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[–]quickbeam 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (9 children)

Well, I'm a Democratic Socialist and I want everyone to have a living wage for their work, adequate housing and food if they can't work, Medicare For All (mirroring the very functional healthcare programs in like every other country), and affordable or free college education if we're going to require a degree for every job under the sun. I know a lot of other Democratic Socialists and they are highly educated and they want the same things. I'm betting you don't know many actual human beings who identify themselves as Democratic Socialists, so why would your knowledge be better than a person with firsthand experience? Are you a person who thinks Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders are at all similar? If you are, you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to what leftists are advocating for. We're all supporting Shahid Buttar who's running to get Pelosi out. There may be a very few politicians using the socialist label to get power, but it's honestly a pretty poor way to get power in the U.S. right now when you consider that Biden (who was railing against socialism at every debate) is now the Democratic nominee, not Bernie, who could actually string full sentences together in addition to having better ideas. in any case, I'm a very well-educated and well-read individual who has lived and worked abroad, so if you want to recruit people for your anti-communist crusade you'd best look elsewhere. Have a nice day, though! I'm glad to be in a place where people are allowed to speak freely, even if I don't agree with you!

[–]Canbot 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (8 children)

The things you say you want are universals. Everyone wants that. What they don't want is the ignorant raising of the minimum wage without consideration for whether it would achieve the goal of raising the quality of life for those on minimum wage or simply increase inflation thereby lowering the quality of life for all wage earners while enriching capital holders.

and they are highly educated

Unfortunately these days that just means more brainwashed, more arrogant, and pigheaded. We live in a world where college professors and administrators lead the charge for censorship, deplatforming, demonizing opposing ideas, slandering opponents, and violent action against peaceful opposition. They pretend to teach both sides of an issue but then give a slanderous description of the opposition. The longer you spend in this kind of indoctrination the dumber you are.

I'm betting you don't know many actual human beings who identify themselves as Democratic Socialists

I know you, and I have had many conversations with people who call themselves that over the internet. Talking to someone face to face, and talking to them over the internet are not that different. In fact, this format is far better for getting to know someone because it allows them to collect their thoughts, organize them, and make a thoughtful response if they are so inclined. When talking to someone in a conversation there is far less room for thought, it is reactionary quips and when someone pauses to think that is generally the end of the conversation. No one has time to sit there while you think. However two people can come back to the same conversation on the internet over the course of several days.

One thing all of you seem to have in common is the belief that even though you call yourself a socialist, you don't mean socialist. And it is not you who is misusing the word but in fact everyone else who thinks you are using the word correctly that is ignorant and wrong. In reality putting Democratic in front of Socialist does not allow you do redefine what socialist means. It is you who is responsible for confusion and not everyone else who is ignorant.

I'm a very well-educated and well-read individual

I highly doubt you touch any reading material that does not reinforce your beliefs. I doubt you watch conservative YouTube channels with an open mind. I doubt you could make an accurate argument for any ideology besides your own. In fact studies have shown that when Conservatives are asked to describe the beliefs of progressives they are orders of magnitude more accurate than when progressives describe conservative beliefs.

[–]theFriendlyDoomer 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (7 children)

I highly doubt you touch any reading material that does not reinforce your beliefs. I doubt you watch conservative YouTube channels with an open mind. I doubt you could make an accurate argument for any ideology besides your own.

What are some of your favorite left reading material that does not enforce your beliefs? How about left YouTube channels that you watch with an open mind? How much time do you spend with that broadening process?

[–]Canbot 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

That is what aboutism. You seem to think that you are more well informed than other people. If YOU don't go in depth into arguments that oppose your beliefs YOU are not, regardless of who else is as poorly informed as you. I don't go around with the arrogant belief that because I am well educated on a certain paradigm that I know everything there is to know and therefore my position is simply to teach others. That is the arrogance I constantly have to battle from leftists. That is the impression I am getting from what you wrote. And I have lots of conversations with people right of me and they don't have the same arrogance.

This is not a "I'm better than you" argument. It's a "you are not as informed as you think you are". You can never be well informed if you are only informed on Democratic Socialism; even if you have a doctorate in it.

[–]theFriendlyDoomer 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

That is what aboutism.

It's a test of whether you follow the same principles you expect in someone else. I literally just mirrored the sentences you wrote and changed the word "conservative" to "left."

I read so many things by conservatives/reactionaries that I'd actually have a harder time putting together a left reading list for you -- though come to think of it, I could. Ask me to, if you want -- but I doubt you're going to be able to make the time.

Longer form writing really is the better way to see the other side, as I had already written here.. It's hard really to change a mind in a debate format. It's too emotional and trust tends to erode as the debate goes on. With a book -- at least a good one -- you build trust with the author.

