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Socrates

Can One Be A Sincere Catholic And A True Socialist?

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Didymus
[quote name='dairygirl4u2c' post='1543987' date='May 26 2008, 08:16 PM']that's an intersting point about the two systems. full fledged socialism is always wrong, but full fledged captialism, in practice and not acting optimally (ie perfect information, and rational actors), isn't always wrong but depends on the conditions.[/quote]

here's something I'm now thinking about though, since Socrates seems to place much of his support within historical references and whatnot:

Would 'full fledged capitalism' in practice entail many capitalists or few capitalists? Since it is based on competition, doesn't everyone have the same goal in mind - to make it so that everyone buys from you and not your competitor? I can't think of a time in history when a market was so free that we could bounce this idea off of it.

any thoughts?

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Apotheoun
[quote name='dairygirl4u2c' post='1543987' date='May 26 2008, 06:16 PM']how can you say it's breaking the commandments at any degree..... when i have posted above quotes from popes who said private property rights must be subjected to ensuring everyone has a basic minimum who works and acts reasonably?[/quote]
Each man is to be a steward of the things given to him by God. It is not the duty of government, but of the citizens within a society to assist the poor.

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dairygirl4u2c
these are all things i've said in past threads but...

i think a major flaw of conservatives, and conservative christians who think they have to be conservative on everything regarding the poor ignorant etc.... is that they think charity is the ONLY proper channel of help to those in misfortune, not matter the situation.

for one thing, they ignore the popes i jsut cited, at least for some situtations, which can't be a good thing. for two... the fundamental problem, is that not everything should be alleviated through charitable work.... ie, some things are so foundational to a healthy operational society, that to put the burden on charity is missing the point, not fixing the societal foundational problem. eg, objectively reasonable ordinary people who can't access the earth's bounty to work etc, must by definition of the popes, be given gov help in doing so. but then, if there's other mitigating factors, like it's just that they got a down time etc, but otherwise they should be doing alright, then that's the role for charity.
the line might get blurry at times. but you really do have to distinguish, probably categorically since it's hard to generalize, what should be charity's work and what shouldn't be.

the idea is.... Jesus said to feed the poor etc, not using gov but using you, the golden rule. etc. to deny the implementation of that, deprives people from immediately doing good, and gets people detached from the sitautions where holy work can occur, and can be stealing from tax payers if the gov does it.
but again... to say everything is the role of charity, to me, given a full understanding of the popes etc, is a cop out, or at least missing the point, not seeing the big picture.

something to think about. lassize faire capitalism, v. theoretical capitalsm. lassize faire cannot be good, in practice, cause as the pope's said, sometime sthings do not work as they could theoretically.
theoretically... if everyone is acting optimally, rational actors and perfect info, then everyone is able to one up the mechanic next door. there's be no poor people, as they'd always be finding hte next opportuinty. the universe is simply too big to say there's going to be a limit on how far we could go, a cornicopian ideal, yes.
in practice though, knowledge has huge costs in acquiring..... education, what's the best price to sell this, what's market demand for this etc etc, and people are known for not being the epitome of rational beings.... so this all lreads up to practice, sometimes things don't work out. this is when you need to make the charity and foundational component of society distinction i made, and fix the probelms. Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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Socrates
[quote name='Didymus' post='1543509' date='May 26 2008, 02:33 PM']JPII seems to be condemning the excesses and abuses.
Couldn't the Church find fault with any governmental policy if it were excessive?[/quote]
Dude, did you even bother to read the quotes from Pius XI which I have posted [b]repeatedly[/b]?

Note that the Popes do not just condemn "excessive socialism" or "abuses of socialism," but any and all socialism, even "moderate socialism," "whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement."

The popes condemn excesses and abuses of capitalism, but condemn socialism itself in any form.

Stop trying to insist they mean something other than what they clearly state.

[quote][b]
you did NOT answer my question.

Please please please forget anything I said about the word socialism, democratic socialism, marxism, communism, etc. since it is so difficult for you to answer what I am saying without continuously telling me about how the Church condemns socialism

please ANSWER MY QUESTION.[/b]

lets try this again:
NOTICE THE EMPHASIS ON "I" IN THE FIRST SENTENCE. I DO NOT EVEN MENTION THE WORD "SOCIALISM" IN THIS QUOTE.
ANSWER.

THE.

QUESTION.[/quote]
Wow. You've mastered the bold text feature, caps lock, and space bar. I'm impressed.
Learn correct capitalization and grammar, and you'll have it made.

I was you who initially identified with "democratic socialism" and "pro-life socialism," so don't complain when socialism is criticized.

