The Socialism Thread

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pioneer98
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The Socialism Thread

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I mainly just wanted to share this article but I also noticed we didn't really have a thread dedicated just to this. The right is doing point/counterpoint against themselves on this.

Conservatives Can’t Decide If Nordic Socialism Is a Totalitarian Nightmare or Actually Capitalist
Response No. 1: Nordic economic policies are a totalitarian nightmare.

Some conservatives are sticking to the old-time religion. Fox Business anchor Trish Regan recently likened Denmark to Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela. And in a new column on the scourge of democratic socialism, Commentary’s Noah Rothman casts all proponents of single-payer health care as proto-Stalinists.
Option No. 2: Nordic economic policies are actually capitalist.
Cato’s case is less blinkered and juvenile than Rothman’s. But it is no less a testament to the obsolescence of the American right’s economic thought. The think tank’s 2015 paper, “The Danish Model — Don’t Try This at Home,” offers some empirical support for the (nevertheless, tendentious) claim that Denmark’s economic strength preceded its adoption of social democratic policies, and therefore, should not be attributed to them. Instead, the paper suggests that the real secret of the Nordic country’s success lies in its “strong protection of property rights and the integrity of the legal system,” along with its commitment to free trade, light touch with regulations, and the fact that its “labor market is very flexible: there is no legislated minimum wage, and there are few restrictions on hiring and firing.”

Even if we took Cato’s analysis of Denmark at face value, it would still leave Paul Ryan’s party with no leg to stand on. Perhaps Denmark’s welfare state isn’t the source of its strong economic growth. But there’s little question that the country’s aberrantly high levels of social spending are responsible for its exceptionally low levels of relative poverty and income inequality. If conservatives concede that it is possible for a country to provide all citizens with low-cost health insurance, child care, paid family leave, etc. — and still function as a vibrant, free-market economy — then how could they possibly justify the GOP’s ambition to throw millions of Americans off of Medicaid?
The second option is more correct but it's also why the die-hard socialists that I know call social Democracy like Denmark's a "trap". Basically, the capitalists are still in charge there, but they are just kinder to their citizens. The "real" socialists want to do away with the capitalists and make all those resources Democratically controlled. I think the Koch brothers understand this. They don't want people to have ambitions for full socialism, because that would mean bye bye Koch brothers. So they are trying to persuade the left to make Denmark the left's goal instead of full socialism.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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Elizabeth Breunig has several good articles at the Washington Post on it, too.

It’s time to give socialism a try
In the United States, we’ve arrived at a pair of mutually exclusive convictions: that liberal, capitalist democracies are guaranteed by their nature to succeed and that in our Trumpist moment they seem to be failing in deeply unsettling ways. For liberals — and by this I mean inheritors of the long liberal tradition, not specifically those who might also be called progressives — efforts to square these two notions have typically combined expressions of high anxiety with reassurances that, if we only have the right attitude, everything will set itself aright.

Hanging on and hoping for the best is certainly one approach to rescuing the best of liberalism from its discontents, but my answer is admittedly more ambitious: It’s time to give socialism a try.

Contemporary supporters of liberalism are often subject, I think, to what I call “everyday Fukuyama-ism” — the idea, explicitly stated or not, that the end of the Cold War really signaled the end of history, and that we can only look forward to the unceasing rise of Western-style liberal-democratic capitalism. (As the leftist scholar Mark Fisher recounted: “It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.”)
It's time to reclaim ‘socialism’ from the dirty-word category
A Gallup poll this month found that Democrats are warming up to the idea of socialism — or at least to the word. While 57 percent of Democrats polled said they view socialism positively, only 47 percent said the same of capitalism, down from 56 percent in 2016. Republicans, meanwhile, remain pretty enthusiastic about capitalism, with 71 percent rating it positively. Still, 16 percent of GOP voters said even they view socialism through a friendly lens, which raises the question: When Americans say they view socialism one way or the other, what exactly do they have in mind?

The United States doesn’t have a familiar, established socialist history to look to for guidance on what socialism might mean in this country. But that doesn’t mean socialism is hopelessly nebulous, or that Americans who are interested in the idea are wandering dabblers. It just means that socialism, like any sophisticated term, warrants thoughtful consideration.

Socialism has meant different things to different people in different times and places, while maintaining a stable core of themes and objectives: social (as opposed to private) control of the means of production, and of all the societal, humanitarian and political-economic changes that entails, especially where the freedom and autonomy of working people are concerned.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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pioneer98 wrote:I mainly just wanted to share this article but I also noticed we didn't really have a thread dedicated just to this. The right is doing point/counterpoint against themselves on this.

Conservatives Can’t Decide If Nordic Socialism Is a Totalitarian Nightmare or Actually Capitalist
Response No. 1: Nordic economic policies are a totalitarian nightmare.

