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CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 04:23 AM
I wanted to say--

I don't see what's wrong with having some social welfare programs so long as they're run properly AND controlled--by this I mean run in such a manner that would miminize the risk of abuse. Make tight guidlines for who can be on such a program and for how long. I don't see why we can't have such programs at the federal level--I'm not talking about something as expansive or all encompassing as the Great Society--but something that actually does act as a SAFETY NET.

Not a way of life, but a safety net.

Personally, my views align generally with that of the Bull Moose Party:

A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.
Limited injunctions in strikes.
Farm relief.
Workers' compensation for work-related injuries.
An inheritance tax.

Unlike most, I would support a Constitutional amendment or even a Constitutional convention on such a matter, to decide the legality and Constitutionality on behalf of the people on such programs. I feel programs like those outlined above and some of the existing programs today like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, are both necessary to the well being of society at large, and are moral. I actually think making them 100% Constitutional by means of a convention or amendment would better than it is now--because the laws could be stricter on such programs that way and not allow them to balloon past their intent or be abused monetarily by the government. Social Security

For example, Social Security. It was not intended to be one's ENTIRE retirement, but as a supplement to one's existing retirement funds, and as a backup for those who lacked any. But over time with different Presidents it ballooned way beyond it's intended purpose. The only reason--well, one of the major ones anyway--why it has money programs is because LBJ broke the sacred trust inherant in it and placed the funding for SS in the general fund, and every President since has used Social Security funds for things other than Social Security. LBJ used it to fund Vietnam; Clinton used it to create his surplus. If there was a constitutional law, or a law in general in place which made such action illegal, SS wouldn't have the problems it does.

As for the inheritance tax, that idea goes back as far as Thomas Paine. He put forth the idea of an inheritance tax to fund a guaranteed income for all adult people, which would be very far to the left today--No one since the 70s has proposed a guaranteed income. And Paine was one of the Founding Fathers' own inspirations.

NJCardFan
03-20-2011, 09:37 AM
Do you know what the term pipe dream means?

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 09:57 AM
Do you know what the term pipe dream means?

I don't think it is. Before the Great Society, even with the New Deal programs in place, we weren't a "dependent" nation. We can have welfare programs and pension programs and not become a nation of dependents so long as such programs kept within their bounds.

I truly think we need to have amendment put forth in favor of these programs, or in the most extreme case, hold a constitutional convention (not very likely of course).

fettpett
03-20-2011, 10:13 AM
I don't think it is. Before the Great Society, even with the New Deal programs in place, we weren't a "dependent" nation. We can have welfare programs and pension programs and not become a nation of dependents so long as such programs kept within their bounds.

I truly think we need to have amendment put forth in favor of these programs, or in the most extreme case, hold a constitutional convention (not very likely of course).

I think he means going back to that mindset.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 10:17 AM
I think he means going back to that mindset.

The idea of welfare as simply a supplement or safety net rather than cradle to grave care mindset, you mean?

fettpett
03-20-2011, 10:21 AM
The idea of welfare as simply a supplement or safety net rather than cradle to grave care mindset, you mean?

yes, over the last 40-60 years it's been ingrained that the Government is the end all be all, very little incentive for some families to get off their asses and work.

If we had the mindset that it's there as a supplement to help out when things are really hard Obamacare would never have been passed

PoliCon
03-20-2011, 11:02 AM
The idea of welfare as simply a supplement or safety net rather than cradle to grave care mindset, you mean?

There is no problem with these kinds of programs - on a state or local level. The federal government on the other hand has NO BUSINESS AT ALL funding or running social programs. It is not in their job description.

NJCardFan
03-20-2011, 12:00 PM
There is no problem with these kinds of programs - on a state or local level. The federal government on the other hand has NO BUSINESS AT ALL funding or running social programs. It is not in their job description.

However, state and local government impose harsh taxes to support their own programs.

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 02:12 PM
You want to provide a safety net for people? Feel free to do it on your own dime, comrade.

Any government program you create will be abused and grow endlessly as the electorate votes itself a bigger piece of everyone else's pie. That also exactly why you won't ever scale back any of the current programs to the so called "safety net" levels you dream of.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 02:38 PM
You want to provide a safety net for people? Feel free to do it on your own dime, comrade.

Any government program you create will be abused and grow endlessly as the electorate votes itself a bigger piece of everyone else's pie. That also exactly why you won't ever scale back any of the current programs to the so called "safety net" levels you dream of.

If there are laws in place inhibiting their growth beyond a certain point, they wouldn't. AFDC was a bad program, and so it was replaced by the limited and more efficient TANF.
That's why I feel an amendment is needed on this matter. And I'm no ''comrade.''
Supporting the idea of social welfare programs doesn't make one a communist. I don't consider myself one. If supporting such programs made one a communist, than that means the country you were born into (if you were born after 1921) is and has been a communist country all your life.

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 02:48 PM
If there are laws in place inhibiting their growth beyond a certain point, they wouldn't. AFDC was a bad program, and so it was replaced by the limited and more efficient TANF.
That's why I feel an amendment is needed on this matter.

How can you possibly be this naive?

Government doesn't work like that. Government has never worked like that. Government will never work like that. Next, you'll be pining away that "oh, if only the government obeyed the Constitution we wouldn't be in this mess."

It's terrifying that there are another hundred million of you out there, every November, voting to control more of my life.



And I'm no ''comrade.''
Supporting the idea of social welfare programs doesn't make one a communist. I don't consider myself one. If supporting such programs made one a communist, than that means the country you were born into (if you were born after 1921) is and has been a communist country all your life.

Call it whatever you want, comrade. It's straight up wealth redistribution.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 03:29 PM
How can you possibly be this naive?

Government doesn't work like that. Government has never worked like that. Government will never work like that. Next, you'll be pining away that "oh, if only the government obeyed the Constitution we wouldn't be in this mess."

It's terrifying that there are another hundred million of you out there, every November, voting to control more of my life.




Call it whatever you want, comrade. It's straight up wealth redistribution.

By your rationale, you've lived in a communist country all of your life, and your parents and their generation did too. I don't see that America has been bad for the last 100 years, and I don't see America's future being a dark one, either.

PoliCon
03-20-2011, 04:16 PM
However, state and local government impose harsh taxes to support their own programs.

State and local programs are a different matter from federal ones.

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 06:44 PM
By your rationale, you've lived in a communist country all of your life, and your parents and their generation did too. I don't see that America has been bad for the last 100 years, and I don't see America's future being a dark one, either.


Of course you don't think it's bad. You like it. You think taking my money to give to people you think deserve it more is perfectly acceptable.

