Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Socialism, Distributism, Etc.

First, there's this bit from Jerry Pournelle on what "distributism" is:

Then there's this bit from the Kansas City Star, which states that calling Obama a "socialist" is code language for "black." (Stupid question here, but why should anyone require code for something that is patently obvious?)

Weird world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like Pournelle's fiction, but this pervasive meme that anybody in any American major political party is a "socialist" betrays nothing more than a howling ignorance of what the actual political and economic philosophy of socialism is.

No Democrat has proposed as part of their platform to seize state control over the means of production or distribution. We have not nationalized the steel industry, or Silicon Valley, or really anything (except for banks, apparently, which because it benefits a certain minority percentage of so-called "conservatives" is apparently not socialist).

Raising taxes is not "socialist"'s just taxes. The Earned Income Credit isn't "socialist"'s tax relief for those below the poverty line. It's also not, as Pournelle tries to draw in his first sentence, something unique to the Democratic party. the EIC has existed as part of the tax code for decades and decades. It is not somehow a uniquely Democratic idea to provide middle-class (and really only very lower middle-class) tax relief via a tweak of the EIC. It's been done many times before.

Raising taxes on profitable industries =/= socialism. Seizing government control over those industries is socialism. The tired McCarthyist red-scare rhetoric of calling every liberal politician a "socialist" is just that...tired. And it's lazy thinking from Pournelle, which surprises me.