I can no longer call myself a liberal.

Author: coal ,

Topic's posts

Posts in total: 21
  • coal
    coal avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 963
    2
    3
    5
    coal avatar
    coal
    I can no longer call myself a liberal.  I haven't been a liberal for some time now.  The older I get, the further to the left I become. 

    I am a socialist.  

    I first learned of socialism when I read The Road to Wigan Pier, after reading Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.  At the time, I understood socialism to be something that was intrinsically and inherently bad.  Capitalism, as such, was the only real alternative.  Capitalism wasn't something I understood on ideological or practical levels, because living in the United States it was ubiquitous to me -- much in the same way that a fish can't tell you what the hell water is because it is ubiquitous; such that the fish knows nothing but water, and cannot distinguish it from anything else. 

    A series of changes occurred in my life.  Some of which I typed out and deleted because they are too personal.  Some of which I will share with you: I realized through my own experience what health care is like in America for those without insurance.  I realized what tuition costs do to families, even well-to-do families. I spent time in Europe and experienced European health care.  I made and kept European friends, whose health care systems are superior to American health care systems and cheaper both in terms of point-of-service costs to consumers and per capita costs overall.  More people receive better health care for less than half of what is spent on the same in the United States.

    In this way, I came to distinguish capitalism from what it is not and having seen the success of other models; so too came to question the basic presuppositions on which the American health care system was conditioned.  That opened the door to questioning other things, particularly with regard to the long-since-disproven witchcraft of neoliberal economic anything.  It is not only that the neoliberals' way of doing things led to where we are now, but that there was no destination other than where we find ourselves now -- this, the consequence of years of "tax cuts" argued to "stimulate economic growth".

    Children and useful idiots for and of the neoliberal elite (both Republican and Democrat, mind you) defend the economic preconditions that underlie the American capitalist system on the grounds that they too might one day realize the American dream, if they have not realized some fragmented approximation of it in the form of a three bedroom two and a half bath house in some bleak, dismal subdivision nestled among others like it (or worse, McMansions) within a suburb that itself mirrors purgatory.

    And yet, to what end do we perpetuate this artifice of self actualization?  

    Reading Dostoevsky made me skeptical of the neoliberals but it was Tolstoy that pushed me as far as I have come (among others, like Chomsky and other left leaning influences).  

    To what end do we destroy ourselves in service of a system that creates roads and apparatuses of technology that pollute the earth, and deprive us of our health, wellbeing, and time?  God is the source of your ultimate authority.  Whether you think you're religious or not, you worship.  Whether you worship money or the creator, you kneel before an alter whose existence you may not even recognize as such.  If the end is for you to amass the greatest amount of wealth, to indulge in the greatest indulgences affordable by you in the capitalist system, or any other such nonsense; what if there was another way? 

    Inequality from an economic perspective is not what I am attacking, because inequality to the degree it serves to benefit the disenfranchised (and it often does by creating systemic incentives for innovation) can and has proven to be socially useful.  Similarly, property rights to the degree necessary are not to be disturbed. 

    But, something's gotta give. 

    A cancer diagnosis is a sentence of bankruptcy.  Student loan debt cripples the economy, the perils of which we will not fully realize until the next ten years or so when the full gravity of a generation of millenials fail to purchase homes because of the same.  A child's sickness is a family's economic catastrophe.  A minimum wage worker's child will be unable to afford reduced-rate lunches in public school cafeterias.  

    The United States approaches Dickens' level poverty.  This began with Republican destruction of LBJ's Great Society, largely under Reagan.  Nixon left much of it in-tact, even expanding some areas of it.  It gained momentum with Clinton-era deregulation of labor markets, NAFTA and other catastrophically bad agreements struck by globalists to with the aim of "improving economic efficiency" -- i.e., waging economic warfare on the American working and middle classes.  This paralleled skyrocketing tuition costs to the degree that any prospect of the American dream's realization translates into such a future worker's status as little more than an indentured servant -- structurally and functionally indistinguishable from a serf in Tsarist Russia.  

    The time will come that a new deal will be struck.  It may not happen tomorrow.  It may not happen in 2020 with Bernie Sanders, but it will happen.  The American people will not tolerate being forced to live as peasants; nor should they.  Nor, for that matter, should the landed elites who benefit from their labor want them to be, as the predictable political consequences could be avoided with reasonable reforms, increased taxation on the rich and corporations, and appropriate redistribution so as to prevent a person's "starting economic position" from forecasting their destiny.  Nothing like this has happened.  

    What has happened instead is that economically and politically illiterate boomers and Gen-X types have been raised on a diet of neoliberal capitalist bullshit deluding them into thinking that whenever the government gives handouts to corporations it is 'creating jobs' but whenever that same money is spent on their or their children's health care it is 'evil socialism'.  The time is nearing when those who labor under that delusion will no longer be in power -- as millenials will become the predominant voting bloc. 

    Continuing the delusion, boomers and Gen X assumed that Millenials would become conservative as they got older.  Not so.  They are not married because they cannot afford it.  They have deferred having kids and buying houses for the same reason.  They do not buy cars or take on mortgages.  They are blamed for destroying everything yet the constraints on their choices are the result of policies and decisions of the same boomers and Gen X fools who so accuse them.  

