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Author Topic: The problem with calling Obama a socialist.  (Read 885 times)
Zioneer
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« on: May 01, 2012, 06:29:55 pm »
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The problem with people that call Obama a socialist is that they've usually never talked to any actual outright card-carrying socialists or members of (for example), the Socialist Party, or a similar party.

Any real socialist could tell you that Obama's not even close to advocating socialism. So why do people continue to believe this when they could easily just ask an actual socialist?
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Fuzzybigfoot
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 06:49:05 pm »
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They are dumb, you see.  Wink
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AmericanNation
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 07:10:47 pm »
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If you want to honestly talk about it...
You are mixing both:  
1) perceptions vs. realities and
2)generalities vs. hyper technical definitions

That is a lot of material to wade through so I'll pick one.

Definition of Socialist
You can have many types of socialists and socialism.  By picking one type and using that as the only acceptable definition (and ignoring all others) you are making a fallacy argument.  I suspect that many might also move the goalpost and pick a different definition the second their definition was met.  

OK, 2...
Perception of socialism
Some come to their perception in different ways: key decisions, policies, rhetoric, illustrative dialogue, etc inform their views.  So your perception might be thrown off by Obama pretending to be Reagan and Lincoln and Eisenhower... Others don't buy that crap and completely discount it.  Some might focus on stuff like:
1) rolling an additional 1/6th of the economy into the federal government
2) big business cronyism and excessive bailouts/regulation controlling vast sectors of the economy
2.5) Stupid Government Spending "stimulus" on political rather than practical things.  
3) constant ginning up of racial animosity
4) constant class warfare rhetoric / redistribution policies.  
etc. etc. etc.  

I don't call Obama a socialist, but I have called specific actions socialistic because they are.  Kind of a loaded word, but it does mean something.  I haven't said anything is wrong with "socialism", but I prefer to call a spade a spade. 

      
          
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wormyguy
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 07:15:37 pm »
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FWIW the Socialist Party USA is significantly more extreme than European socialist parties and is more comparable to the European far-left.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 08:40:37 pm »
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Most people who use the word socialist don't know what it means. They consider someone who cut them off in traffic a socialist. The word is misused as a word for everything bad.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 08:47:28 pm »
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Because of the sell-off of rescued assets, President Obama is the exact opposite of a socialist. This may not have been the President's first objective, but he might as well take credit for it.
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 09:07:09 pm »
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Here's a definition from the Oxford Dictionary of Economics (article Capitalism, which has a pithier definition than the article Socialism): "ocialism, under which in principle all major economic decisions are taken collectively".
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AmericanNation
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 09:20:58 pm »
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Here's a definition from the Oxford Dictionary of Economics (article Capitalism, which has a pithier definition than the article Socialism): "ocialism, under which in principle all major economic decisions are taken collectively".
what is the standard for "ALL" ? ? ?  We over regulate nearly all economic activity, what if we continuously make up new regulations ? Then we didn't have "ALL" before, huh?  If 60% of the economy is directly controlled by the feds is that "enough" ?  My point before is that most people sense that when you hit a tipping point (whatever it is) you have entered the socialist zone.  My guess is 50% of the economy is most people's tipping point in the US.       
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NE Caretaker Griffin
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 09:34:14 pm »
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For all practical purposes, I consider all countries 'socialist' as there is always a mixture of public and private influence over the economy. It's all shades of gray, with capitalism and communism never actually existing in the history of the world. Even in countries like Somalia and North Korea, you see elements of both public and private influence.

Hard-line socialists would say that ownership and regulation are two very different things and that regulation does not constitute socialism. As someone who considers himself a socialist (based on my above definition), I would like to see less regulation and more direct competition through the government in areas such as energy and other utilities. It would keep markets competitive by allowing government to directly compete through production as opposed to regulation. 
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old timey villain
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 09:45:22 pm »
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There's a very simple explanation to this

you see, for some people

socialist=communist=marxist=hitler=hollywood=europe=celebrity=kimkardashian
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Can't we all just get along?
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jfern
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 09:48:40 pm »
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He's also a supporter of terrorists. Bin Laden was depressed, and so Obama put him out of his misery.
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King
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 10:41:48 pm »
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The only person in Utah who doesn't think Obama is a socialist?
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It's still rather frustrating when you consider how many people with far better work histories than Jeff have to spend months or years unemployed before they finally get an offer.

