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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?

Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-22-2021, 01:59 AM)Glossophile Wrote: I've gotten to the point of wanting to pull my hair out whenever the term "socialism" is used by American conservatives to instantly scare all but their most progressive compatriots away from even the most reasonable economic reforms in the US.  It's become almost a kind of political slur, such that the mere label itself seems sufficient to refute a policy proposal, independent of whatever semantic substance the word once had.  Among those who use the term in such a misleadingly loose way, I doubt that many know what the word actually means, what it was originally supposed to mean, or what its advocates mean when they use the word.

Or do they?  As a political leftist, whenever I hear a right-wing pundit use the word "socialism" or "socialist" in this broad, stigmatized, and  misrepresentation-laden way, I inwardly groan and steel myself against the rising urge to throttle the interlocutor in question.  As a trained linguist, however, I hold the descriptivist stance that word meaning is determined ultimately by popular usage.  This leads me to view the American right-wing use of "socialism" (and all related terms) as perhaps just another instance of perfectly natural and legitimate semantic shift. In other words, "socialism" may simply be making its way into the class of words to which, for instance, "boot" and "thong" also belong.  The first is footware no matter where you're from, but it may also refer to car anatomy in the UK.  The second refers to a G-string in the US but a sandal or flip-flop in Australia.

As I see it, there are six main senses of the term "socialism," and they can be grouped into three pairs, the first of which may best be referred to as "traditional socialism" or "socialism proper."

(1)   any economic system in which laborers own or at least control the means of production, particularly via democratic styles of workplace operation, often instituted and/or maintained by active regulation and/or planning on the part of government

(2)   a form of socialism as defined in (1) implemented at a governmental level via public (i.e. tax-based) funding of production apparatus and the distribution of resulting revenue towards public welfare and/or other collective benefits

The shift from #1 to #2 may seem like a bigger leap than it actually is.  In my view, it helps to think of each citizen as a laborer (regardless of actual occupation or socio-economic class) and the welfare state as the means of production.  Taxation thus becomes a mechanism by which the "laborers" buy their respective shares in the "means of production," and hence comes the collective ownership that is core to socialism even in its strictest sense (#1).  The citizens collectively own the system of public benefits because, in some sense, they've bought it (or rather, continually buy it in a sort of installment or subscription plan).

This is probably not a perfect analogy, but it seems close enough that, in my mind at least, it helps to bridge the gap between a principally economic system focused on collective ownership of the means of production and a more political (or at least politically charged) system in which the precise role of government in the economy is a more central question.

To encapsulate and specify the next pair of meanings, I propose the coinage "parasocialism."  Both of these usages seem to describe possible (and perhaps even likely) components, strategies, and/or results of traditional socialism but then use such corrollaries to independently redefine socialism as a whole.  It's almost a kind of metonymy or synecdoche, though often used disingenuously rather than poetically.

(3)   any policy or system that primarily or most directly aids lower socio-economic classes and/or fosters social mobility through the creation and/or augmentation of social welfare programs, especially if accomplished by redistributing wealth and/or resources from the rich to the poor

(4)   deprivatization or "socialization"; shifting anything currently in the private sector into the public sector

Finally, we arrive at the most politically manipulative but otherwise vapid pair of usages, which I'll call "pseudo-socialism."

(5)   communism or any similar regime, with a focus on overbearing government regulation of the economy and civil property; a kind of economic totalitarianism

(6)   any policy or system that is even remotely construable as a harbinger of #5, however justified, moderate, careful, and/or democratically enacted it may be

If any of these definitions could aptly be called Marxist as well, it's most likely #1 and/or #2.  Senses #3 and #4 are perhaps best aligned with what is more properly called social democracy or a social market economy, as astutely offered earlier in this thread.  They're the "socialism" of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez.  Meanwhile, senses #5 and #6 are the manipulative and paranoid fever dreams of Hannity and Carlson.

