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  1. #111
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I really, really wish that my Religious Right relatives understood that most of the people they are voting for feel the same way about them that you do.
    I'm not so sure about that, but will assume for the sake of argument this is correct: this would make the Democratic candidates different how?

  2. #112
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    What would be the harm in sitting down with some representatives from this group and listening to their qualms? Obama or a high level official from his cabinet should spend some time with these folks; perhaps a town meeting style Q&A, televised of course.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix13 View Post
    What's your point?
    You're confusing two different concepts, not to mention imposing an anachronism of trying to find "communism" in a pre-modern/pre-ideological context.

  4. #114
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I really, really wish that my Religious Right relatives understood that most of the people they are voting for feel the same way about them that you do. I think their political views are hypocritical and misinformed, but overall, they are decent, well-meaning people. I hate seeing their sincerely held beliefs about the sanctity of life, etc exploited by people who think they are, for all intents and purposes, crazy idiots.
    I don't believe that they are bad people for the most part. I believe THEY believe they are doing good. Of course, I believe communists and fascists believe the same thing, though. That doesn't make it any less bad. A lot of the worst things that have ever happened were done by people who thought they were doing the right thing. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, as they say.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #115
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I'm not so sure about that, but will assume for the sake of argument this is correct: this would make the Democratic candidates different how?
    Well, it might actually make them think a little bit instead of giving automatic loyalty.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #116
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Well, it might actually make them think a little bit instead of giving automatic loyalty.
    What makes you think the loyalty is automatic? Its a rational calculation that they may advance their priorities better through candidates who (at a minimum) pay lip service to their interests and depend upon their votes to stay in office.

    The whole idea that social conservatives are tricked into supporting the Republican coalition through "God, guns, and gays" and abortion diversions is absurd; if social issues were unimportant and all that stops the people living in Kansas from voting Democrat, then the Democrats would pretend to support the same things as the social conservatives in an effort to win elections. The Republican-voting social conservatives simply disagree with the de-facto social agenda of the Democratic coalition, and prioritize the social issues in contention. Members of the Republican coalition who disagree with social conservatives find common ground with the latter through the modern federalist paradigm, while pronounced social liberals find common ground with social conservatives who prioritize the welfare state through the centralizing agenda of the Democratic coalition.

    full disclosure: I'm an agnostic and, for all practical purposes, a Republican who generally agrees with the social conservatives regarding guns and abortion, and disagrees with them concerning drugs and gays. My priority is Constitutional originalism.

  7. #117
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    What makes you think the loyalty is automatic? Its a rational calculation that they may advance their priorities better through candidates who (at a minimum) pay lip service to their interests and depend upon their votes to stay in office.

    The whole idea that social conservatives are tricked into supporting the Republican coalition through "God, guns, and gays" and abortion diversions is absurd; if social issues were unimportant and all that stops the people living in Kansas from voting Democrat, then the Democrats would pretend to support the same things as the social conservatives in an effort to win elections. The Republican-voting social conservatives simply disagree with the de-facto social agenda of the Democratic coalition, and prioritize the social issues in contention. Members of the Republican coalition who disagree with social conservatives find common ground with the latter through the modern federalist paradigm, while pronounced social liberals find common ground with social conservatives who prioritize the welfare state through the centralizing agenda of the Democratic coalition.

    full disclosure: I'm an agnostic and, for all practical purposes, a Republican who generally agrees with the social conservatives regarding guns and abortion, and disagrees with them concerning drugs and gays. My priority is Constitutional originalism.
    Hmm. Must just be the Evangelicals I know.

    I know for me, it took the realization that Republicans probably didn't really want poor people having babies that would receive medicaid, food-stamps, etc enough to make any truly effective effort to reduce abortions.

