Socialism

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Onyx
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Post by Onyx » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:31 am

BalkanBoy wrote:
Kerdy wrote:
Onyx wrote:
Kerdy wrote:
BalkanBoy wrote:
Onyx wrote:
BalkanBoy wrote:I was relatively young when the socialism failed, but I've passed my youth during the F period. Wasn't that bad though. The worst thing about the comunism is what comes after.
Wow! What comes after? (I've seen the news, but I don't really know like someone who lived through it knows.)
It is called "Transitional period". Most of the former communist countries are still in it. Combination of the worst things inherited from the communism, and those acquired from the west. Hunger, poverty, deceipt, hatered, and Bentleys and Ferraries along with it.
It takes time. Look how long it took us to adapt and prosper.
Yes, Kerdy. But it's quite possible that the prosperous period will be shorter lived than the time of adaptation! Other countries may be taking the approach that they want to learn from the US model, but not necessarily emulate it.

Following the awful transition to a free market seen in the Eastern Block countries, China is taking a much more measured approach. China is orchestrating a tightly controlled transition to a free market. (A bit of a contradiction in terms, I know.) But the government is allowing incremental changes so as to avoid a collapse into chaos.
Those countries are free to follow whatever path they choose. The key part is they are FREE to choose.
And if some of them fail to choose freely, than the bombs come dowon. Ask the serbs.
Wow! It's awesome when you hear the other guy's perspective. Now that's learning!
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Post by misterbeach » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:33 am

"When people learn to truly love each other, capitalism won't be possible and communism won't be necessary."

I forget who said it, but I agree with it.

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Post by BalkanBoy » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:47 am

Onyx wrote: Wow! It's awesome when you hear the other guy's perspective. Now that's learning!
It's like "You better come to Democracy, or Democracy will come to you (a laser guided one)"

Or "make a free choice, or else"

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Post by Thoth » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:11 am

Thunktank wrote:
I have walked down the streets of historic European cities and saw the Golden Arches standing out like a sore thumb. It's wrong on so many levels <redacted_emoji> :(
Talk about wrong, in Egyt they have the McFalafel, I wish I was joking. Its disgusting by the way(unless you never had a falafel sandwich)

The only way socialism could work is on a community/neighborhood level. Once it reaches the level of the state, it ceases being everyone working towards the common good or looking out for his neighbor but becomes tyranny of those in power to ensure conformity.
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Post by sysiphus » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:49 am

Thoth wrote:
Thunktank wrote:
I have walked down the streets of historic European cities and saw the Golden Arches standing out like a sore thumb. It's wrong on so many levels <redacted_emoji> :(
Talk about wrong, in Egyt they have the McFalafel, I wish I was joking. Its disgusting by the way(unless you never had a falafel sandwich)
Weird to see a Halal egg McMuffin, or a Halal menu at a Subway. UAE is filled with 'em.
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Post by huddsbaggie » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:54 am

Kerdy wrote:
huddsbaggie wrote:And yet men suffered and gave up their lives for "no reward" in the straightforward material sense. As George Orwell put it:

"The real objective of Socialism is human brotherhood. This is widely felt to be the case, though it is not usually said, or not said loudly enough. Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another. And they want that world as a first step. Where they go from there is not so certain, and the attempt to foresee it in detail merely confuses the issue. "

I have known men, mostly now dead, who fitted Orwell's description. Brave, modest, selfless, decent men, including my former Deputy Headmaster and older workmates and friends whom I met when I was starting work, who had fought against fascism in the thirties and forties and into peace time motivated not by hate but by a passion to end poverty, war and injustice - for no individual personal gain but, rather, belief and hope for a better world. Imagine - being prepared (no - to go way, way, out of your way) to suffer deprivation and possibly torture and to be willing to give up your life for something as stupid as love of your fellow man!