The future is indeed bright for the leeches of society and their enablers. You and your forebears have created the perfect society for transferring wealth from the productive while leaving yourselves, and sadly enough most of your generally silent victims, feeling perfectly justified about the whole thing.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 08:32 PM
Of course you don't think it's bad. You like it. You think taking my money to give to people you think deserve it more is perfectly acceptable.

The future is indeed bright for the leeches of society and their enablers. You and your forebears have created the perfect society for transferring wealth from the productive while leaving yourselves, and sadly enough most of your generally silent victims, feeling perfectly justified about the whole thing.

I'm sure pacifists and anti-war types don't enjoy giving their money via taxes over to the military, either. I'm sure anti-abortion people don't want their taxes going to fund abortion, whether locally or statewise. You're not a "victim". Everyone pays for something in this country they don't agree with in some way or another, both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Still, as I said, by your rationale, this was a communist country before you were born, and has been since your birth, yet I'm sure you've done well for yourself and enjoy living here...No?

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 08:58 PM
I'm sure pacifists and anti-war types don't enjoy giving their money via taxes over to the military, either. I'm sure anti-abortion people don't want their taxes going to fund abortion, whether locally or statewise. You're not a "victim". Everyone pays for something in this country they don't agree with in some way or another, both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Still, as I said, by your rationale, this was a communist country before you were born, and has been since your birth, yet I'm sure you've done well for yourself and enjoy living here...No?


No no no. Communism is flawed and inefficient, comrade. Democracy is by far the superior system for looting the productive.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 09:03 PM
No no no. Communism is flawed and inefficient, comrade. Democracy is by far the superior system for looting the productive.

So, the US has been a flawed country for the duration of your entire lifetime?
By your rationale, having any sort of social welfare system makes a country communist or a supporting the idea of a social welfare program makes one a Communist in your book.

Since 1921, the US has had social welfare programs at the federal level, and possibly even earlier at the state level, and as such it's been a communist country since at least the time of your parents.

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 09:11 PM
So, the US has been a flawed country for the duration of your entire lifetime?
By your rationale, having any sort of social welfare system makes a country communist or a supporting the idea of a social welfare program makes one a Communist in your book.

Since 1921, the US has had social welfare programs at the federal level, and possibly even earlier at the state level, and as such it's been a communist country since at least the time of your parents.

And?

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 09:15 PM
And?

I don't know, you tell me.
Has living in this country your entire life been that horrible under what has obviously been a totalitarian communistic form of government since your birth?

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 09:19 PM
I don't know, you tell me.
Has living in this country your entire life been that horrible under what has obviously been a totalitarian communistic form of government since your birth?

Fair to middling. I could do without your ilk bleeding me dry to support their addiction to government.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Fair to middling. I could do without your ilk bleeding me dry to support their addiction to government.

You can afford a computer and the internet, surely you're not 'bled dry'?
People needing temporary assistance isn't an "addiction to government." People who can't otherwise take care of themselves or who aren't ABLE to be productive members of society I believe need help.
Notice my very premise at the start of the thread was against the idea of a cradle to the grave system of 100% support, all the time?

I support social welfare programs as a supplement to those who have--including you; as temporary assistance to those who have not, along with general care for those CANNOT. NOT as a way of life for all, regardless of merit or what they do with such assistance. For example, welfare should be used to help get one to college who couldn't otherwise attend it financially or otherwise. Drug testing should be mandatory for those who receive it or ask to. An able bodied person should only be allowed on welfare for but a few years and within a year of getting assistance should get a job or be kicked off.

An adult criminal record, particularly of violent offences, should negate one's eligibility for welfare.

It should be a hand up, not a hand out. The only people who deserve a hand out are those who are 'handless'--the disabled and those who are legitimately unable to work. It should be an aid to widows and single parents whose spouses are deceased. In most cases, family should take care of such individuals, but family is not always there (some families are scummy like that), neither can family always provide.

And finally, it should be a supplement for those who have worked their whole lives--SS in essence a nice little supplement to make retirement even more comfortable for those who have been productive as you put it.

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 09:39 PM
You can afford a computer and the internet, surely you're 'bled dry'?
People needing temporary assistance isn't an "addiction to government." People who can't otherwise take care of themselves or who aren't ABLE to be productive members of society I believe need help.
Notice my very premise at the start of the thread was against the idea of a cradle to the grave system of 100% support, all the time?

As I said. You are hopelessly naive. Even assuming you could scale back welfare to actually be limited to a "safey net," which you can't, by the way. Ever. But assuming you could, it would be back to where it is today in 20 years tops.



I support social welfare programs as a supplement to those who have--including you, temporary assistance to those who have not, along with general care for those CANNOT. Not as a way of life for all, regardless of merit or what they do with such assistance. For example, welfare should be used to help get one to college who couldn't otherwise attend it financially or otherwise. Drug testing should be mandatory for those who receive it or ask to. An able bodied person should only be allowed on welfare for but a few years and within a year of getting assistance should get a job or be kicked off.

An adult criminal record, particularly of violent offences, should negate one's eligibility for welfare.

It should be a hand up, not a hand out. The only people who deserve a hand out are those who are 'handless'--the disabled and those who are legitimately unable to work.


I'm not interested in robbing other people at gunpoint, either myself or by proxy, just so I can have a hand up if I need it.

Donate to a charity if it makes you feel better. Stay the hell out of my pockets. You might have more to donate if the government wasn't taxing you so much. Assuming you pay taxes, of course.


I see your programs are already expanding, by the way. Now we're supporting those that are legitimately disabled or unable to work in addition to offering people a hand up when they need it. See how fast it happens?

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-20-2011, 09:42 PM
As I said. You are hopelessly naive. Even assuming you could scale back welfare to actually be limited to a "safey net," which you can't, by the way. Ever. But assuming you could, it would be back to where it is today in 20 years tops.





I'm not interested in robbing other people at gunpoint, either myself or by proxy, just so I can have a hand up if I need it.

Donate to a charity if it makes you feel better. Stay the hell out of my pockets. You might have more to donate if the government wasn't taxing you so much. Assuming you pay taxes, of course.


I see your programs are already expanding, by the way. Now we're supporting those that are legitimately disabled or unable to work in addition to offering people a hand up when they need it. See how fast it happens?

yeah, "at gunpoint" lol.
I truly doubt charities could cover everyone who needed them
Fuck the disabled, right?

FeebMaster
03-20-2011, 09:49 PM
yeah, "at gunpoint" lol.

Oh, I can stop paying my taxes then?

Look, you can support whatever kind of government you want, but let's at least be honest about how government functions.



I truly doubt charities could cover everyone who needed them
Fuck the disabled, right?

Yes. Fuck them.

