advertisement
Forums

 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the 'Friendly' Political Ranting forum
Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: hal
Date: July 12, 2012 04:02PM
Milos Forman has had it with use of terms 'socialism' and 'communism' being used in American political theater...

WHEN I was asked to direct “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” my friends warned me not to go anywhere near it.

The story is so American, they argued, that I, an immigrant fresh off the boat, could not do it justice. They were surprised when I explained why I wanted to make the film. To me it was not just literature but real life, the life I lived in Czechoslovakia from my birth in 1932 until 1968. The Communist Party was my Nurse Ratched, telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not.

Now, years later, I hear the word “socialist” being tossed around by the likes of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others. President Obama, they warn, is a socialist. The critics cry, “Obamacare is socialism!” They falsely equate Western European-style socialism, and its government provision of social insurance and health care, with Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. It offends me, and cheapens the experience of millions who lived, and continue to live, under brutal forms of socialism.


edit: the link: [www.nytimes.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2012 04:02PM by hal.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Pam
Date: July 12, 2012 04:07PM
Good luck wit that. The base will say "telling me what I could and could not do; what I was or was not allowed to say; where I was and was not allowed to go; even who I was and was not." is exactly what is going on.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: john dough
Date: July 12, 2012 04:16PM
The GOP base believes what it is told to believe and some of the more gullible vocal ones even post to forums professing that what they were told is fact.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: hal
Date: July 12, 2012 04:26PM
I forgot that people don't follow links... let me expand the quote from above:

My sister-in-law’s father, Jan Kunasek, lived in Czechoslovakia all his life. He was a middle-class man who ran a tiny inn in a tiny village. One winter night in 1972, during a blizzard, a man, soaked to the bone, awakened him at 2 in the morning. The man looked destitute and, while asking for shelter, couldn’t stop cursing the Communists. Taking pity, the elderly Mr. Kunasek put him up for the night.

A couple of hours later, Mr. Kunasek was awakened again, this time by three plainclothes policemen. He was arrested, accused of sheltering a terrorist and sentenced to several years of hard labor in uranium mines. The state seized his property. When he was finally released, ill and penniless, he died within a few weeks. Years later we learned that the night visitor had been working for the police. According to the Communists, Mr. Kunasek was a class enemy and deserved to be punished.


THIS is not happening in Obama's America... the
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: $tevie
Date: July 12, 2012 04:34PM
Uh oh, I think the thought police grabbed hal in mid-sentence.









(Sorry, hal, I couldn't resist.)



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Manlove
Date: July 12, 2012 05:41PM
From the link (see Hal, we do peek!)-

"Today, our democracy, a miraculous gathering of diverse players, desperately needs such unity. If all participants play fair and strive for the common good, we can achieve a harmony that eluded the doctrinaire socialist projects. But if just one section, or even one player, is out of tune, the music will disintegrate into cacophony.

I am not asking Mr. Obama and the Republican leaders to stop playing instruments of their choosing. All I am asking is that every player keep in mind the noble melody of our country. Otherwise the noisy dissonance might become loud enough to wake another Marx, or even worse. "

The problem? He lost credence with the 'pugs at "common good".
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: August West
Date: July 12, 2012 06:31PM
Thanks for the great link, hal!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: July 12, 2012 06:42PM
I stopped at the Grinder cafe and had the burrito plate for lunch. Didn't see any trolls there.

I paid cash money, so the socialist paradise the R's keep talking about seems to be pretty far in the distance.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 12, 2012 09:24PM
A VERY good article. The key differences between "Social Equality", which is unattainable, and "Social Harmony", which is, are quite telling.

I will point out that many elements of the Democratic Party's efforts seem to be directed at "Social Equality"... a sort of world of Harrison Bergeron as envisioned by Kurt Vonnegut where equality is forced by taking from the advantaged and giving to the disadvantaged. This Robin Hood like philosophy flows in the undercurrent of Democratic Party talking points quite clearly (to me at least).

How to achieve Social Harmony ? I'm unsure, but I will opine that the current political climate primarily serves to inflame Social DisHarmony.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 12, 2012 09:42PM
Quote
cbelt3
I will point out that many elements of the Democratic Party's efforts seem to be directed at "Social Equality"... a sort of world of Harrison Bergeron as envisioned by Kurt Vonnegut where equality is forced by taking from the advantaged and giving to the disadvantaged. This Robin Hood like philosophy flows in the undercurrent of Democratic Party talking points quite clearly (to me at least).

Hilarious. Too tired of trying to defend Atlas Shrugged?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: RgrF
Date: July 13, 2012 03:09AM
The desire to make the term "socialist" a pejorative is so strong within right wing circles that some will attempt to associate Germany's National Socialist Party with socialism. Failing that they'll associate it with Communism/Fascism or any other ism they can build into a boogeyman.

