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PopeWatch: Democratic Socialism

News missed by PopeWatch courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

You can’t go into a Whole Foods or indie record store without hearing somebody talk about it: democratic socialism. Is it a radical new idea that we should try out in our nation, or is it an old idea with the word “democratic” stapled to the front to make it sound more palatable? Find out in this handy explainer from your friends at The Babylon Bee:

What is Democratic Socialism?

Democratic Socialism is a growing movement in America promising every citizen the most basic human rights, including but not limited to free healthcare, a government-guaranteed job making at least $15 per hour, free college tuition, guaranteed housing, broadband internet access, and cage-free vegan lattes.

How would the government pay for all of that?

By rightfully appropriating money from terrible, evil, oppressive, hardworking, enterprising citizens who have earned wealth via the dreaded free market economy that has led to unprecedented human flourishing. Governments are known for being the most efficient spenders of money, and so surely would do an excellent job as stewards of your wealth—err, we mean, the public’s wealth.

Isn’t it immoral to take most of the money people earn?

No—actually, it’s the right thing to do. People with money only got that money because of inherent privilege, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, and all kinds of other unfair power structures and phobias. You know what, we’re a little concerned with all the questions you’re asking here. It sounds like someone needs to spend a little more time in a democratic re-education loyalty center! KILL THE KULAKS!

How does Democratic Socialism differ from just “Socialism”?

It has the word “Democratic” in front of it, you see, which means it is achieved by promoting identity politics, stoking class warfare, and cranking that entitlement mentality up to 11, instead of literal violent overthrow of the government. Besides, voting for the government to seize people’s wealth is totally different from the government deciding to do so on their own, right? Err… uh… DID WE MENTION YOU GET FREE STUFF?? Say it with us: Socialism good, Democratic Socialism better!

It seems like if you try to run the numbers, there’s just no way Democratic Socialism is a fiscally feasible form of government.

“Run the numbers”? “Fiscally feasible”? Have you been paying attention, like, at all? Do you want free money, or are you part of the problem? YOU GET FREE MONEY, AND YOU GET FREE MONEY—ERRYBODY GETS FREE MONEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch is stunned to realize that the same people who write for The Bee must also write economic policy statements for the Vatican.  That explains a lot!

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

12 Comments

  1. Jesus Christ nailed to the hammer and sickle expresses what Democratic Socialism is doing and will be doing to every person: denying him or her their free will by imposing their own will over the freedom of their constituents. The Principle of Separation of Church and State so adequately expressed in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Church exalting man’s conscience over his beliefs and actions and placing Government and Government intervention as the peoples’ servant.
    The virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity are the realm of man’s conscience.
    Elected officials, the Government do not own the sovereign person, the citizen.
    The sovereign person, the citizen institutes Government to serve the people.
    It is interesting to note that all state Constitutions reflect and echo the Constitution of The United States. It is also interesting to note that The Decalogue, engraved in stone lives loudly in the chambers of the Supreme Court. Moses the Lawgiver of The Decalogue is engraved in stone on the facade of or the Supreme Court building.
    The Government has the Ten Commandments. The people are prohibited from having a veterans’ memorial cross on Mount Soledad? Our Government is exhibiting socialistic behavior from the beginning of religion, imposing atheism.
    As for me and my family, we will serve The Lord.

  2. Democratic socialism is at best unstable, like a pencil balanced on its point. The Scandinavian nations that practiced it most thoroughly decided (beginning the 1980s) that if they wished to keep democracy, they had to sacrifice socialism. Sweden now has school vouchers (even if it bans homeschooling), Denmark’s PM asked that people stop calling his country socialist, “because it isn’t” and Norway pays for its welfare state by a sovereign wealth fund invested in the capitalist economies abroad. These small compact nations with high social discipline made DS work for a time by thrift, enterprise and vigilance against corruption, but in the end let it go or severely compromised it. More commonly, democracy was abandoned to preserve socialism, as Venezuela sadly demonstrates.

  3. The term never caught on in the United States because the Socialist Party wasn’t able to displace either of the major parties, then evaporated in stages over a period of 50 years. Some of the objects of the Socialist Party were later enacted by the Democratic Party (with the help of the Norris-Willkie-Dewey wing of the Republican Party) and the trade unions such as they were allied themselves with the Democratic Party. So, you had some of the same business in the U.S. as you did in Europe, but commanding less in the way of resources, more jerry-rigged in its construction, and more given to means-testing. Also, Marxism has never been of any interest to anyone here outside of academic settings. Most European ‘socialist’ parties claim some sort of ‘revisionist’ Marxist pedigree. Britain’s was an exception at least until the 1970s, when Trotskyist clubs began taking over local Labour Party associations. The political parties in the U.S. never took an interest in state-owned industry (which was all the rage in Europe outside Scandinavia) and didn’t take much of one in public housing (which remains pervasive in Europe).

