aditantimedh on May 09, 2008, 07:23:08 pm
I don't go with the current American idea of what socialist or communist is at all. To use it in discussions like Rocketman has is too generalised and barely means anything at all.  He doesn't take into account what 'socialist' or 'communist' actually mean when they were first introduced, which involves the abolition of private property ownership and the rise of collective empowerment and support.  If anything, the way the US government bails out and pays subsidies to the farming industry or the way the Fed bail out big businesses or ailing banks is a lot more socialist (albeit at the service of capitalism) than anything the US news media tries.

And despite what you correctly point out about individuals working in the news media, there is an unwritten consensus in corporate-owned media on how far they're willing to push in terms of how left or right from the centre.  From the point of view of someone who's seen more diverse political opinions in the media in Europe, the US media are usually right-of-centre with the exception of the right-wing ethos of Fox News.  And none of it reflects the diverse social realities of American society.
 

wdg3rd on May 09, 2008, 09:16:47 pm
Adi, I have to quote the best science fiction writer who ever lived (and the best now living will acknowledge this [Hi, Neil!]), the late (twenty years ago yesterday, which really messed up my planned celebration of the tenth anniversary of my release from the US Air Farce 8 May 1978, I got pissed drunk anyway but not in celebration) Robert Anson Heinlein, using his fictional character Lazarus Long:

Quote from: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
Political tags--such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and. so forth--are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

I just use the terms statist and anti-statist.  Some will call me an anarchist and I can deal with that.  I do not ask any government to protect me or to provide for me.  In return, I would prefer not to be robbed and/or enslaved at gunpoint by any government to protect or to provide for that government or anybody else except those I personally and individually choose to protect and to provide for.

Yeah, I guess I'm a "surly curmudgeon, suspicious and lacking in altruism".  But I try to be a comfortable neighbor (the main complaints are that I prefer my lawn to live in a state of nature, and the statists on the block, some of whom are employed by the local government, think I should be maintaining a tiny golf course).
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 09:25:25 pm by wdg3rd »
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Rocketman on May 09, 2008, 09:59:02 pm
Aditantimedh:  Okay, you don't like that I use generalities like "Communist" or "Socialist" when talking about the government or the news media.  I can understand that.  Your life experience is not the same as mine.  I really don't care what the original meaning is for these terms because just like the term "pornographic" I know what it is in my opinion when I see it, to paraphase an old line.  Either way it's somebody else trying to tell me what I can or cannot do and willing to use force if I don't go along.  That definition by the way explains about 95% of government in human history when you think about it.  The reason that the europeans think that the news media is right of center is simple.  In most areas they are SO FAR TO THE LEFT that the american news media looks to be from the right side of the aisle.  Coming from the libertarian viewpoint that I have it appears to me to be just the opposite.  Look at the topic of "gun control".  According to the majority of them no one but the police or military should be even able to own a gun.  Here in America about the time of the Kennedy and Martin L. King assassinations there was a big push to register all firearms, limit the number of firearms that could be purchased each month and even eliminate the second amendment although in the last few years with concealed carry laws that has been pushed back.  My belief is that all citizens except those in jail have a right to own anything that they want to because the second amendment says it clearly.  "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."  From my standpoint the media is socialist, from the typical anti-gun european they are right of center.   :(

Scott on May 09, 2008, 11:26:33 pm
Rocketman,

Suppose some guy wearing a sport coat and a turtleneck came up to you and said something like, "I use generalities like "high-capacity" and "automatic" when talking about guns. I really don't care what the original meaning is for these terms because just like "pornographic" I know what it is in my opinion when I see it."

Would you get the impression that this fellow may not have a real clear grasp of the subject matter?

I like your instincts, I really do. But I have found that better precision in language aids in understanding and communicating especially with people who come from different viewpoints. Though it's not something that comes naturally, it takes work.

Rocketman on May 10, 2008, 10:51:28 am
Scott:
     That is an excellent point that you make.  All I can say in my defense is that the authoritarians have so muddled terms that basically nothing means exactly what it SHOULD mean any more.  A hundred years ago if you were "gay" it means something entirely different from what it means now.  "Liberal" back in Thomas Jefferson's day meant something completely opposite from what it does now.  Back then it meant that someone who opposes big government (the king) now it means someone who supports big government at least in most areas (Medicare, Social Security, gun control for example)
     I completely understand what your saying. If I could take back my example on "pornographic" I would as it's not the best example that's out there concerning the way that I feel about this topic. The ORIGINAL TERMS for Communist and Socialist are different from what they are now because in the case of original communism it implied that everyone was going to be equal in the USSR while in actuallity it wasn't the case.  An oligarchy developed that changed the original intent.  There are always a handful of people who when a revolution takes place that uses their influence to put themselves on top no matter how egalitarian the original intent was.  8)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 12:11:25 pm by Rocketman »

enemyofthestate on May 10, 2008, 06:37:49 pm
Uh-oh, clash of world-views! Let's see if I can sort some of this out.


