Posts tagged socialism
Posts tagged socialism
occupy wall street
If your blog posts anything like the above, please reblog this so I can follow you! I really want to build up a big network of progressive bloggers to help inspire my own vision and get more involved in activism in general.
Please and thank you, comrades!
Oh hi mostly my entire blog.
Well, except cat pictures. I post those often.
Good luck with that. Here’s another pearl o’ wisdom:
Having a high school education doesn’t make you “educated”… jus sayin….— kate (@misskatharineD) November 26, 2012
So, let me know how the whole Australia thing works out for you, mmmkay?
I picture most of my madfaced anons as basically being this video. Because reasons.
And that’s not socialism, bro.
Jonah Goldberg, suggesting conservatives should beat young people ’til they think capitalism is cool.
There’s many problems with Goldberg’s statement, but this one is glaringly obvious: We don’t have capitalism in this country. The game is rigged. For example, we have a financial system that unfairly rewards undue risk by allowing “too big to fail” to become the standard for large financial institutions to receive government help, yet homeowners preyed upon by the same institutions are told “You KNEW the risk” and denied help outright or are given table scraps. And then no regulation is put in place to stop this because freedoms. That’s not capitalism, my friends.
If you want to pretend we have capitalism for a minute, fine – it’s only for the poor. We have capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. Remember the first round of bailouts under Bush? We socialized the risk and privatized the profit.
So Mr. Goldberg, if you really want to beat the socialism out of someone, find a Goldman Sachs or Bank of America exec.
^^Here’s hoping that becomes one of those meaningless wisdom quotes^^
Of course, I’m not spamming catchy slogans or anything. I’ve hopped on Tumblr to say something, anything as I’ve been absent for the past few weeks. So after I scrolled down my feed and had a look at what has been happening, I noticed another argument that taxation is theft. This may be my fault. I have anarchist and capitalist sympathies and may have followed the ultra-liberal blogs of tumblr. Usually, this argument flows over me, I greet it as a old friend and with a nod and a wink, send it back. On this occasion sadly, I nearly drown.
Tax is Theft.
The argument that tax is theft stems from the involuntary nature of tax. It either asserts that a government that respects the liberty, freedom and rights of the people must not threaten them into submitting to the state’s authority or that government and it’s actions can never be justified. The anarchist pose the latter and as such, the question of legitimate taxation is moot for them. This article is mostly directed at the governmental-minimalists, such as liberation doctrine. However, I do urge the anarchists to continue reading, as natural property remains an issue they must address and is something I will cover.
Let us examine the argument:
A: “Theft is depriving of someone the usage of something they own.” I looked around for definitions from dictionaries and such but most of them tied theft to the unlawful taking of property, so clearly they were in many ways bias. Equally, it was simply impossible to articulate theft without reference to property. I concluded that theft could be widely thought of as the denial of usage of something one owns as property is fundamentally about usage rights. If you steal my car, I still own it but am denied the right of usage entailed by ownership. Lastly, theft is differs from borrowing because it lacks consent. I therefore initially added “without consent” to my definition. However, I removed it as the right to usage presumes voluntary allowance and I therefore felt it redundant.
B: “Government taxation is universal and non-negotiable at the individual level.” Clearly, I presume quite a specific form of enlightened government. The Ancien Régime of the French Valois and Bourbon dynasties taxed heavily the Third Estate with little to no taxation for the first or second. Incontestably, universal is not necessary. However, many minimalist governments positions stress individual liberty and corollary equal treatment before the law. As such, when this argument is used, it presumes universality, even if that isn’t always the case. Equally, you don’t get to barter the amount or refuse to pay at the individual level. It can be argued that tax can be changed via political mechanism but other than that, we all pay the full amount. I therefore felt it important to acknowledge this as it plays an important role further on.
C: “Tax is theft.” This is an outcome.
So to recap:
A: “Theft is depriving of someone the usage of something they own.”
B: “Government taxation is universal and non-negotiable at the individual level.”
C: “”Tax is theft.”
The argument thus goes like this: If A^B :: C
Tacit Consent, Locke and Toilet Roll!
