T Nation

Socialism in the Constitution?


#1

Where in the constitution does it say Socialism is bad ?


#2

Where in the Constitution does it say Socialism is good?


#3

The notion that the power, size and scope of the Federal Government must be kept in check permeates the entire Constitution.

Do you understand what is meant by "enumerated powers"?


#4

Why in the flying fuck after all the history that proves that not only is socialism a bad, dysfunctional, liberty trumping, and oppressive government model, but the only way to is enforce it is at the end of a gun.

If the failed governments and the death of 300 million people at the hand of socialists isn't convincing that it's a bad idea, I am not sure that reason, logic, or just mere facts are going to reach you.
There is NO FREEDOM in socialist governments, period. Socialism bring poverty and misery to the masses, it always had and always will, because it is inherently flawed.


#5

Where in the Constitution is the Federal Government given the power to redistribute wealth, own means of production, or provide health care, etc?


#6

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#7

hey, 1st post. Pat, you appear to have a great misunderstanding of socialism, it's not all about crazy dictators and Russia. are you employed? because the socialist elements of EVERY government give and protect any rights you have.

I hope this helps a little............


#8

How about my property rights? How about my right to keep at least the majority of the money that I earn? How about the right to freely do business with whomever I please and who wishes to business with me, without government interference?

The fundamental premise of socialism is that what's mine is not mine, because the government says you or they should have it.


#9

The State does NOT give it's citizens rights. It protects the rights any citizen has by virtue of being human.

If you mean that the State enforces contracts - then, yes, that is a function of the State. And a major one. I hardly think that has anything to do with "socialism."


#10

Property rights are specifically protected over and over in the constitution. This expressly forbids socialism.


#11

First, lets mark a difference between Communism and Social Democracy.

Communism suggests a command economy and all that entails.

Social Democracy suggests certain industries that the government has deemed to be positive rights- for example, education, healthcare, the press, the post- be nationalized. It's admitted this will lead to reduced economic growth, but in the interest of acheiving equity, it's deemed justifiable.

The former exhibits a surprisingly consistent record of suffering and failure, both in an overall economic sense and in the specific sense of acheiving it's erstwhile goals. The latter, however, is far from universally castigated. Most countries in the OECD operate like this, and most of the people (that I've met, I'm not going to quote Rasmussen, but it was a universiality when I traveled abroad so I feel comfortable making this blanket statement) are satisfied with the way their governments are run (full disclosure- I have yet to meet any Greeks).

So when you say that socialism has been thoroughly debunked, you're wrong. It just changed it's scope to better fit reality.


#12

You are missing my point , I am by no means defending socialism , I just want to make sure that is not covered in the constitution.


#13

"Freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality."


#14

Not if you accept Marx. In Marx, all social animosities are the result of class differences and the entire structure of law (such as due process and the Bill of Rights) are flawed attempts to prop up a failing system. Hence the formulation of them as "negative freedoms" in Marxist terminology. Ideally, once the State owns the means of production (referred to as "unification") all of these frictions will melt away and "true" freedom will result. The Soviet constitution, for example, gave a list of things that the State might extend (such as speech, religion) if it felt like it. These were most emphatically not rights. Matter of fact, since the State had no obligation to divulge its inner workings to the population, simply being arrested was all the proof needed of guilt and millions went to the gulag on the strength of this alone.

Since class was everything and it was impossible to escape one's class origins (except for those few luminaries, like Lenin), being judged on the basis of your class was perfectly acceptable. If you were guilty of a crime, so probably was your entire family. This flatly contradicts decadent bourgeois legal thinking where you are guilty for what you have done vs. what you are. For instance, those poor misguided Blacks during the Civil Rights movement who claimed that they wanted to be equal were just misguided by their internalized oppression. See, real progress would occur if they just learned to judge everyone by their class origins instead...

As a result of this analysis, the distinction usually made in liberal countries between executive, legislative and the judiciary are also simply vestiges of late-stage Capitalism in its death throes. This is why in Socialist countries all three were unified and the checks and balances such as given in the US Constitution are removed. The practical effect of this is that the executive branch takes over (Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, etc.) and you end up with a dictator. What's more, since the State owns everything this means that the entire country is now the personal property of this dictator. Who is going to tell Kim Jong Il he can't go screw the women's gymnastics team then go skinny dipping in Perrier afterwards?

There is the promise of Socialism and there is the empirical fact of how it works out with dreadful consistency. I can enumerate a very wonderful sounding system that takes into account everyone's innate differences, promises to respect these and redress all past wrongs through the full power of the State. Before you jump on that bandwagon though, this is exactly what the Nazis did (and this is why it became a mass movement, not because Germans are just evil). Some ideas are simply pernicious. Look at what actually happened vs. what the marketing is.

One last thing is that Socialists claim to have figured out how all of History & Sociology works which in their view exempts them from being studied. Balderdash. Apply the same standards of proof to evaluating them you would apply to anyone else. If there is a claim that they will make everyone more equal, look at what happened (reducing the entire population to penury then giving the bureaucrats unlimited power to keep things that way, e.g., should strike you as wrong.)

Does this help?

-- jj


#15

Social democracy is not socialism and what was called "communism" was actually socialism. Pure communism cannot exist, because there would be no ruling class.

Anybody ever notice that everything Karl Marx ever said was wrong? He may the biggest notable idiot in world history.


#16

that isnt the fundamental premise of socialism, civil rights and helping out those who are a struggling for one reason or another is nearer to it. not just looking out for yourself.

communism and collectivization are aspects but dead ones nowadays, socialism does not oppose private property.

it's too easy to generalize.


#17

I'm gonna disagree completely. The issue is not good Socialists vs. Communists, but whether they actually got in total control. In those countries (like Sweden which is still a monarchy, BTW) where they were part of the standard political discourse, they functioned well. It is not the act of disagreement but the checks and balances representational government affords that is the safeguard. This confuses the issue mightily in the US about the Left, since most Lefties want something like Sweden but have fashionably adopted the terminology without much understanding either of their own system or of the ones they hope to emulate.

I have no objection to having a Socialist party with representatives in Congress. None at all. But any attempt to subvert the system (along the lines I outlined in another post on this thread) to conform more to a Socialist form will be fully resisted.

People, we are no where near repealing the Constitution and anyone who talks like that is full of shit.

And as always, I might just be full of shit too...

-- jj


#18

it's not all about Marxist rhetoric. Thomas Paine was a socialist. he was quite important in the old American history no?


#19

Oh really?

Explain how socialism can work without what I just said.


#20

"Socialist elements" is not socialism...Yes every governement has something. That doesn't mean that you want them to control everything. Building roads and sewage drains is different than controlling your basic needs, wealth, health care, behaviour and business.