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The Difference Between Liberalism and Leftism

Rembrandt Brown

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIBERALISM AND LEFTISM
Is true unity among Democrats possible? No. But collaboration is.
by NATHAN J. ROBINSON, Current Affairs
JUNE 07, 2017

It is reasonable to wonder whether the divide between liberalism and leftism actually matters very much. Why does there actually need to be so much animosity between the Clinton and Sanders factions of the Democratic Party? (Or the Blair and Corbyn factions in the UK’s Labour Party.) Why on earth did the race for DNC chair between Keith Ellison and Tom Perez grow so vicious, given their substantially similar progressive credentials? With Donald Trump poised to ravage the planet, either through boiling it slowly over time or blowing it up instantaneously with his vast nuclear arsenal, it would seem time for liberals and leftists to emphasize their similarities rather than their differences. Squabbling over minutiae is a fine way to ensure political irrelevance, and if everyone agrees that right-wing policies are poisonous and immoral, then surely the differences among progressive and leftish people can be worked out later.

It’s also true that, according to one view, the differences between liberals and leftists are not even differences of substance, but differences of political strategy. The claim of people like Clinton and Blair is that, while they share the core progressive principles of compassion and equality, they are simply more hard-nosed and pragmatic. They are more cynical about the limits of political possibility, and believe that change happens slowly. From this perspective, the core difference between Clinton and Sanders is not their ultimate end goals (they both want a world of progressive values), but how to get there.

If that’s the case, and the core of the divide is over “compromise” versus “purity,” or “a view that major progress happens slowly” versus “a demand that it happens immediately,” then the disagreements here should be friendly ones. Unity should be pretty easy, because we’re literally trying to help one another pursue the same objective. I want the same things you do, but I simply think that I have a more effective way of getting them.

But while this is often the kind of language with which moderate liberals distinguish themselves from more “radical” progressive factions, I don’t actually think it does accurately describe the nature of the liberal/left divide. And while conservatives would lump all these varying political tendencies together as a generic political tendency called “the left,” there are some internal conflicts that are both fundamental and irresolvable. It is not simply a disagreement over tactics among people who share ideals. The two sets of ideals are different, and come from two entirely different worldviews.

The core divergence in these worldviews is in their beliefs about the nature of contemporary political and economic institutions. The difference here is not “how quickly these institutions should change,” but whether changes to them should be fundamental structural changes or not.
The leftist sees capitalism as a horror, and believes that so long as money and profit rule the earth, human beings will be made miserable and will destroy themselves. The liberal does not actually believe this. Rather, the liberal believes that while there are problems with capitalism, it can be salvaged if given a few tweaks here and there. As Nancy Pelosi said of the present Democratic party: “We’re capitalist.” When Bernie Sanders is asked if he is a capitalist, he answers flatly: “No.” Sanders is a socialist, and socialism is not capitalism, and there is no possibility of healing the ideological rift between the two. Liberals believe that the economic and political system is a machine that has broken down and needs fixing. Leftists believe that the machine is not “broken.” Rather, it is working perfectly well; the problem is that it is a death machine designed to chew up human lives. You don’t fix the death machine, you smash it to bits.

I was recently reminded of the nature of the difference while glancing through Timothy Snyder’s (very) short book On Tyranny. Snyder is a historian of fascism, who believes that the rise of Donald Trump has parallels with 20th century authoritarian movements, and he offers twenty “lessons” for how ordinary people should act under tyrannical regimes. (Trump actually goes undiscussed in the book, but it is quite clear throughout what Snyder is referring to when he talks about contemporary tyranny.) Some of Snyder’s lessons reminded me strongly of why, despite our mutual antipathy for Trump, there is such a serious contrast between his beliefs (as a liberal) and my own (as a leftist).

One Snyder lesson was particularly striking: Number 19—Be a Patriot. Snyder’s exhortation to patriotism runs as follows:

What is patriotism? Let us begin with what patriotism is not. It is not patriotic to dodge the draft and to mock war heroes and their families… It is not patriotic to compare one’s search for sexual partners in New York with the military service in Vietnam that one has dodged. [Snyder’s use of this oddly specific act is a good representation of just how clear it is that the book is about Trump despite treating the president as a Voldemort-esque unmentionable.] It is not patriotic to avoid paying taxes…. It is not patriotic to admire foreign dictators… It is not patriotic to cite Russian propaganda at rallies. It is not patriotic to share an adviser with Russian oligarchs. It is not patriotic to solicit foreign policy advice from someone who owns shares in a Russian energy company… [Snyder’s list of things that are not patriotic goes on further.] [P]atriotism involves serving your own country. [A patriot] wants the nation to live up to its ideals…A patriot has universal values.

Snyder’s patriotism passage stuck out to me, because I realized I totally rejected a core part of his message: the idea that “patriotism” is a good thing to begin with. Patriotism has always seemed to me to be a profoundly irrational notion; I believe one should love and serve humanity, not one’s particular arbitrary geopolitical segment of humanity. Snyder’s problem with Trump is that Trump is not enough of a patriot. But I see all rhetoric of patriotism as profoundly conservative and antithetical to everything I believe. In fact, I find Snyder’s whole case to be based on deeply conservative principles. Rhetoric against “draft dodgers”? The idea that one shouldn’t listen to the advice of someone with shares in a foreign company? What the hell kind of liberalism is this?

