Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Re: Socialism vs. Liberal Democracy

Concerned Citizen left the following comment in regard to "Socialism vs. Liberal Democracy":

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.

Lawrence responds:

I’m guessing that Concerned Citizen is the same person as the “Judging Truth” blogger that Michael Kuznetsov quoted. Even if that is correct, some of the above comments don’t make perfect sense to me. When you say “We do not view socialism as just a particular set of controls over economic systems,” who is “we”?

What I see in our modern “Liberal Democracies” is that they have incorporated the benefits to proletarians that Marx and Lenin said could only be obtained through revolution. Capitalism was more resilient than Marx or Lenin realized. We now have such entitlements as Social Security and medical insurance. But to vote ourselves these entitlements in a Liberal Democracy does not mean that we are morphing into Socialism proper, that is a Socialistic system like Marxism-Leninism. If you are saying that, then I agree with you.

Now on any given domestic issue, like the one “Judging Truth” referred to, we can disagree with a law, and if we have a sufficient number who share our disagreement, we can eventually counter a law (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t thwart us). There are other alternatives. If a school is too outrageous, we can put our children in private schools if we can afford them and if not we can home school. We might even move to a state that has laws more congenial to our point of view.

I have been wrestling with the just accusations of such places as China about the license we tolerate in America and don’t see a clear path to countering this tendency, and I continue to see it as an outgrowth of the “freedom” provided in Liberal Democracy rather than some element of Socialism. As Kuznetsov pointed out, that sort of excess was not tolerated in Soviet Russia and it is presently not tolerated in China so to attempt to relate it to Socialism in some way, makes no sense to me.

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