To be honest, all three things I'm reading right now are by reactionaries. 1) The excellent aphorisms of Don Colacho 2) Mencius Moldbug's An Open Letter to Open-Minded Progressives 3) Budapest 1900 by the endearing John Lukacs (no link -- it's a library book).

I just got done with Mussolini's Intellectuals by A. James Gregor. And though it's an academic treatment, at it shows I'm willing to listen to the ideas.

And, no, I'm not pretending that this is normal for people to the left of you. Most people don't do their homework. I was just seeing if you were one. If not, no worries -- you're in the vast majority.

[–]Canbot 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

What is your favorite/most convincing book on democratic socialism?

[–]theFriendlyDoomer 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I think if I were to recommend one to get someone started, I think it'd be David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years. To get a feel for you like him, perhaps read this piece.

I should hasten to add that I don't consider myself a democratic socialist, however. To your point earlier, one of the reasons the left is less accurate in predicting the views of the right (I'd need a real source for it being by "orders of magnitude") is that there are so many flavors of the right. There is a powerful, but mostly forgotten, religious tradition against usury, for example. In Putin's Russia much more is done to support families and child-rearing than we do in the U.S. And Tucker Carlson has pointed out the absurdity of running on "Keep America Great" when young people are priced out of the goods necessary to start a stable family. Here's a article from The American Conservative one strain of conservative thought from last century:

Distributism is the rather awkward name given to a program of political economy formulated chiefly by G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, two of the most prominent English writers of the early 20th century. Both Catholics, they sought to turn the social teaching of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI into a concrete program of action. They rejected socialism, believing that private property was an essential component of human flourishing, but they also rejected the existing capitalist system as concentrating private property in far too few hands.

I can get on board with that. If I had to put a label on my beliefs, they would be a kind of localism -- perhaps closer to what Chesterton is saying, perhaps closer to Small is Beautiful, perhaps more like Wendell Berrry. If you don't accept any need for distribution -- the whole "taxation is theft" crowd -- then your proposed mind-opening reading list could start with Chesterton instead of Graeber. Reading Chesterton has the added benefits of reading one of the best prose writers of all time.

[–]Canbot 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

They rejected socialism, believing that private property was an essential component of human flourishing, but they also rejected the existing capitalist system as concentrating private property in far too few hands.

I mean... this is about right. However, welfare or redistribution has to be done right. We have many welfare programs already and they are abused and fail to achieve results. The first step is to reform the welfare system, not to keep dumping more money on the problem. That means holding welfare recipients accountable for some kind of contribution to the system. It means cancelling programs that do not achieve results.

Do you think we need more welfare? Why?

[–]theFriendlyDoomer 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Do you think we need more welfare? Why?

Oh, let's see how bad this economic downturn gets. After that, let's see how many jobs automation and AI take away on net.

As long as unemployment gets back to a relatively low number, it makes some sense to prefer people to work. But as we hit these potentially cascading crises, I'm going to be less amused by people who just move the goal posts because they want to pretend everything is fine and they'd rather protect some idea for a grand moral order. Bad things can happen to decent people . . . even good people.

It would appear that healthcare is what will really crack this country, however. Fixing that is well above my pay grade. And I mean that in a very real way. Whoever fixes it will need not just the right ideas but management skills and the ability to sale a vision to the public. Trump has only one of these abilities (salesmanship) and with that only to about half the country. I doubt Biden has any of these abilities. So, things are going to be bad until someone has the skills and power. This last bit is more a prediction than a wish list.

But I try not to get too worked up either way.

[–]Canbot 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

But we don't need new welfare programs to accommodate an expanding unemployed group. The current system does that. All those people can claim unemployment, and stay on welfare for as long as they are unable to find work. Yet there is always someone demanding more welfare. Why are we giving people free cell phones and internet? Why would they ever go to work when every luxury is provided to them? This is toxic and dysfunctional.

The problem with healthcare is fraud. Hospitals do it. Doctors do it. Medical companies do it. Researchers do it. Dumping money on the problem makes it worse, not better. I am for healthcare reform, not taxpayer funded highway robbery. I am also for free market solutions over government regulations that get side stepped by the big guys and are purposefully worded in a way that kill competition from the little guy.

Legalize uncertified health providers. There are thousands of cases where someone sets up an underground dental office to serve a poor community. They make money, the community gets dental care they couldn't otherwise afford. It's a win win. Until the government finds out and destroys it, and arrests the unlicensed dentist. Legalize importing of drugs. Make government funded research publicly available. After that is done we can see who is still falling through the cracks and have specific programs for those cases.