The man running it throws around names like Hayek, Friedman and Rand - and then dismisses the right-wing folks as too vulgar, too simplistic for his taste. Which reminds me of a quote from Vladimir Putin, who said some time ago that he was truly missing Mahatma Gandhi - he just could not find anyone else who could satisfy this thirst for a meaningful discussion.
Of course, I could not walk by this blog without spitting - and this is the message I've left (minus the spelling errors) in response to his response to my response. I have a feeling the readers may enjoy it.
CL: You don't say why you found the post strange, actually you don't say much at all
I've been to a Tea Party demonstration, and I saw people who were genuinely upset about the growth of the government. Somehow, you missed them. Moreover, I've spent a lot of time arguing on slate - and it was a normal situation that the right-wingers stood for smaller government, while the left stood for larger government. In other words, all my personal experience directly contradicts what you have written. I thought it was obvious from my post - but I assume some things have to be said more than once to be understood.
CL: You do say Obama is a socialist and then assert that somehow the location of your birth makes that statement true.
If this is how you understood my post, then it makes sense why you missed all the people who are against expansion of the government.
1. I did not say that Obama was a socialist because I had been born in the USSR.
2. I did say that Obama is a socialist, and that I say so as a man who was not only born in the USSR, but who was also raised and educated there. In other words - I've lived in a socialist nation, and you cannot simply dismiss my view - you are talking to a real life expert here, comrade. This surely does not prove that I am right - but it should make you think twice.
CL: Socialism is the collective ownership of the major means of production.
Yes, it is - or more accurately - it's society's ownership of the means of production. But it is a generic definition, and there are different ways on how society (read government) exercises its control over the property. For example, in Yugoslavia, the labor unions officially controlled the factories - this was Yugoslavian socialism. In Germany, the state nationalized people - and it was called national-socialism. In Italy, the top Italian communist Mussolini (the former editor of the communist newspaper and Lenin's pet darling) built soft-socialism, which he called "fascism". And then we can talk about French socialism advocated by aristocracy - the one that Karl Marx hated - which is why he preferred the term communism. Or we are talking about Venezuela's socialism? Maybe you are talking about socialism in Nasser's Egypt?
All in all, there are a lot of flavors of socialism - I presume your lack of knowledge is explained by the lack of actual experience.
CL: Are you saying that is what Obama is proposing?
Which one do you think he wants to build? Rev.Wright's fascistic socialism with distinct Marxist themes? Ayers' communism? Van Jones' communism? The Maoism that people in his administration like? Or maybe we can just call him a vulgar socialist and be done with this triviality?
Based on Obama's past history - would you tell me what you think...
CL: Or are misusing the term socialist to mean statist?
Or maybe you don't see that statism and socialism are virtually indistinguishable?
CL: So far Obama is not advocating government ownership of the means of production, just government control.
Firstly, Obama is advocating state control - and he is openly saying that he needs special circumstances for that. Freddie and Fannie are nationalized. Same for GM. Now he wants the law that would allow him to nationalize any financial company. And he wants to nationalize medical insurance. Are these actions not socialistic by definition?
CL: He is a statist, and a welfare sate advocate but he is not a socialist, at least not openly or in direct policy decisions.
No, nationalization of GM was not socialist, it was - well, I don't know, he nationalised a company. And his appeals to nationalise medical insurance in the future - that's not socialism. Right?
CL: That is not to say his policies are good. They aren't What Obama is closest to is a fascist. Fascism allowed private ownership, but had state control. That seems more in line with Obamanomics.
Yugoslavia allowed private ownership. So did Hungary and Czechoslovakia. And so did USSR from 1922 to 1930. This just the most basic things. But really, fascism is just an advanced and more effective version of socialism - compared to Pol Pot's Cambodia or North Korea.
BTW, do you know that Soviet people were allowed to own gardens and to sell the produce on the market? It's all a matter of degree, comrade.
The most important thing is not who nominally runs the company - but who has the power to shut it down if he wants to. In Nazi Germany the CEOs were private, but Hitler could change them at will. In USSR, the CEOs were directly chosen by the communist Politburo. The real difference was that German capitalists were better managers than Soviet Party Leaders - but there was not much of a difference from a position of power.
You talk about Hayek in your post, but I am getting a distinct feeling that you did not read his "Road to Serfdom" too diligently. I suggest you re-read it.
The story continued...
The owner of the blog refused to post my reply in full, and refused to engage me in a discussion.
Instead, he wrote the following to me: Normally I reply one on one but when people inundate the site with multiple long posts I do not. Very few people do that because it is not polite. So I won't reply, nor can I afford the time to go through and read that many messages from one person. Since I can't do that much work for one person I can't moderate it and thus it doesn't get posted.
Well, color me non-surprised.