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Thread: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

  1. #61
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    I don't understand the choice between "which extreme."

    Letting extremist forms of ideology get in the way of good common sense is always a bad thing. There is no "more." I don't even really see a difference.
    http://www.debatepolitics.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=3227&dateline=1247527  127

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    This one doesn't:

    Socialism does not work, has never worked, can never work, and will never work.
    Replace "socialism" with "laissez-faire capitalism," and you'll have a fundamental truth there. I've already asked you several times to restrict comments about socialism to either pertinent threads (though this thread author doesn't seem to mind if his thread goes in this direction) or accept my offer to a True Debate. Then again, considering that you simply flatly ignored the description of Spanish libertarian socialism, I'd advise you to familiarize yourself with socialist political economy, and indeed, economics in general, prior to accepting such an offer. Firstly, while we examine these practical examples, I'd recommend more thorough study of the Spanish Revolution. Consider Leval's full quote.

    In Spain, during almost three years, despite a civil war that took a million lives, despite the opposition of the political parties . . . this idea of libertarian communism was put into effect. Very quickly more than 60% of the land was very quickly collectively cultivated by the peasants themselves, without landlords, without bosses, and without instituting capitalist competition to spur production. In almost all the industries, factories, mills, workshops, transportation services, public services, and utilities, the rank and file workers, their revolutionary committees, and their syndicates reorganised and administered production, distribution, and public services without capitalists, high-salaried managers, or the authority of the state.

    Even more: the various agrarian and industrial collectives immediately instituted economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, 'From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.' They co-ordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, and bettered public services. They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganisation of social life. They replaced the war between men, 'survival of the fittest,' by the universal practice of mutual aid, and replaced rivalry by the principle of solidarity . . .

    This experience, in which about eight million people directly or indirectly participated, opened a new way of life to those who sought an alternative to anti-social capitalism on the one hand, and totalitarian state bogus socialism on the other.
    It's thus always seemed tremendously ironic that professed support of libertarian socialism is depicted as naive or utopian while professed support of laissez-faire capitalism is an acceptable mainstream position in many liberal democracies, considering that the former has been implemented whereas the latter has not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Then again, naturally, one cannot have "anarchic collectives" because the existence of a collective implies the existence of agreed upon rules, which is a form of government, and hence not anarchic.
    This is an extremely basic fallacy committed by those unfamiliar with anarchism. I'd be content to explain it to you if this was the first time that you'd committed such a fallacy, but after unyielding repetition, it's admittedly growing somewhat tiresome. As previously mentioned, anarchism does not involve opposition to all forms of social and political organization, but opposition to all forms of hierarchical social and political organization, which is the basis for opposition to the centralized, hierarchical, "formal" state. Anarchists do not consider horizontal and non-hierarchical social and poltiical organization through libertarian collectives and communes to be "government." Feel free to do so if you want, but you'd simply be mired in a semantics quibble rather than substantive analysis. That said, I would challenge you to find a single major self-identified anarchist theorist or commentator who uses the terms "anarchy" or "anarchism" to mean chaos and disorder. The term in the sense I use it has always been that of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Benjamin Tucker, Mikhail Bakunin, Errico Malatesta, Peter Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Murray Bookchin, Noam Chomsky, and so many others. Can you name a single anarchist book, pamphlet, or any other publication that uses the term in the sense that you do?

  3. #63
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    Replace "socialism" with "laissez-faire capitalism,"
    Wonderful idea.

    Nothing succeeds like that which has already been proven to succeed, I say, it's quite mouthful, too.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Nothing succeeds like that which has already been proven to succeed
    I concur. I'm glad you've chosen to abandon your short-sighted objections to socialism.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I concur. I'm glad you've chosen to abandon your short-sighted objections to socialism.
    I've never had any short sighted objections to socialism.

    All my objections are based on the long view that socialism sucks, no matter which way it's looked at. A real hoover of a social theory, that one is. Who the hell in their right mind would want to be a slave? But only people who want to be slaves, or people who don't think they'll become slaves, want socialism.

    Don't know about you, but I oppose slavery.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Don't know about you, but I oppose slavery.
    I can't do anything but oppose slavery. That's why I oppose this kind of thing:



    Wage slavery. The economic framework of capitalism involves a scheme in which the private ownership of the means of production (acquired through a coercive process of "primitive accumulation") and consequent hierarchical subordination of labor under capital enables the extraction of surplus value from the working class in the production process through the use of wage labor and subsequent utilization in the circulation process in order to perpetuate a vicious cycle of capital accumulation. Now ain't that somethin'?!