The only thing they won't associate it with is socialism in practice in Sweden, Norway, Denmark or other Northern European countries.

They are terrified that since it's spread throughout northern Europe, it threatens to entice North America thus threatening the hegemony they've long enjoyed.

Modern day Russia seems to share the same concerns of our current right wing.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 13, 2012 05:41AM
P, any thoughts on the opinion? (other than the Rand-om reference)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: July 13, 2012 06:17AM
I have certainly noticed over the years of frequenting these US based forums that the word "socialism" is used in ways that seem alien to the definition in the rest of the world. I have said before that I am a socialist in my views when it comes to the politics in my own country and also understand that different countries and their populations' attitudes would make true socialism a non starter in those countries. Our two main political parties are Labour (towards the left) and Conservative (towards the right) and where they stand on the left and the right varies over time, sometimes more or less to the right or left than at other times. Our right wing party, the Conservatives often pursue policies that your Democrats would baulk at as being too left wing for them but the rest of the world would laugh if you called the Conservatives socialist.

The word "socialism" seems to have lost its original meaning in the US and is now used as a general insult without regard for its real definition.

Paul
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: $tevie
Date: July 13, 2012 08:06AM
I agree, Paul. "Socialism" is used as an insult. So is "Liberal", for that matter.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Acer
Date: July 13, 2012 08:52AM
Quote
$tevie
I agree, Paul. "Socialism" is used as an insult. So is "Liberal", for that matter.

Right-wing radio is working hard to add "progressive" to that list.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 13, 2012 09:06AM
Quote
voodoopenguin


The word "socialism" seems to have lost its original meaning in the US and is now used as a general insult without regard for its real definition.

Paul

So what is the definition, and why is it put in quotes all the itme?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: July 13, 2012 09:36AM
Quote
Avenger
So what is the definition, and why is it put in quotes all the itme?

Definitions change and as I said in my post above they seem to vary between countries. If I give a definition it will be based on the general acceptable use of the word here in the UK whereas in the US it might be different, did you not understand that?

Is it put in quotes "all the itme"? (sic). I can't say it is always in quotes in fact it is rarely in quotes over here however when you are talking about a particular word or phrase it is useful to put it in quotes in order to make it clear what word or phrase you are talking about. You may have noted (or maybe not) that you quoted part of what I wrote earlier. On this forum and others it puts the quoted section in a box and uses the word "quote" (see how I put that word in quotes?) in order to make sure there is no confusion about what you are talking about although it appears it doesn't work for everyone.

Paul
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: decay
Date: July 13, 2012 10:04AM
i've said it before, and i'll say it again:

Conservatives and Republicans both enjoy LIBERAL expense accounts, pensions, tax shelters, and benefits.

I don't see many of them giving up those LIBERAL perks.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Ted King
Date: July 13, 2012 10:17AM
Quote
cbelt3
A VERY good article. The key differences between "Social Equality", which is unattainable, and "Social Harmony", which is, are quite telling.

I will point out that many elements of the Democratic Party's efforts seem to be directed at "Social Equality"... a sort of world of Harrison Bergeron as envisioned by Kurt Vonnegut where equality is forced by taking from the advantaged and giving to the disadvantaged. This Robin Hood like philosophy flows in the undercurrent of Democratic Party talking points quite clearly (to me at least).

How to achieve Social Harmony ? I'm unsure, but I will opine that the current political climate primarily serves to inflame Social DisHarmony.

Very good story telling on a personal level and his conclusion is compelling in the sense of being very elegantly phrased, but though the concept around the term "social harmony" is appealing on the surface, I think it may be too nebulous to be terribly useful. For example, what are we to make of this from his article, "If all participants play fair and strive for the common good, we can achieve a harmony that eluded the doctrinaire socialist projects." But isn't where the rubber really meets the road exactly how to come to a broadly common consensus about what is "fair" and how much should the "common good" call for sacrifice from the individual (and what is it that constitutes "the common good" in the first place)?

As an analogy the author talks of, "Harmony in music is, by its nature, exhilarating and soothing. In an orchestra, the different players and instruments perform together, in support of an overall melody." When you have a few guys jamming together, they can make harmonious music without a director just by direct collaboration - as perhaps epitomized by extemporaneous jazz ensembles - but when you have a large orchestra, then, for all practical purposes, it's imperative to have a score and a director. There is a lot of ambiguity there - the romanticist "extemporaneous jazz ensemble" created notion of harmony all the way to a potentially authoritarian "director and score orchestral" harmony. It's a powerful allusion, but as a functioning analogy its an illusion.