NJCardFan
03-21-2011, 12:52 AM
State and local programs are a different matter from federal ones.

Yeah, they're far worse.

NJCardFan
03-21-2011, 01:07 AM
yeah, "at gunpoint" lol.
I truly doubt charities could cover everyone who needed them
Fuck the disabled, right?

Do this then. Stop paying taxes and see what happens. I'll keep this simple. As a homeowner, I have to pay property taxes. If I fail to pay my property taxes, the city puts a tax lien on my house. If I still don't pay, a man wearing a sheriff's deputy uniform comes to my house to escort me off of the city's property. If I don't leave willingly, well, the man is armed.

ironhorsedriver
03-21-2011, 06:30 AM
Hell, we could probably reduce the welfare costs in half, if not more, by just requiring a drug test every month in order to recieve your check. Of course, to the Libs and socialist's, this is a violation of their Civil rights. However, if you are taking taxpayer money, ours, not theirs, and you are dirty, it would have to be presumed that our money is being used to buy those drugs. Nuff said, off the government tit.
Welfare recipients should also be required to provide a service in some way for their money, yes, get up and work somewhere. Collect trash, answer phones, do the census, work for a charity, Red Cross, there is a million things the deadbeats could actually do.
I know there are some who outright need help, disabled, elderly, but, a whole lot are just deadbeats.

noonwitch
03-21-2011, 09:09 AM
Head Start is a good social welfare program. It prepares poor kids and their parents for kindergarten, so that they are not really far behind the middle class and wealthier kids who had daycare/preschool or a governess or something.

It's too bad that so many of the HS graduates end up at such crappy elementary schools, and lose all that they learned in Head Start.

Adam Wood
03-21-2011, 11:34 AM
Sorry, kid, but Feeb's absolutely right on this one.

First of all, there is absolutely no way possible to "limit" these programs under the law. That's like pushing down the proverbial bubble in the wallpaper: no matter how much you push it down over here, it will just pop up over there. Someone will always find the loophole to get around any limit put on any program like that. They'll probably get wealthy doing so.

Secondly, it's politically impossible (or at least highly improbable) that these limits would ever get put in place in the first place. The simple fact is that approximately half of our government (at the absolute minimum) has a very vested interest in getting ever more people ever more dependent upon the federal sugar titty. Absent a borderline political revolution (and we're somewhat close to that today), you're just not going to get these programs reined in.

And finally, it's just not the federal government's business. You can go through the Constitution all day long with a fine-toothed comb, a set of tweezers, and a microscope and you're never going to find where it's Constitutional for the feds to be involved in social welfare programs. That was very specifically kicked to the states and localities by the Tenth Amendment. You go grow your social welfare plans in Connecticut or where ever, but leave me the hell out of it in Tennessee. If I want a social welfare plan here in Tennessee, I'll go down the street here to the Capitol and ask one of my state legislators to make it happen, but they can't come after your money in another state to do so. That is quite specifically how it's supposed to work. Those old dudes with the white hair knew what they were doing when they set it up that way. It wasn't an accident.



You do realize that before we got the social hammock (tip o' the hat to Boogersnax for that one) was brought about, private charities and churches and the like did address these problems, right? And they did a very good job of just what you are proposing: making sure it's a hand up, not a hand-out, limiting how much and for how long someone can ride the coat tails, etc. They are infinitely more efficient than the government, especially the federal government, in actually helping people who have hit a bad streak actually get back on their feet and re-become productive citizens.

Odysseus
03-21-2011, 12:26 PM
Another reason that you do not want to have the Feds administer welfare programs: Imagine that you have a man-sized target. Both you and the target are in Los Angeles, and you are within 10 meters of the target. How hard is it to put a 9mm round in the target and confirm it? Not very. Now, imagine that the same target is still in Los Angeles, but you are in Washington, DC. In order to hit and destroy that target with the same degree of certainty, you need a mult-million dollar delivery system and a drone that can monitor the impact. How does this apply to welfare? Simple: The farther you are from the target of your largesse, the more complex the systems have to be to deliver and confirm the efficacy of services. Welfare is best handled locally, with money raised locally, and voluntarily, since people who voluntarily donate funds tend to work to get them where they are needed and have little tolerance for fraud, waste and abuse. Bureaucrats are not only not interested in reducing fraud, waste and abuse, but by guaranteeing it, they perpetuate their jobs.

Gingersnap
03-21-2011, 03:34 PM
Personally, my views align generally with that of the Bull Moose Party:

A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.
Limited injunctions in strikes.
Farm relief.
Workers' compensation for work-related injuries.
An inheritance tax.


Well, Teddy was the original American Progressive.

Any American NHS will look just like the Brit and Canadian version except that it will involve even longer waits for fewer services since our population is much, much larger. If it's breaking down over there, why would we want it over here?

We already have social insurance in the form of SS, medicare/medicaid, unemployment, and so forth. Not only at the Federal level but also within the states.

Unions seem to do anything they want to do today so it's hard to see how ' limited injunctions against strikes' would be useful.

We have farm relief.

We have Worker's Comp.

Aside from this year, we have estate taxes.

As others have noted, the populace will just keep voting themselves entitlements whenever they can and any sensible safety net will turn into a noose for the taxpayer.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-21-2011, 04:09 PM
Well, Teddy was the original American Progressive.

Any American NHS will look just like the Brit and Canadian version except that it will involve even longer waits for fewer services since our population is much, much larger. If it's breaking down over there, why would we want it over here?

We already have social insurance in the form of SS, medicare/medicaid, unemployment, and so forth. Not only at the Federal level but also within the states.

Unions seem to do anything they want to do today so it's hard to see how ' limited injunctions against strikes' would be useful.

We have farm relief.

We have Worker's Comp.

Aside from this year, we have estate taxes.

As others have noted, the populace will just keep voting themselves entitlements whenever they can and any sensible safety net will turn into a noose for the taxpayer.

If they continue balloon, so be it. I can't control it; If I could, and I had the power to, this country would look much different.

I consider the Communism in theory to be an unattainable dream, an idea nice on paper--An idyllic, Utopian sort of living, borne out of great naiveness and descended philosophically or ideologically from rthe musings of Plato, St. Thomas More's "Utopia", and our own original settlers' communal form of living. It's a nice dream that all men would and could be equal in social standing and wealth. But a dream that lies just beyond human reach. It's the same dream that fuels radical anti-war people; those who believe we can have eternal peace--A nice dream, of a forever peaceful Earth, no killing, no war.

