Gallup: Majority of Democrats have positive image of socialism

posted at 12:55 pm on February 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama complained at the House Republican Conference that the GOP had mischaracterized ObamaCare as “a Bolshevik plot.”   His allies made hay earlier this week from a poll from Daily Kos that showed 63% of Republicans believed Obama to be a socialist.  However, a poll by Gallup released yesterday shows that such a label would endear Democrats to Obama — since a majority of Democrats have positive attitudes towards socialism (via Power Line):

More than one-third of Americans (36%) have a positive image of “socialism,” while 58% have a negative image. Views differ by party and ideology, with a majority of Democrats and liberals saying they have a positive view of socialism, compared to a minority of Republicans and conservatives. …

Americans are almost uniformly positive in their reactions to three terms: small business, free enterprise, and entrepreneurs. They are divided on big business and the federal government, with roughly as many Americans saying their view is positive as say it is negative. Americans are more positive than negative on capitalism (61% versus 33%) and more negative than positive on socialism (36% to 58%).

Democrats and Republicans agree in their ratings of several of the terms, but differ significantly in their ratings of others — in particular, capitalism, the federal government, and socialism.

On capitalism, both Republicans and Democrats have majorities with positive attitudes, but at 72% to 53%, the difference is significant.  Two-thirds of Democrats have a positive image of the federal government, compared to just 27% of Republicans.  On big business, the difference is only eight points, 54% for Republicans to 46% of Democrats, which may show how much small businesses are valued when compared to the capitalism numbers (97% GOP, 95% Dems).

But of course, the big difference is on socialism.   Only 17% of Republicans have a positive image of socialism (and where are those 17% anyway?), while 53% of Democrats feel positively towards it.  Gallup doesn’t break out independents in this poll, but in a separate breakout, only 39% of moderates have a positive image of socialism, while 20% conservatives and 61% of liberals do.

As Obama and Nancy Pelosi keep pushing for greater government control of the health-care and energy sectors, the comparisons of Democrats to socialists will get stronger.  That may not turn off the Democratic base, but it could explain why so many independents have fled the Democrats and are pushing back against the Obama-Pelosi agenda.


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Comments

folks, it’s pretty much time for TWO countries in the space currently occupied by the United States. The one country will based on free enterprise. The other will Socialist.
Both will start out as Republics.
The free enterprise country will remain a Republic…and will flourish.
The Socialist country will quickly become a “People’s Republic”…and will fail.
Then we can re-unite the two countries as a FREE America again!
I am ready…now!
Justrand on February 5, 2010 at 1:36 PM

A good model for that would be the Korean peninsula – a real life (and death) example of the wonders of (National)Socialism.

Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Not surprising results especially if the poll was taken in a Walmart parking lot or at any AM/PM or Circle K (two rodeo-like roundups for government services parasites) on any Friday or Saturday night.

yobobbyb on February 5, 2010 at 1:32 PM

I love it when the govt service parasites pull out their EBT card (food stamp card) to pay for groceries (a lot of it’s pop & junk food) & then they buy a bunch of cigarrettes,
Priceless irony.

Badger40 on February 5, 2010 at 1:46 PM

How is it that conflict between Statist tyrannies somehow makes one of them non-Statist?
How does conflict between the National Socialist German Workers Party – The Nazis, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – the USSR, make one of them to be non-socialist?

Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM

You are right, the other dude is wrong.

The German equivalent of Joe Sixpack at the time saw no difference between nazis and communists. They used to quip, “national socialism or bolshevik communism, spuds or potatoes.”

You have to understand how this all hit very close to home for liberals in America, hence the aggressive campaign to rewrite history to depict Hitler as a conservative.

And just like, to this day, the average lib has to go through great mental contortions in order to deny to himself the fact that John F. Kennedy was killed by a Castro loving communist. That’s the real root of the conspiracy theories, truth be told.

jeff_from_mpls on February 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I’m guessing that parallels the percentages of Dems who thought Obama would pay their mortgages and fuel bills.

Alden Pyle on February 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Never forget that Lenin started in Russia’s Democratic Socialist Party. They exiled him and he wrote a paper in 1902 titled, “What is to be Done”. It was smuggled into Russia. He returned in 1905 to reunite the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks and organized the 1917 Revolution under the promise of “Peace, Bread, and Land”. Sharing the wealth.

kingsjester on February 5, 2010 at 1:48 PM

What the gnats will never understand is that their elitist masters will keep them ignorant in order to exploit them. It’s a modern day form of slavery.

There is no “equality” in socialism or communism. Nowhere is there a bigger middle class than in U.S. America.

Elitism flourishes in the Utopian -isms. It’s all about fooling the stupid to believe that they are given something, by the “for the people” hypocrits, who live better than kings.

Schadenfreude on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Matter of degree not type

daesleeper on February 5, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Wrong.

Castro came into power at the point of a gun. So did the Marxist regime in Russia. True socialism takes power peacefully and legitimately (meaning no ACORN-like stunts).

But the problem when socialism is applied on a large scale is the population – there’s always a sizable contingent of loafers, as well as those who care for little besides their profits. In other words, people don’t want to play by the rules, and the system breaks down.

Unfortunately, when we’re talking on the scale of any sizable nation, the only reasonable choice that remains is a capitalist system where citizens keep its worst outrages in check. That would seem to be the best that mankind is capable of, given our fallen nature.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Ever notice, in college, how the most ardent socialists came from families where daddy was paying the tuition?