    I'm pro-life, but I have mixed feelings about the legal question of abortion. I think that making it illegal wouldn't reduce abortion all that much at this point, but providing education on birth control, etc and support like subsidized maternity leave/child care might just help make an unplanned pregnancy not so much of a life-shattering disaster that a woman would feel compelled to terminate her child's life.

    I think the horse left the constitutional gun rights barn when the North used military force to keep the South in the Union and am ambivalent about gun control.

    I think marijuana should be legal, but probably not meth (I would probably ban production of Pseudoephedrine-containing products altogether even though it's an effective drug used properly because I've seen what meth does to people) or heroine -- other recreational drugs I don't know enough about.

    I'm in favor of civil unions for gays and straights and separating it from religious marriage.

    So whatever that means . . .
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #118
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    So it would seem.

    Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated - NYTimes.com

    Also striking that they are more conservative than the average self-labeled Republican.
    An African American became a president of the US.
    It was a subject of a novel I read in the early 70s.

    The man was not elected, of course.
    A plane crashed.

    President and Vice President were dead.
    A black man was in the order of succession.
    A coincidence.

    How does a politically correct racist come out of the closet?
    He contrives a Tea Party.

    What is education?
    It is inheritance.

  9. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    How does a politically correct racist come out of the closet?
    He contrives a Tea Party.
    For the left, that's the real beauty of having a black president... any opposition at all to the president's agenda can be conveniently written off as racism.

    A cheap shot, if you ask me, but it's of such stuff as this that policy is made.

  10. #120
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElizaJane View Post
    It is interesting to think about how political views and Christianity relate. I once thought socialism or communism would be considered more "Christian" than capitalism. However, I'm starting to think differently about that. A quote from Brothers Karamazov sums it up well:
    “...for socialism is not only the labor question, or the so-called fourth estate, but is primarily the question of atheism, the question of the contemporary incarnation of atheism, the question of the Tower of Babel, which is being constructed simply without God, not to attain Heaven from Earth, but for the drawing down of Heaven to Earth.”
    In addition, socialism assumes that humans are better than they are. Capitalism, on the other hand, assumes that humans are imperfect (in line with the Bible) and offers a structure that works with basic human impulses—greed, selfishness, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I believe that human nature does have to be accounted for and am not against capitalism in and of itself, but it, like socialism needs to account for human nature. Obviously we aren't going to get a perfect society, but if God has a problem with fair wages and protecting the needy from the rich and powerful, he must have been pretty confused when he was inspiring the folks to write the Bible.

    No, my problem is with Darwinistic style capitalism -- with the lack of regulation that allows greed to run absolutely rampant. That allows corporate lobbyists to to rewrite bankruptcy laws and trusts financial institutions to self-regulate. This does not reflect an awareness of human nature -- or the basic greed and selfishness to which humanity is prone.

    I have a problem with allowing corporations to go overseas in order to avoid the environmental and labor laws in this country and allowing them to pay American workers such low wages that their employees need to depend upon government assistance to subsidize basic housing, utilities, food, and healthcare when the company is making huge profits and paying CEOs more in a year than their workers will ever see in a lifetime.

    And I have a problem with the inconsistent approach advocates of capitalism often use -- socialism is fine if it benefits them and bad if it benefits someone they consider less worthy than themselves
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think there's a great deal of similarity between ideological capitalism and its anathema Marxism, in my experience they appeal to similar personalities for similar reasons.

    As far as associations between capitalism and Christianity go, that's a complete mistake, the capitalist idea of man as rational, avaratious calculator is as inaccurate or one dimensional as Borg like communism. Smith supposed not that man was naturally greedy but that hopefully price mechanism markets would harness the worst for the better, not that people were necessarily so, now that its in full effect people have to be that way to succeed. Effectively capitalism has become normative, instead of resting upon pre-existing norms.

    There are also as many, if not a lot, lot more, utopian ideas and fantasies about perfectability of both individuals and prices or allocative efficiency within capitalism as socialism. I can name three right away, personal responsiblity equals success, parsimony is rewarded, there is a trickle down effect/a rising tide raises all boats big and small.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I'll just assume that you're ignorant of Adam Smith's writings on the subject.

