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What socialist services does the US government provide?


Mr Skeptic
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What socialist services does the US government currently provide? It seems we have several:

*military

*police

*firefighters

*voting

*Medicare

*Medicaid

*Social Security

*healthcare (via emergency room, for people who can't pay)

*public libraries

*public schools

*government college grants, scholarships, and loans

*roads (except toll roads)

*the FDA

*the EPA

 

I'm probably missing some...

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When you are talking about socialist services I assume you mean services offered by both state and federal governments. You might want to mention

 

Sewage treatment,

the FCC,

Fema,

Parks and Recreation,

EBT/ Foodstamps,

Zoning Laws (so your house isn't next to a giant building or in an area where it is unsafe for a house)

Airport Security

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When you are talking about socialist services I assume you mean services offered by both state and federal governments.

 

By either of them, yes.

 

Zoning Laws (so your house isn't next to a giant building or in an area where it is unsafe for a house)

 

I think this one would qualify as legislation, rather than a socialist program. I suppose we do have a socialist legislature though.


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Oh, I missed a biggie:

*most of our justice system

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What's socialized is easily categorized into two groups.

 

 

1) any product or effort with useful benefits to society as a whole, that people don't shop for -- thus making it unprofitable to business interests -- and so it gets collectively paid for by various members of society.

 

Exploration/pioneering

 

NASA: no $$ in landing on moon, few returns on investment for businesses to pursue (even now).

Hubble telescope launch: the returns on private investment wouldn't have been met by selling pretty images.

Mars probe: ditto.

Satellite technology: GPS positioning. all business ventures that use it have government to thank for the network of satellites making it possible.

Grants: scientific research; expeditions; universities.

 

The items listed above kickstart plenty of opportunities for businesses later they'd not have otherwise. But there also exists many immediate kickstarts today: i.e. grants for business startups; charters to form a corporation; etc.

 

Business support

 

Intellectual Property framework: temporary rights are granted -- to decide how your creation is to be used in commerce.* Invaluable to the system of business as we know it.

Commerce infrastructure: roads, flight path systems, commercial property and vehicle zoning,

Small Business Development Center: at least one each state.

Declare bankruptcy and relevant protections.

 

(Timely) emergency alert

 

Warning systems: mass flood, earthquakes, other potential and realistic catastrophes.

• Storms for aircraft to beware, Coast Guard warnings for ships, rescue teams, navigation guidance.

 

 

 

2) any product or service that's often necessary for living a stable existence, yet unaffordable to a number of people.

 

The Basics

 

Universal staples in advanced cultures: modest food, housing, education, job transit, living conditions.

 

And sometimes, the bulk purchasing by government (also extra option for us) makes it competitive against opportunistic price jacking by industry -- the kind that fills the relevant business pockets yet hurts society overall -- including plenty of unrelated businesses.

 

Healthcare: public option running alongside (yet separate from) a capitalist health system.

Public broadcasting: good science and news (PBS, BBC).

Communication: mail, availability of internet, etc.

 

 

*i.e. You have the sole rights to determine how something is used. Temporarily.

 

Afterwards, it belongs to society.

 

 

For intellectual property, governments might also view their role of protecting inventions and creative works as a sort of agreement/contract: they'll offer the protection (and will foot the costs of enforcement), but will also grant fair usage to others, and if -- within a set time -- you (prenuptially) agree to donate those intellectual properties as a gesture/legacy to further all society.

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jackson33 is suffering from a severe case of not knowing what words mean. The Republican party, and Fox News, all are being really hypocritical brandying around words like "socialist" as some sort of evil while supporting various socialist programs. [/Quote]

 

Skeptic; It may be, I'm not relaying my arguments in an understandable manner or it may be some of 'you-all' have complicated matters by combining unrelated words. This post will be added to another of your threads, more applicable....

 

I have often said, the US is a Capitalist Society (opposed to Socialist), which have elected and maintained a form of Representative Government, point in fact, from that society. I may be guilty of trying to explain the unexplainable, with regards to US Federal Responsibilities, but because some have already judged the society, or that of Mandated Federal Duty, as socialistic. If you dissect this, it was the States (Colonies) that authorized these varies duties to the Unions Federal Government, not the reverse. With out trying to explain the process; Under the US Constitution, a majority of States hold the ultimate power for change and yes over the Congress, by a calling of a National Constitution Convention. In fact, that was this process, that gave us our current Constitution and Government, when those States decided, for reason, that the Confederation (our first government), in their opinion was not working, holding TOO much power over the States.