But these dreams can never truly exist. They can never truly become a reality. Communism, Eternal Peace on Earth--They can never work because they go against our very nature as human beings. We're competitive creatures--as are all forms of life on this planet. Life in some form or another is a struggle, a struggle for what's in essence dominance over others. This doesn't mean physical dominance or sexual, but even the desire to be richer than your neighbor--that's a form of dominance in a sense. That's that primal competitive need which sustained humanity through it's earliest and most uncivilized years. We've become more sophisticated in our means of achieving dominance over others and killing each other--We no longer wield swords, or take women for ourselves. But we've found other ways nonetheless. It is the human spirit, the worst failings of the human condition, of life on Earth. Yet it's that greatest fault which sustained us as a species in the depths of the Ice Age, in the most horrible times.

Communism never works in practice because it seeks to change the nature of man, or it goes on the idea that man's nature has already changed, or can be changed peacefully. While certain ideologies can change, certain beliefs, religions come and go, certain expressions of man's nature can change over time--Man's nature itself does not. And it CANNOT be changed through peace. Man will always be a bit greedy, a bit competitive.

Communism on paper is a dream, but when put into practice it becomes a nightmare and and an evil because the realization that man cannot change his nature by suggestion leads to the conclusion that his nature can only be changed by force. You can see this conclusion being reached through Stalin's and Mao's purges of all those who thought differently, of the intelligentsia, the intellectuals, the Churches--Because those people understood this fundamental truth, that man cannot change, man cannot as a whole or as a nation give up it's greed, and thus such people were threats to Communism. A communist feels that greed has to be fully forced and abolished from the spirit of man, and this forced and full abolition of greed and competitiveness results in needless horror and death. That is the danger, and the evil of Communism. It is not simply a flawed economic system--It's a system which is unnatural to man's nature and to Nature's laws in general.

By the same token, I don't support Laissez-Faire economics either. I believe that such a system, a true "Anything Goes" system, has the danger of simply devolving into anarchy, corruption, mistreatment of lower classes by the upper classes; mistreatment of the employees by the employer; A system of corrupt cronyism can take root. It can lead to two paths: Either the Wild West on a grand scale, or a form of Crony Capitalism as once existed. It, too, like Communism is a moral evil, but for different reasons.

Just as the history of the USSR taught me why Communism is evil, our own history of the Gilded Age taught me unregulated capitalism is an evil. They are both destructive. Both promise the idea of true freedom, but both devolve into corruption and oppression; Communism by the party chairman and the like; Laissez-Faire by corporations, special interests, and simply because it appeals fully to the basest elements of man's nature. I don't think we're on the same level as animals, and nor should we act it. We're higher creatures than that; We have a spirit, a sense of right, of wrong. I don't embrace Social Darwinism, and I believe Laissez-Faire and Social Darwinism go in some ways hand in hand.

I could go on and on, but basically, I believe the best system man has achieved is the system we have had since the late 1800s-1900 or so. A regulated capitalism. I believe that while our system has faults, it has warts, it has it's ups and downs, I believe this balance is necessary--As I believe philosophically that balance in all aspects of life is the key to a fulfilling life.

I support the system we've had in place since 1921, of social welfare programs at the Federal Level and of other such things both from a logical standpoint, and secondly, from a moral standpoint. Another person's views of morality may differ from mine; That is their right, and I enjoy hearing their points of view. I simply believe that we are the most moral nation on Earth because we have struck the perfect balance--We are in many ways the freest nation in the world; We are the most generous nation abroad, and at home, we care for our elderly, and our poor, and our disabled. We try to help those who have not. We often extend our hand--perhaps, overextend it--to the benefit of other nations. We are a good nation. We've had a checkered past, we've had our moments of darkness and evil acts undertaken. But I believe that all of the goodness we've done, and we continue to do, at home and abroad, washes away our sins. That doesn't mean we should forget them, but I don't believe we should forever, and daily, hang our heads in shame for the sins of our forefathers. We can look to the future, and learn from the horrors and mistakes and evil deeds of the past. And we can, and must move on. We can't dwell on the Civil War, or the 1960s, or our past struggles with the Native American peoples, or matters of race--Because it distracts us from the important problems of the present, and the promise of the future. Living in the past means the death of the future as individuals and as a nation.

We may disagree on the role of government in life, and in taxes, and in welfare, and we do. But that's another part of the beauty of this country--I can disagree with you, you can disagree with me, we can both disagree vocally with the government without fear of reprisal or torture or imprisonment; A right we sometimes take for granted is something the inhabitants of other nations on this little world could only wish to have.

We can disagree, but I will say truthfully that I consider you my fellow Americans, my brothers and sisters. I may get angry at you, and you at me; We may forcefully disagree. But I don't consider you evil, or horrible, or racists. I have my moments of anger, of hate, of prejudice; I've said things in the past that some would consider racist, because of my inborn views, my prejudices I was raised with. I've said horrid things which I regret. I've burned bridges. I've said these things--But I am not a racist man, or a horrid man if you ever knew me truly. I have my flaws, some deep ones, some minor; I hope I can someday repent for them, for someday I do wish to serve in public life. It has been my dream. Not for want of glory, but because I want to SERVE the public. To serve humanity. We all have a purpose, and I believe, and would love, if mine was to serve the greater good.

But I love every American regardless of his race, his creed, his color or his political affiliation, and I want to say to you all that, we may disagree over welfare, over Social Security, over various programs and levels of regulations, but we are all Americans, and I think ALL of us can agree that it's a great thing to be an American--A great privilege, one of the most beautiful common bonds on Earth. And I think we can agree that though we disagree on many things, we are a lucky, and blessed people, in a beautiful and blessed land.

Wei Wu Wei
03-21-2011, 06:25 PM
Another reason that you do not want to have the Feds administer welfare programs: Imagine that you have a man-sized target. Both you and the target are in Los Angeles, and you are within 10 meters of the target. How hard is it to put a 9mm round in the target and confirm it? Not very. Now, imagine that the same target is still in Los Angeles, but you are in Washington, DC. In order to hit and destroy that target with the same degree of certainty, you need a mult-million dollar delivery system and a drone that can monitor the impact. How does this apply to welfare? Simple: The farther you are from the target of your largesse, the more complex the systems have to be to deliver and confirm the efficacy of services. Welfare is best handled locally, with money raised locally, and voluntarily, since people who voluntarily donate funds tend to work to get them where they are needed and have little tolerance for fraud, waste and abuse. Bureaucrats are not only not interested in reducing fraud, waste and abuse, but by guaranteeing it, they perpetuate their jobs.

This is a good argument and something to think about.

Wei Wu Wei
03-21-2011, 06:37 PM
If they continue balloon, so be it. I can't control it; If I could, and I had the power to, this country would look much different.

