Friday, February 27, 2009

Socialism vs. Liberal Democracy

Michael Kuznetsov sent me the following in regard to my post "Private Life in Stalin's Russia":


I would like to share with you the following material.

Terrible things in America have been deliberately ascribed to Socialism.


“California passed a law regulation equal treatment of sexual orientations in schools that eliminates gender distinctions entirely. You cannot refer to mother or father or biologically being born male or female. Under this law various titles such as Prom King and Prom Queen must be available for either gender. Students can also choose to use the restroom of whichever gender they identify with, not the gender that they are. The schools can no longer teach sex education without teaching about homosexuality, bi-sexuality and sex change operations. Finally, if you are a parent in California, you better be careful what you teach your children. If you are caught instructing you children that homosexuality if wrong, sinful, abnormal or unacceptable, you can now be charged with a criminal offense.”

“Governmental control and regulation of our lives, choices and beliefs at this level are absolutely unacceptable. What will be next? What freedoms must we surrender in the name of political correctness, environmentalism, toleration, appeasement or for the good of the State?”

End of quotation.


Michael Kuznetsov’s comment:

All this sounds terrible!
But what connection might it have to SOCIALISM?
None in the least!

I was born 59 years ago in the USSR - a socialist country, as you know - and I have lived all of my lifetime here. We Russians have never even heard about such abomination as gay parades, and other vomiting things of the kind. Since the Stalin's era, of course, we have been taught that homosexuality is wrong, sinful, abnormal and absolutely unacceptable.

So, you should not confuse real socialism with the present-date liberal leftist trend in the West which is Trotskyite in its core.


Lawrence responds:

I don’t agree with the “Judging Truth” blogger that you reference. He says he doesn’t trust Wikipedia but then he trusts it. He seems to be assuming Socialism can be nothing other than the worst excesses of the Stalinist period; whereas the Welfare States of Europe are Socialistic to a large extent, that is the people have voted themselves many Socialistic entitlements, and yet they have retained Liberal-Democratic freedoms.

And I take a reverse view of such matters as the gay pride business. I see this as one of the liabilities of Liberal Democracy. If you allow everyone to do as much as he or she wants as much as possible, then you end up allowing some people to engage in license. Acts that would have been proscribed in a simpler period in the U.S. (I was born 74 years ago and lived through such periods) are now being “allowed” because the legal vehicles for prohibited them have been largely eroded.

In some earlier note, I discussed this sort of thing as a major weakness in Liberal Democracy. Nations that are less liberal, such as China, can prohibit such license. People engaged in acts that are reprehensible in a moral sense, that offend nothing other than common decency can be prohibited in China, but not here in the U.S. or in most other Western Nations. So when Bush and earlier presidents urged China to extend expand human rights in their country, China can look across the Pacific and see where this advice could lead. It is easy for any President to look about in our nation and see good things, but it is also easy to look about in our society and find evidences of the excesses you describe.

Can we in the West learn to control our excesses without giving up our right to free speech, free assembly, freedom from unwarranted search and seizure, etc? I am guessing, perhaps ‘hoping’ is a better word, that we will eventually find ways to control our more licentious elements without sacrificing our important freedoms.

But we have learned in the West that Socialistic controls of industry and service aren’t as efficient as leaving these matters in the hands of free enterprise. Stalin was never able to “plan” in such a way that he could compete economically with the U.S. who allows entrepreneurs to do whatever they think will make them money. We have more inventions, better technology, more new money-making schemes in Liberal Democracies than can be produced in Socialistic Nations that want to plan economic development in 5-year segments. So at present we are taking the bad with the good. We are richer here in the U.S. than any other major nation. And Liberal Democracies are richer than societies with other forms of government. But yes, there are aspects of socialism that are good, and Liberal Democracies are voting to incorporate these good aspects of socialism into their societies. I am thinking here of medical, retirement, and unemployment protection, but there can be others and I have no objection to them as long as a society can afford to pay for them. French voters went a bit too far in providing entitlements for themselves. France has had difficulty paying for them, but French leadership has not made much headway in reducing them to something more affordable.

Here in the U.S. we have recently seen that we have allowed Corporate Executives and Banking enterprises too much freedom. Our leaders are not smart enough to know when such enterprises are heading in a dangerous direction, but after the fact they make laws so such dangers can be avoided in the future. I am inclined to accept the views of the experts who say we are acting quickly enough to keep this “economic recession” of short duration and that it may be essentially over by the end of the year. But that is only here in the U.S. Western European nations and others such as Japan seem to be taking similar steps. Japan has more of a history of saving than we do in the West and so may take a bit longer.

We can acknowledge that we are having a serious economic recession in the world, but will societies such as your own which previously lived under more stringent economic management decide to go back to the old Marxist-Leninist planning? I think not.

1 comment:

Concerned Citizen said...

We do not view socialism as just a particular set of controls over economic systems, but expand that view to include centralized government control of behavior and limitation of rights.

Maybe that is a non-linear, non-technical definition of socialism, so I will concede that point. However, we are now seeing more and more socialist programs emerge in this country: government controls on industry, healthcare, education, etc. There are over $700 billion dollars in the new Obama budget dedicated to socializing the healthcare industry.

I guess the line between socialism in a technical sense sometimes gets blurred with social liberalism which is just as destructive to the ideals that this nation was founded on.

Oh, and I don't trust Wiki, thank you. I independently research all of my topics to great lengths. If I make a mistake, I will be the first to apologize and clarify.