Posts tagged ‘Socialism’

June 11, 2011

Europe’s Left Crumbles

by Vince

The Economist explains that when economies tank, socialism typically falls out of favor:

There are many theories for the left’s weakness in Europe. One is simply that left-wing parties struggle when times are hard. Our chart shows the number of left-wing governments in the EU-27 countries over the past couple of decades against the annual GDP growth rate in the region. The growth figure is shown with a two-year lag, the hypothesis being that economic changes take time to have political effects.

March 25, 2011

Question(s) for the Weekend

by Vince

I had a good chat with a friend the other day and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, Obama’s health care plan, the health care plan that came to fruition after 30+ years of push) came up. This friend of mine mentioned that even though they (U.S. gov) may be trying to do a good deed, what will happen when all services are taken over and ran by the government?

This was a striking question for me. I hadn’t really thought about this for some time. I have mainly been caught up with the government doing what I see as the best for the common good.

So I leave you, the loyal readers, a few questions for this weekend: could America reach the point where all of its services and main entities are run or have been taken over by the government? Would that ruin America? Is there anything stopping America from getting to that point? Would that make America a bad place to live in?

Email your responses to vgiordano at gmail dot com.

November 11, 2010

Alaska’s Socialism and other Ironies within the Republican Party

by Vince

Anne Applebaum explains:

For decades, Alaskans have lived off federal welfare. Taxpayers’ money subsidizes everything from Alaska’s roads and bridges to itsmyriad programs for Native Americans. Federal funding accounts for one-third of Alaskan jobs.

Here are some of my collective thoughts.

Is it possible for a candidate to overtly loath the very thing that keeps her home state chugging along?

Lisa Murkowski, the amazing write-in Senator in Alaska, flaunts her statist-ran Alaska while Joe Miller wanted to “take back America” with mere scant plans as to how. Murkowski won, pushing forth this question: will Murkowski be the type of candidate to promote spending cuts or is Alaska better off with a Joe Miller type of vague radicalism?

Furthermore, Applebaum reveals the odd paradox in how the votes were shelled out for Repubs:

“…so many Republicans – and so many Americans – don’t practice what they preach. They want lower taxes, higher defense spending, more Social Security and, yes, balanced budgets. They want the government to leave them alone, but at the same time they aren’t averse to the odd federal subsidy. They like the way Miller talks, but, in the end, will they vote for Murkowski?”

How much of the Republican party agenda is too sacred to touch? Time continues to reveal that to us.

November 7, 2010

Patriotism as a Form of Socialism

by Vince

I chucked a bit last night after reading this. I believe it has some truth to it.

You can think of patriotism as a kind of status socialism—a collectivization of the means of self-esteem production. You don’t have to graduate from an Ivy or make a lot of money to feel proud or special about being an American; you don’t have to do a damn thing but be born here. Cultural valorization of “American-ness” relative to other status markers, then, is a kind of redistribution of psychological capital to those who lack other sources of it.You can gin up bogus reasons why it might matter from a policy perspective when the president says something that can be construed as “apologizing for America,” or doesn’t engage in a lot of symbolism that’s supposed to signal commitment to “American values”—but none of them have ever made much sense. The conventional take is that it’s really about markers of tribal affinity, but we can go a step further: Maybe it’s more precisely that people want high-status figures to invest in building the brand of their shared identity—a sort of status redistribution as noblese oblige.

Patriotism relies on banding together, spreading the red, white, and blue goodness around and labeling anyone who questions it either a commie, terrorist sympathizer, or an antichrist. Sure, this form of socialism isn’t redistributing money and lead by a Soviet dictator, but I wouldn’t put Joseph Stalin on completely different planets as Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. When you have a Representative in the state of Minnesota saying that not all cultures are equal and further draws the line between American and foreign, clean and unclean in a sense, that takes anyone listening or riding that wave down a inhumane and perilous path to harming self, nation (so much for national security, eh?) and maybe most importantly: others!