Meanwhile, my own understanding of the word was, for the longest time (roughly from middle or high school to my late 20s), more along the lines of…

(7)   a hybrid system that "communizes" (i.e. socializes) sufficiently fundamental and important needs and desires of the citizenry while "capitalizing" (i.e. privatizing) more trivial needs and desires; a kind of government that will pay for your healthcare but not your flatscreen TV

This long-standing schoolboy conception of socialism, which may again be better labeled as a "social maket" or "mixed" economy, has likely influenced my own views on broad economic policy, even as I revise the terminology I use to articulate them.  Many of you may have seen some variation of a triangular or pyramid-shaped graphic representing a "hierarchy of human needs" or something to that effect, with things like food, water, and shelter at the base and various forms of entertainment or leisure at or near the tip.  In a nutshell, I think the stuff at the bottom of such a heirarchy should be socialized and capitalism should be relegated to the top.  I've never been certain of where exactly the cut-off should be or if it should even be a binary switch rather than a more gradated system, but healthcare, at least, is an easy one.  It belongs firmly in the most socialized stratum, regardless of whether there are two tiers or 20.  It ranks comparably to safety and security, and not even American Republicans bat an eye at socialized police and fire brigades.

It is through this lens that I often view conservative propaganda as, deliberately or not, conflating the impulse to provide for the people's most foundational needs with a compulsion to somehow enable everyone to live in unearned opulence.  We want the government to pay everyone's medical bills, and right-wing pundits often seem to react as if we've just proposed buying everyone a brand-new private jet.  Private jets are a privilege that should indeed be earned.  Healthcare is a right that one earns just by being human.

So for whatever it's worth, that's my own attempt to lend at least some definitional rigor to a discussion that often sorely needs it.  As a trained linguist and consequently a descriptivist, I consider it hasty, though understandably tempting, to dismiss much of American conservative propaganda as relying on an improper definition.  Insofar as popular usage determines validity, I believe all six or seven definitions offered here are valid and proper, at least within appropriate contexts.  Crucially, however, the polysemy of the term "socialism" does nothing to excuse the rampant equivocation on which so much of Republican rhetoric depends.  "Bank" may have two separate entries in the dictionary, but anyone who tries to cash a check at a riverbed is still insane.

And, after writing far more than the original poster probably deserves, I can only reiterate what has already been stated but shouldn't need to be stated.  Seaside, if by any chance you're actually reading this in anything approaching good faith, do not mistake statistical correlation with logical entailment.  It is true that atheists are generally more likely to be politically progressive, and progressivism does frequently, though not necessarily, include at least some socialist ideas.  But in no way does atheism definitionally or logically compel socialism, nor vice-versa.  Neither "atheist capitalist" nor "theist socialist" is at all oxymoronic.  These terms answer two completely different questions: 1) do you believe in at least one deity, and 2) what do you believe is the proper way to distribute wealth, resources, value, and/or control thereof within a modern developed polity?

Far too nuanced for people who are still susceptible to Red Scare propaganda.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-22-2021, 01:59 AM)Glossophile Wrote: (7)   a hybrid system that "communizes" (i.e. socializes) sufficiently fundamental and important needs and desires of the citizenry while "capitalizing" (i.e. privatizing) more trivial needs and desires; a kind of government that will pay for your healthcare but not your flatscreen TV.

Ah.  Canada.  Big Grin
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-22-2021, 02:23 PM)julep Wrote:
(07-22-2021, 01:19 PM)Mr Greene Wrote: Not convinced seaside can be described as 'American', if they are they have interesting spelling of certain words.

I doubt very much he's American.  In at least one post he said he lives in Norway.  My best guess: bored teenager on summer break.

Yes, he did say so. Also his stilted grammar is indicative that English is not his native language.
But then my knowledge of Norwegian amounts to nil, so I can't really comment LOL.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-22-2021, 01:59 AM)Glossophile Wrote: (3)   any policy or system that primarily or most directly aids lower socio-economic classes and/or fosters social mobility through the creation and/or augmentation of social welfare programs, especially if accomplished by redistributing wealth and/or resources from the rich to the poor

Disagree with you on item 3.

