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  1. #41
    Member warick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternue-MDL View Post
    A few points to ponder and notes of contention:

    - Voting records are only as accurate as your reading of the bill/amendment. Unfortunately, many laws and bills include all sorts of add-ons which have nothing to do with the bulk. We'd all do well to push for a single-issue law regarding Congressional legislation.

    - Socialism is misunderstood by the majority of Americans due to Republican red-scare tactics. Socialism is not communism, but communism is a version of socialism. Capitalism is not fascism, but fascism (which is more of what Nazi Germany was though they misleadingly used the term socialists)...fascism is a form of capitalism.

    -For the most part, Democrats and Republicans have the same voting record concerning economic legislation. Bush could not spend half a trillion on Iraq if Democrats filibustered, yet Democrats still pretend to be different than Republicans and vice versa. The only real differences between Republicans and Democrats is not in economics or the size of government/government intervention but rather social/moral issues.
    On the first point: Agreed, for the most part, but if a candidate felt strongly enough about a bill, the add-ons wouldn't matter.

    Second:Socialism is misunderstood by the majority of Americans because the left has a need to make people forget that Socialism is just a babystep away from Communism. Fascism is nothing like Capitalism. Communism and Fascism are both forms of Collectivism/Socialism, which means that Fascism is similar to Communism (hence the names of the fascist party of Germany- 'National Socialists, aka Nazis' and the name of Communist Russia 'Union of Soviet Socialist Republics'). Capitalism is the polar opposite of both these, based on Individualism, not Collectivism.

    Third: Unfortunately many Republicans claim to be fiscally conservative then turn out to vote for more spending. But Democrats are far worse spenders, they are the ones that introduce most of the spending bills and expand the government more and vote more often for more spending. The social/moral issues are tied together with the economic issues. Somebody has to pay when the Democrats morals tell them they need to give more money to people that won't work, or that my taxes should pay for someone elses medical insurance because they choose to spend their money on luxuries instead of necessities. To quote Ann Coulter:
    The common wisdom holds that "both parties" have to appeal to the extremes during the primary and then move to the center for the general election. To the contrary, both parties run for office as conservatives. Once they have fooled the voters and are safely in office, Republicans sometimes double-cross the voters. Democrats always do.
    I'm not being critical, I'm just trying to make you a better person.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by warick View Post
    Second:Socialism is misunderstood by the majority of Americans because the left has a need to make people forget that Socialism is just a babystep away from Communism. Fascism is nothing like Capitalism. Communism and Fascism are both forms of Collectivism/Socialism, which means that Fascism is similar to Communism (hence the names of the fascist party of Germany- 'National Socialists, aka Nazis' and the name of Communist Russia 'Union of Soviet Socialist Republics'). Capitalism is the polar opposite of both these, based on Individualism, not Collectivism.
    You, sir, also misunderstand socialism, though I should know better than to argue with a staunch Republican INTJ. The authoritarian version of socialism is communism. You'd seem to agree with that statement in the least, but this is where we differ greatly: capitalism. Capitalism is ownership of property. For instance, some cultures have the view that certain resources such as a water supply are social properties and thus cannot be owned per se. Capitalism would contend that someone can indeed and should own the resource thereby increasing the utility and economic efficiency of said resource. Where fascism and libertarianism differ are in who owns that land. In fascism, the state often run by the business elite and political elite, own the resources or rights to the resources, subjugating the people via access to said resources. In libertarianism, individuals hold the rights to land and resources and governing bodies should have little say as to what a capitalist does or does not do with his or her resources. The way in which communism and fascism differ is largely in perception, as communists tend to, after consolidating power, give preferential treatment to a select few and wealth begins amassing amongst those connected to the political elite, and the general population suffers. Capitalism and fascism are separated by only the level of state interference. Communism and fascism are distinct, but over time, communism tends toward fascist style governance. Look at the inadequate distribution of wealth in China! Uneven distribution of wealth is not a communist concept, but an oligarchic/capitalist point of view. True socialism has yet to be realized and the reason is simply put with "absolute power corrupts absolutely." A certain level of governance is required to distribute wealth and maintain public resources, but as entitlement mentality increases and work ethic drops, government grows and suddenly a group of political elite exists which then becomes communism which as I said tends toward fascism in its final stages. Being a small-government/anarchist libertarian or socialist is more of a theoretical point of view. You play semantics with names such as National Socialist Party which I addressed in my posting..."Nazi Germany was though they misleadingly used the term socialists". I could call a theoretical movement to replace the U.S. government with business leaders "The People's Movement" but what I choose for a name and my actual policies are a far cry from one another...

  3. #43
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    oooh- looks like an interesting argument!

