Bernie On Socialism

Bernie is a socialist……..this will be a rallying call of all his opponents hoping that others will fear him…… will be laughable because most Americans would not know a socialist if it bit them in the ass……

Bernie over the years has said much on the subject of socialism…….here are some of the more notable statements……


14 things Bernie Sanders has said about socialism – Michael Kruse – POLITICO.

Just What Is Socialism?

College of Political Knowledge

I am glad you asked!  I apologize for the redundancy, but as long as people keep using the term to describe Obama, I will be here to dispute their claim…..

As promised, I will once again teach you what socialism is and what you could expect from a government….

First, if you learn nothing else from our time together….learn this one fact….the statement, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was NOT uttered by Marx, but rather a Frenchman, Louis Blanc…….

I have been fighting the insult of socialism for many years…..too many people throw it around and yet have NO idea what it is they are saying……I try to help people understand the political theory known as socialism.

The newest red meat thrown at Repubs is Newt…well not so new but rather the next right winger to get his day in the light….and Newt does not disappoint…..he has thrown the term “socialism” around more in the last couple of weeks than in most of his career…..sorry my GOP fans….Newt is an arrogant sociopathic little toad…you know this from past dealings with the man….but yet hatred for a prez will allow this person another look see…..

And then there is Rick Perry using the insult…….“We have a president who is a socialist,” Perry said in response to a question at the early morning GOPdebate in Concord, N.H.

And now the GOP’s front runner, Mitt, is using the insult but at least he tries to disguise the fact…..”He wants to turn America into a European-style entitlement society.  We want to ensure that we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity.”  (The ever present “WE”….whoever they are)……

Like I have said…..Many use the term….few understand it…….Let me try to make in simple so that there is NO confusion….

  • Socialism guarantees everyone a decent life with food, shelter, health care, and education.
  • Socialism will work to eradicate poverty and great disparities of wealth.
  • Socialism works to uproot racism, sexism, and homophobia. It aims to dismantle the hierarchies of gender and race.
  • Socialism focuses on the common good as the way for individuals to excel and explore their talents and desires.
  • Socialism puts working people—the working class—in charge of their destiny through workers’ ownership and active participation and management of production, land, public services, assets, and utilities.
  • Socialism works to end the brutal cycle of policing and mass incarceration, and seeks to build a justice system that values human life and community empowerment.
  • Socialism puts the global ecological system at the center of all economic activity.
  • Socialism is about expanding individual rights (including the freedom to criticize), deepening and widening democracy and democratic institutions (like government, schools, unions, community groups), and ensuring dignity.

In other words….it is democracy at work……a political theory that involves and includes all people in the process of governing…….with that said…I do NOT see Obama fitting into that category at all.

Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens take part.  It is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Socialism is where we all put our resources together and work for the common good of us all and not just for our own benefit.  In this sense, we are sharing the wealth within society.

Of course when people hear that term, “Share the wealth” they start screaming, “OMG you want to rob from the rich and give it all to the poor!”  But that is NOT what Democratic Socialism means.

To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc.

And there are many forms of socialism……..but the basic tenets are the same……it is a truer form of democracy than most others……the people are in control….and is that not what we think the Founding Fathers had in mind?

Now ask yourself….do we, as Americans, have a social contract….that is a contract between the governed and governing?  (A future post coming to a blog near you)….

Road To Dystopia

College of Political Knowledge

Votes are counted in Iowa and most likely mean absolutely nothing…..and now on to New Hampshire.

While you suffer through the endless interviews and sound bites I would like to give you something to think about….before you return to the reality of the political circus.

I know the title sounds like one of those zany movies with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby….but that is not what I am writing about….though the movie might be more interesting to some…..

When you study political philosophy you will inevitably study the works of Sir Thomas More, especially his writings on the perfect idyllic world of the island paradise of “Utopia”……..his writing was about the perfect society for man….his ideas were forward thinking for the day, which was 1516 and included such as ideas as the abolition of private property, universal obligation to work, right to an equal share of society’s wealth, the concept of equal rights under the law and state management and control of production……..