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Yes. But I, poor as I was, and smart as I was, still needed student loans to help me get through. Those loans would not have been made without the help of the Government — whose original provision of the loans in the first place caused the rate of tuition increase to skyrocket.

No way would I have afforded college on my own.

The pimps handing out the cash to sustain the community are the source of the poverty in the community, for they tax everyone for the supposed advantage of everyone, but the actual advantage of the few. They gets a Peace Prize!

unclesmrgol on February 5, 2010 at 1:50 PM

You have to understand how this all hit very close to home for liberals in America, hence the aggressive campaign to rewrite history to depict Hitler as a conservative.
And just like, to this day, the average lib has to go through great mental contortions in order to deny to himself the fact that John F. Kennedy was killed by a Castro loving communist. That’s the real root of the conspiracy theories, truth be told.
jeff_from_mpls on February 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

AMEN!

PoodleSkirt on February 5, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Doesn’t having a positive view of socialism negate any claims you have of being a conservative American? That number should be 0% by default.

Kelligan on February 5, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Liberalism is a mental illness.

TrickyDick on February 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM

53% of Democrats also believe that Obam…uhhh… actually sent them Skittles-excreting magic unicorns, but they got lost by evil Big-Shipping.

Master Shake on February 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM

What the gnats will never understand is that their elitist masters will keep them ignorant in order to exploit them. It’s a modern day form of slavery.

Schadenfreude on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

The ‘gnats’ will buy ignorance and pettiness by the truckload, if their elitist masters know how to sell it.

Idiocracy is going to become a documentary film before too long, just without the time travel element.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Only 17% of Republicans have a positive image of socialism (and where are those 17% anyway?)

That would be the Mike Huckabee Christian Right.

JohnGalt23 on February 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Unfortunately, when we’re talking on the scale of any sizable nation, the only reasonable choice that remains is a capitalist system where citizens keep its worst outrages in check. That would seem to be the best that mankind is capable of, given our fallen nature.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Imentioned the Israeli kibbutzim to disabuse you of the idea that it was only a failure due to scale. The Israeli kibbutzim were implemented on the most convenient scales possible, and they still failed miserably.

Socialism is an organized drive towards stagnation and throws every group that adopts it into period of retarded growth (if growth, at all) since socialist central power structures are built for static environments, not dynamic ones, and they force the world they are controlling to be that static world that they are designed for.

neurosculptor on February 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

If they love it so much, why don’t they move to Venezuela or Cuba. Oh, that’s right, socialism is kewl as an ideology and crap in reality. How many of these pro-socialists were born after 1980. Those of us who remember the Soviet Union can’t imagine favoring that form of government.

ExcessivelyDiverted on February 5, 2010 at 1:54 PM

There is no form of “voluntary socialism”. I don’t know what you are talking about.

Leftist theories were most perfectly and efficiently attempted in the Israeli kibbutzim and the failure rate and rejection of leftist ideas (even from staunch leftists) was phenomenal. The kibbutzim are now just about all gone or privatized.
neurosculptor on February 5, 2010 at 1:16 PM

I have long contended that Rahm Emanuel looks very favorably at the Kibbutz system, which would help explain his view that our children should be conscripted into “universal service” boot camps where we can labor communally for the “greater good” (as they define it).

The wiki page on Kibbutz was a real eye opener – particularly the way they used to treat their children – taking them away from their parents and so forth. Really shocking stuff that went on into the ’70s and while the new improved version of the Kibbutz does not go to these extremes, it does serve as a warning of what can happen when people allow the collective to supersede the individual.

Buy Danish on February 5, 2010 at 1:55 PM

That would be the Mike Huckabee Christian Right.

JohnGalt23 on February 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Yes, because Christians are idiots right? No, Christians don’t like socialism. I speak from experience. And my father in law loves Mike Hukabee (as much as I try to discourage it) but would never live under any socialist government given the choice.

Kelligan on February 5, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Socialism is a step on the way to Communism. That’s why it’s called “Communism-Lite”.

The year is 1903, The Russian Social Democratic Party is meeting in London. All the intellectuals in their party have been arguing since the end of the 1800’s as to the direction the party should take. One year earlier, in 1902, a man named Lenin, living in exile, wrote a paper entitled, “What Is To Be Done.”

The work was smuggled into Russia and spelled out his views regarding what the Social Democrats should be doing as a party. Lenin attacked party members who “were content to wait while history took its predetermined course.” Rather than wait, Lenin wanted to kick-start the issue he believed in to get things done rather than wait on intellectuals sitting around refuting each other’s ideas. The meeting resulted in a Party split creating the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks, which reunited under Lenin in April 1905. Lenin went on to organize the November 1917 Russian Revolution on the Promise of “Peace, Bread and Land.” Sort of like…sharing the wealth, no?

kingsjester on February 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM

All we have to do is point out that under a socialist state, if they were to decide nude performance art were porn, and a negative influence on the culture (wonder what General Secretary Hillary would think of it), boom, they would outlaw it–it would disappear from the web–then most of the Dems would be heading for the exits. They like socialism when it’s messing with things other people are into, like guns, or meat eating.

smellthecoffee on February 5, 2010 at 1:59 PM

How is it that conflict between Statist tyrannies somehow makes one of them non-Statist?
How does conflict between the National Socialist German Workers Party – The Nazis, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – the USSR, make one of them to be non-socialist?

Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM

The Left got to define the terms, and the main demarcation line was shifted to support for or opposition to Iosif and his successors.

Moreover, Adolf had a government-proscribed role for existing “capitalist” entities that showed fealty to his party, while Iosif was busy creating wholly-owned-and-operated government entities that had no semblance to capitalism.

The odd thing is, the last large Communist state standing (Red China) is far closer to Adolf’s Germany than Iosif’s Soviet Union in operation.

steveegg on February 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

No, Christians don’t like socialism. I speak from experience.

Kelligan on February 5, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Also speaking from experience, I have met a very few Christians who endorse a socialist system.

Unfortunately, all of them were creaking relics of an age where a white male patriarchy ran everything, and religious ideals were imposed on entire towns through the legal process. (“Blue Laws”, etc.)

I won’t deny that the system they lived under resulted in an incredible sense of community…but I was sure glad that those who endorse such views are a soon-to-be-extinct minority.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Is Obama a collective farms and 5-Year Plan kind of socialist?

Not from any evidence I have seen.

Is Obama a European-style Democratic Socialist?

Without a doubt.

Tongueboy on February 5, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Dems see Socialism like my kids see the free cookie they get from the baker at the grocery store.

They don’t know or care how it was made, who made it or why; all they know is that they get a free cookie.

29Victor on February 5, 2010 at 2:03 PM

How is it that conflict between Statist tyrannies somehow makes one of them non-Statist?
How does conflict between the National Socialist German Workers Party – The Nazis, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – the USSR, make one of them to be non-socialist?
Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM

You are right, the other dude is wrong.
The German equivalent of Joe Sixpack at the time saw no difference between nazis and communists. They used to quip, “national socialism or bolshevik communism, spuds or potatoes.”
You have to understand how this all hit very close to home for liberals in America, hence the aggressive campaign to rewrite history to depict Hitler as a conservative.
And just like, to this day, the average lib has to go through great mental contortions in order to deny to himself the fact that John F. Kennedy was killed by a Castro loving communist. That’s the real root of the conspiracy theories, truth be told.
jeff_from_mpls on February 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

The main fact that people have to remember is that the National Socialist German Workers Party and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were both Socialist’ or Statist systems.

And the best they can do to try and separate the Hitler from Lenin or Stalin is that they were in conflict at some point – this doesn’t disprove that they were both Socialist’s.

One wonder’s what the poll results would be if the question were prefaced with the statement: Hitler was also a Socialist. Now, do you have a favorable view of Socialism?

Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM

unclesmrgol on February 5, 2010 at 1:50 PM

In my case, my dad told me to get a job if I wanted to pay for college. And for a car, too. Far as he went with the car, he co-signed the loan but I had to work to pay for it. If I bombed, I lost the car. And he wouldn’t have let me borrow his to take my girl on a date.

He also had me set up a savings account, and later one for checking.

Those were the conditions. And I thank my late dad, after all these years. My now-grown children are also reaping the benefits of the values my dad taught me, which I passed on to them.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:06 PM

The Left got to define the terms, and the main demarcation line was shifted to support for or opposition to Iosif and his successors.
Moreover, Adolf had a government-proscribed role for existing “capitalist” entities that showed fealty to his party, while Iosif was busy creating wholly-owned-and-operated government entities that had no semblance to capitalism.
The odd thing is, the last large Communist state standing (Red China) is far closer to Adolf’s Germany than Iosif’s Soviet Union in operation.
steveegg on February 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Yes, the left always seems to want to use the disingenuous technique of defining any Brutal and failed Statist system as somehow “right wing”.

Problem is, every Socialist or Statist system degenerates into this type of brutality to survive.

Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Allow me to repeat what I noted in the headlines.

What do these three things have in common?

1. Bubonic plague
2. Influenza
3. Socialism

Each of them killed more than 100 million people.

Vashta.Nerada on February 5, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Gallup: Majority of Democrats have positive image of socialism…

and wealth envy, herpes, at least one abortion in the family, a pair of “dress” birkenstocks, and tickets to Lilith Fair.

Doorgunner on February 5, 2010 at 2:13 PM

I have long contended that Rahm Emanuel looks very favorably at the Kibbutz system, which would help explain his view that our children should be conscripted into “universal service” boot camps where we can labor communally for the “greater good” (as they define it).

I agree. I always a good amount of Israeli socialism and statism in Rahm’s “ideas”.

The wiki page on Kibbutz was a real eye opener – particularly the way they used to treat their children – taking them away from their parents and so forth. Really shocking stuff that went on into the ’70s and while the new improved version of the Kibbutz does not go to these extremes, it does serve as a warning of what can happen when people allow the collective to supersede the individual.

Buy Danish on February 5, 2010 at 1:55 PM

People are generally floored when they hear about the insane leftist ideas that the kibbutzim used to do. But, even the kibbutznics couldn’t stand them. Taking the infants away from parents and raising them all in group homes fell out of favor with even the most leftist kibbutznics – after a generation and a half, or so.

The kibbutzim also found that they had to start charging people and keeping individual accounts – which was a really big no-no, in the beginning of the movement.

neurosculptor on February 5, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Unfortunately, all of them were creaking relics of an age where a white male patriarchy ran everything, and religious ideals were imposed on entire towns through the legal process. (”Blue Laws”, etc.)