    I can no longer call myself a liberal, because to do so would be to buy into this artifice of bullshit.  Behind the veil lies a snare and a delusion.  There is no American dream.  Boomers killed it, Gen X scavenged the corpse, and Millenials have nothing left to buy into the system as it were.  Is it any wonder they support Sanders?  Is it any wonder they will not vote for Biden or any other Clintonite democrat who acquiesced to status quo's being structured as it is now?  

    Hardly.  Sanders was right.  Change will come to America.  The kind of change where a 5% tax on capital assets is the opening bid. 
  • ethang5
    ethang5 avatar
    Debates: 1
    Forum posts: 4,457
    3
    3
    6
    ethang5 avatar
    ethang5
    --> @coal
    It's amazing with all this new insight, and talk of a new way, the liberal comes to the same old conclusions.

    Tax the working, and give the money to the freeloaders.

    I spent time in Europe and experienced European health care.  I made and kept European friends, whose health care systems are superior to American health care systems and cheaper...
    Tell me which country and I will tell you a thing or two about the systems you think are superior to America.
  • WaterPhoenix
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    Debates: 11
    Forum posts: 1,785
    3
    3
    10
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    WaterPhoenix
    --> @coal
    Don't worry you fall in line with most liberals in modern society. Most liberals these days are basically socialists because of how socialist leftist policies are. 

  • WaterPhoenix
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    Debates: 11
    Forum posts: 1,785
    3
    3
    10
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    WaterPhoenix
    --> @coal
    The thing is, in a society based off of the working class, someone has to suffer. All throughout history, it's been poor people but now the left want the rich to be the ones suffering. If you really think about it, either the rich suffer, or the poor suffer. The lesser of the two evils is to let the poor suffer. You can tell me all the sob stories you want about how people are dying in starvation, but if you actually think about the consequences then you'd see. I'm not a nihilist, I value human life, but this is just the way the world is right now.
  • Zaradi
    Zaradi avatar
    Debates: 4
    Forum posts: 705
    2
    3
    7
    Zaradi avatar
    Zaradi
    --> @WaterPhoenix
    in a society based off of the working class, someone has to suffer.

    That's quite the claim there. Wanna warrant that claim? 
  • WaterPhoenix
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    Debates: 11
    Forum posts: 1,785
    3
    3
    10
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    WaterPhoenix
    --> @Zaradi
    Eh suffer might've been too strong.
  • WaterPhoenix
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    Debates: 11
    Forum posts: 1,785
    3
    3
    10
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    WaterPhoenix
    Someone has to do more work.
  • TheRealNihilist
    TheRealNihilist avatar
    Debates: 44
    Forum posts: 4,888
    4
    8
    11
    TheRealNihilist avatar
    TheRealNihilist
    --> @coal
    I'll wait for a functioning country that adopts socialism. That hasn't been one yet, maybe your the one to create it or maybe you are going to live in La La Land while someone else figures it out.

    Bernie is adopts pretty much what the Scandinavians do but not really push socialism even though he calls himself a socialist. If you look at his policies I can't find one that changes how the economy works, instead of it being based on wealth it would be owned equally. 

    I guess I could say more but I think this more than enough covers the problems with the viability and if there is a working socialism model. 
  • Dr.Franklin
    Dr.Franklin avatar
    Debates: 32
    Forum posts: 8,165
    4
    5
    11
    Dr.Franklin avatar
    Dr.Franklin
    ewwww
  • SupaDudz
    SupaDudz avatar
    Debates: 29
    Forum posts: 10,260
    5
    8
    11
    SupaDudz avatar
    SupaDudz
    Socialism has never worked in a society and should not work in a society. In wealth, no one should necessarily be equal in wealth. Carlos the illegal immigrant shouldn't get more opportunities than Carlos the middle class high schooler with good grades. It is disgusting. Illegal immigrants get tax cuts, but middle class pay full rate and don't get in. That's not how society works.

    If Carlos was legal, I would say, Carlos deserves the same opportunity as Middle Class Carlos. Giving everyone an equal field despite the fact they haven't earned it is bad logic, and the reason why those societies don't function.https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/13/why-socialism-fails/

    Socialism fails all the time. Humans become greedy. Government becomes greedy. Government should not be trusted to control everything
  • coal
    coal avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 963
    2
    3
    5
    coal avatar
    coal
    --> @WaterPhoenix
    I think what you mean to say is that in any society there must be some group of people at the bottom of the hierarchy or hierarchies that comprise the society's social structure.  This is not incorrect, but that's not the relevant issue.  The relevant issue is where the threshold is defining the point of lowest subsistence in the society.  My interest is in raising that standard.  