Of course he made these observations during the reign of bonnie King Henry VIII and all these proposals were very risky and More paid for them with his life…..and for a hundred years maybe a little longer the world forgot about the writings and the concepts put forth bu Sir Thomas More….but then in 1656 or there about, the concept of “Utopia” was re-visited by another Englishman, James Harrington.

Harrington, once King Charles I was executed spent time in the countryside writing about a proper government for the people of England….during this time he acquainted himself with More’s “Utopia” and expanding onto it a bit……to include a strict division of power between an executive and a legislative branch….he called for two houses an upper called the senate that could debate issues but had little to no power, a lower house that voted on the policies that were proposed…the upper house would draw from the aristocracy and the lower were from the people that were voted into office and served a fixed term on a rotating basis….those for the lower house were open to all adult males with the exception of bachelors and attorneys…they could vote but not hold office…..(an idea that has some merit when it comes to attorneys)…..Harrington also had the idea of a separation of powers and indirect election of a president….all this was an expansion on More’s Utopia but Harrington called his idyllic society as the “Commonwealth Of Oceana”…….(BTW, if you bother to read More and Harrington then the founding father that is credited with so many accomplished ideas, Jefferson, does not look as genius as the historians would have us believe)……..

I bet about now, my reader is going…..Get to the point, Professor!  What is “Dystopia”?

I am coming to the point…just gimme a couple minutes to set it up……

The year now is 1868 and enter…… (stage right)……. a political philosopher named John Stuart Mill…..he read and understood More’s Utopia and as this was a place that was good and honest to exist, Mill came up with the antagonist he called “Dystopia”, meaning a place that was too bad to exist…….and now we are to the point of this post!

Dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and 1984.  Dystopian societies feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, various forms of active and passive coercion.  Ideas and works about dystopian societies often explore the concept of humans abusing technology and humans individually and collectively coping, or not being able to properly cope with technology that has progressed far more rapidly than humanity’s spiritual evolution.  Dystopian societies are often imagined as police states, with unlimited power over the citizens.

What are the characteristics of this society?

Propaganda used to control society, concept is worshiped by citizens of the society, citizens are under constant surveillance, citizens are taught fear of outside world, citizens live in a De-humanized state,  the natural world is distrusted, citizens are encouraged to conform to a prescribed conduct and society is an illusion of a perfect world.

Stop and think…does the internet bill or the detention bill or the way some people treat others or ……I could keep putting in the “or”s but you get the point….just look around…take a solid objective look at our country today… what did you see?

Now that paragraph is the meat of the post…In my opinion, the US is moving rather rapidly toward becoming Dystopian country…Americans need to sit down and take stock of what this country is becoming….all the hyper-partisanship, all the fear tactics used to insist on compliance, all the false idols that were are told to worship, like capitalist, heroes, etc……

Utopia does NOT exist….but Dystopia is rapidly approaching by Americans lack of concern for the country as a whole….their mini concerns will guarantee a country that NO one will want to live in…it will be too bad to exist….a DYSTOPIA!

I now return you to your news source for updates on the circus I call the 2012 Circus of Stars!

Merits Of A Romney!

We, Americans, have been bombarded with endless accusations that Obama and most Dems are some how socialist….some think that are closet socialist and others think that they are outright…..and then there are those like Romney that are scared of using the term and try to cloak the accusation in doublespeak…..

Romney got about as close to suggesting the current president wants to bring pure socialism to America as one can without actually saying the word.

“He seeks to replace our merit-based society with an entitlement society,” Romney told an audience at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s candidate forum.

He explained that Obama’s vision for the country is some kind of meritless-free, government-controlled superstate straight out of the pages of Orwell.

Was it humor?  Or maybe Mitt giving us his vision of what “HIS” America will look if he is EVER elected?

