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  1. Is Obama’s push to “pass this bill” pure political theater?

    Of course it is. Come on. Obama is attempting a Truman 1948, i.e., run against an allegedly “do nothing” Congress.

    I don’t think it’ll work for him, but you never know… it might.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 12:23 pm - September 19, 2011

  2. P.S. If none of Obama’s spending increases pass, the economy will be helped (or hurt the least). So ironically, the Republicans are on Obama’s side – and He hasn’t the tiniest clue.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 12:26 pm - September 19, 2011

  3. This isn’t something as benign as “political theater,” Dan. This is a ridiculously amateurish attempt to paint the GOP into a corner by forcing them to say “no,” which is really the only choice they have, given the atrocity that is “this bill.”

    For pete’s sake, the idiot may as well have proposed a scientific study into the existence of skittle-pooping unicorns, using the stem cells of murdered Chinese dissidents, and STILL laid the blame at the feet of his opponents.

    Obama’s entire, tragic administration reeks of desperation. Bill Clinton must be laughing his ass off right now.

    Comment by Eric Olsen — September 19, 2011 @ 12:54 pm - September 19, 2011

  4. Hi Dan,
    In a word–yes. But it is also an attempt to get the economy going again–in that regard, it is MORE than political theatre, though it fits in with Obama’s re-election strategy.

    Comment by Cas — September 19, 2011 @ 1:34 pm - September 19, 2011

  5. Obama has a big advanyage in his class warfare strategy. Almost 50% of this country pays no income tax so they are likely to support what ever Obama throws into the ether. Also, the press will support him by pounding the country on a daily basis.

    Comment by Richard Bell — September 19, 2011 @ 1:34 pm - September 19, 2011

  6. it is also an attempt to get the economy going again

    It’s an attempt to get a debt-fueled consumption/bubble economy going again, which, yes, Democrats mistake for “the economy”.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 1:41 pm - September 19, 2011

  7. In a word–yes. But it is also an attempt to get the economy going again–in that regard, it is MORE than political theatre, though it fits in with Obama’s re-election strategy.

    Actually, Cas, that contradicts Obama’s own previous statement.

    Quote:

    So he is absolutely right, the last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up — take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.

    So Obama is deliberately engaging in and demanding activity that he previously stated would HURT the economy.

    As ILC is fond of stating, “poison as food, poison as antidote”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 19, 2011 @ 1:46 pm - September 19, 2011

  8. Yes.

    Next question.

    Comment by JohnAGJ — September 19, 2011 @ 2:17 pm - September 19, 2011

  9. For pete’s sake, the idiot may as well have proposed a scientific study into the existence of skittle-pooping unicorns

    Didn’t Neil Patrick ride one in a really bad movie?

    Comment by JohnAGJ — September 19, 2011 @ 2:19 pm - September 19, 2011

  10. Obama says his millionaire tax “Isn’t class warfare, it’s math.”

    Here’s some other math for you, SCOAMF: $258,000 per job created or saved.

    Comment by V the K — September 19, 2011 @ 2:53 pm - September 19, 2011

  11. And here’s the latest example of Obama’s genius; his administration is screaming and wetting itself about how “unfair” it is that China is providing $30 billion in subsidies to “green energy” companies while ignoring the $40 billion in subsidies to “green energy” companies that they handed out in the “stimulus” package.

    Last I looked, $40 billion was more than $30 billion. But then again, that was in the real, scientific, and mathematical world, not the “Obama is the Lightworker Mocha Messiah who can multiply anything” world that the Obama Party occupies.

    Obama is delusional. Or perhaps just banking on the proven stupidity and willingness to believe anything of his acolytes like Serenity/Levi/Cas/Rob Tisinai/Counterfail and the complete and total complicity of the media.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 19, 2011 @ 3:15 pm - September 19, 2011

  12. President Obama transforms into 1984′s Walter Mondale.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — September 19, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - September 19, 2011

  13. As ILC is fond of stating…

    Is there *ever* a time, for the committed leftist, when Bigger Government isn’t the answer?

    The only difference between leftism and fascism is that fascism got too bad of a name for it to be useful anymore in advancing the leftist project.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 3:28 pm - September 19, 2011

  14. (Fascism being originally just another variant of leftism / socialism.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 3:31 pm - September 19, 2011

  15. Hi ILC,

    And again, we will just have to agree to disagree on that, ILC.