I consider the Communism in theory to be an unattainable dream, an idea nice on paper--An idyllic, Utopian sort of living, borne out of great naiveness and descended philosophically or ideologically from rthe musings of Plato, St. Thomas More's "Utopia", and our own original settlers' communal form of living. It's a nice dream that all men would and could be equal in social standing and wealth. But a dream that lies just beyond human reach. It's the same dream that fuels radical anti-war people; those who believe we can have eternal peace--A nice dream, of a forever peaceful Earth, no killing, no war.

But these dreams can never truly exist. They can never truly become a reality. Communism, Eternal Peace on Earth--They can never work because they go against our very nature as human beings. We're competitive creatures--as are all forms of life on this planet. Life in some form or another is a struggle, a struggle for what's in essence dominance over others. This doesn't mean physical dominance or sexual, but even the desire to be richer than your neighbor--that's a form of dominance in a sense. That's that primal competitive need which sustained humanity through it's earliest and most uncivilized years. We've become more sophisticated in our means of achieving dominance over others and killing each other--We no longer wield swords, or take women for ourselves. But we've found other ways nonetheless. It is the human spirit, the worst failings of the human condition, of life on Earth. Yet it's that greatest fault which sustained us as a species in the depths of the Ice Age, in the most horrible times.

Communism never works in practice because it seeks to change the nature of man, or it goes on the idea that man's nature has already changed, or can be changed peacefully. While certain ideologies can change, certain beliefs, religions come and go, certain expressions of man's nature can change over time--Man's nature itself does not. And it CANNOT be changed through peace. Man will always be a bit greedy, a bit competitive.

Communism on paper is a dream, but when put into practice it becomes a nightmare and and an evil because the realization that man cannot change his nature by suggestion leads to the conclusion that his nature can only be changed by force. You can see this conclusion being reached through Stalin's and Mao's purges of all those who thought differently, of the intelligentsia, the intellectuals, the Churches--Because those people understood this fundamental truth, that man cannot change, man cannot as a whole or as a nation give up it's greed, and thus such people were threats to Communism. A communist feels that greed has to be fully forced and abolished from the spirit of man, and this forced and full abolition of greed and competitiveness results in needless horror and death. That is the danger, and the evil of Communism. It is not simply a flawed economic system--It's a system which is unnatural to man's nature and to Nature's laws in general.

By the same token, I don't support Laissez-Faire economics either. I believe that such a system, a true "Anything Goes" system, has the danger of simply devolving into anarchy, corruption, mistreatment of lower classes by the upper classes; mistreatment of the employees by the employer; A system of corrupt cronyism can take root. It can lead to two paths: Either the Wild West on a grand scale, or a form of Crony Capitalism as once existed. It, too, like Communism is a moral evil, but for different reasons.

Just as the history of the USSR taught me why Communism is evil, our own history of the Gilded Age taught me unregulated capitalism is an evil. They are both destructive. Both promise the idea of true freedom, but both devolve into corruption and oppression; Communism by the party chairman and the like; Laissez-Faire by corporations, special interests, and simply because it appeals fully to the basest elements of man's nature. I don't think we're on the same level as animals, and nor should we act it. We're higher creatures than that; We have a spirit, a sense of right, of wrong. I don't embrace Social Darwinism, and I believe Laissez-Faire and Social Darwinism go in some ways hand in hand.

I could go on and on, but basically, I believe the best system man has achieved is the system we have had since the late 1800s-1900 or so. A regulated capitalism. I believe that while our system has faults, it has warts, it has it's ups and downs, I believe this balance is necessary--As I believe philosophically that balance in all aspects of life is the key to a fulfilling life.

I support the system we've had in place since 1921, of social welfare programs at the Federal Level and of other such things both from a logical standpoint, and secondly, from a moral standpoint. Another person's views of morality may differ from mine; That is their right, and I enjoy hearing their points of view. I simply believe that we are the most moral nation on Earth because we have struck the perfect balance--We are in many ways the freest nation in the world; We are the most generous nation abroad, and at home, we care for our elderly, and our poor, and our disabled. We try to help those who have not. We often extend our hand--perhaps, overextend it--to the benefit of other nations. We are a good nation. We've had a checkered past, we've had our moments of darkness and evil acts undertaken. But I believe that all of the goodness we've done, and we continue to do, at home and abroad, washes away our sins. That doesn't mean we should forget them, but I don't believe we should forever, and daily, hang our heads in shame for the sins of our forefathers. We can look to the future, and learn from the horrors and mistakes and evil deeds of the past. And we can, and must move on. We can't dwell on the Civil War, or the 1960s, or our past struggles with the Native American peoples, or matters of race--Because it distracts us from the important problems of the present, and the promise of the future. Living in the past means the death of the future as individuals and as a nation.

We may disagree on the role of government in life, and in taxes, and in welfare, and we do. But that's another part of the beauty of this country--I can disagree with you, you can disagree with me, we can both disagree vocally with the government without fear of reprisal or torture or imprisonment; A right we sometimes take for granted is something the inhabitants of other nations on this little world could only wish to have.

We can disagree, but I will say truthfully that I consider you my fellow Americans, my brothers and sisters. I may get angry at you, and you at me; We may forcefully disagree. But I don't consider you evil, or horrible, or racists. I have my moments of anger, of hate, of prejudice; I've said things in the past that some would consider racist, because of my inborn views, my prejudices I was raised with. I've said horrid things which I regret. I've burned bridges. I've said these things--But I am not a racist man, or a horrid man if you ever knew me truly. I have my flaws, some deep ones, some minor; I hope I can someday repent for them, for someday I do wish to serve in public life. It has been my dream. Not for want of glory, but because I want to SERVE the public. To serve humanity. We all have a purpose, and I believe, and would love, if mine was to serve the greater good.

But I love every American regardless of his race, his creed, his color or his political affiliation, and I want to say to you all that, we may disagree over welfare, over Social Security, over various programs and levels of regulations, but we are all Americans, and I think ALL of us can agree that it's a great thing to be an American--A great privilege, one of the most beautiful common bonds on Earth. And I think we can agree that though we disagree on many things, we are a lucky, and blessed people, in a beautiful and blessed land.

This is very interesting and while I'm not about to try to break this all down, I'm curious about where you get your ideas about Human Nature, and about Communism?

I've come to learn that most of the time when people are arguing, their disagreements arise as a result of them using the same words to signify different things.

I'm not trying to be mean when I say this, but have you read any of Marx's analysis of capitalism? I'm not talking about short blurbs or even the Communist Manifesto, I'm asking if you have attempted to understand Marx's analysis of capitalism?

