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  1. #1
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    Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/ar...nd-a-socialist-

    “I used to think there was a big difference, what do you think it is?” Matthews asked.

    Poor Debbie, chairwoman of the DNC, cannot answer this seemingly simple softball lobbed in her direction not once, but twice on every liberal's favorite channel, MSNBC. From a pol. sci. perspective, the differences are obvious. I do not hear any Democrats blatantly calling for the end of private ownership. However, in the vernacular, when we think of socialism, it generally means wealth redistribution and when we think of democratic socialism (the ideology of Bernie Sanders) then socialism is really about limiting wealth for some to spread benefits and wealth to others with the legitimacy of a democratically elected government. However, Ms. Schulz couldn't come up with an answer choosing to completely dodge the question. The funny thing is that she was asked in the morning by one show host and she couldn't answer. So, Chris Mathews, probably figuring he'd be giving her a reprieve now that she's had time to think of a good answer, asked her again. She dodged again and I am pretty sure Mathews was shocked.

    So, the question is why? Why couldn't Schulz answer this question. Maybe she really does not know the answer. Maybe, in her mind there really is no difference. Schulz understands the politics involved and I think the question scares her to death. She cannot explain, in simple terms, how Sanders is a socialist and a Democrat. So, any answer she gave would be on such thin ice, that I don't think she felt comfortable trying to parse it. She can't give the long answer. The sound bites of a complete answer would make her look completely foolish. If she gave an incomplete answer, it would leave too much to the imagination. This simple question locks her in a box. If Republicans, though, feel they can seize on it, they are only correct while Sanders is still running. Once he drops out, Schulz will then be able to say, there is absolutely no similarity between the two.

    On a more visceral level, the Democrats and socialism are tied at the hip. No, the Democrats are not Marxists as a party. However, the idea that value should be tied to need/use rather than value is not something foreign to Democrats. Senator Leahy stated the following:
    “Revenue should not be and cannot be used for discrimination. … In fact, they ought to ask how many people watched that women’s soccer people. Most people would give anything to have that viewership,”

    Here, Leahy is making a socialist-type argument. Women shouldn't be paid based on profitability, but on use. I made the argument in another thread that Leahy's rant was based on the main economic view from the party. Rather than Marxism, the Democrats have evolved into modern-socialists. The proof is that the modern Democrat party is fashioned after European democratic socialist parties such as those in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. In all these countries Marxist parties have joined forces with Democratic Socialist and left-wing parties to form coalition governments. Bernie Sanders is running as a Democratic Socialist. He believes democracy and socialism are tied together. Again, he isn't a Marxist, but he does believe in economic equality or justice or what he refers to as economic democracy.

    I think Schulz is in a pickle here because the Democrats are, in a very real sense, socialists. The more they run, the more the electorate will believe the Democrats are hiding. The more they own it, the more they have to explain it which runs the very real risk of alienating voters.
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  3. #2
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Yes, linking democratic socialism with revolutionary communism through a slippery slope argument is a good political play (or any type of argument). We will see lots of that in the next year.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Yes, linking democratic socialism with revolutionary communism through a slippery slope argument is a good political play (or any type of argument). We will see lots of that in the next year.
    I am trying to decipher your comment. Sarcasm? Addressing my argument directly? I am not really sure what you are attempting to express here.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I am trying to decipher your comment. Sarcasm? Addressing my argument directly? I am not really sure what you are attempting to express here.
    What argument are you making? I think I agreed with everything in the OP...though at the time of typing this response I haven't reread it.

    No sarcasm was meant.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    There's no shortage of differences between Democrats and democratic socialists. The difference between the ideology and actions of Bernie Sanders and the ideology and actions of Hillary Clinton are in sharp contrast.



    PS: I will be voting for Sanders in the primary and probably donating to him. He very likely will not win, but for the first time in my adult life, there's a candidate who actually might do more than a paltry gesture for liberal social reform.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  7. #6
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    There's no shortage of differences between Democrats and democratic socialists. The difference between the ideology and actions of Bernie Sanders and the ideology and actions of Hillary Clinton are in sharp contrast.



    PS: I will be voting for Sanders in the primary and probably donating to him. He very likely will not win, but for the first time in my adult life, there's a candidate who actually might do more than a paltry gesture for liberal social reform.
    I think there's an issue of Hillary-as-marketed and Hillary-in-practice. Hillary seems pretty center-left, and she's often marketed herself as a hard-headed pragmatist (to my recollection, at any rate). Bernie Sanders by contrast is more of an idealist.