But that’s why I say the divide has something to do with one’s view of political and economic institutions as either fundamentally good or not. The liberal sees the conservative patriot wearing a flag pin and says: “A flag pin isn’t what makes you a patriot.” The leftist says: “Patriotism is an incoherent and chauvinistic notion.” The liberal says, “We’re the real ones who love America,” while the leftist says, “What is America?” or “I don’t see what it would mean to love or hate a meaningless conceptual entity.” The liberal says, “I’m standing up for what the Founding Fathers actually believed” while the leftist says, “The Founding Fathers endorsed the ownership of human beings. Some owned human beings themselves, and beat or raped these human beings. I will not measure the worth of something by what the Founding Fathers thought about it.” Certainly, the word “liberal” is an unfortunately overbroad and imprecise term, but it’s fair to say that some strains of liberalism actually have more values in common with conservatism than with leftism, in that they affirm key conservative premises that leftists abhor. (e.g. all that “America is the greatest country in the history of the world” poppycock.)

I don’t think this difference is merely rhetorical. Sometimes it is; the ACLU often sees as politically and legally advantageous to frame everything it does as a defense of the great and noble values embedded in the Constitution, instead of pointing out that many of the Constitution’s values are not particularly great or noble. But there is also a strong sense in which the liberal affirms the nation’s core ideological underpinnings, while the leftist rejects them. (Some other divides: the liberal view of the Vietnam War is that it was well-intentioned but doomed and badly handled. The leftist view is that it was evil in both intention and execution. Likewise with Iraq: was George W. Bush a well-meaning bungler or a predatory war criminal?)

Snyder’s suggestions for resisting tyranny are in conflict with leftism in other ways. Most of them are individualistic: they focus on people as isolated units. Thus they include:

  • Believe in truth.
  • Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
  • Contribute to good causes.
  • Listen for dangerous words.
  • Practice “corporeal” politics. [Sarcastic quotation marks my own.]
  • Make eye contact and small talk.
  • Establish a private life.
Amusingly, most of these seem like woefully ineffective weapons against fascism. At best they are useless (“Make small talk”??). At worst, like prescriptions for “revolutionary self care” (e.g. learning to play an instrument as revolutionary act), they provide convenient rationalizations for people’s inaction, allowing them to feel as if they are being politically active by doing the same thing they were probably going to do anyway. Read the news! Hug your friends! The idea that these things constitute meaningful resistance to Trump could be held only by somebody who wasn’t actually thinking about what serious political change looks like.

Leftists, on the other hand, are constantly talking about “building a mass movement” and “taking power.” They don’t just want to change our lifestyles, or get people to donate a bit more here and there to a good cause. The leftist believes in upending everything, which “corporeal” politics very much do not. (“Put your body in unfamiliar places,” Snyder says. One can only contemplate what the reaction would have been if Snyder had handed copies of his “lessons for resisting tyranny” to the residents of Warsaw in 1943.)

That could be classified as simply another tactical difference: the leftist tells Snyder that his plans won’t work, but we do all want the same things. But I think it goes somewhat beyond that. I hate the word “neoliberalism” and have mostly banned it from this magazine (to the extent that it’s even meaningful, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out, “it’s not new and it’s not liberal”), but I do think something has happened over the past few decades where moderate members of traditionally left parties have become incredibly reluctant to challenge the status quo in any serious way. As Luke Savage has written about the “West Wing view” of politics, today’s Democratic Party is dominated by political aspirations that mostly consist of having good character rather than effecting serious structural change. As Snyder’s book shows, this ideology doesn’t really espouse a clear set of political ends, and is focused intensely on individual action rather than collective action. Snyder, for example, does not discuss the need to build an effective labor movement, which is a core part of any serious attempt to regain progressive political power, and a necessity if the Trumps of the world are to be stopped. But he does believe we should make eye contact and read The New York Times more.

So I don’t think it’s the case that liberalism is just a slower-moving form of leftism. There are real ideological differences.
Barack Obama wished to pretend that underneath it all, Americans really just believed the same things. But they don’t. And the only way you can make it so that they do is to sap progressivism of any and all elements that seriously challenge the status quo. If you make it so that the difference between a Trump economic policy and a Clinton economic policy is the difference between trying to appoint the CEO of Carls Jr. as Labor Secretary and trying to appoint the CEO of Starbucks as Labor Secretary, then yes, there won’t be much of a serious ideological divide among American political elites. But people on the left can never sign on to such an approach, because it ditches their core commitment to restructuring the economy from the ground up.

Does this mean that anti-Trump forces are doomed to political infighting on everything? No, I don’t think so. Because even if you ultimately cannot reconcile your values with someone else’s, you can still forge temporary alliances for the purposes of achieving common political goals. Pelosi and Sanders share the goal of ridding the world of Trump, and it is possible to collaborate based on what we do have in common. That’s why Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton and told his followers to vote for her. The fact that, at the end of the day, the liberal/left conflict is real and intractable does not preclude a liberal/left coalition in undermining the Trump agenda. It just means that this coalition is ultimately destined to be temporary.

None of what I have said will be news to leftists, most of whom know full well that their disagreements with Democrats go well beyond the merely tactical. But I think it’s worth spelling out clearly, because it’s reasonable to wonder just how deep the division really goes, versus how much of it is unnecessary warring over issues of strategy. And while I am a firm believer that the enemy of my enemy is my temporarily politically useful coalition partner, the answer is that the divide goes very deep indeed.
 

