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Democratic Socialism []

Krish55 8 Sep 30
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The problem with some Democratic Socialists is that they don't educate about the inherently evil nature of capitalism and its effects abroad. A socialism that merely seeks a more comfortable life for all Westerners at the expense of the exploited countries in Latin America and Africa is shortsighted. So is a socialism that fails to point out that accumulated wealth was derived from exploitation and is inherently harmful to democracy.
A good example of a Democratic Socialist who sees the larger picture is Jeremy Corbyn of the UK. He sees and educates the people about the larger picture while working on incremental but radical steps to get there. Had Obama been willing to do this, we would be in a different situation now.

Krish55 Level 8 Oct 2, 2018

I don't disagree with your "larger" point about the problem. However, I am not aware of any historical alternative to democratic socialism that has actually proven successful, not merely an educational effort.

Perhaps we are thinking of different definitions of "Democratic Socialism." In my understanding. Corbyn is still trying to find change through democratic means, and is therefore, by definition, a Democratic Socialism, as opposed to a Marxist revolutionist. Definition - Democratic socialism is a political philosophy that advocates achieving socialist goals within a democratic system, as opposed to Marxist–Leninist-inspired socialism which is viewed as being non-democratic in practice.


This article appears to be blaming a myriad of current social problems squarely on the failure of efforts by Social Democrats to transform society overnight. Criticizing democratic means and advocating for, instead, a revolution, by some kind of magical force, the author seems to ignore (or entirely miss the point) that Social Democrats exist within a larger societal context. In the case of the United States, the desires of a wide majority swath of the populace in multiple opinion polls falls into a moderately progressive middle ground on a whole host of economic issues, even though they are often confused (duped) by the rhetoric of politicians and their lackeys. On identity-based social issues, the picture gets much more polarized--religious, ethnic, morality questions, etc. There is NOT anything close to a groundswell majority opinion supportive of Marxist-style revolution. The author has been smoking too much crack if he thinks so.

It is easy to criticize Social Democrats for failing to magically transform society, but the only real alternative to democratic means for the left is revolutionary overthrow. In this society and at this time, with actual fascists flexing their muscles and nauseating the rest of us, history has actually taught us (contrary to the author's claim) that although talk of socialist revolution is a predictable reaction to neo-nazism, it is also as doomed to failure as it is to upend countless people's lives. And history also teaches us that armed Marxist revolution, even if occasionally successful at great cost of human lives in the overthrow process, is most likely to lead to a few power-hungry oligarchs ruling everything while the masses suffer near-poverty or worse.

Anyone who admires the Scandinavian societies for their Socialist successes has Democratic Socialism to thank, NOT revolution. I submit that the social reasons the U.S. and other nations are currently reeling under the grotesque excesses of unchecked Capitalism run amock have much to do with stupid religiously fueled indoctrination and the cynical right-wing undercutting of education and free press having duped many many people into believing conservative scare tactics and identity politics scapegoating. It has relatively little to do with any fundamental "wrongness" of Social Democrats.

We need a massive and sustained PR effort to shift public perception and sentiment back toward appreciation for humanist ideals of fundamental benefits of a caring social safety net and away from the Wild West, law of the jungle, sink or swim individualism that the Right has pushed on America to disastrous effect. Without that shift in public sentiment, which will be demonstrated democratically, btw, talk of revolution is just that: Talk, and nothing more.

Thanks for your considered reply. However you are missing the larger picture, which I point to above.



I must read his book.

One para absolutely nailed the reality of the two main parties US political system.

"The liberal contention that Republicans are worse is true in the sense that they more straightforwardly represent the interests of rapacious capitalists. However, left to Republicans alone, this system would have run off the rails and remained there centuries ago. Bill Clinton was elected to repair and restore the carnage wreaked by twelve years of Reagan-Bush. Barack Obama was elected to repair and restore the carnage wreaked by eight years of George W. Bush. The Democrats do have a political program. It is to restore and repair American capitalism for the next round of carnage and looting."