    But in terms of how they'd vote, what do you think the difference is? What would Sanders vote for that Hillary wouldn't? What would Hillary vote for that Sanders wouldn't? And I do mean vote--I'm not interested in what spin they'd give, ala Obama's "evolution" on same-sex marriage.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    On Sanders Clinton differences in voting
    http://www.bustle.com/articles/93635...llary-clintons

    There is a bit of a catch 22 situation. On one hand if you say you are a socialist then the right will say you want to meet the classical definition and end all private ownership. If you say you are not they will say that socialism really isn't that anymore and it's just about taxing the rich and having welfare in which case you are a socialist.... and want to take away all our private property because that is what a classic socialist does.

    Its a loaded term. You are correct in that the democratic part, to a degree is aligned with the european social democrat types. But american politics are both desperate and homogenized. Inside the democratic party you have a range of views and by and large despite their reputation they are generally business friendly, just not business bend over and accept whatever they demand. American democrats accept capitalism. They just also think it needs to be tempered and supplemented by a state that looks out for general welfare.

    So what are you to do? Accept the label and try to fight the fact that you don't actually meet the dictionary definition and all that comes with it? Or reject the label but have everyone think you are denying what seems blatantly obvious.

    That is the problem with being a compromise between ideals. The GOP has the same problem. They claim they are for states rights and smaller government but they make a lot of concessions where that is not at all what they are for because they have a lot of competing interests and pragmatic stands on this or that. They have the advantage that most people don't even know what a libertarian is much less have any particular fear of them.
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  10. #8
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    There's no shortage of differences between Democrats and democratic socialists. The difference between the ideology and actions of Bernie Sanders and the ideology and actions of Hillary Clinton are in sharp contrast.
    I am not exactly seeing the differences. I think the only thing which prevents the Democrats from enacting democratic socialist programs are twofold
    1. The U.S. system is, by design, less prone to complete domination by the central government.
    2. The Democrats have not been able to win enough at the national level. For the brief moment that they did hold all three branches, they rammed the ACA down America's throats.


    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    PS: I will be voting for Sanders in the primary and probably donating to him. He very likely will not win, but for the first time in my adult life, there's a candidate who actually might do more than a paltry gesture for liberal social reform.
    Well... on the bright side, you'll be throwing a vote and money down a rabbit hole.

    Here is the thing. If Sanders wins, then it sort of confirms that the Democrats really are the American Democratic Socialist party. As it stands, the relatively strong support he's enjoyed shows that the Democrats trend strongly towards democratic socialism even if the entire party does not completely embrace it. Sanders isn't alone. I think Warren is also a democratic socialist. The quote I offered from Leahy certain lends one to believe he leans in that direction. If the Democrats aren't actually the democratic socialist party, I believe they are heading in that direction and certainly welcome those who hold that ideology.
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  11. #9
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    2. The Democrats have not been able to win enough at the national level. For the brief moment that they did hold all three branches, they rammed the ACA down America's throats.
    That's an interesting re-write of history. http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/09...cratic-senate/
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  12. #10
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    That's an interesting re-write of history. http://sandiegofreepress.org/2012/09...cratic-senate/
    I have no idea what you're offering in your link. We don't do link warz here.
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  14. #11
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I am not exactly seeing the differences. I think the only thing which prevents the Democrats from enacting democratic socialist programs are twofold
    1. The U.S. system is, by design, less prone to complete domination by the central government.
    2. The Democrats have not been able to win enough at the national level. For the brief moment that they did hold all three branches, they rammed the ACA down America's throats.
    This is a rather confused response.

    A.) These seems to stem from an equivocation of all forms of Leftism. Democrats are not Leftists, they are at most (and I do mean, "at most") Left-Centrists, although most of them are just Centrists (given how Right-wing the American political ideologies are).

    B.) The ACA isn't a "democratic socialist program." A democratic socialist program would more likely have been at minimum the ACA with a public option. At best, the ACA just subsidizes healthcare for Americans in a manner no different than the various subsidies the government gives to US citizens and corporations for a variety of reasons. Considering that Mitt Romney enacted a much stronger version of the AMA locally in the state that he was governor of, I have a hard time taking seriously the idea that one particular kind of subsidy or regulation is "democratic socialism" vs. "run-of-the-mill capitalist regulation." Unless we're saying that any form of regulating that is a small attempt to help fix rapidly decaying industries or trying to help average Americans out is now suddenly defined as "democratic socialism", but I don't think that's a message neither the Republican nor the Democratic party wants to sell the American public during elections.