    Comment by Cas — September 19, 2011 @ 3:40 pm - September 19, 2011

  16. So what? I wasn’t addressing you.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 4:04 pm - September 19, 2011

  17. Furthermore, Cas: Your sense of disagreement is insufficient to alter facts.

    For the sane people, here are some of them:
    - In 1924, Hitler stated that “basically, National Socialism and Marxism are the same.”
    - In 1927, Hitler said “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries… we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
    - In 1932, Goebbels said that the Nazi Party was a “workers’ party”, “on the side of labour, and against finance.”- In 1932, Goebbels wrote in his diary that if he were to pick between Bolshevism and capitalism, “it would be better for us to go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal slavery under capitalism.”
    - Most important fact is simply that the fascist economic model is, in its essentials, indistinguishable from Obamunism: Keep much private property ownership, but burden firms with so many regulations, directives, mandates, restrictions, and programs to allegedly “help” them that the economy is, in fact, centrally planned and run for the benefit of the Big Government – Big Banking – Big Labor electoral coalition. (Remember, Hitler was democratically elected.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 4:24 pm - September 19, 2011

  18. [...] With profound thanks to my blogger-in-chief, B. Daniel Blatt at GayPatriot… [...]

    Pingback by Is Obama’s push to “pass this bill” pure political theater? Dems Answer Seems To Be “Yes” | RedState — September 19, 2011 @ 4:25 pm - September 19, 2011

  19. Hi ILC,
    Sorry, since you were quoting my words, I figured you were addressing me as well. No worries, I will know better next time.

    Comment by Cas — September 19, 2011 @ 4:32 pm - September 19, 2011

  20. Oh, I see. You’re playing “switch the reference”. Your #15 immediately followed my #13 and #14, referring to them as “that” (and not indicating that your reference was anything other). Now that you don’t like my response, you’ll pretend you meant an earlier comment of mine… still not saying which, of course.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 5:32 pm - September 19, 2011

  21. (i.e. which idea you’re talking about)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 5:34 pm - September 19, 2011

  22. Paul Volcker weighs in: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/19/opinion/a-little-inflation-can-be-a-dangerous-thing.html?_r=1

    His conclusion:

    I hope [Obama] will be able to work with a responsible Congress to find the common ground that is urgently needed to… restor[e] a healthy economy… [and] reach agreement early next year on a strong program to deal responsibly with our huge budget deficit over the years ahead.

    That’s finely phrased, trying not to cast blame or take sides. Yet… it does.
    - Volcker sees the urgent importance of deficit reduction.
    - Volcker sounds doubtful about Obama’s ability to work with Congress.

    Equally interesting are Volcker’s comments along the way, on the policy that some now advocate, that the Fed should deliberately create inflation:

    …we are beginning to hear murmurings about the possible invigorating effects of “just a little inflation.” Perhaps 4 or 5 percent a year would be just the thing to deal with the overhang of debt …

    Well, good luck.

    Some mathematical models spawned in academic seminars might support this scenario. But all of our economic history says it won’t work that way.

    Translation: Academic economists are too often idiots.

    I thought we learned that lesson in the 1970s. That’s when the word stagflation was invented to describe a truly ugly combination of rising inflation and stunted growth.

    My point is not that we are on the edge today of serious inflation, which is unlikely if the Fed remains vigilant. Rather, the danger is that if, in desperation, we turn to deliberately seeking inflation to solve real problems — our economic imbalances, sluggish productivity, and excessive leverage — we would soon find that a little inflation doesn’t work. Then the instinct will be to do a little more — a seemingly temporary and “reasonable” 4 percent becomes 5, and then 6 and so on.

    That has been known for hundreds of years, BTW. In the French Revolution, they’d print a bunch o’ money, supposedly “just this once”… the economy would be temporarily “stimulated”… but unhealthfully, as inflation in reality equals capital destruction and injures the economy… so the economy would soon get that much worse… and the fools leading the Revolutionary government, would print more money in a vicious cycle.

    What we know, or should know, from the past is that once inflation becomes anticipated and ingrained — as it eventually would — then the stimulating effects are lost. Once an independent central bank does not simply tolerate a low level of inflation as consistent with “stability,” but invokes inflation as a policy, it becomes very difficult to eliminate.