I know that most Americans prefer their politics boiled down to bumper sticker slogans or 30 second sound bytes….but they need to pull their heads out of their butts and listen to what these people are saying there is more to it than a sound byte….and if they cannot accomplish this feat then this whole system that they are so proud of is a doomed exercise in futility……

As an observer of political theory, I see a message embedded in the statement by Romney.  When he said “He seeks to replace our merit-based society with an entitlement society,” he is giving us a look into his idea of our society in his plan……to me, he is championing a “Meritocracy”……

Right about now most readers are asking….HUH?

Meritocracy is a system of government or other administration wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their “merits”, namely intelligence, credentials, and education,  determined through evaluations or examinations. The “most common definition of meritocracy conceptualizes merit in terms of tested competency and ability, and most likely as measured by IQ or standardized achievement tests.”

Meritocracy itself is not a form of government, but rather an ideology.   In government applications, individuals appointed to a meritocracy are judged based upon certain merits which could range from intelligence to morality to general aptitude to specific knowledge.

Supporters of meritocracies do not necessarily agree on the nature of “merit”, however they tend to agree that “merit” itself should be a primary consideration during evaluation.

Is that what Romney has planned?  A country where intelligence, education or morality…in other words, only certain types of people will be tolerated……. all others will be subjects to the will of a few……

Maybe we voters need to take a closer look at all those pertaining to be concerned about the direction of the country…..Pay attention to what is said!  There may be a clue to what you may be really voting for……Just a thought!

American Socialism–A History Lesson

Obama is a socialist……Dems are all socialists…….Krugman is one….Keynes was a big one and now Boehner is one…..socialists here, there, everywhere….but really……how long will these people keep trying to sell that premise?

When I first thought of this post I was going to go through the whole litany of reasons why none of those mentioned are socialists….but I have done that almost to death and all to try and make people wake up to the fact that there are NO socialists hiding in their closets……I have pointed to the facts about economics…none of which is socialist…unions are not socialists and ……if you been reading Info Ink you know what I have been trying to do in the past 3 or so years….it is hard to dispel a moronic accusation….but I try and try and……..I know I am butting my head against a wall but I just cannot let out right lies go on unchallenged……..

This time I thought I would approach it from another direction, a historical one…….

Let’s go back, well let say, about hundred years or so……it is the early 20th century and the industrial revolution is blowing and going, literally, blowing and going…….because of the conditions created by the revolution socialism is starting to make in roads in England and the rest of Europe…..the European worker is struggling for the basic of political rights……working conditions is one of the main issues….

Now across the big pond, the US is also in the middle of the industrial revolution and workers are also struggling with political rights…..but there is a problem for the growth of socialism….. here in America the struggle of those rights did not take the turn that it had in Europe….you see, America was born democratic and did not have to deal the the fights that the Europeans did…there was no peasants, aristocracy, etc…..and the big number one thing is the individual’s aim of owning property….sorry but that is a big obstacle for socialism to flourish.  Citizenship and voting rights were something guaranteed to every person, well every man for the time being, and finally the strong confidence in the existing political system.

The Socialist Party in America arrived in the 1850s in the hearts and minds of German immigrants who formed Marxist style labor collectives and trade guilds. These unions and the political party they spawned were guided by a common tenet.

The socialist movement became a political force in 1900 under the charismatic leadership of Eugene V. Debs. Under his guidance, a web of political influence spanned the nation as the party elected mayors, councilmen, alderman and congressmen. Pittsburg Kansas was the home of the primary Socialist newspaper, “The Voice of Reason,” with a circulation of 700,000.

Deb’s influence was so pervasive that in 1912, he ran for president and received six percent of the vote. His message of poverty and social injustice appealed to the blue collar workers suffering under the crush of American industrialism where a very few became very wealthy of the work of the common people.

