Printable Version of Topic

Click here to view this topic in its original format

America's Debate _ Election 2008 _ Is Hillary Clinton a Socialist?

Posted by: Victoria Silverwolf Sep 24 2007, 09:16 AM

I found this quote on a completely unrelated thread:

QUOTE("TheFoundersIntent")
Hillary Clinton . . . is a known socialist . . .


I dispute this. I would say that there is no major American politician who could accurately be called a socialist (let alone a Socialist.) This perception comes about, I think, from the position that any political position which is not firmly conservative is socialist. It's a good scare word, now that "liberal" is not quite so poisonous a term as it was during the Reagan years. Frankly, I think it's as inaccurate as calling any political position which is not firmly liberal "fascist."

Don't take my word for it. Let's ask William F. Buckley, one of the great intellects of modern American conservatism, what he thinks.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NjhiMGMzYWQ4MTAzNjJmZGU1ZWU2NWFmNjQ5YjJhZjM

QUOTE
Well, she is sort of ... left-wing, no?

Well, not entirely. In her early political life she was a cheerleader for Barry Goldwater. If she had married George Wallace, and if he had then gone to the White House, is there any reason to suppose that she would not have espoused the views expected of Mrs. George Wallace?

There are those who point to her preposterous health plan as evidence of her ideological naivete, her capacity to fondle statist models for dealing with social issues.

Well, yes, she is certainly a liberal. But there aren't any grounds for believing she is a hard-core socialist.

There are only grounds for believing that she is comfortable occupying positions that maximize her political popularity. She does this with a broad smile, a lovely face, and a piquant sense of destiny. Barack Obama has to pry out a position more central, and then center in on it. Either that, or find for the Democratic party some other, engaging view of what to do for our fatherland/motherland.


(I deliberately choose a firmly conservative commentator who is no fan of Senator Clinton.)

Opportunist, yes. Socialist, no.

For the sake of fairness, let me offer an opinion from someone who thinks that Clinton really is a socialist.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/DouglasMacKinnon/2007/08/21/news_of_the_future_president_hillary_clinton_surrenders_america

QUOTE
Since the day she became a United States Senator, she has been running for president. Toward that end, she understands better than any, that she has to successfully deceive enough Americans into believing she is a “centrist” -- instead of the committed socialist she is – in order to obtain the most powerful office in the world.


The fact that this article ends with an utterly paranoid nightmare about President Hillary Clinton speaks for itself, I think.

QUOTE
Washington, DC – September 11, 2012 – Today, President Hillary Clinton received the following joint communiqué from the leadership of Al Qaida, Hezbollah, and Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez: “Because your policies so easily allowed us to reconstitute our powers and infiltrate your pathetically porous borders, we have hidden three nuclear weapons in three major American cities. If you try to find them, we will set them off. If you do not give in to our demand, we will set them off. Our demand? That you surrender your nation to us or suffer the loss of millions of Americans. There will be no negotiation.”

Washington, DC – September 12, 2012 – Today, President Hillary Clinton surrendered the United States of America to terrorists.


(Never mind the rather bizarre linking of Chavez with Islamist fanatics; this whole scenario is absurd.)

To Be Debated:

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?



Posted by: Julian Sep 24 2007, 12:58 PM

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?

No, she isn't, because she doesn't espouse any socialist policies.

My definition of socialism is the old British Labour Party constitution's Clause IV:

QUOTE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clause_IV


Common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange by workers by hand or brain. That means nationalisation of private businesses. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mrs Clinton is not suggesting that any industries be nationalised, therefore she is not a "true" socialist. The closest she might come is by overhauling th US healthcare system to include more tax-funding and government direction, which might just sneak into this definition under the "best obtainable system of popular administration of each industry or service", but even that isn't really truly socialist because it's only talking about ONE industry or service.

There are no socialists active in national politics in the USA to my knowledge, let alone in the running for a presidential nomination.

Hell, there are scant few left in national politics in the UK (where Clause IV was defined and adopted) since Tony Blair took over as Labour leader and removed Clause IV from the party constitution.

Posted by: Vladimir Sep 24 2007, 02:59 PM

Notwithstanding the way the term "socialist" is bandied about by right-wing rhetoreticians, what differentiates socialism from capitalism is that under capitalism, the means of production are in private hands, and the profits of production fall into the hands of the ownwers. "Ownership" of capital is, indeed, merely the writ in law to exercise the powers just described. Under socialism, capital is essentially eliminated, and the means of production are in public hands. Thus under capitalism, how much to consume out of the profits of prodution, and how much and in what projects to reinvest them, are private decisions; under socialism these are public decisions. Under socialism, loosely speaking, the farms and factories become like the roads and bridges in terms of their planning and administration. A better analogy might be with toll roads, since in general, profits are earned.

Contrary to a common misunderstanding, this distinction has essentially nothing to do with the level of social services provided to citizens in general by the state. It is to be supposed that a socialist state would supply more public services than a state whose purpose was to facilitate capitalism, but this distinction isn't the essential one.

In Marxist theory it's usually supposed that socialism will come about through the working class achieving sufficient political power to enable it essentially to dictate a thoroughgoing transformation; it's difficult to conceive of this happening while subtantial political power is weilded by capitalists, certainly. But there are alternative schools of thought whereby the "nationalizaton" of large branches of industry is seen to be consistent with, and politically possible under, the preservation of capitalism in many or most sectors.