Do you think there is any way for people to move towards communism that isn't Stalinism? Perhaps the USSR was one attempt at a just and righteous goal which failed, but does one failure mean that a task is impossible? Does repeated failures mean that a task is impossible?

What is it that you find contrary to human nature? is it the self-organization of workers? Is it self-management? is it other forms of democracy besides representative bourgeois democracy?

What is human nature and why do you consider it to be unchanging? I think this is a very, mostly non-political discussion that it would be great to have. Is the nature of man being a selfish emotion-driven beast? Is the nature of man being a rational thinker who can plan and organize systems of mutual benefit with other men? Is man's nature found within himself or within his relations with others?

Is 'human nature' affected by the environment and culture that humans live?

PoliCon
03-21-2011, 06:40 PM
Yeah, they're far worse.

They may be - but then not everyone lives in a bleed you dry state like New Jersey.

Odysseus
03-21-2011, 07:05 PM
This is a good argument and something to think about.
I will have to go back and find the flaw in my logic, then.

This is very interesting and while I'm not about to try to break this all down, I'm curious about where you get your ideas about Human Nature, and about Communism?
One hundred million dead Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, Cubans, etc.,


I've come to learn that most of the time when people are arguing, their disagreements arise as a result of them using the same words to signify different things.

I'm not trying to be mean when I say this, but have you read any of Marx's analysis of capitalism? I'm not talking about short blurbs or even the Communist Manifesto, I'm asking if you have attempted to understand Marx's analysis of capitalism?
Not this again. Give it a rest. Marx was wrong across the board.


Do you think there is any way for people to move towards communism that isn't Stalinism? Perhaps the USSR was one attempt at a just and righteous goal which failed, but does one failure mean that a task is impossible? Does repeated failures mean that a task is impossible?
Yes, when the repeated failures are so horrific that no one in their right mind would attempt to replicate them. You sound like the Medievel alchemists who were absolutely sure that this time, the lead would become gold. Of course, that never worked, either.


What is it that you find contrary to human nature? is it the self-organization of workers? Is it self-management? is it other forms of democracy besides representative bourgeois democracy?

Ever see the movie, Enemy at the Gates? There was a great little speech at the end from the Zampolit, Danilov. It sums up everything that is wrong with communism:


Danilov: I've been such a fool, Vassili. Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.
That's what's wrong with communism, and why it violates human nature. People aren't all the same. We don't all want the same things, or follow the same paths to the things that we do want. The only thing that a just state can do for us is treat us as equals before the law, but leave us to our own devices, because no central committee, no dictatorship of the proletariat, no workers' paradise is going to be able to meet every need of every person, or decide which needs ought to be met. We have to do that for ourselves.


What is human nature and why do you consider it to be unchanging? I think this is a very, mostly non-political discussion that it would be great to have. Is the nature of man being a selfish emotion-driven beast? Is the nature of man being a rational thinker who can plan and organize systems of mutual benefit with other men? Is man's nature found within himself or within his relations with others?
Yes. All of the above. Some men are selfish, emotion-driven beasts. Some are selfish, rational monsters. Some are selfless angels and some are driven by their selfishness to acts of great beauty and love. And, at any given time, the same man can be any of the above and more. A system that sees men as simply consumers and producers will never satisfy the needs of the people, because there is no "people", there are individuals who all want something different, and it's not for you or anyone else to tell us whether or not we should pursue our goals, or how much we should eat, what we should wear, how much energy we should use or what our priorities ought to be. Those are our decisions, and the only intelligent decision that someone who wants to see the maximum amount of happiness can make is to get out of the way.


Is 'human nature' affected by the environment and culture that humans live?
Only in the sense that environment and culture teach us how to respond to stimuli. A culture that rewards ignorance, sloth and failure will have more ignorance, sloth and failure than it knows what to do with. A culture that rewards innovation, industry and success will have more of that than it can ever hope to create through edicts and plans.

Wei Wu Wei
03-21-2011, 07:20 PM
I will have to go back and find the flaw in my logic, then.

One hundred million dead Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, Cubans, etc.,

If you count the number of people executed in the United States, the number of people who died from starvation, the number of people killed in violent crime and the number of people killed in wars of aggression, then America has a far higher death toll.

Of course the Red Army sure did know how to send millions of men to their deaths...





Not this again. Give it a rest. Marx was wrong across the board.

I'm perfectly happy to have this discussion but let's be honest about it. you cannot have a discussion about Marx if you've never read what he wrote and the only information you have about his theory comes from the CATO institute.

Sometimes in order to have a real discussion you have to examine the thinking of people you disagree with.

That's called being an intellectually mature adult.



Yes, when the repeated failures are so horrific that no one in their right mind would attempt to replicate them. You sound like the Medievel alchemists who were absolutely sure that this time, the lead would become gold. Of course, that never worked, either.

I have no interest in repeating Stalinism or any sort of 20th century Statist Socialism.

I know that's hard for some people to grasp, because they cannot possibly imagine a communism that isn't Stalinism, but this is where some creative thinking and not just knee-jerk reactions come into the picture.






Ever see the movie, Enemy at the Gates? There was a great little speech at the end from the Zampolit, Danilov. It sums up everything that is wrong with communism:


Danilov: I've been such a fool, Vassili. Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.
That's what's wrong with communism, and why it violates human nature. People aren't all the same. We don't all want the same things, or follow the same paths to the things that we do want. The only thing that a just state can do for us is treat us as equals before the law, but leave us to our own devices, because no central committee, no dictatorship of the proletariat, no workers' paradise is going to be able to meet every need of every person, or decide which needs ought to be met. We have to do that for ourselves.

Yes I too derive my political ideology from hollywood films.

I can agree that not everyone is equal in all respects, can you agree that perhaps it is possible that a different arrangement of society might possibly work better than the status quo?

I agree that you could not simply force or impose a communistic lifestyle on people today, but can you agree that the corporatist system today is the cause of many great social problems and perhaps working towards a better society is worthwhile even if you will not succeed 100%?

When you look at something that is righteous and worth doing, do you say to yourself "if it isn't perfect, I will not try?" do you say to yourself, "if it fails, I will give up?" or do you say "perhaps it will fail, but if something is right and worth doing, failures are a reality that must be accepted in order to progress towards the goal?"

Again, I believe what I think of when I say Communism is a far different thing that what you think of when you say Communism, and as a result we will argue in circles.




Yes. All of the above. Some men are selfish, emotion-driven beasts. Some are selfish, rational monsters. Some are selfless angels and some are driven by their selfishness to acts of great beauty and love. And, at any given time, the same man can be any of the above and more.

So there is no one set "human nature", and in fact human nature is very diverse and even fluid?

Perhaps human nature is the condition of being able to be changed? After all, no other animal on earth can supercede their instincts and reach for something greater.




