the limits of fascism

How should society be organised, if at all?

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Advocate
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Re: the limits of fascism

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=506296 time=1617716498 user_id=9431]
[quote=tillingborn post_id=506291 time=1617713915 user_id=7001]
[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=506286 time=1617713454 user_id=9431]

No part of this was anything I ever said.[/quote]It follows from this:[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=506193 time=1617668443 user_id=9431]All he's obligated to do is not violently overthrow the mandate -- provided that that mandate is truly reflective of the public will, and not of the number of dead people and straw "votes" that could be assembled by manipulators of the process.[/quote]
[/quote]
Oh, I can clear that up.

I was simply speaking of what [u]democracy[/u] requires, not what [u]I[/u] advocate.

Democracy, in theory, does not reject rebellion or refusal when tyranny is being imposed or the democratic process itself is being subverted. It insists that the only legitimate mandate is a democratic mandate, that is, one decided by the [u]authentic[/u] vote of the people. There is no democratic duty to ratify a false narrative about that; there is only a democratic duty to ratify a genuine mandate. That's the American pattern: it began with a rebellion under the banner, "No taxation without representation," as I trust you know. The government has to be genuinely representative: if it's not, it's not democratically legitimate, even if it succeeds in seizing power.

And if Biden's win was authentic, then you would be right to say that rebellion would be "undemocratic." On the other hand, if [i]Time[/i] magazine and others are right, then the actual "undemocratic" decision would be to capitulate and say nothing. Democratic people ought to object to any "fixing" of the ballot box. And if the election were actually the product of a conspiracy between business, media and the Democrats, then there would be no real distinction in terms of legitimacy between that and the tyranny in the 18th Century colonies. It would still be governance without democratic legitimacy.

As for the fiasco at the Capitol, personally, I don't suppose it served any purpose, save to provide an additional thing for the incumbents to use to claim that all opposition is irrational. In the end, it seems to have failed to serve any democratic objective at all.
[/quote]

Who gave you permission to be rational in some posts and moronic in others? Stop it!
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Sculptor
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Re: the limits of fascism

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Trump Fundraising Scam: repeat billing cheat.

Fascism is not limited to single point billing.
It tends to cheat with repeat Billing..


https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=44911 ... &ref=notif
tillingborn
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Re: the limits of fascism

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Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:41 pmDemocracy, in theory, does not reject rebellion or refusal when tyranny is being imposed or the democratic process itself is being subverted. It insists that the only legitimate mandate is a democratic mandate, that is, one decided by the authentic vote of the people. There is no democratic duty to ratify a false narrative about that; there is only a democratic duty to ratify a genuine mandate. That's the American pattern: it began with a rebellion under the banner, "No taxation without representation," as I trust you know. The government has to be genuinely representative: if it's not, it's not democratically legitimate, even if it succeeds in seizing power.
Very few countries even pretend to be "genuinely representative". Both the UK and the US have systems by which the party with the greatest number of elected representatives, MPs and Senators, gets to hold power. That is not always a reflection of "the authentic vote of the people", if by that you mean the majority choice. The Republican Party has only won the popular vote once this century, unless you still believe the nonsense peddled by the likes of Sidney Powell, Rudolph Giuliani, Fox News and Newsmax, all of whom have had to retract any specific allegations for fear of being sued. Trump knows that perfectly well, it is why he could say "I just want to find 11780 votes", rather than the 7 million or so by which he lost the popular vote.
Immanuel Can wrote: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:41 pmAnd if Biden's win was authentic, then you would be right to say that rebellion would be "undemocratic." On the other hand, if Time magazine and others are right, then the actual "undemocratic" decision would be to capitulate and say nothing. Democratic people ought to object to any "fixing" of the ballot box. And if the election were actually the product of a conspiracy between business, media and the Democrats, then there would be no real distinction in terms of legitimacy between that and the tyranny in the 18th Century colonies. It would still be governance without democratic legitimacy.
Welcome to the real world. Authentic or not, Biden is in the White House, therefore he won.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by Immanuel Can »

tillingborn wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:23 amVery few countries even pretend to be "genuinely representative".
Even with democracy, there are inherent problems, such as how the interests of a town or province are to be recognized. And there are no perfect solutions. As Churchill (or some say others) once said," Democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other."
Welcome to the real world. Authentic or not, Biden is in the White House, therefore he won.
Well, no.