  7. #67
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I can't do anything but oppose slavery. That's why I oppose this kind of thing:



    Wage slavery. The economic framework of capitalism involves a scheme in which the private ownership of the means of production (acquired through a coercive process of "primitive accumulation") and consequent hierarchical subordination of labor under capital enables the extraction of surplus value from the working class in the production process through the use of wage labor and subsequent utilization in the circulation process in order to perpetuate a vicious cycle of capital accumulation. Now ain't that somethin'?!
    And yet the only real success you can point out is a system that lasted what? 3 years?

    I said I am not going to debate this and I am not.

    It does not work, period.
    Last edited by Black Dog; 07-09-09 at 09:07 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    Benjii likes the protests...he'd be largely irrelevant without them. So he needs to speak where he knows there will be protests against him and that makes him responsible for the protests.
    Quote Originally Posted by Absentglare View Post
    You can successfully wipe your ass with toilet paper, that doesn't mean that you should.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Oh come off it, you're as bad as DisneyDude with this bull****. You're not talking about the far left here but just "left wing" people


    Really? So all the Left-Wing DESPISES capitalism? Cause I know a great deal of left leaning people that positively believe we should remain capitalistic. They all despise individual liberty? I know a great deal that feel very strongly for it, a number of them on this site who are supporters of the 2nd amendment. That bull**** you spewed above was nothing but hyper partisan tripe and frankly you and Disney are more the same then you'd likely want to admit.
    Why don't you take a minute from that "hyper-partisan" crap, and re-read what I wrote? (FTR, I don't use Marxist terminology to describe freedom, so the euphemisms "Capitalist/capitalism" hardly ever emanates from my keyboard.)

    Sure, some may identify with the left & still be in favor 2nd amendment and many other individual rights. That doesn't mean the the political left identifies the same individual liberties. They simply do not. For the most part the political left is against the 2nd amendment, State's rights, limited government, original intent in interpreting the Constitution, free-market capitalism and individual liberty. (the latter being a fallacy if there is a system absent of the ability for a cash payment to be exchanged for a good or service). I'm sure you are aware of that.

    Disney and I have a lot in common if he believes that the role of the federal Government is clearly laid out in the Constitution & that anything that isn't in the Constitution is left up to the States and the people. He and I are a lot alike if he believes that the power is too centralized, with too much unchecked authority - bearing a stark resemblance to the Washington DC that people like Thomas Jefferson warned about. Disney and I are a lot alike if he believes that charity isn't a function of government and the most government should do is provide a temporary safety-net. He and I agree if he thinks it is the highest corruption to expand the public dole to create a future voting constituency. Dis and I agree if he thinks that the Constitution is a tool to limit the power of government.

  9. #69
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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnapostate View Post
    I can't do anything but oppose slavery. That's why I oppose this kind of thing:



    Wage slavery. The economic framework of capitalism involves a scheme in which the private ownership of the means of production (acquired through a coercive process of "primitive accumulation") and consequent hierarchical subordination of labor under capital enables the extraction of surplus value from the working class in the production process through the use of wage labor and subsequent utilization in the circulation process in order to perpetuate a vicious cycle of capital accumulation. Now ain't that somethin'?!
    LMFAO

    Yeah, we're all "forced" to be "slaves". Pahlease. In this country, if you don't like what you're getting paid, you go somewhere else. If you don't like your job, you find another one. And, if you don't like working for someone else, you start your own business. How in the world you can compare that to "slavery" is beyond me.

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    Re: Which extreme is more dangerous to America?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    And yet the only real success you can point out is a system that lasted what? 3 years?
    No, I also pointed to the Free Territory of Ukraine and the Paris Commune, and expanding somewhat, should also mention the Israeli kibbutzim, the municipalities of Chiapas still under the control of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, the autonomous Shinmin region of Manchuria, the successes of workers' management in Yugoslavia, the successes of workers' ownership and management in the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation of the Basque region of Spain, and the successes of workers' ownership and management in general, which are integral elements in the formation of enterprises superior to the orthodox capitalist firm and would be at the core of the libertarian socialist economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    I said I am not going to debate this and I am not.