    It is precisely the common experience with this inflation dynamic that has led central banks around the world to place prime importance on price stability. They do so not at the expense of a strong productive economy. They do it because experience confirms that price stability — and the expectation of that stability — is a key element in keeping interest rates low and sustaining a strong, expanding, fully employed economy.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 19, 2011 @ 10:05 pm - September 19, 2011

  23. It gives Obama a platform from which to run his campaign on, it makes sense. He is offering his vision of what would help the economy and Republicans are free to rebut him on it. I don’t think it will hurt him too much, people want a plan and they get a plan. Most polls show people support the idea of a Millionaire Tax, its just up to Republicans to make the argument as to why it would be a bad idea.

    But it definitely seems like some kind of tax reform will be happening in the short term future, which is a good thing.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — September 20, 2011 @ 7:25 am - September 20, 2011

  24. ILC, I think the reason the left wants inflation is because after a few years of inflation and currency devaluation, $250K per year would become a typical middle-class wage. And the left would finally get the broad, general tax increase their vastly expanded Government spending would require.

    Comment by V the K — September 20, 2011 @ 8:01 am - September 20, 2011

  25. V, I think you’re right.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 20, 2011 @ 12:30 pm - September 20, 2011

  26. ILC, I think the reason the left wants inflation is because after a few years of inflation and currency devaluation, $250K per year would become a typical middle-class wage. And the left would finally get the broad, general tax increase their vastly expanded Government spending would require.

    Indeed. Like the AMT they swore up and down was just to catch “millionaires” and which they now must frantically patch every year to keep it from catching millions of taxpayers.

    The thing that convinces me most of how duplicitous the Obamabots are is the fact that they just don’t come right out and say that their goal is to tax everyone who works so that people like Cas and Levi that don’t receive the same income in welfare handouts.

    Why can’t Levi and Cas be honest about this? They don’t want to work and they want the government to redistribute wealth to them that other people earn. They don’t want to be judged or compensated based on productivity; they want to be paid “entitlements” that they get simply by virtue of existing.

    Both Levi and Cas insist that’s what the American public wants. Why can they never be honest about it?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 20, 2011 @ 1:49 pm - September 20, 2011

  27. Why can’t Levi and Cas be honest about this?

    Because admitting that you’re lazy, greedy, and feel entitled to other people’s money still carries a stigma. So, they call it “social justice” instead.

    Comment by V the K — September 20, 2011 @ 2:10 pm - September 20, 2011

  28. Hi ILC,
    I see your #17. I find it fascinating that you mention a lot of pre 1933 Nazi quotes. You can find some after 1932, I am sure. However, you are going to have to explain how your quotes square with the fruitful partnership that the NSDAP and Big Capitalist Business had after 1933 (big profits available). This is not feature of an extreme left leaning ideology. In fact, many might like the fact that the NSDAP controlled unions, outlawed strikes (and the Communist Party), and otherwise smoothed the way for increases in privately organized production, whilst crushing any leftist dissent. Was the NSDAP a big demander of this production? You betcha! All those armaments require a lot of resources–privately held resources. One could argue that this wasn’t an “authentic respect for private property” and I do not disagree with you, given the totalitarian nature of the state, that can take what it wants with the pretense of law, a law generated by a one-party state. But that is a function of the regime’s love of a particularly virulent form of absolutism, not an absent love of socialism. Do you believe that totalitarian regimes cannot emerge out of a right leaning ideology and only out of a left leaning one?

    There is a reason why fascism is considered a pathology of the right, ILC, and not the left (i.e., M-L, Stalinism or Maoism), and your quotes do not change that fact.

    Comment by Cas — September 20, 2011 @ 4:28 pm - September 20, 2011

  29. you are going to have to explain how your quotes square with the fruitful partnership that the NSDAP and Big Capitalist Business had after 1933

    Do you understand nothing that I say? I touched on it already:

    Most important fact is simply that the fascist economic model is, in its essentials, indistinguishable from Obamunism: Keep much *private property ownership, but* burden firms with so many regulations, directives, mandates, restrictions, and programs to allegedly “help” them that the economy is, in fact, centrally planned and run [to] *benefit [] the Big Government – Big Banking – Big Labor electoral coalition*.

