7. Socialists Help Others Some say that, “Even though most Socialists are middle class, they want the poor, the proletariat to have money.” It is true that most Socialists are middle class, both Marx and Engels were. However, Socialism mainly benefits the Middle Class, not the poor. For example, Socialized Medicine involves taking money from everyone (but more from the rich) and giving it back to everyone, to pay for health care. However, because the middle class is by far the most numerous class, they benefit the most.
Socialized Medicine does not actually take money from the rich and give it to the poor. Consider Socialized Medicine in Canada. About 85% of social spending in Canada, including health care, goes to the middle and upper classes. However, it costs a lot to collect and redistribute all that money. For every dollar collected for social spending, very roughly 50 cents is spent on administration costs. Most of these administration jobs are held by the Middle Class. Therefore, for every dollar collected for social spending, the Middle Class gets roughly 50 cents of it as salary and benefits. They have to pay taxes on this income, but it is still the case that the Middle Class are double beneficiaries of social spending. They receive salaries to help administer the money, and then they are the main beneficiaries of the spending itself.
In Canada, as in most countries, civil servants tend to vote for governments which support social spending. If the Canadian government grows in size, most new expenditures will be made directly and indirectly to middle class civil servants and government contractors. Thus, as government grows, support for Socialism can also grow. http://www.williamgairdner.com/the-trouble-with-canada/
Another surprise is that the left gives LESS to charity than the right. In the US, “In 2000, households headed by a conservative gave, on average, 30 percent more money to charity than households headed by a liberal... The differences go beyond money and time... In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals.”
Leftists under 30 are particularly less generous emotionally. “Liberal young Americans in 2004 were also significantly less likely than the young conservatives to express a willingness to sacrifice for their loved ones: A lower percentage said they would prefer to suffer than let a loved one suffer, that they are not happy unless the loved one is happy, or that they would sacrifice their own wishes for those they love.” http://www.arthurbrooks.net/excerpt.html
8. Socialists Defend the Weak This ‘narrative’ claims that Socialists do this by (1) advocating cooperation instead of competition, and competition leads to selfishness, fighting, and conflict, and (2) advocating ‘power to the people’, where the average person has true economic and social freedom, and the government is organized from ‘the bottom-up’.
However, (1) both co-operation and competition can be either good or bad. In WWII, the Nazi’s cooperated among themselves to exterminate Jews. The Chinese Communist Party cooperated actively to impose tyranny onto all of China, and between 32 and 62 million died. Violent Islamists co-operate and share a great deal among themselves.
On the other hand, great and wonderful things come from music competitions, science competitions, and many corporations who compete among themselves to make consumer goods less expensive, which then become affordable to the poor.
(2) It is laudable to want ‘power to the people’, and liberal democracy also strives hard to achieve this. In real practice Socialism does not grant power to the people. Because competition is an innate characteristic of all living things, strong social control is needed to suppress human competitiveness. This requires a highly controlling and interventionist ‘top-down’ structure which must enforce rules and laws with obsessive rigour.
9. Religion Is Bad In “The Communist Manifesto”, Marx and Engels, 1848 wrote, “In the conditions of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family-relations; modern industrial labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests...
“When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge...
"There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc. that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience." http://www.gutenberg.org/files/61/61.txt
OK, I understand that Marx abjured religion because it represented a competing social authority. But except for that, what exactly is wrong with religion?
10. Globalization Is Bad Marx hated globalization. From “The Communist Manifesto” again: “The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe...
“All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed... In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes...
“The bourgeoisie ... has agglomerated production, and has concentrated property in a few hands... it has also called into existence ... the modern working class... who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.
“Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for his maintenance, and for the propagation of his race.” http://www.gutenberg.org/files/61/61.txt
So, the Anti-Globalization Movement is nothing new. It’s a case of ‘old wine in new bottles’, or perhaps ‘new wine in old bottles’, or perhaps just a lot of un-bottled whining. In any case, it’s not much different from mainstream Socialism. The bourgeoisie who chase “over the whole surface of the globe” are making the world rich at a faster rate than any other time in history. This acceleration includes poor countries that permit free enterprise. http://futurist.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/07/economic-growth.html Chinese Economy Grows by 11.5 Percent
11. The New Left is Different From The Old Left How, exactly?
12. True Democracy Defeated America in Vietnam This is a pathetically ironic claim. The Vietnam War led to allied Cold War victory in the long-term. The Soviets lost the Cold War partly because they wasted massive resources on helping the North Vietnamese military. To Socialists, North Vietnam ‘won’ by converting the whole of Vietnam into a Stalinist state. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, political persecution, and grinding poverty ensued. In a painful paradox, once Vietnam achieved Stalinism they soon began to abandon it. Like China, they have adopted many free market reforms. Millions of South-East Asians died for Socialism, but how, exactly, was that a benefit? http://www.nysun.com/article/47639?page_no=1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/vm.html#Econ
With the first primaries just around the corner, the Democratic debates are beginning to heat up. A report on Tuesday's debate:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Democrats Barack Obama and John Edwards sharply challenged Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's candor, consistency and judgment Tuesday in a televised debate that underscored her front-runner status two months before the first presidential primary votes.