 

The Philadelphia Convention (now also known as the Constitutional Convention, the Federal Convention, or the "Grand Convention at Philadelphia") took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. [/Quote]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Convention

 

Jumping back to the Society and Socialism; If the people, their STATES, wish more social programs, paid for and operated through a Federal Government, neither the correct process or the Constitution are being followed, falling short of the approval and ratification of 3/4ths the States, the amendment process.

 

Now what your calling Socialism in the Government are wishes of the people for certain services or unified control, they themselves mandated to the Federal when that Government formed. What these duties and obligation granted government, for the most part fall under 'National Security' and the securing of the States, their people and their interest, where ever they might be. Over the years, what's involved to this has changed and many projects/programs are perfectly acceptable extensions of those original mandates NASA, FDA, EPA or any other agency, to the LIMITS of the above.

 

*military; Even today, the President (Commander In Chief) is limited to when and for what they are called to do.For instance the President cannot order a State NG to assist in a disaster, with out the Governors permission, unless Katrina changed that.

 

*police*firefighters*voting*Medicaid*public libraries*public schools*healthcare (via emergency room, for people who can't pay)*roads (except toll roads) Added; *Unemployment/Disability Compensation*Welfare Programs*Marriage/Permits;

 

These are all State Obligation and many more, that are often confused with the Federal, paid in total or part by every States according to their Constitution/law and regulations, unless coerced by the Federal in one or more ways. Roads for instance are partially paid for by the Federal (US and Interstate Highways only) with Taxes collected through Fuel taxes, with in their States, Voting ages/drinking ages/ road safety- seat belts today and many other with the threat of lost funding from one or more other programs.

 

*Medicare

*Social Security

 

These and dozens of others are programs adopted over the years are paid by the Federal, including future obligations, but were expected to be 'pay as you go programs', from future recipients, not products from the Federal, which they have become. Socialism, it taking wealth from some, giving it to others for reasons...

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I have often said, the US is a Capitalist Society (opposed to Socialist),

But, that's nonsense. We are a mixed society, a hybrid economy with both capitalist AND socialist components... as the above examples CLEARLY illustrate.

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But, that's nonsense. We are a mixed society, a hybrid economy with both capitalist AND socialist components... as the above examples CLEARLY illustrate. [/Quote]

 

iNow; The question is which style society, gives the authority and in our case the process under the Constitution. A Communist/Totalitarian/Dictatorship or most any Monarchy, that authority comes from the Government itself, where in the US and to some degree in other forms of Democracy, directly or indirectly from the people, in the US from the States, the peoples voice in Governing.

 

Most of the "examples" were never correctly adopted to begin with IMO and others were clearly designated/granted by the original States in the Constitution. I'm not saying societies cannot employ social policy, if properly done, just that today in the US and in my opinion, it's not being properly done were forced or coerced, in many cases since 1936...

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Well that's your opinion and you're certainly entitled to it, but it does seem to be in direct contradiction to the point iNow made, and I don't understand why a question of "style" comes into play. Either the constitution allows a thing or it does not. The founders were clearly aware of this and were clearly not looking to establish a pure democracy.

 

Your representation of "force" or "coercion" for the establishment of social laws seems to contradict their actual democratic origins.

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Skeptic; It may be, I'm not relaying my arguments in an understandable manner or it may be some of 'you-all' have complicated matters by combining unrelated words. This post will be added to another of your threads, more applicable....

 

Clearly we have some misunderstanding going on; hopefully this can be clarified even if we don't reach agreement.

 

I have often said, the US is a Capitalist Society (opposed to Socialist),

 

Indeed you have said that, and we have said that it has both capitalist and socialist aspects. We have given evidence, the above programs, which are socialist and therefore proven that the US has socialist aspects to it. Do you have any evidence that the US is purely capitalist, other than your opinion or someone else's opinion? Can you show that the programs we listed aren't socialist?