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Where I grew up in NJ, there was this town named Prospect Park. It was founded by New Dutch Reformed. You couldn’t water your lawn there on Sundays, for so long.

I see nothing wrong with such prohibitions. The residents have right to pass their laws. If someone moves in who doesn’t like that, why move there in the first place?

What has happened is that, when one complainant moves into a neighborhood, all of a sudden that one person’s wants remove the will of everyone else, for sake of ‘accommodation’.

I don’t see that as a form of liberty. Liberty is NOT making everyone else bend to the way of someone. Liberty is voting with your feet. If you don’t the place you live, you shouldn’t need a passport to move elsewhere, any more than you should make everyone else submit to your terms.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Allow me to repeat what I noted in the headlines.
What do these three things have in common?
1. Bubonic plague
2. Influenza
3. Socialism
Each of them killed more than 100 million people.
Vashta.Nerada on February 5, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Only because it wasn’t done correctly. The National Socialist leftists will do it better NEXT Time, you’ll see.

/sarc

Chainsaw56 on February 5, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Castro came into power at the point of a gun. So did the Marxist regime in Russia. True socialism takes power peacefully and legitimately (meaning no ACORN-like stunts).

But the problem when socialism is applied on a large scale is the population – there’s always a sizable contingent of loafers, as well as those who care for little besides their profits. In other words, people don’t want to play by the rules, and the system breaks down.

Unfortunately, when we’re talking on the scale of any sizable nation, the only reasonable choice that remains is a capitalist system where citizens keep its worst outrages in check. That would seem to be the best that mankind is capable of, given our fallen nature.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

I’m shaky on Cuban history, but my understandings of the rise to power of the Lenin-Stalinist era is pretty decent.

While the Bolshiveks were violent in their take-over, there was a power void & Lenin stepped in.
Then as he weakened Stalin slowly stepped in, but very unobtrusively.
The bulk of the Russian people were not affected by the purges-mostly country peasants, the ‘evil’ ‘wealthy’ landowners trying to ‘gouge’ everyone.
Very similar to what happened in China.
Those 2 dictators came by their power slowly over time.
So did Hitler.
And Hitler didn’t even enjoy total power like Stalin & Mao finally did.
Point is, this stuff happens at a crawl in slow increments, abetted by a willing populace.
Kinda like a mouse thinking the cat is its friend until the cat finally eats the mouse.
A capitalist society can fall like any other bcs people are so easily beguiled & fickle.

Badger40 on February 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM

No, Christians don’t like socialism.
Kelligan on February 5, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Many do! The religious left is alive and well.

Buy Danish on February 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM

This is shocking news – especially given their policies /SARC

gwelf on February 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

I don’t see that as a form of liberty. Liberty is NOT making everyone else bend to the way of someone.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:16 PM

You mean, like someone who doesn’t agree with the majority?

How is this different from a liberal neighborhood who wants everyone to live by their rules? Are we to return to the age where communities could make themselves mini-kingdoms?

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Socialism is a step toward Communism. That is why it is called Communism-Lite.

The year is 1903, The Russian Social Democratic Party is meeting in London. All the intellectuals in their party have been arguing since the end of the 1800’s as to the direction the party should take. One year earlier, in 1902, a man named Lenin, living in exile, wrote a paper entitled, “What Is To Be Done.”

The work was smuggled into Russia and spelled out his views regarding what the Social Democrats should be doing as a party. Lenin attacked party members who “were content to wait while history took its predetermined course.” Rather than wait, Lenin wanted to kick-start the issue he believed in to get things done rather than wait on intellectuals sitting around refuting each other’s ideas. The meeting resulted in a Party split creating the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks, which reunited under Lenin in April 1905. Lenin went on to organize the November 1917 Russian Revolution on the Promise of “Peace, Bread and Land.” Sort of like…sharing the wealth, no?

kingsjester on February 5, 2010 at 2:25 PM

“Society” and “social events” are what ignorant people associate with the word “Socialism”. No one doubts that Marxists use propaganda to their best advantage.

I’ve pointed out the vocabulary change that occurred in America’s educational system in the late 1960s when “Civics” coursework was revised to become “Social Studies”.

Don’t overlook generations from the Wilsonian Princeton elitists imitating Marxists from Europe from on high America’s Ivy League. How convenient for themselves, modern aristocrats, to abuse the massive population, with their own candy coated ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ socialist slogans. All ages of people wanted to fit in with the “in” crowd. Alinsky is merely the Chicago leader who took advantage of authoritarianism via education to today’s saturated socialist level that permeates our vocabulary. And Socialism promises power to peons, power that only translates into thuggery, power to demise the rule of law so that people are like slaves to the Socialist authoritarian party leaders who have re-created the ancient feudal order coercing the mass of population into slavery.

Gallup could poll Democrats regarding “rule of law” to find that they have a contempt for it–too confining and restricting, as if everything is a matter of “It depends.” Democrats also believe that they are more special than Republicans. Gallup could poll Democrats over a number of issues. There are no suprise answers.

/I wouldn’t be surprised if Gallup were to poll Atheists and find that they think they are smarter than “people of faith.”

maverick muse on February 5, 2010 at 2:30 PM

You mean, like someone who doesn’t agree with the majority?

How is this different from a liberal neighborhood who wants everyone to live by their rules? Are we to return to the age where communities could make themselves mini-kingdoms?