Opposition to NAFTA, GATT, etc. is not socialism. I'm opposed to these things, and do not consider myself socialist in the least. Some of the most vocal opponents of such "free trade," such as Pat Buchanan, are conservatives, not socialists.
Sovereign nations have a right to choose who they can trade with and on what terms - not socialism, but another issue.

Labor unions and wage laws have their problems (including leading to an increase in unemployment and outsourcing, but that's another debate), however labor unions do exist in America, so its unclear exactly what you're calling for here.

As for "the belief that even the poorest of Americans ought to have an actual say in our democratic republic, and not just rely on the false and empty promises of the politicians who only serve those who had the money and the power to put them in office, often times themselves" - that is rhetoric, not substance.

What concrete practices are you actually advocating here?
What would you have done to "give the poorest of Americans an actual say"?

I think [b]that's[/b] the big unanswered question here.

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Socrates
[quote name='Alycin' post='1543824' date='May 26 2008, 05:47 PM']Didy, it's impossible to debate with black and white thinkers, especially when they "know" they are right.[/quote]
Have anything to contribute to this discussion beyond ad hominems?

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dairygirl4u2c
distributionism. consider... some might have called this, had it not been a traditional catholic principle, a form of socialism, and so wrong. really though, it is a form of socialism, at least as i define "a form of socialism" cause it involves the gov. i'm pretty sure this theory typically is not based on charity either. putting the emphasis on charity only, is leaving behind distributionaism, and traditional chritian political thought.

when i say gov should intervent to fix foundaitonal problems... most everything i'm saying could be summed up under the auspice of distributionism, making society function much closer toa full fledged capitalism optimallly.

i remember when first thinking about optimal capitalism, that it couldn't be good. but when you think about the perfect info and rational people, it's the best thing that could possibly occur for the reasons described above.

as a theory... when an optimal captialism does occur, and then reality sets in for htose unfortunate in the fringes,,,, the gov needs to step in to either help them expand the capitalistic optimality, at least. or, direclty help them for awhile, given they don't have access to the earth, at best.

i think hypotheticals might be in order to clarify what's being intended by my words, as it's hard to generalize otherwise things get blurry. Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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Didymus
[quote name='Socrates' post='1544182' date='May 26 2008, 09:58 PM']Dude, did you even bother to read the quotes from Pius XI which I have posted [b]repeatedly[/b]?

Note that the Popes do not just condemn "excessive socialism" or "abuses of socialism," but any and all socialism, even "moderate socialism," "whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement."

The popes condemn excesses and abuses of capitalism, but condemn socialism itself in any form.

Stop trying to insist they mean something other than what they clearly state.[/quote]

but I am not referring to an excessive socialism, but an excessive welfare state, as that is what JPII seems to be actually focusing on here:

[quote]In recent years the range of such intervention has vastly expanded, to the point of creating a new type of State, the so-called "Welfare State". This has happened in some countries in order to respond better to many needs and demands, by remedying forms of poverty and deprivation unworthy of the human person. However, excesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State". Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.100

By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need. It should be added that certain kinds of demands often call for a response which is not simply material but which is capable of perceiving the deeper human need. One thinks of the condition of refugees, immigrants, the elderly, the sick, and all those in circumstances which call for assistance, such as drug abusers: all these people can be helped effectively only by those who offer them genuine fraternal support, in addition to the necessary care.[/quote]

the Church does not condemn the idea behind welfare, but only excesses in its practice, that in the end they only lead to "a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending."

[quote name='Socrates' post='1544182' date='May 26 2008, 09:58 PM']I was you who initially identified with "democratic socialism" and "pro-life socialism," so don't complain when socialism is criticized.

Opposition to NAFTA, GATT, etc. is not socialism. I'm opposed to these things, and do not consider myself socialist in the least. Some of the most vocal opponents of such "free trade," such as Pat Buchanan, are conservatives, not
socialists.
Sovereign nations have a right to choose who they can trade with and on what terms - not socialism, but another issue.[/quote]

And my identifying with a democratic socialism was not to defend socialism in and of itself, but as a way of bouncing the ideas I was thinking off of PM - ideas that are found in socialism along with the erroneous beliefs that I have never held. I never accepted Socialism as something that was infallible; i merely wanted to learn. Eventually I realized that you and KoC would rather condemn then actually teach. No worries though; there are many others in the Church who feel the same way. Usually others just see them as arrogant.

[quote name='Socrates' post='1544182' date='May 26 2008, 09:58 PM']Labor unions and wage laws have their problems (including leading to an increase in unemployment and outsourcing, but that's another debate), however labor unions do exist in America, so its unclear exactly what you're calling for here.[/quote]

I'm calling for an increased awareness to the fact that much of the products we use in this country are made by those in other countries who are denied the right to a fair wage. You have acknowledged the workers in China (as many conservatives do) but how much different is there situation from those in central America? Why must we allow American corporations to exploit cheap labor in other countries?