 

which have elected and maintained a form of Representative Government, point in fact, from that society.

 

Well, this does not bode well for my claim that you are confusing socialism with some form of authoritarianism.

 

I may be guilty of trying to explain the unexplainable, with regards to US Federal Responsibilities, but because some have already judged the society, or that of Mandated Federal Duty, as socialistic. If you dissect this, it was the States (Colonies) that authorized these varies duties to the Unions Federal Government, not the reverse. With out trying to explain the process; Under the US Constitution, a majority of States hold the ultimate power for change and yes over the Congress, by a calling of a National Constitution Convention. In fact, that was this process, that gave us our current Constitution and Government, when those States decided, for reason, that the Confederation (our first government), in their opinion was not working, holding TOO much power over the States.

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Convention

 

Jumping back to the Society and Socialism; If the people, their STATES, wish more social programs, paid for and operated through a Federal Government, neither the correct process or the Constitution are being followed, falling short of the approval and ratification of 3/4ths the States, the amendment process.

 

Now what your calling Socialism in the Government are wishes of the people for certain services or unified control, they themselves mandated to the Federal when that Government formed. What these duties and obligation granted government, for the most part fall under 'National Security' and the securing of the States, their people and their interest, where ever they might be. Over the years, what's involved to this has changed and many projects/programs are perfectly acceptable extensions of those original mandates NASA, FDA, EPA or any other agency, to the LIMITS of the above.

 

*military; Even today, the President (Commander In Chief) is limited to when and for what they are called to do.For instance the President cannot order a State NG to assist in a disaster, with out the Governors permission, unless Katrina changed that.

 

*police*firefighters*voting*Medicaid*public libraries*public schools*healthcare (via emergency room, for people who can't pay)*roads (except toll roads) Added; *Unemployment/Disability Compensation*Welfare Programs*Marriage/Permits;

 

These are all State Obligation and many more, that are often confused with the Federal, paid in total or part by every States according to their Constitution/law and regulations, unless coerced by the Federal in one or more ways. Roads for instance are partially paid for by the Federal (US and Interstate Highways only) with Taxes collected through Fuel taxes, with in their States, Voting ages/drinking ages/ road safety- seat belts today and many other with the threat of lost funding from one or more other programs.

 

*Medicare

*Social Security

 

These and dozens of others are programs adopted over the years are paid by the Federal, including future obligations, but were expected to be 'pay as you go programs', from future recipients, not products from the Federal, which they have become. Socialism, it taking wealth from some, giving it to others for reasons...

 

Well, nowhere have I claimed that we are authoritarian, nor that all these socialist programs are at the federal level (you can have socialism at the state level just fine), nor does the constitutionality or legality of any of these programs impact whether they are socialist or not.

 

It is like you said at the last bit, taking wealth from some and giving it to others, which all of the above programs do.

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Skeptic, iNow and Pangloss; When you think of any society, your thinking in general terms of what you perceive that society to be. Example, you might feel China, is Communist (it is), yet your aware they have Capitalist principles involved in there economy (always have allowed some). What I'm trying to explain is that, what appears to be Capitalist in China is the acceptance by Government and what your calling Socialistic in the US, should be coming from the Governed. Do any of you feel, the US is Socialist or would be willing to be governed by a Socialist Federal Government today????

 

Suggestion; Place a poll header on your thread, "Is the US a socialist country" Yes or no, the only answers. The result may be interesting since apparently 53% of Democrats, believe economically it already is...

 

Recently in the news it was reported that 53 percent of Democrats in the United States believe socialism is an accepted economic system, which to me is mind boggling.

 

It is no secret that socialism spreads around what assets a society has, which in effect is proven to squander wealth; on the other hand capitalism creates wealth. [/Quote]

 

http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2010/02/16/opinion/letters/ltr_stamos_100216.txt

 

He got it from a Gallup roll, where even a larger number of Liberals (61%) have a favorable view of Socialism. And you wonder why I'm showing concerns...