    Emphasis added. It’s no different from Obama today, claiming to represent the working class but in fact, doing things to destroy their incomes – for the benefit of Big Government – Big Banking (including, say, Goldman-Sachs) and Big Labor.

    the NSDAP controlled unions, outlawed strikes (and the Communist Party)

    So would Obama, if it were possible to him and if he thought he could derive an advantage from it.

    smoothed the way for increases in privately organized production

    … burdened, as I said earlier, with so many regulations, directives, mandates, restrictions, and programs to allegedly “help” it that the economy is, in fact, centrally planned and run to benefit Big Government – Big Banking – Big Labor (i.e. certain elite officials).

    All those armaments require a lot of resources–privately held resources.

    Sure about that? (*cough* Soviet Union *cough*)

    I do not disagree with you

    Then what are you fussing about?

    Do you believe that totalitarian regimes cannot emerge out of a right leaning ideology and only out of a left leaning one?

    It sounds like a red-herring line of argument is about to start. I oppose tyranny in all forms. It’s true that totalitarian dictatorships are worse than non-totalitarian ones (but that is not to justify the latter). Totalitarianism and collectivism go together. Collectivism – the core belief that the individual’s life is not his own, but is rightly for the Community/State/People/Race/Party/Tribe to dispose of – lies at the root of totalitarianism, and is quintessentially Left thinking. It occasionally crops up on the Right, and I combat it there too. As an academic exercise, one could construct a series of historical accidents by which a right-wing (i.e., aristocratic or monarchical) dictatorship devolves into a totalitarian-collectivist one. So what?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 20, 2011 @ 6:28 pm - September 20, 2011

  30. P.S. The bottom line is simply this. Nazism and Mussolini’s Fascism were movements of the Left – and you don’t want to acknowledge it. But the former was the National **Socialist** German **Workers’** Party. They hated the Bolsheviks – as rivals for the same basic territory, little more. Both Nazis and Bolsheviks hated the laissez-faire, 19th-century Anglo-American style of capitalism – i.e., real human freedom – most of all, and acknowledged it as their ultimate enemy. Both Nazis and Fascists (Mussolini) rose by appeals to, and with the support of, the working classes – plus certain Big Business elements that wanted to wield State power (rather than compete on their merits, and perhaps fail on their lack thereof). And both Nazis and Fascists were admired widely by the American Left / New Dealers in the 1930s.

    Only WW2 (plus the Holocaust, most of which information came out just after WW2) made ‘fascism’ too dirty of a word to be useful to the American Left. In 2008, a surprising number of American white supremacists supported Obama – because they were/are socialists as well as racists (people who think in racial terms), and they were able to recognize Obama as being both.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 20, 2011 @ 6:58 pm - September 20, 2011

  31. ILC, maybe whether the Nasties were right or left in the 1930′s is a less relevant question than which side of the political spectrum is more authoritarian and hostile to freedom today?

    Which side wants to severely limit personal and economic freedom as part of its central agenda? The progressive left.

    Which side wants to limit workers’ rights by forcing them into unions whether they want to be in one or not? The progressive left.

    Which side wants to dictate to business whom they must hire, where they must locate, and the terms of employment to their workers? The progressive left.

    Which side demands that public schools be used as instruments of indoctrination into its social values at the expense of substantive learning? The progressive left.

    Which side is more willing to use violence in pursuit of its political goals. Judging from the behavior of unions in Wisconsin and Washington, and the vandalism committed by Prop 8 opponents in California, I gotta go with the progressive left.

    Which side eagerly encourages a small political oligarchy to overturn the will of the people? The progressive left.

    Which side wants to take away people’s freedom to eat the foods they like, drive the cars they want, or even use lightbulbs of their own choosing? The progressive left.

    Which side opposes property rights? The progressive left.

    Which side advocates for broad state control of media? (i.e. The “Fairness” doctrine, the public funding of Government propaganda networks) Once again, it’s the progressive left.

    Which side supports the censorship and oppression of political speech they deem to be “offensive?” The progressive left.

    In what way is the conservative right oppressive? Oh, yeah, they’d prefer people not use tax dollars to murder unborn babies and they don’t think the state should recognize non-traditional relationships.