A major purpose of government is to protect and assist those who struggle to survive, to raise funds for various functions of domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, etc. To do so, people are taxed in various ways. It seems pretty normal that taxes are raised from those who have the most. You can't get taxes from those who have very little after all. I pay my taxes happily as a cost of a functioning and peaceful society. But many far richer to not. That is wrong.

So there should be a minimum tax on all. Unescapable. No one should NOT pay taxes to support the general society though govt actions. I accept a graduated tax; the poorest can't afford to pay any tax, the richest can afford to pay more than they do. I'm in the middle.

The very wealthiest avoid taxes because we insist on taxing income rather than gains of wealth from other means. Let those be taxed as well.

And while I'm on the subject, and since I pay my taxes honestly and to the hilt, let there be more IRS tax agents making sure the cheaters pay their full share. Recent study says $441 Billion is uncollected. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pe...-liars.asp
I am tying notes to balloons and tumble-weeds and sending them out to the world. Where they are found, I do not know...
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-23-2021, 06:39 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(07-22-2021, 01:59 AM)Glossophile Wrote: (3)   any policy or system that primarily or most directly aids lower socio-economic classes and/or fosters social mobility through the creation and/or augmentation of social welfare programs, especially if accomplished by redistributing wealth and/or resources from the rich to the poor

Disagree with you on item 3.  

A major purpose of government is to protect and assist those who struggle to survive, to raise funds for various functions of domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, etc.  To do so, people are taxed in various ways.  It seems pretty normal that taxes are raised from those who have the most.  You can't get taxes from those who have very little after all.  I pay my taxes happily as a cost of a functioning and peaceful society.  But many far richer to not.  That is wrong.  

So there should be a minimum tax on all.  Unescapable.  No one should NOT pay taxes to support the general society though govt actions.  I accept a graduated tax; the poorest can't afford to pay any tax, the richest can afford to pay more than they do.  I'm in the middle.

The very wealthiest avoid taxes because we insist on taxing income rather than gains of wealth from other means.  Let those be taxed as well.

And while I'm on the subject, and since I pay my taxes honestly and to the hilt, let there be more IRS tax agents making sure the cheaters pay their full share.  Recent study says $441 Billion is uncollected.  https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pe...-liars.asp

I don't think there's a single thing there that I disagree with, so I'm not sure where the disagreement lies on your end.  Are you saying that downward wealth redistribution (usually via taxation) shouldn't be considered socialism, perhaps because it's so common and basic to government that it renders the term all but pointless?  If so, I'm not necessarily saying "socialism" should be used in this way.  My primary aim was to catalog and summarize all the ways (or at least all the major ways) in which the word is used, not to make any prescriptions or proscriptions in that regard (though some peripheral value judgment did perhaps seep into my commentary and phrasing).  The main purpose in doing so was to offer a more rigorous starting point from which to hold conservatives' feet to the fire when they try to equivocate between, for instance, meaning #3 or #4 and meaning #5 or #6.  Indeed, that seems to be the most common pattern of equivocation, but if definitions are clarified from the outset, I suspect the whole "BUT THAT'S SOCIALISM!" argument will lose much of its power. If an advocate of #3 and/or #4 is what a right-winger means by "socialist," then it's actually a good thing and not the slur they think it is (or at the very least, it narrows the scope of any argument over merit to something much less nebulous).  If #5 or #6 is what they mean by "socialist, then the person they're accusing (e.g. Bernie Sanders) is unlikely to qualify under the label.   The problem is that they often pull a bait-and-switch between those two pairs of related meanings.  That becomes much harder to do if we force them to commit to a clearly articulated definition.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-23-2021, 07:34 AM)Glossophile Wrote:
(07-23-2021, 06:39 AM)Cavebear Wrote:
(07-22-2021, 01:59 AM)Glossophile Wrote: (3)   any policy or system that primarily or most directly aids lower socio-economic classes and/or fosters social mobility through the creation and/or augmentation of social welfare programs, especially if accomplished by redistributing wealth and/or resources from the rich to the poor

Disagree with you on item 3.  