 

PRINCETON, NJ -- More than one-third of Americans (36%) have a positive image of "socialism," while 58% have a negative image. Views differ by party and ideology, with a majority of Democrats and liberals saying they have a positive view of socialism, compared to a minority of Republicans and conservatives.[/Quote]

 

http://www.gallup.com/poll/125645/socialism-viewed-positively-americans.aspx

 

Indeed you have said that, and we have said that it has both capitalist and socialist aspects. We have given evidence, the above programs, which are socialist and therefore proven that the US has socialist aspects to it. Do you have any evidence that the US is purely capitalist, other than your opinion or someone else's opinion? Can you show that the programs we listed aren't socialist? [/Quote]

 

Skeptic; Since there is NO, Pure Socialist or Capitalist Country on the planet, I couldn't prove anything by degree. Unlike my own references, I don't believe 10% of the US population would desire a Socialist Economy over Capitalism or the counterparts for Governing, extremes being Democratic or Communism, if they understood there meanings and/or histories.

 

Lets go one better and you prove any one Program you feel was properly imposed on the US, by the Federal Government through the proper procedure (which would be democratic) regardless the economic term used. Hint, most everything we're talking about (Federal) has come from one program, built on through time, was never approved by an amendment or 3/4th's the States or (Pangloss) has been accepted for coercion or threats by the Federal....

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Do any of you feel, the US is Socialist or would be willing to be governed by a Socialist Federal Government today????

 

Nope, but as iNow said above, it's not a pure capitalist society either. It's a mix, it always has been a mix, and it should remain a mix, IMO.

 

Suggestion; Place a poll header on your thread, "Is the US a socialist country" Yes or no, the only answers. The result may be interesting since apparently 53% of Democrats, believe economically it already is...

 

That's not what your article quote says:

 

Recently in the news it was reported that 53 percent of Democrats in the United States believe socialism is an accepted economic system, which to me is mind boggling.

 

That's a very different thing from saying that they believe that the US is a socialist nation. And the author of this opinion piece does not cite a source for this "report" so we have no way to know what these people were actually asked.

 

 

I don't believe 10% of the US population would desire a Socialist Economy over Capitalism or the counterparts for Governing, extremes being Democratic or Communism, if they understood there meanings and/or histories.

 

That may even be true, but it has nothing to do with the percentage of the US population that would support one law versus another.

 

Your problem (and your frustration) stems from the fact that the American people aren't willing to accept blanket condemnations of All Things Left/Right of Center. The world is not black and white. It is gray. And in spite of all your efforts to change this (and the efforts of all other partisans, left or right), most Americans still make their decisions at an issue-by-issue level.

 

Not an ideological level.

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Just out of interest, is anyone opposed to taking a socialistic approach to fire-fighting, infectious-disease control and curing, and pest (rat/cockroach/fleas/etc) removal?

 

(I would assume you'd want to add pest-control and road-cleaning to your lists, but I'm in the UK so i'm not sure).

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Well, I don't think that the US military really qualifies as a Socialist program as it is a consumer of capitalist products. If the Military were running the industry that built the planes it used then yes, it would be socialist. But since it doesn't own the means of production, and is instead a consumer of it, it can't be claimed to be socialist.

 

Socialist isn't "anything that the government uses tax money to pay for".. the government has to be actively involved in producing the goods that it is using and distributing before it can be considered socialist.

 

On the other hand, the government intervention in GM would be considered socialist because it was taking a controlling share in the company as well as valuing Union stock over all other public stocks in the bankruptcy proceedings. That would be called a "double whammy" I think as it both takes controlling share as well as promotes direct worker ownership of the industry.

 

Single Payer health care, on the other hand, would be more of a National Socialist program as it inserts complete government control, as sole consumer, of "privately owned" national industries... in this manner there is a "industrialist" class in the government hierarchy. Without trying to be inflammatory, the most readily available example of such a role that people would have seen would be Oscar Schindler from "Schindler's List". He held one of those "Industrialist" positions in Nazi Germany (like Wilhelm Messerschmidt, and others).

 

NASA, likewise, is not socialist as it's products and built by private industry... and it avoids being considered "National Socialist" only because there is really nobody who can run even the Space Shuttle program privately (to the tune of $170 billion).

 

Also, I don't think it's fair to label NASA as "few returns on investment" as NASA drove a large portion of the technology industry for decades, and few would question the value in pushing that envelope now, even when when the moon was the only readily available goal then.