Rembrandt Brown

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Stop calling Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez liberals
The danger of confusing liberals and leftists
By David Greenberg
Washington Post
September 12, 2019

Is any word misused more often in the news media than “liberal”?

Here’s one example from the New York Times last spring: “The House Democratic campaign arm is nearing open warfare with the party’s rising liberal wing as political operatives close to Speaker Nancy Pelosi try to shut down primary challenges before what is likely to be a hard-fought campaign next year to preserve the party’s shaky majority.”

Hidden within this 46-word thicket is the strange idea that liberals are at war with the party’s leadership and seeking to oust its long-serving incumbents — who are themselves, of course, liberals.

It’s not just the Times. Here’s a garbled claim about a year ago from this newspaper: “The Democratic Party’s left-wing insurgency found its limits Tuesday night, with voters favoring establishment candidates over more liberal challengers in almost every closely watched race across several states.” Yet the victors that night in 2018 were actually the more liberal candidates; the defeated challengers who had been seeking to replicate the feat of current Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) just weeks earlier were not so much liberal as radical or leftist.

Scads of examples like these are littered throughout the press. For several years now, reporters and pundits have been incorrectly applying the word “liberal” when they mean leftist. This turnabout is ironic. After all, in the 1970s and 1980s, conservatives cynically misrepresented liberalism as an extremist philosophy — basically, a synonym for radicalism. Spiro Agnew, vice president under Richard M. Nixon, briefly popularized the ungainly term “radiclibs.” And although Nixon and Agnew are gone, journalists, it seems, continue to unwittingly carry on their work by blurring the distinction in ways that matter for Democratic politics.

Liberalism has been the governing philosophy of the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt, if not Woodrow Wilson: a doctrine of liberty, equality, justice and individual rights that relies, in the modern age, on a strong federal government for enforcement. The party has remained ideologically diverse, ranging from moderates or conservatives — Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), for instance, or Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) — to leftists or radicals, best exemplified today by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad.”

Most prominent Democrats, however, including established veterans like former vice president Joe Biden, Pelosi (Calif.), Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are liberal.

So why has liberal come to mean “radical” in seemingly popular usage? In recent years, what was once a left-wing fringe of the Democratic Party has grown significantly. Instead of describing these newcomers and insurgents as “further to the left” than mainstream liberals, reporters succumb to a convenient shorthand, under which those politicians are deemed “more liberal” than the liberals. To clear up the muddle, true liberals like Obama, Biden and Pelosi are recast as “moderates.” And how to distinguish Obama, Biden or Pelosi from genuine moderates like Manchin and Lamb is not explained.

The muddying of the word “liberalism” mirrors, in some ways, what happened to “conservative.” As the Republican Party moved rightward, its most extreme members — whose politics were quite radical and once properly labeled “reactionary”— often were confusingly described as “more conservative” than their cohorts.

Conservatives such as John McCain and John R. Kasich got labeled as “moderates,” while true moderates like Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords quit the party.


This reshuffling of terms is problematic, because both conservatism and liberalism are sets of ideas, not simply labels to conveniently identify one half of the political spectrum (itself an imperfect metaphor). Moving left doesn’t necessarily make one “more liberal.” At a certain point, the traveler leaves the province of liberalism for one that is more correctly identified as socialism, radicalism or leftism.

These ideologies or persuasions overlap with liberalism in certain ways, but they stand opposed to it in others. After all, Vladimir Lenin wasn’t “more liberal” than Wilson, and Joseph Stalin wasn’t “more liberal” than Franklin D. Roosevelt. Although their philosophies were “left,” they contained profoundly illiberal ideas. In the days of Wilson and Roosevelt, socialism commanded a comparatively strong following in the United States — party leaders such as Eugene V. Debs and Norman Thomas were household names — and the Democrats pointedly defined themselves against it, as well as against the right, even as any number of policies drew support from liberals and socialists alike.

Needless to say, not every politician or person fits neatly into one category or the other. The labels represent tendencies, not fixed identities.

Still, some of the biggest conflicts within the ranks of Democratic voters today — and to a lesser degree, among elected officials — turn on the question of adherence to liberal ideas. Some of these conflicts are much more consequential than the hairsplitting debates that are likely to dominate tonight’s primary debate over, say, the minutiae of different health-care or environmental plans.

Perhaps the most salient difference between liberalism and leftism is the former’s commitment to a regulated market economy, as opposed to a command economy. Liberals like Biden or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) differ from conservatives in favoring strict rules to make sure the pursuit of profit doesn’t come at the expense of labor rights, consumer rights, the environment or fair competition.

They also reject the vision of leftists like Sanders by seeing a vital role for private business in generating wealth, economic opportunity and innovation. The battle last year over bringing Amazon’s headquarters to Queens pitted liberal arguments from New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio against left-wing ones from the likes of Ocasio-Cortez. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Differences between liberalism and radicalism also surface in our ceaseless debates over free speech on campus, online and elsewhere. Seeing equal rights as the cornerstone of a just society, liberals insist speakers should not be silenced for expressing unpopular or offensive views.

A growing faction on the far left, however, mirroring elements of the religious right, favors denying free-speech rights to those who hold ideas it believes crosses inviolable lines — leading to incidents like the assaults on political scientist Charles Murray at Middlebury College or conservative journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, Ore. (The appropriateness of preemptive violence can also be a dividing line between liberalism and radicalism.)