    C.) Democratic socialism is not something to trite as "There must be an all-powerful centralized, national government that controls everything." Sure, having a functional, well-regulating government at the central/national level is probably an important part of democratic socialism if it were to work in the American system, but given that having a strong, well-regulated Federal government at the level has become a staple of every post-1920's political ideology in both the far Right (with the exception of libertarianism) and the far Left, it seems like the pot calling the kettle black to assert that somehow Left-wing politics is the exclusive side looking to take "the power" to the national government. More realistically, George Bush and the entire Republican party have given extraordinary powers to the Federal government and given unprecedented authority to the Executive branch, which the Democrats have been more than happy to continue. But as it stands, there doesn't exist a party on the table, except for the totally incoherent Libertarian party, that actually wants to shrink the US government. The Republican party claims it would like to tear down social safety net programs (e.g. social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare programs), but they would almost certainly just replace the revenue given to these programs (Don't worry, the average American will still be paying the same in taxes) to tax cuts to corporations or to contracting work (e.g. the corporations that work for DARPA).

    D.) The main reason why people are calling themselves democratic socialists is because in our current society, only the people calling themselves democratic socialists are the ones who are publicly calling out multinational corporations, including those heavily involved skimming the cream off of the bloated military budget (and the rest of the incredible enormous corporate welfare programs), they are publicly advancing an agenda to functionally regulate the financial sector, they are the ones calling for publicly financed campaigns and prohibiting corporations from attempting (and succeeding) in buying local, state, and Federal elections, they are the ones who are saying that Social Security cannot be allowed to be touched (And contrary to the idiotic claims that Obama is a socialist, Obama is more than ready to throw Social Security onto the chopping block), they are the people who are talking about trying to increase money to the public education system and the public university systems, and so on. In other words, they're pretty much the only people concerned with the middle-class and the lower-class. So yeah, for some shocking reason, that message is resonating. No one's talking about converting the US into a planned economy, but they are talking about how steps can be taken to destroy America's current oligarchic triumvirate of the Big Business, Wall Street, and the bankers.

    Remember that the only popular movement in recent Republican history was the Tea Party, and the key popular message of the Tea Party was not "We don't want you to regulate the economy, we don't want a powerful national government, and please give big tax breaks to the rich." In fact, the key message was "Don't mess with my Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security." That was what resonated, that's what actual Joe-Blow Tea Party protesters were concerned about and waiving signs for. It's profoundly ironic given that they voted for a libertarian vice-president two years later, but it's not a coincidence or something random. Poor white (and usually racist) people are not confused about the fact that they're getting screwed out of their benefits, they just have been erroneously convinced that it's left-wing policies that are doing it. When, in fact, left-wing policies are the only reason that they are there. Eventually this contradiction in the Republican party has to play itself out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd
    Well... on the bright side, you'll be throwing a vote and money down a rabbit hole.
    Right, and you can throw away your vote on whoever you like. It's the system we live in. Candidates aren't going to win unless they have the backing of large money interests. I defy you to find a candidate that actually will increase the power to local governments like you want --you can't, because that doesn't interest those with money. That's the opposite large, consolidated government contracts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd
    Here is the thing. If Sanders wins, then it sort of confirms that the Democrats really are the American Democratic Socialist party. As it stands, the relatively strong support he's enjoyed shows that the Democrats trend strongly towards democratic socialism even if the entire party does not completely embrace it. Sanders isn't alone. I think Warren is also a democratic socialist. The quote I offered from Leahy certain lends one to believe he leans in that direction. If the Democrats aren't actually the democratic socialist party, I believe they are heading in that direction and certainly welcome those who hold that ideology.
    Not really. Hilary isn't a socialist, and with the exception of a handful, none of the rest are socialists, either. The entire US is getting rather exhausted after the royal ass-ramming it took from the extreme Rightist policies (e.g. pro-Big Business/banking/financial industry policies via massive deregulation of the private sector, breaking up of unions, defunding of social safety net programs, en masse privatization of government services through government contracts, and profound tax cuts for the rich and corporations, increased allowance of corporate financing of public campaigns, etc) of Ronald Reagan administration, the Republican party, and onwards promoted and promulgated by Democrats.