A system that sees men as simply consumers and producers will never satisfy the needs of the people,

I agree.


because there is no "people", there are individuals who all want something different, and it's not for you or anyone else to tell us whether or not we should pursue our goals, or how much we should eat, what we should wear, how much energy we should use or what our priorities ought to be. Those are our decisions, and the only intelligent decision that someone who wants to see the maximum amount of happiness can make is to get out of the way.

If what you want is to subjugate other humans, to oppress people who aren't like you, and to occupy a place of superiority that lets you treat other human beings as mere objects in your world, then I agree communism is totally against your nature.

However, I would submit that these desires are not "natural" desires, because the only "natural" desires humans have are simple biological desires to survive and to mate, and even those are subdued by the forces of the mind (just ask any man who has ever had trouble getting it up in bed).





Only in the sense that environment and culture teach us how to respond to stimuli. A culture that rewards ignorance, sloth and failure will have more ignorance, sloth and failure than it knows what to do with. A culture that rewards innovation, industry and success will have more of that than it can ever hope to create through edicts and plans.

What about a culture that rewards community, teamwork, honesty, integrity, and shared goals?

malloc
03-21-2011, 08:24 PM
If you count the number of people executed in the United States, the number of people who died from starvation, the number of people killed in violent crime and the number of people killed in wars of aggression, then America has a far higher death toll.

Of course the Red Army sure did know how to send millions of men to their deaths...


Not even close, because in order to be fair, you'd also have to count in all the soviets who were killed in violent crimes and wars of aggression. It seems so far fetched that anyone would try to compare the victims of the Holodomor to the victims of criminal actions, but this is you. You'll do every bit of mental gymnastics possible to justify and explain away the horrors of communism. The difference in the case of executions in the U.S. is due process and a fair trial. Did the 5 million victims of the Holodomor commit a crime and get convicted for it? Did they have representation and due process?

There are some things you just can't justify and attempting to do so only makes you look incredibly ridiculous. Trying to come up with a morally relative accusation against the United States and it's capitalist system is one of times.




I'm perfectly happy to have this discussion but let's be honest about it. you cannot have a discussion about Marx if you've never read what he wrote and the only information you have about his theory comes from the CATO institute.

Sometimes in order to have a real discussion you have to examine the thinking of people you disagree with.

That's called being an intellectually mature adult.


Ok, by the same exact reasoning, you are not qualified to discuss this matter having not read all of Adam Smith, Ludwig Von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Hazlit, or Friedman.



I have no interest in repeating Stalinism or any sort of 20th century Statist Socialism.

I know that's hard for some people to grasp, because they cannot possibly imagine a communism that isn't Stalinism, but this is where some creative thinking and not just knee-jerk reactions come into the picture.


There is no knee jerk reaction. The analysis of why Stalin, Mao, Castro or any of them failed is all a rational human being needs to see that the fault lies at the very core of their ideology, not the implementations they pursued.






I can agree that not everyone is equal in all respects, can you agree that perhaps it is possible that a different arrangement of society might possibly work better than the status quo?


Yes, I can agree that a different arrangement might work better than the current status quo. However, that would depend entirely on the different arrangement wouldn't it?



I agree that you could not simply force or impose a communistic lifestyle on people today, but can you agree that the corporatist system today is the cause of many great social problems and perhaps working towards a better society is worthwhile even if you will not succeed 100%?

In order for me to agree with this, I'd have to agree that a corporatist system exists where it does not. A fascist system of governmental control over private enterprise exists today. Furthermore I cannot agree that working towards a better society is worthwhile when the option of mass murdering dissenters is still on the table, because that society wouldn't be 'better' would it?



When you look at something that is righteous and worth doing, do you say to yourself "if it isn't perfect, I will not try?" do you say to yourself, "if it fails, I will give up?" or do you say "perhaps it will fail, but if something is right and worth doing, failures are a reality that must be accepted in order to progress towards the goal?"

Again, I believe what I think of when I say Communism is a far different thing that what you think of when you say Communism, and as a result we will argue in circles.


The failure of communism, is the failure of an ideology. It was never a failure of Stalinism or Maoism, it was failure of the socialistic ideology has a whole. When an underlying ideology fails, every system that can exist based on that ideology is also a failure. Mathematically, economically and socially, knowing now what we know about these sciences, any social system which bases itself on communist ideology is doomed to complete failure. You can try a thousand times implementing a thousand different -isms. Every one of your -isms which is based on communism will fail. This doesn't mean every communist regime will involve mass murder, but the very ideological nature of communism requires mandatory participation. When participation cannot be obtained willingly it is coerced, so mass murder is a likely outcome. If a communist state does not have complete participation from every individual then they have a black market which introduces capitalist competition. Communism cannot compete with a capitalist market for goods and services, so those dissenters who operate as capitalists within a communist state must be removed.


I suppose you do think of communism differently than I do. Unfortunately for your argument the way I think of communism is rooted in reality.




What about a culture that rewards community, teamwork, honesty, integrity, and shared goals?


We already have a culture like this, it's called American capitalism. When a businessman succeeds the community around him prospers. Employees who agree to work for a company, who bring leadership and team building to the table are rewarded with higher salaries due to their higher demand. Honesty and integrity are rewarded with repeat customers and higher consumer confidence. The goal of the businessman is to get his product into the hands of as many people as possible, the goal of the consumer is have the means of purchasing the good they want at a price they can afford. What could possibly be more of a shared goal than that?

Gingersnap
03-21-2011, 08:47 PM
If you count the number of people executed in the United States, the number of people who died from starvation, the number of people killed in violent crime and the number of people killed in wars of aggression, then America has a far higher death toll.

Of course the Red Army sure did know how to send millions of men to their deaths...


You need to back this up. China has been warring, enslaving, and invading for thousands of years. The USA is only a couple of hundred years old. The Chinese wiped out countless minority peoples over that time. We actually know how many we wiped out. The Chinese didn't really get rid of slavery until the late middle part of the last century and they still have slave labor from prisoners. Mao starved millions. Millions more were punished one way or the other for nonconformism. Many simply disappeared and they sure didn't turn up Chinese ex-pat communities.

Are you also counting the number of people executed in China, starved in China, enslaved in China (including female sex slaves today), and Chinese people killed during violent wars of aggression against Koreans, Japanese, and others?

Odysseus
03-22-2011, 12:26 PM
If you count the number of people executed in the United States, the number of people who died from starvation, the number of people killed in violent crime and the number of people killed in wars of aggression, then America has a far higher death toll.
Okay, let's have some hard numbers. How many people have starved in the United States? I based my estimate on actual reported data from the Depression. What's your source, and what is your estimate? And how many have been executed for purely political crimes (the number one cause of death in the Soviet Union). Again, cite your source. As for violent crime, the function of government is to protect people from it, not to perpetuate it. But, let's have your numbers and make the comparison. And you'd better have some sources.


