Quotation Discussion

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Kazmarov, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist."

    Discuss.
     
    Sim likes this.

  2. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    I think it's our responsibility as individuals to give to charities, help the less fortunate, etc. When you give out of the goodness of your heart you feel good about it. When money is taken from you to give to others you feel robbed. The government should stay out of redistributing wealth. It's just a fancy name for theft.
     
  3. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Assuming hunger and poverty exist, although there are enough resources for everybody, then it's obvious the whole system of resource distribution has to be questioned, in order to find satisfying answers for this problem -- just asking people to give voluntarily has never worked sufficiently in the past. During the industrialization in the 19th century, there was rampant poverty, especially in Europe, and private charity failed. That's why Marx and Engels came up with a general criticism of the capitalistic system of wealth distribution.

    And they were right on a few points: It's true that in capitalism, not work is rewarded, but the owner of the means of production "steal" the surplus value of their employees' work, accumulate capital that's not theirs (the amount of wages and salaries is not directly dependant on the profits a company makes). In capitalism, you are paid for your possessions, not for your work; those who have much already can easily make more, without doing much for it, by letting their possessions do the work for them. And that goes on the cost of dependently employed and wage workers.

    Still I believe socialism is not a good alternative. When there is central planning of a state owned economy, there is rampant inefficiency, corruption and abuse of authority positions. I the end, the waste of money and resources becomes so enormous, that you can only distribute poverty in a "fair" way, but not wealth. The free market is ultimately better suited to allocate resources with a minimum of waste only.

    That's why I say free markets are the way to go, but balanced by welfare programs by the state, to correct their most extreme excesses. But since it's also true that income differences are a great incentive to do more and better work, I'd say these welfare redistriutions should not be too big; people don't go to work when they don't have to. Find a good balance between free market and state-based welfare and redistribution in favor of those really in need, and you got the best of both worlds, IMHO.
     
  4. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris blue 3

    I guess I see this in a different way, and I guess it's the sociologist in me.

    Maybe I've lost my political fire, but to me this is more of a view on society than it is a political stance. It's the constant desire for society to be structured. A better way to explain it is: society, as a whole, has the need to label and order everything. Once a label has been attached to a certain action (or the appearance of such action) it is near impossible to disassociate that label from the action. It's considered "symbolic interaction."

    When you give a person food, it's an appearance that you care, and you're willing to help them. When you question the current system, you've pushed yourself from one action to the other. Now, in truth, finding the base of the problem, is more productive, to the society, you're simply attacking them. This in turn is the conflict theory. The large majority of society is told exactly what should be done by an elite group, when someone questions the elite group, then they are immediatly ostracized. (Kinda sounds like a certain nation we all know..and...love?)

    The communist label, is a negative label, and ironically Karl Marx, who was credited for foundin' communism, didn't mean for it to be a standing government. It was purely a vehicle of changing to achieve the classless society he thought was needed. (He "founded" the conflict theory". Many people don't know that Karl Marx was a sociologist..not a politician.) Once the government became standing and permanent his dream was destroyed, and thus communism became a black mark.

    I think I'm bantering more than making sense now...it's 3 am. I'll re-read this post in the morning and try to rephrase this.
     
  5. Tucker

    Tucker Lion Rampant

    Helder Camara sort of called that criticism down on himself in liberally peppering his speeches with anti-imperialist themes and hobnobbing with a well-known anarchist. Great thinker, yes, and a man of peace for all, but what the hell did he expect from his right-wing critics (to whom I assume his "they" refers)?

    Just a noob's two cents.
     
  6. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    The focusing question I ask here is this: why, when people want to use the political system to propagate activity than would otherwise be viewed as saintly, are they attacked as being a sinister Communist?
     
  7. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Well that's because those people want to TAKE money from some people to GIVE it to others. It's one thing to give your own money. It's another thing altogether to take money from somebody else and give that money away.
     
  8. Gavik

    Gavik Registered Member

    You know what else is theft? Not paying your employees properly and cheating them out of pensions to pay CEO bonuses.

    I don't think everyone should be paid $5 a day, but don't tell me you can have 7 houses while millions of Americans have none. If you support the idea of people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, then at least give them boots. Society as a whole can't afford to have an entire class of poor and uninsured and still expect civil peace and prosperity.
     
  9. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    I figured why write something new when I can just copy an old post.

    Person A and person B walk past person D who is living on the street. So, A and B get together to discuss a way to help D get back into society. Person A and B decide that to help D, they should take the money of person C (and sometimes A and B) and give it to D. After this transaction, A and B feel good about themselves for the way they have helped D with a hot meal and new shirt. However, all of the work was done by C:The Forgotten Man.

    Amazon.com: The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression: Amity Shlaes: Books
     
  10. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    I think Hybrix hit the nail on the head. When you attempt to change the political system, there will always be winners (those who receive) and losers (those who have to give). And many of the latter will see this as unjust, they believe their possessions are their's. So they villify those attempting to change the political and/or economic system.
     

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