    A large number of Americans aren't happy with Democrats or Republicans, and, as said above, they're tired of getting f***ed over in the name of handouts to Big Business, of helping financial analysts and bankers manipulate the economy to extract money from it, and of having their real wages never rise since these policies were put into place --all whilst the wealth gap increases every year. A growing number of people are sick of this ****, and if the name for this feeling is "democratic socialist", then they they'll take it if it means the .1% doesn't get to **** them over anymore. The rich and powerful have gotten overly arrogant in what they think they can cram down the John Q Public's throat, and as per the entire history of the last 150 years of the world, that means Leftist sentiments and sympathies start to brew. The tipping point is going to be when either a Republican or a Democrat actually gets rid of medicare and Social Security. That's when an actual full-stop Leftist movement will break out into the mainstream of the US politics (That's what it would take to combine poor whites, poor minorities, and the middle-class), and following the incredibly insane political decisions made in US politics, I can see this happening. Either way, the current arrangements of our political system are living on borrowed time, because eventually this is going to happen or be threatened to happen strongly enough that even Billy-Bob racist is going to look behind themselves and figure it out.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I have no idea what you're offering in your link. We don't do link warz here.
    The entire link refutes the idea that the democrats were able to "ram" anything. The ACA was a long and contentious debate.

    That's similar to the absurd that no one had the time to read it or knew what was in it.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    I think Schulz is in a pickle here because the Democrats are, in a very real sense, socialists. The more they run, the more the electorate will believe the Democrats are hiding. The more they own it, the more they have to explain it which runs the very real risk of alienating voters.
    Timely OP Ibelsd. Yea, socialism is currently a nasty word in American society and it does seem differences between democratic ideology and socialism are not just some grey area. Maybe since courts are now in the business of redefining words, I wonder if liberals will attempt to redefine socialism to make it more palatable.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    The entire link refutes the idea that the democrats were able to "ram" anything. The ACA was a long and contentious debate.

    That's similar to the absurd that no one had the time to read it or knew what was in it.
    Sure... whatever helps you sleep at night. I am not about to get sidetracked on this. It is not the main point of the thread. If your opinion is that the ACA was the result of long debate and serious negotiation, then who am I to say otherwise?
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Money rules the world as it always has throughout history. The world situation is like a pyramid at the very top we have the elite and at the bottom the destitute. I have not seen it mentioned that the poor imigrants desperate to get into Europe are the richest ones the real impoverished cannot attempt the journey. We all seek to climb the wealth pyramid it is called ambition and we all defend our right to be where we are on the ladder of wealth. Most of us believe we are underated and that we deser ve more of the worlds cake. We fence in our wealth, protect it by law and by force this is happening in Europe now. Greece the least able and poorest of the Europeans has a flood of emigrants and the rich nations pontificate over the way Greece has handled the crisis. As the worlds resources become rarified these battles will increase, we cannot stop human nature however destructive it becomes.
    Safa Motesharrei has attempted a mathmatical investigation of how empires have broken up in the past, his conclusions make disturbing reading.
    The only sensible way of breaking the rat- race is to instigate socialism and that is why I add my voice to the cause.

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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    Money rules the world as it always has throughout history.
    I'm not sure what world you're talking about, since perhaps ODN could possibly be broadcast outside of this galaxy. But in this world, and at least on planet Earth, money in itself has no ruling ability because it has no state of awareness or consciousness. Money can’t think. The love of money, the desire to control it, the desire to manipulate it seems to have ruling ability. There is no fundamental problem with the idea of money, which in itself, is really an illusion because it’s only valuable as long as it is perceived to be valuable.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibelsd View Post
    Sure... whatever helps you sleep at night. I am not about to get sidetracked on this. It is not the main point of the thread. If your opinion is that the ACA was the result of long debate and serious negotiation, then who am I to say otherwise?
    Decades long, in fact, and as far as negotiations, what was there to negotiate? It was the republicans plan. There was no compromise it was a complete giving in to the other side.
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Eye4 magic I'm sorry to use brief phrases but I feel sure moit st readers gather my drift.Perhaps I would insult their intelligence if I was verbally exact; beside which it would sorely tax my abilities.
    Democrats are strange beasts to most Europeans they tend to understand the word socialism.
    True socialists would be unelectable so all sorts of watered down versions have appeared. In the United Kingdom the main parties are almost indestinguishable; thereby politics becomes a bid for power rather than a vote for change.

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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    True socialists would be unelectable
    Why would they be uneluctable?

    so all sorts of watered down versions have appeared.
    What are the differences between the watered down versions and the true?
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    Re: Difference between a Democrat and socialist

    The intention of a political party is to be elected and to do that they must appeal to the majority.This means they must make promises to please that majority and quickly cover up any contensious decisions. It also means enlisting the media where we receive our view of the world.
    At this very moment we have a split in the labour party many claiming that the ideas of a leadership contender make him unelectable.
    When radical ideas are adjusted to suit the percived view of the public to my mind that is watering down.

 

 
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