December 1st, 2010

me in front.

Redefining 'socialism'- is it legitimate? Needed?

When I said recently that England was a 'socialist' country, it provoked an argument.

I think that perhaps there is a need to redefine Socialism - or at least what I mean by it.

you may point me to the OED and say that 'socialism means that 'the people/state take over the means of production', but hold on there - in the Uk , we no longer produce *things* as much as we used to, we simply open shops that sell services to people. So, smart socialists are saying that we need to 'own the means of producing wealth' - and that means owning shops , etc.

But then, we don't see that the state owns any, and that those it does run does not produce the profits that the private sector makes anyway. so, is Socialism really just a busted flush?

I would argue not. take 'civilisation' for example. Ok, the OED will probably tell you that 'civilisation' means living in a fixed settlement', or some such. however, it has taken on more than meaning just that. consider - was Auchwitz a fixed settlement? Yes. So, can we really say that the Final Solution was what we would call ' civilised behaviour'? I think not.

Civilisation has come to mean more than just living in the same spot all year round for a few decades. It has come to mean having respect for laws and ethics - abiding by the Geneva Convention, for instance. Being nice to ppl you don't agree with on the internet, even is also considered 'civilised'.

So, maybe there is something to be said for extending the same rule to 'Socialism'.
I think we can reasonably argue that when the State/society takes certain duties upon itself, we can call that 'socialism', if the end is to benifit the common citizen and not the ruling elite.

So, yeah - schools, hospitals and other public services run by the State, maybe this is what we should aim for - or maybe not. whether you agree or not with the idea, this is what I mean when Ii say 'I believe in socialism'. I believe that we *should* pay taxes to have everyone getting healthcare, for every kid to get a primary education and that kids who would benefit from going on to university or college should get stae funding for doing so. I believe in having state run industries in the service sector, and state regulation of the private sector to prevent oil leaks and other nasty things happening to the environment and to workers. in short, I don't believe that The Free Market is the answer to all our ills.

Lets be honest, is anyone going to complain about the SAS or the US Marine Corps being inefficient or a waste of money? I don't think so. The local fire department? Again, these people seem to attract the sort of people who are not motivated so much by the money as the concept of public service. even teachers and nursing staff seem to have a reputation for being devoted to 'a calling' rather than being in it for big bucks - so why can we not extend the ethos simply through good leadership and people management?

After all, if The Free Market is the answer to all our ills, why have we not privatised the Armed Forces, the police and all the other arms of the State apart from the legislature?

Over to you, people.


I'm new here.  I was sent an invite, and I appreciate it.  I like this community's non-flaming, non-trolling all-parties attitude.  I have been avoiding posting on most of the political communities because, since I tend to be in both liberal and conservative, (and am thus libertarian) camps, I'll post to all of them if I have something to say.  Of course somebody somewhere will accuse me of trolling.

Anyway, I am a career soldier, now in the US Army reserve, and a lifelong Wiccan.  I am constitutionally conservative, and socially liberal.  Please drop by my LJ profile for more info.  Feel free to friend me as well if you like.  I have a fairly thick skin about most things and appreciate a good, reasoned argument where folks can disagree and not get their knickers in a twist about things.
Big Brother

Thoughts on TSA Employees

Okay, this is x-posted from my LJ, and though it is now a week-old topic and thus probably a dead issue to the media, I still think it is relevant.  For the record, I think the whole Gate-Rape thing is overblown, though I still may wear a kilt (regimental, of course) the next time I fly.  But I am also one who would go for the body scan since I am ticklish and am almost positive that my images will not be lingered over.

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Godzilla, default

Another alternate history post:

This one asks but a simple question: what would happen if the United States did not drop Fat Man and Little Boy in August 1945? A delay might be simpler by simply moving the start of the Manhattan Project down a year to 1942 so that the USA is required to invade Japan in 1945 where it did not in the real world.

The way I see it is that the Japanese leadership was not at all likely to surrender, and without the atomic bomb the USA will be hitting the Imperial Japanese in an Allied version of Operation Citadel: the landing zones are known for both sides and they've both made extensive preparations for it. I do think in the event of such a scenario that the Soviets would have done a lot more in Manchuria, probably gained all of Sakhalin and started blitzing through Hokkaido at the same time as the USA's punching through the Kanto Plain.

One thing that's always been an interesting hypothetical is what would happen assuming the IJA tries banzai charges right into the Soviet army of 1945 where it had enough firepower and callousness about human life to make good sport out of that kind of tactics. I see absolutely no reason that banzai charges right at the Soviet military are going to work any better than they did at the US military. The USA at the time was quite peachy keen on Axis civilian deaths, and the Soviets after 4 brutal years of warfare against Nazi Germany are hardly inclined to fight and die any more than they have to. If anything the situation might well end up reversed, the US Army making headlong attacks without real sense to and the Soviets accepting surrenders of cities that allow for it, using firepower to annihilate any that refuse.

Your thoughts? In this case the A-Bomb would probably be available by 1946 and for a real nightmare might have been used by both sides in whatever happens in the Korean peninsula.

Wesley Snipes

 Actor Wesley Snipes was ordered Wednesday to voluntarily surrender at a federal prison in Pennsylvania next week to start his three-year sentence for failing to pay taxes.

The judge determined that Snipes had received a fair trial and a fair sentence for tax evasion. Snipes was cleared of charges of conspiracy, maintaining that he was misled. He was, however, found guilty of three misdemeanor counts of tax evasion, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail. The star of the “Blade” series was given the maximum sentence possible because of the sheer amount of money involved, which amounted to more than $1 million. Between 2001 and 2010, Wesley Snipes earned more than $38 million.

For easy math lets say that Snipes shorted Uncle Sam a mere Million bucks. That's bad. He should have to pay it. Should he have to go to jail for 3 years for it? That's roughly a day in jail for every $1,000 he forgot to pay.  Is this what prisons are for? I could understand, a least somewhat, if he couldn't pay the back taxes but he can.

Now we all know about this administration's members and their difficulty with paying taxes. Of course, once the light is shined on their sin they do pay them. Why can't an American Treasure like Mr. Snipes get the same treatment? Did Geithner, Dashel, or Rangle go to prison? 

If an actor fails to pay their taxes is at as bad as when a politician fails to pay there taxes? To me when a politician fails to pay their fair share it's like catching a T.V. Evangelist cheating on his wife and doing lines of coke off the shaft of a underage male  escort. When an actor breaks the law it's like...Tuesday. 


me in front.

What does it mean to 'fail' these days?

I remember that when Thatcher was in power she said
" anyone who finds himself over the age of 25 and travelling by bus must consider himself a failure."

Well, let's just say that she was not wild about public transport annd the country is still in a mess as a result. But what is it going to mean for the rest of us if everyone "succeeds"? Seriously, do you ever stop to think how London would cope if everyone - I mean EVERYONE decided to come to work in a car? or even buy a car? Think we could cope? Roads are bursting at the seams as it is. Collapse )