Obama, the Illinois senator, began immediately, saying Clinton has changed her positions on the North American Free Trade Agreement, torture policies and the Iraq war. Leadership, he said, does not mean "changing positions whenever it's politically convenient."
Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, was even sharper at times, saying Clinton "defends a broken system that's corrupt in Washington, D.C." He stood by his earlier claim that she has engaged in "doubletalk."
Clinton, standing between the two men, largely shrugged off the remarks and defended her positions. She has been the focus of Republican candidates' "conversations and consternation," she said, because she is leading in the polls.
She said she has specific plans on Social Security, diplomacy and health care. "I have been standing against the Republicans, George Bush and Dick Cheney," she said, "and I will continue to do so, and I think Democrats know that."
But she avoided direct answers to several questions. The New York senator wouldn't say how she would address the fiscal crisis threatening Social Security, she declined to pledge whether she would stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon or say whether she supports giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Rather, she tried to turn every issue into an argument against President Bush.
And as further evidence that the debates are getting serious, the non-frontrunner candidates had to struggle to be heard at all:
Some candidates expressed frustration that most of the questions were directed to Clinton, Obama and Edwards. Seventeen minutes into the debate, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich had yet to get a question and blurted out, "Is this a debate here?" Minutes later, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson threw up his hands in protest that he hadn't been called on either and exchanged a frustrated glance with Kucinich.
The rubber will meet the road very soon with Iowa caucuses scheduled for Jan. 3 and the New Hampshire primary to be set for December 2007 or early January 2008
PHILADELPHIA — We now know something that we did not know before: When Hillary Clinton has a bad night, she really has a bad night.
In a debate against six Democratic opponents at Drexel University here Tuesday, Clinton gave the worst performance of her entire campaign.
It was not just that her answer about whether illegal immigrants should be issued driver's licenses was at best incomprehensible and at worst misleading.
It was that for two hours she dodged and weaved, parsed and stonewalled.
And when it was over, both the Barack Obama and John Edwards campaigns signaled that in the weeks ahead they intend to hammer home a simple message: Hillary Clinton does not say what she means or mean what she says.
And she gave them plenty of ammunition Tuesday night.
Asked whether she still agrees with New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, Clinton launched into a long, complicated defense of it.
But when Chris Dodd attacked the idea a moment later, Clinton quickly said: “I did not say that it should be done.”
NBC’s Tim Russert, one of the debate moderators, jumped in and said to her: “You told (a) New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?”
”You know, Tim,” Clinton replied, “this is where everybody plays ‘gotcha.’”
John Edwards immediately went for the jugular. “Unless I missed something,” he said, “Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”
From the opening bell, the debate moderators tried stirring up a feisty bout by reminding Sen. Barack Obama of his trash talk over the weekend about going after Clinton mire aggressively.
But Obama needed a little more time to warm up.
"Well, first of all, I think some of this stuff gets overhyped," he said.
"This has been the most hyped fight since Rocky fought Apollo Creed," he added, referring to the great cinematic fight 30 years ago in which Rocky Balboa took down the reigning world champion in - of all places - Philadelphia.
When he did go after Clinton - about NAFTA, torture and the war in Iraq - it was only slightly more pointed than his feeble shots of the past.
As the night went on, it was John Edwards who made the strongest case for Democrats who are nearly as sick of the Clinton dynasty, with all its triangulating, as they are of the war and the Bushes. In the end, the most damage was inflicted by Clinton on herself.
She tied herself up in knots - in a way her opponents couldn't - with her non-answer about whether she favors giving driver's license to illegal aliens.
She must be the only New Yorker without an opinion on the plan (other than her colleague, Sen. Chuck Schumer).
Her evasiveness on the most talked-about issue in the state reminded everyone of the worst of husband Bill and what could be in store if another Clinton makes it to the White House.
Baghdad, Iraq (AHN) - Iraqi police said Monday that they have found 20 headless bodies in north of Baghdad with one believed to be a tribal leader.
The Bodies were found at the Gsrine village close to Diyala province's capital, Baquba, a local police source said. The source believed the decapitations were recent.
The Discovery of the bodies indicates that the country's brutal sectarian strife is far from over, despite the military operations between the United States and Iraq.
According to the police, the identification process has started and one of the victims was believed to be a tribal leader. The tribal leaders have been one of the targets due to their support to the government in zeroing the killings done by Al-Qaida.
UPDATE: (Tuesday AM) I just spoke with Maj. Winfield Danielson with MNF-Iraq. After investigating the "20 headless bodies" story, Multi-National Force Iraq has no record that this incident took place yesterday near Baquba (Bakubah). There is no evidence to back up the story. The story is not accurate.
More journalistic malpractice, probably in service of a poltiical agenda.
Egregious examples of journalistic malpractice seem to be everywhere these days. Speaking figuratively, heads should be rolling.