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Liberty rests best at the local level. I’m going to use your conditions, for sake of discussion. Not a fight.

If there’s a liberal neighborhood, like you mentioned, then I as a conservative need not move there, and shouldn’t.

How would it be, if I move into a neighborhood that’s all for abortion, and I file suit to quash the views and practices of those living there? Would that be fair, would that be liberty for them?

I say no, it wouldn’t be. Those people make their choice, and it’s not right that I, as a Con, come in and file suit to destroy what those local people have chosen. If I don’t like living among them, I shouldn’t be living there.

Imagine this, hyperbolic as it is: I move into an Amish region and, since I can’t have my Internet, I demand the Amish come into the 21st Century (as I see it).

Is that liberty, in the truest sense?

I say no. If my wants and raves don’t fit with my community, true liberty for the most of Citizens tacitly says I should move out. I have my rights, but so do all those others.

Liberty means, not imposing yourself on others, and having total freedom to leave a place where you’re not happy.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM
True socialism takes power peacefully and legitimately

What season of Stargate SG1 are you living in?

All socialist/communist failures in history WERE the TRUE socialism. Without exception, a revolution was needed to take them out of power.

And yes, due to the “fallen” nature of human beings, who in general love freedom, a good life, and to own things, millions had to be killed in extermination camps. The only good part is that a sizable percentage of the victims were dreaming to the “true” socialism yaddada yaddada. Payback was a bitch for them, indeed.

Rookie on February 5, 2010 at 2:40 PM

civics 101

bridgetown on February 5, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM
True socialism takes power peacefully and legitimately

Dead wrong. According to Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, et. al., socialism is to to be imposed by force where needed. Hence, 70 years of Soviet animosity toward the liberal democracies of the ‘decadent’ West.

You show an amazing grasp of history. And Marxism, and Lenin.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:46 PM

But I personally am my brother’s keeper. No question about it.

I’m wondering who you think you’re impressing by seeming to belittle those who think as I do?

jeff_from_mpls on February 5, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Is it safe to say that Obama meant it in a different way than you believe it?

Is it safe to say that there are folks who consider themselves Christians who believe that the government is a proper means to be their brother’s keeper?

For Obama, it was a campaign line. For some Christians, they bought the line.

If the shoe fits, wear it. Otherwise, know that it’s not aimed at you.

beatcanvas on February 5, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 1:49 PM
True socialism takes power peacefully and legitimately

And what about the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’?

The term ‘dictatorship’ doesn’t sound all that ‘peaceful’ to me. And it was put in practice, by extermination in Russia of the ‘wealthier’ peasants.

Peasants have ever been ‘wealthy’? Talk about oxymorons…

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:53 PM

I doubt half of them even know what socialism means.

Ortzinator on February 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM

And what about the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’?

Just another meaningless buzzphrase spouted by the would-be tyrants, to incite the ignorant masses to armed revolt. And at the right time they will use force to steal whatever the Joe Sixpacks earned and make themselves kings.

“Peasant revolts” don’t usually succeed, and don’t usually result in a better system for the average person if they do. The revolts sponsored by Communists are merely another flavor of failure.

I’m wondering who you think you’re impressing by seeming to belittle those who think as I do?

jeff_from_mpls on February 5, 2010 at 1:41 PM

I’m sure his message will find willing ears…ears attached to people who vote.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM

What more do people really need to know?

The battle lines have been drawn.

TheBigOldDog on February 5, 2010 at 3:01 PM

And what about the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’?

Just another meaningless buzzphrase spouted by the would-be tyrants,

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM

No, that’s out of The Communist Manifesto so, by the conditions YOU set, it’s socialist truth.

Just an idea: It’s not possible to hide Marx’s own words from people who can quote him without being Marxist.

Just an idea, since you have a mind: How about that Marx was dead wrong? Is that so hard? Marx had issue with Engels’ having a mistress. Not because it was evil in a Christian sense, but because it was so ‘middle class’.

How about true liberty? That concept can’t fit in Marxism. But if you and your town favor abortion, then I’m comfortable with it. I’m fine with you having your choices, but your Marxism doesn’t allow me mine.

And that’s really the problem people like me have with people like you.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:10 PM

No, that’s out of The Communist Manifesto so, by the conditions YOU setI made up off the top of my empty head, it’s socialist truth.

You must be quite a bridge-builder, with the gaps in your logic.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

You must be quite a bridge-builder, with the gaps in your logic.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Show me where I’m wrong

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

For long as I’ve been alive until 1989, the USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

But they called themselves Communists at home.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:20 PM

A final statement as to where I stand on socialism, before this whole thread gets taken over by dittoheads alternately beating up strawmen and insulting me:

I do not endorse the Democrat view of Socialism, as it is nothing more than Statism in a dollar-store disguise.

Also, I cannot and will not recommend the original form of socialism because it is unwise in the extreme. To put the whole matter very simply, it would be like going to a highly-charged political protest and trying to organize a baseball game out of participants chosen from the two sides. One would be lucky to have a civil game of Calvinball, let alone anything resembling official baseball.

Socialistic policies on anything larger than an individual community are hopeless for the reasons mentioned above.

Marx was utterly ignorant about everything but very basic economics, his works are rabble-rousing propaganda, and his system too abused by petty tyrants to consider at all. At the very best the man could be described as disillusioned, at worst, deranged.