The idea that Hilary Clinton is a socialist is, of course, ridiculous. Since when has she proposed the expropriation of the means of production and the elimination of the stock market? Since when, indeed, has she called for political struggle on a class basis? No, dear friends, Hilary Clinton is about as progressive in her understanding of these questions as Dwight Eisenhower was.

This silly talk of socialism is just rhetoric from the health insurance industry, who are terribly worried right now that the next administration won't allow them to keep their excessively generous piece of the health expenditure pie. Personally I hope for a single payer system; but even if it came about, I certainly wouldn't hail it as socialism.

Posted by: AuthorMusician Sep 24 2007, 05:40 PM

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?

She was raised a Republican and changed to Democrat somewhere along the way, getting on Bill's good side I imagine but don't know for sure.

The only thing that brings on accusations of being a socialist is that Hillary favors social programs. In today's US politics, that equates to being a socialist.

I know, it's a brainless stretch. I don't agree with it for one moment. But it makes some people feel better, it doesn't cost very much and it lasts a long time.

I agree that the drug company/HMO lobbyists are hard at it early on. Maybe they'll win again, but times, they have been a-changing. Fewer people can afford health insurance and the prices have kept shooting up and up, both for insurance and service. But only the Democrats are looking for a solution. That makes them socialists on the far right, which is all that's left. No, right. Well you know.

Posted by: Ted Sep 24 2007, 05:55 PM

No she is IMO a center left Democrat who is trying hard (now that she is running) to look more conservative (for the independents she hopes to pick up) and more liberal for the left wing of the party as represented by MoveOn etc.


Nothing in her (or anyone else’s for that matter) position is Socialist. That said she, I am sure, supports increased “socialization” such as this health care for kids bill that is now been vetoed by GB.

This bill would have, if passed, effectively moved millions of “kids” (some 25 years old) from private to Federal insurance. I did not hear her condemn it.

As I have said before “real” Socialism is nearly dead in the world – RIP.

Posted by: CruisingRam Sep 24 2007, 06:02 PM

the minute a self proclaimed conservative calls someone besides, oh Marx, a "socialist"- I label them in my mind "moron, idiot, ignorant"- who is just parroting whatever right wing radio says that day, and they just gobble up what those folks say- and don't even try to figure out if they are being led down a path.

There is no succesful elected politician in this country that could be called socialist- they need corporate sponsorship in order to get to higher office-so they are not for all means of production in the hands of goverment.

Can't think of a single federal level lawmaker calling for a nationalization of all industry hmmm.gif Can you? Maybe there is some obscure lawmaker somewhere demanding GM be turned into a nationalized industry? hmmm.gif

Regulation or an entity like welfare is not socialist- it has nothing to do with a federal takeover of an industry.

It is nothing more than a boogeyman for idiots to follow, basically.

Those that believed the swift boat liars are in the same group- total morons that shouldn't be allowed to breed- much less vote- they just don't have the brain power to think for themselves or really figure out how to tie thier shoes- rolleyes.gif - but, folks like Rush and his ilk rely on thier listeners to BE ignorant and not research issues for themselves-

and it is something that our founding fathers were so afraid of straight rule of the majority- it wasn't just elitism- but a free society depends on an educated and informed voters to keep this kind of thing from happening. And voters in America usually don't even know who they are voting for at the local level, or bond issues, or anything like that- they don't even bother to research things that are in thier nieghborhood that effect them every day.

In the Kerry election- folks believed that Kerry was going to take away thier bibles in Arkansas and other southern states.

I even heard one preacher up here espousing that view. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Ted Sep 24 2007, 07:22 PM

QUOTE
Those that believed the swift boat liars are in the same group- total morons that shouldn't be allowed to breed- much less vote- they just don't have the brain power to think for themselves or really figure out how to tie thier shoes- - but, folks like Rush and his ilk rely on thier listeners to BE ignorant and not research issues for themselves-

Hey I feel the same way about anyone who believes one word of the clap trap that comes out of Ted kennedy’d mouth. tongue.gif

As mentioned the term “Socialist” gets mixed up with “socialized”. Thus if we turn over health care to government control it will be “socialized”. Certainly no one can say this country is purely “capitalist”.


“United States Economy, all of the ways goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed by individuals and businesses in the United States. The U.S. economy is immense. In 2005 it included more than 295 million consumers and more than 20 million businesses. U.S. consumers purchase more than $6 trillion of goods and services annually, and businesses invest over a trillion dollars more for factories and equipment. In addition to spending by private households and businesses, government agencies at all levels (federal, state, and local) spend roughly an additional $2 trillion a year. In total, the annual value of all goods and services produced in the United States, known as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was $12.5 trillion in 2005.”


Thus “government” = 15% of our immense 12.5 trillion $ economy.

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_1741500821/United_States_Economy.html



http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/oecon/chap6.htm



And in fact we have a person who calls himself a “socialist” in the Congress – from Vermont.

The Senate has had plain speakers before, but it has never before had a politician who calls himself a socialist - not even a "democratic socialist," as Mr Sanders specifies.
But he clearly thinks Washington needs at least one, as he praises the achievements of Europe's social-democratic parties in health care, housing, education and reduction of child poverty.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6173577.stm

Posted by: Vladimir Sep 24 2007, 08:07 PM

QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 24 2007, 05:55 PM) *
No she is IMO a center left Democrat who is trying hard (now that she is running) to look more conservative (for the independents she hopes to pick up) and more liberal for the left wing of the party as represented by MoveOn etc.


