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Why You Should Be a Socialist | Nathan J. Robinson | Macmillan
“Galley copies of ‘Why You Should Be A Socialist’ have arrived!! On sale in December. Makes an irrefutable case for socialism. If you are a member of the Media and would like an Advance Review Copy, do let me know and I can send one.”

(via: https://twitter.com/NathanJRobinson/status/1161375225172434944)
books  socialism  wishlist  2019  NathanJRobinson 
4 days ago by handcoding
What Is Democratic Socialism?
Over the course of the twentieth century, workers in these countries won full employment, a strong welfare state, and high levels of unionization. But they never successfully challenged the source of capitalist class power: their ownership rights over the major national corporations.

As a result, in the last thirty or so years, a reinvigorated capitalist class in these countries has led a persistent and successful campaign to roll back these progressive achievements. These failed progressive experiments show that our democratic socialist vision has to go far beyond the narrow limits that today’s newly minted socialism experts on cable news will allow.

That’s not because we are gluttons for politically difficult tasks, or because we are political purists. If we could win the better world that progressives, social democrats, and democratic socialists all want without challenging and eventually eliminating the power of capitalists, we’d happily take the easier route.

It’s precisely because it’s not so easy to change the world under capitalism that we are socialists.
socialism  from instapaper
5 days ago by ayjay
Socialism and the Democracy Deficit
For those who held to this understanding of liberty, an economy distinguished by a substantial inequality of wealth was a structure of likely domination that imperiled democracy. Forbath has succinctly summarized the core argument of this tradition. “Its gist is simple: Gross economic inequality produces gross political inequality. You can’t have a constitutional republic, or what the Framers called a ‘republican form of government,’ and certainly not a constitutional democracy, in the context of gross material inequality among citizens, for three reasons: It produces an oligarchy in which the wealthy rule; it destroys the material independence and security that citizens must have in order to think and act on their own behalf and participate on a roughly equal footing in the polity and society; and it impedes access to basic goods that are the foundation of dignity and standing in one’s own eyes and in the eyes of the community.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis purportedly summed things up even more succinctly: “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” [...]

Rather than trying to quarantine American politics from the consequences of economic inequality by means of campaign finance regulation and other political reforms, a more effective and stable response to the democratic deficit, one consistent with the distributive tradition, would be to address its cause. Instead of shielding the remnants of democracy and republican liberty from further trespasses at the hands of the wealthy, democrats should attack the source of their power—to deprive them of their disproportionate wealth and prevent its re-accumulation. At the same time, principled democrats should ensure that all citizens have the material independence and security that political equality and democracy require.


So the question that democrats should ask of American socialists is whether socialism is the only or the best way to attack oligarchy and address the crisis of republican liberty that we are facing. What do they mean by “democratic” socialism, and how does the socialism they foresee comport with republican liberty? And even if it does prove complementary with the material demands of democracy, is it the only or the best way to rescue our democratic republic from oligarchy?

socialism  from instapaper
5 days ago by ayjay
Socialism in No Country
Unfortunately, no self-identified socialist regime in the world—all of which have been installed by professional revolutionists in the Marxist-Leninist tradition—has ever been the least bit democratic. No democratically elected legislative body has ever voted to take control of their nation’s “means of production,” except to the most modest extent. Jacobin magazine, which could reasonably serve as the house organ of the YDSA, points to Salvador Allende’s brief presidency of Chile as an example of a situation in which true socialism might have been democratically installed, had it not been for America’s intervention.

There’s good reason to be skeptical of that claim. [...]