But, with all that said, I do agree with the spirit of what the author was trying to get at and I certainly agree that Obama is not very far to the left on the socialism continuum and it's nothing short of disingenuous to suggest that he is.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 13, 2012 10:42AM
Quote
voodoopenguin
Quote
Avenger
So what is the definition, and why is it put in quotes all the itme?

Definitions change and as I said in my post above they seem to vary between countries. If I give a definition it will be based on the general acceptable use of the word here in the UK whereas in the US it might be different, did you not understand that?

Is it put in quotes "all the itme"? (sic). I can't say it is always in quotes in fact it is rarely in quotes over here however when you are talking about a particular word or phrase it is useful to put it in quotes in order to make it clear what word or phrase you are talking about. You may have noted (or maybe not) that you quoted part of what I wrote earlier. On this forum and others it puts the quoted section in a box and uses the word "quote" (see how I put that word in quotes?) in order to make sure there is no confusion about what you are talking about although it appears it doesn't work for everyone.

Paul

OK, I get all that. Now please tell me what is your definition of socialism as understood where you live.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 13, 2012 11:17AM
Quote

P, any thoughts on the opinion? (other than the Rand-om reference)

It's ironic you'd use a short story by an actual socialist as a counter to some Robin Hood fantasy no one actually endorses or believes in.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Manlove
Date: July 13, 2012 11:23AM
Quote
voodoopenguin
I have certainly noticed over the years of frequenting these US based forums that the word "socialism" is used in ways that seem alien to the definition in the rest of the world. I have said before that I am a socialist in my views when it comes to the politics in my own country and also understand that different countries and their populations' attitudes would make true socialism a non starter in those countries. Our two main political parties are Labour (towards the left) and Conservative (towards the right) and where they stand on the left and the right varies over time, sometimes more or less to the right or left than at other times. Our right wing party, the Conservatives often pursue policies that your Democrats would baulk at as being too left wing for them but the rest of the world would laugh if you called the Conservatives socialist.

The word "socialism" seems to have lost its original meaning in the US and is now used as a general insult without regard for its real definition.

Paul

Have you tried living here Paul? You have to learn a whole new world of connotations. You grew up thinking that being liberal was a good and fair way to view the world, and it turns out that in fact you are the devil who'd take freedoms from helpless babies!
"Teh horrorz!"
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Manlove
Date: July 13, 2012 11:29AM
Quote
Avenger
Quote
voodoopenguin
The word "socialism" seems to have lost its original meaning in the US and is now used as a general insult without regard for its real definition.
Paul

So what is the definition, and why is it put in quotes all the itme?

If he told you his definition which would be more or less the same as it would have been here a while ago (I'm guessing the Raygun era blew these terms out of the water), you would just turn round and say something to the effect of "But that's not what it means here and hence bears no weight in this discussion."
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: billb
Date: July 13, 2012 12:05PM




The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Ted King
Date: July 13, 2012 12:08PM
Quote
cbelt3

I will point out that many elements of the Democratic Party's efforts seem to be directed at "Social Equality"... a sort of world of Harrison Bergeron as envisioned by Kurt Vonnegut where equality is forced by taking from the advantaged and giving to the disadvantaged. This Robin Hood like philosophy flows in the undercurrent of Democratic Party talking points quite clearly (to me at least).

I meant to comment on this in my last post but forgot.

Could you name some of the many elements of the the Democratic Party's efforts that would be examples of a desire to create a Harrison Bergeron world? Taking care of children who aren't fortunate enough to have parents who do a good enough job is a priority of the Democratic Party - is that an example of a Robin Hood philosophy of forced equality run amuck? Is utilizing a Robin Hood like philosophy to care for elderly people who cannot sufficiently take care of themselves an example of making a Harrison Bergeron kind of world? Is utilizing a Robin Hood like philosophy to make sure every child gets an education that helps optimize their chances of being financially successful if they have the innate ability and drive to succeed making a Harrison Bergeron kind of world? Is utilizing a Robin Hood like philosophy to try to make sure that everyone who is suffering from a medical issue gets relief making a Harrison Bergeron kind of world?

One of the things about Robin Hood is that he felt justified in taking from the rich and giving to the poor because he did not think the rich actually deserved all the wealth they had. I think it is a common assumption amongst Republicans that if all the income you have you obtained legally then you deserved to have the whole amount of income. I think a lot of Democrats do not agree with that assumption. To a large extent, what Democrats advocate for in terms of government social spending is to mitigate the unjustified bias built into the economic system that rewards some people with more than they deserve. What I see from Democrats is a lot of efforts at that mitigation, not forcing equality anything remotely like a Harrison Bergeron type of equality.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2012 12:09PM by Ted King.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Manlove
Date: July 13, 2012 12:14PM
Wondered when the ants would make their entrance.
It's a @#$%& analogy for political systems but anyway, look at the signs in this picture. It seems that some people without a clue will believe anything they are told...
"Race Mixing is Communism!"
Uhuh. Okay. Come back to me on that when the deliruium passes.