A major purpose of government is to protect and assist those who struggle to survive, to raise funds for various functions of domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, etc.  To do so, people are taxed in various ways.  It seems pretty normal that taxes are raised from those who have the most.  You can't get taxes from those who have very little after all.  I pay my taxes happily as a cost of a functioning and peaceful society.  But many far richer to not.  That is wrong.  

So there should be a minimum tax on all.  Unescapable.  No one should NOT pay taxes to support the general society though govt actions.  I accept a graduated tax; the poorest can't afford to pay any tax, the richest can afford to pay more than they do.  I'm in the middle.

The very wealthiest avoid taxes because we insist on taxing income rather than gains of wealth from other means.  Let those be taxed as well.

And while I'm on the subject, and since I pay my taxes honestly and to the hilt, let there be more IRS tax agents making sure the cheaters pay their full share.  Recent study says $441 Billion is uncollected.  https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pe...-liars.asp

I don't think there's a single thing there that I disagree with, so I'm not sure where the disagreement lies on your end.  Are you saying that downward wealth redistribution (usually via taxation) shouldn't be considered socialism, perhaps because it's so common and basic to government that it renders the term all but pointless?  If so, I'm not necessarily saying "socialism" should be used in this way.  My primary aim was to catalog and summarize all the ways (or at least all the major ways) in which the word is used, not to make any prescriptions or proscriptions in that regard (though some peripheral value judgment did perhaps seep into my commentary and phrasing).  The main purpose in doing so was to offer a more rigorous starting point from which to hold conservatives' feet to the fire when they try to equivocate between, for instance, meaning #3 or #4 and meaning #5 or #6.  Indeed, that seems to be the most common pattern of equivocation, but if definitions are clarified from the outset, I suspect the whole "BUT THAT'S SOCIALISM!" argument will lose much of its power. If an advocate of #3 and/or #4 is what a right-winger means by "socialist," then it's actually a good thing and not the slur they think it is (or at the very least, it narrows the scope of any argument over merit to something much less nebulous).  If #5 or #6 is what they mean by "socialist, then the person they're accusing (e.g. Bernie Sanders) is unlikely to qualify under the label.   The problem is that they often pull a bait-and-switch between those two pairs of related meanings.  That becomes much harder to do if we force them to commit to a clearly articulated definition.

I'm saying that there is a difference between "socialism" and taxation for "the general good" and that some cannot can pay taxes equally. I wouldn't want to drag the last dime out of a single parent struggling to feed children. But people who are rich can pay more and hardly notice the tax. I'm Middle Class and I pay a general tax that richer people seem to escape by manipulating assets. So my point is that no one should pay less than people poorer do. If I'm paying 20% or so, people richer than me can pay 25% and not give up their lifestyle. Too many rich people pay none.

But I also think many people conflate "socialism" with "communism". Or even "communitarianism". Those are entirely different. Communism is everyone sharing regardless of effort. I don't agree with that. Socialism is people sharing expenses and goods to get by. I generally agree with that (given free and full voter choices about "how to share"). Communitarianism confuses me. I think of that as local groups.

What I think works best (currently) is Social Representative Democracy which we see more in Western Europe and is developing in the US.
I am tying notes to balloons and tumble-weeds and sending them out to the world. Where they are found, I do not know...
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-21-2021, 04:02 PM)Vera Wrote: And yet another person finds passive-aggression and self-proclaimed victimhood much more grating.

I don't play the victim. And I rarely hide my "aggression" either.

These two comments from you puzzled me so much that I gave them a couple days.

If you think outright aggression is acceptable, I don't see why you have a problem with what you consider passive-aggressive.  Personally, I thought I was being straightforward.  If I'm not trying to be funny, I'm typically trying to be accurate.  And why is calling a liar a liar somehow assuming the stance of being a victim?  Do you want this forum to become an outlet for misinformation?

As for tone, there are any number of people who contribute to this forum whose tone I find annoying from time to time.  That's just the nature of different people trying to express themselves.  That's also why you have to focus on the content of what they say instead of being diverted.