However, this idealistic and optimistic movement peaked in 1912 and declined steadily after that. Socialism suffered after World War I and came under attack during the Red Scare’ that began after the Russian Revolution of 1914.   Socialists were lumped in the same category as communists and many leaders, including Debs, were arrested.   Continued philosophical rifts weakened the movement further.   The downtrodden, found no glory in their lot in life, and sought upward mobility in the economic boom following World War II.   Other workers turned to unions and concentrated on increasing wages and benefits instead of reforming society.   Idealogically adrift, the socialist movement ceased to be a viable factor in American politics in the 1950s.

Today, the socialist movement bears no resemblance to the idealistic tenets of its founders.   Fractured and fractuous,  groups purporting to espouse socialism range from the extreme left with the Socialist Party USA and their calls for collective ownership of means of production,  to the extreme right,  including the National Socialist Movement that wants to restore socialism in the mold of Hitler’s Germany.

Unfortunately, as with all non-mainstream movements, viable and important political concepts get lost in the rhetoric.   Debs message was simple America was too great a nation to have so many mired in poverty.   He gave them a voice. However, that voice has been lost in the Babel that followed.

Until recently,  socialism was having a difficult time finding a solid foothold in the political landscape….but all that is changing but the problem is the people are not aware of it and the right has done a lot to help the rise of a socialistic movement……for a lot of the issues that the masses are demanding are issues from the socialist playbook……

If you take nothing away from this post….remember one important thing………

To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc.


“Socialism is the belief and the hope that by proper use of government power, men can be rescued from their helplessness in the wild cycling cruelty of depression and boom.”

Socialism can be a pure form of democracy….if only people would stop looking for boogey men and hiding in the closet….our major problems could be solved…it would take lots or work by the people….and unfortunately I am not convinced that they are up to it…..

It’s The Economy, Right?

I was watching CNBC the other day and the anchor got all bubbly because the market went up over 100 points and the GDP figures were in and it expanded by 2.5%, which is pretty good since the last two quarters sucked bad…..

The US’ total economic output shot up 2.5% from July through September, after two dismal quarters of rising just 0.4% and 1.3%, according to a new GDP report released today. Consumers amped up their spending on both durable goods and services, and business investments soared 16.3%—indicating that we may not be in for a second recession after all.

The numbers were also boosted by federal government spending, though drops in state government spending dampened that effect. And there’s some more moderately positive news: New jobless claims fell 2,000 this week, after dropping 7,000 last week. But that still leaves claims at 402,000—economists think claims must fall below 400,000 for job growth to outpace job losses.

All the pundits are jerking off at the news….but there is still no jobs!  There are still millions of Americans that are unemployed!  Then for whom is all this good news?  Apparently, investors and by investors I mean hedge funds and by hedge funds I mean the same thieves that help tank the economy in the first place……those figures will be seasonal adjusted……which means in the final analysis….it will NOT be as good as they want it to be….

Let’s review……..0.1% of the population controls 34% of the country’s wealth, and owned as much much money as the bottom 42%.  Corporate profits are up by 62%, and the earnings of the top percentage almost doubled, while the average raise for workers only rose about 9%.  The Prez and the Congress gave massive tax cuts and even the Supreme Court got involved in politics………(pause here to re-read)……Wait!  That was the crash of 1929, not 2008!  And just like 1929 the economic crisis spread worldwide…..

My point here that all this has happened before and for the same reasons, well almost the same reasons, The Prez was Coolidge in1926….and the Supreme Court got involved in the process by ruling the minimum wage law was unconstitutional (they were controlled by business kinda like today and the ruling in the “People United” thing)…..why allow the same things to occur over and over and do nothing to change the vicious cycle?

And just like the crisis in 1929….Tax cuts and deficit debate will do NOTHING to repair the failing economy…..Bold new ideas must be found and I do not see that possible with a Congress owned by special interests….and yes…that could mean a bit of socialism….

I suggest if you truly want change then find another path….they are there…you just have to want it!