    Smith (and many others) have made the argument that capitalism requires moral context. Ideological proponents of capitalism often overlook or ignore this important detail. What's ironic about this is that many of those who espouse capitalism as some sort of beacon of freedom often also complain about how society is becoming increasingly immoral. The logical disconnect is astounding.
    That's the irony I noted when I used to hear Christians say that Communism ignores "man's sin". Their capitalistic ideology also seems to think man is inherently good, though needing a moral push, (from the preachers themselves, of course). Hence, they blame liberal Christians, and liberal society in general, for marginalizing the influence of religion (removing public prayer, etc) and claim if they had the control, then we wouldn't have all this "godless materialism", and then capitalism would work the way it's supposed to, morally. You had leaders such as D James Kennedy, who took this as far as to say socialism was the cause of all our (America's) problems! And conservative Christians I debate with seem to still believe this. In the bank and auto bailouts, they blame Obama, rather than corporate greed! The coprorate powers can do no wrong in themselves; if they're greedy, they were just helplessly deceived by godless society.

    So this ignores that man will still do evil, even if you preach at him. He will nod to it (just like they did in the past, when society was supposeldy more "Christian", but there was still a lot of unChristian behavior going on out of the spotlight), and then find whatever loophole he can to benefit himself and pass the expense to everyone else. This is just as much human nature as the factors that cause communism/socialism not to work as ideally conceived.
    Yeah; they always threw that "Tower of Babel" charge at the communists, but you think the capitalists aren't trying to attain the same thing?

    Another gross irony is how Christians blasted communism as "Darwinistic", when their capitalistic ideology is just as Darwinistic. Only, for them, it was Darwin's theory on the orgins of species that was evil. They would also lump the socioeconomic evils in with it, but this is precisely what they defended in practice.

    I just look at the deterioration of all cities over the last century. Especially, Detroit, where they want to level much of the city and turn it back into farmland! All of this is generally blamed on the minorities, and the capitalists moving all the industry are are justified. There is no sense that the people depending on the industry should be considered, and not just thrown out in the cold. Conservatives complain so much about a whole group of people supposedly "not working", yet when work was taken away from them, that was completely OK.
    They then adopt this purely Darwinistic ideology, that the owners have the "right" to do whatever profits them, and it is the people's own fault for not pulling themselves up higher likewise. So it's for all good purposes "survival of the fittest". It is just so amazing hearing decades of conservative preachers rail on and on about the evils of Darwinism (even blaming it for moral and political decline), yet in the same book or sermon, often preach rank Darwinism in economics, as it it were commanded in the Bible.

    You find with these types a colossal fundamental attribution error system, where the same behaviors they condemn on the other side are explained away when their side does it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Neither poverty nor alms giving exist as they did in biblical times, neither socialism nor capitalism exist either, other than as ideological totems for particular sorts of personality but then that's a different topic.