If the above explanations are not acceptable to you, I can only assume you are being paranoid in your interpretations.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-23-2021, 09:33 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I'm saying that there is a difference between "socialism" and taxation for "the general good" and that some cannot can pay taxes equally.  I wouldn't want to drag the last dime out of a single parent struggling to feed children.  But people who are rich can pay more and hardly notice the tax.  I'm Middle Class and I pay a general tax that richer people seem to escape by manipulating assets.  So my point is that no one should pay less than people poorer do.  If I'm paying 20% or so, people richer than me can pay 25% and not give up their lifestyle.  Too many rich people pay none.

I'm still not seeing where the disagreement arises.  The third definition that I offer doesn't commit one to "dragging the last dime out of a single parent struggling to feed children."  It doesn't specify taxation as the means of funding, but it does specify social welfare programs as the particular manifestation of the vaguer "general good."  Taxation may be implied, perhaps quite strongly, by the "redistribution" of wealth, but even that is qualified with the word "especially," which means that it's a typical feature but not a requisite one.  "Primarily or most directly aiding lower socio-economic classes" does not necessarily mean that the poorest would pay much if anything into the system.  It simply means that they would be the ones to reap the most (or most direct) benefit(s) from it.  To whatever extent definition #3 might be roughly summarized as just "taxation for the general good," again, I'm not necessarily saying that this is how "socialism" should be used, but merely observing that it is frequently used in that way (and doing my best to explicitly articulate that usage).

I don't feel like I disagree with any of what you say above, certainly not the part about no one paying less than the poorest do.  

(07-23-2021, 09:33 AM)Cavebear Wrote: But I also think many people conflate "socialism" with "communism".  Or even "communitarianism".  Those are entirely different.  Communism is everyone sharing regardless of effort.  I don't agree with that.  Socialism is people sharing expenses and goods to get by.  I generally agree with that (given free and full voter choices about "how to share").  Communitarianism  confuses me.  I think of that as local groups.

Yet again, I'm not finding anything here that I would dispute, though I've never even heard of "communitarianism."

(07-23-2021, 09:33 AM)Cavebear Wrote: What I think works best (currently) is Social Representative Democracy which we see more in Western Europe and is developing in the US.

I completely agree on the merits of social representative democracy and that it's become prevalent in Western Europe.  But developing in the US?  I envy your optimism.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-24-2021, 01:00 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(07-21-2021, 04:02 PM)Vera Wrote: And yet another person finds passive-aggression and self-proclaimed victimhood much more grating.

I don't play the victim. And I rarely hide my "aggression" either.

These two comments from you puzzled me so much that I gave them a couple days.

If you think outright aggression is acceptable, I don't see why you have a problem with what you consider passive-aggressive.  Personally, I thought I was being straightforward.  If I'm not trying to be funny, I'm typically trying to be accurate.  And why is calling a liar a liar somehow assuming the stance of being a victim?  Do you want this forum to become an outlet for misinformation?

As for tone, there are any number of people who contribute to this forum whose tone I find annoying from time to time.  That's just the nature of different people trying to express themselves.  That's also why you have to focus on the content of what they say instead of being diverted.

If the above explanations are not acceptable to you, I can only assume you are being paranoid in your interpretations.

The first comment was about percie whom you seem to find someone who is here to honestly question and debate. I vehemently disagree. I even suspect he might be a sock. Even if he isn't, there is nothing sincere about him, except his disdain for us. Which we're more than happy to return. When you come to someone's house and start acting like he is, you'll get what you asked for.

The second bit was because I assumed (possibly incorrectly) that you were hinting at me, too, being passive-aggressive and playing the victim. Which I am not and do not.

And yes, I do have a much more serious problem with passive-aggressiveness. Because it's cowardly and above all dishonest. If you (general you) are annoyed by something or someone - have the guts to say it clearly and not hide behind a nice person persona and sly jabs. That's the cowardly part. The dishonest one is obvious. So yeah, I infinitely prefer people who do not hide their disdain and anger (whether justified or not) behind a false veneer of niceness OR vagueness.