Some were well versed in political theory, but that wouldn't have motivated them to volunteer, like Orwell himself, for such bitter struggle. (Orwell himself took a bullet in the neck in Spain and was nearly killed). One of the gentlest men I knew, Bill J, had made his way across Europe in hazardous, difficult conditions and fought from Spain in 37 to return to mainland Europe three years later only to be to be evacuated at Dunkirk, then back on D Day and across Europe til 1945 and spent the rest of his modest life advocating adult education and socialism. I loved that man. I am minded of Orwell's poem of Spain that ends:

"The thing I saw within your face
No power can disinherit
No bomb that ever burst
Shatters the crystal spirit"

It seems so strange and far away now, in this cynical world.

There has never been "socialism" as such. Social democracy within pluralist Capitalist states, yes with some decent results and some failures, and Marxist Leninism has attempted theory in conditions that were not strictly in accordance with Marx's own theory and ended in totalitarianism and lies and repression. No doubt Plekhanov would be saying: "I told you so", if he could....

Which is a long way of saying - Socialism isn't about levelling out, but excellence, determination and selflessness and seeing where it goes (with less, not more State control). Which we know won't happen, but we have glimpses.

Me? I run my own business which I started from scratch and am pretty successful. Yet I'm a socialist at heart. Disillusioned and tired, but I'm proud to have had good men as friends. And what it taught me is never cheat on those men. Never give up on hope for the future. Indeed, never, ever, give up, which has served me well as a maxim as I started off on a difficult road.

We ARE all brothers.
Orwellian:

adjective

"of or like the society portrayed by Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-four, in which a totalitarian state exercises almost total control over the public and private activities of the citizens"

No thanks! I will keep what we have.
You're not inferring from that definition that Orwell advocated the totalitarian state are you, lad?
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Post by Cliff » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:55 am

The story about the Greek Fisherman, but I have always heard it in the context of a Mexican village as a business school joke about Harvard MBA's The llast line to added on is the fisherman responding But that is what I do now. Fish a little and play with my kids and take a nice siesta


's
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOUR PIPE
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Post by chazman » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:27 pm

as i've often said communism and by default socialism is doomed to fail simply because they are attempting to have christianity without Christ. just doesn't work. greed and sloth are too powerful within the human experience for anything like that to work.
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Post by Thunktank » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:07 pm

chazman wrote:as i've often said communism and by default socialism is doomed to fail simply because they are attempting to have Christianity without Christ. just doesn't work. greed and sloth are too powerful within the human experience for anything like that to work.
+1

I'm all in favor of socialism within the proper context. Secular socialism is a poor attempt to mirror the church on a broad scale with those who don't have Christ as the boss.

There is nothing wrong with a person being wealthy however, but the right Christian way of being wealthy means having an open door and open heart policy.

Here again, we see the weakness of the separation of church and state. The church cannot properly influence society and government to make changes that benefit the poor and less fortunate. Instead we have mega corporations and huge secular governments running inherently personal life and death issues.
Last edited by Thunktank on Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by wesleyan-gun » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:08 pm

Socialism is the very essence of government, because it involves redistributionist policies, whether to the rich in the form of tax and investment credits and subsidies, or to the poor in the form of welfare and subsidies. Back in the days of the first Bush administration (and even today), we have the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) whose goal is the following:
"OPIC’s mission is to mobilize & facilitate the participation of United States private capital & skills in the economic & social development of less developed countries & areas, & countries in transition from nonmarket to market economies."

Now back then they received tax credits to relocate US based manufacturing entities to overseas facilities, stripping US workers of their jobs and receiving tax credits for doing so. The same old folks who complain about a national health care system are almost universally enrolled in Medicare ( a national health care system ). Labor rights, corporate governance and regulation, the FDA, the TVA, Social Security and all other instruments of government policy were put in place because they were needed.