    It does not work, period.
    Actually, I provided an example of its successful implementation that involved millions of people, and you dismissed it because it was eventually destabilized by overwhelming military force rather than collapsing because of internal deficiencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    LMFAO

    Yeah, we're all "forced" to be "slaves". Pahlease. In this country, if you don't like what you're getting paid, you go somewhere else. If you don't like your job, you find another one.
    Freedom is somewhat more expansive than the mere ability to choose a specific master, and your "defense" (even if it was entirely correct, which it isn't) merely addresses the issue of transition between different agents that employ wage labor in the capitalist economy rather than liberation from the hierarchical structures of wage labor altogether. For example, if there were an island chain of monarchies each ruled by a different king and transition between these island chains but not outside of them was an available option, it would be merely disingenuous to claim that this freedom of transition provided freedom from monarchical authoritarianism. Similarly, it would also be disingenuous to claim that people in China or Saudi Arabia or any other authoritarian country are "free" because they have some degree of mobility rights. Lastly, you imply that quitting a job and getting a new one is a seemingly effortless task. But that's not the case, because a sufficiently high rate of equilibrium unemployment is utilized in the capitalist economy to effectively "scare workers straight." For example, we have Shapiro and Stiglitz's Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device:

    [T]o induce its workers not to shirk, the firm attempt to pay more than the going wage; then, if a worker is caught shirking and he is fired, he will pay a penalty. If it pays one firm to raise its wage, however, it will pay all firms to raise their wages. When they all raise their wages, the incentive not to shirk again disappears. But as all firms raise their wages, their demand for labor decreases, and unemployment results. With unemployment, even if all firms pay the same wages, a worker has an incentive not to shirk. For, if he is fired, an individual will not immediately obtain another job. The equilibrium unemployment rate must be sufficiently high that it pays workers to work rather than to take the risk of being caught shirking.
    So since a certain rate of equilibrium unemployment is necessary as a negative incentive to ensure effort extraction, it's not really correct to claim that workers can just switch jobs at will.

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    And, if you don't like working for someone else, you start your own business.
    Unfortunately, that's reliant on a somewhat utopian conception of capitalism. In reality, we have the factors of wealth and market concentration to deal with (which is why so many new start-ups fail), as well as the limited social mobility that exists in the U.S. and in other countries that prevents the majority of the working class from accumulating sufficient financial means to "start [his or her] own business." When we consider the fact that most aggregate capital accumulation is built upon intergenerational transfers (i.e. inheritance), things grow even more complicated.

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    How in the world you can compare that to "slavery" is beyond me.
    It's simply a matter of a libertarian objection to the authoritarian and hierarchical structure in the workplace that would be condemned as such were it manifested through the vessel of a state as well as the conditions that compel workers to accept such an arrangement. Those conditions are characterized by inequivalent power between laborers and employers that subject the former to a greater degree of coercive influence (recalling what work and subsequent subordination in the workplace is an effective necessity). As noted by Adam Smith, "in the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate," and as noted somewhat more complexly by Alfred Marshall, "labor is often sold under special disadvantages arising from the closely related groups of facts that labor power is 'perishable', that the sellers of it are commonly poor and have no reserve fund, and that they cannot easily withhold it from the market." Then consider the observation of Sidney and Beatrice Webb:

    [T]he manual worker is, from his position and training, far less skilled than the employer...in the art of bargaining itself. This art forms a large part of the daily life of the entrepreneur, whilst the foreman is specially selected for his skill in engaging and superintending workmen. The manual worker, on the contrary, has the smallest experience of, and practically no training in, what is essentially one of the arts of the capitalist employer. He never engages in any but one sort of bargaining, and that only on occasions which may be infrequent, and which in any case make up only a tiny fraction of his life.
    I would complement that with the political scientist Robert Dahl's explanation of influence terms, which rage from rational persuasion to manipulative persuasion to inducement to power to coercion to physical force. Considering the numerous disadvantages of the working class in terms of their sustenance reserve, their lesser skills of negotiation that have been bred by the capitalist economy, the role of equilibrium unemployment in serving as a threatening influence to ensure effort extraction, and the role of extraction of surplus labor and subordination under hierarchical authority in the workplace itself, it seems absurd to suggest that workers are not subject to one of the more negative forms of influence, such as "power" or "coercion." The consistent libertarian will condemn such influence terms.

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