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"Don't Call It 'Socialism'!

Published:

Todd and Jarasan I stand corrected.  Quoted from the article ......

"Personally, I think socialism is the wrong word for all of this. "Corporatism" -- the economic doctrine of fascism -- fits better. Under corporatism, all the big players in the economy -- big business, unions, interest groups -- sit around the table with government at the head, hashing out what they think is best for everyone to the detriment of consumers, markets and entrepreneurs. But, take it from me, liberals are far more open to the argument that they're "crypto-socialists."

______________

Thursday, June 04, 2009
Don't Call It 'Socialism'!
by Jonah Goldberg
Source Townhall.com

"The government effectively owns General Motors and controls Chrysler, and the president is deciding what kind of cars they can make. Uncle Sam owns majority stakes in American International Group, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and controls large chunks of the banking industry. Also, President Obama wants government to take over the business of student loans. And he's pushing for nationalized health care. Meanwhile, his Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that it reserves the right to regulate any economic activity that has a "carbon footprint." Just last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said climate change requires that "every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory." Rep. Barney Frank, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, has his eye on regulating executive pay.

Of course, nationalization of industry is only one kind of socialism; another approach is to simply redistribute the nation's income as economic planners see fit. But wait, Obama believes in that, too. That's why he said during the campaign that he wants to "spread the wealth" and that's why he did exactly that when he got elected. (He spread the debt, too.)

And yet, for conservatives to suggest in any way, shape or form that there's something "socialistic" about any of this is the cause of knee-slapping hilarity for liberal pundits and bloggers everywhere.

For instance, last month the Republican National Committee considered a resolution calling on the Democratic Party to rename itself the "Democrat Socialist Party." The resolution was killed by RNC Chairman Michael Steele in favor of the supposedly milder condemnation of the Democrats' "march toward socialism."

THE HOPE FOR SOCIALISM

The whole spectacle was just too funny for liberal observers. Robert Schlesinger, U.S. News & World Report's opinion editor, was a typical giggler. He chortled, "What's really both funny and scary about all of this is how seriously the fringe-nuts in the GOP take it."

Putting aside the funny and scary notion that it's "funny and scary" for political professionals to take weighty political issues seriously, there are some fundamental problems with all of this disdain. For starters, why do liberals routinely suggest, even hope, that Obama and the Democrats are leading us into an age of socialism, or social democracy or democratic socialism? (One source of confusion is that these terms are routinely used interchangeably.)

For instance, in a fawning interview with President Obama, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham mocks Obama's critics for considering Obama to be a "crypto-socialist." This, of course, would be the same Jon Meacham who last February co-authored a cover story with Newsweek's editor at large (and grandson of the six-time presidential candidate for the American Socialist Party) Evan Thomas titled -- wait for it -- "We Are All Socialists Now," in which they argued that the growth of government was making us like a "European," i.e. socialist, country.

Washington Post columnists Jim Hoagland (a centrist), E.J. Dionne (a liberal) and Harold Meyerson (very, very liberal) have all suggested that Obama intentionally or otherwise is putting us on the path to "social democracy." Left-wing blogger and Democratic activist Matthew Yglesias last fall hoped that the financial crisis offered a "real opportunity" for "massive socialism." Polling done by Rasmussen -- and touted by Meyerson -- shows that while Republicans favor "capitalism" over "socialism" by 11 to 1, Democrats favor capitalism by a mere 39 percent to 30 percent. So, again: Is it really crazy to think that there is a constituency for some flavor of socialism in the Democratic Party?

When the question is aimed at them like an accusation, liberals roll their eyes at such "paranoia." They say Obama is merely reviving "New Deal economics" to "save" or "reform" capitalism. But liberals themselves have long seen this approach as the best way to incrementally bring about a European-style, social democratic welfare state. As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (Robert's father) wrote in 1947, "There seems no inherent obstacle to the gradual advance of socialism in the United States through a series of New Deals."

WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE

Part of the problem here is definitional. No mainstream liberal actually wants government to completely seize the means of production, and no mainstream conservative believes that there's no room for any government regulation or social insurance. Both sides believe in a "mixed economy" but disagree profoundly about where to draw the line. One definition of social democracy is the peaceful, democratic transition to socialism. A second is simply a large European welfare state where the state owns some, and guides the rest, of the economy. Many liberals yearn for the latter and say so often -- but fume when conservatives take them at their word.

