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-   -   A definition of "insanity" (http://www.sports-central.org/community/boards/showthread.php?t=20098)

philabramoff 07-03-2008 05:25 PM

A definition of "insanity"
 
I'm not sure which thread I saw it on...but I did see CK comment
to Buck something like "you're the only other 'sane' one on this site."

CK, I assume you were using hyperbole, or making a point, or something
like that, so no direct criticism. After all, I'm pretty sane (or at least
I like to think so).

But consider this...

Most of you have undoubtedly heard the saying that "Insanity is
doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results."

That said...for those of you who promote the virtues of socialism:
Socialism has been a disaster everywhere it has been tried at a
national level. It basically served to produce widespread poverty,
blight, suffering, and massive loss of personal rights and freedoms
for its citizens. Moreover, most socialist countries have seen attempted
mass exoduses of their citizens trying to escape it, many of whom have
come to the United States. These countries have seen despotism, and
in some cases, mass slaughters of their citizens. Blatant examples of
my point are the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Poland, Romania, Mongolia,
North Korea, North and South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bulgaria, Slovakia,
the Czech Republic, East Germany, many countless nations of Africa, and
now even Canada to a degree.

So...why do you think we ought to try that here?
Wouldn't that be insanity?

CKFresh 07-03-2008 10:25 PM

Actually Phil, socialism works quite well. Take a trip to Sweden. Better yet, take a look at Great Britain.

Furthermore, the examples you site are not examples of socialism. I'm sure you are aware that socialism is an economic system that comes AFTER capitalism. The Soviet Union and China skipped the necessary step of capitalism, and went directly from feudalism to socialism. This obviously can not and will not work.

In addition, socialism is designed to work with a democratic government, not totalitarian like the governments of China and the USSR.

The failed "socialism" experiments of the past were, in actuality, not examples socialism. They failed due to oppressive governments, corruption, and a rushed approach to a more advanced economic structure.

The mass slaughters that you mention have nothing to do with the economic system.

An infant isn't prepared to raise a family. A child (feudalism) must go through adolescence (capitalism) before he is prepared to be a parent raise a family (socialism). The failed attempts of the past were examples of young children (feudalism) trying to rush into parenthood (socialism), while completely skipping the maturation process of adolescence (capitalism).

DETMURDS 07-06-2008 05:30 PM

Again,...avoiding the question.

CKFresh 07-07-2008 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DETMURDS (Post 282861)
Again,...avoiding the question.

I answered the question directly. :lol:

philabramoff 07-07-2008 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CKFresh (Post 282799)
Actually Phil, socialism works quite well. Take a trip to Sweden. Better yet, take a look at Great Britain.

Not sure I'd call Sweden a haven of human life. Their highest tax
bracket is 108%, and they have a 1/6 unemployment rate. Their
cripplingly high taxes are necessary for their nationalized healthcare
system (with its long wait-times, as usual). Also, they do have the
highest suicide rate in the world.

By the way, when I first heard that they had a 108% tax rate bracket,
I didn't believe it either. How was that possible, I thought? Well,
their reasoning is that if you are so wealthy to reach that high of
an income...you must have a lot of other wealth besides that.

As for Great Britain, not sure they're such a great place right now, either.
From my understanding, their economy is quite strained. They've had
to import large numbers of foreign workers to keep their economy going
to compensate for their large numbers of their citizens on the dole.
I wouldn't be surprised to see them go through a collapse.

Fortunately for France, Italy, and China, they've decided to dump
socialism, and pursue free-market capitalism again...much to their
benefit and that of their citizens. Ireland has never adopted
socialism, and currently has one of the most dynamic economies of
any country in the world of its size.

Moreover, and this is really a fundamental difference between the
two of us, CK (although, to be fair, I'd offer you the chance to clarify
your point if you wish)...I'm a real defender of personal property, and
really regard one of the most fundamental freedoms of all is the freedom
to the fruits of one's own labor. IE, high taxes are truly a pernicious
violation of that basic human right...meaning that your labor does not
belong to you, but to the state. To me, that is a horrible violation of
the dignity of the human person.

If there is one main reason that I detest socialism, it's that.

buckeyefan78 07-07-2008 07:07 PM

Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Poland, Romania, Mongolia,
North Korea, North and South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bulgaria, Slovakia,
the Czech Republic, East Germany


You managed to rail against socialism using 15 nations that never adopted it.

The problem Phil (as CK already did a great job of explaining) is that socialism is a Marxist tenet in nature and none of those nations actually followed the procedures laid out by Marx to get to socialism/communism.

I remember debating this before Phil...and no offense...but if you aren't willing to read Marx or even read about him...it's impossible for anyone to understand that those examples weren't communism/socialism in nationalist states.

I understand that's what they told us in school but it simply isn't true. Hell, I'm forced to teach it so imagine how much I like doing so.

