Walter Hinteler wrote:
Socialism is a form of government and economy where the government runs all the businesses.
Socialism used to be the economic system of the Soviet Union, who were our implacable enemies and were really quite a threat to us. Because of that, some people see it as verging on evil.
Socialism roots in the scripts of Thomas Moorus (Saint Thomas). It was then developed during the French revolution, got later several national "branches".
Marx and Engels 'adjusted' socialism towards communism.
The communism in the USSR was called "real existing socialism" = their description of communism.
In European countries, we still have quite a few "socialist" governments, by the democratic kind of socialism, called "social democratic".
Many churches follow another kind of socialism, called "Christian socialism".
The economic system which we have got after the 2nd world war by the conservatives is called 'social market economy', which is a mixture of a bit capitalism with a lot of socialism.
I don't think that you can explain socialism in a few sentences.
Yeah! So thats why I was confused There's way too many different kinds of socialism. I've heard of 'social market economy' in American History last year. I dont know anything about the other kinds of socialism though... Thanks Walter.
I think the American Heritage Dictionary gets it right in its first definition of "socialism"
so·cial·ism n. Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
It's not your fault you don't understand the word "socialism", because it doesn't stand for any one coherent thing. For example, every country in the world today has a "socialist" (read: government-run) army. All developed countries in the world, except the US, have more-or-less socialist health care systems. But some countries, North Korea for example, have taken the idea to an extreme and abolished almost all private property. Socialism is a matter of degree. And most political ideologies call for some amount of socialistic institutions in society --- including some ideologies whose adherents would fervently deny having anything to do with socialism.
Interesting. So even people who say that aren't socialist agree with socialism to a certain extent right?
While I haven't read Lies My Teacher Told Me, I guess that the tone of indignation you hear comes from an appeal to extreme cases of socialism such as North Korea and Cuba, which have indeed turned into hellholes because of (too much) socialism. Some people on the political right use those extreme, tyrannical cases to smear moderate, democratic socialists, the kind that just wants universal health care and strong labor unions.
So why is socialism a bad thing? It isn't --- at least not in the dosage you're likely to find in Western democracies. I don't know if Helen Keller's socialism went beyond that or not.
Well since socialism isn't bad and it means soo many different things, don't you think its a really stupid insult?
Socialists are largely responsible for the fact that women now have the right to vote in the US.
On the other hand, they did write a very nice pledge
I thought suffragists
were the ones responsible for women gaining the right to vote. You know, people like Lucky Burns and Alice Paul. They were socialists too?
Allow me to turn this into a teachable moment. Gracie, do you notice how history has generally vindicated Heller's views? And do you notice how she got belittled for her radicalism in her early life? The same could be happening to putative radicals today. So don't pay attention to labels like "radical", "extremist", "far left" etc. Focus on content instead. When extremists are wrong, you can oppose them for being wrong, just as you can oppose anybody else for that reason. And when extremists are right, they're right. Either way, the fact they're extremist adds no useful insight.
You're right. I get what you're saying. Thanks Thomas.
Socially destructive causes
In the US socialists have been behind a variety of extremist socially destructive causes. It's not just the woman's right to vote. Socialists were behind child labor laws, civil rights, free public education, desegregation and Medicare.
? How? I dont get what you mean...
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Now, coming back to the original question.
I don't think (for all what I know about Helen Keller) that she was a Socialist.
And certainly not a "radical Socialist".
Pretty sure she was a socialist. Maybe the "radical" part is more of an opinion?
Joe Nation wrote:
Gracie: I had the privilege, several years ago, of having an email conversation with James Loewen about a number of historical oddities. (I knew of a couple of museums I thought he should see.)
Dude that's awesome! Were you guys friends or something? How'd you meet him?
Joe Nation wrote:
His point about Helen Keller was that American textbooks tended to portray her as this nice disabled person who had done well to learn to read and write and speak when, in fact, she was much much more. The history writers were leaving off the most interesting parts of her in order to make her image more agreeable to the average (bland, dull,) American.
Yeah, I got that after I read alittle further. What I don't get is why they did that to Helen Keller. I mean, maybe her views were extreme then
but now everyone knows she was right, so why leave it out?
Joe Nation wrote:
That kind of cleaning up and smoothing the rough edges of history is one of several things about history writers Loewen despises. Get one of his other books, LIES ACROSS AMERICA, where he shows that whoever is putting up the monuments are the ones who get to tell the history.
I didn't even finish reading Lies My Teacher Told Me. Non fiction just isn't my thing. It was kinda intresting but parts of it were still boring to me. I just couldn't really get into and I was starting to force myself to read it cause I hate not finishing a book. But I still stopped reading. I'm gonna try to check the book out again and finish where I left off though. For some reason I'm way more interested in history when I'm talking about it with people than when I'm just reading about it or researching it on my own.
Joe Nation wrote:
So, all across the South, you have statue after statue dedicated to the memory of the poor, gallant and put upon Southerners who had their birthrights stolen from them by the arrogant Yankees merely because the Southerners wanted to install Slavery as part of the American Way forever.
Oh, the pity!! (yipes)
History, well written, is hardly ever pretty or dull. Remember that the next time you are reading something dull about what happened when; start asking 'What are they leaving out?"
Joe(That will be the good [and ugly] parts)Nation
Thanks Joe(Do you always do the parentheses thing?
FIREFLY!! Thank you! Thank you! Missed you tooooo!!
GracieGirl, you're back!
Missed you, kiddo.
Gracie, in the US, the 'individual' ala Ayn Rand is the ideal. Socialism is about the group. But, while the 'socialist' slur is political, it's all about money.
People hate paying taxes. The more things the government has to pay for, the more people are expected to foot the bill.
Basically, if you're considered a socialist, you tend to want to spend money on social programs like:
Parks, roads, schools, healthcare, libraries, police, armies, daycare, government, welfare, pensions, jails, courts and so on.
Conservatives generally think only certain things on the list are more worthy of the public dime, while Socialists feel these and many other things are money well spent.
Mind you, some programs cost waaaaaaay more than others, but people don't seem to mind paying for them, while others are a fraction of the cost but are perceived as a sin...
Every leader or politician in the US and the world, in a capitalist democratic country, has to walk a fine line between taxation and spending. If you spend too much, you're likely to be tagged with the socialist (or liberal in the US) handle, unless its military, or prisons.
Socialist laws from the past like the 40 hr work week, vacations, healthcare (everywhere but the states), education child labour laws, anti-segregation laws, women's rights, civil rights, anti-discrimination laws have changed our lives for the better, I believe.
Oh cool! Thats really interesting. Thank you Ceili! Hey, so the government never actually pays for anything? Everything comes from taxes? I didnt know that taxes pays for schools and libraries and even day cares and all that stuff! I don't know why but I never really thought about why you guys pay taxes. Totally off topic but, when do you start paying taxes? Around college time or something? Like, when will I
have to start paying taxes? Is it different in Canada?
Okay! Its 9:00, I'm sleepy and I have school. More tommorow. Thanks guys! And thank you Setanta! I read some of your post and its really really interesting. Dude, its crazy how much you guys know about history. You should be teachers. I think you guys know more than any of my
teachers do. I'm taking AP European history this year and my teacher sucks so I'm really gonna need your help, lol.
But anyway, GoodNight!!