There you have it then, the argument against taxation. This is put very simply and loaded with assumptions, assumptions we may have to examine in turn to see if we still follow the argument to the conclusion. For example and mentioned earlier, one must identify what property is. If property is something wholly imparted by the government, property becomes a privilege. If you follow British philosopher John Locke however, property is natural and you have it before government. Property is thus a right. As many American libertarians cite constitutional rights and the founding father whom wrote it cited Locke, it is reasonable to presume that the concept of natural property rights is what American libertarians work from. Thus, it may be useful to know what Locke taught of the matter.
Locke, a social contract theorist thought like the others that if one could conceive of human nature without government, one could rationalize as to why people would rationally choose to be governed. In fact, I’m of the avid belief that anarchists are social contract theorists whom couldn’t find a good enough reason to play matchmaker between people and governance. For Locke, good government ensured freedom by bringing in an impartial judge to punish those whom would attempt to deny one’s rights, to both liberty and property. So it was imperative that rational people come together and found said impartial judiciary. Now, unlike Hobbes whom figured that was the end of things, Locke felt it wasn’t right to condemn the unborn generations to the will of their forefathers, no matter how rational they were been. He thus required consent to be given to the collective on a continuous basis. This is important, as if you consent to government, you consent to the levy needed to run it.
Let us take a momentary detour from Locke and head down to the local shop. You’ve got business to do but no toilet paper in the house. So you have come down here to exchange your property, a 2 Euro coin for the shopkeepers’ bogroll. You walk down isle, pick up a pack of TP and approach the counter. You drop the coin into the shopkeepers’ hand while swapping pleasantries and then head back home.
Why is this important to our discussion of government taxation rights? It illustrates the concept of tacit consent. By your actions, you agreed to a non-verbal, non-written contract exchanging coin for roll. Equally, whereas voting in a democratic process would be preferred as loud consent, the usage of public infrastructure offers tacit consent to the social contract. As discussed above, a government needs funding to run and consenting to the social contract is consent to carry that burden. Thus, the original argument is undermined as the government is not taking your property anymore, rather it is collecting payment for services rendered. The money levied is no longer your money and belongs to the government.
Revolts and Aliens.
Now, Locke laid the foundations for capitalist governments to develop, it could and has been argued so it seems strange that his writings oppose what is generally felt to be a “Free Market” position. However, as you can see, Locke proposed a consent-based view to taxation, where refusal was wrong not because tax must be paid as a rule but rather because you consented to pay. It is a “Free Market” position. What may be attacked is the idea of silent agreement, though I would move softly as the concept underpins many day-to-day activities and is the prime reason tourists and other foreigners must respect the law while present in the country.
Thus, if you truly belief tax is completely unfair you would seem to have three options at your disposal. First, you can join the anarchists and outright rebel! You would have to completely remove yourself from society to be successful in this case or you will give constant tacit consent. This is really only important if you wished to maintain ideas of property of course. Second, you can democratically lobby for lower taxes. This seems like the expected response most non-libertarians suggest. However, if you could conceive of convincing argumentation for the lowering of tax to nil, you may not need a democratic push to achieve it so what at first seems like the fair and logical way is really just pandering to the crowd. This suggests mutability of rights and arbitrary will which should be abhorred by a republic. Lastly, you could attempt to change the fundamental rules of your government to make tax illegal. I include this because it has been suggested in the past but if you’ve been paying any attention, you can see how frivolous a position it becomes.
Personally, I don’t have an answer. I also don’t consider this to be the last word on the subject. I do expect rebuttals and hate-mail. I no longer hold a vehement belief in no taxation. I am now in the muddled territory of indecision. I will likely hold this position until I have reasoned out many other areas of my political philosophy. However, I still appeal to the same premise for all my politics to subscribe to: Justice. For this reason, I’ll still likely be a torn in socialist behinds.
Shane Geoghegan, prefers Hobbes anyway.
Interesting perspective here… I identify more as a neo-Marxist, and it’s rare I see anyone try to defend the anarcho-capitalist point of view while still acknowledging there may be a necessity for taxation. Thoughts?