The original definition of socialism is little like what it does today…but it appears that nobody wants to give up their slapdash sound-byte-fuelled preconceptions. So be it. Go ahead and make words mean whatever you want to, this is more fruitless than trying to teach vocabulary to a deaf parrot.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:11 PM

You can’t even admit to what you are, can you? Your last posts are hair-splitting, and trying to denigrate me while not defending what you, yourself, believe.

I’m up-front: I’m a conservative and despise liberals. I never make any bones about that, while many liberals call themselves Con at the same time vouching for the Leftist view.

I don’t hide, I don’t mince words or parse them. I stand to myself. But, in your circle, you people need to nitpick terms and phrases.

Realistically–someone needs to move that rock so you can slither out into the light and be recognized; time to come out of the closet.

You hate Nazis but love Stalin. But, in the end, everything Hitler did was amateurish of Stalin and Mao.

If you’re honest, you’ll admit if even to your own self that socialism is a killer, a mass-murderer.a

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:29 PM

I’ll back off after your last post.

End of combat, agreed?

If we disagree, we take it better at another time. Fair?

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Fair enough.

Honestly, I’m wondering why I try to debate anyone on any political site anymore, even good ones like HA.

‘Conservatives’ and ‘liberals’ seem to hold about every belief as dear as the other, no matter how ridiculous.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM

And what about the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’?

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Just to be clear, dictatorship of the proletariat does not necessarily mean dictatorship by the proletariat, if you know what I mean. Lenin could parse as well as any modern democrat.

Vashta.Nerada on February 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Ideology is the root. People like to identify, but that’s not so great in my view. George Washington made issue of this very point, not being fond of political parties.

I agree with that.

For myself, I’m a Constructionist. I want maximum liberty for the most people. I have no problem with a town saying I have to be Anglican (just for example) to live there. I have no problem with a town law that I can’t water my lawn on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.

I’m fine with a state saying abortion can be done at any time for any reason, despite my views on abortion. If I don’t like that, I demand right to vote with my feet and move elsewhere.

Socialism doesn’t work in the end. That’s why I can’t subscribe to it.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Socialism doesn’t work in the end. That’s why I can’t subscribe to it.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:43 PM

It certainly doesn’t work when its enforced on people, and it doesn’t seem to be practical for anything larger than individual communities. I agree with you that trying to run the USA with such a system is not a good idea.

For myself, I’m a Constructionist. I want maximum liberty for the most people. I have no problem with a town saying I have to be Anglican (just for example) to live there. I have no problem with a town law that I can’t water my lawn on a leisurely Sunday afternoon.

Well, that’s certainly your right.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Vashta.Nerada on February 5, 2010 at 3:38 PM

I read the Manifesto, and Mein Kampf.

I know what both of them meant, and so do most Americans. That’s why we reject both those writings, to the chagrin of the Democrat Party.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Legislated American PC “compassionate” socialism is a blueprint to failure and fraud. Charity begins at home, and is most efficiently delivered to one’s own neighbors. Americans ARE a compassionate people, but translating freely offered charitable contributions into government bureaucracy is to kill the charity’s effective power via graft and corruption. Support the charity that does the most good with every dollar contributed.

LBJ’s Great Society “welfare” that required the break-up of families and never solved the problem of poverty did prove that legislation and taxes and government spending only made things worse than they already were. Free “Benefits” that don’t require work to obtain compounded the problems without making “progress”.

Regarding literacy, GWB’s No Child Left Behind legislation, demanding results from teachers, also requires the closing of failing schools. Closing a neighborhood school rather than re-staffing and altering the curriculum to the traditional 3 Rs to produce literate kids? So the property sits vacant for vandals while costing tax payers for grief? Face it, LEARNING requires the student to study and work at “getting it” before playing video games or watching the boob tube or taking drugs or having illicit sex.

/Get literate and work. If the government is going to get involved (as it should not) in designing curriculum, rather than closing a “failing” school, at least require the school to stay open all year–poorly performing teachers and students not getting their summer months “off”–salary is annual. Incentive: pass the literacy and math exams with flying colors or stay in class until you do. Stay extra years in school to pass, be assigned a school job as well to cover expenses providing your education. Drops-outs are automatically refused “welfare benefits”.

maverick muse on February 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM

It certainly doesn’t work when its enforced on people, and it doesn’t seem to be practical for anything larger than individual communities. I agree with you that trying to run the USA with such a system is not a good idea.

Dark-Star on February 5, 2010 at 3:46 PM

It doesn’t work at all. Recall how things were in 1620, when the Pilgrim idea had them starve. But when they changed the rules, the colony prospered.

Free ideas, locally, isn’t ‘socialism’. It’s just people choosing what they want. And that vote can change at any time.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Liberalism is a mental illness.

TrickyDick on February 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM

TD, I think attributing liberalism to a mental illness is giving liberals too much credit. Blaming a defect of the brain for their liberal “progressive” attitudes would seem to be an unalterable excuse for their behavior. I tend to think that they have willfully made the choice to be lazy and worthless, thus leading to their desire that they own what you have, and that big government wipe their pitiful asses. It makes it much easier to despise them as individuals and to work hard to block their efforts. How much more lazy and worthless can you get than to not get health care passed with a 60 vote super majority. They cannot even muster up the energy to get that done. Wusses, all of them.

yobobbyb on February 5, 2010 at 3:53 PM

disorder vs. illness

maverick muse on February 5, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Communist, Statist, Fascist, Socialist, whatever all fall under the umbrella of collectivism. The only discernable variance is in the implementation phase of which societies become collectivist. At which point it has been achieved, one is no less immoral than the other.