And for the record, I do not actually think I'm aggressive. I do not suffer fools especially dishonest ones gladly and I can be caustic (I wish I could learn how to tell people - men - in real life to piss off but that's whole other story) and if to some this is aggression, so be it.

And yes, there are quite a few people here whom I don't especially agree with or much care for. That's life for you and pretty much every group of people we find ourselves among. However annoying they may be though, they are who they are (and are not here for my approval anyway). The difference is, this is who they are, they are not playing a role or hiding behind a persona. They are here HONESTLY, even if who they honestly are is not someone I like all that much - I'm sure a whole lot of people don't like me all that much. The percies and his ilk are NOT here honestly (and some are only here to stir shit up and provoke people they dislike because they have vastly differing opinions about religion or politics). And I, personally, find this extremely distasteful (and more than a little bit sad).
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
It occurs to me that Cavebear hit upon an important point when he noted that the sufficiently rich can "hardly notice" even a fairly high tax.  I think a major contributor to the conflation of socialism (particularly in sense #3 or #4) with communism is a failure or refusal to recognize that even very high tax rates will often have minimal impact on lifestyle (i.e. access to luxuries).

Right-wingers seem to respond to top marginal tax rates that are actually reasonable (e.g. 60% - 75%) often as if the proponent wants to essentially tax the upper class(es) out of existence.  That is to say, they seem to think that such tax rates would, in effect, reduce the lifestyle of even the richest Americans to one that is virtually indistinguishable from that of the current middle class at best, if not the current working class, thus collapsing most if not all socio-economic stratification, even the relatively moderate variation in income that I, for one, think is actually healthy for society.  They don't appear to understand that someone worth tens of millions, for instance, could literally pay three quarters of his/her income in taxes and still enjoy comfortable access to privileges and amenities that the vast majority of his/her compatriots can only dream of.  Genuine hard work and merit, to whatever extent it served as the actual source of the individual's wealth, would still be handsomely rewarded.  Hell, someone like Jeff Bezos could single-handedly fund an entire national infrastructure or welfare project and still have an absolutely obscene bank account!  But if you trust the word of right-wing pundits, you might be forgiven for thinking that a decent tax system would quickly reduce even Bezos to some sort of suburban, 9-to-5 hell!

If you think about it, this is almost the mirror image of the problem Republicans have with COVID figures.  For example, they seize upon extra-low mortality percentages among children in order to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic and/or the importance of vaccination, conveniently ignoring the fact that, in a country of over 300 million, such rates still translate into hundreds if not thousands of children dying, and that's still hundreds if not thousands too many.  With respect to the impact of true fair-share taxation, they clutch their pearls at any top marginal tax rate north of about 40% (if they even go that high without their mouths starting to foam), while conveniently ignoring the fact that, for a pocketbook of billions, the actual sacrifice in practical terms is very minor if even noticeable.  When it comes to roughly estimating absolute numbers from percentages, American conservatives seem to overshoot or undershoot according to what's most convenient for their agenda.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-24-2021, 06:26 PM)Glossophile Wrote: It occurs to me that Cavebear hit upon an important point when he noted that the sufficiently rich can "hardly notice" even a fairly high tax.  I think a major contributor to the conflation of socialism (particularly in sense #3 or #4) with communism is a failure or refusal to recognize that even very high tax rates will often have minimal impact on lifestyle (i.e. access to luxuries).

I think that biggest contributor to above mentioned conflation is:
a) lack of actual knowledge about what both of these words mean, especially in regard to communism which was total, philosophical project of creating New Man** or New Jerusalem of Marxist-Leninist faith
b) very definition of said words as socialism was used interchangeably with communism*, or was deemed thing that would precede it