    Interestingly, the European country which has invested the most in socialized consumption and redistribution is France. Germany set up its first Social Democratic ministry in 1918 and Britain in 1924. In the intervening years, the Social Democratic Party has governed Germany (w or w/o allies) for about 1/3 of the time and the Labour Party has governed Britain about 40% of the time. The Socialist Party in France has been in charge perhaps 20% of the time.

  4. It has the word “Democratic” in front of it, you see, which means it is achieved by promoting identity politics, stoking class warfare, and cranking that entitlement mentality up to 11, instead of literal violent overthrow of the government. Besides, voting for the government to seize people’s wealth is totally different from the government deciding to do so on their own, right? Err… uh… DID WE MENTION YOU GET FREE STUFF?? Say it with us: Socialism good, Democratic Socialism better!

    European countries had class-based politics of a sort that would ebb and flow over here. The thing is, your politics is going to display the interests, passions, and affinities of your political class and your voting public. There’s not much point in complaining about that unless the objects and modes of one or another party threaten to wreck the political order (which has been the case in the U.S. and Britain in recent decades). It is unfortunate when political society is organized around ‘pillars’ formed of immobile demographic blocs. The pillars weren’t the social basis of socialist parties, except perhaps in the Low Countries. Notable in our own country, discussion of economic affairs grows less frequent and salient as the political society is more and more composed of pillars.

  5. “Interestingly, the European country which has invested the most in socialized consumption and redistribution is France.”

    Socialism’s limited success i France was ably explained by Alexis de Tocqueville in a speech to the National Assembly on 12 September 1848: , “But, concerning the very principle of private property, the Revolution always respected it. It placed it in its constitutions at the top of the list. No people treated this principle with greater respect. It was engraved on the very frontispiece of its laws. The French Revolution did more. Not only did it consecrate private property, it universalised it. It saw that a still greater number of citizens participated in it. It is thanks to this, gentlemen, that today we need not fear the deadly consequences of socialist ideas which are spread throughout the land. It is because the French Revolution peopled the land of France with ten million property-owners that we can, without danger, allow these doctrines to appear before us.”

    Moreover, as in most Latin countries, a significant part of the Left favoured Anarcho-sydicalism; the innate distrust of government meant that, whilst peasants were all for getting rid of landlords, they had no wish to replace them with bureaucrats.

  6. MPS, I think you should say what you want to say or reply to my post. Replying to my post with a non sequitur is just silly.

  7. When Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, he offered them 40 acres and a mule. The Homestead Act is still on the books. Abraham Lincoln gave the men free land not private property.
    Socialism takes private property and “universalizes” it, like nationalizing corporations, imposing communism or fascism.
    At least this is my understanding of it. Alexis de Tocqueville admired our freedom, but he still fell short of understanding our freedom.

  8. Mary:
    Actually, De Tocqueville saw a big threat to our freedom that many of us did not see: conformism, which has now metastasized into “political correctness”, threatening livelihoods and even safety for exercising legally-protected speech. This evil goes back to a Puritan reading (and over-reading) of the Old Testament and fear that (as in the case of Achor in the Book of Josue) the sin of one man could bring God’s wrath down on all and so all better watch out for that one “deviant” from the norms. Moral norms became entangled in mere social norms and thus conformism became a substitute test of moral uprightness. PC has an ancient lineage.

  9. The photograph of the bishop of Rome accepting this disgusting ‘gift’ with a smile still makes me want to vomit.
    Actually, over time, this bishop of Rome, himself, makes me want to vomit.

  10. Thank you Tom Byrne. “Actually, De Tocqueville saw a big threat to our freedom that many of us did not see: conformism, which has now metastasized into “political correctness”, threatening livelihoods and even safety for exercising legally-protected speech.”
    Thank God for our Constitution and the constitutions of every state that echo our Constitution. Our Founding Principles sublimate man to The Supreme Sovereign Being and subject the state to the sovereignty of man. Thank you again Tom Byrne and de Tocqueville.

  11. Mary DV, Think about this: Moms and Dads at home with kids doing the daily kid-thing, which means there is no extra time because all their time is spent loving each other, not theoretically as in “there’s beggary in the love that can be reckon’d,” but the day-to-day on-the-ground real-world love that permeates a family. Now look at all these elites who think, like God, or better than God, they can define reality – either they have no kids, or someone else is taking them to soccer, getting the lunch left at home up to the school before 1130am, or being with them til 8pm when parents get back from the rally or the pogrom meetings.And then there are those who kill their kids so they can feel good and make “progress,” or in their relationships cannot produce a kid-all these folks have all the free time to climb up to their self-created moral high ground and do whatever it takes – all being moral and justified under the moral reality they create as ends for their means – to rule us. “Constant vigilance” – yes; but all of us with children must do more. At least we have these children some of whom will be here in 40 years when those without kids will be long forgotten – with all their babies killed so long ago and no one to pick up their banners of darkness and proclaim their evil. Guy McClung, Texas

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