[quote name='Socrates' post='1544182' date='May 26 2008, 09:58 PM']As for "the belief that even the poorest of Americans ought to have an actual say in our democratic republic, and not just rely on the false and empty promises of the politicians who only serve those who had the money and the power to put them in office, often times themselves" - that is rhetoric, not substance.

What concrete practices are you actually advocating here?
What would you have done to "give the poorest of Americans an actual say"?

I think [b]that's[/b] the big unanswered question here.[/quote]

I am advocating a greater regulation of the media, which often times influences the outcomes of election debates, candidate stances, polls, election outcomes, etc. as well as working to improve on an electoral system that favors a party frame of mind, one that often leads folks to vote for the 'lesser of two evils' and against the worse candidate rather than for someone that will actually represent them.

You need to be wealthy to get into office, or you need wealthy donors. To me, this weakens the 'democratic' part of a democratic republic, because we are no longer necessarily choosing from the best to represent us, but rather the richest. As you would probably say, I am pretty much just 'bitchin and moanin' here, as I don't see a change happening anytime soon with regards to this, but it is another problem I find with the political scene we currently find ourselves in.

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KnightofChrist
[quote name='Didymus' post='1544353' date='May 26 2008, 10:24 PM']Eventually I realized that you and KoC would rather condemn then actually teach. No worries though; there are many others in the Church who feel the same way.[/quote]

No brother, words mean things you used the word "socialism" and "socialist" to define what you where trying to explain. Socialism has a certain meaning, which the Church has condemned and taught against, I was merely repeating that fact. You caused the confusion. There is no need to insult someone else because of your own faults.

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Didymus
[quote name='KnightofChrist' post='1544374' date='May 26 2008, 11:32 PM']No brother, words mean things you used the word "socialism" and "socialist" to define what you where trying to explain. Socialism has a certain meaning, which the Church has condemned and taught against, I was merely repeating that fact. You caused the confusion. There is no need to insult someone else because of your own faults.[/quote]

but I had restated the issues I was focusing on, which did not run contrary to the teachings of the Church, and you continued to condemn socialism instead of reading what I said.

Can you yet acknowledge the good things (even few) that Socialism posits? I'm not asking you to deny what the popes have said, I am merely asking you to challenge your supposed opposition to say, a regulated market...

This can be found outside of Socialism, but you cannot logically deny that Socialism also advocates it.

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Didymus
[quote name='KnightofChrist' post='1544374' date='May 26 2008, 11:32 PM']which the Church has condemned and taught against, I was merely repeating that fact.[/quote]

And this is what i had a problem with. You were in fact merely repeating what they said, but without breaking down the premises of Socialism to explain [i]why[/i] it is condemned. Edited by Didymus

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KnightofChrist
[quote name='Didymus' post='1544402' date='May 26 2008, 10:40 PM']but I had restated the issues I was focusing on, which did not run contrary to the teachings of the Church, and you continued to condemn socialism instead of reading what I said.

Can you yet acknowledge the good things (even few) that Socialism posits? I'm not asking you to deny what the popes have said, I am merely asking you to challenge your supposed opposition to say, a regulated market...

This can be found outside of Socialism, but you cannot logically deny that Socialism also advocates it.[/quote]


[quote name='Didymus' post='1544409' date='May 26 2008, 10:42 PM']And this is what i had a problem with. You were in fact merely repeating what they said, but without breaking down the premises of Socialism to explain [i]why[/i] it is condemned.[/quote]


I may be wrong but every time I replied you had defined what you where talking about as a Socialism. All forms of socialism is condemned by the Church. I can not be blamed for your mistake, I was reading what you said, you define what you are taking about as socialism, the Church condemns it.

There are goods in everything. But those goods to not make those things good. It is difficult to speak or communicate on a online board. The things you've stated are very vague, some sound like they could be good some things not, but Socialism is not good, and you've defined those things as Socialism, so I dont know what you want from me. I know that all Socialism is condemn by the Church and you did seem to try to work around that condemnation.