*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_socialism#Communism
**Trotsky believed that these goals would be achieved with the support of
new educational systems. Thee construction of a new communist society and
the psychophysical self-education of man would represent two sides to the
same process. Various disciplines of science and art would lend exception-
al, perfect form to this work. This way, humanity’s eternal dream of a new
better world would come true – a new communist man would emerge and
create a new worldwide civilization. The communist revolution would make
the average person achieve the developmental level of Aristotle, Goethe and
Marx. Is this not a prophetic vision of building paradise on earth? Is this not
a secular version of salvation? [https://www.researchgate.net/publication...on_Trotsky\]
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on Earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-24-2021, 05:22 PM)Vera Wrote: And yes, I do have a much more serious problem with passive-aggressiveness. Because it's cowardly and above all dishonest. If you (general you) are annoyed by something or someone - have the guts to say it clearly and not hide behind a nice person persona and sly jabs. That's the cowardly part. The dishonest one is obvious. So yeah, I infinitely prefer people who do not hide their disdain and anger (whether justified or not) behind a false veneer of niceness OR vagueness.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

Does attempted humor strike you as passive-aggressive and dishonest?  I thought humor was a different kind of word-game in which one tries to point out certain problems in thinking without necessarily being offensive.

Perhaps questions are more helpful than humor in such ambiguous situations as posting in internet forums.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-24-2021, 04:59 PM)Glossophile Wrote:
(07-23-2021, 09:33 AM)Cavebear Wrote: I'm saying that there is a difference between "socialism" and taxation for "the general good" and that some cannot can pay taxes equally.  I wouldn't want to drag the last dime out of a single parent struggling to feed children.  But people who are rich can pay more and hardly notice the tax.  I'm Middle Class and I pay a general tax that richer people seem to escape by manipulating assets.  So my point is that no one should pay less than people poorer do.  If I'm paying 20% or so, people richer than me can pay 25% and not give up their lifestyle.  Too many rich people pay none.

I'm still not seeing where the disagreement arises.  The third definition that I offer doesn't commit one to "dragging the last dime out of a single parent struggling to feed children."  It doesn't specify taxation as the means of funding, but it does specify social welfare programs as the particular manifestation of the vaguer "general good."  Taxation may be implied, perhaps quite strongly, by the "redistribution" of wealth, but even that is qualified with the word "especially," which means that it's a typical feature but not a requisite one.  "Primarily or most directly aiding lower socio-economic classes" does not necessarily mean that the poorest would pay much if anything into the system.  It simply means that they would be the ones to reap the most (or most direct) benefit(s) from it.  To whatever extent definition #3 might be roughly summarized as just "taxation for the general good," again, I'm not necessarily saying that this is how "socialism" should be used, but merely observing that it is frequently used in that way (and doing my best to explicitly articulate that usage).

I don't feel like I disagree with any of what you say above, certainly not the part about no one paying less than the poorest do.  

(07-23-2021, 09:33 AM)Cavebear Wrote: But I also think many people conflate "socialism" with "communism".  Or even "communitarianism".  Those are entirely different.  Communism is everyone sharing regardless of effort.  I don't agree with that.  Socialism is people sharing expenses and goods to get by.  I generally agree with that (given free and full voter choices about "how to share").  Communitarianism  confuses me.  I think of that as local groups.

Yet again, I'm not finding anything here that I would dispute, though I've never even heard of "communitarianism."

(07-23-2021, 09:33 AM)Cavebear Wrote: What I think works best (currently) is Social Representative Democracy which we see more in Western Europe and is developing in the US.

I completely agree on the merits of social representative democracy and that it's become prevalent in Western Europe.  But developing in the US?  I envy your optimism.

Um, so we generally agree?
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-25-2021, 11:14 AM)Alan V Wrote:
(07-24-2021, 05:22 PM)Vera Wrote: And yes, I do have a much more serious problem with passive-aggressiveness. Because it's cowardly and above all dishonest. If you (general you) are annoyed by something or someone - have the guts to say it clearly and not hide behind a nice person persona and sly jabs. That's the cowardly part. The dishonest one is obvious. So yeah, I infinitely prefer people who do not hide their disdain and anger (whether justified or not) behind a false veneer of niceness OR vagueness.

Thank you for your thoughtful post.

Does attempted humor strike you as passive-aggressive and dishonest?  I thought humor was a different kind of word-game in which one tries to point out certain problems in thinking without necessarily being offensive.

Perhaps questions are more helpful than humor in such ambiguous situations as posting in internet forums.

