Tag Archives: Socialism

Getting People to Sign Up for Obamacare in October

Here’s one way Oregon is trying to doing it: catchy and gentle persuasion. I like it. Carrots are better than sticks. But after October, maybe recycle this into the rotation at the Baby Channel? __________ Conservatives, I presume, will probably … Continue reading

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Adam Smith and Capitalism for Beginners

One of the books the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790) wrote, The Wealth of Nations (1776), theorizes about the nature of capitalism. The word “capitalism” derives from the word capital, itself deriving from the Latin word caput, meaning head (as … Continue reading

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Karl Marx for Beginners

First, let’s get a handle on two terms: bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie comes from the French word for those who live behind walls; those who dwell in bourgs, fortified market towns. For example, in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), a book-length allegory of the … Continue reading

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Zeev Sternhell’s Question: What Is To Be Done About The Anglo-French Enlightenment?

In The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition (Yale 2009), Israeli historian Zeev Sternhell (b. 1935) sees a fault line running through much of contemporary global culture: what to do about the Anglo-French Enlightenment. By the Anglo-French Enlightenment, he means the intellectual movement initiated in 17th … Continue reading

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“We Rule You, We Fool You”: Classic 1911 Poster Depicting Capitalism Titled “Pyramid of Capitalist System”

When I watched the Republican debates this weekend, and Rick Santorum’s unhinged and flabbergasting assertion Saturday night that classes don’t even exist in the United States, I was put in mind of the below 1911 poster, and thought I’d post … Continue reading

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Paul Krugman 101: Paul Krugman Explains America’s Catch-22 Economy

Now that the Republicans have won the House of Representatives, Paul Krugman predicts their next moves: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible … Continue reading

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Are Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek Authoritarian Leftists?

At Dissent, Alan Johnson worries that two revered intellectual theorists, Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek, are increasingly sounding—it’s hard to be polite about this—old school authoritarian: I propose to write a series of posts on what I will call the “new authoritarian … Continue reading

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US Government Spending is about 45% of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

That’s a high number, and not seen since World War II. And it needs to come down. My prediction: as the economy recovers over the next few years, the percentage will drift downward, below 40% (and Republicans will not notice). … Continue reading

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A New Harris Poll asks “What do Republicans believe about Barack Obama?”

The answers that the Harris poll yielded are alarming. Here are four of the findings: 24% of Republicans think that Obama “may be the Antichrist” 38% think Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did” 57% think that … Continue reading

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Seem Familiar?

A John Birch Society flyer, early 1960s.  

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Quote of the Day

Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote this arresting passage in his short story, “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”: [P]eople appeared who began devising ways of bringing men together again, so that each individual, without ceasing to prize himself above all others, might not … Continue reading

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Red State Scare: As the Polls Tighten, Republican John McCain’s Brother Calls Northern Virginia “Communist Country”

As McCain’s campaign sinks in the polls, the rhetoric becomes ever more Manichean, demonizing, and hysterical. John McCain’s brother goes there. You have to be a communist, you see, to vote for Obama-Biden. Republicans have done such a great job … Continue reading

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Socialism for the Rich: How Did Wall Street Just Get $3000.00 from Every Man, Woman, and Child in America?

Answer: Deregulation, followed by George Bush and the “ol’ boys network” falling asleep at the wheel. Think of the looting of Iraq’s National Museum and presidential palaces after America’s occupation of Baghdad. Policing was not done, and theft proceeded unhindered. … Continue reading

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Glenn Greenwald on the Trillion Dollar Wall Street Bailout

Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com bitterly deconstructs the September 2008 trillion dollar economic bailout of Wall Street: What is more intrinsically corrupt than allowing people to engage in high-reward/no-risk capitalism — where they reap tens of millions of dollars and more every … Continue reading

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