    Comment by V the K — September 20, 2011 @ 8:00 pm - September 20, 2011

  32. OK, leftists equate the right with repressive resistance to change which to them equals dictatorship. They can’t see Lenin, Stalin, Chavez, Castro, etc. as dictators because they are simply strong leaders taking the shortest path to social justice. The ends justify the means.

    But when dictators finally get really bad press, like Hitler, then the left sees those bad guys as ones who concentrate power to rape the people and make themselves and their friends super powerful and super rich.

    Cas has not particular feel for “democracy” as in the Cas world, democracy is a temporary state waiting for the people to arrive at state socialism. But, mind you, not Hitler type state socialism. The Cas brand of state socialism is the one without greed, avarice, self esteem, ambition, desire for a greater personal standard of living, etc.

    It was achieved, in the leftist mythology, by Pacific island clans, ancient civilizations, and countless extinct American Indian tribes.

    To debate about right and left with the likes of Cas is useless. Leftism is suffused with all manner of relativity. Hitler and the Nazi world do not fit the leftist ideal, therefore, Hitler and the Nazis must be on the right.

    Comment by Heliotrope — September 20, 2011 @ 10:03 pm - September 20, 2011

  33. Hi ILC,
    If one is going to emphasize a title as evidence of intent, i.e.,

    National **Socialist** German **Workers’** Party

    then you should have little problem agreeing that the German ***Democratic*** ***Republic*** sounds like a wonderful democracy.

    As for Obamunism, I do not grant that your assertion proves that 1930s Germany is in the same category as 2011 America. I can grant that 1930s America had some canny resemblances to aspects of fascism, but this does not mean that the US was fascistic in the 1930s. One might as well say that since Reagan’s regime had socialist elements, that his administration was Communistic. One might as well call the German Officer Corps of the 1930s a bastion of Communist ideals…

    Fascism is more than totalitarianism, ILC, though both Stalinism and Nazism share this very powerful attribute. It is more than the potential confiscation of property, which as I signaled above, says more about the exercise (potential or otherwise) of authoritarian force than it does about the necessary outcome of economic ideology (as it is for Communists). The fact that German Nazism happily coexisted with profit seeking private corporations should make this point obvious (a feature of fascism in general that is at complete odds with Communism). And as for your “so what?”–well, one doesn’t need a dictatorship to see a country devolve into a fascist regime. That can happen as part of a coup d’etat or through the ballot box, from the right. As you point out, collectivist impulses are not just the province of the Left. The Right has its own “impulses” as well. Finally, fascism has characteristics that set it apart from Communism, not least of which is a virulent nationalism that is at odds with the universalistic appeal of Marxist Communism. One might rail about the left being unable to comprehend how leftist fascists are, but one can only claim this by ignoring what fascism holds.

    Comment by Cas — September 21, 2011 @ 12:31 am - September 21, 2011

  34. Big Labor, hard at work for you and me: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-pensions-legislation-watchdog-20110921,0,4724416.story

    23 officials get $56 million in pension value from an obscure rule change they pushed through some years ago. That’s about $2.4 million apiece.

    Pension experts from around the country say they’ve never heard of such a perk for union leaders. They warn that it not only creates opportunities to scam the system but also robs the city of its ability to control pension costs… What’s more, none of the labor officials retired in the traditional sense. Even as they collected their inflated city pensions, they held on to their high-paying union jobs.

    Next, as for Cas’ latest rubbish:

    If one is going to emphasize a title as evidence of intent…

    Do you understand nothing that I say? I touched on that question already:

    **Most important fact** is simply that the fascist economic model is, in its essentials, indistinguishable from Obamunism: Keep much *private property ownership, but* burden firms with so many regulations, directives, mandates, restrictions, and programs to allegedly “help” them that the economy is, in fact, centrally planned and run [to] *benefit [] the Big Government – Big Banking – Big Labor electoral coalition*.

    Emphasis added. Golly, when I said that policy realities were “most important”, over my immediately preceding points about title, do you think that I could conceivably have meant that policy realities are more important than titles, as evidence of intent? Gosh.

    you should have little problem agreeing that the German ***Democratic*** ***Republic*** sounds like a wonderful democracy.

    No, because I can easily show that the DDR was in no way a democracy. Can you show that Nazi Germany was in no way socialist? Hint: you can’t. Let’s take a look at what they had, shall we?