It can be, for example when someone straw mans someone else's argument sarcastically. Happens all the time.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-25-2021, 11:14 AM)Alan V Wrote: Thank you for your thoughtful post.

Does attempted humor strike you as passive-aggressive and dishonest?  I thought humor was a different kind of word-game in which one tries to point out certain problems in thinking without necessarily being offensive.

Perhaps questions are more helpful than humor in such ambiguous situations as posting in internet forums.

Well, much like trolldom, humour is also rather subjective. What *I* find funny and clever, others may find dull and/or offensive.

Also, I've never much cared for the "claim" that sarcasm if the lowest form of wit (though apparently the whole witticism goes: "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but the highest form of intelligence")... and that was *before* I found out it was one of Wilde's desperate attempts at profundity. Or, rather, at "wit" for the sake of wit, which many have interpreted as profound, even if most of those "witticisms" are as superficial as his obsession with beauty (not to mention young boys but let's not go there. I've said it before and I'll say it again - the LGBT community needs a much better icon and we as a whole need better "witticisms" than his shallow, often masturbatory attempts at originality).

But no, I don't think humour is dishonest; it can be passive-aggressive, like anything else.

As for humour on the internet - it can just as easily be misinterpreted in real life too. And that's before we take into account gaslighters and other toxic individuals who'd use the excuse of a "it was just a joke" in order to excuse their low- (and not so low) grade abuse.


All in all, people have different styles of communicating, both on- and offline, and one person's incisive is another person's insulting.

And then there are those who are willfully and systematically inflammatory and/or dishonest.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-11-2021, 05:44 PM)seaside Wrote: Name me last time you heard of a conservative Atheist. It however made somewhat sense in 1800s when it was added to criticize the flaws religious stuff could be in society. (But i love supression fetish to some level so i am weird that way?). But i do wonder if Atheism as a ideology, if that developed into socialism, interms of manipulative behavior etc?

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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-11-2021, 05:44 PM)seaside Wrote: Name me last time you heard of a conservative Atheist. It however made somewhat sense in 1800s when it was added to criticize the flaws religious stuff could be in society. (But i love supression fetish to some level so i am weird that way?). But i do wonder if Atheism as a ideology, if that developed into socialism, interms of manipulative behavior etc?

It doesn't have to be.  But it sure looks like some anti-religion socialist are trying to decide what atheism is.  I have seen them say things like "Don't talk about "it" like that, it gives theist something to use and makes atheism harder to sell."  That kind of thinking just sounds way to familiar to me. 

I am a middle of roader atheist.  I lean toward giving 1/4 of my salary to help people that need it, after that, they are on their own.  I also believe that beliefs based on matching observations are more sound than ones based on a statement of belief about god. Yes/no god are far less important to me and seem to be more faith/personal need than anything else.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(08-01-2021, 09:18 PM)Scoop Wrote:
(07-11-2021, 05:44 PM)seaside Wrote: Name me last time you heard of a conservative Atheist. It however made somewhat sense in 1800s when it was added to criticize the flaws religious stuff could be in society. (But i love supression fetish to some level so i am weird that way?). But i do wonder if Atheism as a ideology, if that developed into socialism, interms of manipulative behavior etc?

It doesn't have to be.  But it sure looks like some anti-religion socialist are trying to decide what atheism is.  I have seen them say things like "Don't talk about "it" like that, it gives theist something to use and makes atheism harder to sell."  That kind of thinking just sounds way to familiar to me. 

I am a middle of roader atheist.  I lean toward giving 1/4 of my salary to help people that need it, after that, they are on their own.  I also believe that beliefs based on matching observations are more sound than ones based on a statement of belief about god. Yes/no god are far less important to me and seem to be more faith/personal need than anything else.

Hiya Scoop, and welcome to the forum. The OP got banned the other day, so while he may read your post if he's lurking, he can't reply.
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Isnt Atheism borderline socialism?
(07-26-2021, 04:24 AM)Cavebear Wrote: Um, so we generally agree?

Indeed we do!  That was my main point in responding to your comment.

Also, welcome, Scoop!
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