I find the whole argument over "socialism" to be silly and tilts at windmills. It is sillly to deny a system which does benefit the weaker and less fortunate and the goal should be to put the correct incentives in place which reward work, thrift and education.
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Post by sysiphus » Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:41 pm

wesleyan-gun wrote:The same old folks who complain about a national health care system are almost universally enrolled in Medicare ( a national health care system ).
What? Can you name one person (personally or anecdotally) who is enrolled in Medicare and complaining about national health care? Unless you count those who are required to pay into the system...
Labor rights, corporate governance and regulation, the FDA, the TVA, Social Security and all other instruments of government policy were put in place because they were needed.
But are they needed now? Are there non-U***n shops out there working miners 18 hours a day for pennies?
I find the whole argument over "socialism" to be silly and tilts at windmills. It is sillly to deny a system which does benefit the weaker and less fortunate and the goal should be to put the correct incentives in place which reward work, thrift and education.
And confiscatory policies that use my earnings to finance those who choose not to work is an incentive for whom, exactly?
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Post by CaptainBlack » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Onyx wrote:
CaptainBlack wrote:What's wrong with the freedom to enjoy McDonalds, Nike, and Starbucks?

As far as I know, no one is being forced into choosing to spend their money there.

I for one, love the occassional Egg McMuffin sandwich and Starbucks coffee. I'm on a tight budget so Nikes are out of the question but I buy my sneaker at Walmart.

And if you're interested in demonizing, Big Sneaker, Big Coffee, and Big Mac, remember that by enjoying a pipe, you're supporting Big Tobacco.

I like the freedom of choice and would prefer to make my own decisions, thank you.

Promoting the brother of man is a noble goal. And it is the responsibility of the individual and the church to function this way.

God wants us to feed the poor and help those in need because we want to, not because we are forced to.
This is a very interesting question. What's wrong with Mc D's? I guess it's worth traveling around a little to see some perspective on this. Walking through New York City, the options for eating are as limitless as your budget. If you've got money, you can eat the most delicious food around. Whereas in small town Pennsylvania, the options seem to merge together. The first town offers KFC, McD, Starbucks. The next town is the same with a Dunk'n Donuts. Freedom of the individual means that you can buy fresh meat and vege and cook it yourself (even raise the stuff if your game...) and it also means that big money chain stores buyout the main street. Well, yes, that's freedom. If the shoppers wanted to buy from the little independent, it would still be there, but they chose the chain store, and that's what they got.

Now drive through small town England. Some of those quaint little independent stores behind crooked brickwork on cobbled streets are still there. You can still find the post-card villages. But half the main street is now chain store fast-food, pharmacy, grocery, supermarket... Once again, if the local people wanted to support the locally run independent stores, they'd still be there. But somehow over the decades, the big international names have pushed the little guys to edge, and off the main street.

Now some people ask themselves, is this what we want. Why are we doing this to our towns? Why are we replacing local traditions with deep-fried, over-salted, preservative-laden pseudo-food? We don't want to be fat, but we keep eating this stuff... why do we do it to ourselves? What is this environment we are creating for our kids?

What's wrong with the freedom to enjoy Mc Donalds? Nothing. Why are we the fattest people on the planet?** I guess the flesh is weak. We bring upon ourselves things that we don't want.

** recent studies have indicated that Australians have now overtaken Americans as the most obese people in the world. Sorry America, but Australians don't like to come second!
Perhaps my perspective is skewed a bit but I've considered visits to Mc Donalds, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc to be a special treat rather than a necessity. So it boggles my mind when I hear that the existance of a fast food restuarant somehow forces people to make bad diet decisions when people can prepare healthier meals for a lot less money.

I've been to quite a few places around the country rural, suburban, and urban. And businesses which offer a product that people want at a decent price with good service thrive.

Ensuring that people have only what they don't want seems hardly productive but rather leads to seeking a least common denominator.

I heard recently how a major city (I think Chicago) fought hard to keep Walmart out. One could make a case against their employment plans (no or very few benefits) at that time but that company could have offered jobs, discounted goods, and discounted prescription drugs to a community that desperately needed all of the above.

So Americans are overweight? I agree that obesity is not a good thing but if you want your government to make decisions individuals should be making with respect to their health, I suggest you stop pipe smoking now. Government is not sympathetic to smoking of any kind

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Post by TNLawPiper » Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:16 pm

Many consider Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and other global product-based businesses the leaders in a race to the bottom. Communities that wish to raise standards and protect their small businesses have several incentives to keep out these companies.