The Left needs to stop apologizing for its weak platform of mild nothing reformism and grow a pair.

You should see our so-called party of the Left here in Australia, the Labor Party. Pathetic would be a compliment.

David1955 Level 8 Sep 30, 2018

The right cranks the U.S. further toward unbridled capitalism, the center keeps it from sliding back to the left. We have no legitimate left party in the U.S. Some good words and ideas from the Dem's progressive branch, but yet to see if they will fall prey to the establishment's corruptions and manipulations.


well, that certainly perpetuates the myth that the democratic party as a whole is all talk and mostly interested in preserving unrestrained capitalism. those who pay good attention and don't cherry-pick, and don't equate being donated to with being beholden and bought and sold, know that this is not actually the case. i am closer to being a social democrat than to being in favor of any other named kind of economic system, but i don't buy the political aspect of it that perpetuates this myth. furthermore, teaching people to hate or at least disrespect the democratic party (especially based on that myth) is an excellent way to keep the republicans in power. or is that what we want, in order to have a rallying cry? not me!


genessa Level 8 Sep 30, 2018

@dan325 that's the myth. it points out a MYTH. that was my point. if you think the dems are manipulated by the economic elite, how can you respect them? that's what teaches the disrespect, and it's not even true. but i am EXTREMELY glad to hear how you vote. you are right about no practical alternative... and to have one, you have to get whatever that alternative was some chops. pretend for an instant that jill stein wasn't a russian/republican stooge. pretend the green party was a nice as its name implies, and viable. you don't just get a president. you get school board members. you get dogcatchers. you pay the dues, earn the chops, work the way up. i think we would not benefit from a three-party system (now we're talking politics, not economics) because we have no coalitions; we're not parliamentary. britain's not doing such a good job right now making that work but theoretically it can work. it can't, here, with our system. however, we only have one major political party right now. the republicans are not a political party. they're a criminal organization. so there IS room for a second party... once we have gotten the criminals out. there isn't a viable alternative, as you say, but there could be... not necessarily soon, especially since the republicans are paying to have third party candidates on ballots to split the liberal vote (this just happened in ohio). but once we have them gone, if a party more economically progressive than the democrats wanted to challenge them/join them in power, why not?


@genessa Nail on the head. As long as there's only one right-wing party, a profusion of left-wing parties will only serve to divide and conquer for the Republicans- as it did in 2000 and again in 2016. Coalition politics, at this point, means sucking it up, gritting your teeth, and voting Democrat if you want a center-left party to be in power, instead of a farther-and-farther-right party. The hard truth is that the Right votes solid Republican, while the Left splinters itself- and the Republican dirty-tricks brigade have been encouraging this trend for years. Time for the Left to put up a united front, even if you personally don't care for the candidate.

Suck it up and vote Democrat.

(This has not been a party political broadcast, I am not affiliated with any candidate or organization. I'm just one very observant and intelligent guy.)

@dan325 i don't see it, and i do pay attention. i know cory booker was accused of that and it just wasn't true. case in point: he voted against an amendment (to a bad bill, as it happens) to let us import inexpensive drugs from canada. everyone was outraged and said it was because he was playing to big pharma. it is true that new jersey is the home of a lot of pharma, but it is ALSO true that there was a SIMILAR amendment allowing us to import inexpensive drugs from canada, and booker voted FOR that one! but no one ever mentions that. everyone just wants to attack, attack, attack and he didn't do anything wrong and wasn't bought, sold or owned by big pharma. so i hear this a lot about dems and it always turns out to be a case like that.


@dan325 i think she is wonderful, and i think that her finding more value than downsides in the agreement -- and i am not saying i am for or against, because i STILL don't know all the details, just that some people SAID it gives the corps that power and others say otherwise - doesn't make her a person who caves. she probably actually believed in its value, right or wrong.


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