Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

pudge's Journal: What a socialist is 9

Journal by pudge

Anyone who defines what a socialist IS and states that therefore someone is NOT a socialist doesn't understand the word "socialist" or the English language very well.

The fact is, "socialist" has many meanings. In both French and English, for around 150 years, "socialist" has had a definition -- which has been very commonly used, even to today -- of, simply, massive social control by government for the purpose of taking from some people to give to others. As Bastiat said, for example:

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole -- with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism.

Socialism does not just regard the ownership of the means of production. It's never only meant that, not in our lifetimes. Obama does favor controlling society through "an infinite number of ways" in order to take from some people to give to others. This is a perfectly reasonable, correct, and valid use of the word "socialism" ... and it's not a matter of "human dignity," but a matter of whether government should be the instrument of providing that "dignity." I contend that destroying liberty to give "dignity" to someone else is itself taking away the dignity of all.

Or, in other words of Bastiat:

Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: "Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity." I answered him: "The second half of your program will destroy the first."

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What a socialist is

Comments Filter:
  • Thanks for quoting Bastiat. I read The Law a while back, and it was a profoundly enlightening book. If anyone who reads this journal entry has not read The Law, I couldn't encourage you enough to go read it!

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      I'll wait for the Cliffs Notes version. Just kidding, but it's TL;DR for an on-the-spot reading (so it's added to a bookmark list, of longish things I've meant to come back to but seldom seem to).

      It's too bad that the owner of the JE this one was in response to and the owner of this one both have each other foe'd, as I would've liked to have seen her response. As it is, it's basically two people turned away from each other and speaking only into each own's echo chamber. Not that I think any minds would've n

      • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

        it's basically two people turned away from each other and speaking only into each own's echo chamber

        No, it's not. She's extraordinarily abusive and refuses to consider other views. She doesn't discuss at all: she lectures, and then calls names when people challenge her. No echo chamber: if she were rational, she'd be more than welcome, even if she is wrong. But she is unfortunately not.

        • No, it's not. She's extraordinarily abusive and refuses to consider other views. She doesn't discuss at all: she lectures, and then calls names when people challenge her. No echo chamber: if she were rational, she'd be more than welcome, even if she is wrong. But she is unfortunately not.

          Humans dislike in others that which most resembles themselves. Pot, meet kettle.
          • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

            No, it's not. She's extraordinarily abusive and refuses to consider other views. She doesn't discuss at all: she lectures, and then calls names when people challenge her. No echo chamber: if she were rational, she'd be more than welcome, even if she is wrong. But she is unfortunately not.

            Humans dislike in others that which most resembles themselves. Pot, meet kettle.

            Actually, none of that describes me. For example, I never abuse someone for challenging me, but only for being abusive. I occasionally lecture, but I am always open to discussion (with a few exceptions, like Marxist Hacker 42) from anyone who is willing to discuss without resorting to abuse. I absolutely welcome opposing viewpoints, and consider them all the time.

            You just don't know what you're talking about.

      • by unitron (5733)

        ...I would've liked to have seen her response.

        Here, it appears, is her response.

        http://slashdot.org/~snowgirl/journal/256950

        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          And it's a typically stupid response, starting with the fact that she thinks the discussion is archived, then somehow missing the phrases "as a whole" and "common aim of."

  • Bastiat [wikipedia.org]'s work defines legal plunder [bastiat.org] as a law that "takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong." This is extremely broad and is purposefully phrased so as to summon negative bias from the start.

    Tax money pays and equips firefighters for what people would otherwise refuse to pay for (insurance). By taking a small amount from each person, the people can afford to protect the few homes that need it. Bastiat would define this as "legal plunder" a

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      This is extremely broad

      Yes.

      ... and is purposefully phrased so as to summon negative bias from the start.

      Because he sees it as bad. Yes. And?

      Tax money pays and equips firefighters for what people would otherwise refuse to pay for (insurance). By taking a small amount from each person, the people can afford to protect the few homes that need it. Bastiat would define this as "legal plunder" and would consider it wrong.

      I don't know if he would consider it wrong, and neither do you. Chances are you're wrong, because plunder, as you note, is to give to someone else, whereas firefighter services are insurance for everyone.

      However, even if you can come up with a very few examples of plunder that I would accept as reasonable, those exceptions don't harm the larger point against plunder.

      Today, it is considered a social policy and even the staunchest of social conservatives would be hard-pressed to argue for its privatization

      You're a bit confused. Privatization is not the word you are looking for: privatization simply mea

"You know, we've won awards for this crap." -- David Letterman

Working...