eco-Marxism as “sustainable capitalism.”

Gore makes a fist and gets ominous: “Business and markets cannot operate in isolation from society or the environment. … We must develop sustainable capitalism.”

I expect The Left to conceal themselves by hiding by changing word definitions.

There are other terms such as Progressive:

Barack Obama is a communist by birth, breeding, education, and profession. His grandparents were communists, his parents were communists, his teachers were communists, his friends are communists, his colleagues are communists, he’s a communist. Duh.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the current euphemism for “communist” is “progressive.” This is not even a new usage. My father’s parents always called themselves “progressives,” for instance. In fact they were CPUSA members. (Before Grandma fell down the stairs at Juilliard and smashed her frontal lobe, one of the last messages she imparted to me was that Frank Rich writes a really great column.) “Progressive” is also all over the place in my ’80s Soviet Life magazines. And La Wik helpfully informs us that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is (a) the largest voting bloc of Democrats in the House, and (b) the affiliation of the Speaker. And now, of course, the President. Summary: the Cold War is over. Communism won.

The small ‘c’ is well-taken, of course. Obama’s faction is the disorganized, SDS, “Maoist,” or “New Left” wing of American communism. Ie, not the organized, CPUSA, “Stalinist” or “Old Left” wing – which both my grandparents and Obama’s first mentor Frank Marshall Davis were in, whose decline I think was as much cause as effect of the Soviet collapse, and whose remnants were really more for Hillary. And certainly not the defunct Trotskyite wing, whose carcass so weirdly morphed into “neoconservatism.”
[…]
If there’s one thing to remember about Alinskyism, or indeed progressivism as a whole, it’s that it is the perfect mental framework by which the lordly can do evil, while convincing themselves and/or others that they are small voices sticking up for good. [Link: Unqualified Reservations]

Sigh.

For Future Blog Entry - Communist Party

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23 Responses

  1. According to dictionary.com, socialism is “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. In Marxist theory, it is the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.”

    Every advocate of greater government economic control may be called a “socialist,” but none are true socialists unless they advocate the complete elimination of private enterprise, which means the replacement of capitalism with collectivism. True (laissez-faire) capitalism means zero government control of private enterprise. Neither of these extremes works in the long run. Every successful economy is a mixed economy, existing somewhere on a spectrum between both extremes.

    Every successful economy is part capitalist and part socialist. They all contain a mix of private and public ownership, and they all have some government control of private enterprise. The only relevant question is “WHERE on this spectrum can we achieve the greatest success?”

    Unless someone advocates the complete replacement of capitalism with collectivism, they do not truly advocate socialism or communism. To accuse them of either, when they have not explicitly done so themselves, suggests unfamiliarity with mixed economies.

  2. >>Unless someone advocates the complete >>replacement of capitalism with collectivism, they >>do not truly advocate socialism or communism. >>To accuse them of either, when they have not >>explicitly done so themselves, suggests >>unfamiliarity with mixed economies.

    So if one is not explicit in their advocacy, then said person might be engaging in 5th generation warfare. Q.E.D.

    PS – I support transparency 🙂

  3. A person “might be” anything. People should be judged on what they say and do, not inferences as to hidden agendas.

  4. Kal:

    “According to dictionary.com, socialism is “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

    As general short description that is fine.

    In practice in socialism, a small group of elites (whether they are the CP or government bureaucrats) take control and substitute their judgment (aka Central Planning) on what/how should be produced, how resources should be allocated, what firms should exists/survive/flourish and to whom the profits/rewards should go to as opposed to letting the decision be made by the market (aka incentives from the price system aka the aggregation of decisions and knowledge from all consumers and producers).

    Central planner (thinking they know better) disrupt the natural economic outcome and create bad results while usually rewarding themselves handily (it is no surprise that elites support socialistic systems – they come out on top).

    “Unless someone advocates the complete replacement of capitalism with collectivism, they do not truly advocate socialism or communism. To accuse them of either, when they have not explicitly done so themselves, suggests unfamiliarity with mixed economies.”

    I disagree with this. The day of violent Marxists/socialist revaluation is over for the most part.