In foreign policy, too, rifts in the party these days mostly arise not between centrist and liberal ideas, but between liberal and leftist ones. Liberalism has no truck with authoritarian regimes of the left or those that claim a revolutionary mantle, whether Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela, the Castro family’s Cuba, Bashar al-Assad’s Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah, or even Vladimir Putin’s Russia. (Whether the former Communist KGB operative deserves to be labeled left- or right-wing is a complex issue.) Some left-wing politicians, journalists and academics, by contrast, express admiration for these figures and minimize their crimes, in part because they align themselves against the United States and its alleged imperialist predations.

On a host of other issues as well, a liberal-vs.-leftist division is emerging: free trade, U.S. leadership in the world, immigration, identity politics. Meanwhile, centrists are virtually absent from the debate. Among the two dozen Democratic candidates running for president this year, only one or two can justifiably be called centrist. The days of a candidate like Ernest F. Hollings (in 1984) or Joseph I. Lieberman (in 2004) mounting a credible bid for the party’s nomination are gone.

If the rifts are real, why do the labels matter?

Because they shape our perceptions of the political landscape. Terms like “centrist” and “moderate” are nowadays flung as terms of insult or abuse, badges of weakness or tepidness. In 2016, Sanders, joined by the media, inflicted lasting damage on Hillary Clinton’s reputation by casting her in this light, as a betrayer of liberal values: a “hawk,” a shill for big business, even a racist. Her approval ratings, which stood at 55 percent among his supporters when his attacks began in late 2015, plummeted to below 40 percent by the next spring, when she had sewn up the nomination.

But Clinton was a liberal, not a centrist, as are Pelosi, Biden and most of the other Democratic presidential contenders. Denying them the liberal label and reserving it for Warren and Sanders skews voters’ understanding of their politics.

Most Democrats tend to support liberalism and reject radicalism. But the media’s sloppy labeling leads them to believe that it is people like Sanders who are the heirs to the tradition of Wilson, Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, when they are actually the ones most hostile to liberalism’s legacy.


David Greenberg is a history professor at Rutgers University. His books include “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency” and “Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image.”
 

geechiedan

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
The leftist sees capitalism as a horror, and believes that so long as money and profit rule the earth, human beings will be made miserable and will destroy themselves.

The liberal does not actually believe this.
Rather, the liberal believes that while there are problems with capitalism, it can be salvaged if given a few tweaks here and there.

somewhere between the two is the truth. All I know is putting a profit motive on every single aspect of life and living can only lead to bad things eventually. Examples, Big Pharma and the prison system.
 

rude_dog

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They're just labels, that mean different things to different people. I'm sure there are official definitions but I don't remember what they are. I don't know what I am. I actually think I'm quite conservative on numerous issues but I do believe in robust safety net and some social programs.

The one thing I do know is that this American conservative movement is not based on conservatism but racism. They're willing to support unchecked capitalism to maintain a system of white supremacy.
 

Rembrandt Brown

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They're just labels, that mean different things to different people. I'm sure there are official definitions but I don't remember what they are. I don't know what I am. I actually think I'm quite conservative on numerous issues but I do believe in robust safety net and some social programs.

The one thing I do know is that this American conservative movement is not based on conservatism but racism. They're willing to support unchecked capitalism to maintain a system of white supremacy.
Part of why I shared this is I'm still trying to figure it out. I never heard anyone say there was a difference between liberalism and leftism until maybe three years ago. I've come into contact with a lot of leftists who despise liberals and I haven't totally been able to grasp the distinction yet.

I think the first article is more on point that the second. I don't think leftists by definition reject free speech as the second article claims. And the idea that leftists are more supportive of dictators is total bullshit.

I'd advise against the "just labels" argument, though. Labels are important, words are important. There's a world of difference between Bernie Sanders/AOC and Joe Biden/Amy Klobuchar. Simply describing half the country as liberal is not sufficiently descriptive.
 

Rembrandt Brown

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The leftist sees capitalism as a horror, and believes that so long as money and profit rule the earth, human beings will be made miserable and will destroy themselves.

The liberal does not actually believe this.
Rather, the liberal believes that while there are problems with capitalism, it can be salvaged if given a few tweaks here and there.

somewhere between the two is the truth. All I know is putting a profit motive on every single aspect of life and living can only lead to bad things eventually. Examples, Big Pharma and the prison system.
That's why I ride with the leftists rather than the liberals.

I'm also a pragmatist, though... I think Elizabeth Warren is basically a leftist but she couches her beliefs in liberal rhetoric because she thinks that's what can succeed in America. The same is probably true of Obama. But that Obama "If you work hard and play by the rules, you can succeed" bullshit is pretty close to the core point of distinction between liberals and "fuck this corrupt system" leftists. I don't know where Obama's heart lies, but his liberal mouth certainly lied a lot.
 

geechiedan

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That's why I ride with the leftists rather than the liberals.

I'm also a pragmatist, though... I think Elizabeth Warren is basically a leftist but she couches her beliefs in liberal rhetoric because she thinks that's what can succeed in America. The same is probably true of Obama. But that Obama "If you work hard and play by the rules, you can succeed" bullshit is pretty close to the core point of distinction between liberals and "fuck this corrupt system" leftists. I don't know where Obama's heart lies, but his liberal mouth certainly lied a lot.
I dunno about that if he lied a lot then why is trump ripping down anything with his name or fingerprints on it? The right had 10 years to come up with a better alternative to Obamacare...turns out they didn't have any solution and never intended to make one.
 