    - “Stimulus” (deficit spending and government works programs), which some New Deal programs were modeled after: check.
    - Expanded social reinsurance systems, which some New Deal programs were modeled after: check.
    - Inflationary money printing: check.
    - Wage and price controls: check.
    - Private property existing in name only; actual government direction of the economy, as government exercised the substantive powers of ownership through regulation and mandates: check.
    - Strong belief that the function of the State is to provide a livelihood for its citizens: check. (Point 7 of the Nazis’ “25 Point Program”)
    - Strong belief that the common good comes before the private good and the individual must work for the State: check. (Points 10 and 18)
    - Government confiscation of industry profits: check. (Point 14)
    - Belief in government control of all education: check. (Point 20)
    - Belief in government control of the media: check. (Point 22)
    - State interference in personal health habits: check. (Point 21)
    - Actual persecution of religion, despite professions of religious freedom: check.
    - Policies to actively promote dependence on government rather than the nuclear family: check.
    - Classifying people by racial categories and privileging some over others (as the Obamunists do today, just in different form): check.
    - Elevating the national government further above regional and local governments, believing that federalism is antiquated and irrational: check.

    All you have to do is add a) opposition to Israel as a proxy for anti-Semitism, and b) a crude/cynical willingness to appeal to people’s nationalism/patriotism in order to bring about any or all of the above policies, and you have… the modern American Left.

    As for what I mean by “socialism”, it’s Kevin Williams’ view:

    The current Random House Dictionary definition of “socialism” is serviceable but dated: “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”… [Dated, because] It should read “ownership -or- control” rather than “ownership -and- control.” As we have seen in the cases of enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is entirely possible for government economic planners to intervene deeply (and, in this familiar case, catastrophically) in the economy while maintaining private economic forms… A more complete definition of socialism incorporates two criteria: The first is that socialism entails the public provision of non-public goods. The second is the use of central planning to implement that policy.

    That’s all I have time for today – not even going to get to the rest of whatever you wrote.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 21, 2011 @ 2:29 pm - September 21, 2011

  35. Hi ILC,
    Needless to say, as our many conversations show, I do not agree with your checklist as a precursor for what “the modern American Left” believes, whatever the monolithic (?) MAL actually is in your mind…

    Can you show that Nazi Germany was in no way socialist?

    No. But then again, can you show me that there is no part of Reagan’s administration that was also, “in no way socialist”? Nazism can have socialist elements, as any collectivist enterprise can, just as any other regime can, but, and this is the big but, it doesn’t hold socialist views as a necessary part of its economic ideology, unlike communism. State direction is not equal to statist communism, ILC. It might be a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient. Ditto totalitarianism… Nazism is a different beasty, as I explained above..

    Comment by Cas — September 21, 2011 @ 6:24 pm - September 21, 2011

  36. ROFL, hard headed Hana strikes again.

    Comment by Steven E. Kalbach — September 21, 2011 @ 8:42 pm - September 21, 2011

  37. Poor President Eisenhower. Signed into law the federal highway program and used those nastily high taxes on the rich to pay for it. Imagine how past Republican presidents would have been vilified (up to and including Ronald) for their non-Tea party ways.

    Comment by Kevin — September 22, 2011 @ 10:03 pm - September 22, 2011

  38. can you show me that there is no part of Reagan’s administration that was also, “in no way socialist”?

    “There you go again” – changing the subject, when you’re refuted. To review:

    - I had made the point that the Nazis considered themselves to be socialists, and espoused the socialist name and socialist doctrines almost from their beginning.
    - You said that I should then consider the DDR democratic, since it called itself democratic.
    - I said no, since the DDR was demonstrably not democratic… whereas, in contrast to that example (of the DDR being demonstrably not democratic), the Nazis were demonstrably socialist.

    Your sudden invocation of Reagan is a big “Huh?” A big non sequitur. Good job. Because it’s irrelevant, in this context, if any part of Reagan’s administration was socialist or not, since he never tried to call himself a socialist.

    doesn’t hold socialist views as a necessary part of its economic ideology

    I’ve provided considerable evidence to the contrary. Almost from its beginning, Nazism “held socialist views as a *necessary* part of its ideology”. And put a great many of them into practice.