Today’s wealthy conservatives feel like they are entitled to suck the rest of us dry. The people who are Occupying Wall Street aren’t parasites. They are regular Americans who have seen our political and economic systems used as a weapon against them. These people aren’t leeching off the wealthy. They are the reason why the wealthy have been successful. Whether the 1% want to admit or not, they couldn’t have gotten to where they are today without the rest of us. Our society enabled them to get rich.
The real parasites aren’t the protesters. The true parasites are those people who crashed the economy, begged the American people for a handout, and promptly then resumed making a profit off the economic misfortune they caused. The parasites are people like Rush Limbaugh who refuse to pay their fair share… Someday we will have a government that shares the values of Occupy Wall Street. Maybe someday, the people will once again occupy Washington.
Attacking Occupy protesters for being parasites and not paying taxes (they do) is getting old. This article points the figure at the true parasites. It’s not the protesters or unions. It’s those who espouse personal responsibility until they need a bailout. The 99% are on the hook if the 1% fail. If the 99% continue to fall behind, who’s going to bail the 1% out again?
From the same PoliticusUSA article:
Without realizing it, Rush Limbaugh also provided his listeners insight into the mindset of the one percent when he said that it is okay to be a parasite as long as you don’t advertise it. I would also add that the wealthy believe that they have a right to engage in economically parasitic behavior because they are rich. This is the same mindset that glorifies the term job creator. It is the mindset that believes that tax cuts for the rich create jobs, and it also allows them to hold the beliefs the problem really is government regulation, and that everyone else isn’t rich because they are lazy.
Well, we’re more than motivated now.
John Steinbeck understood the bootstrap myth is just that - a myth.
I heard you talking about Obama on campus and saying he’s conservative. He’s not conservative, he’s not even liberal. He’s a socialist/marxist and your denying reality. The Tea Party are about the only conservatives left trying to save America.
Meg of CognitiveDissonance:
Contrary to the email forwards from your Aunt Ida, President Barack Obama is not a socialist.
President Obama does not subscribe to Marxism, socialism, or even much of classical liberalism. Try Neoliberalism, kids.
From Neoliberalism and Financialization, by David M. Kotz, here’s an overview of its key features and components (comments in brackets are my own):
- Removal of barriers to free movement of goods, services, and especially capital, throughout the global economy [opposition to tariffs or regulation of trade, support of ‘free trade’ v. ‘fair trade’]
- A withdrawal by the state from the role of guiding and regulating economic activity [deregulation, lack of government oversight regarding corporations and industry, opposition to consumer protection laws]
- Privatization of state enterprises and public services [public transportation, prisons, hospitals, schools, utilities are subject to privatization or services are contracted for by the government with private entities]
- The slashing of state social programs [i.e. social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, housing assistance, etc.]
- A shift to regressive forms of taxation [Regressive taxes take a larger percentage of income from low-income groups than from high-income groups, i.e. sales taxes, tobacco taxes or gasoline taxes.]
- A shift from cooperation between capital and labor to a drive by capital, with aid from the state, to fully dominate labor [Please see Wisconsin or Ohio - though union-busting is not a new phenomenon]
- The replacement of co-respective behavior by large corporations with unrestrained competition. [Little to no restriction on monopoly and every corporation for itself]
Neoliberalism has an associated ideology of worship of the so-called “free market” along with a denial of any positive role for the state apart from its coercive functions.
Neoliberalism aims to “liberate” the private sector from regulation or restrictions imposed by the state. Organized labor, regulation of capital, regulation of corporations, price controls, and laws preventing monopolies are all considered unacceptable restrictions.
Individual freedom is secured through supposed equal opportunity to succeed and fail in a free market that makes the decisions over winners and losers - no government or legal entity must be allowed to interfere.
The idea of community or a common good is replaced with “individual responsibility.” Any kind of social service is seen as fostering dependency upon the state, though curiously, this does not extend to corporate welfare. Neoliberalism holds true liberty can only come from a free market that reflects the needs, desires, and aspirations of the individual, and this must include protection of the individual (or a corporation) from the state. An unfettered free market, coupled with low taxation and the ability to maximize profit, will led to a better and more free society for all. If this sounds familiar, it’s essentially Reaganomics, or the belief in “trickle down” economics.