Nothing in her (or anyone else’s for that matter) position is Socialist. That said she, I am sure, supports increased “socialization” such as this health care for kids bill that is now been vetoed by GB.

This bill would have, if passed, effectively moved millions of “kids” (some 25 years old) from private to Federal insurance. I did not hear her condemn it.

As I have said before “real” Socialism is nearly dead in the world – RIP.


Left of center? The only democrat on this continent to her right, that I can see, is Holy Joe Lieberman.

Posted by: CruisingRam Sep 24 2007, 08:49 PM

QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 24 2007, 11:22 AM) *
QUOTE
Those that believed the swift boat liars are in the same group- total morons that shouldn't be allowed to breed- much less vote- they just don't have the brain power to think for themselves or really figure out how to tie thier shoes- - but, folks like Rush and his ilk rely on thier listeners to BE ignorant and not research issues for themselves-

Hey I feel the same way about anyone who believes one word of the clap trap that comes out of Ted kennedy’d mouth. tongue.gif

As mentioned the term “Socialist” gets mixed up with “socialized”. Thus if we turn over health care to government control it will be “socialized”. Certainly no one can say this country is purely “capitalist”.


“United States Economy, all of the ways goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed by individuals and businesses in the United States. The U.S. economy is immense. In 2005 it included more than 295 million consumers and more than 20 million businesses. U.S. consumers purchase more than $6 trillion of goods and services annually, and businesses invest over a trillion dollars more for factories and equipment. In addition to spending by private households and businesses, government agencies at all levels (federal, state, and local) spend roughly an additional $2 trillion a year. In total, the annual value of all goods and services produced in the United States, known as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was $12.5 trillion in 2005.”


Thus “government” = 15% of our immense 12.5 trillion $ economy.

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_1741500821/United_States_Economy.html



http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/oecon/chap6.htm



And in fact we have a person who calls himself a “socialist” in the Congress – from Vermont.

The Senate has had plain speakers before, but it has never before had a politician who calls himself a socialist - not even a "democratic socialist," as Mr Sanders specifies.
But he clearly thinks Washington needs at least one, as he praises the achievements of Europe's social-democratic parties in health care, housing, education and reduction of child poverty.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6173577.stm


Only 15% makes us a capitalist society dude- you would have to have over 50% to even consider it a command economy, much less not even a 1/4 o f our economy. Considering the size and scope of our population, it is not bad at all.

Posted by: Ted Sep 25 2007, 06:51 PM

QUOTE
Vladamir
Left of center? The only democrat on this continent to her right, that I can see, is Holy Joe Lieberman


Well she now “appears” to be right of center but I am not sure that is for real. Certainly during her time as FL she was left of center as evidences by her plan for Universal Health Care.

QUOTE
CR
Only 15% makes us a capitalist society dude- you would have to have over 50% to even consider it a command economy, much less not even a 1/4 o f our economy. Considering the size and scope of our population, it is not bad at all.




I never said we were not but 15% government (at 12.5 trillion $$) would certainly scare the hell out of the founders.

Posted by: lederuvdapac Sep 25 2007, 06:55 PM

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?

I wouldn't characterize Clinton as a sure socialist. She is certainly a populist and I could probably make an argument for her to be labeled a social democrat. But socialists are of a different flavor. Its very difficult to talk about labels in the US in relation to the rest of the world since our labels are backwards. In the US, "Liberal" is a term used by groups who are social democrats, socialists, etc. Its a bastardization of the term. "Liberal" in actuality refers to classical liberalism. Also, "conservative" in the US means something different than in other places, such as Europe. I think the reason for this is that groups in the US are averse to being labeled "socialist" or "communist" while groups in Europe embrace the term. So hence we get odd terms like "progressive" that are used to label the modern liberal and social democrats.

Posted by: Wertz Sep 25 2007, 10:00 PM

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?
Hillary Clinton - a socialist??? laugh.gif I wish. Hillary Clinton is about as conservative as one can get and still just about consider oneself a Democrat. She's another freakin' Zionist hawk like the bulk of our "representatives". Damn - what would people like The Founders Intent do if they ever encountered a real socialist? w00t.gif

QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Sep 25 2007, 02:55 PM) *
Its very difficult to talk about labels in the US in relation to the rest of the world since our labels are backwards. In the US, "Liberal" is a term used by groups who are social democrats, socialists, etc. Its a bastardization of the term. "Liberal" in actuality refers to classical liberalism. Also, "conservative" in the US means something different than in other places, such as Europe. I think the reason for this is that groups in the US are averse to being labeled "socialist" or "communist" while groups in Europe embrace the term. So hence we get odd terms like "progressive" that are used to label the modern liberal and social democrats.

Sorry, leder, this is 2007, not 1807 - or even 1977. Rejecting the label "liberal" for liberals is like me claiming not to be gay because I'm not brightly colored. Language, like everything else in nature, evolves.

You wanna know what liberal means "in actuality"? Try the dictionary:
QUOTE(Dictionary.com)
lib·er·al [ˈlɪbərəl, ˈlɪbrəl] –adjective
1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.