    Obama is apparently protestant Christian, he found religion after working with religious organizations and was baptized by Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. He's spoken a lot at different churches as part of his campaign process and aparently is quite good at it.

    In application, socialism and communism are completely different. While communism has strict heirarchical structures and complete state ownership of every aspect of a human's life (not to mention general state control of all sources of media and little to no freedom of press), socialism in the modern context allows for independant enterprises such as family owned businesses, the ownership of private property and civil liberties. The confusion comes from the fact that Marx used socialism as his step before capitalism in the evolution of society, and many communist countries used the term socialism to describe their Stalinist programs. You probably will not beleive me, going back to previous interactions with intjs.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    oooh- looks like an interesting argument!

    Obama is apparently protestant Christian, he found religion after working with religious organizations and was baptized by Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. He's spoken a lot at different churches as part of his campaign process and aparently is quite good at it.

    In application, socialism and communism are completely different. While communism has strict heirarchical structures and complete state ownership of every aspect of a human's life (not to mention general state control of all sources of media and little to no freedom of press), socialism in the modern context allows for independant enterprises such as family owned businesses, the ownership of private property and civil liberties. The confusion comes from the fact that Marx used socialism as his step before capitalism in the evolution of society, and many communist countries used the term socialism to describe their Stalinist programs. You probably will not beleive me, going back to previous interactions with intjs.
    Actually, I agree with you. The word has been misused, and my understanding of socialism is not as developed as real socialists/non-communists. I do believe what can be found at The Political Compass to be quite compelling. My only problem is that there is not a moral dimension along a Z-axis. I would best be described as a centrist when it comes to authoritarianism vs. anarchism, an economic leftist, and a conservative in morality.
    The INTJ is not something I consider formidable, it's a zealous Republican that quotes Ann Coulter that concerns me far more.
    The Political Compass

  5. #45
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Just out of curiousity, since I follow US politics a lot but don't live in the states.

    Why the hell do I keep hearing "Except, he's a democrat". What the hell have republicans done for you, exactly? What exactly is it about "democrats" that you have been trained to hate, as a trigger, rather than even look at (either of) the groups' actual identities?

    I used to disbelieve that only 10% of the population has any political belief system... now I believe that it might be an overstatement. I would say ideologue (like) behaviour is more common than previously thought, and I'd say that more than 80% of voters are indeed irrationally inconsistent with their belief system.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    ...What exactly is it about "democrats" that you have been trained to hate...
    A lot of it comes to moral referencing by parties, oddly enough. My dad, for instance, regrets voting for Bush. Why did he chose Bush over Kerry? Kerry supported abortion rights. Republicans have so closely aligned themselves as the moral majority with Americans with simple*, easy-to-understand issues, that my fellow Americans are blind to see the truth. What good is a president that blocks embryonic cell research but also blocks child health insurance programs? What good is a president that says he is a man of his word and has yet to apologize for the outright lies involved in invading Iraq? But, to see these inconsistencies requires discomfort. I am anti-abortion, pro-gay civil rights (though maybe not marriage rights yet), in favor of a death penalty but in very limited circumstances, anti-Guantanamo, anti-Iraq war, pro-Afghan war, anti-corporation, pro-small business, you can imagine my disdain for the two party system. It simply cannot reflect the true complexities of a large population of 300+ million people!
    Last edited by Eternue-MDL; 11-05-2007 at 03:58 PM. Reason: *

  7. #47
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    there's been the unfortunate presence of the Religious Right in this country for the past 15 or so years, which tends to equate Democrats with Godless Heathens who eat babies for breakfast and want to teach our children to become homosexuals (heard that argument from my grandparents actually!). This means that any candidate from the Democratic party has to work extra hard to convince "decent folk" that they are deeply religious and are good people at heart. It is unfortunate if someone is a Democrat because of this effect.
    Fortunatley with the rate of political scandals involving people endorsed by the religious right having sex, taking bribes and lying, it is forecast that sometime within the next 10 years or so the Religious Right will lose its potency. That and the growth of influential liberal christian groups!

    (plus- don't you know that "liberal" is a dirty word? G.H.W. Bush said so!)

  8. #48
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternue-MDL View Post
    What good is a president that blocks embryonic cell research but also blocks child health insurance programs? What good is a president that says he is a man of his word and has yet to apologize for the outright lies involved in invading Iraq?
    That is what I mean by ideologues - the minority of the population that can actually grasp contradictory concepts, such as "lower taxes but more government programs" being mutually exclusive. It seems like the vast majority of the population hold contradictory political beliefs, meaning no coherent theory.

    You have those that talk about the sanctity of life, and stand firm on abortion... but somehow seem to warship war, military, and support such ventures, regardless of the viability or value in such an act.