  • coal
    coal avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 963
    2
    3
    5
    coal avatar
    coal
    --> @WaterPhoenix
    Your post about "socialist leftist politics" is as politically illiterate as it is incoherent.  I suggest rephrasing. 
  • WaterPhoenix
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    Debates: 11
    Forum posts: 1,785
    3
    3
    10
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    WaterPhoenix
    --> @coal
    Yeah, sorry if it's not phrased perfectly, it was midnight and I had only gotten 6 hours of sleep.
  • Mharman
    Mharman avatar
    Debates: 12
    Forum posts: 2,274
    2
    4
    9
    Mharman avatar
    Mharman
    Dang.
  • SupaDudz
    SupaDudz avatar
    Debates: 29
    Forum posts: 10,260
    5
    8
    11
    SupaDudz avatar
    SupaDudz
    --> @coal
    I also with socialism you are replacing human greed with another form of human greed. Expect the human greed your getting has actual power. The businesses can't control your actions, but the powerful greedy person can. Society dictates who is bad or evil
  • Mopac
    Mopac avatar
    Debates: 4
    Forum posts: 7,239
    3
    4
    7
    Mopac avatar
    Mopac
    We live in the richest most prosperous time in history, where even the homeless are fat and have smart phones.

    But no, it's not good enough, because someone always has more.


    What is socialism really about?


    Getting even.
  • Mopac
    Mopac avatar
    Debates: 4
    Forum posts: 7,239
    3
    4
    7
    Mopac avatar
    Mopac
    Politics is really not the answer to societies woes.
  • zedvictor4
    zedvictor4 avatar
    Debates: 12
    Forum posts: 2,375
    3
    2
    3
    zedvictor4 avatar
    zedvictor4
    --> @coal
    Thinking that you are a socialist and actually being a socialist are two completely different things.

    Did you ever read Animal Farm by George Orwell?
    A stinging satire of the unworkable utopia that is socialism.

    Anarchy is chaos. So society demands order and therefore society requires hierarchy and hierarchy negates socialism.

    All social structures are inevitably dictatorial to a certain degree and quite clearly experience tells us that attempts at national socialism have always rapidly descend into the harshest and most brutal extremes of dictatorialism.

    For most people in westernised democracies, politics is just a peripheral side show. What is important is the ongoing liberal integrity of those that wish to govern and those that we allow to govern, irrespective of how they might brand themselves.

    I thank my lucky stars that I have always been afforded the freedom to do and say within reason, just about all that I have ever wished to do and say. The limits of my achievements are only set by my own ability to achieve and not by any constraints imposed by the liberal society in which I live.
  • RationalMadman
    RationalMadman avatar
    Debates: 283
    Forum posts: 8,651
    10
    10
    11
    RationalMadman avatar
    RationalMadman
    --> @coal
    I don't mean to pick a fight, and have bitten my tongue so to speak to avoid coming in when others would so it doesn't look like I'm trying to provoke you. What I am about to say is not something to poke holes, I comprehend that you're saying you're more left-wing than America's 'Left' generally is. Nonetheless, I would like to clarify that you in fact are a Liberal of the Leftist kind AKA a Social Democrat and that you are not a Socialist.

    A Socialist seeks to genuinely eliminate monetary competition, meaning only status and recognition by peers and the public become the superficial means of rewarding hard work.

    A Social Democrat AKA Leftie Liberal seeks to continually regulate and mould the competition and society such that there is never undeserved and overly severe drawback, especially not due to how much your parents earned, and never unearned and overly generous reward, again especially due to what your parents earned or snowballing interest rates and having inside information and such.

    I would go so far as to argue that if the Right-Wing had their way internationally, insider trading would be seen as an ethical, genuine means of competing in the shares market as it is merely adding to the way that 'natural selection' can superficially translate into the field of economics, which they want to be the ultimate method of determine the worthy from the pathetic. 

    Where the Left-Wing vary, especially Socialists vs Social Democrats, is how severely they oppose economic incentives at all. A true Socialist would abhor any non-luxury item being privatised in any remote fashion at all (even if they competed in order to get the government to 'choose them' as the public provider, but they wouldn't necessarily loathe that, just be slightly unhappy about it). A true Social Democrat and/or Liberal in the modern send of the term 'Liberal', seek to balance out competitiveness with unfair burdens or rewards of any sort. The centrists don't actually seek balance, they are already enabling the rich to prey on the poor, it is the left-of-centre Social Democrats who seek to properly balance things out.

14 days later

  • Seth
    Seth avatar
    Debates: 0
    Forum posts: 114
    0
    1
    1
    Seth avatar
    Seth
    --> @zedvictor4
    Did you ever read Animal Farm by George Orwell?
    A stinging satire of the unworkable utopia that is socialism.
    More of an indictment of capitalist plutocracy, I think.

  • zedvictor4
    zedvictor4 avatar
    Debates: 12
    Forum posts: 2,375
    3
    2
    3
    zedvictor4 avatar
    zedvictor4
    --> @Seth
    Well.

    Capitalist Plutocracy in itself is a sort of  hand in glove statement.

    And inherent social hierarchy will inevitable bring about the collapse of attempts at true socialism.

    So capitalism and/or plutocracy and/or totalitarianism would therefore be the most likely outcomes of said social collapse.

    A lot would depend upon how broadly one defines wealth and consequently how one compares capitalism with plutocracy with totalitarianism.