Rembrandt Brown

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I dunno about that if he lied a lot then why is trump ripping down anything with his name or fingerprints on it? The right had 10 years to come up with a better alternative to Obamacare...turns out they didn't have any solution and never intended to make one.
A decade ago, Republicans were openly on some Ron Paul shit, like "You deserve to die in the street if you can't afford health care."

Obamacare changed the debate. I'm not even saying Barack was totally wrong for lying, he deserves a shitload of credit for what he accomplished. But he also insisted on working with Republicans, to the point of a "grand bargain" where he would have cut social security if Republicans didn't hate him so much that they were unwilling to make a deal. Being better than those monsters doesn't necessarily make you right.

The entire point here is that everything can't be boiled down to a duality. It's not just liberal versus conservative.
 

geechiedan

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BGOL Investor
A decade ago, Republicans were openly on some Ron Paul shit, like "You deserve to die in the street if you can't afford health care."

Obamacare changed the debate. I'm not even saying Barack was totally wrong for lying, he deserves a shitload of credit for what he accomplished. But he also insisted on working with Republicans, to the point of a "grand bargain" where he would have cut social security if Republicans didn't hate him so much that they were unwilling to make a deal. Being better than those monsters doesn't necessarily make you right.

The entire point here is that everything can't be boiled down to a duality. It's not just liberal versus conservative.
 

Lou_Kayge

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Part of why I shared this is I'm still trying to figure it out. I never heard anyone say there was a difference between liberalism and leftism until maybe three years ago. I've come into contact with a lot of leftists who despise liberals and I haven't totally been able to grasp the distinction yet.

I think the first article is more on point that the second. I don't think leftists by definition reject free speech as the second article claims. And the idea that leftists are more supportive of dictators is total bullshit.

I'd advise against the "just labels" argument, though. Labels are important, words are important. There's a world of difference between Bernie Sanders/AOC and Joe Biden/Amy Klobuchar. Simply describing half the country as liberal is not sufficiently descriptive.

I consider myself liberal, but I have friends who are liberals who are moderate and some who are far left.
 

forcesteeler

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I personally believe in Capitalism. You need a Goal and you need to have a incentive to motivate people to come up with ideas and build business.
The Main Driver is Greed.

Liberalism (Socialism/Communism) is a Nice Idea in Theory but its a pipe dream and it usually never works because it means everything has to be equal. Which is nice but humans are not build like that. We do not look at each other as equals and at the end of the day we want what we cannot have.

Capitalism = Everyday Sports Example the NBA. Whoever is the best and works hard. gets more money and only the best earns trophy and rings.

Liberalism/Socialism/Communism = No matter if you WIN or LOSE. everybody gets paid the same money and everybody gets a trophy and ring.

Socialism sounds nice but it does not motivate people to work hard or have a Goal. What is the point of working hard when everybody gets a trophy.

The Reason Why Since 1887, America has become the most richest and most powerful country is because of capitalism.

Even Countries Like Japan, South Korea and Singapore is Rich and have a High Standard of Living Because they practice capitalism.


Countries like Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela that practice socialism and communism. There Citizens have a very poor standard of living and they do not have any real opportunity's to prosper.

Show me a Socialist, Communist Country where the average citizen is balling outta control.

 

ballscout1

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The articles and thread is bullshit.

mofokrs define shit and people go and run with those definitions.

they allow mofokrs to define greed as capitalism and anyone who points that out is some type of commy bastard.

Most of you are old enough to remember politics and capitalism before Reagan came in .

Well, understand this. government and any revenue it brings out is to provide service to the people not to make a profit or make it easy for their friends to be greedy

There are three branches of government and they are supposed to provide checks and balances not work for the person in the white house or against depending on their party

Judges are supposed to be impartial and the reason they have lifetime appointments is they aren't supposed to be swayed by the party and personal ideology.

These mofokrs have sold the government to the highest bidder and people are too stupid to see it.

They say raise taxes on the obscenely right and corporations and the most diert poor mofokrs you can ever see go in the streets talking bout they trying to take our money.
 

Rembrandt Brown

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There Citizens have a very poor standard of living and they do not have any real opportunity's to prosper.

Show me a Socialist, Communist Country where the average citizen is balling outta control.
"There Citizens have a very poor standard of living and they do not have any real opportunity's to prosper."

You are obviously a product of the American education system in more ways than one. I'll show you an eighth grade English textbook and then we can move onto geopolitics.
 

Rembrandt Brown

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The articles and thread is bullshit.

mofokrs define shit and people go and run with those definitions.

they allow mofokrs to define greed as capitalism and anyone who points that out is some type of commy bastard.

Most of you are old enough to remember politics and capitalism before Reagan came in .

Well, understand this. government and any revenue it brings out is to provide service to the people not to make a profit or make it easy for their friends to be greedy

There are three branches of government and they are supposed to provide checks and balances not work for the person in the white house or against depending on their party

Judges are supposed to be impartial and the reason they have lifetime appointments is they aren't supposed to be swayed by the party and personal ideology.

These mofokrs have sold the government to the highest bidder and people are too stupid to see it.

They say raise taxes on the obscenely right and corporations and the most diert poor mofokrs you can ever see go in the streets talking bout they trying to take our money.
The first two lines of your post don't have much to do with the rest. They seem anti-analysis-- 80%+ of the population has no knowledge of the distinctions addressed by these articles, much less any inclination to run with it.

