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Old November 2nd, 2012, 03:08 PM   #1

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Socialism in the US?


With all the talk of socialism lately, seemingly predominant and the US as ultimately the last "arguably true", albeit... fading capitalistic society, it has reminded me of an e-book i had read some time ago that said socialism is a foreign idea to the American psyche. Is this true? If so, then where did it originate? If not, where are it's roots in the US? Lastly, why the ridiculously biased antagonism between socialists and capitalists?
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Panthera tigris altaica View Post
With all the talk of socialism lately, seemingly predominant and the US as ultimately the last "arguably true", albeit... fading capitalistic society, it has reminded me of an e-book i had read some time ago that said socialism is a foreign idea to the American psyche. Is this true? If so, then where did it originate? If not, where are it's roots in the US? Lastly, why the ridiculously biased antagonism between socialists and capitalists?
Well, it has been around in the US for as long as it has existed. FDR is the giant on the American left, he really got the ball rolling. Progressives idolize him even though his entire presidency was misery. It goes back even further though, I think even cousin Teddy ran as a progressive at one point.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 03:41 PM   #3

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I think this occurred at a populist level: the European immigrants who came here 20 years on either of 1900 rejected socialism as old country thinking, with result that American labor unions did the same when they finally gained a firm foothold in the 1920s-30s. Unlike European unions, ours just wanted a piece of the American capitalist pie. Socialism here seems to have grown mainly among intellectuals and bureaucrats.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 03:45 PM   #4
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I think this occurred at a populist level: the European immigrants who came here 20 years on either of 1900 rejected socialism as old country thinking, with result that American labor unions did the same when they finally gained a firm foothold in the 1920s-30s. Unlike European unions, ours just wanted a piece of the American capitalist pie. Socialism here seems to have grown mainly among intellectuals and bureaucrats.
Rory what has happened to the Blue Dog Democrats? I grew up not really favoring either party, I considered the candidate. It seems to me that the Blue Dogs have been eradicated by socialists.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:03 PM   #5

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Most governments eventually develop to have a balance between socialism and capitalism. Capitalistic countries like US would develop Social Security, Medicare, etc. Socialist countries would reform and have more capitalistic leaning.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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The premises of this topic are false: The US isn't the last capitalist society, it is one of many. A welfare state does not constitute a socialist society. The golden boys of European """socialism""", the Scandinavian countries, are just as entrepreneurial and capitalist as the US, if not more so. Same thing with other """socialist""" countries around the world.

The watering down of the word 'socialist' to mean mainstream left-wing progressivism/social democracy is downright Orwellian.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:19 PM   #7

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Rory what has happened to the Blue Dog Democrats? I grew up not really favoring either party, I considered the candidate. It seems to me that the Blue Dogs have been eradicated by socialists.
I think some are still there. I think they've been chipped away by both more liberal Dems and Republicans. I guess I'm like you, I've moved from party to party. One of the things I like about Virginia is there's no official party registration -- you just register to vote and then pick a primary when you walk in polling place.


I think the definition of "Progressive" changed some between the two Roosevelts. The Progressives of the early 20th century certainly had an economic component, but they were mainly a political reform movement, advocating such things as direct election of senators, selection of candidates by primaries instead of caucuses, hiring of government employees by civil service tests, introduction of recall and referendum elections. Teddy was happy to take on the excesses of corporations, but I don't think he'd be redistributionist.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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I think some are still there. I think they've been chipped away by both more liberal Dems and Republicans. I guess I'm like you, I've moved from party to party. One of the things I like about Virginia is there's no official party registration -- you just register to vote and then pick a primary when you walk in polling place.


I think the definition of "Progressive" changed some between the two Roosevelts. The Progressives of the early 20th century certainly had an economic component, but they were mainly a political reform movement, advocating such things as direct election of senators, selection of candidates by primaries instead of caucuses, hiring of government employees by civil service tests, introduction of recall and referendum elections. Teddy was happy to take on the excesses of corporations, but I don't think he'd be redistributionist.
I know I miss the blue dogs. I feel like I have lost a friend or something.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 03:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Panthera tigris altaica View Post
With all the talk of socialism lately, seemingly predominant and the US as ultimately the last "arguably true", albeit... fading capitalistic society, it has reminded me of an e-book i had read some time ago that said socialism is a foreign idea to the American psyche. Is this true?
No it is not true. As an example, most of the great US writers were socialists: London, Hemingway, Twain, Steinbeck.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 04:47 AM   #10

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I think this occurred at a populist level: the European immigrants who came here 20 years on either of 1900 rejected socialism as old country thinking, with result that American labor unions did the same when they finally gained a firm foothold in the 1920s-30s.
I doubt it. Socialism had barely gotten hold in Europe around 1900, so it is very unlikely it would have been thought of as "old country thinking". Also socialism actually was on the rise in the US in that period as well.
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