"Won" is a term that only applies to an actual democratic mandate. It does not sanctify a cheat.
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Re: the limits of fascism

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=506428 time=1617800861 user_id=9431]
As Churchill (or some say others) once said," Democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other."
[/quote]

Churchill was an idealogue who, like you, believed any version of socialism he didn't like was the "real" socialism. He also starved millions of Indians to death. Maybe don't quote Churchill, unless you also want to quote they likes of the Kims, or Hitler.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: the limits of fascism

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Advocate wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:29 pm Churchill was an idealogue who, like you, believed any version of socialism he didn't like was the "real" socialism.
Tell, me, then...what is the difference between your "Socialism" and "the Socialism he didn't like."
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by tillingborn »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:07 pm
tillingborn wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:23 amVery few countries even pretend to be "genuinely representative".
Even with democracy, there are inherent problems, such as how the interests of a town or province are to be recognized. And there are no perfect solutions. As Churchill (or some say others) once said," Democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other."
As I said to Henry Quirk, "The advantage of democracy is that there are at least two mobs fighting it out and putting some restraints on the competitions ambitions." Any political party is a coalition of different interest groups, all of which are jostling for influence, but united by a common enemy. Towns and provinces have to argue, work or fight for their interests along with everyone else. There are very few examples of power freely being given away by those holding it.
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:07 pm
Welcome to the real world. Authentic or not, Biden is in the White House, therefore he won.
Well, no.

"Won" is a term that only applies to an actual democratic mandate. It does not sanctify a cheat.
All politics is a cheat. The winners are the best cheats.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: the limits of fascism

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tillingborn wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:55 pm There are very few examples of power freely being given away by those holding it.
Indeed so. And that's why things like term limits, divided spheres of authority, and a genuinely democratic vote matter.
All politics is a cheat. The winners are the best cheats.
Well, there's an irony, then: if "all politics is a cheat," then no current government is legitimate. But that does nothing to make the cheaters the same as legitimate government.
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Re: the limits of fascism

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[quote="Immanuel Can" post_id=506448 time=1617808853 user_id=9431]
[quote=tillingborn post_id=506441 time=1617803754 user_id=7001]
There are very few examples of power freely being given away by those holding it.[/quote]
Indeed so. And that's why things like term limits, divided spheres of authority, and a genuinely democratic vote matter.

[quote]All politics is a cheat. The winners are the best cheats.[/quote]
Well, there's an irony, then: if "all politics is a cheat," then no current government is legitimate. But that does nothing to make the cheaters the same as legitimate government.
[/quote]

If the incentives and criteria are correct, checks and balances are less useful.

No current government was established legitimately so they remain illegitimate until they end. No current government worker was chosen by legitimate criteria so they are equally illegitimate in that position of "authority".

This means that any good done by any current government is Despite, not because of its existence or ideoloy.
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henry quirk
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by henry quirk »

Socialism:
a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole

an economic theory of social organization. It states that the means of making, moving, and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the workers

a system in which every person in the community has an equal share of the various elements of production, distribution, and exchange of resources

Democratic socialism: factors of production are under the management of an elected administration. Vital goods and services such as energy, housing, and transit are distributed through centralized planning, while a free market system is used to distribute consumer products

Revolutionary socialism: a socialistic system can’t emerge while capitalism is still in play. Revolutionaries believe that the road to a purely socialistic system requires a lot of struggle. In such a system, the factors of production are owned and run by workers through a well-developed and centralized structure.

Libertarian socialism: the assumption that people are always rational, self-determining, and autonomous. If capitalism is taken away, people naturally turn to a socialistic system because it is able to meet their needs.

Market socialism: the production process is under the control of ordinary workers. The workers decide how resources should be distributed. The workers sell off what is in excess or give it out to members of the society, who then distribute resources based on a free market system.

All very dry, very academic.


Personally, I think Bastiat offers a definition closer to truth...

Life Is a Gift from God

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life.

But life cannot maintain itself alone. The Creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources. By the application of our faculties to these natural resources we convert them into products, and use them. This process is necessary in order that life may run its appointed course.

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.

What Is Law?

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

A Just and Enduring Government

If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable — whatever its political form might be.

Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread. We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.

The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities.


...havin' established what is just, Bastiat now moves to describe what is unjust (socialism and *ahem* democracy)...


The Complete Perversion of the Law

But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.

A Fatal Tendency of Mankind

Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.

But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.

Property and Plunder

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.

This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.
[/quote]

Victims of Lawful Plunder

Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter — by peaceful or revolutionary means — into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.

Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws! Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.

It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution — some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.

The Results of Legal Plunder

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

In the first place, it erases from everyone's conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.
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Re: the limits of fascism

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[quote="henry quirk" post_id=506461 time=1617814304 user_id=472]
[b]Socialism[/b]:
[/quote]

The fact that there are so many versions indicates that's not really what socialism is about. When you get to the heart of it, it's not even an economic theory, it's a social ideology that government must work for everyone. You may say people are using it inappropriately but i think they've appropriately appropriated it. The purpose of the economic theory remains and it's vital..
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Immanuel Can
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by Immanuel Can »

henry quirk wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:51 pm Democratic socialism: factors of production are under the management of an elected administration. Vital goods and services such as energy, housing, and transit are distributed through centralized planning, while a free market system is used to distribute consumer products
Problem: The Socialist project can't be sustained on a democratic basis.