The third line is basically why the thread exists-- Liberals support the myth that wealth and merit are correlated in America, while leftists generally view extreme wealth as theft and immoral. Liberals chip away at the margins, saying the rich should pay their fair share and advocating for ways to supplement the crumbs the rest are left with; leftists believe it is outrageous that some people have billions while most have basically nothing.
 
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Dannyblueyes

Aka Illegal Danny
BGOL Investor
I personally believe in Capitalism. You need a Goal and you need to have a incentive to motivate people to come up with ideas and build business.
The Main Driver is Greed.

Liberalism (Socialism/Communism) is a Nice Idea in Theory but its a pipe dream and it usually never works because it means everything has to be equal. Which is nice but humans are not build like that. We do not look at each other as equals and at the end of the day we want what we cannot have.

Capitalism = Everyday Sports Example the NBA. Whoever is the best and works hard. gets more money and only the best earns trophy and rings.

Liberalism/Socialism/Communism = No matter if you WIN or LOSE. everybody gets paid the same money and everybody gets a trophy and ring.

Socialism sounds nice but it does not motivate people to work hard or have a Goal. What is the point of working hard when everybody gets a trophy.

The Reason Why Since 1887, America has become the most richest and most powerful country is because of capitalism.

Even Countries Like Japan, South Korea and Singapore is Rich and have a High Standard of Living Because they practice capitalism.


Countries like Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela that practice socialism and communism. There Citizens have a very poor standard of living and they do not have any real opportunity's to prosper.

Show me a Socialist, Communist Country where the average citizen is balling outta control.
On the contrary,

The NBA has a lot of great, hardworking players that don't get rings and trophies because they play for shitty teams.

Meanwhile, you have sub-par or mediocre players on championship teams who get a ring while riding the bench

Liberalism and socialism put the brakes on capitalism to the point that every player is able to make a living wage, have food, clothes, and shelter. Better players are still allowed to make more, substantially more even, but are taxed at a higher rate because they require more resources from the team.
 

forcesteeler

Rising Star
Registered
"

You are obviously a product of the American education system in more ways than one. I'll show you an eighth grade English textbook and then we can move onto geopolitics.

Again? Show me a successful socialist/communist country ? All most all socialist countries have no real growth and they have High taxation. Politicians are the only real winners while the citizens are still broke and there is no upward mobility.

There is a reason why immigrants die and break there ass trying to come to the American border. While they bypass Socialist Paradises like Cuba and Venezuela. America has opportunity because we allow private enterprises like Big Business to prosper. Which produces jobs and wealth.

Big Investors with money are not going to invest in a country like Communist Cuba where they have to give 75% of there profits to the Cuban Government.

You want lower taxes so you can spar investors and give them a incentive to earn a profit. More investors means more Jobs and as a country you can earn a bigger tax base as companies and private citizens are going to be able to pay taxes because they have jobs.
 

hardawayz16

Rising Star
Registered
On the contrary,

The NBA has a lot of great, hardworking players that don't get rings and trophies because they play for shitty teams.

Meanwhile, you have sub-par or mediocre players on championship teams who get a ring while riding the bench

Liberalism and socialism put the brakes on capitalism to the point that every player is able to make a living wage, have food, clothes, and shelter. Better players are still allowed to make more, substantially more even, but are taxed at a higher rate because they require more resources from the team.
So....they are not making more? :confused:

And what more resources do they require? They all have access to the same trainers, same coaches etc. The elite players spend their own money on specialized training, doctors, chefs and the like to be better. They should be taxed more?

Thank you for proving his point.
 

gene cisco

Degenerate Profit Taking Bag Holder
Super Moderator
The first two lines of your post don't have much to do with the rest. They seem anti-analysis-- 80%+ of the population has no knowledge of the distinctions addressed by these articles, much less any inclination to run with it.

The third line is basically why the thread exists-- Liberals support the myth that wealth and merit are correlated in America, while leftists generally view extreme wealth as theft and immoral. Liberals chip away at the margins, saying the rich should pay their fair share and advocating for ways to supplement the crumbs the rest are left with; leftists believe it is outrageous that some people have billions while most have basically nothing.
To me, leftists are the 'good on paper' crowd. I often find them idealistic and not able to grasp why what works on paper doesn't work in the real world.
 

geechiedan

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
To me, leftists are the 'good on paper' crowd. I often find them idealistic and not able to grasp why what works on paper doesn't work in the real world.
why it won't work in the real world is because of greed pure and simple...hoarding resources, whatever that may be, not for survival but because you can.

case in point...Sylvester Stallone doesn't own the Rocky franchise. He's rich off working on them and back-end points and merch deals but he doesn't own the franchise itself. Now there is no reason the guy who created the shit can't have a piece of it but the studio refused to do that. That's just greed.

Taylor Swift doesn't own her masters... people are paying to see her in that stadium and to hear her on the records...ain't nobody paying a fuckin cent to listen or watch Scooter Braun do a goddamn thing...yet he owns the master of work she created and she can't get a percentage?? that's greed.

thats capitalism in a nutshell.
 

gene cisco

Degenerate Profit Taking Bag Holder
Super Moderator
why it won't work in the real world is because of greed pure and simple...hoarding resources, whatever that may be, not for survival but because you can.

case in point...Sylvester Stallone doesn't own the Rocky franchise. He's rich off working on them and back-end points and merch deals but he doesn't own the franchise itself. Now there is no reason the guy who created the shit can't have a piece of it but the studio refused to do that. That's just greed.