To date, there are only two ways to get humans to trade their labor and services with one another. The collectivist ultimately relies on the point of a gun and the alternative is through the peaceful compromise of the free trade system.

anuts on February 5, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Liberalism is a mental illness.

TrickyDick on February 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM

I see it as greed, spite, and laziness, and way to ease a hurting conscience borne from a cold heart.

Gimme, gimme me! (greed)

You have more than me, so you need to pay out (spite)

You’re unfair to me, because I’m ‘without’. (laziness)

So I don’t earn a living? But I hurt for the downtrodden (like me!) And i9t’s too bad I can’t offer a hungry little girl a cup of tea on a cold morning. It’s not my problem; I have my own needs to worry about!

Hey, you guy at your job: YOU pay for the hungry. I have my own problems to worry about.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 4:03 PM

17% of Republicans have a positive image of socialism?

Good God! That’s the most frightening number in the entire poll. Who are these clowns? John McCain is one of them, but who are the others? Where’s Joseph Mccarthy when you need him?

Gregor on February 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I was reading the headlines, and read the Rassmussen link. What they say there, and this gallup, just don’t jive.

“Rejection of Keynesian economics is found across demographic and partisan lines. Republicans and those not affiliated with either major party overwhelmingly reject the notion that increasing the deficit is the right prescription in difficult economic times. Among Democrats, 21% agree with the Keynesian approach, and 47% do not. ”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/february_2010/americans_reject_keynesian_economics

capejasmine on February 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Ever notice how libs are always wanting to be given to? Ever hear a lib say, “I gave this hungry little girl, who asked 50 lousy cents for coffee on a cold morning, a full breakfast?”

When was the last time a lib said he/she did so?

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Quote by:

Norman Thomas
(1884-1968) six-time U.S. Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

keep the change on February 5, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Gallup: Majority of Democrats have positive image of socialism

In other news, water is wet, black is dark, and wild bears actually do $hit in the woods.

conservnut on February 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM

The smaller the State, the bigger the Individual.

And vice versa.

Socialism is collectivism and militant anti-individualism and it happily uses the brute power of the armed government to enforce its well-intentioned effort to reduce everyone to being indentured servants of the State.

Keeping the State the limited tool of a free people means opposing socialist power grabs.

Private good becomes public tyranny when the State removes the voluntary nature of our decent impulses and demands and extorts “spreading the wealth around” for its own self-serving pet projects.

The road to every Leftoid Utopia is always paved with superhighways of human bones.

And it preserves itself with the threat of fresh resurfacings.

profitsbeard on February 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Most Americans like socialism if you look at support for Medicare and Social Security. It really depends on what kind of socialism you are talking about.

lexhamfox on February 5, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Majority of Democrats have positive image of socialism

But a very small percentage understand it.
It’s kind of like the “Obama money” woman in Detroit. All she knew was she was there to get her share of cash from Obama. Didn’t know where Obama got it; didn’t care, either. She is “for” redistribution, but doesn’t have a clue why, or what the consequences are, or even that it’s called redistribution. She just wants a piece of the action…her free money.
And that’s why a majority of so-called dems have that positive image of socialism: they want their free money, and they don’t care where it comes from, either.

n0doz on February 5, 2010 at 6:54 PM

For socialism to work a society has to be ordered so that managers at the top regulate everything (and i mean EVERYTHING) for the citizens beneath them ( and I mean BENEATH THEM).

Inequality is BUILT into the system in the sense that citizens have to give up rights and liberties and hand them over to the State in exchange for the ‘security’ of having the State ‘look out for them’.

Which is a farce because the citizen’s interests don’t come first; the State’s interests come first to the State. It’ll look out for you only after it’s done looking out for itself.

And those who run the State system won’t have given up ANY of THEIR rights. In fact, they not only keep all their rights and liberties and enjoy the exercise of them (while trying to hide this from the unwashed masses) they get to play ‘god’ and pick and choose winners and losers in the ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ and ‘liberties’ lottery. Suck up to them enough and you get your rights. Be ‘difficult’ and they withhold them from you.

Those constantly touting the ‘great’ social democratic models the Europeans presently live under need to recognize that what a European citizen considers their lot in life (living under bureaucratic micro-managers, having exorbitant rates of taxation, usually disarmed, no recourse for medical care outside of the single payer system, waiting six weeks to see a dentist, etc.) AMERICAN CITIZENS WOULD CONSIDER AN UNACCEPTABLE STATE OF AFFAIRS.

They would consider it tyranny. They would NEVER willingly place themselves in such a system.

Of that 36% in this poll, I’m pretty sure that about half of them are just looking kindly on a nice ‘theory’. If they ever had to come to grips with the nature of what it would be like to actually LIVE in a socialistic system, where they would be forced to face what rights and liberties and benefits they would have to hand over, I am sure that number would plummet to under 12%.

manofaiki on February 5, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Socialism is just relabled Lord-Serfdom Contract.

Which means Socialism is anti-US Constitution.
The US was invented in rebelion from the rule of absolute Monarchs and their subordinate Lords.

During the Revolutionary War, they would have been the third of the US population that was pro-British or those in the Contenental Army that offered Washington the Kingship…

DJ Elliott on February 5, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Makes me wonder how many of that 36% really know what socialism is.