For what happens when, say, a non-Socialist (say, Republican) government is voted in at the next election, should such a thing happen? Then the Socialist project stops, reverses, and is undermined for at least four years. And when the next "Democratic Socialist" regime comes in (say, the Radical Democrats), it is back to where it started in terms of the converting of society to Socialism. So Socialism can't be established so long as the possibility of another political party with a different political ideology can come along and reverse all their changes every time.

So Socialism has inherently to become the only possible form of government. It cannot allow free elections, because they interfere with its unbroken control of the economic and social mechanisms, and undermine its project.

That is why any so-called "Democratic Socialism" must inevitably morph into old-style Socialist totalitarianism. No Socialism can hope to succeed without a long-term monopoly on power.
Life Is a Gift from God

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life — physical, intellectual, and moral life...

Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
I'm totally in agreement with this.
Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Man, that's right on. The individual is the only truly morally-capable entity. Collective interests are derivative of, and secondary to, the primary moral responsibility we all bear before God. The collective has no legitimacy in attempting to subvert the relation of the individual to the moral.
A Just and Enduring Government

If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable — whatever its political form might be.

Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence....
That's a democratic ideal, to be sure. And it may not be fully realizable. But democratic classical liberalism (i.e. today's "conservatism") is the only political orientation that offers us a rationale to move in the right direction, which is what makes it "the best of a set of bad options" (i.e. human political arrangements).
The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect.

Today, one could substitute the words "the process of popular election" for "the law" in the above.
A Fatal Tendency of Mankind

Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.

But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man — in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.
That is what makes Socialism one of the worst options. Its proponents praise it for delivering power, efficacy and reach to the government, which, they assure us, will never be used for anything but the common betterment. But this "fatal tendency of mankind" is the death-knell of that kind of naive talk: what Socialism really means is the delivering of power, efficacy and reach into the hands of Socialist totalitarians and their "fatal tendency."
Property and Plunder

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property. But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.
And Socialism is just that kind of plunder...but institutionalized and magnified.
Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice.
Again, substitute the word "Socialism" for "law," and it's true in a new way.
...men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.
A perfect description of Socialism again. Socialism's own history bears this out, over and over.

And it accounts for the fact that in their vocabulary, "being equal" is more moral and more important than "social improvement." For they are full of rage if one person is seen to be better off than another, and give no thought to the question of whether or not the prosperity of the person they're so busy hating is doing them any good or even raising the standard of living of all.

In truth, it's not actually the betterment of society that they are focused on: for if they were, they would spend more time marvelling at the generally higher standard of living and quality of life in the Western world association with capitalism, and perhaps even seek the exporting of that good to other peoples. But they take no thought for their own prosperity and privileges -- for which they are utterly ungrateful -- and instead obsess that somebody has more or better than they personally do.

They are fine with allowing and even creating misery -- so far as it is equal misery. And the green-eyed god, Envy, is their patron saint.

Thanks for that, Henry. It's a good read.
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henry quirk
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by henry quirk »

Advocate wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:23 pm
henry quirk wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:51 pm Socialism:
The fact that there are so many versions indicates that's not really what socialism is about. When you get to the heart of it, it's not even an economic theory, it's a social ideology that government must work for everyone. You may say people are using it inappropriately but i think they've appropriately appropriated it. The purpose of the economic theory remains and it's vital..
None of these versions are all that different from one another.

They all involve the people havin' communal ownership.

As you progress thru the variations, the truth of socialism is laid out, first in democratic socialism then in Bastiat's piece.

It's -- as he sez -- plunder...and so is democracy.

As for gov workin' for everyone: Bastiat starts out with what a just gov is...hell, across multiple threads, I've mirrored his proscriptions...and neither he or I believe socialism is gonna make for a just gov...quite the opposite, in fact.
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by henry quirk »

Thanks for that, Henry. It's a good read.

👍

The full text is here...

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=32456
tillingborn
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Re: the limits of fascism

Post by tillingborn »

Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:20 pm
tillingborn wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:55 pmThere are very few examples of power freely being given away by those holding it.
Indeed so. And that's why things like term limits, divided spheres of authority, and a genuinely democratic vote matter.
What does a "genuinely democratic vote" mean in practise?
Immanuel Can wrote: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:20 pm
All politics is a cheat. The winners are the best cheats.
Well, there's an irony, then: if "all politics is a cheat," then no current government is legitimate. But that does nothing to make the cheaters the same as legitimate government.
Do you have an example of what you call a legitimate government?
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