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Post by CaptainBlack » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:00 pm

TNLawPiper wrote:Many consider Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and other global product-based businesses the leaders in a race to the bottom. Communities that wish to raise standards and protect their small businesses have several incentives to keep out these companies.
I'm not sure if I agree with the "race to the bottom" perspective. And I agree that these chains can be a threat to local businesses but stores like Walmart and Target have been a godsend to those living on tight budgets - offering goods and services at affordable prices. Granted quality at times can be an issue and that's where smart shopping kicks in.

Starbucks hardly seems a race to the bottom. They're a bit too expensive but I've loved their products and they have spurred many establishments to offer more options as far as coffee is concerned.

And I have no doubt that McDonalds has spurred many restaurants - chain and otherwise to produce grab and go meals. How can I have problems with the company that produced the Egg McMuffin with hasbrowns?

All of that said, my favorite breakfast spot in NJ was Amy's Omellette House - tons of choices, large portoins, and great service. Here in Virginia it's Waffle King Virginia House - same reasons. And they're doing great even though they are surrounded by fast food places

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Post by CaptainBlack » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:09 pm

One other thing on local businesses.

When I lived in Red Bank, I often frequented Prowns a mom and pop store for my hardware needs - when they had what I needed. They also did window and blind installatoin.

When Home Depot came to the area, I went there - better selection. More often than Prowns, they had what I needed. Many agreed and their hardware business suffered.

Rather than fold, they adapted and became a window and blind store. They continue to thrive.

Also in Red Bank, a coffee shop No Ordinary Joe's Coffee faced competition when Starbuck's moved in across the street. The local coffee shop countered by becoming a restaurant offering much better breakfast items and sandwiches at lunch time.

Again, adaptability is the key.

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Post by Roadmaster » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:11 pm

Walmart pressures their suppliers to relocate to China.

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Post by Onyx » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:34 am

CaptainBlack wrote:
Onyx wrote:
CaptainBlack wrote:What's wrong with the freedom to enjoy McDonalds, Nike, and Starbucks?

As far as I know, no one is being forced into choosing to spend their money there.

I for one, love the occassional Egg McMuffin sandwich and Starbucks coffee. I'm on a tight budget so Nikes are out of the question but I buy my sneaker at Walmart.

And if you're interested in demonizing, Big Sneaker, Big Coffee, and Big Mac, remember that by enjoying a pipe, you're supporting Big Tobacco.

I like the freedom of choice and would prefer to make my own decisions, thank you.

Promoting the brother of man is a noble goal. And it is the responsibility of the individual and the church to function this way.

God wants us to feed the poor and help those in need because we want to, not because we are forced to.
This is a very interesting question. What's wrong with Mc D's? I guess it's worth traveling around a little to see some perspective on this. Walking through New York City, the options for eating are as limitless as your budget. If you've got money, you can eat the most delicious food around. Whereas in small town Pennsylvania, the options seem to merge together. The first town offers KFC, McD, Starbucks. The next town is the same with a Dunk'n Donuts. Freedom of the individual means that you can buy fresh meat and vege and cook it yourself (even raise the stuff if your game...) and it also means that big money chain stores buyout the main street. Well, yes, that's freedom. If the shoppers wanted to buy from the little independent, it would still be there, but they chose the chain store, and that's what they got.

Now drive through small town England. Some of those quaint little independent stores behind crooked brickwork on cobbled streets are still there. You can still find the post-card villages. But half the main street is now chain store fast-food, pharmacy, grocery, supermarket... Once again, if the local people wanted to support the locally run independent stores, they'd still be there. But somehow over the decades, the big international names have pushed the little guys to edge, and off the main street.

Now some people ask themselves, is this what we want. Why are we doing this to our towns? Why are we replacing local traditions with deep-fried, over-salted, preservative-laden pseudo-food? We don't want to be fat, but we keep eating this stuff... why do we do it to ourselves? What is this environment we are creating for our kids?

What's wrong with the freedom to enjoy Mc Donalds? Nothing. Why are we the fattest people on the planet?** I guess the flesh is weak. We bring upon ourselves things that we don't want.