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: billb
Date: July 13, 2012 12:30PM
wrong thread or personal lowest common denominator ?



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Manlove
Date: July 13, 2012 01:49PM
Quote
billb
wrong thread or personal lowest common denominator ?

Right thread bill. Responding to the idea that people warp the meanings of words to suit their agenda, which is exactly the meaning of the thread subject line.

What were you saying?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: billb
Date: July 13, 2012 02:12PM
OK, I misssed the socialist point



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Manlove
Date: July 13, 2012 02:16PM
Quote
billb
OK, I misssed the socialist point
No worries.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: decay
Date: July 13, 2012 02:55PM
read this rant.

[www.fff.org]

For some 80 years, conservatives and liberals have lived the life of the lie and the life of unreality. Having rejected and abandoned the libertarian principles of economic liberty and free markets on which our nation was founded in favor of socialism and fascism, they convinced themselves that they really hadn’t done that. They convinced themselves that what they had done instead was simply “save free enterprise.” They convinced themselves that their socialist and fascist economic system was “free market.” And they used the public schools — that is, their socialist education system — to reinforce that lie and unreality to generation after generation of American students, who grew up believing the lies and unreality.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 13, 2012 04:00PM
>> what Democrats advocate for in terms of government social spending is to mitigate the unjustified bias built into the economic system that rewards some people with more than they deserve.<<

That was the intention, this is the result. Problem is intention is all that counts. Such a great idea. The society provides housing for the poor. Who could be agains that?

Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: p8712
Date: July 13, 2012 05:38PM
Quote

Could you name some of the many elements of the the Democratic Party's efforts that would be examples of a desire to create a Harrison Bergeron world?

He can't.

Ted is far more patient and eloquent than I.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 13, 2012 05:50PM
The 800 pound gorilla just goes unnoticed.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: decay
Date: July 13, 2012 10:57PM
don't people, humans, Americans, deserve at the very least, some shelter and a little bit of food?

WWJD?



---
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 14, 2012 10:53AM
>>don't people, humans, Americans, deserve at the very least, some shelter and a little bit of food?<<


They do, but this is not what they bargained for. But wait, the politicians have a new plan. They want to "rehouse" the poor. I am sure it'll work this time.


[www.nytimes.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: July 14, 2012 11:26AM
Avenger do you donate to any private charities?

I'm just curious where, or if, you find good in the world.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 14, 2012 01:44PM
Shiny spoon time again? Pictures of utter failure are staring you in the face and you are worried about my charitable donations?
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: July 14, 2012 04:07PM
Do you know what Shiny Spoon Time is? It's when Republican policies for 30 years and especially the last 12 years, have put the USA on the brink and Republicans are going, "Look! Gays getting married! Muslims everywhere! Taxes are too damn high!"
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 14, 2012 04:14PM
Republican policies saved your hero's ass Bill Clinton who was so scared after 94 to declare the era of big government is over without for a second believing in it.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: decay
Date: July 14, 2012 11:08PM
so, please show specific examples of Obama's Socialist policies that are any different from previous presidents, Repub or Dem.

here's mine:

[www.laprogressive.com]

Quote

During Reagan’s first term, the top tax rate on our wealthiest citizens was 50%, 11% higher than the Republican threshold for being a socialist. Reagan was clearly well beyond the threshold, thus equally clearly a socialist.

What’s even worse is that Reagan was a tax-and-spend socialist. Even with a 50% tax rate on billionaires, he spent us into a huge deficit. But even so, he was far from the worst.

During Nixon’s presidency, the top tax rate was 70%. And Nixon not only taxed at almost double the socialism threshold, he also went to China and did deals with the Chinese. Beyond socialism, Nixon was clearly flirting with being an outright Commie.

it's all in the spin, citizen.



---
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Avenger
Date: July 15, 2012 01:59AM
I welcome your admiration of Nixon and Reagan. George W Bush can't be far behind. Actually Krugman is already on it.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close
Posted by: Pops
Date: July 15, 2012 02:46PM
Quote
decay
read this rant.

[www.fff.org]

And they used the public schools — that is, their socialist education system — to reinforce that lie and unreality to generation after generation of American students, who grew up believing the lies and unreality.
Yup! I spent 34 years trying to indoctrinate my 8-12 year students in Marxism. "Screw the reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic", I said.

"Don't worry if they learn how to write in English and spell words properly and know the history of their country. Or learn how to say 'please' and 'thank you'. Oh, no", I said, "Just make 'em little Commies."

Yup, That's what teachers did all over, I guess.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 103
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020