QUOTE(American heritage Dictionary of the English :Language)
lib·er·al (lĭb'ər-əl, lĭb'rəl) adj.
1.a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

And if you want a more "international" definition:
QUOTE(Compact Oxford English Dictionary)
liberal adjective 1 willing to respect and accept behaviour or opinions different from one's own. 2 (of a society, law, etc.) favourable to individual rights and freedoms. 3 (in a political context) favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate reform.

Too abbreviated? Okay, let's look at some more encyclopedic definitions:
QUOTE(Wikipedia)
Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal. Liberalism has its roots in the Western Age of Enlightenment.

Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Different forms of liberalism may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market or mixed economy, and a transparent system of government. All liberals – as well as some adherents of other political ideologies – support the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.

Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Social progressivism, the belief that traditions do not carry any inherent value and social practices ought to be continuously adjusted for the greater benefit of humanity, is a common component of liberal ideology. Liberalism is also strongly associated with the belief that human society should be organized in accordance with certain unchangeable and inviolable rights. Different schools of liberalism are based on different conceptions of human rights, but there are some rights that all liberals support, including rights to life, liberty, and property.

Or, if Wiki is too suspect:
QUOTE(Concise Encyclopedia Britannica)
Political and economic doctrine that emphasizes the rights and freedoms of the individual and the need to limit the powers of government.

Liberalism originated as a defensive reaction to the horrors of the European wars of religion of the 16th century. Its basic ideas were given formal expression in works by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, both of whom argued that the power of the sovereign is ultimately justified by the consent of the governed, given in a hypothetical social contract rather than by divine right. In the economic realm, liberals in the 19th century urged the end of state interference in the economic life of society. Following Adam Smith, they argued that economic systems based on free markets are more efficient and generate more prosperity than those that are partly state-controlled. In response to the great inequalities of wealth and other social problems created by the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, liberals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries advocated limited state intervention in the market and the creation of state-funded social services, such as free public education and health insurance. In the U.S. the New Deal program undertaken by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt typified modern liberalism in its vast expansion of the scope of governmental activities and its increased regulation of business. After World War II a further expansion of social welfare programs occurred in Britain, Scandinavia, and the U.S. Economic stagnation beginning in the late 1970s led to a revival of classical liberal positions favouring free markets, especially among political conservatives in Britain and the U.S. Contemporary liberalism remains committed to social reform, including reducing inequality and expanding individual rights.

Gee - it looks as though the term has meant different things to different people at different times. Fancy that. Your points about classical liberalism would be all well and good in a http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/index.php?showforum=66, but not when discussing contemporary political positions. Or would they? I guess it depends on whether your sense of history predates Locke and Hobbes - or not. Let's look at the etymology:
QUOTE(Online Etymology Dictionary)
c.1375, from O.Fr. liberal "befitting free men, noble, generous," from L. liberalis "noble, generous," lit. "pertaining to a free man," from liber "free," from PIE base *leudheros (cf. Gk. eleutheros "free"), probably originally "belonging to the people" (though the precise semantic development is obscure), from *leudho- "people" (cf. O.C.S. ljudu, Lith. liaudis, O.E. leod, Ger. Leute "nation, people"). Earliest reference in Eng. is to the liberal arts (L. artes liberales; see art (n.)), the seven attainments directed to intellectual enlargement, not immediate practical purpose, and thus deemed worthy of a free man (the word in this sense was opposed to servile or mechanical). Sense of "free in bestowing" is from 1387. With a meaning "free from restraint in speech or action" (1490) liberal was used 16c.-17c. as a term of reproach.

It revived in a positive sense in the Enlightenment, with a meaning "free from prejudice, tolerant," which emerged 1776-88. Purely in ref. to political opinion, "tending in favor of freedom and democracy" it dates from c.1801, from Fr. libéral, originally applied in Eng. by its opponents (often in Fr. form and with suggestions of foreign lawlessness) to the party favorable to individual political freedoms. But also (especially in U.S. politics) tending to mean "favorable to government action to effect social change," which seems at times to draw more from the religious sense of "free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions" (and thus open to new ideas and plans of reform), which dates from 1823.

So if you want to get all pedantic with what "liberal" meant in one specific place and time, then let me get all pedantic right back: "liberal" simply means "free" - and people like John Stuart Mill bastardized the term beyond all recognition and people like Hayek, von Mises, and Friedman have continued to corrupt and misappropriate the term. That argument is, of course, as patently ridiculous as your own. You are looking at one usage, leder - the economic usage - as employed by a group of men in the early nineteenth century. Granted, that usage was dredged up - rather unsuccessfully as a term - by Milton Friedman types more recently, but that doesn't mean they own the word. The people who speak the language own the word, whether you or I like it or not.

At this point in history, here and abroad, "liberal" does mean progressive - and, as it meant to Edward Gibbon and a lot of other early nineteenth century thinkers, it still means "tolerant" and, in a political context, ""tending in favor of freedom and democracy" and "free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions". Quibbling over what "liberal" may have meant to Adam Smith, had he ever used the term, is a pointless, worthless, and purely semantic side-track to any discussion of modern politics. Trotting out "classical liberalism" as though some sort of serious point were being made is getting really old. A serious point is not being made. In fact, it's an argument usually dragged into a debate by those who have no point - at least not a salient one.


Hillary Clinton is not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination (no matter what definition is used) - and, in my opinion, she's not much of a liberal either. And, by "liberal" I mean liberal as it is commonly used and understood by everyone - except a few nostalgic academics.