    I would only say that it is wrong to suppose that Christianity (early or not) was communist or socialist because these are modern and modernist concepts, they shouldnt be ascribed to pre-modern societies or economies.
    One Christian, Michael Horton, in Beyond Culture Wars excellently treated this issue. While making sure to point out his belief that this system is better in practical matters, he puts both in perspective:
    Both Marxism and capitalism are cut from he same cloth of Enlightenment modernity...neither seeks the spiritual good of society. Both systems have much in common philosophically; they both believe that human beings are basically good, and that if things go terribly wrong, it is because of the social structures that have failed to adequately "nurture" them or unleash their possibilities. Both are offspring of the secular experiment, and by confusing capitalism with with Christianity, we are not only historically naive (ignoring its roots in the Renaissance and Enlightenment), but are incapable then of really assessing the spiritual damage either secular experiment has caused to the human spirit. Furthermore, both are idolatrous: Capitalism replaces God and His prominence with the "Invisible Hand of the Market" whereas Marxism makes an idol of the state. One looks to the state as the liberator, the other to the market, but both are essentially materialistic and hostile to spiritual realities. That is why a Solzhenitsyn can come to America and find the same disillusionment, despair, and nihilism he knew so well under a Marxist state. When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn came to America for refuge, evangelicals found immense pleasure in his attacks on Marxism and his calls for moral repentance and spiritual awakening. And yet, many seemed to miss his attacks on the West— not only for its sexual immorality (which seems to be about the only form of immorality some conservatives worry about), but for its greed and exploitation. What Solzhenitsyn favored was not an American-style democracy over a Soviet-style dictatorship, but rather the end of ideological regimes altogether. In other words, the "ideological war" itself was the problem, regardless of the particular side one took. Both presuppose rationalism, human goodness, and autonomy, and at the same time reduce man to a merely economic animal whose whole existence is nothing more than factors of production and consumption. It's just that one explicitly rejects heaven and the other simply elects to ignore it. (P.55-57)
    Of course, one big difference is the fact that western capitalism allowed organized religion to thrive, so was therefore seen as being "friendly" to God, while the other system was atheist. But still, Horton notes:
    While attacking Marxism as godless statism, evangelicals have failed to realize that Marxism and free market capitalism are twin sisters of modernity, and...godless capitalism is just as great a threat to the soul, if not the pocket book. By reducing human beings to consumers, making nearly all social relationship depend on competition, and shrinking human life down to purely economic determinism, modern capitalism is just as dangerous to the soul— in part because of its marriage to religion, where apathy reigns in the face of every enemy except the threat to the "American Way of Life". (p.74)
    Note the statement in the first quote that both believe man is good and only affected by bad environments. This is a frequent charge leveled at the Left, but the Right is equally guilty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Socialism and communism are synonymous with atheism for many people in the US because of the Soviet treatment of Christians (or at least the propaganda that was fed to Americans regarding the Soviet treatment of Christians), and many believe that if the US moves in that direction, we'll start sending Christians to gulags as well. The Cold War propaganda machine was very successful.
    Socialism not necessarily anti-God. The way it turned out, the communists aligned themselves with atheism, and capitalism used theistic sentiment to bolster itself; at least for awhile. That does not mean that one is necessarily for God, and the other against God. The fact that capitalism has turned away from God (as conservative Christians complain) is the proof of that, though they insist on blaming someone else for it.

    Man in his fallen state basically reverts back to animal instincts. And the main instinct is survival. Hence both socialism and capitalism are man's attempts to survive by controlling others and gaining the most profit to themselves.

    There's no way at all that I believe Christianity can be reconciled to capitalism. The calvinist and other prejudices which provided the cultural mainstays of pre-capitalist societies permitting the accumulation of wealth necessary to industrialism, mass production etc. are anathema to consumerism which is the mainstay of contemporary society and economy.
    there are different interpretations of Calvinism, and in a real way, te whole class and race system, as well as the ideology of those who defend it (Whether Calvinist or Arminian in soteriology) are shaped by the Calvinism of the Puritans and Pilgrims. God had "elected" them, just like he "elected" the Israelites, and granted them the land and resources of the "reprobate" heathens He ordered them to drive out of the land. So this was simply repeated in the founding of America. Material prosperity was then seen as proof of divine election. Hence, "chosen" to enjoy the best of both worlds (while telling others they had no rights).

    Of course, this turns the whole "good news" of the Christian message on its ear, and they simply chuck it off to "God's sovereignty". Yet many will still argue that America was founded by "divine providence", and that these "liberals" are ruining it all, and to many, the minorities (symbolized by such analogies as "lazy grasshoppers") are still blamed for taking all the money (through taxes), even though it is the conservatives' rich corporate heroes who are the ones still getting richer.
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