Browncoatone on February 5, 2010 at 7:30 PM

17% of Republicans have a positive image of socialism?

Good God! That’s the most frightening number in the entire poll. Who are these clowns? John McCain is one of them, but who are the others? Where’s Joseph Mccarthy when you need him?

Gregor on February 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM

You are reading my mind. McCain would be a great secretary of defense but his Teddy Roosevelting understanding of capitalism has got to go.

AshleyTKing on February 6, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Those were the conditions. And I thank my late dad, after all these years. My now-grown children are also reaping the benefits of the values my dad taught me, which I passed on to them.

Liam on February 5, 2010 at 2:06 PM

I signed for my own student loan. And I paid it back. My parents had their own money issues, and if I wanted to go to college, I had to do it on my own.

That said, I exited college with $4K in student loans — or about 1/3 of my first year’s salary.

For my kids, it’s now $30K a year to go to college. Try getting a job just out of high school that pays $30K a year. And for us people in the middle class, the kid is expected to get money from us — you’ll understand when you fill out the FAFSA. And, nowadays, the parents MUST co-sign the loan.

That means that they (and their parents) will exit college with about 2x-4x their first year’s salary in debt load if they attend a state school, or even more if they go private.

Sadly, all that “free” student loan money from the Government is why tuition and other college expenses are rising at a rate which far outpaces inflation.

unclesmrgol on February 6, 2010 at 1:41 AM

Polls are only as good as the sampling they choose from. How about asking the same questions about socialism from 2 groups…Taxpayers and non-taxpayers.

Nalea on February 6, 2010 at 11:37 AM

So a buncha Dems wanna turn us in to the Soviet union? Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic. We’re a Republic. They wanna make it Socialist. Just leave out the Soviet part and add some United States…hmm…The Socialist Republic of the United States? whatever you call it, the idea sucks.

Army Brat on February 6, 2010 at 5:06 PM

I would like to substitute “free enterprise” for capitalism. Capital has never been less important for large success in today’s more intellectual then ever markets, including manufacturing. Where it’s the free citizen and their enterprise that we should be promoting (and less, say, of China’s version of capitalism with a less-than-free people – not all bad, but far from being all good given the abuse of the worker that results from mixing the party and powerful families with business interests – people have noted France’s near daily torching of cars in the Moslem quarter of NW Paris, but we have little publicity about the daily riots in the Chinese countryside because there is no ability for the people to let off steam & take ownership of the inequities of life in a representative if not democratic political process).
.
Where if we use the terms “a free people and their enterprise” we are less likely to demonize big business – since businesses of any size really have not had the power to coerce since the days of the British trading companies (granted, even these companies wielding guns and mercenaries were responsible in part for freeing the Indian people from the Mughal Raj… and the Sati). What big business (and successful entrepreneurs) require are governments that are secure and self-confident, and more than willing to share the (latent) wealth that their country represents with these same private actors (and not feel threatened because money is power of a civil sort. But no competition with, say, a carrier battle group). Where more social (socialism, social justice, etc.) countries either don’t trust (or entangle in the government themselves) the private sector to the point they sacrifice most all the wealth creation possible given a free people expressing themselves through their enterprise (can you name the great companies in the EU on more than one hand? Esp. if you leave out England?)..
.
I’ve not been able to find a counter-example (of any central planning mechanism, thumb-on-the-scales-of-the-market) resulting in more wealth, quality of life, for the poorest thru the richest. It used to be clear that the U.S. poor lived better (in terms of consumption, travel & entertainment, and health-outcomes after a crisis or accident) than the middle class in the best parts of Europe. This is now less clear given that a few European countries (esp. Germany) which is borrowing much less than the U.S. against their future appears to be recovering more quickly, and may not have as deep a drop in quality-of-life as the U.S. which seems to think thowing good money after bad on failing companies and social projects is a bill our children will be happy paying (esp. since these companies and other efforts will fail eventually), but we’ll have to wait and see if/who in the EU will pay the bills of the less disciplined EU countries (Greece, Spain, ..) and the effect this will have on their own economies.

aritai on February 6, 2010 at 6:50 PM

Polls are only as good as the sampling they choose from. How about asking the same questions about socialism from 2 groups…Taxpayers and non-taxpayers.

Nalea on February 6, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Amen and amen.

The percentage of Americans who pay ZERO income taxes grinds me. We need flat tax or nat’l sales tax, IMO. Get skin in the game first. THEN you get to complain.

Grace_is_sufficient on February 6, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Education is the key.

Wilson and the Progressives have worked for 100 years to destroy “EVOLVE” our government into the same kind of elite ruling class and the dumbed down serf class that they had in Europe.

We must take back the education system, and work our way back to an understanding of our founding.

And while we rebuild public education (thru Charter programs and vouchers like Obama ended in DC) let’s cut the goodies off of those eating at the Publicly provided Buffet of government created over the last 40 years when the “Great (WELFARE) Society” was created, to enslave the black community.

Serious question here……can those in the African American community NOT FREAKING SEE what Welfare has done to their once proud, creative culture?

What a terrible slavery Welfare has become.

PappyD61 on February 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM

The best explanation is the demographics of the Democrat party. The same as brought the Imbecile in Chief to power.
Allah save us.

LarryG on February 7, 2010 at 3:14 PM