Certain politicians, and gullible or careless members of the press, persist in claiming that social democracy is a form of socialism. This misconstruction enables conservatives to label proposals such as Medicare for All as socialist projects, and results from the erroneous assumption that if socialists support a particular program, that means the program is ipso facto socialist. Jacobin writers have been admirably straightforward in refuting this mischaracterization of social democracy. Neal Meyer, in a Jacobin piece titled “What Is Democratic Socialism?,” offers the following fair-minded description of social democracies: “Societies with robust social safety nets and labor movements that check the worst tendencies of capitalism and limit the power of the wealthy in key ways.” What, then, exactly, is Jacobin’s objection to Scandinavian-style social democracy, especially given the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual surveys that consistently show Scandinavians among the most contented people in the world? What the writers object to, you finally realize, is any significant degree of power remaining in the private sphere—they appear to want, exactly as Bakunin accused Marx of wanting, a total concentration of power in the state. The rejoinder that under their form of socialism the state would be restrained through a system of direct democracy is hardly reassuring, or realistic.
socialism  from instapaper
5 days ago by ayjay
Keep calling him #MoscowMitch: McConnell is finally running scared | Salon.com
Whenever you hear liberals described as "communists" or "socialists," or liberal policy proposals denounced as preemptively authoritarian, it is because men and women are following McCarthyist tactics. Their goal isn't to protect America from possible treason, but to intimidate liberals by forcing them to fend off false accusations about their ideology. It is a classic example of a straw man fallacy but made worse by the facts that (a) it can be used to scare people into silence and (b) it means that policy proposals which might help innocent people won't be implemented. Indeed, everything from the 1960s civil rights movement to virtually all left-wing economic policies have been attacked by those who wish to quiet them as "socialist" or "communist."
socialism 
6 days ago by dpb
YouTube -- CampusReform: Students Support Socialism... Until It's Applied To Their GPA
'Would college students support a policy that would force those with high GPAs to donate part of their own GPA to help those with lower grades?' -- Marksism
victimhood  marxism  socialism  satire 
8 days ago by adamcrowe
YouTube -- Paul Joseph Watson: SOYCIALISTS OF AMERICA
'Yes, this actually happened.' [Democratic Socialist Convention] -- What is this new devilry?
rkselectiontheory  decadence  faggotry  emotionalism  socialism 
8 days ago by adamcrowe
YouTube -- [Turd Flinging Monkey]: The TFM Show: 8/3/2019 - Part 2
'1:06:18 Stand Alone, or Pick a side?' "History is not kind to the Individualist. Usually, the pendulum of history swings from the Absolutists to the Communists. Individualism and freedom make bright pops, you'll see freedom burst out and propel humanity forward unimaginably, but then the Commies and the Absolutists come in and fuck it up and pull us back down... There a reason for this too: Commies and Absolutists have no problem killing their opposition. If you aren't a Commie then you're a Nazi and we must kill you. If you're degenerate then we must throw you from a rooftop. Both sides have no problme killing their opposition. But the Individualists, because they value freedom, they don't. So the Capitalist and the Individualists – they're the live-and-let-live, let's just make the world a better place – they're the ones making the world better but the Communists hate them because they're losers and they want their shit, and the Absolutists hate them because they're losers and they don't worships their God. And, so, they're going to come for you and because you don't kill them, they eventually win. It's like the way the Left uses your principles against you: Because the Individualist values freedom, they don't seek to enslave or murder other people for different beliefs. Individualists are perfectly happy living alongside Communists and Absolutists as long as they get left alone... [And Communists and Absolutists] are fine with that for a while until they have the numbers. Once they have the numbers, suddenly you're the bad guy... And you need to go." -- "It's like the Voltaire quote: 'I may not agree with what you have say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.' That is the fatal flaw of Individualism is they tolerate their opposition whereas the other sides don't." -- "I just want to be left alone, but I can't. In fact, both sides will tell you why: The Communist Left will tell you they can't leave you alone because you owe them your property – nor can you just give them your property and leave – they can't let you leave either because they need to take your property continuously; they need you to work so they can feed off you like a parasite, so they can't let you leave and they can't leave you alone – they must impose upon you because they require you to be their slave. And the Absolutist Right can't leave you alone because they need to impose their beliefs and their axioms of non-degenerate living upon you."
rkselectiontheory  ideology  collectivism  statism  socialism  communism  conservatism  religion  libertarianism  parasitism  pathologicalaltruism  panarchy  * 
8 days ago by adamcrowe
When Did Everyone Become a Socialist?
Still, among New York’s creative underclass — cash poor but culturally potent — it feels like everything but socialism is now irrelevant. “I’ve noticed that there’s a kind of baseline assumption in the room that everyone is a socialist,” says Brostoff. “And if they’re not, it’s because they’re an anarchist.” Coolheaded Obaman technocracy is out; strident left-wing moral clarity is in. And while this atmospheric shift is felt most acutely among the left-literary crowd, it’s also bled into the general discourse, such that Teen Vogue is constantly flacking against capitalism and one of the most devastating insults in certain corners of the internet is to call someone a neoliberal.

The word socialism has become a kind of blank canvas on which young leftists project their political desires. The reason to call it socialism, the lefty journalist Kate Aronoff has said, is because people are calling it socialism. At least in Brooklyn, and the spiritual Brooklyns of America, calling yourself a socialist sounds sexier than anything else out there, without necessarily advocating anything too risky.
socialism  from instapaper
9 days ago by ayjay
China erases ‘God,’ ‘Christ’ and ‘Bible’ in Western classics for kids
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, and Anton Chekov’s Vanka are some of the books that have had Christian references redacted to combat “religious influences” on the younger generation.
communism  socialism  china  books 
9 days ago by fairyrevel

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