Of course the Red Army sure did know how to send millions of men to their deaths...
With the exception of the PLA, they have the highest body count in history. Communism has murdered more people than any other movement in history.


I'm perfectly happy to have this discussion but let's be honest about it. you cannot have a discussion about Marx if you've never read what he wrote and the only information you have about his theory comes from the CATO institute.
No, I read Marx in high school, so it's been thirty plus years, but regardless, we've had this conversation, and you've failed to make your case every time. When we discuss the failures of communism, you complain that they weren't following Marx. When we discuss the flaws in Marxist theory, you claim that we need to keep trying to achieve his ideal, but ignore the scale of the previous failures. You can't have it both ways.


Sometimes in order to have a real discussion you have to examine the thinking of people you disagree with.

That's called being an intellectually mature adult.
I have examined your thinking and found it lacking.


I have no interest in repeating Stalinism or any sort of 20th century Statist Socialism.
No, you want to create new paradigms of mass failure.


I know that's hard for some people to grasp, because they cannot possibly imagine a communism that isn't Stalinism, but this is where some creative thinking and not just knee-jerk reactions come into the picture.
True, I can't see the fantasy communist state that you and Marx seem to think is inevitable, but you cannot see the very real communist failures which are the precursers of future failure. What is that pesky definition of insanity again? Oh yeah, doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

Okay, Wei, let's hear it. How will your version of communism avoid the failures of every previous version of communism, including the near-starvation of the Plymouth Bay Colony through the collapse of the USSR.


Yes I too derive my political ideology from hollywood films.
I don't derive my ideology from the film, I simply cited it as an excellent example of why communism fails. If I had written an equally eloquent summary of the failure of communism to address human nature, I would have provided it. But now that you've impugned the source, do you have anything to say about the content, or is this just another rhetorical sleight of hand to avoid addressing the truth in the statement?


I can agree that not everyone is equal in all respects, can you agree that perhaps it is possible that a different arrangement of society might possibly work better than the status quo?
Nope. Any single person or group that attempts to reorder society will invariably fail because they cannot take the full gamut of individual preferences and priorities into account. Central planning cannot act as a substitute for billions of people making trillions of decisions each day.


I agree that you could not simply force or impose a communistic lifestyle on people today, but can you agree that the corporatist system today is the cause of many great social problems and perhaps working towards a better society is worthwhile even if you will not succeed 100%?
Not the way that you want to do it. The corporatist system is the result of attempts to impose government planning on free markets. The more that social planners seek to impose labels on individuals and pigeonhole them according to arbitrary or transitory definitions, the more the social planners fail to address changes in the market. The solution is not to impose more controls, but to liberate more spheres of economic activity from control.


When you look at something that is righteous and worth doing, do you say to yourself "if it isn't perfect, I will not try?" do you say to yourself, "if it fails, I will give up?" or do you say "perhaps it will fail, but if something is right and worth doing, failures are a reality that must be accepted in order to progress towards the goal?"
I have spent my adult life in pursuit of righteous goals as an officer in the United States Army. I consider individual liberty worth defending and advancing, and the security of the nation whose found principle is the securing of that liberty to be worth protecting. I don't see the imposition of communist tyranny as righteous and worth doing.


Again, I believe what I think of when I say Communism is a far different thing that what you think of when you say Communism, and as a result we will argue in circles.
Communism is whatever you want it to be whenever you get spanked on it. We argue in circles because you cannot define it, and when forced to, you evade it.


So there is no one set "human nature", and in fact human nature is very diverse and even fluid?

Perhaps human nature is the condition of being able to be changed? After all, no other animal on earth can supercede their instincts and reach for something greater.
And the role of the commissar is to impose those changes? No thanks.

Think of it this way: You believe that the universe is too complex to be run by a perfect entity, much less to have been created by one, but you believe that human society, which is just as complex, can be managed and controlled by people acting on the ideas of one highly flawed man, a man who loathed his own people, hated those who earned more than he did and spent his life in vicious envy of those who accomplished what he could not? Isn't this obvious contradiction enough to at least make you pause in your march to a glorious future predicted by a man who couldn't even earn enough to feed his own family couldn't even afford to bury his children when his failures resulted in their starvation? From Biography.com (http://www.biography.com/articles/Karl-Marx-9401219?part=5):


From 1850 to 1864 Marx lived in material misery and spiritual pain. His funds were gone, and except on one occasion he could not bring himself to seek paid employment. In March 1850 he and his wife and four small children were evicted and their belongings seized. Several of his children died—including a son Guido, “a sacrifice to bourgeois misery,” and a daughter Franziska, for whom his wife rushed about frantically trying to borrow money for a coffin. For six years the family lived in two small rooms in Soho, often subsisting on bread and potatoes. The children learned to lie to the creditors: “Mr. Marx ain't upstairs.” Once he had to escape them by fleeing to Manchester. His wife suffered breakdowns.

During all these years Engels loyally contributed to Marx's financial support. The sums were not large at first, for Engels was only a clerk in the firm of Ermen and Engels at Manchester. Later, however, in 1864, when he became a partner, his subventions were generous. Marx was proud of Engels' friendship and would tolerate no criticism of him. Bequests from the relatives of Marx's wife and from Marx's friend Wilhelm Wolff also helped to alleviate their economic distress.

Does that sound like the kind of man who can plan a society? An economic system? For that matter, does it sound like a man who could plan a week's budget? Is that the man that you have put your faith in?


If what you want is to subjugate other humans, to oppress people who aren't like you, and to occupy a place of superiority that lets you treat other human beings as mere objects in your world, then I agree communism is totally against your nature.
On the contrary, you have just described communism as it has been practiced in every place ever tried.


However, I would submit that these desires are not "natural" desires, because the only "natural" desires humans have are simple biological desires to survive and to mate, and even those are subdued by the forces of the mind (just ask any man who has ever had trouble getting it up in bed).
Let me see if I understand this: You claim that the desire to be free, to create and keep the means of one's own happiness is not a natural desire in one sentence, but in denying the value of all human aspirations beyond the immediate biological desires to eat, excrete and reproduce, you are reducing people to objects while claiming the exact opposite. And, it was a capitalist pharmaceutical corporation that came up with a cure for impotence. If your ideology leaves you flaccid, you have no one to blame but Marx.


What about a culture that rewards community, teamwork, honesty, integrity, and shared goals?

That would be the one that you keep trying to dismantle.