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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For February 25, 2015

As usual, remember that these comments will contain more grammatical errors than the regular blogposts do.  Sorry about that.

Feb 20

I attempted to post the comment below on the Imaginative Conservative blog. Comments might have been closed at the time of my attempt to post the comment below. We should note that there are blogposts on the Imaginative Conservative blog site which were published earlier than the blogpost responded to here which do not have their comments closed. 

But we should also note that in another discussion attached to a blogpost on the Imaginative Conservative blog site, my response to the blogpost was posted. And this is despite the fact that the author of the blogpost was very upset with my views. So the omission of the comment below is a rare exception to the practices and policies followed by the Imaginative Conservative blog in its publishing of opposing viewpoints.

To Eric and his comment describing all Socialists as wanting to consolidate all power to themselves. This comment followed Joseph Pearce's blogpost on how the Great Britain has been corrupted by false gods and atheists. This appeared on the Imaginative Conservative blog.

Again, in a desire to portray socialists as a monolithic group, you are showing a lack of awareness of what socialists have debated about since the Lenin hijacked the Russian Revolution. To help provide some additional information that might challenge that monolithic group some are tempted to give into, I provided the links below:




Below is a quote from the last link. The writer is a socialist contemporary of Lenin:

Lenin and Trotsky, on the other hand, decide in favor of dictatorship in contradistinction to democracy, and thereby, in favor of the dictatorship of a handful of persons, that is, in favor of dictatorship on the bourgeois model. 


But socialist democracy is not something which begins only in the promised land after the foundations of socialist economy are created; it does not come as some sort of Christmas present for the worthy people who, in the interim, have loyally supported a handful of socialist dictators. Socialist democracy begins simultaneously with the beginnings of the destruction of class rule and of the construction of socialism. It begins at the very moment of the seizure of power by the socialist party. It is the same thing as the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Yes, dictatorship! But this dictatorship consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, but in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. But this dictatorship must be the work of the class and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class – that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses; it must be under their direct influence, subjected to the control of complete public activity; it must arise out of the growing political training of the mass of the people.

So the question is in criticizing the regimes like that of the Soviet Union, Red China, and so on, are you criticizing socialism or are you criticizing those who deviated from Socialism but kept the name.

As for my own view, I have a substantial amount of agreement with Luxemburg. But I disagree with her criticisms of Kautsky. That is because Kautsky didn't make socialism his goal, he made it the preferred means in eliminating oppression. At this point Luxemburg was too ideologically tribal to see Kautsky's point.

BTW, after he hijacked the Russian Revolution, Lenin criticized those Russians on the Left who opposed his consolidation of power.

Finally, counterexamples to your description of socialism can be found in the Spanish Revolution and the Paris Communes. Though not perfect, their methodology followed the practice of Socialism to a significant degree as opposed to the Lenin's Soviet Union or Mau's Red China neither of whom followed socialism.  BTW, to show that Socialism is not a monolith, there is debate between socialists regarding these issues. Some Socialists do follow Lenin. Some even follow Stalin. But many others do not. So your contention regarding how all socialists behave is neither historically nor theoretically true. And, btw, I am a Christian Fundamentalist and a Socialist. And there are other Christians who are Socialists as well. And many of my fellow Socialists accept me with my faith. In fact, Marx himself never advocated the elimination of religion unlike contemporaries like Bruno Bauer. For Marx, the abolishing of religion was really the abolition of the state from religious control.


Feb 21

To R. Scott and his blogpost quote comparing political correctness with communist propaganda and declaring that its purpose is to 'humiliate' its opponents. This appeared in the Heidelblog.

There are some problems with what Theodore Dalrymple said in the article quoted from. For example, he described his father as a communist who read people like Plekhanov, Maurice Hindus, and Edgar Snow. At the same time, he reported that his father personally acted like Stalin. But with the people he listed as those who influenced his father, only one of them, Plekhanov, was listed in the www.marxists.org website list of Marxists. And, btw, Plekhanov was opposed to dictators because the workers' interests could not be served by them The two others he listed were reporters who covered different communist areas but were hardly communists that I know of by reading. During WW II, Snow defended allied regimes that were not democratic because of the urgency demanded by the war.

So the question becomes, why is political correctness 'communist propaganda writ small'? Remember that political correctness came into being in order to protect those who were marginalized. And racial slurs were among the first terms deemed politically incorrect. Is that what Dalrymple is protesting? Or is he using these terms pejoratively? And he could do the latter by using these terms to refer exclusively to the extremes and abuses practiced in each group.

Finally, by categorically referring to political correctness and communism the way he does, is Dalrymple practicing what he is condemning? Is he making such a blanket statement about political correctness and associating it with communism in an attempt to 'humiliate' those who align themselves with either political correctness or communism? Whatever the reasons for his statements, he and westerners who agree with him are practicing the same kind of tribalism which he would condemn if it was practiced by any communists. In addition, isn't censoring opinions a way of silencing dissent?


To Linda Kimball's comment quoting Solzhenitsyyn on Communism and Marx and Lenin's view of God. This was part of the Heidelblog's post on political correctness.

We need to distinguish between the Soviet Union and Marxism. Marx himself was apathetic toward religion. While discussing it with Bruno Bauer, it was Bauer, not Marx, who advocated the eradication of religion. Marx was fine with it existing, he just wanted to see the abolition of the state from religion's control. You can read Marx's view in the link below:


BTW, this isn't the only point of departure between Marx and the Soviet Union. See the following video links:




Feb 24

To Elise Hilton and her blogpost on how we need both economic freedom and other abilities and values to help a society flourish. This appeared on the Acton blog.

Let's remember what economic freedom has become. It has become code for freeing businesses from what society deems as their social responsibilities. Thus, when there is a problem regarding economic freedom, it could be on society's side of demanding too much or demanding the wrong thing. But the problem could also be on the business side of not meeting its legitimate social responsibilities. And when the problem is the latter, then economic freedom translates into privileged status for business elites as they are either harming society by their practices or they are getting a free lunch at society's expense.

A concrete example of such privileged status for some businesses can be found in how some companies use government assistance programs to subsidize their payrolls. Some banks do this as well as some big retail chains. And what happens is that these businesses pay poverty wages that require employees to apply for government programs for help with food assistance, medical care, and so on. Here, we should also check if these same companies are doing what they can to pay the least amount in federal taxes. All of this is being done to maximize profits for the business owners whether the owners are families or shareholders.

The stress which some place on economic freedom is really an argument against democracy and society's right to determine how its members will live with each other. Of course there is the other side of the coin. Societies can make such great demands on businesses that businesses can't survive. But considering that it is those who can afford enough lobbyists who currently have the ear of our government, any overreach from government is not coming from society as a whole, but from those with the most lobbyists.

So here, we might want to review whether the same culture that puts so much stress on economic freedom will also result in volunteerism and generosity, positive creativity, and values or does the current stress on economic freedom work against these other would be cultural assets. For here, if business does not fulfill its legitimate social responsibilities, then these other assets are part of the free lunch business is enjoying at society's expense.

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