** recent studies have indicated that Australians have now overtaken Americans as the most obese people in the world. Sorry America, but Australians don't like to come second!
Perhaps my perspective is skewed a bit but I've considered visits to Mc Donalds, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc to be a special treat rather than a necessity. So it boggles my mind when I hear that the existance of a fast food restuarant somehow forces people to make bad diet decisions when people can prepare healthier meals for a lot less money.

I've been to quite a few places around the country rural, suburban, and urban. And businesses which offer a product that people want at a decent price with good service thrive.

Ensuring that people have only what they don't want seems hardly productive but rather leads to seeking a least common denominator.

I heard recently how a major city (I think Chicago) fought hard to keep Walmart out. One could make a case against their employment plans (no or very few benefits) at that time but that company could have offered jobs, discounted goods, and discounted prescription drugs to a community that desperately needed all of the above.

So Americans are overweight? I agree that obesity is not a good thing but if you want your government to make decisions individuals should be making with respect to their health, I suggest you stop pipe smoking now. Government is not sympathetic to smoking of any kind
No, I don't want the government to control what food I eat or what shops may open. I agree with you. I want freedom. But you asked the question what's wrong with McD...? and I think there is a paradox here. I said that "Nothing" is wrong with the freedom to choose. It's just that the story doesn't end there. There is something wrong with the outcomes. But in the end, if we use our freedom to ruin ourselves, we won't be the first civilization to do so.
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Post by CaptainBlack » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:07 pm

Roadmaster wrote:Walmart pressures their suppliers to relocate to China.
What you say indeed strikes a chord with me. I do not like seeing work being shipped overseas. I was forced to relocate to Virginia because my work in NJ was shipped overseas. That said, we are adapting well and are kind of excited about our new home. I pray my new assignment goes well.

Many of the products manufactured in China that are sold at Walmart are lacking in quality - especially clothes. And so we've learned to be smart shopppers - choosing to pay a little more for a product that will last much longer.

Walmart does sell quality products made in America as well and we tend to gravitate toward those items.

One would hope the American consumer would do the same.

If people don't buy poorly made items manufactured overseas, Walmart won't stock them..

So for me the issue isn't with the mega chain stores but rather the consumer himself.

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Post by CaptainBlack » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:10 pm

Onyx wrote:
CaptainBlack wrote:
Onyx wrote:
CaptainBlack wrote:What's wrong with the freedom to enjoy McDonalds, Nike, and Starbucks?

As far as I know, no one is being forced into choosing to spend their money there.

I for one, love the occassional Egg McMuffin sandwich and Starbucks coffee. I'm on a tight budget so Nikes are out of the question but I buy my sneaker at Walmart.

And if you're interested in demonizing, Big Sneaker, Big Coffee, and Big Mac, remember that by enjoying a pipe, you're supporting Big Tobacco.

I like the freedom of choice and would prefer to make my own decisions, thank you.

Promoting the brother of man is a noble goal. And it is the responsibility of the individual and the church to function this way.

God wants us to feed the poor and help those in need because we want to, not because we are forced to.
This is a very interesting question. What's wrong with Mc D's? I guess it's worth traveling around a little to see some perspective on this. Walking through New York City, the options for eating are as limitless as your budget. If you've got money, you can eat the most delicious food around. Whereas in small town Pennsylvania, the options seem to merge together. The first town offers KFC, McD, Starbucks. The next town is the same with a Dunk'n Donuts. Freedom of the individual means that you can buy fresh meat and vege and cook it yourself (even raise the stuff if your game...) and it also means that big money chain stores buyout the main street. Well, yes, that's freedom. If the shoppers wanted to buy from the little independent, it would still be there, but they chose the chain store, and that's what they got.

Now drive through small town England. Some of those quaint little independent stores behind crooked brickwork on cobbled streets are still there. You can still find the post-card villages. But half the main street is now chain store fast-food, pharmacy, grocery, supermarket... Once again, if the local people wanted to support the locally run independent stores, they'd still be there. But somehow over the decades, the big international names have pushed the little guys to edge, and off the main street.