 

NASA and the Military made possible the technology that allows us to discuss a good deal of what we know on this forum today, as well as our ability to discuss it at all. That is no small return on investment.

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Well, I don't think that the US military really qualifies as a Socialist program as it is a consumer of capitalist products. If the Military were running the industry that built the planes it used then yes, it would be socialist. But since it doesn't own the means of production, and is instead a consumer of it, it can't be claimed to be socialist.

 

The "product" of the military is violence, not planes. Planes are just one of the tools they use. (And, incidentally, the government is "sole consumer" of many of those tools. Hmmm...)

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Well, I don't think that the US military really qualifies as a Socialist program as it is a consumer of capitalist products. If the Military were running the industry that built the planes it used then yes, it would be socialist. But since it doesn't own the means of production, and is instead a consumer of it, it can't be claimed to be socialist.

 

Socialist isn't "anything that the government uses tax money to pay for".. the government has to be actively involved in producing the goods that it is using and distributing before it can be considered socialist.

 

I'm considering the military socialist, because:

1) They are being paid for by we, the people, and we are required to do so by the government

2.a) They are under the control of we, the people (via an elected, civilian Commander in Chief)

2.b) Furthermore, funding for military operations and official declaration of war are done by a group of civilians again on behalf of we, the people.

 

They're "our" military. They're not "Bush's military" or "Obama's military" or "Haliburton's military". They're "our" military.

 

NASA, likewise, is not socialist as it's products and built by private industry... and it avoids being considered "National Socialist" only because there is really nobody who can run even the Space Shuttle program privately (to the tune of $170 billion).

 

But they are being paid for by we, the people. And, presumably, they are doing this research on behalf of us. Still, I think enough of their stuff is classified that it might be reasonable not to call them a socialist program (we the people don't "own" them).


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The "product" of the military is violence, not planes. Planes are just one of the tools they use. (And, incidentally, the government is "sole consumer" of many of those tools. Hmmm...)

 

That's "high quality violence", if you don't mind! We have the biggest and bestest military in the world! [/nationalistic]

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Example, you might feel China, is Communist (it is)

 

I would just like to point out that China is not communist in any sense of the ideology, rather it is a totarian military dictatorship, that calls itself communist to look good. although the US people have decidedly (by media influence) marked communist as evil/bad.

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Nope, but as iNow said above, it's not a pure capitalist society either. It's a mix, it always has been a mix, and it should remain a mix, IMO. [/Quote]

 

Pangloss; Sorry, but that really doesn't even make sense to me. Obviously there are always going to be different ideological viewpoints and this could no more be prevented, than the Communist Societies could eliminate those feeling Democratic rule would be the best.

 

 

(1)Your problem (and your frustration) stems from the fact that the American people aren't willing to accept blanket condemnations of All Things Left/Right of Center. (2) The world is not black and white. It is gray. (3) And in spite of all your efforts to change this (and the efforts of all other partisans, left or right), most Americans still make their decisions at an issue-by-issue level. [/Quote]

 

1- Sorry, I am not in the least bit frustrated. If I wish being agreed with, there are plenty of forums to visit, blogs or political gatherings, where my comments would be and have been accepted nearly 100%.

 

2- The Constitution, however is black and white, as are the laws of this land or any other. If you want change, do it correctly and hold to the procedures available. Center, by the way has always moved in American Society. I no doubt was left of center in the 50's and 60's, where today, I'm probably seen as falling off the right side....with many of the SAME viewpoints.

 

3- Actually, I would say most Americans make decisions based on their own interest, not the Nation. The problems with this, is those decisions will sooner or later come back to haunt them. They want all kinds of things that seemingly will benefit them and oppose any means to pay for them.

 

 

Dak; I'm always interest in British or European viewpoints...

On your three issues, in the US, all fire fighting is local, mostly by set up districts or by States for Forest Fires and the like, same for pest control which is not only local, but comes from the private sector. Street cleaning (snow or other) this is a local or State issue which could easily be privatized, as are most Trash pick ups, are today.

 

As for infectious disease, Pharmaceutical Companies (world wide) are always involved and working on current or future potential outbreaks.

 

 

jryan; Another good post...