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dairygirl4u2c
constraints of human language.... "a form of socialism" does the person saying this mean... "democratic socialism... full fledged socialism in emocratic form" or are they trying to say "gov that has socialistic tendencies in some things". it can make a big difference.

like, i have no idea how Al said all forms and degrees of socialism is wrong... when the popes say private property must be subjugated to ensure when there's problems that people have acess to the earth etc... not that peple are to be charitable, but that people have a *right* to the earth and its resources if they can't get it. he might have simply been saying, as a rule of thumb in a normal society, all degrees of socialism is wrong, not that any degree is always wrong in all situations.

i'm sure there's a way he'd be able to explain how distributism isn't a form of socialism, or a degree of it to be more precise in what i mean.

tricky, gotta be precise. this is a huge problem is that yoga debate, what are people referring to exactly. Edited by dairygirl4u2c

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Aloysius
[quote name='dairygirl4u2c' post='1544231' date='May 26 2008, 11:19 PM']distributionism. consider... some might have called this, had it not been a traditional catholic principle, a form of socialism, and so wrong. really though, it is a form of socialism, at least as i define "a form of socialism" cause it involves the gov. i'm pretty sure this theory typically is not based on charity either. putting the emphasis on charity only, is leaving behind distributionaism, and traditional chritian political thought.

when i say gov should intervent to fix foundaitonal problems... most everything i'm saying could be summed up under the auspice of distributionism, making society function much closer toa full fledged capitalism optimallly.

i remember when first thinking about optimal capitalism, that it couldn't be good. but when you think about the perfect info and rational people, it's the best thing that could possibly occur for the reasons described above.

as a theory... when an optimal captialism does occur, and then reality sets in for htose unfortunate in the fringes,,,, the gov needs to step in to either help them expand the capitalistic optimality, at least. or, direclty help them for awhile, given they don't have access to the earth, at best.

i think hypotheticals might be in order to clarify what's being intended by my words, as it's hard to generalize otherwise things get blurry.[/quote]
the only practical example of Distributivism ever being implemented was the Catholic Land Movement, which had nothing to do with governments.

however, Chesterton suggests as a model for how the government could effect a distributivist policy in the way Ireland dealt with property rights after the rise of the free state: they bought the land back. The government bought the land from the unjust landlords (forcibly bought, yes, but still bought) and allowed those who had the rightful claim to own that land buy it back. this does not break the seventh commandment the way government seizure of private property would, nor does distributivism suggest either seizure (theft) or free gifting of land for no work; it is about offering the possibility for those who actually work on that land (or in that business) to own that land (or that business). it is not socialism by any stretch of the imagination, and your labeling of it as such shows that you misunderstand it.

when someone is using private property unjustly, that person can be criminally punished. but people should not have a limit to how much private property they can own, they simply have a limit on what they can do to people with that property.

I don't think the most stone cold free market capitalist would suggest that the English landlords who oppressed the Irish peasantry had not forfeited their right to own that property and thus could be forced to sell it.

Distributivism is actually the purest form of capitalism because it is a system which preserves the right and ability for every person to be a capitalist by fighting against the crimes by which a few elites might take away the right of the average person to own private property by making it impossible. when big business starts making it hard or impossible for an average person to fully and completely own his own property and business, that's not a free market: that's a market oppressed by a businessman rather than a politician. the best way to counteract it is to enact distributivist policies by which such people are bought out (depending on what the crime of the person merits, perhaps forcibly and perhaps at a loss) and sold back to those who rightfully deserve to own such things.

now, do not take this to mean I support increasing the general power of the government to utilize imminent domain on principal. distributivism supports imminent domain as a corrective measure but not as something to be regularly and continuously done. as Apo said, a Catholic must hold that when the state interjects itself into the marketplace, that interjection is to be temporary. continuous involvement is not considered acceptable and contradicts numerous social justice principals... I'll just pick my favorite one that it breaks: subsidarity.

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dairygirl4u2c
eg... when the rule, not the exception, that a young man cannot afford basic surgeries, when the rule should be that he can..... there's something fundamentally wrong with society that needs fixed, not pickel jars at the store and fund raisers etc.

perhaps the solution is more doctors, more hospitals, a distributist shot. perhaps it's simply co pay and ways of giving carrots and sticks in an economical fashion based on ability to pay etc. perhaps it's a combination of the two.
what it's not, is simply letting the chips fall where they may, lassiez faire capitalism. what it's not, is charity, as i said. this is foundational, society's operational nature.. this is not the for the role of charity.

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Aloysius
healthcare is a whole other complicated issue. there are issues of currency inflation, inflation of costs due to medical malpractice insurance, and many regulations that can get in the way of doctors really offering good deals to patients. competition is pretty much squelched in the healthcare profession, and competition is the single most important concept for making things affordable in laissez faire capitalism or in basically any good economy even if it is not laissez faire. when you lose competition, you lose any and all ability to have affordability.

how much do people talk about the amazingly spectacular thing Wal-Mart has done? $4 prescriptions for goodness sake.

anyway, yes, the healthcare situation doesn't need a band-aid, it needs surgery. it needs a fundamental reshaping.

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