This seems far more applicable to Libruls than to Liberals, but aside from that I concur.

makeaneffort

It appears to me that Liberals all go to the same debate school.

When confronted with an uncomfortable accusation like “Your ideas are Socialist.”  They have a chain of responses having nothing to do with the substance of the statement.

1.  Feign offense.  “I can’t believe you would make such an accusation!”  “I’m offended by your accusation!” etc.

2.  Change the subject.  “I care more about the poor than you do.” or “You would love to see all the women and children on earth die of starvation.” etc.

3.  Make it morally relative.  “At least I didn’t put the dog on the roof of the car.” or “At least I didn’t eat the dog.”  wait… can’t use that one.  Anyway, you get the point.

4.  Fling an insult.  “You’re a misogynist… bigot… racist… homophobe… Wal-mart shopper…” etc.

Anything… but having a reasonable, honest and open debate regarding socialist ideas and their…

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About danmillerinpanama

I was graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a B.A. in economics and from the University of Virginia School of law, where I was the notes editor of the Virginia Law Review in 1966. Following four years of active duty with the Army JAG Corps, with two tours in Korea, I entered private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in communications law. I retired in 1996 to sail with my wife, Jeanie, on our sailboat Namaste to and in the Caribbean. In 2002, we settled in the Republic of Panama and live in a very rural area up in the mountains. I have contributed to Pajamas Media and Pajamas Tatler. In addition to my own blog, Dan Miller in Panama, I an an editor of Warsclerotic and contribute to China Daily Mail when I have something to write about North Korea.
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10 Responses to

  1. Mike says:

    Joe, I’m not sure what you mean by accessing my blog. If you mean to read it, it’s right here:

    http://mikestreetstation.wordpress.com/

    As far as the word socialism goes, I don’t use it as a pejorative. When I use that word, I mean it to be descriptive, however some take that as a pejorative.

    But I still can’t buy the idea of using the military as an example of a socialist system, or at least in the sense of a comparison to an actual economic system. It just doesn’t really work. But I’m not arguing that there are no public goods that can’t be better brought by the government; I just think there are few of them, since it would be confined to something that benefits everyone, but no one has figured out how to make money on it.

    • Joe Barton says:

      Hey Mike, I thought I had clicked on your name. I was then brought to your profile but no blog posts. I then realized that I had clicked on your picture (icon) and that was what brought me to your profile. Clicking your name works.

      You said:
      “I’m not arguing that there are no public goods that can’t be better brought by the government; I just think there are few of them, since it would be confined to something that benefits everyone, but no one has figured out how to make money on it.”

      Agreed. Off hand the only two that come to my mind are the military and universal health insurance.
      However, I’ve thought that the one money making enterprise that would work better in a socialist system would be the sports/arts/music/entertainment industries. I think this because this is the one area where money is not a necessary motive/incentive for people to engage in it. Also, I think that the profit motive actually degrades these industries in many ways.

      What do you think of universal healthcare?

  2. Joe Barton says:

    That’s funny because I’ve always felt that conservatives “fling” that “insult” (your ideas are socialist) whenever they don’t have any substance to their critique. If you use a word in a negative connotation enough times people will eventually “feel” it like an insult.
    Liberals haven’t learned how to defend that word (and concept).
    We are social (socialist) beings. That’s how we survived as a species. Socialism was the natural order of things before we discovered capitalism and the free market (or capitalism and the free market discovered us. The market is like an organic creature!)

    Pure socialism fails because we must be constantly motivated in order to cooperate. The motivation to cooperate is always eventually interrupted because of the inherent conflict between one’s self interest and the interest of society. That is why we are only able to overcome the conflict of our self interest when there is a constant and overriding motivating factor like war or team competitions.

    The reason why the capitalist market is so phenomenally successful is that it harnesses the motivating forces of self interest and greed. Those forces are very powerful and always constant. However they will be overcome under those certain circumstances (war/competitions.)