Posted by: lederuvdapac Sep 25 2007, 10:58 PM

QUOTE(Wertz)
Sorry, leder, this is 2007, not 1807 - or even 1977.


Gee, I always seem to forget this.

QUOTE(Wertz)
Rejecting the label "liberal" for liberals is like me claiming not to be gay because I'm not brightly colored. Language, like everything else in nature, evolves.


Language does evolve. "Liberalism" was hijacked. I do not see anything in the dictionary definitions you provided that counters my point, instead they enhance it. For instance, your quote from Concise Encyclopedia Britannica which shows how at one point liberalism meant one thing, and then it meant another thing. It didn't evolve, it changed meanings. Pre-industrial revolution/New Deal, liberalism meant the maximization of individual liberty and limited government interference in the economy. Post that era, liberalism meant big government intervention where today it means support for the welfare state. I am sorry Wertz, but a word doesn't evolve from one point and end up the complete opposite. It would be like saying the sky was blue at one point but that the word blue has evolved and blue is now the color of grass.

QUOTE(Wertz)
So if you want to get all pedantic with what "liberal" meant in one specific place and time, then let me get all pedantic right back: "liberal" simply means "free" - and people like John Stuart Mill bastardized the term beyond all recognition and people like Hayek, von Mises, and Friedman have continued to corrupt and misappropriate the term. That argument is, of course, as patently ridiculous as your own. You are looking at one usage, leder - the economic usage - as employed by a group of men in the early nineteenth century. Granted, that usage was dredged up - rather unsuccessfully as a term - by Milton Friedman types more recently, but that doesn't mean they own the word. The people who speak the language own the word, whether you or I like it or not.


I am not looking at liberalism through purely the economic usage. The political and social aspects of its usage are also taken into account. Limited government has now become big government. Whats economic about that? Thats why a "liberal" in Europe is still a person in support of free markets and limited government.


QUOTE(Wertz)
At this point in history, here and abroad, "liberal" does mean progressive - and, as it meant to Edward Gibbon and a lot of other early nineteenth century thinkers, it still means "tolerant" and, in a political context, ""tending in favor of freedom and democracy" and "free from prejudice in favor of traditional opinions and established institutions". Quibbling over what "liberal" may have meant to Adam Smith, had he ever used the term, is a pointless, worthless, and purely semantic side-track to any discussion of modern politics. Trotting out "classical liberalism" as though some sort of serious point were being made is getting really old. A serious point is not being made. In fact, it's an argument usually dragged into a debate by those who have no point - at least not a salient one.


That is a very Amero-centric view and it disregards the entire history of liberalism as a political philosophy. Why don't we ask Hillary Clinton, the subject of this debate?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2oOoCdFblc

Hmm, seems to agree with my point, no?

But anyway, I would much like to continue this debate in the history forum and not derail this very poignant and important thread.

Posted by: gordo Sep 25 2007, 11:26 PM

Well, far beyond me to say this but if one is to qualify actions based on use of tax money as socialism then our government including its current leadership is socialist. If by those actions people in general are to be labeled socialist then a great many Americans in one way or another are socialist. This would make just about any religion also socialist.

If per say we are to separate socialism away from American politicians doing things with tax money then Hillary is just like any other politician really. Even libertarian politicians have plans for tax money, or else how would our military exist for one example.

The problem I guess is how socialist, the word and meaning has taken on a role in today’s spin laden politics. I mean Hillary has to defend herself against being called or defined as a lesbian, its grade school politics at that point and quite a disgusting joke really. Next it will be what’s your favorite color, or who do you have a crush on cry.gif laugh.gif

Is Hillary Clinton a liberal? I don’t know, is bush a conservative or a neo con, or what actually does the individual do? I don’t know if its about health and fitness anymore or open intelligent debates based on factual representations of reality rather then emotional jargon that is typically highly relative and basically inert in coming to any real conclusions on something. For instance, what was the reality of the Petraeus talks? I mean what really occurred there, to me it just seemed like some hall of yelling chimps trying to find place or status amongst some ideology, rather then hey what’s the reality of Iraq. Its been more of the same with that sense overall. I guess you cant ignore the human element but it seems as if American politics stopped making any sense period. With the latest round of talks on the gravity of global warming where is the spotlight on that, will there be any? Probably not, its not global warming, its communism vs. the American eagle of liberty, which is an endangered species actually, the eagle that is, with a list that welcomed 200 new species and record low ice mass, who cares, its socialist! No, what it is really is pathetic, pointless babble that continues to dominate everything. Maybe its a product of how we patterned out culture, I don’t know, I do know it causes more problems then it solves really.






Posted by: Wertz Sep 26 2007, 04:37 AM

QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Sep 25 2007, 06:58 PM) *
But anyway, I would much like to continue this debate in the history forum

Cool. That's exactly where your point belongs. As for the "Amero-centricism", I lived in Europe for nearly twenty years and didn't come across a single soul who seemed as confused about the difference between "liberal" and "conservative" as you are.

As to the Hillary Clinton clip, she makes much the same argument that I do:
QUOTE(Hillary Clinton)
It is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power on behalf of the individual. Unfortunately, in the last thirty, forty years, it has been turned up on its head and made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

She's quite right. "Liberalism" does not now - and never did - mean "big government". That is simply a right-wing slur - and an assault on the language. "Liberal" did once mean "favoring individual freedom", standing against government interference in natural rights (indeed, it caught on in the nineteenth century primarily as a reform movement). Though Clinton is as incorrect in claiming that this was the "original" meaning of the word as you are in claiming that "in actuality" it refers solely and originally to "classical liberalism" - a definition that came along about five hundred years after the word entered the language.