October 27, 2010

Obama is a Secularist?

by Vince

When will Newt Gingrich shut up and stop preaching poppycock to the masses?

Update: Here is the full script (pdf) of his speech.

September 3, 2010

What the Tea Party Really  Wants

by Vince

David Brooks and Gail Collins spar over the Honor Rally and Tea Party psychology:

David Brooks: If there was a political message to the meeting, it was that many people think America’s peril is fundamentally spiritual, not economic. There has been some straying from the basic values and thrifty, industrious habits that built the country. I don’t agree with much of what this crowd wants, but I do agree with that.
Gail Collins: I can’t buy into the idea that the Tea Party is angry because traditional values are being ignored and mocked by the American elite. As elites go, the one today is really pretty low key. I was around for the various rebellions of the sixties and seventies, and if you wanted to see traditional values being made sport of, that was your period. We all told our parents, who were working like mad to put us through college, that it was immoral to devote your life to making money. Nobody has that kind of self-righteousness now.
These two go into some neat topics. Is the Tea Party really mad about “looming socialism” or are they mad that capitalism gives the hope of all reaching the top but only a small slice make it? The capitalism that the Tea Party lauds basically shoots out their own foot: capitalism requires change and that change has brought in diverse ethnic groups within different generations over the past 150 years to America to fuel its capitalistic machine. Brooks sums up a large xenophobic view within the Tea Party that is willfully covered up in a patriotic guise:
People like those at last weekend’s rally want the Judeo-Christian ethic back, which sweetened and softened life on the frontier (physical or technological). And so they march. They are only vaguely aware of this value system. It is so entwined into their very nature, they can not step back and define it. But they feel it weakening. It might be possible for a responsible person to tap into this sense, but none has, so Glenn Beck has.
August 3, 2010

Confessions of a Tea Party Casualty

by Vince

GOP Rep. Bob Inglis (R.-S.C), who was voted out in a run-off election 29 to 71 percent, tells of his issues with the current Tea Party / Conservative platform. This article is worth the full read; it describes the hysteria on the fringe, Right wing, Glenn Beck loving side of the GOP:

During his primary campaign, Inglis repeatedly encountered enraged conservatives whom he couldn’t—or wouldn’t—satisfy. Shortly before the runoff primary election, Inglis met with about a dozen tea party activists at the modest ranch-style home of one of them. Here’s what took place:

I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there’s a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life’s earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, “What the heck are you talking about?” I’m trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, “You don’t know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don’t know this?!” And I said, “Please forgive me. I’m just ignorant of these things.” And then of course, it turned into something about the Federal Reserve and the Bilderbergers and all that stuff. And now you have the feeling of anti-Semitism here coming in, mixing in. Wow.

July 3, 2010

“Soccer is a socialist sport”, Ctd.

by Vince

Mark Thompson responds to Thiessen’s comical screed:

If “no hands is a rule only a European statist could love,” then I wonder what a statist would think of “no breathing on the quarterback,” “no touching the fragile wide receiver more than five yards from the line of scrimmage,” “no touching the ball at all if you you’re obese unless it’s first touched by a player with a healthy diet,” etc.?  Not to mention “no hurting your opponents’ feelings by celebrating when you score”?

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July 2, 2010

“Soccer is a socialist sport”

by Vince

The McCarthyite-Far Right is burning:

The world is crazy for soccer, but most Americans don’t give a hoot about the sport. Why? Many years ago, my former White House colleague Bill McGurn pointed out to me the real reason soccer hasn’t caught on in the good old U.S.A. It’s simple, really: Soccer is a socialist sport.

Think about it. Soccer is the only sport in the world where you cannot use the one tool that distinguishes man from beast: opposable thumbs. “No hands” is a rule only a European statist could love. (In fact, with the web of high taxes and regulations that tie the hands of European entrepreneurs, “no hands” kind of describes their economic theories as well.)

Soccer is also the only sport in the world that has “hooligans”—proletarian mobs that trash private property whenever their team loses.