I suggest reading David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neoliberalism for more. You can also watch Adam Curtis’ excellent documentaries The Trap, The Century of the Self and The Power of Nightmares for similar examinations.
And the Tea Party? Really? What are you trying to save the U.S. from, besides the faint, flickering possibility of a weak recovery? We don’t need you saving us from energy efficient light bulbs, Muslims, teh gayz, health care reform, taxation of the rich, etc. Besides, you’re not even embracing a conservative ideology so much as a reactionary ideology.
This is basically the Tea Party summed up in a gif:
If you guys liked St. Ronnie Raygun, you’ll love Barack Obama. Right? Obama hasn’t raised taxes, restricted gun rights, expanded the debt at near the same rate, raised the debt ceiling 18 times, or given amnesty to undocumented workers, unlike St. Ronnie.
I’m sorry, but it appears that you’re not only denying reality, you’re constructing one entirely out of thin air. Stop huffing American exceptionalism, fear, and Sarah Palin’s ego fumes. It tends to make one insufferable.
Republican presidential candidate and professional right-wing wackjob Rick Santorum getting all frothy and attacking early childhood education on the campaign trail in Iowa.
Really, Rick? You’re going to attack preschool? He was probably the biggest dick in pre-k, hoarding all the cookies and trucks for himself in the name of the GOP’s main economic argument: “Mine!”
Giraffes are heartless? No, kiddo, giraffes just don’t like SOCIALISM! </sarcasm>
AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A COMMUNIST PARTY! Seriously though, this Tumblr bring the lulz and the facepalms…
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Oh, Tea Party hypocrisy.
Spotted in the K-Mart parking lot in Laramie, Wyo. They have a faculty permit. Goddammit.
For those of you who don’t know, the reason our tuition stays low at the University of Wyoming is because out-of-state (and even foreign *gasp*) energy companies pay taxes on the minerals they extract here. This revenue finances the large majority of our education. Our education is heavily subsidized, along with the salaries of professors, buildings, etc.
So in summary, it’s quite a socialist system. So Professor, how’s that state job-y, taxpayer subsidy-y thing working out for you? This sticker actually screws up Sarah’s quote because there’s a “g” on the end of the words and it says “you” versus “ya.” It’s the academic elitist version of folksy!
If you think the income tax is illegal, that we’re sliding towards socialism, and that the 10th Amendment is the solution to all life’s problems…here’s an examination of what your tax dollars pay for at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.
- Don’t drive on paved streets or highways.
- Don’t call 911.
- Don’t flush your toilet.
- Don’t bring your garbage to the curb.
- Don’t fly in an airplane that uses air-traffic controllers.
- Don’t use the court system.
- Don’t call the police when you get robbed.
- Don’t make use of police services. PERIOD.
- Don’t call the fire department when your house burns down
- Don’t be rescued by fire department paramedic team.
- Don’t use the US Post Office, send all your letters via FedEx or UPS.
- Don’t ask for a farm subsidy for not growing crops.
- Don’t ask for a taxpayer subsidy to do business in a city or state.
- Don’t send your children to public schools.
- Don’t attend a state university.
- Don’t expect a social security payment.
- Don’t let Medicare pay your bills if you are over 65 or disabled.
- Don’t look for a government contract to bolster your defense industry business.
- Don’t run for political office where your salary is paid for by the taxpayers.
- Don’t own a company that pollutes and expect the taxpayer to bail you out.
- Don’t climb to the top of the Washington Monument, which is maintained at taxpayer expense.
- Don’t expect federal assistance if a natural disaster destroys your home or business.
- Don’t expect the military to defend your country.
- Don’t visit national parks or hike in national forests.
- Don’t eat USDA inspected meat, cheese, eggs or produce.
- Don’t take any medications tested and approved by the FDA.
- Don’t drink, bathe or otherwise use the water from municipal water systems.
- Don’t look at or relay a weather report.