The characterization of "liberal" meaning "big government", you're right, is not part of the word's evolution - it is a conservative construct. It is the right that has bastardized the term in the modern era. The evolution of the term from "pertaining to free men" to "free from prejudice" to "favoring individual freedom" to "favoring freedom and democracy" to "endorsing government action to effect social change" was organic and, dare I use the term, progressive. Using it as a pejorative to mean "favoring big government" is a bastardization - and an egregious misuse of the word.

Anyway, I'll see you in the History Debate forum - if I can spare the time for such trivialities. thumbsup.gif

Posted by: nighttimer Sep 26 2007, 06:20 AM

Hillary Clinton isn't a socialist. Neither is her husband. Chelsea might be, but I can't say with any certainty. But if she is what's considered a socialist these days, then what is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Sanders

People who call Senator Clinton a socialist are just being intellectually lazy. They aren't basing that label on anything she's done or said. It's just their way of dumping on her without spending the time to do any research on what she really stands for or advocates.

Health care for all Americans isn't socialism. It's an idea that goes back decades. We just have vested interest groups, powerful lobbyists and bought-off politicians standing in the way of a common sense idea.

Clinton isn't a socialist. And she's not much of a liberal either. If she was, she'd admit her vote authorizing the war in Iraq was a mistake. But she hasn't so she's not.

Posted by: BoF Oct 12 2007, 08:46 PM

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?

Let’s expose this for what it really is – a political smear. Hillary Clinton probably realizes, like most of us, that we have a mixed economy. Government does some things and the private sector does others.

Remember 2004? When it appeared that Howard Dean was the likely nominee, the right-wing noise machine told us he was another McGovern. When John Kerry got the nomination the Rove machine shifted gears branded him a “flip-flopper” and the Swift Boat Veterans convinced people that a genuine war hero was a villain and that someone, who used connections to drink and play (think Peter Pan) and avoid combat was a better choice.

Now that it looks like Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic nominee, the scare word “socialist” is being trotted out. If she fails and the nominee is Barak Obama, John Edwards, or perhaps Al Gore, these right-wing clowns will come up with a smear for them, too.

I apologize for the rank cynicism in this post, but cynics often touch the raw nerve of truth. tongue.gif

Posted by: Lesly Oct 12 2007, 10:29 PM

Is Senator Clinton a socialist?
Um, no. I wish she was marginally socialist in any way. To confuse conservatives, here's a http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,300196,00.html:

QUOTE(Hillary Offers Little Change to Bush's Policies)
Hillary Clinton voted for both the Patriot Act and its reauthorization. She voted for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. She voted to loosen restrictions limiting the federal government's ability to wiretap cell phones. In the past, she has supported a robust role for the federal government in enforcing "decency" standards in television and music. She teamed up with former Sen. Rick Santorum on a bill calling for the federal government to restrict the sale of violent video games.

Leftists concerned about the entertainment industry's increasingly imperial stand on copyright might take a cue from copyright guru Lawrence Lessig, who wrote on his blog for Wired magazine: "Of all the Dems, I would have bet she was closest to the copyright extremists. So far, she's done nothing to suggest to the contrary."

What about secrecy and executive power? It's difficult to see Hillary Clinton voluntarily handing back all of those extra-constitutional executive powers claimed by President Bush. Her husband's administration, for example, copiously invoked dubious "executive privilege" claims to keep from complying with congressional subpoenas and open records requests — claims the left now (correctly, in my view) regularly criticizes the Bush administration for invoking. [...]

President Bush has recently had some nice things to say about Hillary Clinton, leading some to speculate that Bush sees her as the Eisenhower to his Truman — a candidate from the opposing party who criticizes his foreign policy during the campaign, but will likely pursue a very similar policy should she be elected.

As a libertarian, it will at least be entertaining to watch the left squirm while defending Hillary Clinton's "right" to employ the same executive powers and engage in the same foreign policy blunders they now argue that President Bush has superseded his authority in claiming. And it'll be equally fun to watch the right cry foul when President Hillary claims the same powers they have so vigorously fought to claim for President Bush. The problem, of course, is that entertaining as all that might be, an increasingly imperial presidency isn't good for our republic.

Neither is our overly interventionist foreign policy, or the continuing erosion of our civil liberties, be it in the name of "family values," government paternalism, the war on drugs, or the war on terror.


Posted by: JamesEarl Oct 29 2007, 08:43 AM

QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 24 2007, 05:55 PM) *
No she is IMO a center left Democrat who is trying hard (now that she is running) to look more conservative (for the independents she hopes to pick up) and more liberal for the left wing of the party as represented by MoveOn etc.


Nothing in her (or anyone else’s for that matter) position is Socialist. That said she, I am sure, supports increased “socialization” such as this health care for kids bill that is now been vetoed by GB.

This bill would have, if passed, effectively moved millions of “kids” (some 25 years old) from private to Federal insurance. I did not hear her condemn it.

As I have said before “real” Socialism is nearly dead in the world – RIP.



Hi Ted!

I was reading this entire post with some interest, but thought i would leave it for awhile until i actually join, but i wanted to ask you what "real socialism" entails?