    The better way to achieve the goal is to do it in small steps (a 5GW “frog boiling” style) co-opting as many useful idiots along the way as you can. Many of the folks advocating policies that move in the direction of greater socialism do not understand the ramifications of what they are suggesting (understanding economics is hard, understanding N-degree effects is hard).

    Those that advocate policies that increase socialism even unwittingly – need to be called out about it.

    Socialism is the great waster of human capital, a major cause of human misery, and an easy method for elites to maintain their status at the expense of others unnaturally.

    Calling is progressivism, or sustainable capitalism doesn’t change its goals.

  5. “judged on what they say and do”

    I agree. That is why I call those advocating Marxist and Socialist policies and outcomes…Marxist and Socialist.

  6. I know Obama sold out his own constituents to Rezko, when those constituents were freezing in the apartments owned by Rezko in the Chicago winter, no heating, no maintenance, no nothing.

  7. “I know Obama sold out his own constituents to Rezko, when those constituents were freezing in the apartments owned by Rezko in the Chicago winter, no heating, no maintenance, no nothing.”.

    Yep.

    Socialism doesn’t lead to a worker”s paradise. It leads to this –>

    “method for elites to maintain their status at the expense of others unnaturally.”

    Socialism allow elites to get more control.

    Under Capitalism, the price system creates incentives for producers and consumers from producers and consumers to allocate resources…no elites – no puppet masters – no worker’s vanguard – are required.

    The elites think they are smarter then markets. The socialist-minded elites also think they deserve more (“some pigs are more equal then others” [1]).


    [1]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm

  8. Then does your definition of “socialism,” contrary to the dictionary, include ANY government control of the economy? Every point in the spectrum between zero control and zero capitalism has some government control, and using such a definition, every mixed economy could be considered “socialism,” right? If not, then at what point does a mixed economy become socialist?

    Once you mess with definitions, there are usually unintended consequences.

  9. Yes:

    In practice in socialism, a small group of elites (whether they are the CP or government bureaucrats) take control and substitute their judgment (aka Central Planning) on what/how should be produced, how resources should be allocated, what firms should exists/survive/flourish and to whom the profits/rewards should go to as opposed to letting the decision be made by the market (aka incentives from the price system aka the aggregation of decisions and knowledge from all consumers and producers).

    “If not, then at what point does a mixed economy become socialist?”

    It is hard to define. I know a socialist policy proposal when I see one when I see one though.

    Socialist want the state of socialism. Just because they preside over a mixed economy (or rather an economy that has not crossed the fuzzy line to mostly socialism…yet) does not mean mean they can’t be socialist.

    As far as definitions, I believe my attempts at definition are a more accurate of socialist system as practiced in the real world, then a simple text book definition.

  10. Kuss: Yes indeed!

  11. “Socialist want the state of socialism.”

    If a person does NOT want to replace capitalism with collectivism, and wants to maintain private enterprise in a mixed economy with government regulation (like most peope), then at what point does he become a “socialist” (by your definition)?

    It’s a very slippery slope. Unless you use standardized definitions, then it boils down to a matter of opinion. If YOU believe in any regulation, then a pure capitalist might consider YOU to be a socialist.

    Accuracy In Media claims Bush and McCain are socialists. Do you agree?

  12. Under Capitalism, the price system creates incentives for producers and consumers from producers and consumers to allocate resources…no elites – no puppet masters – no worker’s vanguard – are required.

    Or looked at it another way, capitalism forces the elites to fight each other and utilize the advantages of their workers to win. Fat and happy elites don’t give equal partnerships because they don’t need them. Lean and competitive elites with money and wealth will want any advantage they can get against the opposition, which forces them to innovate and adopt all kinds of efficiency standards. These efficiency standards than naturally produce a healtheir and more productive working force since a less healthy work force would create less productivity and thus make the owners prey to other elites.

    Capitalism is dog eat dog. Whereas socialism is lion eat sheep. Lion will always eat sheep. In capitalism, however, any dog may eat any dog, vegetarians may kill carnivores too.

    Every point in the spectrum between zero control and zero capitalism has some government control

    The government controls the military and the making of laws. Businesses are made up out of citizens and people and citizens and people must obey laws. That is the only way government can and should control “business”. Government is there to control people and to get them working together. Businesses are just one form of competition. The government then cannot force competition on their competitors and call it “capitalism” or “competition” even. It ain’t competition. It is the government destroying the competition. The government doesn’t compete with the people, however, since the power of government comes from the people. The people decide for the government what the government can or should do. If the people decide to loot their own businesses or the businesses of their rivals, that should be the decision and act of the people, not of the government deciding on their own.