    And for anyone that thinks Rudi might not be in power on the republican side - you cannot believe the things I hear. Hell, read the US comments on the BBC election question. I had some hope for you guys before looking into the republican primaries, but your country has been bought and sold - there will be no other candidates and the people will not be looking to change anything.

    (I still hold some little hope that Ron Paul will make it through the primaries... and I think that in 30 years, when the old bastion of people have died off, the new generation will put to rest the stupidity I see now... but I know, realistically, it'll just be another crop of self serving political maneuvers. Nearly nothing changes, country to country, generation to generation... nothing changes the distribution of voting habits.)

    you can imagine my disdain for the two party system. It simply cannot reflect the true complexities of a large population of 300+ million people!
    I hear this a lot too, and there is some grey area. But I think blaming it on a two party system isn't fair either. It's a faulty system, yes, and makes things worse... but having a better system won't solve the problem. It just follows a different curve in terms of the rise of authoritarian, elitism and other power distributions.

    The fundamental problem is that there is no coherent democratic process that won't be subverted by the majority vote - the majority of which, contrary to "wisdom of the masses", are not coherent arguers for a stance. I don't even mean this in the politically charged way of "my stance", I mean literally unable to see the contradiction in their views.

    That's what is manifesting itself in the "Republican", "Democracts", "Left", "Right", "Socialist", "Capitalist" and so forth. The polarisation is about fractured ideologies with no coherent view. You can hold any number of political views that act like "hot buttons". In a binary choice, that's relatively easy to do.

    That's what I'm asking. What does it mean when you say "He's a good guy, but unfortunately is a democrat"? What is it about the word democrat that is so ingrained that causes such a fundamental dissonance...

    Is it really the moral stuff? Cause... I gotta tell you, that's gotta be the largest cognitive dissonance I've ever heard. I always hear the "fiscal argument", which I find funnier considering how much worse the republican party has been, fiscally, for the last hundred years.

    And seriously, if this administration can't break the lock on "moral" and "fiscal" views, what exactly is going to cause it to happen... ever?

    Maybe you are right... I guess the republican party could be called the war party now. I could see that transformation. Hmm, there is something to that, actually. Serving the people, protecting the people, seeking out enemies... wait, that is pretty accurate. I wonder if there will be a cultural shift from Christian right-wing to pure right-wing, with Christian ideology embracing more left wing peace alternatives. Eh, probably not.

  9. #49
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    The terms Democrat and Republican are easy labels that people cling to in an effort to avoid thinking rationally about the issues, and instead rely on what they take in on accident (the candidate's social life/appearance/etc). This is why candidates that run on the issues do badly (see: John Kerry), as opposed to most Republicans over the past 10 years or so who run on image.

    This is because Republicans really can't run on "the issues." Democrats, essentially, are much more united when it comes to the issues. Republicans, on the other hand, have been brought together skillfully under one banner over a long period of time. There are fiscal conservatives, neo-conservatives, religious fundamentalists, moral conservatives, etc... There is no reason for a fiscal conservative and a moral conservative to necessarily share the same view on anything, but they are both Republicans.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  10. #50
    respect the brick C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Why the hell do I keep hearing "Except, he's a democrat". What the hell have republicans done for you, exactly? What exactly is it about "democrats" that you have been trained to hate, as a trigger, rather than even look at (either of) the groups' actual identities?

    I used to disbelieve that only 10% of the population has any political belief system... now I believe that it might be an overstatement. I would say ideologue (like) behaviour is more common than previously thought, and I'd say that more than 80% of voters are indeed irrationally inconsistent with their belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    This is because Republicans really can't run on "the issues." Democrats, essentially, are much more united when it comes to the issues. Republicans, on the other hand, have been brought together skillfully under one banner over a long period of time. There are fiscal conservatives, neo-conservatives, religious fundamentalists, moral conservatives, etc... There is no reason for a fiscal conservative and a moral conservative to necessarily share the same view on anything, but they are both Republicans.
    The Republican Party is part brand and part tribe. When you identify yourself by what you're against, you don't have to ask yourself what you're for.

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    there's been the unfortunate presence of the Religious Right in this country for the past 15 or so years...
    There have been several Great Awakenings in American history. The one in the early 20th Century gave us Prohibition. This one is perhaps the most politically mobilized of them all, but for the most part they're not getting what they want. And time is against them; young people are more tolerant.

    Fortunatley with the rate of political scandals involving people endorsed by the religious right having sex, taking bribes and lying, it is forecast that sometime within the next 10 years or so the Religious Right will lose its potency. That and the growth of influential liberal christian groups!
    That sort of thing ended the last Great Awakening. The best we can hope for is they will become disillusioned with their leaders and crawl back under their rock for a couple of generations. But they will be back.

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