Taylor Swift doesn't own her masters... people are paying to see her in that stadium and to hear her on the records...ain't nobody paying a fuckin cent to listen or watch Scooter Braun do a goddamn thing...yet he owns the master of work she created and she can't get a percentage?? that's greed.

thats capitalism in a nutshell.
Oh I agree. And humans aren't going to change. Leftists come up with shit that would only work with robots or on Vulcan. Liberals are much more practical.
 

sahusahir

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
Some folks don't see that free market economics (aka trickle down economics, neo-liberal economics, rising-tide-lifts-all-boats economics) advocated by milton friedman of the morally bankrupt chicago school of economics and imposed by the repugnant republican revolution since Reagan is not the only form of capitalism. To control the narrative they label anything that contradicts or reforms their fuck up version of capitalism as socialist or leftist. And many sheeple buy that shit hook line and sinker...

The so called "free market" theorist motivation was to destroy the new deal economic systems that they character assassinate by labeling it the welfare state (Keynesian economics that rebuilt Europe & Japan after ww2 and made the US a prosperous middle class superpower). These free market theorist were ridiculed until the super rich started funding them. Have you ever been in a market that was free literally or figuratively. It's just a play on words. You can trace these free market theorist ancestry to john c. calhoun, the state's right fuck of yesteryear who felt that they had a right to own black people and that the government should not get involved and let the free market decide human relations and economics.

Their version of capitalism has failed the american people and the environment, the world and established economic inequality of a magnitude unknown in human history and instituted a cruel and despondent new world order in all areas of human activity. 40 years trick-down economics has produced trump, created the 1% and the 99%, democratic values/institutions, the politicalization of the judiciary, advocating mass incarceration and police militarism, homeless at level unseen ever since the great depression, environmental catastrophe, racial animosity, social & society disintegration, mass shooting insanity, anti immigrant hysteria, concentration of power (power corrupts) that results in empire building, unending war and me2 movements, worker wages that ain't changed since the 80s, etc.

I'm personally tired of these niggas who think they are pundits talking all this shit on bgol. They need to stfu. They think they being rational middle of the road democrats, but they simply parrots expousing the Republican values that got infused into the democratic party when the Clintons came to power. Chicken heads...

The Republicans destroyed the economic base of the democratic party by attacking unions (remember reagan and the pilot strike) which drove the Democrats to wall street and transformed them into the new dixiecrat. Recall Clinton instituted things that the repugnant could not do; the welfare reform act (new deal welfare system dismantled), the crime bill (mass incarceration), repealed Glass–Steagall Act (New Deal 1935, was designed to prevent the bank thievery that lead 2008 depression), The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (revised New Deal era legislation, that has enabled right wing media consolidation/monopoly and the era of fake news propaganda that mystifies the people), NAFTA (undermined American workers and at the same time workers in other nafta countries, now you mad cause immigrants come here b/c their economic subsistence disappeared), FDA Modernization Act of 1997,

These Dixiecrats serve the same masters and interest as the Republicans. That why they can ever beat the Republicans despite having the majority of the american people on their side. They play both sides of the fence. They the kinder gentler fuck you. They throw a rock and hide they hand, smiling in your face telling you Clinton was the first black president.

They faught against Bernie winning the democratic convention b/c his politics is a threat to their masters money. They would rather have trump be president than Bernie. FACTS. Now they want to control the narrative of who should be the democratic presidential candidate and their policies by talking all this shit about socialism and leftist politics. They using scare tactics about needing to defeat trump, but yet won't move to impeach his ass. Trump is an idiot, who gonna fall on his own dick. He is very beatable.

Quick reading list to understand what I've been talking about(get the audiobook from you neighborhood library, if it is still too much information stick your head in th he dirty and take that L):










For the record I'm not a Democrat (dixiecrat) or a Republican (repugnant), right wing or left, liberal or conservative. Fuck those labels of control. The only ideology I push and fight for is Democracy. Power to the people. Let's do the great good. Bgol two-party pundits fuck off.
 
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rude_dog

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Registered
I don't understand why people think it's some complicated conspiracy. It's really simple and a tale as old as time. Rich people want more money and power. Government regulations and progressive taxes make it more difficult for them to do so. Some rich people will do anything in order to fight that. The easiest way to manipulate the common people is to create a different enemy. In America, that enemy is the "other" or "them". The other can be brown, black or jewish. It's not complicated, it's not calculus. You have to willfully ignorant to not see it.
 
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hardawayz16

Rising Star
Registered
why it won't work in the real world is because of greed pure and simple...hoarding resources, whatever that may be, not for survival but because you can.
"Greed" is inherent in all of us humans, and what has allowed us to thrive as a species for millions of years.
 

geechiedan

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
"Greed" is inherent in all of us humans, and what has allowed us to thrive as a species for millions of years.
disagree gordon gecko... collaboration is more instrumental in the advancement of the human species than greed.

Collaboration is what created agriculture and technological advancement. Its what makes us able to give one another organs and body parts to help each other survive....greed puts a price tag on it.
 

hardawayz16

Rising Star
Registered
disagree gordon gecko... collaboration is more instrumental in the advancement of the human species than greed.