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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 10:44:51 pm »
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The only person in Utah who doesn't think Obama is a socialist?
They may be crazy, but they aren't retarded.
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Zioneer
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 05:17:33 pm »
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The only person in Utah who doesn't think Obama is a socialist?

Heh, I'd be one of two Utahns under that qualification; Rocky Anderson certainly doesn't think Obama is a socialist.
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Kevin
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 09:34:50 pm »
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FWIW the Socialist Party USA is significantly more extreme than European socialist parties and is more comparable to the European far-left.

Agreed,

The Social Democrats USA are a much better example then the Socialist Party.

I don't agree with the left-wing members very much on this site, but the concept of socialism and what it stands for is very distorted in this country. Especially in the case of European styled social democracy, which isn't very radical at all.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 09:20:08 am »
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The Right wants the right to offer contracts that people would sign only in desperation (after creating that desperation) and then have Big Government enforce them without judging the validity of such contracts. "You entered that peonage contract fair-and-square when you were hungry, so obey it!"

Government must provide some modicum of freedom, economic security, and legal stability and fairness if it is to have credibility lest it die in revolution or conquest.
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TheGlobalizer
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 01:49:30 pm »
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I call Obama a socialist because he's more like a socialist than any other descriptor I can come up with.  He's certainly pretty fcking far from a liberal, and he's too socially conservative to be a progressive, yet too pro-left-wing and statist on economics to be a centrist.

I don't even use the term with derision - though I think European socialists are much better at socialism than Obama is.  Obama is about the worst philosophical match for me that I can imagine, this side of Hitler/Mussolini/Stalinist fascism.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 01:53:09 pm »
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The Social Democrats USA are a much better example then the Socialist Party.

Thought they folded? The really obvious example would be the DSA, of course.
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
AmericanNation
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2012, 12:27:57 pm »
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I call Obama a socialist because he's more like a socialist than any other descriptor I can come up with.  He's certainly pretty fcking far from a liberal, and he's too socially conservative to be a progressive, yet too pro-left-wing and statist on economics to be a centrist.

I don't even use the term with derision - though I think European socialists are much better at socialism than Obama is. 

That's a good point... what would you call BO, without calling him a Socialist?  A quasi-Socialist?
A wannabe-Socialist? A limited-Socialist? A borderline-Socialist?  A mixed bag with some socialism in it?
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politicus
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« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2012, 12:45:54 pm »
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I call Obama a socialist because he's more like a socialist than any other descriptor I can come up with.  He's certainly pretty fcking far from a liberal, and he's too socially conservative to be a progressive, yet too pro-left-wing and statist on economics to be a centrist.

I don't even use the term with derision - though I think European socialists are much better at socialism than Obama is.  

That's a good point... what would you call BO, without calling him a Socialist?  A quasi-Socialist?
A wannabe-Socialist? A limited-Socialist? A borderline-Socialist?  A mixed bag with some socialism in it?
I think he is much too right wing for either label, but if you wanna go that way Social Democrat would be much more appropriate than Socialist.
Its a shame Social Liberal has a different meaning in the US than in Europe, because he is basically a fairly traditional Social Liberal in the European sense of the word. His health care reform was market based which in itself makes him to the right of Socialists and Social Democrats.
Why not use Moderate Progressive (as opposed to Radical Progressive) as a neutral American label?
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 12:51:46 pm by politicus »Logged

oakvale
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« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2012, 03:12:57 pm »
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I call Obama a socialist because he's more like a socialist than any other descriptor I can come up with.  He's certainly pretty fcking far from a liberal, and he's too socially conservative to be a progressive, yet too pro-left-wing and statist on economics to be a centrist.

I don't even use the term with derision - though I think European socialists are much better at socialism than Obama is. 

That's a good point... what would you call BO, without calling him a Socialist?  A quasi-Socialist?
A wannabe-Socialist? A limited-Socialist? A borderline-Socialist?  A mixed bag with some socialism in it?

I see two of our forum's greatest minds have met at last.
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