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I would just like to point out that China is not communist in any sense of the ideology, rather it is a totarian military dictatorship, that calls itself communist to look good. although the US people have decidedly (by media influence) marked communist as evil/bad.[/Quote]

 

Zolar; I would tend to agree with your viewpoint of China. I know they have a Constitution and pretend to be for the people, but don't act accordingly. To me however Communism is the opposite of Democratic, for these discussions and my point is basically the linking of terms, such as Capitalism and Communist or Democracy, which are not related. It's would still be my guess, most people in the US feel China is Communist Society, has a socialist economy (run by government) but has some Capitalist participants in their economy.

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The "product" of the military is violence, not planes. Planes are just one of the tools they use. (And, incidentally, the government is "sole consumer" of many of those tools. Hmmm...)

 

That is really contorting the economic definition of "industry" and "product". Also, if the military went around punching people with their fists and soldiers were created in Federal birthing tanks then you may have a point, and a foundation for a sci-fi novel.

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That is really contorting the economic definition of "industry" and "product". Also, if the military went around punching people with their fists and soldiers were created in Federal birthing tanks then you may have a point, and a foundation for a sci-fi novel.

 

How do you figure? The military isn't providing me with tanks. It's killing people on my behalf, using tanks. It's called a service. Like the postal service is a service (delivering physical objects), and not a provider of little white trucks. What do punching with fists or "federal birthing tanks" have to do with anything? If something can't be socialist unless it's run by government test tube babies, then socialism has never existed in any form.

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I'm considering the military socialist, because:

1) They are being paid for by we, the people, and we are required to do so by the government

2.a) They are under the control of we, the people (via an elected, civilian Commander in Chief)

2.b) Furthermore, funding for military operations and official declaration of war are done by a group of civilians again on behalf of we, the people.

 

They're "our" military. They're not "Bush's military" or "Obama's military" or "Haliburton's military". They're "our" military.

 

But you are redefining "Socialist" to suit your argument. The military is a service, to be sure, but it is not a SOCIALIST service because it owns no industry and produces no materials.

 

 

But they are being paid for by we, the people. And, presumably, they are doing this research on behalf of us. Still, I think enough of their stuff is classified that it might be reasonable not to call them a socialist program (we the people don't "own" them).

 

No, WE the people do not OWN the Military. WE the People ARE the Military. The Military, absent the goods purchased from capitalist industry, is nothing but people... and we abolished the ownership of people long ago.

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To me however Communism is the opposite of Democratic, for these discussions and my point is basically the linking of terms, such as Capitalism and Communist or Democracy, which are not related.

 

Im not sure i would classify communism as an opposite of democracy.

my reasoning is as follows;

In Communism you have a society that decides what the society needs and controlls the administration/production of the needed items.

where as in a Democracy the society still decide what the society needs and if it is something that the government should provide they make it so.

 

really democracy is Communism with another layer of administration.

eg, communism people are in direct control of the "government" of the society

Democracy has the people in an Indirect control of the government.

 

Capitalism is realted in both Communistic and Democratic governments.

you can still have a communist society with capitalism and you obvioulsy have a democratic society engaging in capitalism aswell.

they dont seem that unrealted to me. :D

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How do you figure? The military isn't providing me with tanks. It's killing people on my behalf, using tanks. It's called a service. Like the postal service is a service (delivering physical objects), and not a provider of little white trucks. What do punching with fists or "federal birthing tanks" have to do with anything? If something can't be socialist unless it's run by government test tube babies, then socialism has never existed in any form.

 

I figure that the military is organization and training, so the only pure socialist violence possible would be federally produced soldiers committing violence with said federally produced products. Knees elbows, feet and flatulence would also count... assuming the food was grown on communes.

 

The Soviets would count as a socialist army because they were also an industry unto themselves that produced the weapons that they used. But the soviet military was also more of a National Socialist industry with competing industrialists vying for the adoption of their solution to various military needs over competing industrialists (MiG -vs- Ilyushin. etc.).

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But you are redefining "Socialist" to suit your argument. The military is a service, to be sure, but it is not a SOCIALIST service because it owns no industry and produces no materials.

 

Your looking at the military in the wrong aspect. It is not a entity in itself where it needs to own products to be considered socialist, rather the military IS the product/industry and WE own it/control it, fund it, and do with it what we will.

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