    If not, then at what point does a mixed economy become socialist?

    When the government starts getting the idea that it is superior to the source of its power by disarming the citizens and making them into sheep and cogs in the machine.

    It is hard to define. I know a socialist policy proposal when I see one when I see one though.

    You know that is highly inefficient, purple.

    Accuracy In Media claims Bush and McCain are socialists. Do you agree?

    Both Bush and McCain are pro military and pro gun ownership, or at least not anti-gun ownership. Socialists cannot both believe power comes from the people ultimately and also believe power ultimately comes from leaders in government, since the conflict is too much.

    Outside the US, those who are pro-military can also be socialists since their military are only loyal to who pays them. The US military is loyal to the Constitution and cannot be subverted by the government to be used as the secret police to control America and strip Americans of power to give unto the government so that the government can proceed to loot businesses (meaning the people) of their wealth.

    A government or a leader that wants a larger military in order to protect them from enemies across the border, however, is just somebody doing what a government is there to do. A government is a necessary piece of compromise because people need to band together against foreign enemies and that means central order and leadership. A government that protects the people from external threats is a government obeying its original mandate. A government raising up the military to crush internal dissent, ala Cuba and Iran, is not a government obeying the mandate of the people. That’s socialism.

  13. http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2008/11/11/utopia-limited/

    In the waning days of the campaign, John McCain took to accusing Obama of being a socialist. The epithet lacked traction. There were, I think, two main reasons for that. One was the fact that McCain was a poor messenger for his own ideas: he never really articulated his position in a compelling way. The second reason is that many people who have not had the misfortune of actually living under under a socialist regime regard it as a jolly good thing. Socialism, as Joshua Muravchik noted in his book Heaven on Earth: the Rise and Fall of Socialism, was “the most popular political idea ever invented.”

    It was also undoubtedly the bloodiest. Of course, many who profess socialism are decent and humane people. And it is worth noting that socialism comes in mild as well as tyrannical versions. Muravchik, who was once a socialist himself, pays frequent homage to the generous impulses that lie behind some allotropes of the socialist enterprise. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that “regimes calling themselves socialist have murdered more than one hundred million people since 1917.” Why?

    A large part of the answer lies in the intellectual dynamics of utopianism. “Utopia” is Greek for “nowhere”: a made-up word for a make-believe place. The search for nowhere inevitably deprecates any and every “somewhere.” Socialism, which is based on incorrigible optimism about human nature, is a species of utopianism. It experiences the friction of reality as an intolerable brake on its expectations. “Utopians,” the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski observed in “The Death of Utopia Reconsidered,” “once they attempt to convert their visions into practical proposals, come up with the most malignant project ever devised: they want to institutionalize fraternity, which is the surest way to totalitarian despotism.”

    Obamania may be a harmless enthusiasm that will spend itself naturally in the coming weeks. Then again, its “spread-the-wealth-around,” egalitarian tendencies may presage something far graver. It’s just possible that Obama actually believes what he says about redistributing wealth and sitting down for cozy chats with dictators, etc. In that case, the country is in for a very rude awakening.

  14. Kal:

    I don’t know anything about “Accuracy In Media” or what they might claim. Bush and McCain are certainly not small government types. They both support misguided policies that distort negatively the natural functioning of markets. They are not purposeful socialist, but they both support TARP – “The Bailout” which is a terrible implementation of economic policy and whihc nudges us more in that direction.

    My main problems with socialism come down to two:

    Economic –> Reductions in Wealth and Opportunities over time

    Political –> Less individual freedoms and short term time frame and gulag, labor camps and re-education centers at the other end with mass graves sprinkled in.

  15. There is an internal (non-National Security role) role for government in democratic capitalism [1].

    The improper uses of government include the enriching the elites through manipulation of the government, the setting of wages and prices, deciding what get produced and allocating national resources, deciding upon which businesses will be allowed to succeed|fail|exists.