Now some people ask themselves, is this what we want. Why are we doing this to our towns? Why are we replacing local traditions with deep-fried, over-salted, preservative-laden pseudo-food? We don't want to be fat, but we keep eating this stuff... why do we do it to ourselves? What is this environment we are creating for our kids?

What's wrong with the freedom to enjoy Mc Donalds? Nothing. Why are we the fattest people on the planet?** I guess the flesh is weak. We bring upon ourselves things that we don't want.

** recent studies have indicated that Australians have now overtaken Americans as the most obese people in the world. Sorry America, but Australians don't like to come second!
Perhaps my perspective is skewed a bit but I've considered visits to Mc Donalds, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc to be a special treat rather than a necessity. So it boggles my mind when I hear that the existance of a fast food restuarant somehow forces people to make bad diet decisions when people can prepare healthier meals for a lot less money.

I've been to quite a few places around the country rural, suburban, and urban. And businesses which offer a product that people want at a decent price with good service thrive.

Ensuring that people have only what they don't want seems hardly productive but rather leads to seeking a least common denominator.

I heard recently how a major city (I think Chicago) fought hard to keep Walmart out. One could make a case against their employment plans (no or very few benefits) at that time but that company could have offered jobs, discounted goods, and discounted prescription drugs to a community that desperately needed all of the above.

So Americans are overweight? I agree that obesity is not a good thing but if you want your government to make decisions individuals should be making with respect to their health, I suggest you stop pipe smoking now. Government is not sympathetic to smoking of any kind
No, I don't want the government to control what food I eat or what shops may open. I agree with you. I want freedom. But you asked the question what's wrong with McD...? and I think there is a paradox here. I said that "Nothing" is wrong with the freedom to choose. It's just that the story doesn't end there. There is something wrong with the outcomes. But in the end, if we use our freedom to ruin ourselves, we won't be the first civilization to do so.
Point taken. And my answer is summarized in the post above. I don't see the problem in the existance of chain restaurants or chain stores but rather in the American consumer himself.

We as individuals need to exercise our freedom wisely.

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Post by Kerdy » Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:12 pm

BalkanBoy wrote:
Kerdy wrote:
Onyx wrote:
Kerdy wrote:
BalkanBoy wrote:
Onyx wrote:
BalkanBoy wrote:I was relatively young when the socialism failed, but I've passed my youth during the F period. Wasn't that bad though. The worst thing about the comunism is what comes after.
Wow! What comes after? (I've seen the news, but I don't really know like someone who lived through it knows.)
It is called "Transitional period". Most of the former communist countries are still in it. Combination of the worst things inherited from the communism, and those acquired from the west. Hunger, poverty, deceipt, hatered, and Bentleys and Ferraries along with it.
It takes time. Look how long it took us to adapt and prosper.
Yes, Kerdy. But it's quite possible that the prosperous period will be shorter lived than the time of adaptation! Other countries may be taking the approach that they want to learn from the US model, but not necessarily emulate it.

Following the awful transition to a free market seen in the Eastern Block countries, China is taking a much more measured approach. China is orchestrating a tightly controlled transition to a free market. (A bit of a contradiction in terms, I know.) But the government is allowing incremental changes so as to avoid a collapse into chaos.
Those countries are free to follow whatever path they choose. The key part is they are FREE to choose.
And if some of them fail to choose freely, than the bombs come dowon. Ask the serbs.

And this has what to do with America and the rise of stupid socialism?

Not trying to sound harsh, but when another country chooses its path, that is their choice and their reward just as it is in the USA. I am more interested in my own countries future, as any patriot of any country would be. Once the future of my country is back on track, I will again concern myself with struggling countries and their fights for freedom. Their futures have very little to do with ours in respect to style of government. Freedom is freedom and its never easy or free. My country already fought its fight for freedom.
"Let it be understood that those who are not found living as He taught are not Christian- even though they profess with the lips the teaching of Christ." - Justin Martyr  ( c.160 )

“Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” - Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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