    And in case there is now to be a dispute about what the word “socialist” might mean, I said exactly what I would mean by it:

    a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership -or- control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole… [most essentially] the public provision of non-public goods[, and] the use of central planning to implement that policy.

    Continuing:

    State direction is not equal to statist communism

    And where did I say it was? Ever? The only way your statement could even begin to make sense, is if *you* equate socialism and communism as being one and the same – and want to just slip your equivalence into the discussion, to confuse things. But I don’t agree with that equivalence. I’ve told you, twice now, what I mean by “socialism”. Communism and fascism are two particular sub-species of socialism, both in general principle and in the historical sequence of development.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 23, 2011 @ 1:42 am - September 23, 2011

  39. Hi ILC,
    Just a couple of thoughts:

    I’ve provided considerable evidence to the contrary. Almost from its beginning, Nazism “held socialist views as a *necessary* part of its ideology”. And put a great many of them into practice.

    Except that the central aspect of socialist thought–the confiscation of private property is missing. Oh yes, I do see that you reinterpret what that means so that it deals with regulation, etc, but I do not grant you that claim–that is not what communism calls for–it calls for the expropriation of the privately held means of production, NOT its regulation. I have been clear that I can grant collectivist tendencies and some socialist left-overs, and I grant the use of rhetoric of the term socialism, but what the NSDAP was, was not a socialist party (especially after 1934), as that term is understood by historians. I do get that some on the right (such as yourself) want to disown the rightist roots of the NSDAP, but I don’t grant you that disowning. Your checklist is a checklist that fits extreme ideologies of the right as well, ILC. That is the problem. You can say–hey this is socialism (aka communism), but you have a checklist of totalitarianism. And I continue to say–you ignore the ways in which fascism does not fit the socialist mold that you claim it has. Just as me claiming Reagan is a socialist misses the point that the largest chunks of that administration did not subscribe to the major tenants of socialism or its ideology.

    And a final check off for you–historically ground your analysis–the German Officer Corps would not support a socialist (aka communist) government, which was anathema to it. And Hitler knew that. So, unless you want to argue that the German Army Officer Corps were unwitting dupes of a socialist regime (be my guess, but you are not going to find many historians supporting that point of view), your analysis is incomplete and cannot explain a fundamental aspect of German society and cultural belief.

    Comment by Cas — September 23, 2011 @ 4:11 am - September 23, 2011

  40. Also ILC,
    Sorry, I do not this claim will fly:

    The only way your statement could even begin to make sense, is if *you* equate socialism and communism as being one and the same – and want to just slip your equivalence into the discussion, to confuse things. But I don’t agree with that equivalence.

    It doesn’t fly, because your checklist of claims calls for a totalitarian level of control, not just in economic matters, but in all phases of cultural and social life. You have already slipped in the equivalence. You stack the deck, and claim this is socialism, when it looks much more like Statist totalitarianism–Stalinist or Nazi. And that is the point–given your lack of discernment, there is no difference between Communism and Nazism–or what you call “socialism.” If you erase all difference, as you have done, then of course they look the same. One thing–you might want to consider what Marxist Communism (as opposed to Stalinist Communism) thinks about nationalism, and compare that with what fascism thinks. It is an instructive difference. But that requires that you allow yourself to see differences.

    Comment by Cas — September 23, 2011 @ 4:19 am - September 23, 2011

  41. Hi ILC,
    That should read: “Sorry, I do not think this claim will fly:”

    Comment by Cas — September 23, 2011 @ 4:20 am - September 23, 2011

  42. the central aspect of socialist thought–the confiscation of private property is missing

    No, it isn’t. Obama and Hitler alike were perfectly willing to confiscate people’s private property: Obama has just called for large new taxes on “the rich”, and the Nazi program (and Nazi practice) levied new taxes on industry and on “the rich”, also. And anyway (and now for the third time): confiscation of property IS NOT “the central aspect of socialist thought. The central aspects of socialist thought are:

    *the public provision of non-public goods*[, and] *the use of central planning to implement that policy*

    … whether or not property is nominally (i.e. officially and in full name) confiscated, or merely burdened by government regulation and mandate to the point where government has the substantive powers of ownership, so it may as well have been confiscated.

    That’s all I have time for today, so not even going to bother with the rest of whatever you wrote.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 26, 2011 @ 7:30 pm - September 26, 2011

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