- Don’t expect a unit of measure like a gallon of gas to be a full gallon.
- Don’t expect an elevator to work correctly or not fall.
- Don’t expect a red light to work 100% of the time.
- Don’t accept government money to help develop a product which you then personally patent or copyright and sell for your own profit.
- Don’t use the services of a doctor who is licensed through the state.
- Don’t expect research into medical problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, aging, prostate, menopause, etc.
- Don’t use the public library.
- Don’t go to a state university affiliated hospital.
- Don’t go to a state university yourself.
- Don’t watch state college sports.
- Don’t apply for government grants.
- Don’t go to a state, city or municipal-run airport.
- Don’t ask for rural electrification.
- Don’t ask for SEC regulations that protect us from crooked financial planners.
- Don’t ask to keep the airwaves free so your right-wing talk show host can shout at you.
- Don’t ask for a business loan from the small business administration.
- Don’t ask to use the G.I. bill to go to college.
- Don’t support legislation to turn a military computer network (DARPANet/ARPANet) into the public-accessed “Internet.”
- Don’t drive a car that benefits from government safety regulations.
- Don’t use electricity generated by TVA or some government-owned and maintained dam or facility.
- Don’t use currency printed by the US Treasury.
- Don’t use a bank or credit union that insures your deposits through the FDIC.
- Don’t buy or build a house that requires the efforts of county deed offices or needs building permits and inspections.
- Don’t even run for an elected office, because the local, state and federal election commissions could be involved.
- Don’t use public transportation.
- Don’t visit public museums.
- Don’t go hunting, fishing, or camping on government property.
- Don’t cross a public bridge.
- Don’t use rest areas or public restrooms.
- Don’t expect the government to protect the copyright for the works you create.
- Don’t expect your tap water to be clean and germ free.
- Don’t expect there to be much wildlife left other than rats.
- Don’t use wood or eat meat grown on Forest Service or BLM land.
- Don’t eat any food transported on government roads.
- Don’t expect any workplace safety standards, labor laws, or minimum wage.
- Don’t use any gasoline, oil, or natural gas that was discovered by the USGS.
- Don’t live in New Orleans, Sacramento or any other city protected by a levee.
- Don’t expect zoning laws.
- Don’t expect clean air, clean water, clean soil, etc.
- Don’t expect highway signs.
- Don’t expect laws defining criminal behavior because the government defines what criminal behavior entails.
- Don’t expect to actually OWN anything, like your house, car, etc. - at least in the legal sense. Or even have legal proof of ownership when it’s stolen, damaged, etc.
- Don’t expect anyone to plow your town’s roads when it snows or sweep them when they’re dirty.
- Don’t expect the government to regulate industries that have monopolies and use that power to raise your rates for reduced service and product quality.
- Don’t expect the government to keep gasoline rates low, compared to the rest of the world.
- Don’t expect convicted criminals to be in prison and off your street.
- Don’t expect to receive a cheap land lease on federal lands, then mine or cut the forest for your profit with no repayment to the landlord (we the people).
- Don’t expect to get cheap rates for your cattle’s grazing.
- Don’t expect to have uniform building codes.
- Don’t expect to go to buildings and high rises that have been reviewed and inspected during construction to ensure it was built to current building codes.
- Don’t expect to eat in restaurants that have been inspected to ensure cleanliness and the safe preparation of food.
- Don’t expect your children to be able to ride the bus to school.
- Don’t expect the state or county to pay foster parents to take care of the children left abandoned or orphaned.
- Don’t expect the state or county to investigate and/or remove children from neglectful or abusive homes.
- Don’t go to your book store and try to find a book by its ISBN number.
- Don’t expect the government to stop the auto companies from building SUVs that roll over and kill your wife and kids.
- Don’t expect the court to appoint a taxpayer-paid attorney to represent you (or your child) when you are accused of a crime.
- Don’t get a passport or try to get out of the US without a Passport.
- Don’t expect to enjoy the benefits of the United States of America and its resources.
And finally, don’t expect a federal court to entertain your sovereignty argument for one second after you disregard your taxpayer-funded public defender.