    Look at the U.S. military. It is the most socialistic entity on the the face of the planet.
    It is a huge government bureaucracy that is financed by progressive taxes.
    It is a totalitarian dictatorship with the power of life and death decisions over its own citizens.
    It follows the communist creed: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
    (we draft the young and able bodied not the old, the disabled or children. yet everyone “enjoys” its benefits)

    If the threat or motivation is constant and powerful enough it will overcome self interest. Even the most hard core conservatives will become altruistic self-sacrificing socialists willing to give up their lives for society if there is a war!

    The Free market is spectacular at creating wealth but not vey good at distributing it.
    A pure free market fails as a truly fair and just society because the creation of wealth is a collective effort. Labor has an intrinsic value (it is absolutely essential for the creation of wealth) that the “invisible hand” doesn’t recognize. The “invisible hand” always wants to push wealth up to the top by squeezing wages down at the bottom. It has an inherent tendency to undervalue labor and the efforts of those at the bottom while overvaluing the efforts of those at the top.
    That is why every advanced modern society has harnessed the power of the free market and blended it with a degree of redistribution of wealth. That is the natural order of things because it is both fair and just.
    Unless the libertarians have their way.

    • Joe Barton says:

      Oh, I forgot to fling a gratuitous insult.
      Makeaneffort, you capatalist pig! (just kidding)

    • Mike says:

      I totally buy that the US Military is about as close to communism as you can get (besides every other nation’s militaries), but you miss out on a few important points.

      First, the Military doesn’t support itself. It’s totally dependent on being funded by the government, since it doesn’t really produce anything of immediate economic value (accept as an incidental effect). So it’s not a good comparison with an economic system.

      Secondly, the people in the military are motivated by other factors than the ones that usually motivate workers in an economic system. People join for various and multiple reasons, but usually love of country and an ethic of sacrifice are in the mix somewhere. Motivated to complete the mission because they believe in the mission is something that isn’t common in the civilian workforce.

      Finally, the military, for all of it’s good points, is full of both sloth and waste. The waste gets reported in the media from time to time, so most people are aware that the military is not the most skilled in getting good deals for hammers or toilet seats. And also, less commonly known, but the military is extremely unproductive. For all the hours servicemen put in, they are not often used very efficiently. If the military was tasked to be a self supporting economic system, it would collapse as surely as the Soviet Union collapsed.

      And for similar reasons.

      • Hey Mike, thanks for the comment.
        I noticed your profile said:
        “Although I lean right and post of my political posts will reflect that, I just don’t want to merely regurgitate the points made on thousands of blogs and sites. If I post on something, it’s because I think I have an angle on it that’s not been noted or explored before. Or at least not that I’ve noticed. I hope to provide an insight or view that’s unique.”

        I feel exactly the same way about my own blog, except I lean left!

        I wasn’t presenting the military as an example of a superior economic system but as an example where a socialist system doesn’t always fail. The military not only works but is more effective than a free market model in providing a public good. I also used it as an example to counter the use of the word “socialism” as an epithet.

        Coincidentally, just yesterday I heard an interview with a 101 year old Nobel Prize winning economist named Ronald Coase. One of his claims to fame was disproving the “lighthouse theory” as a classic example of a public good that cannot be provided better by the free market. He said that the only example he could think of where the free market cannot do a better job than the government is the military. Well, I would suggest universal health insurance as at least one other example.

        I was actually conceding that socialism doesn’t work well as a wealth producing economic system. My explanation for this is that, under most circumstances, the motivation to cooperate is not sustainable when it conflicts with self interest. The military is an exception because the motivation to cooperate is not only sustainable but stronger than that of self interest. You made that point yourself when you said:

        “the people in the military are motivated by other factors than the ones that usually motivate workers in an economic system. People join for various and multiple reasons, but usually love of country and an ethic of sacrifice are in the mix somewhere. Motivated to complete the mission because they believe in the mission is something that isn’t common in the civilian workforce.”

        I agree that government is less efficient than the market (with a few exceptions.) However, there is always the possibility to improve that efficiency. Where there is a will, there is a way.

        Hey Mike, how does one access your blog?

      • joe barton says:

        Mike, I meant to sign on as Joe Barton not Bartolini

  3. wdednh says:

    Great Post 🙂

  4. wdednh says:

    Reblogged this on YOU DECIDE.

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