Posted by: Ted Oct 29 2007, 03:30 PM

QUOTE(JamesEarl @ Oct 29 2007, 04:43 AM) *
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 24 2007, 05:55 PM) *
No she is IMO a center left Democrat who is trying hard (now that she is running) to look more conservative (for the independents she hopes to pick up) and more liberal for the left wing of the party as represented by MoveOn etc.


Nothing in her (or anyone else’s for that matter) position is Socialist. That said she, I am sure, supports increased “socialization” such as this health care for kids bill that is now been vetoed by GB.

This bill would have, if passed, effectively moved millions of “kids” (some 25 years old) from private to Federal insurance. I did not hear her condemn it.

As I have said before “real” Socialism is nearly dead in the world – RIP.



Hi Ted!

I was reading this entire post with some interest, but thought i would leave it for awhile until i actually join, but i wanted to ask you what "real socialism" entails?


Hi James
Do I really have to tell you – it should be obvious sir.

“Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that visualize a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community[1] for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. This control may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by socialized (state or community) ownership of the means of production.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism


Posted by: JamesEarl Oct 30 2007, 12:53 AM

QUOTE(Ted @ Oct 29 2007, 03:30 PM) *
QUOTE(JamesEarl @ Oct 29 2007, 04:43 AM) *
QUOTE(Ted @ Sep 24 2007, 05:55 PM) *
No she is IMO a center left Democrat who is trying hard (now that she is running) to look more conservative (for the independents she hopes to pick up) and more liberal for the left wing of the party as represented by MoveOn etc.


Nothing in her (or anyone else’s for that matter) position is Socialist. That said she, I am sure, supports increased “socialization” such as this health care for kids bill that is now been vetoed by GB.

This bill would have, if passed, effectively moved millions of “kids” (some 25 years old) from private to Federal insurance. I did not hear her condemn it.

As I have said before “real” Socialism is nearly dead in the world – RIP.



Hi Ted!

I was reading this entire post with some interest, but thought i would leave it for awhile until i actually join, but i wanted to ask you what "real socialism" entails?


Hi James
Do I really have to tell you – it should be obvious sir.

“Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that visualize a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community[1] for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. This control may be either direct—exercised through popular collectives such as workers' councils—or indirect—exercised on behalf of the people by the state. As an economic system, socialism is often characterized by socialized (state or community) ownership of the means of production.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism



Hi Ted!

It is indeed interesting that you use such a definition, and yes, i am surprised by it after what i read from you so far. The problem here is that that this definition, being quite broad, included just what you quoted (i had a look at Wikipedia just to make sure).

You pay taxes, do you not? This makes the United States a socialist state per your own definition. And i doubt you would yourself call United States socialist, nor in any way "caring" for its populace. The U.S is based upon self-interest and not caring for its population, and therefore generally is defined as an aggressive (negative) form of capitalism.


But this is not true, as all nations need to be socialist in one way or another, and there are quite a few examples of "good" programs in the U.S, even if you are blind to it yourself. I am curious if you are sure you wish to use this as a definition of "socialism" (Socialism being something positive, meaning to care for the nations people in everyway possible)?

Taxes makes your country a Socialist State by the definition you provided. Any Healthcare program, School program, infrastructure make it so. The government can (and are) using "none-governmental" industries to do so (hiring them) in certain areas, this dos not make it "less" socialistic, just less controllable.


Hillary Clinton is included in this, and by your definition, makes her, and everyone else in the government Socialists. So are you really sure you want to use that kind of definition instead of limiting it to, say, something "obviously" liberal and clear for us all. Just mind asking, as it could sort out any confusion in this debate.


-JE

Posted by: nebraska29 Oct 30 2007, 03:06 AM

QUOTE
Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?[/b]

Excellent topic Victoria, I've been reading, re-reading, and ruminating about it for a few days now, excellent work. flowers.gif

Socialism to me is a "mixed" economy whereby entire segments of the economy are run by the government. Hillary Clinton's views are not socialistic. For that to be the case, the government would run the entire health care system, the entire transportation system, and other industries. Hillary's views are not socialist in any way. Instead of the government employing all doctors and running out insurance companies, Hillary's http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/healthcareplan/americanhealthchoicesplan.pdf would emphasize technological upgrades, prevention, as well as greater consumer choice. A given person could keep their own public or private plan, or choose from a new option. In regards to the economy, Hillary would favor http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/middleclass/ For her to be a socialist, she would have to propose the entire government taking over an industry. I fail to see what industries she would do this to. whistling.gif


Posted by: azwhitewolf Dec 4 2007, 09:18 AM

QUOTE
To Be Debated:

Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?

Well, to start, my definition:

From MSN Encarta:
noun
Definition:

1. political system of communal ownership: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles

2. movement based on socialism: a political movement based on principles of socialism, typically advocating an end to private property and to the exploitation of workers

3. stage between capitalism and communism: in Marxist theory, the stage after the proletarian revolution when a society is changing from capitalism to communism, marked by pay distributed according to work done rather than need


I tend to take Wikipedia's "facts" with a grain of salt, since they are user submitted and cite internet reports. With all due respect, "just because it's on the internet, doesn't make it true..." It is, however, a great gauge of modern attitudes. I'll note that even Wiki notes that... Most socialists believe that the state should own companies, as well as control the cars, the computers, and the money, and that the money be equally split by everyone. Since the government owns the companies, they would get to decide how much each position should earn. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism

Here's a 35 second clip of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1PfE9K8j0g

There's only one problem with that. That's not her money. She wants to create "a fund" of oil company profits to promote energies that might actually take business away from a privately owned company. That's not even according to equity and fairness (definition #1), it's according to a political agenda.