    The proper functions of government in Democratic Capitalism include: maintaining a fair, predictable and transparent legal system, support for a competition of ideas, providing for rule-sets that allows transparency of information for decision-making, support for property and commerce rights, support for entrepreneurial activity and innovation.

    [1]
    https://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2006/09/05/democracy-elections-modern-democracies-are/

    It is hard to define. I know a socialist policy proposal when I see one when I see one though.

    You know that is highly inefficient, purple.

    It is hard to give a quantitative answer to a boundary on a qualitative continuum.

  16. Good discussion! Do you believe agencies such as the FAA, DOE, FCC, and FDA provide “legitimate” controls on business?

  17. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

    Socialism is not a discrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other. Another dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split on how a socialist economy should be established between the reformists and the revolutionaries. Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; while others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy. Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries in mixed economies combined with tax-funded welfare programs; Libertarian socialism (which includes Socialist Anarchism and Libertarian Marxism) rejects state control and ownership of the economy altogether and advocates direct collective ownership of the means of production via co-operative workers’ councils and workplace democracy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism

    Democratic socialism is difficult to define, and groups of scholars have radically different definitions for the term. Some definitions of democratic socialism simply refers to all forms of socialism that follow an electoral, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticisms_of_socialism#Churchill

    Winston Churchill criticized socialism for inevitably evolving into a totalitarian regime claiming that:

    A socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.[28]

  18. Hi Kal:

    Good discussion! Do you believe agencies such as the FAA, DOE, FCC, and FDA provide “legitimate” controls on business?

    It depends upon the functions.

    For instance, when FCC spend time regulating obscenity on TV, no not a good or legitimate use. If the FCC creates and enforces spectrum property rights so the spectrum is usable, then that is good.

    Much of those programs are just beurocracies that suck up money.

    DOE has some legitimate security responsibilities. The R&D stuff would be better done a sort of an Energy DARPA or Energy NSF. I am not to up on the regulatory stuff DOE does.

    Where the government is useful, is when it brings order to something that is not easily ordered (in the form of property rights or something similar) such as the broadcast spectrum, or flight airways, or off-shore fishing so that business can feel safe to invest capital to create product and services that consumers (individuals or or other businesses) will want to purchase which make everybody better off. The USGOV role is to intervene as lightly as possible to ensure a rule-set with negative feedback.

    I see this less as control on business, and more as enablement of commerce and enablement of economic growth (in quality, quantity and variety) which is good for both producers and consumers.

  19. The Food & Drug Administration’s role IS to control business, to ensure that products are safe. As you may be aware, in the late 19th century, unregulated food and drug marketplaces were hotbeds of quackery and unsafe products. Is this control a proper function of government?

  20. The same questions may also be asked concerning the business control functions of the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other Federal regulatory agencies . . .

  21. From:

    We Blew It: A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered.
    by P.J. O’Rourke

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/791jsebl.asp

    What will destroy our country and us is not the financial crisis but the fact that liberals think the free market is some kind of sect or cult, which conservatives have asked Americans to take on faith. That’s not what the free market is. The free market is just a measurement, a device to tell us what people are willing to pay for any given thing at any given moment. The free market is a bathroom scale. You may hate what you see when you step on the scale. “Jeeze, 230 pounds!” But you can’t pass a law making yourself weigh 185. Liberals think you can. And voters–all the voters, right up to the tippy-top corner office of Goldman Sachs–think so too.

    We, the conservatives, who do understand the free market, had the responsibility to–as it were–foreclose upon this mess. The market is a measurement, but that measuring does not work to the advantage of a nation or its citizens unless the assessments of volume, circumference, and weight are conducted with transparency and under the rule of law. We’ve had the rule of law largely in our hands since 1980. Where is the transparency? It’s one more job we botched.

    I am P.J. O’Rourke style Conservative. The entire article is worth reading.

  22. Kal, the 19th century was almost pre-scientific as far as biological science went.

    If USGOV is providing for transparency and information access for consumers, producers, and investors I am all for it.

    If it is for control or manipulation it is a bad thing.

    You see the difference right? If not, I will try to explain it better.

    This is the 21st century not the 19th. The size of USGOV has grown exponentially since the 19th century…the is no need for the suck it boots on the economy.

  23. I just re-read the post and discussion. That was lots of fun to read and write!

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