Some conservatives are sticking to the old-time religion. Fox Business anchor Trish Regan recently likened Denmark to Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela. And in a new column on the scourge of democratic socialism, Commentary’s Noah Rothman casts all proponents of single-payer health care as proto-Stalinists.
Option No. 2: Nordic economic policies are actually capitalist.
Cato’s case is less blinkered and juvenile than Rothman’s. But it is no less a testament to the obsolescence of the American right’s economic thought. The think tank’s 2015 paper, “The Danish Model — Don’t Try This at Home,” offers some empirical support for the (nevertheless, tendentious) claim that Denmark’s economic strength preceded its adoption of social democratic policies, and therefore, should not be attributed to them. Instead, the paper suggests that the real secret of the Nordic country’s success lies in its “strong protection of property rights and the integrity of the legal system,” along with its commitment to free trade, light touch with regulations, and the fact that its “labor market is very flexible: there is no legislated minimum wage, and there are few restrictions on hiring and firing.”

Even if we took Cato’s analysis of Denmark at face value, it would still leave Paul Ryan’s party with no leg to stand on. Perhaps Denmark’s welfare state isn’t the source of its strong economic growth. But there’s little question that the country’s aberrantly high levels of social spending are responsible for its exceptionally low levels of relative poverty and income inequality. If conservatives concede that it is possible for a country to provide all citizens with low-cost health insurance, child care, paid family leave, etc. — and still function as a vibrant, free-market economy — then how could they possibly justify the GOP’s ambition to throw millions of Americans off of Medicaid?
The second option is more correct but it's also why the die-hard socialists that I know call social Democracy like Denmark's a "trap". Basically, the capitalists are still in charge there, but they are just kinder to their citizens. The "real" socialists want to do away with the capitalists and make all those resources Democratically controlled. I think the Koch brothers understand this. They don't want people to have ambitions for full socialism, because that would mean bye bye Koch brothers. So they are trying to persuade the left to make Denmark the left's goal instead of full socialism.

From the option #2 part:
In its attempt to attribute the Nordics’ success to their least socialistic attributes, Cato writes that “Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world.” And yet, if it is possible for a country to have a historically large and ambitious public sector — and still be the most cleanly governed nation on the planet — what is left of Ronald Reagan’s philosophy of government? “Actually, according to the data, the best government is that which governs most” is no small concession!
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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The big idea that could make democratic socialism a reality

The basic idea is to create a "wealth fund" similar to what Alaska is already doing that would pay citizens an annual dividend. It would work kind of like a UBI. I don't think I'd call this "Socialism". To me, this is more of a "Social Democratic" idea, like they have in Norway, Denmark, etc. But it is an interesting idea that has a lot of benefits.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
The BIOS paper suggests that much of the political and economic volatility we have seen in recent years has a root cause in ecological crisis. As the ecological and economic costs of industrial overconsumption continue to rise, the constant economic growth we have become accustomed to is now in jeopardy. That, in turn, has exerted massive strain on our politics.
For the “first time in human history,” the paper says, capitalist economies are “shifting to energy sources that are less energy efficient.” This applies to all forms of energy. Producing usable energy (“exergy”) to keep powering “both basic and non-basic human activities” in industrial civilisation “will require more, not less, effort.”

"Economies have used up the capacity of planetary ecosystems to handle the waste generated by energy and material use"

The amount of energy we can extract, compared to the energy we are using to extract it, is decreasing “across the spectrum—unconventional oils, nuclear and renewables return less energy in generation than conventional oils, whose production has peaked—and societies need to abandon fossil fuels because of their impact on the climate,” the paper states.

The shift to renewables might help solve the climate challenge, but for the foreseeable future will not generate the same levels of energy as cheap, conventional oil.

In the meantime, our hunger for energy is driving what the paper refers to as “sink costs.” The greater our energy and material use, the more waste we generate, and so the greater the environmental costs. Though they can be ignored for a while, eventually those environmental costs translate directly into economic costs as it becomes more difficult to ignore their impacts on our societies.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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“For the last century, all we had to do was to pump more and more oil out of the ground,” say Hall and Klitgaard. Decades ago, fossil fuels had very high EROI values—a little bit of energy allowed us to extract large amounts of oil, gas and coal.

But as I’ve previously reported for Motherboard, this is no longer the case. Now we’re using more and more energy to extract smaller quantities of fossil fuels. Which means higher production costs to produce what we need to keep the economy rolling. The stuff is still there in the ground—billions of barrels worth to be sure, easily enough to fry the climate several times over.

But it’s harder and more expensive to get out. And the environmental costs of doing so are rising dramatically, as we’ve caught a glimpse of with this summer’s global heatwave.

These costs are not recognised by capitalist markets. They literally cannot be seen by prevailing economic models.
So it's not just the environment that is going to cause oil to be unsustainable. We're also just running out of the oil that is cheap and easy to get at.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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Following.

I'd love to see the DSA become a viable party here.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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Well, it starts out pretty good.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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Sometimes I think Trump is just a performance artist, a vastly more successful Sacha Baron Cohen. On June 6, 2019, he'll get everybody in the 101st Airborne to run around doing the "Heil Hitler" salute.
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Re: The Socialism Thread

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No, you tiny-handed, butthole-faced, orange-dyed fecesgibbon... YOUR PARTY is sabotaging SS for billions in tax breaks for the 1%ers.

FVCK YOU and your traitorous, lying, sh!t-flinging, pu$$y-grabbing, bankrupt (morally and financially) A$$
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