:mad:

:P

Sweden is more of a welfare state of corporation based on Marxist/Socialist beliefs. The private sector makes 90% of goods/services and redistributes 50% of the wealth. Exporting is the only thing that is under free market capitalism so it can compete with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, that globalization and forced competition with economic nations that oppress their poor (such as the U.S.) has given rise to some complaints by Swedes when it comes to extra income.

CKFresh 07-07-2008 07:47 PM

Quote:

Not sure I'd call Sweden a haven of human life. Their highest tax
bracket is 108%, and they have a 1/6 unemployment rate. Their
cripplingly high taxes are necessary for their nationalized healthcare
system (with its long wait-times, as usual). Also, they do have the
highest suicide rate in the world.

By the way, when I first heard that they had a 108% tax rate bracket,
I didn't believe it either. How was that possible, I thought? Well,
their reasoning is that if you are so wealthy to reach that high of
an income...you must have a lot of other wealth besides that.
Hmmm, even with those suicide rates they still live long than Americans... Maybe that health care is doing something for them...

As for their "crippling tax rates," I wonder why a higher percentage of Swedes are satisfied with their economy than Americans?

Quote:

As for Great Britain, not sure they're such a great place right now, either.
From my understanding, their economy is quite strained. They've had
to import large numbers of foreign workers to keep their economy going
to compensate for their large numbers of their citizens on the dole.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them go through a collapse.
Import foreign labor? Kind of like thos "illegals" who come into America and keep our economy going?

So Great Britain is having some economic trouble... Does that mean the idea of socialism is a failure? Of course not. Just because the US went through the Great Depression, does that mean capitalism is a failure?

Quote:

Moreover, and this is really a fundamental difference between the
two of us, CK (although, to be fair, I'd offer you the chance to clarify
your point if you wish)...I'm a real defender of personal property, and
really regard one of the most fundamental freedoms of all is the freedom
to the fruits of one's own labor. IE, high taxes are truly a pernicious
violation of that basic human right...meaning that your labor does not
belong to you, but to the state. To me, that is a horrible violation of
the dignity of the human person.
In REAL socialism, the state is the individual. The power, wealth, and means of production belong to the people.

As we stand now in America, we are owned by corporations and government. The "average joe" doesn't own jack **** in this country.

Quote:

(as CK already did a great job of explaining)
Sorry, I just wanted to read that again :)

-------------

Phil, I think the one key point you (and many others) are missing, is what socialism really is. China and the USSR really are not examples of socialism. Just because they called it socialism doesn't make it so.

Often times "followers" can pervert the message, and use it for their own political advantage.

As Marx once said, "I am not a Marxist."

buckeyefan78 07-07-2008 07:50 PM

In REAL socialism, the state is the individual

I sometimes wonder why people don't get this point.

It isn't like you can get confused and think that in capitalist democracy like ours the state represents the individual/the people.

I mean...who in the hell would think that?

:confused:

CKFresh 07-07-2008 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buckeyefan78 (Post 282945)

I mean...who in the hell would think that?

:confused:

Just about every person in this country :confused:

philabramoff 07-08-2008 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buckeyefan78 (Post 282945)
In REAL socialism, the state is the individual.

I sometimes wonder why people don't get this point.

Okay, CK and Buck...

Excuse me for being a total dumb tird about this, but I really would
like you guys to explain this idea to me. I mean it, I'll listen (meaning
to YOU guys...don't just say "read Marx".)

The way I'm reading this, the assertion that the "state is the individual"
just sounds like playing with words, an attempt to put a rosy face on
huge, far-reaching, overcontrolling government, that says it is
acting on behalf of its citizens.

The way I understand socialism, is that you work...the government basically
confiscates most or all you earn, then redistributes it the way it wants to,
saying that it is doing it "equally", and then saying "see...we do this 'for
the people'."

My suggestion...just let people work, keep what they earn, allow the
gov't to tax in order to provide basic necessary community services, and
then otherwise, stay the hell out of people's lives.

Please tell me where I'm wrong.

CKFresh 07-08-2008 10:11 AM

Phil, I definitely wasn't implying that you are a "dumb tird," and apologize if I made it seem that way.

You know I respect your views and find you to be an intelligent person.

I'll wait to see if buck replies on your questions about socialism. He is definitely more informed on the subject than I am, and probably better at explaining it.

If he doesn't reply here, I will try my best to explain my view of socialism.

philabramoff 07-08-2008 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CKFresh (Post 282992)
Phil, I definitely wasn't implying that you are a "dumb tird,"

Not intended. I was using hyperbole on my own. I didn't suggest you
were calling me an idiot. I kind of was, you know, kind of when a person
feels like they are asking a "dumb question" and they say "Maybe I'm being
stupid, but....."