Collaboration is what created agriculture and technological advancement. Its what makes us able to give one another organs and body parts to help each other survive....greed puts a price tag on it.
"Collaboration" created agriculture and technological advancement? :lol:

The ability to share organs were developed by doctors, who worked at hospitals and universities financed by rich CACs who could afford to give them endowments for research and experimentation that lead to the scientific breakthroughs we have today.

Funny the lack of technological breakthroughs and treatments that happened in socialist countries.
 

sahusahir

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
The old greed is good and inherent in people is bullshit. We have the capacity for good moreso than evil. We have the capacity for evil, but we are not inherently evil. Lost and lacking self-knowledge, but not evil. Bad and or misguided people will try to convince you otherwise. But they are speaking on the state of their being and trying to temp you into their bullshit b/c misery love company. If humanity is inherently evil what's the point of it all? Why struggle to make a better world. This is the rhetoric of power that goes back to the Roman empire. They convince you that you ain't shit so that you can be co-opted and won't put up a fight. That what america has done to us.

This idea of people being inherently greedy, the survival of the fittest mentality is all a vestige of the caveman inheritance that so strong in western culture. Brothas who think like that is white-minded or broken-hearted. You dr. Frankenstein's creation, hopely we can redeem ourselves.
 
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sahusahir

Rising Star
BGOL Investor
I don't understand why people think it's some complicated conspiracy. It's really simple and a tale as old as time. Rich people want more money and power. Government regulations and progressive taxes make it more difficult for them to do so. Some rich people will do anything in order to fight that. The easiest way to manipulate the common people is to create a different enemy. In America, that enemy is the "other" or "them". The other can be brown, black or jewish. It's not complicated, it's not calculus. You have to willfully ignorant to not see it.
What you saying is sort true and I recommend you read that democracy in chains peace. But there ain't no conspiracy, that's why I drop references from respected journalist and scholars from the right and left. And no, not all rich people are greedy and out for self. The economics govern the social relations so if your economic system is motivated by greed and self-interest then rich & poor alike will likely be oriented toward dog eat dog motivations. If the economics says it's okay to own people then your society will have slaves.

Don't be like trump calling shit conspiracies and fake news b/c it don't fit your understanding or perspective or agenda. Don't be like trump, read a fucking book. It ain't gonna hurt you.
 

rude_dog

Rising Star
Registered
What you saying is sort true and I recommend you read that democracy in chains peace. But there ain't no conspiracy, that's why I drop references from respected journalist and scholars from the right and left. And no, not all rich people are greedy and out for self. The economics govern the social relations so if your economic system is motivated by greed and self-interest then rich & poor alike will likely be oriented toward dog eat dog motivations. If the economics says it's okay to own people then your society will have slaves.

Don't be like trump calling shit conspiracies and fake news b/c it don't fit your understanding or perspective or agenda. Don't be like trump, read a fucking book. It ain't gonna hurt you.
You and I are different pages. My post was not in response to anything you posted. A conspiracy is nothing more than 2 or more people conspiring to violate the law. The point I was making was people look for some grand conspiracy like the movie National Treasure but it's really simple. Rich people want to keep their shit! And make more of it. They fund lobbyists, PACS, intellectual think tanks, fellowship and universities to promote their message.

I don't understand why you think I don't read because you think I disagree with you. I choose not to read the same books as you. I'm actually quite well read. I read daily and I choose to read James McPherson, David Blight, Rick Atkinson or Eric Foner over the authors you mentioned. I actually did read Dog Whistle Politics. You're coming off like one the conservatives, insulting because you feel that I disagreed with you.
 

gene cisco

Degenerate Profit Taking Bag Holder
Super Moderator
"Collaboration" created agriculture and technological advancement? :lol:

The ability to share organs were developed by doctors, who worked at hospitals and universities financed by rich CACs who could afford to give them endowments for research and experimentation that lead to the scientific breakthroughs we have today.

Funny the lack of technological breakthroughs and treatments that happened in socialist countries.
I agree. When shit is real and folks trying to survive, they work together because they want more shit or it's about self-preservation, not for altruistic reasons. And the only reason people have had time for scientific advancements is the evil shit their leaders have done to ensure resources and safety.

Your initial post about greed being inherent to all humans is spot on. The elite just better at it. Leftists think that only the elite have certain characteristics. That's why all their shit only works on paper.
 

hardawayz16

Rising Star
Registered
The old greed is good and inherent in people is bullshit. We have the capacity for good moreso than evil. We have the capacity for evil, but we are not inherently evil. Lost and lacking self-knowledge, but not evil. Bad and or misguided people will try to convince you otherwise. But they are speaking on the state of their being and trying to temp you into their bullshit b/c misery love company. If humanity is inherently evil what's the point of it all? Why struggle to make a better world. This is the rhetoric of power that goes back to the Roman empire. They convince you that you ain't shit so that you can be co-opted and won't put up a fight. That what america has done to us.

This idea of people being inherently greedy, the survival of the fittest mentality is all a vestige of the caveman inheritance that so strong in western culture. Brothas who think like that is white-minded or broken-hearted. You dr. Frankenstein's creation, hopely we can redeem ourselves.
Bruh my argument isn't based on morals.

Wanting more is inherent in all of nature. Plain and simple. There is nothing evil about it.

Wanting more at someone else's direct expense? Rent seeking? Thats a different argument.
 
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