Or this quote from Hillary:
QUOTE
"There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed," she said. "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2007/05/hillarys-socialism-facts.html

See, I hate that. Fairness doesn't require government policies, and it's not even about fairness anyway. This country has enough rules to make it fair to follow the American dream. The idea that we need cradle-to-grave policies and laws and rules run by the government in itself distinguishes the spirit of a free market.

And this quote:
QUOTE
"I have been fighting for universal health care for a long time, and I"ve got to tell you I will never give up on the very fundamental right that Americans should have, to have access to quality, affordable health care, no matter who they are," said Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat. "Health care is a right, not a privilege."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070918/NATION/109180074/1001

This falls under definition #1.

Health care is NOT a right. It costs money, and in it's current state, is a shambles. The assertion is that there are people blocking doors of hospitals, leaving people in the parking lots to die. The reality, however, is that hospitals are closing down at an alarming rate, leaving the remaining hospitals overcrowded with patients and people (notice I didn't necessarily say citizens) skipping out on the bill. Even if you don't pay, you'll not be turned away.

Hillary would enact a right to get free care anywhere, with everyone "sharing the bills together", which sounds much prettier than "they skipped out, so the businesses had to write off the losses on their taxes". That smacks of a socialistic attitude. And why does America make all these great medicines? Because Capitalism drives the motivation to find cures. You can knock the drug companies all you want, but the medicine you take is a direct result of a company looking to deliver a result that benefits anyone who gets a disease. Take away that motivation, and hand the health care system to the government. "Here's our set price". Where does the motivation go? "Oh, I'll find a cure because I'm a Patriot"? hmmm.gif I don't think so.

I only bring that up because I think it's a direct result of Hillary's anti-capitalistic AND socialistic attitude. And not that she's the first, and most certainly won't be the last. Nor is she the biggest, baddest, etc. But she's a frontrunner for the Presidency.

However, I'll wait to see the responses before I actually click a vote. These are just my initial opinions.

Posted by: Just Leave me Alone! Dec 5 2007, 03:49 AM

QUOTE(nebraska29 @ Oct 29 2007, 10:06 PM) *
QUOTE
Is Senator Clinton a socialist? Why or why not? And what definition of "socialist" are you using, anyway?[/b]

Excellent topic Victoria, I've been reading, re-reading, and ruminating about it for a few days now, excellent work. flowers.gif

Socialism to me is a "mixed" economy whereby entire segments of the economy are run by the government. Hillary Clinton's views are not socialistic. For that to be the case, the government would run the entire health care system, the entire transportation system, and other industries. Hillary's views are not socialist in any way. Instead of the government employing all doctors and running out insurance companies, Hillary's http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/healthcareplan/americanhealthchoicesplan.pdf would emphasize technological upgrades, prevention, as well as greater consumer choice. A given person could keep their own public or private plan, or choose from a new option. In regards to the economy, Hillary would favor http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/middleclass/ For her to be a socialist, she would have to propose the entire government taking over an industry. I fail to see what industries she would do this to. whistling.gif

Wow nebraska. Are we going to get into the definition of the word 'is' next? wink2.gif I like the AZWhiteWolf's definition.

QUOTE(azwhitewolf @ Dec 4 2007, 04:18 AM) *
From MSN Encarta:

noun
Definition:

1. political system of communal ownership: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles

2. movement based on socialism: a political movement based on principles of socialism, typically advocating an end to private property and to the exploitation of workers

3. stage between capitalism and communism: in Marxist theory, the stage after the proletarian revolution when a society is changing from capitalism to communism, marked by pay distributed according to work done rather than need


While I think that you may technically be right nebraska that she doesn't fall exactly into this definition flowers.gif , she would certainly push the country from more capitalist to more communist. And to me that is bad economically. So you have to help me out a little in how Hillary can offer a federalized health care option, balance the budget, raise the minimum wage, and grow the economy at the same time. It just doesn't compute with me.

To pay for the health care option and get us out of the debt that we're already running she would either have to cut a ton of spending or increase taxes (which I think that she has proposed some types of high end increases which maybe you could point me to). Raising taxes won't grow the economy though. If you tax cigarettes, on average people buy less cigarettes. Everyone can seem to get that, but people have a much harder time accepting that when you tax income people on average won't work as hard. First I need to know if you accept that to be true. If so, then you can my problem.

Similarly, raising the minimum doesn't grow the economy, except in the sense that it further encourages you to hire illegal immigrants. If you raise the cost of the cheapest labor, you price some businesses out of the market of expanding operations because they can't afford the employees (the legal ones anyway). So capital ventures/innovations decrease and the economy suffers for it. As an added kick in the pants to the economy, the people that would have been working are still unemployed. Or if the company would have used a guest worker program, new entrepenuers are denied the opportunity to work their way up in this country.

Plus the oil example that the AZWhiteWolf posted. Nebraska if you can explain to me how Clinton is going to overcome these market forces and actually grow the economy, it would go a long way towards me (and probably a lot of other people) considering the Hill.

Powered by Invision Power Board (http://www.invisionboard.com)
© Invision Power Services (http://www.invisionpower.com)