Waiting for your replies....

But, in the meantime, I've been thinking about all this. In short, I just
can't buy it. The idea that "the state is the individual", honestly, sounds
like a fundamental contradiction. Either that, or that it means that the
state is the collective, and the individual lives for the collective....ultimately
that nobody lives for themselves, they live for the community only, and in
turn the state breastfeeds us like a baby in a cradle.

As nice as it all may sound, I just don't trust it. I don't trust the state
to take away most or all my personal wealth, perform some magical voodoo
on it, and then return it to me. I prefer to work for myself, take responsibility
for my own needs, pay a moderate tax for necessary government services
and to help those truly in need, and otherwise have the government
stay out of my life. I can do just fine....and don't really want to be forced
to pay for other people who can also "do just fine" if they really want
to.

As for disparity in wealth, that doesn't bother me. Just as long as we
do help those truly in need. In fact, I think disparity in wealth is
a good thing. It means that there are people out there taking
financial risks, creating jobs, and producing many things that people
need.

For example, I want drug companies like Amgen, Glaxo, Merck, and
others to be filthy stinking rich. It means that they have created lots of
life-saving medications that diabetics like me need, and have lots of
resources to create more. :)

CKFresh 07-08-2008 05:01 PM

Phil, I'm off work, I'll get back to you later tonight.

Later mate.

philabramoff 07-08-2008 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CKFresh (Post 283013)
Phil, I'm off work, I'll get back to you later tonight.

Later mate.

Aces.

:cool::cool::cool:

CKFresh 07-08-2008 07:12 PM

Alright phil. I will start by saying that which you don't want to hear - you really should read Marx. I could type for 5 pages and I couldn't come close to explaining it correctly.

I don't expect you to adopt socialism, but I think it might make you at least question our current system.

Let me use my company as an example. I work for one of the major textbook publishing companies in the world (you probably have used our texts). It is obvious a private corporation.

The driving motivation in our company is profit (as it is in any corporation in a capitalist society). Profit is God when it comes to a business. It trumps all else. Therefore, when producing books, we don't strive to provide students with the best quality books at the fairest possible price. Actually, it's quite the opposite. We strive to sell the cheapest, most poorly made books at the highest price possible. It doesn't matter that college students are already in debt to their eyeballs, all that matters is the bottom line.

In the publishing company, our objective is to get teachers to adopt the most expensive textbooks and force the students to purchase new textbooks - with no regard for what is best for the students or the university.

At the same time, those profits that are produce go directly to the top, to the people who do very little to ensure those profits.

It is the same reason Walmart is filled with cheap, Chinese products. The same reason that Walmart employees can't afford health care yet the owners have more wealth than most countries. It simply makes no sense.

I'm glad you brought up drug companies.

What do you think the main objective of a drug company is? To save lives? No, it is profit. If the objective were to save lives, we would have cures for many of the rare, yet deadly diseases, instead of producing billions of dollars worth of "boner" (erection) pills.

Say a drug company has two options:

1) Research a cure for a rare but deadly disease that effects 500,000 people...

or

2) Research a pill that cures ED, which effects 10 million people.

Which route do you think they will choose? To save lives and make less money, or cure boner problems and make more money?

I think the proof is in the pudding.

You see, when profit is the only thing that matters, that which REALLY matters is secondary.

When the means of production are returned to the workers, and the entire society "owns" the products that are prouced, the efforts of said company can be recfocused on that which is best for the costumer/worker/country - not that which is best for the CEO.

Do you see any problem with companies where the CEO makes more alone than the entire workforce of 500 workers combined?

Do you see any problem with a society where the majority of people struggle to pay bills and get out of debt, while others have more money than they could ever spend?

Socialism is not EQUAL distribution of wealth. The idea is not to make everyone the same. The idea is to return POWER to the PEOPLE (corny, I know, but bear with me). As it is now, workers produce for the wealthy, with very little compensation. Why shouldn't workers have some ownership in that which they are producing?

The problem with capitalism is a false promise. "Equal opportunity" is bull****. The top 5% of the population owns everything, and their children will own everything too. There are exceptions of course. "Rags to riches," can and does happen. But the vast majority of wealthy people in this country are the George W. Bushes of the world - people who acheive not because of ability, but because of birth right.

We live in an economic monarchy. The most accurate way to predict a persons future income is to look at his parents' income. "Social mobility" is limited in our society.

You say you don't trust "the state" to control all the means of production, yet you trust a small, elite group of wealthy people (whom you have no control over) to control everything (and trust me, they control everything).

Now, that was a horrible answer, I know that. Buck is probably rolling his eyes as he read this...

All I can say is that you should really critically question our current economic system. Maybe you will conclude that socialism is not the answer. But I don't think that anyone as smart as you could conclude that capitalism works.


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