The differences between fascism, communism and socialism are really only of interest to fascists, communists and socialists.  To the poor fellow keeping his head down and trying to get his family thru yet another outbreak of humanity at its most brutally stupid or to the even less fortunate SOB wasting away in a camp,  gulag or prison cell, none of it matters much if at all.

Rocketman on May 11, 2008, 08:42:19 pm
enemyofthestate:
     Nicely put.  Let me add to that by also saying that the type of people who try to grab power are always believing that they will be the ones calling the shots and not the poor peons.  If it were somehow possible to guarantee that those people were not the ones in power when the dust cleared, I wonder just how many people would be starting wars in the first place.   ;)

enemyofthestate on May 11, 2008, 10:25:30 pm
I don't go with the current American idea of what socialist or communist is at all. To use it in discussions like Rocketman has is too generalised and barely means anything at all.  He doesn't take into account what 'socialist' or 'communist' actually meanwhen they were first introduced, which involves the abolition of private property ownership and the rise of collective empowerment and support.
If you want to get bogged down in "mean[ing] when they were first introduced" then I'll remind you that "right" and "left" originally referred to the seating arrangements in the French Legislative Assembly of 1791.   The Royalists sat on the right side of the chamber; the  Montagnards sat on the left.

Rocketman on May 13, 2008, 10:04:04 pm
I thought that everyone here might like to know that I read an e-mail that came to my attention just today that the UK has either sent out or plans to send out a questionaire to every household concerning your private sex life.  I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!!  They are asking people to fill out a 2,000 questionaire on this subject!!!  AGAIN I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.  What I'm surprised about that the newly formed UK Libertarian Party doesn't have so many new members that they can't even sign them up fast enough.   :o
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 10:07:18 pm by Rocketman »

aditantimedh on May 14, 2008, 12:36:34 am
Rocketman - like Scott, I think your instincts are on the money, but I just believe that precision in language is essential in any proper political discussion.  It's the lack of proper definition that's reduced discourse and debate in America to the point of schoolyard name-calling. 

If your definition of "communist" and "socialist" is completely different from how Europe and the rest of the world define it, then it becomes almost impossible to be able to have a proper discussion with anyone.  Hell, you and I have arguing despite the fact that we're both equally distrustful of the media for more or less the same reasons, but we're putting it in different language.



Scott on May 14, 2008, 12:24:15 pm
Well, we've just come through two major global conflicts -- World War II and the Cold War -- which were really nationalist in character while flying under flags of supposedly conflicting ideologies. So it's easy to understand how definitions get twisted around. Even though socialist institutions are the norm both here and in Europe, socialist terms are still considered "radical" and "subversive" here. (Socialist schools, socialist postal service, socialist retirement, socialist medicine, socialist roads, socialist courts, socialist parks and recreation, etc.)

Adi was educated in Europe and brings a different perspective to the table. I hope everyone here (including Adi) approaches these discussions as a learning opportunity.

enemyofthestate on May 14, 2008, 11:23:30 pm
I thought that everyone here might like to know that I read an e-mail that came to my attention just today that the UK has either sent out or plans to send out a questionaire to every household concerning your private sex life.  I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!!  They are asking people to fill out a 2,000 questionaire on this subject!!!  AGAIN I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.  What I'm surprised about that the newly formed UK Libertarian Party doesn't have so many new members that they can't even sign them up fast enough.   :o

Here is an article about it:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=560771&in_page_id=1770&ct=5

How reliable a source it is I don't know.

Doesn't really come as a surprise to me.  Controlling sexuality is a big part of controlling people in general.  The Brits have been sliding down the slope toward a total surveillance state for a while now (arguably they've arrived in some places) and all information about how people behavior is leverage that can be used by the state against its subjects.

Rocketman on May 16, 2008, 12:43:20 pm
I guess that it goes back to the old "put a frog in a pan of boiling hot water and he'll jump out, but put him in a pan of lukewarm water and slowly increase the temperature and he'll stay until he boils to death".  I guess that this has been coming a long time for the english and they just think that they've gotten used to the water.  I remember seeing a poster years ago asking Americans to send the Brits their guns to protect them from a Nazi invasion, probably from around 1940 or 41."  That SHOULD HAVE BEEN a wake the f@$k up and realize what your politicans were doing to you, but now in my opinion if they haven't it's way too late.   :'(  So much for the cradle of western civilization.

aditantimedh on May 16, 2008, 03:00:35 pm
There are many reasons I don't currently live in the UK.



aditantimedh on May 16, 2008, 03:11:54 pm
For everyone's reference, the Daily Mail is the UK's resident foam-at-the-mouth reactionary newspaper.  it's prevailing attitude is "They're letting foreigners come to our soil to take our jobs and use our toilets!  Black people should be sent back to where they came from!  The government is taking away our freedom!  Our freedom to flog the servants and rob the poor!  They even want to talk to the rest of Europe and turn us into Europeans!  We must not stand for it!" 

As for that questionnaire, it's not going to lead to anything.  The public won't take it seriously, and the government is far too incompetent to do anything to enforce it.  That's how things work in the UK.  The water in the pan remains lukewarm.