Personally, I think socialism is the wrong word for all of this. "Corporatism" -- the economic doctrine of fascism -- fits better. Under corporatism, all the big players in the economy -- big business, unions, interest groups -- sit around the table with government at the head, hashing out what they think is best for everyone to the detriment of consumers, markets and entrepreneurs. But, take it from me, liberals are far more open to the argument that they're "crypto-socialists."

http://townhall.com/Columnists/JonahGoldberg/2009/06/04/dont_call_it_socialism!

Entry #1,167

Comments

1.
ToddComment by Todd - June 4, 2009, 4:59 pm
I'm going to actually disagree with that author, because I don't think the corporations and the Obama administration are sitting around a table discussing how to make themselves bigger/better at the expense of the consumer.

The missing piece is the corporations. They are not involved in the decision-making -- they are being controlled ... by money. They were basically bought out by Obama (actually it's OUR money, but Obama controls that money). Obama took advantage of the poor economy. Normally companies would go out of business -- and that was the RIGHT thing to happen. Instead, Obama took advantage of their impossible financial situation and lent them so much money that the government became the new owners. That is the OPPOSITE of what should have happened.

Then, Obama fired the CEO of GM, who many people said was doing a good job of transforming the company, and he installed a new CEO who is a puppet of Obama. Add that to the CEO of GE, who is also a puppet of Obama's (to win government contracts), and Obama now controls the 2 biggest companies in America.

So, this is a tyranny. Obama is a statist whose only goal is to increase the centralized power of the government, and he has managed to convince a large number of disgruntled citizens that there is virtue to such a thing.
2.
konaneComment by konane - June 4, 2009, 5:58 pm
Thanks Todd!! It's a money and power grab the likes of which has not happened in American History. Every time the government gets into something it costs 50 times as much as projected, ends up bloated and useless as this New Deal venture will also.
3.
jarasanComment by jarasan - June 4, 2009, 9:28 pm
Socialism only works until they run out of other peoples money, then you get fascism, totalitarianism etc....But what is psychotic about this administration is that they want everybody else to sacrifice and fall into line, no questions asked! It is sycophantic to the extreme, something has got to give. I mean VATax, 18 czars, healthcare for those who don't need it or want it, taxing benefits, life insurance, the govt. is on meth amp crack YOUR MONEY! Big time! It is a cult of personality. Non critical thinking, pay back baby! F'ing jerks, self centered, hypocrites.   The media is complicit and needs to be exposed.
4.
konaneComment by konane - June 4, 2009, 11:38 pm
Thanks Jarasan!! Agree it's the craziest thing I've ever seen government do .... we're all going to suffer for the direction it's headed like a runaway freight train.
5.
jarasanComment by jarasan - June 5, 2009, 8:06 am
Change? Yeah vote vote vote vote balance the congreff again in 2010!
6.
konaneComment by konane - June 5, 2009, 9:27 am
Thanks Jarasan!! Absolutely agree, and research behind the scenes what they've done, what they're about instead of believing what they say for public consumption.
7.
Comment by wiltay - June 5, 2009, 2:08 pm
Say what you will, but when Clinton was in office, the deficit was shrinking, It was when the Bush administration got in office that the deficit started to run away. At least with Obama in office things are turning around. The new administration is making a difference in the huge deficit that the Bush administration left. It will not happen over night. It took eight years to get us in this mess and it will probably take decades to get us out. Give them a chance. After all, there are some republicans who helped get us in this mess and some are helping get us out. Give them a chance and everyone needs to stop being so critical of them and give them time to do what they are trying to do.   They are doing more than the republican Party was doing.
8.
Comment by wiltay - June 5, 2009, 2:12 pm
Say what you will, but when Clinton was in office, the deficit was shrinking, It was when the Bush administration got in office that the deficit started to run away. At least with Obama in office things are turning around. The new administration is making a difference in the failing economy that the Bush administration left. It will not happen over night. It took eight years to get us in this mess and it will probably take decades to get us out. Give them a chance. After all, there are some republicans who helped get us in this mess and some are helping get us out. Give them a chance and everyone needs to stop being so critical of them and give them time to do what they are trying to do.   They are doing more than the republican Party was doing.
9.
Comment by wiltay - June 5, 2009, 2:15 pm
ignore the first post.
10.
konaneComment by konane - June 5, 2009, 2:58 pm
Thanks Wiltay!! Clinton raised the debt ceiling and called it a balanced budget which was paying off the deficit. Old hat trick, shell game sold by the press. Didn't happen but sure as heck sold well.

Additionally there is no way spending more money we don't have is going to get the economy going. If regular people spend more than they have they go farther in debt. Pure economics instead of smoke and mirrors newspeak currently being deployed.

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